#GuestPost Mirror In Time by D. Ellis Overttun @neoverttun #scifi #theology #philosophy #politicalthriller #MirrorInTime #excerpt

So today I have a long time supporter of my blog and all round lovely author David Ellis Overttun for a very special guest post which includes an excerpt from his upcoming novel Mirror in time which is the fourth book in the Terra Nova series which will be released this year. Now over to David:

I first met LJ when I used to be on Twitter. (I have now turned that over to my wife, Natasha.) At the time, I was a totally unknown author. How would I know? When I did a search of “Overttun”, I would get “Do you mean: overturn” — period. I can proudly say that now I am a relatively unknown author. Do the same search now, and you get the same “Do you mean: overturn”. But, now at least, there are some search results. How will I know when I’m known? When I just get the search results. (Do a search for “rowling”. You don’t get “Do you mean: rowing”. Although, I bet there was a time when you did.)

LJ is the poster child for open minded and supportive. With all the great books and authors out there, who would give someone just starting out a second glance? She is also the reason why my covers are so sharp. During our correspondence, after I finished my first book, Universe: Awakening, she said (and I’m paraphrasing), “you might want to get a more eye-catching cover.” Being charitable was an understatement. So, I turned that part of the book over to Natasha, and we’ve gone from…

To..

What a difference!

Anyway…

With all that’s been going on in the world right now, I’ve been finding it hard to set aside the time to finish my 4th book, Mirror in Time. I’ve been doing some ARC guest posts of some of the opening chapters to put pressure on me to finish. LJ has been so kind to assist me in this kick-in-the-pants endeavor with this guest post. So, many thanks! (Also, an FYI. It’s working. Just before Xmas, I sat down and wrote about half of chapter 12 of the paperback version. Only 2-½ chapters to go!)

* * * * *

Our story so far…

As night falls, a transport flies toward a towering mountain range. Stars that should fill the sky are obscured by a random patchwork of contrails.

Ribbons in the Sky | Natasha Evelyn Overttun

AV Sundog comes under attack tantalizingly close to its destination and, its lone passenger, Prefect Godvina, is now recovering in the Observatory’s medical facilities. While she has not sustained any physical injuries, the stress caused by the evasive maneuvers have caused her aura to contract. The attending physician expects she will return to normal in a few days, but an individual known as the “Advisor” draws attention to the emotional impact of her current condition. The Director of the Observatory agrees, but his concern seems to go beyond the clinical interest of the two medical professionals. This is personal. Just how personal is revealed when he turns his scrutiny to the pilot of the atmospheric vehicle, Agent Thalia, exiling her and the two escort pilots, call signs: Avenger and Golden Boy, from the facility.

Before departing, Thalia goes to a bar known as “No Man’s Land” to take the edge off. There, she meets Avenger and Golden Boy. They advise her they need to file a report of the incident. And now, ARC eChapter 2: “History”.

* * * * *

Godvina opened her eyes. Her vision was blurred, and all she could make out was fuzzy pale-gold light. She was stiff and sore. “Where am I?” she thought. Her first answer would have been AV Sundog. The last thing she remembered was passing out during an inverted dive. But she was now in a reclined position lying on what she could only assume was a bed. Her vision slowly began to clear. She was in a medical capsule.

“Uncover.”

A holographic cover receded to either side. Around her was dimly illuminated, and there was a pale-gold light off to her right.

“My love!” Jo’el said as he rushed to her side. He grasped her hand and kissed it. “You are awake. Raise light. How do you feel?”

The room gradually became illuminated with simulated daylight at a rate that matched the ability of her eyes to adjust.

“I…I am fine. I guess. What am I doing here?”

“You came under attack.”

“Really?”

“Yes, that is the preliminary report from Agent Thalia. You appear to have passed out during her evasive maneuvers.”

“Now, I remember! That bitch went out of her way to do this to me! Maneuvers my ass!” 

As she rose to get out of the capsule, she noticed her aura. “What happened to my corona?!”

“Dr. Kyros says it has retracted…”

“What?!”

“But it is only temporary. A few days at most.”

“A few days?!”

“Please, my love, calm yourself.”

“I will show you calm!” She stood and faced him, her full, thick, strawberry-red hair cascading on her shoulders. Her piercing blue eyes were malevolently transfixed on him. 

“How is that?” she said with stone-cold calm.

“Very calm.” Jo’el had seen this many times before. He had learned to stay out of her way until the storm had passed.

“Clothing. Computer, link with Agent Thalia, voice-only.”

A section of one of the walls, the height of a closet, opened into the room.

“Where are my clothes?”

“They are in laundry services.”

“Cannot link.”

“Emergency notification. Why are they there?”

“Well…they were a bit…”

Then, she remembered and erupted with a howl of anger.

“Unable to link with Agent Thalia. Her nexus appears to be nonoperational.”

“Fucking coward! Computer, current location, Agent Thalia.”

“Agent Thalia has just departed Building K, Chi Mesa.”

“Godvina, you cannot leave looking like this.”

She turned and faced him with a look that sent a chill up his spine. Then, something quite unexpected happened.

“Mirror, full length,” he quickly said. “Look, you are back to normal.”

“So, I can leave?” she asked sarcastically.

“Yes, yes, of course.” 

“Good. Get me something to wear!”

* * * * *

The three agents made their way to a secure room, a hardened location buried deep in the mesa protected by biometric security, anti-surveillance measures and sensors to detect changes in air quality and temperature.

“Agents Mica’el, Gabri’el and Thalia with a secure link to Prefect Tarsus,” Mica’el said.

