Saturday, November 25, 2017

SCI/FI FANTASY SATURDAY: THE GUARDIAN'S KEY BY K. J. DAHLEN


When Michael Kane finds out the family secret he isn’t sure about his future. When God cast the fallen angels out of the heavens He entrusted seven very special Keys to mortals.



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When Michael Kane arrived at work that day he didn't expect to have his world turned upside down. He looked up from his desk to see her standing there. She was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. Her long, curly blonde hair flowed down to her waist, and her clear green eyes sparkled in the sun coming through the office windows. She was dressed is a long, flowing skirt and blouse under her coat, but somehow the clothes fit her. He didn't see too many of her type in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Eagle River was a small town in the south central part of the state where everyone knew everyone else's business. The town earned its place in history as a turning point in the wars between the Indians and the white militia.
Michael had left Eagle River after high school graduation to pursue a career in law enforcement. Going to the police academy in Madison had given him a taste of big city life, and after graduation Michael had been more than happy to come home. He had decided that big city life was not for him, but being a cop had always been his dream.
Here he knew everyone and everyone knew him. He felt he was helping to preserve a way of life. He'd seen firsthand how people fell through the cracks in the bigger cities, and he didn't want that to happen here.
He hadn't seen her enter the police station yet there she was. "Can I help you?" he asked as he sat up a little straighter.
"I hope so," she told him as she stomped the snow off her boots and unzipped her parka. "I'm looking for Detective Michael Kane."
Michael glanced at his friend and partner, Alex Cadan, who he noticed was watching the exchange with unashamed curiosity. Alex had a huge grin on his face when Michael turned to her and said, "I'm Michael Kane."
She sat down beside his desk and leaned forward. "My name is Rhetia. I must speak with you on a very delicate matter. Is there somewhere we can go for more privacy?"
Michael frowned. Her face and voice were almost mesmerizing. He tried to ignore Alex's soft chuckle as he stood up and escorted her to one of the interrogation rooms. When he stood, the difference in their statues was noticeable. He was six foot tall and slender while she was barely five foot tall. He had dark hair and blue eyes in contrast to her blonde hair and green eyes. When she was seated, he asked, "What is this all about?"
"I know this is going to be hard to believe, but I have come to you to retrieve a Key, a Key given to your grandfather Isaac Colt for safe keeping," she blurted out.
Michael frowned. "I'm afraid you have the wrong person then. My grandfather's first name was Isaac, but his last name wasn't Colt, it was Charles."
"Yes, it was," she insisted. "After he disappeared, I told your grandmother to change her name to protect her and your mother and disappear. That was almost fifty years ago."
Michael was stunned. "What are you talking about? You don't look like a woman who was even alive fifty years ago."
Rhetia shook her head. "We don't have time to argue about this. I'm not here to debate how old you think I am. Fifty years ago your grandfather Isaac had in his possession a Key, a Key that has been passed down from generation to generation in his family. Demons were after him but he wouldn't give up the Key to them, so we think they murdered him, or at the very least they kidnapped him and are still holding him hostage."
"Demons? What the hell are you talking about?" Michael demanded to know. He couldn't help but wonder why all the gorgeous women had to be flaky?
Rhetia took what seemed to be a calming breath. "You may not believe what I am about to tell you, but I am speaking the truth. Time is running short. In three days, it will be the spring Equinox, one of the only times on Earth that the opportunity is right."
"Right for what?" Michael glared at her. She was talking gibberish as far as he was concerned. "Lady, I don't have time for fairy tales."
"This isn't a fairy tale. It's very real. Please let me explain."
He started to stand up when she blurted out, "I am an angel and it is my duty to protect the family of the Guardians."
"The what?" he asked as he plopped back down in his chair.
"Your grandfather, Isaac, was a Guardian of a Key. He may have died to protect it."

ALSO BY K. J. DAHLEN




BLURB

When Immortals, Bastian, Gunner and Jori gain access to a forbidden portal located on the planet Ky, they come to earth looking for the five pieces of an ancient magical Staff. Michael, working with Guardians from Ky, Willow, Echo and Talon, helps them track down pieces of the Staff before Bastian can find it. If Bastian finds all the pieces, he plans to take the Staff back to Ky. If he does that the Staff will destroy both Ky and Earth. Can Michael, Willow and her group stop Bastian from finding the Staff and returning to Ky?






