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Blog Tour: Keepers of the Gate by E. Denise Billups @DeniseBillups @digitalreadsbt #BookReview #BookBlogger #histfic

Keepers of the Gate by E. Denise Billups
(Twilight Ends #1)
Historical Fiction

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In 1779 Kanadasaga, Sullivan’s Expedition torches a Seneca village and many others, destroying the Iroquois Confederacy. Awakened from sleep, Pilan and Teka flee their blazing longhouse into the woodlands. After a soldier’s bullet thwarts their escape, Pilan vows to meet his beloved Teka again in another life.

Two hundred years later in present-day Geneva, New York, historical relics rise. Twilight Ends, a grand Victorian bed-and-breakfast run by the Newhouse family, sits on the property the Iroquois village used to thrive on.

After Twilight Ends’ long-standing matriarch Tessa Newhouse dies, her daughter and granddaughter, Skylar and Twyla, discover two artifacts under the maple tree in the backyard, and an ancient mystery as old as time begins to unravel.
But will they have the courage to follow the path their ancestors did?

E. Denise Billups is an author with a rare mixture of southern and northern charm. She was born in Monroeville, Alabama, and raised in New York City, where she has worked in finance and as a freelance columnist and currently resides. A multi-genre author of fiction, she has published four novels—Keepers of the Gate: Twilight Ends (Book 1), Kalorama Road, Chasing Victoria, and By Chance. She has also written several supernatural short stories, including Off the Grid, Ravine Lereux: Unearthing A Family Curse, The Playground, and Rebound. As an avid reader of magical realism, mystery, suspense, and supernatural novels, she was greatly influenced by authors in these genres.

Currently, she is working on book two of her trilogy, Twilight Ends, a paranormal historical fiction, and book two of Simone Doucet Series to be released in 2022.

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Blog Tour: Inventing the Future by Albert Cory @BobPurvy1 @RRBookTours1 #RRBooks

Welcome to the blog tour for the fascinating new release by Albert Cory, Inventing the Future! Read on for more info and a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

“Inventing the Future is Based on the True Story of the Xerox Star, the Computer that Changed Everything”

Inventing the Future by Albert Cory
Based on a True Story/ Historical Fiction/ Technologies

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Imagine a time before everyone stared at a screen, before fonts, icons, mice, and laser printers, before Apple and Microsoft… But behind the scenes, Xerox engineers were dreaming and inventing the modern personal computer.

Who were these people who changed the world, and why did corporate management just want to sell copiers and printers?

Albert Cory* was one of the engineers, charged with making that dream a reality and unknowingly starting a revolution. Inventing the Future is based on the true story of the Xerox Star, the computer that changed everything.

It was finally happening. After almost five years of labor by 250-plus people, the Office of the Future was here. Despite the prayers for them, 64K memory chips had not appeared. Michael had gotten corporate approval to increase the manufacturing cost with an extra 64K words of memory. Star now had 256K words, or 512K bytes of main memory. The performance was still poor, but at least it was tolerable now.

Star had been announced and demoed in New York already, and this week was the National Computer Conference in Chicago, starting Monday, May 4, 1981 and lasting until Thursday. Dan had volunteered to man the Xerox booth for all four days. He flew out to Chicago on the Sunday morning before it started, but with the time change, it was past dinner when he finally arrived at McCormick Place.

Dan read the Sunday Chicago Tribune. 

In Business, Compushop was offering an Apple II starter system for $1,595. But then buried deep inside the section, Dan found what he was looking for, a story about the Star. It began:

Xerox terminal has symbols, not codes

Managers and professional workers haven’t been the best customers for automated office equipment like computer terminals.

Maybe it’s because they are more accustomed to pointing and selecting material rather than typing out explicit commands.

Maybe it’s because they can’t type.

The article quoted a Xerox marketing executive, who explained that the Star was aimed at “managers or professionals who produce documents, reports, or charts.” It explained how the mouse worked. The executive went on to explain that the Star system cost $15,595, but “technological advances will allow price reductions in the future.” Star would be demonstrated at the National Computer Conference at McCormick Place this week.

Dan, Janet, Martin, Henry, and the rest of the Xeroids were continuously busy, explaining the Star to curious attendees. Visitors could try a mouse, and lots of them did—almost no one had ever used a mouse before. A technical staffer had brought a box full of spare mice and swapped in a new one every hour since the accumulated dirt and finger oil from all the guests made the rubber balls in the mice sticky.

