Science Fiction – Talcon Star City

Talcon Star City
Author: Gary Caplan
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1460966501
Pages: 274
Published: January 2012

Talcon Star City has been honored as a “Finalist” of the 2012 International Book Awards in the “Fiction: Science Fiction” category.

Commodore Robert Sheppard fights to save the peacekeeping Alliance of Worlds from otherworldly aliens in Gary Caplan’s Talcon Star City, the space opera sequel to the award-winning Phoenix Rising.

Somewhere in the future, the universe is filled with hundreds of wild, weird and completely diverse civilizations existing on a myriad of strange and wonderful planets. But amidst all these brave new worlds, are otherworldly enemies intent on control, no matter what it costs them or the universe, and all courageous people must step forward and band together to stop them. That’s the premise of Gary Caplan’s brilliantly realized Talcon Star City, a story of bravery, revenge, aliens, and interstellar swashbuckling.

Caplan first burst onto the literary scene when he became a finalist in the highly prestigious 2010 Indie Excellence Award for his novel Phoenix Rising, which is also the prequel to Talcon Star City. Honing his craft, Caplan continued to write and went on to win the 2011 Indie Excellence Award in fantasy for his novel Return of the Ancient Ones. With Talcon Star City, he’s become even more exhilarating a writer, fashioning a science fiction epic that’s also thoughtful and realistic.

Talcon Star City centers on the character of Commodore Robert Sheppard, who, as acting admiral, commands the flagship Phoenix and the 6th fleet. As an esteemed member of the Order of Star Knights, Sheppard is gifted with unusually powerful metaphysical abilities, which he uses to help preserve the hundreds of civilizations in the universe. But there is now unrest in the universe and Sheppard and his other military officials must band together to fight a desperate alien challenge to the peaceful Alliance of Worlds. Lucky for Sheppard, he has his old mentor Garfield, and other allied Star Knights and admirals to help back him up in his fight. But as the plot thickens, the battle escalates. Now Sheppard is facing his old nemesis, the Varlon, who are sworn enemies of the Alliance of Worlds and are intent on expanding their power. But as Sheppard grapples with the evil he already knows, he must also face a group of aliens who are new to him, the fearsome Accads, who have joined with the Varlon and who pose challenging new threats he may be ill-equipped to vanquish. The best hope for the universe is to find the Talcon Star City and gain even more allies against these forces of evil. But time is running out. Can the stalwart heroes win the battle and stop this alien onslaught or is it already too late?

Caplan’s sparkling prose and larger-than-life characters make Talcon Star City an incomparable reading experience. “Sometimes unusual alliances are needed to combat deadly enemies,” says Caplan, an idea he boldly and entertainingly illustrates. His vision of the future is filled with startling new powers and technologies, all rendered with dazzling skill and humor, from comet-like projective weapons to particle cannonballs and invisible cloaks. Drawing from his own experiences in the military, Caplan gives his futuristic tale a stunning feeling of authenticity, making the interactions between military forces and aliens as plausible and true-to-life as they are exciting and original. Meant to appeal to fans of both Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek, Talcon Star City seems destined for classic status.

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Contemporary Fiction – Fire in the Henhouse

Fire in the Henhouse
Author: Frances Grote
Publisher: Rule Bender Press
ISBN: 9780983334101
Pages: 474
Published: February 2011

With razor-sharp wit and an unflinching eye for the little insanities of those who believe they are in charge, Fire in the Henhouse takes the reader on a rollercoaster of a ride. Dooleysburg, PA, chock full of local celebrities like the cross-dressing car dealer who doubles as the town mascot and a police chief who had to get his own juvenile record expunged, prides itself on being progressive and tolerant, a great place to raise a family. Widowed Maggie Rifkin returns here with her fourteen-year-old son and her New York attitude, naively imagining she can leave her past behind. But this town where friendships ignore racial boundaries and sexual eccentricities are a family business has been tempting the Fates. When sudden tragedy strikes, the thread of destruction might well unravel all the way back to Maggie’s childhood secret.

