Important announcement!

Dear followers, readers, and fellow bloggers,

With regret, I want to announce that all my books, published with Crazy Ink Publishing, are currently unavailable on all platforms.

When one door closes, another opens, and great changes are inevitable…

I hope very soon I’ll find a new good home for my previously published books and works in progress.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to entertain you with books’ reviews, articles, and posts, featuring works of my fellow authors, excerpts from my works in progress, and hosting books’ tours.

This place will never be boring.

Stay safe in this turbulent time and read a good book!

 

[Book tour]: Double Blind by Sara Winokur

 

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Genre: Mystery Thriller

Date Published: March 31, 2020

Publisher: Anchor House Publishing

A young boy disappears in the chill of North Iceland. Twenty years later, a mysterious poem lands on the desk of his twin sister Brynja, a forensic geneticist, and rekindles her hopes that her brother might be alive. As Brynja unravels the clues, more poems arrive, each bearing dire consequences for those who receive them: the guard of the medieval manuscript of Icelandic sagas that possibly has the answer to her burning question, the prime minister’s secretary, the local pastor.

Is the poet out to stop Brynja from finding her brother and shut down her access to the DNA database? Or is the verse maker simply a psychopath copycat killer?

Fighting the visual auras that have plagued her since childhood and now threaten everything she holds dear, Brynja must summon the strength to navigate the twisted labyrinth of the poet’s mind and confront the dark secret buried in her family’s past.

DOUBLE BLIND is a wild ride through the cultural landscape of Iceland, from rural farmsteads to icy fjords to the high-tech world of DNA forensics. This crime thriller packed with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

 

 

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About the author: 

 

Sara Winokur

Sara Winokur is a geneticist and researcher who reinvented herself as an author. She writes historical fiction and cultural thrillers hoping to inform readers while they’re being entertained.

Sara has a Masters in Cytogenetics for cancer diagnosis and a Ph.D. for her work on Muscular Dystrophy, identifying mutations that cause disease. She is also a consultant at the University of California and an Associate Researcher at the Biological Chemistry School of Medicine at Irvine. She was part of the team that found the genes associated with Dwarfism and Huntington’s Disease.

 

 

Contact Links

Website: sarawinokur.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarawinokurauthor/

Instagram: sara_winokur

Purchase Links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3c2p5EJ

Giveaway

Amazon Gift Card $25

 

Excerpt 

 

Eyjafjörður, North Iceland
April 1997
First Day of Summer

Lúkas was seven winters that day, the day he froze in time and memory.
It was mid-morning when the children pressed their noses to the window, Lúkas in his
Thor superhero jammies and Brynja in princess-pink. Below, an icy wind howled off the fjord, battering the red and white flaps of the carnival tent—a giant, striped bird that had landed on thesnowy patch of farmland below their house. The townspeople were gathered at the fair, huddled in their heavy, gray overcoats, their chatter frozen in white puffs. Their neighbors, hardy farmers
in rough-knit sweaters, stomped their boots and greeted one another with a clap on the back.
The two—twins and inseparable—bundled into woolies and raced across the hall. Brynja
begged their father Pabbi to let them go down to the fair.
“Too young, my little lambs,” he said. “Next year.” He kissed the tops of their
heads and shuffled back to Mamma.
Brynja poked her head into the kitchen, though she knew she shouldn’t. Pabbi had
just said no.
“Jónas?”
“Well, well, litla mín,” he said, flipping slices of blood sausage in the pan atop the
stove.
“Breakfast will be ready soon.”
Brynja clasped her hands together. “Can Lúkas and I go to the carnival first? Please?
We’ll watch out for each other. I promise.”

