Sunday, February 17, 2019

Maker of Sunshine: Only for Love


February 17, 2019
It is with pleasure that I introduce my subscribers to this novel because I love it when I support other authors and women writers. G Nichelle and I have something in common - we both are from Dallas, Texas. Although I live in New Orleans, there is something special about women from Texas. I hope you enjoy meeting G Nichelle and take the time to learn about her and her books.
AUTHOR INTERVIEW

G Nichelle
Maker of Sunshine: Only for Love





Name of Book: Maker of Sunshine: Only for Love

Year Published: 2019

Publisher: HunBun Luv (Independent)



Tell your readers a little about yourself. Where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you. - I was born and raised in Dallas, TX, which is a big small town. There are huge buildings, but the streets are still quiet by ten o’clock on weeknights. I still live in Dallas, because I love the diversity and opportunities available. A de-segregation court order created various school programs in the city that provided me with the opportunity to explore the arts through a specialized magnet school program. Every day I rode a bus from my neighborhood to another school that had programs geared to the performing arts. On those thirty-minute bus rides is where I began sharing stories that I wrote about a music group that I adored. Back then I called my stories ‘dreams’. I would tell my friend “I had this dream…” and then I would include all of our friends as characters who meet and fall in love with the band members to live happily ever after. Class work was easy for me, so I would write the ‘dreams’ down and pass them around on the bus back home.



What inspired you to write this book? -  For all of the great things in my childhood, there were many dark moments. I wanted more for my children, I wanted a loving stable environment for them to flourish in. How do you accomplish that when you have never seen love? How do you accomplish a healthy relationship when you have never seen one and don’t know anyone in a meaningful positive relationship? The story grew from questions about how to love after trauma. When it’s hard to love yourself and you are struggling to just survive, how can you love? Is it even a good idea?  I wanted to explore what that looked like.



You’re very young for a novelist? When did you begin writing? - I fell in love with books before I could really read. My parents would have to limit the number of books that I could bring home. The grandmother that cared for me when I was pre-school age doodled a lot and wrote on everything. I would mimic her and by the end of the day have a notebook full of curly loops that were words just like hers (in my mind at least). I have always written. I remember reading Terry Mc Millan and Zora Neal Hurston in middle school and wanting more stories like that. So between my fan fiction, mimicking great writers, and the women in my life, I began crafting my romance stories.



Are there any authors who inspired you growing up or who inspires you now? - Terry Mc Millan and Zora Neal Hurston are the inspiration of course, but Maya Angelou and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings… that did it for me. I still watch her interviews in amazement at the way she was able to craft words of wisdom in a way that stuck with me without that sense of judgment or condescension.



Susan Mallory and Brenda Jackson influence my romance writing.



What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written? - First and foremost, time was/is the biggest hurdle to overcome. I have a fulltime job, a husband, and three active children. Over the years I have written when I had a moment of quietness or when the muses spoke to me, but to write consistently on one piece and complete it was difficult. My characters are like family, so ending the story was difficult as well (hence a novella coming this June). Finding good resources became a hurdle. Finding a cover creator, editor, a person to help with a blurb for sales etc. took longer than needed. I took the long way around to get simple things done.



Tell your readers about your book. - It’s a story about love on many levels. While the main plot focuses on Nailah and Tyriq finding each other, I also explore how the love of family and friends shapes our lives. Nailah is a social worker who was abandoned by her mother, father and foster mother. She has learned that relationships are temporary and it’s best to love in small doses. Tyriq is ready for the forever kind of love and doesn’t mind walking Nailah each step of the way, even if it is at a snail’s pace. Nailah is not what Tyriq’s family or his ex-girlfriend expected. The two have to overcome individual past hurts to build a future.




Who is your target audience and why? - People who love a love story. Love is universal, but women may relate to the story more since the majority of the book is given from Nailah’s perspective.



What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre? - I believe romance includes more than the physical act of sex, so while there are some erotic scenes, my books delve into the love moments that make life fun. My goal in writing is to make my reader’s smile. I want to normalize romance and give people the opportunity to see the love in their everyday lives. Love is not always grand gestures with billboards and millionaires, love includes backrubs and favorite pasta dishes while watching a show you despise. My writing includes the grandiose… Tyriq is wealthy of course… but also the little things that people overlook, like getting your girlfriend new tires.



How did you come up with the idea for your book? - It’s always a question for me. What would that look like in someone’s life? My grandmother told me about her grandmother being left with her father’s girlfriend when she was young and I had tons of questions. I am always inspired by the real.



What is your next book? Tell us a little about it. - I have three.


