Category Archives: urban fantasy

Special Guest Post by L.J.K. Oliva, Author of A WORLD APART

Author L.J.K. Oliva has a real treat in store for us today! Check out her guest post and be sure to read to the end for a code which enables a FREE download of Ptolemy’s Tablet!!! Then stay for the preview of A WORLD APART, Book 1, Shades Below series.

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GUEST BLOG by L.J.K. Oliva

You know how some characters just get in your head and set up camp?

While I was writing my new urban fantasy novel, A World Apart (Shades Below, #1), two characters I hadn’t paid much notice to suddenly starting demanding attention.  They wouldn’t leave me alone until I finally agreed to tell their story, too.

That’s how the idea for my Shades Below Shorts was born.  Meet Rev. Emil Stone and his Peer, Misha “Puzzle” Kaslov.  Emil and Puzzle are supporting characters in the Shades Below series, but there’s so much more to them than what you’ll read in the books.

The Shades Below Shorts are M/M companion novellas to the Shades Below novels.  Below is an excerpt from the first piece, Ptolemy’s Tablet.

Allow me to introduce the guys…

A companion story to Shades Below, Book One: A World Apart

EXCERPT:Ptolemy

“You’re leaving?  Already?”

Reverend Emil Stone clapped his fedora back onto his head and aimed a fond look down at the petite woman in front of him.  The sad tone in her voice tugged at him.  Lena Alan was high on the increasingly short list of people who genuinely enjoyed his company.  He’d let most of his earthly attachments fall away long ago; yet another cost of his chosen career.

He’d almost convinced himself he didn’t miss them.

There was a knot in his throat when he clasped her in a hug.  “I’m afraid so.  This is the first real lead we’ve had so far, and it gives me an idea.  It might be nothing, but Puzzle and I need to check it out.  You never know.”

Lena held him at arms’ length.  Her vivid blue eyes bored into his.  “You promise you’ll keep me posted.”

As if the tone of her voice left him another option.  Emil grinned and dusted a kiss over her cheek.  “You know I will.”

Beside him, his partner cleared his throat and stepped out onto the porch.  Emil pretended he hadn’t heard.  Down time always set Misha Kaslov on edge.  Jesus, the man could be exhausting.  But then, Peers weren’t exactly known for their patience.

Emil rolled his eyes and turned to the man hovering behind Lena in classic older-brother fashion.  “Cyrus.” He gripped the man’s hand.  “Look after things.”

The newest addition to their motley group stood behind them, one hand behind his back, the other wrapped around the curved head of his cane.  Detective MacMillian.  Emil studied him.  Even though they’d just met, the man struck him as above average for a human.

And he was a baro, whatever that meant.

The detective met his gaze, eyes sharp.  Emil resisted the urge to squirm.  Then he bit back a laugh.  When was the last time a mundane had set him on his toes?  Perhaps Jesper MacMillian wasn’t such an odd fit in their world, after all.

Maybe, just maybe, he would survive.

He stepped forward and extended his hand.  It was a calculated risk.  MacMillian’s eyebrows went up.  He hesitated, finally grasped it in a brief but firm shake.

Emil nodded and stepped back.  “Again, thank you.  Jimmy would have spoken to us eventually, but I don’t mind saying the idea of applying more pressure was… unattractive.”

MacMillian’s jaw ticked.  “To both of us, believe me.”

Emil inclined his chin.  Torture was a nasty, messy business, even if the unfortunate mark already happened to be dead.  He turned on his heel and strode to where Misha stood waiting.  He paused, and looked back over his shoulder.  “Watch after each other.  All of you.”

Misha shifted back and forth, itching to go.  Emil finally followed him down to the sidewalk, didn’t turn when the door of The Wayfare Hotel clicked shut.

He scarcely noticed their surroundings as they walked.  Over the last decade, the mundane realm had become incidental, almost inconvenient.  Had he really lived in it for so long?  Really expended energy learning to drive, tracking down the best restaurants, stressing over gas prices?  Looking back, it all seemed so pointless.

Now he had bigger things to worry about.

“So.  Any ideas?”

Emil jerked out of his thoughts to find Misha looking at him.  “Sorry.  What?”

Misha’s lips twitched.  “Ideas.  You know.  About what’s going on around here.”

“Right.  Of course.” Emil hesitated.  Something was nagging at him.  He couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was.  Hell, it was scarcely anything at all, just a small prickle at the outermost edges of his mind.

Misha was still looking at him.  The feel of the man’s eyes made something quicken in his belly.  Emil took a deep breath.  “What if it’s not just one thing?”

Misha’s eyebrows drew together.  “What do you mean?”

Emil blew the breath back out.  “I don’t… hell, I’m not sure.  Haven’t things felt off to you lately?  I mean, more than usual?”

The crease in Misha’s forehead deepened.  “Off…?”

“Yeah, you know.  Off.  Remember Basque, a few weeks ago?  And Marrakech, last August?  I’m telling you, something’s not right.”

“Marrakech is never right in August,” Misha muttered.  He fell silent.  Finally, he nodded slowly.  “Let’s say you’re right.  One problem at a time.  Your Wayfare Hotel.  What do you make of their newest guest?”

