Dark Queen by Faith Hunter

About the book:
Jane Yellowrock used to hunt vampires, but now she must fight–and win–beside them.
 
As Enforcer to the vampire Master of the City of New Orleans, Jane Yellowrock stakes her reputation and her life on keeping her territory safe. But Leo has been issued a blood challenge by the emperor of the European vampires, who seeks to usurp all of his power and possessions. If Leo loses the match to the death, the city will be forfeit, and the people of New Orleans will suffer the consequences. Jane can’t let that happen.
 
Preparing for the duel requires all of Jane’s focus, but with so much supernatural power in play, nothing goes according to plan. She has to rely on herself and the very few people she knows she can trust to stand and fight. Only two things are guaranteed: nothing is sacred, and no one is safe.
ISBN: 1101991429
ISBN-13: 978-1101991428
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Faith Hunter is a New York Times and USAToday bestselling author. She writes dark urban fantasy and paranormal urban thrillers.

Her long-running, bestselling, Skinwalker series features Jane Yellowrock, a hunter of rogue-vampires. The Soulwood series features Nell Nicholson Ingram in paranormal crime solving novels. Her Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban fantasy series, features Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage in a post-apocalyptic, alternate reality. Two of her fantasy series have been nominated for Audie Awards.

Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she has written action adventure, mysteries, thrillers, women’s fiction, a medical thriller series, and even historical religious fiction. As Gwen, she is a winner of the WH Smith Literary Award for Fresh Talent in 1995 in the UK, and won a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award in 2008. Under all her pen names, she has over 40 books in print in 30 countries.

In real life, Faith once broke a stove by refusing to turn it on for so long that its parts froze and the unused stove had to be replaced. Her recent hankering for homemade bread and soup resulted in fresh loaves each week and she claims that the newish stove feels loved and well used—because Faith talks to her appliances as well as to her plants and dog. She collects orchids and animal skulls, loves to sit on the back porch in lightning storms, and is a workaholic with a passion for jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and RV travel. She likes the shooting range, prefers Class III whitewater rivers with no gorge to climb out of, edits the occasional anthology, and drinks a lot of tea. Some days she’s a lady. Some days she ain’t. Occasionally, she remembers to sleep. The jewelry she makes and wears is often given as promo items and is used as prizes in contests.

For more, including a list of her books, see www.faithhunter.net , www.gwenhunter.com  To keep up with her, like her fan page at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/official.faith.hunter

Threshold by Patricia J. Anderson

 

 

Threshold

Patricia J. Anderson

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Common Deer Press

 

 

