Tag Archives: books

Mystical Mystery Series Book Bundle

Because… and yes I did just start a sentence with because… I like to spoil you I have a triple whammy – three books on sale and to give away. Check out the details and don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


Three Award-winning Authors—Book Giveaway and Sale

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Discover a touch of the mystical and an innovative take on mystery from an international trio of authors. Australian Virginia King, American Amber Foxx and British Marion Eaton – all B.R.A.G. Medallion winners – have teamed up for a giveaway and over a week of discounts from April 21 – 30.

Win a Paperback of Each Book

Enter the drawing below to win a paperback copy of the first book in each author’s series.

Buy each e-book during the sale for only $1.99 US.

The Calling – Amber Foxx

The first Mae Martin Psychic Mystery

Obeying her mother’s warning, Mae Martin-Ridley has spent years hiding her gift of “the sight.” When concern for a missing hunter compels her to use it again, her peaceful life in a small Southern town begins to fall apart. New friends push her to explore her unusual talents, but as she does, she discovers the shadow side of her visions – access to secrets she could regret uncovering.

Gift or curse? When an extraordinary ability intrudes on an ordinary life, nothing can be the same again.

The Mae Martin Series

No murder, just mystery. Every life hides a secret, and love is the deepest mystery of all.

Website & buy the ebook for $1.99: https://amberfoxxmysteries.wordpress.com/buy-books-retail-links/

When the Clocks Stopped – Marion Eaton

The Mysterious Marsh Series, Book One

When lawyer Hazel Dawkins decides to write some wills while she waits for the birth of her first child, she unwittingly triggers dramatic consequences. Mysteriously, she encounters Annie, a woman whose tempestuous life took place more than two centuries earlier when Romney Marsh was a violent place, dominated by smugglers. Soon that past collides with the present, and Hazel finds herself pitted against an evil that has stalked the marsh for centuries. As her destiny intertwines with Annie’s in the shifting time-scape, Hazel confronts a terrifying challenge that parallels history – and could even change it. If she survives.

Website: http://www.marioneaton.com/ Buy the ebook for $1.99: amzn.to/17THZ83

The First Lie – Virginia King

Selkie Moon Mystery Series, Book One

Selkie Moon is a woman on the run. In a mad dash for freedom she’s escaped her life in Sydney to start over again in Hawaii. But her refuge begins to unravel and she’s running from something else entirely. A voice in a dream says that someone is trying to kill her. Not that she’s psychic, no way. But the messages and threats escalate until she’s locked in a game of cat and mouse with a mysterious stalker. Entangled in Celtic and Hawaiian mythologies, the events become so bizarre and terrifying that her instinct is to keep running. But is she running from her past? Or her future?

Website: http://www.selkiemoon.com/

Buy the ebook for $1.99: http://www.amazon.com/First-Lie-Selkie-Moon-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00K1VC20Y/

All three books will be on sale for $1.99 US from April 21 to 30.

Enter the drawing now to win paperback copies of all three books

When you click on the Rafflecopter link you’ll be invited to choose which series you would like to learn more about. This will enter you in the drawing. To get an additional entry, click on the option to tweet the give-away. The raffle runs from April 21 – April 26. The winner will be announced on April 27.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Old Spook

I’ve got a spy thriller for you today. Introducing Charles Ameringer’s The Old Spook

 

The spy/thriller The Old Spook is a roman a clef story about a fictional CIA special operations officer (Tom Miller) that takes the reader on a journey of adventure and intrigue during the Cold War. The novel begins with Miller reflecting on his 26-year career of spookery (1951-1977), during which he collaborated with rebel chieftains in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia; plotted the assassination of Fidel Castro with Mafia dons in Miami; and matched wits with KGB agents in Mexico and Chile. Forced to retire owing to the reduction in force (RIF) of the CIA’s clandestine services in the wake of revelations of CIA “dirty tricks” during the Nixon administration, Miller retreats to his hometown Milwaukee.

But wait! Not ready to call it quits, he draws on his spying skills to set up a one-man detective agency. In his sleuthing, he takes on a missing person case that unwittingly puts him on the trail of a Mafia hit man, which, in turn, threatens to reopen the can of worms about his previous dealings with the Mafia. To avert this problem, the CIA reinstates Miller and sends him packing to Central America to make war on the Sandinistas. There, he builds a secret airfield, clashes with drug lords, and is the victim of a bombing. The man just can’t stay out of trouble. And the reader will enjoy every minute of it.

* * * * *

Three of today’s top action novelists have high praise for The Old Spook. Nik Morton and Frank O’Neill rate it five stars; James Bruno rates it four.

Charles Ameringer is professor emeritus of Latin American history at Penn State University, a former captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and before beginning his teaching career served as an intelligence analyst for eight years with the U.S. Department of Defense.

 

You can download this story from Amazon


Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead

Today it’s the turn of Scott Larson and his coming of age novel Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead – have a read!

Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead is your new book about two teenagers, Dallas and Lonnie, taking a road trip. What are these boys like and what is their relationship?
Dallas and Lonnie have grown up in a small farming community. They are both kind of oddballs and so when it comes to friends they have mainly had only each other. They know each other better than they know anyone else. As they graduate from secondary school, they are feeling a bit alienated. A lot of people their age are already getting married and starting a life of hard work. They’re not really mature enough yet to want to settle down. Also they have grown up in a conservative religious environment which they have rebelled against. They are not particularly political, but they are definitely rebels by nature.
The book is set in 1971 for those of us too young to know anything about the 70’s, too old to remember, or those who were in the 70’s and therefore can’t remember, can you tell us what was culturally happening at the time and in particular what Dallas and Lonnie were facing?
Yes, I would in the third category: I was there and thus it is all a blur! More seriously, for much of the United States–and in much of the rest of the world, for that matter–in that year there was a lot of turmoil going on. The Vietnam War was still being fought and university campuses were roiling with protests and resultant police crackdowns. Because of the rural setting of where they live, Dallas and Lonnie are largely sheltered from all of this. It is a politically conservative area where most people are supportive of U.S. policy. But what the two young men are not sheltered from is conscription. They have a lot of uncertainty hanging over them because, having turned 18, they could now be drafted into the army and sent to fight in the war.
 
The boys are hitting the road under the pretence of looking for a missing friend – can you expand on this?
A few years before the story begins Tommy Dowd, a young man that Dallas and Lonnie were acquainted with, went to Central America as some sort of freelance journalist and then disappeared. Lonnie has always been bothered by not knowing what happened to him and so, after a period of bad behavior and boredom and family problems, he cajoles Dallas into the totally daft idea of driving down to Central America to look for Tommy. They both understand that the idea is completely crazy but each wants to see how far the other will go before insisting on turning around. Basically, it is all just an excuse to run away from home, engage in a lot of bad behaviour and let off steam before they have to finally grow up.
But this isn’t a book about missing people – what happens to the boys and how do they change throughout the story?
Lonnie, who is the more self-destructive of the two, seems to be on something of a downward spiral. But for Dallas the travelling opens up a whole new world to him. On the way to the border they pick up a younger Mexican boy and he becomes a window for Dallas on Mexican language and culture. Dallas even manages to have a brief but intense love affair before the journey leads to a series of difficult situations. They run into muggers in Tijuana, become stranded in the middle of nowhere, get arrested by a corrupt policeman and eventually wind up separated. By the end of the story Dallas finds himself on his own in a very dangerous situation with no one else to rely on but himself. In the end Dallas and Lonnie have opposite reactions to their experiences. While Lonnie’s reaction is to want to retreat to the places and people he knows, Dallas is fascinated by the wider world that he never knew that much about.
This is a story based on some of your own memories, are you Dallas or Lonnie? And what memories contribute this story?
Well, I am the exact same age as the two characters and grew up in the same place, which made the research a bit easier. The details of the draft and the lottery by which draftees were selected were (and are) all still vivid in my memory. Both characters are composites of various people that I knew, but I suppose I drew more on my own personality for Dallas. And there is a lot of the best friend I grew up with in Lonnie. But we never got into nearly as much trouble as these two characters! And while I had some interesting road trips with my own best friend, we never went to Mexico together. I did go down across the border a few times with other friends during my misspent youth but never as far south as Dallas and Lonnie go, so I had to do some research on Mexico. I have always had a fascination with Latin American culture so that informed Dallas’s awakening to that world. And I lived in Chile for a year, so that will explain why references to that country keep cropping up. And, given that I have lived in Ireland for the past decade or so, I had to introduce an Irish character along the way. After all, you can’t go anywhere in the world without running into the Irish.
The setting is the South down to Mexico for those of us who have never seen that part of the world can you describe it to us (please feel free to use an extract).
The region where the story begins is more accurately described as the Southwest. (In the U.S. “the South” somewhat illogically refers to area bordering the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico and evokes the old Confederacy and plantations and Gone with the Wind.) The Southwest is very dry and very hot, alternating between deserts and mountain ranges. The following passage from the second chapter describes a journey I made often, climbing into the mountains and looking back at the flat floor of the San Joaquin Valley:
As Lonnie’s Impala strained its engine climbing the Ridge Route toward Tejon Pass, I turned to look back at the lights on the San Joaquin Valley floor. When it came down to it, I hated the valley. I always had a feeling of escape when I drove up out of it. Even hell isn’t as hot as the San Joaquin Valley in the summer. And it’s flat. It has to be the most boring place on the face of the earth. As we got higher into the mountains, things felt different. We were headed to places that weren’t boring and hot. We were headed to places that people had actually heard of. We were less than two hours from Los Angeles. I had only been there a few times, and that was only straight to my uncle Jack’s and back with my parents. Now it was just me and Lonnie heading down there, and anything was possible.
And finally what is next for Scott R Larson?
In a total departure from the first book, I’m currently working on a fantasy novel. It’s a story I first wrote in high school and which evolved into a recurring bedtime story for my daughter. In some ways it is a variation on Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead in that it is a road story and a coming-of-age story. After that I plan to write a novel set in the burgeoning software industry in Seattle in the 1980s, another time and place that I lived through. And I keep going back and forth about whether to write a sequel to Dallas’s story, specifically where is he and what is he doing nine years after the events of the first book.
You can read more about Scott and his other works here

Flash Fiction/Nemesis

Author Marc Nash approached me a few days ago to see what I knew about Flash Fiction… answer very little. So he’s written a must read article for all authors interested in Flash Fiction and he’s also given us a taster of what he can do – don’t forget you can interact and leave comments below.

