Sunday, November 30, 2014

Beyond New Eden by H.S. Stone & Guest Post

Title: Beyond New Eden
Author: H.S. Stone
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date:  Mar 8 2013
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

Eve 142 has lived her entire life in the domed city of New Eden, home to the only surviving humans after the War. Like all of the inhabitants of New Eden, Eve 142 is a clone. Together with the other clones, dubbed the Adams and the Eves, she leads a safe, predictable existence. However, Eve’s life changes when she causes a tragic accident to befall one of the Adams. As retribution, she and her counterpart, Adam 142, are banished from New Eden. At first, Eve 142 considers their punishment a death sentence because she grew up believing the world outside the dome was uninhabitable. She is wrong. Forced to live in the Wastelands, Eve and Adam discover many new truths about the outside world and, more importantly, the truths about themselves.

As soon as we stepped outside the cave, I noticed a difference in our surroundings. Instead of the clear skies I’d seen every day so far, dark clouds blotted out the sun. Half of the sky was consumed by the thick gray overcast. The clouds also cast a blanket of shadow upon the land at the bottom of the mountain.
Wind whipped through my hair, tinged with a peculiar odor. Higher up, these winds must have moved even faster because I could see the clouds advancing rapidly in our direction.
“Rain’s coming,” Adam said.
The menacing curtain of darkness inspired both fear and awe. Naturally, I’d never experienced real rain before. I didn’t even know much about it since most of the pictures I’d seen from before the War weren’t taken in the rain.
Uncertain of the answer I wanted to hear, I asked, “Should we still explore the mountain today?”
Adam examined the approaching clouds. “We’d better play it safe and stay inside the cave until the rain passes.”
I returned inside, but I stayed near the entrance to watch the storm clouds. The wind died down at the mouth of the cave, but I still smelled the same peculiar scent where I stood. It wasn’t strong, but the air possessed a distinct odor I was unfamiliar with. Did rain have a smell?
In the distance, the sky flashed brilliantly. A few seconds later, I heard a rumbling boom. Lightning and thunder. I grew excited at the prospect of being in a rainstorm for the first time. We were the first humans to experience a rainstorm in a hundred and sixty years.
Leaving the sanctuary of the cave, I stepped out onto the rocky path. It didn’t take long for the first drops to hit my face. The rain quickly built in intensity. I stood looking up at the sky, letting the rain wash over me. I opened my mouth and let the drops collect inside before spitting them out.
Despite the wind, I didn’t feel cold. I felt wonderful. It was like taking a shower but the water was everywhere. I couldn’t escape it and I didn’t want to.
“Eve!” Adam called out. I turned around to find him staring at me from the mouth of the cave. “What are you doing out there?”
I smiled. “Enjoying the rain. Come on out and join me!”
Adam shook his head and went back inside. Too bad, his loss, I thought.

Places to find: Beyond New Eden

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Decent of the Gods & Interview with Mark G. Cosman

