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The Battle of Hastings, Excerpt from HEIR TO A PROPHECY (inspired by Edward A.Freeman)

The Battle of Hastings, Excerpt from HEIR TO A PROPHECY (inspired by Edward A.Freeman) | microcerpt | Scoop.it
William sat astride his destrier, helmet on, iron shafted mace in hand. Above his head floated the consecrated gonfanon of the Pope, alongside his own standard. He surveyed the difficult line of attack. Harold had indeed chosen his spot well; the army was spread across the summit of a hill perfectly suited for his somewhat reduced numbers. They were ten or twelve ranks deep, all on foot.  Both of Harold’s flanks were impassable. To the west was a ravine, cut by a small stream and banked with mushy ground; to the east, the incline was precipitously steep. Their post was purely defensive. The Saxons could not move from their firmly entrenched spot. William nodded to himself. His own mobile force could attack in waves, allowing them alternate periods of rest, while the solid English line would be forced to defend themselves almost continually. It was only a matter of wearing them down. However, Harold did have a distinct advantage on his side. With tremendous energy, the Saxons had erected a wall that effectively enclosed them in a fortress. There were only three openings in the otherwise solid wall, to allow for possible forays. Charging uphill into a wooden palisade was no easy task. The housecarls were concentrated in the middle, directly opposite the Norman division. Both wings were composed of shire levies, less experienced men, grimly clutching their axes and bills, homemade swords and daggers, clubs, rocks tied to a stick for throwing, slings, studded maces, or farm tools; they were crude, but effective enough. Their protection was minimal, but they stood, along with the rest, behind the kite shaped shields, a second line of defense beyond the palisade. William glanced down as he felt a tug on his stirrup. Standing beside him, brilliantly dressed in parti-color, was his favorite jongleur, Taillefer—Cleaver of Iron—who had kept him amused for so many hours in their long wait across the channel. William’s smile faded at the serious look on the minstrel’s face. “I beg a boon of you, my Lord,” the man said. William nodded. “The time has come for me to prove my mettle, Sir Duke. Would you permit me the first blow, so that the name of Taillefer shall always be remembered in remembering your own?” William hesitated, moved by the man’s request. “You know what that means,” he said, bending low over his horse’s neck. “You will never make it back to our protection.” Taillefer made a gay little leap, belying his fears. “Why Sir, what is that, next to immortality?” Sighing, knowing that he would lose many more of his supporters before the day was over, William gave his consent. He looked at the sun as the jongleur armed himself. It was about three hours before noon. In moments, Duke William watched his minstrel ride out into the open space between the two armies. He gave the order to be ready for the attack. The archers would go first. Meanwhile, Taillefer rode forth on his little pony, singing songs of Roland and Charlemagne, to the astonishment of both armies. Spellbound, all watched him give the most momentous performance of his life, throwing his sword in the air and catching it with a practiced whirl. He rode through an opening in the palisade, rearing his horse theatrically, when suddenly he brought his mount to the ground and charged forward, killing two men before their comrades came to their senses. In a flurry of axes, jongleur and horse went down. At that moment the cry was given for the Norman archers to advance. In all three divisions, the first line moved into range, planting their feet wide, taking aim and showering the Saxon line with relentless shafts. However, the trajectory was uphill; the arrows did little damage. Soon, the archers fell back, and the infantry was ordered to attack. Theirs was the most perilous work; in range of javelins and missiles, they had to apply all of their strength, attempting to tear down the stout palisade. In places they succeeded. Breaking through, holding up their shields, they surged forward to pit themselves against the unmoving Saxon shield wall. Meanwhile, others continued the laborious task at the palisade. However, the Saxons proved a formidable enemy. Unbeaten in battle, they smote with practiced confidence. Fierce as the attack was, the defense was fiercer, and the infantry was driven back by a combination of blows and well-aimed stones. They gave way to the next wave of attack. It was the cavalry’s turn to try their best. The most awesome fighting men ever seen in England, the ponderous knights gave vent to their impatience, thundering past the infantry in their difficult uphill climb. They were still hindered by the palisade, though the weaker spots were damaged further by the charging horses. Holding their spears before them, they crashed against the unyielding shield wall, crying their slogans, cursing the enemy. The Saxons gave not an inch. Horses reared against each other, having no space to turn back. The Saxons were prepared; a well-aimed sweep with the poleaxe could bring down both man and horse in one blow. Unarmored, some of the horses fell on the first charge, pierced by English spears. The steep ascent proved too much for the Normans in their preliminary attempt. They retired in order back to their starting point. This was more of a probing attack than an all-out assault. William had not committed all of his army to the first thrust, nor had he himself joined in. From his vantage point he was able to gauge the places of most serious resistance, and weakness, of the Saxon line. William had his answer. Judging from his set expression, the strength of the English was every bit as menacing as he had supposed. With a stern shout, he ordered a second assault. Once again the archers tried their skill, followed by the infantry. The attack was fiercer this time, their shouts of “God help us” answered by cries of “Out, out!” from the Saxon ranks. Still, they made no headway. Again they fell back, unsuccessful, to make way for the cavalry. The Breton contingent was divided into three sub-commands: that of Alain, his brother Le Noir, and Walter. They found that the untried levies on the wing resisted as stoutly as the housecarls. Amazed, Alain determined to break through this second time. With a cry of “A Brittany” the leaders spurred forward, followed by their undeterred troops. But this time their anxiousness betrayed them. Charging through the infantry, no one in the rush, from commander to rear horseman, noticed that in their gentler ascent they had greatly outdistanced the Norman contingent to their right. Intent on their immediate targets, the Bretons crashed into the shield wall again, meeting with a fiercer resistance than before. Heavy missiles flew at them, meeting their marks with a deadly thud. Sturdy Englishmen met their swords with sweeping axes, cleaving through blades and limbs. Screaming horses lashed out in pain; men plunged through the shields only to be thrust forth again or pulled from their horses. All mingled in a chaotic roar. Slipping on fresh spilled blood, tripping over writhing bodies, the well-organized line broke into scattered tangles. Suddenly the foremost knights realized that their right flank was undefended. A few men drew back in confusion, yelling their dismay. From one man to the next, the word spread that they were unprotected. Bewildered, wanting only to get away from the onslaught, the inexperienced riders reined off, intent on a moment’s reprieve. Walter felled a man with his sword, and looked up to see men pulling away. Jerking his horse’s head around, he dashed through the pandemonium, yelling for them to turn and fight. Slapping men with the flat of his blade, he cursed, admonished, threatened, but to no avail. Like an avalanche the retreat gained in momentum, until all the men, losing their heads, shot away from the fighting. In short order they overran the infantry. They passed the Norman line, still struggling forward, spreading terror through their ranks as well. Some of the Bretons found themselves in worse shape than ever; stumbling into the mire on the edge of the field, their desperate scrambling rooted them even deeper. Many tumbled into the ravine, pushed by their companions who couldn’t stop soon enough. Terrified horses kicked their riders senseless. Walter found himself beside Le Noir at the rear of the retreat. They did not give up; grabbing men by the shoulders and jerking them around, they finally managed to force a small group to turn back. But it was not enough; from the midst of the confusion came the rumor that Duke William was dead. The battle was over. Progress came to a halt as the few men milled around in confusion. Walter spotted Alain and rode toward him, leaving Le Noir to make some sense of the commotion. Between them, they shouted some sort of order into those within hearing. The best they could do was halt the retreat. But a new clamor came to their ears. Turning, Count Alain saw that a group of Saxons were breaking ranks, itching to turn the retreat into a slaughter. Forgetting the safety of the shield wall, they came streaming down the hill. At the same time Alain heard an even more familiar voice. The Duke spurred directly toward them, helmet off, thrusting at the recreants with a spear. “Madmen!” he shouted at the Bretons. “Behold me. Are you insane? Your retreat means death. Victory lies ahead. See you, cowards! Your Duke is before you!” William struck more fear into the Bretons than the Saxons did. Turning toward the English, even the most fearful saw the charging men, and they were struck by their opportunity. Yelling their battle cries, the Bretons dashed back into action. Gathering the fleeing Normans, William led them toward the headstrong English, cutting off the sundered warriors from the safety of their army. Seeing their plight, the Saxons gathered atop a little hillock in the midst of their enemies, fighting desperately for their lives. Their gallant stand, back to back, while they fell under the avenging swords of the Bretons, went farther than any other incident toward demoralizing their companions. Then followed a brief reprieve, during which both sides managed to repair their disordered ranks. Just as expected, William rode up to chastise the unsteady Bretons, who had nearly lost the day. But the anger was gone from his face. Looking steadily at the men who had learned such a bitter lesson, he tried to boost their spirits. “Well, my lads,” he spoke evenly, “there is no need to tell you what you have done. But remember…” he raised his voice, “there is no glory in running from a fight. Even were I killed, I would expect you to continue, if only to maintain your honor. There will be other battles after this one!” He paused, moving his horse among them. “Perhaps not all bad has come from your panic. See how they mourn their dead on that little hill. Methinks we will try the same ruse again; mayhap you can redeem yourselves. But on my order this time! Not before.” The men cheered, encouraged. William spurred his horse back to the center and gave the order to prepare for another attack. In ten minutes they moved again. Flowing through the breaches in the palisade, they widened the openings each attack. The Saxons never moved forward to block their way. This time the Bretons fought valiantly, but the glory in this onslaught went to the Norman division. In the middle, before the Royal standard, the fighting was the fiercest. William himself was the most apparent, appearing everywhere on his white horse in the midst of the worst exchanges. The pile of bodies was thickest here; making headway on a horse was laborious. William spotted Harold laying about with deadly blows from his poleaxe and surged toward him. But his movement was checked by a most unexpected attack from Harold’s own brother, Gyrth. Seeing the King’s plight, the Earl of East Anglia heaved his spear, throwing it with tremendous strength. The shaft pierced the heart of William’s gallant steed, and the beast sank, nearly pinning the Duke beneath it. But a man trained in cavalry fighting must also learn how to clear his fallen mount. Leaping skillfully, the Duke fell heavily on the ground, but regained his feet before anyone had a chance to attack him. William had not gained his formidable reputation for no reason; he was known to be as deadly on foot as he was on horseback. Shaking the stun from his head, he looked around, searching for his antagonist. With the instinct of a born warrior, he found him; momentarily, the Duke’s eyes locked with those of Gyrth. Inaction was followed by swift reaction. Determined to avenge this insult, William pressed forward. On his right a man attempted to stop him; a sure sweep of the mace crashed into the unfortunate’s face, dropping him in his tracks. And still the Duke moved on, seeing that his opponent was waiting for him, sword in hand. They met with a clash of steel on steel. The force of William’s blow would have reduced a lesser man, but Gyrth withstood it, bending slightly at the knees to absorb the shock. He tried to follow his block with a swing to the head, but William easily stopped it. In anger the Duke swung his mace in a full circle about his head before crashing it into Gyrth’s shoulder; the man’s grimace betrayed his pain. Staggered, the Earl responded with an ineffectual thrust, but he knew the fight was over. In another moment the war club was brought down in a skull-crushing arc, and the valiant Earl’s life force had run out. It was no dishonor to die under the hands of so mighty a foe. Shortly after, William saw Gyrth’s brother, Leofwine, fall under the mace of Bishop Odo. Brothers were killed by brothers. William gained a dark satisfaction in knowing that Harold had witnessed the slaying of his own two siblings. But action cut short his unworthy thoughts. He was not as comfortable on foot, and disentangled himself from the Saxon crush, looking for a handy horse to borrow. He spotted a likely steed, mounted by some Maine knight whose name he did not know. The Duke called to the man, requesting him to relinquish his horse. Scorning the thought, perhaps not recognizing his sovereign, the man refused. Already fired by the fighting, William seethed at his abrupt treatment. Striding forward, he struck the man such a blow that the knight fell from the horse. He leaped on the animal’s back, leaving the rebel to his own devices. William was as active as ever, for still he had not taken a major wound. But the same luck did not hold for his mounts. Again, William’s horse was killed under him; again he wreaked revenge on his aggressor. This time, Count Eustace offered his own steed, and the Count in turn was given a mount belonging to one of his followers. Deciding that the charge uphill was in every respect useless, William determined to find a way past the shield wall. He sent a message to Alain instructing him to command a feigned retreat with his whole division. He did not expect them to take long in obeying. The Duke was not disappointed; shortly afterward, the Bretons took to their heels in a very convincing show of chaos. Forgetting their recent lesson, the inexperienced Saxons charged howling after them, taking nearly a third of their line.     Walter led a portion of the men in a different direction from Alain, scattering the Saxons even further. Then, when he deemed that the pursuers were sufficiently cut off from main army, he shouted for his men to turn. Reeling their horses in a sudden reversal, the fugitives became the attackers. Realizing their error, the Saxons tried desperately to band together, but many were too late. They were cut down in their momentary bewilderment. Those in the rear saw the danger; a certain number of them got together on the hill that had already proved so fatal to their fellows. But this time was different. There were more defenders on the hill; they were better armed. Throwing stones and darts, they killed many of the Bretons that were trying, once again, to attack uphill. The Saxons managed to hold the summit. Other Saxons charged to the hidden ravine, so dangerous to the Bretons in the last incident. They turned on the edge and took a stand, followed by horsemen who hadn’t witnessed that fatal scene, so intent had they been on their own flight. The Bretons tried to careen to a sudden stop, but their horses were not so nimble as men, nor could they halt those charging behind them. Over and over, horse and man toppled into the gully, crushing those underneath them, and being crushed in turn by those coming after. It was said that the corpses filled the ravine until level with the ground. Walter’s men had not moved far; faced with the most defiant Saxons who held their ground, the fighting continued without a break. Clean battle-lines had melted into a surging chaos; individual struggles replaced organized assault. A burly peasant pulled Walter from his horse while he was fighting off two other men. The frightened animal reared, chasing off the first two Saxons who otherwise would have finished him in a moment. Walter twisted from the man’s grasp, swinging wildly with his sword. The peasant saw the movement, easily evading the badly-aimed cut. With a heavy club, he struck Walter in the side of the head, sending him reeling against his horse. Grinning, the man took a step forward when his face changed to a grimace of pain and his arms went out. The club fell to the ground, and the Saxon with it, blood spurting from his back. Walter looked up, stunned. Through a fog he saw Le Noir circling him. “Be more careful, my boy. You were lucky your good Breton helmet saved you.” The knight recovered the reins of Walter’s nervous horse, and held them out. Walter took them, but leaned heavily against the charger’s neck. “Get out of the fighting,” the other shouted, then was gone, not wanting to miss too much action. Walter heaved himself onto his mount’s back and followed Le Noir’s advice. Not until his head cleared did he wonder how he managed to maneuver without harm. Duke William got what he wanted. With the mad pursuit of the Saxons, the continuity of the shield wall was forever broken. They left a large gap at the top of the hill, and the Normans were quick to take advantage. Charging crosswise before the shield wall, the cavalry reached the summit of the hill for the first time all day. Now, they merely had to attack eastward into the teeth of Harold’s housecarls. The remaining Saxons quickly brought the shield wall around to face the new threat. But the Normans were no longer hindered by that difficult climb; their attacks were more powerful, given the easy footing. The summit, however, was too narrow for all of them; there was still much activity along the slope. The lack of space on the hilltop also inhibited the movements of the Saxons. No man had the room to make a full swing without stepping out from the safety of the shield wall. It was said that the dead were held up by the living, so tightly wedged were they. The fighting had gone on for nearly six hours without a stop. William was able to alternate his troops, following archery with infantry with cavalry. Where one tactic was weak, another was strong. The English, however, were forced to stand in one place, frustrated, watching their neighbors die beside them while they were constrained to hold themselves back in a defensive posture. The palisade was almost completely destroyed. The day was evolving in favor of the Normans. But the outcome was still far from certain. If the Saxons could hold out until nightfall, the battle might be over. At one point, Duke William found himself faced with an adversary as powerful as himself, who nimbly ducked his tireless attacks. Evading a particularly deadly blow, the man turned and smashed his axe down on William’s head, denting his helm and nearly knocking him from the horse. But the Duke held his seat, then aimed another blow before noticing that the man merged himself among his companions. However, a group of Normans, always willing to curry their master’s favor, charged toward the fellow, transfixing him with their spears. Seeing this, William turned away, shrugging off his ill luck. The Duke never succeeded in getting close to Harold. Another Norman almost reached the Saxon King; Robert Fitz-Erneis galloped toward the royal standard, smiting those who dared try to block his way. But the Saxons were too quick for him; they surrounded his horse, striking him until he fell off and was trampled underneath. His charge brought him to within a few feet of the banner. More and more English abandoned their shield wall, preferring to die in a more actively offensive manner. Anything was better than standing for another minute crammed together. This change in tactics brought the fight back into the Saxons. William surveyed the field for a moment. Then, with a burst of inspiration, he ordered the archers forward, commanding them to shoot up in the air, so that their arrows would fall like rain on the defending troops. “Aim especially for the royal standard,” he added. Calmly, the bowmen stepped within range, pointed their bows into the sky; it was a tricky maneuver, depending mostly on luck and the wind. There was a danger of wounding their own men if the arrows were badly aimed. At first, the Saxons didn’t pay much attention to the arrows. But like magic, the new threat drew their sight upward, threw them into a panic. Men were pierced in the face, in the throat; screaming in fear and frustration, they raised their shields, leaving their lower bodies defenseless. Suddenly a burst of activity below the Dragon of Wessex relayed the message that one arrow, at least, hit its mark. Rumors spread instantly through the ranks; Harold was pierced in the eye. Twenty of William’s knights spurred toward the spot, pursued by angry housecarls intent on having their revenge. All but four of the twenty were cut down in this last charge. But the four reached the fallen King: Eustace of Boulogne, still intent on revenge for an earlier affront; the son of Guy of Pointhieu, Harold’s earlier captor; Hugh of Montfort; and the younger Walter Giffard. Seeing that Harold was still alive, they leaped from their horses, intent on dealing the fatal blow. One of them pierced him through with a spear. Another struck him with a sword, below the fastenings of his helmet. Harold was stabbed through the chest by a third. But, most unchivalrous of all, the last man cut his leg clean through, and flung it far from the body. In the struggle, Harold’s Fighting Man went down, trodden into the mud. The royal gonfanon was carried off. Enraged, the housecarls doubled their vigorous attacks. But the Normans, as well, were heartened by this crucial death. The day was won; all present knew this. Harold’s valiant fighters, his most personal friends, were prepared to die on the field, defending their own honor to the end. Their only intent was to take as many Normans with them as they could. Around the spot where the standard had fallen, fighting lasted into the dark. But elsewhere, as the banner fell, men who had farms and families waiting for them lost heart. Theirs was not a soldiering life; they were not used to sentiments like dying in battle. First by ones and twos they fled, then the whole field was moving with men streaming to safety, some throwing their weapons in their haste to be off. The fighting became a race; the Saxons became fugitives, and their enemies the pursuers. But the English unwittingly had the advantage; it was dark. They knew the land, and could traverse the marsh, while heavily laden horses slipped and floundered. Spotting their opportunity, the pursued turned again, wreaking their last revenge on the premature victors. Many Normans lost their life in that treacherous marsh, later called Malfosse, just at the moment when they thought themselves safe. It was an omen, if only they could see it; herein were displayed the problems facing William in dealing with this, his conquered people. http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/the-battle-of-hastings-excerpt-from-heir-to-a-prophecy-inspired-by-edward-a-freeman/
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The Club (part 40)

