Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Monthly News

Welcome to the March edition of monthly news!
It looks like I didn't read much, but I did. Just some are not reviewed until April.


Yearly Total:  23 Books, 3 Products & 5 Movies

Book of the Month:


Book of the Year:


BLOGGER/MONEY-MAKING RESOURCES: 
1. SwagBucks (earn gift cards)
2. GiftHulk (earn gift cards & paypal cash)
3. Moo Business Cards
4. Unique Rewards (earn paypal cash)
5. Honest Insite (earn cash)
6. Glitter Network (ad affiliates)
7. LinkVehicle (sponsored posts & ad affiliates)
8. SnapSaves (save on groceries)
9. SuperPoints (earn gift cards)
10. Speakr (sponsored social media for bloggers)
**No compensation was received for posting. Opinions are owned by this site.

Teaser Tuesdays


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Saturday morning. The girls will be home from Wisconsin tomorrow. Before they arrive, I'll hide everything again in the hatbox, then I'll return it to the hall closet. Between now and then, I wonder, can these artifacts carry the story? They say a picture paints a thousand words; do you need so many more words than that?

** No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. This is part of a weekly meme.

Monday, March 30, 2015

#Win The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies




Are you brave like Bilbo Baggins
Take the quiz to find out if you are brave enough for Middle Earth, and enter to win a bluray copy of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies.




Mouse over the interactive map to learn some fun facts. You can also watch the trailer and click the box art on the map to buy a copy.




Contest is open to US & Canada.

To enter, take the quiz and comment with your answer. 
Extra points for those who tweet their answer with the hashtag #TheHobbit


Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway





**No compensation was received for posting. This site is not responsible for prize shipment, lost, damaged or stolen prizes.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

#23: All Is Bright - Sarah Pekkanen

Thirty-year-old Elise Andrews couldn’t bring herself to marry Griffin, her childhood friend turned sweetheart, so she let him walk away. Eight months after their breakup, she arrives in her hometown of Chicago on Christmas Eve and hears a voice from the past calling her name in the grocery store. It’s Griffin’s mother, Janice, who invites Elise over for a neighborhood gathering of eggnog and carols. 

Walking into Janice’s house sends Elise tumbling headlong into memories of her relationship with Griffin—and with Janice, who exudes the kind of warmth Elise ached for after her own mom passed away when she was six. But Griffin has moved on, and suddenly Elise doubts her decision to give him up and lose her chance at being folded into his wonderful family. Confused and reeling, she goes in search of an answer to a universal question: How do we say good-bye to people we’ve loved without losing everything they’ve meant to us? 

Heartwarming and witty, All Is Bright is a charming story about coming home for the holidays—and finding gifts in the most unexpected of places.


  • Kindle: 494 KB
  • Print Length: 47 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press (21 Dec. 2010)
  • ASIN: B004V3YGOI

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READ IT FREE!


AUTHOR BIO:
Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally bestselling author of The Opposite of MeSkipping a BeatThese GirlsThe Best of Us, and Catching Air, as well as a series of linked short stories for ereaders. Her work has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers. She lives with her family, including a rescue dog and cat, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.


REVIEW:
Bittersweet!
It ended way too soon for me. That is the bitter part. The rest was super sweet.
I like the characters, and have a feeling we are set up for the next book to be spectacular reading. You just know everything has to come together, though nothing but questions were raised in this one.
I feel like I can't wait for more, I just have to know if she stays or goes. Does she come back and get the guy or let him go? 
Yup, I'm hooked.

4/5


**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. This copy was obtained free. Opinions are owned by this site.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

#22: Hard Knocks - Lori Foster

In the stunning prequel novella to her new mixed martial arts series, New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster brings together an elite fighter and the woman he's determined to win.
Power. Brute strength. Unforgettable moves. It's no wonder Harper Gates hasn't been able to get her fling with Gage "Savage" Ringer out of her head. Months have passed since she laid eyes—or any other body parts—on him. Months without a word of contact…until, sidelined by injury, he comes back to town.
Staying focused on his training seemed like a smart move to Gage, even if he thought about Harper every day. Seeing her again only makes it clear how much is at stake. He's got one night to earn back her trust. One night to show her that behind his breathtaking skill and ripped body is a man who'll give her everything she needs.

  •                                       File Size: 213 KB
  •                                       Print Length: 61 pages
  •                                             Publisher: Harlequin HQN (August 4, 2014)
  •                                             Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  •                                      Language: English
  •                                     ASIN: B00IWTYW2I

                       AMAZON US   |   AMAZON CA   |   AMAZON UK

                         READ IT FREE!!

AUTHOR BIO:
Lori Foster was first published in 1996 and is now a USA-Today, Publisher's Weekly and New York Times bestselling author. She has been published by Kensington, St. Martin's, Berkley, Silhouette and Samhain. She is currently with Harlequin. Be sure to visit her website at LoriFoster.com

REVIEW:
HOT!
I saw the cover, and what was a girl to do?! I had to know who the hot guy was on the front. He is hot, lemme tell ya.
The chick he admires is pretty hot too.
The relationship between them, or lack thereof, is so steamy hot.
What do you get?
Hot, hot, hot!!!
Then you get the grit from the fighting scenes that adds an extra smash of 'bad-boy' or 'tough-guy' to the mix and how can a reader resist? You can't. I loved that element!
The sex scenes were pretty intense. This being such a small read and all, I wasn't expecting it, I guess. Kudos to the author for creating such an erotic story, but not over-the-top.
Sweet and spicy, short read. I can't wait to read No Limits now.

4.5/5


**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. This copy was obtained free. Opinions are owned by this site.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings)

Welcome to Week 220!


Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. 
*It's that simple.



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It's not always wise to assume that just because the surface of the world appears undisturbed, life is where you left it.

ONLY FRIDAY 56 PARTICIPANTS MAY USE THE LINKY
Book Beginnings











**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. This is a meme post. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Blasting About: Pride (With #Giveaway)

Freda's Voice is happy to be part of the book blast tour for, Pride. Be sure to read on to the end for a great giveaway! Good luck!


Pride2


Pride by Rosie Somers

Seventeen-year-old Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself, but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. When she gets a visit from three men claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings imbued with the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS, her life is changed irrevocably.

Gabby is the steward of PRIDE

To make matters worse, she’s falling hard for fellow steward, Grant Barnett, and he hates her guts. Now Gabby has to learn to protect Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.









Praise for the Book:

Iola’s Christian Reads: “Pride is aimed at the YA market, and is the first in a planned series (presumably one for each of the seven deadly sins). It incorporates elements of other well-known YA series such as Harry Potter and Divergent, (an orphan who is the ‘chosen one’ fighting the forces of evil). It has that fast pace and addictive quality which makes it hard to put down.”

“...it was thrilling enough to grab my attention and I can’t wait to continue Gabby’s story in the next installment. Rosie Somers has made it to my Author’s to watch for list!”





Excerpt
Copyright © Rosie Somers

Gabby



The man didn’t make a sound. He stood stock still for the span of one sharp, inhaled breath, then he crumpled to the floor. After assuring herself there was no one behind him, Gabby flipped her flashlight on and knelt to give the unconscious heap at her feet her full attention. Oh God, she’d killed him. She just knew it.

Save for green streaks coursing through his thick, black hair, and a spot of blood near his temple, there wasn’t any color on him. His clothes were black, his skin winter-pale. Everything about his appearance was smooth, lean, handsome—no feature out of place. Full lips, chiseled jaw, and strikingly thick eyelashes. He was pretty, for a boy. It all fit, even the green hair. And he was still breathing. She wasn’t a murderer.

Suddenly, a strong hand gripped her forearm, and the heavy flashlight was ripped from her grasp. Wrenching free from the iron grip, she tried to turn around as she stood. Instead, she fell backward over Pretty Boy, landing hard on her butt with her legs draped over his torso.

Gabby scrambled to her feet. The moment she was steady, she broke into a run, but only made it as far as the back door before arms like steel bands wrapped around her from behind, pinning her to a rock-solid chest. She couldn’t breathe.

“We’re not here to hurt you, Gabriella,” a deep voice murmured into her ear. As if to prove the honesty of his words, the man relaxed his hold just enough for her to breathe normally.

“Yeah, right.” And her foster dad had only wanted to give her a kiss goodnight—with his tongue. Gabby knew what men were like, and she was not about to be fooled by this one. “How do you know my name?”

“It’s a long story, but we’ve been lookin’ for ya for some time now.” He had an Irish accent.

“Who are you?”

He turned their bodies back toward the unconscious man across the room. Now another guy stood over Pretty Boy. He wasseveral years older, thirty maybe. His pale blond hair was short and, even from across the room, it was clear he was much taller than her.

