A Country Of Eternal Light

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Darby Harn and his speculative fiction novel, A Country Of Eternal Light.

Author’s description

“One of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read” – Sunyi Dean, author of The Book Eaters

 

A rogue black hole tears apart the solar system. Mairead’s life is already in pieces.

 

The Earth has less than a year to survive.

 

Asteroids rain hell; earthquakes rattle cities; manic tides swamp coasts. Mairead intends to give herself to the erratic waves that erode her remote Irish island, the same that claimed her child. When Gavin, an American, arrives to scatter his father’s ashes, she becomes torn between wanting for life and death.

 

Despite the tides, fuel shortages, and closing borders that threaten to trap him on the island, Gavin can’t seem to scatter the ashes. He doesn’t know how to let go any more than Mairead does and they find a strange comfort in their confusion.

 

Their affair draws Mairead back to the world of the living, but the longer Gavin stays, the more it seems there might be a future for them. There is no future.

 

Life closes down around them. The world they know shreds. Life drains into an inescapable abyss. And yet Mairead fights, both the gravity of her grief and the restless, dissonant desire to find some kind of peace no matter how brief.

Guest Post

In my books I’ve always have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. So I love to ask authors if there was such a character in their novel.

Darby Harn appears to be as plagued by them as I am, and just as grateful. I loved the details in his answer!

There certainly was.

Aoife (pronounced ‘ee-fah’) came out of nowhere in A Country Of Eternal Light. She is Mairead’s best friend and a fellow nurse, conscripted at least, at the nursing home on their remote Irish island of Inishèan.

She showed up in a brief scene at the home and then kept pushing her way into the rest of the novel. In many ways she’s the comic relief. It’s a dark book. It’s a sober book that deals with very difficult emotions. I think the book wanted for someone like Aoife. Her approach to the end of the world is to simply live her life to the fullest.

She’s more than just the comic relief, though. Aoife became an integral part of the story. She has an arc, which in many ways is as tragic as anyone else’s. Aoife may be the life of the party in many respects, but she also has her share of demons. My absolute favorite scene in the book involves Aoife and Mairead getting through a bad night with some recreational aids and Aoife’s spirit really comes out there. Her inhibitions fall away, or what few she has.

I love the character who is completely unexpected. I have a similar character in my Eververse series of superhero novels, beginning with Ever The Hero. I needed someone to open the door and check in on the heroine, Kit. That turned out to be Abi, and Abi wouldn’t leave the stage. Much like Aoife she became integral and in Abi’s case, she became a pillar of this series as it’s evolved.

I’m a pantser, so most of what I write is intuitive. That has its downsides sometimes, but one of the benefits of discovering your story as you go are characters like Aoife and Abi. I simply can’t imagine the books without them.

 

Darby Harn’s Story

Darby Harn studied at Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland, as part of the Irish Writing Program. He is the author of the sci-fi superhero novel EVER THE HERO. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer, The Coffin Bell and other venues.

Find the Author

Website: darbyharn.com
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/darbyharn
Goodreads: goodreads.com/darby_harn
Twitter: twitter.com/DarbyHarn
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Darby-Harn-255976537767428

Buy the Book

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Country-Eternal-Light-Darby-Harn-ebook/dp/B0921W3QNF

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Ma shuffles into the kitchen, coat on like she’s going somewhere. She sees the radio and remembers.

“Not today,” I say, but she switches it on anyway.

Six past and now time for today’s obituaries. Katie Burke, Kilmurvey, Co. Galway, 14th October, suddenly, sadly missed. Iranian quake toll rises. Russian oil fields under water. The Pope condemns American abortion initiative for all remaining pregnancies. Scientists hold vigil over Saturn, her rings scattered like a snowdrift across a country road. All her moons buckshot. Jupiter suffers the most, swollen and bruised like an aging prizefighter, determined to die in the ring.

The government handed out these little LED tickers. Alarm clocks, like, to put on the refrigerator. Counts down the seconds until the rogue black hole intersects the orbit of earth. A year from now. That’s all we have left.

If that.

The tides will drown us first. One of the comets will hit us. A planet or a moon will, or comes close enough to yank the earth from its orbit. What difference does it make? What difference is cancer? Parkinson’s. A heart attack. A bullet. A car. A black hole. All our deaths are projectiles, hurtling through blood streams or interstellar space or dark coastal roads at targets with no proper sense of the size of the barrel they’re swimming in.

