Renee Writes

Posts in category Excerpts

Author Spotlight: My Shorts by Arthur M. Doweyko

Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Arthur M. Doweyko returning with his science fiction and fantasy short story anthology, My Shorts. He’s going to share an excerpt from one of his short stories with us, but first, let’s get reacquainted.

Arthur has authored over 100 scientific papers, invented novel 3D drug design software, and shares the 2008 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for the discovery of Sprycel, a new anti-cancer drug. He writes science fiction and fantasy. His novels include Algorithm (2010 Royal Palm Literary Award, pub 2014, E-Lit), and As Wings Unfurl (Best Pre-Pub Sci-Fi RPLA 2014, pub 2016, Red Adept). He has published numerous award-winning short stories, including Honorable Mentions in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Competition. He teaches college chemistry and wanders the beaches when not jousting with aliens.

Connect with the Author

Amazon Author Page

About the Book

Mind-blowing science fiction and fantasy short stories designed to make you rethink reality and your place in the universe. From first contact to thinking machines, from time-travel to the brutal realities of space travel, each story is finely crafted to set your teeth on edge and to grip your armchair. A policeman decides the fate of mankind when he unholsters his weapon during a first contact with aliens; Harry meets Harry in a time-travel attempt to save his wife; a little boy discovers he can’t lie; Andrew is the last human, a cyborg who must decide to be upgraded to fully artificial, or not. These and other thought-provoking tales await you in Arthur M. Doweyko’s collection of award-winning shorts.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an excerpt from Little Snowy Mountains:

Dr. Armstrong Pearl reached down through loose gravel and shoved his hand beneath the fossilized remains of the sauropod’s tenth cervical vertebra. He felt something that shouldn’t be there. Sweat ran down along his temples, seeped into the gullies and rills of his weathered neck, and emptied into his khaki shirt front. His fingers traced the unmistakable outline of a human eye socket.

Each year, Armstrong volunteered a week of his time to a group of local Montana diggers—paleontologists who were in the midst of unearthing segments of a sixty-five million year old sauropod fossil. This year’s Little Snowy Mountains excavation was about to become sensational.

“Whatcha got there, Armstrong?”

He jerked his hand up. “Nothing. Just trying to get under this verterbra, Johansen.”

“Careful you don’t get stuck and make us dig you out.” Johansen chuckled at his remark. “We’re closin’ shop in a few minutes, so wrap things up.”

After the man wandered away, Armstrong reached down again—this time extending his fingers below the nasal bone. The skull could be the find of the century. Hominids weren’t supposed show up until ten million years after the dinosaurs died out. He clawed away some more debris, and winced as his hand wedged between rock and bone. His forefinger reached the smooth edges of an alveolar margin which preceded the upper teeth.

Johansen had gathered the rest of the group, and called out to him. With one last thrust Armstrong’s fingertip curled around a tooth, loosening it. Gravel sifted back into the hole as he pulled his arm out. He held the specimen up for a closer look. The dying light brought out the tooth’s details, and suddenly, the evening air turned icy cold. He held a human canine, and it sported a ceramic crown.

* * *

“Dr. Pearl, aren’t you off this week?”

“Hi, Sasha. Just a few things to straighten out before I head back out to the dig. How’s business?”

“The crew has things under control. By the way, happy birthday.”

Sixty years was nothing to be happy about.

“Right. See you in a few days.”

Armstrong founded the Pearl’s Pearls dental clinic in Billings a few years before. In the hallway, he held up an x-ray slide to a ceiling fixture, and the blood drained from his face.

“Everything okay?”

Armstrong threw a curt nod to one of his dental associates, Nolan, who had just walked into the building. He hurried out without saying a word. It wasn’t until he angled into his Hummer that he drew enough courage to inspect the slide again. The ceramic cap wasn’t unique, but the same could not be said of the root canal, which contained two lengths of fine wire. Armstrong’s tongue wandered over the inner surface of his uppers. He knew of only one case where a fine wire probe was broken twice—and that was his own canine. He rolled down his window for some air.

Author Spotlight: Airwoman by Zara Quentin

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Zara Quentin visiting with the first book in her Airwoman series, Airwomen. She’ll be sharing an excerpt from her book later, but first…

Zara Quentin is the author of Airwoman, the first book in the Airwoman series. She was raised in Adelaide, Australia, with one younger sister. Zara grew up with a strong sense of adventure, which she inherited from her parents, who took her and her sister on trips to the United States, Europe, and Asia.

She also inherited a love of reading from her mother. Throughout her childhood she explored fictional places through books, and in particular, through fantasy novels. She’d turn the black and white text on the page into the colourful worlds of her imagination.

After graduating from high school, Zara studied at the University of Adelaide and has lived in France, London, and Auckland, New Zealand. She is always determined to fit in as much travel as possible, spending time in Europe, the United States, southern Africa, Morocco, Peru, the Pacific and south-east Asia.

Zara now resides in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children. She is currently working on the next instalment in the Airwoman series.

Connect with the Author

Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
Facebook Page

Get a free preview of Airwoman!

About the Book

Jade Gariq is the daughter of a respected Taraqan leader, and the heiress to Gariq Industries—a large, cross-Portal trading company. Her future appears to be set. Except for one thing: It’s a life that she doesn’t want. Jade has always dreamed of joining the Traveller Force—the elite Taraqans who traverse the Betwixt, filled with terrifying beasts, and who protect and patrol the Dragonverse. Despite having been Travellers themselves once, Jade’s parents remain vehemently against risking their only daughter’s life. When Jade’s father dies suddenly, she inherits Gariq Industries, its assets, trade deals and social responsibilities.

It seems as though her fate has once again been decided.

Meanwhile, Axel—her close friend and secret crush—disappears without a trace. Then Jade discovers the circumstances surrounding her father’s death are not what they seem— her uncle Zorman suspects foul play. To find the truth and avenge her father’s death, Jade travels to an uncharted world, where she will learn more about her family, herself, loyalty, and betrayal than she ever imagined.

Get it Today!

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Keep reading for an excerpt:


The only sound was the slow tick of the clock on the wall.

Jade took another step towards Papa. The torch cast a spotlight over his hunched figure. The rest of the room retreated into the shadows, distancing itself from the wrongness of the scene.


A message, now forgotten, slipped out of Jade’s trembling hand and fluttered to the ground. Jade reached forward to shake Papa, thinking—hoping—he must be so tired.


Jade grasped Papa’s shoulder, expecting him to jerk to consciousness and look up at her, groggy. But he did not move. She pressed harder, but his body was rigid under her touch. He did not wake. He didn’t even groan.


Papa’s head fell forward, from where it had rested on his arm. His forehead connected with the polished wood of the desk with a thud. His wings hung limply across his back, their magenta scales dull.


Tentatively, Jade smoothed his grey-streaked hair away from his face. She gasped at his eyes; open and staring at his own clenched right hand. She pressed a hand to his forehead.

He was cold, too cold.


Jade’s hand fell away. A deep fog settled over her, paralysing her. Deafening her. She stared at Papa’s body. His lips, blue. His eyes, wide. Lifeless. She stared and saw nothing.


Dimly, Jade heard herself screaming, calling for help. There was a clatter of footsteps, then a set of hands on her shoulders.

“Shhhh, shhhh,” someone said, and eventually the screaming stopped.

But the clock did not.


Author Spotlight: Tesla’s Signal by L. Woodswalker


Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have L. Woodswalker visiting with her science fiction book, Tesla’s Signal. She is sharing an excerpt from the book, but first, let’s learn more about her.

L. Woodswalker is an electronic musician, graphic and visual artist, and DIY crafter. She has read and written science fiction for several decades. She is fascinated by the wonders of science, nature and the cosmos. If she is not creating something, she is usually outside hiking, listening to trees or watching thunderstorms.


Connect with the Author

Amazon Author Page
Facebook Page

About the Book

Nikola Tesla has a unique affinity for electric current…he can visualize the unseen…he speaks with beings of light. In 1899, he receives a signal from space. When he meets the alien visitors, he finds their agenda not what he had expected. And they require his scientific expertise to further their aims.

Then things start to go wrong–and “mad scientist” Nikola and his brilliant colleague Clara must go on the run from alien captors and human authorities alike. They seek a refuge where they can develop their futuristic defenses against the “Martians”. Nikola must learn to tap into his cosmic abilities and face his own demons: his phobia of germs, touching and love. Eventually they must return to a devastated New York City, where they will face the alien invaders in the final battle for the fate of humanity.


Get it today on Amazon!


Keep reading for an excerpt:

The townsfolk debated what to do with the notorious criminal Nikola Tesla. “He’s wanted dead or alive. Which shall it be?”

“They oughta put you down like a mad dog, buddy!” The Mayor shook a finger in his face. “Hope they fry you on your own electric chair!”

“You’ve got me wrong, folks,” Niko protested. “I didn’t invent the electric chair. That was Thomas Edison’s doing!”

That only seemed to make them madder. “Listen here, Mister! Nobody bad-mouths the great Thomas Edison. Why, he electrified this town,” said a white-bearded gent. “Installed us a gen’rator right on that there dam.”

“I highly doubt that,” said Niko. “But if you folks care about that generator, and this fine town, you’d better not lay a hand on me.”

“Really? And why is that, pray tell?” the Mayor asked.

“See that little gizmo your officer just took out of my pocket? It’s an oscillator. Just like the one I used to cause an earthquake in New York City.” Niko regretted having to make himself sound even more evil, but what else could he do? “I almost brought down every building on Houston Street.”

“Good Lord.” The Mayor took a step back.

“You folks read the papers? They say I’m as brilliant as DaVinci—a hundred years ahead of my time. I’ve developed futuristic inventions you’d never believe. I invented Radio, you know. It works by invisible waves—and thoughts are invisible waves too. Did you know that I’ve perfected remote-control Mind Power?”

The people’s eyes widened. “What the devil…?”

“That oscillator is tuned to my mental frequency,” he told them. “If you folks get me upset, it might pick up my thoughts and set up resonant vibrations in that dam over there. The whole thing might crack right down the middle and wash away this entire town.

“Aw, he’s bluffing,” said the pharmacist.

“Sounds like a load of horse crap to me,” the deliveryman agreed.

The Mayor wiped his forehead. “Uh…I don’t know…”

“We’re just recovering from last year’s flood now,” a townsman reminded the Mayor. “We don’t need no more trouble.”
“Look here, mister!” The Mayor stalked up to Niko and shook a finger. “Just get the hell out of my town. And take that infernal ossa—whateveritis… with ya!”

The police let go of his arms, and the rest of the crowd melted away quicker than ice cream in July. Niko wasted no time grabbing the oscillator and dashing back to the Roadster, where Clara was parked.

“Niko?” Clara looked worried. “What’s going on? I heard some noise back there. I hope you weren’t in any trouble?”

“Me? Trouble? Oh, no. They just wanted to put me in Mr. Edison’s nice, comfortable hot-seat.”

“What?” Clara gave a low whistle. “Trouble is your middle name, sir. How’d you get away?”

Niko smiled. “I just used remote-control mind power.”


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