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New Release: When the Skies Fell (The String Weavers – Book 6)

TSW6-350HA return to the one place she should not go.

A band injury forces Kelsey Hale and her team to return to space station Sanctuary, the last remaining Weaver refuge among the multiple Universes. Not a good place to go considering the Weaver Council wants to take away her Weaver band. Kelsey turns the risky visit into an opportunity to learn more about Professor Hadrian’s ultimate plan for his Phoenix Eggs. Only one other person might know: Dr. Rozelle Mallard, his former aide and traveling companion.

Professor Hadrian arrives on Sanctuary to heal his own band injury and he will do anything necessary to keep certain information forever secret. He knows of a way to silence Rozelle while also stealing Kelsey’s Phoenix Eggs. Never mind that it will kill the both of them.

He forgets the Weaver team he is dealing with.
He forgets Kelsey’s determination to never give up.
He forgets what Phoenix Eggs really are.

Join Kelsey Hale in a coming of age science fiction adventure across alternate universes and encounters with alien planets, species and societies. Thrust into a dangerous journey to places she could have never imagined, she is determined to discover the truth of her mysterious past. A truth that will change her life forever.

Available at the following retailers:

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New Release: The Tower of Epnos (The String Weavers – Book 5)

Yep, Kelsey and crew are back! Mother Hen likes several new characters in this book, and I hope you do, too!

Tower of Epnos 350H

An ancient enemy may still lurk among the Universes…

With Kelsey Hale’s team reunited, she soon learns just how the Eebra-Shee have protected so many for so long against an enemy who destroyed entire Universes. But, she knows something they don’t: That a Nief-Pirae ship somehow escaped the Veil designed to keep them contained.

A special investigation team of String Weavers and Eebra-Shee Masters soon arrive at a distant, and strangely hostile, Tower. The mysteries deepen with the discovery of disturbingly familiar technology on the planet, a government who wants the Tower gone, corporations run-amok, and a Tower strangely weakened.

They must find the answers, and soon. At stake is every life-form, planet, sun, and universe among the infinite multi-universes.

Join Kelsey Hale in a coming of age science fiction adventure across alternate universes and encounters with alien planets, species and societies. Thrust into a dangerous journey to places she could have never imagined, she is determined to discover the truth of her mysterious past. A truth that will change her life forever.

Available at the following retailers:

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Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 28: A New Turn

This entry is part 28 of 28 in the series Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Summer comes to a crashing end…

Ten-year-old Kevin Taggert prefers to stay home with his video games, but his parents insist he join a summer sports program. Exactly on the day the Vordac raid Earth. With his little sister depending on him for protection, Kevin must find the strength and wisdom to keep them both safe.

Before they both end up dead, or even worse: as life-long slaves of the Vordac.

You can read the story serially on this website for free, or purchase and read it now in ebook.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | DriveThruFiction | Google Play | Kobo | Omnilit | Smashwords | Xinxii

***

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 28: A New Turn

His father crossed his arms, and said without any hesitation, “It sounds as if the decision is already is made. Mr. Dale, when does this program start?”

“Later this week. I’ll sponsor him to the program,” Mr. Dale said. The rest of the conversation flew over Kevin’s head.

His father didn’t put up a fight to keep him in sports? Mr. Dale wanted to sponsor him in a robotics program? He would learn not only about robots, but how to modify them? How did this disaster end with something this good?

The door of the hovercar closed, reminding Kevin of the people around him. A ray of sunlight peaked out from the cloud layer, brightening the neighborhood.

“Bye, and thank you!” Kevin called as the hovercar lifted away to head into the city.

His mother squeezed his shoulders. “My son loves robots. Honey, he likes robots!”

“So I see,” his father said with a laugh.

Kevin looked up to him. “Are you mad?”

His father’s laughter stopped, his expression instantly serious. “Mad about what?”

“That I’m not into sports? That I don’t like them?” He should have said that better. He liked sports, but they tended to be the type that he was able to use his brain more than his muscles.

His father turned Kevin towards the house. “I am proud of you no matter what you do. You’ve had a hard time while I’ve been gone, and you tried to do something about it. You kept you and your sister safe. I have a lot to be proud of.”

His mother followed with the house-bot. “And now I know what that basement cleaning spree was all about. Show me your corner, Kevin. Then let’s see about this robot. I’m sure the two of us can figure it out.”

Kevin fetched his computer and then took them downstairs to his little workshop. As he suspected, Christy was still there having tea with her dolls, saying she knew he would come back eventually.

But, he didn’t have tea with her this time. He showed his parents what he’d been doing and a little bit about why. Not a lot, though. Not with Christy there. He didn’t want to say anything to cause her more nightmares.

Why hadn’t Christy told him about hers? But then, who was he to complain about that? He hadn’t told anyone about his.

