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Thursday, December 15, 2016

December Releases from Class Act Books

This month, Class Act Books is proud to announce the release of debut author Leslie Heath's Young Adult novel THE LAST MAYOR'S SON.

Aibek gets the surprise of his life when he's summoned out of the West Xona Military Academy to help the village of his birth defend their newly won freedom.

Aibek, his best friend, and his father’s life-long servant make the perilous journey to Nivaka. They arrive to a grand welcome, but soon learn that not everyone there is happy they've come. Will Aibek figure out who in the forest village wants him gone? Or will someone end up dead?



https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946523003/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1481815989&sr=1-1&keywords=The+last+Mayor%27s+son


SINBAD'S LAST VOYAGE, Book 2 of The Adventures of Sinbad, is CAB's second December release.  Written by veteran author Toni V. Sweeney, this is a SF Space Opera series previously published, with two new, never-before published novels added, and new covers by artist James Robinson.

As the Earth readies itself for war with the invading Albegensi, Navajo Andrea Talltrees travels to the Thieves Quarter to hire halfbreed smuggler Sinbad shen Singh to find her husband Tran, accused of being a spy.

When they meet, however, its an immediate clash of cultures as well as personalities--plus a heavy dose of instant attraction! Refusing to admit that he has fallen in love with a hated Terran, Sinbad reluctantly takes Andi on a journey that will carry them halfway across the galaxy, where the part-feline smuggler will call on some old friends for help and face one deadly enemy with an old score to settle.

In their search for Andi's husband, they'll uncover a secret invasion that threatens to destroy the war-torn Terran Federation, and will learn that it doesn't matter how long a person loves but simply that he does love.


Sinbad's Last Voyage will shortly be available on amazon and at the publisher's website.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

MICHAEL D. SMITH INTERVIEWED BY ANGELA HAYES

Today, Michael D. Fox is being interviewed by Angela D. Hayes.




Learn about the author and more about his novel.  Featured in the interview will be an excerpt from his dystopian novel, COMMWEALTH (see story following this one for more information on this book).

Stop by.  http://authorangelahayes.blogspot.com/2016/12/michael-smith-commwealth.html


Sunday, December 11, 2016

COMMWEALTH...a Dystopian Black Comedy


Dystopian? Black comedy? Literary? Mainstream, contemporary–what on earth do those terms really mean? 



CommWealth describes a society in which all forms of property have been banned so a deeper sharing can take place between citizens, CommWealth isn’t science fiction but is just as bizarre.

The CommWealth system has outlawed private property. Any object from your house to the clothes you’re wearing can be demanded by anyone, to be enjoyed for thirty days before anyone else can request it.

Playwright Allan Larson, Forensic Squad actor and playwright, has adjusted well to this new society, easily claiming umbrellas, mansions, and Porsches from fellow citizens. Still obsessed with his ex-girlfriend Lisa, Allan invokes the laws of CommWealth to demand ownership of her. When bicycle mechanic and fledgling actor Richard Stapke discloses that he’s secretly been writing novels and plays for years, Allan incautiously spreads the word that Richard’s a genius, with the result that an official CommWealth claim is made of Richard’s entire literary output. The resulting five-volume Stapke Intimacies brings to light a twisted history of betrayals, double agents, and murder that propel members of the Forensic Squad theatrical troupe into a suicidal revolution.

Excerpt:

“Mr. Stapke,” Hardy said, tapping something ominous into his laptop, “let’s assume that your entire last statement was hypothetical. In that hypothetical case, in which you are a mere bicycle mechanic, of course you owe no Writer’s Tax. But, since you do have writing, and since you are a writer, you owe seventeen percent.”

Richard opened his mouth and shut it. “Seventeen percent? Hypothetically speaking, seventeen percent of what?”

“Of your output, of course. Let’s say you produce two hundred pages per month, maybe fifty-thousand words, as you do seem quite prolific. Of that, seventeen percent, or thirty-four pages, or eighty-five hundred words, would be sent to the CommWealth Central Tax Assessor’s Office.”

 “What?” Richard and Allan both cried.

“If you produce more than say, five hundred pages a month—if you’re a real barn burner, that is, it goes up to fifty percent. So, of course, it’s best to stay around two to three hundred. We know that nobody wants to lose half his writing.”

“What?” Richard repeated. “You send—actual writing—to…to…”

“To the CCTA’s Office. On the last day of the month you simply upload your entire month’s output to the CCTA web site, which in turn sends it to the CommWealth Cultural Redistribution Office. That office determines the seventeen percent tax and distributes it to needy writers all over the country, then refunds the remaining eighty-three percent back to you.”

