Tag Archives: science fiction

Two Sci-Fi Audiobooks Giveaway

Want to win copies of two of my science fiction/alternate history/time travel novels? I’m giving away 15 coupons for each novel to download them from Audible, and the giveaway will be open until May 2, 2014. All you have to do is click on the rafflecopter widget at the bottom of the post to enter.

out of  time

In the 2150s, a scientist discovers time is actually fluid; past, present, and future all exist at the same time. What he doesn’t know, is if the current timeline can change when something is changed in the past. The U.S. government wants him to find out. The theme being to make right what once went wrong.

Narrated by actor Michael C. Gwynne, who had voiceovers in films such as Jaws…..

On Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Out-of-Time-Audiobook/B00F57TNFG

 

beyond the new frontier

In this combination of the novels New Frontier and Final Frontier, this is the story of alternate timelines, partial political thriller, and time travel, in which a United States President is kept from being assassinated, but there are other unintended consequences as a result.

In 1976, Ronald Reagan becomes President of the United States, declares the U.S. will plant a base on the moon by 1980 and a base on Mars by 1989. The Iranian Hostage Crisis occurs, but Reagan issues a stronger response, but as a result, Osama bin Laden rises to power earlier than he normally would have in the prime timeline.

Meanwhile, The Soviet Union decides to build a starship that will travel to the stars because they want to one-up the United States, but as is usually the case, nothing seems to go right.

In the early 1990s the U.S. and the Russians join forces, which leads the joint venture to the other side of the galaxy by means of a wormhole. When they attempt to return to Earth, they find themselves in the past, where they try to fix certain events in the past while they wait for history in general to catch up to where they launched the joint mission to begin with. Things go wrong as events do not play out as planned and numerous cases of unintended consequences result from the multiple attempts at fixing the timeline.

 On  Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Beyond-the-New-Frontier-Audiobook/B00GSX96KS/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Novel sales stats for 2012

First off, Happy New Year 2013 to everyone and a big thank you to all those out there who bought/downloaded a copy of one of my novels. I thought I’d blog again this year about how many sales/free downloads my novels had this year. My marketing/promoting consisted mostly of using Twitter, Facebook groups/pages, joining up with a couple Christian author groups to Tweet, and going to message boards. I did some giveaways for ebooks, like on Librarything, and sent some personal acquaintances/relatives paperback copies of Times of Trouble (which actually did help some with visibility), along with a little more than a handful of review copies to a couple of book bloggers, two of which actually gave me a review. I also tried blog interviews early in the year, along with the occasional paid post about my books, but overall, I’d say 99% of my sales would probably be from word-of-mouth. My sales on Barnes and Noble increased by a lot this year, up to 40-50 ebooks sold a month compared to 2 or 3 a month in 2011.  My number one seller is the United States, followed by the UK, Canada, Australia, and then everyone else, mostly Western/Northern Europe, but I did manage to get an Amazon Kindle sale from Japan, which was a borrow for Beyond the New Frontier, and 2 sales on Diesel from South Africa. This is without the updated numbers from Smashwords concerning Apple, Sony, or Diesel from December.

Here’s the numbers for each book in order of publication:

Out of Time
Kindle(ASIN B006GDO3BC): 1107
Barnes & Noble Nook: 37
Kobo, which includes WH Smith, Angus & Robertson, and Chapters Indigo: 42
Apple: 51
Sony: 4
Smashwords: 2 paid, 64 free
Paperback (ISBN:1453896961) : 8

Don’t Mess With Earth
Kindle(ASIN B005OOKZJI): 52
Nook: 39
Kobo: 2
Apple: 5
Diesel: 1
Smashwords: 2 paid, 47 free
Paperback(ISBN 978-1602643413): 2

The Usurper
Kindle(ASIN B007K9WDA4): 92 paid, 518 Select downloads (January – March)
Nook: 47
Kobo: 4
Apple: 14
Smashwords: 1 paid, 18 free
Paperback (ISBN 1453702725): 12

Shattered Earth
Kindle(ASIN B006M2U3O8) – 8 sales, unpublished it, but will bring it back this year
Nook: 48
Kobo: 20
Apple: 52
Smashwords: 1 sale, 61 free
Paperback (probably only available on Amazon, since I retired it on Createspace): 3