As each hour approached, people began gathering around the monitors to see the demos. By noon, they were waiting 10 minutes before the hour. Michael stationed himself near the left side monitor, where he kept busy talking to reporters, executives, and random attendees. Michael watched the crowd closely, and he noticed that Steve Jobs, one of the Apple founders, came every hour, surrounded by other guys Michael didn’t know. He knew that Jobs had visited PARC the year before last for a demo of the Alto and Smalltalk, but he hadn’t seen Star before. He had supposedly asked, “Why isn’t Xerox doing anything with this?” Now, he found out they were.

Inventing the Future ebook on Sale!

On Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021 the Kindle edition of Inventing the Future became available to readers. About 140 have already requested Advance Review Copies and 10 people have reviewed it on GoodReads or Amazon.

Inventing the Future fills a void that the excellent histories, like Dealers of Lightning, cannot: it puts you into the experience and lets you imagine what it would be like to take part in something you just know is going to change the world, even if you don’t know how yet.

It also tells some little-known facts about the legend of the Apple / Steve Jobs visit to Xerox PARC. People think “XeroxPARC” is one word. It’s actually two words, and PARC was not the organization that made the Xerox Star. Jobs did not see Star during his visit for the simple reason that it didn’t exist yet; his visit was in December 1979, and Star was introduced at the National Computer Conference in May 1981. Jobs saw the breakthrough technology that we were trying to commercialize.

Inventing the Future features a foreword by David Canfield Smith, the inventor of icons and one of the designers of the Star. and pictures his son Jeffrey on the cover, “playing” MazeWar, a massively multiplayer game from before such things existed. The title comes from a quote by Alan Kay, the brilliant computer scientist:

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

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*Albert Cory is a pen name for Bob Purvy, a retired software engineer who worked on the Xerox Star. In his career he also worked at Burroughs, 3Com, Oracle, Packeteer, and Google. All characters are fictional and are composites of the scientists, engineers, and executives who lived the story, with the exception of the auto-biographical character, Dan Markunas. The other two main characters, Janet Saunders and Grant Avery, are completely fictional, and are not in any way representative of the real people who had their jobs (note: the author makes clear which events are real and which are composites in the Endnotes).

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Blog Tour: No Names to Be Given by Julia Brewer Daily @JBDailyAuthor @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours

Congratulations to author Julia Brewer Daily on the release of her debut novel, No Names to Be Given!

Read on for more info and a chance to win a $100 Amazon e-gift card!!!!

No Names to Be Given by Julia Brewer Daily
Historical Fiction/ Women’s Fiction

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Today’s young women will not understand how our families made us feel shame so intensely; we surrendered our first-born children to strangers. Faith Reynolds, No Names to Be Given 

The widely anticipated debut novel by Julia Brewer Daily is a glimpse into the lives of women forced by society to gift their newborns to strangers. Although this novel is a fictional account, it mirrors many of the adoption stories of its era. 

When three young unwed women meet at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans in 1965, they are expected to relinquish their babies and return home as if nothing transpired. Twenty-five years later, they are brought back together by blackmail and their secrets threatened with exposure—all the way to the White House.

Told from the three women’s perspectives in alternating chapters, we are mesmerized by the societal pressures on women in the 1960s who found themselves pregnant without marriage. How that inconceivable act changed them forever is the story of No Names To Be Given, a novel with southern voices, love exploited, heartbreak and blackmail.  

M A G N O L I A  H O M E  H O S P I T A L
N E W  O R L E A N S , 1 9 6 6

Men loved Sandy’s body. She didn’t have the option of leading with her wit or intellect. Her looks arrived first. It was both a blessing and a curse.

Now, Sandy placed her hand on her formerly taut stomach. It felt bloated and mushy. How long would it be before she was back in her sparkly dance costumes and performing for audiences? The provocative bustiers and garter belts would not fit her now. She slid up in her hospital bed and peered through a crack in the curtain. They were all in the same recovery room, separated by thin blue fabric. She heard the other two moaning as they awakened. A nurse worked among the three of them and whispered, as if the others were out of earshot, “What a coincidence ya’ll went into labor on the same day. We were inducing you next week.”

