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The Forgotten Sky Virtual Book Tour

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The Forgotten Sky cover

Science Fiction, Fantasy

 

Published: June 2021

 

FREE on Kindle Unlimited!!!

 

Unrest smolders in a galaxy where most citizens endure the oppressive society of the Northrite corporation.

Run by six masked council members, the Northrite exploit the powers of Elemiscists—those with magical abilities—and keep them as indentured servants. When a nearby sun turns blood red and begins pulsing, people flee their homes, and the millennia-old government is plunged into chaos. Six diverse individuals from across the galaxy become entwined in a struggle for survival and to overthrow the Northrite corporation.

These six share a strange dream: a figure composed only of shadow, holding the pulsing red sun in its palm. Jaycken is an audacious and sarcastic young military recruit who dreams of harnessing Elemiscist powers, and Rynn is a sheltered but perceptive young woman who flees her home planet in search of her missing mother. Nyranna is a cunning Elemiscist slave, seeking to free her people from oppression, and Seeva, an operative and activist, tracks down a branch of the Northrite corporation that funds poachers and decimates endangered creatures for profit. Elion is a morbid bounty hunter, and Cirx is a medieval knight who seeks revenge for the death of his people.

Praise for The Forgotten Sky

Like nothing you’ve read this year. Layered in story and intrigue and brimming with character.”—J.L. Lux, Team Seeva, author of The Fall of Dalmorall

“… compares favorably to … Dune, and Schultz’s impressive worldbuilding skills are apparent …”—Kirkus Reviews

“R.M. Schultz is a master storyteller, and his effects are spectacular … The Forgotten Sky … is a gorgeous treat not only for fans of science fiction but for any reader who adores superior storytelling.”—Readers’ Favorite

The Forgotten Sky tablet

EXCERPT

 

Seeva

 

Seeva didn’t expect fresh powder in this frozen tundra, but the brittleness is also odd.

Her slender legs aid her in stepping out of the icy sinkholes she creates. Now she wishes her feet were larger, much larger—like snowshoes—so she could scamper across the surface.

Seeva squeezes her pulser gun’s grip within a gloved hand and flexes her fingers. Her glove freezes to the metal and tears as she studies a spotty trail of blood that has thickened over the last kilometer.

This planet … again, but now its remotest region.

Shadows loom ahead. Two silhouettes: trees, crystal trees. They appear as bony hands with gangly, naked fingers, tearing their way from beneath the ice.

Ori—Seeva’s only companion, a flying creature resembling a monkey but covered in black and white feathers—howls, his tone armoring his sorrow. His flapping wings are as silent as his breathing, as silent as the calm of night.

Crunch. The snow sounds like breaking bones beneath her boots.

Seeva hunts the hunter, rushes to protect the defenseless inhabitants of this planet against humans, or humanoids, and their destructive nature.

Ice crystals drift up into the light, the snow dust of the tundra turning softly and twinkling: luminous, midnight blue, violet, carmine, shimmering like miniscule fairies who can only shout in color, the colors of the winter night.

Thirteen moons seem to suspend the sky over Seeva’s head. Glowing spheres or sickles form a vault of pale light; silver and azure shades paint the snow. Floating ice particles create a nimbus around the moons, some of which are as large as suns while others appear like crescent blades that could be carried on her back, waxing blue and waning copper. Another’s lighted surface is pocked by meteoroid strikes.

All Seeva recognizes in this shape is a skull with a depression fracture.

Biting cold.

Another strained step, and Seeva’s foot punches through crusty snow. Air almost as thick as ice burns as it claws its way into her throat and then explodes in her lungs like smoke inside a burning building. Even the heated inhalation mask and the coils in her snowsuit barely keep the subzero temperatures out of her lean body.

A cloud of breath plumes from her mask into the night, turning to hoarfrost in the air before being sheared away by a rising wind.

Who the fuck could have done this? Tracked their victims through this region?

A gust of salty wind batters Seeva’s masked cheeks, the smell of blood hanging thick. She sees it: a splatter of black liquid against the restless white haze of hills and jutting mounds.

