science fiction

Interview with Robert Eggleton

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing Robert Eggleton, author of Rarity from the Hollow, which was our featured Book of the Day last week. Please be sure to stick around after the interview, as there will be an excerpt from the novel. If you would like to visit the Book of the Day feature and read a different (but very insightful!) excerpt from Rarity from the Hollow, please click HERE.

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Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage — an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It’s up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. A Children’s Story. For Adults.

Interview with Robert Eggleton

Robert: Hi, Tricia! Thanks for inviting me to tell your readers a little about myself and my debut novel, Rarity from the Hollow. 

Tricia: Thank you so much for stopping by! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Robert: I’m a retired children’s psychotherapist with over forty years working in the field of children’s advocacy. I grew up as the oldest child of an impoverished family in West Virginia, became active in human rights movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s as a teen, and went to college as an alternative to being drafted and sent either to prison or to the Vietnam War. I remained active in the anti-war movement during college, graduating with a Master’s Degree in 1977.

My father was a disabled Vet suffering from shell shock and anger outbursts that he self-medicated with alcohol. My mother was a downtrodden survivor of domestic violence who kept our family together any way that was necessary. My family would fit within an Appalachian subculture that emphasized hard work and fundamental Christianity. I was the third member of my extended family to graduate from high school and the first to graduate from college. My grandparents farmed, were poor but highly respected within their communities – always with a helping hand out to anybody less fortunate. Love abounded and still does despite profound generational differences in social and political values.

T: When did you begin writing?

Robert: Perhaps to disassociate from a harsh reality filled with alcoholism, domestic violence, and not enough food on the table, I began writing short stories as a child. At the time, paper bags were used by grocery stores. I would tear them open and flatten them out to use for writing stories that I would share with anybody – store clerks, peers, gas station attendants…. During the tumultuous times of the civil rights movement, I switched to writing poetry, and was especially inspired by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, as well as early rock music, such as by Pink Floyd. During college, a few of my poems were published in alternative zines and one was accepted by the 1971 West Virginia Student Anthology. I also wrote dozens of handouts for antiwar protests. During college, between working to pay for tuition and books and studying, I started a few short stories and drafted poetry, but never seemed to find time to finish anything.

After college, I concentrated on writing nonfiction. It was a very exciting time for children’s rights. It was the beginning of an era during which children were no longer regarded as chattel. Instead of being locked up with no due process as I had been as a little boy, courts were recognizing that parents could not just dump their kids into jails and big institutions for punishment, or because the parents just didn’t want them any more. I wrote socials service and treatment models, policy, staff training materials, drafted legislation consistent with social services thinking, published research on the correlates of child abuse and delinquency…. Dozens of my investigative reports about systemic deficiencies and how children were treated in jails and institutions were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where I worked until the end of 1997. Many of these reports are now archived by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

In 2002, I accepted a job as a therapist at our local mental health center. It was the first job that I’d performed since college that did not involve a great deal of producing written materials. Something started churning inside of me, subsequently identified as a personal need to write. I returned to writing fiction and poetry in 2006. Rarity from the Hollow is my debut novel.

T: Can you tell us about your most recent release?

Robert: Rarity from the Hollow is literary fiction with a social science fiction backdrop, filled with tragedy, comedy, and satire. The final edition was released to Amazon on December 5, 2016, after circulating as an Advance Review Copy (ARC) for an extended period of time. This novel was the first, if not the only, science fiction adventure to predict the rise of Donald Trump into political power. While there is no political advocacy in the story favoring one side or any other, the story covers many issues being faced today – the refugee crisis, illegal immigration, sexual harassment…. In a nutshell, an empowered victim of child maltreatment, a most unlikely savior of the universe, heads a team of zany characters on a wild adventure. The early tragedy in the story feeds and amplifies subsequent comedy and satire.  It is not for the prudish, faint-of-heart, or easily offended.

T: How did you get the idea for the book?

Robert: I’ve mentioned going to work for our local mental health center and how my psychological need to write started churning deep inside me. Part of my job was to facilitate group therapy sessions for children with mental health concerns, most having experienced maltreatment, some of them having experienced sexual abuse. One day, sitting around the table used for written therapeutic exercises, a skinny little girl with long stringy hair began to disclose. Instead of just speaking about the horrors of her abuse, she also spoke of her hopes and dreams for the future – finding a loving family who would protect her. My protagonist was born that day – an empowered victim who takes on the evils of the universe: Lacy Dawn.

T: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Robert: I have a love – hate relationship with each character in Rarity from the Hollow. They all have character flaws and wonderful attributes, including the abusive father and Lacy Dawn. Personally, I most like Brownie, the family mutt who plays a very important role in saving the universe. He was the only character on Lacy Dawn’s team to have empathy for what was then presumed to be a vile invading enemy. His empathy skills opened the door for conflict resolution. He was a positive role model for all. Plus, while every character prompted a laugh every now and then, Brownie was outrageous when his internal dialogue was shared with readers.

T: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

Robert: Writing itself comes easy for me. The hard part is the self-promotion that follows. The most difficult aspect of writing the story was cutting out great scenes that didn’t advance the plot. I wanted to make them somehow fit since some of these scenes were powerful. It took a while, but I cut, cut, and cut some more.  Again, however, nothing to do with writing is nearly as hard as the hard work that follows after a manuscript has gone past final editing.

T: What is your primary goal as an author?

