New Release: Shag Lake by Susan McEachern

Shag Lake
Susan McEachern
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: Action, Adventure, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

Geri McKenna hasn’t seen her brother’s best friend, Sean Eastman, since he graduated high school. Sean left their little town of Pembroke just hours after she nailed him with a kiss behind the shed, never to be seen or heard from again. No calls, no texts, no social media to stalk online.

Eight years after the awkward incident behind the shed, Geri and Sean meet again. She’s now an ambitious journalist working in a dead end job, and he’s a successful structural engineer working on a classified government project. For different reasons, they’re both interested in a woman who has gone missing midst allegations of a Sasquatch encounter in the vincinity of Shag Lake. Geri is determined to get the scoop on the hottest story to hit the Internet, while Sean is determined to stop her.

Dodging other-worldly creatures and a corrupt shadow government, Geri and Sean struggle to find neutral ground in this debut new adult adventure by author Susan McEachern (who also writes young adult as award-winning author S.M. McEachern).

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Check out the FREE short story, Shag Lake Prequel: The Kiss here!!

EXCERPT:

Where the hell is it? Why can’t I see it?
Keep moving. Don’t look for it. Just go. I’ve run enough marathons to know that distractions, like trying to keep my eye on my opponent, will only slow me down.

A guttural shriek slices through the quiet, and I almost lose it, I almost scream, because the shriek came from somewhere on my right. That means two things are chasing me. I save my scream for later because right now I’m locked in marathon mode, concentrating every ounce of my energy on running.

The trail is just up ahead, and I push harder, trying to remember when the officers said they would be back. An hour? Two? How long have I been out here? Jumping over deadwood and low-lying bushes, grateful for every second that something doesn’t grab me, I head toward the caution tape like it’s a home-free zone. Whatever is running on my right lets out another violent shriek, louder this time, and I’m not sure if that’s because it’s closer to me or just super pissed off.

Clack, clack, clack echoes through the air, the sound of rocks cascading down on other rocks. The noise is coming from up ahead, in the home-free zone of yellow caution tape, where the land ends in a twenty-foot drop-off into the lake.

A third thing is in front of me?

Illogically, I keep running in the direction of the caution tape, back to the crime scene, back to the path that will lead me to the truck, and praying those two RCMP officers are on their way up here now.

I’m almost there; I can see the trampled area of the crime scene and where it abruptly ends at the cliff’s edge. I push myself harder, my lungs burning with the effort. Then something suddenly flies up over the edge of the cliff, as if it had been catapulted.

I stop in my tracks so fast I almost break my ankle, and watch in horrified silence as it lands on two steady feet in a slightly crouched position, arms away from its sides and hands balled into fists in a threatening posture.

The scream I’ve been holding down finally erupts out of me. My eyes wildly dart in every direction, looking for an escape route. I can’t go forward, I can’t go to the right, I can’t go to the left, and for all I know, some thing is behind me too.

Get yourself together, Geri. If I can’t flee, then I have to fight.

Gritting my teeth, I raise the rifle into a ready position, swing it left, and damn near drop it when I almost hit a large mass. It’s just standing there, over eight feet tall, wearing a purple tunic with red writing on it. The thing has a symmetrical face covered in scales with a rigid spine running from its forehead to under its chin, with two large nostrils on either side. Deep yellow eyes with vertical slits for pupils ogle me in what I can only describe as cold interest.

“Geri?”

I barely hear my name being called over the roar of adrenaline pulsating through my ears, but it registers that whatever is crouched by the cliff knows my name. I risk a glance and see a man, naked from the waist up, all rock-hard muscle with sunlight glistening off his wet skin and hair, his chest heaving from exertion.

Am I hallucinating? “Sean?”

I swing my eyes back to the reptile man, but he’s gone. Just disappeared.

Or is he? I couldn’t see him before when he came right up to me and whispered in my ear.

“Are you okay?” Sean calls out to me. “Are you hurt?” Despite the odd mix of concern and wariness lacing his tone, I’m so relieved to hear his voice that I’m weak in the knees. I’m not hallucinating. He’s really here.

“No,” I reply in a breathy voice. “I have my gun on one of them—I think. I can’t see it anymore. And I don’t know what the other one behind me is doing.”

“Geri, lower the gun,” Sean says.

“Are you insane?” I scan the area, looking for any sign of it. “Can you see it? I don’t have eyes on it anymore.” Is it behind me now? I pivot, keeping the rifle aimed.

There’s a light wind blowing the tall straw grass, so it’s hard to tell if anything else is disrupting it.

Suddenly, I’m aware of a rank odor being carried on the breeze. I think maybe the smell has been there for a while but was drowned out by the rush of adrenaline.

“Absolutely nothing is going to hurt you.” The clear underlying threat in Sean’s tone does nothing to calm me. It only confirms that I’m in just as much danger as I thought I was.

Keeping my rifle aimed, I shuffle my feet to do a full sweep around me. Where the hell did it go?

“See? There’s nothing there,” Sean says. “Now lower the gun and walk to me.”

It finally registers that he’s not going to come to me. He’s been standing in the same aggressive stance, using the same threatening tone ever since he flew up over the side of the cliff. And he’s talking to me as if I’m a hostage who has a shot at getting free of her captor if I do everything right.

I don’t know what Sean is doing here at the very moment I need him, at the very place two young women were terrorized and one went missing, but right now I trust him way more than whatever is stalking me.