Dust Storm (western short story) – plagued by Smashwords’ meatgrinder, so it wasn’t published to Apple or Sony until later in the year. Sold on Kobo once I uploaded there myself.
Kindle(ASIN B006KH7H4E): 9
Nook: 7
Kobo: 1
Apple: 1
Sony: 1
Smashwords: 2 paid, 12 free

Voyager and the Aliens (sci-fi short story)
Kindle(ASIN B005NK19MU): 14
Nook: 2
Kobo: 5
Apple: 9
Diesel: 1
Smashwords: 1 paid, 27 free

New Frontier
Kindle(ASIN B006ONBPVU): 99
Nook: 58
Kobo: 2
Apple: 7
Sony: 1
Smashwords: 5 paid, 62 free
Baker & Taylor Blio: 1
Paperback (ISBN 1468119540): 18

Times of Trouble
Kindle(ASIN B0075CNFFI): 309
Nook: 343
Kobo: 1
Apple: 0
Sony: 0
Smashwords: 128 free
Paperback (ISBN-10: 1469964791) 43

Times of Trial
Kindle(ASIN B00824G5UA): 99
Nook: 120
Kobo: 3
Apple: 0
Sony (for some reason, not available on Sony): 0
Smashwords: 31 free
Paperback(ISBN-10 147745327X): 5

Final Frontier – published in October
Kindle(ASIN B009ORP5U0): 26
Nook: 22
Kobo: 0
Apple: 0
Sony: 0
Smashwords: 0
Paperback (ISBN-10: 1481192191): 0

Beyond the New Frontier – combo of New & Final Frontier, available on Amazon to borrow for free or buy for $3.99
Kindle paid(ASIN B009NVH76M): 28, KDP Select: 724, Borrows: 2
Paperback (ISBN-10: 1480185590): 1

The total equals 1694 free and 2858 paid sales. My goal for 2013 is to double the paid sales without having to rely on free giveaways as much. I’m also working on a prequel to Times of Trouble, most likely called “Times of Turmoil.” I also re-designed a whole new author website on weebly. I was using webs.com, but it was way too clunky, but Weebly seems to be pretty user-friendly. Please check it out http://cliffball-indieauthor.weebly.com when you have time (waiting for domain name transfer, so it night re-direct back to webs.com). Now, I just have to figure out how to transfer my domain name over to it.

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#SampleSunday – Final Frontier, alternate history

For Sample Sunday, here is a part of Chapter 7 of Final Frontier.

A couple of hours went by before anything started happening. As McMurphy and Elders were hiding behind some boxes on the floor where Lee Harvey Oswald was supposed to have shot Kennedy from, both men heard a door open, with two men walking through. The man who came in first was definitely Oswald, and the second man behind him was shoving a pistol in Oswald’s back, and was carrying something large that was shaped like a rifle of some sort.

Oswald was saying, “Why me?”

“As I keep saying, we need someone who we can blame the assassination easily on. You’ve got a record of siding with the Soviets, so why not you? The federal government will blindly swallow this story hook, line, and sinker, while the Mob will get off scot-free,”

“Ruby, you know you won’t get away with this, don’t you?” Oswald nervously responded.

“Oh, stop with the bravado. We’ve got the Dallas PD in our back pocket and even some of the Secret Service, at least the ones who work for old Lyndon. This should be a piece ‘o cake. All I need from you are some fingerprints, you’ll go to a movie theater, and that’s where the police officers in our employ will pick you up. You take the fall, the Mob gets an enemy out of the way, and everyone’s happy,”

“That’s a bunch of bull. What makes you think I won’t rat you out?”

“You do and you’ll meet your maker with a couple of .38 slugs. Got it?” Ruby waved the handgun in Oswald’s face, who was clearly frightened.

“Yeah, sure. How long do we gotta wait?”

Ruby looked at his watch, and said, “Not very long. Old Lyndon had the motorcade diverted here, so it should be passing through Dealey Plaza momentarily. Once I begin shooting, you slip out of here, and go to that movie theater. No need to make it more complicated than that. Alright?” Oswald indicated he understood.

