Orange City

Orange City

Expected Publication Date: March 16th, 2021

Genre: Science Fiction/ Dystopian Sci-Fi

Imagine a secret, hidden city that gives a second chance at life for those selected to come: felons, deformed outcasts, those on the fringe of the Outside World. Everyone gets a job, a place to live; but you are bound to the city forever. You can never leave.

Its citizens are ruled by a monstrous figure called the “Man” who resembles a giant demented spider from the lifelike robotic limbs attached to his body. Everyone follows the man blindly, working hard to make their Promised Land stronger, too scared to defy him and be discarded to the Empty Zones.

After ten years as an advertising executive, Graham Weatherend receives an order to test a new client, Pow! Sodas. After one sip of the orange flavor, he becomes addicted, the sodas causing wild mood swings that finally wake him up to the prison he calls reality.

A dynamic mash-up of 1984 meets LOST, ORANGE CITY is a lurid, dystopian first book in a series that will continue with the explosive sequel LEMONWORLD.

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Excerpt

At six on the dot, the gloved cellular let out a piercing ring. A timer turned on, ticking down with each buzz. E wouldn’t have long to remain idle. The entire pod apartment vibrated, and his capsule bed slid open. The white ceiling drew his attention, the walls devoid of color, a minimalist’s fantasy—nothing like a home. 

Shades of the dream from last night still lingered. His knuckles painted with blood as he beat a shadow. The voice of the shadow belonging to a ten-year-old boy. The boy’s cries stabbing E’s ears. He shook that dream away. 

He removed the intravenous tube that connected him to his bed and switched off the cooling mist which allowed him to slumber for days. He stretched his old bones, his hair standing up in a state of white shock like it had since he was a young man. Swinging his thick legs over the side of the bed, he yawned at the morning before finally answering his cell. 

“I’ll be right there,” he coughed into the digital eye on his gloved palm. 

He removed the glove and pushed a button on the side of the bed. Doors opening along the wall revealed a sliver of a kitchen with a piping pot of subpar and gritty coffee brewing on the counter— the best offered to the Scouts— and two sizzling poached eggs from a suspect source. He scarfed down the eggs and pushed another button to raise the shades along the lone wall facing east. The heart of The City hovered in the near distance, its new buildings staggering on one end like giant colorful stalagmites. Sipping his black coffee, he watched it in motion as he did every morning. 

Between the Scouts and the rest of The City lay a half a mile of ice water. The City was made up of many Regions, his situated on the outskirts. Sometimes he wondered what it would be like to fall into those frosty waters and drift off to wherever it might choose to take him, no longer having to shuttle between The City and the faraway Outside World anymore. But instead of a dramatic suicide, he suited up and headed through the tunnel with a suitcase in hand like he had for twenty years. He’d convinced himself long ago that living here was better than rotting in prison like he would’ve been if they hadn’t selected him. At least he was still able to get lost in a bottle of whiskey or feel the sun against his cheek during 

the few instances it was allowed to peek through the chronic clouds. Even though The City was far from ideal, the Outside World remained definitely worse. It reminded him too often of the man he used to be and of the terrible sins he’d committed. These thoughts returned at the beginning of every week while he geared up for another one, as he wondered if one day the Man in the Eye might give him a promotion and he wouldn’t have to be a Scout anymore. 

That way, he’d never have to return to the Outside World. 

Then, he could possibly be at peace, like all The City’s inhabitants wished.

BOOK REVIEW: BONNIE READS AND WRITES

This excellent dystopian novel definitely will take the reader on a journey somewhat reminiscent of 1984 and The Truman Show.  The use of color is so unique and intriguing, and the orange soda idea is inspiring.  Graham’s manipulation by “The Man” is so well written, and his awakening is brilliant.  While I may have compared it slightly to other books, this is really one of a kind, and is not to be missed.  —Bonnie

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com

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Giveaway: Signed Copy of Orange City (US ONLY)

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March 1st

Reads & Reels (Guest Post) http://readsandreels.com

Bonnie Reads and Writes (Review) https://bonniereadsandwrites.wordpress.com

@jypsylynn (Review) https://www.instagram.com/jypsylynn/

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Spotlight) https://www.scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

March 2nd

Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com

@pillowreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/pillowreader/

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

March 3rd

Nesie’s Place (Guest Post) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

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March 4th

Book After Book (Interview) http://bookafterbook.blogspot.com/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Book Review Crew (Review) https://bookreviewcrew.blogspot.com

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March 5th

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Cup of Toast (Spotlight) https://cupoftoast.co.uk

@dreaminginpages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Reads and Reels Book Tours Is Looking for Reviewers

R&R Book Tours is a great service that helps authors find Bloggers and Bookstagrammers to review their books. Their business is booming, and as a result, they are looking for both Bloggers and Bookstagrammers to review ARCs. The ARCs come in epub, mobi, PDF, and sometimes print format. You only review books you are interested in, and they offer many different genres.