“I’m not sure.  That detective may have gotten him to talk, but that doesn’t mean he was telling us the truth.”  Emil stopped walking.

Misha stopped too.  “You told the Alans you had an idea.”

Emil hesitated.  “I do.  Well, sort of.”

“Sort of?”

Emil shifted.  “It’s thin, but I think it merits running down, just in case.  How’s your Masri?”

“Terrible.” Misha arched an eyebrow.  “But yours isn’t.”

Emil allowed himself a tiny smile, and started walking again.  “Ha’ee’i.”

♦♦◊◊♦♦◊◊♦♦◊◊♦♦◊◊♦♦

All the Shades Below Shorts will be offered free to my newsletter subscribers, but as a thank-you for stopping by (and in a shameless bid to get you as obsessed with my new series as I am), simply punch in this code and get your free copy of Ptolemy’s Tablet: EY88Z

Extras!

Emil/ Puzzle Pinterest Board

Emil/Puzzle Spotify Playlist

About the Author:

LJKL.J.K Oliva is the devil-may-care alter-ego of noir romance novelist Laura Oliva.  She likes her whiskey strong, her chocolate dark, and her steak bloody.  L.J.K. likes monsters… and knows the darkest ones don’t live in closets.

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A World Apart

Shades Below

Book One

L.J.K Oliva

WorldApartGenre: Urban fantasy

 Book Description: 

“There are things that go bump in the night, Mr. MacMillian.  It’s my job to bump back.”

Private investigator Jesper MacMillian was sure he’d seen it all.  After all, in a city like San Francisco, strange is what’s for breakfast.  Following a long  recovery after a horrific accident, his life is finally the way he wants it- or at least, close enough.  The only monsters on his radar are the ones that keep him awake at night.

All that changes the day he meets Lena Alan.

Before MacMillian has a chance to brace for impact, Lena drags him into a world where monsters aren’t just real, they’re hiding in plain sight.  Suddenly, everything he knows is suspect, starting with his current case.  For Lena, a medium since childhood, it’s just another day at the office.

For MacMillian, it’s the beginning of the end of everything he thinks he knows.

Available at Amazon

 Excerpt:

The elevator came to a stop.  The doors started to open.  MacMillian backed away and shook his head.  “Do me a favor.  Leave now.  Don’t come here again.”

He stepped into the hallway, then froze.  Clustered outside the door to the office was a horde of people, the widest slice of humanity he’d ever seen crammed into one place.  There were cowboys, businessmen, soldiers.  Native Americans, what looked to be early Chinese, and more than a few women resembling the one from the side street.

The woman stepped out of the elevator behind him.  She hissed.  “Jesus.  Is it always like this here?”

MacMillian stared down at her.  “What are you- you can see them?”

She rolled her eyes.  “Well, obviously.  I’m a medium, remember?” She started down the hallway, paused, and glanced over her shoulder.  “Are you coming?”

MacMillian hung back.  She shrugged.  “Suit yourself.”

She walked up to the edge of the crowd and cleared her throat.  “Okay, someone want to tell me what you’re all doing here?”

Multiple heads swung towards her.  An elderly man in a suit that would have been the height of fashion in the late eighteen-hundreds stepped forward.  MacMillian strained his ears, but he couldn’t hear what the man said.  The woman listened closely, made a curious sound in the back of her throat and turned back to him.  “He says there’s a medium here.  Are you sure you’re not sensitive?”

He was feeling rather sensitive, but he shook his head.  “I don’t even know what that means.”

The woman humphed.  “That’s what I thought.”  She turned back to the man.  “So you’re all here to be moved on?”

The man nodded.

Her shoulders relaxed.  She reached out and took the man’s hand in hers.  His eyes widened, then a peaceful look came over his face.  His lips turned up.  White light appeared in the center of his chest, expanded outward until his entire body glowed.  With what looked like a sigh of relief, he evaporated.

MacMillian’s jaw dropped.

The woman moved slowly through the crowd.  Hand after hand reached out for her.  She took each one, held on until its owner flashed white and disappeared.  By the time she reached the office door, the hallway was empty.  She leaned back hard against the wall and closed her eyes.

MacMillian didn’t remember moving, but somehow he was standing in front of her.  He closed his free hand around her arm and towed her inside, not stopping until they reached his office.

He slammed the door.  “What the… what was…” He dragged a sleeve across his brow.  It was drenched in sweat, but his skin felt freezing.

The woman watched him, her eyes sympathetic.  “Rough day, Magnum?”

He glared.

She sighed and rubbed her forehead.  “That, my dear detective, was the other San Francisco.  You’ve probably seen it before, just out of the corner of your eye.  You’ve probably dismissed it all your life.  Maybe you always told yourself you’d just had too much to drink.”  She paused, her gaze heavy on his face.  MacMillian squirmed.  “But I’m guessing you always knew better.”

His head was throbbing.  He shook it once, twice, but it didn’t clear.  “I don’t get it, Miss…”

“Alan,” she supplied.

He nodded.  “Ms. Alan.  Why are you here?”

Her eyes darkened.  “Because there are things that go bump in the night, Mr. MacMillian.  It’s my job to bump back.”

