Thursday, February 22, 2018


Sit back, Demon Hunter wanna-be's. We've got a new release to tell you about today. Plus, author Deborah Wilde dropped in for a chat!

SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.

DW: Nava Katz is a foul-mouthed, romance-impaired, hot mess who’s spent her entire life being thrilled that her twin brother is being trained to take his place among the–until now–all male demon hunters.
But when she drunkenly interrupts his induction ceremony, everyone finds out that whoops! The secret society has been training the wrong twin.

When I started writing The Unlikeable Demon Hunter, I was really frustrated with the double standard that I saw applied to even fictional females around sexuality and “likeability” and I wanted to explore that.
There is also a lot of Jewish history and mythology that comes into play (Brotherhood of David, go figure) and Nava was my way of dealing with misogyny I’d faced in my religion.

Basically, it’s sexytimes and kickass through a lens of gender politics wrapped in a lot of snark.
SC: There's nothing like a foul-mouthed hot mess to get your day going. Especially when they are demon hunters. Tell us, do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?

DW: When I was three years old, I was hanging out in our neighbor’s swimming pool. I was only allowed in the shallow end and I had to hold on to the wall unless a family member was in there with me.
My friend, whose pool it was, was about 8, and she used to tell me there was a window in the pool. One day, I let go of the side and slipped under the water.

I saw a window. It had four panes of glass and on the other side was a Viking.  A war was being fought and there were cannons going off.
I told the Viking I wanted to come to his side and he said “You can’t, little girl, you have to go back.”

That’s when my uncle pulled me up. He says I was under for about two seconds. I remember describing these things because I didn’t have the vocabulary for them at the time. But it’s one of my earliest and most vivid memories.
SC: Well that's a pretty good encounter. Obviously glad someone was around to pull you out so you could go to great things like life and um…writing. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?

DW: I’m working on book 5 right now, and then book six which is the final book in the series. After that, I have some ideas I’m dumping in a giant word file so I’ll take some time and see what sticks.
Thanks so much for having me!

SC: No, thank YOU for dropping by. Stop by anytime. Let's look at your new release now.
The Unlikeable Demon Hunter: Crave
Nava Katz
Book Four
Deborah Wilde

Genre: urban fantasy / romance

Publisher: Te Da Media

Date of Publication: February 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-988681-10-8
ASIN:  B0784674R3

Number of pages: 438
Word Count: 92,500

Cover Artist: Damonza

Tagline: Meet Nava Katz. Punches like a girl. Kicks demon butt.

Book Description:

What doesn’t kill you... seriously messes with your love life.

Nava is happily settling into her new relationship and life is all giddy joy and stolen kisses.

Except when it’s assassins. Talk about a mood killer.

She and Rohan are tracking the unlikely partnership between the Brotherhood and a witch who can bind demons, but every new piece of the puzzle is leaving them with more questions than answers.

And someone doesn’t appreciate them getting close to the truth.

Go figure.

On top of that, a demon known only as Candyman has unleashed a drug that’s harming users in extremely disturbing ways.

After a friend of Nava’s is hurt, she vows to take this demon down. But will life as she knows it survive this mission, or will this be the one time she should have looked before she leapt?

Happily-ever-after: barring death, she’s got a real shot at it.

On Sale up to 60% Until Midnight Feb 26

“I love home delivery.” Malik lounged in his doorway, eyeing me the way the wolf must have with the three little pigs. His British accent was pure sin.
“I love your arrogance that you didn’t bother moving after I almost killed you.”
He laughed, flashing straight white teeth against his bronze skin. He was still the only being I’d ever met who could pull off a Caesar cut, and was still the stuff of billionaire romance cover fantasies in his soft gray trousers that were artfully tailored to the hard lines of his body and navy shirt, carelessly folded back at the cuffs. “Oh, petal. I’d say I missed you, but I didn’t. Now, unless you brought the more interesting twin?” He peered into the hallway. “No?”
He shut the door, but I stuffed my foot in to block it. Not like he politely stopped trying to close it. “Ow.” I pushed my shoulder into the door to keep my poor bones from breaking. “If you weren’t wondering why I was here, you wouldn’t have let security buzz me up or let my toes cross the wards I’m sure you’ve got strung across this door.”
“Ten seconds.”
“That’s not–”
“Five, four…”
“Demons are being bound.” I rushed my words as he made a buzzing noise.
Malik yanked me inside by my collar and slammed the door.
I wrenched free.
His penthouse apartment hadn’t changed. Still to-die-for sweeping views of the city, a massive glass wine storage unit in the open concept space, and a loft bedroom. He pointed at one of the leather sofas, custom made to hug the curved walls. “Sit and talk.”

