Archive for February, 2014

Book Excerpt from Sins of the Fallen

sinsfallen

I’m sharing an excerpt today from YA fantasy novel “Sins of the Fallen”. Enjoy!

Book Excerpt

What came next I didn’t see coming. Something was shining in Angela’s hand as she thrust it into the twin’s stomach.

A knife.

“They’re coming for him. They know. He’s not a secret anymore,” she gurgled out, and before I could react, she let out a loud shriek, sounding like a screeching bird but amplified. I covered my ears as they started to pop. When I looked up, there wasn’t blood oozing out of her, but a thick black liquid—and not just from the knife wound— it seeped out of her eyes, nose, mouth, even finger nails. The smell was even worse. The stench of decay filled the room and I tasted the bile rising up my throat. The shrieking stopped and Angela dropped whatever was left of her into the puddle of black liquid.

“What the—?” was all I could say before she crossed the room and pulled me up to my feet.

“Let’s go,” she said, but I couldn’t even move. My body felt heavy and I knew I was going to pass out. This feeling was getting too familiar, but I couldn’t dwell on it now. I was out.

Sins of the Fallen

Book Cover-KDPTitle: Sins of the Fallen

Author: Karina Espinosa

Genre: YA Fantasy

When seventeen-year-old Maximillion Taylor and his best friend, Jones go to a house party, he doesn’t expect to get kidnapped—much less by a succubus—and she’s not the only one on the hunt. Thrown into a world of angels and demons, where nothing and no one is what they seem, Max ventures to find his true identity and learn to fight the demons who pursue him. When his origin is revealed, it’s a race against the clock for a battle that will determine whether he can protect the ones he loves or succumb to his true nature. Through lies, betrayal, love and pain, Max must prepare to face the demons before it is too late…

Author Bio

Born in New York City, my family picked up and moved to South Florida when I was twelve. After high school I spent the next few years traveling and experiencing what life had to offer me. At twenty four years old, I’m back in South Florida in my third year of University-majoring in Communication studies. When not in the writing cave, I usually have my nose in a book or on Netflix, cut off from the world with a huge bowl of ice cream.

Links

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKarinaEspinosa

www.goodreads.com/KarinaEspinosa

Buy:

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I214NZ2

http://www.amazon.com/Sins-Fallen-Volume-Karina-Espinosa/dp/0615957668/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1390935670&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=sins+of+the+fallen+karina+Espinosa

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/399938

B&N:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sins-of-the-fallen-karina-espinosa/1118328389?ean=2940045599009

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February 28, 2014 at 12:22 am Leave a comment

Release Day Party Learning to Swim

learningtoswimrelease

We’re celebrating the release day party for YA paranormal romance “Learning to Swim”. Happy release day!

About the Book

LEARNING TO SWIM coverTitle: Learning to Swim

Author: Annie Cosby

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

When Cora’s mother whisks the family away for the summer, Cora must decide between forging her future in the glimmering world of second homes where her parents belong, or getting lost in the bewitching world of the locals and the mystery surrounding a lonely old woman who claims to be a selkie creature—and who probably needs Cora more than anyone else.

Through the fantastical tales and anguished stories of the batty Mrs. O’Leary, as well as the company of a particularly gorgeous local boy called Ronan, Cora finds an escape from the reality of planning her life after high school. But will it come at the cost of alienating Cora’s mother, who struggles with her own tragic memories?

As the summer wanes, it becomes apparent that Ronan just may hold the answer to Mrs. O’Leary’s tragic past—and Cora’s future.

 

Author Bio

Author Photo1 - Annie CosbyAnnie Cosby is a YA author and editor from St. Louis, Mo. She splits her time – and her wardrobe – between St. Louis and Galway, Ireland.

She’s currently working on the second Hearts Out of Water novel, Learning to Live, and would absolutely love to hear from some YA readers!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Get your own copy of Learning to Swim

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Swim-Hearts-Out-Water-ebook/dp/B00IMEYZNO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393422489&sr=8-1&keywords=learning+to+swim+annie+cosby

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/learning-to-swim-annie-cosby/1118733447?ean=2940148140092

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/learning-to-swim-5

Giveaway

You can win a $15 Amazon gift card and a signed copy to celebrate the release of “Learning to Swim”.

Participate in the giveaway here!

February 28, 2014 at 12:18 am 1 comment

Book Excerpt Talking Walls and Cigarettes (And Other Dark Tales)

talkingwalls

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from horror short story anthology “Talking Walls and Cigarettes (And Other Dark Tales)”.

Read an Excerpt

From “Porcelain” by Kelli Beck

 Shadows of flame danced on the walls from the lanterns. Crickets chirruped outside, a cool night breeze passed in through the opened window. Eleanor and Alexander stood in front of the fireplace. Eleanor took one of the dolls from the shelf, the dark haired doll with the red dress and lace trim. It had been Serenity’s favorite since before she could speak. She set it on the side of the table, the spot reserved for Eden. Serenity’s smile was questioning.

            “She’s going to eat with us tonight if you don’t mind.” Eleanor said, standing next to Alexander in front of the fire.

            Serenity laughed, taking her seat at the head of the table, an honor bestowed upon the girls at each birthday. “That’s fine, but where’s Eden?”

            Eleanor and Alexander looked at each other but neither seemed to have an answer. Eleanor shrugged, “She’s out playing. She’ll be back in a while.”

            Serenity tossed a thumb over her shoulder towards the door, “We were just outside. I didn’t see her.”

            Eleanor laughed, “Of course you didn’t! She went out to retrieve your present.”

            “By herself?”

            Eleanor was getting weary of the questions. She placed a hand on her hip and frowned, “I think she’s plenty capable of going to retrieve your present and getting back here just fine.”

            “She’s five.”

            “And? When you were five you were helping your father split firewood.”

            “I–”

            Eleanor put a hand in the air to silence her daughter. She gestured to the steaming bowl of soup in front of Serenity.

            “Aren’t you guys going to sit down?” Serenity asked.

            “Not until you take a bite. We want to make sure it’s perfect.” Eleanor said.

            Serenity took the spoon and scooped it into her mouth. Eleanor and Alexander watched as she chewed on the meat, swallowed and smiled up at them. There was something missing in that smile, Eleanor thought, then brushed it away. She didn’t need thoughts like that ruining a perfectly good dinner.

            “It’s delicious, thank you.” she said.

            Eleanor clapped her hands together, “Splendid!” she said. Alexander kissed Serenity’s forehead and took a seat next to her. Eleanor filled his bowl with soup and placed it in front of him. She poured herself a bowl and sat down to eat. Hunger getting the best of them, they neglected their spoons and put the bowls to their lips. They lapped at the soup, the broth dripping onto their shirts and down to the table. Never had Eleanor experienced such a delicious dinner. True, the meat was a little tough, but it was easy to overlook with the interesting undertones the flavor of the meat added to the whole dish.

About The Book

Talking Walls and Cigarettes coverTitle: Talking Walls and Cigarettes (And Other Dark Tales)

Author: Erin Beck and Kelli Beck

Genre: Horror,  Short Story Anthology

Talking Walls and Cigarettes is a collection of seven dark short stories that deals with both real life monsters and those that dwell within us. A bartender still grieving the tragic death of her brother, shunning from her family, and the whispers in the street is visited by a man who appears out of thin air to offer her a way out of her own personal hell in The Salesman. A poor family is cursed by a mysterious old man in the woods and the children are at risk for falling victim to their parent’s unspeakable acts in Porcelain. The title story follows a man as he is tormented by demons in his own mind. In Homecoming, can a young woman find what she’s looking for years after her father’s abduction by other-worldly beings?

Author Bio

Erin Beck was born and raised on the mean streets of Chatsworth Illinois.  Every day was a struggle to survive, to overcome, to persevere.  At the age of twelve, she took up writing.  This passion for the written word saved her from such fates as teen pregnancy and tooth decay, that which have befallen many other great Chastworthians.  Erin is also the author of The Pursuit of Hair and co-author of Grabappleberry Punch: The Adventures of Mister Tennison Volumes One and Two.  Her influences include Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, and Christopher Moore.  Erin spends her leisure time tossing a ball around with her dogs and parasailing, and has on more than one occasion been caught napping in a box full of packing peanuts.  She is a drop-out of Hogwarts where she majored in English and minored in the contortion arts.  She has scaled the dark tower; she has trekked through middle earth; and she thinks cannibalism is a real hoot.  Erin now lives in the woods with her boyfriend and survives off of insects and pine needles.  She wrote portions of this short fiction collection on homemade paper and her own blood.

kelli bio picWhen she is not gold mining or globetrotting with her husband, Kelli spends her time writing, reading, and playing with her two dogs. Often described as “worldly” and “well-traveled,” Kelli is envied amongst co-workers and friends alike. She has a knack for reading minds and can often predict the future. Many people worldwide come to her for financial advice and money as she is the sole proprietor of the only money tree in existence. Her heroes include her father, Stephen King, and Albus Dumbledore. She has read the Harry Potter series many times over and is proud to share her birthday with The Chosen One. She has been described as a fearless leader, charismatic, even bulletproof.

Links

http://www.amazon.com/Talking-Walls-Cigarettes-Other-Tales-ebook/dp/B00FPRZ4A4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391020263&sr=8-1&keywords=talking+walls+and+cigarettes

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/talking-walls-and-cigarettes-erin-beck/1117156441?ean=9781492265191

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/talking-walls-and-cigarettes

February 25, 2014 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

Promo Post for the Sémya Slotin Mystery Series

semyabanner

I’m hosting a promo today for the Sémya Slotin Mystery Series. There are two books in the series so far, and a third book is underway. Enjoy!

The Series

Series name: Sémya Slotin Mystery

Genre: mystery/suspense/ thriller romance

First Publication: October 2013

Number of books: at least: 8

SLM BANNER II

 

Bird Of Prey – Book one

Bird Of Prey updated CoverLength: 52000 words/ 200 pages

Release date: October 7th 2013

18+ adult content

Who killed the infamous Johanna Cartier? Sémya Slotin is thrown back in the business of solving mysteries when she found her body. With the help of her best friend Polliannah Koch, DCI Ally Gibbons and the mysterious but extremely sexy Josh Heinz, she vows to see this through.

This was supposed to be an easy case… 

Sémya Slotin had spent the last three years living in London with her best friend Polliannah Koch staying away from solving cases. After Hawaii, she was taking a break from puzzles, cases and mysteries that could potentially get her killed. Instead, she had been doing her second and third favorite things, drinking and selling expensive vintage wines and having earth-shattering sex with the mysterious, sexy, beautiful but ever so secretive Josh Heinz. Life in London was good….until her funds ran out. Too much wine drinking, not enough wine selling!

 When fashion designer and adoptive mother, Annika Slotin, summoned her back to Paris to hire her for what Sémya considered being the easiest case of her amateur sleuth career, all she could think of and see was money signs and a well-deserved Cuban holiday once it was solved.

What Sémya didn’t see was her stumbling on the fresh corpse of supermodel Johanna Cartier. She didn’t think that male model turned fashion designer Julian Marais-Caldwin, who also happened to be Sémya’s ex, would be suspected of brutally murdering her. Johanna was his girlfriend, his muse and he loved her. Sémya didn’t see the dead bodies piling up or the conspiracy theories.

Sémya was a little rusty. But then again, it was supposed to be an easy case and she was going to solve it. One vintage wine at a time… Sémya Slotin was officially back in business!

Sony: https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/danielle-claude-ngontang-mba/bird-of-prey/_/R-400000000000001139444

Diesel:http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000356864/Ngontang-Mba-Danielle-Claude-Bird-Of-Prey/1.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/356864

Amazon: http://myBook.to/semyaslotinone 

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bird-of-prey-danielle-claude-ngontang-mba/1116913269?ean=2940045267359

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/bird-of-prey-2

Ibookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/bird-of-prey/id706475492?mt=11

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18224451-bird-of-prey

Readers’ Favorite (free submission): http://readersfavorite.com/book-review/13361

The Plot Thickens (a novella) – Book Two

The Plot Thickens updated coverLength: 23000 words/ 93 pages

Release date: December 27th, 2013

The first sequel of Bird Of Prey!
Bird Of Prey (Semya Slotin Mystery)

18+ adult content

What happened while Semya Slotin and Josh Heinz were busy solving Johanna Cartier’s murder in Bird Of Prey?

Polliannah’s story… When Polliannah Koch Guryev meets John Allen, she thinks that she’s finally found her Prince Charming a tall, blond and handsome banker. What could go wrong?
John Allen has a job to do and getting closer to the beautiful Miss Koch Guryev is supposed to be a means to an end. But then they fall in love. He’s a hit man on a mission, she’s the sister of his targets. What possible future could they have? Now he and his Russian Princess have to leave London for their safety.But it may already be too late for them…

Sony: TBA

Diesel http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000390447/Ngontang-Mba-Danielle-Claude-The-Plot-Thickens/1.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/390447

Amazon: http://myBook.to/semyaslotintwo

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-plot-thickens-danielle-claude-ngontang-mba/1118425249?ean=2940045536561

Kobo: TBA

Ibookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-plot-thickens/id788388070?mt=11

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19086679-the-plot-thickens

Readers’ Favorite (free submission): http://readersfavorite.com/book-review/14585

Polliannah Got Married! – Book Three

Length: 65000 words/ 250 pages

Release date: April 28th 2014

Note: ARC will be ready this week.

 The truth this time, and nothing but the truth…

Polliannah Koch Guryev is in trouble and her boyfriend is dead. It’s not the first time amateur sleuth Sémya Slotin finds herself on the first plane to rescue her best friend, but nothing’s prepared her for what she finds in Toronto. Polliannah is a widow and her late husband John Allen was a hit man for the powerful Dovos family. What did they want from her? Why is this happening? One thing they do know: their carefree life back in London is officially over.

Sémya’s long-time boyfriend Josh Heinz knows more than he lets on, but as usual he’s not telling her anything. In fact, everyone knows more but nobody’s talking. But that never stops Sémya Slotin, Detective Extraordinaire, from finding out the truth beneath the lies…

But at what cost? Old conspiracies and secrets resurface that put them all in peril. Sémya’s worst fears about her relationship with Josh and his past are confirmed, and the rift between them may never heal.

Sémya and Polliannah’s world is falling apart. Will they be able to come out of this stronger?

Oh, and did I mention that Polliannah got married?

Author Bio

danielle-claudeMeet Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba The Author, The Blogger, The Cheeky Reviewer

“My life journey is like my playlist, amazingly unique but full of contradictions with surprising joys with every song…”

In the past two years, while living in Canada, England and France I wrote four novels: This Could Have Been Our Song! A coulda woulda shoulda ballad… (Book one) currently available on amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Nobles and Smashwords. The sequel This Would Have Been Our Song! Catchy tune and dancers’ tales has been in January 2014. Bird Of Prey, my first mystery romance novel has been released in October 7th, 2013 and its first sequel The Plot Thickens (a novella) in December. The second one Polliannah Got Married! will be released in April 2014 or earlier. I’m currently residing in Paris, France.