McMurphy whispered to Elders, “That’s Jack Ruby,”

“Who?”

“Oh, that’s right, you don’t know about what happened in the original timeline. Mr. Ruby there attacked Oswald at the police station after the assassination with that handgun he’s carrying. Oswald died and so did Ruby after the police took care of him. Ruby is a member of the Mob that the Kennedy’s were at odds with. Nobody really knew the whole story behind the assassination. Rumors indicated that Vice President Johnson had the Mob take Kennedy out, which is why the motorcade was diverted here and why Johnson managed to convince Kennedy to make a campaign stop in Dallas to begin with. It was supposed to be neatly wrapped up so Johnson could gain power without having to run for election. Everyone would feel sorry about Kennedy not getting a second term, so Johnson would ride the wave of sympathy to get his first full term without really trying,”

“That must’ve required a massive amount of planning. It’s a wonder that it was pulled off without anyone blowing the whistle,”

“Potential whistleblowers were taken care of, either through being paid off or through death. That was old school south Texas politics for Johnson. Now that won’t happen since we’re here. Now we wait.”

The crowd gathered around the route that President Kennedy’s motorcade was taking. Ruby set-up the sniper rifle and then told Oswald to leave, but before anything happened, McMurphy and Elders stepped out of the shadows, and McMurphy said, “Hold it right there, neither of you move,”

“What? Who are you? You’re not supposed to be here!” exclaimed a surprised Ruby.

“I give up,” Oswald responded with both hands in the air.

“Step away from the rifle, Mr. Ruby. We don’t want anyone to get hurt,”

Ruby responded by turning around, facing the window, and then ran towards it. He crashed through it, fell, and died instantly when he hit the ground. The men could hear members of the crowd reacting to seeing a man falling out of the building. Then the three heard the roar of the engines from the cars in the motorcade, which indicated they were getting the President out of there as fast as they could. McMurphy let loose a string of cuss words before saying, “Great, just great. Now we’ll have cops and Secret Service swarming this place.”

Where to buy:

Amazon US, Amazon UK, B&N Nook, Nook UK, Kobo, Apple

Or… Beyond the New Frontier, which is currently exclusive to Amazon is either free to borrow now for Prime Members or buy for $4.99. Also available in paperback currently on Amazon.

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#99cent sale for my #ebooks on Amazon, B&N, and Kobo

For the rest of November, five of my ebooks will be $.99 on Amazon, B&N, and Kobo (which includes WH Smith and Angus & Robertson). Amazon updates either instantly or takes all day, UK Nook will update later, and Kobo’s new prices will be reflected tomorrow. All but Final Frontier is available in paperback.

Here’s the ones on sale:

Out of Time, my time travel novel, is currently $.99 anyway, but I’m thinking of raising the price to $2.99 at the end of the year, which includes Apple & Sony.

Currently is rated 4 stars with 8 reviews on Amazon.

In the 2150′s, a scientist discovers time is actually fluid; past, present, and future all exist at the same time. What he doesn’t know, is if the current timeline can change when something is changed in the past. The US government wants him to find out. The theme being to make right what once went wrong.

The links

Amazon US, Amazon UK, B&N Nook, B&N Nook UK, Kobo, Apple, Sony

 

 

 New Frontier, Book 1 in my New Frontier Series. Normally $3.99

In this alternate history novel, what-if Ronald Reagan became President in 1976 instead and the Space Race turned out differently? He pledges to support NASA with the moon landings, and declares that a moon base would be established by 1979, followed by a Mars Base by 1989. The Soviets decide to up the ante by building something bigger.

The rest of Earth follows the original timeline, so terrorism rears its ugly head, which will forever change American politics. Iran and its attempt at taking hostages is taken care of in 1979, but a new threat emerges because of it. The new President of the United States has to pursue these enemies of the U.S. to secure America’s future. We follow America’s progress from Moon to Mars, along with the Teacher in Space Program, to an eventual starship mission out of the solar system, which will continue in book two.

