Book Spotlight: The Long Lost Future by @IanDCattell #scifi #newrelease #thriller #spy

The Long Lost Future

longlostfuture1Randall didn’t know he had a destiny until it interrupted his lunch one day; and it was bigger than he could possibly have imagined (his destiny, not his lunch).

That’s when he met the mysterious Marcus Han – brainier than a clumsy butcher’s floor, and secretly the richest man in the world, he would be Randall’s companion and mentor through the challenges they must face in their struggle to stop the entire Galaxy from vanishing.

With a supporting cast of talking trees, mutant psychics, bungling cops, extremely refined resistance operatives, military trained birds, enlightened mushrooms, hallucinating AI units, cutlery collecting crabs, and his definitely EX-girlfriend to help him, he must travel back in time to the twenty-first century and begin again in a new, less tyrannical timeline.

If his departed dad, the World Police, the Planimals, or the ancient aliens don’t stop him first that is…

About the author

Iiancattelan Cattell is a software developer who wanted a change from staring blankly at a computer screen all day. So he decided to write a book.

Yeah, I know…

Over the next six months, he learned that there are many advantages to writing a book compared to writing software, the main one being that he doesn’t have to re-write it whenever Microsoft decides it’s “time”.

 

Some reviews of The Long Lost Future from Amazon.co.uk

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If you are a fan of Pratchett and Adams then look no further than this book. A wonderful array of characters from an eccentric very British submarine crew to a malevolent talking Raven with the added bonus of time travel for good measure. I loved it.

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A really fun romp through space and time. I laughed out loud in some places and started my own game of ‘get the reference’. More than a sci-fi parody, more than a nerd’s accumulation of snippets from almost every tv, radio, film, and book involving space or time ever made in the history of the universe ever. A really good story and a good read.

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Thoroughly enjoyed this marvellous tale. Well written, full of excitement, lots of great jokes and a big dose of proper old-fashioned sci-fi. Looking forward to more.

A wonderfully eccentric take on time-travel and saving the universe. A real page-turner, I enjoyed every second. First class.

____________

Fantastic read. Both intelligent and laugh out loud funny. Great plot from beginning to end, with humorous footnotes.

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If you want an adventure, sci-fi, spy story with a twist? This one’s for you, I laughed, felt sad, felt clever, you name it. The must-read of 2017 by a fantastic new writer…..Go on give it a read, you know it makes sense!!!

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Funny and intelligent laughing out loud from the beginning

He best be quick writing the sequel!

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Bought this on a recommendation. So much better than I expected! Take the DNA of Adams and Pratchett, mix with a cutting cornucopia of modern issues, and add a huge dose of humour, and you not even close to how good The Long Lost Future is. Amazing and thoroughly engaging book, read it!

____________

A thoroughly enjoyable piece of modern literature. Witty, funny and very well told, this author is one to watch out for

____________

Really enjoyed this especially the twist in the end. Can’t wait for the sequel

Contact details

Website : iancattell.online

Email : ian@iancattell.online

Twitter : @IanDCattell

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Long-Lost-Future-Ian-Cattell-ebook/dp/B07C9M9NPQ/

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Author Interview: William Schlichter #Tuesdaybookblog #scifi #horror #authorinterview @BHCPressbooks

Today I’m fortunate to present William Schlichter author of Sci-fi and horror.

Hi, William, thanks for agreeing to this interview!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

William_Schlichter_BHC_WebI’m from Missouri. I’m originally from an hour south of St Louis, and now I call Springfield home.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

Strong character driven stories, quick moving, and short chapters or breaks.

They need to bring forth an emotion in me. I want to care about what happens to the characters. I must care about the characters.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

Star Wars.  I was three and a half years old and my parents took me to see Star Wars at the drive-in. It’s my earliest full memory and I knew after watching this spectacle I didn’t want to be Han Solo or a Jedi I wanted to create those kinds of stories.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I teach high school and college so during the school year I write when I can.  I write in my creative writing class when the students write in class. But I have a daily goal of a 1000 new words.

In the summer, I get up and write as close to a 1000 words as I can then swim a mile, go to the gym and finish my thousand words.  Now, if the Muse flows I’ll keep going and I will drain the well. I finish a story idea; if I don’t it plagues me. Demanding to be written down.  I will edit older works after my 1000 words. I read. Riding the bike at the gym is a great time to read and since I travel I listen to a lot of audiobooks. 

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

The story flows throw me much like a movie and I paint a picture on the page like a movie.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

400_Miles_W_Schlicter_C2No Room in Hell: 400 Miles To Graceland –  a post-apocalyptic horror/thriller. Not your typical zombie adventure.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

I didn’t write the first No Room in Hell to enter the mass market with a zombie book because it was a popular bestselling subject. I wrote the story one to cover events no one else covers in all the zombie books I have read or watched and two I wrote the main character as the nameless figure. It was a challenge to write this character. A challenge I gave myself and based on feedback readers liked it or thought it was an interesting approach.  It reaffirms a writer must know the rules before breaking them but when a rule is broken and it works it is rewarding.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

The opening of SKA due out in 2018:

SKA_William_Schlichter_Web“That’s a lot of money—do you want me to do something for it?”

            Even on my limited salary, a Jackson wasn’t a grand gesture. I’ve bought books costing more. The girl was messed up, and not just for thinking the twenty dollars I handed her was worth her doing something, but she had a hospital ID bracelet and a red medication allergy band on her wrist.

            She asked me to watch her bag while she went and bought cigarettes—one of those plastic clothing bags hospitals give out. She’d be back, then I could take her someplace.

            Despite her haggard appearance, her round face was pretty. Hospitals tend to fatigue people. They want you to rest, but constantly wake you up to check your vitals.