Date of Publication: March 27, 2018
ISBN Digital: 978-1-988761-17-6
ISBN Print: 978-1-988761-16-9
Number of pages: 240
Word Count:  66,000
Cover Artist: Carl Weins
Tagline: Fantastic Mr. Fox meets The Tao of Physics
Book Description:
The population of Ooolandia (a world much like our own but with an extra “O”) is hypnotized by the culture of MORE. Citizens of all kinds and colors go about their lives unaware that hidden in the fog of everydayness a great calamity is approaching.
Banshooo, an amazingly mindful monkey, works for the Ooolandian Department of Nature with his colleague a mathlete mouse. Together they have amassed data proving, beyond any doubt, that the natural world is losing the stability necessary to sustain life. Unfortunately, their warnings are ignored by the authorities who are planning to phase out nature altogether.
Freaky winds, icy earthquakes, and mutant anemones plague the landscape. After a wildly devastating storm, Banshooo has a vision revealing the connection between Ooolandia and the Unseen World — a connection that lies deep within and far beyond all that is seen. This connection is vital to Ooolandia’s survival, and it is fraying. He realizes he must take radical action. Along with his quirky sidekick (a one-off of unique appearance whose primary interest is snacking), he sets out on a journey beyond the surface of the Seen to bring back proof of the true nature of nature.
Excerpt:
“Oh you know, same ol’, same ol’,
still working on that whole transmutation thing. Can’t quite get it down. Can’t
quite get it … still trying … still might … still …” His voice trails off as he
furrows his brow, apparently lost in the intricacies of some possibility known
only to him.
            Ambrose
tries again.  “Morie, I’d like you to
meet Banshooo. He has an interesting story to tell.”
            The
alchemist comes back to the moment, squinting anew at Banshooo. “Ah yes, yes,
very nice. Very nice.”  He removes a pile
of books from a thread-bare couch, looking about near-sightedly. “I think maybe
I’ve got some sherry around here someplace.”
            “That’s
not necessary, really.” Ambrose smiles, eyeing a shelf of cob-webby wine
glasses sitting next to a bottle marked sulfuric acid. “We just want to talk.”
            “Talk?
With me? How nice. Yes, very nice, very nice.”
            Ambrose
nudges Banshooo. “Go ahead. Morienus knows about these things.” 
            Banshooo
looks at this old man whose long white beard appears to have been used for a
napkin. He knows alchemy was once a respected field of study but not anymore,
something to do with a failure to turn things into gold. This wrinkled dusty
old guy appears to be the last of his kind.
            Banshooo
hesitates but Ambrose nods encouragingly. “Go on, talk to him.” And so the
monkey tells the alchemist about the sound that washed over him in the meadow.
Morie listens intently, his palms together, his fingers against his chin. Now
he nods, thoughtfully, then says,
“Ah yes.  That could be.  A sound wave is a physical force. Vibratory
resonance can open up a state of awareness beyond the usual everyday state.”
             Banshooo nods. “Yes, that’s what happened.
After the sound came, I was able to see something else, something I couldn’t
see just walking around normally.”
            “And
what was that?”
            “Well,
the first time I saw … dying. So much dying.” He lowers his head.  “Extinction everywhere.”
            “And
the second time?”
            “The
second time I saw …” He pauses.
            The
alchemist raises his bushy eyebrows. “You saw what?”
            Banshooo
looks at Ambrose who nods reassuringly. He continues. “I remembered what
happened when my mother died.”
            “Hmmm.”  Morie speaks slowly, almost to himself. “This
could be a case of resonance, of limbic resonance activating a matched filter.”
            Banshooo
frowns. “What does that mean?”
            Morie
leans back. “Experience creates a vibration that stays within you. That
vibration is a kind of tone, reverberating to certain pitches, certain events
and beings. It acts almost like an antenna, picking up one kind of transmission
but deaf to others. In effect, everyone is an antenna, vibrating with their own
individual experiences.” He puts his gnarled, veined hands on the arms of the
chair and lifts himself up, walking slowly around the room.
            “At
the same time, sound waves are constantly moving through space, looking for
something that will receive them. When they find a match,” he stops and brings
his hands together, “we resonate.” He gives a little half-smile. “In effect,
beings are like old-fashioned radio receivers, calibrated to pick up one signal
and filter out the others, looking for the frequency that will resonate, that
will match.” He looks at Banshooo. “A sound can remind you of something you
know, even if you don’t know you know it, enlivening something hidden within
you, for good or for ill.”  
            Banshooo’s
eyes are wide. “It felt like that, like something reverberating in me. Like
something alive.”
            “So
what happened in this re-“ he pauses, “membering?”
            Banshooo
looks up at Morie, ready to tell this old man what he saw.
            “My
mother was dead. She was cold. I was cold too. Really cold. Then a shadow came,
a shadow shaped like her. And it touched her. Then it touched me. And I wasn’t
cold anymore. I was all right.”
            The
alchemist is squinting at Banshooo, his expression no longer one of patient
instructor. “Are you making this up? That wouldn’t be nice you know, to fool
with me.”
            “No.
No. I’m not making anything up.” He looks at Ambrose who speaks firmly.
            “He’s
not, Morie, I saw it too. A shadow bent down and touched them both. It was like
the deep heart of … something. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
            Morienus
sits back down in his chair with a stunned expression on his face. After
several silent moments he speaks quietly. “You saw a parayama, the highest
essence of a species. The one who comes for the dead.” His eyes narrow. “You’re
not supposed to see that unless ….”
            “Unless
what?”
            “Unless
you’re dead”
            “He’s
not dead,” Ambrose says.

“I noticed that. It’s very puzzling.” The alchemist continues.
“The essence of the species appears only to that being who has died. You can’t
see the parayama that comes for another, you can only see the parayama that
comes for you.”
            “But
I did. I saw it. I was alone and it protected me. And then there was a soft
kind of purring that turned into the most incredible music I’ve ever heard. No.
Not music, almost music, like music, but different … it was like they were
showing me things, unseen things. And I was safe. I was secure and safe.”
            Ambrose
and Morienus look at each other. The owl makes a little shrugging motion,
“You’ve got to admit, it’s a miracle he survived. Once his mother died, he
might as well have had a sign pointed at his head saying ‘Free Lunch.’”
            Morie
nods. “Yes, that’s true. That’s very true.”
            Ambrose
speaks slowly as he considers this improbable possibility. “It must have been
your mother’s parayama. And it stayed to care for you. That’s a very rare
experience, Banshooo. That doesn’t usually happen.”
            “Never,
actually.” Morie is staring at Banshooo. “It never happens.” He shakes his head
slowly and says it again. “Never.”