Contact: info@danielle-claude.com / weissdaughter@gmail.com

Author website: http://danielle-claude.wix.com/author-blogger

Blogger website Danielle-Claude Indie Book Reviews: http://danielle-claude.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter: @weissdaughter

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/DannyAuthorPage

Danielle-Claude Indie Book Reviews facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DannyIndieBooksReviews

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6920424.Danielle_Claude_Ngontang

February 24, 2014 at 8:50 am 1 comment

Book Excerpt The Burning Sun

firstadmiralbanner

I’m sharing an excerpt from “The Burning Sun” today, the sequel to “First Admiral”, for which I hosted an excerpt earlier this week. Enjoy!

Book Excerpt

The Artreaus System

The Bardomil Empress was not happy. As a creature who had grown used to immediate obedience, any delay in fulfilling her wishes was a cause of major irritation and anger. Silently, she stalked around the specially prepared Battle Command Centre aboard the flagship of the Bardomil Imperial Sixth Fleet. With her beautiful angelic-like face twisted in a rictus of annoyance and frustration, she stomped heavily amongst the terrified senior Officers who stood at attention in a semi-circle in front of her elevated throne.

“Incompetent fools!” she bellowed as her immaculate dark green dress swished and swirled around her in response to every small movement, “Why are we still waiting!?”

“M…M…Ma…Majesty,” the terrified Fleet Commander began to explain.

“M…M…Ma…Majesty,” the Empress sneeringly mocked the frightened senior military Officer, “We have been here for nearly four hours waiting for you imbeciles to test this weapon. How much longer!?” she raged, shoving her angelic, hate-twisted, face close to the Fleet Commander’s.

“Majesty,” the Fleet Commander swallowed nervously; hoping that he wouldn’t pass out from terror, “we have to wait for the planet to align correctly to make best use of the weapon’s potential,” he stammered.

“That’s not good enough,” she shrieked, as if her temper tantrum could somehow speed the orbit of the doomed planet, “How much longer must we wait for your stupidity to make any progress!?”

“The planet should be in optimal position in twenty-three minutes, Majesty,” the Captain of the Imperial Bodyguards, Sudrus, reported from one of the consoles close to the Empress.

For a moment, the Empress paused, her face changing from a mask of hate to one of placid calm and gentleness in the blink of an eye.

“There, Gentlemen,” she addressed the terrorised Officers sweetly, “that is how to do things efficiently; thank you, Captain Sudrus,” she smiled.

Turning with balletic grace, the Empress tip-toed daintily up the three steps to her specially positioned throne, and sat down.

“You are dismissed, Gentlemen,” she smiled relieving them with a regal wave of her pale grey hand.

Having been sent away, the senior Officers scattered rapidly in all directions like chickens in a coop that had been disturbed by a hungry fox, relieved to be out of her icy and deadly glare.

Sitting comfortably on the throne, the Empress pushed a button on the Control Panel built into the right arm rest. Immediately, four, two-dimensional, screens were projected from the floor of the Battle Command Centre. The screens formed a huge semi-circle that seemed to engulf the front of the Imperial throne. Each ten metre high screen, though curved, did not distort its image allowing the Empress a full panoramic view of the scenario that was unfolding before her.

The first screen showed the disposition of the Bardomil Imperial Sixth Fleet. The Sixth Fleet was not an active front line combat formation, but was purely for ceremonial and security purposes. It was, in effect, her own private protection and display formation. The flagship of the Sixth Fleet, her own personal Imperial yacht, was the three-decked Imperial Fighter-Carrier named “Taurai”. The Taurai had never carried, let alone launched in anger, one of the feared single-seat Harpoon fighters that had terrorised hundreds of galaxies.

Nor had it played host to any of the Flying Devil gunships that struck dread and fear into an enemy’s heart. The Taurai was a pleasure craft designed and utilised for the transportation of the Bardomil Imperial Court and Retinue. The decks and hangars had been stripped of the paraphernalia of warfare, which had been replaced by luxurious quarters and state rooms plus various entertainment facilities and the communications equipment from which to issue orders and instructions to the sprawling Bardomil Empire.

The Taurai was, however, protected in-formation by eight further Imperial Fighter-Carriers, which bore an over-full complement of Harpoon fighters and Flying Devils. In their tight triangular formation, the Imperial Fighter-Carriers were screened by swarms of the large, heavily armed M-Cruisers. The long cylindrical body of the M-Cruiser with its bent gull-wings was as menacing and sinister as it was impressive. Through the serried ranks of Imperial Fighter-Carriers and M-Cruisers, the Harpoons and Flying Devils darted and weaved, maintaining their vigil for any possible threat to the Head of State and absolute ruler. In neighbouring solar systems, other Bardomil Imperial Fleets would be maintaining a security cordon to protect their Empress. The full panoply of the Bardomil war machine was now on show around what was normally considered to be a backwater system in a remote galaxy of the Empire.

The second screen showed the purpose of the visit for this huge array of Bardomil military strength. The image was of a large beautiful golden planet called “Collizon”. The planet of Collizon had no significant strategic value, nor any valuable mineral or natural resources. Its vast deep emerald green oceans supported a flimsy ecosystem with a meagre scattering of indigenous species. The dark yellow and pale brown continental landmasses reflected from the clear cloudless skies to give the planet the shining golden hue that made it instantly identifiable amongst the fourteen other drably coloured planets of the system. The top species were a few hundred thousand humanoid-type people called the Manuch. The Manuch lived by subsistence farming in their small, scattered tribal groups and presented no military threat to the Bardomil Empire. Collizon was not a hotbed of rebellion against the Empress. It did not shelter any of the numerous rebels or enemies of the Empire. It did, however, possess one vital characteristic. Collizon was a life-bearing planet with an atmosphere primarily composed of Nitrogen and Oxygen that circled a yellow dwarf star at a distance of just over one hundred and fifty million kilometres.

The third screen displayed the yellow dwarf star that sat at the heart of the fifteen planet system and which was being orbited by the emitter weapon developed by the now deceased Sammut Claggit. The weapon itself was too small to be seen by the naked eye as it circled the star, however, a hollow red square was superimposed upon the solar image to indicate the object’s position. The faint box tracked the weapon as it quietly and smoothly crossed the face of the star before disappearing behind the great burning orb.

The final screen displayed a schematic image of the fifteen planet solar system from a perspective located above the planets. It indicated their orbits relative to each other and the yellow dwarf at the heart of the system. When the Lissian Emitter Weapon was activated this screen would show the destructive path of the super-charged plasma as it seared across the solar system destroying the planets in its relentless path. The sixth planet; Collizon, was highlighted in pale blue, in contrast to the other drab brown planetary images.

The tension in the Battle Command Centre rose dramatically as the appointed hour for the test firing of the Emitter Weapon approached.

The Battle Centre personnel, under the implacable scrutiny of the Empress, hurried about their duties, hoping that on this of all days they would not make even the tiniest mistake. In the Imperial presence, even the smallest of errors could land someone in an execution chamber or on the very short trip out of an airlock into the emptiness of space.

Lullina watched intently as the last few moments of the countdown were intoned by a frightened Technician who drew heavy breaths to hide her fear. But, when the count reached “zero”, nothing seemed to happen. The Empress scrutinised the third screen image for any changes, no matter how insignificant, whilst Technicians and scientists scrambled and sweated profusely over their calculations and projections. Long seconds that felt like decades drew out in the deathly silence of the Battle Command Centre as the scientists tried to work out what had happened. The Fleet Commander, ultimately responsible for the deployment of the weapon, shuffled anxiously at his Battle Station.

The quiet buzz of communications traffic broke the almost painful silence of the Battle Centre as orders, requests reports and speculations flowed through the networks. All through the Taurai, silent wishes arose; if there’s been an error, please let it be someone else’s fault. The Empress, growing ever more agitated, shifted on her throne, her face changing from the benign and peaceful angelic half smile to the more animated and treacherous scowl that indicated her displeasure.

“Gentlemen, why are we wait…” the Empress began from her aerie-like Imperial throne.

She never got to finish the question as the third screen before her flickered several times and the image of the yellow dwarf star began to change colour. Moving from a bright yellow to a slightly more orange-yellow tone, the magnetic polarity of the star was altered just sufficiently to destabilise and magnify the huge nuclear reactions deep within its core.

A moment later, a huge burst of super-heated plasma spewed out from the top left-hand quarter of the celestial body and began to snake and slither away towards the planets of the system.

The collective sigh of relief in the Battle Command Centre was masked by a loud celebratory cheer while the personnel watched as more and more super-heated plasma was ejected from the yellow dwarf. The Empress, her face shining with delight, sat back on her throne and marvelled at the sheer volume of material being sent forth from this one tiny star.

Snake-like, sinuous tendrils of intense plasma were speeding away from the yellow dwarf out into the emptiness of space. If the scientists were correct, the planet of Collizon would follow its normal orbital path and spin directly into the path of the advancing fiery nightmare.

Meanwhile, on Collizon, the plant and animal life had no idea that in two hours time, they would be seared out of existence, and went about their day to day business oblivious to the horror that was heading towards them. The Empress clapped her Imperial hands excitedly and watched; her black eyes shining with delight, as the stream of charged plasma burst forth seemingly without end.

After two minutes of constant eruption, the yellow dwarf was finally exhausted. The violent plasma eruption stuttered to a halt as the last deadly spume was sent hurtling into the void of space. And, with the last lurching outburst of plasma, the Battle Command Centre put up one last cheer as the Empress smiled with satisfaction and reclined onto her throne once more. On the fourth screen before her, she saw the first streaks of yellow plasma bursting away from the yellow dwarf out into the Artreaus solar system. In two hours she would be able to see just how powerful this new weapon was and how much devastation it would wreak upon her enemies.