I’ve just published my fourth collection of flash fiction stories “28 Far Cries”. If you don’t know what flash fiction is, it’s the shortest form of fiction, ranging from 6 word stories to 1000 words. There’s no agreed definition of length, but 1000 words is generally felt to be the upper limit for flash, otherwise you’re straying into short story territory.

But flash fiction is so much more than a word limit. It actually offers the greatest freedom to writers, because you simply don’t have the words to play with to achieve many of the standard things of story such as introduction, character or setting description and the like. Your opening sentence plunges the reader into your story, as with any longer work, but only in flash does that first sentence have to bear the weight of establishing the world of your story. Word choices are important in flash, because again you do have the room to waste words. And the English language is wonderfully set up to offer you plenty of choice in order to find the exact word that can simultaneously carry different shades of meaning that give your story layers. Words like ‘cleave’ and ‘fast’ which have entirely opposite meanings and the skilful flash writer can imply both together!

But flash isn’t only about language. It offers a liberation for the author of the classic structure of a beginning, middle and end. I’ve written stories that are all about endings. I’ve written stories without any human character, so that these are more like a landscape painting (flash often employs quite lyrical language, where it could almost be seen as a prose poem). I’ve written a story made up of 100 single word sentences, all beginning with the letter ‘C’. In my latest collection, there is a story where one letter in every word has mutated into another, changing the word and therefore the meaning of the piece. Flash therefore represents many different ways of telling a story.

Although a tight word limit might seem to offer only sketches, actually the opposite is possible. You can take a central image or metaphor and examine it from every angle, reflecting different interpretations just like the different facets of a gemstone as the light strikes it in different ways and at different angles. So in the present collection, I have a story “Off Colour” about all the colours we use in every day speech, or another “Nocebo” which explores all the different ways of taking pills and concludes with the ultimate, that of a cyanide pill. In “Nemesis” an ageing superhero develops cancer from the radiation which gave him his superpowers and the story compares the cancer with the nature of his crime fighting.

Flash fiction has really come to the fore in the internet age. Its length is akin to a blog post. It’s easy to read on phones and other portable devices. It’s easy to do a YouTube reading of a story that lasts no more than five minutes and they are great for reading live as against an extract of a novel that needs a lot of explaining the story up to that point. And most importantly perhaps, it’s a really good way of flexing your writing muscles, especially when in between longer projects or if you’re feeling blocked. There are plenty of online communities with prompts such as photos or words to get you going.

Marc Nash

And here is a great piece of Flash Fiction from Marc himself:

 

Nemesis

My superpowers were ineffectual in the face of this particular adversary. Even though our potency derived from the same source, mine ultimately proved the inferior. I might be able to crush solid steel with my bare hands, but my foe could render me prostrate with an invisible motion.

Little did I know, that when I felt the swell of energy through my body as my uncanny physiology unfolded its transformation, a parallel transformative surge was happening too. As my sinew rippled and expanded to fill my costume, so my cells divided and thickened beneath. As my mitochondrial DNA fuelled my malignancy-fighting bursts, so they also unwittingly stoked a corruption of their own inside my body. A metastasis within Megalopolis.

Having been exposed to gamma waves in childhood, inevitably I was immune to radiotherapy. It baffled the oncologists, but at least they didn’t twig my identity. The chemotherapy was supposed to target the carcinomas just as precisely I’d excised villains. The magic bullet which I myself supposedly represented as the cure for the pathology out on our streets. But like the street antagonists I faced, remove one and three more grow back in their place. In the parlance of myth, we might have said like a many-headed hydra. In the clinical jargon of now, we cannot escape the fact of its tumefaction.

Luckily the hood of my cape covered up the ensuing baldness from the treatment. But the clumps of hair I had to remove from inside each time I divested myself of my costume, reinforced my reversion to mortality at the end of every mission.

Exposure to radiation turns the super-villain’s minds, sends them insane with their power. Allied to their innate malevolence which sees them looking to flout law and authority. With me the process has been slower, far more perniciously indirect. The creeping realisation of the price I have paid with my body divided against itself, has tipped me over the edge. The super-villain never felt any pain, except when I slapped the handcuffs on him. There was no slow erosion of the person they once were. My pain is doubled, the tumescent physical spasms augmented by the leeching away of my inviolability.

The felons simply regarded that they had to dislodge me as an impediment to the wholesale advancement of evil. They could not in all bad conscience see themselves as villainous if I, as a force for good, was allowed to prevail. They could not possibly live and operate as super-villains, if a super-hero was still poised against them. That made them heedless of danger for they did not care if they died, so long as they perished in the act of trying to vanquish me. And that ratcheted up the level of their degradation, made them capable of the most dire outrages.

