Across the Bridge of Ice by Ruth Fox

SILVER WORLD

I peer at my reflection in the pillars. And when I see myself, I let out a little scream.

‘Keira!’ Daniel yells. ‘Are you okay?’

I turn my head from side to side.

No. I’m not okay. This can’t be me. I’m pale. Really pale, like a ghost. My hair is

tinged with silver, and the curls are limp. My freckles have all but vanished. My face

looks thin. And–

‘My eyes!’

Daniel’s reflection appears over my shoulder. He looks solid and dark next to me.

Like I’m stealing all the light from him and leaving him in shadow.

Those are not my eyes.

They’re blue.

‘I didn’t want to say anything,’ Daniel says quietly. ‘But that’s how I knew you took

the telescope. You’re starting to look like …’

I’ve seen eyes like that before.

‘Like what?’ I ask him.

‘Like … like …’ he stutters, then unable to say it, he scampers out of the room,

leaving me there with the reflection that’s not me.

I look … neat. Straight and even. I’m amazed, and scared, but I … I like it.

When I emerge from the bathroom, I feel like a new person.

Daniel and Archon are waiting a little bit further down the hallway, sitting on a

pillowed seat set into an alcove. Archon glances up, staring at me with wide eyes.

Feeling uncomfortable, I shift on my feet.

‘You look … well,’ he says.

‘It’s amazing what a bit of water will do, right?’ I laugh. I’m not a self-conscious

person, and never have been. Most of the time I go around in jeans or my soccer

gear. Girls like Sharna Devon spend ages in the toilets at school, fixing their hair and

makeup. The most time I’ve ever spent looking at myself was probably two seconds

ago in the bathroom.

But now, standing in front of Archon with my hair brushed and my grey hospital

smock replaced with the soft robe, I’m very aware of what I look like. I wonder if he

thinks I’m pretty.

Before I can wonder about it much more, Archon stands abruptly. ‘I need to take you

back to your room.’

As we walk, Daniel can’t seem to help himself and his normal inquisitive nature

bubbles to the surface. ‘Where does the water in the pool come from?’ he asks.

‘All the water in our buildings are channelled from the waterfalls,’ Archon replies.

Actually, I think he’s kind of enjoying telling Daniel about Shar. ‘But it isn’t water,

not as you know it in the Below World. It … perhaps I should show you.’

He motions to his left, and leads us around a corner in the corridor.

Somehow, with all those windowless walls surrounding us, I hadn’t truly realised

that there was an entire city out here. But one side of the hallway is lined with open

windows, and I’m confronted instantly with the city. It spreads out around us, below

us, above us; towering, sparkling, elegant buildings, archways, bridges, walkways.

‘Wow,’ Daniel gasps.

I can’t even manage that much. My mouth hangs open as I manoeuvre closer to the

windows.

Below, I can see multiple levels. Terraces give way to winding stairs. Arches support

long, meandering paths. There are tall white trees with pointed needle-leaves growing

beside them.

And the people! Some of them are so distant they look like specks, but a path passes

just metres away, and I watch a woman carrying a white bag walk briskly towards a

man, a hand raised in greeting.

I crane my head to look up.

The sky, overhead, is a brilliant, deep blue. It looks like night, the stars are out, and

beyond them are hundreds of distant golden lights. It’s weird but I can pick out the

shapes of countries I know. The bridge I crossed didn’t just lead straight here, like the

bridge from one bank of a river to the other side. Somehow it went around everything

and distorted everything I’ve ever been taught about how space works. But it’s Earth,

up there – my home.


