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Techno-Thriller

Get On The Tour Bus! Immortality by Kevin Bohacz!

Immortality 7
Transhuman evolution – the next step? Click to order!

Title: Immortality
Genre: Techno-Thriller
Author: Kevin Bohacz
Publisher: CPrompt
Pages: 389
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at Amazon

Without warning, something has gone terribly awry. In the remote and unnoticed places of the world, small pockets of death begin occurring. As the initially isolated extinctions spread, the world’s eyes focus on this unimaginable horror and chaos. Out of the ecological imbalance, something new and extraordinary is evolving and surviving to fill the voids left by these extinctions. Evolution is operating in ways no one could have expected and environmental damage may be the catalyst. Once discovered, this knowledge changes everything.

Praise for Immortality:

Kirkus: “There is enough power in the premise to leave readers reeling. A novel that will surprise fans of science-fiction and doomsday scenarios…”

Publisher’s Weekly STARRED review: “Bohacz’s vision of a humanity that faces the need to evolve profoundly or face certain destruction is as timely as today’s news and as chilling a doomsday scenario as any ecological catastrophe can suggest…”

Sci-Fi Reader 4 Star review by S.J. Higbee: “This book manages to do what all the best sci-fi does—provide a thought-provoking, alternative viewpoint on the business of existence. I recommend you give it a go…”

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

 

About the Author

Kevin Bohacz 8
Click for Mr. Bohacz’s site. I have BOTH of his books in my file to read right away

I am Kevin Bohacz the bestselling novelist of Immortality and a lucid dreamer… Welcome to my dreams. I am also a writer for national computer magazines, founder and president of two high technology corporations, a scientist and engineer for over 35 years, and the inventor of an advanced electric car system – the ESE Engine System (circa 1978). I was also a short order cook for I-Hop, flipped burgers at McDonalds, and delivered Chicken Delight. All of those careers and more are behind me now that I am a full time storyteller, a catcher of dreams. Thank you for reading my stories and making this all possible.

His latest books are Immortality and Ghost of the Gods.

Purchase at Amazon

Visit Kevin’s website at www.kbohacz.com

Connect & Socialize!

Twitter * Facebook *Goodreads

Excerpt:

Amazon Forest: January, present day.

The rain forest had a humid, earthy smell that reminded him of home. Diego was twenty-two years old and, like most of his village, he’d spent half his life away from home. The bulldozer he was illegally operating was idling in neutral. In front of him were a half dozen control levers and gauges. With a worker’s rough hands, he compressed the squeeze-grip on a lever and pushed forward. He heard the sound of grinding gears. The tree cutter failed to engage. The huge dozer was thirty-year-old army surplus. There was a cable problem in the lever he was working. The problem sometimes caused the squeeze-grip to snap shut when the transmission grabbed. If he was not careful, the squeeze-grip could badly pinch his hand. Diego pushed harder on the lever. He could feel teeth missing in the gears from how the lever bucked back against his push. Without warning, the gears dropped into place as the squeeze-grip bit his palm. It was like a vicious dog. An angry welt throbbed in his palm. He cursed the dozer. He cursed the steaming heat. He’d drunk two quarts of water since breakfast, and lunch break was still hours away.

The rain forest was alive with insects. Diego had never seen this many in all the years he’d illegally logged the deep forests. There was a steady drone which was louder than the diesel engine he controlled. Tiny no-see-em’s, biting things, had left a rash across the back of his neck that felt like sunburn. Earlier, he’d scratched it raw but now had a bandanna tied around his neck to remind him to leave it be. The bulldozer rocked into a depression as the cutter began chewing through the trunk of a mahogany tree. Diego fed more fuel into the beast’s engine. The dozer’s treads dug in; there was a hesitation. He could feel the strain building. Tons of steel lurched forward pitching him in his seat. Another tree tumbled, its branches snapping like rapid-fire gunshots as it crumpled into the ground. The front of the beast was equipped with a chain driven saw instead of a dozer blade. The fixture had a pair of serrated edges that shimmied back and forth like steel teeth. Pieces of shredded green leaves and bark caught on the teeth’s edges. Diego had long ago decided the beast was a sloppy eater.