Tarsus was the prefect at the Ministry of Defense and Security in charge of intelligence and their direct superior. They each stood at attention and bowed as his hologram appeared before them.

“Good even to you,” he said, returning their bows. “Report.”

“I have safely transported Prefect Godvina to the designated terminus. However, it was not without incident. It has resulted in some complications.”

“Explain.”

“As per our orders, Gabri’el and I provided covert escort. En route, we encountered six Gendu AVs, fighter class,” Mica’el replied. 

“They appear to be a new, more advanced design, able to penetrate military-grade camouflage,” Thalia said. Then, something occurred to her. “How is it they were unable to see you?” she asked, looking at Mica’el. “As a matter of fact, how is it I was unable to see you?”

“Let us just say that some adjustments were made to reduce the effectiveness of your instrumentation before you left for Jomo,” Tarsus interjected unapologetically.

“We were bait?! And you said nothing?!” she exclaimed, giving Mica’el then Gabri’el a dirty-look.

“Come, come, Thalia,” Tarsus said with a smile, “you know things such as this come with the territory. Your callsign is ‘Wind Goddess’, is it not? The best fighter pilot we have, no? Or did I make the wrong choice for this mission?”

“No, of course not, sir.” While she may have felt compromised, how could she have responded any other way?

“You all appear to be in one piece. I take it the mission was a success.”

“You were correct, sir. Misleading information of an AV, apparently unescorted, with you on board was sufficient to draw out dissident Gendu elements,” Gabri’el replied. “They were unmarked with masked transponders, but we inflicted sufficient damage to down all of the hostiles. I would imagine there should be enough wreckage to identify the source. Also, all the pilots ejected. We should have them in custody in due course.”

“Excellent!”

“However, sir, my passenger has suffered certain complications.”

“Specify.”

“Her corona has retracted.”

“Really?” Tarsus said with a smile. “And that is a bad thing?”

“She is very upset.”

“And that is a bad thing?”

All of a sudden, the doors opened, and Godvina stormed in. “Get out!”

The agents were taken by surprise. Secure rooms were supposed to be inviolate.

“How did you…” Thalia started to say.

“I SAID, ‘GET OUT’!”

The three looked toward Tarsus, who nodded his head, and they departed.

“Good even to you, Prefect Godvina. I hope you are well,” he said calmly.

“Cut the crap, Tarsus. You know exactly how well I am. You vindictive bastard. You set me up!”

“On the contrary, it was a covert operation, sanctioned at the highest level, designed to draw out dissident elements within the Gendu. I had my best pilot at the helm of your AV and my best operatives as your escorts. You were never in any danger.”

“Your intent was not to put me in harm’s way. It was to humiliate me! You know how flight disagrees with me!”

“Yes, Agent Thalia mentioned a contracted corona, but she must have been mistaken. It looks perfectly normal to me…a little small perhaps.”

An individual’s corona was the dominant factor in determining position and status in Celesti society. Size mattered, the bigger the better. High-ranking officials in the various ministries had visible auras that continued downward past their shoulders, ending at their waists. Governing Council members had visible auras that surrounded their entire bodies. Godvina had a corona that was above average, more than adequate to allow her to rise to the level of prefect, reporting to Minister of Science Janus, himself. The ‘observation’ was an obvious slight.

“Are you sure? My corona is full…robust. How could I be a prefect otherwise?” 

She wore a pale-yellow, two-piece suit that was standard dress for almost everyone in the Ministry of Science. She undid her single-button, lapelless jacket. Grasping each front panel, she slowly parted the garment affording Tarsus a more complete view of the white, mandarin-collar shirt underneath. While not busty, there was enough of a protrusion in the material to cause his eyes to widen slightly.

“You better have your vision checked, my dear. Have a closer look. I think you are mistaken…What was that?” she asked touching her index finger to her ear. “Cat got your tongue?” She glanced downward then back up at him and made a gesture as if she were biting her lower lip. “From your reaction, it looks like you are not getting any since I left you. I wish I could say the same, but alas…I cannot. I have learned many things in the intervening time…the Gendu way for example.”

The “Gendu way” was the common term for sexual relations through physical contact.

“Of course, I am sure you are well-acquainted with that. Having once been a guardian, you must have made many forays into the Pleasure District.” She paused for effect. “Mmmm…touching…feeling…” she said in a low, throaty voice, slowly closing her eyes briefly, “you well know how I found those things…disgusting. But…I have recently changed my mind. How unfortunate…FOR YOU!” She snapped her jacket closed. “End link!”

* * * * *

Thalia, Mica’el and Gabri’el waited apprehensively in the corridor, wondering what to do. Tarsus had given them leave, but it was not the same thing as being dismissed.

“How did she do that?” Gabri’el asked, referring to Godvina’s entrance.

“I have no idea,” Thalia replied. “But entering a secure room like that is no small thing. Where did she learn that?”

“It is a security risk. Should we take her in for questioning?” Mica’el wondered.

“A prefect? Are you crazy?” Thalia exclaimed. “Talk about a career-ending move. But, if you are intent on suicide, Avenger, I shall step aside,” she said, making a gesture with her hand in the direction of the secure room door.

“The rumors must be true,” Gabri’el mused.

The implication was that Godvina had learned how to break the seal from someone…someone high up in security.

“A conclusion we should all keep to ourselves,” Thalia cautioned, “along with the bitch goddess’ entrance.”

The door to the secure room suddenly opened, and Godvina casually emerged. “Your master calls,” she said with a calm, icy stare before continuing down the corridor.

The three entered an empty room.

“We better get back to him,” Mica’el said. “Agents Mica’el, Gabri’el and Thalia with a secure link to Prefect Tarsus.”

