Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Tour Schedule for COMMON DESCENT

Here's the virtual book tour schedule for COMMON DESCENT, Natasha Larry's third book in the YA paranormal series DARWIN CHILDREN...

November 10 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Kick Off
November 11 - Texas Book Nook 
November 12 - A Life Through Books
November 13 - Desert Rose Reviews 
November 14 - My Reading Addiction
November 15 - Dalene's Book Reviews
November 16 - RABT Reviews - Wrap Up

COMMON DESCENT, Book 3, Darwin's Children

Natasha Larry

Eighteen-year old Jaycie Lerner’s telekinesis is finally in check – too bad levitating a picnic table is now a workout. Not to mention her previously dormant telepathy is back and raging out of control. As she struggles to manage her frightening power, the Dey-Vah announce they will soon reveal the supernatural world to the human race. To make matters worse, people start dropping dead all over northern Alabama. Then, a mysterious new enemy emerges.

Jaycie must elicit the help of the world’s only master vampire slayer and an assassin who converses with the voices in her head. Strengthening the Core is the only way to protect mankind from the coming vampire army, and that’s not even their most dangerous threat.

Jaycie and her family face their darkest hour when an innocent young girl serves as a pawn to form a deadly Alliance. The perfect vampire, Lilith Bradshaw, becomes an eye-opening example of how far the Alliance will go to serve their own destructive ends. The world around Jaycie plummets into darkness, and betrayals from the past threaten to undo them all.

 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Other books - THE QUEEN'S BLADE

We're pleased to add THE QUEEN'S BLADE to our list of books by other authors. Check out this unique fantasy series by author T. C. Southwell...




The Queen's Blade
by T. C. Southwell
Published by the author
Historical-Otherworld / Fantasy
Available in ebook
Rating: Some sexual references and violence

A doomed kingdom, a young queen’s sacrifice, and a killer who will bring an empire to its knees... In a world where men share kindred with beasts, an ageless seer predicts a child who will end the Endless War. One man is the instrument who will change fate. He will usher in a time of strife and pain that will live in legend, and forever bear his name ... the time of the Queen’s Blade.

This first book in the series is free...

Download link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/33966

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Interview with Insane Assassin

All writers know quirky off-the-wall characters are fun to write and add comic relief to novels. Nobody knows this better than Natasha Larry, author of the DARWIN'S CHILDREN yound-adult paranormal series. (And lest you think 'young-adult' means it's just for teen readers - adult readers and reviewers have praised the series and recommended it!)

So hop on over to Rainy of the Dark's blog and read the interview with one crazy-@ss assassin. There's a book giveaway involved, so don't miss your chance to win.

And if you haven't read the current three books in the series, what are you waiting for? They're not only sweet on relationships - both family and romantic - they're suspenseful and full of surprises. Super-powered everyday folks pitted against supernatural villains - a surefire recipe for can't-put-it-down reading!


Book 1
DARWIN'S CHILDREN


Book 2
UNNATURAL LAW








Book 3
COMMON DESCENT

Thursday, September 19, 2013

New book release - MISSION TO INDOCHINA

Robert L. Tecklenburg has penned another convoluted, engrossing historical mystery, this time against the background of post-World War II Indochina/Vietnam. Rich in historical detail and personal drama, Mr. Tecklenburg's got another winner!

MISSION TO INDOCHINA
Robert L. Tecklenburg
Fiction: Historical, Military/War, Spy/Espionage



In September of 1945, the Allies accept the surrender of Emperor Hirohito, ending World War II. However, the mainland region of Indochina remains in turmoil, with the British temporarily charged with maintaining order in the south, while Chinese nationalists occupy the north. The Japanese army is not disarmed and still controls much of the region. The French maintain their presence, hoping to take back their ‘Annamese’ colony after two years of direct Japanese rule, but Vietnamese nationalists are fighting for independence.
Major Charles Stanek has spent most of the last two years running clandestine operations in Eastern Europe to rescue downed American and British pilots from the Germans. He’s ready for his freedom from the military. However, General William Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), sends him to Indochina to investigate the mysterious death of an American lieutenant colonel gunned down in Saigon by Vietnamese nationalists who had agreed to respect American neutrality. Additionally, Charlie must discover why thousands of dollars in uncut diamonds were found on the man, and if the gems played a role in his death.
Charlie’s investigation takes him down Saigon’s backstreets and north to the Central Highlands and beyond. An officer in the Japanese police force heading the murder investigation soon proves to be an indispensable ally. Beautiful and mysterious Madame Thieu guides him through Vietnam’s complex politics, but he’s not sure he can trust her.
When Charlie is kidnapped by Russian agents and whisked away to a Hanoi prison, he is tortured for information about an agent code-named Rasputin, embedded in the Soviet army and spying for America. The Russians believe Charlie is his handler, sent to Indochina to extract the deep-cover spy. With assistance from a defecting KGB agent Charlie knew in Eastern Europe, the two battle their way out of Hanoi.
The danger mounts as Charlie continues his investigation, and soon he suspects intrigue and secret truths at the highest level threaten his safe return to the States. All he wants is to assume the quiet life of a civilian, but others seem to have a different plan for him...


