Destiny’s Daughter by Anthony Sunderland
She is pitched straight into her first assignment. An alien craft has been shot down, and an alien, a ‘Greae’ captured by the military. The creature communicates telepathically with Dawn to warn her that a young boy is trapped in the blazing wreckage of the craft.After rescuing the child Dawn wanders off alone in search of the co-pilot. She finds it in a cave, injured and afraid. She sits down, hugs the creature gently, whispers, “I won’t let anyone hurt you.” Then snaps its neck.What is the dark secret Dawn is hiding from the FBI, what was the boy was doing onboard the alien ship, and what is the shocking truth about why Dawn murdered the alien? Can she keep her true nature a secret?The Destiny’s Daughter alien mystery series will follow Dawn’s adventures at the heart of the FBI’s elite alien hunters. They will investigate sightings and encounters with strange creatures, unexplained events, and experience terrifying adventures and confrontations.
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’59 Valiant – Part Two by Anthony Sunderland
All contact with the two ships on the Icarus mission to Proxima Centauri has been lost. Twenty year old Janine Lewis hates her brother Sean for the accident that left her beloved ‘Uncle’ David Stirling, commandant of the space academy, in a wheelchair. She also despises him as a coward. When Sean refuses to re-enlist as an astronaut to search for their missing father, Janine vows to Join the academy, against her mother, Cindy’s, wishes.
418 days after the mission launch the Valiant returned to our solar system, badly damaged. The sole survivor died in the arms of the rescue crew before she could tell them what happened.
Janine’s search for her father looks doomed before it has even started. She faces envy from other cadets, as well as hostility and jealousy from lecturers and officers envious of her father’s reputation and fame.
A vicious fight with another cadet, and the continuing hostility between them threatens to have both women thrown out of the academy in disgrace.
Prospects for finding the missing ship deteriorate drastically after the search mission’s lead ship explodes on reaching light speed.
With Janine facing setbacks and abuse from all sides, Cindy vows to keep a terrible secret from her daughter.
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’59 – Part One by Anthony Sunderland
January 24th 2059: The exploration ships Intrepid and Valiant set sail on the first mission to Proxima Centauri. Finally the stars were within our reach. We would step out onto unexplored worlds, in our quest to reach out into the galaxy in search of exciting discoveries and new life.
Mission Commander Donald Lewis promised his daughter Janine that he would return from the nineteen month mission in plenty of time for her twenty first birthday.He never came home.Janine vowed to discover her father’s fate, no matter what it might cost her. This is a quest that will test young Janine’s courage and resolve to their very limits. A journey fraught with massive obstacles and terrible dangers at every turn.
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Why I Write by Anthony Sunderland
It is amazing when and where life changing moments can occur. There is no accounting for random acts that can drastically alter your life’s course or give you a purpose you could never have dreamed of previously.
My defining moment came about when I was watching the idiot box. I had always loved Buffy TVS, but the season one finale just totally blew me away. Sarah Michelle Gellar went through just about every emotion under the sun in a forty two minute tour de force.
I had seen other brilliant performances before and was a fan of several actors and liked to se everything that they were in, but until that moment I could never understand why so many people go nuts about any performer – whether actor, sportsperson, or musician.
I certainly couldn’t understand why people want to collect everything that celebrities appear on or put their names to. That’s not a confession that I went mad buying everything Buffy all of a sudden. I did want one of the lifesize cut outs but quite honestly was too tight to buy it. One large poster does have pride of place in my house. But that’s the lot, I swear!
I can’t remember exactly when that life changing decision occurred. Right then, the next day, or the next week, but something inside me clicked. I decided, or a passion awakened, that I wanted to write a screenplay as fantastic as the one I had witnessed. I wanted to write something so great that it would test Sarah Michelle’s incredible talent to its limit. Something so good that as soon as she read the script she would be begging to play the part.
If you had told me then how difficult it is to write a great screenplay, never mind how tough it is to sell it, then I would have probably ditched the foolish idea right there and then. Fortunately, or not, nobody did. It has been incredibly difficult to learn about the techniques of writing, and the technical aspects, formatting, presentation etc, and great fun. It has also been a time consuming and expensive education, but a choice I’ve never regretted.
I have written four full length big budget screenplays on spec. here’s another harsh lesson: nobody told me beforehand how expensive they are to produce.
