Monthly Archives: November 2015

Guest Post: Linze Brandon

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*** BOOK  TOUR ***
 

It was time for the Lords of the High Council to step in when the Grandmaster of Kryane is accused of murdering his own people. They had little choice but to prevent the collapse of the whole magicians order, so they sent Michael to investigate the allegations.
The people of the desert planet were an enigma, but none more than Andesine, the healer assigned to assist Michael. Why did she report the Grandmaster? Was she involved, or was there something more sinister going on?
The more people they interrogated the more they suspected that nothing was as it seemed. Not the murders, nor the Grandmasters’ motive as everyone thought.
Unable to resist the growing attraction between them, Michael and Andesine learn that they had to trust each other with their own secrets, and risking any future they might have.
Time and again the High Lords had to step in to prevent chaos on Kryane, but time was running out for Michael and Andesine. They had to get a new Grandmaster in place before the Kryane Order collapsed completely. And they had to find the who the true culprit was.
Fortunate to escape an attack from this monster once, they were risking the lives of many others in the process. Before the High Lords could formulate a plan, Michael and Andesine were captured, leaving the High Lords helpless to prevent it.
Kidnapped and imprisoned, Andesine was confronted with the realisation that if they were to survive their ordeal, it was up to her and her long suppressed powers. But as a healer she saved lives, would she be able to destroy the monster before he forces her to unleash her power to destroy the future of mankind?

About the Author:

Teaching herself to read before she went to school, it was the start of her life long love affair with books. Trained as an engineer, Linzé has worked as an export consultant and is presently a project manager. Although she still loves to read, she also enjoys counted stitch embroidery, archery, tai chi, fly fishing, painting, her husband’s medal winning photographs and watching Manchester United play.

She counts both novels and short stories to her publishing credit. Her fourth novel, Waiting for Adrian, is planned for publication early in 2016. Her story, The Vernal Equinox, was a finalist in a sci-fi flash-fiction competition in 2015.

Linzé Brandon lives in Pretoria, South Africa, with her engineer husband and German Shepherds who are convinced that the world revolves only around them.

Follow Linzé Online:


 
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Guest Post: Dan Padavona

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Dark Vanishings series

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “I liked the book, but the movie was scarier,” I’d be a rich man.

Let me be clear about one thing. It is hard to frighten someone with the written word alone. I don’t care if your name is Ketchum, King, or Laymon. Scaring people with mere words is incredibly difficult and is only fleetingly accomplished, even by the most gifted horror writers.

The truth is that horror movies hold significant advantages over novels when it comes to delivering scares. While films, due to their brevity, cannot compete with books for character and plot depth, films take advantage of musical score, strong acting performances, camera angles, and innovative direction. And although cliche’, the horror movie can also deliver “jump scares,” momentary shock scenes – for example, the killer leaping out of the closet, or the false jump scare, where the hissing cat suddenly bounds across the set – which are almost impossible to replicate in printed form.

Yet authors have managed to frighten readers since the advent of horror fiction, and for my money, Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and Intensity by Dean Koontz are the most heart-pounding examples. But how should a writer attempt to frighten a reader?

The Slow Burn

The trend in fiction and film is to deliver action immediately, and while I don’t disagree with this methodology, I believe it is less than optimal when it comes to horror.

My horror fiction employs a slow burn, a creeping dread if you will, similar to the gradual builds of 1970’s horror films (think Black Christmas and The Exorcist). Similar pacing dates as far back as horror has existed as an art form, yet it was perfected by Alfred Hitchcock and leveraged by the classic horror films of the 1970s.

Everything begins with characterization. A book should contain characters which the reader can get behind and put emotional stock into, whether the characters are villains or heroes. The reader should believe in and care about the character. Then, when the character is put into jeopardy, the reader’s natural reaction is to become stressed. This alone isn’t enough to frighten the reader, but it’s a necessary beginning.

Read a Clive Barker or Stephen King novel, and pay particular attention to the author’s pacing during a frightening scene. In most cases, a slow burn is utilized. Nothing is rushed, and the scene is allowed to unfold gradually. When done to perfection, the horror broods and broods until the reader realizes she has been trapped and is without an escape route.

Let’s take the classic example of the monster or boogeyman hiding in the closet.

If I come right out and show you the boogeyman, I’m not likely to frighten you. Inside of a movie, I could use a cheap jump scare to get you to drop your popcorn, but in fiction I have no such advantage. In order for me to frighten you, the scene must unfold with near perfection.

For one thing, you’ll need to feel a sense of place. If the boogeyman is hiding in the closet, I haven’t done my job until I walk you from the kitchen to the bedroom and sit you upon the bed with cookie in hand. You need to feel the cookie crumbs on the bed sheets. You need to see the room – the lamplight pooling around the base of the nightstand and dying in the middle of the room, the Black Sabbath poster scotch-taped to the paint-chipped wall, the way the bed sheets and blankets covering your chest and legs won’t stretch past your neck.

And even then you won’t believe the boogeyman exists. But if I place you in that desolate room and make you hear the muffled rumble of the television through the floor, so that no matter how loud you scream, your parents won’t hear you, then I’m at least halfway home. Because once your closet door starts to creak open, and once those shadows start to spill into the bedroom like a black ocean, I need you to be that kid in the bed.

And then if I do everything right, and if I catch you in a receptive mood, I might just chill you to the bone with the written word.

Don’t Let Them Run Away

Think about how expert directors like Hitchcock paced their scenes, allowing the disquiet to simmer before the monster was unleashed. The shower scene of Psycho didn’t open with Norman Bates holding the knife. We followed Janet Leigh through the dingy motel room, watched her peel her clothes off and step into the shower, and saw from her perspective the spray cascading down. Think about how you would write this scene, if you were constructing a Psycho novelization.

Two more excellent examples are the directions of Fred Walton’s When A Stranger Calls and When A Stranger Calls Back. The pacing of the brooding horror is tortuous. You cannot help but squirm as the babysitters are unknowingly stalked by madmen. In a bad slasher movie, the opening scene to When A Stranger Calls would last a few minutes. In Fred Walton’s direction, it lasts over twenty excruciating minutes in which the viewer is trapped inside the creepy house.

The best horror authors never allow their readers to run away before the monster gets them. They lure the readers in, then they lock the doors.

As authors of horror novels, it is important we slow down and allow our readers to immerse themselves in a scene. Slower is better. Go for a gradual build, and never rush the process. Writing for horror is incredibly challenging, and it is imperative we give ourselves every advantage.

Take your time with the scene. Then scare Jessica to death.

About the Author

Dan Padavona is a horror and dark fantasy author. Dan’s gothic vampire novel, Storberry, reached the top-10 among Amazon horror novels, and his post-apocalyptic series, Dark Vanishings, has been compared to Robert McCammon’s Swan Song and Stephen King’s The Stand. You can visit Dan at his website, danpadavona.com.

Guest Post: Brenda Pandos

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ
Evermore 
by Brenda Pandos
Mer Tales, Book Four
 

The underwater world of Natatoria is enjoying a long awaited period of peace — and with it, the merpeople’s very first chance to visit human civilization. Ash and Fin’s wedding marks the perfect opportunity for the mers to celebrate their newfound freedom. But when they return home to Tahoe to prepare, Ash’s absence from the human world has raised more than a few questions about where she’s been. When blaming fingers point to Ash and Fin as the culprits who burned down Fin’s home, even his mindjacking mojo hasn’t stopped the authorities from issuing the happy couple an early wedding gift—a matching pair of arrest warrants. 


Instead of bringing their families together, Ash and Fin’s upcoming wedding drives a wedge between the very cultures they’re trying to bridge. And when their reality takes an unexpected twist, Ash realizes her dual existence comes with a hefty price. Neither her human nor her mer family understand the sacrifices they’re asking of her, and as much as she wants to please both her mer and human mothers, she knows she’s one misstep away from breaking two maternal hearts. 
But while everyone is distracted in preparations for the big day, there are those who are intent on elevating their own bloodline, even to the point they’d risk exposing the mer secret. Ash and Fin must scramble to save their families, their societies . . . and their love. The only thing they know for sure is that when it comes to Natatorians, old habits die hard. 


And a royal should never get too comfortable. 

