Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Trials and Tribulations



Title: Trials
Editor: Faith Hunter
Genre: Urban Fantasy

21 Vignettes and Short Stories set in Faith Hunter’s World of Thorn St. Croix.

The Rogue Mage world began long ago, when the epic battle between the High Host and the Darkness was won and lost. TRIALS takes fans of Thorn St. Croix into the past, before the opening pages of BLOODRING. These stories, set in Faith Hunter's Rogue Mage world, are adventures with new characters and old, facing dangers unimaginable. And they must save the world all over again.

If you ever wondered what happened between seraphs, kylen, second-unforeseen, mages, seraph-touched, spawn, humans, dragons, and their creatures before the series, now is your chance to delve deeper and wider. TRIALS features new short stories from nine authors—including Faith Hunter—and vignettes from the Rogue Mage role playing game.

TRIALS Authors: 
Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, Lou J Berger, Ken Schrader, Spike Y Jones, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Christina Stiles, Tamsin Silver, Melissa McArthur.



Title: Tribulations
Editor: Faith Hunter
Genre: Urban Fantasy

17 Vignettes and Short Stories set in Faith Hunter’s World of Thorn St. Croix

The Rogue Mage story began with the post-apocalyptic novels BLOODRING, SERAPHS, and HOST, when epic battles between Thorn St. Croix and the forces of Darkness were fought. TRIBULATIONS (Rogue Mage Anthology Vol. II) takes place during and after the series timeline. These stories and vignettes, set in Faith Hunter's Rogue Mage world, are adventures with new characters and old, facing Darkness and an uncertain future.

The relationships between seraphs, kylen, second-unforeseen, mages, seraph-touched, spawn, humans grow deeper, and the battles with dragons and their creatures grow more dangerous. TRIBULATIONS features new short stories from five authors—including Faith Hunter—and vignettes from the Rogue Mage role playing game.


TRIBULATIONS Authors: 
Faith Hunter, Jean Rabe, Spike Y Jones, Christina Stiles, Lucienne Diver.

Amazon | B&N



TRIALS and TRIBULATIONS will soon be followed by TRIUMPHANT—the paperback omnibus (both Anthology Volumes I and II in a bound format).


Bones
by Faith Hunter

(late Winter 105 PA/2117 AD)

                David lifted the chunk of crystal. On first glance, it appeared to be a huge chunk of amethyst, gem quality, smooth to the touch, but it contained a luminescence that looked biological rather than mineral when he placed it under a microscope. It looked like things were swarming inside, creating purple light. He had no idea where the rock had been found—or even if it was true rock.

                Though he had done it a thousand times already, he rubbed a thumb across the stone and inspected the pad of skin. Nothing rubbed off.

                With a chisel, he scraped along one smooth facet of the natural crystal, collecting the rock dust onto a glass slide. He lowered the 100 X microscope lens. The dust sprang at him through the oculars, glowing. Then the luminescence dimmed, the motion that he could almost—almost—see slowed. And the faint light went out. Just like always.

                David removed the slide from the scope and carried it to the workbench. With tweezers, he removed the cover glass and scraped half of the rock dust onto a petri dish. The other half, he carried back to the crystal. He pressed the start button on a stopwatch as he shook the dust back onto the rock. He watched as it was reabsorbed. Clicked the stopwatch. 8.4 seconds. The first time he had done the test, the dust had taken over twenty-four hours to reabsorb. It was as if the rock had learned a new task, and now excelled at it.

                David closed the crystal up in its metal box and entered his notations into the computer file. An Earth Invasion Heretic and a self-taught scientist, David was also a blasphemer. Not an atheist—not exactly. He believed that the being the seraphs referred to as the Most High did in fact exist. He just didn’t like him very much. He didn’t like what the seraphs and the MH (a glib abbreviation he was careful never to voice among his kirk-employed co-workers ) had done to the Earth or to its people, so he had joined the EIH to prove that the Most High (whatever it was) could be defeated. And now the EIH had joined with the orthodoxy to study artifacts and find a way to defeat the Dark. It was an uneasy alliance, and David imagined that when the Dark was conquered the coalition would fall apart—messily.