Maker of Sunshine: The Wedding, this will be a novella out in June that will continue Nailah and Tyriq’s journey to marriage.
COMING JUNE 2019


Maker of Moonlight: Midnight in Bloom, is the love story about two of the characters from Maker of Sunshine. Terrence lost the love of his life and first wife at the tender age of 23. He knows that no one will ever be able to replace her, so he promises that he will remain single to honor her memory. Regina is poised to take over her father’s investment company, but there is one stipulation, she can’t do it alone. Her father requires that she marry first. Even though Regina is a beautiful woman, she can’t find the right combination of intelligence and compassion that she requires in a man to tolerate being married. When Terrence and Regina begin a fiery love affair, they learn that their bodies were made to be connected to each other, but what about their hearts?

In Maker of Moonlight, I still explore the theme of loving after trauma and learning to love in a way that was not taught to you.  Regina’s parents had a marriage based on mutual understanding and it worked out well, but Regina is not as compliant as her mother. Her independent spirit and unrestricted vocabulary usually drive away the men that she doesn’t dismiss first. Terrence grew up in a home with strong women, so Regina’s brazen attitude doesn’t scare him, but the fact that she has wiggled close to his heart does.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share. I’m simple: I like to write stories. I hope people will read them, smile, and like my stories too.

The Case of a Bearded Man

February 17, 2018


Every once in a while I come across a little gem that makes my heart go pitter patter. I must say though that I love to read to my grandchildren and they love to be read to. This father I am introducing you to went beyond above for his son and created a fabulous book, My Dad has a Beard. Kellen Roggenbuck as a unique story to tell. I love the book and it would be a perfect gift for Father's Day.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Kellen Roggenbuck

Tell your readers a little about yourself. Where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc.

Kellen Roggenbuck and is son.


I grew up outside Chicago, IL but I live in central Southern Wisconsin now.  I went to school to be a music teacher, but many twists and turns later, I’m the pastor of a growing rural church.  I have an amazing wife and an outrageous 3-year-old son, both of which are very supportive in my life and writing.

What inspired you to write this book? After rereading my son’s books for the hundredth time, and feeling like I could write something better, I put together this book as a silly bedtime read for our family.  I’ve always had a beard of sorts, but when my wife was pregnant, I didn’t trim my beard so that when my son was born, my beard was massive.  The book was a sort of collection of silly things a bearded dad can do, many of which were autobiographical.  I was approached by a local publisher to get the book published by Father’s Day that year, as it’s a book about a dad, and the rest is history!

Are there any authors who inspired you growing up or who inspires you now? I love reading C.S. Lewis, my favorite book being the collection of Narnia adventures.  I also really enjoyed the quirky nature of Stephen Crane’s poetry and the dry wit of J.K. Rowling in my early adult years.  As a children’s author, I have been inspired by Mo Willem’s humor and simplicity and clever book concepts like Dragons Love Tacos and The Day The Crayons Quit.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written? The biggest struggle is that this book has been viewed as a niche book since it’s about a dad with a beard, so it’s often only suggested or bought for dads with beards.  The story is told by a narrator telling about his dad, so I think it could be enjoyed by anyone, not just the niche of beardedly gifted fathers.  My next book coming out this spring is also a silly beard book, and so I imagine I will continue to be dealing with breaking out of that niche for some time.


Tell your readers about your book. The story is told by a young child as he explains all about his dad’s beard.  It chronicles the story of his dad growing a beard, the types of beards that other dads have and some of the unique advantages of having a dad with a big beard, like your dad looking like a young Santa.  It’s an easy read for new readers and should bring smiles to the faces of everyone reading it.  It’s highly colorful and engaging and has sold over 1,000 copies over the almost 2 years it’s been in print.

Who is your target audience? My target audience has been dads with beards and young children.  It’s a book that’s bought overwhelmingly as a gift for Christmas, Father’s Day and for expecting dads.  The book is about a bearded dad and if you are a bearded dad will be extra special for you, so it makes sense that that’s the biggest audience for this book.  It’s been so successful in that audience that my second book Great Beards of History will be a follow up with a similar theme and feel. 

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre? Many of the books I have at home for my son are just so painful to read.  Either the story is boring, the illustrations are lacking, or there are issues like typos, bad rhymes or poor story construction.  I like to think that the care I’ve put into the composition of the book is unique in that respect.  The rhythm of the writing and the subtle humor works well with the colorful and engaging illustrations.  It’s really a book that can be enjoyed by parents while they read it to their children.  There are other great books there that do that, too, I just think that my book can be counted in that category.