Robert: This project has a larger mission than a personal goal as an author – contributing to the prevention of child maltreatment. Half of author proceeds are donated to Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/

My goal as the author of Rarity from the Hollow was to write about tragedy but within a story that was fun to read. The ARC of my novel was awarded two Gold Medals by major book review organizations, was named one of the best releases of 2015 by a Bulgaria book critic, and received twenty-six five star reviews and forty-three four star reviews by independent book review bloggers. The review that caused me to feel like I had approached my goal as an author:

“…The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them. In fact, the rustic humor and often graphic language employed by Lacy Dawn and her compatriots only serve to highlight their desperate lives, and their essential toughness and resilience…it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” http://www.awesomeindies.net/ai-approved-review-of-rarity-from-the-holly-by-robert-eggleton/

I don’t want to sound like I’m fixin’ to die, but, especially as I’ve aged late into the world of books, another goal became heartfelt. I wanted to write something that would outlive me. Yes, that sounds grandiose. Yet, it’s probably the deep down goal of every writer. On 1-6-17, the first review of the final edition was published, five stars. The closing lines will be on my tombstone (just kidding!): “…Brilliant satires such as this are genius works of literature in the same class as Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm.’ I can picture American Lit professors sometime in the distant future placing this masterpiece on their reading list.” https://marcha2014.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/5-stars-for-rarity-from-the-hollowby-robert-eggleton/

T: What projects are you currently working on?

Robert: I’m very much looking forward to taking down the shingle that reads, “Marketing.” Self-promotion with no budget to do so has kept me very busy. Thanks to the kindness of book bloggers like you, Tricia, I have persisted to give Rarity from the Hollow the best shot possible in this highly competitive marketplace.

I have short stories in the works, and will be pressed to make the next deadline for a magazine that I have a strong interest in submitting. The next Lacy Dawn Adventure is Ivy, an almost forgotten town and the headquarters for an invasion of Earth by addiction to drugs – another satire. This novel has been almost ready for editing for quite some time but self-promotion of Rarity from the Hollow has gotten in the way.

T: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Robert: I don’t feel competent to give advice to aspiring authors, but I will share a little common sense based on my observations of this marketplace. Don’t expect to be discovered overnight like you were Elvis singing on the front stoop of an apartment located in a low-income neighborhood. Before you publish, make sure that your work as been professionally edited, or as close to it as your finances will allow – not by a friend or anybody with whom you have a personal relationship. If published, to the extent possible, prevent generic one line reviews from being posted on Amazon – they always look like they were written by your friends and detract from other reviews that appear more legitimate. Commit to the long haul by keeping in mind that the majority of those entering the world of books stay there briefly and then drop out never to be heard of again. And, last, never buy a book review and don’t invest more than you can afford in anything. I’ve heard of aspiring authors placing themselves and their families at financial risk by becoming overcommitted to a book that they had written. Hard work pays off, but working smart has better outcomes.

roberteggleton

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robert Eggleton has served as a children’s advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next — never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency.

Today, he is a retired children’s psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel. Its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. The Advance Review Copy of Rarity from the Hollow received considerable praise through Robert learning about the world of books as a novice. The final edition was released to Amazon on December 5, 2016. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/ Robert worked for this agency in the early ‘80s and stands by its good works. He continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group psychotherapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

Connect with Robert Eggleton at the following links:

Purchase links for Rarity from the Hollow:

 

Please enjoy this selection from Rarity from the Hollow, selected by the author:

Excerpt from Chapter 13, “Mom I’d Like to Introduce You to My Fiancé”

Scene Prologue: At this point in the story, Lacy Dawn, the protagonist, is twelve years old. An android named DotCom (his name is a recurring pun throughout the novel) installed a port in her upper spine and has directly downloaded data into her brain for the last several years. His ship is hidden in a cave in the Woods behind the family’s house in the hollow. DotCom was sent to Earth to train and recruit Lacy Dawn to save the universe from an imminent threat, but was recalled due to slow performance. In this scene, DotCom has returned to Earth and Jenny, the mother, meets him for the first time.

*****

         …..…Jenny (the mother) walked up the hill to Roundabend. She called Lacy Dawn’s name every few yards. Her muddy tennis shoes slipped and slid.

I hear her voice. Why won’t she answer me? 

“Sounds like she’s talking to someone,” Jenny said to the Woods.

Nobody responded. The trees weren’t supposed to since Jenny was no longer a child. Her former best friends had made no long-term commitment beyond childhood victimization. They had not agreed to help her deal with domestic violence in adulthood. She hugged the closest tree.

I will always love you guys. 

Jenny quickened her pace, stopped, and listened for human voices. A few yards later, she stopped again.

Now it sounds like she’s behind me instead of in front. 

Jenny looked to the left of the path.

There ain’t no cave Roundabend, but there it is. 

She walked toward the entrance. The voices grew louder and she looked inside. Lacy Dawn sat on a bright orange recliner. Tears streamed down her face.  Jenny ran to her daughter through a cave that didn’t exit and into a blue light that did.

“All right, you mother f**ker!”

“Mom!” Lacy Dawn yelled. “You didn’t say, ‘It’s me’ like you’re supposed to (a traditional announcement mentioned earlier in the story).”

DotCom (the android) sat naked in a lotus position on the floor in front of the recliner.  Jenny covered Lacy Dawn with her body and glared at him.

“Grrrrr,” emanated from Jenny.  It was a sound similar to the one that Brownie (Lacy Dawn’s dog) made the entire time the food stamp woman was at their house.  It was a sound that filled the atmosphere with hate.  No one moved.  The spaceship’s door slid shut.

“Mommmmmy, I can’t breathe. Get up.”

“You make one move you sonofabitch and I’ll tear your heart out,” Jenny repositioned to take her weight off Lacy Dawn.

Stay between them.

“Mommy, he’s my friend. More than my friend, we’re going to get married when I’m old enough — like when I turn fourteen. He’s my boyfriend — what you call it — my fiancé.”

“You been messin’ with my little girl you pervert!” Jenny readied to pounce.

