AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – JENNIFER KIBBLE

typewriterWelcome to Author Wednesday. Jennifer Kibble sits down for an interview today to talk about her new fantasy adventure for young adults, Mages of Vane. It’s the second book in her Phoenix Element series.  Here’s her enticing invitation to the book:  Anya is attending the Vane Magic School, not by choice, but she soon fits right in. The mages did free her of a powerful entity after all. Or did they?Phoenix2_6x9

Hello, Jennifer and welcome to Author Wednesday. Your new book sounds exciting, but let’s start by talking about you and your writing rituals. Do you have anything special you do when you write?

Music is key for me. For my current project, I am handwriting the entire draft before typing it out. Not only do I need music playing in my ears, but the right blue pen to jot it all down.

 

That’s unique. I sometimes write on a legal pad with a sharpened pencil to get my juices flowing. Now that you’ve published Mages of Vane, what are you working on?

Reality Break will be the third book in the Phoenix Element series. It starts a few weeks after the events in Mages of Vane. Characters will be broken in this book. Not sure if they can be put back together or not yet. The eBook cover for Reality Break is already finished, and you can click here to see it.

What’s your one sentence pitch for Mages of Vane?

The magical world is about to be shaken up.

How did you choose the title?

I wanted to keep it simple. Mages of Vane takes place at a magic school called Vane, where mages reside. Straight to the point. I stuck with this title from the get-go.

Simple and concise–always best! How long do you estimate it took you to take the book from an idea to a finished, published?

About two and a half years. The idea itself has been in my head longer than that.

I’m glad you finally got it out. Is the book traditionally or self-published?

I went with self-publishing for the second book in the Phoenix Element series. I learned a lot from my last publication. Some of which I did want to repeat and other aspects that I did not. I feel that self-publishing I have more control over my work.

Since you’re writing for young adults, what message did you want to convey with  Mages of Vane?

You can run but eventually, your problems will have to be faced head on.

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

The monologue that describes who and what Kasiff is. I had written that piece years before I started to write the Phoenix Element series. I’m glad that I was finally able to use it.

What else do you want readers to know about your book?

Even though Mages of Vane is part of a series, it can still be read as a standalone. While at Vane, Anya will learn more about her magic as well as just how far some people will go for power. There is an epic battle scene between mages and sacrifices made. But maybe you shouldn’t listen to me, but to the one who lived it.

Anya: I still don’t understand why it was so important for Raine to find out why my clothes don’t burn when I use my fire magic. Of everything magical, that was one of the last things that I thought about.

Jen: Excuse me, can you get back to the question?

Anya: Oh yeah, right …so Vane. Great school but it can be creepy. Most of the mages are nice and then you have those who are so cryptic, that you need a translator. And there was a lot of monotony. I mean how many times did I have to go over aura techniques? I swear, my teacher was just being cruel. But I don’t want to get started on him. You’ll know who he is once you meet him. At least I got to meet a few interesting people while at Vane. A butterfly that could talk, a walking cousin of a tree…oh and don’t worry, those you’ve met in the past show up as well. Not everyone, but a few. It was a blast up until everything went downhill.

Thank you for stopping by today, Jennifer! Warm wishes for the successful completion of the next book in the series. I hope you’ll come back when it’s published.

9421_1243985577174_1155394466_30750194_4433111_nAbout Jennifer Kibble:  Jennifer is a geek at heart. She has used this love for video games, reading, the fantasy and science fiction world, and used it to help fuel her passion for writing. Her career as a writer turned serious after a trip to witness the final launch of the space shuttle Discovery. This set into motion the mind set to do what she loves. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys playing video games, reading, playing D&D, and listening to music.

Phoenix Element came across in an interesting way. Jennifer would have the same type of dreams and characters since she was a young girl. One day she decided to use those characters in a story. Of course with most characters, they take over the story and lead the writer instead of the writer telling the characters what to do.

Parts of Phoenix Element started out as a series of short stories known as “The Eternal Nine Key Barriers (E9KB)” back in middle school. This branched off as a role-playing story on a message board. Later on, Phoenix Element started to grow into its own and became what it is today.

Normality Twisted is the first book in the Phoenix Element series. As all series go, you have to start somewhere. This is the start of JB’s adventure as she learns that she has magical powers and is the reincarnation of a princess from another planet, Anya. JB tries to separate real life from her magical one, so she takes the name of Anya. She soon discovers that an entity from her past life still clings on and wants to take control of Anya’s body.

Mages of Vane starts off in the school for mages. The entity known as Ashima is no longer screaming within Anya’s mind. Anya now begins her new life learning about magic, auras, and making new friends. Unbeknownst to Anya, she stands at the cusp of a war that has been brewing for centuries.

The mages of Vane must protect their home and school from The Order of Blood and their hidden leader. If Vane falls, other worlds will follow suit.

Links to purchase Jennifer’s books and connections on social media (click below)

Mages of Vane – Amazon

Normality Twisted – Amazon

Amazon Author Page

Blog

Facebook Fan Page

 

AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – KERRY J. DONOVAN

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Author Wednesday returns with a bang (pun always intended) with crime, action, and fantasy writer, Kerry Donovan. I’m delighted to start the new season with such a talented and creative author. His series, The DCI Jones Casebook, features three thrillers, Ellis Flynn, Raymond Collins,  and the recently released, Sean FreemanTHE_DCI_JONES_CASEBOOK_sean_freeman (1)

Welcome, Kerry! I’m honored you’re the first author after my summer break. I can tell this is going to be an interesting interview.

Hi Pat, thanks for inviting me onto your blog. Great to finally meet you in the flesh, so to speak.

So let’s start it out with a question I like to ask all the authors. When did you first discover your voice as a writer?

Oh Pat, when I find my writer’s voice, I’ll let you know.

Seriously though, I find this quite difficult to answer. Currently, I write in three different genres, crime thrillers, action adventure, and fantasy. I think using the same voice in each would be rather restrictive. I try to set my voice according to the theme of each novel. It’s not easy, but if I keep trying for long enough, one day, I might get it right.

