2016 IAN OUTSTANDING YOUNG ADULT WINNER
2016 NEW YORK BOOK FESTIVAL YOUNG ADULT RUNNER-UP
2016 READERS’ FAVORITE HONORABLE MENTION IN YA MYSTERY
Calla Winston’s mobile devices sit in a corner of her room, covered in dust. Weeks ago, she shared photos and laughs with her best online friend. Now, after having felt the sting of betrayal, she prefers being hidden and friendless. She equates privacy with security and technology with pain.
Then she meets Valcas, an otherworldly time traveler who traverses time and space with a pair of altered sunglasses. When an ethereal being knocks Calla to the ground near her family’s lakeside cottage, Valcas uses the Travel Glasses to help her escape. He offers his further protection in exchange for a promise. Intrigued by Valcas and the possibility of time travel, Calla accepts. That is until she learns that his search for her was no mere coincidence.
Calla sets off on her own, taking the Travel Glasses with her. Torn between searching for her estranged father and reuniting with the rest of her family, she tracks down the inventor of the Travel Glasses in hopes of discovering more about Valcas’ past and motivations. The Travel Glasses take Calla’s mistrust of technology to all new levels. But without them, she’ll never make it back home. With Valcas hot on her trail, Calla hopes to find what she’s looking for before he catches up.
The Call to Search Everywhen is a serial series of novel-length installments. Travel Glasses is YA fantasy filled with metafiction and other literary twistiness. It’s a thought-provoking narrative about trust, relationships, reality and illusion.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Whether you’re young, old, or somewhere in between, you’ll find yourself captivated by this time travel novel. Unlike cult favorites such as Doctor Who, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and the Back the Future franchise, migrating through the eras has been simplified. Forget the phone booths, the DeLorean, and say hello to teleporting glasses.
Oh, the very notion of donning a pair is enough to ignite a reader’s imagination. Where would you go? What year? Whom would you like to spend a brief moment of time with? If no location were off limits, would you embark on a voyage?
For me, I’m not sure if I would. Not because I wouldn’t want to visit a certain person or location. No, I’d be afraid of changing one small event in history and the ripple event becoming disastrous. In Travel Glasses, there was an organization that policed time and space travel. TSTA was needed to keep the present visitors from disrupting the past. Violators are held accountable for their blunders. It’s the only way to ensure history is not altered in the slightest bit. Of course, accidents still happen and the toll of traversing through time alters a traveler. Chess Desalls shows the reader the effects the voyages take on a person, mentally and physically.
Science fiction lovers, I do suggest you give Chess Desalls a chance. It’s a book the whole family will love and will be eager to discuss at the dinner table.
Heart Rating System:
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GET ALL 3 FULL LENGTH NOVELS in the The Call to Search Everywhen series.
Chess Desalls is the author of award-winning young adult fiction. Her nonfiction writing has been included in academic and industry publications, with a focus on law and technology. She’s also a contributing editor for WritersTalk, South Bay Writers’ monthly newsletter. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.
Welcome, M.R. Tapia!
For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
Hello! My name is M.R. Tapia. I am a dark fiction writer, as well as the owner/operator of Hindered Souls Press. Ever since I was in elementary school, I have always been a big reader since I was young and tended to enjoy my fiction on the dark/horror edge. Even in school, I had always excelled in English/Language Arts. Math, not so much, FYI I don’t math very well, ;). Once I “grew up” and started working full time, the construction field took over my life. In the late 2000s, I was a victim of the collapsing economy and lost my job. I couldn’t find a job in my trade even at gunpoint (I didn’t try this, but felt like that was a nearing option.) Finally, I applied for grants and entered into college. Like most places, I was given a placement exam. I tested low for math, but fell into the highest English courses they offered. Luckily, my instructor was awesome and throughout the course he really helped expose me to my own love for writing. Within a few months of completing the course, I attempted my hand at fiction and submitted a short story to a local arts/entertainment magazine and was happy to hear they had accepted it for publication. I’ve been in love ever since.
(Kam): Like you, math wasn’t my strong suit but English proved a better fit. You should be proud of how far you’ve come in life and all the trials and obstacles you faced and overcome. Congrats!
All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.
(M.R. Tapia) Ah, dreaded, indeed. For the most part, I attack this fiend known simply as, Writer’s Block, one of two ways: I open a separate page and write ceaselessly about the scene which has me in creative silence, explaining to myself all of the possible routes and outcomes which are possible, usually I can get some creative juices flowing. Another way to combat it is to simply step away and take a break by watching a movie, going for a walk, READING, or anything to take the stress of Block away. I find that lots of my creative ideas/thoughts come when I’m nowhere near my laptop. So, no matter where you go, you should always have a place to jot notes down, even in the shower :). Of course, there are endless ways to combat it, these are some methods which work for myself.
Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?