“MOM!  Take a chill pill! He ain’t been messing with me. He’s a good person, or whatever. Anyway, he’s not a pervert. You need to just calm down and get off me.”

Jenny stood up. DotCom stood up. Jenny’s jaw dropped.

He ain’t got no private parts, not even a little bump.   

“DotCom, I’d like to introduce you to my mommy, Mrs. Jenny Hickman. Mommy, I’d like to introduce you to my fiancé, DotCom.”

Jenny sat down on the recliner. Her face was less than a foot from DotCom’s crotch and she stared straight at it. It was smooth, hairless, and odor free.

“Mrs. Hickman, I apologize for any inconvenience that this misunderstanding has caused. It is very nice to meet you after having heard so much. You arrived earlier than expected. I did not have time to properly prepare and receive. Again, I apologize.”

I will need much more training if I’m ever assigned to a more formal setting than a cave, such as to the United Nations.

“Come on, Mommy. Give him a hug or something.”

Jenny’s left eye twitched.

DotCom put on clothing that Lacy Dawn had bought him at Goodwill. It hung a little loose until he modified his body. Lacy Dawn hugged her mother…

…(scene of Dwayne, the father, overheard by those in the spaceship while talking to himself)… “Besides, the transmitter was part of Daddy’s treatment. There’re a lot of other things that he did to help fix Daddy. DotCom is like a doctor. You can see that Daddy has gotten better every day. And no, there ain’t no transmitter in you. DotCom figured you out like a good doctor and the only things wrong are a lack of opportunity and rotten teeth that poison your body. You don’t need no transmitter. He just gave you a few shots of ego boost. I don’t know what medicine that is, but I trust him. You ain’t complained since the shots started — not even with an upset stomach.”

“He’s a doctor?” Jenny asked.

“What’s your problem anyway?” Lacy Dawn asked. “I know.  You’re prejudiced. You told me that people have much more in common than they do that’s different — even if someone is a different color or religion, or from a different state than us. You told me to try to become friends because sometimes that person may need a good friend. Now, here you are acting like a butt hole about my boyfriend. You’re prejudiced because he’s different than us.”

“Honey, he’s not even a person – that’s about as different as a boyfriend can get,” Jenny said.

“So?”

Mommy’s right. Maybe I need a different argument.

            A fast clicking sound, a blur of motion, and a familiar smell assaulted them.

“What’s that?” Jenny asked.

She moved to protect her daughter from whatever threat loomed. Brownie, who had been granted 27 / 7 access to the ship, bounded over the orange recliner, knocked DotCom to the floor, licked DotCom’s face, and rubbed his head on Jenny’s leg. He then jumped onto the recliner and lay down. His tail wagged throughout. Jenny sat down on the recliner beside Brownie and looked at Lacy Dawn.

“But, you were crying when I first came in. That thing was hurting you.” Jenny shook her finger at DotCom to emphasize a different argument against him.

“Mommy, I’m so happy that I couldn’t help but cry. My man just came home from an out-of-state job. I didn’t talk to him for a whole year. Before he left, he told me that he wasn’t even sure if he’d be able to come home. I still don’t know what happened while he was gone. We ain’t had no chance to talk. All I know is that he’s home and I’m sooooo happy.”

“Your man came home from an out-of-state job?” Jenny patted Brownie on his head, some more and some more….

It’s unusual for a man to promise to come back home and ever be seen again. Brownie likes him and that’s a good sign. Maybe she’s right about him helping Dwayne. Something sure did and it wasn’t me. It is a nice living room. They’ve been together for a while and I ain’t seen a mark on her. That’s unusual too. He ain’t got no private parts and that’s another good thing. Hell, if I get in the middle, she’d just run off with him anyway. Id better play it smart. I don’t want to lose my baby.

“What about his stupid name?” Jenny asked.

“I’ve got a stupid name, too. All the kids at school call me hick because my last name is Hickman.”

“My name was given to me by my manager a very long time ago. It represents a respected tradition — the persistent marketing of that which is not necessarily the most needed. I spam…,” DotCom said.

They both glared at him.

“Dwayne is sure to be home. I don’t want him to worry. Let’s go,” Jenny said.

“Okay, Mommy.”

“I love you, DotCom,” Lacy Dawn stepped out the ship’s door, which had slid open. Brownie and Jenny were right behind her.

“I love you too,” DotCom said.

Lacy Dawn and Jenny held hands and walked down the path toward home. The trees didn’t smile — at least not so Jenny would notice. On the other hand, no living thing obstructed, intruded, or interfered with the rite.

Jenny sang to the Woods, “My little girl’s going to marry a doctor when she grows up, marry a doctor when she grows up, when she grows up.  My little girl’s going to marry a doctor when she grows up, marry a doctor when she grows up, when she grows up….”

*

Rarity from the Hollow is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rarity-Hollow-Robert-Eggleton-ebook/dp/B017REIA44

 

 

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Categories: author interview, authors to watch, book excerpt, book feature, books, interview, literary fiction, science fiction | Tags: , , ,

Book of the Day: Rarity from the Hollow

Today’s Book of the Day is RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW by Robert Eggleton. In addition to the book feature and excerpt, we will also have an opportunity to find out more about the author and his writing next week when he’ll be back for an interview! I would also like to note that author proceeds from this book support the prevention of child maltreatment: http://www.childhswv.org/

1 Rarity Front Cover WEB (2)

Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage — an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It’s up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. A Children’s Story. For Adults.