The insect sounds of the forest had stopped. As far as Diego knew, these insects never stopped. He dropped the beast into neutral then switched it off.

There was silence.

Out of this stillness, a faint crackling sound rose from the distance, then disappeared, and then came again. He listened carefully. It took him a moment to realize the faraway sound was trees falling. The logging company operated a small army of dozers, far apart now; but by evening they would all meet up, connecting each of the separate cutting tracks into a solid plot. Diego swung round in his seat and gazed back. A swath of fallen tropical forest lay behind him: mahogany and cedar and even some rosewood along with countless varieties of plants and bushes. The largest trees were left standing so their canopies would hide the results of his work from the few government scouting planes that were not on the company’s payroll. Heavy tractors would come through later to drag out the good logs. He got paid by the yard for mahogany, rosewood, and cedar; the rest was trash. Today it looked like he would earn a small fortune; tomorrow might bring nothing. He lit a cigarette and left it hanging in his lips. After starting the engine, he ground the shifter into a forward gear and moved out. He drew cigarette smoke into his lungs then exhaled through his nose. No time to rest. He needed every bit of money he could earn. He didn’t blink as a cloud of insects flew into his face as their nest was churned into rubbish by his dozer’s teeth.

The humidity was so high that water had begun to evaporate into a fine mist. A steam cloud floated through the tops of the trees blurring the upper canopy into a milky green. Diego swung the beast around in a stationary about-face. The base camp was miles behind him by the river. The camp was a dock and tents with ratty screens. Beside the camp was a tree covered clearing that at night was filled with sleeping dozers and other heavy equipment. By now, a pot of beans would be simmering for lunch. A hunk of flat bread and canned beer would complete the meal. No meat. He’d lived worse. Everything here had been secretly brought in by river barge, including him and the other labors. With luck, he could cut a second swath back toward camp and arrive by lunch. Today would fill his pocket with more than two hundred Reals… a new record.

The logging ride out of the forest turned out to be easier than the ride in. The trees in his new path were an ideal size for cutting. Diego began thinking about his wife Carla and their dream. She’d been anxious to come with him into this hell. He had kissed her and told her no… no wife of his would suffer in a place like this. In seven months, he would be a father. The foreign company running this operation was taking good care of her. She’d written last week that the company had paid for a test with a machine that was like an x-ray but used sound. The nurse had told her the baby would be a boy. Diego smiled with that memory… it was a good one. He would have a boy who would grow up to be his friend. That was a new part of the dream; the old part was still a small house outside Maceio, the coastal city where Diego was born. Diego instinctively slowed the dozer to the speed of a man’s stride.
He squinted watching a cloud of rain moving toward him along the path he’d just cut from camp. The rain didn’t appear heavy, but when mixed with ground steam it was solid enough to bring a false twilight. Nothing could be seen inside the cloud. The dozer had a roll cage. A piece of corrugated sheet metal had been welded to the top of the cage as a roof. Diego switched on spotlights. Drops started hitting the sheet metal with rhythmic pings. The humidity grew heavier. The air surrounded him like a damp towel. He pulled off his t-shirt and wiped his face with it. A storm of birds fled from some trees his dozer was about to consume. Their colored shapes moved past him at eye level like watercolor paints in fog. Diego cocked his head to one side. He sensed something wrong.

