Weapons of Mass Deception: A military thriller by two US Navy veterans that could be ripped from today’s headlines

Ceri London:

A great interview to follow on my review of this intriguing new military thriller Weapons of Mass Deception by David Bruns and JR Olson. Thanks to Christoph Fischer!

Originally posted on writerchristophfischer:

WeaponsMass_CVR_LRGA military thriller by two US Navy veterans that could be ripped from today’s headlines

Transcript from http://chimerasthebooks.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/a-military-thriller-by-two-us-navy_15.html

In 2003, the world watched as coalition forces toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, then searched unsuccessfully for the weapons of mass destruction they were certain existed.

None were ever found, but they do exist. On the eve of the invasion, a handful of nuclear weapons was smuggled out of Iraq and hidden in the most unlikely of places: Iran.
Now, as the threat of WMDs fades into a late-night punch line, a shadowy Iranian faction waits for the perfect moment to unleash Saddam Hussein’s nuclear legacy on the West.
Brendan McHugh, a Navy SEAL, meets a mysterious Iranian diplomat on a raid in Iraq.

His former girlfriend and FBI linguist discovers a link to Iran among a group of captured jihadis. And pulling it all together is a CIA analyst who can’t…

View original 736 more words

New Release: WEAPONS OF MASS DECEPTION by David Bruns and JR Olson

A military thriller by two US Navy veterans that could be ripped from today’s headlines

WeaponsMass_CVR_LRG

AVAILABLE IN PRINT & EBOOK

 Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Patriot Games meets The Fourth Protocol in this riveting story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.

In 2003, the world watched as coalition forces toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, then searched—unsuccessfully—for the weapons of mass destruction they were certain existed.

None were ever found, but they do exist. On the eve of the invasion, a handful of nuclear weapons was smuggled out of Iraq and hidden in the most unlikely of places—Iran.

Now, as the threat of WMDs fades into a late-night punch line, a shadowy Iranian faction waits for the perfect moment to unleash Saddam Hussein’s nuclear legacy on the West.

Brendan McHugh, a Navy SEAL, meets a mysterious Iranian diplomat on a raid in Iraq. His former girlfriend and FBI linguist discovers a link to Iran among a group of captured jihadis. And pulling it all together is a CIA analyst who can’t forget about Saddam Hussein’s WMDs—even if it costs him his career.

What the reviewers are saying

(Don’t miss Ceri London’s review below!)

 “Fans of Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, or Nelson DeMille should feel right at home with this story of lost nukes, Navy SEALS, intelligence agency operatives, and up-to-minute global politics.”

“An intense, wild ride, hang on to your hats.”

“WMD weaves global politics and fundamentalism with love and hard-hitting action, all against a backdrop of real-world events. A…scary exploration of what might have been!”

“A visual page-turner, WMD is art that imitates life.”

 

AVAILABLE IN PRINT & EBOOK

 Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

About the Authors

 

Duo pic - min
JR and David

 

David Bruns and JR Olson are both graduates of the US Naval Academy and share a combined 35 years of service in the US Navy.

Weapons of Mass Deception is their first co-authored work.  For more information, visit davidbruns.com

 

MY REVIEW

 

Weapons of Mass DeceptionWeapons of Mass Deception by David Bruns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There were scenes of action in Weapons of Mass Deception when I just knew that the two authors must have had so much fun plotting out this book. Their real-life military experience shines through, adding even more credibility to a political thriller that sometimes tracks so closely to recent events I began to wonder if the authors possessed a crystal ball at the time of writing. The level of research gave me a greater appreciation of the complexities of life and politics in the Middle East than I had before.

The story captures snapshots of the lives of six flawed and interesting characters covering a wide spectrum of professional and personal developments across several years, the steady pace enlivened with intense scenes of military action and personal drama. Every now and again the lives of these six characters cross over, enough for the reader to understand the significance, sometimes ahead of the characters creating an air of looming suspense. Always in the background is the menacing threat that the world is about to discover the whereabouts of some famous missing nuclear weapons.