The Club (part 40) | microcerpt | Scoop.it
:: The Club It was almost 7.00 pm. They were finished for the day, as they had not located the private investigator believed to be responsible for bugging the phone. Savvas booked a room at a downtown hotel, had a shower and lay down, not managing to sleep. At about 8.30, he had a quick bite to eat and returned to Urania’s house. Just as the taxi was pulling up, he saw her get into a car driven by an officer from the local station. He knocked on the shutters but did not learn anything useful from the babysitter. After a stroll in the city centre, he ended up at the club Makedon had recommended. With a whiskey in hand, he looked around. A petite brunette with very short jet-black hair and a red part was dancing seductively. Wearing black lipstick, she worked at her gum, dressed in a cut-off shirt, shorts and silver jewellery. At Savvas’ encouraging smile, she made some new moves. He invited her over. She approached, ordered a Zingara, gulped half of it down in one go and pulled him onto the dance floor. She rubbed her body on his. He wrapped her tightly in his arms and they kissed. After dancing for a while, she complained her mouth was dry. But her drink was nowhere to be found. “No fucking way,” she said, pouting. The pounding music made it difficult to talk. “What’s your name, grandpa?” she yelled in his ear. “Savvas, what’s yours, baby?” “Ceecee. I’m bored. Let’s go,” she said, stamping her foot. “Can I ask you something?” “Whatever you like,” she sang. “Can I see your ID?” “Are you a cop?” Ceecee said, jumping up. “I don’t like to get mixed up with minors.” She pulled her ID card out of the multi-coloured purse hanging around her neck with black-tipped fingernails. “You’re a buzzkill!” she exclaimed, pointing to her birthdate. Savvas said he was ready for some action. “You’ll pay for that,” she snarled. “Plus interest,” he answered in anticipation. :: To Hawaii Ceecee’s flat was unbelievably cluttered, just like a corner store. She pulled off her hat, threw off her jacket, kicked off her shoes and put on heavy metal music. “What are we listening to, grandpa?” she asked. “Black Sabbath.” “No way, you mother-fucking geezer!” “You shouldn’t say geezer,” Savvas said, tenderly. “How do you know Black Sabbath? Most don’t.” “I am not most,” he said, but she didn’t get the joke. “Shall we go to Hawaii?” Stretch asked, who often likened his sexual marathons to exotic journeys. Ceecee loved new experiences. They went to the Cook Islands, then Guam and ended up in Hawaii, falling into an exhausted sleep. Slumbering pleasantly, Savvas was drawn to a ravine where magpies were calling. The noise turned into screeching, waking him. He opened his eyes and saw a large alarm clock vibrating in a deep dish, placed on a baking sheet. Ceecee switched it off. It was 5.30 am. “It’s still early,” yawned Stretch. “No, because my dad comes home from work at 7.30.” Savvas felt the rare desire to sleep. “You promised me India,” Ceecee said, pinching him. And always willing to complete his sexual tour, he guided her to Khajuraho until 6.00. As he departed from the temple of Lakshmi, Ceecee frowned. “Is Bora Bora nearby?” she asked. “Geographically, no.” Ceecee stuck out her lower lip. “Sri Lanka is close,” said Savvas. “Sri what?” “You’ll see,” he told her, and made tracks because they barely had time for a tour of the city. At the end of their journey, Ceecee saw the time and cursed. Standing on a chair, she pulled her blouse off the curtain rod and got the broom-duster to reach the bra on the ceiling light fixture. Savvas stretched out his arm and grabbed her knickers with the wildcat on them. “Baby, could you make a cup of coffee?” he asked, caressing her. “I’m not your slave.” “That’s true,” muttered Stretch, heading for the kitchen. “Hey, grandpa, make two cups.” “Yes, my lady.” “My name is Ceecee, fool. What have you been smoking?” The kitchen was a disaster area. The sink needed a firm hand, and it definitely wouldn’t be the head rookie’s. “I’ll buy you breakfast at the beach,” he said, smiling. “Are you crazy? I’m about to hit the sack. You never told me how I was.” “Incredible traveller. Housekeeping? Not so much.” “You can’t win them all. What have I put on for you, grandpa?” “Iced Earth.” “Not again, you asshole! Did they listen to rock in ancient times? Shit!” “May I take a shower, kind hostess?” “I could care less.” “I’ll take that as an affirmation.” “Are you speaking Ancient Greek, you fucker? Un-fucking-believable.” The bath was a close second to the kitchen, so Stretch skipped the shower and went to say good-bye. “What’s playing for good-bye?” asked the dark-haired girl. Savvas knew exactly what it was, “You Shook Me All Night Long.” “I dedicate it to you, my Singapore fling,” she told him, with a kiss. “Tenk you,” he answered, but the pun fell flat. See larger image LOVE, ROCK AND CRIME (Kindle Edition) List Price: Price Not Listed Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/the-club-part-40/
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My Life Hereafter