            Returning with a green pack of smokes, she bubbles with excitement. The cheap pint she tried to hide might have helped. The seal already busted. She didn’t notice me observing her slip it in the hospital bag. If I wasn’t convinced she was an addict, I knew now. Curiosity overtook me. Stirring overwhelmed me. The sexual ones were obvious, at least to me, but something deeper wanted me to keep this girl.

 Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

Enter_the_Sandmen_W_Schlichter_FC_WebMy next novel is a standalone thriller SKA: Serial Killers Anonymous where a collection of serial Killers form a self-help group in order to curb their urges. They examine their acts and one in the group is not who they pretend to be.

The third book in my sci-fi series The Silver Dragon Chronicles: The fifth Planet will continue to follow the crew’s exploits as they attempt to stop the Sandmen.

And my dark and gritty zombie apocalypse series No room in hell will see book three as well. I have a working title but it might give away the shocking twist at the end of book two.  Just know no one is safe.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

The gym, travel and Stephen King’s On Writing.

You can’t write without your health or experience the world, even if you only travel to the adjoining state. Changing your comfort zone makes all the difference, and of the dozens of books about how to write I’ve read or bought, his is the one I quote to my writing students the most.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

http://www.bhcpress.com/Author_William_Schlichter.html

https://twitter.com/wmschlichter

https://www.facebook.com/wmschlichter/

https://www.instagram.com/wschlichter

Alienation BLOG HOP TOUR #scifi #blogtour

Mackenzie Flohr

Welcome to the Alienation BLOG HOP TOUR.

Please take your seat and strap yourself in, as we take you on an intergalactic tour. You will be amazed, entertained, and educated. Manoeuvre through the cosmos and be astounded at all you see. Hunt down the hidden words that will get you to your final destination where a one-of- a -kind award awaits one lucky traveller.

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You are here to celebrate the release of Alienation, book two of the humorous Sci-Fi series, Starstruck.

Sally Webber’s dream is coming true: Zander is back and taking her out for a night on the town–on a planet hundreds of light years away from Earth.

But when an accident separates her from her alien tour guide, she’s thrown into the seedy underbelly of an insane city where nothing is as it seems. Suddenly lost and desperate to get back home, Sally is willing to do anything to get out, even if it means accepting spontaneous marriage proposals, crashing some fancy parties, or joining what appears to be the space mob.

All she wanted was some decent interstellar pizza, but now it might be the end of the world as evil nanobots and an out of control AI try to take the universe by force, and the only one who can stop them is missing in action. Sally has no choice but to try to stop them herself–if she can stay alive that long.

Pre-order your copy now!

Alienation is the fantastic sequel to the hit sci-fi comedy, Starstruck by S.E. Anderson.

Scavenger Hunt Instagram

AN INTERVIEW WITH SALLY WEBBER

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The woman before you shuffles uncomfortably in her chair. She’s pulled her light brown hair up into a ponytail, a way to tame her twitchy fingers. It’s only after she’s stopped and put her hands back on her lap, resting them gently on her worn jeans, that they interviewer begins.

Mackenzie: There’s no need to be nervous, Sally. It’s just a fun interview!

Sally: Sorry. It’s just that I have a bit of an anxiety disorder. Even small things, like calling people on the phone, my brain blows completely out of proportion. I know there’s nothing to worry about, but this is an interview, and I’ve never really been interviewed before.

Mackenzie: Maybe you could start by telling us a little bit about yourself? To break the ice?

Sally: Ok, let’s do this. I’m Sally – Sally Webber – and a human. I’m from earth.  I have to start the interview this way, since a lot of my friends aren’t…

Mackenzie: Aren’t what?

Sally: Aren’t from earth. Or, entirely human. I’m not quite sure what they are. They sure look human, but they can do things no other human being can do. Like teleport instantly from one side of the universe to the other.

Mackenzie: And how did you meet these friends of yours?

Sally: Zander I met when I ran him over with my car. He’s fine, really, and no hurt feelings. He was my roommate for a while, after that. Blayde’s his sister. She was separated from him when the car thing happened, but managed to find him.

Mackenzie: And this new novel, Alienation. It tells your story…

Sally: After the incident at GrishamCorp, Zander promised he’d take me to see something off Earth. A bit of a thank you – and a good bye present, I guess? I had to wait two years for him to come pick me up, but he took me to Da-Duhui, an amazing city planet at the heart of the Alliance.

Mackenzie: The Alliance? Who or what is that?

Sally: They’re the closest alien union to Earth. Hundreds of planets tied together by accords. They actually know about earth, but it’s a weird tourist destination, from what I can tell. Wow, look at me, talking about all this like I actually know what’s going on!

Mackenzie: You don’t?

Sally: Heck no. I have no idea! A few hours after we get to Da-Duhui, Zander and I get separated. The pizza betrays me, we get in a bit of a hovercar accident – I’d call that karma – and I get stuck in the Undercity of the planet with no way to reach him.

Mackenzie: Oh my gosh, that’s terrible! How did you escape?

Sally: Now you’re going to have to read the book for that!

Mackenzie: One last question, then. You said it took Zander two years to come back to get you. And then, he loses you in an alien city. Do you resent him for that?

Sally: I’m done answering these questions. I mean, come on, who asks that? He’s my friend! And he… No. We’re through here.

Gala

 

Follow this exciting blog tour starting at your first stop UrbanHype101 and if you get lost in cyber space, come back to UrbanHype101 for the tour map. There’s something new to read see or hear on each of these stops.

Don’t forget to hunt for that special word and if you find ALL of them, send them to scavengerhunt@bolidepublishing.com and you could win a signed copy of Alienation and a gift pack of unique swag. This contest is open internationally.

Now hop onto your spacecraft and visit the next blog.

10th October –  Paisley Piranha

Author Interview: Terry Marchion

Today I’m fortunate to present Terry Marchion author of The Wrath of the Revenant.

