Song of Sacrifice Janell Rhiannon

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Song of Sacrifice
Janell Rhiannon
(Homeric Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: December 26th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical

The heart of the Trojan War belongs to the women.

Mothers and daughters; wives and war prizes, whisper to us across time…

…remember our songs alongside the mighty men of myth.

As the Age of Heroes wanes, the gods gamble more fiercely with mortals’ lives than they ever have before. Women must rely on their inner strength and cunning to survive the wars men wage for gold and glory.

Clytemnestra of Mycenae struggles for control of her life after Agamemnon ruthlessly rips it apart. Leda of Sparta survives a brutal assault by Zeus, shouldering a terrible secret in silence. Penelope raises Ithaka’s sole heir alone, praying for Odysseus’ swift return. Thetis, the sea nymph, despairs of her son’s destiny and resorts to forbidden magic to save him. Hecuba of Troy mourns the loss of her second son to a dark prophesy. And Shavash of Pedasus prepares her daughter to marry the greatest warrior who ever lived.

In a world where love leads to war and duty leads to destruction, the iron hearts of heroines will conquer all.

Sing, Muse, sing their song of sacrifice…

Replaces Song of Princes as the first book in the Homeric Chronicles.

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EXCERPT:

LYRNESSUS

THRITY FOUR, Briseis and Mynes

1262 BCE

“YOUR KINGDOM SOMEDAY, little one.” Briseis rested her hands beneath her round belly, as the child stretched against her ribs. Leaning to the side, she attempted to avoid the uncomfortable tightness building at her lower back. The ache eased and she breathed easy again. Standing from the reclining couch, Briseis walked to the balcony overlooking Lyrnessus’ fields. If she squint her eyes, she could just make out the pale blue of the horizon across the Bay of Edremit. Much farther to the north, she knew Troy stood as the shining citadel of the East. “In another time, that would’ve been yours. I’d thought it mine, before―” Another pain doubled her and she gripped the banister. “By the balls of Zeus! What’s happening?”

Your daughter seeks the light …

Briseis looked around the chamber. “Who’s there?”

Have no fear, daughter, I am with you.

Another pain, this time much sharper and stronger, ripped across her belly and a gush of bloody water splashed at her feet. “Bree! Come quickly! Bree!”

The princess’ chamber door flew open, as the maid servant took in the scene before her. “My lady! By the gods, it’s your time!”

Briseis’ eyes widened in fear. “So soon? I’m not ready. I have―” Her knees buckled.

“My lady!” Bree swept to Briseis’ side, lifting the princess to her feet, half carrying her to the chamber bed.

“The pain. By the … balls of … Zeus. I.can.scarce.breathe.”

There is glory in your pain, Briseis.

“Bree, who else is here?”

“No one, yet,” she said, tucking a sheet about the princess. Bree ran to the door, yelling down the cavernous hall for the midwife. Within moments a gaggle of women flew through the door clucking about the impending royal birth.

Briseis’ scream startled them all. The midwife was at the princess’ side in the blink of an eye, pulling back the privacy sheet. Her hands firmly palpated Briseis’ belly. Without a word, she pushed Briseis’ thighs apart. Her eyes widened.

“What’s wrong?” Briseis asked, tears spilling down her hot cheeks.

The midwife pressed her lips together in a grim line. “My lady, this will be a difficult birth. I must put my hand inside of you to confirm my suspicions.”

“Do it!” Briseis screamed as another pain wracked her body. She groaned in agony as the midwife’s hand pressed into her. “By the gods …”

Bree pressed a cool cloth to her lady’s forehead and cheek.

“The child is breech,” the midwife pronounced, wiping her hands on a towel. A hush settled around the chamber. They all knew it was likely a death sentence to mother, child, or both.

Briseis wept. “No. No. By the gods, no!” Another pain tore through her.

Bree dipped the cooling cloth in the water basin again. “Can nothing be done? Can you save Princess Briseis?”

Briseis rolled back against the cushions. “Save my child, please.”

If that is your wish …

Yes, save my child. “Save my child. Take me instead.”

Bree’s face whitened. “What’s she saying?”

The midwife answered, “What all women say, when faced with such a choice.”

A dusty swirl of air blew into the chamber, snuffing out the oil lamps. The women froze, as a tall, glittering woman emerged from the small storm. Her gown flashed silver and gold. They fell to their knees, heads bowed, the goddess’ name on their lips … Eleithyia.

The goddess glided to Briseis’ side, stars blinking along the hem of her gown as she moved. She reached out a pale, cool hand to Briseis’ forehead. “Calm yourself, daughter. I’m here.”

Briseis smiled weakly. “Gratitude, Goddess.”

Eleithyia signaled to Bree. “You appear a strong maid. Help me set her onto her knees and place her hands on your shoulders.” She looked to the midwife. “Watch. Learn.”