My Life Hereafter | microcerpt | Scoop.it
It is oddly weird. The one moment I am clutching to the railing of the bus seat in front of me, hanging sideways and upside down simultaneously, with my hair falling over my eyes and then in the blink of an eye I am standing here in this brilliant white hall. I look around me at the unbelievably high ceiling, the white glimmering tiles all around stretching into the sky as far as my eyes can see. It looks like an enormous and very clean industrial bathroom. The whiteness of it all hurts my eyes. Unexpectedly Charlene knocks into me, and whispers reverently, “Is this heaven?” “I doubt it. Surely, we would see a pearly gate, with hills rolling away into the distance. This looks like a giant railway station.” “But, we did …” Lionel joins us. “Wow,” he says looking around him amazed. “Do you believe this?” I look away from him towards a girl I barely know, she is crying softly. Giant tears running down her cheeks. Her eyes are puffy and red. The rest of her face has gone pallid white, so now her eyes look as if they are bleeding. As a hush falls over the crowd mulling around me, I raise my eyebrows toward Lionel, silently telling him not to sound so excited. Every kid that was on that bus with me, all sixty of us stop talking abruptly, all at the exact same time, and we turn toward the large stage in the front of this colossal hall. It feels like a fire drill, and now the announcement will come that we have to return to our classes. I see him. How can I miss him? He has biceps the size of me. He stands erect, and he lifts his hand to sweep his hair across his brow. His eyes are so blue, I can see the colour all the way at the back here, where I stand. In a loud booming voice, he says, while my heart skips a beat at the sudden sound, “Welcome. You will form groups of six.” He stops talking and I assume it is a direct order. I grab onto Charlene’s arm before someone drags her away from me. Charlene and I have been friends since pre-school and I am not going to go through this hallucination without her. Lionel inches himself closer to me, and then I lean forward not wanting my legs to move. I tap the sobbing girl on the shoulder. She looks so alone, and my heart goes out to her when I see no-one grabbing onto her. She looks at me through dew-dropped Bambi lashes, and I smile friendly, “Join our group. If you want to.” She smiles shyly as she inches closer to us, while keeping her eyes averted. I recognize her, and I think she was in one or two of my classes, but regretfully I cannot really remember her name. “Okay, that makes four. Quickly get two more kids, before we get split up into other unfinished groups.” I see Mark sauntering toward us. My heart jumps and I nudge Charlene in the ribs. Charlene has a serious crush on him, and I must admit that he is dangerously handsome. He is not the most popular boy in school, but to Charlene he is an Adonis. Mark smiles his sexy smile, and then asks, “Mind if I join your group?” Charlene gapes at him, while I frown. Never before has he spoken to me, Charlene or Lionel, so why would he now walk across the room to connect with us? Lionel smiles, “Yes, of course. That makes five. We need one more.” I look around and see that the groups around us are full. I start to panic. I do not think I would be able to do this whole after-life thing without Charlene by my side. I catch my breath. After-life? I have not yet had the opportunity to collect my thoughts. Am I dead? Our attention is brutally diverted towards the stage again. It is as if we are all in a collective thought, and we look at the stage simultaneously, while we stop talking amongst ourselves. The man, with the huge arms, says loudly, “Good. We have a straggler here. Sunel, please come forward.” Me? Must be, because I do not know many people named Sunel. My mom likes to brag and tell everybody who will listen, how she joined my father’s name and her name together, and then stumbled upon the new-age name of Sunel. My name is frustrating at times, especially when I have to repeat my name to those who do not know me, or especially when I have to spell my name repeatedly. I walk forward automatically, and look back over my shoulder at Charlene, begging her with my eyes to come with me. However, she has planted herself next to Mark and she does not move a muscle. I move past my classmates and I smile friendly, nodding my head in greeting every so often, as I walk to the front of the hall. When I reach the front and stand looking up at the stage, the man on the stage says, “Rudi, please follow Sunel back to her group.” As if in a trance, I look towards Rudi, standing by himself near a corner. He walks toward me and then silently we walk back to Charlene, Lionel, Mark and the girl, I am ashamed to say, whose name I do not know. From the front of the hall, the man instructs, “You will now, in your groups of six, move towards the reception area. You will not all crowd into the foyer. You will remain outside the door until you are called.” The man walks off the stage and then everybody starts to talk again as one, the buzz is like bees in a hive. Lionel leans forward conspiratorially, “Who was that?” I ignore him. “What is going on? Where are we anyway? How can we all be so calm, as if nothing has happened? I remember being on the bus. I remember …” Then suddenly I did not want to remember. Mark leans toward me. “Calm down, Sunel. You are going to start hyperventilating if you’re not careful.” Charlene laughs, “Can we still hyperventilate?” He smiles toward her and I can see her legs visibly turn to jelly. He says, “We seem pretty normal.” “Yeah, for dead people. It is weird how everything here seems so regular,” Lionel adds. I move through the circle we have formed and stand next to the crying girl. I feel mortified having to ask her for her name. I should now her name, jeez, we were all in the same school, the same year, going on an outing to the Museum of Natural Science. Smiling friendly, I take her hand consolingly. In a recollection of brilliant, vivid colors, I see her the way she was at school. Her name is Carly and she transferred in, a month ago. She is still trying to find her way in her new school. She has not made any friends yet, and nobody has approached her either. She keeps mostly to herself and she is quiet and shy. Her dad died six months ago and her mother has been miserable and sad ever since. Carly is always worried who will take care of her mother, and now that she is here, her worries are even worse. She is a worrier. She worries about everything from world hunger, to ants not having enough to keep them through winter. Her favourite colour is green and she loves listening to Backstreet Boys. I pull my hand from Carly’s fiercely. I take a deep gasp of air and frowning confused I look down at my hand. In a split of a second, I knew everything there was to know about Carly. Hastily I gather my thoughts and then I smile friendly, as I feel myself being nudged forwards toward the door. Charlene comes to walk next to me. “What’s wrong? You look like you have seen a ghost.” Lionel laughs nervously, “Yeah, sixty of them.” “Lionel you aren’t funny,” I say in passing, while I walk toward the door. I can see that it is a sunny day, the way the sun filters through the door. I look at the faces surrounding me, and think how strange it is that Carly is the only person I saw crying. Everybody looks happy. Together we walk out through the door and into the bright sunlight. TO BE RELEASED 1 DECEMBER 2015 http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/my-life-hereafter/
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The Outlaw River Wilde by Mike Walters

The Outlaw River Wilde by Mike Walters | microcerpt | Scoop.it
Outlaw River, a small town in the Pacific Northwest’s Outlaw River Valley. This community is no different from most small American towns that depend a fair amount of tourist trade. Outlaw River is a community of 1800, comprised of farmers, ranchers, loggers and hunters. Like most rural communities, everyone knows and looks out for their neighbors, attends annual events and go to bed at night without locking their doors. While biking the river trail, Mitch Wilde loses control and falls when something swishes by him with an intensity that breaks his concentration. Rattled, Mitch looks around and spots a man on a horse across the river. An uneasiness causes him to look up high in a tree where he spots a shimmering arrow with a sparrow sitting on it. As he watches the bird flies away and the arrow seems to dissolve leaving only a trace of glowing liquid. Mitch successfully put the simmering arrow, tree phenomenon along with the man on a horse out of his mind until his neighbor Jack is struck in the shoulder by an arrow while in his yard. Mitch goes to render aide and observes that it isn’t a normal arrow. The shaft and feathers almost seem alive. When touched, the shaft goes from cold to hot. When Mitch decides he can safely pull the arrow out of Jack, the arrows mysteriously disappears into Jacks body. If it were just he and Jack it would be one thing, but other members of the Outlaw Rivers community report sightings of famous Indians like Sitting Bull in full battle dress. To add to the local stress, ongoing news reports indicate that Native American Indians in the Pacific Northwest are simply disappearing without warning. This phenomenon extends to sightings of strange creatures around Crater Lake and objects which seen to collide with the mountain range. Legends compare tales of local Indians guiding settlers away from Crater Lake. Is it meteor strikes? An alien invasion? Kachina Indian Spirits? Perhaps it is shape shifters or even the apocalypse? The Outlaw River Wilde by Mike Walters in an introduction and cliff hanger to his sci-fi, mystery series. Still Wilde In Outlaw River (Book Two) is scheduled to arrive in 2016. In some series, authors design each book to stand along with separate stories using many of the same characters. This author has chosen a continuing saga approach where the reader needs to read this book before the next. Cold Coffee Press endorses The Outlaw River Wilde by Mike Walters as a paranormal mystery that presents a series of unexplained phenomenon. We reviewed this book from Kindle/PDF format. The review was completed on October 13, 2015. For more information please contact Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VIYLPII/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00VIYLPII&linkCode=as2&tag=colcofpre-20&linkId=BJT76IOVDJXLUOXG http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/the-outlaw-river-wilde-by-mike-walters/
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The Hero’s Speech – Part 3