My father, an artist, once told me that if he were ever to be completely satisfied with a finished painting, he’d probably give up and start writing. I can’t paint.

I ask the question because it tells me many things about folks. I’m fascinated because I’ve often wondered if I’ve ever discovered a voice. Glad to know I’m not alone in finding mine. But I have a feeling you have a very strong voice and are simply too modest to admit it. Let’s move along to another favorite question. When were you first able to call yourself a “writer” or “author?”

Again, I’ll let you know. And again, seriously, I’ll call myself an author when people start recognizing me in the street and say, “Hey, isn’t that the author …” That’s unlikely to happen as I live in France and only publish in English. I rarely travel to the UK except to visit my three wonderful kids, and three (soon to be four) gorgeous grandchildren.

I had it happen at the gym the other day. Does that count? Probably not, since I’d just done a book signing there. Sweat and autographs — great combo. So let’s talk about how you write. Do you have any writing rituals?

Don’t really have any. I sit at my desk in front of my PC keyboard in my office in the attic and type. That’s it really. I rarely plot an outline but have an idea where to start and then I let the characters take over. I tried writing in the garden last summer, but the flies annoyed me, and I couldn’t see the laptop screen for the bright sunshine. I guess Hemingway didn’t have the same problem when using his typewriter, eh?

Probably not, but he did write in an attic in Paris, so you better get back inside. Do you try to convey any special messages to your readers, even though your writing happens organically?

I don’t. All I want to do for my readers is entertain them with the best story I can create. If writing a crime thriller, I want to thrill. If it’s a mystery I want to give the reader all the information they need to solve the crime but still give them a surprise ending. I hate stories where the author introduces the killer and the motive in the final scene so the reader can’t work things out for themselves. If writing a fantasy, I base it in the real world but add a little something strange and fantastical. I want the reader to ‘see’ and understand the concepts covered. You won’t find any vampires, werewolves, or ghouls in my books. At least not many. If writing a romance, I want the reader carried away on a sea of love and emo… hang on, I don’t write romances. My wife has told me I don’t have a romantic bone in my six-foot, three-inch body.  She’s probably right. In fact, she’s always right, or so she tells me.

All wives are always right. I see you get a little passionate with your answers, so perhaps there’s a romantic fragment in your funny bone. What’s going on with your writing these days? Describe your current projects.

Currently, I have two prime works-in-progress, although my laptop has dozens of unfinished and part finished works, and rough outlines. I like to have at least one book nearly complete—at least close to the beta read level—and one in production.

The nearly complete one, On Lucky Shores, is an action adventure set in the Colorado Rockies and follows down-on-his-luck travelling musician, Chester ‘Chet’ Walker. The story opens with Chet trying to find a gig in the picturesque, and fictional, lakeside town of Lucky Shores. On his way to town, he is involved in a car accident and receives a message from a dying man. In trying to give the message to the man’s daughter, Joey, Chet finds himself embroiled in an eight-year-old secret. He also becomes the target of a ruthless killer or killers who want the secret to remain hidden, and becomes the victim of Cupid’s arrow. Joey steals his heart.

Well, perhaps there is a little romance in my books after all.

My second WIP is the fourth installment of my DCI Jones Casebook series of British crime thrillers. In this story, one of my cast of characters hunts for the crooked cop responsible for the death of another cop. The villain is also involved in the illegal importation of weapons into the UK. I’m half way through the first draft of this one, so it probably won’t be ready for publication until the New Year 2016. As they say, watch this space.

If you’ll have me back closer to the time, I’ll be happy to give you more details. :¬)

I hope you’ll come back! My favorite authors always have a standing invitation. I do think there’s a romantic lurking inside waiting to jump out. You certainly like to keep things interesting from the Rocky Mountains to the UK, all the while living in France. Tell me a bit about the fictional folks in your books. Do you have a favorite character that you created?

Absolutely, he’s Detective Chief Inspector David Jones—never Dave or Davie. He’s a senior detective of the old school. I describe him as a veteran, dogged, empathetic, and successful. He’s about my age, but is slim-built, of less than average height, single (never married), and successful. In fact, he’s nothing like me apart from the age thing.

What stands David Jones apart from most veteran fictional cops is that he’s not allowed his job to make him jaded with life. He’s fiercely loyal to his friends and empathetic to the victims he tries to protect. He’s a tad OCD, but only in that he likes things to remain in order and in the correct place and alignment. David can see when something doesn’t fit and often uses this ‘ailment’ to solve crimes.

In my head, I see David Jones as looking like my dear old father. I love them both, but don’t tell David that, or he’ll look at you funny. He’s old school, see, not at all touchy-feely :).

We need him here in the States to help clean up a few things. Even though he’s your favorite, he’s not much like you except for his age, so if a movie was made about your success as a writer, who would play you?

Without doubt, that would be George Clooney, but he’d have to wear a much grayer wig. Oh, my wife’s just read that and fallen over in hysterics, excuse me a moment while I help her to her feet and give her a glass of water—she doesn’t drink whisky.

As an alternative to George, maybe you could find a James Stewart lookalike. Did I tell you I was tall?

Thanks for having me, Pat. I’ve so enjoyed our chat.  Blimey, now I’m a poet.

I hope your wife is all right, but tell her if George Clooney plays you, guess who gets to play her? Oh, that’s right, his beautiful Italian wife isn’t an actress. It’s been my pleasure, Kerry. So good to start off the new season of Author Wednesday with such a fun interview. I’m going to hold you to your word and expect you back with the very next release.

Kerry_J_Donovan - Web pagesAbout Kerry: Kerry J Donovan was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in Brittany with his wife of thirty-eight years. He has three children and three/four grandchildren, all of whom live in England. Family apart, Kerry has three loves: making furniture, sport, and writing (but not necessarily in that order).

 

 

Links:

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DCI Jones Casebook Sean Freeman Amazon US

DCI Jones Casebook Sean Freeman Amazon UK

 

AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – ANDREW P. WESTON

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Welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I welcome bestselling author Andrew P. Weston who’s here to talk about the creation of his very successful novel The IX, science fiction fantasy with mythology and alternative history thrown in the mix. It’s quite a journey for readers who love any genre of fiction. See for yourself. Here’s Andrew’s blurb about the book. IXcoverlarge

Roman legionnaires, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.

