Was it truly worth my while?

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

It never is. But then again I suppose it entirely depends on your point of view. With just thirty-seven copies taken over the five days of the giveaway, you would be forgiven for wondering if it was worth while setting up the exercise.

However, what having a five day giveaway does do at the very least is to make one or two more individuals aware of your writing, even though they normally wouldn’t dream of looking for your work because your one of those dreadful Indie persons who publishes computer files and not real books…

If one or two of those individuals who got themselves a free copy over the past five days, actually bother to read and review it, then perhaps it did do some good after all. Despite everything, I must remain optimistic. After all, for my sins, I am a full time writer.

From my personal point of view there is one positive when it comes to low numbers. It pretty well guarantees that the usual crop of brain-dead individuals who hate any book they’ve read for nothing, will not be venting their spleens about it on Amazon or its adopted child Goodreads any time soon!

Would I ever suggest holding a five day free giveaway of your book or books to any other writer? Not really. I’m sure you will agree that the kind of individual who thinks that spending US$2.99 is too much to pay for an e-book, preferring instead to get it for nothing, is hardly the kind of individual we hardworking writers wish to encourage.

The tightwads will be out of luck when I publish my current historical fiction WIP Autumn 1066 as a paperback later this year. There will be no free copies, other than those I give to my crop of beta readers! Nor will I be spending hundreds of pounds having an eye catching cover created for it, unless it’s initially bought in its thousands, (not much chance of that happening these days for an extremely short historical fiction)! Having said that, if it does sell well as a plain covered paperback, purely because of its content, I will consider publishing it in Kindle form, and having a glossy cover especially designed for it.

Let’s face facts, if a story doesn’t sell itself, there is no point whatsoever in pouring good money after bad by trying to improve its visual packaging in an attempt to make it stand out from the crowd in an already saturated marketplace! The only publications with pretty pictures I know that sell well are called glossy magazines or Bimbo fodder to you and I. When it comes to pictorial covers, those of us who have been in this game for several decades are all guilty of changing them in the past, hoping to shift more copies. Does it majorly improve any book’s chances? Rarely if ever…

Several of my writer friends still constantly change their book covers hoping to catch the prospective reader’s eye. Obviously they have more money than sense. Certainly more than I can lay my hands on. I tried it last year and I’ve yet to get back the considerable amount of money I spent on the above cover through sales. Before you ask, no you do not earn royalties from giveaways, nor pages read of free copies as far as I’m aware!!!

Click on the above link in red to buy your copy from Amazon.com.

😉

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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

😦

Cataclysm

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The following is the opening scene in another scifi novella of mine, born out of one of my short stories. Imagine if you will, meeting someone who to all intent and purpose, looks and acts like a woman, but isn’t. Imagine falling in love with her, or should that read in lust? Put yourself in the shoes of the story’s extremely naive hero. How would you react to her, let alone what is happening across the world?

~~~

When the breakthrough finally happened in September 2097, Dr Gilbert Briggs, the new head of the UK Advanced Science Institute, based in the English city of Norwich, volunteered to be the first human guinea pig. No one knew if he would survive. The Institute’s more senior academics instantly took a dislike to him, mainly because of his youth and fresh approach to experimental science. Since becoming his subordinates, they all secretly hoped he would be disassembled on a molecular level forever. As the boss, he was adamant that no one but him would be the first to travel back in time.

Three years earlier he had been employed as a very junior postdoctoral researcher at the Institute when the rudiments of time travel shifted from pure theory to a practical attempt at building a working device. There was one thing none of his detractors could deny, no matter how much they may loath him – he was a gifted academic with a superb analytical mind. He had achieved two first class doctorates at the University of East Anglia, one in theoretical physics, and the other in experimental electrical engineering.

For years the only attempt at time travel in its other guise, teleportation, barely succeeded when a few particles were moved from one teleporter to another. Whether or not they had altered irrevocably was the subject of much debate within the academic world back in the first decade of this the twenty-first century. Up until that moment teleportation was only possible within the realms of science fiction. But like all the fantastic, seemingly impossible things dreamt up by imaginative writers, time travel was about to become a reality.

The successful breakthrough was finally achieved when a laboratory rat was sent from one teleportation unit, lost for a few brief seconds, before reappearing at the other unit, seemingly unharmed by the experience. That was five years ago. Now the long awaited next step could be taken thanks to Briggs’ brilliant breakthrough – the Teleportation Gate.

The time had come to send a human test subject to a place and time in the past and return them intact to the present. The notion of travelling forward in time was ruled out simply because without a reference point in the future, there was no guaranteeing that it would be successful. Common sense dictated that at least by choosing a known place and time in the past, the chances of success were almost assured.

The Institute’s most senior academic, Professor Malcolm, exhibited his academic jealousy by sharing his grave misgivings over his former juniors’ momentous breakthrough with anyone who would listen, largely without success. Since the movers and shakers in the academic world had shifted their gaze away from him towards young Briggs, Malcolm did his level best through his dwindling contacts in the academic old boy’s network to expose him as nothing more than a charlatan and an upstart. While publically backing his young boss; privately, like his colleagues, he hoped Briggs would die during the inaugural attempt.