How did you come up with the idea for your book? My son used to hold onto my beard when I held him, not to steady himself or yank on it, but as a comfort.  I always loved that, and it made me think about all the ways he experienced me as a dad differently because of my beard.  Once I started writing down the silly things a big beard brought to the father/child relationship, the book sort of came together.  I illustrated it for fun, never really intending to seek publication, but a friend who worked for a publisher saw it and convinced the publisher they had to print it.

What is your next book? Tell us a little about it. - My next book is called Great Beards of History and will showcase some famous people who wore beards, everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Bob Ross.  At its surface, it’s a silly page-by-page biography of bearded people, but underneath it all, it’s about the appreciation of the narrator’s dad, who is included because of his beard and the admiration of his child.  It will have the same illustration style and silliness, so if you loved my first book, this will be a must-have.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share. - My book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s website, and my new book will be released in plenty of time for Father’s Day!  If you are considering writing a book, just do it.  Start, keep going, finish strong.  It’s rewarding in ways you can’t yet imagine!



Monday, February 11, 2019

How to Market and Launch Your Book




February 11, 2019

Today I start of the morning getting ready to be interviewed on the Brian Jackson and Ellen J in the Morning Show. It is always a lot of fun when I am on this radio show. Join us as we go live discussing all things The Keystroke Killer: Transcendence. The show starts at 10:20 a.m. Call into 1-319-527-6099.

This interview begins my national blog, podcast, radio and book tour.


HOW TO LAUNCH AND MARKET A BOOK

When you think that wasn't enough, I just finished a new book, How to Market and Launch Your Book: The Six Month Countdown. Starting this Friday, the book will be available for pre-orders on Amazon Kindle. Stay tuned for more details on this book's availability. If you're an author, you'll want this book as it describes my process of how launched my boos to the #1 New Release on Amazon. This book offers a step-by-by guide for each month up until launch with real examples. The book has eight chapters filled information to help you launch and market your book. If you have already published your book, it's not too late as the information can help you too.

One last thing on a private and exciting note. My book tour is set and I'm happy to announce I am visiting eight wonderful cities with more in the future. Be sure to subscribe to my blog to stay up to date on this tour and to find out my latest releases. Speaking of releases, my next novel, A.D.A.M. will launch in June 2019. Here is the trailer for it.


COMING JUNE 2019





FEATURED AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Jamell Crouthers

The featured author today is Jamell Crouthers who is a poet, author, blogger and podcaster. I hope you enjoy his interview.

Website: www.aquarianmind.info



Tell your readers a little about yourself. Where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you. I was born in the Bronx, New York and
I lived there for 8 years, then lived in Queens, NY until I was 14 years old and currently live in Woodmere, New York, a suburban area of Long Island. I went to college at the University of Hartford and graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in Mass Media Communications.

When I graduated, I worked in the medical field for a little while before venturing off into my field which is TV production. I've been fortunate enough to have worked for the NBA twice (TV production and retail side), MLB, JP Morgan Chase (2 internships), Converse (retail) and currently NYP Hospital. I've had my share of experiences in different fields and I was also a basketball referee for 7 years for ZogSports one of the biggest sports leagues in NYC and in other major cities.

You bring a social twist to your writing. How do you choose your topics? A lot of my topics come from experiences, other people's experiences and observing the world and the current state it is in. There are a lot of subjects that are taboo to talk about or aren't talked about enough and I feel through stories, I can get my message out to readers and people who are concerned about the world. 
Brainstorming sessions happen a lot and I spend more time thinking, crafting stories, characters, backstories to them and then bringing these characters to life through my writing. Before I write any of my books, I have a good hour-long brainstorming session where I listen to music and just write down anything that comes to my mind (storyline, concepts, characters, their story, and purpose for writing the book, goals for writing the book).
What inspired you to write? A few years ago I was going through a transition phase of my life where I was trying to decide what I wanted to do. I was grinding through Corporate America, refereeing basketball and I was burnt out. I took a trip to California to recharge my battery and thought about what I was really good at and writing was something I did sparingly. I never took it seriously, and I started thinking about how I can utilize my talents to write stories. 
I knew that writing traditionally formatted books weren't going to work, but I knew I could write poetry prose books. So I incorporated poetry prose, and social issues into one and from there came my first book The Struggles and Growth of a Man. I never had any plans to write a ton of books but all of these ideas started coming to me and I ran with them. 
Then I came across an article that gives insight and advice on the best way to draw in readers and it was writing books in a series. At that point, I had the Struggles and Growth of a Man, The World We Live In and Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun published. I knew then that I wanted to turn these books into a series but make it to where it's not too long of a series where it drags so I decided on a 5 book series for each of them and I will finish these series by June.
When did you begin writing? I started writing at the age of 13 and it was randomly. My poetry was about my life experiences and things that I loved the most (family, friends, music, and sports). Somehow it came naturally to me, I don't get writer's block much, and I enjoyed doing it. I would share some of my stuff with my female friends and they loved it. I wrote on and off for nearly 20 years before I considered publishing my first book. 

