WRITER GEOFF NELDER IS BACK WITH A NEW ONE–XAGHRA’S REVENGE–& IT’S DIFFERENT

 

Sci-fi thriller fantasy author Geoff Nelder is back on the blog with a new release from Solstice Publishing and it’s sooo different. XAGHRA’S REVENGE incorporates historical fiction, social commentary, adventure and revenge–all the things this blogger absolutely LOVES. Welcome back, Geoff!

I had a number of questions lined up for him, but in the author’s own words, he got a tad “carried away” and decided that one–and only one–question got to the heart of what he was trying to do this time out.

Here we go…

 

1.

XAGHRA’S REVENGE is an historical fiction piece focusing on something that, sadly, continues today–slavery. What is it in your past or psyche that facilitated the need to obtain social justice for the island’s inhabitants?

 

Geoff-IOM-12Never mind the past, I am a slave now! I don’t just mean marriage (Ed.- He dabbles in dry humor); I mean a slave to the economic system; a slave to society’s cultural mores and laws. I am a slave to my damn brain.

It’s a writer’s lot to own a rabid imagination and mine gets into the being of my characters so much so that I can’t escape. Of course, it’s not like the physical slavery of people being brought by force from one country to another to work.

I hadn’t come into contact with an actual slave or knew much about them before I went on a family holiday to Malta. There, I learnt with horror about the 1551 mass abduction by pirates of the entire island of Gozo. I couldn’t believe that cultured and intelligent people such as those pirate leaders could do that. We’re not talking about uncouth Hollywood pirates, but well-educated Muslims (Rais Dragut, who had himself been a galley slave to a Christian Templar Knight!) and Jews (Pasha) who have big, loving families at home. Yet, it was acceptable to them to abduct whole towns and islands, separate families, torture and kill for their meagre wealth, and then go home to their people. It’s another culture and history completely removed from what I was brought up with. Of course Dragut had religion on his side. If the abducted were righteous, their God will see them.

On Gozo, I discovered that not many people knew about the 1551 abduction. It gozocropsdidn’t happen to them or their ancestors because the emptied island was looted and reoccupied by people from Italy, Sicily, and Malta. The pirates were cunning enough to steal property deeds and sell them to the rich in Tripoli and Constantinople.

I found direct descendants of those Gozo abducted, but over in Tarhuna, Libya. They are still there! I could not find many people who felt strongly about that abduction so I had to do something on the victims’ behalf. My Xaghra’s Revenge is for those 5,000.

 

Excerpt from XAGHRA’S REVENGE

frontcoverXaghra is a real town on the small Mediterranean island of Gozo. I chose it to begin the story because I’ve been there many times. It’s the site of one of the world’s oldest buildings, The Ggantija Temple – older than the pyramids and Stonehenge! I’ve hugged those huge limestone blocks and the vibes touched me. I’ve stood in the spot where Stjepan hears the alarm bell, where he sees his friends chased by pirates, and outside his house. It’s personal.

This opening sets the story with a contrast and conflict: an idyllic rural and family scene versus a worrying incursion threatening to disrupt everything.

 

CHAPTER ONE from XAGHRA’S REVENGE

Published 15th July 2017 via Solstice Shadows, imprint of Solstice Publishing

 

The Mediterranean island of Gozo 1551, July 24th

 

Stjepan leaned on his hoe and listened. His beans needed rescuing from the bindweed, but they’d have to wait if that was the warning bell coming from the city.

Five… He stepped up onto a low limestone wall and scanned the horizon. A flock of starlings created an air sculpture – God’s chariots chasing each other. It always lifted his heart.

Six… The Citadel topped the hill to the west; the clock tower visible, but he couldn’t see if people were running up the lanes to the city walls.

Seven, eight… He strained to see, but hills prevented a clear view of the ocean even though Gozo was less than a day’s ride across.

Nine… Perhaps a pirate ship had been seen again. The damned Turkish corsairs raided more often these days. Pirate dogs. He spat at the soil. His short sword lay under his cot at home.

Ten… In spite of the heat, he shivered at the thought of his wife and four-month-old son thrown into the dank belly of a corsair galley.

Eleven, twelve… He held his breath as if that aided hearing. The starlings swirled around the citadel as if they knew something. His heart sank.

Thirteen, fourteen… curses.

He drove his hoe into the stony soil, wishing it was Dragut’s black heart. Stjepan picked his way through berry bushes and olive trees until he reached his village, Xaghra. Karlu, his neighbour, called as he walked in the opposite direction towards the capital, Rabat.

“Ho, Stjepan, you’ll get fined again.”

“I’m not going without Lidia and my son. Your wife?”

Karlu stopped, scratched his head and twitched his moustache. “In Rabat, staying at her mother’s. She’s been coughing up hairballs.”

“That’s cats. Ah, you never liked Senora Angelina. I’ll see you there.”

In spite of the humour, panic tightened his chest as he ran across the central square. Stjepan saw his marmalade cat, its tail upright. She possessed a sense for trouble. “Heket, you’re supposed to be Lidia’s guardian.”

He frowned pushing past neighbours then saw Lidia waving at him outside the church.

“Father’s tripped on the steps. He can’t walk to Rabat.”

“He’ll have to go on the priest’s cart.”

“Already gone.”

Stjepan gnawed on a knuckle while his brain raced. He couldn’t afford another florin fine, yet the alert was probably another false alarm.

“I’ll carry your father.” Blood seeped through Alfredo’s grey robe from his knee. His eyes apologised.

Stjepan crouched before the old man. “Come on, I’ll carry you on my back.”

They crossed the wide village square. Stjepan found the old man lighter than he expected. Nevertheless, he stopped.

“What about Calypso’s Cave?”

“No.” Lidia breathed heavily carrying infant Pietru. “It’d be too obvious a hiding place. Keep going.”

He did, with increased pace until he reached the top of the steep scarp slope. The lane wriggled as it fell to the valley floor before climbing the Citadel’s slopes an hour’s walk away. They could see the exodus along the most direct route from Xaghra to Rabat.

Lidia stopped. “No.”

“What?” He followed her free arm pointing to the north. A dozen men ran along the valley floor lane. Their scimitars flashed in the midday sun, and their white turbans gave them away as Turkish corsairs.

*  *  *

 

To read more of this chapter head over to Amazon Kindle

http://myBook.to/Xaghra

 

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

Paperback

http://hyperurl.co/y953ga

 

There’s another excerpt from Chapter two where two modern young lovers have their inauspicious and suspicious first meeting.

 

Facebook page

http://www.facebook.com/xaghrasrevenge

Website

http://geoffnelder.com

Twitter

@geoffnelder

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY/

 

 

About the author

Geoff at Marton July2015Geoff Nelder has one wife, two grown-up kids, and lives in rural England within easy cycle ride of the Welsh mountains.

Publications: One humorous thriller Escaping Reality in 2005;
one award-winning science fiction, Exit, Pursued by a Bee in 2008;
another thriller, Hot Air, published in 2009 after receiving an award from an Arts Academy in the Netherlands; a science fiction trilogy, ARIA – starting with Left Luggage with an original premise, was published in 2012 by LL-Publications; and a fantasy, Xaghra’s Revenge, published by Solstice Publishing in July 2017.

Having had around 50 short stories published, Geoff was chosen to be the short fiction judge for the Whittaker Prize, 2009.

Geoff was a co-editor of science fiction magazine, Escape Velocity, and is a freelance editor.

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FOLLOW HER: ROMANCE AUTHOR RACHAEL TAMAYO

The blog resumes this week with authors doing what they do best: coming up with NEW STUFF. This week, we will look at anthologies, novelettes, full novel releases and emerging artists on the cusp of signing.

Today, we visit with multi-published paranormal romance author Rachael Tamayo. Always romantic, always ‘this side’ of the whimsical, she highlights her series FRIEND ZONE and provides a ‘look see’ at what’s coming next.

 

1.

Welcome to the blog Rachael! Without reading your biography, I can tell that you have strong links to the Lone Star state. Are you a resident?

 

Yes! I’ve lived in Texas my whole life.  I was born in Tyler, which is in east Texas. I’ve lived in south east Texas (Gulf Coast) as long as I can remember.  I live 20 minutes from Houston and about 45 minutes from Galveston.

 

2.

Your short stories and novels are relationship focused with generous doses of whimsy (GRETYL THE WITCH) and regret (FRIEND-ZONE 1 & 2). Why do we mere mortals allow third parties to constantly come between us and our happiness?

 

I think it’s because we tend to base our happiness on outside circumstances and events going on around us.  Not to mention the people we care about influence us.

 

3.

Is that why magic and paranormal elements figure so prominently in your work?

 

I tried The Stones as an experiment to see if I could branch outside of my comfort zone and write Paranormal. It went so well, I decided to do Gretyl and The Witch, a twist on Hansel and Gretyl that was inspired by a scene in the movie, The Visit. (My imagination went crazy! Lol)

 

4.

The attraction between friends and what to do with it is a tantalizing and recurrent theme. How does it compare to ‘love’ with a complete stranger?

 

I’ve always loved the friends to lovers thing. I am working on a couple of stories, one couple starts out as strangers and the other are acquaintance.  I think either way we have to develop a level of friendship with the other person. The ones that are already friends just have a head start. ; )

 

5.

Define ‘love’.

 

What a question! Love is so many things, and I think it’s different to different people.  Its that unseen force that turns your world upside down and inside out. It can tie you in knots and change who you think you are. It can make you do things that you never dreamed possible. It can make you believe in yourself when you never did before. It can tear you up or build you into something greater. It’s a force, an entity, a being that takes root inside you and never quite goes away. You have no control over it, it controls you.

 

6.

Does that make you a romantic?

 

Believe it or not, I’m not overly romantic in my personal relationship with my husband. I never have been. He’s not either. I can write romance, but I tend not to be romantic too often.

 

7.

Your next release, a follow up to Friend-Zone 1, features a motorcycle riding bad boy. Do you ride?

 

No, but my husband used to ride. He also has Tattoos, just not quite as many as Shane does, the male lead in the story.   Although he’d love to ride again, we have a family now and safety outranks him, ha! Working in law enforcement, I’ve seen my share of motorcycle accidents and I’m paranoid about it!

 

8.

What’s next for you?

 

Friend Zone book 3, about Chloe and Micah. After that, a stand alone suspense called Crazy Love. I’m particularly proud of Crazy Love! There is definitely a romantic relationship in it, but its also about the female Emily being stalked by a wealthy man who thinks they are in love and will do anything to make her his.

 

 

Chase Me (Friend-Zone Book 1)

 

chase-me-0011Adrienne Lawrence loves her friends. It seems, however, that she doesn’t get along with her family as well. One hot Texas summer, Adrienne manages to fall headfirst over her own big mouth when she lies to her Mom about a long term boyfriend in efforts to squelch her Mom’s nasty comments about having a date for a family wedding.

Clint Montgomery, one of her best friends, kindly steps in agreeing to play the part of the devoted boyfriend during a week-long venue wedding across the country.

