Tag Archive | Dystopian

Interview with M.L.S. Weech

My guest today is author, M.L.S. Weech, otherwise known as Matt!

Hi Matt, welcome to Rainne’s Ramblings.
Would you like to begin by telling us a little about yourself and your background?
Me

I’ve been published for about three years. I do that when I’m not enjoying my job teaching Sailors at the Defense Information School. I was raised in the desert southwest, and in my youth, there wasn’t exactly a lot to do because I essentially lived in a desert. My imagination was my most accessible toy. I grew up to join the Navy, and after ten years of service, I returned to where my career started as a civilian instructor.

 
When and why did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about 8. I’d just watched what is still my favorite movie ever, and my favorite character died. Naturally, I cried, but my biodad sort of chuckled at me and told me to write a better movie if I didn’t like this one. So started work on the sequel, and I’ve been writing ever since. I finished my first book when I was about 17. I got genuinely serious in 2009, when I joined a writer’s group and committed to writing 1,000 words a day. I love stories. I love thinking about the plot. I love the crafting of words. It has simply been a part of my life for so long I’m not sure what my life would look like if I didn’t do it.

 
What inspires your books?

My posts are usually inspired by something random. My first book, The Journals of Bob Drifter, was inspired by my family dod and my dad. My mom had a nightmare she told me about, and that inspired my second book, Caught. My newest published novel is an anthology in which my contributing story was inspired by the riots in Virginia. So usually I see or hear something, and my brain, which is prone to flights of fancy, takes it to an extreme degree.

 
Are there any particular places that help you get the creative cogs turning?

I’m a believer in work habit and ethics. I can pretty much write anywhere, but I’m most productive on my couch with my laptop and cool elevating table. (I can pull the top up so it’s even with my arms). That’s where and how I’ve written for about five years, so that’s where my body is most conditioned to want to write.

 
What is the setting and genre of The Power of Words?

The Power of Words has four stories. The first is a science fiction novella set in a world where people can virtually swim in a social media world. That world is dominated by a group of speakers called Voices. This is a world in which social media and digital lives (in this case lived through visors known as omnies) rule, and bare faces are considered odd.

The second is a traditional fantasy set in Richard T. Drakes’ Hollow World series. The story takes place at a seedy bar, and it’s essentially a hostile negotiation between an entrenched criminal and a newly risen hero of the people.

The third is the first in a post-apocalyptic series. It’s a zombie survival story taking place in San Antonio. Some might roll an eye at the idea of “another” zombie apocalypse, but this story is unique in that the main character isn’t one who’s in any way suited to survive in such a place.

The last story is my own, of which I’m very proud. It’s a dystopian science fiction heist story. A mom, who’s essentially a former policeman, hatches a scheme to take out the servers for the planetary silence protocol currently enforced. She believes in the right to speak, and, more importantly, she wants her daughter to be saved from the ruthless enforcement policies currently in place.

 
Why do you think this book will or should appeal to new readers; what makes it stand out?

The first reason would be that it’s great speculative science fiction in the vein of Hugo novels of old. There’s a clear message and meaning, which is nice in a world of popcorn scifi.

The other reason is that it’s all dedicated to the importance of communication. We live in a world where maybe sometimes people want to be heard, but they don’t want to listen so much. I think people need a reminder on the importance of hearing and speaking. Communication is what matters. These themes are wrapped stories that are engaging and fun.

 
Many authors state that their characters are portions of themselves. Is this true with you?

I don’t even hide from this. Part of my process when I create characters is that I give them one trait from myself. Sometimes it’s a good trait. Sometimes it’s a not so good trait. Every now and then, I take a positive trait to an obsessive degree to see what happens. I’ve has people ask me which character is most like me, and I do have a thought on that, but the fact is every character has a part of me. Those who know me and read my books often comment how much of myself they see in each character.

 
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Umm….(counts in his head)…five unpublished books and one half-finished.

 
What is your favourite part or scene in The Power of Words? Can you give us a peek?

I can’t give you the peek because my favorite part is the reveal in my contribution to the story. I’ve had many people complement me on the plot twist in Caught, and I think this twist is just so much better. That’s honestly my favorite part, but another part I enjoy is a scene in which the crew’s lifter, Laree, is trying to get a security badge. It’s just a cute little scene that makes me chuckle. Here it is:

A pair of glass doors whooshed open as she stepped into the lab. She kept her eyes down, but noticed a few technicians look at her. She pointed at the empty lab chair before snatching up a data pad, pretending she’d forgotten it.
Bad mark! she thought looking at the first person she saw. He didn’t have a red badge either. Bad mark! Bad mark! Two more employees displayed their green badges like wards against her plan, mocking her increasingly impossible timeline.
She walked around the monitors and holo-tables as if simply taking a leisurely route back out of the room.
Bad mark! For spark’s sake does anyone on this floor have a … there’s a good mark.
A spindly young technician in need of two meals and a gallon of anti-acne cream sat at a monitor. His red badge dangled from his white coat pocket like a pretty bow. She made a show of nearly dropping the data pad, and the helpful tech, who’d probably never seen a woman naked before, had his moment in the limelight. He heroically stood there while she plowed into him. He just managed to snag the data pad as she snatched the man’s badge.
He looked at her, and she could practically see the wedding play out in his eyes.
Oh, Sweetie, no! She hid her face with the data pad and winked at him before heading out of the lab.
That’s when her wrist communicator started flashing.
Come on, Laree! Did you really think it was going to go that smoothly?

 
Tell us about the cover and how it came about.

Power of Words Cover_FRONT_EBOOKAgain, I’m super proud of this one. I actually designed it myself. I knew I wanted a text-based cover because it was an anthology. So I took the title and played with some concepts. One of my favorite design techniques is the Gestalt principle of figure and ground. Silhouettes use this same principle. The idea is the contrast of one set of shapes on a simple background create the impression of an object or, in my cover’s case, words. I took this one step further because I used a very specific set of words as my figure (the text creating element). I keep it secret as to what those words are because I’d like to think people wonder what the words are and end up staring at them to figure out what publication they’re from. It’s a simple concept executed well. I’m not trying to boast. I’m not saying it’s the greatest cover or concept ever. I just assert it’s a solid idea done well. The real judgement of that would be the viewers though.

 
Have you done any personal appearances?

