Tag Archives: series

The Breaking of Bonds

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Synopsis

A human sacrifice throws vampires of two worlds, trueborn and baseborn, into an escalating conflict. One side pushes for revenge, the other for freedom. The trueborns stubbornly hunt for Anthony and Louis, pushed by Hesrah’s desire to avenge her human best friend, Alexa. The baseborns are divided between rallying with those challenging the rule of Ankhsis and obeying the trueborns.

breakingbonds_promo

What emerges from the portal between Earth and Ankhsis in the middle of the turmoil rocking both worlds is more dead than alive. Neither human, nor baseborn, and certainly not trueborn. This new being will either damn them all or be their race’s most powerful weapon. Will they trust it not to destroy them, or will Ankhsis decide putting it down is the only solution?

In the end, who is guilty? Who will pay? Will anyone survive its wrath?

Book Trailer

Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y4P5C5U

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00Y4P5C5U

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00Y4P5C5U

Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00Y4P5C5U

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-breaking-of-bonds-alina-popescu/1122051367?ean=2940151945226

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thebreakingofbonds-1814960-140.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/546554

Make sure you read book one of the series before enjoying book two!

The Edge of Hope – Bad Blood Trilogy, Book 1

badblood cover blog promoEveryone she loved betrayed her. She felt lost and broken. Getting away from the pain and embracing a new path, Alexa decided to leave her old life behind and chase a long forgotten dream in Malta. There she met a gorgeous man, bearing the scent of fresh love. He led her to a new city to explore, Amsterdam. Is the tall, dark, and delicious man a dream come true or just a risky gamble?

Alexa chose hope and new beginnings over fear and warning signs only to be brutally dragged into a world she never really thought existed. Vampires, their feuds, and her future held tightly in their hands.

Trapped in a mysterious world, Alexa gives love chance after chance. Following her quest of self-discovery in a blood bound world, will she survive the journey?

Take advantage of the sale for The Edge of Hope – $0.99 everywhere

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JEBJXDQ

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00JEBJXDQ

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00JEBJXDQ

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-edge-of-hope-alina-popescu/1119064391?ean=9781497436305

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theedgeofhope-1472664-143.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/424918

Excerpt

Seth

Her room felt so familiar, even in the twilight. He knew every detail, every piece of the shabby décor, her scent and her books and the careless mess that reigned it. Hesrah hadn’t changed a bit. As her steps brought her closer, he slipped out the window and up the old oak guarding it.

She walked in, looking worn out. He wasn’t surprised, not with the stress of the past week and the ruthless workout she had submitted herself to. She looked pale and worried and she reached out to the glass of water without even looking at it. She drank it all and lay down on the bed, probably thinking it would just be for a minute, a little rest before going to the portal. But she wouldn’t wake up till morning; the tasteless drops from Magnus would take care of that.

“Sleep, little sister! I’ll watch over the portal tonight,” he whispered, smiling down on her. Someone had to take care of her, and their mother was failing miserably. Hesrah did not know how to deal with her own emotions. When she was faced with pain or fear or worse, lack of control over a situation, she’d retreat into pushing her body over any reasonable limit and pretend things were fine.

She was doing it now, obsessing over shifts to watch the portals, her human friend and those who had betrayed her. He knew what hurt her most, apart from her friend’s fate being anyone’s guess, it was that Louis character having deceived her. She hardly ever made friends, and when she did, she put too much of her heart in it.

“I so miss you,” he said softly, the corners of his mouth dropping and twisting his smile into a frown.

Seth had just made it to the portal when it flared up. Nothing happened for several minutes, but it wouldn’t close down. He took a few steps back, thinking he might be what kept it active, but it was something else altogether. He kept waiting for a few more minutes and just when he thought nothing else would happen, a body got thrown out so viciously it landed fifty feet away.

About the author

Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and even won awards in local competitions. She has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm, which explains her deep love for vampires and is also to blame for this trilogy.

Social Links

Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authoralinapopescu

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alina_popescu

Instagram: http://instagram.com/alinapopescuwriter

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/alina-popescu

Google+:  https://www.google.com/+AlinaPopescu

Amazon:  http://amazon.com/author/alinapopescu

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‘The Trouble with Wyrms’ Trilogy

From today until 19th of this month you can get all three of Mike Williams’ books for half price. What are you waiting for? Oh some blurbs… coming right up:

 

England in 1912 – suspicious of war and of Germany in particular, not the best of times for a group of women to appear in tweeds and sensible shoes, looking for all the world like Valkyries out for a picnic.

