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Archive for May, 2022

 







Title: Almost an Army Cadet, Always a Forester
Author: K C Linggi and Laing Imang
Publisher: Partridge Singapore
Genre: Autobiography/Biography General
Format: Ebook
The book is about the trials and tribulations of Laing as a forest surveyor and partly as a community officer dealing with local forest people. In his works, he encountered the Penans and related some anecdotes of Penans and white men. He talked about the dialogue with Kayan, Kenyah and Penan; Long Moh Agreement which excluded the Penans. He was involved with Baram Operation Master Plan and witnessed subsequent blockades by Penans against logging. Penan blockades at Layun, “Blockade Satan” and Sebatu brought fame to environmental activitists like Bruno Manser, Harrison Ngau and Anderson Mutang. He oversaw heli-logging, ISO9001 documentation and sustainable forest management certification. He was able to share his experience and knowledge with interns and under-graduates who chose forestry as a career. His more than two decades of working in the forest has enhanced his appreciation of nature conservation and cordial engagement with Penans.


PURCHASE HERE
K C Linggi is a professional forestry graduate from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia. He was project manager for Bridge & Infrastructure Unit. Laing Imang is a trained forest surveyor in the Survey and Engineering Unit. Both worked in the same timber company for almost two decades and shared many trials and tribulations together.


K C Linggi and Laing Imang are GIVING AWAY A $25 GIFT CARD!

  
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 16 and ends on May 27.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on May 28.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone! 

ENTER TO WIN!a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


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Title: UNORGANIZED CRIME
Author: Judy Serrano
Publisher: 6K Publishing
Pages: 220
Genre: Romantic Suspense

 As Jazz finds herself falling from a helicopter, Gage St. Claire comes to her rescue. Organized crime is once again the culprit of her parents’ situation, and as usual, she is caught in the crossfire. Gage pulls her out of the water and helps her escape to safety. The love between them is undiscovered as he tries to leave her behind in an attempt to keep her safe and move forward with his black ops pursuit. Jazz becomes an undercover cop with wiping out organized crime forever as her goal. After Jazz exposes one of the largest crime families in the country, quite by accident, she is hired to expose crime syndicate leader Michael Giambetti Jr., otherwise known as Achilles. Achilles earned his nickname because he has no weaknesses. He has no weaknesses, that is until he meets Jazz. Achilles has been untouchable, and if she were to break this case, she could finally prove herself as a serious undercover officer. Her job is not an easy one, and people around her are not who they appear to be. Will Gage come back for Jazz, or will he be lost to her forever? Will she crack the case on her own? Read as this courageous upstart stumbles through another adventure.

Book Information

Release Date: July 7, 2020

Publisher: 6K Publishing

Soft Cover: ISBN: 979-8655914537; 220 pages; $10.99; E-Book, $2.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Bq8uru  


Chapter 1

            The doors flew open, and the room filled quietly with black shirts marked “FBI” looking almost like smoke blackening my vision. Some were wearing black ski-masks to conceal their identity. Those would be the undercover agents. Somehow it made the whole situation a bit more disconcerting. “Hands up!” the voices shouted, as more FBI officers appeared, shoving several bystanders up against the walls. “Everyone down on the floor!” was shouted to those who had not yet surrendered. People were running for cover, jumping out windows, screams of desperation were heard all over the building, as FBI climbed the stairs and handcuffed anyone and everyone who crossed their paths. One of the masked agents approached me and grabbed my hands, handcuffing them behind my back, hard.

            “Ouch!” I shouted as he pulled the cuffs around my wrists. “You know who I am, right?” I asked.

            “Yes, Miss Burns, painfully aware.” He squeezed the cuffs tighter.

            “And I am painfully aware that you are cuffing me. Lay off, will you?”

            “Right now, you’re just a whore, Miss Burns, just like the rest of them.”

I turned around to sneer at him. I was pissed. It took me almost a year to bust this establishment wide open. He had to pretend to arrest me so that my cover wouldn’t be exposed, but he didn’t have to be so rough. He was tall and muscular. As a matter of fact, he was so well-built that I could see the muscles in his arms through his shirt. Because my hands were restrained behind my back, I was unable to wipe the drool from my mouth. Okay, not really, but he was looking pretty good from where I was standing, even if my point of view may have been obstructed by the activity in the room. He pulled off his mask so that I could see who he was. Now, it all made sense. He had dark brown eyes, black hair, and a small mustache just around his nose and mouth.  Even though he towered over me, the temptation to kick him in the shin was overwhelming. So, I succumbed.

            “Ouch!” he shouted, letting go of me and grabbing the shin I just injured.

            “Just trying to keep it real, Special Agent, sir.” He grabbed me by my cuffs and dragged me out the door, backward. I knew he was ticked. He wanted in on this case for months, but I was so close that I didn’t want him messing it up for me. I was about half the way in when they discovered the madam of this fine establishment was connected to organized crime. I was personally responsible for bringing down one of the largest crime families in Las Vegas. It was totally accidental. The only thing they ever let me do was bust whorehouses and puppy mills. This was the first time I’d seen the FBI get involved. It was exciting and intrusive all at the same time.