The Hero’s Speech – Part 3 | microcerpt | Scoop.it
(Somewhere in the Tabit star system) “Souls?” Rei asked incredulously. “You mean souls are real?” “Very much so. Think of it as the spirit that distinguishes a lump of flesh from a thinking, feeling being. It is very tenuous. One soul alone would not amount to much in this universe. But put billions of souls together and this is the end result. We move on.” “Move on to where? Where are you from?” Rome asked. “What are you doing here? And where is Lupe?” “Your people, the Vuduri, do not have a name for it,” Molokai said. “Your husband’s people had a concept, marginally similar, called Heaven.” “Heaven?” Rei gasped. “That’s real too?” “You do not have the exact words. It is not how your people envisioned it but where I come from is the final gathering place for the souls of all living creatures.” “So how is it not how we envisioned it?” “It is not a real place in your mode of existence. It is the realization of thought, not matter. It cannot be described. Any words I would use to explain it would be so wrong as to be misleading, if not an outright lie. Let me explain it a different way. You, here, each of you see the same things. You experience the same things. Where I come from, each soul that arrives would experience something different, something unique to that soul. At least while it could. After that, it would join the greater.” Rome sighed. “I still don’t understand. But this is where you took Lupe?” “I did not take her,” Molokai said. “Then who did?” “It was others, like me. Each of them is the accumulated spirits of entire worlds and billions of years of evolution. They all coexist on a plane infinitely beyond your four-dimensional space. It is a realm of…” Molokai said a word but not one person in the room understood. “Never mind, then,” Rome said, holding her hand up. “How do we get her back?” “I will lead the way,” Molokai said. OMCOM stepped forward. “We are going to build Molokai a ship. A ship that can travel faster than anything ever imagined. It will take us where we need to go. Molokai will provide the guidance.” Rei shook his head. “What kind of ship?” he asked. “You’re going to build a ship that goes to Heaven?” “Molokai and I have worked it out,” Aason said. “The X-drive has no upper speed limit. It is constrained only by the amount of computing power available. OMCOM is a computer the size of planet. Molokai says it’s more than enough for us to achieve the necessary velocity.” “And who is us?” Rome asked, her eyes narrowing. “Me and Junior,” Aason said. “We’ll be flying…” “Absolutely not,” Rome exclaimed, stamping her foot. “If any of us are going on this trip, it will be your father or me.” Aason took one step forward. “No, Mom. It has to be me. I got Lupe into this jam and I have to be the one to get her back.” See larger image The Milk Run (Paperback) List Price: $12.99 USD New From: $9.50 USD In Stock Used from: $12.70 USD In Stock See larger image The Milk Run (Kindle Edition) List Price: Price Not Listed Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only See larger image Rome's Revolution (Paperback) List Price: $17.99 USD New From: $13.64 USD In Stock Used from: $13.49 USD In Stock http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/the-heros-speech-part-3/
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Lost In His Eyes by Ginger Simpson

Lost In His Eyes by Ginger Simpson | microcerpt | Scoop.it
Homesteading in the Oklahoma Panhandle in 1894 is getting harder every day, “Hot winds drove a herd of tumbleweeds across endless acres of sod, broken and dried by the late July sun. The devastating drought in Oklahoma continued, leaving everything parched or dying.” A small cast of well-developed characters bring the story to life as Miss Harlee Wagner accidentally falls into the family well while gathering a bucket of water. Days later and near death, was this stunning man a figment of her imagination, or was he, her long awaited hero? Fast-pace action, adventure, mystery and romance keeps the reader turning the pages seeking answers to this most unusual mystery. I quote a passage from the book to show Ginger Simpson’s writing style and the questions Harlee has on her mind. “Harlee took in the scenery again, but her mind wandered. Homesteads much like the one Pa had staked claim to, sat back from the trail, gardens withered, heat waves spiraling upward, and an occasional dust devil swirling in the distance. How did those twisting demons develop when the ground had turned stone-like from the absence of moisture? Could humidity cause enough dampness? Although the area hadn’t had rain for some time, some days were filled with ‘heat you could wear’, as Logan said. Today was one of those days. Harlee’s top clung to her like a second skin; perspiration beaded her forehead and dampened her hair. How she wished she had her old straw hat, but that had disappeared along with her family.” Cold Coffee Press endorses Lost In His Eyes by Ginger Simpson as a warm, realistic, 1800 period romance published by Books We Love. Thirty plus books have given Ginger Simpson the notoriety that she has earned as a romance author. I invite you to read (just to name a few); Lost In His Eyes, Ages of Love, Arizona Sky, Betrayed, Dancing Fawn, Destiny’s Bride, Discovery, Ellie’s Legacy, First Degree Innocence, Hattie’s Heroes, Sarah’s Heart and Passion, Shortcomings, Time Tantrums and Yellow Moon. We were given this book in a Kindle/PDF format. This review was completed on October 25, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015QGC5L4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B015QGC5L4&linkCode=as2&tag=colcofpre-20&linkId=6R3WY3DVVO5TOTKU http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/lost-in-his-eyes-by-ginger-simpson/
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Veronica’s Papers by A. Colin Wright

Veronica’s Papers by A. Colin Wright | microcerpt | Scoop.it
Veronica’s Papers by A. Colin Wright has an amazing premise that makes the reader think about the likelihood and outcome of such an experiment in his or her own life. Well-developed characters like Gerald Clayton, who finds himself in a nursing-home after losing his memory; his wife Elizabeth; and Veronica Castell (who has assembled papers documenting Gerald’s life along with other people from Gerald’s past) help the reader understand Gerald’s and Veronica’s thought processes. The unlikely setting is a cruise ship named Marguerite. This ship is of British registry, sailing out of Southampton to a variety of destinations like the Azores and the Canary Islands. Passengers receive an invitation (Compliments of ‘Creative Travel’) awarding them a fully paid seven-day cruise for two that includes a special program geared to meet their individual needs and interests. The intensity of the author’s style of writing is evident when he writes: “Humans are like individual atoms jostling in time and space in a constantly changing relationship, and every so often what we call chance brings together those who’ve met before so that we wonder whether there isn’t some further purpose. But what of the coincidences that fail to become evident? The odds against Janet’s being on the other side of that train were almost as great, but we’d never have known we were even close. How often have we been in such situations without knowing it? Only our ignorance prevents us from calling those coincidences and from seeing the basic oneness of life.” Colin Wright causes the reader to think and question mortality with its limitations in relationship to moral and spiritual concerns. This passage is an example: “The tragedy is that Christianity could be so much more. Christ’s words, it seems to me, rarely limit people to a narrow morality. Rather it’s Saint Paul and those who followed, more concerned with establishing orthodoxy under the leadership of a politically powerful church-who brought a small-minded understanding to a vision that encompasses all people’s strivings. Christians simply couldn’t tolerate rivals: a pettiness repeated often enough since. Yet there’s no contradiction between the worship of pagan gods, say, and that of Christ, for the reality they represent is the same. Why couldn’t Christianity have had vision enough to see this?” Cold Coffee Press endorses Veronica’s Papers by A. Colin Wright as a thought–provoking work of literature that raises the question of whether or not “creation, fantasy and truth are the same”. We received this book in a Kindle/PDF format. This review was completed on October 31, 2015. For more information contact Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1514675102/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1514675102&linkCode=as2&tag=colcofpre-20&linkId=MKEJSAKGTOK2FGDO http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/veronicas-papers-by-a-colin-wright/
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Visiting Grandpa - Gay Themed Flash Fiction

I woke up with a strong desire to see my father. “Shall we go and visit Grandpa?” I asked the twins as they tucked into their breakfast cereal. The six-year-old boys looked up in unison. “If you like,” William said. “Cool,” Thomas added. “OK, I’ll phone up and see if we can get in today. There might be a cancellation.” In the back of the car, they were whispering and grinning. I wasn’t sure whether they understood the concept of the virtual mausoleum, though I had tried to explain it several times. We were lucky; I had managed to secure thirty minutes, as there had been a cancellation. We were in suite seventeen. It occurred to me that it was ironic how families seemed to visit their dead relatives more often than they had visited them when they were alive. The suite had a row of comfortable chairs for the visitors. Everything else was holographic. It hadn’t been too expensive to have them visit Dad at home before he died. They had filmed everything, sampled the air, interviewed him, and had him fill out a sixty-two page secret questionnaire. The virtual room looked exactly as I remembered it, down to his favourite mug filled with weak milky tea on the old table that we’d eaten off for years. The smell brought the memories rushing back – a combination of his aftershave, a faint hint of pipe tobacco and the unique smell of his house – the house that I had grown up in. “How are you, Dad?” “Oh, fair to middling son, mustn’t complain, no point complaining anyway,” he grinned at us. We had entered our names into the seats we had taken. The expert system that ran the simulation was quite capable of running multiple conversations. It was like stepping back into the past and being with him again, except that you couldn’t kiss him or hug him or even shake his hand. The lack of physical contact always brought a tear to my eye. The latest newsletter had said that the technology for physical interaction was only a couple of years away. Maybe the twins would eventually get the chance to hug their grandfather. We chatted about inane things and wasted fifteen minutes. The twins were quiet, but grinning at each other throughout. We all sat quietly for a few moments. There was no compulsion to speak, but the silence seemed to build up a pressure in me. We hadn’t really talked in life, but I couldn’t bear the silence now he was dead. “Would you like to ask Grandpa anything?” I asked the boys. “Grandpa,” William asked in his cheeky voice, “Are you gay?” I almost choked and I expected my father to splutter on his tea. He didn’t. He smiled and put down his cup. “I’m glad you asked that, lad. After your father was born, well your grandma and me we weren’t intimate anymore. A man needs to satisfy his urges. I had a few special mates, if you understand what I mean.” I understood, but I doubted that my six-year-olds did. Embarrassed, I said a quick goodbye and ushered them out of the room. In the back of the car, the boys were quiet. I knew that they were communicating with each other as only twins can. “Dad,” Thomas eventually asked quietly, “Are you gay?” http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/visiting-grandpa-gay-themed-flash-fiction/
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Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis

Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis | microcerpt | Scoop.it
OK, women, here it is! Finally, a gut honest personal journal written by a man that hits the pages of Signs of (a) Life with both serious and laugh-out-loud stories. To begin with, Liam speaks of issues that we can all relate to as we stand in front of a mirror and are surprised to see the older, graying image of someone we barely recognize staring back. Liam states this right off the bat, “Warning: this book contains within it accounts of real conversations which may therefore occasionally include naughty words and rude phrases. I’ve even made up some words of my own. That’s the real world for you.” Within the 502 pages and 61 topics this author presents his half century of life experiences in a relaxed, well thought out format that lets the readers empathize with him. His stories involve experiences not just a man, but as a boy. Very few men will bare their souls to share experiences of awkwardness while moving from childhood into manhood. Liam shares some of his experiences while attending a single-sex school for boys. He shares his discovery of girls, cars and various medical issues. Some of the most interesting stories involve his experiences as a police officer in England. The most touching are his stories about the birth of his children. Liam dedicates this book to his children. I invite you to come laugh and cry with Liam Samolis as we wait to see what happens in his next fifty years of living. I leave you with this quote from Liam. “Like the vast majority of men; I feel. I enjoy (which, by the way, seems to be an ‘allowed’ emotion), I grieve, I feel sad, I feel hurt. I screw up. At times I am emotionally vulnerable. And there is nothing – to my mind – remotely un-masculine about any of that; feeling is part of living – an integral part. In fact for me, feeling is THE essential part of living. Feeling can never be wrong in principle (because it simply happens without conscious intention) – and neither can displaying or being honest about our emotions. Being overtaken by emotions in a situation where action is necessary could, of course, be problematic, but feeling and showing our feelings is essential in the long term for our personal health. I wonder how much happier many men could be if their emotions were not effectively under lock and key? Hey – that almost rhymes.” Cold Coffee Press endorses Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis as the honest account of a man living his life with all the human emotions that men typically try to avoid speaking about. We were given this book to review in a Kindle/PDF format. The review was completed on October 18, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1460262840/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1460262840&linkCode=as2&tag=colcofpre-20&linkId=VGSTDC7BGFJLAQDS http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/signs-of-a-life-by-liam-samolis/
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The Hero’s Speech – Part 2

