Wednesday, February 13, 2019

INTERVIEW WITH CR ROBERTSON (Dragons of Fate)


 
 
 Please welcome author CR Robertson to the page today!
SC:  Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
CRR: Evanora is the vessel for Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, Darius is a golden warrior dragon.Both are the main characters. Evanora was broken by an evil dragon and pieces herself back together until she is stronger than all the broken parts of her. Her magic returns when Darius helps to make her whole again.
SC:  Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
CRR: Yes!! I used to belong to a paranormal research group and have lots of experiences from places
I’ve visited over here in Ireland. The most intense moment was when we were in an old castle
and some of the group was involved in table tipping. The table was moving dramatically in
answer to questions. Someone asked if the person speaking to us believed they were alive. The
table stopped and then moved in the direction of “yes”.
SC:  That would have been quite the experience, I'm sure. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
CRR: This current series will have four books. Dragons of Chaos is nearly finished and it follows Justus and Celeste as they continue the story of the battle against the krakens. Each couple have
different obstacles to overcome, and Justus has a unique storyline that had me scratching my
head as to how it was going to unfold. Every one of my books incorporates mythology / pagan festivals/paranormal.
SC: Good to know. We'd better let you get back to it then. Let's take a look at today's novel now.

Dragons of Fate

The Gaian Otherworld

Book Two

CR Robertson

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: CR Robertson

Date of Publication: 31st January 2019

ASIN: B07MKX32HP

Number of pages: 303
Word Count: 84347

Cover Artist: Maria Spader

Tagline: Sometimes love is the most powerful and dangerous magic...

Book Description:

The underrealm was in turmoil with revelations of the evil that had taken root there.

It was no longer a safe haven for the Gaians.

Darius was a golden warrior dragon from an ancient clan. Evanora descended from the purple dragons of healing. They were destined to become fated mates four hundred years ago before Evanora was stolen from the heartland of the dragons.

Her dream of escape became the nightmare of reality.

Even in the light the past haunted her present.

Evanora’s soul was broken by her long years in captivity, until Darius started to fit the pieces back together again. Some fragments no long fit, some slotted into a different position, but the woman who emerged was stronger and more powerful than anyone ever imagined – the Gaian enchantress.

Was it too late for their love?

Or would Fate intervene to light their way to the future?

Sometimes love was the most powerful and dangerous magic...

***WARNING*** Includes a deadly hero willing to fight the monsters of this world to claim his fated mate, and a heroine who powerful enough to bring the world to its knees.

Dragons of Destiny is the second in The Gaian Otherworld. It can be read as a stand-alone paranormal romance.

