Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Karyn Pearson shares her Hellfire Trilogy: Spark, Inferno, Embers

It all begins with a Spark . . .
Ardentia, a demon hunter with a demon’s spirit bound to her own, goes on a journey to restore honor to her mother’s name. One by one, she hunts down the Saligia, who are responsible for her family’s curse. The closer she gets to bringing the Seven Deadly Sins down, the higher the chances are she’ll lose herself along the way. As the demon inside her awakens and grows stronger, it will only be a matter of time. Ardentia faces but one choice—trust the demon to help her break the curse, and pray he doesn’t betray her in the end.

. . . and blazes into an Inferno . . .

A new threat has emerged. Belial, one of four Crown Princes of Hell, has risen. The Crown Prince intends to free the rest of his brothers. If he succeeds, he will raise Lucifer from his centuries’ long slumber. Belial will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. His influence even extends past the defenses of the holy city of Salvatio. The Crown Prince must be stopped before the last great defense of mankind falls. Ardentia stands to answer the call. She knows the task alone will be dangerous, and that she could easily die in the attempt. But the threat of certain death won’t sway her. She and Noxius will do whatever it takes to thwart Belial, regardless of the consequences, even if those consequences mean paying the ultimate price.

. . . leaving behind a world of Embers  . . .

Though she won the battle against Belial, the war for mankind has just begun. Lucifer is rising. With each passing day, time runs out for the human race. In sixty-six days, the fate of the world will be decided. But before Ardentia can focus on saving the world, she must save her demon. Noxius is dying, and his only hope for survival is to return to his own body. Ardentia must brave the horrors of Hell and its armies to reach Noxius’ court. If she manages to survive, she’ll still need to face the Lucifer, and something far worse—a foe far greater than the Devil himself.

The final story in Karyn Pearson’s Hellfire trilogy is now complete!
“You’re only human. Don’t ever forget that. Even the greatest of leaders can fall, but not all of them will succumb to darkness.”

from Embers:

A rushing sound filled her ears, Noxius’ power surged to life within her, willing her to dodge to the left. She whirled aside, watching as a hook-sword sailed within an inch of her, the blade singing in the air as it passed. A nearby soul cried out as the sword pierced him in a spray of blood. He slumped over and remained still, put out of his misery at last.

“I thought I smelled a mortal,” said the all-too-familiar voice of Malacoda. “What ever shall we do with you, my dear?”

“She’s pretty,” said a second voice. “Can we keep this one?”

“She is rather interesting, isn’t she?” Malacoda agreed. “How could a mortal make it so far into Hell unscathed?"

The sound of wings was all around them, the Malebranche laughing as they circled their prey. The huntress didn’t need to look to know she was surrounded. This was it, they were done for.

Run!” Noxius yelled. “We need to make it to the next ring!”

Ardentia didn’t need to be told twice. She broke into a sprint, moving as fast as she could down the road. Behind her, she heard Malacoda wrenching his sword from the body of the tortured soul he’d inadvertently killed. The demon was in quick pursuit; the huntress knew she’d be no match for his speed. He was upon her within a moment, so she did the only thing she could. She turned to fight.

Using her forward momentum, she made a quick about-face, swinging her leg as she turned. Her kick connected, the blow startling the demon for a few seconds, as black blood seeped from a fresh wound on his cheek. He snarled at her in rage, raising his hook and sweeping toward her. She dropped and rolled under it, the sword passing over her head harmlessly. Her feet were back under her in an instant, and she was up and running, the demon roaring from somewhere behind her as he chased after her again.

“Keep running!” Noxius encouraged. “We’re nearly there.”

She kept moving, her eyes finding the end of the road ahead and what looked like the edge of a cliff. As she neared the end of the road, she saw the ground gave way into a sharp drop of at least one-hundred feet to the next circle below. To the far right, she saw a set of stairs carved into the side of the cliff. She started for them at once, moving off the road and cutting across a line of staked bodies.

Suddenly, Malacoda materialized before them, standing at the cliff’s edge and barring their path. He smiled, thinking he had her cornered. In her mind, she heard her demon shouting for her to turn around and head the opposite direction. The huntress ignored him, running toward the demon instead.

She barreled straight into the demon, her full body weight slamming into him hard. He doubled over and gave a grunt of pain, losing his balance, and together, they tumbled off the cliff.