 

 

Interview With Author, J. P. Sloan & Preview of “The Curse Servant”

♦ RELEASE DAY CONTEST 

5 Digital copies of The Curse Merchant, Book 1 of the Dark Choir series

ENTER HERE 

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Be sure to keep reading after the interview for an excerpt from The Curse Servant!!

A conversation with author, J.P. SLOAN:

You’ve said your writing is “dark, fantastical, at times stretching the limits of the human experience, and other times hinting at the monsters lurking under your bed.” How do you switch mental gears from an ominous world to being a father and husband?

Ooh… nice question! I think it has a lot to do with mental balance, in general. I do my level best not to repress my dark notions too hard. If you cage the beast, the beast is likely to break the lock and bite your head off, given time. Dark fiction is one way I indulge the shadow self. When it’s sated, it’s not all that difficult to downshift and be wholesome with the family. It helps that my wife is also a horror writer, so she gets it.

I’ve often wondered how horror/paranormal authors explain their dark subject matter to their children. How do or will you deal with potential questions as your son matures? Are your books fiction or could they contain an element of truth?

I don’t find it at all hard explaining my fiction to my son. I realized early on that my son is as strict a rationalist as I am. Our conversations invariably swing toward talk about planets, rockets, chemistry, why the moon looks orange when it’s near the horizon, how we make table salt, etc. His mind is a steel trap, and he doesn’t let me get away with a lot of tomfoolery, so I have to play it straight with him. Good news being that he doesn’t think much about the occult. He finds notions of ghosts and demons to be silly. Now, if I wrote a book about killer tornadoes, he might lose sleep over that!

Bearing that in mind, yes. My books are entirely fiction, at least from a rationalist point of view… which is the view I’ve endeavored to foster in my son.

What made a Louisiana boy relocate to Maryland? Do you like it? Hate it? What are some of the things you enjoy about both locations?

What made me move to Maryland? In a word: Katrina. My wife and I both grew up in Southern Louisiana, and were living in Metairie (a suburb of New Orleans) when Hurricane Katrina hit. We rode out the storm with my parents in Baton Rouge, but when it all blew over, the greatest damage wasn’t so much to our house as it was to the local economy. We couldn’t get work, and the bills were still piling up. A friend of ours was teaching at Georgetown, and he let us know that one of the local counties was offering rent and utilities relief to any evacuees who relocated to Maryland. I got a job interview before we even left Louisiana, was hired immediately… and we never really looked back.

We adore living in the Mid-Atlantic. Unlike the Deep South, we get four distinct seasons, we’re a couple hours’ drive from both the beach and snow skiing. We can hop a train to Boston or NYC or Philly. The culture here in Maryland is pragmatic yet incredibly warm. Plus, Baltimore has a lot in common with New Orleans. They’re both major port cities with an Old World oeuvre and a peculiarly specific seafood culture. I just traded the Blues in for Hard Rock.

I have a doormat that states “A Wine Snob and A Normal Person Live Here” with the “O” in Normal containing a beer cap. It sounds as if you could be a “Beer Snob” as in connoisseur. How does one become a certified beer judge? Are there tests or training involved in getting a certification?

There is a volunteer organization called the Beer Judge Certification Program, which compiles periodic “standards” for world beer styles. They also conduct exhaustive tests to rate one’s knowledge of beer making and styles, and evaluation skills. This is all done in order to improve the public’s understanding of beer, and to assist homebrewers in improving the craft. There are several books available towards understanding the whole scene, and an amateur can get started by checking out http://www.bjcp.org. Ultimately, though, the best education comes from years of homebrewing and tasting beers from around the world first-hand. I benefitted from a “judge club”, a group of fellows who went in together to buy several beers of a single style each month, and over the course of a couple years we basically ran the gamut. Much easier on the liver to taste 2 oz of seventy styles of beer than 12 oz!

You’ve written two novels in the Dark Choir series, The Curse Merchant and The Curse Servant, as well as a short prequel. Are more books planned for the series?  What are you working on now?

I plan to write six total books in the Dark Choir series. The first two were sold at the same time to my publisher, Curiosity Quills. In the interim between the releases of the first two books, I’ve written a stand-alone horror/western which is almost ready for submittal. As I put the final spit-shine on that manuscript, I’ve already begun drafting the third book in the Dark Choir series, The Curse Mandate.

Your main character is Dorian Lake. If your books were adopted for film, who would you want to play Dorian and why?

I think that Sam Witwer would slam-dunk the role, personally. You’ll recognize him from the role of Aidan in the US version of Being Human. I think he could pull off smarmy and self-effacing at the same time, while preserving the sense of doom that Dorian lives under continually.

The Curse Servant

The Dark Choir

Book 2

J.P. Sloan

Genre: Urban FantasyCurseCover

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication:  February 26, 2015

ISBN (eBook): 9781620078228

ISBN (Paperback): 9781620078235

ISBN (Hardcover): 9781620078242

ISBN (Smashwords): 9781620078259

ASIN:  B00QEQN1XC

Number of pages:  346

Word Count:  99,400

Cover Artist:  Conzpiracy Digital Arts

Book Description: 

The one person standing between Hell… and an innocent girl… is a man without a soul.