 

Author Bio:

Award winning author S.M. McEachern (also known as Susan) attended Dalhousie University in the 1990s where she earned an Honours Degree in Sustainable Development Studies, specializing in ocean resources. With a background in international development and resource management, as well as being the wife of a military officer, Susan has had first hand experience in international affairs and policies. She attributes Elizabeth Mann Borgese–daughter of Nobel prize winner, Thomas Mann–as one of the greatest influences on her view of world politics. Susan had the privilege to work and study under Mann Borgese, an author, teacher and political activist for world peace. The first book of a series, “Sunset Rising”, combines Susan’s knowledge of politics and resource management with her love for Young Adult literature and action and adventure. The second book of the series, “Worlds Collide”, was published March 2014. The third book, titled “New World Order” was released January 2015.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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New Release: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

Ensnared
Rita Stradling
Publication date: May 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction

A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

EXCERPT:

December 2, 2026

Alainn woke knowing someone was in her room.

Whoever it was sat behind her. Quiet, even breaths rasped through the air. Alainn’s eyelids peeked open. Moonlight cast a grayish glow, cutting deep shadows into the space around her bed.

“Good morning, Alainn,” Rose said in a quiet voice. When Alainn didn’t respond, Rose said, “I can tell from the change in your breathing pattern that you are awake.”

“Rose?” she whispered, not quite ready to let out a sigh of relief. Alainn twisted to look at her. “What are you doing here? Did you break my lock?”

“I picked it,” she said. “It is now locked again.”

“Oh, uh—” Her heart pounded in her chest; she sat up and faced the robot. “Why—why would you do that?”

The moonlight lit half of Rose’s face as she watched Alainn, expressionless. “Do not be alarmed. You are obviously having a fear reaction, but I was simply waiting for you to wake up.”

“Don’t you need to sleep—recharge?”

Now that Alainn faced Rose, she smelled the faint odor of her exhaust. Rose continuously exhaled the lightest tang of something sweet and acidic. The air in the room felt used, like a plane cabin after a cross-country flight.

“I was not completely forthcoming with you today. While what I said was true, I have for a time now believed that having Father imprisoned would impede my potential. While I have far surpassed his skills in software, there are times when I need assistance. I am limited by my need to stay near my charging station. Your brother is often absent for days at a time—and you, months.”

“Okay, wait—you’re going to go tomorrow?” Alainn scooted forward on the bed. A dormant hope resurged through her. Alainn would do anything—she’d worship at the robot’s feet if Rose agreed to go.

“No, you are going to go tomorrow.”

Alainn froze, staring at Rose. “What?” she whispered.

“I have calculated one way in which all parties can achieve their desires.”

“I’m sorry—I’m not understanding.” Alainn shook her head. A hard knot formed in her stomach.

“I am not surprised.” Rose reached out to pat Alainn’s hand. “You are not as intelligent as the rest of your family.”

“Spell it out in really simple terms, then.” She just managed to not growl the words at Rose.

Slowly, Rose looked up to the ceiling, moonlight slashing up the curve of her neck, her chin, and the line of her nose. “Earlier tonight, I arranged for you to be picked up by Mr. Garbhan through e-mail, writing as if I was Father. In one hour, a car will arrive outside to take you to his building. I have designed and created hardware for your body. If you are scanned, a chip in the hardware will communicate to the scanners that you have an organic circuitry system rather than a human brain.”

Alainn shook her head, hoping to dislodge some of the grogginess there. “I’m still not following—you’re saying you want me to pretend to be you and turn myself over? That you already arranged it?”

“Yes, you are following. That is exactly what I am saying.”

“I—I—” Alainn shook her head again. The air thinned around her.

“I have a working plan for the transplanting. You can assimilate easily into a life of servitude as you are already accustomed to the labor you will be asked to perform.” Rose lifted a hand, ghostly gray in the low light, and ticked off the chores on her fingers. “Cooking, housekeeping, and bookkeeping. Unless . . . is your concern that he might use you for sexual gratification?”

“What? No.”

“I believe that this would be a particular concern of yours.”

“I never even considered that he would do that to you—I, of all people, would never have tried to push you into going if I thought you’d be used that way.” Alainn blinked furiously. “Rose, do you really think that I would have let myself be the model when my dad printed your face and body if I thought Mr. Garbhan was going to do that to you?”

“It is highly unlikely that I was designed for this function. I have also been assured that there were documents signed to that effect addressed to Father.”

Alainn held out her palms to Rose. “Rose, it’s not just that. I can’t take your place. There’s no way that would work . . . and I can’t live in that tower for the rest of my life. I’m a human. I know that probably sounds callous to you, but you were created to not need sunshine and fresh air. And you don’t need exercise. Humans need those things, me especially. Everything I am,” she touched her chest, “is centered on being in the outdoors.”

“The duration will be seven to fourteen days, no longer.” Her head swung down, causing shadows to swallow her eyes. Two black hollows focused on Alainn. “When Mr. Garbhan pays Father, he and I will make the Rosette model; this process should only take a week, unless there are complications. And then I will devise a way to switch you with the new model.”

 

Author Bio:

Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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New Release:  Holdfast by Kate Carter

Holdfast
Kate Carter
Publication date: December 14th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

Once they’d do anything to keep her safe. Now they’ll do anything to kill her.

The discovery of a genetically twisted corpse on her latest stepfather’s ranch in the Badlands of Forsaken triggers a desperate and brutal race against time for eighteen-year-old con artist Ariel Tesla when her loving stepbrothers are turned into monstrous killers with a single purpose: to hunt Ariel down and destroy her.