(M.R. Tapia) First comes the ghastly Day Job. Aside from that, I love spending time with my two spawns, one of 12 and the other of 3. I spend as much time allotted reading, whether it be paperback, kindle, or audiobook, one must always read, then read some more. I’ve always been a movie buff, favorite genre is, of course, dark/horror. I also try and stay as active as possible, aside from what I tell everyone, I’m not getting any younger. I’m actually going to be in a volleyball tournament with my girlfriend in August, and yes, she’s an actual human being. Most importantly, I live as spontaneous as possible, getting as much enjoyment out of life as possible, it truly is a short ride.
I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(M.R. Tapia) All of my family and close friends have known about my writing since my first short story was published. Since day one, I have received nothing but support from them. I spent a little more time in my acknowledgements section of my recent novella to thank all of the families, (I hope I didn’t miss anyone. If I did, I’m sorry, I’ll catch you in the next project.) In construction, I believed I’d come off as bourgeois’ or something of the sort by saying I’m a writer, so I didn’t really hide it, I just never talked about it, that is, until lately. It leaked out and surprisingly, I have received much support from my coworkers, as well. The majority have told me they’re not readers but would still purchase copies and read my work. I appreciate all of the support I receive and couldn’t thank everyone enough.
Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(M.R. Tapia) In no particular order: Hunter S. Thompson, Chuck Palahniuk, J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Matheson, Chuck Hogan, Charles Bukowski, everyone in my writer’s group (you know who you are), newly added CV Hunt and Joe Hill, and what’s a list without the honorable mention of Stephen King.
If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?
(M.R. Tapia) I have to be arrogant and say my novella, The Die-Fi Experiment, but, please, let me explain why. I would love to have Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston play the lead couple, give her a reason to inflict some suffering and pain upon him, ha! Seriously, imagine how awkward being on that set would be…
(Kam) You have one wicked sense of humor. 🙂
Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(M.R. Tapia) *whispering* I am preparing my novel, Sugar Skulls, for a November release. Can you guess what day? That’s right, El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead.)
Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
(M.R. Tapia) Hinderedsoulspress.com has a page to preorder/order signed copies of Dark Tales for Dark Nights, as well as my solo projects, as well. My latest short story ‘Bloodstream Revolution’ can be found in the recently publication from Deadman’s Tome: Monsters Exist. You can also find other short stories in Schlock!, Hindered Souls: Dark Tales for Dark Nights, and Empty Sink Publishing to name a few.
Hindered Souls is a collection of twenty-five stories from twenty-one of the brightest emerging authors from all around the world. The stories within are surreal, mind bending and soul wrenching.
Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(M.R. Tapia) I’d like to thank everyone for reading through my ramblings! Please don’t forget that my novella, The Die-Fi Experiment, is available in ebook/paperback pre-order at Amazon; signed paperback copies can be purchased at Hinderedsoulspress.com. Look for my novel, Sugar Skulls, in November. And please continue supporting independent authors! There are many great ones out there! More importantly, pass the joy of reading on to the next generation! Thank you again for your time.
~~ Closing remarks ~~
First, I would like to thank M.R. Tapia for partaking in this interview and for inviting me to read The Die-Fi Experiment. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to give this horrific, shocking, spine-tingling novella a shot. You’ll be on the edge of the seat the entire 65 pages. Oh and stick around after the shocking ender because you’ll be treated to a sneak peak to an upcoming release.
Now, lets check out the frightfully good read….
Print Length: 65 pages
Publisher: Hindered Souls Press (July 21, 2017)
“I would like to welcome the world to The Die-Fi Experiment. Please join us in the fun that is the deterioration of the world by means of social media.”
Marie and her husband are spending their honeymoon in Tokyo, Japan. While strolling the downtown streets, they are hoaxed into a chance at winning the latest cell phone: First to get through a maze of doors wins! Only they both awaken amidst a sadistic live-stream gameshow. Marie competes against a man while both of their partners are strapped down to chairs. The winner of the deranged challenges imposes extreme pain for their own partner while the loser receives their own form of demented punishment. As it goes on, more and more people around the World Wide Web tune in. The winner of the entire competition gets the chance to fight one last time for their ultimate chance of survival against their own partner…to the death! Will Marie and her husband get the chance to have their first fight as a married couple, and if they do, who will be the last one standing?
(CONTAINS EXCERPT FROM M.R. TAPIA’S FORTHCOMING NOVEL ‘SUGAR SKULLS’)
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
M.R. Tapia sure did not pull any punches in the making of The Die-Fi Experiment. From #chapterone to #chapterten, he delivered nonstop torture scenes using everyday devices such as shears, surgical spoon, sledgehammer and so on to elicit fear in the hearts of the recipients. This novella exuded real terror. A story not so far-fetched when you consider all the inhumane and shameful videos shared on social media these days.