The Hero’s Speech – Part 2 | microcerpt | Scoop.it
(Somewhere in the Tabit star system) “You! Yes, I…” Rome said stridently. “Mom, hold on,” Aason interjected. “I need to introduce you.” He turned and motioned to Aroline. The blonde girl came over and stood by Aason’s left side, taking hold of his good hand. “Mom, Dad, this is Aroline. We’re kind of together now.” Aroline let go and reached out with her right hand. “How do you do?” she asked. “Aason has told me so much about you.” Rome cocked her head. Although Aason had mentioned the girl in passing, Rome was not sure how she fit in. There were too many pieces to this puzzle. While she was regarding Aroline, Aason waved to the others. “This is Aroline’s father, Donald,” he said. “And this is our new friend, Sh’ev. His species is called the K’val.” The plant-man made some rustling, scratching noises and then held his hand out. Rome looked at the leafy extension, not sure what to do. “Is that his language? What did he say?” Rome asked. “He said he was pleased to meet you. Mom, you may not be able to speak his language but I know you can go inside his head.” “Yes,” Rome said distantly and she looked down at Sh’ev’s hand. Her telepathic powers worked best when she was in physical contact with her subject. She reached out and grasped his hand firmly then lifted up her eyes to gaze up into his face. She focused on the two dark spots which she presumed were Sh’ev’s eyes. “I can hear your thoughts,” she said quietly. Her eyes widened at the rush of information flowing from Sh’ev’s head into hers. Before her lay an entire world populated only by living crystals and ambulatory plants grown by a god-like being and slaved to his needs. The panorama and vistas of the alien world and its inhabitants came rushing at her like a high-speed travelogue. There was so much information to assimilate but this was neither the time nor the place. “You and I will have to speak another time,” she said releasing the K’val’s hand. She shook her head to clear it and turned back to Aason. “Now tell me. How are we going to get your sister back?” Aason used the stump of his arm to indicate the crystal capsule on the other side of the cargo compartment. It was filled with the glowing presence of an entity made only of light. “That’s Molokai,” Aason said. “He’s going to take us to Lupe.” Rome stared at the giant conical-shaped crystalline capsule with the thrashing, swirling lights within. “Hello, Rome,” the creature of light announced. “I am Molokai, Species Twenty Two.” “You are a member of Species Twenty Two?” she asked. “No, not a member. I am the totality of Species Twenty Two. The entire species. Every one of them.” “I don’t understand,” she said, shaking her head. “How could you be all of them?” “Just as you Vuduri have your Overmind, the collective consciousness which has a mind of its own, I am the collection of all the souls of my birth species. I am one and I am all. What you see is our accumulated spirits.” See larger image The Milk Run (Paperback) List Price: $12.99 USD New From: $9.50 USD In Stock Used from: $12.70 USD In Stock See larger image The Milk Run (Kindle Edition) List Price: Price Not Listed Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only See larger image Rome's Revolution (Paperback) List Price: $17.99 USD New From: $13.64 USD In Stock Used from: $13.49 USD In Stock > http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/the-heros-speech-part-2/
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The Scent Of Revenge: Patterns Series Book Two by Russell F. Moran

The Scent Of Revenge: Patterns Series Book Two by Russell F. Moran | microcerpt | Scoop.it
Although Science Fiction, The Scent of Revenge might be at America’s doorstep! The main character Rick Bellamy is a FBI agent, head of counter-terrorism unit. The love of his life is 38 year old Ellen Bellamy, Architect by day, lover and writer by night. Ellen’s beauty is more than skin deep as she radiates warmth and cares deeply about everyone who crosses her path. With an impressive cast of characters that include William Reynolds who is President of the United States with his First Lady Amanda Reynolds standing by his side, he has just addresses the American People announcing that that World War III has begun. A serious disease with symptoms of severe dementia, mimicking Alzheimer’s disease is attacking America’s Women. With research still seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s, the race is on and the questions commence. Why these particular women, why and how, and is the male population at risk? Will President Reynolds be forced to suspend the right of habeas corpus? Do you know what this even means? Heart pounding, can’t put down thriller that will force you to look at terrorism in different light. Life in America will never be the same. Author Russell F. Moran is an exceptional story teller. As with all science fiction we hope it is not possible at least not within our lifetime. Moran’s futuristic thrillers (each book part of a series, but stands alone) must be examined by each reader intelligently as they will lurk in the shadows of your mind well after the book is closed. The Scent of Revenge “is dedicated to those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and especially to their families who suffer along with them.” Cold Coffee Press endorses The Scent of Revenge (book two in The Patterns Series) by Russell F. Moran The Shadows of Terror is book one. Also available The Gray Ship, The Thanksgiving Gang, A Time of Fear, and The Skies of Time (all four books in the Time Magnet Series). Another great read is Sideswiped which book one in Matt Blake Legal Thrillers with The Reformers coming soon. We reviewed this book from a Kindle/PDF format. The reviewed was completed on October 3, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0996346635/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0996346635&linkCode=as2&tag=colcofpre-20&linkId=7PBKMVEVE6GPSOS2 http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/the-scent-of-revenge-patterns-series-book-two-by-russell-f-moran/
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The Lawsuit (part 39)

The Lawsuit (part 39) | microcerpt | Scoop.it
:: The Lawsuit After assigning a trusted colleague to get the phone logs of Urania’s neighbour, they went to the waterfront for a meal. Sitting in the winter sun, the conversation moved easily from official business to personal matters. “My wife complains that I have bad breath,” said Makedon, leaning in towards Savvas. In his humble opinion, it was more of “an alternate excuse for the traditional headache”. But she insisted he go see a gastroenterologist. Stretch suggested he see a dentist first. “After the wedding,” said his colleague, “women change their priorities at the expense of the men. Children, money and career move into first place. A regular sex life is important for the mental health of a couple, and cannot be replaced by children or material goods.” “How do you define a regular sex life?” asked Savvas, pulling his chair closer to Makedon. “Is it true, doctor, that the more often you do it, the less the risk of erectile dysfunction? … It’s true, then. We’re in trouble now.” After lunch, Makedon declined to accompany Savvas on a bar-crawl, because his wife was not a fan of “the booming music in clubs with standing room only”. He would gladly suggest the best dance club in town and happily put him up at his house. Stretch preferred a hotel, no offense intended to his colleague. “None taken,” said Makedon. Just as they were about to leave the restaurant, the Shrimp called to update him on the progress of the investigation. The dress rehearsal in question had taken place on Thursday in the late afternoon. Hence, it had not been necessary to retrace Hurt’s steps, who claimed that he had received the money on Friday. They had not found any texts about God at Satyr’s house, or the hard drive from his computer, or his mobile phone. The calls made from Satyr’s landline and the messages on his answerphone did not seem to be relevant to the investigation. The Ambrosia had sent over Nessou and Goddard’s contracts. They did, in fact, expire at the end of this year. Nessou had resigned six months earlier, and the director had been informed that his contract would not be renewed on the grounds of poor performance. The restaurant would be opening again the following Wednesday, but Peter had arranged to be admitted on Monday. Junior wanted to know why they were so interested in the Ambrosia. “As if I would tell him,” said the Shrimp. “Zeus, what was Nessou’s sister like?” “Geena Davis.” Urania called as they were on the road. She had decided to file a lawsuit. Fifteen minutes later they found her flirting with the officers at her local police station, dressed in her best clothes. Rhinestones glittered from her hairclips to her shoes. She looked at Makedon interestedly, and requested his telephone number “in case of emergency”. And as he was friendly, she asked if he was married. Smiling to himself, Savvas thought his colleague would never complain about lack of sex with her. At the door, she thanked them for assisting in the immediate processing of her case and invited them back to her house for a drink. The two police officers quickly went to headquarters. Before arriving, they learned that two calls had been made on the line they were interested in, to and from a prepaid number in Germany. This signalled the end of the investigation. Chances were that Urania had called her sister, let it ring once, and she had called back. They would likely replace the prepaid phone and might even choose another neighbour to help them out. See larger image LOVE, ROCK AND CRIME (Kindle Edition) List Price: Price Not Listed Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/the-lawsuit-part-39/
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Comic Con

Comic Con | microcerpt | Scoop.it
Come see me, author Jackie Leduc, @ricomiccon Nov 6-8 for your copy of The Demonic Eyes. Cash and check will be accepted. http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/comic-con/
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The Private Eye (part 41)