So what did I achieve? I provided my citizens with the briefest of short-lived remissions. Before the pathology reared up again, more virulent and resistant to any relief I might provide. A superhero is supposed to provide protection, to keep death at bay, yet ultimately I’m unable to achieve either. A superhero can’t be killed, but he can still die. Undermined and overwhelmed by his own frailties. Harking back to the Greek origin of the term ‘hero’. Someone displaying the hubris to imagine they could rise up above the human throng, always to be brought crashing back down by the nagging apprehension that their life is no more elevated than anybody else’s. Narcissus is the more pertinent myth, only the pool that we gaze upon our reflection, turns out to be a mirage.

You can find Marc Nash here:

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

Twitter @21stCscribe


Save Me


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Title: Save me
Author: Natasha Preston
Genre:NA contemporary romance
Release Date: 7th October

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SYNOPSIS

Tegan Pennells used to care about everything: family, friends, boys, school, and music. But then her dad died and that stopped.

She doesn’t care about her relationship with her mum and sister. She doesn’t care that she’s pushed away most of her friends. She doesn’t care that she lost her virginity to her friend’s brother in the backseat of his car. She doesn’t care that she uses men, or what people think about her friends with benefits agreement with Kai, a guy she met in a bar.

Tegan doesn’t care about the man that received her father’s heart. And she doesn’t want to care about that man’s son.

She doesn’t want to care about anything ever again.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Amazon CA
iTunes

TEASERS

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she stumbled across an amateur writing site and uploaded her first story and hasn’t looked back since. She enjoys writing NA romance, thrillers, gritty YA and the occasional serial killer.

CONNECT WITH NATASHA

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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Bitter Candy

Here’s an exclusive from YA Contemporary Romance Bitter Candy. Enjoy!
Yet again, Eric was throwing a party for people he couldn’t care less about. He’d only been at Edith Wharton High School for a day, but already he could tell the students there would be carbon copies of people at his old boarding school: vapid, shallow, and pretentious. People who pretended to have a passion for politics and Vladimir Nabokov when they would rather piss their parents’ money away on drugs and alcohol than pick up a newspaper or Lolita.
Why do I keep providing superficial teenagers with free booze? he thought, wrinkling his nose when he saw a wasted girl throw up into a priceless Ming vase and an intoxicated boy stick his tongue into an apathetic blonde’s mouth. The pathetic answer—to be liked, popular. Which was an incredibly idiotic reason considering he didn’t especially want to be friends with these people and the “friends” that he’d had at his old boarding school were dull douche bags who had dropped him like bad weed when the stain of scandal had fallen upon him.
Needing a drink, he walked to the refreshment table. A curse left his mouth when he realized all of the chardonnay bottles were empty. Sigh… He guessed he would have to be content with a glass of red wine.
As he poured himself a glass, his eyes caught a girl—a beautiful girl. She had one of those maddeningly perfect, Snow-White-esque, innocent-looking faces that couldn’t be achieved with either any amount of plastic surgery or makeup. The girl possessed skin like flawless, unblemished porcelain; eyes the color of a warm, sparkling ocean; and lips as red as—you guessed it—a rose. She also had a delicate little body like a doll and long, shiny blond hair that flowed down to the small of her back.
Hello, scholarship girl, he thought, thinking of his nickname for the pretty—if slightly irritating—girl who’d called him a douche. Hilarie Walsh. Her bold insult had sparked his curiosity and—to be honest—kind of turned him on. Something told him that she wasn’t like his other guests; she seemed like she had some depth and had more on her mind than the latest designer handbag or newest luxury car model.
He cocked his head, continuing to stare at her. The girl inspired a strange mix of feelings in him; both lust and tenderness filled him. Her beauty and apparent innocence made him want to tear off her clothes and ravish her, but they also made him want to cradle her fragile little body in his arms.
The sight of her, all alone with a sad look on her face, for some reason, caused him to feel lonely too.
But who says we have to be lonely? he asked silently with a smile on his face, making his way to Hilarie Walsh…
And here’s a real exclusive sneak peak

“Hello,” a black-haired boy said as he leaned against the locker next to Eric’s at the end of gym class.

Eric turned to face his classmate and blinked. The black-haired boy was completely nude, and from the absence of a towel or clothes in his hands, Eric could tell that the guy was in no hurry to change that.

His classmate winked. Eric recognized him as one of his teammates, the Asian kid who had made their team lose the lacrosse game in class because of his total lack of interest in defending the goal and who some of their less tolerant teammates called, “Faggot chink,” under their breaths. “Admiring my muscles?”

“Sure,” Eric said, rolling his eyes.

“I have to say, I’m a huge fan. Anyone who beats up that hypocritical bastard is a hero to me. Daddy Buck is an asshole too, but at least he practices what he preaches.”

“Who are you and what do you want?”

The guy’s dark brown, almost-black eyes lit up. “I’m Teddy Chan, aka not just a pretty face, and I want to be your bro.”

“Not interested.”

“Is it because you’re afraid I want to suck your dick? I’m disappointed. I didn’t take you for a homophobe. And FYI, I wouldn’t want to suck your dick anyway. You’re not my type,” Teddy said, seeming more amused than genuinely offended.

