To Hunt a Sub by Jacqui Murray

THAS-small [16806]An unlikely team is America’s only chance

A brilliant Ph.D. candidate, a cynical ex-SEAL, and a quirky experimental robot team up against terrorists intent on stealing America’s most powerful nuclear weapon, the Trident submarine. By all measures, they are an unlikely trio–one believes in brawn, another brains, and the third is all geek. What no one realizes is this trio has a secret weapon: the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago.


Preview Chapter from To Hunt a Sub

Three days before present

Ten hours and thirty-seven more minutes and the crew of the USS Hampton SSN 767 would be home. Seasoned submariners, the six-month covert intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance tour down the eastern seaboard of South America had gone flawlessly and silently. The Atlantic is a large ocean and the Los Angeles-class sub’s noise footprint small. Once the boat cleared Cuba, the crew would relax.
The Captain sipped the morning’s fourth cup of burned coffee when the hair on the back of his neck prickled. He glanced around, trying to identify what bothered him.
“Captain,” the Watchstander’s gaze bobbed from the Executive Officer to his watchstation. “Navigation is non-responsive.” Confusion tinged his words.
That was it. A change in the deck’s subtle rumble. Before the Captain could react to the impossibility that guidance controls had crashed, every monitor in the sub’s nerve center shut down.
He hadn’t seen this in twenty years of driving subs. All personnel made a hole as he rushed toward the Control Center, shadowed by the XO.
“Sonar readings?” The Captain called to Sonarman Second Class Andy Rikes in the compartment just aft of Control, barely larger than a broom closet but elbow-to-elbow with operators, fingers flying across keyboards and eyes locked onto screens that blinked a dull grey.
Rikes answered, “Negative, Sir. The hydrophones are working, but aren’t sending raw data, like someone pulled the plug and flushed everything out to sea. Trying to fix it.” His voice was hopeful.
If the screen had worked, Sonarman Rikes would have seen the ping, a final gasp before everything electrical collapsed.
The COB—Chief of Boat—interrupted, “Captain. Reactor Scram!” The sub’s nuclear power had evaporated. “Nuclear technicians isolating the problem. Battery back-up is being attempted.”
“Shift propulsion from main engines to EPM,” an auxiliary electric motor that could turn the propeller.
“Negative, Captain. Non-responsive.” Fear leaked from his voice.
The depth meter no longer worked, but the XO guessed that the sub was angled downward at 10 degrees
“Blow main ballast tanks!”
“No response, Captain.”
“How deep is the ocean floor in this sector of the Atlantic?”
The Sonarman answered, “It varies between 1,000 and 16,000”
16,000 feet was well below the sub’s crush depth.
“There are seamounts and ridges spread throughout. We could get lucky and land on one. Or not.”
“Inform US Strategic Command of our situation.”
“Sir, comms are down.”
“Release the message buoy,” though all that told the world was they were in trouble. It could quickly drift miles from their position.
The Captain continued, voice calm, face showing none of the worry that filled his thoughts, “I want all department heads and Chief Petty Officers in front of me in five minutes. I want the status on every system they own and operate. Wake up whoever you need to.” He had a bad feeling about this.

“Gentlemen, solutions.” The Captain looked first at XO, then COB and finally NAV, the Navigation Officer who turned to the senior chief of navigation.
“It’s like an electromagnetic pulse hit us, which can’t happen underwater…” then he shrugged as though to say, I have no idea, Sir.
They practiced drills for every sort of emergency, but not this one. No one considered a complete electrical shutdown possible.
“We’re checking everything, but nothing is wrong. It just won’t work.”
“Where’s CHENG?” The Chief of Engineering.
“Troubleshooting, Sir.” COB’s voice was efficient, but tense.
The Captain didn’t wait. “Condition Alpha. Full quiet—voices whispers, all silent, no movement not critical. Defcon 2,” the second-highest peacetime alert level.
No one knew who their enemy was or why they were under attack, but they had one and they were.
“XO, get lanterns up here.”

Within an hour, the massive warship had settled to the ocean floor like the carcass of a dead whale. It teetered atop an ocean ridge, listing starboard against a jagged seamount, and the gentle push of an underwater current from a cliff that plunged into a murky darkness. Every watertight door was closed. As per protocol, the oxygen level was reduced to suppress a fire hazard. Without climate controls, the interior had already reached 60 degrees. It would continue dipping as it strove to match the bone-chilling surrounding water temperature. Hypothermia would soon be a problem. For now, though, they were alive.
The hull groaned as though twisted by a giant squid.
The Captain peered into the gloomy waters that surrounded the sub. “Thoughts, XO?”
“We’re stable for the moment, barring a strong underwater current.”
Based on the creaking protests from the hull, they were at or beyond crush depth. Any deeper, the outside pressure would snap the HY-80 outer hull and sea water would roar into the living compartments. Everyone would be dead in seconds, either drowned or impaled on the ragged remains of the sub by a force in excess of a Category Five hurricane.
“We’re beyond the depth of the Steinke Hoods,” escape equipment that included full body suits, thermal protection, and a life raft. Budget cuts had eliminated funding for more advanced solutions.
XO pointed toward a darker expanse of black just yards from the sub. “No telling how deep that crevice is.”
“Gather the crew in the Forward compartment. Seal all other compartments. Ration water. Start O2 candles when levels reach 50% normal. Did the message buoy launch?”
“Yes, sir.”
That was a relief. The Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) deployed in emergencies from shore couldn’t assist if it didn’t know they needed help.


Quote from author:

What sets this story apart from other thrillers is the edgy science used to build the drama, the creative thinking that unravels the deadly plot, and the captivating prehistoric female who unwittingly becomes the guide and mentor to Kalian Delamagente as she struggles to stop a madman from destroying her life.

Book information:
Title and author: To Hunt a Sub by J. Murray
Release Date: August 15, 2016 by Structured Learning
Genre: Thriller
Cover by: Paper and Sage
..
Available at:
Kindle August 15th

Purchase Link

jmm pic [16808]

Author bio:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

To Hunt a Sub by Jacqui Murray

I was so excited about this post I dragged myself out of hibernation. To say it’s a pleasure to be part of Jacqui’s blog hop is an understatement. I’ve been waiting for the release of To Hunt a Sub for a while, so I’m going to leave you to soak up the details and head over to Amazon to get myself a copy.

But, before I go, I want congratulate Jacqui on her debut novel. She’ll be stopping by at some point today, so if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of release day, so let’s commence with the festivities.

THAS-small [16806]

An unlikely team is America’s only chance

 A brilliant Ph.D. candidate, a cynical ex-SEAL, and a quirky experimental robot team up against terrorists intent on stealing America’s most powerful nuclear weapon, the Trident submarine. By all measures, they are an unlikely trio–one believes in brawn, another brains, and the third is all geek. What no one realizes is this trio has a secret weapon: the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago.

Quote from author:

What sets this story apart from other thrillers is the edgy science used to build the drama, the creative thinking that unravels the deadly plot, and the captivating prehistoric female who unwittingly becomes the guide and mentor to Kalian Delamagente as she struggles to stop a madman from destroying her life.

Book information:

Title and author: To Hunt a Sub by J. Murray

Release Date: August 15, 2016 by Structured Learning

Genre: Thriller

Cover by: Paper and Sage 

Available at:

Kindle  August 15th

 Author bio:

jmm pic [16808]Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.


THAS-small [16806]Purchase Link



Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be catching up with all my friends over the next couple of days.

Mel

Review: False Awakening by Callum McLaughlin

False Awakening (ebook, ad version)When teenager Abi Watson wakes in a hospital bed with no memory of the incident that put her there, she must begin the long and difficult process of piecing her life back together, but unfortunately, her search for answers will merely give rise to further questions. Frayed relationships and haunting revelations soon come into play, leading Abi to discover that some things are best left forgotten. With a past that is unwilling to let go, her only option is to delve into the depths of her own mind so that she can uncover the truth and finally awaken from her living nightmare.

Review I was highly anticipating this novel. Not only is thriller my favourite genre, I’m a fan of Callum’s work, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!

The descriptions are wonderful, I was transported from the opening sentence and got completely lost in Abi’s world. It was like being inside her head, experiencing the trauma with her and seeing things as she did.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery surrounding Abi’s accident, especially the emotional conflict of those around her – it was gripping in its intensity. There were twists and surprises along the way, which all served to keep me on my toes.

That’s not the only thing I liked about the novel. The relationships are brilliantly executed and the friendships are heart-warming. This all added flavour to the story as a whole. The language is poetic in its elegance. At times the words flowed like music, vivid and powerful in their execution.

The pacing is really well done, allowing the story to unfold, while at the same time building the tension, so you’re still right there with her to the end. False Awakening was definitely worth the wait. It is a thrilling, engaging and powerful story – a must read.

Siding with a shark – WR101 Prompt Series: Shades of August

Shades of AugustI wanted to try my hand at one of August’s tales, but since Winter so cleverly started us off and probably has plans for that particular adventure, I decided to start with a tale from her past.

Five years earlier…

I pushed through the giant wall of icy winds and cursed the Guild in every language I’d picked up in the arena. The cold fingers of the icy bitch scratched at my cheeks and made my eyes water.

I was on this godforsaken planet, a small insignificant blip in the galaxy, because I’d lost a bet. I’d bartered with my soul and been dumped in icy hell with a Gourat of all things.

I turned to scowl at him, wishing I could still feel my hands so I could slap the smug look from his face.

It wasn’t his fault really. He always looked that way. He considered himself a superior being and I was his entertainment. His amber eyes flashed to mine and I read triumph in them. As far as he was concerned, this was a walk in the park and I was his prize.

I didn’t tell him to bite me. For one it was too much effort and another, he’d see it as a challenge. Oh, his features looked human enough, until he unhinged his jaw and showed off his extra row of pearly whites. Each fang like tooth was as long as a finger and razor sharp. I had the scars to prove it. I’d been up against him twice in the arena. So far we were even.

A high, piercing scream split through the blizzard. Something akin to a dopplegranger. If my blood wasn’t already at sub-zero temperature it would have chilled in my veins. We had nil visibility, no sign of shelter and a monster wanting to play with our bones, probably after it had peeled the flesh from them. Things really couldn’t get any worse.

I turned back to shark-boy, my pet name for the homicidal maniac at my side, or SB for short, and tried to judge his mood. “Do you want to take this one?” I asked, each word pushing against the wind and stealing my thunder.

A deep rumble tore from his throat when a second cry rang out, closely followed by a third, then forth. Apparently this was my day to die.

“I’ll take the first one. How about that?” SB said, detaching his jaw and extending his claws. Did I mention those? Right now they looked like our best chance at survival. Well, apart from Hatchet, my trusty axe and weapon of choice.

I grabbed the handle poking out of the holster on my hip, just as the first monster burst through the wall of ice.

Like a dopplegranger the thing looked female, but I’d been wrong before so I didn’t make any assumptions. Its body was as white as the snow, so it rippled like an illusion and played havoc with the mind.

It was easier to concentrate on the hair. It blew wild, whipping in the wind like a dark curtain. There were no eyes on the thing, just black, empty sockets in its face. Its mouth, a thin, wide slash, opened suddenly omitting that terrible scream. Only this time the sound came with a bite. Hundreds of insects shot from the opening. They were a deep red colour, like the thing had vomited blood, but I knew they were the real weapon.

My legs moved with alarming speed, considering the cold. I ignored the swarm surrounding me, biting into flesh, and swung my axe in a wide arc. The thing went down a little too easily, but I didn’t have time to worry because its friends had arrived.

SB was ripping through flesh on my right, completely oblivious to the insects which covered ninety-percent of his body. The guttural noises he made were disgusting. They made me want to gag. If I managed to make it through this alive. All I had to look forward to was more cold and the displeasure of his company.

A group of the things launched themselves at me, until we were a tangle of limbs. I tried to hack my way out of the impromptu group hug, but they were like limpets and they didn’t want to let go.

I was a little surprised when SB came to my aid. He had two clung to his back. His face was a mass of red from the bug vomit, but he tore them off me and I could breathe again.

When he had detached himself he grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him as though he was jealous I’d been in another’s arms.

It was only then that I realised the ground was shaking. The giant fissure in the ground kind of gave it away too.

“What now?” I muttered, a curse already forming on my lips.

When the ground disappeared beneath my feet the obscenity was wrenched free and I was falling into darkness. I wrapped my arms tighter around SB, using him as an anchor. I might not like him, but at least I wasn’t going to down the rabbit hole alone.

***

Thanks for reading.

Mel

 

[WR101 Prompt Series] Thrilling Tuesdays' – Prompt #11

Following on from yesterday’s prompt – the theme for this week is a kind of ‘character versus plot’. I have provided two options below, challenging you explore other ways of working. If you enjoy to map out a story before you add characters to the landscape, try using option B. If the opposite is true and you don’t normally stick to a set plan, why not try it out?

The daily prompts will finish early this week, because I have a month long theme planned for August. As this begins Friday, the last prompts for this round will be on Thursday.

a) Plot breakdown/Storyline

Stasis: The story revolves around a recluse, who hasn’t left the house in almost two years. Before this they were an active part of the community but an attack left them injured and afraid to trust anyone outside the sanctuary of their home.

Trigger: They trust only one other person, who receives and delivers packages they order via the internet; household goods, clothes, gifts, etc. The character conducts their life via the world-wide web and consults with the police on a number of cases linked to internet crime. When a  hacker gets into their ‘home’ it changes everything.

The quest: In a race against time the character must find the intruder before it’s too late.

Surprise: They uncover evidence to indicate the hacker has infected a number of lives and has more power than anyone gave him/her credit for.

Critical choice: The character must decide whether to sever all ties to the internet, turn over everything to the police and live in total seclusion.

Reversal: They realise  that choosing to cooperate with the authorities has made them a bigger target and the hacker now knows exactly where they live.

Resolution: I’ll leave this up to you!

b) Character Description

Name: Dominic Chambers

Nickname: Dom

Age: 18

Hair colour: Light brown

Height: 5ft 10″

Eye colour: Blue

Complexion: Fair

Personality traits: Has a chip on his shoulder, especially when dealing with people in authority. Is highly intelligent but lacks ambition. Loyal, but loses friends because of a short fuse.

Motto: There is no such thing as a free gift.

Occupation: Student.

Martial Status: Single (Enjoys to play the field)

Family: Four older brothers. Father deceased; Mother is a psychiatrist.

***

 


 

 

Welcome to the WR101 Prompt Series. A daily prompt incorporating our love of fiction in all its forms.

I’ve tried not to set too many rules, but there are a few guidelines:

  • Create a post based on the prompt and provide a pingback or link in the comments section of the relevant page.
  • Any form of fiction is welcome; flash-fiction, micro-fiction, stories on a postcard, poetry – you don’t need to put labels on it, you just need to write.
  • Follow the theme on each given day. Here is a breakdown of the week by genre:

Mystery on Mondays’ – a place for mystery and suspense.

Thrilling Tuesdays’ – for all things related to the crime and thriller genres.

Weird and Whacky Wednesdays’ – for stories of a comedic nature.

Terrifying Thursdays’ – for tales of horror.

Fictional Fridays’ – a catch-all prompt for general fiction

Seductive Saturdays’ – a place for romance

Sci-Fi Sundays’ – take us to new worlds.

That’s it! Be respectful of others’ work and always provide constructive feedback.

If you have any suggestions for these prompts, please contact me.

I hope you enjoy the prompt series and look forward to reading your contributions.

M

Daily Prompt Logo

[WR101 Prompt Series] Thrilling Tuesdays' – Prompt #10

I’m using pictures as the inspiration for this week’s theme. Your thrilling Tuesday image is courtesy of Al Ibrahim and can be found on flickr. The piece is entitled Crime Scene.

Crime Scene

Have fun 🙂


 

Welcome to the WR101 Prompt Series. A daily prompt incorporating our love of fiction in all its forms.

I’ve tried not to set too many rules, but there are a few guidelines:

  • Create a post based on the prompt and provide a pingback or link in the comments section of the relevant page.
  • Any form of fiction is welcome; flash-fiction, micro-fiction, stories on a postcard, poetry – you don’t need to put labels on it, you just need to write.
  • Follow the theme on each given day. Here is a breakdown of the week by genre:

Mystery on Mondays’ – a place for mystery and suspense.

Thrilling Tuesdays’ – for all things related to the crime and thriller genres.

Weird and Whacky Wednesdays’ – for stories of a comedic nature.

Terrifying Thursdays’ – for tales of horror.

Fictional Fridays’ – a catch-all prompt for general fiction

Seductive Saturdays’ – a place for romance

Sci-Fi Sundays’ – take us to new worlds.

That’s it! Be respectful of others’ work and always provide constructive feedback.

If you have any suggestions for these prompts, please contact me.

I hope you enjoy the prompt series and look forward to reading your contributions.

MDaily Prompt Logo

[WR101 Prompt Series] Thrilling Tuesdays' – Prompt #9

ASL_sorryThey say you should never start a post with an apology, but I’m going to break that rule. I was tempted to post today’s prompt as though I haven’t missed three days in a row, because it felt better than saying I forgot. But the sad fact is, I did forget. I’ve been swamped, not to mention tormented by too many characters in my head, and my plans (along with a few brain cells), went out of the window. So, Je m’excuse, tut mir Leid, mi dispiace tanto, me desculpe (with and extra apology thrown in for butchering any of those languages).

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the theme for this week. I’ve been hearing a song in my head for the last couple of days, one that inspired me to write a piece. So that will be the basis of this week’s theme – write a short story based on a song title. You don’t have to base it on the lyrics. As long as it’s linked to the appropriate genre, and includes an interpretation of the song, you’re good to go!

The song title for Tuesday is:

Wanted Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi).

 

[WR101 Prompt Series] Thrilling Tuesdays' – Prompt #8

The theme for this week is in the form of a story title. The title, which you will find below, must also be used in the opening sentence. The word count should be 500 words or less.

So here’s your thrilling story title for Tuesday:

The Open Casket

[WR101 Prompt Series] Thrilling Tuesdays' – Prompt #7

The daily prompts are back. For the first week of July the theme will be in the form of a final sentence. All you need to do is weave a ‘thrilling’ tale which concludes with the following sentence:

“Whichever way he played it, the result would be the same.”

 

[WR101 Prompt Series] – Featured Fiction #16

Featured Fiction 2This week’s Featured Fiction Prompts are now available for FF#16.

The suggested genre for this week is Disaster-Thriller. The sentence starter can be used as a standalone prompt and follow any genre of your choosing.

Voting will begin on Saturday and ends before the next round on Sunday.

If you prefer non-fiction, check out this week’s prompt at It’s All Relative.

Thanks

Mel