The Darkest Loop

 

Historical Fiction
Date Published: 9/4/2017
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Dallas Anderson is stuck in a time loop that repeats Labor Day 2001 to September 11, 2001. He thinks he must prevent the terrorist attacks to break the loop. But each loop challenges that theory, igniting a fiery romance between him and his best friend’s sister and exposing the dark truth behind Déjà vu.

Review

This was a great ride of a novel. You have time loops and time travel. Trying to prevent a conspiracy/attack and everything in between. There is not a dull moment in this novel, it is action packed and full of twists and turns. I was completed captivated by James Fant’s writing and the story in general. Wonderful characters, wonderful setting and descriptions, and wonderful ending!

James Fant is an award winning author who lives in Charleston, SC with his lovely wife and two hilarious children. He received a degree in biology from College of Charleston and a master’s in business administration from Charleston Southern University. His love for literature was forged by the works of Eric Jerome Dickey, Walter Mosely, and Stephen King. He also finds inspiration from screenwriters Shonda Rhimes, Aaron Sorkin and Kurt Sutter. Literarily, James has always been drawn to intelligent yet imperfect characters and he writes novels with them in mind.
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The Witch’s Handbook to Hunting Vampires

 

Paranormal/Witch Cozy Mystery
Date Published: September 5, 2017
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Andie Taylor is your average single mom. She’s got a beautiful toddler, a great job at the local preschool, a neurotic best friend and one huge secret—she used to hunt vampires. Now retired, Andie would much rather be wiping kid snot off her clothes than stalking the undead.
But after a meteor rips through her small town, strange things start happening—like the school janitor is found dead with fang marks in his neck.
Andie’s retired, it’s not her problem.
Until vampires attack Andie on her front lawn. Now she has to figure out who the head bloodsucker is and stop him from taking any more victims—all while juggling single motherhood, a crazy great aunt, and Andie’s own lust for a fallen angel. Can she solve the mystery before the vampires claim someone else? Or will she become the next target of the bloodsuckers?
Review
As if being a Single Mom isn’t hard enough on its own.

Andie’s character is complex and has a variety of things going on in her present as well as some things from the past that are causing her life to run a muck.

Amy Boyle’s writing style is very direct. There is no skirting around things. Characters and plot are both well developed.

I loved the humor laced throughout this novel. I liked how Boyle’s balance of the humor, mystery, paranormal, and romance all led to a wonderfully exciting read.

About the Author

Amy Boyles grew up reading Judy Blume and Christopher Pike. Somehow, the combination of coming of age books and teenage murder mysteries made her want to be a writer. After graduating college at DePauw University, she spent some time living in Chicago, Louisville, and New York before settling back in the South. Now, she spends her time chasing two toddlers while trying to stir up trouble in Silver Springs, Alabama, the fictional town where Dylan Apel and her sisters are trying to master witchcraft, tame their crazy relatives, and juggle their love lives.
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Dead Cold

Crime Thriller
Date Published: July 2, 2017
Publisher: JEC Press
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Every Emily Stone Thriller is a stand-along novel.
From the multi-award winning series:
What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.
On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.
Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.
Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.
The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.
Review
A solid Thriller Novel. The premise is unique, which made me excited to read it just from the synopsis. This is one of those stories that will start off with a bang and not let up until the very last page. It really keeps on a great pace throughout.

Jennifer Chase has really created an imaginative thriller that has plenty of twists and surprises I was wondering how it would all unfold and end. Chase definitely managed to keep me on the edge and invested until the very end.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning author and consulting criminologist. She has authored eight crime fiction novels, including the multiple award-winning Emily Stone thriller series along with a screenwriting workbook.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor degree in police forensics and a Master’s degree in criminology. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

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The Man in the Forest

 

Paranormal Horror
Date Published: May 31, 2017
Publisher: Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.
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Vincent, a musical prodigy, is caught up in a concert rivalry with a former student. He travels to Romania to settle the score, but what he discovers is the horrific true story behind the song his protégé wrote, “The Man in the Forest.” Supernatural phenomena and horrific sights abound, but the locals are tight-lipped about the mysterious goings-on. Can Vincent and his group upstage their rival, or will they fall prey to the curse of the man in the forest?
Review
Wow, this one really delivers in many areas. It is a thrilling Horror novel with teeth. Yes, it took a bit of catching up to understand what was going on,  but once in the heart of it, Michael Warriner has the reader hooked.
As far as Characters, Plot, and Flow, everything was very well developed and smooth.
This novel was a great escape from reality as well as a quick and easy read
About the Author