Karyn Pearson is the author of the Hellfire Trilogy and Arcturian Bloodlines. She is a full-time pet parent of her two dogs Nikki and Jamie. Karyn has a B.A. in Anthropology and has explored dozens of cultures in her studies, but has imagined countless more. She enjoys reading, playing action RPGs, and plotting the next adventure for her characters whenever she has a spare moment free of the dreaded and undefeated “puppy dog eyes attack.”
Her next project will be the first novel of a new vampire series, Arcturian Bloodlines. When she's not writing, Karyn can be found playing with her puppies or Googling various dangerous topics for novel research that make her constantly question why federal agents haven't yet knocked down her front door.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

AR DeClerk shares Bound to You, her soon to be released book.

Today, I have AR DeClerck and her soon to be released book, Bound to You.              

Bound to You
AR DeClerck


Jackson Baine is a man with a gift, and he has never had a problem with selling it to the highest bidder. His newest job is with one of the biggest terraforming companies in the universe, and the money he stands to make will allow him and his crew to retire on any planet in any galaxy they choose. His biggest problem: Ferrell Terraforming has assigned him a company liason to see to his needs and protect their interests. But that’s not his only problem. Lia Bernardi is smart, beautiful and strong, and she entices Jacks in a way no other woman ever has. She is a distraction he cannot afford on the surface.

Anatolia Bernardi is ready to climb the corporate ladder, get out from under her egotistical boss, and impress her overbearing father. All she has to do is turn one dead, empty planet into an oasis. Her company says Jacks Baine is the key, and it’s her job to make sure he’s productive and happy. Both of which, she soon learns, are harder than she’d thought they’d be. For some reason Jacks can get under her skin and break down every wall she’s constructed between herself and the world.
On the surface of a long-dead planet Jacks and Lia will be forced to face the startling realization that the past never really goes away.

AR DeClerck lives in the Quad Cities, IL. She is a wife and mother of two daughters. She has two dogs and a cat, and always has her nose in a book. She’s either reading one, or writing one. She writes romance in many sub-genres, and has always had a soft spot for sci-fi romance. She credits her love of reading and writing to her mother, who always keeps a book handy.



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Charles O'Keefe shares The Newfoundland Vampire

The Newfoundland Vampire

Coming April 25th

Like many geeks, Joseph O’Reily has always fantasized about being a vampire. Then one night Cassandra Snow walks into his life and he learns that not all dreams should come true. Cassandra has plans for him – plans for eternity.

As his world begins to turn upside down, Josephs wrestles with the changes to his everyday life. Eternal youth and amazing power come at a price that might be higher than he can afford. Vampires may not be human, but Joseph is determined to hold on to what he values most—his humanity.

To be honest the inspiration for my series came from boredom and a love of vampires. I was at work one day I realized I had all sorts of time to think and I decided to revisit a story I started some 6 years ago, a vampire story with a younger version of myself as the main character. I suppose I was inspired by the idea that if vampires were real, how would I act as one? What choices would I make? In more human terms I wondered about the choices I’ve made and how my life could have been different if I had chosen a different path. I was inspired also by listening to other authors talk about their love of writing and also by a friend of mine previously publishing a book back in 2006.

I love Joseph because, well he’s me, at least about 90% me. Cassandra, is based on a real historical person, the last woman hanged in Newfoundland and I feel in love with her for several reasons. She’s a strong character, physically and emotionally and she is not afraid to get what she wants. While she loves Joseph, she has a rather dismissive view of humanity and makes choices that seem extreme but ultimately relatable if you lived over 200 years. She is sexy, mysterious, creative, dangerous and in all things vampire related very wise. She is not Joseph’s dream woman but mine and who I have come to think as the ultimate female vampire.

As my series progresses (there will be at least 4 parts) I look forward to continue to develop my characters, deal with the secret vampire council and make my world a fun place for readers to visit. Vampires are fascinating creatures and a lot of fun to write, I hope that you’ll come along for the ride.

About Charles O’Keefe:

Charles O’Keefe lives in the beautiful province of Newfoundland, Canada, with his wife and two feline ‘children,’ Jude and Eleanor. He is a co-owner of a Beauty Wholesale Business and enjoys many hobbies and activities that include writing, reading, watching fantasy/science-fiction movies and television shows, gaming, poker, walking, Pilates, martial arts and of course fantasizing about vampires. He is also a vegetarian, animal activist, environmentalist and Agnostic.

He currently is currently with Distinguished Press and will have books 1 and 2 of "The Newfoundland Vampire" series re-released in 2015.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Failed Try is far better than Untried

Not trying at all is far worse than failing on the second try. In fact, since the second try ALMOST succeeded, I still think it's a grand leap closer to success.

What am I talking about?