Hi Terry, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

Author pictureI live in the Pacific Northwest, in the Seattle area.  It’s great because we have a little bit of everything up here – city life and culture, but just a few minutes away you can be in the middle of nowhere.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

For me, it’s relatable characters.  The situations can stretch the bounds of believability (as they should), but if the characters aren’t “real”, then it won’t grab the reader.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

missingyesterdaysIt was my love of serial tv (now I’m dating myself).  I used to watch the old Flash Gordon and Buck Rodgers serials with my grandfather, as well as Star Trek and Lost in Space.  These shows inspired the types of stories I started to write as a kid, which grew into what would become Tremain and Christopher.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Work Schedule?  What’s that?  LOL.  I have a day job too, which demands a lot of my time.  So I write when I can.  I usually have a notebook with me so I can write down ideas as they occur to me – then I try to get as much done on the weekends as is possible.  I’m still working on forming a regular schedule for writing.  I hasn’t yet happened, but it’ll come around.

 Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I’m not sure I have one yet.  I’ll work on it!!!

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

It’s the third “episode” in my series “The Adventures of Tremain & Christopher”, called “The Wrath of the Revenant”, now available.  It’s a YA science fiction adventure.  This one was a lot of fun to write – I hope it’s as much fun to read!

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

That the characters have grown lives of their own.  They have always been real people in my head, but on the page, as I mold the stories, they really come alive.  I think that’s the trick – to let them tell you their stories and you just become the conduit . . . Well, that and I massively underwrite.  LOL

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Wrath cover“Tremain, this is my . . . father.” She said, indicating the metallic figure.

Tremain cleared his throat, his momentary surprise forgotten.

“He’s seen better days, I would imagine.” He walked over to the figure, examining it from all angles, the silver oval following his every movement. The voice again seemed to come from every point of the compass.

“You do not fear me?”

“I do.” Christopher mouthed, hand in the air.

Tremain paused, glancing over to Christopher, whose eyes were wide as saucers, then back up to the featureless ovular head.

“That would, more than likely, be expected, yes.” He said, continuing his visual examination. “But, as I’ve always maintained, fear is a response to something we don’t understand.” He stood, running his hand through his hair. “I choose the latter.” He came full circle around the figure and paused, placing his hand on his chin and looking up at something on the ceiling, “or is it former? I never could get a hang on those. I’m a scientist, not an English major.” He shrugged.

“And do you understand?” Came the voice.

Tremain’s gaze shifted so he was staring hard into the ovular face.

“Latter. Definitely the latter.” He whirled around to face Alice. “And understanding is far from what I feel right now, so no, at least not yet. I need more information. Alice,” he walked back to the table, where Christopher was still stunned silent, mid chew. “What happened to your father to put him in this state? Not only that, but what sort of technology exists to put a human mind into a . . . a . . .” Tremain snapped his fingers as he struggled to find the correct word. “An automaton?”

“Tremain, there’s something you should know . . .” Alice started.

“She has no information for you. She is nothing but a construct.” Interrupted the voice.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

I have more adventures for Tremain and Christopher, that’s for sure – I have at least the beginning of the outline started (in my head) for the next book.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

I would have to say it was buying the first cover. I didn’t want to give it a shot myself as I had no idea what went into a book cover.  After I realized that first cover wasn’t optimal, I started playing and re-designed that one to something that I felt was more in-tune with the tone of the book, then I did the second cover myself.  The cover for my latest book I actually had done from a designer that did a phenomenal job – but without that very first cover, I wouldn’t have known where to even start.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I can be found on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TerryMarchionAuthor — also on twitter @terrymarchion and on my web page:  www.terrymarchion.com

I’m always open to read email:  Info@terrymarchion.com 

Book Spotlight: Science Fantasy Romance Duology by Newland Moon

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Rites of Heirdron: book I
🔗 https://goo.gl/h63DWf
Orbs of Trenihgea: book II
🔗 https://goo.gl/Lsv1X6
They poisoned his planet, massacred his people, and violated his mother.
Now, they’re coming for him.A bastard prince, born to a dishonored queen, Zrahnz is the last hope of a dying world. As he struggles to reclaim his legitimacy as a ruler and protect his planet, a debilitating illness threatens his sanity and his life. If he cannot save himself, his planet will succumb to the corrupt intergalactic alliances aligned against them.The irrepressible allure he feels for an Earth-born visitor, Itanya, nearly overwhelms him, yet through her, Zrahnz discovers the secret that can ease the devastating agony of his illness. Could she be the key to his survival and the future of Triaxeyn?

With Q-1 Raydren at his side, and the Oracles’ influence, he uncovers corrupted histories and unscrupulous enemies. If he fails to make a crucial decision, his people and everyone he loves will be destroyed.

Zrahnz is denied his rule, denied his birthright, and denied the one truth that will save his life.

He wasn’t supposed to survive, he wasn’t supposed to fight, and he wasn’t supposed to receive, the RITES OF HEIRDRON

They poisoned his planet, massacred his people, and violated his mother.

Then, they came for him.

After an interplanetary betrayal decimated his world, Zrahnz struggled to protect his people and reclaim his legitimacy as their ruler.

Now, he has received the Rites of Heirdron and vows to defend the Triax planets torn asunder by a corrupt galactic council, and the “shadow whisperers” who have manipulated them all.

With the aid of First Commander Lezayen and his QuNytwanian fleet, Zrahnz must unite the factions that deceived them in the past. The ensuing battle is for more than the survival of Triaxeyn, it’s for the liberation of the galaxy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review “Rites of Heirdron is a powerful fantasy telling. Its dual focus on changing worlds and hearts moves deftly from personal to political realms. It’s a recommended pick for readers who like their sci-fi spiced with more than light romance, but who want that romance wrapped in the heavier cloak of sacrifice, duty, and life-changing decisions.”

~Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite “Newland Moon has the gift of integrating strong themes like love, friendship, loyalty, faith, and redemption into a beautiful story in a seamless manner. The writing is flawless, crisp, and tight, with vivid descriptions that capture the intense action excellently.”

Rites of Heirdron Excerpt

Agonized Reality

Zrahnz dove forward and then rolled to the side. His head came up in a flash and lowered again. Clutching the ionic-tazer, he initiated a backward roll and took position behind a rock formation. He had lost track of his partner. After

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 taking a deep breath, he eased around the side of the boulder, noticing movement to his left.

Instinctively, he dropped into a defensive crouch, sending four ionic blasts toward the enemies. He did not wait to check the accuracy of his shots, running to his right and diving behind their damaged shuttle. His breathing was labored as he tried to steady himself.

He noticed more enemies still advancing as he changed position. When he checked the energy level of his ionic-tazer, he had enough power left for only four blasts. He searched for his partner again, tapping the com-tag nestled in his ear. Nothing. How did they become separated? He had trained for this and now he might have gotten his partner either captured or killed.

He ground his teeth at that thought. After taking another deep breath, he counted. Zrahnz eased around and noticed the position of three enemies. He offered a prayer, wiping the forming sweat off his hands onto his uniform. When his count reached ten, he leveled his ionic-tazer, and leapt from his position, shooting.

One and then another enemy dematerialized as his well-aimed shots hit them squarely. His movement never ceased as he concealed himself again.

Zrahnz checked his surroundings and then rested a hand on the three chazrens on his belt. Those he would use only if he had to. The handheld grenades were more effective if an enemy was within twenty meters. It was his hope that his partner was alive, and that together, they could end this.

When he leveled his weapon again, the tremble in his hands was worse than before. He blinked, trying to clear the haze from his mind. Focus, he thought, willing his mind to follow his commands. Please, focus.

His surroundings became a blur as a pain erupted in his abdomen. He clenched his eyes shut, doubling over with the excruciating waves of heat. It felt as tiny molten blades jabbed at his insides. No, please, no.

He heard the blasts echo in his mind and the screeches that accompanied them. He could do nothing; there was only the pain, the confusion, the helplessness.

He screamed, despite his best efforts to remain quiet. He could taste the blood in his mouth from biting through his lip. Another scream escaped him, louder than the last, and then, nothing but white.

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Zrahnz gasped, springing up and reaching for his weapon. His surroundings were still a blur as he tried to scramble to his feet.

“Easy, my Prince, easy,” Raydren said, attempting to lower him again to the ground.

Zrahnz grasped his arm with one hand and delivered a side-chop with the other. When Raydren ducked the chop, he rolled to the side and leapt to his feet, grabbing a chazren from his belt as he did so.

Raydren’s eyes widened. “Training exercise complete. Terminate!” he shouted, diving toward the Prince.

Everything in the dream room faded as Zrahnz thrashed, trying to break free from his tight hold. The chazren he had been clutching disappeared with the rest of the items in the training program.

“My Prince, please, the exercise is over. The pain is over, you’re here with me. It’s only us, Zrahnz, can you hear me? Follow my sound and come back to me, please, come back to me.”

Raydren bit back his emotion, cradling the prince in his arms. His episodes were coming more often and the level of pain was increasing.

“Zrahnz,” he said again. “I’m here with you, I’m here.”

His motion calmed when he heard Raydren’s soothing voice repeat his name. Zrahnz blinked his eyes open, trying to clear the fog from his mind.

Raydren kept one arm wrapped tightly around him and with the other, pulled a subdermal-injector from his belt. He placed it against Zrahnz’s chest, emptying the remaining medicine into his bloodstream.

Zrahnz’s body tensed with the injection and then went limp as the medicine eased the pain and lifted some of the haze filling his mind.

“Ray—Raydren.” The pain and suffering etched the word. “Raydren…help me…please, help me.”

“I’m here with you, my Prince. We’ll find a way, I promise you. We’ll find a way. I’ll never leave you. I’m here.”

Orbs of Trenihgea Excerpt

Space Station E-Alpha-1

The tufted chair collided against the wall as Gil pushed back from the table. “What the hell dob you mean, quarantine? I’m not staying on this damn station!” 

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He pointed an unsteady finger toward Malon, wiping the frothy drool from the corner of his mouth. “That montahn is going to provide the antidote now, or I’ll blast him back to that pungent, black rock he calls a planet.”

When he reached for his weapon, Strand pounded a drab stone on the table, pushing up on wobbly knees. “All of you shut up and sit down! Gil, remove your hand from that 

weapon and think. We can’t return to Earth; not like this. We need Malon’s people to deliver more of the medicine.”

“What do you propose we do, Strand?” K’aht asked. “Are we to sit here and deteriorate while those weishints roam free? I want them dead!”

“Who?” Tryndr asked, his light voice adding calm to the intensity in the room. “Who do you want dead? No one launched an attack against us. It was our own impetuosity and greed that caused this.”

Gil scoffed. “Name it what you will. This was no accident. That shipment was sabotaged.”

“How? That case never left Malon’s possession. Who in elorac do you think would’ve known it contained the means to annihilate and entire planet? Who?” Tryndr said.

Malon sighed, meeting the eyes of everyone in the council chamber. “He’s right. I didn’t tell anyone what I carried. Only two others from my planet knew I had synthesized the enhanced toxin. You were the only ones, other than our allies on Triaxeyn that were aware. Even SO-12 Sydric was only told to rendezvous with us to retrieve more of it.”

“How then? How?”

“I don’t know how.” Malon ran his webbed fingers over the ridges on his skull. “You all witnessed what took place. The vials imploded and released the toxin. Not one vial, all of them, simultaneously. Not even with the most incompetent design should that have been possible. There’s something we’re missing. And if we want to survive this, we’ll stop fighting amongst ourselves and figure it out.”

