Fly Twice Backward

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author David S. McCracken and his alt-history sci-fi novel, Fly Twice Backward.

Author’s description

You wake back in early adolescence, adult memories intact, including ones that could make you very wealthy now. Your birth family is here, alive again, but your later families are gone, perhaps forever. What has happened, what should you do about coming problems like violence, ignorance, pollution, and global warming? You realize one key connects most, the fundamentalist strains of all the major religions, disdaining science, equality, and social welfare. You see that there are some things you can change, some you can’t, and one you don’t dare to.

Fellow idealists help you spend your growing fortune well–such as an artistic Zoroastrian prince in the Iranian oil industry, a rising officer in the Soviet army working to find a way to destroy his corrupt government, a Bahai woman struggling against Islamic brutality, a Peruvian leader working for a liberal future, and a snake-handling Christian minister, grappling with doubts, sexuality, and destiny. They are supported by an ally who develops essential psychic powers. The group faces familiar-looking corrupt politicians, religious leaders, and corporate czars, but there is an ancient force in the background, promoting greed, violence, hate, and fear.

This exciting, emotional, thoughtful, humorous, and even romantic sci-fi novel weaves progressivism, music, movies, and literature into a struggle spanning the globe. Vivid characters propel the action back up through an alternative history toward an uncertain destination. Experience the unique story and its novel telling.

About this Book

The premise of this book fascinates me, and I’m looking forward to reading all of it. I’d hoped to do so before this post, but frankly it’s daunting length (723 pages) put a kink in those plans. However, I’m going to make a few observations.

  1. I started the book and thoroughly enjoyed the beginning. The author does a credible job of describing an incredible event — a man of today waking up in the 1950’s to find himself the child he once was.
  2. McCracken tries a lot of ambitious things in this novel, and one is providing links to songs and other media intended to enhance his story. It’s a clever idea! I know because I tried it in 2012, in my first novel called x0 (and later renamed One of One)* and I thought it was brilliant at the time. The wave of the future. My own experience was that some readers loved it, some found it a real distraction, and most ignored it. Perhaps I chose my links poorly, but in the end it took far too much effort to maintain them and I ended up rewriting the book (and four others) removing links entirely. I wish author McCracken a better experience with this idea!
  3. I skimmed through much of the long middle of this book. It appears to be a complicated but basically well-written story with a lot of action. Subdivided into decades, I zipped through the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.
  4. I also looked at some of the reviews, because I always do that, and I saw some heavy criticism for the author’s inclusion of his personal political views. There is no question he has done that, but so do many if not most science fiction authors. From Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged on through Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is  Harsh Mistress up to Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s War, this genre has a long history of swaying hearts and minds, and not always in the direction I’d like to see them swayed. As a left-leaning independent* I thought the counter balance McCracken offers to this legacy was a refreshing change of pace.
  5. I skipped ahead and read the end. I hardly ever do that, but so often such ambitious novels struggle to tie everything together and I was curious. No, I won’t give anything away, but only say the end was a frantic, action filled sequence told from several points of view. It was fascinating to read and appeared to tie up several story lines nicely. I’ll have to read the whole thing, of course, to really know how well it does, but after my quick perusal, I’m looking forward to this.

*I wouldn’t normally talk about myself in a review, but lucky for me this isn’t really a review.

About the Author

David McCracken was born in Louisville, KY, in 1940. Raised mostly in Winchester, KY, he now lives in Northern Virginia, with his third and final wife. He has three children, two stepchildren, and six grandchildren.

After three years in the U.S. Navy following a lackluster academic start, he graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1963, in Diplomacy and International Commerce. He then worked as a Latin American country desk officer in the U.S. Department of Commerce until he returned to school to earn an M.A. in Elementary Education in 1970 from Murray State University, having always been intending to teach. Eventually realizing his children qualified for reduced-price lunches based on his own teaching salary, he studied computer programming at Northern Virginia Community College and worked as a programmer until shifting back into elementary teaching.

He began working on what became Fly Twice Backward in 1983 and finally finished it in 2019! At 79, David strongly doubts he’ll be doing another novel of such scope and complexity, but is preparing to work on a children’s science fiction novel with a progressive bent, being a devout progressive in politics and religion, as well as a lover of learning.

Find the Author

Official Author Site: https://flytwicebackward.blogspot.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55088067-fly-twice-backward

Buy the Book

Buy Link:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Z4KRLQZ/

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

Waiting for breakfast, reading the Sunday paper at the table, I realize Mom’s not heading for the kitchen: Oh, oh! It’s church day. Mass. Fasting. Acolyting! What’m I going to do about that?