The midwife nodded, as Briseis was placed into position.

The goddess moved her hands on either side of Briseis’ hard belly, running her palms flat against the lower abdomen. “Now, push your daughter to the light. Push like a warrior afield. Push for your life and for hers.”

Briseis cried out in agony, her limbs shaking with effort. Blood spilled as the child’s buttocks crowned.

“Hold your lady tightly.” Eleithyia’s voice was steady, as her hands worked calmly. Gently, she pulled each leg to length. “Push, Briseis.” The goddess, holding the babe with both hands, slightly turned the torso, releasing a shoulder blade and freeing the arm. Then, repeated the same for the other arm. The women gasped as the child hung half-suspended, face down, from Briseis’ body. Eleithyia positioned one hand on the baby’s chest, while the fingers of her other hand cradled the neck and head. “One last push, Briseis. Victory is yours with this battle.”

Briseis’ fingers dug into Bree’s shoulders. She screamed with her final effort, as the goddess guided the slippery child to the light. The princess collapsed against her maid, weeping with her exertions and aching body. Gently, Bree lay Briseis down.

Eleithyia handed the limp newborn to the midwife. “Rub the baby with clean linen, until she cries.” Turning to Briseis, she said, “You’ve won this battle, but you’ll lose the war.”

“What do you mean? What war?”

The goddess stood to her full height, sparkling in the dimly lit room. “The one inside of your heart, daughter.” With the ominous words still hanging in the air, Eleithyia’s image shimmered to nothing.

The midwife stared at the spot the goddess had stood. “By all that is sacred, I never thought in all my days to witness this. Blessed be our princess and her child.”

“Bring me my daughter,” Briseis said, proudly. Once the weight of her baby was settled in her arms, she smiled and joyful tears filled her eyes. “Phila, for love conquers all.”

 

Author Bio:

In graduate school, Janell focused on the ancient history of Greece and Rome. Hooked by the “sword and sandal” world, she studied everything she could about mythology and Alexander the Great.

The Homeric Chronicles series is dedicated to merging dozens of Greek myths, including Homer’s epics, with plays, history, and archaeology. Her intent is to raise the heroines’ voices equally alongside the heroes, opening up a traditionally male focused genre to a female audience.

She lives in CA and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She has a pack of two big dogs and two cats.

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Interview with Shannon Condon

Today’s interview is with Shannon Condon, author of the suspense thriller Spider’s Web.

When did you decide to start writing stories?Author picture

I was shy as a child and began writing as an outlet. Writing was an escape for me, a place where I could express myself. As I got older, I loved the creativity and freedom writing gave me.

Where is your favorite place to write?

My favorite place to write is sitting in my bed, tucked up under the covers when the house is quiet at night.

Who is your favorite character in Spider’s Web and why?

Maggie is my favorite character. She is a strong female protaganist but she has a fragile, human side to her as well I think a lot of people can identify with.

What are your plans for the next writing project?

I am working on a multigenerational book which tells the story of three strong southern women.

At the same time, I am developing the fourth book in the Magdalena series.

What question do you wish I had asked you and what is the answer to that question?

Why did I choose to have a female action hero? I wanted to show that women are just as capable of men to be in the military and special ops. I also wanted to highlight the inner strength Maggie has to overcome the mental and physical hurdles she encounters during her life.

Dogs or Cats?

Definitely dogs because I am allergic to cats!

Spider’s Web (#3 in Magdalena Series)

By Shannon Condon

Gernre: Action/Suspense/Thriller

Over three years have passed since Maggie’s near fatal injury. Initially, she was happy to return home to the calm of everyday life. Time has given her a false sense of security. She no longer feels threatened by her old enemies. She becomes depressed and frustrated.  She is restless running the team’s special ops missions from the safety of the Grid. To appease her and hopefully relieve her cabin fever, Shep plans a girls’ weekend for her and Celeste. No sooner does she re-enter the real world when her past finds her. Separated from her team, Maggie must use all her resources to save herself and others. She soon learns she cannot control every outcome.  In an instant, Maggie’s life is forever changed. Unsure who to trust, Maggie tries to navigate her new reality. Will she be able to choose her future or will she remain trapped in the web of enemies she has created?

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/2R0DGGk   On Amazon: https://amzn.to/2zALmrY

 

Excerpt from Spider’s Web

“Okay, guys, let’s run through this one more time before you head in,” Maggie  said, trying to keep the tension out of her voice.

“Maggie, we’ve been over this three times already,” complained Bernardo.

“Cut me some slack. Once you enter that building, I’m blind. I’m sitting in this basement trying to provide logistics and keep the three of you alive during this mission. I only have access to the street cameras, nothing inside the building,” Maggie said, her frustration growing.

“Go over it again, Maggie,” Shep said calmly. “This mission is too important to miss a step. We’re listening.”

