#BookBlast for Laws of Nature, a novel by Jacqui Murray

Happy Friyay! Today I’ve got my author friend, Jacqui Murray, here to provide you with some great writing advice! She’s also launching her latest prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, the second book in the Dawn of Humanity, trilogy. You can find out more about Jacqui, her book, and how to get your copy, just below the interview!

I turn the floor to you, Jacqui. Thanks so much for being a guest today!

Writing Hacks
By Jacqui Murray

Writing is hard. And satisfying. And an opportunity for the long-sought-after huzzah moment. The harder something is, the more gratifying and the greater sense of achievement it gives.

If you find writing unduly challenging, try some of these simple hacks I’ve tried. Some were time-wasters but others were exactly what I needed. There are three posts on hacks. Two are straightforward and one is told with a sense of humor:

Believe in yourself
This is fundamental. Believe in your writing
ability. It doesn’t matter if no one else does.
Lots of writers go through that. Find your voice and your core and keep writing.

Consider reading research, not a break
What a boon for those of us who love reading! Writers must find out about their topic and explore their genre by devouring related books. This isn’t wasting time. It’s part of being a writer.

Write in the active voice. “I was going…” might sound like your internal monologue but it’s boring. “I sprinted…” is much better.

Too often, we write in the passive voice to take the edge off of what we are writing, make it less judgmental or absolute. Resist that urge. Readers want you to be sure and put them there with you.

Unless you write dark or dystopian fiction, avoid negatives. Search your ms for “not” and “n’t” and change them to the positive of the word. For example: “I didn’t listen” can be reworded as “I ignored”.

Readers often read to escape, find a better world, join someone who can actually solve their problems. If you pepper your writing with ‘not’ and ‘n’t’, readers will subconsciously feel that negativity.

Run your ms through a grammar/spell checker before letting anyone see it.

Too many writers think its OK to have grammar/spelling errors because an editor will fix it for them. The problem is, your critique partners and beta readers get annoyed/tired/disgusted with poor grammar and will think less of the story.

If the novel is too short, add detail.

There are suggested word counts for genres. If you’re below yours, fix it by adding detail. Find where you mentioned something narratively and add detail or a scene about the room or the character’s feelings or the memory.

When you find you’re “showing-not-telling”, add a scene that ‘shows’ the action.

This is an easy fix that lots of people avoid. Sharing an event in scene–showing it–puts the
reader right in the middle of the action. It will make it more interesting and add length to your ms (if you need that).

What are your favorite hacks?

A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help.

Summary

In this second of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga, Lucy and her eclectic group escape the treacherous tribe that has been hunting them and find a safe haven in the famous Wonderwerk caves in South Africa. Though they don’t know it, they will be the oldest known occupation of caves by humans. They don’t have clothing, fire, or weapons, but the caves keep them warm and food is plentiful. But they can’t stay, not with the rest of the tribe enslaved by an enemy. To free them requires not only the prodigious skills of Lucy’s unique group–which includes a proto-wolf and a female raised by the pack–but others who have no reason to assist her and instinct tells Lucy she shouldn’t trust.

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Hunting

South Africa

Lucy

Fresh blood streaked Short-tooth’s muzzle, her golden eyes alert to every movement around her as she munched on Gazelle’s meaty carcass. Each movement made the Cat’s tawny fur ripple over the powerful muscles beneath her skin. She raised her head, chewing slowly while studying the grass field in front of her, especially toward the back where it blended into the forest. She couldn’t see Mammoth but smelled it, close to the Uprights, maybe protecting them. Despite being the size of a boulder, this pachyderm could outrun most predators and would think nothing of crushing them beneath its massive feet.

Short-tooth wasn’t interested in the Uprights. Their bodies had little meat and less fat. Gazelle was more satisfying.

Catripped a slab of fragrant meat from the hind leg. Snarling-dog—to the far side—slapped the ground. He was hungry but wouldn’t eat Gazelle until Short-tooth finished. Cat purred loudly, close to a snarl, and Snarling-dog withdrew, but not far. Carrion-bird overhead tightened its circle and a tiny shrew the size of Short-tooth’s paw waited patiently, out of Cat’s range, eyes bright, nose twitching. A shred from the carcass was all it needed. 