After a week of pretend kisses and smoldering looks, the lines between what is fake and what is real seem to become fuzzy. The only problem is, Adrienne doesn’t want to become one of the women that Clint leaves in his wake, but fighting what she’s feeling is becoming almost impossible.

 

Excerpt and book trailer:  http://www.rachaeltamayowrites.com/published-works/

 

Gretyl and The Witch

 

31682615It’s always been a bit of a joke, since Gretyl started dating him. When your names are Ansel and Gretyl, you have to have a bit of a sense of humor about it. What isn’t funny, is the fact that her father doesn’t approve of twenty year old Ansel for his seventeen year old daughter.  After much thought and discussion, the young love struck duo decide to strike out on their own, and Gretyl runs away from home with Ansel to his granny’s house deep in the woods.  It doesn’t take long for Gretyl to see that something is wrong. When Ansel tells her the whole truth about his granny and himself, it turns out to be a tough cookie to swallow.

Gretyl and the Witch is a modern day retelling of the classic fairytale, Hansel and Gretyl.  Darker paranormal elements and a more adult theme make this a great read for any age.

 

Other current works, The Stones (Paranormal Short) and all titles available at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01HC2VZ0C

 

And the WIP?

My work in progress (One of many, actually) is Friend-Zone Book 2, Reach for Me. I hope to have this one submitted to my publisher, Solstice Publishing, by the end of August.

Blurb: When Ashley’s high society life crumbles around her in the space of one afternoon, she’s forced to swallow her pride and move back home to Dallas.  Having lost both her husband and her career, she takes up a job at her father’s restaurant under her little sister Adrienne’s management.  After months living with her parents, she decides to move in with her coworker and friend, Shane.  Ashley vows to never let a man cause her life to come crashing down around her ever again.  Never will feelings cause her to make “stupid decisions.”

Of course, that’s before she knew Shane.   Can she resist his charms? Not to mention, blue eyes, tattoos, and a ride on his motorcycle.

 

In her own words

web-size-2I’m a police dispatcher/ 911 operator, and a romance writer. I like to say that writing is my full time hobby, but it’s in my blood just as answering 911 is.
I’m a wife and mother. I live in the Houston, Texas area with my husband of twelve years and our three year old son. We all live happily with our yellow Lab, Daisy and our African Grey parrot, Sassy,

When I’m not writing or working, you can usually find me at home enjoying quality time with my husband and son, or maybe a large family get together with my fantastic extended family.

 

Links

Website/blog    www.rachaeltamayowrites.com

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/RachaelTamayo/

Twitter https://twitter.com/rtamayo2004

Amazon author page is listed above

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15251093.Rachael Tamayo

 

TOMORROW: Maverick Don Lorah hits the road on fiction and on life.

 

 

SCIFI, HORROR & FANTASY AUTHOR MARK ILES TALKS MARTIAL ARTS, WAR, AND THE “WHAT IF?”

1.

You’re a 9th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. What drew you more to martial arts: the physicality, or the philosophy?

 

It was a bit of everything really. I was bought up in a place called Slough, not far from London, and used to hang with a rough gang of lads and we were always in trouble with the old bill (police). Taking up a friend’s offer to attend Aikido classes, I saw martial arts as a way out and was immediately hooked. This was before Bruce Lee hit the UK cinemas. For me it was the whole ethos: I loved the scent of sandal wood from the joss sticks, the air of tranquillity, hard physical workouts and the confidence the techniques gave us.

 

2.

To what extent do these influences impact your character Selena Dillon in PRIDE OF LIONS?

 

I joined the military in ’74, where I then began studying Taekwondo. I incorporated the martial arts and military experience (plus that of others) into my writing. Ironically I didn’t realise what I’d done until a couple of years ago. I found I’d subconsciously discovered an outlet for the horror of war, what my friends and I had been through. Discovering I’d found some release through my writing was a light bulb moment.

 

3.

As the title ‘PRIDE’ implies, Selena is part of a team that must work together or die. How does team work compare to the lone wolf character in fiction? Is an ensemble a more satisfying dynamic for the writer to transcribe?

 

In the military you’re taught to be confident in your own abilities, so being part of a team doesn’t mean you stop when you find yourself on your own, you go on and do what you can. This trait and her personal history reflects in Selena Dillon, the Key Character in my novels. I find both dynamics satisfying, and for me the story basically writes itself.

 

4.

PRIDE OF LIONS is a science fiction action adventure and I understand the follow up THE CULL OF LIONS has also been published. What can we expect in book three?

 

CULL’ was released two years ago and it continues Selena’s journey. It also reveals why the war started and Selena’s dismay when the bad guys come back, this time with allies. Through books I and II there’s conflict with the key character and the monarch of her home world, who’s responsible for the death of her parents, as well as Selena’s servitude in the regiments. In book III, ‘ROAR OF LIONS’, there’s both resolution of conflict and development in Selena’s character.

I get emails and messages asking when book III’s coming out, and the answer is hopefully the beginning of next year – if not sooner.

Book III answers many questions and ties up loose strings. For me the whole story depicts people’s cruelty yet also their love, two sides of the same coin – or, if you like, our yin and yang.

 

5.

Tell us a bit about your novellas. Do they have common themes running through them?

 

Most of my fiction and poetry is SF, horror and fantasy – so in that light, yeah. You see I love the ‘what if’ factor, the twists and turns that keep readers gripped right to the end.

I’m a firm believer in the paranormal; it’s what started me writing. During the Falklands, I dreamt about an orb of fire flying through the air and awoke bathed in sweat. That day, the Sheffield was hit. The night before 25th May, I had a similar dream and even spoke to my divisional officer about it, and he told me that date was special in Argentina due to the May Revolution. That day we came under attack again and our ship turned into the missiles, which missed us and hit the Atlantic Conveyor. Both sets of missiles were meant for our ship, HMS Invincible, so to me the dreams were warnings, a premonition if you will.

During Gulf War 1 a missile missed the ship I was on by 300 feet and yet I had no warning, but then it wasn’t meant for my ship. Make of that what you will, but I’m told such things run in my family. Incidentally, I wrote up that first dream and sold it, so that’s where I really started to write.

I’ve also had ghostly experiences, but those are tales for another time. So, as you can see, my writing reflects my life, beliefs and interests – all tinged with the ‘what if’.

 

6.

(Fun question) At what degree do you achieve invisibility?

darren-shahlavi-feature-ip-man-2That’s an easy one, tenth! That’s the honorary rank which you get when you die. You see, nine is a special number in the orient – the last one before double figures. There are nine coloured belts (white again being honorary) and so likewise the black belts, a mirror image of where you start. So I guess I’d have to be invisible to reach tenth degree.

I have to say, however, that there are a few living tenth degrees – which makes no sense to me.

 

Ed-So there’s something in the room with me after all. I knew it!

7.

And Jackie Chan? (see photo)      

                                            

jackie-chan-feature-police-story-3I was based in Hong Kong back in ’83 to ’86, and used to write features for a variety of magazines. I was asked by Combat (the martial arts mag’) to go and interview a rising star who’d recently made a film called ‘Police Story’. Yes, it was Jackie Chan. Unfortunately I couldn’t go, because there was a disaster in the Philippines and our patrol boats had been sent out there to provide disaster relief. This meant our teams were basically ‘watch on, watch off’, providing the communications and so forth.

In all I’ve missed three interviews with Jackie. Methinks I’m doomed to never get that one, which is as a shame because I bet he’d be fascinating. Ironically, one of the guys (Chen Kai Chong) who posed for the photos in my Taekwondo book now works with Jackie all the time. He’s basically one of the bad gangland guys in each movie, but he only gets fleeting images.

 

8.

Any last words?

It’s quite hard writing a series of novels. Everything has to be exactly right and in line with the first book, from the weapons people use, the colour of their eyes, what they drink, how they act – not to mention each character’s personal history. Get it wrong and readers will pounce on you, so there’s a lot of cross referencing and checking needed – let alone research.

The thing I like about writing is the comaradery.  Writers support writers and it’s great.

A special thanks also, by the way, to my readers and followers. Cheers guys, you mean a lot and without you it wouldn’t happen.

 

Ed-Well put. I couldn’t agree more!

 

Mark decided to lead off with A PRIDE OF LIONS TODAY. His other titles with links follow…

 

 

a-pride-of-lions-book-coverWhen Selena Dillon is caught in an assassination attempt on her planets ruler, she finds herself sentenced to 25 years servitude in mankind’s most feared military force, the Penal Regiments. Much to her surprise she enjoys the harsh military life and is quickly selected for officer training.

But something’s wrong, worlds are falling silent. There’s no cry for help and no warning, just a sudden eerie silence. When a flotilla of ships is despatched to investigate they exit hyperspace to find themselves facing a massive alien armada. Outnumbered and outgunned the flotilla fight a rearguard action, allowing one of their number to slip away and warn mankind.

As worlds fall in battle, and man’s fleets are decimated, Selena is selected to lead a team of the Penal Regiments most battle-hardened veterans, in a last ditch attempt to destroy the aliens’ home world. If she fails then mankind is doomed. But little does Selena know what fate has in store for her, that one of her crew is a psychopathic killer and a second the husband of one of his victims.

Can she hold her team together, get them to their target and succeed in the attack? Selena knows that if she fails then there will be nothing at all left to go home to.

 

Excerpt

There were angry growls from the crowd and the robosec bellowed, “Silence in court!”

A slim dark-haired woman stood up and banged her fist loudly on the wooden barrier in front of her, her face working in fury as she shouted, “This is a farce. If they’d succeeded you’d be giving them medals now, instead of punishing them. This sucks! Everyone here knows that those who should be on trial are the Queen and the Royal Family. They’ve murdered thousands of people, and these guys only tried to rid our planet of that tyrant. They’re heroes, not criminals!”

Selena looked over and grinned broadly, as she recognised her old school chum Linda McKenzie.

Catching her eye, Linda added, “Tell them to shove it up their arse, Selena. You guys did the right thing, and we’re all damn proud of you. Others will try the same thing, you’ll see, and sooner or later someone will succeed and we’ll finally be rid of those murderers.”

“Get that woman out of my court!” the judge roared, watching angrily as guards dragged Linda away, although the audience continued to protest. “The next person who makes any noise will be dragged outside and whipped on the spot!” he bellowed, eyes widening as he glared at them. Gradually silence fell once more.  “However,” continued the judge more collectedly, turning back to the accused and ignoring the rumpus, “it’s in my power to offer you an alternative. We’re currently upgrading the military, as we do from time to time. This allows me to offer you the option of serving in the Penal Regiments, until you either die in their ranks or are discharged after twenty-five years’ service under their terms of contract. You each have three minutes to decide.”

Selena was stunned. None of them had expected this, and in the shocked silence of the courtroom she began to think furiously.  The Penal Regiments! They were the most feared and respected military force in all of humanity. Only the insane or desperate would even contemplate joining their ranks, and those who simply had no other choice.

Those who joined had the details of their previous lives completely erased; it was as if they ceased to exist. They lost their past, family and sometimes even their personalities. If anyone actually survived the duration of their contracts they could have their faces and bodies surgically altered at the cost of the Federation, so that prior enemies and friends wouldn’t recognise them and they could live out their retirement in peace. But that was if they survived that long and very few ever did. However, Selena mused, there were those survivors. Hope glimmered for the first time since the raid.