Across the Bridge of Ice
The Bridges Trilogy
Book Two
Ruth Fox
Genre: Fantasy,  YA
Publisher: Hague Publishing
Date of Publication: 31 January 2015
ISBN: 9780987265296
ASIN: B00Q20I4YQ
Number of pages: 175 pages
Word Count: 55,000
Cover Artist: Ruth Fox
Book Description:
In ‘The City of Silver Light’, Keira Leichman spent the night lost in a wild snowstorm that struck Cassidy Heights. But what really happened that night? Not even Keira can be sure. What she does know is that she’s been having strange dreams since the accident, and now she’s stuck with a broken ankle and the possibility of never playing soccer again. That is, until she finds Jake’s telescope, and is drawn across the Bridge of Ice to Shar.
Now Keira is marooned in the City of Silver Light with Daniel, Jake’s younger brother, with no way to get home. But that is the least of their worries, for the secrets they discover in Shar are more dangerous than Kiera could ever have imagined. And the fate of both their worlds are in their hands.
Amazon      iTunes     Kobo

 

About the Author:
Ruth completed a Bachelor of Arts/Diploma of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing in 2006. Her other published works include “Monster-boy: The Lair of the Grelgoroth”, Book 1 of the Monster-boy Series, and “Sand Dog”, an illustrated picture book for younger readers. Both are available from Amazon.com.
Ruth has been an avid reader her entire life and, inspired by the books that engrossed her as she was growing up, she aims to create stories that can draw readers in and enthral them for days or weeks. She writes every day and lives in Ballarat, Victoria, with her partner, her cat, and an ever-expanding library of books.
Twitter: @_ruthfox_

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Earth’s Imagined Corners by Tamara Linse

 
How do you pronounce your name?

tuh-MARE-uh LIN-zee. Don’t worry—hardly anyone gets it right the first time.

What does the name of your blog, “writer, cogitator, recovering ranch girl,” mean?

The real reason I tagged myself “writer, cogitator, recovering ranch girl” was that I needed a

tagline for my blog, something that helped me to stand out. “Writer” was obvious. I love

old-timey words, and I had been finishing up Earth’s Imagined Corners at the time, and so

“cogitator” popped into my mind. I have friends who are “recovering alcoholics” (and

“recovering Catholics”) and I thought that that fit me well—the idea that my childhood was

something I needed to recover from. As Maile Meloy wrote in her story “Ranch Girl,” you

can’t have much worse luck than being born a girl on a ranch.

Earth’s Imagined Corners is based on the life of your great grandparents. Who were they?

They were just regular folks. Frank and Ellen weren’t caught up in big events like the Civil

War or the Stock Market Crash or anything. But that’s what makes them so fascinating. The

Ellen I heard about growing up ~ I never got to know her because she died years before I was

born ~ was nicknamed Ma Strong. She was known for taking in strays and children. She

was strong, as her name suggests ~ the story goes that she gave birth in the morning and then

went back to cooking for the men in the afternoon. And she would have had to be, with

Frank as her husband. The story goes that they met at the town pump in Anamosa, and she

actually knew that he was in prison. Of course she did ~ he would have been wearing the

black and white stripes. But then when he got out they married. Over the course of their

marriage, he chased her with an ax while drunk, she fended off an angry mob of his

employees when he couldn’t pay them, and she stuck with him. But he had had a rough life.

His mother, an elusive woman I would love to know more about, was rumored to have had

five husbands as she moved across the country. She started in a large family in upstate New

York, moved through Illinois where Frank was born and Iowa where he was incarcerated, and

died in Red Willow County, Nebraska. Her name was Elizabeth Zenana Robinson Matteson

Wood Howard Staats. She was rumored to have danced at Tom Thumb’s wedding. And so it

had to have been tough for him growing up. I have a lot of empathy for them both ~

obviously, having so fully imagined their lives.

How do you know so much about your ancestors?

I’ve been a genealogy nut for a long time, and Ancestry.com has made our lives so

wonderfully easy. But it all started with my mom. She also was fascinated with family stories

and collected the family histories of both her side and my dad’s side. She had this huge piece

of butcher paper on which she had outlined generations and generations of ancestors. And

she loved to tell family stories and embellish them. We were related to everyone from

Alexander Graham Bell to Robert the Bruce to King Tut. I haven’t verified all that ~ hehe ~

but a lot of those stories turned out to be true. And then I had a cousin one generation up

named Gene Hetland who did an amazing amount of research back when you had to write a

letter or visit the place. And then I got into it, and I inherited my mom’s and Gene’s research

and added significantly to it. The real stories are so much more than you can ever imagine.