 
My heart pounded with thoughts of
why they’d come. Did something happen to Dad? Gran? My mother? Once I entered
the house, the taller of the two cops stopped talking.
“Ash?” My mother blinked at me, eyes red and swollen. Then
she jumped up and attacked me with a hug.
My arms circled around her, squeezing tight. I didn’t
understand why the happy reunion since
I’d only been gone for a few weeks. Tears wet my cheeks anyway. I’d wanted
this, for her to miss me. Gran hugged me next, followed amazingly by my sister,
Lucy. Then they all stared at me like my
head might pop.
“What’s going on? Why are they here?” I gestured to the
cops.
Mom eyed me up and down “What are you wearing, and why are
you all wet?”
I looked down at the puddle under my feet from my pink
beaded gown, realizing my mistake. Luckily, Fin walked in behind me. He quickly
sang, using his mer mojo to get them to
ignore my attire.
“I’m sorry to interrupt the reunion,” the shorter cop turned
to me, “but you’re under arrest, Ashlyn, for arson.”
“Arrest?” I leaped backward.
Mom stood between us. “I told you. She didn’t do this. I
don’t care what evidence you have!”
“Ma’am, please…”
Fin started to sing, “Ash is innocent, and it’s time for you
both to leave.”
The cops’ eyes glazed over.
“Sorry for the confusion.” The taller of the two looked at the shorter one, then nodded and they left.
“We’ll be going.”
I swallowed hard, my heart thundering.
Then my mother’s gaze turned cold. “Where have you been?”
I flicked a glance at Fin. She’d been mojoed. How could she have forgotten? “I was on
a mission trip in Africa.”
She chuckled. “Really? And where are your plane tickets?
Your visa? Your passport?”
Fin opened his mouth to sing, but I grabbed onto his hand to
stop him.
“No. Let me handle this.” They deserved answers, not some
fishy mind-jacking makeover. I turned to my mother. “You’re right. I wasn’t in
Africa.”
Mom’s jaw tightened. “Then where were you?”
“I was with Fin and his family.”
“Doing what?”
I gritted my teeth. What could I say that didn’t sound
totally lame? “Just traveling.”
“Traveling?” Mom barked out a laugh. “Are you kidding me?
Oooh! Jack and Maggie are going to get an earful!”
“Karen,” Gran said. “I’m sure there’s a logical
explanation.”
“Let me handle this, Mother!” Mom snapped.
“Please,” Fin whispered to me.
I held up my hand for him to wait, but I had no excuse to
give her that wasn’t a lie. How was that any better than just singing them a story? “Mom, just trust me—”
“Trust you? You disappear without a word, and I’m just
supposed to look the other way?” She stretched the small space between us and slapped me. “This is unforgivable, and
your life will be over as you know it, Ashlyn Francis Lanski. You can leave
now, Fin.”
“Karen!” Gran scolded. “That’s uncalled for.”
I turned away, gasping while I held onto the stinging flesh. My mother and I may have had a strained
relationship, but she’d never hit me before.
Gran begged for Mom to calm down, while Lucy let out a rude cackle. Fin sang for everyone to
sit and be quiet. Tears trickled down over my hot face, and my stomach turned
over, making me want to vomit. I knew coming home wouldn’t be blissful, but
this? The wedding most definitely wasn’t happening now.
Fin walked over to me. “Let’s just smooth this over and find
out what’s happened.”
I wanted to, but with the cops ready to arrest me, I knew whatever
had happened was irreparable.
Find the series on Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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 Author Brenda Pandos lives in California with her husband, two energetic boys, eight chickens and a grumpy orange cat. She writes fast-paced stories about kissing, hot mermen, bad boy vampires, and occasionally zombies–not all in the same stories. When she’s not writing, or wrangling her kids, she’s failing at her latest Pinterest replication or delivering a really bad pun. More than anything she loves to hear from readers. Feel free to email brendapandos@gmail.com or write on her facebook wall.
 
 
 

Guest Post: Eric R Asher

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EXCLUSIVE iBOOKS RELEASE!
Steamborn, Book One
 
Jacob, a tinker’s apprentice and sometime thief, has lived his entire life in the mountain city of Ancora, protected by the city walls. These towering barriers keep the Deadlands creatures at bay, but the monsters move higher into the peaks every year. More and more, they breach the defenses of the Lowlands while the Highlands rest easy.
A swarm overruns the walls and wreaks utter devastation on the Lowlands. Charles, the old tinker, suspects the attack may not be natural. With help from Jacob’s closest friend, Alice, and Samuel, one of the city’s elite spider knights, Jacob and Charles will uncover a terrible darkness at the heart of their city.
Exclusively at iBooks for a limited time for 99¢.
 
Releases to other platforms on December 1st, 2015.
Pre-order from Smashwords – http://bit.ly/1OQ9yaB
Steamforged, Book Two
 
Exclusive iBooks release date of January 19th, 2016.
 
 
Steamsworn,Book Three
 
Exclusive iBooks release date of March 22nd,
2016.
 
Meet the author, Eric R. Asher
 
Eric is a former
bookseller, guitarist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis,
Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered
a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents
at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading,
gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.

Guest Post: ST Bende

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PERFEKT CONTROL 
(THE ÆRE SAGA: BOOK TWO)
By: S.T. Bende
Release Date: February 9th, 2016





iBooks: http://apple.co/1PszQBv
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1lnZmeM
B&N:  http://bit.ly/1kvuOaF
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1HP0eOb
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1McXTAF

 
Rule the realms.
 
Brynn Aksel is a valkyrie—a battle goddess tasked with protecting both the God of War and the future of Asgard. She fends off giants and dark elves with an iron fist, a glossy smile, and no less than perfekt control. She’s focused one-hundred-percent on rising through the valkyrie ranks, and not at all on her lifelong crush on Henrik Andersson—the one guy in all the realms who could be her undoing.
 
Henrik serves as War’s other bodyguard, and he’s too focused on protecting their shared charge to realize that Brynn’s a girl. When an unprecedented surge of darkness abducts the Goddess of Love, Brynn’s already-steely focus is singularly directed on her new assignment—accompany Henrik to recover the realms’ source of light before the cosmos descends into chaos.
 
While battling demons, dragons, and the not-quite-dead, it becomes clear that immortality does not equal invincibility. And when Hel herself puts a hit on Brynn, the valkyrie has to decide if staying in control is worth losing everything . . . or if it’s time to rule the realms.

 

 
Before finding
domestic bliss in Suburbia, S.T. Bende lived in 
Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of
Peet’s coffee) and 
Europe… where she became overly fond of
the musical Cats. 
Her love of Scandinavian culture and a
very patient Norwegian 
teacher inspired the Elsker Saga. She hopes
her characters make
 you smile and that one day pastries
will be considered a health 

food.
 
 
 
TUR is currently available for FREE for newsletter subscribers!

Guest Post: Chrissie Parker

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About the Book:

Gabriel is weary, hunting for a murderer.
Patience is adrift, her life a complete lie.
Nate is scared, hiding from his worst fears.
Juliet is frantic, her time is running out.

As four fragile lives collide, the truth is finally revealed.

And betrayal and death become inevitable.

Book Links:
GoodreadsAmazon KDP * Amazon Paperback * Barnes & Noble * KoboiTunes

Read an Excerpt: 

Lake Tranquil was
vast.  So much so that Patience couldn’t
see where it ended or began.  Despite its
size, it was deserted.  She was the only
human in sight and she loved the thought of being so alone, immersed in the
beauty of nature.  An occasional bird
flitted in and out of the trees, or swooped down to land at the water’s
edge.  In the distance, a rabbit ran
through the trees, its tail bobbed, flashing white as it ran for cover.

 

Trees lined craggy mountains that surrounded the lake.  They were thick, green and tall, and reached
to the shoreline; only a small wavering line of pebble-covered beach sat
between the shimmering waters and the forest.

 

 

It was heavenly. 

 

 

It wasn’t the first time Patience had been to Lake
Tranquil.  Once, as a child, she had
visited it with her mother and enjoyed a week of blissful freedom away from the
chaos of life.  Now here, fleeting
memories flooded back.  Swimming in the
lake as her mother sat on the deck and read.
Running through the trees playing hide and seek, and sitting on the
shore as the sun set.  Watching the stars
appear overhead as her mother cooked fish over a smoky fire.  It was a time in her life that stuck in her
mind, when her mother had been truly happy and content. 

 

 

It was why Patience was here.

 

 

For
her mother.To try to be closer to her, to try to understand her.To try to find
some peace.
 

About the Author:

Chrissie lives in Devon, UK, with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator working in the TV, documentary and film industry.
Chrissie is also an Author.  Her thriller Integrate was released in October 2013 and her historical fiction Among the Olive Groves was released in July 2014.
Other written work includes factual articles for the Bristolian newspaper and guest articles for the charities Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation.  Chrissie has also written a book of short stories and poems, one of which was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013.

Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Travel, and has completed two six-month Archaeology and Egyptology courses with Exeter University.   She is learning to play the Ukulele and likes to read, collect books, listen to music. To find out more about Chrissie visit her WEBSITE

Stalk Links:
Blog * Facebook Group * Facebook Page * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads

http://b00kr3vi3wtours.blogspot.in/2015/11/tourannouncement-temperance.html

 

Guest Post: Eva Pohler

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The Mystery House
 
Release Date: December 14th, 2015
 
The Mystery Book Collection
 
Ellen and her two best friends share a mid-life crisis by hatching a plan to flip a Greek revival in the nearby historic district. Although Ellen isn’t one to believe in ghosts, she comes face to face with something in the attic she cannot explain. Her ghost-enthusiast friends convince her that they must help the spirit find closure, and as they dig deeper into the past, they uncover a shocking history that someone in the neighborhood doesn’t want exposed.
The Mystery Book Collection
A series of stand-alone psychological thrillers.
Want a FREE copy of The Mystery Box?
Get it here.
Meet the author:
 
Eva Pohler
 

Eva Pohler teaches writing and literature at a university in San Antonio, where she lives with her husband Eva Author Pic 1and three kids. She’s the author of several novels for teens based on Greek mythology, including her bestselling six-book Gatekeeper’s Saga and three-book Vampires of Athens Series. She’s also the author of spine-chilling psychological suspense, including her Mystery Book Collection and The Purgatorium Series. The first is for mature audiences and consists of two books that are already out–The Mystery Box and The Mystery Tomb–and two others soon to be released–The Mystery House and The Mystery Daughter. Her other suspense series, The Purgatorium, is a trilogy for both the young and mature reader. Her books have been described as “thrilling” and “addictive.” A Kirkus reviewer said of The Gatekeeper’s Sons that it was “sure to thrill Hunger Games fans.”

A reader herself, Eva writes in multiple genres, but all of her stories blur the line between reality and fantasy, truth and delusion, and draw from Eva’s personal philosophy that a reader must be lured and abducted into complete captivity in order to enjoy the reading experience.

Guest Post: AM Hargrove And Terri E. Laine

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Cruel and beautiful

 

ADD TO YOUR GOODREADS!
 
This an Adult Contemporary
Romance
standalone book that includes mature content, not suitable for
younger readers. (Rated R)
Cate Forbes, a dedicated college student with a carefully plotted future,
doesn’t know the first thing about love. When she accepts a blind date with a
tasty piece of eye candy, she thinks she can get by with a night of fun. Cate’s
plans quickly unravel when she gets one look at the sexy…
Drew McKnight.
The relentless hockey-playing
medical resident knows what he wants— a career in Oncology and Cate. Although
he’s heard the gorgeous brunette is a little relationship skittish, a single
night out isn’t what he has in mind. Determined to have her— in every way
possible— he shows her just what a future with him would hold.
Only life has other plans. The unthinkable happens and everything begins
to shatter. Both in too deep, they will have to fight the cruel and hang
on to the beautiful.
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



A RASPY VOICE WAKES me up. That’s not quite true because I don’t really sleep anymore. My body hovers in that place that’s not exactly sleep and not exactly awareness. After the last year, I’m not sure if I’ll ever get a solid night’s sleep again.
“Cate?”
“Yeah? What is it?” I’m instantly on high alert.
“I think it’s time. I want to go to the hospital.”
The words I’ve dreaded for weeks punch me in the gut. But I refuse to let him see it. “Yeah, okay. Let me get dressed.”
“Cate? I think you need to call 911. I’m pretty sure I can’t get up to walk.” He inhales and it’s then I
hear the faint rattle deep in his chest. Oh, god, how will I ever get through this?
“Drew?” I lean over him and press my cheek against his. What used to be firm flesh is now nothing but skin wrapped around bone. My hands latch onto to his shoulders and it’s much the same. All the mass has vanished, stolen by the disease that ravages his beautiful body and soul.
“It’s going to be fine, Cate, I promise. Things will be good. Just call 911.” He struggles to clear his
throat.
Always the positive one. I want to yell and scream, stomp my feet and smash things. But I do none of that. I look into his cloudy blue eyes that were once so clear and stunning and only nod. I pick up the
bedside phone and make the call, asking the voice on the other end to tell the paramedics not to use the sirens or flashers and explain why. When they arrive at our house, I lead them to Drew, and then follow the ambulance to the hospital. On the way, I make the dreaded family calls.
Hollow. That’s what I am as I watch them wheel Drew in on the gurney. Everything has been ripped out of me—my guts, my heart, my soul. I bite my knuckle as I stand there. He knows what’s happening. He’s a doctor. He’s charted everything out and explained it all to me, though I’ve refused to believe half of it. Why did he have to be right? My mind only wants to accept certain things. And this isn’t one of them.
When we finally get to a room, he sleeps. The deep purple smudges beneath his eyes are a stark contrast to his pale skin. It reminds me of a time when he used to be so tanned. And his hair, which is downy fuzz grown back from the last and final round of failed chemo, is so different now from the thick mass of messy waves that were always sun streaked, even in winter. In this state, little more than a skeleton, he’s still my perfect Drew. And I ask myself again, for the thousandth time, how am I going to deal with this?
Later in the day, when Drew wakes up, he beckons me to his bedside.
“Cate, you know when I first saw you at that party, I knew you were my one. My it girl. And then you put up such damn resistance to me, I didn’t think I’d ever get you out on a date. But I did.”
I suck on my lower lip, trying not to outright sob as I remember.
The left corner of his upper lip curls, his little trademark that I love so much. It plows into me like a
damn tank and I want to crawl into the bed next to him and cling to him forever.
“I knew if I could get you out on a date, I could win you over. Thank god I did. You’ve been my life,
Cate, my reason for being. I’m only sorry it all turned out like this. This,” and he motions with his hand up and down his body, “wasn’t part of my plan for you. I wanted the whole deal—marriage, and we got that, but I wanted kids, an SUV, a big house, and grandkids, too. I’m so sorry I fucked it all up, babe. But listen, I love you more than my life. And hear me out now. I want you to go home.”
I nod and suck back my tears. “Okay. I’m going to go home and shower, because I’m kind of rank. I
love you too, Drew. More than I can say.”
“Cate, stop. That’s not what I meant. I want you to promise me something, okay? Swear to me right
now.” His voice is firm, much stronger than it has been in days.
“Okay. What is it?”
“I want you to leave this room now and go home, but I don’t want you to come back after you shower. I want you to say your goodbyes to me right here, right now.”
“What!? What are you saying?” My heart stutters in my throat.
“I’m saying what you think I’m saying. I love you so much more than having you sit here by my side for the next few days. I don’t want that. You swore to me, Cate.”
“Drew, I can’t.”
“Yes, you can. Now, go. Turn around, walk through that door, and don’t ever look back. All my stuff is boxed exactly like I asked you to, and you know what to do with it. My parents and yours will be here, along with Ben. But you, you don’t need to be here. I don’t want you to be here. I want you to remember me as I was, when I was healthy, during our best times. Now, look at that door and take your first steps into your new life, Cate. And promise me you’ll live. Just live, Cate. Do it for me.”
 




Meet the authors…
A.M. HARGROVE 
 
One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M.
Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn’t do something
soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been
dreaming of her whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of her
fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the
pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodge ball pro and had über quick
reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Feeling a tad guilty
about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street
before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what laptop out the
window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone, called
her boss, and quit her job. Grinning, she made another call to her hubs and
told him of her new adventure (after making sure his heart was beating properly
again).
So began A. M. Hargrove’s career as a Naughty and Nice Romance Author.
Her books include the following: Edge of Disaster, Shattered Edge and Kissing
Fire (The Edge Series); The Guardians of Vesturon Series (Survival,
Resurrection, Determinant, reEmergent, and Beginnings); Dark Waltz, Death
Waltz, Tragically Flawed (Tragic 1), Tragic Desires (Tragic 2), Exquisite
Betrayal, Dirty Nights; and lastly Freeing Her, Freeing Him, and Kestrel—all
part of the Hart Brothers Series.
Other than being in love with writing about love,
she loves chocolate, ice cream, and coffee and is positive they should be added
as part of the USDA food groups.
 
TERRI E. LAINE
 
Terri E. Laine is an avid reader and the co-author
of Cruel & Beautiful. When she isn’t writing romance with heart and heat,
she is crazily managing a household with her husband and three kids.

“Dirty Deeds” #KindleScout – 10 Days Left!

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Dirty Deeds Cover

Twenty days has flown by… I’m into the last third of the campaign and feeling good. I’m seeing many books getting contracts with less hours on the Hot list and views than I have only 2/3rd of the way done. But does it really mean anything? Ten more days and we find out!

My stats so far:

430 of 456 hours on the Hot list… yesterday was my worst with only 14 of 24 hours on the Hot list, but someone who just got a contract mentioned they spent 14 days without being on the Hot list at all. 

I’m up to 1,595 views now. Still on pace to hit 2,000 views and hopefully nominations. 

I’m beginning to think the Kindle Scout team has already made their choices by the time the campaign is nearly over, as the aforementioned author got picked up 2 days after his campaign ended. I’m hoping for the same luck.

Want to help me get there? If I get the contract and you nominated me you get a free advance copy from Amazon, too!

Dirty Deeds

Armand

Guest Post: Brenda Pandos

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After narrowly escaping annihilation, eighteen-year-old Julia Parker and her vampire friends are on the hunt for their next big thrill. 
 

