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Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Atlantis Deception by Mark H. Jackson


THE ATLANTIS DECEPTION by Mark H. Jackson, Adventure/Thriller, 288 pp., $18.22 (paperback) $3.99 (kindle)




Title: THE ATLANTIS DECEPTION

Author: Mark H. Jackson

Publisher: Unbound Digital

Pages: 288

Genre: Adventure/Thriller


A German property developer, Hans Hoffmann, revels in the belief he
has discovered the key to unleashing the weapon responsible for sinking
Atlantis. Hoffmann requests the help of Cambridge archaeologist, Dr John
Hunter to validate his mysterious find. Hunter’s acceptance leads the
maverick academic on a journey from the headquarters of a clandestine
organisation in England, to a lost city in the heart of the Brazilian
Rainforest, and climaxes inside a chamber hidden deep beneath Egyptian
Heliopolis. Pioneering theory is spliced by epic battles, daring
escapes, and elaborate schemes aimed at unravelling a secret history
hidden from humanity for the past twelve thousand years.




Atlantis is a very visual word. A word evoking mystery, forgotten
realms, underwater palaces… the list goes on. I find this Plato inspired
concept of Atlantis fascinating and read anything and everything I can
lay my hands on. The theories are diverse and range from the feasible to
the outlandish, but certain concepts keep reoccurring. The Atlantis
Deception takes the ideas of accepted and alternative theory, weaving
them together to create a believable universe where our past still
dictates our future.




The novel follows the trials and tribulations of a fictional
Cambridge academic, Dr John Hunter. The focus is not on Atlantis itself,
but rather on what happened to its people it the wake of the loss of
their homeland. The Atlantis Deception is a classic action adventure
tale with heroes, villains, shadowy organisations and self-serving
plots, each underpinned by progressive archaeological theory. The novel
is written with the aim of both exciting and making readers think in
equal measure. Although imagined, many of the conclusions the characters
reach are cutting edge and described in such a way so as to blur the
line between fact and fiction.


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Chapter
Twenty-Nine
Mato
Grosso, Brazil, 1939