None of these creatures mattered to Short-tooth. She was the apex predator in her savannah habitat. 

Sticky yellow globs of Mammoth dung slid down Lucy’s back and plopped to the dry thatch. The dung coat was melting under Sun’s intense heat, exactly as Lucy planned. Its purpose was to confuse Short-tooth Cat. The hotter Sun became, the stronger Mammoth’s smell. 

Lucy and her young pairmate, Garv, lay motionless, like Snake sleeping, bodies pressed into the prickly grass, oblivious to the feathery feet that scurried over their backs. She and Garv, too, wanted what Short-tooth didn’t consume. They were more patient than Snarling-dog but that didn’t mean they wouldn’t eat first. The first to arrive got the best of the leftovers.

Lucy rubbed her raw eyes, bleary from watching Cat bite, rip, and chew. If Short-tooth knew of their presence, it was not because she saw them. Lucy and Garv blended into the landscape. Their skin was the color of dirt and dry grass, impossible to find if you weren’t looking. No part of their bodies moved except their narrowed eyes as they scanned the surroundings, evaluating each new arrival to the feast. The dominant scents never changed—Snarling-dog, Short-tooth Cat, something decaying in the nearby forest, her pairmate Garv’s sweaty body, and Gazelle’s ripening offal.

Sun’s relentless heat washed over Lucy in waves. Sweat dripped down her face, over her pronounced brow ridge and into her eyes, but for reasons she didn’t understand, despite his fur pelt, Snarling-dog was dry. He reminded Lucy of Ump, her tribe’s Canis member. Even on the hottest days, Ump didn’t sweat. Instead, he panted more.

Today, Snarling-dog panted hard.

Short-tooth raised her feline head, inspecting her habitat as her jaws crunched through the fresh carrion. She reeked of malevolence which meant scavengers like Lucy and Garv willingly waited their turn.

Sun climbed through the cloudless blue sky. The morning haze had burned off long ago. The dew Lucy hadn’t licked off the leaves, Sun’s heat had. Her throat was dry, lips cracked, but that mattered less than securing scavenge. Her tribe was hungry.

Lately, unexpectedly, when Lucy sat quietly as she did now, a tingle deep inside her chest told her Raza, her former pairmate, was in trouble. The first time she experienced this tingle, what Garv called “instinct”, it churned through her body as a current does in a stream. She thought she was sick until Garv explained this was instinct and it warned of danger, not illness. He told her always to listen, but how was she to do that? Raza had been captured by the tribe’s worst enemy, a formidable Upright called Man-who-preys. She didn’t know where they’d taken him. As often as she brushed the feeling away, it returned, each time stronger than the last.

Cat’s yellow eyes snapped open and her methodical jaws slowed. Something caught her interest, maybe Snarling-dog’s impatience or Carrion-bird’s relentless approach. After a warning hiss, Short-tooth shook her big head and pawed her face. A swarm of black flies lifted, buzzed briefly, and then resettled where they’d started, again gorging on the blood and carrion that stuck to Short-tooth’s face

The flies are thicker than usual.

Short-tooth returned to her meal and Lucy sniffed, wondering what drew Cat’s attention. She didn’t expect to see Man-who-preys here, but took nothing for granted. The tall, big-headed, hairless enemy always carried a long stick which he used to kill prey. Sometimes, he didn’t eat the animal, just watched it die. This unpredictability, that he followed no norms, made him more treacherous than other predators.

She inhaled, but didn’t smell his stench so turned her attention back to the hunt. 

Carrion-bird floated overhead, feet tucked beneath its sleek body. The longer Cat ate, the more of the huge birds arrived. They thought their powerful sweeping wings, sharp claws, and piercing beaks made them the mightiest among the scavengers. What they didn’t realize was that Lucy and Garv possessed an even greater weapon: They could plan. Before Carrion-bird or Snarling-dog got too close, Lucy and Garv would take what they needed and flee.

They always did.

In the edging forest, Cousin Chimp hooted, the pitch and length describing the location of a tree newly bearing fruit. Leaves rustled as his band raced away. Lucy hoped they would leave enough of the succulent produce for her and Garv.

She hunkered deeper into the tall waving stalks, tracking the other scavengers and noting again how far away the trees were in case she needed to flee. A snake slithered over her foot, through the thatch and out of sight. She and Garv had been motionless for so long, Snake probably viewed them as dirt mounds in its path.