They each again stood at attention and bowed as the hologram of Tarsus appeared before them.

“There is just one more thing I have to report,” Thalia said, acting as if nothing unusual had recently transpired.

“Continue.”

“Director Jo’el has ordered us off Jomo. I understand he does not have the authority but…”

“In the interests of maintaining good inter-ministerial relations…I understand completely. Mica’el, Gabri’el, I place you in charge of the investigation of the hostiles. Thalia, find a suitable location close to Jomo to park your ship then return and keep Prefect Godvina under close covert surveillance.”

“So, the rumors are true,” she thought. Was his order something trivial to keep tabs on the remnants of a spoiled relationship or something more? She had to be sure. “Sir, is there anything in particular I should be looking for?” 

“Yes, as you know, the first permanent streak across our skies appeared about 70 years ago. Since then, they have only grown in number. At the same time, Arkos has experienced increasing climatic and seismic activity that has placed a strain on the planet’s resources and economy.

“Director Jo’el’s work on space-time cosmology made him the most logical person to lead efforts to find a solution to this problem. Prefect Godvina is in charge of the Cosmological Data Collection and Compilation Center, and it would be natural for her to be working closely with him. What makes this unusual is that they are meeting at Jomo, in fact that they are meeting at all. Director Jo’el does visit the Ministry ziggurat in Eden. As you well know, face-to-face meetings are only reserved for issues of the most sensitive nature. None were stated on her visitation request. I think they are hiding something, and I want to know what it is.”

Thalia interpreted “face-to-face” to mean “intimate”. “Ugh, this is personal, a royal pain in the ass. But, on the other hand, should be an easy assignment. If I find something juicy, I might even get a commendation in my file,” she thought. 

“Understood, sir. I will require access to her nexus and identification of any nexus that comes to within standard proximity.”

“Already initiated.”

“It would also be ideal if I could tag her.”

Such access would allow Thalia to monitor everything facilitated by Godvina’s nexus. A tag was a device about the size of a button placed on the back of the neck. Enabled by an invisible film affixed to the nexus, it would also allow the Agent to listen in on any conversation within close proximity to Godvina.

“Ideal but not feasible. She is a prefect. Her aura will make it impossible for you to install the tag without her knowledge. This will have to suffice.”

“Understood, sir.”

* * * * *

So, now we see the reason for Jo’el’s concern. He and the recovering patient are an item. My original title for this chapter was “Fire and Ice” to describe the dichotomy of Godvina’s personality. (Who knows? Maybe, I still will. After all, this is an ARC.) However, I settled on “History” because it speaks to the former relationship between our fiery prefect and Tarsus. 

Just an FYI, the part where Godvina torments Tarsus was inspired by the Seinfeld episode “The Implant” with Teri Hatcher.

We also learn the reason for Godvina’s visit to the Observatory. She is a scientist, here to investigate the composition of the night sky. 

As always, I have asked Natasha for a visual to go along with the post. In the past, she would find something in one of the chapters for inspiration then I would do the wwit. For Mirror, I decided we would go in chronological order. So, to give her something to hang her hat on, I said, “Show me how you feel when (on those rare, almost nonexistent, can’t-remember-the-last-time-it-happened occasions) I piss you off.” Here is her thought.

Anger | Natasha Evelyn Overttun

Thank you David for that lovely post and your kind words, it means a lot!

If that was interesting for you here are some more guest posts both for Mirror in time and for previous books in the series:

“Prologue” posted on Witty and Sacrastic Bookclub     

ARC eChapter 1 – “Debriefing and Consultation” posted on From Belgium With Book Love   

Series Overview:

Artist Q&A posted on Witty and Sacrastic Bookclub

Author Q&A posted on The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Author Q&A posted on On The Shelf Reviews

Author Q&A posted on The Book Hole

Author Q&A posted on From Belgium With Book Love

Friday Night Drinks posted on A Little Book Problem

Indie Spotlight – Terra Nova Series posted on beforewegoblog

Cover Makeover Genesis: Vision of the New World posted on On The Shelf Reviews

Cover Reveal Prophecy: Eve of Darkness posted on Witty and Sacrastic Bookclub   

Background to Universe: Awakening posted on Zooloo’s Book Diary

Themes in Genesis: Vision of the New World posted on The Book Hole 

Themes in Prophecy: Eve of Darkness posted on The Bookwormery 

For a deeper dive:

Universe:  Awakening  

Genesis:  Vision of the New World

Prophecy: Eve of Darkness  

Through My Wife, Natasha, on Twitter: @neoverttun

#CoverReveal Prophecy: Eve of Darkness by D. Ellis Overttun #scifi #theology #philosophy #politicalthriller @neoverttun

Today I’m very excited to reveal the cover for Prophecy: Eve of Darkness, the third in the Terra Nova series by D. Ellis Overttun but first a little about the book:

Expected Publication Date: 16th March 2020

Description:

Auberon and Natasha, now two of the most wanted criminals on Arkos, have fled to the Westside. They have taken temporary refuge in Edenoud with Dion, son of Heron, as they contemplate their future. However, a dream has prompted them to return to the Eastside to warn First Minister Odessa. What could be so disturbing that would cause them to jeopardize their own safety? Will the First Minister listen or sound the alarm?

The investigation of the incident that took place in the Chamber of Prayers is reaching its conclusion. Tendai Theodor has a sense the report will cast blame on him. Can the power of his office protect him? To balance the forces he feels are aligned against him, he journeys to the under-earth to seek out an ancient and, some say, mythical enemy, the Nephilim. Are they real or just the stuff of legend?

