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Get Your Zombie Fix with Ace Antonio Hall’s “The Confessions of Sylva Slasher”

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Confessions of Sylva Slasher

A Zombie Novel

Ace Antonio Hall

Publisher:  Montag Press, April 2013

Genre: YA Horror

Book Description:

THE LOVE OF HER LIFE BECOMES THE DEATH OF THEIR LOVE

Sylva Fleischer is a teenager who works as a necromancer for a living. Wanting to get away from raising the dead for police investigations and demanding grieving families for a while, she goes on a cruise for spring break. Her vacation from the dead is short-lived when passengers on the ship turn into flesh-eating zombies. These are not the same simple-minded harmless zombies she raises and can control, so Sylva and her friends are trapped on the Pacific Ocean. Their only escape comes from a guy Sylva thought was dead: Brandon. It just so happens to also be the anniversary of his death, and she’s still hurting from his loss!

Why didn’t he call to say he’s alive? All those tears … for nothing.SylvaCover

Sylva doesn’t normally hold grudges, but when someone plays with her heart they have to pay. However, with the fate of the human race on the line, Brandon convinces Sylva to join him in a secret mission, yet she can’t shake the feeling that he’s hiding something.

It didn’t take long for her suspicions to hold true when it’s revealed that Brandon has been romantically involved with the very enemy he now wants her to destroy. To top that brutal betrayal, the villainous female would rather kill Brandon than let Sylva have a chance to patch things up between them. Sylva is not the kind of girl to walk away from love without a fight, but with a strange virus threatening extinction of human life, she shoves her own feelings in her back pocket to face her greatest nightmare, and that nightmare starts with something that is eerily growing right inside of her own mind and body.

When The Heart Bleeds, Sometimes Your Friends Are All You’ve Got

Available at Amazon

Praise for Ace Antonio Hall and Confessions of Sylva Slasher

“A treat for Buffy fans—but 100% Ace Antonio Hall’s own twisted vision. Breathes new life into the living dead; run, don’t shamble to get a copy.”

—Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the WWW trilogy

“In a vast sea of zombie tales, Hall’s tale is more than a cut above. He brings the entire genre to heel and treats us to one Hell of a ride.”

—Art Holcomb, writer of Professor Xavier & the X-Men vs. The Avengers, Marvel Comics

Excerpt Chapters 1 & 2

PART ONE SILVER KISSES

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.— I Corinthians 15:21

Chapter 1

YEAH, THE WHOLE STINKING PLANET WANTED ME DEAD, and they got their wish. I tried to move but couldn’t. Not with a broken back. Breathing slow, uneven, I stared into the undead woman’s eyes that dripped an ominous glare down onto my helpless body.

Maybe if I hadn’t gotten dreamy eyes for this really cute guy (I mean jerk), the weight of the human race wouldn’t be sitting on my shoulders. I would’ve easily given my life so my best friend, Emily, wouldn’t die. Too late.

The full moon draped around the undead woman’s shadow that climbed up my broken body like ghosts of death. The island soil, thirsty for moisture, welcomed my blood. Terror wrestled me into a stone cold chokehold—I forgot how to scream. The scent of rotten corpses gripped my nostrils. A horde of the walking dead moaned and hovered over me like starved coyotes as the undead woman crept forward on all fours to kill me, again.

Chapter 2

Several hours prior:

I HATED THAT I COULDN’T TELL REALITY FROM MY NIGHTMARES. Maybe, just maybe I spent one too many nights raising the dead. My parents named me Sylva Fleischer, but most people knew me as Sylva Slasher (I’ll get to why later). I made a pretty cool living as a necromancer for The Silver Kisses Aerial Ash Scattering Company. We raised zombies for mourners to say their last goodbyes. A lot of times we did it for police investigations, occasionally for corporate disputes, and then we cremated the deadheads and scattered the remains over Hawaii’s beautiful waters. As a matter-of-fact, some guy from the military base in Honolulu kept leaving messages on my cell phone that he wanted me to raise some dead soldier for a case they were investigating. But I had other plans. Look, I just turned eighteen, so if I wanted to ditch some lame colonel for something way more hella-fun, I would. What? Can’t a girl have priorities?

Twilight peeked over my shoulders as I looked for my friends while aboard the Sea Queen a.k.a. The Ship of a Thousand Corpses—the best freaking zombie-themed cruise in America. Imagine being in one of those magnificent hotels in Las Vegas during spring break; the golden elevators, escalators, walkover bridges, restaurants, and stores, filled with tons of thrill-seeking college kids and adults. You could call the Sea Queen one of the world’s best luxury hotels but on water.

A woman hired me to do a raising on the ship. Emily, and her boyfriend, Beckham, or Flip as he liked to be called (Hawaiian-born and Japanese-descended like Em), were going to help me. After I finally got dressed, I saw Emily’s wacky picture that she posted on Facebook and her bitchy complaint that she and Flip were waiting on me (I’m always fashionably late) in the bar on the Nightwalker Deck. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a clue where to go. The captain was escorting me up, but some kind of urgent call came in and he dashed out of the elevator speaking radio codes into his walkie-talkie.

One of my all-time fave videos, Sweet Dreams, played on the inside of the elevator doors via a hi-tech projector system. I loved it that I could watch a music video (albeit, one I’ve seen a kazillion times) inside of the elevator. A volume control knob sat beneath the red emergency button. Marilyn Manson crawled out of the rundown fireplace wearing black boots, a dirty tutu, and a torn bodice that showed off his skeletal bare chest. Alright, that’s enough. I turned the sound down so I could briefly gather my thoughts for the raising.

