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Contemporary Fiction

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The Five Pearls
The Five Pearls
by Barry James Hickey Rating: 0.0

With the help of a retired nurse, a dying man with a new identity, a terrible past and a hidden agenda changes the hearts, minds, and character of The Tadpoles; five angry, stubborn students forced into an after-school program. Hickey’s world of disconnected quirky characters destroys the myth of the American melting pot and turns it into a salad bowl of mixed races growing up together with surprising and uplifting results. The Five Pearls leaves you begging for the story not to end.

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The Chosen Ones
The Chosen Ones
by Lisa Luciano Rating: 0.0

Brody Yates has fallen on hard times. Fired from his job as a sports reporter for a major New York newspaper, his wife has left him and taken their daughter back to Kansas. To his shock, the paper’s editor offers him the chance to resurrect his career by taking on an unusual assignment. He must go undercover in a world totally unfamiliar to him – figure skating.

The newspaper has received a tip indicating that a world class skater will be dead before the end of the upcoming Olympic games. Brody masquerades as a trainer in order to infiltrate the backstage world that hides countless secrets behind the sequins. He has one chance to save someone’s life and to turn his around.

Focusing on the men’s competition, the story follows the major contenders such as a former Olympic champion who wants another shot at glory even if it costs him the woman he loves. His main rival needs vindication and another shot at a gold medal, but knows federation officials don’t want him to win and will do anything to prevent it. Other skaters have secrets to protect. One is a maverick who loves women and cocaine. Another is being blackmailed. This and much more unfolds against the backdrop of world-class athletes and their demanding, high-pressure sport. Only one can win. Not everyone will survive.

The story is a Roman à clef inspired by the author’s experiences writing about figure skating for the New York Times during the 1990’s when the sport was at its most popular.

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The Chosen Ones
The Chosen Ones
by Lisa Luciano Rating: 0.0

Brody Yates has fallen on hard times. Fired from his job as a sports reporter for a major New York newspaper, his wife has left him and taken their daughter back to Kansas. To his shock, the paper’s editor offers him the chance to resurrect his career by taking on an unusual assignment. He must go undercover in a world totally unfamiliar to him – figure skating.

The newspaper has received a tip indicating that a world class skater will be dead before the end of the upcoming Olympic games. Brody masquerades as a trainer in order to infiltrate the backstage world that hides countless secrets behind the sequins. He has one chance to save someone’s life and to turn his around.

Focusing on the men’s competition, the story follows the major contenders such as a former Olympic champion who wants another shot at glory even if it costs him the woman he loves. His main rival needs vindication and another shot at a gold medal, but knows federation officials don’t want him to win and will do anything to prevent it. Other skaters have secrets to protect. One is a maverick who loves women and cocaine. Another is being blackmailed. This and much more unfolds against the backdrop of world-class athletes and their demanding, high-pressure sport. Only one can win. Not everyone will survive.

The story is a Roman à clef inspired by the author’s experiences writing about figure skating for the New York Times during the 1990’s when the sport was at its most popular.

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LIVE FREE OR DIE FIGHTING- Survival in the North Country
LIVE FREE OR DIE FIGHTING- Survival in the North Country
by Ralph Gregorio Rating: 0.0

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, mankind had made great strides in ensuring the comfort and ease of living for his fellow man. The invention of the airplane and the ability to travel across the globe in hours, the invention of the automobile, giving man mobility that was unheard of in past times. The harnessing of electrical power, giving light at the flick of a switch and of course, the computer, making mundane work tasks as simple as pressing a few buttons.

Now at the beginning of the twenty-first century, all of those advances are being taken for granted. No one even thinks about waking up in the morning, turning on a bathroom light, taking a hot shower indoors, brewing up the morning coffee and then getting into his automobile and commuting twenty or thirty miles to work. Once at work, he turns on his computer, surfs the net and gets the latest stock quotes, baseball scores or checking his emails. In some cases, he may even actually use the computer for work related activities. All of this is done without a second thought. Sure there have been storms where the power had gone out for a few minutes or even a few hours, those were taken in stride as minor inconveniences. Whenever there was a major storm, some people even lost power for a few weeks but they always knew the power would be back on and the government would set up shelters for those not prepared for this type of incident. Many others have at one time experienced a breakdown with his automobile. A headache for sure but that person usually just took out his cell phone and called for a tow truck or family member to come to his aid. People who traveled a lot often had flight cancellations. A great inconvenience for some but everyone knew that within hours, there would be another flight and they would get to their destination.

No one in their right mind could ever fathom that the lights wouldn’t turn on, the computers would not work, the cars wouldn’t move and no airplanes would be flying. People thought that would be like going back to the middle ages, when in actuality, it wasn’t all that long ago. Modern people just can not cope with living without all of these modern appliances. It was their God given right to be comfortable without a thought of how it all comes about.

That is exactly what happened one hot summer morning. People were busy doing their normal everyday tasks of getting ready for work or commuting to their jobs or to go shopping. Others turned on the television to watch the news, while some were lying on an operating table, being worked on by skilled surgeons. Many were over the oceans or on a cross country flight when the unthinkable happened. The power went out. Not just the electricity to turn on the lights but all electrical power to include the computers that actually operated the cars, the planes, the trains and medical equipment. Soon, in a matter of minutes, people would be thrown back to the nineteenth century. Many of those people would die when the planes went down or in a hospital that lost its ability to perform routine operations. For many it was a major inconvenience, for a few, it meant the end of life.

This is a tale of one man's efforts to deal with not only a massive EMP but also a rogue government and UN troops.

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Getting There
Getting There
by Mehrdad Keshmiri Rating: 5.0

What would he do if he had to protect a worldwide secret, which is spreading from America to Africa, to Europe, but is still so secret that he can’t share it with anyone, not even with his close friends or family. What if he had to choose between the comfort of his family and keeping the secret safe? Daniel became a part of it the day he stepped on that cruise ship. He thought that he had met a person who looked at the world just as he did, someone who cared as he did; an amazing woman with the same dreams. He had no clue that it was the first step of his qualification process before being apprised of the secret. He still had to undergo years of investigation; a process which dragged him from one corner of the world to the other. He had to make his biggest decision. He had to show his faith and his strength when …

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