Renee Writes

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Saturday Sneak Peeks: Defender of the Chosen (A God’s Deception Book 1)

Designed by Kathryn Jenkins at Magical Designs


It’s been a while since I’ve done a Saturday Sneak Peek, but that’s probably because I haven’t written much in a while. Thanks to NaNoWriMo, I’m on a writing spree…

I’m working on the first book in my A God’s Deception series, so I’m going to give you a little sneak peek of that. Keep in mind, these sneak peeks are totally unedited versions, so it could change in the final version of the book. But at least it gives you a taste of what’s to come!

“I really miss the old executions,” he said. “I was disappointed when the council changed to a more humane method of execution, labeling the old ones archaic and unnecessary. I’ve always believed if someone committed a crime, they deserved whatever punishment they received.”

He’d go on like that for hours, describing every detail of the execution she faced. It wasn’t as simple as being dunked in scalding water. They were going to slowly pour small buckets of boiling water over her until she died. After each bucket was dumped they’d wait for her cries to die down before doing the next.

“Eventually, your skin will seem to just melt off your body, but even then you won’t die right away. The torment can go on for hours or even days before you die. The best part is everyone in the city will be lined up to take their turn in dumping the scalding water over your body.” He ran his hand down her body as he said this.

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek. I’m hoping to release the books in this series starting late next year. If you’d like to read some of my other work, Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episode 1 – 6) is a free download. You can also get Shadow Stalker Part 2 (Episodes 7 – 12) by signing up below:


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Author Spotlight: Adam’s Stepsons by M Thomas Apple

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have M Thomas Apple visiting with his science fiction novella, Adam’s Stepsons. He’ll be sharing an excerpt from the book, but first, let’s learn more about the author!

A native of Upstate New York, M. Thomas Apple gave up his high school dreams of becoming the next Carl Sagan and instead studied languages and literature at Bard College and creative writing at the University of Notre Dame du Lac. Even after somehow getting hired to teach intercultural communication at a university in Kyoto, Japan, he is still trying to apply ideas from quantum mechanics to language teaching and research. He lives in a quasi-traditional Japanese house co-designed with his wife and partially decorated by his two daughters, nestled in the foothills of the mountains and surrounded by lots of cedar and cicada.

Connect with the Author

Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
Facebook Author Page


About the Book

Dr. Johann Heimann designed the perfect soldiers: superhuman in strength and intelligence, immune to sickness and disease, programmed to lead the United Americas to a quick victory in the Mars Colony War. But Heimann didn’t anticipate the military’s unrealistic demands, or his own emotional responses to his creations. And now Number Six is calling him “Father”! What exactly is going on during the clones’ personality imprinting cycle?

As Heimann starts his investigation, Number Six grows in confidence and self-awareness…and both discover the project hides a secret even Heimann, himself, doesn’t suspect…

Get it Today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Keep reading for an excerpt:

Rockets streaked across the deepening blue Martian sunset. The aircraft shuddered as explosions on either side buffeted it. Gritting his teeth, Six swerved to meet the oncoming attack squad. His Mars warplane shuddered again. Behind his head steam suddenly sprayed from a fractured coolant panel. Holding the throttle steady with his left hand, he rapidly flipped the switches on his right. The steam dissipated, but he still felt a burning sensation on his neck.

“Bogey at 5 o’clock,” he heard from his helmet speaker. Without turning to look, Six yanked the throttle upright and to the left, executing a perfect barrel roll. He fired before checking to see whether the laser guidance system had locked properly.

Strange thoughts came unbidden: First you got Hansen, be damned if you…I’m hit! Systems failing. Uncle…

“Target acquired,” the voice announced, five nanoseconds after the shots ripped a jagged strip into the adversary’s fuselage. For some reason, Six had the impression that he had done this before. A vague memory surfaced, a memory of nearly blacking out from the g-forces. He felt disquieted.

The plane on screen burst into flames and began its downward trajectory to the Martian soil.

“Target destroyed,” Six reported emotionlessly.

“Stand down and prepare to return,” the voice ordered.

Tapping the control panel in front of him, Six plotted a course back to Mars Colony One. Without checking his instruments, he knew the ETA was five point four minutes.

He paused, releasing the controls briefly.

Where had he learned that? The educational machine?

He raised a hand to adjust his helmet. Suddenly an image appeared in his head: upside down, careening across the rust-red rocky landscape, desperately struggling to eject…a stuck canopy…dislocated shoulder…pain…


“Pilot, disengage. Computer, end simulation.”

The same female voice as inside his helmet, only this time from a wall speaker in the outside room.

The clone blinked twice in rapid succession. The image disappeared. So did the Martian panorama. In its place stretched a series of connected flat screens with a raised fist holding a multicolored torch, the logo of the United Americas. The door to the simulator opened, and artificial light streamed in.

Removing his helmet, Six paused to stare at the logo.

The image had been so real.

Had he already been to Mars? Had he been shot down? No, it couldn’t be. They said his training was not yet complete. A video, then? No, none of the training videos from the library were first-person perspective.
Six tilted his head, pondering. It made no sense. He didn’t like things that made no sense.

“Six, log out and report to Doctor Heimann in five minutes.”

“Yes, sir,” the clone mechanically answered, withdrawing a thin filament from the panel in front of him. The filament smoothly retracted into the socket behind his right ear, and the logo on the screens disappeared. In its place, blackness, and the clone’s faint reflection; his light brown face marred only by the number 6 in red on his left cheek.

Author Spotlight: Cassidy by Andrew Gates

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! Today Andrew Gates is visiting with his book, Cassidy, a spinoff of his The Color of Water and Sky series. He’ll be sharing an excerpt from the book later, but first, let’s get to know Andrew.

Formerly an on-site educator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, Andrew Gates is now a Virginia-based science-fiction writer and magazine contributor. He is best known as author of the Color of Water and Sky series.

Gates has always been fascinated by science-fiction and fantasy ever since he was a kid. His writing style has been compared to that of Isaac Asimov, author of the Foundation series. Gates’s multiple POV writing style focuses on world-building and large scope politics. Though his stories take place in a fictional world, his characters are realistically portrayed and grounded in reality.

When Andrew Gates is not writing, he enjoys running competitively and watching films.

Connect to the Author

Amazon Author Page
Smashwords Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
Facebook Author Page

About the Book

The world thinks them dead. But they are very much alive. After a deadly attack from an unknown enemy, Captain Sara Gessetti and Lieutenant Damien Saljov are separated from the Cassidy X20 experimental submarine and left to drown in the depths of the Atlantic. Cut off from society, from technology, even from each other, both pilots struggle to survive in this harsh new world, where danger lurks around every corner. But they are not alone. The surface holds many dangers, and some of them come from within…

From the pages of The Color of Water and Sky, this official spinoff story takes place in parallel to books 1-3 in the series.

Get it Today!

Amazon | Smashwords

Keep reading for an excerpt:

He turned to the holographic projector on the table and activated it. Instantly, a 3D image of a submarine concept filled the room. It spun ever so slightly to give viewers a look at all sides of the craft.

“I present to the Oceanic Committee, the first submarine since the Descent capable of shallow water exploration. Finally, we will have the proper tools to answer that great question of the surface. More durable than a simple probe, smaller than the Nautilus E10 and cheaper to produce than even the Ray 4T-80,” he explained. “Ladies and gentlemen of the committee, if you agree to fund this project, you are investing in answers to world’s greatest mysteries. Thank you.”

Carter sat down and powered off the hologram. He felt a smile form on his face. His short pitch had gone just as well as he’d hoped.

The room was quiet now. The EOs simply sat in silence, as if they were each waiting for another to speak. Otto adjusted in her chair, cleared her throat and eventually broke the awkward quietness.

“Thank you, Dr. Brown. As you can imagine, I have a few questions about your project. Firstly, if we were to fund such a project, what kind of timeline are we looking at?”

Carter leaned forward and spoke clearly into the mic.

“Assuming it all goes to plan, we can have a prototype developed by the end of summer. We can begin testing shortly thereafter.”

“And how long will the testing phase take?”

Carter sighed.

“That is harder to answer,” he explained. “It is difficult to predict an accurate testing period for projects like these. Sometimes it takes a few months, sometimes a few years.”

“I see,” the Chairwoman said. She adjusted in her seat again. “And how many crewmen would be needed to operate this craft?”

“Two, ma’am. One pilot and one co-pilot.”

Otto leaned back in her chair and let out an exhale.

“I must say, Dr. Brown, what you’re selling here seems quite impressive. If you can actually deliver something like you’re describing, that would be a remarkable achievement.”

Carter smiled. Those words were like music to his ears.

“I am glad to hear it,” he replied, hardly able to contain his excitement. “Trust me, I can deliver.”

“I’m sure my esteemed colleagues have many questions of their own. We shall move onto them in a moment, but before we do, I have just one final question for you, Dr. Brown. If your project gets funded and you actually build this thing… what would you call it?”

“I would name it something bold, something catchy, something that evokes the feeling of adventure,” Carter responded. “I would call it Cassidy.”

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