5 Reasons Why We Should Hate Crime, Not Criminals


Today I’m happy to share a well-written, thought-provoking article by Rebecca Gray…

5 Reasons Why We Should Hate Crime, Not Criminals

Like snowflakes, no two criminals are alike. But their crimes share common threads; especially when viewed strictly in terms of the outcomes they provide. A loss is a loss, regardless of which criminal brings it upon a victim, so crimes, unlike criminals, are the same.

It isn’t as black and white as it’s portrayed there, but it does provide a strong argument for reserving our harshest disapproval for the crimes we encounter, rather than the criminals who commit them. Until the playing field evens out for all participants, society lends itself to criminal acts. In the meantime, we should continue striving to eliminate crime, rather than personalizing the revolving door of criminals that perpetrate them.

MinimumWage Social Disadvantage – Criminal enterprise is often born of need. Essential features of daily living elude so many members of modern society, it is reasonable to expect some people to abandon social mores, using criminal acts to acquire basic necessities. Until we address the imbalance of wealth across society, we will continue to set the stage for misdeeds, carried out by desperate members of social groups without access to the fundamental provisions required for successful life.

Unemployment, for example, fuels criminal activity, when well-intentioned members of society cannot land gainful employment. Instead, unemployed classes craft alternative ways to make ends meet, which sometimes lead to criminal behavior. Lowering unemployment levels is an essential first step toward furnishing the tools criminals need to reform. Judging criminals more harshly than their crimes does not foster a progressive environment for improvement, so it is the acts which should be condemned, rather than the disadvantaged members of society carrying them out.

college Failures in Education – Creating opportunity lays a foundation for success, reducing the number of individuals turning to crime for sustenance. Job training, access to higher education, entrepreneurial coaching and other forms of guidance lead to successful outcomes, rather than criminal activity. Adequate public education provides a cornerstone of opportunity, breaking criminal patterns and placing kids on the right path early-on. Until we extend a guaranteed foundation of education evenly across society, criminal enterprise will prosper.

lawenforcement Wipe out Crime, Not Criminals – In order to address a given social issue, it is important to identify objectives and target them precisely. Corrections and criminal justice are prudent ways to reduce criminal incentives, but they aren’t always the most efficient ways to eliminate crime. Instead of focusing crime reduction efforts on incarceration and other penal practices, we must zero-in on the actual criminal acts. By targeting actual crimes, rather than perpetrators, we account for the bigger picture behind criminal activity. Opportunity and motive drive perpetrators to commit crimes, so removing them to the best of our ability helps eradicate crime. Too often, criminals are simply role-players in flawed systems, so a wider-angle approach is needed to combat crime.

centralbooking Rehabilitation Failures – Recidivism is high among many classes of criminals, furnishing a first-hand look at rehabilitative failures. Criminals end up incarcerated because they lack education and opportunity to conduct legitimate lives. Once inside the criminal justice system, offenders need opportunities to make-up for the deficiencies that led them to commit crimes. Education, job training, apprenticeships, and post-release employment programs are key tools in the fight against repeat offenses.



gunsmoney Real Cost of Crime – The impact of crime on society is measured in terms of its actual value, rather than the arbitrary circumstances surrounding each criminal. As a result, our enforcement and crime reduction efforts should also look beyond particular perpetrators, accounting for the cost of actual crimes. While a single criminal has a lifespan, criminal acts have the potential to cycle through society over-and-over, exacting heavy tolls as crimes repeat themselves again-and-again.

Criminals are inextricably linked to the crimes they commit, but the acts stand on their own, in terms of how they impact society. Beyond the criminal justice system, alleviating crime needs to account for broader conditions, focusing on crimes as well as perpetrators.


Author Byline:

This guest post is contributed by Rebecca Gray, who writes about free background check for Backgroundchecks.org. She welcomes your comments at her email id: GrayRebecca14@gmail.com.