Mistaken for spies and suffragettes in equal measure, these charming ladies have arrived from a distant planet a little to the left and slightly to the right of the buckle on Orion’s belt. They have one purpose in mind, to find the Stately Wyrms of England and defeat the evil usurper of the Throne of Wyrm, the sorcerer Tarantulus Spleen – a terrifying tyrant of a man with a face like a bluebottle.

Vermyn Stench, the head of Spleen’s Secret Service, has tracked the Sisterhood to the quiet Derbyshire village of Sodden-On-The-Bog and has sent his army of rats in pursuit. Rats, big rats, bloody big rats – rats that could go through your undercarriage like a doctor’s thermometer. Rats with bowler hats and shot guns and a hatred of anything tweed – rats that appear suddenly from nowhere, take over your pub and throw the landlord out the window. Add to this mix a touch of witchcraft, a whiff of perfume, strange snoring noises coming from deep below the village square and a member of parliament taken to shaving off his moustache, wearing dresses and entertaining the military, only then will you realize why the entire village is better off at the bottom of a reservoir than a place on the map marked ‘Here be Germs.’

Lavender and Haddock – the first in a trilogy of books recounting the quest of a group of women all named after fish to find peace, enlightenment and the Stately Wyrms of England.

Grubdale, in the year 1912 – a quaint Victorian town nestled among the sheep and turnips of Northern England, boasting a Regiment of Rifles, Zoological Gardens and the most expensive, grandest of hotels this side of Blackpool. But all is not as it seems, The Alpine Palace is overflowing with German spies and the Regiment of Rifles overflowing with incompetence. The latest addition to the Zoological Gardens is eating its way through the rest of the exhibits and despite being billed by Professor Arbutus Broadbent as an Indian Giraffe, breathes fire when it sneezes, hates being covered in yellow paint and is demanding to be called ‘Your Majesty’ when spoken to. But all this is nothing as to the goings on up the hill in Grubdale Towers; a school for boys where a bad tin of sardines has created a vacancy on the staff that Rowena Carp is none too eager to fill. While the rest of the Sisterhood continue their search for the Stately Wyrms of England, Rowena must guard the last prince of Wyrm and teach ‘explosions’ to ‘horrid little boys’ unaware that with the capture of Bethesda Chubb by the enemy, Operation Big Secret may be secret no more. EDUCATING CREATURES – the second book in the ‘Trouble with Wyrms’ trilogy; the sequel to LAVENDER AND HADDOCK – the adventure continues…..

Grubdale in the year 1912, and with the cold winter wind comes a cold winter creature with eyes as dead as a three-day-old herring. He’s brought a few friends along for good measure – the dead and the dripping out for a stroll of an evening and all intent on attacking Grubdale Towers, a school for boys that is more Dotheboys Hall than Manchester Grammar. Bringing up the rear is the late night train from Frogwallop stuffed to the funnels with giant, trigger-happy rats; rats with weak bladders, terrible teeth and a hatred of anything tweed. Add to this confusion a less than brilliant Captain Dashing of the 1st Grubdale Rifles with orders to arrest any suffragette on sight, a giant blue dragon with a touch of the vapours being the wrong month of the millennium and the hapless Rowena Carp given orders to guard a spotty adolescent prince with more issues than a cockney soap. THE ALLURE OF THE RED WYRM – the final part of the ‘Trouble with Wyrms’ trilogy; the sequel to EDUCATING CREATURES – the adventure continues…..

 

Download all three books for half price today from Amazon


Harvest

The first ever book I published was a book called Dark Waters, this was a mammoth epic fantasy that eventually got split into three books. It feels like a life time has past since I published these stories and do you know what I really do miss these characters. So today I am going to introduce you to my debut novel Harvest (Book 1 of the Dark Waters Series).

“Line up the prisoners!” Hastings shouted.

Wey again gave Batty a warning look to comply. The Virgin Queen’s crew huddled together and were pushed into a line across the deck. The youngest was forced to sit by his dead mate and sobbed uncontrollably. Finn and Wey kneeled beside each other, their hands tied tightly behind their backs. Wey spotted Thorin waiting beneath the ship’s netting. Only his glowing eyes visible.

Hastings strode up the deck, his eyes were bloodshot and his nose had started to ooze red liquid again.

“We know you are harbouring criminals on this boat Captain!” He yelled. “If you tell us where they are I will let you and your crew live.” That was a lie and nobody believed it.

Batty thrust his head back and said steadily: “This is a cargo vessel, we are heading for Helena under the contract of the Westwick Brewery. Feel free to search for any stowaways but I assure you I can vouch for every one of my crew’s honesty and integrity. We are all law abiding, tax paying, sea folk Officer.”

Hastings began to laugh, “Search the ship!”

