Tuesday, November 29, 2011

THE NUMBERS - new dystopian novel now available

by Aidan Watson-Morris
Young-Adult Dystopian

Eleven hates training and hates The Cliff. Eleven is just a number in the military's powerful and vast corps of elite soldiers trained from birth after passage of the Life Act. But Eleven wasn't one of the unwanted fetuses handed over to the military; he was an orphan, an experiment, like the ten others in his group. He hates the constant training and pain the goes along with it. He hates the idea that his life is dedicated solely to training to kill and training to die in the service of his country. But that is all he knows, and he has no choice. Or does he? Following a training accident with The Cliff, he is given books to read while recuperating. And a whole new world opens up to him ... a world that puts the seed of an idea in his head. Maybe he can actually beat The Cliff.


Aidan Watson-Morris is a fifteen-year-old writer from the United States. He has had three short stories published in the award winning Static Movement e-zine, and is also a regular contributor for the startup online new source Made of Awesome. Among his many literary influences are Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, Joseph Heller and J.D. Salinger.
Author Web Site: http://a-i-aentertainment.com/

Available now in ebook at popular online retailers like Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords. Coming soon in print!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

USA’s Legacy of Cultural Contamination

The US is scheduled to withdraw troop occupation of war-torn Iraq by December 31, 2011. Associated Press http://ap.org posted a story by Bushra Juhi on November 26 that aptly summarizes cultural effects of US occupation, which began in 2003.

According to US Embassy sources, nearly half the population of Iraq is under age nineteen, and with the heavy US-soldier presence, tough-guy hip-hop attitudes have infiltrated the country’s youth culture. A twenty-two-year-old Baghdad rapper calling himself ‘Lil Czar’ dreams of becoming a star in the US. Many youth don hoodies, call themselves ‘hustlers’ or ‘punky,’ listen to 50 Cent and Eminem, and watch Twilight movies. Skin exposure, a cultural taboo for the Iraqis, is now blatant among youth of both sexes who wear tight revealing clothing to show off their tattoos. As US soldiers prepare for departure, youth raid dumpsters to find cast-off uniforms and other memorabilia, including hats to wear with the brim turned around backward. The waiting list for English classes can be full for months. Of note in the article was a picture of a local Iraqi restaurant sporting a blatant rip-off of the McDonald’s name and themed logo color scheme.

“This is what I’ve been writing about all along in my America’s Galactic Foreign Legion series,” says science fiction author Walter Knight. Knight’s sixth book, Culture War, in particular humorously demonstrates the cultural contamination when two vastly different societies clash.

Knight’s series, although classified as military science fiction, focuses on the cultural aspects of America in a setting three hundred years in the future on the distant planet of New Colorado caught in a tug of war between the United States Galactic Federation and the Arthropodan Empire. Knight’s alien spiders draw many parallels from today’s world cultures where stricter codes of behavior are still observed.

“I see our culture as a secret weapon to take over the world,” Knight says jokingly.

(Blog note: A direct link to the AP article was not available at the time of this posting.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Black Friday Ninja Shopping

The following is a public service announcement to warn families about
the dangers of shopping in Walmart on Black Friday.

DISCLAIMER: This post may contain references
in quotes or excerpts that could 'alienate' some readers.


Everyone in capitalist America who owns a television set knows what BLACK FRIDAY is. But, for those of you who are somehow clueless despite the bombardment of shopping ads all over the media, here's a little background.

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, when everyone crazed from cabin fever (being cooped up in the same house with relatives no one wants to see, much less share a meal with) bursts forth in a frenzie to complete official Christmas shopping (because most of them have the day off from work). Black Friday is the retail industry's last great hope of the shopping season for the fiscal year, as traditionally 90% of sales for the year happen on this day. Black Friday is dubbed as such due to the financial accounting reference to 'black' meaning positive revenue, as opposed to 'red' meaning negative revenue or loss (as in, 'Boys, we might as well close up shop. We're in the red, and it's a financial hole so deep, we ain't never gonna crawl out of it').

Because NINJAS (martial arts master assassins armed with stealth silence, invisibility, super speed, swords, and throwing stars) always wear black, it's natural to put the two terms together. Everyone who's ever been trampled in a store sale stampede knows you have to be ruthless like an assassin to get those Christmas shopping bargains before they're all gone. Take no prisoners! This is never more true than in the stores of the global retail giant, WALMART.

Science fiction humorist, WALTER KNIGHT, author of the series AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION, has perfected Black Friday Ninja Shopping at Walmart to a science. In his words...

After studying past Black Friday riots, I personally feel only people with a 'black belt in shopping' should venture there. I don't take a cart so I can carry electronic items above my head through narrow isles and past crazed fat ladies and aliens with carts. I pay at the register of the most expensive department (watches & jewelry) to avoid long lines at the front of the store. I use my height to advantage to elbow slow short old people who create deadly delays and bottlenecks. It's called ninja-shopping.

To demonstrate the serious dangers of Black Friday shopping, even in the future on distant planet New Colorado overrun with an alien spider population, here's an excerpt from one of Walt's books...

Book 6: Culture War
by Walter Knight
Science Fiction Military Humor


The New Gobi City Walmart was purposely built straddling the MDL so that both humans and spiders could shop at the same store. The MDL was painted in red and yellow down the middle of the highly waxed floors. The success of this business model had been expanded to other Walmarts and businesses in the DMZ.

Although the spider Governor of the North Territory tolerated trade between the North and South as a necessary and inherent evil, he was not going to allow the infamous annual Black Friday sale at Walmart to continue another year. Black Friday was the day after the American Turkey Holiday & Feast when Walmart held a huge pre-Christmas sale on all items in the store when the doors opened at the stroke of midnight Thursday.

Thousands of Arthropodan citizens lined up waiting for Walmart’s doors to open. In years past, stampedes resulted in injuries, fights, and heart attacks. Last year there had even been a death by trampling. The governor’s problem with Black Friday was not the good sales at an American store, or the rowdy crowds, or even the mixing of the species at an American-inspired event. His problem was that Arthropodans would be Christmas shopping. It appeared to the governor that, once again, the insidious human pestilence had manipulated Arthropodan habits and culture with American decadence.

If Arthropodans were shopping for Christmas, it meant they were also celebrating Christmas, and all had been lost. The governor was determined that the end of Arthropodan culture on New Colorado would not happen on his watch. Nor would the end be allowed to incubate on New Colorado and to spread to the rest of the Empire. The governor gave the order that Black Friday would be shut down on the Arthropodan side of Walmart.

By Thursday night, many spiders had already pitched tents and formed lines in the parking lot on the north side of the New Gobi Walmart. It was a festive social event. Friends from the outlying districts who had not seen each other since the first of the year at Walmart greeted each other with hugs and plotted shopping strategies. The good mood soured, however, when a company of Arthropodan tanks, armored cars, and infantry marines arrived and deployed between the crowd and the store.
“I am sorry,” announced the spider commander on a public address system. “Access to Walmart is closed. There will be no pre-Christmas shopping allowed at midnight, by order of the governor. The doors will remain locked.”

As a precaution, the front doors were chained and padlocked. The spider commander continued to explain to no avail that Christmas shopping was an American trick to impose Christmas on Arthropodan culture, and would not be allowed. The shoppers booed and hissed and drowned out the commander’s voice. As midnight approached, the crowd grew to thousands. They pressed in on the company of nervous spider marines.

At midnight, a Walmart employee and an Arthropodan marine team leader appeared inside the store and hung up a large ‘CLOSED’ sign on the glass doors. The crowd got louder and more militant, throwing shopping carts and asphalt chunks from the parking lot at the marine armor. However, after a while, the enthusiasm of the crowd started to wane. As the spider commander appealed to their sense of duty and patriotism, spider shoppers started to disperse. Most spiders considered themselves to be a law-abiding and orderly species from a law-abiding and orderly culture. They abhorred mob rule, and a sense of relief swept over shoppers and marines alike as the crowd started going home peacefully.

Then it happened. The spark needed to ignite already frayed tempers was the sight of human pestilence shoppers inside Walmart loading up their shopping carts with boxes of electronic appliances and tech gear. Some Americans waved at the spiders from behind the large plate glass doors. They held up their bargains for the spiders in the parking lot to see. Others just gave the one-fingered salute and giggled.

The taunting was too much for the spider shoppers to accept. Thousands of angry spider shoppers pushed past the marine barrier and smashed the glass doors with concrete from pulled-up light fixtures. They poured into the store, grabbing merchandise off the shelves and from Americans shopping carts. Fights ensued, followed by a nasty riot. More than one spider rioter was run over by angry fat ladies pushing shopping carts. In the end, no one paid for any merchandise. The five-fingered-discount sale ruled the midnight madness. Walmart was emptied of merchandise and trashed. A Merry Christmas was had by all.
Be careful out there, folks!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NEW RELEASE - America's Galactic Foreign Legion, Book 13

Book 13: Salesman From Mars
by Walter Knight
Science Fiction / Military / Humor

Zany military political humor takes a front seat with a new star in this thirteenth installment of the screwy military space saga.

Born salesman Donald Crisp is down on his luck and short of money. When Crisp accepts a loan from the USGF recruitment ATM, he ends up - of course - enlisted in the United States Galactic Federation Foreign Legion.

Oranges for scorpions, semi-sentient penguins, biting Blue Lizards, ghosts from the past, and cheating at cards make life interesting as Crisp chills at the South Pole, then makes a splash in Caldera Lake - all the while watching out for the Grim Reaper!

Available in ebook at these popular online retailers - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords - and coming soon in print!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Intrigarama - stock up on Berardelli now!

INTRIGARAMA - 99-cent specials in suspense and intrigue now until the end of November...

Author David Berardelli writes suspense and intrigue with wry humor and sometimes throws a little paranormal into the mix. From now until the end of November, his titles in ebook format published through Penumbra Publishing will be on sale for 99-cents at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords. Don't miss your chance to sample Dave's writing at reduced prices - when this Intrigarama's over, it's over!

by David Berardelli
Paranormal / Suspense / Thriller

After a young woman tries to help a homeless lady who's struck by a hit-and-run driver, she finds herself cursed with a strange visionary gift that could either help or harm her and those around her.

After trying to help the victim of a hit-and-run, a young woman finds herself seeing odd colors around people when they're charged with emotion. As she probes deeper into the hit-and-run murder to help bring justice to the old woman and find out more about her strange new visionary power, a DEA cop comes to her rescue. She soon realizes someone very powerful wants to keep her quiet ... permanently. Can her gift keep her and those around her safe, or is she destined to end up dead like the old woman she tried to help?

Fatal Innocence
by David Berardelli
Suspense / Thriller

A wealthy software magnate with a drinking problem finds his life going to hell after he meets a mysterious beautiful woman in trouble.

A hard-drinking, womanizing Orlando software king risks his empire after meeting a beautiful redhead in a bar. At first all he can think about is getting her in the sack. But bad things keep happening in his business and his home life, and he starts to wonder if this mystery woman is the source of all his trouble. A private detective hired to look into it starts suspecting this woman comes from the tycoon's checkered past and is out to get him. But can he find out the truth before she ruins the man? Or should he just step back and let it happen?

Escape Clause
by David Berardelli
Suspense / Thriller

A suspense action thriller that has it all - kidnapping, murder, high-stakes corporate contracts, prenuptial clauses, and mob hit contracts. This is one time when an escape clause would come in real handy...

A construction field supervisor spots a woman in a bar that looks like the love of his life he let slip through his fingers seven years ago. Now he wonders if she's in grave danger. When he tries to find out, he finds himself in danger too!

Stepping Out of My Grave
by David Berardelli
Paranormal / Supernatural / Ghost

Sometimes ya gotta do the right thing - even when you're dead! A software company owner gets hit by a tricked-out truck and wakes up standing in his own grave. Once successful in life, he now has to learn the ropes of being dead. He soon finds out the afterlife of a ghost comes with its own perks, and he intends to use his for the greater good. His first 'project' is a street-smart teenage girl involved in a dangerous, desperate situation. But will all his newfound ghostly abilities be enough to keep her from becoming as dead as he is?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

99-Cent Specials, New and Upcoming Releases


The latest installment of Walter Knight's political satire military science fiction series, AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION, is coming soon. To celebrate, the ebook version of Book 1, FEELING LUCKY has been reduced in price to 99 cents on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Several other ebooks are on sale at Amazon for 99 cents - full-length novels and short-story novellas, just in time to add to your holiday reading list!

If you're looking for more ebooks under $3.00, we have lots of great titles. Recent releases include ASSASSINATION ANXIETY, Barry K. Nelson's second book in the military science fiction series, THE MCKENZIE FILES.

We have many other books coming out soon, including a young-adult futuristic dystopian novel by 15-year-old author Aidan Watson-Morris, and a vampire novel set in Newfoundland by Canadian author Charles O'Keefe.

To celebrate the new release of UNNATURAL LAW, book 2 in the young-adult paranormal series by Natasha Larry, the first book, DARWIN'S CHILDREN has been given a cover makeover and is reduced to 99 cents for the ebook during the month of November.

Visit our books page here or go to our web site. They're all available at major online retailers like Barnes and Noble and Amazon, and in multi-formats at Smashwords.

Readers who prefer printed books will be happy to know that most of our titles are available in paperback too, at competitive prices!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

BOOK REVIEW CORNER – The Silence of Trees (Lupescu)

By Valya Dudycz Lupescu
Women’s Fiction
Reviewed by Willa Kaye Danes, author at Penumbra Publishing
99-cent Kindle ebook edition

The first thing I must say is ... I loved this story. It is one of the best stories I have read in a very long time. It is emotional and magical and mystical and truthful, full of secrets and regrets and fears and, finally, courage – courage to speak. This is a story about women, their voices, their pain, their connection to each other, and their love of family. Although it focuses on Ukrainian culture, it is a story that is so beautifully written, it can resonate with anyone of any nationality and of any age. It is perfect for a book club, to be shared and discussed.

The main character, Nadya, is a 70-year-old native of the Ukraine who emigrated to the US (Chicago) as a young wife and mother shortly after World War II. Her story is told in flashbacks and recollections that skip around in a non-chronological fashion that, rather than becoming a confusing mess, creates a carefully woven tapestry of emotional truths with threads of cultural heritage richly highlighting every part of the story. It explains the gap of generations so wonderfully, it should be required reading for every person under the age of 30. While there are references to war’s atrocities, these references lend a realistic perspective to the reflections and attitudes of the characters to further help explain why oftentimes people are reluctant, even afraid, to speak up.

There is so much substance in this story, a mere few paragraphs cannot do it justice. Normally I don’t expect much from a 99-cent book, but I was joyfully overwhelmed by the quality and beauty of this story. If you haven’t read this book, you should do it now!

Willa Kaye Danes, author at Penumbra Publishing