Space X's almost landed its rocket after delivering it's payload into space. Previously, we haven't even tried to reuse the giant rockets that lift our space cargo off our gravity heavy planet. (I'm not complaining about gravity. It keeps my muscles and bones strong, and more importantly, it keeps me and pc on my nice soft recliner. Otherwise, all these things would fly off willy nilly.)

Back to the rocket that almost landed on a robot ship in the ocean. It bullseyed the target. Only it landed a bit harder than it should and fell over. But the engineers now have a bunch of stuff that worked just like it was supposed to, so on the next rocket they can focus on what didn't work and how to fix it. 

This was only their second try. I think they are making huge strides forward. And once they succeed, and I expect they will, their costs will drop a hundred fold, which will force their competitors to figure this out as well.  Having reusable rockets is a game changer in the space program, and given how close they came to succeeding this time, I think they'll get there.

So hats off to Space X and their almost win. You've convinced me it will happen and sooner than later.

Credit: Space X
This isn't the rocket taking off. This is the rocket landing. While, to me, it looks a bit tilted, that could be due to the weird bubble we are looking through, because the flag pole looks tilted as well. The CEO of Space X said it landed too hard and bounced, causing it to fall over.

 So I raise my space cup to you Space X
Well done! And next time may you succeed completely. 

And just a thought:
It's very hard to land a tall skinny piece of metal. Maybe we should be rethinking it's shape as well. Or at least give it a few more bottom fins so that falling over is really hard to do. 

Because when we search for a new planet to live on before Earth freezes over, there might be T. rexes on our first stop and we'll want to leave right away rather than be eaten.

Just saying--
Liza and her outer-worldly advice

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Catrina Taylor shares real facts and a SciFi-Alternate Universe creation.

There is a famous, multi-generational, multi- millennial mystery that begs to be solved, even today. The mythology tells of an island full of great scientific discoveries, technology unlike any other, and confidence that once took them to the brink of existence. This island's inhabitants led rich lives under the peaceful rule of the children of Gods, until the day the Amazons attacked. In the end, that didn't result well for the Amazons. Now I ask, what if they weren't children of gods? Instead they are people, hominids that walked the earth with the earliest modern human. Perhaps for a time, they even interbred.  Then reality settled in. The differences in the most basic functions of life were going to change the balance of the earth in the favor of one hominid species. Eventually differences set them apart, and the differences lead to wars, which lead to some withdrawing for the safety of their species. 
In the last few years there have been many discoveries that prove humans as we know them weren't always the only hominid species on Earth. After Neanderthal, the Denisovans, and now the controversial Homo antecessor, are the best known ancient human relatives. Proof of their interbreeding within the modern human genome has been firmly established in scientific communities. It is from historical information like this that Knights of the Immortals is born.

What if there are more species out there we have yet to discover? What happens if these species have similarities to mythological creatures of old? Isn't it in human nature to assign our own ideas to things we don't fully understand? And to create monsters where men stand? That history influences so many options when entwined with the facts we have learned from ancient history.

Knights of the Immortals is a new SciFi-Alternate Universe creation from Catrina Taylor. Her previous works include the Xarrok series and a handful of ghost written books sold by top selling authors in their genre.

Knights of the Immortals looks at a point in history where homo sapiens became the dominate, and eventually only species of hominid on Earth. Or are they?

The opening scene from Knights of the Immortals – The Knight's Apprentice

"Every ounce of life felt, falls back to the surface it began from. With this stroke, let it be, that his last breath is known to me." With a quiet force, the knight's sword bears down upon a man. A crack, a gasp, and a final exhale follow. The aged man withdraws the sword and kneels beside the body. "It is done, old friend. May you find peace."

The man lifts his arm to reach for the knight, and the light of the moon reflects in his eyes. A hint of a smile tells the knight his duty is complete. Fleeting traces of life expire with the final breath, leaving the knight alone with his thoughts.

A moment spent in silent remembrance is interrupted. A twig cracks in the clearing. The old man turns his head and removes his helmet to get a better look. He peers through the tree line to find the motion forcing his focused attention. The shape of a person falls back into the shadows, and he moves toward it with a speed unnatural for his age and armor.

Crossing the tree line, he finds a young woman frantically trying to pick up groceries. Her dark pony tail has started to fall, and the swiftness of her movements indicates fear. He kneels next to her, begins picking up cans, and hands them to her. He continues without a word. His hands move faster than hers to collect several items at a time and deposit them either in her grasp or bag. When she finally acknowledges him, her face pales and her lips quiver.

“Please, don’t hurt me. I won’t tell a soul. Promise.”

The knight tilts his head. “Hurt you? Why would I do that?”

With wide eyes she looks at the body in the field. “You . . .”

