Free Preview – The Music of Mars

The Music of Mars InSight Gretchen Black

Below is a free sample of The Music of Mars. It sets the stage for the two main character, Gretchen and Frank, to begin their adventure. For Frank, he sees the walls beginning to close in while Gretchen’s world begins to crumble from underneath her, prompting her to venture to Mars.

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Air and Space Museum-Innovations in Flight

On June 15, 2019, the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA held an Innovations in Flight event where aircraft like private planes to military transports were on display for the public.

V-22 Osprey

V-22 Osprey – Copyright 2019 George G. Moore

Passenger Jet

Passenger Jet – Copyright 2019 George G. Moore

The event ran from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. Unfortunately, I arrived late, so I didn’t get a chance to tour C-17 cockpit or the United passenger jet.

I had the opportunity to speak with several teenagers in the Civil Air Patrol as well as private pilots.

I looked into many of the smaller airplanes like Pipers and couldn’t imagine riding or flying in them simply because I’m 6′ 6″. This was a running thought throughout the day.


Woodstock – Copyright 2019 George G. Moore

I liked this plane for Woodstock. The sign in front says it’s been customized and it won a few timed distance contests.

If you look close the leading edge of the wings have raised edges pointing right and left.




B-25 Cockpit

B-25 Cockpit – Copyright 2019 George G. Moore

This is the cockpit of a B-25 that flew in WWII. It’s been used in movies. It’s hard to see because the picture picked up the Plexiglas well, but the co-pilot’s seat back (on right) was cut off halfway up so a camera operator could film the pilot.

I’m standing where a pole with a bicycle seat ought to be for the top turret gunner’s position.

As a side note, I my father flew a B-24 and was a top turret gunner. I wish I could’ve seen out turret–it would’ve been cool to see what he’d seen. Obviously, I’d be on the ground without any enemy aircraft about.

Here are a few more pictures.

Air Force Helicopter

Air Force Helicopter – Copyright 2019 George G. Moore


F-22 – Copyright 2019 George G. Moore

These next few pictures of C-17 transport. While standing around, the wind spun the turbines on the left of the picture, which made a noise. For a second, I wondered if a switch was flipped by accident.


C-17 – Copyright 2019 George G. Moore

C-17 Cargo Bay

C-17 Cargo Bay – Copyright 2019 George G. Moore

As the event ended, I ventured into the museum proper. Here is the restoration hanger.

Restoration Hanger

Restoration Hanger – Copyright 2019 George G. Moore

Here are my two favorite exhibits, the space shuttle and SR-71.

Space Shuttle Discovery

Space Shuttle Discovery – Copyright 2019 George G. Moore


SR-71 – Copyright 2019 George G. Moore

I had a great time. Next time, I plan to arrive when the exhibit opens, so I can enjoy everything.

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Comic Logic’s Fourth Anniversary

Update 4/19/19: Unfortunately, a scheduling difficulty prevents me from participating in the event. I’m planning on joining Comic Logic on May 4th for Free Comic Book day.

On April 20th, I’ll be appearing at Comic Logic‘s fourth anniversary celebration. I’ll be signing my book, The Music of Mars, and talking about sci-fi in general. The fun starts at 11 a.m.

Here are a few pictures from last year.

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Professional Headshots

At the beginning of February, I sat for professional headshots to use on social media and in my books. I chose Scarlett Heart Photography after seeing incredible pictures a friend had taken.

Scarlett Heart photographs in natural light, so I couldn’t wear my glasses as they darken when outdoors. For an hour and a half, everything was blurry because I’m nearsighted, but it was worth it. I followed instructions (the key to getting a great result), changed outfits, and tried several expressions ranging from serious to outright laughing.

Did I feel slightly foolish laughing at nothing? Yes. But you do what you have to do. I kept in mind that the actors in the Marvel movies often were reacting to something that wasn’t physically there. And all I was doing was sitting, not getting clobbered by Cap’s shield or Thor’s hammer.

