Thursday, November 29, 2012

"The Door" by Monique Rockliffe

The Door
by Monique Rockliffe

I am very pleased to announce our first giveaway! Two lucky people will win a PDF copy of Monique Rockliffe's latest release, The Door, a short story. Read about the story and my first review, and then enter the giveaway to win your own copy. Don't forget to leave a review on Amazon or Smashwords once you've read it. Best of luck!

During a desert excavation in a foreign land an astounding discovery is made that changes the future of mankind forever.
The Deceivers have one goal in mind: to rule the world, and now they've discovered the means to do so. Their endless resources, and immense political clout, make them the most powerful group on the planet and they will do anything to make sure it stays that way, even murdering men, women, and children in the name of science.
Fortunately for mankind there are people who believe in the continuance of everything good and fair and in the importance of protecting all fragile life, and when they discover the evil plans of The Deceivers they come together and design a plan to counter these diabolical men and women, who have in their possession something that could lead man into the next level of their evolution, something alien and vastly intelligent, something very much alive! But what they possess is more dangerous and destructive than they could ever have imagined, and when their experiments go horribly wrong the entire world begins to suffer horribly.
Desperate to find a solution, a Boy and a Girl and a group called The Scientists battle everyday to find a way to reverse the damage done by The Deceivers' arrogance, and when their despair is at its worst a miracle presents itself.
The Door not only exposes the evil mankind is capable of but also the compassion, love, and determination to preserve all life and appreciate every moment of it. Life is short, and it's our responsibility to make sure we do as much as we can in the time we have to live it to the full - even if that means sacrificing everything to make sure others get a chance to continue on. History teaches us where we went wrong and where we succeeded. Isn't it time we listened?

He stood before it with his hands on his hips, eyeing it dubiously, and drew in a deep breath. It was pretty ordinary looking: it had no markings, the paint was beginning to peel, and it appeared to be made of cheap pinewood. The only odd thing about it was the missing door handle.
So how the hell do I get in? he wondered.
Letting out the breath he’d been holding, he continued to stare at The Door. Whenever he focused strongly on a fixed point and then allowed his mind to wonder where it chose, the answer eventually presented itself, usually with blazing clarity.
When he’d finally been recruited, it had amazed The Scientists how he could pass weeks of exhausting experiments and tests with complete ease. They quickly discovered that his mind was like no other they’d ever come across, even theirs. He created perfect, error-free solutions seemingly at random, with no distinguishable pattern or logic to speak of, and more often than not he had them cursing in amazement when he beat their mathematical challenges every time without them knowing exactly how he did it; his approach to their so-called puzzles and problems was always entirely unconventional and unexpected.
And, of course, that is why he’d been chosen to be the one to solve this particular puzzle.
A sudden thump made him start, and he whipped around and tilted his head, listening carefully. When it didn’t repeat, he forced himself to relax and turned back to face The Door. He absently scratched at his arm and winced when his skin burned fiercely. Rolling up his sleeve, he stared at the ugly tattoo with disdain, wishing they’d found another way. But this is the only way they knew of, they’d said.
He supposed he shouldn’t be complaining. They’d specifically elected him for this very important task, after all, dangerous though it was.


By Lynda Dickson
The Door is the story of The Boy, a homeless boy of superior intellect recruited by The Scientists at the age of 16 to solve a series of puzzles. Now 18 years old, The Boy is confronted by The Door, a mysterious door located in the basement of The Coffee Shop. What is behind The Door and why is it so important?
The Scientists are trying desperately to protect the human race from The Deceivers, a group of influential and wealthy individuals who have discovered a mysterious alien Energy, The Catalyst, which hold the secret to eternal life. The Deceivers gather up and experiment on individuals who possess the rare Creator-virus gene. The Boy is one of these individuals, as indicated by the Mark of God birthmark on his arm.
During their experimentation, The Catalyst is unleashed on the unsuspecting population, killing those who do not possess the Creator-virus. The Scientists are charged with finding a means to permanently contain The Catalyst, which will kill the entire human population within three years if left unchecked.
The Boy is told by The Scientists that he is one of the carriers of the Creator-virus, thus explaining his unusually high intelligence. He is put through a number of tests and experiments to unlock his dormant potential.
The Scientists introduce The Boy to The Girl, who is also a carrier. Trained by The Scientists since the age of 12, she is planted as a spy among The Deceivers and discovers The Door's existence.
The Door is a portal created by The Man, one of the first carriers. On the other side of The Door is Paradise, a safe haven from the Creator-virus. The Deceivers discover its existence and hide it by building a town around it.
It is The Boy's mission to wrest control of The Door from The Deceivers and save the human race. But is everything as it seems? And who is really deceiving whom?
Full of suspense, action, and even romance, The Door is sure to thrill you and keep you guessing to the very end. The intelligent vocabulary and perfect punctuation made this story a pleasure to read. This story packs in a lot of background information and perhaps too much detail for a short story. At times it reads more like the outline of a book. It would serve the author well to expand this story into a full-length novel. I was sure left wanting more.

About the Author
Monique was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she currently resides with her husband and two cats who think they own her!
Always the avid reader, she spent every available moment as a child devouring books and learning to read by the time she was three. This included comic books, which added fuel to the fire of her already boundless imagination and expanded her passion for writing, drawing, and the performing arts at a furious rate. She watched as many fantasy and science fiction films as her mother would allow, firmly establishing her love and passion for storytelling of the Otherworldly kind. In short, reality was boring; sitting astride a flying dragon while wielding a magic sword and casting spells all at the same time in order to save the world from destruction and slavery from an evil (possibly alien) conqueror was so much more her style – and still is!
At age five she became a tap dancer, and at age seven ballet became her first choice. This love for dance and music turned into a successful professional career. She was a member of three dance companies as a soloist and principle dancer in ballet, jazz, and contemporary, and she also frequently performed overseas. But she never lost sight of her first passion and never stopped reading and creating other worlds in her imagination. Her dance career spanned 32 years, and in the midst of it all her desire to put down on paper the stories she had created never left her.
In 2009 she began writing seriously when her dancing career came to an end and her husband and greatest supporter urged her to finally make a start. Since then she’s never looked back, and now writing is all she can think about and dream of doing for the rest of her life.
The Sword Bearers tetralogy is the culmination of 32 years of joyous creation begun the day she saw Star Wars for the first time when she was eight. She realised, on that very magical day, that there are no limits to her imagination, and if other people could create worlds and characters and imagery of such power then she could, too. And she firmly believes she has! The Swordbearers and The Swordbearer's Journey: Book 2 are currently available. Book 3 in the series will be released in 2013.
Monique is currently working on another novel as part of her NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge. You can read more about it on her website.
The Door is the first of many short stories Monique has planned. She loves Science Fiction as much as she loves Fantasy, and writing in this genre comes just as naturally to her.