Born and raised in Central Florida, Michael Warriner pursued an early interest in learning music and creating characters in hand-drawn comic books. He began his career working simultaneously in the mental health industry and as a character performer at his local theme park. It was while pursuing his degree in Psychology that he began writing stories “just to kill time.” Before long, he had written two manuscripts. This developing interest in telling stories was further driven by his fascination with amateur filmmaking. By day, Michael now applies his education and training to assist clients diagnosed with mental illness. By night, he writes novels, and in his free time he composes music. He draws upon these varied interests to create unique characters and thrust them into memorable stories.
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Chavez

 

Jagged Edge Series #7
Romance, Erotica
Date Published: September 12, 2017
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Working hard to graduate at the top of her class and becoming the best FBI agent had finally paid off for Agent Gabrielle Jackson. Selected to head one of the most important operations of her career, the unexpected happens when Jagged Edge Security is brought in to assist. The thing that Gabrielle needed was to be attracted to one the men. Trying to keep her distance, she soon finds that she can no longer resist the charm of Michael Chavez. Soon that all changes when she finds that her past has a connection to the operation and the only person on her side is him.
Working with a woman like Gabrielle Jackson was something that Michael Chavez hadn’t counted on. Even with her cheeky Latino attitude, she was the sexiest woman he had ever met and he had to have her. Just when he thought his night of bliss would lead to more, she halts his efforts by turning their night of romance into a one-night stand. When things begin to surface and the truth is revealed, there is no stopping Chavez from getting what he wants.
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About the Author

My love for writing began several years ago after an early retirement from a demanding job that I loved, but also hated because it consumed so much of my time. Now, I am able to focus my time on what I love. Writing romance has been a life long dream and to actually say that I am a published author is beyond what I would have ever expected.
Even though some may say I have a little naughtiness in my books, I look at it as an added bonus for my readers. After all what is a romance book without a little spice.
When I am not writing, I enjoy spending time with friends either at home or out on the town. Mostly, I enjoy a relaxing night at home where I can enjoy a glass of wine in the company of a good book.
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The Nostradamus Code

 

YA Sci-Fi Thriller
Published: July 19, 2017
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
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On a settlement planet far into the future the worldwide economic crash has turned New Stockton into a city broken by political corruption and pervasive organized crime. Scotland Murrow’s journalist father has gone missing while investigating a twelve year old murder case. The victim was found with an encrypted file, known as the Nostradamus Code, imbedded in his thumbnail leading Scotland to believe that the file contains the secret to his father’s fate. Aided by his reformed junkie friend and a journalist who may have her own secret agenda Scotland scours the city’s seedy underbelly, traverses the unchartered outlands and breaches a fortified Citadel as he peels away layer upon layer of the Nostradamus Code to confront his biggest fears and uncover a plot to bring down the most powerful man on the planet.

Review

 

There are a lot of moving parts to this novel and a good amount of drama and action without being action packed. I liked the way the characters were relatable even though it was set in a different time period.
The Sci-Fi aspect is very well done and the imagery and setting is amazing. The Author really brings the world to life through words.
Get ready to be immersed in the world and captivated by the characters he has created.
About the Author


Patrick Temple Hickey has written for TV shows on BBC and Ireland’s RTE. He contributes editorial and single panel cartoons to various newspapers and magazines all over the world and has graphic stories published in independent anthologies such as Slambang, The Shiznit and Don’t Touch Me. His first YA SCi FI novel, The Nostradamus Code, was published with Double Dragon Publishing in July 2017.
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The Faberge Entanglement

Suspense/Action/Romance
Date Published: July 13, 2015
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Sabinne ‘Saber’ Darrieux’s father, the billionaire CEO of Frontenac Global Security has been kidnapped. His ransom is not cash in a numbered offshore account, or a briefcase of Bearer Bonds but something utterly unique, incredibly valuable, and until recently, hidden away from the world.
The kidnapper seems to know Saber very well, and knows that the next day, through her work as an elite translator she will be in the same location as the Object. She must steal the Object and deliver it to the kidnapper to ransom her father.
Adrian Steele, a British Intelligence agent has just come off of two harrowing missions. Upon returning to London for a well-earned rest, he learns that his friend and fellow agent, has been murdered in Moscow, but not before he made use of a unique Object as a mobile ‘drop site’ for the valuable intelligence he was carrying.
The drop site is traveling from Moscow to England. Steele insists on completing the mission to honor the death of his friend, Gerry Cornell.
At an ultra-chic quasi-diplomatic gathering in a mansion in Windsor, England, Saber and Steele meet and find themselves faced with a powerful, undeniable attraction. But at the moment, this compelling attraction is very inconvenient.
In reality they are at the mansion to check out the security arrangements — for their own reasons — to steal the Object, a Fabergé egg worth thirty million dollars. But who will get to the egg first?
Fabergé eggs are very famous for their unique surprises. Saber and Steele are about to be very surprised, indeed.
And when Saber clashes with Steele; more than sparks will explode!

