Thursday, June 30, 2016

Honeymoon: A Chaos Station story

Posted by: Unknown
Zander Anatolius and Felix Ingesson are two of the hardest working men in the galaxy. They really need a break. So, we’ve sent them on a honeymoon—and managed to do so without bringing them to further harm.

(Readers of the Chaos Station series are likely breathing a huge sigh of relief here, as they’re more used to people dying. Or at the very least losing limbs. This holiday has been a long time coming.)

We didn’t just write this story for the Zed and Felix, though. We wrote it for our readers, the fans who have followed the adventures of Zed and Felix from the very start. For those who have mourned their losses, and cheered their successes. For all the folks who sent us little messages saying: “I cannot believe you did that!” Or: “Hasn’t Zed been through enough?” Or, popularly: “OMG, Felix!”

Jenn and I also wrote this one for ourselves. We’d said goodbye to Zed and Felix with the last edit round of Phase Shift (Chaos Station #5), and it was hard to let go. Many of our blog posts for the release of Phase Shift reflected on how hard it was to say goodbye to characters we’d given life to through five novels and a small collection of short stories. So “Honeymoon” is our last hurrah—a chance for us to just play with the guys, our dear fictional friends; to enjoy their love and everlasting happiness; to share their last adventure with our readers.

Visit our website at: for more short stories, excerpts and deleted scenes.

A Chaos Station story

Zander can't quite believe a galactic emergency didn't interrupt their wedding. Felix can't quite believe he's married. One thing is for sure, though, these guys need a holiday! So they book a cruise aboard the drift ship Biswas.

There is no death or dismemberment in this story. No hull breaches, no marauding aliens. This is Zed and Felix, though, so not everything is going to go according to plan.

“Honeymoon” is available to read now!


About Kelly

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. A lot of what she writes is speculative in nature, but sometimes it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Visit Kelly Online:

Twitter | Facebook | Website

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Guest Post: Gifts for Fathers of Fiction From Michelle Boule

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica: Today we have a fun guest post from Michelle Boule, author of LETTERS IN THE SNOW:

A Fictional Father’s Gift Giving Guide

June is almost over. For most of us, June means the end of the school year, the beginning of summer, and a celebration of fathers. If you are blessed enough to have a dad in your life, I hope you showered him with gifts, a great meal, or your company.

Some of us had great dads. Some of us had fathers who could have used some pointers. As a writer, I know that fathers can be great fodder for backstories both good and bad. I thought it would be amusing to look at some famous mythological and fictional fathers to see what kind of gifts they would have received for Father’s Day.

The series I am currently writing involves Greek mythology, so let’s start with Zeus. In Greek mythology, Zeus inspired culture, he orchestrated the Trojan War, and he was the god of justice. He ruled over the other gods at Mount Olympus and was called Father by many.

He was called father by many because he was reported to be the father of some seventy children, most of them not with his wife, Hera, and many of them through forced seduction aka rape. He was egotistical, easily angered, and had no qualms about killing family members. Overall, he was a terrible husband and likely a tyrannical father. For Father’s Day, I think his children would likely have offered blood sacrifices or a vestal virgin.

In Norse mythology, Odin is known as All Father because he was said to be the father of all the gods and some of the prominent ruling families from Northern Europe. He was known as a wanderer, gatherer of wisdom, and creator of poetry. He was, unlike Zeus, not known for his love of justice and fairness. Odin cared little for humanity (that belief belonged to his son, Thor), but was known to be a trickster who reveled in causing wars, strife, and fighting among the peoples and tribes. He was a god of war and ruled both the battlefield and the afterlife, known as Valhalla.

I think Odin was likely an indifferent father who probably only appreciated his sons when they excelled at war. For Father’s Day, Odin would have been given a new sword, carefully crafted for him alone, or a sword stolen in conquest.

One of my favorite rereads, Pride and Prejudice, has a great, if occasionally exasperated, father figure, Mr. Bennet. Poor Mr. Bennet in that house full of, mostly, silly women. He is patient, kind, and tries his best to encourage and support his daughters. Unfortunately, he is very lenient and has little or no control or sense when it matters most. Despite all that, the women in his life adore him and so do I. For Father’s Day, Mr. Bennet would receive a new book from an author he loved or Lydia speaking sense for one entire day.