If you are interested, contact Shannon at shanannigans.readsandreels@gmail.com. I have been reviewing for them for several months, and they are friendly and helpful, and always answer questions right away. There are lots of great books available, and because they’ve gotten so popular and do such a good job, they need more of us to review them. You can also check them out at the link in the photo above if you are interested.

Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

This is a brilliant, suspense-filled collection of stories from a group of talented, best-selling authors who all put their own spin on what might happen after midnight. These stories run the gamut from crime to horror to psychological thrillers and dark fantasy. There is something here for every fan of those genres. This collection is edited by international best-selling author Jeffery Deaver , and he provides a story as well. My personal favorites were “12:01 AM” by Alan Jacobson and “A Creative Defense” by Jeffery Deaver. I recommend this for everyone who likes the spooky, the thrilling, the suspenseful, and even the horror-filled side of fiction.

12:01 AM (Excerpt Below) by Alan Jacobson is about the last minutes of a serial killer who harbors important information about a copycat. FBI profilers race to save a missing woman before their only source of information is executed.

Cell Phone Intolerant by Kevin O’Brien is the story of Ed, who is so angered by rude behavior of cell phone users that he comes up with a scheme to try and do something about it.

All Aboard by Hank Phillippi Ryan is a psychological thriller about a PR executive on a train who overhears a plot against a woman and becomes part of the game.

Gone Forever by Joseph Badal describes a mass killing.

Night Shift by Linwood Barclay is a psychological thriller with a surprise ending when a man threatens to go on a killing spree.


In Midnight in the Garden of Death, a sleepover in a graveyard turns bloody and bizarre.


Paul Kemprecos’ The Sixth Decoy sees his established series character Aristotle Socarides taking a case from a suspicious man.

Jeffery Deaver writes the brilliant story A Creative Defense about a mesmerizing musical composition and a very unusual murder.

Rhys Bowen’s After Midnight offers two variations on the story of Cinderella. 

Easy Peasy by John Lescroart shows us how antics of high school kids can turn out very badly.

Tonic by D.P. Lyle is about two cousins trying to make a living who decide to employ a new business model.

Shannon Kirk’s Tonight is the Night is a suspenseful ride in a ski resort where one of the worker’s tall tales may catch up with him.

Jon Land’s ATM is about a young man in New York City whose life is about to change

Excerpt of 12:01 AM by Alan Jacobson

12:01 AM

A Karen Vail Short Story

By Alan Jacobson

PHELPS CORRECTIONAL CENTER
CULPEPER COUNTY, VIRGINIA

Stephen Raye Vaughn—no relation to the famed musician—sat on the edge of his death row cot. His “music” was a tune of a different sort, his cauldron of creativity emanating from death and mayhem—and finding new ways to wreak havoc on a city.

With his time remaining on this Earth melting away like a glacier in the throes of climate change, he was now reduced to digging out the dirt from under his fingernails. Why? He had no goddamn idea. He was due to die in 120 minutes and nothing really mattered anymore, did it? 

Did it ever really matter?

Yeah, it did. Back when he was hunting for his prey, he had to present himself as an upstanding, clean cut individual. He had to play the part. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to sit undisturbed in his van in parking lots while selecting the 16 women he would eventually murder.

His van. He missed that thing. He didn’t know exactly where it was at this moment, but he knew who had it. Fortunately, he had disposed of it before the police caught him, so it could not be used as evidence against him. And man, was there a lot of evidence in it that could be used against him.

As it turned out, the one victim who got away went to the police and turned him in. It was very difficult to commit the perfect crime, although it did happen on occasion. People did get away with murder sometimes, but there was usually at least one major mistake a guy made that proved to be his undoing. 

Stephen Raye Vaughn was no exception. For him it would be the mistake of a lifetime, one he could not take back. 

But so be it. He was like a star in the nighttime sky, burning very brightly before going supernova. He had made peace with that. Not that he didn’t want to continue living, but sometimes you just had to accept your fortune. It took him a dozen years, but he had finally reached that point.

Time was short, and his lifespan was now shorter, but at least he had lived a helluva ride. And unlike 99% of the individuals populating this planet, he had made plans to ensure his legacy continued on, at least for the near future. If all played out the way he figured it would, he would be forever immortalized in movies, television, books, Internet memes, and American history.

Stevie Ray Vaughn may be famous, but Stephen Raye Vaughn…he was infamous.

Vaughn glanced over at the sterile black and white clock across the way and wondered: Was that enough?

With so little time left to live, it would have to be.

I received a free copy of this book from R&R Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Link to Nothing Good Happens After Midnight on Amazon