Please welcome my guest Kenneth Gordon, Author of Dark City
Hi Kenneth, share with our readers Dark City hero: Jeremiah Xidorn.Most authors, whether they intend to or not, put themselves into their characters’ strengths and weaknesses; unless you know the specific author, there is no way to determine where the attributes of the author ends and the traits of the character begin.Jeremiah is most auspiciously a sanguine personality type. He’s also a bit of an exhibitionist and a creative thinker. Because he likes to have fun most of the time, he may not think about the consequences of his actions. When he did his best to make Security crack a smile, it never occurred to him that he could lose his job over it. It is certainly ironic for a man who is such a people person to work in technology. Yet he finds Tech to be bothersome especially when it is not working for him.When he is confronted by the Builders, there is no fear. He is trying his best to understand them and play the long game. There is a great deal of curiosity, he has not yet been hardened or broken by the world. Jeremiah is still young enough and flexible enough to survive in any situation and come out on the other end a deeper and richer character.Dark City blurb:What does it mean to be human? How can we explain evil in the world? What if an AI confronts you about a flaw in your programming?Join Jeremiah Xidorn as he is taken from the world he thinks he knows into a place of decision. Will he side with his captors; will he fight back? Delve into these and other questions…Dark City Excerpt:“I’ve been promoted. I am now in my boss’ position.” Joe flailed his arms with glee.“That’s great. Congratulations!” they all said in unison.“Where’s Joe?”“I don’t know. He just left. An appointment I guess,” Sarah responded.“The ’droids are settin’ things up, so I’ll stay out of their hair for a bit.” Jeremiah spun around as if to show off to his friends.Something was off, but he couldn’t pin it down.Joe had disappeared, and no one seemed to know where he went.
“I’ll find him,” he told himself and bolted for his new office.The androids had done their work quicker than expected, and Jeremiah’s office was quiet when he got there. He had to use the scanner to get in. Immediately, he was taken aback.On his desk were pictures of his family that he didn’t put there. Setting that thought aside for the moment, he jacked into the phone system and sent the sequence to dial.He called Joe’s office. No answer. A moment later, he called the central office to see if Joe could be located.The automated attendant replied, “We are sorry, that person is no longer employed at this company.”A sense of panic raised the hair on the back of his neck. Immediately, he ran with every ounce of strength to his friend’s office. It was empty. No trace that Joe worked there or had ever worked there was found. It was swept clean.“Maybe I went to the wrong place,” he thought. “All these offices look the same.”To his own chagrin, he knew too well the location of his friend’s office. The paranoia built to a steady state when, upon finding his other compatriots, they had no knowledge that Joe had ever been part of their group. Jeremiah’s heart sank. He even checked the payroll office and no trace of his friend could be found.“I think I’ll go home. I’m not feeling well,” he said out loud.The security desk saw him approach. “We’re sorry you aren’t feeling well. Go home.”Even in his emotional state, he couldn’t detect any emotion coming from the people behind the desk. It was as if they had been replaced by replicants. “Yeah, thanks. I will.”Jeremiah made his way to a CAB, slid in and told it where to go. He was going over to Joe’s house. The place where he lived was no longer a single family dwelling, but a high rise multi-unit condo style building. There was no trace that Joe ever existed.Jeremiah checked the street sign to make sure the CAB didn’t take him to the wrong place.There was no mistake. Joe had been intentionally erased.About the Author
Kenneth Gordon grew up in Milford, NH and still lived in that state. When he isn’t writing scifi-infused horror novels, he plays PC games, electric and acoustic guitars, and drums. He also holds a brown belt in Kung Fu.Web Site: http:// kennethgordonnovelist .com/FB page: https://www.facebook.com/KennethGordonNovelist/Twitter: https://twitter.com/KennethGordon69Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our–authors/manufacturers/kenneth-gordonDark City Buy LinksPublisher’s website:http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/science-fiction/dark-city–689-detail?Itemid=0Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-City–Kenneth-Gordon-ebook/dp/B01FOOX3DW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469976535&sr=8-1&keywords=Dark+City+by+Kenneth+gordon#navbarAmazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-City–Kenneth-Gordon/dp/1938703901/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469977049&sr=1-1&keywords=Dark+City+by+Kenneth+GordonSmashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/636567
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Amazon Author’s Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003F6ZK1A
Please welcome my guest, Michael D. Smith , author ofCommWealth
*** Tell us about your hero, his strengths and weaknesses.
Allan Larson is one of the six major figures in CommWealth. Though two other characters eventually step forth to function as heroes, Allan is the consummate anti-hero whose absurd and puerile ambitions dominate this book. I’ve always thought of the characters in CommWealth as an ensemble cast in a movie, where accomplished actors divide the plot between them and no one actor has the lead role. The ensemble concept is apt for this novel, in which these characters form the core of the Forensic Squad theatrical troupe. The Cup of Fog coffeehouse in the fictional coastal Texas town of Linstar is their home base and forms the stage upon which the forces of the novel collide.
