Tag Archives: outer space

Into the Black: Janey McCallister Mystery by Beth Barany (Book Review)

She wanted to make her mark. How hard could it be?

In 2130, at Bijoux de L’Etoile, a high-end casino orbiting Earth, you can get anything you desire.

Newly-hired as an investigator, Janey McCallister wants to solve her first big case—the theft of a priceless gem.

When her case of theft escalates to murder and points to the seedy underbelly of world affairs, Janey has to rely on her new team and trust the mysterious insurance investigator, Orlando Valdez—before a killer escapes into the black.

***

Into The Black is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books and Killjoys and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough heroine with secrets.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

Into the Black had mystery, suspense, deception, murder, and sexual tension. Janey and Orlando’s interactions reminded me of Castle and Beckett, the lovable characters from the hit detective show — Castle. 

In the television show, Richard Castle brings out the fun side of Kate Beckett. He’s handsome, sneaky, flirty, quick to mischief. Hmm, yup, it sounds a great deal like Orlando Valdez. Janey and Beckett have some of the same qualities, too. Tough, intelligent, leaders, goal-driven beauties, but can let their hair down at times as well. Plus, they both seem unable to resist their partner, who was thrust upon them against their firm objections… (Figuratively, not literally, of course) 🙂

 

This story is labeled as science fiction, but I can see certain elements coming to pass as technology grows. 

*Casino in outer space? Sure, why not? Casinos are popular on Earth already. 

*Ocular eyeballs? I’m surprised Elon Musk hasn’t created that already.

*Personal AI assistants? TOTALLY!

*Penal colony on the moon? Alcatraz is known as The Rock, so would that make the moon The Rock 2.0?

 

Joking aside, buy the book. You’ll like it, I’m sure. 


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

 

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Award winning author, Beth Barany writes in several genres including young adult adventure fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mysteries. Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.

For fun, Beth enjoys walking her neighborhood, gardening on her patio, and watching movies and traveling with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano and over 1,000 books.

Sign up here to be notified about once a month of book news and special events: http://bethb.net/itbnews.

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The ‘Janey McCallister Mystery’ Series by Beth Barany (Multi-Book Showcase)

She wanted to make her mark. How hard could it be?

In 2130, at Bijoux de L’Etoile, a high-end casino orbiting Earth, you can get anything you desire.

Newly-hired as an investigator, Janey McCallister wants to solve her first big case—the theft of a priceless gem.

When her case of theft escalates to murder and points to the seedy underbelly of world affairs, Janey has to rely on her new team and trust the mysterious insurance investigator, Orlando Valdez—before a killer escapes into the black.

***

Into The Black is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books and Killjoys and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough heroine with secrets.

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Her implant flagged a quick movement in the crowd. Out of place, a shadow shifted. She clicked on her video. She’d get irrefutable evidence this time. Hope and determination fluttered in her chest.

A short, grey-haired man wove his way through the crowd, shoulders hunched, barely jostling people. Her implant flashed an ID: Mortimer Xang. His hotel record showed he’d arrived via space jet a week ago, and he had a room in the mid-priced level. No others in his party. He was leaving on the next transport Earthside in a few hours. Payee: Xang Enterprises.

One minute left.

He looked innocent enough, except for how one corner of his mouth quirked up in a faint smirk even though his gaze was downcast. His arms seemed pasted to the side of his body, and he took tiny steps as if to make himself even smaller.

Classic moves of a thief. Suspicious, though not evidence.

Her vid was recording, but all the other thefts had happened under the casino cameras and had not been detected.

She’d always trusted her intuition and her ability to read body cues before. But since she’d come to the station, she’d gotten it wrong twice. Should she wait for another sign that Xang was guilty? No, her gut told her he was up to something. She trusted that.

If she waited for the pickpocket to strike tonight, they could be here all night and still come up empty. She had to act now.

But if her instincts were wrong again, she’d be looking for a new job tomorrow.

“Got a possible,” Janey said to her team. “Shawhan, guard the exit. Lane, converge on my position. Kou, take our six.”

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At Bijoux de L’Etoile, the high-end casino orbiting Earth, anything can happen.