A U.S. cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.

A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.

How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?

The IX. Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.

How I cooked up the idea for…The IX

By Andrew P. Weston

The concept surrounding The IX came about following a lively and opinionated discussion during a veterans reunion dinner in the early part of 2013. Military history has always been a hobby of mine, and several ex-Royal Marine colleagues started chatting about the fate of the legendary lost 9th Legion of Rome.

It’s not until you begin to research the subject that you realize what a mighty edifice a legion was. More than five thousand strong, they were a self-sufficient micro-civilization on the march, capable of building an entire fortification at the end of every day’s journey in which to sleep soundly. And yet, the 9th Legion marched into the swirling mists of Northern Caledonia (Scotland) sometime between AD100 – 120 (Estimates vary, which is a mystery in itself) and were never seen again. How come?

That conversation stayed with me for several months until I happened to catch an old movie on TV, entitled, Millennium. In that film, time travelers visit the present day and steal passengers from doomed aircraft with the intention of repopulating a barren world of the future.

I am an avid science fiction fan, and the conversation from the reunion dinner immediately sprang to mind. Obviously, I began to imagine what if?

What if the 9th Legion were taken? Not just into our future…but somewhere and somewhen else entirely. What if their antagonists were also snatched away with them? A scenario like that would obviously create a cauldron of bubbling tension, especially if those adversaries were then forced to rely on each other in order to survive an even greater peril. Ouch!

I started to let those thoughts foment, and came up with a spicy twist. Would it be a good idea to include additional groups of refugees from other time periods, especially if they had to face the very real prospect of death all over again as well? (I know, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, doesn’t it?)

I chose a U.S. cavalry unit from around the time of the presidential elections of 1860. That period has always fascinated me. Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln was juggling growing pressure between state governors and congress regarding the issue of the Native American peoples. So, I invented a secret peace proposal between him and certain tribes from the Plains Cree nations. Of course, this ‘treaty’ would also be compounded by an ongoing internal conflict between the actual clans themselves, all of which would add to the simmering uncertainty.

Into the pot, I added a straightforward anti-terrorist Special Forces team from the near future. That was easy, because of my military experience.

It took a great deal of research and preparation, but I was very pleased with the resulting outline, as it provided a fresh approach to what many people had started to look on as a boring genre.

But of course, I couldn’t just leave it at that. Yes…I’d started off well by basing the plot around the fictional fate of an actual legion. But how could I add a sweetener, one that would bring things to the boil and ensure the reader could taste a hint of realism?

As many people appreciate, when books have a ring of truth about them – even Science Fiction and Fantasy stories – it gives your story a solid foundation. If it’s believable, people will be able to relate to what they’re reading. If they relate to it, you capture their attention. You suck them into your fabricated world and get them chewing things over for themselves. That’s exactly what I wanted. Yes, I had to stretch the imagination – make it a “stir-fried’ adventure – for want of an apt synonym, but nonetheless, I had to ensure the main ingredients were based in well researched ‘reality’.

With The IX, the 9th were a real Legion who existed and disappeared into the mists of Caledonia. The 5th cavalry company were based in a time of real civil unrest during American history. The Special Forces unit were based on real experiences from my life in the military. The fighting styles and methods of each faction involved are based on real elements and techniques. So yes, even though the IX is a science fiction novel, it’s as historical and as realistic as it can be.

And of course, the story hits you with the indulgence of a real moral dilemma too.

Sometimes, we face hurdles in life that seem overwhelming. Then something bigger and nastier comes along that makes you realize, wow, my problems seem so small and insignificant. In The IX, former enemies who hated each other with a vengeance are thrown into a situation where their choice is really simple.

Forget your former animosities, and pull together against a greater enemy…or you simply won’t survive.

Being a military veteran who has seen action in a number of theaters around the world, I’ve often pondered the notion. You know, what would I do in a situation like that? Would I really be able to put aside my feelings and concentrate on staying alive, especially if it was against a relentless, remorseless adversary who wanted all life snuffed out?

I’ve faced some pretty unpleasant people. Even so, the survivor in me answered the question without hesitation…Hell Yes!

As the tagline of The IX says, Fight or Die!

So, there you go. That’s how The IX came to be. I took a cup of imagination and stirred in three tablespoons of research. To that, I added a healthy dash of determination. The final sprinkling of magic is what rounded it off. A certain recipe for success.

People seem to like it, which makes all the hard work worthwhile.

004(Perseid)About Andrew:  Andrew P. Weston is a Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and law graduate, he is a contracted writer of fiction and poetry. Creator of “The IX” – and the “Guardians” and “Cambion Journals” series, has also has the privilege of being a member of the British Science Fiction Association, and British Fantasy Society.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

Click below to find out more about Andrew P. Weston

Amazon Author Page

Author Website

 

AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – JANET MORRIS

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Welcome to Author Wednesday and a guest post by Janet Morris, the author Tempus, a best-selling work of fantasy that has developed into much more than one work of fiction. Tempus even has its own Wikepedia pageTempus is also a part of the box set, At Odds with Destiny. I’m pleased to have Janet here today to talk about how her dynasty with the Tempus character.Time 5-1

The Birth of Tempus

By Janet Morris

tempus coverI started writing stories about my soon-to-be iconic character Tempus in a most unexpected way. At the World Science Fiction convention, I sat on a panel with editor of the Thieves’ World series, Robert L. Asprin. In front of a packed house, he leaned forward into his microphone and asked me to write for his new “shared word” series, “Thieves’ World.” Flustered and delighted, but having no idea what Thieves world might be about, I said yes.