Suddenly she heard a voice calling for her attention.  “Selena Dillon, your choice?”

The time had gone and the question seemed to come from nowhere, but Selena knew that she had no option. “I choose the Penal Regiments.”

The others of her team turned to stare at her with blank expressions, but she could hear their breath catching in disbelief.   One by one, the others chose martyrdom.   As they were marched off, Sam turned to stare at her in disgust.

She would never forget the look on his face.   Poor Sam, she thought. You just don’t understand, do you? One day, when you’re long gone and nothing remains of you but dust blowing on the wind, our crimes will have been forgotten and I’ll be able to come back. Can’t you see that?

As for me, old friend, I’m already a survivor.

 

OTHER TITLES BY MARK ILES

 

the-cull-of-lionsSelena Dillon and her team return to Loreen after their attack on Mantis, only to find the myriad worlds of Mankind once again plunged into war. As the Penal Regiments are betrayed by the Federation of Man, and fighting spills throughout the galaxy, the dreaded Manta raise their heads once again. Selena soon finds herself trying to track down her friends’ daughter, Hope, from the rabbit holes of Loreen and then fights to free her home planet from alien invaders. While a general amnesty means previous sins are forgiven, the Queen has not forgotten Selena’s attempt on her life. Selena soon finds herself torn between obeying orders to protect the monarch, and her ravening thirst for revenge. But strange forces are stirring amidst the stars and Mankind finds itself with surprising new allies, while a terrifying enemy that’s manipulated events from behind the scenes finally reveals itself for the very first time.

Buy Link

a-connoisure-of-the-bizarreA carful of police officers swerves in the rain to avoid a shadowy figure. Detective Chets Owen and his two companions immediately recognise the local lunatic, O’Neal, but they’re shocked to see a gun in his hand. Then O’Neal mentions that he knows where a missing child is. Does he, or doesn’t he, and is O’Neal really who he seems?

 

Buy Link

 

 

 

 

falling-from-graceHere you’ll find tales of the supernatural, betrayal and murder; the mistakes that lead to the fall of empires and the constant tug of war that haunts mankind. There’s a blend of science fiction, fantasy and horror – from a modern day detective facing a serial killer to a future utopia filled with disloyalty. Lovers of romance will find a little something for them too, but within these bright sparks of hope shades of darkness lurk.

 

Buy Link

 

 

 

distant-shores-book-coverGripping tales from magical tattoos to a time when mankind has been decimated by aliens and the world is run by Androids. From where monsters roam our skies, a little girl waits patiently for Santa one cold Christmas Eve to a world haunted by the ghosts of the slaughtered inhabitants. Read it with the light on!

 

Buy Link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kwaks-competition-taekwondo-book-cover

 

 

 

 

 

Buy Link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

escape-velocityEscape Velocity, the science fiction magazine from Adventure Books of Seattle, was host to some of the most talented writers in the genre. Presented here are many of the best short stories from the magazine, as well as others specially submitted for this collection by authors from around the world. This very unique book contains forty-eight sci-fi stories, such as ‘Scream Quietly’ by Sheila Crosby, ‘Royal Flush,’ by Ian Whates, and Rebecca Latyntseva’s controversial time-travel tale, ‘Red Monkeys’. The stunning cover images only add to what is undoubtably one of the best science fiction collections of the year. Edited by Geoff Nelder of Great Britain and Robert Blevins of the United States.

Goodreads

 

 

About the Author

 

mark-portraitMark works for Southampton University, and also as a freelance writer in many fields including copywriting. His short stories have been published in Back Brain Recluse, Dream, New Moon, Auguries, Haunts, Kalkion, Screaming Dreams, and the anthologies Right To Fight, Escape Velocity, Auguries and Monk Punk. With an 8th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo he’s also written non-fiction for Combat, Taekwondo & Korean Martial Arts, Fighters, Junk, Martial Arts Illustrated, profwritingacademy.com and calmzone.net.

His first full length work was ‘Kwak’s Competition Taekwondo’, and he also has a short story collection entitled ‘Distant Shores’. His debut novel ‘A Pride of Lions’ was published by Solstice in September 2013 and is the first book in ‘The Darkening Stars’ series. Since ‘Pride’ was published Mark has also had 4 novellas accepted: ‘A Connoisseur of the Bizarre’, ‘Sally Jane’, ‘Nightshade’ and ‘Santa Claws is Coming’.

Having written features and fiction for over 30 years Mark applied to do an MA in Professional Writing. ‘Pride’ had been bouncing around in his head for some time, and he seized the opportunity to produce this first novel as part of the course. Mark says it’s without doubt the best choice he’s ever made, as it really focused him, and that getting this novel Accepted is the perfect conclusion to a wonderful experience. He’s now focusing on the second book in this series, ‘The Cull of Lions’.

 

 

Links

Social Media:

Website: www.markiles.co.uk

Twitter: www.twitter.com/welcometoearth

LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/mark-iles/33/67a/822

Facebook Author’s Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Iles/279162705557698

Blog: http://markiles.co.uk/the-blog

Amazon Authors Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-Iles/e/B004YZBP3I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

 

Books:

A Pride of Lions: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pride-Lions-Darkening-Skies/dp/149425445X

Distant Shores: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Distant-Shores-ebook/dp/B008SD4KOS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1347182066&sr=1-1

Kwaks Competition Taekwondo: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kwak%60s-Competition-Taekwondo-Mark-Iles/dp/B000FTHGFI

 

Novellas:

Nightshade: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nightshade-Mark-Iles-ebook/dp/B00HQOP1BQ

A Connoisseur of the Bizarre: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Connoisseur-Bizarre-Mark-Iles-ebook/dp/B00HQOP54O

Sally Jane: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Jane-Mark-Iles-ebook/dp/B00HQOOZ40

Santa Claws is Coming: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Santa-Claws-Coming-Mark-Iles-ebook/dp/B00HQOP0D0

 

Thanks for dropping by Mark. Be sure to let us know when the WIP goes to press!

— ABF

MONDAY: Please join me in welcoming award-winning cat writer, librarian and Sister in Crime Debbie De Louise, whose third novel A STONE’S THROW is releasing through Solstice Publishing.

A TRUE DRAGON HEART

 

I welcome to the blog Army Veteran, Florida State University grad and former police officer Arthur Butt. A native Long Islander now living in Florida with his spouse, two puppies and one adored SnoopyCat, this confirmed coffee drinker devotes his artistic energies to conjuring fantasy fiction.

 

You have a wide and varied resume. What prompted you to write?

Reading. If you read enough you want to write also.

 

Tell us about the genre you work in. What draws you to fantasy?


414c59728b2e7b4f3a01342a87e600c2f89a12d5-thumbI don’t work in just fantasy, but whatever genre I write in I like to use a blend of science, history and romance in a realistic way.

I have to ask: did you read/watch Game of Thrones? If ‘yes’ care to weigh in on the dragon sub plot?

Don’t watch a lot of TV. Mostly history channel.

As a veteran what in your opinion stands out most in modern portrayals of warfare/policing in literature and visual mediums?

Most of what you see on the television or read is for the masses, more action/adventure than real life.

 

Tell me about your book(s). Your protagonists are brave, self-assured females. Are they based on anyone you know?

goblin warNo one I know, however in a male dominated world, brave, self-assured females (and none of us are self-assured, right?) are often overlooked. GAIL IS GAEA is based on the legend of Nyabinghi, Mother, warrior-goddess of Africa. In ROD OF REALITY and GOBLIN WAR, the MC’s are male and female, neither one self-assured, but knowing they have a problem to solve and trying their best to solve it. Nevertheless, if you look for brave, iron-willed woman you can find them from Boudicca to Margaret Thatcher.

 

You have dogs and a cat. Was this a compromise to please the house? Are you a cat person?

Cat person, have had cats (Siamese) for 30 years. Wife and I got dogs for the grandchildren.

 

I’ve spent some time down in Florida and I love it more every time I visit. How does it compare to Long Island?

I’m in the panhandle of Florida, totally different from the Florida you think of (like Disneyworld). Country life, have to drive a half an hour to go to the store. On Long Island, you’re still rural, but you have the convenience of nearby shopping areas, NYC if you prefer, or wooded areas.

 

What’s next?

Next? Working on MS “CAITLYN” Not a nice story, based on a murder mystery that happened in the 70’s and discovered in the 90’s. Basically, it goes – Boy meets girl, boy kills girl, boy marries her sister, boy turns into alcoholic, wife wonders why her marriage is falling apart, boy is arrested for murder. Not a nice story.

 

 

Some of Arthur Butt’s published works include:

B.E.V. – Clean Reads Pub.

Valley of Shadows – Clean Reads Pub.

The Rod of Reality (Book 1 of Fairyland series) Clean Reads Pub.

The Goblin War (Book 2 Fairyland series) Clean Reads Pub.

(in edits now – World’s End (Book 3 Fairyland series) Clean Reads Pub.

Dragonkiller – Solstice Pub.

The Girl Who Rode Dragons – Solstice Pub.

Gail is Gaea – Solstice Pub.

 

A short excerpt from GAIL IS GAEA:

 

GAEAPontus, Typhon, and Chron crowded around her. “I thought you did not want to be called the spirit goddess?” Pontus said, a puzzled look on his face. “Now you are calling yourself that.”

Gail shrugged and looked grim. “They’re already doing it, so I might as well use the fact.” She gave each a stern look in turn. “But if I hear it out of any of you three, I’ll take this sword and paddle you good, understand me?” She touched her short sword for emphasis.  “That goes for our men too, I don’t care what they think, but they’d better not call me spirit goddess where I can hear it.”

Pontus grinned and said, “Yes, Gaela, as you will.”

“It’s getting dark.” Gail said. Her legs felt weak, sweat and dirt covered every inch of her body. I would love a hot bath, she thought with a sigh, but I can’t put this off any longer. I have to do this so the men can see me – know I’m not afraid.

“I’m going to walk in the battlefield,” she said, tugging on Amber’s leash, “and see if there is anyone I can help that we missed.” The tribesmen parted as she and the oslo left.

In the building darkness, crows and vultures flapped into the sky, disturbed by the passing of Amber and Gail as they strolled among the dead. A few warriors were still busy stripping the bodies of weapons, a low rumble of distant thunder echoed behind her from their voices.  As Gail wandered across the battlefield, she heard the hunters whisper, “Spirit Goddess.”

She said nothing.

 

The Girl Who Rode Dragons

girldragonAll Jackie wanted was equal treatment and a chance to ride a dragon. When her cruel brother-in-law takes over as head of the household and makes her quit school, she is forced to do all the chores and collect wood in the forest. Jackie finds a dragon’s egg, and although law forbids girls to ride dragons, she secretly hatches the egg, and dons boy’s clothes. After she brings the gift of fire to the dragonriders, she becomes an accepted member of their band.