 

When a blood-penned riddle triggers Julia’s thirst, the vamps fear they’re being lured into a trap. And when the note’s ‘ink’ drives Julia into a rage/frenzy, her friends are left with no choice but to destroy it. 


 

 

Though Julia returns to her normal self, the threat isn’t over. The letter warns that a sacrifice is required in order for them to keep their immortality. As each minute passes, the group starts becoming weaker. Unsure how to satisfy the letter’s author, they go to New Orleans anyway, but this is no ordinary trip. Evil lurks in the shadows, feeding off Julia’s bloodlust and preparing to stake her and her friends at the first opportunity. And with the moon coming into position, they’re running out of time. If outside forces don’t bring the coven down, Julia herself may be their undoing. Because fulfilling the riddle will cost Julia one of two things: a treasure she holds dear or her own immortal life. 


 

 

Failure is not an option. 




~~~~~~~~~~


Beneath the brow of Bourbon and French architecture, the iris of New Orleans swirls with flecks of worlds and beings unknown to mankind. Come with us as we chronicle their journey—each supernatural race must hunt for an offering in hopes of saving their own. Skinwalkers, Wolves, Vampires, Dragons, Succubi, Witches, Necromancers, Cupids, and Asgardians are all in danger of losing control as an uprising darkness threatens to rip the veil that protects them all from the great beyond.

Ten original novellas, following each supernatural race as they fight an elusive enemy, are written by New Adult authors Lila Felix, Kristie Cook, Brenda Pandos, Delphina Henley, Julia Crane, Jamie Magee, Morgan Wylie, Kallie Ross, S.T. Bende, and Rebecca Ethington. Come join them for the hunt and discover hidden treasures inside

 

 

 

 

 Mommy warrior, comma-kazi, wife, computer whisperer, Pinterest addict, chocolate enthusiast, vampire and zombie slayer, merman magnet, and lover of all things pure and right. Well… maybe after a cup of coffee or two.
 

 

Author Brenda Pandos lives in California and is surrounded by the loves of her life—her husband, her incredible boys, a grumpy cat, eight chickens and her characters. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as an IT administrator. After her son’s ASD diagnosis, everything changed. Being pregnant and embarking on a 35 hour a week in-home therapy schedule was grueling to say the least. She craved a meaningful escape.


 

 

Never having aspired to write before, she wrote her own vampire tale for kicks. Four months later, The Emerald Talisman was born. Unsure who’d want to buy her novel, she entered her fledgling book in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and placed as a Quarter-finalist. That gave her the courage to go Indie and from there, she traversed into a life she’d never imagined and loves to this day. And since a small group of fans grew into a larger group of fans, all cheering her onto books two, three, four, five… and so on, she hasn’t looked back. 


 
 
 

 

 \ Facebook \ Twitter \ Website \  

 

 

 

 
 
 

Guest Post: Julieanne Lynch

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Title: The Glass Tower
Author: Julieanne Lynch
Cover Artist: Book Cover By Design!
Genre: Paranormal Erotica
Release date: January 29th, 2016
Locked in the safety of the Glass Tower, Bianka plots her revenge. Her body might be the property of Kefozsé, but her heart and soul belong to Batar. For him, she’ll do everything possible to fight for her freedom.
Artemis and the Oracle keep a close eye on their protégé as she begins to unravel their carefully laid plans. The fate of the kingdom now lies in the balance. Bianka cannot be allowed to do as she pleases.
A sudden turn of events pushes Bianka to the brink. Using her wit and charm, she soon entices new blood to the palace’s doors. Upon losing the trust of those shielding the kingdom from prying eyes, she unlocks the door to something even she isn’t prepared for. Little does she know, her duplicity comes with a heavy price.
 Julieanne Lynch is an author of urban fantasy, contemporary women’s fiction & horror books for both adults and teens. . Julieanne lives in Northern Ireland, is married to her childhood sweetheart and together they have five children.


Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths, a rock star being one of them. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open University, and considered journalism as a career path. However, she decided writing was the way for her and believes all of her education and reading prepared her for it.

An avid reader, Julieanne has always had an encompassing fascination with folklore. When not writing, she enjoys crime series such as Criminal Minds, CSI, NCIS and Cold Case, and loves anything with Vampires, listening to metal, meeting new people, drinking lots of green tea, and sharing her dreams with her children. She is a self-professed goth wanna-be,and is happy when left to write into the early hours of the morning.

Julieanne is represented by Italia Gandolfo. Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management

 

 

 

Guest Post: M Clarke

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As Jax and Rachel start their lives together, finally engaged and living in Los Angeles, all seems right with the world until Chloe wants to enter their lives again. She wants to be closer to her son, Jace, and in order to keep the peace, Jax agrees. Unfortunately, trouble seems to be swirling in the air when Rachel’s high school crush enters their lives; meanwhile Chloe proclaims to be pregnant. 
 
Rachel is left questioning whether Jax is the one she wants to live happily ever after with, while they are left pondering who could be the father of Chloe’s baby. Could their relationship be strong enough to surpass these obstacles or will this mean the end of Jax and Rachel’s love.
 


 
 
 
 
 
International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.
 
 
  
 
Something Amazing (Book 4)
 

 

 

Guest Post: Stephen Zimmer

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The Music of Heart of a Lion

 

A big thanks to Armand Rosamilia for giving me another fun challenge, merging my love of writing and music!  For Hellscapes, Volume II, he had me come up with a soundtrack, choosing a song for each of the short stories therein.  For Heart of a Lion, I’ve been asked to do something similar, in naming songs that would go with the vibe of this book.

 

Not as easy as it seems, as I am a huge fan of hard rock and metal, and listen to it when I write.  A great number of songs come to mind that would be possible fits for this list, but I’ll whittle it down to a few that I think match the essence of Heart of a Lion very nicely.

 

The story focuses on the Rayden Valkyrie character, a woman who has fought through great tragedy and hardship while maintaining a strong honor code and will to intervene when she comes across the evils of the world.  The Rayden Valkyrie story is one embracing resilience, determination and courage.  The songs I picked reflected that spirit.

 

I share several of these songs with Rayden, as part of my own personal fight song soundtrack, but today the focus is one Rayden and her spirit.  And here we go…

 

Def Leppard  “Undefeated”

 

Staying undefeated does not mean you don’t incur pain and scars along the way.  Rayden has suffered many trials, but nothing has kept her from moving forward in life with determination.  She is undefeated, and these lyrics capture what that is all about:

 

“I’m Undefeated
I got the scars
I will wipe this blood away,
live to fight another day
Undefeated! “

 

Pop Evil “Trenches”

 

This is a song about absolute determination and willpower.  It also reflects the vibe of a long, difficult journey, using the metaphor of filling trenches to stand up on level ground once more.  Rayden is on that journey and she is a firestorm of determination.  She’s filling her trenches and I have full confidence she will also stand up on that level ground one day.

 

“I’ve waited all my life to get out of the trenches
I’m ready to fight for what I believe you can steal from me
I won’t take this
Gonna fill these trenches and stand up

Wake up, I won’t give up
‘Cause here I come, here I come”

 

Queensryche’s “Resistance”

 

Resistance is something Rayden has never been shy about.  Resistance to individuals or even empires, both of which come into play in Heart of a Lion.  She is a natural leader too, and helps others stand to resist.  This song reflects the idea of looking around, recognizing where things are awry, and resisting those who cause suffering and hardship.  These lyrics represent that well:

 

“Has all we’ve learned been wrong?
Look around at what we’ve been given.
Maybe we’ve taken too long.

Resistance- shouts the man on the right.
Can’t solve the problem overnight.
Resistance- Listen to the call of the wild.”

 

Hatebreed “To the Threshold”

 

Rayden has never hesitated to stand with the underdog or to help others find the strength inside of them.  She knows that those who think they are broken or beaten can become lions if they believe and dedicate themselves.  This song reflects the fire of Rayden’s spirit in a big way and how she will march to the threshold stronger than ever, something in her blood that is much more than any battle cry.  The fire also involves picking up others, strengthening others, and helping others find their own strength.  The lyrics from this song embrace that fire.

 

“Give me your broken
Give me your beaten
I will build them up
I will lead them
To the threshold
Make you stronger
Make you believe
I am one in the same
But now stronger then uncertainty
Within this army
This is more than a battle cry
It’s the blood of our lifeline
Flowing faster “

 

Hatebreed “Live for This”

 

Rayden understands that true riches reside not in things but in being a strong, free, independent spirit.  Living each day, with all of its hardhips, tears, sweat, and blood included, with honor, is where the triumph in life truly is.  Rayden does indeed live for that triumph.  These lyrics capture that:

 

“What we have are not possessions we own
It’s not weighed by greed or personal gain
This is real a desire for freedom.
A place apart from a world in abandon.

Every drop of blood
Every bitter tear
Every bead of sweat
I live for this

Live for this, Live, Live
If you don’t live for something you’ll die for nothing.”

 

FFDP  Battle Born

 