So my next step was to look at producing a graphic novel as a web series. This was just before Hollywood started snapping up everything graphic novel and before the House of Mouse paid $billions for Marvel. See, I can think ahead of my time.
Unfortunately life got in the way. No excuses here. To some degree I let it. Looking back I wasn’t either focused enough or daring enough. Not willing to commit fully for fear of falling on my face.
I eventually found two enthusiastic art students at Calderdale College, Anna and Kelsey, who have produced some great design concepts. I found a very talented artist who could produce the exact look and feel that I wanted. His price of 20K for the project was reasonable, but he wanted half up front. A deal breaker.
After that I was promised the Earth by a group of designers who simple spent the next six months trashing and redoing the great concept artwork that I already had. Arghh!!
Up until this point I had ignored the Kindle although I had heard of some of the success stories. I still wanted to write for the screen, to describe images and have other people make them come alive.
Part of me remembered a piece of advice from a screen writing workshop regarding the difference between writing a screenplay and a novel. For the script you just need to write “A typical Bangkok whorehouse,” and then it is someone else’s job to create that exact set. For a novel you have to describe it, in as few words as possible, in such detail that your mother would grasp the feel and smell of the place without ever having stepped inside one.
No, I really didn’t fancy the idea of putting that much effort into writing a story.
So why have I ended up with four novella length stories published on the Kindle? Numbers 5 & 6 are on their way shortly. Because it is my passion to tell these stories. I won’t quit unless or until I have exhausted every possible avenue of producing and marketing them.
I may not be the fastest or most brilliant person at doing things, but I keep on going when all the easy pickings, and instant riches seekers have given up and moved on to pursue the next shiny object. I really hate giving up. I am still standing, battling to achieve my dream.
P.S. None of the characters in the two sci fi series I’ve published so far are inspired by Sarah Michelle Gellar.
About the Author
Anthony is an electrician living and working in Yorkshire in the UK. He was inspired to start writing after watching the seaon one finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
He likes watching and playing most sports from pool and snooker to football and badminton. He’ll try most extrme sports, including parachuting, bungee jumping, fire-eating, and is a qualified glider pilot. Diving with sharks and bungee jumping off a bridge or cable car are on the to do list.
Anthony has written four full length screenplays on spec and is publishing the Sci Fi epic ’59 and the Destiny’s Daughter alien mysterys series on the Kindle. His goal is to see his work on the big screen.
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Max & The Gatekeeper by James Todd Cochrane
For me, writing is an adventure. I am one of those authors who knows pieces of a story but not how the whole thing fits together. It must be the way my muse likes to toy with me. Give me a little information so that I have to start writing to see what happens. So, when I write the rough draft, it’s as if I’m reading the story for the first time.
As a young adult author, I have had a chance to visit with over seventy schools in eight states. Meeting with people who like your books has to be the second best thing about being an author. The students are who have motivated me to keep writing. I’ve actually had a couple of classes help me develop characters that have been incorporated into my stories.
Currently, I am working on The Dark Society (Max and the Gatekeeper Book IV). I am hoping to have it ready for spring or early summer of 2013. This has been the hardest of the four books to write as I am tying in current events happening around the world into the story. This added with the fact that I have a lot more subplots in this story are making it a complex book to write.
I have ideas for five books in the Max and the Gatekeeper series. I have several other stories which are unrelated to Max and the Gatekeeper rattling around in my brain. I hope to start on one of those in the next couple of months. One is a science fiction that wasn’t intended to be a young adult novel, but I have thought of a way to make it for young adults.
I currently live in Madison, Wisconsin and am taking sailing lessons. I am know wondering if I can think of a pirate adventure or maybe some kind of horror at sea. Water can be dark and mysterious but also life giving and full of promise. There are lots of stories waiting to be written.
James Todd Cochrane was born in Fremont, California. He received his BA from Utah State University, where he majored in Business Information Systems with a minor in German.
A writer since elementary school, he published his first novel, Max and the Gatekeeper, in 2007. The sequels, The Hourglass of Souls and The Descendant and the Demon’s Fork, followed
He now lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where he writes part-time while working as a computer programmer.
His first novel, Max and the Gatekeeper, is on the Accelerated Readers List and was a 2010-2011 Alaska Battle Book.
Connect with James:
Max & The Gatekeeper
A war has been waging for centuries; a magical and technological battle between good and evil. This conflict will affect life everywhere, but not everyone is aware it exists. When twelve-year old Max Rigdon is sent to stay with his grandfather for the summer, he unwillingly enters the fight.