Amazon     AmazonUK     AmazonAU     AmazonCA

Excerpt 2:
I spun, my tail knocking people across the room to snarl at my father. My wing descended to protect Evanora. There was no way anyone was taking her, they’d have to go through me first. I crouched low to pounce. Andreas studied my reaction to the threat, his eyes widening at all the revelations today.
Evanora squirmed from under my wing and stood in front of me, her hand on my chest. “I think I can handle this.” She prowled in front of me like a threatened tigress protecting her mate.
She snapped her fingers, and the elders levitated above the stage. Her right arm flung high in the air, and the emerald guards flew across the room by an invisible wind that herded them all in the corner beside Ruben.
Several of them tried to run, but the golden dragons cut off their escape route. A few emerald guards transformed into their dragons. Ruben leapt on one, his talons tearing through its protective scales as if they were nothing more than fine silk. His teeth tore the throat out of another.
A green dragon launched itself towards Evanora, and I pounced on it. My talons eviscerated it, his flesh steaming from the toxin Evanora had infused there to fight against the krakens. I’d never killed another Gaian—until recently I would have believed it was blasphemy—yet I never gave it a second thought because he had attacked my mate.
Ruben advanced on the others with murder in his amber gaze. They had attacked his mate, and I had no doubt every single emerald guard would suffer the force of his wrath for their actions. Panicked energy filled the air, and screams followed as more dragons emerged to try and fly to the doors at the top of the staircase. Some used their talons to climb the walls.
Ruben didn’t miss a beat. He rained fire on them, turning them all into heaps of steaming ash. The ferocious heat permeated the room, and every Gaian took a step back from the black death dragon.
The smell turned my stomach, and I tried not to breathe to limit my exposure to it. The cooking flesh reminded me of a dark fae party where they roasted whole pigs over open fires. Suddenly, turning vegetarian seemed like a good idea.
“You!” Evanora’s finger pointed directly at Cyrus. “Are a monster from the depths of hell.” She took slow deliberate steps towards him.
He swallowed and furtively looked to the side, taking a few steps back. The coward was searching for somewhere to escape to. He tried to lift his foot, but he seemed to be stuck where he stood. Apparently, he could only be brave if he had his women helpless due to a dragon suppressing collar.
Sensing the situation was under control, I returned to my human form. Ruben appeared at my side. He snapped his fingers, and we were both clothed in black.
With each flick of her wrist, lashes appeared on Cyrus’ body until he fell to his knees, his clothes in tatters. Evanora rubbed her hands together in a circular motion. His skin began to melt and peel down his body like a candle under the intensity of her stare.
