Author Archives: Babs Mountjoy
Here’s a snippet/excerpt from A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE. Investigator Kylie Sanderson has been caught and transformed into an alien reptile being–then rescued and the process reversed. Her cold shapeshifter lover does what he can to help. But her problems aren’t over.
“Are you ready to watch the films now?”
She shrugged without answering.
He reached for the remote the doctor had left on the counter and started the show again. “May I sit with you?” he asked.
“Sure.” She waved a hand at the chair the doctor had vacated. “Why not?”
He looked as if he were about to answer then he sat down without saying anything. Her attention was caught by the film. This section included Griff, in his reptile form. What a different attitude she displayed toward him than the staff! Whenever he entered her enclosure, she immediately calmed and became submissive to his every command, if that’s what they were, those odd clicks and bumps.
She might not understand them, but her reptile self clearly did. For the next several sections, Griff translated for her as Dr. Astrid gave commands, and Reptile-Kylie performed a multitude of tasks, manipulating machinery and other devices. She passed every one of the tests conducted by the doctor and her staff, easily lifting heavy objects, able to navigate obstacle courses at lightning speed, even passing dexterity tests with ease, especially when rewarded with raw meat.
The doctor returned during the screening to watch with them. “A fine specimen, for what she is.”
Kylie tore her eyes away from the screen. “Did — did Jaco see this? And the others? Did they?”
The doctor paused the film. “Only when you were rescued. Jaco took you to the nearest hospital, and an ambulance brought you here. After that, he wasn’t permitted access until we were well on the way to recovery.” Her voice acquired an edge. “If I’d known Rand would be such a fool as to bring you that trash this morning, he wouldn’t have been allowed in at all.”
Kylie chewed her lip, recalling the conclusions she’d drawn from that conversation. “And. my family?”
The doctor wouldn’t meet her gaze. “Your father was here. He didn’t stay long.”
“He saw it? Me?”
“He pushed his way in, or bought his way in, I don’t know which. I found him staring in the glass. I asked him if he wanted to visit. I even offered to call security if he was hesitant to try it one on one.” She rubbed her hands together, as if they pained her. “He looked through me like I wasn’t really there.”
Kylie swallowed hard, her throat closing. “Didn’t he say anything at all?” she whispered.
The doctor didn’t answer.
She turned to Griff. “Were you there? Did you hear what he said?”
Griff cocked his head and looked her in the eye. “He said, ‘That’s not my daughter.’”
Recently Amazon Prime started showing the series BABYLON 5. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s a critically acclaimed science fiction show from the 1990s, written primarily by J. Michael Straczynski, (of SENSE8 fame).
From IMDB: In the year 2258, it is ten years after the Earth-Minbari War. Commander Sinclair takes command of a giant five-mile-long cylindrical space station, orbiting a planet in neutral space. At a crossroads of interstellar commerce and diplomacy, Cmdr Sinclair (2d season Captain Sheridan) must try to establish peace and prosperity between various interstellar empires, all the while fighting forces from within the Earth Alliance. It is a precarious command, particularly given that sabotage led to the destruction of Babylon stations 1, 2, and 3 and 4 vanished without a trace.
I didn’t watch it first time around for some reason, and I’ve picked up bits and pieces of it in reruns over the years. But I’m finally watching it in toto, and getting some really wild vibes, considering our current political situation.
So, early in the series, a president of Earth (which is apparently under one government in 2258) comes to power through questionable means. He puts his friends in positions of power. He starts a campaign against aliens. When he begins receiving criticism, he starts a program called Nightwatch, where citizens are encouraged to spy on each other and turn neighbors and friends in for “unpatriotic” speech. He co-opts the media, drowning out any source that is not complimentary to him. He sets up a Ministry of Peace, which is headed by a gung-ho sycophant who, I swear, is the mold from which Kellyanne Conway is made.
As the series continues through assorted alien crises and other wars, we keep coming back to the corrupt presidency. Eventually our B5 heroes stand up to the ridiculousness, violence and flat-out lawlessness on Earth and lead a revolution.
Watching it. it seems to me that those of us wanting to take our country back, and frustrated by the slow pace of the investigations (tho not their ongoing indictments) might take a lesson from this narrative. Captain Sheridan finally breaks his wait-and-watch stance when the president orders the destruction of a ship full of 10,000 refugees. Were we less shocked at the immigration debacle, the caged children and deported parents? Or perhaps the destruction of all the protections that have been hard-won by previous administrations for our air and water? Or the even harder-fought laws that give our citizens equal rights to conduct business, marry and drink from water fountains? How much are we willing to stand?
It’s worth a watch, whether you’re a sci-fi fan or not, with lessons in moral judgment and the reminder that following illegal and immoral orders is not mandatory. We don’t have to quietly go along the path into that good night. Other characters urge waiting to handle the problem through the vote, through political manipulations and other methods. But Sheridan and his team choose resistance and finally open revolt. Where do you stand?
