Thursday, February 13, 2014

EKHO by Marie D. Jones

EKHO Cover new

Four Star 

The Evil Kid Hunting Organization (EKHO) was a really fun and creative read.  I especially loved that the author made this a book that young people can identify with.  As a teacher, I think that many students would benefit from reading EKHO. There are many topics that are dealt with in this story.  Bullying is one of the main and most important topic.  I especially loved that each kid had a special talent and they used this talent for a purpose.  There are many great elements of Science-Fiction and I couldn’t help think of young boys.  Obviously, young girls would also benefit from this book as well.  I loved that Elvis and his friends banded together against the bullies.  I also loved that Elvis and his friends all had a distinguishing trait-unfortunately these traits made them easy targets.  As an educator and a mom, I know that young people would benefit from this story and find it inspiring.

EKHO by Marie D. Jones

Ten-year-old Elvis Jones is tired of being picked on, taunted, and teased by the bullies at his elementary school, so he does what any smart, technologically brilliant kid his age would do: he creates EKHO, the Evil Kid Hunting Organization, a sophisticated network of kid spies and secret agents that utilize a variety of cool gadgets to stay one step ahead of the enemy – the bullies. They hire kids, make them swear allegiance to the organization, and train them as Commandos, Privates, and Elite Spies. As kids rise through the ranks, the missions, posted on an encrypted EKHO website, require more smarts and skill, especially when the bullies form their own counterspy group called DEKE (Destroy EKHO Kids Everywhere).

It’s all in good fun, until the kids of EKHO must put their pretend skills to use for far more serious, and dangerous, missions. As field agents come across evidence of more sinister forces, they now have to deal with the strange, weird, and the unknown as they look for the truth about the bizarre and creepy threats to their school, their families, and their own lives. They experience betrayal, intrigue, infiltration and counter-espionage as well as teachers and adults who act more mysterious with each passing day, which leaves Elvis and his EKHO team wondering: who can you trust when the person standing next to you might not be entirely human?
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Marie JonesAuthor Marie D. Jones

Marie D. Jones is a best-selling author with an extensive background in unknown mysteries, metaphysics, science, and the paranormal. She has been featured multiple times on the History Channel in Ancient Aliens and Nostradamus Effect. Marie also served as a special UFO/abduction consultant for the 2009 Universal Pictures movie, The Fourth Kind. She is a staff writer for FATE Magazine and Intrepid Magazine and a regular contributor to Paranoia Magazine and New Dawn Magazine. Marie has been interviewed on hundreds of radio talk shows all over the world, including Coast to Coast AM, and has been featured in dozens of newspapers, magazines, and online publications, internationally. She has lectured widely at major paranormal, new science, and self-empowerment events, and is the screenwriter and co-producer of 19 Hz, a paranormal thriller in development with Bruce Lucas Films.
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Excerpt #1 – From Chapter One

Outside, Elvis and Levi took refuge under the massive jungle gym, sitting on semi-wet bark chips while all around them kids played and screamed. Baseball games, dodge ball, handball, basketball, tetherball, jump rope, tag; too many physical activities going on. But Elvis wasn’t up to competing with kids who could outrun and out jump him. It never worked out well.
Good at hitting the ball, he could even hold his own in kick ball, which they often played against the teachers and staff. But he couldn’t run or move fast. His talents were more the brainy and technical type. He could hack the Pentagon, but he couldn’t get down court and throw a decent three-pointer.
We can’t hide all year, you know,” Levi said, although somewhat halfheartedly.
Why not? It worked last year,” Elvis mumbled back.
Somebody ran by and kicked bark into Levi’s face. He spit out a woodchip and gave Elvis a “See what I mean?” look.

Excerpt #2 – From Chapter One

Elvis stopped and turned to see one of the remaining school bullies—big Billy Bradshaw—standing there smirking. And next to Billy was his evil sidekick, Joe Broadback. Joe didn’t talk much, just stood there all meaty and mean looking, like Billy’s bodyguard. Both boys were in the fourth grade but looked like sixth graders.
Elvis thought about saying something about their odd and extreme size and asking whether they’d been held back a few years, but he stopped himself before the first word squeaked out. He liked living. He wanted to live longer.
So he yanked Levi through the classroom door and pulled it shut.