“The most enjoyable science fiction novel I have read in years.” —Temple Emmet Williams, Author, former editor for Reader’s Digest

“Quirky, profane, disturbing… In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.” — Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review

. “…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse…tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…profound…a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” — Awesome Indies (Gold Medal)

“…sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved…a brilliant writer.” –Readers’ Favorite (Gold Medal)

“Rarity from the Hollow is an original and interesting story of a backwoods girl who saves the Universe in her fashion. Not for the prudish.” —Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author

“…Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” — The Baryon Review

“…Brilliant satires such as this are genius works of literature in the same class as Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm.’ I can picture American Lit professors sometime in the distant future placing this masterpiece on their reading list.” — Marcha’s Two-Cents Worth

5star-flat-web

Excerpt from RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW:

(Chapter 32: “The First Sexual Harassment Complaint on Shptiludrp”)

Scene Prologue: Rarity from the Hollow includes political allegory, parody, and satire. Long before Donald Trump was on the political radar, it predicted his rise to political power. In the story, Lacy Dawn, the eleven year old protagonist, is a most unlikely savior of the universe. At this point, readers have learned that the universe faces an imminent threat. An android named DotCom (a recurring pun in the story) was sent to Earth to recruit and train Lacy to fulfill her destiny. She changed the android’s name to “Bucky” to cover-up its true nature, assembled and prepared a team to diagnose and address the threat, and took her team to planet Shptiludrp (Shop Until You Drop), a giant shopping mall and the center of economic governance for the universe. The following scene is the team’s first meeting with the Manager of the Mall and takes place in the only high rise office building on the planet, now easily identifiable as Trump Tower.

…Lacy Dawn scanned across a desk larger than her bedroom and lowered her gaze until just above the desk top. In an oversized swivel chair behind the desk sat a humanoid…. Mr. Prump stood up…. He extended a small hand with six fingers, each of which had at least two overly large golden rings.

“It’s very nice to meet you, Lacy Dawn,” he ignored the others….

“He looks almost just like that short guy on those taxi cab reruns,” Dwayne whispered. “What’s that actor’s name?” (Dwayne, Lacy’s father, is an Iraq War damaged Vet who suffered from PTSD, night terrors and anger outbursts until cured by the android since he had refused treatment by the VA hospital. Dwayne, an expert used car salesman, plays an important role on the team and worked very hard to save the universe in an effort to achieve Lacy’s forgiveness past abusive behaviors.)

“Shhhh,” Lacy Dawn glared.

“I have a complaint to make,” Lacy said to Mr. Prump.

“Oh?” Mr. Prump sat down, opened a drawer, and shoved a form across his desk in her direction. “Please call me Mr. Prump.”

Hospitality has been extended to her entourage.

The form ran out of momentum half-way across the desk. Lacy Dawn extended and retracted because it stopped well short of her reach.

That’s too far regardless of obligatory respect.

“I was not aware of any dissatisfaction of any type, sir,” Bucky reverted to his role as DotCom in the presence of his long-term authority figure. Lacy Dawn gave him The Look and trumped.

“Your elevator operator just told me that I have a nice ass,” she said.

Dwayne started for the office exit to get the offender. Lacy Dawn pushed him toward one of the chairs in front of the desk. Tom grabbed Dwayne’s arm. (Tom is Lacy’s neighbor. He is a wealthy “back to the land” marijuana dealer who relocated to The Hollow when he concluded that city life aggravated his Bipolar Disorder.) Then, Tom and Lacy Dawn had to restrain Bucky’s attempt to go after the offender.

Lacy and Jenny stood alone in front of the desk while the males sat. Jenny moved to her daughter’s side. (Jenny is Lacy’s formerly downtrodden mother whose self-esteem had been enhanced after the android had replaced her rotting teeth with new ones.) Brownie growled. So did Bucky. (Brownie is the family mutt and the only member of the team with enough empathy skills to communicate with, at this point in the story, vile invaders of the universe.)….

Mr. Prump shoved another form in her direction with the same result. The complaint forms were the only papers on the desk….

“Tree says that to me all the time,” the receptionist said from the doorway. “Would anybody like something to drink or a snack?”

Nobody responded except Mr. Prump. He extended a cup that had been on his desk, but the gesture was ignored.

“That’s different, you…” Tom started but Lacy Dawn’s look cut him short.

“The females of those people got no figures at all — straight up and down,” the receptionist said. “I wouldn’t take it personally, Lacy. All males from that planet become infatuated with any curve on any body that they think is female. He’s a nice person once you get to know him.”

“Regardless, it was inappropriate for him to tell me that I have a nice ass.”

“Yeah,” her team said in unison. DotCom was the loudest except for Brownie’s bark followed by another growl.

“I ought to kick his ass for talking trash to my little girl,” Dwayne said.

I’m such a juvenile.

Lacy glared at him again.

“Sorry,” Dwayne hung his head.

“Further,” Lacy Dawn continued. “I’m not about to do business with any planet that permits the sexual harassment of its visitors or employees to go undisciplined.”

Jenny sat down.

“Yeah,” the receptionist said.

Mr. Prump sank deeper into his seat….

“I’m never going to sit on your lap again unless I want to,” the receptionist said. “And, as for anything else, you can just forget it from now on unless you take care of this. Take care of the whole problem on the whole planet — equal respect for all people — within their financial means, of course.”

“Take a memo to Division Managers with a copy to All Staff.”

Lacy Dawn stood alone before the desk. He dictated the memo and she listened.

It’s pretty good. There’s procedure for making sexual harassment complaints, investigation, due process, and penalty.

“That’s all for now. I’ll contact you tomorrow to begin negotiation of terms,” she said.

Mr. Prump asked her what time but she didn’t answer. Lacy Dawn had concluded her first meeting with the most powerful being in the universe and had beaten him in negotiations.