            He turned me around so that I was facing the squad car, put his hand on the top of my head, and pushed me inside. Needless to say, the ride to the station was a tense one. We said nothing to each other the whole way there. When we finally arrived, he opened my door and dragged me out, pulling me by my elbow into the captain’s office. “Cut it out!” I shouted moving to kick him again, but he managed to avoid me this time. “Un-cuff me, Special Agent … what’s your name?”

            “It’s Alex, and I’m getting to it.”

            “Come on, Alex, don’t be a sore loser,” the captain offered. Alex finally removed my cuffs. I rubbed my wrists and showed the marks left by the cuffs to my captain. “Was that really necessary?” he asked him.

            “She kicked me,” he answered.

Luke laughed. That was my captain’s name. “I’m sure it wasn’t unwarranted.”

“Look,” I said, “I’m sick and tired of these low budget cases. I want something bigger. I want to break something open that makes it worth dressing like this.” I pulled off one of my red, high-heeled shoes and showed it to him.

“Please, Burns, sit,” Luke suggested, motioning to the chair. I put my shoe back on and gave him my best wounded-expression before complying with his request. Just then, Hector walked in with another man. Ah, Hector Montiago. He was quite the firecracker in his day. Even now, he could melt an ice cream cone with just his smile, leaving you glad that your hands were warm and sticky. He had blond hair, blue eyes, was tall and well built, but that’s not the best thing about Hector. Hector was Mexican with a thick Spanish accent with surprisingly light skin. If he didn’t have that accent, you would never know that his family was connected to the Mexican Mafia. That’s right, I said it. He was well connected. Oh, and one more minor detail. He was a highly respected FBI operative. I know, crazy, right?

“Jazz,” he said, smiling. I stood up and hugged him. “Gosh, Jazz, I’m so proud of you. You busted the Russo family business wide open. Good job.” Then he touched my hair, which was an auburn color for this particular job. My natural hair color was blond. I was also wearing brown contacts to cover my blue eyes. I could tell he wasn’t impressed. “We’re going back to blond tomorrow, yes?” He smiled again, and the butterflies in my stomach became less than dormant.

“Yes, Hector, going back to normal tomorrow. And thanks, by the way. I’m kind of proud of myself.”

“You should be. Your parents would be proud.” I sneered, not as subtly as I had hoped.

“What are you doing here?” Alex asked him. Clearly, Hector made him a little uncomfortable. That was only to be expected. Hector had an interesting background story. Not only was he ridiculously yummy, but Hector was unique in his situation. As I mentioned before, Hector was well connected. He belonged to one of the biggest crime families in the United States and Mexico. The Montiagos were untouchable. Hector and his brother, Max, were FBI planted in their brother’s organization to try to take him down many years ago. To make a long story short, his brother, Max, is dead, and the family business is still up and running. That’s right- untouchable. Diego Montiago Jr., otherwise known as simply Junior, runs the organization now. It appears that the only person who can keep him in line is his uncle Hector. Hector does a rather dangerous balancing act on the delicate line between right and wrong and we sort of, “look the other way,” in return for Hector’s very unique skills and insight.

Hector looked over at me and patted Alex on the back. “I understand you’ve already met Alex.”

“Yes, I’ve had the pleasure.” Alex winked at Hector, which I did not appreciate.

“Would you mind excusing us, Burns? We have business to discuss,” Hector said.

“I want in,” I told him. “If you’re here, it must be big. Let me in.”

“Jazz, this is out of your league. I’m not sure you’re … well … that you’re right for this.” No matter how old I got, no matter what successes have headed my way, to Hector I was still a little girl. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get past that image of me that he must have had in his mind.

“I can do it, Hector. What is it?”

He laughed a little, smirking at me. “You’ve probably never even had to pull your gun.”

I pulled it out of the back of my waistband and pointed it at him. “How’s this?”

“Oh, little girl, if I had a dime for every woman who pulled a gun on me. Put it away, and play nice.” He put his hand on the barrel of my gun and pushed it so that it was facing the floor. He and all the other men in the room let out some quiet laughter at my expense. I could feel my face flush, much to my own disgust. He was quite the bad boy in his day. Never slept alone. Never had to. “You wouldn’t be working with me,” he continued. “I’m just here to let go of the information I have acquired personally from my own experience. You’d be working with them.” He motioned to the man he came in with and Alex. “This is Jacob.” Jacob walked closer to me and shook my hand. “He is the Lieutenant in charge of the case. I’m too close to this,” he continued. “I need to plant a woman. I was going to use McCall. She’s been around the block a few times and…”

“Hector, I can do this. Who’s the mark? Give me a chance.”

He sighed. “It’s the Giambetti family. Michael Giambetti Jr., to be specific.”

My heart started pounding. It was crashing against my chest so hard that I was afraid they would hear it if I didn’t get ahold of myself. I could feel my face flush again, as I began to understand why he was afraid to put me inside. Michael Giambetti Jr. was the biggest competition for the Montiago family. He also had a reputation for being quite the playboy. They called him Achilles. Just like Junior Montiago was famous for having no remorse, Michael Giambetti Jr. was famous for having no weaknesses. Trying to find his so-called “heel” has been a fruitless venture. No one has found anything or anyone that has meant enough to him to control his behavior. So consequently, that’s what he was known as by his peers. Achilles.