The elevator doors eased open. I stepped out, immediately folding my arms and shivering. I wore a black mid-riff tee shirt, tight leather pants, and some five-and-a-half inch knee-high Gothic boots. I sighed, berating myself for not wearing a warmer top. The ship’s fake fog blanketed the air so I could barely see anything. Already late, I didn’t want to waste any more time so I stopped to ask a person dressed like a zombie nun for directions. She sat on the bench in front of the ship’s THEATRE UNDER THE STARS, rocking back and forth. A broken dog leash dangled in her hand. The closer I got, the more I realized her hunched feeble posture.

“Lady, are you okay?” I asked.

She didn’t answer but kept rocking. Her abrupt movements made her wimple flap around her neck and chin. I glanced up at the speaker mounted on the wall above us, creeped out by the spooky organ music streaming out into the foggy air.

The lady made a gurgling sound.

“Miss, hey? Are you okay?”

Her head lifted slowly. The yellow rays from the moon crept into the shadows under her headdress. I stepped forward slowly, swallowing unease.

A name spilled out of my mouth, slow, whispered. “Malena?

I remembered admiring the blind woman’s seeing eye dog when we embarked the ship. I couldn’t resist petting her wolfdog. Emily and Flip were so occupied looking for their tickets that they didn’t even see Malena and her dog.

She made another gurgling sound. I took a step back, peering into her cloudy-white eyes.

“Um, okay, I get it,” I said. “You were hired by the ship to scare people. Right?”

I swayed a little to the left as the ship went over choppy waters. The blind woman stared past me with a vacant stare, and then her head rolled over to her right shoulder.

“Hey—hey—hey. You’re not okay,” I said, extending my arm, ready to catch her if she fell off of the bench.

Was she having a seizure?

Malena muttered something. Saliva ran down her mouth and dripped down her chalky white face.

“Are you having a allergic reaction?” I glanced to my right, then left. “Maybe I should get the ship’s doctor.”

Her body started to convulse and she dropped the dog’s leash on the deck’s floor. She moaned, curling up into a ball on the bench.

“Okay—okay—okay, I’m going to get help,” I said, taking a quick step toward the stairs. “But, uh, shoot, I don’t want to leave you alone.”

A sign directly above her read nightwalker deck maze; another, near the elevator lifts, pointed to the bathrooms. Someone had to be coming by, any second. Another gurgling noise came from the blind woman. She coughed and blood spurted out of her mouth. I shielded my eyes with the back of my hand and something wet splattered on my forearm.

“Oh, my God, Malena! You’re, you’re hemorrhaging.”

I wiped her blood off my arms, onto the side of my top and pulled out my iPhone to call 911. No reception.

“Somebody, help. Call 911!”

I heard someone giggling and saw shadows approaching me through the fog. Two Asian girls, maybe in their late teens, dressed in shredded jeans and pink tee shirts passed behind me.

I gestured to them. “Can I use either one of your phones to call 911? This lady is totally sick!”

“Nice try,” one of them said, revealing the braces on her teeth. “But you only try to scare us.”

“No, please, really. Are you getting reception out here? I’m not getting reception.”

They laughed and pointed at the bench. “Maybe she pull your leg,” the same girl said.

I turned around and glared at an empty bench.

Where did she go?

The girls giggled and walked toward the bathroom, shaking their heads.

“What a moron,” the other one said.

“Miss? Miss, where are you?” I called out, a little irritated by those stupid girls who didn’t believe me. I looked toward the bridge then back at the girls. “Where did she go?” They ignored me and went into the bathroom. Seriously?

“Maybe I am a moron,” I said, under my breath. There were a few droplets of blood on the bench, but I couldn’t find a trail showing me which way she went. She could’ve only gone but so many places—the elevator lift, the stairs, across the bridge (which she didn’t because I would have seen her), overboard, or into the Nightwalker Deck Maze.

If that old, blind lady thought I was going to play her game and follow her into the maze, she had another thing coming. Whatever. Time to do this raising and then try to have some fun for a change.

I took one step and the thought of Malena sent a chill creeping down the nape of my neck. Where did she go? Aw, Who cares? I shook it off, folded my arms, again, and walked toward a bridge that led to the highest deck on the ship.

Someone screamed. I turned quickly, and blew out a long breath as a wolf man in tattered clothes chased a screaming girl across the bridge and through a door. Music blared from out of the place and I knew that Emily and Flip would be in there. That must be the bar, Lipstick Zombies.

I walked over the bridge, glancing back every few seconds for Malena. The instant I crossed halfway over, I heard the music thumping behind the bar’s door. When I saw the neon sign, I got a little excited. Maybe with a little partying, I thought, I’d feel better and forget about everything that sucked in my life—for a while.

CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL? HERE’S A PREVIEW TO

SKATEBOARD XOMBIES, SEARCH FOR THE CRYSTAL COFFIN:

On a normal school day in Lunyon Canyon, California, teenage necromancer, Sylva Fleischer, bickers with her teacher in class over an unfairly graded paper. But when the principal announces that all teachers should lock their door and not let any students leave class, the entire school is trapped in a world of terrifying zombies that not only bite with their teeth, they bite with their minds.