Purchase links:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/robert-eggleton/rarity-from-the-hollow/paperback/product-22910478.html

http://www.amazon.com/Rarity-Hollow-Robert-Eggleton-ebook/dp/B017REIA44

http://www.doghornpublishing.com/wordpress/books/rarity-from-the-hollow 

Public Author Contacts:

http://www.lacydawnadventures.com

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32993259-rarity-from-the-hollow

https://www.facebook.com/Lacy-Dawn-Adventures-573354432693864/

https://twitter.com/roberteggleton1

https://plus.google.com/b/108662084126982201049/108662084126982201049/posts

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-eggleton-909b154b?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

 

Categories: authors to watch, book excerpt, book feature, book of the day, comedy, excerpt, literary fiction, science fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Autumn Reads: The Dead Planet

tj-ryan

A dead planet. A rogue AI. A secret mission.

Tara Royce’s first day as the Academy’s newest Earth Defense Engineer was anything but ordinary. If humanity has any hope of returning to the dead planet in the next few thousand years, that is assuming it regenerates at all, they must first protect it from alien attack – and the Defense Engineers are its first and last line of defense. Aliens aren’t the only thing the new Engineer needs to look out for, though, and she soon discovers that the stakes are much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Amazon reviews:

“This is a great intro to what promises to be a very interesting scifi series. It’s got a little bit of everything without going overboard on anything, and more than that, it’s a solid premise with far-reaching implications to a future society we’re not even introduced to yet. Fans of scifi without all the hard science or too much techno-jargon, that focuses more on character and crisis will enjoy this for sure.”

“I didn’t except so much action and mystery in such a short story.”

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KCQF86M

the-dead-planet

Excerpt:

“I want to thank you.”

The hatch closed behind her with a snap-hiss and she started down the handrails to the bottom level. “Thank me for what?”

“For not disclosing the parameters of our mission.”

“I don’t think this is ‘our’ mission, Aiden. That would have to mean that you let me in on it from the beginning. Instead, you’ve kept me in the dark this whole time, remember?”
He was silent until she opened the door to the bottom levels. “Then I want to thank you…for keeping my secret from Engineer Tyrese.”

“Sure, Aiden. Whatever.” The hall down here was dimly lit, with strips of light on the floor that led to the separate sections.

“I would not have liked Tyrese to know what we are doing.”

The armament section was the first door on the right. “Why would you care what Tyrese knows or doesn’t know?”

“Because…I do not like him.”

A sense of forbidding creeped up her spine. Aiden was doing it again. Sounding far too human and far too…interested in her. “You don’t like Tyrese?

“No.”

“Aiden, you don’t know him.”

“I know he wants to see you. I don’t like that.”

She bit down on her lip. She was definitely going to have to inspect Aiden’s programming, whether he wanted her to see him naked or not. For the moment, she chose very carefully to not ask any more questions. She didn’t want to know what he was going to say next.
Instead, she opened the door to the section where the weapons tubes were charged and loaded and maintained. Usually an Engineer would never have to come down here. The flash lasers were maintained by the droid crawlers on the rare occasions when something went wrong. Only Tara wasn’t looking for something wrong. She was looking for something that shouldn’t be there.

Inside, among the standard configuration that she expected to see from the simulations and technical data specs, among the massive cable lines and sleek black tubes that carried the energy for the flash lasers, was something that definitely should not have been there.
Twice as long as she was, sheathed in a spiraling metal shell, with four direction jets built into the fins at the back. A device perfect for launching through a planet’s atmosphere to the surface, and then retrieving it from there again.

“Beautiful,” Aiden’s voice said to her. “Isn’t it?”

She had to admit, it kind of was.

“All right,” she said after another moment’s consideration. “Let’s go find out if the Earth is worth saving.”

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KCQF86M

mock-up-2
Author bio:

TJ Ryan is a Canadian author, born on the rainy West Coast (or is that wet coast?) of British Columbia. He spent his early years travelling the world, obsessing over new cultures and culinary experiences. Preferring spaceships to airplanes, he has now settled into his little slice of rainforest paradise, escaping reality through Science Fiction.

He is known for packing high levels of action and mystery into his writing, and his latest book The Dead Planet has a growing number of 5 star reviews. TJ has a number of exciting new sci fi books planned for this year, including the second book to his Broken Earth Saga space opera series.

Contact:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorTJRyan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authortjryan
Blog: www.tjryan-author.com

 

Categories: authors to watch, book excerpt, book feature, book of the day, fantasy, science fiction | Tags: , , , , , ,

New Release: Incarnate Justice

I’m pleased to welcome Juliet B Madison back to Authors to Watch to talk about her futuristic psychic police procedural Psychic CID series. Incarnate Justice, the first book in the series, is released today.

INCARNATE JUSTICE LAUNCH

Welcome, Juliet. Wat made you decide to write about cops who openly acknowledge psychic powers?

I enjoy writing crime fiction and have had moderate success with the DI Frank Lyle series, but I wanted to do something vastly different.

What is Incarnate Justice about?

Here’s the blurb:

In 2015 thirteen-year-old Ellen Shaw disappeared without a trace. No traces of her alive or dead were ever found and the police dismissed a Psychic’s help.

In 2040 the recently formed Psychic CID are called in to investigate when decomposed human remains are found.  The original Missing Persons case file yields no clues.

Newly promoted DS Joe Lamont has been plagued by disturbing dreams since his early teens and he feels a connection to Ellen that he can’t explain.

 Will Lamont’s intuition prove to be a hindrance or a help and can Psychic CID solve the case and get to the truth about what really happened to Ellen?

You can also read about the ethos of the Psychic CID series on The Official Psychic CID website

PyschicCID_words

It sounds completely different from anything I’ve ever read.

