Friday, February 16, 2018

Bitter Harvest Series by Ann Gimpel


Betrayed
Bitter Harvest
Book Four
Ann Gimpel

Print Length: 259 pages

Publisher: Ann Gimpel Books, LLC

Publication Date: February 5, 2018

ASIN: B0792P5S8T

Breaking the world is a hard act to follow. Releasing February 5, 2018

Karin’s watched magic ebb and flow over her long life. A healer by nature, as well as a wolf Shifter, she fixes what she can and buries her personal needs deep. In a race against time, she and a small group of Shifters and humans are sailing toward a gateway in the Arctic. If they can’t close it, Earth will be doomed, but getting that far is proving tricky.

Daide’s a scientist, first and foremost. Once a world-renowned expert on treating cetaceans, his skills are rusty. Ten years as a Vampire altered a whole lot, and he’s still exploring his brand-new Shifter magic. Karin caught his eye before they left Ushuaia, but she seems to be in love with a dolphin Shifter. Immersed in jealousy, Daide considers walking away, but he can’t give up. The only woman he’s ever loved is worth fighting for. Consequences be damned.

Vampires, Witches, high-handed gods, Kelpies, and a host of others all want either the ship or the Shifters’ magic. Even the simplest tasks develop thorny edges, and misunderstandings threaten to destroy everything.

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Abandoned
Bitter Harvest
Book Three
Ann Gimpel

Print Length: 292 pages

Publisher: Ann Gimpel Books, LLC

Publication Date: December 18, 2017

ISBN: 198126146X
ASIN: B077BSJFD8

Genre: PNR

Breaking the world is a hard act to follow.

Provocative. Engaging. The wild, supernatural ride continues.

Book Description:

A handful of Shifters. A hardy ship. An upside-down world where evil runs rampant and none of the old rules apply. Taking a stand against the Cataclysm solved a few problems, but others rushed in to fill in the void.

Recco misses his cozy lab and well-organized veterinary clinic, but ten years as a Vampire stripped him of any illusions. Life is done handing him everything he wants. He could rail against fate—which never bought him much—or suck it up and keep going. Defeating the Cataclysm broke Vampirism’s hold on him, though. Even better, it threw Zoe square in his path.

When Zoe left Ireland for a visiting professorship in Wyoming, she assumed she’d be home in a year, but her assumption swung around and bit her in the ass. The Cataclysm, a spell trapping her in Ushuaia for a decade may be gone, but it left a hell of a legacy. One that’s far from done chasing her.

Darkness stalks the ship. Evil that will stop at nothing to protect itself.

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Twisted
Bitter Harvest
Book Two
Ann Gimpel

Book Description:

A small group of Shifters sails south from Ushuaia, determined to assess what’s left of the world. A Vampire attack, a possessed priest, and a gateway to Hell mean fallout from the spell gone bad that pinned them in Ushuaia for years is far from gone.

Back on a ship again, Juan reconstructs what’s always been a comfort zone. The sea is the only life he’s ever known—if you don’t count the ten years he spent as a Vampire. His new magic, fueled by a bond with a mountain cat, brings its own set of challenges, but they pale in comparison with the white-hot need knifing through him whenever Aura is anywhere close.

A historian by trade, Aura deals in prophecies for her Shifter pack. Attraction for Juan ignited when they fought the Cataclysm, but she figures he left a string of broken hearts during his years as chief navigator on cruise ships. They have to work together. A self-indulgent affair could ruin everything. She does her damnedest to keep distance between them, but the ship’s not big enough to escape yearning for a future together.

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Deceived
Bitter Harvest
Book One
Ann Gimpel

Magic shattered the world, but the worst is yet to come.

“Provocative and engaging. A fast-paced, supernatural ride.” Michelle Fox, NYT Bestselling Author

Book Description:

The sea may have been a harsh mistress, but Viktor longs for the challenges of wind and weather, for the sound of waves crashing over his hull. Turned by a Master Vampire, he hates what he’s become, but there’s no escape. Not from Ushuaia that’s turned into a city of bones, or from the Vampire who rules him.

Ketha and eleven other Shifters traveled to Ushuaia to harness the power of an eclipse and were trapped there when the world turned upside down. Ten years later, they’re staying one step ahead of Vampires who blame them for the cataclysm.

With her luck running low, Ketha turns her badly depleted magic on the Vampire assigned to lock her away and gets sucked in by her own spell. Maybe magic can’t save the world, but love might be able to salvage what’s left.

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About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.