 

 

Review

This title to me screams sophistication. I think that really comes through in the writing and the plot. It’s not your typical Romantic Suspense / Action novel, its elevated. I liked the way the authors drew us in to the mystery and suspense of it all and let us be surprised along the way by how it unfolded. Well done!

 

 
About the Authors

LESLEY MERYN


Enjoyed an exotic, adventure-filled childhood, following her anthropologist father and travel writer mother to the farthest corners of the world. She later took inspiration from her Aunt Sophia Francesca and became the author of romantic adventure novels. She alternates her time between Los Angeles, and a family property located in Yorkshire England. 

ELLE BROOKES


She is the author of the first two books of the Time Frame Series. Loves travel, discovering new foods to try, reading and writing. She currently lives in the central highlands of Costa Rica with her dog Pixie and her hedgehog Quiller.
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Fire on the Farm

Fire on the Farm
by Betty Shreffler

FREE!!!
for a limited time

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FREE!!! Fire on the Farm by Betty Shreffler is free for a limited time!!!

I just loved every single word of this story. Superb writing and fabulous emotions… This is a MUST READ!” ~ A Book Lover’s Emporium Book Blog

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Losing the man she loved to a terrible accident, pushes Amy Flanders into a life of independence. Her only source of comfort is her work—a business dedicated to the care and training of horses. Until one lonely night leads her into the arms of Brock Baisdin. A man who fulfills her deepest desires and reignites a flame long forgotten.

Between his picky tastes and running his own business, Brock Baisdin has little time for women, but that doesn’t stop him from looking for love. After saving Amy from a cancelled date, Brock is instantly drawn to the shy and beautiful woman hiding secrets beneath her lust-filled baby blues—secrets he finds himself eager to discover.

Undeniable attraction pulls them into each other’s arms. Hope draws them into each other’s lives. For Amy Flanders, Brock Baisdin may be the man to bring love back into her lonely life, if only she can overcome the wounds of her past and face her biggest fear—risking the pain of another shattered heart.

The Seeds of Dissolution

 

Science Fiction / Fantasy
Publisher: Space Wizard Science Fantasy
Date Published: November 2017
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On a bright August day, the sun disappears.
Sam van Oen barely escapes freezing to death in his house, as his watch stops and fire ceases to burn. He is pulled into the Nether—a nexus between ten alien cultures—where he meets Rilan and Origon, two maji who can control the musical foundation of the universe. While coping with anxiety attacks prompted by his new surroundings, Sam must learn to hear and change the Symphony, and thus reality, in order to discover what happened to his home.
But more freezing voids like the one that started his journey are appearing, and Sam’s chances of getting back are fading. The Assembly of Species is threatening to dissolve and the maji are being attacked by those they protect, while rumors grow of an ancient, shape-changing species of assassins, returning to wage war.
The Dissolution is coming.
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Review
Real and Vivid. I liked the way that William C. Tracy wove his tale.

Characterization was huge in this novel. The characters were all very well developed and had their own motivations and faults. It made them seem more real to me as the reader.

I also really liked the flow of this novel. It felt very smooth.

 
About the Author
 

William C. Tracy is a North Carolina native and a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy. He has two self-published novellas available: Tuning the Symphony, and Merchants and Maji, both set in his Dissolutionverse. The Kickstarter for the first novel, The Seeds of Dissolution, will run in August/September 2017.
He also has a masters in mechanical engineering, and has both designed and operated heavy construction machinery. He has trained in Wado-Ryu karate since 2003, and runs his own dojo in Raleigh. He is an avid video and board gamer, a reader, and of course, a writer. He and his wife also cosplay, and he has appeared as Tenzin, Jafar, and in several steampunk outfits.
In his spare time, he wrangles three cats and a bald guinea pig, and his wife wrangles him (not an easy task). They both enjoy putting their pets in cute little costumes and making them cosplay for the annual Christmas card.
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The Nostradamus Code

