Launch

“Spotlight” Author Blog Tour: Passion & Struggle

Greetings! I’m John Fioravanti, and welcome to the third post on my “Spotlight Blog Tour” sponsored by my new family at Rave Reviews Book Club. I’m very excited to be a guest today with P.H. Solomon.

P&S CoverIn my last post, I described the nature of my first Sci-Fi novel, Passion & Struggle – Book One of my series, The Genesis Saga. In this post, I am presenting an excerpt from the book, which I hope, will give you some idea of the goings on in 2796 CE in the capital – Genesis City. Marco Rossini is the main character and he is a professor of history at the University of Genesis City (UGC). In this excerpt, we find the good professor wandering across campus to meet one of his students at the Campus Café – ostensibly to give her some direction with her essay assignment.

Excerpt:

Marco, oblivious to his gorgeous surroundings, on this warm July day, walked across campus towards his mid-afternoon rendezvous at the Campus Café. His lecture that afternoon had sparked memories of political discussions he had enjoyed with his boyhood friend, Pat Conroy. Now, his body on automatic pilot, he cast his mind back to his childhood.

Born and raised in Darymanis City, Marco was the only child of Italian parents – who worked at the Conroy Distillery. His mother, Isabella, was Seamus Conroy’s executive right hand in the office, while Giuseppe Rossini was the Master Distiller. Over the years, the Conroy and Rossini families had become good friends, and lived in the same neighborhood in the Naval district. As Marco grew up, the law stipulated that the two social classes of planet Genesis dwell in segregated areas in the urban centers. The faithful Churchers and the Naval or technical class each had their own roles in society and their own residential districts. Fortunately, that division was undergoing change.

The friendship between the two families, and their proximity, made it natural that the Conroy boys and Marco become close as well. Marco was the same age as Daniel Conroy and a year older than, Daniel’s brother, Sean. As the three grew up, they became inseparable – more like brothers. Patrick was the youngest Conroy – Daniel’s junior by four years. Often the three older friends allowed the ‘kid brother’ to tag along with them.

The professor’s eyes misted as he thought about the young friends he’d lost so many years ago. Against their parents’ wishes, Daniel and Sean Conroy had enlisted in the Navy seeking adventure in space. The Navy provided them the opportunity to show their stuff against Larosian scouting parties, which periodically emerged in Genesis space, through the nearby wormhole. For both young spacers, their exploits ended abruptly when Larosians destroyed most of the Genesis squadron sent out to challenge them. Unfortunately, Genesis Naval technology, built by the Kroggs that controlled the planet, couldn’t match that of their Larosian enemies.

In their devastation, Seamus and Irene Conroy clung desperately to their lone, surviving child, Patrick, who had just passed his fifteenth birthday.  Forced to grow up sooner than he had ever anticipated, Pat buried his grief deep within, and promised himself to avenge the brothers he’d idolized. Marco and Pat had clung to each other in shared grief. It was the foundation of the close bond that blossomed between them in the ensuing years.

In the weeks following the double funeral, the two became inseparable. Marco willingly embraced the mantle of ‘big brother’, and became the only person to whom Pat would open his heart. Neither of them realized just how much Marco was leaning on his ‘younger brother’ emotionally. To his parents, friends, and to the people who knew him, young Patrick Conroy remained a quiet tower of strength as he made plans for bloody vengeance.

Only Marco knew those plans, and he cringed at the thought that Pat might meet the same fate as his brothers. Pat persevered and diligently applied himself to both his academics and physical conditioning. Entrance into the Genesis Naval Academy was not easily achieved. Only the brightest and the best were accepted into officer training, and he was determined earn a leadership role in the Navy.

Marco kept Pat’s secret, knowing that the Conroys would do everything in their power to dissuade him if they knew. The heaviness in Marco’s heart gave way to swelling pride as he looked back at the support he had given to his ‘little brother’. Young Pat Conroy, a born leader, had become mature beyond his years; so despite his fears, Marco had supported him in every way he could. That encouragement had continued even after he himself left Darymanis City to study at the University of Genesis City.