Maggie took a deep breath. Shep, Bernardo and Nate were in a van a few blocks from the target building in Bern, Switzerland, while she was sitting in front of several computer screens, safe in the control room in the basement of the Shepherd home.

“All right.” She was in her professional logistics mode. “You are going to enter the stairwell on the northwest end of the building. Use the security swipe card I gave you to gain entrance. Before you enter the stairwell, make sure your masks are on. There are cameras everywhere; we don’t want you being identified later when they watch the tapes. When you get to the tenth floor, you will need to swipe the card again. The door will open toward you. There is an infrared security system. You will need to put your goggles on and crawl under it toward the office door straight ahead of you. My source said he would leave the door unlocked. Once you are all inside, close the door behind you and let me know you are in. Don’t touch the computer until I tell you, and leave your masks on. All good?” Maggie asked. She heard three yeses and sat back in her chair, watching them exit the van and move toward the building. She could hack the available street cameras, but the security was so tight inside the office building that she couldn’t get in without triggering the alarm. She watched them enter the stairwell and looked at her watch while she envisioned them going through the steps. She didn’t realize she had been holding her breath until she heard Shep’s voice in her ear letting her know they were safely in the office.

“Okay, baby girl. I’m in front of the computer; it’s on and waiting for the password, just like you said it would be. Waiting on your instructions.”

“Once you put in the password, off-site IT security will get a heads up that D’Angelo’s computer is in use. They’ll give him a courtesy call on his cell. When he tells IT he’s not using his computer, you will have ten minutes before security shows up. Can you adjust your camera so I can see the screen?”

“I’m sitting in his chair with my camera chest high. Can you see?” Shep asked.

“Yes, perfect,” Maggie answered. “Enter the password and then go right to his directory.” Maggie watched as Shep did as she asked. There were about twenty folders. “Are you seeing what I’m seeing, Maggie?” Shep asked.

“Yup. All the folders appear to be customer names except the photo file.”

“Most people have a photo file on their computer,” Nate chimed in.

“Look around his office for me. Does he have any family pictures or anything personal there?” Maggie asked.

“No, it’s completely sterile,” Nate answered.

“Shep, that’s our folder, but let’s open it to check.” Shep opened the folder, and it showed an array of files dealing with uranium and yellowcake. Maggie scanned them quickly. “Looks good. Let’s put the flash drive in and start copying. It should only take a few minutes. We have seven and a half minutes until security arrives, by my count,” Maggie directed.

“It’s copying. Man, it’s a big file.”

“Bernardo, go to the outside window and open it and get the rappel ropes ready. Security is going to use the same staircase you did. You are going to have to rappel down from where you are,” Maggie said.

“The window doesn’t open,” Bernardo said.

Maggie’s impatience was running high again. She really needed to talk to Shep when he got back. She looked at her watch. They had less than six minutes until security arrived.

“Bernardo, you have an M4 in your hands. Make the window open,” Maggie said, a little more harshly than she meant to.

“Maggie, there’s a building across from me. I don’t want to hit anyone with stray bullets.”

“I’ve done my job, Bernardo. It’s an abandoned warehouse—it’s empty. You now have four and a half minutes to get out of there,” Maggie said, then asked, “Shep, where are you on the copying?”

“I’m at ninety percent, almost there.” Maggie could hear the pinging of Bernardo’s gun taking out the window.

“Starting our exit,” Bernardo said in a professional tone. He was angry with her, but Maggie couldn’t deal with that right now.

“I’ve got the flash drive and am the last one out the window,” Shep reported. Maggie sighed. They’d had only a minute to spare.

“The security van is in the alley directly to your left. They are all filing into the stairwell.” A tense thirty seconds passed as the three men stood pressed against the building wall. “Okay, it should be clear, but keep low in case the driver is still in the van.” Maggie watched tensely as they successfully passed the security van. “All right, two more blocks up. Our van is waiting in the same location as when we started.”

Her team ran the distance and piled into the van. It pulled into traffic with no one following them.

“Looks like you’re in the clear. Great job, guys. Shep, would you call me once you’re settled on the plane?” Maggie asked. She hated that the agitation in her voice was so palpable.

“Sure thing, Maggie. I don’t know what we’d do without you.”

Maggie pulled her headphones out and burst into tears.

Interview with J. Barton Mitchell

J. Barton Mitchell is a writer and creator of speculative fiction, as well as a photographer,Mitchel traveler, reader, and occasional masked crime fighter. He is the author of the young adult science fiction series Conquered Earth.

When did you decide to start writing stories?
I first started “writing” somewhere around eight or nine. I didn’t really know how to do it back then, it was all very mysterious, but I knew I wanted to write. So I would go and get books out of the library at my house and just totally plagiarize them. Like transcribe the first chapter onto paper with a pencil. Then I would give it to my mom and act like I had written it.