“Even as you forgot them, I remember every one of their names, every terrified young girl you tried to impregnate with your evil spawn. Cyrus of the green dragons, I curse you from this day hence. You shall not rest in the afterlife but spend eternity in the realms of purgatory to experience the pain and suffering you have caused to others. Their agony will be yours, your body violated with their rapes, their torment only yours to bear.”
A BOOM shook the chamber, forming a crack across the ceiling. Wails sounded all around us before a black shimmering vortex appeared behind Cyrus. Shadow hands grasped his limbs and dragged him screaming into the darkness.
Stunned silence filled the room. Ruben’s hand grasped my arm, his eyes wide in alarm at what we’d just witnessed.
Evanora dusted her hands off and placed them on her hips. “Now what should I do with the elders who sanction rape, torture, and murder?”
Fuck that I was annoyed with her. I’d never seen anything more magnificent than Evanora go on a murderous spree. Her hair had a life of its own, moving around her as magic coursed through her. She took beauty into a different league.
I wanted her more now than ever before. She no longer looked frail and ready to break; her curves were accentuated in the deep purple gown that hugged every inch of her. When she released her magic, I swore I could see dark writing under her pale skin.
Evanora clicked her fingers, and the elders dropped to the ground, scrambling to get back on their feet. She chanted words from an ancient language that I didn’t understand. Energy pulsed towards the stage from the four directions of the wind, which Evanora summoned.
“Your dragons are bound inside you, unable to be released until the day you prove yourselves worthy to be a Gaian once more. You are nothing more than human, trapped in a realm that you can no longer leave,” she said. Her voice sounded remote and devoid of emotion.
Magic manifested in the air in a green mist. It twisted and swirled around the elders, stripping away their elder marks from their wrists. Evanora stalked through them, examining every single one of them until she seemed happy that they were bound by her enchantment.
“Next time you consider touching my mate, I would think again,” she hissed at them before strutting down from the stage. I’d never been more turned on in my life from her display of dominance.
“It’s time to go home.” Evanora opened a portal, indicating that Ruben and Justus leave through it.
My eyes met Andreas’. He nodded to let me know he would take care of everything.
Evanora grabbed my hand, and the world tilted off its axis for a few seconds before we re-materialised in my house.


About the Author:

CR Robertson is a paranormal romance writer who lives in Ireland, the most magical country in the world. From an early age, she loved faerytales and mythological stories. She delved into the pages to go on an adventure with the characters, sparking a lifelong love of the literary world and story craft.

The Otherworld Chronicles started when the characters evolved in her head, constantly jumping in to tell their story until one day that nagging voice said, “Why not write their faerytale?” The rest resides in the pages of the Otherworld. Her in-depth knowledge of mythology and faerylore weaves the background for the characters in each of her manuscripts.