Since all life on Earth faces extinction at the hands of the perilous undead, a guardian of a secret society of vampire monks saves Sylva, her friend, Half-Pipe and her family, and lead them to an alternate world. And that’s when the real terror begins … on a planet full of every imaginable type of undead creature that ever lived … Including those telekinetic zombies!

Ace_jump_in_tuxedoAbout the Author:

Ace Antonio Hall is an actor, former music producer, and ‘retired’ educator with accolades as a Director of Education for the Sylvan Learning Center and nearly fifteen years experience as an award-winning NYC English teacher. He has a BFA degree with a concentration in screenwriting and has published poetry, short stories and fiction in magazines, anthologies, newspapers and novels.

Inspired by his father, Chris Acemandese Hall, who penned the lyrics to the Miles Davis jazz classic, “So What”, sung by Eddie Jefferson, and his sister, Carol Lynn Brown, who guest starred in the 1970’s film, “Velvet Smooth”, Ace spawned his creativity into developing the beloved but flawed teen character, Sylva Slasher.

6793512_origAce was the Vice President of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (2009-2011), and continues to head the Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror (ScHoFan) Critique Group as Co-Director of critique groups within the society. He is also a member of LASFS and the International Thriller Writers.

On April 14, 2013, Montag Press published his YA zombie novel Confessions of Sylva Slasher. His next release, Skateboard Xombies, is coming out later this year, and he has already begun working on Skateboard Xamurai for the third installment in his Sylva Slasher series.

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Looking for some zombie gear? Check out Ace’s Zombie Pop Shop!

Review: CEMETERY HIGHWAY – A Fresh Approach To Zombie Novels

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REVIEW:

I like some Zombie novels. I don’t love any of them,mostly because I consider the theme overdone.However, CEMETERY HIGHWAY by Hamish Robert Johnson offers a unique approach to the undead story line, leaving me teetering on the fence between like and love.

Admittedly, I was confused, then curious about how the author would handle a book where each chapter is a first person POV from different characters. Seemed like a lot of head hopping to me but in reality, it was nicely done and offered a wonderful slant on the events through different eyes, as well as breathing life into the characters. There’s no better way to learn about a particular character than through their own thoughts and eyes.

The story follows a group of young people as they try to navigate an emerging new world. The Zombies are now the rich and powerful, the humans relegated to a poor, humbling existence. Yet instead of an overload of gore and violence, Mr. Johnson treats us to humor, coming of age emotions and a sub-plot of good overcoming evil.

I was pleasantly surprised and can honestly recommend CEMETERY HIGHWAY to everyone, not just paranormal or YA fans but readers who enjoy an engaging, character driven story. Did I mention unconventional feel-good endings? Yeah, it’s got one of those, too.

Cemetery Highway

Hamish Robert JohnsonCemeteryHighway-A-Novel(2)

 Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

ISBN:1499520247

ASIN: B00K7JUAA4

Number of pages: 187

Cover Artist: D. Thomas Magee

Book Description:

Cemetery Highway is a rollicking tale of fame, friendship and falls from grace, set in a world where zombies are the elite and humans are the underclass.

Best friends Dexter, Michelle, Penny and Cakes have started a group called the Anti Zombie Alliance and plan on sticking it to the zombies once and for all. But when zombie big-wig Max convinces the suave Dexter to trade his standards for stardom, things get ugly.

Available at Smashwords    Amazon    Kobo

Excerpt:

MICHELLE

It is said that becoming a zombie is inevitable. Either we get attacked, or we sell out and take the Package, but sooner or later we all become zombies. I, for one, have never seen the advantage of aligning myself with a large group of any kind, certainly not one hell bent on human cranial carnage.

Sure, they have all the power and wealth, but take a look at their lifestyle. Zombies work 100 hours a week, and yes they do make a lot of money, but what do they spend it on? A nice car that they only use to drive to work, and expensive clothes to wear there. They have no time to enjoy themselves, or their all-important wealth. And they don’t even have love, because a zombie can only have whom he loved in life. To find love after the change had always been considered impossible. Oh, and they eat peoples brains. I tell you, it can really test my faith in the world.

Because of the current economy, more and more humans are taking the Package. This means they sell their humanity to the Zombie Corporation in exchange for zombie wealth and servitude. As a human I’ve always found this to be terribly disappointing, but it is not without its advantages. Current Zombie Corporate standards have put a stop to any unauthorized kills, which means that all kills must be ordered by the King. With the reduced number of savage zombie predators out and about, the streets are safer to walk than ever before, and I have long been an advocate for human safety and self-defense. Which brings me to the start of the story. This is the night when everything changed.

I was out celebrating with my three very best friends. We had been close for so long that I began to wonder if our bond had become more of a habit than anything else. But that’s beside the point. We’d recently formed a group called the Anti- Zombie Alliance, and we were holding our first fundraising event at a cruddy bar in downtown Industry. And I mean maximum cruddiness. There were tacky neon beer advertisements, sticky carpet and a musty smell that clings to you like a stray cat. And I’m told the men’s bathroom was just a trough of ice. Self-flushing maybe? Who knows, some questions a lady knows better than to ask.

I was sitting behind a desk with my best friend and Alliance co-founder, Penny Farthing, handing out brochures and stickers to the guests. The stickers had our name and slogan, “Life, it’s always worth the wait.” We really believed in the cause we were fighting for, because the zombies have had it too good for too long. I didn’t realize it as a kid, or maybe I did and just didn’t see the significance or implications, but they really do own and run EVERYTHING. And they don’t care about us humans at all, so we decided to stand up for ourselves. By we, I mean Penny, her ex-boyfriend Dexter, Cakes, and me. My name is Michelle Fernside and coincidentally enough this night was my 18th birthday.