Harry Potter may not have known his father, but he did have Arthur Weasley in his life. Mr. Weasley had a brood of his own children to love, but he welcomed Harry and Hermione with open arms into his house and family. As the series progresses, Mr. Weasley is shown to be not just a smart, overly enthusiastic collector of muggle artifacts, he is a fierce soldier who stands up for his beliefs and defends those he loves. For Father’s Day, Mr. Weasley would have been given a drone with a camera. You know he would have lost his noodle over that one.

Who is your favorite fictional or mythological father and  what would they have been given on Father’s Day this year?

Letters in the Snow (Turning Creek 3)

Iris is a simple postmistress in the small town of Turning Creek, Colorado. Simple, except for being a descendant of a Greek myth, having a pair of golden wings, and possessing the ability to speak prophecy. She has had her hands so full guiding the harpies towards their destinies that she has forgotten to seek out her own.
A mysterious letter from an anonymous admirer begins a correspondence that weaves itself into Iris’s heart and awakens a longing for a love of her own. The letters keep arriving, and Iris is increasingly more aware of the charms of Jacob Wells, a newcomer to Turning Creek. She wonders if the letters are from him. But even with Jacob’s charisma and the lure of a new relationship, Iris discovers the heart can't be contained, and that her heart’s desire might be for someone who was there all along.
Unfortunately for Iris, the letters and the resulting affairs of the heart are not the only perplexing things happening in Turning Creek. Something more than nature is burying the town in a deadly winter blanket, and a closely guarded secret that will change Turning Creek forever is revealed.

Michelle Boule has been, at various times, a librarian, a bookstore clerk, an administrative assistant, a wife, a mother, a writer, and a dreamer trying to change the world. Michelle writes the historical fantasy series Turning Creek. She brews her own beer, will read almost anything in book form, loves to cook, bake, go camping, and believes Joss Whedon is a genius. She dislikes steamed zucchini, snow skiing, and running. Unless there are zombies. She would run if there were zombies. You can find her at:, @wanderingeyre, or on Facebook  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Guest Post Excerpt From Cara Bristol's TRAPPED WITH THE CYBORG SciFi Romance

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica: Our guest today has written two successful scifi romance series,  Breeder and Cy-Ops. Her current new release is in the latter series and we’re excited to have an excerpt from Trapped With the Cyborg!

The Story:

The only thing more dangerous than a suicide mission is falling in love…

Amanda Mansfield has faced challenges in her life: the disapproval of her critical father and the near-fatal accident that ended a promising military career and resulted in her transformation to cyborg. Now a Cyber Operations field agent, she volunteers to lead the most dangerous Cy-Ops mission ever: infiltrating enemy territory to find the secret hideaway of a terrorist mastermind. The last thing she needs is an added complication.

Like him. Sonny Masters. Her partner. A streetwise former thug turned cyber operative with a lethal grin. He can’t seem to understand she’s in charge and does not require his protection. He’s everything she dislikes—and everything her body wants.

If they can keep their hands off each other long enough to complete the mission, they might just get out alive…

Trapped with the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 4) is a standalone read.

The Excerpt:
When an alien accosts a blonde in a bar,  Sonny Masters discovers she’s more than capable of taking care of herself.

“What’s the rush? Don’t run off.” The Malodonian grabbed her arm, his fingers biting into her skin.

Amusement vanished. Sonny leaped to his feet. “I believe the lady said—”

Before he could finish his sentence, she had the Malodonian on his knees, his arm wrenched at such an awkward angle Sonny almost felt sorry for the poor bastard.

“What part of leave me alone didn’t you understand?” she said in the Malodonian language.

The man’s guttural insult ended on a high note when she twisted his arm. “Get out of here.” She shoved him, sending him sprawling into a table. He swore again, his epithet translating to the C-word, and scrambled for the door.

“Impressive.” Sonny applauded—from a safe distance.

“The way I took him down?”

“That, and the way you hold your liquor.”

She scowled, but then her lips twitched in a reluctant smile that lit up her face. So she did have a sense of humor. If he had the time…well, maybe he could make some. Once he departed Darius 4, it would be a long while before he could avail himself of feminine companionship. Manny wouldn’t arrive until morning. Perhaps he and the blonde could work something out for tonight?

Tread carefully, though. He’d hate to end up on his knees the way the Malodonian had. Not that the blonde could get him there. Despite being well-toned, she couldn’t beat a cyborg’s nanocyte-enhanced brawn. The image of them naked and wrestling, vying for dominance, brought a smile to his face. He’d win, of course. But he’d allow her to think she had a chance.