The farm manager never said a lot, so she knew to be patient while he thought about it.
“You’ll have to ask your father.”
“I did.” Brynja turned and put her finger to her lips, daring Lúkas to stay quiet. She
wasn’t lying. She did ask Pabbi.
“Okay, then, just for a bit. But keep an eye on each other.” Jónas shook his finger.
“No pony rides or talking to strangers.”
Brynja grabbed Lúkas’s hand and ran to the entry. They hurried to throw on their
winter coats, stuffed their stockinged feet into rubber boots, and quietly shut the door. Taking the long way around the house, they avoided Pabbi and Mamma’s bedroom window.
Brynja held onto Lúkas as they tromped down the hill through snowdrifts piled high
against the cliffs. They had to stop more than once to clear the snow from inside their boots.
Ducking under the carnival tent, they wandered among tables stacked with deep-fried
kleinur and steaming pots of cocoa. They peeled off their icy-cold mittens and warmed their hands against the cups as they sipped the hot, sweet liquid. Nearby, the sizzle of grilled lamb mixing with the sulfur smell of manure made Brynja feel a little sick, but that didn’t stop her from burying her face in sticky, pink clouds of cotton candy.
They had their pictures taken. Brynja put the tiny photos into the silver locket that hung
about her neck. They painted their faces green and white, looking like the elves that roamed the highlands. They played ring toss and fed the newborn lambs. Tractors rumbled. Accordions bellowed. Farmers raised their mugs and shouted, “Skál!” The old folks sang. A man tied balloons into monkeys and dogs. One popped in Lúkas’s hand when he held it too tight. Circus music piping through speakers drew Brynja to the up-and-down, round-and-round, every-color-in-the-rainbow carousel. Mesmerized by the wild eyes and flowing manes  of the painted horses, she pulled Lúkas from the tent and ran across the clearing in the field.
“Two tickets,” she said, digging deep for the krónur Jónas had tucked into her pocket.
Lúkas stomped his foot. “No. Jónas said not to go on any pony rides.”
“Come on,” Brynja pleaded, tugging his arm. “It’s a merry-go-round. Not a real horse.”
Lúkas folded his arms across his chest.
“No.” “Please? We have to stay together.”
He shook his head.
“Okay, then, wait right here. I’ll only be a minute.” She pulled the red ribbon from
her braid and handed it to Lúkas before giving him a quick hug. “Take this. And don’t
worry. Wave to me and I will see you from the carousel.”
She climbed atop a painted pony. The merry-go-round jerked, then spun about, faster
and faster, until the waves of her hair flew with the horse’s mane. Soaring above the
crowd, she let go of the reins, lifted her face to the sun, and kissed the clear, blue sky.
With each exhilarating turn, Lúkas grew smaller and smaller, until, when the
carousel slowed and the horses reared to a halt, he was nowhere to be seen.

[Book blitz]: The Critical Offer by Yitzhak Nir

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Genre: Political Thriller
Published: November 2019
A car bomb explosion horrifies Jerusalem.
Head of the Mossad, a former Israeli Air Force fighter pilot Gershon Shalit, is enraged by the murder of his daughter, frustrated by his wife’s decision to leave and distrusts his prime minister – seeks revenge. But, his first priority is to eliminate the fundamental threats to destroy the State of Israel’s existence.
His random encounter with a beautiful Chinese diplomat, leads to an impossible love affair, where he is exposed to a once in a lifetime offer that could diminish the threats to his country and save Zionism from collapse. Nothing will keep him from making this offer a reality, despite a heavy personal price.
The Critical Offer is not just a ‘run of the mill’ thriller. Its futuristic and believable plot is based on a wide spectrum of inside information and suggests bold and ‘out of the box’ solutions to the Jewish state’s main dilemmas…
Can the Chinese megalomaniac initiative “Belt & Road” solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
If you care about Israel’s destiny – The Critical Offer is a breathtaking book that will keep you awake for many nights…
The Critical Offer print ipad and iphone
About the author: 