I’m finally back from gallivanting ’round the country… it’s not my fault all my family spread out to the corners of the world! Coming home refreshed, I found three more 5-star reviews for THE LOST CHORD! Like Christmas in July! 🙂
THE LOST CHORD is a multi-dimensional story that pulled me in and kept me enticed. I am not a sci-fi fan normally. However, I decided to pick up this novel because the heroine was a teenage girl with autism. I have been an autistic support teacher for thirteen years and this is book has had one of most realistic, believable portrayal of a person living with autism! I will be recommending this book to my colleagues because it gives an insight to the feelings and mind of people on the spectrum. It allows people to see the main character, Bee, as different, not less.
I give this book five stars because it contained all my likes, different universes, chakras, stones, believable characters and magic talismans. Once you read this, it will strike a chord within you that will resonate all the way to your soul.
One of the biggest things I appreciated from this book was the diversity. Alexander has always had a knack for showing diversity in her novels, and she didn’t falter here. There were interesting role reversals and certain dilemmas the characters had to overcome that really showed a message of acceptance and unity. There were many possible themes in this story. Understanding, leadership, teamwork, and perseverance were prevalent throughout
the whole story, and all important messages such as not fearing the unknown and accepting people for who they are were very present and unambiguous. I always enjoy Alexander’s work, and this is no exception. The clear diversity and character arc in this novel puts it at the top of my list of recommendations.
The combination of sibling rivalry, teen angst, runes, magic, time travel, and saving the world from the plight of the Scourge — ticks all the boxes for me.
So many people love it–and they’re signing up to be Chordians–our fan club!! What are you waiting for? Get your copy now!
PAPERBACK [EAN 978-1-941278-81-9 | ISBN 1-941278-81-7] 6×9 library trim (200 pages) | Average Price: $11.99 or less || Paperback at Amazon | Paperback at Amazon UK | Paperback at Barnes & Noble | Discount Paperback at Lulu |
HARDBACK [EAN 978-1-941278-80-2 | ISBN 1-941278-80-9] 6×9 library casebound (200 pages) | Average Price: $19.99 or less || Discount Hardback at Lulu |
EBOOK [EAN 978-1-941278-82-6 | ISBN 1-941278-82-5] Available in EPUB and Kindle MOBI (70,000 words) | Average Price: $4.99 or less || Kindle at Amazon | Kindle at Amazon UK | EPUB at Apple iBooks | EPUB at Barnes & Noble | EPUB at Kobo Books | EPUB & MOBI at Smashwords |
A few years ago when shapeshifter romances were becoming all the rage, I wrote A Small Degree of Hope. Not your standard warm and fuzzy hero, Griff is an alien reptile, who has the ability to shift into a human appearance.
Worse yet, his species is trying to turn human women into reptiles for mating purposes. Kylie Sanderson is part of the crack team investigating the case, and she becomes involved in a way she never imagined in her worst nightmares.
With that said, here’s today’s snippet:
Griff said, “While you were at the hospital, I tracked my brothers who fled when you were rescued. They have not withdrawn far.”
That raised her eyebrow. “You knew where they were, and you didn’t tell SIRT?”
“I was not sure I could trust them. While they had you, I had to be cautious.”
There it was again, that almost tender sound to what he said. Like when he’d pledged his loyalty to her a few moments before. Did he know the feelings she held for him, the effect he had on her? She’d been comfortable, held in his arms but she intentionally hadn’t defined their relationship.
In the hospital, she rationalized his role as mentor, perhaps, or a co-participant in experiments. He’d been necessary to explain the differences between reptile and human as he knew them for medical necessity.
But here, as they hid together from the forces massed against them, she knew in her heart that this was different. She was drawn to him, not by necessity, but because some tenuous feelings had evolved between them. He had been there, each step of the way. He hadn’t abandoned her, like her father, or turned on her, like Jaco. He’d stayed by her side, good or bad.
For better, or for worse, in sickness and in health…
That was the standard, wasn’t it? When you mated/married, you took each other with all the foibles as well as the high points, and you did what you could to support the other person through the bad times.
And these were bad times.
A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online and retail booksellers. Enjoy!
Remember when Bob Barker closed out every episode of THE PRICE IS RIGHT by exhorting his viewers to spay and neuter their pets?
So my readers may have noticed I’ve taken on a new cause– helping shelter kitties. (see THE TROUBLE WITH CATS, above) Asheville in general is a serious spay and neuter territory, but all the same, spring into summer is called “kitten season” for good reason. Here’s a graphic that shows exactly why it’s a problem:
Do you have the money to pay for 2 million cats–food, water, vet, toys, litter, etc? Well, neither do the shelters, even with foster parents, even with adoption events, even with the resources they can beg borrow and steal.
So PLEASE. Take care of your pets and also let the local feral cat colony specialist know about wandering kitties. They will trap, neuter and release, to help keep down the number of kitties who may eventually end up being euthanized because there is just no one left who can take them.