It may be cliché, but she has a cottage by the sea on the east coast of Ireland. Gardening is one of her favourite pastimes and is evident in her garden that is overflowing with crystals and seasonal flowers for the birds, butterflies, and her favourite bumblebees. Her dogs enjoy the sleepy seaside town and spend their time playing in the sea.




Otherworld fb group for freebies and teasers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/313624995775336/





Sunday, February 10, 2019

RELEASE DAY! TRUDY HICKS GHOST HUNTER The Deceit




Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter

Case One -The Deceit

Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter
Book One
Lori Zaremba

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Date of Publication: 2/12/2019

Number of pages: 337
Word Count: 78500

Tagline: Some secrets are meant to stay buried.

Book Description

My job? I hunt ghosts. Not to prove they exist—because I already know they do—but to figure out why they’re still here.

My first big case leads me to a mansion on the Chicago Gold Coast, the previous home of a wealthy socialite who lived there until she accidentally fell to her death in 1927.

I’ve never been this determined—and excited—to solve a case like this one before. Pity I’m forced to work alongside a man whose sole purpose is to debunk paranormal activity. But the worst part? He’s gorgeous, and the more we work together, the more I realize I might be falling for him.

Together we’re delving deeper and deeper into the spiritual world. But the more secrets we uncover, the more pissed off these ghosts become; and that’s when I start to realize…we might be in way over our heads.



Excerpt:

His gaze settled on her half-smile. “At least it won’t be boring.”
Her heart did a somersault. “Yeah, I don’t do well with boring.”
Feeling brazen, she leaned over and planted a quick kiss on his mouth. His eyes widened in surprise, and Trudy jumped up, grinning from ear to ear.
“Let’s go, Mr. Young. They’re probably wondering what’s happened to us.” She was halfway out the door.
Jason grabbed her hand before she could reach the hall and spun her around. His lips claimed hers before she could grasp what was happening. Trudy felt his hand on the small of her back molding her to him, while his other hand gently held her head. She felt a thrill like never before, and just as her knees started to give out, he released her.
“Better hurry, Gertrude. Wouldn’t want anyone to think you were trying to take advantage of me in this here grand bedroom.” He smiled into her eyes, and once again she was lost. She shook her head to clear it and get some control of her senses.
“We better go, or I’ll be taking advantage of you.” She laughed, and he did too. She loved the sound of it. She glanced over her shoulder. “I hope that damned camera of yours was turned off.”

As they headed out the door, Jason walking just behind her, he grimaced when he saw the red light on the camera on and grunted, “Oh, shit.”

About the Author:


Lori Zaremba is a full-time Internet Sales Manager and writes Web Content as well as providing Copy Editing for businesses in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Lori has published short ghost stories on Your Ghost Stories, as the Haunted_Cleaner and on her website lorizaremba.com

On her website, lorizaremba.com, Zaremba refers to herself as the ghost magnet and briefly describes her encounters with departing spirits.

Lori began writing her fiction story as a creative offering of why a ghost would haunt.  Before long the story became a novel Case One: The Deceit in the Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter series.

Lori currently lives in the suburbs of Pittsburgh with her husband Wayne and two fur babies Jaxson and Stewie.





Friday, February 8, 2019

RELEASE DAY! UNHUMAN LIGHT by CHRIS STONEHEART







Unhuman Light
Chronicles of the Light
Book One
Chris Stoneheart

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Book Description:

Bodies keep piling up, but Kaitlin O'Malley refuses to back down, even when threatened by someone once worshipped as a god. Training for a battle between good and evil, she teams up with the Dragon King and a powerful lion, and finds herself protected by a Master Vampire who wants her in his bed.

With a vile enemy ready to destroy her, the men in her life lock her up to keep her safe, but Kaitlin will never let other people fight her battles. She’ll have to break free and venture out on her own, wielding a powerful weapon to protect herself — a weapon her enemies would kill for. To face the enemy alone, Kaitlin must view the world in an Unhuman Light.

In a supernatural battle of magic and strength, can an unlikely human prevail?

