Thursday, October 11, 2007

ELENA BOWMAN HERE!


Good Morning, Everyone. First I'd like to thank Ginger for inviting
me to post on her blog. I'm fairly new to blogging, but am trying my
best to keep up with it. To begin with, I am a retired software
engineer turned full-time author. I write in several genres and live
in Massachusetts with my wonderful husband. I am also the President of
the Merrimack Valley PenWomen, a branch of the National League of
American PenWomen.

I am posting an excerpt of my science fiction, mystery romance novel,
entitled Contact – Book 1 in The Sarah's Landing Series.

Blurb:
Earth's reach for the stars, catches the interest and attention of a
culture existing on a shrouded planet who have commissioned a highly
technically superior force to search the universe for compatible life
forms. The alien race, who call themselves Theonians, are capable of
fantastic psychic abilities, one of which allows them to travel
anywhere in the universe at will.

The Theonians' advanced society is on the brink of disaster. These
aliens must now enlist, not conquer, a race of beings whose genetics
are similar to theirs to ensure the continuation of their own
existence. Settling on the planet Earth as their primary objective
they surreptitiously send a member of their Inner Council to scout out
this promising aspect. He takes on the name of Henderson, and the role
of a Caretaker, so as to slip among the people of the planet with ease.

Thus, Sarah's Landing, one of the last surviving vestiges of an
earlier era, situated along the rocky coast of New England becomes the
village where Henderson begins his mission. Unknown to most of its
inhabitants, it now maintains an unusual bond with an Alien City, and
its unseen planet millions of light years away, and with it, its
people...the empathics and Telepaths of Theon.

C H A P T E R 1 - Excerpt

Three years is not a long time but when you're trying to erase a
memory it can seem forever. Sometimes, while walking across the base,
the noise of a machine would startle
Joshua. He would stop as if waiting for something. Other times,
someone's laughter would bother him, anger him, and cause him to
remember the violent churning static, the endless silence. What did
happen out there in space? How could the starship disappear so
completely? Joshua remembered sitting in that stark white hospital
room three years ago listening, waiting throughout the night—pounding
the video monitor with his fists, but there were no answers, no human
voices. Now, more than ever, reports upset him, especially reports of
disappearances. Why, he wondered, did it bother him so much
when people, he did not know, mysteriously disappeared just because
they happened to be in the right place at the wrong time?

His memories of Earth Star-I were bad enough, but his reassignment was
worse. He was told his ear problem, a result of a viral infection,
made it impossible for him to remain an
astronaut. He could help, he said, training a new crew or being part
of a design team for the next mission. After all, could SICOM afford
to throw away a trained astro-biologist?
"Use me, damn it," he demanded. "Let me be a part of all of this."
The Space Intelligence Command (SICOM) agreed Joshua Morgan's talents
were important and useful for the success of future efforts. But the
budget cuts had trimmed down their teams, so all he could hope for now
was a slot as a floating alternate. He would be used whenever and
wherever SICOM had need of him. Joshua reluctantly agreed. So until a
permanent slot opened up, Joshua was transferred to the Space
Intelligence Alien Investigative Team. His job, as part of Alien
Intelligence, was to investigate any unfinished cases of strange
incidents that had occurred, and perhaps were still occurring.

He closed the book on the last of his present cases. There was nothing
to it. The man disappeared because he wanted to. Now Joshua was flying
home and back to SICOM after two months of intensive field work in
various parts of the world. He sometimes wished all of his cases were
this easy, but then he would not have a job.

***
Back in Houston, life was more pleasurable. His office on the fourth
floor of the Administration Building overlooked the entire base.
Furnished during the days of prosperity he had many plush comfortable
chairs, lush tropical plants and a large mahogany desk. Across the
hall from his office, behind heavy glass doors, an environmentally
controlled complex protected several highly sophisticated computers.
It would be easy, he thought, to correlate two months' fieldwork.

Having entered the case file information into the computers Joshua
returned to his office and sat back to wait for results. Old tapes and
modern data crystals from other agents had
been stacked on his desk, "Bury them or resolve them!" the note
attached to the top stack ordered. How lucky can I get? He thought,
smiling wryly.

Staring out the window he absentmindedly watched white puffy clouds
expand and separate. Sighing he leaned over, inserted the first tape
and turned on his recorder. He listened intently to each one of the
individuals being interviewed as they related their experiences. They
were intelligent and not easily frightened people but strange events
had changed their lives. They had been witnesses to unbelievable
occurrences.
The data crystals weren't anymore definitive, he discovered, when he
inserted them into his computer.

Joshua was skeptical yet, he had to admit, they seemed levelheaded and
sincere.
He had not heard any of their stories before but here in his
comfortable office each one sounded similar. How many of them, he
wondered, were missing? Was there a rational
explanation? Why had these people vanished?

He spent the entire morning talking to other agents and playing and
replaying the voice recordings and data crystals.
"What the hell is going on? Am I crazy? People don't disappear. Humans
are tangible, solid entities." He rubbed one hand against the other.
"No. It's not possible. It can't
be."

The tapes have been around for years. He knew everyone had a crack at
them and they came up empty-handed. No one really expected him to do
anything about them. But the voices on the recordings haunted him…and
those on the data crystals were just as compelling.

Information from the computers confirmed his suspicions. There were
many similarities. People who did not know each other, who lived in
diverse places, were experiencing similar phenomena. Witness after
witness repeated the description: "…suddenly there was a brilliant,
blinding flash of light!"

Some of the stories had been discounted. Missing people were found, or
returned on their own. But certain cases could not be so easily
resolved. Were they coincidences, or were the implications far more
reaching?

Why should these people suddenly vanish? Joshua sat down at his desk
and tabulated a long list of names. He could not find one common
denominator. The missing people came from all walks of life. The less
fortunate were as likely to disappear as executives, and children
vanished as often as adults. There was no pattern.
Joshua ran another correlation check through the computers. This time
he fed all the data he could find into the memory banks, beginning
with SICOM's first reports of unusual events up to and including the
information on the data crystals his "buddies" left on his desk.

He did not know what to expect, but learning that many reports were
never investigated astounded him—like the Deming, New Mexico case. The
Air Force was far more
interested in the discovery of extra-terrestrial crash sites with body
remains near Roswell, New Mexico than with bizarre disappearances,
which the Air Force considered a `local'
problem. Youngs Creek, Indiana, among others, was another report that
fell through the cracks. Then there were the missing children cases
among others in New England. SICOM believed the local "Feds" should
handle them.

Someone else would have dropped the whole thing, but not Joshua. He
could not let go. If there was a linkage between people disappearing
and his starship, he would find it or die trying. At least that was
how he felt about it at the moment.
There had to be a link somewhere. But where? How? Something kept
nagging at the back of his mind. Joshua had a feeling a trip to
Washington, DC. might provide some clue.
SICOM did not agree. Joshua argued that every effort had to be made.
SICOM said he was wasting everyone's time.
"Maybe," Joshua said. "But if we don't try, we'll never know. Will we?"

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