Running for her life, the one person she can turn to for help is the last person in the galaxy she can trust, former mark Hale Carrow. She needs a ship to get off the planet, fast; he wants revenge on the girl who broke his heart.

To save the family she never thought she wanted, she’s going to have to gamble on the boy she betrayed, or no-one’s life will ever be the same.

And hers will be over.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

The human body can only handle so much stress. Ariel knew how this went. If she stopped, she wouldn’t be able to start again. She’d crash, and then she’d be at the mercy of anyone or anything that came along. Despite the danger of stopping, she found her steps slowing. It wasn’t, however, the exhausted halt she battled with every step, nor the jagged, stumbling, end-of-the-line finish she yearned for. It was a graceful, taut arrest of movement, up on the balls of her feet, body quivering, nerves screaming.

The mech shed was in sight, a shade beyond comfortable sprinting distance, dead ahead. She was out in the open, visible from every angle. Flat land stretched around her, rising to bluffs ahead and to her left. She turned, poised and scanning, all exhaustion forgotten.

A full circle sweep. Nothing. She stared over at the bluffs and jumped with a punch of sudden shock when a group of ferrokirrim broke over the ridge and bounded down the slope, scattering scree. A mother and her almost full-grown cubs, she registered. Heading right for her.

They’d take her down in a second. She’d be dead a second after that. In half an hour, she’d be a memory. She wasn’t ready to be a memory. She wasn’t ready for any of this, damn it. She bent her knees as they thundered her way, all the while thinking, What, are you going to wrestle them? There was nothing on the planet of Forsaken fiercer than a mother looking out for her cubs. Ariel braced.

They ran past her.

They ran right past, giving her a wide berth. She felt the mother’s eyes flick over her, dismiss her, then urge her cubs on with a spine-ruffling grunt.

Ariel straightened slowly, staring after them. They were running away from something.

What in hell would scare off a mother ferrokirrim?

A rock bounced down the scree slope.

Ariel counted the strikes. Three, then silence again. She did not want to turn and see what had knocked it loose. She didn’t have a choice. She turned.


Author Bio:

Kate Carter writes science fiction and fantasy, and lives in the UK. You can stay up to date with Kate’s books through her Amazon author page.

Website / Amazon


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Blog Tour: 5 Stars for Obsidian Sky by Amy Braun!!

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The third and final novel in an epic steampunk horror series, OBSIDIAN SKY closes the dramatic adventures of Claire, Sawyer, Gemma, and Nash, digging up the final secrets of their past, bringing new allies into a dangerous fray, and drawing friends and foes into a battle where the cost may be too much to pay…

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Buy it here:

AMAZON| KOBO | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Smashwords | Goodreads

My Review:

5 Stars!!

I can’t tell you how sad I am to see this series end. Once upon a time, Amy Braun sent an email to me, the owner of a tiny blog, and asked me to read her upcoming book. It was the first in a series of dystopian, sci fi, new adult novels. I love romance novels, but I can’t turn down a good sci fi novel, so I said yes. I am so glad I did.

Obsidian Sky is the final book in the Dark Sky series and this time the Hellions are in for the fight of their lives against our little crew of heroes! It is not an easy journey and they put everything into saving their world. WIth their wit and will, the gang takes us on a dangerous and exciting ride!

Amy Braun writes with no remorse. The world she has created is gritty and dirty and dangerous and I can’t imagine it any other way. The characters are deep and honest and raw, which has made them some of my favorite book characters of all time.

Thank you, Amy Braun, for taking me on this journey with you. I am so happy I got to read your words and imagine your rich and dangerous worlds in my head!

This series is a must-read series for any sci fi and/or dystopian fan and Obsidian Sky will blow you away!

DARK SKY SERIES GIVEAWAY

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An Interview with Amy Braun

Two stories are told in OBSIDIAN SKY––the first chronicling a young engineer named Claire Abernathy as she struggles to survive the in the terrifying world of Hellnore, home of the blood-drinking Hellions, forced to serve their ghastly King and avoid the torment of Davin Kendric, the Hellion general, in hopes that she will be able to escape and return to her home and loved ones. The second story follows Sawyer Kendric, the young pirate captain who must make final peace with his own inner demons and face his responsibilities as a leader, all while uncovering secrets that will either save Claire, or seal her bloody fate. Their adventures will collide in an explosive finale that will change their lives forever, and leave one world altered forever…

While I love every book in the DARK SKY series, OBSIDIAN SKY is my favorite. I know I’m not supposed to pick a favorite, but I can’t help it. The book was just so much fun to write, allowing me the chance to write a story from two different perspectives and challenge myself as an author while bringing events to a conclusion where everything fell into place. Sometimes I worried that I was going to stray off from the main storyline, but thankfully everything fell into place just the way it needed to.

One of the great things about this novel is that it gets to move outside of Westraven. That’s been the main hub of activity throughout the first two books and two novellas, but I had made an expanded world and wanted to explore it. While Claire is stuck in Hellnore, which I modeled after Mordor from Lord of the Rings (a source of inspiration for almost every fantasy author, let’s be honest), Sawyer gets to explore the Aon, the country beyond the borders of Westraven. Both of them attract more than their share of trouble because let’s be honest, they couldn’t stay away from it if they tried.

World building aside, the best part about splitting the engineer and the marauder up was being able to focus on their individual characters and their final arcs. I did my best to balance the events and keep the tension and action flowing throughout the story, making the pacing fast for one character and slow for the other. When Claire needs a breather, Sawyer is the one getting into trouble and vice versa.