Books2Read     Amazon     Kobo


About the Author:

Chris Stoneheart lives in a fifty-year-old house smack dab in the middle of The South, with what promises to soon be a full-fledged herd of retired racing greyhounds. Chris read The Hobbit in elementary school, and The Lord of the Rings in middle school, and has been addicted to fantasy ever since. (It’s probably best we don’t talk about what Chris read in high school.)

Chronicles of the Light gives us a world where weredragons, werewolves, werelions, three different species of vampires, and a variety of other mythological beings exist.

ARE YOU STALKING ME? You should be! Come find me!

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FREAKY FRIDAY'S SLS CAMERA FUN

Good morning, peeps. 

I am preparing early for what they are predicting to be the first real snow dump this winter, here in Vancouver, BC.  Let's hope they are wrong. My sinus' say they are wrong, as the trees are already starting to bloom, but Mother Nature doesn't listen to...well... anybody.

I thought I'd take a moment to share an entity that one of our Structured Light Sensor cameras picked up on a recent investigation in Gastown.  It seemed to be working over a table. Any clues to what it is doing?


COVER REVEAL: TUDOR ROSE by W.H. DOYLE





Tudor Rose
W.H. Doyle

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Publisher: Month9Books

Date of Publication: April 9th, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946700-67-4
ASIN: 1946700673

Number of pages: 257

Cover Artist: AM Design Studios

Book Description:

In 16th-century England, two teenage best friends find themselves on an exciting journey from the country to the Queen’s court in the hope of being named ladies-in-waiting. But Sybille and Rose soon discover they aren’t the only girls who have their sights set on attending Her Majesty.  The girls must compete against worldly and cunning opponents, among them mean-girl Avis and her entourage of back-stabbing co-horts, tipping the balance in their already-tenuous friendship.

Soon, the grand hall is more like the hallway of a prestigious finishing school, with girls fighting for the attention of a dashing, young earl, amid parties fueled by drinking and indiscriminate dalliances. As the tension between Sybille and Avis heats up, the focus on Rose wanes, allowing her to turn her attention to more important matters – like getting close enough to the Queen to learn her secrets.

But being close to the Queen is not without its challenges. And when rumors of Rose’s influence make their way around the castle, no one, not even the Queen, will be safe.

About the Author:

Growing up in Michigan, W. H. Doyle raced past the usual chapter books and went straight to reading YA. His writing career, however, took the opposite path. For over two decades, Doyle’s been writing best-selling books for younger readers with major publishers under the name Bill Doyle. Now, with over two million books in print, he’s making his YA debut as W. H. Doyle with the intrigue-filled Tudor Rose.

While working toward his MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Doyle was taught by the likes of Arthur Miller and David Mamet. He’s written for Rolling Stone, edited several magazines, created interactive experiences for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and developed critically-acclaimed digital storybooks. He lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

INTERVIEW WITH M.L. MASTRAN (Albion Moon)



Hey, hey! We have author M. L. Mastran in the house today to answer our three fave questions:
SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
MLM: I am a firm believer that my characters drive my story. So it was important to have a strong main character to keep it together.  My protagonist is Evaline a seemingly normal young woman, fresh out of college. She is extremely close to her family and particularly her brother.  When he disappears mysteriously, she goes full bloodhound in trying to find out what happened to him. Through her investigation, she apparently ruffles some feathers and begins getting harassed. An unexpected death in her family enables her to get out and go back to the rest of her family in Dunsmuir Ca.  She decides to continue her investigation there and realizes very quickly, she was followed. She also begins to uncover what happened to her brother while at the same time, makes new acquaintances who she realizes can help her in more ways than one.  Most unexpectedly, she finds love among her new friends.  Danger lurks at every turn while she soon finds that her new love and his family have a secret. She is ever relentless in finding out what happened to her brother and she is fearless in her methods. Her new friends find this intriguing about her but they worry about her and knowing what she is up against, they tell her she is in over her head.  Evaline takes everything thrown at her and more.  She can undoubtedly take care of herself and protect those she loves but her flaw is family. In trying to protect them, she put them in danger with forces beyond what she knew existed. When things literally turn and the old world is colliding with her world, she decides to fight it even as her new life is just beginning. Evaline is resilient and fearless and by the end of book one, my readers care about what happens to her next.
SC: Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
MLM: I believe there are things in this world that cannot be explained.  I have had a few strange experiences and when it happens, you try to think of a logical reason to what it was or where it came from and I always end with the same conclusion. Somethings just cannot be given an explanation.
SC: Speaking of explanations, what titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
MLM: Albion Moon is the first book in a set of chronicles.  I just finished up the first draft of book two and will be sending it to the editor shortly. I am also currently working on a high fantasy trilogy. It does not have a title yet.  I’ll also be starting on book three in the Albion Moon chronicles sometime this summer. Stay tuned
SC: We will! Thanks for dropping by. Let's look at your novel in more depth.
Albion Moon
Albion Moon Chronicles
Book 1
M.L. Mastran