Civil wars break out, dragonrider against dragonrider. Jackie leads the loyalist faction against the rebels. The stakes – the fate of the kingdom and the life of her and the man she has grown to love.

 

 

Links: Twitter – https://twitter.com/?refsrc=email  Facebook / Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arthur-Butt-The-Fantasy-SyFi-Author/1528729850734703

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Books+by+arthur+butt

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=Arthur+Butt

Instagram Link:

https://www.instagram.com/artyny59/

GEOFF NELDER: CHECKING THE BAGGAGE

Yesterday, UK author Geoff Nelder challenged me with some fun questions and a proviso: “I don’t know” is not an option. Today on Blog Funkhauser, I return the favor. GN is more than up to the task. Welcome!

 

What is your writer’s name?

Geoff Nelder

 

What book you want to publicize? Genre? Target audience?

ARIA1-jupARIA: LEFT LUGGAGE is the only book like it! Infectious amnesia doesn’t exist, thank goodness but that’s the unique premise of this, the first book of a trilogy in a science fiction and medical mystery aimed at adults. Even though Martin Amis says in scifi the plot is the main character, in ARIA everything orbits around people. Imagine the ramifications when the virus spreads with no one immune and everyone losing memory backwards at the rate of a year’s worth per week. People forget their jobs, their address, how to read, write and talk. You wake up next to a stranger each morning! Did you… last night?

 

What book inspired you most, as an adult, to take up fiction writing?

I was born writing jokes culminating in the honour of being an editor for the rag mag at Sheffield University. Teaching meant I had little time to write novels but writing student reports gave me ample opportunities to be creative. In 1995 I won the staffroom prize for writing this report (which I’d probably plagiarised) ‘The dawn of legibility in Stuart’s handwriting revealed his utter incapacity to spell.’ That prize was Tibor Fischer’s THE THOUGHT GANG. It’s premise is thus: consider two C20th century truths: 1) bank thieves were successful; 2) most bank thieves were unintelligent. Now picture an out-of-work philosopher gathering others like him and going on a bank-robbing spree through France. Brilliant, and best of all, Fischer loves playing with words. Maybe so much that the reader is too often whipped out of their fictive dream but it inspired me to write in a humorous mode and so wrote ESCAPING REALITY, a humorous thriller.

 

What funny moment have you experienced at a book signing – other author or yourself?

I was signing ESCAPING REALITY in Carlisle when two gorgeous young women advanced on my table. Pen poised, I asked what they’d like me to write. “Just move out of the way, dear, you’re blocking our way to the Spot the Dog books.”

 

Give us a picture of your usual writing desk / place and one of your favourite place to write? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Most of my writing is done in the library and the picture shows me in the spy-mirror they have there.

librarymirror

My favourite place to write is out in the open though under shade, where I can hear and see the sea on the Greek island of Methana.

office

 

What makes your book a must-read to aficionadas of the genre?

It’s the only one with infectious amnesia; astronaut Leroy Chiao helped with techie details while he WAS IN ORBIT; the idea for writing it came to me while riding up a hill in Wales; endorsed by SF greats such as Mike Resnick, Jonathan Grimwood and Brad Lineweaver; all the locations are real.

 

What makes you mad?

Publishers who take a year to respond with only a ‘don’t love it enough’ and no helpful critiques. I was an acquisition editor and have accepted and rejected thousands of stories and wrote a brief review of each one and within a month.

 

What makes you laugh?

Life makes me laugh – it’s too short not to. At a party I mentioned that sex was the funniest thing people can do. Someone mentioned that to my wife and she retorted: “It IS, with him.”

 

What gets in the way of your writing and how do you overcome such blocks and obstacles?

I’m so easily distracted, especially by grandchildren and their nana. To finish a project I often take myself off to a writers’ retreat or similar for a week. Also I’m addicted to cycling. My legs itch to rotate after being still for two hours. I don’t get writers’ block as such because I’m always working on several projects and just switch one to another.

 

LINKS

Kindle ARIA smarturl.it/1fexhs

Paperback ARIA http://hyperurl.co/52cmtv

Geoff’s Author page UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

Facebook for ARIA

http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy

twitter @geoffnelder

http://nelderaria.wikia.com/wiki/NelderAria_Wiki

website http://geoffnelder.com

SOLSTICE AUTHOR VANAYSSA SOMERS WEIGHS IN ON THE BOY SCOUT

 

VANAYSSA SOMERSTHE BOY SCOUT by Vanayssa Somers

BUY THIS BOOK: http://amzn.to/1PWvuOg

Published: February 12, 2016

Published by Summer Solstice Publishing

The Magic Will Find You!

           

My desire to write was driven by the transformative power of Story. As a child, I loved books about characters who did the right thing and overcame great odds. I was fired with the hunger to experience transformation in my own life and inspire others.

Born in a Yukon winter, I moved to beautiful British Columbia as a toddler and grew up in the deep forests of Vancouver Island. Over the years I trained as a Registered Nurse, earned a B.A. in Sociology from University of Victoria, worked as a Reiki Master, Psychic and NLP counselor. I was blessed to mother a beautiful daughter who, unfortunately, passed away in her twenties. Through that loss I discovered a gold mine of new depth in myself and in life itself, as she returned to visit me and open a new awareness of life after death. The greatest gift of all is life itself.

Over the years I have sought to help and inspire others through my work as a nurse, as the owner/operator of a seaside spa in the U.K., as counselor and psychic.  A graduate of The Monroe Institute and a follower of Bruce Moen’s books and website, I work in soul retrieval and connection with my family in the Afterlife. I believe romantic love to be one of life’s highest experiences. Writing romance is my joy.

VANAYSSA AUTHOR

To contact Vanayssa Somers, click on this link: www.paranormalfantasyromance.com/contact

 

BLURB

A massive shipping container stands open and waiting on the dock of a huge port city, in almost any country. A truck drives up and a load of human beings, in this case, youngsters, are off loaded and packed inside the crate. A crane lifts the container. It takes its place among dozens of other gigantic shipping containers, all locked together on board a freighter.

A week or two later, the container is lifted once more and deposited on another dock, thousands of miles from home. At some point, the kidnappers unlock the crate and those souls who have survived the ocean journey are gathered up and taken somewhere to be sold.

Sold as slaves for either sex, or hard labor, or both. For the remainder of their lives.

Behind them, their country; their birthrights; their families; their rights to education, freedom of speech, equality, all the things we take for granted.

Shocking enough when it takes place on the other side of the world.

More so, when it takes place in America, and the youngsters being kidnapped are American children.

Melchior, King of Fairies, and Theresa, a young American woman are passionately in love, soon to be wed. But a new purpose takes hold of these two magical Wizards as they discover the hazards young people face, unknowingly, every time they step outside their home.

In any country on earth.

Even ours.

 

Amazon reviews for Vanayssa Somers Books:

…one of the best supernatural romance books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Following Theresa, through the span of many years was both interesting and intriguing, never once slowing down. The transition from past to present was seamless. It flowed with the grace of a well trained ballerina gliding across the stage and air with one toe keeping it all in balance. The story is the most interesting of concepts and the romance filled my heart and drew me in. I would recommend this story for anyone who loves the mix of supernatural and love, or to anyone who just loves love. Well done Miss Somers, this story and your writing is a true treasure.

***************************

…I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down. Vanayssa Somers made the story and the characters come to life in a way that few authors are able to do. She did her research well on the pagan practices and the horrible time of burning ‘witches’ and any one that dared to be ‘different’ This book has everything from shape shifters to wizards to fairies & more. Truly mesmerizing to the reader with believable characters and places.

 

CHAPTER NINETEEN from The Boy Scout

by Vanayssa Somers

 

Bad Medicine

 

While Theresa engaged Callaway’s shamanic alter ego far away in his ancient Chinese hiding place, 21st century police were setting out to raid his current hideaway. And bring an end to the longest crime spree in human history.

It was 1530 hours on the police clock, a hot summer sun high in the sky.

In the lush forests outside of Summerford, near the border between New Hampshire and Maine, nine vehicles thundered up the graveled road and long driveway toward Callahan’s home.

Avalon’s covert team, subcontracted to Interpol, had been able to bring expanded information to McEwan about Callahan/Tenga. His history, his global organization, his fetish for children. The military intelligence section of Melchior’s elite staff had no problem gathering this data. A lot of it had been gathered already, from centuries of battling the wicked shaman’s efforts to destroy Fairyland. It was there, available, in their Special Ops security files.

Consultation with the U.S., European and Asian headquarters of Interpol, together with intel provided by the covert team from Avalon, had produced a full, massive dossier on Bradley Callahan. Philanthropist, Honorary Boy Scout, Inspirational Speaker.

Arch-criminal, kidnapper, human trafficker, drug boss, rapist, murderer. Killer of small children.

The full extent of Callahan’s crimes was still not fully compiled. A team of experienced staff were busy twenty-four hours a day, raking through every ounce of evidence from every part of the world, fitting the pieces together like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle.

His activities were so widely established, and covered so many criminal categories, as to be unbelievable. How could one human being create and manage such a vast rulership of evil?

As one of the top officers of Europol, the European organization independent of, but parallel to, Interpol, had said, it almost felt as though Callahan were not human, but some other kind of creature. Something unheard of in the annals of crime.

The estate was surrounded by forested acreage with wide views of mountains and ocean. Its privacy was underlined by a seven foot tall ironwork fence and gate at the final approach to the house itself.

A disembodied voice echoed from an intercom in the gate, demanding to know their identity and purpose.

The first vehicle, its markings indicating the presence of U.S. law enforcement, pulled to a stop at the gate. A grim-faced officer leaned out his window, requesting admission. He identified himself as an officer with Summerford’s Police Special Reaction Team.

The housekeeper/general assistant on the other end of the intercom went silent for about a full minute as eight more vehicles growled their way up behind the first one.

Then, just before the driver of the first vehicle put his foot to the floor to smash his way through the gate, an answer came.

“Mr. Callahan is not home at this time. We have standing orders never to admit anyone while he is absent from the property, ever, no matter who they are. However, I have sent him a message to tell him you are at the gate and require admission. He may reply shortly.”

The housekeeper/assistant had, in fact, telepathed to Tenga, far in another Age and place. Interrupting the Boss’s plans for his special prisoner trapped in an Energy Web, under an ancient sun looking down upon a volcanic planet.

“Fine. There are nine police investigation vehicles here, and we are coming in. We are fully armored and carrying battle-trained personnel. If you prefer, we can break down the gate. Or, you can open the gate and preserve this very nice entryway for future use. It’s up to you.”

Moments later the gate swung open, admitting the cavalcade of ominous looking armored vans and trucks. Two of the trucks each carried in back ten police officers in full riot gear complete with assault-style semi-automatic rifles.

The other trucks were transporting a full squad of uniformed officers carrying long guns.

At the front of the house an armored truck pulled to a halt. It was a Cadillac Gage Peacekeeper II, built for urban police special actions.

Innocent bystanders and witnesses could be placed behind it, sheltering them from a firestorm of bullets if it came to that.

Within minutes, law enforcement descended in full, irresistible power on the home base of Bradley Callahan, Arch Criminal.