The ending is a lot more emotional than I intended, and it was sad to see these beloved characters reach their conclusions. This series has been with me for years, and there were a couple tears shed when I wrote the final chapter. I’m committed to going out with a big bang, so I worked hard with my editor to wrap up all the details and worked with XPresso Book Tours for a book blitz while organizing a second blog tour. I’ve also discounted the prices of every book in the series, and will keep them lowered for the month of February.

I can’t begin to express how excited the cover and artwork have made me. Deranged Doctor Design outdid themselves yet again, capturing everything this book is about: The red lava that represents Hellnore, the crossed swords for Sawyer, the claw marks and dents inflicted by the Hellions. I’m constantly floored by their fantastic work and can’t wait to work with them again in the future.

This is the second series I’ve closed in the past year, the first being the CURSED trilogy for urban fantasy fans. While I’m just as sad to say goodbye to this one, I’m also relieved that it’s a project off my plate. I learned so much from writing OBSIDIAN SKY and the DARK SKY series, and can’t wait to take these lessons and apply them to future work.
Q & A: Amy Braun and Obsidian Sky– MINOR SPOILERS BELOW.

Q: Were you nervous about writing the end of Obsidian Sky? Was everything planned or were some events spontaneous?

A: I’m a meticulous planner when it comes to world building and plots, but there were some events that I hadn’t intended that were added into the final story. Certain characters and events appeared in places and scenes where I hadn’t intended them to. Characters acted in ways I hadn’t originally planned, or would have to think creatively to escape a challenge. I had a great time experimenting and using a lot of “What If” scenarios where my characters were pushed to the limits and forced to react unconventionally. I felt like I was experiencing their adventures with them, and at some points, didn’t know what would happen next, either.

Q: Did you have any challenges writing Obsidian Sky?

A: Sometimes I can’t seem to control my characters––they go off and do what they want! Sawyer was notorious for this (which isn’t a surprise, really), and his scenes often took off in directions I didn’t anticipate. Claire’s challenges were a little more planned out, though I remember a particular moment about three-quarters of the way through the book where she got to be an ultra badass. That was a lot of fun to do. Other challenges I had were with the new elements and characters being introduced. I wanted them to have a major impact to the story, and had to work with my editor to make sure their presence was balanced with the other characters. But for the most part, I was stoked to write this book and couldn’t be happier with the way everything turned out.

Q: How did it feel to close out a series you’ve worked on for so long?

A: It’s a mix of sadness and happiness. On one hand, I realize how much I’ll miss these characters and this world. I came up with the idea when I was fourteen years old, and now over ten years later, it’s finally over. It’s a lot to let go of. But on the other hand, I feel a great deal of closure. Here was this crazy, random idea I had as a kid, and I finally went ahead and made it a reality. Now that it’s done with and received with better success than I could have hoped for, helped me establish my career, I’m aware that if I work hard, put in the time and effort, and do all the re-writes, I can transform any idea into a book. And if you’re an author still hesitant about such a thing, read the opening dedication to Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. She did the same thing, and she became published. Never give up on your idea!

Q: What will you miss most about the series and the characters?

A: I’m definitely going to miss the world and the creatures in it. Writing the Hellions and Hellnore was so much fun. I’m also going to miss Claire’s inventiveness, Sawyer’s attitude, Nash’s soft-heart, and Gemma’s tendency to scream her lungs out in battle.

Q: Is there any chance of a continuation or a spin-off series in the future?

A: A reviewer actually asked me that not too long ago. While I’ll never say never to anything, at this moment, I have no plans to continue the Dark Sky books. Nash and Gemma have both already had their own spin-off prequel novellas, titled Amber Sky and Smoke Sky respectively, and if I did do another spin-off, it would likely be a prequel series. But the odds of that happening in the near future are slim, given how I want to move onto other projects.

Q: Now that the series is over, what’s next?

A: At the moment, I’m working on two brand new series. I don’t want to say much about them to avoid giving away spoilers, but the first series will be an urban fantasy involving the Greek gods, and the second project is a Young Adult fantasy series with Gargoyles that was inspired by Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I wish I could tell you more at this point, but I can’t give you anything such as titles or release dates as both of these projects are going to be going to literary agents. I received amazing feedback on the Greek god project from one of my favorite fantasy authors, Michael J. Sullivan, and have been diligently working to improve it. I’ll know in the next month or so whether or not it’ll be going the indie or traditional route, and my newsletter subscribers and website/social media followers will be the first to know.

The same can be said for the YA fantasy Gargoyle project. I’m working on editing it and am hoping that in the next month or so I can send it to literary agents. YA fantasy is extremely popular right now, and I’m hoping that will be my “in,” but if not, I will happily take the project through independent publishing. I learned a lot last year and am ready to use that knowledge to expand my horizons and hopefully gain new readers.

At this point, the only project that will be happening will be the release of the complete Dark Sky box set in April. But anything can happen in this industry, and I doubt anything could slow me down at this point. I’m having too much fun!

