Monday, October 28, 2019

The Sound of Blue: Four Science Fiction Stories by Michael Duda

The Sound of Blue: Four Science Fiction Stories
Michael Duda

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Michael Duda

Date of Publication: August 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9984984-0-9

Number of pages: 69
Word Count: 17,504

Tagline:  The Sound of Blue takes you on four journeys of alien discovery

Book Description:

The story “The Sound of Blue” was awarded Silver Honorable Mention by Writers of the Future, Q2 2019.

Aliens exist everywhere. They are android. They hide within the mind. They live on other planets. And they can even travel the universe using technology far beyond our understanding.

Markey VI, an android on an orbiting space station, assists an artificial intelligence. David, the A.I., ponders the question of humanity’s fate. The ultimate question is, “Should life be returned to Earth?” The answer is known as the Singular Conclusion. But the answer’s impact reaches far deeper into Markey VI’s electronic components and programmed logic than could be anticipated. And the android’s final moments bring it closer to humanity itself.

David Grayson volunteered for a project called, ‘Threading.’ Unfortunately, Threading slowly alters David’s mind. And it affects the other two subjects. But in what way? After the final test goes wrong, David unleashes a powerful ability capable of distorting time.

Shiran accuses Abian of murdering her husband. She claims that Abian tells lies about the events leading to the death. She also keeps a secret that could reveal the truth. When Abian uncovers Shiran’s secret, Shiran discovers that there is more to her simple village life than she first believed.

It’s a futuristic version of 1930s Chicago. Named Chicago VI, the shielded space city exists somewhere at the far edge of the Oberon Galaxy. And all space cities connect by jump trains, faster-than-light machines. Bobby and his dog, Mister Pleats, barely make ends meet at Chicago VI’s jump train station. But when Bobby meets an alien Xenoarchaeologist, he’ll discover that there’s more possibilities in the galaxy than shining shoes.

The Sound of Blue takes you on four journeys of alien discovery. A journey just out of atmospheric reach. To a mysterious planet and at the far end of a galaxy. And into the mind where superhuman powers wait to be untapped.

Holding a modified
acoustic guitar, Markey VI sat down in a chair facing the space station’s
observatory window. There were no distracting sounds inside the room. Only a
low frequency hum could be detected nearby.
Skin sensors indicated
that the observatory maintained a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit. It was an
optimal temperature for the operation of so many telemetry electronic
assemblies that covered the walls to the left and right. This temperature would
also be suitable for the transmission of sound waves.
David continued to argue
for the purpose of suspended chords being played on the guitar. Or any
instrument. To Markey VI, the guitar was a straight forward procedure.
“Suspension of chords is
more than just playing music in time,” David said.
“And what other purpose
do they serve?” Markey VI asked.
“It’s about tension, then
prolonging the tension. It keeps humans listening, excited, wanting more. Geez,
what do androids know?”
“But you are an
artificial intelligence. You can only predict how a human might react. How
would tension benefit you?”
“You forget I was once
human. And your creator.”
This answer was
illogical. The subtleties of being human were both inefficient and
unnecessarily complicated. The A.I.’s responses indicated a potential reset of
its system.
“Should I play for you?”
Markey VI said.
“Yes. It helps me think.”
Markey VI positioned
artificial hands over the guitar’s fretboard and bridge. David remained silent,
working on the Singular Conclusion.
This was the ninth
iteration of David’s A.I. During each new iteration, he attempted to once again
resolve humanity’s fate. The question, Should life be returned to Earth? did
not have a straightforward solution.
When this new iteration
had begun, David had told Markey VI that the process was not to be taken
lightly. It was like playing the role of Grand Creator. He had said that he was
responsible for granting new generations of people a second chance, if they
were worthy. And that was a matter of predicting behavioral outcomes in
multiple scenarios. Markey VI had offered no response.
But David’s recent
prediction efforts were now being interrupted by a second question. Had
humanity all been an unfortunate accident? If David could not come to a
satisfactory resolution soon, there would be another A.I. reset. And a tenth
iteration of David would once again work at resolving the ultimate and final
“David, I will begin
“Look down below us and
use real images to inspire you.”
From the observatory’s
vantage point, the orbiting space station could more easily monitor the Earth
through electronic means. The lifeless planet could also be viewed from a
distance. Markey VI’s synthetic eyes granted good magnification. But at
approximately 250 miles above the surface, details of what existed below were
still somewhat limited.
The station had just
moved into the light side of Earth. Below, the unfocused image of the Atlantic
Ocean ran along the coastal line of what had once been Spain.
“What is it that you
see?” David asked.
“Blue. Along a craggy
“What are the sounds of
blue against a cliff? Play it as music.”
“I could select a work
from my memory. Would this inspire you?”
“Surprise me.”
Markey VI processed this
request and seconds later decided on Charles Trenet’s La Mer. Initiating a
backing track, metal fingers moved flawlessly in rhythm and time over the
guitar’s nylon strings. As each chord changed, just enough pressure was applied
to harmonize with proper effect. And scales rang out notes in perfect pitch, a
singular voice that complimented the progression of music.
When finished, the
android asked if the work was played satisfactorily.
“I have made you as close
to God as possible and yet you lack a soul,” David said.
“I do not understand.”
“You don’t play. You
“I will stop.”
“Did you know that when
La Mer was first performed, audiences dismissed the work?’”
“I did not mean to offend
you by playing it.”
David made a laughing
sound, his voice spreading out through the mounted speakers spread across the
“Markey VI, does the
color blue mean anything to you? Anything?”
“It has a visible
spectral wavelength of –“
“I’m talking about
concrete images conjured by the senses. I can’t taste spectral abstractions.
They don’t remind me of the woman that smelled like cherry blossoms, or a soft
kiss like a cloud’s caress, and ocean waves that softly ebbed and flowed to our
beating hearts.”
“My output data could be
modeled after several physical parameters of the landscape below.”
The observatory speakers
went silent. Only the humming of electronics could be detected.
For several minutes, the
station moved further around its orbit. The ocean shifted away as rock and
grass came into view. The tops of trees appeared in random numbers and
groupings. Hills rose and fell in no particular design or fashion.
Markey VI reviewed
photographs and paintings stored in internal memory. They were compared to the
foliage below. There was no logical reason for why humans had artistically
recreated so many images of these topographical irregularities.
Finally, David spoke
again. “I’ve reached the Singular Conclusion.”
“Are we to abort Project
“No. Your music has shown
me today what I can never predict tomorrow. Without flaws, without
irregularities, humanity has no meaning and no reason for hoping for something
“Their flaws caused their
own self-destruction.”
“The greatest of all
accidents. But they lived a million times more than you ever can, Markey VI.”
Markey VI stood up and
placed the guitar in its stand. Strings plinked as the instrument settled into
a resting position. The final task would soon begin. The station would be taken
out of orbit.
“I will initiate Project
Eden. A new cycle of humanity will evolve,” Markey VI said.
“And hopefully it will
resolve to something better.”
“And if it does not?”