One of his officers remained, manoeuvring himself behind the captured crew. He was smiling insanely.

“I ask you again Captain.”

Wey spotted a figure on the navy ship. She was dressed in a uniform and appeared on deck for just a second, before disappearing below. Wey suppressed a smile. Finn had spotted her too and couldn’t believe the Officers seemed oblivious to her arrival.

“She’ll be safe for the minute,” Wey whispered.

“Captain!” Hastings screeched in a voice that sounded as though his vocal cords were shredding inside his throat.

“This is a cargo vessel, we are heading for Helena…”

A shot was fired. The young lad stopped sobbing as his body joined Mr James. Their blood mingled together, seeping into the deck like wood stain. Finn was sure the other men would cave now. He wanted them to speak up and save themselves. The responsibility had never been theirs and now they would die helping!

“Captain tell me where Mr Wey is!”

Wey’s ears pricked up. They were after him personally. He tried to stop his frown, tried to organise he thoughts. He stared at the navy ship, at the girl he had just handed over to them and he knew he had been betrayed.

“Balor,” he hissed through gritted teeth.

The barrel of a freshly loaded gun pressed against the back of his neck. He was about to speak, when his words were stolen from him.

“I’m Wey!” Finn shouted boldly.

They moved unnaturally fast, hauling Finn up and dragging him over to the main mast. Tying him to it, they slashed his shirt, and viciously flogged him before Wey could react. This was wrong, this was all wrong. Finn ignored the questions being yelled at him: Where are the others? Where is the girl? He ignored the pain and began his mantras.

“Batty,” Wey whispered desperately, “These are not real soldiers.”

Batty was in a catatonic state. He heard Wey’s words and he looked up at the soldiers ransacking his ship. He glanced over at his crew and knew that they were all going to be murdered. One girl had brought about their downfall. He smiled; there were no regrets.

Batty pulled himself up, eight of his crew, eight ordinary sailors, followed. They stared the armed soldiers in the face and, hands tied behind their backs, they attacked.

Wey dragged himself up and cut his hands loose from the cutlass of one of the fallen soldiers. He stabbed the officer flogging Finn, who collapsed to the floor, unable to stand. Wey unbound his hands and he fell free of the mast.

“Why did you do that you stupid bastard?” Wey yelled shaking him conscious.

“Get Adiah. Protect her, please, Wey,” Finn said pushing him away.

“Thorin!” Wey yelled, “Guard that boy with your life,” he said before leaping across to the navy ship.

The soldiers were untrained beasts descending on the sailors. They tore, bit, stabbed and ripped at the sailor’s bodies. The sailors had nothing to lose. They withstood everything and fought back with the weapons of the fallen. They could not win, but they could hold out and as the rain plummeted down on to the blood soaked ship they knew they had another fighting their cause.

The sea picked up quickly, separating the two boats. Uncoordinated soldiers charged at the gap between the ships, many being crushed under the rising waves. A wave hit the navy ship while the wind anchored its unmanned sails and it began to capsize under the storm. Wey stumbled across the deck, attacking the small force that confronted him. He cut through each of them, taking small wounds from each battle. With both ships unmanned they collided, the Virgin Queen began to take on water.

Wey hurried through the enemy ship. Soldiers tried to cling onto the boat as the waves crashed over them. Lightening struck the sky. Wey skidded below deck. He clambered through the mess below, wanting to call out and being concerned about drawing the wrong attention. There were so many places to hide. The ship struck another wave. Lightening flashed again and Wey could smell fire nearby. He hurried, being thrown into walls and barrels.

*

When the boat overturned she knew she was in trouble. Balor had told her she was to lay low on deck until the search was over. He said to watch the boats and wait until the soldiers started to return, then jump ship and wait for them to find her. It seemed impossible at the time and more so now. She hid from the soldiers, instead of blending in, unnoticed. Now she was lost. Memories swamped her, forcing her to stop and panic. She’d watched half her crew being murdered by him; the ogre, and she was powerless.

Someone was down in the brig with her!

*

Wey felt the plank of wood hit the back of his head. He stumbled but maintained his consciousness. Pulling himself up he quickly turned to catch the plank.

“If you keep hitting me I’m going to stop saving you,” he growled.

She dropped the wood, unsure of whether seeing Wey was a blessing or not.

“Where’s Finn?”

“Being a hero,” Wey answered distastefully. “You can swim right?”

She scowled.

 

This story is available to download 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.

 


Safe Haven

Safe Haven is a story set before The Running Game. I wrote the story after I published The Running Game as a sort of companion piece, but it is also a great introduction to the feel of the series. This story is available for free from most online retailers including Amazon so if you like what you read please give the full story a go – I promise you won’t be disappointed. And don’t forget you can leave comments and feedback at the bottom of the page.

