A Giveaway and a Trial … Science Fiction Style!

facebook twitter

By Timothy S. Johnston, author of THE VOID and T.D. Wilson, author of THE EPHERIUM CHRONICLES: ECHOES

Today on the Carina Press blog we feature two Science Fiction authors: T.D. Wilson (The Epherium Chronicles: Echoes) and Timothy S. Johnston (The Void). To reveal a bit about each book, they have decided to put a central character “on trial.” Readers are encouraged to ask their own questions below, and Captain James Hood and Homicide Investigator Kyle Tanner will try their best to answer!

Want to win a copy of The Epherium Chronicles: Echoes or The Void? Comment on this post with the book you want to read and your preferred format (.EPUB, .MOBI, .PDF). Two copies of each book are up for grabs. The contest ends on Sunday, April 12th at midnight. If you win, you’ll be notified via email.

And now … on to the trial!

Character on Trial: The Void’s Homicide Investigator Kyle Tanner

9781426899645-COV

“MY NAME IS Lieutenant Kyle Tanner. I hunt killers for a living.”

As I said it the person sitting across from me snorted. Disbelief flashed across his features. His face was angular, his eyes dark pits. There were deep lines in his forehead. “But you are a killer,” he growled. “Why look any farther than the nearest mirror?”

It was a common attitude; I’d faced it all my professional life. But because I worked for a military dictatorship, and there was little freedom in this society of 2403 AD, I’d had to endure civilian scorn on a daily basis. It was numbing.

“Look,” I sighed, glancing around. The room we were in was dark, the only illumination a spotlight directly above my chair. It was blinding. Where the hell am I right now? “I know the CCF is difficult at times. But—”

“They are killers! They arrest people for expressing their beliefs. You call that—that—difficult?”

It was hard to argue the point; he was absolutely correct. “I catch murderers,” I mumbled. “Not innocent people.”

“You execute anyone you want!”

I sat up straighter. “Not true. I sift through the evidence and punish the guilty.”

My inquisitor shook his head. His look was one of pure derision. “The CCF kills people they deem dissidents. They destroy families. They torture and murder to maintain control. Every dictatorship does that.”

I studied him in silence for a long minute. His assessment was spot on, however not every CCF officer did those things. I hunted killers and gave families closure. I wielded incredible powers to question and detain and arrest without due process, but I didn’t abuse that power. Instead I used it to heal those in pain. To capture psychopaths. “There are those in the military who enforce the dictatorship, without question. But I am not one.” I looked down and considered my next words. My voice was a rasp. “I don’t agree with the society we live in…but I…I manage.”

His voice softened. “You seem conflicted.”

It was hard to admit, because in the real world such a thing could get me killed. But here, in this place answering these questions, I was isolated and alone.

And safe.

“I am.”

“But why do you work for them?” he asked.

“It’s my life. But—”

“Yes?” the inquisitor prodded.

“I won’t work for them forever.”

He frowned. “What do you mean? How long have you been a Homicide Investigator?”

“I’ve traveled the solar system catching killers for fourteen years now.”

“But you are thinking of leaving?”

I fixed my eyes on his cold, dark pupils. “My girlfriend and I are talking about it.”

For the first time, he seemed lost for words. His eyes had widened. “But then you’ll be hunted, won’t you? You’re an officer in the military. If you run, they’ll kill you.”

I hesitated. To verbalize these thoughts was the hardest thing I’d had to do. I’d lived in this society my entire life. You never questioned it, and you definitely didn’t try to escape. “I can’t handle this existence anymore. It’s a chance we’ll have to take. And to answer your question, yes, if we run, they’ll try to kill us.”

He paused and stared at me for long heartbeats. “Good luck to you then. I hope you can escape this life.”

If I survive this last mission, I wanted to say. Then I’d decide what to do.

Do you have a question for Inspector Kyle Tanner? Are you curious what it’s like to live in a repressive society with little freedom? Why he’s done it for so long? Why he chooses to interact with psychotic killers? Or, how finding the love of his life changed his outlook on society? Ask below, and Lieutenant Kyle Tanner will be happy to answer.

Thanks for spending time with Homicide Investigator Kyle Tanner today.

Character on Trial:  The Epherium Chronicles: Echoes’ Captain James Hood

CARINA_0315_9781426899201_TheEpheriumChronicles (2)“MY NAME IS James Hood, Captain, EDF Armstrong.

I regarded the man sitting across the table from me in the cramped office aboard the Armstrong. He was young, not more than twenty-five, but he had a level of seriousness that went far beyond his age. It was the same for all of the EDF’s investigators.

“Well Captain,” he began while reading the displayed information on his data pad, “you’ve had a rather full and decorated career. Your list of accolades goes on and on.” He focused his dark brown eyes on my face.  “I guess we’re going to have to add conspiring with the enemy to that list.” The EDF had a standard protocol to conduct a follow up with an investigator after a major engagement. The idea was to present a new perspective to commanders in the field, but a small percentage of them turned the process into a witch hunt.  This guy was one of them.

“Excuse me?” I challenged, but my kept my temper under control. What the investigator had insinuated was treason plain and simple. He wanted to provoke me and I wasn’t biting. “You’ve obviously read my report from the battle. What gives you the impression I would ever do anything to comprise my ship, the lives of the colonists or my crew?”

“It’s simple. Upon discovery of the Cilik’ti…Kree was its name I believe, you chose not bring in more seasoned personnel to conduct a proper interrogation. Instead, you had an inexperience junior officer take the lead with help from one of the colonists, who may have already been compromised by behavioural modification during her time in the Embrace sleeper chambers aboard the Magellan.

He leaned forward onto the table. “A proper interrogation could have gained the knowledge that an imminent attack was coming against the colony and the EDF could’ve been better prepared. In short, you let that thing play you, Captain. Now, after the dust has settled, you’ve taken the lead to develop a diplomatic exchange with the alien and his “rogue” Cilik’ti friends.  A role that clearly doesn’t fit you. Tell me where I’m wrong?”