Meanwhile, First Minister Odessa has not lost sight of the inexorable destruction of the universe. While she has continued to support efforts to locate a new home, she has genetically engineered a new servile class and a method to seed them on a planet in advance of the Celesti arrival. But where is this place? The answer lies in a curious conversation that Director Jo’el has with a surrogate for his long-missing brother, Davin. It leads to a series of star maps recorded hundreds of thousands of years ago on clay tablets. 

The Celesti face another problem. They are dying. However, something is happening to Auberon and Natasha that holds promise for the continuation of their species. If it is successful, can it be replicated, or is it an isolated incident?

Prophecy: Eve of Darkness weaves a compelling tale that is a blend of human nature, science, theology and philosophy. It spans the vastness of space from one universe to another and the underground world of Arkos to a distant planet called “Terra Nova”. It holds up a mirror to the human soul, but it will require thought and contemplation to decipher what lies below the surface.

Sounds intriguing doesn’t it? Now for the cover:

20191212 Prophecy Cover (300 x 480 72 DPI)

About The Author:

I grew up in a town in the Midwest, my mother was a bookkeeper for a small HVAC company and my father was a draftsman. At university, I studied chemistry. However, when I graduated, I did not (or could not) pursue that vocation because I was terrible in the lab.

I have been a storyteller ever since I can remember. It started as a way to get out of trouble and evolved as a way to entertain those around me. My first recollection of writing prose was in elementary school when I had to write a short essay about a picture from a magazine. (Mine was a freshly baked loaf of bread.) In grade 7, I penned two short stories for a school writing competition. One was entitled “My Funny Cousin”, a descriptive piece about a relative (a little older than me) who stayed with us one summer. My mother very quickly killed that story. At the time, it didn’t make sense to me because she told me she thought it was very funny. It was only later that I figured out that I could have replaced “Funny” with “Flamboyant” in the title. So, it was back to the drawing board. My second attempt was a collection of anecdotes about the life of my maternal grandfather titled “The Hilarious Things My Grandfather Did”. That one went on to win.

My first complete novel was a story about a soldier of fortune in the age of horse and bow. At the time, I had contact with people in the entertainment business in California. The feedback I got was that I should take one of the chapters and expand it into a novel. That made no sense to me. What the heck did that mean? How could you expand something so small into something big? So, I never pursued it. However, the comment stuck with me. It was only much later that I figured out that it meant that I should never rush the telling of a story.

This brings us to the present and the Terra Nova Series. I write for an audience of one: my wife. She loves the stories. Now, all I have to do is get 99,999 more like her and I’ll have a hit!

#GuestPost #Excerpt Universe: Awakening by D. Ellis Overttun @neoverttun

Hello lovelies! Today I want to welcome back D. Ellis Overttun who I featured recently with a cover make over (you can see it here). Today I’m bring you an excerpt and guest post with some more fabulous artwork from his wife Natasha but first a little about the book:

Title: Universe: Awakening by D. Ellis Overttun

Date Published: 7th October 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Description:

The year — 526,780. A probe is deployed from ISV Intrepid at the outer edge of the universe. It is the last of a complement of twelve that is part of the Deep Exploration of Uncharted Space or DEUS. Its mission: collect data on the redshift of light and spatial distortions. Time horizon: 1,000 years.

Before ISV Intrepid can return to base, something goes wrong. There is an accident. The ship is later salvaged but its pilot is missing, its copilot in a coma.

The probes collect their data with uneventful regularity.

Fast forward to 526,880. A sole surviving probe still sits in the darkness at the outer edge of the universe. Now, unseen to the naked eye, the space around the probe begins to stretch and distend. Then, the probe disappears, engulfed by an energy of unknown origin and unknown composition. However, it manages to transmit one final message.

CD3C has monitored the disappearance of each probe over the last three years. While the interpretation of the data remains a mystery, speculation is that something has invaded the universe and is moving a superluminal velocity. Its effects could be manifested in as little as the next thousand years. To the Celesti, this is one lifetime.

What can be done?

The one person who might be able to solve this problem is the copilot of ISV Intrepid. He has been lying in stasis suffering from mental trauma. He has been this way for the past century, the longest recorded case in medical history. His unchanging condition has been a convenient solution to stall any inquiry into the accident that put him there.

This threat changes everything. Now, he is needed.

Is it possible to unlock his mind?

The task falls to Auberon, a career nobody inhabiting the lower level of the hierarchy of the Ministry of Science. Can something be awakened in him to allow someone ordinary do something extraordinary?

Universe: Awakening answers this question. In the process, it explores the world of the Celesti, a highly evolved humanoid species with advanced technology, physiology and a unique way of procreation. It blends science and political intrigue to reveal the interplay of storyline and character development that forms the staging ground for the Terra Nova Series.

Guest Post: Background and commentary of Chapter 85:

Auberon and Natasha, two ministerial aides to the First Minister, have been tasked with purchasing a gift for, Minister Abhean, one of the ministers on the Governing Council, just prior to an upcoming meeting to elicit his “consideration and favor”. The phrase is a polite euphemism for sanctioned bribery. Natasha knows the minister has an appreciation for a certain kind of art. So, the two aides make their way to an exclusive gallery in Old Eden to meet with its proprietor, Heron of Edenoud.

Auberon is new to this position, having been recently seconded from his role as an advisor to patients suffering from mental trauma. He has heretofore been disappointed with this promotion from the lack of privacy in his living accommodations to the bland and austere cuisine to the constant environment of quiet and contemplation. As we shall see shortly, he will find an oasis in this excursion.