I loved how the three baddies in this story were given equal billing with WMD’s heroes. The back stories of Hashem Aboud, Rafiq Roshed, and U.S. Navy officer Brendan McHugh are particularly well drawn. For me, Brendan was the main hero, oh so hopeless with his personal relationships, but I found myself as much immersed in Rafiq’s personal story as I was rooting for Brendan and FBI Special Agent Liz Soroush to get their act together.

Beautifully written, convincingly detailed, and professionally edited, WMD weaves global politics and fundamentalism with love and hard-hitting action, all against a backdrop of real-world events. A well thought out thriller, but also a fascinating and scary exploration of what might have been!

Highly recommended!

(I received an advance review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.)

View all my reviews

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Coffee & Chat with Ally Shields!

A thank you to Ally Shields for hosting me on today’s Coffee and Chat at her blog Step into the Realm of Urban Fantasy.

“Welcome to our Wednesday book chat!
Today’s guest is Ceri London, author of the Shimmer in the Dark series.

Nice to have you visit, Ceri. How do you take your coffee?

CERI: First let me thank you so much for inviting me to chat on your blog!

Coffee? I love filtered coffee with hot milk. I always seem to ask for a cappuccino though. The cocoa sprinkled on top sways me.

Ally: Since you love both, why don’t I surprise you. :)  Meanwhile, please show readers your bio and tell them something unique about yourself… “  Read more

 

NEW RELEASE: Refractions Of Frozen Time by Marcha Fox

 

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“Author Marcha Fox has a gift for explaining the science. The world she creates in the Star Trails Tetralogy is genius, so well thought out and crafted. As the Brightstar youngsters observe and understand their surroundings, their conclusions can be coloured by their Miran schooling, but when they break old habits and open their minds in order to survive the hostile planet they must now call home, these children achieve the incredible. Quite beautiful.” Ceri London.

 

                 BOOK DESCRIPTION

A discovery that links two dimensions of time. . .A prison ship’s dirty little secret. . .Esheron has answers but will they arrive before it’s too late? 

"Refractions of Frozen Time" finds the Brightstars, your favorite space-faring family, more separated than ever before. Laren is in the process of being exiled to the galaxy's ultimate security prison onboard an automated spacecraft. Creena, her little brother, Deven, and her mother, Sharra, remain in the Caverns, while Dirck and Win report to the Clique base at Apoca Canyon. 

Deven discovers a new crystal which, combined with cristobalite, unlocks the portal between Local and Universal time, offering the potential Creena has been looking for to reunite the family at last. There's one problem, however. Teleporting results in the correct location but the arrival time seems to be random, which has risky implications. Before she can unravel the mystery, however, Integrator commandos find their underground hideout, forcing a harrowing escape loaded with unexpected consequences. Believing they're permanently lost, the dark and lonely days that follow change Dirck forever as fate plays out a hand dealt on Earth years before, ultimately revealing the crystals' incredible secret. 

Onboard the Bezarna Express, Laren's efforts to exploit the ship's dirty little secret backfire, putting him more at risk than ever before, his survival dependent on ground intervention. Little does he know that the solution has been with him all along, quietly lurking in a device that operates strictly on the principle "If you don't ask, you don't get." Meanwhile, Augustus Troy, Laren's long-time nemesis, gains more power than ever before coupled with being armed with a weapon capable of wiping out anyone opposed to his despotic goals. 

Do the Brightstars have what it takes to survive much less prevail at their final confrontation with the Integrator and his evil proponents? Or will the family’s longed-for reunion take place in another dimension of time and space? Find out in this suspense-laden conclusion to the Star Trails Tetralogy. 

 

Marcha Fox

Marcha Fox is a former NASA engineer based at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas so she really does know her science, but she has also written an amazing science-fiction series Star Trails Tetralogy and I was thrilled to get the opportunity to beta read this final volume: Refractions of Frozen Times.

Naturally, I have got to know Marcha through our mutual writing endeavours and so I am delighted to publish my advance review on the day she releases her work.