There was no way a nine year old could have produced something on that level, so my treachery was clear, but my mom told me how good it was anyway and encouraged me. Over time I started writing my own stories, and they got better, but probably none of them as good as whatever I had copied when I was a little, so you could say I peaked early.

Why science fiction versus the other genres?
I’ve always been pulled to Sci-Fi, especially pulpy, B-Movie type Sci-Fi. I love Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. For me, there’s something about writing stories that are more purely based in imagination. I love that in Sci-Fi I can create my own worlds, and then live in them for a time.

Who is your favorite character in The Razor and why?
That’s a hard one, kind of like choosing a favorite child. They all live inside you and compete with each other for your attention. Gable, though, is probably the most fun to write. I always wanted to write the Hannibal Lector type character who’s smarter and scarier than everyone else, but because of how Gable is set up, and her relationship with Flynn, it’s even more fun. If the series keeps going, she becomes very important to what’s transpiring on the planet, and she’ll get even more chapters of her own, which I’m looking forward to.

What are your plans for the next writing project?
I’m working on a new YA science fiction series at the moment, but I would like to continue the Razor as a series. I’m also planning a narrative podcast for next year that I want to produce and create myself.

What question do you wish I had asked you and what is the answer to that question?
What was your favorite part of promoting the book? The answer is the book trailer I made for the novel, which was a fun exercise, and allowed me to lend my own voice for some (pretty stellar) acting.

Dogs or Cats?
Yes, I have a dog, and his name is Gus. He’s a Corgi, so he’s royalty. He’s a great writing partner, because I write out all the time (coffee shops and bars) and he distracts everyone there from bothering me. Sometimes he carries my iPad for me in his backpack, which is helpful too.

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Razor_Cover_ART

razor galley mech.indd

The Razor

By J. Barton Mitchell

Genre: Science Fiction

Brilliant engineer Marcus Flynn has been sentenced to 11-H37 alongside the galaxy’s most dangerous criminals; a hard labor prison planet better known as the Razor, where life expectancy is short and all roads are dead ends.

At least until the Lost Prophet protocol goes active…

In a few hours, without warning, prison guards and staff are inexplicably evacuated, and the prisoners are all left to die.

To survive, Flynn will have to rely on the most unlikely of allies – killers, assassins, pirates and thieves – each running from (or maybe towards) their own demons.

A volatile ice pirate, struggling with the guilt of losing her entire crew on the inside, and the fear of having it happen all over again. A man who was once an elite prison Ranger, sentenced to the Razor for murdering his commanding officer, and whose sins have finally caught up with him. An infamous and dangerous mercenary, with the mysterious power to affect and feel through metal, who has come to the planet by choice to find the only person he ever cared about him. And a brilliant, mysterious, old woman named Gable, with terrifying abilities no human should possess, and who just may be the most dangerous inmate on the entire planet.

But to escape the Razor, they’ll have to unravel the dark mysteries beginning to awaken on the surface – mysteries that suggest the planet is much more than it seems. Only Flynn has the skills and knowledge to do so, but he can’t make it by himself.

If they can survive each other, they just might survive the Razor…and claim it for their own.

 

lb- excerpt

Flynn could feel the vibrations from the Crawler’s turbines rumbling up through the superstructure and into his feet. Every once in a while the whole room shifted as the Charon moved over uneven terrain, heading toward the Cindersphere.

He was crammed with the rest of the new inmates into a metallic room with barriers of clear polysteel separating everything into “pens.” The pens were divided by jumpsuit color. Above them, guards watched from a railing.

Flynn knew where he was. Everyone else in the room seemed to know too, judging by how they stared at the big doors before them. The holding tank. On the other side was GenPop, the main area of the prison level.

A muted thud sounded next to Flynn. He turned instinctively and stared into the eyes of an inmate on the other side of the polysteel. Younger than Flynn, but much worse for wear. Tall, incredibly thin, so pale his blue veins crisscrossed under his skin, his eyes bloodshot and wired. He was dressed in yellow, like everyone else there, maybe a dozen prisoners.

The man stared at Flynn intensely, opened his mouth, and breathed on the polysteel, clouding it. His finger raised. He drew on the glass.

He drew a heart.

Flynn’s veins turned to ice.

The man smiled, holes where numerous teeth should have been. His eyes had a strange, primal look Flynn had never seen before, hungry almost. Flynn looked away, locked his eyes on the door.

The muted thuds again. Flynn went rigid, just kept staring straight ahead and didn’t look back.

Everyone in the tank jumped as an alarm blared, three grating pulses of sound. The white lights in the metallic ceiling flashed of and everything went yellow.

The mood in the tank became electrically bipolar. Insane cheering competed with whimpering and vomiting. It was time. They were joining GenPop.

The first door opened, cranking slowly up and out of the way.

It was the pen for the yellows, next to Flynn.