In a steady stream, police boots thumped into the entryway, up the stairs, through the house, into the basement, looking not only for the obvious but for the hidden, the covert, the subversive.

Experts among the teams began to probe corners, window frames, behind pictures, closet shelving, anyplace a hidden compartment or room might await their ferocious, unrelenting onslaught.

Like a mighty ancient army entering a walled city with merciless swords drawn, set to draw blood, the officers carried their long shields, their rifles, their full battle equipment and protective gear.

Nothing in this entire estate, its length and breadth, in the house or on the grounds or in the forest surrounding the estate, would escape their precise and exhaustive examination.

One voice shouted, “I’ve got something!”

The lead investigator, Terry Kincaid, the only member of the raid not equipped with rifles or riot gear, shambled calmly over to his officer.

Kincaid was a veteran of the force, had seen just about everything crime and human madness could throw at law enforcement.

But the dossier on this guy defied belief. He had even wondered if someone was exaggerating when he’d spent the entire previous night sitting up in his study steaming his way through a mountain of paper and computer files.

He stood at the side of one of his best officers, a guy who was known as the go-to person for finding hidden stuff. Monty had a gift. He could sense when something was there, when someone had spent real time figuring out how to cache something away.

But this was outstanding. He’d found a hidden latch, in a closet, disguised as part of the molding, and pressed it. Bingo. The wall had slid smoothly aside, revealing what was almost, basically, another, smaller, house.

Terry stood gazing at the scene before him, at what looked amazingly like a Thaan – a sacred space. Something he’d learned about in a rare trip to the far north, the farthest reaches of Alaska. It was part of shamanic ritual, a place where all the shaman’s stuff was kept, where he carried out chanting and vibratory exercises which, it was said, could open hidden worlds and give a shaman the ability to even change shape and appearance. Not all medicine men everywhere in the world called their sacred space a Thaan – but that was what it was, no matter where on the planet rooms like this were found.

He and his wife had been travelling tourists, and both had an interest in ancient pagan practices. They’d explored aboriginal practices in Australia and Eurasia. Whenever a holiday beckoned, Marta Kincaid made sure it was an educational trip.

The history of North America’s aboriginal peoples was one of Marta’s specialties. She was a professional expert witness, acting on behalf of the Native population when legal need arose. The opportunity to explore further and deeper than anything she’d ever stumbled across had made her persuasive in arguing that her husband should accompany her. Go with her to those far northern reaches and learn about ancient medicine man practices.

You never know, she’d said, when this stuff might come in handy. You get all sorts in our big cities, and you should grab this chance to learn.

So he’d gone with her. Like she’d said. You never know.

And right now, he knew he’d be taking her out for a very special dinner quite soon.

It was an Aladdin’s cave of…stuff.

Shaman’s stuff.

So. This Callahan…maybe had a hidden side. Something no one had suspected.

Maybe he was up to his eyes in this cultish activity. No, not cultish. Way deeper, more extensive, more ancient, than any cult.

Shamanism was a part of human development from the most ancient times, in all parts of the globe.

We’d left it behind, supposedly. But Kincaid knew well, from his private reading, that quantum physics was beginning to open doors onto atomic secrets that were confusingly similar to the old shamanic dreamworld skills.

He felt goosebumps form all over his body as he stood methodically taking note of the items hanging on walls, standing on cabinet shelves, lying carefully stacked on the floor against walls, systematically arranged on large and small tables.

And then he noticed a glass cabinet with items that reminded him of something much more prosaic. Something he actually had experience of in previous crimes. Something quite common in the hiding places of the most dangerous killers. Crazed killers.

If only he was wrong. But the moment his eyes fell on the cabinet, he knew.

It was a collection. This Callahan was the worst kind of criminal – he killed and collected mementoes of his victims.

A Collector.

Above the cabinet, a corkboard. With photos. He moved closer. Children. Beautiful little children, wide eyes staring at the camera in confusion and fear.

He sighed deeply, feeling the mix of despair and finality, a familiar feeling, something he’d come to recognize as the beginning of the solution.

In here, in these rooms, behind the sliding wall, was the evidence that would convict Callahan more than any testimony of any witness.

Stepping across the room, he donned a pair of plastic gloves and carefully slid the glass cabinet door open. Using a pair of tweezers, he picked up the first small item on the lower shelf. A tiny mitten, blue, a common kind of mitten any mother places lovingly on the small hand of a beloved child.

He replaced the mitten and took a look at the other pieces in the heartbreak collection. Every piece was something obviously belonging to a small child.

Although there was no evidence yet of bodies, he knew there would be bodies. Somewhere.

Beneath all the exotic, unusual aspects of this madman, there lay the mind of a common killer. The need to keep souvenirs of each victim. So often, the nail in the killer’s coffin. Irrefutable evidence of murder.

He felt himself going pale with stress. So this would be one of those cases. The worst kind. Haunting his retirement years, keeping him awake, making him bolt upright in bed at two in the morning, sweat pouring off his forehead.

Whatever ancient pagan parts there were to this man, this monster, in the end they all came down to the commonplace. A man who took what he wanted, without regard for anything or anyone.

A common psychopath. Dressed in more ritualistic, unusual garb, perhaps, but common in the basic facts.

He turned to the officers directly behind him, and gave orders.

“Get the forensic team in here, now. There will be bodies, probably many. Children, by the look of things.”

One of his officers, carefully stepping around with the plastic booties they were all wearing, said to him, “Sir, look at this.”

He pointed toward a post-it note, pinned to a corkboard on one wall.

It read, in perfect penmanship, “Get someone to move the bodies at the west fence.”

“Shit,” Kincaid said.

The young officer swallowed hard, took off his hat, smoothed his hair, wiped his forehead, looked at the floor. His lips trembled briefly, just slightly. Then the hat went back on, the head went up, and the sharp, probing eyes began to search the room again.

Members of the forensic team had been downstairs, carefully going through a whole library of what was probably going to be major evidence. He heard footsteps enter the room, and two of its members stood beside him, gazing around in awe.

Now, Kincaid pointed to the post-it note on the corkboard, and to the collection of souvenirs on the cupboard shelves.

The District Attorney commented, “There’s enough here to keep everyone busy for a long time, and we had better get some team members over from another area, there’s just too much for our outfit. We’re a pretty small city. What do you think?” She’d come along due to the high profile of this suspect and the wide assortment of offences he appeared to have committed.

He agreed, and she went off to make some calls and confer with her team downstairs.  They needed help. Particularly because every single piece of evidence had to be handled meticulously and documented in detail. And there were hundreds of pieces of evidence, in all likelihood. Anyone making a mistake in this crime scene – for that was what this house was beginning to look like – would suffer for it.

Children, many of them, probably, had lost their lives here, in this house. Mistakes would be unacceptable.

Terry walked around, taking mental note of every item. He wished he could take pictures for his own use, so he could show Marta. But absolute professionalism was required in this nest of terror.

He recognized many items they’d learned of on that trip, and then from extensive reading they’d both done after returning home. Reading and internet research, videos of topics which ninety-nine percent of people knew nothing about.

There, on that table, was a Shila Dhunga, a clear quartz crystal which represented the celestial mountain. A mountain which connected the shaman to three different worlds – the upper, middle and lower.

By accessing these three worlds through the quartz crystal, the medicine man, supposedly healer, could See the spirits causing sickness in a tribe member.

It worked through the aesiric trance. Necessary to be an effective healer. Or whatever this particular shaman was. Not, perhaps, a healer.

There on the table was a shaligram – a black fossil ammonite, representing the cycles of birth and annihilation.

An aura duster. A fetish pot, interesting. Each shaman made a different kind of collection of items for this. On the wall, a medicine shield, a prayer stick. Here and there, a strange sight, a pile of animal skins. Pieces of leather. Bones, of what origin he could not say offhand. But they would find out. A shudder passed over his back.

He wandered further into the rooms. Feathers, vines, leaves, twigs. Rattles, larger ones, small ones.

On one wall, a collection of some very fine drums. Beautiful art work on some of them. Skins stretched across the frames perfectly, expert craftsmanship. He wondered if Callahan made his own drums. He wondered what animal the skins came from, shut out nightmare imagination.

Or maybe Callahan was not the shaman, himself. Maybe someone in his outfit was the medicine man. At this point, they couldn’t take anything for granted.

There was a healer’s staff. Altar decorations. An altar. A magical wand, used to project black or white energy to someone or something else.

And there. One of the most vital of ancient shamanic tools, a talking stick.

While this kind of stick was used in a healing group, like AA, to help someone take their turn at speaking, it also had other uses.

It represented the world tree, its leaves, branches, trunk and roots. It represented the three worlds again, the upper, middle and lower.

This was essential helper to the shaman as he travelled through time and space, searching for the spirits causing illness, searching for animal totems, this was a tool synonymous with shamanism.

He felt a yearning to remove the talking stick from the wall, where it lay lengthwise, carefully arranged on hide-covered nails, to feel it in his hands, smell it, handle it.

Ignoring his need to reach out and touch it, Kincaid leaned over, hands behind his back, and examined the ornate carving, not only there for beauty and to give visual information of ancient history, but for the more exotic purpose of symbolism.

For these tools were not just outward show, or meant to induce trance in someone seeking a medicine healer’s help.

These tools could be used to carry out shape-changing, travel into the depths of the earth and to the far reaches of the universe. Apparently. So the videos had said.

He’d wondered about that. You just never knew. Married to the kind of woman he was married to, he’d learned to have an open mind.

These tools were used to achieve states and experiences that quantum physicists were only now, at this end of the historical dialectic, beginning to identify as being humanly possible.

They expressed an ancient hominid acquaintance with the deepest, farthest reaches of the subconscious, almost unknown to the white man. Or woman.

He really had to stop thinking and speaking in terms of male presence all the time. There were now plenty of female shamans in the world. Some, quite famous. Using the internet to find clients, as all these practitioners did. Making far more money than Kincaid and his sort could hope to ever see as they plodded through the muck. Through the detritus of criminal madness which peopled their daily work life. Nothing exotic about the worlds he and his officers travelled in. No, sir.

When it came down to it, Callahan was common muck. When you stripped all this mind-blowing stuff aside.

He was just another killer. Just another rapist.

There was a cell waiting with Callahan’s name on it. Possibly, it would have to be a very special cell. Perhaps, lead-lined. Unless, at last, the finality of true death awaited him. At the hands of a jury.

And where, exactly, would they find a jury of Callahan’s peers?  The idea was laughable.

But shape-shifting and time travel were not necessary parts of jury selection. The presence of a healthy conscience and normal intelligence were the things that mattered there.

And Kincaid was going to put him there. In the hands of a jury. Oh yes. He teetered back on his heels, his hands quiet behind his back, head lifted as he gazed around one last time. Lips compressed, eyes wide.

Next step. Get out there and catch this son of a bitch. Put him away for life, or, if he had his way, put him into the Chair.

But first, they had to find the bodies.

The little bodies.

Like any decent human being, he felt tears start up behind his eyes. But he was used to this.

He could handle himself. No tears.

Not here in front of his officers, anyway.