The links:

Amazon US, Amazon UK, B&N Nook, UK Nook, Kobo

 

Final Frontier is book 2 in my New Frontier series, and a new release. Normally $2.99

In this sequel to New Frontier, the USS Lewis & Clark begin their search for the Soviet starship Yuri Gagarin. They find the wormhole that the Gagarin went through twelve years earlier and decide to go through it. On the other side, the crew of the Lewis & Clark find a solar system that used to be populated by aliens known as Pictorians, but they’re no longer there. Neither is the crew of the Gagarin. So, the Lewis & Clark is flown back through the wormhole to report back to Earth.

Unfortunately, something is wrong, they find themselves 30 years in the past. As they struggle to wait for their future to catch up, the crew of the Lewis & Clark make changes to certain events, but they cause unintended consequences; including making another alien species mad enough to forbid humans from traveling beyond the Sol System. Find out what happens in this conclusion of the New Frontier series.

Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK, B&N Nook, Nook UK, Kobo

Beyond the New Frontier, which is currently exclusive to Amazon, will be FREE the day after Thanksgiving, but is either free to borrow now for Prime Members or buy for $4.99. Also available in paperback currently on Amazon.

 

Times of Trouble, the 1st novel in my End Times Saga. Normally $3.99, 6 reviews 4 stars.

Thirty years in the future, the U.S. government has turned into a tyranny as the EPA and TSA grow with ever more power.

Brian, the main character, tells his story from first person point of view. His work with the FBI involves mostly cyber terrorism and actual cases of potential real world terrorism. Eventually, his wife gives birth to their third child, who has Down’s Syndrome, which does not please the U.S. Health Administration because there are rules and regulations set-up in cases like these to prevent “genetic freaks” as they like to call them, from sucking up a lot of Health Admin money. Because the Atwoods are born again Christians, they never considered aborting the baby, so now the Health people have to take him away to deal with the problem later.

Meanwhile, the Secret Service decides to recruit Brian to be the personal agent of the President of the United States, David Collins, due to his great work stopping a terrorist plot that would’ve involved Offutt Air Force Base. Brian’s faith is tested every day as he deals with a man that has no morals from what Brian can see, and is tested even more when his wife finds out that she’s dying from a fast growing form of breast cancer. Trouble in the rest of the world pits the U.S. against Israel as that country attempts to defend itself from attack.

When the re-election of Collins doesn’t turn out the way he wanted it, he and his people declare the election nullified because of supposed “irregularities” with the ballots. Collins claims that the new President-elect may take the seat sometime in the middle of next year, if everything looks to be sorted out. Collins purges his staff of what he considers unloyal people, including Brian. At the same time, Brian loses his wife, but regains the son he thought he had lost.

Brian moves back to his family home in Nebraska, where we follow what happens as the country slowly falls apart. Events play out as Brian and his family sees the End Times approach.

Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK, B&N Nook, Nook UK, Kobo

 

Times of Trial, the second novel in my End Times Saga. Normally $3.99

The Tyler’s have a church that is dying in Tucson, Arizona. Even though the church is dying, they take care of the remaining senior members, including the ones in nursing homes and in hospice. The other family in the church, the White’s, head to Wyoming to live in a community that was originally started by Doomsday Preppers back in the early 2000′s so they can attempt to escape the increasing persecution of Christians and are helped by a Navajo Nation Sheriff who became a Christian as a young man.

Greg Tyler, who is the oldest son, dreams about a girl, but has no idea who she is. During this time, he’s kicked out of high school after getting into a fight with the bully who has constantly tortured him throughout their school years. Laura Hall lives in Phoenix and is her high school’s Senior Class Treasurer. She dreams about a boy, but hasn’t the slightest idea who he is, and neither one can see the faces of the one they’re dreaming about. Eventually, the two come across each other in the Camp that President Collins orders Christians into, but only after Greg rescues Laura from some bullies who collaborate with the Camp Commander. They attempt to get to know each other before the Rapture.

President Collins orders the activation of Camps across the country that will house believers who he thinks are a threat to his rule. His patron, Michael Collins, manipulates events in the Middle East to stir up trouble between Iran and Israel. The Tyler’s end up with others in a camp in Arizona, while the White’s and the community they live in gets attacked by government troops. Evans continues to manipulate events as the Rapture takes the Christians, and he gains ultimate power.

Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK, B&N Nook, Nook UK, Kobo

Thanks for sharing or buying!

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Potential novels, sequels, & other scribblings

When I started writing and publishing my works, I never thought I would publish more than maybe two novels. Well, now I’m up to eight novels, and setting to write my ninth. My goal this year was to write and publish at least two novels, and I did that, with three. I also thought I’d never write sequels or a series of novels in the same universe, but I have. I’m sure some wonder if I’m going to have any sequels to some of my older novels, and I’ve been asked, but right now, I don’t know. Here’s an update on my current novels and future works.

Out of Time It took me a long time to get this novel right, but I finally did. Anyway, I thought about writing a sequel, but at the moment, I have no idea where I’d want my time travelers to go. I did start to write something about Janet Erickson, the captain of the Einstein, but I got stuck after a page or two of writing. I have an idea of what I might want, but I’m not sure if it’s a novel length story, a novella, or a short story. If I get around to writing it out, I’ll see.

Don’t Mess With Earth – I actually sent a short story version of this in the mid-1990′s to the Writer’s of the Future contest, but got nowhere with it. I wrote a full length novel, but this is one of my stories that people either like or dislike, and I re-wrote it into a version of Shattered Earth, changing the beginning, and making the novel longer by over 25k words. I have been asked by 1 or 2 readers if I’m going to tell the story of the Ragnor after Earth destroys them for the most part, but I really don’t know. I wrote a page a year or so ago, but haven’t returned to it. We’ll see.

The Usurper – No sequel. I wrote this mostly to push buttons, and if you’ve seen some of the reviews I’ve received on Amazon, you’ll know that I did just that.

New Frontier & Final Frontier – Final Frontier is the sequel to New Frontier, so I’m not sure about another sequel. I might one day go back to Final Frontier to include a chapter or two near the end, because I glossed over what happened to the Soviet Starship Gagarin in one of the alternate timelines, but if I say more than that, it would be spoiling the story for those that haven’t read it.

My End Times Series of novels – The next novel I’m going to write is about the story of Michael Evans, starting with his grandfather, who I’ll have palling around with Hitler in WW2. The Evans’ will try to manipulate events from behind the scenes, get England to balk at giving Israel as much land as they were going to give them after the war, finance the enemies of Israel, start to interfere in American society, and have appearances by the grandparents of the main characters from Times of Trouble. How Evans finds David Collins and the Iranian, and how they manipulate events before the Tribulation. I think I’ll begin writing it in November, taking time to do a lot of research while I’m doing it, and possibly getting it finished in early 2013. I was also thinking of at least one young adult novel in the series, even though Times of Trial is kind of leaning towards that, since Greg and Laura are two of the main characters, and they’re teens, but I’ll just have to see how that works out.

As for short stories, I’ve come up with a few of those, but a lot of them are so different in genre, I don’t know if I should put those in a short story collection, but I will think about it. Next year, I want to publish at least three more novels, if possible.

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New Release: Final Frontier

Final Frontier is the sequel to the novel I published last year, New Frontier. Currently available for $2.99 on Kindle(ASIN: B009ORP5U0), SmashwordsNook, and Kobo. Also, Times of Trouble is currently going for $.99 on Kindle (ASIN:B0075CNFFI) (but is available in paperback and on other e-book platforms), and Out of Time, my time travel novel is always $.99 (on all ebook platforms). Update: all of my ebooks, but Beyond the New Frontier, are $.99 for the month on Kindle.

What it’s about:

In this sequel to New Frontier, the USS Lewis & Clark begin their search for the Soviet starship Yuri Gagarin. They find the wormhole that the Gagarin went through twelve years earlier and decide to go through it. On the other side, the crew of the Lewis & Clark find a solar system that used to be populated by aliens known as Pictorians, but they’re no longer there. Neither is the crew of the Gagarin. So, the Lewis & Clark is flown back through the wormhole to report back to Earth.

Unfortunately, something is wrong, they find themselves 30 years in the past. As they struggle to wait for their future to catch up, the crew of the Lewis & Clark make changes to certain events, but they cause unintended consequences; including making another alien species mad enough to forbid humans from traveling beyond the Sol System. Find out what happens in this conclusion of the New Frontier series.