Christy turned the dolls to watch and learn, the tea party turning into school. As for Kevin, he couldn’t believe his luck. His mother now showing him the inner workings of the robot. How to diagnose issues more efficiently. Pointing out what each part did and the problems that could occur.

Kevin listened and watched all of it, determined to remember as much as possible. He now had a summer program of his own to get ready for, and he intended to make his mother proud. He wanted to learn everything they could teach him.

His father came in and out, having changed into regular clothes. Telling him again how proud he was. That he looked forward to seeing what sort of things Kevin came back from the summer program with.

As if as proud of him as his two older brothers.

“If something doesn’t make sense, be sure to ask. It’s all about learning,” his mother said as she put a joint back together. Kevin tried to mimic her work with another joint.

“And doing,” Kevin said as he snapped it back together. He lifted the jointed arm, proud of himself.

“Definitely the doing.” She leaned back in her chair. “Which means we definitely need to get you your own tools. Rather hard to share tools when we both will need the same ones at the same time.”

“And it’s okay for me to have a table down here?” Kevin asked. He supposed he could move it all back up to his room, but it wouldn’t leave much room for anything else.

“Oh, I think you have for yourself a nice little setup down here. Out of the way. Makes good use of the space. Just as well we cleared so much clutter out of the house,” his mother said, nodding with approval as she glanced back at the row of shelving forming one wall of the corner.

“And Kevin is good at it,” Christy said. One of her doll’s head tilted forward, as if nodding in agreement. “One day he’ll be amazing.”

Kevin could only hope. After a bad start to the summer and summer programs, he finally felt like he had something to look forward to.

He would figure out how to reset Nanny-Bot if he needed to. And maybe figure out how to disrupt the Vordac raiding robots? Now, that would be a worthy project, and one his father would be really proud of. It would also help the Galactic Patrol and those worlds that suffered more raids than Earth. Time for a bunch of crash learning.

Oh yeah. He intended to learn a lot this summer. He now had things to do. Goals.

Vordac, watch out. Kevin Taggert intended to fight back in his own way.

THE END

Mind of a Child 350H***

Support the story by throwing a tip my way if it makes you happy. Buy my other books for more reading joy. Comments have been known to result in warm fuzzies. Spread the word, tell a friend, or add a link to the story for even more. So many ways to gather warm happy fuzzies!

Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.

Book Two available now!

Mind of a Child (Zerralon 1.2)

A day of fun descends into a day of fear.

Liam Taggert hopes a trip to one of the big amusement parks on the planet of Mydore will take his children’s minds off their mother’s situation. It worked… until Kevin disappeared, kidnapped by unknown abductors.

While his father and the Galactic Patrol race to find him, Kevin awakes in a strange place, unsure how he got there…

…With his life hanging on the very desires hidden in his heart.

Available at the following retailers:

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Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 27: The Truth

This entry is part 27 of 28 in the series Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Summer comes to a crashing end…

Ten-year-old Kevin Taggert prefers to stay home with his video games, but his parents insist he join a summer sports program. Exactly on the day the Vordac raid Earth. With his little sister depending on him for protection, Kevin must find the strength and wisdom to keep them both safe.

Before they both end up dead, or even worse: as life-long slaves of the Vordac.

You can read the story serially on this website for free, or purchase and read it now in ebook.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | DriveThruFiction | Google Play | Kobo | Omnilit | Smashwords | Xinxii

***

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 27: The Truth

Kevin swallowed hard. He slid the computer onto his father’s workbench and then forced himself to walk forward out of the safety of the garage and into the drizzling rain. To where Mr. Dale was wringing water out of the back bottom hem of his suit jacket. Not that it did any good. Not with his entire back wet. And his pants from the knees down. And one sleeve.

Oh man.

His mother turned, planting her hands on her hips to glare him down. “Kevin, what was that about?”

“I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to.” Kevin stopped, realizing he was stuttering.

“Care to explain?” his father asked in a calmer voice, but still one that demanded answers. His father pulled the robot away from the hovercar. Still in his Galactic Patrol dark-blue field uniform, he looked so dignified. So in control. A person to go to in time of need.

Everything Kevin wasn’t, and he wanted to be. Now he’d embarrassed his mother in front of him and her boss.

“No harm done,” Mr. Dale said, giving up on his suit.

“Kevin?” his mother prompted again.

Right. Explanation. Time to get it over with.

“I wanted to know more about robots. Thought it would help in case of another attack. It’s the broken house-bot. I got most of the errors cleared, but obviously I missed one. It should have gone only a short distance on the test command.” Kevin stopped, biting his lower lip. He couldn’t have explained it better? He sounded like a pathetic kid. But then, maybe he was. “It really should have only gone a few steps away.”

“I think I understood part of that,” his mother said slowly.

“Kevin, have you been having nightmares?” his father asked.