And it’s like a huge treasure hunt that never gets fully resolved.

Could you talk about the process of converting a family story to fiction?

Earth’s Imagined Corners was inspired by Frank and Ellen, but it has since gone very far

afield. Think about it. Think about what you know about your own ancestors. Very little. A

fact here and there. A place they lived. A family story that may or may not be true. Those

facts are like the nails along the eaves where you hang the Christmas light. The story ~ now

that’s the Christmas lights. You need to imagine and embellish and change things up whole

cloth. What began as an inspiration has to fit within the logic of the story and the motivations

of the characters and have to seem plausible. Life itself doesn’t always seem plausible, so

sometimes you have to “storify” it quite a bit. And there’s a lot of mixed bits in the making

of the sausage. I did a whole bunch of historical reseach ~ not only because I needed to learn

about the time period. I also over-researched because I lacked confidence in my writing, and

it was much easier to research than actually face the terrifying blank page. So I take other

historical facts out of newspapers and other things and mash them in there too. Above all

else, creating fiction from “fact” involves taking the story into you and living it within

yourself, and so I’ve inhabited these characters in a way that many descendants never get to.

Granted, they bear little relation to the originals, more than likely.

Did you do much research to write Earth’s Imagined Corners?

See above. Yes, I did a heck of a lot of research. I had not been to either Anamosa nor

Kansas City when I wrote the first draft, and so I went on the wonderful Library of Congress

American Memory Site. I found so many amazing things there. Plus online research in

newspapers and websites and family history sites. There’s nothing like reading newspapers

of the time. They give you reality in a way nothing else can, and they were the origin of a lot

of the subplots. The past is another country, as they say, and so I wanted to get the details

right.

Earth’s Imagined Corners is part of a series. Tell us about the series. Where do Sara and

James go from here?

Oh, they have all kinds of adventures, and these plots are loosely based on Frank’s and

Ellen’s lives. In the next book, Numberless Infinities, Sara and James head out across Kansas

and Nebraska. James heads up a crew who are working on railroads. Thomas, James’s friend

who’s Native American, comes with them. James is so busy, Sara feels ignored and taken for

granted, and Thomas is such a nice guy, well, things may or may not happen. And then Sara

is pregnant. She gives birth to a boy, Jake, and they take on two Japanese sisters to help,

Sharp Crane and Plum. Meanwhile, James’s men start giving him trouble, and the railroad

quits paying, and so James is caught in the middle. All around them the Native community is

getting swept up in the Ghost Dance religion, in which they think a man named Wovoca is

the second coming of Jesus. The book ends near Wounded Knee Creek, where the 7th

Cavalry come in with guns blazing. The final book in the series, This Lowly Ground, takes

place in northern Wyoming. Sara and James settle down and build a town after their son Jake

has his arm taken off in a gun accident. James comes together with the other men of the area

and they build an irrigation system. But then a group of Mormons come straggling in in a

storm and decide to settle. Tensions rise as the town goes in together on a brick and tile

factory. Sara’s little sister Maisie comes to live with them, and falls in love with the leader of

the Mormons, Mahonri, but then his rascally brother Levi comes to town and she chooses

Levi over Mahonri. Jake idolizes Levi, who leads Jake astray. And then, when the brick and

tile factory burns, people are looking for someone to blame. I’m in the beginning stages of

writing these, and I can’t wait to spend more time with these great characters.

Race plays a part in Earth’s Imagined Corners. Were you nervous about this subject,

which is fraught with danger for a writer?

