October and Fall Leaves! Lovely!

Good Morning! Last day of September makes me think of once again thanking everybody who visited either BRH of JMPO Blogs last month! Many may be returning readers, which I'm not able to differentiate, but I certainly appreciated the 10,582, stops to read about all the wonderful books, and a few not so wonderful, that I've read...

Taiwan joined me this month and I was interested to read that they are supporting the Hong Kong protests. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29422233
I think in these days we must speak out for what we believe in, so hope those who visit from that country may find some words that are important to them, here, through these books, in some way...

I'm already backlogged into next year! LOL but do try to continue to accommodate as many requests as I can. Remember if you haven't seen your review, I appreciate being reminded and try to fit it in quickly. There really is no way to do first-come, first serve anymore. Mainly due to the continued overwhelming number of requests, but more, now, because I try to review as many books a week as possible and so pick out books based upon the length, as well as trying to accommodate some blog tours to keep things interesting...

Do take care of yourself and come back...tomorrow! LOL Leaves will soon start turning and falling in my area... God's beauty awaits our appreciation!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fantastic Fantasy, Music City, by Sara M. Harvey, Added to Personal Favorites for 2014! Heading for Ireland; then Nashville!

"You haven't been an arse," Keela Laughed. "You've actually been quite charming. I'm not used to flirtation, I rather like it." That was too bold, she thought, too bold by half! 
He grinned and his eyes crinkled again at the corners. "You're not like my banshee," Michael whispered, his voice barely audible above the howl of the wind. "They take themselves too seriously. You're more like I imagined a banshee would be like as a youngster. Do you like to dance?" He mimed classic goth moves, clearing imaginary cobwebs with his hands swept over his head and then reaching up and twisting his wrists as if changing an invisible lightbulb. 
Keela put the back of her hand to her forehead and leaned back, looking as insulted as she could manage. Then giggling, she made as if she was handing him a cup of tea, then swished her arm away from him, wrapping it across her chest with a toss of her head.
It's settled, then! Let's hit Considine's Bar and then see if we can find a club hosting a goth night anywhere in Galway."