“Michael Giambetti?”

“The father’s deceased. Michael Giambetti Sr. used to be involved with…” Hector paused and looked like he might be a little embarrassed. “There was a woman. Never mind, it’s not important. Let’s just say we have too much history. That’s why Jacob will be your contact. I will bow out after this conversation.” Hector smiled for a second as though he was thinking about something naughty. “Besides, the whole Achilles, Hector thing just weirds me out.” We all laughed, thinking about the old myth where Achilles actually kills Hector. I guess that could be a prophecy that one would not want to explore. “Alex has been Michael’s right-hand man for two years, and we’re no closer to busting him now then we were back then.”

“So, his incompetence is causing you to call in the big dogs,” I added.

I am pretty sure that was steam now coming out of Alex’s ears. “I’m not incompetent. He’s very clever. He owns a few nightclubs and restaurants and only discusses his sleazy little business with his brother and sister. So, we are going to have to plant a woman.”

“You want me to sleep with him?”

“God, no,” Hector answered. “You and your long blond hair and curvy body will certainly catch his attention. You will be blond again, I’m assuming.”

“Yes, yes, would you cut it out.”

He looked at me like I was nothing more than a mild form of entertainment for him as he continued, already set on leaving me out of this. “The plan is to set it up so that the woman and Alex hook up at a bar. You would flash your baby-blues; Alex pretends to take you home and BAM! You’re in.”

“Ewe…”

“The thought doesn’t do much for me either,” Alex added. “McCall is the better choice.”

“I dunno,” Luke interrupted. “Jazz possesses a sort of innocence that McCall doesn’t have. This may intrigue Achilles, and he may decide to try to get close to her. This might work.”

 “No,” Hector added. “I’m with Alex. McCall it is.”

“Hector, I am not a little girl anymore. I am a grown woman. I can do this.”

“Methinks the lady doth protest too much,” Hector says, quoting Shakespeare of all people, obviously still entertained by my persistence.

“I just burned the Russo’s organization to the ground,” I reminded them.

“Quite accidentally,” Luke added.

“Fine,” I said. “Ask McCall.”

I got up and walked away. My pride was injured, and I was sick and tired of all these weak assignments. So, I went home like a good little girl to lick my wounds.

***

When morning came, I was rudely awakened by my doorbell. I was only wearing an undershirt and a pair of short-shorts and clearly, I wasn’t thinking straight at the time, or I would’ve covered up. I grabbed my gun and walked to the front door. I carefully peeked through the peephole. It was Hector, Jacob, and Alex. This couldn’t be good.

            I pulled open the door, and Alex greeted me with a, “Good morning, sunshine.” He pushed his way through the door and sat down presumptuously on my easy chair. A little too comfortably if you asked me. “Thanks for the outfit,” he continued, looking me up and down like I was some kind of poster girl. “I think you just cheered me up considerably.”

            “Shut up, Alex. It’s not like I invited you here.” I noticed the worry in Hector’s face, which sobered me up a bit. “What’s going on? What are you all doing here?”

            “We need to talk,” Hector answered. He and Jacob walked in and made themselves comfortable on my couch. “Jazz, please … sit.”

            Hector motioned for me to sit beside him. He took my hands when I did. “You’re scaring me, Hector. What’s going on?”

            “McCall tried to get inside last night after we saw you.”

            “And…” My voice cracked. I was pretty sure what they were going to say.

            “Her plan was for her to hook up with Achilles directly. She didn’t want to go through Alex. She thought she was better than that.”

            “He killed her, Jazz,” Alex interrupted, “and if you don’t want to do this, we understand completely.”

            I swallowed hard. “Tell me what happened.”

            “First of all,” Hector started, “she didn’t follow directions. She went to him, climbed all over him, and went home with him. He was suspicious from the get-go. Maybe he was tipped off … we’re not sure. This is very risky. We know you’re engaged. Why don’t you take some time to talk to Sean. See what he says. We’ll give it a few days. Let things cool down a little. Then you decide.” I nodded, unable to speak. “The plan is pretty simple. You will go home with Alex. When you get there, just bounce around a little on the bed, make some noises and … you know … make it sound believable.” I think I threw up a little inside my mouth. “You’ll have to tell your fiancée that you can’t see him for a while. You will have to appear to be exclusive with Alex. Do you think he can handle that?”

            “In public, you mean, right?”

            “Someone like Achilles will have you checked out and watched the moment you step foot inside his house. So, no booty calls for a while. Fortunately, since you are an undercover cop, he won’t be able to find any real details about you.” Hector sat there, tapping his foot, staring at me, waiting for an answer.

            “I’ll talk to him,” I answered. “No problem.” I was lying of course. There was no way Sean was going to go for this.

            “Listen,” he continued, “under no circumstances are you to sleep with Giambetti.” I looked at him, quite startled. “My brother, Max, sacrificed his integrity all for the glory of the case.”

            “Hector, I…”

            “He’s very dead now. Understand?”

            “Yes, sir, I understand.”

            “Think it over. Give Luke your answer in the morning.”

