Originally published in 2013, From Frights to Flaws has been updated to its full potential, while keeping the story-line the same.
Twelve-year-old Alyssa McCarthy longs for a better life. She lost her parents at age seven, and her aunt at nine. Her uncle also enforces unfair rules, but Alyssa discovers something she never thought existed before…magic.
A wicked sorcerer hunts her down and kidnaps her to Yanowic: an enchanted island in Fiji.
Alyssa is trapped in the country due to a giant shield covering it. She must defeat dangerous creatures and the evil wizard in order to leave. But with sorcerers and enchanted technology getting in her way, can Alyssa succeed?
Sunayna Prasad has published a few books between her late teens and her mid-twenties. She has won a Pacific Book Review Award for her novel, Wizardy Goes Wild, which will return as a new edition, like From Frights to Flaws. Sunayna also has a blog on different creative and entertaining topics, including writing and fiction. It is called “Sunayna Prasad’s Blog”.
Aside from writing, Sunayna also likes to cook, do art, and watch videos online. She has graduated from college in May 2017 and is looking to continue more writing as well as hold a graphic design job soon. Sunayna lives on Long Island, NY.
For more information about Sunayna, please use the links below.
A NATO training exercise goes terribly wrong when five warships from different countries are mysteriously transported to Eledon, the Realm of the Elves. The warrior, Lady Alexin, is charged to escort the troops back home to London in the year 2031 with the aid of the Wizard Ecstasy and a magic shrinking potion. Yet, when the authorities question her story, Alex is detained and imprisoned under suspicion of terrorism. Caught in a web of politics, betrayal and bungling bureaucracy, the confusing world of the future will push her magical gifts to their limit, and her own future will hang in the balance, caught between “justice” and the place she calls home.
A short while later, Captain Jonas returned, accompanied by a middle-aged woman and a group of young sailors, male and female. The woman wore a mottled blue camouflage uniform and her blond hair was tucked under a dark blue cap with a brim and the name USS Lonestar emblazoned in gold.
“Alex, this is Captain Williams. She’ll take over…this place.” He grimaced as he looked around. “Captain Williams, I’ll check in later.” He nodded to her and marched out.
“Nice to meet you, Miss.” Captain Williams held out her hand.
Alex shook her hand and noticed the eagle pins on her collar. She was the same rank as Captain Jonas, equivalent to a Colonel, the rank of her foster father, Colonel Penser. “My name’s Alex. They allow women to be in charge of ships?”The Captain’s smile grew. “Yep, sure do. Half my crew is female.” She winked. “The Captain disapproves.”
“I get the same reaction. Are you an American?” Alex’s smile broadened.
“Yes, ma’am, from Houston, Texas. Where’re you from?”
“I was born here, but my foster father’s from Texas. He’s a colonel and in charge of the Nyla Army Garrison. I thought I recognized your accent.”
“How long has he been here?”
“A long time. He said he was in a place called ‘Nam before.”
“You mean Vietnam?” The Captain rubbed her chin. “That was about sixty years ago.”
“Oh, he hasn’t been here that long.”
The woman paused, uncertain how to react and pressed her lips together. She turned to monitor the cleaning crew. “When was the last time this hospital was used?”
“We call it a healing house. I was here about three or four years ago. I guess no one’s needed it since.”
“What kind of equipment do you have? An X-ray machine?” She took notice of the bare walls. “What about electrical outlets? Running water?”
Alex shook her head. “We don’t have outlets for anything, but you can get water from the pump outside. We don’t have any kind of X equipment.”
“Uh, where exactly are we?”
“Seaward Isle. It’s part of Eledon, the Elf world. We haven’t had a shipwreck here in years and we just fixed the Elf grid to keep this from happening.”
On Earth, over the Atlantic Ocean, four helos from the aircraft carrier swept the sea, looking for survivors or debris and found nothing. Jets flew overhead for another look from the air and a second submarine surfaced in the area where the ships were last reported. No success. Other ships were diverted for search-and-rescue operations, to no avail.
Admiral Teller had no choice but to inform NATO headquarters. His mouth went dry and his chest burned; he took two antacid pills, but they didn’t help. The ship connected to headquarters via satellite phone and the Admiral picked up the receiver. At first, his voice faltered, but he cleared his throat and reported the loss. Once he hung up, tears rolled down his cheeks and he pressed his lips together to keep from sobbing. He’d never lost a ship before.