The screech of the inmates was loud enough to hear through the polysteel. The yellows surged forward, pushing through while the other prisoners watched. Flynn risked a look at the pale man as he moved. To his relief, the man never looked back.

As the yellows disappeared, Flynn heard the sound of voices from beyond. A kind of strange, volatile roar, primal and raw. He shrank back from the sound. And he wasn’t the only one.

One after the other, the doors at the end of the polysteel pens opened, emptying each one of its prisoners. Every pen went, until only Flynn’s was left. The white jumpsuits. Those without a gang or a crew. It occurred to Flynn then, listening to the roar outside, just how precarious that might be.

The door in front of Flynn cranked open. His heart thudded.

The rail jerked to life, yanking Flynn and the rest of the whites ahead.

When he passed through, the sound was deafening.

A deep, rhythmic thudding filled the interior of the giant metallic room beyond the door, loud and forceful. Flynn could feel it in his chest. The roar of hundreds of voices. Chants of various kinds blended in with and were lost amid the yells and screams.

GenPop was a giant, open level, extending a thousand feet straight ahead. Stretching into the distance, Flynn could see the various sections of the prison level. And hanging in the air above it all, as far as he could see, attached end to end on the walls and ceiling, were the cell blocks themselves.

Huge metallic trapezoids, holding sixteen cells each. Each cell, in every single cell block, had its own clear polysteel wall that looked out onto GenPop. And the inmates, hundreds of them, stood at those walls, watching as Flynn and the other white jumpsuits were jerked inside.

The eyes of every inmate were on them. They chanted inane slogans and cries, pounded rhythmically against the walls with their fists. To Flynn, it felt like they were staring at him.

The sound shook the floor. Flynn just kept moving, trying his best not to fall.

The pounding kept coming. His eyes moved from one container to the next, the prisoners behind their invisible walls, all of them yelling down at him, jumping and snarling, a thousand of them. He tried to control his fear, to fight the urge to bolt, not that there was anywhere to run.

He was in GenPop now. The end of the road.

Available at Amazon

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About the Author

Barton Mitchell lives somewhere between Santa Fe, NM and Austin, TX. He’s developed properties for Warner Bros, Twenty First Century Fox, Valve Software, and Boom! Studios, and is a published author of four novels. His third novel, VALLEY OF FIRES was awarded Best Science Fiction Novel of 2015 by the RT Book Review, and his fourth novel, THE RAZOR, will be published by TOR Books this fall. Interact with him at www.jbartonmitchell.com.

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Interview with Deborah Adams and Kimberley Perkins

Today’s interview is with co-authors Deborah Adams and Kimberley Perkins, authors of the post-apocalyptic thriller Waypoint.

Author Bio:

DEBORAH ADAMS and KIMBERLEY PERKINS are friends and coworkers. They share a love of coffee, literature, and teenagers saving the world. By day, they work for a defense contractor in Huntsville, Alabama as the HR Director and an Excel-wielding Analyst, respectively. By night, they build worlds with words and devour stories.

When did you decide to start writing stories?

Deborah – Other than writing workshops in elementary/middle school, my writing has been mostly academic in nature. As a communication major I wrote tons of papers. But I’ve always been an avid reader, and I’ve had years of creating stories in my head. I actually was inspired by Christine Riccio when she started vlogging about her novel writing journey back in 2016. Watching her updates made me feel like it wasn’t as impossible a task as I’d always thought. When ideas started bouncing around between Kim and I, it was easy to just jump in and make it happen.

Kim – I decided that I wanted to start writing in middle school. It was a few years after discovering fanfiction. A lot of times, these stories would have long periods of time between chapters being published. I would binge read stories and then have to wait for an update for weeks or months. My mind would try to piece together what was going to happen next and how the characters were going to work their way through the plot. Imagining where a story was going next and how to keep the cast in character while still accomplishing objectives in the plot were building blocks for learning how to map out a story. Writing wasn’t hard once I tried; when you’ve read hundreds of stories, putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is easy.

Why post-apocalyptic versus the other genres?

The genre was really driven by the story we wanted to tell. The plot hinged on something that required advanced technology, but without a way to make it work. That plot decision meant setting the scene in the future and taking away the power. Once the power was gone, we knew the world would quickly become somewhat post-apocalyptic as a matter of course.

Who is your favorite character in Waypoint and why?

Deborah – Such a hard question to answer! I suppose I’ll have to choose West. He never lets you down. He comes to the rescue without thought and has optimism in abundance. He also never misses an opportunity to give his brother a hard time, which I never get enough of.

Kim – I related the most to Simon. We divided up the chapters by character, and I always wrote his chapters. He’s a gamer, so I drew on a lot of my experiences with online gaming—the way team dynamics can be when you’re in highly competitive games and some of the prominent traits that I had seen in gamers through the years. Simon is also an introvert, which is something I deal with regularly. The anxiety issues that he experiences in Waypoint are exaggerated versions of things that I’ve thought in my life and agonized over.