 

The world was white. So white the dark night couldn’t penetrate the layers of snow suffocating the surrounding forest. Each breath Isobel managed to push out crystallised in the air around her small mouth, sparkling under the moonlight. She pushed forward, the snow swallowing her legs to the knees in hungry gulps. Her hands and feet were numb but her thighs burned furiously with each agonising step.

It was late and she was so very tired. The last night was spent in the back of their Landrover, fighting for space on the backseat with her little sister while their Dad kept watch. It had been a cold, broken night, but Isobel would give anything to be back there now. Anything not to be walking through Red Forest in the middle of December.

She sniffed and looked behind her. Rachel was only six, three years younger than Isobel but at that moment it felt like there was a lifetime between them. Rachel didn’t understand why they were in the middle of the wilderness. She had no idea why they had to leave their mother. She had slept through their uncle running into the cottage, screaming that the army was coming. She had no idea of the danger they were in. Isobel stared at her sister as she struggled in the snow and envied every tiny, oblivious step she took.

Rachel fell and started to cry. She was sobbing for their mum, looking around the expanse of nothing for her. But Isobel knew they would never see their mother again. She took a strong heavy breath, close to tears herself. She wanted to move to help her sister but her legs refused to go back, not after the effort they had put into going forwards.

Instead she called out. “Dad!”

He was ahead of them, scoping out the safety of the forest. When he saw Rachel he hurried back, covering the ground in five easy strides. Despite the cold and fatigue Isobel broke a smile. Her father was the greatest man, he could still do anything in her eyes. Despite the snow sticking to his beard, the creases in his weather worn face, he was still her hero. He lifted Rachel effortlessly into his large arms, brushing the snow from her hair. And that’s when the gunfire started.

“Run! Isobel run!” He screamed.

He grabbed her coat as he ran past, but she stayed, looking through the trees at the erupting lights, as though the night sky had sunk to the earth.

“Isobel!” Her father shouted and she came to her senses.

They were coming! She started to run. Her feet leapt into her father’s footsteps, following his shadow as he weaved through the trees. The foliage became denser, the snow thinner. She found her feet striking firming soil, frozen dirt and icy puddles. She leapt over a ditch and her father caught her. His hand pulled her close and they huddled together into a dug out burrow off the path.

“We need to work together,” he whispered, so softly Isobel thought she was imagining them. “We’re not here,” he told them both. “Say it with me girls. We’re not here.”

Isobel closed her eyes, sinking into the warmth of her father’s wax coat. She reached for her sister’s hand and concentrated. “We’re not here,” she repeated. “We’re not here.” Over and over she focussed on the words, hearing the echo in the baritone voice of her father and the small squeak of her sister.

Time started to twist, the cold subsided and she felt herself floating against the body of her father. The explosions around her, the shouting, the danger, all started to melt away. But the power running over her wasn’t hers, it didn’t even belong to her father. The dominant voice inside her head became her sister’s, small and yet entirely commanding. She focused on it, echoing it as best she could and then she felt herself merge into nothing.

How long had they stayed like that? Isobel had no idea, but when her father broke free of their spell the militia had gone, leaving a stunned silence in their wake. The surrounding trees were torn apart with gunshot. Pieces of bark and bullet shells scattered the ground around them. It had been ferocious whatever had come their way.

“Daddy,” Rachel asked sleepily. “What’s going on?”

Isobel waited. She’d asked the question herself the night before, but she was sure her father wasn’t about to repeat his answer. How could he tell a six year old the truth? That they were caught in the middle of a civil war, insurgents and militia intent on claiming land that never belonged to them? How could he explain to her that these men didn’t care who got caught in the crossfire? That this wasn’t a fight for freedom, or liberty or any sense of lost righteousness? That this was about control and power? How could he tell his youngest daughter that she had never been in more danger, because if they found out what she was, what all three of them were, both sides would lock them away and do all kinds of experiments on them?

“We’re playing a game,” he said, stroking his younger daughter’s hair, while at the same time squeezing Isobel’s hand. “It’s called the Running Game. We have to run and hide, concentrate on not getting caught. Wherever we go, whatever we do we keep moving, counting the exits, planning our escape routes so nobody can ever find us.”

“It sounds like a stupid game,” Rachel said.

Their dad laughed softly. “It does, but you get a prize if you play it well.”

“What prize?”

“You get to live Rachel. You get to grow up, to keep running. You have to keep running baby. Always be ready to run because they’ll always be coming for you. Whatever happens, they’ll always be coming for you.”

