Monday, 28 November 2016

Dystortions: 100 Hues of Purple by Lisa Pell

Title: Dystortions: 100 Hues of Purple
Author: Lisa Pell
Genre: Scifi / Mystery

Dystortions: 100 Hues of Purple is a tale of mystery, murder, and love in a parallel universe, with a bit of humor. Addy O'Malibul is a former journalist who is convicted of murder and imprisoned on a planet called Malaprop, strikingly similar to Earth, but with a few twists and many Dystortions in translations of data transmissions from a planet known as Hearth. Glitched up radio communications are bombarding Malaprop - a world where fearful national security analysts, politicians, and P.R. flacks re-write history and distort facts to recreate their reality in Hearth's image. The Dystortions in those radio communications sometimes appear to twist words backwards and create opposite meanings, but maybe also reveal underlying truths.

There's just enough good science and wacked-out myth-busting to make the story hauntingly credible - and enough saucy romance to keep things hot. It's much warmer and more colorful than any shades of grey.

Excerpt #1:

The attraction was instant; the chemistry ignited for a long, burning passion – the kind that only grows stronger and solidifies over time.
Amethyst Adele McCrory and Sean Michael O’Malibul had been next-door neighbors for two years, so close their townhouses adjoined, as if some magical force had divinely ordained their proximity to one another. But fortunately the two never met, until they were ready to rendezvous.
Mr. O’Malibul was recovering from a bitter divorce, and Miss McCrory was working long hours as a mid-level executive trying to make it in the government contracting industry, which could be a wickedly demanding business in their world and across the universe. She didn’t think she had time to pay attention to a neighbor she never had seen, one being visited regularly by attractive young women who strutted up his steps, primping themselves as if preparing for a casting couch audition.
He’s taken, or just has too many women in his life. I’m probably too old for him.
Amethyst Adele’s head was about as hard as the rock for which she was named when it came to attracting men who might be marriage material.
But to folks who knew her, that part of her name seemed to contradict the warmer, softer side of her personality usually on display. The jagged edges of her soul were rarely exposed. The young Miss McCrory usually introduced herself as “Adele,” preferring the seemingly more sophisticated elocution of her middle name, especially when she was trying to impress someone. Her mother, an astrology-loving language teacher and aficionado of classic romance novels, had selected Adele to complement the more new age Amethyst because she thought it sounded classy.
Names could bestow power on a person or strike a blow from which one might never recover. Adele McCrory felt she needed to move beyond Amethyst. Amethyst was her birthstone (whatever that might mean, along with being an Aquarian in zodiac-speak) and she loved its purple-ness. Her dad, after a few beers, used to tell her she was a tough but colorful gem. But Amethyst was too hard to pronounce.
Especially after a few beers.

The Author:

An award-winning former newspaper, radio, and television journalist, Pell has spent most of her career in the communications business. Her critically acclaimed first novel, Who’s Your Daddy, Baby? (Aberdeen Bay, 2012), was selected for a Virginia Federation of Press Women award. Born in North Carolina, Pell was raised in Virginia, is a graduate of George Mason University, and attended Harvard Business School. She has strong roots in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia, and has lived in Tennessee and West Virginia, where she covered news stories in Kentucky and southern Ohio. Connoisseurs of well-told stories, rock ‘n’ roll music, impressionist art, golf, tennis, oysters, and fun people, Pell and her husband, the self-styled Agent Provocateur, JonRe Pell, live in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Excerpt #2:

There’s nothing like the sound of a cold hard jail cell door thundering shut behind you.
The now 43-year-old Addy O’Malibul had been there before, but time after time had refused to ever listen. This time she heard it like a large-toothed dull-bladed power saw ripping through her brain, shredding every self-delusion that had fed her inadequate ego since childhood, well, except for those first few months of marriage to Sean. The pieces never could be re-assembled in quite the same manner again. There always would be something missing, a connection never made in quite the way it should. Not even memories or dreams of her dear sweet Sean could assuage her anger at the world right now. The jagged edge of her personality was beginning to take hold.
Stripped bare of all pretense of self-confidence, and eviscerated of the last vestiges of what she – until this troubling chapter of her life began – thought was once a good-hearted soul, now she knew. The message was stunningly clear. Her life was a completely worthless, stupid, embarrassing waste – a disgrace to all her family and friends.
Or, at least, so she thought.
And why not think the thoughts of so many others who had been down this path before? At this point, walking into the confines of a prison cellblock the likes of which she now imagined she never would leave, at least not as a free person, she did not think a little self-deprecatory reflection on this catastrophic turn of events was too melodramatic. At this point, she was lower than low, a menace to society.
But, in Addy’s current state of mind, nothing she knew was ever right.
As the television dowager in her mind seemed to be scolding her, she was just middle class enough to be defeatist.
The judge had been a pleasant, fair-minded sort, someone who had helped her before. And the diligent jury of dutiful citizens methodically, painstakingly sorting through the alleged facts on their mission of perceived justice was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. They had to find her guilty. They had to inflict the ultimate punishment. That is what they thought the law forced them to do. The law was clear. And the law, as written by the wisest in the land, under the divine guidance of God, could not be wrong.
That was the cold, hard reality.
Nothing could beat the evidence presented. It was seemingly overwhelming. Everything the jury had learned about the facts of the case pointed to the unmistakable verdict of Addy’s guilt. There were no glitches in this case. A 38-caliber recently fired revolver had been found planted beneath the rose-colored rhododendron bush in the backyard of the O’Malibul’s suburban townhouse, the one Addy owned before meeting Sean. The ballistics matched. Her fingerprints were on it. The motive was clear. Addy admittedly was in the neighborhood when the deed was done. She had no alibi. She had shown no remorse. Worst of all, she had expressed a disturbing glee upon being told of the victim’s death during police questioning.
All the circumstances and evidence pointed to Addy, and to murder in the first-degree – capital murder.

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