The insanity of the six-month-old CommWealth system, in which all private property has been outlawed and citizens are required to share everything, finds its apt expression in Allan Larson as he glibly procures free electronics and a Porsche in the first scene. Allan is a narcissistic playwright and actor who forces Forensic Squad to stage his mediocre play Cabaret. Supercilious, clueless, and manipulative, he’s claimed a mansion in Linstar Heights and surrounded himself with expensive cars and gadgets. As a writer he thinks he should express his buried truths, but he’s too fearful to find out what they really are, and when crime tempts him, he sees it as just another avenue to fulfilling his needs. He considers himself too creative to be bothered making backup copies of his writing, and it’s only by luck that he gets a digital copy of Cabaret back after his laptop is claimed by another citizen along with all his wide screen TVs, sports cars, and motorcycles. He dominates Forensic Squad not as a leader or someone who can make the troupe function, but as its clever, over-the-top “idea man” playwright with just enough charisma to keep things rolling his way.
If Allan has any redeeming quality, it’s his hesitant realization of a need for friendship or for the comradeship of the theatrical troupe, even as he considers how such friends and fellow actors might further or thwart his ambitions, and when might be the best opportunity to betray them. His loneliness can be touching. Though he lives in a dream world and rewrites every event to conform to his worldview, when a machine gun is pressed into his hands and his service is demanded as a soldier of a revolution against CommWealth, he’s at least grounded enough to see the absolute futility of such a battle–although his cowardice also plays a large part here.
The CommWealth system, has created a society in which there is no legal claim to any kind of private property. Any object from your house to the clothes you’re wearing can be demanded by anyone, to be enjoyed for thirty days before someone else can request it. As actors in the Forensic Squad theatrical troupe attempt to adapt to this chaos, their breaking of the Four Rules sustaining the system, as several members navigate betrayals, double agents, and murder to find themselves leading a suicidal revolution.
Rule One – You are free to enjoy the chosen object for thirty days. During this period no other person may request it.
Rule Two – The requestor is untouchable for thirty days by the person asked. Attempts at retaliation, such as demanding unusually large quantities from the original requestor after the thirty-day period, carry stiff penalties.
Rule Three – Once you ask somebody for something, you can never ask him or her for anything else again.
Rule Four – You can never ask for the same thing back from the person who got it from you, not even after his or her thirty days of enjoyment.
Allan shivered at the reflection of his black overcoat and his striding legs on the wet sidewalk. Up ahead someone with a DreamPiston Electronics bag opened a shiny red Porsche glistening with thousands of water beads.
“Okay,” Allan said, “I’ll take your car here.”
The mustached little twerp looked up. “Ahhh, crap…”
“C’mon, don’t give me any trouble. Gimme the key.”
“Look, it’s raining. And I just got these MP3 players and the new Fappy tablet—”
“Not my problem. Fork the damn key over.”
“Look, my umbrella’s in the car—can I just get my umbrella so my stuff—”
“Forget it. The umbrella’s part of the car as far as I’m concerned. Anything in the car. Besides, I just lost my umbrella a couple blocks back. I’m soaked.”
“C’mon, I just got this car the other day!”
“Don’t hand me that. The sticker on the plate says you got it a month and a half ago. You’re overdue, buddy. Now hand me the key.”
“Got trouble there?” A bright blue City of Linstar police car idled in the rain. “Got a Hoarder there?” a huge officer grinned.
“Uh, no… not at all…” said the twerp. “I just—I just can’t find the key—”
“Yeah, right—you just unlocked the damn car with it,” Allan said, turning to the policeman. “He is giving me a lot of crap about it.”
“C’mon, sir, you know better than that.” The officer’s name tag read BARCLAY.
“Dammit!” the twerp snarled. He separated the Porsche key off his key ring, thrust it at Allan, then spun around and fastened on a man coming down the sidewalk.
“Give me that umbrella! Right now!”
“Goddammit…” the man grunted, surrendering his umbrella to the twerp, who grabbed it and hoisted it above his DreamPiston bag.
“We really got the Christmas spirit here, don’t we?” Barclay said.
“Really,” Allan said. “Some people…” He examined the Porsche key in the rain. “Thanks for your help, officer.”
“Oh, I’m sure it wasn’t really necessary. People are basically good, you know. Give ’em time to adjust and all, that’s what I say.”