Ever? Yes. I’ve been in a few bookstores, and I usually do a book launches at a local comic book store. The owner (Bumper) is a great guy, and I like to hang out there. I don’t anymore because if I go in there, I’m going to buy rare comics, and they’re expensive. Most of my appearances (and the one I’m about to do) are at conventions. My next one (and last for the year) will be the Baltimore ComicCon Sept. 28-30.

 
What do you think makes a good story?

I honestly have a simple formula for that. Sympathetic, proactive characters + interesting plot + interesting world = good story. The key element there is the character. They can be reading a book or talking about the weather if they’re sympathetic and proactive enough. I do have to explain that sympathetic to me doesn’t necessarily connote “likable.” A character someone hates can be just as captivating as a character someone loves. The point is, the character evokes strong emotions.

 
Which writers inspire you?

Currently, I’m a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson. I think Peter V. Brett is the best with characters. Dan Wells is the most underrated author out there right now. Then there are the go-tos, Anne McCaffrey, Robert Jordan, Timothy Zahn, and Dean Koontz. I do want to give special attention to Michael G. Manning and C.L. Schneider, two indie authors who really are outstanding.

 
Do you have plans to, or have you already, released audio editions of your book(s)?

The Journals of Bob Drifter is already out on Audible, and Caught is nearly finished. In fact, the Audible version of Power of Words is in production, though I’ve hit a snag there, so it might not be out as soon as I want.

 
Writing seems to be a large part of your life. Imagine a future (if you can) where you no longer write. What would you do?

Well, I’m getting married in November, so I’d probably just be an annoying dad and (hopefully) loyal husband. I’d watch WAY more football (and THAT’S saying something) and play a few more video games too. I might take up sleeping as a hobby. I’ve heard good things about it.

 
Your blog is a mixture of books (news and reviews), Book Cover of the Month and your Mum/your faith:
How/why did you come up with the idea for Book Cover of the Month?

I love top ten lists and competition and brackets. I also love book covers. So I started out just picking covers I thought were nice because that’s actually how I discovered C.L. Schneider. After I started doing that, I wondered what to do the covers. The idea for a bracket came pretty quickly after that. I just like to talk about covers. I’d like to see more voters, and I would really like to have more (professional) debates about why this cover works and why that one doesn’t. For now though, it’s really fun, and I’d look at the covers regardless. This just gives me an interesting bit of content to offer my readers.

 
Has writing about your Mum’s illness and your ‘Trial of Faith’ helped you?

The testimony is first and foremost about giving glory to God. This trial truly shaped me. It saddened me. It broke me. It humbled me. But it also helped me improve my relationship with God. I struggle with pride so much in my life. I was raised in it. I was trained in it while in the Navy (Take Charge! Be a Leader! Be Assertive!). This event was humbling because here I am, a man committed to the idea of, “There’s always something I can do!” Then I’m placed in this situation where I was simply helpless. It’s put me in a place where I’ve realized I’m subject to God’s will and God’s grace, and I’m better for it. Life was hard when I felt like it was all on me. Now I realize my life is in God’s hands, and everything he does, even this, is for good. The testimony reminds me of that. I still struggle with pride. MAN do I struggle with it, but I hope I’m improving and growing.

It also helped me to open up more. As I said above, I already fail to see what’s “interesting” about me. Combine that with the fact that I’m honestly super private and generally selfish with my time, opening up like this has helped me grow as a person.

The greatest help would be hearing, thinking or knowing that my testimony has helped introduce more people to Jesus, and through him God. I fear now that what I’m doing might be brining too much attention on myself and not enough to God (which is the main objective). I feel this way because our faith and grace are evidenced (not granted!) by the fruits of our labors. I’m not honestly sure if’ I’ve born any fruit. I’m not sure if I’ve helped anyone find Jesus or even encouraged anyone going through something similar. That portion of the blog is almost over. I have ideas on what the Sunday blogs will be, but I want them (and everything I do) to glorify God. I may fail more often than I succeed (because we all fall short of the Glory of God), but I want to try.

 
It’s time to relax! What do you do?

I write. When I’m not writing or watching football, I’m playing video games. Reading is fun. But honestly if I had more time for writing, I’d be much happier. Marketing, editing, publicity, those things just really burn me out.

 
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Favorites ever are: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BEST EVER), How I Met Your Mother, Stargate SG-1, and Supernatural (the first five seasons only). Current series would be Doctor Who, The 100, The Marvel TV shows, Game of Thrones, and Stranger Things.

 
If you had to choose a character from one of your books to have lunch with, who would it be and why?

Bob from The Journals of Bob Drifter. Sure, he might be there to take my soul, but he’s hundreds of years old. He’d have a ton of stories to tell me before I croaked.

 
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m bad at sharing. Not because I’m unwilling, but because I’m really just sort of baffled at the sorts of things people want to know about. I think I’m pretty boring, so it’s hard to think about things because I just don’t know. I usually talk about my students or my kids (my fiancee’s kids, but I’ve pretty much already hijacked them).

 
Thank you for joining us today, Matt. Good luck with the release of The Power of Words in October, and best wishes for your wedding and the future.

 

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Boy of Blood By Megan O’Russell

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Title: Boy of Blood
Author: Megan O’Russell
Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing
Series: Girl of Glass
Release Date: April 10, 2018

 

Boy of BloodAfter Nightland’s vicious attack on the domes, the safety and perfection of the world within the glass has been contaminated. Desperate to rebuild, outsiders are allowed into the domes to help, breaking the cardinal rule: outsiders and Domers must always be separated. But the city is in shambles, crumbling into chaos without the Vampers of Nightland to keep order, and one name is carried on the wind: Nola.

Clinging to Jeremy, Nola struggles to find a way to exist in the domes, turning her back on all she learned in the city. But when one of the outsiders brings the dark secrets of the domes to light, the line between survival and murder blurs against the spectre of the dying world.

Can Nola follow the dark path laid out by the Domes? Will the dangers of the night become her new sanctuary?

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About the Author:

Megan O’Russell is the author of the young adult fantasy series The Tethering, and Nuttycracker Sweet, a Christmas novella. Megan’s short stories can also be found in several anthologies, including Athena’s Daughters 2, featuring women in speculative fiction. Megan is a professional performer who has spent time on stages across the country and is the lyrist for Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical, which received its world premier in 2015. When not on stage or behind a computer, Megan can usually be found playing her ukulele or climbing a mountain with her fantastic husband.

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Guest Post by Megan O’Russell:

THE O’RUSSELL LIFE by Megan O’Russell

Megan O'Russell

Being an author is amazing. Being an author and a working actor is… complicated.