"I like Trad, too, you know, doesn't even have to be the slow, sad stuff either. I like me some jigs and reels as much as the next Irishwoman! So, any place will do, so long as there's music." She couldn't believe she was agreeing to a date with an O'Neill boy!
"Of course," she smiled, taking her hand in his. His fingers were cold, but hers were colder, she knew. He didn't seem to mind one bit. "So long as there's music."
Mary Black as Keela
That was how it began. Such a simple, carefree beginning it was, too. They met for beer, or whiskey, or coffee, or dancing of just a quiet walk along the River Corrib. She never wanted to leave; it was as if Galway belonged to them, a place solen out of time for the two of them. And the mortals around them, usually so susceptible to the presence of harbingers, just shrugged and smiled as if Keela was nothing more than Michael's peculiar girlfriend. The bands played late into the night for them while Michael sang along. Keela never joined in...
Start this vid and allow it to play while you read!
There must be music!
It wasn't that she didn't enjoy singing, in fact, she sang constantly when alone. But she'd been admonished by her mother and aunts and sisters over it enough times that she dared not utter a single note in public. Not because she feared losing their good graces, but because she truly feared what loosing that voice might actually do. So, she let Michael sing, and it warmed her heart...
Michael was smitten.Keela was head over heels...
Michael brought his hands up and ran them along the sides of her throat, then curled his fingers into her hair. He held her tight as she stiffened and tried to back away.
"Shhhh," he soothed bringing his left hand up the back of her head, angling towards the silver comb she always wore. All banshees had one, most wore theirs every day. The combs had power, great power, Mortals were never supposed to touch them. Ever.
"I thought you'd like it if I brushed your hair."
"No!"
"Why?"
Keela shoot her head. She reached back for the comb. "Let me take this out first."
"Please allow me." His hand darted past her eyes in a playful manner and she tried to duck her head out of his reach. Michael's fingertip traced the edge of the scrollwork reach. Michael's fingertip traced the edge of the scrollwork on the comb before he pulled it free with a flourish. "Ah ha!"
Keela's midnight black hair uncoiled from the French twist she'd pulled it up into and fanned out across her shoulders and then swept down her back. 
He smiled at her with delighted pride for the span of a single heartbeat before falling over dead...
~~~

Music City
By Sara M. Harvey

Keela was banned from Ireland due to her dalliance with another's human... But as young lovers they could not deny their love... Neither knew they had been betrayed... Taking out a banshee's comb meant immediate death to a human! But, as sometimes happens, the bad brought about something good. If Keela could find a certain Irish song, Oran na Cele, which had once been stolen, and which had much power, then Michael could be brought back to life. He had not had his own banshee sing for him!

Being banned, Keela really had no choice but to leave and, hopefully, find the song. It was known that it had been taken to America... And it was there she met three sister banshees, who helped her to find the oracle, the Fae of True Telling... but one of her guardians turned them away...  Keela, however, was not going to be turned away after coming so far!
 Fortunately, she gained entrance because the will-o'-the-wisps seemed to like her, and she soon caught the attention of Molan MacLiath, Guardian of the Fae... Where they were, truly seemed enchanted, and you will need to learn the description of the Fae when you read this wonderful fantasy!


Keela also seemed to charm the Fae, but she discovered she would have to pay for that privilege! She was asked to explain why she was there and, in sympathy, Radha asked if she would like to see Michael...

"I will let you see him. Through me. Look here."
Keela thought she would fall up into those limitless eyes, so bright and expansive were they. She held fast to the stone 
from the River Liffey and thought of Molan guardian the door. How could she alert him that she needed his help?
"You do not need Molan to help you. You must find the strength in yourself, or be lost. Gut you came this far on your own. I believe you must be strong, Cadhla."
Keela tensed. She could hear in the slight difference in pronunciation that Radha had used her true name and her soul lit up, shining fiercely bright as Radha's terrible gaze.
She saw Michael O'Neill. His auburn hair and his green eyes. In his hand, he held her silver comb with its long, elegant teeth and circles and swirls decorating it. He gripped it almost desperately, as if knowing that it kept him close in spirit to her, his only salvation from a life lost forever in purgatory. She reached for him, but her hyands passed right through.
"You cannot touch him, Cadhla, your power is broken."
"How do I get it back?"
"You must sing for it."
Keela nodded. "Oran na Cele."
"Yes, the song of death's beautiful companion."
"But it's lost."
"It is here..."
"Listen now, faerie daughter, this is the song of all banshees, the song taught to the very first of your kind. It was a song to seduce death, to lull it into submission, to rend holes in the veil that separates the worlds. It was meant only to ensure the safe passage of a human sour from the living realm to that of the dead. But Eimean O'Neill is correct, it can be made to work in reverse."
"Who taught it to us?"
"I did..."
~~~

Then she learned that the song undoubtedly was in Music City!  The sisters helped her with money and she took a bus...on to Nashville, wearing the only clothes she'd ever worn, and her surprising gift from Molan, who was also guardian of the land... He gave her a small rock... Thankfully...

"Michael," she whispered. "I'm coming."
She dozed in snataches, jolted awak by dreams that were all too real then settling back to let the vibration and sway to the bus rock her to sleep once again. The sun rose behind her and chased her down the highway, beating her to Nashville. As soon as the doors of the bus opened, she heard the music. It wasn't even weekend, but live music from a dozen or more sources echoed through the brick alleys, rising and falling with thujmping drumbeats, the poignant drawl of an acoustic guitar, and now and again an exuberant whoop followed by muffled applause. Keela stepped down onto the pavement on uncertain legs and began to make her shaky way into the heart of Music City. A vibration across her skin made all of the hairs on her arm stand on end. It was the feeling of stepping into a faerie circle, or into a graveyard. This place held power...




It didn't take Keela long to start out and making herself at home... using her crow form to get around and finally settling into a nearby cemetery for her lodging and meeting the ghosts living there, for a bit of company... Soon, looking for a little touch of home she discovered there were a number of bars with live music. Then she met a fellow Irishman and was soon singing! Something she'd not been permitted in Ireland! She was going to love this magical place and soon started a "Puirt a Beul"... traditional "mouth-music... "Tha bainn' ag na caoraich uile, than bainn' ag na caoraich uile, tha bainn' ag na caoraich uile, 's e cho sleamhain ris an im."


