Tag Archives: fantasy

COVER REVEAL: Colour Wielders

ColourWielderCoverFinal

Colour Wielders –
Hei
rs of the Magykal Realm Series

Book One

Dawna Raver

Genre: New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Word Count: 133k

Cover Artist: Ricky Gunawan

Book Description:

Behind the Mysts, hidden from Mortal eyes, is a land where Gods and creatures of myth and legend dwell. And in the Mortal Realm, their Princess lives.

Quinn Sinclair is clueless to who she is. She thinks she’s an ordinary young woman—well, mostly ordinary—living an ordinary life with her less than loving mother in Conifer, Colorado. On the night of her birthday, Quinn finds herself betrayed by a man who sends her life spinning out-of-control.

As she struggles to pick up the pieces, a vision of a man with haunting tourmaline-blue eyes begs her for help, and she finds herself transported into a Magykal battle forever changing her life.

Arik Morgaine—demi-god bad boy and outcast of the Magykal Realm—tried to avoid contact with Princess Quinn Sinclair for eighteen years, not wanting to make good on an old threat. But the fates have other plans. Arik can no longer deny his growing desire for Quinn, or the need to protect her from those wanting to control her burgeoning powers. Can the two of them come together and save the Magykal Realm from being destroyed by the Darkest of Magyks, or will powers beyond their control destroy them and their world forever?

About the Author:

Dawna Raver is an the author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Colour Wielders, book one of the Heirs of the Magykal Realm series, is her first novel. When she’s not spending time in her fantasy world, Dawna loves football, reading, and pretending she’s a top chef in the kitchen. Oh, and worshiping her dogs and husband.

https://www.facebook.com/DawnaRaver

https://twitter.com/DawnaRaver

https://dawnaraver.com

Bewitching B&W

Win a Signed Copy of “Touching Evil”

Good Stuff! Yeah, I’m talking about Touching Evil by Amber Garr but I’m also referring to the contest where you can win:
1     Signed paperback copy of Touching Evil with SWAG (US Only)
2     ebook copies via coupons (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m happy to welcome Amber Garr, an amazing Urban Fantasy author. Her latest release, “Touching Evil”, introduces us to Leila Marx – and a brand new series ripe with demons, sorcery and the struggle to stay alive.

Amber, The Syrenka Series bore a mythological feel with Mermaids, Selkies and creatures of the sea. I’m sure your marine biology background helped in researching those stories. This time, however, you’ve delved into a darker subject with demons, sorcery and psychic gifts. How did you prepare for the Leila Marx Novels?

No, marine biology didn’t help me on this one! I have always been a huge fan of vampires, werewolves, witches, etc. and have read a ton of stories with mythology of these creatures intertwined and tweaked to the authors taste. I researched my supernaturals, used what I liked and created what I didn’t. I think I will always need the explanations of their powers or characteristics to make sense scientifically. So as the series continue and we learn more about the other characters, I’ll have a chance to get creative. Leila’s gift is evolving, especially after her experiences in Touching Evil, so it may call for some more research or more creative flexibility!

I love the wonderful blend of a thriller with paranormal elements. Was it difficult writing
about the technical side of a murder investigation?

Thank you! I love reading detective/mystery novels (like Jonathon Kellerman, Patricia Cornwell, etc) and am a fan of many of those TV shows. I should probably say that I spent some time in a police station doing my research, but really I used what I’d developed in my head from all of those resources. It was a little difficult…I didn’t want to go full Grim on it, but still wanted to get the supernatural crowd interested.

You’ve written for both YA and the adult market. Which do you prefer and why?

Tough question. I wrote the adult novel first, but enjoyed living in the head of teenagers for a year and a half. I’m looking forward to writing more of Leila’s story and although it’s pretty tame right now (due to her mindset), I’m excited to see where I can go with characters in their late 20’s. So you might need to ask me that again in a year.

The bio on your website says you obsess over the unknown. What kind of answers are you
seeking, and why?

Well, as a scientist, I am always asking ‘why’ and ‘how’ when it comes to the animals and environments I work with. So in that respect, I get paid to obsess over the unknown! But I also want to know why my cat sits and stares at the same corner on the ceiling every night like she’s watching something (or someone). Or why I’ll dream about a person being pregnant and it often turns out to be true. I recently posted a story on my blog about an experience I (well, more my cat) had in a cemetery, and it makes me question a noise, a shadow, or those creepy feelings. My imagination is always working!

Your books play with a bit of “fear factor” in some characters. What scares you?

Flying and heights. And sometimes a lot of ants. I’d like to think that I’d stay calm if I ever met a supernatural being, but I don’t know if I would.

I’ve also heard you have a love for dancing. What style of dancing do you enjoy? Have you
taken lessons or are you a free spirit who lets the tune move you?

I was a classically trained ballerina for a very long time, and at one point thought that’s what I’d be doing professionally. But I enjoy all styles of dance, although I’m really bad at hip hop – something about that ballet training! Now I get to teach and choreograph and I love it. Dancing will always be a part of who I am.

What can we expect from Leila Marx in the second book of the series?

Ooh – I have such plans! Her experience with the demon will have a lasting impact on her abilities. Some of the unresolved matters with her fiancé’s murder will return. Conner will be back, and we’re going to spend more time with the vampires, werewolves, and fae. I can’t wait to get started!

And now for a little fun. If you could morph into any mythological creature, what would it
be and why?