The room fell silent with only the ragged breathing of each occupant sounding in their ears.

“Brenz.” Gil gasped, pushing back from the table. His eyes darted frantically, back and forth, organizing the assailing thoughts in his mind. “Brenz. His—his com-tag…it malfunctioned toward the end of the meeting and he left.”

Strand nodded. “Yes…yes. Shortly after he left, the vials malfunctioned and released the toxin. Have any of you received a message from him? He should’ve returned the following cycle.”

Viszain’s copper eyes flared. “He hasn’t returned to the station or sent a message.”

“Is his shuttle still in the docking bay?” Strand asked.

“It’s doubtful.” Gil’s said. “I have an associate at the academy on Charznaeyah. I’ll send him a message and inquire about our missing councilmember. If he’s fled the system, we’ll know exactly where to look.”

“Do you think he’d betray us?” Ahorid asked.

“What I know is that he’s the only one of us that didn’t ingest the toxin. When have you ever known him to miss our mandatory meetings?”

“Never.”

“Once I’ve spoken with my associate, I’ll contact the Star Guild and the Order. They’ve taken significant losses. If Brenz has sided with the Triaxeynians, his fate will be as theirs, only worse.”

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Rites of Heirdron Trailer:
https://youtu.be/x1t6V0XgSLU

Rites of Heirdron Prelude (Narrated by Victor Bevine):
https://youtu.be/4slC1MMDAyc

newmoon8Aaron-Michael Hall is an award-winning author residing in Georgia (She uses the pseudonym Newland Moon exclusively for her scifan novels). Aaron-Michael writes classic epic fantasy with a grimdark edge, and science fantasy romance. Since August 2015, she has written nine full-length novels and published five. Her first novel, The Rise of Nazil has won numerous reader awards.

Now, when she is not interviewing indie authors on her Desu Beast Blog, being super mom, wrangling stampeding miniature dachshunds, or managing her 9 to 5, she is interweaving genres, creating languages, and adding just the right edge to keep you turning pages.

Aaron-Michael created the Mehlonii language for her diverse Epic Fantasy series. Along with intriguing characters, multilayered plots, new species, deities, and creatures, the Mehlonii language adds that fantastical element missing from most modern Epic/High fantasy. You can listen to samples of the spoken Mehlonii language on her website’s Mehlonii page.

When asked why she wrote this series, Aaron-Michael simply said, “It needed to be written.”

It is her hope that the readers enjoy the wonders of Faélondul and Ahmezurhran even more than she enjoyed writing about them.

You can contact Aaron-Michael via Email, her Website, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, or Twitter.

Please sign up for her Mailing List and never miss a giveaway or book release.

Sizzling #Fantasy & #Scifi Giveaway

In_Creeps_the_Night_FC     The_Invisible_Man_HG_Wells_Web     16731019_1313696615335495_318096750_n

Summer is heating up and so are we as we unleash a magical fantasy & sci-fi giveaway! Enter for your chance to win one of 3 prize packs featuring The Rite of Wands by Mackenzie Flohr, In Creeps The Night by multiple critically acclaimed authors, and The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells.

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Author Interview with Holly Hook #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present the very talented, Holly Hook, author of multiple YA Fantasy books including one of my favorites series – The Flamestone Trilogy.

Hi Holly, thank you for agreeing to this interview!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

41giRu6jXeL._SX80_I’d say that I come from central Michigan.  I’ve lived in this area most of my life.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

I think what makes a good story is getting to know a character and seeing how they change and learn in response to a conflict (which can be pretty much anything.)  I like writing about the intricacies of characters and how they respond to each other and different situations.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

If you mean Tempest, the first book of the Destroyers Series, the inspiration was a dream I had after eating some mini burgers that I left on my counter by mistake for three hours.  It took strange dreams to come up with a story about a human hurricane.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I used to squeeze my writing in whenever, but now that I can (barely) just now support myself writing full time, I make sure to begin each weekday at 9AM.  First, I work on romance (which I am writing under a secret pen name) until I knock out about 3,000 words or close.  I then take a short break to get out and walk.  Then I spend the second half of my morning working on my current Young Adult project and try to shoot for the same 3,000 word mark.  I take a lunch break after that and spend my afternoon editing, creating covers, networking with other authors, looking for promo opportunities, preparing newsletters…there is so much to be done that I can’t list all of it here.  It definitely takes about 8 hours of my day, sometimes more, but the great part is that my schedule is flexible and I’m no longer getting up at 5AM to drive 40 miles to an 11-hour a day job.

 Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I tend to use a lot of dashes in my writing like– 

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

UFBook3CoverV2My latest book will be called Death Magic and is a Young Adult urban fantasy.  It’s the third book of the Abnormals Underground series.  The first one, Blood Magic, is on sale now.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

I learned that I really enjoy writing about how people interact with each other, how people treat each other, and why people are the way they are.  I think that working on this stuff makes me a better writer.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Probably the best thing I could share would be the first few pages from Blood Magic, the first Abnormals Underground book.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense.

CHAPTER ONE of BLOOD MAGIC (Abnormals Underground #1)

UFBook1CoverV2My day was going real great.  First, I had probably bombed my Algebra test and there would be hell to pay when Dad found out about it.  Second, the sun was out in full force and all I could do was fake a migraine and stand in the doorway of Cumberland High School while my friends, Maisha and Janine, got to go out and do soccer practice with all the other Normal girls.  And third, there was a creepy guy standing at the gate to the football field, staring at me.

I didn’t notice the weirdo at first because I was busy stewing about my plummeting grade in math (again) and about the fact that I couldn’t stand being out in the sun for more than five to ten seconds without getting really sick.  Thank you, other creepy people who bit me and my family years ago.  And thank you, rare gene that let their disease take hold.