Culturally, Old Eden is a place where the two peoples of the planet set aside their differences and co-exist in harmony. The descriptions were inspired by a day trip my wife, Natasha, and I took to Vieille Ville (Nice) on a 2009 vacation to Provence. I have taken some artistic license with the imagery but that is to be expected.

I have used language from across time and around the globe to give Universe an other-world feel. To make the grade, a word or phrase has to roll off the tongue and have a coolness factor to it. The name “Heron of Eden” or “Heron of Old Eden” sounded too blah so I added the Dutch word “oud” (meaning “old”) and voila – Edenoud. “Danu” is a Proto-Indo-European word for “water” whose cognates can be found in the names of many European rivers. “Sro kanti” means “bread” in Tocharian B and is the bouquet of good champagne. “Drekka” is an Old Norse word for “drink”.

How do I make a visit to an art gallery interesting? Why with holography and music, of course.

I wanted the scene to start from nothing as Auberon and Natasha enter a dark empty space and then transform into something full of life. Enter a memory from my childhood watching reruns of old cartoons. There’s one I remember of a fox hunt that starts off with a tranquil scene of a meadow at dawn. The music opens with the Ranz des Vaches part of the William Tell Overture. (However, as I seem to recall they skipped the flute intro and went straight to the English Horn.) Try to hear this as you read the part in question. (You’ll know it when you read it.) Then, at the appropriate time, imagine the Finale to the Overture. (You’ll also know it when you read it.)

Holograms are used to populate the walls of the space the same way we look at catalogues or see the results of internet searches. It is an interesting way to show you how an art gallery in a very technologically advanced society might look.

My wife, Natasha, has created a visual representation of the chapter to stir your imagination to help create what Rod Serling has described as “a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind”.

Universe - Chapter 85 - Gallery (Apr 20, 2019 1362 x 977 400 DPI)

Without further ado, please partake of Universe: Awakening, Chapter 85 – “Heron of Edenoud”.

* * * * *

Old Eden, as its name might suggest, was the oldest part of the city. It was situated on the west bank of the River Danu. It was a true melting pot, where the two cultures intermingled without regard for race or status. It was a labyrinth of narrow cobble-stone streets with low-rise stone and plaster-finished earth-tone and pastel-colored buildings. The widths of the streets gave the structures a towering appearance, as though one were walking through a valley gorge. Shops sold a variety of foodstuffs, clothing and curiosities. Bakeries, eateries, outdoor patios and cafes carried the delicious aromas of arusha, warm buns and fried meats. Auberon had been here many times before but it was always something he relished with anticipation. Vehicles were not permitted inside this part of the city and they would have to travel on foot from the parking area to their destination. They stepped out of their transport in a parking lot filled with electric vehicles. As they exited the lot, the holograms on the transport faded and the slab placed itself in the storage rack.

Where are we going?” Auberon asked.

Minister Abhean appreciates a certain type of art. We are going to see one of the exclusive art dealers in the city.”

They made their way through the busy streets until they came to an odd-looking store front. No signage identified the name of the establishment. In place of the display window, there was simply a large wooden sign of the profile of a painter holding a parallel palette. He was dressed in a dark-green tunic and trousers. He seemed to be contemplating something just out of an onlooker’s visual range, his unkempt hair and scruffy appearance reinforcing the image of an artist. There was a narrow pair of French doors inset into the wall just to the right.

Here,” Natasha said.

The interior space was square. It seemed too small and confined for an art dealer. The walls were eggshell white not unlike the walls in postop but were devoid of any art. The dark wood floors ported no displays of any kind. They merely squeaked with each footfall, echoing the loneliness of a barren cavern. The entire space was poorly lit and completely empty. The only point of focus in this unremarkable environment was a small door at the far side.

Are you sure this is the right place?” Auberon whispered.

Natasha put her index finger to her lips and said nothing. They waited. At length, the dim light began to change and soon it looked as though they were in natural daylight. Something caught Auberon’s nose. His head snapped to attention and he began to sniff the air almost like a wild animal trying to catch the scent of its prey. He turned to Natasha. She simply smiled and again put her index finger to her lips. The smell became more and more savory with a multitude of different layers. Then, the sound of a horned instrument began to play the introduction to a very well-known classical piece. The legato had always reminded him of looking out at a meadow at dawn, so peaceful. The music slowed to a stop. Then, one, two and then many different brass instruments joined in as the tempo quickened. As drums began to beat, the door burst open and four beautiful Gendu women, wearing long-sleeve ankle-length forest-green linen tunics emerged. Two took up position on either side of Auberon and two took up position on either side of Natasha. Another Gendu male entered the room pushing a table on wheels with trays of food that connected the aromas Auberon had detected earlier. Another Gendu female entered the room pushing a smaller table on wheels porting different chilled beverages.

Finally, a large Gendu male was the last to emerge from the door. He was dressed in a long-sleeve ankle-length tunic made of white silk. The color accentuated his olive complexion and long straight jet-black hair. It was apparent from the way the tunic hung from his body that he was a fine physical specimen with a chiseled physique. He had smoldering eyes that seemed to look right through Auberon.

Wow,” Auberon said, acknowledging this man was striking.

Ministerial Aide Natasha,” the man said bowing his head.

Heron of Edenoud,” she replied also bowing her head. “I am pleased to present Ministerial Aide Auberon.”

I am honored,” Heron said bowing his head.

As am I,” Auberon replied bowing his head.

Please partake,” Heron said pointing to the two tables.

Auberon was at a loss and was carefully watching Natasha’s lead.

Is it permitted?” the woman on Auberon’s right asked Natasha.

Yes,” Natasha replied bowing her head.