I switch the radio off. “I don’t want to hear this.”

Thank you!

Darby Harn — we appreciate your sharing your book A Country Of Eternal Light with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Code

Today it is my pleasure to welcome authors Jacqueline Ruby and Marcellus Moses and their novel, The Code.

Author’s description

The story of the two entangled stars is well known.

Albert Collins, entomology professor, becomes a social media sensation; the sensation becomes a giant celebrity; the celebrity becomes the “Manliest Man” alive.

The small time gangster, Memphis Smith, becomes a prisoner; the prisoner becomes the new Tupac Shakur; the new Tupac takes the world by storm.

Their parallel rise to fame and their fateful meeting on the Tonight show all played out in real time before their legions of fans and detractors.

Now, for the first time, their inside story, their secret story, is told by those who were closest to them.

Jacqueline (Jack) Ruby, super agent, reveals the methods that allowed Albert Collins to become the most desired man in the world. She takes us behind the scenes to the bankers, film producers and heiresses that made Albert into the very definition of manhood in the 21st. century.

Marcellus Moses does the same for Memphis Smith. He shows us the arrests and prison fights, the raw racism and brilliant talent that made Memphis Number One With A Bullet.

Jacqueline and Marcellus tell their insider accounts to the award winning novelist, Susan Brown, who weaves it altogether in the thunderous adventure of The Code.

My Review

The Code is based on the slick premise that two fictitious characters are allegedly telling the “true story” of how each of them created a celebrity.

Although I struggled with the initial concept of an unknown professor appearing sexy for no particular reason when seen on film, I squelched my inner cynic and read on. I’m glad I did as there is much I appreciated about this novel. Compelling writing. Exquisite details about of the world of celebrities and those who make them. And most impressive of all, an excellent if unforgiving look at our culture.

One of many great quotes:

“Why do your powerful, rich friends want to know me? They already have everything.”

“They have everything but they never have enough. They’re addicted to novelty and the fulfillment of new dreams. You’re the new flavor.”

I also particularly liked Jessica, Albert’s pretension-adverse wife. She plays a fine foil to his growing immersion in his new life and her drab academic research into André Breton’s novel Nadja makes for an almost eerie comparison to Albert’s growing status as a star. 

There were things I liked less, however. I hoped the story would really be told through the eyes of the agents, at least mostly, but it isn’t even close. Although Albert’s agent Jack is involved from the beginning of his tale, most of the telling is done from Albert’s point of view, often involving his thoughts or scenes Jack knows nothing about.  Memphis, on the other hand, doesn’t even meet his agent Marcellus Moses till the second half of the book, making the premise even more flimsy with him. I suppose the reader is supposed to believe these two agents somehow know everything, including their creation’s inner monologues, but my ability to suspend disbelief wouldn’t stretch that far.

I found the brutality of the prison scenes difficult to read. I didn’t expect them and might have passed on the book altogether if I’d known. While I agree some of it was necessary to the story, I think even those with more of a stomach for such things would probably have appreciated it if the author had dialed it back a bit.

Like other novels with fascinating premises, the story is difficult to conclude and the only real option is for it to end as a tragedy. The author finds an interesting and unexpected way to do this, though, and it is one that ties everything together and states her thesis one more time. It works.

About the Authors

JACQUELINE (JACK) RUBY is the founder and CEO of Jack Ruby and Associates, New York’s premiere talent agency. She is the co-author of The Code, a book based on real life events involving celebrity, greed, adultery, vanity, and violence. From the nation’s mansions and universities to TV shows and Instagram accounts, The Code reveals the inner workings of celebrity culture and moral decay permeating it.

MARCELLUS MOSES is the head of Bad Man Records. Among others, he has built and managed the career of Creep-E and Fat Marcus.

Jacqueline and Marcellus tell their insider accounts to the award winning novelist, Susan Brown, who weaves it altogether in the thunderous adventure of The Code.