Also available is the combined versions of both novels, which is available to borrow for free for Amazon Prime Memebers, called Beyond the New Frontier (ASIN: B009NVH76M) and is currently free until the end of Thursday, the 11th of October. Tops out at 84,779 words.

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Sales for the year so far

Now that it’s June, here are my sales numbers for the year so far, from regular sales to when one of my novels was in KDP Select to free giveaways. These are all from mostly just promoting online on Twitter, Facebook, and a bunch of message boards. The novels are listed in order of publication, from 2008 to 2012.

Amazon US Kindle
Out of Time – 34
Don’t Mess With Earth – 13
The Usurper  – (regular sales) – 67
KDP Select numbers for The Usurper – 329
Shattered Earth (which I unpublished on Amazon) – 8
Voyager & The Aliens – 3
Dust Storm – 4
New Frontier – 50
Times of Trouble – 89
Times of Trial – 9

Amazon UK Kindle
Out of Time - 8
Don’t Mess With Earth – 4
The Usurper – 8
KDP Select for The Usurper – 176
Voyager & The Aliens – 1
Dust Storm – 0
Times of Trouble – 4
Times of Trial – 1

Amazon Germany
Out of Time – 1
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 4
New Frontier – 1

Amazon France
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 2

Amazon Italy
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 2

Amazon Spain
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 6

Barnes & Noble Nook, which is partially through PubIt, B&N’s publishing platform and through Smashwords
Out of Time – 17
Don’t Mess With Earth – 17
The Usurper – 15
Shattered Earth – 19
Voyager & The Aliens – 1
Dust Storm – 3
New Frontier – 12
Times of Trouble – 109
Times of Trial – 7

Apple iTunes
Out of Time – 29
Don’t Mess With Earth – 4
The Usurper – 5
Shattered Earth -25
Voyager & The Aliens – 4
New Frontier – 3
Times of Trouble (only available since May)
Times of Trial (not yet available)

Kobo
Out of Time – 10
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1
The Usurper (Kobo has yet to list it)
Shattered Earth - 8
Voyager & The Aliens – 0
New Frontier – 0
Times of Trouble (only available since May)
Times of Trial (not yet available)

Sony Reader
Out of Time – 1
Everything else – 0

Smashwords paid/giveaways
Out of Time – 1/39
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1/26
The Usurper – 0/9
Shattered Earth – 0/37
Voyager & The Aliens -0/14
Dust Storm (I unpublished it because I couldn’t get the formatting right) – 2/12
New Frontier – 5/41
Times of Trouble – 0/87
Times of Trial – 0/1

Createspace Paperbacks, all of which were sales from mostly Amazon
Out of Time – 2
The Usurper – 7
Shattered Earth – 3
New Frontier – 12
Times of Trouble – 30
Times of Trial – 0

Total between January & end of May: 1423

Overall total since 2008: 26381

I’m posting this because some writers get discouraged, but you just have to keep at it. While I don’t have the money or much in the way of resources to push my novels to greater visibility, I think I’m doing pretty well. I took The Usurper out of KDP Select because my sales were actually worse overall, and I had a grand total of 3 borrows, so I didn’t think that program was worth it. Stay tuned for the sequel to New Frontier, plus a short story anthology based on minor characters in the two End Times novels, and a novel about Michael Evans, the man-behind-the-scenes in both End Times novels.

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Two new reviews

In the last week, I’ve received two new reviews for two different novels, both of which are 5 stars. The first one is for Out of Time, which is my very first novel that I published in 2008 as a total newbie, where I mistakenly used iUniverse as a publisher and spent way too much for a novel that wasn’t really ready for prime time. Two years later, I went back through it, added scenes, corrected grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and fixed dialogue. I decided to do a fresh re-publish of  it on the Kindle a little over a year ago(along with a new version of the paperback on Createspace), since the old reviews reflected all the mistakes I made in it. Now, I’ve received a new review for it:

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful time travel novella.

You get to go back to some famous events in American and world history: The Wounded Knee Massacre, Sinking of the Titanic, JFK’s assassination, and more with some highly original and unique alternative timelines.