Rayden’s story carries a lot of sadness within it and she does walk the world alone.  Deep inside there is an ache and a longing, as she does often feel like she was a castaway by the world.  Yet she is a warrior on many levels, a warrior battle born who has grown stronger.   A few of the lyrics that reflect that idea:

 

“Was there such a time
Where I didn’t stand alone
Was there ever a time
And how would I have known

Been a thousand places
And shook a million hands
I don’t know where I’m going
But I know just where I’ve been
I’ve flown a million miles
And I’ve rode so many more
Everyday a castaway
A vagabond battle born”

 

 

Machine Head “Now We Die”

 

Great hardship, adversity and trial were black steel and iron used in the forging of the lionheart that Rayden has.  Yes, there is a longing and discontent deep within her, but she is awake, does not hide from that, and goes forward with the heart of a lion.  The imagery in this song passage is beautiful in what it represents.

 

“Black steel and iron
A lion heart is forged from these bones
Fear not, the discontent you hide
Awake from the slumber and define this time”

 

Rush’s “Marathon”

 

Rayden’s journey is a marathon.  A lot of heartache involved too, which the “heartbreak climb uphill” passage in the lyrics below reflects.  It is all a test of will, and while sometimes you need a moment to rest, it imperative to keep moving, which the idea of picking up the pace to stay in the race in the lyrics below reflect.

 

“It’s a test of ultimate will
The heartbreak climb uphill
Got to pick up the pace
If you want to stay in the race”

 

Breaking Benjamin  “Blow Me Away”

 

Deep within, Rayden hopes that there is something better ahead, even beyond death.  As long as she lives, she’s dedicated to being strong, surviving and fighting against the evils she comes across.  She does not seek glory or a crown.  She is willing to be that shadow on the wall that will save others, an image from the song that I feel reflects her desire to do things for the right reasons.  When the time for death comes, she only hopes that there is someone to lead her to heaven.  These lyrics represent that well.

 

“Only the strongest will survive
Lead me to heaven, when we die
I am the shadow on the wall
I’ll be the one to save us all”

 

Yngwie Malmsteed “I’ll See the Light Tonight”

 

Everything involves a choice and that choice is always made in the face of uncertainty.  Rayden faces choices often that are shrouded in terrible danger and slim odds.  Sometimes the situation involves others  Who is to run and who is to fight?  What will the outcome be?  Rayden can only choose for herself and I think that seeing the light is a good metaphor for the fact that she will fight in the face of uncertainty and will not compromise who she is.  The lyrics of this song reflect those notions:

 

“I’ve seen visions in the night, passing through the stars
Who’s to run and who’s to fight?
Evil tries to pull me in, enslaving me to die
Who’s to lose and who’s to win?”
 

Black Sabbath “Glory Ride”

 

Rayden is willing to go against all odds if the cause resonates with her.  It does not matter if others might view her fight as a suicidal mission, she’ll fight and she’s certainly well-prepared.  This song is another that captures the fiery spirit that Rayden has, a warrior willing to stand even if the odds against seem overwhelming.

 

“Those who have taken their oaths tonight
Are well prepared they know they’ll
Do or die even if it’s suicide

Let’s take a chance
As the skies will Burn tonight”

 

Korn “The Game is Over”

 

When Rayden goes against a true evil, it is an all or nothing battle.  She is truly willing to die to see something evil overcome, and she will unleash all in her power to see that happen.  These song lyrics reflect that aspect of Rayden, an aspect that makes her a fearsome enemy of the wicked.

 

“I’m willing to die to see you fall
Power unbound, I’m taking you down
I’m willing to die to see you fall

I am a threat to the opposition
I am no hero, I just have a vision
To terminate and restore this kingdom”

 

Machine Head “Imperium”

 

Rayden has her moments of doubt and fear, and the ache and pain she carries deep inside from the numerous things she has suffered do plague her.  Yet she does not succumb, and embraces the will to fight.  She releases the fear and acts.  She strives to live with no regrets, always seeking to keep moving forward. This song represents that determination very well, as the lyrics below demonstrate.

 

“Will not succumb to doubts that I hold onto
Release the fear of my pain
In so much pain
Give me the will to fight
Every obstacle that I have inside
Release the fear and and
Hear me now
Words I vow
No fucking regrets”

 

 

Saxon “Never Surrender”

 

I will round out my choices with this song, as the chorus carries something that is at the core of Rayden.  She does not surrender or compromise herself.  Even if she is up against the entire world she is willing to fight to the last.  The indomitable spirit she has inspires me often in my own life and in the face of my own trials.  She is a lioness that cannot be tamed, who will not bow, and who remains undefeated, and that is because she will never surrender!

 

“Never surrender
When you’re up against the world
Never surrender
Stand up fight them all“

StephenZimmerAuthorPhoto

About the author:   Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based in Lexington Kentucky.  His work includes the cross-genre Rising Dawn Saga, the epic fantasy Fires in Eden series, the sword and sorcery Dark Sun Sawn Trilogy, featuring Rayden Valkyrie, the Harvey and Solomon Steampunk tales and the Hellscapes and Chronicles of Ave short story collections.

 

Book Synopsis for Heart of a Lion:  Rayden Valkyrie. She walks alone, serving no king, emperor, or master. Forged in the fires of tragedy, she has no place she truly calls home.

 

A deadly warrior wielding both blade and axe, Rayden is the bane of the wicked and corrupt. To many others, she is the most loyal and dedicated of friends, an ally who is unyielding in the most dangerous of circumstances.

 

The people of the far southern lands she has just aided claim that she has the heart of a lion. For Rayden, a long journey to the lands of the far northern tribes who adopted her as a child beckons, with an ocean lying in between.

 

Her path will lead her once more into the center of a maelstrom, one involving a rising empire that is said to be making use of the darkest kinds of sorcery to grow its power. Making new friends and discoveries amid tremendous peril, Rayden makes her way to the north.

 

Monstrous beasts, supernatural powers, and the bloody specter of war have been a part of her world for a long time and this journey will be no different. Rayden chooses the battles that she will fight, whether she takes up the cause of one individual or an entire people.

 

Both friends and enemies alike will swiftly learn that the people of the far southern lands spoke truly. Rayden Valkyrie has the heart of a lion.

 

Heart of a Lion is Book One of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy.

 

 

Author Links:

Website:

http://www.stephenzimmer.com

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/stephenzimmer7

 

Twitter:

@sgzimmer

 

Instagram:

@stephenzimmer7

 

Amazon Links for Heart of a Lion
Print Version
http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Lion-Stephen-Zimmer/dp/1941706215

Kindle Version
http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Lion-Dark-Dawn-Book-ebook/dp/B00T44R6LE

Barnes and Noble Link for Heart of a Lion
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-of-a-lion-stephen-zimmer/1121113044?ean=9781941706213

Guest Post: Falguni Kothari

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About the Book:

Twisted myths. Discretion advised. 

Fight fate, or succumb to destiny?

In the dark Age of Kali, the Soul Warrior alone stands guard over the Human Realm, protecting its denizens from evil-willed asuras or demons. When a trick of fate appoints him guru to a motley crew of godlings, he agrees to train them as demon hunters against his better judgment. Suddenly, Lord Karna is not only battling the usual asuras with sinister agendas, but also rebellious students and a fault-ridden past.

Spanning the cosmic realms of mythic India, here is a tale of a band of supernatural warriors who come together over a singular purpose: the salvation of Karna’s secret child.

Book Links:
Kobo * iBooks * Amazon US * Amazon UK * Amazon Canada

Read an Excerpt:

CHAPTER ZERO
DWANDA-YUDDHA: THE DUEL



The Himalayan Mountains.
Five thousand years ago.

Absolute darkness shrouded the Human Realm, and had for three days and three nights. Some believed the occurrence was prophetic, like the prolonged amavasya or new moon night that had heralded the Great Kuru War two thousand years ago. The war had given birth to the dark Age of Kali, the age of asura. In contrast, hope was ripe that this event would trigger the Age of Light. But the Bard wasn’t here to succumb to superstition. 
The first day without the sun’s light had spread confusion and chaos across the realm. The second day had brought desperation in the breasts of humans and fear in the belly of Celestials. The third day—today—was a feast for the asuras. Death lay everywhere. 
The human world burned without its sun. How soon before the Heavens went up in flames?
The Bard’s troubled eyes reread the last line. Then he deliberately scratched it off, lifting his long, pointed talon from the parchment made of dry palm leaf. With a sigh, he rested his aching hand on his trembling thigh. He would spare a moment to ease his body, and his mind from the strain of observation and due recordkeeping. If he didn’t, he’d forget his duty as Witness of the Cosmos, and begin to question fate. 
Despite the fire that crackled close to his right knee, and the feathered form of his upper body, he was cold. An icy wind had settled around the Pinnacle of Pinnacles, where he sat cross-legged on a seat made of rock and snow. He’d chosen this perch because it gave him an impartial view of the events happening in the world. He was the Bard, entrusted with keeping the Canons of the Age of Kali, just as the Soul Warrior was entrusted with keeping the Human Realm safe from asuras. Would they both fail in their duty today?
The Bard shook off the heavy despair the darkness had brought into the world. He mustn’t judge. He shouldn’t question. He would sharpen the talon on his forefinger, dip it into the vessel of ink kept warm by the fire, and write this tale. That was all he could do. Be the witness to history.