More From Amy Braun

CURSED

DEMON’S DAUGHTER | DARK DIVINITY | DAMNATION’S DOOR

DARK SKY

CRIMSON SKY | MIDNIGHT SKY | AMBER SKY | SMOKE SKY

STANDALONE NOVELS AND NOVELLAS

STORM BORN

PATH OF THE HORSEMAN

NEEDFIRE

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OBSIDIAN SKY Playlist

1. Far From Over – Rev Theory

2. Brave This Storm – Trivium

3. Forget About Me – Escape The Fate

4. Dangerous – Within Temptation feat. Howard Jones

5. Canine – Senses Fail

6. Gateways – Dimmu Borgir

7. Fever Dream – Tyler Bates

8. Eye Of The Storm – Killswitch Engage

9. Before The Hangmans’s Noose – DevilDriver

10. Ghost River – Nightwish

11. Beast – Nico Vega

12. Let You Down – Black Veil Brides

13. Iron – Woodkid

14. My Name (Wearing Me Put) – Shinedown

15. Forgiveness Is A Six Gun – DevilDriver

16. Drunken Whaler (The Dishonored Video Game Track)

About the Author

amy-braun

 

Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She has short stories in various horror and urban fantasy anthologies and has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior communities. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.

Social Media Links

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pintrest | Goodreads | Amazon

New Release: Pocket Full of Tinder by Jill Archer

Pocket Full of Tinder
Jill Archer
(Noon Onyx #4)
Publication date: December 15th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Science Fiction

Noon Onyx is back! In this long-awaited fourth installment, Jill Archer returns readers to the dangerous world of Halja, where demons, angels, and humans coexist in an uneasy state of détente.

Maegester-in-Training Noon Onyx feels like she’s done it all – mastered fiery magic, become an adept fighter, learned the law, killed countless demons, and survived having her heart broken by both love and an arrow, but now she’ll face her greatest challenge yet…

Far to the north lies an outpost famous for its unrest – Rockthorn Gorge. The town’s patron has specifically requested Noon’s help. Her assignment? Help the neophyte demon lord build his fiefdom and keep what’s his. The problem? Lord Aristos – Noon’s new employer – is her erstwhile lover, Ari Carmine, the aforementioned heart breaker. And the number one thing he wants is her.

When Rockthorn Gorge’s viaduct is destroyed by Displodo, an enigmatic bomber, killing a dozen settlers and wounding scores more, Noon sets off early to aid in the search and rescue. Ari is listed among the missing and the suspects are legion. But Noon’s search is just the beginning. Her journey forces Noon to confront not only those she loves, but also enemies hell-bent on destroying them.

Goodreads / Amazon / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

PROLOGUE

Ari

Last year

Second semester

He’d been traveling for weeks, following the river westward. A great aerial beast with a broken wing trying to follow the curving lines of a bigger, blacker beast on terra firma. Beneath him, the Lethe River twisted and writhed. Every left turn was agonizing. The wing, bent at an unnatural angle, caught wind where it shouldn’t. The drag was enormous. He often felt as if he were drowning, his wings clasping at the edges of a whirlpool whose edges grew taller and steeper as it closed in on him. And then he’d have to push, soaring up into the air again with labored breathing that sounded louder than a blue whale’s blowhole.

As he neared New Babylon he kept a keen eye on the water, searching for boats and sails and men. Men who may not have seen a drakon in decades, perhaps longer. Men who would sound an alarm and alert others to his presence. It was the type of homecoming he wished to avoid.

So he’d flown at night and timed his arrival with the new moon. All below was black and gray. Far off there were tall ships lit by lanterns, but closer (thank Luck closer) was his goal – Bradbury’s docks.

A man without fire or an electric torch would have been blind. But to a drakon, the world seemed drawn with charcoal and smudged with starlight. Another night, with a different wing and the company he sought, he might have thought it beautiful.

He smelled the river and the city, the scents of men and the rich food they liked to eat. Loud, boisterous voices rose from the waterside inns, saloons, and taverns. He clenched his jaw and banked left across the water toward Etincelle, straightening again – or at least trying to – before he got too close. With a last, desperate push up he rose above the Lethe, beating his inefficient wings against the midnight sky, until he found warm air to ride down, circling… waiting… watching for anyone who might still be at the docks. He did not want to be seen in drakon form.

He landed less gracefully than he would have liked, skidding to a halt just before hitting a crate that would have tumbled into the Lethe had he not finally found purchase on the dock with his claws. With a last glance around, he shifted.

Wings collapsed. Snout, jaws, and teeth were reabsorbed. Claws disintegrated, turning to dust. Tail wriggled and twisted, curling inward, like a snake eating itself. Lungs and heart halved. And then halved again. Head pounding, body shaking, Ari fell to his knees, his right palm pressed against the dock, his left arm cradled uselessly against his side.

He was home.

Author Bio:

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels about a postgrad magic user and her off-campus adventures. The series includes DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, and the upcoming POCKET FULL OF TINDER.

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New Release! When Blood Reigns by Barbara Custer #Horror #SciFi #books

When Blood Reigns
Barbara Cluster
Publication date: December 5th 2016
Genres: Adult, Horror, Science Fiction

Marked for death, Alexis accompanies her lover, Yeron, and four survivors of a zombie invasion on a search for the renegades who created a chemical that induces a zombie-like state. On the way, ravenous flesh-eaters attack Alexis’s team; one survivor turns on her. She realizes too late that the renegades have been tracking her every move. When officials capture her, she becomes deathly ill. Can DNA splicing save her? Will Yeron’s attempts at rescue jeopardize all their lives?

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EXCERPT:

Teodon pointed toward Laurel and held a finger to his lip.

“Do not speak out loud. I will understand the answers you think.”

Okay, Yeron’s badly hurt and so am I. I can’t move him without making his injuries worse.