Grinding the shifter into neutral, he idled the machine. As the noise of his engine simmered down, he was able to hear the far off sounds of a dozer racing at top speed. He heard an engine revving at its highest rpm… no, it was two engines. More than one dozer was racing through the forest. This was very unusual. A hollow feeling began gnawing inside his chest. He remembered stories of odd things that happened to people alone in the forest. He heard a different sound like a wet towel hitting the ground in front of him. He leaned forward, squinting into the fog. A bird tumbled from the air bouncing off the cab, the sound startling Diego badly. The bird fluttered, then righted itself on the ground and took off. He saw another bird fall a couple yards away, then another, and another. They would roll around a bit, then fix themselves and fly off. This was very strange… too strange. He now understood why dozers were racing through the forest. Something very bad was happening. He shoved the dozer into gear and slammed his feet into the pedals. The beast jumped forward at top power. He heard muck spitting into the air off the backs of the tread-plates. To devil with cutting the second track. To devil with the money. He was going to get out of here as fast as this dozer could race. The treads were clanking at an accelerating pace as the beast slowly picked up speed. He disengaged the tree saw to gain a few more drops of power. He plowed through the top of a tree he’d cut earlier, then another. He was doing close to ten miles per hour. A man might run faster, but not through this brush and not for the miles that remained to the camp.

Without warning, he felt dizzy, an ill kind of dizzy. The fingers on his right hand went numb, then paralyzed. He tried to move the fingers, but they were limp. Coldness was spreading up from his hand. The more he tried to flex his fingers, the worse it got. In seconds, his entire right arm was hanging flaccid at his side. Whatever had gotten the birds was working on him. He knew it. The trees kept moving past him in a blur. He realized with an odd disconnect that he was having difficulty drawing breaths.

He thought about Carla and the baby. His jaw squeezed tight. His lips formed a grim line. He would make it for them.

The dozer glanced off a large tree and kept going. The impact rocked him. He wheezed, attempting to draw air into his chest. Maybe two miles remained until base camp. He began veering off the trail. The saw-blade snagged on a mahogany six feet in diameter. Diego was pitched from his seat. Dizzy and unable to hold on, he fell from the cab. His shoulder hit a moving tread-plate, which tossed him off the rig. He was like a paralyzed sack of meat.

“Umph!” He landed on the ground. He thought how odd it was that he’d bounced. He didn’t know people could bounce when they hit the ground. The tractor rumbled beside him. Without his feet on the pedals, the dozer had stopped. The left side of his face was a mix of blood and dirt. He tried to draw air into his lungs but failed. His mind felt like it was beginning to evaporate. His entire body tingled. He felt no pain. The muscles that worked his lungs were no longer responding. He thought of calling for help, but without his lungs he could do nothing. He gave up struggling and stared skyward at the treetops and thought of Carla. Moments later, his heart stopped beating. He felt calm as what was left of his mind faded into a warm nothing.

New Jersey: January

Sarah Mayfair opened her eyes. The nightmare was still around her. Her vision was not in this world but in some other. The nightmare was of underground water, great arteries of rivers and streams and lakes. Where the liquid pooled, it was cool and deep. She sensed this water was alive with thoughts, evil thoughts. A teaspoonful of it teamed with plans of death. She was floating deep under the water, staring as drowned people glided past her face sinking into the depths of a bottomless pool. Looking down, she saw a trail of countless tiny bodies slowly pirouetting as they drifted into the yawning darkness below her feet… Headlights from a car traveled across a wall of her room. The lights dwelled on a wooden credenza, then moved on. She followed the glow with her eyes seeing reality for the first time. The simple act of seeing began to clear the veils of her nightmare. Her breathing slowed. She realized she was covered in sweat.

Outside, a subzero wind was blowing unimpeded through a forest of leafless trees and ice crusted snow. The windowpanes rattled and hummed. Small drafts snuck through the rooms. She shivered as the drafts caressed her dampened skin. She was in the living room of her home. She recognized the shadowy details of furniture and walls. Her boyfriend Kenny was in the bedroom asleep. She remembered getting up and walking out here to be by herself to think. The nightmares had grown worse, more of them with each passing week. She was starting to see the faces of people she knew in these nightmares. She sensed it was some kind of horrible parade of those who would die. She remem-bered Kenny’s image from the dream.
Her body stiffened. A disembodied voice was whispering into her left ear. The words were unintelligible… garbled, but unmistakably evil. This can’t be happening. She screamed out in frustration and grief at the seeds of budding madness.