And he marveled at his wife’s intuition. Marty. An amazing woman. She’d known, somehow.

Some day, he’d need to know all about shamanism.

Who would ever have guessed?

Kincaid could not know that this particular shaman was huddled in a parallel universe, invisible, but very much present in the room, watching in impotent, growing rage as the officers went through his sacred sanctuary inch by inch, exploring, taking notes, peering, judging, gathering evidence by the minute, evidence that would destroy Callahan’s painstakingly-structured life.

His entire world-wide network, all his contacts. In his computer, the speeches he had written, speeches people paid him top dollar to listen to. And the children, the little ones he had loved so much.

The police! They could never understand.

And his magic. His sacred tools. What did these fools know of magic carpets, magic chants and spells? What did they know of travel through time, of shape shifting?

He would show them a thing or two. But he would have to be careful about how he handled this. He could not be shot. If he were killed by a police bullet, he’d be dead. Like anybody else. Simple as that. No matter what animal he was shaped like.

He moved out of his safe place in limbo and took a stance in the woods facing the house. He eyed up the armored Cadillac Gage, the Peacekeeper II.

Perfect.

He hoped one of the intruders carried a camera. Because what they were about to see, they would never see again.  Experts would perhaps call this “a mass hypnotic trance” experience. Except they wouldn’t be able to, because he was going to destroy the house and everyone in it. The house and all the evidence against him. He’d crush the computers, smash the hard drives. Grind any evidence against him into the earth.

He knew where the evidence was.

And he’d have to go after the officers heading out to find and dig up the bodies. Without that cursed post-it note he’d left pinned to the corkboard, they would have had no idea about the bodies.

He’d have to kill, destroy, every single police officer on his property. Every one.

But he savored the moment. It was delicious. The world would be left in horror, speculating.

Maybe he could even make an insurance claim for the damage he would do to the house itself.

Grinning from ear to ear, excited beyond measure, Tenga prepared himself.

The only one who would instantly know what had happened here, would be Melchior, King of Avalon.

He wondered suddenly, where Melchior was. The question took up residence in the back of his mind. He knew the Special Ops team had joined up with Interpol to investigate himself, the one-of-a-kind outlaw, Callahan.

So why wasn’t Melchior and his little team of “covert operators” here, with the police? It bothered him more than it should, and he remembered the thought that had passed through the prisoner’s mind, Theresa’s mind, about Melchior being there in the Mesozoic…but that was impossible. The woman was probably just hysterical. Like most women.

Right now he had to give the Summerford Police Force a thrill they would not forget. Just before he killed them all.

Muttering a spell, he threw back his head and uttered a chant.

One young officer, trailing behind his colleagues with shovels, all heading for the west fence, heard a strange shout in the woods and paused. He peered toward the trees.

“What was that?” he asked aloud. The others stopped, frowned, looked back at him.

“Come on, Talbot, there’s a job to do here. What do you mean, what was what?”

At that moment, the forest facing the ironwork fence began to move, to wave back and forth. The group froze, their shovels over their shoulders, faces turned as one toward the woods.

“What the hell? What’s making the trees move like that?” asked the one who’d urged Talbot to hurry up.

The sentence was barely out of his mouth when a nightmare roar sounded and they stood in shock. An unbelievable sight met their eyes.

A dinosaur, as massive as a two storey building began to lumber out of the woods toward them. It paused, lifted its terrifying head armed with rows of sharp teeth, turned to look right at them, and began to move deliberately toward the group.

As one, the men screamed, yelled for help, threw their shovels aside, and fled toward the house. Other officers, hearing the racket, came out and stood staring.

One of them yelled into the house, “Everybody run. Hide. There’s a goddamn dinosaur out here. T Rex. It’s coming right for us.”

No sooner had the men slammed the door shut – as though that would help –than the sound of tearing, crunching metal echoed around the property.

The armored van, built to withstand automatic machine gun fire, lay with its roof crushed down to the ground, bent beyond repair, a gigantic foot resting on what was left of the truck’s body. The animal stood at least thirty feet tall, its own armored plates far superior to any armored vehicle when combined with the killing power of the giant predator.

The windows were filled with human faces, expressing a combination of fear, horror, and excitement.

“Max,” one of them yelled through the house to the forensic photographer, “get in here. This is the picture of the century. You’re missing it…”

His voice faded as they all turned and fled toward the back of the house, and Kincaid came out of the hidden den to see what the uproar was about.

He was just in time to see the entire front of the house begin to shake and come apart, the window frames falling inward, the door falling flat on the floor, and a massive green leg intruding through the wall.

The creature was coming inside, was going to destroy the entire structure of the home. The entire crime scene. There would be nothing left to convict Callahan with. That was the only thing Kincaid could think as he stood his ground.

Max materialized beside him, camera flashing and popping. Then Max grabbed Kincaid’s coat and yelled, “Get out of here, Detective. Run. Shit, what’s wrong with you, man? Run!”

But Kincaid looked around, frantically trying to think how to stop the beast. This house was all they had to follow Callahan’s own path of destruction around the globe. If the beast came fully inside, tore the roof off the house, which it clearly intended to…

Then it gave a mighty shove forward, another huge leg thumped onto the floorboards and suddenly the dinosaur was right there, in front of him, right in the house, the roof crashing in, boards falling everywhere, glass splintering.

And the whole earth seemed to be shaking, as in an earthquake. The house shook, the ground shook.

The beast thundered toward Kincaid, who astonished even himself by standing his ground. Moved into shooting stance with arms outstretched. He lifted his weapon toward the T Rex’s head. And suddenly, the game changed.

A stand of century-old virgin timber at the front entrance, a half dozen 80-foot Douglas fir trees which had formed a source of pleasure and shade for those who lived there, began to teeter and fall forward, tumbling in majestic collapse over what remained of the roof of the house, and with a never-to-be-forgotten rumble, gave up the ghost. Kincaid fled to the back door with the remainder of his men, watching over his shoulder as a small forest fell on the beast, no doubt crushing it under a gargantuan weight of board feet.

Then Kincaid stopped, whirled around, his eyes bugging out in disbelief once more.

The T Rex was no more. Not dead. Not lying stretched out across the remains of the front entryway.

No.

The great predator had vanished.

He called the men to come back. Ordered them to pull themselves together and get back in there. Or else.

“It was a bunch of trees falling, the animal has disappeared,” he hollered to them.

Cautiously, taking courage from the new silence in the house, a couple of his officers returned, expecting a scene of total carnage.

Yes, the front of the house was in carnage. But there was no sign of the towering beast.

There was no body. The mighty tail, which had apparently dragged and swished across the fir trees, pulling them down, had disappeared along with the rest of the beast.

what remained of the roof of the house, and with a never-to-be-forgotten rumble, gave up the ghost. Kincaid fled to the back door with the remainder of his men, watching over his shoulder as a small forest fell on the beast, no doubt crushing it under a gargantuan weight of board feet.

Then Kincaid stopped, whirled around, his eyes bugging out in disbelief once more.

The T Rex was no more. Not dead. Not lying stretched out across the remains of the front entryway.

No.

The great predator had vanished.

He called the men to come back. Ordered them to pull themselves together and get back in there. Or else.

“It was a bunch of trees falling, the animal has disappeared,” he hollered to them.

Cautiously, taking courage from the new silence in the house, a couple of his officers returned, expecting a scene of total carnage.

Yes, the front of the house was in carnage. But there was no sign of the towering beast.

There was no body. The mighty tail, which had apparently dragged and swished across the fir trees, pulling them down, had disappeared along with the rest of the beast.

 

what remained of the roof of the house, and with a never-to-be-forgotten rumble, gave up the ghost. Kincaid fled to the back door with the remainder of his men, watching over his shoulder as a small forest fell on the beast, no doubt crushing it under a gargantuan weight of board feet.

Then Kincaid stopped, whirled around, his eyes bugging out in disbelief once more.

The T Rex was no more. Not dead. Not lying stretched out across the remains of the front entryway.

No.

The great predator had vanished.

He called the men to come back. Ordered them to pull themselves together and get back in there. Or else.

“It was a bunch of trees falling, the animal has disappeared,” he hollered to them.

Cautiously, taking courage from the new silence in the house, a couple of his officers returned, expecting a scene of total carnage.

Yes, the front of the house was in carnage. But there was no sign of the towering beast.

There was no body. The mighty tail, which had apparently dragged and swished across the fir trees, pulling them down, had disappeared along with the rest of the beast.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS TO VANAYSSA SOMERS’ BOOKS:

 

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Amazon Author Page

 

 

 

 

 

ELEMENTAL MAGIC: YA AUTHOR MARNIE CATE REVISITS OLD FRIENDS IN ADVANCE OF HER NEW RELEASE

It’s my great pleasure to introduce to you Marnie Cate, a young adult fantasy author chasing her dreams with the same energy and verve as the characters she creates. Today on Blog Funkauser, she revisits REMEMBER: PROTECTORS OF THE ELEMENTAL MAGIC. She does this in advance of her next release EXIGENCY. Coming Soon.

Congrats, Marnie!

 

 

coverSynopsis

Hiding the truth from you is no longer protecting you. Sit and I will tell you what you need to know.

With those words, the secrets of my great grandmother, Genevieve Silver, were unburied and my role as a protector of the elemental magic was revealed.

My name is Marina Addisyn Stone but Mara is what my friends and family call me.  I had always felt that there was something missing and that nothing was permanent. Why would I feel that way?  I was being raised with my little sister by my grandmother that loved and doted on me. Then, there was Cole Sands. Who could forget the blue-eyed boy that had stolen my heart? What more could a girl need?  I always thought I was just being dramatic and that bad things do happen to people but that is part of life.  People die.  People go away. Little did I know that with one secret, my life would change forever and my new world would be surrounded by the world of elemental magic?

 

sale banner

 

Excerpt

As I felt my determination build, the mirror in front of me began to change and the reflection filled with rippling water. The image made me think of the choppy water of Sparrow Lake. At first, the small waves were calm but the speed and intensity of each movement of the water grew. I found myself being splashed as the waves grew harder and began to slap against the mirror. Standing up, I moved away just in time to watch the mirror before me shatter and the violent water burst out towards me.

The room began to fill with rushing water. Feeling around the room, I searched for an exit. Behind the shattered mirror, I only found solid rock. Looking to the ceiling, I could see the same hard stone. Feeling the emotions build inside me, I began search the floor and walls around me for any exit.

“Damn! Damn! Damn it!” I cried.

The water did not slow. Instead it continued to fill the room as I frantically searched for my escape. The water soon reached my knees and, what seemed like seconds later, I was wading through waist high water. As the water continued to rise, I was soon struggling to keep my head above water. It was not enough that the water was filling the room so rapidly but soon the water felt alive. The cold waves kept tossing me back and forth as the water rose and I began to feel like I was in a game of Ping-Pong where I was the ball. Soon, I found myself pulled under the icy water and surrounded by thousands of bubbles. Frantically kicking my feet to keep my head above water, I broke the surface.