Her stomach solidifies into a dense ball of tension. Sparse hairs on her arms stick up; her scalp tingles.

Red light falls in a soft curtain, coating the landscape, washing out the moonlight. Seeva glances skyward.

Something is out there, something massive, beyond the moons. It pulses with a red glow like the heart of a god.

Seeva knows anarchy reigns out near the drifters, at the extremity of the galaxy, where unusual planets and peculiar people dwell. Where habitable worlds are sparse and civilizations sparser. Where many become lost. Where beyond the drifters lies the dead zone, an emptiness between galaxies that is always dark. Where no suns and no planets roam, where no one ventures.

A lock of Seeva’s sable hair lashes out from its typical location, clipped around the oak-dark skin of her neck like a scarf. The strand appears like black water, only hungrier, obscuring her vision as the wind skirls around her. She tucks it behind the orange-tinted view of dynamic lenses, projections from her v-rima thin silver band stretching from the ends of each eyebrow, a central dip at the bridge of her nose—a viewer for all the information she needs plus a link to the galaxy’s central network.

Seeva marches on, her feet sinking through brittle snow, her breath spewing into brittle air.

She wonders what kind of person could do what she’s worried she will find: the victims, the source of the blood trail. What backward fools with hearts of molten coal treated others like crops?

Seeva recalls a trial and lawsuit her Silvergarde Alliance discovered occurring on the neighboring planets, one hushed up from public scrutiny. The Northrite council, the primary governing agency of the galaxy and the largest corporation, was attempting to obtain mining rights to these planets.

She also recently heard of a newly discovered planet blanketed by a liquid sea—instead of clouds—the water suspended in its atmosphere by the gravity of its thousand moons and tensile troposphere. Only in the past year had people discovered land below, and then found native humans already living there, living in medieval conditions on a continent isolated from the rest of the galaxy.

Consciously aware humanoids have been venturing out from their planets of origin, dispersing throughout the galaxy and between solar systems, since the first age. Before Elemiscists discovered Striding, traveling so many light years could take families generations to reach another planet in their own galaxy, even traveling at the speed of light … generations … unless the occupants were placed in cryosleep. Slowly, over tens of thousands of years, the mixing of peoples and humanoids is now commonplace. And humans, as if by divine design or grievous error, have spread throughout the galaxy like the most adept colonizing virus. 

Seeva is too similar to them all for her liking, even with her short stature of one of the ancient races, one dating back before the time of the communicating galaxy, before the time of even the written word. The small women of old, the ancient, dark-skinned sirens. But she’s not special: no magic, no enigma, no fading into fog.

The pulsing red light radiating from the heavens grows brighter, pulling Seeva back to reality.

“What the fuck’s causing this and what does it mean?” She points the muzzle of her pulser gun skyward.

“Time to leave,” Ori seems to say with only his pink and emerald eyes as his head rotates fully around his body. He’s wary of hidden spirits in this desolate place, wary of memories, of emotions. Ori’s native planet. She knew he’d be affected coming back here.

Seeva recalls a recent dream: a sound like wind shuffling leaves, a shadowy figure concealing something in their palm, something red and beating. Coincidence?

She strides forward.

Hunter, I know your path. I feel your presence. This trick with the light will not stop me.

Ori’s wings beat against the wind without a whisper.

A tower of a mountain soars upward in the distance, dark against the flashing red and pewter sky. A range of sharpened cliffs—which appear as black flames frozen in their fury—run before her, jagged peaks of petrified fire roasting the belly of the night.

Seeva follows the blood trail, climbing in lunges and bursts. Her feet crunch and slip on icy stairs of rock as minutes wear out and fall away, the flashing red overhead the fiery breath of a monster kindling her anxiety.

Beyond the crest of a white mound, a ravine of snow emerges. Massive forms lie scattered about, limbs stiff and stretching toward the moons.

The victims.

As Seeva approaches, a shape becomes more distinct. An enormous animal. Purple hide as tough as leather wrought with iron. Stocky body and legs. Clubbed feet. Spike-like horns should have protruded in dense rows across its body, but only blunted stumps remain. Black liquid has pooled around the carcass, staining the snow with a macabre, amorphous shape resembling a distorted man.