Title: Descent of the Gods
Author: Mark G. Cosman
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Fiction/Adventure
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Release Date: Oct 2 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
In their self-indulgent realm, the gods know no suffering until the end of their days. Compassion is the only portal through which they can escape the self and its eventual demise, but without suffering, compassion cannot be recognized. So, they go in search of compassion in the human domain where happiness and sorrow abound. There, they genetically engineer a superior humanoid race and are soon distracted by the delight they find in the daughters of men. The gods are the extraterrestrial visitors of our collective memory.
Tormented by envy, the Asuras are warlike demigods that follow the gods into the human domain. They become the demons who initiate our concept of evil.
Quay is the son of Om, the father of the gods. Quay’s childhood adventures with Daya, his female humanoid companion, take place on the Isle of the Gods, which closely parallels the legendary Atlantis. On coming of age, Quay and Daya become inseparable lovers. Quay is challenged to separate passion from compassion.
In the human domain, the gods were simply gardeners. When the god Talmund left his garden across the Salt Sea and returned to the Island of the Gods, he left his humanoid workers behind. Eventually, two civilizations evolved from his workers, the sedentary Taltecs in the south and the nomadic Tulacans in the north. The civilizations resemble the pre-Columbian cultures described in the Book of Mormon.
Fearful that these autonomous humanoids were exceeding limits the gods set for them, Om sends Quay across the Salt Sea to observe. Before undertaking his mission, Quay interviews the first humanoid, Ahn, and the god, Elo, to whom Ahn was given. The meeting occurs in Eden where Elo kept an expansive garden. The interview is essentially a discussion with the Biblical Adam, which sets the tone for the human condition and their relationship with the gods.
Quay’s mission abruptly separates him from Daya. Ri, an Asura driven by hatred of the gods and an erotic desire for Daya, pursues Quay. Quay’s adventures among the Taltecs and Tulacans are interrupted when the two civilizations collide in an epic conflict that spans a continent.
Meanwhile, a geologic cataclysm destroys the island of the gods. Daya is rescued by an Asura ship, is assaulted and subsequently escapes into the forests of the Eastern Isle that survived the deluge. There, she becomes the legendary huntress of the forest, similar to Artemis, twin sister of Apollo.
In the Land North, on a field of flowers, during the final battle of the great war between the Taltecs and Tulacans, Ri finally comes upon Quay and attacks, but he is shot through by an arrow from the bow of a nomad who had befriended Quay. Quay assists Ri through his dying experience. By his outreach to his mortal enemy, Quay discovers the compassion for which the gods had entered the human domain.
Quay ventures back across the Salt Sea to find the Isle of the Gods has vanished. He sails on to the Eastern Isle where he is reunited with his kind. Scarred and embittered, Daya courageously defies the authority of the gods. It is the darkest of nights when Quay watches from a distance as Daya releases a virus from an urn that the gods had prepared in secret to cull the humans. Her act is reminiscent of the legendary Pandora. The freeing of the virus results in Daya’s death and that of all humanoids on the Eastern Isle. In effect, she impedes the grand experiment of the gods and alters human evolution forever.

In his 977th year, Quay began to die. His dying experience is detailed using the Tibetan Book of the Dead as a guide. Quay was the last of the gods that walked among us.

“Everyone knows.” He whimpered remorsefully and embraced his knees. “You see, it has all gone wrong. My consequences are like infectious demons, blighting the generations that stem from me. There is no escaping them. The fault is mine, eternally mine! My seed is bad.” He began rocking rhythmically.
Ahn’s demons are concoctions of his mind, Quay thought. They seem to appear to humanoids when life’s balance is distorted. Guilt is an indicator.
It occurred to Quay that the humanoid mind acts much like a judge. Once the cause of guilt is discovered, its harsh reasoning carries out the sentence. Neither gods nor humanoids can help him. The humanoid mind is a stern taskmaster. It will unlock Ahn from guilt’s yoke only when his imagined demons are satisfied and life’s balance is restored.

 Places to find: Decent of the Gods

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Voodoo Vows & Interview with Diana Marie Dubois

Title: Voodoo Vows
Author: Diana Marie DuBois
Series: Voodoo Vows (Book 1)
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher   Three Danes Publishing LLC
Release Date: Oct 31
Rosie Delacroix returns to New Orleans after her mother’s disappearance, is pulled into an unimagined world and gets more than she bargained for.
Ensconced in the life of magic and voodoo, she’s surrounded by unlikely allies.
 Julian Quibodeaux, an old flame, re-enters her life and their love is once again reignited like dry tinder to a flame. However, he’s been cursed and unaware he holds a terrible secret…One that could destroy their relationship.

She’ll be tested in many ways, to save the man she loves. Will her friends, and an unusual new-found gift, be enough for her to survive her journey?