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

Buy now at Smashwords...

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/359252

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Book Release - Common Descent, Book 3 of the Darwin's Children Series

At last - the long-awaited third book in the wildly popular YA paranormal series is now available. Ms. Larry has outdone herself this time, and the fourth book is on the way...

COMMON DESCENT
DARWIN'S CHILDREN
BOOK 3
Natasha Larry
Fiction: Young-adult, Paranormal, Supernatural



Eighteen-year old Jaycie Lerner’s telekinesis is finally in check – too bad levitating a picnic table is now a workout. Not to mention her previously dormant telepathy is back and raging out of control. As she struggles to manage her frightening power, the Dey-Vah announce they will soon reveal the supernatural world to the human race. To make matters worse, people start dropping dead all over northern Alabama. Then, a mysterious new enemy emerges.
Jaycie must elicit the help of the world’s only master vampire slayer and an assassin who converses with the voices in her head. Strengthening the Core is the only way to protect mankind from the coming vampire army, and that’s not even their most dangerous threat.
Jaycie and her family face their darkest hour when an innocent young girl serves as a pawn to form a deadly Alliance. The perfect vampire, Lilith Bradshaw, becomes an eye-opening example of how far the Alliance will go to serve their own destructive ends. The world around Jaycie plummets into darkness, and betrayals from the past threaten to undo them all.



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



Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Release - The Newfoundland Vampire Book II

The long awaited book two in The Newfoundland Vampire series is finally available!

THE NEWFOUNDLAND VAMPIRE
Charles O'Keefe
Fiction: Horror, Paranormal, Vampire



Another of John Snow’s creations, Donald is an evil misogynistic killer in his own right. Donald has no interest in avenging his creator’s death, but killing Cassandra is at the top of his list.
While Donald continues his murderous spree, Joseph and Cassandra always seem to be one step behind him. The chase is further complicated as they encounter other vampires and learn more about the mysterious nature of the Vampire Council and the coming war between good and evil.
Joseph is only now beginning to trust Cassandra, and this trust will be shaken when he discovers she has even more secrets than he imagined. Her idea of justice and morality is at complete odds with his own. Despite all his powers and growing skill, Joseph is tested physically as a vampire and emotionally by Cassandra. This time the answers and challenges may be too much for the young vampire to handle.


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

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Book Release - America's Galactic Foreign Legion Book 19

Prolific author Walter Knight has penned another installment of giggles and guffaws in his continuing science fiction series...

AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION
BOOK 19: ATM
Walter Knight
Fiction: Science Fiction, Military, Humorous



In the nineteenth installment of this super-sillious science fiction series, the CIA continues to plot and scheme, enlisting wary partner legionnaire Manny Lopez. The Arthropodan commander of planet New Colorado’s New Gobi Desert spider troops is included only by default and kept in the dark about ‘need to know’ details – but there’s bound to be some time travel involved. Their ambitious secret plan to build up troops for the coming scourge of space locusts involves a Legion recruitment ATM that achieves the ultimate in sentience and mobility in the form of an artificial human being. Luckily, Colonel Joey R. Czerinski knows nothing about any of it, or he’d surely screw up everything.
As Private Atm tries to blend in with surrounding humans, it becomes clear even to Czerinski that the private is a little ‘different.’ And that’s saying something, considering how peculiar Privates Krueger and Knight are. But Czerinski blithely assumes it can all be chalked up to good old-fashioned stupidity. However, even the spider commander realizes there’s something more to Private Atm than meets the eye, and he’s determined to find out what it is.
The naughty camel Hargundu and even the Grim Reaper make cameo appearances as the Legion continues with its old tricks under Czerinski’s bumbling command. A native spider population is culturally contaminated, and much destruction and ado takes place over a new casino with suspected uranium deposits underneath. The humans and spiders clash with their usual ‘up yours’ attitude, and the perpetual preposterousness continues!