The Critical Offer Author Yitzhak Nir

Yitzhak Nir is a former Israeli fighter pilot, trainer and operations planner in the IAF. He retired as an El Al captain and IAA supervisor. He took part in 86 combat missions, shot down 2 enemy planes and documented some 30,000 flight hours.
Yitzhak Nir is an author, painter and curator. He is also a former urban planning and road safety activist. His paintings can be found in art books, private collections and on book covers. He has published short stories and professional papers and holds a BA from New Haven University in Air Transport Management.
He is deeply involved in changing the Israeli public opinion about crucial security issues, towards a new “out of the box” vision and ideas.
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[Free read]: His Personal Reich is available for free

    We’re all stuck at home, we can’t travel, and our holidays’ plans are ruined for this season. Right? Perhaps, but we still can go on an adventure with a great book!

    My debut thriller/action novella, “His Personal Reich”,  with its plot set in England and snowy Iceland, is available now for free on Booksprout. Download it in exchange to your honest review.

 

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Genre: Thriller, Adventure

Publisher: Crazy Ink Publ.

Release day: 26th April 2018

 

Blurb 

 

Andrea Zissman was brought up by her strict grandmother and never knew the truth about her family. When her mother dies at a special care home, the only legacy she leaves her daughter is a mysterious envelope full of old photos.

Andrea finds out that her father, a scientist who studied the energy of Aurora Borealis, didn’t die in an avalanche in the French Alps, but was killed by members of some mysterious neo-Nazis’ colony somewhere on a remote Icelandic island. Moreover, she has an older brother she has never seen before.

Desperate to find her brother and bring to justice her father’s murderers, Andrea meets Leon Callais, a flamboyant, scandalous journalist, who is on the hunt for the Nazis’ super weapon “Nothung”, a device which can open a portal to other dimensions. He believes that death of Andrea’s father and “Nothung” are connected.

The investigation leads Andrea and Leon to Iceland where they are determined to discover the truth about the neo-Nazis’ colony, its secret weapon, and Andrea’s family. However, the colonists give them an extremely cold welcome. Now, they need to fight not only for the truth but also for their own lives.

 

Download an ARC for free: His Personal Reich by L. Salt

 

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[Book review]: The Last Nazi by Andrew Turpin

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Genre: Thriller/Speculative History

Publisher:  The Write Direction Publishing

Release Date: August, 2017

 

Blurb:

The buried contents of a Nazi train. An ageing SS mass-murderer. And the wartime secrets of a U.S. presidential hopeful’s Jewish family, hidden for seven decades.

War crimes investigator and ex-CIA officer Joe Johnson is more than intrigued when he learns of a link between the contents of a Nazi train, hidden by Hitler’s Third Reich, a ruthless blackmail plot, and financing for a U.S. presidential hopeful’s 2012 campaign.
But the investigation becomes bigger and more deeply personal than Johnson expects when it leads him toward an SS Holocaust killer who escaped his net years earlier, and propels him into a deadly conflict.
Soon there are high-level intelligence and criminal networks combining against Johnson across three continents.
He finds himself inextricably caught up in a terrifying quest to win justice, to avenge his mother’s tortured past and revive his flagging career.
With dramatic settings, explosive action and characters readers will come to love, The Last Nazi is a gripping full-length thriller—the first in a forthcoming series featuring Joe Johnson.

 

My review: 

“The Last Nazi” is a great, well-researched, fast-paced thriller which takes a reader on the ride through time. From USA to England, from Argentina to Poland–Joe Johnson is on the hunt for the Nazis’ gold and ferocious Nazi war criminals.

Andrew Turpin is a new author to me, and “The Last Nazi” is his first book I’ve read. I wasn’t disappointed. There is no lack of action, twists, and turns of the plot as well as historical references.


The amount of research Mr. Turpin has conducted, describing the Nazis’ lost gold, the SS’ atrocities during the war, a life of prisoners in concentration camps, etc. is enormous.
As a huge history fan, I really enjoyed reading the back story.