Review: Creatus Rogue by Carmen DeSousa (Paranormal Romantic Suspense)

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Ancient myths, superheroes, vampires… Forget everything you’ve heard.

For four thousand years, creatus have concealed themselves from the humans who almost hunted them to extinction. Now, one rogue wants the world to know they exist.

Victoria doesn’t want any of it; she just wants to live in peace without men–humans or creatus–messing with her head. When the rogue decides he wants her to join him, though, only one person is close enough to help her. Only problem, he’s her prisoner, and if he escapes, she’s supposed to kill him.

The Creatus Series is not your normal paranormal story… It’s a realistic romantic mystery based on the myths you’ve heard your entire life. Prepare to believe…

Published: February 2014

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“Can we trust you? Will you keep our secret?”


My Review:

One of the things I love most about this series is that Carmen DeSousa takes all the stereotypes and tosses them in the trash. This is paranormal romantic suspense, absent the weak-kneed female falling at the dominant vampire’s feet. Another thing I love is that she allows her characters to poke fun at those stereotypes with a subtle humor that had me giggling in the mist of the suspense.

While Derrick and Kristina, the stars of Creatus, still play a big role here, other characters step out and take the lead. I loved learning more about Victoria. She’s a fascinating character with a lot of depth. And I was pleasantly surprised by Reece’s larger role. We’re given enough closure to feel satisfied at the end, but we’re also left with tantalizing pieces that have me waiting anxiously for book #3.

If you have not read Creatus, the first book in this series, you could still read this one. DeSousa did a great job weaving past information into this story, giving new readers background while not boring readers who’d read the first book. Still, I think the series is more enjoyable if read in order so that you have a full understanding of the characters’ journeys. Plus, they’re just really great books!


“I’m a cop. They say the closest thing to a criminal is a cop. We have to think like the proverbial bad guys think, be able to lie as easily as they do. But don’t worry,” he leaned forward and brushed his lips across hers, “I’ll never lie to you.”


You can learn more about Carmen and her writing on her website: www.carmendesousa.com

I hope you’ll take the time to connect with Carmen and explore her fictional world.

Thanks for reading. :)

New Release! PERSPECTIVES: 12 Images Captured – 12 Stories Told

The first book in the Mind’s Eye Series is here!

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12 Moments Captured
12 Stories Told

Do you trust what you see?
A rock only becomes a mountain when you broaden your view.
We challenge you to look at the world from different…
PERSPECTIVES

Published April 14, 2014

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We experience the world from where we stand. If we never move, we’ll never see the other side.

Mind’s Eye Series is a collaboration between authors and photographers, tying words and images together in a thought-provoking way designed to showcase the best of both arts.

PERSPECTIVES includes 6 stories by me and 6 by Maria Savva, each inspired by a different photograph taken by Martin David Porter. We are already at work on the second book, which brings in two more authors, two poets, and a second photographer. We are extremely proud of this first book, and excited about the series. We hope you’ll take this journey with us. Study the image at the start of each story. What do you see? When you read the coinciding story, you might just change your perspective.

“Some words are arranged just right, and you treasure them forever.”

Thanks for reading. :)

Torture, Square Roots, and A Hit Man With A Short Fuse

Today I’m offering a glimpse into my novel Killing Instinct, the third in my Michael Sykora Series.
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Sandman built his dubious reputation by turning the dreams and nightmares of others into harsh reality. Now he’s pursuing his own twisted dream; the beautiful Maria Milan. But she doesn’t want to become a player in Sandman’s sordid fantasy.

Michael Sykora is a hit man who kills for justice. Sean Riley is a hit man born to kill. Together, they’re out to take down Sandman and his organization. Whether mercy is given depends on who catches him first.