Garv tweaked an eyebrow and Lucy motioned, hands a tight circle in front of her chest, well hidden, “Dull colors, no knobs on snake’s tail—no danger.”

Her kind—Man-who-makes-tools—used a sophisticated blend of communication including body language, hand gestures, facial expressions, mimicking, and vocalization. One of their greatest defenses in this brutal world was the ability to become part of their surroundings. Voices were unusual sounds heard nowhere in nature except from Uprights, mostly the big-headed Man-who-preys. Lucy’s kind occasionally whispered and Tree-men, like Boah who was part of Lucy’s tribe, rarely made any sounds beyond huffs, grunts, howls, and moans. Only Man-who-preys jabbered endlessly.

Lucy’s eyelids drooped. This hunt had started yesterday when Lucy and Garv found the fresh cloven prints of a Gazelle herd. Lucy’s kind ate copious amounts of roots, nuts, fruit, juicy stems, and insects, but only meat gave them the energy to survive their dangerous lives. Because they hunted only dead animals, they depended upon predators to make the kill. Gazelle’s fleshy body always attracted Cat and its cousins, like Short-tooth. They would pick off the injured, and Lucy’s tribe would eat what they left.

Because not enough daylight remained yesterday, Lucy and Garv set out today, at Sun’s first light. They followed the herd while the rest of the tribe—the Tree-man Boah, the child Voi, and the Canis Ump—stayed at the homebase’s cave. Before Sun had traveled far, a snarl and a screech told Lucy a predator claimed its prey. When Carrion-bird and its cousins started to circle, she and Garv knew exactly where to go.

Garv nudged Lucy, the movement so subtle the grass didn’t even move. “Short-tooth is leaving.”

Lucy bit her lip and shot a look at Garv. His face radiated excitement.

She studied Short-tooth, tried to see what Garv saw and finally gestured, “I don’t see anything. Why do you think she’s finished?”

He motioned, one finger moving against his palm, “Instinct.” Nothing else.

But that was enough. Garv had taught her to stalk prey, knap tools, hunt, and protect herself. Because of him, she became an accomplished hunter, never missed a print, a bent frond, the fragrance left on leaves or bark, or any other sign. As partners, they always brought meat to the tribe. Most hunters didn’t.

Garv’s instinct had found more prey than Lucy’s tracking skills or senses ever did. She had no doubt Short-tooth would soon leave.

Cat’s big tongue, as long as Lucy’s forearm, licked the bloody scraps from her muzzle, a sign even to Lucy that she had finished. Lucy shifted to her hands and toes, knees hovering above the ground, prepared for what must come next. Garv did the same, his body hard from the life he lived, senses alert to every noise. Carrion-birds cawed and tightened their circle. On the opposite side of the field, Snarling-dog’s pack bared their canines, tails stiff. Drool dripped from their jowls and their gaze bounced between Cat and the Uprights, knowing from experience the scrawny but agile creatures were vigorous competitors.

You are fast, Snarling-dog, but we are smart. We will always get there first!

Lucy tensed as Short-tooth pushed up to her massive paws, canines red with blood, saliva dripping in strands from her jowls. She yawned, her mouth a dark cavity vast enough to swallow Lucy’s entire head, and ambled off. Lucy and Garv exploded to their feet and sprinted toward the carcass. Their powerful legs churned while nimble hands pulled cutters and stones from the sacks strung around their necks. Lucy’s job was to delay Snarling-dog and Carrion-bird while Garv stripped the carrion.

“Argh!” Lucy roared, waving a leafy branch through the air to make herself bigger to Snarling-dog while Garv attacked the carcass. Ignoring the fetid stench of dung and urine, he swung the sharp cutter and sliced through the hide and then muscle and tendon.

Lucy flung a stone at the lead Snarling-dog. It hit his temple, hard, and he dropped with a squeal. His pack slowed to reassess the upright creature and Lucy threw another stone, this one at the new leader’s eye. He yipped and stumbled, shook his head, and pawed at the blood that oozed from the wound and dribbled down his muzzle.