People will post anything for likes, shares, retweets. The uploads are becoming more vicious, more violent, more out of control and it seems to have no end in sight. However, the couples on the Japanese game show did see the endgame barreling towards them and the path to it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pain free. It’s not anything I would like to see firsthand, unlike all the live streaming viewers from the story.
This story is gruesomely plausible and that’s what makes it even more frightening.
Well done, M.R. Tapia. You’ve shown us the lengths people will go to entertain the world and how they will keep upping the ante to stay one step ahead of their “competitors”.
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Humiliated by her cheating ex, control freak Mel Thompson has resolved to avoid sex and romance. But her plans skid off the rails on her birthday, when she overindulges in champagne and tries to seduce her best friend, Adam Caras, exposing her long-repressed attraction to him. She’s determined to remain just friends, but her erotic fantasies have other ideas…
Firefighter Adam Caras has seduced more women than he’d ever admit to, earning the nickname the Arsonist, thanks to his explosive sensuality. Unfortunately, he realized he’s in love with his best friend Mel five minutes after she hooked up with her sleazebag ex. For two years, he’s kept his true feelings a secret. His libido, on the other hand…not so easy to rein in. Now that she’s free, he has a plan of his own. He’ll win her heart the only way he knows how–in bed–by employing every weapon in his lady-killer arsenal.
As their firecracker chemistry transforms into much more, past mistakes and a new crisis converge to test their loyalty to each other. But will it forge their bond into an unbreakable love or tear them apart?
His hand on her hip glided down, cupping her ass. “I’m going to kiss you. Now. If you don’t want it, walk away.”
Moving his head, he forced her to tip her head back to see him as he ran his tongue across his front teeth, back and forth, back and forth, and for a heart-stopping second she wondered if he was imagining exploring her with that tongue.
“Leave, or I’m kissing you.”
She ought to leave. Part of her wanted to. But a far more powerful part craved his mouth like she’d never craved anything in her life. Since she must’ve already wrecked their friendship with her antics last night, what harm could it do to enjoy a taste? Screwy logic again and you know it.
To hell with logic. She could indulge in one kiss before she enacted her new life plan. They could still be friends afterward. One kiss, nothing more.
Adam brushed his lips across hers, the barest contact, but it robbed her of breath. Her eyes fluttered shut and her body came alive, every nerve excited, every hair taut. He traced the seam of her lips with his tongue, so delicately, and she couldn’t stop her lips from parting for him, pleading for him to take her mouth. And oh, she burned for him to do exactly that.
His tongue stole inside her mouth, stroking over hers, lingering with each silken caress, teasing her into responding. Still, he kept the pace languid, tormenting her with every lap, exploring her mouth as if he planned on spending days just kissing her. His hand massaged her ass, and as his fingers kneaded harder and faster, his tongue thrust hotter and stronger, propelling her need to dizzying heights.
She flattened her palms on his six-pack abs, dragging them down to the towel. Slipping her fingertips between the terrycloth and his skin, she tugged on the towel to urge him closer—or maybe to dislodge the towel. His tongue was driving her mad, driving out reason, until she had no clue what she was doing.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Firefighters are a hot commodity in both the real and fictional world because they are, for lack of a better word, HOT. People are drawn to them because of the uniform and the danger they face. They are the white knights rescuing us from the evil clutches of death and destruction. They are our heroes.
Oh, lets not forget, they look pretty damn good with those powerful arms and there’s nothing sexier than a person who is able to carry us around with ease. That display of strength alone would ignite about a dozen or more fantasies.
Adam, however, was more than just a hot bod — a fireman. He was a sweetie, a charmer, a man you can count on, and a GENEROUS LOVER. He made sure Mel’s needs were taken care of first — inside and outside of the bedroom. In a nutshell, he was pretty damn perfect. Sure, he had his faults; like all humans.
Yes, he kept secrets. One, in particular, added a bit more depth to this romantic tale. It made me connect more to the story since Anna didn’t direct all her attention to the couple and how they can and did transition from friends to lovers. Would I have liked more attention spent on Adam’s “secret mission with his dad”? Sure. However, books can’t go on forever and Anna did make sure the couple had a HEA before the end credits and all us romantics sure do love a happily ever after.
Heart Rating System:
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Anna Durand is an award-winning writer, a freelance librarian, and an audiobook addict. She specializes in steamy romances featuring spunky heroines and hunky heroes, in settings as diverse as modern Chicago and the fairy realm. Her romances have to date won eight awards and her novel Intuition was a 2016 RONE Award nominee, while her short story Tempted by a Kiss was a finalist in The Romance Reviews 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards. In her previous life as a librarian, she haunted the stacks of public libraries but never met any hot vampires hunting for magical books.
Check out the Upcoming Books page for details on what she’s working on now.
