Monthly Archives: March 2020

Deadly secrets haunt this House

Lyndi welcomes her adventurous friend  Julie Howard today, with her new release House of Seven Spirits! HouseofSevenSpirits_w14284_ib

About the story:

Some secrets are deadly, and ghost-blogger Jillian Winchester and her photographer boyfriend discover it’s true when they set out to investigate an Australian family who disappeared without a trace in the 1880s.

An abandoned sheep station rumored to be haunted by the long-dead Kinsley family is one challenge. The other is the beautiful but deadly Outback.

As Jillian probes deeper into the mystery, one thing becomes clear: She might not make it out of this quest alive.

 

 

Excerpt:

“Don’t go up there,” Mason warned. “The wood’s apt to be rotted in places. The floor may not be safe.”

She glanced over her shoulder at him and hesitated. Her California beach home was eight thousand miles away—a fifteen-hour flight plus a day’s drive along bumpy bleak roads. She hadn’t come this far to only examine the structure’s exterior. Her work required total immersion.

She put a foot on the first step and tested it with her weight. Mason strode around the car and halted just below the porch with arms crossed. “Jillian.”

The last thing she needed was someone hovering, directing her on what she could and couldn’t do. When she worked, the “real” world faded in importance. His uneasy energy interrupted her focus. “I’m fine.”

The stair was solid, at least. Not even a creak greeted her as she advanced onto the veranda. He cleared his throat as she took another step, but said nothing.

Despite the heat, a sudden chill rippled up her bare arms, sending prickles all the way to her neck. For a split second, her world tilted and her senses were overwhelmed. The musty odor of freshly shorn sheep wool, clothes flapping on a line, young voices chattering, the sharp tang of blood. Just as quick, the images dissolved and all was still, dry and lifeless once more. She let go of a deep breath, and a feeling of exhilaration swept through her.

Someone’s here.

****

Bio:

juliehowardpixJulie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime and Spirited Quest series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. Now she edits an online anthology, Potato Soup Journal.

Author Links:

Website: http://juliemhoward.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/juliemhowardauthor

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07D6CS4NQ

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/julie-howard?list=author_books

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_JulieMHoward

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18116047.Julie_Howard

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ubgz73p

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/house-of-seven-spirits/id1497768327

Nook: https://bit.ly/39kJRgS

Will her fiction become our truth?

Windmills1Today I’m sharing an excerpt from WINDMILLS, the first book in my post-apocalyptic trilogy THE COLOR OF FEAR. This piece gives us insight into Valery Paz, and a glimpse  into her history.

***

Before she stepped over the threshold, Valery Paz patted her two front pockets. The left one held the book she was currently reading, a fantasy story about a modern-day barista and a glass slipper, the right a fully loaded pistol she wasn’t afraid to use.
     Yep, Uncle Dave, you’d be proud of this little Latina. Self-defense: Never leave home without it.
Wary of the street after hearing about Kwan’s encounter with the gang, she set off at a swift pace, spurred on by the damp chill in the air, her well-worn sneakers making hardly a sound. Twenty blocks along Broadway,  then a right turn, then up to the attic of a small house just past Jackson Square, and she’d be home. She could sit by her tiny window and look out over the bay near the Embarcadero.
If she was lucky, and the fog held off, she might catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate.
The bridge still seemed more like another fantasy to her than reality, even though she’d seen it in clear weather, swathed in fog, and in dozens of different states in between.
She hadn’t lived in the city before the Second Holocaust. Then, she’d been the nearest thing to a Valley Girl at Everett Alvarez High School in Salinas, about a hundred miles south of San Francisco, her daily language peppered with southern California slang. She’d been slated to graduate salutatorian of her class, bound for Stanford. The Second Holocaust ended the school year early.
Then it ended a lot of things early.
Her younger brother had died first, but in the twelve months afer the SH, she’d lost her mother and “Uncle” Dave too. Her parents had broken up years before, but her dad had always stopped in when his sales job brought him within shouting distance. It had been maybe a month before the SH when he stopped in before heading to southern California. She hadn’t seen him again.
She’d buried her mother and Dave, then packed a duffel bag with her dearest possessions and those her family had treasured as well. She had to go somewhere,
but where?
People came through town, heading to Colorado or New Mexico, and said San Francisco was at least providing some services to residents. Valery had some very
fond memories of the city by the bay, one visit in particular when she’d gone shopping with her mother as a young adolescent. They’d had warm sourdough bread and
shrimp cocktail from a cart on Fisherman’s Wharf and toured Chinatown, just the two of them. Her mother had bought her a new pair of shoes and a tiny cable car ornament
for their Christmas tree. A magical day.
That’s what made up her mind.