“When will they stop Dad?” Isobel asked.

Her father held Rachel close, as though he were protecting her from the next confession.

“They’ll never stop,” he said. “Right now we need to rest. The secret to winning the game is knowing when to run and when to wait. You’re tired. You’ve done so well today. Try to sleep now, we’ll try to get out of the forest in a few hours.”

Rachel was asleep in moments and Isobel had a suspicion her father had put her to sleep using his powers. She snored quietly, looking almost peaceful.

“There’s a lot of ground to cover,” he said to Isobel. “We’re going to make our way south, to S’aven. There’s a man there. A priest called Father Darcy. He’s an old friend. We can trust him. He’ll help hide us until all this is over.”

Isobel nodded, understanding these were instructions, not reassurances. She rolled the name in her head; Father Darcy. She had to remember it.

“Your sister, her powers…” he shook his head and sighed. “If they find her it will be bad for all Reachers.” He turned to her, his eyes warming. “If they find either of you, it will be bad honey. You’re so young, this isn’t the life I wanted for you. You need to be strong now sweetheart, you need to look after your sister. I wouldn’t trust her to anyone else.” He pushed the hair from her face. “My beautiful girl, look at you, you’re so grown up already. You make me and your mum so proud.”

She felt a lump swell in her throat.

“Whatever happens you look after your sister. Can you do that Isobel?”

Her father was a good man and she would have done anything to make him happy. She stared into his dark blue eyes and the look he gave her betrayed everything that was about to come – his death, their journey, her future.

“Can you do that Isobel?”

Would he have asked if he had honestly known what it would mean – what she would do to keep her sister safe?

“Isobel?”

 

This book is available to download for FREE. Get it from Amazon Smashwords or Kobo 

And you can add your book and others in the Reacher series to your Goodreads


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

 


Clash of the Clans

Today we’ve got an exciting post, not only is there an exclusive extract but also a GIVEAWAY! So please give a warm welcome to martial arts author L Benitez and check out all the details about her book Clash of the Clans below ….

Greetings! Or as one might say in Japan, Konnichiwa!

My name is L. Benitez and I’m a self-published author of the Martial Arts fantasy Shinobi 7 Series. I have one book out called Shinobi 7: Trials of a Warrior, the first book of my ongoing series. However, today I’m here to discuss my newest release, Clash of the Clans, Shinobi 7’s very own companion book!

Clash of the Clans is not the official sequel to Trials of a Warrior, it’s a short story involving the characters from the Shinobi 7 universe. For those of you who have read Trials of Warrior, this is a nice bonus to get you excited for the official sequel/second installment. For those of you who have not read Trials of a Warrior, Clash of the Clans will give you a solid sample of my writing and peak your interest for each of the characters.

As read in Shinobi 7: Trials of a Warrior, the evil shinobi clan known as Blackthorn has started a war in the world known as Shaaku Den. The only warriors left to defend the innocent people are the Kitsune Clan, where the members of Sector 7 are introduced. Sector 7 must not only train to be soldiers, but they must grow together as a team and learn to rely on each other through the times of battle.

In this companion novel, there is no war in Shaaku Den, and the Blackthorn Clan was never formed. Therefore, all thirteen ancient shinobi clans are still around and the pressure of battle doesn’t weigh on the students of the Kitsune Clan. However, peace and harmony isn’t awaiting the six members of Sector 7… misadventures lie ahead!

I’m a Martial Artist myself and an active participator of Shotokan Karate. I’ve been in many tournaments. This book is about the nerves of competition and overcoming them, the pressures you place on yourself to perform, and the support that can come from your friends and teammates. It’s not about being the best, it’s about trying your best and having fun!

Here’s an exclusive excerpt from Clash of the Clans. The current point of view is from Tabitha Meko, one of the young girls and main characters in the story. Please enjoy!

You can enter the giveaway to get a copy of the book here:

https://www.facebook.com/shinobi7series/app_228910107186452

We arrived at the Black-Sho Clan early the next morning. Akira stayed true to her word and returned to our camp at five in the morning. She merely said, “Let’s go,” before we took off again. Today wasn’t like yesterday, our team wasn’t rushed to travel. Akira probably wanted the six of us to conserve our energy, that or the school wasn’t too much farther from us.

The forests of Viper Country began to get thinner and thinner as we walked. It was only an hour before I saw the outline of a building off in the distance. It was still far away because the building looked like the size of my thumb. I’ve still got a long way to walk.

Therefore, I chose to walk next to Kuroi. It wasn’t for the sake of his company! I walked next to him to try and get information out of him. My team leader has been at the Kitsune Clan for three years and for two of them he was all by himself. He knows a lot about the shinobi clans, even if he chooses to be a jerk about it and refuse to clue his team in.

“Getting awfully close there, Meko-Chan. Hoping my badass skills will rub off on you?” I purposely gagged after hearing Kuroi’s comment. “You wish!” I exclaimed.

He smirked at me. Smirks from Kuroi Kaze weren’t nice, they were always intended to be taunting.

“So why walk so close to me, then?” he asked me.

Dang it, Kuroi caught onto my plan. “I’m just walking,” I replied.

“So go walk next to your gal-pal, Yami-San.” Kuroi often teased Yami about how sensitive he was and constantly told him to “be a man.”

“Quit being a jerk. I just wanna ask you more about Battle Month.” There, the truth finally came out of me.

Kuroi gave a short snarl. “I shoulda guessed that you or Yami-San would come bother me about that. It’s not like I’m some expert or whatever, I’ve only been to a Battle Month once.”

“Really? You’ve been there once before?” I asked with enthusiasm. My eyes instantly glued to Kuroi, I wanted to hear what he had to say more than ever.

He nodded. “Yeah. Once. Three months after I arrived at the clan.”

Back when Kuroi had his old teammates, I thought to myself. A red flag went off in my mind. Kuroi never talks about the old Sector 7, never. I need to be careful and not ask him about that.

“Which clan was it?” I asked him. I lost a peg of previous enthusiasm.

Kuroi furrowed his thick eyebrows, anger making its way into his face. “This one,” he growled, “the Black-Sho Clan.” Uh-oh.

I turned my head around to the front of me. We were almost at the building! A moment ago the place was miles and miles off, now it’s almost in my face. What in Shaaku Den? I thought.

Kuroi saw my look of perplexity. “It’s called an illusion, Meko-Chan,” he told my dryly.

The Black-Sho Clan was all indoors with an infrastructure made of creamy marble. The building was shaped like a large rectangle but it was hard to tell because of how big the place is compared to how small I am as a human. The open doors were almost as tall as the ceiling, which ascended above us by two stories. We stepped through the threshold and into the clan.

“Wow,” Cassie and I awed simultaneously.

The ceiling was made out of glass and the view of the bright blue skies was overhead. The floors were a simple concrete. On the outside wall of the clan, it was creamy marble that covered the building. Once I walked inside, the walls were a shiny black marble that gleamed and glistened brightly. That’s so cool!

My awe didn’t last long. I paid attention to what was in the room versus the room itself. There was plenty of open space around us and the room was already crowded with hundreds and hundreds of people. All these people… they’re all shinobis… oh spirits!

You can enter the giveaway to get a copy of the book here:

https://www.facebook.com/shinobi7series/app_228910107186452

But if you can’t wait, or are naturally unlucky order your copy of the short story Clash of the Clans on Amazon.com when it releases September 20th!

http://www.amazon.com/L.-Benitez/e/B00K1JBRH0/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

And you can add the book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7077413.L_Benitez

And don’t forget to like L Benitez’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shinobi7series


The Running Game

I’ve been promoting authors for the past three weeks and – well you might have already seen – I also write books. This week one of my own stories is reduced to $0.99/£0.99 so I thought today I would shove the other authors out of the way and bring you an extract of my book The Running Game and don’t forget your comments are encouraged and welcome.

 

 

Five past eleven. Rachel’s shift should have finished three hours ago. She slammed her time-card into the machine. Nothing. She gave it a kick, then another until it released, punching her card and signing her out for the night. The hospital locker room was unusually quiet. There was a nurse signing out for the night, two doctors signing in. Nobody spoke to each other – it wasn’t that kind of place. Grabbing her threadbare coat from her locker, she drew it over her scrubs – the only barrier between her and the unforgiving October night. She walked through the ER waiting room, eyes fixed on the exit. You had to ignore the desperation. Three hours over a twelve hour shift, you had no choice but to pretend like you didn’t care. Push past the mothers offering up their sick children like you could just lay your hands on them and everything would be better. Push past the factory workers bleeding out on the floor. Push that door open and get out. Get home. You had to. In six hours the whole thing would start again.

The first blast of cold air slapped the life into her aching body. The second blast nearly pushed her back inside. She tightened the coat around herself, for the good it would do. November was coming, and coming fast. She quickened her pace, trying to outrun the winter.

She hurried past the skeletal remains of another fallen bank, a relic of the days when there had been an economy. Now the abandoned building housed those left to the streets; the too old, the too young, the weak, the stupid. Cops would be coming soon, moving them on, pushing them from one shadow to another until dawn or death, whichever came first. But for now they sat, huddled around burning canisters, silently soaking in the heat as though they could carry that one flame through winter. They didn’t notice Rachel. Even the really bad men lurking in the doorways, waiting for helpless things to scurry past, overlooked the young doctor as she made her way home. Nobody ever saw her. At least they never used to.