“My—God!”

“You see, there are many unfortunate writers who would like to be able to create, but who are, for some reason or another, blocked from doing so. It’s a most distressful situation. I’m sure you can relate to that, Mr. Stapke. You know how difficult it is to produce great writing, and how easily it is to get blocked or
sidetracked.

Richard frowned. “No, I don’t know that.”

Hardy cleared his throat. “It hardly needs to be stated that there are vast quantities of unpublished material in this country that are hidden away. People tend to Hoard their writing like dark secrets. Well, what we’re doing with the Writer’s Tax Program is to bring those dark secrets out into the open, and get them into the hands of needy writers who can then have them published under their own names.”

“I don’t believe this! Are you saying this only applies to unpublished material?”

“Of course—although anything a writer produces on a given day is by definition unpublished. It doesn’t even matter if a writer has a contract to write that particular work—it’s still considered taxable by the CCTA. As soon as it’s produced, seventeen percent—or whatever the percentage comes out to be—is ours. And, I should add, you must surrender all your copies of those taxable pages for CCTA inspection—paper, CD, flash drive, or whatever—because they officially cease to be yours in any way.”

Richard shook his head. “Forget it…forget it…”

“And it has to be the best seventeen percent of your writing—no low quality toss-offs and then shuffling that to the CCTA. The Cultural Redistribution Office uses the CommLit program, which has all sorts of fascinating algorithms for comparing the quality of different sections of your writing—and it always gets your best seventeen percent.”




About the Author:  



Michael D. Smith was raised in the Northeast and the Chicago area, before moving to Texas to attend Rice University, where he began developing as a writer and visual artist.  In addition to exhibiting and selling paintings and drawings, he’s completed fifteen novels.

Smith’s writing in both mainstream and science fiction genres uses humor to investigate psychological themes.  On his blog, he explores art and writing processes, and his web site contains further examples of his writing and art. He is currently Technology Librarian for McKinney Public Library in McKinney, Texas.

CommWealth is his first novel published by Class Act Books.

Find out more about Michael at:

Website: , www.sortmind.com,

CommWealth is available at:






Thursday, December 8, 2016

Author Finds Inspiration in Unlikely Places


Kenneth Gordon grew up in Milford, NH and still lives in that state. When he isn’t writing scifi-infused horror novels, he plays PC games, electric and acoustic guitars, and drums. He also holds a brown belt in Kung Fu.



According to Ken:

I find inspiration in the most unlikely places. I had always been a storyteller but I didn’t realize it. Mostly I told stories through making adventure games with Adventure Construction Set on my old Commodore 64. I took creative writing in college and started writing on Sunday afternoons. After a failed attempt at a book, I didn’t write for a long time. Then I saw a show that really inspired me to write again. The result was my first novel.

Dark City was inspired by a short article talking about the darkness of people’s hearts and how that might be viewed by an Artificial Intelligence.

In Dark City, Jeremiah Xidorn is a mobile tech working for a smart house tech company. He quickly discovers that everything he thought was real for the past six months was only a simulation and he was being tested by a group of Sentient AI called the Builders.

My other published novels are Cadre of Vampires, combining scifi with horror, and Harmonic Differential, a time travel story.

I’ve also several others on the back burner. I’ve written a fourth entitled In My Blood; there is a plague on an alien world and emissaries have been sent out to find the Chosen One. They find him on Earth in Thomas Anderson. He is whisked away to the Whirlpool Galaxy where he must find a cure to scourge. The cure is found in his own blood, but he must decide if he will sacrifice himself to a people not his own, and a planet that is not his.

I’ve nearly finished with a rough draft for Dinus Sonus. A newspaper reporter goes out early in the morning and hears all the children on the block vomiting all at the same time. He must find out the cause. The answer and the cause both come from another universe. 

Also I’ve started a yet-to-be-titled work about a young man taken from his bed and signed into a covert space Marine program for 20 years. He is then returned back in time to when he was taken.

Dark City, Cadre of Vampires, and Harmonic Differential are available from Class Act Books.


Dark City Excerpt:

“I’ve been promoted. I am now in my boss’ position.” Joe flailed his arms with glee.

“That’s great. Congratulations!” they all said in unison.

“Where’s Joe?”

“I don’t know. He just left. An appointment I guess,” Sarah responded.