MY ADVANCE REVIEW

Refractions of Frozen Time (Star Trails Tetralogy, #4)Refractions of Frozen Time by Marcha A. Fox

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Star Trails Tetralogy is the classic story of good versus evil seen through one family’s struggle to reunite, an endeavour that draws in a number of lonely souls along the way. The three Brightstar siblings are the young heroes of this story and, as they observe and understand their surroundings, their conclusions can be coloured by their Miran schooling. It’s when they break old habits in order to survive the hostile planet they must now call home that they open their minds and hearts to the mysteries of the universe and achieve the incredible.

This is a beautifully written story, developing themes of loyalty, tolerance, understanding, and patient study. As I have alluded to in reviews of the preceding stories, the thoughtful pace is broken up by moments of intense excitement, but the narrative has to be savoured and enjoyed for gems like this, “…a vast and abrupt precipice, the sheer sides a trickle of motion…” Each character makes a discovery, about themselves and their friends and family, except for maybe Deven, the little boy, who intuits everything in the most lovely and unassuming manner. I so want to see what he gets up to when he’s older. The more alien characters are equally fascinating and the subtle hints of their background cultures enrich the story with depth and colour.

Finally, author Marcha Fox has a gift for explaining the science in an interesting and original way. The detailed world she creates is genius, so well thought out and crafted and sci-fi fans who love properly developed cultures backed up by hard and well understood science will devour these stories. The quiet thread of an entity stronger than either individual or corporation runs throughout this series and I believe reflects many faith systems once semantics are put aside with its impact only fully understood in the uniquely fitting and uplifting climax.

Quite beautiful.

I highly recommend this series for adults and young adults.

(I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

 

AUTHOR LINKS.

You can find Marcha Fox:

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Marcha-Fox/e/B0074RV16O/

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Marcha-Fox/e/B00T6XPLR4/

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6481953.Marcha_A_Fox

Author Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marchafoxauthor

Author Homepage:  http://www.StarTrailsSaga.com

Bublish Author Page:  https://www.bublish.com/author/view/3111

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/startrailsIV

Blog Page: http://marcha2014.wordpress.com/

Tumblr:  http://startrailsiv.tumblr.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/marcha-fox/86/440/326/                

Google+:  google.com/+MarchaFoxAuthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kallioperisingp/

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZsgOqTmtMFutwU3lt4RByQ


PREVIOUS REVIEWS OF STAR TRAILS BOOKS:

My Review of: A Dark Of Endless Days by Marcha A. Fox  Volume II Star Trails Tetralogy

A Dark Of Endless Days

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I made time over the holiday season to read the second book in this wonderful series. The family is still torn apart, Creena is on Terra, desperate to return to her family and completely bewildered by the backward humans living on planet Earth (loved all the references to UFOs and aliens), while the rest of her family is surviving life on a hostile planet passing between two suns.

The heat ramps up as does the drama as Dirck is forced to take on Laren Brightstar’s design for an AC system that might keep the family alive during the hot season while Troy (baddie) plots how to manipulate Laren into doing his bidding.

I am in awe of the world author Marcha Fox has created. She has populated our galaxy with human colonies and aliens, enriching the story with intricate detail covering solar systems, seasons, geology, politics, anthropological, fauna, eco-commerce, technological, and spiritual beliefs that are unveiled layer upon layer as the story progresses.

The children are learning so much and (as I mentioned in my review for the first book) the reader learns right along with them. These kids face an epic struggle for survival and I felt their joy with each small success and their despair when everything they’ve worked for begins to fall apart on them. The characterisation is beautifully carried throughout and you witness the children’s emotional growth. Deven is still one to watch! I think leaving Mira was the best thing that could have happened to them. I shudder to think how their lives might have turned out if their biggest trial to face had been boredom and compliance in a system designed to perpetuate the ordinary. Not on Cyraria. Here, Marcha Fox has created something extraordinary.

Take your time reading this book as this is not a fast-paced read although it certainly has its heart-thumping moments. However, the pace encouraged me to slow down, savour the rich detail, and get inside the heads of these children. A thoroughly enjoyable read and I’m very much looking forward to Book 3!

( I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.)