A smile purses his expression as he realizes what caused her fear. “You believe I killed him?”

“I . . . um . . . yes.”

“He was one of my oldest friends. I couldn’t bring harm to him no matter what came over me.” The knight stands at his full height and extends a hand to the girl. “You're safe. Did you recover everything?”

Her eyes drop to the ground around her again, searching for what might be left. “I . . . I think so.

“Good.” He glances over his shoulder and hears a whisper. He knits his brow as he responds. “She’s among the humans. She wouldn’t understand.”

The girl begins to turn away, but hears his response, causing her to pause.

The whisper urges him again.

He responds to it, “I was planning to return home after this task to find someone better qualified.”

Finally speaking up, the girl asks, “What are you talking about? Better qualified for what? Won’t understand what?” She hesitantly looks at him.

He sighs heavily. “Come.” He extends his hand to carry her bag, but when she clutches it to her, he gestures toward the field again.

She follows slowly behind him. Her arms keep the grocery bag close, and her bookbag remains steady on her back.

He guides her across the field to the body of his dear friend. He pulls the sword from the ground next to him and tilts it halfway. Placing a hand beneath the lower point of the hilt, two small round objects drop. “These are markers. It will send notice to his people that he is ready for burial. His body will be placed among those of his forefathers.”

He kneels over the man placing one of the round objects on his head and the other at his feet. A moment later, a dull light shimmers around the body and it vanishes.

The girl gasps.

“You . . . He?” She takes a deep breath. “He’s alien?”

“No, actually he’s of Earth. He was born here a couple centuries ago. His name was Jasper VanDernal. He was a friend from my apprenticeship and beyond.” The knight drops his eyes to where his friend had been. “He contracted an illness that was torturing him. He came to me to request I help him find dignity. The council approved the request and the Vampyric Rite of Peace was performed.” His eyes lift to meet her open jawed expression. “That’s what you witnessed. His passing with peace and dignity.”

“He’s . . . he was . . .” She takes a deep breath before she reassures herself, “No. Vampyres are a thing of myth, created by the uninformed peoples who witnessed many illnesses torment people at a time they couldn’t understand.” She spins on her heel and starts across the field again. “There’s no way.”

The knight chuckles. “I told you she wouldn’t understand.”

The whispering continues in his ear.

“Are you joking? The sword only works for those who would become knights. It was designed that way. Even if she is of our kind, she’s too old to begin now, and you are expecting a lot from a child of this world instead of our own.”

The whispers urge him forward.

He closes his eyes and sighs. “As you wish.”  With uncanny speed, he catches her once again. “May I ask you a favor please?”

Her eyes narrow slightly. “What?”

“Would you hold this for me?” He extends the hilt of the sword to her.

“My hands are full.”

“It is something that would only take a moment, and I can hold the groceries for you.”

“First, tell me who you’ve been talking to.”

“You’re rather demanding for a young one.”

The whisper commands, “Tell her.”

“I was speaking with the grand council.” He shifts weight between his feet.

“Council of what?” Her voice is terse.

“Immortals.” Without giving her time to absorb the information, he takes the groceries from her hand. “I’m being urged to test your viability and thus, it would be helpful to end this long evening if you would please hold onto the hilt of the sword.”

“Fine.” She snatches the sword from him and her arm drops slightly. “There. Now can I have my groceries back?”

“Of course.” Before his hand makes contact with the sword again, his armor begins to retract and he freezes. Each section folds within the one before it, gradually exposing his human form. “By all that I have seen . . .”

A slight glow emanates from the hilt, and she becomes covered in armor. Boots fold from her toes up to her knee, and from her knee to the hip, another metal part extends. Soon her legs are fully encompassed by the armor. It continues up her abdomen, onto her chest, arms, and finally over her head. Once she stands fully clad in a shiny armored shell, she drops the sword. “What did you do to me?”

“Nothing. It seems the council is correct. You are Atlantean.”

Watch for Knights of the Immortals books one and two coming in May 2015! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday Tease- Liza O'Connor shares her upcoming Sci-Fi book

Today, I share a bit from 
The Gods of Probabilities. 
A new Sci-Fi with romance coming out in July.  

Ever Wondered how our universe came to be.
This is it's beginning...

Captain Zousan entered the control room after a poor night’s sleep. His sour mood had evidently been preordained given not one single member of his crew was to be found. Fine with him. He took no pleasure terrorizing his crew, but honestly, they all behaved liked spoil God-children.