An acidic smell of disinfectant and the rusty odor of blood invaded Sandy’s nostrils. She swallowed and found her throat parched and lips chapped. Her head throbbed with a dull drumbeat, and she tasted a metallic tang. What have I done? Why did I think this was the better choice?

Sandy’s thoughts jumbled, like a bad movie looping in her head. She squeezed her eyes shut as she remembered how her heart once pounded whenever she heard Glen’s voice. The curtains separating the roommates’ beds reminded Sandy of those in her home in Illinois, and her mind projected Glen’s image into the hospital room.

“You see what happens to trashy girls?”

She imagined him sitting at the end of the bed, sneering at her. Sandy’s teeth chattered, and her body quaked in small jerks. Her chest rose and fell so rapidly; she became faint. Sandy imagined dying in the hospital. Women died from childbirth all the time. Would her mother ever find out? Probably not. Sandy covered her tracks pretty well. Glen would think she got what she deserved.

“Becca?”

Sandy leaned forward and yanked back the cloth separating them. Becca twisted from side to side. Sandy hated seeing her roommate in such distress. Becca might have been a princess-like creature in her former life, but Sandy admired her rebellious streak. How many other white girls had the guts to fall in love with a Negro? Becca broke the silence. “I cannot believe our babies are in the nursery down the hall, and they won’t let us see them,” she whispered. “Maybe we can sneak down there.”

“Don’t. It may make things worse.” Sandy wanted to avoid all maternal feelings and didn’t want to see a child who might look like her or Carlos.

“I can barely walk to the bathroom.” Faith’s voice trembled. Her pixie haircut, unwashed and dishwater blond, was in spikes and her eyes seemed too large for their sockets.

“Hey, Nurse Carter. If you let me go to the nursery, I won’t bother you anymore.”

“You know that’s not allowed.” The nurse frowned at Becca.

“I promise to stand behind the window. I just want to see my baby. One time. I promise.” The nurse’s response was to leave the room.

Becca whispered to Sandy. “I just want to see the skin color. I want to see if the adoptive parents will know it’s a mixed-race baby.”

Most of all, Sandy knew she longed to hold her child. Becca still declared love for her baby’s father. Sandy was still in love with her child’s father, too, but he would be no help to her from behind prison bars.

“I’ll go on a hunger strike. Do you want me to barricade myself in the nursery?” Becca made her announcements in a loud voice.

“Hush. You’re disturbing the entire home.” Nurse Carter poked her head back in the doorway and spoke harshly.

Perspiration beaded in the hollows of Becca’s cheeks, and Sandy watched as she swiped it away with her palm. Her beauty dulled only slightly with her auburn hair in a messy knot on the top of her head and her freckles dominant on her ivory skin. Becca’s startling blue eyes were now the color of a very stormy sea—gunmetal and glinting.

“Everything’s gonna be alright,” Sandy cooed. She feared Becca would spring from the bed and run toward the nursery. Sandy watched Faith with her hands clasped as if in prayer.

“Faith, are you okay?” She always spoke to Faith as if she were a child. They were all about the same age, eighteen, but Faith’s innocence made her seem so much younger.

“I’m miserable,” Faith said.

“Me, too. I feel like a medieval torture device stretched my limbs,” Sandy said.

Faith chanted prayers for her baby. “Please, Lord. Please let my baby have the very best parents. I know you’ll take care of him—or her.” She hummed the lyrics of “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.”

“How are we expected to walk away and pretend nothing happened? They knocked us out before we had our babies and won’t let us see them? We don’t even know if we had a boy or a girl.” Becca blurted out.

Sandy did not turn to Becca. Instead, she watched Faith twist her hands. Faith’s frame disappeared from view under the sheet. Sandy was afraid her tiny limbs, awkward and knobby, would vanish altogether without the bed to contain her. Every time Sandy looked at Faith, she remembered Faith’s description of her assault.

Now, a living reminder of it existed. Faith had said she didn’t want this baby carrying the blame for its conception. Suddenly, Faith began gulping breaths like drinking water with a cupped hand from a bucket. Sandy tried not to look at her reflection in the mirror. Her hair, not dyed since entering the home, showed roots black and wide like the stripe of paint against a hot asphalt roadway, only in reverse—her platinum locks clung to the dark center. Towering above Faith, she saw how sallow her skin was and how lackluster. She needed her eyebrows plucked and her nails painted—no time to worry about all that. Sandy required all her strength for her own recovery and assisting her friends.

