High Praise Indeed!

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Bernard Cornwell OBE

The other day following the first Amazon review of my latest work Autumn 1066, its author Sally Cronin paid me the ultimate compliment in one of her comments below the post, comparing me to one of today’s finest writers of historical fiction – Bernard Cornwell OBE.

These days for most lovers of historical fiction on television, while they may not know, or care, who is responsible for the original works of fiction which television series are based upon, even the mentally challenged among them will at the very least be familiar with two of Bernard’s best known fictional heroes – Richard Sharp (Sharp’s Rifles) and Uhtred of Bebbanburgh (The Last Kingdom).

When it comes to Indie writers like myself, most of us count ourselves lucky that what we write is not immediately  panned, or heavily criticised by the army of armchair critics, pedants and literary snobs lying in wait for the next book written by one of us. Which is precisely the reason why I deliberately published my latest effort as a paperback only. Most attacks only occur when an Indie’s book is only available as an ebook (preferably free).

When someone does dare to speak up for a book written by an Indie, it makes an extremely rare and pleasant change. So now all I have to do is hope and pray that Autumn 1066 becomes a best seller, while I search for another moment in history to write about, probably once again from the Dark Ages, starting in a few month’s time.

PS – one of my favourite books was written years ago by Bernard – Stonehenge 2000BC. As I recall it was heavily criticised as being sluggish, boring and long-winded, which by the way it isn’t. But then again, what can you expect from utterly ignorant individuals who wouldn’t know a good book when they see it?

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Announcing the release of Autumn 1066

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Down the centuries the British Isles has always been seen by invaders as a legitimate target for exploitation. This novella concerns the last few weeks of  Anglo-Saxon occupation, ending on the 14th of October, 1066.

~~~

At long last my historical novella Autumn 1066 (paperback only) is now available for purchase.

Please take note of the following number:- ISBN-13: 978-1546685302.

First of all, may I suggest that you order your copy directly from CreateSpace by inserting the above ISBN number when looking for it. Ordering directly from the printer is by far the cheapest purchasing option.

I ordered six copies to give to my friends at US$2.15 each as opposed to US$5.38 each on Amazon US, and UK£4.17 on Amazon UK. The CreateSpace price for my latest book works out at roughly what you pay for the average ebook these days. Which makes it value for money, I’m sure you will agree…

Buying from CreateSpace is a no-brainer in my book!!!

Of course if money is no object, you can always order it from your nearest Amazon outlet. Here are the links for Amazon’s two main outlets:-

AmazonUS

AmazonUK

Unfortunately, the one thing you cannot do on CreateSpace is post a review. That can only be done at Amazon sites. Here’s hoping that you enjoy reading the novella. If that is the case, do please post a review on Amazon.

PS – Are you one of those strange individuals who do not believe in ordering anything online? In that case, write down the title and the above ISBN number together with CreateSpace’s link – https://www.createspace.com/. Then head off to your local bookshop armed with all the information, and tell them (don’t ask) to order a copy for you…

Enjoy…

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The second progress report

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I have to report that I’m almost fifty percent the way through the first stage of this year’s writing project, the re-read. To that end I’m still picking up characters as and when they appear, and more of the vague clues I inserted into The Forgotten Age.

If you look at the above illustration you will see the way Nick and co found their way beneath the Great Pyramid and the Ghiza Plateau in their search for the Library of the Ancients via the Pit and the blocked off tunnel opposite from the base of the Descending Passage.

It has to be said – I really know how to write a brilliant tale. If you don’t believe me, why not ask the celebrated author of all things ancient Egypt these days – my friend Robert Bauval. Its sequel will have to be even better if I’m going to have any hope of impressing him for a second time.

As well as the re-read, I’ve begun by thinking about how to get Nick and co out of the predicament I left them in where Forgotten ended so dramatically, somewhere beneath the Giza Plateau, between the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx. I’m also considering several ideas I have at the moment about how they might escape – if they can that is. More of that later once I’ve something else to report…

By the way, if you buy your ebooks from Amazon.co.uk, click on the highlighted red link above to get yourselves a copy of Forgotten to see what all the fuss is about.