Hopefully it will stand out. A lot of paranormal books feature, shifters, vampires and witches, but Psychic CID has none of those because the market is already oversaturated with that kind of thing. It combines police procedural and forensics based stuff with psychic practise. Set in a future time – 2040 to be exact – when such practices are more open, although some people still tar real psychics with the same murky brush as fakes. I’m trying to challenge that perception.

Did you have to do any speculation or make anything up?

The beauty of writing future based stuff is that you can speculate to a degree and no one can rubbish you for it because they don’t know what will be forensically possible in twenty-five years time. I daresay a few sad little trolls will try, but since they won’t even understand the implications of the title I doubt they will, cope as there are no pictures to help them.

I’ve invented a future where Psychics are able to testify in criminal trials as Expert Witnesses and psychic development classes are freely available to anyone demonstrating ability. I sadly doubt this will become a reality, but I don’t mind imagining it will be so.

Are you psychic?

Not fully, I’m what they call a sensitive, which means I can sense the presence of spirits, but I can’t actually see them. I get messages which come in the form of sudden thoughts. I also know that my spirit guides are there, but I can’t connect directly with them whereas DS Lamont, the hero of Incarnate Justice, can connect with his Native American spirit guide Running Fox.

You’ve said in previous interviews – on this and other websites- that one day you would write a book featuring reincarnation. Is Incarnate Justice that book?

My first police procedural book was supposed to be a story with a spiritual dimension, but as I had no experience of writing police procedurals at that time, I felt that would be too much to cope with. Now that I have written several police procedurals I am confident in managing the two themes together. The most spiritual thing about the DI Lyle series was DS Desai’s Hindu beliefs, which live on through his widow, Almira, and young son, Sunil jr. So yes, Incarnate Justice is that story that I’ve wanted to write for longer than I care to admit.

Are any of the characters based on people you know?

Every character I write has part of me or someone I know in them.

Who are your favorite and least favorite characters in Incarnate Justice and why?

DS Joe Lamont is definitely my favourite, because he has a lot to learn about himself. My least favourite is the forensic pathologist Dr Monica Kaufman as she is totally closed off to the psychic world and thinks that medicine and science can explain everything, which of course they can’t.

DS JOE LAMONT (2)

What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?

I suspect that a lot of people who read Incarnate Justice will already have some interest in the paranormal. Really I want people to read it with an open heart and mind and I hope that they will learn something to help them along life’s thorny path.

Were there any scenes that you found especially difficult to write and why?

I don’t want to give too much away, but the scene where DS Lamont and DI Lynch go to tell a mother that they have found her daughter didn’t come naturally to me. Not having kids myself I was worried about getting it right, but thankfully I have a lot of writer friends who are also parents that I can run this sort of scene by.

Would you be prepared to share a short excerpt from Incarnate Justice with my readers?

This isn’t my favourite part as that would give too much away, but I’m rather proud of this bit.

The yellow and black crime scene tape fluttered in the light breeze and DS Lamont noticed the CSIs padding around in their ghostly white suits and overshoes. DI Lynch showed her warrant card to one of the uniformed officers guarding the cordon. The officer lifted the cordon for them to duck beneath and pretty soon they were on the far side.

“Can you sense anything?” Lynch asked Joe. He nodded; aware that he felt like he was being choked and for a moment he felt unable to breathe much less speak. That was due to more than the inevitable stench of decomposed remains, that sense of foreboding wrapped itself tightly around him.

“What can you sense?” Lynch asked.

Lamont cleared his throat.

“Definitely Spirit here, Boss, and not necessarily benevolent either.”

His hand closed briefly, almost reactionary around his black tourmaline pendant.

“It tells me that whoever buried the remains left something of himself here.” Whitfield replied.

Finally they were permitted to draw closer and they saw an arrangement of human bones on a mossy bed.

“She’s been here about twenty-five years,” Dr Monica Kaufman, the pathologist, said “She was a Caucasian female, very young, In fact, judging by the bones I’d say she was in her early teens. I’ll have to consult a forensic anthropologist to be sure, although I’m hoping there is enough to identify her by her dental records. ”

Joe was aware that Dr Kaufman was addressing the regular police officers and knew that the presence of Psychic CID officers was merely tolerated because of the legal mandate that they attend. He was aware from his time in regular CID that Kaufman was a renowned skeptic in psychic matters and he wished that any other pathologist could have been sent rather than her. Still, sometimes you had to work with what you were given. Joe knew that Dr Kaufman, and indeed most of the regular police officers present, would be hard pushed to find a psychic connection to any case so if there was any to be found it was up to him and his new colleagues to find it.

Joe felt himself being drawn away and found himself in his regular nightmarish dreamscape. He could see that the young girl was running, but for a change he was watching from an observatory, rather than participatory viewpoint. He was aware of her laboured breathing and her adrenaline flushed cheeks as she looked right at him

“Help me!” Her eyes pleaded.

Then everything went black.

Where can my readers get their own copy of Incarnate Justice?

You can buy Incarnate Justice from Kindle, Kobo  itunes and Nook

Where can my readers learn more about the Psychic CID series online?

You can  Like the Official Psychic CID Facebook page

You can Follow Psychic CID on Twitter

You can visit the Official Psychic CID website

Thank you for your visit, Juliet. Best of luck with your new release!

INCARNATE JUSTICE IT'S HERE

 

 

Categories: author interview, authors to watch, book excerpt, book feature, book launch, book release, new release, paranormal, science fiction | Tags: , , ,

Mask of Fire: Book Review

Mask of Fire by Michel Prince

Barton Nuril has attended the Harvester’s Gala for more years than most. He’d given up the dream that a woman would want him for more than copulation until a dark haired beauty he dubs Fire fights to get him in bed. Even as those from his province plot to take down the establishment and all its traditions, Barton for once, is discovering love may exist.