He recalled his own petulant arrogance when he quit his father’s space and declared he’d make his own damn multiverse and it would be far better. Instead of apologizing for his constant complaints and unreasonable expectations, his father had accepted his resignation. “It will do you good to fail, Zousan. Your arrogance far exceeds your value. A bit of humility will serve you well.”

The Master of Time had been pleased to see his only son go off into new space until he discovered Zousan planned to take his baby daughter Athena with him. “You can’t take a baby on a ship!” he’d bellowed.

“She’s on a ship here. Unless you told them to sabotage the ship you’ve commissioned for me, she’ll be fine on my ship as well.”

While his father had no use for him, he did love Athena. But who wouldn’t? His daughter was perfection in all ways. She was the light of his life, the only thing he’d ever created that his father hadn’t criticized.

His father insisted on ‘additional improvements’ to the ship, culled out a bunch of losers from his crew he’d been dying to get rid of for billions of years, and set up a big bang to birth a new multiverse. 

Zousan could still remember the day they flew into the tiny new bubble of multiverses. He’d been heady with power. Finally, he was in charge, and he’d do everything right and put his father’s world into shame by comparison.

Turns out creating a universe
 filled with obliging helpful sentients
 is harder than he anticipated. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Liza interviews Nora Fleischer's character Jack the zombie

Today, I’m going to interview Jack the Zombie. You may already know him. Depends upon where you go for pizza. 

I wish I had insisted on the pizza place, but nooo. I let Jack decide the location for the interview.

So I’m at the run-down offices of the Boston Zombie Support Group, in a well-worn office building.  Next door, there's a kettlebell group in session, and it sounds like a dropped bell could go right through the floor.

Jack Kershaw, part-time media relations guy for the BZSG, and full-time zombie, sets a cup of coffee in front of me.  I don't touch it.  Zombies like coffee so strong it's almost crunchy.

Jack: Great to see you again, Liza.  You said you had something to show me?

Liza: I do! I wanted you to see the new cover for your book.

Zombies in Love.
Nora Fleischer

Jack: That's a great picture of my girlfriend.

Lisa.  I think it works.

Jack: You know, a lot of women can’t look that natural holding a shotgun.  [He smiles, reminiscing.]  She shot me with it once.

Liza: What?  Why?

Jack:  Just a small misunderstanding.  These things happen.  [He squints, confused.]  Why does it say Zombies in Love on it?  Lisa's not a zombie.  And who's Nora Fleischer?  Is she the artist?

Liza: What are you? Brain dead?  Oh wait, that might be considered an insensitive question with a Zombie. Let me rephrase my question.
Have you forgotten Nora was with me the last time I interviewed you? She’s your author. The one who gave you life…well sort of.

Jack: Oh, you mean my biographer!  She's not the cover artist, is she?

Liza:  No. That's Philippe McNally.

Jack: He’s very talented.

Liza: Tweet him at @PhilippeMcNally, tell him how talented he is! I’m sure he’d love to hear from you.

Jack:  Well, please tell Nora I want a copy for Lisa's birthday. 

Liza:  What do you think of the picture of you?

Jack:  Am I really that pasty?

Liza:  Yes. 

He grins.

Jack: Still, pretty good for a dead guy. Don’t you think?

Liza: I don’t really know. To be honest. You are the only zombie I’ve ever interviewed, and I’ve done so twice. Probably because you are very much the gentleman and have refrained from eating my brains, or gnawing on my leg.

Jack: Glad you appreciate that like humans, zombies aren’t all the same either.

Liza: Well, I try to be sensitive to all creatures, living and dead.

Jack Kershaw just wants to hold on to his new job at Lisa Alioto's pizza parlor, and to keep Lisa from finding out that he's a zombie. But Jack learns that he and Lisa are in serious danger. His second chance at life is the inadvertent result of a lab experiment by two graduate students, and Winthrop University-- a school which knows how to keep its secrets-- will do anything necessary to conceal that someone on campus raised the dead. With the help of Boston's zombie horde, can Jack and Lisa escape Winthrop's sinister clutches?

Nora Fleischer has a PhD from Winthrop University, and promises every word of this story is true. She lives in Minneapolis with her lovable husband Sven and children Wolfgang and Anastasia.  She’s on Twitter as @zombinanora.  Or you can talk to Jack at @bzsgjack, which might be more fun.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Liza reviews Rebecca Royce's Book 1 of the Outsiders, Love Beyond Time

Liza interviews Love Beyond Time

Rebecca Royce never disappoints.

As a long time reader of Rebecca Royce, I recall the original series of The Outsiders she wrote. I loved the series. But for those who read the original, book one has been significantly enhanced. In fact, it’s best you remove all past memories and start again. This edition takes you back in time so the ‘how did these special powered children come to exist’ is no longer a mystery. 