What are your plans for the next writing project?

Waypoint is part of a two-book series with a prequel novella attached. We’ve already written the prequel, which stars Quinn, an intelligence agent in training. She works for UNID, an FBI type entity in our futuristic society. It will be out December 7th!

Our next project is Constellation, the sequel to Waypoint. It is still in the early stages, but we are actively writing on it. It’s been great getting back into the heads of our characters and building upon the world that we built in the first novel. I can’t wait to see where the story takes us and how our cast deals with what we throw at them.

What question do you wish I had asked you and what is the answer to that question?

Kim – What was your favorite line in the book?

There is a chapter where Simon compares gamers to heroes. In it, he poses this question to his fellow gamers: “How many worlds have you saved?”. When I wrote this line and everything that followed in the scene, inspiration flowed in and something clicked in my mind. I got goosebumps as it played out and afterwards had to step away from my computer for a few minutes because I had become so emotional over it.

People sometimes make comments about how playing violent video games can ruin gamers, but I think that it’s important to look at the other side of this coin. Quite often in games, you play the hero. You make decisions to save the world. In the game, you are the main character. You make sacrifices and push as hard as you can to rescue the princess, to defeat evil, and to do what is right. If the bad can seep into our subconscious, then the good should be able to, too. In these simulations, you are a soldier or a knight or a bystander laying everything on the line for a cause. Gamers have saved worlds over and over. I don’t think that it’s a stretch to think that they would be willing to help save this one.

Dogs or Cats?  (It will be awesome if you would include a photo of your pet)

Kimberley has two cats, Mittens and Cheddar. Deborah has a highly allergic husband, so no pets for them.

Waypoint
Deborah Adams & Kimberley Perkins
Publication date: December 1st 2018
Genres: Adventure, Post-Apocalyptic, Thriller, Young Adult

How far will they go to restore the power?

It’s been lights-out for three months and society is already falling into chaos.

Teenage tech-genius Simon Harper and his team of fellow gamers have been searching for the cause of the outage since it went down. Simon and his twin brother West are often at odds, but when the key to restoring power drops into their hands, they’ll risk everything and join forces to bring it back.

Descend into an epic, young adult adventure, featuring family and friendship with a heart-skipping side of romance by debut authors Deborah Adams and Kimberley Perkins.

Mysterious deaths and disappearances are piling up, and unknown enemies are everywhere. As the brothers make their 500-mile journey to Waypoint they’ll have to decide who they can trust, and which secrets can be told.

“Thanks to its tantalizing pace, well-established consequences, and complicated character development, this novel is worth writing home about. I didn’t feel ready for it to end.” -Independent Book Review

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Above the Fog Karen Lynn Nolan

If there really is a God, then let the roof of the mine collapse on Daddy today and send him to hell, where he belongs.

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Above the Fog by Karen Lynn NolanAbove the Fog

By Karen Lynn Nolan

Genre: Fiction (Southern/Appalachian)

 About the Book

Growing up in a coal mining camp is difficult enough. But, when Coreen Shell’s abusive father makes a promise for her thirteenth birthday that could destroy what’s left of her life, she resorts to a desperate prayer to a God she’s not sure exists. The next day, a flood washes through the coal camp, like a backhanded answer to her prayer. Coreen, her mother, and her crippled grandmother next door must climb the mountain to find refuge in a nearby church. Then, news of a murder changes everything, in a way Coreen never imagined.

 

ba- excerpt

If there really is a God, then let the roof of the mine collapse on Daddy today and send him to hell, where he belongs.

Coreen plucked a chenille thread from the faded bedspread and flung it into the dark space behind her cot. Tears blended with sweat and slid across her face. Stained curtains fluttered as a steamy breeze blew down the holler, through the coal camp, and into the dining room that served as her sleeping quarters.

The room seemed gloomier than usual. Dark shadows lurked in the corners and threatened to swallow up the buffet, discarded by a family who could afford something better. Its sagging drawers and chipped paint made her sad. The shadows closed in on her too as she lay on the metal cot, tucked into the corner like the Christmas gift nobody wanted.

Springs squeaked as Coreen turned away from the room and stared out the window. Mountains rose in every direction, like prison walls around the mining camp. She ran her fingers across a fresh bruise. If only she could escape. Especially today. Especially after what he did this morning—and what he said he planned to do tomorrow. But no matter how hard she tried, no answer came to mind.

A low rumble echoed through the hollers. The odor of dirt mixed with coal dust seeped through the window. A storm was coming. Coreen twirled her ponytail, nearly the color of the faded-yellow chenille bedspread beneath her, and wrapped it into a bun. A gust of wind whipped the curtains into the air, slapping her damp skin in a torturous dance.