In a word, yes. Growing up on a ranch, I knew a lot about ranch life and horses and

cowboys. When I was a teenager, I read The Horse Whisperer. It’s a good book in many

ways, but I couldn’t get past the idea that a cowboy would be a vegetarian. A cowboy makes

his livelihood from cows ~ cows that people eat, that they make their clothing from. What

cowboy in his right mind would be a vegetarian? I know now that it was the author

projecting his own values on this icon of manliness. He took it and made it his own. But as a

Westerner, it made no sense to me. Writing someone from a background very different from

you is challenging, but I also think it’s a challenge worth accepting. Writing and reading is

the ultimate act of empathy. It’s the only technology in which you enter another person’s

consciousness. In that way, it’s about connection and love. And you should connect with

everyone, not just people who are just like you. Now, the writer has a responsibility not to

stereotype, to try to make everyone as fully fledged as they can. I do this not by thinking of

someone as African American or as Native American or as European American. I do this by

thinking of them first as a full person with all the wide ranging emotions and experiences as

anyone can have, and then I overlay their life experiences and their heritage. But I overlay

someone whose great grandparents are from Czechoslovakia in the same way I would if

someone’s great grandparents are from Africa ~ it’s one of many factors that contribute to

who they are, and it’s our common experience and humanity that actually is the overriding

factor. I think long and hard about the implications of all my character choices.

Earth’s Imagined Corners is self-published. Why did you choose that route?

I have to admit that I crave the legitimization that comes from traditional publishing, and

that’s why I resisted self-publishing for so long. It took me 11 years and almost 200 queries to

get an agent. (Read more about m y journe y to get an agent he re. ) I’ve written and rewritten

two novels that have gone out to publishers ~ one of which is Earth’s Imagined Corners.

Though I’ve gotten some very nice notes from editors, neither was picked up. Some might

call me a slow study ~ I call myself pig-headed, and that’s a good thing. I don’t know if

you’ve been reading much about this, but the squeeze that is being put on traditional

publishing by disintermediation has brought about the rise of a new type of author: the hybrid

author. (The great Chuck Wendig has be en talking a lot about this .) There’s no longer just two

tracks ~ traditional publishing and self-publishing. The tracks are becoming melded and

diversified, and much more of the power is back in the hands of the author. Also much more

of the responsibility for getting a book out and connecting with readers. That’s where the

hybrid author comes in. She or he is someone who, with the help of her agent, chooses the

best route for the work at hand and then has to make it so. This is wonderful and terrifying ~

for everyone involved. Also, traditional publishers now consider the success of a self-

published title in their decision to take book on. In other words, they will take on a book

that’s doing well under self-publishing (and I suspect that this will become the norm, rather

than the exception). I’m also made for it. It’s like all my various backgrounds come together

in this one endeavor. Of course the writing part ~ I’ve been writing and improving my craft

my whole life. But then also editing ~ I’ve been an editor in all different capacities. I’ve also

been an artist and taken art classes for years, not to mention jobs as a document designer. I

took classes in electrical engineering and computers for a number of years, and all that

experience goes into making a website and working with digital publishing. And I’m in

marketing and have done freelance marketing for years, which prepares me to be a promo-

sapiens. And I love social media and tend to be a bit of an early adopter. Not to mention I’m a

bit obsessive.

Who did you read as a child?

I loved all things British—Pooh and The Wind in the Willows and The Secret Garden. I also

loved Joan Aiken and Frank L. Baum. I was glad to go from grade school to middle school

because I’d exhausted the library. In middle school, I discovered the Newberry Award books.

Later, I read a lot of westerns and loved them, particularly Louis L’Amour. He doesn’t stand

the test of time well, though. I went through a scifi/specfic phase as a teenager and still have a

fondness for it. I haven’t read much romance or mystery, and I’m not quite sure why. Literary

fiction is and always has been my greatest love.

Who are your favorite writers?

My favorite writers. Well, it often feels like the writer of the last book I read because I fall in

love almost every time. I fall in love with minds. But I’ll take a run at it.

 My all-time favorites are Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf.

 For novels, Douglas Adams, Julian Barnes, Michael Cunningham, E. L. Doctorow,

William Faulkner, Charles Frasier, James Galvin, Kent Haruf, John Irving, Stephen

King, Barbara Kingsolver, Cormac McCarthy, Ann Patchett, Jodi Picoult, Terry

Pratchett, Anne Rice, J. K. Rowling, Anita Shreve, and Alexander McCall Smith.