Dexter was performing on stage as the evening’s musical entertainment. He did kind of a one-man show where he used programmed electronic music on his laptop and played electric guitar and sung over it. He was good, too. We always said that he would make it big if he could just get that all-important break.

Anyway, the guy has charisma, and bags of it. Every time he would spin or shake his hips, which was pretty frequently, all the girls in the crowd would swoon. Myself included. And he kept making eyes at me and smiling while singing his beautiful lyrics. I made eyes right back at him, which made me feel excited and nervous. I was trying to be subtle because I didn’t want to upset Penny, but seriously, Dexter has always been my cup of tea. He had a perfectly tapered short Afro that he combed meticulously, and really took pride in his appearance. I always admired that. Even when he had no money at all, he would buy silk ties from the Salvation Army for next to nothing and wear them in such a way that he would look like he had just taken the Package. But on this night he had no tie to speak of. Actually he was covered with no shirt at all, just sweat dripping over the tattoos on his smooth brown chest. I felt guilty just for looking, but it was a good kind of guilt. Exciting, you know? Like I was getting away with something naughty.

Speaking of naughty, I was surprised to notice that Penny was drinking something other than a soda. “Penny Farthing, what are you drinking?”

“Wine,” she said matter-of-factly. She took another sip then smiled at me. “This is a bar, Mishy.” Of course she was right. I had never been a drinker, but why should I look at my friend differently for doing what one does in such an establishment? “Want a sip?” she asked me. “It’s your birthday,” she said teasingly. I smiled and nodded. She poured me a healthy glass of burgundy liquid and I took my first sip. It was not as acrid as I expected. Quite pleasant, actually. Fruity, in fact.

“How many of these have you had?”

“What? Tonight?” Her giddy laugh indicated that she’s had a few. I took a big swig and Penny topped off my glass. She splashed a bit on the white tablecloth, but it was still the cleanest thing in here.

Penny turned to me and smiled. “I think he likes you.”

I was a bit taken aback. “Really?” I said. “Dexter?” I immediately regretted saying his name, because I was well aware of their romantic history, and the fact that she was not yet over him.

“No, Cakes,” she said without missing a beat.

It had been quite obvious to me for a while that Cakes was into me but I just didn’t feel that way about him. The funny thing is, if he had not been so obviously interested I’m sure I would have liked him more. But the fact that he made it so clear left no mystery for me. No place for my mind to wander, and this girl’s mind loves to wander. And also, I had never really been like that with guys before. I mean, I’d kissed a boy here and there, but it was all very innocent. In those situations I always felt like a kid trying on adulthood and walking around the store to see how it felt, before returning to my natural state. The idea of officially being in a relationship with someone, of having an actual boyfriend made me feel very self-conscious. I guess I was nervous about letting go of the final strands of my childhood.

“Oh, really? Cakes? Does he now?” I said, averting my eyes from Dexter.  “Because if you’re not into him,” Penny continued, “I could totally see he and I…” Cakes bumbled over and interrupted.

“I don’t know why he left our band for this,” he said. “This has no chance of going anywhere at all. Right?” He folded his arms, screwed up his nose and watched Dexter’s performance with scrutiny. “Not a chance.”

“I don’t know, Cakes. The girls seem to like it,” Penny said.

“Whatever. Who wants to play for a room full of girls anyway?” Cakes snorted. “Not you, apparently,” I quipped.

Cakes’s real name is Patrick Baker. Dexter used to think it was hilarious to call him Patty Cakes Baker, and over time I guess the name Cakes just stuck. It could have been worse though, he could have been called Patty. Anyway, Cakes was quite good looking, actually. Not handsome per se, but definitely good looking enough to be one of the “other guys”

in a boy band. I always joked that he looked like he’d just fallen out of a cheap fashion catalogue, wet brown floppy hair and all. Why some guys have perpetually wet hair, I’ll never know.

“Wait.”  Penny  turned  to  me.  “Why  did  you  think  I  meant  Dexter?”  I  froze, clamped my hands together and looked down at my black kitten heels.

“Oh, no reason.”

About the Author:

ham photoI grew up in Melbourne Australia and was fortunate enough to have a relatively unexciting childhood. After high school I attended film school at Deakin University, and while making the requisite pretentious art projects I discovered I had a knack for writing dialogue. In short, I wanted to be the next Quentin Tarantino.

After film school I put my passion asside and began an hilarious and relatively short lived culinary career. Quickly rising up the ranks, I found myself cooking in some of Australia’s finest restaurants and finishing a 3 year apprenticeship in 18 months. It was in these hellish kitchens that I rediscovered my love for quirky, dirty, flirty characters, which again stoked my desire for writing and the arts.

Upon hearing The Strokes for the first time, and with absolutely no preparation whatsoever I moved to New York City in 2003. I was once more surrounded by a bevy of interesting folks, inundating me with stories of hardship, romance and hope. How one cannot find inspiration in this city was beyond me. What was also beyond me was the ability to generate an income, so I hopped on the Greyhound with the little money I had left and got as far away as I could.