She tucked Faith and Becca’s blankets around them, raised their hospital bed rails, and crawled back into her bed.

Tomorrow, they had plans to make.

International Giveaway: $100 Amazon e-Gift Card

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Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a southern accent. She holds a B.S. in English and a M.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi.

She has been a Communications adjunct professor at Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi, and Public Relations Director of the Mississippi Department of Education and Millsaps College, a liberal arts college in Jackson, Mississippi. 

She was the founding director of the Greater Belhaven Market, a producers’ only market in a historic neighborhood in Jackson, and even shadowed Martha Stewart.

As the executive director of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi (three hundred artisans from nineteen states) which operates the Mississippi Craft Center, she wrote their stories to introduce them to the public.

Daily is an adopted child from a maternity home hospital in New Orleans. She searched and found her birth mother and through a DNA test, her birth father’s family, as well.  A lifelong southerner, she now resides on a ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband Emmerson and Labrador Retrievers, Memphis Belle and Texas Star.

August 2nd
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Books, Rambling & Tea (Spotlight) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/
@esmeralda_lagiggles18 (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/esmeralda_lagiggles18/
Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/
@isbn_reading (Review) https://www.instagram.com/isbn_reading/

August 3rd
B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

August 4th
A Very Unusual Name (Spotlight) https://averyoriginalusername.wordpress.com/
Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/
@FlowerGirl0214 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/flowergirl0214/
@m_books.dogs (Review) https://www.instagram.com/m_books.dogs/

August 5th
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
On the Shelf Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com
@mischiefmanaged_04 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mischiefmanaged_04/
@mrs.a.reads (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mrs.a.reads/

August 6th
The Librocubicularista (Interview & Review) https://thelibrocubicularista.wordpress.com/
Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
@fatimaa.zainab_ (Review)  https://www.instagram.com/fatimaa.zainab_/
@hoardingbooks.herdingcats (Review) https://www.instagram.com/hoardingbooks.herdingcats/

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Blog Tour: The Girl in the Triangle by Joyana Peters @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #TheGirlintheTriangle #HistoricalFiction

Welcome to the tour for The Girl in the Triangle by Joyana Peters! Read on for details and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

The Girl in the Triangle by Joyana Peters
Historical Fiction

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When your dreams finally seem to be coming true, it’s hard to trust them.

It’s been four years since seventeen-year-old Ruth set eyes on her fiance. After surviving near-starvation, revolution and a long trip across the stormy ocean, she can’t help but wonder: Will Abraham still love her? Or has America changed him?

Nowhere’s as full of change as 1909 New York. From moving pictures to daring clothes to the ultra-modern Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where she gets a job, everything exhilarates Ruth. When the New World even seems to rejuvenate her bond with Abraham, she is filled with hope for their prospects and the future of their war-torn families.

But when she makes friends and joins the labor movement—fighting for rights of the mostly female workers against the powerful factory owners—something happens she never expected. She realizes she might be the one America is changing. And she just might be leaving Abraham behind.

The Girl in the Triangle is an immigration story that will appeal to fans of Brooklyn by Colm Toibin and The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani. It questions what it means to be an American, and what is the true meaning of strength.

He stood outside the dressing room with his arms crossed. “I was starting to fear I’d need to send in a search party.”

“I’m sorry,” Ruth said. “I met the sister of one of your friends.”

“Chayele,” Abraham chuckled. “That explains it. That girl could talk the hind legs off a donkey.”

He steered her to the line for the stairs and gestured for her to open her bag to be examined. “They fear people stealing scraps for sewing at home.”

Ruth held her bag open wide as the guard poked through. Eventually he nodded, and they exited through the door to the stairs.

“Chayele seemed really nice. She introduced me to her friends as well. She said you were good friends with her brother?”

“Yankel,” Abraham nodded. “He’s good folk. He took me under his wing when I got here. Makes me get out and have some fun from time to time.”

Ruth pondered that for a moment and considered Chayele’s painted face. “She’s not a—what do you call it? Floopsy, is she?”

Abraham laughed. “No, Chayele’s not a floozy, though she might be the center of any party. She’s just been here awhile and has embraced America.”

“America encourages painted faces?”

Abraham tilted his head and thought before answering. “America encourages fun, at least in your free time. Not like in Russia where you just go to work and come home.”

“How do you spend your free time?”