There was never a serious plan to publish any books but sometimes fate sends you down a road you didn't think you would go. Life has a way of making you go through experiences to make you realize what you're meant to do.

Are there any authors who inspired you growing up or who inspires you now? There weren't any specific authors who inspired me growing up, it was more of watching the world and seeing what's going on currently that inspires me. Meeting people, talking to them about their experiences, understanding others, that is the biggest component too what inspires me. 
For me, knowing that I can impact others and change the world with my writing and going against the grain a little is what keeps me going. I'm not necessarily following all rules when it comes to my writing, I'm different and I love it.
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome? My biggest obstacles are when people realize that my writing is different, and it's in poetry format. I write poetry prose, literary fiction, social issues type of books so I'm not categorically one specific genre. That struggle continues three years later and I stay determined to break the mold of what poetry is, should be and should consist of. 
There's this sense of expectation or interpretation of what poetry should be and I want to change that. I want to let people know that poetry can be formulated into a story and a journey within characters. 
You are also a podcaster? Tell us about it and where to find it and the times you air? Yes, I am a podcaster, my podcast is named, The Aquarianmind Podcast and I post my podcasts every Friday. I delve into social issues that are going on in the world such as women's issues, the education system, life struggles, raising kids in today's world, how the world is structured to keep us from achieving greatness, television programming, and so many more subjects.
My podcast is on Podbean, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play and iTunes. You can type in the Aquarianmind Podcast and you'll find me.
Describe three of your books.

Book #1:
America Under Mind Control


What happens when society takes control of your mind and how you think? This book speaks on all of the issues going on in today’s society and how the rich, wealthy and elite do everything in their power to keep the American people under mind control. There are different tactics and ways they use to make sure we as a people don’t strive for greatness in life. It starts from when you’re a child in the education system and how we’re taught to be obedient and to respect authority all the way into Corporate America. Our minds are programmed on a daily basis and whether we realize it or not, we don’t take the time to see the bigger picture of how the world is run. From the music we listen to, to the television we watch, the politics they control and infiltrate, this book deals head-on with how we the American people are controlled by so many messages on a daily basis. It’s a book that speaks truth into how this country and the world is in shambles and how we need to come together as a nation and as a people and do better. 
BUY NOW






Book #2:








Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun is a story about a police officer named Gary who has been on the police force for 5 years. He feels he's doing a great job in protecting and serving the community and city he's grown up in until he gets caught up in a lot of corruption. Police brutality, lies, racism, falsified reports and illegal activities as he tries to decide whether he's going to report his coworkers and superiors. The series is a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs where Gary is involved in a plethora of cases that question his morality and what he values most, his badge, gun, paycheck, and pension or the citizens of his city.
 




Book #3 -

The World We Live In: A Poetry Book On Societal Issues is a series that delves into 19 various characters who are all going through trials and tribulations in their lives. From a woman who is raped to a man who is homeless, a young child who was molested, a mother who is addicted to alcohol and an athlete who is gay and many other subject areas. It's a series that is very emotional and tackles a lot of subjects that are sensitive to the mind and heart. The series was written to convey a message to be kind to others because we never know what people are going through in their lives or have gone through. BUY NOW




Book #4:
The Struggles and Growth of a Man


The Struggles and Growth of a Man is a series about a young man named Robert who chronicles his life journey from childhood to the present. He talks about the battles, struggles, and hardships he's dealt with in his life and what it takes to become a good man in the world. He learned so many wrong things at a young age, made some bad decisions and is now trying to make up for it by doing the right things and being an inspiring person like his mentor Mr. Marble. 
Listen to this Audio Sample of one of Jamell's audiobooks.

Who is your target audience and why? My target audience is people who enjoy reading about societal issues that are going on in the world. My reason is readers who are concerned about the world and want to make the world a better place sometimes don't know how to express it but through reading stories they may become motivated and inspired. 

Looking back, what would you tell your younger self? I would definitely tell my younger self to write books in my twenties. Also to write what you're passionate about and don't focus on trying to make it in Corporate America. My younger self would have been able to write some of these books but not all of them but the good part is I started in my 30s and it's never too late to find your purpose in life and what you're passionate about.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre? What sets me apart is how I write my books, it's not the traditionally formatted book. I write my books in a poetry prose format and incorporate storylines to them which is different. I always felt that I had to stand out from the pack and write what I'm good at. I want to draw readers in through the story and not necessarily how I write my books. 