Right now, aside from working on my three young adult series, I’m performing on the North American tour of The Wizard of Oz. My entire adult life I’ve been lucky enough to work as a professional performer. From Denali, Alaska to Sanibel Island, Florida, I’ve done shows in some amazing places. I would never want to give up performing, but maintaining two different careers is a huge juggling act, especially when you live in a tour bus.

A typical day on tour starts with bus call. The whole cast piles onto the bus. We have quiet hours until noon, so I curl up in my sleeping bad under my seat and try to sleep.

Around noon-ish we stop for lunch. Hopefully, there is cell service or Wifi so I can check for emails from my agent or publishers, check my social media outlets, and post any links I want to share.

Then it’s back on the bus. I *try* and take the afternoon bus time to write or edit. I usually have time to edit 5,000 words or write 1,500.

At 3:30pm or so, we get to the hotel. That’s either time for exercise, writing, finding food, or (if I’m really desperate) a nap.

Usually 5:15 means it’s back on the bus to head to the venue for the evening’s show. We have company meeting on stage, then I can maybe sneak in about a half-hour of writing before mic check. Then it’s time to get ready for the show. I have some big chunks of downtime during each performance, so I have enough time to write a blog post and read a little in whatever marketing/author based book I‘m delving into a the moment.

10:45 pm sees us back at the hotel, which is time for a snack and some more writing.

Bedtime is about 2am, and then I wake up an hour before bus call to do it all over again.

Occasionally, we’ll have just a travel day with no show, which provides some wiggle room for doing something fun, or we’ll be in a city for more than one day so I’ll have some time to explore instead of just staying on the bus. And there are some amazing cities to explore. From Saint Louis to Raleigh, I’ve gotten to hang out in some pretty awesome places while on The Wizard of Oz tour.

It’s a crazy and hectic schedule in which finding a spare minute to work is an amazing feat and finding a quiet place to write is nigh on impossible.

And I will say planning a book release from a tour bus is not for the faint of heart. I cannot express how grateful I am for the team at Fiery Seas Publishing. Without them, I would have curled up in a corner and cried trying to plan a whole blog tour. They’ve been amazing through this whole publication process.
I wouldn’t trade my two crazy careers for anything, but if you ever see me walking wild-haired into a restaurant with a pack of actors from The Wizard of Oz, you’ll know why.

 

 

Five on Friday

5onFriday

Five Books – Five Authors – Five Brief Reviews

I’ve been spending some time this week cataloguing my reviews and came across these books on Goodreads, with some of my first reviews, which I thought I’d share with you.

 

So… If you’re looking for a new book to read this weekend, try one of these:

 

22441671Title: Seed
Series: Keepers of Genesis, #1
Author: D.B. Nielsen

A powerful, hidden artefact is unearthed and, with its discovery, an ancient conflict is reignited. Seventeen-year-old Sage Woods, the daughter of an eminent archaeologist, uncovers the artefact’s disturbing secret and is placed in terrible danger. Unwittingly, she has stumbled into an invisible war between two primordial dynasties of a supernatural order – a war in which she has a fateful role to play in a race to control the power of the SEED.

Embroiled in a quest that takes her from the British Museum to the Louvre to the Vatican Secret Archives, Sage realises that her blossoming romance with the mysterious, alluring St. John Rivers is inextricably tied to the artefact. Up until now, St. John has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Sage is determined to delve deeper to uncover his dark secret and his connection to the SEED. It is a decision that will have a devastating effect on humankind…

Amazon 

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My review:

Wow!! I loved this book.

A hard to put down, page turner. Well written, with a thrilling and intelligent storyline and believable characters.

I only have one complaint…. the book ended. 😉

Thank goodness there are more to follow!

 

22585896Title: The Girl at Midnight
Series: The Girl at Midnight #1
Author: Melissa Grey

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

Amazon  • B&NKoboiBooksGooglePlay

My review:

I loved this book!!

It’s a quirky, entertaining and sometimes humorous fantasy, and I enjoyed it…. a lot!

I loved the characters and their interactions, and the wonderful world they inhabit.

 

21415080Title: Land
Author: Alex Campbell

The sea rose. Civilisation was wiped out, countries drowned. Out of the ashes of a desperate refugee camp, a new society was born, with a new place to call home: Land. Trapped by an aggressive sea, its citizens were bound to rules that saw the weak removed, marriage and children by approval only, and designated work for all. All for the greater good……

Decades later, and seventeen year-old Christy’s life is on the cusp of irrevocable change. She has become eligible for the Pairing, a carefully selected marriage of political and social convenience where romance is out of the question. Her grandmother, Cons, has also reached a significant age – sixty-six: soon the Selection Truck will arrive to take her away forever.

Christy’s only hope for protection lies with her missing rebel father…..but nothing goes as it’s supposed to. As Christy finds a Pair who might offer a new opportunity for love and security she also uncovers a destiny that has been hidden from her; truths that have been disguised as childhood lies. With Cons’ life under threat, Christy is forced to face a whole new world, one where she must choose between those she cares about and the greater good….a new life where she must play the reluctant rebel, the revolutionary, the lover…..the assassin.

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My review:

I loved this book.

It has a fantastic plot, with never a dull moment. Some likeable, strong characters and some not so likeable ones.

It was really hard to put down.

 

18568775Title: Dawn Solstice
Author: Olivia Kiernan

Archaeologist, Dawn Kennedy, is sent to work at a Neolithic tomb in Ireland. The tomb, Newgrange, is famed for its history of reincarnation. Dawn is drawn to studfarm owner Evan O’Brien but their relationship seems thwarted from the start. The locals talk of The Legend of the Banshee, a harbinger of death and when Dawn is haunted by a strange spectre, she feels the past reach out to her. Soon she is living in fear, fear of love, the banshee and Ireland’s fractured history and overlooking the river Boyne, Newgrange seems to be waiting, waiting for her love, waiting for her to die.

Amazon  • B&N 

My review:

A very enjoyable read.

This was one of those books that once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished.

 

18147185Title: Ways to See a Ghost
Series: Ways To See A Ghost #1
Author: Emily Diamand

Isis, the daughter of a charlatan psychic, can see ghosts – including that of her dead little sister, Angel. Gray is the son of a UFO-chasing conspiracy theorist. The two teenagers are forced together when their parents start dating. After a reluctant start, a friendship develops and Isis confesses her secret ability to Gray. But when Isis’ mum is inducted into an elite psychic society, run by charismatic Philip Syndal, Isis discovers there are sinister intentions beneath Philip’s charm. She and Gray find themselves in grave danger and Isis is forced to use her considerable powers to save them both.