“The ’droids are settin’ things up, so I’ll stay out of their hair for a bit.” Jeremiah spun around as if to show off to his friends. . Something was off, but he couldn’t pin it down. Joe had disappeared, and no one seemed to know where he went.

“I’ll find him,” he told himself and bolted for his new office.

The androids had done their work quicker than expected, and Jeremiah’s office was quiet when he got there. He had to use the scanner to get in. Immediately, he was taken aback. On his desk were pictures of his family that he didn’t put there. Setting that thought aside for the moment, he jacked into the phone system and sent the sequence to dial.

 He called Joe’s office. No answer. A moment later, he called the central office to see if Joe could be located.

The automated attendant replied, “We are sorry, that person is no longer employed at this company.”

A sense of panic raised the hair on the back of his neck. Immediately, he ran with every ounce of strength to his friend’s office. It was empty. No trace that Joe worked there or had ever worked there was found. It was swept clean.

“Maybe I went to the wrong place,” he thought. “All these offices look the same.”

To his own chagrin, he knew too well the location of his friend’s office. The paranoia built to a steady state when, upon finding his other compatriots, they had no knowledge that Joe had ever been part of their group. Jeremiah’s heart sank. He even checked the payroll office and no trace of his friend could be found.

“I think I’ll go home. I’m not feeling well,” he said out loud.

The security desk saw him approach. “We’re sorry you aren’t feeling well. Go home.”

Even in his emotional state, he couldn’t detect any emotion coming from the people behind the desk. It was as if they had been replaced by replicants. “Yeah, thanks. I
will.”

Jeremiah made his way to a CAB, slid in and told it where to go. He was going over to Joe’s house. The place where he lived was no longer a single family dwelling, but a high rise multi-unit condo style building. There was no trace that Joe ever existed.

Jeremiah checked the street sign to make sure the CAB didn’t take him to the wrong place.

There was no mistake. Joe had been intentionally erased.


 
Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our-authors/manufacturers/kenneth-gordon  http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our-authors/manufacturers/kenneth-gordon

Dark City Buy Links






Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Paranormal Romance Guild Reviews the Jake Coleman Thrillers




Jake Coleman is a private detective in New Orleans. He's been hired to help out his childhood friend who's running for governor.  What he didn't know was what a can of worms that was going to open...

The series consists of Dead Man's Hand, Cold Deck, Stacked Deck.


3.5 Stars from Reviewer

 4 Stars from reviewer



Review link: http://www.paranormalromanceguild.com/reviewsjackfrost.htm

FEAR THE SKY...

Fear the Sky...

...is the novel Rick McQuiston talks about in his interview with Angela Hayes today.

Stop by and learn about the danger threatening the mountain villalge of Frankenmuth...

Monday, December 5, 2016

Juanita Aydlette Blogs with Linda Carroll-Bradd


Class Act Books' author Juanita Aydlette is guesting today with Linda Carroll-Bradd: http://blog.lindacarroll-bradd.com/?p=1144

Stop by and enjoy!


Ho Ho...Uh-oh!



My review of KRAMPUS and a bit about my new Space Opera series, beginning with THE STORY OF A PEACE-LOVING MAN.
At Myra Nour's: http://myranour.net/movie-chat-krampus/


Saturday, November 26, 2016

James Austin McCormick and the DRAGON series


James Austin McCormick is a college lecturer from Manchester, England and in his free time enjoys writing speculative fiction, mostly science fiction, horror and a little sword and sorcery fantasy. He is also a particular fan of classic Gothic and Victorian horror tales and is currently in the process of writing updated versions of these with a science fiction spin.

His novels include the trilogy Dragon (Dragon, Dragon: Smuggler Tales, Dragon: The Tower of Tamerlane), The Last Synn, a sword-and-sorcery story, a SciFi novel, Sunfall, and a horror novel, Balec. All are available from Class Act Books.






BLOG:

For me writing is pure escapism and the more I can create my own worlds, settings and characters the more I enjoy it. After the publication of my first SF novel, Dragon, I realized that I wanted to keep exploring this universe I’d created. So far I’ve written two more Dragon books, Dragon: Smuggler Tales and the most recent, Dragon: The Tower of Tamerlane. They’re not sequels exactly but rather fill in some of the missing periods in the first book.