“Then a future version of me will try to fix humanity’s
flaws, only to realize the miserable accident of a perfect android.”
About the Author:

Michael is the author of several collections of short stories. Under pen name M. Duda, his titles include We Dream at Twilight and Whispers from the Grave.

His most recent story, "The Sound of Blue," won Silver Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future. This has fueled his passion for writing fiction.

He lives in Ohio with his wife, three dogs and two cats. He writes because his cat hates him.


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Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Paladin Princess Series by Samaire Provost

Pirates of Moonlit Bay
Paladin Princess Book 1
Samaire Provost

Epic Fantasy 

took her freedom: now it's personal.

assaulted her best friend.
stole her dignity and enslaved her, stripped her of everything she
loved, and ground her into the dirt.
it's sweet payback time.
Ryan meets The Princess Bride in this epic fantasy thriller.

think they know her; they think they can best her.
have no idea what they've unleashed.
going to teach them a lesson they will never forget.

first in the addictive, action-packed Paladin Princess series, The
Pirates of Moonlit Bay features never-see-it-coming twists and
razor-sharp dialogue.

has never been one to play by the rules. When kidnapped by pirates on
a ship pulled by giant manta rays, she is fearless in facing her
deadly adversaries. She must fight for her life against ruthless
enemies and fantastic beasts, while being thrust into a world of
supernatural alchemy.

 and Game
of Throne
there's a new epic fantasy thriller in town and it's non-stop,
pulse-pounding action!

amazing, can't-put-it-down fantasy thriller readers have been raving
Gripping & action-packed, it will swallow you

"If you love to root for the underdog and
have a craving for high paced action, then this book is for

miss this electrifying supernatural fantasy thriller!


Pirate Queen
Paladin Princess Book 2 

Book of Mysteries.

According to legend, it holds the lost
knowledge of all mankind.
Charlotte wants it. Badly.

has her trusty troupe, a treasure map, and a worthy ship. But will
that be enough?
map can’t even begin to hint at what awaits them as they descend a
rocky staircase into the heart of a volcano ...
will be tested.
will be on the line.
will face challenges even more deadly than the dreaded kraken.
they will face questions. Questions that go to the heart of their
mission – and the core of their souls ...
do you believe?
Who do you care about most?

you worthy?
to obtain the Book of Mysteries. Within its pages lie the secrets to
navigating the stars and curing deadly diseases.

can they retrieve it before they wind up dead themselves?

out in the exciting sequel to The Pirates of Moonlit Bay, Book 2 of
The Paladin Princess series.