In the end, I received excellent photos from which to chose. For them, Angela Bennett-Zoellner at Scarlett Heart Photography did as I instructed: don’t erase the wrinkles and don’t get rid of the gray hair. I earned every one of them! Though, I didn’t realize I had such prominent Crow’s Feet–that was a bit of a wake-up call.

I included my favorite on this post. It will go in my book, too. I used another photo for all of my social media.


Photo by Scarlett Heart Photography

If you’re in the market for professional photographs, I highly recommend Scarlett Heart Photography.

You can check out Scarlett Heart Photography:
Facebook: @ScarlettHeartPhotographybyAngela
Instagram: Scarlett_Heart_Photography_

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The Music Of Mars is a Wishing Shelf Book Awards Finalist

FINALIST-medal2018-colourToday, I received an email announcing I was a finalist in The 2018 Wishing Shelf Book Awards in the Adult Fiction category.

The Music of Mars Book Photo

Here is the entire list for Adult Fiction.

Category 5 Books for Adults (fiction)
8 Seconds to Midnight, John Leifer
A Contrary Wind, Lona Manning
A Friend in Deed, G D Harper
A Gathering For Claudette, Robert Fortune
A Line Intersected, David Grant Urban
A Sparrow Falls, Vicki Olsen
All But What’s Left, Carrie Mumford
Alterni (The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1), Sunshine Somerville
And If I Fall, Robin Reardon
Another Ocean to Cross, Ann Griffin
Apocalypse: Diary of a Survivor 3, Matt Pike
Apotheosis, Joshua Edward Smith
Behind the Fan, Caroline Walken
Best of All Gifts, Sheila M. Cronin
Bocas, Thomas M. Barron
Broken Sea, Nigel Peace
Diamonds at Dawn, Catalina
Discussion of a Decent Dream, E Curtis
Fait, Christy & Sarah Newman
Fateful Decisions, Trevor D’Silva
Finding Amor, Allison K. Garcia
Five Fathoms Beneath, J.R. Alcyone
Fresh Off the Starship, Ann Crawford
God Makings I: The New Hubris, Dave Pryor
Happy as a Partridge: Life and Love in Madrid, Kate Boyle
Hostile Takeover, Cristelle Comby
I Have Demons, Christopher Adam
In Pain and Blood, Aldrea Alien
Infants of the Brush: A Chimney Sweep’s Story, A. M. Watson
Life Without Shoes, Emma Cyrus
Lili, Shlomo Kalo
Love Everlasting: because love knows no boundaries, Chris Bakos
Maddy’s Wings, Jan Porter
Midwife of Normandy, Carole Penfield
Mira’s Way, Amy Maroney
Misfortune of Song, Christy Nicholas
Misfortune of Vision, Christy Nicholas
Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62, B. Lynn Goodwin
Nico’s Warriors: Veterans’ Revenge, Mitchell Nevin
Of Half a Mind, Bruce M. Perrin
Orc Road Trip, Robbie Mahair
Pas De Deux: A Dance For Two, Lynn Turner
Payback, Chris Calder
Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin, Hannah Lynn
Pocketful of Bones, Julie Frayn
Radioactive Evolution, Richard Hummel
Reckless Obsession, Dai Henley
Resonance, Jennifer Greenhall
Sally, J Schlenker
Scout Pilot of the Free Union, Will Macmillan Jones
Shadowed by Death: An Oliver Wright World War II Mystery, Mary Adler
Smokescreen, Alan Reynolds
Still Breathing, E. A. Fournier
Straybeck Rising, Michael Lynch
Survivor’s Dawn, Ashley Warren
Tequila Rose Virginity Blues, Wendy Jayne
The Afterlife of Walter Augustus, Hannah Lynn
The Breaking of Liam Glass, Charles Harris
The Carlswick Mythology, SL Beaumont
The Cass of the Slain Soprano, Susan Moore Jordan
The Color of Cold and Ice, J Schlenker
The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride, Joe Siple
The Gift: a novella, Lolli Powell
The Gods Who Harvested Men (The Panagea Tales Book 2), McKenzie Austin
The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming: Book One: Theory, Sienna Tristen
The Labyrinthine Journey, Luciana Cavallaro
The Mage’s Tome: Cry of the Acere Duology: Book I, Arisawe Hampton
The Moving Blade, Michael Pronko
The Music of Mars, George G. Moore
The Shaman’s Apprentice, by B. Muze
The Sheriff’s Catch, James Vella-Bardon
The Spanish Indecision, Sarah-Jane Fraser
The Storyteller’s Throne, Jocelyn Bates
The Suicide Watcher, Gayle Curtis
The Tree That Grew Through Iron, McKenzie Austin
The Wight Thing, Elisabeth Marrion
Tinsel in a Tangle, Laurie Germaine
Touch Sensitive, Lee Isserow
Uncle Greg’s Treasure: A Novel Full of Riddles and Time Zones, Cédric H. Roserens
What? B. James
Writers of the Future volume 34, by L. Ron Hubbard and Brandon Sanderson