“I couldn’t care less about what you suck.”

“Then why the refusal?”

“Told you. Just not interested.”

“Hey, a guy can never have too many friends.”

“Shouldn’t you get dressed and go to your next class?” Eric asked, closing his locker.

Teddy lifted his golden shoulders. “I can miss a few minutes of Human Geography.”

“Whatever,” Eric said as he buttoned up his shirt.

“Hang out with me tonight. I’ll show you the best Cleveland has to offer.”

“No offense, but Cleveland sounds only slightly more appealing than watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.”

Teddy held up a finger. “First, Cleveland is great. People who say otherwise are either snobs or New Yorkers.” Then he held up two fingers. “And second, Nicolas Cage is one of the greatest actors of our generation. There is no such thing as a bad Nic Cage movie.”

“The answer is still no. I’m hanging out with my girlfriend tonight.”

“How about tomorrow night?”

“I’ll probably be hanging out with her again.”

Teddy shook his head, clicking his tongue. “My man, it’s not a good idea to be so clingy.”

“Who the hell says I’m clingy?”

“Answer these two questions for me.”

“I don’t have to answer shit—”

“One, have you gone a day without seeing her?”

Eric clenched his teeth. “No, but we have two classes together.”

“Okay, have you gone a day without seeing her outside of school?”

“Well, no—”

“I thought so. Two, are you always the one initiating things?”

“Well, technically yes, but—”

Teddy crossed his arms, grinning. “I rest my case.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Fine, fine, ignore my totally valid opinion. But if your plans with your girlfriend fall through, give me a call,” Teddy said, handing Eric a business card.

As Teddy sauntered away, Eric read his card:

Teddy Chan

Young entrepreneur

Cell: (555)-555-7820

Office: (555)-555-6130

Email: yourgirlfriendwantsme@gmail.com

“Prick,” Eric muttered when he saw Chan’s email address.

But he put the card in his pocket.

You can buy this book now from Amazon


Fallen

I absolutely love it when authors approach me right before they publish. It’s so exciting for them, for me and for you. So today, being the 3rd of October is the official release date of Fallen by Ann Hunter and as well as telling us a bit about the book we have an exclusive sneak peek too. Be the one of the first to read this awesome book.

17-year-old Prince Sylas of Killeagh wants what every one else wants: control over his own life. When he tries to run away from home and escape an arranged marriage, the last thing he expects is to fall in love with a robber in the woods. Hiding behind a mask, the robber girl seems to lead a life of freedom Sylas has only dreamed of. Their adventure comes to an end when the Castle Killeagh guards hunt Sylas down and he’s forced to return home. He convinces his parents to allow him to find the girl again and consider her as a candidate for marriage, but he only has until the next full moon to find her, or all bets are off.

 

 

Death has a name, and it is Crwys. As a ban sidhe, her job is to visit the great houses of The Summer Isle and keen out the living to prepare them for death. King Sionnach has far outlived his days and it is time he cross to the Unliving World. When she arrives, a young prince named Sylas intervenes and offers to go in his grandfather’s stead. This break with tradition, and selfless sacrifice, move Crwys into loving Sylas, who looks so much like a shadow from her past. But when he crosses her to be with his true love, he invokes the wrath of a woman scorned.Rós is just a little, aura-seeing, red hen whose master believes she is chosen by the gods. Her arrival at King Sionnach’s court is insignificant to Sylas at the time, but their destinies are interwoven. Can she help Sylas save himself from the curse Crwys has planned for him? Or will he become a fallen frog prince?A NOTE FROM OUR HERO:

 
“Once upon a time, I fell in love. Madly, deeply. With my whole being. I’d do anything for the girl who robbed me of my heart.
I tried to save her…

 


But Darkness came. The ban sidhe, Crwys, death herself, wants me for her own. She thinks I am someone from her past, and she will not rest until I submit.

 


I have secrets. Some I can barely live with myself for, and every night I dream of two women. One I cannot save, the other I cannot escape….”

Prince Sylas of Killeagh

 

 

WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING:

 
“You expect the author of paranormal books to have a good imagination, but as you will find when you read the story, Ann Hunter’s is exceptional…. All of the characters are larger than life…”
Derek White, Nerd Girl Official Book Blog

“Hunter will have you believing in heroes, once upon a time kind of love, and fairy tales again.”

–P. Gerschler, Afterglow Productions (publisher)

 

EXCERPT:

Sylas stalked the driver of a hay wagon bound for the king’s castle through a tavern. The hay driver took up a seat in a corner with a friend, but the prince boldly sat at the center of the boisterous conversation. Small town gossip had become one of his favorite pastimes while indentured to the blacksmith in Coad. Gossip spread like wildfire. Here was no different.

He kept his covered head low, plunking down a gold coin in exchange for a flagon of mead. He was always sure to wear his gloves and coverings when in public, so as not to startle anyone. Hearing the townspeople prattle on about their daily lives reminded him of his days in the throne room. With a smirk, he leaned back in his chair and croaked softly, “Sylas Mortas.”