A regular life isn’t in the cards for Dorian Lake, but with his charm-crafting business invigorated, and the prospect of a serious relationship within his grasp, life is closer to normal than Dorian could ever expect. In the heat of the Baltimore mayoral campaign, Dorian has managed to balance his arrangements with Deputy Mayor Julian Bright with his search to find his lost soul. Dorian soon learns of a Netherworker, the head of a dangerous West Coast cabal, who might be able to find and return his soul. The price? Just one curse.

Sounds easy… but nothing ever is for Dorian. A dark presence arrives in the city, hell-bent on finding Dorian’s soul first. Innocents are caught in the crossfire, and Dorian finds it harder to keep his commitments to Bright. When the fight gets personal, and the entity hits too close to home, Dorian must rely on those he trusts the least to save the ones he loves. As he tests the limits of his hermetic skills to defeat this new enemy, will Dorian lose his one chance to avoid damnation?

Available at Amazon

Excerpt:

I knew this wasn’t going to be the typical meeting with Julian Bright when, instead of the usual political organ-grinders at the campaign headquarters, I found a soccer mom duct taped to a chair, foaming at the mouth. Her grunting and growling echoed off the bare sheetrock walls of Julian’s office, vacant except for the three of us.

I peeked through the blinds covering the locked storefront to make sure none of volunteers were back from the morning rounds. Satisfied we were alone, I turned to Julian.

He waved his arm at the woman in a lazy circle. “So, this is why I called.”

“Who is she?”

“Her name is Amy Mancuso. You know her?”

I shook my head.

“She’s a volunteer. Her team was working Cold Spring by Loyola when she started swearing and spitting at the residents. By the time her team captain called me, she’d kicked someone’s dog. Terrier, I think. Or one of those purse dogs.”

I winced. “Remind me not to hand out yard signs for you. Jesus.”

“It’s not like we do background checks on volunteers. I figured she probably missed some meds or something.”

“But you called me instead of the paramedics.”

“Right.”

“Why?” I asked as I took a step toward her.

Amy’s grunting halted as she straightened in her chair. Her head swiveled slowly in my direction, and her eyes sent the creeping chills up my neck.

With a nerve-rattling tone she growled, “Is that Dorian Lake I smell?”

I’d never enjoyed the sound of my own name less.

Julian turned a shoulder to me and whispered, “That’s why.”

“Gotcha.”

I slowly approached Amy, pulling my pendulum from my jacket pocket in a slow, non-threatening motion. Last thing I needed at that moment was to send a crazy person into a panic. I assumed she was crazy. My pendulum would determine whether she was unnaturally energized or the usual cat-shaving flavor of lunatic.

Her eyes were dilated; her mouth twisted into the most unsettling smile one could imagine on the face of an otherwise average woman.

“Have we met?”

“Poor little Dorian lost his soul.”

Okay, this was probably a legitimate problem.

I dangled the pendulum in front of Amy. The little nugget of copper spun from the end of its chain in a perfectly Newtonian fashion. Nothing pulled it contrary to the laws of Nature. I couldn’t even feel a tug on the chain.

She continued, “Lost his soul, he lost his soul. Dropped it down a rabbit hole.”

“I suppose you think you’re being clever?”

“Is he doomed or is he dead? Will he damn your soul instead?”

This conversation had lost all of its charm.

“Who am I talking to?”

She sucked in a huge gulp of air and craned her neck at a painful angle toward the ceiling. A sick squealing noise leaked from her lips as her arms trembled. When she finally released her breath and sank back down into her chair, she simply chuckled.

“We’re going to find it, you know. And when we do, we’re going to eat it.”

I leaned in as close as I dared and whispered, “If you think I’m afraid of you, then you need to know something. I’m not impressed.”

“It won’t be long now.”

“Did someone send you, or is this just a courtesy call?”

She smirked. “We’re going to enjoy this.”

I was knitting together a clever response when a loud rip of tape crackled through the room. Her hand slammed up underneath my jaw, fingers clamping around my throat. My head filled with blood, and I tried to cough through the gag reflex. The harder I beat on her hand to let go, the wider

JPSloanAbout the Author:

J.P. Sloan is a speculative fiction author … primarily of urban fantasy, horror and several shades between. His writing explores the strangeness in that which is familiar, at times stretching the limits of the human experience, or only hinting at the monsters lurking under your bed.

A Louisiana native, Sloan relocated to the vineyards and cow pastures of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina, where he lives with his wife and son. During the day he commutes to the city of Baltimore, a setting which inspires much of his writing.

In his spare time, Sloan enjoys wine-making and homebrewing, and is a certified beer judge.

Web page: www.jp-sloan.com

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

Twitter: @J_P_Sloan

Tumblr: http://jpsloan.tumblr.com/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6569197.J_P_Sloan

 

 

Blue Words by M.C. Edwards – Dark Urban Fantasy

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2 Signed paperback copies, open to postage worldwide.

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Blue Words

MC Edwards

Genre: Contemporary/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Warpath Print

Date of Publication: 30/11/14

ISBN: Paperback – 978-0994172303

ISBN: e-book – 9780994172310

ASIN: B00PWIW1ZC

Number of pages: 334

Word Count: 110,000

Cover Artist: Geoff Craig

bluewordscoverBook Description:

Common threads have always woven through the world’s mythology and folklore, strings which seem to link cultures divided by the vastness of oceans and time.