What is your next book? Tell us a little about it. My next book is the ending of the series where the characters have closure to all of what they've dealt with and gone through in their lives. The book is a sense of hope for most of the characters and it allows you to either see growth in characters or some going downhill.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share. In my spare time, I love to play basketball, go running, bowling, watch sports (basketball, football, and baseball). Music is my life and I can't do a day without listening to music. I'm very close to my family and my three best friends.

There are a lot of great books coming this year and next year. The Struggles and Growth of a Man series will finish by early spring and in the fall will start a new series Kids With Guns that delves into bullying, mental health and gun control in America.




Tuesday, February 5, 2019

ADAM TRAILER - 1

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Winter Storm Keeps You Inside, Listen to Music

January 30, 2019


I don't know about you, but I absolutely hate the cold. That is one reason I choose to live in the South. When I'm on Facebook and people post pictures of fifteen feet of snow and temperatures below zero, it makes me shiver. When the weather in New Orleans drops below fifty, I build a fire. In fact, I have one of those fake fireplaces in my office I use to keep warm. How don't know how anyone who lives in the snowy regions does it. I applaud you and admire you.

This week's cold blast got me too. I was expecting freezing weather, hunkered down, my husband made a huge pot of red beans and we had our firewood ready. I know for a fact all of you Northerners are laughing at me because it only got down to thirty-five degrees. It was still cold to me. This made me stay at home writing on my next novel A.D.A.M. which I will release this summer.

When I write, I listen to music. Somehow listening to music charges me and helps me focus. I typically listen to music on my Youtube Channel that way I can make playlists to refer to later. Last week, I came across a group I had never heard of and listened to their music. When one of their songs came on, it caught my attention and I immediately added them to my playlist. Because of this,  I decided to share them with my readers and here is their interview. This group does not perform or go tour but are studio based.

Meet one of my new favorite groups, FaB. The group consists of Neil Fitzsimon and Bee Brogan. What makes them unique is that Neil is the songwriter and plays all guitars and bass, whereas Bee performs all vocals, keyboards, and programming. I asked the duo a couple of questions and here are their answers. You can all learn more about them by visiting Fitszimon and Brogan Official Website or follow them on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/fitzsimonandbrogan/

FaB Interview Questions




1.       How did your group meet? We were both in a band called Pretty Blue Gun who signed to an indie label. When the band split up, we decided to form a songwriting/production team as ‘FaB’.



2.       How would you describe the style of your music? Melodic guitar-driven,  with a flare of pop rock.





3.       What are the names of your albums? 



His Latest Squeeze

Big Blue World

The Girl Who Shouted Love at the Heart of the World (to be released this spring)


The lyric video for ‘Big Blue World’






4.       What is the name of the newest single? Girl in a Gilded Cage. You can listen to the song at this link: The lyric video for ‘Girl in a Gilded Cage’ on YouTube.





5.       What record label are they with?  WTPL, France and Atlantic Screen Group.



6.       Who is their manager or booking agent? MTS Management, Michael Stover, USA.



7.       Where can the single or album be purchased? Provide link. All download portals including:






FANBASE GROWS FOR NEVER STOP RUNNING


After nine days, my latest novel NEVER STOP RUNNING is still listed as the #1 New Release on Amazon. I am still in the shock and awe stage. To say thank you, I have created another book trailer at the requests of many fans. 








UPCOMING NEW NOVEL A.D.A.M.

Dr. Sandra Bradford discovers a microbe on the bottom of Lake Mono that thrives off arsenic impacting the definition of alien life. Here is an excerpt for the upcoming novel.

SYNOPSIS FOR A.D.A.M.



A.D.A.M. FAVICON
A team of scientists, who discovered a new life form that thrives off of arsenic, becomes a target of a government conspiracy after the microbe begins to morph.  Lead scientist, Dr. Sandra Bradford, begins her research only to have all evidence confiscated by the government.  Knowing how special the microbe is, Dr. Bradford enlists one of her fellow researchers, Dr. Peterson, and her undergraduate assistant, Jessica Parker, to go and retrieve a new sample from the bottom of Mono Lake, CA.  The only problem is the government is on to them and starts assassinating all of the seven scientists involved in the initial discovery.

The three of them are determined to not only locate the microbe again but reveal the findings to the public.  Problems occur as Dr. Bradford is kidnapped by the government and taken to a non-disclosed military base. 
Meanwhile, Jessica and Rebecca are concerned and meet to discuss a plan.  They decide to enlist two federal agents, Agent Morrison, and Agent Turner, to help them locate and rescue Dr. Bradford. Together, they devise a plan to have Jessica, the “brainiac” computer whiz undergraduate, break into the United States Defense Department Computer System and get arrested for Treason.  It is their ploy to trade the evidence for the release of Dr. Bradford. As more problems arise, this team will stop at nothing to save one of their own and protect a scientific discovery.