He wouldn’t understand. He didn’t live in a pretend world. In truth, he did. Most beings, pure humans, walked around thinking they were the only type of people that existed.” –Alena
As a creature forbidden by both vampire and witch cultures, Alena is forced hide her identity. Her mother moves them from city to city searching for answers. When Alena finds Hunter everything changes. She believes their bond may be the. But her mother finds Theron, an equally handsome and mysterious suitor. Will the truth of his intentions be uncovered before it is too late? Or will her Mother’s kingdom be reduced to embers?
“… the previous night’s vision, or whatever it was, ended with a name I heard clear as day, as if the people were in my room. Ivy, the girl and boy recited together.” – Camille Could her dreams be real? Is she the key to freeing witches from their curse? Of course not, right? Thinking that her only chance at a normal life lay in a new treatment, Camille joins Dr. Antos and a group of teens for a month long camping trip in Iceland. There she meets Jude, a fellow schizophrenic. Dr. Antos invites Camille and Jude to extend their work with him on the island of Sardinia. Camille is suspicious of Dr. Antos’s intentions but her dad goes missing, leaving her no choice but to travel to Italy. Is she walking into a lion’s den or has her illness invaded her reality?
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
People, of all ages, are fixated on vampires and witches. They are moneymakers for retailers, book stores, movie theaters and add allure to some touristy spots. Admittedly, back in the day, I was addicted to cult favorites such as The Craft (1996), Charmed, Blade, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Lost Boys (1987). As a grown up, my love for the paranormal world hasn’t wavered a bit. Truth to be told, I have watched every Harry Potter movie (more than twice), never missed an episode of True Blood, and I always root for the evil witches/sorcerers in fairy tales.
No doubt about it… People love the supernatural world. The endless possibilities of what if certain magical beings were real and what it would be like to harness their power. For me, I think possessing the ability to levitate, control the elements, mental telepathy, and invisibility would be amazing skills to have in my arsenal. Jude and Camille really did put their newly discovered powers to great use. They were on a mission to save the witches and their respected fathers.
Before they go on the great adventure, they attend a camp focusing on helping those dealing with mental problems. Before the camp, they each thought they were just two teenagers who were delusional, schizophrenic. When you don’t realize magic is real, how else is your mind supposed to explain the unexplainable?! Visions. Hallucinations. Those are scary things for any person to face — especially a young child/teenager. Tricia Copeland tapped into those fears from a bearer’s perspective and from their family members.
After Jude and Camille realized they weren’t schizophrenic, really 1/2 witches, that’s when the real magic begins. It’s where readers will be treated to scenes where Jude and Camille learn about their powers and how to master them. We also fear they might be in over their heads.
The ending especially had me on the edge of my seat. It was one helluva cliffhanger.
In summation: Solid plot, great character development, lovely pace, and great set-up for Kingdom of Honor (book 3).
Oh and on a final note…. wait until you read whom the witches are descendants from… MIND BLOWN!
Heart Rating System:
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Released September 6, 2017
Jude’s Story – Jude only knows one thing: he must rescue Camille. It doesn’t matter what must be done to save her from the evil coven, he will do it. But once she’s recovered, what will his role be? How does he fit into the trinity’s prophecy? Find out in this urban fantasy adventure novel that finds the Kingdom Journals characters traversing the globe in search of Camille, and the key to breaking an age-old curse.
Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado with her husband, three kids, and multiple four legged and finned friends. An avid runner and paranormal fan, she also enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble. You can connect with Tricia and other readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and on her website.
For Mature Audiences Only: strong language, descriptive sex scenes and graphic violence.
Things have calmed since Kiya and her team destroyed the demon Xaphon. The band Kiya manages, called Lusty Desires, has completed their tour and are now back in studio to make another album. Kiya is taking a welcome break from her tour duties and demon hunting. She misses her teammates and lovers, Raith and Kaley. They’re in Europe traveling with another touring band. Kiya is unaware that a new threat, far deadlier than Xaphon, is forming.
Tiona, the daughter of the demon Xaphon, is merciless and brutal. She is creating followers and fellow demons. Their goal is to mingle among humans to kill and multiply. Tiona also seeks to annihilate Kiya for she is the witch who destroyed her father. The two forces, one good and one evil, are on a collision course. Who will live and who will die.
Tiona spun on her heel and padded toward the bedroom door to explore the rest of the house. As she passed by a floor length mirror, she stopped and gazed at herself. The reflection that peered back at her was of a female around twenty. Her dark-blonde hair was down to her shoulder blades. As she watched, the last specks of red faded from her eyes leaving them a dark green. While she scrutinized herself, a few minor alterations of her transitioning body took place. Her hips flared slightly, her waist narrowed more, her stomach grew flatter and her lips became fuller.