The innocent and the weakest are always the first victims, in times long past and in the present. Only the perpetrator—this butcher—and their master and how to find the two of them changes. But this … this pointless slaughter.

Something inside her lashes out in anger, through the cold in her heart, with tongues of flame.


About The Author

R.M. Schultz

R.M. Schultz lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, daughter, and many pets. He enjoys the outdoors, playing the guitar, and reading and writing across genres but always includes fantasy or science fiction elements in his work. He founded and heads the North Seattle Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Group.

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A Spectrum of Heroes Virtual Book Tour

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A Spectrum of Heroes cover

 

Science-Fiction

 

 

Date Published: 09-06-2021

Publisher: Markosia Enterprises

Biochemist Anushka Mahto flees the lab where she works, stealing the mysterious substance she has been experimenting on. She accidentally contaminates herself while disposing of it, in an attempt to protect the world at large from its potentially harmful effects. On the run from her unethical boss, Anushka must learn to control her multiple new powers while being hunted by lab security chief and former lover, Charlotte. She calls on her sister for help, but Jhanvi is reluctant to open old wounds by allowing Anushka back into her life. When an alien named Ergo comes onto the scene, Anushka suddenly finds the fate of humanity resting in her hands. Can she navigate the complex problems in her personal relationships and also prevent an interstellar war?

