“Nick of Time”–Or, a Three-Month Holiday Promotion!

In a second-season Twilight Zone episode titled “Nick of Time,” newlyweds Don and Pat Carter, on a honeymoon trip cross country to New York City, are temporarily stranded in the small town of Ridgeview, Ohio, while their car is repaired.  With several hours to kill, they enter a nondescript diner.

As they sit down at a booth, they notice a “mystic seer”–a penny fortune-telling machine.  “Ask me a Yes/No question,” the machine reads.  “One cent per question.”

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Don, up for a promotion at his place of employment and obsessing over the outcome, honeymoon or no, inserts a penny and asks the machine about it.  Has he been promoted at work?  He presses down on the lever, causing the machine to jingle, and a slip of paper spits out.

“It has been decided in your favor,” the slip reads.

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Don decides to make a long-distance call back home, to the office, to find out if this is really true.  It is.  He’s made it.

“And he knew,” Don says, sitting back down at the booth, pointing at the mystic seer.

Amused, he decides to ask the fortune-teller another question.  Would they really have to wait four hours for their car to be fixed?

“You may never know,” the machine responds.

Taken aback, Don asks more questions.  The answers are cryptic, threatening even, but they always fit, always make sense.  He grows more frantic, while his wife becomes concerned.  Why is he taking this thing so seriously?

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The seer suggests they should remain in the diner until three o’clock.  Looking at his watch, Don sees it’s only quarter after two.

“If we don’t stay here till three, something bad will happen to us?” he asks the seer.

The machine answers, “Do you dare to find out?”

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With each answer, Don’s wife grows more upset.  “Let’s go,” she says.  But Don stalls, says he hasn’t finished eating, hasn’t ordered ice cream yet.  Finally, at five minutes before three, Pat coaxes him to leave the diner.

As they walk outside and cross the street, a car nearly runs into them.  They escape unscathed, but it was a close call.  Don looks at the church tower clock across the street as soon as they reach safety.  Exactly three o’clock–just as the seer warned.

He convinces his wife to go back inside the diner.  Why is the machine so accurate?  He is determined to find out.

“You don’t really think that gizmo can foretell the future, do you?” Pat asks him once they’re back inside.

“Well, it foretold ours,” he says.

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She refutes this, saying it was Don himself who provided the machine with the details.  All the seer did was churn out vague generalities.

Don asks the machine if it knows about the car that almost hit them.

“What do you think?” the ejected card reads, in response.

He then asks if it will still take four hours for their car to be fixed.

“It has already been taken care of,” the seer responds.  Not a minute later the mechanic from across the street steps inside and tell them, by a stroke of luck, the part he needed turned up, and their car is all set.

Once again, the “mystic seer” is proven to be right.

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Pat is still unconvinced.  Don tells her to ask the seer a few questions.  She tries to trick the machine, asking if they’ll reach Columbus by tomorrow, even though they don’t plan on driving through Columbus at all.

In response, the seer answers, “If that’s what you really want.”

Question by question, Pat becomes more agitated, more unglued.

“It’s not possible to foretell the future, is it?” she asks.

“That’s up to you to find out,” the machine replies.

“You’re just a stupid piece of junk, aren’t you?” Pat shouts.

The seer answers, “It all depends on your point of view.”

That does it.  Pat has had it.  She tells Don they need to leave, that he can’t let this machine run his life for him.

He is torn.  The machine is predicting his future!  How can he just walk away?

shatnergettingriled

 

His wife implores him.  She tells him he can decide his own life.  He doesn’t need some penny fortune-telling machine to decide it for him.  “I don’t want to know what’s gonna happen,” she says.  “I want us to make it happen.”  It is up to them to make the most of their lives, to determine the roads and byways they travel along.

Don understands.  He gets up, tells the seer they will go where they want to go, whenever they please.  He has been freed from the grip of fear and superstition . . .  in the “nick of time.”

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If there were in fact a “mystic seer” available to me, I might even now know who will win The Eye-Dancers promotion that runs today straight through the holiday season, and into 2015.  As it is, it will have to remain a mystery until the promotion ends.