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Review: The Janus Effect by Jan Coffey – Brilliant!

janus
Click to order from Amazon. You won’t be sorry you did.

Having endorsed the covert policy of supporting a Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq between 1974 and 1975, with ‘deniable’ assistance also provided by Israel and the Shah of Iran, Kissinger made it plain to his subordinates that the Kurds were not to be allowed to win, but were to be employed for their nuisance value alone. They were not to be told that this was the case, but soon found out when the Shah and Saddam Hussein composed their differences, and American aid to Kurdistan was cut off. Hardened CIA hands went to Kissinger … for an aid programme for the many thousands of Kurdish refugees who were thus abruptly created…. The apercu of the day was: ‘foreign policy should not he confused with missionary work.’ Saddam Hussein heartily concurred. – Christopher Hitchens

They’d lived in a country that was run by a butcher. That did not make them butchers. In fact, they were just the opposite. – Jan Coffey, The Janus Effect

 The whole course of human history may depend on a change of heart in one solitary and even humble individual – for it is in the solitary mind and soul of the individual that the battle between good and evil is waged and ultimately won or lost. – M. Scott Peck

Halabja-Iran-2
No one was exempt from the slaughter as nerve gas, biological and chemical weapons slaughtered even the youngest amongst the population.

In 1988, with the full might of the US Government and the force of the Regan White House behind him, Saddam Hussain facilitated what was known as “The Anfal Campaign.” Named for the eighth sura, or chapter, of the Qur’an, Saddam’s Anfal was a mammoth campaign of civic annihilation, displacement and mass killing. Saddam tapped his cousin, Ali Hassan al–Majid, a man well–known for his brutality, to take charge of northern Iraq. Al–Majid quickly deployed military resources to, in his words, “solve the Kurdish problem and slaughter the saboteurs.” He ordered Iraqi aircraft to drop poison gas on PUK and KDP targets and civilian villages, killing thousands indiscriminately. The Iraqi regime had become the first in history to attack its own civilian population with chemical weapons. Al–Majid came to be known as “Chemical Ali.”

nowarning
No warning. No pity.

There were eight Anfal attacks in all, each following a similar pattern. First, air attacks dropped chemical weapons on both civilian and peshmerga targets. Next, ground troops surrounded the villages, looting and setting fire to homes. Then townspeople were herded into army trucks and taken to holding facilities, the largest being Topzawa, an army camp near Kirkuk. At these camps, men and boys deemed old enough to carry a weapon were separated from women, the elderly and young children. Routinely and uniformly, these men and boys were taken to remote sites, executed in groups, and dumped into pre–dug mass graves. Many women and children were also executed, especially those from areas that supported the Kurdish resistance. – Dave Johns, The Crimes of Saddam Hussein, 1988: The Anfal Campaign

 When the dust, chemicals, and biological weapons had settled, 90 percent of Kurdish villages had essentially been wiped off the map, and the countryside was strewn with mass graves, and with land mines to discourage resettlement. The response from the international community was muted, as many nations, including the United States, had supported Hussein with money and arms during the Iran–Iraq war.

halabja_tragedy
They fell where they stood – women, children, men, pets. Those who didn’t die right away are still suffering the effects of the poisonings. . .

 

“Half of writing history is hiding the truth.”― Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy

One of the worst of these attacks was against the city of Halabja, a peaceful, working class Kurdish city. Al-Majid ordered the destruction of the city with chemical and biological weapons, including mustard gas, nerve gasses such as sarin, VX and hydrogen cyanide, and a new, unidentified gas “that made people crazy (they tore off their clothes, laughed for a while and then dropped dead). Around 8000 died immediately. Overall, hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Kurdistan were slaughtered, without pity. And yet, what do we, the American People, know of the atrocities committed by our government in our insane quest for cheap oil?

massgrave
One of hundreds of mass graves that have been uncovered, with others still unfound.