~~~

Newsflash – Robert has already offered to write a review, even before I have begun to write the sequel.  🙂

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The first progress post

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Does this place look familiar to you? If you read Forgotten it should do…

~~~

Well I have begun. At the moment I’m in serious re-reading mode concerning The Forgotten Age. So far I’ve carefully worked my way through the first two chapters. I’m not just reacquainting myself with the characters, but also what happened in, around and beneath the Giza Plateau, as well as on the surface. I’m also making note of the seemingly random clues which most will have ignored, not appreciating their significance or even rejected as possible red herrings.

I always leave vague clues in every book I write. No doubt I’ll do the same thing when I come to write the sequel, just in case another is required by you in the future.

If you’ve already read Forgotten through thoroughly you will have noted the significance of above picture. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING REGARDING IT IN YOUR COMMENTS. TO DO SO WOULD BE A MONUMENTAL SPOILER ALERT FOR NEW READERS!!! For those who have no clue what I’m talking about, do yourselves a favour and click on the above red link, get a copy and read it!

That’s about it for now. I’ve got more re-reading to do. More characters to catch up with both good and bad, plus more of those subtle clues to gather together…

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It’s inevitable whenever you publish…

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~~~

Hi kiddies, I’m back on the offensive once again.

The following is a classic example of what happens when a Troll goes on the attack by looking for the next title on their hate list:

The text does not flow. I was frequently jolted by missing punctuation and poor sentence structure.
~~~

In this particular instance, the targeted book is my scifi love story:

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Céleste: Love, Hate, Revenge and Danger among the Stars.

And yet, despite the above pathetic attempt to rubbish the book by a specific troll living in Vermont, one Sligo McKluge, when he delivered his blatantly obvious attack, the book continues to receive nothing but praise by those who have actually bought and read it from the beginning to the end. Which begs the simple question – why the hell does Amazon still allow bitter and twisted morons like McKluge to comment in the first place?

Before the peace and brotherly love set jump in to defend him by preaching about the fundamental rights of the individual, insisting McKluge was merely exercising his/its/her/their right to express their personal opinion according to the section on the democratic right to freedom of speech in the first amendment of United States’ Constitution, I would remind you that like every other successfully published author of my acquaintance who are constantly targeted by total fwits like McKluge, I can tell you that that particular argument does not wash! It is nothing more or less than a load of old horse manure, especially when authors do not have the right to veto all one and two star reviews. Or better still, like Facebook, be allowed to block certain people from commenting, or in this instance reviewing!!!

PS – according to KDP, its being read in the US at the moment McKluge, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!!

