Thursday, January 20, 2022

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - Pelagia: Between the Stars and the Abyss by Steve Holloway

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Pelagia: Between the Stars and the Abyss by Steve Holloway. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as what the inspiration for the book was in a beautiful guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Pelagia: Between the Stars and the Abyss
Author: Steve Holloway
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Publication Date: June 18th 2021
Print Length: 416 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
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Former special forces agent turned particle physicist Ben Holden is on the run.

The New Caliphate will stop at nothing to get their hands on his wife’s scientific research, which is believed to hold the key to unleashing chaos in the West and advancing their cause.

But in reality it’s Ben’s biometrics that have the potential to unlock the information they so desperately need. Within the oceanic world of Pelagia, in the year 2066, Ben finds sanctuary among the sea settlers of the South Pacific Pelagic Territory, but his respite is short-lived.

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EXCERPT:
Sophia’s Egg

9-year-old Sophia stepped across a short bridge onto her Egg. The walkway retracted as she moved to the centre of the vessel. A small brass sign on the floor was engraved: “To Sophia on her 9th birthday. With all our love, Gideon and Baba.” A clear dome now rose from one side of the vessel and encircled her small figure, sealing as it closed on the other side. The Egg began to glow softly.

“Go,” she said quietly. Mooring cables released. The Egg dropped below and behind the Ossë into the heart of the sea. A wave of phosphorescence sparkled against the windows.

Sophia said quietly, “Squid, Nemo.”

“Yes, Ameera, a shoal of giant squid is feeding eighty metres below us.”

The Egg now descended, deeper into the blackness. The glittering phosphorescent became less frequent. It was now almost absolute darkness outside, but at the edge of vision Sophia could discern darting shadows.

“Red light,” Sophia said. The orb’s faint glow clicked on again, giving shape to the giant shadows. Giant squid, Architeuthis sp. Sophia watched, entranced at the rushing activity around the vessel.

Putting her hands on the sapphire glass, Sophia peered closely at a passing four-metre long squid. It slowed, caught by, then returning her gaze.

In an instant the squid turned to reach for her. Its tentacles struck against the dome.

Sophia didn’t flinch. The large squid, a modern-day kraken that weighed much more than the child, hovered for a moment. It sent exploratory tentacles to touch the shield gently, then withdrew. The squid floated next to the glass contemplating this mystery. Sophia and the creature stared eye to eye - one alien to another. Amberjack-like guardian bots emerged from the darkness. The squid flicked a tentacle at one of the robots, hoping for dinner, and was rewarded by an electric jolt. It flashed away, leaving a cloud of ink in its wake.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Steve Holloway grew up on the beach cities of Los Angeles and has always loved the sea. This passion led him to gain a degree in Aquatic Biology from the University of California Santa Barbara; a background which opened many opportunities for him in researching, developing, and engaging with mariculture activities around the world.

Steve and his wife have lived and travelled in many countries over their forty years of marriage, successfully raising three kids in exotic locations in the process. They have always engaged with the people and cultures they live among.

Currently Steve lives in England and consults for a Christian charity in areas of research, leadership development, adapting to new cultures, social enterprises, and mariculture projects. Currently he is consulting for a Indo-Pacific mariculture project – a social enterprise – growing sea cucumbers, a delicacy for the Chinese market.

Steve has always loved books and writing. The story of Pelagia reflects three of his passions: science, the sea and the narratives of faith. The background, in his words:

“I have for many years believed that settling the open sea was within our grasp, and even more accessible than space as our ‘next frontier’. So through the last ten years or so I have been thinking just how this might happen, what would be needed, where people would settle, what kind of livelihoods they might have on the open sea, beyond the EEZs of terrestrial countries. My son Adam told me about what would become a key component of Pelagia, Biorock or seacrete, because of his experiments with it. Many discussions with other scientists, engineers and others helped to begin to fill in the gaps and the concept of the Pelagic Territories, similar to the unincorporated territories of the early US, and what geopolitical contexts they would find themselves in.”

Steve finds any excuse to get into the ocean: sailing, diving, swimming, or just poking around tide pools.

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GUEST POST:
- Who or what was your inspiration behind this book?

The moon glitters on the sea around me as I slip into the dark water of the ocean pen. Pushing off from the bamboo ladder, I glide above sea grass meadows interspersed with coral outcroppings.