Find Ann At:





Thursday, February 15, 2018

Drinking the Knock Water: A New Age Pilgrimage by Emily Kemme




Drinking the Knock Water: A New Age Pilgrimage
Emily Kemme

Genre: Chick Lit

Publisher: Arrowhead Publishing

Date of Publication: January 27, 2017

ISBN: 0983740127
978-0983740124
ASIN: B01MTE7QGJ

Number of pages: 288
Word Count: 107,532

Cover Artist: Mia Kemme

Tagline: “We all live with ghosts. . . Some are those of people who’ve never been born.”

Book Description:

“We all live with ghosts. . . Some are those of people who’ve never been born.”

So begins Drinking the Knock Water: A New Age Pilgrimage, the second novel by award-winning Greeley, Colorado author Emily Kemme.

Loosely based on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the novel takes on life itself as a pilgrimage. One of life’s biggest struggles is fitting in with the rest of the human race, and an aspect of that is having children. It’s not meant for everyone and yet, true to Darwinian forces, it’s almost expected. Giving birth and then raising a child to maturity is one of the bravest tasks we take on. 

On what was supposed to be a day to celebrate, another cruel outburst from Holly Thomas’ sister-in-law begins a spiral of events that would leave Holly questioning every choice she’d ever made and every belief she held as truth.

Had she done the right thing by her unborn child? Had she given enough, or too much, freedom of choice to her son? Did she truly, deeply know her husband and clinic partner, Roger? And what right had she to counsel infertile couples after her own pregnancies?

With the Fertility Tour only weeks away, a group of unlikely and disparate pilgrims look to her for guidance. But Holly’s life has unraveled in ways she could not have imagined, including a restraining order against her. Will she be able to find her footing and make peace with her choices and herself? Will visiting the religious and sacred feminine sites in England help her regain control or only tear her further apart?


Reviews

"Today exists for you to let your mind wander, let it free, all week long. This is the time for reflection and evaluation."

Deeply traumatized after her daughter, Arella, is born dead, fertility counselor Holly Thomas struggles to achieve inner peace. Roger—Holly's supportive husband and a prominent fertility doctor—accepts her grief-induced eccentricities, but his intolerant Christian family resents her and her Jewish roots. When Edward, Roger's brother, openly belittles the Bar Mitzvah of Daniel, Holly's son, tensions escalate, and her whole world threatens to fall apart. To overcome heartbreak and reflect on self-discovery and relationships, Holly and Roger take a group of patients from their clinic on a fertility tour. This tour becomes a spiritual pilgrimage for unrealized truths.

Kemme elegantly examines the complicated aspects of life and relationships. Using Holly's experiences with a failed pregnancy, her in-laws, and Roger, Kemme focuses on how pain can shape and enlighten us. That religious intolerance can inflict significant emotional damage is depicted through Roger's family members who weaponize words to hurt Holly. This, along with Holly's emotional fragility, causes strain in her marriage. However, Roger's unwavering love helps Holly stay somewhat balanced, letting her emotionally heal many patients who cannot conceive. Some of these couples include Leah and Rachel, the Rhanjhas, the Chandlers, Burbages, and Jane Brown and her mother. As Holly and Roger take their chosen couples on a fertility tour to England, various colliding elements within the patients' lives emerge, thereby projecting how relationships bless or burden us. Pain becomes a recurrent theme in the novel, neutralized by the healing touch of water as a metaphor. Arella's grave is near water, and the visit to the sacred sites of England serves as ritual cleansing for the characters. Artistically nuanced language and the sincere, soothing tone bring out the true beauty of this literary novel. This is an introspective, gentle novel that illuminates and rejuvenates in the same breath.

RECOMMENDED by The US Review of Books


Fertility doctors confront the lingering effects of personal and cultural emotional trauma. Holly and Roger Thomas have a stable marriage, fulfilling careers, and a son practicing for his bar mitzvah. Holly insists on throwing a birthday party each year complete with gifts for their stillborn daughter, but Roger doesn't complain. His Catholic brother and sister-in-law, however, find fault with Holly, primarily because she's Jewish. Her religion haunts her, almost as much as the death of her daughter. . .
. . . the author often beautifully depicts Holly s self-doubt as she explores different aspects of overcoming trauma. . . [in a] positive tale of moving forward through unexpected circumstances.