 

YA Sci-Fi Thriller
Published: July 19, 2017
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
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On a settlement planet far into the future the worldwide economic crash has turned New Stockton into a city broken by political corruption and pervasive organized crime. Scotland Murrow’s journalist father has gone missing while investigating a twelve year old murder case. The victim was found with an encrypted file, known as the Nostradamus Code, imbedded in his thumbnail leading Scotland to believe that the file contains the secret to his father’s fate. Aided by his reformed junkie friend and a journalist who may have her own secret agenda Scotland scours the city’s seedy underbelly, traverses the unchartered outlands and breaches a fortified Citadel as he peels away layer upon layer of the Nostradamus Code to confront his biggest fears and uncover a plot to bring down the most powerful man on the planet.

 

Excerpt
Chapter One
 
Excerpt from the Global News Grid, 25-11-98
Still no updates on the whereabouts of renowned Public Eye, Elliot Murrow, who was formally declared missing on Tuesday the 18th by the Global News Grid.
For close to two decades Murrow broke exclusive stories for the GN Grid that shone a spotlight on the corrupt and avaricious in New Stockton’s government and industry. No stranger to extended periods of undercover work, Murrow’s unwavering dedication to the truth resulted in the resignations of bureaucrats, the closing of pollutant factories, the capture of mob bosses, the collapse of child prostitution rings and even on one occasion a public enquiry into the spending habits of every member of the upper house of government.
During his outstanding career Elliot Murrow made a lifetime’s worth of influential enemies with ways and means of disposing pests. Mr. Murrow was working undercover for the Global News Grid at the time of his disappearance.
A spokesperson for the NS Peace Keeping Force said that they are too tied up with maintaining law and order on the streets of New Stockton to conduct missing person’s inquiries.
I lift my eyes from the article on my slate and take in Denholm’s gaze from across our dimly lit sitting room. I can tell from his dilated pupils and hesitant speech that he’s just returned from an extended visit to an opiate den in the squalid districts but he’s doing a good job at acting sober and concerned for my dad.
“You’re sure he’s missing?” He asks, slurring his words slightly. “I mean, couldn’t he have just lost track of time while on an assignment.”
“Dead sure,” I tell him. “He was due back over a week ago. He usually checked in if there was a change to his plans. This is the longest he’s ever gone without any form of contact.”
“Have you reported him missing?”
“Did that a few days ago for all the good it will do.” The Peace Force doesn’t search for missing people. One less person to worry about in the rapidly decaying metropolis of New Stockton is a blessing for all of the authorities.
When I’m being brutally honest with myself I don’t expect I’ll ever see my father again. Whenever he’d read a report of a Public Eye who’d disappeared or died suddenly his jaw would set in grim resolve and his eyes would glaze over with a thousand-meter-stare. This is how good Public Eyes died. It’s just inevitable. An unexplained disappearance. Throughout his career with The Globe News Grid he’d been beaten up, arrested, kidnapped, and tortured. He blamed himself for what happened to my mother twelve years ago. She had awoken to the sound of a thud coming from the living room. She went downstairs to investigate and was shot three times by an intruder. Hearing the shots my father scurried down the stairs and fired off a couple of rounds of his air gun catching the intruder in the eye and sending him fleeing into the suburban streets. I was only five at the time. It was a long time before I could make the connection between what my dad did for a living and a man entering our house with murderous intent. My mother’s murder was deemed by the official Peace Force to be the result of an “interrupted break-in”.
My father and I left our nice house in the outer district and embarked on our semi-nomadic life of moving from one ramshackle flat to another in New Stockton’s inner city region. We’ve been in this flat on the forty second floor of Candlemere Heights for the past four years. It’s the first place since our house in the suburbs that actually felt like a home.
Denholm sinks further into the faded brown leather armchair. “What are you going to do about it? You gonna look for him?”
“I have to. I need to know what happened to him.”
“What was he working on?” Denholm asks, his gaze drifting toward the kitchenette. The munchies are well on their way as the effects of his dose wear off.
“I’ve been going through his slate to see what files he was working on recently.” I walk to the desk in the corner by the window and grab my dad’s slate.
Denholm focusses his fuzzy head at the device in my hand. “He left that behind?”
“He never took this with him on a story,” I reply. “Too many details in here that would give him away. Especially if he was undercover.”
“Makes sense.” He rises from his chair and saunters behind the counter in the kitchen area. “Keep talking. I’ll just fix myself a sandwich. You were saying he was working on… “