It’s a quiet day for L’Étoile lead investigator, Janey McCallister, until a young woman runs screaming through the blackjack tables. She looks like a victim of abuse, but when her boyfriend turns up dead the next day, she becomes the prime suspect.

Determined to investigate every angle, Janey searches for clues and uncovers a world of high-priced escorts and human trafficking—a world just like the one that took the life of her best friend long ago.

When Orlando Valdez, inspector for Sol Unified Planets, shows up with a new suspect, Janey isn’t sure she can trust the mercurial man who stopped returning her phone calls. But as the threats escalate and she unravels a deeper conspiracy, Janey and her team will need all the help they can get. If they fail, it could be the end of everyone on L’Étoile.

***

Lured By Light, the second book in the Janey McCallister Mystery series, is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books and Killjoys, and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough kick-ass heroine with secrets.

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She said good-night to Faizah and stood up to go. Just then, from deeper in the casino, a young woman in a short, rainbow-sequined, barely-anything-there dress dashed past the bar. Fear tightened the young woman’s mouth, her olive skin splotched red. Her short brown hair flopped in her bloodshot eyes as she pushed through the crowd, saying something Janey couldn’t hear above the clamor of the huge room.

The young woman made barely a ripple in the boisterous, game-playing crowd, but Janey noticed her. She was trained to notice anything out of the ordinary, but this was more than different. This was startling. The young woman bore an uncanny resemblance to her best friend, Christine, who’d been dead for over four years now.

Time to intercept and find out why the young woman was in such a hurry and so distressed.

Janey rushed to interrupt the woman’s trajectory toward the casino exit.

She strode through the crowd while her ocular implant ran a facial rec and dished her the woman’s name and hotel registration: Amelia Gain. Her check-in date was seven days ago, her hotel registration and premium room service paid for by the Eshe Kamal Coffee, a corporate city-state inside of the Independent Empire of Ethiopia. She looked young, no more than twenty-three, but corporate often sent their staff to L’Étoile as a corporate perk or for bonus vacations. And five to ten percent of L’Étoile’s guests came from Eshe Kamal Coffee.

Amelia’s heart rate accelerated and her breathing shortened, all details Janey registered in a flash on her ocular implant in her right eye, which scrolled data continuously across the top of her visual field.

Janey was two arm lengths behind her, then one. Close enough to hear what the young woman was saying under her breath.

“Oh my god, no! No more. I can’t…He can’t…I won’t…” Amelia’s words burst out between sobs.

Near the slot machines at the casino entrance, Janey reached out to touch Amelia’s shoulder to slow her progress and get her attention. “Can I help you?”

Amelia flinched from Janey’s outstretched hand and shook her head. Tears streaked her cheeks. “No!” Her strident voice carried above the whine and buzz of jangling slot machines.

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Coming April 14, 2021

L’Étoile’s lead investigator Janey McCallister faces her hardest case yet.

On the eve of the hotel space station’s twentieth anniversary celebrations, Janey must discover who robbed the casino’s vault, killed one security guard, and left another badly wounded.

Since the casino has only a day’s worth of cash on hand, she needs to solve the case before the theft creates a mass panic and puts the casino-hotel out of business—and before the criminal strikes again.

During the search for those responsible, Janey and Orlando Valdez, her on-again off-again lover, and undercover cop for the Sol Unified Planets, are kidnapped in mysterious parts of the station.

Not only does Janey have to work together with Valdez to get free, but she’s faced with a terrible choice between saving the life of someone she cares about and protecting the hotel casino guests and staff. Janey must face enemies from within and outside unexpected quarters.

***

Gone Green is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books and Killjoys and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough kick ass heroine with secrets.

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 Janey McCallister Mystery series
Into The Black (Book 1)
Lured By Light (Book 2)
Gone Green (Book 3) – Coming April 14, 2021
Red Running Deep (Book 4) – Date TBD

 

 

Award winning author, Beth Barany writes in several genres including young adult adventure fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mysteries. Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.

For fun, Beth enjoys walking her neighborhood, gardening on her patio, and watching movies and traveling with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano and over 1,000 books.