I snarled at first, but drew it back. I could see from a high level where he might find that a believable scenario, but his conclusions were based on the lack of details. Fortunately for me, I had them. “First of all, I find your charge of conspiracy and treason ludicrous. I have the full trust of Admiral Grant and Admiral Tramp. Both have agreed with every action I have made since I took command of this ship.”

The man just stared at me. I decided to take it a step further and leaned toward him. “As for you incompetence charge with handling Kree’s interrogation, let me dissect your overall assessment. First, we’ve never had a Cilik’ti held captive for interrogation before. Any of them captured during the war just expired without warning, like turning off a switch. Based on all our intelligence and the research of my junior officer, Lieutenant Wells, the Cilik’ti use telepathic communication. We knew that Kree was in contact with his people the entire time. Any harsh act of coercion to force him into revealing military secrets would have resulted in his quick death, quite possibly followed by ours at the colony. Second, Kree is a worker among the Cilik’ti, not a soldier. He was sent there to study and managed to provide a way for humans to communicate with his species.”

I leaned back into my chair. “Kree and the N’lan are not rogues.  The Cilik’ti are far more complicated than we ever realized, and the N’lan hold a critical place of power amongst their people. Frankly, without their help, I wouldn’t be sitting across this table talking to you right now.”

The man frowned. “I wonder about that too, Captain.  Perhaps your actions are justified, but I fear for our future. Another war could be disastrous for us all.”

I snorted. “For once we agree. But I think you need to spend more time investigating who is behind the theft of Epherium’s data on the colonists. The stealth frigate that attacked us in that asteroid field and left with an agent that was planted in my crew is still out there. That’s the real threat.”

The man closed the cover on his data pad and stood. “Thank you for time, Captain. I think you’ve provided me with valuable insight for my investigation. I’ll contact you if I have any more questions.”

Do you have a question for Captain James Hood?  Are you curious about what he feels about his crew?  What does he think of his new alien “friends”?  What does think about Epherium and their use of sleeper chambers to reprogram criminals into colonists?  Ask below, and Captain Hood will be happy to answer.

Thanks for spending time with Captain James Hood today.

March 2015 releases

facebook twitter

Enjoy our Carina Press new releases! With new titles available for download every week, visit this page to plan your shopping for the month. You’re sure to find a story you’ll love!

P.S. Shop our presale titles—buy upcoming titles now and download on the street date!

March 2 | March 9 | March 16 | March 23 | March 30

~

March 2, 2015

PHOENIX IN MY FORTUNE by R.L. Naquin
(Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy)
ISBN: 978-14268-9956-0
Price: $3.99

9781426899560-COVA Monster Haven Story, book six

When Zoey Donovan found out monsters are real, her life changed–mostly for the better. Since then, she’s fought bad guys, saved the world a time or two and earned the love of a growing family of humans and Hidden creatures alike. But the danger that’s chased her from the beginning is finally here.

Shadow Man, aka The Last Hidden, has stepped out of the story humans wrote for him and into the real world, hell-bent on stealing children. Fiction has become reality and Shadow Man intends to break the Covenant, reclaim the Hidden, and kill all Aegises along the way…triple bad news for Zoey and her mother, the only two Aegises still alive.

Zoey will have to rescue the stolen kids and hunt down the most terrifying villain humanity has ever imagined. But how can she fight a creature only invented a few years ago? If Shadow Man triumphs, the world as she knows it will end. If Zoey succeeds in driving him out, the people she loves the most may be lost to her forever.

69,685 words

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

~

CHAOS STATION by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen
(Male/Male Romance, Science Fiction, Space Opera)
ISBN: 978-14268-9966-9
Price: $3.99

9781426899669-COVBook one of Chaos Station

“You’re not real. Felix Ingesson is dead.”

The war with the alien stin is over, but Felix Ingesson has given up on seeing his lover, Zander Anatolius, ever again. Zander’s military file is sealed tighter than an airlock. A former prisoner of war, Felix is attempting a much quieter life keeping his ship, the Chaos, aloft. He almost succeeds, until Zander walks on board and insists that Felix isn’t real.

A retired, broken super soldier, Zander is reeling from the aftereffects of his experimental training and wants nothing more than to disappear and wait for insanity to claim him. Then he sees footage of a friend and ally—a super soldier like him—murdering an entire security squad with her bare hands and a cold, dead look in her eyes. He never expected to find Felix, the man he’d thought dead for years, on the ship he hired to track her down.

Working with Felix to rescue his teammate is a dream come true…and a nightmare. Zander has no exit strategy that will leave Felix unscathed?”or his own heart unbroken.

75,000 words

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

~

March 9, 2015

~

CHAIN OF COMMAND by HelenKay Dimon
(Contemporary Romance)
ISBN: 978-14268-9958-4
Price: $3.99

9781426899584-COVBook one of Greenway Range

Retired marine Sawyer Cain can’t forget all he’s seen and lost, but he can try to start over. Opening a gun range with his closest friends is the first step toward a new life–one where he finally buries the guilt he can’t seem to shake. So much depends on the property he needs to buy…and the gorgeous but completely frustrating woman who refuses to sell it.

Hailey Thorne is done–with loss and with anything military, after the closest thing she had to an uncle died in Afghanistan. When Sawyer shows up on her porch he has military written all over him. He’s one more in a long line of people who wants the land she inherited, and suddenly he’s everywhere she goes. Hailey can’t get the broad-shouldered, dirty-talking, dead-serious man out of her head. Or her life.

Sawyer’s not above using his skills in the bedroom to try to convince her to sell, and Hailey is more than willing to let him. Their pleasure-only arrangement works…until emotions get in the way. But Sawyer has a secret he’s convinced will have Hailey hating him forever, and Hailey’s not willing to risk loving anyone she could lose.

72,000 words

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

~

THE FIGHTER AND THE FALLEN WOMAN by Pamela Cayne
(Historical Romance)
ISBN: 978-14268-9959-1
Price: $4.99

{9B3BA7FF-EB2D-4CE8-B2AE-6D4F6DEC388A}Img100London, 1883

“People like us don’t get happy endings.”