Asking the question was a Gendu custom that simultaneously addressed two possibilities. The first gave permission to the woman to cater to Auberon if he was Natasha’s husband. The second was an acknowledgement that Auberon might be a single male and could be catered to by the woman without offending Natasha.

Thank you,” the woman replied also bowing her head.

Please this way,” they said to him in unison, pointing to the tables.

The two women then locked arms with him. A contented smile spread across his face as he felt the breast of each woman snuggly against his arms. Auberon did not know what to expect but he knew it would be pleasant and he found it very easy to follow these two women. They took him to the food table and began to explain each dish. Finally! This is what it was like to be a ministerial aide!

And you Ministerial Aide Natasha,” Heron said, “will you not partake?”

Perhaps in a moment.”

What assistance may I offer you today?”

Ministerial Aide Auberon has a meeting later this morning with Minister Abhean and we need a gift.”

Really?” Heron replied looking at Auberon.

Yes, you are aware of Minister Abhean’s preferences in art. We would like you to recommend something appropriate.”

Computer. Present recent woodblock print acquisitions,” Heron said.

The walls were immediately filled with dozens of holographic representations requested by Heron. Natasha did a cursory walk around the room. In the meantime, Auberon had returned from the food table and stood in the background. Each woman was carrying a small plate with a small selection of finger foods and a linen napkin.

After a time, Natasha narrowed her selections down to two pieces. One was a picture called Waves Against Shore by Daruma and a second was called Fish at Sea also by Daruma. Each piece was about a shoulder’s width in length and about half of that in width.

I will choose between these two,” she said.

As always, your taste is impeccable,” replied Heron.

A short time later, two Gendu males brought the two pieces from storage and hung them on the wall.

Could I please see each throughout the day?” Natasha asked.

The lighting began to change to reflect the cycle of natural light throughout the day and different kinds of artificial light.

We will take Waves Against Shore.”

Excellent choice! Shall I have it delivered to the Ministry of Arts?”

No, we will take it with us.”

As you wish,” Heron replied with a bow. “Now, we must celebrate!”

He went to the beverage table and picked one of the fluted glasses. Each woman to the right of Auberon and Natasha did the same and presented them with a glass filled with a golden chilled bubbling liquid.

What is this?” Auberon asked.

We call it ‘sro kanti’. I think you will find it to your liking.”

Auberon looked toward Natasha who closed her eyes and nodded her head slightly.

May your gift bring enjoyment to the recipient,” Heron said as he raised his glass. “Drekka!”

Drekka,” Natasha and Auberon repeated also raising their glasses.

When they left Heron’s, Auberon carried a nondescript bag with a beautifully wrapped package inside. As they walked back to the parking lot, the warm summer sun and the effects of the toast made his face flush and he began to feel dizzy.

That sro…sro stuff is strong.”

Sro kanti and yes, it is very strong. Here, you better let me carry that.”

I thought the Code did not permit us to drink alcohol.”

You are correct.”

Then, why did you drink it?”

I did not. It was only sufficient that I bring the glass to my lips.”

Oh no. Am I in trouble again? But you said it was ok.”

It was. Since this matter is classified,” she replied smiling, “you are safe.”


About The Author:

I grew up in a town in the Midwest, my mother was a bookkeeper for a small HVAC company and my father was a draftsman. At university, I studied chemistry. However, when I graduated, I did not (or could not) pursue that vocation because I was terrible in the lab.

I have been a storyteller ever since I can remember. It started as a way to get out of trouble and evolved as a way to entertain those around me. My first recollection of writing prose was in elementary school when I had to write a short essay about a picture from a magazine. (Mine was a freshly baked loaf of bread.) In grade 7, I penned two short stories for a school writing competition. One was entitled “My Funny Cousin”, a descriptive piece about a relative (a little older than me) who stayed with us one summer. My mother very quickly killed that story. At the time, it didn’t make sense to me because she told me she thought it was very funny. It was only later that I figured out that I could have replaced “Funny” with “Flamboyant” in the title. So, it was back to the drawing board. My second attempt was a collection of anecdotes about the life of my maternal grandfather titled “The Hilarious Things My Grandfather Did”. That one went on to win.

My first complete novel was a story about a soldier of fortune in the age of horse and bow. At the time, I had contact with people in the entertainment business in California. The feedback I got was that I should take one of the chapters and expand it into a novel. That made no sense to me. What the heck did that mean? How could you expand something so small into something big? So, I never pursued it. However, the comment stuck with me. It was only much later that I figured out that it meant that I should never rush the telling of a story.

This brings us to the present and the Terra Nova Series. (Book 2 has just been published and Book 3 is in progress.) I write for an audience of one: my wife. She loves the stories. Now, all I have to do is get 99,999 more like her and I’ll have a hit!

#CoverReveal Genesis: Vision Of A New World (Terra Nova 2) by D. Ellis Overttun @neoverttun

Hello lovelies! Today I’m excited to be sharing with you the cover makeover for Genesis: Vision of a new world (Terra Nova book 2) by D. Ellis Overttun, but first a little about the book:

Title: Genesis: Vision of a new world (Terra Nova book 2) by D. Ellis Overttun

Date published: 13th August 2018

Genre: Sci-fi

Description:

A light streaking across the predawn sky, an explosion and an impending menace from above, seemingly unrelated events but connected to space-time distortions predicted by an obscure scientific paper over 250 years ago. That same paper has predicted an end to the universe.

Has the unthinkable become a reality?

The ruling-class Celesti see the danger as real and imminent since planet Arkos could become compromised in as little as 1,000 years. To them, that is one lifetime. That same timeframe is ten lifetimes to the servile-class Gendu. To them, the threat does not even exist.