In an almost magical movement, Julian swept me off the sofa, and his muscular arms hoisted me up. Instantaneously, my legs wrapped around him, my feet locked together to hold me. The entire walk to the counter, his lips and his tongue were like fire on mine. The moment my bottom hit the cold stone, a wicked grin flashed on his face. “Cher, how would you like to christen the counter?” 
“I would love nothing more,” I breathed out, and my breasts heaved.
With his arms still around me, he pulled me to the edge of the counter, then bent down and slipped off my shoes. The softness of his lips started at one of my ankles and continued up my leg. He grazed a finger lightly on the bottom of my foot as his lips whispered back down and moved to the other leg. When finished with that leg, he moved up to my thigh and pushed my skirt up to reveal the crisscrossed skin. Julian’s hair fell down around my legs, and his soft kisses on my scars sent an explosion through my body. My hand brushed through his long, wavy, dark hair. “Oh damn, Julian, that feels great,” I moaned out.

Places to find: Voodoo Vows

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Dreamer of Downing Street & Interview with Roberta L.Smith

Title: The Dreamer of Downing Street
Author: Roberta L. Smith
Series: The Mickey McCoy Series (Prequel)
Genre: Paranormal/Mystery/Romance/Historical
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Aug 23 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

In 1944 Denver, twenty-six year-old Franklin Powell is doing what he does best, helping clients with his psychic gift. Then his brother causes the past to come crashing into the present and a memory Frank has kept buried since the age of six surfaces. Now his life is in an uproar. He must prove that what he remembers is true or his mother may spend the rest of her life in prison. But even if he succeeds, it appears there is a powerful someone behind the scenes who could care less if she is innocent. Why? Because of a seething hatred for Frank. To make matters worse, the woman he loves needs his help with a serious problem of her own—a problem that could get him killed. Frank can’t let that stop him. He dives right in and while his psychic gift doesn’t seem to be doing him any favors, it’s a good thing that a couple of newly-acquired ghosts appear to be on his side.

Leadville, Colorado - 1924

I COULD FEEL Mother’s anxiety the moment she took my hand to pull me out of the canvas top touring car. I landed with a squishy sound as my boots hit the sloshy ground and I righted myself. The sight before me was forlorn to say the least: a couple of cabins―shacks really―a privy, shed and the hoist frame of a mine shaft no longer in use, all dusted with snow. It was spring, but just barely. And it was cold.
“You’ll be all right with the boy,” our driver called to my mother from his seat inside the car, arm outside the window, finger pointed. “Just remember what I told you. Call her Mrs. Tabor. She don’t like when people address her as Baby Doe. Show her respect. If she opens the door with a shotgun in her hand, just talk real nice. She guards the Matchless like a rabid dog and don’t trust people much. I ain’t sayin’ I blame her, just that’s how she be.”
Mother nodded and started toward one of the cabins, my hand in hers. I nearly cried out that she was hurting me, her grip was that tight. But I thought better of it. A tongue lashing would most likely result and that would be more painful. I stuck my free hand in the right-hand pocket of my coat and grabbed hold of one of the toy cars I kept there.
My heart beat rapidly. I was anxious, too. Not because of where we were or who we were about to meet. I was concerned for Mother because I’d never seen her in such a state. She paused for a moment and took several deep breaths as she stared at the small, one-room shack ahead of us. It cast a friendless feel out here on the hill amid the other wooden structures that were all part of the derelict mine. Constructed of planks that had weathered many winters, it wasn’t exactly ramshackle, but it was close. Not that I would have thought of that word at the time. I was six.
After a few more steps, my anxiety left me and the happiness I felt at being on a trip with Mother—just me, not my older brother Bobby nor my older sister Jane, just me—took hold. My siblings got most of Mother’s attention at home. With only me in tow, I would be foremost in her mind.
I looked at the front door of the cabin and “knowings” hopped into my head. Back then, that’s what I called the psychic thoughts that came to me. I knew we were about to meet an old woman who had been beautiful at one time. So beautiful that other people had been jealous. I knew that she was hated and that she lived alone.
I will just have a talk with that woman. So what if she’s peculiar, if they say she’s lost her marbles . . .
I glanced up at Mother. “Here, Mama,” I said, offering her a fistful of aggies and cat’s-eyes I kept stashed in my pocket along with the cars.
“What?” Her brows knit together as she looked at the contents of my hand.
“You said she lost her marbles. She can have these.”
Immediately my mother’s face turned to granite. I’d responded to something I thought she’d said aloud. “Why do you like to torment me?” There was a frantic undercurrent to her tone and the lines around her mouth deepened.
My heart seemed to freeze as it always did when I said something wrong and she glared at me with disapproval. La-la-la-laa. La. La . . . I sang in my head to block any more of her self-talk.
Mother took another step and the front door creaked open a few inches.
“Stop!” a sharp, clear voice rang out. “What do you want? Who’s that boy with you?”
Mother stalled. The word “ostracized” came to me. My brain changed the word to “ostrich-size” which made me think the woman we were about to meet was big like an ostrich.
Mother’s voice cracked when she spoke. “This is my son, Franklin.”
The door opened farther and my jaw dropped. We were in the presence of the old woman I had seen last night amid one of the strangest experiences that had ever happened to me.

