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May

1

The Losing Role

The Losing Role

In late 1944 a failed German actor, Max Kaspar, is forced to join an absurdly desperate secret mission in which he must impersonate an enemy American officer. So Max cooks up his own fanatical plan — he’ll use his false identity to escape tyranny and war and flee to the America he’d once abandoned.

Max the performer is hardly a soldier let alone a double-crossing commando, yet in the deadly Battle of the Bulge he has to fool battle-shocked American GIs as well as dodge discovery by his reckless German comrades. Belgium’s Ardennes forest becomes a snowbound hell and the magical America he’d loved is lost to him, replaced by a somber invading juggernaut. In the end, Max’s gambles will lead him to a grim but honest payoff.

Part WWII espionage thriller, part expatriate noir, The Losing Role is based on an actual German false flag operation that’s been made infamous in legend but in reality was a doomed farce. In all the tragic details and with some dark humor, this is the story of an aspiring talent who got in over his head and tried to break free.

Author Website

$1.99 for a limited time
181 pages

Apr

21

The Serpent and the Stag

The Serpent and the Stag cover image

A serial killer lurks in the Northern California fog, and young women are disappearing. Sarah is 16, pretty and naive. Her beloved mother now dead, Sarah must run away from her hated aunt to search for the father she barely knows. Right into the serpent’s den. What she finds horrifies her. Is the strange boy she meets there the real killer? Is her father involved? Can she escape before it’s too late?

Apr

18

KGB in High Heels

KGB in High Heels

Valentina Maltseva is the head of the Arts and Literature Section of a Communist Youth Newspaper in the old Soviet Union. When her boss and lover showed her a KGB directory of agents she had no idea her view of it would cause her to be blackmailed into a KGB project in Argentina by none other than Yuri Andropov himself.

Nothing seems to go right and Valentina’s curiosity plunges her deeper into the sordid and dangerous world of espionage and murder.

As the body count mounts and spies from 3 agencies chase her, Valentina wonders if she will survive.

A best seller (600,000 copies) in Russia and Israel! Made into a popular 4-part mini series!

Translated into colloquial English from the original Russian.

Rated PG

Apr

15

Queen Mab Courtesy

Queen Mab Courtesy

Set in a near-future Chicago, QUEEN MAB COURTESY is part adventure, part mystery, part science, and all fun.

Tito, the main character, is a “Denver Dwarf”–victim of a birth defect caused by a biological terrorist attack while he was in the womb. It certainly didn’t affect his mind or his spirit, though.

He meets up with Charlie Sleazer,
a hot chestnut vendor who quotes Shakespeare and has a few interesting sidelines (like helping people out of jams). They are trying to unravel what happened to Tito’s father, who disappeared years ago. The C.O.P.S.–huge mechanical machines with biological ‘chips’ in control of their actions–seem to be engaged in a huge cover-up, adding to their already repressive nature as they try to protect people from everything including themselves.

Queen Mab Courtesy is a fast-paced novel that’s fun and easy to read, yet it makes the reader think about lots of things, not least of which is the value of being true to oneself and one’s family.

Rated PG for intense scenes.
80,000 words. 356 pages in Adobe version.

Apr

13

Boomerang

Boomerang

I would like to introduce Boomerang, my comic novel of international intrigue. Boomerang has a host of memorable character and the action takes the reader from Australia to San Francisco to Washington D.C., and Martha’s Vineyard, but it all ends up in my backyard of The Valley of the Sun in Arizona.

The eventual and quite inadvertent heroes of Boomerang are two down on their luck jazz musicians, Ted Hogwood and Jerry Kwiatkowski. They find themselves involved, not for the first time, with a mysterious goverment intelligence agency known as the AABC. Ted would just as soon tell them to go to hell, but he needs the reward money to rescue Sarah, his beloved jazz guitar, from Topp Dollar Pawn. Jerry always needs money. Soon they find they are in a race with an albino assassin, a couple of out of work Australian women of a certain age, the Director of Central Intelligence and a clothing optional ex-onion festival queen to retrieve a boomerang containing a secret that should have died with former FBI Director J.Edgar Hoover.

Boomerang is available in non-DRM form at Smashwords.com. It is also available in paperback from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or in personally autographed form directly from me at boomerangthenovel.blogspot.com.

Best,
Alan

Very funny! A madcap adventure along the likes of Carl Hiaasen or Tim Dorsey. The characters have depth and the plot was intricate and fun to watch come together at the end. I can recommend it without reservation.

– Edward Brownstein, Smashwords.com

$4.99 or $2.49 with coupon YW35H ’til May 30.
312 pages

Apr

12

The Festival on Lyris Five

The Festival on Lyris Five

Former Ten Stars combat pilot Rick Barrett is having a bad day. Not only is he jobless and broke, in a seedy spaceport bar he has just been forced into a winner-takes-all poker game with a homicidal cauliflower.

Salvation is at hand in the shapely form of Irish redhead Julie Halloran, who has an unusual talent of her own. Julie has a proposition for Rick that could end his financial worries at a stroke, though it might also end up getting him killed. But is Julie keeping a few cards hidden herself?

The Festival on Lyris Five is a fast-moving, hilarious, science-fiction novella, where nothing is quite what it seems…

An easy, enjoyable read, full of fun, with a likeable lead role and great alien characters. Superb twist at the end…you’ll love it.

Fiona Taylor

Seemingly drawing from a number of science fiction influences, The Festival On Lyris Five is an immensely enjoyable read. The protagonist Richard Barrett puts me very much in mind of Han Solo with possibly a dash of Lister. The characters have depth and the dialogue is quirky. One could almost imagine dining at the Zodiac Castle then stopping off at the Martian Arms for a Nortons Mindwarp or too. With its intriguing settings and seamless plot, The Festival On Lyris Five is a charming novella worthy of a sequel. Of special note is the surprising (but credible) twist in the tale which, of course, you will have to read for yourself.

Kate Boardman – Coffee With Kate’s Blog

The Festival on Lyris Five is provided to buyers in all popular e-book formats, including Epub and .mobi (for the Amazon Kindle). A printed version is also available from Lulu.com, with extra illustrations by cover artist Louise Tolentino.

You can also follow Nick Daws on Twitter or visit his freelance writing blog.

Apr

10

A Vow to Sophia

A Vow to Sophia

When twelve year-old Onja Pedersen vowed before Goddess Sophia to free her mother and sister from Sirian slavery, she had no idea how to make it happen; six years later, when the Sirian Confederacy attacks the Solar Federation, she sees her chance and joins the United Federation Fighter Fleet.

From the day she enlists, Onja faces opposition — a skeptical recruiter, a sadistic drill instructor, a vengeful XO — but there are good men as well, and eventually she falls in love. Consumed by hatred of the Sirians, Onja lusts only to kill, and quickly becomes the deadliest gunner in the Fighter Service. In just two years of combat, she destroys dozens of enemy fighters, two troop transports, and faces down an enemy carrier. Then Fate hits back, and takes from Onja her most prized possession. The man she loves.

A Vow to Sophia is the story of a girl facing impossible odds in a galaxy gone mad. It’s a story of courage, bravery, passion, and single-minded determination. Onja’s hatred fuels her success, but in the end, love is her salvation.

The first published book of the Fighter Queen saga. The second, chronologically.

Rated “R” for sex, language, and violence.

Mar

5

Martin and Martine – Part 1

Martin and Martine - Part 1

Martin and Martine – Part 1, is the next in a series of “Movie Novellas” brought to you by veteran filmmaker Lawrence Bridges.  This new kind of reading experience, serialized in short chapters, was created specifically for the Kindle.

Car insurance quotes

Meet MARTIN, a young American working at a bank in Paris. He surfs the coast of France, drives a classic Alpha convertible through the back roads of the French countryside, and sings in the Metros with his dog “Bits” at his side. Martin is about to meet MARTINE who works in telecommunications. She is 23, tall, with short blond hair. They both love music. They both have perfect pitch.

It is the not-too-distant future and the world has been transformed by the power of technology. Think beyond “The Terminator,” beyond “The Matrix.” Benign machines run the economy and innovate well beyond the capabilities of human brains. The citizens of Paris enjoy a comfortable life, fenced in and protected from the perils of the outside world. Cities like New York, Perth, Tehran, and Beijing share the same lifestyle, frozen early 2000’s.  In return for protection from the forces outside the “Fence”, human beings have relinquished control of their lives to the all-knowing “Server,” a silicone intelligence supervised by an aristocratic race of genetically engineered clones known as “the Perfects.” But for average citizens, life has never been better. Martin has never felt so alive, especially after trying a new form of entertainment released by Apple Computers that overcomes the computer/brain barrier. It’s called Best Friend, and it provides intense emotional encounters as well as instantaneous realizations of dreams and fantasies, all in 3D. Hardwired into the human brain, Best Friend is the rage of Paris and Martin is one of the earliest adopters.

Martine is similarly using the powers of Best Friend, to try to figure out a way to meet Martin. While sitting on opposite sides of the Metro tracks, they are drawn to each and connected mysteriously by Best Friend. But inside Best Friend it difficult to know what is organic and what is artificial. Will Martine be able to find out who he is, or if he even exists, before the trains come and the moment is lost?

Parts 2 and 3 are also available for download at Smashwords and the Kindle Store.

Mar

3

That Which is Human

That Which is Human

2009 Fiction Novel of the Year!

The war with the Rilz is pushing humanity to its limits and Intruder pilot Lt. Alan ‘Mac’ McAllister and his flying partner ‘Ivan’ Ivchenko are in the thick of the fighting. Battling the Lizards is bad enough, but fighting a planet full of rebel humans tests their friendship and Mac’s integrity as a Naval pilot. But the biggest test for Mac is maintaining his own sanity in the face of a creeping dependence on the electronic link that allows him to fly the most advanced combat spacecraft ever devised. When a vicious counter attack by the Rilz places the lives of his ex-wife and her new family in harms way, he must set aside that which is still human within him in a final showdown with mankind’s most implacable enemy.

Rated PG-13

Mar

1

The Graduate Student

The Graduate Student

When anthropology graduate student Blackwell James returns from the Amazon jungle with a trunk full of hallucinogenic vines, but no research notes, his life suddenly becomes a wild, high-octane tale of adventure, suspense and intrigue.

In an attempt to help Blackwell finish his elusive Ph.D., his professor and mentor secures a job for him in Los Angeles, a place he has never been, to work on a primate experiment – something he knows nothing about. And walking unarmed into the world of Hollywood proves to be even more dangerous for Blackwell than the Amazon.

Caught up in the secret ambitions of his employers, Blackwell James’ trip through a surreal world of movies and movie stars, murder, money, a secret society, a ghost town, two large chimpanzees and several shamanistic drug-induced journeys makes THE GRADUATE STUDENT a riveting ride.

The New York Times calls Polster’s writing “Outlandish adventure”, NPR calls it “Outrageously funny”, and the San Francisco Review of Books placed him on “the cutting edge of talented, West Coast writers.”

“Polster’s deadpan wit makes the twists and turns of his clever books a joy to read.”
- Matt Groening, Creator, Executive Producer, The Simpsons

“Polster writes with the understated precision and controlled chaos of a Jason Bourne car chase.”
- Paul Sandberg, Producer of the Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum

“One of the best books ever written about Hollywood, and it’s not even about Hollywood.”
- Gary Goldman, Executive Producer of The Minority Report and Writer of Total Recall

“I’ve loved Polster’s writing since I first read BROWN. THE GRADUATE STUDENT is fantastically entertaining and its view on Hollywood is hilarious, dead on, and clearly written by someone who’s been there.”
- Cary Brokaw, Executive Producer, THE PLAYER

“Bold, hilarious, essentially unclassifiable…Polster fits somewhere between Hiaasen and Vonnegut.”
- Publishers Weekly (BROWN) starred review- One of the Best Books of the Year

“Careening with Hunter Thompsonesque panache…Polster practices the humorist’s craft with a bold, sure hand that recalls Mark Twain.”
- Kirkus Reviews (BROWN)

“BROWN among the most acclaimed books of 1995-6.”
Winner – The Critics’ Choice Award

Feb

28

The Master’s Reliquary Book 2: The Song of the Cross

The Song of the Cross

It is the summer of 1381, London, a complex time of crisis brought on by an oppressive poll tax, the warring of two rival claimants to the Papacy, and the preaching of Friar Ball and John Wyclif. Richard II is only fourteen, and threatened by his uncle, the unpopular Duke John. Caught in this political and spiritual turmoil are Mary Oldfield, who shoulders family responsibilities beyond her years, and Paul Angus, a searching young musical genius.

The exiting and romantic sequel to The Man of Signs by the master story-teller, Jim Dameron.

Feb

28

The Master's Reliquary Book 2: The Song of the Cross

The Song of the Cross

It is the summer of 1381, London, a complex time of crisis brought on by an oppressive poll tax, the warring of two rival claimants to the Papacy, and the preaching of Friar Ball and John Wyclif. Richard II is only fourteen, and threatened by his uncle, the unpopular Duke John. Caught in this political and spiritual turmoil are Mary Oldfield, who shoulders family responsibilities beyond her years, and Paul Angus, a searching young musical genius.

The exiting and romantic sequel to The Man of Signs by the master story-teller, Jim Dameron.

Feb

27

Who Killed Michael Douglas

Who Killed Michael Douglas

Lawyer Chambers Elliot didn’t trust the supposed priest in his office but he had to listen to the story. According to the priest, the cops had caught the wrong man in a thirty-year-old murder. Which wouldn’t have bothered Elliot so much if he hadn’t been the lawyer defending that wrong man. When the priest turns up dead, Elliot is up to his neck in trouble, especially when the Portello Crime family involves themselves.

Author Michael Paulson launches a new mystery series with this hard-boiled page-turner.

Feb

25

The Fighter King

The Fighter King

Oliver Lincoln III is a walking contradiction – he sells combat fighters for his dad’s defense plant, but he is a dedicated pacifist.

During a sales trip to the Sirian Confederacy, Oliver’s sister, a holonews reporter, tells him a disturbing secret. When his sister is later murdered by the Sirian secret police, the KK, it doesn’t take Oliver long to put the squares together —
Sirius is about to invade a peaceful world, using the combat fighters he sold them!

Oliver can’t prevent the invasion, but in a desperate race against time he travels to Vega 3, hoping to arm them with Lincoln fighters so they can at least defend themselves. But the timetable is shorter than he thought, and he finds himself trapped in a global war with a difficult choice to make.

The Fighter King is a novel about the clash of civilization, personal choices, and coming of age. Before The Fighter Queen, there was The Fighter King. It all starts here.

Rated “R” for sex, language, and violence.

$2.22
424 pages

Jan

28

The Essence

The Essence

The Essence will help you escape reality with Sophia, a reporter who receives an unusual opportunity to interview a reclusive dictator. She digs in with gusto, but finds she needs more than just reporting skills to survive her adventure!

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

A realization flooded through Sophia. The man who had helped her up — and was still holding her hand — must be the General himself! Yes, he looked somewhat like the photograph she had found — a bit older, maybe heavier than the picture, but definitely the same man — weathered features, squared jaw, charcoal curly hair, and a full mustache with hints of gray. She had rehearsed opening lines and introductions for herself but she couldn’t recall any of them right now.
The photo hadn’t prepared her for his wild eyes. They had small pupils and gray irises with radial lines like stars, which seemed to look right into her brain. As she looked back at him, she realized the hair on the back of her neck was standing up. It was an odd sensation, not fear, but rather like she was sensing a strong unknown force.

Jan

20

The Last Days of Las Vegas

The Last Days of Las Vegas

   In the runup to the war in Iraq, dozens of intelligence operatives watched their careers evaporate when they spoke candidly about Saddam’s lack of weapons of mass destruction. One such case officer, now unwillingly retired and living in Las Vegas, finds himself a target for assassination.

   The Last Days of Las Vegas is the story of Ashor dur-Shamshi, a powerful military exile from Iraq who pulls the strings of an international conspiracy that will return him as Iraq’s new dictator, and of Charles Remly, who struggles to dismantle the centerpiece of the ex-general’s conspiracy. Fueled with billions of dollars from Saddam’s looted fortune, the tentacles of Ashor’s plot reach from his war-torn homeland to the glittery streets of Las Vegas, and much of the world in between. At the heart of the plan is an event that will wake up the American people and confront the power brokers inside the Beltway with two grim alternatives: Reinstitute the military draft, or help install a military government in Baghdad that will end Iraq’s expanding conflict, while searching for the bogus terrorist organization that has created a mini-Chernobyl in Las Vegas.
   The ragtag team that defends Vegas against a nuclear meltdown is led by Remly, a middle-aged spook who was forced into early retirement during the runup to the war against Iraq because he insisted on sending proof to his headquarters in Virginia that Saddam had no N-B-C weapons. Cynical and burned out, Remly has a serious heart condition and is a significantly less-than-heroic hero. Spiritually and philosophically Remly is closer to Leamas of le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold—and perhaps Meursault of The Stranger—than he is to the macho characters of modern spy fiction. He’s not entirely disconnected, but he is devious, seemingly unprincipled, and isn’t above shooting an adversary in the back. Best illustrating Remly’s take on the world is the opening of Chapter 10:

   “Reality is negotiable, or so Remly was given to understand his first week on the Campus in Virginia. By the time he retired and moved to Las Vegas he concluded that reality was merely optional, and Vegas did nothing to disabuse him of the idea.

   Similarly betrayed, two old men on the team—retired from the upper echelons of the nameless intell agency in Virginia—were denied follow-on consultancy contracts because they refused to drink the Koolaid coming from inside the Beltway. One of them—an amateur magician—has a bit of a drinking problem … Leopold Gourmel cognac, not Koolaid. The other—a cranky old black-ops and regime-change specialist— has spinal disc damage and needs a walker to get around.
   Another intelligence operative, described as being “a little light in his loafers,” was fired because of his sexual orientation, despite Remly’s defense of him. Then there’s a voodooman—an electronics genius also retired from the agency—who verges on a paranoid breakdown toward the end, when he’s strung out on sleep deprivation and gets wired on uppers. Rounding out the group are three sociopathic thugs from South Boston—”Neanderthals” the voodooman calls them—recruited for their black-bag skills.
   Obviously, this is not a team of super-heroes.

   Complicating Remly’s task are the alliances that Ashor forms with K Street lobbyists, pols on the Hill, and a cabal within the agency in Virginia – thus turning Virginia, which should be resisting Ashor, against Remly’s team. And so The Last Days of Las Vegas is as much a political thriller as it is an espionage caper.
   Remly’s adversaries are equally complex and dysfunctional. Ashor is a loving husband, father, and grandfather who decides to nuke Las Vegas without a moment’s hesitation. The coördinator of the strike against Vegas is a pious, one-time Dzerzhinsky Square black-arts cadet, rumored to have chosen the Service over the Seminary on the flip of a coin, his piety no obstacle to his job of bringing death and disaster to thousands of people. Then there’s a flashy Crimean remote-control assassin, another Dzerzhinsky Square cadet, who trolls the vodka bars of Moscow in his Student Prince parade-ground uniform looking for casual sex. And an Iraqi pilot with little if any religious conviction, driven to this suicide mission by a military strike against his family at a wedding party.

   The important conflict in The Last Days of Las Vegas doesn’t come from people shooting each other. Oh, there are gunfights and bombings and whole buildings destroyed, and all sorts of similar derring-do, but the real conflict comes from people trying to overcome one another through a sort-of mental kung fu— each trying to bring down his adversary with ideas and working deviously to sandbag the other’s emotions —something at which Remly excels. He likes to think of it as “manipulative empathy.” (Some might call it “mind ****ing” – though you and I and Remly never would!)

   Roy Hayes is the author of The Hungarian Game, which sold just under 520,000 copies in 6 languages worldwide.