Abraham turned to face her with a twinkle in his eye. “All kinds of ways. Seeing performers singing in shows, going to the circus, heading out to Luna Park.”

“What’s Luna Park?”

“An amusement park in West Brighton Beach. You can ride a roller coaster and see recreations of villages from all over the world—it’s amazing. I’ll take you one weekend.”

Ruth mulled over this new word, weekend. She had no clue what a roller coaster was, but it sounded exciting. Everything Abraham mentioned was foreign and strange. They’d sung as a family around the piano or even in the street with neighbors on holidays. But shows? Performers? These were novel ideas.

Abraham glanced over at her with a mischievous smile. “Still love running?”

Ruth smiled.

“Race you home!” he shouted and took off ahead.

“You gonif! You still cheat!” she shouted and took off after him.

His laughter floated back to her as she ran. The cityscape flew by as she weaved in and out of people on the sidewalk, some shouting insults in response. They rolled right off Ruth. Her exhaustion evaporated, the caress of cool air on her face sweeping away her lethargy. She dug deep to run faster, her competitive instincts kicking in. She’d never felt so happy and free.

International Giveaway: Signed copy of the book.

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Growing up in New York, she always loved exploring the city, particularly the Lower East Side. This led to her discovery of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the stories it holds.

She currently lives in Northern Virginia where she takes in the sights of DC with her two kids and husband.

August 2nd
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Jennifer Mitchell, Bibliolater (Spotlight) https://www.jennifermitchellbooks.com
@lianne_the_bibliophile (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/lianne_the_bibliophile/
@disneyallthe_way (Review) https://www.instagram.com/disneyallthe_way/
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

August 3rd
Kristin’s Novel Café (Spotlight) https://knovelcafe.wordpress.com/
Books, Teacup & Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupreviews.com/
Books, Rambling & Tea (Spotlight) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/
Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com
@swimming.in.books (Review) https://www.instagram.com/swimming.in.books/

August 4th
@loveleighreading (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/loveleighreading/
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
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August 5th
@happily_undignified (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/happily_undignified/
Read & Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/
Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com
Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) http://bansheeirishhorrorblog.com/

August 6th
@better_0ff_read (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/BETTER_0FF_READ/
Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/
On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

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Book Blitz: Where the Stork Flies By Linda C. Wisniewski @Shalini_G26 and @lindawis

Congratulation Linda C. Wisniewski on your new release Where the Stork Flies!

Where the Stork Flies By Linda C. Wisniewski
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Sci Fi & Fantasy

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Kat is at loose ends after her husband ditched her and their daughter followed suit. When a lost time traveler appears in her Pennsylvania kitchen, she grasps at the chance to give her life meaning by helping the woman find her way home. But a mysterious stranger insists they are together for a purpose. Slipping through a portal to an 1825 Polish village, Kat meets her own ancestors and discovers how her own mistakes derailed her life. Can she bring her new understanding of forgiveness and unconditional love back to the present and heal her family before it’s too late?

Chapter One

The winter Regina arrived, I had a lot on my mind. My part-time job at the public library was going nowhere. My husband had left me over a crazy misunderstanding, and our 19-year-old daughter, who had always favored him, blamed me and followed him out the door. Lonely and confused by the turn my life had taken, I stumbled into the kitchen that morning and found the back door standing open, letting in a few flakes of snow.

Get a grip.  I slammed the door closed. A whimper came from behind me. I whirled around to see an old woman in a long brown skirt, loose white blouse, and a muslin headscarf. She stood beside my kitchen table, shivering. A scream escaped my throat and then hers, both of us yelling like a crazy banshee duet.

“Who the hell are you?”

She jumped back, knocking over a chair. Selene, my old gray kitty, meowed loudly and ran from the room.

“What do you want?” I shouted as she scuttled over to a corner, clutching a piece of cheese. Her wide eyes looked so terrified I felt for a second as if I were the intruder, not she. Her face was wrinkled parchment and her hair around the edges of her headscarf was gray, but her round cheeks, those small brown eyes above a long straight nose: I had seen them before.  On my grandmother’s face. A woman who raised me from the age of ten. A woman who had died over thirty years before. It was her. And not her. A queasy little wave traveled through my stomach.

“Who are you?” I said again, my voice shaking. I wondered if she was some sort of hallucination brought on by lack of sleep. My hands groped for the back of a chair.