Where to find: The Dreamer of Downing Street

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Shadows on Snow Excerpt and Interview w/ Starla Huchton

Title: Shadows on Snow
Author: Starla Huchton
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Fantasy /YA
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Nov 3 2014
Edition/Formats: eBook & Print
Once upon a time, a dark evil crept into my kingdom, stealing my loved ones and the happy life I knew. The world turned against me, and I swore to become stronger, to keep myself safe.
Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince, hair dark as ebony, skin as pure as the freshly driven snow, and I became the only one who stood between him and death.

Once upon a time, our stories intertwined, and now, healing my heart may be the only way to save us all from the evil that threatens to destroy what little we have left.

I slept so soundly, so thoroughly warm, that it took a cacophony of birds to wake me. But as conscious thought returned, immediate panic overtook me.
“Good morning,” his voice rumbled in his chest, vibrating against my cheek.
A surge of fear gripped my heart, and I jerked, attempting to pull away, but his arm wrapped around me, his strength pinning me to his side.
“I believe there are a few more details you’ve neglected to share with me.”
I swallowed, attempting to control my trembling. How the devil I ended up snuggled in beside him left me baffled. Was I so tired that I had no recollection of moving into this position? “Sire?”
“For example, how it is that your hair brushes my face when I can see plainly that it rests against your head, undisturbed. Or perhaps how it is that what my eyes tell me your shape is, my other senses find quite the opposite.”
I squirmed, attempting to pull away again, but he held me fast.
“Who are you, Rae?” he asked, his voice low and edgy.
In a last effort, I relaxed my entire body before pushing myself down and away from him. I was nearly to my feet before he grabbed my arm and jerked me back to the ground, pinning me by the shoulders as he hovered over me.
“I will not be lied to. What trickery is this? Show me who you are or I’ll not release you.”
I pinched my eyes shut, willing past events to stay buried, to not invade this moment, but the more I struggled against them, the more terrified I became. That horrible night, every second of the assault on my body, exploded in my head, overlaying the present with its ghost. I needed a new face to give him, but my mind was jumbled. Images flashed by me faster than I could grab hold of them, and my grip on my magic crumbled. When his breath caught, I knew my glamour was gone.
“You…” he whispered.
The prince’s iron hold loosened a little, and I took the advantage. Displacing his center of balance, I kicked him from me and rolled away, snatching up my bow. I nocked an arrow and aimed it directly at him.
Slowly, he raised his hands, palms facing me in surrender. “I won’t hurt you.”
My chest heaved as I tried to take in enough air to calm myself. “Do not touch me again.”
“I would not think to,” he said, “but I prefer to know the truth about whom I travel with. It’s a matter of trust.”
“I saved your life, Highness,” I said, my words laced with anger. “I hardly see how my face, true or otherwise, factors into your opinion of me.”
“I would’ve better understood your hesitation over our sleeping arrangements, for starters.”
“I don’t ask for special consideration because of my gender.”
“But I would give it all the same.”
I gritted my teeth. “Precisely why I chose another form.”
We stared at each other in silence for a moment, him calm against the force of my glare. As the rush of defending myself ebbed away, my hands trembled, and I lowered my weapon. In a hurry to be away from him, hopefully to rein in my terror from reliving past tortures, I turned.
“Build a fire,” I said over my shoulder as I walked away.
“Where are you going?”
Not giving him an answer, I slipped out of our shelter.
With half a mile between us, I sank to the ground behind a large tree. My shoulders shook with silent sobs. This enduring feeling of helplessness, of revulsion at my own weaknesses and failures, consumed me for a good quarter hour before I could catch my breath. I was exhausted after living with this so long. Was there no respite? Was there no way to keep from reliving that night every time someone came too close? Would it ever fade to match the pale scar that man left on my side with his blade, or would the memory remain, raw and angry as a festering wound?
     Shaky, I got to my feet once more. The road ahead was a long one, and we needed breakfast to keep us moving.