Early in their new relationship, Marco and Pat discovered that they shared a passion for human history on pre-Omega Earth. But the two friends shared more than just a passion for history and politics; they were sparring partners whenever they could take the time out of their busy lives. Not long after Pat entered the Academy, Marco indicated that he wanted to learn the finer points of personal combat that Pat learned in his officer training. Marco was an adept student and the two men became well matched in a short time. Whenever Pat was away on missions, Marco kept his skills honed by utilizing computer-generated hologram opponents in the holo suites in the university fitness center. It had been four long years since the two men had sparred together, and Marco was excited by the imminent return of his friend from the Krogg War.

“Oh! Pardon me, Professor Rossini!” The student, who had jarred the briefcase loose from Marco’s grip, bent and retrieved it from the stone-paved walk. Marco realized, with embarrassment, that the collision was largely his fault for daydreaming.

He smiled at the student and sent him on his way. He took note of his surroundings, for the first time since he’d left the classroom building, and saw that he had arrived at his destination.

Darn good thing that kid ran into me… I would have breezed right on by! Wake up Professor!

As soon as he stepped inside, he saw that the café was empty except for Beth Carter, who waited for him in a rear booth, and one man, sitting at a nearby table. He’d expected a crowd of students and faculty at this time of day.

Carter caught sight of him, and smiling, she waved at him. Nodding in acknowledgement, he made his way to her booth, placed his briefcase on the seat opposite her and sat beside it.

“I’m surprised this place is empty.”

“Perhaps it’s just the lull between the lunch crowd and the after classes crowd,” she offered with a shrug of her shoulders. “I took the liberty of ordering your coffee. I hope you don’t mind, sir.”

Just then a waiter appeared with two steaming cups, a dish of creamers and sugar packets.

“Cream and sugar?”

Marco shook his head, “I take it black, thanks.” The professor took a sip, surprised to experience an unpleasant aftertaste once he’d swallowed the coffee. He smiled, checked the time and urged Carter to begin the discussion about her research paper.

Beth launched into her topic, explaining how Athenian democracy in ancient Greece on Earth fascinated her. Marco listened, as he sipped his coffee, wondering when this girl was going to get to the issue that was giving her trouble. As she questioned how the paper should be structured, his vision began to blur. He shook his head and rubbed his eyes trying to stay focused on her words.

Before long, he put his cup down and loosened his necktie. “So warm in here… ugh… don’t feel well.” As he looked at his companion across the table, the room began to move, the hanging lights flickered, and his body fell sideways along the bench. He saw Beth get up, felt someone grab his arm, and then, everything went dark.

The phony waiter joined the man sitting at the nearby table.  Together, they eased Rossini out of the booth, and grabbed his arms and legs, while Beth took his briefcase. They carried the professor through the kitchen and out the rear door into an alley where a car waited. The real waiter, the cashier, and the cook were unconscious at a table near the back door. No one inside or outside the café saw Rossini being manhandled into a car which sped away.

Five minutes later, the three drugged café employees regained consciousness, wondering what happened to them. Once they were steady enough, they checked the café and found nothing amiss. The window shutters were closed and a sign hung on the door saying the café was under repair. They looked at each other, shrugged and returned to their jobs. The waiter cleared the booth and the other table, while the cook went about his preparations for the impending supper hour. They decided not to share the mystery with anyone else. It wasn’t worth losing their jobs.

Hmm… who is this Beth person and her confederates?  What will become of our esteemed professor? Find the answers in Passion & Struggle!

AUTHOR BIO

Author PicJohn Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five year career in the classroom in June, 2008. His teaching career was split between two schools: St. Benedict CSS in Cambridge, Ontario and St. David CSS in Waterloo, Ontario.

Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History Classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class (Data Based Directions, 2002), along with an international version of the same title. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching (Iceberg Publishing, 2007, 2008, 2010) (Fiora Books 2014) is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.

John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle and is set within Kenneth Tam’s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life!

At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-one years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books. After four decades of marriage, they decided to become business partners as well. 

BOOK LINKS:

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O7X5SXK

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/passion-struggle

iBooks: https://itunesconnect.apple.com/WebObjects/iTunesConnect.woa/wo/16.0.0.13.7.2.7.9.1.1.3.2.3.3.1.5.3.0.1

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUqwuCcAEyU

 

CONNECT HERE:

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Website: http://fiorabooks.com/

Twitter: @FioraBooks  + @jfinwat  (I have 2 accounts)

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6 Writing Updates

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Rather than post a short update on the News page I decided to post more details here today.

1. I plan to complete my current revision of The Bow of Destiny by the end of the month to send to my editor for structural and then detailed editing.

2. I’m currently in discussions with an artist about the cover design for The Bow of Destiny. I hope to share more details during October and announce a cover reveal date.

3. I was honored by Rave Reviews Book Club to have the “The Black Bag” chosen for their PUSHTUESDAY via Twitter last week – many thanks to those who supported me and bought copies of The Black Bag

4. I’m planning a price reduction for The Black Bag during the month of October so check back for more details. However, if you want the book sooner than that you can receive a coupon for a free copy (for any e-book format) to download from Smashwords. You know you want to whet your appetite for some early Halloween reading ! Sign-up today for the free download!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

5. I’m submitting a short story this week. If it is accepted anywhere I’ll be sure to post the news everywhere so keep checking my feeds for announcements. I’m also working on several other short stories for submission as well. Check my Short WIP page for story titles.

6. I’ve hosted several book blog tours over the last month so check those out and support those authors.

Thanks for reading and supporting. Everyone is welcome to leave comments and questions.

“SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour: Best Laid Plans

  Hi! I’m Tamie Dearen—wife, mother, grandmother, dentist, Jesus-lover, musician, composer, and author (as of 2013). I’ve published four books and a novella in The Best Girls Series, and one Young Adult Fantasy, Alora: The Wander-Jewel. As a relatively new author, I’ve found Rave Reviews Book Club to be a great resource for information and a wonderful place for mutual support.

This is an excerpt from The Best Girls.

 

Best Laid PlansBest Laid Plans: Book Three of The Best Girls Series

 

“Charlie, I don’t understand why you won’t even give me a chance.” Josh tried to catch her eyes as he spoke, but they darted away as if his gaze had burned her corneas. She held herself away from him, her posture rigid, even as they swayed together on the dance floor.

“We’re just too different, Josh. We live in different states. We have different dreams. We have different beliefs and values. You believe in casual sex, and that’s fine for you. But I’m the absolute opposite of that. Can’t you see? There’s no hope.”

“There’s no hope because you refuse to allow it. I’m changing. I’ve already changed. I’m not the same man that you met six months ago, but you won’t give me an opportunity to prove it.”

“Why are you trying to change into something different just to please me? You were fine and happy before you met me. There were obviously lots and lots of women who liked you just the way you were. Why try to change into something you’re not?” She tried to pull away, but he firmed his grasp at her waist and hand.

“But that’s the thing. I wasn’t fine and happy before I met you. I was miserable and I didn’t even know it. And now I’ve met you, so I know I could be really happy if I changed and you loved me. But you won’t give me a chance, so I’m still miserable.”

“You’re saying that meeting me took you from being blissfully ignorant about how miserable you were to consciously aware of how miserable you are?”

“You’re twisting my words.” He ground his teeth together, searching for something to say, anything to break through her barriers. “Charlie . . . Don’t you miss me, even a little? Don’t you ever think about that kiss?”

She was quiet for a moment, “Josh . . . Okay, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t physically attracted to you. There. Are you happy? But . . . But that’s not enough to build a relationship on.”