“Mom, am I supposed to serve today?”

“Of course!”

“Well, I can’t. I have no idea how to do that anymore. I guess we need to call Padre and tell him I’m sick.”

“No, David, we’re not playing that game today!”

“Mom, I hate to say this now, but I have no choice. I don’t know how to serve, so I can’t do it, and, frankly, I’m not ever going to do it. I’m an agnostic, a Unitarian, actually.”

She’s slamming the pots I washed and put in the drainer last night as she puts them into the cabinet under the counter. “That’s ridiculous. You don’t know enough to be an agnostic.”

Fortunately, Dad has come in and heard this exchange.

“Nev, whether his story is true or not, or he knows enough or not, he has a right not to go. He was old enough to be confirmed, so he’s old enough to choose. I’ll serve in his place.”

“Lie about being sick, on Sunday?”

“Mom, it’s a temporizer. I can’t reveal to him why I’m not going to today, much less why I’ll never again do it, and I know you wouldn’t want me to be open about it. I might not even be here next Sunday.” I chuckle. “Maybe I’ll have fallen back to age four, with Dad off in the Navy!” What a sharp look I get!

“We need a few days to sort this out, Nev.”

Dead in THAT Beach House

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author M. Glenda Rosen and her mystery novel, Dead in THAT Beach House.

Author’s description

A Senior Sleuths Mystery, Dead in THAT Beach House, published by Level Best Books, is the third in the series and available at your local book store, Amazon.com and Barnes &Noble.com. This series of murder and mayhem is written in a modern noir style with charming, witty, deliciously clever soft-boiled sleuths.

Once we had arrived in the Hamptons, settled in and I felt comfortable, I began to add small amounts of poison to the evening cocktails. It was from the oleander flowers. I had planted them carefully behind the barn in Ames. After only weeks, they were falling ill, listless, crying to go back to Ames. They felt too sick at the beach house. It was simple.

I know you must think I’m a monster. But, really, they felt very little when I strangled them to death thanks to the poison in their system. When they were dead, I filled my library with books about murder and witchcraft. The note I leave for whomever might find them might explain what happened…

The Senior Sleuths, Dick and Dora Zimmerman, much like Nick and Nora Charles from the Thin Man series, and their cozy group of interesting, quirky friends take on crooks and murderers while dealing with an outrageous case of elder abuse.

Later: “Shall we say invitations are mandatory?”

“Absolutely, dear. We wouldn’t want anyone to miss the fun”

“They’re either belligerent, arrogant, or simply annoyed,” Zero whispered to Cloud as the so-called guests arrived. They were all murderers and those who had committed crimes against the elderly.

About the Author

For over 25 years, M. Glenda Rosen was the owner and founder of a business/marketing and public relations agency and consulting firm in New York City, The Hampton’s and Albuquerque, New Mexico where the company served as advisors to a wide range of national, regional and local clientele including major pharmaceutical companies. The agency provided a special expertise to the healthcare industry including: hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers, medical facilities, non-profit healthcare organizations and literally dozens of healthcare providers.  It was the second largest public relations firm in New Mexico when sold. The agency was built on Marcia’s business experience as owner of two-day care centers for ten years in upstate New York.

Parallel to founding and running her agency, Marcia was also an active advocate and advisor for women’s economic development and success. Along with Betty Friedan, she was honored by the City of New York in celebration of Women’s Empowerment Day for “helping thousands of women advance their careers and succeed in starting their own companies.”  She was also honored as the East End Women’s Network’s 20th annual “Woman of the Year,” and nominated for New York State“ Women of Distinction Award. In New Mexico her agency received awards and accolades for the many volunteer services it provided.

She has served on numerous organization boards including, The New York Women’s Agenda, Columbia Hospital Breast Cancer Initiative, American Cancer Society, Venture Fund for Women, The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, PULSE (helping to prevent medical errors), Boardroom Bound Alliance and others over the past twenty years.

Marcia presently lives in Carmel, California and is planning on moving back to Albuquerque early 2021 or end of 2020.   She has author clients in New York City, Atlanta, Albuquerque, Long Island, the Hamptons and Vancouver.

Find the Author at

Facebook: @MarciaGRosen
Twitter: @WriterMysteries
Instagram: @mglendarosen
Pinterest: marciaglendarosen
www.creativebookconcepts.com
www.theseniorsleuths.com

Buy the book on Amazon.