Three – two – one. Right on cue. She felt someone watching her. It was always the same place, opposite the third window of the old bank. He was hidden, not in the bank but close. So close she could almost feel his breath on the back of her neck. She’d watched muggings before, these were desperate times and people took what they could when they could. There were rapes too, five this week, at least five that had needed medical care. It was a dangerous city and getting worse. But this was different. He – and for some reason she knew it was a he – did nothing. For a week he had been there, never betraying his position or his intentions, but she could feel him and the longer he waited the more he tormented her. He knew where she lived, where she worked, the route she took to the exchange store. And he escorted her home each night without ever showing himself. It made no sense. And that made it so much worse.

She wasn’t intimidated easily, doctors in St Mary’s couldn’t be. It didn’t matter that she was only five feet tall and looked like a strong wind would knock her down, she had to take care of herself. But the stalking had spooked her. The sleepless nights followed, wondering who he was, what he wanted, if he knew.

There was nowhere for her to go in the city, no place she could hide, no escape. If she wanted to eat she had to work and he would be waiting for her outside the hospital – watching, doing nothing. She was tired of it, tired of everything, but there was something she could do. She could make it stop, one way or another. Whatever he had planned, whatever he wanted to do to her, he would have to look her in the eye as he did it, because she was done running.

She stopped walking and turned.

The street was empty. But she could still feel him there. The buildings pressed their darkness into the street and the spattering of hissing lamplights did little to expose the nocturnal danger below. There was noise, there was always noise; voices, vehicles, the persistent buzzing of the electricity struggling to reach the edges of the city. So much going on, so little to see – a perfect place to hide.

“Okay you pervert,” she whispered to herself. “Where’re you hiding?”

The road stretched back into a tightrope. Gingerly, her feet edged back towards the ruined bank. She scanned the buildings around her, the upper windows, the ground level doorways, waiting for him to pounce. One step – two step. Look. Nothing. She retraced her steps to the next building. Then the next. He felt so close – why couldn’t she see him?

“You want me, well here I am, you freak. Come and get me!”

There was a shout from the bank. Someone running. A man. Her stomach clenched. She braced herself. He pushed by her, hurrying away. It wasn’t him.

She turned confused and warm breath touched the back of her neck.

“Get down!” The world went white.

 

You can download this book for $1.66/£0.99 for this week only

http://www.amazon.com/Running-Game-Reachers-Book-ebook/dp/B00G7VJ0GG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410981330&sr=8-1&keywords=the+running+game+l+e+fitzpatrick


Inside Evil – FREE!!!

There are a lot of perks to being a book blogger and that is the great authors I get to meet and help. And today is an even better day because not only is it Saturday, but also it’s a double whammy of posts.

So up next is an exclusive interview with Geoffrey Wakeling who has been talking to me about his series Inside Evil. Here’s what he has to say and at the bottom of the page is a link to all the places you can get his awesome work for FREE!!!!!!!

 

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The Inside Evil Series is set in a secluded town on the English/Scottish border, can you tell us a little bit more about the setting of the story – is it a real place or based on a real place and what is it like to live in your town?

I love the setting – Ridgewood – I always think of it as a character in itself. As a child all my family holidays were spent either in the Lake District or the fringes of Scotland. We’d drive there, and I remember that after miles of motorway, the hills would start to soar, dry stone walls would creep in and there’d be nomadic sheep dotted across the landscape – and roads. I’d always be SO excited. The scenery held such mystery as well as a sense of foreboding. I wanted to bring this to the story and have a little town where people isolated themselves from the rest of the world, and that’s how Ridgewood came to be. So in answer to your question, it’s based on a feeling and a collection of memories rather than any one place.

 

Roberta Arlington is your lead character, can you tell us a bit more about her – what type of woman is she?

When we join the story, Roberta’s become caught in Ridgewood’s a are; she’s young and single, but seemingly quite content to remain hidden away in this forgotten town, despite being an immigrant.

She’s quite fallible, worries a lot and takes her time coming to realisations. Saying that, she’s also extremely determined to do what’s right and has an uncanny way of staying alive. In the first book, Roberta’s character is somewhat obscured by the curse, so she begins to breathe properly in the later novels.

 

There is an evil in Ridgewood, where did you get the idea for this evil?