            They all left except for Alex, who was still invasively sitting in my easy chair. “Give us a minute, will you please?” Alex said, waiting for them to go. They nodded as they vacated, and he stayed behind. He got up and stood next to me at the door putting his hands on my shoulders. “I won’t think you’re weak if you don’t want to do this. He made McCall right away. He may figure you out too. I’m willing to let this one go. There will be another case.”

            “Where did she meet him?”

            “She didn’t wait for me. She went to one of his nightclubs and hit on him. You would go to a place called Troy’s. It’s the downtown mob hangout. You’d wait for me. I’ll hit on you. You come home with me. I live in the Giambetti estate.”

            “Troy’s? How … uncomfortably fitting.”

“Don’t think the irony isn’t lost on me.”

“I’ll do it, Alex.”

            “Think about it.”

            “I’ll do it. I’ll go see Luke in the morning for my instructions.”

            He looked at me and sighed realizing he was losing this battle. “There will be other cases.”

            “Not for me,” I told him. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Lieutenant.”

            “That’s Special Agent Hawkins, to you, young lady.” I smiled. He put his finger under my chin and looked me in the eyes like the sun losing its desire for fire. “God, I hope I don’t regret this.”

***

            I didn’t talk to Sean. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even wait till the morning. I ran down to the station and staked my claim on this job. I was pretty sure Luke would still be there, blaming himself for all that had happened to McCall. It appeared that he had been up all night. His eyes were bloodshot, and he looked quite shaken. Luke reluctantly handed me a piece of paper with my instructions, and after what felt like several hours of him trying to talk me out of this assignment, I went home to get ready. I was feeling a little shaken myself. Was I crazy to take this on?

 My first instructions were to find a beauty salon and get my hair color changed. Apparently, Alex likes blonds, and it had to look authentic. Somehow that little fact didn’t surprise me even a little.

When morning arrived, I headed out to the hairdresser. She turned me back into myself, so to speak, straightened my hair, and sent me on my way. I put on a short red dress, high heels, and extra makeup. Sticking my double D’s into that tight red dress was no easy feat, I might add, but certainly worth it once the task was done. My eyes were bluer than blue with my black eyeliner making its statement. As darkness began to cloak the city, I called a cab and headed for Troy’s. The cab driver asked me twice if I was sure I wanted to go there. I assured him that I knew what I was doing. The truth was that I really had no idea.

            When I walked inside, all eyes were on me. Not that I could blame them. I was stunning. I walked over to the bar and got the bartender’s immediate attention. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in here before,” he stared. “I’m sure I would remember eyes as blue as yours.” As if he was looking at my eyes. I smiled, trying to stay in character. He passed me a quick wink and then checked me out quite obviously. The temptation to remind him where my eyes really were was overwhelming. “What can I get you, pretty lady?”

            “Scotch on the rocks, please.” He raised an eyebrow at me, which made me think I should have ordered something foofier like a white wine or a strawberry daiquiri. He handed it to me, and I sipped it. Alex was supposed to show up with Achilles at 9 and it was 8:55. A man sat down next to me and put his hand on my bottom. To say I was surprised was an understatement.

            “How much, baby?”

            I put my drink down and looked at him. “How much what?”

            “How much for a little piece of this?” He squeezed my bottom. No, I’m not kidding. Then it dawned on me. Oh my gosh … he thinks I’m a hooker. Of course, he does … jeez.

            “I’m not for sale, so if you wouldn’t mind, you can remove your hand now.”

            “Come on, sweetheart, I’ve got lots of cash.” He showed me a roll of bills with his other hand and began to work his hand under my skirt.

            “I told you, I am not a prostitute. Remove your hand.” I reached to move his grip from my very inappropriate area, but he was too strong, and I began to realize that I may have to blow my cover to get him off of me.

            He put his face in my neck and whispered something that a lady would never repeat, so I won’t. At that point, I reached over to where I had sat my drink and threw it in his face. I could see Alex and who must have been Achilles come through the door. They made a beeline for me. The man jumped up and grabbed me, roughly by the arm, unsteadying me as I fell off of the barstool, standing off balance on my heels. “You bitch!”

            “Let her go, Jimmy,” a voice said from behind. I turned and looked. It was Achilles. “She’s with me.”

            The man was visibly stunned and slightly traumatized. “I’m sorry, Mr. Giambetti,” he stuttered. “I thought … I had no idea … I’m really sorry, man … I…”

            “Apologize to the lady, and go home to your wife. You understand me, Jimmy?”

            I rolled my eyes. Of course, he was married. “I’m sorry, Miss, for mistakin’ you for a whore. Real sorry.” He ran off like a cockroach under a flashlight.

“Thank you,” I said to Achilles. Although that was the most ridiculous apology I have ever heard. I tried to steady my hands, but it was tough. I sat back down at the bar in a valiant effort to stop shaking. Alex attempted to come over to me by stepping past Achilles, but Achilles put his hand up to Alex’s chest and pushed him backward. “This one is mine.”

About the Author

Judy Serrano graduated from Texas A&M University-Commerce with a master’s degree in English. She is the owner of Make Cents Editing Services, is an English teacher at a local high school, and an adjunct professor at a local junior college. Judy writes romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and Mafia romance novels. She is the author of The Easter’s Lilly Series, The Linked Series, Ivy Vines Visions, and Unorganized Crime. Although originally from New York, she lives in Texas with her husband and near her four boys. In her spare time, Judy plays guitar and sings at her church, and dotes on her fur babies. 

