Monday, February 27, 2017

I Bought the Sun for a Dollar by @SciFiAuthorGary #Romance #Suspense #Metaphysical

Can anyone actually buy peace or happiness? Perplexed by the loss of job and fiancé, Timothy Ray makes a symbolic purchase of the sun for a dollar to try to right things in his slightly off course career trajectory. When he stumbles upon a brilliant, cascading sunrise and then a chance meeting with a statuesque blonde he feels his life is about to change for the better but his new girlfriend is a spy, working for a contracted data mining firm.


Timothy responded to a faint sound in his sleep, it was distant and it caused him to turn. His hearing attuned to the discord, it was the damned giggling again. Forcing his eyes open, he listened intently. No sound other than a clock ticking. Then a cat cried. Tossing his covers off, he slipped into slippers, grabbed a flashlight from a drawer and bounded out his kitchen door.
They’ve got to be there. They even startled the neighbourhood cat. Timothy chugged along, breathing heavy, stabbing pains shooting through his barely protected feet. “I’ll get you, you bastards!” It was still dark and a few lights were on in houses across the woods, peering at him like eyes. He surmised it was early morning. His alarm hadn’t gone off yet. “Fuck it.” It was his usual catch phrase lately, for everything, whether it was burnt toast or another bill he feared he couldn’t pay. Timothy heard a stir in the woods to his right. He smiled but it wasn’t happiness that flashed across his face. He was invested in catching the bastards, his job be damned. He’d take a sick day. Why worry about serving out his last few days for a company that was shipping American jobs to India?
The hunt continued, Timothy fumbling in the darkness. He nearly fell over a rock but grabbed a thin tree trunk to regain immediate purchase. Leaves chattered underneath his feet as if they were cheering him on. A bird of some kind wailed from above, mimicking human language as if a parrot. Timothy’s mind filled in what he thought the bird might be saying: Over there! Over there!
The pursuit continued until Timothy entered a small clearing. Trees and rocks circled the barren ground as if they respected it. Flashing his light on the ground, Timothy wondered about the unusual spot. Maybe it was just his mind getting the better of him but he imagined some kind of ritual taking place. Perhaps his intruders were into some kind of craft. Maybe they burned things in this circle. It was a horrifying thought and Timothy imagined the stray neighbourhood cat possibly falling victim. No! You’ll pay for your crimes. Desperate, Timothy shined his flashlight this way and that with no regard to the beam’s influence and that it was entering into homes across the way. A few more lights clicked on in the homes, more eyes focusing on his crazed witch hunt.
Okay, why aren’t you helping me? Timothy’s face soured. He realized it was a selfish notion. What did these distant neighbours have to do with his robbery and decaying lifestyle? At that instant, Timothy recalled a phrase he heard in church as a boy. It was about helping yourself. If you helped yourself, you’d be helped. He wasn’t quite sure if it was even a phrase. He’d become disenchanted with religion and Kevin teased him about his agnostic stance on more than one occasion; one conversation became very heated. “Well how on the Earth do you think the birds, bees and plants got here? There’s a grand design, even right down to the beer you’re swilling.” They didn’t speak for a few days. Timothy had been taught to believe in evolution over creationism. Right now, standing alone in the woods, Timothy began to consider a third option, an intentional design possibly initiated by a creator such as a God or maybe by some grand purveyor of the universe which interweaved with everything and everyone but remained invisible and shapeless. Kevin might even have an explanation for this. But Kevin wasn’t here at the moment to ease his despondency.
I’d sure like your assistance right about now. Not that I won’t do my part. Timothy shrugged his shoulders and clicked off the light, the beginning rays of dawn were cascading over the wooded area. Some spots glistened from the golden rays and it appeared as if leaves were on fire, glowing gold like small treasures. It was grand; possibly a grand design after all just as Kevin said.
What power the sun had, turning darkness into light! Maybe he hadn’t really noticed or appreciated it before because he was always dashing off to work, annoyed and immersed in traffic and other mundane ventures.
But where were the girls? He was certain he heard them, not in his sleep, but in his waking moments. His hand gripped the flashlight tighter with determination. Maybe they couldn’t exist in the light and were vermin who needed to scurry back into a dark, concealed vestige.
If so, it was a small moment of victory for Timothy Ray. He took comfort in thinking the evil couldn’t enjoy the golden moments of light. He dropped his flashlight and raised his hands skyward, inviting the light to wash over him. He mocked himself after a moment. Well, if this isn’t self love I don’t know what is. He chuckled. If Kevin could see me, he still wouldn’t believe it.
Timothy walked with purpose back home, confident he had chosen a new, informed path; maybe not literally but figuratively. He felt transformed and wondered if the cackle of the girls was not a taunt but an invitation, in some roundabout way, to right his journey.
Everything happens for a reason. It was another favourite line of Kevin’s who believed in synchronicity and that there were no coincidences. Attuned to light, love and hope, Timothy entered his bedroom and rummaged through a drawer where his phone and iPad resided, switched off for the night. His ex had taken the big screen TV and computer. He reflected it was for the better because if she had left them the robbers would have stolen them. No coincidences.
He still had the means to connect with the outside world despite everything that happened and Timothy was determined to make use of it. He Googled, searching for every fact he could find about the sun. It was almost 93 million miles away but people had to wear sunscreen because its glorious rays were determined to reach them, no matter what. It gave us vitamins. It even gave us the intangible; it was a favourite metaphor for hope.
It was too glorious to be ignored so Timothy set his mind to honouring it. He wondered how he could make a connection being so far away. Then he recalled people paid to have star systems named after them. It seemed a ridiculous idea. People paying for something they really couldn’t own. How could anybody own far away objects in the sky? He scratched at the stubble on his chin. Maybe it wasn’t so crazy because it gave the owner’s some kind of hope or gratification that they were connected to the grandness of the universe.
Timothy cupped his hands together as if in prayer. “I know I don’t have much to offer. I would like to buy the sun for a small sum. Would a dollar do?” Sun glinted through the window and onto his bedspread before disappearing. Timothy took it as a sign, a cosmic nod. “It was a pleasure doing business with you.”
The private negotiation would not suffice. Timothy needed to tell the world. What better way to self-broadcast than the social media sensation called Lifestream.
He posted: ‘I’m feeling great today. I just got a great deal on a wondrous light. I bought it for just a dollar.’
As soon as Timothy posted the declaration he felt anxious. Was it a good idea to broadcast the selling price? Now everyone would want what he bought. He read his post again and smiled. He had been cryptic, never referencing the sun by name.
A reply to his post appeared a few seconds later: ‘Sounds great. Wishing you all success the day may bring.’ The post was by someone named Maggie, a woman he barely recalled befriending on the site.
“Wow!” Timothy rubbed his hands together. Already people were sending him positive messages, near strangers at that!
Timothy phoned into work, made a veggie smoothie and changed into fresh clothing. When he returned to Lifestream, he was notified that fifty-three people had responded to his post. Lightheaded, he scrolled through the comments.
‘Some light! I wish I had bought it!’
‘Can I go shopping with you? I can’t find anything for a dollar, even at the Dollar Store!’
‘May the blessed light wash over you, Timothy.’
‘May the light be as glorious as you can imagine it to be!’
Timothy couldn’t place the responders as anyone he had ever corresponded with prior. He vaguely recalled befriending them but nothing other than a passing ‘hello’ was ever said between them.
Suddenly and miraculously all these positive people were on his side for a change. If only his ex could witness this. For a moment, he played with the idea of reposting his message on her Lifestream page, that is, if she hadn’t already deleted him from her ‘life’ network. The responses made him rethink. He should be generous with his new find.
“I guess I seized the day.” Timothy clapped his hands together; it was a gesture he hadn’t made since he was a teen in reaction to some new experience he was introduced to when life really was a joyous adventure.
Feeling anything was possible instead of improbable; Timothy opened his front door and inhaled deeply. A cry came at his feet.
Timothy scooped the grey, mewling creature into his arms.
“So, are you finally ready for a home?” Timothy rubbed his chin against the cat’s furry face, feeling great relief the stray hadn’t met a fiery demise.