There are those within the Celesti who see the Gendu as a more immediate threat. Their solution is to genetically engineer a more pliant servant class and leave Arkos for an unknown planet. Is that even possible?

But will it even matter? The leaders of the Celesti, the Transcended, know a terrible secret: The Celesti are dying.

Against this backdrop of extinction lies the politics of power. A new leader has just assumed her role as the head of the Gendu Houses. However, she is an outsider. Will she be accepted or will she be cast out as an interloper?

Also, the leader of the most powerful religious organization on the planet is missing and presumed dead. It is the opportunity of a lifetime for anyone bold enough to seize the moment. Who will fill this void? Someone with a hunger for influence and privilege? Or someone with a calling for higher purpose?

Finally, there is a prophecy from the Codices of Taru which foretells of a time of darkness when the “head will be cleaved from the body” that will announce the coming of the “Deceiver”. Ancient superstition or a vision of the future?

Genesis: Vision of the New World tells this story in vivid detail, an evolution of the narrative begun in Universe: Awakening. As part of this journey, it takes a fascinating look into the world of the Gendu and introduces readers to a host of new characters and relationships. It is a potpourri of science, political intrigue and discovery driven by characters with selfish and selfless motives.


Here is the old cover:

20180713 Genesis - Old Cover (400 DPI)

Now I’ll reveal the new one:

20190330 Genesis - New Cover (400 DPI)

Ta Da! Like the first cover this was also designed by his lovely wife Natasha who you can find on Twitter at @neoverttun.

About The Author:

I grew up in a town in the Midwest, my mother was a bookkeeper for a small HVAC company and my father was a draftsman. At university, I studied chemistry. However, when I graduated, I did not (or could not) pursue that vocation because I was terrible in the lab.

I have been a storyteller ever since I can remember. It started as a way to get out of trouble and evolved as a way to entertain those around me. My first recollection of writing prose was in elementary school when I had to write a short essay about a picture from a magazine. (Mine was a freshly baked loaf of bread.) In grade 7, I penned two short stories for a school writing competition. One was entitled “My Funny Cousin”, a descriptive piece about a relative (a little older than me) who stayed with us one summer. My mother very quickly killed that story. At the time, it didn’t make sense to me because she told me she thought it was very funny. It was only later that I figured out that I could have replaced “Funny” with “Flamboyant” in the title. So, it was back to the drawing board. My second attempt was a collection of anecdotes about the life of my maternal grandfather titled “The Hilarious Things My Grandfather Did”. That one went on to win.

My first complete novel was a story about a soldier of fortune in the age of horse and bow. At the time, I had contact with people in the entertainment business in California. The feedback I got was that I should take one of the chapters and expand it into a novel. That made no sense to me. What the heck did that mean? How could you expand something so small into something big? So, I never pursued it. However, the comment stuck with me. It was only much later that I figured out that it meant that I should never rush the telling of a story.

This brings us to the present and the Terra Nova Series. (Book 2 has just been published and Book 3 is in progress.) I write for an audience of one: my wife. She loves the stories. Now, all I have to do is get 99,999 more like her and I’ll have a hit!

#BookSpotlight Q&A Universe: Awakening by D. Ellis Overttun #Scifi

Today I’m excited to bring you a Q&A with author D. Ellis Overttun. Originally David contacted me over a year ago to review Universe: Awakening but decided it need more work, now I’m here with an interview to celebrate the re-publishing. Without further ado, a little about the book:

Title: Universe: Awakening by D. Ellis Overttun

Date Re-Published: 7th October 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Description:

The year — 526,780. A probe is deployed from ISV Intrepid at the outer edge of the universe. It is the last of a complement of twelve that is part of the Deep Exploration of Uncharted Space or DEUS. Its mission: collect data on the redshift of light and spatial distortions. Time horizon: 1,000 years.

Before ISV Intrepid can return to base, something goes wrong. There is an accident. The ship is later salvaged but its pilot is missing, its copilot in a coma.

The probes collect their data with uneventful regularity.

Fast forward to 526,880. A sole surviving probe still sits in the darkness at the outer edge of the universe. Now, unseen to the naked eye, the space around the probe begins to stretch and distend. Then, the probe disappears, engulfed by an energy of unknown origin and unknown composition. However, it manages to transmit one final message.

CD3C has monitored the disappearance of each probe over the last three years. While the interpretation of the data remains a mystery, speculation is that something has invaded the universe and is moving a superluminal velocity. Its effects could be manifested in as little as the next thousand years. To the Celesti, this is one lifetime.

What can be done?

The one person who might be able to solve this problem is the copilot of ISV Intrepid. He has been lying in stasis suffering from mental trauma. He has been this way for the past century, the longest recorded case in medical history. His unchanging condition has been a convenient solution to stall any inquiry into the accident that put him there.

This threat changes everything. Now, he is needed.

Is it possible to unlock his mind?

The task falls to Auberon, a career nobody inhabiting the lower level of the hierarchy of the Ministry of Science. Can something be awakened in him to allow someone ordinary do something extraordinary?

Universe: Awakening answers this question. In the process, it explores the world of the Celesti, a highly evolved humanoid species with advanced technology, physiology and a unique way of procreation. It blends science and political intrigue to reveal the interplay of storyline and character development that forms the staging ground for the Terra Nova Series.

universe a

Q&A with David Ellis Overttun

Can you tell me a little bit about Universe: Awakening?