                His curiosity unsatisfied, David locked the lab and walked down the hallway to check on his most recent experiment. The seraph. Well, the watcher—a fallen seraph. This one had allied with the Light in the Last War, and was wounded in the battle over Mexico City nearly a hundred years ago: burned to a crisp, sixth-degree burns over his entire body, leaving only bones. But he hadn’t died. Not exactly.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Princess By Ariel Marie


Princess
Book 1 of The Dark Shadows

For centuries, a vicious war has raged on between the Necromancers and Vampires. Two powerful races who refused to surrender in defeat. A half a century ago, the Necromancers disappeared from the face of the Earth…. until now.

Nadira Olaru, the youngest offspring of the Vampire King has become the target of the re-emerging Necromancers. The King of the Necromancers has offered a peace treaty, an offer he refuses to take no for an answer. His one demand— Nadira to mate with his son.

The Dark Shadows, Vampire warriors run by her eldest brother, have been charged with protecting the Vampirian Princess at all cost.

Zac Cooper, human police detective, never believed in the supernatural world, that is, until he witnessed a dead body walk right out of the morgue.

Fate brings Zac and Nadira together. Twice. Nadira knows that Zac is her Fated Mate, but now he is caught in the middle of the war between the Vampires and Necromancers. Nadira is torn, should she be selfish and mate with the love of her life for all eternity? Or should she sacrifice their love forever, and let him go, in order to save him?

Free from February 21-25



The Author

Ariel Marie is an author who loves the paranormal, action and hot steamy romance. She combines all three in each and every one of her stories. For as long as she can remember, she has loved vampires, shifters and every creature you can think of. This even rolls over into her favorite movies! She loves a good action packed thriller! Throw a touch of the supernatural world in it and she’s hooked!

She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where she currently resides with her husband and three beautiful children. Want to know more about her and her books? Visit her website.


Monday, 20 February 2017

Right to Silence by Lily Luchesi



Another great book in the Paranormal Detectives series.

This one is a book of two halves, so you get two amazing stories for the price of one!

The first half follows Brighton and Mark's relationship through both lives, past and present, and is an emotional story, with a heartbreaking ending.

The second half picks up where Life Sentence left off, with Angelica still 'missing' and Danny trying to make a life away from her and the P.I.D. Add in multiple murders, a kidnapping, an ancient prophecy and some trips into hell and you have a book filled with action and surprising twists.

This book is somewhat darker than the previous ones in this awesome series...
...and I can't wait for the next one.



Synopsis:


The truth can be deadly.

In the first of this two-part novel, we learn the history of hunters Brighton Sands and Mark Evans in their two lifetimes, culminating in their final battle with the insane vampire they have been hunting for centuries.

In the second part, with Angelica Cross still on the run, multiple vampiric murders lead to the kidnapping of a famous vamp. Detective Danny Mancini must drag a mortal into the bowels of Hell in order to rescue her.

But why does Leander Price want her so badly, and what does she have to do with an ancient vampire prophecy?



The Author:



Lily Luchesi is a young author/poet born in Chicago, Illinois, now residing in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things "dark". At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle by the time she was twelve, and, as her family has always been what they now call "Gothic", she doesn't believe she shall ever change. She is also a hopeless romantic and avid music-love who will always associate vampires with love, blood, and rock and roll.

Her interest in poetry came around the same time as when she was given a book of Edgar Allan Poe's complete work. She then realized that she had been writing her own poetry since she could hold a pen, and just had not known the correct terms. She finished her first manuscript at the age of fourteen, and was first published at twenty-one.







Pork Pies by Judy Nichols



Title: Pork Pies
Author: Judy Nichols
Genre: Cozy Mystery


Crusty British transplant Ian Dodge is back on the beat, this time in the service of Her Majesty, otherwise known as Laura Lane, the Food Queen, star of a popular TV cooking show. A blackmailer has threatened to expose her sordid past as a con artist, so she turns to Ian Dodge to get it sorted.

When her blackmailer is found stabbed to death in his hotel room, Her Majesty is the prime suspect. It’s Ian’s job to untangle a web of deception and pork pies (lies) to find the real culprit, all the while dealing with the antics of his twin sons, Jesse and Mac.