She was now singing in a band and bringing crowds there to listen to her voice...
When she had arrived, she had not felt that any other banshees were in Nashville, except perhaps their spirits, but there were two women who came to hear her sing--Keela felt there was something different, strange about them... And then another came, wanting to become her agent...and more...

While becoming totally immersed in her new singing opportunities, Keela also began searching for the song... This mystery takes her place after place, until...she knew she was in danger. Two of them, those she had earlier met, invited her into their home where she revealed her true nature before she could leave! But at least she now knew who they were and that they would continue to try to prevent her from fulfilling her mission! And Keela was determined to find the song and bring Michael back to life! But nothing prepared anybody for what actually happens! Keela is caught in a climatic ending that is beyond imagining! Except for the author, Sara Harvey... LOL
This entire book is exciting in its vision of how music from Ireland came to live and bring life to a sister city that has grown into what they now call "Music City..." And it was Keela's and other Irish individuals' singing that made it all happen! ...So the story goes...






May you all hear the music coming through the characters, the story of Music City You might be interested to know that Keela could still be there in Nashville, singing in some club, at the Opry...or in a cemetery nearby... Don't miss this one!


GABixlerReviews


Sara M. Harvey is a California Girl at heart. Born in the foggy hills of the San Francisco Bay Area, she resided there for 19 years before striking off to chase the gypsy life from Tacoma, WA, to Santa Cruz, CA, to SoCal, to New York City, to Orlando, FL, to Milwaukee, WI, and finally settling-for the moment- in Nashville, TN.

Sara writes her own brand of genre-bending fantasy as well as non-fiction clothing and costume history books, using both her experiences as a New Yorker and the Masters Degree in Costume History that she earned at NYU.

In Nashville, Sara has settled into the quiet life surprisingly well, if by "quiet" one might imagine rafter-raising Nashville Predator hockey games, a small fixer-upper house inhabited by some crazy dogs, a colorful international neighborhood with a great family restaurant serving amazing authentic Mexican or Middle Eastern food on just about every corner, and a day job teaching fashion and history to Nashville's finest and most energetic up-and-coming designers.

Besides the dogs, Guinevere the border collie mix and Eowyn the basenji mix, Sara shares this joyride with her husband, fellow author, and dearest friend: Matt.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dying Phoenix by Loretta Proctor Epic Historical Romantic Novel Set Against Turmoil in Greece

Grigoris Lambrakis (Greek: Γρηγόρης Λαμπράκης) (April 3, 1912 – May 27, 1963) was a Greek politician, physician, track and field athlete, and member of the faculty of the School of Medicine at the University of Athens...On May 22, 1963, shortly after he had delivered the keynote speech at an anti-war meeting in Thessaloniki, two far-right extremists, Emannouel Emannouilides and Spyro Gotzamanis, driving a three-wheeled vehicle, struck Lambrakis with a club over the head in plain view of a large number of people and (allegedly) some police officers. He suffered brain injuries and died in the hospital five days later, on May 27. The two men were arrested because of the reaction of a passenger who jumped on their vehicle and fought with them (Manolis Hatziapostolou, nicknamed Tiger).