“Lucy!” Garv tossed an almost pristine haunch to her and then swung his chopper at Gazelle’s ribs. Carrion-bird, well into its death dive, talons extended, screeched its imminent attack.

“Let’s go!” Lucy called, the unexpected sound of her voice meant to startle the scavengers.

She hurled a rock at the lead Carrion-bird. It squawked and withdrew, which slowed the rest of the flock. Lucy grabbed an almost-meatless leg bone. It would be filled with nutritious bloody marrow. Meat secured over her shoulders, she and Garv fled. No one chased them. Why abandon certain meat for an uncertain meal? Lucy raced past a termite mound, noted its location, rounded a boulder bed, and lost sight of the fracas.

Not the scent, though. The tantalizing aroma sailed through the air, announcing to every scavenger around the availability of meat.

Meet Jacqui:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.

Connect with her, and grab your copy!

Amazon Author Page:         https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                        https://worddreams.wordpress.com

Instagram:                              https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

LinkedIn:                                 http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

Pinterest:                                http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                    http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                 https://jacquimurray.net

Available print or digital) at: Kindle USKindle UKKindle CAKindle AU  Kindle India

Welcome to the BLOOD/CRIMSON Blog Tour! @OverbeckRandy @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org

Meet Randy:

Dr. Randy Overbeck is a veteran educator who has served children as a teacher and school leader. For more than three decades, his educational experiences have included responsibilities ranging from coach and yearbook advisor to principal and superintendent and he’s lived the roles of many of the characters in his stories. An accomplished writer, he has been published in trade journals, professional texts and newspapers as well as in fiction, with his third published novel. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Dr. Overbeck is an active member of the literary community, contributing to a writers’ critique group, serving as a mentor to emerging writers and participating in writing conferences such as Sleuthfest, Killer Nashville and the Midwest Writers Workshop. When he’s not writing or researching his next exciting novel or sharing his presentation “Things That Go Bump in the Night,” he’s spending time with his incredible family of wife, three children (and their spouses) and seven wonderful grandchildren.

Connect with him:

Twitter Facebook Website

Purchase your copy:

Crimson At Cape May-Amazon.com

Crimson At Cape May-Barnes&Noble

Crimson At Cape May-BookBub

Your chance to Win!

(1) e-book copy of BLOOD ON THE CHESAPEAKE or CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY (Winner’s choice)

(1) $10 Amazon gift card

For your chance at winning one of the awesome giveaways above, simply leave a comment below!

Nonfiction is about reality; fiction is about truth.”

Bestselling mystery author, S. J. Rozan, shared these words at a writing conference a few years ago, and this insight struck me. As an author, I argue that one important purpose of memorable fiction is to share the truths about life, love and sometimes even death.

I’m not naïve. I realize readers don’t choose a mystery or a thriller or even a romance because they are searching for insight or revelation. James Patterson is not a bestselling author because of his philosophical outlook on life.

Fiction lovers are not browsing bookshelves in bookstores—okay, checking out Amazon or BookBub listings during the pandemic—because they are searching for the meaning of life. They want to be entertained, to be scared to death, to be drawn in and forget their world, or maybe to fall in love inside the pages of their newest discovery.

But I also believe authors have an important responsibility. First, we need to assemble the essential ingredients to capture readers’ attention—a plausible story line (mostly), credible characters, a setting readers can enjoy, and most important, a compelling narrative. But I also believe if we, as authors, are fortunate enough to command our readers’ attention for hours of their precious time, they should come away with more than just solving the mystery, seeing the bad guy captured or even making their heart race. Fiction should convey a truth, sometimes even a truth that can’t be conveyed via nonfiction—at least not as well.

That’s why, when I wrote each of the ghost stories/mysteries in my Haunted Shores Mysteries series, I attended to the truth part of my novel as diligently as the ghost or mystery part.

For my new release, CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY, the second in the series, I placed my fictional murder at the center of an even greater, very real-world problem. As readers navigate through the mystery and try to solve the whodunit, they also come face to face with the disturbing reality of human trafficking, as the murder and the trafficking become intertwined in the narrative.

On this issue, a few details may illustrate why I felt compelled to center my tale in the ugly world of sex slavery, prostitution, and human trafficking.