Instead the story starts with their parents, their war with evil, and their attempt to hide their babies. Then you progress with the adult version of some of kids trying to ferret out their powers. A great deal of mistrust abounds. There is a mate of their kind for each, but most haven’t been found yet. 

In book one, Kal and Isabella find one another and have some very sexy ‘getting to know you’ scenes. Their mating strengthens not only their trust but their powers and ability to fight evil. Still, nothing is a slam dunk (except for the sex scenes) in a Rebecca Royce story.

Love Beyond Time

by Rebecca Royce

Born one half of a perfect pair, Kal has spent his life believing his other half is gone. But when fate thrusts Isabelle into his arms, he will have no choice but to become the man he was destined to be. That is, if he can battle his own demons first.

Not willing to accept her heritage as an Outsider, Isabelle tries to hide from the truth. But when Kal's life is on the line, she will have to step forward and embrace her powers or watch everything she has come to love disappear.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This is a re-release title. (it has been re-edited)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Liza has KG Stutts look into the future & tell us what she's got coming

I've invited KG Stutts over to tell us about her upcoming book.

KG: I am a little over a month left before the second installment in my Amethyst Chronicles sci-fi romance series launches. Anyone who is familiar with Winter's Kiss should expect some major changes this time around.

Keeping with the April Fools for Love theme, we've got Ember Wilson, the tough, kick-butt leader of Amethyst, Michael Lewis, her second-in-command, and Major Liam Ross, the charismatic military leader. The second book in the series will find Ember in a love triangle of sorts. Talk about fools. Two handsome, sexy men wanting to be with you, and you shut yourself off to the world. 
That's Ember solution. To be fair, it's not entirely her fault. The end of Winter's Kiss did put her through the paces. But she is emotionally closed off. She refuses to say the word love, even if it is regarding breakfast food. So how does one try to win the heart of this beautiful woman with a chip on her shoulder? Why, with weapons of course! At least that's Lewis's plan. Being there when she wakes up from the hospital is Liam's way. 

Who will ultimately win? You'll have to wait a while for the answer. This installment is full of new aliens, challenges, and strife. I was able to peel back the curtain a bit to get a deeper look into who the characters are. Morris and Nova really shine brightly in this book and are sure to be new fan favorites. Seeing Ember grow and change is really fulfilling and the end will shock you, setting up for the next two books. 

 Cover will be revealed soon! And here’s a special treat: a sneak peak!

She recognized the staff from the training they underwent after the Genesis Project. A Keifler Stick, named after its creator, emitted an energy pulse when it connected with human tissue. A normal person would be rendered unconscious by the outburst of energy. For Amethyst, it felt like a tickle. It would take many shots to knock one of them out.  She tapped the end of her stick twice and it glowed a dim purple before it grew brighter and crackled.

“Ah, so you remember.”

She held up the lit end close to her face, feeling the energy flow from it as the hair on the back of her neck stood on end. They locked eyes as they set the sticks down and undressed down to their underwear. They always wore as little clothing as possible when they trained with the Keifler weapons.

“All right, rules,” Lewis began. “Game is over after three hits.”

“Only three?”

“This is a trial, Wilson. I’m not trying to knock you out.”

She glared. “Fine.”

“I’m letting you off easy in your fragile state. And because I’m such a nice guy, I won’t activate my staff.”

Ember pressed her lips into a thin line. “Fragile state?”

“You know.” He grinned. “Your weakened physique.”

She slashed the end of her lighted staff against his midsection. He blocked the blow, turning to bring his weapon down on her right shoulder. She moved out of the way, bringing the tip of her stick to his lower back. Lewis groaned as the purple light sparked against his skin.

“Not bad for a weakened woman.”

“No.” Lewis gritted his teeth. “Not bad at all.”

They separated, giving each other distance. Ember dropped into a defensive stance with her left arm bent level to her chest, her feet shoulder width apart, and her right arm straight out holding the staff. They circled each other, their eyes locked.
She twirled the staff before swiping at his chest. Lewis knocked her weapon away, striking her on the left shoulder before she could move.

“Gah!” Sharp pain reverberated through her arm. She winced and tried to rotate it. Her heart raced against her chest. 

Lewis smiled. “Got to be more careful.”

“That’s one,” she said.

“Yep, we’re even.”