Remembering the swimming lessons my grandfather insisted on, I thought about the times I spent with my grandfather learning to swim. I began to feel less scared as I recalled his calm voice and gentle words telling me that I would be safe. As I floated in the rising water, it seemed to respond to my emotions. The thrashing became calmer as I focused on my grandfather’s words. My brief moment of peace did not last. Before I knew it, I had almost reached the ceiling that had no exit and I began to panic. At this rate, I would be trapped and drowned in minutes. As if it was feeding off my fear, the water began to toss me around again.

As the water began to rise up my neck and almost over the top of my head, I tried to calm myself. You are the granddaughter of Mae Veracor and the great granddaughter of Genevieve Silver. You are the descendent of strong women. You have nothing to fear. With these words, the water once again calmed and I was able to tilt my head back above the water. How am I going to get out of this?

 

Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic is on sale $0.99 / £0.99 Kindle from February 5th – 11th 2016

 

Amazon Book link: My Book

 

Author Biography

marnie authorMarnie Cate was born and raised in Montana before adventuring to the warmer states of Arizona and California. Her love of Dame Judi Dench and dreams of caticorns and rainbows inspired her to chase her dreams. One great sentence came to mind and the world of elemental magic and the humans they lived amongst filled her mind. With Remember, the story has begun.

 

 

Other Works by Marnie Cate

Exigency: Protectors of the Elemental Magic – Coming Soon

The story of Mara Stone continues.  Her world was shaken but she is a fighter.  Facing new adversaries, Mara is learning what it truly means to protect the magic.

 

Awethology Light – Contribution Story  

Beginnings: Protectors of the Elemental Magic (Novellette)

The story of Genevieve Silver and the origins of the protectors of the magic. With the balance of the elemental world shaken, four elementals take on the task of protecting the magic.

 

Links:

http://www.marniecate.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarnieCate

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00UJNT7J8

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Marnie_Cate

Twitter: @Marnie_Cate

From Humor to Horror: The Mortician and Her Charge

A fellow scribbler recently asked if I’d thought about working in other genres and I had to take a moment before answering. After a couple of slugs of coffee, here’s what I said: Anything’s possible, but do YOU consciously sit down and say ‘I’m going to write a romance today’?

It’s true that we have an idea what we are about on the page after a few false starts and a meme or two. But if you’re like me, you give your characters a wide berth and let them do the driving.

The tale of halting mortician Enid Krause and her charge, the badly decomposed Jurgen Heuer (read ‘Heuer’ as in ‘lawyer’) for me was a platform from which to launch some stories about what it’s like to be a funeral director in the space of a few precious days. The minutae, the stuff we as directors take for granted, like getting the flowers from visitation suite to church to grave without the family and mourners seeing us do it, became a subject of intense interest for some readers. The fact that the work was so physical, along with the long hours often spent waiting for something to happen seemed to be a jump point for discussion as well.

That HEUER went from conversation piece about an atypical job to an award winner under the HORROR category in this year’s PREDITORS & EDITORS reader poll did not surprise readers, but it did surprise me in the best possible way.

HEUER LOST AND FOUND is many things to me: it is a platform from which to rhapsodize about things near and dear, but it’s also a staging point for exploring complicated grief, guilt, addiction, false love, false starts, and, yes, embalming while under the influence of all of the above. Most exciting to me, was that I was able to present difficult and often horrific subjects under the umbrella of gonzo fiction; that is to say: by making the tough accessible through humor.

I’d like to thank my publisher Summer Solstice, a line division of Solstice Publishing, for believing in what I was trying to do. Solstice gave me the courage to press on through the hard slog that is editing and promoting. Most importantly, they gave me what I needed to keep creating NEW WORK. Thank you Melissa Miller, Kate M. Collins and K.C. Sprayberry for keeping me on task.

Preds and Eds thank youThe PREDITORS & EDITORS Reader’s Poll is my first award and as such my most precious, not just for the validation it gives me personally (shades of Sally Field at the Oscars back in 1985 dogged me, but only for a moment) but for the acknowledgement that the book and characters are MORE than they appear. What seemed incredibly funny to some, mortified others and vice versa. Tissue boxes, I’m told, were reached for in the closing chapters, while others cheered for Heuer, a “strange and complicated” character, to succeed in spite of his sometimes odious behavior.

Will I try another genre? Most probably, but only if the characters allow me to do so. If HEUER LOST AND FOUND has taught me anything, it’s that everything is subjective at all times.

Thank you one and all for your tremendous support on the journey. I am incredibly grateful.

Adult, unapologetic and wholly cognizant,

I am

FUNKHAUSER SIGNATURE

NEXT UP:  SCOOTER NATION Releasing March 13, 2016 through Solstice Publishing

 

Biography

IMG_20160104_121131A.B. Funkhauser is a funeral director, classic car nut and wildlife enthusiast living in Ontario, Canada. Like most funeral directors, she is governed by a strong sense of altruism fueled by the belief that life chooses us and we not it. Her debut novel HEUER LOST AND FOUND, released in April 2015 after five years of studious effort, has inspired four other full length works and over a dozen short stories. SCOOTER NATION, her sophomore effort, is part of her UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES series. Funkhauser is currently working on POOR UNDERTAKER begun during NaNoWriMo 2014.

 

HEUER LOST AND FOUND

Heuer Lost and Found - PrintUnrepentant cooze hound lawyer Jürgen Heuer dies suddenly and unexpectedly in his litter-strewn home. Undiscovered, he rages against God, Nazis, deep fryers and analogous women who disappoint him.

At last found, he is delivered to Weibigand Brothers Funeral Home, a ramshackle establishment peopled with above average eccentrics, including boozy Enid, a former girl friend with serious denial issues. With her help and the help of a wise cracking spirit guide, Heuer will try to move on to the next plane. But before he can do this, he must endure an inept embalming, feral whispers, and Enid’s flawed recollections of their murky past.

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/heuerlostandfound

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-C5qBpb0Yc

 

 

PRAISE

“Funny, quirky, and sooooo different.”

—Jo Michaels, Jo Michaels Blog

“Eccentric and Funny. You have never read anything like this book. It demands respect for the outrageous capacity of its author to describe in detail human behavior around death.”

—Charlene Jones, author THE STAIN

“The macabre black comedy Heuer Lost And Found, written by A.B. Funkhauser, is definitely a different sort of book!  You will enjoy this book with its mixture of horror and humour.”

—Diana Harrison, Author ALWAYS AND FOREVER

“This beautifully written, quirky, sad, but also often humorous story of Heuer and Enid gives us a glimpse into the fascinating, closed world of the funeral director.”

—Yvonne Hess, Charter Member, The Brooklin 7

“The book runs the gamut of emotions. One minute you want to cry for the characters, the next you are uncontrollably laughing out loud, and your husband is looking at you like you lost your mind, at least mine did.”

http://teresanoel.blogspot.ca/2015/05/heuer-lost-and-found-unapologetic-lives

“The writing style is racy with no words wasted.”

—David K. Bryant, Author TREAD CAREFULLY ON THE SEA

“For a story centered around death, it is full of life.”

—Rocky Rochford, Author RISE OF ELOHIM CHRONICLES

“Like Breaking Bad’s Walter White, Heuer is not a likeable man, but I somehow found myself rooting for him. A strange, complicated character.”

—Kasey Balko, Pickering, Ontario

Raw, clever, organic, intriguing and morbid at the same time … breathing life and laughter into a world of death.

—Josie Montano, Author VEILED SECRETS

LINKS

Website: www.abfunkhauser.com

Scooter Page: https://abfunkhauser.com/wip-scooter-nation/

Podcast:  http://mhefferman.ca/author/podcasts/episode-3-an-interview-with-a-b-funkhauser/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Facebook: www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound

Publisher: http://solsticepublishing.com/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1FPJXcO

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/abfunkhauser

Email: a.b.funkhauser@rogers.com

Audio Interview:

Interview Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2yhaXfh-ns

Interview Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoPthI1Hvmo

 

 

TEN AUTHORS, TEN DAYS: DAY THREE: SHYLA WOLFF

Blogger, tour promoter, cover designer and purveyor of paranormal romance fantasy Shyla Wolff joinsTiny wolves BLOG FUNKHAUSER today. Welcome her aboard as she shares her methods, aspirations, and an excerpt from her latest SHADOWED HORIZONS. Hello Shyla!

  

  1. I was walking in the woods over Labor Day Weekend and found some amazing wolf tracks. I Q & Afollowed for a little bit before realizing that it would be very rude on my part to barge in on the wolf’s den! Do you like the woods?

 

As a hick from the stix – Yep, I absolutely love being in the woods. Can’t say I love the ticks much, but you have to take the sour with the sweet.  My three shepherds and I spend a good deal of time playing/training there, S & R, one furbaby is a therapy dog, the others…not so much. Lol. There’s an innate peace and calm found in the woods I can’t replicate anywhere else.

  1. We’ve enjoyed many discussions as writers and friends. Would you classify yourself as a spiritual person…whatever that might mean?

Not per se. Without excavating personal convictions, I’d say that we’re all a part of something awe inspiring, the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, and that there are forces at work which we’ve yet to understand. I believe in honoring those with compassion, integrity, and motivation.

  1. You have a great blog. Tell the readers what it’s about and maybe share some links to favorite posts?

Thank You. At this point I’m still new to blogging and have much to learn. I’ve been hosting a lot of book tours/ giveaways and drawing a ton of hits to the page. Everyone loves a giveaway.

Now – I’m starting to branch out and do interviews and relevant blog posts. Relevant to writers and readers.

I’ve found it absolutely fascinating to converse with other writers – there’s a wealth of information, not to mention friendships waiting to develop, if you just reach out.

Also – I’m beginning to design book covers and headers for fb, blogs, etc. Below is a sample of what I’m working on now. They will show up on my  blog very soon.

Anath banner

My favorite posts would be to books I’ve read (and would love to have time to read more). Like you, A. B. Funkhauser, I can think of two others whose works have fascinated as well as entertained.  I know there are many more fantastic authors out there, but darned if I can find the time to read their works.

Heuer Lost And Found entertains throughout. I love a sharp wit.

http://shylawolff.blogspot.com/2015/05/heuer-lost-and-found-by-b-funkhauser_14.html

Charley Daveler also has a fascinating talent and I’d read her work even though it’s not usually my genre.

http://shylawolff.blogspot.com/2015/08/interview-with-charley-daveler.html

Carnal Beginnings – Everyone loves when an underdog can turn the tables and emerge victorious.  The sequel  – Carnal Innocence will release on Sept. 15, 2015.

http://shylawolff.blogspot.com/2015/08/carnal-beginnings-by-reily-garrett.html

  1. What are you working on right now, this minute?

I’m working on a romantic paranormal fantasy, set in the Amazon jungle. I love to step outside my comfort zone and bring new things to life for readers.

Deep in the rainforest, it is said there is a mythical creature called Kurupira who protects all within his realm from those who would rape and destroy the land. From this, I branched out and had a ball developing the story line.  It should be released sometime in October, 2015. Below is the cover art.

tIAGO for interview

  1. Do you like contests? Ever submitted? Tell us what that feels like?

I’ve never entered a contest, but it’s time I started.