Kevin looked down at his feet. He’d dreaded that kind of question, and then to have his father ask right out? He didn’t want to answer. After all, it was his problem.

But, he found himself nodding, unable to keep the truth from seeping out. “But, they’re getting better.”

“Why do you think they are getting better?” his father asked.

Kevin just shook his head, his tongue now stuck to the roof of his mouth. Now that it was time to say it out loud, the reason sounded stupid. He didn’t want to sound more stupid.

“Kevin, take the robot inside. We’ll talk later,” his mother said, not sounding very pleased. But then, why should she? He’d really messed up.

Before he could back away, he felt a big warm hand on his shoulder. He looked up to find his father staring down at him, worry infusing his face. “Does working on this help?”

Kevin nodded. “The dreams aren’t as bad as before. And I’m getting it! I figured out most of the problems.”

A little more time and work and he was sure he could solve the rest. Even if it took wiping everything out of the robot core systems and reloading fresh from the open-source resources he’d found.

“I’m sorry I haven’t been home. But, now that I am, we’ll talk about this,” his father said.

“Nightmares?” his mother asked. “Why didn’t you tell me? Christy did.”

“I wanted to deal with it,” Kevin mumbled, staring down at his feet again.

“I’m proud of you, son. The way you saved yourself and Christy. I heard from the police-bot that took you to the shelter about how you were evading the Vordac. Very good job. I want to hear the whole story from you.”

Kevin looked up at that. His father proud of what he did? Even though he destroyed their other hovercar?

“Sounds like quite the adventure,” Mr. Dale said. He turned the house-bot around, looking at it from all angles. “A nice project to start out with. Did it function at all when you started?”

“No sir.” Kevin sighed. “And it’s still not right. There are a few more things I can try.”

Mr. Dale smiled, but not at Kevin. Instead, it was aimed at his mother. “Looks like you have someone following in your footsteps. You must be proud.”

Mr. Dale wasn’t upset? Thanks to Kevin and the house-bot, he’d landed back-first into running water.

“Honestly, I had no idea he had an interest,” his mother said, turning to regard Kevin. “How long?”

“I always liked watching you work.” Would for hours while he did homework. It reminded him of how games worked. Figured out how the pieces fit to make the whole. Use what he learned to get to the next level. Repairing robots felt the same.

“And would this be why I’m suddenly missing tools?” she asked. She laughed when Kevin gulped again. “I think the answer is yes.”

“I was going to ask you for my own. After I proved I could fix one,” Kevin said so fast that the words tripped over each other.

“Sounds like our Kevin. So methodical,” his father said, shaking his head. But, he smiled while doing it. That had to be a good sign, right?

“Methodical is what is needed with robotics. To ensure good quality.” To his mother, Mr. Dale added, “Is he in a summer program yet?”

She nodded. “He’s signed up for the sports program, but we haven’t heard when they start up again. Why?”

“Because the company sponsors its own summer program.” Mr. Dale smiled at Kevin, but Kevin didn’t know if that was a good thing or not. “Something you might find of interest? Introduction to robotic design and modification?”

“Not sports?” Kevin squeaked.

“Uh, no. Not sports. You would have to make a choice.”

To his father Kevin asked, “Robots? Please? Or do you really want me in sports?”

“Liam, look at him. Put the boy out of his misery,” his mother said with a laugh.

Yes, misery. Not that Kevin had any doubts which program his father would prefer him in. Which one he would still end up doing no matter how he asked. But, that didn’t stop him from asking… and hoping.

TO BE CONTINUED…

***

Come back for more reading! Look for the next exciting installment each Tuesday.

Support the story by throwing a tip my way if it makes you happy. Buy my other books for more reading joy. Comments have been known to result in warm fuzzies. Spread the word, tell a friend, or add a link to the story for even more. So many ways to gather warm happy fuzzies!

Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.




Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 26: No Peace

This entry is part 26 of 28 in the series Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Summer comes to a crashing end…

Ten-year-old Kevin Taggert prefers to stay home with his video games, but his parents insist he join a summer sports program. Exactly on the day the Vordac raid Earth. With his little sister depending on him for protection, Kevin must find the strength and wisdom to keep them both safe.

Before they both end up dead, or even worse: as life-long slaves of the Vordac.

You can read the story serially on this website for free, or purchase and read it now in ebook.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | DriveThruFiction | Google Play | Kobo | Omnilit | Smashwords | Xinxii

***

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 26: No Peace

Christy shook a doll at Sean. “Princess Serena banishes you to the sparkling mines!”

“Aren’t these all the broken robots from the garage?” Greg asked, pointing at the robots on the other table.

Sean held out the tool. “Did you take this without permission.”

Kevin grabbed the house-bot under one arm, and his computer with his other hand.

“Trying to get this done!” he raged as he stormed up the stairs. Really, could he get no peace? He’d made himself a corner, and now it was already ruined.

