kongo.com – Four Related Novellas

The March 29th release of my book, kongo.com is tomorrow! 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.

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.

The third story in the book is called First Impressions.This story explores the combination of a large retail services company and a dating/matchmaking site. When you think about it, online companies know a lot about us. Who better to take that information and help match customers with other customers looking for a relationship. What could possibly go wrong? In the world of kongo.com, whatever can go wrong, probably will. First Impressions take the reader down that path all with a surprise guest from my Frank Rozzani detective novels.

You can enjoy the first part of First Impressions below:

Couple Holding Hands at Sea Sunset

First Impressions

Meredith was finally getting her life back together. It had been 18 months since the divorce became final. At 33, she had finally come around to realizing that she was still relatively young and attractive. She had removed herself from an abusive relationship and was moving on. In the immediate months after the divorce, she couldn’t imagine looking for another relationship. She had sworn off men and was determined to go it alone and revel in her newly found freedom.

Then, as she observed those around her, she would notice the second glance from men in the coffee shop, the lingering smile from other in the grocery store. She felt that, possibly, she was ready to put herself out there and could potentially enjoy the company of the opposite sex once again. Being a very analytical person that was comfortable with technology, Meredith decided to check out the latest dating apps. She wanted something that was between the virtual meat markets like Tinder and other similar apps and the marriage-minded services like eHarmony. She wanted to date, but she didn’t want one-night-stands and she wasn’t ready for a long-term commitment.

Her analysis of what was out there brought her to Kongo-Match. This relatively new online service offered by the online behemoth, kongo.com, seemed to fit the bill. The service was known for carefully screening the backgrounds of those that signed up and had a very good track record of matching people with not only similar, but complementary interests. The parent company, kongo.com, had close to a billion members. Meredith was among them. She subscribed to the kongo.com VIP service which guaranteed her free delivery, often the same or next day, and put her in line for being among the first to have access to newly emerging services from the company.

The registration process for Kongo-Match was extensive. It was almost like filling out a job application. There were several sections that probed an applicant’s education, work history, finances and personal interests. The process took Meredith through several screens asking her about her favorite books, favorite genres of television and movies, favorite music, favorite hobbies and many other facets of her life. Kongo used the response to match applicants up with others in similar social strata with similar likes and dislikes. Of course, because the membership was free, Meredith assumed that Kongo would use her responses to customize her online shopping view to those things for which she indicated a preference. She was fine with that. She understood how companies used information like this. It was up to the consumer to exercise self-control.

After she completed her application, she expected to receive notifications for matches with all manner of riff-raff, but, surprisingly, there were no responses within the first two days. She thought that maybe she was too unique or too difficult to match with anyone. The thought depressed her. Kongo-Match had over 20 million members. More than 50% were male. If none of them came up as a match, maybe, Meredith thought, she faced a life of being alone and unmatchable. Then, on the third day, she received a single notification in her inbox. She reluctantly clicked it half expecting a message from Kongo-Match telling her that she was a loser and had no potential matches. What she found surprised her.

Meredith,

We are pleased to let you know that Kongo-Match has found what we believe to be a perfect date for you based on your preferences. We apologize for the delay in providing you with the information, but we take this mission of bringing people together very seriously. When you read the information about your potential match, we believe you will agree that the wait was worth it.

Please review the profile for John. If you like what you see and want to provide your information to him, just let us know and we will help you get acquainted.

Meredith was surprised at the level of security, but also pleased. As she scrolled through John’s information, she noted how very close they were in background, education and preferences. John also was at a similar economic level. One thing that was not included was a photograph. She assumed one would be shared later.

Meredith looked over John’s background information a few times looking for areas of concern or some chink in the armor, but she found none. Finally, with only the slightest hesitation, she clicked the ‘Yes’ radio button indicating that she wanted Kongo-Match to share her information with him.

She settled in to watch a movie on Kongo’s streaming service when, after only 30 minutes, a notification popped up on her phone.

Kongo-Match has a response waiting for you

Meredith paused the movie and clicked on the Kongo-Match icon and went to her inbox.

Meredith,

Good news. John has reviewed your profile and has indicated that he is interested in sharing a photograph and contact information with you. Please click the link below to receive this information.

Please Note: Kongo Match will not share your photo or contact information with John unless you indicate that it is okay.

Meredith clicked on the link. The man she saw was good looking, about her age. He had thick brown hair with a slight curl to it. He had a strong jawline and a kind face. The most notable feature that he possessed was a set of piercing, intelligent hazel eyes. He looked like someone she wanted to meet.

She again clicked the ‘Yes’ radio button indicating that she liked what she saw. Again, she only hesitated slightly before clicking ‘OK’ when the next message appeared.

