Friday, July 29, 2011

A Bit of a Brainstorm

So far, my guests have been of the more romantic temperament, but the first books that enchanted me were science fiction and the fanastic worlds and ideas they put forth. So when I was given the chance to host Gordon A. Kessler on the release of his latest, Brainstorm, I jumped at the chance. Gordon will be awarding one lucky commenter on his tour the winner's choice of a basic Kindle, Kobo, Sony Reader or Nook. What a fantastic chance. But first, a bit about Gordon A. Kessler.

Gordon A Kessler is a former US Marine parachutist, recon scout, and Super Squad team leader, with a bachelor's degree in creative writing.  He is a Master Instructor for Johnson County Community College, National Academy of Railroad Sciences, and the BNSF Railway.  He has taught novel writing for Butler County Community College, English Composition for Hutchinson Junior College and has previously indie-published the thriller novels Jezebel and Dead Reckoning, and a book about the novel-writing craft, Novel Writing Made Simple.  He is a founder and former president of the Kansas Writers Association and tries to stay connected to writers and the writing industry by doing speaking engagements at writers conferences and for writers organizations, and has does his own "The Storyteller" seminar in Wichita, Lincoln (Nebraska), Kansas City, and other Midwestern cities based on his Novel Writing Made Simple book. His websites, and www.IndieWritersAlliance are landing pages for writers to help them in their writing endeavors.

I’ve been asked about the challenges of writing science fiction in today’s ever expanding knowledge base. What a great and insightful question, by the way!
Science Fiction has changed considerably over the recent past—it’s expanded, going places that we hadn’t imagined twenty or thirty years ago. Actually, in today’s times, it seems we’re living science fiction compared to back then. And everything imaginable is available on the Internet—good, bad, truth and BS.
My first two thriller novels are not Sci-Fi, rather; Jezebel is a horror thriller, and Dead Reckoning is a mystery thriller. The Sci-Fi in Brainstorm is near future, fringe paranormal sort of stuff.  I wanted it to be somewhat believable set in today’s political climate. So, good or bad, I made it timely.  Ten years from now, folks might say it’s “dated”. I think that’s okay, because with all Sci-Fi, the main thread or theme needs to be about universal truths. With that underlying glue to tie the story together, I believe that the reader will accept that a story written ten years ago might not be up to par with the latest technology or the current speculative stabs at what the future holds.
With the Internet, you can research any topic into the ground.  You can find out nearly everything about anything—some of the info true, some erroneous. The possibilities are endless—only limited to the writer’s imagination. But it all boils down to what you do with that information, this all-knowing power that you have at your fingertips. It’s fun.  It’s a challenge to use just the right ingredients to make a perfect Sci-Fi consume that will satisfy the majority of your readers. But, again, the stock of that story soup is always going to be a good, solid universal truth.
Thank you again.  I hope you’ll check out the Brainstorm book trailer on at: and you’ll find Brainstorm, Jezebel and Dead Reckoning all available in paperback, hardcover and even as Kindle and Nook eBooks (on sale during the blog for only $.99!), and you can find out more about me and my work at my website: Happy Reading!

In Brainstorm, Gold Rush seems to be just another sleepy little Colorado community full of friendly, caring citizens, quaint cottages, and a sort of quiet peace, held gently by the picturesque mountains that surround it. However, something isn't right in Gold Rush, and early on a Monday morning Robert Weller awakens with a cautioning and insuppressible voice inside his head. He soon finds a secret behind every door, a motive with every glance, and a lie beneath every spoken word.
After meeting a strange but beautiful woman named Sunny who insists they were once lovers, people begin dropping dead around him and his world twists upside down as paramilitary teams hunt him, and his own wife and friends turn against him. Weller is thrown into the middle of a military mission to rescue thousands of the town's citizens from a plot to destroy the Free World.
Time is running out: Weller, Sunny and thousands of innocent citizens are facing nuclear devastation. Major “Jax” Jackson and a U.S. Air Force Para Rescue team are their only hope—but how can Jax and his PJs save them all, armed only with nonlethal weapons?
Excerpt from Brainstorm
               “It’s time,” Major Lionel Jackson said and patted the back of Sunny McMaster’s hand. In the red night lighting inside their armored vehicle, her slender ivory hand seemed to glow, appearing remarkably delicate in his dark palm. But he knew it wasn’t fragile. “Ready?”
“God, yes,” she said, her voice determined and confident.
Jackson released Sunny’s hand, then turned to the forward viewfinder and pulled down the microphone attached to his helmet. “Lion Team, move out,” he said evenly, and the driver in front of Jackson cocked his head back and repeated the order over his shoulder.
The mission to rescue Sunny’s husband and several dozen other missing elite citizens thought to be held in Gold Rush, Colorado, began under presidential directive —regardless that the latest reconnaissance reports indicated it was a ghost town.
Their six Stryker vehicles set out quickly and without faltering like dark, single-minded ants on a sugar trail, churning down the gravel roadway leading to the small town ten miles away. A blue-white full moon hugged the ridge behind their boulder-littered staging area, its frosty radiance washing over the rocky cliff sides and the snaking passage before them.
Inside the leading personnel carrier, the man known to his military peers as the Black Lion once again turned in his seat toward Sunny. Major Jackson never dreamed he’d see this woman dressed in black fatigues and combat boots, her fiery-red hair pinned back and hidden under a helmet. What she’d worn the first time they met in Maui was quite different—a wedding dress. Jackson had been best man, and the ceremony was in his garden. That was fifteen years ago.
Sunny asked, “How ‘bout you, Jax? You ready?”
He knew she meant emotionally, not militarily. As he pushed his small microphone out of the way, he returned a thin smile. “We’re going to find Dan, Sunny,” he said. “I’m sure of it. We’re going to find him, and he’s going to be . . .” He hesitated, knowing okay or even alive was a promise he couldn’t keep. Instead, he simply repeated, “We’re going to find him.”
His words seemed to cause a tear to trickle from her eyes, and he grimaced, realizing she’d understood his indecisive pause.
Sunny looked away and wiped the moisture from her cheek. When she turned back with her jaw clenched, her eyes set hard on Jackson. Through the crimson glow inside the armored vehicle, she stared—face stone-like and expressionless—and Jackson did his best to hide his anxiety. She seemed to look through him, gazing at something just out of reach in the past. Her tears were gone, any redness in her eyes imperceptible in the red night lighting. In her face was a grittiness Jackson had seen in only a handful of men, the ones sure to become great soldiers. But the major wanted no part in making the beautiful redhead before him into a Kevlar-tough warrior. He wished he had another choice, but today Sunny could play an important role in bringing in her husband and saving dozens of lives.
People were disappearing. Scientists, surgeons and men and women of special abilities were vanishing from all over the world, particularly from the United States. Jackson hoped that at least one of those presumed abducted, Daniel McMaster, hadn’t become a traitor—that he wouldn’t have to kill his best friend.
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Link for book trailer:
Once again, I want to thank Gordon A. Kessler for stopping by, and remind everyone that he is giving away a wonderful prize to one lucky commenter. And here are a few comments on Gordon's work to pique your interest.
“ exciting and fast-paced as a thrill ride on a dive bomber, a maelstrom of action, violence, murder and mayhem, way too much fun to put down...based on an actual black CIA program known as ‘Project Stargate. Kessler...really knows his stuff. An outstanding novel.”— Douglas Preston, bestselling author of The Codex, Relic and Book of the Dead and many more.
"...a wild ride into the reality of human consciousness...a kickass adventure story that will have you thrumming through the pages well into the night...handled with stunning effect."— James Rollins, bestselling author of Black Order, Sandstorm and Map of Bones as well as many others.