Find the Author

CONNECT with JACQUELINE (JACK) RUBY at

Website: https://jackrubyauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackrubyauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20241319.Jacqueline_Ruby

Buy the Book

Amazon.com https://amazon.com/dp/0228821444
Amazon.ca https://amazon.ca/dp/0228821444
Kindle https://amazon.com/dp/B087N3753X
Indigo  https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-code/9780228831952-item.html
Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-code-jacqueline-ruby/1136925493
Bookshop https://bookshop.org/books/the-code-9780228821458/9780228821441
Book Depository https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Code-Jacqueline-Ruby-Marcellus-Moses/9780228821441
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-code-30

Yes, there is a giveaway

The authors will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Jack walked behind Albert and put her hands on his shoulders. She started to massage him, kneading the muscles along the top of his back and along the base of his neck.

“Professor,” she said, continuing to work on his shoulders, “Edward has taken all these tweets and YouTube views and Facebook posts and Google searches and analyzed them. Edward, tell us what we know so far.”

Edward tapped the keys on his computer and a large graph appeared.

“Here is the answer to the question ‘who is this man?’ Here’s what people say unprompted. They say simply—just like miraclehoneyful and raviebabe—he’s a man, a real man. He is the man. The remarkable thing about the answer is that it seems to be consistent everywhere. You see all the different segments of the graph: men, women, black, white, gay, straight, Jewish, Christian, atheist. All the same. They agree. Even Democrats and Republicans. The man in the video is the man.” Edward paused.

“But I still have no idea what it means. It’s so vague.”

“What it means is that they read into that figure in the video certain traits and qualities that make up the aspiration of modern manhood,” Jack said.

“And what is modern manhood?”

“Who knows? But they see it in you. They may not know precisely what it is, but they feel you embody it.”

“But I’m not the man. I’m just me, an underachieving, over-mortgaged middle-aged professor, specializing in insects.”

“Ah, but nerds are very sexy right now. Have you ever seen the world’s sexiest math teacher?”

“No. What does that have to do with me?”

Jack looked hard at Albert. Maybe there was a hot nerd angle to be mined. Or maybe not. She would let the great river of social media decide. It was a decision for later.

“Nothing for the moment. But you need to understand that you are much, much more than you think you are,” Jack said, flattering him as she did all her clients.

Thank you!

Thanks for sharing The Code with this blog.

Wired by the FBI

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Glenn Painter and Wired by the FBI, his suspense/thriller based on a true story.

Author’s description:

Christian Romano lives his life as a con-artist, burglar, drug dealer, and a ladies’ man, using his good looks to con wealthy women out of jewels and money. When he is arrested and jailed in one of the most violent jails in the U.S. (Cook County in Chicago), a steamy affair begins with a nympho female jail guard. When he loses control of the romance, Christian must end the affair by reporting her to Internal Affairs. It turns out that she is already under suspicion for supplying drugs to various gang members inside the jail. He has to decide if he is “”rogue”” enough to help set her up for arrest. Meanwhile, the FBI wants to recruit Christian to gather information against a sadist ex-cop, Scott Mason, who has been arrested for murder. The risk? Christian must wear a wire and testify. The reward? Witness protection for Christian and his girlfriend and a modification of his prison sentence. Will Christian risk his life for a chance at freedom? Will the female sheriff “”get even”” with him? Or will his life end at the hands of the jail’s drug lords or a lunatic former cop?

My Review:

In Wired by the FBI the Author Glenn Painter has written a captivating tale taking the reader into the mind and heart of a notorious criminal. Christian Romano is just bad enough you can’t like him, but he has enough compassion and sense of moral code that you can’t hate him either. You end up watching the story of his life with an obsessed fascination, unsure of what constitutes justice or a happy ending.

What I enjoyed:

Glenn Painter does an excellent job of channeling the thoughts and feelings of a man most of us would be hard-pressed to understand. At its best, this tale provides those little details that make Christian human. His sorrow at his brother dying of aids. His love of Chicago. His bold willingness to take down a sadist, and his inability to comprehend cruelty for cruelty’s sake. Even his honesty about his own opportunism and his inability to resist seduction no matter how much he loves his current flame has something endearing about it. You don’t want to see the system squash him like a bug, because the author makes it clear how human he is.

What I struggled with:

Occasionally, the book seemed as if it was name dropping notorious criminals. Sometimes I got tired of the depressing descriptions of life in jail, and got frustrated with the main characters penchant for finding new trouble, or getting himself back into old trouble. I found the second half of the book more difficult than the first.