No one seemed to hear at first. He casually locked his hands behind his head and croaked again, “Sylas Mortas.”

He repeated it a few moments later. The conversation at a nearby table paused. Sylas listened carefully to the two men sitting there.

“Say, you remember that old legend about Sylas Mortas?” asked the one man to the other.

“What about it?”

“He was a terrible son of a sídhe,” he said with a shiver.

“How do you know? That was nigh eighty years ago.”

Sylas took a slug from his flagon. He spoke over his shoulder. “I heard he killed virgins for fun.”

One of the men at the other table pointed to him. “See? He knows.”

“What does he know?” the other man muttered.

Sylas drank again. “Met him once.”

The two men fell quiet.

The Sylas Mortas,” Sylas croaked a little louder, garnering the attention of other patrons.

“How could you have met ‘im? He’s dead.”

“I know. Bumped into him on my way here. Got lost in the bogloch.”

More of the tavern dwellers turned in their seats. Sylas continued. “He’s not as handsome as the legend says. Then again, he’s been dead a long time. You knew that though. Did you know he escaped?” Sylas tipped his flagon and drained it. He held it upside down over the table and cocked his head as a single drop fell out. He shook the flagon, acting dismayed that it was empty. Someone tossed the barkeep a coin and demanded this poor traveler be offered another drink. When it arrived, Sylas continued.

He placed a hand on his heart, pretending to tremble. “It was awful. Terrifying. The stench of the bog. The hungry, buzzing gnats.” He nodded to one of the patrons. “You ever been there?”

The patron, a fat, squat, balding man, nodded frightfully.

“Well.” Sylas smacked his mouth. “You know how awful it is. That son of a sídhe rose from the water in a belch of green bubbles. He bore his fangs at me. Yes, fangs.”

Gasps rose from the crowd like the sound of waves rushing the beach.

“The legend said he was a handsome lad. Red of hair, face kissed by the sun god. But no longer. Oh, no! He’s green now. Like a frog, and yet… not. Tall as a man, horrific to look at. I saw my reflection in his eyes as he breathed over me with long, yellow nails, and just dripping with spittle from those saw-like teeth of his.” A woman in the background swooned and fainted. Sylas forged ahead, breathlessly. “I begged for my life.” He faked an upsetting sob. Another flagon was presented to him. He allowed his hands to shake. “Do you know what he said?”

Some of the patrons leaned in. Others shook their heads. The woman who fainted received a good fanning.

“He said he would grant me one wish.”

“Is that how you escaped with your life?”

Sylas drained his flagon greedily. “No.”

“What did you do?”

“Too afraid of the price, I asked him only the one thing that came to my mind. What was he was doing in the bogloch?” Sylas said with a tremble.

“And?”

Sylas drummed his nails on the table. “Sick and twisted as he was, he will not show his face in the light. That is why he’s been hiding there for decades. He emphasized the decades bit. “And he will grant a wish to any soul brave enough to seek him in the bogloch, for I did not use mine.”

The patrons hushed.

He had to bite his fist to keep from snorting in laughter. His shoulders convulsed. He hiccuped a breath. Though deliriously silly inside, he appeared to be openly shaken. He knew people appreciated a good story. They paid for the rest of his drinks, consoling him.

He kept an eye trained on the wagon driver who was just as shocked as everyone else. Sylas gripped his final flagon and announced, “The dark prince Sylas Mortas, killer of virgins, does not wish his name to be spoken.” He slammed the empty flagon down a moment later. “For the wishes he grants are closely guarded, stemming from magic deep and terrible. They are not without their price.”

He rose and left, looking for the hay cart outside. When he found it, he hid inside. The driver was not far behind. Sylas smirked as he listened to him speak to someone else. There was fear in his voice, and Sylas knew at once that the driver would run his mouth, eager to tell anyone who would listen of this terrible creature in the bogloch. A bit of theatrics, a portion of truth, and just a twist of the words, Sylas thought, works every time.

 


Dangerous Liaisons

Today I have a book from author Sarah Stuart and what’s so special about this book – well people you can download it free today. The promotion is due to run out soon so grab your copy from Amazon now.

 

Dangerous Liaisons opens when Lizzie inherits a Book of Hours originally owned by Margaret Tudor, James IV of Scotland’s queen. She used it, as people often did in the sixteenth century, as a diary. The queen’s influence on her descendants, her own daughter and granddaughter, and in the twenty-first century, Lizzie, and her daughter Lisette, is the thread that ties the story together.

One reviewer went on:

A real eye-opener into the world of behind-the-scenes London theatre. Poor boy may meet rich girl, but this is no Cinderella story. The determination to succeed is what drives the plot, and the heartbreaking backlash of success is what makes the characters compellingly human. Temptation, loyalty and betrayal…

Another included this:

The truth of who they are and what they do relies on how the dark past kisses the bright future of the theater in Britain and American Broadway… liaisons through love can prove dangerous at any level.

An excerpt, with the kind permission of Amazon, follows:

‘please.’

Who was he to plead conscience, or take the moral high ground? He scarcely knew her he’d spent so much time away from her. He was making excuses for the inexcusable. ‘No.’

Lisette shook his hand from her hair. ‘Leave me scared… stay tired… let Clement down. Concert tours will keep you living in luxury, superstar.’

God, she knew how to hurt, but the tigress was a thousand times more attractive than the supplicant. He pulled her onto the bed and silenced her with kisses… mouth… eyes… ears… neck… When he reached her breasts he tasted blood. Lisette closed her eyes. Tyrone, or someone before him, had been rough, and she feared it now.

‘Lis, a man who loves you won’t hurt you. I was confused, and I behaved the way V… she liked.’ This time he wasn’t using an excuse: he was stating a fact. ‘I’m not confused now.’

Soft breath caressed his cheek but he almost missed the whisper. ‘Do you love me?’

Denying it would frighten her, achieve nothing, and be a lie. He’d loved her from the moment…

 

If you want to know more you can download Dangerous Liaisons for free now, or anytime before midnight PST on Sunday, 5th October from:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M9CU1Z6


Presence (Phillip Brunn Stories Book 1)

Let’s start the week with an interview from B D Fiala who is talking all about Presence, the first book in his Phillip Brunn series.

You write a series of short stories about Psychologist Phillip Brunn, can you tell us a bit about Phillip and the type of man he is?

Phillip is basically a lost soul. He is still trying to cope with the fact that he lost his job and his marriage, even though it happened almost two years before the story begins. He is doing what a lot of people do when they can’t deal with reality; they look for refuge in drinking and that’s what Phillip does as well.

Phillip encounters a ghost in your first story Presence, how does this affect Phillip?

It scares him, but he tries not to think about it as he keeps thinking about his past more than about his present. This ghost is not the first he encountered and it reminds him of tragic events that happened couple years before the story begins, but they are not completely revealed to us and we learn about them as the story progresses. He doesn’t seem to understand what exactly is going on and even though he is skeptical about ghosts, he feels that there is something there and that there is something strange going on.

Where is your story set, what is the feel of the location?

Story goes on mostly in England and also some other parts of Europe like Prague (some parts have not yet appeared in the published material). It goes on in everyday environment, there are no old abandoned houses or anything cliché like that. Everyday homes by everyday people who for some reason encounter the unexpected and disturbing events and Phillip ends up looking for explanations.

Are there any other characters in the story that are important to Phillip and can you tell us about them?

There is Lisa. That would be Phillip’s ex-wife and probably the only important person to him even though his agent and his assistant seem to care about him since they regularly take care of him and help him get out of trouble. Lisa is special for Phillip, she is the love of his life and she is gone, out of his life for good. Phillip has a hard time accepting that.

Presence is a short story rather than a full length novel, why did you write it this way and what do you think makes it better than reading a full length novel about Phillip Brunn?

There are two reasons. Number one is that I am an impatient person and since I decided, after a few years of preparation, to finally start writing and publishing stories online, I simply could not make myself wait until I finish a full length novel. Writing a short story each month and publishing it right away seemed like a better idea. Also, the reader gets to read a part of the story (depending which part he stumbles on over the internet) and he has a chance to decide whether to read the rest or not. I guess I’m saving money for someone who decides to give it a go but then realizes the story is not for him, so he doesn’t have to pay $5 for a novel, but instead pays $0.99 for a part of the story.

Do you ever plan to write a full length novel, featuring Phillip Brunn?

So far I have five stories planned and I intend to finish them. It’s possible that there will be additional stories in the future, so a novel is a possibility as well.

Outbreak is book 2 of your Phillip Brunn series, where he is encountering more ghosts – without giving any spoilers how has Phillip changed in this later novel?

Outbreak is setting up the rest of the story. There’s less ghost action perhaps and more meeting some new characters and starting certain subplots. Phillip realizes that being a paranormal investigator is a job that he has to do in order to make a living. He doesn’t really change his opinion, but he accepts the situation he is in.

What is your favourite part of the series so far (feel free to use a snippet)?

I like the general idea that was the basis for the series. The ideas is that I am trying to find a different answer to the most common question every man asks himself: ‘’What happens after death (if anything)?’’. Even though I’d describe myself as agnostic atheist, I am proposing an idea of an afterlife that people might find intriguing. I find it intriguing, but I don’t want to say anything more, just read it and wait for it to develop.

There are five books due in the Phillip Brunn series, when is the next book out?

The idea is to publish a book a month. ‘’Presence’’ came out in August, ‘’Outbreak’’ in September, so the new book named ‘’Voice’’ is coming out in October. ”Frequency” will follow in November and the grand finale ”Collision” is due around Christmas.

And finally, after Phillip Brunn what is next for B D Fiala?

I am writing a Sci-fi novel that goes on in the future, on a colonized Earth like planet. It’s called ‘’Brand New Earth’’ and it’s a story about a small tribe that is trying to survive deep in the woods, as far away from other people and Earth’s old technologies as possible. Of course, things are never that simple, and people are more or less always driven by the same needs, a need for love and a need for power and consequently end up fighting wars and suffering because of it.