Amazon  • B&NKoboGooglePlay

My review:

I like that this book was a quick, easy read, and suitable for younger readers of paranormal, as well as interesting enough to keep adult readers entertained.

The book was well-written and the characters were interesting.

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

Five on Friday

5onFriday

Five Books – Five Authors – One Genre

Looking for a new dystopian read for the weekend?
Try one of these…


Title: The Running Game
Series: Reachers Book 1
Author: L.E. Fitzpatrick

The Running GameRachel’s father called it the running game. Count the exits, calculate the routes. Always be ready to run because they’ll always be coming for you. Whatever happens, they’ll always be coming for you.

On the surface, Rachel is just an ordinary doctor, trying to stay alive in war-torn London, but she has a secret. Rachel is a Reacher – wanted by the government and by the criminal underworld – for her telekinetic powers.

Charlie and his brother John had a reputation for doing the impossible. But after losing his family, Charlie is a broken mess and John is barely keeping him afloat. In desperation, they take a job from a ruthless ganglord only to discover the girl they are hunting is a Reacher – one of their own kind.

James Roxton, a conman and thief, is searching for the man who tried to kill his mother. Suddenly embroiled into the plan to kidnap Rachel, he decides he can turn things to his own advantage.

Even with the help of dangerous and dubious allies, can Rachel turn the game around and save herself?

Amazon

My Review:

This book has it all… friendship, courage, intrigue, suspense, murder, betrayal and more, and I loved it.

I was hooked by the end of the opening chapter and the unique plot kept me captivated right up to the last page.

L E Fitzpatrick’s vivid descriptions depict S’aven as a dreary place with a dark and corrupt society, – not a great place to live.

The main characters, both good and bad, are well-rounded and believable with their own traits and behaviours, and I found myself rooting for Rachel, John and Charlie.

The ending was well done, no cliffhanger, but plenty of room for a sequel, and I’ll be waiting for it.

Also available in the Reachers series:
Border Lines (book 2)
Every Storm Breaks (book 3)
Safe Haven: A Reacher Short Story
Family: A Reacher Short Story
The Lost Shepherd: A Reacher Short Story

• • •

 


Title: The Phoenix Project
Author: D.M. Cain

The Phoenix ProjectA thought provoking and compelling dystopian world that will change the way you view justice…

In prisons across the country, inmates are forced to fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.

Raven Kennedy, a bitterly depressed young prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war wages within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines. Can he survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him—and one day find the forgiveness he seeks?

Amazon

My Review:

An original, entertaining, thought-provoking and, at times, an uncomfortable read.

The story line was well thought out, refreshingly unique and well worth reading.

I followed Ravens journey in the present as he dealt with life in prison and the brutality of the Phoenix Project, and learnt, through a series of flashbacks, how he ended up there.

His remorse, self-loathing and guilt, but also his survival instinct are graphically brought to life by D.M. Cain.The world Raven inhabits is brought to life by the authors detailed and descriptive writing.

• • •

 


Title: Blood Master
Series: G.O.D.s Book 1
Author: Kirsten Campbell

Blood Master2052: Two-thirds of the human population have been killed by the Great War, the Clover Virus and the Death Plague. Only one man survived the Death Plague, an albino man named Griffin Storm. He’s the only albino in existence. No one knows what happened to the other albinos, but most believe the rumors that they were eliminated by the Guild Faction’s deadly experiments.

Griffin is hiding out in Underground Atlanta. He has special abilities. He can manipulate crystal and glass. He uses these abilities for good, raiding warehouses and old buildings for food and medical supplies to give to the abandoned children that live in the Underground. During a raid, he meets Tassta Vinetti. She’s a resident of the legendary Brotherhood Fortress. Griffin is taken to the Brotherhood and chaos ensues as Tassta, her twin brother Penn and her Uncle Lerin Sanctobous keep their new visitor and his untold powers secret. They can not disclose that the only albino in existence is now at their fortress or they could all be in great danger.

Fact is, the Guild is hunting Griffin. He is the only survivor of their deadly experiments and his survival will have dynamic consequences. The Guild believes Griffin will transform into a G.O.D., a Genetically-enhanced Omni Dimensional being. If he transforms, he will have inter-dimensional doors within his body, doors that lead to heaven and hell. Griffin will become a Blood Master and he’ll be able to control the demons from the Dimension of Blood.

Will Griffin save the children of the Underground from their tragic life? Will he transform into a G.O.D. and become the Blood Master? Only time will tell…

Amazon

My Review:

I loved this book!

The story started slowly setting the scene and filling in some background, but soon shifted up a gear with some great action and a number of surprising twists.
The characters were well-developed and, for the most part, likable.

The romance between Tassta and Griffin was tasteful and didn’t overwhelm the story.

The author has created a fascinating and realistic world of the future, with vivid descriptions of the Brotherhood’s fortress and the Underground.I can’t wait to see what happens next for Griffin and all.

Also available in the G.O.D.s series::
Blood Phase (book 2)

• • •

 


Title: The Last City
Series: The Last City Book 1
Author: Logan Keys

The Last CitySixteen-year-old Liza was prepared to die from cancer, but instead she’s been gifted super-strength. Since the undead plague, the world’s gone crazy: Evil dictators, mad scientists, sick kids imprisoned on an island, and experiments that have created the stuff of myths and legends.

When Liza meets Jeremy Writer, an anarchist rousting the people to revolt, she has a choice to make. Risk imprisonment, or join the rebellion. And she finds she has a talent for enlisting allies to their cause.

Tommy’s a normal seventeen-year-old boy, that is, until he’s angry. The Underground’s created super-soldiers to fight the regime holding the last city. But he struggles to contain his monster more and more, and Tommy wonders how much of himself will be left when they arrive. He’s got too many who rely on him, to give up now.

If Liza can’t help spark an uprising, and Tommy loses control before victory, then the last of the population will be purged, and freedom will be nothing but a memory.

The Last City (Formerly Gods of Anthem) is a young adult zombie dystopian tale that faces all odds in a post-apocalyptic world.

Amazon

My Review:

Until nearly the end of the book, you go back and forth between two stories, told side by side from the point of view of two people, leading totally separate lives. You know they are going to link up, but you don’t know how.

There’s mystery, suspense, action and romance. Real characters with depth and emotions. Some amazing world-building and a unique plot.