Excerpt:


      It was a Saturday, late in the afternoon, hot and humid like it always is in the middle of a Carolina summer. My twin sons Jesse and Mac were with me. Mac was sprawled in the hammock I’d hooked up between the trees next to my trailer. As usual, he had his nose in a book. No e-books for this kid. He was analog all the way. He even collected typewriters.
      His brother hurled tennis balls in an aimless fury, throwing them out as quickly as my border collie Shep could return them.
      “Dad, is there anything to do around here besides throw tennis balls to the dog?” Jesse asked.
      He was the taller of the two, lean and lanky with a head of unruly blond curls. His brother looked more like me, with wispy dark hair and, unfortunately, my nose. While Jesse had brown eyes, Mac’s eyes were an odd shade of green, hidden behind his wire-rimmed glasses.
      “There’s plenty to do.” I said. “You can go around to the shed and get yourself a rake. The yard could do with a good leafing.”
      Besides the pine trees, those of us who live in this part of North Carolina are blessed with pin oaks—trees that shed their leaves all year long. There are always leaves on the ground needing to be raked up.
      Mac figured out a long time ago that saying “There’s nothing to do” around my house meant he’d end up with a rake in his hand. He made a point of bringing a stack of books with him whenever he visited. His brother kept forgetting.
      “I meant something fun.”
      “Raking can be fun,” I said.
      “In what universe?”
      “It’s a job well done in this and any other universe,” I answered, knowing full well that Jesse was not at all interested in doing anything that felt like work. “You know what there is to do around here. Maybe your brother has a book he can lend you.”
      “Jesse doesn’t like dystopian futurism, Dad.”
      “I’m not sure I like the sound of it myself,” I said.
      “It’s what happens when our civilization falls apart,” Mac answered, in an authoritative voice. “It’s not a question of if, you know, but when. Civilizations run in cycles. They’re born.       They live. They die. Then another one comes up and it starts all over again. But it’s always chaos in between. Everything falls apart. I figure we’re due for a civilization shift any day now. I want to be prepared.”
      Well, that was depressing. My son was preparing for the apocalypse, which he expected to happen sometime in the near future. I made a mental note to ask my ex-wife Jeannie next time I saw her if this was a problem. And to stock up on the canned goods, just in case he was right.




The Author:

Judy Nichols grew up in a Batavia, Ohio a small town twenty miles east of Cincinnati and eventually found herself living in Aurora, Indiana, a small town twenty miles west of Cincinnati. She would be there still if GE Aircraft hadn't made her husband Nigel an offer he couldn't refuse-- a chance to live near the ocean with GE footing the bill for moving expenses.

So now she lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.

She started her novel Caviar Dreams while her daughter was napping one day. Five years later it was finished. The biggest challenge arrived once her daughter stopped taking naps and eventually lost interest in watching the “Toy Story” video.

Judy holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University. She has been a newspaper reporter, a teacher, a temporary office worker, a customer service representative, and currently stay-at-home mom with way too much time on her hands. (And never mind that her daughter has graduated from college and lives in San Diego).

In April of 2012, Judy achieved her lifelong goal of appearing on the quiz show “Jeopardy!” She was a two day champion winning a total of $46,500 and the distinction of being officially named the smartest person in a room full of very smart people.

She has earned only two awards in her lifetime. Neither of them has anything to do with writing, but she is immensely proud of them nonetheless. Adia Temporary Agency presented her with the "Temp of the Month" award for March, 1987 and The Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy gave her a Volunteer Appreciation Award in 1991.

Her experience with The Nature Conservancy inspired her second novel Tree Huggers, about a single mom reporter covering the deadly clash between an unscrupulous developer and a militant environmentalists, published in 2008 She followed it up with a sequel in 2014 called The Reason for the Season.

Her latest book Pork Pies is the latest in her Ian Dodge mystery series. Ian is a British national, living in a small town in rural North Carolina and stubbornly hanging on to every shred of his Britishness. Any resemblance to Ian Dodge and her own prickly British husband is purely intentional. Other books in the series are Sportsman’s Bet and Trouble and Strife.

Currently, Judy is a volunteer with Phoenix Hometown Hires, a non profit group that helps people find meaningful work.




Sunday, 19 February 2017

La La Land by Logan Keys



Wow!

I might've had to wait a while for the second installment in The Last City series, but it was totally worth it.

This epic story continues in the same style as the first book, with different points of view and separate story lines that keep you wondering how and when they will join up.