After the panel, Bob Asprin explained what he wanted: a story of up to ten thousand words, set in Sanctuary, a town meant to be the armpit of fantasy, a town we writers would all share as the locale for our stories. Our characters would remain ours to do with as we pleased elsewhere, but the Sanctuary locale belonged to the story, and Bob would send me a backgrounder about the town and the unfortunate and corrupt people who lived there in some forgotten place and past. He said he wanted it dark; he wanted the characters to be thieves and murderers and witches and such, and the government to be unable to keep the peace. There was one volume of this shared anthology already published, and Bob said he’d send me a copy of the book to show me what others had done.

But by then I already knew what I wanted to write, and what characters I wanted to use. I had written a very short story about a mage-killer, Cime, and her target, Askelon, the last great archmage, and the place where he ruled. I asked if I could bring some pre-existing characters and places, and the editor gave me permission. I asked if I could write characters who were both heroic and anti-heroic, and the editor said yes. So I originally thought I’d expand my existing story, and reference my archmage’s world of Meridian, an island which only sometimes appeared in our world. Bob Asprin okayed this as well.

But by the time I arrived home, I had another story in mind: Tempus, my character, had come storming into my brain: Tempus the Riddler, Tempus the Black, Tempus the Obscure. Tempus would be analogous to Heraclitus of Ephesus, but be the man Heraclitus would have been if he’d done what he advised others to do. So from that assignment came Tempus at his nadir, once a general, now a mercenary fallen on hard times, alone in lawless Sanctuary with a mission from the capital to see if the feckless prince who ruled the town could ever make a king. Cime would be his sister, and Askelon his nemesis, but first I had to introduce him in a way that would make the editor want not only that story, but more stories of Tempus and Cime and the wizard-ridden world they perceived.

So I wrote, “Vashanka’s Minion,” the first story in the Tempus epic; Bob loved its anti-heroic flavor, and asked me to do another, which was “A Man and his God,” in which two men kiss, a priest of the Storm God dies, and Tempus’ world forever changes as he inherits the Sacred Band.

Right there, when the Sacred Band begins, the story becomes historical fantasy, since our Sacred Band is modeled on the heroic but doomed Sacred Band of Thebes.

I loved writing the first Tempus stories; the characters obsessed me; once I connected Tempus to Heraclitus and fantasy Sanctuary to the real ancient past, I knew exactly what to do. I have never had more fun writing.

And evidently the readers had fun reading the Tempus stories, for the Thieves’ World series was a great success, selling more than a million copies, success enough that I could propose and sell a stand-alone Tempus book, to be a novelized anthology in which my earliest Tempus tales are seen by his young companion in war, Nikodemos. And in which (even better) I could publish my story about Cime the mage-killer and Askelon, lord of dreams who rules Meridian.

It was during this interval as I was preparing the novelized anthology, Tempus, that the shared-world Thieves’ World became a bestseller; then I also sold the to-be-written trilogy about Tempus and his Sacred Band, called the Beyond trilogy (Beyond Sanctuary, Beyond the Veil, Beyond Wizardwall) as hardcovers for Baen Books, as Science Fiction Book Club selections, and as Ace mass market paperbacks. Subsequently, I wrote three more Tempus novels for Baen, and then many years later assembled the final Thieves’ World Sacred Band tales, along with new stories written expressly for that volume, in a second novelized anthology, The Fish the Fighters and the Song-girl, and also, for Perseid Press, the epic Tempus novel, The Sacred Band.

For more than thirty years now, I have been writing about Tempus (and his sister-in-arms Cime, and the Sacred Band of Stepsons), and he has been living in my head much in the same way that Tempus is inhabited by Enlil, the Akkadian Storm God. But this book Tempus is the original, the earliest, and these are the tales that made Tempus famous — how it all began.

Janet bio pic cropped 12 05 13 Janet B&W Portrait 2About Janet:  Janet Morris began writing in 1976 and has since published more than 20 novels, many co-authored with her husband Chris Morris or others. She has contributed short fiction to the shared universe fantasy series “Thieves World, (TM)” in which she created the Sacred Band of Stepsons, a mythical unit of ancient fighters modeled on the Sacred Band of Thebes. She created, orchestrated, and edited the Bangsian fantasy series Heroes in Hell, writing stories for the series as well as co-writing the related novel, The Little Helliad, with Chris Morris. Most of her fiction work has been in the fantasy and science fiction genres, although she has also written historical and other novels. Morris has written, contributed to, or edited several book-length works of non-fiction, as well as papers and articles on nonlethal weapons, developmental military technology and other defense and national security topics.

Click below for links to more about Tempus and Janet Morris

Wikipedia page for Tempus

Wikipedia page for Sacred Band of Stepsons series

Janet Morris Wikipedia bio

Amazon Author Page

At Odds With Destiny box set

Ten Authors and Ten Novels

including Tempus by Janet Morris and Native Lands by P.C. Zick

Great Summer Reading for only $.99 cents

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AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – S.R. MALLERY

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgI welcome S.R. Mallery to Author Wednesday today. This talented author recently published a collection of short stories, Tales To Count On with a unique combination of genres, including historical, Gothic, and fantasy—with many twist endings. If you’ve ever read any of the O Henry short stories and enjoyed them, you’ll be in for a treat with this collection. Full disclosure: I edited and formatted this book. The “work” became a labor of love as I fell in love with the characters and the delightful storytelling ability of Ms. Mallery. She has also published another collection of historical short stories, Sewing Can Be Dangerous. You can read my review of that book here.TALES_final_full

Hello Sarah or S.R. I’m so happy to have you grace my blog today. Since today is Earth Day, I’d like to ask you about something Rachel Carson (Silent Spring) once said about her writing. She said she never chose a subject because as a writer, the subject chose her. Have you ever had this happen?

Talk about a subject choosing me!  I can still remember sitting with my father years ago, out on his little corner balcony way up on the 27th floor of a Manhattan apartment building.  As the sun was slowly setting and the lights were glowing across the Hudson River on one side, the twinkling lights of Manhattan on the other, he told me all about the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911.  According to him, not only was that day horrific—over 140 young women’s lives were lost—but how important that event was because of the building codes that were changed after that.