val and san

Xi San and Valery Paz

Six months now since she’d moved here, and she still sought real direction. When she was younger, she’d wanted to be a fashion model. She was tall enough, and when she only let herself eat lettuce—for a week or so—she could be skinny enough. It wasn’t like modeling scouts came through Salinas, though. And Mama wouldn’t take me to the city to try out. Not till I was eighteen.
She muttered, “Well. Now I’m eighteen, Mama. Look at me. Sneaking around the streets after dark like some matón.”
Kwan said the Enforcer had rescued her from the gang. A tendril of wistful thought wound itself around Valery’s heart. When will I have a white knight riding out to save me, huh?
Even as she wished for that person who might be waiting out there, somewhere, she shoved that idea aside.
That’s why I’m better off. I don’t need saving.
Besides, she didn’t intend to stay in San Francisco all her life.
She reached her house without incident and ran up the steps, scanning the street  before she opened the door. Once she was safe inside, she triple-locked it and headed
upstairs to her room, locking the door to the attic as well. She tossed her pea jacket onto her bed, a mattress on the floor she’d dragged up the narrow steps, then lit several
candles. When everything was arranged to her liking, she rummaged through her “pantry,” a cardboard carton of cans and boxes of food she’d collected over the
last few weeks. One can called for her attention, and she took it out, cradling it in her hand. The brilliant orange of the mangoes on the Goya juice can reminded her of the
ambrosial juice awaiting her inside. She could almost taste the sweet tartness on her tongue.
She popped open the top and took a small sip, letting it roll around her mouth like the finest wine. Amazing.
She leaned down to glance out the window before settling in, disappointed that the cool, wet air had brought along a flood of fog that covered the waters of the bay. No bridge-gazing tonight. What else to do?
She plopped down on the worn blue beanbag chair she’d wrestled up the steps the first week she’d arrived. It was just like the one her brother Jimmy’d had, back in the
day. Before…
The loneliness was starting to get to her. She should leave. Comparing the number of survivors in the site of the SH attack, San Diego, and San Francisco, she could extrapolate
the differences between San Francisco and other parts of the country. The farther east you went, the better the chances there would be a healthier population.
Who knew? Maybe they still had fashion runway shows in New York City.
     Si, chica, the models, they are very skinny this year…skin and bones…well, maybe bones without the skin…
A chill ran up her back, the black humor a little too close to truth.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Terrorists launch a plague in the United States that spreads to kill most of the world’s Caucasian population. As the deadly bioweapon mutates, Tzu Lin Kwan’s father, a renowned medical doctor and biologist, defects from China to MB910216387help develop a cure. His  only daughter, Lin Kwan, is left behind in Hong Kong with her aunt.
Then Kwan’s father summons her from across the sea to bring him Chinese medicinal herbs. Lonely and missing her parents, she accepts the challenge, traveling with her sensei Li Zhong to the New World.
But a Chinese spy is on her trail, determined to kill her and Li Zhong, and when Kwan discovers her father has disappeared, she sets out on a journey to find him and deliver her precious cargo, a quest that she may not survive.
Buy it here!   
Available at online outlets and can be ordered at your local bookstores. First in the series, from Zumaya Publications.  Find out more about the series at the Color of Fear tab above!

 

Victorian, With a Twist

Welcome to guest author Laura Strickland, here to talk about her new book, Cross Checking: A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure. Take it away, Laura!

perf5.000x8.000.inddThe thing I hear most often when I attend Steampunk Festivals and other events promoting my books is, “What’s Steampunk?” It’s a fair question. Many readers aren’t familiar with the genre, and feel a bit intimidated by it. But as I’ve learned since starting this wild ride, penning my Buffalo Steampunk Adventures series, there’s no easy answer. Steampunk means something different to all those who love it.

For some of us, it’s all about the gadgets. Steampunk aficionados love to tinker. They build teapot racers, life-sized robots and fully-operational automatons. Others love the costuming, and the chance to transform into someone other than their every-day selves, to walk for even a few hours on the wild side. Goggles and helmets, brass-buttoned jackets and sweeping skirts…and stepping through the looking glass.

