kongo.com – Four Related Novellas

I am very excited about the upcoming release of my book, kongo.com. It’s a bit different than your typical novel or short story collection. It is comprised of four related novellas that each tell a distinct story about a behemoth corporation, kongo.com.

It’s no secret that online organizations are part of our everyday life. The company portrayed in this book takes what we know today to the next level.

It takes place in a not to distant, potential future. The stories in this book are all based on the possible evolution of existing technology – nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and our obsession with our devices.

Over the next couple of weeks, leading up to the release, I’m going to tell you a bit about each novella. Three of the four were previously published on my blog as serials. these three have been enhanced and modified. The fourth story is brand new and is meant to tie the previous three stories together.

I look forward to your reaction to these excerpts. This first week, I’m going to introduce you to Joyce and her quest for fitness and the ideal body in the story No Pain, No Gain.


No Pain No Gain – An Excerpt

Joyce loved her stylish new personal fitness device. She had saved up for the latest Buff Cuff. It was not cheap, but the girls in the office all had them. Most had received them as gifts from their boyfriends or husbands. Joyce didn’t have either of these, so she had to buy one for herself, but that was okay. If it worked as advertised, she would have a boyfriend or husband soon.

Joyce had tried everything to lose weight. Diets, exercise and pills had not worked. She investigated bariatric surgery and was not a candidate. She was about 35-40 pounds overweight which was below the threshold for which insurance would pay for the surgery. She even considered gaining enough weight to qualify for the surgery, but that seemed self-destructive, especially with her borderline hypertension and diabetes.

Her doctor had sent her to a nutritionist, but nothing seemed to help. Then she saw an infomercial for the Buff Cuff. Its technology was cutting edge and the spots featured numerous testimonials, some from women just like Joyce, touting the product and its life-changing benefits.

When Joyce saw the price, about what she made in a month, she hesitated. These infomercials could be biased and misleading and, when weighing the priority of rent, her POS car and utilities, the Buff Cuff seemed like a reckless purchase. Then her coworkers started raving about the ones they received and started talking about and showing their results.

Marcy, who seemed to be perpetually pregnant, received a Buff Cuff as a present from her husband. At first, she was angry with him taking it as a message that he thought she was fat. After she started using it, however, her baby weight began to drop off almost instantly. She was thinner and more fit than anyone in the office had ever seen her. Her energy level improved as did the quality of her work.

Then Jennifer, the leading office donut and cake consumer, started noticeably trimming down when her husband gave her a Buff Cuff for her birthday. Her eating habits changed, and she started working out at the gym at the end of each day.

This was when Joyce realized that this fitness gadget was not an anomaly. There was something there. She resolved to save up enough to purchase one. It was now six months later, and she had scraped together the funds she needed. She sat in front of her computer looking at the latest models. She had just enough for generation 4.0. This was the latest and the manufacturer, Kongo-Fit, a subsidiary of the giant retail mail order conglomerate, kongo.com.

The device touted the usual fitness gadget technology. It could monitor heart rate and count the number of steps for its wearer. Somehow, through patented technology that was rushed through government approval, this device could also monitor oxygen levels, blood sugar and blood pressure all in one device. It was equipped with an array of sensors that used ‘super-secret’ technology (in the company’s words) to ‘help you with your fitness journey’. As a result, it was being prescribed for patients by medical professionals at a staggering rate. Insurance companies were scratching their collective heads as they pondered whether to pay anything toward this device.

Joyce counted down the minutes on Friday afternoon. Her package from Kongo was due to be delivered today and would likely be waiting for her when she got home. The office, an accounting and financial advisory firm, was quiet on this Friday afternoon at the end of summer and that made the time pass much more slowly. While she waited, Joyce reached into her desk and pulled out a dark chocolate bar that she had been saving for this day. She unwrapped it and savored it as she acknowledged to herself that this would be the last one until she reached her weight and fitness goals.