The Private Eye (part 41) | microcerpt | Scoop.it
* The Private Eye After showering and changing at the hotel, he walked to the waterfront for coffee. Half an hour later he met Makedon, who had brought the private investigator to headquarters. He was the one who had offered Urania money. Although they pushed as hard as possible, he did not disclose the name of his client. Savvas made sure he understood that the phone he had bugged could possibly be linked with multiple crimes. “I suspect that you weren’t properly informed by your client,” he told him. “It’s not in your best interest to get involved.” The private eye eventually named Leo Chalmers as the client who had requested the monitoring of Urania’s phone line. Although the “calls on the line” had not satisfied him, he had given the order to continue. Savvas left Makedon to negotiate a deal with the detective, and rushed to catch the train back to Athens. Taxi-station-train-Nietzsche-motorcycle-flat, just in time for his date with the cloakroom girl. :: The Boss-lady The twenty-two year old Marjorie looked like a Polynesian woman, with glossy dark hair cascading down her back to her waist. She gave him a quick kiss, happy because she had been called back to work at the Ambrosia. Stretch steered the conversation to Nessou and learned that she had paid for Marjorie’s English lessons. Recently, she had saved her from certain dismissal when the coat-check girl had broken the rule about “fraternising” with the clients. “Who told on you?” asked Savvas. “The client himself, would you believe?” “Rose, right.” Marjorie joked about Nessou’s many admirers, who had sent her “truckloads of flowers”, but the “boss-lady had been obsessed” with someone else. When he called, she “lit up”. In recent months, however, the feverish phone calls had ceased. Savvas asked about flirting with Zeff. “What are you saying, Savvas?” she exclaimed, shaking her head negatively. “He had a girlfriend for years and ruined her. And his wife is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Can you imagine Zeff drooling? He would be poisoned by his own saliva, let alone that Nessou always addressed him formally.” Zeff had become “the terror of the Ambrosia.” He treated them all like rubbish, from Basil Goddard down; he only spoke to Nessou and Junior. One time he dismissed a waiter on the spot, because he had spilt some wine on the tablecloth. Everybody froze when he appeared unexpectedly with Junior at the celebration the “boss-lady” had organised for the staff’s children. He nodded his head in silent greeting and sat at a distance, observing. Nessou was obliged to sit at his table during the meal. Afterwards however, she stood up, clinked glasses with everyone and handed out gifts. Zeff had eaten in silence when he first started coming to the Ambrosia a few months earlier; she had engaged in conversation with him diplomatically. The waiters hoped that she would be able to negotiate benefits for the staff. “He’s quite the macho man,” Marjorie said. “Many female clients would have cuckolded their men for him.” He however, lived “in a world of his own”. He ate and drank, writing the entire time, multiplying his millions. He was said to be a miser. And as for the disappearance of the boss-lady… “She was iced,” whispered Marjorie. “Because she knew the Mafia had murdered the director.” Junior had confided in the maître-d that Goddard had owed money to the Mafia. After eating, Savvas suggested a “sensual journey”, but Marjorie was the kind of girl satisfied with a picnic. They went to her flat, where, after a romantic excursion, Stretch was ready to take things to the next level. She reminded him that she had an early morning and sent him home, blowing kisses from the door. With insides churning, Savvas fell into bed, but did not sleep long. Before dawn, the doorbell rang. * In the Face of Migrating Birds He sprang from the bed and went to the front door in his underwear, opening it drowsily. A distraught Nancy managed to shove him aside and pushed her way into the main room, criticising him for the delay in answering. Disgusted, she glanced around the room and ordered, “Go cover yourself.” Savvas obeyed. Going to the bedroom he considered returning buck naked, but was a fleeting thought. He put on a torn pair of Bermuda shorts and an old t-shirt and returned to Harry’s fiancé, who apologised for being so rude. “Tell me, what does he need?” she screamed. “What need didn’t I fulfil?” She could not comprehend the “ungrateful behaviour of a man who has it all”: an educated wife, parents/in-laws at his command, money, support, and a big house under construction. If Harry thought he could escape unscathed, he had another thing coming. Her family would ruin his life. In a flash they would take away his job, car, speedboat, watch, computer… She listed all of their assets. Savvas had to tell him that they would not go without a fight. He would not even be able to make a fresh start abroad. “Harry will return, you’ll get married, have children, I’ll be the best man.” “In a pig’s eye,” she responded. Savvas pushed her out without remorse. Shutting the door, he tried to relax to the improvisations of Dire Straits. He began to dance and tidy up, changing the sheets and towels, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen. Thinking about how he would spend his Sunday, he made a hearty breakfast accompanied by the endoscopic Metallica. Welcome to where time stands still… Under the weight of an undefined emotional threat, he arrived at the gym. He felt as though he was flying in the face of migrating birds. The sweat temporarily washed away his worries; he showered and went to have a meal with his aunt. See larger image LOVE, ROCK AND CRIME (Kindle Edition) List Price: Price Not Listed Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/the-private-eye-part-41/
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Once Upon A Duke: Duke Series Book One by Sandra Masters

Once Upon A Duke: Duke Series Book One by Sandra Masters | microcerpt | Scoop.it
Bring regency romance into your life with Once Upon A Duke. Each book in the Duke Series stands alone for your reading pleasure. Warm, realistic characters in book one bring the reader back to London 1817. Lady Serena Worthington Durand is a strong independent woman ahead of her time, but she faces demons from the past. I quote: “If Lady Serena could be granted one wish, she would ride off into the morning mist and vanish. That, of course wasn’t possible, but here in her favorite lakeside retreat, she could relax in safety.” Legendary Duke of Sutton, Geoffrey Austen has a chance encounter with Lady Serena and I quote: “Allow me to introduce myself, Lord Geoffrey Austen, at your service.” He swept off his hat and bowed. “I am Henry Worthington’s hunting guest for the week.” More than a romance story, it is an adventure that will make your heart pound, your emotions run wild and your spirit soar. The combination of remarkable storytelling, easy going to face paced reading, true to time period dialog and settings along with extensive research by Author Sandra Masters engages the reader in the life and times of Lady Serena Worthington Durand. I invite you to light a fire, pour a glass of red wine (Sandra Masters would join you in the wine, but hers would be a white fruity glass) and relax with romance as it should be. Author Sandra Masters states it best: “Every woman should have a divinely decadent Duke in her life.” Cold Coffee Press endorses Once Upon a Duke by Sandra Masters as a true Regency Romance that will leave you wanting more. We reviewed this book from Kindle/PDF format. The review was completed on October 7, 2015. For more information please contact Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1509202323/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1509202323&linkCode=as2&tag=colcofpre-20&linkId=ZCLZUVXZ7F2QPXV2 http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/once-upon-a-duke-duke-series-book-one-by-sandra-masters/
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Guardians of the Light - Riding by Lock Up

Guardians of the Light  - Riding by Lock Up | microcerpt | Scoop.it
We were almost there and my excitement grew. I grasped the wooden slats that ran under me, twisting my fingers around them so tightly that I thought they might snap. Jalya’s hand never left my wrist, and I wondered if I would have a bruise there later, but I didn’t care. Each second brought me closer, each trot of the horse’s hooves, each gust of wind, each throb of my head, each wrenching jerk of my soul. I smiled like an idiot into the wind, happy that Reyla and Kahj had their backs to me, so as not to witness my foolish expression. The howling had subsided for now, and the mood in the wagon seemed to have lightened somewhat. I could hear Isrelda and Oches joking around about something in the back, and even though they were speaking Yalish, I was too absorbed in my own thoughts to understand what they were saying. I was vaguely aware of Wagna’s voice again, and by the time we reached the bridge, which lay right before the doors of Lock Up, he was actively participating in the conversation. The doors into Lock Up were as massive as expected for a place of that size. Heavy bolts slid across the front and two guards stood at the entrance, swords drawn, watching us suspiciously. “They’re not going to stop us are they?” Jalya asked. “Nah,” Kahj said. “They just want to look threatening. They want to make sure nobody tries anything funny.” “Like busting in there and killing everybody,” Reyla added bitterly. Kahj looked back at us and smiled. “It’s alright though, once they see us turn onto the bridge, they’ll back off. Well, as long as none of us does anything suspicious….or violent.” He gave Reyla a long, hard look. “Not me, brother,” Reyla said coolly, pulling the reins to urge Shilly and Vella to the left. Just before we turned, something made me lean forward to look up to the towering top of the building. The roof melted away into the heavy fog, but just before it disappeared there was a row of windows, through which I could see faces peering down. There were people watching us from up there! I scanned their barely perceptible faces, finding myself strangely drawn to them, feeling the urge to climb up the side of the building to get a closer look. Were they prisoners? I barely had a chance to wonder, when I noticed some strange movement in one of the windows. One of the faces was pressed disparagingly against the glass and hands were pressed up next to the face. The hands were banging…banging and clawing against the window in desperation. I felt my stomach drop; what was happening to the people in there? Was this person begging for help to any passersby? Panic welled up inside of me and I fought the urge to jump out of the wagon and run to the rescue. I rocked back and forth to calm myself down. I couldn’t let this bother me; I had too many other things to worry about. At that moment the horses turned onto the bridge, announcing the change with a sharp clomping of hooves on wood. We turned away from the giant building and began to move over the churning mass of water, and it was then that I knew why it bothered me so much. My head started to throb again and the pulling shifted, urging me to go back in the direction from which we had just come. It was him…my bei clu va…he was at the window….he was inside! In one quick motion, I wrenched my wrist away from Jalya’s faltering grip and barrelled over top of Isrelda in my urgency to get to the back. I pushed a confused Oches out of the way and peeked out from the back flap of the covers, but I could no longer see the windows clearly. The fog curled around the front of the building blocking the faces from my view. “Emerin, are you okay?” Jalya’s voice was panicked. I’m sure she already knew the answer to her question. I ignored her and stumbled back to the front of the wagon. I barely noticed that Wagna was now sitting up, propped against the side of his wagon by a stack of blankets. “Emmy,” he said. “What is it?” But I wasn’t about to answer any of them, lest they have time to stop me. “Wagna, she’s feeling it again, the headache,” Jalya said, placing her body in front of mine. “I think she wants to go back…..” Jalya didn’t get a chance to finish her sentence, because I knocked her down in my frenzy to get out, hard enough that Reyla had to catch her before she fell off the wagon. I turned and jumped off the side from behind Kahj, before the big man even had a chance to know what was going on. I hurled myself from the wagon’s considerable height, landing with a hard thud, and rolling onto the wooden planks beneath me. Blood oozed from the palms of my hands as hundreds of splinters tore into my flesh, but I barely noticed the pain. I smeared them on my dress as I staggered to my feet and began to run clumsily across the bridge, back toward Lock Up. I saw the guards look up and draw their swords again but I kept moving toward them, giving no thought as to what I would say or do when I got there. Guardians of the Light is FREE at Smashwords and Barnes and Noble! http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/guardians-of-the-light-riding-by-lock-up/
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The Photograph (part 42)

The Photograph (part 42) | microcerpt | Scoop.it
:: The Photograph As a child, Savvas had believed that his aunt had a direct line to his parents. “They’re watching over you with pride,” she would tell him, pointing at the sky. Occasionally, he would look up at the clouds, hoping to catch a glimpse of them embracing, like the photograph on the buffet. He compared it to Avra walking kilometres in hope, with pockets full of bread. “Let it go,” his aunt nudged him, believing he was consumed with work. “Oh, before I forget, Kitty was looking for you.” Before going to find her, Stretch went to his flat to pick up the cream he had bought her. “Another gift?” she asked, tearing at the wrapping. “Aahh, White Tea Body Lotion. What a treat! Are you all right, love? Sure? Look what I have for you,” she said, pulling out a box with old photographs. “Who’s this? Who? Sergio Zeff. What a god he was, right? And this? Have I changed so much?” Stretch looked at the group photo Kitty was showing him. “You were just a naïve young thing,” he said. “Today you’re in your prime, at your best.” “Thanks, sweetheart. And here is Billy. What a waste to die so young. I can’t believe how he is being portrayed by the media.” Savvas brought the photograph under a light to get a better look. It was taken on Kitty’s first trip overseas, as a newlywed. Zeff dominated the group, with Basil Goddard, or Billy as he was called, beside him. “He looked just like Montgomery Clift in his youth,” said Kitty, and praised Basil’s “delicate” beauty and elegant manners. “Were your husband, Zeff and Goddard working on the same ship?” Stretch queried, straightening his back. According to Kitty, Zeff “ruled” the ship even though a different man was technically captain. Moreover, in the evenings, he engaged in educating the crew. They gathered around him and he gave free lectures on history and philosophy; seated at his feet, Billy behaved like he was worshipping a God. And Kitty’s husband, who had a spiteful nature, claimed that Billy was “enamoured with his guru” – probably jealous of the protection Zeff offered him. “How some men change!” she said of Zeff. “He amassed a tremendous fortune, squeezed all he could out of his wife, as if she were a lemon, and now he tosses her a few bones. Their divorce was acrimonious. They washed their dirty laundry in public. His daughters have given interviews about what an oppressive father he was. In one, his eldest daughter calls him a psycho. Listen, I’ll read it to you.” :: Out of Control After Kitty’s informative briefing, Savvas returned to his flat, where he dedicated hours to Zarathustra. He fell asleep for ten minutes. Later he tossed and turned, fighting with the pillow and blanket, but was defeated by insomnia. He put on the multiphase Linkin Park and attempted to continue reading. Just when he managed to focus on the book, Marjorie called, proposing an early date. Savvas went to meet her with an overwhelming feeling of transience. “Oh the times, always tempting us to temporary temptations,” he said, smiling at her. “Is that dirty cop talk?” she asked “You have a dirty mind,” he answered her with a kiss. They sat at a café, but the conversation didn’t flow. Resorting to body language they returned to her apartment. After an erotic outing, Marjorie pointed at her watch and the door. Savvas returned to his pigsty, vaguely distressed. Not managing to concentrate on Nietzsche, he turned to the declamations of Pink Floyd. In this desert land, make me feel like a real man… Love was bleating in his soul, indifferent to the wild dogs barking outside. For the first time he was struggling with a situation that was out of his control. He looked at the sketch of Avra until he felt drowsy. Just as he was sinking into a deep sleep, the doorbell rang. See larger image LOVE, ROCK AND CRIME (Kindle Edition) List Price: Price Not Listed Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/the-photograph-part-42/
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The Hero’s Speech – Part 4