Lost Treasure
Paladin Princess Book 3 

corpses of powerful sirens float in the sea, forming a grisly trail
toward the horror that killed them.

whisper about a new threat in the ocean, a menace that imperils all
the denizens of the waters, from Swerighe, to Alkebulan, to all the
undiscovered seas.
and her troupe, searching for clues, hear whispers of a secret
treasure that might be connected to the siren deaths. An aged merman
who has traveled farther than any other, reveals to them the tale of
a strange, strange land:
is a faraway land, full of steep mountains, and dangerous creatures.
The forest surrounding the tallest mountain is home to a multitude of
dread monsters, each more terrifying than the last, who hunger for
the flesh of unsuspecting travelers foolish enough to venture into
their realm. At the apex of this tall peak, which rises twenty
thousand feet, past deadly glaciers and a river of fire, is a
sanctuary watched over by a forgotten order of mystics skilled in the
art of battle and devastation. In the rear of the sanctuary is a
passage that leads into the mountain, and deep into the heart of the
Earth. At its end are catacombs guarded by a beast so dreadful that
minds will go mad at the sight of it. The door to the catacombs can
only be accessed by defeating the beast that guards it. Inside,
concealed by a hideous shroud and an ancient poison, lies the lost
treasure of El Dorado.”

Pirate Prince
Paladin Princess Book 4

land is dying.

swaths of the northlands are growing warmer at an alarming
is suffering.
from the realm of fable and legend are being released from the
glaciers, attacking villages.
something – SOMETHING has caused this.
great evil has emerged from the ice and lain this curse upon the
parents – the queen and prince consort of Swerighe – have been
abducted, and the land is in an uproar. Only Charlotte and her troupe
can save the day.
this evil is desperate to survive.
will stop at nothing to take what it wants.
it wants her baby.

Provost grew up in a lot of different places, and now happily resides
on the

Coast of America, laboring away at writing stories every day. She is
an animal lover with far too many pets, yet she still muses how she’d
like to add even more. A lover of all things night and gothic, she
also loves to read and reread her favorite books. Owned by a cat
named Tyrion, she can be found haunting the shadows and mists that
hang low over the hills of southern Virginia.

the tour HERE
for special content and a giveaway!

The Secrets of Hawthorne House by Donald Firesmith

Secrets of Hawthorne House
Donald Firesmith
Teen Paranormal Mystery

life changes forever when a family of druids moves into the
dilapidated Victorian mansion next door. The story of an unlikely
friendship, the clash of two completely different cultures, secret
magic, and a search for the lost Hawthorne treasure.
Matt Mitchell was having the worst summer imaginable. Matt’s misery
started when a drunk driver killed his mother. Then his father moved
him and his twin sister to the small town of Hawthorne in rural
Indiana, as far as his grieving father could take from the ocean that
Matt's mother had loved. At the new high school, three bullies are
determined to make Matt miserable. And to top it off, Matt learns
that the recluse who lives in the 'haunted house" next door is
none other than Old Lady Hawthorne, the town’s infamous witch and
murderer. Matt’s terrible summer is turning into an awful autumn
when something quite unexpected happens. Old Lady Hawthorne’s niece
and her three children arrive, and Matt meets Gerallt.

.99 cents!!**

geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer
helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive
systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books,
written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers,
and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He's
also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the
Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered
somewhat by his fear that the term "distinguished" makes
him sound like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer
whose beard is still slightly more red than gray.

night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal
fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and
relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and
mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical
Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick
Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his
wife Becky, and his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and

the tour HERE
for special content and a giveaway!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Say You Love Me by Willow Rose

You Love Me
Rae Thomas Mysteries Book 4
Willow Rose

Mystery, Thriller, Suspense 

FBI-profiler Eva Rae Thomas is back and embedded in a true nightmare
reaching deep into her own family.

would you do if your brother was accused of a horrible crime, and you
were certain he didn’t do it?
is not done throwing Eva Rae Thomas curveballs.
phone call turns her life upside down – once again. The call is
from her father, the man she hasn’t seen in thirty-six years, not
since he kidnapped her sister in a supermarket.
he is back in Florida, and he needs her help. Her younger brother –
who she didn’t know existed – has been arrested on Amelia Island.
The boy is in a coma after being shot by an officer during the
incident. But his father doesn’t believe the police, and he asks
for Eva Rae’s help to prove it.
the same time, a serial killer is planning one of the most horrific
mass killings in history.
Eva Rae find it in her heart to help her father after what he did to
her? Will facing him again set her free or pull her under?
is the fourth book in the Eva Rae Thomas Mystery
Series and can be read as a standalone.