“All right, then I will levitate him. I know how and I will not see him die. Go ahead of us and lead me to Quyeba’s laboratory. You must forget your injuries and pain. It may seem impossible, but Yeron needs your help. I cannot carry two injured people safely, and if you stay, Laurel will come after you again.”

I understand. Alexis struggled onto her hands and knees.

Harsh chewing and slurping sounds issued from Laurel. Despite the pain wracking her body, Alexis crawled toward the door.

She had to find her way back to the lab. Yeron was moaning, and his cries were growing weaker. Teodon lifted him. He depended on her to lead the way. Any second, Laurel would tire of Woehar and come after her.

Never mind the pain. Find help.

Gritting her teeth, Alexis began her Bataan Death Crawl. Her incisions telegraphed bolts of stabbing pain with each movement. It doesn’t matter; Yeron’s life is on the line. She mind-opened the panel and led Yeron and Teodon through the exit.

Once in the hallway, Teodon hesitated.

“Left or right?”

Woehar had made a sharp right to enter the killing field, Alexis remembered. Left.

She edged along the long stretch of hall. The throbbing from her incision and back brought to mind the pain she’d felt from the rheumatoid arthritis during her job as a respiratory therapist. Her chest tightened at the prospect of navigating that long corridor the way it used to when she faced a heavy shift. No painkillers were forthcoming. She kept going.

It was simple. Woehar had guided right from the laboratory, and then a long stretch of hallway, past two sets of doors, before making her right into the death camp. So Alexis retraced Woehar’s steps and looked for steel doors on her left leading to the lab. Adrenaline would carry her. She’d once read a tale about a mother whose adrenaline rush allowed her to lift a car off her child’s injured body.

Agony bled into her incision with every shift of her knees. The pain was worse in her lower back, where Laurel had kicked her. Sweat rolled down her forehead, dripping on the grid floor. She was leaving bloody handprints and a ribbon of blood. None of that mattered. She strained her ears, listening for familiar voices.

Seconds later, she did hear Quyeba and Zoltar. A few paces further, ungodly spasms tore through her back. The black dots returned. She called for help. She last saw Teodon kneel over Yeron, placing something on his wounded shoulder. Behind them, Laurel emerged from the corridor, growling, her mouth opened wide. The dots swelled and the screams died in Alexis’s throat as the darkness took her.

 

Author Bio:

Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.

Other books by Barbara include Twilight Healer, City of Brotherly Death, Infinite Sight, and Steel Rose; also novellas Close Liaisons and Life Raft: Earth. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page, and then blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons, and you’ll find her.

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New Release! Engaged to an Alien Popstar by Kendra L. Saunders

Engaged to an Alien Pop Star
Kendra L. Saunders
(Alien Pop Star, #2)
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: November 28th 2016
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance, Science Fiction

Daisy Kirkwood and her best friend Kammie have adjusted to life on an alien planet pretty well, all things considered. And thanks to Daisy’s alien pop star boyfriend, Griffin Valentino, she has plenty of sexy new experiences to keep her busy. But it’s not possible to take a massive music nerd away from her home planet and not expect her to pine for a concert or a record store at least in once in a while.

Heading back to Earth with Griffin and his best friend Dev for a brief but much-needed visit, the girls want nothing more than to catch up on the underground music scene of New York City. Unfortunately, thanks to Griffin’s less-than-stellar space traveling skills, they accidentally pick up a hitchhiker. Or three hundred. Their many-legged stowaway beasties take up residence in the darkest, creepiest corners of Manhattan, leaving the gang no choice but to experience a very different underground than they bargained for.

Giant alien bugs aside, Griffin has some epic plans of his own for their trip, plans that involve a concert, an album… and the most outrageous marriage proposal that Earth has ever seen.

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You can grab book 1 – Dating an Alien Pop Star – for FREE!

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EXCERPT:

My boyfriend is levitating four inches above our bed, with a cloud of gold sparks floating around his head like a crown. This makes for a pretty normal morning, even with the soft snuffling and clicking noises he makes as he sleeps. And the crown is appropriate, since my boyfriend is an alien prince.

The alien prince in question, Griffin, floats back down to our bed with a yawn, stretching as he hits the blankets. He squirms around until he can slip under the blankets and wriggle closer to me. Despite sleeping uncovered, he’s toasty and warm, a sign of restorative sleep in his people. I return his embrace a bit too eagerly, my hands slipping under his nightshirt and causing him to gasp out loud. “Gods! Daisy, your hands are cold.”

“They’re not cold. They’re room temperature. But you feel nice and warm, so hold still.”

Griffin wriggles a bit more in feigned protest, but we soon settle into a comfortable position, arms and legs entwined.

“Are you excited to go back home?” Griffin asks, his voice husky with sleep as he leans up to nip at my earlobe with sharp teeth. His glowing blue eyes peer at me from under heavy lids and dark lashes, lashes that are unfairly longer than my own.

“If you keep biting my ear or looking at me like that, I’m not going to be able to go back to sleep. And yes. I’m very excited to go back to Earth.”

“Well then, don’t go back to sleep,” Griffin says, running a hand over his recently shorn dark hair. It’s always amazing to me how he can go from sleepy animal cute to dangerously sexy alien rock star in the span of seconds, depending on what he’s doing or saying. That kind of magical ability can get an Earth girl in trouble. “I have much better ideas for what we can do this morning, Wanda…”

Wanda is his pet name for me, a word in his language that means, “Love without end.” Griffin knows very well what he does to me when he calls me that.