~~~

Briggs was suitably attired for the occasion in clothes of the period he was about to go to. All evidence of anything twenty-first century was removed from him. The only item he would take from the present was the minute electronic device, another of his innovative designs, which in effect was a miniaturised homing beacon that sat hidden beneath the skin at the nape of his neck, enabling the Institute technicians to lock on, and hopefully return him.

Briggs was being sent back to eleventh century England. His mission was to observe all that unfolded on the momentous day at Hastings when the decisive battle of the Norman invasion took place. Even though the battle is well documented, how true the reports actually were was anyone’s guess. If nothing else, at least he would separate fact from poetic license. It was heavily emphasised by the Institute’s historical research department that under no circumstances was he to participate in any way shape or form other than mere observation. Should he do so, he may inadvertently change history.

Briggs was about to step into the unknown. Gathering up his leather shoulder bag and wooden staff, with trepidation he strode towards the Teleportation Gate. The operators checked that his chip’s homing signal was being received, before pre-setting the destination date and place. Nodding that he was ready, he stood patiently waiting for the process to begin. The technicians checked over all of the Gate’s failsafe systems one last time. Then at his command, the teleporter’s power slowly began to build.

His body began to tingle, not in an unpleasant way. Every atom of his very being was excited by the process as the Gate slowly disassembled him before sending him back in time.

~~~

Before he realized it he found himself standing on a small mound at the edge of the Great Weald – the massive forest that still covered the English countryside back then, behind Senlac ridge where the Anglo-Saxon army’s vast shield wall stood. The date was October 14th 1066.

His mind drew comparisons between the empty eleventh century countryside he was now observing and the heavily populated East Sussex of the late twenty-first century that he knew. Taking a deep breath of sweet unpolluted fresh air, he lifted his hand to shield his eyes while taking in the scene before him.

In the far distance immediately below where the Anglo-Saxon army stood defiant, Briggs could see Norman cavalrymen on their horses. Behind them were the foot soldiers and archers of the invading army from across the Channel.

By landing his invasion force at Pevensey, Duke William of Normandy had forced England’s King Harold into a bloody showdown. His Norman army marched the relatively few kilometres up from the beach after hearing that Harold had just arrived and was assembling his army in readiness for battle.

Briggs stared in utter amazement at the very real, and tall figure, out of England’s historical past – the Anglo-Saxon king Harold, seated on his horse a little way behind his shield wall.

A body of heavily armed bearded fyrdmen walked out of the forest behind Briggs bringing him back to reality. “What are you doing here lad? You should be down there with our brothers, not skulking up here on the hill like a coward!”

Briggs felt rough hands haul him to his feet. A spear point dug into his back as he was prodded down the hill towards the shield wall. Despite the passage of time, Briggs could understand the old English that his accuser spoke, or at least enough of the words to get the sense of what he was saying.

“Here’s another volunteer my lord,” his accuser informed Earl Gyrth, brother of King Harold, and the Housecarl in charge of the shield wall. A sword and shield were thrust into Brigg’s unwilling hands…

~~~

If you want to know what happens next, you know what to do. Buy your copy from your nearest Amazon outlet. One other thing, don’t forget that if you do enjoy it – review it! The following links are the two main ones:

Amazon.com

and

Amazon.co.uk

Two more reviews…

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Despite everything here are a two more reviews – this time from Amazon Australia

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I loved reading Celeste, where for me Star Trek meets a more current way of thinking, keeping it smaller and simpler in some ways yet much more complex and deep in others. Fascinating turns everywhere from steamy relationships, danger, a ship that comes to life, to meeting different yet familiar entities that have mastered the power of thoughts. A nice not seen before (by me) creative touch at the end, and yes, l would like to find out what happens after, hint, hint 😉
PollyEsther

 

By Chris Graham TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 March 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

A well thought out Space Trek, brief but plausible encounters with Aliens, touching on why they don’t seem to be keen on contacting us, the evolution of an Artificial Intelligence, a look at the origins of some ancient myths and a touch of Romance.
All the boxes are ticked in this latest Sci-Fi tale from author Jack Eason.
Will there be a sequel?
I’d like to think so.
~~~
The top revue is from PollyEster in Australia. The second is from our hairy friend Chris Graham aka The Story Reading Ape here in the UK. Both of them are followers of my blog. For which I am eternally grateful.
A few more positive reviews like these and I might just be tempted to write a sequal. So get buying and reading people…
😉

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.