In twelve years as a bangtail, Lady has never feared a man’s kiss. Owned by the ruthless Hannibal Adams, the “Earl of the East End,” she’s draped in jewels and dead inside. Lady learns fear, however, when she kisses Mr. Adams’s best fighter for luck—for King sees the real woman locked away behind finery and falsity.

King’s life is made of fists and scars, the only things that have ever felt real to him. Even his name came from the man who owns him–the man who turned him into a champion. From the moment Lady’s kiss sends him reeling, King resists wanting what he can’t have. Mr. Adams never gives up what he owns.

When Lady is sent to nurse King through the tournament, she finds a new strength through the one man who’s never treated her like a whore. King discovers that the woman who shares his dark world might also be the one to lead him out. And as the tournament comes to a violent finale, Lady and King must decide—stay spoiled and shackled, or break free and risk what happens when fear and dreams collide.

104,000 words

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

~

March 16, 2015

~

GETTING IT RIGHT by A.M. Arthur
(Male/Male Romance, Contemporary Romance)
ISBN: 978-14268-9957-7
Price: $4.99

CARINA_0315_9781426899577_GettingItRightDetective Nathan Wolf might just be a junior detective, but he tackles every case with the passion that he lacks in his personal life. A series of failed relationships with women has left him still single at thirty-four—because he’s too scared to admit to his longtime crush on his best friend James.

Dr. James Taggert likes to keep his profession as a psychiatrist separate from his party-animal persona. Known around the gay clubs as “Tag”, he’s the guy who screws them, leaves them, and never looks back. But James’s drinking is getting heavier, and when bad memories from the past resurface, he’s close to becoming the worst version of himself.

After a drunken blackout ends in a hot and heavy make-out session with his very straight best friend, James has no memory of the steamy affair. But Nathan isn’t sorry for the kisses that James can’t remember. Nathan finally musters the courage to tell James how he really feels, but a life-altering event might force them apart before they can ever be together.

Book one of the Restoration series

87,000 words
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

~

OUT OF THE GAME by Kate Willoughby
(Contemporary Romance, Sports)
ISBN: 978-14268-9972-0
Price: $3.99

9781426899720-COVBook three of In the Zone

Alex Sullivan may be the San Diego Barracudas’ resident playboy, but he hasn’t been able to forget the woman who kissed him like her life depended on it ten months ago. When he sees her again at a teammate’s wedding, he can’t think of anything but spending more time with her. Preferably naked.

Claire Marzano lost years catering to an overbearing husband, and she’s not going to answer to anyone ever again. A hot fling is just what she needs to get back in the game, and that’s exactly what sexy Alex offers—one wild long weekend away, with no promises or obligations.

But that one weekend changes everything. Despite knowing full well Alex isn’t the kind to ever commit, Claire is falling for him. And Alex secretly imagines a future with his strong, smart “accidental girlfriend.” Until a surprise announcement and an on-ice accident threaten to derail everything…or cause Alex to finally ditch his old ways and become the man Claire needs him to be.

Don’t miss On the Surface and Across the Line, available now!

86,000 words

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

~

March 23, 2015

~

TIME SERVED by Julianna Keyes
(Contemporary Romance)
ISBN: 9781426899621
Price: $3.99

9781426899621-COVDean Barclay had nothing to do with my decision to flee my old life, but he is 100 percent of the reason I vowed to never look back.

I’ve never forgotten how it felt to follow Dean—dangerous, daring, determined—away from the crowd and climb into his beat-up old Trans Am. I was sixteen and gloriously alive for the first time. When I felt his hand cover my leg and move upward, it was over. I was his. Forever.

Until I left. Him, my mom, and the trailer park. Without so much as a goodbye.

Now Dean’s back, crashing uninvited into my carefully cultivated, neat little lawyerly life. Eight years behind bars have turned him rougher and bigger—and more sexually demanding than any man I’ve ever met. I can’t deny him anything…and that just might end up costing me everything.

101,800 words
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

~

IMPOSSIBLE PROMISE by Sybil Bartel
(Contemporary Romance)
ISBN: 9781426899676
Price: $3.99

9781426899676-COVThree years ago, Layna Blair listened in horror over a telephone line as her parents were murdered. When the killer said she was next, Layna panicked and made a deadly deal—his secret in exchange for her life. She’s paid the price every day since, becoming a prisoner in plain sight.

Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson offers Layna a way out—her freedom, his rules, no questions asked—and she takes it, despite knowing what her keepers do to people who get too close. She doesn’t know Blaze is fighting his own demons or that beneath his warrior façade is a man on the verge of breaking.

Embarking on a wild revenge mission with Blaze and his smooth-talking best friend, Talon, is not what Layna signed on for. But attempting to run when Blaze has made no secret he intends to make her his is a reckless mistake. With the killer closing in, it’s up to Blaze to save them all—and to Layna to realize that she’s risked the one thing she can’t afford to lose.

Book one of two

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

~

March 30, 2015

~

THE VOID by Timothy S. Johnston
(Science Fiction, Mystery, Thriller)
ISBN: 978-14268-9964-5
Price $2.99

9781426899645-COV2403 AD
It would be easier to kill him than to trust him.

Transporting a serial killer might seem like a simple job for CCF Homicide Investigator Kyle Tanner. After spending years apprehending murderers, he’s ready to hang up his pistol. Babysitting a prisoner will bring him to Alpha Centauri, where he can search for a way to escape the CCF forever.

If he makes it.

When his ship breaks down in deep space and a CCF research vessel comes to his aid, Tanner realizes he’s in terrible danger: the scientists on board have blocked his distress call. And when Tanner’s prisoner escapes, he begins to suspect that the proximity of the research vessel had nothing to do with luck and everything to do with the CCF’s relentless reach.

Facing near-certain death by his own organization, Tanner must unravel a tangled skein of vengeance, duplicity and murder in deep space. But he’s being held at the will of master puppeteers, and if he can’t cut the strings, he’ll dance straight to a gruesome, excruciating death….

