Monday, 16 May 2016

Just Books: The Captives by Cas Peace

Just Books: The Captives by Cas Peace: Let's get to know the Author before we take a look inside this book. Cas lives in the lovely county of Hampshire, southern UK, wh...

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Hello everyone! Today I'm pleased to welcome to my blog author Terry W. Ervin ll, creator of the First Civilization Legacy series and the Crax War Chronicles, and author of the short fiction collection, Genre Shotgun.

Terry has a new release this month - Relic Hunted, sequel to Relic Tech - and further down you will find a fascinating insight into Security Specialist Krakista Keesay, the main character.

First, let's get to know Terry a little better ...

 Terry W. Ervin II is an English and science teacher who enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction. His First Civilization’s Legacy Series (fantasy) includes Flank Hawk, Blood Sword, and Soul Forge.

The Crax War Chronicles, his science fiction series, includes Relic Tech and Relic Hunted (his most recent release from Gryphonwood Press).

In addition to writing novels, Terry’s short stories have appeared in over a dozen anthologies, magazines and ezines. Genre Shotgun is a collection containing all of his previously published short stories.

To contact Terry or learn more about his writing endeavors, visit his website at and his blog, Up Around the Corner at

If you'd like to know more, and you're keen to discover Terry's writing for yourself, here's a link to where his work is available:

Now let's take a closer look at some of Terry's previous work:

Flank HawkWhat happens when fire-breathing dragons battle Stukas for aerial supremacy over a battlefield? Can an earth wizard's magic defeat a panzer? Krish, a farmhand turned mercenary, witnesses this and much more as he confronts the Necromancer King's new war machines resurrected from before the First Civilization's fall. Worse yet, a wounded prince tasks Krish to find the fabled Colonel of the West and barter the royal family's malevolent Blood-Sword for a weapon to thwart the Necromancer King's victory. Flank Hawk is set in the distant future where magic exists and brutish ogres are more than a child's nightmare.

Blood SwordThe Necromancer King has been defeated and his surviving forces are in retreat. But a new threat marches against the Kingdom of Keesee, promising destruction. Scouting along the western frontier, Flank Hawk and Grand Wizard Seelain discover an army massing, the army of Fendra Jolain, Goddess of Healing. Weakened and battle weary, Keesee and her allies cannot withstand Fendra Jolain’s powerful army of men and beasts arrayed against them. One hope of survival remains: Retrieve the Blood Sword from the immortal Colonel of the West and bring its sinister strength to the battlefield. To accomplish this end, Flank Hawk accompanies Grand Wizard Seelain as she leads a mission across land and sea. Together they find new allies while confronting new foes, learning that the war ravaging Keesee is part of a larger struggle whose roots stretch back to the First Civilization’s Fall. If the Blood Sword can be obtained, it must be done quickly. Every day means more death for the defenders of Keesee. Every day is one day closer to utter defeat. Even if Flank Hawk can deliver the Blood Sword to King Tobias’s hand in time, will the malevolent blade’s magic be enough?

Soul Forge: Young Enchantress Thereese lays stricken and silent, her vital essence sapped by the Shard Staff, edging ever closer toward death. Supreme Enchantress Thulease refuses to allow her daughter to fade beyond recovery. To that end, Enchantress Thulease recruits Mercenary Flank Hawk to accompany her as she seeks the legendary Sleeping Sage, and confronts the secretive Svartálfar, known only for their magical prowess and for their menacing cruelty.
    But first, the mercenary and enchantress, and their stalwart company, must survive brutal beasts and ruthless nomads roaming the Southern Continent’s harsh desert. Then, the untamed wilds of the Northern Mountains must be traversed in a final bid to reach their ultimate goal—the Soul Forge. 
     Even if Flank Hawk and Thulease reach the mythical forge in time, can its magic revive the ailing young enchantress, the one whose life is somehow tied to the Kingdom of Keesee’s ultimate fate?

Wow, that all sounds very exciting! Let's see the cover of Relic Tech and read the blurb:

Relic TechThe Silicate War has been over for fifteen years, and the tension among the dominant galactic races is growing. Many fear that the Umblegarri, the ancient alien race that ushered humanity into the interstellar galactic community during the Silicate War, have been targeted for conquest by the Crax and their allies. It’s no longer speculation. The invasion is underway and Kra finds himself strapped to a hospital bed, critically injured and surrounded by hostile corporate lawyers, high ranking military and intelligence officials, ambitious members of the criminal justice apparatus, and an Umbelgarri diplomat. All are demanding answers or their pound of flesh. Krakista Keesay, a Class 4 Security Specialist, doesn’t have the answers they demand. Why did he sabotage a top secret research facility? What was he doing on a quarantined planet? Why did he set up the civil transport Kalavar for destruction? Is that all? Not even close. Kra turns to his only option: Allow his brain to be hooked up to an experimental device so that he might prove his innocence. Or lose his mind.

Ok, now I want to see the new cover and learn all about Class 4 Security Specialist Krakista Keesay:

Character Interview: Contract Discussions Regarding Security Specialist Keesay

Location: Secure Conference Room, Io Colony, adjacent to the Umbelgarri Sector
Participants: Deputy Director of Intelligence Cavelvar, Special Agent Staygar Guymin, and Special Agent Allision Vingee
Topic: Recruitment of 4th Class Security Specialist Krakista Keesay

Agents Guymin and Vingee enter a small conference room. Guymin is middle aged, nondescript, with short dark hair and matching eyes. Vingee is young, tall, and with her braided hair affixed in tight bun. Behind the small table stood a bald man, elderly with a round face. He signals for the two agents to take their seats across from him.

Cavelvar: Taps his computer clip, bringing it to life. “Computer, record this meeting, Security Protocol 43-B.” After a second he continues. “The Agency is considering picking up the contract of Security Specialist Keesay. In addition to both of you having witnessed the Documentary, the downloaded audio-visual recording of his memories, requested to prove his innocence, you have each spent time with the security specialist. I request your thoughts on the topic before making my decision.” His eyes stray to the base chronometer mounted on the plain gray wall. “Please be succinct as I am on a strict schedule.”

Guymin: Glances to his right, at Agent Vingee, before beginning. “Specialist Keesay would be an asset to the Agency. Although he is not always a team player, he has demonstrated the ability to work with individuals he dislikes, especially under difficult and dangerous circumstances.

Cavalvar: “You are referring to his working with Senior Engineer McAllister.”

Guymin: “That is correct. Their history—Specialist Keesay killed her fiancé. Despite the fact that she attempted to kill, and subsequently frame him, when given orders and a direct mission, both he and she were able to put that aside.”

Cavalvar: “Do you concur, Agent Vingee?”

Vingee: “Engineer McAllsiter used the specialist as one would a tool. As a weapon directed against the Crax.”

Guymin: “Keesay recognized this, Director. During that time and others, such as serving as a conscript in the defense of the Tallavaster Colony, he proved capable of moving from subordinate to leadership positions as needed.”

Vingee: “Specialist Keesay has spent a good portion of his career securing warehouses on Pluto.”

Guymin: “Due to his participation in the Colonization Riots. After he survived, Intelligence saw that his next and only contract offered was in an out-of-the way assignment.”

Vingee: “Because he killed fourteen citizens, including Engineer McAllister’s fiancé.”

Guymin: “As you know, Director, the objective was to draw the ire of the crowd, and public discontent away from the planned Umbelgarri breeding area. The situation got out of hand. Snipers killed the Security Supervisors. Keesay took charge of the largely untrained and unprepared mass of newly graduated security trainees. He and his group of trainees broke up the riot. He survived.”

Cavalvar: “That is true. The mob wasn’t expected to be armed with anything more dangerous than clubs and sonic blades.”

Vingee: “The Specialist’s solutions to problems favor violence. While he can work with others, he is a loner and holds a measure of enmity for I-Techs. For modern electronics and equipment.”

Cavalvar: “He does use old-style equipment. Com-sets with headset and mic, shotguns and revolvers, and a bayonet. His chosen attire is the button and collared, loose-fitting R-Tech style, which sets him apart from his peers when aboard ship and space colonies.”

Guymin: Tips his head with eyebrows raised. “And he favors brass knuckles when he gets into a brawl, Director. But shotguns are still used on penal colonies, and he survived using his old-style equipment. Keesay is trained and competent in the use of magnetic pulse firearms, and light and medium-duty lasers. He is competent interfacing with standard computer systems and networks.”

Vingee: “Surprisingly, Director, Specialist Keesay is marginally competent as a pulse laser gunner.”

Cavalvar: Nods. What about his motto: Nemo me impune lacessit?

Vingee: “Which translates to: Nobody injures me with impunity. On more than one occasion, Specialist Keesay has gone looking for trouble. A reason to be insulted or injured.”

Guymin: “More accurately, he made a point of not avoiding the confrontation. That could be detrimental, functioning as an agent for Intelligence, depending the assignment. He is intelligent and well-read, and can problem solve.” He smiles. “Even if part of the solution includes the application of brass knuckles.”

Vingee: “Specialist Keesay is loyal. We all witnessed that not only through his actions, but thoughts revealed through the Documentary.”

Guymin: “His dedication to humanity’s survival, even at his own expense, can’t be questioned. He’s a proven Crax and Stegmar Mantis killer, and his opposition to the Capital Galactic Investment Group is obvious.”

Cavalvar: “Yes, their treachery, working with the Crax to the detriment of humanity and her allies...the Specialist did play a major role in uncovering their deceit.”

Vingee: “And those remnants of Capital Galactic are motivated to seek Specialist Keesay out for retribution. It is reliably reported that they are now, offering a substantial bounty.”

Cavalvar: Presses his hands together before glancing at the chronometer. “Thoughts on the modification the Umbelgarri made to the Specialist’s cerebral cortex while under the experimental Cranaltar IV?”

Guymin: Shrugs. “He is able to comprehend the Umbelgarri’s visually color-coded language. Like all humans, he remains unable to detect the low frequency sounds that add emption or emphasis to their ‘words.’ Dr. Goldsen relayed that the procedure was necessary to better enable the Specialist to survive and recover from the Cranaltar’s downloading of his memories. Otherwise, all higher-level thought processes would’ve been destroyed. Are there deeper implications to the implanted ability?” Again, he shrugs.

Vingee: “There is his affinity with the Chicher, beyond being a fellow Relic Tech. The Chicher diplomat Specialist Keesay befriended while aboard the Kalavar, and worked with to escape Selandune, the quarantined planet then under Capital Galactic’s control.”

Cavalvar: Nods. “It is believed in the Chicher Diplomat’s death throws, a ritual which included biting Specialist Keesay, altered the Specialist’s DNA, so that he releases a pheromone combination which marks him as a sort of pack member of that alien race.” He pauses. “Your thoughts, Agent Vingee?”

Vingee: “The Chicher appear to be more direct than the Umbelgarri. I believe the Chicher Diplomat responded to Specialist Keesay’s loyalty exhibited over time, which runs along the line of their inbred pack loyalty. The bond formed between the Diplomat and the Specialist, serving as a surrogate pack member, during times of peace and through several shared life-and-death struggles is what did it. Specialist Keesay’s bond, now apparent to every Chicher, regardless of pack, could be an asset if his contract were picked up by the Agency. As for the alterations made by the Umbelgarri?” She mimics Agent Guymin’s shrug. “Dr. Goldsen is of the most experts when it comes to neurology and human psychology. She doesn’t believe the procedure altered the Specialist’s personality or reactions to the Umbelgarri. He still refers to them using the derogatory term, Phibs. His strong disapproval with respect to the subservient role the Bahklack play, even though they’re genetically bred servants to their Umbelgarri masters. That remains, which wouldn’t track if they’d altered the Specialist in some manner to align his allegiance with them. ”

Cavalvar: His eyebrows rise as Agent Vingee completes her extended answer. “Any final thoughts before I call an end to this meeting?” He nods toward Agent Vingee.

Vingee: “Specialist Keesay has survived cold sleep, future use of that procedure isn’t a concern.”

Cavalvar: “That closing thought isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement, or recommendation against.”

Vingee: “He could be an asset or a liability. He loyal and driven, but I am not sure he will fit in with Agency culture or methods. He’d make a better soldier. He’s proven that.”

Cavalvar: “Fair enough. Agent Guymin?”

Guymin: “Specialist Keesay is relentless and daring. Not the most socially astute, yet tends to get the job done. I doubt the Agency will assign him to management or culturally inappropriate assignments. He may make bad decisions, but the root of the choice is always to pay back others who’ve injured him, which in the most pertinent case tends to be those loyal to the renegade Capital Galactic Investment Group and the Crax, and their allies. On the balance, he would be an asset to the Agency. At least until the war is over.”

Cavalvar: “Your recommendation would be to end his contract upon the war’s end?”

Guymin: “We’d have to win the war, Director. Currently we are losing with little evidence of our turning the tide. I agree with Agent Vingee in that Specialist Keesay has the characteristics of a good soldier. But I believe the Agency could make better use of his talents. If he is assigned the right job, he’ll get it done.”

Vingee: Tips her head side to side. “Or die trying.”

Cavalvar: Taps an icon on his computer, deactivating it. “Thank you, Agents, for your input on the matter. I will render my decision within the hour. If Security Specialist Keesay is offered a contract, his first assignment will be as part of your team. In either case, details will follow before I depart. You are dismissed.”

And that's it, folks! If you enjoyed hearing about Terry's novels and his new release Relic Hunted, please show him some love, and feel free to leave a comment.