So he raised his feathered hand and began to write again while his eyes, sparked with power, knowledge and magic, saw clearly events unfolding from great distances. A thousand kilometers to his right, Indra, the God of War and Thunder, fought the Dragon. Indra did not fare well. But that didn’t concern the Bard as much as the clash between the Soul Warrior and the Stone Demon. Over and over, his eagle eyes were drawn to the duel taking place in the heart of the world, not only because it was a magnificent battle to behold, for it was, but because its outcome would decide mankind’s destiny.
The Soul Warrior was more than a great warrior. Karna was a great soul. Fair, honorable, brave and resilient, he was the perfect protector of the Human Realm. Of course, there were other reasons he’d been chosen to fill the office of Soul Warrior—there always were when Gods and demons were involved. But Karna’s existence was a testament to righteous action and if anyone could bring back the day, it would be him. 
But how did one vanquish stone, the Bard wondered?
Avarice and cruelty, two nefarious desires, had made Vrtra and Vala attack the Human Realm. Three days ago the Dragon had swallowed the Seven Rivers in the north, and the Stone Demon had imprisoned the Sun God, his daughter, and all the cattle of the region in his cave.
The Bard paused his writing as a thin vein of lightning winked across the skies, but without the accompanying roar. Indra’s strength waned. His thunderbolt hadn’t left Vrtra screaming in pain this time. The Bard spared a moment’s attention on the duel, just enough to note that the Maruts, the Celestial Storm-gods, waited in the clouds to rescue their god-king in case of a calamity. Indra would survive even in defeat. Of that, the Bard was sure.
But Karna had no one at his back. His might and god-powers had depleted without the sun’s healing warmth and light. His divine astras, weapons, had not slowed the Stone Demon down, at all. Only the conviction that he could not fail his godsire, his sister, and the innocents under his protection drove him now. His birth family had once abandoned him to his fate, but he would not abandon them to theirs—such was the greatness of Karna.
The Bard crossed out the last observation. No questions. No judgment. No praise, either. The canons would be free of all emotion. He wasn’t here to embellish history or glorify the history-makers, as some bards were wont to do. 
It wasn’t embellishment to write that the foothills of Cedi were drenched in the Soul Warrior’s blood. Or observe the gushing wounds on his body, despite his armor, that would make the hardiest of warriors bellow in agony, but not him. It wasn’t embellishment to write that the Heavens were empty for the Celestials had come to Earth to watch the battle, firelight cupped in their palms to light the warrior’s way. 
The Naga, the Serpent People, also looked on, hissing from the mouth of the portal that led to their underground realm beneath the hills. The Serpent King will not choose a side. Vrtra and Vala were half Naga, after all. All across the Human Realm, demons roamed free, taking advantage of the darkness and preying on human flesh and human souls. It was a terrible moment in history. The asuras had the upper hand in the eponymous age of Demon Kali.
Vala did not have arms and half a leg, but still he came at Karna. He had an ace up his sleeve. There were plenty of creatures about, an entire mountain close at hand. He began to chant the spell of soul transference. It was the darkest of all magic, the possession of another’s soul. Soon, he would be whole again and stronger than before.
Battered and bleeding, the Soul Warrior veered away from the Stone Demon. He leapt over boulders and charred vegetation. The onlookers called him a coward. Had he forfeit the duel? Has he forsaken mankind? 
Karna dove for Manav-astra, the spear of mankind, he’d thrown aside yesterday after his bow, Vijaya, had shattered under repeated use. In one smooth motion, he rolled, picked up the astra, coming up in the spear-thrower’s stretch. His tattered lower garment billowed about him as a gust of wind shot through the air. His muscled torso glistened with blood and sweat, tightened as he pulled the arm holding the spear back. 
He meant to throw Manav-astra at Vala. A futile attempt, to be sure? As long as Vala was made of stone, broken or not, his body was impregnable. Karna should have waited for Vala to transfer his soul to an onlooker. Then Karna should have vanquished the possessed creature. 
Taunting laughter reverberated through the foothills of Cedi. Vala had reached the same conclusion. The Celestials looked at each other in angry silence, unable to interfere. A dwanda-yuddha duel was fought between two opponents of equal size and strength alone. The humans hadn’t stopped screaming in three days, the din simply background noise now. 
The Bard scribbled the observations onto the parchment in no particular order. He wished he was a painter, for surely this was a picture worth a thousand words.
The demon hobbled toward the warrior, who stood still as stone with his arm drawn taught behind him. Then finally, with a roaring chant the Soul Warrior shifted his weight from his back leg to his front and let fly Manav-astra at the Stone Demon with all his remaining might. 
Karna didn’t wait to see the ramifications of his action. And there were plenty to come. He ran into the mountain cave to free Vala’s hostages. Within moments the rock face rent in half, and bright streams of light speared through the terrible darkness. A new day had dawned on the Human Realm after three days of perpetual night.
The sun’s power was too bright, too full of hope. Yet, the Bard looked on pensively, wondering if the Soul Warrior knew this wasn’t a victory. It was merely a reprieve.

About the Author:

Falguni Kothari is a New York-based South Asian author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a semi-professional background in Indian Classical dance. She’s published in India in contemporary romance with global e-book availability; Bootie and the Beast (Harlequin Mills and Boon) and It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! (Rupa & Co.), and launches a mythic fantasy series with Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali, #1)

I’m embarrassed to admit how many social media accounts I own :

Website * BlogTwitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest











 

“Dirty Deeds” #KindleScout – Halfway There!

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Dirty Deeds Cover

15 days in and halfway there for my crime thriller Dirty Deeds on Kindle Scout. I’m excited, nervous and more nervous about my chances. After a stellar first few days I came down to earth and my daily views have leveled out to about 45 per day. If I can keep up this pace I can add about 675 votes to what I have so far, which is 1,365. Breaking 2,000 views should be a good thing, right?

I’ve spent the past three straight days in the Hot category, and 322 of 336 so far. Obviously if I hit 644 of 720 it would seem like a good number, too… right?

Again, I have no idea if any of this will matter. Either way I’ll have a new book out in a new genre for me and I’m excited about it. 

With all of that being said… feel free to read the preview and if you’re interested enough PLEASE nominate Dirty Deeds so I can get an Amazon contract

Armand

Guest Post: John F. Allen

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Welcome to my interview with Captain Alexandre “Neal” Du Bois aka Knight Ranger. Today, I will pose a list of questions to the protagonist of the novella, Codename: Knight Ranger, written by yours truly. Let’s begin!

 

Allen – Thank you for joining us Captain Du Bois. First off, I’d like to ask you about how you’re coping with the transition from being a human soldier to an Ultra Soldier with incredible abilities?

Du Bois – Thanks for having me Mr. Allen! I have to say that the transition is extremely difficult for various reasons. First, the physical differences are far more challenging than many people may realize. I have to take extreme care in how I do things, so that I don’t injure people with my increased strength. Also, there’s the idea of being constantly connected to the internet. While this ability is definitely convenient, it is also disturbing because it takes intense concentration to tune it out on a daily basis. Lastly, being separated from my family and assuming a new—albeit temporary—identity, is emotionally stressful. I’d say that by far is the one thing which pains me most.

Allen – I see. I can only imagine what that’s like for you. What’s your take on the idea that supernatural creatures and beings actually exist?

Du Bois – It’s terrifying to say the least. As an Army Ranger, I’d dealt with things that most people would only describe as nightmarish. But, when actual larger than life monsters are a viable threat to humanity it becomes something that defies description as there are none adequate enough available. This is why I do what I do. My primary objective is to help protect humanity against the evils of the world, both human and supernatural. It’s definitely not something I take lightly.

 

Allen – That’s very commendable Captain Du Bois. But speaking of monsters, what about your relationship with Elijah Bishop, Director of G.E.N.E.S.I.S.?

Du Bois – What about it? I would be subject to court martial if I were to reveal the exact nature of my dealings with Director Bishop, however I can’t say that he’s someone I admire. I respect his position and authority to the extent of functioning within the organization I work for. I’m at heart a soldier and I follow orders to get the job done.

Allen – But what about when those orders go against your beliefs?

Du Bois – I will NEVER compromise my integrity for a mission…PERIOD! That said, sometimes the missions I am assigned aren’t pleasant and involve doing things I’d rather not do. However, I’m my own man and I have a rigid moral compass which I refuse to deviate from to accomplish goals counterproductive to what I know to be right.

Allen – That’s an amazing and admirable approach to things Captain Du Bois. I would think that this comes mostly into play when you are sent on covert, counter-intelligence missions as opposed to direct combat missions. How do you feel about the espionage aspects of your position with G.E.N.E.S.I.S.?