I would want to be immortal. History is so cool, I think it would be the neatest thing ever to experience multiple generations of change. Of course there is still a part of me that wants to live underwater…

Touching Evil

Book One of The Leila Marx Novels
Amber Garr

Genre: Urban Fantasy

ISBN: 978-1480021594

ISBN 10: 1480021598)

Number of pages: 326

Word Count: 81,000

Cover Artist: Amber Garr

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/1z7SEGu0jwo

Book Description:

Leila Marx is trying to put her life back together after her fiancé is murdered. Her book illustrating career has limited her social contact and nightmares have trapped her in the past. When a police acquaintance enlists her help with a difficult case, Leila is surprisingly thankful to have a purpose. Not only will this help to keep her mind focused, but she will be able to use her talents as a touch clairvoyant that are frequently dismissed by skeptics. Leila and Detective Garrick Pearson delve into the mystery behind a series of missing teenage girls and mummified corpses while fighting their own growing attraction to each other.

Conner Hoffman is an intriguing lawyer and striking half-demon who enters Leila’s life unexpectedly. Although her visions are terrifying, she is fascinated by his charm and his legacy. When it becomes evident that the murders are linked to a paranormal event, Conner introduces Leila to a world unbeknownst to ordinary society. She suddenly finds herself immersed in supernatural politics, sorcery, and danger as she becomes the killer’s next target. Staying alive will mean relying on friends, accepting the unbelievable, and trusting in her heart again.

Short Excerpt

What does one wear when they commit the first felony of their life? I probably spent two hours going through my closest trying to find something criminal. It had to be black. Yes, definitely black. I finally settled on a turtleneck, spandex workout pants, and the only pair of black sneakers I’d ever owned. They were left over from my waitressing days and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were still in good shape, even if they did smell a little like grease.

I just finished pulling my hair back into a low bun, like spy girls do in the movies, when the doorbell rang. Conner was here and my heart fluttered instantly. Last night had been a lot of fun and I really enjoyed my evening with Garrick, but this was the first time any man had been to my house who wasn’t a part of the police force since Russ was killed. This was also the first time I’d ever had a half demon in the house, at least as far as I knew. After another quick glance in the mirror, I bounced over to the door.

And as soon as I opened it I realized how much of a dork I must have looked like.

There was Conner, in a regular pair of jeans and a college sweatshirt doing all that he could not to laugh at me. I glared up at him.

“What? No one told me what to wear so I had to improvise.” He started laughing but then choked it back down when I tried to close the door on him. His foot shot out and blocked my attempt.

“I’m sorry. You look good. Really.” He smiled fully at me and then bowed his head as he put his hands together in a prayer-like position. “May I have permission to enter my ninja warrior princess?”

I could see his shoulders shake with amusement again and I refused to be embarrassed. With an exaggerated sigh, I walked back into my bedroom, leaving Conner to let himself in. I decided that he should wallow in uncomfortable silence for a while, although when I came back into the living room and saw him flipping through some of my illustrations, I realized he was unfazed.

“These are really good. You’re quite talented.” I stood there, leaning against the wall for a few seconds trying to judge if he was being serious or not. Just as I started to give him the benefit of the doubt, he arched an eyebrow my way and said, “A much better artist than fashionista.”

I threw the sweatshirt I had in my hands at him and stomped over to the kitchen. His laugh consumed the room and I was surprised to find a smile on my face as I opened the refrigerator.

“Should we take snacks?” I asked. We were going to drive to a spot close to the house and wait until it was clear. I’d been told that it might take several hours and I didn’t want the cambion getting hungry while we waited.

“Sure, if you want. Maybe some water would be good.” It was obvious that he enjoyed my lack of stake-out abilities.

I grabbed one of my reusable grocery bags and filled it up with water, crackers, and Twizzlers. All of the essentials. I briefly considered grabbing a bottle of wine to control my anxiety, but decided against it in the end.

“So, are we ready to go?” I asked as I hoisted the bag on my shoulder and grabbed the sweatshirt back. He studied me for a moment and then pulled an object from his back pocket.

“Not until you put this on,” he said as he tossed something small and black at me. It was a ski mask, one of those ones that covered everything except for your eyes. I pulled it over my head and batted my lashes.

“Am I ready now?”

He laughed and took the snack bag off my shoulder. “Yes, Leila. I think you’re ready for a life of crime.”

 

 About The Author:

Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire.  Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids.  Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell.  She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.\Website

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CONTEST: Win $25 Amazon GC!

ANOTHER great contest! Win one of TWO $25 Amazon Gift Cards. Click on the Rafflecopter link to enter!

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Mad World: SANCTUARY

Mad World Book 2

Samaire Provost

Genre:YA Paranormal

ISBN: 978-1479220090

ASIN: B0093RSLUW

Number of pages: 212 pages

Word Count: 59,780 words

Book Description:

The year is 2017, and the Black Plague infection has swept across most of the United States, leaving death and chaos in its wake. Martial law is the rule rather than the exception, with outbreaks cropping up when they’re least expected. Alyssa and her friends must not only battle outbreaks of the disease, but also find themselves pursued by government agents – men and women determined to track them down at any cost.

Fleeing north to the fabled Sanctuary, Alyssa, Jacob, DeAndre, Caitlyn, Risa and Luke face disturbing ordeals and terrible tragedy as they encounter unbelievable situations in their struggle to reach safety. Using their skills and wits in their fight to survive against ever worsening odds, they weather hardship, betrayal, and the ever-present specter of death as they flee north, all the while vowing to protect one another – and most of all their precious 5-year-old Luke, from a world gone mad.