She gripped the staff with both hands, moving to strike his wrists. At the last second, she flipped it up and struck him on the side of his head. Lewis stumbled back, cursing and sputtering. She didn’t give him any time before moving in. But he was ready for her tactics. The end of his weapon hit her mouth, busting her lip open, before swinging down and hitting the back of her knees. Ember fell on the mat, the air rushing out of her body as her staff fell out of her hands and rolled away. Lewis stood over her with his staff pointed at her face.

“And that’s three,” he said.

She looked up at him, breathing heavily. Her head pounded and sweat rolled down her face. She touched her lip and frowned at the red droplets of blood on her fingertips.

“So it is.”

“Are you okay?”

She nodded. He tossed the staff aside and extended his hand, moving so she could get up. He gently touched her chin and frowned.

“I didn’t mean to bust you open.”
“It’s a tiny cut.”

“Looks pretty deep to me.”

“Only because you’re used to me healing already.”

“It’s going to take a while to get used to you not being-” He stopped, sucking in a sharp breath as she raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms over her chest.

“Me not being what? Finish your sentence.”

He rubbed the back of his neck. “I can’t.”

“Finish your sentence,” she ordered.

“Not being purple,” he said, letting out a haggard breath.

She smacked his hand away and walked toward her clothes.

“Come on, Wilson. You know I’m sorry.”

She snorted as she pulled on her pants. “Of course you are. Everyone is. The doctor is sorry he didn’t catch the croceus poison before it nearly cost me my life. The nurse is sorry she aided in the blood transfusion. My father is sorry I can’t rejoin my military commission. Commander Stewart is sorry he can’t recreate the procedure. Liam is sorry he can’t understand what I’m going through.” She spun around, fire raging in her eyes. “And I’m sorry I let myself wallow in misery. But I’m not sorry anymore. Now I’m just angry!”

She stormed out of the training room, leaving her shirt on the floor and Lewis alone with his jaw hanging open. She brushed past the people in the hallway, not caring about the gawking looks she got for walking away in her bra.

Keep up tabs as Amethyst Chronicles: Croceus Poison is closer to the May 22nd launch day by visiting me at kgstutts.blogspot.com 
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Growing up in Texas and later South Carolina as the youngest in a house full of science-fiction fans, K.G. Stutts had her natural curiosity and imagination nurtured since birth by family movie nights where they would watch Star Wars, Indiana Jones and even timeless Disney favorites.
 A prolific writer of sci-fi, romance and mystery, K.G. draws much of her inspiration from those amazing works that gave her an appreciation for telling rich, compelling, character-driven stories for all audiences. She is also a contributor to http://iwassociation.com and http://thewritingnetwork.com and is a proud member of the http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.co.uk/
She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Brad and works for a customer service call center full time. She's a lover of Star Wars, Star Trek (original, TNG, and Voyager), Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis, Muppets, Garfield, Disney, Indiana Jones and is a big football, wrestling, and hockey fan.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Liza interviews a character from SA Hoag's The Vista

My guest today is Mac - Alex MacKenzie, the founding member of Team Three from S.A. Hoag's book The Vista.

Space Rep: Can I interrogate him. You never let me do anything anymore?

Liza: Please note I crossed out interrogation. But you may interview him.

Space Rep: All right! Let's get right to the good stuff; tell us about yourself Mac.

Mac: The basics.  I was born in Phoenix, state of Arizona, and I'd just turned four when my parents found other survivors here in The Vista.  My twin siblings are eight years younger than me and my youngest sister is fifteen years younger.  Both my natural parents are alive and well here also.  I've been in Security a few years, plan on a few more I suppose.

Space Rep: That's all very generalized.
Mac: Were you expecting intimate details?

Space Rep: Yes.  That's what the interview is for - the juicy details. And I need to outshine Liza.

Mac:  Alright.  Fire away.

Space Rep: Tell us something about yourself very few people know.

Mac:  How about something totally unrelated to Security?  I remember that first winter in The Vista.  Being four, I vaguely understood things were all gone wrong.  I was worried about all the snow, so much of it that if I got lost, they'd never find me.  I don't remember before, living in the desert, but it had to be a factor.  Snow was a completely foreign concept.  Until I was a bit older and my dad taught me to ski, the snow terrified me.  I supposed that was my brain's way of dealing with all the things going on around me that I just didn't understand.

Space Rep: Poignant, but not going to impress Liza. Try again. Ever been in trouble?

Mac: I got myself busted back a couple of times.  The first time I told a fellow officer he had his head up his . . . well, posterior.  Yeah, that's a good word for it.  I should have used it then.  The other time I had a conflict with a Councilman and Security Command frowned upon how public the display was.

Space Rep:  So you have somewhat of a temper.

Mac:  No, not really.  I was right in both instances.  Some people don't like hearing that they're wrong.  I can take criticism, hell, I took the demotions without bitching and moaning. 