About the Author:

A global wanderer, hopeless romantic, and total cynic with a broken edit button, Deborah writes urban fantasy to satisfy her love of smexy romances and tales of chicks who kick ass. This award-winning author is all about the happily-ever-after, with a huge dose of hilarity along the way.

Thursday, February 15, 2018


Hexcommunicated? What type of danger are we in for today? Rafael Chandler stopped by to talk about the book with us, and answer our three fave questions:

SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.

RC: Nicolae Tepes is a federal agent with Hex Division. He's also a Force Amplified Entity (FAE). Tepes is what you might call a North Carolina vampire: he likes hot barbecue and cold beer. He also likes kicking down doors and taking zombies into custody. His partner's a werewolf, and they're working a case about some new national security threat.
Tepes doesn't know what's going on, but he knows that it's weird -- which is saying something, because his job requires him to throw down against Soultergeists, Nosferodents, and Ghostmortems. He's got a few hours to figure out what the deal is, but he already knows how it's going to end: when the sun comes up, he's going to die. Naturally, he's in a pretty rotten mood.

SC: It's good to recognize weird. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?

RC: No, I don't, but I wish I did. I'd love to believe in (or even glimpse) the Mothman, or the Jersey Devil.
The closest thing I've ever had to a paranormal experience happened in 2000. I had just gotten out of college, and was working as an editor for Standard & Poor's (publishers of the S&P 500). It was a suit-and-tie job, and it paid well. After a few weeks, they offered me a promotion. The necktie coiled around my throat like a piano-wire garrote. I knew that I couldn't keep working there.

So I quit.
Unemployed, I pounded the pavement in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. No clue what I was going to do. I saw an ad in the paper: "Do you want to play video games for a living?"

I sure as hell did, so I sent in my resume. They called. I showed up for the job interview.
The minute I walked into the Electronic Arts office, I knew that I was home. I felt a sense of belonging, as though I'd always been there, surrounded by people who decorated their desks with Transformers.

I've been working in the video game industry ever since.
I can still remember how that office looked and smelled. I can still hear the music from the games that we played after work, can still taste the beers from the bars we used to hit every night.

I've been a devout gamer since the early eighties, so walking into a video game studio for the first time -- knowing that I would join them -- was practically a supernatural experience for me.

SC: We here in Vancouver know all about EA. We have some friends that have worked on gigs there. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
RC: I'm working on a horror novel about a superheroine who must defend her city against a nightmarish crime wave, and I'm also writing a new adventure for Lamentations of the Flame Princess (a tabletop role-playing game that I'm particularly fond of).

SC: Well, we'd better let you get back at it. Thanks so much for stopping in.
Rafael Chandler

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Neoplastic Press

Date of Publication: July 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-1478196662

Number of pages: 302
Word Count: 94,400

Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Cover Model: Rose Ballentine

Tagline: When the sun comes up, the girl of his dreams will murder him.

Book Description:

The name is Tepes. Nicolae Tepes. I'm a federal agent with Hex Division.

When the sun comes up, the girl of my dreams is going to kill me.

My partner's a werewolf, but we get along okay. We were investigating this murder when we stumbled across a conspiracy unlike anything we've ever dealt with before. Ghostmortems, Scarevoyants, all kinds of freaks.

It started bad and got worse quick: a psychic on our team had a vision of the future. At sunrise, I'll die at the hands of the woman I love, and then a psychotic death cult will deploy a supernatural weapon of mass destruction.

We've got eight hours to prevent this prophecy from coming true, but the psychics of Hex Division are never wrong...