 For short stories, Sherman Alexie, T. C. Boyle, Raymond Carver, Charles

D’Ambrosio, Anthony Doerr, Aryn Kyle, Dennis Lehane, Maile Meloy, Alice Munro,

Antonia Nelson, Tim O’Brien, Benjamin Percy, Donald Ray Pollock, Annie Proulx,

Karen Russell, Jim Shepard, and Tobias Wolff.

 For nonfiction, Steve Almond, Judy Blunt, Augusten Burroughs, John D’Agata, James

Herriot, and Mary Roach.

 There are lots of writers that I really want to like and I have their books but I haven’t

gotten around to reading them.

See what I mean? And this isn’t all of them by a long stretch.

What’s the earliest memory you have of writing a story? When did you first call yourself a

writer?

I’ve always written. The first story I wrote a beginning, middle, and end to was called “The

Silver Locket” and was the story of a girl who goes back in time to become her own great

grandmother. It was inspired by a friend named Cami who was into a British YA mystery

writer named Joan Aiken. Together we read everything of hers. Cami wrote a story that ended

with a head rolling in a gutter. Prior to that, I had read all the time, but I hadn’t realized that a

person could actually BE a writer. When I actually called myself a writer is a different story.

I think I was 30. I wrote all of my life, but no one I knew was a writer, and I thought of

writers as someone who published a novel, and so when I began to imagine I might just be

published is when I tentatively played around with the idea of calling myself one.

Why do you write?

That’s a complicated question. Because it’s my passion. Because as a child I felt I had no

voice. Because I love to read, and writing is like reading only better. Because I have to to stay

sane—just ask my husband. Because I’m fascinated by people, and writing and reading is the

closest you can get to another person’s consciousness. But a deeper reason is that writing is

all about desire. All people everywhere live in a constant state of desire. It is truly a human

condition. Whether it’s something as small as a snack or something materialistic or

something as large as a mate for life, people want. People need. One reason that we are such

good consumers and why advertising works so well is because we by our very nature have

this endless hole within us that needs to be filled. Every religion is built on this. So, this is my

deeper answer to why I write: Because I’m human. Because I desire. It’s a way to take the

world into myself and to make it part of me. It’s a way to place myself into the world. It’s a

way to connect with the world and with other people and to imagine for one small moment

that we are not alone and that we have the capacity to be full and content and meaningful.

Where do you get your ideas?

That’s the wrong question. It should be: How do you recognize an idea when you see one?

Ideas are all around you. Everything and anything can spark a story. Say, someone told you to

write about walls. Thomas King, who’s Native American, was given 24 hours’ notice to write

about walls, and he came up with a humdinger. (Sorry—I don’t remember the name of it!)

It’s about a man wanting his walls painted white but the history of walls bleeds through,

and then finally, when he has them torn out and new walls put in, the stark white walls makes

him look brown. Virginia Woolf wrote a story about a blob on her bedroom wall, which turns

out to be a snail or a slug, I think, but it’s a great story. I’m sure there are more stories about

walls. It’s about what you put into the idea, what lights you up and interests you, and it can be

as specific as something that happened to you as a child or as general as wanting to write

about the color green. I also find that when my head is in my writing—in other words, I’m

not blocked and avoiding—ideas come so fast and thick I can’t keep up. Everything sparks an

idea for a story. Then it’s a problem of way too many ideas and feeling guilty about lost

opportunity.

What is your writing process? What is your least favorite part? Your most favorite part?

I avoid. I feel awful. I inevitably read things and feel inspired, but still I avoid. Then I make

myself sit at the computer and start. It’s hard, really really hard. But then something magical

happens. The real world goes away and the world I’m creating becomes more real than the

real world. It’s like the real world is in black and white, and the world I’m creating is in

technicolor. Sure, sometimes it still comes slowly and painfully, but sometimes it comes like

lightning from my brain. And then I’m in love. When I finish a story, revised and all, I’m in

love with it. I can’t see its flaws. I want to take it to dinner and then make out with it in the

back seat. Then, like all affairs, after a while I start to see the story’s strengths and

weaknesses. Then I either revise some more or I write a new story or both. My least favorite

part is the avoiding stage, and my most favorite part is when the writing is going well and the

world I’m writing is more real than the real world.