“Something amuses you?” she asked.

He wiped the grin off his face. “No, ma’am.”

“Ma’am?” She glowered.

He raised his hands in mock surrender. “Where I come from, ma’am is an expression of respect.”

She jutted her chin. “And where’s that?”

“Texas.” He’d never set foot on that part of Terra, but his great-great-great-grand something or other had settled there centuries ago. “It’s in—”

“I know where Texas is.”

“You’re from Terra, too, then.”

She rolled her eyes. “Good guess.”

In most instances, you could identify a person’s planet of origin from appearance. Malodonians had blue skin, Faria flew on translucent wings, Arcanians gripped their drinks with webbed hands, and Xenians’ golden eyes never blinked. A thick, ridged, pulsing forehead was a dead giveaway you had encountered a Lamis-Odg. Or a kaboom. If the building you were in exploded, chances were good one of them had been in the vicinity.

“I’m Sonny.” He stuck out his hand.

She hesitated for a fraction before she shook it. “Amanda.”

“Nice to meet you.” Her fingers were long and slender, her grip sure and strong. Another good fit.
Come here often? The question would sound like another tired pickup line, but he could use the intel. If she had checked in to the Darius 4 Pleasure Resort for the usual reason—a sexual vacation—he might have a chance with her. He wouldn’t have been on Darius 4 at all, except he and Manny had completed assignments in opposite parts of the galaxy and the resort, located midway, offered a convenient place to rendezvous. “At the risk of being decked, may I buy you a drink?”

Her gaze lingered on the scar zigzagging from his eye to his mouth before traveling down his body to his well-worn boots then up again. The last time he’d gotten such a thorough scan, he’d received a prostate exam, too.

Buy Links:

Author bio and links:

USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol writes contemporary and science fiction romance and has topped the Amazon sales charts in science fiction and fantasy romance and erotica. No matter what the romance subgenre, one thing remains constant: her emphasis on character-driven, seriously hot erotic stories with sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara has lived many places in the United States, but currently lives in Missouri with her husband. She has two grown stepkids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and traveling.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Here Be News

Posted by: Unknown

New Releases

Today is release day for Plague Cult by Jenny Schwartz. Is small town romance the new wave of paranormal romance? Discover for yourself the appeal of family dramas, old ties and new beginnings mixed with magic in Plague Cult. Pick up a copy today while it's at the special launch price of 99c. Available exclusively on Amazon, and free to read in Kindle Unlimited.

In a small Texas town a desire for love becomes a curse that could unleash a deadly plague. 

Ruth Warner is estranged from her family. She loves them, but her magic makes her an outsider in Bideer, Texas. Ruth has built a new life in New York. She’s a healer at the Collegium, respected and…lonely. Sometimes, you have to go home. 

Ruth’s boss orders her to Bideer after a local coroner reports a suspicious death. Could the new cult in town, a lonely hearts club, be playing reckless games with a death curse? 

But if Ruth is going home, she’s not going alone. 

Shawn Jackson is a Collegium guardian, a mage trained to fight evil. He’s also a man accustomed to keeping secrets. He’s a hollerider, a huntsman; one of those who birthed the legend of the Wild Hunt. When he unleashes his magic, terror rides with him. 

As evil stalks an innocent town, the dedicated healer and battle-hardened marine must heal their own broken hearts to prevent a devastating plague. 

Warning: Plague Cult includes a haunted house, an unconventional ghost, and a home renovation love story. 

Other News

Covers revealed for two new novellas by Kelly Jensen!

Counting Fence Posts

There are over two hundred thousand fence posts between Syracuse and Boston. Henry Auttenberg likes numbers—it’s his job—but he isn’t going to count them all, even if the view outside the rental car is less confounding than the driver, his attractive but oh so obnoxious colleague, Marcus Winnamore. It’s Christmas Eve and Henry would much rather be home with his family. When the blizzard that grounded their flight forces them off the road, however, he’s stuck with Marc until the storm passes—or a plow digs them out.

As the temperature outside plummets, the atmosphere inside the car slowly heats up. Henry learns the true reason for Marc’s chilly distance—he’s not exactly straight…maybe…and he’s been fantasizing about Henry’s mouth, among other things. Confession laid out, Marc is all for sharing body heat…and more. Henry isn’t interested in being an experiment, but as the night and cold deepen, he could be convinced to balance certain risk against uncertain reward.