Mercifully, she found some work that took her to five o’clock. When that magic hour arrived, she nearly sprinted from her desk, as close as she could get to sprinting, anyway. She got into her ancient Chevy Cruze. It was nine years old with over 120,000 miles on it. She opened the door and could still smell the fast-food from lunch. In anticipation of receiving her Buff Cuff, she had done somewhat of a farewell tour this week consuming all her guilty pleasure foods. She truly believed that this small piece of electronics was going to deliver her from her life of obesity and bad habits. She didn’t want to be delivered without saying goodbye to her old friends like tacos, French fries, milkshakes, and cupcakes. The debris in the back seat confirmed her venture into each of these favorite food groups.

Joyce battled the traffic as she on her way home. She pulled into a space near her apartment building and went out to the community mailbox. As she unlocked the one for her unit, her hand was shaking. She internally scolded herself for being so excited about receiving this gadget, but she couldn’t help it. Finally, she wrestled the key into the lock and opened the small door to her mail slot. It was empty. Not only was the Buff Cuff absent, but there was no mail at all despite it being nearly 6 PM.

There was a precedent for this. Her mail delivery person was a woman who was in her late 60s or early 70s. She sometimes fell behind on her route if there were several medium to large packages to be delivered. Today must have been one of those days. Joyce wasn’t sure what to do. She guessed she would go up to her apartment and change and come back and check the mail later.

Just as she was about to do so, she saw the mail delivery woman’s battered white jeep pulling into the parking lot. There were three community boxes in this lot for each of the three buildings that surrounded the cars belonging to their occupants.

She watched as the woman moved at the pace of a three-toed sloth as she carefully put bundles of mail in the slots in box one. Next would be box two and then, finally, box three, where Joyce’s mail was assigned. Joyce thought about returning in 15 minutes or so, but just knowing that her Buff Cuff was on the verge of being delivered and was in this civil servant’s hands, she wanted to supervise the process.

After what seemed like days, the woman navigated the jeep toward box three. She gathered her bundles of mail and opened the rear of the box to place them in the individual slots. In anticipation, Joyce opened her slot. Immediately, the woman stopped her task and looked at Joyce over the top of her thick bifocals.

“Miss, I can’t deliver the mail with a slot open. That’s against regulations.”

“It’s my slot.”

“That doesn’t matter. Please close it so I can continue.”

Joyce let out a frustrated sigh and closed the small door to the slot. Finally, the woman finished placing mail and Joyce reopened it. There were a couple of envelopes and a small parcel in a bubble wrapped sleeve. The return address had the Kongo-Fit logo. As she pulled it out of the slot, she was a bit underwhelmed at the packaging and the size and weight. She held in her hands nearly a month of her salary. It seemed like it should be bigger or at least weightier.

She was out of breath as she climbed the stairs of building 23 to her second floor 1-bedroom apartment. She had that same shakiness in her hands when she opened the door. She wondered to herself, was she putting too much faith in this small package? Would it change her life? Then she thought of Marcy and Jennifer. It had certainly worked for them.

Joyce carefully opened the package. There it was. Her very own Buff Cuff. It came with the standard black band. She would have to save up to buy other colors. She opened the molded plastic packaging and carefully set her new purchase on the table. The instruction booklet was amazingly small, but there was a comprehensive web site and social media community around the device. She had already feverishly read the areas that were accessible to the public prior to being a registered purchaser.

As soon as she opened it, she realized the instruction booklet was essentially a quick start guide. It had three steps to complete before she could put it on her wrist. She pulled the plastic tab from the back of the unit that covered the sensor array and separated the battery from the device. As she did this, the face of the Buff Cuff came to life. It read, “Hello Joyce. Have a great day!”. She was a bit surprised by this, but she had used her name when she purchased the device on line and remembered checking the box that said it was for her own personal use. The next step was to put the device on her wrist. It instructed her to put it on the wrist of her dominant hand, which in Joyce’s case was her left. She felt a slight vibration as the device seemed to mold to her wrist as she fastened it.

The next step was to register the device. She brought up the Buff Cuff site and entered the serial number as instructed. As she did this, it brought up her name and address. There were several fields she was asked to enter to complete each screen. As she entered height, weight, desired goal weight and blood type, she felt the device vibrate a few more times. As she saved her information, she felt a slight pinch under the face of the Buff Cuff. She supposed that was normal. It vibrated again and showed readings on the face. Her respiration was 20 breaths per minute – high end of normal. Here blood pressure – 130 over 85, a bit high. Her blood glucose level – 150 – too high for someone who hadn’t eaten since lunch, but she did have the chocolate bar. The reading made sense.

Now that her Buff Cuff was on her wrist, the sensation was a bit anti-climactic. She didn’t feel different and she still had laundry to do. She would get on the web after she started her clothes in the wash. Joyce gathered up her dark clothes and walked down the stairs and to the apartment complex’s laundry room. She put the clothes and detergent in the washing machine and pulled some quarters out of the little canvas bag where she collected them for this purpose, put them in the slot and started the machine.

Joyce walked back to her apartment feeling much the same as she did before she received her new purchase. She was a bit depressed. She was out a month’s salary and didn’t feel inspired to do anything. She got back to her apartment and went directly to the freezer for a carton of Ben and Jerry’s peanut butter cup ice cream. She took it over to her computer with the intention of looking up more information on her new acquisition and, possibly, investigating how to return it for a refund.

When she sat down, she saw a message on the computer display screen that must have come up while she was putting in her laundry in. It said, ‘ACTIVATE FINAL CONFIGURATION (Y/N)’. Joyce looked at the message and felt a sudden feeling of relief. She eagerly keyed in a ‘Y’ and checked the box saying she accepted the terms and conditions without actually reading them. She then clicked continue. The browser refreshed with a congratulatory message and she felt a slightly sharper pinch under the face of the Buff Cuff. It was very brief, but she felt a slight electrical current emanating from the device, down her left arm and into her body. It was gone as quickly as it happened.

Joyce clicked on the home page and started to read about her device’s capabilities as she took a generous spoonful of ice cream from the carton. She absently spooned the frozen treat into her mouth and began to savor the flavor. Suddenly, she began to gag and spit the ice cream out. It tasted horrible. It was a mixture of a creamy and vinegary taste that was rancid in her mouth. She dropped her spoon on the floor and looked at the carton. The ice cream looked fine. She checked the expiration date and it was still months away. She had already eaten a third of this carton last night and it tasted fine then. She looked at it again and then sniffed it. It smelled as bad as it tasted.

Joyce dumped the ice cream in the sink, rinsed out the carton and threw it in the trash. She still had the horrible taste in her mouth. She grabbed her last 20-ounce bottle of cola from the fridge. She was going to switch to diet or some other low-calorie drink but had this one bottle of regular soda left. She quickly twisted off the top and took a large mouthful from the bottle. She immediately spit it into the sink. It tasted like a mouthful of vinegar to her.

She grabbed a glass from the cabinet and filled it with cold water from the fridge door. Water was the last resort. She hated the taste of it but needed something safe to rinse the taste from her mouth. As she swirled the water around in her mouth, she was shocked by the taste. It was the best tasting, most refreshing drink she ever experienced. She quickly drank the rest and filled the glass two more times. The taste was gone from her mouth. In fact, she felt like she had just brushed her teeth. The aftertaste of the water was wonderful.

Joyce needed to eat something. She opened her cupboard and saw that there was a can of green beans in the back. For some reason, the picture of the beans on the label made her mouth water. She opened the can, poured the beans into a bowl and put them in the microwave for 30 seconds. When they were done, she wolfed them down with a spoon and followed them with three more glasses of water. She felt more satisfied from this small meal than she had from anything she’d eaten in recent memory.

By this time, Joyce needed to transfer her laundry to the dryer. She changed into sweat pants and a t-shirt. For some reason, instead of her usual flip-flops, she put on socks and laced on her rarely used sneakers. She grabbed a load of white clothes and trotted down to the laundry room. After she transferred the clothes and put in the new load, she suddenly felt the urge to run. Joyce had never been a runner, but for some reason that was all she had the desire to do at this moment. She left the laundry room and ran around the perimeter of the apartment complex three times. The distance was at least a mile, which was about a mile farther than Joyce had ever run continuously in her life.

She was physically exhausted but exhilarated at the same time. It was a feeling she had not experienced before. She finished her laundry and returned to her apartment feeling energized, yet tired. She took off her sweaty clothes and padded into the shower. She let the hot water soothe her muscles which had been shocked by their sudden use. She put on pajamas, crawled into bed and entered the deepest, most restful sleep she had felt in a very long time.

The next morning, Saturday, Joyce awoke feeling a bit sore, but energized. She needed to get some groceries. She got dressed and went to the supermarket. As she cruised up and down the aisles, she gradually filled her cart. By the time she got to the checkout, she didn’t recognize what she was about to purchase. The cart was filled with organic fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurts and whole grain concoctions. These were things Joyce had never purchased, yet somehow, she had grabbed them from the shelves as if she had made a stringent list of healthy foods. The funny thing was, everything looked delicious to her.

She brought her purchases home and put them away. After a breakfast of yogurt mixed with granola and a banana, she had the urge to take another run. She got dressed and did another set of laps around the complex. Once again, she felt great.

This behavior continued for the next week. Joyce was getting up early to run. She was packing herself a healthy lunch for work and making sensible meals for dinner. It felt like this lifestyle change required no effort on her part. She had a wonderful week. When she shared her new-found energy with her co-workers, they agreed that they had felt the same thing once they activated their Buff Cuff. The device was truly a miracle.

On the Saturday, one week following her purchase, Joyce bounced out of bed and headed for the scale. She had not weighed herself the entire week. She wanted to see if this drastic change in her lifestyle would have an impact after a week. She wanted to see a three or four-pound difference in her weight. She was astonished to see that she was eleven ponds lighter. She checked the scale and stood on it three times to be sure.

Joyce showered. Her plan was to clean out her apartment today. She had been putting it off, but today she felt like she had the energy and desire to do it. As she dried herself off and got dressed, she thought about where to start. She looked in the mirror trying to spot a difference in herself. As she ran a brush through her hair, the first large clump of hair fell out.


kongo.com is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com by clicking HERE.

Advertisements

An Excerpt from C.S. Boyack’s New Book, Voyage of the Lanternfish

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome C.S. Boyack to my blog and help him spread the word about his new book. I have met many authors along the way, but Craig is one who, in my voracious reading life, gets his books added to my Kindle as soon as they come out. I have read all of his books and thoroughly enjoy his writing style, no matter the genre.

It’s hard to put his books in a distinct category. It’s just fun to start reading one and enjoy the ride.

To set the scene, this happened at officer’s mess in the captain’s cabin. Mal, the ship surgeon asked about a pendant worn by one of the other officers. Let’s pick it up there.

So, sit back and enjoy this excerpt from Voyage of the Lanternfish.

image2

***

Mal turned to Johnny Jump Up and pointed to his necklace. “This?”

“Just a piece of coral,” Dan said.

“Aye, mate. True enough, but it isn’t any piece of coral.” He untied the leather thong and handed it to Mal. “This came off the moving reef.”

“That’s an old sailor’s story,” Dan said.

“I suppose I qualify as an old sailor, but this story’s true. I seen him, at the battle of Fort Lemuels. We shelled the fort for weeks, but them boys inside gave as good as they got for a few days. We had broken masts and burning ships all over the place.

“When the fort stopped firing, captain said to go rescue any sailors we could find. There was men bobbing around everywhere. So we dropped the longboats and made for the first burning ship. I was in the third boat, pullin me oar.

“Our officer stood a little higher to look at something, so we all turned. Corals was sticking above the waves, and we thought it was an unknown reef… until it moved.

“Them corals turned and lined up towards us. You could see a great swirl behind them, from the fish’s tail.”

“How big is this thing?” Fala asked.

“Bigger’n this ship,” Johnny said. “He’s mostly straight along the back, but he’s got a huge belly that needs feedin. He’s covered with corals and scallops atop his bony plates. Like whales’ll grow barnacles on occasion. Got two long fins up front to help him steer. His mouth looks like a bulldog’s, and that’s the part what matters.

“Old Reefy lines up on our first longboat, and slurps them down like Mr. Philson here might drink up a fresh oyster. Twelve good men, one officer, three drowning sailors, all the oars, hats, muskets. Everything, boat and all. But it weren’t over yet.

“Then Reefy comes about, toward the next longboat, and slurps them down too, before he adjusts course and comes for us.

“We decided to abandon ship and take our chances one by one, but our officer ordered us to stand fast. We were faced with feedin the moving reef, or hanging for desertion, so we parked our butts and waited for it. And those corals kept coming our way. Like great spines along the monster’s back.

“Then old Reefy just moves past us. I looked right into his eye, and he looked right back. An eye the size of the ship’s wheel, mind you. Then he went under.

“The wake shoved us aside, and we took water over the gunwale. Officer had us start bailin, with our boots. That’s when the corals started grindin away at the belly of our longboat. It sounded like a dog gnawin meat off the bone of a dead thing.

“Last part I seen of him was the tail. It weren’t up and down like a proper fish, but it weren’t sideways like a whale neither. It was more primitive like. Reminded me of a giant polywog.”

Mal gave the necklace back. “This?”

“I’m gettin to that part, mate. We didn’t have time for no gazing after the beast, we was sinkin. So we kept bailing, but there was a hole in the bottom of our boat now.

“This posed a predicament, because if we started rowing, we’d all sink. If we kept bailing, we couldn’t move. And the moving reef was still out there somewheres too. Finally, we settled on two of us bailing, and everyone else rowing to get back to the ship. When the water got ahead of us, everyone stopped rowing and helped us catch up, till we could get underway again.

“Back at the ship, the carpenter said he could fix the longboat if we could haul it in. I had to stay behind and bail so’s the lads could pull it up. Those minutes by myself, in the sinking longboat, on the same sea my mates were just gobbled down in, we’re the longest minutes of my life. I didn’t know if the moving reef would come back, or not.

“When I finally got on deck, we flipped the longboat.” Johnny held forward his necklace. “This piece of coral was lodged in the wood.”

“Great story,” Dan said. “But I don’t believe a bit of it.”

Johnny tied the necklace back around his neck. “There are things in this ocean a man’s ever seen, Mister Philson. And there’s at least one thing I never want to see again.”

***

Craig’s Words:

I hope I’ve intrigued some of you with this pirate’s tale. I’ll provide Don with all the details, including that all important purchase link.

Blurb:

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Purchase Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07MP8V633

image1

About Craig:

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

Time Travel – A Recurring Theme in Science Fiction

As a reader, my fascination with time travel began as a child. When I first read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, I was enthralled by the idea of travelling either backward or forward in time.

Traveling backward could allow one to catch glimpses of historical events or important figures. You could go back and wander among dinosaurs. Similarly, traveling forward gives a view of the development of man, technology and the future of our planet.

As I sat down to write my book, Extra Innings, I was fascinated by the different views of time travel that have been used in fiction. This post will discuss those various theories and I’ll give you a view of my thought process in landing on one.

Here are some of the theories that have been presented in fiction:

Watercolor dreamcatcher with beads and feathers. Illustration fo

  1. Precognition – This is the idea of seeing the future during dreams or through the feeling of  déjà vu. Abstract black and white design
  2. Time Loops – If you’ve watched the movie, Ground Hog Day, you’ve seen this time travel plot device in action. Usually the events time loop repeat until the character or characters perform a certain action to end the loop and move forward.De Lorean
  3. Time Paradox – If you watched Back to the Future, when Marty McFly went back in time and nearly prevented his parents from getting together for the high school dance, you’ve experienced this time travel device.Time Tourism
  4. Time Tourism – Just like it sounds, when time travelers travel through time to witness historical events as a spectator, this is time tourism.terminator
  5. Time War – This is the use of time travel to conduct war over time using time travel. It could involve going back in time to change events leading up to a pivotal battle or trying to bring about a reset of events that didn’t play out as planned.Erasing The Past
  6. Changing the pastThis is the notion of time travel that I used in my book, Extra InningsThe idea of changing the past is logically contradictory. Even though the consensus today is that the past cannot be changed, science fiction writers have used the idea of changing the past for good story effect. Stephen King used this method of time travel effectively in his book, 11/22/63, by having his main character, Jake Epping, attempt to go back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Though ultimately successful, when Epping returns to the present, he discovers that his actions have had unintended consequences.