My Review of: Beyond the Hidden Sky by Marcha A. Fox Volume I Star Trails Tetralogy

BTHS_wrap_around_d-Kindle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A joy to read. Imaginative hard sci-fi with real-life characters

Imagine growing up in a regimented, well-ordered, pristine bubble. Then imagine you burst that bubble accidentally and your new playground suddenly opens up to include the galaxy, but you’re on your own, your family is travelling farther and farther away, you’re trapped in this escape pod, and there’s a virtual nanny telling you what to do. Imagine you’re a natural rebel.

Creena Brightstar is a rebel.

Dirck is her brother. Dirck is dutiful, compliant, and loves to drive his non-conforming sister crazy. This time he went too far. Now he’s with his father and on a mission to find Creena, only the big, bad world outside is nothing like the bubble he’s raved about all his life, and his dad has some rapid education to do.

This is such a fun, fascinating read. Marcha Fox knows her science, and the Brightstar children rapidly need to learn all this stuff about space travel, warp drive, and time bumps, and so the reader learns right along with them. Anyone who loves hard science will lap this book up. However, that and the wonderful world-building is the bonus.

The real joy in this story (the start of a bigger, complex, political sci-fi thriller chock-full of mysterious baddies) is Creena and Dirck’s development. Adversity tests, tries, and changes their outlook on life. In Marcha Fox’s world, never mistake inexperience for incompetence. She expects much from her young characters, and yet intuitively understands and empathises with them.

Oh, and there’s a robot I swear would drive C-3PO insane.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for both young and old and I will be gradually devouring the rest of this series.

View all my reviews

BRAND NEW! Shimmer In The Dark: DESTINY NEXUS Official Launch!

I am very excited to announce the launch of Shimmer In The Dark: Destiny Nexus. This exciting, high paced sequel to Rogue Genesis is now available as an e-book on Amazon and is packed with shocks and revelations.

Destiny Nexus

“This man isn’t the exclusive property of the US any longer. He is answerable to the world.”

Major Niall Kearey is the only man capable of bridging space-time to create portals across the known universe.

His government and the US military exploit his abilities, a secret society incites global unease in a bid to control him, and the alien refugees he smuggled to Earth revere him as the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.

Under threat of exposure, a potential one-man weapon of mass destruction, Niall and his family are forced back into hiding. Struggling to protect his wife and children, honor his oath to God and country, Kearey discovers he’s attracted the attention of a devourer of worlds – the legendary Balor – an enemy so powerful it enslaves or destroys everyone in its path.

The world needs Niall Kearey and his abilities, but the shady politics and dirty maneuvering of Earth’s power-brokers have tied his hands. Shackled by the unceasing suspicion and assaults on his liberty, Niall desperately seeks a means to protect planet Earth against the ancient predator hunting him down. Whether Balor’s purpose is Apocalypse or invasion, the threat escalates as Niall realizes the answer to the future lies in the past—his past.

How far can one man travel to preserve a world that has turned on him?

Niall must accept his destiny as the nexus – a magnet for destructive forces and possibly mankind’s last hope for salvation.

An exploration of love and betrayal with the high-octane pace of military thriller, Destiny Nexus stretches a man’s moral fiber to breaking point and changes him forever. This action-packed sequel continues the epic space opera saga introduced in Rogue Genesis.

Grab your copy of this breath-taking, dramatic sci-fi thriller, the second novel in the Shimmer In The Dark series!

AVAILABLE NOW AT AMAZON

I was delighted to receive this Advance Review by Marcha Fox, who worked as a NASA Contractor at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas for over 20 years and who has kindly advised me on the science aspects, keeping my flights of fantasy near the bounds of scientific credibility! Marcha Fox is also a science fiction writer and we have become friends through our mutual enjoyment of each other’s work.

Marcha Fox’s Review of “Destiny Nexus” by Ceri London

5-stars (only because in most rating systems I can’t give it more)

If you enjoyed the breathless intensity of “Rogue Genesis” you will be equally enthralled by its sequel, “Destiny Nexus.” When you’re dealing with a hero with talents like Niall Kearey trouble is inevitable, especially when coupled with the US Government, the Pentagon, and a plethora of hidden agendas on the part of an ancient secret society. Add an influx of off-world alien immigrants from another planet and you not only have a plot which is bound to thicken but require considerable skill on the part of the author to tie it all together. This London achieves, the result a breath-taking kaleidoscope of science fiction intrigue. Several developments left me literally gasping, yet the scary part is that the author did such a convincing job of tying it all together that nothing exceeds the realm of reader credibility.

