CrossTown by Loren W Cooper


CrossTown
Loren W Cooper
Genre: Fantasy/SF
Publisher: Red Hen Books
Date of Publication: Nov 14, 2017
ISBN: 978-1939096029
Number of pages: 340
Word Count: 95000
Cover Artist: Red Hen Staff Artist
Tagline: CrossTown is the crossroads of possibility.
Book Description:
Zethus is a sorcerer―a self-described spiritual thug for hire. He makes his living in CrossTown, a place where the manyworld hypothesis of modern physics manifests itself, where possibilities and probabilities overlap.
Caught up in a web of intrigue as he investigates the death of his master, Corvinus, and pursued by agents that want to erase all knowledge of Corvinus’ work, Zethus discovers that the key to his master’s murder lies in the last project he had pursued before his death. The roots of this project lie deep in the past, at the origin of CrossTown’s fractured reality.
Once he understands the stakes, Zethus must make the dangerous journey to the cradle of history. The price he must pay to find the answers he seeks will threaten everything he holds dear―including his own humanity.
“Beware the road outside your front door, for it is all at once old friend and passing stranger.” –CrossTown
“A sorcerer explores the frontier of theoretical physics.” Publisher’s Weekly
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Excerpt:
Roads and
streets run like veins and arteries through the beating heart of CrossTown.  Each runs through all manner of distant and
not-so-distant possibilities. 
            There’s a theory in modern physics
that posits a universe for every decision we make.  Each time we choose, right or left, high or
low, vanilla or chocolate, we split into separate universes.  A vanilla me here, a chocolate me there, a
rocky road with pistachio me somewhere else, and some poor lactose intolerant
me further down the line.  The dominant
me is my subjective reality.  In
CrossTown, the probable mes collapse into the dominant wave, but all those
wandering Ways continually wash other alternate lives, lives meant to be lived
in CrossTown, up on its jagged shores.
The names of
roads are choices; the turning and branching of roads are choices; roads are physical
manifestations of their builders’ decisions…
            Everywhere,
every place and every time where man or something like him has lived, roads run
into one another, branch, disappear here and reappear over there as if they
were quantum tunneling.  They run, meet, part,
cross again, and form a bewildering Mandelbrot set of linked probabilities.
            Beware the road outside your front
door, for it is both old friend and passing stranger.
            All those choices, all hooked
together, comprise a vast sea of possibility.
A knowledgeable traveler can ride the currents in that sea to unimagined
destinations…

 

            CrossTown is the crossroads of
probability.
 
About the Author:
Loren W Cooper is the author of four novels, one short story collection and one nonfiction work. He has won the NESFA in 1998 and the EPPIE for Best Anthology in 2001. He is married with two daughters. He currently lives in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Favorite authors include Zelazny, Hammet, Steakley, and Catton. Loren Currently works for Hewlett-Packard.

Red Sleeper by Brian Downes

 

Red Sleeper
The Berlin Fraternity Universe
Book Two
Brian Downes
 
Genre: Historical horror
 
Date of Publication: December 1st, 2017
 
ISBN-13: 978-1978447349
ISBN-10: 1978447345
ASIN:
 
Number of pages: 450
Word Count: 118,766
 
Cover Artist: Miriam Medina
 
Tagline: A cold war after dark.
 
Book Description:
 
In the horsepower town of 1950s Detroit, FBI agent Christopher Haigwood is raising his Catholic family and hunting Soviet spies. Then a communist fanatic who was arrested with a lot of guns, dynamite, and heroin breaks out of jail right before his eyes, and Haigwood is plunged into a terrifying labyrinth of plots, informants, liars, and the horrifying revelation that vampires are real, and that some of his KGB quarry are undead.
 
Red Sleeper is set in the world of The Berlin Fraternity.