A Tanner Sequence Novel

106,000 words

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

~

THE EPHERIUM CHRONICLES: ECHOES by T.D. Wilson
(Science Fiction)
ISBN: 978-14268-9920-1
Price: $2.99

CARINA_0315_9781426899201_TheEpheriumChronicles (2)Book three of The Epherium Chronicles

The battle for Cygni colony may be over, but for Captain James Hood and the crew of the EDF Armstrong, the battle for humanity’s future has just begun. Hood’s defense of the remote outpost against the Cilik’ti aliens was magnificent, but without the timely help of an unlikely ally–a splinter tribe of humanity’s bitter enemies–the colony would have been lost and the Armstrong destroyed.

An uneasy peace has prevailed ever since. But as the humans prepare for a crucial meeting, a desperately needed Earth supply convoy is attacked under mysterious circumstances, with the lead escort cruiser’s captain disappearing even more mysteriously.

The fate of all of Earth’s new colonies hangs in the balance, and Hood is charged with protecting them against growing threats from all sides. When rebellion and unrest challenge the very leadership of the Earth Defense Forces, Hood may need to go it alone…and make the ultimate sacrifice.

72,000 words

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

Science Fiction sale!

facebook twitter

Need a book that will take you out of this world? You’re in luck, because until March 16, each of the titles below is only 99¢! Find your next read below, and discover why our readers love this genre.

~

GASLIGHT CHRONICLES BOX SET 1 by Cindy Spencer Pape

Includes STEAM & SORCERY, KILTS & KRAKEN and MOONLIGHT & MECHANICALS

Three sensual steampunk romances from award-winning author Cindy Spencer Pape in one fantastic boxset!

GaslightChronicles_3D

Get your copy of GASLIGHT CHRONICLES BOX SET 1 from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

~

THE FURNACE by Timothy S. Johnston

2015 EPIC Award finalist, science fiction

“The Furnace is a fast-paced, science-fiction/thriller that takes you for a ride from the first page to the last.” — The Qwillery Blog

CARINA_1213_9781426897689_TheFurnace

Dead Space, 2401 AD

Kyle Tanner is about to die. Alone, floating in a vacsuit only a few million kilometers from a massive, uncaring sun, he has barely enough time or juice to get out a distress signal before either his oxygen runs out or he succumbs to the radiation.

Get your copy of THE FURNACE from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

~

DRYNN by Steve Vera

These unlikely heroes might just save the world. If they don’t kill each other first.

“Reads like vintage Dean Koontz—fast-paced and suspenseful.” — DD Barant, author of the THE BLOODHOUND FILES series

Drynn final cover

Get your copy of DRYNN from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

~

THE EPHERIUM CHRONICLES: EMBRACE by T.D. Wilson

“The Epherium Chronicles: Embrace is good old science fiction, or as T.D. Wilson himself calls it, ‘space opera – a lot like Star Trek, Babylon 5 or Star Wars’”. —Shelf Full of Books blog

Hope. Captain James Hood of the Earth Defense Forces remembers what it felt like. Twenty-five years ago, it surged through him as a young boy watching the colony ships launched by mega-corporation Epherium rocket away. He, like so many others, dreamed of following in the colonists’ footsteps. He wanted to help settle a new world–to be something greater.

Carina_0314_9781426898037_The-EpheriumChronicles

Get your copy of THE EPHERIUM CHRONICLES: EMBRACE from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

Our Sci-Fi Influences

facebook twitter

By Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen, authors of CHAOS STATION

 

Jenn Burke

One of my earliest memories of something science-fiction related is seeing The Return of the Jedi at the drive-in with my parents. I fell asleep in the middle of a space battle. Oops! When I was a teenager, I rented and devoured the original trilogy, then was right there in the theater when it was re-released, moaning along with everyone else when Luke whined about wanting to go to Tosche Station.

Strangely enough, despite falling into dreamland in the middle of a space battle, Star Wars is my original sci-fi love—probably because it tells a familiar story in an amazing, futuristic setting. Everyone can relate to the tale of a young man—Luke—who discovers he has potential he’d never dreamed of, or a rake with a heart of gold—Han—who learns that friendship is more important than saving his own skin.

Other series have compelled me over the years. Babylon 5 was one, and if you haven’t watched that TV series, go find it and watch it now. It is an incredible, encompassing story of heroics against the background of intriguing galactic politics, with love, adventure and heartache thrown in for good measure. Firefly and the follow-up movie, Serenity, will always be favorites of mine—I love how Joss Whedon managed to blend historic and futuristic elements into something new and awesome and how he managed to make men the scariest monsters of all. (But I’ll never forgive him for that leaf on the wind bit.)

Kelly Jensen

While I’m a fan of dystopias and apocalypses in fiction, I’m actually more optimistic than that. I like the future portrayed in Star Trek. I’d like to think that while we’ll have differences to work through with our galactic neighbours, if given the chance to connect peacefully, we will. I also love the Prime Directive—and the number of times that rule is nudged, bent and broken.  That’s our humanity, right there.

Star Trek is one of my greatest influences. I have always loved the diversity of the characters and plots, but what kept me (keeps me) watching, is the soap opera aspect. These are the stories of people’s lives and loves, set in a future where anything might and can happen.

The new Battlestar Galactica really captured me. The story telling in that series just blew me away. But even in that darker world, human connection prevails. I’d also count Batman as recreated by Frank Miller as one of my greatest influences. I love the idea of the dark hero—the Dark Knight—a man who isn’t necessarily good, yet does good deeds.

Finally, I’d like to mention Arthur C. Clarke. I’ve always been awed by his science fiction and appreciative of the fact it’s so accessible to readers who don’t hold advanced degrees. His books are written with the spirit of adventure, wonder and optimism with which I approach life. The future should be fascinating, if just a little frightening.

What role does science fiction play in your life?

9781426899669-COVBook one of Chaos Station

 “You’re not real. Felix Ingesson is dead.”