The characters (new and old) are still 'real' with depth and emotions, and the world building is superb. The pages are filled with non-stop action and suspense, twists and turns, love and hate, and happiness and heartbreak.

The unique and engaging plot kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, and left me wanting more!




Synopsis:

A rebel who's been revived to save the world. A soldier with a monster locked inside.

Liza and Tommy return to a destroyed America, continuing their fight for freedom, only this time, their search for allies will end with the same madmen and women who've engineered new monsters in an attempt to create the perfect soldier.

Faster. Smarter. Hungrier.

These rejects from the special program have replaced the undead at the top of the food chain.

Blood suckers roam the wilds, while brutal youths trap unsuspecting travelers.

No place is safe.

If Tommy and Liza can't stop the warmongering council that rules the new fortress, they might not get a chance at freedom again.

Grab your copy today.

Following the best-selling novel The Last City (Gods of Anthem), La La Land is a must-read for fans of dystopian zombie books, and young adult fiction. Those who enjoyed The Walking Dead, Divergent, or Hunger Games, will love this sequel that delivers an epic tale of survival until the heart-stopping finale.

Book Order:
The Last City
La La Land




The Author:


Logan Keys says she’s not so much a writer, as she is a soothsayer and preparer for those who are still blissfully unaware. Her stories aren’t dystopian, but rather a warning for the next generation. When she’s not writing zombies, vampires, superheroes, and robots, she’s fighting against government over-reach and oligarchy, using military tactics mixed with a little bit of poetry.





Saturday, 18 February 2017

Cloak & Dagger by Michel Lee King


Title: Cloak & Dagger
Author: Michel Lee King
Genre: Fantasy


A demonic howl rips through the air. Panicked voices call out. Women race through the fields to the sanctuary of their walled village. The wolf howls again. Men barricade the entrance, daughters are wrapped in the protective arms of their mothers. Sons race to assist their fathers.

It is a scene I've seen many times. Heard many times. Caused many times. Their fear does nothing for me. I'm not here for them. I am here for the one they harbor, the one they protect. The harpy in maiden's clothing. I am here for the one who changed me.

She stole my life, my husband, my future, my sanity. Now with the wolf inside I will find her. I will shred her. That harpy will never fly again.

My name is Ashleigh. I am the big bad wolf. And I am here for Rosamund.



Excerpt #1:

The sun rose languid over a desolate land. Scrubby trees stood at sparse intervals throughout the woodland. Their pathetic limbs scrabbling for the few rays of clear sunshine making it through a perpetual blanket of thin clouds. They ringed our valley, presenting a wooden barrier at the edge of our fields. Their brethren stood stripped and bare, spiked and roped together around the village, an impenetrable wall of twigs. High above, the jagged peaks of the Carpathian Mountains looked down on us, waiting to unleash ancient evils from its cliffs.

Everything about that land appeared masked in a veil, obscured by a constant fog more smoke than mist. Mysteries and the mysterious played through the everyday. Plagued by nightmares at all times, we were a people bereft of hope or happiness. We children did not run and play as we were meant, instead we bent to our tasks staying near the parent we were obliged to mimic. Bend, cut, throw, heft, carry, do not get left behind.

I trailed after Mother in the fields, a bundle of decrepit wheat bouncing at odds with my mood in my arms. My only present from my father, a too big leather cloak stained red, kept the wind off my back. A wolf’s call rent the air. Not the yip of a normal, average, livestock-devouring creature. But the howl of the hungry demon, of a soul stealing devil who took from maidens their essence and left a flame of hell in their bodies.

We ran. The crimson leather flashed in the mist like some morbid omen as it tugged on my neck slowing me down.

The blacksmith’s eldest daughter tripped in a gopher hole, yelping in pain. I rushed to her side pulling with all the strength I could muster at ten years old. Fur flashed between the trees, glowing orange eyes tracking us as it weaved closer, and closer. The sturdy woman beneath me lurched backward as her foot popped free of the hole. She hoisted me up by the cloak and shoved. “Run, Ashleigh!”

We raced through the fields back to the safety of our village, feeling the monster stalking behind us. We crossed the painted and carved totems and symbols still maroon with dried blood thinking ourselves safe from evil. Talismans were meant to protect, sacrifices would stave off the beast’s bloodlust. Or so we thought, and we had slaughtered a fair few of our sick and weak kinsmen in those deluded hopes.