Places to find: Shadows on Snow

Deamhan by Isaiyan Morrison & Interview

Title: Deamhan
Author: Isaiyan Morrison
Series: Deamhan Chronicles (#1)
Genre: Adult/Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Rainstorm Press
Release Date: Aug 12 2013
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Deamhan have survived by remaining hidden in the shadows. Ramanga, Lamia, Metusba, and Lugat have been overshadowed by what humans know as the modern vampire. But what if vampires aren’t the real threat?
One woman’s search for her mother who disappeared without a trace on the streets of Minneapolis takes her into the precarious world of Deamhan, psychic vampires who rule the underground nightlife in the city’s most darkest corners.

She gains the trust of the only other human familiar with the Deamhan lifestyle. With his help she finds not only can the Deamhan not be trusted but it’s her own father, president of a ruthless organization of researchers, who has diabolically maintained that distrust.

Places to find: Deamhan

Veronica nodded, and the waitress disappeared into the crowd. Veronica held her breath to calm her rapid breathing in hopes the adrenaline coursing through her body would dissipate. The pulsating bass emanating from the speakers grew louder and more intense, causing her to rub her temples. The dancer from the bathroom had returned to the stage, now even more scantily clad in a short skirt with white electrical tape X’ed over her nipples, dancing in gymnastic gyrations.
The crowd’s movement grew violent, with patrons pushing and shoving. The throng morphed into a mosh pit, and Veronica wondered how long it would take before someone was crushed. Fog machines released a steady stream of mist from above the crowded dance floor, giving the huge room an ethereal atmosphere. The lights dimmed, and Veronica could hardly make out the waitress as she returned, carrying a shot of whiskey.
            “Here ya go.” She handed Veronica the drink.
Veronica gulped her drink and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, this time thankful for the sensation of the amber liquid searing her throat. She preferred vodka, but at this moment, any liquid running down her gullet was good enough.
            “You want another one?” she asked. Veronica nodded, and the waitress left. Veronica dropped her face to her hands, trying to readjust. Damn, this is harder than I thought it’d be. Her mind raced: hide your thoughts, don’t show fear, stick to the plan.
She felt a tingling sensation deep in her forehead. In seconds, it had increased to the extent of a migraine. She looked up squinting, the pain becoming more intense with each passing moment, and she knew.
            Someone is reading my thoughts.
The waitress returned with two drinks. She placed them in front of Veronica.
            “Uh, thanks?” Veronica couldn’t recall ordering two whiskeys, but she pulled out a ten.
“It’s already paid for.” The waitress pointed to a man sitting at the opposite end of the bar, his long brown hair slicked back in a ponytail. He wore black jeans and a long black see-through shirt, revealing pierced nipples and a six-pack. Beautiful.
He stared at Veronica with deep brown eyes and smiled, his pale skin resembling a Deamhan at its finest. She felt the pain in her forehead ebb and flow, subsiding a bit each time. Veronica turned to the waitress, but she’d again disappeared.
Muddled, she downed the whiskey and slammed the empty glass on the table in front of her. She shut her eyes and concentrated on emptying her mind. The pain diffused into a mild tingling.
Veronica snapped her eyes open when a male voice told her to not be afraid. She whipped around, but no one was near.
The voice came from within her head.
“It’s okay,” the voice said.