Fire in the Henhouse uses details delivered by witty characters and humorous situations to paint a complex portrait that includes both the light and darkness of 21st century American life. Grote is a master at building small everyday coincidences into the superstructure of events that ensnares her characters – and the reader.

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New Age – Timing Is Everything

Timing is Everything: Astrology is the Key, Book II
Author: Weslynn Mccallister
Publisher: Balboa Press
ISBN: 978-1452552309
Pages: 165
Published: July 2012

Have you ever planned that once-in-a-lifetime event, only to have it canceled due to inclement weather, illness, or an accident?

Wouldn’t you love to have a roadmap of your life, one that pointed the way to love, success, good health, and money?

Then this is a must have book, especially for those that desire to learn basic astrology. Complete with a questionnaire “Timing is Everything; Astrology is the Key” is designed for you. From here, you can go on to the more advanced teachings of Astrology with ease.

Although astrology is not destiny, nor is it fate, with a thorough knowledge of the subject and correct delineation, you will be able to time events in your life successfully.

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Mystery/Suspense – Mariachi Money

Mariachi Money
Author: Caleb H. Smith
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1470164065
Pages: 394
Published: June 2012

MARIACHI MONEY weaves a tale of murder and deception in the unlikely business of mushroom farming. How are the Mexicans who work the farms amassing such a fortune? Cody Sargent is determined to find out and stay alive in the process.

When the Branch Manager of Winston & Company’s southeastern Pennsylvania office is killed in a freak accident, Cody Sargent is transferred from the New York office to replace him. Cody is reluctant to leave the excitement of Wall Street, but recognizes his new assignment is an opportunity to gain the management experience that will eventually bring him back to Manhattan with a higher position in the financial industry The job in Pennsylvania begins promisingly enough, but Cody soon realizes little is what he’s been led to believe it is. There is wide suspicion that the previous manager’s death may not have been an accident. The dead manager’s sister-in-law, Patsy Hamilton, is vehement that he was murdered. When Cody calls on the manager’s widow to pay his respects, Patsy accosts him and demands to know what he and his company are going to do about her brother-in-law’s murder. Cody learns the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating retirement assets Winston & Co. holds for Mexican immigrants working at the local mushroom farms. These assets, in excess of a hundred million dollars, were under investigation by the former manager when he had his fatal accident. Winston & Co.’s New York office instructs Cody to continue this investigation. When Buck Camilla, the broker handling the Mexican workers’ accounts is killed during a botched home invasion, Cody realizes Patsy Hamilton is probably right about her brother-in-law’s accident being murder, and that now Cody himself may be a target for the killers.

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Religious – Encouragement for Life Storms

Encouragement for Life Storms
Author: LaTasha Nichole Cornish
Publisher: Tate Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61777-630-4
Pages: 220
Published: August 2011

Are you going through difficult times in your life? Well, look no further. Follow author LaTasha Nichole Cornish in her beautiful 100-day devotional that is overflowing with faith and offers inspirational encouragement! To love is painful because sometimes you get rejected or pushed away, and to be yourself is hurtful because there is always someone judging you. But wouldn’t you rather love and be yourself rather than not try at all? Through the devotions in this book, you will discover the love God has always had for you.

Don’t let life’s troubles get you down; pick up Encouragement for Life’s Storms and be blessed and uplifted today!

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Biography – The Burgandy Journey

The Burgundy Journey
Author: Dorothy Champion Smaniotto
Publisher: Hunk Squared Publishers
ISBN: 978-0615558424
Pages: 70
Published: October 2011

The incredible true story of a woman who has had to overcome numerous medical issues and heartbreaking losses and how she has dealt with those ups and downs. Her Antiphospholipid Syndrome diagnosis has caused most of the side effects and permanent disabilities she now suffers from. It also reveals how she has been denied numerous times for benefits for her illnesses because the agency says there is not enough medical evidence to support a claim, even though her doctors state otherwise. The book also tells of how she is the mother of a son with Asperger’s Syndrome (High Functioning Autism), and the daily struggles he himself has faced. One of those issues is how he was physically attacked in his special education classroom by two supposedly trained aides. That event has left him traumatized to this day. Through it all, she continues to keep a positive outlook, has a strong faith and maintains a sense of humor.

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