Sign up here to be notified about once a month of book news and special events: http://bethb.net/itbnews.

 

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‘Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia’ Series by Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin (Six Comic Book Showcase)

 

A Date with Destiny!
A DATE WITH DESTINY!

“Boy Scout” Bob Schultz! Cousin Orville! Mini Macho! Kodiak Jack! Spanish Rose! Don Fong Wong! These are the megastars of 1984’s AWF. “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Rory Landell isn’t getting the respect he thinks he deserves, so one crazy night he ups the game, declaring himself the Galactic Champion of the Universe. But it turns out AWF fans aren’t the only ones listening, and the denizens of planet Wrestletopia aren’t going to take a challenge like that sitting down!

 

“A must for wrestling fans, but such a delightfully weird debut issue that anyone can jump right in and expect to have a fantastic time.” – C.K. Stewart, Newsarama

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Two Planets Enter, One Leaves!
TWO PLANETS ENTER, ONE LEAVES!

Fifteen years later, “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Rory Landell’s “Galactic Champion of the Universe” rant has made it across space to planet Wrestletopia. While Rory drowns his sorrows off the grid, Earth is on the receiving end of a nasty surprise!

 

“They’re not just doing this for a certain demographic of wrestling fans, this book is for everyone. I’m with it.” – Omar Holmon, Black Nerd Problems

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Two Peas in a Pot!
TWO PEAS IN A POT!

The Wrestletopians have enclosed the Earth in a metal cage, holding the planet hostage until upstart “Galactic Champion of the Universe” Rory Landell will meet the challenge of true champion Manifest Destiny. But where is Rory?

 

The fight scenes and characters were drawn superbly. – Kam’s Place

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ROAD GAMES!

Self-proclaimed galactic champion Rory “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Landell has assembled a wrecking crew, just in time for a Wrestletopian attack! But even if Rory survives, his fate and the Earth’s hang in the balance, as a traitor joins true galactic champion Manifest Destiny to plot the event of the millennium: the Galact-O-Massacre!

 

Few books achieve the level of glee Wrestletopia produces.” – Ricardo Serrano, The Beat

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SHOW-ME STATE OF MIND!

With the main event just around the corner, here come the undercards! Drasin has Rory trapped, with one way out: agree to take a dive at the Galact-O-Massacre and become Drasin’s right-hand man when the Wrestletopians put him in charge of Earth! Plus, a trip through Rory’s subconscious, and the rest of the crew take on their Wrestletopian counterparts atop a speeding train!

 

The only way this comic could get any better is if it were LONGER! – Lezlie with The Nerdy Narrative

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NEWEST RELEASE!!

Galact-o-Massacre!

The fate of two worlds collide — IF “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Rory Landell can make it to the St. Paul Sportatorium in time to face Manifest Destiny in the squared circle. It’s champion versus champion in a heavyweight Galactic Championship title unification bout that will decide Earth’s fate! It’s… Galact-o-Massacre!

Includes EXCLUSIVE bonus material that will not appear in any future collected volumes!

 

“Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia lives within a niche: professional wrestling. It extends deeper into comic book-y territory, however, by also adding a sci-fi angle. This, simply put, makes for a hilarious comic.” – Zack Quaintance, Comics Bookcase

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Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia was created and written by Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin of Suspicious Behavior Productions, the production company they founded in order to waste money.

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Children’s Book Author Showcase – Joe Spraga

Welcome to Moonwood! The Snitch, the Witch, and The One Who Was Rich, and other quirky townsfolk, seek wisdom from the town elder in this classical tale. A new and modern day nursery rhyme! What will they discover?! 

 

Find out in this beautiful 13″ X 10.5″ full color 120 page hardcover book! Please allow 7-10 days for delivery. (There will be a shipping charge if located outside of the United States.) We will send you an email with the additional charge after we receive your order. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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The 1st book of the series, Phrebbel The Phrongol from planet Phrongolia recently took many pictures while vacationing on planet Earth. He needs help identifying the pictures in his photo album because he has never seen these things before. Can you help him? This is a full color picture book designed to inspire critical thinking in CHILDREN. The pictures are of everyday things like people and animals you would see in nature and on planet Earth in general. The pictures allow the reader to come up with answers to help the main character Phrebbel, identify things he has never seen on planet Earth before. A brain teaser for kids that makes learning fun!