Sanctuary, the second installment in the Mad World series, is a heart-rending adventure of astonishing revelations, tragic discoveries, agonizing separations and devastating losses that test these friends to their limits. With heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat suspense at every turn, this is a story you will not be able to put down.

Find out what happens next.

EXCERPT: 

We were about 50 feet from the barn when suddenly the lights inside went out.

“Oh, that is so not good,” I said under my breath.

Risa stopped completely and stared, trying to see any danger before she got to it. I stopped, too, and we just stood there for the space of a few heartbeats. This night was getting creepier by the hour. After a minute, Risa shrugged and said, “Well, whatever. I can’t just sit here waiting. Let’s go see what scary horrors lie in wait for us in there.”

At this I burst out laughing, and hung my arm over her shoulders. She had broken the tension, and I felt immensely better. Laughing together we walked toward the now dark barn.

We got to the barn door and peered in. It was pitch dark, so we switched our flashlights on and tried to illuminate the massive interior.

“Hmmmm,” I said, trying to see in the darkness beyond the twin beams of light. The barn was too big to see; there was nothing for it, we would have to search the dark expanse cubic yard by cubic yard.

We split up and began searching and calling every few minutes. I heard a snuffling in the dark reaches, but it was Risa who said, “Awww, hi there little guy.” And then, “Alyssa, come look at this.”

I trotted over to where Risa was standing at a stall door, shining her flashlight on the interior. Peering over the tall wooden door, I looked inside the stall and saw a mare with what appeared to be her newborn foal. The baby teetered over to its mother on long legs and then ducked its head under and began to nurse.

“Awww,” I said softly, smiling. We watched the two for a while, marveling at the wonderful sight. It was so adorable. A reminded that life goes on, that the plague hadn’t affected this little family one bit.

We didn’t hear what had just entered the barn until it was almost upon us. As we watched the mother and baby, the mare’s head shot up and she snorted nervously. At the same time, we heard the low growls, several of them, coming from the direction of the door we’d just come in not five minutes ago.

“Oh, crud,” Risa said as she turned. The hairs on the back of my neck rose as they did every time I heard those growls when I wasn’t expecting them.

“Quick, switch off your flashlight,” I whispered. “Maybe it’ll help.” I switched mine off as I said it, and then ducked and ran softly on the hay-covered floor to the far end of the huge barn. Risa followed me, making hardly any sound. We tiptoed along the side of the stalls and tried to make ourselves as small as possible. After we got to the last of the doors, we crouched there in the darkness. I was unwilling to go inside a stall to hide; I didn’t want to be caught in one, with no way out.

The growling became intermittent, and I thought I could make out at least three different voices. So, at least three zombies now shared this barn with Risa and me, and the mare and her foal. Somehow, I didn’t think the horses had much to worry about.

In the five-plus years since the epidemic began, scientists had been studying the problem and testing different theories. In the process, they had discovered a few interesting facts about the people infected by the plague. The zombies. First of all, they didn’t seem to be attracted to animals. Lucky for us people, they seemed to only want to taste us. Great, huh?

Second. They seemed to have very poor vision. Guess that might have had something to do with the way their eyes quickly went milky, as if they had cataracts. Gross. Anyway, they seemed to hunt by smell mostly, and also used their sense of hearing to find their prey. Speaking of prey, we were it. That’s right, our own people, who had been ravished and zombie-fied by this terrible plague, turned back on us and hunted the humans who had yet to be infected.

Smell. Sounds. These things were on our minds as we huddled there in the dark in the corner of that strange barn. We knew the zombies acted mostly on instinct; they weren’t too smart. But then again, they weren’t too dumb, either. We’d seem zombies duck shots fired at them, and think things through in their seemingly insatiable quest for human flesh. They would attack strategically, looking for any weakness. If we were barricaded in the van, locking the doors on one side, they’d come around to the other side of a car to try the windows there. Luckily, the barn we were in was full of smells other than ourselves. The big pile of horse manure in the corner, for instance.

We had no choice but to try to find a way out of our predicament, while making as little noise as possible. The three zombies we knew of were growling and shuffling around toward the front of the barn again, while we crouched in the back. I began searching for any back door or window we could use as an escape route, and Risa, seeing what I was doing, began looking with me. We must have been about 8 feet apart, at the back wall of the barn, when the zombie we didn’t know was there jumped down from the loft and onto … me.

“AHHHHH!!!!!!” I yelled, startled, as I tumbled to the ground. Luckily, the zombie had fallen more than ten feet, so when it landed on me, it rolled off to the side and was momentarily stunned. I quickly scrambled to my feet and unholstered my shotgun, bringing it forward and leveling it at the figure on the ground.

Risa reacted quickly as well, bringing her the .33 up and training it on the creature. One thing we had learned fast in the last five years was not to hesitate. So I walked up to the figure that was starting to rise, and I fired at its head, the muzzle of my sawed off not a foot away. It quickly dropped to the ground and was still, but the shot, that had been deafening in the closed area, had alerted the other zombies to our presence.

We both looked up toward the barn door and heard the low growling become even more menacing, if that were at all possible.