 

Out of this wasteland of indiscriminate death and destruction begins The Janus Effect, one of the strongest novels I have ever read. Utilizing strong research, close ties with the people of Kurdistan, and a depth of personal compassion that is unmatched, Nikoo & Jim McGoldrick, writing as Jan Coffey, have written a novel that deserves to be on every person’s reading list. And yes, you really should read it, not just let it sit there and look pretty on the shelf. This is an amazing and horrifying story that will send chills up your back, and make you think, long and hard, about the meaning and reality of true evil.

In the middle of nowhere Maine, something has happened. Something horrific; unbelievable; and frightening beyond words. Two families have arrived on a small coastal island for a summer vacation. Within a matter of hours, they are all dead and rotting with unimaginable speed. Soon, those that find the bodies are also dead. Ten fatalities, within hours rotted beyond recognition. Only one aspect is possibly familiar. A strand of bacteria found in a bombed out lab in Iraq in 1988 shows many of the same constituents of this new, deadly killer. And to learn about that bacteria, what it is, and how it is developed, Austyn Newman is traveling to Afghanistan, to the infamous Brickyard Prison, there to question the one person who may have answers – the scientist who developed the bacteria in Sadaam’s laboratories. Traded between various “black” prisons for the past five years, Dr. Rahaf Banaz has been lost in a system of total isolation, a ghost, with no record, no rights, and having never been charged with, or convicted of, a crime. Questioned, tortured, and finally left to rot, Newman finds his quarry in a hole in the Brickyard, cramped into a cell so small she cannot even stand. Starved, shaved bald, and with only a filthy blanket, she is, indeed, a ghost of a human being. And she is, he believes upon meeting her, something else as well. She may not even be Dr. Banaz.

As the story unfolds, Newman and Dr. Banaz, Dr. Fahimah Banaz, Rahaf’s sister who has taken Rahaf’s place in prison in order to allow Rahaf to continue her medical relief work, travel from the Brickyard at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan through the ruins of cities and the beauty of the stark mountain landscape to the city of Kermanshah, Iran, in search of Rahaf, in search of answers. And during their travels, we learn too of the atrocities of sadistic politicians, both Eastern and Western, the horrors of the victims of war, and the lengths humans will go to in order to destroy one another for power, money and glory. And also? Also, the lengths that humans will go to in order to save and protect those they love. And even those they do not know.

This is a powerful story. Thriller, suspense, medical thriller, history, it’s all there, wrapped up in a story to break any thinking person’s heart. Lies and deception; truth and brutal honesty; and above all the agony of a people forgotten, written off by a culture that cares not for those who are crushed under the weight of a brutal, sadistic war machine. With heartbreaking twists at the end, this story written from the outlook of someone who loves the country and its people should be honored for both it’s excellence and heart.

“Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

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“There’s no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.” – Dwight David Eisenhower

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I received this book from StoryCartel.com in return for a realistic review. I highly recommend that you read it. I got a nice note from the authors, it was indeed a proof copy I received. It has been professionally edited.

 

Review: Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis by Ceri London

rogue
Click cover to purchase the book. Do it! You KNOW you want to!!!!

Ceri London has written, in Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis one of the most powerful science fiction/fantasy novels I have read since Dune. Well, actually, it is better than Dune. More creative, with a wider range and depth of reality, that is approachable to all readers. This is, without doubt, a science fiction novel, but it also has strong ties to military-political intrigue in the present day which grounds the novel in a level of believability even when the “fiction” portion of the science asks you to stretch your mind into new levels of belief.