~~~

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…

😉

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

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Now for my latest science fiction novella

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Falling in love is always complicated especially for a disembodied artificial intelligence like Céleste, aboard the exploratory spaceship Apkallu. For her to be able to physically express her love for the man who means so much to her will be impossible to achieve, or will it?

~~~

Eason’s best work yet, his new book Céleste combines romance and science fiction in a story that has a twist on every page – Nicholas Rossis

Romance beyond the stars abounds in this sensuous sci-fi, entwined with mission, morals and lust. Eason takes us to a place where human desire dwells in mankind and aliens alike, no matter how many light years away – D.G. Kaye

Jack Eason never rests. When he is not knee deep in archaeology, or wandering around forests in elf fables, he is busy combining sci-fi with a little added romantic spice – Derek Haines

~~~

Céleste – a review
I’ve been following Eason for a while now, and have read most of his books. Like most of us, he has a few central themes that dominate his writing. In his case, these include the idea of aliens having helped humanity advance – aliens whose names survived the ages in the guise of gods.
Another theme is human greed and the devastation this will inevitably cause on our planet. Eason is convinced we will be forced to explore other planets to ensure the survival of our species, whether we like it or not.
His last passion is relationships, especially those breaking traditional gender boundaries. Humanity’s sexuality is fluid, and Eason enjoys reminding us of this fact.
These core themes of his are all present in Céleste. Without revealing too much, humanity’s hopes at finding a new home face two unexpected twists.
First, the ship’s AI not only becomes sentient, but also falls in love with the mission leader. Realizing that a non-corporeal relationship can only entice a human so much, she creates a body for herself, and starts exploring what it means to be human.
The second twist is a surprising encounter with a deadly threat, left over from an ancient conflict. This leads the team to a meeting with one of mankind’s early gods. As expected, this god has her own agenda, and soon humanity’s explorers are embroiled in a war they’re woefully ill-prepared for. All they have is their wits and Céleste.
In my opinion, this is Eason’s best book so far. Some of his previous books offered too much background information in conversations, which can lead to unnatural dialogue. This is kept to a minimum in Céleste ,and the book benefits greatly from it.
If you’ve enjoyed Eason’s works in the past, you’ll love Céleste . It builds on his trademark combination of science fiction and wild romance, touching upon universal themes such as love and humanity’s past – and future.

Nicholas Rossis- author of the Perseus series

~~~

on February 26, 2016
In this science fiction tale of intrigue, love and unexpected female hormones, the crew of the Apkallu has their hands full!
Celeste is an artificial intelligence whose body is the spaceship the crew travels in. Becoming interested in the human emotion of love she soon begins to evolve into a fascinating temptress. Fabricating an android type body, she soon has the whole crew evaluating their relationships.
In a detailed and interesting voyage, the crew seeks to fulfill their mission of finding a new home planet. An encounter with ancient aliens brings to light some old Earth history and another shift in the crew.
An even paced story that will keep you wondering what is around the next star. And just when you are sure there is going to be a happy ending after all the adventure and love, there is a twist.
on March 20, 2016
An easy science fiction read with plenty of twists. Any book I enjoy reading from cover to cover in one hit is a good book! I look forward to a sequel!

~~~

To obtain your own ebook copy, click on the appropriate Amazon link:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Céleste’s Latest Review

3d e-book

Céleste just got her latest review. This time from none other than Chris The Story Reading Ape. 😉

~~~

Format: Kindle Edition

A well thought out Space Trek, brief but plausible encounters with Aliens, touching on why they don’t seem to be keen on contacting us, the evolution of an Artificial Intelligence, a look at the origins of some ancient myths and a touch of Romance.
All the boxes are ticked in this latest Sci-Fi tale from author Jack Eason.
Will there be a sequel?
I’d like to think so.
~~~
Thanks Chris. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
😉