Excerpt #3 – From Chapter Three

Elvis closed his bedroom door once the gang had been accounted for and handed each boy a black folder. On the cover were the letters EKHO in large techno silver lettering.
Read these, and if you agree with the terms and specifics, you can sign the last page and give them back to me,” Elvis said, folding his arms proudly.
Dude, are these like legal papers? We being sued? You sound so formal,” Levi said as he flipped through the folder. “And what is EKHO?”
Evil Kid Hunting Organization. It’s our name. Our spy agency. All spy agencies use acronyms.”
Acro-huh?” Jordy piped up.
Elvis scowled. “Do you not pay attention in Language Arts class? Jeez. Acronyms use letters to abbreviate words. Like the CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency. Or like NFL, National Football League. Duhhhh.”
Or the YST, You Suck Turds,” Levi added with a snort.
Wow, cool.” Jordy’s eyes lit up. “EKHO, cool.”
So this describes the various ranks, who is responsible for what, and how we will train newbies—”
Levi cut Elvis off with a wave of his hand. “Newbie’s? Why do we have to bring in any other kids?”
Elvis shook his head in disbelief. “You honestly think the four of us can handle spying on all those bullies? I think we need a little help, dude.”
The boys read through their files.
I’m in,” Jackson said. “You goth a pen?”
Elvis found a pen and handed it to Jackson, who promptly signed the form on the final page and handed it back to Elvis.
Do I geth a copy for my fileth?”
Elvis looked at him, wide-eyed. “You have files? Of what?”
Jackson shrugged and continued reading. The other two boys promptly signed and turned in their forms.

Excerpt #4 – from Chapter Thirteen

Back in class, Elvis sat down and returned to his book. He felt Santana’s eyes boring through him again, and took out his spy pen, touched the VIDEO ON button and pretended to scratch his back with it. When he was sure Mr. Barleycorn wasn’t looking, he turned the volume down and watched the video.
It was a bit shaky from the movements up and down his back, but what he saw almost made him jump out of his seat.
Maybe it was just the crappy spy pen camera or a trick of the light, but Elvis could swear he saw a flash come out of Santana’s staring, glaring eyes. No, it had to be a trick of the light, Elvis assured himself. After all, it wasn’t like she was a reptilian alien from another planet, just a big ugly girl who liked to pick on him and his friends. He would get another spy pen.

Excerpt #5 – from Chapter Fifteen

Elvis saw who the voice belonged to, and every hair stood on end, including hairs he didn’t even know he had.
Billy Bradshaw stepped out from behind the hedges bordering the golf course and stood twenty yards behind Elvis.
Elvis debated the distance. He could outrun him to the condo entrance, but beyond that was anybody’s guess. Plenty of people were around to witness it if Billy tried something stupid, which, knowing Billy, was entirely possible. As Billy slowly walked towards him, Elvis decided to stand his ground. He had to. He was an EKHO Elite and if Jordy could go down with a split lip for the cause, he could certainly take some heat.
Billy stopped ten feet away from Elvis, sweating and pale. Billy cast glances over each shoulder and seemed spooked. He spoke barely above a whisper. “Dude … can we talk somewhere private?” He panted.
Either the walking had done Billy in, or he was scared crapless about something. “About what?” Elvis asked.
Billy checked for watchers again.
If he had joined EKHO, Billy could have used the rear vision sunglasses and could stop craning his neck every few seconds. Elvis held back a snicker. Of course, Billy wouldn’t join EKHO because it had been started because of kids like him.
The kids in the park, the golfers, and the runners were all oblivious. Even the dogs couldn’t give a crap about the strange conversation between bully and bullied going on just yards away.
Dude, there is strange stuff going on, and I don’t like it.” Billy moved a bit closer, and Elvis took a step back.
What kind of strange stuff?” Elvis asked, and his voice shook a little.
Billy closed his eyes, and bit his lip, as if trying to decide whether he should continue. “With DEKE. Strange, just … strange. Joe … Santana, something is up with them. I can’t explain it, but something is strange.”

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