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The 2nd book in the series, Phrebbel The Phrongol from planet Phrongolia has come back to Earth on another vacation. He needs help identifying the pictures in his photo album because he has never seen these things before. Can you help him again? This is a full color picture book designed to inspire critical thinking in CHILDREN. The pictures are of everyday things like people and animals you would see in nature and on planet Earth in general. The pictures allow the reader to come up with answers to help the main character Phrebbel, identify things he has never seen on planet Earth before. A brain teaser for kids that makes learning fun!

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— About the Author —

Joe is a graduate of Western Michigan University, with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and a Minor in Philosophy. Becoming legally disabled in 2015 due to health problems, Joe hopes that this book can give all of you as much joy and hope as it has given him!

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Devon’s Island by SI Clarke (Book Review)

Other stories will take you to Mars. This one will take you inside the boardroom, the pub, and the bedroom with the people planning the mission.

Gurdeep is an engineer and a soldier. Georgie’s a food scientist. One is pragmatic with a tough outer shell; the other’s an optimist, a person of ideas and compassion. Together, they’re humanity’s last hope for survival.

In the span of a single afternoon, the couple find themselves in charge of planning and establishing a self-sustained colony on Mars. They have 160 slots to fill with experts from all over the world as they set about designing an all-new society with its own government, economy, and culture – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

With 1,114 days until the launch, excitement and tensions run high. Earth’s second chance hangs in the balance. Between strict genetic requirements and the dangers of the dystopian almost-present, will everyone make it to the final countdown?

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Devon’s Island is divided into three Acts; therefore, I will discuss each Act separately. 

 

Act One: This section was mainly dedicated to the recruitment of individuals who’ll be beneficial to the starting process of colonizing Mars. It was more scientific-based. SI Clarke discussed how much air, food, and water humans consume. Clarke also pointed out scientists needed to combat the issue of bone loss in space. Spoiler’s alert! It all had to do with stopping the body’s production of TSG-6. Whether you’re a science geek or not, I think you’ll like Act One.

 

Act Two: This portion of the story dealt with how many people would be needed to populate Mars. It was suggested no men would go, but that idea was promptly shut done. Instead, everyone agreed 160 people would go. (144-150 women and 10-16 men)

They would also take 25,000 genetic material. 

When you are starting a new civilization, life is essential. People die, so babies must be born to continue the preservation of the human race. How the people in charge went about ensuring it was a bit extreme. 

*no one over 36

*sexual orientation meeting

*must sign over reproductive rights

Every step the powers that be took had a purpose. Earth was becoming less habitable, so we must adapt. Goodbye Earth…Hello Mars. 

 

Act Three: And we have liftoff! It takes about a year to travel to Mars. As you would assume, space travel is no life on the beach. I’ve never been to space, but I suspect Chapter 27/Devon depicts life in a spacecraft quite accurately: overwhelming smells and lights, no privacy, always too hot or too cold. 

This portion of Devon’s Island was my favorite. I was fascinated by how much the initial crew was able to accomplish. They had bees, apple trees, and daisies. Heck, they also had coffee plants. You wait, in a few years, I bet the first Starbucks will be opening its doors. 🙂

But in all seriousness, Act Three was the darkest section of the three. Human life on Earth was in chaos. As with Act One & Two, SI Clarke touched upon real-life happenings: mass shootings, hate crimes, terrorism. Clarke was correct, “The world was getting darker by the day.”

Currently, we are working on getting the human race to Mars. However, will we get there before the world implodes, before we turn on each other, kill each other off?

After reading Devon’s Island, I DID NOT wonder if technology would allow us to create a colony on Mars and thrive there. No, I wondered if the human race will survive long enough on Earth to make the trek. Times are becoming more combustible by the hour… how long do we actually have on this planet? Days? Weeks? Years? Or how about hours?

 

And on that note…

Good job, SI Clarke! Love the story and the section titled –> It’s Science, Bitches. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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