  1. This thing you do called writing. What’s it all about? A gift? A torture? A path to follow?

 It’s a compulsion, pure and simple. I love it.

  1. Got a publishing anecdote? Share, please…lol

I find this the most hilarious thing that’s ever happened to me. A year ago, I’d been working on a novel during the prior six months. A private editor told me I’d never get it published. This person also told me to get over my squeamishness of writing romantic scenes.

Being the obstinate person I am, I wrote what I thought was a scorcher.  While I was waiting on edits for my first book, I submitted the scorcher to a publishing house. It was accepted within 48 hours. Furthermore, it won TOP Pick at The Romance Reviews… I think I laughed for a week.

And the book I was told would never be published? It along with 2 sequels have also been published.

Don’t ever let someone tell you  “You can’t”.

  1. Do you have a muse?

 No. Just tons and tons of ideas that won’t leave me alone until I write them down.

  1. What do you read when you aren’t writing?   

Through my blogging/reviewing, I’ve found quite a few fascinating authors. I love reading those works that are convoluted but yet easily understood.  Now that I have so little time, I don’t get to read near as much.  I’m an avid reader of Dean Koontz.

Other than that – S & R training  stuff for working with my dogs.  One is a therapy dog.  They are my life, my support and my inspiration. I include dogs in each of my books as integral characters.

  1. Guilty pleasure: person, place or thing???leyna snow

Spending too much time with my dogs…

Thanks for the update on your blog and design work. Now let’s tuck into your newest:

SHADOWED HORIZONS

Shadow HorizonsLove is a flame we embrace with open arms.

Kiera, adopted from the streets by her psychic brethren, is fated to protect Carlin, an electronics genius. Passion flares after extracting him from death’s clutches, drawing her into a world of espionage, romance, psychic stalkers and an extraordinary destiny.

Kyley’s years of abuse at Roth’s hands have yet to crush her spirit. In order to prevent him from creating chaos and anarchy, she must escape his psychotic hold and acquire the support of other paranormals.

Taylor is a strong telekinetic craving to set Kyley free, replacing her memories of torture and fear with hope and passion.

Two groups of warriors, their unique skills unknown to mankind, live and fight in the shadows with courage and honor, to preserve our way of life. Their incredible stories are a spirit-stirring journey that speaks to the dreams we all share.

 

ExcerptCarlin strode beside his bodyguard through the dimly lit parking garage fidgeting with his keys. “Adam, this does not make it to my top five favorite places to visit.”

A rat skittered across the floor in the shadows, and he imagined it turning a gimlet-eyed stare on its intruders. Filth, gas, and pizza from a nearby restaurant thickened the air, reminiscent of the alley apartment he occupied during college. Small pools of dingy light challenged macabre shadows for dominance—and lost. Clashing of the bleak rays and murky silhouettes added an ominous, prophetic feeling he couldn’t shake. Water stains mingled with the shadows to create fleeting two dimensional monsters. Carlin was not a fan of Rorschach. Crap, I haven’t been spooked like this in years.

Adam shrugged. “Sir, as your bodyguard, I admit this isn’t my idea of a secure location either, but it is the closest enclosed parking available to meet with your client. The open street leaves you too vulnerable. As much as you cherish your privacy, I’m surprised you agreed to help at all.”

“He’s a college buddy, needed help with a simple, high-tech security task. Seems twenty-first century technology left him in the dust.”

“Next time, why don’t you at least suggest meeting during the daytime?” Adam’s narrowed eyes and tilted head as if listening to a far-off sound—usually spelled trouble.

Next time, remind me a proctologist’s exam would be more enjoyable, okay?” Sweat beaded his forehead despite the cool December breeze drifting over the graffiti-covered knee wall.

“Yeah, I’m feeling it too. Let’s get the hell out of here.”

Carlin’s skidding on a badly patched piece of concrete prompted his bodyguard to scan the area around them. Dirt and crumbles skittered, their audio report echoed off the walls.

“Watch your step, sir, we don’t need to broadcast our location.” Adam murmured as he reached out to steady him.

“You know…” Carlin muttered, “Folks generally think of me as a good analytical and concrete thinker. Perhaps whatever higher power gifted me with intuitive abilities for logistics and computers decided on a mental tariff—common sense.”

“My sixth sense says trouble’s GPS has already locked on. Stay close.”

The gentle slide of Adam’s gun from its shoulder rig compelled Carlin to suck in the cool night air, searing his lungs.

“Sir, instincts are the best survival tool we have. They’re rarely wrong. Better safe than sorry.”

Sharp chirps split the silence, Carlin’s cell threw his heart rate into overdrive. Hair on his nape prickled as he fumbled in his pocket. With an all-thumbs equivalent, he extracted the nuisance and hit ignore.

Massive pillars supported the five-story concrete structure. Rounding one to his left, his foot stalled mid-step when Adam snatched him sideways. The colossal thug he almost plowed into blended into the shadows.

“Jesus!” The man personified hulkish features with abject malice in his gaze. The split-second observation brought Carlin a rush of adrenaline. “You’re huge!” Brown hair pulled back in a ponytail swept his shoulder giving the look of a mob enforcer. A bulge of pitted, tanned skin separated a straight line of bushy eyebrows. Dark eyes appeared to hold a terrible knowledge and gave his hard stare a cold calculating look.

The brute’s gaze raked Carlin’s body head to toe. Chipped yellow teeth appeared as his thin lips pulled back in a wide grin. “Time to meet your maker, prodigy.” He mimicked Carlin’s sidestep in a lightning-fast move and knocked Adam’s gun from his right hand. Its ricocheting underneath a nearby Toyota produced multiple tin-like clinks.

Time seemed to fracture. Adam’s left arm shoved Carlin to the side. His assailant took wily advantage in that flash of time. He watched his bodyguard go down hard from his attacker’s leg sweep.

One blink and a dagger appeared in the thug’s hand. Its arc and swift speed toward his belly made it little more than a glimmer in the weak light. His neurons couldn’t fire fast enough to follow its passage. Two feet stood between Carlin and a trip to his maker, complements of this walking nightmare.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Life teaches us many lessons. One of the most important ones Shyla’s learned is to take the time to enjoy family and friends. Our circumstances change on a daily basis. However small the differences may seem, they add up over time. Through a lifetime of various trials and tribulations, she’s discovered the enjoyment of sharing her stories with those that would relish participating in the journey of extraordinary people through their everyday lives.

After years of employment in various fields including medical, law enforcement, and private investigations, Shyla’s experiences inspired the stories she brings to life. From the horrific to the awe-inspiring, life’s lessons affect us all, regardless of the virtual walls we build or the blinders we don.

The way we incorporate these into our daily life helps determine our character and how we affect those around us. A simple and small kindness can go a very long way and have a profound effect on others.

 

LINKS

https://www.facebook.com/shyla.wolff

http://shylawolff.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/wolff_shyla

http://shylawolff.com/

Amazon buy link

http://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Horizons-Anath-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RC7QOIQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422718443&sr=1-1&keywords=Shadowed+Horizons

Link to Shadowed Origins

Shadowed Origins big pichttp://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Origins-Anath-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00SKL3O1S/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422718469&sr=1-1&keywords=Shadowed+Origins

Link to Shadowed Passage

http://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Passage-Anath-Book-3-shadowedpassage72ebook/dp/B00XFRFAXM

 

 

Thank you Shyla for stopping by. Wishing you every success with SHADOWED HORIZONS as well as all projects current and future.

ABF

 

TOMORROW:

Short story maven Gloria Weber talks speculative fiction and the “What if” that can change worlds. Tune in!

GloriaWeber

A LITTLE MAGICK, ANYONE? MARIE LAVENDER’S GOT IT!!!

Prolific author and friend Marie Lavender has done it again and with plenty of charm: A Little Magick in one life that transforms many. Take a look….

 

A Little Magick

A Little Magick - final coverLittle Rosie goes to stay with her uncle. There she meets some new friends…and some enemies. She doesn’t know that her emotions will trigger something unusual. So far from home, suddenly Rosie has become a full witch like her mother. For a time, it is great fun to use her powers the way she wants, but can Rosie figure out how to use these newfound powers for good or will she be lost to the dark side forever?

ALMpromoteaser

Excerpt

Now, she was going to Seattle, where Uncle Adam lived. She hoped summer there wasn’t as bad as she feared. Rosie didn’t doubt he’d try to make her comfortable, but he was a lawyer. All the lawyers she’d seen in town were stuffy. She wondered if he would be the same, not fun like her Daddy. Rosie released a long sigh.

“Cheer up, butterfly,” Mama said now, trying to get her attention. Mama often called her ‘butterfly’. She said it meant that one day, Rosie would come out of her cocoon and become something beautiful, extraordinary. Now she was termed ‘cute’, but she was told, she would be more when she grew up. Then she would have gifts. Rosanna didn’t know what it all meant; she only hoped she’d be taller.

“Hey, baby. It’s going to be okay. It won’t be long. It will be over before you know it. I know your Dad and I will be busy, but we’ll call to check on you. And if either of us can get away earlier, we’ll be right back to get you.”

“Promise?”

“Pinky swear.”

She giggled as Mama used her free hand to link her pink finger with Rosie’s. Then she sobered as, a few ALMteaserpromominutes later, the car exited the huge highway. They must be close. Her belly began to cramp with dread.

“Rosanna, Sweetheart, it won’t be so bad. I know Uncle Adam doesn’t have any kids, but he was a kid once too, you know. I’m sure he knows exactly what to do.”

“Does he have a pool? Can I go swimming?”

“Ah, I don’t know. I haven’t seen that side of the house. But, you’ll meet other kids in the neighborhood. Maybe you’ll make some new friends, hmm?”

“I doubt it,” she muttered.

“Come on, Rosie. I know this is hard. It’s hard for me too. Don’t you know how much I’ll miss you?” She patted her hand briefly. “Can you be a brave girl for me?”

She nodded. “Okay,” she whispered.

“Good girl. And don’t worry. It will go so fast, you’ll be amazed when I come back for you. You may not want to leave.”

She giggled again as Mama was being silly. Rosie shook her head. She couldn’t imagine wanting to stay in Seattle.

Pre-Order Purchase Links

Amazon:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00YJSGE40

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/547154

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-little-magick-marie-lavender/1122044476

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/a-little-magick-magick-series-book-2


Goodreads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25652268-a-little-magick

Author Bio

mariealternateBestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 20 other books. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. She is a multi-genre author. Since 2010, Marie has published twenty-one books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. Feel free to visit her website athttp://marielavender.com/ for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

A list of her books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender: Upon Your ReturnMagick & MoonlightUpon Your HonorSecond Nature; “Lovers Like Us” (from the book anthology, Poets & Writers in Action); A Little Magick

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to GetMemoriesA Hint of ScandalWithout YouStrange HeatTerror in the Night;HauntedPursuitPerfect GameA Touch of DawnRansomLeather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other RamblingsRamblings, Musings and Other ThingsSoulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

Author Links

http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
http://amazon.com/author/marielavender
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos