Guardian Cats and the Lost Book of Alexandria

cover for guardian cats and the lost book of alexandria

cover of Guardian Cats

Guardian Cats and the Lost Book of Alexandria by Rahma Krambo

Get it on Smashwords

In the wrong hands, some books can be dangerous—and some libraries can be positively deadly. A small town library cat and newly appointed Guardian of an ancient mystical book finds otherworldly creatures roaming through the stacks after hours. The young tabby is ill-prepared for the daunting task of safekeeping the magical book of power—as well as the very heart and soul of the library.

Cicero, the old library cat is more than he seems — an elder Guardian charged with protecting an ancient book of power. Buried in a secret chamber, the book is a magnet for attracting the wrong kind of attention. Painfully aware his days are numbered, Cicero is troubled by the fact that he has found no successor.

Marco, a house cat alone in the world for the first time, finds refuge in the public library, a suitable home for an orange tabby gifted with the ability to read. But an unlimited amount of reading time is not young Marco’s destiny.

You might think this is just a story about cats, but it’s really a story about power. The attraction, addiction and abuse of power.
It’s also about the power of words and ideas.

Conveying these serious themes is a loosely organized fellowship of cats, a magical book, an evil professor, angelic creatures, mythological demons, a hyperactive ferret, and three gangster raccoons.

With the burning of the legendary Library of Alexandria as the story’s point of departure, Guardian Cats offers a fictionalized version of this tragic event. Escaping with a bagful of books and an armful of cats, the last librarian places each book in a safe haven… with a cat to guard it.

Guardian Cats, a historical fantasy, can be read on several levels. For ages 9 to adult.

Both entertaining and thought provoking, the story deals with very human concerns about loyalty, courage, and the overwhelming odds against becoming a hero.

 

Well now, when I first came across this one I was excited. I’ve been considering writing a children’s book, but didn’t know where to start…my normal plot lines and heavy action don’t exactly scream child’s book. Then again, this is purportedly for young adults.

At any rate, I was excited. The three reviews said it was a wonderful story, so I perused the free sample pages…

Sample:

His heart pounded when he realized that Lucy’s stories had been locked inside the books! And now he had the key!

His immediate surroundings, the rich scents of the library, mahogany, leather and brocade, receded into the background. He no longer heard the grandfather clock’s steady ticking. Time stood still while moonlight and printer’s ink transported him and four children through an English wardrobe to a place of everlasting winter. There, a majestic lion befriended them and liberated his kingdom from the spell of an evil witch.

He was hooked. He couldn’t wait to open another book. He inspected the shelves with the knowledge that books were no longer the unique property of humans. They were, like the wardrobe in the story, a portal which opened into strange and wonderful places.

And now he held a magical pass.

Where would these other books take him? (Whys is this in question form? It’s supposed to be a piece of internal dialogue, not a question to the reader) And where in the world would he start? (again!)  There were so many to choose from. (I don’t understand the passage of time, here) That night he did not sleep a wink. Each one transported him into a new adventure. How amazing, he thought, that books, once opened, were so much bigger on the inside.

I italicized repetative uses of words, bolded passive voicing, and added parenthetical thoughts.

I’m just flabbergasted, floored, by how often this occurs. You don’t find it in Stephen King novels, or Dan Brown, or Salmon Rushdie; he’s a turd by the way.

Please, please, please, readers out there, you guys gotta understand that most indie authors run in circles and so they give each other good reviews out of reciprocity. It then falls upon you to review the works you read.

Please, when you read something, review it. Thank you.

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What is a Thewl

thewlian concept art from lokians

thewlian concept art

Easily recognized by their extreme height and girth.

A thick translucent membrane covers their entire bodies with the exception of the mouth.

They are mostly red and pink though purple veins as well as other colors run through their anatomy.

They have no visible nose, backwards knee joints, and an extra knuckle to each finger.

Well that’s a loose description… Thewls are race of aliens from the Lokians series, and they play an integral role throughout the series.

The following is from the Appendix in Lokians Book3 For War and Glory

Surveying Eon
July 2111
During a survey mission on planet Eon, led by Captain O’Hara
of Earth Navy, the special operations team discovers alien beacons.
Soon after, Admiral Lay makes first contact with a race of
aliens called Thewls.
A detailed exchange of information occurs. The Thewls agree
to convene on Eon with the Navy’s spec ops team. At this meet
and greet, the Humans come to learn that a second race of aliens
called Lokians are on the prowl. This devastating force ravages
the galaxy by demolishing advanced civilizations. Lokians
also harvest technology for strange, physical, augmentations.
Ambassador Weh of the Thewls proposes a plan. A unified front
between men and Thewls is the only solution.
Careful deliberations occur behind closed doors as Admiral
Lay slowly sequesters himself from the mission. Suddenly, the
young Captain O’Hara is in charge of the Human’s most delicate
mission in military history. He leads his team aboard a Thewlian
Explorer, after which, he and his crew join the Thewlian Admiral,
Yew, in a search throughout the galaxy for a weapon to wield
against the so-called impending threat, the Lokians. This weapon
is kept secret from nearly everyone on Horizon colony, including
the Admiral’s second in command, Rear Admiral Shaw.

One of the cool things about the Lokians scifi series, or at least I think it’s cool, is the Appendix. In each book you can find all sorts of Intel on aliens, planets, technology. Here’s more on the Thewls.