Have you ever wondered why? What if I told you that they all stem from a single origin…..the Varth-lokkr. Within this ancient creature’s blood, stirs the power to save or enslave the world as we know it, a power ignited by a simple word. But which does it truly desire?

This dark urban fantasy follows one of these creatures through its emergence into 21st century Australia. It chronicles the rise of those who oppose it, those who ally themselves with it and those who are unwillingly drawn into its wake.

Shed the blood. Speak the words. Change the world.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/9Ez7jHeFp2U

Available for Purchase at Warpath Print

Amazon     Smashwords

Excerpt:

“Don’t move or we’ll fire,” ordered one of the guards, his voice shook and his trigger finger twitched. Gudrik glared at him and swiftly shot towards George, who was now leaning over the stainless steel top rail, still scouring for an escape which didn’t exist. The guards began to fire wildly at him. They may not have seemed overly competent, but they could shoot. Several projectiles tore through Gudrik’s flesh as he moved, spattering blue onto the grass. Startled by the gunshots, George spun just in time to see the scruffy relic hurtling towards her. A bullet buried into Gudrik’s knee. He stumbled. Before she had a chance to react, Gudrik crashed into George. His momentum forced her backwards, toppling them both indigently over the safety railing in a tangled mess of arms and legs.

The pair rocketed towards the ground. George screamed profanities so coarse that they blistered the very air around her. She scrambled and flailed as if trying to climb back up Gudrik’s body. He wrapped himself tightly around her. “Earvictius groot,” he bellowed.

His bullet wounds glowed, and the tender flesh surrounding them began to transform into cold, speckled granite. The stone rapidly spread along his limbs and across his abdomen, searing with pain as it went. He cringed and grated his teeth. As it spread across his chest and onto George she began to scream as though he were slashing chunks of flesh from her. Thankfully, the agony did not linger and in the blink of an eye, stone had completely swallowed both of them. No matter how hard she tried George could not move. It was both claustrophobic and frightening.

The living statues whistled closer and closer to the ground. Until……SMASH!  They crashed unhindered onto the roof of a parked car. Glass and shrapnel exploded from the vehicle as they tore through the chassis and into the road beneath.

Just as painfully as it had spread, the rock retreated returning the flesh to its vulnerable state, leaving it sensitive and speckled with sweat. Both lay for a moment of recovery. Their chests heaved deeply as they came to terms with what had just happened. Gudrik crawled out of the mangled wreck and climbed to his feet. “Are you harmed?” he grunted, lifting George to her feet.

She was pale and disheveled with blank shock clouding her eyes. Time was of the essence. Gudrik slapped her across the cheek. Fire filled her blank eyes. She swung a punch, which he avoided. He grabbed her shoulders and repeated his question, “Are you harmed?”

“I-I’m confused as hell,” she responded, panicked, but glad to be alive. “But fine. I think. Yes fine. Definitely ok,” she stammered nervously, quickly checking her body over for injuries and pulling her dress down to cover the lacy black panties on show to the world. Her hand quickly went to her locket, checking it was still there. “Was I made of stone then?” Gudrik ignored her question. His attention was otherwise occupied. By that stage, a huge crowd of onlookers and good Samaritans had gathered around their impact point.

“We must keep moving.”

He dragged his hand along a twisted shard of the car’s metal shell and spoke, “Unjallius.”

Gudrik groaned as huge, white wings tore from the flesh of his back in a puff of loose feathers and a splatter of blue. They stretched to a massive, elegant span and quivered in the sun. The suit jacket and shirt were left torn and tattered, spattered, stained and hanging in shreds from Gudrik’s muscled shoulders. The stunned onlookers stepped back in awe. He grasped the confused woman tightly and with a few powerful beats of his mighty wings launched the two of them into the sky.

George clung tightly as they whipped and glided through the city. They weaved between the highrise buildings, slowly gaining altitude and suddenly plunging toward the ground as Gudrik negotiated the unpredictable up-drafts above the busy city streets. George was not as terrified as her brain insisted she should be. She loved the speed, she loved the wind and she loved the gaping faces of the populous below. It all exhilarated her. Gudrik’s grasp was gentle and caring, but still so firm and reliable that there was no fear of falling.

Finally, Gudrik surged up and breached the top of the sky scrapers. The onlookers below were now nothing more than ants. George released her grip on Gudrik and shielded her eyes. The sun was much fiercer up there without the buildings’ protection. She swivelled and squirmed as she gathered bearings. “Land on those cliffs over there,” George said pointing at a small lookout point above the river.

Gudrik dived and swooped in, gently putting the two of them down on the grass in a rapid flutter of tiny wing beats. “Gratitude,” Gudrik grunted as the wings collapsed into a sprinkling of blood.

About the Author:6a9c6201Warpath

M.C. Edwards, or Eddie as he is known to his mates, grew up in a coastal town on the picturesque Central Queensland coast of Australia.  He has travelled to many corners of the world and has a love of all things bizarre.  He enjoys motorcycles, beards, comics, videogames and the taste of a fine single malt scotch.  In his writing he crafts immersive worlds which mix reality and fantasy to create a strangely believable mix.