Du Bois – In my mind, I’m a soldier first and foremost and not a spy. But, due to the nature of my abilities and the new threats against the United States and our allies abroad, I am forced to employ espionage and covert, counter-intelligence techniques into the missions I’m assigned. I’m not particularly fond of all that entails, yet I understand and accept that it is a necessary component of what I do.

Allen – Fascinating and informative outlook. Back to the subject of relationships with others, you and Dr. Clarkson have developed a close bond. It’s understandable given the fact that he’s responsible for giving you your new lease on life. Exactly how would you describe the dynamics of your friendship?

Du Bois – Dr. Clarkson is an amazing person. I don’t just say that because of what I owe him, but mostly because of the content of his character. He was a friend and mentor to me when he didn’t have to be. Despite the fact that he could’ve easily walked away from things once I had been successfully joined with my new body, he chose to stay. I greatly respect and admire the man.

Allen – Well Captain Du Bois, that’s all the time we have today. If anyone is interested, they can read about your adventures in the novella, Codename: Knight Ranger, available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in both print and e-book versions. Thank you for giving me this interview and we look forward to reading about your further adventures soon!

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About the author:   John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. He is a member of the Speculative Fiction Guild and the Indiana Writers Center. He began writing stories as early as the second grade and pursued all forms of writing at some point, throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John’s debut novel, The God Killers was published in 2013 by Seventh Star Press.

John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, son and daughter.

 

Book Synopsis for Codename: Knight Ranger: Captain Alexandre Cornelius “Neal” Du Bois is a US Army Ranger and decorated war hero. When his unit is ambushed by supernatural hostile forces while in Afghanistan, only Neal survives. When he wakes up in a secret government facility, Neal discovers that his whole life has changed forever.

 

A shadowy government agent named Elijah Bishop arranges for Neal’s brain to be transplanted, without his permission, into a bio-engineered body capable of amazing feats. Armed with advanced body armor and weaponry, he becomes the epitome of the Ultra Soldier.

 

To protect his family and those closest to him, he must let the world and everyone he loves believe he is dead. With assistance from Dr. Avery Clarkson–the scientist responsible for his new body–Neal reluctantly utilizes his superhuman abilities to work for Bishop and his organization called G.E.N.E.S.I.S. (Global Espionage Network of Elite Supernatural Intelligence and Surveillance), in order to track down those responsible for the slaughter of his unit and keep the world safe from supernatural terrorist forces.

 

Author Links:

Website:

www.johnfallenwriter.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/johnfallenauthorwriter

 

Twitter:

@johnfallen1970

 

Amazon Links for Codename: Knight Ranger

Print Version:

http://www.amazon.com/Codename-Knight-Ranger-John-Allen/dp/1511496533

Kindle Version

http://www.amazon.com/Codename-Knight-John-F-Allen-ebook/dp/B00YG3NJZK

Barnes and Noble Link for Codename: Knight Ranger

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/codename-john-f-allen/1122019036?ean=2940151360548

Guest Post: K. Trap Jones

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Finding Time to Write

K. Trap Jones

 

The first thing people ask me when they find out that I write is: When do you find the time?

Of course, the answer differs between writers, but for me, I write late at night. I have a full time career, a wife and three sons. I simply cannot write during the day. There are too many real life situations and the time is not there. I coach my youngest son’s soccer team and coach my middle son’s baseball team. Real life will always be more important than my writing hobby. I’ve been writing for about 6 years and have been blessed with the ability to balance my hobby with everything else.

I have a weird process with writing which reflects directly with the time. I will not write a single word until I conceive the entire story within my head. As soon as I can reach the ending, that’s when I begin writing the story. Regardless of whether it is a short story or a novel, I think through the chapters to make sure I have a complete story in mind. This helps me with the flow of writing. Every night, I am able to bust out a few thousand words or so because the story is already there and I’m not making it up as I go. With short stories, it takes me one night to write one then I use the next night to self-edit before I sub it. With novels, I find I need at least three weeks of “thinking” about the story and three additional weeks to write it down. I let it sit for a week before reading through for flow, consistency, and basic edits before sending to the publisher. It’s a crazy method, but for some odd reason, it works for me. Right now, I am currently writing my seventh novel and “thinking” about my eighth. By the time I’m done writing, I will immediately start the next.

I always thought that writing at night adds to the creepy factor of horror. When everyone else is in bed, all the lights are off and there’s music blaring in my ears… that’s where my writing begins. One Bad Fur Day was conceived over a time period of two weeks and written within three weeks. When I find the story fun to write, the process speeds up. After finishing up a night’s writing session, the next day’s chapters will be thought about during the day until the moon rises and I fire up the laptop. Since OBFD is a journey type of story, I always enjoyed thinking about the next interaction or environment Sid had to go to next in order to find the clues to his missing wife, Sally.

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One Bad Fur Day

 

Call it odd, call it off-beat, call it fantasy; but don’t think for a moment that One Bad Fur Day is anything other than a suspense driven horror ride that blurs the lines between harsh reality and brutal imagery…

As Hurricane Katrina barrels through the Louisiana bayous, the animal population is forced to deal with the tumultuous upheaval of their world. Sheriff Sid and his wife are caught completely off-guard by the natural disaster unfolding around them as they battle not only the turbulent winds and flooding waters, but heinous acts committed by other creatures inhabiting the backwaters. Following a brutal assault on his wife, Sid is forced to fight off voodoo-priestess snakes, a junkyard raccoon, deceitful badgers, and a band of roving power-hungry alligators. While clinging to his tenuous hold as sheriff, Sid must find a way to recapture what is rightfully his and exact his revenge.

  1. Trap Jones does a fantastic job of pairing the genuine horror of a natural disaster with a story of deceit, betrayal and vengeance that pulls you in and forces the reader to identify with Sid as he journeys through the darkest reaches of the bayous, facing deadly encounters, on One Bad Fur Day!

 

One Bad Fur Day is available at:

 

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

 

Amazon Print: US | UK | Canada | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India

Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)

Kobo

iTunes

Smashwords

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – K. Trap Jones is an author of horror novels and over 50 short stories. With inspiration from Dante Alighieri and Edgar Allan Poe, he has a temptation towards narrative folklore, classic literary works and obscure segments within society.

His novel THE SINNER (Blood Bound Books) won the 2010 Royal Palm Literary Award. His splatterpunk novella, THE DRUNKEN EXORCIST has been released by Necro Publications. His narrative horror short story collection, THE CROSSROADS is available from Hazardous Press.

He is also a member of the Horror Writer’s Association and can be found lurking around Tampa, Florida.

 

 

 

“Dirty Deeds” #KindleScout Day 12 – Still Going Strong?

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This will be my last post for a few days about my crime thriller Dirty Deeds. Quite frankly, I’m exhausted thinking about it and I have so much on my plate right now. So I’ll be doing a semi-weekly post to catch up the numbers and tell you where I stand. Sound good?

So… yesterday’s numbers:

24 straight hours in Hot yesterday and 274 of 288 in Hot so far

41 more views yesterday and 1,264 views so far in 12 days

I also began NanNoWriMo yesterday and I’m writing the sequel to Dirty Deeds, imaginatively titled… wait for it… Dirty Deeds 2. I know, I’m wild. 3,600+ words into it so far and goal is first draft done by the end of November (and hopefully right after good news of an Amazon contract or a self-pub release of Dirty Deeds myself)

Speaking of which… go view and nominate Dirty Deeds

Armand

Authors Supporting Our Troops 2015 Wrapping Up #ASOT2015

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We’re already into November and the Authors Supporting Our Troops program really never slowed down, which is amazing.

So many authors, publishers and readers have donated books, money and purchased shirts for the event the last two years. I’m amazed at the growth and look forward to 2016. 

A few things I’d like to address for 2015 and some 2016 stuff for ya…

In 2014 we collected 3,000 author-signed books

In 2015 we’ve collected 3,250 author-signed books to date

Thanks to so many generous donations we already have quite a bit of money to be used towards shipping boxes, postage and supplies for the 2016 event, which kicks off officially January 1st. 

If you’re planning on donating money to the cause and you’re an author I’d like to suggest using the money towards more copies of your book to send us instead. The soldiers could really use the books. If you’re a reader and just want to help I suggest buying an extra #ASOT2016 shirt when it becomes available and give it to a friend. The profit for it goes 100% towards the shipping cost and you get a cool shirt to give someone. 