I sat there, riveted, envisioning those hapless immigrant girls, either leaping or falling to their deaths; girls who also piled up against doors that at that time only opened inward. So, several years later, when I wrote my very first short story entitled, “Sewing Can Be Dangerous,” it was all about that fateful day.SEWING_CAN_BE_DANGEROUS_full

Tell me about Tales To Count On and its eclectic short stories. 

My Tales To Count On is a mish-mash of stories.  The synopsis says it best:

Curl up and enter the eclectic world of S. R. Mallery, where sad meets bizarre and deception meets humor; where history meets revenge and magic meets Gothic.  Whether it’s 500 words or 5,000, these Tales To Count On, which include a battered women’s shelter, childhood memories, Venetian love, magic photographs, PTSD fallout, sisters’ tricks, WWII spies, the French Revolution, evil vaudevillians, and celebrity woes, will remind you that in the end, nothing is ever what it seems.

I’ve also been working on an historical fiction Wild West romance:

The Dolan Girls by S. R. Mallery has it all. Set in Nebraska during the 1800s, whorehouse madams, ladies of the night, a schoolmarm, a Pinkerton detective, a Shakespeare-quoting old coot, brutal outlaws, and a horse-wrangler fill out the cast of characters. Add to the mix are colorful descriptions of an 1856 Land Rush, Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show, Annie Oakley, bank/train robberies, small town local politics, and romance. It’s not only a taste of America’s past, it’s also about people overcoming insurmountable odds.

I’m really looking forward to reading The Dolan Girls. It sounds very exciting and like everything you write, it’s a grab bag of action and conflict. Your stories are set all over the world. Do you think setting plays a role in your stories?

Although I feel good characters are probably the most important part of any fictional book, with historical fiction, setting is EVERYTHING!  In that genre, authenticity is vital in the transportation to older times. That’s what makes you live and breathe that period alongside of your characters.  People have asked me how I am able to capture people in past times and make them so believable. Well, there is a tremendous amount of research that contributes towards that: reading about actual events, studying the lingo of that specific time, the culture, the dress. In other words, it’s all important.

But I also feel even with my more modern material, settings help ‘set the stage’.

 Are you planning to continue writing historical fiction?

Probably, although one never knows what the future will bring.  I will be continuing on with the Wild West book next and a tiny seed has planted itself inside my brain recently about perhaps writing a murder mystery that takes place during the 1920’s Jazz Age.  But who knows?

I love that period in American history, between the two world wars and during prohibition. Life was lived with a different attitude. How did you choose the title for the new book, Tales To Count On

As for the title for Tales To Count On, that was a hard one.  First of all, these stories are so eclectic and range from 500 words to 5,000 with various genres included.  Titles came and went and just when I thought I had something, then either Amazon already had that title listed, or it didn’t grab me or my supportive friends.  Then one day, my brother casually asked, “How ‘bout Tales to Count On?”  And that was that!

Smart brother! It’s a perfect title. Tell me how you came up with this unique idea for Tales.

Having decided to ‘clear out my writing cupboard’ to see if I could cobble together another collection, I started to put some of my flash fiction and other stories together. But unlike my Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads, which had the definite connection of sewing or crafting, just how could I link these very eclectic stories?  Then it hit me.  Since the ‘word count’ is so important for writers, why not link them that way?  Each story title would have the word count under it, and it would go by ascending order of numbers.  And…and…I could include a few of my stories that were lengthier, as long as I put the word count under their titles! Eureka!

It’s amazing how it all came together. I love these stories and I’m sure the book will be very successful. Congratulations on a job well done. I expect you back when The Dolan Girls is published. I’ll add that S.R. Mallery’s first novel Unexpected Gifts is under construction right now. She should have it up again sometime this summer. 

S.R.Malleryheadshot_04forblogsS.R. Mallery has worn various hats in her life. First a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved on to the professional world of production art and calligraphy.
Next came a long career as an award winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In the Dirt.

Click below to connect with S.R. Mallery

Website/Blog 

Twitter@SarahMallery1

Facebook Fan Page

Google+

Goodreads

PinterestS.R. has some good history boards that are getting a lot of attention—history, vintage clothing, older films on this site.

Amazon Author page

Tales To Count OnAmazon

Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads  – Amazon

#Release Day – AT ODDS WITH DESTINY

All ten novels for $.99 cents

All ten novels for $.99 cents

Bestselling, critically acclaimed, and notoriously creative authors from across the book continuum join forces to bring you At Odds with Destiny, everything you’ve wanted in a boxed set but thought you’d never find: full-length novels brimming with myth, fantasy, mystery, history, romance, drama, originality, heroism, and suspense. Finding themselves at odds with destiny, the characters in these stories fight to shape their future and define who they are. Come follow them in their amazing journeys.

✿ Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SHYGG7C/
✿ Nook: http://tinyurl.com/at-odds4nook
✿ iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id959421650
✿ Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/at-odds-with-destiny
✿ Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/511673

Meet the authors in this box set – I’m thrilled to be a part of it, along with Native Lands. I think what I love most about this set is the variety. There’s a genre for almost every reading preference. At $.99 cents, how could you go wrong?

Each one of the novels in this boxed set is outside the box. Open it at your own risk! Bestselling, critically acclaimed, and notoriously creative authors from across the book continuum join forces to bring you AT ODDS WITH DESTINY, everything you’ve wanted in a boxed set but thought you’d never find: full-length novels brimming with myth, fantasy, mystery, history, romance, drama, originality, heroism, and suspense. Finding themselves at odds with destiny, the characters in these stories fight to shape their future and define who they are. Come follow them in their journeys.

Rise to Power by Uvi Poznansky – Notorious for his contradictions, David is seen by others as a gifted court entertainer or a traitor leading a gang of felons. How does he see himself? Can he control his destiny and strike a balance between ambition and longing for purity?

Double Forté by Aaron Paul Lazar – In the deep cold of winter, threats erupt from the dark woods, spinning events out of hand – and Gus, tormented by the unexplained death of his wife, braces for the fight of his life.

The Luck of the Weissensteiners by Christoph Fischer – In World War II, Eastern Europe, two families – one Jewish, one Catholic — fight for survival amidst deception, fear, distrust and betrayal. In the entangled web of political, religious and familial loyalties, can love endure?

Outview by Brandt Legg – Nate embarks on a breathless quest to save his brother and unravel the mystery of their father’s death. His desperate flight takes a stunning turn when mystics reveal an extraordinary destiny to him.

Among the Shrouded by Amalie Jahn – Mia, Thomas, and Kate have psychic abilities and a common destiny. They just don’t know it yet.

Pam of Babylon by Suzanne Jenkins – After Jack dies, his wife Pam discovers secrets and lies. Is she destined to succumb to vengefulness against his two lovers, or will she fine a different way forward?

Broken Angel by S.W. Vaughn – To rescue his kidnapped sister, Gabriel is forced to join a crime syndicate, where he discovers a dark underside to the city that few have ever seen. Yet the game can’t be won by their rules. He’ll have to make his own.

Tempus by Janet Morris – Woe betide the soul who dares too much! Ride with Tempus and his Sacred Band of Stepsons cavalry into myth, legend, and adventure like no other.

Native Lands by P.C. Zick – When their environment is torn apart by a battle for power and control of the last of the Florida frontier, a tribe of native Floridians thought to be extinct rise up to halt the destruction of the natural world they treasure.

Dream Student by James DiBenedetto – Everything was going according to plan, until the night when college junior Sara Barnes started seeing other people’s dreams. Is she the only one witnessing the secrets of a serial killer? Let in the dog and let out the cat, for this box holds dangers of the most rarefied kind!

frontcover

Author Wednesday – Annamaria Bazzi

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgWelcome Author Wednesday. Today Annamaria Bazzi visits to discuss her latest release White Swans: A Regency World (Volume 1)The book is a mixture of fantasy, science fiction, with a dash of romance. She says, “I love combining genres.”White-Swans-FINAL-Amzn-1

How did you choose the title?

Because of the white swans Kendíka sees from the window of her bedroom and the small mystery surrounding them, White Swans was always part of the title; it’s become the title of the series. A Regency World used to be A Regency Era when I published the first five chapters as a short story. When I realized the short story series didn’t sell well, I completed the novel and changed the title slightly to differentiate it from the short story.

How long do you estimate it took you to take the book from an idea to a finished, published?

I believe the first draft took about four months to write. That number climbed to probably seven months when I started the edits with my editor. When done, I didn’t publish the book because I entered Kindle Scout where it sat trying to accumulate enough votes to be accepted for publication by Amazon. Since I don’t have a big enough fan base yet, I couldn’t collect enough votes. The next thing was to self-publish.

I think you made a good start for Amazon’s new program. What is the message conveyed in this new book?

Greed only builds resentment and hatred and usually ends up losing the battle. Goodness of heart is the one that is rewarded with happiness. Happiness doesn’t mean riches, but the ability to accept all you can do for yourself through honesty.

Excellent message. It’s a long road to finding that reward, so you’re helping others through your work. Explain how this book was conceived in your imagination.

It all started with a little voice screaming to be heard. The image of a beautiful blond and blue-eyed girl accompanied the voice screaming from the window of an old English-looking estate. I tried to ignore her and continue working on the current project, but she just wouldn’t be quiet. When I stopped to listen, all these bizarre ideas flowed through my head, and I had to sit down and write Kendíka’s story.

That’s truly a gift–to be able to quiet yourself enough to listen. What type of research did you do in the writing of White Swans?

Because the book takes place in a world mimicking the Regency Period, I had to do extensive research to create a realistic environment. The part I found most interesting was learning how to address royalty and other noblemen and ladies. Did you know that addressing a Duke as My Lord is very offensive? I didn’t.

No, I didn’t know that, but I’ll remember the next time I meet a Duke! Who is the antagonist in your book? 

Harry, the Count of Paddington, and his owner Brodrik, are the antagonists in book 1. Brodrik is an alien with magical powers, and Harry is his pet. Both these characters were fun to develop, but what made it more interesting to me was the fact that Harry didn’t understand all the capabilities of his alien owner.

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in White Swans.

This is a hard question to answer because a have a few scenes that are my favorites, but if I have to pick one of them, it would have to be the day Saphora takes on a shape Kendíka can see and the two of them walk side by side on the beach.

What else do you want readers to know about your book?

Since White Swans is a combination of fantasy, science fiction, with a dash of romance, I think it will entertain many young adults and some adults.

annamaria authorAbout Annamaria Bazzi:  Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the States, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.

Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond, Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.

Links 

Amazon – US

Amazon – UK

Smashwords

B&N

Blog 

Website 

Facebook 

Email: annamariascorner@yahoo.com

Twitter 

Goodreads 

Pinterest 

Kendíka’s Facebook page

 

Author Wednesday – Jennifer Kibble

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgSeems like it’s been forever since I did an Author Wednesday post. But I’m back with the 2015 edition and am pleased to welcome Jennifer Kibble as the first author of the new year. Jennifer has just published, Normality Twisted, the first book in the young adult adventure series, Phoenix Element. It is written through the eyes of a fourteen year old girl who discovers that she has magical powers and an alien entity that lives within her. Pheonix-Cover_TITLE-FINAL_web

Welcome, Jennifer. The premise of your novel is fascinating. Tell us a little bit about yourself as a writer. When did you first discover your voice as a writer?

I was in the fifth grade, sitting on a brown bean bag in my home room. We had these composition books that we used to write in. The first thing that I wrote in that book was a silly little poem about a fish named Brett. From there, I wrote short stories that involved my classmates and occasionally a few of my teachers. I then got the idea to write a series that followed me and my friends on everyday adventures, some normal, others not so much. I was encouraged to write by my fifth grade teacher, and I knew then that it was something that I wanted to.

That’s young, but your teacher’s encouragement probably helped push you toward something you obviously loved to do. Do you have any writing rituals?

I write better when I am alone and with the right type of music playing in my ears. I tend to search out musical pieces that fit the scene that I am working on. It is also a great way to discover new music.

I also dream about what I need to write next and where I want the series to go. If I’m lucky, a scene that I am having trouble with will pop into my mind as I sleep.

I think it’s very important to walk away from something at that point. I’ve had the same thing happen, either when I’m sleeping or when I’m just relaxing thinking about other things. What are you working on right now? 

I am currently working on the third book of the Phoenix Element series. I have no subtitle and only a rough outline. I’ve decided to write the entire first draft in a notebook, the old-fashioned way, and the way I started out. I know what I have in mind for the third book, but like my past two books, the characters always take over the story.

The second book in the Phoenix Element series, Mages of Vane, has been entered into a contest, and I won’t know the outcome of that until March. If I do not win, I plan on self publishing my second book.

Mages of Vane answers a lot of questions from the first book in the series, Normality Twisted. Of course, with more answers come more questions, as well as more trouble.

I wish you success no matter what happens with the contest. I love that you mention writing your next novel in a notebook. I often start that way. And when I’m having writer’s block on a particular scene, I pull out a legal pad and pencil and write that way. It can be freeing. Since you’re writing a series, do all of the books have a common theme or thread? 

Phoenix Element is about redemption. Either righting a wrong or wronging something that was righteous. Seeking redemption can span across several years and lifetimes.

Interesting. Redemption is a great theme, but having it span lifetimes is intriguing and opens a world of possibilities. Once this series is finished, are you planning to continue writing in the same genre?

I hope to continue with the Phoenix Element series for as long as I can get ideas for that universe. I enjoy writing adventures for young adults. That doesn’t necessarily mean that only young adults can read them of course. I do have an idea floating around that I haven’t put to paper yet, but I do have notes for. It might shape out to be a science fiction type of read. Hopefully, I’ll get to that project eventually.

I’m sure you will. Tell us how you conceived of the idea for Phoenix Element.

I continued to write during my time in middle school, but it wasn’t until the eighth grade that my passion was renewed, once again being encouraged by a teacher. I started a series that would eventually turn into the Phoenix Element series. Of course, it did take a while to mutate into what I wanted the series to be. It started out simple: a bunch of kids with superhero like powers trying to save the world. I knew I needed it to be more, with more substance. I started to role play on an online message board, which also helped jog my writing juices. I had the characters; I just needed a journey to take them on. With what I had already written down, mixed in with inspiration from movies and video games, I started to dream my book series to life. Then one day it clicked, and I knew I finally had something. I was scared, still am, but I knew that I had to at least try, and it wouldn’t be fair if I kept my characters to myself.

I’m glad you continued on this journey. It sounds as if you were driven, which is the mark of a true writer. What else do you want readers to know about your book?

When I first started Phoenix Element, I didn’t want to focus on one thing but instead bring elements from both fantasy and superhero comics into my work. It is a universe where science and magic can live together, aliens who can ascend to another plane of existence and the turmoil that can come about because of magic and different views people have about it. It is a universe where nothing is black and white but gray.

I can’t wait to see how you answer this next question! If you could invite two other authors over to your house for dinner, who would you choose?

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, who worked together to bring Dragonlance to life! I would love to be able to speak with them about the memorable characters that were created for their work. And I wouldn’t mind playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons with them either.

What book are you reading right now?

I’ve been lost within the world of Dragonlance for well over a year now. The main trilogies were written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman; however, there are more than one hundred books set within the work of Krynn that have been under the wing of different authors. It will be hard to leave this series and venture out to other books. Currently, I am reading The Dark Disciple series, a trilogy solely written by Margaret Weis. Both authors have managed to create an intriguing world within the Dungeons and Dragons setting and characters that will stick with the reader for a lifetime.

111125-185439About Jennifer Kibble: Author Jennifer Kibble’s professional career as a writer has hit the ground running in December 2013 when her first book, Phoenix Element Normality Twisted was published thanks to Black Rose Writing. Jennifer has taken influences from comics, anime, video games, and science fiction to help create a new adventure for a new and current generation of readers. Jennifer is currently working on the second book in the Phoenix Element series, Mages of Vane. Born and raised in South Florida, Jennifer has not only obtained inspiration from different aspects of media but also from local teachers.

Links 

Amazon: Phoenix Element: Normality Twisted on Amazon

Phoenix Element on Facebook 

Phoenix Element Blog

 

New Release! Bound by Time by A.D. Trosper

Bound by Time is a YA paranormal romance by A.D. Trosper, the bestselling author of the epic fantasy series,

Dragon’s Call. Once again, I have to thank Blue Harvest Creative for everything they do and for the incredibly beautiful book they have designed. From cover to cover, they outdid themselves.

Can he save her this time or are they bound to be separated for eternity…

Bound-by-Time-(For_Web)

Isobel Moore is looking forward to spending her summer break alone while her parents are overseas. Until she returns from college to find her home isn’t quite the welcoming place it used to be. The stained glass window her parents installed is more than just a beautiful piece of history; something sinister is sealed within the colored glass.

When Isobel meets her new neighbor, Damien DeLuca, she discovers the gorgeous and mysterious stranger has plenty of his own secrets. Including the knowledge of what’s happening in her home.

As her world spins out of control, she unravels a past that not only tests her limits, but also everything she thought she knew. The darkness within the window yearns to be free and it will do anything to escape—including killing Isobel.

Click HERE for a quick preview of the front and back covers and peek at the interior

BBT first page

Buy now in either E-BOOK or PAPERBACK or visit the AUTHOR PAGE

 

About A.D. Trosper

Writer, mother, ruler of the world inside her head.

A.D. Trosper is the author of the bestselling, award winning Dragon’s Call series. The first and second books are BeFunky_Author pic12.jpgalready out under the titles Embers at Galdrilene and Tears of War. She has also written a children’s book and has three books planned for release in 2014. A.D. enjoys writing in a variety of genres including epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance.

An avid lover of animals, she has rescued and rehabbed horses, goats, dogs and cats. When not writing, she spends time with her family and pets. She is convinced chocolate is a necessary food group and magic is real (not always the way we think it is, but real nonetheless).