In this volume, character development takes its natural course as Niall experiences increasing pressure from those who resent and fear his talents. Hero-types don’t take well to such bullies, whether in the form of an individual or some powerful entity, yet as we all know “fighting city hall” usually doesn’t end well. The plot as well as various characters and situations darken, threats to Niall’s family taking a different turn than they did in “Rogue Genesis” yet no less hair-raising. New characters and developments related to Niall’s distant past arise which have startling implications as well.

I highly recommend reading (or rereading) “Rogue Genesis” to get the most out of this worthy sequel. Seemingly minor characters from the previous episode return in a variety of roles for which their context and relationship to the protagonist as well as each other are important to fully grasp and appreciate the story’s considerable depth.

As with “Rogue Genesis,” the author has done an outstanding job blending cutting-edge science, ancient history, the paranormal, and government intrigue into a skillfully orchestrated saga that will, like its predecessor, leave you biting your nails with bated breath until the next book comes out.

(I was provided a free electronic copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.)

SHIMMER IN THE DARK: ROGUE GENESIS

Rogue Genesis

Destiny Nexus is the  sequel to Rogue Genesis. Rogue Genesis is the first book in my Shimmer In The Dark series and can be read as a standalone novel.

I’ve loved developing the characters from Rogue Genesis and have introduced a few more as Niall discovers his heritage and unravels the threat of an alien predator hunting him across the cosmos. I’m now looking forward to developing a cast of new alien characters in Galacticus Elecion, the third book in the series.

Shimmer Series Banner

 

A FINAL THANK YOU!

I have thanked several people in my acknowledgements, but I want to express again my huge appreciation to my beta readers and proofreaders for their honest feedback and catches. A special, massive thank you goes to Travis for his insightful content editing, his generous line editing, and his consistent support throughout the creation of Destiny Nexus!

On to Galacticus Elecion!

NEW RELEASE VERY SOON! Destiny Nexus (Vol 2, Shimmer In The Dark)

I have been so determined to publish the second book in my Shimmer In The Dark series in 2014 as I originally promised when I published Rogue Genesis! Well, I’m on the cusp of the new year. I pushed the button on Amazon on 31st December and I hope to launch on New Year’s Day 2015.

We will see!

In the meantime, here is my Cover Reveal and book description.

Destiny Nexus

 

This man isn’t the exclusive property of the US any longer. He is answerable to the world.

Major Niall Kearey is the only man capable of bridging space-time to create portals across the known universe. His government and the US military exploit his abilities, a secret society incites global unease in a bid to control him, and the alien refugees he smuggled to Earth revere him as the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.

Under threat of exposure, a potential one-man weapon of mass destruction, Niall and his family are forced back into hiding. Struggling to protect his wife and children, honor his oath to God and country, Kearey discovers he’s attracted the attention of a devourer of worlds – the legendary Balor – an enemy so powerful it enslaves or destroys everyone in its path.

The world needs Niall Kearey and his abilities, but the shady politics and dirty maneuverings of Earth’s power-brokers have tied his hands. Shackled by the unceasing suspicion and assaults on his liberty, Niall desperately seeks a means to protect planet Earth against the ancient predator hunting him down. Whether Balor’s purpose is Apocalypse or invasion, the threat escalates as Niall realizes the answer to the future lies in the past—his past.

How far can one man travel to preserve a world that has turned on him?

Niall must accept his destiny as the nexus – a magnet for destructive forces and possibly mankind’s last hope for salvation.

An exploration of love and betrayal with the high-octane pace of military thriller, Destiny Nexus stretches a man’s moral fiber to breaking point and changes him forever. This action-packed sequel continues the epic space opera saga introduced in Rogue Genesis.

Warning: Some strong language.

TWO EXCITING NEW RELEASES BY SCI FI AUTHOR DAVID BRUNS

Author David Bruns has released Sacrifice, his third book in the Dream Guild Chronicles as well as an Amish science fiction story, The Yesterday Adjustment.