Himmler paused, bending to examine a black, broken
piece of rock
discarded on the forest floor. He turned it in his
hand, frowning as
he swept a finger over its impeccable, marble-like
finish. It must have
been chipped from a statue or pillar. It was
impressive workmanship
and Himmler doubted even the largest construction
companies
in Germany would have done any better, even with
their modern
machinery and tooling techniques. He slipped the
fragment into his
pocket, a tingle of childlike excitement building
in his stomach.
After years of ploughing Nazi resources into the
Ahnenerbe, he was
at last on the verge of completing his quest. If
the papers found in
Tibet by the short-sighted idiot, Ernst Schafer,
were to be believed,
then it wouldn’t be long before he possessed the evidence
he craved:
solid, indisputable proof linking Aryan Germany to
prehistory’s
greatest lost empire, the kingdom of Atlantis.
Armed with this knowledge,
Himmler was convinced the Aryans of Europe would
rally
under the Nazi banner, joining forces with the
Fuhrer to form an
unstoppable alliance tasked with reclaiming the
lands and legendary
technologies of their ancestors.
Tibirica barked a command in Himmler’s direction,
snapping him
out of the daydream. There were still several steps
he needed to tread
along this path and he needed to focus on the
present. Proving his
doubters wrong would have to wait. A month earlier,
Hitler himself
had dismissed the Ahnenerbe as mere folly and the
criticism still
smarted his ego. Luckily for him, his reputation
ensured the majority
of Party members were still happy to indulge the
quest. Himmler
wasn’t a man anyone wanted as an enemy, and the
Party viewed their
support as an easy way to appease his infamous
temper.
Up ahead, Tibirica swept aside a dense section of
foliage and signalled
for Himmler to follow. He disappeared through the
gap with
his son and the vines dropped back in place.
Himmler looked down at
the diminutive translator. His hate for the man
welled inside his gut.
He despised the reliance his current predicament
demanded he place
on such an insignificant being. Back in occupied
Europe he would
have ordered the creature’s execution without even
batting an eyelid.
But out here… He shook his head. Out here this
dirt-encrusted man
was irreplaceable.
‘You go first and tell me if it’s safe,’ said
Himmler.
‘W-w-what if it t-t-trap?’ stuttered the petrified
translator.
‘That is why you are going first.’ Himmler shoved
him in the small
of his back and propelled him through the foliage,
sending him crashing
into whatever lay beyond. With a bone-crunching
thud the translator
hit something solid and yelped in pain. He
staggered backwards
and lost his footing, returning through the
greenery and landing at
the feet of his employer. He whimpered and pulled a
mucky rag from
his pocket, pressing it against his broken and
bloodied nose.
‘Well?’ asked Himmler, suppressing laughter. ‘How
did you get
on?’
‘Wall… Wall on other side.’
Himmler frowned and slipped a hand through the
thick, leafy
foliage. His hand barely cleared the flora when it
met something solid,
something sharing the same smooth surface as the
strange flake of
rock in his pocket. Himmler’s eyes widened in
anticipation. Could he
really be touching the walls of the lost city? It
was an incredible feat
of engineering. He couldn’t have been closer, and
yet, if it weren’t for
Tibirica, he and his men would have walked on by,
never knowing
how close he’d come to his goal. Not for the first
time, he offered up
a quick word of thanks to Lady Luck. This
information alone more
than made up for the loss of life inflicted on his
Gruppe.
Himmler forced the rest of his body through the
tight opening.
The greenery dropped in place behind him and his
world plunged
into darkness. Surprised and a little
disorientated, he stumbled forwards,
both hands slapping hard against the rock wall. An
eerie echo
bounced back and forth through the oppressive,
airless atmosphere.
Torrents of perspiration snaked his body, drenching
his already moist
uniform. He battled to keep it from his eyes and cursed
his decision
to wear the black SS uniform. One of his men had
advised otherwise
but Himmler had refused to heed the advice,
stubborn in his belief the
officer concerned was testing his authority.
Himmler took a moment and regained his composure.
He groped
for the torch strapped to his belt and flicked it
on. The thin beam
penetrated the gloom, casting ghostly shadows and
exaggerating the
size of the obstacles littering the overgrown path
ahead. With a sense
of foreboding and familiar feelings of claustrophobia
creeping up on
him, Himmler waved the torch to his left,
illuminating the black wall
of rock holding his weight. It seemed to stretch on
forever. He stroked
its surface and moved forward a few steps. There
weren’t any breaks
or cracks anywhere, the wall’s surface seamless in
its construction. No
joins, no cement holding it together, in fact no
discernible clues as
to its construction at all. He smiled, marvelling
at the thought of his
ancestors possessing such advanced skills in
engineering. The Reich
had so much to learn from this ancient people.
Himmler froze as the torch registered movement up
ahead, the
beam picking out the shadow of something hidden in
the undergrowth.
He cocked his handgun and held his breath, poised
and ready
to react to the merest hint of hostility. A male
voice split the tension.
Tibirica’s son called out to his father. The two
tribesmen must have
realised he was no longer following and retraced
their steps. Himmler
lowered his gun and reached for his translator,
grabbing his hair and
forcing him to take point. He wanted to trust
Tibirica but his instincts
advised him otherwise. Trust was a luxury a man in