“Oh, to heck with this,” I mumbled, and turning behind me, I shot out the nearest wooden board in the wall of the barn. With Risa covering me, I kicked out a hole large enough so we could get through. I scrambled through the 2-by-3-foot hole I’d made, and Risa emerged after me, with a zombie hot on her heels. The thing actually stuck its head through the hole, and stretched an arm out too, reaching. Big mistake. Huge.

Quickly holstering my shotgun, I brought my bowie knife up and then down, slashing the thing trying to eat us. The sharp blade sliced cleanly through its neck, and its head rolled free at Risa’s feet, dripping black blood. Hey, what can I say? I liked to keep my blades razor sharp.

“Oh, gross,” Risa said softly.

Laughing, I quickly switched back to my shotgun, reloading it in less than 30 seconds. “We need the men here,” I said, pointing my shotgun to the sky. I let off three rounds, at five second intervals. POP!! POP!! POP!! The shots echoed across the farmyard. We heard the growls stop on the other side of the barn wall, and then resume, sounding angrier than ever.

Looking around, I saw a small water tower on stilts, about three stories tall. We could climb the ladder and, if the zombies came, we’d be able to pick them off one by one. We’d be safe up there. Indicating it with a tilt of my head, I holstered my shotgun and we both trotted over to the ladder.

“Up you go,” I said, boosting her up. The water tower ladder started about 5 feet off the ground so we had to scramble a bit. The growls had faded away, but I was worried the zombies were going to come around the corner any minute. Boosting the skinny teenager up, I prepared to hoist myself up after her.

Then I heard the zombies growls, much closer than before. Without stopping to look around at the direction they were coming from, I jumped and grabbed the third rung and hoisted myself up, my foot catching the bottom rung on the first try. There was nothing like being hunted by zombies to hasten your climb up a ladder, I tell ya.

Risa and I clambered up to the ledge on the bottom of the large, barreled, wooden structure; it was 10-12 feet up. We stood on it, we didn’t want to sit and then have our legs dangling off the end out into possible grab territory. We waited.

We didn’t have long to wait. It was less than a minute after I started up the ladder that the first zombie shambled into view. It was a female, in an old housecoat that had seen better, non-zombie, days. It walked out into the open, not sure where we were, but definitely smelling us. It was followed by two more zombies, both male, one looked to be an old man and the other a middle aged man. It was almost funny to watch, because the old man zombie appeared to have been a bit crippled by old age before being infected, turned and subsequently infused with zombie strength. So what we were watching was a crooked old zombie that look arthritic, but moving pretty fast and not appearing in pain at all. These three zombies began a zigzag pattern, using their noses to find us.

They were about twenty feet away when things got really nasty. And by really nasty I mean that a dozen or more young zombies, of varying ages, came to join the adult zombies in their hunt for us humans. Apparently, this had been a pretty large family. It looked like a grandfather, a great grandfather, a mother, and at least a dozen youths ranging in age from around ten all the way up to early twenties. I suspected the father might have been one of the two I’d killed by the barn, but I wasn’t sure. Trying to count these things was useless, plus in the end, we couldn’t know how big the family had been, how many members there were. Heck, we could try to mentally calculate the whole family only to miss the Uncle Bob zombie or the Auntie Tweedie zombie or something. In this situation you just had to assess the threat as best you could and meet the danger head on as it came to you. Deal with the zombies you knew about, and never let down your guard.

“Shoot, where’s my extra ammo?” Risa said, fumbling in her side bag.

“I put it in the back pocket, there,” I pointed. I fumbled for my own ammo – we were going to need it. I located the box of cartridges in my side pouch and checked my shotgun. I was ready.

“Okay, hold my belt,” I said, and after Risa hooked her arm around the wooden structure and grabbed hold of the back of my belt, I leaned over and shot out the ladder. Good. Now they had no way of climbing up to us, I hoped.

We watched them come, both of us calm, holding our firearms at the ready. We’d been through over five years of this so we were somewhat used to it. This wasn’t even Risa’s first situation of this type. Three other times, we’d been trapped and either holed up or treed like cats and had to pick off zombies one by one to free ourselves. But this was the first time Risa and I had done it alone. I was really counting on her. Glancing sideways I asked, “You okay?”

Risa looked at me and nodded her head, a look of calm determination on her face. “Absolutely,” she said, then looked down on the advancing horde.

___

We later learned that Jacob had heard my three shots and had begun jogging through the trees toward our location. He was almost a mile and a half away, and there was underbrush to deal with, but he made pretty good time. He had slung his shotgun over his shoulder and was trotting steadily, zigzagging through the trees, following the sound of the shots.

DeAndre had heard the shots, too, but was a bit farther away – over the low hills and south of the water tower. The shots I’d fired sounded faint, but it was closing in on midnight and the night was very quiet and peaceful. The stars were brilliant, and together with the quarter moon, they stood watch as D hiked up through the foothills toward our location.

___

Risa and I stood there, waiting for the zombies to wander closer. My shotgun needed to be fired at close range to knock one out for good. I’d shot from several dozen feet away, and you just got a wide spread. The result was a zombie with a pitted, icky, gross, dripping-with-goo face. No, I would need to wait until they had closed within about 6 feet or less. But that was okay, we were up high. I figured we could pick them off one at a time. Unless by some miracle they decided to work together. I’d heard of this happening sometimes. I hoped it didn’t happen tonight.