Available in ebook at popular online retails like Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Amazon. Available soon in print!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

New author, new book release!

Penumbra Publishing welcomes author Mark DeRobertis and his unique paranormal suspense...

THE VASE
Mark DeRobertis
Fiction: Paranormal, Suspense, Fantasy



During an unusual heat wave in Nazareth, a series of freak geomagnetic storms sets in motion a bizarre chain of events, all of which revolve around a lone ancient vase. The vase belongs to a humble Palestinian potter who depends on the largess of tourists to earn his meager living from sales of earthenware in the Old City Market. He is no stranger to violence, having lost his eldest son three years before, when Hamas terrorists convinced the boy to participate in a terrorist attack. The potter is determined to keep his remaining son safe, but he has no idea the terrorists are secretly recruiting him to follow his older brother’s footsteps in a plot to assassinate the Pope and the Israeli prime minister during an upcoming tour of the Holy Land.
After being recruited by Shin Bet, the Israel Security Agency, a Jewish art professor plots revenge for the death of his only son in the same terrorist attack three years before. Realizing the terrorists use the potter’s shop as a clandestine meeting place, the professor convinces the potter to lend him an ancient vase from his ancestral collection for art history classes at the local university. With the help of a fellow operative, the professor plants a remote-control bomb inside the vase and then returns it to the potter.
Meanwhile, the appearance of apparitions in the Old City Market – Roman soldiers, ancient Islamic warriors, and more – causes local Muslim holy men to curse a lucrative Lebanese restaurant located across the street from the potter’s shop. Desperate to rid his business of the spirits, the restaurant owner calls on the Hollywood host of a ghost hunter reality show. Despite the ghost hunter’s best efforts, things quickly get out of hand. Are the apparitions really ghosts or just Hollywood illusions? Perhaps they’re the result of a freak act of nature – or God. While the world reels from the amazing images, fear, hatred, and revenge spiral out of control, leading to secret plots, lies, and murder. Key people work together or against each other to stop the planned assassinations, but will a final apparition help turn the tide of events? 


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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Contact - an alien probe, laughs included

A new visitor has landed on planet New Colorado, and is asking, "Take me to your leader." Check out Walter Knight's latest installment in the ongoing preposterous space-science-fiction series...

AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION
BOOK 18: FIRST CONTACT
by Walter Knight
Fiction: Science Fiction, Military/War, Humorous

A rover probe sent by a bear-like people from across the galaxy lands on New Colorado, looking for a sentient race to establish diplomatic contact. And that's where the trouble begins. After becoming involved with a petty gang and blowing up a Burger King to win favor with the perceived powerful McDonald's Corporation, the rover, mistaken as a souped-up Toyota, is entered in an all-terrain race. On the run, the rover runs smack-dab into Colonel Joey R. Czerinski, who wants its compact laser technology, and the silliness continues!

New release available now in ebook and print at popular online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and more!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Death Spiral - the men's adventure series continues!

Author James Boedeker has penned another installment in his gritty, action-packed series about expatriates in Thailand. Check out Book 3!

DEATH SPIRAL BOOK 3: DEBT OF HONOR
by James Boedeker
Fiction: Men's Adventure, War/Military, Expatriate


Robert O’Leary is a family man now, happily living in Thailand with his two sons and wife Mina – and his extended adopted family. Fishing and teaching the boys baseball occupy most of his leisure time.

It’s been several years since he found himself in the middle of a bloodbath to avenge the mistreatment of his wife, and later to take down a psychopathic serial killer. The ghosts of his past rarely make an appearance in his dreams now, and the killing beast has not overtaken him in a long time. However, when his friend Bruce Broderic calls on him for assistance in a new mission, despite Mina’s objections, Robert feels obligated to at least hear Bruce out before he refuses his request.

Bruce’s plan to declare war on the Muslim extremists increasing their attacks in Thailand seems legitimate. However, Robert can’t help but distrust his friend, even though they fought side by side to bring down the German and Romanian presence in Bangkok to deliver justice and closure for Mina, and to take down the vicious Angel of Death. Robert knows that Bruce, a former CIA operative, keeps secrets from everyone and never tells the whole story. To get involved in another of Bruce’s schemes would mean getting in over his head and destroying the trust he has built with Mina. He’d have to let loose the beast inside him to kill again, and he knows he can’t afford to do that. It almost took him down in a death spiral last time, and he has too much to live for now. He has promised Mina the beast will never come out again.