 

 

            There
is a long pause as the ramifications of this statement float through the dingy
laboratory.
 
About the Author:
Patricia J Anderson’s essays and short stories have appeared in numerous periodicals including The Sun, Tricycle, Chronogram, Ars Medica, Glamour Magazine and Rewire Me.com. Her books include All of Us, a critically acclaimed investigation of cultural attitudes and beliefs, and Affairs In Order, named best reference book of the year by Library Journal. She is the recipient of The Communicator Award for online excellence and has produced exhibition, kiosk and website copy for such institutions as the American Museum of Natural History and the Capital Museum. She is the editor of Craig Barber’s Vietnam journal, Ghosts in the Landscape. She lives with her family in New York’s Hudson Valley.

 

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Preordained by David L Wallace

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Preordained

David
L Wallace






Genre: Paranormal, Crime,
Thriller






Date of Publication: 13 Apr 2018



ISBN: Paperback 978-0-9972257-2-3
ISBN eBook 978-0-9972257-3-0
Word Count: 75,000
Book Description:
In
the vein of Seven and The Devil’s Advocate, it’s the book that launches the
series: a tech billionaire, foretold in biblical events; a cop, ordered to
sacrifice his soul to save his son…
Art Somers is a detective in
close-knit Murrells Inlet, S.C., a small-town, coastal community with deeply
held spiritual and supernatural belief systems. A serial killer has shattered
his peaceful existence by abducting multiple victims within his county. Young
thugs, backwater drug dealers and the occasional murderer are the most Art’s
had to deal with, but now he must apprehend a predator who FBI profilers can’t
find.
He discovers he has a tie by
blood to the case and uncovers evidence that calls into question his long held
spiritual and supernatural beliefs. Abraham, the father of faith, had to choose
to either sacrifice his son or disobey a direct order from God. Art must now
make a choice – sacrifice his soul to save his son.
“A riveting and intriguing read.”  – Clarion Review
“A gripping detective story.”  – Kirkus Reviews
“Original and engaging.”  – Publisher’s Weekly
Amazon     BN     Kobo     iTunes
From his
crouched position in the woods of rural Georgetown County, South Carolina, and
under the echo of his heavy breathing in the night air, he watched his favorite
family’s movements inside their small brown home.
After much
thought about the impression his outfit would make, he’d decided it was festive
enough for the occasion. The complete ensemble consisted of a red and black
head mask, aligned perfectly to the holes for his eyes, nose, and mouth and a
form-fitting, black bodysuit with white wings painted on the back.
For years, he’d
contemplated a befitting name for himself and finally settled on Star of David
killer. He liked the way the alias reverberated in his head. It revealed a lot.
It concealed everything. It hinted at his purpose and yet – it withheld the
true essence of his aspirations, keeping them covered in a shroud of secrecy.
He hoped an insightful reporter would have an epiphany and bestow that nickname
on him. It was far more interesting than the one his parents had given him at
birth. He breathed deep and exhaled slowly, taking in the ambience of the
moment. He flexed his muscles. It was time to initiate the events that would
lead everyone to recognize him by his self-appointed moniker.
He clenched and
released his toes on each of his hospital footie–covered feet. Through the
sheer curtains of the dimly lit dwelling, he watched the boy pick up the used
plates from the table, which signaled the parents and their twelve-year-old son
had finished their dinner. He knew them well. He’d cased their dwelling for
years, observing every nuance of their behavior. He sat flushed as he watched
them for the last time, shivering from time to time from the thrill of the
thought of what he was about to do.
The music of the
bullfrogs kept him company, along with the thought that all he’d longed for,
all that he was meant to be, was about to be on full display on the world stage
in a matter of hours. Like Heinz ketchup, he’d been waiting in anticipation for
a long time for this moment.
He glanced at
the scavengers in the clear sky above him, each casting its shadow across the
moon as it circled. They were his favorite creatures—the redheaded,
black-feathered, and partially white-winged turkey vultures of the Carolina skies.
His outfit mimicked theirs. The birds squawked in the sky, seeming to know his
plan for that evening. They’d followed his vehicle from his home until he’d
parked, and now they circled directly above him. He could feel their hunger and
impatience.
The boy walked
outside his home and scraped the remains of their dinner plates into a slop
bucket on the back porch. He picked up the hog’s food and headed out to the
pigpen, which was located near the backend of their yard.
The Star of
David killer watched the boy make his evening trek on pigeon-toed feet that