The author gives us lots of insights into the life of the CIA and the OSI agents.
Slightly rushed in the very end, the story kept me wondering about what has happened to Ignacio when his plan was ruined? How did Brenner face the trial? Was he afraid? Did he repent in the end? Constantly surrounded by ladies, why Johnson hasn’t got a girl, after all?
I look forward to reading the sequel and recommend this book to both history lovers and thrillers’ fans.

[Book blitz]: Black Moon by Jo A. Hiestand

 

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Book 11 of the McLaren Mystery series

Genre: British mystery

 Date Published: August 2019

Publisher: Cousins House

Each April the members of a mystery writing group gather on Stanton Moon for camaraderie and to fuel their plots. The moody area seems the perfect setting for hatching a whodunit. Unfortunately, an unscripted mystery materialises like an unsolicited manuscript on a publisher’s slush pile—the leader of their group is found on the moor, her head bashed in and very dead.

Lesley Keeton’s murder takes on the aspects of a novel’s first draft: the suspects shadowy and the killer unnamed. Now, a year later, ex-police detective Michael McLaren is asked to tidy up the plot and expose the killer.

McLaren investigates and discovers anger and jealousy cropping up as often as editor’s red marks on a manuscript page. The group members crafted more than stories—they planned a mass exodus, fleeing Lesley’s tutelage, dictatorship and tongue lashings. Add a tinge of blackmail, an illegal business and an affair to this framework, and the deadly combination has the earmarks of a bestseller.

In the midst of this, McLaren’s lady friend arrives unannounced and disrupts the case…and unbalances his emotions. Both are tested one dark night in a churchyard when she stumbles into the arms of the killer…and McLaren must rescue her without letting evil go free.

 

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Excerpt

The car park was empty, the pub having closed at midnight. A small lamp shone in the multi-paned front window, throwing numerous rectangles of yellow-tinted light onto the ground. He would avoid that area.

McLaren found an exuberant spruce wallowing in darkness near the corner of the building. A perfect spot to eavesdrop and see. He slid between the evergreen and the wall, hidden from whatever direction the delivery bloke might come.

The tree branches swayed as he settled in for his fifteen-minute wait, and he prayed the employee wasn’t staring in this direction. McLaren leaned against the building. The stone was cold on his back and pressed into his flesh. At least it’ll keep me awake, he thought. He eased a bough off his shoulder, eliminating the prickling of the needles, and hoped, not for the first time, that he’d interpreted the earlier conversation correctly.

A gust of wind slammed into the spruce, dislodging some needles. They fell onto McLaren’s head and arms, and peppered his neck where his jacket collar was open. He flinched but didn’t dare move. A rumble of thunder rolled overhead. Seconds later, the clouds burst. Rain pelted the tree and collected between rows of needles before topping the confinements and falling. It soaked his hair and trickled into his ears, ran down his neck and dampened his shirt. Rain angled through the space between the boughs and showered his face and hands. Aromas of damp wood, earth and stone saturated the air.

He angled his watch face. Five minutes to one. He held the collar of his jacket closer to his neck and wiped the rain from his eyes.

Lightning corkscrewed across the sky and ripped the clouds. A blast of wind drove the rain through the tree and against the pub. Water coursed down the walls and overflowed the gutters. McLaren tried to lean farther into the tree, away from the wall, wanting to avoid the soaking, but the density of the boughs near the trunk thwarted his movement. He gave up, silently cursing his situation, and sagged against the wall.

The pinprick of two headlights came to him before he heard the vehicle’s motor. Instinct forced him closer to the tree trunk, although he realized later that the tangle of boughs and his dark clothing made him indistinguishable from the spruce. The car slowed as it neared the pub, and McLaren slowed his breathing, afraid he’d be heard. The vehicle paused, as though the driver was checking if the establishment was open for business. Or if the one o’clock rendezvous was still on.

Another growl of thunder drowned out the sound of the idling motor. The driver made no move to drive on or exit the car. He seemed content to sit and wait. For what?