Coming July 23, 2016. Available for preorder at Dreamspinner Press.

Best in Show

Solitary mystery writer Julian Wilkes doesn’t want a pet, but his sister persuades him to visit Lingwood Animal Rescue, where he is immediately taken with a large ginger tabby cat. Before he can settle into the joys of cat ownership, however, he discovers something very unusual about his new companion.

Macavity Birch is cursed. By day he is a large tabby cat. At night he can be himself—a human male with ginger hair and oddly yellow eyes. He didn’t mean to end up in the animal rescue, but he never meant any harm when playing the prank that resulted in his curse, either. Happily, Julian adopts him. But while exploring his host’s home, he discovers the diary of a long-dead relative.

Unfortunately, not all of Mac’s ancestors are dead and buried. His great-great-great-grandmother is very much alive, and she’s a powerful witch who doesn’t take kindly to the sharing of family secrets. When Mac reveals himself to Julian in order to save him from bigger trouble, he achieves just the opposite, plunging Julian deeper into a magical mystery with him.

Paranormal romance (male/male) from Dreamspinner Press

Coming July 27, 2016

Veronica Scott's paranormal romance GHOST OF THE NILE received a good review from the Dear Author site last week!

The Story:
1550 BCE
Betrayed, murdered, and buried without proper ceremony, Egyptian warrior Periseneb is doomed to roam the gray deserts of the dead as a ghost for all eternity.
But then the goddess of truth offers him a bargain: return to the world of the living as her champion for 30 days. If he completes his mission, he’ll be guaranteed entry into Paradise. Periseneb agrees to the bargain but, when he returns to the living world, two hundred years have passed and nothing is quite as he expected.
Neithamun is a woman fighting to hang onto her family’s estate against an unscrupulous nobleman who desires the land as well as the lady. All seems lost until a mysterious yet appealing ex-soldier, Periseneb, appears out of nowhere to help her fight off the noble’s repeated attacks.
Meanwhile, Periseneb’s thirty days are rushing by, and he’s powerless against the growing attraction between himself and Neithamun. But their love can never be. For his Fate is to return to the Afterlife, and Death cannot wed with Life…
Buy Links:
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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Guest Post: Excerpt from AR DeClerck's ENCHANTER'S EMBRACE Steampunk Romance

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica: Today we have an excerpt from AR DeClerck’s new steampunk romance Enchanter's Embrace!

The Story:
London, 1870
Icarus and Cora Mae have left London in the capable hands of Archimedes Merriweather and Lady Lucia Conti. With peace falling over the land Archie and Lucia are finally able to consider a true courtship. Then, a strange letter detailing dark happenings in Kensington arrives on the Queen’s doorstep. Grand Adept Lucan Orrin and the Queen herself ask Archie and Lucia to take a few of their most trusted friends and ferret out the truth of Summer Ridge Estate. The secrets of Summer Ridge and many and deep, and someone is trying very hard to make sure they stay buried. Forever.

The Excerpt:

Bessemer’s face took on a ghostly glow as the air around him lit up with magic. Lucia gasped at the prick of it against her skin. He raised his arms and chanted in a thick, heavy voice.
Ardu. Eirigh liom.
Eisteacht liom gloach.
Eisteacht liom.
Rise. Rise to me.
Hear me call,
Hear me.
Everything around them went silent. There was no crunch of snow under tiny animal feet, no whistle of the wind through the trees. The sick tearing of the ground had gone quiet and Bessemer’s face split wide with a grin. He looked at Grayson.
“Pull it to you, son. Gather it up like wool to be spun and hold it tight against your chest.”
Grayson breathed deep and closed his eyes. The light aether that twinkled around him, clinging like fireflies to him, grew brighter as he focused.
Lucia looked up at Archie and he was staring with wide eyes at the two men by the pit. Corrigan was leaning against the wagon, Machiavelli in his arms, but his eye, too, were trained on the old man and the young wizard. Bastion cradled Yasmin in his arms inside the wagon, Stella’s head on his shoulder.
A buzz made Lucia wave at the air by her ear. She heard it again and swiped at the annoyance of the sound. Sound. The word made her pause. Bessemer’s magic had quieted the world, but next to her ear there was definite noise.
She concentrated hard. Hello?
Your assistance is required.
Was she the only one who could hear the aether as it spoke? Archie’s eyes never waved from Bessemer and Grayson, and Corrigan was nearly comatose from exhaustion. The air around them was thick, and she wondered how close the convergence point was to opening fully. Despite the aether’s insistence that it wanted to stay on its side of the barrier, the vacuum between worlds might pull it through. What can I do?
Bessemer staggered. His face was haggard and pale as he lowered his hands. “This will take more than we have.”
“What can we do?” Archie was quick to offer assistance. Lucia’s attention was half with him and half with the aether as it buzzed around her.
“There might a way. A spell to siphon up all the aether and return it to the convergence point.”
“What do we need?” Archie asked.
“A funnel.”
Bessemer’s eyes narrowed as he clapped Grayson on the shoulder. He shook his head, his chin on his chest. “It requires a sacrifice. A wizard will have to give up his body, become a conduit between our world and theirs. Let them travel back home through flesh and blood and bone.”
“That’s suicide,” Archie argued. His hand tightened on Lucia’s.
“I’ll do it.” Grayson’s eyes were ringed in red, his muscles trembling from the exertion of the magic. “It was my blood that opened this portal all those years ago.”
Your sacrifice is now required.