Austin Texas was my next port of call. Upon arriving I had a mere $40 to my name, but coupled with the attitude of a fearless traveler I was invincible. I quickly finagled a job, a room in a Revenge of the Nerds style college housing situation and the prominent position as lead guitarist in The Handsome Charlies.

I wouldn’t say I was a great guitarist, but I certainly knew how to act like one, and as we were sharing bills with The Black Angels and Ghostland Observatory I could be excused for thinking that I too would make it. But after a particularly ghastly SXSW performance I found myself standing in the parking lot listening to The Strokes perform “Is this it?” across the road. “No it is not”, I answered, and declared that I would return to writing and not continue to get distracted by flashier pursuits.

I commenced writing screenplays, pilots and web series like a madman and have not slowed down since. I now have multiple screenplays in various stages of development, and have completed my first novel. And I am here to stay! 

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Spotlight on: Bad Reputation by P.W. Creighton

Bad Reputation
North Shore – Book 1

P.W. Creighton

Genre: Young Adult Mystery/RomanceBadReputation_500x750_1_

ISBN: 1492727857
ASIN: B00F0SM1YK

Number of pages: 279
Word Count: 62,000

Cover Artist: Elaina Lee – For The Muse Design

Amazon

Book Description:

The North Shore Sheriff’s Department has a bit of a problem. Someone contacted the local radio station last night and left an alarming confession.

Logan and his friends may be gossiping about it but their only concern is getting through the last day of school before summer vacation. After all, tonight is the party of the year. No one wants to miss it.

But the weight of secrets will have a costly price…

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Excerpt:

Through the trees I could just barely make out the practice field ahead of me. Another little secret Sara had let me in on. The truant officer tended to make his rounds on the half-hour and kept a close eye on the path through the woods to the parking lot. If I came in from the practice field, no one would bat an eye.

“Then again,” I said aloud.

I thought about grabbing my jacket, but it really wasn’t cold enough. My phone on the other hand, I needed. Checking the screen, it was only a little after nine. Tardy, but not something that would stand out.

There was still a chance to ditch the entire day. My phone gave a brief buzz of notification. I checked it to find a text waiting. It was Hailey again.

“Where R U?”

I groaned. She was pissed at me. If I bailed, not only would Sara and Mom freak on me, Hailey would jump down my throat. I could avoid them, but I needed to take Hailey to the party tonight. I could just stand her up. I let out a heavy breath. I wanted to go though, and if I didn’t take her, she would still find a way to get there. It was just better to deal with her now than to put it off till the end of the day. Maybe she wouldn’t be too pissed.

“5 Min” I texted back and started walking towards the practice field. Old leaves and branches crunched underfoot, keeping my mind off the fact that Hailey was going to rip me a new one, and I had no clue what she was going to want.

The girl could hold a grudge better than anyone I’ve ever known.

I emerged into the open near one of the maintenance sheds. Why was I still with Hailey? She was constantly pissing me off, and she didn’t even hear me most of the time. I turned right to follow the maintenance path. I dumped Jamie for less than what I was putting up with now. I opened the texts from Hailey to scroll back. There had to be some reason.

A few days back through the texts was all I needed as a reminder. It was a ‘selfie’ shot from Hailey angled down at her. She was giving me a playful smile. Straight, platinum blonde hair, a tight low-cut top and a teasing attitude, she was hot. Knowing how she felt silenced any objections my brain could come up with at the moment.

I smiled to myself.

Tucking the phone in my front pocket, I crossed into the parking lot. I couldn’t see anyone over the cars but I didn’t need to push it. I quickened my pace towards the end of the science building.

At the far end of the concrete and faux wood building I walked around the corner to the concrete steps and black railing. I took one last breath of the free air before climbing the stairs to the heavy fire-door. It was always left unlocked so teachers could duck out to the parking lot or students could get to the athletic fields. The cold handle slipped from my grasp as I tried to open the door. I finally noticed the grease and dirt on my hands.

“Ugh,” I groaned.
About the Author:

Born in California, I have spent most of my life traveling throughout the US. I draw inspiration from my many adventures, turning my strange reality into fiction.

Over the years, I’ve found myself in many unusual situations, ranging from hanging off an 80 foot cliff-face in New York, to sailing off the coast of Salem, Massachusetts. I have had an opportunity to work at an archaeological excavation, and have even reported from the middle of a police stand-off.

When a teacher asked me in the second grade what I wanted to be when I grew up, I didn’t have an answer. To be honest, I still don’t know. I let my characters make that decision for me.

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Spotlight & Contest: “The School of Ministry” by Braxton Cosby

Check out this amazing new book by the nephew of entertainer Bill Cosby. Braxton Cosby has penned a wonderful tale for young and old alike.

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TOUR WIDE CONTEST!

Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Just click the Rafflecopter Link to enter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112f425/

The School of Ministry

The Windgate – Book 1

Braxton A. Cosby

Genre: YA Paranormal

SchoolMinistryCover

Publisher: Keith Publications

ISBN: 978-1-62882-002-7

Number of pages: 367

Word Count: 114K

Amazon

Book Description:

TO CHOOSE, IS FATE!

A young man named Ziv struggles to find his place in life after both of his parents are murdered. Orphaned and alone by the age of six, he bounces in and out of foster homes hopeless and afraid, wondering if he will ever find a path to happiness. He resolves to accept a life of depravity, until one day he discovers he possesses the gift of sight: to see creatures from the afterlife, but not angels…demons!