McLaren craned his head so he could see the vehicle better. It was angled just enough on the road so its shape was visible in the lightning flashes. It was an SUV.

He wiped the rain from his eyes, leaning forward as though another few inches would correct what he saw. No light lorry or van sat on the tarmac, nothing large that would denote it was about to deliver kegs of beer. He stared at the car.

He sank back against the pub’s wall as the vehicle inched forward. Puddles on the road and in the small depressions of the ground threw back the brightness of the headlights’ beams, and he diverted his gaze. The SUV was close enough now that he could hear the roughness of the motor. Still, the driver didn’t park or leave the vehicle, and McLaren wondered if he had rung up someone on his mobile and was waiting either for an answer or for the employee’s appearance.

A fresh dumping of rain assaulted the area before the car eased past the pub. It waited until it inched past the stand of trees harboring McLaren’s car before it picked up speed and faded into the night.

McLaren stepped into the open, oblivious to the spruce boughs brushing against his back. He stared at his watch. One-twenty. Surely the delivery would’ve been made by now if it was going to happen. Had the driver who stopped in his car just now phoned to find out why no one was there? Was he told the delivery time or date had been changed and he should come back another time? Surely they hadn’t seen McLaren and called it off.

 

About the author: 

 

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A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British. Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times and lived there during her professional folksinging stint.
Jo’s insistence for accuracy–from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area–has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research. These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the details filling both her Peak District mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.
In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English. She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honours.
Her McLaren mystery, BLACK MOON, received the ‘N.N. Light Best Mystery Book’ award for 2019.
Jo lives with her cat, Tennyson, and way too many kilts in the St. Louis-area.

 

Contact Links

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jo-a-hiestand
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jo.hiestand.3
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AnglophileJo
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/joahiestand
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/JoHiestand
Website: http://www.johiestand.com
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MysteryAuthorinSTL 

 

Purchase Links

Amazon https://amzn.to/2Kw9xfu
Kobo https://bit.ly/2YO8n8m
Nook https://bit.ly/2M8RK1m
iBooks https://apple.co/33dzaud
Books-a-Million https://bit.ly/2TNdRuW
Book Depository https://bit.ly/2P50RlI

GIVEAWAY

 $30 gift card for Amazon or B&N

[Release Blitz]: The Girl on the Roof by Debra Moffitt

The Girl on the Roof

Historical Mystery

Release Date: March 3, 2020

Publisher: Divinely Inspired Books

 

As the people of Annecy in the French Alps meet the Gestapo’s brutality with surprising resistance, a teen-aged girl cannot rest until she solves the mystery of a death in her family. Aurelie watches as her father places a shrouded body on the North side of the roof of the family home. It’s winter, under a Nazi-declared state of siege, and they must wait until the spring thaw for the burial. But who died? And why is no one speaking to her anymore? Aurelie cannot rest until she discovers the truth and fights to prevent the same terrible fate from happening to her best friend.

Debra Moffitt’s rare psychic abilities open up a world of unexpected insight into the French Resistance, life beyond death, and reincarnation. She was working on another book in a French farmhouse, when the girl who became Aurelie showed up and opened a world that bridged time and dimensions.

Praise for The Girl on the Roof:

“A haunting, beautiful book.”” – Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times Bestselling Author

“A dreamlike tale unfolding amidst the nightmare of war, The Girl on the Roof will transport you into another world—and beyond. Debra Moffitt pierces the thin veil that separates life from the afterlife, the hunted from the haunted, the ghost story from the love story. Through her eyes, we are offered a glimpse of the eternal energetic bonds that connect us throughout time and space. An evocative, transcendent, and truly unforgettable book.” – Amy Weiss, Author of the Hay House Novel, Crescendo

 

The Girl on the Roof on ipad and iphone

 

About the author: 