“Seems like he was investigating two stories, the reason behind the economic collapse of ’87 and an old murder case where a body was discovered in a wasteland on the outskirts of New Stockton about twelve years ago. According to his notes the victim was David Kohn, inventor of The Nostradamus Algorithm.”
“The program that predicts the future,” Denholm mumbles loudly with his mouth full of bread.
“During his post mortem examination it was discovered that David had a chip hidden in his thumbnail that contained a very cryptic cypher.”
“I remember that!” Denholm shouts, spitting fragments of sandwich out onto the counter. “Nobody could break the code. Didn’t fit in with any parameters of any cryptographic programs! I always wanted to have a go at cracking that code myself but I never got around to it.”
I flip through the pages on my father’s slate. “I think my dad got somewhere with it from what I can see in his notes.”
“Maybe cracking the code got him into trouble. Somebody might want it to remain un-cracked.”
“How would anyone know if the code was partly cracked?” I ask.
Denholm takes a contemplative bite of his sandwich. “Yeah, I don’t know,” he says with a shrug. “He wasn’t the type to go bragging about it.” He swivels around and pulls open the fridge. “Unless he mentioned something to his boss at the Globe. Mr. Whatsit.”
If my dad gave his boss an update of where he was with the story would he mention that he was on his way to breaking the code? Maybe. “I don’t think Kiefer Gray would sell my dad out, though.”
Denholm takes a swig from a bottle of mandarin juice. “These are tough times, Scotland. People do all sorts of pathetic things to get by.”
“I should go and talk to him,” I say, grabbing my keys from the mantle. “You wanna come?”
“No, you go.” Denholm’s eyes shifted uneasily from left to right. “I’ve got some business to take care of at the office.”
The “Office” for Denholm was the seedier side of New Stockton’s Ex District. So called because it used to be the financial district, after the collapse it was known as the Ex Financial district and now people just refer to it as the Ex District. Denholm deals drugs and uses his extensive medical knowledge to patch up injured criminals who can’t go to any official doctor without alerting the Peace Officers. Though only eighteen he learned everything he knows from his doctor mother who administered to injured and dying criminals until it got her killed in the crossfire of a gang shootout about six months ago.
I step out into the bare concrete hallway and hope at least one of the elevators is working today. Forty two floors is a long way up and I’m in no mood for a jog down the stinking stairwell crowded with kids either bored out of their minds or high on the cheapest opiate available on the streets.
The door bings and slides open. Nav Dhalla stands menacingly in the middle of the lift with his feet planted wide and his hand outstretched. Since I’m eager to get to the Globe I don’t argue with him and hand over a five. I don’t mind being extorted out of a five every once in a while because if it weren’t for Nav’s boss these old elevators would probably never run.
“Busy today?” I ask, breaking the elevator silence.
“Nah, too many people using the chutes and taking the stairs,” Nav says mournfully. “If it weren’t for the old or the sick we’d hardly have any paying customers at all.”
The ground floor of Candlemere Heights is packed, as usual, with stalls selling all of life’s necessities. The sounds and smells hit me like a punch in the face as soon as the elevator doors slide open: spices, herbs, fruit, fish, buyers haggling with vendors, vendors yelling about their wares. It’s all here. I’d never have to leave the building if I didn’t want to.
Outside it’s chilly and grey. It’s always grey. The sky above could be clear blue but on street level there’s nothing but grey. The buildings stretching eighty to over a hundred floors high surround you at every turn so you’re always in the shade no matter what side of the street you walk on. What sliver of natural light might actually trickle down to the street is obscured by the hundreds of makeshift chutes and bridges running from building to building at every story. Life in New Stockton doesn’t just happen on street level.
I push my way through the bustle and head toward the Pipe station at the end of DuPont Street. The line-up for the Pipe is surrounded by sleazy pushers and the usual child pick-pockets in filthy rags two sizes too big for them but, like most experienced public transport users, I keep my hand in my wallet pocket and my deadpan face pointed forward.
A ten minute Pipe ride brings me right outside the fortified offices of the Globe News Grid. I tell the armed guard at the gatehouse that I’m here to see Kiefer Gray. The guard scans my cred card and disappears behind a door. After a minute or two he reappears, hands me back my card along with a visitor tag and tells me to head on up to the top floor.
The elevator doors slide open to a hum of activity. There must be about sixty or seventy people working on this level. Some are hunched over slates, entranced by their reading, some are typing furiously and others are on video-links engaged in loud and frenzied conversations.