 


EXCERPT FROM A.D.A.M.

CHAPTER TWO – TRUTH

Copyright 2019 Protected by Dr. Melissa Caudle
Dr. Bradford and Jessica drove on Interstate 10 from New Orleans towards Slidell. Jessica held a breakfast sandwich from a drive-thru fast-food chain. The odor permeated through the car. Jessica curled her nose. “The eggs smell rotten.”
“Get over it. Nothing has smelled good to you since you took in that mouthful of salty water at Mono Lake.”
Jessica gagged, crumpled her breakfast sandwich back into the wrapper and threw it back into the paper bag. “You can eat it if you want too. I’ll wait for lunch.”
Dr. Bradford darted her eyes over at Jessica. “Give me mine.”
Jessica dug through the bag and retrieved the wrapped breakfast sandwich and handed it over.
Dr. Bradford unwrapped it and took one bite. She spits it out.
“Told you, but, no! You didn’t believe me.”
“Please be quiet. Let me think.”
The silence between them ensued as they crossed the bridge over Lake Pontchartrain.
Jessica leaned toward the dash to stretch. “Are you sure it’s safe to go to the lab?”
“They can’t kill me in public. So, I believe so.”
“It makes me nervous. Let’s listen to Stephen Stone Diamond. He’s talking about extraterrestrials today.”
“That’s what we need. An alien conspiracy.”
“I thought that’s what we’re in now.” Jessica pressed the radio’s knob. “It’s not working.”
“That’s the best news I’ve had all day.”
Jessica grabbed her phone and opened her blog radio app.
“. . . Not just life here on earth, but also extraterrestrial life.” The radio talk show host Stephen Stone Diamond voice was deep and golden. “It is unknown if there is any connection to the mysterious deaths of Dr. Gregory Peterson and the late husband of Dr. Sandra Bradford, Dr. Jeffrey Peck, who were both members of N.A.E.T. For those of you who don’t know what N.A.E.T. is, I will gladly inform my listeners. It is a branch of NASA and stands for National Astrobiological Extraction Team. Coincidently, the research team led by Dr. Sandra Bradford. Phone lines are open.”
Dr. Bradford slammed her fist onto the dashboard. “Damn! It’s out on Blog radio.”
“I’m Stephen Stone Diamond. I’ll be right back to take your calls.”
Dr. Bradford clenched her jaw. “Turn it off. I don’t care to listen.”
Jessica grabbed her earbuds. “That’s exciting. E. T. phone home. I got to call in.”
“Like hell, you will.”
Jessica secured her earbuds, dialed the blog radio number and waited. “I’m on hold.”
“Jessica. Hang up. You can’t bring attention to yourself or to me. Now hang up.”
“So why are you doing a press conference?”
“The public needs to know the truth about my research. If the public gets wind of what I’ve discovered, they’ll demand the truth.”
NASA Astrobiology Institute between the Louisiana and Mississippi border not only provided jobs but also fundamental research. From the spacecraft and booster shuttle rocket, the entry to the multi-functional compound reflected the nation’s attitude about space exploration. Everyone wore either an official NASA or N.A.E.T. employee badge representing they worked as independent scientists on the National Astrobiological Extraction Team. Visitors must sign in and wear visitor badges on their lapels.
Dr. Bradford rushed toward the three-story “Carl Sagan Astrobiology Lab” which housed the N.A.E.T. lab. Behind her, Jessica, Rebecca Newcombe, and George, a cameraman followed. Dr. Bradford bumped into Dr. Phyllis Gordon, a forty-four American female scientist, and Dr. Edward Stolz, a fifty-two German male scientist. Rebecca motioned for George to roll the camera.
 Dr. Gordon’s eyes pierced toward Dr. Bradford. “You’ve gathered quite a following since our discovery.”
“I’d have to agree.”
“Too bad our samples were confiscated.”
“This isn’t the time nor the place to discuss this.” Dr. Bradford strode briskly toward the N.A.E.T. research building.
The entourage followed as Rebecca motioned for George to continue to roll the camera. “What was all that about?” She caught up to Dr. Bradford.
“Common professional jealousy. That’s all there is to it.”
Jessica frowned. “I think not. It’s about...”
“…Loose lips sink ships.” Dr. Bradford motioned using her fingers as if locking a key for Jessica to close her mouth.
Jessica confirmed when she moved her fingers across her lips as if zipping a zip-lock baggy.
Rebecca became frustrated by the silence. “Cut the camera. Damn it.”
The entourage barged into the N.A.E.T. building.
The morning sun reflected off the five test tubes of murky water on one of the lab’s counter. A microscopic particle floated in one of the test tubes. Moments later, the entourage entered Dr. Bradford’s lab. Jessica flipped on the lights as she wrinkled her nose and smelled the faint musky and sulfur smell.