You can visit her website at https://www.judyserrano.com/ or connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

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Title: ERABON PROPHECY TRILOGY
Author: Randy C. Dockens
Publisher: Carpenter’s Son Publishing
Genre: Christian Science Fiction

An exciting trilogy where an astronaut, nicknamed Nuke and working on an interstellar gate, is accidentally thrown so deep into the universe there is no way for him to get home. He does, however, find life on a nearby planet, one in which the citizens look very different from him.

Although tense at first, he finds these aliens think he is the forerunner to the return of their deity and has been charged with reuniting the clans living on six different planets. What is stranger to him still is that while everything seems so foreign from anything he has ever experienced, there is an element that also feels extremely familiar.

He has to gain the trust from each alien clan and demonstrate through various acts that he is the one they have been waiting for so each culture can fully accept him and follow him. But for the aliens to accept him as the prophet to their deity, Erabon, he has to first accept it and believe it himself.

Book Information

Release Dates: Book One: Myeem: 23-Dec-2020

Book Two: Sharab: 06-Apr-2021

Book Three: Qerach: 01-Oct-2021

Publisher: Carpenter’s Son Publishing 

Link to books on Amazon:

Book One: Myeem: Amazon.com: Myeem: Book One of the Erabon Prophecy Trilogy (Erabon Prophecy Trilogy, 1): 9781952025129: Randy C Dockens: Books

Book Two: Sharab: Sharab: Book Two of the Erabon Prophecy Trilogy (Erabon Prophecy Trilogy, 2): Dockens, Randy C: 9781952025136: Amazon.com: Books

Book Three: Qerach: Qerach: Book Three of the Erabon Prophecy Trilogy (Erabon Prophecy Trilogy, 3): Dockens, Randy C: 9781952025143: Amazon.com: Books

Chapter One

Triton

     “What’s wrong with me?” 

     Nuke waited the fifteen seconds it took for his message to transmit to earth and another fifteen for the answer to return. The wait was a pain, but this was better than no communication at all. Being at the corner of the solar system and circling Neptune, communicating with family on Earth—even if delayed—made life tolerable. 

     Nuke knew what his mom’s answer to his question would be. He smiled as she appeared onscreen. Everyone said he got his good looks from her. His father had more of a dark complexion and rough look to his face. Nuke could see he had his mother’s high cheekbones, olive-tan-colored complexion, and smile, which always displayed a slight mischievous look. He even inherited her slightly wavy hair. 

     In another few moments, he was listening to his mother’s reply: “Yohanan Chaikin, you know there is nothing wrong with you. You’re just unique, just like Yahushua.” 

     Nuke laughed to himself. That was always her answer to this question he had asked both of them many times. What    others saw in him as abnormal, she only saw as special. He stared out the window as he lay on his bunk and contemplated this. The rings of Neptune loomed across the horizon. 

     He focused on his mom. She refused to call him by his nickname, or even his transliterated name, John. If she did, then she would have to admit something was wrong with him. Well . . . at least different from everyone else. He almost didn’t make it into the Academy because of this difference. Thank goodness, the physician in charge at the time persisted to find the cause of his not being able to have an adequate body scan. The doctor found, and used, antiquated medical equipment to pronounce him healthy. 

     Nuke ran his right hand over his left arm. His skin felt normal but apparently wasn’t. Somehow, his skin emitted a low electric voltage that interfered with body scans and other medical equipment that relied on visual readings. Because his skin made the doctor’s equipment go haywire, his buddy, Michael, who entered the Academy with him, dubbed him “nuclear” and shortened that to the nickname Nuke. His friend told everyone in their unit and the name stuck. After a time he put this difference out of his mind . . . until he came here to Triton, one of the moons around Neptune. He then had to go through the same tests and explanations all over again. The medic here took him off duty until Nuke’s “antiquated test results,” as he put it, arrived from Earth. Now Nuke waited, confined to quarters.

     “Yohanan, is it really that important to you to be there?” His mother’s eyes watered. “We miss you.” 

     Nuke shook his head; he wasn’t sure his father missed him. They were always at odds. His father—his whole family, for that matter—was old school, still looking for Mashiach, the Messiah, to come. When he would pressure his father about  this issue, his father’s reply was always the same: It took four thousand years for Mashiach to come the first time. Why would we think he’s late if it takes another four thousand to return? Since the year was 3887, he could never argue that point with his father. 

     “And don’t think your father doesn’t miss you,” his mother said. “He will never say so, but I see him every day. He definitely misses you.” 

     “Mom, I miss you guys too. But I feel this is where I belong. I’m doing important work—work I love.” 

     It wasn’t that he didn’t believe in HaShem, one of the many Hebrew names for God literally meaning The Name, or in his return. But to keep these old customs irritated him to no end. Jerusalem had undergone a lot of changes over the centuries. For the most part, Jerusalem was as modern as any other city. Yet there were sections, like sections where his family lived, where people maintained that their “history” was important to keep. Nuke felt he could no longer be part of that. He had to experience life in this century—not cling to the past. Surely HaShem was God of the future as well as God of the past. Surely. 