Sillow, the main protagonist in the Dragon stories, is a semi-comic character. Diminutive, with long green hair, pointed ears and a child- like appearance, he's a restless, neurotic and somewhat cowardly elf who constantly finds himself in dangerous situations. Originally I intended him to be a fantasy character but as my novel developed I decided it would work better as a science fiction with a fantasy flavor. To add to the comedic element in the stories I initially paired him up with a surly, ill-tempered barbarian goliath by the name of Brok. They are the odd couple in space, often at loggerheads, constantly quarrelling but forced to work together as their fates become increasingly entwined, first as smugglers and then as government agents.

In the Tower of Tamerlan,e however, Sillow finds himself a new partner, Titanya, a beautiful and fearless pirate queen, who is more than a match for the cowardly elf.




BLURB for Dragon: The Tower of Tamerlane:

After the death of the Tuolon Ambassador Lagua and the failure to bring the non-humanoid worlds into the Alliance, Sillow and Brok’s long partnership is finally at an end. Now a reluctant solo agent, Sillow is called upon to undertake his first mission, investigate the Tower, a high-tech prison complex along with the oligarch who runs it, a mysterious nobleman who calls himself Tamerlane.

Seeking evidence to prove Tamerlane is responsible for a series of terrorist attacks, Sillow quickly uncovers the sheer scale of his plans, a lethal military strike on all four humanoid home worlds. Caught and imprisoned however, the Sylvan finds himself helpless to warn the Alliance of the coming danger.

All the while, something has been evolving, growing stronger inside the Tower, something intangible yet far more dangerous than Tamerlane ever could be, a being implacably opposed to all life in the galaxy.





EXCERPT:

Laser fire and shouts echoed as Sillow was thrown headlong into the cell.
“What are you?” a female voiced asked. “Some type of green midget?”
Sillow groaned and tried to get up. He settled for a slumped kneeling position.
“I’m a Sylvan,” he replied. He squinted into the shadows and saw a figure seated on the upper berth of a bunk. He could make out little apart from a muscular, yet shapely pair
of legs. “Who are you?”
The figure jumped down from the bunk. She was an Amazonian, strong and athletic with an impressive cleavage and long chestnut hair falling around her shoulders. She was
also extremely pretty despite the artificial eye and cheek implant. She stretched out a perfectly formed silver arm, extending her hand. “Titanya.”
Sillow’s eyes widened. “The Pirate Queen?”
The woman nodded.
The Sylvan took her cybernetic hand and let himself be hauled to his feet. He found himself head high to her magnificent chest.
“Sillow,” he replied, smiling at her breasts. “I’m from the Alliance.”
“Up here, short stuff,” the woman told him.
Slowly and very reluctantly, Sillow turned his attention upwards. He grinned. “Nice to meet you.”
Outside, cries and weapon fire continued to echo through the halls.
Titanya frowned. “Any idea what all that’s about?”
“Whole place is going crazy,” the Sylvan replied. “Something got into Tamerlane’s AI system.”
The woman took a couple of tentative steps toward the door. Screams echoed through the walls.
“Sounds like a warzone out there,” she remarked. “You sure the AI is causing all this?”
Sillow frowned. “You know, this is going to sound kind of crazy but…” he paused, running a hand over his pointed chin.
“What?” Titanya demanded.
“Well, it kind of looks like the one causing all this is Darius Drake. You heard of the guy?”
“Oh yeah,” the Earth woman answered. “We’ve met.”
“Well, somehow he’s put himself into the computer system.” Sillow gave an embarrassed shrug. “Sounds sort of off the wall I know.”
There was a sudden explosion and flames tore through the slits at the top of the door.
“Look out.” Sillow threw himself at Titanya, knocking her off balance and sending her tumbling to the floor. The Sylvan landed on top of her, head buried in her thick auburn
locks. A fireball tore past them, turning the bunks into cinder.
It was some moments before Sillow glanced up. He found himself looking at the stern, beautiful features of the Terran woman.
“You okay?” he asked. “Just so you know, that was me protecting you.”
 “Just so you know,” Titanya replied, “under any other circumstances I’d have busted your jaw for that.”
Sillow grinned. “You mean saving your life?”
Titanya flung the little Sylvan back onto his feet. “Yeah, right. I can’t believe a pipsqueak like you got the drop on me.”


BUY LINKS:





Find out more about James Austin McCormick at:






Saturday, November 19, 2016

Learn More about The Story of a Peace-Loving Man...

Learn more about the first novel in my new SciFi Space Opera series at Linda Carroll-Bradd's. There an excerpt and cover.

http://blog.lindacarroll-bradd.com/?p=1120

Thursday, November 17, 2016

CommWealth...Writers Beware!