his position could
little often afford to give freely. He prodded the
translator in the back
with his gun and shoved him towards the two
tribesmen.
‘Tell them to stay where they are,’ he said. ‘If
they disappear again,
we’ll never find them.’ The translator repeated the
order, his speech
muffled by the cloth still pressed to his nose. A
minute later, after slipping
and sliding their way down the rocky passage,
Himmler arrived
alongside his two guides. They flanked him and
prodded the torch,
both fascinated by the magical shaft of light it
emitted. Himmler
kept them at arm’s length, making a mental note of
the greed in the
younger man’s eyes.
‘Ask them where we are headed,’ he ordered, trying
to distract
them.
The translator obliged, and Tibirica’s response
sounded curt.
‘Well?’ said Himmler.
The translator frowned. ‘He say we walk through
wall. I ask where
door. He only repeat same words and point at wall.’
‘I don’t pay you to question what he says, just do
your job and
translate.’ Himmler shoved him aside and raked the
torch beam across
the wall, searching for evidence of an entrance.
The proximity of the magical light source suddenly
became too
much for Tibirica’s son. In a mix of lust, greed
and perhaps revenge
for his broken nose, he lunged at Himmler. Catching
him unawares,
he shoved Himmler’s gun arm behind his back and
punched him in
the kidneys. Himmler tensed his muscles and flung
the elbow of his
free arm into the Brazilian’s gut. The blow
connected, but found little
purchase on the boy’s greasy stomach. A thick
forearm snuck around
his neck, while the other made a grab for the
torch. The attempt failed
but the force of the attack was enough to knock it
from his grasp and
send it crashing to the ground. Himmler grimaced,
grinding his teeth
as the bulb shattered on impact, engulfing the
passage in darkness.
The sudden disappearance of the light took the
young warrior by
surprise and his grip slackened. Himmler whirled on
the ball of his
foot, simultaneously smashing the palm of his hand
into his attacker’s
already broken nose. The Brazilian didn’t even have
time to scream,
dying where he stood as numerous splinters of bone
penetrated his
brain. Himmler shoved the corpse aside and smoothed
the creases
from his uniform.
‘Translator, please inform Chief Tibirica to
proceed. His son has
met with a little “accident” and I wouldn’t want a
similar one to befall
him.’ The translator didn’t respond. Himmler
clenched his fist. The
little bastard must have made a bolt for it. He
stared into the darkness,
his index finger hovering above the Luger’s trigger
as he searched for
a target. The silence was deafening – even the
birds appeared to have
abandoned this long-forgotten piece of forest. The
Nazi shuddered,
straining his ears for the merest hint of sound.
His life was in danger,
and he knew it. A faint clicking sound, two or
three metres to his left,
disturbed the silence. He turned to greet it, gun
levelled and ready to
open fire.
‘Translator? Is that you?’ Himmler whispered. ‘Answer
me or I’ll
shoot.’ A bead of blue light flickered in response,
illuminating a small
clearing up ahead. Himmler tensed as a large shape
loomed into view.
It was Tibirica. He stepped forward, only to see
Tibirica raise an arm
and halt his progress. The chief extended a long
finger and pointed at
Himmler’s feet.
Himmler crouched and scanned the ground ahead.
There was
something blocking the path. His arm snaked towards
it, tentative but
determined to confirm his suspicions. He scowled as
his fingers met
the soft, warm flesh of his stricken translator.
How would he understand
the bloody chief now? He pulled the old man onto
his back and
recoiled at the brutal efficiency of the kill; the
head ripped clear of the
neck. It was a sight that left Himmler in no doubt
of the suppressed
rage Tibirica must be harbouring. To break a man’s
neck was easy,
but to rip it clean from the spine took a strength
and skill rare in a
world where the gun ruled the battlefield. He
looked up at the chief.
Did this mean they were even again? An eye for an
eye and all that?
The stoical Brazilian nodded and jabbed a finger at
the glowing
light in the wall. The result was as immediate as
it was spectacular.
A semi-circular shaft of light shot from the rock
and illuminated the
clearing brighter than the midday sun. Himmler
raised an arm to
shield his eyes and staggered backwards. What black
magic was this?
Tibirica sniffed and wiped a smattering of blood
from his face. He
turned away from Himmler and ducked his head,
sliding his ample
frame through the newly formed gap in the wall.
Himmler scrambled
up the slope to join him and darted through before
the thing closed.
He didn’t have a choice; his life was now in the
hands of the chief and
he knew it. He stepped from the makeshift doorway,
buoyed to find
natural light on the other side. His elation was
tempered as Tibirica’s
massive hand clamped around his shoulder, hauling
him through the
gap as it closed behind him. He yelped in pain,
feeling a rib crack as he
landed on something solid. He pressed his chest. No
harm done, just
another bruise to add to his ever-growing
collection. He pushed himself
upright. Where was he? It almost looked like a gutter
of a paved
road. The corners of his mouth twisted upward into
a tight smile and
he glanced at Tibirica.
‘If this place is what I think it is, Untermensch
scum,’ he whispered,
‘then you have assured my place in history.’
If Tibirica understood the German language, he’d
have killed
Himmler then and there. Instead he managed only a
look of puzzlement.
For the sake of his son, the chief could do little
more than pray
Himmler was the messiah his tribe were expecting.
Himmler’s smile
widened. Luck was indeed on
his side.