Ziv is recruited by The School of Ministry, a secret society that promises to help him find his best friend Stephanie, who has gone missing. But there is one catch: he must agree to join them in their quest to eradicate evil and protect the weak. Ziv learns that he is a “Conduit,” which allows him to cross over into the spirit world and transcend time itself.

When he is partnered with two other young men who have similar gifts, the unlikely trio is trained in the mastery of weapons and the art of Shouting, during treacherous challenges of the tortuous Quad in preparation for their mission: to secure the Windgate. Ziv becomes entrenched in a quest of identity, love, and will, until he comes face to face with pure evil itself–Akabod, the spiritual prodigal son to the School of Ministry and a master of talents.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/jIuB6zXCnY4

Excerpt:

It’s Miss Evans!

I approach the tank and investigate it, looking for signs of movement from Miss Evans. She floats lifelessly in the water. Her hair flows, carried by the waves and her face appears angelic. I notice the softness of her eyelids and the elegant curve of her mouth as she floats. But the beautiful view is interrupted by a dramatic jolt of her body as her eyes open and a cluster of bubbles escape her mouth and nose. She stares at me and thrashes, eyes bloodshot as she slaps at the glass. I gaze back at her powerless, examining the tank for locks or levers; some way to release her from the watery prison.

I’m helpless as she continues to struggle for air. Then, an image flickers from the corner of my eye as a side door opens and Maxwell walks out, holding a staff of his own.

“Maxwell,” I plead. “It’s Miss Evans. Please help her!”

He shakes his head and lifts his staff in his hands, twirling it in a circle as he begins to slowly walk sideways, circling me like a predator, encasing me in a hedge of danger.

“Hold your ground. Make a choice: fight or flight,” Maxwell bellows.

Miss Evans’ banging on the glass behind me blends with the pounding of my heart. I lift my staff and spread my feet, turning my attention to Maxwell. As much as I’m afraid for my own safety, I find it impossible not to focus on Miss Evans. Her muffled scream comes from the tank and I look away from Maxwell to check on her. Her hands clutch her neck. Her face is bright red with a tinge of blue around her lips.

“No,” I scream, stepping back away from the tank.

Raising my staff above my head, I crank back and rip it down, slamming it into the side of the tank, as I yell. The water explodes from the crack in the tank and glass shards crash to the floor below. I swing once more and this time the entire tank shatters, launching Miss Evans into the air toward me. I catch her in my arms and the force of the water propels us backward onto the floor. She coughs, gasping for air. I hold her in my arms and caress her head. Her sobbing brittles me and I’m relieved to see her skin color returning to its natural tanned shade.

We’re here, an odd place, an unfamiliar place. But as I hold her delicately in my arms, it makes me feel like I’m heading back home. Not the place where I live now, but the place where I used to live, when mom and dad were still alive. The way she rests in my arms beckons me to a time when I used to hold my kitten, Priceless. She’d climb into my lap during the thunder storms. I was her comforter. Priceless would purr when I did it. And now, so many years later, I find myself feeling the same way as I hold Miss Evans. Her soft body pressing into my skin—warming me—calls me to hug her even closer with each passing second. The times when I needed someone to hold me reflect in my mind like a mirror as I stare at her. Her chest rises as her heart beat quickens, mixing evenly with her breaths. As warmth returns to her body, a subtle tremor comes over her; like a purr.

I can’t resist. I have to do it. I must do it. I hug deeply, ignoring the senseless urge to pull away.

“Bravo!” praises Maxwell, exiting the room as the lights come back on.

Miss Evans resting in my arms and I comfort her, caressing her hair. She finally looks up at me and mouths, “Thank you.”

About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Miami, Cosby earned his bachelors, masters and doctorate in physical therapy. He also is certified by the American Physical Therapists and is a Certified Sports Nutritionist.Braxton Cosby

And now he’s getting you in shape. “I feel that God has given me a calling to help people,” said Cosby. It was through his own injury that taught Cosby about “getting people back to their prior level of function.” He said he want to motivate “people to stay on the course” so they can meet their own individual goals.

Cosby is a personal trainer, nutritionist and physical therapist and is using his talents and knowledge to help bring attention to the health issues and disparities such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

He was the featured keynote speaker at the 2012 Atlanta CARES STEMFest for Children and Young Adults event. He also was a presenter for Mercer College School of Medicine and the  Louisiana Medical Society’s Focus on  Exercise  and  Fitness. He has partnered with Emory University as a clinical instructor and worked with a major rehabilitation company in geriatrics.

The host of a weekly radio show – Ask the Fat Doctors, Cosby also is an award-winning author and has been seen on CBS, Fox and Atlanta Live. He’s teamed up with retired offensive lineman and NFL analyst Jamie Dukes to create a workout video for men called Chachersize (C_4).

Ask the Fat Doctors is where Cosby, Dukes and radio personality Tee Foxx where they cover a variety of topics from current events to obesity to disease prevention. Cosby also shares tips on how to lose pounds.

Cosby’s goal is to share information on how to create healthy habits and how they can counteract serious health ailments. His articles can be found in “OMTimes Magazine” and “Skinny Limits”. Cosby also posted regular workout tips on his YouTube page.

As the nephew of actor and comedian Bill Cosby, Dr. Braxton A. Cosby has charted his own path, but embodies his uncle’s creativity and vision for a healthier America. “Of course” he was an influence, the younger Cosby said. “He taught me how to develop a passion for what you do.”