Space Rep: Tell us about something you'd like to talk about.

Mac:  That's an interesting offer. 

Liza: Not really. He's just run out of questions. So try to help him out.

Mac: Let's see . . .  This whole mess we found ourselves in.  We looked like chickens running around with our heads cut off.  We were clueless and eager to go out and find a fight.  We got a fight, and then some.  The point is, we did what we had to do, to protect The Vista.  Anyone that thinks it's a lie or an excuse is a clueless as we were.

Space Rep: Note to self: Don't let interviewees create the questions. Their answers don't make sense when you don't know what question they are answering. 

Liza: A good thing to learn. Now get back to the interview and dig deep!

Space Rep:  I understand you have a relationship with the female teammate and Hunter has intruded on that.

Mac: Wrong.  Our relationship isn't something that can be 'intruded on'.  If she develops a relationship with someone else, that's her concern.  She's an adult, she has that option.  It doesn't change anything between us.

Space Rep:  Are you involved with other women?

Mac: Occasionally.

Space Rep: Wow! Team Three doesn't seem to be particularly monogamous.  Do you think that's a result of the Gen En?

Mac:  The what?

Space Rep: Of your Genetical Enhancements.

Mac: I've no idea what you're talking about.

Space Rep: You have to know you're genetically enhanced. It says so in the blurb below!

Mac: Nope. We are just normal people who do extraordinary things.

Space Rep: *sighs heavily* Do you think the generation gap between the original survivors and their children is going to cause problems in The Vista in the future?

Mac: No more than it ever has before.  We're not so different, you know.

Space Rep: Except for the Gen En part. What about your future?  Any specific plans you can share?

Mac:  We're expanding, getting out there in the big, wide world.  I have commitments but I don't plan on being chained down if I get the urge to . . . wander.  Like I said, there's a big world out there.

Space Rep: *slams head on table*  I give up. Interviewing is harder than I realized.

Liza: If it's any consolation, I thought you did well for a newbie. Maybe I should have let you interrogate him. He's a tough nut to crack.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mockup of the Vista cover created by Joe Kowana

The Vista

S.A. Hoag

  Team Three has a secret, one they think they've kept from all but a select few colleagues. They couldn't be more wrong.

  Allen, MacKenzie and Wade are Vista Security's top officers, part of the first generation post-WW3. Their secret - they are genetically enhanced and psychically connected. Hidden away in an enclave in the Rocky Mountains, they're also at the forefront of the movement to see what's left of the outside world.

  As they attempt to learn the truth, their presence makes them targets of a vicious renegade with the means to destroy everything they know. Facing exile or worse, Team Three has short time to figure out who is enemy, who is friend and how to save their home and themselves.

  A storm moved in after nightfall, the rain almost ice as it fell from a black sky. No thunder, sparse lightning and that was the worst part of it – the broken, eerie silence between downpours. 

Shannon didn’t like being in the city for any reason. Twice a week, four months a year she was anyway. It was her job. They might say ghosts weren’t real, but most of ‘them’ had never spent a night in the long dead place. Sometime after midnight, she gave in and headed for home.

  Crossing the Continental Divide, the rain turned to snow, huge white flakes splattering on the windshield and not melting. The road was mostly clear. Static on Shannon’s radio was thick, but moments later, she understood two words. Code Seven. Active aggressive incident outside the outer perimeter, but active aggressive still. She kicked it into overdrive and came down the mountain full tilt, pushing the car and pushing her luck on a road known to devour Scouts.

  Then the outer marker merely went ‘blip’ as she passed it. If there was an alert, proximity warnings would have gone off all over Security. Alarms should be sounding in Dispatch and her car. She stared at the radio for a moment, realizing what she had stumbled in to.

  Wargames. The call-out wasn’t real.

S.A. Hoag
I knew before I got to high school that I wanted to write books.  I did, too, dozens of short stories I thought someday I'd turn into novels.  Oh, how I wish I had those spiral notebooks full of wild ideas and teenage musings.

I still have the ideas from many of those stories - some of  them make me cringe.  There are always new ideas too.  Some are amazing, some are just silly.  A few will become something more as I add books to my list of those that are published.

For now, I live in the desert and many nights, in between writing and sleep, you can find me out watching the stars.  It's dark, out here in the desert and I can see so many stars that weren't there before.  I make time to write now.   The tiny seeds of stories demand that I write them down.
I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy creating them.
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

'The Vista', Book 1 of The Wildblood will be available in April, date TBA. 
 Check on my Facebook page 
for details;