But then Bruce gets in serious trouble when a rogue CIA agent double-crosses him and puts a death sentence on Robert and all those he cares about. Robert knows he has to come to Bruce’s aid and protect his family. No matter what his friend is mixed up in, he owes him a debt of honor that must be paid, and in the process chances losing his family. The stakes have never been higher, and failure is not an option.

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

Vampires and Werewolves and Puberty - Oh my!

As if big sisters and school bullies aren't enough to deal with, add some feuding vampires and werewolves to the mix and see what you get. It takes a special kid to navigate this quagmire of trouble - read how he does it! A new young-adult horror-comedy from the author of BLOOD AND SUNLIGHT...

BUD THE CRUD AND THE VAMPIRE-WEREWOLF WARS
by Jamie Wasserman
Fiction: Horror, Paranormal, Humor, Teen Angst, Werewolf, Vampire


Vampires and werewolves and ... puberty? It’s all here. My name is Buddy. Yeah, that’s my real name, not a nickname. I’ll explain later.

This story is all about me and my sister. There’s vampires and werewolves and bullies and even love, if you’re into that kind of thing. Although if you want the gushy details with all the hand-holding and smooching, you’ll have to ask my sister. Quite frankly, I don’t want to hear about it. No one curses in this book – not even the werewolves.

Looking back, some of it was pretty scary, but it all ends happily. The good guys win, no one dies, and everything goes back to normal. More or less.


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

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Zombies everywhere you turn - and now another zombie apocalypse book to entertain you!

Can zombies be funny? They can if they're roasting over the open fire of a burning giant ball of twine! Can zombies be made fun of for laughs? Heck, yeah! If the world's coming to an end, the best way to go out is to die laughing.

Check out this latest entry in the zombie apocalypse fest going on now...

ZOMBIE MISSOURI
Walter Knight
Fiction: Horror, Dystopian, Humor, Undead



Teenage loser Lenny Dreckle of Johnson City, Missouri, is finally a winner – in the zombie lotto. About to be shot by robbers at the Taco Bell after hours, Lenny’s saved by a bright light that scares the robbers away. Unfortunately, the world as Lenny knows it is fast coming to an end. An unknown disaster kills ninety percent of the human population, turning them into flesh-eating zombies.
Teaming up with other survivors and armed with cans of cat food to distract the zombies, Lenny embarks on a bizarre odyssey to find the cause of the zombie apocalypse and to take back the world one town at a time, starting with Johnson City. The question is, can Lenny keep his hands off the lovely zombie Andrea and avoid being devoured or infected by her? Loser that Lenny is, his fate hangs in the balance.

Also included is the first installment of Jamie Wasserman's Vampire Guppy Hunter short story series!

Available in ebook and very soon in print at popular online retailers like Barnes & Noble and Amazon and Smashwords.




Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Just for laughs

'BORROWING' HUMOR

I borrow some humor for my books from old TV shows.  I just thought I'd share this from the old Hollywood Squares show:

Q. Paul, what is a good reason for pounding meat? 

A. Paul Lynde: Loneliness!
 

(The audience laughed so long and so hard it took up almost 15 minutes of the show!)
 


Q
. Do female frogs croak? 

A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.



Q. 
If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?

A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.
 


Q.
 True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years... 

A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.
 


Q.
 You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman? 

A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.
 


Q. 
According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married? 

A. Rose Marie: No, wait until morning.
 


Q.
 Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older? 

A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.



Q.
 In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say 'I Love You'? 

A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.



Q.
 What are 'Do It,' 'I Can Help,' and 'I Can't Get Enough'? 

A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.
 


Q.
 As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking? 

A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing-old question, Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.
 


Q.
 Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather? 

A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.
 


Q..
 Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year? 

A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.
 


Q.
 In bowling, what's a perfect score? 

A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.
 


Q. 
It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other? 

A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.



Q.
 During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet? 

A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.
 


Q.
 Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls? 

A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.
 


Q.
 When you pat a dog on its head, he will wag his tail. What will a goose do? 

A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?
 


Q.
 If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to? 

A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.



Q.
 According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people? 

A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.
 


Q.
 It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it? 

A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.
 


Q. 
Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do? 

A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.
 


Q.
 Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant? 

A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?
 


Q. 
When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex? 

A. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him.



Q.
 Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they? 

A. Charley Weaver: His feet.
 


Q.
 According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed? 

A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh.


It's fun to work to old gags into dialogue of new books.  Being that most of these performers are dead, I figured they wouldn't mind.  Good humor can be a difficult thing, but it never dies.

Sincerely,

Walt Knight
Author of AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION series

Sunday, May 26, 2013

New Book Release - ALTERATIONS by Rita Plush

ALTERATIONS
Rita Plush
Fiction / short stories / urban family life / historical
 
ALTERATIONS is a short story collection featuring stories of love and grief and family life. This a gem of beautiful writing and tells of emotionally touching characters, as evidenced by the comments from advance readers...



~PRAISE FOR ALTERATIONS~

Among all the touching insights into a past that seems to haunt these stories by Rita Plush, I hear a character say, “Tell me you understand.” Anxieties of not knowing or of not knowing how to make the other person understand tell the upsetting truths of these vivid fictions and create their curious momentum.
–Joseph McElroy, author of Night Soul and Other Stories and the forthcoming Cannonball

Rita Plush’s short stories hold you on the edge of heartbreak. She writes eloquently of plucky children who have not been able to experience enough of childhood, but who weave tenderness out of whatever emotional threads they can string together.
–Maureen Brady, author of Folly and Ginger’s Fire

Rita Plush has written stories which deal with the evolution of one man. Outwardly, he deals with problems in teaching teenage boys and inwardly, with himself and his failures. Her stories are well written and draw in the reader; we will certainly be open to publishing her stories in the future.
–Elizabeth Kircos, Fiction/Non-Fiction Editor, The MacGuffin

All these pieces feel so immediate and alive – the voices, every detail – like memoir. They’re intimate, and funny, and full of surprises. They’re big – about The Big Subjects, love, death, sex, loss, longing. A number of these stories are told from the point of view of a young child, sharp-eyed, all senses on high alert. I especially enjoyed “Love, Mona.” The intimate, beautiful portrayal of grief and hope ends with a wordless gesture so tender and expressive, I will never forget it.
–Mary Azrael, Editor, Passager

Good and thoughtful stories that win the reader over. More truth than a reality show, and more vivid than most fiction. The wants, needs, satisfactions – and, yes, disappointments – of the characters are recognizable from our own stories.
–Phil Wagner, Editor/Publisher, Iconoclast


ALTERATIONS is available now in ebook and print at Amazon, and ebook at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble online!

Friday, May 17, 2013

NEW BOOK RELEASE - Battle for Blood

Zombie pirates, vampire space raiders, robots and mermaids and more! It's all here in one book! Well not exactly, but close. Penumbra Publishing brings you a new space adventure by the outrageous author team of Pedro Cerda and Daniel Stiles. And, yes, it's about zombie pirates and vampire raiders and a peaceful planet of purple people...

BATTLE FOR BLOOD - THE BLOOD FEUD
by Pedro Cerda and Daniel Stiles
Fiction / Science Fiction / Humor


In a future far, far ... in the future ... zombie pirates and vampire raiders, ancient enemies banished from Earth and forced to live on Venus and Mars respectively, terrorize space-faring travelers. Cruise ships, freighters, and more are targeted. The vampires want blood. The zombies just want hair shaved from their victims to smoke and get high. But either way, many people die.

In the course of an ill-fated raid, misinformation from a human captive attempting to save his own life leads a group of zombie pirates and vampire raiders to a small peaceful planet known as Athenein. They have been informed the blood of the Athenein people can be utilized to provide superpowers when brought to their home solar system, and each race is eager for the advantage.

Will the Athenein world fall victim to these invaders, or will its plucky people somehow manage to fend them off and protect their peaceful way of life? Guess you’ll just have to read the book to find out...

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

Monday, April 22, 2013

Movie Review - OBLIVION

We don't normally do movie reviews as a regular feature on our blog, but since I took a little time off this weekend for some R&R and went to see a movie I found entertaining, thought I would share some thoughts on it...

-Pat Morrison, Penumbra Publishing editor

OBLIVION


2hr 5min‎‎ - Rated PG-13‎‎ - Action/Adventure/Scifi/Fantasy‎
Director: Joseph Kosinski - Cast: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Jack Harper is one of the last few drone repairmen stationed on Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying threat known as the Scavs, Jack's mission is nearly complete. Living in and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, his soaring existence is brought crashing down when he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands.