The Girl on the Roof Author Debra Moffitt

Debra Moffitt is an author who leads workshops and retreats on writing, creativity, and spirituality, in the United States and Europe. Her popular French Alps retreats attract participants from around the world. She has taught at the Sophia Institute in Charleston, SC and the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Her writing appears regularly in Unity Magazine in the US with interviews of Lynne McTaggart and Dr. Joe Dispenza; in Swiss Entrepreneur Magazine, and in many luxury and consumer magazines world wide. Debra is also Editor in Chief for a Swiss luxury magazine. She is the author of the award-winning books, Awake in the World, Garden of Bliss, and Riviera Stories. Her blogs have appeared on Beliefnet.com and Intentblog.com​. Debra worked in international business until she felt a deeper calling to write. She speaks and writes in French and Italian as well as English. Her writing is deeply influenced by her travels.

 

Contact Links

Website: https://www.debramoffitt.com/girl-on-the-roof-book-release.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebraMoffitt

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DebraMoffittAuthor/

Promo Link: http://bookbuzz.net/blog/historical-supernatural-mystery-the-girl-on-the-roof/ 

 

Purchase Links 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083P653LG/

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-girl-on-the-roof-debra-moffitt/1135934906

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-girl-on-the-roof

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-girl-on-the-roof/id1493593534?mt=11&app=itunes 

 

The Girl on the Roof Blitz

[Excerpt]: The Seeds of Stars

His underwater “space odyssey” didn’t last long, though, and after a couple of minutes, the cave narrowed and turned into a man-made tunnel with concrete walls which formed an arched ceiling. The tunnel ascended gradually, and after another few yards, Kobra had emerged in front of something which looked like metal steps, leading to a door.

He pulled himself up, grabbing the railing and stepping on the corroded metal. The ladder seemed solid, and he reached the door safely.

This is “the back door”, he thought, observing the thick, once painted in khaki, green metal. From here, the lab’s staff could escape, using a mini-submarine for ten, twelve people like these daft Plexiglas things they use here to show tourists the underwater world of the bay. You can even swim out by yourself, if you’re a good swimmer and can use an aqualung.

Despite the corroded metal and faded paint, the door looked inaccessible, and Kobra didn’t have any special equipment to open it or cut through. He hadn’t noticed any hint of a handle or a lock either. Indeed, why do you need an outside handle on the door which serves as an escape route?

There should be something. Some kind of a hidden mechanism. The bluish light of his torch glided around the door in a fruitless attempt to open it. I can’t believe I’ve made it all this way here just to get stuck in front of the door. It won’t stop me. Kobra gritted his teeth.

His gloved fist banged at the wall in helpless anger.

What is it? He frowned, touching the cold, moist concrete.

The wall’s surface looked smooth, but… He had knocked at the wall again, and the muffled sound of a cavity replied to him.

‘It’s a void,’ Kobra whispered to himself.

He pulled out a hunting knife he took from the boat and made a couple of powerful knocks with its heavy handle. The wall’s plastering had broken and opened to reveal a square niche, carved in the thick mass of concrete. The beam of his torch illuminated the void, revealing the long metal lever.

Kobra needed all his efforts to push it down, and finally, the gnashing sound of the sliding door echoed around the cave. Despite all his titanic efforts, the lever seemed stuck halfway down, and so did the door.

The gap looked big enough for him to squeeze through, and he took the first, uncertain steps into the darkness.

His torch illuminated the corridor with bare walls and no other doors. The debris of plastering and bars of the reinforcement were sticking out of the ceiling and hinting at an attempt to destroy this place.

Kobra moved slowly and carefully, not only because of his fear to tear his diving suit, but also because his flippers made his walk awkward and clumsy.

The corridor wasn’t long and opened to a much larger space which looked like a laboratory.

The same mess of debris, pieces of glass and plastic, broken furniture and old-fashioned, bulky computer monitors on working desks, all covered in dust—that was all that was left of the top secret project. Kobra squatted in front of a half-burned hard drive.

It seemed like the staff had left these premises in a hurry, destroying and burning everything that they couldn’t take with them.

Kobra shook his head in deep regret, observing the leftovers of computers, equipment, and furniture. Everything which could’ve given at least some clues about what was going on in this lab had been either destroyed by the staff or by the time, moist, and the war.

On the opposite side of the room, he noticed another metal door which was partly opened. The gap was too narrow for him. He tried to push it aside a bit more or find a similar opening lever like on the first door but struggled. The door was stuck completely.

He pushed one shoulder inside, trying to film as much inside as possible. The cold beam of his torch snatched a control panel with an endless amount of buttons, scales, and mini-screens.

This is a control room. 

He made an effort to move his arm slightly to illuminate the opposite wall, but his flippers slipped on a wet floor, he lost his balance, and fell back in the lab’s room.

He stretched his empty hand instinctively to protect himself from the fall, but it was too late, and he ended up on the slippery concrete. He sat up, trying to find something to hold on to, and only then noticed a piece of white plastic which stuck to his glove. Taking a closer look, he realised it was a negative of a photo in a plastic frame. A tiny hint from the ‘70s and ‘80s, a piece of a much bigger puzzle which supposed to be classified and hidden here, in these mountains forever…

Kobra squinted, examining this piece of film under the unstable light of the torch.

The photo depicted a group of vertical objects which looked like stalagmites with polished sides. Their shape reminded him of slender spindles used for making woollen threads. It was impossible to distinguish their real size. The only thing Kobra could bet on was the fact that this photo was taken somewhere in a dark, enclosed space.

Another cave? He arched his eyebrows, putting his finding in the hidden pocket of his suit.

He took a few last photos of the lab, when his camera beeped, asking for charging, and he decided it was enough material for the next ten broadcasts.

He shot the last final look at this space, sighed, and headed back to the exit.

The trip back in the dark and silent underwater “cosmos” was quick and easy, and soon, he reached the surface.

He pulled the mask off, observing the surroundings. His boat remained where he moored it. The full moon, bright and cold, came out of the light clouds, illuminating his way out of this rocky mini-fjord.

Kobra reached his boat, changed back into his clothes, switched his camera off, and navigated slowly between the rocks to the “corner” of the cliff.

After a few minutes, the boat made the final careful turn to the open waters of the bay and…he froze on the spot.

It had appeared from nowhere, a boat much bigger than his, some kind of a hovercraft with a fan on its stern. The vessel moved fast, and Kobra needed to turn back to the cliff to avoid the collision. Instead of slowing down, it seemed like the hovercraft picked up speed and was racing to catch up with him.

Kobra made a semi-loop, revved the engine, and headed to the bay. And then…he didn’t even realise what had happened. A gunshot ripped off the sleepy waters of the bay, and then another one and again.

‘Jesus Christ!’ Kobra screamed, shouting down the buzz of bullets. ‘Who the fuck are you?’

He turned around. A tall dark figure, dressed in all black, stood on the aft, and then a second one joined it. He could distinguish the third one on the stern, navigating the vessel.

The gunfire made him flattened to the bottom of his boat. He was squeezing everything possible out of its powerful but still tiny engine.

‘What the fuck?’ he couldn’t stop screaming.

The salted waves were hitting his vulnerable vessel with vengeance. The gunfire didn’t allow him to navigate, and he lost his way completely.

The sound of a helicopter interrupted the chase for a moment.

It sounds like the coast guard. A slight wave of hope hit his mind.

The next moment, he heard the bullet pierced the thick material of his boat, the vessel went out of control, swirled like in a maelstrom, and threw itself to one of the massive rocks, sticking out of the waves.

Kobra hit the stone. And then…there was just nothingness.

 

Purchase Links

Amazon: The Seeds of Stars

UBL: The Seeds of Stars 

Add to your TBR list on Goodreads