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Excerpt:

   TJ groaned again. This time his eyes opened under heavy lids. He blinked and tried to lift his hand. His face showed a moment of confusion when his arm stayed down by his side. A whoosh of air like a hiss escaped his lips. The sudden clarity about his situation had him trying to scramble backward, his feet scurrying for purchase on the concrete floor. His legs, strapped to the chair just below his knees, allowed only enough mobility for him to catch his heels and push himself backward. With the chair firmly bolted to the concrete, the only thing he managed to do was press his back tighter against the wooden slats.
   “Sit still,” Sean said. “You’re not going anywhere.”
   “You’re as crazy as they say,” TJ croaked.
   Sean grabbed a bottle of water from the nearby tray and lifted it to TJ’s parched lips. “Drink.”
   TJ eyed him warily. Sean blew out an irritated sigh. “It’s just water.”
   TJ gulped two mouthfuls before Sean placed the bottle back on the tray. He returned to his chair and sat facing TJ. “Here are the facts,” he said. “This building is soundproof. Yelling will only give me a headache, and headaches make me cranky as hell. The crankier I am, the worse off you are. No one knows where you are and no one will find you. One way or another, you will tell me what I want to know. And if you spit at me again, I will make you drink bleach. Are we clear?”
   TJ darted a glance at Michael, who was still leaning against the far wall. Sean said, “My friend here doesn’t like the messy stuff.” Sean directed TJ’s gaze to the tray of implements. “But he won’t stop me. Your only chance is to answer my questions.”
   TJ’s eyes widened. “Where’s Dustin?”
   “Asleep in the next room,” Sean said. “That is the one and only question I will answer. And you’re lucky you got that much.”
   Sean’s tone caused TJ to clamp his mouth shut. His gaze flickered from Sean to the tray.
   “Let’s get right to the point of this,” Sean said. “Who is Sandman?”
   “I told you already. I don’t know the dude’s real name.” His eyes had gotten glassy. He jerked his gaze away from the tray and back to Sean. “I don’t know anything about him.”
   “Okay, then, TJ, why don’t you tell me what you do know.”
   “I…” His voice trailed off. “Like what?”
   “Like the square root of 144.”
   TJ squirmed, his face a mask of confusion. “The square root…”
   Sean sighed. “You’re an idiot. What do you know about Sandman, Lenny, Morpheus, and what goes on in that factory?”
   “Oh.”
   “And, for the record, the square root of 144 is 12. You might not be in that chair if you had a few active brain cells.”
   TJ tilted his head like he was trying to follow Sean’s logic. Sean felt the frustration bubbling out of him. He grabbed a pair of long-nosed pliers from the tray and said, “I’m going to rip out your fingernails if you don’t start talking.”


I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into Sean’s world. While this is the third in the series, it can also be read as a stand-alone. If you’d like to learn more about how Sean began his life of crime, you can read his short story The First Kill, which you’ll find on my Free Downloads webpage.

Thanks for reading. :)

Early Review – There Goes Gravity: A Life In Rock and Roll by Lisa Robinson

There Goes Gravity

From a legendary music journalist with four decades of unprecedented access, an insider’s behind-the-scenes look at the major personalities of rock and roll.

Lisa Robinson has interviewed the biggest names in music–including Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Patti Smith, U2, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Jay Z and Kanye West. She visited the teenage Michael Jackson many times at his Encino home. She spent hours talking to John Lennon at his Dakota apartment–and in recording studios just weeks before his murder. She introduced David Bowie to Lou Reed at a private dinner in a Manhattan restaurant, helped the Clash and Elvis Costello get their record deals, was with the Rolling Stones on their jet during a frightening storm, and was mid-flight with Led Zeppelin when their tour manager pulled out a gun. A pioneering female journalist in an exclusive boys’ club, Lisa Robinson is a preeminent authority on the personalities and influences that have shaped the music world; she has been recognized as rock journalism’s ultimate insider.

A keenly observed and lovingly recounted look back on years spent with countless musicians backstage, after hours and on the road, There Goes Gravity documents a lifetime of riveting stories, told together here for the first time.

Release Date: April 22, 2014

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I told Robert that Bob Dylan had said his kids listened to Led Zeppelin. “Well,” he said, “that’s very nice. But doesn’t he listen as well?”