Some, I suppose, would lean more towards calling it ‘fantasy’ as there are no space ships and Earth colonies on other planets. If you are one of the ‘hard sci-fi geeks’ that some of my friends are, you might be disappointed by no space rockets blasting around, I suppose, but that should in no way deter you from reading this jewel of a book.

Unlike many, I have no problem stretching credulity to new levels. I don’t expect a science fiction or fantasy book to stay within the realm of ‘probability’. I expect to be taken to a new place, a new level of existence, while I expect that existence to still feel believable. I expect to be charmed into a new sense of reality for a short while. Something that Ms. London has done brilliantly in this, the first of a four-part series.

Niall Kearey is a very special person, with a very special family. As has been described by the blurb on the book, he can, with is mind, reach out across galaxies to what he thinks is a ‘dream world’ – a world “racing towards annihilation” – a world soon to pass into alignment with Earth, with unknown outcome. Here on Earth, there are power brokers, secret societies, power-hungry and amoral politicians, and a corrupt U.S. Military. A military and power structure that will do anything, including the destruction of Niall’s beloved family, to bring him under their control and use him for world domination. Of this, and possibly other worlds . . .

London, in my estimation, did a beautiful job of making me feel her characters. I actually understood, and admired, Niall. My admiration was not only for his special abilities, but also for his love of and deep commitment to his family. In the face of horrific circumstances, he stands by his family and continues to fight for them, when everyone around him is betraying his faith, his honour and his commitment to country. The very thing that Niall has fought for, and watched his friends die for, is pulled into the light, and that light shines upon a dark and venomous snarl of greed and xenophobia that would happily watch whole civilizations die, accepting only the technology and power that those cultures might provide. In all, humanity at it’s slimiest, humanity who would sentence millions to death, while gobbling up their scientists to live as virtual prisoners, slaves to the military-industrial complex. Yep. Humans all right. Humans who would imprison a decorated military man under “correct supervision”, using him as a lab rat to assure his “asset to this nation” status.

Yes, a lot of the book made me sick. I want to howl in despair at the horror of the reality of what humans truly are, what they are truly capable of.  Of human avarice, hatred, brutality and vicious self-aggrandizement, the truly black and horrific souls within. Sick, in that everything that London writes is so very gut-wrenchingly believable in so many ways. So real within the fictitious world that she creates. Amidst the black holes, space-time jumps, dark matter universes and other fascinating and well-researched portions of the book, London delves into the human psyche, and lays bare its soul. And proves, beyond a doubt, the very reasons that, even if there are other civilizations out there, my view of how they would view Earth is “That poor, beautiful orb, filled with the trailer trash of the universe, vicious, dangerous creatures to be avoided at any cost.”  I can see the signs hanging in space now:

DANGER

Overall, if you are a lover of science fiction style fantasy, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It was on my back burner for a while, a lot longer than I had wished for it to be, but I am so very glad that I finally sat down and read it. It was well worth the time. More than worth it. This book needs a lot more attention than it is getting right now. Go out and buy it. I can guarantee you that you will be recommending it to your friends. It’s very creativity of concept makes it a standout in the field. That should draw you in. What will keep you there is the writing, the characterizations, and her deep understanding of the human psyche will keep you reading, and watching for the next in the series.

Highly recommended.

What I am up to this weekend!

WOW! I hadn’t realized how far behind I have gotten on my R4R!

I have had proofreading jobs, which is usually not all that complicated. However, I am also doing research for an author in London, and for a screenwriter on technical issues, so I have been treading water like mad trying to keep up with everything. As I have really had to concentrate on income producing (don’t we all?!) sad to say, my R4R has fallen drastically behind! I didn’t realize how much until I started working on this new post. However, I am caught up with what I was doing, and have started R4R again. As always, paid jobs have to take a lot of my time, but I am determined to work through the bulk of my list by August 1, so, here goes!