The war with the alien stin is over, but Felix Ingesson has given up on seeing his lover, Zander Anatolius, ever again. Zander’s military file is sealed tighter than an airlock. A former prisoner of war, Felix is attempting a much quieter life keeping his ship, the Chaos, aloft. He almost succeeds, until Zander walks on board and insists that Felix isn’t real.

A retired, broken super soldier, Zander is reeling from the aftereffects of his experimental training and wants nothing more than to disappear and wait for insanity to claim him. Then he sees footage of a friend and ally—a super soldier like him—murdering an entire security squad with her bare hands and a cold, dead look in her eyes. He never expected to find Felix, the man he’d thought dead for years, on the ship he hired to track her down.

Working with Felix to rescue his teammate is a dream come true…and a nightmare. Zander has no exit strategy that will leave Felix unscathed—or his own heart unbroken.

75,000 words

Get your copy of CHAOS STATION from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

 

Jenn and Kelly met in 2009 through a mutual infatuation with a man who wasn’t real. After all but crashing the video game’s forums with daily dissection of their obsession, they started writing together, discovered they really liked writing together and began plotting stories in worlds of their own creation.

The CHAOS STATION series aren’t the first books they’ve written together, and they’re pretty sure they won’t be the last. As long as their so-called smartphones keep making autocorrects that trigger brainstorming sessions, they’ll have enough character ideas and plots to keep them writing for years to come.

www.chaosstation.com
Connect with Kelly!
Twitter | Facebook | Website

 

Connect with Jenn!
Twitter | Facebook | Website

 

The Path to THE FREEZER: How Far Would You Go to Avenge Someone You Loved?

facebook twitter

By Timothy S. Johnston, author of THE FREEZER

Agatha Christie inspired me to write The Freezer.  Just as with the first in the series, The Furnace, it is a claustrophobic murder mystery with a limited number of characters, one investigator, and one or more killers.  As Michael Crichton is also a big influence on me, I’ve incorporated a scientific element to the story — something the investigator Kyle Tanner must decipher to not only solve the mystery, but also to survive.

I’ve recently tweeted from @TSJ_Author, “Kyle Tanner is having a very, very bad week.”  The book begins with the death of someone close to him.  An excerpt is here.  From this point on, the story is told as a countdown to his potential death.  He soon finds himself on an ocean of ice on a hostile moon, amongst a small cast of characters — one of more of whom wants to kill him.

It’s a classic setup, much like an Agatha Christie mystery, but I want to note that you don’t have to read these books in any particular order.  Each is a “standalone” murder mystery, or “A Tanner Sequence Novel.”

So the question is, How far would you go to avenge someone you loved? If someone was ripped away from you in the most horrible way possible — as a means to hurt you — what would you do in return?  It’s a question that has led many people in history down a dark and chilling path.

It’s also started wars.

Tanner is faced with this dilemma in The Freezer.  As an investigator working for the military, he often finds himself dealing with moral issues of this nature.  And because his position gives him the authority to arrest and punish criminals at will, Tanner is pushed to the edge of an emotional precipice.  It’s a dark and scary mystery, but I like to think that it’s also a compelling page turner.  It puts the reader right into the events — especially because it’s written in first person — and I hope it will make you wonder what you’d do in this situation.  It also takes place in a very hostile environment, one which mirrors his emotional state.

The question that haunted me as I wrote The Freezerwas:  Would a homicide investigator contemplate murder in order to exact revenge?

You’ll just have to read it to find out … but the ending could be the most powerful scene I’ve ever written.

I hope you decide to jump into Tanner’s world, experience the mystery through his eyes, and see if you can figure out this whodunnit.

CARINA_0814_9781426898853_TheFreezerFrom The Freezer by Timothy S. Johnston:

I stalked back to Module E with the mysterious vacsuit, which I dragged behind me.

Dyson was pale; he could see my fury.

He knew a confrontation loomed.

Once back at the dome, I found the rest of them in the seating lounge near the games tables and consoles.

I threw the vacsuit to the deck before them. Every eye went to it, but no one responded with anything other than bewilderment.

“Whose suit is this?” I demanded.

Lefave shrugged. “We don’t have that type of vacsuit here, Tanner.”

“Dammit, it’s Lieutenant. And I don’t care if it’s not standard. I want to know who it belongs to!”

He bent to examine it. It was large, clearly a man’s. He said, “Why don’t we just compare—”

“What is this, Cinderella?” Cray exclaimed. “If the vacsuit fits, you must be the murderer? That’s ludicrous!”

Dinova shrugged. “Well it’s clearly not mine.”

He spun on her. “Why? You can’t wear something that’s too big for you? Not possible?”

“That doesn’t make sense.”

“It could be you. You arrived from Ceres and then the murders started!”

Everyone was on their feet now, and the tension between them crackled.  The killer was there…but who?

Thanks for spending your time with me today.

Timothy S. Johnston

Like me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/timothy.s.johnston.author

Follow me on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/TSJ_Author

Friend me on Goodreads:  www.goodreads.com/TSJ_Author

 

The Freezer by Timothy S. Johnston

A Tanner Sequence Novel

2402 AD

CCF homicide investigator Kyle Tanner and his girlfriend are on their way to Pluto, en route to a new life together. Just one little death to check out in the asteroid belt first. But when you’re as tangled up in conspiracy as Tanner is, a few hours on a case can change your life. Or end it.

The mystery is a strange one—one man dead, a cryptic message his dying breath. Still, Tanner’s ready to wrap it up until another gruesome murder shakes him to his core. The discovery of a microscopic bomb near his own heart offers the first faint clue, but the clock is ticking. He has four days….

A desperate search for answers takes Tanner to The Freezer, an isolated facility on one of Jupiter’s moons. With anti-CCF dissidents targeting the facility, a team of scientists conducting experiments the military would rather remain hidden, and a mysterious man in white hunting him on the ice, Tanner will have to choose his allies carefully. Putting his faith in the wrong person will leave him bleeding out in seconds.