Buy Links (more on her web page):

Author Bio and Social Media:

Author. Mother. Wife. Reading ninja. Food assassin. All-around goofball. Self-proclaimed nerd.

Raised in the mountains of Western North Carolina, AR currently lives by the Mighty Mississippi with her husband, 2 daughters, 2 dogs and a wily cat. She writes adventure romance with a particular love for strong heroines and redeemable heroes. AR believes LOVE is the greatest adventure, and she enjoys writing stories that incorporate ideals of loyalty, honor, sacrifice and personal growth.

Find AR Here:

Email her at

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Guest Post: Excerpt From Deb Bailey's HATHOR LEGACY: REVELATIONS SciFi Romance

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica sez:  Our guest today is Deb Bailey, with an excerpt from her newly released science fiction romance Hathor Legacy: Revelations!

The story:
An enemy returns to spark new tensions between the Guardians and Novacorp. In the midst of the crisis, Nadira is given information about her parents that threatens to destroy her relationship to the Guardians and to Jonathan.

While Nadira searches for answers, Jonathan is enticed into the hedonistic world of the Novacorp executive class. His entertainment club attracts the elite of Hathor, but his notoriety comes with a price.

The worlds of the Guardians and Novacorp are put on a collision course where only one side may come out on top. Nadira is called on to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the legacy of the First Families, the original settlers of Hathor, while Guardians, Kasema and Deshtu PSI groups are faced with the choice to unite or be brought completely under Novacorp control.

Old scores are settled and long-hidden truths are revealed, and at the end Nadira and Jonathan’s relationship and their world will never be the same.

The Excerpt:
Outside, she ran down the marble stairs towards a waiting transport. The heavy metal door slid back, but before she could enter, she felt a tug on her upper arm.

"Why are you in such a hurry?" Jon asked.

"Good evening, Sentry Leader Nadira. What is your desired location?" the computerized voice inquired.

"Take me home," she replied, as she settled back into her seat. Their apartment was in a tower only about 15 minutes from this one. But by the looks of the clogged traffic lanes, the trip would probably take longer. This main boulevard went through the Entertainments District, one of the busiest areas of the city.

"Tell me what happened. Why do you think they killed your parents?" Jon asked.

The transport pulled out into the traffic lanes and slowly rumbled down the boulevard. Nadira looked out over the crowd, just in case she saw Zina among them. She knew it was a waste of time though, if anything, Zina would be in her private transport.

"I went to see Mikal at the detention center. He told me everything. My father got to the penal colony. He wasn't lost out there. They had him killed."

Jon opened his mouth to reply, then sagged against the cushions. "You went to see Mikal? And you believe him? Are you serious?"

"Why would he lie?"

"Is that a real question?" Jon brought his fist down on the seat. "He's trying to set you up. Don’t you see? He's a liar and a killer."

"He found my father's ship, Jon. That wasn't a lie." She couldn’t understand why he wouldn't listen. He had his mind made up and it was pissing her off.

"I know what he did at the medi-evac, Nadira. I know he tried to force a psychic connection on you. Maji told me." He grasped her hand. "Mikal is not getting another chance to hurt you."