“Here comes the first one,” Risa said, taking aim. The zombie shambled up to the water tower and looked up, its eyes all milky and its scalp shredded where it had apparently been bitten when it was a human. It looked like it had once been a teenage girl, maybe 16 or 17. It still wore pedal pushers and a flowery sweater. Growling at us, it stretched its arms upward and jumped, trying to catch the ledge we were on. Risa steadied her .33 and shot off a round: *POP* The bullet caught the zombie right in the temple; it dropped heavily to the ground and was still.

“Good shot!” I said. And then, “uh, oh,” as three more zombies began jumping for the ledge.

POP! I knocked another zombie down. It was taller than the first and had actually been able to slap its fingers to the edge of the wood when it jumped. Now it was slumped against one of the wooden stilts that supported the water tower. It would never jump again.

Risa tried to shoot a third zombie, but it was moving around more erratically and it was harder for her to get a bead on it. It took her four shots, but she finally nailed it in the head, and it fell to the ground.

The third of the closest zombies just growled and moaned as it looked up at us. I had no pity for the thing. If we were within reach it would not hesitate to attack us. And I did not hesitate. Lowering my shotgun muzzle and sighting down at it, I pulled the trigger and blasted the thing’s face off. It fell backward onto the ground and lay still.

I looked up to get an idea of what to expect next, and my eyes found the old man zombie approaching. It moved pretty fast – it probably hadn’t moved that fast when it was alive, for several decades. But now, in its crooked, arthritic, sideways shamble-hop, it was fast. And shrewd as well. Looking up at us and staying back a ways, it seemed to study us. Its eyes had not gone completely milky yet, and apparently it could see us. It was kind of creepy in a way, almost as if it was actually sentient.

“Will you look at that,” I said softly. At the sound of my voice, its gaze focused on me, and it cocked its head.

“Whoa!” I said, nearly losing my footing in surprise. The old man zombie seemed to notice this, and then it dropped its eyes down to study the area under our feet.

“I really don’t like the looks of that one,” Risa said. “It’s giving me the creeps.” I nodded. I didn’t like the looks of it either. But my attention was drawn to another wave of zombies trying to get at us. I blew three of them away in quick succession and then leaned back to reload. Risa was getting better with her .33, which was good. That gun was not terribly accurate at greater distances, so you had to wait until you had a clear shot at a zombie no more than ten feet away to have a really good chance of hitting it in the head and stopping it.

I finished reloading and covered Risa as she also reloaded. Sighting down the muzzle of my shotgun, I picked off two more zombies, then stopped to look up. The grandfather zombie had moved back a bit and was now about a dozen feet away from the base of the water tower. As I watched him, he all of a sudden let out a huge roar that made all the zombies stop all of a sudden. Then it grunted and growled and gestured and OH MY GOD IT WAS COMMUNICATING WITH THE OTHER ZOMBIES.

“Oh, this is not good,” I said.

“Oh my God. Oh my ever-loving God, what is happening?” Risa said.

There were maybe six zombies left, including the old man zombie and, believe it or not, they were in an informal huddle, looking like an amateur football team. Those zombies were concentrating their attention on the old man zombie, and he seemed to somehow be GIVING THEM INSTRUCTIONS.

“I don’t believe this,” I said. Looking around us, I saw that we were trapped like treed cats. “Listen, Risa. If this situation starts to go south, I want you to make a break for it, okay?”

“I won’t leave you, Alyssa,” Risa said.

“I’m not planning on becoming a martyr or anything, but I have a bad feeling about this and I …,” I said.

“Alyssa, don’t even think that way. We will come out of this alive and we will find Luke,” Risa said.

Looking around again, I once again pointed my shotgun at the sky and let off three rounds about five seconds apart. I nodded to Risa and reloaded again. Risa nudged my arm, and when I looked up she gestured to the zombies. They were breaking apart slowly and something was happening.

They seemed to be a bit confused I thought, but then the old man zombie let out another loud roar and then hobble-charged right at us!

The other zombies followed him, and all of a sudden we had a small mob of half a dozen zombies rushing at our water tower. Risa and I could only watch as they came. Our guns pointed down, we wondered what was going on. This was not a good scenario at all. When dealing with zombies, I had always preferred to be on the side making the active decisions and controlling the game. Now they were calling the shots, executing some bizarre strategy from their zombie playbook.

We fired as they ran toward us. POP! POP!! POPPOPPOP!!

Two of the zombies fell to the ground, but four others just kept charging, in fact, they ran right under our ledge.

A split-second later we felt the water tower shudder and lean slightly before righting itself again. The zombies had hit the stilts holding us up. I couldn’t believe it. They had launched a coordinated attack and were trying to knock the water tower over to get at us.

“How on earth…?” I said. I didn’t have time to finish my sentence. They were still directly under us, pushing at the stilts in an effort to finish the job.

We teetered as the zombies below us pushed at the stilts. The water tower swung back and forth several times as we hung on to the wooden planks. Then for a few seconds, it stopped moving to the side and I thought perhaps the zombies had given up. But apparently they had just stepped back to gather their strength for another push, because all of a sudden the movement started again and it was worse than before. We hung on tightly to anything we could grab, but it was no use.

“Oh! OH!!” Risa said, as the water tower leaned alarmingly to the side.

“We’re going to have to jump! Come on!” I said, as the thing began to topple over.