The lab, well equipped included beakers, flasks, a Liebig condenser, and graduated cylinders showed the lab’s importance. Most prominent, a silver and white 60X-2599X-2 binocular turret professional biological microscope proved essential in isolating micro-organisms. In the corner of the lab, an assortment of lab experiments and three twenty-five gallon tanks filled from the murky waters from several lakes labeled Lake Pontchartrain, Grand Isle, and Honey Island Swamp. On the wall above the door, there was a twelve inch round battery operated clock and a sign - “A.D.A.M. Extraction Team.” The white cabinets had stainless steel handles enhancing the sterile environment.
Rebecca tapped George on the shoulder. “Be sure to capture everything in the lab. I want lots of B-Roll.”
Dr. Bradford and Jessica put on their white lab coats and proceeded to the sink and washed their hands. Jessica prepped a microscope and a sterile slide as Dr. Bradford stepped to a locked cabinet, retrieved a bottle of arsenic and an eye dropper. She placed the items next to the microscope on the lab counter and retrieved the test tube containing the particle. She extracted a sample of the water as Jessica handed her the glass microscope slide. Dr. Bradford placed three drops of the murky liquid onto the sterile slide.
Jessica smiled with excitement. “Isn’t this amazing?”
Rebecca’s frown deepened. “That’s it, a test tube full of murky water and three drops on a slide.”
Dr. Bradford defended her actions. “It’s evidence that challenges the way we think and view life as we know it.”
Jessica handed another test tube to Dr. Bradford. She filled the tube using the water sample and handed the vial back to her. “Jessica. Mark this sample A.”
“Yes, Ma’am.” Jessica looked at Rebecca. “It’s in there. I’ve seen it.”
Again, Dr. Bradford’s posture became defensive. “You can’t see it without the aid of a microscope.” She filled the second vial and handed it to Jessica.
“Sample B.” Jessica nodded with pride.
Dr. Bradford confirmed with a nod. “Remember, at its current state it is a microbe.” She placed the prepared slide beneath the microscope as everyone watched. She bent to take a careful view and focused the microscope.
“I’ll prepare the boiling water.” Jessica predicted what Dr. Bradford would want. She moved across the room, filled a tea kettle and turned on the single electrical coil burner.
As Dr. Bradford viewed the microbe using the powerful microscope, the microbe vibrated and morphed to Dr. Bradford’s eye. She lifted from the microscope, blinked and rubbed her eyes.
Jessica noticed. “Something wrong Dr. B?”
“Nothing. An eyelash was in my eye.” Dr. Bradford peered through the microscope and adjusted the focus again.
Rebecca’s patience grew thin. “How did you obtain these samples? I thought the government had confiscated them.”
Dr. Bradford exhaled. “A few more seconds... There you are. Look.” Dr. Bradford stepped to the side as Rebecca stepped to the microscope. She glanced at Dr. Bradford before she lowered to view the microbe.
Dr. Bradford rubbed her neck. “Jessica, hand me my notebook please.”
Jessica strode to Dr. Bradford’s desk, retrieved a brown leather journal and strutted to Dr. Bradford.
The tea kettle whistled. Jessica at once prepped a beaker of hot boiling water and brought it to Dr. Bradford.
Dr. Bradford handed her journal to Jessica. She placed five drops of arsenic into the beaker.
Rebecca peered through the microscope. “Honestly, I see nothing.”
Dr. Bradford exhaled in disappointment. “My best hypothesis is the microbe transitions as fast as I isolate it. I’ll isolate it again for you.”
The two women exchanged places. Dr. Bradford once again adjusted the microscope settings.
“You never answered my question. How did you obtain these samples?”
“Let’s suffice it to say I was on the extraction team and managed to keep a sample for further study.”
“You stole it?”
Jessica came to Dr. Bradford’s defense. “We didn’t steal it. We went...”
Dr. Bradford lifted from the microscope long enough to glare at Jessica and twisted her fingers as if locking a door.
Jessica put her hand over her mouth.
Rebecca became annoyed at the silent gesture. “You agreed you would tell me everything.” She gazed harshly at Dr. Bradford.
“I promised you an exclusive interview for a no question asked policy. When the time is right, we’ll reveal our evidence.”
“I’ll get another Emmy.”
“I’ll surely get my PhD.”
Dr. Bradford gave Jessica another cold glance.
“Well, I will. Won’t I?”
The lab became uncomfortably silent as Dr. Bradford continued to isolate the microbe under the microscope.