She cupped her breasts with her hands. Each one was larger than a handful but less than two handfuls. Sometime during her maturing process a black scorpion tattoo had formed on her right breast above and to the right of her nipple. Another black scorpion had formed on her lower stomach. The sight of the scorpions brought knowledge, not her own, of their purpose. For the scorpions were living. Their sting would enslave a human to her forever, but there was a downside. The sting would also render the human sterile. She dare not let her scorpions sting someone she wished to impregnate her or a woman she intended to have carry one of her spawn. I will use caution in using them.
Tiona combed her fingers through the blonde curls that covered her folds. From the knowledge that had flooded into her mind, she knew that most human men and women preferred a woman with bare folds. She determined the blonde curls would be gone before she encountered her first human victim.
She smiled as her mental command caused her nipples to stiffen and peak, while her cervix slickened and became ready for penetration. Every inch of her delightfully curved body was designed to lure humans to her for their ultimate death.
Her existence was to accomplish three goals. The first was to conceive and deliver children who were part demon and part human. Her stunning looks would lure men to her easily and she would copulate with them before performing her second goal, their death. Her third reason for existence was to kill as many hateful witches as possible, especially the one named, Kiya.
After casting a final glance at her body, Tiona padded silently from the bedroom. There was one additional room in the cabin. It was a combination of kitchen and living area. The living room section contained two reclining chairs, a couch and a stone fireplace. Small tables were located beside each chair and a long and low table rested on an area rug in front of the couch.
The kitchen space contained a refrigerator, a counter containing a double sink, a stove and above it a microwave. Along the opposite wall was a table with four chairs. Next to the table was a washer and dryer. The sight of numerous empty cans that littered the counter, table, and the floor confirmed Tiona’s supposition that Petra had not been eating right for some time. Feeding Petra a better diet became Tiona’s first priority.
Tiona stepped through the front door, the only exit from the cabin, onto a wooden porch. A cool breeze stirred her hair both that on her head and between her legs. She tilted her head back and sniffed at the air. On her right was a smaller wooden building. Her acute sense of smell informed her nothing living occupied the building and therefore presented no immediate threat. Tiona determined to check the inside of the building at a later time but it wasn’t top priority.
Turning to her left, Tiona’s bare feet made little noise as she padded from the porch and into the stand of trees. A few yards from the cabin, she left the foliage and stepped onto the grass covered bank of a sizable lake.
Hardly a ripple disturbed the surface of the early morning water. With vision far more acute than a human’s, Tiona peered across the two-mile wide expanse of water and scanned the far shore. A few boats, some for fishing and others for pleasure, dotted the shoreline. Sniffing the air brought the scent of campfires to her nose and she noted their locations. Farther east was a scattering of cabins similar to the one she inhabited. They were almost invisible in the dense foliage and separated by thick stands of trees. The still water vanished to the east and west in the early morning haze, preventing her from seeing farther.
Next, Tiona studied her own shoreline. She felt certain other cabins shared it with her own but she couldn’t spot any signs of activity by sight, sound or smell. No scent of campfires were detectable. She did spot a wooden dock located approximately a mile to the west, but there was no boat there and no evidence of recent use.
Tiona turned to her right and followed along the bank until she spotted a barely discernable game trail, veered into it, and followed its course. Occasionally, thorns pierced the soles of her feet but she ignored the slight pain and a few steps later the puncture wounds the barbs had made, healed completely. She stuck her nose into the air and sniffed again then turned from the trail. A few yards later, she reached a clearing filled with wild flowers in multiple colors. At the same time, a large black bear entered the clearing across from her. Tiona marched boldly into the clearing to confront the beast.
The bear advanced the stood, sniffed the air and fixed its gaze on her. In a blur of motion, Tiona surged forward and stopped a few paces in front of the beast. Standing, the bear was well over six feet tall and towered over her five-foot-two naked frame. The bear roared in both rage and challenge and Tiona lunged forward.
With the awareness, she had gained from her father’s memories had come the knowledge of how the change from human form to demon and back at will. An eye blink before she contacted the bear, Tiona assumed her demon form, with a scale-covered body, a short snout containing three-inch fangs and sharp claws on her feet and hands. Ten identical Tionas materialized and surrounded the bear ready to offer their assistance.
The beast’s massive claws scraped harmlessly across her back and its teeth failed to pierce her shoulder when it bit her. Tiona raked her hands over the bear’s chest and stomach, her claws opening deep gashes in the fur covered hide. The bear stepped back, and the roar it voiced this time was one of agony. An inhuman snarl issued from Tiona’s lips. The beast dropped to all fours and Tiona lashed out with a clawed hand. The bear never stood a chance.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT BOOK ONE IN THE DEMON SLAYERS SERIES!
Kiya, a witch, is devastated when her cousin is murdered. Shortly after that, she becomes acquainted with Raith who informs her this murder is a pattern of killings done by an evil demon. The only lead is all the murders are connected with a band called Lusty Desires. Kiya vows to avenge the murder of her cousin and seeks out the help of the goddess Nyx to increase her witch powers. Nyx provides those powers but drastically changes Kiya in the process. The team of Kiya and Raith begin following the band and because of her financial background, Kiya becomes the band’s manager. The position provides an excellent reason for being with the band while the team searches for the demon.