She looked at the man, who still fixed her in his stare, and he slid from his seat and headed her way.
She dropped her head and stared at the counter. She fought the urge to fling her glass at him and run. Leaving Dark Sepulcher wouldn’t answer the questions about her mother’s disappearance. Don’t think of Mom. She quickly visualized the brick wall.
“Your thoughts stick out,” the man said, taking the empty stool next to her.
His penetrating stare caused Veronica’s head to tingle again, but the tingle stopped as quickly as it started. She’d clouded his attempt to rummage through her mind.
Veronica cupped the whiskey glass and stared into its glowing liquid.
“Beautiful women like you shouldn’t drink whiskey.”
            What a line. His respectful approach did nothing to impress Veronica. The Deamhan were naturally devious.
Veronica remained quiet. The stranger smiled and reached for the glass, grasping it from the rim and placing it front of him.
            “I’m trying to start a conversation,” he prompted.
From the corner of her eye, Veronica saw him examine her. His eyes roved her short, formal straight brunette hair, her face, and finally her hands. Even over the din of music, she could hear him inhale her virginal scent. She tried hard to block her thoughts from him, but the tingle told her she was failing.
“You should know it turns me on when you do that,” he said.
            She glanced at him, making eye contact for a second and then quickly looked away. He mumbled something, but his voice was too low for her to hear over the blaring speakers.
Veronica’s thoughts caught his attention again, and he leaned back on the stool, studying her.
Veronica understood now how a woman could fall for a man like that. Most of the men in Dark Sepulcher were attractive, but this man was hot. She stole a covert glance from under her eyelashes. Tall, medium build, long, glossy hair—stop it. Stay off that bandwagon.
            His full lips broke into a smile. “Sorry I intruded on your thoughts. But I gotta admit, I like what I see in there.”
            Veronica felt heat rise in her chest, neck and face. Busted. He offered his hand, another trick she wouldn’t fall for.
            “I’m Remy and you are?”
Remy. The name sounded too familiar. Veronica recalled the name listed somewhere on the documents she’d stolen from The Brotherhood. His name was just one of the many that stuck out to her but at the moment she couldn’t remember why.
She fixed her thoughts on her napkin, staring at the condensation ring left by the wet glass. Still her mind wouldn’t quiet. What Deamhan type is he? Until she knew which, she couldn’t be sure of his level of threat. She couldn’t get too close.
            Despite herself, she stole a quick look in his direction.
He flashed a ready smile.
            Teeth aren’t sharp and pointy. He’s not a Ramanga. She stared again at her drink, wiping the droplets of water from the side of her glass.
“Am I scaring you?” Remy’s voice interrupted Veronica’s thoughts. She shook her head and remained silent.
“Do you talk?”
“Not to strangers.” She immediately regretted her gutsy remark, knowing it would intrigue him further.
“Maybe you should.” He traced the rim of the glass with a slender, pale finger. “You’re new here.”
Veronica wanted to check him out but knew she should avoid his eye. She looked over her shoulder and then at the ceiling. She glanced at the sticky floor and studied the woodwork on the bar.
He’d read her like an open book. She felt a tiny tingle as he tried again to read her thoughts.
“Your thoughts. They come to me kinda like a movie: sometimes clear, other times fuzzy.” He chuckled. “Right now, they’re crystal. Do you really find the bar’s wood grain that intriguing?”
Veronica couldn’t help but grin.
“Do you smell that?” His voice dropped to a loud whisper. “I smell a vampire.”