Yes, there is a giveaway

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.

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

Sewn inside the striped petticoat were two old metal skeleton keys.

Dora and keys.  They did get her in trouble.

Jake took pictures of the keys with his cellphone and he and his mother agreed it would be best to show them to Dick and Lily.  Then they would forward the photos of the keys to the sheriff, and explain where they were found.

Lily and Dick had found their own surprise in the library. There were several shelves of books about murder. Another shelf had books on witches, witchcraft and poisons. All the dust and cobwebs on them couldn’t hide the strangeness of it all.

Dora was determined to come back as soon as possible to look deeper amongst the pages of murder and evil. It only made sense the books might reveal some truths about the house and its owner.

The dust unable to hide strange markings on those books made Dora very curious and determined to look for possible answers inside their pages.

“What kind of people owned this house?” Jake looked at his mother, clearly wanting  to get out of there.

When Lions Roar

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Karen Leigh Gruber and her women’s fiction novel, When Lions Roar

Author’s description

Two women from different lands, each struggling to survive; a child’s mysterious disappearance will alter both their lives forever…

 

Maggie has become unrecognizable to herself, succumbing to the predictability of being a mother and wife. Every day she reminds her daughter to brush her teeth, has the same conversation with her husband about what’s for dinner. Maggie struggles to cope with the disenchantment of the monotonous tedium that has become her life. Despite her boredom, when her husband David is called on assignment to South Africa, Maggie resents having to rearrange her life just because David has decided they all need to traipse halfway across the globe.

 

While on safari, Maggie awakens one morning to a mother’s worst nightmare; their daughter Hannah has gone missing. Just when things can’t get any worse, Maggie is confronted with the harsh truth of her emotionally abusive marriage and what she has allowed her life to become.

 

When Lions Roar is set against the backdrop of the exotic and intriguing landscape of South Africa, when the country is reeling from the aftershocks of apartheid. Will Maggie find the strength and courage to abandon the fragile ties of her marriage and confront her self-destruction in time to save the life of her daughter?

About the Author

Karen Gruber is an international #1 best-selling contributing author, inspirational speaker, and a Leadership Development Coach for women and moms. She specializes in inspiring moms to realize their potential as mothers, women, and leaders. Karen has had extensive specialized training in parenting, feminine spirituality, and leadership.  Over the past 15 years she has provided innovative leadership coaching for moms and has dramatically transformed her own life.

Sharing her life with her husband Jim and daughter Jaymie, presenting her message to other women, and traveling the world bring her the greatest joy.

She is the founder of The Inspired Mama, a company located in gorgeous Denver, Colorado that focuses on the inspiration, leadership, and wellbeing of women and moms.

When Lions Roar is Karen’s debut fictional work. She is freakish about Christmas lights and loves to play Baccarat.

Find the Author at

Website:         https://theinspiredmama.com/
Facebook:       https://www.facebook.com/karen.kraussgruber
Instagram:      https://www.instagram.com/inspiredmama/

Buy the Book at

Book Pre-sale: https://theinspiredmama.com/product/when-lions-roar-pre-sale-copy/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/When-Lions-Karen-Leigh-Gruber/dp/1734976004

Yes, there is a giveaway

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.

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

I moved from the hall into the kitchen. Without a moment’s hesitation, I reached for the cabinet door, the one that is closest to the refrigerator, the one that contained my relief. I reached for the bottle. It slid off the shelf with a satisfying sound, but I quickly realized it only had a sip or two left. Damn it, not nearly enough. I padded out to the garage where we keep all our spares. Just the way David likes it: spare toilet paper, spare baggies, backups of all our canned goods, and for me, of course, a generous backup supply of alcohol. I grabbed my favorite vodka and headed back inside. On the way in, I noticed a candy wrapper on the floor of the garage—a Dum Dum wrapper, to be exact—Mystery Flavor, if I was not mistaken.

I’ll pick that up later, I thought to myself. My hands were a bit full. And right then, I had more important things to tend to.

Back in the kitchen, I pulled myself a nice long pour, then to the fridge for some juice. Damn it, again. I was out of cranberry juice. It would have to be Diet 7-Up today. I topped off my glass with a splash of the soda, and I headed back to the front of the house. I passed the mirror yet again. For the third time that day, I looked into the mirror, but this time I raised my glass, and looking into my own deep blue eyes, I mocked, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

I regarded myself as I took a deep, long drink.