The British Royal Navy had been honored to lead this exercise, but with over seven hundred sailors and five ships missing, the Admiral prepared himself for the inevitable. He’d be relieved of command and forced to retire. There might even be a court-martial. His return to London would mark the end of his career, especially when he would debrief Admiral Sir Neville Chestermann, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff. Teller hung his head.
An hour later, Captain Delacruz knocked on the Admiral’s cabin door. “Admiral, I hate to bother you at this time, but the press corps on the ship is asking questions. We need to tell them something.”
The Admiral sighed. “You’re right, Captain. Set up a press conference in the briefing room. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.”
“Yes, Admiral.” The Captain left.
The Admiral rubbed his temples. He’d forgotten about the pool of journalists they’d taken on board to cover the exercise. Fortunately, none of them had been deployed to the five ships now missing. He took a deep breath. “Honesty is the best policy.” He wiped his face of sweat with a towel and went to the briefing room.
About the Author
Fantasy novels are Joni Parker’s writing passion. Thus far, she’s written two series—“The Seaward Isle Saga,” a trilogy, and “The Chronicles of Eledon,” the award-winning four-book series. Her latest project, “Curse of the Sea” is her eighth book and begins a new trilogy. Her work extends beyond novels into short stories with two appearing in an anthology, “Tucson and Beyond” by the Tucson Science Fiction Fantasy writers’ group. Joni’s retired from military and federal government service and devotes her time to writing. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.
In a collaborative effort with a fantastic author, Tom Fallwell, I would like to announce a new fantasy novel, Tamesa! We’ve both put more than a year into this effort and are very pleased with the results. I hope you will check out our new book and consider leaving a review once you’ve read it. Thank you.
A divided world. A corrupt ruler. A forbidden rite.
Tamesa is a world torn asunder by one man’s lust for power. Herid Mhau, leader of the Ecumenic Order, used the forbidden incantations in the Xusarta Scrolls to summon the infernal Nyeshetari, causing a cataclysm that split Tamesa into two. Now, Herid rules Tamesa’s western hemisphere, seeking the power of the Zayzahrin, to transform himself into a god: immortal and unstoppable.
In a world bereft of heroes, ordinary men and women must endure the inconceivable to attempt the impossible. Tinshu Egraven, a transient thief, denies the existence of gods as he struggles to survive in a world ruled by the Ecumenic Order. After he rescues a mysterious red wolf, he discovers secrets from his past that irrevocably impact his future.
As Herid slaughters innocents to build his army, Tinshu must choose to accept what he’s rejected his entire life. A new family, a new faith, and a new found courage in not only himself, but also the whole of mankind. Who will prevail when the enemy you must first defeat lives within you?
ABOUT MY CO-AUTHOR
Early in life, Tom Fallwell discovered a love for fantasy and science-fiction, delighting in the wonderful escape into realms undreamed of. Weaned on the greats like J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert E. Howard, Roger Zelazny, Robert A. Heinlein, and Michael Moorcock, just to name a few, Tom’s imagination was forever inspired by those marvelous tales.
One day, he discovered a simple book of rules called ‘Chainmail’, by Gary Gygax, and found a new love: the love of creating adventures and stories of his own. ‘Chainmail’ evolved into ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, and Tom played consistently with friends as both a player and a dungeon master (DM) for decades. Such activities helped him develop his ability to create worlds and stories for other players to enjoy.
Now retired from his long career as a software developer, Tom writes all the adventures and characters that constantly fill his mind and shares them with the world.
Finally, after several months of editing and perfecting the manuscript to be exactly how I want it, my new diverse fantasy Kurintor Nyusi is ready for release!
Kurintor Nyusi is a diverse fantasy without my usual grimdark edge. My son has been asking for years to read one of my novels. With that in mind, I wanted to craft a tale that would possess the same depth, multi-layered plot, creative world-building, and exceptional characterization as my previous works, without the more…well…graphic elements that could scar a child for life. He’s only eleven, after all. Kurintor Nyusi delivers that and more!
The official launch date is March 14, 2018. Why? Well, for two outstanding reasons: #1 it’s Albert Einstein’s birthday (my son’s favorite). #2 it’s pie day. PERFECT! No Ides of March for me.
I’ll have links to this fantastic new fantasy soon! You can read an early review from D. Donovan, senior reviewer of Midwest Book Reviews.