98,000 words

Timothy S. Johnston’s Bio

Timothy S. Johnston is a lifelong fan of techno-thrillers and science-fiction thrillers in both print and film. His greatest desire is to contribute to the genre which has given him so much over the past four decades. He wishes he could personally thank every novelist, screenwriter, filmmaker, director and actor who has ever inspired him to tell great stories. He has been an educator for nearly twenty years and a writer for twenty-five. Timothy is the author of The Furnace, The Freezer, and The Void. He lives on planet Earth, but he dreams of the stars.

Visit www.timothysjohnston.com to register for news alerts, read reviews and learn more about his current and upcoming techno-thrillers. Follow Timothy on Facebook and Twitter @TSJ_Author.

Website:  www.timothysjohnston.com

Reviews:  www.timothysjohnston.com/freezerreviews

TSJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/timothy.s.johnston.author

TSJ on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/TSJ_Author

TSJ on Goodreads:  www.goodreads.com/TSJ_Author

Order The Freezer from Carina Press.

A Dragon-Haunted World—by John Tristan

facebook twitter

Goats whose milk spins spider-silk. Mice that grow human ears. Plants that have been altered to glow in the dark. Even though all of it has happened—here, in our world—it still sounds like science fiction to most of us.

To me, it also sounds a little bit like magic.

It was that feeling, that ambiguity between the cutting edge of weird science and the stuff of fantasy, that got me thinking about the story that would become The Sheltered City. It’s a story that could very easily take place on some futuristic version of Earth: the domed city, the mutant outcasts, the post-apocalyptic landscape. But this landscape hasn’t been destroyed by nuclear warfare or pandemics, but by dragons who are a little of both. Except of course, they’re alive—and hungry.

So why dragons instead of nuclear bombs or meteor strikes? Well, dragons are awesome, of course, in both senses of the word, and I’m not going to pretend that didn’t have anything to do with it! What’s more awe-inspiring than some winged malignant thing casting its enormous shadow on the world? But they’re also a pretty neat symbol for forces that we don’t understand. Off the edge of the map is where There Be Dragons, after all.

Maybe that’s what makes things sound like magic: their strangeness, their quality of being off the map that we’re used to. Of course, our wonders can be explained in a way dragons can’t be. If I wanted to, I could go and look up everything there is to know about our world’s floating cities of steel (aircraft carriers) or the tiny familiars in our pockets that can access encyclopedia’s worth of knowledge (smartphones).

Amon, the main character of The Sheltered City, doesn’t quite have that option with the threats that he faces. There’s no such thing as a quick Wikipedia check for him; the world he lives in barely has any of its books left after the dragons came, let alone libraries. Although, of course, he does uncover some of the mysteries of his world. Like what keeps the Last City sheltered from the dragons, and what his own connection is to those massive, eldritch monsters.

Amon might live in a world full of magic…but then, in a sense, so do all of us. What do you find magical about the world you live in?

the sheltered cityCARINA_0714_9781426898662_ShelteredCity THE SHELTERED CITY

Amon Vraja, last of the halfdead, tries to stay out of sight. His kind, twisted by the gift that grants them superhuman strength, are loathed and shunned. Under the enchanted leaves of the Last City, ruled by imperious elves whose love of beauty leaves little room for his ugliness, he’s not much more than the ghost of a dragon-haunted past.

When the young, headstrong elf-lord Caedian takes an interest in Amon, however, Amon’s days in the shadows may be over. Caedian needs Amon to find Caedian’s missing twin, and a halfdead brothel guard can’t just refuse an elf’s desires. Throughout the search, Caedian and Amon rely on each other’s strength and generosity, and Amon is struck by an impossible yearning for his elvish patron.

As they peel away layers of deceit and spiral closer to one another, they also near the horrifying truth of the elves’ protection. And when they discover it, they’ll face a choice: step outside the shelter of the world’s last city, or die where they stand.

John Tristan is a fantasy writer with a soft spot for men in love. You can find him on twitter at @johntwitstan or at johntristan.com.

Technology in Science Fiction — T.D. Wilson

facebook twitter

One of the cool things about writing science fiction is the ability to use cool technology as part of the story.  In my series, The Epherium Chronicles, there is a significant amount of comat. The primary weapon of choice for space combat, and for some ground force units, is a railgun.  Why a railgun and not a particle weapon or laser?  Good question.  I looked at all viable types. Humans were still developing a particle weapon for a large military application in my series, but ended up reverse engineering an alien design.  For short range point defense weapons in space, pulse laser cannons were most effective, but had limited range.  The high energy laser cannons required even more energy than several railguns and their effective range was much less than the railgun.  The railgun could produce devastating effects if properly maintained and was chosen as the primary weapon on all Earth Defense Force ships.  Here’s a quick look at a design of a railgun.

 TD Wilson blog post image

This style uses a projectile carriage to carry the armature current instead of having flow through the projectile itself.  At the rear of the projectile, we can introduce another material across the rails almost as a spark to get the projectile in motion.  The high energy plasma moves the projectile initially and the new armature current transfers to the carriage, launching it deadly armament at high velocity.

 

Let’s look at the projectiles from the railguns.  The standard EDF projectile is solid and made for armor piercing.  Other rounds include high energy explosives encased inside.

The launcher design helps to prevent any detonation, since the armature current flows through the carriage and not the projectile.  Lastly, I designed a flak round.  That’s right, it’s a space flak round for dealing with fighters and other small craft.  Once the projectile is launched, it’s set to detonate at a predetermined time.  The explosion expels several hard metal chunks outward, but remember, momentum in space isn’t hindered like in atmosphere.  So now I have hundreds or even thousands of small metal pieces speeding in the same direction as the projectile with little or no loss in velocity.  It can create a huge hole in a fighter formation.

This is just a quick taste of the fun technology I’ve put into this story and readers get to experience them first hand in Crucible, the second book of The Epherium Chronicles.

Carina_0514_-9781426898396_TheEpheriumChroniclesCrucible

Crucible

Book two of The Epherium Chronicles

January, 2155

Earth Defense Forces Captain James Hood is on the mission of his life. The Cygni solar system is just one space-fold jump away. One more jump and they’ll have reached the fledgling colony that Earth desperately needs if the human race is going to survive. But a plot to derail him has already damaged his ship, threatened the lives of his crew and cost him time. Time the colonists might not have.