These aliens are one of the larger races in physical stature, but
one of the smallest in pure numbers. Long ago, their home world
was destroyed by a Lokian attack. Since then, they have migrated
by way of four Carriers, immense ships on which they live.
Some attempts at colonial life have been made, but no colonies
have been deemed successful. Because of their long lives, over
five-hundred years, Thewls have mastered many ideologies. They
wield extravagant technology, superb medical techniques, and are
still a military force to be reckoned with.
Thewls are easily spotted by their enormous, physical stature,
translucent skin, reversed knee joints, and color cues. These cues
are, in actuality, a chemical reaction registered in their faces to
portray emotion. They are normally very even keeled. On occasion,
a drastic measure may elicit an emotional reaction. They all
appear to be very curious about other lifeforms and their cultures.

I don’t know about you all out there in internet land, but sci fi needs some super cool aliens, the likes of which have never been seen before. Go Thewls!

Hometown Prophet

The cover for Hometown Prophet

Cover for Hometown Prophet

 

Hometown Prophet by Jeff Fulmer

Following a spiritual experience, Peter Quill begins to have dreams that come true. When he correctly predicts a major event in front of the church, he is heralded as a modern day prophet. It isn’t until his dreams challenge the biases of people in the community that he comes under attack, discovering what it means to truly be a prophet of God.

Buy it on Smashwords

At 31 years old, Peter Quill moves back home to live with his mom in a suburb of Nashville. Following a spiritual experience, he has a vivid, cryptic dream. It isn’t until he hears a sermon at church that he understands the meaning of his dream and tells his pastor, Dr. Dan Cox, to have his heart checked out.

No sooner is Dan scheduled for heart surgery than Peter has a dream about the church being attacked. When he hears a visiting preacher, Mark Shelton, rail against an attack on Christian values, he knows Mark has something to do with his dream and tries to warn Dan.

His third dream involves a former member of his youth group, Jordan Stone, who went on to become a famous Christian pop singer. Reluctantly, he tells her about his dream involving a baby, which she claims has no relevance to her life.

By the time Mark Shelton takes many of Trinity’s members to form his own church, Dan is a big believer in Peter’s gift. When Peter deciphers a dream about a stock market crash, his pastor encourages him to announce it in front of the church. Reluctantly, Peter goes through with it and, when the market plummets, he is heralded as a prophet.

Acting on another dream, Peter attempts to save a homeless man from being beaten up. While he seems to succeed, the transient named Jesse, claims to also be a prophet of God and was sent there to help Peter conquer his fear so that he can become a truly effective messenger.

Armed with Jesse’s words, other dreams soon follow, including a toxic coal ash spill and an arson attack on a nearby mosque. Local news cameras are rolling and the pews are packed at Trinity Church as people clamor to witness the latest pronouncement. Even Jordan Stone has come around to Peter’s gift. But, because of the nature of his socially conscious dreams, he also begins to encounter resistance from some elements in the community.

His next dream involves three falling stars, which he interprets to mean three “Christian” leaders will take a fall. As ‘star’ after ‘star’ make public spectacles of themselves, Peter is viewed with even greater awe, and contempt.

Mark Shelton, one of his most vocal critics, claims to have a dream that Peter will soon take a fall of his own. A couple of days later, an old acquaintance appears on television to ‘out’ Peter. Instead of trying to deny the ‘accusation,’ Peter shows up at Mark Shelton’s mega-church for an Old Testament scriptural smack-down.

Following the confrontation, Peter has a final dream about a flood, which he announces on TV. As the rain begins to fall, people seem ready to heed the call to turn to God. In the midst of the rising waters, ‘small’ miracles happen as previous characters are revisited and find redemption in unlikely ways.

Long after the flood waters have receded, Peter has a final dream in which the homeless prophet, Jesse, pays him a final visit. In it, he is told that, even if he never has another prophetic dream, his work is far from finished.

Excerpt:
If nothing else, the exercise of faithfully opening his notebook every morning and straining to catch the last few drops of nocturnal memories had improved his recall. Now he was usually able to excavate at least two or three complete artifacts before the delicate strands broke away and the dreams dissolved into dust.

This latest “red room” dream was different though. There was no way he could forget it. He had woken up immediately after it was over, the ultra-vivid, Technicolor movie still reeling in his head. The claustrophobic feeling of being trapped came back to him, just before Dr. Dan Cox had made a guest appearance, opening the door and presumably setting him free.

Peter hadn’t seen his pastor since he’d been home, and wondered if it was a sign he needed to end the strike and make an appearance at church. After his spiritual experience the night before, it seemed like the right thing to do. Conveniently, it was Sunday morning and, since he wasn’t going back to sleep anyway, he hopped in the shower.

As he raised his head to let warm water douse what was left of his thinning hair, he drifted back to the white light that had flooded his body with such intensity. Something strange and powerful had happened to him, something he had not concocted or imagined. If or how it was connected to the dream, he had no idea.

Not sure when church started, he hurriedly dried off and got dressed in casual business attire. Jogging downstairs, he found his mom already in the kitchen, making her final preparations for departure.

Looking at him in something besides short pants or a bathrobe, she came to one conclusion. “Are you going with me?” Her eyes lighting up with joy, “Oh, I’m so glad!”

Peter shrugged, not wanting to make a big deal out of it.

 

I don’t know how I feel about this one. Normally, these prophetic stories don’t do it for me, but maybe they do for you. Enjoy…or don’t.