“Do these plans involve you miraculously making chocolate appear? I miss chocolate,” I say, in a teasing tone. “When we go back to Earth, I’m going to stock up on junk food. There’s only so much healthy gray goop a girl can eat before she starts to feel like a very deprived post-divorce Gwyneth Paltrow.”

“Chocolate? Don’t be daft, Daisy, I was referring to sex.”

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Author Bio:

Kendra L. Saunders is a time-and-space traveling fashionista author who writes books about magical, dark-haired men, interviews famous people, and suggests way too many bands to you via whatever social media platform she can get her hands on. She writes with good humor because humor is the best weapon for a girl who can’t learn karate (or ballroom dancing).

She is the author of DATING AN ALIEN POP STAR, the magic realism novel INANIMATE OBJECTS, dark comedy DEATH AND MR. RIGHT, the upcoming romance THE UNLOVE SPELL, and has conducted interviews with NYT Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, goth rocker Aurelio Voltaire, and Project Runway winners Dmitry Sholokhov and Michelle Lesniak Franklin among many, many others.

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New Release! Shadow Fall by Audrey Grey

Shadow Fall
Audrey Grey
(Shadow Fall, #1)
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: November 22nd 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.

The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.

When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive.

The question is who?

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You can get your copy now for the special release price of 99 cents, and be sure to meet us at the Facebook Party happening right now!

EXCERPT:

My legs wobble as I step into the now lukewarm water. I sink to the bottom. Tiny bubbles escape my nose as I watch all the ugly remnants from the last seven years leave my body.

Lungs burning, I rise and come face-to-face with Pit Boy.

I glare at him. “You really have to work on the knocking thing.”

Despite the fact that I’m indecent, his attention never falls from my face. I almost wish it would, just to give me a break from the intensity of his focus.

“I only get a few more hours to be the ‘one-eyed freak’ from the pit. Might as well take advantage.” He doesn’t dare crack a smile, so it’s hard to tell if he’s joking or serious.

“Don’t worry. In my heart, that’s exactly who you’ll always be.”

His words remind me that soon we’ll be reconstructed using forbidden nanotech. But it won’t just be our flesh they’ll reengineer. It will be our brains, too.

I don’t foresee my rewiring being too complicated, but Riser needs to upload almost twenty years of false memories. That will be tricky and time-consuming.

And time is the one thing we don’t have.

Riser flicks his gaze to the mirror. He lifts a hand, touches the patch of mottled flesh where his eye should be.

“How did it happen?” I ask.

“Careful, my lady.” His gaze settles on my face. “You’re beginning to sound like you care.”

I roll my eyes. “And I thought I was lacking in conversational skills.”

He focuses his attention on the graffiti sprayed across the mirror.

“It’s written language,” I blurt, even though all I want to do is end the conversation so Pit Boy can leave. His presence unnerves me more than the other Pit Leeches ever could. “It’s how we communicate.”

“I know what it is.” He examines his jagged thumbnail. “I just . . . can’t read it.”

“It’s just stuff about the Chosen. You know, insults.” The populace is finicky. As much as they love watching the Chosen with their petty intrigues and court life, they would be just as happy to see their heads on a pike.

“Chosen?”

Time to explain what you are, Everly, Nicolai’s voice grates inside my head. Riser’s eyes flutter just enough that I know he’s heard Nicolai’s voice too.

You do it, I think, watching Riser’s reaction. But his face remains emotionless; either he’s a good actor or only Nicolai can hear my response.

“The Royalist astronomers discovered the asteroid twenty-one years ago,” I begin. “It’s actually a slow moving planet called an earth-crosser, meaning its orbit and ours intersect every twenty-thousand years. Usually it’s too far away to affect us, but this time it will pass close enough to wreak havoc and make the earth uninhabitable for years.” I stir the water with my big toe. “Before I was born, the Emperor decided that creating a population of genetically superior humans would be a great idea, you know, just in case the Caskets don’t work or the asteroid does more damage than predicted.”

Riser’s hyper-focused gaze bores through me. “You’re one of them?”

“Yes.” I run my hand through the filthy water. “But my father’s a Bronze, so even though my mother comes from a Gold House, the Emperor only allowed them one Chosen instead of the customary twins. So it’s just me . . . not Max.”

“What makes being Chosen so special?”

“I don’t know . . .” I bite my lip, trying to remember everything my parents told me. “My genes are perfect, I guess.”

For some reason, talking about my body makes me remember that I am naked in a room with a boy. As if reading my mind, Riser slowly lets his gaze fall, his expression both curious and unapologetic as he takes me all in, his thoughts cryptic.

“What are you staring at?” I blurt, smashing my breasts beneath my hands. Not like there’s much there to cover. “Haven’t you seen a naked girl before?”

A smile twitches his lips. “Not one that’s genetically flawless.

“It doesn’t work that way! You can’t just look at us and tell. We look like everyone else—”

“No.” Riser shakes his head, a dark swath of hair covering his damaged eye. “You don’t. Whatever you are.”

“You must be happy . . . about our reconstruction, I mean,” I mumble, trying desperately to change the subject. “They’ll fix your eye . . . and . . . and all those horrible scars.”

I freeze as he slides off the counter, unable to look away as he hooks one finger beneath his shirt and lifts.

Scars ravage his anemic body in varying shades of red and silver and white. Some deep and pitted like the craters of a far-away planet, others smooth and neat. One particular nasty scar carves down his shoulder, tunneling across his chest and stomach. A fresh red wound nestles just below his throat.