So much depends on him now, but Hood’s confidence is shaken. It’s self-doubt he thought he’d buried, a brutal mind-killer for all military commanders. Yet danger surrounds his team; a brutal insectoid alien race is still out there, intent on eradicating humans, and a greater threat from an unknown, elusive enemy has emerged.

The forces at work on Cygni are like nothing Hood has trained for, tactically or emotionally. When put to the test, he must choose to either trust the unlikeliest of allies, or run and seal the fate of the Cygni colony forever.

tracey_picture2

T.D. Wilson was born in 1968 in Troy, Ohio and has been an avid fan of science fiction and fantasy from a very young age. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and has supported the systems and networks in several of the largest Supercomputing data centers in the world. His early thirst for adventure in reading began as he explored many of the great stories of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As his reading scope expanded, Mr. Wilson was fascinated by strange new worlds from the magical of Middle Earth and Narnia to the far reaches of space in Star Trek and Babylon 5. As a science fiction author, he strives to integrate a realistic flavor to his worlds by providing his readers a feel for the real science in science fiction. A topic he loves to discuss with his friends and readers. Mr. Wilson still lives in Ohio with his wife and their two sons.

Twitter | Facebook | Website

In the Black—Sheryl Nantus

facebook twitter

I, like many other science fiction fans, loved “Firefly”. Aside from the gorgeous leading man it portrayed a rough and tough world where the final frontier wasn’t a clean and sterilized future – it was darned down and dirty.

I adored Inara, a strong woman who provided companionship for the rich but not necessarily sex. It inspired me to create the courtesans from In the Black.

The concept for In the Black came to me when I wondered about the miners working long hours far from home. They might hook up with each other but work relationships are hard to maintain in such circumstances.

But the courtesans of the Bonnie Belle aren’t just high-priced prostitutes.

To quote Captain Samantha Keller:

“Sean has a degree in English Literature and has performed Shakespeare at the New Globe Theater on Ares. Kendra is a twelfth-level chess grandmaster along with a level three dan in competitive go. April is a qualified tai chi instructor along with a black belt in various martial arts.”

Anything goes for the men and women on the Bonnie Belle. But there’s one rule that’s sacrosanct…

As UNS Marshal Daniel LeClair puts it:

“No one screws with the captain.” He tilted his head to one side. “No one.”

But rules are made to be broken.

Welcome to the Bonnie Belle.

Carina_0514_9781426898358_InTheBlackBook one of Tales from the Edge:

When Sam Keller left the military, she ran to the far end of the galaxy. Now she captains the Bonnie Belle, a spaceship full of courtesans who bring a little pleasure to hard-up men on mining colonies. When one of her girls turns up dead, it’s  Sam’s job to find out who killed her, fast.

Marshal Daniel LeClair is as tough as steel and quick on the draw. But when his vacation gets replaced by an assignment to help find the killer, he can’t help angling for a little action with the saucy, hard-charging Sam. She’s  got brains, attitude and a body he wouldn’t mind investigating.

Sam, six months lonely, might just indulge him. But the Guild that owns the Belle wants the case closed yesterday. With pressure coming from all quadrants, Sam and her marshal clash over false leads and who’s on top. But when the killer threatens the Belle again, romance will have to wait. It’s a captain’s job to save her crew, no matter the cost.

And here’s a question for you: What would you miss the most about working far, far away from home?

I hope you’ll enjoy the first book in the Tales from the Edge series and return in October for the next story, In the Void.

Sheryl Nantus grew up in Toronto, Canada. She met Martin Nantus through the fanfiction community and moved to the United States in 2000.

In 2013 she won a Third-Place Prism Award from the FF&P chapter of RWA for the first book of her paranormal series, Blood of the Pride.

You can find her here:

Personal website: http://www.sherylnantus.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SherylNantus

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSherylNantus

Journey to the Stars

facebook twitter

Did you ever stop and think what it would be like to live on a different world from Earth?  Not just an inhospitable one like Mars or a moon around Jupiter, but a world capable of supporting human life.  Trouble is, planets like those are light-years from us and to travel to another star system would take years, decades even.  Would you still sign up to go if given the chance?  I agree, it’s a big decision.

In my science fiction series, The Epherium Chronicles, I wanted to explore that possibility.  There are choices to be made—both good and bad—to make it happen.  The outcomes of those decisions will have severe repercussions.

One of the fun parts of writing Embrace, and the other novels in this series, was the creation of the characters.  My main character, Captain James Hood, is a brilliant commander, but a reluctant hero.  He’s been on the forefront of a lot of battles.  Despite his victories, there are combat decisions that continue to plague his mind.

For another character, I wanted to add something close to me.  My father suffers from Parkinson’s disease.  To honor his struggle, I used a nervous system disorder in the background of Lieutenant Maya Greywalker.  Maya is one of three surviving subjects from a genetics experiment to cure a disease similar to Parkinson’s.  The results of the experiment left her with augmented abilities.  I’ve had long conversations with readers about my characters, and besides Hood, Maya Greywalker is always a topic.

It’s been a great experience creating Embrace and I’m excited for readers to enjoy it as well.

The Epherium Chronicles: Embrace

Book one of The Epherium Chronicles

Hope. Captain James Hood of the Earth Defense Forces remembers what it felt like. Twenty-five years ago, it surged through him as a young boy watching the colony ships launched by mega-corporation Epherium rocket away. He, like so many others, dreamed of following in the colonists’ footsteps. He wanted to help settle a new world—to be something greater.

Then came the war…

Hope. During years of vicious conflict with an insectoid alien race, it was nearly lost. Though Earth has slowly rebuilt in the six years since the war, overcrowding and an unstable sun have made life increasingly inhospitable. When mysterious signals from the nearly forgotten colony ships are received, Hood is ordered to embark on a dangerous reconnaissance mission. Could humanity’s future sit among the stars?