For those authors whom I have neglected, all I can do is say I apologize for lagging behind, but eating and paying the mortgage has been tough lately, I hope you understand! I have a spreadsheet which lists the review requests, in order of receipt. Orders for publishing companies, sad to say, are required to be completed within two weeks or I lose my contracts, so those take precedence. For now, this is my schedule as I see it for the next few weeks. Ceri, you get first call!

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NOTE:  If you sent me a request and it is NOT LISTED HERE – please e-mail me right away! I changed e-mail servers, and though I tried my best to catch everything, nobody is perfect. I don’t want to leave you out.

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The oldest review requests are done and on my site. I have reviews that are waiting for acceptance through Bookplex so they will hopefully post soon.

Today, I am reading Ceri London’s Rogue Genesis (Shimmer In The Dark)

rogue
Click for Ceri London’s GoodReads site!

Then next in my Read For Review file are:

Forbes West: Nighthawks at the Mission

nighthawks cover
Click for Forbes’ GoodReads page.

 

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Arisen: Book 1 Fortress Britain by Glynn James and Michael Stephen Fuchs

arisen

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The Descent Series by S. M. Reine

descent series
Click for S.M. Reine’s The Descent Series at GoodReads! Go to Amazon for a free Descent Series Kindle Download! http://alturl.com/whh2k

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Sara just sent me Sacrificed in Shadow: The Ascension Series #1 also!

Sacrificed in Shadow

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On hold for review approval from The Bookplex:  Gordon Gumpertz:  Life’s Blood (a REALLY great book! No cover available at this time per contract) and;

Beneath The Veil by William McNally

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Just received from NetGallery:

Saxon’s Bane by Geoffrey Gudgion and The Cowboy Imports A Bride by Cora Seton

cowboy imports
Click cover for GoodReads Page
of The Cowboy Imports A Bride
saxon's bane
Click cover for GoodReads page of Saxon’s Bane!

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Just received from Author Alliance: Kelly Graham Eyes Of The Many

eyes of the many
Click for the Eyes Of The Many GoodReads Site!

Review: Black Order: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins

black order
Click to purchase

Quantum Evolution and Nazi insanity – Five Stars

This is a re-post of  a review I did on Amazon some time ago. I thought it deserved another post here. Rollins is an amazing author. If you like high level adventure with a scientific twist, you can’t go wrong.

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Rollins always keeps me awake at night – – – for a couple of different reasons. I am a sucker for Rollins’ kind of books. Rollins, (older) Cussler, Preston/Child. They all are based on blistering speed, energy, and thrills. Twists and turns of science and excitement that keep me up at night, and well into the next morning. So much for sleep!

Rollins’ Sigma series is one of my favorites of the genre. Sigma Force is designed as, in it’s own description, “scientists with guns.” And I do love me some scientists – and scientists with guns? AWESOME! Rollins work is based on real science – in this case, quantum science and the horrors of Nazi experimentation. While not all of the ‘science” is “real” in this time and place (at this point – who knows for the future? Or in some alternate universe? Hey, see recent developments in the fields of multiverse theory and eternal inflation!)Rollins lays his novels on a base of solid, tested science. From that base he builds his story, intertwining fiction with nonfiction in a manner that has me note taking and bookmarking in my Nook, then spending hours later on searching the internet, checking what is real, and what is, well, ‘not yet real?”

This Sigma Force novel begins, oddly enough, with the auction of five extremely rare books at an auction house in Denmark – books that range from an original treatise of Neils Bohr, to the family bible of Charles Darwin. From there, it builds to an unknown psychotic illness in a Tibetan monastery, with a seemingly unrelated storyline taking place in the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa. In a flurry of guns, bombs, kidnappings, murder, helicopter, snowmobile and foot chases, evil Nazis and not-so-evil ‘used to be’ Nazis, we dash, following chapter headings counting off the minutes and hours to an ultimate outcome entwining science, madness, history, and horror in a manner Rollins, as usual, pulls off brilliantly. All in all, “Black Order” led to quite a few bookmarks, a few more ‘wish list’ entries at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and several hours researching quantum theory and the horrors of Nazi ‘science’.