turned inward with each step. Ever since the infant pigs were born, the boy fed
the adult male hog an extra feeding at night to prevent him from dining on his
offspring. That’s right, the daddy hog ate his own children. What a disgusting
breed of animal.
The overhead
undertakers began to shriek and shrill as the boy moved across his lawn, their
voices echoing in the night.
The boy jumped
at their sound and looked to the skies. He stared into the woods directly below
them.
The Star of
David killer remained as still as a stone as the kid’s gaze seemed to linger on
him for a moment. The last thing he needed was for the boy to detect his
presence and yell out for his daddy. The papa of the family had an itchy
twelve-gauge finger that he didn’t want to deal with that evening.
Seemingly
satisfied, the boy stopped searching the woods and continued his walk.
The Star of
David Killer glanced overhead at the vultures, angry with them for almost
giving away his position. For their carelessness, they wouldn’t be feeding on
his handiwork that evening, and if they didn’t atone for their misstep, they
wouldn’t partake in any of the festivities on his planned itinerary.
This was the
first night—the evening of his coming-out party and the kickoff of his personal
pilgrimage. It was the acknowledgment that the presence within him, who had
compelled him to plan and now execute the initial steps of his mission, had
chosen the right vehicle for the job.
He felt
something biting him on his lower legs. Glancing down, he saw by the light of
the rear porch that ants were advancing up his calves. He remained silent and
didn’t move, not wanting to sound the alarm that he was out there in the dark.
A small green garden snake slithered out of the brush toward him. He stepped on
it and crushed its head.
The grunting
male hog reveled in the slop the boy had dumped into his pen. The female hog
stood to the side with her five remaining piglets cowering under her.
The killer
frowned at the stench of the hogs. It wasn’t the last smell he wanted on his
mind before he began his body of work. To get past it, he closed his eyes and
thought of the fragrances inside the boy’s family home, smells that he knew all
too well. He’d
spent many
nights there while they slept, enjoying their scents, with his favorites being
the individual smell of each of their worn clothing. The laundry room was a
treasure trove of delights. Each of the family members left their own unique
and enjoyable stains in their underwear. He’d gotten to know the other families
in just as much detail, meticulously taking in their routines and schedules,
getting to know every nuance of each of them.
He removed his
blade from his waistband and watched Rueben, his first victim, as he rinsed out
the slop bucket with a water hose attached to the rear of his home. He squeezed
the black-handled blade. The paring knife felt perfect in his hand, after
having gone through an exhaustive testing process to find the right cutting
instrument—one with just the right shape and size for optimal carving control
against a moving body. He’d practiced his skills with it for many hours,
initially on cantaloupes, cucumbers, and other fruits and vegetables, until
he’d graduated to successful tests on small gerbils, kittens, and puppies he’d
purchased at various pet stores.
Finally, the
lights went out in the shack. It was time. As usual, Rueben’s parents were more
than likely already fast asleep. Rueben, on the other hand, should be
wide-awake in his darkened room, surfing Internet porn sites by the light of
his laptop. The little fella loved to look at online pussy, but he wouldn’t
live long enough to enjoy any.
As the final
step of his preparation process, he extracted a bottle of removable glue from
the front waistband of his outfit and placed another coat over his hands. It
was an additional layer to guard against him leaving fingerprints behind, but
he knew he didn’t need to worry on that score. Over the past year, he’d used
razor blades every month to remove the top layer of skin on each of his
fingertips, making them as smooth as a baby’s ass.
He had no
fingerprints.
He could’ve
easily used gloves, but he wanted to touch them, to feel his prey with his bare
hands. He blew on the glue until it dried. Satisfied, he stood, stretched his
legs, and approached Rueben’s home on silent feet.

He hadn’t
troubled himself to brush the ants from his lower torso. The stinging sensation
of their bites would serve as a reminder that before that evening, he was once
human.

About
the Author:
Before publishing his debut novel
in 2016, he served over 27 years as an information technology professional
working initially for the US Navy, and then the Department of the Navy and
various fortune companies. He’s a UCLA writing program alumnus who writes
mystery thrillers and children stories. He has three wonderful kids who he enjoys
immensely. Writing is his passion and his goal with each story is to capture
the imagination in the opening pages and keep it engaged to the story’s
riveting conclusion.

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