G.E. Stills is zany but has a serious side. He lives in the southwest with a wife and two fur babies. He cares deeply for his friends and hasn’t met an animal yet he didn’t like. He lives in the southwest but often longs to live by the sea. He frequently says, “We have the sandy beaches but where is the water?”
Most days will find him hovering over his keyboard putting to words the stories of the many characters that pace into his mind. Their tales are both serious and humorous. A multi-published author, his stories cover many genres including contemporary, paranormal, and science fiction. Most of his stories have action, adventure, and humor. Some of them are erotic and some are not, but all have romance. His paranormal stories normally involve witches, demons or vampires with an occasional shape shifter thrown in for good measure.
G.E. Stills loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted at any of these sites.
Alexander had slept all afternoon and looked better. A cold breeze chilled the air, so the tent flap stayed closed. The light was lit, the braziers glowing, and Axiom had prepared a thick lentil soup. We ate in silence. Paul fidgeted, looking all around the tent. He’s searching for Maia, I thought jealously. But no, a soft humming made him look around. It was my necklace. Ever since Paul had made it sing, I’d kept it in a small sandalwood box. Now, his very presence was making it hum.
Paul jumped up and ran to the box, crowing excitedly. He opened it and grabbed the necklace. There was a high pitched whine, a sort of joyous, mineral shriek, and the beautiful blue lamp that had followed Alexander all the way from Pella, exploded in a scintillating shower of blue sparks and flame.
I bounded across the rug, snatching Chiron out of his hammock and grabbed Paul by one arm. I pulled them both out of the tent, while Alexander, cursing heartily, rolled the rug up over the flames and smothered them.
It took ages to set the tent straight again. The lamp was gone and the rug was mortally wounded, sporting huge blackened holes. There were burned spots on Alexander’s precious table. My feet were cut and bleeding. Paul clutched the singing necklace and screamed if we tried to pry it out of his hands, and while he had it, its blue light cast a ghostly glow over him. Alexander’s men refused to approach.
Finally, I hobbled as far as the beach, and there I pried the necklace out of Paul’s fingers and flung it into the water. I could still see it though, glowing palely in the shallows.
Back at the tent Axiom, Brazza, and Alexander tried to clear up the mess, while Alexander continued to lament over his lamp and rug. Paul crawled onto my lap, but all he wanted was Maia or the necklace.
“I want to see the necklace. I want Maia,” he said stubbornly over and over again.
Finally, I got up and limped all the way to the little house at the end of the village. It was the only way we were going to get any sleep that night. Paul trotted happily beside me. He ran to Maia, throwing himself into her arms, not even glancing at me.
Maia was too kind to give me any sort of ‘I told you so’ look. I was too heartsick to care. I hopped back to the tent. Usse took care of my feet while I sat on the bed and cried.
Alexander surveyed the wreckage and sighed. “I did hear say the child was a harbinger of destruction.” He looked up at the tent ceiling where the empty chain swung back and forth. “I’ll miss that lamp,” he said thoughtfully.
I cried harder. “A lamp isn’t a child,” I sobbed. “Do you have any idea how much I’ll miss Paul when we leave?”
“I do, actually,” he said softly. He knelt by my side. “But he’ll be happy. Can you try, just try, to understand that he will be happy here?”
“I don’t know. I’ve searched for so long, I’ve missed him so much. Only six more weeks before we leave…” My voice broke.
“I’ll bring the children back, see if I don’t. Then Paul will have playmates.”
“He already does. There are three families who have decided to settle here.”
“I know. And many more will stay when we finally leave.”
I sniffled. “I threw the necklace in the lake.”
“Oh, I got it back. It was scaring the men who saw it.”
“I’m sorry about the rug and the lamp.”
“I’ll get new ones. I was getting tired of that lamp anyway, too blue. I think I’ll get a yellow one. I hear there are beautiful rugs in Indus. I can replace a rug and a lamp, but I could never replace you, or Paul. I’ve learned to live without my son. But I will never learn to live without you.” His eyes were sad.
“That’s the sweetest thing you’ve said to me in a long time,” I told him.
“I’m sick at heart about Paul. I have tried to tell you that, but I was too proud. I was sure that you would choose to stay here with him instead of coming with me. I want you to come with me. I need you.” He said it as simply as a child, looking at me, his arms loose at his sides.
I closed my eyes. I could feel the seconds slipping by like grains of sand; the minutes like pearls on a string, sliding through my fingers. Then the hours, the days, and the months would become years, and they would fly. Three years. So little time. I would stay with Alexander. I could always come back for Paul if I wanted to. If he wanted me. Alexander did want me. He needed me. And I was a fool.