He carefully touches the long ugly one. “I’m not ashamed for surviving.”

Author Bio:

Audrey Grey lives in the charming state of Oklahoma, with her husband, two little people, and four mischievous dogs. You can usually find her hiding out in her office from said little people and dogs, surrounded by books and sipping kombucha while dreaming up wondrous worlds for her characters to live in.

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Review: 3.75 stars for Blue Vision by Marie Lavender

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Title:  Blue Vision

Author:  Marie Lavender

Genre:  Science Fiction, Romance

Synopsis:

Brooke Sanders just wants to get away from her life for a while. A remote cabin in Montana fits the bill. She doesn’t expect to encounter a mysterious stranger with unusual blue eyes, or events that cannot be explained…

Colin Fielding is on a mission – scout a planet and return home to Endhivar. Simple really. What he doesn’t anticipate is that fate has a pretty twisted sense of humor. Suddenly, this human calls to him, every part of him, like the call of a true mate, and he can’t deny the connection as he gets closer to her.

Little do they know, someone is out to do them harm, as well as the world Brooke holds so dear. Can they stop what’s coming before it’s too late? Or will the universe lose a perfect gem?

My Review:

3.75/5 Stars!!!

I love sci fi and romance.  I enjoyed Blue Vision.  The writing was good, the concept was great and the little twists that Marie Lavender put in throughout the book kept me guessing.  Plus, I got a happy little epilogue at the end which always makes me happy.

Brooke wants to get away from things for a while and heads to Montana and a cabin in the middle of nowhere.  Enter Collin…an alien.  Yep, folks.  Collin is a sexy, snarky alien with secrets.  The chemistry between these two was great!

Blue Vision has a lot to offer…aliens, romance, chemistry, secrets and danger.  It’s a wild ride you will definitely enjoy!

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Where to Buy:  AMAZON

New Release + giveaway! Before Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn

Before Tomorrow
Pintip Dunn
(Forget Tomorrow #1.5)
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: October 31st 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Prequel to the New York Times bestselling and award-winning novel, FORGET TOMORROW!

In a world where all seventeen-year-olds receive a memory from their future selves, Logan Russell’s vision is exactly as he expects — and exactly not. He sees himself achieving his greatest wish of becoming a gold-star swimmer, but strangely enough, the vision also shows him locking eyes with a girl from his past, Callie Stone, and experiencing an overwhelming sense of love and belonging.

Logan’s not sure what the memory means, but soon enough, he learns that his old friend Callie is in trouble. She’s received an atypical memory, one where she commits a crime in the future. According to the law, she must be imprisoned, even though she’s done nothing wrong. Now, Logan must decide if he’ll give up his future as a gold-star swimmer and rescue the literal girl of his dreams. All he’ll have to do is defy Fate.

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EXCERPT:

He could see her now, and it made him want to fall to his knees and beg for forgiveness. If he had known, he never would’ve let her come.

Her face was pale, so pale, and her eyes stood out like stars in the black sky. But they weren’t lustrous stars full of verve and sparkle; no, her stars were the ones at the end of their lives, the ones in danger of blinking out. Her bones looked fragile, her skin was as thin as parchment paper. Bruises decorated her arm like the latest fashion trends. In a mere week, she looked like this. In a week, she had transformed from a girl to an apparition.

His heart shook, and shame flooded him. I’m sorry, Callie. So sorry. I didn’t know. I thought this was what you wanted. I thought I was doing the right thing.

He hadn’t known—but he should’ve. He was the one with the connection to the Underground. The one with access to information other people didn’t have. He should’ve known, and he should’ve stopped her.

But then, so quickly he barely registered it, she crossed the floor and laid her hand on his chest. He blinked—and then blinked again. What was she doing? They had to get out of here.

“You feel amazing,” she said, oblivious to the urgency. She didn’t sound like herself, either. What was going on? And then she shuffled forward until their shoes were touching. He inhaled sharply and forgot everything else. The touch was nothing. He knew that. Synthetic rubber against synthetic rubber. But now they were connected in two spots. Everything inside him sizzled and popped. If she touched him anywhere else, he might explode.

She seemed determined to try. She trailed her hand across his chest, over his shoulders, up, up, up to his face. And then, she rubbed her fingers back and forth, and the breath shot out of him. He’d never felt anything so sweet, so exquisite. It felt so good it almost hurt. No, it did hurt, but if this were pain, he’d go to Limbo for an eternity.

Her fingers skipped to his lips—and he couldn’t take it anymore. His body broke free from the force that was paralyzing him. He could either grab her and kiss her senseless—or he could put a stop to this and get on with the mission.

He struggled. Oh, how he struggled and damned Fate to the moon and back. Every fiber in his body screamed, Do it! Kiss her now! And if they were anywhere else, if it were any other time, he would’ve.

But he couldn’t forget the bruises on her body. If he didn’t break her out now, he’d never be able to live with himself.

He reached up and covered her hand with his trembling fingers. Fate help him, if he was going to end this moment, he wanted at least one touch of his hand against hers. Something for him to remember during his sleepless nights.

He moved her hand from his lips, and it felt like he was dragging it through wet concrete. “I can’t believe I’m saying this,” he said hoarsely, “but we don’t have much time.”

Her eyes snapped into focus, and everything about her features sharpened. “You’re real?”

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Author Bio:

When her first-grade teacher asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, Pintip replied, “An author.” Although she has pursued other interests over the years, this dream has never wavered.

Pintip graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

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