A Spectrum of Heroes tablet

EXCERPT

May 2019 – North London
Slick mud oozed between Anushka’s fingers as she dug. Why hadn’t she thought to
bring a spade? She’d rushed to escape the lab, without considering practicalities. Damn
Yardley and his ultimatum! If only she’d had more time, she could have planned her
departure properly. Now she was winging it, and that had never been one of her strong points.
Her back ached from stooping and the darkness made it difficult to see what she was doing.
She leaned further forwards and nearly toppled into the hole. She sat back on her haunches,
her breaths coming short and fast. Injuring herself and ending up stuck here until daylight
would be all she needed. She shivered in the night air. Even after years living in London, she
still missed the heat of Kolkata. A flood of sense memories threatened to overwhelm her and
she felt tears pricking her eyes. But now was not the time to indulge in nostalgia. Taking a
deep breath, Anushka pushed back her feelings and her long dark hair, and turned her
attention back to the task at hand.
The hole was probably deep enough now. Anushka reached for the thick plastic sack
at her side and slid it into the depression. It was heavy and unwieldy, its liquid contents
shifting as she moved it. It snagged on something part way down. Reaching in, she felt
around and discovered a sharp root protruding from the earth. She managed to free the sack
and it settled at the bottom of the hole with a squelch and a waft of pungent chemicals.
Anushka swept her hair over her shoulder again. Tying it back was another thing she should
have done before starting. She really hadn’t thought this through. Everything had happened
so quickly and panic had overtaken reason in her flight. What was Charlotte going to think
when she arrived at work to find Anushka gone? She couldn’t think about that now, or she
might just give up this reckless plan and run back to the lab, regardless of the consequences.
Her scalp tingled, most likely with apprehension at the possibility of being discovered.
Anushka shovelled dirt on top of the sack, making sure it was well covered. She did
her best to make the ground look as undisturbed as possible, but it was hard to tell how well
she succeeded. Bringing a torch would have made her too visible to any security personnel,
and the lights along the fence were too far away to be much use out here in the field. She
wasn’t worried about her footprints in the dirt. Plenty of people traipsed back and forth along
here on a daily basis and nobody would be looking for her prints in particular, as long as it
wasn’t obvious someone had been digging.
Deciding her efforts were good enough, Anushka stood up, wincing as her back
twinged again. She felt ridiculous, crawling around a field in the middle of the night, but it
was the only way she could think of to dispose of the XR-20. How long would it take for
someone to notice it was missing from the lab? Much as she might want to, she couldn’t go
back to work the next day and pretend no knowledge of the theft. Even though she hadn’t
been caught leaving the building, she was the only one who had access to the XR-20, and
security was tight enough that there was no way anyone else could have broken in to take it.
She made her way back to the fence and the gap she had made. She slid through it and
back out onto the road. Jogging across and into the trees, she found where she had parked her
car and got in. She sat in the driver’s seat for a moment, trying to calm her breathing and
slow her heartbeat. What she had just done was hasty and ill-advised but it was too late now.
There was no turning back; she had burned all her bridges. Minutes later, she was speeding
away from the scene of the crime and everything she had built in the last few years of her life.
#
P2 – May 2019 – North London
It was Charlotte Grant, the head of security at the lab, who first realised something
was wrong. She had been due to meet Anushka for breakfast in the lab canteen, as they did
most days, but Anushka didn’t show. This wasn’t entirely unprecedented, as Anushka often
came in early and got so engrossed in her work that she lost track of time. That was
something Charlotte, with her military sense of punctuality, had been forced to get used to
when spending time with a research scientist. Charlotte waited another five minutes, then
headed to Anushka’s office with a rueful smile.
She stepped up to the glass of the outer lab area and tapped on it, startling the nearest
anonymous assistant. He – at least Charlotte thought it was a he, though it was difficult to tell
under his surgical cap and mask – raised his eyebrows in a question.
Charlotte called through the glass. “Can you go get Dr Mahto, please?”
He shrugged and shook his head. When he spoke, his words were muffled by his
mask. “She’s not here.”
That was odd. At this time of day, Anushka would invariably be in her office or the
lab proper, if she wasn’t having breakfast. Charlotte waved the assistant back to his work and
made her way to the central security hub, the heart of her domain at the lab. Several of her
team were at their stations, monitoring multiple screens that covered nearly every part of the
building. Charlotte walked up behind Perkins, whose screens showed the car park and main
entrance. She noticed that his hair was getting shaggy, tufting out over his ears. She made a
mental note to have a word with him about professional presentation later. Not that it ever did
much good. Perkins was very good at his job, but regulations weren’t his strong point, nor did
he seem to take any pride in his appearance. Charlotte shook her head; she had a different
errant employee to tackle at the moment.
“Check the logs for when Dr Anushka Mahto last swiped in.”
Perkins tapped in some commands. “2am.”
Unusual, but not unheard of. The scientists at the lab were known to keep odd hours.
“And has she swiped out since?”
More tapping. “She left at 3am, and hasn’t come back.”
Now that was really strange.
“Show me the feeds for both her arrival and her departure.”
As she waited for Perkins to input the information, Charlotte started running her right
palm over the stumps of the last two fingers on her left hand, then stopped herself when she
realised what she was doing. She clenched both hands into fists, feeling her fingernails
digging into the skin of her palms, then dropped them to her sides. When the recordings came
up, Charlotte’s breath caught in her throat. Anushka had arrived carrying nothing and had left
an hour later with a large, heavy-duty plastic bag. On the screen, she stooped awkwardly to
one side, struggling to heft the bag, which she clutched with one hand grasping it by the top.
What on earth was she playing at, and where was she now?
Charlotte swore, eliciting a surprised glance from Perkins.
“What’s going on, boss? What’s Dr Mahto doing taking stuff out of the lab in the
middle of the night?”
Charlotte glared at him and he blanched, turning back to his keyboard to avoid her
anger.
“Alert Mr Yardley’s office that I’m on my way up. I think we have a breach.”

About The Author

Annie Percik

Annie Percik lives in London, where she writes novels and short stories, whilst working as a freelance editor and proofreader (https://alobear.co.uk/?page_id=778). She writes a blog about writing on her website (https://alobear.co.uk/), which is where all her current publications are listed, including her debut fantasy novel, The Defiant Spark (http://getbook.at/DefiantSpark) and her sci-fi second novel, A Spectrum of Heroes (https://amzn.to/3xnJ9eb). She also makes a media review podcast with her husband, Dave (https://stillloveit.libsyn.com/), and publishes a photo-story blog, recording the adventures of her teddy bear (https://aloysius-bear.dreamwidth.org/). He is much more popular online than she is.