And Dr. Braxton A. Cosby has a passion for fitness

@Cosbykid_fatdoc

www.facebook.com/DrBraxtonCosb

www.cosbyscorner.com

www.braxtoncosby.com

www.theschoolofminsitry.com

Release Day: Breathe by Elena Dillon

Breathe Tour Button 300 x 225Breathe
by Elena Dillon

Genre: Young Adult Romantic Suspense

Word Count: 62,300

Cover Artist: Alexa Dillon

Smashwords

 

Book Description:

Jasmine’s life wasn’t normal for a 16 year old girl.  It hadn’t been normal since the murder of her older sister, Daisy, two years ago. Her life had been changed forever. The monster that murdered Daisy was never caught.  That was the reason her family decided to move away from their hometown in Southern California, to start over.  Hopefully in a place where the last name Rourke wouldn’t bring on staring or judgment or morbid curiosity.

In Lafayette, Louisiana things are quite a bit different but in a good way.  Good manners, Cajun accents and a whole lot of Southern Hospitality all make her think things are going in the right direction.  On top of that the most gorgeous boy she has ever met is interested in her. Her new friends are better than she could have hoped for even if she is worried about what they might think when they find out who she is.  Life would be perfect if odd things didn’t keep happening.  Creepy phone calls, texts, and flowers in her locker start adding up quickly to something terrifying. Could the Monster have followed them to Lafayette? Was he coming after her this time?  Maybe she was just worrying unnecessarily…or not.

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Most days I can almost forget someone murdered my sister. I try to go through every day like a normal sixteen-year-old. I can eat breakfast, go to school, do homework, but then something will remind me that my family will never be the same. I’ll see my mom looking out the kitchen window—she has this blank look and her clothes are hanging on her. I worry she doesn’t eat enough to stay alive. Or I catch a glimpse of the picture on the coffee table we took three Halloweens ago, when Daisy and I dressed up like crayons, and Caedan and Lily were Skittles. It seems like a long time ago, and then, again, I remember it like it just happened.

We finally moved two weeks ago. Mom decided we couldn’t continue to live in Burbank. Besides the obvious reason that Daisy’s murderer was never caught, someone was always staring at us with that look that said, “Isn’t it so sad what happened to the Rourke family?” But you know in their hearts they are thinking how glad they are it didn’t happen to them. It’s obvious they’re thinking my mom must have done something wrong. She wasn’t a good enough parent, didn’t supervise Daisy enough, didn’t call the police soon enough. They wanted to believe the murder of a teenage girl happened for a reason and they could avoid it, if they just did everything right. The thing is, I think the exact opposite is probably true.

So, three months ago, we had a family meeting. We got out a map of the US and each chose a city and state. Mom and I did research on ours, Caedan picked his based on name only, and Lily did the spin-around-and-wherever-your-finger-lands routine. Thankfully, we pulled mine out of the hat. I don’t know how I would have felt living in Smackover, Arkansas. Caedan thought it was hilarious. He is so twelve.

Tonight, my mom drove us all to Wal-Mart in our new town of Lafayette, Louisiana. School supplies were the one thing we hadn’t shopped for in the last two weeks, and school was starting tomorrow.

“Jas, take your brother and sister to the school supplies, while I go grab stuff for lunches this week, will you, hon?” my mom asked, as she walked away without waiting for my reply.

“I was going to—” I clamped my mouth shut. She didn’t even hear me.

I was stuck with this life now. I love my brother and sister, but I hadn’t always been the oldest and in charge of herding them. These are the times Daisy’s absence hits home the most with me. She had been good with them. I used to slip into the background. Do my own thing. Sneak off to the books and browse, while she did her Junior Mommy act. I’m less patient and easily irritated. I’m angry at Daisy for leaving me here with this mess. I don’t want to be the responsible one. I want my life back. I just inherited her spot and, honestly, I don’t want it. Not that anything is going to change it now.

“I want to get all matching Justin Bieber school supplies,” Lily decided, as we found the school supplies section. The place was crawling with kids and parents getting all their last-minute items. I thought we would be lucky to find filler paper and some pencils, as picked over as it all seemed.

Caedan was pushing the cart around the corners and down the aisles with the precision of a NASCAR driver on Sunday. He knew that one incident, and his driving privileges would be revoked. I was trying to find Justin Bieber anything, as Caedan turned onto the next aisle. Suddenly, I heard a crash and a loud oomph as I rushed around the other side.

“Caedan!” I shouted.

“Jas, I’m sorry I didn’t know he was there. It was an accident,” he pleaded.

“So sorry,” I mumbled to the man pushing the other cart. He shot me a look and moved past us. “That’s it! I’m driving.” But when I looked down at Lily, who had been walking next to Caedan, her eyes were big and full of tears.

“My Justin shirt!” she cried out. I looked down, and in the collision her purple slushy had spilled all over her shirt.

“Don’t be such a baby! It is just a shirt,” Caedan told her with all the sensitivity of a pre-teenage boy.

“Shut up, Caedan. I hate you.” Lily shoved him in the chest.

“Purple is not your color, Lils.” He was looking at his twin with pure disgust.

People next to us were starting to stare. I could feel the blood rushing to my face. Why did anyone have children anyway? They were cretins. By this time Lily was starting to melt down.

“Okay, okay, we are going to fix it,” I hurriedly told her. Lily had always been emotional, but since Daisy’s murder she was hypersensitive to anything upsetting her world, and Justin Bieber was her world.