Midwest Book Review
“Many epic fantasy reads hold the same familiar trappings: destiny redirects a young life, heritage dictates its obstacles, the protagonist either rebels against or struggles to achieve his birthright, and new abilities come into play to change everything.
Kurintor Nyusi takes a different approach, adopting a focus on protagonist choices in the face of changing circumstances and emphasizing these changing options at different points during the tale.
The battles aren’t just physical confrontations, and they don’t always take place in the arena of a physical world, either. That’s just one powerful piece in a story that winds through threats and arrogance, strong female characters who wield swords and defy death, and one savvy girl’s devotion to her Da and her self.
One strength to note in the course of these events is the language Aaron-Michael Hall employs to describe scenes and characters: “Druehox was a smug churl who wouldn’t have given her the time of day had she wanted his attention. Since the opposite was true, his advances bordered on stalking. Every night, he appeared to have a different woman’s company. They doted and sniffed behind him as if he was the ruler of the twelve kingdoms.” An attention to atmosphere and psychological insights is just one of the strengths that lend a touch of the fantastic to even ordinary scenes and descriptions.
Another strength lies in the story line’s emphasis on developing mental as well as physical prowess. The descriptions of training and battles are well done, as are the explorations of how such training occurs on different levels. These insights influence into other kinds of preparations for survival against all odds: “You have to be aware of your battlefield, Damali,”he lectured, using his cover to mask his position. “There’s more to combat than speed and brute force. Use your mind and harness your true abilities.”
From the loss of parents and the desire to carry on their teachings to unexpected new beginnings “Once the gate closed, Alyelu grinned. “I’ve shattered the mirror, Father, and buried the past. With your death, I’ll truly begin to live.”
Kurintor Nyusi is replete with subplots that cover various forms of choice and transformation.
Wind these elements into an epic fantasy filled with satisfying battles, confrontations with self and others, and changing ties between present, past, and future for a powerful saga especially recommended for epic fantasy fans who like their action-packed stories seasoned with examinations of personal power and how that is cultivated.”
When Avery Thornton needs to escape a first day of school disaster, she ducks into an equipment room to hide and meets someone else who’s also having a really bad day. Eli Fields just got demoted to third string on the football team, a sport he doesn’t even really want to play. On the hunt for a dance partner before her competition season begins, Avery discovers Eli’s secret, non-football life outside of school. She thinks he could be the dance partner she’s dreamed about. But Eli wants no part of dancing with Avery. When someone else steps in as Avery’s partner for competitions, she and Eli begin practicing steps “just for fun.”
But, is that really all that Eli wants? And although Avery has found a perfect partner, she’s learning that perfection doesn’t necessarily equal happiness.
Jennifer DiGiovanni is a freelance writer and YA author of the School Dayz series. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, working on home design projects, or trying to meet the daily goals on her Fitbit. She also likes to try new sports and activities, from archery to ballroom dancing, with varying degrees of success.
You can learn more about Jennifer and her novels using the links below:
Shani Greene-Dowdell is a wife, mother of three, grandmother to two awesome tots, and has worked 18 years as a medical transcriptionist. Shani enjoys weaving words of romantic fiction and suspense and has written her way into a new reality as a full-time writer. It all started with a Black Expressions subscription back in 2004. Shani burst open the first shipment like it was Christmas Eve and soaked in the soulful and riveting stories of Kimberla Lawson, Eric Jerome Dickey, Carl Weber, Zane, Darrien Lee, and too many other greats to name. Inside of great storylines is where her zest for storytelling was born. She completed her first book, Keepin’ It Tight, and self-published it in 2007. To date, Shani has 20 books to her credit in Interracial Romance, Erotica, and Urban genres.
For more information regarding Shani Greene-Dowdell or her novels, please visit her WEBSITE or EMAIL.
Goddess of the Wild Thingisa dramatic tale of one woman’s spiritual journey where magical happenings, unexpected turns of fate, and unseen forces influence her ability to love and be loved. Eve Sanchez, a middle-aged woman and scholar of esoteric studies, encounters a seductive but frightening man who introduces her to a supernatural world in which the wicked powers of a surrogate mother’s twisted affection threaten love and life. In the mystic realms of Aztlan del Sur, Eve and three friends struggle with whether bad love is better than no love and discover that love is a wild thing.
Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D. is a depth psychologist and award-winning writer living in his native New Mexico. He specializes in treating individuals in emotional and spiritual crisis. His novels, visionary thrillers, delve deep into archetypal realities as they play out dramatically in the lives of everyday people. Memberships include the Author’s Guild, the Depth Psychology Alliance, the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and the International Association for Jungian Studies.
Eve sharpened her focus. She saw the sharp nail of a witch’s right finger tracing Graciéla’s image on a foggy mirror in a grungy bathroom, touching the center of the mirror with a hatred so intense, the glass burned red hot. The mirror in Graciéla’s kitchen cracked. Shards jettisoned at the old healer then were magically warded off and drifted in place about her head and neck.
Graciéla’s energy, tired as she was, had fended off the pointed shards. She hadn’t been impaled. But the strain had ushered her from one world to the next. Death came not by the hand of another but by a weakened mind and body defending itself.
Eve, shaken, allowed her soft touch to stay on Graciéla’s forehead, confirming the horror of what she’d seen. Shamanic wisdom, often discussed between the two kindred souls, spoke to Eve as she stroked her friend’s head, remembering that death provided passage for one whose life had been well spent and whose time had come.
After a few moments, she closed her friend’s green eyes and whispered tenderly, “Always my friend, always love, always together in life and in death.” She stood and wiped the tears from her eyes. A gray-brown, green-eyed, great horned owl hooted from the largest cottonwood branch outside the back window.
Eve heard Shirley finishing her call to the EMTs and police, and then walking to the front of the store to await their arrival.
One large shard lay at the end of the table, sharp tip pointed outward. It reflected Eve’s image, a glowing red ember menacingly centered at the brow point.
“Shirley spoke up, “Maybe we just gotta give it up and say there’s no good out there and no damn good men.” Shirley spat on the sidewalk, as she was prone to do when attitudes turned south and a pissed-off mood overrode a physician’s reserve. A petite woman, hovering around five-foot-three, she was a spitfire to friends and foes. Her red hair was a fine match for her spicy temperament. She never hesitated to snap her tongue, making an envious woman or cocky man shrivel and long to crawl into a nearby hole and cry. Shirley lived as a healer and a warrior, a woman who cared tenderly for the hurting and raged viciously at pretense and abuse.
Eve, Shirley, and two other friends, Tanya and Samantha, were plagued by man troubles the way pollution settles in during dusty days and humid nights in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of Aztlan del Sur. They were four esteemed professional women who could have any man they chose. Yet time and again, they went for the lower, the bad, the worst. They sabotaged the good, the permanent. Commitment was a frightening consideration for four women who’d suffered childhoods of parental dysfunctional neglect and split-ups. They often quipped, “We found each other because like finds like.” Tonight, Eve’s troubles were front and center. She’d done it again or at least worried she had. The glitch in the man was in the type she attracted: charmers—striking and untrue. Suffering had begun. Time was critical. To stick it out or get out was her dilemma. Things with a new man had taken a terrifying turn.”
One detective who’s not going down without a fight.
It’s been ten months since Detective Madison Knight almost died at the hands of Russian Mafia hit man Constantine Romanov. She hasn’t seen hide nor hair of him since he escaped police custody and fled to Russia soon after his arrest, except now her latest murder investigation gives her reason to believe he’s back in town. Seeing as the victim is the man who killed her grandfather, her perspective may be a little skewed, but with the MO smacking of Constantine and the victim’s connections to the mob, she finds it hard to be objective. Still, she’s doing her best to consider all the evidence.
When she receives a threatening letter from Constantine, however, her suspicions are confirmed. And he’s made it abundantly clear that not only does he plan to finish what he started but he has her family and loved ones in the crosshairs, too. Madison vows to do whatever it takes to save them, but as the hours race by, the body count rises. And the stakes only get higher when Madison’s sister, Chelsea, goes missing.
Now, Madison’s only play is to take Chelsea’s disappearance for what it really means: Constantine is calling Madison out for one final showdown. And they won’t both survive…
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.
Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Power Struggle (Detective Madison Knight series)
Death was not discriminatory, but murder was certainly selective. At least that’s what Major Crimes detective Madison Knight had learned in her twelve years with the Stiles PD.
She looked down at the male victim. He was single, fifty-nine, and lying on the king-size mattress in his master bedroom. Silver sheets were covering him to his hips, leaving his upper body bare and exposing multiple stab wounds to his chest and abdomen. Blood was everywhere, staining the bedding and spattered on the walls and ceiling.