There are some ‘slow’ moments, but that just gives you chance to breath.

All in all it’s a well paced page turner.

The ending leaves a lot of questions unanswered, which sets you up for the next book.

I can’t wait for the sequel!

Also available in The Last City series::
La La Land (book 2)
Lies and Legends (book 3)

• • •

 


Title: Death Thieves
Author: Julie Wright

Death ThievesYou’re dead, Summer Dawn Rae.

When Summer Rae is stolen from the moment of her own death and taken to a future where mankind is dying, it is with the hope that she, and other teenagers like her, can save it. But after only a short time in the future, Summer discovers a darker side to the altruistic reasons behind her abduction. She is determined to fulfill her purpose in a world gone literally mad, but can an ordinary girl save a whole world when she only cares about saving one person?

Amazon

My Review:

I enjoyed this time-travelling / sci-fi / dystopian book.

The storyline was well thought out and the main characters were dimensional.

The book started slowly but I was soon drawn in as it picked up pace and Summer was snatched, by Tag, from the life she knew into the future to ‘save mankind’.

The twists and turns kept me reading as I wondered what Summer and her friends would do next and how things would eventually turn out.

The ending seemed a bit rushed but the story was nicely wrapped up.

I received a free ecopy of Death Thieves through Kindle Scout.

• • •

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

Five on Friday

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Five Books – Five Authors – Five Genres

Looking for a new book to read this weekend? Try one of these 5 reads!

Dead NormalTitle: Dead Normal
Author: D M Singh
Genre: Humour, Paranormal

“My name is Amanda and at the ripe age of 23 I’m dead. I got the biggest shock of my after-life, when I discovered that what I thought was a near-death experience was just…death. What could be weirder than that you say? I just met death and his name is Derek.”

Amanda discovers that in order to move on, she must experience the things she never did while alive, Accompanied by her very own Grim Reaper

Amazon

My review:

I loved this book!

I enjoyed the wonderfully quirky multi-faceted characters and the sweet, yet awkward romance between Amanda and Derek.

I giggled at the humour, the banter between friends and the situations they find themselves in.

I was surprised at the unexpected plot twists and the fantastic ending.

 

RiddleTitle: Riddle
Author: Elizabeth Horton-Newton
Genre: Thriller, Suspense

Seven years ago Kort Eriksen went to prison for killing his girlfriend Desiree. Now he’s back in Riddle and some people think he got off easy. Others, including long time friend Norma, think he was railroaded because he’s the only Native American in town. Grace Donahue is running away from her past. Trapped in Riddle until her car is repaired she develops a friendship with Kort. Suddenly accidents are happening and people are dying. Is Kort adding to his list of victims or has someone else taken the reins? As mysteries from the past rise to the surface, more questions will be raised. The suspect file grows as victims fall. Is Desiree’s killer back for more or is someone trying to avenge her death? The riddle of Riddle will be solved, but how many bodies will it take to find the answers?

Amazon

My review:

A well-written book, with an intriguing storyline and a great cast of fleshed-out characters.

The book has believable romance and unpredictable mystery.

A true riddle with many twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.

 

The GuardiansTitle: The Guardians
Author: Gina Moray
Genre: Horror

There’s something in the fields…

Hank Smithson has been battling bad crops, sabotage, and the bank for the last few years, and has decided to do something about it. A talk with a mysterious stranger named LaReux leads him to build a special scarecrow, a Guardian, for the field. Hank is skeptical of its power, but one scarecrow becomes three and the fields prosper. But there’s a problem – people are dying and success always comes at a price.

A determined cop…

Carlos Higgins and his partner are sent from the Wichita Police Department to investigate an unusual murder in the sleepy town of Runner’s Mill. While on the case, several more die and they all have one thing in common – Hank Smithson.
While Higgins and Landley believe they know the killer, they learn that the real culprit is deadlier and more terrifying than they could have imagined.

Amazon

My review:

I enjoy a good horror story and having read Gina Moray’s short story, Cemetery at Devil’s Bend, I knew I had to read her debut novel, The Guardians, and I wasn’t disappointed… it was everything I hoped it would be!

With this descriptive and wonderfully scary story, Gina had me gripped from the start and kept me on the edge of my seat as the gory body count rose and had me wondering who, if anyone, would survive the terrifying evil.

Not for the faint hearted, but if, like me, you like a good scary book, The Guardians is well worth reading.

 

Illusional RealityTitle: Illusional Reality
Author: Karina Kantas
Genre: Fantasy

Nobody expects to stare death in the face only to find out your entire life is a lie. Rescued by Salco, marketing executive Becky finds herself in an unknown magical world filled with happy people that try to forget their land is on the brink of destruction.

Becky will soon learn that her arrival is no accident. If learning that she is Thya, the heir of the enchanting land isn’t enough, she’s then told that an Oracle prophesied that she will save the gentle Tsinians from slavery and domination by Darthorn, the Warlord of Senx.

It is at a festival where she is introduced to the Tsinian council and her kinsmen, that she learns the whole truth. The council are so certain that a union between Darthorn’s son, Kovon and Thya will create peace between the two lands. However, Darthorn has plans for Tsinia as does Kovon for Thya and neither are good.

Although her future has been planned and if she is to save Tsinia she must marry Kovon, Thya gives her heart to another. A love that is forbidden and dangerous.

Illusional Reality is a story about hope, courage, love and sacrifice.

Amazon

My review:

An interesting and enjoyable read from Karina Kantas.

This well-written story clipped along at a good and steady pace.

The detailed descriptions let me see the magical land of Tsinia, with it’s tree-top dwellings and it’s friendly and peaceful inhabitants. Senx, the home of her ‘intended’, Kovon and his father, Darthorn, is a much darker and gloomier place.

The main characters are well fleshed out, and Thya/Becky runs through the whole spectrum of emotions, from disbelief to acceptance, anger to peace, and love to heartbreak, and I felt them along with her.

I am hopeful that Illusional Reality is the first book of a series!

 

The WastelandersTitle: The Wastelanders
Author: Tim Hemlin
Genre: Dystopian

When water is scarce, a drop is more precious than gold. In this post- apocalyptic world, America is controlled by a corporate oligarchy known as the Water Cartel, and warrior-priest Joey Hawke finds himself trapped between a mysterious geneticist amassing a clone army and a group of political fanatics convinced that a dead president will rise from his tomb to lead them to salvation.