     Nuke jumped when he heard a sudden knock on his portal opening. 

     Michael laughed. “Jumpy, are we? Cap needs to see you.” He waved for Nuke to join him. 

     Nuke turned back to his 2-D video feed. “Mom, sorry. I have to go. I’ll talk to you soon.” He disconnected from the feed knowing that, with the time delay, it was useless to wait for a response. 

     He swung his legs over the side of his bunk, slipped his feet into his self-tightening shoes, and followed Michael into the hallway. Michael had been his buddy pretty much his entire life. Both looked similar: about the same height, same semimuscular stature, and dark eyes. The main difference was Michael had dyed his hair a brilliant yellow. Also, Michael was always the more outgoing of the two. Nuke laughed to himself. Michael was the one who usually got them into trouble, and he was the one who figured out how to get them out of it. 

     Nuke looked at his yellow-haired friend. “Where are we heading?” 

     Michael grinned. “Doc feels your nickname suits you.” 

     Nuke stopped in his tracks. “Really? He’s cleared me already?” He squinted. “How do you know this?” 

     Michael shrugged. “Has to be. Cap said he wants us out to assemble the gate, which arrived about oh-five-hundred.” 

     Nuke looked at his chronometer. “That was three hours ago. Why are they waiting for us?” 

     “Beats me.” Michael produced a wide grin. “Must mean Cap knows we’re the best.” 

     Nuke laughed. “Yeah, that must be it.” 

     They walked down the narrow corridor, turned left, and then right to a larger opening which housed the station’s control center. Various people were at stations manning all the functions of the center as well as surrounding space traffic. Captain Bradley was signing something as they approached. He turned. “I just signed off on your medical clearance,” he said to Nuke. 

     The captain motioned with his head for them to follow him to the conference room. 

     As they entered, two officers were already present and seated. Lieutenant Kinsey was a lithe and beautiful woman. Her hair, almost jet black, cascaded onto her shoulders, reflecting the light. She was likely one of the prettiest women Nuke had ever seen. Yet she knew of her natural beauty and used it as a weapon of intimidation. Sergeant Naftum also was seated. He was a little pudgy and ordinary looking yet Nuke always found him a decent fellow. They both stood as Captain Bradley entered and nodded slightly. 

     Bradley motioned for the four of them to sit. He pressed a button on the table and an entire wall came to life with a view of the gate pieces in space above Triton. He nodded to Lieutenant Kinsey. 

     She stood and walked to the wall and pointed. “Each gate is composed of three pieces—” 

     “Each?” Nuke squinted and looked over at Kinsey. “I only see three pieces. Where’s the other gate?” 

     “Each gate,” Kinsey continued, a little louder, seemingly annoyed by the interruption, “is composed of three pieces that must be fused together to form a large triangle. Currently each piece of each gate is bound to each other. Once the pieces are fused, the two gates will be separated to function independently but be linked so one will enter through one and exit the other. These gates will be three times larger than the intra-solar gate near Saturn and the other one here around Neptune.” She looked directly into Nuke’s eyes. “It’s a very dangerous mission.” 

     Nuke glanced at Michael, who swallowed hard. Michael scratched the back of his head. “What’s . . . so hard about such a mission?” Michael asked. 

     Naftum spoke up. “You have to thread the needle.” 

     Nuke looked his way. “We have to what?” 

     Naftum grinned. “Just like you did on Saturn station.” 

     Nuke looked at Captain Bradley warily. Does he know about that?  

     The Captain delivered a slight smile. “The notoriety of your antics precedes you even though some things may not be in your official records.” 

     Naftum gave a slight chuckle. “This time you’re given permission.” 

     Nuke looked at Michael and raised his eyebrows. 

     Michael cleared his throat. “Uh, so . . . what exactly are we given permission to do?” 

     Kinsey pointed to a location on the wall map. “These cables must be threaded through each piece to bind them together. The building crew can then properly mesh these individual pieces together to form and power the interstellar gate.” 

     Nuke squinted. He could barely see where Kinsley was pointing. “What’s the diameter of the cables?” 

     “One meter.” 

     “And of the eyelets?” 

     “Six meters.” 

     Michael coughed. “That’s only about a meter on either side of each wing for clearance.” 

     Kinsey nodded. “Hence the danger.” 

     Nuke ran his hand across his mouth. This was going to be an even more audacious feat than his and Michael’s stunt on Saturn. There they dodged rock fragments in Saturn’s rings. Here there would be much less leeway for error.

    The Captain pressed another button on the conference table. A small door slid open and he pulled out two discs. He handed one to Nuke and the other to Michael. “Study these tonight and report back here at oh-seven-hundred ready to start.” 

     Each man took the disc and nodded. Michael gave Nuke a wide-eyed look but made no other gesture. Still, that spoke volumes. Who else but the two of them would be stupid enough, and reckless enough, to accept such a mission? 

     Nuke grinned to himself. He loved challenges like this.