"If Mikal knows the truth about my father and mother, I have to investigate it."

"Don't see him again and don’t believe anything he says."

Usually when they talked like this, their communication remained verbal. But right now she felt his energy on the edge of hers. It felt like sparks off a drill, stinging her with its insistence. His anger at Mikal was still fresh, like the attack on her had just happened yesterday instead of four months ago.

"I have to know the truth. Either Zina or Azure is going to tell me," she said.

Buy Link:     Amazon

Author Bio:

Deborah A Bailey's Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance novels include suspense, a bit of mystery and a lot of romantic heat. Her books include the Hathor Legacy science fiction romance series and the Family Pride shapeshifter paranormal romance series.

Her short stories have won awards from the Philadelphia Writers' Conference and have been published in US1 Magazine and the Sun and are included in, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales. She's also the author of three non-fiction books, and articles for various online publications.

Social Media links
Website     Twitter     Google+     Facebook     Pinterest     Newsletter

Friday, June 24, 2016

Guest Post: Excerpt from Dena's Garson's REGE'S RESCUE SciFi Romance

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica Scott sez: Our guest today is Dena Garson, with an exciting excerpt from her new science fiction romance!

Here's the story:

Rege Rovnitov battled his way out of the darkest hell hole in the charted universe to become the best tracker in four galaxies. Fighting injustice, he and his brotherhood have spent their lives with one foot on the shady side of the law. When the daughter of one of his allies is abducted by slavers, he offers his skills to bring her home. On such a dark and dangerous mission, he never expected to find a woman full of goodness and light.

After years in the spotlight as an interstellar songbird, Amethe Madigan only wants to regain a normal life. Her plans are upended when a band of slavers take her captive and drag her to the galactic port known as Sin City. With Rege’s help, she narrowly escapes being sold to the highest bidder, or worse, turned over to whoever ordered her kidnapping. As they race across galaxies evading her mysterious abductor’s attempts to possess her, she makes the mistake of falling in love with a man whose idea of a normal life is anything but safe.

Rege promised to rescue Amethe but she could be his salvation from a dark and lonely existence. In the end it won’t matter who saved whom. Where love is concerned, it’s winner takes all. 

Rege’s Rescue Excerpt
Copyright © DENA GARSON, 2016

Rege Rovnitov’s instincts went on high alert as soon as his boot crossed the shop’s threshold.
Even over the heavy sent of leather, he detected burned ozone. A weapon had been fired. Debris scattered on the floor and countertop said there had been a struggle.
He pulled his own weapon from its holster at his back and edged farther into Tauxir’s store. There were no patrons inside and he hadn’t seen anyone leaving. This part of the city drew rough clientele, but Tauxir had a solid reputation for being an honest businessman as well as being a man you didn’t want to fuck with.
Whoever decided to take something of Tauxir’s must have a death wish.
Rege grinned. Maybe this day wouldn’t be a waste after all.
Using all of his senses to piece together what had happened he moved deeper into the store.
A roar followed by a crash came from the backroom. He leapt over an overturned stool and cleared the last steps to the doorway in one bound. Yanking the curtain aside, he leveled his gun’s laser sight on the first thing that moved.
His entrance was met by one pissed off and bloodied leatherworker. Tauxir held a similar gun and Rege suspected Tauxir’s laser was aimed right at his heart.
“You okay?” Rege asked without relaxing his stance.
Tauxir’s jaw flexed as if still debating whether or not to fire. “No,” he finally ground out between clenched teeth.
Rege glanced around the room to make sure there were no threats. “What happened?”
Tauxir lowered his gun and spit. “Slavers.”
Rege also lowered his weapon but didn’t holster it. “What did they want with you?”
Pain flashed in Tauxir’s eyes. “Amethe.”
Son of a bitch. Tauxir’s daughter. “They took her?”
He nodded once then pulled a wicked knife from underneath his worktable and pushed it into a sheath.
“How long has she been back?”
“Two nights.” Tauxir strapped the knife to his thigh then grabbed two more and slipped those in their respective places.
Rege pushed the button on the communicator wrapped around his ear. “Call Bolan.”
Tauxir half limped, half dragged himself toward the stairs. Thinking he might need help getting upstairs, Rege closed in.
Tauxir leaned against the wall and slid a concealed panel aside. He entered a code which activated a small door at their feet below the stairs. Even from where he stood, Rege could see the impressive collection of weapons.
“Yeah,” Bolan’s terse answer finally came through Rege’s earpiece.
“Grab Vordol and Malir and get to Tauxir’s. We’ve got a situation.”
“Be there in ten.” No complaints, no unnecessary questions. That was the beauty of the brotherhood. Always there for each other no matter what.
“Not your problem,” Tauxir said gruffly without looking up from his stash of weapons.
“You’re a brother. If you’ve got a problem, we all have a problem. You know that.”
He finally looked up. “I retired from the Brotherhood more than a decade ago. I’m not about to bring my problems to any of your doors. The Brotherhood has enough to deal with.”
Rege crossed the room and put one hand on Tauxir’s shoulder. “You may not run missions any more but you contribute to the cause as much as any of us.”
Tauxir snorted. “What? By passing info?” He pulled a high powered gun from the stash that Rege would have given his right nut to possess.
“Your intel has saved hundreds of lives. And more than one Brother owes you his life or limb because of your armor.”
“Doesn’t make this your problem.” He pulled several clips from a drawer inside the secret space then stood. “I’ll bring my daughter home.” Even as he said it, he swayed and crumpled to one knee.
Rege reached to help him but Tauxir brushed him off. Knowing how obstinate Tauxir could be he grabbed a handful of Tauxir’s shirt and dragged him to a nearby chair.
“We don’t have time for stubbornness. Tell me what you know and I’ll track them.”
Tauxir shook off his grip and tried to stand. “I’m going.”
Rege pushed him back into the chair. “I’m the best tracker around and you’re in no shape to chase after anyone. Based on the angle of your leg, I’m betting it’s broke. Now tell me what you know.”