Mark H. Jackson is a qualified solicitor who splits his time between
protecting the rights of academics, writing thriller fiction and raising
five mostly lovely children. He studied Archaeology and Ancient History
at the University of Birmingham with a nod towards alternative theory,
focusing on the relationship of Giza complex to the stars; portolan
maps; and the origins of civilisation and religion. It was within this
flame the plots for his future novels were born.




Mark’s writing career extends back over a decade and his diverse
portfolio includes three novels, a number of short stories and even a
six-part sitcom. Long listed for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, he
is currently a featured author on the popular writing website, Wattpad,
with over 6,000 followers from all around the world and well over one
million reads of his first novel. Aside from Wattpad, Mark is an active
member on a number of other writing websites, spending his spare time
offering editorial and structural advice to fellow authors. Up to now
Mark has considered writing as a creative outlet for the myriad of
characters and ideas roaming about his head. The time has come to tease
them out of hiding and breathe a little life into their lungs.




His latest book is the adventure/thriller The Atlantis Deception.




Website Link: https://markhjackson.com/


Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/MarkJackson873


Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/AtlantisDeception/

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Curse of the Sea, Book One of the Admiralty Archives by Joni Parker


CURSE OF THE SEA by Joni Parker, Fantasy, 287 pp., $14.99 (paperback) $3.99 (kindle)




Title: Curse of the Sea, Book One of the Admiralty Archives

Author: Joni Parker

Publisher: Village Green Press LLC

Pages: 287

Genre: Urban Fantasy


A NATO training exercise goes terribly wrong when five warships from
different countries are mysteriously transported to Eledon, the Realm of
the Elves. The warrior Lady Alexin is charged to escort the troops back
home to London in the year 2031 with the aid of the Wizard Ecstasy and a
magic shrinking potion. Yet, when the authorities question her story,
Alex is detained and imprisoned under suspicion of terrorism. Caught in a
web of politics, betrayal and bungling bureaucracy, the confusing world
of the future will push her magical gifts to their limit, and her own
future will hang in the balance, caught between “justice” and the place
she calls home.


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Chapter 1

CURSE OF THE SEA

The fogbank loomed like an
impenetrable barrier, blotting out the moon, stars, and any vestiges of the
early morning sun. The seas, which had been choppy, calmed. The crew on the
wooden Elf ship, Kite, tensed, not
knowing what lay ahead as the ship sliced through gray walls of mist into eerie
silence.
Alex stood on the bow as the
primary lookout. Moisture condensed on her face and water dripped off her chin.
Long ago, she’d proven to the crew that her vision was better than theirs under
these circumstances. Pulling her long, black hair from her face, she revealed
the blue tufts in her ears, marking her as a young Water Elf. But her ears were
rounded like a mortal’s; her eyesight exceptional, that of a Titan. Wiping her
face, she grimaced through the discomfort of wet hair, wet skin, and wet
clothes, narrowing her blue eyes to pierce through the murkiness.
Alex wasn’t a member of the crew,
but a frequent visitor. She’d used the ship several times in her capacity as
the Keeper of the Keys for the Council of Elders, so the crew knew her well.
The Kite was a small, maneuverable
warship in the Water Elf fleet called a coaster, made of Arethus wood for
maximum strength with a single mast and a crew of ten, all skilled seamen,
blond, good-looking, and formidable warriors, trained in clandestine
operations. The crew taunted Crestan, the ship’s captain, about his close
relationship with Alex. He didn’t deny it, but cautioned them about teasing
her. The sword she wore on her side and the Elfin Blade strapped to her right
thigh weren’t for decoration. Alex could be dangerous.
Tendrils of fog wrapped around her
head, enveloping her in a shroud. Waving at it only made it close in tighter
around her face. She didn’t fear death; maybe she was too young and naïve to
worry about it. A shiver ran up her spine; she had trouble catching her breath
and her hands felt clammy and cold.
From behind, her grandfather, Lord
Odin of the Tree Elves, chanted a spell to lift the fog—his voice clear and
strong. Comforted, Alex breathed easier and returned her gaze to search for
Seaward Isle, but all she could see was more fog, the curse of the sea.
It
should burn off soon.
 