-- Kirkus Reviews

Dr. Roger and Holly Thomas run a successful fertility clinic in New York City. Roger tends to the patients' physical needs while Holly ministers to their emotional and psychological ones. The couple cherish the routines of their partnership and their happy marriage as they struggle with the pain of a lost child. Holly continues to throw their daughter birthday parties long after the child's been buried. This painful ritual causes her in-laws to question her sanity and is a source of annual familial strife.
Then the Thomas's son, Daniel, decides to complete his Bar Mitzvah. While Holly was born Jewish and Roger was born Catholic, neither parent practices his or her childhood religion. They've exposed Daniel to both religions for the sake of their families, but neither of them expected him to take it this far. Roger's devoutly Catholic family cannot accept Daniel's sincerity, and harsh words are said at his birthday party. Holly and Roger's resulting fight has surprising and unintended consequences.
All this turmoil takes its toll on the workings of the clinic. The Thomases have hosted something they call the Fertility Tour for over a decade. It's an opportunity for their clients to connect to one another outside of their familiar surroundings. Holly conducts the tour; she chooses the participants, orchestrates ice-breakers, and mediates conflicts. Normally she's a skillful operator, but she's lost her confidence. This year's tour is populated by an odd and ill-matched assortment of individuals. Needless to say, this tour does not run smoothly. Roger and Holly must find a way to reconnect with one another in order to salvage the retreat.

The Thomases deal with people at their most vulnerable. Fertility is closely tied to an individual's identity, and both men and women find it difficult to process the inability to have a child. While Holly and Roger have never encountered problems with conceiving, they have suffered a loss and are sympathetic to thwarted expectations. This closeness to struggle and their ongoing religious turmoil provide the pair with a lot of philosophical ground to cover. Is religion necessary to cope with the vicissitudes of life? Is God responsible?

Drinking the Knock Water is at heart an exploration of the role religion plays in the life of an individual. Faith in a god can both connect a soul to others and sow discord. In the end, it's up to the reader to decide if faith is essential or composed of empty rituals.

-- Manhattan Book Review

Excerpt: CHAPTER 1: Circumnavigating Sanity

          In a town famous for its ghosts, it was easy to imagine there was one lurking behind every tree. And while Holly knew most visitors to Sleepy Hollow expected movie-inspired visions of the headless horseman, in truth the densely wooded surroundings allowed a more peaceful somnolence. In spite of its thirty-mile proximity to the most populated city in the country, what with New York’s electric hubbub of restless, cosmopolitan energy, there was never a feeling of urgency in the little hamlet, merely a sleepy torpor, a sensing that the world stopped in this hollow of quiet dead.
            Whether the town cultivated any sensational image was another question altogether. Holly suspected it did not, at least not year round. Of course, there were the Halloween weekends, prompting arrival of thrill seekers by the thousands, but that was just theatrics. No real ghosts shared the stage.
            If there was any spectral unrest, it existed only in the minds of the towns' inhabitants.
            Even by the light of early evening in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where saturated gray skies released rain to drip from the trees, dotted here and there with planted shrubs and summer flowers in fresh bloom, there was a lovely serenity, enhanced further by the rain’s sudden cease. Here, there was nothing to fear.
            Holly entered the cemetery through scrolled iron gates wedged between gray quarried stone, which made up the wall bordering the grounds. She jogged up Forest Avenue, turned left on Transit, making her way up Hill Side, and then down onto Cascade, where she left the well-marked gravel path. From there she strode through wet grass crowded with lichened grave stones, some weatherworn and leaning askew, others newly polished with crisp lettering, until she reached the pale little stone marking the grave. At the baby’s feet, a short drop off past the main road, the Pocantico River burbled as it shot over rocky masses. Holly’s one request of Roger and the cemetery’s caretaker was that the site be near water, the giver of life, bringer of tranquility. Knowing how nearly Holly brinked insanity in those days, Roger swiftly supported her wishes; they were lucky to find a small plot in a relatively unpopulated section.
            Holly sat next to the grave, nestled the spray into the humped grass covering it, and leaned her cheek against the smooth stone. It was simple and austere, with only a slight scallop of embellishment at the top, befitting a little one who had never breathed air. She closed her eyes, inhaling deeply to catch her breath from the run, collecting her thoughts. Above her head, squirrels batted sticks together, hidden away in the leafy trees, a reminder of the unseen life they shared.
            Marit always managed to rattle her, either poking fun at Holly’s whims, or sometimes with outright malice, which Holly knew all too well stemmed from their differences in religious outlook. The fact that Arella’s birthday fell on St. John’s Eve didn’t help. For someone as devotedly Catholic as her sister-in-law, celebrating a baby’s life who had never been born, was sacrilege. The saint’s day was meant to celebrate a birth, Marit insisted, and certainly had nothing to do with a baby born dead.
            But it wasn’t a topic Holly was willing to think about today, not on Arella’s birthday. Instead, she catalogued her daughter’s gifts:  an enormous stuffed pony for her bed, and a cellphone. She chuckled at that one, recalling Roger’s perplexity.
            “Why do you have to get the baby a phone?” he’d asked her the week before when she walked into the house, arms loaded with shopping bags. Holly had exclaimed that Arella wasn’t a baby anymore, she was turning eleven, and every preteen needed a cellphone.
            Roger chewed his upper lip for a while, before asking, “Is this along the lines of ‘ET phone home?’”  He had laughed, and so had she. Gifts for Arella were an annual practice in their household, and long gone were the days where Roger made much of a fuss over it. Keeping Holly happy was his primary goal in life, even if that meant some particularly nutsy charges on their credit card every June. His wife’s frenzied activities subsided within a week or so after the birthday celebration, allowing her to settle back into reality, recharged and reaffirmed with the notion that she was doing the right thing by Arella.
            She felt warm pressure on her right shoulder, and opening her eyes saw that Millie’s husband, Josiah, knelt at her side on one corduroyed knee, his gnarled hand grasping her shoulder lightly, holding her steadfast. Holly looked up into the old man’s deep blue eyes, shot through with red veins, but firm and gentle in their gaze, and nodded. He stood up slowly and she extended a hand for him to pull, which he did.
            “Almost everybody’s there at the cottage,” he said. “Except Edward, but you knew that.” They were both aware that there was no need to explain further; of all the friends and relatives, Roger’s brother had never attended these parties, whether he was in town or off somewhere in the world. For some reason, Josiah enjoyed pointing out this fact to her, a reminder perhaps of which of the two older men in her life she could count on more.
            Holly stood immobile, gazing into the tangle of trees rambling up the hillside away from the brook.
            He looked at her closely. “We all live with ghosts.”
            The motion of her head was barely noticeable. “Yes,” she agreed. “Some are those of people who’ve never been born.”