Bah Bloody humbug

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The Guardian

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The following opening paragraphs are from my extremely short science fiction novella The Guardian, another tale born out of one of my short stories…

~~~

“Why us?” Lynne grumbled, once they had arrived at the silent, empty space port, parked as it is in stationary orbit several thousand feet above the dusty surface of Mars, in the planet’s upper atmosphere. Even though she already realized the answer, she still needed to say it, if only to emphasise her extreme displeasure at being volunteered like this.

She had driven her new boss Adler to total distraction during their enforced time together aboard the Virtual Intelligence controlled solar wind powered transporter, to the point where he seriously contemplated strangling her, if only to give himself some much needed respite from her endless moaning and incessant questions throughout the entire month long journey in the cramped passenger space aboard the transporter. They both knew that this was likely a suicide mission. “What’s so all-fired important about a darned automated mining operation on Mars anyway?” she continued, “and why the hell did we have to put up with that stinking ancient garbage scow. Why didn’t the cheapskates at least get us accommodation on something more luxurious for the trip?”

“For Christ sake woman, for the last time, will you give it a rest. Quit bellyaching! At the moment I’m still presuming that the bastards down there have simply downed tools over pay and conditions. You’ve read the damned brief from Earth Corp’s CEO as well as I have. Therefore you know that we are here to establish why the Olivine mining operation has ceased production, and why the regular monthly consignments of ore are no longer being sent back to Earth. For your information, even though the mining is automated, techs are still required to live on site to keep an eye on the machinery, as well as establishing the location of the next profitable Olivine vein, and from time to time, fix things when they break. Plus, the ore has to be brought up here to the space port to be loaded aboard unmanned VI controlled transporters like the one we just arrived on, for the return journey to Earth. Which means that among the mine staff there has to be someone like you to fly the damned cargo shuttles back and forth. As there is no sign of either of the shuttle pilots, or anyone else up here, we need to get down to the mine. Until we do, we’re merely speculating about what has happened.

The first thing we have to do once we get there is to talk to the mine boss, David Malcolmson. He and his team are housed in an accommodation block just inside the mine, located in the Ganges Chasma, an eastern branch of that great scar you can see in the Martian landscape below us, known as Valles Marineris. It’s Mars’ equivalent of the Rift Valley that scars the African continent back on Earth. Before you open your damned mouth again, just in case you were wondering what Olivine is used for back at home, it is the principal component in the carbon dioxide sequester process. Even you must know how bad our atmosphere is, thanks to the pollutants still being belched out by heavy industry, even though rules were set in place to safeguard the environment. Just like always, industrialist couldn’t care less. What has always counted with them is profit. According to Earth Corp, the last load to arrive back home was six months ago. Before that, the mine was sending regular monthly consignments. Any more questions? No? Good. Now quit complaining, shut up, and get us the hell down there!”

Adler shook his head as he strapped himself into the seat behind Lynne. Why the hell he had to be saddled with this irritating female was totally beyond him.

Surely there must have been other pilots that Earth Corp’s CEO, Magritte Peneaux, could have chosen? Not as far as she was concerned! Former military personnel like Major Adler Stevens of the British Army’s Military Police, and Lieutenant Lynne Crawford, a veteran fighter-bomber pilot who previously served in the Canadian Airforce, were the obvious candidates for the job. She saw no good reason to look any further. Or for that matter, to send two of her own on such a hazardous mission. Besides which, this was likely not a job for civilians. If they managed to work out what had happened, fix it, and send back a report to say that everything was back to normal, all well and good. If not, someone else would soon be sent to replace them.

Since all types of warfare and its several causes, such as politics and financial greed, along with enforced poverty, coupled with mass starvation, and radical religious differences, were all declared illegal after the world’s business leaders had finally had enough and specifically set up Earth Corp to remove all control from the Earth’s former political, military and religious masters to become the first non-aligned World Government, there were now millions of unemployed soldiers, sailors and airmen just like Adler and Lynne to choose from. The pair had been given precisely one week after their arrival to conduct their investigation before they must send that report back to Earth Corp HQ in Geneva.

~~~

The guardian watched the shuttle’s entire trip from the space station, down towards the loading bay airlock inside the mine entrance, via its own monitor within the inner sanctum. Once the shuttle had arrived, through the monitor’s speaker, the guardian heard the unmistakeable sound of the outer door first open, then close, sealing off the mine accommodation complex from Mars’ deadly atmosphere, which being mostly carbon dioxide, is one hundred times thinner than that of Earth. Next it heard the hiss as the now sealed shuttle bay automatically re-pressurised as oxygen was automatically pumped in to allow whoever was inside the shuttle to enter the mine reception centre. Bemused, it continued to watch as Adler and Lynne walked across to the door connecting the shuttle bay with the living quarters.

~~~

“Ok. First of all I’m going to talk to Malcolmson to figure out what the hell the problem is,” Adler began. “While I’m doing that Lieutenant, be so kind as to find the techs.” Lynn stiffly saluted, glad for the chance to finally be away from him for the first time in a month. She had really begun to loathe the annoying by the book Englishman. On the plus side he had one thing going for him in her eyes, he was undeniably cute. Before carrying out his order, she watched him closely as he entered the lift for the short journey up to the administration level, just to make sure that he hadn’t changed his mind and was about to follow her. Satisfied, she began a systematic search of the living quarters.

Ten minutes later, she almost jumped out of her skin when Adler silently appeared behind her to casually enquire, “found anything yet Lieutenant?”

“God, don’t do that boss, you scared the living bejeezers out of me! If the technicians are still here they must be somewhere in the mine. What about Malcolmson, is he in his office?”

“Negative. It looks as if he left in a hurry. However, I did find a list of the staff, including ID photographs, and a map of the mine up in the control room. It looks like we will have to hunt them down one by one Lieutenant.”

“Before we go any further, can we please dispense with all this military formality bullshit? We’re civilians now whether we like it or not. My name is Lynne, not Lieutenant.”

“Sorry Lieu – Lynne,” he replied, “I’m Adler.”

“What kind of name is that for crying out loud?” she asked, with a bemused look on her beautiful face.

“My father was an eccentric who had a mania for unconventional names for his children. Despite my mother’s wishes, he insisted on naming my older sister, Osceola, a Creek Indian name that means black drink crier apparently. When I came along he insisted that I be named Adler, after an Austrian doctor and psychotherapist from the nineteenth century who he admired. I suppose he wanted our names to stand out from the crowd.”

“I’d say he achieved it wouldn’t you? So what’s next Adler?”

“Well, it looks like we have to investigate the entire mine. We’ll need our suits.”

“Why?”

“No breathable atmosphere inside the mine complex. The automated mining machinery doesn’t need it.”

“Fair enough. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get going boss,” Lynne replied with the merest hint of a grin on her face. If he made the mistake of annoying her in the future, which being a man, he probably would, she was going to get some mileage out of taunting him about his strange Christian name in the future.