Hope. Hood needs it now more than ever. As secrets about the original colonists are revealed and the Epherium Corporation’s dark agenda is exposed, new adversaries threaten the mission, proving more dangerous to Earth than their already formidable foes…

 

T.D. Wilson

T.D. Wilson was born in 1968 in Troy, Ohio and has been an avid fan of science fiction and fantasy from a very young age. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and has supported the systems and networks in several of the largest Supercomputing data centers in the world. His early thirst for adventure in reading began as he explored many of the great stories of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As his reading scope expanded, Mr. Wilson was fascinated by strange new worlds from the magical of Middle Earth and Narnia to the far reaches of space in Star Trek and Babylon 5. As a science fiction author, he strives to integrate a realistic flavor to his worlds by providing his readers a feel for the real science in science fiction. A topic he loves to discuss with his friends and readers. Mr. Wilson still lives in Ohio with his wife and their two sons.

Connect with T.D. Wilson – Facebook | Twitter | Blog

 

The Path to The Furnace by Timothy S. Johnston

facebook twitter

(Giveaway contest details below)

TSJ, 2013

Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries inspired me to write The Furnace. It may sound bizarre, but there’s something calmly comforting to me about a secluded and claustrophobic location, a small cast of characters complete with one investigator and one killer, a rising body count, extreme paranoia, and a setting that will surely kill if any one of the characters tries to leave. That being said, it wasn’t enough for me to just write a mystery of this type. Instead I wanted to transform it into “techno-thriller” status. That is to say, I wanted to incorporate a scientific plot line into the actual murder. It had to be something that the protagonist had to uncover and understand in order to solve the mystery. Michael Crichton is another inspiration for me, and so it could be said that The Furnace is “Agatha Christie meets Isaac Asimov with added Crichton for flavoring.” (In fact, that quote is from eBookanoid.com’s review. And yes, that was extremely gratifying for me to read—to know that someone got it.)

However, before I wrote the book, I had to decide on a location. I knew that, once I’d settled on the science behind the murder, the setting was key. It had to be hostile. Since the investigator was going to find himself behind the eight ball from the second he arrives at the station where the murder occurs, I wanted an environment that mirrored the mystery’s tension. There have been many settings used for books of this type—snow storms (The Mousetrap by Christie), small secluded islands (And Then There Were None by Christie) and a variety of remote places like cabins in the woods—but I wanted a unique and dangerous location appropriate for my techno-thriller.

I settled on the sun.

A space station in close orbit around the sun, to be precise.

The techno-thriller nature of the book allowed me to use a location like this. It’s a futuristic thriller, after all, and this opened up a myriad of options for me.

But why the sun?

I wanted the investigator, Kyle Tanner, to be on his heels and reeling from the hostile situation. He had to be the target of people’s scorn from the second he arrives. His very presence needed to cause friction among the station’s personnel, and I knew this would ramp up the page-turner aspect of the novel. Also, the heat of the sun increases the tension of the investigation. In a big way, this mission is a descent into hell.

The Furnace  is a murder mystery with a scientific plot element that the investigator must solve in order to survive. The environment created an intensely dangerous situation for the characters, and the paranoia as the story unfolds is palpable.

An Excerpt of The Furnace by Timothy S. Johnston:

“What are your procedures for a situation like this?” the Captain asked in a whisper.

“Truthfully? I’ve never been in one.”
“Never?” He was incredulous.
“Usually I chase a killer when they have a place to run. I’ve never backed one into a corner like this and not known who it is. Most often they make a mistake and I make a capture. In this situation, who knows what he’ll do? His behavior is escalating, there’s no doubt of that.”
“Why do you think he’s killing?”
I frowned. “I don’t think it’s random. There’s more going on here than three murders.”
A heartbeat, and then, “What do you mean?”
“I can’t tell you until I know everything. But there is definitely a reason for the killer’s method.”
He grew furious. “This is my station, Tanner. I demand to know —”
“I can’t tell you. It’s as simple as that.”
“Why? Because the Council sent you? Because you’re the best at this job?”
“Because frankly, Captain, you could be the killer.”
He looked down and saw my hand on my pistol. His jaw dropped. “You’re serious.”
“Absolutely.”

Thanks for joining me today to discuss this type of murder mystery. I’d like to leave you with a question: Why do you think these types of mysteries appeal to us? Why are we attracted to the murder of innocents and the resulting investigation (a “procedural”) to uncover the killer?

Thanks for spending your time with me today.

Timothy S. Johnston
Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter

 

(Giveaway contest details below)

 

The Furnace by Timothy S. Johnston Back Cover Copy

Dead Space, 2401 AD

Kyle Tanner is about to die. Alone, floating in a vacsuit only a few million kilometers from a massive, uncaring sun, he has barely enough time or juice to get out a distress signal before either his oxygen runs out or he succumbs to the radiation.

When the CCF sent investigator Kyle Tanner to SOLEX One, a solar energy harvester past Mercury, he thought it would be an open-and-shut murder case. A crew member was found dead, minus his head and hands. Not the worst Tanner has ever seen, but the deeper he delves, the more nightmarish it becomes. A shadowy figure, bleeding from his hands, assaults Tanner in his quarters. Then two more turn up dead, missing their heads and hands as well.

With no one to trust and everyone a suspect—even the intriguing chief engineer, Shaheen—Tanner must navigate a crew on the brink of madness to uncover a conspiracy that could threaten the whole of the human race. Even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice…

 

Giveaway

I’m hosting a giveaway of The Furnace by Timothy S. Johnston during my blog afternoon on December 24! From 3:15 to 5:15 PM, email me at  tsj@timothysjohnston.com using “Carina Giveaway” as the subject heading.  Specify the format you’d prefer (.mobi or .epub). I’ll email the winner.

 

Timothy S. Johnston’s Bio

Timothy S. Johnston is a lifelong fan of techno-thrillers and science-fiction thrillers in both print and film. His greatest desire is to contribute to the genre which has given him so much over the past four decades. He lives on planet Earth, but he dreams of the stars.

Connect with Timothy on Twitter, Facebook, and his website (which includes reviews of The Furnace)!