Abigail Stone knew the Rules chapter and verse. Even as others perverted their purpose, Abby stayed true and attended the Harvester’s Gala to find her soul mate. Just as she feels she’s found him the fates step in between omens and a battle no one could have foretold Abby is sure her choice is doomed. Will she see beyond her traditions and still stay within the rules to find love?

Can love ignite when one believes it no longer exists and the other fears the fates have doomed the union?

mask of fire

 

My Review: Abby goes to the Harvester’s Gala, intent on following traditions and finding a man to claim. Barton goes because he has no choice. He stopped having faith in the traditions long ago, and never expected to find a woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. There’s instant chemistry between them, but a breach of tradition causes Abby to have doubt in what she feels for Barton. And that’s before all hell breaks lose.

Prince has created a fascinating futuristic world where women have an advantage in the balance of power. Or do they? When a society is out of balance, peace will never prevail. Betrayal and secrets collide at the Harvester’s Gala, and Abby and Barton are caught in the crossfire. I enjoyed the fast-paced action in this story, but I liked learning the “rules” of the Lextran culture even more. The romantic relationship between Abby and Barton is more than love-at-first sight and the spark of attraction that starts it all. Barton and Abby develop true feelings of love and respect for each other.

Romance lovers, particularly those who like science fiction, will love this book!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy the Book on Amazon

Categories: book review, fantasy, romance, science fiction | Tags: , , , ,

Interview with DM Yates

Today’s guest is DM Yates. Her published works include Always, The Lone Hero, Gingerbread Castle, and Stepping Stones to Love, Honour and Respect. She’s also a contributor to Strange Portals, a fantasy/horror anthology which is currently free on Smashwords, Nook, and Kindle.

strange portals

 

Welcome, Donna. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m one of those creative people who must always be creating something. I find I’m happiest when I’m involved in projects.

When did you begin writing?

According to my twin brother, I started writing stories and poetry as soon as I learned the alphabet and I could hold a pencil.

Can you tell us about your story (or stories) in the anthology, Strange Portals? What inspired you to write it?

I love fantasy and sci-fi, but I rarely write short stories. ‘The Best Gift I Can Give’ is about a ballet dancer who has become quite arrogant about her ability. She idolizes her mother who died not long after she was born. She has a benefactor who pays for whatever she wants, including her lessons but he’s decided the best gift he can give her is to cut off her money. She has to get a job and can no longer afford expensive clothes. Along her journey, she makes friends for the first time in her life, and she eventually discovers who she really is, what her heritage is.

Please tell us about your other published work.

I write in fantasy/new age/spiritual/romance genres so my works vary. ‘Always’ is the story of two eternal beings and their circle of friends who come to Earth to gain lessons and accomplish missions. Simon (Einarr) is the main character who is 36-years-old. His best friend’s 16-year-old niece April is sure that she and Simon are meant to marry. Simon walks a fine line between avoiding her and insulting the family. This book is a roller coaster of emotions and sets the stage for a series of stories.

always

‘The Lone Hero’ is pure fantasy with romance sprinkled in. Einarr is born on the dragon home world of Aberforth with a specific mission – to end the dragon war. He’ll spend most of his life accomplishing this task. The 2nd in this series will be out soon. ‘Laurence of Dragon Fame’ is set in the 13th century and Einarr now must save the dragons from extinction on Earth.

The LONE HERO - 2000

‘Stepping Stones to Love Honor and Respect’ is a collection of my poetry ranging in several subject matters.

stones

‘Gingerbread Castle’ is a children’s holiday rhyme book about a secret fun place in dreamland.

castle

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on several more books about Einarr and his friends, along with rewrites for ‘Laurence of Dragon Fame.’

Do you have a book recommendation to share with us?

I love most books so it’s hard to share just one, but I certainly think readers would love your book. I know I did. Also our ‘Strange Portals’ anthology. Every story in there was amazing, including yours. It would give the reader a variety of short stories, each unique.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Write, write, write. When it comes time to publish, take the jump but be sure that your book has been well edited.

About DM Yates:dm yates author fixed

DM Yates grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio. She started writing stories and poetry as soon as she learned to read and write. She attended BYU Idaho, BYU Hawaii, and BYU in Provo, Utah.

Although writing and poetry are her passions, she didn’t take it seriously to publish until her later years.

She is the Author of the fantasy/new age/spiritual romance stories, starting with ‘Always.’ The second in the series, ‘The Lone Hero’ was published in Dec 2013 and continues the tale of Einarr.

Her poetry book, Stepping Stones to Love Honor and Respect is a collection of poems dealing with various topics, such as love, honor, respect, spirituality, new age, pain, and Earth.

Her first children’s book was also published in Dec 2013. ‘Gingerbread Castle’ is a children’s holiday illustrated rhyme book for children ages 6 – 8-yrs old.

DM Yates is an independent self-published author.

Connect with DM Yates:

Buy DM Yates’ books:

 

Categories: author feature, author interview, children's books, christmas books, fantasy, Fantasy Anthology, holiday book, paranormal, paranormal romance, poetry, romance, science fiction, short stories, short story, strange portals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Interview with Roger Lawrence

I’m thrilled to introduce Roger Lawrence, author of two stories in the fantasy/horror anthology, Strange Portals. Roger is the author of several published novels. To sample his work, please read his short stories by downloading a free copy of Strange Portals on Smashwords, Nook, or Kindle. You can also sample Roger’s writing on his excellent blog.