The Hero’s Speech – Part 4 | microcerpt | Scoop.it
(Somewhere in the Tabit star system) “I forbid it,” Rome insisted. “Aason, this is the cruelest of equations. I may have already lost one child. I will not take even the slightest chance of losing both of my children.” Tears were welling up in her eyes. “Mom, I’m going,” Aason said. “I’ve made up my mind.” Rome wheeled in place, tears streaming down her cheeks now. “Rei, you tell him. Tell him he cannot go.” Rei nodded. “Son…” he said firmly. “Your mother is right. It’s too dangerous. One of us will go.” “No!” Aason shouted. “You don’t understand. This is my responsibility. I’m the one who has to make it right.” “No, no, no,” Rome said. She put her hands up to her face. “Mom, Dad, listen to me.” Aason held out both arms. “Each of you is remarkable in your own way.” He walked over to his mother and put his good hand on her shoulder. “Mom, you single-handedly transformed all of Vuduri society.” Aason turned to his father. “Dad, you are the greatest hero mankind has seen since Hanry Ta Jihn.” He took a step back and held his arms wide. “Together, the two of you have accomplished things that neither of you could have done alone. Well, I am you. I am your son. I am the two of you together merged into one. My blood is your blood. My heart is your heart.” Aason beat his chest with his left hand. “The one thing you two taught me, from the day I was born, was to always do the right thing. This is the right thing. This is something I have to do. Me and nobody else.” Rome lowered her head and sobbed quietly. Rei stepped over to her and put his arms around her. He took a deep breath, preparing to voice his objection once more when Molokai spoke. “In your language, you have a word. Moot. Your arguments are moot. Aason has to be the one to go. I have been inside of him and he has been inside of me. His spirit is stronger than anything I have ever seen. He was powerful enough to resist my attempts to absorb him. He will need that strength when he gets to where we are going. Every one of the beings there will lust after him. I can tell that neither of you alone possesses such a spirit. Therefore, he must be the one to go. It is an absolute, non-negotiable requirement.” Rei spoke, his throat constricted with grief. “If what you are saying is true, then how do we even know Lupe is still alive?” Rome gasped when Rei said it. “She is alive. They took her for a reason. I do not know what that reason is but it would serve no purpose for them to take her simply to dispose of her. I do not know how long she will last but I do know that your son is your only hope of bringing her back safely. And it must be soon.” Rei just glared at the glittering lights. He clenched his fists, fighting to keep his temper in check. He forced the engineer within to seize control and took a deep, cleansing breath. As he turned it over in his mind, everything became clear. He reached down and touched Rome gently on the chin and lifted up her face until she looked into his eyes. “Rome, I don’t like it any more than you do but if it’s the only way to get Lupe back, we have to let him do it.” Rome just stared up at Rei with anguished eyes. She reached inside Rei’s mind and saw his logic. She knew that he was right. That this was the only way. She then realized all of her protests were only delaying the inevitable and decreasing the chances of rescuing Lupe. Sadly, she nodded then turned to face the others.   See larger image The Milk Run (Paperback) List Price: $12.99 USD New From: $9.50 USD In Stock Used from: $12.70 USD In Stock See larger image The Milk Run (Kindle Edition) List Price: Price Not Listed Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only See larger image The Milk Run (Audible Audio Edition) List Price: $19.95 USD New From: $17.95 USD In Stock Used from: Out of Stock See larger image Rome's Revolution (Paperback) List Price: $17.99 USD New From: $13.64 USD In Stock Used from: $13.49 USD In Stock   http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/the-heros-speech-part-4/
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The Speed Of Dark by Clayton Clifford Bye and PDR Lindsay

The Speed Of Dark by Clayton Clifford Bye and PDR Lindsay | microcerpt | Scoop.it
Nineteen authors contributed twenty-seven short stories in this Horror Anthology, The Speed of Dark. Author Clayton Bye is editor and also the contributor of Retrovirus and The Speed of Dark within this collection. In the Introduction Clayton says it best when speaking about the Horror genre. He says, “A story that disturbs is like a deep sliver. It works its way slowly through your flesh, sometimes festering, sometimes not. But it’s there, it’s with you long after the story is done.” The short story The Speed of Dark by Clayton Bye reminds me of Twilight Zone’s epic psychological horrors. The premise begins with two questions, “How does one outrun darkness?” and “What’s the speed of dark?” I invite you to read this short story and ask yourself, what secret dreams and silent screams inhabit your inner peace? Enjoy each story as told by different voices, varied life experiences and individual writing style. Read the introductions from authors Casey Wolf, Clayton Bye, Cynthia B. Ainsworthe, Eduard Garçon, E.J. Ruek, Gerald Rice, James Secor, John B. Rosenman, Kenneth Weene, Leigh M. Lane, Lyn McConchi, Marion Webb-De Sisto, Mary Firmin, Megan Johns, Micki Peluso, Minna van der Pfaltz, Tim Fleming, Tonya Moore and Tony Richards before their short story begins. This book was edited by CC Bye and PDR Lindsay with Cover Art by Zentao. I am most familiar with author Clayton Bye’s published works that include Bare Knuckle MBA: Everything You Need to Know About Running A Profitable Business; Getting Clear; How To Get What You Want From Life: Practical Techniques For Building The Future You’ve Always Wanted; The Sorcerer’s Key; The Contrary Canadian: A Collection; The Hundred: Actions That Make Dreams Come True; The It Can’t Be Done, No Way, You’ve Got To Be Kidding, Crazy Or Unbelievably Stupid To Try It, Handbook For Success; Technomage; What I Found In The Dark; Behind the Red Door and the anthologies: The Speed of Dark, Writers on The Wrong Side of the Road and Det Lupèe: The Impossible Cases. All of these books and books written by authors in this anthology can be purchased through Amazon. Cold Coffee Press Endorses The Speed of Dark by Clayton Bye as a well written horror anthology by nineteen authors. The short stories will satisfy horror seekers far beyond camp-fire stories told on Halloween. We were given this book in a Kindle/PDF format for review. The review was completed on October 31, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press http://www.coldcoffeepress.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0978177460/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0978177460&linkCode=as2&tag=colcofpre-20&linkId=QZKWGY333TFIG6SN http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/the-speed-of-dark-by-clayton-clifford-bye-and-pdr-lindsay/
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Alliance.125: Hirunda - Bronze in Readers' Favorite

Alliance.125: Hirunda - Bronze in Readers' Favorite | microcerpt | Scoop.it
Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that “Alliance.125: Hirunda” by Raita Jauhiainen is a Bronze Medal Winner in the Fiction – Dystopia category in our 2015 International Book Award Contest. The 2015 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries. See larger image Alliance.125: Hirunda (Paperback) List Price: $32.90 USD New From: $24.28 USD In Stock Used from: $29.60 USD In Stock http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/alliance-125-hirunda-bronze-in-readers-favorite/
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Love Notes (part 44)

Love Notes (part 44) | microcerpt | Scoop.it
:: Love Notes The head rookie started his day with Zeff. He retreated to Lily to inspect Basil Goddard’s belongings, but did not find any photographs of him with Zeff. Kitty had described Zeff’s “fatherly affection” towards Billy, which did not correspond with his behaviour at the Ambrosia as related by the cloakroom girl. Rose, Cooper and Satyr were all younger than the director and had no involvement in shipping, or Zeff’s business concerns. No photographs of him had been found in either their things or Avra’s. Savvas looked at the beige eco box he had taken from her office. Untying the olive green velvet ribbon, he emptied the contents on his desk. Thousands of handwritten cards tumbled out. The first one he picked up said “I am like the dog guarding your life”. He read all 3,650 notes. They all had the same tensely lyrical tone. “Yesterday the ocean pooled in your eyes for me”, “Daughter of the sun, brighten my night”… The black ink, handwriting and mysterious S were identical to the dedications in her books. Although Savvas could not tell if it was good erotic poetry, he did admire those able to express their feelings in writing. If Zeff had sent her one card each day, their relationship had lasted ten years. Anthony had estimated they’d been together for five. Had the maniac sent her two love notes per day, or had he pursued her for five years and revelled in her company for another five? How could he have been oblivious to her unhappiness? Had he ignored it or simply been confident in his forcefulness? Had she got cold feet while he was preparing for marriage? Harry claimed that Avra had tried to sustain a mutually loving affair but had not received the desired response from her lover. The vague feeling that she would have been miserable in the marriage became a certainty, when she finally managed to distance herself from his influence. She reassessed the relationship and realised it had been a façade of her own making. In shock, she had uncovered a skewed reality and Harry had saved her. The doctor’s knowledge had probably presented technical problems for Avra, mused Savvas, and phoned Anthony. He asked about their relationship with Zeff. “We have nothing to do with totalitarian regimes,” the gallery owner exclaimed. It was not a “state secret” that Zeff was part owner of the Ambrosia and “inclined to be friendly” towards Avra. According to Anthony, she had won him over with her acumen despite his peevishness. On the other hand, Zeff had ignored Basil, which saddened him because he reminded him of his beloved father. “Another dictator,” exclaimed the gallery owner. Right, thought Stretch to himself, glancing at his watch. He was expecting Hurt shortly, but he called claiming that he had a fever. “Will you be better this evening? Well, listen. If you don’t come at 6.00 pm, you will be fetched by a patrol car. I trust you will have recovered by then,” the head rookie told him and switched to his second line. It was Mrs Amalia, who announced in a trembling voice that Avra’s flat had been emptied without authorisation. From her description, the crew was led by the “ill-mannered” Junior. “And in her absence,” the manager said, raising her voice. “The poor girl will return and find her belongings on the side of the road. I thought you might be able to help, Mr Kallinis.” See larger image LOVE, ROCK AND CRIME (Kindle Edition) List Price: Price Not Listed Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/love-notes-part-44/
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My Lips are Sealed (part 43)