A raindrop plopped onto the tin roof, then another and another until the sound resembled an approaching coal train. The intensity mirrored Coreen’s anxiety. She lay there listening, thinking about a solution to her problem, dreaming of a happy ending—until her eyes flickered and closed.

* * *

A boom exploded. Windows rattled and the cot shook. Coreen shot up with a gasp. An eerie yellow tint filled the room. Her heart pounded. “Mama? Mama? Where you at?”

All was silent except for the rumbles of thunder and the concussive pounding of rain on the roof. Across the room, light framed the door to her parents’ room. She listened. No sounds inside the house. Did it mean he wasn’t home yet? Was she safe for now?

Lightning sizzled outside her window and filled the house with pulsing flashes. A gust of wind picked up the rain-soaked curtains and slapped Coreen across the face. The thunder cracked with such violence, it seemed to lift the house into the air and drop it.

“Mama!” she screamed as terror wrapped itself around her.

 

Will Coreen and her damaged, dysfunctional family conquer the lies, secrets, hardship, and hatred … or be destroyed by them?

About the Author

 Karen Lynn Nolan is an award-winning writer of Appalachian fiction, mystery/suspense,Book Jacket Photo (2) and narrative nonfiction. Her years in the eastern Kentucky mountains instilled a love of storytelling, mystery, humor, stubbornness, and deep faith. Contact her at karenlynnnolan.com.

 

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Top Five Tips For New Authors Christina Bauer

 

Top Five Tips For New Authors

By Christina Bauer

I’ve written more than 15 young adult fantasy-romance novels. As part of the launch for my book SCYTHE, the lovely folks at Lost In A Book have asked me to blog on a topic of my choice, and I’d love to share my top five tips for new writers. Here goes!

 

Read In Your Genre. A lot.

You may have heard this before, but it’s worth saying again. And again. And again. Now one spin I’ll add here is to invest time in finding books that are unusual: a strong voice, a different style of world building, you get the idea. What you put into your head is what comes out of it. If you’re reading the same things as everyone else, you’ll sound like everyone else. Which if that’s your goal, go you! If not, be aware and selective about what you choose to finish.

Be Prepared to Suck.

Think of your favorite author. That person you idolize? When they started writing, they sucked. I sucked hard for ages. It takes a long time to build your chops and voice. That’s an okay part of the process, as is tuning out the naysayers who tell you that your work isn’t good enough.

Find Someone To Kick Your Literary Ass.

This can be an advanced degree. Or a writing group. You just need someone who is going to give you honest feedback without stifling your voice. You can do it!

Accept Certain Criticism As A Gift.

After 15 books, I’ve gotten a little more balanced about so-called bad reviews. Here’s my rule: if someone gives you one or two stars, then they aren’t your reader and never will be. Buh-bye! That said, a three star review with some negative feedback is gold. This is someone who wanted to love what you did but had some pointers. Accept that for the gift it is.

Never Forget That You Are Awesome.

Let’s be honest. Writers are awesome. We create stories that open minds and drive beauty, even though we’re trapped in a world that values piling up the most stuff before you die. It can’t be said enough: Never forget that you are awesome.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to write this blog! I hope to return on a future launch tour!

Author Bio:

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn / Blog



Scythe
Christina Bauer
(Dimension Drift Worlds, #1)
Publication date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult

“Fans of A Wrinkle in Time can’t miss Dimension Drift!” – Christina Trevaskis, The Book Matchmaker

Truth time. I go to a Learning Squirrel High School. Don’t judge.

On second thought, judge away. Learning Squirrel is one step above attending class in a junkyard. But what do you expect? Everything’s made out of garbage these days. At least, I have my freelance work to keep Mom and me housed, clothed, and fed. How? I’m your regular high school science geek for hire, except my work manipulates space-time. The good news is that these gigs pay really well; the bad news is that the government likes to kill people like me. Whatever. I’m not worried; hiding from their detection systems is easy for me.

Then I screw up one of my illegal projects. Badly.

In fact, things go so sideways that my house slips into two-dimensional space-time. The shift only lasts for a few seconds, but that’s long enough to set off a dozen government alarms. If those goons track me down, Mom and I are as good as dead. Long story short, I need to pay someone off, hide the evidence, and keep us safe.

Unfortunately, that means asking the Scythe for help. He runs the local underground crime scene and has absolutely no conscience…Or at least, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t. It’s hard to think straight when a guy’s that hot in an ‘evil Mafioso kingpin’ kind of way. Most importantly, the Scythe is a crime lord who can conceal my slip-up with a few clicks on his minion’s computer keyboards. But the man has his price. In this case, the Scythe wants me to finish a certain dimensional prototype for him in twenty-four hours. I can do it, but it might mean Learning Squirrel High gets blown up in the process. Oh yes, and there’s also my new hot classmate who may or may not be an alien…and he says he’ll do anything to help me.

This job won’t be easy, but I’ve gotten out of worse scrapes. Maybe.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

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The Soul Dweller Stephen Paul Sayers

I’m reading A Taker of Morrows now. Already can’t wait to read The Soul Dweller by Stephen Paul Sayers. Check out his excerpt.

The Soul Dweller (Final Cover 10-30-18)The Soul Dweller

By Stephen Paul Sayers

Genre: Horror

*NEW RELEASE*

An ancient evil has returned… and it comes for the children.

A battle between good and evil rages across otherworldly dimensions. Caretakers protect earthly souls–jumpers hunt them as prey. RG and Kacey Granville have made it their life’s mission to intercept and defeat these dark forces, but nothing could prepare them for the malevolent spirit they’re facing–a deadly jumper, plucking children from their homes, taking them back in time to a hidden corner of the past…

… adding them to his collection.

In a heart-stopping trek across time, the team must risk it all and jump seventy years into the past to rescue the innocent–and hope their mission isn’t a one-way ticket into history. And if they’re to save the children, they must halt an unspeakable evil that will stop at nothing to protect its ‘precious’ souls.

The second installment in the Caretakers Series, The Soul Dweller brings every child’s nightmare to life and puts a face to that monster in the closet.

On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K1P2ZLL

Pick up A Taker of Morrows (Book One) for $0.99 on Amazon, Nov. 26 only!

About the Author

Stephen Paul Sayers is a college professor and best selling author of supernatural thrillerStephen Paul Sayers (author photo) and horror fiction. His debut novel, A Taker of Morrows, was published by Hydra Publications in June 2018. The second book in the Caretakers series, The Soul Dweller, is set to launch TODAY, November 26. His short fiction has appeared in Unfading Daydream and Well-Versed.

As a research scientist, Stephen yields to the left-brain world of data analysis and statistics by day, but releases the demons in his slightly twisted right-brain by night. It gets strange around dusk when neither side is fully in control. He makes his home in Columbia, MO and Plymouth, MA—not far from the Cape Cod locations he writes about in the Caretakers novels. Throughout his journey, he has accumulated five guitars, four herniated discs, three academic degrees, two dogs, and one wife, son, and daughter. But not necessarily in that order.

For more about the author, visit https://www.stephenpaulsayers.com or reach out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stephenpaulsayers; Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/SayersAuthor  or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stephenpaulsayers

On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K1P2ZLL

r- excerpt

You wonder sometimes. About a face.

Someone passing you on the street, in the subway or airport, a face you’ve never laid eyes on before and will likely never see again.

So many different ones, with welcoming eyes, maybe an intimidating scowl…or a false smile, a distracted glance, a courteous nod, a lustful once-over.

A face can communicate some things…but not everything. No face reveals the true world lurking behind it. It hides things no one could ever see.

No one but Robert Granville, that is. “RG” could see it all.

The thoughts of unsuspecting strangers streamed through their well-constructed facades and into RG’s mind like blinding sleet in a winter storm. Their truths…well, don’t you look like shit today, honey…their sins…you still have time to hide the body where no one will ever find it…their pleas for help…don’t let him track me down again. Don’t let him find me here, please God

Who would have guessed looking into RG’s face that he sheltered some of the darkest secrets of the universe behind his brown eyes and kind smile, secrets nobody could possibly fathom.

Who would have guessed that he had discovered a battle between good and evil raging outside life’s boundaries, one determining the fate of earthly souls, where ‘caretakers’ protect the living and ‘jumpers’ hunt them as prey; that his loving wife, Kacey, could glimpse the future in her dreams and change it, and transport herself into otherworldly dimensions; that his long-dead father and caretaker, Morrow, had saved him from a collision course with a ruthless and vengeful jumper from the afterlife.

No one could glimpse that in his face.

RG stared at the familiar curves and lines reflecting in the bathroom mirror as he braved another day, another chance to mull over the abrupt, life-altering events that had upset his world, turned him upside down and inside out, and redefined his life. And he was nowhere near wrapping his head around it. Life had tried to settle back into some variance of normal, the entire last year shifting him back to a steady acceptance of lost ground, unfavorable notoriety, and the need to claw his way back out of the trenches.

Shuffling into the bedroom, RG ran a hand through his thick hair to flatten it down, what Kacey lovingly called his wavy brown garden of weeds, then stretched through a silent yawn. He paused a moment and traced his wife’s face and body contours with an appreciative gaze, part of his waking ritual he had yet to kick. With a spate of freckles across her nose and a river of near-auburn hair spilling over tan shoulders, Kacey Granville could send his heartbeat rocketing with a simple glance, or laugh, or a million other things she drew from her arsenal to paralyze his senses. And each passing day brought with it something different, something else to trip the switch and increase the palpitations. If a cardiologist wired him up and monitored him throughout the day, the wild swings in rhythm would force the doc to send for an ambulance before he had finished his first cup of morning coffee.