You can connect with her at her

Blog

or on

Facebook

Jade Kerrion’s New Release – Eternal Night

Eternal Night ebook

“What makes Kerrion’s writing so compelling is the beautifully flawed characters that find themselves in unexpected relationships…these kind of character level conflicts make Kerrion’s writing so deliciously addictive.”—Noor A Jahangir, Author of The Changeling King

“Everything you want in a great story. Love, intrigue, action, betrayal, and understanding.”—Ch’kara Silverwolf, Author of Daughter of Light and Dark

Alone for a millennium, since a human murdered her beloved consort, Ashra, the immortal icrathari queen, rules over Aeternae Noctis, the domed city of eternal night. Her loneliness appears to be at an end when her consort’s soul is reborn in a human, Jaden Hunter, but their reunion will not be easy.

Icrathari are born, not made. If Ashra infuses Jaden with her immortal blood, he will be a vampire, a lesser creature of the night, a blood-drinker rather than a soul-drinker.

Furthermore, Jaden is sworn to protect his half-sister, five-year-old Khiarra. She is the child of prophecy, destined to end the eternal night and the dominion of the Night Terrors—the icrathari and the vampires.

As Ashra struggles to sustain her crumbling kingdom in the face of enemies without and treachery within, Jaden fights to defend his sister and unravel a greater mystery: what is the city of eternal night, and how did it come to be?

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

READ AN EXCERPT

With Tera beside her, Ashra strode forward. A wall of vampires parted to reveal the other two icrathari, Siri and Elsker. A dark-haired human slumped at Elsker’s feet, his wrists cuffed behind his back. Ashra stifled a chuckle. Surely Tera was overreacting; the human was by far the weakest creature in the chamber.

Tera knelt down, wrapped her fingers into the human’s hair, and pulled his head back. The human’s face was handsome enough—the slash of his cheekbones accentuated his perfectly proportioned, sculptured features—but taken as a whole, he was not compelling enough to justify the fuss.

Ashra shrugged. “You’re wasting my time, Tera.”

Apparently undeterred, the icrathari warlord shook the human hard. His eyes flashed open. They were brilliant green, the exact color of the emerald ring Ashra wore on the index finger of her right hand. His gaze was unfocused, and the reflexive narrowing of his eyes matched the clenching of his jaw, hinting of wrenching pain.

Tera looked up and met Ashra’s gaze. “Taste his soul.”

Ashra recoiled, her upper lip curling in disgust. She had no desire to taste a human’s soul. Over the centuries, humans had grown weak, their small lives consumed by superstition and fear. It was better to live on the edge of perpetual starvation than fill her hunger with the pitiful excuse humans called a soul.

“Go deep,” Tera said.

But why? Ashra’s brow furrowed. She glanced at Siri and Elsker, but the two icrathari shrugged, apparently no more clued in than she was. She looked back at Tera. The icrathari warlord known as Ashra’s Blade was the epitome of calm understatement. If she was so insistent, she must have had a reason.

Ashra knelt beside the human. Without flinching, she placed her hand against his muscled abdomen. It was bloody, his flesh ripped by a vampire’s talons.

The man tensed at her touch, and his eyes flared wide with agony when her soul-sucking powers leeched into him. His breath came hard and fast, his chest heaving with the effort as he twisted in Tera’s unyielding grip, trying to break free.

Ashra’s eyes narrowed. The human was weakened—tapped into his life source, she waded through his dazed thoughts and shivered from the echo of each spasm of pain that wracked his body—but still, he fought Tera on the physical plane and Ashra on the psychic dimension, denying her access to his memories and to his soul.

She frowned and slammed her will against his, tearing an anguished scream from his throat, but still, his will did not crumble.

Askance, Ashra looked at Tera. “Did you taste him?”

Tera nodded. “It wasn’t hard the first time; he didn’t know what to expect, but apparently, he does now and is doing a fine job of fighting back.”

Was that grudging respect she heard in Tera’s voice? “Does his soul really matter?”

The icrathari nodded again.

Ashra’s shoulders shifted with the motion of a silent sigh. His resistance left her with little choice. She leaned forward and glided her lips over his in a whisper of a kiss.

Human myths spoke of succubi and incubi—demons that, with a touch, could stir lust in their unwilling victims. All myths were based in reality. The maddening beauty and soul-sucking powers of the icrathari had spawned the legends of succubi and incubi. With a touch, the icrathari could lure their victims into a state of sexual ecstasy, bending the will and baring the soul.

The human tensed against Ashra, resisting the intimate contact. She almost recoiled. Had the centuries dulled her innate powers? Surely she had not forgotten how to lure a man.

She closed her eyes and remembered love.

As always, Rohkeus’s fine-featured face—those beautiful gold-flecked green eyes, so unusual for an icrathari, and teasing smile—came to the fore. With a dreamy half-smile, she deepened the kiss, driving the memory of love before her like a sharpened stake.

At last, the man relaxed, succumbing to the kiss. She leaned into him, heedless of his crimson blood staining her white gown. He was warm, feverish even. Just skimming over six feet, he had more than twelve inches on her, but his physical strength, compared to hers, was puny. She was well aged; over four millennia old, she was the oldest of the icrathari and the strongest. She could have broken his neck with as little effort as a human child snapping a twig.

Her hand trailed across his muscled torso. He made it easy for her to be gentle. His body trembled as if he longed for her. His mouth was hungry for her kiss. He arched up against her, as if craving more. His need was like a living creature, wild and aching for her touch.

Eyes closed, Ashra shivered. Only one other person had desired her as much.

And he was dead.

She forced her way through the memories of pale bodies tangled upon cool silk sheets. When her soul-sucking power leeched out, it found no opposition. Images of the human’s life rewound in a blaze of vivid sights, sounds, and sensations.

Ashra looked up at Tera, her smile little more than a barely perceptible curve of her lips. “He fancies himself the protector of the child of prophecy. Was she among those taken tonight?”

Tera nodded.

Ashra chuckled, the sound without humor. “It’s a pity her genetic heritage wasn’t sufficiently superior to prevent her from being culled.”

“There’s more. Go deep.”

She pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.

She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon—

Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?

~*~

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Connect with Jade Kerrion at: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon