Wednesday, May 1, 2019

"No More Empires" by Paul James

No More Empires
(The Modest Proposal Institute Book 2)
by Paul James

No More Empires (The Modest Proposal Institute Book 2) by Paul James

No More Empires is the second book in The Modest Proposal Institute series by Paul James. The author stops by today for an interview and to share an excerpt from the book.
Also available: An Old Path to a New Future.

An Old Path to a New Future by Paul James

No More Empires, the second book in the #1 Bestseller series The Modest Proposal Institute, starts where Alexis and Shane begin building their chosen worlds.
We dive below the sea with Shane and fly into space with Alexis while, on the Earth’s surface, the institute struggles to survive amid the Western world’s collapse. Out of the turmoil, a rival emerges to challenge Alexis and Shane for the Institute's leadership. Tomas, who builds the institute’s robots, has his own ideas about how things should be done, and his way doesn’t include Alexis and Shane.
With the Founders seemingly enthralled by Tomas, Shane works secretly to prevent disaster right up to the moment Tomas decides to save the world from war and starvation.
Who are the good guys now? And will they win?

Kurt’s voice broke into his thoughts, interrupting a mental run-through of the escape sequence for tomorrow’s final test. “What?”
“Yves and I think we have a problem.”
“You think you have a problem or you know you have a problem?” “That’s just it. We aren’t too sure.”
“So, what is this possible problem?” Shane asked impatiently.
“You remember how Tomas asked us to let his robots train with our security guys?”
“Well, it’s been weeks now—”
“I know,” Shane interjected, growing tired of this slow recital. “I watched one of the early sessions. Remember?”
“Yeah. And it was okay then. The robots were cool, Tomas was cool, and the trainers were good with it too. In fact, a lot of them thought it was great we were on the leading edge of warfare—you know, men and machines working together.”
“So, what’s changed?”
“It’s hard to say. Tomas has developed some really incredible battlebots from those early prototypes. It’s like watching every sci-fi movie you’ve ever seen. His ‘NuMan’ robots are real androids—they almost look like human soldiers, only they’re bigger, incredibly fast, strong, and seem to be totally immune to bullets.”
“Then our security is looking good for the future.”
“Yeah, it is,” Kurt said, “only it doesn’t feel right. The troops are too good and they follow their own orders. Tomas says he’s building them for us, the institute, but we aren’t so sure anymore.”
“You think he’s planning a takeover?”
“We don’t know. But I’m telling you he could. These things are scary beyond all belief and they have a mind of their own, or maybe it’s just Tomas directing them.”
“But you’re not sure?”
“We’re not, but Leon is, and you know he’s been one of our chief commanders on all the defensive exercises. He says we’ve got to act soon. So far, the robots have taken part in the exercises without any problem, but even the elite trainers from the outside world are saying something funny is going on.”
Yves, who’d been standing silently beside Kurt with a worried expression, spoke up. “Leon has been warning us for some time. He’s been bugging Tomas too, demanding more information and more transparency. They’ve had arguments about it.”
Shane frowned. Leon wasn’t the sort to be paranoid about things. “The robots don’t have live ammo, do they?”
“No, but if they did we’d all be toast or taking orders from Tomas.”
“Do you have any actual proof there’s something going on or are you guys just jealous that the robots are tougher than you?”
“If we had proof, we’d destroy them now before they destroy us,” Yves said bluntly. “But no, we don’t have anything but intuition.”
Shane thought for a moment. “You say others are concerned as well?”
“The two Navy SEALs instructors who are training us now came to Yves and I this morning with their concerns.”
“Well, their spider senses are good enough for me,” Shane said. “How can we disable these things?”
“Not easily, but it can be done,” Kurt said. “Our concern is that Tomas has built more that we aren’t seeing, so that if we move against the ones we do see, we’ll get creamed. That factory of his is impossible for regular guys to get into.”
“We need to talk to the Founders,” Yves added. “There’s a night exercise tonight. Why don’t you come and see what you think before we go to them? We need your support because they won’t like our concerns. You know how pleased they were to get Tomas here.”
The night was overcast, the only light a slight phosphoresce from the sea that made the surf shimmer as it washed against the rocks and beach. Wearing the night-vision goggles, Shane could see the training defenders spread out across the terrain. Even Tomas’s robot defenders gave off enough heat to show up. The sea gave no sign of attackers, just the usual, steady rolling swell and waves.
Time passed and the night grew cold. Even bundled up, Shane wished he’d stayed indoors and watched from the monitors. It seemed the cold was making him feel sleepy rather than keeping him sharp. His thoughts drifted to his final test, the suit escape from a sunken Ray. He went through each step in his mind, determined to be perfect when the time came.
Then the night exploded. A blaze of light blinded him and he was stunned by a deafening, screaming howl. Out of the sea and onto the island came troops, guns blazing. They seemed to leap ashore and onto the defenders before Shane got his mind around what was happening.
Fortunately, the defenders had not been lulled into sleep. They fought back fiercely. The flashing simulator lasers weaved intricate tracer patterns through the darkness and revealed more crafts landing on the beaches with troops leaping from them. They began firing the moment they landed, responding fire erupting from the beach defenders. The noise and flashing lights left Shane stunned. It had been so long since he’d attended one of these exercises that he hadn’t realized how far they’d come or how realistic they now were.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“You do need to read the first book in order to really understand and enjoy this one - if you appreciate having your thinking challenged you will enjoy this series. Like Book 1, Book 2 is fast-paced and keeps your interest. Enjoying the character development between the main characters.” ~ L. Leighton
“Young adult fans of dystopian and science fiction novels are going to love the second installment of The Modest Proposal Institute. Picking up where the first book left off, the story is told from Shane’s point of view.” ~ HRH
“Book one was brilliant, it this book is even more so! It's so exciting to be reading from Shane's point of view. I love how Alexis and Shane went from enemies to frenemies. And I love how the element of suspense adds more spice into this story.” ~ Amber C.
“You can read this book by itself, but if you want to understand the purpose of the school, and the personal history between Alexis and Shane, you should read the first book in the series The Modest Proposal Institute.” ~ Terry Williams