  • Officials estimate somewhere near 4.5 million people are caught in the web of human trafficking worldwide.  While most of those sex trafficked in the U. S. come from other countries—principally Eastern Europe, Central America, and the Far East—a great many girls, teens and even younger, from the U.S.  go missing and end up in the sex trade.
  • Based on the best estimates, one out of five female runaways in the U.S. ends up being trafficked, upward from 3000 to 5000 a year or a new teen trapped every 100 minutes!
  • As recent news reports have revealed, manipulation and abuse of trafficked girls is not limited to low level pimps. Notables such as Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, and even Prince Phillip of England have been implicated in human trafficking scandals. 
  • Experts believe an astounding one million children are victims of sex trafficking worldwide.
  • Taken together, there are more people trapped in human trafficking today than at any time in history.

Her is a link to a brief article with some astonishing—and depressing statistics:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2019/07/29/12-trafficking-statistics-enormity-global-sex-trade/1755192001/

My hope is that when readers finish CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY,  besides encountering a new, engaging mystery, exploring an interesting and unusual resort location, indulging their romantic impulses, and perhaps even straying a bit into the spirit world, they have a better grasp of the “truth” I’m trying to capture…and maybe a better understanding of the world around them and themselves.

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the authors’ tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HEREThanks for supporting this author and his work!

New Release: Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak & Review by Mark Bierman.

Today I have the privilege of introducing a new release written by talented, multi-genre, author, Teagan Riordain Geneviene. I have also included my review of this exciting read.

Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak is the first of a collection of serialized novelettes categorized as Journeys, because the characters travel across the complex world Teagan has built, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people. These journeys will publish approximately monthly.  Length will range from 30 to 60 pages, or so.

What Amazon says:

Dead of Winter takes place in a fantasy world that resembles some countries in the past of our own world. In this monthly series we travel through many lands, each with a distinct culture. The adventure begins in the Flowing Lands at Forlorn Peak.The Brethren are fanatics who gradually took over the Flowing Lands. They say all beliefs but theirs are heresy. Women are little more than property. Emlyn is only twelve, but to the Brethren she is an abomination. Why? She can see ghosts and other things. That’s a secret she can admit only to her teacher, Osabide.The stronger Emlyn’s ability gets, the harder it is for her to hide it. Now she has also gotten a supernatural warning that she knows is not about the weather, “Winter is coming!”

Before you crack a page, the main protagonist, Emlyn Eriu has something to say to you, personally. Enter at your own risk; remember, you’ve been warned!

“Winter’s coming! I’ve heard it so! It was whispered to me, by someone whom I don’t know!

“Listen to me! My name is Emlyn Eriu, and I am not crazy! I see things that most cannot. I’m only twelve . . . but I see things most, by their end of days, have never! Listen to me! Don’t tell another soul what I just told you, for my life will be in jeopardy! I cry this warning to you alone, though its true meaning is not yet clear, I sense that danger is near! If you’re stout of heart, come follow me in this and my next journey, perhaps then, we shall see!”

My Thoughts:

Young Emlyn Eriu lives in a sexist and repressed world. The heavy-handed and chauvinistic Brethren of Un’Naf, rule her village, Llyn Coombe. Everyone except for her teacher, Osabide, think that she’s rattlebrained. The truth is, the young girl is “gifted” beyond any layperson’s comprehension.

This novella is the first of a series and wets the appetite for more. Brutal dictators, a thin veil between the realm of the living and the dead, and a mysterious, apocalyptical threat, that must be unraveled, beckons an ethereal finger in invitation to follow the young protagonist to her next journey. My spine tingles at the thought, but I’ll pluck up my nerve, say a prayer, and forge ahead into the next book, upon its release.

Five Stars!!

Meet Teagan:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com

Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris

Connect with Teagan and purchase your copy:

Amazon Author Page

Amazonkindle

Amazonpaperback

Twitter

Pintrest

LinkedIN

Welcome to Day 7 of “THE ENIGMA THREAT” Release Blog Tour! @enigmaseries @1rburkey @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org #RRBC

Giveaways

(1) $25 Amazon Gift card & (10) e-book copies of the “shorts” in the Enigma Series

BLURB:

In the new digital world, there is no tolerance for privately owned supercomputers. Globally, computers are hunted and destroyed for the greater good, by the new cyber police CESPOOL. The information this group receives is manipulated by subversive hidden machine learning devices, the MAG running on the dark net.

