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.

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***

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

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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

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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.

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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

 

The First Review Is In for Blood Match

blood match front coverWell, it’s release day. It’s been over a year since I released my last book and I’m a bit rusty. The initial review is in, however, and it seems that the book is off to a good start.

1st review

This is encouraging. The book has been finished for a while and, when I did a final edit after the beta and advance readers were done, I thought it looked okay.

If you haven’t picked up a copy, you can find it on Amazon by clicking HERE

Here is a blurb about the book:

You can check out the trailer on my YouTube channel by clicking HERE.

Intelligence analyst Jake Balrich boards his Monday morning flight, as he has so many times, for routine field work. When the plane lands, a passenger fails to wake up. Jake soon realizes that the death was not accidental and is part of a murderous plot that will have Jake running for his life as he struggles with an unknown enemy that seems to guess his every move.

Blood Match is a thriller that examines the desire for gaining power with little regard for the human lives that are affected.

Follow Jake Balrich, as he enlists the help of Commander Brad Rafferty, to take down an enemy more powerful and dangerous than the United States has ever faced.