Followers of my blog will know that  I am enjoying his Dream Guild series and my review of his latest release, Sacrifice, will be published very shortly. Suffice to say, I loved it!

In the meantime, an introduction to both releases by the author:

The science fantasy series, The Dream Guild Chronicles, tells a different kind of first contact story—one from the alien’s point of view.

IRRADIirradiance_cvr_lrgANCE, Book One, imagines the kind of dystopian world you might get if you paired Big Brother from 1984 with A Wrinkle in Time. Maribel, a scientist, uncovers an ecological disaster that makes her reexamine everything she thought she knew about her Community. In desperation, Maribel flees her home world with her family and a few friends.

TheSight_CVR_LRG-200x300In SIGHT, Book Two, the storyline focuses on Sariah, Maribel’s daughter. Her parents are frantic to find her a new home safe from the long arm of the Community. But new worlds are fraught with new dangers, and SIGHT will keep you on the edge of your seat as you follow Sariah trying to navigate the superstitions of hunter-gatherer tribal culture.

Now imagine Lost in Space crash landing into an ancient Incan civilization and you have SACRIFICE, Book Three of The Dream Guild Chronicles.

Sacrifice_CVR_MED

If crash landing isn’t bad enough, a crew member is taken captive by the natives. A rescue attempt, a firefight and one crewman is left for dead.

But he’s very much alive.

Alone, light-years from everyone who cares about him, Gideon navigates royal politics, tribal rituals, and ancient prophecies as he struggles to take back the artifact that will let him reconnect with his family.

And if you’re in the mood for something shorter, you might want to try The Yesterday Adjustment.

Yesterday_CVR_MED

Synopsis:

Washington crossing the Delaware, Truman dropping the atomic bomb, TRACE rebels capturing the first Transport portal at Columbia. All examples of inflection events that fundamentally altered the trajectory of mankind’s future.

After more than a half-century at war, Transport is desperate for a way to defeat the rebels once and for all. Enter Damien Strickland, Time Operative agent. His mission: posing as an Amish man, go back in time and make sure the rebel attack on the Columbia portal fails.

The mission takes an unexpected turn when he meets Amos Troyer, the man who will grow up to become the feared leader of the rebel forces. But Amos in this timeline is only a harmless sixteen year old Amish boy.

Set in the rich Amish science-fiction world of Michael Bunker’s PENNSYLVANIA, The Yesterday Adjustment is James Bond meets Harrison Ford in the The Witness.

 

About the author:  DAVID BRUNS

headshot cropped (2)I grew up on a small farm in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. We didn’t have a TV, so my reading habit gradually grew into a reading obsession. After high school, I was accepted to the United States Naval Academy where I earned a Bachelors of Science in Honors English (That’s not a typo. I’m probably the only English major you’ll ever meet who had to take multiple semesters of calculus, physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, naval architecture and weapons systems just so I could get to read some Shakespeare. It was totally worth it.)

I spent six years as a commissioned officer in the nuclear-powered submarine force chasing Russian submarines. Then the Cold War ended and I became a civilian. For the next two decades, I schlepped my way around the globe as an itinerant executive in the high-tech sector, and even did a stint with a Silicon Valley startup.

In 2013, I took a break from corporate life and wrote a book. I enjoyed it so much that I wrote another (better) book, the first in the science fantasy series, The Dream Guild Chronicles.

My wife and I are self-confessed travel junkies. We’re immensely proud of the fact that both our children had to get extra pages in their passports in order to fit all their visa stamps. Together, we’ve visited over two dozen different countries and almost all fifty states, but Minnesota is home.

Where to find David Brun’s work:

IRRADIANCE:  http://amzn.com/B00IRG97SK

SIGHT:  http://amzn.com/B00KLQ6AB6

SACRIFICE:  http://amzn.com/B00OQTE9D0

The Yesterday Adjustment:  http://amzn.com/B00OJFP2DW

Website: http://davidbruns.com

 

SciFi Author Marcha Fox – Interview on The Dawn of Shades Radio Show

Marcha Fox, science fiction author of the Star Trails Tetralogy and former NASA engineer based at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, not only knows her science, she writes a beautiful story.