If you’re an author or publisher and planning on sending me a box of your books I suggest doing it within the next week or holding off until January. I know from the last two years, now that Halloween is over and the holiday mail push will begin, a couple of boxes were lost or damaged in the mail. They also take much longer to get here since they’re competing with so many other packages in the system. Ideally, boxes shipped the week between Christmas and New Years would come in for the first week in January and kick off 2016 on an awesome note. 

I’m not going to do a Facebook event for 2016 this year. With the permanent group going so well and new members being added all the time I decided it was redundant and people were seeing the same posts in two spots. I’ll be promoting the permanent group once we get past the holidays and the wife and I are discussing doing some incentives for 2016 like bookmarks, stickers, etc. as giveaways to everyone who signs and sends us books or donates or buys a shirt. Still in the initial stages but we’re working on it. 

If you haven’t joined the permanent Facebook group I suggest doing so now and inviting authors or readers to it, too. You don’t want to miss the last 2 months of the year and the kickoff into 2016, do you? The giveaways and fun stuff will begin shortly, too! 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASOT2014/

 

“Dirty Deeds” #KindleScout Day 11 – Huh?

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Another day another bunch of Hot hours and views. 

Let’s get right into it before The Walking Dead comes on and I lose my train of thought… 

19 hours on the Hot list yesterday for 250 of 264

29 more views yesterday for 1,223 views so far

Now, before we see zombie Glenn and lose our minds, nominate Dirty Deeds. You’ll feel better about yourself. Trust me. 

Guest Post: Sachin Dev

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~ Cover Reveal ~
 

About the Book:

The Third Yuga is slowly drawing to a close. Nam – the greatest Empire on Janani – is going to face some fierce winds of change. Seers foresee omens of death and destruction in the return of the Banished One – A God who will claim the ashes of this world as revenge. While out in the streets, rumours abound – of older forgotten powers stirring.

Caught in this maelstrom of a power struggle between Gods are three ordinary lives: General Fateh, the most celebrated soldier in Nam who starts to question his faith, Ishan – a gifted orphan who struggles to comprehend his destiny and Abhaya – a young monk in search of truths about this world. Their choices and actions will shape the destiny of this scarred world that becomes the playground for vindictive Gods.

In a world where Rakshasas arise out of left-over traces of Maaya and twilight forms the portal to countless worlds around us for Daityas and Yakshis to dance through, a God is only as powerful as those who believe.And when Gods rise, faith of men will be tested…And broken.

About the Author:

Sachin discovered Tolkien in his teens, alternative rock as a new adult and digital marketing in pretty much his late twenties. These still form a large wedge in his circle of life. Travel, radio and theatre have also figured in that ever-expanding and diminishing circle.

On perhaps a more prosaic note, he is an engineer from BITS Pilani and holds an MBA from Indian School of Business. Attribute the love for numbers and pie-charts to this. He is currently based in Bangalore and happily married to Harini. He spends an inordinately large amount of time chasing after his two dogs (who love the free life a bit too much) when he is not busy dreaming up fantasy worlds full of monsters. And beautiful Yakshis, of course.

He can usually be found ranting on twitter under the handle @xenosach, devouring books and talking about them on his blog. You can always stalk him online at his official website

Guest Post: Stephen Zimmer

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The Soundtrack of Hellscapes, Volume II

by Stephen Zimmer

 

 

I would like to thank Armand Rosamilia for the opportunity to create a soundtrack for the six tales in Hellscapes, Volume II.  It wasn’t easy coming up with a specific list, as there are lots and lots of songs and bands that come to mind when thinking of these tales, but I have made some choices that fit very well with the individual stories.

 

I have broken up the synopsis, so I can give a sense of what each story is about before giving my song pick.

 

Hope everyone enjoys the list!  Definitely on the heavy side of things!

 

 

In “The Cavern”, a man finds his way into a nightmare, subterranean world that leads to an even greater, and more devastating, revelation.

 

For this one, I choose the song “Hell Awaits” by Slayer, off the album by the same name. This has all of the atmosphere that I feel in the story as well, with finality and a grand scale to things.

 

Lyrics such as the following fit very nicely with the roaming element contained in this particular story.

 

 

“The Reaper guard’s the darkened Gates

That Satan calls his home

Demons feed the furnace where

The Dead are free to roam”

 

I almost chose “South of Heaven” or “Seasons in the Abyss”, but “Hell Awaits” captures the essence and the scale of this story so wonderfully.

 

 

A police officer takes pleasure in violently executing his duties and it appears to be open season in “The Riot” when he is part of an operation sent to crack down on a gathering of people protesting an economic summit nearby. But this is an operation that is going to take a very different kind of turn, one that opens his eyes to a new reality.

 

For this one, I pick Pantera’s “Five Minutes Alone” off of the Far Beyond Driven album.  I’m not anti-law enforcement at all, it is a noble and needed pursuit for those who do it for the right reasons, but for the ones who abuse their power and authority I think the Pantera song fits well, especially with what transpires in this story.

 

It is about meting out justice in a very visceral manner that the offender cannot escape from.  Not too different from Phil Anselmo’s vision of having five minutes alone with the offender in the Pantera song.  The main character in this tale definitely is a loathsome, brutal individual who comes to face his five minutes alone with the evil he created in life.

 

A woman finds herself stranded on a high, rocky ledge, along with many other men and women, surrounded by a frothing sea in “Above as Below”. Shadows glide beneath the surface and soon she will discover what lurks within the depths.

 

For this one, I select “Monsters of the Deep” by Devildriver, off of their album The Last Kind Words.  Heavy and brooding in feel, this one definitely fits the vibe of this story.  And there definitely are monsters in the deep too!

 

The following lyrics are simply perfect with what transpires in this particular story:

 

“Set your sights on rocky shores

You just might run aground on the reef

The journey’s in the destination

Mention fear, you’re falling on deaf ears”

 

You’ll have to read it to find out just how, though!

 

“Spots Do Not Change” tells the story of a man who has never had any qualms lying, cheating, or deceiving the women in his life. A reckoning day looms as he comes to understand that his actions have harmed the lives of many others, actions that in the realms of Hell take on forms of their own.

 

This one gets Five Finger Death Punch’s “Meet the Monster” off of their first release, The Way of the Fist.

 

One line in this song speaks volumes to the theme reflected in this tale.

 

“It’s time you met the monster that you have helped create.”

 

This is a story about accountability, and about the monsters that are created when you cause others pain and harm lives.  In this story, it takes a literal form, and the one condemned does indeed meet the monster and everything else his actions gave life to.

 

Having spun webs of intrigue and personal destruction at the heights of national politics throughout his life, a man finds webs of another sort to present grave danger when he finds himself lost within a strange wilderness in “Weaving Webs”.

 

For this one I pick a rarer Danzig song, “Soul Eater”, from the release The Lost Tracks of Danzig.

 

With the reference to pitchforks and presidents in the song, which in my mind conjures up thoughts of the masses alongside figures of power, the following lyrics apply nicely to the main character and the ultimate fate that he comes to discover.  He has spent a lifetime in manipulation and the halls of power, but now he runs into something inescapable…that has his soul.  It also holds the connotation of someone being manipulated by a greater power, or a weaver of webs being part of an even greater web being spun.  Perfect song fit.

 

 

“Bad seed in the base of your skull

I’m here to help it grow

You wanna Pitchfork and presidents

Well, I can make you choke”

Then you call me

Here I am

But you remain

Just remember that I got your soul”

 

Many are drawn to “The Club” in the heart of the decaying, shadow-filled city of Malizia, hoping for some entertainment and release, or even safety from the monstrous dangers lurking in the darkness. One man struggling against amnesia finds his way to the seemingly popular establishment and its confines give him momentary hope; until he discovers the nature of this night club and those who run it.

 

Danzig makes the list a second time, with “Lilin” off of the Danzig 666 Satan’s Child album. This one flows with a sense of dark, supernatural power of a female nature.  With the kind of guy that the main character is, and those he comes to meet in the story, this song is a great fit.

“And if you look down into her eyes, yeah
You’ll see the souls she has trapped inside.”

Book Synopsis for Hellscapes, Volume II: Return to the nightmarish, shadowy realms of Hell in the latest installment of the Hellscapes series by Stephen Zimmer. Six brand new, macabre tales of the infernal await you … but be that you only visit these realms, you do not want to share the fates of the inhabitants you will encounter!

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About the author:   Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based in Lexington Kentucky.  His work includes the cross-genre Rising Dawn Saga, the epic fantasy Fires in Eden series, the sword and sorcery Dark Sun Sawn Trilogy, featuring Rayden Valkyrie, the Harvey and Solomon Steampunk tales and the Hellscapes and Chronicles of Ave short story collections.

Author Links:

Website:

http://www.stephenzimmer.com

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/stephenzimmer7

 

Twitter:

@sgzimmer

 

Instagram:

@stephenzimmer7

 

 

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