Meredith: You have indicated that you would like to move to the next step in contacting John. By clicking OK, you are agreeing to provide John with your photograph and a brief message of introduction. John will also receive your Kongo-Match email address. Are you sure you would like to proceed?

Meredith hovered her cursor over the OK button and then clicked it. A box popped up so that she could enter an introductory greeting of 144 characters or less. She thought about what to say and then typed in her message:

Kongo’s technology thinks we are compatible. Let’s see if the technology right or wrong. Let’s get in touch. I’m new at this, so be patient.

She thought it sounded corny, but, what the heck. She clicked send and didn’t give it another thought as she engrossed herself in the movie.

As the closing credits rolled by, another notification from Kongo-Match popped up on her phone display. She checked the inbox and it was a message from John.

Meredith, aside from mix-ups for orders I receive, Kongo’s technology seems very advanced and accurate. Who am I to argue? Let’s give it a try.

Meredith liked the humor in his response. It’s hard to convey aspects of your personality in a message with complete sentences in 144 characters. Maybe this was going to be fun.

In the coming weeks, with help from Kongo-Match, Meredith and John engaged in a virtual chess match as they corresponded with each other. Each of them had been burned in past relationships and were being cautious with the information they shared. The end result was that neither of them seemed to be psychopathic or dishonest. They finally set a time to meet for dinner. Meredith would meet John at a local Tuscan-Italian restaurant for an early dinner on the next Friday night.

As Friday arrived, Meredith carefully chose an outfit that was somewhere between librarian and hooker. She wanted to look attractive, but not desperate. She chose a silk blouse and tailored capris. As she looked in the mirror, she thought she looked attractive and relaxed. It was just dinner. No commitments and no pressure.

She arrived at the restaurant about five minutes after the time they said they would meet. The hostess indicated that her dining partner was already seated. And led Meredith to a table in the back of the dining room. She recognized John from his photo immediately. He rose from his seat to greet her with a handshake and held her chair as she sat. Manners. That was a good sign.

“It’s so great to meet you in person,” John said. “I feel like I know you from our chats back and forth.”

“I feel that way too.”

Just as the conversation was about to lapse into that uncomfortable stage, a waiter appeared.

“Can I take your drink orders?”

John gestured to Meredith.

“I’d like a glass of white Zinfandel,” Meredith said wondering if alcohol was the right choice.

“Actually, let’s make that a bottle,” John said, confirming the choice.

As they settled in to dinner and sipping the wine, the conversation came much more easily. John listened attentively as Meredith talked about her work and her likes and dislikes. She did the same as he spoke about his job as a financial analyst and his love of jazz music. They both fumbled over their most recent failed relationships. As it turned out, both had been the victims of cheating spouses. This seemed to bring them closer together as they discussed the hurt they had experienced.

As John spoke, Meredith was drawn continually to his eyes. They were intelligent and sincere. There was no way this man she was speaking to could get away with not telling the truth. His eyes were transparent windows into his psyche.

As they spoke through the main course and a shared dessert, their hands moved closer together on the table. When they finally touched, Meredith found herself holding hands with this man she just met. The electricity was undeniable. She saw, from his eyes, that he felt it too. She felt a stirring in parts of her body that had been dormant since the divorce. She promised herself that this date would just be dinner, but that promise appeared to be in serious jeopardy. Of course, she began to rationalize, even though this was the first in-person date, she and John had been communicating for weeks. It wasn’t as if this was a blind date.

As they walked out of the restaurant toward her car, she could tell John was conflicted between being a gentleman and acting upon what he felt. She made it easier for him by embracing him and giving him a kiss that communicated the hunger she felt. Before she knew it, John was in her car and she was driving toward her apartment. The walls she had erected were crumbling.

Meredith led John to her bedroom. She hurriedly put her keys and phone on the nightstand, and they began their night of passion. Meredith had forgotten how good she could feel in the arms of a man. Even though it had only been a short time since the divorce, the time from when she had been intimate with a man was much longer. The marriage had ended long before the divorce.

In the afterglow, she lay in John’s arms feeling safe and happier than she had been in a while. As she looked at his face, she saw that he felt the same. They slept briefly, but John awoke to use the restroom and Meredith put on some clothes while he was gone.

He came back from the bathroom wearing his boxers and shirt.

“I feel awful about this,” he said. “I have an important meeting tomorrow and I need to get back to my car.”

“I understand,” Meredith said with sincerity.

“It’s just…I don’t want you to think this was a one-night thing. I didn’t expect…I knew I had this meeting and I thought it would just be dinner…I mean.”

“No need to explain,” Meredith said. “I thought the same thing. I will bring you back to your car. You focus on your meeting and we’ll talk about where this goes next. I enjoyed the evening very much.”