The twerp leapt into traffic with his new umbrella and his bag, waving his free arm. A little green car skidded to a halt. The twerp ran to the window and pounded on it. “Give me this car! Right now! Damn you!”
“Jesus…” Allan said. “What a bastard!”
Barclay was out of his patrol car in a second, hand on his hand on his holster. “Sir, that’s not the right way to go about it. We need to be respectful. That’s the CommWealth way.”
About the Author:
Michael D. Smith was raised in the Northeast and the Chicago area, before moving to Texas to attend Rice University, where he began developing as a writer and visual artist. In addition to exhibiting and selling paintings and drawings, he’s completed fifteen novels.
Smith’s writing in both mainstream and science fiction genres uses humor to investigate psychological themes. On his blog, he explores art and writing processes, and his web site contains further examples of his writing and art. He is currently Technology Librarian for McKinney Public Library in McKinney, Texas.
CommWealth is his first novel published by Class Act Books.
Find out more about Michael at:
Website: , www.sortmind.com,
Blog: www. http://blog.sortmind.com/wordpress/
CommWealth is available at:
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Amazon Author’s Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003F6ZK1A
Please welcome author Jeremy Higley, as he describes his hero in The Son of Dark
Tell me about your hero, his strengths and weaknesses.
I started writing The Son of Dark during my senior year of college. It took me about three years to finish. Now that it’s done, I still struggle to summarize the story properly without feeling like I’m leaving things out.
My hero, Skel, is a wizard in training and the foster son of an elephant herder who resents him. At the age of 14, his world falls apart when his master leaves unexpectedly, and his true father shows up to tell him about the prophecy that led to his birth. The same night his infant foster brother is kidnapped by a magical dream cult called the Dun Ko.
The book also follows the journey of my secondary “hero,” a former pirate turned merchant whose wife has been possessed by a dragon. As Skel searches for the Dun Ko and the lost child, he gets tangled up in the man’s quest to find a cure for his wife’s enchantment. Meanwhile, the good and evil wizards from an age before are becoming active again as the prophecy of the Darksome Thorn, the same prophecy without which Skel would never have been born, is weaving the past and the present together in preparation for a dark threat approaching from beyond the horizon.
Skel is not so much an accidental hero as a reluctant one. He wants to do the right thing, and he would like to help everybody, but he hates being the center of attention. He’s like a main character who wants to take the role of a supporting character, but Fate won’t let him. The most fascinating part of his journey, for me, is his development into a leader. He certainly isn’t there by the end of the first book. He likely will have an awkward relationship with his role for a while yet.
Indeed, I think I’ll always see Skel as an unassuming soul whose greatness is thrust upon him by forces beyond his control.
Blurb for Son of Dark:
A thousand years ago, the wizards of the Nynsa failed to follow the prophecy of the Darksome Thorn, and now the greatest evil of their time has survived into the next age.
Now, the Darksome Thorn has revealed a new prophecy, and the very evil they failed to kill is working to use that prophecy to his advantage.
Forces of evil run rampant in the land of Duskain. Ancient powers are stirring. A greater darkness is imminent…
…and Skel, the foster son of an elephant herder, finds himself caught in the middle of everything. Will Skel’s newly developing powers be a help or a hindrance…
Excerpt for Son of Dark:
Marga pointed to the south. Zar didn’t turn, but he heard a gasp of recognition from Skel.
“Aja-aja,” he said with concern. “Three of them, about two miles away.”
Zar sighed in trepidation. The aja-aja were rare, enormous snakes prowling the Eltar plains, preying on elephants and any herders foolish enough to attack them. They had three heads each and stocky, powerful bodies to match, and could grow to over forty feet long. They killed and then predigested their prey by spitting streams of corrosive poison from their mouths.
“The aja-aja will be no problem,” he bluffed, staring into Marga’s eyes. “I have two magic-users with me now, a wizard and a Phage. They’re perfectly capable of dispatching a few overgrown snakes.”
“If so, then I’ll simply have to wait longer to be reunited with my precious one,”
the Wyvern said, eyeing the flattened snake corpses around her.
Something inside Zar began to burn like a fuse at the words “precious one.”
“You knew her before, I presume,” he continued, his voice much quieter. “Before you kidnapped her, I mean, and took over her mind.”
“She was mine to take,” the Wyvern retorted through Marga’s lips. “She was always mine to take.”
The last words hissed from Marga’s mouth like a challenge. Zar’s fingers wrapped around his sword’s hilt. He wanted nothing more at this moment than a way to strike at
his enemy, but the Wyvern was far, far away.
“If you want her,” Zar said, “you’ll have to kill me.”