Universe (Book 1) is a story about how people react to bad news: in this case, the end of the universe. Just like the threats to our own planet, there are those who accept the threat, the deniers and those who think we still have time. It draws attention to the premise that in many cases facts don’t matter. It is narrative consistency that counts and that generally means we do tomorrow what we did today.

Notwithstanding, what holds this and any story together are the relationships among its characters. One theme is how friendships are formed from adversity. Another is how self interest affects our interactions. Finally, there is love: the love between parent and child, the beginnings of love and how love endures over time.

This is the second edition of the book. Essentially, it is a major rewrite of the first third of the original version because of constructive comments I received from reviewers who noted there was more tell than show. My bad — I have a background in technical writing and can be somewhat pedantic. (Book 2, Genesis: Vision of the New World, cured me of that affliction.) So, I ripped out those sections and replaced it with dialogue to emphasize character development and relationships.

Also, LJ, you were the one who told me in a very nice way the original cover was blah. So, I let my wife do this one.

Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

I have always been struck by the difference between religion and science, between faith and fact. Oddly enough, this has translated into two enduring interests of mine: biblical scholarship and physics. Full disclosure: These are only interests. I have absolutely no skill in either area. I do not speak or read Greek, Hebrew or any of the other languages that might help give me direct access to an ancient text. (I am still trying to master English.) I also do not have the requisite math skills to even begin to investigate physics. However, I am very good at arithmetic.

The result is a sci-fi series with Judeo-Christian themes. The references are everywhere. For example: the names of some of the characters (“el” means “god”), Guardians that can form wings and fly, auras (aka halos), the mark of Cain, etc. What it is not is an opinion about science and religion or the importance of one over the other.

If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be?

Sci-fi sprinkled with the Old Testament.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

I only have a very general direction of where the story is going, that I have to end up in a certain place. In that sense, I’m very much like the reader waiting to see what comes next. It’s the thing that gets me excited.

I write like a songwriter. They will typically start out with a riff and see where it leads. I do the same. I have a premise for the day’s segment but I look for that opening riff. Ideas come to me just before I fall asleep at night or when I’m just about to wake in the morning. I try to empty my head ASAP. Once the ideas are “on paper”, I go back and refine later in the day. The next morning, the process repeats itself.

When I am in writing mode, I write somewhere between 1,500 and 2,500 words a day. So, it takes me about 2 months to get to a first draft. Then, the real work begins: editing, copyediting and getting rid of stupid stuff.

If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why?

Without hesitation, if I could only recommend just one book to read (and not one of mine in shameless self promotion), it would have to be Antifragile by Nassim Taleb. For me, it has crystalized my view of risk and how to deal with it. I am not just talking about financial risk. I am also talking about the kinds of risk you see in the TV series The Science of Stupid. I have found that people only become aware of risk when bad things happen. Antifragile defines and describes risk in a way that has influenced the way that I view the world.

Who are your favourite authors?

I mostly read things that my wife gives me for Christmas which tends to focus on interesting perspectives (eg. The Upside of Down or An Illustrated Short History of Progress). Having said that, my favorite author has to be Nassim Taleb. I love the irreverent way he describes how the world works and admonishes the powers that be. Next on my list would be Niall Ferguson for the unique way he sees things.

Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!)

I played piano in some bars around town one year to help put myself through university. Talent wise, I was and am just below a mediocre musician — cover your ears on my worst day and you can listen to maybe one song on my best. However, that background has helped me to pen the lyrics to 3 songs in Universe:“Girl-Wind”, an untitled piece and “Wanderer”.

Author Bio:

I grew up in a town in the Midwest, my mother was a bookkeeper for a small HVAC company and my father was a draftsman. At university, I studied chemistry. However, when I graduated, I did not (or could not) pursue that vocation because I was terrible in the lab.

I have been a storyteller ever since I can remember. It started as a way to get out of trouble and evolved as a way to entertain those around me. My first recollection of writing prose was in elementary school when I had to write a short essay about a picture from a magazine. (Mine was a freshly baked loaf of bread.) In grade 7, I penned two short stories for a school writing competition. One was entitled “My Funny Cousin”, a descriptive piece about a relative (a little older than me) who stayed with us one summer. My mother very quickly killed that story. At the time, it didn’t make sense to me because she told me she thought it was very funny. It was only later that I figured out that I could have replaced “Funny” with “Flamboyant” in the title. So, it was back to the drawing board. My second attempt was a collection of anecdotes about the life of my maternal grandfather titled “The Hilarious Things My Grandfather Did”. That one went on to win.

My first complete novel was a story about a soldier of fortune in the age of horse and bow. At the time, I had contact with people in the entertainment business in California. The feedback I got was that I should take one of the chapters and expand it into a novel. That made no sense to me. What the heck did that mean? How could you expand something so small into something big? So, I never pursued it. However, the comment stuck with me. It was only much later that I figured out that it meant that I should never rush the telling of a story.

This brings us to the present and the Terra Nova Series. (Book 2 has just been published and Book 3 is in progress.) I write for an audience of one: my wife. She loves the stories. Now, all I have to do is get 99,999 more like her and I’ll have a hit!

You Can Buy A Copy of Universe: Awakening here:

United Kingdom: http://amzn.eu/d/8oJJRzd

United States: http://a.co/d/dVj3Yrb

Oceania: http://dld.bz/hdy42

Canada: http://a.co/d/3QJnsrT

France: http://amzn.eu/d/dvDHJUC

Germany: http://dld.bz/hdy58

Italy: http://amzn.eu/d/8TOajZM

Spain: http://amzn.eu/d/5D7AVrb

India: http://amzn.in/d/7NSinuD

Brazil: http://a.co/d/ipKxHmO

Mexico: http://a.co/d/fvkkYLG