I took him in my arms. “I’m coming with you. Never believe for one second that I would leave you.”
“I believe. Thank you.” He stroked my back, cupped my face in his hands, put his forehead against mine, and stared into my eyes. His eyes, so fey, the twin kingdoms of heaven and earth, were sad. He smiled though. “I will take you with me to Hercules’ rock. I want you to see me in action.”
“Won’t there be danger?” I asked.
“Lots of danger, cold, snow, catapults, yelling, screaming, and people dying. But it will be heroic. You’ll see. We’ll capture a fortress no one has ever captured before, and I’ll build a great statue to Nike, spirit of victory, companion of Zeus and Athena!”
“My, aren’t we optimistic,” I said, raising an eyebrow. “Just what is that stuff that Usse gives you?”
“Some sort of potion for my melancholy, why?”
“Well, I think you should give it to your whole army.”
I was just joking, but Alexander took me at my word. The results were incredible, to say the least.
DON’T MISS OUT ON THESE GREATS BOOKS!
After winning a prestigious award, Ashley is chosen to travel through time and interview a historical figure. Choosing her childhood hero Alexander the Great, she is sent back in time for less than a day. He mistakes her for Persephone, goddess of the dead, and kidnaps her, stranding her in his own time. What follows, after she awakes under the pomegranate tree, is a hilarious, mind-bending tale of a modern woman immersed in the ancient throes of sex, love, quite a bit of vino, war, death and ever so much more.
When Ashley Riveraine jumped at the chance to travel back in time to meet her hero Alexander the Great, she never thought she would end up staying there…
Following Alexander the Great’s army on its journey across Persia, Ashley is walking the knife edge of history. As a presumed goddess, Ashley is expected to bless crops, make sure battles are won and somehow keep herself out of the history books.
Can Ashley avoid the wrath of the Time Institute while keeping the man she loves alive?
Author Jennifer Macaire lives in France with her husband and three children. She lived in the Virgin Islands and used to work as a model. She met her husband at the polo club where he was playing. All that is true, but she mostly likes to make up stories.
She has published over twenty novels.
Her short stories have been published by Three Rivers Press, Nothing But Red, The Bear Deluxe, and The Vestal Review, among others. One of her short stories was nominated for the Push Cart Prize (Honey on Your Skin) and is now being made into a film. Her short story ‘There be Gheckos’ won the Harper Collins /3 AM flash fiction prize.
For Mature Audiences Only: strong language, descriptive sex scenes and graphic violence
The exploration mission has barely begun and already it is a disaster. The Starseeker has sustained major damage. Garin’s entire crew is dead and he is stranded in a solar system hundreds of light years from Earth with no possibility of ever returning. There is a single unexplored world in the system that he must crash land on.
Mitol is a world left in ruins by a virus that has killed the technological civilization that once lived there. It is now inhabited by savage creatures who live among the ruins and the surrounding jungle. Will Garin’s life be a short one with a violent ending, or a long lonely one?
Any landing you can walk away from…
Garin watched the information display on his monitor. Mitol was slightly smaller than Earth so he would weigh a little less. The air was slightly different than Earth’s but breathable. His stomach’s ability to digest any food source he found or drink the water was unknown. It’s not like I have any choice in that matter, he thought.
As he had orbited around the planet, he and the computer had searched for the best possible place to attempt a landing. He viewed that place now. A large lake. Garin took a sip of tepid water and scrolled through the data on his monitor one last time. The insertion coordinates approached.
No sense in delaying any longer.
Garin went through the preparations he had made one final time. The main engines of the Starseeker were solar powered and thus had infinite fuel but they were designed for long steady acceleration and not the brief strong bursts he would need during his descent. He had therefore turned the surface explorer ship so that its single working thruster faced forward and welded it in place on the Starseeker’s hull. Much of the fuel for the lander had escaped from ruptured storage tanks during the asteroid event, but he hoped there was enough left. Explosive charges were attached to the mounts that held surface explorer in place against the Starseeker’s hull. Garin hoped the computer link he had set up would allow the lander’s thruster to be activated remotely as planned.
If not I’m screwed, but I won’t be around to worry about it, will I?
When the craft was of no further use, he would detonate the charges and jettison the craft to get it out of the way. That would leave him with the maneuvering jets alone and they had a finite amount of fuel. According to his and the computer’s calculations, there would be just enough to reduce landing speed to a survivable velocity provided he landed the Starseeker in liquid.
Garin slipped on the skin-tight spacesuit only leaving the helmet secured to the handle of his chair. He fired the maneuvering jets and moved the Starseeker into position for its final descent to the ground below. In the beginning, only the readouts on his monitor told him the ship was sinking lower. Soon after, hull temperature shot up and the non-aerodynamic craft buffeted harshly as the atmosphere thickness increased. At timed intervals, the thruster from the attached surface explorer craft surged to life, slowing the Starseeker’s tremendous velocity.