Janine kicked a killer goal and Coach Lancey blew her whistle and shouted something.  She glanced at me, to my shadow sanctuary.  I drew back, hiding from her glare.  That was when I saw the guy, a kid who had to be around my age.  He stood there, silent, leaning against the fence like he was totally comfortable in his leather trench coat, brimmed hat, and sunglasses.  He was only about fifty feet away, not close enough to make me uncomfortable but close enough for me to know he was studying me hard.  My vision was better than Normal eyesight but those sunglasses were so dark that I felt like I was staring into a couple of black pits.

Coach Lancey blew her whistle again.  Over on the soccer field she waved at a couple of girls who were over on the perimeter, chatting away.  I adjusted my own sunglasses to block out the unbearable light and checked the guy again.

In the second I’d glanced away, he had moved closer.

Much closer.

As in, he now stood leaning against a traffic pillar only ten feet away.  His arms were folded across his chest.  He stood a full head taller than me.  His face was smooth and young, unshaven.  His hair, long and scraggly.  I hadn’t heard him take a step.

No.  I was not dealing with this right now. 

I hadn’t met another Abnormal other than Dad since I was two and the fateful bite happened on that country road.  We, no they were out there, staying out of sight of both the authorities and human society.  Everyone knew that shifters, human magic users, and even demons existed among them, blending in the best they could or staying out of sight.  Schools taught kids to stay away from them just like they warned against strangers and above all, to tell a grownup if they spotted an Abnormal.  The human ones who had magic were okay some of the time, but it was the ones like me, the ones capable of preying on Normals or worse, infecting them–we were guilty without a trial.  Losing your job, getting disowned by your family and turning into human society’s punching bag were only the beginning. 

It was the reason I filed my canines down every morning. 

The guy continued to stare at me for what felt like an eternity.  I couldn’t tell what his motives were.  I caught no whiff of metallic adrenaline pumping through his veins, which was always a strong scent.  He was calm but he also wasn’t going away.  If I got into the shadows enough, I could try to fight the guy, but out in the sun I was too useless to even slap someone.  I was stronger than the Normal girls, a fact I had to hide during practice, but I wasn’t sure what I was doing here.  I could fence but my equipment was at Thorne’s Fencing School and that foil wouldn’t do much damage anyway.  I thought about running down the hall and hiding in a classroom but that would brand me as easy prey, so I stood there and stared back at the guy.  I never let my secret out to anybody so I wasn’t sure why he’d chosen me out of all the girls to eyeball.

I was alone.  Maybe that was it. 

“Do you have a problem?” I asked, licking my teeth to check that I really had filed them earlier.  They were sharpening again like they always did later in the day but it wasn’t that bad yet.  “Or are you some kind of pervert?  You’re even dressed for the part.”

The guy smiled at me and patted his trench coat.  “Oh.  You mean this.  I know.  Crappy impression but it’s best if we hide, you know?”

We hide. 

We.

I looked around to make sure no one else was standing there.  All clear.  Coach Lancey had sent the two girls to sit on the bench and the others were running around the field again, kicking at the ball.  They were so far away, across a forbidden field of light.  I was trapped until I could bum a ride from Janine and hide under the official Fake Migraine Blanket until she drove me home.

“Are you trying to do some cosplay thing?” I asked.  “What character are you?”  I scrambled for anything and to not sound all freaked out.  “I had a friend at my old school who loved cosplay.”  I had to steer this conversation in another direction and fast. 

The guy stepped forward, keeping his sunglasses trained on me.  The wind blew and the air got warm, almost crackling as he approached.  The teachers always taught us that magic felt like that, to watch out for that sensation.  He might be one of those humans who had it.  Mages.  There were supposed to be different kinds.   “Alyssa,” he said.

The world dropped out from under me.

I hadn’t heard my real name spoken anywhere but home since I was two, since Dad had brought me here to Washington after our bites and bought us new identities on the black market.  Even he had started calling me Roslyn when I was five and the last time I heard my name spoken was when Mom called us to check in a couple of years ago. 

(Lucky Mom.  She’d been bitten like Dad and I, but she didn’t have the rare gene that made someone turn.)

It was then, as I stood there in stunned silence, that I caught the full scent of Mr. Trenchcoat’s blood.  Adrenaline and stress were the strongest smells but most people gave off whatever they had eaten for lunch—I had to endure the afternoons in a cloud of greasy pizza, Mountain Dew and Cheetos—but this guy gave off the scent of wood smoke and something I couldn’t identify.  He was definitely human but I had never encountered anything like it.

“Alyssa,” he repeated like he was trying to make it sink in.

“Are you from the government?” I asked.  I’d heard too many stories about Abnormals getting sent off to special therapy to become more “normal” and none about them ever coming back.    “How do you know my real name?  And by the way, it’s still rude to stare.”

“I…” the guy said.  He stepped closer.  “You can’t hide much longer, Alyssa.”

I tried to come up with something to say to blow this whole creepy thing out of the water, but there was nothing this time.  I felt naked, like this guy could see every flaw that was me.  My disease.  My secret that I hadn’t dared utter to even myself for years. 

So I did the last thing I should have done.  I backed away, searching around for a weapon.  There was a dust bunny on the floor and someone’s cell phone case by the lockers, smashed into pieces.  If he attacked I’d have to use my fists. 

“Look,” I said.  “I don’t know how you know my real name but please.  Someone could see you dressed all weird like this.  You’re standing out.  And I’m not hiding.”

“You are.  Every day.”  The guy looked up and down my body, checking out my legs and the shorts I had thrown on because I’d been too dumb to check the forecast this morning.  “You know,” he said, flashing me a grin.  “For such a hot girl, you’re really missing a good tan.  And not to mention, you should be skin and bones since you never eat anything at lunch.  Or all muscle since you fence all the time.  You’re not on a liquid diet by any chance?”