Excerpt One:

          Hands trembling, the cop chased the tip of his cigarette with a lighter for a couple of seconds. Then he saw me and stuffed it all back into his pocket.
            I badged him. "Agent Tepes, Hex Division."
            The cop straightened. His hands jerked up, then down. He was trying to figure out if he should salute me.
            While waiting for him to make up his mind, I pulled on a flak jacket. Partly, I was trying to stay warm, but mostly, I wanted to hide the dried blood on my arms and neck. The wounds had healed up, but I'd need to clean the blood off eventually.
            "Relax," I said. "Where's Agent Tambora?"
            "Inside." He looked me up and down, then swallowed. Guy probably heard all kinds of rumors about us. The freaks of nature who get deployed into hellholes around the globe. Force Amplified Entities, the army of cyborg monsters who operate in shadow. The FAE, constructed in billion-dollar labs, fighting terrorism with horror.
            His suspicions were grounded in fact. We were all of the above, and then some. My team had captured or neutralized dozens of terrorist leaders, drug lords, and war criminals. Everybody has a job to do; mine just involves fast-roping out of choppers with my fangs out and my eyes glowing red.
            Mindful of the yellow crime-scene tape, I headed up the driveway, the cop stumbling along behind me. The tiny house crouched on the edge of a patchy beige lawn. Flashlights cut through the dark as cops searched for footprints, bodily fluids, fibers. Peeping from behind torn and faded curtains, neighbors rehearsed their statements: they'd always had their doubts about the guy next door, and this only confirmed what they'd suspected all along: the guy just wasn't right. Feeling the unholy vibe this scene was giving off, they hovered on their porches but got no closer. Crimes like this were rare in the suburbs of North Raleigh.
            The cop cleared his throat and tried to man up; he didn't want to look like a sissy in front of the feds. I didn't care how he looked. One of my people was dead.
            "Agent Tepes, do you think there's a connection to terrorists? Like Al-Hazred or something?"
            "Sorry. Classified."
            No one knows what we do at Hermetic Extropy; all they know is, after the slaughter at Providence, we took the fight to the enemy. Like everyone else, the cop was hoping to learn a little more about our operation. Too bad.
            The front door swung open. A face-masked forensic tech in paper shoes and blue nitrile gloves was explaining something to my teammate, Adam Tambora. The tech nodded, then shuffled back inside. Adam strode towards me.
            He'd grown up in the hinterlands, one of those square states that I always pictured like a Laura Ingalls Wilder novel, but with pickup trucks and high school football. A muscular blonde guy with a recruitment-poster grin, he always got treated like the team leader, even though he's the lowest-ranking member of my unit. But there's a trade-off for those all-American good looks. When I deploy my FAE augmentations, my eyes turn red and my canine teeth extend about a half-inch. Other than that, I look pretty much the same. Adam, on the other hand, undergoes some truly grotesque changes when his Frankenstitch enhancements kick in. I figured the forensic technician wouldn't be so deferential if he could only see what Adam looks like in monster mode.
            My petty train of thought was derailed by Adam's firm handshake. "Glad you're here," he said, clapping me on the shoulder. Then he looked past me and frowned.
            A few police officers were waving at us from the driveway. We dodged scurrying forensic techs as we crossed the lawn towards them.
            Two cops, a male officer and a female detective, shivered next to the SUV in the driveway. I started to address the detective, but Adam cut me off and started talking to the officer.
            "What can we do for you, buddy?"
            The officer took a small step back, with an embarrassed look at the detective. He felt bad, but it wasn't his fault; Adam was the one who'd made the assumption.
            The detective cleared her throat. "We want to jack up this truck," she said. Her face reddened with irritation. She probably got that a lot: guys assuming that she was a subordinate. "We need to see the underside. Looks like it's been tampered with, and our techs want to get a better look. That okay with you?"
            Assuming that he was in charge, she addressed Adam. I gritted my teeth and let it go.
            "I can do you one better," Adam said with a grin. He shooed her back. Confused, but sharing his infectious smile, she stepped away.
            Adam squatted down by the truck, clutched the frame, and lifted. Mouths open and eyes wide, the cops and techs all backed away. The pickup rocked over on its side, glass shattering as the vehicle's weight crushed the passenger-side mirror.
            Stepping back, he wiped his hands on his pants. His perfectly even teeth gleamed in the harsh crime-scene floodlights. The audience broke into spontaneous applause.
            "How did you do that?" the detective asked. A second later, she caught herself and laughed. "Sorry, I know. Loyalty Act, classified information."
            "Can't tell you anything," Adam said. "Above your pay grade. And mine." They smiled. I managed not to roll my eyes. Adam shook a few hands, then he and I headed for the backyard.
            "Nick," he said. "I know you disapprove, but these officers worship us like rock stars or athletes. Giving them a little something to talk about is good for morale."