Genre: mystery/suspense/paranormal/romance





Publisher: Champagne Book Group

Date of Publication: August 2018

ISBN: 978-1-947128-36-1 (e-book)
ISBN: 978-1-947128-37-8 (print)

Number of pages: 171              
Word Count: 94,000

Cover Artist: Creative Paramita

Tagline: Stand up and fight or lose everything

Book Description:

Evaline's brother is missing. She's desperate to find out what happened to him. As she digs deeper into his disappearance, the mystery reveals an ancient family secret carried through the bloodline that began centuries ago in the Scottish Highlands. As this secret from the old world closes in on Evaline, she tries to sort through her disconcerting feelings towards the mysterious Mason. He not only seems to always know when she is in danger, but he is insistent on protecting her, no matter the cost.

As the old world collides with the new, Evaline discovers she must choose to stand and fight or risk losing everything, and everyone, she holds dear.

Champagne Books     Amazon     Lulu      BN

Excerpt:
Over the next couple days, I picked up applications from the couple of banks and other places in town as well as in Shasta, the next town over. On Thursday, Kristy, Lizzy, and I hung out and went for ice cream downtown. We hit a couple of stores as Kristy wanted to get some clothes. I loathed clothes shopping. I peeked at the racks while Kristy tried stuff on and Lizzy weighed in. She got a text. One of the other servers had called off, and Mason needed her to come in.
“I have to get to work. Sorry, Kristy,” Lizzy said.
“That’s fine,” Kristy said. “Can we get some lunch there when we take you in?”
I shook my head slightly at her scheming.
“Absolutely,” Lizzy said, looking at me. “Let’s go.”
We piled into my car and headed out onto Old River Road. It was a great day for a convertible ride. The late summer sun beamed on us as we drove down the road. I had AC/DC blaring, and as we rounded a curve, I heard a siren. Peering into my rearview mirror, I eyed the red flashing police lights atop one of the town’s two SUV police units.
Kristy glanced back. “What the fuck? You weren’t speeding.”
I looked down. I was just below the speed limit. After I pulled over, I got out my registration and insurance. The cop approached my door, and what I saw caused a huge lump to form in my throat.
Campbell had a smug look on his face as he spoke. “License, registration, and proof of insurance please.”
I handed them over without making eye contact.
He examined my license, which still had my Sacramento address on it. “A little way from Sacramento, Miss Bennett, aren’t we?”
“Yeah, I guess I am.”
“Where are you headed right now?” His tone turned from mocking to icy.
“I need to get her to work,” I said, indicating Lizzy.
He eyed Lizzy, who appeared annoyed by his questions. “Oh, a Cowan sister. How fitting. Tell your brother I got a nice cell waiting for him.” She didn’t say anything as his attention moved back to me. “So, are you here on vacation?”
My blood boiled as the dream I had with Jimmy came back to me. I glared at Campbell. “I’m visiting family for a while.”
“So, what is the address you’re staying at in town?”
“What does that matter?” Kristy interrupted any response I was about to make. “What the f—?”
“Smart ass like your brother,” he said, cutting her off. “He’s a great bunk mate for Jonas.”
Now speechless, she sat there.
After opening my door, he indicated for me to move. “Please step out of the vehicle.”
Not wishing to cause a scene, I complied and stood by my car.
He turned me around. “Face your car, hands on the hood.”
Kristy found her voice again. “Are you fucking kidding me? We weren’t doing anything!”
Campbell flashed her a look. “Shut up and don’t move.” He then patted me down. “Do you have any weapons or drug paraphernalia I need to be aware of?” He spun me back to him.
Looking at him dead in the eye, I answered, “No.”
Holding my elbow, he walked me toward his vehicle as he eyed Kristy and Lizzy, who were clearly uncomfortable with what was happening. Despite my apprehension, I followed him. He took me behind his patrol truck and returned my license.
“I suggest you watch yourself, Miss Bennett. These back roads are dangerous, and if something were to happen, it could be quite a while until you’d be found.” My stomach churned as he leaned into me and whispered, “A woman like yourself, all alone, might entice trouble.” He reached for my breast, and I reacted quickly.
Shoving the bottom of my palm up into his lip, I knocked him back but didn’t wait to see his reaction. I returned to my car, got in, then took off. I was sure he was going to follow, but he didn’t.
Kristy turned to me. “We need to report him, Evaline. That was wrong in so many ways.”
Shaking my head, I said, “It will make things worse, trust me. Just forget it, okay?”
She gave Lizzy a concerned look, who then asked, “Why did he take you back there?”
I didn’t say anything as we drove into the parking lot, parked, then got out.
Kristy was still fired up. “This is such bullshit. He made a move on you, didn’t he?”
“Just drop it, Kristy, okay? It’s over. I wanna forget it.”
The dust kicked up in the parking lot as we made our way through the front doors. A few patrons were seated at the bar, and several booths and tables were occupied. We headed to an open booth as Lizzy returned to the back.
While still a bit shaken from the encounter, I pondered what had just happened. A knot was in the pit of my stomach as thoughts raced through my mind.