My Lips are Sealed (part 43) | microcerpt | Scoop.it
* My Lips are Sealed Harry rushed into the flat. Dropping his bag on the floor, he ran into the kitchen and drowned two glasses of water, one after the other. “Hey, stranger! Where have you been?” asked Savvas, making sure the naked sketch of Avra was hidden from sight. “I’m in a lose-lose situation,” lamented the doctor. He went to the landline and dialled an Italian number. “Perhaps I’m in the way?” asked Stretch. “Buonasera,” said Harry into the phone. “Sono il dottore Cotton. Aaa, come partita?… a lasciato… no?…” “Enough with the secrecy, dude. How did you get to Italy?” “I’ll stay with you.” “Will we sleep wrapped in each other’s arms?” “Are you afraid I’ll take advantage of you?” Savvas burst out laughing. The doctor had come straight from the airport. He had confessed the whole truth about his fiancé to Avra a few hours earlier and she had sent him packing. “I’ll never feel as much of a man as I did these last ten days,” cried Harry. “Six,” corrected the head rookie. “Six. Where is Avra now?” But his friend was only interested in his wounded ego, not satisfying the curiosity of the police. “That woman, Savvas. She fills the bed with…” “Hey, hey, skip the gory details.” Interrupting was pointless as Harry was consumed only with Avra. His boasting about his sexual exploits could only be halted by Stretch’s remarks about the difficulties he would soon be facing. After a fresh bout of crying, he unrelentingly took up the narration. Savvas could not bear to listen to him. “Have mercy, Harry! Message received. You had your fill of sex, admired your own endurance. Let’s move on.” “You’re jealous,” said the doctor, eyes sparkling. “Why should I deny it?” “You wish you were me.” “Are you psychic?” “But Avra chose me.” “That’s a low blow.” Savvas related what the Batters had been up to, which panicked Harry. He asked if they knew about Avra. At the negative response, he assumed a conspiratorial air. “Avra will be our secret, Savvas. I’m not worthy of her. She told me everything but I…” “Everything?” “You want me to betray her, send her to court where she’ll be eaten alive.” “Hey, hey,” the head rookie grabbed his shoulders. “Who will eat her alive?” “Do you really expect me to tell you our secrets? My lips are sealed.” Harry naturally preferred to discuss Avra’s magnetic attraction rather than the explosion of nuclear proportions Nancy was vengefully planning. Ignoring Stretch’s “Stop”, he babbled on about his sexual escapades with Avra and extolled his “miraculous” love, which had “liberated” her from her “educated oppressor”. Savvas accused him of twisting the facts to suit his purpose. In the ensuing altercation, the doctor admitted that Avra had disagreed with his diagnosis of her former lover. She was certain that she had loved selflessly. “What would you do in my position?” asked Harry, wrinkling his nose. “I would have orgasms of epic proportions,” replied Stretch. “Sounds about right. I’ll tell Nancy that I’m not in love with her anymore. What can she say? No, keep loving me? I’ll bring Avra here and you will protect us,” he said, taking some music out of his bag. In my mailbox, there’s an eviction letter… Listening to Santana raised his spirits. He sat down to breakfast affirming his decision to cancel the wedding and return to Avra. However, he did not divulge her location. Te voglio bene assaje… he whistled cheerfully as Savvas was leaving for the Devil’s Pass. See larger image LOVE, ROCK AND CRIME (Kindle Edition) List Price: Price Not Listed Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/my-lips-are-sealed-part-43/
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Sideswiped: A Matt Blake Legal Thriller Series Book One by Russell F. Moran

Sideswiped: A Matt Blake Legal Thriller Series Book One by Russell F. Moran | microcerpt | Scoop.it
Sideswiped will send a chill up your spine the next time you drive on the freeway! Russell F. Moran’s well developed characters and distinct voice brings reality to the situation from sentence one and draws the reader into the story line with immediate empathy. Main Character Matt Blake (x-Marine) is an Attorney, Blake & Randolph. Matt’s life changed (quote) “I’d never thought of the Chicago River as a romantic spot, especially during the day. It’s a beautiful waterway that meanders through some of the greatest architectural treasures in the country. It’s just not romantic. Until my lunch with Maggie Pierce.” Get to know the professional and personal side of Matt Blake (quote) “It was Jimmy Escobedo, an old friend from college. Jimmy was nuts, in a good way. He was the funniest person I ever knew, and just seeing him made me laugh. He walked over to me, more like ran, and gave me a bear hug as I downed my next Scotch, almost spilling it. Jimmy was a character, the kind of guy who was a typical class clown. He was also bright as hell, and had his choice of job offers after Northwestern. He looked good, except he was a lot skinnier than I remembered.” With flawless writing skills the author creates the stage that brings the reader into the life of Matt Blake and into the ins and outs of personal injury litigation. Do you think that all personal injury lawyers are ambulance chasers? I invite you to come see for yourself how personal injury law plays out in the courtroom. Follow multiple cases and the drama that will take your mind to places where it has never gone. Sideswiped is a face paced, realistic, suspenseful thriller and romantically touching. Your mind will envision every aspect like you are watching it unfold in a dark movie theater and your impressions of somethings will change forever. Cold Coffee Press endorses Sideswiped: A Matt Blake Novel by Russell F. Moran. The author dedicates this book to the State and Government law enforcement community who dedicate their lives to keep us safe. Sideswiped is book one in Matt Blake Legal Thrillers (The Reformers-book two is coming soon). Also available The Gray Ship, The Thanksgiving Gang, A Time of Fear, and The Skies of Time (all four books in the Time Magnet series). The Shadows of Terror, The Scent of Revenge (books one and two in the Patterns Series). We reviewed this book from a Kindle/PDF format. The reviewed was completed on October 2, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014X9QI4U/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B014X9QI4U&linkCode=as2&tag=colcofpre-20&linkId=SQVKSOCR5UTZEICB http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/sideswiped-a-matt-blake-legal-thriller-series-book-one-by-russell-f-moran/
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Death on Lake Michigan

Death on Lake Michigan | microcerpt | Scoop.it
Just released on Amazon Kindle at www.amazon.com/author/stevenarnett: Death on Lake Michigan by Steven Arnett, a mystery set in a glamorous town on the shore of Lake Michigan in the summer of ’73. Mike O’Brien, once the crusading editor of the Michigan State News, now the assistant editor of the Gull Haven Observer, becomes obsessed with solving the murder of Rich Mallon, one of the most notorious and well-known summer citizens of Gull Haven—and finds love in the process. Also available in the Apple iBook Store, Nook Shop (Barnes & Noble), Kobo eBooks, and Google Play by searching on Steven Arnett. Click on Send a Free Sample to download the first 25% for free! ALREADY HAS FIVE 5 STAR REVIEWS ON AMAZON!   Here’s the story: A body washes ashore late one night during the biggest party night of the year in Gull Haven, Michigan. Murders are almost unheard of in this rich and trendy town, so the story is really big news—especially when it turns out that it belongs to Rich Mallon, one of the most notorious and well-known summer citizens of Gull Haven, a man who most of the locals believe was in the drug dealing business. Mike O’Brien is as fascinated about the murder as anyone and is glad to finally have a story with some meat to it to investigate. His investigation ends up becoming almost an obsession, especially as more and more leads surface about it and it becomes known that Rich Mallon was really Richard Nearing, the prodigal son of Edward Nearing, scion of a wealthy and prominent family from Chicago. As he follows up the leads in the story, he encounters an oddball and unlikely group of suspects that only deepens the mystery rather than leading closer to a solution.   Who will the murderer turn out to be? Grant Fields, who rumor has it was his partner in crime but whom he had a terrible argument with on the night Rich was killed?  Could it be Becky Westworth, the beautiful and sexy but notorious woman who was Rich’s girlfriend until they had a bitter breakup just a couple of weeks before the murder? Or could it be Jack Engler, a fairly respectable young business owner in Gull Haven who has never committed a crime in his life but has hated Rich since he stole his girlfriend away from him a few months before the murder and who has been heard to say he’d like to kill Rich. Another suspect is Langdon Smith, owner of the largest fruit operation in the area, whose son died of an overdose of drugs that he always believed he got from Rich. It could even be Virginia Nearing, Rich’s elegant young stepmother whom he hated so much he hadn’t visited his father in many years but who may need to get Rich out of the way if she is going to stand any chance of inheriting her husband’s millions.   With the help of the irascible Lt. George Dirkman of the Lake County sheriff’s department, Mike unravels the mystery and even finds love along the way. Check out Death on Lake Michigan today for one of the most interesting mysteries and one of the most interesting group of characters you will have encountered in a long time!   Please Like my Facebook Author Page at www.facebook/arnettse!   #stevenarnett See larger image Death on Lake Michigan (Kindle Edition) List Price: Price Not Listed Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only Release date September 20, 2015. http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/death-on-lake-michigan/
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"Pursuit into Darkness" - The Girl in the Forest

"Pursuit into Darkness" - The Girl in the Forest | microcerpt | Scoop.it
I stood in a forest. It was dark out, which didn’t surprise me. A small girl with hair as black as midnight suddenly ran out in front of me. She ran to a fallen log and knelt beside it. She picked up a stack of something on the log and began to play with it. I turned fully so I could see what she was doing. Yet, try as I might, I couldn’t make out exactly what she was playing with. Knowing I should have been able to, the fact I couldn’t made me quite curious. I walked over and knelt down on the other side of the log. “Good Eve. What are you doing?” I asked gently. The girl only looked about ten years old. She looked up and I saw she had light gray eyes. She smiled. “I’ve been waiting for you.” She put down what she was playing with and I saw they were cards. Homemade by the looks of it. “I am telling the future,” she answered. I rearranged the skirt of my dress and laughed. “Isn’t that a strange thing for a girl your age to be doing?” I asked. The girl didn’t smile. “I am strange,” she said. I decided to humor her. “All right, you can tell mine.” “That is why I’m here,” she replied, picking up the cards. She shuffled them and then laid down nine. She paused a second and then turned the first one over. “The Lovers, right side up. You will have love and emotional warmth with someone you know now.” She continued to turn over cards. “The Star right side up. You have bright hopes and expectations. The Chariot, right side up. You have the ability to triumph and command over others. The Wheel of Fortune, reversed. There will be unexpected bad luck. The Hanged Man, right side up. There will be self-sacrifice – someone will be unselfish. The Moon right side up. Deception, false friends, and secret foes are on the horizon.” I felt a sudden chill. I didn’t like how this reading was turning out. Not at all. I wrapped my arms around myself and nodded for the girl to keep going. She turned over the next card. “The King of Swords, reversed. There will be an evil and violent man.” The girl turned over the second to last card. “The Knight of Batons, right side up. There will be a departure or painful separation soon.” She paused over the last card. I suddenly felt as if I had been dropped into the coldest of waters. “Turn it over,” I said. The girl did so. I stared at the card in transfixed horror. A skeleton stared back, grinning, as it crushed bones. The girl spoke, her voice sounded strange. “The Death card.” She looked up. “Death is waiting for His turn, Julia.” I reeled backwards and got to my feet. “Nay!” I shouted. I looked at her in confusion. “Waiting for whom? Who are you? How did you know my name?” The girl shook her head. “I cannot tell you anymore. All your questions will be answered soon.” I spun away and felt myself fall.   ***Amazon listing will be added when book is out***   http://microcerpt.com/blog/2015/11/pursuit-into-darkness-the-girl-in-the-forest/
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