Nazi studies into quantum consciousness and evolution were developed by the Nazis as a knee-jerk reaction against scientists such as Newton and Einstein, who were seen as Jewish (while Newton was believed to be Jewish, he actually wasn’t) scientists, and therefore their ideas were without value. Not being a Quantum Physicist myself, I had to really pull out the yellow highlighter and spend some serious time on real science websites to check things out. (You don’t have to be as obsessive as I am to enjoy the book – that’s just me!) What I found kept me locked into my chair all one Saturday and Sunday, researching the theories, the people involved, and becoming more and more fascinated by the concept. Oh, if only I were young again! Once you hit my age it is nigh on impossible to start over as a student, but if I did? Well, I may never be able to sit in a chair at Oxford, studying the nature of the quantum self, zero point energy, quantum evolution and perceptions of consciousness, but hey, I can certainly read – and Rollins, along with books by modern scientists like Lockwood, Penrose, Chalmers and Eccles, as well as the works of pioneers such as Lotka, the theories of Schroedinger and Heisenberg will keep me well entertained for ages. Well, when I am not re-reading Rollins for the thrills and chills!

I didn’t even much mind Rollins’ toe-dip into the concept of ‘intelligent design’ as Rollins’ take on same is one of observation rather than any theory of some penultimate ‘god’ figure watching over all. If there is a ‘god’ it is certainly a scientist, starting an experiment, then sitting back and watching to see what happens, cold, aloof, and totally scientific in its outlook. Rollins’ intelligent design, instead, is based upon electron wave-particle interactions and the studies that prove that direct observation actually switches electron interactions from particles to waves.
(See Richard Feynman’s “The Character of Physical Law” and others.)

All in all, if you like a screamingly fast pace, concepts that will keep you thinking and learning, and a roller coaster of excitement, you can’t go wrong with Rollins!

Research topics to consider:

Zero Point Energy, quantum evolution, evolutionary biology and the rapid emergence of higher taxonomic groups (my references were Simpson, G.G., “Tempo and Mode in Evolution” 1944, and “Quantum Evolution” McFaddeen, Johnjoe, 2000), quantum consciousness, wave-particle duality, Die Glocke, Xerum 525, Himmler and the Thule Society, Nazi occultism, the Lebensborn Project, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve

Review: The Chimera Vector – Nathan M. Farrugia – Four Stars

chimera vector
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The Chimera Vector is special. A heart-pounding blend of science fiction and thriller, the story line grabs your attention at the first and doesn’t let go. Not only does the story provide all the action and thrills that I love in a book of this sort, Farrugia knows his stuff when it comes to genetic manipulation, world governments, secret organizations, and the human need for power and wealth above all else.

Imagine the horror of waking up one day to discover that everything you thought was real was a lie – that instead of being the good guy, you find out that you are the monster under the bed. The horror destined to change the fate of the world. And truly, not in a good way. Hidden agendas, terrorism disguised as patriotism, genetic manipulation and deadly viruses (oh, my!) and plots within plots make this a lively and breathtaking read.

As some have said, there is a comparison to be drawn between Rollins and Farrugia. The action and adventure and edge of the seat thrills are definitely there. I would agree, however, that Rollins is in a class of his own when it comes to this genre. As this was Farrugia’s first book, before The Searphim Sequence: The Column 2, I will have to see how the next one goes to see how much closer he gets to that Rollins ideal.  As the reviewer on Amazon identified as “lifeguard48” stated, there is a very “Manchurian Candidate” vibe. I would add in a heavy dose of Huxley, a smidge of “Gattica” and a bow to   Methuselah’s Virus. Toss in a bit of Crichton and le Carre and you have a book with all the energy of a triple shot of espresso with a side of terror.

This is a great book. If you like action, check it out!  Recommended.

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