*          *          *

Faraway on the mortal world of
Earth, the American aircraft carrier, USS
Gerald R. Ford CVN-78
, sailed majestically at the head of NATO Exercise Hunter Dawn 2031 in the middle of the Atlantic
Ocean. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an alliance
of nations formed in 1949, sponsored these exercises to maintain readiness and
improve cooperation. In 2031, Hunter Dawn
was the largest one held in decades, involving fifty ships and submarines
from twelve different countries.
From the British Royal Navy, Vice
Admiral Sir Malcolm Teller observed flight operations from the carrier’s bridge
as a jet aircraft took off. He was in command of the NATO exercise, the first British Admiral to be
selected in years. Over the last few decades, the British fleet had scaled back
its presence, citing the high cost and continuing economic woes. Still, a few
members of the British Parliament pressed for more influence and his assignment
was the result. At fifty-one, Teller was the one of the youngest three-star
Admirals in the British fleet and the only black man holding that rank. He
wasn’t sure if he was setting a new precedent as a black man or following one.
It didn’t matter to him.
With contained excitement, the
Admiral watched the jet take off—the sound was so loud he felt it to his core.
It rumbled and roared like a caged beast. Unbelievable…and
the precision!
All the sailors and aircraft moved around the flight deck in
a magical dance.
Before the launch of the next jet,
the captain of the ship, U.S. Navy Captain John Delacruz, stepped up to the
Admiral and leaned close to his ear. “I need to show you something in the CIC,
Admiral.”
            “Certainly.
What’s wrong?”
            “Follow me,
please.” He led the Admiral from the bridge to a locked door for the Command
Information Center,
known by sailors as the CIC, the heart of naval operations at sea. Access was
strictly limited, even to the crew. The Captain entered the security code, bent
his head down, and stepped through the watertight door. The Admiral wasn’t
quite as tall, but he bent his head just the same. He’d been on enough ships
over his career to have old scars on his forehead from these low doorways. The
Captain led him over to a radar screen.
“Admiral, this is Chief Petty
Officer Lawson. He’ll explain.”
            The Chief
stood at attention and pressed a button to replay the latest radar images.
“Yes, Captain. Admiral Teller, sir, about fifteen minutes ago at
zero-nine-thirty hours, we detected a squall line of bad weather heading for
the rear of the formation. Our radio operators notified the five ships at the
rear and they acknowledged. Once the squall line passed, we attempted to resume
radio contact, but there’s been no response. We can’t locate them by radar,
either. They’ve disappeared, Admiral…all five ships.”
            The Admiral
gripped his chest—it felt tight. “We still need verification.”
            “I took the
liberty of contacting our submarine, USS
Casa Grande
, to check it out. So far, nothing… no contact.” The Chief
pointed to the radar screen as a bead of sweat trickled down his face. “They
should be right here, but nothing’s there, sir. It’s like they vanished into
thin air.” He replayed the images on the radar screen.
            Admiral
Teller touched his forehead, not sure he understood the man clearly. “There
must be an oil slick or some other debris. There always is.”
            “There’s
nothing, Admiral.”
            “Is there
any other way to confirm it?”
            Captain
Delacruz intervened. “With your permission, Admiral, we can send our helos over
the scene to look for debris. They’re already in the air on plane guard duty.”
“Do it.” Admiral Teller took a deep
breath but had a sinking feeling in his gut.
He ran his hand over his head; guilt washed over him like a tidal wave.
He’d ordered the five ships to the rear as part of the exercise. Oh my God, what have I done?