            "We're supposed to stay in the shadows." I tried to keep the irritation out of my voice. Sure, I fell off a castle and landed on an SUV in front of a bunch of slack-jawed civilians, and then I stabbed a monster in the neck. But that was all in the line of duty, not showboating.

About the Author:

Rafael Chandler writes novels (Mask Beneath Her Face, The Astounding Antagonists), video games (SOCOM 4, Rainbow Six: Lockdown), and tabletop role-playing games (Teratic Tome, Lusus Naturae). He's a metalhead, kaijuphile, and gorehound.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Into Nostra
The Pact
Book 2
Brantwijn Serrah

Genre: Supernatural Adventure

Publisher: Champagne Books

Date of Publication: January 8th, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-947128-24-8

Number of pages: 225
Word Count: 84,000

Cover Artist: Brantwijn Serrah

Tagline: They have opened the door to the apex predator, and now it is hunting them down.

Book Description:

Deals with the devil always have their price. Problem is, the devil collects with interest.

Serenity Walker thought she had the upper hand when it came to her partnership with a demon. D’aej is dangerous, but he was always on her side. Then an old friend lifts the scales from her eyes, and Serenity sees her contract for what it truly is: imprisonment, bloodshed, evil. All done by her own hands.

Now Serenity must pay for her ignorance and work harder than ever to fight a demon who can use her body, fool her senses, even twist every thought in her head. Only one sorceress has the power to teach Serenity what she really needs to know…a sorceress possessed by a fiend even bigger and badder than any Serenity has seen before.

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A woman flickered into existence. As if stepping out of some eternal veil, she appeared without warning and made straight for Serenity in quick, purposeful strides. The wide, swooping brim of a black cowboy hat hid her eyes; long silver hair streamed out behind her like a pale, gossamer banner. The lithe curves of a predator couldn’t be hidden underneath her black corset and boiled leather leggings—sleek animal fur lined the tops of her boots, tribal moccasins dyed with deep ink and painted with runic markings along the seams.

Serenity managed to identify the symbols as the marks of a killer, but she had no time to move. All along this fighter’s arms danced a swirling dark energy, a kind of magic Serenity had never seen before: the shadowy swarm of a hundred darkling faces, crackling and howling like flames. Her mind flashed in panic back to the fehu tapestry in Eclipse, guarding the weaver’s blackest arts, and just as the woman raised both fists over her head to bring them crashing down on Serenity, D’aej seized control and ducked the body out of the way.

Don’t stare at her like a cow on the train tracks, he shouted across their bond, his anger echoing off the walls of her skull. Get moving!

About the Author:

When she isn't visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and playing with graphic design. She can't handle coffee unless there's enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours on end sketching characters and scenes in her secret notebooks.



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Twitter @Brantwijn

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Good morning, all.  There's a special treat for you today. Author William Blackwell is in the house to talk about his new horror release, FREAKY FRANKY! We had a chance to ask him a few questions:

SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.

WB: In my new horror release Freaky Franky, Franklin Reiger is one of the main characters. I think he’s interesting because his motivations are not black and white. Shades of gray help readers identify and perhaps even sympathize with him. As a child, he witnesses the deaths of many close family members, and eventually believes he’s cursed. Everyone around him seems to be dying. He flees to the Dominican Republic and starts to change, praying for the deaths of his enemies. But he becomes wracked by guilt and remorse and embarks down a landmine-laced path of redemption and rebirth. Although Freaky Franky is a work of fiction, it is a fact-based, well-researched novel examining the terrifying consequences of worshiping the cult of Santa Muerte with evil intentions.
SC: Sounds like there's some soul redemption going on there of one sort or another. Redemption is good. A lot of deaths, not so much. Curious, do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?