Rebecca tapped her foot. “Anytime would be ideal. I have a deadline for tonight’s news.”
“Patience. I almost have the microbe isolated.”
“Yes, Dr. B always tells me that patience is a virtue.”
“We go live at six. After the murder of your husband and Dr. Peterson, the world is waiting to hear from the now infamous Dr. Sandra Bradford.”
A reflective sadness came over Dr. Bradford, but she regained her professional composure. “You sound skeptical, Rebecca.”
“Wouldn’t you be? You claim to have evidence of an alien life form.”
“Don’t forget about me. I’ve seen it. Be sure to add that to your story. You know how to spell my name, right?”
Rebecca rolled her eyes. “This sounds ripe for a sci-fi murder mystery for The Twilight Zone. Not the headline news story I want to break.”
“I’ve isolated it. Be quick this time.” Dr. Bradford backed away from the microscope.
Rebecca peered through the microscope. “Like before, nothing.”
“Maybe you don’t know what you’re looking for.”
“Insults I don’t need and won’t tolerate.”
“I didn’t mean it to demean you. I apologize if I came across that way.”
“Let’s talk about the murders of your associates.”
“I can’t speak to the murders... only about the great men. It shocked me to learn my husband was involved in a head-on collision. It was an accident. The investigators ruled there was no foul play involved. Frankly, I’m horrified Dr. Peterson was gunned down while on a boating vacation on the same lake we made our discovery.”
Jessica bit her lower lip and paced.
“Doesn’t this frighten you?” Rebecca swallowed and leered with unashamed confidence.
“Of course, I am as anyone in my situation would be. You never know who your enemy is. It’s a cut-throat industry when claiming a scientific discovery.”
“Especially one that’s as big as this.” Jessica beamed with delight.
A quiet knock on the lab’s door caught everyone’s attention.
Dr. Bradford looked at the samples and over toward the door as Jessica jumped holding her hands above her head dropping Dr. Bradford’s journal. A wallet size picture of an infant tumbled from the journal and onto the floor.
FBI Agent Morrison, a handsome African American male, late forties and Agent Turner an African American female in her late thirties entered.
Jessica’s eyes widened in fear. “Whoa, gun.”
 Agent Morrison flashed his shield. “You can put your hands down. We’re here to speak to Dr. Bradford. I’m FBI Special Agent Morrison and this is my partner Special Agent Turner.”
Jessica put her hands to her side, retrieved the journal and noticed a baby’s picture had fallen out. She placed the picture back inside the journal.
Dr. Bradford stepped forward. “I’m Dr. Bradford. How may I be of assistance?”
Agent Turner stepped forward. “Not in the presence of others. It’s confidential. Everyone needs to leave but Dr. Bradford.”
Agent Morrison put his hand in front of his face. “Stop filming. You’re in that directive too.”
Jessica stomped her foot. “You’re telling me, you barge into our lab and ask us to leave.”
“We’re not asking.” His stare as cold as ice sent chills down her spine.
“But, I’m her graduate assistant.”
“I have Freedom of the Press on my side.” Rebecca stood steadfast.
Dr. Bradford raised her hand chest high. “Wait. Anything I have to say, they can hear.”
Agent Turner stepped closer to Dr. Bradford. “In that case, you leave us no choice but to take you to FBI headquarters. Please, Dr. Bradford, retrieve your belongings and come with us. It will be easier for all involved.”
A silent standoff prevailed.
“I’ll consent, but I want it documented that I am cooperating.” Dr. Bradford gathered her belongings and headed for the door.
Rebecca motioned for the cameraman to follow. He pursued the agents and Dr. Bradford as they proceeded out from the lab.
“Wait! Dr. Bradford. Your journal.” Jessica handed over the journal.
Dr. Bradford hesitated. “You keep it. Jessica, lock down the lab. Use protocol FRIC.”
“FRIC?” Agent Turner’s brow creased. “And, that is code for what?”
“Factual Research Investigative Control.”
Jessica smirked in agreement. “Lock up the science experiment to avoid contamination. FRIC that.”
Agent Morrison looked at Dr. Bradford. “Come with us please.”
The two agents escorted Dr. Bradford from the lab as Rebecca, George and Jessica chased after them. The door shut behind them.
In a few seconds, Jessica re-entered the lab, turned off the lights and quickly closed the door behind her. The murky water in one of the five tubes glowed neon yellow and vibrated the water.




THE KEYSTROKE KILLER
The Keystroke Killer: Transcendence finally broke into the top sellers on Amazon. Again, I can't thank everyone enough. Here is a book trailer.