            She looked down at the grave. “I have to leave now, Arella. Your party is starting.” She swept her index finger over the top of the stone, letting it linger on the upward swooping scallop, and then turned to walk with Josiah back up the hill.

About the Author:

As the award-winning author for her novels, Drinking the Knock Water: A New Age Pilgrimage and In Search of Sushi Tora, and on her lifestyle blog, “Feeding the Famished”, Emily Kemme tends to look at the world in all its rawness. She writes about human nature, and on her blog shares recipes and food for thought along with insights about daily life. She is a recipe creator but winces when labeled a foodie. She is the Food and Lifestyle Contributor for the Greeley Tribune’s Dining column and also writes features for the newspaper and its magazine, #Greality.

"I write about what I ate for lunch only if it's meaningful," Emily says. "Mostly, I'm just hungry.”

Emily also writes because her degrees in American and English History, followed by a law degree from the University of Colorado, left her searching for her voice. She also suffered from chronic insomnia.

“Writing helps clarify my mind, erasing clutter, and makes room for more impressions. My thoughts can seem random and disconnected, but once they flow onto paper, a coherency and purpose emerges, directing patterns into story. I sleep much better, too.”

As an author who lives in Greeley, Colorado, she celebrates people’s differences, noting that the biggest problem with being different is when it’s deemed a problem. Emily often identifies with the underdog, focusing on humanizing the outsider, showing there is not only one right way to be or to live. Through her writing she hopes her audience will be open to new ideas, the acceptance of others, and will recognize the universalities of human experience in a non-judgmental way as they meet her characters and follow their stories.

Her first novel, In Search of Sushi Tora, was awarded as Finalist for First Novel in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and her second novel, Drinking the Knock Water, was awarded as a Finalist in Chick Lit in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received two CIPA EVVY awards.  Emily is currently working on a children’s book series, Moro and The Cone of Shame, a collaborative project with her daughter-in-law, Mia. She is also writing her third novel, The Man With the Wonky Spleen, a story about human idiosyncrasies.

Professional Memberships: PEN America






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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hexcommunicated by Rafael Chandler



Hexcommunicated
Rafael Chandler

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Neoplastic Press

Date of Publication: July 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-1478196662
ASIN: B008IVFRCE

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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Dead Girls Don’t Sing by Casey Wyatt


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
ASIN: B07846RFWP

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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Excerpt:

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.

Visit Casey on the web: www.caseywyatt.com. You can also find Casey on Facebook and Twitter (@CaseyWyatt1).

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