Judith and Xiamara are freebooters who steal machine time for their PaaS, porn as a service business. The machine they chose for delivery is the last untapped supercomputer not in the hands of a sovereign. Their activity is spotted by the MAG, but the renegade R-Group steps in to alter the outcome. Leroy teams up with Zara to help these opportunists escape prosecution. They are drafted as reluctant participants in the fight.

Jacob and Quip are trapped in the Chihuahuan Desert trying to reconstruct the base of ICABOD’s logic core. The stress of their isolation is taking a toll. Their wives and children are safe in Brazil for the time being, but Interpol is prowling for answers.

The R-Group has assembled a way to communicate with orphaned satellites. While the next R-Group plans the ultimate honey pot to trap their nemesis who is driving their corrupted agenda. The odds are against R-Group’s success, but they have creative surprises on their side.

The stakes have never been higher. The R-Group young and old must rise to defeat the MAG.

4Wills Blog Tour Day 7

We wanted to share some of the feedback we have received. Also, we want to encourage you to leave a fair and honest review for all authors you read.

Breakfield and Burkey have received various reviews and comments. All our stories are reviewed by Kirkus along the way. Those comments have been positive. We also use portions of these on our Amazon pages and in social media. Overall, the comments have been positive. Other formal reviewers we solicit have picked out elements that are good as well as suggestions.

Individuals are those we pay a lot of attention to. Burkey looks at them and comments back in some cases. We appreciate the comments from people who hope the books will become a film or TV series. Many like specific characters. We have one reader who has kept up with the series and as one evil character evolved, she repeated indicated the character was vile. Many enjoy the series overall and comment as such.

We respect people who leave fair and honest reviews. However, we have found the anonymity of the Internet provides people a platform to vent behind a mask. This is the same for many social media exchanges. Rudeness is the focus, laced with meanness.  Some have commented that the stories are not realistic. The technology is real and applied in a manner that may not be apparent in very day use in our digital world. It could be that their frame of reference is like someone who has just discovered the miracle products of Teflon and Velcro.

For better or worse, we have lived the technology evolution wave, so we have the knowledge and experience for the facts we embed in the stories.  Some people simply don’t have our broad-based exposure to multiple technologies, some of which were surpassed by the newest shiny object. When some people do not understand something, it can embarrass them, so they attack to make it irrelevant. We suspect it is simply a different frame of reference.

The technology is the foundation of a story, but they truly are the struggles of the cyber good guys and gals versus the bad actors from the Darknet, who are also gender neutral. The Darknet is after all an equal opportunity employer. Technology has been a male dominated industry, but with programs like STEM more females are embracing this industry. Toward that we have strong female characters on both sides of the digital battlefield.

More than a few people have said that the stories we tell are all too frighteningly real. They ask what they might do to protect themselves against cyber thieves. In response to these requests, we point them to our cyber security health kit and provide some tips and tricks for people to protect themselves on line.  We offer free tips and tricks sheets on how to build a good secure password, avoiding email phishing, and ways to avoid identity theft. You are welcome to email us Authors@EnigmaSeries.com if you are interested in learning more.

We like giving back to the community based on what we have witnessed over the years in the high-tech arena. We even have a free coloring book as a download with a cyber security quiz in the back of it as a fun exercise to make folks think. Our books are geared to an adult, but the coloring book is fine for children. It may help them learn as they become more connected in our digital playground.

We would also invite you to take a look at our Kickstarter campaign for The Enigma Threat. You can learn a bit more about us, watch the book trailer, and support our efforts to start down the path to a screenplay.

Meet The Authors

BIO:

Breakfield is a 25+ year technology expert in security, networking, voice, and anything digital. He enjoys writing, studying World War II history, travel, and cultural exchanges. He’s also a fan of wine tastings, winemaking, Harley riding, cooking extravaganzas, and woodworking.

Burkey is a 25+ year applied technology professional who excels at optimizing technology and business investments. She works with customers all over the world focusing on optimized customer experiences. She writes white papers and documentation, but found she has a marked preference for writing fiction.

Together they create award-winning stories that resonate with males and females, as well as young and experienced adults. They bring a fresh new view to technology possibilities today.