*          *          *

Six months before, Alex had fixed
the Elf grid for the Plane of Eledon. The fog indicated the process of
restoring the island to the grid was working. But it was already the end of
June. Shortly after it began, the Mentors, the Elf Guides, had issued a warning
not to use the entry points to the island, but since then, they hadn’t said a
word.
Alex agonized over the island’s
fate, hoping the people living there survived. When she’d initially repaired
the grid six months ago, she didn’t know the process, but then again, no one
else did either because it had never happened before. For over a thousand
years, the island had been in limbo, part of Eledon and yet not. Encased in a
“bubble,” it clung to Eledon by the use of entry points, or wormholes—the
situation had been deteriorating until Alex solved the problem. Yeah, right, I fixed it all right. Look at
all this fog.
Her face went hot with guilt as she glanced back to the
bridge, making out her grandfather’s purple cloak and his long, blond hair.
The
fog was lifting.
Her grandfather, Lord Odin, the
leader of the Tree Elves and a senior member of the Council of Elders, had
suggested this exploratory voyage to the island and enlisted the aid of
Crestan, the captain of the ship Kite,
to sail into the unknown.
            “See
anything, Alex?” her grandfather asked through cupped hands.
            “Nothing.
It should be here. Are you sure you used the right spell?” She heard his
affirmative response and turned around. Seconds later, a faint image emerged
through the fog—a wooden ship sat dead in the water. “Ship ahead!” Alex whirled
around. “Crestan, turn now!”
            Crestan
squinted and waved his hand to the left. “Turn port, forty-five degrees.”
            “Port,
forty-five degrees,” came the confirmation from the boatswain at the wheel
which spun like a top, so fast the spindles were a blur.
            “We’re
clear.” Crestan breathed a sigh of relief. He recognized the other ship’s
markings. “A Rock Elf ship.” Alarmed, he closed his eyes to report it to Prince
Darin in Elfspeak, a form of elvish telepathic communication. The Prince was
Alex’s cousin, in charge of the Water Elf fleet, the largest in Eledon. He was
intensely interested in Rock Elf movements near the island and not without
reason.
            “Your
Highness, this is Crestan. May I speak?”
            “Where are
you?”
            “Near
Seaward Isle. We’ve spotted a Rock Elf ship in the fog.”
            “Very well.
Keep your eyes open for more.”
            “Yes, your
Highness.” Crestan opened his eyes. The conversation had barely lasted a few
seconds.
            Alex made
out another shape. “There’s another one. It’s really big!” She stood on her
tiptoes and extended her hands as high as she could, but her arms weren’t long
enough.
            “Where?”
            “Ahead of
us. Can’t you see it?” She pointed up. A large, gray mass blended into the
mist, but its straight lines gave away its presence. A klaxon blared.
            Crestan
gasped as he heard the klaxon and detected the gray hulk, simultaneously.
“Right full rudder!” He ran to the wheel to help his boatswain spin it faster.
They narrowly missed the ship, but it was so close Crestan could reach out and
touch the hull. It was made of metal, not wood. Painted on the side in large
black letters was the name HMS Camelot.
            “HMS Camelot?” Alex furrowed her brow.
“King Arthur didn’t have ships like that.”
            Lord Odin
came up to her. “What kind of ship is this? It’s made of metal. What’s it doing
here?”
            “I don’t
know, but Camelot was the name of King Arthur’s castle. His ships were made out
of wood, like ours.” Alex shook her head. A few years ago, she’d seen his ships
on her last visit to the mortal world and had even met the man. “Whose ship was
that behind us? The wooden one.” She hoped it wasn’t a mortal ship.
            “Rock
Elves. I’ve already notified Prince Darin,” Crestan said.
            “Oh, no. Do
they have a lot of them?”
            “At least a
hundred. Lord Boulder increased their fleet before he died, but none of their
ships are built with Arethus wood.” Crestan bowed to Lord Odin; the Tree Elves
had supplied the special wood.
            “Unfortunately,
we know what the Rock Elves want.” Lord Odin sighed. “They want Seaward Isle.”
The Rock Elves used to live on the
island, but abandoned it when it became unstable. Now that it had returned to
Eledon, they wanted it back. Neither Lord Odin nor Alex intended to let them
have it.
            Slowly, the
Kite cleared the bow of the Camelot, only to find a flotilla of
small rubber boats with men in orange life vests, picking others out of the
water. Alex leaned over the bow, her face and black hair still dripping as she
surveyed the situation below.
            Crestan
came alongside. “All stop! Throw out the sea anchor. Begin rescue operations.”
            Alex
pinched her nose. “It smells like gasoline.” Years ago, she’d witnessed another
shipwreck near Seaward Isle with a similar smell. The pungent odor irritated
her breathing. Even her grandfather covered his nose and mouth with his cloak.
The crew ignored the smell and
