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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

VBT & #GIVEAWAY - The Fourth Law by Clayton Barnett

The Fourth Law

by Clayton Barnett



Science Fiction             



In 2026, 23 year-old apprentice nurse Lily Barrett lives in a shattered time. Following its economic collapse, the US has devolved into a group of a few barely-functional smaller states, and vast swathes of barbarian badlands. Her sister has been missing for years, and her father, after earning the opprobrium of most of the world for running a state terror organization, presumed dead.

Two things keep her going: her live-in job at a small, Catholic orphanage in the city of Waxahachie, Republic of Texas, and Ai, her odd, but dear friend, whom she met online: a young woman who only shows herself to Lily as a rendered CG image.

Troubled by her past, haunted by her name, and facing an uncertain future, Lily seeks only a quiet, normal life. But, that past and her present conspire against her. A new Morning has come, and with it, delights and terrors, happiness and adversity.

Where do we come from?
What are we?
Where are we going?


Lily went off to her right while Ai continued towards the Office building. She’d just started moving the gate when another of Ai’s groupies stepped out of the darkness.

 “You. Are you the robot?” The woman’s snippy, non-Texan voice was one thing; calling Ai ‘the robot’ was yet another.

 “No, I’m not! This orphanage is closed for the day! Please come back tomorrow... with a donation!” Take that, Carol!

 “If you ain’t the robot, you’re Barrett!”
 Lily heard an odd, loud pop. Fireworks? She took one step back, started falling backwards. There it was again.

 “That’s for closing the Wymyn’s Studies Department at the University!” Lily wondered if that was even English.

She found herself suddenly on her butt; why did she sit down? Running. Was that Ai? She rocked her head up just as Ai leapt over her. Did Ai just kick that rude woman in the head? Suddenly cold, she put her hands across her chest. Why was her chest so wet?

Ai was kneeling next to her. “Lily! You’ve been shot!”

Oh, please! “Ai... don’t be silly... I’m fine...urk!” She coughed something dark and nasty onto Ai’s face. “Oooo! I’m soooryyy... Ai! I’m so tired... want to slee—”

Faintly, she heard Ai scream louder than she’d thought possible. “DORINA!”

Clayton Barnett will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more your comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here

Lily Barrett’s Catholic Faith

An excerpt from Chapter 11:

It was the standard chaos of a Sunday morning, complicated by her visitor, but somehow Lily was able to get ready in time to go with the kids to Mass by nine thirty.  Ai was increasingly fascinated by how much of Lily’s life was affected by religion.“Didn’t really used to be that way,” she said as they walked, her eyes tracking the smaller children.  “Almost never went to church when we lived in Japan, though there was one in town.  Since I started at the orphanage, it’s been something that’s just happened.

From the first moment I started writing “The Fourth Law,” I knew that I wanted the Catholic faith of the story’s protagonist, Lily Barrett, to be a thread woven into the story so strongly, that if you pulled it out, the novel would fall to pieces.  A few of my early proofreaders warned me this might turn off some potential readers.  I took a day to reflect on that, concluding that I could not betray Lily.
Politics is downstream from culture, and to write and publish a book is to contribute to the culture.  Here in the RealWorld™, I confess to be concerned about what sort of future my two young daughters are facing.  While writing “The Fourth Law,” there was, way in the back of my mind, the notion of ‘what can I do for them?’  That may sound silly to those of you without children, but I hope other parents understand.
As I regard one of the failings of modern Western Civilization to be the abandonment of our Judeo-Christian heritage, I made a deliberate choice to have Lily’s faith on full display.  At times her faith haunts her – as we see early on when she finds it almost impossible to look at a crucifix – while at others it comforts her – such as when a close friend has to go away for awhile.  It’s something she’s still rediscovering and learning.  Which is something I pray we all get to do throughout our lives.
There have been rather few fiction books that I’ve read – and I’ve read thousands – that make a point of calling out the faith of the characters.  Oddly enough, one series that does is the Master of Rome books by Colleen McCullough; it so happens that it calls out their pagan Roman faith, but she does a fantastic job of showing us how important it is to her characters.  From the first page of “First Man in Rome” to the last few of “Antony and Cleopatra,” she conveys how rich and vital the religion of these people are, without making it the story itself.
That’s what I tried to do with my little effort.  It’s critical for Lily, interesting for Ai, and makes a large ripple in the pond that is Henge’s life (so much that it becomes it’s own book!).  Is it something I prate  on and on about?  Not at all.  When it adds to the story, I address it, otherwise, like any other element of the plot, it fades into the background when unneeded.  So:  is this a Christian Fiction story?  I wouldn’t say so, but neither am I nor Lily are willing to hold back about something that’s as important as Christ Jesus. 
I hope you enjoy it!  Thank you very much for allowing me this blog post!

One time engineer, some time pharmacy technician, full time husband and father, Clayton Barnett stumbled into writing a traditional novel last November during National Novel Writing Month.  Liking the results, he edited what would become “The Fourth Law” and set about teaching himself self-publishing.  In July of 2015, he released a sequel entitled “Echoes of Family Lost,” in what is now called his Machine Civilization series.  He is working on a third book – for children – and is making notes for a fourth.  Clayton Barnett lives in central Ohio with his wife, two daughter, and two dogs.


$0.99 Book Purchase Link

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Tour Organised By: 

Goddess Fish Promotions


  1. Morning! Thank you for having me on your site! Let's have another good tour day, today!

  2. What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

    1. Tricky. Had to walk away and ponder this awhile. One of the "problems" of being old is that I've already done so much.

      Certainly a few things come to mind, but I've friends & family following some of these entries... so that's out.

      I found my answer just by scrolling up a little and re-reading my blog-post for this stop: I'd like to spend Easter in Jerusalem at some point. That appeals both to my religious and historical instincts.

  3. I enjoyed the guest post and the excerpt,sounds like a good book, thanks for sharing!

    1. You're quite welcome!
      I've become rather fond of these characters; enough that I've published two books, have a third being illustrated, and notes on a fourth. And that doesn't even include the webcomic!

  4. Loved the excerpt - thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks!
    And once again, my thanks to Archaeolibrarian for putting up with me today!

  6. Really enjoyed reading the blurb & the excerpt, thank you!

  7. Thank you for the post and the giveaway!