I have been Marcha 5cropcaptivated by Marcha’s book Beyond The Hidden Sky, the first volume in her wonderful Star Trails series, and my review follows below.

Even better, you can hear all about Marcha’s latest interest from the author herself as she is being interviewed tonight by Gia Scott on the radio show The Dawn Of Shades.

The show goes out 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm Central Daylight Time on the 30th September 2014. If you can’t catch it live, the show is available FREE through its archives HERE . Marcha is a wonderful author with a fascinating life story and hearing her talk live will be a treat for her fans of astrology.

My Review of: Beyond the Hidden Sky by Marcha A. Fox

BTHS_wrap_around_d-Kindle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A joy to read. Imaginative hard sci-fi with real-life characters

Imagine growing up in a regimented, well-ordered, pristine bubble. Then imagine you burst that bubble accidentally and your new playground suddenly opens up to include the galaxy, but you’re on your own, your family is travelling farther and farther away, you’re trapped in this escape pod, and there’s a virtual nanny telling you what to do. Imagine you’re a natural rebel.

Creena Brightstar is a rebel.

Dirck is her brother. Dirck is dutiful, compliant, and loves to drive his non-conforming sister crazy. This time he went too far. Now he’s with his father and on a mission to find Creena, only the big, bad world outside is nothing like the bubble he’s raved about all his life, and his dad has some rapid education to do.

This is such a fun, fascinating read. Marcha Fox knows her science, and the Brightstar children rapidly need to learn all this stuff about space travel, warp drive, and time bumps, and so the reader learns right along with them. Anyone who loves hard science will lap this book up. However, that and the wonderful world-building is the bonus.

The real joy in this story (the start of a bigger, complex, political sci-fi thriller chock-full of mysterious baddies) is Creena and Dirck’s development. Adversity tests, tries, and changes their outlook on life. In Marcha Fox’s world, never mistake inexperience for incompetence. She expects much from her young characters, and yet intuitively understands and empathises with them.

Oh, and there’s a robot I swear would drive C-3PO insane.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for both young and old and I will be gradually devouring the rest of this series.

View all my reviews

REVIEW: Contract of Defiance by Tammy Salyer

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Contract of Defiance by Tammy Salyer

Book One in the Spectras Arise Trilogy

My rating: 5 of 5 starsContract of Defiance (Spectras Arise Trilogy, Book 1)

This is a well-written book, clean, with fast-paced action that rarely stops for breath and great description that doesn’t fear blood and gore. The military setting benefits from the author’s military background and there are interesting science and medical details science fiction readers will appreciate. Told in the first person (a point of view I don’t usually like) this one pulled me into the protagonist’s mind. Aly Erikson is a hard-ass soldier-turned-criminal and a mixed up mess. When a job goes badly wrong and her brother David gets captured by the Admin, she wakes up in the medical facility on the wrong ship with a crew who has their own objectives. All Aly cares about is finding her own crew so she can rescue David. The story that follows slowly reveals the political set up in this part of the universe providing a wide space opera backdrop for the rest of the series.

Aly Erikson’s development is great and distinctive for the amount of conflict she inspires. She’s impatient, aggressive, and just so slow to work out who to trust with her loyalty. A romantic angle is understated and although I would have enjoyed more emphasis on this, the plot develops the relationship well. I loved how Aly got so many backs up, and connected with so many others. She had to prove herself, demonstrate her true motivations by her actions and the choices she made. This girl has intelligence, guts, and grit. Character wise, my only criticism is that the back story for the captain/surgeon of Aly’s new crew needs a little more development to explain her combat skills, but I suspect there is more story to come. Overall, the characterization is well drawn and balanced, baddies as well as goodies, and everyone has their own peculiarity. The main antagonist is just plain scary.

Contract of Defiance is a great read, brimming with military strategy and tactics, masses of conflict and pistol-drawn battles, and a new galactic way of living to discover that caters for the privileged while suppressing the communities existing on its fringes.

Exciting, riveting stuff. I can highly recommend this book.

(Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I also purchased a copy.)

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