Normally, being immersed in such a messy murder scene would make Madison’s stomach churn. She’d most certainly feel a burning drive to get justice for the victim. But this time, she was devoid of emotion, flatlined like the man on the bed. If anything, there was lingering bitterness and underlying anger. Because she knew the victim. Jimmy Bates. The man who had killed her grandfather.
Because of Bates, her mother had lost her father as a teenager and her grandmother had to bury the love of her life before Madison was even born. And all this because Bates’s father had been the numbers man for the branch of the Russian Mafia that operated out of Stiles, and Madison’s grandfather, a police sergeant, had put him away.
Madison pinched her eyes shut briefly. A darker part of her was finding some sort of redemption in the fact that Bates had exited the world not of his own volition. Just as he had snuffed out her grandfather’s life, someone had taken Bates’s. A working out of Karma as it were…
“Are you all right?” asked her partner of seven years, Terry Grant. He had a light complexion and never had a blond hair out of place, always ran before breakfast, was a loving husband and father to a baby girl named Danielle. He was three years younger than Madison’s thirty-six.
She turned to see that he hadn’t come into the room alone. Higgins, the first officer on scene and her former training officer, stood next to him. Both men had given her time to be alone with the scene and Bates after learning the vic’s identity.
“I’m fine.” Her response had come out way too quickly to be believable.
She looked back at the body. Both his arms were over his head and tied to the barred, wooden headboard with zip ties. She let her gaze trail down to his ankles, to see if those were also restrained, but they were still covered. She’d have to wait until the scene was processed to find out.
Given the number of stab wounds he had, though, it was likely that both his arms and legs had been bound, which indicated that the killer knew where to strike to delay death and invoke torture. While the former indicated a professional, the latter suggested the killer may have been after something.
Madison scanned the room. A television was mounted on the wall at the end of the bed, and it was on at a low volume and tuned into a popular crime drama.
Odd how reality can mimic fiction.
“Winston should have sent someone else.” Higgins sounded apologetic for the Major Crimes sergeant’s decision to include her in the case.
She met his gaze and dismissed his comment with a wave. “He probably didn’t even know the ID on the vic when he made the call.” She returned her gaze to Bates, analyzing whether he’d paid and suffered enough for his wrongdoings. In life, he’d served a full twenty-five-year sentence, but when he’d gotten released nineteen years ago, it hardly seemed like enough punishment. Was his murder finally enough to satisfy her personal scales of justice?
As her mind relaxed, and she took in the scene, she sensed a familiarity about it. The numerous stab wounds, the bound wrists…
The woman was laid out on the couch, her arms open wide, one resting against the back of the sofa, the other raised in the air, its wrist twisted back at an unnatural angle. Her torso was stained red with blood, which extended to the sofa and the floor. It was as if a can of red paint had been dumped on top of her.
“It looks like she was stabbed dozens of times. The killer must be a professional, too.”
At the time, bile had risen in Madison’s throat. The odor, the sight—it had been all-encompassing.
The woman’s name had been Lillian Norton, and the man who’d killed her had been a Russian Mafia hit man by the name of Constantine Romanov—the same hit man who had almost succeeded in raping and killing Madison ten months prior. Lillian’s longtime boyfriend had worked as an attorney for the mob, and she’d been tortured for information.
With Bates’s father’s involvement with the Russian mob, as well, it didn’t seem like it could be a coincidence that Bates’s murder resembled Lillian’s. And all the stab wounds, the bondage, the time it would have taken, and the seeming lack of concern over getting caught fit with Constantine’s personality. But if Madison was going to entertain the idea that Bates was killed by the hit man, that meant—
Robert Downs aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he’d already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise his stories might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and now resides in California. When he’s not writing, Downs can be found reviewing, blogging, or smiling. To find out more about his latest projects, or to reach out to him on the Internet, visit the author’s website: www.RobertDowns.net. PENCHANT FOR VENGEANCE is his fifth novel.
Traffic was light—Charlottesville, Virginia, despite being a college town, had a curfew—the morning was dark, and a light mist filled the air, adding drops of water to my bright yellow 1974 Camaro. I took the back roads, rather than using US 250 to reach the downtown mall, with Regal Cinema located near the center, off Main Street. I reached the scene in less than ten minutes, including parking, without using a siren, or running a single red light. The body, however, wasn’t nearly as successful as I was.
“Can’t you guys pick a more reasonable hour?” I asked. “Crime should wait until at least nine o’clock.”