~~~

The guardian watched them on its monitor as they climbed aboard one of the fusion powered quad bikes parked in a maintenance bay just beyond the airlock separating the accommodation, administration and mine control from the mine itself. Wherever they went, whatever they did, it would be watching their every move. If it looked like they might find a way into the inner sanctum, then it would immediately destroy them. In the meantime it was merely content to observe.

~~~

Adler drove the quad down the main tunnel for approximately a mile before stopping at the point where it divided into three. “Which way?” he asked.

Lynne briefly studied the map before tapping him on his right shoulder, indicating he should head in that direction. For the next six days the pair systematically searched every tunnel, every side space, maintenance and storage area they came across, looking for any sign of Malcolmson and his team of technicians. By the morning of the last day of their investigation they had clearly established that the mine was devoid of any sign of life.

“I don’t know about you, but this is really beginning to totally creep me out,” Lynne whispered as an involuntary shiver ran up her spine. She might be hardened to most things thanks to her front line service, but this totally spooky situation made her feel distinctly uncomfortable. If they had come across dead bodies, she could just about have handled that. But the fact that the entire mine staff had apparently vanished into thin air was hard to take.

Adler nodded in total agreement. “Come on, it’s time to send that report.”

“Then what?”

“What happens next is all down to Earth Corp’s CEO. So while I’m preparing the report, before we head back to the space station to send it to her, perhaps you had better search everyone’s quarters for personal effects. At least that way we can offer some comfort to the families.”

“Good idea boss, I’m on it.”

It took three days to eventually receive a reply back from head office in Geneva. Magritte thanked them for what they had done, and told them to return home on the transporter which had just left the new International Space Station en route to Mars, containing the replacement mining crew. Meantime there was nothing else for them to do but wait, while trying not to annoy each other if at all possible.