WB; I think there is overwhelming evidence to support the existence of ghosts. In paranormal novel Phantom Rage, as part of my research, I joined a team of paranormal investigators on some investigations. On one such investigation we got set up in an old house in Strathmore, Alberta, where a frightened woman had told us a story of seeing an apparition of a little girl playing a violin in one of the basement bedrooms. As we began to set up our equipment, we noticed that one of the bedroom doors had locks on the outside of the door, suggesting someone had been locked inside against their will. We wondered if perhaps it had been the little girl. Although we did experience highly suggestive levels of electro-magnetic activity in the bedroom in question, we never saw the little girl apparition. However, late that night, we heard and recorded spooky voices coming from the basement laundry room and, strangely, the batteries went dead on one of the flashlights as well as the video recorder. We also heard strange rustling noises coming from a basement laundry room, and one of the lights mysteriously flickered on and off a few times. I wouldn’t call the experience frightening, but certainly highly suggestive and interesting. However, in Phantom Rage, I took some liberties. I embellished and molded some of those facts into what I believe is a horrifying paranormal novel.
SC: I too, am a member of a paranormal  team, so  your story is very intriguing to me. Plus, it sounds like you might be Canadian, just like moi. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?

WB: Lately I’ve been doing a lot of research on dreams and the amazing subconscious landscapes they produce. I’ve also researched and written blog posts on a number of sleep disorders including night terrors, sleep paralysis, sleepwalking, even sexsomnia—a condition in which people actually initiate and have sex in their sleep and wake up with no recollection of it. The working title for my work in progress is Deadly Parasomnia.  In it, lead protagonist Noah Janzen is afflicted with multiple sleep disorders. He becomes convinced the infamous Hat Man, a dark and spooky character he sees repeatedly during sleep paralysis, has dark and deadly intentions. A series of terrifying encounters with the “Hat Man” soon convince Noah he’s losing his mind and his life begins to unravel. Struggling with internal and external demons, he battles to save his life and his sanity.
SC: Thanks so much for joining us today. Come back anytime!

Freaky Franky
William Blackwell

Genre: Horror

Publisher: Telemachus Press

Date of Publication: December 3, 2017

ISBN: ISBN-10: 1945330945
ISBN-13: 978-1945330940
ASIN: B077X41V9J

Number of pages: 326
Word Count: 66323

Cover Artist: Johnny Breeze

Tagline: Santa Muerte followers discover the horrifying consequences of worshipping with evil intentions.

Book Description:

When an enigmatic town doctor saves the life of Anisa Worthington’s dying son, she abandons Christianity in favor of devotion to the cult of Santa Muerte or Saint Death. Some believe the mysterious skeleton saint will protect your loved ones; help in matters of the heart; provide abundant happiness, health, wealth and justice. But others, including the Catholic Church, call it blasphemous, evil and satanic.

Anisa introduces Saint Death to troubled Catholic friend Helen Randon and strange things begin happening. One of Helen’s enemies is brutally murdered and residents of Montague, a peaceful little town in Prince Edward Island, begin plotting to rid the Bible belt of apostates.

Anisa suspects Helen is perverting the good tenets of Santa Muerte but, before she can act, a terrible nightmare propels her to the Dominican Republic in search of Freaky Franky, her long-lost and unstable brother, who mysteriously disappeared without a trace twenty years ago.

To her horror, Anisa learns Freaky Franky is also worshiping Santa Muerte with evil intentions. As a fanatical and hell-bent lynch mob tightens the noose, mysterious murders begin occurring all around Anisa. Unsure about who’s an enemy and who’s an ally, she’s thrust into a violent battle to save her life as well as the lives of her unpredictable friends and brother.

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About the Author:

William Blackwell studied journalism at Calgary’s Mount Royal University and English literature at Vancouver’s University of British Columbia. He worked as a print journalist for many years before becoming an author. He has written over seventeen novels, mainly in the horror genre. Currently living on an acreage in Prince Edward Island, Blackwell loves to travel and write dark fiction.