Excerpt:
          Haigwood
had read Walter Swale’s file several times. He’d written sections of it. White.
Brown eyes, brown hair, approximately 5’6”, 175 pounds estimated weight. Father
born in Poland, 1893, changed the family name to Swale from Szwarc on arrival
in the USA. Haigwood had studied photographs of Swale to memorize the high
chin, the bulging lips, the distance between the eyes, the widow’s peak that
pointed out of the receding hairline. He had once sat at Swale’s kitchen table
with the curtains drawn and copied names out of his address book while Swale
was out at the movies. Now Swale was sitting in jail, having been brought in
the night before for resisting arrest, along with possession of: four ounces
Mexican heroin, ten sticks dynamite, one M1 rifle with two hundred rounds of
ammunition, one police revolver with ammunition, and twenty-three copies of a
Communist Party pamphlet urging workers to revolt against their bosses and
their elected leaders in Washington, D.C.
          Haigwood
had been at home with his wife, Annie, over the Thanksgiving weekend. He’d
gotten the call last night at dinner. Now he was walking into the jail at eight
on Monday morning to get his first eyeball-to-eyeball with this Red they had
been watching for more than six months.
          There
was a jail guard stationed at the front desk. Haigwood smiled at the man as he
unwrapped his scarf from around his neck. “Good morning! How’s everything with
you fellas?”
          “Good
morning,” the guard answered, looking him up and down warily. “Is it snowing
already?”
          Haigwood
took his fedora off, tapped the snow dust off its brim, and ran his hand
through his hair. “Yes, it’s brisk out there!” He pulled out his credentials.
“I’m Christopher Haigwood, Federal Bureau of Investigation. I’m here to see
Swale, Walter, a prisoner brought in about 2100 hours last night.”
          The
guard, whom Haigwood saw was about ten years younger than he was, focused on
Haigwood’s ID. He reached his hand out tentatively to touch the wallet. “I
heard about that. So you really work for J. Edgar Hoover, huh?”
          “And
the American people,” Haigwood answered with a smile. “Now do you think you
could get someone to show me to Swale?”
          The
guard picked up a telephone receiver from a handset at his station and dialed a
number. Haigwood toyed with his hat, smothered his impatient sigh, and looked
around at the signs in the jail’s foyer. The signs told him to be on the alert
for any men dressed in black and gray stripes, because they might be escaping inmates.
And that he was going to have to surrender his revolver if he wanted to go any
further. He looked out the window and saw the snowflakes floating gently
downward, their numbers growing. From further inside the jail he could smell
the morning coffee, but he’d just finished off a Coca-Cola in the car.
          He
was really angry at Swale for getting himself arrested like this. But he was
very much looking forward to speaking to him personally.
          A
second guard appeared and took Haigwood inside the jail. This one older than
him, and not shy at all about staring at the G-man with frank curiosity. He had
a nametag that read, “G. Cantor”. Nobody asked Haigwood for his service weapon,
so he kept his overcoat on and didn’t mention it.
          “So
I read this guy’s sheet,” Haigwood’s guide said indifferently as they walked.
          “Yeah,
you did?”
          “Yeah,”
Cantor nodded, looking like he didn’t care, but watching Haigwood’s face
carefully. “You know we don’t get a lot of dynamiters in here.”
          “Oh,
you don’t?” Haigwood put a chime of surprise in his voice.
          “No,”
the guard said, warming up to explaining his job to someone he had expected to
be smarter than him. “We don’t get too many commies, either.”
          “I
guess you’ve got one today, though?”
          “Yeah,
yeah, we’ve sure got one today. It’s an unusual day. Here he is, on the end.”
          They
had been walking down a chilly, second-level row of cells as Haigwood parried
Cantor’s efforts to pump him for information. It was cold enough that Haigwood
was quite comfortable with his overcoat on. Morning light, turned a cottony
gray by the snow coming down outside, slanted in through the high, narrow,
barred windows.
          Swale
was up early, and had heard them coming. Haigwood could see him pressing his
face up against the bars of his cell, craning his neck to see them approach.
But Haigwood stopped first at the cell adjacent to Swale’s, and looked down at
a little man wrapped in a blanket on one of the cell’s two bunks. “Who’s this?”
He asked Cantor.
          “Who,
him? That’s Hobson. He stays with us sometimes, three or four times a year.”
          “What
brings him in?”
          “Tuning
up his wife.”
          Haigwood
gestured at Hobson’s sleeping cellmate. “And what about that one?”
          “That’s,
uh, Gomez. Got drunk and stabbed a fellow over a game of cards.”
          “OK,”
Haigwood said, reassured that the two men who might overhear his conversation
didn’t much matter. He told the guard, “Thank you very much, Mr. Cantor, I’ll
be fine here,” as he took the final few steps that brought him face to face
with Walter Swale through the bars of his cell.


 
About the Author:
 
Brian Downes learned to read at a young age. He is now a novelist who lives in Orlando, Florida. His other novels are The Berlin Fraternity and The Carrefour Crisis. He also writes for the website Florida Geek Scene.
 
 
 
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Taken by a Highland Laird by Sky Purington


Taken by a Highland Laird
The MacLomain Series
A New Beginning
Book 2
Sky Purington       
Genre:  Time Travel Fantasy Romance
Date of Publication:  December 18th, 2017
ASIN: B075R825PZ
Number of pages:  280
Word Count:  87,500
Cover Artist:  Tara West
Book Description:
The last thing Lindsay expects when she visits Milly’s home in New Hampshire is to be thrust back in time to thirteenth century Scotland days before the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Worse yet, captured by the English. Using her wits and ability to wrap men around her little finger, she survives long enough to be rescued by a band of Scotsmen. One of them, a rigid Highland chieftain determined to protect his country, rarely lets her out of his sight. A man, as it turns out, who is immune to her allure…or so it seems.
From the moment Clan MacLomain decides to save Scotland’s history, Laird Conall Hamilton knows he needs to be part of it. What he does not foresee is a beautiful twenty-first century actress crossing his path. More so, that they end up caught in an obligatory kiss that sparks an infamous battle. A kiss, as Fate would have it, that takes them on an adventure through time to both the Action at Earnside Skirmish and the Action at Happrew.
Joining first Sir William Wallace then King Robert the Bruce, Conall and Lindsay end up on a journey that will leave neither unscathed. Though determined to keep each other at arm’s length, desire simmers, reeling them ever closer. Inner demons are faced as they navigate a powerful connection neither saw coming. A bond so intense and passionate that it might very well help them defeat the enemy and save a nation.
Amazon      
 