The lander’s thruster winked out when the last of its fuel had been expended. Garin triggered the explosive charges and blew the lander free of the Starseeker. Attitude jets on the Starseeker burst to life correcting the trajectory change expelling the lander had caused. When the ship was on course again the thrust of the jets was shifted to the front and the ground rose to meet the ship quickly.
The jets sputtered and died, the last of their fuel gone. From here on, the Starseeker was an unpowered, unsleek glider. I hope my calculations were correct. I’m just a passenger from here, just cargo. There’s nothing more I can do, but go along for the ride.
Garin glanced through the front viewscreen to see land flashing by on each side in a blur. Starseeker hit the water causing him to surge forward against his restraining belts before the ship bounced into the air again. The second time it struck the water lasted longer, then it bounced into the air again. On the fourth bounce, part of the external structure was ripped away and Starseeker slewed to the left. More structure was ripped away and it veered to the right.
Each time the ship struck the water and before it skipped into the air again, it shed tremendous amounts of velocity and heat. Garin exhaled loudly when the ship settled to the water’s surface the last time and its speed rapidly decreased. The shore was half a kilometer in front of it once it stopped moving completely.
The Starseeker shifted abruptly, and instead of studying the shoreline, he gazed up into the sky. The ship settled ever lower and the viewscreen in front slipped beneath the water’s surface. Starseeker was sinking. Obviously, the hull had been breached during the landing and the interior of the ship was filling with water. Lights, artificial gravity, environmental controls, and the electrical systems continued to function. Garin felt it safe to assume that condition wouldn’t continue as more and more water flooded in.
That thought spurred him into motion. He jumped to his feet, grabbed his helmet which he attached to his suit, and dashed to the rear. In the galley, he stuffed condensed food packets into a bag then raced to the rear door. He noted the crew’s quarters was still dry, and after a brief stop to grab two changes of clothes, he dashed across the room. When he stepped into the equipment room, he saw water pouring in through the partially jammed open rear door. He snatched one of the extra spacesuits and stuffed the food bag along with his clothes into its cavity. Next, he gathered equipment, including a med kit, from the wall and shelves. He packed two water purifier units, two belts, each containing a holstered pistol and survival knife, flashlights, a fire starter, mini welding torch, and other equipment he deemed useful into the suit cavity. Water filled three fourths of the room by the time he finished. Garin grabbed a helmet and locked it in place on the suit carrying his supplies before he sealed his own helmet. The lights flickered and went out and the artificial gravity failed. Gravitational attraction abruptly changed. The floor was no longer down. Down was toward the rear of the sinking ship. The spare suit he had filled with supplies slid down the floor to splash into the water. Garin was right behind and plunged into the water as well. He switched on the suit lights in the now dark room.
While holding the spare suit, he dove under water and entered the decompression chamber. He manually opened the inner door and pushed into the chamber. Water filled the chamber behind him and he left the door open. Swimming across to the outer door, he opened it. More water rushed in and he held onto a handle waiting for the two sources of liquid to equalize.
Garin grabbed the spare suit and shoved it through the outer door ahead of him. When he was clear of the sinking Starseeker, he pressurized the spare suit. It jerked from his hand and shot toward the surface.
The ship struck the bottom of the lake and a billowing brown cloud of mud enveloped him, cutting of his view completely. Garin finished inflating his own suit and jetted toward the surface behind the spare suit. His head bobbed out of the water and he thrashed around in search of the suit containing his supplies. Spotting it, he swam up and reached an arm over the inflated suit. Garin unlatched his helmet, removed it, and inhaled his first breath of the planet’s air.
Having his suit deflated made it easier to swim, but he had to be careful not to let water pour in the neck opening and fill the suits interior. He spun in a circle until he was able to see the shore again. Pushing the inflated suit in front of him, he swam toward the shore that was several hundred meters away. When he finally reached it, Garin shoved the extra suit out of the water, then crawled on hands and knees to join it. He collapsed, panting and exhausted, on the sand.
Normally zany and often naughty talking, G. E. has a serious and compassionate side if you can find it. He cares deeply for his friends and hasn’t met an animal yet he didn’t like. He is terrified of heights so hasn’t braved the tramway ride in his home town. He lives in the southwest while longing to live by the sea. He often says, “We have the sandy beaches but where is the water?”
He heeds the call of the many characters that pop into his mind and demand to have their stories put in print. Their tales are both serious and humorous. A multi-published author his stories cover many genres including contemporary romance, paranormal romance and science fiction. His stories are both erotic and non-erotic in nature. G.E. is the leader of a local writers group and in addition hosts a meeting of his own locally on fiction writing bi-monthly.
G.E. Stills loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted at any of these sites.