Maria Nafpliotou
Nina subsided a little and gave
a shrug. It's hard, Niko, I hate
to see how Greece escaped the
wretched Turks only to become
a pawn for Britain and America.
Nothing is sacred, democracy is
lost. Plato would love it. He always
liked an oligarchy. Nevertheless,
his vision was one of reason and
order. We have little left of that."
~~~
"Which is worse? The
Americans, the British? They
made a pawn of Greece. If
Frederica hadn't come to
England, Lambrakis might
still be alive." ...He always
wanted to fight for justice
and peace...
Nikos looked around and
lowered his voice, "Shh...
not so loud, Nina...
~~~
Nikos Galanis watched her covertly as she sat opposite him in the fashionable London bar. Her long slender fingers moved up and down the stem of the wine glass as if caressing it, but her thoughts were elsewhere. Nina Hammett was a beautiful woman, there was no denying it. Her dark hair was sleeked back into a loose bun at the nape of her neck On anyone else it would look unfashionable and severe; on her it looked elegant and poised. It was something to do with her eyes as well, he thought, looking into them now; unfathomable, enigmatic pools of brown, depending almost to black When she spoke, her voice was low but clear. Her Greek was impeccable, without a regional accent. An educated woman and an intelligent one.
"I have always admired Lambrakis," she said, "and I always will. I met him just before he was murdered. He was a friend of my great aunt, Christoula. Auntie lived in Kavalla but she had a flat in Thessaloniki as well, where she used to hold little soirees....
It was three years now since that left-wing politician, Dr. Grigoris Lambrakis, was mown down by a vehicle and clubbed to death during broad daylighy in the streets of Thessaloniki. For Heaven's sake, the man was dead and gone and still she thought of him! Nikos wished a woman would speak of him with such admiration. How little he had accomplished compared to the brave and splendid things which that martyr Lanbrakis had done in his short life...
~~~





Dying Phoenix
By Loretta Proctor

This novel, above all, is a love story. Like many, however, it was filled with conflict, anger, and two individuals with completely different lives...who discovered their love was deeper than they ever thought... But Nina had another love--a love for her country--that seemed to be more important than anything else... would that ultimately affect their lives? 

Of course, it didn't help with Max had an affair with an office girl...

They were now separated. Nina was working as a reporter at a relative's newspaper, while Max continued his work selling tractors.... His background is quite different, being of humble beginnings. But he had begun early to pick up knowledge of tractors and other machinery and, in fact, he was soon off to Greece to attend a major sales event...

And that is where he made a personal enemy through no fault of his own! He had seen a man physically abusing a woman and stopped to help... She was the wife of the man and later escaped and came to find Max. He quickly worked with friends to help her escape to another location, but her husband found Max and beat him so badly, including a broken jaw, that he went into the hospital. Fortunately his friend and fellow worker, Dimitri, had a bad feeling and had got to find him, and fortunately did, because he would have died otherwise...

Everybody was trying to find Nina to get her there, but she had not left any information on her location. When she finally heard, she quickly got there and then went home to help him recuperate. But nobody had ever explained to Nina the exact circumstances behind his assault...

For a while, that was ok and they both returned to Greece when he was better, only to have the woman come to find Max, and ask for money... Nina saw the exchange! Nina was a passionate woman but had learned to control it, except she seemed not to be able to with her jealousy and lack of trust of Max.... They again separated... At a very dangerous time that was just beginning in Greece...

The author takes the time to bring readers fully into the lives of her main characters, allowing us to form our opinions of what might happen in this volatile relationship. It was quite a shock, therefore, when in the midst of this personal drama, we move into a period of time when, in many ways, seemed worse than entering into a war... Because most people didn't know what was happening!


"I'm not sure what you mean...a sympathizer," she
murmured at least.
"You were concerned about the Lambrakis business and
wrote a letter about it at the time; it was printed in the
Guardian. It's common knowledge and many admired you
for saying what you did. I admire you, Mrs. Hammett. It
inspired me to join the Lambrakis Youth when I finished
by National Service. I think it's a marvelous cause though,
as you know, it's dangerous these days to belong to such
causes. But we need to fight for justice in Greece. You
heard about Petroulas?"
Sotiris Petroulas was a young economic student, a member
of the Lambrakides. He had carried Mikis Theodorakis
through the crows in order for the heroic musician to make
a rousing speech against the tyranny of the government.
Later Petroulas was killed by a tear gas grenade that
exploded above his head and his body was whisked away
by the police...
~~~
It was while Nina was still in London, and working on an assignment, when she stopped in at the Troubadour. It was the type of place where the young and liberal congregated... many writers, journalists and other creative people. It was there that a young man came to talk to her. He introduced himself as George Praxiteles and explained he was attending school there... He knew who she was and quite a bit about her and her family, which, at first, made her feel concerned...

Their discussion aroused Nina's passion and she knew she must go back to Greece. She believed, like George, that something was going to happen...

There had already been many restrictions placed on the young--the music of Mikis Theodorakis had been banned, but was still played wherever they could. The group George had joined, the Lambrakides, were following the actions of
Grigoris Lambrakis who had been murdered...