I enjoyed this movie a lot. Of course I am a science-fiction junkie, so I will go see about anything that doesn't have blood-dripping monsters or chainsaws in it. I have seen a lot of sci-fi stinkers, but I felt that this particular movie was well-crafted, well-acted, and suspenseful, with an element of surprise I didn't see coming. That's always a nice bonus when I don't figure out the storyline right at the beginning of the movie. Of course I had suspicions, but didn't guess the extent of the surprise until the 'reveal moment.'

My background and take on the story...



The title of the movie, OBLIVION, is obscure enough to give no clue about the storyline and leave it wide open for anything to happen. However, a look at the meaning of the word 'oblivion' indicates 'a state of forgetting or being oblivious,' and that begins to make sense as the movie progresses.

The Earth's moon has been destroyed by an alien invasion force, causing massive tidal waves and earthquakes and other destructive natural disasters that wiped out most of the human population. After humans managed to win the war, survivors were sent to an orbital space station, awaiting transport to Jupiter's moon Titan to establish a human colony there. Jack Harper and his lovely female partner make up a team, part of a skeleton cleanup crew left on Earth to monitor and maintain water-extraction equipment that is draining ruined Earth of its last precious remaining resource, to be transported to Titan for use by the new human colony.

Jack and his partner are scheduled to leave in two weeks. But meanwhile they must continue to maintain the security drones that are stationed to protect the water-extraction units from Scavs, renegade aliens still prowling Earth and causing mischief after the war. 'Command' monitors the maintenance team and warns of impending dangers while in orbital contact. When the station is out of contact, Jack and his partner are left on their own in a sky-high fortress with all-glass walls, equipped with high-tech communication and monitoring equipment - and a see-through swimming pool!

Jack and his partner don't remember anything about the war, because their memories have been 'wiped' for security reasons so they can focus on their task before final transport to Titan. But Jack wonders why, if humans won the war, they have to leave their home. The destruction is massive in places, but he has discovered a hidden place that is an idyllic paradise. And then there are the bothersome dreams he keeps having of a woman he saw at the Empire State Building before the war, before it was reduced to a shell of rubble.

When a ship module identified as human in origin breeches the atmosphere and crashes, he goes against orders to investigate. And what he finds makes him begin to doubt everything he's been told by Command.

At the heart of this movie is a slowly unfolding love story. This is clearly a Cruise-focused movie, but Freeman makes a nice contribution in his small support role, and the storyline is surprising enough to hold interest. I highly recommend this film if you are a fan of Tom Cruise, or Morgan Freeman (as I am), or sci-fi (as I am). Even if you are none of those, I think you will appreciate this movie. It is not too 'techie' to turn off general viewers, but has just enough sci-fi to satisfy those looking for that fix. You'll see plenty of remnants of iconic images a la  Planet of the Apes - without the apes or Charlton Heston. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

New Scifi Book Release - STATUS QUO by Mark Rosendorf

STATUS QUO
by Mark Rosendorf
Fiction: Science Fiction


College student Alexander Copeland worked as an assistant for astronomer Gordon Maxwell. Alex was offered the opportunity of a lifetime – to join a small civilian crew and travel to outer space to investigate a mysterious wormhole presumed to have been created by an alien species. But the top-secret government division sponsoring Dr. Maxwell’s research abruptly canceled the expedition and closed down the entire project.

Seven years later, twenty-five-year-old Alex, working as a New York inner-city junior high school science teacher, is contacted by the same arrogant government project director who tells him the original space expedition has been revived. Alex is offered a seat on an advanced space shuttle christened Status Quo, set to go through the wormhole. But Alex is immediately suspicious. After seven years, why is the project suddenly on again?

Alex’s new shipmates only add to his anxiety. Sara Maxwell, gifted daughter of the late Dr. Maxwell, has spent the last seven years in a mental institution. The ship’s pilot is a teenage boy whose only flight experience is on a simulator. The pilot’s mother, also chosen as a crewmember, is supposedly psychic. The ship’s doctor is a novice who wants nothing to do with the mission. A troubled teenage girl on the brink of suicide is also accepted as part of the crew. There’s even a convicted murderer and a cat aboard. Absolutely no one chosen for this mission has any sort of astronaut training or experience. And worst of all, the project director’s agenda appears to be making sure that the ship and all aboard never return to Earth.