Caught outside his spiritual haven when the Cartel moves against the Wastelanders, Joey is aided by Bear, an enigmatic weapons runner, a lovesick Scrapwoman, and Bernie Hawke, his estranged father. But against the Cartel’s military strength, led by the power hungry Rex Fielder, Joey’s only hope may be Si-Ting, a young woman with prescient abilities—a woman who not only holds the key to his heart but also to an American conspiracy to crown its future with the withered laurels of the past.

Amazon

My review:

Reading A Friend in Need inspired me to read Tim Hemlin’s Wastelanders.
I was fascinated by the brief introduction to the world and its characters and needed to know more.

The story starts with a bang and had me hooked from page one, with it’s unique and strange world filled with interesting and believable characters.

The plot is intelligently thought out and well written, with surprising twists that add to the complexity of the story

Marvellous!

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

SIGILS & SPELLS

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A dangerously beautiful vision of unique worlds that’s sure to leave its mark.

21462467_280599612426768_8632400354978809571_nCross through the looking glass into Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Dystopian realms where you’ll meet valiant heroes, kick-ass heroines, and dangerous creatures waiting to unveil the hidden corners of the universe.

SIGILS & SPELLS includes more than twenty exclusive novels that roam the sands of Egypt, slip into the shadows of 1940s Los Angeles, voyage to the mystical land of Mabi, and dare to traverse the stars.

From the deserts of Africa to the streets of San Antonio, mythological adventurers strike out to discover brand new worlds and unravel the mysteries of Earth in a limited edition boxed set offering the diversity and originality you haven’t been able to find before now.

Dare to enter forbidden realms of unexpected beauty and peril? Secure your copy of SIGILS & SPELLS today – before it disappears forever!

Amazon • B&N • Kobo • iBooks

 

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Lori Titus – Hunting in Closed Spaces

Bestselling Author Lori Titus is a Californian with an affinity for speculative fiction. Her work explores mysticism and reality, treading the blurred line between man and monster. She thrives on coffee and daydreams when she isn’t writing or plotting out her next story.

 

 

A15BMlLQM3L._UX250_Kris Austen Radcliffe – Dragon’s Fate

Kris’s Science Fiction Romance series, Fate – Fire – Shifter – Dragon, brings her descriptive touch to the fantastic. Her Urban Fantasy series, Northern Creatures sets her magic free. She’s traversed many storytelling worlds, including dabbles in film and comic books, time as a talent agent and a textbook photo coordinator, as well as a foray into nonfiction. But she craved narrative and richly-textured worlds–and unexpected, true love.

Kris lives in Minnesota with her husband, two daughters, and Handsome Cat.

 

Heather Marie Adkins and Alex Owens – Rising Night

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Heather Marie Adkins writes too much but still too little. She also has too many cats, not enough tequila, and a love affair with procrastination.

Heather lives in north-central Kentucky with a sarcastic cop who is entirely too dependent on puns. When she’s not plotting her next story or herding felines, she works at the library.

• • •

Alex Owens resides in coastal Virginia and spends her days wrangling words, and on occasion a sassy cat ( or three), a bull-headed Labrador, and her cantankerous rescue horse. Her husbandhas figured out that toeing the line is easier in the long run. He’s a smart man.

 

plahh8tg34ff2t2ord6ne65bd2._UX250_Lee Hayton – Tohunga Rising

Lee Hayton (a USA Today bestselling author) is the nom-de-plume of Katherine Hayton–a middle-aged woman who works in insurance, doesn’t have children or pets, can’t drive, has lived in Christchurch her entire life, and currently resides a two-minute walk from where she was born.

For some reason, she’s developed a rich fantasy life.

 

3211590Rita Stradling – Henchgirl

Rita Stradling is the author of Making Bad Choices, The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

 

61HKi0iBGQL._UX250_Eva Pohler – Charon’s Quest

Eva Pohler recently retired from a twenty-year position teaching writing and literature at a university in San Antonio, where she lives with her husband and three kids. Now a full-time writer, she’s the author of over twenty novels, including The Gatekeeper’s Saga, The Gatekeeper’s Saga Spin-off series, The Purgatorium Series, The Vampires of Athens Series, The Mystery House  Series and The Mystery Book Collection and three series for young adults: , The Purgatorium Series, and. Her books have been described as “thrilling” and “addictive.” A Kirkus reviewer said of The Gatekeeper’s Sons that it was “sure to thrill Hunger Games fans.

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

 

81zW0ZPa5pL._UX250_81B6OlHtEXL._UX250_Lily Luchesi and Faith Marlow – Soul Syndicate

Lily Luchesi is the award-winning author of the bestselling Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.

She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

• • •

Faith Marlow is a dark fantasy/ paranormal/ horror author with Vamptasy Publishing, an imprint of CHBB. Her stories stir emotions and explore the thin veil between human and the inhuman. Her books are dark, yet inviting, and seek to deliver chills with a sense of class, and sometimes a bit of heat. With each story, Faith hopes to build exposure for fellow women authors and artists who create horror.

Faith has full length novels currently available at your favorite retailer. Her debut, “Being Mrs. Dracula”, chronicles the lives of Count Dracula’s three beautiful, yet very different wives. Valeria, Ilona, and Fleur. The story continues with “Being Dracula’s Widow”, and the third installment “Being Dracula’s Heir” is currently under construction.

 

B1fi4G-+GoS._UX250_M.R. Graham – The Siren

USA Today bestselling author M.R. Graham is a native Texan who traces strong cultural roots back to Scotland, Poland, and England. A mild-mannered Latin teacher during the day, Graham transforms at night into a raging Holmesian loremaster and rabid novelist.

Though passionate about all scholarship and academia, Graham’s training and true love lies with anthropology, particularly the archaeological branch.

Her writing explores the uncanny, the mystical, the mysterious and the monstrous, seeking to capture the beauty of strangeness.
Also, steampunk and vampires.

 

71YUcoi6h2L._UX250_Carmen Fox – Hidden

Carmen Fox lives in the south of England with her beloved tea maker and a stuffed sheep called Fergus. She’s an award-winning writer of urban fantasy with heart and sassitude, and loves meeting her readers.

 

 

ldm7slh119fvokkk782e4r9g20._UX250_Tina Glasneck – Helltown

Tina Glasneck, a USA Today bestselling author, enjoys creating stories that combine history, mythology and Norse gods. Someday she might just fancy a trip to Asgard too, and find out what all the fuss is about!