She licked dry lips and held out both trembling hands, still clutching the cheese. “Przepraszam, Pani, she pleaded. “Prosze mi wybaczyc!”

A wash of pity flooded my heart. Her voice was soft and hoarse, and though I didn’t

understand her words, I knew their rhythm, the pattern of her sentence, the rise and fall and cadence. She spoke Polish like my Babcia, and my mind responded with words from my childhood to ask what she was doing.  

Co ty robisz?

The old woman’s lips trembled. “Pani, mi wybaczyc,” she whispered and waved the cheese in her hands, still begging forgiveness as her gaze darted around the room as if she was expecting punishment to come from some corner. 

I didn’t know how to say, Relax, it’s okay, so I grabbed another phrase from my childhood, the one that meant Hello.  “Dzien dobry. My name is Kat. Katherine.” I pointed at my chest, where my heart thumped a jagged rhythm. “Katarzyna.”

She nodded and positioned her feet on the floor as if ready to run.

Linda C. Wisniewski is a former librarian and journalist. Her work has been published widely in literary magazines and anthologies, and on her blog, www.lindawis.com. She is the author of a memoir, Off Kilter: A Woman’s Journey to Peace with Scoliosis, Her Mother and Her Polish Heritage. Linda lives with her husband in Bucks County, PA.

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Blog Tour: TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey @dammagedPro @RRBookTours1 #TimeRipper #RRBookTours #Scifi

Welcome to the book tour for time-travelling, sci-fi, TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey! Read on for more details and a chance to win an amazing giveaway– A copy of the book AND a $20 or £20 Amazon gift card! 

TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey
Time Travel/ Thriller/ Historical Fiction/ Sci-Fi

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It is the year 2288, and Earth is reeling from the most horrific terrorist attack it has ever endured. The Quest, a pseudo-religious splinter group, have taken a stance against the Earth Alliance’s authority of the planet. It is down to Youssef Haseem, now the highest-ranking official left in the EA, to build a team to face the threat of total inhalation if he doesn’t stand down and bow to The Quest’s demands. Then the leaders of The Quest disappear, and a legend emerges in the year 1888. But just who is the mysterious stranger stalking and viciously killing women on the streets of Whitechapel, London? A mission is launched! A battle of wits against time itself. A fight to be played out in the present and the past, with the fate of humanity at stake. Legends can happen anytime…

Orbital Platform One

YOUSSEF WAS SAT at his desk in his personal room, surrounded by ten large screens. Each represented an Earth Alliance main region: London, England; Paris, France; New York, USA; Kampala, Uganda; Rio, Brazil; Berlin, Germany; Sydney, Australia; Moscow, Russia; Toronto, Canada; Tehran, Iran.

He was alone, with the doors closed. The anguish within him lay so heavy that he was certain he could feel the physical weight of it crushing him, dragging him down below the surface of reality, of normalcy. He was staring with wide, vacant eyes, shaking his head. Each screen displayed fifty inches of static. His anguish derived from the fact that these were supposed to be ‘never fail’ screens, meaning they should supply, around-the-clock, twenty-four-hour, seven-days-a-week, three-hundred-and-sixty-five-days-a-year, connectivity. They should never display pure static, not with the fail-safes and redundancies in place to keep them live.

Fighting off the cold sweat he could feel creeping over his entire body, he leaned forward and pressed a button on his desk. The image of the woman, the same one who had greeted him on his arrival at the platform, appeared on a small screen. She was smiling. He knew it was a false smile, he could see the same anxiety that he was feeling within her expression. ‘Amanda, I’m going to need someone to find out what is happening at our main offices. I’m getting static on every channel. Surely this can’t be right!’

‘I’m on that right now. We’re not getting anything back from any communication relays so far.’

‘Have we managed to get any channels open between the other Orbital Platforms yet?’ he asked, the waver in his voice giving volume to the levels of despair he was feeling.

‘Only sketchy information is coming through, but we’ve had confirmation that at least seven of them are still functioning, up to now.’ She paused for a few moments, swallowing hard before continuing. ‘Sir, I’m still getting nothing from Earth Alliance headquarters.’

He bowed his head for a moment. He had an inkling about what had happened below but didn’t want to give it a voice, just yet. ‘Have we got any satellite coverage?’

‘Again, sketchy sir,’ Amanda replied. ‘I’ll pass over what we have onto your screen, hang on one moment.’