ALSO:

Mad World: EPIDEMIC
By Samaire Provost

Mad World  Book One

Genre: YA Paranormal Dystopian

ISBN:  978-1478317371

ASIN:  B008PO969O

Number of pages:  160

Word Count:   44,700

Book Description:

The Black Plague is ancient history. It killed 100 million people nearly seven centuries ago, halfway around the world from the technologically advanced research center at Stanford University. Scientists there have recently begun examining samples of bone marrow from plague-infected corpses unearthed in Europe. All the necessary safeguards are in place. What could go wrong?

Alyssa and Jake are away with their class on a highly anticipated year-end trip to Broadway with their senior acting class when all hell breaks loose at home. Traveling back, and trying to find their families, they encounter deadly results. Riots are breaking out. People are being evacuated. And they have no idea what’s happening to their families.

Horrific ordeals, heart-pounding tragedy, and chance encounters harden them for what lies ahead. Faced with tormenting decisions, they’re forced to follow their instinct for survival at any cost – even when the cost is a heart-wrenching decision of life or death.

A harrowing adventure of frightening discoveries, horrifying confrontations and narrow escapes in Epidemic, the first installment of the Mad World series.

Find out what’s got everyone so terrified.

Kindle      Paperback

About the Author:

Samaire Provost lives in California with her husband and son. Her love of paranormal stories, odd plots, and unique tales as well as the works of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Susan Cooper, Madeleine L’Engle and Stephen King has deeply influenced her writing.

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/samairep

blog: http://samaireprovost.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/samairep

CONTEST and Author Interview – Meet PM Richter

Next on my list of October’s Hallowed Authors – Pam Richter, author of four edgy thrillers, The Necromancer, Midnight Reflections, The Living Image, and Deadly Memories. To sweeten the blog pot, Pam is awarding a complete SET of all four books to TWO of my lucky readers. Wow, four books….free….and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment at the end of this post! I’ll draw names on Sunday. Don’t be selfish, share the info with your friends. If they win, maybe they’ll let you borrow one. 🙂

Read on to see what lurks in this talented writer’s mind!

The Necromancer is steeped in witchcraft and wickedly good suspense. How do you make your characters so multi-faceted and intriguing? Does your Psychology degree help with character development?

Actually, the characters seem to take on their own personality.  Sometimes one of them will just insist on doing what they want.  I let them!  This makes plotting more difficult, and I find it easier to list questions for myself so I don’t let any loose threads go.  Recently in my newest book, I had just finished the novel and I looked over my questions. One of my minor characters who was injured did not have any resolution.  Did he live or die?  I had to go back and it only took a few sentences to settle his fate.  You can bet the readers would have been asking questions if I didn’t fix this though.  I take plotting very seriously.  I want the whole arc in my book, beginning, middle and I pretty much insist on a happy ending.  Readers don’t want to be let down and depressed.  They learn to love our characters if we writers do our job. We are actually entertainers who take the reader out of their world for a little while into an alternate reality.  It should be fun and suspenseful.

Yes, a degree in psychology is very helpful in character development.  When I wrote about the psychological aftermath of rape on my main character, Michelle, in The Necromancer, the way the violation influenced her behavior because of sub-conscious fear was a real problem for her. The fear generalized to all men so she was uncomfortable in social situations.  She couldn’t stand the thought of a man touching her ever again.  When she finds out the real reason for her fear, and that her panic was justified, her whole outlook is changed.  The flight-or-flight burst of adrenalin which happened to her when alone with a man ended.  She could love and live a normal life again.

Some readers were distraught over the rape scene in the third chapter, but it was written in the third person, as a flashback, and the reader knows Michelle survives.  It was necessary for her character.  Personally, I think what I wrote about her subsequent reaction is the best I’ve ever seen in fiction, even if I did write it.  My degree in Psychology was important here to make it realistic.

I enjoy the paranormal and sci-fi elements in your books which takes them to another level.  What made you decide to write thrillers?

Oh gosh, I don’t think I decided to write thrillers.  I loved paranormal books by authors like King, Koontz, Konrath, and I wanted to write a big book in their tradition.  For The Necromancer I added witches, an animal familiar named Lucifer, (after the orange striped cat in Alice in Wonderland) a professor of the occult, and of course a woman in jeopardy, Michelle, and her best friend Heather.   The Necromancer is Omar, who stalks Michelle, and then there’s our hero, Rob Nakamura.  A classic clash between good and evil; it’s for mature audiences.

I’m an identical twin, so I wondered what would happen if a person found someone who looked exactly like them.  That started The Living Image.  It evolved into a thriller just because a lot of people wanted to possess the woman who had been changed by a scientist, and the two women have to evade them.

You live in southern California but hail from Sacramento. (Lived there myself for some years and loved it.) Do you incorporate settings from places you’ve lived and visited or do you research new locations based on the plot?

I lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for a few years, so I took that location for The Necromancer.  Still, I did a lot of research on Hawaii and some of the other islands so I could add fun tidbits about the traditional culture.  I love to learn things when I’m reading so I added these things for the reader.  In another book one of my characters was French, and I had a wedding in the novel on the French Riviera, so I had to do a lot of research on France.

The location of a book I’m doing now is on a cruise ship visiting Puerto Rico.  I have a character lost in the Rain Forest there.  I found out there are tree frogs that screech all night long.  She has a horrible night in that jungle.  It was fun doing the research because I saw a YouTube video and heard the actual noise.  Those frogs are loud!

Like many authors, you’ve had an interesting employment background. Do you use those experiences as inspiration for your stories? Where does your ideas come from?