Tim grabbed the cat’s paw and made a waving motion toward the universe. “Together my new friend, we’ll transform our lives. Just you wait and see.”

Purchase today on AMAZON and Barnes & Noble 

About Gary Starta

Gary Starta began writing as a journalist where he covered the police beat, town meetings and interviewed local artists. His inspiration to tell stories did not stop with newspaper reporting when he began writing fiction in 2004 at the very strong suggestion of a girlfriend. Now, with 17 books written, he foresees many more stories on the horizon whether they be contemporary, romance, thrillers, sci fi/fantasy or murder/crime.

Connect with Gary Starta

Twitter @scifiauthorgary 

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

On A Knife’s Edge by @AuthorLyndaB #Suspense #Action #Romance #BookTour #Amazon #Kindle

On a Knife's Edge 
She was once his sweet salvation…
Lynch Callan has been a dead man walking most of his life—nothing out of the ordinary for a member of the 5th Street biker gang. There was a brief period, though, when she made him believe he could be more. That he could be worthy of her, and her love. To protect her, and keep their relationship from being discovered, he went to prison. Except now the Streeters are in danger. But in order to save his crew, he must first betray them. If caught, he’ll end up dead for sure. It’ll be the mother of all balancing acts—especially with her in the picture. But Lynch will do whatever is necessary to protect the people he loves.
He was once her deepest desire… Shasta Albright doesn’t break the rules. Not anymore. As an unruly teenager, she defied her family at every turn…even secretly befriending, then dating, then falling in love with a bad boy Streeter. Finally her recklessness caught up with her—with lasting and even dire consequences. Now she leads a pristine existence, always staying within the lines and keeping her secrets hidden. That is until he gets released from prison. Can Shasta hold her perfect world together, or will everything get hurled into chaos?
With young girls going missing, the sleepy town of Stardust, Nevada becomes an unlikely epicenter for an illicit slave trade—with Shasta and Lynch caught in the middle. Amidst the rising body count, they fight to keep their loved ones—and each other—safe. A single slipup could have deadly repercussions. It’s an untenable and treacherous position. Much like walking On a Knife’s Edge…