If you enjoy time travel and the possibility of going back in time to right wrongs and do things differently if given a chance, follow the adventures of Joe McLean in my latest novel, Extra Innings.

SAMPLE

Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team.

Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past.

That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path in life?

Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again? Follow the twists and turns in this supernatural story, Extra Innings, to find out.

Quest of the Brokenhearted – New from Charles Yallowitz

A battered soul faces a city of monsters in
Quest of the Brokenhearted!

Cover Art by Sean Harrington

As Windemere moves forward, a broken spirit falls into the shadows.

Two years have passed since Luke Callindor was lost during the champions’ battle against Baron Kernaghan. Many mourn the loss, but none have been hurt more than the fiancée he left behind, Kira Grasdon. Plagued by grief and determined to prove he is alive, she has sacrificed her business, her reputation, and her hope. Surviving on the streets of Gaia, she has become an emotional husk of her former self. It is only by chance that Kira crosses paths with an old friend and learns of a path, which will either end her suffering or revive her shattered soul. As the rumors state, hundreds of adventurers have flocked to Lacarsis and none have returned.

Will Kira meet her death in the City of Evil or will she thrive among the monsters?

*****

Book Excerpt: The Farm

The blast of warm air hits and swirls around the area to make all those in metal armor feel like they are about to faint. As the wind billows out, it carries the fog away to reveal broken fences and an abandoned farmhouse. The porch is partially collapsed with a swing sitting in the mud, its chains still connected to the fallen roof. The front door is closed, but a large hole is in the middle as if something tried to punch its way inside. Rusty pots and tools are scattered about the ground, some of them having been plunged into the ground. Not far away is a large barn, which shows no sign of damage beyond peeling paint and cobwebs dangling from the eaves. A crooked weathervane sits above the hay loft, the bat-shaped object spinning wildly even though the wind has died. Wilted crops stand in the fields among those that have already rotted into mush. Piles of hay dot the landscape, each one having turned black and become surrounded by swarms of thumb-sized flies. When the last of the fog clears, the entire area is bathed in a sickly orange light that causes the adventurers’ skin to crawl.

An animal call erupts from a nearby pasture, the grass a light brown and showing signs of being repeatedly trampled. In response, the sounds of chickens drift from the farmhouse and they are soon joined by other familiar noises. The ear-wrenching symphony continues to grow as the adventurers spread out across the road and into the fields. Most are focused on the farmhouse door, so they are caught off-guard when the attack begins. Zombified pigs, horses, goats, and sheep burst out of the barn to charge the nearest warriors. With acidic foam flying from their mouths, the undead livestock crash into the armored figures and rip into whatever flesh they can reach. The goats and pigs cause the most damage, their teeth breaking through metal and bone while the horses do more harm with their hooves. Flapping wings from the farmhouse are a slight warning before a flock of chickens and ducks explode from the windows. Lacking teeth, they have a harder time killing their prey, who swing wildly and blindly cast spells that miss half of the time. Chaos is consuming the crowd when the first animal call erupts from the right and four knights are sent hurtling through the air. Flesh dangling from its horns and blood splattered across its rotting face, the zombified bull barrels into the adventurers. The grunting beast tramples everything in its path as it crashes into one of the fields and sends a broken cart rolling away. Turning around, the animal ignores the arrows that stick into its hindquarters and charges back into the crowd.