I had to act.  This was dangerous and I needed answers.  I lunged at the guy and grabbed the front of his trench coat.  Now that I was more out of the sun I was stronger, strong enough to pull him towards me.  I held him there with my left hand, pulling him closer and closer until I could feel his breath against my face.  The wood smoke smell got overpowering now, so much that my stomach rumbled. 

I could hold my hunger back.  I always managed it until I got to the freezer at home. 

“You’ve been watching me,” I said.  “I suppose you peek in my windows and watch me undress, too?”  That was impossible—or maybe not if he was some kind of Mage who could teleport.  I always kept my blinds shut to keep out the sun and to hide…other things.  But this guy had magic.  I still hadn’t worked out what he was capable of.  Maybe he teleported into my closet every night and watched the show from there.

The guy grinned.  “I’ve thought about it, but—no, you don’t have to hit me.  I was just joking.”

I lowered the hand I had raised.  “Sorry.  This is just a really tense situation for me.  How much do you know?”

“Well, I know now that you file your teeth.  I was wondering how you blended in.  You must really hate sunny days, though.”

He knew everything.

Crap.

A stranger knew the secret Dad and I had been working years to keep covered.  Even if he was a fellow Abnormal, he might be one of the more acceptable ones–he was human–so this made the whole thing not cool.  I’d heard stories about some Mages selling out worse Abnormals to the treatment centers to save their own skin. 

Or maybe he just wanted to talk.  I needed answers and punching him wouldn’t get me there.

So I did something I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t regret.  I let go of him.

“Thanks,” he said, brushing off his coat.  “Maybe we can get down to business now.  Is there a room around here that’s a little more private than this?”  He gestured to the hallway, which remained empty except for the janitor lady rolling a trash can out of one of the foreign language classes.

The whistle blew from outside again and Coach Lancey yelled something else.  Practice was still in session but not for much longer.  “Okay,” I said.  “Tell me how you know what I am.  I have to meet my friend after practice and she needs to drive me home.  Then I need to finish my Lit homework.”

The guy looked at me like I was some kind of freak. 

“Your Lit homework?  Most Abnormals don’t have that problem.”  And he snickered. 

I felt naked.  If Janine found him with me or worse, caught him teleporting, suspicion would go on me next.  She’d wonder why the heck I’d been talking to an Abnormal.  Already I hatched excuses in my mind.

“In the conference room,” I said, pulling open a door nearby.

The light was off in here which was a welcome relief.  I guided Mr. Trench Coat inside and closed the door, leaving us in almost pitch darkness.  I expected him to freak out, since he was in my element now, but he stayed calm.  My eyes adjusted quickly and I could make out the conference table within two seconds, and then the phone on the table, and then the shelf with all the stuffy old books on the walls.  Everything was gray in my night vision.  I couldn’t remember a time I’d been scared of the dark.

Well, that fateful night.  That was it. 

Mr. Trench Coat banged right into one of the chairs that I could clearly see.  “Can we turn on the lights?” he asked.

“No,” I said.  “Someone might notice.  Really.  Not trying to be a jerk, but my friend Janine goes crazy when she thinks someone’s making out somewhere.”

“I’m Xavier,” he said.  “I’m a War Mage from Abnormals Underground.”  He spoke like I should know what that was.

“From where?” I asked.  War Mages were some of the stronger ones and more in the class of Mages to be avoided.  They were the kind known to shoot fireballs and roast their opponents and the media made them look like monsters waiting to happen.  Maybe Xavier wasn’t planning to sell me out to the government after all.  A Nature Mage would have scared me more.  The government was more likely to work with them. 

“You know,” he said, rubbing his elbow.  “Abnormals Underground.”

“I’ve never heard of your group,” I said. 

“That’s because we’re underground,” Xavier said.  “Your dad never told you about us?”

“My dad mostly just talks about work.  He’s an insurance agent.”

Xavier burst out laughing, leaning over the table.  “Sorry.  I can’t help it,” he said.  “A vampire insurance agent.  That’s the most Normal career I’ve heard of one taking.”

“That’s the point,” I said.  “We want to be Normal.  That’s all we want.”  I felt the familiar pain rising in my chest, constricting my heart like a snake.  Mom wouldn’t have left.  I wouldn’t have screwed up so badly when I was eight…

“But you’re not Normal,” Xavier said, catching a breath and facing me.  “Neither one of you are and you never will be.  Question.  Are you happy right now?”

“Where is this going?” I asked.  “Of course I’m happy.  If you’re looking to have us join your club, we’re not interested.  Sorry.”  Practice was getting close to ending.  It must be.  It was only supposed to go until four and the clock on the wall told me it was three fifty and sometimes Coach Lancey wrapped up early if she needed to pick up her daughter from daycare. 

Xavier took a step closer.  His eyes were adjusting.  I could tell because he was actually facing me and not bumping into the chairs.  “Your father registered with us years ago.  Most Abnormals are registered with us.  We helped you both get your new identities and move place to place.  I’m here to represent us.  We offer you protection.”

“We’ve been doing fine,” I said.  This was a revelation.  “I’ll keep you in mind, though.”  I moved back towards the door and put my hand on the handle, but remembered that he probably couldn’t see the cue. 

“Alyssa,” he said.  “I came here for more than that.  We’re going to need fighters soon.  Strong fighters.  Some people in the city government have started cracking down on us.  Cumberland’s not a good place to be right now.  We need people like you.  You’re strong and I have a good feeling about you.”

I started opening the door, but stopped when what he said sunk in.