Excerpt #1 – PG13 for crude language…

Shasta clambered behind the wheel of her brother’s truck. She clicked her seatbelt, started the engine and put it in reverse. She turned the wheel as the horrible crunch of metal reverberated in her head. She slammed on the brakes, rocking the truck to an abrupt halt. Several moments of deafening quiet surrounded her before…

“What the fuck…my bike…

Her door swung open, and she stared at an infuriated Lynch Callan. With arms akimbo, wide stance and his mouth bowed into a vicious frown, she’d never seen anyone look so angry—not even her brother.

“Get out,” he commanded.

She recovered enough to scoff. “What? No freakin’ way.”

If anything, he looked more furious. He stepped onto the truck’s running board, reached over and twisted the key from the ignition. In one smooth move, he unfastened her belt and jumped to the ground. “I said out.”

“And I said no.”

He wrapped his large hand around her arm and none too gently dragged her from the cab.

She yanked away. “Let me go.”

He tightened his hold and lugged her to the ass end of the truck.

She stumbled behind him. “Do you have any idea who I am?”

“Yup.” He didn’t even slow down. “You’re the idiot who just backed into my bike.”

He whirled her around. Her sandal caught on his boot and the asphalt quickly rose up. Only his grip on her arm kept it from meeting her face. She swiped flyaway strands of hair from her eyes, ready to set him on fire with her best scathing glare.

But his sunglasses were now tucked into his t-shirt’s neckline. And he glowered at her with the most enthralling blue eyes. They were a pristine, crystal blue, like the water at Lake Tahoe. He positively oozed sensuality—and danger. Any attempt at being scornful died.

He pointed to a giant Harley lying on its side. “Look.”

She gave the scene a cursory glimpse and hitched her shoulder. “Sorry.”

His eyebrows lifted as his jaw dropped. “Sorry? You’re sorry?” He crossed his arms. “You’re paying any damages.”

“Damages? What damages? I barely tapped it.”

Now he scoffed. “Barely tapped it…you toppled it over.” He waved his hand at the downed bike. “The left mirror’s busted and the paint’s scraped. And that’s just what I can see. You’re paying for that and anything else you wrecked.”

She faced him square, her fists on her hips. “How do I know those things didn’t happen before today? You could just be trying to extort money. That’s what people like you do, isn’t it?”

His eyes became shards of ice. “People like me?” An unspoken warning clear in his tone.

“Uh, excuse me.”

Felix’s hesitant voice turned both their heads. “What?” they demanded in unison.

The store owner’s gaze rifled between Shasta and Lynch. He held up a police scanner radio. “Just heard there’s a BOLO out for the sheriff’s truck. They say it’s been stolen.”

Air thickened in Shasta’s throat. She’d hoped to be on a beach before Dell realized his precious ride was missing. And she never expected him to put out an all-points bulletin.


She stared at the ground, thinking. Maybe she could put the F350 back without Dell knowing she took it. That was a mother-fucking-big maybe. Still…she should at least try.

“I gotta call it in, Shasta.”

Her head snapped up. “What? Why?”

“I could get charged as an accessory to grand theft.”

“That’s ridiculous. Dell would never—”

“Yes he would and you know it. In any case, I can’t take that chance.” Felix turned to go back into the store. “I’m sorry.”

“But, Fe-lix,” she whined. “You can’t do that to me.”

Lynch stepped forward. “Hang on, man,” he said to Felix. He looked at her. “You stole the sheriff’s truck?”

“How is it stealing is he’d my brother?”

Lynch blinked, his eyebrows squished together like he didn’t quite understand her words. Then his face split into an enormous grin that showed off perfectly straight and blindingly white teeth. She thought only lifeguards and male models had such flawless teeth.

He laughed. A huge laugh. A-throw-your-head-back-and-howl-at-the-moon kind of laugh. Just like his teeth and voice and shopping choices, Shasta didn’t think criminals laughed like that…
About Lynda…

I have no doubt I was born a storyteller.

I remember telling my first “story” in kindergarten. I informed my teacher, Mrs. Downing, that my mom had just had a baby boy. She hadn’t, of course, and while I got thoroughly admonished for my “storytelling,” I wasn’t deterred from what would become a lifelong passion.

From making up tales as a kid which centered around my favorite TV shows to today, I love telling stories! Stories with handsome guys and spunky gals, that always…always end with a happily-ever-after.

My romances are full of passion, with heat levels that range from hot to sizzling! I've been a finalist in numerous writing contests, including RWA’s® prestigious Golden Heart® in 2010. Please join me for laughter, love and that all important HEA.

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