Into this chaos, my mother arrived. In the past, she could handle these situations quietly and easily. The twins fighting, or Daisy and I arguing over the mess in our room, would not even get us a raised voice. She was an RN for geriatric patients, and she was used to calming situations and peacemaking. Since Daisy’s death, even simple sibling arguments seemed overwhelming for her.

“What is going on?” she said between clenched teeth. Lily chose this moment to burst into full tears, while Caedan started protesting about it not being his fault and how mean I was not to let him drive. “I guess it’s too much to ask for you to get one thing done for me without any uproar,” my mother remarked to me sarcastically. “Jasmine . . .” The use of my full name was never a good sign. “Go to the car and get your sister her sweatshirt, while I bring her to the bathroom to get her cleaned up.” She looked at my brother with narrowed eyes, “You will stand outside the ladies room door with the cart, quietly, while I handle the mess you made. And I don’t want to hear another word from you while we are in this store. Are we clear?”

I made a face at Caedan behind my mother’s back before I whipped around and stomped off to the car. Why was his obnoxious behavior my fault again? Whatever. Being the oldest really was the worst.

As I reached the electronic sliding doors to the outside, I slowed down and caught my breath. It had gotten dark since we had been in the store. After Daisy’s murder I had found myself starting to get anxious in particular situations. Outside in the dark could be a problem, sometimes escalating to panic attacks. I tried to keep these little incidents from my mom. She was definitely starting to pay more attention these days.

I scanned the parking lot quickly to find the car. My breath started to come in short gasps. The car was halfway down an aisle, three rows over . . . and not under a streetlight. Damn! I grabbed my keys out of my purse and stepped into the lot. I would just hurry. I was being ridiculous. This was Lafayette, not Los Angeles. I had nothing to worry about here—lots of miles between us and him.

When I was three feet from our car, “Hey there,” a male voice said from behind me. I jumped and squealed at the same time. I turned around fast with my pepper spray out. Thankfully, I noticed, before I sprayed, that the nozzle was pointed at me.

“Hey, hey, sorry. I just, um . . . saw you drop something . . . um . . . here.” A tall brown-haired boy around my age was holding my mother’s list of school supplies. He kept moving toward me. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

I kept backing up until my rear end hit the end of our car. “Okay. I, uh . . .” I said weakly. All of a sudden there was a loud buzzing in my ears, and the world started to tilt.

“Whoa.” I heard as everything went black.

I could hear voices around me as I started to wake up.

“Hey, Sleeping Beauty. No time for a nap,” a deep, soothing voice said quietly in my ear. “Trenton, what did you do to her? She fainted dead away.”

I became aware that I wasn’t on the ground, like when I normally wake up from a faint. Since this had happened more than a few times in my teenage life, I found that odd. Due to some hormonal upheaval or whatever, since I hit puberty, fainting had become a fairly common part of my life. But right now, I felt warm, surrounded by the most amazing smell. I was not on the ground with a goose egg on my head as usual. I opened my eyes and saw the most handsome face I’d ever seen. I thought I must still be passed out and was dreaming.

“I was just trying to give her back the paper she dropped, and she acted like I was gonna attack her or somethin’. I don’t know why she fainted. I didn’t touch her—I swear. Why would that happen? I can’t believe you caught her. That was awesome! Is she okay? Do you think there is something wrong with her?” The grating voice kept on until . . .

“Trenton, shut up,” the dream said, still looking into my eyes. I tried to shake my head to wake up and realized I was cradled against his chest like he had swept me up in his arms.

Not a dream then. Crap. I became instantly mortified. “I, uh . . . Can you put me down? Please? I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to faint.” Duh.

“Well, I guess, if you really want me to,” Dream Guy said as he lowered my feet to the ground.

I couldn’t believe he had been holding me while I was passed out. It’s not like I’m so heavy. I’m actually kind of skinny, but I’m five foot nine, and he was holding me in the air like I weighed less than a bag of groceries. Time to make a graceful exit. Or any kind of exit. I probably wouldn’t be able to accomplish graceful. Who was I kidding?

“Do you normally mean to faint?” he asked.

“Um, no. Thanks for catching me. I really have to go,” I babbled, while I searched for my keys.

“Here,” he said, as he carefully handed me the keys.

“Thanks,” I said, as I opened the car and grabbed Lily’s sweatshirt.

“Maybe you should—” he started to say, but I interrupted.

“I’m fine, really. Thanks again.” I shut and locked the door. They were both standing there looking at me like I was nuts. Well, I guess they weren’t far off. This had to be the most ridiculous moment of my life. My face felt like it was burning. I meet the cutest guy ever and what do I do? Faint. Like an idiot. I shouldn’t be shocked.

I gave them a little wave as I ran/walked back to the store. I concentrated on getting inside without looking back. If this day was any indication as to how my life in Lafayette was going to go, I should have closed my eyes and pointed.

About The Author:

Professional Picture MKElena lives and writes in a suburb North of Los Angeles.  She has never lived anywhere besides California which is probably a good thing since she hates being cold and is terrified to drive in the snow. She loves being a wife and a mother to her three kids and three dogs, although really the bulldog is the fourth child who has never matured beyond the toddler stage.

A self-proclaimed nerd, she has been writing since she was a child. She has only recently, however, come out of the closet about this to her family and friends.  They now understand better, but not completely, why she talks about characters in stories as if they are real people.

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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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