Friday, November 24, 2017

FRIDAY'S FEATURED TITLE: ADVENTURE, PARANORMAL, ROMANCE, SURVIVAL

Avid naturalist, hunter and birder, Mr. Gerety has constructed a tale of two people who meet briefly then are reunited after death in a place and time other than the one they have always known.



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Avid naturalist, hunter and birder, Mr. Gerety has constructed a tale of two people who meet briefly then are reunited after death in a place and time other than the one they have always known. In this unfamiliar and pristine environment, his characters find each other, leaving behind their years of professional education and training as well as a lifetime of modern urban assumptions to assume lives of hunters, nomads, lovers and parents in a world emptied of all other people.

EXCERPT

The light grew dimmer and drifted away. He concentrated, forcing the light to become stationary as he moved toward it. Suddenly, he was face down on the hot sand. He could feel the grit of it in his teeth His throat and mouth were dry, and his back felt as if it was on fire.
He rolled onto his left side, trying to see his back. All he could see was his right shoulder, and the part that was visible was badly burned. He looked up at the sun and it appeared to be larger and brighter, the heat intense. His shirt was scorched across the top of his shoulder and was missing from his back. Unconsciously, he licked his lips. His tongue swollen and dry rasped across his lips and gave him no relief. Working onto his knees, he looked around. He was kneeling on top of a sand hill. The sun was slightly behind him, appearing to have passed its zenith. He decided the direction he was facing was east. Looking in that direction, there was nothing but rolling sand hills. North and south, more of the same. He struggled to his feet and looked west. This was slightly better. The dessert continued but in the distance, gradually changing with broken ridges and on the horizon a rugged mountain range. The ridges appeared to have some vegetation.
Standing in the desert sand lonely and confused he could see very little to feel good about. There was no sign to show how he had come to be there. He had landed in this deserted spot with nothing but the clothes he was wearing and some of his hunting gear. His shirt was burned backless, long pants, boots, a belt knife and an old timer's pocketknife. His binoculars were still hanging around his neck. His bow, a quiver with ten arrows and a canteen had been thrown by the explosion and lay undamaged below in a shallow depression. He was hoping for a full canteen. In one pocket he also found a small plastic bottle filled with matches. Slipping and sliding he moved into the hollow. He picked up the canteen first and discovered that it was slightly over half full. He tipped it up and took a mouthful, swished it around in his mouth and swallowed. It was difficult to resist draining it dry. Gathering the rest of his equipment, he climbed out of the hollow, took one more look around, decided he hadn't missed anything and began his walk toward the mountains.
He estimated the distance to the ridges to be about twelve miles. Normal walking, he could easily manage one mile in twenty minutes. He discovered that this would not be the case. The sand was loose and his feet sank into it, restricting his stride and increasing the effort. Looking at the position of the sun, he realized that he would be lucky to make it to those ridges before sunset. He wasn't too lucid, and he was afraid that he might lose his bow or his quiver of ten arrows so he attached them to his belt, along with his canteen. The quiver had a pocket that contained extra arrowheads and blades. He kept his binoculars around his neck.
When he stopped, he guessed he had traveled four, maybe five miles, but the distance to the ridges seemed the same. The sun had passed the apex and was now ahead of him slightly above the mountains. He had put his shirt on backwards, hoping to protect his back from the sun. He had also left the sleeves rolled down, cuffs unbuttoned and shirttail loose. The terrain was essentially the same, but the sand was packed and easier to walk on. There was, however, nothing that provided shade.
Later he realized that he could see something in the distance; a tall slender silhouette that appeared to be of a dark green color. It was in the direction he was moving, so he concentrated on moving toward it. When he finally arrived, it appeared to be some form of cactus. It was better than six feet tall, spineless with two arms extending out and up, the arms approximately four to five inches in diameter. He recalled that cactus had the ability to store water and decided it would definitely be worth his time to test this theory. Circumscribing the lower limb with his belt knife, he managed to break it off. He laid his shirt on the ground and scraped the inside pulp from the cactus arm onto his shirt. At the bottom of the arm, some liquid had collected. Raising the gourd up, he drank it. The taste was bitter and it had a numbing effect in his mouth. He squeezed the pulp, caught the liquid in the gourd and spread the residue on his shirt and pressed it down tightly. When he put the shirt back on, there was stinging sensation then his back felt cooler and slightly numb. He cut a hole in the gourd near the rim and noticed more liquid at the bottom, and he spread this onto his face and hands. After securing the gourd to his belt with his handkerchief and checking his other gear, he resumed his walk toward the ridges, feeling a sense of urgency and hoping to find some shelter before dark.