“Why don’t you get your butt out of bed like everyone else?” a cop said.
The man didn’t look familiar, nor did his crew cut, wide shoulders, and pressed uniform. His face lacked wrinkles, and his scowl provided more menace than a rabbit with a semi-automatic weapon.
“I did. I’m here, aren’t I?”
I’d flashed my shield to get in, and now I wanted to flash my nine-millimeter. The early hour meant a yawn preceded one hand wrapped around the thick neck of my competition. I preferred reasonable solutions since reasonableness was all I had left. “What do we know?” I asked.
“We know you don’t belong here,” Nelson Rivers said.
Like his name implied, he preferred headlocks to handshakes and shaved heads over full-haired ones. He and I had respectfully disagreed on multiple occasions, so often I couldn’t remember the last time we’d ever agreed on anything other than the day of the week. He had hands the size of pencil sharpeners, and he pushed more buttons than he allowed pushed in return. What he needed was a little less mouth and a lot more action.
I ignored his comment. Ignorance was a hard emotion to pin down, but it seemed to rear its ugly head quicker than the other ones. And crime scenes brought out a special kind of ignorance. I had a few emotions left in my system, despite the hour, and I wanted to save them for the victim, who appeared about my age.
The body was bent like a pretzel. Wounds that were possibly from a knife or a whip slathered the body from the neck to the pubic region, deep enough to resemble tattoos. Some were spaced closely enough to disfigure the top half of the body, rendering an exact age nearly impossible. A crime of passion entered the forefront of my mind, and it clung to the roof of my mouth. The victim probably knew his killer intimately, or was, at the very least, an acquaintance.
The wounds stood out for me: a multitude of lacerations that made me unable to look away. When I scanned below the belt, I noticed the mutilated genitalia, rendering the man much less of one. I didn’t like the look of the scene, with the body splayed at an obscene angle, dropped right outside the glass front doors of Regal Cinema to render two of the doors nearly impassable. It resembled something. I just wasn’t sure what. I’d probably blocked it out of my mind, being that I frequented this particular cinema and watched more movies than I cared to admit.
I hoped it never came back, the thought I had blocked. It always did in the end. That was what hurt the most: Movies exacerbated the oddities of life.
Killers were usually born not made, but sometimes, it was the other way around.
The victim’s hands were positioned above his head, forming a triangle, as if he prayed in death to some higher power. Positioned that way by the killer, his hands rubbed up against each other, his head tilted slightly upward. The wounds to the victim’s hands told me he had put up a struggle, knowing that death was inevitable, yet he had wanted to live all the way to the end. But it wasn’t enough. It often never was.
The lack of blood told me the victim wasn’t killed here, and other than a nude body covered in wounds and dried blood, like strokes from a brush, with his hands pointed toward the sky, there were no other obvious signatures. His head was shaved with only a small area of stubble on his chin. His height and weight fell in the average region, his eyes were black, and his lips formed a permanent grimace. He had defensive wounds on both his wrists and the back of his hands, and his skin was as white as a first-floor apartment.
“Who’s the victim?” I asked.
“Victim’s name is unknown, until we run some tests,” the ME said. “Other than being male, and probably between thirty-five and forty years old, I’m out of guesses.”
Addie Ferguson, the ME, had a knack for guessing ages, along with her serious attention to detail. A short woman, with a few extra pounds she could never seem to get rid of, she preferred ankle-length skirts, black boots, and blue blouses.
“Have we got a time of death?”
Enter to WIN a copy of Penchant for Vengeance by clicking below!
Besides his 33 years in the classroom, Dr. Wesley Britton considers his Beta-Earth Chronicles the most important work he’s ever done. “I suppose an author profile is intended to be a good little biography,” Britton says, “but the best way to know who I am is to read my novels.”
Still, a few things you might like to know about Wes include the fact he’s the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in the media, most notably The Encyclopedia of TV Spies (2009). Beginning in 1983, he was a widely published poet, article writer for a number of encyclopedias, and was a noted scholar of American literature. Since those days, for sites like BlogCritics.org and BookPleasures.com, Britton wrote over 500 music, book, and movie reviews. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents for which he contributed celebrity interviews with musicians, authors, actors, and entertainment insiders.
Starting in fall 2015, his science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted with The Blind Alien. Throughout 2016, four sequels followed including The Blood of Balnakin, When War Returns, A Throne for an Alien, and The Third Earth. Return to Alpha will be the sixth volume of this multi-planetary epic.