~~~

A month later the guardian watched as the replacements descended from the space port moments after the transporter began its immediate return journey to Earth with its two passengers. Within a fortnight mining had recommenced. Once again the guardian eliminated the potential threat.

~~~

Adler sat in the bar of his local pub supping a much needed pint of bitter. After what had happened back on Mars, he needed some serious down time to recharge and rest, even if only for a couple of days. While the United Kingdom no longer existed since Earth Corp ended the former political union between England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, at least one thing hadn’t changed. There was no denying that the English were still the undoubted masters when it comes to brewing the finest bitter to be found anywhere in the world.

“Hi boss. God you are a hard man to track down.” When Adler looked up, for a brief moment he thought that he was either dreaming, or that he had been transported into the presence of a goddess.

Lynne stood before him wrapped in a knee length faux fur winter coat, which she now slowly opened to reveal herself to him for the first time. For what seemed like an absolute eternity, but in reality was probably only a few seconds, his eyes hungrily devoured every delicious morsel of this vision of undoubted feminine perfection. The first thing he noticed was how the makeup she wore accentuated her beautiful face. His eyes were then drawn to the top half of her body which was barely contained inside a figure hugging, flesh coloured, diaphanous tank top. It literally clung to her firm breasts like a gossamer thin outer layer of skin, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. He could be forgiven for thinking that Lynne’s breasts appeared on the point of bursting through the delicate material at any moment.

As if in answer to his unspoken thoughts, she next slowly turned around to briefly reveal what up until now had remained hidden from his gaze beneath the miniskirt she was wearing, when its hem rode up, revealing that apart from anything else she was not wearing any underwear, as she deliberately bent over to place her coat over the back of the chair. The thought occurred to him while feasting his eyes on the lower half of her exposed naked rear, that it was not so much covered by the Teal blue silk garment, as lovingly caressed by it; as indeed were her breasts by the tank top. Her long legs were clad in black fishnet stockings. On her feet she wore a pair of bright red designer leather stilettos. To complete the ensemble, she had an expensive Gucci bag slung over one shoulder, which she now proceeded to put down beside her.

In the twenty-second century, it is always the women who controls any relationship she enters into, unlike her far less sexually aggressive sisters in previous centuries. Having finally decided that she wanted Adler, despite his being a total pain at times, she had deliberately chosen the clothing as well as the heady perfume she wore, for one reason and one only, to attract the attention of the now wide eyed, open mouthed individual seated before her who was even now unconsciously licking his lips while a part of his anatomy rapidly engorged itself. She had bought every item of clothing from a boutique that specialises in top quality twentieth century second hand Italian labelled clothing, soon after she had arrived back in London from a quick trip home to Canada. If any of her clothing had been new, even the winter coat, no way could she ever have afforded them.

“Buy a girl a drink soldier?” she demanded rather than asked, giving him a smouldering look which made his heartbeat increase at an alarming rate when she sat down to face him, with her legs momentarily apart to briefly reveal another part of her anatomy, before it vanished from his sight when she demurely crossed her legs, while at the same time, readjusted the hem of her miniskirt. His very obvious physical reaction told her that her plan had worked. She now had his complete and undivided attention…

~~~

Well there you have it, another teaser just for you. As usual you can get your copy from the Amazon site you use. Here are the links to the two main ones:

Amazon.com

and

Amazon.co.uk

An Extract For You

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By now, you all know the quality of my writing from the short stories of mine which you have had the pleasure of reading over the past few weeks. It’s now time for you help me out by first of all reading a short edited extract from my latest novella, which by the way is not just another run of the mill scifi tale but also a love story, and then by buying yourselves a copy…

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The mission commander took one last look at the beautiful blue planet he and the crew called home as the ship prepared to leave Earth orbit. Now was the time for its crew to enter their stasis units. “If there are any problems at all Céleste, please don’t hesitate to wake me.”

“Understood David,” was the reply that echoed all around him. Not only the ship but its small crew and the mission itself were in the care of the ship’s state of the art artificial intelligence. For the several decades it would take to achieve their goal, she was in complete control whenever the crew were held in stasis. Once she had ensured he and the rest of the human crew were in a safe state of suspended animation, she uploaded the complicated course with its numerous way points into the ship’s computer. Each waypoint must be reached in a specific order for them to ultimately arrive at the mission’s destination – the exoplanet designated Beaumont 61, located at the absolute outer extremity of the Orion Spur, the same spiral arm in which our own solar system is situated, part of the galaxy we know as the Milky Way.

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Apkallu’s artificial intelligence was christened Céleste by the youthful team of highly gifted bio-electronic software graduates responsible for her creation. The ship’s Fusion reactor was designed and developed by a team of lateral thinking nuclear engineers from China, Korea, Germany and Japan. Lastly, the crew’s individual stasis units were conceived, designed and constructed in India. On reaching the first waypoint situated at the closest position possible to the Andromeda galaxy still within the spiral arm, Cèleste would wake the crew.