focused their efforts on rescuing as many as they could. It was the law of the
sea—sailors always helped others in distress, except in battle, but sometimes
even then. They lowered a rope ladder and dropped their only lifeboat in the
water. As survivors came aboard, Alex handed out towels and blankets and gave
them water while her grandfather checked them for injuries.
To Alex’s surprise, the sailors
spoke the common tongue, the language spoken on Seaward Isle. Alex approached a
middle-aged man with dark eyes and dark hair, graying at the temples. He wore a
wet uniform with multiple gold stripes on his shoulders, obviously an officer.
            “My name’s
Alex. Are you in charge?”
            “Yes, I
am.”
            “Are you
hurt, sir? You’re bleeding.” She pointed to his forehead.
            “Just a
scratch.” He dabbed it with his fingers. “Thank you for your assistance. You
said your name was Alex, correct? My name is Captain William Jonas, British
Royal Navy. I’m the Commanding Officer of the HMS Camelot. We were participating in NATO Exercise Hunter Dawn 2031. Where are we?”
            “You’re off
the coast of Seaward Isle. We’re not exactly sure how
you got here. This wasn’t supposed to happen anymore.” She cast a concerned
glance over her shoulder. “This is my grandfather, Lord Odin—he’s the Tree Elf
representative on the Council of Elders.”
            Captain
Jonas extended his hand. “A pleasure to meet you, sir.” He paused and stared at
him. “Did you say Tree Elf?” He laughed. “Marvelous job of makeup. Your ears
are even pointed.”
            “But I am a
Tree Elf, Captain.”
            The Captain’s
smile vanished as he stared, his mouth ajar. “How did you get here?”
            “The
correct question is how did you get
here? We live here in Eledon. This is the Elf ship, Kite, and this is the captain, Crestan. You’ll notice his ears are
also pointed because we’re Elves. Unfortunately, the crew doesn’t speak the
common tongue as my granddaughter and I do.”
            Upon
hearing his name, Crestan saluted Captain Jonas in the Elf fashion with his
right hand over his chest and a nod.
            “Honored to
meet a fellow seaman.” Captain Jonas returned a crisp salute to the brow, palm
out, British-style. He swallowed hard. “The common tongue? You mean English?”
            “Yes, it’s
spoken on Seaward Isle. My granddaughter and I lived on this island for many
years, but Crestan and his crew did not. The island was populated by mortals
who’d been shipwrecked here, just as you are. But we haven’t had any shipwrecks
in years. We just repaired the Elf grid, so this would never happen again.”
            “Apparently,
it did. So, what do we do now?”
            “Let’s get
you and your crew to shore and figure this out.” Lord Odin turned away. “Take
us to shore, Crestan,” he said in Elf.
            Crestan
waved two fingers over his head, followed by other verbal commands to his crew.
            “Turn two,”
Captain Jonas said. “At least that’s the same.” The nautical signal told the
crew to begin ship operations, which they did. They raised the sea anchor,
lowered the sail, and caught a light breeze.
            Once
moving, Crestan sent out a distress call, using a pink conch shell. It was a
long wail followed by two short blasts, notifying anyone within earshot of the
accident scene. The ship sailed ahead, throwing lines over the side to tow the
rubber boats behind it.
            Alex
pointed to the right—the fog was lifting. “Grandfather, there’s more gray ships
over there.”
            Captain
Jonas nodded. “Yes, four more ships from the countries of the United
States, France,
Canada, and Italy,
with over seven hundred sailors including ours. How deep is the water here? And
where are you taking us?”
            “I don’t
know how deep it is, but the city of Agana
is just ahead.” Alex pointed forward.
            “Agana
on the island of Guam?
That’s impossible. That’s in the Pacific Ocean and we
were in the Atlantic.”
            “No,
Captain. This isn’t the same Agana.
I’m not sure where the name of this city came from, but…you’re not in the
mortal world anymore.”
            “What do
you mean we’re not in the mortal world?”
            “You’re in
Eledon, the world of the Elves.”
            “Impossible!”
He stared at Lord Odin. “How did we get here?” His eyebrows raised high.
            Alex shrugged.
“That’s what we’ve been trying to explain.”
            Lord Odin
rested his hand on the Captain’s shoulder. “Eledon was created by our Mentors,
our guides, when we were sent away from Earth over ten thousand years ago. Our
journey took us through a wormhole, so we’re probably quite a distance from
Earth.”
            Captain
Jonas turned pale and touched his forehead. “This isn’t possible.”
            “I’m afraid
it is.”
            “How do we
get back…to Earth?”
            “I’ll ask
our Mentors for help. They can make an entry point to the mortal world, but it
can take some time. Meanwhile, we need to take care of you and your crew.”
            “How am I
going to explain this to them?” The Captain muttered; his eyes wide and mouth
open. He shook his head slowly. “Surely
this must be a mistake.”
