"My friends caught some agents trying to bury Sotiris secretly but Theodorakis roused the local people and made them hand over the body. Then, do you know this, Mrs. Hammett?... Hundreds of people accompanied the body from Athens Cathedral to the cemetery...hundreds! Theodorakis wrote a song in his memory and it was sung by the cortege. If was so moving. I wept and so did everyone else. My God, it was so moving.
Nine leant back in her chair and stared at the floor for a long moment. "I heard of it but didn't know the details." Where had she been when this happened? Little escaped her attention when it came to Greek politics. Ah, of course, it was last summer. The time when she and Max had been in the process of reconsidering their marriage. She had shouted at him like a fishwife, like a possessed creature. Was that dreadful harpy really her? Nina tore her mind away from the memories and the uncomfortable and guilty emotions they produced in her.
"I would have wept too," her voice low with feeling. "But sadly incidents like that are no longer uncommon are they? The government which the King has set in place is utterly corrupt; the plaything of the King and his generals..."
~~~


When Nina returned, she stayed with George's family and started out to learn more about what was happening. But then one night she awoke at 3AM... It had begun...

Something was very wrong. She woke up and listened intently. There is was again, the sound of heavy solid wheels rumbing in the distance, but what wheel made a noise like that? Nina looked at the clock and stared into the darkness, broken only by the faint light that crept through the slats of the shutters. Her heart was beating with a mixture of alarm and excitement.
She rose, her throat parched and dry. Swallowing some water from the glass by her bed, she made her way over to the window. Pulling back the thickly pleated net curtains, Nina threw open the shutters and leant out into the coolness of an April night. Just a few hours earlier she had been chatting in a cafe with some friends; a normal and peaceful Athenian night. Now a strange atmosphere gripped the city, a sense of panic, anger and dismay. Shouts, strident voices and shrieks floated on the night air. She needed to find out what was happening. The commotion was round Fassileis Sofias,  a main road some way beyond where the Praxiteies family owned a small block of apartments in a quiet back street in Zografou...
Hurriedly Nina dressed, flung on a jacket and seized her Leika camera. She had no idea what was going on but her instinct told her that the unusual hubbub was due to some major crisis. A fire? No, not that--there were no fire alarms or church bells ringing the tocsin. It sounded for all the world as if huge vehicles such as tanks were rumbling along.
It had long been rumored in political circles that the King intended to enforce some kind of military law and disband his Parliament. Greece had been filled with unrest for so long...
What was this deep fear in everyone's hearts? Yes, there were communists in Greece and many others who veered to the left like herself, but they were small in numbers; nothing like the threat imagined. But fear is like a virus, spreading to everyone. Stories of communist terrorism, half-imagined, became reality in the minds of the comfortable middle classes, fueled by the propaganda of the extreme right who spread tales of paidomazoma--the supposed kidnapping of children for brainwashing into communism--tortures, massacres to strike fear and loathing in people's hearts...
At the corner of one of the streets, she stopped in sheer amazement. Hugh armoured tanks were rolling past. So she was right, that was the noise she had heard. There seemed to be armed soldiers everywhere, shouting commands in deep, harsh tones, stopping cars, pointing guns at ordinary unarmed people as if they were involved in a film, in a mock battle. It was pretense, surely? It couldn't be real. Not Athens on a quiet night before Easter? There had been no warning at all, nothing of late to indicate that simmering beneath the surface were  plots and counter-plots and discontented, power-hungry individuals ready to enforce their own version of the law. She snapped away with her camera, taking care not to be seen. Those soldiers looked unpleasant and she didn't want to get mixed up with them...
A soldier with a gun in his arms turned and stared in her direction...
~~~

Tanks were in the streets, communication lines had been cut...then the Prime Minister was taken...

And Nina was right in the middle, sending out the first exclusive article to England! But a later one was taken... All of her friends were in trouble and she went to the only man who had claimed he had connections... To get her friends' freedom, she must spend one night with him...

Wow! This story is full of thrilling human drama--the fear of the unknown, the loss, as people are taken without a cause, or family members must run to prevent being jailed... And the amazing thing was that the coup left the King helpless, since he had been bested by his opposition... Who was behind this quiet, silent invasion?