“It’s not being ‘you’, and you’re trying to get the ‘you’ out.” ~ Michael Jackson


My Review:

Lisa Robinson has had an impressive career in music journalism. She started out on the cusp of the rock scene, just as communities were forming. She has witnessed the rise and fall of many great musicians, as well as the evolution of rock genres. She has fascinating stories to share and no doubt could write an entire series of books.

I loved the diversity of the content here. We start out with what we now call classic rockers, then move on to punk, pop, hip hop, and back to the now aging rockers. We’re given a glimpse into life on the road with rock stars of all sorts.

The book is written mostly in short vignettes. While I know it would have been impossible to cover such a breadth of information with a lot of detail, it often felt as if Robinson stopped too abruptly in her storytelling. We were shown flashes, but not a lot of substance. Also, despite this being a memoir of sorts, I didn’t feel like I got to know the author. I would have liked to know more about the effects of spending virtually her entire adult life traveling in the music world.

Despite the minor shortcomings, this is a fun read I’d recommend to all music fans.


“We’re really the world’s loudest folk band.” ~ Bono

“It’s not my responsibility to teach people how to excavate art and music. It’s my purpose to entertain.” ~ Lady Gaga


I want to talk briefly about something I didn’t mention in my review. Toward the end of this book, Lisa Robinson laments about it no longer being possible to stumble upon a fantastic band accidentally. With MTV and the assorted music-based TV shows, YouTube and the vastness of the Internet, and the volume of media available, her opinion is that the average person doesn’t discover great new sounds on his/her own. I wholeheartedly disagree. While music is in many ways more accessible, the stuff we hear and read about is still largely ruled by the few giants in the mainstream world. There are thousands (millions?) of talented indie musicians hoping you’ll find them within the masses. Websites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud make it possible for these bands to connect with listeners. But we listeners have to make the effort. We have to sift through all the music there to find what we like. We need to support the bands. One important way to do this is to purchase their music rather than just streaming the songs free. We now have more control than ever in choosing the music we want to hear, but only if we make the effort.


“I want to say and sing the right things for you, and I want to make that one melody that really saves your spirit one day.” ~ Lady Gaga

Bloody Gang Wars, Supernatural Influence, and Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart

Today I’m turning my blog over to fellow author Keith Steinbaum. He’s written an intriguing piece to share with us today. Enjoy. :)

Keith Steinbaum As a professional lyricist, I co-wrote songs that have been heard in many countries. I am also a published poet, having had several of my works appear in various anthologies, including Poetic Voices of America, Ten Years of Excellence, Tomorrow Never Knows, and Meditations. In 2002, I received an International Poet of Merit award from the International Society of Poets. The Poe Consequence is my first novel. I am currently working on a murder mystery involving two of my favorite diversions – music and the Los Angeles Lakers. I live in the Los Angeles County area and am married with two grown children and an awesome Golden Retriever.

Website: www.keithsteinbaum.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Poe-Consequence/366767300064069


Inspiration Behind the Novel The Poe Consequence

The genesis for ‘The Poe Consequence’ originated with a book of interviews I read detailing the self-congratulatory exploits of members from the Bloods and Crips streets gangs. Their descriptions of death and brutalizing violence are told with such robotic, matter-of-fact, heartlessness, that I wondered if anything could ever change their generation-to-generation, passing-of-the-torch mindset. Having no belief whatsoever that gang intervention programs will ever be enough to stem the tide of bloodshed, I freed my imagination to devise a scenario where the situation reversed itself, and these two gangs became the hunted instead of the hunters, the fearful rather than the fearless. In addition to this idea, I addressed another hard-to-fathom concept: If these two gangs live to hate the other, would they ever have a reason to call a truce? I always found the ancient Arab philosophy of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend,’ to be a fascinating concept. It’s as if there’s a ‘time out’ called on mutual hatred and annihilation. Could there ever be an ‘enemy’ that forces murderous, modern day street gangs to work together?