I am also developing ideas for three different novellas, writing poems and trying to find someone who would like to draw a comic based on some of my crazy ideas, so if someone happens to be reading this and wants to collaborate, look me up as I’d be glad to hear from you. I am open to different genres, but I would like to work with someone who draws fast since ideas seem to be coming to me on a daily basis.

All in all, I’ve got a lot of creative work in front of me that I’m looking forward to.

In the end, I wish to thank you for this interview and wish you luck with your web page!

You can pick up the first and second book of the series here: http://www.amazon.com/Presence-Phillip-Brunn-Stories-Book-ebook/dp/B00MHYJHE2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1407473449&sr=8-2&keywords=b.d.fiala

Or add the books to your Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8440690.B_D_Fiala

 


The City of the Mirage

It’s the end of the weekend and today we’re featuring author Jerome Brooke who has kindly taken the time to answer some questions about his book The City of the Mirage.

 

 

I think with any fantasy novel setting is always important. Can you describe to us your world and the influences you have had in creating such a place?

My Dark Empire of Astarte is set in the Multiverse. We live in a Cosmos that is one among many. Over the eons our children will sail to the stars and seed them with life. Astarte is one of the last born on our world, Sol III. She is the Great Queen, and is worshiped as a goddess in her realm.
We sometimes speculate that our reality is only one plane of existence – a cosmic cluster of galaxies. We also ask – where is everyone? A civilization should expand and fill the galaxy. Are we the very first, with a cosmic destiny?

What type of character is Astarte?

I wanted someone who was unlike the usual hero armed with a sword, with our own conceptions of right and wrong. She can be cruel, a “Dark Lord.” Her story is a Dark Fantasy. She has lived for eons, and seeks mortal lovers to amuse her. That is, she seeks to find a warrior to make her life interesting for a time. She needs a hero to fight and conquer for her entertainment.

The Conqueror is an ally to Astarte what is their relationship like?

The Immortal Astarte is a really Older Woman. The Conqueror is repelled by her savagery. However, she is powerful, and passionate. She gives him fine garments to wear, and delights to see him triumph in battle.

She is proud of her lover, and delights in war as a way to excite her, and as a cure for boredom.

A lot of people are put off by huge fantasy books, but The City of the Mirage is quite short for an epic fantasy – is it still packed full of adventure (and can you tell us some of the things that happen).

The hero is one of an Archetype. His adventures are akin to those of Beowulf. He leads her army into battle, and displays the valor expected of a hero. He also is handsome, and women respond to his valor and battle scars in an atavistic fashion (an instinct?).

The novel appeared as a serial in a magazine. Each chapter can be read as a separate, like the Conan or Sherlock Holmes tales. There were at one time long and short versions, and it all depends of what publishers will like and buy.

Astarte is obviously a name taken from Greek mythology, are there other Greek influences?

In the Empire, people wear garments like those of the classical world. These are tunics and capes, and loincloths. The weapons and armor are also taken from the eras of Rome and Sparta, and the Teutonic tribes. I imagine the same for the Conan and Gor series.

Are there any films or books that you would say are similar to The City of the Mirage?

I use the Conan and Gor books as a model. The Conan stories can be read alone, but share the same age and world. They have elements of a novel or saga. The same is true for the many books and stories of the Dark Empire of Astarte series, and also my other related series.

What is your favourite part of the story?

The final battle to serve Astarte is one I like. The enemy lord is beheaded, and his head is placed on a pike. The lips of the man still move, as if animated by an otherworldly vitality.

The City of the Mirage is part of a series called The Dark Empire of Astarte Collection, how many books are in this series and how many (include titles) are available to readers.

Under various pen names I have hundreds of books, stories, poetry chaps, collections and anthologies. The F&SF is mostly under the Jerome Brooke byline. There are 15 books on Amazon in the series (search under Brooke Dark Empire). However, there are related spin offs and related books and series.

How big is this series going to be and where do you hope to go with it?

I like the universe I have created for Astarte, and I issue new editions or revised versions as time permits. However, I am working on new unrelated series – series that are much more popular. So, the adventures of Astarte may or may not continue.

What about Jerome Brooke – after The Dark Empire what’s next for you?

I am writing the newer Kitti Katzz series, a series of sexy stories that are much more popular with readers than my F&SF. For example, I have recently put out a collection of “Sister Wives” books written as Kitti Katzz. Another resent series is my “Ladyboy and Her Girlfriend” books. Other like sets are ones that focus on Boss Ladies, Fantasy Maids, Uncensored Case Sexology Studies and so forth.

Another related series are the “Sister Severa” and “Mother Superior” series written as Juliet Baranne. Still another recent series is my Voodoo books of paranormal genre written as Joan Barron.

I am able to write the Kitti Katzz books quickly, and they are usually more popular among readers than the F&SF. However, The F&SF has some appeal to some readers, so I may do more if time permits. I live in Thailand, and have a family here. These are unsettled times, in this Kingdom of Siam.

 

You can download this book here from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/City-Mirage-Empire-Astarte-Collection-ebook/dp/B00JEVEDS6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411169996&sr=8-1&keywords=city+jerome+brooke

And read more from Jerome Brooke: http://runesofthebard.wordpress.com/