Connect and Purchase Your Copy!

Email:            Authors@EnigmaSeries.com

Website:      www.EnigmaBookSeries.com

Blog:              https://EnigmaBookSeries.com/the-enigma-chronicles/category/blog-statement/

Connect and follow on Social Media: 

LinkedIn:      https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlesbreakfield  and

https://www.linkedin.com/in/roxanneburkey

Twitter:        https://twitter.com/EnigmaSeries  

and https://twitter.com/1RBurkey

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

YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Vz4x5ctTnx3yUhZk1OJkw

Pinterest:     https://www.pinterest.com/enigmseries/

Instagram:   https://www.instagram.com/enigmabookseries/

Bublish:        https://bublish.com/author/breakfieldandburkey

RRBC:            https://ravereviewsbookclub.wordpress.com/about-breakfield-burkey-enigmaseries-rrbc-rrbc_community/

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the authors’ tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE. Thanks for supporting these authors and their work!

New Release! “Ghostly Interference” by Jan Sikes @JanSikes3 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #newrelease #mustread #newage #runes #solider #ghosts

I’m excited to have Jan Sikes here today to share her new release, “Ghostly Interference!”

BIKERS AND NAMING YOUR BIKE

Thank you, Mark, for having me as a guest on your blog site today! I appreciate you helping me launch Ghostly Interference!

Have you ever known anyone who rides a Harley? If so, most likely you know that lots of Harley riders will often name their bikes.

Nicknames are as much a part of Harley history as are the bikes themselves. More often than not, the bike nickname will be female. There are a lot of theories about that, but the biggest one being the male ego and not wanting to be caught riding a bike named Bob.

In Ghostly Interference Rena Jett rides a red Harley named Candy Kicker.

The motorcycle had belonged to her brother, Sam Jett. When Sam was deployed and didn’t return from Afghanistan alive, Rena took posession of the bike. It is her sole means of transportation. She rides it whether it’s cold, hot, raining or snowing.  

While it is not entirely unusual to see a woman riding a Harley, statistically, most riders are male.

In this story, it is one of the traits that separates her from the main male character, Jag Peters. Jag is more conservative and doesn’t like to push the envelope.

Rena is all about pushing the envelope, then ripping it open. I love that the cover designer put a prominent red Harley on Ghostly Interference. It says a lot about the story.

Here’s a short excerpt:

By the time the clock turned over to 6 am, she kicked the covers off and jerked on her leather riding gear. A cup of coffee and long ride in the cool morning air would be the right combination to clear the cobwebs.

She’d never see Jag Peters again, so she might as well get that through to her head and move on. She had one thing she could count on in this whole wide world, and it sat patiently beneath her in the garage always there, always waiting, always silent. At least until she turned over the starter and let the engine roar.

She couldn’t repress a grin when she remembered how proud Sam had been the day he’d bought the Harley. And, the exhilaration and freedom she found riding behind him. There she was safe, protected by a brother who’d fight off anyone who dared hurt her. He’d asked her to name the bike, and because of its brilliant red color and quick response, she’d chosen Candy Kicker. He’d had the name painted in small script on the side of the gas tank. Yes, it was her and Candy Kicker now against the world and that’s the way it would always be.

It would be enough, she promised herself. If she could only convince her heart.

She bounded out the door and down the stairs taking two at a time. The crisp morning air teased her face and she couldn’t wait to get out on the open road. In less than a minute, she was inside the garage and pulling on gloves. She ran a hand over the shiny chrome and straddled the big machine.

She turned the key and jumped to kick-start it. Candy Kicker never failed her.

With her helmet fastened, she backed out of the garage and tore down the street, the loud pipes echoing off brick buildings.

A great Christmas gift!

What about you? Have you ever ridden on a Harley? When I was twenty, I met a man with a Harley and loved riding down country roads or city streets. I’ve never forgotten the feeling of complete and total freedom.  

BOOK BLURB

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

Check out the book trailer!

Purchase Your Copy

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Interference-White-Rune-Sikes-ebook/dp/B08KW1KFMW/

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghostly-interference-jan-sikes/1137871003?

Connect with Jan

http://www.jansikes.com

https://jansikesblog.com/

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CS9K8DK  (Author Page)

https://twitter.com/JanSikes3