Listening For Life

sky space telescope universe

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Back in February 2011, NASA’s Kepler Mission announced it had found 54 planets orbiting stars in so-called “habitable zones” in our galaxy. After the planets were found, NASA alerted the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) of their locations. The institute’s scientists started listening to those planets. SETI chief Jill Tarter has been quoted as saying the Institute is not listening for the kind of sound you hear with your ears. “What we’re doing is using sensors that are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation,” she says.

Electromagnetic radiation is just another name for energy that travels in wave form. Radio signals are also a form of wave energy. So when SETI “listens” to the cosmos, the institute is actually receiving electromagnetic radiation. Jon Jenkins, co-investigator for data analysis for the Kepler Mission, translates that electromagnetic radiation into sound. His actual job is measuring light from specific stars as a way to find nearby planets.

“When I started looking at these light curves,” he says, “I thought, ‘What if we played one of these through a sound card and it said, “Hello, Earthlings?” Unfortunately, Jenkins says, they haven’t heard that yet.

Jenkins made one recording by transforming wave energy — light from a star — into sound. Apparently, what has scientists puzzled is why the intensity of the pulsations change over time. One possibility put forward is that alien civilizations are modulating their own star’s brightness as a way to send signals across galaxies

Astronomers at the Parkes Observatory in Australia observed the brightest fast radio burst known to science on March of this year (2018). The signal was detected first on March 1st, then again on March 9th and 11th, with the March 9th signal breaking the record for strongest known deep space radio signal. All three have a powerful, localized origin. Scientists detected a “rapid fire” burst coming from a separate radio source within the past year. Could this strange pattern of radio bursts be attempts at intergalactic communication?

 

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Could E.T be trying to say hello?

When Cori and Devi First Met

 

Once upon a time, there were two women who were tasked with retrieving a party of scientists who had travelled through a stable wormhole to another world. Those women, Coriander Wolf and Devi Aradesta, already had quite a history, and although they didn’t yet know it, they would enjoy a remarkable future. I’m still working hard to finish Infinite Worlds, and my editor assures me that every bit of dialogue that is tweaked and every scene that I modify, only makes the novel stronger and more vivid. So while I’m still plugging away on that, I’d like to remind you how Coriander and Devi first met back in ‘If It’s Easy’ (which happens to be for sale at your favourite book retailer).

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Here’s an excerpt;

Coriander stepped away from the community bonfire when a small twinkle of light caught her eye. As she moved toward the lake, she noticed the sky was filled with the brief blue-white flashes. They rose from the grass, blinked over the water and danced with an otherworldly lustre.

“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” A voice to her left said.

She turned and tried to see who’d spoken, but the fire was behind them and all she saw of the other person was a silhouette.

“I’ve always loved them,” she replied. “Full of immediacy and living in the moment.”

“And hope,” her companion in the dark replied. “The males flash to females to signal their availability. It’s a firefly singles bar!”

They both laughed briefly.

“I remember catching them when I was a little kid and keeping them in a jar so they could light up my room,” Coriander said quietly.

“Did you know they aren’t really flies at all, but beetles?”

“Really?”

“Once they reproduce and the eggs are laid, the adults die,” The dark form stuck her hand out. “I should introduce myself; my name’s Devi…Devi Aradesta.”

“Coriander Wolf, but everyone calls me Cori,” She returned the handshake, and they turned back toward the lake to watch the fireflies again.


I invite you to check out your favourite online ebook retailer and pick up a copy of If It’s Easy while it’s still cheaper than a cup of coffee!

Shadows In The Water – A Review

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A disturbing, brilliant, magnetic book! I had a very hard time putting this one down, and the only thing that made me put it down was the stupid clock. I don’t normally read paranormals, let alone paranormal thrillers, but that blurb drew me in and wouldn’t leave me alone. Magnetic, like I said. It disturbed me, the mental picture I got of Jabbers…I saw it behind my eyes when I closed them at 4 AM, I saw it when I blinked…I shivered, really truly shivered. I haven’t done that in relation to a book since King’s IT came out.
I cannot wait to get the second book in this series. This one was free, but I’ll happily and excitedly cough up whatever the second one will cost in order to find out what happens now to Lucy, Lou and Konstantine.
Brilliant…just brilliant!

I recommend a visit to the author’s website to find out more.

You can get your copy of Shadows In The Water here

The Authors Guide To Self-Publishing for Canadians – A Review

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I thought this was a very useful, educational and helpful book.

So many ‘how to self-publish’ books out on the market are U.S based, but there are differences for Canadian authors in self-publishing. Barb shows the way to success and even mastery of various technical aspects of self-publishing, setting up a website, loading our manuscripts to different platforms, discusses the terms we need to know and the advantages of pursuing one path over another.
And so much more.

I was trying to keep notes, as I read the book, but even if you only need a specific section, you’ll find your answer here.
This book should be on the shelf/e-reader of EVERY Canadian author, self-published or not. Because even those who have a contract with a publishing house will learn a great deal. If only what questions to ask to fully understand your rights.

GET THIS BOOK!

You can find it at Amazon, Kobo, Audible, Indigo, and a wide variety of other sources. I also recommend a visit to her website

You won’t be disappointed.

The Sea – A Review

Sounds intriguing…

Rainbow Reflections

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FOUR STARS!

“The Sea” by K.L. Hughes is a paranormal short story with two very interesting characters. The reader sees the story through the eyes of Professor Louise Richards who we discover is not human but an old soul who has become tired of the life she has had to live. Then she meets Nicole Stark, one of her students who is an intriguing mystery to Louise.

I picked up this short story mainly because of the author. I generally don’t choose paranormal tales, but I knew Ms. Hughes is an excellent author so I gave it a try. I’m very glad I did. The story is told in the first person narrative through the eyes of Louise. First person narrative is hard to do well, but the “The Sea” is a perfect example of how to write in this narrative.

As I read the story, I was able to…

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Gnarled Hollow – A Review

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Normally, I’m not one to read books that’ll scare me into staying awake, and for a little bit, that’s what this one did. But I had a really hard time putting it down. I don’t read horror, so I have no idea if the premise of this book is original, but it was sure new to me! I had to keep reading to find out what was so weird about the house. Doors that close on their own? Sure, I have those at my house. But that’s where the similarity ends, thank goodness.

I enjoyed the way the past was brought forward, the spontaneity of the aggression of the house…and there is aggression and danger, believe me. The way each of the characters responds to the house, to each other and to their jobs is fascinating.

In the end, I stayed up far later than I should have to finish this, and even though I’m not one for things that go bump in the night, I really hope there’s another book to follow this one. I’ll just read it with the lights on.

I was honored to be allowed an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

You can find this delicious novel at Bold Strokes Books

Sonic Booms via Fletcher Delancey

I love it when I can learn something from an author. Especially if that author is Fletcher Delancey of Alsea fame. For example, I did not know what Mach 1 actually was, or why it was named such. I do now. I did not know that an object can produce more than one sonic boom, depending on its length. I do now. Read the piece at the link below and learn something cool.

You’ll be glad you did. Really!

via Sonic booms

Shadowboxer – A Review

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I am a huge Jessica Webb fan, so I was thrilled when I was approved for an ARC copy! This book is unlike Webb’s others.
It is darker, grittier, a little more hesitant and complex. And she can write complex and twisty wonderfully! These characters are unlike her others in a few ways. These folks are full of secrets, agendas and past baggage so deep you need to call the bellboy! It was a great read, trying to figure out who the “bad guy” was, and then being shocked at the end, ’cause I didn’t see that coming! It took me a little while to get into it, because boxing holds no interest for me. But once I stopped dwelling on that, I enjoyed the story quite a bit.
Once again, Webb is at the top of her game with complex characters, hidden motivations and more twists than a map would help with.
I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who likes their fiction multi-layered. You can find this wonderful book at Bold Strokes Books

A Bad Place To Die – A Review

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I had very high hopes for this book. I thought the premise was a little odd and if I considered it, a little unbelievable. The cover was interesting, so I blazed ahead.
By the end of the first chapter, I wanted to slap the spit out of the main character, Tennesee, known as Tennie throughout the book. Now, if a woman is going to be a marshal, she should know that she’s not going to be respected with a shortened version of a name that sounds like it belongs on an eight-year-old.
Whatever. I kept reading.
She cried. All. The. Time.
Okay, maybe being a marshal and a step-mother will make her grow a spine.
She wanted to cry. All. The. Time.
I had to stop reading for a day or two because the speech patterns pulled me out of the story, the character development and growth I was waiting for wasn’t happening, and I couldn’t see the motivation behind the “romance” aspect. Because there really wasn’t one. Tennie fell in and out of having feelings for some stranger that never really told her the truth so often that after a while, I was skipping paragraphs.
Whatever. I kept reading.

The angst in this story is overdone. I grew extremely tired of Tennie’s lack of backbone. There were actions taken by secondary characters that had no motive and so were pointless. There were characters that Tennie interacted with that were unnecessary, crying jags that did not result in any kind of growth or decisions or…anything. She went off into a graveyard, cried and …we never found out if there was any point to it.

Putting the book aside again, I went to Amazon and Google to learn what I could about the true author, since Easy Jackson is quite obviously a pen name. I have no problem with that. I was perplexed to find that the author is a past journalist and award winner for some of her pieces. I was confused even more reading other reviews of this work that sang the praises of the prose, the characters and the setting. Were we reading the same book? I found the book riddled with open-ended sub-plot lines, questions about multiple characters pasts that were never answered and multiple scenes that didn’t contribute to the plot in any way. The ending was rushed, nonsensical and far too convenient.

Now, I will tell you that the three boys, Tennie’s stepsons, grew enormously as characters. So much so, that I was quite proud of them by the end. The book has a great cover, and apparently, a sequel is in the works, due out by 2019.
Maybe I’ve just read so many really good books that I’ve set my reviewer bar too high. Maybe I’m being harsh. But I expected a better quality story from an author that has written other, multiple works.

I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review of this story. This is as honest as I can be.