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Twitter @APercik

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A Spectrum of Heroes Release Blitz

 

A Spectrum of Heroes cover

 

Science-Fiction

 

 

Date Published: 09-06-2021

Publisher: Markosia Enterprises

Biochemist Anushka Mahto flees the lab where she works, stealing the mysterious substance she has been experimenting on. She accidentally contaminates herself while disposing of it, in an attempt to protect the world at large from its potentially harmful effects. On the run from her unethical boss, Anushka must learn to control her multiple new powers while being hunted by lab security chief and former lover, Charlotte. She calls on her sister for help, but Jhanvi is reluctant to open old wounds by allowing Anushka back into her life. When an alien named Ergo comes onto the scene, Anushka suddenly finds the fate of humanity resting in her hands. Can she navigate the complex problems in her personal relationships and also prevent an interstellar war?

About The Author

Annie Percik

Annie Percik lives in London, where she writes novels and short stories, whilst working as a freelance editor and proofreader (https://alobear.co.uk/?page_id=778). She writes a blog about writing on her website (https://alobear.co.uk/), which is where all her current publications are listed, including her debut fantasy novel, The Defiant Spark (http://getbook.at/DefiantSpark) and her sci-fi second novel, A Spectrum of Heroes (https://amzn.to/3xnJ9eb). She also makes a media review podcast with her husband, Dave (https://stillloveit.libsyn.com/), and publishes a photo-story blog, recording the adventures of her teddy bear (https://aloysius-bear.dreamwidth.org/). He is much more popular online than she is.

Contact Links

Website

Twitter @APercik

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The Forgotten Sky Blitz

 

The Forgotten Sky cover

Science Fiction, Fantasy

 

Published: June 2021

 

FREE on Kindle Unlimited!!!

 

Unrest smolders in a galaxy where most citizens endure the oppressive society of the Northrite corporation.

Run by six masked council members, the Northrite exploit the powers of Elemiscists—those with magical abilities—and keep them as indentured servants. When a nearby sun turns blood red and begins pulsing, people flee their homes, and the millennia-old government is plunged into chaos. Six diverse individuals from across the galaxy become entwined in a struggle for survival and to overthrow the Northrite corporation.

These six share a strange dream: a figure composed only of shadow, holding the pulsing red sun in its palm. Jaycken is an audacious and sarcastic young military recruit who dreams of harnessing Elemiscist powers, and Rynn is a sheltered but perceptive young woman who flees her home planet in search of her missing mother. Nyranna is a cunning Elemiscist slave, seeking to free her people from oppression, and Seeva, an operative and activist, tracks down a branch of the Northrite corporation that funds poachers and decimates endangered creatures for profit. Elion is a morbid bounty hunter, and Cirx is a medieval knight who seeks revenge for the death of his people.

Praise for The Forgotten Sky

Like nothing you’ve read this year. Layered in story and intrigue and brimming with character.”—J.L. Lux, Team Seeva, author of The Fall of Dalmorall

“… compares favorably to … Dune, and Schultz’s impressive worldbuilding skills are apparent …”—Kirkus Reviews

“R.M. Schultz is a master storyteller, and his effects are spectacular … The Forgotten Sky … is a gorgeous treat not only for fans of science fiction but for any reader who adores superior storytelling.”—Readers’ Favorite

The Forgotten Sky tablet


About The Author

R.M. Schultz

R.M. Schultz lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, daughter, and many pets. He enjoys the outdoors, playing the guitar, and reading and writing across genres but always includes fantasy or science fiction elements in his work. He founded and heads the North Seattle Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Group.

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

BookBuzz

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Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Little Bit Blitz

 

Little Bit cover

Alsoo Rising

Science Fiction

 

Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers

Twenty years have passed since a small group of galactic refugees sought shelter on Earth. Frightened, defeated and traumatized they huddled in their. artificial burrows for years, Little Bit, born on Earth, has experienced none of the horrors her parents escaped, she grows up pampered and protected, a pet of the god-like humans. When her home world is discovered she starts having a strange dream where the spirits of two long-dead humans speak to her. They tell her she must return to her home world and faced the horrors her parents faced and save her people.

 

 

Little Bit tablet, phone, paperback


About the Author

Henry Burns

Henry Burns lives in San Francisco with his wife, two feral cats and three bearded dragons. He writes when they let him.

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