“Too risky,” the Wyvern replied. “You crave nothing more than to die for her. To kill you might break my grip.”
“If you don’t kill me she will never truly be yours,” Zar said. He walked to within an arm’s length of her. “As long as there’s breath in me, I will always be fighting to free
“I’m sure you mean that,” the Wyvern said. “Once you’re dead, there’s nothing to stop me from singing her back to me.”
About the Author:
Jeremy Higley was born in California but now lives in Arizona. As of 2016 he’s a graduate student working on a master’s degree in English. He’s also an instructional aide at a local elementary school, a novelist, and a contributing editor for a nonprofit student success company called LifeBound.
The Son of Dark, Book 1 of The Darksome Thorn, is his first novel.
Find out more about Jeremy at:
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Please welcome my guest, Juanita Aydlette, author of It’s in the Blood
Tell us more about your story, Juanita.
HOW EVIL IS MY VILLIAN?
The villain in my story, IT’S IN THE BLOOD, is named Rhodora. She’s from a supposedly extinct tribe called The Inans, whose evil leader was killed thousands of years ago by a set of twins possessing magical powers, who were born to an enemy tribe.
During the quest to resurrect her leader from the dead, she stalks a set of twins and their mother born in the enemy village from their birthplace in the jungles of Brazil to Africa. She suspects they are the predicted rebirth of the Miraculous Twins. Rhodora kills their mother, marries their unsuspecting father, and patiently waits for the twins’ eighteenth birthday. It is then she plans to slaughter one of the twins and use her blood to resurrect her leader.
Rhodora’s beauty is a lure during the day. At midnight she turns into a hideous creature that feeds on rodents and other small animals. Upon reviving her leader, the curse will be lifted and she will be the envy of all women. She will also become queen of a new tribe and rule all of South America.
When Gabrielle Madsen accompanies her parents on a three month trip to Africa, she is in for a pretty unique summer. As a botany major in college, her first interest is to hopefully discover a new plant species during her visit. Her discovery, however, tips her world on its axis.
Being a very naïve but dangerously curious young woman, she accepts a sight-seeing invitation from strangers that she met in her hotel lobby. This little escapade sets off a chain of events that changes the course of her life forever.
She instantly falls for Joshua Van Ness, one of the group’s members. Very quickly, their relationship excels.
Joshua and his twin sister, Christina, are descendants of an ancient Brazilian tribe, and they have a secret. Gabby’s curiosity about Josh heats up and puts her life in danger. Will the dark forces that wish to possess Josh and his sister view Gabby as an extra bonus?
Is this summer love worth the risk?
Josh looked into my eyes as he moved his feet in rhythm with the warriors.
“I love you.” He kissed my forehead pressing his lips in firmly.
“I love you too, Josh, more than you’ll ever know.”
The singing continued from above and below, with the tiger and the lioness now circling the temple outside the ring of tribesmen. The dancers’ rhythm increased in speed and they enhanced the ceremony with brisk, hand clapping. Mike stood and cupped Chris’s other hand within his own. Peter gently stroked her hair. The heart-breaking sadness twisted my insides as the uplifting voices of the brave warriors sung Chris’s soul into the spirit world. It was apparent that death was too easily accepted in this part of the world. I was devastated. I wasn’t ready to let go of my newly acquired family member so soon.
During a quick onset of nausea, I panicked, thinking that maybe I had picked up some sort of foreign bug. My tummy was starting to feel warm with Josh’s hand cupped over Chris’s, although his body heat was always searing.
I was staring at Mike with the sincerest of empathy when he fell to his knees and pressed his face against Chris’s hand. I wished that I could reach inside of him and cradle his heart and mend its shattered pieces. Earlier that day in the hotel, when he connected with Chris through the magic of my little one, I truly believed that he had just come to grips with the secret world that had graced his surroundings from the moment he met Chris. This was our bonding link. His thoughts were suddenly mine, a trip back into time, recalling some of the unbelievable events that had taken place before his eyes. He accepted them blindly without question because of his unconditional love for her. He didn’t want to know the why’s that trailed every strange episode in her life. All he wanted was to be with her through it all, forever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Juanita Aydlette was born in Shreveport, Louisiana.
What started out as a childhood obsession with magical creatures became a passion in her later years. She created such magic in her first novel IT’S IN THE BLOOD, and challenged her imagination to bring readers into her world of romance, suspense and fear of the unknown.
Her upcoming novel BLOOD TIES continues this epic saga.
Find out more about Juanita at:
Twitter: @Juanita Aydlette
Buy Links for IT’S IN THE BLOOD:
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Amazon Author’s Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003F6ZK1A