 

SedonaVenezAuthor-300x442Sedona Venez – Infinity

Sedona Venez is a romance author with a dirty mind. She lives in New York City with her hot ex-military hubby–hooah–and their fur babies. She loves writing sizzling, sexy intricate stories about strong but broken characters who push limits, overcome their fears, and risk it all for love.

 

51LY472YdAL._UX250_J.N. Colon – Voodoo Unleashed

J.N. Colon writes young adult and new adult paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Shee’s a bonifies paranormal junkie, getting her fixes from books, television, and movies. Her favorite day of the year is Halloween, and she’s dying to go ghost hunting one day.

 

Cheri Winters – Blood Lust

Cheri Winters got hooked on Urban Fantasy through Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, and Laurel K. Hamilton. Now Cheri writes her stories with kick-ass heroines battling their way through adventure and mayhem.

When not writing, Cheri practices Muay Thai and Karate or catches up reading her favorite authors.

 

71WbI1ZddQL._UX250_Katalina Leon – Ravenscroft: City of Angels

Katalina Leon is a USA Today bestselling author who can’t commit to a single romance subgenre. Her favorite playgrounds are historical, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, and most of all Paranormal Romance. Lately, she has vampires on the brain. Katalina brings a sense of adventure and a touch of the mystical to romance. She believes there’s a daring heroine inside every woman who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.

 

71pqaWZhNRL._UX250_RJ Blain – Whatever for Hire

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn’t playing pretend, she likes to think she’s a cartographer and a sumi-e painter.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

 

Cate Farren – Summer’s Deadly Kiss

Cate Farren lives in Sheffield, England. She has a sweet little Russian Blue cat called Grace and is single, currently looking for either a sexy vampire or a hunky werewolf to sweep her off her feet.

 

5129413WniL._UX250_Amy Evans – Clicks

Amy Evans is a wife, mother, ocean lover and storyteller. She believes that all stories are better with kisses, and that wishes come true when they’re shared. CLICKS is her first novel. The sequel, ECHOES, will bw available soon.

She is also the author of Jellybean Kisses, a sweet contemporary YA romance. You can read it for free on all major ebook retailers.

 

ujyJhrM0_400x400Catherine Banks – Phoenix Possessed

Catherine Banks is a bestselling fantasy author who writes in several fantasy subgenres under two pseudonyms. She began writing fiction at only four years old and finished her first full-length novel at the age of fifteen. She is married to her soulmate and best friend, Avery, who she has two amazing children with. After her full time job, she reads books, plays video games, and watches anime shows and movies with her family to relax. Although she has lived in Northern California her entire life, she dreams of traveling around the world. Catherine is also C.E.O. of Turbo Kitten Industries™, a company with many hats including being a book publisher and a store full of nerdy fun.

 

81cdiJMusFL._UX250_V.A. Dold – Dangerous Destiny

V.A. Dold is the bestselling author of the Award-winning Le Beau Series and the K.I.S.S series.

Her idea of absolute heaven is a day in the French Quarter with her computer, her coffee mug, and the Brothers, of course. Or a night with a sexy cowboy in the hayloft.

A Midwest native with her heart lost to Louisiana & Texas. She has a penchant for titillating tales featuring sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably taking in a movie, reading, or traveling. Oh, and there is the distinct possibility she is out cowboy hunting.

 

91nWppB7tbL._UX250_Dylan Keefer – Woman of the Wind

Dylan Keefer is a web designer / developer by day and a writer by night. He’s basically a modern day superhero, using code and words to breathe creativity into reality. On a more serious note, he has been writing from a very young age and has always been pursuing the dream of writing professionally. Everything he does is in pursuit of that dream. He writes light-hearted as well as dark themed stories across multiple genres. His stories involve psychological struggles or moral dilemmas of the human condition. If you like those themes and the idea of questioning what it means to be human, then it won’t matter what genre the story is; he will make you a believer.

 

51eYL-udRHL._UX250_Ali Cross – First kisses Suck

Martial arts fan Ali Cross likes to say she holds a black belt in awesome since the only kind of kicking she does is on paper. She writes for children of all ages, and likes to include the occasional fight scene whenever she can. Ali lives in West Jordan with her kickin’ husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, and two zen doggies.

 

51uWzA7INoL._UX250_Michel Prince – Chrysalis

Michel Prince is an author who graduated with a bachelor degree in History and Political Science. Michel writes new adult and adult paranormal romance as well as contemporary romance.

With characters yelling “It’s my turn damn it!!!” She tries to explain to them that alas, she can only type a hundred and twenty words a minute and they will have wait their turn. She knows eventually they find their way out of her head and to her fingertips and she looks forward to sharing them with you.

When Michel can suppress the voices in her head she can be found at a scouting event or cheering for her son in a variety of sports. She would like to thank her family for always being in her corner and especially her husband for supporting her every dream and never letting her give up.

Michel has been awarded Elite Status with Rebel Ink Press in 2013, the service award for her local RWA chapter Midwest Fiction Writers 2013, 2014, won 2015 Sweetest Romance from IREA for Chrysalis and is a Pro member of RWA. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, son, and new puppy.

 

51cuoV13mML._UX250_Danny Bell – Empty Threat

“My name is Danny Bell. I want to tell stories and avoid writing author profiles. I read—when I should be interacting with people, I named my cat after a cat I liked in a book, I’m pretty sure I saw a ghost one time—though I’ll never admit it publicly, I’m too tall for the earth, and I’ve never eaten a vegetable. I lied about the vegetable part. Wait… is someone going to read this?”

 

61VQ57oj4aL._UX250_Tiana Laveen – Addicted in Cold Blood

Tiana Laveen was born in Cincinnati, Ohio though her soul resides in New York. She lives inside her mind, but her heart is occupied with her family and twisted imagination. She enjoys a fulfilling and enriching life that includes writing books, public speaking, drawing, painting, listening to music, cooking, and spending time with loved ones.

Tiana Laveen is a uniquely creative and innovative author whose fiction novels are geared towards those who not only want to temporarily escape from the daily routines of life, but also became pleasantly caught up in the well-developed journeys of her unique characters. Tiana creates a painting with words as she guides her reader into the lives of each and every main character. Her dedication to detail and staying true to her characters is evident in each novel that she writes.

 

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Transcending Fire by Casey Moss

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Title: Transcending Fire
Series: New World Bikers Book 1
Author: Casey Moss
Genre: MC Romance, Dystopian, SciFi

 
Guest Post by Casey Moss:

The story’s journey

      This erotic, futuristic, dystopian story based around different motorcycle gangs has had quite a journey to get to this point. Today I’m sharing the two-plus-year jaunt this book went through to find a home. Luckily, it finally has!
 