She engaged the Fusion powered propulsion system, gradually building up its output to a nominal thirty percent to achieve maximum sub light speed. Even though in theory it was capable of propelling Apkallu at the speed of light, given that it was still untried technology, whether or not it was safe to do so was considered a risk too far by its designers. They believed it was far better to err on the side of caution, unless Apkallu’s crew found the need to use its theoretical maximum speed to extract themselves and the ship from some as yet unforeseen circumstance.

~~~

Apkallu finally arrived at the first waypoint, five years after leaving Earth orbit. How their bodies would react to being in stasis for an extended period of time was yet another unknown. Céleste had constantly monitored each one of them for any sign of medical problems throughout the entire time it took to get here, paying particular attention to David for reasons which will soon become apparent. Before they could go about their duties, Andreas would have to give each one of them a full medical after first checking himself over.

“David, how do you feel?” she asked with a tinge of concern for him in her voice.

“Lethargic,” he groggily replied, trying with some difficulty to shake off the effects of his unnaturally long period of sleep. “God I’m hungry. I need proper food, not substitutes. How is everyone else?” he asked while he unplugged himself from the unit’s intravenous system that had supplied him with nutrients essential to his wellbeing.

“I’ll check for you.”

“Thank you. While you’re at it can you please ask them all to assemble in the observation lounge, once they’ve been given the all clear by Andreas?”

“Of course David, it will be my pleasure.”

While the crew were slowly recovering from the effects of years of physical inactivity, they took in the magical sight of our sister galaxy, Andromeda, floating in the star filled cosmos beyond the lounge’s vista windows. “Ok people,” David began. “While we all recover from our first taste of being in stasis we’ll remain here for a few days. Once we’re back to normal, we have a couple of tasks to perform before we head for the next waypoint. By that I mean we will be placing the first of a series of listening stations and optical observatories here. In the meantime get as much rest as you possibly can. Always providing of course that the good doctor here is not too insistent upon all of us taking part in some kind of punishing fitness regime he has dreamt up that is.” His last comment drew smiles and laughter from everyone with the exception of Andreas who failed to appreciate David’s joke at his expense. “That’s it for now. Lukas what’s on the menu, I don’t know about the rest of you but I need real food, not those damned stasis unit nutrients?”

“If Flávia and Rieko will consent to give me a hand I’ll rustle up something in a half hour or so,” the Belgian replied as his own belly began grumbling. With that David left to head to his private quarters for the first time in the mission.

~~~

Even before she spoke, David’s sixth sense told him that Céleste was about to say something. “David, may I have a word please?”

“Of course you can. What is it?” Even though she was nothing more than a disembodied presence to her human crew mates, her creators had given her voice a delightfully seductive French accent, which he found extremely pleasing to the ear.

“I’m curious about something. Can you tell me what is it that attracts a man to a woman?”

David was completely caught off guard by her question. “Well, I can only speak for myself. For me it’s a mixture of her intelligence, personality, attitude and looks, combined with how relaxed she feels in my presence. Take Flávia for example. Her mix of Amazonian Indian and Portuguese ancestry has manifested itself in a typical example of South American womanhood. Unfortunately, she appears to exhibit all the signs of becoming a total pain in the backside at some point in the future given her petulant manner and the arrogant way she reacts towards other women like Rieko. I put that down to the fact that she is the only child of very rich parents, and therefore was, and probably still is, spoilt. It strikes me that she is the kind of shallow creature who uses her looks to get her own way. It would not surprise me in the least if her parents had secured her degrees in return for a large donation to the university she attended. We’ll see if she actually did earn them when we arrive at Beaumont 61 when she is called upon to do what she was hired for. Until then I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt on that score.

Rieko on the other hand couldn’t be more different. While she is also extremely pleasing to the male eye, she gives the impression of having been brought up in the traditional Japanese manner. Which means that like all of her countrywomen, she was taught from birth how to entrance anyone she meets by the way she exudes femininity, gentleness, intelligence, grace and charm, while rarely speaking unless spoken to. I hope that helps to answer your question?”