And, as she marvelled at the new sadistic power the late and unlamented Sammut Claggit had bestowed upon her, an idea had already formed in her mind.

She was going to have to be careful how she handled the deployment of this new weapon. She would have to make sure that the next solar flare disaster looked like a naturally occurring phenomenon for which the Bardomil Empire would attract no blame.

She was going to have her revenge against Billy Caudwell and his upstart Universal Alliance.

Two hours after the ignition of the emitter weapon, the Bardomil Empress waited patiently on her throne for the final act of the celestial drama that had unfolded before her. Slowly, and gradually, the yellow image of the advancing super-heated plasma had crept across the field of view on the fourth monitor.

For those two hours, the Bardomil Empress had sat quietly, eagerly anticipating the coming destruction and devastation. The tension and sense of dread and terror in the Battle Command Centre had, however, shown no discernible sign of decreasing. The faint murmur of communications traffic struggled to become distinct over the brutal hush of fear and intimidation. The crushing silence of the Battle Command Centre was broken only twice by the girlish shrieks of delight and dainty applause of the Empress as the super-heated plasma engulfed the second and fourth planets of the system. Both of these worlds were uninhabited, and now uninhabitable, but the Empress squealed like an overjoyed schoolgirl as the searing hot plasma scorched the already scarred and overheated surfaces of the two planets into a fiery oblivion.

With the fourth planet still being seared by the tail end of the super-hearted plasma flow, the Empress sat back on her throne with an air of malicious expectation. The next planet to orbit into the path of the plasma stream was Collizon. The peaceful, life-bearing planet was spinning slowly around to that side of the yellow dwarf star, filling the Bardomil Empress with a feeling of morbid delight and excitement.

It was all going exactly to plan, the Empress pondered as she watched the plasma stream edge closer to the orbit of Collizon. Just as the Xanart had predicted, the stream of super-heated plasma was able to emerge from the yellow dwarf star and cover the required distance to the intended target. It was a shame to have to kill Claggit and his assistant; they might have been of some limited value in future weapons development. But, the theoretical basis for the emitter weapon was now known to the Bardomil scientific community which meant that bigger and more powerful weapons could be developed. And, more importantly, they could be developed without the risk of betrayal by aliens whose loyalty to the Empress was, at best, questionable. There would be no security leaks from the Imperial Ordnance Laboratories about this new emitter weapon.

The one remaining question was now whether the plasma stream would still have enough destructive power to wipe out everything on the inhabited planet. The scientists with their computer models and complex calculations had assured the Empress that there would be sufficient strength in the plasma flow to engulf Collizon three times over. The proof of the pudding, as the Empress well knew, would be in its eating. Computer models had been wrong before and costly mistakes had been made. But, this was one project the Empress was determined to see work. The scientists, like the senior military Officers were huddled at their stations hoping for a good outcome to the test. When the consequence of failure was a short trip out of an airlock, checking, double-checking and even beyond triple-checking became a way of life.

Silently, her black-orb eyes shining with anticipation, the Empress sat on the edge of the large throne. Scanning the four curved screens in front of her, she counted down the minutes and seconds until the super-heated plasma impacted with the atmosphere and surface of the planet. When it finally struck Collizon, the Empress stood up, her beautiful angelic face twisted in a snarl of evil delight. Fixing her gaze on the second screen, the Empress saw the live-action images of the destruction of a planet with millions of living creatures on it.

The first snaking tendrils of plasma swept in from the solar eruption and for a few moments it looked like the planet’s magnetic field was going to protect the vulnerable world from the scorching horror. But, to the delight of the Empress there was just too great a volume of super-heated matter. The initial fingers, deflected away by the magnetic field, flared up like huge white hot waves crashing against the seashore as they surged out into space. With her fists clenching and her face growing into a mask of anxiety, the Empress watched as the following waves of plasma overwhelmed the magnetic field and were drawn down by the planets gravity, through the atmosphere to the defenceless surface.

Within moments, the deep emerald green oceans began to boil and evaporate causing a huge billow of white steam to radiate away from the first impact site. Fractions of a second later, the following waves of super-heated plasma scattered the ocean steam as it began to lick voraciously at the golden land masses of the planet. The great waves of searing death splashed onto the surface of the planet, and within a few seconds were sending out a front of surging plasma that rapidly spread away from the impact that covered almost half of the northern continent. Like a puddle of white hot liquid being forced outwards by more liquid being poured into it, the plasma wave began to sweep around the planet.

On the planet surface, the humanoid Manuch and all of the other living creatures in the path of the scorching onslaught spent their final moments in abject terror before succumbing to the mercifully short sting of instantaneous incineration. From her throne, safe aboard the Taurai, the Empress watched in vicious delight as the great fiery puddle spread even further across the golden surface of the planet. The doomed planet, set on its course billions of years before, spun slowly and languidly into its own destruction.

Within a few more seconds the wave-fronts collided; a beautiful yellow rippling effect showed that shock waves were surging through the ever-spreading lakes. They quickly poured over the northern and southern polar caps and disappeared to devour the obscured side of the planet. The Empress, meanwhile, sat in awe of the devastation being wreaked on the unprotected planet as the wave-fronts splashed toward the eastern and western horizons devouring everything in their path.

On the planet surface, nothing survived as a huge wall of surging fire swept across the landscape incinerating everything that stood in its way. The lush vegetation ignited for a few brief moments before the great roaring and shrieking wave of destruction swept over grasslands and forests with the same indiscriminate ferocity. Rivers boiled and evaporated in an instant as the fleeing animals screamed and made their final futile attempts to outrun the terror that pursued them to a horrible destruction. Rocks and soil on the surface melted under the intense heat; fusing for a few brief seconds into a beautiful golden glassy substance that was incinerated with the passing wave-fronts that would finally leave black charred carbon in their wake.

Aboard the Taurai, the Empress watched the lake of fire that now engulfed the hemisphere of the planet that she could see. Greater splashes of plasma were now hammering into the inferno that pushed the wave-fronts onwards on the blind side of the planet until they finally met.

The end of all life on Collizon was marked with a huge rippling shock wave that swirled and eddied over the entire yellow scorching surface of the now dead world. For a few more seconds, the planet of Collizon looked like a huge shimmering yellow pearl hanging in the darkness of space. To someone not aware of what had just happened, it looked just like a newborn star as more waves of super-heated plasma hammered downwards.

The final agony of Collizon finally came when the atmosphere disintegrated. The following waves of plasma seemed to flow over the shimmering yellow pearl that had once been a living breathing thriving planet like a river over a rock. As the great stream of super-heated plasma swept over the planet, the intense heat finally broke down the gravitational field. With nothing to hold the burning plasma onto the surface of the planet, the fiery lakes that had incinerated Collizon were dragged back out into space leaving a scorched, bright-red glowing cinder.

With tears of delight in her black-orb eyes, the Empress daintily clapped her hands and marvelled at the power to destroy that she now commanded. It was beautiful and magnificent she praised the weapon that had wrought annihilation to an entire world. The weapon worked, she now knew, and it had the power to destroy Billy Caudwell’s home planet. Sitting back on her throne, exhausted by the exhilaration of the demonstration, she began to outline in her mind the orders that would finally avenge the defeat suffered at Caudwell’s hands. She had seen Collizon annihilated, planet Earth would go the same way very, very soon.

For the Bardomil Empress, that day couldn’t come soon enough.

About the Book

Book II The Burning SunThe adventure continues for Billy Caudwell, the teenage First Admiral of the Universal Alliance Fleet.

The Bardomil Empress, eager to avenge the defeat of her Imperial Fleet at the hands of Billy Caudwell, acquires a weapon that can generate super-charged solar flares and incinerate entire planets.  Having tested the weapon, the Empress discovers a strategic territorial weakness in Billy’s Alliance and launches the solar flare weapon at Planet Earth as a diversion to a full-scale assault on the Alliance.  Billy Caudwell, still trying to stay on top of his dangerous double life, now has to protect Earth and save the Alliance from annihilation.

And, as if that’s not enough, Billy also has girl troubles!

Author Bio

 The author, William J.Benning was born in Dumfries (south west Scotland) in 1963. With his 50th birthday fast approaching, Benning has decided to grow old disgracefully. An intensely private individual, Benning recently returned to his home town seeking inspiration for his passion of creative writing. At age 18, Benning left home to take an Honours Degree in Psychology at Strathclyde University in Glasgow. He has some very fond memories, and many nights of vague recollection – which are, on the whole, probably best forgotten (!) – from his student days. After graduating, Benning had a career “false start” moving into the world of Pest Control Management. However, after several unhappy years, he switched tack and took further qualifications in Personnel Management, carving out a successful and enjoyable career in Human Resources as well as Learning & Development. Throughout his career, Benning has worked to support the activities of the British Red Cross.

From his early days as a First Aid Volunteer, he enjoyed working for the organisation which gave him further skills and built his self-confidence. Progressing within British Red Cross, Benning became a First Aid Instructor (Trainer), Assessor and Lecturer plus becoming invoved in training other Trainers and Assessors. Having returned to Dumfries to further his writing career, Benning now lives alone, but has been adopted by four members of the Canine Community. With four dogs in his life – and a newly arrived litter of Tibetan Terrier pups – plus a newly published novel, life is never going to be dull for Benning. William likes his sci-fi, but is also keen on military history and speculative fiction. Among his fiction favourites are Harry Turtledove, the late George MacDonald Fraser, Bernard Cornwell and Clive Cussler. William collects Edinburgh Crystal and has a terrible weakness for malt whisky. He has published his novel First Admiral with Malachite Quills in 2012.

Links

www.clockworkquills.com
http://www.wjbenning.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/FirstAdmiralSeries

Buy your own copy of the First Admiral series here: http://www.clockworkquills.com/the-first-admiral-series.html

February 23, 2014 at 9:57 am Leave a comment

Book Excerpt from By My Choice

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I’m hosting an excerpt today from erotic romance “By My Choice”. Hope you enjoy it!

Book Excerpt

“You know, Fabian, I actually thought you were my friend.” So calm and collected. He hated it.
“I am, Jen.”
Her snort held more character than much anything in her voice or demeanour had for months now.
“Well, in that case, our definition of friendship differs more than I thought possible.”
He loved the way she spoke, the easy elegance, but the misery in her voice grated on him. They had nothing left, not even enough of a connection for her to bite his head off. Only quiet desperation. He could not let it matter, not anymore. That time had passed by, months ago, for both of them.
“I am your friend, Jen. More so than you understand right now. But in this I do not have a choice either.”
He wanted to see fire, see fury in those soft brown eyes, instead, there was only uncomprehending hurt, bottomless and bleak. That bleakness was audible in every syllable as she spoke. It had been visible in every line of her delicate face for too long, seemed even to reside in the dullness of her once so glorious mahogany hair. Now she seemed washed out, diminished somehow. The shadow of the woman he had once known.
“So you sold me.”
There was nothing he could add to make the accusation less stinging. In the end, there was nothing he could say in his own defence.

About The Book

By My Choice ...Title: By My Choice

Author: Christine Blackthorn

Genre: Erotic Romance

Sometimes the path of life seems inevitable — what does it mean to choose?

Jennifer Ashton has spent her whole life in one Supernatural court or the other but the realities of what this means are only brought home to her when her best friend is forced to sell her to a vampire, and not any vampire, but one she knows well. Caught in the double betrayal of friendship and love she needs to decide what her life is going to be.

Jennifer is a financial manager, her control over every aspect of her own life complete. She does not allow anything to upset her rationality, no emotion, no sensation, no desire. The only weakness she has accepted is her unlimited loyalty to her best friend, the friend who betrays her by selling her to a competitor. She joins her new master in Paris where she begins to realise that he has as little choice as she does. Can she accept that by giving up everything, by giving him everything, they might both regain their lives?

This novella is an erotic romance with elements of mild bondage

Author Bio

imagemesmallIn “real” life, I am an academic with degrees in Political Science, Economics, Philosophy and Law and an insatiable desire to confound, baffle and disconcert my students. Someone once suggested to me the reason for my stories lay in the desire to offset the tedium and rationality of academic life. He wasn’t an academic or he would have known better.  It is best to use research against tedium, students to offset the rationality and an unlimited supply of stressballs for the faculty meetings. The stories? Well, they are just for me – like a mental manicure.

Links

Buy your copy on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/By-My-Choice-Valentines-Stories-ebook/dp/B00I3PRMQO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391003900&sr=8-1&keywords=christine+blackthorn

http://www.amazon.com/By-My-Choice-Valentines-Stories-ebook/dp/B00I3PRMQO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391176292&sr=8-1&keywords=christine+blackthorn

 http://www.amazon.ca/My-Choice-Valentines-Story-Stories-ebook/dp/B00I3PRMQO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391176737&sr=8-1&keywords=christine+blackthorn

 Website/Blog

www.christineblackthorn.eu

Twitter:

CBlackthorn

February 22, 2014 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

Release Day Party Diaries of the Damned

diariesrelease

We’re celebrating the release day party for zombie horror “Diaries of the Damned” by Alex Laybourne.

Get your own copy today!

 

About Diaries of the Damned

Ebook CoverTitle: Diaries of the Damned

Author: Alex Laybourne

Genre: Zombie Horror

The dead have risen and a desperate struggle for power has begun. The military are evacuating all survivors in passenger planes. With their destination unknown, one group of survivors led by a journalist named Paul Larkin, decide to share their experiences with the hope that when combined, their stories will reveal some answers that the government had not been willing to give themselves.

Nine survivors have banded together, determined to tell their tale of survival. None of them realized that as they stood to tell their tales that they stood on the brink of discovering a conspiracy the likes of which the world has never seen.

Author Bio

Alex 1Born and raised in the coastal English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the misfortune of knowing this place) that I became a horror writer.

From an early age I was sent to schools which were at least 30 minutes drive away and so spent the most of my free time alone, as the friends I did have lived too far away for me to be able to hang out with them in the weekends or holidays.

I have been a writer as long as I can remember and have always had a vivid imagination. To this very day I find it all too easy to just drift away into my own mind and explore the world I create, where the conditions always seem to be just perfect for the cultivation of ideas, plots, scenes, characters and lines of dialogue everything basically, and when the time is right, I can simply pluck them from the allotment of my mind serve them up on the pages of whatever work is to be their home.

I am married and have four children and my biggest dream for them is that they grow up and spend their lives doing what makes them happy, whatever that is.

Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alex-Laybourne/212049612180183

Twitter : https://twitter.com/Vanplank

Blog: http://alexlaybourne.com/

February 22, 2014 at 12:50 am 1 comment

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