In all honesty, I have NO idea. This is a book I started decades ago and I can’t, for the life of me, remember where the initial inspiration came from. I used to play the Sims a lot – like, obsessively – and had a website where I created stories; it’s possible I even thought of the idea for that. Either way, it’s grown more than I could have ever imagined!

 

I’ve heard this book is scary – will I get nightmares and what is that compels you to scare your readers silly?

See, to me, it’s not THAT scary! I guess it depends on your disposition. But yes, I’ve had reviews saying it’s made people’s blood run cold; which I suppose is a good thing. I think my main focus was to write something new, that hadn’t been done before. I wanted to shock people as well as surprise readers so they didn’t see what was coming.

 

You’ve got 5 books planned for the series. Do you think 5 will be enough and did you always plan to do 5 stories or have things evolved from your original plans.

Originally there were four books planned but I realised that cutting off the end of the story and having it as a fifth book made far more sense. It gave me a chance to collect my thoughts too. Writing a series is hard, especially when you’re creating parallel worlds, rules for curses and crossing between realms etc. it means all those threads need neatly tying off.

That’s not to say things didn’t evolve. They did; to a great extent. I had milestones and plot points that needed writing, but everything in between? Complete in-the-moment inspiration.

 

Without giving any spoilers to the plot can you tell us a bit about the series as a whole and what Roberta has to face throughout the five stories.

The series starts as a mystery as readers piece together what’s happening in the small town. There are several POV’s in each book, with Susan Lingly, Sam Carter and Karl Frans also taking leads.

As the books unfold, each character is sent along their own path; Roberta’s is of self-discovery and learning that whether she likes it or not, she’s the one to stop all the dramatic events unfolding. Susan, following her daughter’s death, is on a quest for answers, whilst Karl wants to rectify the past and ensure the cyclical natures of the strange deaths never happen again.

The series is set in three worlds; Earth, Gathin and the veil between. There are doppelgängers, talking creatures, potions, murders, mystery and all sorts of other dangers for the characters to face.

 

Are there any other characters that have a strong presence in the story and can you tell us a bit about them.

Yes, as mentioned, there are other POV’s too. Susan’s middle aged, runs a bookstore with ‘mad Martha’ and after discovering her daughter’s death becomes a lynch pin in solving the entire mystery. Meanwhile, Karl is a policeman who moved away from Ridgewood after he was unable to solve some prior murders. Finally, Sam is Roberta’s old university friend who’s in town writing a thesis. They all play their part in help Roberta survive. In fact, without them, I’m sure she’d have perished!

 

What do you think is the best thing about the book and in fact the series?

That it’s completely different and a mash of genres; though that doesn’t make it easy to market, I can tell you! There’s elements of horror, mystery, paranormal, fantasy and SF rolled into one; it’s a bit like marmite – people either love or hate it.

As the writer, I love it. I just wrote what was in my head and took my cast on a tumultuous journey. There’s joy and pain throughout, as well as eclectic characters you can help but love despite their flaws.

 

So you’ve obviously got to get back to book 5, but what comes next for Geoffrey Wakeling once the Inside Evil series is finished?

Yes, book 5 is almost done now. It’s with the editor, so for my part, I’ve practically said a sad goodbye. It was hard to write, frustrating at times, but everything ends up where I wanted and I’m happy to let me cast off the hook for some quiet, uneventful times.

Now I’m back to my SF Dystopian series; CRYO. I have two books out, so need to write the third and see where John and his cryonic podmates have journeyed too!

 

So here is the blurb to the first book in the Inside Evil series, also called Inside Evil:

Life in the secluded town of Ridgewood is charming, simple, safe – isn’t it? The bubble that isolates the hamlet protects, or so the eclectic residents believe. Lurking in the background of everyday life is a curse that comes in cycles and picks off the innocent as it pleases. But this time there’s something different, this time the curse wants more.

Roberta Arlington’s life changes the moment she finds one of her pupils, pale, frozen, DEAD. Her mind is filled with uncharacteristic thoughts, dreams and visions create bizarre scenes, and her blood boils as she lashes out at those she loves. Amidst her turmoil there are friends, and enemies, who come to her aid, piecing together the puzzle laid before them.

But with the ancient evil having struck down so many through the centuries, Roberta will have to muster every ounce of strength she has to survive. An entire world, a strange land, has unveiled itself. If Roberta knows one thing for sure, it’s that she alone won’t be able to escape as death comes calling…

Inside Evil 1

  Download for free:

AMAZON US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007JIH0EU/

AMAZON UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007JIH0EU/

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/inside-evil-geoff-wakeling/1110621721?ean=2940033163106

SMASHWORDS – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/141521

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Inside-Evil/book-b4J5z2f9JkGYSrspso3nCg/page1.html