About the Author

Dr. Randy C. Dockens has a fascination with science and with the Bible, holds Ph.D. degrees in both areas, and is a man not only of faith and science, but also of creativity. He believes that faith and science go hand in hand without being enemies of each other.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Auburn University he went on to graduate school at Auburn and completed his first doctorate degree in Pharmaceutics. He began his scientific career as a pharmacokinetic reviewer for the Food and Drug Administration and later joined a leading pharmaceutical company as a pharmacokineticist, which is a scientist who analyzes how the human body affects drugs after they have been administered (i.e, absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted).

Through the years, he has worked on potential medicines within several disease areas, including cardiovascular, fibrosis, and immunoscience to seek and develop new and novel medicines in these therapy areas.

He has also had his attention on the academic study of the Bible. He earned a second doctorate in Biblical Prophecy from Louisiana Baptist University after receiving a master’s degree in Jewish Studies from the Internet Bible Institute under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Congdon.

Randy has recently retired from his pharmaceutical career and is spending even more time on his writing efforts. He has written several books that span dystopian, end-time prophecy, science fiction, and uniquely told Bible stories. All of his books, while fun to read, are futuristic, filled with science to give them an authentic feel, have a science fiction feel to them, and allow one to learn some aspect of Biblical truth one may not have thought about before. This is all done in a fast-paced action format that is both entertaining and provides a fun read to his readers.

Randy’s latest books are in the Christian science fiction series, ERABON PROPHECY TRILOGY.

You can visit his website at www.RandyDockens.com or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook andGoodreads.

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Title: MOON DEEDS: STAR CHILDREN SAGA BOOK ONE
Author: Palmer Pickering
Publisher: Mythology Press
Genre: Adult Fantasy/Science-Fiction

“The path to power is cloaked in shadows, so if you avoid all the shadows, you’ll never learn anything.”

It’s 2090: the last outpost of freedom is the moon, the best defense against technology is magic, and the only hope for humankind rests in the hands of the Star Children.

Twins Cassidy and Torr must save Earth from a ruthless enemy at a time when the only force more powerful than alien technology is magic. Moon Deeds launches the siblings’ journey across the galaxy, where they must learn their power as the Star Children, claim their shamanic heritage, and battle dark forces that threaten humankind.

The Star Children Saga follows Cassidy and Torr as they slowly awaken to their destiny as the twin Star Children, born every millennium to reconnect with the source of all life. They come to discover the sheer enormity of their task: to find our ancestors on a lost planet across the galaxy and save humanity from a spiraling descent into darkness. The powers they must wield to accomplish this task are truly frightening and put at risk everything they love.

Come along with twenty-year-old twins Cassidy and Torr, who inherited deeds to land parcels on the moon. They want to use their moon deeds to get off Earth and escape a brutal dictatorship. But first they must unlock their shaman powers.

A rollicking yet poignant adventure in the not too distant future, when we have colonized the moon and nearly lost Earth to a dictatorship. Only the shamans remain free, plus the lucky ones who escaped to the moon.

Join the adventure! An addictive space opera, science-fantasy series.

Book Information

Release Date: May 25, 2019

Publisher: Mythology Press

Soft Cover: ISBN: ‎ 978-1732568808; 598 pages; $21.99; E-Book, $.99; Audiobook, FREE.

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt13Js_M-P4

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3uKWq2o

Barnes & Noble:  https://bit.ly/3rQteFx

Chapter One

Star Song

West San Jose, California, Western Free States, planet Earth

July 8, 2090

Cassidy stood in the backyard, staring up at the sky and listening to the music of the stars. The Shaman’s Shield of gray clouds loomed far overhead, covering the sky in a thick, impenetrable roof, and casting a gloomy pall over everything. Ever since the Shaman’s Shield had appeared three years ago, she had not seen the stars nor heard their music. But today the thin, ethereal strains wove through the neighborhood noise. The music was faint, but it was there.

It had been louder when she was a child, before Grandma Leann had shielded her. Cassidy had thought everyone could hear the music, a constant background noise of such poignant sweetness that sometimes it was painful to listen to. But she had realized over time that others did not hear it. Or perhaps they heard it subconsciously, or in their dreams, because sometimes she heard an echo of it when musicians played their instruments or choirs sang. Cassidy had tried to replicate the sound, studying violin as a child, then piano, but neither instrument captured the elusive tones.

The only one who understood was her twin brother, Torr. They had shared a room as children, and she used to sing to him.

“I recognize that song,” he had said one time in the middle of the night. She had been sitting up in bed humming the tune that was streaming through her head. Torr had awoken from a deep sleep and sat upright, staring at her. “I heard it in my dream.”

“You heard me humming,” she corrected him.

“No,” Torr said stubbornly. “The golden people were singing to me. Their song said you and I have to find them. We have to follow their voices.” Torr closed his eyes and sang the melody more truly than she ever had, picking out parts of the multi-layered harmony she had never captured before. And he added something resembling words that she did not understand, but which made her cry.

In the morning he had remembered the dream, but he could not remember the song. For days afterwards he had tried to get her to sing it back to him, but she could not get the melody quite right, and she did not know the strange language. Then when Grandma Leann laid the blanket of silence over her, the song stopped. As time passed, Cassidy forgot the tune she had always hummed. She could only recall hints of it, like wisps of clouds that slipped away as she tried to grab them.