Buy Links:
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About the Author:

Dena Garson is an award winning author of contemporary, paranormal and fantasy romance. Her sixth book, Mystic’s Touch, won the 2015 Passionate Plume for Futuristic/Fantasy/Sci-Fi as well as the 2015 Reader’s Choice Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Time Travel. Ghostly Persuasion was a finalist in the 2014 Passionate Ink contest and the 2014 Reader’s Choice Award.

When she isn't writing you can find her at her jewelry workbench playing with beads. She is also a devoted Whovian and Dallas Cowboys fan.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Extra Points for Viewpoints

Posted by: CobraMisfit
"Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."
-Obiwan, Return of the Jedi

Many moons ago, I took a college course on Ethics. The classwork was interesting, but also maddening because most of the topics danced along the lines of morality. Stealing is bad, but what if you can't afford medicine and need to save a life? Killing is bad, but what if someone else is threatened? 

Most days, we live in a binary world. One of right and wrong. Of good and evil. Often times there are thick lines between the two with little to no crossing. Do I hate getting a parking ticket two minutes after the meter runs out? Absolutely. But the parking attendant is doing their job to ensure those times are enforced. If I violate the "law", I'm subject to the consequences. Silly as it may seem, sticking to the right and wrong of little laws like that are what keep our society from declining into madness.

But that doesn't mean it makes for a good story. 

Writers work hard to ensure readers care about their characters and we want them to ride the emotional roller coaster with them. For many of us, our worlds are built with clear laws and defined boundaries. But if our characters stayed within those lines, it'd likely be a boring story. Crossing the streams, as it were, adds excitement and tension. Many times, the morality of a choice depends on the character's point of view. 

Take Harry Potter, for example. In almost every book, he's doing something "wrong" for what he believes is the greater good. He breaks curfew, keeps secrets, and undermines the authority figures at Hogwarts in his ever expanding battle with Lord Voldemort. He consistently defies the Powers That Be because it's the "right thing to do." 

It's interesting that The Order of the Phoenix nearly addresses this subject head on. Dolores Umbridge, a truly hideous human being if we're being honest, is simply attempting to keep her world in order. Struggling to do what she feels is right. From her point of view, Potter and his ilk are rabble-rousers. Miscreants bucking the very structured and extremely "correct" letter of the law.  

But the story is titled Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The readers are seeing the world from his point of view. Not Dolores Umbridges'. We're joined at Harry's hip the entire way, enjoying the ride as he veers farther and farther from the structured rules of right and wrong. 

“People who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us... It's people who claim that they're good, or any way better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.” 

― Gregory MaguireWicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

If there's one story that absolutely skirts the line on points of view, it's Wicked. For those of us who lived in the world before this book hit the shelves, the Wicked Witch of the West was straight up evil. She hounds Dorothy, lights Scarecrow on fire, and basically makes life in Oz horrible. 