Facebook – www.facebook.com/mcedwardsworld

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/MCEdwards

Twitter – https://twitter.com/_Matt_Edwards_

Wattpad – http://www.wattpad.com/user/MCEdwards

Instagram – http://instagram.com/bluebloodedwarlock

Website – www.warpathprint.com

The Relics Of Gods

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The Relics of Gods

Between Heaven and Earth

Book One

Yeyu

Genre: Fantasy

Chinese Historical/Mythology/Paranormal Fantasy

Publisher: DSP Publications

Date of Publication: January 6th, 2015

ISBN Ebook – 978-1-62798-779-0

ISBN Paperback – 978-1-62798-778-3


Number of pages: 350

Word Count: 119,000

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Book Description:

What is worse: Being so broke you can barely afford food, getting hired for dangerous missions way out of your league, suffocating under mountains of unanswered questions—or wanting to sexually dominate someone who can kill you without lifting a finger?

Lu Delong is a mercenary who evaluates antiques most of the time, and deals with the paranormal on rare occasions—even though it’s supposed to be the other way around. When he joins a dangerous quest for an ancient artifact, he meets and becomes strongly attracted to a mysterious and powerful immortal named Cangji. Despite his friends’ warnings and Cangji’s icy, unsociable demeanor, Delong is unable to resist befriending him. However, Cangji is deeply involved in a matter beyond mortals, and Delong is drawn into a chaotic struggle by both visible and invisible forces.

Always the pacifist who wanted to live a simple human life, Delong never imagined he’d end up involved in a conflict that will affect everything from the lowest insects on earth to the highest gods in heaven.

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Tour Giveaway

Kindle Voyage with wifi

5 copies of The Relics of the God

eBook or Paperback – winner’s choice

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Excerpt: Chapter 1

AS USUAL, the market was bustling and crowded on a hot summer day. Chickens clucked, pigs snorted, and citizens of Great Ming screamed over one another at the top of their lungs, deep in heated bargaining battles. Naturally, Lu Delong was no exception.

“Fifteen wen for a bundle of sorry-looking water spinach? You must be joking!” Delong complained as he examined the bunch of tasty greens with a disgusted look. The shop owner was likely from a village outside the city, since Delong had never seen her in the markets before. “This is outrageous!” he accused, staring straight into the woman’s eyes. “You operate a blackhearted business here, madam—I daresay this bundle is only worth three wen.”

The tall, muscular woman’s face turned a bright shade of red. “What in the world are you talking about?” She had a strong accent and was probably one of the refugees who had moved south to escape the drought up north. “Look at how green these plants are, how beautiful and flawless the leaves are—these vegetables are planted in the richest soil in these lands and are fed quality water. Fifteen wen is actually a bargain!” Her gaze swept up and down Delong, and her lips thinned. “I don’t know how a beggar like you grew this big, but if you can’t afford the price, go away! Don’t go off slandering my shop’s vegetables!”The-Relics-of-Gods-f

Delong took a step back and glared at her. “Excuse me, madam. How rude of you to assume things from my attire! I am more educated than you think, thank you very much for the discrimination.” He leaned closer and continued, “Have you heard of the story of the Orange Seller before?”

“What Orange Seller?” the woman growled, but she was unable to hide the curiosity in her eyes. Delong snickered inwardly, pleased to find this woman a typical gossip-lover with nothing better to do with her time.

“There once was this Orange Seller who was good at storing oranges so they did not spoil. The oranges were beautiful, with a golden color and jade texture. In the markets, they sold at ten times the price of average oranges, but people still fought to buy them because they believed the fruits to be of exquisite taste. However, when they brought the oranges home to eat, they realized the oranges were all rotten and dried inside. The moral of this story? Never trust appearances,” Delong finished.

“But I’m not selling oranges!” the woman argued, exasperated. She pointed at the spinaches. “You can cut these apart and they’re obviously not dried up and rotten!”

“How do I know you’re not selling poisonous vegetables?” Delong inquired. “They’re so green, I find it very suspicious! If someone dies in this village and they bought vegetables from you, we know who to blame, don’t we? So I’m being nice already to actually offer to buy your vegetables at all. Three wen for one bundle, and I’ll buy two. What say you?”

By now the shop owner was pale. “Fine, fine—but promise you won’t tell anyone else the story you just told me?”

Delong grinned wide. “Deal.” He then proceeded to buy a few more vegetables at a great bargain, and with a basketful of beautiful, delicious vegetables, he hummed on the way back to his house. What a way to start his day—he only had fifteen copper coins in his purse, and he had bought five times his money’s worth.

He eventually arrived at the least organized section of the prefecture, where walled residences of not-so-great condition were squished closely together. Like all commoners with little money and no extended family to care for, Delong lived in a sishuiguitang with a tiny courtyard cramped by one main building and two secondary buildings. He pushed open the creaky gates, stepped into the courtyard, and paused. He glanced at the building to his left, where the kitchen was, before he turned to stare ahead. It didn’t take long for him to figure out what to expect, so he continued whistling and walked into the main building.