My shadow below me blocks the moon light, spooking a moray eel who slithers away. A cuttlefish intent on snatching a shrimp dinner eyes me and backs warily into a stand of seaweed. It fades from its hunting-red hue to a greyish blue and disappears even while remaining in my range of vision I gently kick my fins, propelling me over a sandy section. A pale octopus is prowling just a meter below me, its tentacles probing into crevices of the sea floor.

I love the sea under the moonlight, where a new ‘night-shift’ of creatures emerge after sundown. When I'm at my research station, I often explore the sea pens after dark, observing the behaviour of the species we are farming.

This sea-farming project is raising sea cucumbers, Holothuria scabra, as a delicacy for the Chinese market. These slug-like animals like to bury under the sand a lot of the time, so we survey them often to watch for patterns: what triggers this behaviour? Research like my nightly snorkelling provides more data, which in the long run will help us to track population growth more accurately and manage our animals more effectively.

Blue crabs are also active at night – emerging from the sand to take bites out of young sea cucumbers. I see one near a juvenile, stalking the young animal; and shine my light on its eyes to paralyse it. I then carefully reach behind and pick up the crab, avoiding its claws, to toss it outside the pen. It is easier to rid the pen of these predators at night. Crabs also make a tasty dinner so we save a few in a basket.

I love to turn off my underwater torch and wave my hands under water. Tiny vivid blue lights swirl from my fingertips like pixie dust scattering through the dark water. These lights are actually plankton – bioluminescent ones such as comb jellies – twinkling when disturbed.

Night in the sea is magical. Experiences like these inspired me to write Pelagia. I want to capture the wonder and beauty of the marine world that I see. I also wanted to tell a story – cast a vision really – of what it might be like to pioneer and settle earth’s last frontier – the blue frontier of the open seas.
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GIVEAWAY:
Steve Holloway will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to one randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility for this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

41 comments:

  1. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

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  2. I enjoyed reading your excerpt and your bio. This book sounds very interesting to me. I love to read science fiction books.

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  3. Sounds like a great and exciting book.

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  4. thanks this sounds really interesting

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  5. I liked reading the excerpt, this sounds like a great read

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  6. I enjoyed the guest post and the excerpt and Pelagia sounds like a terrific science fiction book for me and I am looking forward to enjoying it! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a fantastic day!

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  7. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  8. I like the cover and excerpt. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Susan. A lot of people have said how much they like the cover; the story behind it is fun:

      https://www.pelagia.net/blog/cover-story/

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  9. sounds like a fun one

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  10. Sounds like a very interesting book.

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  11. This so sounds like my kind of read and I love the cover too.
    heather
    hgtempaddy

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  12. Do you have any advice for new writers?

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    1. Hi Jamie, I think the thing that helped me most was finding a good writing group that gave constructive critique and encouragement. You can learn about my journey at this blog post I wrote:
      https://www.pelagia.net/blog/awritersjourney/

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  13. David HollingsworthJanuary 20, 2022 at 6:29 PM

    How many books have you written?

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    1. Just this one, David. I've written a lot of articles, newsletters and such; but this is my first venture into fiction writing. I had to learn many new skills!

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  14. Love science fiction. This sounds great.

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  15. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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  16. Thank you for sharing the author's bio, guest post and book details, this is a must read for me and I am looking forward to it

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    1. I hope you like it Bea, drop me a line after you finish it and tell me what you think!
      https://www.pelagia.net/contact-me/

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  17. This has been a very fun tour, thank you for your kind comments! Visit my site to learn more about the book:

    https://www.pelagia.net/

    And my blog to learn more about my life as a marine biologist and writer:

    https://www.pelagia.net/blog/

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  18. It sounds like a really interesting book love to read it too.

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  19. LAST DAY
    Thanks for the contest.

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  20. Were you inspired by tales of Atlantis?

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  21. I love when authors do lots of research for their books.

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  22. What's your New Year's Resolution?

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  23. Sounds interesting. Thanks for the chance.

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  24. Thanks for the giveaway! It sounds like and interesting book.

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  25. Thank you for a chance to win and keep up the great work :)

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  26. David HollingsworthJanuary 21, 2022 at 7:13 PM

    Keep writing good books.

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  27. I love the colors on the cover of your book. The design is very eye catching!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  28. The book cover art is very eye catching.

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