The details of the promotion are simple.  Between today’s date and January 4, 2015, if fifty copies of The Eye-Dancers are sold, a winner will be chosen to win a $125 gift card to a retailer of their choosing.  Amazon?  B & N?  A favorite restaurant or department store?  The choice is yours.

Beginning today (October 12) and ending January 4, 2015, if you buy The Eye-Dancers, wherever it is sold, in either paperback or ebook format, please notify me–either with a comment on this website, or via email at michaelf424@gmail.com.  I will keep track of  each person who buys the book during this time frame and then, on Monday, January 5, 2015 , the day after the promotion ends, I will randomly select the winner of the $125 gift card–provided, of course, that fifty copies of the book have sold during the promotional period.

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The Eye-Dancers, the ebook, is available for purchase at the following online retail locations . . .

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Eye-Dancers-ebook/dp/B00A8TUS8M

B & N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eye-dancers-michael-s-fedison/1113839272?ean=2940015770261

Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/255348

Kobo:  http://store.kobobooks.com/books/The-Eye-Dancers/nKFZETbWWkyzV2QkaJWOjg

And The Eye-Dancers, the paperback is sold at . . .

Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/The-Eye-Dancers-Michael-S-Fedison/dp/0692262784/ref=tmm_pap_title_0/190-9007348-1553839

and CreateSpace, https://www.createspace.com/4920627

 

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Even without the aid of the Twilight Zone‘s “mystic seer,” I hope you’ll take part in this promo!

fortuneteller

 

Thanks so much for reading!

–Mike

 

Spectrum of Speculative Fiction Contest!

One of the most rewarding aspects of being on WordPress has been interacting with fellow bloggers and joining forces with other writers.  There are so many talented authors out there, and if we join together, there’s no limit to what can be accomplished, especially in this Brave New World of e-book publishing.

Today’s post will be the first of two consecutive posts featuring other authors.  (On Monday, I’ll be conducting the first-ever interview on The Eye-Dancers site!)  It’s a lot of fun introducing you to them (or, re-introducing you to them, as the case may be, since you might already be a big fan of theirs!).  So, without further delay, I’d like to talk about a great blog hop/contest/giveaway that my friend and fellow speculative fiction author Tammy Salyer is a part of.

I am very grateful to Tammy for interviewing me on her own website about a month ago.  If you’d like to read that interview, please click here!  (I also encourage you to browse through her entire site, too.  It is chock-full of very interesting and insightful posts.)

Tammy just released the second novel in her Spectras Arise Trilogy, Contract of Betrayal, and is part of a great blog hop called the Spectrum of Speculative Fiction Contest.

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I definitely encourage you to click on the link and take a look.  Tammy and twelve other speculative fiction writers are teaming together today through Sunday (March 8–March 10), offering all manner of fascinating reads for free, ranging from epic fantasy to military science fiction.  There is also a contest associated with the event, and you will have an opportunity to win a $20 Amazon gift card.  So, what are you waiting for?  Head over to Tammy’s site and check out the Spectrum of Speculative Fiction Contest.

Here is more information on Tammy’s new release, Contract of Betrayal . . .

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“In a bid to free the settlers of Agate Beach from their dependence on picking at Admin scraps, Corps-deserter Aly Erikson’s crew is willing to make a few deals, even with the devil. When Aly learns her friends have deceived her, she has to decide which is stronger: her sense of having been betrayed or her allegiance to the rebel cause. After an old ally offers her a convenient escape to a new life, the decision should be easy. But when the Corps threatens to wipe out everything that matters to her, the only course of action left is the same one she’s taken for as long as she can remember—fighting back.”
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–“Tammy Salyer is a speculative fiction writer who dabbles in many genres, often combining everything from horror to romance in one piece. Her debut novel, Contract of Defiance, a military science fiction adventure, was released to acclaim in 2012, and the follow-up, Contract of Betrayal, just came out in February 2013.

You can also read the latest in top not-so-secret mental detritus, including movie reviews and author interviews, from Tammy at her blog: http://tammysalyer.wordpress.com, or visit her on Twitter @TammySalyer, where she’s probably blathering about pro-cycling races or single-malt Scotch.

She hopes you enjoy reading her works and welcomes your reviews.”

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Thanks so much for reading!  I hope you’ll take part in the Contest and enjoy some great new reading material!

–Mike

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