What are you reading?

Boy, you ask difficult questions. The thing is, I could honestly say that I’m reading hundreds

of books at one time. That’s because I tend to “taste” books before I read them from

beginning to end. I’ll buy a new book and then read it for a half hour or hour before bed.

Then I’ll put the book aside and not pick it up again for years. Lately, I’ve been reading the

books of my fellow Wyoming writers who are also great friends ~ Pembroke Sinclair, Nina

McConigley, and Mary Beth Baptiste. I’ve also been reading a great biography called The

Brontes by Juliet Barker. It’s been very inspirational for me.

Do you have an MFA?

No—my master’s is in literary studies and my thesis was on 1852–54 pioneer diaries. I’ve

taken a lot of workshops, however, in the classroom and online and at writers conferences. I

highly recommend them. Be it an MFA or a local writers group, any time you can get others

to look at your work and give you solid feedback is helpful. Solid feedback does not mean

only “oh, you are so wonderful”—but you do need some of this for your ego or you won’t

have the strength to go on. Neither does it mean brutal comments like “This isn’t working”

with no further explanation or direction. It means detailed criticism of one reader’s reaction to

what’s working and what’s not working—the more detailed and specific and articulate, the

better. Still more important, volunteer to read your writer friends’ work. You’ll learn more from

commenting on theirs than you will reading comments on your own. I am thinking

about getting a low residency MFA, however, as I’m always trying to improve my writing.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Read a lot. Write a lot. Give yourself permission, which is another way of saying don’t

undermine your own success. Write in the style of what you like to read. The best writing

often comes from what obsesses you and makes you uncomfortable. Be brave. Persevere.

Make a lot of writer friends.

What’s next for you?

To keep writing, always writing! I’m working on a young adult series called the Wyoming

Chronicles, which are re-imaginings of classics set in contemporary Wyoming. The first, called

Pride, is Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set in present-day Jackson Hole, and I’m having a lot of

fun with that. That’s on the girls’ side. On the boys’ side, my first part of that series will be

Moreau, based on The Island of Dr. Moreau, which will be about genetic manipulation. And of

course I have the two Round Earth Series books to finish too! I even have a children’s book or

two in the works. I’ll be busy.



Earth’s Imagined Corners
The Round Earth Series
Book 1
Tamara Linse
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Willow Words
Date of Publication: January 31, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9909533-1-9          
ASIN: B00T18RRNK
Number of pages: 472
Word Count: 130,000
Book Description:
In 1885 Iowa, Sara Moore is a dutiful daughter, but when her father tries to force her to marry his younger partner, she must choose between the partner—a man who treats her like property—and James Youngblood—a kind man she hardly knows who has a troubled past.
When she confronts her father, he beats her and turns her out of the house, breaking all ties, so she decides to elope with James to Kansas City with hardly a penny to their names.
In the tradition of Willa Cather’s O Pioneers! and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Earth’s Imagined Corners is a novel that comprehends the great kindnesses and violences we do to each other.

 

Available at Amazon
 
About the Author:
Tamara Linse jokes that she was raised in the 1880s, and so it was natural for her to set a book there. She is the author of the short story collection How to Be a Man and the novel Deep Down Things and earned her master’s in English from the University of Wyoming, where she taught writing. Her work appears in the Georgetown Review, South Dakota Review, and Talking River, among others, and she was a finalist for an Arts & Letters and Glimmer Train contests, as well as the Black Lawrence Press Hudson Prize for a book of short stories. She works as an editor for a foundation and a freelancer.
Find her online at www.tamaralinse.com and her blog Writer, Cogitator, Recovering Ranch Girl at www.tamara-linse.blogspot.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tlinse

Unhinged by Shelley R. Pickens

 