The day Max steps off the bus he is marked with an evil curse and immediately becomes the target of evil men and creatures with designs on ruling the universe. Not only does this curse cause Max physical pain but it allows his enemies to track and find him. He soon learns that the reason for this unwanted attention is because his grandfather is the keeper of a gateway; a powerful machine that makes travel to hundreds of strange unknown worlds possible. The enemy will do anything to gain possession of this power in their quest to control all worlds.
With the help of his friend Cindy and others, Max must quickly learn the necessary skills to survive if he is to avoid the deadly trap that has been planned for him and his grandfather. A trap that has been decades in the making with Max as the missing piece. If successful it will change life as we know it.
The Undead Meet High-Tech in S.W. Tanpepper’s GAMELAND
Without a doubt, the cold undead are hot commodities right now. Zombie Walks are scheduled from coast to coast, often in conjunction with apocalyptic conventions. The Walking Dead series is hugely popular on television and zombie literature is enjoying a wave of immense popularity. A quick look at GoodReads and you’ll find a half dozen very active zombie groups, not to mention a couple dozen more where zombies and their fans have infiltrated.
What’s all the fuss about?
How many different ways could there be to tell a story where the main characters try to avoid being eaten by their once-living brethren? Apparently, quite a lot. The reason is because zombies aren’t simply antagonists. They aren’t Lex Luthers or Voldemorts or Magnetos. Most zombies do not have special powers or strengths or speed. They’re actually kinda dumb and slow. And stinky. They don’t glisten in the sunlight, so they don’t make for good romance stories. Usually.
Zombies are inherently metaphoric.
Even without special powers, the Undead still somehow find a way to represent any of the seven classic plot antagonists. They are symbols of man’s struggles against himself and nature; against science and the supernatural; against religion, man, and environment. Perhaps it is because of their lack of defining attributes that make them such a powerful and adaptable antagonist.
GAMELAND is about societal, economic, technological and governmental developments.
Science is not inherently evil. I know this because before writing fiction, I was a geneticist. I helped develop new viruses and new medicines to better the human condition. But the power scientists can wield is immense and could be easily abused. When I wrote the short horror story Gologtha (which ended up becoming the prequel to the world of GAMELAND), I set out to tell a simple tale of scientific research gone horribly awry, both intentionally and accidentally. Science, hand in hand with the military, created the Undead. Science, with the best intentions of Mankind in mind, only made the situation worse. Thankfully, we live in a world where these things are highly unlikely to come to pass.
Out of Golgotha came GAMELAND. It’s fifteen years later and Jessie, the daughter of the man who helped create zombies, finds herself in the dubious company of other young computer gamers and hackers. They reside on the fringes of society by virtue of their economic status (and, in Jessie’s case, the destruction of her family and its reputation), fringes that are, ironically, comprised of the majority of the country’s population. Can we say 99%? Oh, and the country itself has become fractured, broken apart because of disagreements between States on how to utilize the Undead to make life easier for the living.
Long Island has been long abandoned to the Undead after an outbreak there forced a rapid evacuation thirteen years earlier. The disease is tenuously managed and the Infected controlled by mandatory neural implants, which everyone receives while still alive. Life expectancy is regulated and capped, and taxes are minimized because zombies have been pressed into civil and military service.
Along comes Arc Properties, a megalithic corporation with their hands in everything from biotech to high tech and the government. They’ve built a gaming arcade on Long Island called Gameland, and the rich and privileged get to “buy” zombie Players to act out their primal violent fantasies, which the underprivileged get to witness second-hand. Entertainment is big money, and nothing raises ratings better than violence. Jessie and her gang decide to break in, and Arc doesn’t want them to leave.
What ensues is a dark drama that will eventually be played out on a world stage, but for the kids, surviving is all that matters. In the course of trying to escape, they struggle against each other, against their inner demons, against ideologies and societal complacencies. They battle the natural environment. And, of course, they battle the Undead. Yes, there is gore, but it’s not featured as it is in most zombie survival stories. Gore is not what this story is about. It’s about characters living in a world where values have all gone to whack and hope becomes the only currency left to spend.
Given the epic scale of the story and the necessity for “room” to develop the many themes and characters occupying it, I chose to serialize the book. This current story arc (season?) begins with the group deciding to break into Long Island and will end with their final escape. Not all of them will survive, however; and not all of their motivations will be revealed. Along the way, they’ll learn a lot about themselves and the world, and, hopefully, so will GAMELAND’s readers. One new episode will be published on the first of each month from May thru December 2012.