Welcome, Roger! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

After leaving school I joined the Royal Marines where I was taught how to shoot things, blow stuff up and generally had a good time flying in helicopters all over the place. After that I was, variously, a Bingo hall manager, truck driver, boat driver and finally chauffeur/bodyguard which I only stopped about three years ago. What attracted me to the chauffeuring part was the chance to write and get paid for it since most of my life was spent waiting. I produced another five novels sitting in the front of various cars in dark alleys all over the world.

Can you tell us about the stories you’ve published in Strange Portals?

57a04-strange2bportalsMy two stories in Strange Portals were just idle moments of fun. The Dogs Bodies, were a couple of friends of mine. After years of unemployment they used to get up to some pretty grim stuff. Not anything as bad as in the story but enough to give me an idea. They both loved it until they discovered the identity of the two characters. The second, about the monster, began life a comedy. I quickly realised that nobody could like such obnoxious individuals, so I changed it and killed them off at the end. Sometime later, I wondered if I could draw it out and that was where Kongomato 1, 2, and soon 3 began.

Please tell us about your other published work.kong

I don’t really have a preference in what I read or write. So my first two books were about three teenage boys who save this and other planets from destruction but are always careful to get home in time for school on Monday morning. They are comedies and offered me a perfect opportunity to play with my rather juvenile humour, according to my wife.

Two horror books followed and then two of four more SF novels about three very bored old men living in New Los Angeles. After finding a time machine they borrow it and accidentally destroy the Earth. I love paradoxes so the old Geezers series allow me to indulge myself and since nobody can really disprove my theories, I had a really good time.

What is your newest release?

bookofpain6My newest novel is called The book of Pain, and is the story of a man sentenced to spend eternity alive and in hideous agony. After three hundred years without sleep or food, and after suffering more than any human should, he discovers a way of releasing himself from this hell but the chance does not come for another hundred years. Has his humanity warped sufficiently for him to commit the act required to rid himself of the curse? This is my longest ever novel and I’m proud of it. Only sales will show if it’s really any good.

 

What projects are you currently working on?geezers

I’m now writing Kongomato 3, Old geezers 3, and have just begun a new horror novel I’m quite excited about.

Do you have a book recommendation to share with us?

I’ve just read the full length version of Stephen King’s The Stand. When he originally wrote it the technology was not good enough to bind it all into one paperback, so he shortened it. Like most of his earlier work, it is terrific.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Just write. Whether you’re one of those who knows the entire plot before you begin, or like me, just start and see what happens, just keep writing. Don’t let anybody stop you. Then when it’s done, take a week off and don’t stop editing until it’s ready. And even then, edit it one more time. The reading public never forget or forgive a book full of punctuation errors.

Where can my readers go to connect with you or learn more about your work?

My twitter name is@publish_or_die

My books are on sale with Amazon, Smashwords, all of which links can be found on my blog: http://threehoodies.blogspot.co.uk/

Categories: author interview, fantasy, Fantasy Anthology, horror, science fiction, strange portals | Tags: , , , , , ,

Book Review: Sugar Coated

Sugar Coated
(Sugar Coated Triology: Book One)
Shannen Crane Camp
Published September 5, 2013
Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Available on Amazon

An unhealthy addiction to sugar cubes, a deep-seated fear of water, and universal luxury—they were the simple things that made up 18-year-old Brynn’s Utopian existence. Why, then, was her perfect life also plagued with unanswered questions?

Like every other resident of the planet Halcyon, Brynn’s home provided everything she needed, money was unheard of, and life was perfect. But unlike the rest of Seaside’s residents, Brynn had questions. Why couldn’t people leave the city? Why did the ocean fill everyone with terror? Who were the Workers? Not only was Brynn curious where others were compliant, but she suffered from chronic nightmares of an angelic woman torturing her for information she didn’t possess. These were more than just figments of her imagination, though; they were memories of things that never happened.
When Brynn meets Jonah, a brilliant, library-dwelling boy who shares her questions and her curiosity, they formulate a plan to find answers. Somewhere, the perfect veneer of Halcyon’s instant gratification hid a city that only Brynn knows about—a city she and Jonah are determined to find. But will finding the city give them answers, or simply uncover the horrific truth behind the perfection?
Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My Review: Brynn lives in a utopian society where life is a party. Everything is available at the touch of a button and Brynn has never worked a day in her life. In fact, she doesn’t know anyone who works. So what’s wrong with that? What sort of person would question a life where things are too easy? Brynn questions everything. With her new friend, Jonah, Brynn sets off to find the mysterious city of Aowyn. Who are the Workers? Why is the City walled? Why the dire warning about the Ocean? And, most importantly, who is the terrifying Angel who haunts Brynn’s dreams?

Sugar Coated introduces us to Brynn, an average young woman who asks some extraordinary questions. While her friends are busy redecorating and creating new clothing, Brynn is taking dangerous dips in the ocean. Her friends can’t understand why Brynn questions their easy existence. Brynn can’t understand why everything in life is easy and free. Things seem to be too good to be true–and they are. There’s a price for perfection–freedom.

Brynn isn’t the only one asking questions. Jonah, a young man Brynn meets in the library, is also curious. His bravery and intelligence is just what Brynn needs if she’s going to discover the secrets hidden beyond the city’s walls. Ty, Brynn’s longtime friend, is the voice of caution. He doesn’t trust Jonah and is eager to protect Brynn even if it means risking his own life. The dynamics between Ty, Jonah, and Brynn create a new level of tension that kept me turning the pages long into the night. Mystery and danger kept me reading, but the questions that arose from this novel kept me thinking about it long after I finished reading. This story will make you wonder how a society could become so complacent and it will give you a renewed appreciation for the struggles in your life that facilitate learning and growth.

Overall, Sugar Coated is a fast-faced, action-packed, thought-provoking story I would recommend to everyone. I am breathlessly awaiting the sequel!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Categories: book review, new adult, science fiction

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