Does he know I know what he is? Will he try to hurt what family I have left? Will he hurt me to find out what I know? I thought of my dream again—Jimmy had warned me. Or will he kill me?

About the Author:

Nothing captures the attention of M.L. Mastran more than writing a good story with amazing characters and a history arc that made the history books. This is Albion Moon in every sense.

On the flip side, M.L. can also journey to another world completely and pull the same elements with fantasy and make the reader yearn for more. Her uncanny ability to blend genres makes her unique to the literary world and an absolute reading joy. From the first moment you open the page, curiosity will pull you in and keep you engrossed in the story as you take the voyage with the characters to different places and times; to experience the events as they unfold.

Whether being told from a one character perspective or several points of view, her stories will unfold in your mind like a movie playing in your head. This is what pushes M.L to write her stories. It’s the thrill of the read and the drive to carry readers away that will make this trip to the literary world of imagination all the sweeter.



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Monday, February 4, 2019

STRANGE OMENS by JIM STEIN


 
 
We're just a few days into February and here's another guest at our door. How lucky are we? Please welcome back Jim Stein.
 
SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
JS: Edan Johnson is eighteen, and his life revolves around music—more so since discovering the songs he scavenges from the ruined city let him focus elemental magic. Although he’s born of a Hopi woman, Ed is adopted and lives in New Philadelphia. That’s the way of the world fifty years after the C-12 virus decimated the population. Those that can have kids generally do, but adopt most out to worthy families. Ed dreams of a resurgence to the music scene and records albums for the A-Chords as they head off on a cross country tour. Physically, Ed’s growing into his lanky 6’1” frame, and he’s got a soft spot for the band’s bass player, Quinn.
SC: Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
JS: I do, though my professional life kept me busy and stressed to the point I think my personal vibe wasn’t welcoming to such things. Our daughter seems to be the one most in tune with spectral visits. When Katie was young and we lived in Orlando, she received regular visits from an old-time band. A section of the wall in her bedroom would disappear, replaced by four specters dressed in casual 1920’s clothes and playing instruments. The chubby drummer wore a button-up vest, slacks, and tweed cap. They usually played sax and piano and always had someone at the mic. These were friendly visits and generated a lot of discussion in our house and neighborhood. Katie’s always been receptive and on other occasions had us looking for a small girl outside who was lost and calling for help. One physical manifestation was when her moon/star bracelet floated off her dresser to hover over her bed before returning. Hopefully, now that I’m out of the rat-race, I’m better predisposed for my own encounters.
SC: Interesting! What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
JS: I have two novels in the works right now. Strange Medicine will be the final book in my Legends Walk trilogy, and should be published this summer. It takes Ed, Quinn, and their friends on a mission to a strange realm to save our world and others. Music controls elemental magic, but sprites and other creatures have their own methods of spell casting. I’m currently working on the second draft, should have it out to my beta readers in two months, then on to my editor and target publication this summer.
My first full draft of Planet Fred has languished for a couple of years while I wrote the Legends Walk trilogy. Finishing revisions is next on my list. Planet Fred is a light-hearted SciFi novel about botanist Nancy Dickenson as she fights for her life on a jungle planet that comes alive and devours her shipmates. Nancy quickly befriends a four-foot-long talking slug named Reemer. The Squinch are a vain race and the planet’s only recognized intelligent species, but Reemer’s an outcast. His mucus-based humor drives Nancy crazy as the pair encounters alien patrols hunting the voracious jungle for a mysterious treasure. Reemer’s along for a joy-ride of pranks. Nancy’s out for revenge. But things aren’t always what they seem in an alien jungle bent on making you dinner. Planet Fred should be published in late 2019.
SC: Thanks for stopping by today. Let's take a look at your novel.


Strange Omens
Legends Walk
Book Two
Jim Stein

Genre: Urban Fantasy





Publisher: Jagged Sky Books


Date of Publication: 1/11/19

Digital ISBN: 978-1-7335629-0-4
Print ISBN:    978-1-7335629-1-1
ASIN: B07M72B1W2

Number of pages: 331
Word Count: 105,200

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Tagline: Who wins when gods interfere?

Book Description:

Recent months in New Philadelphia have been pleasantly monster-free, allowing Edan Johnson to focus on launching the band’s new album. Music brought hope, something the world’s dwindling population desperately needed. But when a mysterious promotion company sends the A-Chords on tour and the audience splits into opposing factions, it’s clear that gods and dark forces are once again meddling.

Ed’s command of music and magic grows strong, but an arrogant goddess decrees he must not interfere. Even his own sister scolds him for casting spells. But Ed connects with the band’s free-spirited groupies and vows to keep them safe from the more sinister patrons flocking to “The Company’s” backstage events.

More hangs in the balance than the simple corruption of a few fans. These happy, bright people could be the salvation of the human race, yet are being drawn in like sheep. Someone or something stalks the tour, and evil lurks in the heart of Old Milwaukee.
Magic, monsters, and kindred spirits keep Ed and his friends scrambling to discover what’s going on behind the scenes, but an improbable friendship just might be the key to their survival.


Excerpt:

“What now, Ed?” Trinity asked from my left.
We crouched behind a rotting car covered in vines and watched the Grims. Bald Jim looked to be in charge. Shawn sat on the ground at Dan’s feet, head hung low. The bruise around his eye and dried blood on his lip testified to the fact he had gone down fighting. Dan probably wore the Hawaiian shirt and posed as a victim.
Trinity had enough sense to tail them without trying a rescue. We caught up to her just before the Grims stopped at a massive bronze doorway totally at odds with the architecture of the ruined city. The thing was better suited for a medieval castle, though I had to admit it was effective. Jim and Dan argued over how best to get inside.
“Five of them and four of us,” I said.
“They’re bruisers,” Quinn whispered. “No offense, but we couldn’t take any of them, except maybe scraggly Dan.”
“Where’s it lead?” Trinity asked.
Good question. The out of place obstruction melded into the stone archway across a low entrance to what might be a basement level. The arguing continued as Jim tried an incantation. The door rebuffed his attempt. Oily bits of the magic passphrase dripped to the ground. Though a simple spell, the darkness of it differed from the elements Quinn and I used.
“You’re doing it wrong,” Dan complained to the men gathered at the door.
“He’s such a little shit.” Trinity’s lip curled.
“For once that’s working in our favor,” Quinn said.
Dan stalked over to the others, grabbed something small and metallic out of Jim’s hands, and examined the door. Magic formed around another incantation. Shawn sat unguarded at the entrance to the alcove. We scurried out from behind the car, circled the intersection, and crept along crumbling brickwork. The line of the alley kept us out of sight until I peeked around the corner. The Grims argued on, ignoring their dejected captive. Shawn stared at the pavement.
“Shawn.” No response. “Shawn! Time to go.”
Bleary eyes ringed with bruises met mine. He must have taken a good shot to the nose for double shiners to be rising so quickly. Recognition slowly dawned, followed by half a smile that dropped away. Shawn held up his hands. I’d missed the thin cord that bound wrists to ankles. It was silvery gray, looking more like yarn than rope.
“For crying out…” Quinn whipped out a knife and crept forward.
The moment her blade touched the cord, there was a flash. Quinn yelped and dropped her knife.
“Hey!” Dan looked up from the brass key in his hand.
“Just grab him!” I shouted.
Quinn hauled Shawn up by his armpits and pushed him forward. The cord forced him into an awkward half-crouch. I grabbed his arm to haul him down the street, but he stopped short and fell to the ground. Quinn and I pulled but couldn’t budge him. No one weighed that much. The cord flashed and flared, its strange power anchoring Shawn to the spot. More than that, a tether of power slowly dragged him back toward the doorway as the Grims advanced.
“Leave him. In fact, leave the girl. Two for the price of one!” Dan grinned his stupid parody of a Bright’s smile.
Each man carried a small club, undoubtedly weighted for maximum punch. Quinn worked at the bindings. Her strange watery power flowed along the cord looking for a way to loosen the knots. The Grims strode forward, in no hurry and—I like to think—wary. I could have taken Dan and the freak sporting a Mohawk. But I’d spent all year practicing my spells for a reason.
I reached for Earth to throw up a barrier and buy us time. Just as I was about to cast, flames leapt up between us and the men, effectively sealing them in the alcove. Trinity stood rigid, locked in concentration as she poured on more Fire and drove them back amid squawks of protest.
“Let me try.” I hunkered down to examine the cord.
Earth was ready at my fingertips, but when I tried to manipulate Shawn’s binding—as I would stone or metals—there was no purchase. The men tried end runs around Trinity’s flames, holding the woman’s concentration and forcing her to expend too much power. Another minute and we’d have to carry her out. Quinn saw it too.
“Help her!”
I dredged up a bit of old-school metal, Metallica’s “Seek and Destroy,” forging Fire to bolster Trinity’s spell. I split off a portion to attack the ropes. Fire was an enigma, representing the most restorative and destructive of the elements. I honed the lyrics down to a laser focus, emphasis on the destroy part of the tune to cut and burn. The cord swelled, resisting the heat, but frayed edges soon curled away from the core.
Shawn’s invisible bond contracted, yanking him toward the wall of fire. Quinn grabbed him around the waist but was dragged along. Even if Trinity and I cancelled our spells, they would be pulled across searing concrete into the midst of the waiting Grims.


About the Author:

Jim Stein’s hunger for stories transporting the reader to extraordinary realms began under one meager bulb, a towel stuffed beneath his door to avoid parental censure. He huddled with Tolkien, Asimov, and all the greats and unknowns plucked from the drugstore shelves to spin tales of the imagination.

After writing short stories in school, two degrees in computer science, and several decades as a Naval officer, Jim has returned to his first passion. He writes speculative fiction advocating the underdog and embracing protagonists with strong moral fiber, often overlaid with supernatural elements and a few dark twists. Jim lives in northwestern Pennsylvania with his wife, Claudia, and his muse, Marley the Great Dane.

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Blog: on website  https://jimsteinbooks.com/blog/




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