With Wicked, however, we have a chance to see "other" side to The Wizard of Oz. Like viewing the negatives of film, the moral colors and character personalities are inverse. The lines between Right and Wrong aren't as clearly defined, specifically because we are seeing the story from the Witch's point of view. Good Witches aren't quite as perfect and little girls from Kansas not so great. 

Ultimately, writers have a tough task when it comes to placing their characters into a world of their creation. For some, keeping our characters on the straight and narrow, no matter what the cost, is the right choice. For others, allowing them the freedom to cross the lines between Right and Wrong for the "greater good" is even better. But no matter what, we should always keep in mind that a good story needs to be told, or more important experienced, from a certain point of view. 


Joshua Roots is a car enthusiest, beekeeper, and storyteller. He enjoys singing with his a cappella chorus, golf, and all facets of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He's still waiting for his acceptance letter to Hogwarts and Rogue Squadron. He and his wife will talk your ear off about their bees if you let them.

His Urban Fantasy series, The Shifter Chronicles, is available wherever digital books are sold.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Fun of Midsummer Fairies

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica sez: Today we have a guest post from Eliza Walker, author of A Midsummer Night's Fling. This is also the first release from author Marie Force's new venture Jack's House Publishing. Eliza is also the author of The Beauty's Beast Fantasy Series, writing as E. D. Walker.

I have a confession: my new release A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S FLING is a straight contemporary romance and not a fantasy,  BUT the play from which it borrows its title (Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream) is all about supernatural creatures. Namely: fairies.

I played a fairy once in A Midsummer Night's Dream; it was one of the great pleasures of my life. And one of my favorite parts of writing this book was deciding how I was going to have my fictional people portray Shakespeare's fairies. The wonderful website Pinterest was great for this, and I happened to have a pretty great costume designer character in my book so I could let my imagination go wild.

And I did. :)

Here's how the fairy looks are described in the book:
All four of the actresses playing Titania's handmaidens now had soft, pastel colored hair of various shades -- a soft lilac for Cobweb; an icy, silvery blue for Moth; a peachy orange for Mustardseed; and a soft blend of pale green, blue and violet for Peaseblossom. Elaborate headdresses of flowers and feathers, twigs and seashells crowned their heads.

Their costumes were also a tactile delight of texture, some with scaled black leather, some with shredded silk pieces; one had an amazing corset that looked like wood. The most incredible, though, was Moth's. Somehow, with clear sea glass beads knit with wire, the designer had fashioned a dress that actually seemed made of water droplets for the Moth character.

If you want to check out my Midsummer fairy looks and other fun pictures that provided inspiration, check out the book's Pinterest board:

Two quotes from the Shakespeare play:

“Love's stories written in love's richest books.
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes.” 

And this description a fairy gives, about cowslips as gentlemen waiting for the Fairy Queen:
The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dewdrops here
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

― William ShakespeareA Midsummer Night's Dream 

There's more info below about my tale of  behind-the scenes and on-the-stage romance if you're curious. (Even though it's not a fantasy novel. ;)

The show must go on, but the price of admission could be her heart.

Sick of a touring actor’s vagabond life, Nicola returns to California to put the past firmly behind her. It would help if the six-foot-three-inch beautiful man who is her past didn’t come knocking. Max. The mistake Nicola can’t seem to stop making.

Though she has no desire to re-re-rekindle their old flame, Nicola jumps at his offer to play Titania to his Oberon. But when their first rehearsal kiss disintegrates into a passionate liplock, she’s tempted to jump ship before Max can break her heart again.

Unless he can convince her that the torch he’s been carrying is an eternal flame.

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Author Bio:
Eliza Walker, a native of Los Angeles, is the author of the Much Ado About Love Series that begins with A Midsummer Night's Fling. Her experiences as an actress helped inspire the series about actors finding love amidst the bedlam backstage at a world-class repertory theater. Once upon a time, Eliza met her own wonderful husband when they did a play together.

By day Eliza helps corral engineers for NASA (without doing any of the tech stuff herself, of course). By night she loves to write her sarcastic heroes and heroines bantering their way to true love. Eliza is a total geek, a movie buff and a mediocre swing dancer. Eliza and her husband live in sunny Southern California with two of the neediest housecats on the planet.

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