“I did too. Listen, I’ll get an Uber. There’s no reason for you to go out again.”

“Okay. It’s no trouble, though.”

“I’m fine with an Uber. I’d feel better if you’re not out driving alone at this time of night.”

Meredith appreciated the chivalry of this man. His Uber came within ten minutes and she thought about all the wonderful things she felt as she drifted off to sleep. She slept dreamlessly until her alarm cruelly work her up. As she looked at the clock on her nightstand, she realized that it was only 6 AM. Her alarm was set for 6:45. It was her phone that was ringing. The number belonged to her coworker and office mate Marian.

“Hello,” Meredith said groggily.

“Meredith. I’m sorry to bother you, but I figured, well…you better look at your email from work.”

“Why? What is it?”

“Just look at it. It’s better if you see if first.”

Meredith took her phone away from her ear and switched to her email app. She saw nothing out of the ordinary except for an email from Kongo-Match that went to her work email address. That was strange. She never provided this address when filling out her profile. She clicked on the message:

It looks like someone from your company has been enjoying their companion that they found through Kongo-Match.

There was a link to what turned out to be a video.

It was dimly lit at first, but then she realized, in horror, what she was looking at. The perspective was from the nightstand in her room. The dimly lit figures in the video were naked and they were passionately engaged on her bed. She then realized that it was her own body underneath that of John. It was a video of their night together. She quickly closed the video and, in the CC: field of the email, she saw that everyone in her company, over 150 people, had received the email with the video link. She put the phone back to her ear.

“I don’t know where this came from, Marian and I certainly don’t know how it was sent to everyone. I didn’t intentionally record this video.”

“Well, I thought I better warn you. Otherwise it would have been uncomfortable coming into work and getting blindsided.”

As Marian finished her thought, another call came in. It was John. She reluctantly told Marian she’d call her back and answered the call.

“John, what is it?”

“Meredith, we have a serious problem.”

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

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

 

Cover Reveal For My Latest Release

I’m very excited about my upcoming release, Extra Innings. It is a bit of a departure for me as I’ve written mostly detective and mystery novels.

This book started as a memory from childhood of the old minor league baseball stadium in my home town. I spent many summer days there. I remember exciting games that often competed with the volatile Upstate New York weather. I even remember the field having to be plowed so there wouldn’t be snow to interrupt opening day.

The book then twists in the direction of the supernatural. The underlying theme comes from the age old conundrum, if you could go back and change anything in your life, would you?

Here is the blurb I’ve been trying out:

Joe McLean hated his life. He was middle-aged, divorce and living in a small apartment. The only bright spot in his life was cheering on his hometown baseball team. Now, the stadium that was the place of so many childhood and adult baseball memories was being replaced.

Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and maybe 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 old adage, you can never go home again, is true?

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

I’m going to enroll this book in the Kindle Scout program soon. If you feel inclined in spreading the word once I do so, I will be reaching out. My last book, Blood Match, thanks to the help of this blogging community, was on the hot list for 22 days out of 30 during it’s Kindle Scout run. Although I didn’t receive a publishing contract from Amazon, it did give the book a boost when it was released.

Finally, here is the cover. I’d love your feedback and comments.

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Tomorrow is Blood Match Release Day

blood match front coverBlood Match, a new thriller by Don Massenzio

You might remember that this book was a Kindle Scout candidate and it performed well lasting on the Hot List for 209 of 720 hours or some part of 11 out of 30 days with over 4,000 views.

Here is a blurb about the book:

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.

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

The book is now available for pre order HERE and will be published tomorrow February 2nd, 2018.

An Exciting Adventure to Take My Writing to the Next Level – Please Help

blood match front coverYou’re among the first to know about this

I’m extremely excited to announce that my new book, Blood Match, is enrolled in the Kindle Scout program.

What is the Kindle Scout Program?

Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. … Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, an advance,  royalties and featured Amazon marketing.

Why is it important?

If my book is selected for publication by Kindle Scout, it can help take my writing to the next level.

How can you help?

First and foremost, you can vote to nominate my book. The campaign goes up on September 20th at midnight and will continue through October 20th. You can vote for it and preview the opening of the book by clicking HERE.

As a blog follower, how can you really help?

Spread the word. I’ve made that easy for you using something called Thunderclap. Thunderclap is a social media tool that allows you to effortlessly spread the word using your social media accounts with a pre-written message. All of your followers will receive the message. You can help by signing up for the Thunderclap campaign HERE.

What’s in it for you?

Apart from my eternal gratitude, if my book is selected, you will receive a free pre-launch copy from Amazon and will have the opportunity to officially review it before its launch. That is a free book for you, but it also helps me, yet again, by launching with established reviews.