Dystopian? Black comedy? Literary? Mainstream, contemporary–what on earth do those terms really mean?

CommWealth describes a society in which all forms of property have been banned so a deeper sharing can take place between citizens, CommWealth isn’t science fiction but is simply as bizarre.

The CommWealth system has outlawed private property. Any object from your house to the clothes you’re wearing can be demanded by anyone, to be enjoyed for thirty days before anyone else can request it.

Playwright Allan Larson, Forensic Squad actor and playwright, has adjusted well to this new society, easily claiming umbrellas, mansions, and Porsches from fellow citizens. Still obsessed with his ex-girlfriend Lisa, Allan invokes the laws of CommWealth to demand ownership of her. When bicycle mechanic and fledgling actor Richard Stapke discloses that he’s secretly been writing novels and plays for years, Allan incautiously spreads the word that Richard’s a genius, with the result that an official CommWealth claim is made of Richard’s entire literary output. The resulting five-volume Stapke Intimacies brings to light a twisted history of betrayals, double agents, and murder that propel members of the Forensic Squad theatrical troupe into a suicidal revolution.

Excerpt:

“Mr. Stapke,” Hardy said, tapping something ominous into his laptop, “let’s assume that your entire last statement was hypothetical. In that hypothetical case, in which you are a mere bicycle mechanic, of course you owe no Writer’s Tax. But, since you do have writing, and since you are a writer, you owe seventeen percent.”

Richard opened his mouth and shut it. “Seventeen percent? Hypothetically speaking, seventeen percent of what?”

“Of your output, of course. Let’s say you produce two hundred pages per month, maybe fifty-thousand words, as you do seem quite prolific. Of that, seventeen percent, or thirty-four pages, or eighty-five hundred words, would be sent to the CommWealth Central Tax Assessor’s Office.”

 “What?” Richard and Allan both cried.

“If you produce more than say, five hundred pages a month—if you’re a real barn burner, that is, it goes up to fifty percent. So, of course, it’s best to stay around two to three hundred. We know that nobody wants to lose half his writing.”

“What?” Richard repeated. “You send—actual writing—to…to…”

“To the CCTA’s Office. On the last day of the month you simply upload your entire month’s output to the CCTA web site, which in turn sends it to the CommWealth Cultural Redistribution Office. That office determines the seventeen percent tax and distributes it to needy writers all over the country, then refunds the remaining eighty-three percent back to you.”

“My—God!”

“You see, there are many unfortunate writers who would like to be able to create, but who are, for some reason or another, blocked from doing so. It’s a most distressful situation. I’m sure you can relate to that, Mr. Stapke. You know how difficult it is to produce great writing, and how easily it is to get blocked or
sidetracked.

Richard frowned. “No, I don’t know that.”

Hardy cleared his throat. “It hardly needs to be stated that there are vast quantities of unpublished material in this country that are hidden away. People tend to Hoard their writing like dark secrets. Well, what we’re doing with the Writer’s Tax Program is to bring those dark secrets out into the open, and get them into the hands of needy writers who can then have them published under their own names.”

“I don’t believe this! Are you saying this only applies to unpublished material?”

“Of course—although anything a writer produces on a given day is by definition unpublished. It doesn’t even matter if a writer has a contract to write that particular work—it’s still considered taxable by the CCTA. As soon as it’s produced, seventeen percent—or whatever the percentage comes out to be—is ours. And, I should add, you must surrender all your copies of those taxable pages for CCTA inspection—paper, CD, flash drive, or whatever—because they officially cease to be yours in any way.”

Richard shook his head. “Forget it…forget it…”

“And it has to be the best seventeen percent of your writing—no low quality toss-offs and then shuffling that to the CCTA. The Cultural Redistribution Office uses the CommLit program, which has all sorts of fascinating algorithms for comparing the quality of different sections of your writing—and it always gets your best seventeen percent.”





About the Author:

Michael D. Smith was raised in the Northeast and the Chicago area, before moving to Texas to attend Rice University, where he began developing as a writer and visual artist.  In addition to exhibiting and selling paintings and drawings, he’s completed fifteen novels.

Smith’s writing in both mainstream and science fiction genres uses humor to investigate psychological themes.  On his blog, he explores art and writing processes, and his web site contains further examples of his writing and art. He is currently Technology Librarian for McKinney Public Library in McKinney, Texas.

CommWealth is his first novel published by Class Act Books.

Find out more about Michael at:


CommWealth is available at: