The Kabrini Message

Today I’m handing my site over to Marie Carhart who will warm your cockles with her touching message. Here’s Marie…

Thank you so much for having me today, Steve.  I really appreciate this opportunity to share my story with your readers.

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As you know, The Kabrini Message is a sci-fi novel written by my late brother, Joe  (J.R. Egles), back in 1987.  I only recently discovered Joe’s manuscript (hand typed by our mother) in a box in my attic.  It was in a manila envelope that just said, “Joe’s Book” in my mother’s handwriting.  The whole “story-behind-the-story” can be read on the two-part blog post I did, so I won’t repeat the entire thing here.

http://kabrinimessage.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-story-behind-story.html

http://kabrinimessage.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-story-continues.html

But basically, after reading The Kabrini Message and becoming entranced by it, I decided it must be published.  This “message” just had to make it out of the attic and into the hands of the public.  I know everything happens for a reason, when and how it’s supposed to.  I believe my “message” in finding this forgotten jewel was to get it out there and right now, twenty-six years after it was written, just must be the right time.

Kabrini B

I also wanted to make sure The Kabrini Message was finally published as a gift to both my brother and our mother who always believed in him.  I have been “on a mission”…yes, a woman obsessed!  But the journey has been a fun, fascinating and educational labor of love and I am thrilled and so very grateful to say that as of January 18, 2013, more than a quarter of a century after it was written, The Kabrini Message is a published novel!

Here is a blurb for The Kabrini Message, followed by an excerpt.  I really hope your readers will enjoy it and thank you again!

Blurb:

An alien race. A shocking message. Let the evolution begin…

During an archaeological dig in Greece, Jeffrey Driscoll stumbles upon a miraculous find: ancient crystals with celestial coordinates that will connect humankind with the Kabrini, a highly advanced alien civilization. His discovery leads him on a quest from the jungles of Africa to the

Islands of Greece, from the streets of London to the tombs of Egypt, from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, Jamaica, and Vienna, and finally to the deepest depths of space and Earth’s first global space effort, the Legacy mission.

When Driscoll Mining and the U.S. Army complete deep space construction of the Kabrini communications network, the Legacy mission is deemed a success. But a dangerous terrorist group hungers for revenge, and Driscoll will stop at nothing to save the project. As his obsession with the Legacy mission spirals out of control, he risks losing everything—his company, his grasp on reality, and the one thing he’s ever truly loved: his wife. And when humankind finally makes contact, they discover the Kabrini Message isn’t exactly what they expected to hear…

Kabrini C

EXCERPT:

 

The fire in Professor Gregory’s study burned low.  Outside, it was just getting dark and the first drops of a cold London rain splattered against the windows.

“Alrighty, then,” Gregory started as he sat down behind his desk. “As you may know, the Romans had umpteen gods. So did the Greeks. So what’s one more soothsayer? With a god for every occasion, they were only being religious by convenience anyway. That’s why I never took this damn thing so seriously in the first place.”

“Took what seriously?” asked Driscoll.  “The Romans…or the Greeks?”

“Neither,” said Gregory sounding exasperated already. “I’m talking about the Oracle, the Oracle, you numpty.”

Gregory was clearly annoyed.  He was used to dealing with his razor-sharp archeology students, and they were used to paying attention to details.  Driscoll was not…at least, not to the point required for Gregory’s complex explanation. Driscoll practiced what he liked to call a holistic approach to life situations.  In other words, he took in the big picture and then did whatever was necessary to keep from getting chucked out of it.

“The Oracle, right, at Delphi,” said Driscoll. “You mentioned that on the phone. But what’s the fuss? It’s not news. That’s where rich folks went for advice about the future, right? The place where people went for prophecies…from priests or something.”

“But the Oracle wasn’t just a place, like a fountain or a shrine,” corrected Gregory. “It was supposed to be a person, or a deity, who only spoke through priests. The priests in turn doled out the information to the faithful.”

“And by ‘faithful,’ you mean those who could afford to pay,” said Driscoll.

“Well, yes,” agreed Gregory. “But my point is, it couldn’t have been all rubbish or they wouldn’t have kept coming back for advice. And they did…important people, like Caesars and such. There must have been something to the Oracle’s prophecies.”

“Unless it was just fashionable,” said Driscoll.

“Ah…wait, what?” stammered Gregory. Driscoll had broken his train of thought, which stunned the professor into silence. “This is what’s so difficult about talking to Driscoll,” thought Gregory. He never knew when to expect an intelligent comment. This one had caught him by surprise.

Driscoll kept talking as Gregory struggled to regain his composure. “I mean, in those days, you couldn’t impress your wealthy friends by buying a flat screen TV or a Ferrari—so you blew a load on the Oracle to show off.”

Gregory was mildly shocked. “Has money made Driscoll wise?” he wondered. “No, no, surely not. It never works that way. But trust Driscoll to do everything ass-backwards, including getting smart,” he thought.

“Precisely!” Gregory finally answered. “And what do you suppose the priests did with all that wealth, mate?”

“I don’t know,” Driscoll responded as he thoughtfully scratched the stubble on his cheek.

“Neither did anyone else,” Gregory said with a slight leer in his eye. “Until now.”

Driscoll dropped his boots to the floor and leaned forward on the leather couch. This had definitely piqued his interest.

“Listen to this,” said Gregory, producing a notebook from his jacket pocket. “This is an exact translation from a scroll my colleague Jessup unearthed near Delphi.”

The professor flipped through the tattered pages of his composition book and read aloud:

“‘I am an apprentice to a scribe.  But, by the time this is read, I will not only have been a scribe, but will have been dead for some two thousand years.

However, due to my experience as apprentice to Piros—scribe, scholar and personal acquaintance of the Great Emperor Claudius—I have access to certain knowledge, which if I do not set down, may be lost forever; unless the High Priests forsake their vows, which is not likely.

But to share this knowledge in my own time would certainly be the cause of my death.  Therefore, I share it with yours.’”

 Gregory paused and glanced at Driscoll, who seemed to be mulling over the words.

“So this guy has something important to say, is that it?”  Driscoll said sarcastically.

Gregory rolled his eyes.  “Yes, yes…brilliant.  Now, listen to this part, mate,” he said.  He continued reading:

“‘In my time, I have no understanding of what I have seen.  Yet I hope the passage of many centuries may bring wisdom to my words so that you, in your distant world, though you are standing exactly where I am now, may read and understand.

 For I have seen the Oracle at Delphi.  And It is not Human.’”

 “Not human?!”  Driscoll repeated.  He was leaning so far forward now, Gregory thought he might tumble off the couch.

“That’s what the bloody man says,” said Gregory, “and he should know.  He claims to have been there several times and seen this Oracle thing twice.  Once while it was reclining and going about ‘business as usual’ with the High Priests, and once when it was being carried out.  During this second viewing, the scribe said the Oracle didn’t look at all well.  It might have been dying or perhaps already dead, and the priests were taking the body to some secret burial place.  Anyhow, It was never brought back.  Apparently, interest in Delphi seemed to wane after that, at least among the big shots.  For the Caesars and the like, the Delphi prophesies seemed to have lost most of its punch.  The priests continued to sell prophesies, but more so to the public—at a cut rate, I presume.”

“Discount prophecies,” Driscoll said with a pensive grin.  “Talk about bargain shopping.”  He paused briefly to take another sip of brandy.  “Did he write anything else about the Oracle, Itself?” he asked anxiously.  He was already getting involved. “I mean, did he say what it looked like?”

“Oh yes,” said Gregory with a smug smile.  He knew he had Driscoll now.  “In fact, he was quite descriptive.  The scroll was very long . I only copied the first part, but I read Jessup’s entire translated version.  He said the Oracle’s appearance was that of a boy with longish hair—except It had pale blue skin and dark blue hair.”

“Holy shit…sounds like some kind of freakish Smurf!”  Driscoll said.

Gregory restrained from rolling his eyes this time.  “Also, Its eyes were clear, or maybe white.  The translation is not precise on that point.”

“Pretty strange, either way,” Driscoll said, genuinely interested.

“Yes, and it gets even stranger,” continued Gregory.  “The scribe’s description was from that first occasion, when the Oracle was reclining on a couch and being attended by the priests.  He said it appeared to be nude except for a thin, light blue veil and—are you ready for this Driscoll?—It had the sexual organs of both male and female!”

Driscoll said nothing.  He just sat on the edge of the couch, his elbows resting on his knees, his empty glass dangling from one hand.

Gregory stood up, stretched and walked out from behind his desk.  He leaned against the front of the desk and said slowly, “Driscoll, I think that Oracle was an alien.  Those High Priests had found, and were keeping, a bloody alien!”

The rain tapped on the windows.  The darkness from outside seemed to crowd into the study, despite the blazing fire.

Driscoll slowly set his glass on the coffee table and stared into it for a few moments.  His mind raced back to his boyhood bedroom.  He recalled all those sleepless nights he’d gazed at the stars through his homemade telescope as his drunken father raged downstairs.  Fast-forwarding to college, he remembered the countless hours he spent in the Princeton observatory studying the infinite depths of space, examining each pinprick of light.  Every time he’d ever looked up at that endless vista, he’d always had a feeling there was something—or someone—looking back at him.

“Gregory…”  Driscoll began stiffly.  For once, he was truly at a loss for words. “Gregory, are you…that is, well…don’t you think you might be jumping to conclusions?  I mean, isn’t it more likely that that poor thing was the sad result of generations of inbreeding or something?  We know it went on all the time, back then.  Maybe that or some terrible disease or something…”

“Goddammit, I’m a scientist, Driscoll!”  Gregory interrupted.  “I don’t jump to bloody conclusions.  It’s true, I don’t have any real proof, but that’s where you come in.  And anyway, there’s more. About the crash site.”

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Your Furniture May Be Haunted!

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So comes the warning from writer of spooky stories, Catherine Cavendish. Her latest novella, The Second Wife,  is out today – so I asked her to come over and tell us about it. It’s not Cat’s second coming, she’s been a regular here as she’s been pretty successful in getting published over the last year. Welcome, Cat!

 

Catherine Cavendish

Catherine Cavendish

 

 

Buyer Beware! Your Furniture May Be Haunted!

 

In my latest paranormal novella, The Second Wife,  my main character, Chrissie Marchant, is haunted by the unquiet spirit of her husband’s first wife. A chair and a stunning photograph of the lady in question feature strongly. But is this all pure fiction? Or should you think twice before buying that antique chest or bedroom suite? Here’s a sample of artefacts that should probably never again see the light of day…

 

The Haunted ‘Conjure’ Chest

 

Conjure Chest

 

Over 150 years ago, an African American slave called Hosea was ordered by his master, Jacob Cooley, to build him a chest to be used by his first-born child.

Hosea created a fine carved chest but, for some reason, it did not please his exacting master who beat him mercilessly until he lay dead.

Hosea was mourned by Cooley’s other slaves who vowed revenge on their terrible master. Together with a ‘conjure man’, they sprinkled dried owl’s blood in the chest which they then cursed. They didn’t have to wait long for their first result, as Jacob Cooley’s beloved first-born son perished in infancy.

To date, a total of 17 deaths have been attributed to this piece of antique furniture and, even though legend states that the curse was eventually removed, the present owners have stored it in the Kentucky History Museum. The only thing the chest contains is an envelope. Stuffed with owl feathers.

 

 The Mysterious School Desk

 

haunted school desk

 

For this next artifact, I am indebted to http://www.johnzaffisparanormalmuseum.com/#!

John is an avid collector of allegedly haunted items. One of the items in his collection is this ordinary looking, old-fashioned school desk. Nothing remarkable about it, you would think. But you wouldn’t have thought it so ordinary if you had been there on the day it was transported to John’s museum.

Its former home was a college campus, but its presence unnerved some of the students. Before it could be moved, and during John’s paranormal investigation of it, the desk suddenly slid across the floor – while someone was actually sitting in it!

 

The Ghostly Bedroom Suite

 

haunted bed

 

Not content with one piece of haunted furniture, Sarah Forbes had an entire bedroom suite that she put up for sale because it gave her the creeps. “It has been in my family for about 200 years. There are multiple spirits that come through it. They touch you, wake you and move your things. You can see faces in the wood…” As a child, she says she thought nothing of the strange figures who would mysteriously waft in and out of her bedroom at night.  You can read more about her strange story at

http://www.ghoststudy.com/new2/furniture.html

 

You’ll find many more mysterious stories like this on the internet. But now, I’ve got you in the mood for ghostly tales, here’s the blurb for The Second Wife:

 

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Emily Marchant died on Valentine’s Day. If only she’d stayed dead…

 

When Chrissie Marchant first sets eyes on Barton Grove, she feels as if the house doesn’t want her. But it’s her new husband’s home, so now it’s her home as well. Sumptuous and exquisitely appointed, the house is filled with treasures that had belonged to Joe’s first wife, the perfect Emily, whom the villagers still consider the real mistress of Barton Grove.

A stunning photograph of the first Mrs. Marchant hangs in the living room, an unblemished rose in her hand. There’s something unnerving and impossibly alive about that portrait, but it’s not the only piece of Emily still in the house. And as Chrissie’s marriage unravels around her, she learns that Emily never intended for Joe to take a second wife…

 

The Second Wife is available now from:

 

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca  

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

Kobo 

You can find Cat here:

www.catherinecavendish.com

http://www.facebook.com/CatherineCavendish

www.goodreads.com as Catherine Cavendish

http://twitter.com/#!/cat_cavendish

 

Ni Anluain Blog Tour

Welcome to the official Ni Anluain Blog Tour

8th to 22nd December 2012

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About two years ago I had the good fortune to be introduced to a digital artist by the name of Eithné O’Hanlon. For once she didn’t come from the USA or Australia but from Ireland. And we all know how the Irish and British have a special relationship. Eithné went on to produce the fabulous cover for my horror novel Diavolino. You all must know it by now but here it is just in case:
Diavolino_200-300_300dpi
To tell you the truth, I’m hard to please when it comes to people, I generally prefer dogs, and I’m not one to be heard saying that someone is lovely or sweet or some such other gooey adjective. But, and I mean this, Eithné is genuinely sweet and lovely and feisty, and on top of that she is brilliant at what she does. So when I saw a call for a blog tour to help promote her, I jumped straight in. And I can say hand on heart – if you need a book cover or some other digital artwork, Eithné should be on your list! So, without further ado, let’s talk to her.
Steve: Top of the morning to you. How’s it all going over there in Eire these days? Things have changed  a lot in 4 years.
Eithné: They have! For one, what I see in my head I can generally get down in Photoshop. There was a time when I could see it but not do it. Now I can generally fake it enough that it’s passable.
S: I know that you use both your English and Celtic names, but I’ve noticed that more and more you are being referred to simply as Ni Anluain. Is that something to do with super stardom like Prince or Bono?
Prince
E: Ohhh!!! Compared to Prince! I am so delighted! (We can ignore Bono – not a U2 fan – YES I know! I should be beaten at the stake!) I think it’s because on most sites I am lazy and “Eithne Ni Anluain” seems a mouth/type-full so I just cut it to the second name.
S: I guess you’ve done thousands of book covers since Diavolino. How about showing us a cross-section and telling us a bit about them?
E: I doubt thousands unfortunately, I would love to have a hundred or so but alas it can take time.
I’ve done a wide range of covers from CI Black’s Medusa series (Urban Fantasy) which is entirely done by me –  including the model photography…
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…to e-books using only stock photography like Jessica Bradshaw’s Hazy Shade of Winter (YA PNR).
Plate_HSOW_BH_JessicaB
The biggest by far was Renegade by Jessica Souders (YA Sci-Fi). Its a Tor cover and the first of my big ones. And it is a MASSIVE file! Was fun to do, lots of detail that I like, though finding costumes in Ireland can be more stressful than the rest all put together.
Renegade_JASouders_Tor
I’ve also done some MM romance for Embry Carlysle, but she’s my best friend so she can get to beat me up! There is one that’s not out yet that I cant wait to reveal. That is a downside to the publishing industry. You have done it, cant wait for the release and its put back another 3 months and you just want to shout “Look! I did that! Heh!!”
MmaM_ECarlysle_800-1200
S: You do more than book covers, don’t you? What kind of things have you been producing, and can you show us some examples?
E: I do some “select” work for photographers. I say “select” as I’ve been taken advantage of by so many photographers that I only really work with three now. If any come asking for work they have to understand that I am not just everyone else and it IS my job and they should treat me with some respect as they would a model. Some just hurl abuse at you for making an eye slightly dark. I really can do without drama like that in my life. That and running after them for months looking to get paid. I just can’t be bothered, not worth turning on my computer for. I also do some private commissions for people. Children mostly in fantasy scenes. I don’t like to post them online as they are so personal. Finally, the charities. I like to payback. I do a lot of work for Holly’s Horse Haven which is a horse rescue center in my local area. I designed the Christmas Cards and they will be raffling the 3 prints off next week so keep an eye out on my FB page.
HHH_CardCollage
S: I learned to draw and paint in the days before computers. What you do seems like magic to me. Do you need super expensive software and hardware? I presume you are MAC rather than PC?
E: Oh yes – I am a MAC girl through and through. I’m currently upgrading my system but currently I run:
Mac Pro 2*2.26 Quad Core, 16GB Ram, ATI Radeon HD  512 MB (upgrading to 1GB), 2TB internal (upgrading to a 3TB startup disk, 2 TB Raid 0 all internal) and a 3TB external backup. Mac Cinema Display 30″, shitty second display for the web, mails, TV, Movies, and a Wacom I4. I call her “Hubble” as she could run the Hubble. I also have the full Master Suite 6 installed and not much else apart from basic stuff. The Master Suite is huge piece of kit. Having said that I only use 25% of photoshop, no idea what the rest does! Did I mention I’m a geek?
S: I understood the last word! I’d be glad if someone could explain why Word Press refuses to show my spacing and formatting when I can see it in edit mode. OK, can you pick a highlight, anything at all, of 2012?
E: 2012 wasn’t the best of years for me personally and work did suffer. That will hopefully change in the coming year! More positive Eithne and better work will hopefully get more clients. The highlight was doing a cover for Marjorie M. Liu (not released yet).
S: And low?
E: When my hard disk failed in June and was out of work for 5 weeks.
S: What’s 2013 hold for Ni Anluain?
E: Hopefully more work and lovely clients. I’m of the opinion that an author has spent so much time on their work that I in turn have to give them my all. So it doesn’t matter if its a cheap ‘n’ cheerful or a mass market with a budget to match, everyone will always get my best.
S: Yes, and I know they do. Christmas or new Year, which do you prefer?
E: Winter solstice! Bit of a heathen you see! But Christmas – just hibernate with the hot ports.
S: Oh, another heathen! How’s the dog? 
W: FIDIOT or Spike is now a retired gentleman! For those who don’t know, my other life was/is training my working line German Shepherd for IPO or Schutzhund sport. He’s now 6 but I had to retire him in June due to an unrecoverable sports injury. It was a shame as we had qualified for the World Championships in Austria, but couldn’t go. The type of injury he sustained means I can’t even throw a ball for him – and he LOVES HIS BALL! Most of the pics I have of him are on my phone or trialing shots but I’ve included a couple. I’m not just Miss Whiplash helping train others!
DogA
Dog B
S: It’s been great having you over again. Don’t leave it so long next time. Good luck to you and a Happy New Year!
E: Same to you dear!
Now, the all important places to find and follow (follow, not stalk!) our Ni Anluian:

Blog: http://nianluain.blogspot.ie/

Website: http://www.nianluain.com/Welcome.html

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nianluain?fref=ts

Deviant art: http://nianluain.deviantart.com/

Redbubble: http://www.redbubble.com/people/nianluain

Twitter: @Ni_Anluain

Behence: http://www.behance.net/nianluain

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nianluain/

Tumblr: http://nianluain.tumblr.com/

About Eithné Ni Anluain

Eithné is obsessed with fantasy. Some say that it is an unhealthy relationship she has with it. A rock is not just a rock, it’s a hiding place for faeries after all.

When not chasing said faeries she is a freelance illustrator specializing in fantasy cover art. She can
illustrate stock photography but also can take model photography, design sets and props, find costumes
and models.

Her symbol, the dragon, was designed by Eithné when she returned to art years ago and it is a part of her being, spiritually and artistically.

Clients range from mainstream NYC and London fantasy publishers, mainstream magazines and motion picture houses.

And now for you chance to win PRIZES!

Give Away Ni Anluain

Here’s a list of all the blogs taking part in this tour.

December 8 – Allison’s Nook   
December 9- Peace, Love, Books                                  
December 10- Steve Emmett 
December 11- Tamara’s One Stop Indie Shop                                  
December 12- Jessica Bradshaw
December 13- YA Book Addict                               
December 14- Delphina Reads Too Much 
December 15- Just Me, Myself, and I               
December 16- Ever and Ever Sight
December 17- Tammy’s Tea Time                           
December 18- Jenna Roads   
December 19- A Little Bit Of R&R                                    
December 21- Jean Booknerd        

Make sure you visit them all! Then all you have to do is click on the link to Rafflecopter underneath to enter. Good luck!

 

Rafflecopter giveaway

And A Merry Christmas To You, Too

Living back oop north after spending a lifetime away, I have to say this card which arrived today is tipped for the best of the season. Well, it may be the only one of the season in fact. Thanks to my friends Viv and Brian Griffiths who suffer this time of year as do I.

Card is by Cardmix Ltd

Copyright Alex Lowe

Copyright 2012 Cardmix Ltd

Open All Hours?

My son, in his final year at UCL and back in London after a year in Russia and Spain, came up to Dad’s to collect his motorbike (’tis the easiest and cheapest way around London). It had been in ‘the garage’ for some overdue TLC and you know how you always worry when you send a vehicle for an overhaul? Well, we had no need. We were really lucky to find one seriously decent and slightly wacky bike nut and genius (so he has a lot in common with Emmett Snr and Jnr 🙂 ) in John Warrington who runs this business in Malton, North Yorkshire:

http://www.jwmotorcycles.co.uk/

The old MZ, I’m pleased to say, got Jnr back home safely, so ‘well done’ to him for braving the 220 miles in not-so-good weather and a big thanks to John Warrington.

You writers and readers alike might appreciate this notice in John’s shop. We loved it. And yes, this whole post has really been an excuse to share this:

Now, if you need your motorbike fixing/servicing/MOTing – get along to J W Motorcycles!