Britton earned his doctorate in American Literature at the University of North Texas in 1990. He taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College until his retirement in 2016. He serves on the Board of Directors for Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania. He lives with his one and only wife, Betty, in Harrisburg, PA.
“The Blind Alien is a story with a highly original concept, fascinating characters, and not-too-subtle but truthful allegories. Don’t let the sci-fi label or alternate Earth setting fool you–this is a compelling and contemporarily relevant story about race, sex, and social classes.”
–Raymond Benson, Former James Bond novelist and author of the Black Stiletto books
Book One, The Blind Alien, came out in Sept 2015 – Book Six is due for release before Christmas 2017.
The epic opens when Malcolm Renbourn, a young history teacher, walks into an ordinary bank on an ordinary day. Suddenly, he feels excruciating pain. Unexpectedly, he loses his sight and discovers he has been drawn against his will across the multi-verse to a slave-holding country on a parallel earth. He doesn’t understand a single word he hears, but he soon comprehends that he is the focal point in the quest to end a plague that kills three out of four male babies their first year on Beta-Earth.
Branded state property, he must escape, but where can a blind man in a strange world dominated by desperate scientists run? And on a world where polygamy is the norm, how can Malcolm Renbourn adapt into becoming the husband of five independent wives who never expected to be the mothers of a generation a planet hopes will carry the genes that will change everything. And that’s just part of the story.
Much of Malcolm’s background was drawn from my own life, especially his blindness and the treatment he endures because of it. Some of his more bizarre encounters actually happened to me, many of them quite comical. People have asked Malcolm and me all sorts of strange questions over the years—Do blind people sleep with their eyes open or closed? How does a blind man aim properly in toilets? Did I know I had a beard?
Of course, most of the book is pure imagination, as in the ghastly plague that kills three out of four male babies their first year, resulting in Beta-Earth’s culture of polygamy. Hence, Malcolm’s growing tribe of wives and children.
Here are a couple more reviews for Blind Alien which is available for only$0.99for alimited time.
“An excellent work of new SF that hearkens back to the classics of Asimov and Heinlein. Told from the viewpoint of the different characters, it is a tale of a man from our earth (Alpha) being unwittingly transferred to a parallel earth (Beta) where he must learn to adapt to new cultures, attitudes, languages at the same time as coming to grips with the loss of his sight. Each of the characters are fully developed and well defined and being able to hear their thoughts about each encounter brings a richness to the narratives. Politics, religion, social mores and relationships are all examined from both without and within.”—Dave Massengale, Amazon review
“Spymaster and imaginative author, Dr. Wesley Britton has another big hit! His book takes the reader on a compelling journey of an Alpha earthling who has been spirited to planet Beta. Science-fiction, yes, but much more. The book explores science, medicine, commerce, education, spiritual life, family life and sex on an alternative planet which at times is insightful and hilarious in its comparison to our own Earth. In an ingenious way, Dr. Britton has created a new grammar and vocabulary to continually intrigue the reader. A true winner!” –Bobbi Chertok, Amazon Reviewer
Explore Beta-Earth with Tribe Renbourn as the “Alpha Man” and his wives face irresistible prophecies, island tyrants, the curse of the “Plague-With-No-Name,” and a horrifying death-trade.
Just when Tribe Renbourn is certain they’ve found sanctuary in the country of Alma, they must battle a mutant girl from the aristocracy, a lecherous prince, a theocratic church, and take sides in a world-shaking civil war.
After leading a fleet of exiles from the Alman civil war, Tribe Renbourn becomes embroiled with a duplicitous island royal family, the fight to end the “Plague-With-No-Name,” the invasion of a deadly foe, and the demanding will of the harsh goddess of Beta, Olos.
Forced to leave Beta-Earth behind, six members of Tribe Renbourn are forever transformed when they travel across the multi-verse to be captives of a very different kind of humanity of pairs and must lead the rebellion of the single-bodied “nams.”
Forty years after Malcolm Renbourn was drug across the multi-verse, two of his children from Beta-Earth, and two from Cerapin-Earth travel to our planet where they encounter a world suffering from biological war, climate change, religious zealotry, and fear of what these aliens might bring to a suffering humanity.
For more information regarding Dr. Wesley Britton or The Beta Earth Chronicles, please visit his WEBSITE, BLOG, or FACEBOOK.