“Fighters?” I thought about him watching me at my fencing classes—maybe even my tournaments.  “I don’t, you know, kill people when I fence.  I don’t kill anybody.  We all wear padding and it’s safe.  It helps me get my anger out.  Sure, I have a sword collection at home but I have no plans to use those on anybody.  And by the way, I don’t hurt people, period.  My dad has a friend who gets us rejected blood bags from the Red Cross–”

I had never told anyone that before.  In fact, I’d never even said it out loud. 

“But what about your kendo classes?”

Oh.  Those. 

“And the Iaido club?”

And that.

We used wooden sticks and real swords for those along with actual armor.  Thorne also instructed those classes but I was the only one under eighteen in those classes.  The rest were college kids.    Thorne and my father had worked out some deal I still didn’t know the details of to get me into the university club on weekends and supply me the equipment.  Fencing was about focus but Kendo and Iaido–actually learning to “kill” with a sword–was actually about learning to hurt people.  Or pretending to hurt them.  It vented my aggression better than fencing did.

“I still don’t hurt people there,” I said.  “We all wear armor.  I can’t do things like boxing, you know?  I’d get found out.”

“You know,” Xavier said, leaning against the table and looking all cool.  “You’re going to have to deal with this sooner or later.  We both know you’ll stop aging in just a few years and people are going to notice.  You can’t carry on like this forever.”

“Then we’ll move,” I said.  “We always do.  I’m used to it.  Dad already moves because of that.  Throne can find me more classes in another state.  He’s got connections with all the instructors.  Now I need to get back to practice.”

“But you’ll get sick out there.”

“I need to talk to my dad, too,” I said.  Why hadn’t Dad told me about this?  Xavier could be lying.  He had some other plan, even though I couldn’t think of what that could be.  “I only fence to vent my stress.”

“And sword fight,” Xavier said.  “You’re a natural fighter.  I’ve seen you and heard about you.  You can get better–much better.  It won’t take that much.”

“I can’t.  I have too much to do already.”

“You must hate Abnormals,” Xavier said.  “I know one did this to you, but trust me, we’re not all like that.”

“Everyone thinks we are,” I said, trying to ignore the fact that he also knew my history.  Maybe Dad was the one I should be angry at.  He’d betrayed my trust.  Dad had always told me we would keep this whole thing a secret from the outside world, that the Normals would never figure out what we were. 

But Xavier wasn’t a Normal. 

“Don’t listen to the crap you hear,” Xavier said.  “None of us chose to be what we are.  I didn’t choose magic.  They want us to feel bad so we’ll turn ourselves in.”

“People say those like me chose to turn when they were bitten.”

“That’s crap.”

I often wondered if I really had chosen to turn when I was two and just didn’t remember it. Some scientists said different but a lot of people didn’t believe that.  I wasn’t sure if I did because the gene hadn’t been proven yet.  It was a theory. 

Xavier waited for my response.  Outside, the whistle blew again but he didn’t seem to notice. His wood smoke smell got stronger and my stomach rumbled. I was shaking and getting hungry.  I had to get home soon and have a snack.

“I’m sorry,” I said.  “Please.  I have homework tonight and a test to study for.”

Xavier kept his cool.  I couldn’t tell what kind of expression he had behind those sunglasses. He reached into one of his trench coat pockets.  “Take my card, at least.  You’ll never know when you’ll need it.”  He produced a cardboard rectangle and handed it to me. 

I took it mostly to humor him.  It was a plain white card, with his shining name sunk into the paper in shimmering letters.  XAVIER LOVELLI.  His name was beautiful and perfect in the gothic font.  Underneath it, more shimmering letters read APPRENTICE MAGE for ABNORMALS UNDERGROUND.  There was a picture of two flaming, crossed swords in the corner and as I stared, the fire seemed to dance.  It was the coolest business card I had ever seen, but I kept my face stony, trying not to show my amazement.  Things like this got people in trouble.

And the card was warm, like some life force was running through it.

“You don’t know what you’re missing,” Xavier said.  “That ink, by the way, is made from a dragon scale and incubus blood mixture.”  He paused there like I was supposed to know what he meant.  “It’s awesome binding magic in there.”

“That’s…cool, I guess.” 

“Take it out if you’re in trouble,” Xavier said.  “Rub your thumb over the swords.”

“Okay,” I said.  “Thanks.”  I’d take this card home and keep it but using it wasn’t something I’d have to do anytime soon.

I heard footsteps approaching the school, scraping grass and then concrete. Someone was coming.  Practice had let out.  I had to get back to Janine, get under the Migraine Blanket in her car and have her take me home. Then I had to figure out how to get to fencing practice tonight.  Dad wasn’t supposed to be home until nine or so and he usually drove me but he worked late shifts to avoid going out too soon on sunny days.

I went to leave the room, but Xavier brushed past me and the wood smoke smell got even stronger.  He opened the door, oblivious to the fact that someone was coming, and made a left down the hall.

Before I could stop him, the double doors to outside squeaked open.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

I shoot to get out one book per month (in YA, anyway) and I like to write anything YA that’s fantasy, fairy tale, post-apocalyptic, you name it…I was thinking a straight science fiction series or dystopian series would be a great thing to try next.  Right now, I try to stick with things that are popular with readers at the moment.  I can usually find a good match between what I like and what readers are enjoying currently.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

That’s a hard one.  I’ve spent a lot of money over the last seven years I’ve been independently publishing.  Right now, I try not to spend much at all, but in the past the money spent building my mailing list through Facebook ads might have been the most valuable.  That still benefits me to this day.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You can either follow me on Amazon at my author page, which is here and has a follow button:

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003VE3FIQ

Or you can join my newsletter.  I usually send out two newsletters per month and sometimes I offer up free books of mine and even from other Young Adult authors who have books similar to mine.  You get three free ebooks of mine just by joining!  My newsletter is here: http://www.subscribepage.com/e3w3s2

Oh, and I also have a website where you can find all of that stuff: http://www.hollyhookauthor.com