Six young tech-savvy gamers and hackers break into Long Island’s Gameland, a militarized wasteland abandoned for years to the Infected Undead. The island is in the process of being reclaimed by a government-backed company hoping to profit by creating a reality survival gaming arena using neurologically-controlled zombies. But while breaking into The Game turns out to be a lot easier than they could ever have imagined, breaking out is one hell of a killer.
[NB: a free sneak peek at the entire series is located here: http://www.tanpepperwrites.com/gameland-sneak-peek.html]
Deep Into The Game (Episode 1; ~50K words)
Jessie and her gang of game jackers discover a way to break into Gameland, but it requires the assistance of an outsider whose inclusion raises tensions within the group, particularly between Jessie and her boyfriend, Kelly. After a nearly-fatal accident during preparation, emotions run dangerously high, but they stubbornly push on. What they don’t know is that one of them has a secret reason for going, and it doesn’t involve any of them returning any time soon.
Failsafe (Episode 2; ~50K words)
Jessie and Kelly clash after one of their group gets stranded among the Infected Undead, forcing Kelly to make a rash decision which will ultimately deliver them into the hands of those who would turn them all into mindless players in The Game.
Deadman’s Switch (Episode 3; ~52K words)
Unable to escape from Long Island because of the failsafe device implanted inside their brains, the group digs in until they can devise a way to neutralize it. Jessie is anointed as their leader despite Jake’s claims that she is unfit. A final desperate attempt is made to leave, setting into motion a sequence of events that will result in one of them dead, another infected, and all of them running for their lives.
Sunder the Hollow Ones (Episode 4; release 1 August 2012)
Four members of the group attempt to break into the Arc mainframe in Gameland following a mutiny that leaves them all physically and emotionally torn apart. Jessie becomes haunted by memories of her father’s death, and it’s only by the grace of a new friend and her own inner strength that she is able to lay some of her fears to rest.
Saul spent his formative years in a leaky hundred-year-old house overlooking the Erie Canal in Upstate New York. His bedroom was a refurbished attic, which he shared with all manner of creatures, not all, he is convinced, entirely flesh and blood.
After bouncing around the US and Europe for several years, he settled down to pursue a career in the sciences, opting to study the mysteries of human molecular genetics. But despite success in research, as a teacher, manager and biotech entrepreneur, he eventually returned to his true passion of writing speculative fiction.
He now writes full time from his home in the San Francisco Bay Area. He continues to be haunted by a variety of creatures, including a wife, kids, four dogs, three cats, six chickens, a wayward rooster, and one very grumpy possum. They are all flesh and blood.
Except, maybe, for the possum, which he’s convinced is the reincarnated spirit of Jack Torrance.
Lunara: Seth & Chloe by Wyatt Davenport
Lunara, a small colony on Earth’s moon, is charged with catching and mining meteors for desperately needed minerals. But the deep-seated human thirst for domination is not easily defeated, nor is the capacity for deceit and betrayal. All it needs is a powerful catalyst, a prize valuable enough to risk plunging mankind into another destructive war.
Parker McCloud and his friends, Seth and Chloe, are caught up in a violent series of events when Lunara is invaded. On Mars, Parker, Seth, Chloe, and the crew of the Protector attempt to sort out who is responsible, where the tide of suspicion swings back and forth between Aethpis and Zephyria.
In the end, we see barbarism by the leaders of Mars, great courage by the crew of the Protector, and immense valor by the military on Lunara in adventure one in an exciting new series.
Available for Purchase
XO by Sherrie Conin
XO is an ancient organization that prefers to stay hidden. Yet, when a young Nigerian seeking her captive sister draws upon unusual powers to forge a link with an unwilling Texan geophysicist, x0 reconsiders. As the sister becomes a strategic pawn in a bizarre conspiracy, the two women and x0 form an improbable team, cooperating to prevent a fringe fanatic from altering the course of a nation.
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What would you do to save someone you love and what sacrifices would you make? Would you risk your soul?
A phone call at three in the morning begins the journey for Anais from an indie musician to something much more. An earth-shattering secret will change the world as she knows it forever. A decision to fight will change her destiny and give her a mission she never knew existed.
This is the prequel novelette to the new series, The 27 Club.