Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Quantum Consequence - Book Tour


Physic, Lust and Greed Series, Book 5


Date Published: 05-16-2024

Publisher: Acorn Publishing


After foiling the political ambitions of a would-be American dictator, time-traveling lovers Marta Hamilton and Marshall Grissom return to their life in the Caribbean only to confront the murder of a friend and inherit responsibility for a gutsy 10-year old boy. Throughout their unlikely and tumultuous relationship, Marta has harbored suspicions that her time-traveling companion is not being honest with her. Is Marshall really the bumbling, good-hearted klutz she has come to love and trust? Or is he the cunning, cold-blooded assassin Gillis Kerg suspects him to be? In this fifth tale of physics, lust and greed, a bizarre parallel universe and a monstrous product of artificial intelligence will impose a costly consequence requiring both Marta and Marshall to face the truth of her most haunting question:  “Who are you, Marshall Grissom?”


Read an excerpt below...

About the Author

Mike Murphey is a native of eastern New Mexico and spent almost thirty years as an award-winning newspaper journalist in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. His debut novel, Section Roads, has been recognized by Indie Reader Discovery Awards, Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, The IAN Book of the Year Awards, the Somerset Contemporary Fiction Awards, and the Independent Publishers Book Awards. His novel, The Conman has been recognized by the International Book Awards, the eLit Awards and the Manhattan Book Awards. His award-winning Physics, Lust and Greed Series includes Taking Time,  Wasting Time, Killing Time and  The Outlaw Gillis Kerg. “We Never Knew Just What It Was… The Story of the Chad Mitchell Trio” is his first non-fiction work. Mike loves fiction, cats, baseball and sailing. He splits his time between Spokane, Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona.


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Twitter: @booksmurphey




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Excerpt from "Quantum Consequence"

Everyone familiar with Marshall Grissom and Marta Hamilton knew Marta was the scary one.

Marshall towered six foot seven and was as wispy as a soda straw. Clumsy, self-effacing and kind. In contrast, Marta stood barely five feet, sinewy, built like a marathoner. Although her romantic liaison with Marshall had softened some of her bristles, she could be as mean as a mamba snake and unforgiving as a loan shark.

Once she’d allowed someone to pick their way through her tangled emotional defenses, though, her loyalty was fierce. Which was why she was quick to respond when she heard a man yelling from the dock beside Cecil’s boat, Somewhere Over China.

“Come on, old man! Come out here!”

Marta scrambled to the deck of Dontchaknow—a thirty-two-foot Bavaria tied bow to stern with Cecil’s ketch-rigged Tayana in Grenada’s Prickly Bay Marina. On the dock a hulking man, his belly peeking out from under a T‑shirt that strained to contain beefy biceps, swayed a little, like a long-distance sailor who hadn’t quite found his land legs.

“Come out, you, and bring Baptiste! His mama want him home right now,” Cecil’s would-be assailant bellowed in a Caribbean-Creole accent.

Cecil emerged onto his boat’s deck, brandishing a speargun.

Stop right there, Ignace Aguillard,” Cecil said. “Baptiste doesn’t have to go anywhere with you. You hit this boy. Go away, or we’ll call the constable.”

“I’m da only father he got,” Aguillard answered. “Boy sass me, need to get hit. Boys gotta learn respect. Put down that toothpick you holdin’, you, or I come up there and stick it up your ass.”

Marshall clambered up on deck after Marta. “What’s going—‍”

The question died on his lips as Baptiste peeked from behind Cecil, revealing a black and purple shiner that closed his left eye.

“Marshall,” Marta said, “go below and get the flare gun.”

Instead, Marshall vaulted over Dontchaknow’s lifelines, landing with surprising agility onto the narrow dock.

“Marshall, no!” Marta called.

Aguillard turned to confront this new threat.

“Now you in trouble, you!” Baptiste shouted with all the venom a ten-year-old could muster. “Dis da one I tell you about. He a famous killer, not afraid a’ da likes a’ you.”

Aguillard glanced at Cecil, still pointing his speargun, then back to Marshall. He laughed. “You who dis boy been yappin’ about? I break you like a stick.”

Marshall looked around, blinking, as if surprised to find himself in the middle of this confrontation but quickly collected himself. “You hurt Baptiste? He’s just a little boy.”

“Believe me,” Aguillard said, “gonna hurt you a lot worse.”

Aguillard took a step forward.

Bugger, thought Marta. Her only weapon, a flare gun, was below deck. She saw Cecil lean forward, the speargun steady in his hands.

“What are you doing, Marshall?” she said. “You can’t—‍”

Aguillard charged with Marshall dead in his sights.

“Run, Marshall!” she yelled.

Marshall appeared frozen, paralyzed with fear.

“Oh no!” Cecil called, tracking Aguillard with his speargun, finger on the trigger.

Marshall flinched but stood his ground as Aguillard gathered momentum.

Marta wondered if Marshall wanted flowers at his funeral.

At the last instant before impact, though, Marshall stood tall—almost on tiptoe—and executed an elegant spin, like a matador’s pase natural, allowing Aguillard to brush past him, only a whisper of space between them. As he passed, Marshall gave Aguillard a backhanded nudge with just enough pressure to alter the big man’s trajectory.

Aguillard careened off the dock into fifteen feet of warm, green water, then came up sputtering and cursing. Marta appeared at Marshall’s side, carrying an aluminum dinghy oar. Aguillard swallowed a mouthful of seawater and gagged. Marta swung the oar with all her might, striking him on the head.

Baptiste had leapt onto the dock and stood beside Marshall and Marta as they watched Aguillard sink. Bubbles drifted to the surface, their wet little pops waning in frequency.

Eventually, Baptiste said, “Somebody don’t do somethin’, he gonna drown.”

“Yeah, well . . .” Marta said.

Cecil joined them. They regarded her with imploring eyes.

“Oh, all right,” she said. “Marshall, go to the beach.”

Marta dove in, grabbed Aguillard by his hair and kicked toward shore.

Marshall helped haul him onto the gleaming sand where Aguillard lay unmoving, turning a curious shade of blue.

Um . . . shouldn’t we, you know . . . do mouth-to-mouth or something?” Marshall asked.

“Not my mouth,” said Marta. “And not yours either, if you want it to have anything to do with mine.”

“We can’t just let him—‍”

“Oh, I suppose not,” Marta said.

She jumped into the air, then using her whole weight, slammed her elbow onto Aguillard’s chest, which made a cracking sound. Water spewed from his mouth as he gagged and gasped.

“Roll him onto his side,” Marta said.

“Okay, now what?” Marshall asked.

“If he doesn’t get up and walk away in an hour, we’ll call someone to haul him off.”

“I think,” Marshall said, “the tide’s coming in.”

“Then I guess he’d better hurry.”


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