Twitter: @wblackwell333

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Monday, February 12, 2018


As much as I want to be a singer, I am not a singer. American Idol would have me on the blooper loop. I am intrigued however, by this title, Dead Girls Don't Sing. The author, Casey Wyatt, stopped by to chat with us this morning. Bonus!
SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
CW: Cherry Cordial is such a fun character. She first came to me while I was driving. All I heard in my head was “Vampire Stripper on Mars.” Cherry didn’t arrive fully formed but her personality was hard to ignore. Dead Girls Don’t Cry was the fastest book I ever wrote. Cherry and I were simpatico!
Until I wrote book two – Dead Girls Don’t Sing – where I delved deeper into Cherry’s past as Charity Belmont, daughter of the Earl of Pembridge and Lady d’Aumont, wife of Jonathan (her vampire maker). Then we had a bit of a tussle over how much of her backstory was relevant to the book. In the end it took me the longest time to finish the story. But I did get it done!
The thing I like the most about Cherry is that she is loyal, caring, and would do anything to keep her family safe. Much like me, she is stubborn and doesn’t like people trying to control her. Let’s just say that in Dead Girls Don’t Sing, we learn more about her human family (including her brother Edwin who deserves a book of his own) and more about her early vampire years. If you like family drama, this book has plenty along with humor and fast-paced action.
SC: I think I want to visit the club Cherry worked at on Mars. But I digress. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
CW: The scientist in me resists the idea of the paranormal being real but I’m open to the possibility. I’ve never encountered the paranormal in my waking life but I did have one experience back in 1992 that involved a dream. I dreamt that my great aunt (who I loved dearly) was in the hospital. One of my uncles and my aunt (who I don’t see much let alone dream about) were there and they were very upset. I woke up and dismissed it but that same day, I asked my mother if my great aunt was okay. She said she was fine. Two days later, my great aunt died of a heart attack. She had been taken to the hospital by the same aunt and uncle in my dream. So that alone tells me that, we humans, don’t know as much as we think we do.
SC:  What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
CW: Right now, I’m writing a paranormal romance, Chase’s Fire, (next book after Lachlan’s Curse). Once that is completed, I hope to go straight to Misfortunate Soul, (a sequel to Misfortune Cookie). It’s about time because Misfortune Cookie is a book that I get asked, “When’s the next one coming?” To those who’ve asked, “I hear you!” The only reason I didn’t go straight to it was I had just completed Dead Girls Don’t Sing, which is also first person and I needed a brain refresh.
Thank you so much for having me. Got questions, please do ask away!
SC: The pleasure is ours, Casey. Drop by anytime. Now let's take a look at your novel.

Dead Girls Don’t Sing
The Undead Space Initiative
Book Two
Casey Wyatt

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Time Travel

Publisher: Casey Wyatt

Date of Publication: 12/18/17

ISBN: 978-1979982078

Number of pages: 338
Word Count: 93,000

Cover Artist: Kim Killion Designs

Tagline: Time will have its way

Book Description:

When former vampire stripper Cherry Cordial settled on Mars with her undead family, she thought she’d left her chaotic past behind her. After finding her mate and becoming the first vampire to give birth, she’s hoping to lead a drama-free life.

Naturally, the universe has a different plan. When mysterious undead space travelers arrive, an ancient Martian plague is released, infecting the undead. To find the cure she must return to Earth. All she needs to do is travel into the past, confront her own tangled history, and not break the space-time continuum. But if Cherry’s learned anything, it’s that her life is never that easy.