Like Nina, I was involved with my own life, working at a new interesting job in the 60s...What were you doing then? Did we even know that something like described in this novel was happening? No, I am sure many did not... And, yet, the most amazing thing for all of us should be that it was here, in Greek, that the world had its first democracy! This is a historical treasure that is well worth reading! Check it out!

Democracy can be traced back from the present day to classical Athens in the 6th century B.C.E. According to one definition, democracy is a political system in which all the members of the society have an equal share of formal political power. In modern representative democracy, this formal equality is embodied primarily in the right to vote...
GABixlerReviews



http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/loretta-proctor-396527.html - Check out interview with "Female First..."

Born in Cairo, Egypt, to an English father and Greek mother, Loretta Proctor won prizes in the 1970's for essays and plays, then wrote specialized articles. She studied Jungian, psychology and worked as a counsellor. Now retired, she delights in story telling, writes poetry and is pleased to be a distant relation of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning. Dying Phoenix is Loretta's fourth novel.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Web of Betrayal by Clare F. Price Takes Readers to Historical Power Struggles As World Wide Web Began!

Clare Price is a former technology reporter, technology marketing vice president, and author of five books on marketing; Five Easy Pages: The Essential Marketing System.
Clare saw the birth of the commercial Internet firsthand as a research director with the Gartner Group, the global leader in information technology consulting. As a principle analyst in Gartner’s Internet Strategies Service, Clare assisted many of the world’s biggest technology companies (IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Sun Microsystems, Oracle) in their bid to make the information highway a reality.
Clare began writing at age five with her short story, “My Dog Nicky.” In her career she has been a business journalist, tech industry journalist, Internet industry analyst and a VP of marketing for several software startups.
In addition to The 5 Easy Pages Essential Marketing System, Clare has written more than 700+ articles in the areas of information technology, marketing and business strategies and growth.
She has been a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, SARTA, the California Society of Association Executives, Women in Technology International (WITI), eWomen Network, uLinkNetwork, and the U.C. Davis Graduate School of Management.
Clare is an Ohio native and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a B.A. degree in Rhetoric. She currently lives in Sacramento, California with her two Shetland Sheepdogs, Dan and Toby. This is her first novel.

~~~

Heading into the historical background for the Internet is an important activity, so immediately I checked out the author's background... Nearly all of my professional career involved the use of, or development of computer systems, so I wanted to also learn from this book about what I personally saw happening... I got a little more than I bargained for, because I spent the first pages trying to figure out who the companies actually were in the battle... LOL

In any event, the author's credentials were out there loud and clear for me and after I got passed her not using real company names, I sunk deep into the story and loved it!  One ingenious action the author provided in the book is the inclusion of  QR codes to pull part of the time period directly to the reader... I cheated and brought some of those here as I usually do...


Web of Betrayal
By Clare F. Price


It only took the prologue to point out that Toby Eastman is a very dangerous man. Note that it is 1993 and he's in Colombia, due to his impending connection to drug lord Enrique Valdez. The fact that Arno, who had made the arrangements for the meet, was burned that night, slowly, was not part of the plan. You'd think that would have made him just a little concerned, wouldn't you?

Toby Eastman is a man you enjoy hating... He's willing to do anything to finish what he's started and a main revenge plan is what he's involved in now... It was ironic to me that what began to happen was due to his own actions. He'd sent a disk to a former colleague who he trusted, with only a statement that it was confidential. The man had thought it was a puzzle like they had always worked on! So when the man received it, he sent it on to several others of his "boys..." Individuals who had been working with him for quite some time.

Soon, they all started dying, seemingly accidentally...

"Henry, that disk wasn't just another puzzle,"
Toby said vehemently. "That disk has
information on it that belongs to some very
powerful men."
Henry's eyes blinked rapidly. He looked at Toby
as if he'd never seen him before. "Toby what
have you gotten yourself into? I'm sorry...
You're sorry? Toby queried silently. It's
too late for sorry...
"I'm sorry, old friend. I truly am," he
whispered, his lips brushing against Henry's
ear. "But if it hadn't been me, it would
have been them."
~~~
The fire crackled. A tongue of flame broke free, reigniting dying embers, warming the room. Toby leaned back in his chair, took a small sip of his brandy and glanced around the tight space.
Henry Rhodes's bachelor's quarters held the same comfortable clutter that Toby remembered...Henry sat in the other armchair, his feet barely reaching the floor. Like his home, Toby thought, enjoying the constancy, Henry hadn't changed much in the last eighteen years...
Despite the warmth of the fire and the brandy coursing through his veins, Toby knew he couldn't afford to relax; not until he had the computer disk back safely in his possession...
"And how are your boys?" Toby asked.
"I've got a couple of boys who are real crypto-wizards. Give even you a run for the money," Henry said, chuckling mildly as he set down the empty glass.
Henry referred to all the young engineers he'd shepherded through the company as "his boys," even the women. Although Henry had been a talented software programmer in his own right, his company soon recognized he had an even greater ability to mentor the young college recruits they hired...
"No more for me, Henry. I have to go," he said, rising. "I really just came to pick up that disk I sent you a few weeks ago."
Henry looked up at Toby embarrassed, his smile sheepish.
"I know you told me to keep that one strictly confidential, Toby. But your puzzles are always the best. It was just too tempting."
"What do you mean?" Toby asked, forcing a casualness he did not feel.
Sliding into a velveteen seat, Peter took
in the scene. The Hilton's gaudy bar, so
reminiscent of the 1970s, with its hot-
pink chairs and, red glow-in-the-dark
carpet... was proudly pretentious in a
way that only the leisure suit crowd
could truly appreciate...
Expectation, excitement and urgency
pulsed through the crowd's chatter...
~~~
"I couldn't crack it. I tried, but it was beyond me...When I couldn't solve it, I sent it to the boys to see what they could do with it." Henry's tone was mildly irritated, as if Toby had forgotten who was the student, and who the master.
                    ~~~

It was January, 1994, when Peter Ellis hits Las Vegas and immediately realized how much he hated the town, thinking it was going to be a long three days!

He was struggling after a fiasco had occurred the previous year. That it happened was bad enough...

That it involved his sister was worse...



I'm not saying anything more about
Margaret turned back to
Adam and issued her
demands. "We want a
complete retraction, a new
accurate story written by
someone else on your
staff, and a personal
apology in writing from Mr.
Ellis here, or we will file a
multimillion dollar law suit
against the Valley Tribune
this afternoon."
~~~
this one--she doesn't deserve it! LOL! You'll quickly find out more about her and Peter during their early years... and find out just how cruel she is!