The sights and sounds of this are familiar to me. I’ve been here many times with my dad. Over the years I got to know some of the other Public Eyes and would sometimes amuse myself on a guest slate while my dad finished off a story or accessed the Globes secure reference database. There was always a sense of urgency in this room. Urgency and purpose. It was that sense of purpose – that feeling that I could make a difference to this failed nation – that made me want to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a Public Eye too. Besides it’s not like I had a scrap of training for any other job and my formal education is as non-existent as every other kid who isn’t from an uber-rich family.
I head over to Kiefer Gray’s corner office. Two glass walls overlook the hive of activity that is the epicenter of the Globe News Grid. Gray’s desk is positioned at a forty five degree angle to the two exterior windows that gaze out onto the sprawling metropolis of New Stockton from the ninety seventh floor.
I walk past the sliding glass door and Mr. Gray raises a finger to indicate “one minute”.
“Just get it to me in the next forty five minutes and we can get it into our next broadcast,” he says to whoever’s on the other end of the line. He taps his slate screen and turns his attention to me. “Sorry about that. Another Public Eye who thinks he can bring this planet crashing to its knees. You’d know about that.”
It’s an obvious jibe at my dad and I feel my body tense. If my dad were with us now he’d laugh off the remark and make some stinging retort but right now I frown back at Kiefer Gray and watch his face crumble in embarrassment.
“I’m sorry, Scotland,” he says. “That was in bad taste. It’d completely slipped my mind that he was gone. It always seems that he’ll just pop up out of nowhere and hand in a Diogenes Prize-winning story.” He waves his hand to a chair. “Take a seat and forgive an old man his rotten sense of humor.”
I sit in the comfy leather and chrome chair and observe the man in front of me. He isn’t old at all, probably just over fifty. He just looks his age and that’s unusual for somebody with money. His hair is a bristly grey frizz, his eyes are surrounded by lines and dark circles and his waistline hasn’t been regularly sucked or vibrated into shape by some contraptions I’ve only ever seen advertised on the grid.
“What can I do for you?” he asks, his voice low and sympathetic. “I assume it’s about your dad?”
“Yeah, I’m trying to get a handle on what happened to him,” I reply. “Was he working on anything that might’ve got him into deeper shit with the rich and powerful than he already was?”
Gray’s face hardens into a frown. “I’ll be honest with you Scotland; your dad was working on a story I had no intention of publishing.” He exhaled slowly and shook his head gravely. “He was obsessed with an old murder. Ancient history. No use to me. I want what’s going on now. I told him I can’t use this old stuff but he kept delving into it. He didn’t file a decent report to me since mid-summer.” Kiefer Gray remembers who I am and stops himself from uttering any harsher criticisms of my dad. “Pity, he was always such a good Eye. One of the finest.”
“Is there any chance of getting a look at any reports or files that he was working on?” I ask.
“Why?” Gray’s casual demeanour suddenly morphs into alert tension. “What would you want them for?”
“I figured if I knew what he was working on and how much progress he’d made I might be able to piece together his last movements.”
“I don’t have anything,” he says rising abruptly from his chair. “Truthfully, any file he handed over in the last two months was promptly deleted. It was useless stuff, nothing worth saving.” He stands by the sliding glass door and I take this as my cue to leave. “Just an embarrassment to the man he was, frankly. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Scotland. Time and tide and all that. I have a News organization to run. I don’t have much time to help boy scouts track down their errant fathers.”
I storm out of the building, my head full of rage and hatred for the man who was once my father’s closest friend. I’m not even sure what a boy scout is but I can tell it was used as an insult. A condescending, patronizing insult. What a grade-A asshole!
I walk past the Pipe stop and keep marching. I need to blow off some steam and try to get a bead on the situation as it stands now. I was relying heavily on Kiefer Gray being an ally but now that’s out of the question I don’t know where to turn.
Drops of rain begin to fall, I pull my collars up and continue to stomp through the New Stockton streets. I’m about ten blocks away from the Globe’s building when I notice somebody walking in step with me on the other side of the road. If I were going to follow somebody on foot I’d shadow them from across the street too.
About the Author


Patrick Temple Hickey has written for TV shows on BBC and Ireland’s RTE. He contributes editorial and single panel cartoons to various newspapers and magazines all over the world and has graphic stories published in independent anthologies such as Slambang, The Shiznit and Don’t Touch Me. His first YA SCi FI novel, The Nostradamus Code, was published with Double Dragon Publishing in July 2017.
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