The answer to this question took awhile to figure out, but I feel that I devised the proper vehicle to use, and one that imparts the proper means to an end for the two fictional gangs of my story – The Alvarado Street Diablos and the North Rampart Lobos. My original concept incorporated a vampire, but over time that idea suffered from too little inspiration and too much saturation. I’m a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, and while perusing a book of his, I reread ‘The Tell-Tale Heart.’ It then struck me that the supernatural entity I was searching for could bring a lot more to his character than a basic one-dimensional killer that lacks the necessary pathos for which the reader could take hold. An idea was born, and the Edgar Allan Poe concept turned out to be such an important factor that his name is incorporated in the book’s title.

During the period of time these ideas first formulated, I had already worked in various gang-affiliated neighborhoods for close to fifteen years – but only during the daytime as a landscape professional in many Section 8 housing projects. The police who patrol these neighborhoods and who witness the results of gang violence certainly know first hand what I have never seen, but in my world of observation, the gang-banger types I watched at these complexes, or in the streets around the neighborhood, stuck with me. Managers and supervisors told me of incidents involving killings, rape, and drug dealings, and this all added fuel to the fire for my story of supernatural vengeance.

The opening of chapter two takes place in a large, abandoned outdoor yard surrounded by barbed wire and a long, white, cinder block wall that contains graffiti artwork of an Indian man and woman. This is a real life description of the place where I’d meet our workers every morning, east of downtown L.A. In the middle of the wall, in large letters between these two figures, is written, ‘Carlos Apache RIP.’ About three times a year, we’d arrive at this facility to find plants and flowers that we had left inside the locked yard, strewn around a Saint-covered candle. I took this to mean that the candle was lit in memory of a person named Carlos who went by the gang name ‘Apache.’ In my story, I use this character as the point of reference for a drive-by killing that will be carried out in his honor by the Alvarado Street Diablos , on the anniversary of his murder, against the North Rampart Lobos. When things go wrong, and an innocent bystander is the victim instead, the wheels of ‘The Poe Consequence’ are set into motion.

Photos of this wall with the graffiti artwork can be seen on my book’s Facebook page.


poeconsequence

In a section of Los Angeles near Dodger Stadium, two rival gangs rule the streets. For the Alvarado Street Diablos, it’s been a year since the murder of one of their closest members at the hands of their sworn enemy, the North Rampart Lobos. A drive-by killing in his honor is planned, but things go wrong and an innocent bystander is the victim. Several hours later the one who pulled the trigger suffers a horrifying death, caused by something never before seen in its uniqueness. Many more such cases follow, all involving only these two gangs among the hundreds throughout the city. And each death occurs at the same time of day. The exact same time of day.

What can these two enemies do to survive against an unstoppable power intent on their mutual destruction? How is a gang-hating young boy’s attempt to save the life of a gang member tied into preventing a loved one’s soul from eternal damnation? What does a mysterious psychic’s prophecy conveyed earlier in New Orleans have to do with all of this?

Exploring both the darkness and hope that define our emotions, The Poe Consequence integrates social and ethnic divisions through acts of fate and supernatural horror for the reader to observe and imagine.

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Thanks for reading. :)

Review: The Poe Consequence by Keith Steinbaum

poeconsequence

In a section of Los Angeles near Dodger Stadium, two rival gangs rule the streets. For the Alvarado Street Diablos, it’s been a year since the murder of one of their closest members at the hands of their sworn enemy, the North Rampart Lobos. A drive-by killing in his honor is planned, but things go wrong and an innocent bystander is the victim. Several hours later the one who pulled the trigger suffers a horrifying death, caused by something never before seen in its uniqueness. Many more such cases follow, all involving only these two gangs among the hundreds throughout the city. And each death occurs at the same time of day. The exact same time of day.

What can these two enemies do to survive against an unstoppable power intent on their mutual destruction? How is a gang-hating young boy’s attempt to save the life of a gang member tied into preventing a loved one’s soul from eternal damnation? What does a mysterious psychic’s prophecy conveyed earlier in New Orleans have to do with all of this?