That she was involved in Peter's being accused of a fabricated story was, in my opinion,  due to her, even if the book really didn't say so... And now Peter was back to square one, rebuilding his reputation as a news reporter. Fortunately, his immediate supervisor was doing as much as he could to support him...

But then his girlfriend dumped him. She had tried to stick by him, but he had started to drink and Jessica had decided to move on... Only to become involved with an important player in the major stories he was soon to be following! Because he's been placed back on covering the CES trade show. David Lockwood was the keynote speaker and why he was here...

It may sound like Peter is on the way out, but, far from it! While you watch him, he picks up pieces of information and ultimately learns about three deaths that are linked to the activities that were now happening. Then, at this show, he was the only individual who pieced together Lockwood's presentation. Tracked him down and broke the lead story on 
his work!

Ellis to Lockwood:
"I got the message. I know what you're doing."
"I got it from the Holograms...
"Three points." Peter responded, fighting to keep his voice calm...
"First message you sent: all of those holograms illustrated firsts...
"Second message: those holograms moved out over the heads of the audience...
I liked the third message the best...Each of those holograms was more than a technical breakthrough, though that was impressive enough...They also opened up a new universe...
...One question. Mr. Lockwood, just one. Am I right? Yes or no?"
"Sapphire. Internet streaming video. Yes or no?" Peter asked again...


Lockwood turned toward Peter, his brow eyes so intense Peter felt as if they were boring a hole in his skull. "I'll give you some free advice. Follow the old saying and write about what you know." Capping the statement with a cryptic smile, Lockwood existed without another word.

Peter's story on David Lockwood's Sapphire Project scooped everyone...
~~~

The forty-by-sixty-foot, three-story
high Draco booth was one of the
largest and allest on the trade show
floor. In a nod to Law Vegas itself,
the Draco logo, a green and yellow
abstract of the Dragon constellation
blinked in neon boldness at the top
of the towering booth structure. Peter
had to crane his neck to see it.
~~~
Peter was Back! But that was only the beginning...and there were enemies out to see him fail!