As Vice Guy half-carried her to the other men, a muffled moan floated up to meet them, and the guy on the floor took great care disentangling lanky limbs to pull himself to a kneeling position. He rubbed the side of his head with one hand while he used the other to brace himself against the wall. The look Pretty Boy raked over Gabby as he got up made her cringe.

The guy still holding her spoke. “If I let ya go, will ya promise not to run? We’re not goin’ to hurt ya. We’re here because we need your help.”

She believed him. Maybe because, even though she’d just clobbered his friend, he hadn’t hurt her. She nodded and was immediately released.

She turned, but the guy behind her wasn’t the giant with superhuman strength she’d imagined. Her captor was probably only a couple of years older than her, with dark auburn hair and a hint of a dimple on his right cheek. Despite the seriousness of the situation, his bright blue eyes sparkled with interest, and the corners of his lips were turned up in an amused smile.

He didn’t take his gaze off her, even when he took several steps away. Instead, he stood arms crossed, feet planted apart. Poised to give chase if she fled. Running had crossed her mind, but something compelled her to stay at least long enough to hear what they had to say.

“Well …?” She prompted with a wave of her hand that clearly said, get on with it.

The blond man cleared his throat. “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Andrew. This is Lucas.” He motioned toward the man who’d grabbed her, then to the one she’d knocked out. “And Grant.”

Grant’s eyes were narrowed. She shifted under his scrutiny and diverted her gaze.

Andrew whispered something in his ear, and Grant looked down at his feet. Andrew continued, “We need to go.”

They were there to abduct her. At the realization, panic rose in Gabby’s chest, choking her breath into shallow threads. She threw her hands up defensively and backed away with slow, shaky steps. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

Andrew sighed. “You may not want to now, but you will when you find out why.”

“Then tell me.”

He checked his watch, then squared his shoulders in determination. “Have you ever heard of the seven deadly sins?”

Gabby snorted. “Who hasn’t?”

“I assume you don’t realize how serious they are. We’ve spent our lives protecting humanity from the temptations and you laugh at the mention of them?” Grant’s voice was deep and forceful.

He looked as though he would have continued scolding her, but Lucas uttered a soft “Dude” and shook his head. Grant snapped his mouth shut and raised a hand to rub the back of his neck.

Lucas picked up where Andrew left off. “Do ya know much abou’ the history of the sins?”

She’d only ever heard an Irish brogue on TV. His lilting tone was soothing.

He raised an eyebrow.

Oh, he’d asked a question. What was it? Ah yes, history of the sins. Gabby shook her head.

“In the latter half of the fourth century, a monk fled Constantinople to a small monastery in Egypt. There, he penned a list of eight sins which he referred to as the Temptations of Man: Pride, Avarice, Acedia, Gluttony, Impurity, Anger, Sadness, and Vainglory.”

He took a few steps back and leaned against the wall, then continued, “For two centuries, almost all of those not involved with that particular monastery thought the list of Temptations was nothing more than the opinion of one monk, a suggestion of how to lead a good Christian life. Then, sometime around five-ninety A.D., Pope Gregory the First came across a collection of rings tha’ had been housed by this monastic order in utter secrecy. They considered them so powerful only the handler was permitted near them, just one specific monk who devoted his life to ensurin’ no one else came into contact with the Temptations.”

“Listen guys, much as I appreciate the history lesson, I’ve got work in …”she made a show of checking her non-existent watch, “a few hours, so I really hope you’re getting to a point.” This earned her a leveling glare from Grant.

“Pope Gregory had the rings studied and discovered they were in fact imbued with special properties. It seemed they had the power to influence people toward certain … well … temptations,” Andrew replied.

What asylum had these guys broken out of? Did they actually believe this nonsense they were spouting? “Seriously, jewelry that makes people sin? Right.” Gabby moved to her bag and gathered her clothing, making sure to keep the men in her line of sight.

Lucas reached into his shirt and pulled out a chain. He slipped it free of his neck and dangled it from the tips of two fingers. Swinging like a pendulum at the bottom of that chain was a brilliant, red ring.

“What is that?” She already knew the answer.

Lucas took several slow steps in her direction and extended his arm toward her. She clenched her fists and bit down on her tongue to keep from yelling at the men. How dare they sneak into her makeshift home, intruding into her life, practically scaring her to death. Now, they were feeding her this absurd story about sin-possessed rings and crazy monks.

The closer he got, her anger went from muted seething to barely-contained rage. The more she thought about it, the more she wished she was still in possession of her Maglite so she could hit him with it, and maybe again after that. When Lucas was little more than five feet from her, he winked and reversed direction. With each step he took away from her, the violent feelings receded.

“Anger,” Gabby answered her own question.

“Anger,” Andrew affirmed. “Lucas is the steward. I’m the steward of Pride, Grant of Envy.”

Grant’s eyes narrowed at her, while Andrew pulled a matching chain from beneath his own T-shirt and let the attached orange ring fall to rest against his chest. Something about Andrew’s ring was different though. Sure, power emanated from it, too, but she wasn’t experiencing pride. This power was different. It tingled—almost like static electricity.

After slipping the chain back over his head and tucking it under his neckline, Lucas picked up his story from where he’d left off. “Each of the rings has the ability to influence people toward a particular sin. Pope Gregory discovered which ones led to which temptation and labeled them accordingly. As a result, the original list of temptations was amended. It came to be known as the seven deadly sins.”

That was why the list Lucas spouted earlier didn’t sound right.

“The rings didn’t create the sins, of course. They just have the power to promote that particular feeling or action. Each sin has two rings and two custodians.” Lucas was matter-of-fact.

“What, like a janitor?”

He shook his head, but didn’t otherwise acknowledge her interruption. “The stewards are bound to their particular ring, can sense it, can control its influence over others.”

“How come I’ve never heard of these … stewards?”

“We exist in secret. If the world knew about us and the sins, all hell would break loose. We are not equipped to deal with that,” Grant answered in a tone that clearly said she should already know the answer.

“I still don’t understand what any of this has to do with me.” Were they ever going to get to the point?

Lucas took a tentative step toward her. “You’re the other steward of Pride, Gabriella.”




Author Bio:
Rosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year round sunshine. She can often be found in her favourite spot on her favourite beach, nose-deep in a good book.



50_Amazon_Paypal

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/13/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

**No compensation was received for posting. This site is not responsible for the giveaway or prize shipment. This post is part of a promotional tour.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays


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The next month is a blur. We both had previous lives continuing.


**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the link within. This post is part of a weekly meme.

#Recipe Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Mini Chicken Pot Pie
Every time we eat Swiss Chalet, the hubby gets Chicken Pot Pie. I don't care for savory pies though so it's not something I order. Then I had an idea to use biscuits instead of pie dough. OMG, delicious! These savory buns got devoured!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 packages of Pillsbury Country Biscuit refrigerated dough.
  • 1 cup cut up cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup of mixed veggies
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can of cream of chicken condensed soup
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
METHOD
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a bowl, combine all ingredients listed except the dough. Set aside.
Using a muffin pan, take the portion of biscuit dough, and form it gently with your fingers in each hole. Make sure to make them deep enough so you get enough mixture in them. 
Once you have them ready, fill them to the top but not overflowing with the mixture. Then place them in the over for 20 minutes or so, until they are golden brown.
Don't worry, they come apart very easy, but let stand for 1-2 minutes when you bring them out of the oven. 

Makes 10.


**No compensation was received for posting. Opinions, photos and recipe are owned by this site.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Help Protect Texas’ Babies Through Vaccination

Vaccinations.
A hot and somewhat sensitive subject right now with Ebola, Measles and other diseases circulating around the world. Do you believe in vaccinating? I do. Infectious diseases are scary! They are not only dangerous if contracted, they are contagious and even sometimes deadly too. Most of us contract diseases like Chicken Pox when we are kids, but if you contract that same disease as a baby or even as a senior citizen, you are at more risk due to poorer immune systems. Babies have not developed enough yet, and sadly as we get older, it gets harder to keep a build-up of immunity to fight of even simple colds and flu.

Did you know that many infants and children in the state of Texas have not received all of the CDC-recommended vaccines? The CDC, Center for Disease Control and Protection, recommends which vaccines to get to help protect our children from all of the diseases I have listed, as well as many others. Even children who are under-insured, have no insurance, or are Medicaid eligible can qualify to receive the vaccines for little or no cost at all. Plus, there is also providers who extend their office hours to fit busy schedules at work and home. The CDC can help connect you to these providers.



As a Canadian, you're probably wondering why I care or even promote vaccinations in Texas. For starters, contagious diseases travel. Even to other countries, so no one is safe. Secondly, my sister-in-law, her husband and two children live in Houston, Texas. Knowing my family is safe and protected while living far from home matters most. 

So I urge you, whether you live in Texas or anywhere in the world, please get your vaccines. If you have had vaccines, just make sure that they are up to date. It not only protects you and the ones you love, it also protects the rest of us on earth too.


Visit the CDC for more information.



**Compensation is received for posting. Opinions are owned by this site.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

#21: Empress of the Night by Eva Stachniak

The follow-up to the #1 bestseller The Winter Palace--perfect for the readers of Hilary Mantel and Alison Weir. 
     Catherine the Great, the Romanov monarch reflects on her astonishing ascension to the throne, her leadership over the world's greatest power, and the lives sacrificed to make her the most feared woman in the world--lives including her own...
     Catherine the Great muses on her life, her relentless battle between love and power, the country she brought into the glorious new century, and the bodies left in her wake. By the end of her life, she had accomplished more than virtually any other woman in history. She built and grew the Romanov empire, amassed a vast fortune of art and land, and controlled an unruly and conniving court. Now, in a voice both indelible and intimate, she reflects on the decisions that gained her the world and brought her enemies to their knees. And before her last breath, shadowed by the bloody French Revolution, she sets up the end game for her last political maneuver, ensuring her successor and the greater glory of Russia.

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada (March 25 2014)
  • ISBN: 9780385666589

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AUTHOR BIO:
EVA STACHNIAK was born in Wroclaw, Poland. She came to Canada in 1981 and has worked for Radio Canada International and Sheridan College, where she taught English and humanities. She is the author of the acclaimed debut Necessary Lies, of Garden of Venus and of the bestselling first novel in her Catherine the Great series, The Winter Palace. Stachniak lives in Toronto, where she is at work on her next novel. Visit her at evastachniak.com.

REVIEW:
Solid reading!
Having read this as a stand alone, I did not feel like I missed anything by not reading The Winter Palace, though I will be reading it at some point.
I do feel  like I learned a great deal about Catherine the Great. I knew that she could be shrewd, but I can understand why for the most part. She really did what she had to, to benefit Russia. She was hard and stubborn but she did some great things. Now the debauchery, I know it was big at that time, but she really enjoyed herself. Even in her old age she was enamored with young men. You could say she got around more than enough corners in her life, considering most of her children were not her husbands', and they all had different fathers, still it was not her and her husbands' child to come next in line. Even with that, she did not let her infidelities interfere with her running Russia.
A great deal of thought went into this book, you can tell, and I know a lot of you will enjoy the way it is laid out and written.

3/5

**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. This copy was won. Opinions are owned by this site.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 219!


Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. 
*It's that simple.



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Perhaps that is what everyone does, she thought. We pass our discomfort to someone else so as not to carry so much of it ourselves.

ONLY FRIDAY 56 PARTICIPANTS MAY USE THE LINKY










**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. This is a meme post. 

#Win Link by D.A. Karr (With Excerpt)

D.A. Karr has been writing books and screenplays for the last ten years. Her experience and employment includes firefighting in the U.S. Forest Service, law enforcement, IT engineering, and several years with the Space andNaval Warfare Systems Center San Diego (SSC San Diego). She has a Master’s in software engineering.

D.A. Karr enjoys writing in a variety of genres including sci-fi, thriller-mystery, historical fiction, and screenplays.  She is the author of several books including LINK, The Legend of Pendyne, and The Racehorse with Magic Shoes.


Connect with D.A. Karr on Twitter

LINK, by D.A. Karr, is a sci-fi mystery thriller. It is set in the year 2800, in a future apocalyptic world where time jumping becomes a means to control the human race.

LINK is suspenseful, intriguing, and action filled,” says D. A. Karr. “Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler fans will enjoy reading this book.”
Space Time, 2800, Earth

As the Earth shifts on its axis, mankind is caught in a war of survival and time. Imprisoned in this time war, Captain John Garrick and the N.S.T.E.A. Phoenix become a pawn between technology, humans, and what's left of civilization. 

No amount of careful planning can prepare the time jumpers for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move.

As the N.S.T.E.A seals a deal to deliver time technology to the notorious outlaw, Menser, Garrick plots to undermine the N.S.T.E.A.

Garrick doesn't live by the rules, and he knows one thing is for sure: kill or be killed.

Technology becomes the enemy and time an illusion as Phoenix's crew prepares for the inevitable - a fight to the finish.



EXCERPT
Suddenly, black shadows fell in behind them. A whirring filled the air as dust billowed around dense black shapes descending through the raging dust storm. Steady swooshing was faint as the shapes came faster and faster, closer and closer. The whining increased as the Dragar ships pursued the Phoenix.
Garrick barked to Becker, “We need more altitude to jump!”
Becker shouted over the rumbling, “Not an option in this dust storm.”
Gillie, Wexler, Farber, and the crew watched the viewers above their heads, searching for the ships behind them.
There's nothing. They see nothing. The dust is thick and red. Still the whining sound resonates closer and closer.
A.L.I.S. repeated her question, “What are the coordinates?”
Garrick ordered her, “Release A.L.I.S. Attention!”
A.L.I.S. stood behind Garrick, waiting. However, this time, unknowing to him, she was watching as her sensors shifted back and forth, sending out silent signals to Phoenix.
Becker shouted orders to Lieutenant Chiang, “Weapons online Lieutenant! All hands battle stations!”
Suddenly, from below the edge of the hillside, an almost invisible Dragar gunship raised up right in front of them. Hanging in the air, the Dragar ship turned to face them head on. Two Dragar pilots were in the seats, bringing the gunship about and rotating their gun mounts.
Phoenix responded as it looped over and behind the Dragar ship.
Wexler broke in, “We’re behind, sir!”
Garrick yelled, “Fire torpedoes!”
Gillie, Wexler, and Farber flicked the switches simultaneously as Phoenix lurched backwards. Three RZaR torpedoes hit the Dragar gunship front on, instantly incinerating it in a fireball.
Becker and Garrick raised their fists in victory, “It’s down,” just as Phoenix dropped its speed and leveled off.
Becker spun in his seat, “Where’s the other ships, Lieutenant?”
Lieutenant Chiang reported, “Looks like their gone, sir. Off the scans.”
Garrick interrupted, “Keep watching. They’re here somewhere. We’re going to have to maneuver. Phoenix isn’t built for dogfights.”
Becker began evasive action as he ordered, “Lieutenant! Pull the nose up and get above this dust!”
“Aye sir,” barked the Lieutenant.
Phoenix started climbing as the thrusters roared. Farber, Wexler, and Gillie maintained their watch on the scanners.
Then suddenly, three more Dragar cruisers appear from nowhere and locked onto Phoenix. They dropped down into a triangle pattern, starting their attack.
Lieutenant Chiang shouted in a high pitched voice, “Captain! Three Dragar cruisers off the starboard, 30 degrees!” Wexler, Farber, Gillie, and the crew manned the weapon systems as they searched for the cruisers.
Becker ordered, “Shields on! We’re in for a fight!”
Just then, one Dragar cruiser broke off and flew under Phoenix. Gillie yelled, “Dragar coming in under us, sir!”
Becker commanded, “Roll to the port! Come about Mr. Dessa!”
The Phoenix responded rolling off, exposing the cruiser. Suddenly, tracer fire shot past the starboard side.  Pinging could be heard as it bounced off the shielding.
Becker, yelling over the roaring, “Garrick! Take over! Captain to bridge! Evasive action!”
The bridge scrambled. Garrick grabbed the helm from Mr. Dessa. Thrusting the helm controls on full forward, he drove Phoenix straight toward the ground. Nearing maximum dive velocity, Garrick pulled Phoenix’s nose straight up as she curved skyward. The crew was driven in their seats as the force pinned them down. Two Dragar cruisers broke off, diving at Phoenix, making their attack from the rear.
Farber grasped what Garrick was planning. It was going to be close. Becker ordered the crew, “Hold on to something. It’s going to be a rough ride!”
The Dragar cruiser came at Phoenix full speed firing all guns, pelting Phoenix’s shields, then bouncing off.
As Farber and Garrick flicked the switches, Garrick grasped the guidance stick with both hands, gritting his teeth. He counted out loud echoing through the whine as Phoenix closed on the cruiser, “One, Two, Three! Now!” The Phoenix did a hard turn to the left shooting forward at full speed. The Dragar cruiser tried to avoid the collision as it rammed itself into the rock cliffs.
Garrick yelled at Wexler and Gillie, “Afterburners full on!”
Wexler and Gillie flipped the switches for the afterburner turbojets, spraying the Dragar ship with fire. Bursting into a fireball, it cartwheeled in flames.

AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY

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