Unhinged

The Haunting of Secrets
Book 2 of the Trilogy
Shelley R. Pickens
Genre: YA, mystery, paranormal
Publisher:  Fire and Ice
Imprint of Melange Books
Date of Publication:  March 2015
Word Count: 62,364
Cover Artist:  Caroline Andrus
Book Description:
Being normal isn’t always a good thing, especially if it ends up killing you.
Aimee, the sixteen year old girl who can see your every memory with just one touch, is fresh out of the torture room after risking everything to capture a killer.
Despite her instinct to avoid contact with others, she tries her best to find a new normal at school – perhaps even a boyfriend. But for those who are cursed, happiness and normality aren’t easy to obtain. A bizarre illness is spreading like wildfire through the school causing those around Aimee to lose their sanity before falling into a coma. Slowly, all the people she loves succumb to this strange disease.
Alone and terrified, she must use her curse to find a way to save her family and friends. As she delves deeper and deeper into their memories, she realizes a delusional person from her childhood named David is the bigger threat that could end up destroying her. Despite the danger that surrounds her, she struggles to solve the puzzle before it’s too late to help those she cares for the most.
But as David moves closer to eliminating her, one puzzle still remains. Will she be able to save herself?
Book Trailer for Book One: http://youtu.be/cQvKX0rb-Zg
Book 1 The Haunting of Secrets Available on Amazon  BN   Goodreads

 

About the Author:

Shelley Pickens is a Spanish teacher by day and a novelist by night. She’s been in love with everything paranormal since she can remember. After years of teaching high school students, she decided to take her firsthand knowledge of young adults and apply it to her passion for creative writing and fantasy. When not teaching or writing, Shelley likes to spend time with her husband and two beautiful children in Atlanta, Ga. Her escape from reality is her love of complex thriller and science fiction TV series like Supernatural and Sleepy Hollow. In her spare time she is an avid watcher of little league baseball. THE HAUNTING OF SECRETS is her debut novel.

 

Demon Child by Kylie Chan

 

Demon Child
Celestial Battle
Book Two
Kylie Chan
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: HarperCollins/Harper Voyager
Date of Publication:  2/24/2015
ISBN: 9780062329080
Number of pages: 544
Book Description:
Australian bestseller Kylie Chan returns with a new, fast-paced adventure of magic, martial arts, and romance.
This trilogy follows the story of John Chen and Emma Donohoe. They have just found out that Emma has Demon blood. The Sidhe – or Shining folk, who defeated the Western Shen a thousand years ago – are prepared to do battle against the Western Shen to retain their dominance.
Emma’s allegiance is torn: to fight for her kind, the Western demons she is descended from, or to stand alongside her beloved Xuan Wu.
Available at HarperCollins

 

Add it to Your Goodreads Shelf
 
About the Author:
Kylie Chan is the bestselling author of the Dark Heavens and Journey to Wudang trilogies. She married a Hong Kong national in a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony.
Kylie has studied Kung Fu and Tai Chi and is a senior belt in both forms. She has also made an intensive study of Buddhist and Taoist philosophy and has brought all of these interests together into her storytelling.
She lived in Hong Kong for many years and now lives in Brisbane, Australia.
Twitter: @kyliechan
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Infected: Prey by Andrea Speed

 

HE was on his third beer of the evening when he thought he heard a noise in the

backyard.

Hank DeSilvo scowled and looked out the window over the kitchen sink full of dirty

dishes. He could see nothing but darkness, and maybe a bit of reflected light from the television.

This was probably a bad time to remember the back porch light had blown out two days ago, and

he’d forgotten to replace it.

Not that it mattered. The only light currently in the house was coming from the

television, and as long as he ignored it, he developed enough night vision to make out a shape

moving in the back garden. Or was it the wind moving a shrub? Kind of hard to say.

He slammed his can down with an annoyed grunt. It was probably the Hindles’ stupid

ass dog again, shitting all over the place and tearing through his garbage. He hated that fucking

thing, some ugly Rottweiler mix they insisted was a “friendly” dog, and yet it always had a look

in its flat, black eyes that was just this side of rabid. They never leashed the damn thing either,

and apparently his yard destruction was “cute.” He was just about out of this fucking place and

that damn thing had to make a final appearance. And it was final all right; he was going to make

damn sure of that.