His sister was watching every move he made for her own personal reasons. Jessica's new lover was a major player at Draco Communications who was slowly moving to a top position...

And let's not forget our major villain...he's got it in for Peter because he picked up on the murders and is following a trail...

But then there is MediaBuilders who are fighting to be at the top against Draco and some are fighting for both sides. In fact, you'll have a hard time keeping track of who may be involved because the players are, or have been, involved during previous activities. The one thing that comes out, of course, is that those who are honest move to make things right! And that's what readers will enjoy watching and trying to decide in advance what will happen!

Peter was there to meet Alex Kavanaugh. He already knew Alex knew little about the actual technological advances now underway...but...this was the guy who Jessica was now involved with, apparently pretty seriously. Alex was loving, and didn't mind, showing, that he enjoyed having Peter in the position of the jilted lover... Peter was still trying to get Jessica back at that point...

The booth contained four rooms divided by thermoform vinyl partitions. The one closet to the walkway, meant to draw in curious passersby, was styled as a tribute to Route 66 and hung with photographs taken along the venerated route. A video clip from the 1960s TV show of the same name ran in a loop in the background with Nat King Cole's recording of the famous theme song. A classic blue 1966 Corvette convertible roadster parked in the center of the display would be raffled off for charity at the close of the show. Peter made a mental note to buy a ticket for that one...
The screen faded to black. Peter turned to Kavanagh. "Impressive, Alex. I want it. So when can I have it?"
"It's 1994, Peter," Alex replied. "You'll have it before you know it."
"You want to be a little more specific," Peter said, knowing full well that most of the applications Draco was touting here were years if not decades away. "Realistically, you guys are laying pipe."
"If by laying pipe you meant creating the fiber optic backbone we need to send digital signals across the country, then yes, we're laying pipe. We've got about half our SONET backbone finished and it'll be completed by the end of the year," Alex agreed...
Anything else I can answer for you?" he asked
..."Just one more thing. Let's say, just for kicks, that you do get some cable partners. They the key question is how are you going to get those applications to the consumer? They need a way to access all those goodies on the information highway. And I'm hearing access is through Horizon."
Alex's jaw clenched briefly. He relaxed it and smiled  a little too broadly. His face took on the expression of an indulgent uncle humoring a bright but confused child...
Peter was throwing the technology at Alex fast, hoping to catch him off-balance. From the cautious expression on Alex's face, Peter thought he was succeeding...
Alex refused to take the bait. "I'd help you if I could, Peter," he said, standing. "But really, that is a question for our engineers.  As I said, I'm happy to arrange an interview..."
~~~

And then Peter met Jordan and he found himself falling in love for the first time, but of course there were also issues between them to be solved... Such as her love of music...
"David Sanborn," Jordan said, rejoining him on the sofa. "What do you think?"
"Nice."
The disheartened look on her face surprised him. "Very nice," He tried again, but her expression didn't change.
"Why don't you play some more?" he asked, buy time to discern her mood.
"Really?" That seemed to cheer her up. At least he was heading in the right direction.
"Yeah."
"Okay, this is a classic," She pulled an old vinyl record from her shelf, put it on the turntable and turned toward him. "Tell me how it makes you feel."
Peter leaned back on the couch and closed his eyes. He had no idea why this exercise was so important to Jordan, only that it was for the moment, that was enough for him. He focused on the sounds and let him mind do what it did best: parse and analyze the data his senses were collecting.
"I'm on a city street, urban, kids are throwing coins in a gutter. Somewhere where stuff should be happening, maybe in the past, but not now. Like Hollywood and Fine."
"Are you serious? You got that from this song?" Jordan sounded incredulous.
Peter opened his eyes. "Yeah, why?"
"Because that's actually what that song is about, "It's Wes Montgomery's "Bumpin' on Sunset."
~~~

Lots going on in this one--a thriller that will entice you from many directions to both enjoy and watch as corporate deals play a deadly part in bringing the World Wide Wed to all of us to enjoy! Check this one out! You'll be glad you did...


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