“I see you haven’t changed much, Delong,” said the lady at his table, who had already helped herself to a cup of alcohol. Unlike the other guest who sat humbly beside her, Yaqin easily garnered attention. Her robes were made of orange silks lined with beige-colored fur, scantly covering her lithe body and leaving her pale breasts and thighs exposed. Her reddish dark hair was arranged in a complex knot secured by an intricate golden hairpin, and fox fangs dangled from her ears. Any average man would be taken by her stunning beauty and sensual allure, but her charms had little effect on Delong.

Yaqin glanced around the room, her gaze sweeping past the shelves that somewhat divided the place to contain a living room and sleeping quarters, his uncomfortable bed, his study table, and the broom next to it. “Still, your house depresses me,” she sighed. “Only cheap alcohol and less than a catty of rice left? The rest of your belongings are merely old tattered books! You even have a building stuffed full of useless pieces of paper! What in the world have you been doing for the past few months?”

“Nothing,” Delong admitted with a shrug. “Hey, it is not easy finding work,” he said in his defense when Yaqin shook her head with disapproval. “It’s not as though people run into paranormal problems all the time! Even if they do, they’re probably just going to ask for help from prestigious Daoist sects that deal with those problems instead of a freelancer like me. My sole income is from being Old Li’s assistant….” His voice became smaller when Yaqin gave him a pointed look.

“Well, of course I have you and Zhaoyang to thank,” he added hastily while he nodded at the thick-browed man sitting on the chair beside Yaqin. “Old Li always talks fondly of you two, and he takes care of me because he knows we’re good friends. Still, I’m not that bad myself—I helped him greatly with evaluating the goods people like you sell him to give the prices a competitive edge. I have to say, those history books I’ve read paid off!”

“Evaluating antiques, are you?” Yaqin said, unimpressed. “Listen to yourself. All the skills your master taught you, the art you’ve learned at Cloud Fortress Sect—wasted.” She got to her feet and crossed her arms, examining Delong with narrowed amber eyes. “Old Li isn’t going to be around forever, Delong. You know how short human lives are! Do you really plan to spend the rest of your life cooped up in this pathetic shed?”

Delong shrugged. “Hey, it is not nice to call my house a shed! And what is wrong with being an antique seller? You need someone to sell your spoils, don’t you? Old Li already told me that he wants to hand the shop to me, since he has no sons,” he finished proudly.

“That’s—” Yaqin stomped her fur-lined boot, her hands balled into small fists. “Argh! I have never heard of a half-yao selling antiques! You should be out there training to become an immortal xian, causing problems for humans, or exploring the world—not selling antiques, wasting time and money on useless books, and being satisfied with some measly grocery bargain!”

“Now, now, Yaqin, calm down,” chuckled He Zhaoyang as he raised a hand and patted her thigh. Unlike Delong, who chose to tie half his coarse brown hair up only to keep it out of his face, Zhaoyang had his black hair combed into a neat, tight bun, which accentuated his sharp jawbone. Like all who were in his profession, however, his skin was on the pale side. “There are benefits to knowledge, and not every shifter has to lead extraordinary lives, never mind training to become celestial beings, hmm? You know how few mortals, human or yao, can actually succeed in transcending mortality. Besides, we actually could use Delong’s help in our next case.”

Smelling money, Delong straightened his back. “How can I help you two?”

A warm smile spread across Zhaoyang’s face. “Yaqin and I have been invited to participate in what will perhaps be the biggest operation in history, and we need someone who we can trust to come with us and watch our backs.”

“Wait—what?” Delong’s great smile faltered. He wasn’t too comfortable with doing what the couple before him did for a living, even though he was perfectly fine with selling what they brought back. “Well, if you ask, of course I’ll help, but I hope I won’t drag you two down…,” he said carefully. “I have never fought in that sort of… environment. I don’t know what to expect.”

“You’ll be fine,” Yaqin said, waving her hand in dismissal of Delong’s protest. “You’re not exactly human, either.”

“I’m still half-human,” Delong argued. “Unlike you, fox lady! There is nothing wrong with me wanting to live an ordinary life as a human!”

Yaqin merely yawned. “Spare me the cliché. How many times have you used your otherworldly abilities to get your way? How many times have you used your powers during… say, sex? Don’t tell me you don’t use them to boost your stamina.”

“Wh—How can you be so direct and say such things without a shred of embarrassment?” Delong said with disbelief, feeling a little hot now.

Shrugging, Yaqin smirked like the fox she was. She stood, though her full height only reached Delong’s chin. “Why should I be embarrassed?” she inquired, looking up at Delong as she poked the center of his chest. “Still, I hit the target, didn’t I?” Her smile widened when Delong felt the heat spread from his cheeks to his neck. “Despite how harmless and upright your face tends to fool people into thinking you are, with your thick eyebrows, large eyes and all… I knew someone who got kicked out of Cloud Fortress Sect for breaking the celibacy rule would use his powers during sex. But still. Stop using your human lineage as an excuse.” She lifted her hand and placed it on her human husband’s shoulder. “Zhaoyang here leads a far more interesting and extraordinary life than you do!”

As though taking her cue, Zhaoyang added, “Anyway, Delong, I’m asking you to come with us also because I caught wind that, ten years ago, your master was investigating our destination. This may have something to do with her disappearance.”

“Are you serious?” Delong’s eyes widened. “Why would my master investigate tombs? It definitely does not seem like a mission from Cloud Fortress Sect, since defiling the dead is not exactly the best way to become immortal. Even though my master already became a xian and isn’t stuck- up like the rest of the daoshi out there, I can still hardly imagine her barging into some noble’s tomb without good reason.”

“Perhaps,” Zhaoyang said in a lowered voice. “But this tomb she was investigating isn’t by any means an ordinary tomb.” He licked his lip. “This tomb… belonged to a god.”

“You’re planning to rob the tomb of a god?”

photoAbout the Author:

Yeyu wrote her first story when she was 7, and she has been creating stories on-and-off ever since, be it writing fanfiction or drawing original manga. She finally ventured into writing original fiction in high school, and stuck with the form.

Most of Yeyu’s childhood was spent overseas, but by the age of 16 she moved back to the small East Asian island most commonly known as Taiwan, where she was born.

When Yeyu isn’t writing in her spare time, she is probably reading, gaming, or sleeping. No cats, sadly.

Web: https://autumnleafrain.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @QiuxiaoYeyu

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6903476.Yeyu

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/QiuxiaoYeyu

RELEASE DAY! Watch Me Burn

RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY

5 ebook copies Watch Me Burn

3 print copies Watch Me Burn open to US Shipping

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Watch Me Burn

The December People

Book Two

Sharon Bayliss

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: 1/5/15

Number of pages: 250

Word Count: 75,000

Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson

Watch Me Burn EBookBook Description:

David Vandergraff lost his home, his job, and contact with his oldest son, but remains determined to be a good husband and father despite being a dark winter wizard.

His resolve is tested when a flyer for a missing girl–who happens to be a summer witch–begins to haunt him. David believes a spell needs to use him to save her, so he follows the magic’s command and looks into her disappearance. His teenage daughter Emmy resents him for caring so much about a random stranger. But when she uncovers some disturbing evidence close to home, she begins an investigation of her own.

David and Emmy quickly learn that the mystery is not only about a missing girl they barely know, but a deeply personal story that impacts everyone they care about. As their world crumbles, they fear the warning may be true—never mess with summer wizards, because the good guys always win.

Book Trailer: https://animoto.com/play/NNYqeNxzQ9ec1Rb6Gu33ww

Available at Amazon

Excerpt:

David Vandergraff could smell magic in the air, as clearly as he could smell the motor oil and burned coffee. When the news report began, the volume on the television became much louder, and the screen glowed as if demons would claw their way out at any minute. However, none of the other patrons in the waiting room of the mechanic’s shop noticed anything different. They continued staring at their phones, looking pale and sick in the fluorescent light and excessive air conditioning. Before David had known he was a wizard, he dismissed such oddities as “just one of those things you can’t explain”. But now, he knew better.

The image of the missing girl on the screen shined so intensely, he could see her outline burned into the blackness behind his eyelids when he blinked. The girl posed in her volleyball uniform, displaying a radiant white-toothed smile. She looked about fourteen or fifteen. She had blonde hair and golden skin and a strange radiating quality, as if the pixels in the television gave her an extra glow.

David shook his head. Since he had learned he was a wizard, anytime he noticed anything strange, from bad weather to a headache, he feared magic was involved. His daughter Emmy was blonde, around the girl’s same age, and played volleyball. So, the missing girl reminded him of Emmy—and of course, that would upset him. Besides, his heart always raced when he saw a missing child. Two of his own children had been missing for a long time. And even though they were now safe at home, he didn’t think the fear and grief would ever leave him.

He tried to turn his attention back to scanning job listings on his tablet, but he couldn’t focus his eyes on anything except the television report and all the other sounds turned into a whirring buzz.

BAYLISSAbout the Author:

Sharon Bayliss is the author of The December People Series and The Charge. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). She only practices magic in emergencies.

www.sharonbayliss.com

@SharonBayliss

https://www.facebook.com/authorsharonbayliss

https://www.goodreads.com/SharonBayliss

 

YEAR END SALE!!!

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This is it! My year end BLOWOUT SALE!!!  From now until January 1st, you can buy any of my titles for just 99¢!!!!  That’s right . . . less than a buck. Choose from suspense to contemporary fantasy, each with just the right amount of heat. Okay, The Gatekeeper has a LOT of heat but it did rate 4 stars from Romantic Times. Stone Cold Justice was an Amazon Best Seller when released and continues to please readers today . . . so much in fact, that Amazon Crossing chose the title for German translation and released it overseas! You can find them all at my Amazon author page, http://www.amazon.com/Deb-Sanders/e/B0068UNQ48 

So, enjoy my sale. Fill up your Kindles. And stay tuned . . . my NEW Mystery series will release in January. The Daisy Red-Tail Mysteries features a quirky Southern chef solving mysteries and dodging romance on a Native American reservation. Each book will include one of her scrumptious recipes and a healthy serving of sleuthing. Book One – DEAD MEN CAN’T TALK.