Please check out the Kindle Scout page and vote if you’re so moved. If you want to enroll in the Thunderclap campaign, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks,
Don Massenzio

New from Author Charles E. Yallowitz

On the eve of destiny, the fate of the champions are in the hands of those they once called Enemy.

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Hated and distrusted, Queen Trinity must leave the shadows and reach for redemption.

With their final battle on the horizon, the champions are faced with a long-lost piece of the prophecy. Unable to search for the crests that are rumored to be the key to survival, they must turn to a band of their former enemies for help. Sinister desires and hopes for redemption collide as Queen Trinity of the Chaos Elves leads the hunt and struggles to keep her companions on the path of heroism. Monsters, traps, mysteries, and their own pasts will rise up to stand in the way of these people who have spent their entire lives committing sins. Throughout it all, another old enemy is lurking in the shadows and determined to claim her own delicious prize.

By the end of their journey, those who survive will learn that being a hero is more than simply stepping into the light.

Dive into the adventure on Amazon for $2.99!
Find it on Goodreads!

Excerpt: The Aura Syphon

A gurgling causes the two women to pause and look into the pit where the shadows are swirling among the jagged stones. Two black tentacles lance out of the ground and wrap around Yola’s waist, the ooze-dripping projections turning silver at the taste of her magic. Attracted to the stronger energy, the aura syphon yanks the immortal into its slime-covered maw and becomes a metallic beast. With its armored skin, the camouflaged predator is now visible and resembles a sea anemone with the body of a beetle. The jagged rocks are fused to the animal’s exoskeleton and there are six jointed legs that help it scurry out of the pit. Standing over Trinity, the creature opens a faint crease on its body to reveal a bulbous eye with a star-shaped pupil. It pauses to shove a few tentacles into its mouth and hit Yola with pulses of electricity to stop her from struggling. It changes from silver to gold when she attempts to break free, her efforts being quickly drained by the monster.

“Let the crazy woman go before you get killed,” Trinity whispers to the aura syphon. She creates a fireball in the hopes of getting its mouth open, but her spell is ignored. “No reason to have a snack when you have an eternal meal in your belly. Maybe we can have a trade. Can’t believe I’m trying to bargain with this thing. Well, I gave you a chance, so I’m going to blow you up before things get worse. Hope you heard that Yola and are bracing yourself.”

The beast gurgles before releasing a blast of sticky strands that lock Trinity in place. Instead of going after the trapped chaos elf, the creature turns its attention to the helpless army. Having had its fill of magic, the aura syphon is ready to gorge on fresh meat and opens a second mouth that is filled with knife-like teeth. Heading for Sir Harbiss, it is stopped when a chunk of earth erupts beneath it and flips it back into the pit. Unsure of where the attack came from, the aura syphon leaps out and reveals several eye stalks that search for an unseen enemy. A cutting wind lops off half of the projections, but Yola’s potent energy revives them and protects the crystalline armor plates. When the spell comes back around, it bounces off the new defense and bursts against a hill. Blasts of fire strike the beast from behind, so it sprouts a fan-shaped tail of water that douses the flames.

Looking around, the aura syphon stops when it sees that Trinity is nowhere to be seen and there is a hole where she once stood. Spikes grow from the predator’s belly and it slams against the ground in the hopes of impaling the chaos elf. The hiss of escaping gas is heard an instant before an explosion sends the shrieking animal into the sky. Careening towards a solitary cloud that is very low to the ground, the beast catches the scent of an aura that revives the one currently in its gut. Passing through the cloud, it finds its legs caught in a net that runs down to where Trinity is hiding behind a hill. With enhanced strength, the channeler slams the aura syphon into the ground and delivers a leaping stomp to its soft upper body. Instead of ejecting Yola, the creature opens its skin to swallow the chaos elf’s leg up the knee.

“Fine. Backup plan it is,” Trinity mutters, synching her aura to that of the imprisoned immortal.

Releasing as much magic as she can without killing herself, the channeler creates a power surge within the aura syphon. Unable to absorb or redirect so much energy at once, the predator tries to reject the grinning chaos elf. Plunging her fingers into its flesh, Trinity refuses to be thrown off and continues her assault. Blisters appear on the hard exoskeleton and the metallic color flakes off to reveal the natural black of the tentacles. Without warning, the gold returns and the animal explodes with enough force to collapse the ground. Before she can escape, the channeler falls into the pit and is buried beneath the icy dirt.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the picture below! First book, ‘Beginning of a Hero’ is free!

Ready for the newest adventure in Windemere? Find out if Queen Trinity earns redemption or will return to the Baron’s side!

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