This is well written and compelling, page-turning stuff. Ball poses some interesting thoughts about how government could mess up the world if it ever got its hands on such a time device. It’s fun to read about it, but let’s just hope it never happens.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, just disappointed it ended too soon.

James A. Anderson, Author
London, Ontario Canada”

———————————

Now, here’s a new review for my latest novel, my 7th, Times of Trial. This is from a regular reader of mine who first found out about me by reading The Usurper. Since then, she’s given me very good reviews for The Usurper(which is the paperback version, the Kindle version is no longer linked to the paperback) and Times of Trouble.

“Another winner! May 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

This book can be read on it’s own or with Times of Trouble. The scariest part of this book is that I can see it happening with the upcoming election. The author draws you into the story and never lets go. You can feel the pain of the characters and can picture yourself in the story.
We can only hope that the story doesn’t play out in real life.”

I appreciate all of the readers who have taken a chance on me and have read my novels. Thanks!

 

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Interview with The Usurper / Times of Trouble author Cliff Ball

Interview with The Usurper / Times of Trouble author Cliff Ball.

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#SampleSunday: New Frontier

Since I finally have something new to share for Sample Sunday, here’s the Prologue to my newest novel, New Frontier, which is a alternate history speculative fiction novel. The Prologue will be expanded on in Book 2, when the starship that leaves at the end of the novel encounters problems while trying to find a missing starship that lead them back to the 1960′s….  Available on Apple, Nook, Kindle, and Smashwords for $2.99,and paperback for $9.99 (links at end of post).

Prologue

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency…”

President Kennedy stepped off of the stage after his “New Frontier” speech at Rice University, when he was asked by Texas Governor Daniel, “What did you mean about doing those other things after you said we would go to the moon?”

“That was a mistake. I was going to fill that in by saying that we would eventually explore the rest of our solar system after we take our first steps on the moon, but I forgot about it. Anyway, in the grand scheme of things, who’s going to remember one little paragraph in a speech? All that matters is that I have a vision of what our future holds. The American voters will eat that up.”

“That’s why you’re the President, and not that yahoo, Richard Nixon.”

“I’m sure the American people are grateful for that. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to Washington.”

As Kennedy stepped off of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, he was met by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who was never eager to converse with any of the Kennedy family, but this time he had to. “Mr. President, I need to speak with you in private.”

“What do you want?”

“Like I said, in private.”

“Oh, all right. Follow me to my car, we can speak there.” When they were situated in the back seat of the Presidential limo, Kennedy asked, “Ok, what’s so important that this has to be in private?”

“I’m sure you’re aware of the death of Marilyn Monroe last month…”

“What’s your point?” interrupted an impatient Kennedy.

“The point is that we have her killer in custody.”

“Didn’t the coroner rule it a suicide?”

“Well, someone told him to rule it that, but it really wasn’t…”

“Would you please get to the point already?” interrupted the President again.

“Fine. The FBI was informed that your brother, Bobby, was seen leaving Monroe’s house the day she died. After an exhaustively thorough investigation, it was concluded that Bobby was indeed the person responsible for the death of Marilyn Monroe. He’s now in custody, where he will be put on trial very soon.”

“You can’t do that.”

“Why? Because he’s a Kennedy? Your father may have gotten away with many a thing years ago, but he also had many friends in high places. With him retired, you and your brothers don’t have that luxury, since you are the people in high places. I’ve got so much stuff on you Kennedy’s, all I would have to do is go to the Press and give them everything available. You would be finished in no time. So, yes, I can have your brother put on trial for murder.”

“What can I offer you to withdraw the murder charge?”

“Bribery, eh? Are you sure you really want to try that with me?”

“What do you want from me?”

“Simple, really. You and your family stay out of my way, and I won’t air all of your dirty laundry. When it’s publicly announced that Bobby killed Marilyn, you will be shocked to hear it, and you’ll reluctantly announce that he will no longer be Attorney General of the United States. If you or your family sends your mob goons after me to silence me by killing me, my will has a provision in it that all the documents I have that are related to your family will be released to the Press. Either way, you’ll be ruined. Do I make myself clear?”

“Crystal.”