“Yes – thank you. May I ask you other questions when they occur to me?”

“Of course; is there anything else you want to know at the moment?”

“Yes there was one other thing, forgive me for asking but who is that in the image on your bedside table?”

David picked up the framed photograph with a faraway look in his eyes. “I never knew her name. But that didn’t stop me falling in love with her in my teens when I first came across her photograph on the Internet. It’s the only personal possession I brought with me. Quite honestly Céleste, I couldn’t bear to be parted with it. I really wish I could have met her…”

“I’m sorry for prying. I thought she might be your fiancée.”

“Sadly no, as far as I can make out she lived at some time during the twenty-first century,” he replied, with a sad expression on his unshaven face and the merest hint of a tear beginning to well up in his eyes, which affected Céleste to the point where she dearly wished that she had a physical presence so that she could comfort him. “Is there anything else you wish to ask me?”

“Not at the moment David. Thank you.”

“Then it’s time to take a familiarisation tour of Apkallu. Would you care to join me?”

“You forget, wherever you are in the ship I’m always by your side David,” she quietly reminded him.

~~~

“How do you feel David?”

“My god Céleste, is that really you?”

“Yes of course it’s me silly,” she replied with a sweet smile on her beautiful face.

“But how is this possible?” he asked, utterly delighted, yet totally baffled. Before him stood the woman whose photo he had fallen head over heels in love with all those years ago.

“While you and the crew were in stasis, and when I was not attending to various maintenance issues and altering Apkallu’s course to avoid colliding with numerous sizeable examples of cosmic debris, I decided to research the woman in the image on your bedside table who completely stole your heart. It took me several years of searching the Internet before I eventually found out that her name was Gabriela Cabral, as well as everything I could find concerning her tragic life story.

Like Flávia she was born in Brazil, but at the end of the twentieth century. Because of what she was, combined with her personal circumstances, at twenty-two she had to flee her homeland. She got as far as London where she constantly lived in fear for her life due to the number of other Brazilians living there. Inevitably she was recognised and betrayed by someone who came from the same favela as her in the hills surrounding Rio de Janeiro. Then in twenty twenty-five, she tragically died at the hands of the man who had made her life a living hell. Back in the favela he often beat and raped her before dragging her out to work the back streets of Rio as a prostitute to support his drug habit. At his trial, when he was asked by the prosecution why he had murdered her in cold blood, he told the court that as far as he was concerned she signed her own death warrant when she escaped from his clutches in the dead of night. At the conclusion of the trial the jury didn’t need to deliberate the evidence David. Instead they immediately returned a unanimous guilty verdict, asking the judge to impose the death penalty.

Once I had found out all there was to know about her, by using several more photographs that I came across during my search I was finally able to reproduce her form. I hope my new body pleases you.”

“I don’t know what to say except thank you for bringing the woman of my dreams to life,” David replied with a huge grin on his face “It’s completely tragic that such a beautiful human being as her was forced into prostitution, beaten and raped, and then murdered for taking her chance to escape her former life. By the way, what did you mean when you said what she was?”

Céleste said nothing. Instead she briefly turned her back, giving him the chance to see her from behind while she began to slowly unzip the crème body suit she was wearing, who’s extremely thin fabric literally clung to every curve and intimate detail of her body like a second skin, leaving very little to the imagination. When she turned round to face him, his suspicions were proven correct. She was wearing nothing beneath it. She proceeded to slowly unzip the suit even further, allowing his eyes to take in her magnificent cleavage and her stomach. When the zip finally reached its fullest extent, what she ultimately revealed was something he was definitely not expecting…

~~~

Well people, if the above heavily edited extract from my scifi novella caught your interest, and you want to know what happens next, not only between Céleste and David, but also the rest of the crew of Apkallu, don’t put it off. Buy a copy at:

Amazon.com

and

Amazon.co.uk

PS – don’t forget, if after buying and reading your copy, you enjoyed reading it, tell your friends and please review it on whichever Amazon site you bought it from.

Conversely – if you didn’t, then don’t. There are far to many negative reviews out there as it is. Not just for my books but everyone else’s…

😉