In The Necromancer, Michelle is a property manager in Hawaii.  I did that same kind of work in Santa Monica.  I had a review on the book by a person who said one incident in the book couldn’t have happened.  But it did–in an office building I managed.  There was a burst pipe that flooded a whole floor of offices.  The water went down through the floor, through a smoke detector, and set off the building’s fire alarm.  I thought there was a flood and a fire in the building simultaneously.  Talk about being in a panic!  The whole building, all 22 floors, had to be evacuated.  I put this incident in The Necromancer.  I’ve never thought about doing a story about teaching ballroom dancing, one of my former jobs, but you’ve got me thinking….

Name three books/authors that you found memorable and tell us why.

It, by Stephen King.  One of my favorite books he’s written because his characters seem so real.  I like big books with big themes.  He has the children who eventually become adults and solve a haunting mystery that started in their town when they were young.

The Mill River Recluse, by Darcie Chan. This is simply great.

The Entire and the Rose, by Kate Kenyon.  This is a Science Fiction series of four novels.  It’s very complex, intriguing, mysterious and wonderful.  She makes the other worlds seem so real, and the reader is catapulted into different realms.

May I add another series?  Wool, by Hugh Howey.  This is Science Fiction, wonderfully done.

What is something that scares YOU most?

Bugs–insects.  I don’t mind them when I’m gardening.  But when they’re in my house, forget it.  I panic, wave my arms, act crazy.  I start off The Necromancer when Michelle sees a Big Bug on the wall.

One of my friends said, “I don’t know why I even started The Necromancer.  It has big bugs, a rape scene, and it’s scary–nothing I like.  But it’s my favorite book this year.”

If you had a magic rock that could take you back in time to any era, where you visit . . . and why?

First choice:  Atlantis.  The legendary island first mentioned by Plato.

If Atlantis doesn’t really exist in history, hum….  The big cities of long ago are enticing.  London, Paris, Rome.  The problem is they are beautiful to see, but while visiting I think of the lack of sanitary conditions, poverty, starvation.

About the Author

PM Richter is an author living in West Hollywood California. She has a degree in Psychology, from Northridge State University. She has worked as a property manager for Nansay, Corp. a multi-national corporation, been a dance teacher for Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire Dance Studios. She has five novels available on Amazon Kindle.

The Living Image

The Necromancer

Midnight Reflections

Trifecta

Deadly Memories

Website:  http://anauthorsplace.weebly.com/index.html

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pam.richter.391

Twitter: @pmraven

The Necromancer

P.M. Richter

Genre:  Paranormal

ISBN-13: 978-1478349501

ISBN-10: 1478349506

ASIN: B004AYDGVM

Number of pages:  346

Word Count:   121,705

Amazon Kindle       Amazon Print       Barnes and Noble

Book Description:

She picked the worst guy to have an affair with! –  Evil stalks in Hawaii

Michelle was brutally attacked in her locked hotel room in Las Vegas. The police didn’t believe her and thought she must have lured a man up to her hotel room for a little sexual adventure, which went dangerously out of control.

Michelle sustained visible scars from the terrifying and almost lethal attack, but pure fear motivated the move from her home in California to Hawaii. She’s scared her attacker will come back. She’s sure the next time he’ll kill her. Now she has a successful career and she figures abstinence is an acceptable, if lonely, way to live.

Michelle decides that an affair with a wickedly handsome man who moves into her building might cure her of the humiliating, embarrassing, and uncontrollable anxiety attacks which plague her whenever she finds herself alone with a man.

How could she know she made the worst possible choice?

Omar Satinov, the man Michelle has chosen, is a secret, whispered legend across several continents. His lure is a mystical religion based upon Witchcraft; his hook, the addictive herbal products he sells his followers. But does he really have supernatural powers, as many of his disciples believe?

EXCERPT:

It was just past twilight, almost time for the Crystal Prophesies.  Omar leaned his elbows on the penthouse balcony, enjoying the moment.  This was a magical time of day and he was a magician.  He preferred calling himself a Necromancer to the common titles: warlock, conjuror, magus, seer or wizard.  There were subtle variations, but he fancied ‘romancer’ in his title.  Necromancer.  It described him.  He romanced his way into hearts and minds.  With the help of a little magic.

As he gazed at the panorama spread out below, the Pacific slowly changed from light blue to a misty topaz.  Lush clouds floated on the horizon, and stars began to glow.  To his left was the tinsel-tourist Waikiki, and to his right the city of Honolulu was lighting up. Below him, in this very building, he could sense the presence of a remarkable woman.

He turned, gazing through plate glass windows into his new penthouse.  Ginger and Samson were inside.  Ginger noticed his look and, with a flourish, she uncovered an enormous crystal ball from its leather shroud.  She winked at him.  Ginger was a disciple, a beautiful tall woman, with long curly red hair.  She wore a flowing blue gown for the ceremony.

It was a tradition for the three of them to gaze into the crystal ball to divine their future when they expanded to a new location. They had arrived in Oahu a week ago.  Tonight was perfect, the time of the full moon.

Omar went inside and sat down in front of the crystal.  The sphere was almost two feet in diameter and sparkled on a base of black onyx.  The three were seated in the main living room, beneath a skylight.  White rafters crossed the cathedral ceiling.  The room was dark except for a cold silvery glow from the candles Ginger had placed around the room.