Transcending-Fire-evernightpublishing-AUg2017-3D-eReader      I started writing this story in the spring of 2015 for a special line (a series based off of fairy tales) at another publisher. While doing some research, I found some interesting tales that immediately piqued my imagination, and the contact person at the publisher chose one from a list I’d submitted. When I started writing my version, the story just flowed out of me. I absolutely loved it! Then, when I was ready to submit, I reached out to the publisher to make sure I had all my ducks in a row and was told they’d closed that line and no longer were accepting submissions for it. Needless to say, I was pretty bummed. I took some time to put the story through another draft, expanding it twenty thousand words or so. In the beginning of 2016, I submitted it elsewhere and a couple weeks later, I learned that publisher was closing. So I withdrew it from that submission process and off it went to yet another publisher. After some lackluster communication on their part, and even though they were interested, we discussed my ideas for the “series” and then came to the conclusion that the “series” wouldn’t be a fit. I say “series” because I have the outlines for book 2 and book 3 done, but not the stories yet, and that didn’t fit their guidelines. They wanted all the books up front, and I don’t know how long it’ll take to write the next ones, so to be fair, we passed on each other. That was early summer 2016.
 
      To say I was disappointed in the whole submission process would be an understatement. I really liked this story, but I had a slight fear of putting it out there again. I put the story to the side, and after about a year and making sure it was still pretty, I sent it to Evernight, where it found its home. Even with all the trials the manuscript went through, I still love this story. It’s one of my favorites that I’ve written, and one that I didn’t get tired of during the editing process either. Yay! LOL!

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Here’s a brief blurb: A man dealing with an Earth in chaos. A woman from an alternate universe hoping to find her destiny. Two motorcycle gangs and a real bad ass who wants to ruin everything.
 
What’s not to like?
 
Now, without further ado, here’s the information about Transcending Fire…

—•—

 

TF-by CM-2kx3k_400x600Hunter Macario wants one thing—a place to belong. When given an opportunity to solidify his position in the Devil’s Thunder MC, he takes it.

Dragon’s Clan member, Safaia King, believes she’s found the man from her people’s legend and her dreams. She has one goal, even if he’s in a rival club—to make Hunter hers and keep him safe so he can fulfill their destiny.

After Hunter makes a huge mistake, he’s sent to where Safaia lives—an alternate universe called The Den. In this new world, sex, battles, and secrets abound. Hunter must survive The Den to right some wrongs or else he could lose everything he’s ever gained, including his home and Safaia’s love.

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Excerpt:

      The flames’ mesmerizing dance, the macabre song created by the crackles and pops, and the smell of death kept Hunter frozen to his spot. He wanted to help, knew he should pick up a bucketful of water or a hose and join the fray, but his immobile legs wouldn’t budge no matter the commands his brain sent them.
      There must be something in the smoke making me high. Either I really can’t move, or I’m losing my fucking marbles.
      He tried again to step forward, but still couldn’t.
      Ah, shit. I’m dreaming. Must be it. At least I hope that’s it.
      As if in answer to his thoughts, the world around him seemed to slow, become more surreal than it already was. The noises minimized into silence, yet people still rushed around him as if he were invisible, their mouths moving without voices emanating from them.
      Straight ahead, Hunter caught glimpses of a woman appearing and disappearing amongst the club members running back and forth in front of her. The ebony-haired beauty didn’t move. She stood there with a smile curling her lips.
      A hot, lusty bolt of desire surged straight to his cock. Yet beneath the instantaneous sensation lay something deeper. Dreaming or not, Hunter couldn’t quite put his finger on what he felt, but words like “connection” and “destiny” wisped across his mind.
      Their gazes locked. The lady winked and disappeared.
      The compound, except for the fire, was as it should be—club house, church, garage, barracks, factory, and some ancillary buildings—but the sky wasn’t gray. The constant hum from all the robotics and other machinery functioning in the city wasn’t present. He’d grown so accustomed to the white noise, the sudden silence almost hurt.
      Hunter shook his head, ran his palm over his face. Nothing seemed right anymore. The sky. The sounds. Even the air he breathed was different—lighter … less polluted.
      No one came up to him to check on him. Nobody questioned why he wasn’t helping.
      They all acted like he didn’t exist.
      Maybe I really don’t exist here. Maybe I’m still back in one of those foster homes and my life in Vegas has only been a fanciful dream.
      Nah. I’ve gotta be dreaming. I gotta…
      “Wake up, Hunter.”
      A weight bore down on Hunter’s shoulder, gripping his muscles like a pneumatic clamp.
      Even in a hazy state of mind, his instincts took over. Years of martial arts training had him shrugging out of the hold and spinning into a neutral stance, ready to defend and attack if need be. No matter what home he’d ended up in, he had always requested lessons. The type of discipline never mattered. The fact that he was learning a skill and had something of his own no one could take away from him had been all that’d counted.
      “Hey, boy.” Screw, an aging man, whose favorite way of dressing his scrawny body happened to be denim overalls, a bandana around his head holding back his stringy gray hair, and nothing else, held up his hands. “You know I’m a lover not a fighter.” He chuckled. “Too old and creaky to scuffle anyhow.”
      Hunter blinked. Gone was the blue sky and fire. The mechanized hum had returned as had the obsidian night. He stared at the head mechanic and lowered his arms. Last thing he’d ever want to do was harm the man he viewed as a father figure. “Screw. What? What’s going on?”
      “You tell me. You’re the one out here in your birthday suit.”
      “Birthday suit?” He glanced down at himself. Sure enough, he stood naked in the middle of the compound. “What the hell?”

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About the Author:
 
casey mossCasey Moss delves into the darker aspects of life in her writing, sometimes basing the stories on reality, sometimes on myth. No matter the path, her stories will take you on a journey from the light-hearted paranormal to dark things unspeakable. Casey’s passion lies in darker fiction. Her stories fall under the categories of horror, paranormal, suspense, thriller and urban fantasy. Sometimes there’s a blending of those genres in one story. Sometimes there are romantic elements within the books — be sure to note the rating. Some of the stories are even set within her home city of Las Vegas. But if she’s done her job right as an author, all the stories should set you on edge, leave you craving and wanting to explore more of the dark. What waits around the corner? Come explore…

Not in the mood for dark? Looking for romance and steamy sex? Check out Casey’s alter ego, C.R. Moss.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

 

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