Besides, he was going to ask his mother for his own tools just as soon as he proved he could do something with them. She hadn’t missed the tools he’d borrowed so far. He hadn’t stolen them.

He had to admit that he should have asked first, though. He’d been so anxious to get to work on the repair project that he hadn’t wanted to wake her up in the night or early morning to do it. Because then he would have also had to explain why he was up at that time of day. Then he’d forgotten to do it at all.

Testing. He needed to focus on testing. If the robot worked, then he would talk to his mother when she came back from work. But, where to do the testing? Somewhere the robot couldn’t hurt anything if it didn’t work right.

He ended up in the garage. The garage door was still up, allowing him a good view of the lawn and street. A fine mist of rain still fell from light-gray clouds. The air smelled clean and fresh.

Oh yes, a nice peaceful place to do a little testing. Kevin set the robot down in the middle of the garage. Without the two hovercars, it really was rather big. Plenty of room to do what he needed to do. If the robot would do anything to begin with…

Power on. The inset eyes in the round head flashed into life. Then it beeped once. Good. He then turned to his computer, making sure data sync between it and the robot worked properly.

“And now you’re up here?”

Kevin closed his eyes at the sound of Sean’s voice. Oh, please, no.

A basketball bounced on the floor, the hard rebound echoing through the space. Greg said, “Rain is letting up. Want to play?”

In response came a quickening of the splatters of rain hitting the driveway. The ball bouncing stopped.

“Okay, maybe not yet,” Greg said.

All the time, Kevin concentrated on his computer. Checking the connection. Bouncing simple commands to the robot processor to make sure the house-bot could both receive and send.

“No, pass it over,” Greg said, as the ball started bouncing again. “Kevin, you are taking up the whole middle.”

“Because I’m trying to test!” Kevin kept his back to them on purpose. Why couldn’t they get the message? Why did they have to follow him out? Was Christy still down in his corner playing on the table?

The ball stopped bouncing. Only then did he realize Sean was standing next to him, looking down at the robot. “Isn’t it supposed to do something?”

“And it will,” Kevin said. The command to turn its head worked! Great. Now to try something more complicated.

“Doesn’t look like much,” Sean said in response to the movement.

“I’m starting slow.” Really, did he have to explain everything he was doing?

“Why didn’t Mom drive the hovercar back?” Greg said, walking to the front of the garage.

Kevin sent a command to tell the robot to move forward. The command was acknowledged on his screen.

Meanwhile, the robot shot forward. Not just the short distance it should have, but across the garage, out the doors, and straight down the driveway.

“Hey!” Kevin shouted after it.

Then he saw the strange hovercar and the man helping his mother get out. Her boss, Mr. Dale, dropping her and a robot project off.

The house-bot headed straight for the two. His mother looked up at his shout, and dodged to the right. Mr. Dale managed to glance over his shoulder just as the house-bot hit the back of his legs.

Mr. Dale went down in a flail of arms. He splashed down in the steady stream of water running down the shallow gutter at the edge of the street. The house-bot came to a stop against the side of the hovercar, beeping out errors.

Another hovercar pulled up behind Mr. Dale’s. The deep-red hovercar belonging to the family, this time with his father in it. He stepped out and stopped, staring at the scene of Kevin’s mother trying to help Mr. Dale up out of the water.

Kevin’s fingers fumbled to shut the house-bot down. The computer acknowledged the order and the beeping from the house-bot stopped. Nothing filled the silence except the gentle fall of the rain and the sound of the water running along the street.

“Are you okay?” his mother asked, while his father rushed forward to help. Mr. Dale succeeded in getting even more wet as he pushed himself out of the water.

Sean backed away, whispering, “You’re on you own on this one.”

“You’re in for it now.” Greg turned and ran for the door into the house, fighting his brother to get through it first.

Both of them leaving him to face his mother, his father, and Mr. Dale. Alone.

TO BE CONTINUED…

***

Come back for more reading! Look for the next exciting installment each Tuesday.

Support the story by throwing a tip my way if it makes you happy. Buy my other books for more reading joy. Comments have been known to result in warm fuzzies. Spread the word, tell a friend, or add a link to the story for even more. So many ways to gather warm happy fuzzies!

Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.




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Writerly Progress

2015 Yearly New Words
47.15%  188600 of 400000
2015 Yearly Revision Words
9.53%  38100 of 400000

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The works of J.A. Marlow are available in a wide number of formats including DRM-Free. Below is a list of a few of the retailers the various formats can be found at.

Mobi (Kindle compatible): Amazon, Drive Thru Scifi, Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii

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PDF: Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii

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RTF (Rich Text Format): Smashwords

LRF (Older Sony Reader format): Smashwords

Plain Text: Smashwords

Online Reading (HTML): Google Play, Smashwords

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