Exploring both the darkness and hope that define our emotions, The Poe Consequence integrates social and ethnic divisions through acts of fate and supernatural horror for the reader to observe and imagine.

Amazon / Amazon UK / Kobo / Barnes and Noble


“True. Nervous. Very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am! But why will you say that I am mad?”


My Review:

Taking on Poe is a tough challenge, but Keith Steinbaum handles it well. The subject is dark, as we look at death and inner city gangs. But we’re also given glimmers of hope and redemption, which keeps this story from veering into unbearable despair.

A familiarity with Poe’s writing is not required in order to enjoy this book. The character’s focus here is on a few of Poe’s most popular works, with specific bits woven continuously throughout the story. Someone unfamiliar with Poe might overlook a few references with the murders along the way but, as I said, it shouldn’t alter how this story is understood.

The surprise for me was the underlying theme of prejudice. Steinbaum dives right in and handles this incredibly well. The story never gets preachy. In fact, the realism is striking. We aren’t handed a magical, fairy tale solution. Instead, we’re shown the injustice of it in a way that makes it understandable, almost forgivable, but never tolerable.

The stumbling points for me are relatively minor. There are a lot of characters, many with point of view parts, that we get to know in a fleeting moment before we move on to the next. While I appreciate Steinbaum’s attempt here, I think development of the important characters suffered because of the sheer volume of characters we were expected to get to know.

Mostly, I wanted more from Warren. His character is central to this entire story, yet we didn’t get to stay with his point of view. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I’ll just say that I think a continued POV from Warren, with a little less from minor characters, would have added more depth and power to this story.

Overall, this is a dark but thoughtful piece.


He dwelled somewhere in time between desire and culmination, separation and proximity.”


Come back tomorrow to meet Keith. He’ll be sharing his inspiration for writing this story.

Thanks for reading. :)

Jesse Ryder: Bad Boy PI from ENEMIES AND PLAYMATES

Some people believe the first book defines the author. If that’s true, I’m not sure I want to know what mine says about me. I try to avoid a close examination, mainly because I’d be tempted to start rearranging sentences and changing words. Writers live in a state of chronic rewrites.

My first book is Enemies and Playmates, which has been available in print and e-book format for some time and is now also available in audiobook! I’m thrilled with Wendy Tremont King’s narration. She has a gift for interpreting characters, as well as capturing the mood and essence of a story. Today I though I’d share a glimpse into Lauren and Jesse’s world:


EP Front Cover (small) Lauren Covington’s family maintains a grand facade that belies the life they live behind closed doors. Alex Covington, Lauren’s father, keeps a tight rein on his family through dominance, abuse, and obsessive control. Consequently, Lauren doesn’t believe she could ever trust a man, much less fall in love with one.

When Lauren meets Jesse Ryder, her carefully constructed protective wall shatters. She falls hopelessly and completely in love. It’s only fitting that Jesse is a private detective who had once worked for her father, had defied him, and was now the subject of Alex Covington’s wrath.

Amidst devastating loss, betrayal, and her father’s destructive pursuit of Jesse, Lauren finds the trust and love she had always longed for.


Stubbornness, principles, and love get Jesse in a whole lot of trouble. Here’s a look:

      The mismatched eyes quickly appraised Jesse. Then the guy said, “You Jesse Ryder?”
      Jesse stood but knew better than to extend his hand to shake. Everything about this guy was off. He said, “I am.”
      “I have a message for you.”
      Jesse focused on the thin scar that covered the length of the man’s left cheek. He said, “From who?”
      “Mr. Covington would like you to reconsider his offer.”
      “And if I don’t?”
      The man smiled, revealing a broken front tooth. Even the smile was crooked. It was like one side of his face was sliding off. Definitely horror movie material. The guy tossed a photo face down onto Jesse’s desk, then turned and strode out the door.
      Jesse waited until the guy walked past Dawn’s desk and let himself out the outer door. Then he picked up the photo, turned it over, and winced. The clothing told him that the person had been male. One hand had no fingers. The other had been crushed flat. The face was not recognizable as human.