He went back to the living room, glancing at the game as he walked past—it was a

fucking damn boring game anyway—and got his shotgun from the cabinet. It was illegal as all

hell, a sawed-off thirty ought six with the barrels cut so short you could have stowed it under a

jacket, but the barrels had been filed down expertly; it wasn’t just the rough work of a desperate

amateur but the sign of a pro. Which was why, when they’d searched the drug mule’s truck and

he’d found it wedged under the front seat, he hid it in his trunk and didn’t report finding it. It

wouldn’t have added that much to the mule’s sentence; he already had enough rock in his glove

compartment to put him away for the rest of his pointless life, especially if it was his “third

strike” (and it was, no surprise there), and he doubted the guy was so stupid that he’d actually

ask why he wasn’t charged with owning an illegally modified weapon. Yeah, he was dumb;

you had to be dumb if you were speeding and had a few thousand in rock in the car, as well as

being obviously stoned yourself. But asking after that was a special kind of stupid, the kind only

politicians and people on reality television ever seemed to crest.

He cracked open the gun and made sure he had some shells loaded in it before snapping

it shut again with a sharp flick of his wrist. Man that felt good. This was a real man’s weapon,

made him feel a foot taller and made of pure muscle, and he knew why that meth fuckhead was

carrying it around with him. A weapon like this was a real god-killer; it made you feel invincible.

It was pure overkill, of course. The Hindles’ dog was fairly big, and yet one shot from

this gun would rip it in half clean down the middle, as well as make a boom loud enough to set

off every car alarm on the block. But what the fuck did he care? He was an ex-cop; he’d say the

dog charged him, and on his property he could shoot the fucking thing if he wanted. He’d swap

out the sawed-off for his Remington before they arrived. Ballistics wouldn’t match, but by the

time they proved that, he’d be long gone. Good-bye, shit-hole city; hello, tropical paradise. It

was just a shame that it took him this long to collect.

He stood at the back door for a moment, cradling the shotgun gently, and let his eyes get

adjusted to the dark before going out onto the concrete patio. He had a mini Maglite with him

with a red lens over the bulb, so if there was something he needed to see he could twist it on

without losing his night vision. Not that he needed to make a direct hit; even if he just winged the

dog, he’d probably rip half its face off, maybe a leg.

First step off the patio his foot squelched in something; it felt too liquid to be shit, but

the smell that hit him was meaty, redolent of shit and offal and God knew what else. Had that

fucking dog already strewn his garbage about? Goddamn it.

Holding the shotgun in one arm, he turned on the flashlight and looked down at what

he’d stepped in.

At first it looked like a puddle, which didn’t make sense since it hadn’t rained in a week,

and the thought that it was dog piss was dismissed since it was dark, and dog piss wasn’t usually

black. Or was that red-black? Swinging the light outwards, he saw greasy, ropey strands that

couldn’t have come from his garbage can, and then a big hunk of raw, bloody meat like a lamb

shank… only it was too long and thin to be a shank, too dark, and ended in a paw.

It was a Rottweiler leg.

Someone—something—had dismembered the Hindles’ psychotic dog and spread about

a third of it all over his backyard. He saw the leg, which was the biggest piece, an assortment

of internal organs, loops of intestines laid out like fallen party streamers, and lots of blood. But

where was the other two thirds of the dog?

The hair stood up on the back of his neck, and he knew he had to get the fuck inside now.

But as he turned, shotgun at the ready and braced against his hip, he saw the flash of white teeth

in the dim moonlight, and his brain sent out the impulse to pull the trigger.

He didn’t have time to wonder why it never happened as the teeth ripped open his throat.


Infected: Prey
Infected Series
Book One
Andrea Speed
Genre: Gay mystery/urban fantasy
 
Publisher: DSP Publications
ISBN: 163216325X
ASIN: B00NJRJZGG
Number of pages: 376
Word Count: 152,000
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Book Description:
In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.
The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.
Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them.

 

Available at    DSP Publications     Amazon
 
About the Author:
Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!)
In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!
Twitter: @aspeed