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A Christmas Thank You

christmas thank you

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York Book Expo

On November 3, 2018, I had a table at the York Book Expo. I met a lot of interesting people, talked sci-fi, and sold books.


I also gave away a lot of leftover Halloween candy!

It was a good time, and I look forward to doing it again.


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Nature, Up Close

I took a guided sunset kayak cruise through the marshes of Fripp Island, SC. I expected to witness some nature,  watch the sun set, and maybe do a little paddling. What I got was really the coolest two hours I’ve spent in a long time!

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The Music of Mars-Gretchen’s Personal Journey

The Music of Mars Book PhotoIn The Music of Mars, Gretchen journeys to Mars to decipher strange symbols in a remote cave. I’ve written a lot about this outer journey, but her internal journey is just as fascinating.

She begins the story disagreeing with her project leader over the meaning of artifacts found in Antarctica. She believes the truth is most important and revealing it is her greatest desire. Further, if she does her work to the best of her ability, she’ll achieve her goals of understanding ancient peoples better and of advancing in the field, eventually leading her own expeditions.

Soon afterward, she discovers her project leader has blackballed her. No matter how right she may be or how hard she has worked, she can’t get archaeological work on Earth.

On Mars after hearing about the Marsee’s problems with Interplanetary and their spies embedded within MarsVantage, she concludes their issues don’t affect her. After all, she merely needs to decode the symbols and return home with her pay.

As events unfold, she assists Frank in finding a spy, though she feels that doing so will smooth the way in deciphering the symbols.

Toward the end, she pushes aside her original goal, foregoing the return-home pay, convincing MarsVantage to allow her to pursue a more significant discovery, which could change the course for MarsVantage, Frank, herself, and humanity. She further agrees to help Frank entrap another spy solely because it will help MarsVantage utilize the newest discovery.

Gretchen learns that considerations beyond her work can affect her work, and to be successful, she must handle them with as much care as ancient artifacts.

Get a free short story when you sign-up for my mailing list.

Every purchase of  The Music of Mars entitles the reader to download two free short stories. See the back of the book for details.

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The Music of Mars–Reviews

Already, several readers asked about a sequel to The Music of Mars. I will write another, and I’m actively considering events to challenge Frank, Gretchen, and the Earth archaeologists working in the Bvindu city named The Vault of Ages.

A GoodReads reader left this comment in part:

It was very accessible and didn’t have a lot of technical language that went over my head. The characters were likeable, and I really enjoyed the imagination of what it would take to build an entire city on Mars.

An Amazon reader commented in part:

It has everything you look for in sci-fi, adventure, betrayal, aliens, and so much more.

Another Amazon reader left this message in part:

…this book had me hooked from page 1.

One last Amazon review in part:

I’m so glad I came across this book and decided to take a chance on a new author.

The Music of Mars Book CoverAnd I’m pleased beyond words that people are enjoying the story. Thank you for taking a chance on a debut novel.

Every purchase includes instructions for downloading two more related short stories at no cost.

You can buy The Music of Mars at

You can sign-up for my mailing list and download a free short story about the fateful event that caused MarsVantage and Interplanetary to go there separate ways.

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