Listen to an opening excerpt from the audiobook, narrated by Wendy Tremont King:


Find this book and all my others in the following places:

Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Barnes and Noble / iTunes / Kobo / Audible


Thanks for reading – and listening. :)

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Crystal Deception by Doug J. Cooper

Crystal Deception Tour Button

Title: Crystal Deception
Publication Date: September 15, 2013
Genre: Futuristic Thriller/Sci-Fi


Crystal Deception Criss lives in a special kind of prison. He can see and hear everything around the world. Yet a restrictor mesh restrains his reach and keeps him cooperative. His creator, Dr. Jessica Tallette, believes his special abilities offer great promise for humanity. But she fears the consequences of freeing him, because Criss, a sentient artificial intelligence with the intellect of a thousand humans, is too powerful to control.

Guided by her scientific training, Tallette works cautiously with Criss. That is, until the Kardish, an otherwise peaceful race of alien traders, announce they want him. With technologies superior to Earth’s, the Kardish express their desires with ominous undertones.

The Union of Nations is funding Tallete’s artificial intelligence research, and she turns to them for help. Sid, a special agent charged with leading the response, decides Earth’s greatest weapon is the very AI the aliens intend to possess. But what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? And what is humanity’s role if an interstellar battle among titans starts to rage?

Amazon / Amazon UK


About the Author:
DougJCooper photo As a young child, Doug stood on a Florida beach and watched an Apollo spacecraft climb the sky on its mission to the moon. He thrilled at the sight of the pillar of flames pushing the rocket upward. And then the thunderous roar washed over him, and shook his body and soul.

Since then, he has explored life as an educator and entrepreneur. He enjoys telling inventive tales, mentoring driven individuals, and everything sci-tech.

In his new book, Crystal Deception, Doug swirls his creative imagination with his life experiences to craft a science fiction action-adventure story with engaging characters and a plot line with surprises.

He lives in Connecticut with his wonderful wife and with pictures of his son, who is off somewhere in the world creating adventures of his own…

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads


Top 10 Useless Facts about Doug J. Cooper

1) I’m married to a wonderful woman and we have one perfect son

2) I started writing fiction a year ago at age 57

3) I love hiking in the mountains and kayaking on lakes

4) I’ve lived in seven states (New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, California, Colorado, Connecticut)

5) My private coffee blend is equal parts Columbian medium, Sumatran medium, and Sumatran dark roast

6) I’m Professor and Department Head of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Connecticut

7) I worked my way through my undergrad years as a cook

8) Mentoring eager/excited students is as much fun as writing

9) I use Twitter wrong (I post book snippets instead of interacting with others)

10) I wish I had discovered the joy of writing fiction years ago


Giveaway:

TWO* $40 Amazon Giftcards or gifts of PayPal Cash.
Open Internationally. Ends 4/14.

a
Rafflecopter giveaway


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New Release Review: Far Away In Time by Maria Savva

Far Away
Our lives are a series of stories, and we are the characters with the starring roles. The memories, regrets, secrets, and struggles that fill these pages are at once unique and relatable. These stories belong to us all.

Eight unforgettable tales reaching out to a place Far Away In Time…

Published: March 2014
Amazon / Amazon UK
 

‘Don’t be alarmed. I can explain. But you have to suspend belief first.’

 

My Review:

Maria Savva has a knack for writing powerful short stories. As with much of her writing, we aren’t confined to any specific genre. Some of these stories made me smile, while others made me shudder. They’re are all different, yet blend beautifully.

While I enjoyed them all, the title story stands out as my favorite. This is a blend of mystery, fantasy, and paranormal, and I just love the character of Mr. Silverfrost. I hope he’ll make more appearances in future stories.

 

Thanks for reading. :)