Monday, December 28, 2015

Infinite Sight by Barbara Custer Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

Infinite Sight
Barbara Custer

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Night to Dawn Magazine & Books LLC

Date of Publication:  11/30/2015 (tentative)

ISBN: 978-1-937769-42-0 (print)

Number of pages: 112 pages
Word Count: 25,225

Cover Artist: Marge Simon

Book Description:

Devastated by an error which caused an infant’s death, Lilly becomes deathly ill and collapses from loss of blood. She wakes up from emergency surgery with mental telepathic powers.

When an extraterrestrial ship crash-lands near her home, she investigates and happens upon a survivor who needs her help. Motivated by guilt-ridden feelings over the baby, she rescues him, catapulting herself into a war between two alien armies.

Now the renegade soldiers are on her trail and have marked her for death.

Available at Amazon    BN

Excerpt 1:

In the woods, she coughed her way through a maze of twisted oaks. She hacked and gagged on the stink of sulfur; the smell was worse around the ship, which lay between shattered aisles of trees it had destroyed in its descent. Flames flickered from its open hatchway. The ship itself lay canted to one side with air bubbles bursting all around it. On its left side, pieces of metal scattered in the grass. Shining her light on the ship, Lilly happened upon warped metal strips protruding over one side. Underneath the ship, glowing embers leaped and twirled in a blue fiery dance. Face dripping with sweat, she shot glances right and left. Where are the firemen? The police? My neighbors? Enormous Christmas ornaments like this don’t crash and burn every day. Surely either radar or other scanner devices had detected this.
Leaves crunched to her right, followed by a scraping of branches. Lilly charged into the brush, panting gasps escaping her lips. Her flashlight played over the grass and bushes, for without her light, she couldn’t see to navigate in the dark. Her foot tapped against something—a shiny metal helmet rolled under a shrub. The branches separated. Lilly looked in and screamed.
A gloved hand reached for the helmet. The owner of that hand stepped from its hiding place, put its helmet on, and stared at Lilly with glowing red eyes. Dressed in a lime green spacesuit, it stood about her height. Its bald head, thin lips, and masculine features made it look like a male human, but the pointed ears and flattened nose with nostrils like tiny slits defined him as extraterrestrial. His jagged teeth chattered.  He trembled like an electrified wire.
Lilly screamed again. “Get out of here,” she shouted. “Go home!”

About the Author:

Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. Her short stories have appeared in numerous small press magazines. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.

Other books by Barbara include City of Brotherly Death and Steel Rose, plus novellas Close Liaisons and Life Raft: Earth. She’s also coauthored Alien Worlds and Starship Invasions (both now out of print) with Tom Johnson. She anticipates release of When Blood Reigns, the sequel to Steel Rose. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page, and then blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons and you’ll find her.

Where are you from? I was born in Philadelphia, PA
Tell us your latest news? In March, I will be releasing Night to Dawn 29 – I publish the Night to Dawn Magazine every six months in March and September. It features dark fantasy and horrific poetry, illustrations, and fiction. Also, Eternal Press will be publishing When Blood Reigns, a sequel to Steel Rose. Both books are horror and science fiction, with emphasis on the horror. 
When and why did you begin writing? Originally, I began writing in an attempt to turn over the intense grief I felt when my mother died in 1990. Mom and I were always very close, and her death hit me hard. I found writing and journaling helped through that. At the same time, I loved reading Stephen King’s books, and fantasized myself writing books like Stephen King. I did grow to realize that this would never happen – that I can only be me. And that’s very much OK.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? I started to consider myself a writer after I completed several short stories and began submitting them to editors, and even more so when I got my first acceptance.
What inspired you to write your first book? My first book is Twilight Healer, about a timid bullied healthcare worker who finds new life as a vampire. There’s more to the book – she runs afoul of alternate worlds and the gods that rule them, and she comes to realize that she’s smarter than she ever thought. My inspiration was meeting a fellow respiratory therapist who struggled mightily to master her skills – she had to attend remedial classes, and other folks were not always kind to her. Some of the equipment she couldn’t learn at all. There’s a little bit of that therapist in Infinite Sight, too. I felt really bad for this person and got to wondering, what if she developed supernatural powers – would that enable her to do her job better?  Playing what if led to Twilight Healer and Infinite Sight.
Do you have a specific writing style?  I can’t say that I have a style but I love collecting Mylar balloons, and very often, the balloons will pop up in my stories.
How did you come up with the title? Oh, boy, did I need a lot of help with the title. Basically the title was intended to cast attention toward the protagonist’s mental telepathy. Infinite Sight was rewritten several times – as “Second Chance” in Tom Johnson’s magazine Alien WorldsTom and Ginger Johnson were a great help with me getting short stories published. Then it became “Pegasus in Outer Space” in our collection, Starship Invasions, now out of print. Finally, I decided to develop the story a little more and tried for a new title, Blood Zone. Enter my editors, Gemini Wordsmiths, who did a healthy developmental edit, and told me that my proposed title didn’t fit. They, along with one of my writer buddies, suggested several titles that sounded good. I went on Facebook and took a democratic poll on titles among my friends and fellow authors, and Infinite Sight took the lead. 
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Like many SF stories, Infinite Sight has good versus evil, but yes, there is a message – self-forgiveness. So often, the people who we’re hardest on are ourselves.
How much of the book is realistic? I’d say about half – the things that went wrong on Lilly’s job can and do happen, especially if someone feels they need more training. Premature infants require specialized equipment such as what Lilly had to use. People get and give report at the change of shift. The struggles Lilly had with her vision are realistic – I’ve had them myself, and was thus able to write realistically about her disability. And it’s possible, though rare, for people to develop psychic abilities after a head trauma. The SF begins with Lilly meeting Laylok, the alien, and all of the events that followed.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Like Twilight Healer, Infinite Sight is based on that former coworker, the one who had to go through remedial training. Her worst times with equipment happened when she attempted to work on the neonatal floor. The supervisor, to his credit, pulled her from that floor and had her work on the noncritical care floors. Mind you, I took artistic license – no baby ever died, and she had a compassionate boss. I can’t be lenient with my characters, though. J
What books have most influenced your life most? I can’t say that any one book influenced my life. People have. My teachers, for starters, and my mother. A kindly college professor suggested that I try writing to get through my mother’s passing.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Jonathan Maberry because of his background and what he was able to do to get where he is now.
What book are you reading now? I just finished reading Margaret L. Carty’s Sealing the Dark Portal. Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams is on my shelf waiting to be read. It was my reward for completing Infinite Sight, promo and all.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Kathryn Kraft’s first book, The Art of Falling, though not genre, was an awesome read. She recently came out with a second, Far End of Happy. I’ve got this one on my to-be-read list. Like my favorite authors, she layers her characters beautifully, and makes me care what happens to them.
What are your current projects? I’m working on Night to Dawn 29, and anticipate another edit on When Blood Reigns. I’m hoping to release L. M. Labat’s The Sanguinarian Id around February, 2016. I also have in mind another sequel for Steel Rose. The storyline is a military secret since I’m still on the first draft.

What would you like my readers to know? That they can reach me anytime on Facebook or Twitter. If they stop by my Bloodredshadows page – there are other books they might want to check out, or maybe read the numerous blogs associated with my website.

Tour giveaway

2 $10 Starbucks gift cards


  1. Thank you for the chance to win :)

  2. I love to read science fiction! Thanks!

  3. Thanks so much for hosting me! :)

  4. Thank you for informing me about this book.

  5. Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the excerpt and the interview. This book sounds like a very interesting read!

  6. Great interview, Barbara! I love books about extraterrestrials. You have an amazing imagination, and your balloons are a wonderful inspiration.

  7. I like one of the messages in the novel: self forgiveness!