While the others try to retreat, Kira swings her sickle at the bull’s side and gets the weapon stuck between the exposed ribs. She holds on while she is dragged and uses the blunt end to swat chickens out of the air. As she passes a stallion, she swings her kusari-gama to get the chain wrapped around its hind legs. With the horse galloping away from the bull, Kira plants her feet and pulls hard on her weapon. Her strength combined with that of the zombified steed allows her to shatter the larger animal’s ribs. Spinning around, she whips the sickle into the side of the stallion’s head and uncoils the chain as it crashes to the ground. Without turning back, the adventurer dives to the side and narrowly avoids getting gored by the bull. The moment she hits the ground, she pounces to grab the jagged hole in its body and pulls herself close enough to punch inside with the blunt end of her weapon. Kira continues striking the rotting heart until the confused animal rears back and exposes its stomach for a pair of spearmen to impale it. They are unable to support its weight and are promptly crushed while the young woman flips up to slam her sickle into the base of its skull. Hanging onto the bucking bull, she violently twists the blade until the zombie finally falls over and rapid decays. The others are about to cheer when the call of another bull bursts from the pasture.

“They just keep coming,” Kira mutters as she watches more animals pour out of the buildings.

Grab your copy on Amazon for 99 cents throughout the month of July!

*****

Interested in more Windemere? Then don’t forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz’s first series: Legends of Windemere

All Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or more interested vampires? Then check out War of Nytefall: Loyalty:

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

LET THE TOURNAMENT OF LACARSIS BEGIN!

 

Check out the book, The Contract between heaven and earth, by John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Don, for inviting us to join you today. We are honored to share blog space with your new author services blog. Thank you!

The Contract

Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

The CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

Trailer

Here is an excerpt.

Halfway across the world, Peter and an angel stood in a darkened alleyway in Afghanistan. The crumbling stone buildings on either side of them appeared vacant of life. They heard no children’s voices, no dogs in the streets, and no sign of movement—just an eerie silence.

“Look there, Peter. See that hulk in the dark over there?”

“I do.” He felt uneasy.

“His name is Brad. He and the squad he led got ambushed. Four of his teammates are alive and pinned down around the corner. Brad took a number of bullets and got slashed across the torso.”

“And he is dead?”

“Yes, but you will assume Brad’s body, and it will seem as though he did not die. Right now, three others in his squad are also dead. You must hurry. Please, remember I will stay with you. Once you enter Brad’s body, you will forget everything about your mission, and you will become Brad. Your biggest challenge will come in getting out of this place and taking your squad with you.”

“Itrainedfor this, so I’m ready.” Peter focused and took measured steps toward Brad. The man lay on his side next to his weapon. Peter lay down beside him,and in one quick movement,assumed his body.

Authors Bio.

[Place headshots here. Remove instruction]

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last, Circumstances of Childhood is a family life thriller story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books.

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love.

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s books

Available on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2wdXsrn

It’s Release Day!

SAMPLEWell, I’m a bit nervous today. I’m releasing my new book, Extra InningsIt’s my ninth fiction book and tenth book overall.

So, why am I nervous, you might ask?

Well, this book is a major departure from my usual crime/detective drama genre. It has elements of supernatural/paranormal devices and really isn’t at all about crime.

The beta readers were very positive about the story premise and the book overall. I hope that those of you that choose to read it, enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed dreaming it up.

You might be asking: What is it about?

Here is a blurb that sums it up:

Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team.

Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past.

That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken.

Can Joe take a different path in life? Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again?

Follow the twists and turns in this supernatural story, Extra Innings, to find out.

This book is an ambitious endeavor. It’s my longest to date.

If you’re interested, please check it out. I’d love to hear what you think

Universal Amazon Purchase Link

SAMPLE

Now Available for Pre-Order – Extra Innings by Don Massenzio

SAMPLEMy newest release, Extra Innings, is now available for pre-order. Unlike my previous crime and terrorism fiction novels, this book forges a path in the paranormal/science fiction area. These are genres that I enjoy reading and have always wanted to write in. This book is my first effort at doing so.

Here is a synopsis of the book:

Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team.

Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past.

That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path in life? Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again?

Follow the twists and turns in this supernatural story, Extra Innings, to find out.

The book will be officially released on Friday, June 15th. It’s available for pre-order by clicking HERE.

If you’re interested in hosting a promotional post for this book or want to conduct an author interview, I’d greatly appreciate it. I’m proud of this book and would like to give it some good exposure. Just let me know in the comments or drop me a note at don@donmassenzio.com