Interview With the Author
Author Paul James joins me today to discuss his new book, No More Empires, the second book in The Modest Proposal Institute series.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
I recommend this book for anyone aged ten to 90.
What sparked the idea for this book?
I started writing this series because there is a lack of the kind of books I liked as a kid and teenager in today's books for boys. Also, because I have an interest in the near future. I felt there was a need for some different views of the future that looked at possible ideas and not magic.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
For me, the idea for the novel.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
The hardest part was presenting an overview of the future of the Western world through the eyes of teenage boys.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I hope it encourages them to read more, widen their horizons, and consider their futures through their own ideas and endeavors and not what they're told.
How long did it take you to write this book?
From the idea, about a year. The actual writing was more like ten months.
What is your writing routine?
I write in two single one-hour periods, one earlier in the day and one in the evening.
How did you get your book published?
I self-published. I think it's the way publishing is going, and I wanted to have more control of the whole process.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Read and write a lot is the obvious first advice but, more than that, have something you want to say.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Outside writing, I take photos - preferably wildlife - and I exercise - running, walking, and cycling.
What does your family think of your writing?
They've grown used to it. I've been doing it so long now, I don't think they notice anymore.
Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I grew up in the country with a passion for the outdoors and all things technical, which is why I became an engineer. I read way too much. I read anything that was available almost from the moment I could read. I devoured books, though I didn't write anything other than school essays back then.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
That's difficult to say, it was so many years ago. But, I guess, when we had children, and I was reading to them.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Only in the sense that science fiction was one of my favorite genres when I was a teenager.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
They're a mixed bunch: Jane Austen, Bill Bryson, Douglas Adams, are all writers I keep in mind when I write. You'll note they're all different kinds of humorists, which I try to include some of in my stories.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I hear from some readers and all are very positive, though I imagine you only reach out to people when you have something good to say.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
For now, I plan to finish the series of The Modest Proposal Institute.
Thanks for stopping by today, Paul. Best of luck with the rest of the series.

About the Author
Paul James
Paul James is an engineer with a life-long interest in books and writing. Originally from England, he's lived with his family near Toronto, Canada, for many years and where he walks, runs and takes wildlife photos whenever the weather will let him. In his writing, he likes to capture the humorous side of life even when sometimes the world doesn't seem to warrant it - as we saw in his earlier book, Diary of a Canadian Nobody.
For his new series, The Modest Proposal Institute, he's returned to one of his earliest loves - science fiction.

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