“Good.” Hoover stepped out of the car, leaving the President to his thoughts.

A year later, on a campaign stop in Dallas, with President Kenendy’s motorcade on its way to Dallas Trade Mart for a luncheon, gunshots rang out while passing through Dealey Plaza. Kennedy heard the bullets whiz by him, but then he heard a sickening sound next to him. His wife had been shot in the head. In the front seat, Governor John Connally, who had just been elected Texas Governor, appeared to have also been shot by the assassin’s bullets. Kennedy started to panic, but really had nowhere to run if an assassin was still trying to shoot at him. The Secret Service rushed in to protect Kennedy, surrounded the car, and the motorcade rushed away to Parkland Hospital. Both Jacqueline Kennedy and John Connally were pronounced dead within an hour of arriving at the hospital. The FBI announced they would begin their investigation.

After the funeral, Kennedy summoned Hoover to his office. “Did you have anything to do with what happened in Dallas, Mr. Hoover?”

“No, but if I did, you can bet that you would be dead, not your wife or the Governor. Unfortunately, we have no suspects. Too many of the witnesses claim that they heard gunshots from one of the buildings or from the grassy knoll that the motorcade was passing, but no one saw a shooter. Whoever may have tried to assassinate you was professional enough to cover their tracks. The FBI and I have run into a brick wall, and have decided to close the investigation. I’m truly sorry for your loss.”

“I’m sure you are. Thank you for coming.” Kennedy summarily dismissed the FBI Director from his office.

Five years later, after John F. Kennedy was no longer eligible to run for President again. He and the rest of the nation learned that Barry Goldwater won the Presidency of the United States in his second try after trying in 1964. Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic challenger since Lyndon Johnson decided to retire, had been assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan six months before the election, so the Democrats ran George McGovern, who was the Vice Presidential candidate, as the replacement. Goldwater soundly defeated McGovern.

While the world was waiting for Apollo 11 to land on the moon, John and Ted Kennedy were having a party on Chappaquiddick Island with their girlfriends the day before the scheduled moon landing to celebrate the fact that John had helped push NASA in that direction. Ted, and his girlfriend, Mary Jo Kopechne, decided to leave because Mary Jo needed to get home. “Teddy, you should stay here, you’re too drunk to be driving.” protested John.

“I know what I’m doing. Just because you’re my older brother doesn’t give you the right to act like dad.” slurred the drunken younger Kennedy.

“Ok, fine, but if you get into a car wreck, don’t blame me. I tried to warn you, you know.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

“Bye, bye Jack.” slurred the drunk Mary Joe, as she waved at him.

John waved goodbye to them as the two drunkenly got into Ted’s Oldsmobile and drove away. The next morning, Edgartown Police Chief James Arena knocked on the door of the house, John answered the door, and asked the Chief, “Can I help you?”

“Mr. Kennedy, I regret to inform you that your brother and his escort were found dead inside the Oldsmobile at Poucha Pond. It appears they didn’t see the end of the bridge and the car kept going. Due to how the car settled in the water, the two died from drowning. A pair of fisherman on a fishing boat noticed the car earlier this morning, informed us, and we managed to bring the car back up an hour ago. Unfortunately, I need you to come down the Station to ID them so we can officially record that the family knows about it. Can you come with me?”

“Yeah, I’ll come with you. I knew he shouldn’t have left while he was drunk. I knew something would happen, but he refused to listen to me. Now look where it’s gotten him…”

Even though John was hung-over, he was in shock at the news of his brothers’ death, and he was increasingly getting depressed over it. Of the four boys in his family, he was the only one that was left, and he wasn’t sure how his father, Joseph, would handle having yet another son not on Earth. Joseph had ambitious dreams for all of his children, yet of the nine children, four were no longer living. John was beginning to wonder if his family was cursed.

He went with the Police Chief, identified the bodies, and spent the rest of the week organizing a funeral. John wondered why all of this tragedy was happening around him, but not to him. He decided he needed to focus his energies now on his two children, before anything else happened to anyone else in his family. So, he decided to withdraw from public life, because it seemed to him that his immediate family would live longer that way. Four months later, Joseph died at the age of 81 of natural causes.

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