‘Thank you, Amanda,’ he whispered. Before long, an image winked to life on one of the large screens, thankfully replacing the static of what should have been Berlin with something more pleasant.

The image was of a city. The caption over the top of the picture identified it as Orleans, France. Nothing looked out of place. The populace was moving freely. The Slipstream was fluid, and there were vehicles in the air. Suddenly, the image began to glitch. It became fuzzy, as if the recording equipment was malfunctioning.

It soon became apparent that it wasn’t the equipment that was to blame for the picture quality.

The image began to shake, and Youssef watched, with interest, as the sky began to darken. Dirty, heavy, purple clouds rolled into view, undulating rapidly into the shot. Vicious thunderbolts began to form within the turbulent mass. Within seconds, the thunderbolts escaped the vicinity of the cloud and cascaded downwards, striking the city below. Explosions rocked the picture, and it looked like the power grid of the city had gone offline. The camera compensated for the loss of light by automatically brightening, thus allowing him to see what he needed to see.

He watched as the cloud fell from the sky, enveloping the city below.

It was difficult not to turn away as the cloud continued to roll. If this wasn’t so horrific, it would almost be funny, he thought. The cloud trundled across the city, leaving nothing in its wake. It was the only phrase he could think of to describe what he was witnessing. Nothing in its wake!

Nothing, except dust, sand, and desolation.

Something caught his eye. Quickly he pressed a button on his console and the video stream reversed. He watched again as the thunderbolts struck the ground, causing the explosions. In his head, he relived the moment on the Slipstream track when the explosions hit, the precursor of the purple cloud. He walked over to the screen just as the cloud dropped. He paused the playback. Holding his breath, he raised a hand to touch the image. ‘I know what it is…’ he whispered. His voice wavered as he spoke. He looked at his hand touching the screen and saw that it was shaking, violently. ‘They’re insane,’ he mumbled. ‘I don’t… I can’t believe what they’ve done!’

He turned on his heels and exited the room, disturbing Amanda, who was busy at her desk outside his office. He took a moment to notice her, to notice the level of concentration on her face: it was the same look everyone on the station had. It was the not knowing, the uncertainty for loved ones, and the life that may, or may not, have been taken away. He needed to help these people, but right now, he didn’t know how.

‘I need to brief everyone as soon as possible. Get whoever you can into the main conference room ASAP. This meeting is mandatory. I’m going to need feeds to any Orbital Platforms that we know are functioning, and any locations below we’ve managed to contact.’

‘I’m on it now, sir’ she replied, looking back at her display unit. ‘Sir,’ she continued, a ghost of a smile on her face, Youssef thought it looked proud. ‘I just wanted to inform you that we’ve been in touch with London. It looks like they’ve come through unscathed.’

He raised his head to the ceiling of the room and kissed his hands. ‘Thank Allah for that,’ he whispered before turning back. ‘Now get me that room.’

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My name id David McCluskey, I am an author from Liverpool in the UK. I have written seven novels so far. TimeRipper is my latest. I started writing about 15 years ago, beginning with short horror stories for children that were written in rhyme. I enlisted the services of an artist and created my very first comic from them. Interesting Tymes is a great seller at comic conventions around the UK, as it offered something that a lot of comics these days don’t, something for the children to get their teeth into (so to speak).

I then began to create more comics, some for children, some for adults, before creating my own graphic novels. Doppelgänger is a dark psychological horror, Olf is a children’s graphic novel about Father Christmas and his reindeer, A Christmas Carol is a rewriting of the original tale, but in rhyme, and DeathDay Presents is an adult comedy based in Hell.

From there I moved on to writing novels. My debut novel The Twelve is still my best seller on Amazon.

I write under the name of D E McCluskey for my adult fiction, and I will be launching a children’s range of novels this year under the name Dave McCluskey (I don’t want children buying some of the other horror based stuff by accident).

I still live in Liverpool with my partner, Lauren, and our children, Grace and Sian. We have a sausage dog called Ted, who likes to leave little sausages around the house, just to remind us why he is a sausage dog.

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Expected Publication: May 18, 2021

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In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters – a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek find solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischerová– a widow with secrets of her own.

When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady – a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle – he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o’-the-wisp, a mischievous spirit known to lead lost travellers to their death, but who, once captured, are bound to serve the desires of their owners.

After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavice that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.

Are you looking forward to this book too?

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