Christmas music in my ears, a pencil sharpened to make a list, eggnog at my elbow…wait, no…more like tapping notes on an iPad and trying to escape the Christmas mania by hiding out somewhere with a good read and coffee. I’m also thinking books make a nice gift (you’re welcome for the idea) or an Amazon gift card where a reader like me can go pick up a few novels that I have had my eye on throughout the year.
Why am I tossing out ideas? Because I pose extra difficulties having a December 24th birthday. I usually feel like I kickstart the celebrations, or try to, but it makes for an extra burden on my holiday gifters. My family has at least twenty birthdays between November 11th and my husband’s, which is January 9th. So you see why I hide out this time of year, paralyzed and overwhelmed by all that needs to be accomplished.
However, I did still find time to squeeze in some reading for this blog. Couldn’t let you guys down. My recent guilty pleasure is an Indie novel that has made a big splash at Amazon, mostly through word of mouth. Jennifer Wells confesses to attempting little promotion, which makes me insanely jealous, because I love marketing so much. (You did hear the sarcasm there?) I am still trying to figure out what I should do on the marketing side.
So write a really good book, and sometimes the word will get out. At least, that’s step one. I’m certainly trying that approach at the moment. Someone’s Clone was just published in paperback and Kindle. It took a year to write. As an introductory offer, I am putting it on KDP Select Countdown starting December 18 (.99) and it will run through December 25. I’m thinking it’s a good story to load onto a gift Kindle or iPad for holiday reading. Before or after Christmas?? I’m not sure which is best. I’ll let you know.
The story I picked to read is an Indie publication (Blue Bedlam Books), at least I think so. I have seen it promoted on Amazon as one of the top read books in science fiction for 2014. I read the blurb and it sounded interesting.
Fluency is a story of mind to mind contact with an alien. Jane Holloway is an expert on ancient languages. Actually, she easily learns most any language as she has an affinity for understanding the written and spoken word.
Because of her ability to understand language of all kinds, NASA recruits Jane to be an astronaut on a mission to explore the ship in case of alien first contact.
When the mission finally reaches the ship, they discover the ship is not lifeless, but houses an unseen alien mind that soon communicates telepathically with Jane. At first, she is the only one of the five on the mission able to do this, and not everyone is convinced it’s not an act.
Problems start to happen in the alien ship, and the mission commander begins to doubt Jane’s independence from the creature’s influence and the creature’s positive intentions toward them. He claims the alien’s intentions are malevolent while Jane points out the creature helped save their lives. As events unfold, the remainder of the crew vacillate in their opinions. They are torn between wanting to believe Jane’s argument in favor of the alien’s good intentions and the captain’s accusations that it is dangerous.
As a reader, I wondered myself.
The story progresses, and a romance builds between Jane and Dr. Alan Bergen, an engineer and crew member…just to complicate things further.
Fluency is a good first novel by an Indie author who is already working on a sequel. The action builds as Jane and the others become involved in life or death problems on board the alien ship. Is the alien really on their side or just setting them up? The character of Jane and her feelings for Bergen, as he is called, make a nice counterpoint to the other interactions of the crew. The mission members soon discover that the ship carries a dangerous virus. The human explorers find that all former life on board are dead, except for the alien brain who controls the ship and invades Jane’s mind. Eventually, Jane discovers the alien does have an agenda, but not what anyone ever suspects.
An interesting story with an intriguing concept of interaction with an alien and first contact.
Happy Holidays, Jingle Bells…lock the door on your way out.