Omar passed his hands over the crystal ball several times for theatrical effect, principally for Samson, who was watching with curious eyes.  Omar’s acolyte, Samson was a gigantic man who would never age mentally.  He did remember this ritual.  His mouth was open in anticipation.

Omar frowned and leaned closer, gazing into the depths of the crystal.  Indeed, the omens were not auspicious.  Red forms floated amorphously inside, constantly changing shape.  This denoted the substance that controlled all magical rites.  Blood was a fluid like the tide; it flowed like the ocean, was coaxed by the moon to move subtly in bodies, causing emotional changes called lunacy. Sometimes it spilled.

The black he observed, swirling around the red forms like a night wind, could be taken as a symbol of his own influence.  It was the bright white light clashing there which forced Omar’s dark eyebrows to slide together.  White, an opposing force, seemed capable of exerting great influence in these Hawaiian islands.  Omar couldn’t tell if it indicated an old curse peculiar to these islands, with their ancient polytheist beliefs, or if it referred to a threatening individual.

The white was glowing, taking over.  There was busy movement inside the crystal.  It might have been a reflection from the stark white walls, but Omar was not taking chances.

“Who will sacrifice?” he asked, frowning at Ginger and Samson in turn.  He took a dagger from the leather sheath that Ginger had placed beside the crystal ball.

The colossal young man cowered away.

Omar shook his head.  Samson let out a tiny moan, but Omar swiftly reached across the crystal and pointed the tip of the dagger at Ginger.

“I need heart blood,” Omar said.

Ginger closed her eyes and nodded.  He made a small slashing cut above her left breast, above her heart.  The cut was superficial, but blood immediately started flowing.

Ginger leaned forward and red dripped on the round crystal ball, and slowly, like wine with good legs, inched down its sides.

Omar recited incantations and waved his long expressive hands.  Both Ginger and Samson saw silver sparks extend from his fingertips and enter into the crystal. Ginger thought the effect might have been starlight drifting down from the skylight above.  Samson was sure it was magic.

Omar peered into the depths of the crystal and was satisfied.  The white light was winking out.  The sacrifice had been potent.

His mind again sought the lovely feminine presence he had felt below him in this building.  When he found it he smiled.  His final aspiration would be fulfilled.  The Crystal Prophesy said so.

Spring Break Must Reads – Day 4

7 books in 7 days . . . .Spring Break Must Reads! 

Day 1 – Her Highland Champion by Alexa Bourne

Day 2 – Moonlight on the Nantahala by Micheal Rivers

Day 3 – Legends of Tsalagee by Phil Truman

Day 4 – Two Moons of Sera by Pavarti K Tyler

Maybe you’ve heard of Pavarti K Tyler and the first novella in her ongoing series, Two Moons of Sera. I didn’t . . . until perusing “also reads” next to another Amazon selection. I was hooked as soon as I realized the heroine is a hybrid of “water” and “land” people.

Ms. Tyler had my attention, but could she keep it? You betcha, and let me add, WOW! This is a great story, seamlessly written with such alluring visual images that you can close your eyes and believe you’re there. The author feeds us bits of timeless wisdom in beautifully crafted prose. You may want to utilize the highlighter from time to time. It’s that good.

I’m a cautious reader of fantasy adventures. There are often so many characters, locations and Para-worldly elements thrown into the first few chapters that it’s difficult to find the story. Ms. Tyler has avoided those pitfalls by layering in details on an “as needed” basis.

The first segment of the novella series introduces Serafay, a young girl who lives an isolated existence with her mother. She’s shunned by the two warring tribes, Sualwet (the water people) and Erlander (the earth people), because of her half-breed genetics.

The back-story is sad yet sets the stage for our heroine’s journey. During capture by the Erlanders, Sera’s mother was subjected to experimentation, spawning a hybrid daughter in the process. After she escapes, the mother attempts to return to her people but they insist she kill her daughter. She chooses exile instead.

Sera soon meets another victim of cruel experimentation – a young boy named Tor. Since Tor can’t speak, she painstakingly and patiently teaches him her language. Since they are both ostracized and without friends, they form a strong bond.

This is the beginning of a very interesting tale. Think of it as a pilot to a TV series. It’s laying the groundwork but there’s much more to come. More secrets to uncover. The journey and relationships are just unfolding.

Which adds a bit of angst to this short novella. Just as you reach complete mental submersion, willing to lock the door and tell the world to go away until you’ve finished the book . . . it ends.

The second book is now available and the third is scheduled for June. If you play your cards right, you’ll have a fascinating series to keep you occupied long past Spring Break!

 Two Moons of Sera by Pavarti K Tyler

Robot Video – Scary or Cool?

Tech Videos – Yahoo! News.

Saw this video clip from Yahoo! News and  wanted to share. It’s both fascinating and repulsive. But it’s also cool.  And creepy. A technological gem. Would I want to share space with one? I don’t think my comfort level is there yet.

That being said, wouldn’t this be a great storyline for a Paranormal/Sci-Fi? Oh yeah…it’s been done. I, Robot. Bicentennial Man. Terminator. Look back at the classic science fiction books of fifty years ago, penned by authors such as Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. Many of their novels have become reality. Twilight Zone. Another great source for far-fetched tales with roots in the future.

What science fiction have you read or watched lately that you think is ground zero for the future?

I’ll start…”Aliens vs. Cowboys”. They’re heeere….. (Cowboys. Not Aliens. Yet.)