Friday, May 26, 2017

Happy Anniversary Panya!


The Lantern
By Harule Stokes


Darkness filled my hollow core for such a long time I’d forgotten what light felt like. I could no longer find memories of warm illumination, could no longer feel it lift my spirit on dark days. I sat in that darkness and remained ignorant of what life felt like to exist in anything but the shadows. That space became my home and I learned to not only endure it, but enjoy my stay therein. It was safe in the gloom, because I knew it. I mastered my navigation within its rocky seas, accepting the crashes, satisfied only with the fact they didn’t shatter me.

Everything changed when I saw the light.

There it stood, defiant before the shade, inscrutable to it and subsequently, myself. How could such a thing exist in the midst of this army of night? How could it beam its warmth, give it away so freely, and not be consumed by it? How could this light pass so easily through the moon-less landscape and never be marred or dimmed by the roughened environment? Yet, there it stood, joyfully giving its energy to the world with a bright smile and a sunny disposition. Then, the light smiled at me.

I wanted the light for myself.

When you see the light, know of its presence, you are forever changed. No longer can you be satisfied with the cold shadows. Once you desire the light, it becomes impossible to be at peace within the night’s grasp or satiated by its muted existence. You can only seek the light once entranced. So, with greed in my heart, I moved to take the light, contain it. I wanted to shackle the light and consume it for my own desire, needed to be its sole possessor. To my great surprise, the light, seeing me through a world of darkness, sought to give its light to me willingly. The light wanted a home.

I cannot contain the light.

Too big to be locked away, too powerful to be enclosed within my grasp, I feared I might lose the light to the shattered shadows of desired hopes that lived within me. But, wanting to contain the light… that’s a fool dream. Nothing can control the light. It cannot be forced into a box and sealed away. It cannot be confined and held back from the world. I dreamed that dream for a time until I saw the truth through the illumination the light brought with its mere presence. It showed me my true desire. I didn’t want to only contain the light, I wanted to be it. But, I cannot be the light. I cannot steal the light’s power or draw from the warmth it gives, a sense of power. That is not my role.

I am the lantern.

I protect the light with my love. Through the windows of my soul, filled with my love for the light, its warm glow can shine even brighter. I am the lantern, not the light. Through the love I give with my willingness to fulfill my purpose, the light can illuminate the night, guide the lost to safe shores and chase away the chill of darkness. I know this to be true, because the light performed this service for me.


Today, the light and the lantern are one. Together, we can do great things. That is OUR purpose. That is why we have one another. That is why we were married. So, I am forever thankful for your light, for you have given me a profound reason to love.

Monday, July 18, 2016

And Another Cover Reveal

I'm generally late to the party when it comes to these things.  But, thanks to my wife, 99designs has become my go-to place for cover designs.  So after some consternation, I went full on and had the cover of my first novel, Sectors, revamped.

And here it is!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Revamping the Old

Currently, I'm working on updating my first novel, Sectors.

Getting the cover redone by an actual book designer and revamping the back cover copy are just two of the things I'm actively working on right now.

As a matter of fact, I think I'll post what I currently have as the back cover copy here.  Why not, right?

It's pre-wife, so I'm sure it'll only get better after we discuss the changes she'll probably have for it.

A murder has been committed in Westwood. Joseph Marshall, a newly graduated NextGen operative is sent to investigate the only suspect - one of the last remaining Fallen. These super-soldiers, the preamble to the NextGen, have mostly died off. Not due to time mind you, but because they became violently insane and had to be stopped by the same government that created them. 
Being NextGen is not easy, especially when your forebears became madmen. Society fears you. Your childhood is filled with lessons of math, english, history and learning how not the kill people you love by accident. Worst of all, every NextGen must serve in a massive concentration camp called Sectors. 
The Sectors, created over 70 years ago, was created to keep the Northern Alliance’s greatest enemy, the Keynosians, under thumb. Like the North, the Keynosians have super-soldiers called, Empowered. Capable of just as much violence and destruction as the NextGen, the Northern Alliance fears the possibility of another war with these powerful foes. So, intent on keeping them contained, Joseph is recruited to police one of the worse locations within this massive prison camp, Westwood. 
With a Fallen partner and a murder investigation he must solve, Joseph has his hands full. The last thing he needs to do, is fall in love… with the enemy.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Great Review!

Official Review: Fallen Sun by Harule Stokes

Post Number:#1 by barb429 » 19 Jun 2016, 17:41
[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Fallen Sun" by Harule Stokes.]

Book Cover

4 out of 4 stars

Review by barb429

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In times of war nations look to build the strongest, most effective weapons and soldiers possible. In Harule Stokes’ novel Fallen Sun, the Northern Alliance, at war with their southern neighbors the Keynosians, has turned people into weapons. Volunteers are made stronger, faster, and more resilient through a process of genetic manipulation. Jocelyn is one such volunteer. Prior to the war, she had been a teacher, but now she has become a warrior referred to as a Finger of God (FOG). Together with her sisters in arms, Ophelia (another FOG) and Patricia (a “normal”),Jocelyn fights for her nation.

There are some downsides to being a FOG. Over time, many of the FOGs find themselves losing touch with reality. They must then be put into stasis and given anti-psychotics for a time in order to recover. Although all FOGs recognize that this madness will eventually happen (and Ophelia has already experienced it several times), it is something that Jocelyn fears. Jocelyn also worries about what may happen to the FOGs after the battle is won.

Fallen Sun takes place towards the end of the war. The Northern Alliance believes that they are close to winning, but the Keynosians keep fighting using their own genetically modified soldiers - the Guardsmen. Although the Guardsmen lack the strength and healing powers of the FOGs, the Keynosians are also developing new weaponry, and the soldiers on both sides soon realize that these final battles may be much more difficult than they had expected. This realization leads the Alliance to make some desperate, ill-advised decisions.

The characters in Fallen Sun are not one dimensional; we can understand them and love them as they love one another. From the very beginning I cared about the characters and wanted to know what would become of them. The sisterhood between Ophelia, Joceyln and Patricia is touching. Their relationship always feels genuine; I never felt myself question the friendship or love that these women had for one another. I laughed as well as cried with them.

This is a great science-fiction novel. Fallen Sun is written very beautifully, with an interesting plot, some great actions scenes, and striking imagery. It also makes the reader consider all the perspectives of the combatants fighting in the war by presenting the enemy sympathetically. Along the way Jocelyn begins thinking about this war and what it really means to all of those involved. I give Fallen Sun 4 out of 4 stars. I think that it would be an enjoyable read for anybody who enjoys dystopian fiction.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Meeting Hugh Howey

A Soul in Black and White:


On June 7th 2016, I had the pleasure of meeting...
: On June 7th 2016, I had the pleasure of meeting, hearing and talking to author Hugh Howey! This man is such an inspiration to me as I c...




On June 7th 2016, I had the pleasure of meeting, hearing and talking to author Hugh Howey!

This man is such an inspiration to me as I continue on my journey in self-publishing. Mr. Howey writes what’s in his heart to write. Even though he’s bombarded by the industry, wallets open towards him, he’s managed to maintain a strong sense of grounded-ness and humility that’s great to behold.

It’s possible to be yourself in the man-made maelstrom designed to strip you of your uniqueness and replace it with dreams (and sometimes reality) of fabulous profit.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to your fans Mr. Howey!