As the novel concluded, I realized the biggest problem it faced is that even though it is written like a work of fiction, the author is not writing a suspense thriller. He is giving a slightly fictionalized first person account of a real person’s life. He can’t bend reality into a story arc with redemption and a happy ending. Or with a hero’s tragic demise. Or with a bad guy getting his just desserts. Christian’s reality is far more complex than what we expect from fiction, and Glenn Painter is stuck with how it really happened. It isn’t particularly pretty.

To me, the books’ ending isn’t satisfying and at first I was baffled by why the author would invest so much time and energy into telling this story. Then I read his biography (which appears below) and it made more sense.

“He is an advocate for incarcerated individuals who have had their rights violated.”

Indeed, this is a story of such an individual. By the end of the book the reader knows the many ways a sometimes corrupt and often heartless system abused this man for its own often inconsistent ends. Sometimes, by his own admission, he got treated better than he deserved. More often, his freedom and his life were no more than a tool for law enforcement to use. Justice, fairness and even simple honesty were seldom part of the equation.

Every part of Christian Romano’s life may not be fun to read about, but I agree with the author that such stories need to be told.

About the Author:

Glenn Painter is single and lives in Central Florida.  He became interested in writing at an early age but did not make it his career until 2014 when he published his first book, Beyond the Sentence.

Glenn has written this story from the notes by the man who actually lived it.  However, extensive research was also require in order to make the story factual.

Glenn has also founded a company, ‘Prisoner Civil Right Services.’  He is an advocate for incarcerated individuals who have had their rights violated.  He is in constant contact with these individuals, their families and the council.  Most of his stories are inspired by ‘factual events’ that have happened to these individuals.  This makes his stories both fiction and non-fiction.

Glenn says that writing is very challenging, and you must love the trials and tribulations that come with it.  He believes that patience, perseverance and determination are required essentials to see a book through to being published.  The journey is just as important as the destination.

Find Glenn Painter on Goodreads or on Twitter. 

Check out this new trailer for Wired by the FBI.

Visit Glenn Painter on his website, or on his Amazon author page.

Wired by the FBI will be on sale during this tour. The eBook will be $2.99 everywhere and the print copy will be discounted 40% on Amazon.

Buy Wired by the FBI on Amazon.

Buy Wired by the FBI at Barnes & Nobel.

Yes, there are TWO giveaways!

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

Also, the author will be awarding an additional $100 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter. Please scroll to the bottom of this post to comment. If you don’t see a place to “add your thoughts” then click on the number of comments listed at the end of all the tags to add your own comment and be eligible for this prize.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

A Letter from the Author

Hello Readers!

Welcome to my 15-week book tour which starts on April 14th and concludes on July 30th. This tour was planned before the onset of this terrible covid-19 virus which has invaded our world.  I want to extend my deepest sympathy to everyone, especially those who have lost loved ones.

A donation from me will be going out immediately to the charity I have listed below and I will also be donating 25% of any royalties from the book which is featured on this tour, to the covid-19 Response Fund.  This fund gives support to preparedness, containment, response and recovery activities. The 25% of royalties will be donated when I receive the final notification of number of books sold. I am also encouraging all authors to make some sort of donation to help with the recovery efforts.  WE ARE ALL IN THIS FIGHT TOGETHER!

We all are wondering what the long-term impact this covid-19 virus will be to our communities and our livelihoods, Every American, as well as the companies that have worked very hard for every author have been affected, but I have faith that we will recover from this terrible pandemic if we all stick together and we all do our part – no matter how small.

I will also be donating, (over and above what Goddess/Fish is offering):

$100 Amazon Gift certificate to one randomly drawn commentator

 $100 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly drawn host.

These drawings will be done via Rafflecopter that will be created by Goddess/Fish Promotions at the end of the tour.  To all of my fellow-authors – please don’t forget our marketing representatives, book agents, reviewers,commentator’s, hosts, etc..who are probably working from home and trying to help us.

I will be posting all pertinent information on my web site www.gapainter.com once the tour is over.  The Gift Certificates will be mailed immediately after the tour is completed and the 25% will be posted once I receive royalties resulting in the sale of all electronic and print versions of WIRED By The FBI.

I wish that I could do more, however, with every-one’s support, WE WILL BEAT THIS TERRIBLE SETBACK.

Thank you, god bless all of you and the United States of America.

Glenn Painter