Now the sky was singing to her again. The melody came to her, carried on the wind as though from a distant mountaintop. She was filled with joy to hear it, though the song was more mournful than she recalled. She still could not understand the words, but she remembered what Torr had told her that night in their attic bedroom, that the two of them had to follow the golden people’s voices and find them. She did not know who they were, or where they were, but they were still out there singing to her. Calling to her. Waiting.

About the Author

Palmer Pickering has been writing fiction since she was eight. She received her BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University, with concentrations in Religion and Race Relations.

She currently works in Silicon Valley in the gaming industry and high tech. In addition, Palmer holds a certificate in Chinese Acupressure, is a certified solar panel installer, and studied Tibetan Buddhism with the 14th Dalai Lama.

She lives and writes in the magical redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, California.

Her latest book is the scifi fantasy for adults, Moon Deeds: Star Children Saga Book One.

You can visit her website at www.MythologyPress.com or connect with her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Title: FIRST BITE
Author: Avery Daniels
Publisher: Blazing Sword Publishing
Pages: 290
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

In 24 hours, Misty Summers had the worst date of her life, was bit by a vampire, and her PI boss may close his business as he goes through a divorce. Looking on the positive side, she decides to use her new vampire assets and become the private investigator to keep her income. She doesn’t know what her future holds, but it can’t be any worse! When she starts following up on a missing woman’s case, she finds herself in the middle of murder.

Book Information

Release Date: May 1, 2022

Publisher:  Blazing Sword

Ebook: ASIN; 290 pages; $2.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3OmzDl4

Chapter One 

“I never want to see you again!”  I slammed the passenger side door. Roger sped off in his red truck, his dragging muffler sounded like a tray of silverware ground in a garbage disposal.  That ended the date from hell.  He took me to a cheap restaurant, we saw the budget dollar movie, and I had to pay for my own popcorn.  I can understand being on a budget, truly, I get it. But then to get all handsy in a parking lot, right under a parking light!  He had the nerve to get upset when I said no.  I had to slap him.  When he slapped me back, I elbowed him in his jewels.  The complete jerk.   

There was a sickle moon hanging lazily in the sky and a cool autumn breeze rustled the gold and russet leaves.  I walked faster to warm up.  I hadn’t brought a coat since I’d expected to be driven.  A gust whipped my hair across my eyes and I swept it back.  I took a deep breath and wondered at the smell of autumn, the slightly sharp tang in the crisp air.  I wrapped my arms around myself. 

         The bright side was I stood up for myself and put an end to his assault.  Unfortunately, I’m stranded after eleven in a rougher part of town on a Sunday night with nobody around.  I wish I could strangle Roger’s pencil neck.  I can walk off my anger; we don’t have an Uber or such in the small town of Majestic.  I needed to recapture my positive vibes anyway, so a walk would do me good.   

Another positive item to the evening was I didn’t spring for a new or previously owned dress for the evening.  It would have been wasted on the moron, anyway.  I wore my deep purple sleeveless turtleneck and black pants.  It was classic and more than he deserved.  My best friend, Courtney, had assured me this blind date would be different.  Oh, it was different, all right, and not in a good way.   

I’ve never actually had a good date, not one single good memory of a date.  Tears stung my eyes.  Enough negativity.  I recited my mantra.  I am ready for the perfect man for me.  I am working on myself to be the person who will attract my perfect partner. After yet another disheartening experience, it’s all I can do to not blame it all on myself.  Nope, the right man is coming to me.  Yeah, okay.  I may be trying to convince myself more than attracting Mr. Right into my life.  I’m okay with that at the moment. 

         My low-heeled strappy sandals slapped against the sidewalk, an exclamation point with every step.  There wasn’t any traffic, and I had a couple of miles to go.  Other than my footsteps, it was quiet except for a dog barking in the auto salvage yard behind me. But I felt a presence and knew I wasn’t alone.  I sped up.  I was speed walking now and my heart hammered.  This really wasn’t a good area.  Majestic was a modest-sized town, just big enough to warrant two canines on the police force.  I didn’t want to find out firsthand about the seedy side of town. 

Were those footsteps behind me?  I stopped abruptly. I heard a scuff, then nothing.  My senses screamed run, and even though my sandals weren’t the best for it, at least they were strapped on.  I grabbed hold of my purse strap to keep my purse with me.  I didn’t care how it looked; I took off running for everything I was worth.  My mind continued to yell, faster, faster! 

         One instant, it was a clear sidewalk in front of me, and the next I ran into a man who had just appeared.  My mind reeled at his abrupt materialization.  His eyes were strange; even in the dark, his eyes bore into mine.  I took my purse and aimed for his head. He moved so fast I barely saw a blur.  Next thing I knew, the guy was behind me, had pinned my arms, and was trying to give me a hickey!   

Worst day ever!  There just is no positive way to look at any of this night.  I struggled, scratched, and kicked but was losing my energy quickly.  I remember slumping to the ground. I think he was still attached to my neck.  I wanted to keep fighting, but I couldn’t even stay conscious.  

Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units. She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her spirited companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books at the dinner table.

Her latest book is the paranormal cozy mystery, First Bite.

You can visit her website at http://avery-daniels.com/. Connect with her on TwitterFacebookGoodreadsBookBuband Bingebook.

Sign up for her newsletter at www.tinyurl.com/2p952mcv.

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