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Tiny pokers stabbed my eyes.
Another body, warm and hard, spooned against my backside.
Ian always felt so good, comforting and real.
His hand wrapped around my waist, cupping the underside of my breast. A cool sheet slid off my bare shoulder.
I was naked and in bed. A snippet of memory interrupted my appreciation of my husband’s hand.
Wasn’t I running from something . . .?
Fingers trailed along my spine, heading south. The touch was wrong, unfamiliar and rough.
Hold on. That wasn’t Ian. I shouldn’t feel the warmth of sun against my skin either. We lived on Mars, where it was colder than a witch’s tit.
If not Ian, then who was touching my inner thigh?
My eyelids snapped open like a shade on a spring. Bolting upright, I bared my fangs and grabbed the man’s wrist.
Oh, holy hell. I was in bed with another man. I rolled away and slammed into a different body. Shit, make that two other men. Two eye-poppingly gorgeous men.
Hey, I might be dead, but I’m not dead dead.
“Mistress? Have I displeased you?” said the man whose wrist I was about to shatter. Stunning blue-gray eyes. Dark stubble lined his chiseled jawline. His dark hair was mussed and complimented his swarthy skin tone. Dried blood smeared his neck. A red trail led to puncture marks.
The other man’s brown muscled chest rose and fell in rhythmic sleep. His body was fully exposed on the white sheet. Puncture marks lined his neck, his groin and his very erect penis.
My cheeks heated like a furnace. Clearly, we’d had a good time.
“No. Leave me. Both of you go to your rooms.” I dropped his wrist. The man woke his drowsing companion, and they left as I’d commanded.
Damn. I wished I could get the other men in my life to be so compliant.
Other men? There were other people important to me. Why couldn’t I remember them?
I’d kill Jonathan if he was messing with my mind again.
But yet... that idea didn’t feel right.
Somewhere in a dead corner of my memory, this moment seemed familiar. Jonathan, sensing my unhappiness with our “arrangement,” had spent the early years of our relationship attempting to please me.
This must have been my slut phase, where we’d bring home gorgeous men and I would feast and fuck while he watched. I enjoyed knowing it bothered him that I wouldn’t sleep with him. Only the mortals that we found in gaming dens, brothels, even at society events. The only other thing I would take from Jonathan besides his money was his blood, and only out of necessity.
Fucking hell. Ian’s go-to phrase—I remembered him now—helped resurface the reason why I was reliving this not-so-proud moment in my past.
The plague. The Lost Ship. The time stream. My daughter.
Oh, dear God. I hoped she was safe.
“Good morning, my pet.” Jonathan read a page of the morning newspaper while sipping tea from a dainty cup. He sat on the balcony situated outside my bedroom. From his vantage point, he could view the bed and my doings in Technicolor glory.
My heart lurched at the sight of his arrogant beauty. I had forgotten how full of life he’d been, especially in this time period. And, oh, how handsome he was. His raven hair glossy with blue highlights sparkled in the early morning sunshine. The strong line of his jaw and perfect Roman nose coupled with full lips made it hard not to stare at him. He hadn’t yet acquired the weariness that having a Family would place on him.
In later years, after much bitterness between us, I no longer saw him anymore. The beauty was tarnished, and we became as passionate as two coworkers passing the time until their shift ended. He had become someone I had to endure rather than enjoy. Not that I ever really “enjoyed” him because of the circumstances surrounding our sham marriage.
The horrid image of his death, when he’d knelt, offering Thalia his head, shattered the peaceful moment. With a plaintive look, he commanded that I accept his fate and mine. We both knew that Thalia, the dead queen’s heir apparent, was a vindictive bitch. She blamed me for her mother’s death and Jonathan refused to bow down to her. So, he did what he always did. He protected his Family by sacrificing himself so we could escape. In his last moments, regret had filled his eyes. The wish that we could have been different together had been silenced forever.
Seeing Jonathan again and remembering was worse than reopening a wound and rubbing salt in it with a lemon juice chaser. If only I could apologize to him for how awful I’d been. I hadn’t been blameless in wrecking our relationship. I could have tried harder to accept my fate instead of punishing him at every turn.
The temptation to blurt out the truth bubbled inside, until I had to force myself to look away from him. Would this Jonathan be willing to help me? Or would he use my current predicament to his advantage?
No. I couldn’t, wouldn’t chance it. Not with the entire colony’s lives hanging in the balance.
Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve. Sew it on a patch and you’d have my life’s motto.
Yup. Regrets sucked.
Jonathan placed the teacup down and smiled. “Did you enjoy yourself? You seemed a bit surprised when you awoke.”
Surprise didn’t cover how I felt. That word was too puny, too inadequate. After a few seconds, I found my voice again.
“Yes, we had a good time. Thank you.” It sure looked that way.
He acted like finding his wife in bed with other men was no big deal. It wasn’t like I would keep them. To him they were more like pets or meals with legs.

But now, with a century of wisdom tucked under my belt, instead of relishing in his annoyance, I realized something. He was sad. With himself or me, I wasn’t sure. And it didn’t matter. I had a mission to accomplish. A future to save.

About the Author:

Casey Wyatt grew up in a mid-size Connecticut town where nothing exciting ever happened. To stem the boredom, she read fantasy and sci-fi stories, imagining her own adventures in her head. Not much has changed since she’s grown up, only now she's a multi-published author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels. In her spare time, she loves all things geeky, hangs out in museums, and collects stray cats.

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