It’s a conspiracy that leaves these lost souls stranded in a strange galaxy with a damaged ship surrounded by threats both human and alien. Even if this group worked together and managed to survive, could they – would they – return to the uncaring world that sent them to space to die? With the alternative looking exceedingly grim, the journey of Status Quo seems doomed. Or is it? 

Available now in print and ebook at our web site and at popular online retailers like Amazon and Smashwords...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Drop the Habit of Dropping the F-Bomb

by Walter Knight,
author of the AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION series

In an age of shock-jocks and R-rated TV, there is a tendency by authors to succumb to cultural trends and liberally drop F-Bombs for dramatic effect, realism, and humor. Don't do it. Humor and drama are elusive creatures that cannot be caught merely by throwing an F-Bomb net over them. Humor and drama require planning and timing.

But that's how real people talk, you say? I get it. However, just because real people drop F-Bombs on the street, does not mean passersby want to hear it. I have little choice on the street about what I hear, but when I open a book and see F-Bombs carpeting the first page, I dive for cover. The book goes back on the shelf because I do not have to put up with it, or pay to be abused.

Dropping F-Bombs is a common mistake made by inexperienced authors attempting to grab readers' attention. It's not necessary. I write military science fiction, but usually the only bombs I drop are smart bombs. I'm no prude. I've been in the Army, so I know how soldiers often talk among their buddies. But F-Bombs obscure your story. F-Bombs are like sending an E-mail in all capital letters.  They annoy and hurt the eyes. I'm particular about what gets etched in my retina.

I'll tell you a story. When I came home on leave from military basic training, every other word was an F-Bomb. A girl I was sweet on asked what happened to me. Why the foul mouth? I did not even know I was raining F-Bombs. It was embarrassing.

I earned a valuable lesson, that F-Bombs are not a turn-on. Bad language limits people, hurting them socially and financially, slamming doors in their face. Unless you want to live permanently in the trailer park, clean up your mouth.

Authors want their writing to have deep meaning, to make a difference, to stand for something. We want to be proud of our work, showing off our books to family, neighbors, co-workers, and local newspaper editors. You cannot do that by leaving a trail of F-Bomb craters in your wake, from first page to last.

I consider it a personal challenge to elevate my literary skills to a level where, no matter the scene, F-Bombs are not needed. Humor can be a difficult thing, but I am not Richard Prior. I can't do what he does. Few can.

If you want drama or controversy, write a quality story. Shock your readers by not dropping the F-Bomb. Good luck. Keep writing.

Walter Knight
www.waltknight.yolasite.com

The vanity plate pictured above, featuring the fictional expletive 'Frak,' was taken from Wikipedia.org with the stated source: Date 7 July 2007, 20:42; "Adama is my copilot"; Author Rob Marquardt from Bay Area, CA, US

Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Release - America's Galactic Foreign Legion Book 17

Walter Knight and James Boedeker are at again - collaborating on a new volume in the AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION series. In Book 17, things get crazier than usual as Private Randal Telk's psychosis overtakes his life...

AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION
BOOK 17 - RANDAL TELK AND THE 396 STEPS TO SEXUAL BLISS
by Walter Knight and James Boedeker
Fiction, Science Fiction, Military, Humor, Political Satire

Legionnaire Private Randal Telk falls deeper into his delusional spell as the platoon searches planet New Colorado's New Gobi Desert for his bride Elena, who was captured by the rebel group Fist & Claw. Telk's delusions revolve around the super-hot Yolanda and his various applications of the 396 Steps to Sexual Bliss - and Randal's Big Bang Theory. Meanwhile things are looking ever more dire for Elena at the hands/claws of her captors. Many try to offer Telk encouragement and advice, but it is an old Legion foe who spurs him on to do what's necessary to get his wife back. It's debatable whether he'll get there in time to save her, and only his delusions keep him sane while the way-out wackiness continues.

Available in print at Amazon, and in ebook at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers where ebooks are sold!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Five-day ebook giveaway FREE EBOOK - AGFL04

Yes, some of our authors are craaaayyyyyzeeeeeeyyyy about giving away their books. For the next five days get AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION BOOK 4 for free on Kindle. Download a Kindle reading app to your electronic device for free too!

AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION
BOOK 4: DEMILITARIZED ZONE
by Walter Knight
Fiction: Science Fiction, Military, Humor, Political Satire

The New Gobi Desert on planet New Colorado is hot-hot-hot, and when Major Joey Czerinski and his platoon are ordered there to check on Arthropodan spider military activity, Czerinski finds it hard to believe the spiders are just building a swimming pool. The spider commander is a royal pain in the rear, and Czerinski's cowboy diplomacy doesn't help the situation. Tit-for-tat one-upmanship escalates the conflict, making the DMZ explosive. A juvie militia leader rises from the dust to complicate things, and with Walmart, McDonald's, and chupacabra thrown into the mix, the absurdity never stops. Czerinski handles it all with his usual politically-incorrect aplomb in this fourth installment of the giggles-and-belly-laughs military space opera.


Get it at Amazon FREE 1/5 through 1/9

Charles O'Keefe's blog tour - THE NEWFOUNDLAND VAMPIRE

Here's Charles' schedule of blog appearances. Follow for great insights, giveaways, more!

January 4 
Fang-tastic Books
January 4 review
Books, Books, and More Books
January 5
Reginamayross's Blog
January 6
Pure Textuality
January 7 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm
January 9
Victoria Danann
January 11 Interview and review
Crazy Four Books
January 14 promo
A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books
January 15
Beauty in Ruins - Speculative and Imaginative Fiction
January 16 Review
Michelle's Paranormal Vault of Books
January 16 Interview
Cloey's Book Reviews and Other Stuff
January 18 
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Looking back, looking forward

Well here it is 2013. We didn't blow ourselves up (of course 2013 is still young, so there's always that possibility). But at least the Mayan Calendar Doomsayers will finally have to shut up. Unless they start claiming there was some catastrophic miscalculation (Like NASA's dropping a decimal point and blitzing a Mars landing project???).

As far as publishing goes, the big six (or is it five - four?) are still trying to hold onto their pants despite an insane run-in with the DoJ. (Summary: the Department of Justice had the silly audacity to pursue a lawsuit that essentially pats Amazon on the head with open approval for undercutting publisher suggested retail pricing and whups Apple for trying to set retail pricing per publisher standards.) While we don't believe in price gouging, we do believe that the government taking sides in an open market and helping an already overly powerful retailer (read that as mega-retailer Amazon) is just wrong. Amazon has an unabashed history of using questionable means to control publishers and pricing strictly to stage its own rise to power in ebook publishing as well as retail online selling. For the DoJ to openly approve of this and assist Amazon by interfering in the retail market is wrong in so many ways, it would take another whole blog post to go into. The DoJ simply has no business stepping in unless it is a clear violation of anti-trust laws. Gas stations price-fix every day, yet there's no DoJ presence to stop that. (OK, you try to explain the sudden jump in gas prices before every holiday, or whenever there's some 'incident' half way around the world. How does that affect the price of gas already in the station's storage tanks????)

For Penumbra Publishing, the year 2012 was a mixed bag. We got to publish a lot of great new authors, but like many publishers, we saw fewer overall sales than in 2011. It is sad to think 2011 was the 'boom' year for publishing. There is no reason to think that with a flood of new self-published books, sales for anyone will improve dramatically. The current 'twenties' generation is thoroughly entrenched in technological dependence. Minute-by-minute start-stop activities like texting, web surfing, and playing silly games to pass the time are easier than sitting down and concentrating to read a book. (What? You don't play 'Angry Birds'? What's wrong with you?) Children as young as three are being handed iPads by their parents as toys - pacifiers - so the behavioral trend becomes ingrained even earlier. Children are becoming amazingly computer-literate at very young ages, but this is not necessarily a good thing. These same children may depend on the calculator function of an electronic device to figure simple math without understanding how to do it 'by hand' or 'in their head.' And why is this bad? Electricity. Electricity has made it possible for us to change our environment, add comfort and ease to our lives, and perform a lot of tasks that might otherwise be more difficult. Electricity is a wonderful utility that we take for granted, but it is not immune to disruption. And total dependency on it creates a potentially bad situation. If we found ourselves suddenly without electricity for a long period of time, would we have a clue how to survive? Electricity has softened us and given us a false sense of superiority and security.

The future is always uncertain until it becomes the present, and speculations about what might happen can prove to be wildly wrong, but looking back at the past, it's fairly easy to see what has happened. (Not necessarily easy to explain why it happened, but oh well.) Instead of looking back and lamenting 'those were the good old days,' we're going to look ahead and brave a fearless smile with the determination to make the best of whatever the future holds for us. We hope you'll do the same. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And here's author/blogger Charles O'Keefe's take on 2012...

http://p45crok.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/2012-my-year-in-review-and-free-stuff/