His mind was spinning. This was his moment, his only opportunity. She’d finally at least admitted to an attraction. If that was all he had to work with, he’d have to improvise. “So physically, you could see yourself being married to me? I mean, if I was a different guy with this body and this face, you could love me?”

Her face was so red, he thought she might be in pain, “I .  . That’s . . . Okay, yes, I mean, if you were someone else. But—”

“What’s he like? This other guy? This someone else that you’re going to marry someday?”

“I . . . Honestly, I don’t think he exists. I don’t think there’s a guy that I’m willing to give up all my independence for. I don’t really need a guy, anyway.”

“But if he did exist, what would he be like?”

Charlie let out an exasperated breath. “I don’t know. I don’t spend time thinking about it.” Josh peered into her huge golden eyes and saw her pupils dilate. She gave her head a shake as if to clear it. “I guess he’d be a partner. I don’t need someone to take care of me like a parent. And . . . He’d have some kind of cool job, like, I don’t know . . . Maybe he’d be a fireman. Someone brave and adventurous who helps people. Not someone who spends his whole life working to make more money. And he’d be the kind of guy who only wanted to be with one woman for the rest of his life. I don’t want to constantly think I’m being compared with someone else—and probably coming up short.”

He was quiet for a moment, contemplating her words. “Thank you. At least I understand what you want, and how you see me.” He heard his voice crack and turned his face away, embarrassed. The hope that had bloomed in his chest died a little at the truth of her assessment.

“Josh, I’m sorry—”

“No, it’s okay. It’s my fault. You hit closer to home than you realize. That’s pretty much who I was, but not who I am and not who I intend to be.” He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, whistling between his lips. “But let me ask you just one thing. You don’t think you could ever love a doctor? Not even an adventurous doctor who wanted to help people?”

 

Charlie felt her face reddening again. She had so little control around this man. It was one of the reasons he made her feel so uncomfortable. When he’d asked her the first question, she’d tried to come up with a description he couldn’t possibly fit. It probably wasn’t even true. She had no idea who she wanted to spend the rest of her life with or who she could ever be in love with. She only knew that her attraction to Josh made her lose the ability to think logically. When she was with him, she always lost the upper hand. And she needed that advantage to compete. What was she supposed to say to his question now that he was making it specific? What was a safe thing to say?

She was distressed to find that tears were flooding her eyes. What on earth was wrong with her? She blinked furiously, but a few escaped onto her cheeks. “I don’t know.” She pulled her hand away, trying to escape before he noticed her crying.

“Wait, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you cry.”

He drew her against him, wrapping his arms around her. Suddenly, the floodgates broke. She’d been working so hard to be independent and not accept any financial assistance from Steven. But her workload, along with classes and studying, had been overwhelming. And she felt so alone and isolated in Colorado while her mom and sister were across the country in New York City. But she didn’t want to admit it to anyone. She hated admitting she was wrong—she’d always hated it. She’d been so incredibly stressed, but hadn’t wanted to share it. She didn’t want to burden her pregnant mom or her sister who was planning a wedding. Now, enveloped in the Josh’s arms, she realized how much she missed feeling cared for and comforted. The tears kept coming, even while she tried desperately to stop them.

He led her back to her chair and handed her a clean napkin. Then he knelt down in front of her, and gazed into her eyes. She noticed for the first time that his deep green eyes had little flecks of blue in them.

“Charlie. I’m not going to do this to you anymore. I love you, and I want to be with you. But I want you to be happy even more. I can’t stand that I made you cry. I’m really sorry. I won’t bother you any more. Just, please . . .” He made a strangled sound in his throat and dropped his eyes. “If you ever change your mind, please come find me.”

Tamie author picHe leaned in to brush his lips lightly against hers, and then he was gone.

Follow Tamie online:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TamieDearen

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Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Tamie-Dearen/e/B00FS21B4Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=undefined&sr=1-2-ent