Men in leather and wool urged us deeper into the village. My mother helped them slam the heavy door closed and hold it.

I ran into my father’s arms, the customary crinkle at the edges of his blue eyes tight and fierce. “Do not fear, my Ashleigh.” His voice, a soft tenor thick with our Hungarian accent, set a soothing balm across my frenzied nerves. He gave me a tight squeeze before shoving me toward Mother. “Miriam, get her inside and barricade the door.”





The Author:

I drink copious amounts of coffee while writing light and dark fiction. It is an obsession of mine (both coffee and writing). I love to create different world people can delve into. Whether set in our world or a fantasy, I love to push my characters through experiences that most of us can relate to. We’ve all been embarrassed by our own actions. We’ve all had those moments you wish you could take back. We’ve all had the “naked on the first day of school” dream. Our idiosyncrasies are what make us human. And, I love to force those traits on my characters to see how they cope with them.

I live in western Washington state in the shadow of Mount Rainier with my husband, son, dog, and the cat that adopted us and refuses to leave. When not writing, I can be found in a library, in the woods, or reading next to the fire.

I am a raging introvert, but I can be found on social media.





Excerpt #2:

...My father joined the large group of men that gathered their weapons and stumbled into the trees.

Only half returned.

I remember that day vividly. Through the lightening grey fog, shapes, mere shadows, resolved themselves. Bulky forms swaying in the distance. “Papa!” I yelled jubilant, my red cloak flaying open as I threw my arms wide in joy expecting him to run and snatch me up like always. I knew he would save us. He always provided for us and I thought he always would.

But he didn’t answer. No jovial boom met my ears. No happy embrace. No smile that twinkled from his eyes. Just the muffled cries of the women around me being lost in the swirling mist. I scanned the shadows trying to find his shape among the others. “Papa!” I tried again, louder, more forceful and urgent, placing my fists on my hips as I had seen the other women do.

Nothing.

My mother came up behind me and cupped her hands to her jaw. I slapped my palms over my ears over the leather hood as her bellow cut through the cotton clouding our view. “Jaque?!”

My godfather, Baldarich broke away from the head of the group and strode toward us. The set of his mouth, the crease in his brow, the fatalistic warning in his eyes were interpreted in an instant by my mother who had seen her share of death. In a furious wail of agony she collapsed to her knees. She clawed at her face and hair until bloody strands fell to the desolate dirt. Other women followed suit around us as their husbands and fathers and brothers were not found in the throng.

Through the cacophony of wailers Baldarich’s voice met my ears. “Your papa fought bravely. He is the reason we are alive.” He placed a bracing hand on my shoulder that felt more like an earth shattering blow than a gesture of solace.

Young heart crushing in on itself and shattering within my foundling chest, I joined the others on their knees and wailed my anguish to the sky. I never understood why it was our custom to scream so. That day I learned the hard lesson. Sometimes the heart and soul and mind are so filled with pain that the only way to keep from going mad with the ferocity of it is to give it a voice. So I did, cloaked in crimson and feeling my heart shatter for the first time. I screamed though my chest tightened, though my heart refused to beat, though my lungs felt full of ice. My world spun, shrunk, then exploded into a thousand black shards all seeming to say, “no more.”





Friday, 17 February 2017

In the Presence of Knowing by Valarie Savage Kinney



On the run, hiding from an abusive ex-boyfriend, Keisha takes a job at a Renaissance Festival and finds out about a world she never knew existed.

The people there are strange, dressed up like fairies, gnomes, and pirates. Not to mention the bizarre owner of the festival, who really thinks he’s the captain of a ship.

As an introvert, she thinks she’ll never fit in.

Then she meets Rogan, who plays the troll of the festival.

Rogan is incredibly sweet. He also possesses an ability to see and hear things that other people can’t… and he’s not the only one there who can.

When her friendship with Rogan becomes something more, Keisha finds she fits in at the festival better than she ever imagined she would.

Because as it turns out, her baby has the same ability.

When danger comes to the renaissance festival, she’ll need the combined powers of Rogan and his friends to keep her and the baby safe.

In the Presence of Knowing is the first book in the Secrets of Windy Springs series.