Excerpt
#1
“You could slow
down some,” she muttered under her breath as none other than Laird Conall
Hamilton yanked her through the woods toward Stirling Bridge.
“Not if they are
to believe you are my prisoner,” he stated blandly, his hold on her wrist an
unbreakable vice grip.
Naturally, ever
the hero, he had volunteered to bait the English alongside her. At least six
foot five with broad shoulders and endless muscles she was no match for him
physically. But maybe mentally. Time would tell. Lindsay sighed as she stumbled
along and put up a believable struggle. The truth was, Conall was as smart as
he was strong and that, amongst other things, was getting on her nerves.
Sure, being
flung back in time to days before one of the most famous battles in Scottish
history was daunting, but she had handled it. She had worked her magic with
Hugh Cressingham then even John de Warenne, the Earl of Surrey. As she was so
good at when it came to men, she had been what they needed her to be. But then
that’s what she did for a living.
She acted, and
she did so very well.
Again and again,
over and over, no matter where she was.
“The bloody
Sassenach are watching you, lass,” Conall muttered. “They want you back.”
“That’s what
we’re counting on,” she reminded, nearly tripping on a root.
Fog drifted in
thick waves through the damp, pine-scented forest, obscuring far more than she
would like. It hid things from her. Kept something from her. Up until this
point, she had been strong but something about that, not being able to see
beyond the fog, sent shivers through her. A chill and dread that, of all
things, had her clutching the ring in her pocket for comfort.
Guidance.
Protection.
But why would
she feel that way?
Even as she
shook her head against the idea, she slid the Claddagh ring on. Unfortunately,
it didn’t affect her fear in the least. If anything, it made her feel more
vulnerable. Or was it really the ring? She frowned as her eyes went to Conall.
“So what is your
plan once we get close?” she said. “Because I thought I should be the one to
put on the show seeing how I am a professional actress and you’re ah…well,
rather transparent.”
“I suspect you
will put on a show,” he acknowledged, clearly not all that impressed as he
pulled her along. “I’ll be curious to see how well you perform.”
Like Adlin and
Bryce, he said ‘you’ instead of ‘ye’ when speaking with her. Evidently, it was
how medieval MacLomains made it easier for twenty-first century women to
understand them.
“So why are you
so upset?” Lindsay arched her brows, about over his attitude given their
current circumstances. “Might it be because I spent the night in William’s
tent?”
Conall scowled.
“Why would I care if you spent the night in his tent?”
Lindsay rolled
her eyes. “Because you have been smitten with me since the night all of you
saved me from the English.”
“Is that what
you think?” His voice remained bland. “Or could you have misconstrued my
vigilance in protecting a lass who tempts her own demise at every turn as
affection?”
She dodged
another root, growing more irritated by the moment. “So ending up in the
enemy’s camp against my will was tempting my own demise?” She inhaled deeply at
his gall. “Are you serious?”
“Ending up in
Cressingham’s arms was tempting something,” he returned. “And God only knows
what you were up to in the Earl’s tent.”
She narrowed her
eyes at the back of his head. They might have met a few days ago, but this was
the most he had ever spoken to her. Where she had hoped they might be able to
speak sooner, now she was of the mind he had spared her.
“Why don’t you
say what’s really on your mind, Conall,” she said. “Because I highly doubt it
has anything to do with me being in anyone’s arms but William’s—”

 

That’s all she
managed to get out before he whipped her around and backed her against a tree.
Half a breath later his lips were on hers.
About the Author:
Sky Purington is the bestselling author of over thirty novels and several novellas. A New Englander born and bred who recently moved to Virginia, Sky was raised hearing stories of folklore, myth, and legend. When combined with a love for nature, romance, and time-travel, elements from the stories of her youth found release in her books.
Purington loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at Sky@SkyPurington. Interested in keeping up with Sky’s latest news and releases? Either visit Sky’s website, www.SkyPurington.com, subscribe to her quarterly newsletter or sign up for personalized text message alerts. Simply text ‘skypurington’ (no quotes, one word, all lowercase) to 74121 or visit Sky’s Sign-up Page. Texts will ONLY be sent when there is a new book release. Readers can easily opt out at any time.
Love social networking? Find Sky on Facebook and Twitter.
Website:   www.skypurington.com
 

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