**Only .99 cents 10/2 – 10/8 !!! **

Queen of Scream aka Willow Rose is a #1 Amazon Best-selling Author
and an Amazon ALL-star Author of more than 60 novels.

writes Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Horror,
Supernatural thrillers, and Fantasy.

books are fast-paced, nail-biting pageturners with twists you won't
see coming. Several of her books have reached the Kindle top 10 of
ALL books in the US, UK, and Canada. She has sold more than three
million books.

lives on Florida's Space Coast with her husband and two daughters.
When she is not writing or reading, you will find her surfing and
watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Pure Dumb Luck by Dahlia Donovan

Dumb Luck
Dahlia Donovan

Contemporary M/M Romance 

two small-town country dudes win the lottery, they finally find the
courage to speak their truth.

An unexpected adventure

Linwood "Woody" Robinson has a routine.
He works for his baby brother in construction, buys three lottery
tickets every week, and lusts after his best friend from high school.
He's done the same thing for twenty years.

Eddison "Eddie"
Howard owns the only gas station in their small South Carolina town,
sells lottery tickets, and lusts after his best friend from afar.
They joke around but never speak their truth. He knows they're
cowards but can't seem to find the courage to bridge the gulf between

And then they win eighty million dollars.


They go from never talking about their feelings to
facing the world together.

Can anything pull them apart?

Dahlia Donovan wrote
her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and
damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and
unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her
life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive
collection of books and video games.

the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Friday, October 25, 2019

A Very Vegan Halloween Cookbook by Rebecca Henry

Very Vegan Halloween: The Witch's Cauldron
Vegan Holiday Cookbook Collection #1
Rebecca Henry


has always been an important holiday in my home and a time for food
and parties. This book contains traditional, bootiful Halloween
recipes prepared from nondairy and cruelty free ingredients.

41 bewitching recipes to chose from, you will have a spooktacular
selection of recipes to inspire your little ghost or goblins to
gobble up their plates! Being a mom of two, and so no stranger to
hosting Halloween parties for little ones, I understand the
importance of presentation. If the food is fun and engaging, children
and adults alike, will want to try vegan options. The recipes come
with creative decorating ideas, party suggestions and terribly
terrifying recipe names, to get your cute little ghouls eager to bake
with you in the kitchen.

Selling Amazon Author of Hybrid: Adapt or Die. Her debut novel was
The Lady Raven: A Dark Cinderella Tale, which was published in 2017.
The Lady Raven, is for those who have an infinity for fairy tales
retold with a link to witches, magic and the macabre. Rebecca's
second novel, Louisiana Latte, a chick lit comedy was released
February 28th 2019. Louisiana Latte, is a feel good comedy that
focuses on the bonds of sisters, and how audacious life can be when
you have a diva for one! Rebecca's third novel Hybrid: Adapt or Die,
is a sci-fi, horror, romance novel. It takes the reader on a wild
ride of government conspiracy theories, ancient aliens but also
touches your heart with a tender love story. Hybrid was released
August 1st 2019. Her fourth novel Conjure Lake, a ya, dark fantasy,
horror novel will be released in 2020. The entire first chapter is
included at the end of Hybrid first edition copies. You can find all
of Rebecca's books on Amazon.

Henry is a world traveler living abroad in England. Besides being an
author, Rebecca is also a podcast talk host on the show The Latte
Talk. The podcast was inspired by her latest novel, Louisiana Latte
and her diva sister Deb. She is a serious vegan, gardener, crafter,
wife and mom who practices yoga. She loves to laugh, her drug of
choice and loves all things witchy with a hint of the macabre. Her
favorite holiday is Halloween and her favorite movie of all time is
Practical Magic.

the tour HERE
for special content and a giveaway!

The Witches of Crannock Dale by Thomas M. Kane

Witches of Crannock Dale
of the League Book 1
Thomas M. Kane


When an enemy army
threatens eleven-year old Mara’s home, she makes up her mind to
save her family, one way or another. But when the knights protecting
her village arrest her favorite aunt for witchcraft, she discovers
that the difference between friend and foe may not be as obvious as
she once thought.
This is a story of
war and espionage, set in a low fantasy world. It is also about a
child getting to know her mother and father in a new way.

M. Kane is a fantasy author living high on a wooded hilltop. He
taught international relations at a British university for close to
twenty years and brings his insights concerning real-life war and
politics into his fiction. He takes a character-based approach to
writing, paying attention to his protagonists' personal relationships
and inner lives.

the tour HERE
for special content and a giveaway!