Joni was born in Chicago, moved to Japan, and returned to live in
Phoenix, Arizona. After joining the Navy, she lived in Lakehurst, New
Jersey where she met her husband, a career sailor. They moved to
Jacksonville, Florida, from there to Pensacola, Florida where Joni
attended the university. Upon graduation, she returned to the Navy and
was stationed in Naples, Italy. From there, the Navy sent her to live in
a number of U.S. cities and even spent a year with the U.S. Army at
their Command and General Staff College obtaining a Master of Military
Arts and Sciences. Upon her retirement, she traveled the country in an
RV with her husband until he passed away. She returned to the workforce
living in Dallas until she discovered a passion for writing fantasy
novels. She retired for a second time and now lives in Tucson, Arizona.




Website Address: http://www.joni-parker.com


Twitter Address: @ParkerJoni


Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJoniParker

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Mr. January by Nicole S. Goodin






Title: Mr. January
Series: Calendar Boys #1
Author: Nicole S. Goodin
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: January 10, 2019





Blurb


From international
bestselling author Nicole S. Goodin, comes a new standalone, second chance romance.

Andrew Woodman.
Andy to his friends.
Criminal in the eyes
of the justice system.
… And now a free
man.

Dylan Davies.
Fiery redhead.
Hater of bad-boys.
… And still his
wife.

Three years ago,
Andy took a ride in the back of a police car and out of Dylan’s life.
Now he’s fresh out
of prison with only one goal in mind – win back the woman who wants nothing to
do with him.
Dylan wants to get
over her convict ex-husband, but all she can think about doing is getting under
him.

Andy wants to share
his truths.
Dylan wants to keep
her secrets.

Will the raw, sexy
attraction that reeled Dylan in all those years ago have the same charm now? Or
will Andy find himself riding his bike into the sunset alone?







Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited






Author Bio

NICOLE S.
GOODIN is a romance author and mother of two from Taranaki in the North Island
of New Zealand.

In
mid-2015, she started to write about a group of characters who wouldn’t get out
of her head. Her first book, Rushed, was published in mid-2016.

Nicole
enjoys long walks on the beach, pillow fights and braiding her friends’ hair.
She dislikes clichés, talking about herself in the third person, and people who
don’t understand her sense of humour.

Please feel
free to contact her either via her website, email, Instagram, Twitter or on her
Facebook page, she would love to hear your feedback. If you’re feeling really
game, you can even sign up for her newsletter.

Visit www.nicolegoodinauthor.com for
more information.


Author Links