For me, it’s all about what-might-have-been. What if the glorious age of steam heralded Laura and Dax 2019by the Industrial Revolution had never been superseded by electricity and the internal combustion engine? What if the Victorian age hadn’t died but merely morphed into something bigger, grander—and more twisted?

If you’d like to imagine the Steampunk world, think Victorian, with a twist. Just a little bit darker (a la Jack the Ripper), a little bit weirder, and to those of us who appreciate the strange, that much more delightful.

The characters in my Buffalo Steampunk Adventures books are real—far from perfect, they have warts and fears, and disadvantages. The city’s real too—Victorian Buffalo, city (if not time) of my birth. Buffalo makes the perfect setting for Steampunk, industrial, gritty and yes, it has an edge.

Me, I love the edge. I love the twist. If you do too, come walk the brick streets of Steampunk Buffalo with me. You may never want to leave.

BUFFALO STEAMPUNK ADVENTURES Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aauK5ob3zI

Blurb for new release: Cross Checking: A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure

When Maddie MacGillicuddy loses her job, she’s desperate to find another. Though good jobs are available at the stables, only men are hired. A big, strapping girl, she becomes Matty in her brother’s clothing. Complications arise when a city magnate, assembling a tournament hockey team, admires Matty’s skating skills and recruits “him,” with real money and the city’s reputation on the line.

Huritt Gilbert is used to battling his way through life. At the stables, he routinely endures racial slurs, sometimes striking back. He’s never met a woman like Maddie and would do anything for her, including accept the dangerous position of goalie for her team. But when competition heats up, loyalties get twisted. Will Gilbert and Maddie play for glory, or love?

EXCERPT:

“Gilbert, you should see how good Maddie skates.”

“I’d like to,” Gilbert said in his dusky voice. The dark—which somehow matched that voice—seemed to close around them. It made the encounter feel more intimate than it should.

Maddie shivered. “I’d better get Roddy home. It’s getting colder.”

“Going to snow some more, too,” Gilbert offered, not taking his eyes from Maddie’s. “I can always tell.”

“Oh, yes?”

He wagged his dark head. Maddie had a sudden and completely inappropriate impulse to plunge her fingers through that black hair. But he still held her fingers captive.

He told her, “I get an instinct for certain things—sometimes I just know.”

“I see. And are you never wrong?”

He shrugged those wide shoulders. “Seldom enough.”

“Come on, Maddie,” Roddy demanded, completely immune to any undertones. “I’m hungry.”

“Yes, all right.”

She tugged at her fingers again; this time Gilbert let them go. Together, they climbed up over the bank and trudged to the foot of Ferry Street.

“Do you live far?” Gilbert asked. “Can I see you home?”

“Peach Street,” Maddie told him, wishing this somehow enchanting encounter had happened on any other day than the one during which she’d destroyed her life. “I think we’ll be all right.” She hoped so.

Gilbert nodded. “Maybe I’ll see you again on the ice.”

Later she wondered if he, with all his bright instincts, had uttered a prophecy.

 

buy links:

 

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Cross-Checking-Buffalo-Steampunk-Adventures-ebook/dp/B0849RR8MM/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Laura+Strickland+Cross+Checking&qid=1580680806&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Cross-Checking-Buffalo-Steampunk-Adventures-ebook/dp/B0849RR8MM/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=laura+strickland+cross+checking&qid=1580680963&s=books&sr=1-1

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cross-Checking-Buffalo-Steampunk-Adventures-ebook/dp/B0849RR8MM/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=laura+strickland+cross+checking&qid=1580680881&s=books&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cross-checking-laura-strickland/1136271198?ean=2940162971597

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/cross-checking-4

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/cross-checking/id1497766433

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/cross-checking-by-laura-strickland

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51472051-cross-checking?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=7s4mvR7x3F&rank=2

Author bio:

Laura and Shannon SteampunkMulti award-winning author Laura Strickland delights in time traveling to the past and searching out settings for her books, be they Historical Romance, Steampunk or something in between. Her first Scottish Historical hero, Devil Black, battled his way onto the publishing scene in 2013, and the author never looked back. Nor has she tapped the limits of her imagination. Venturing beyond Historical and Contemporary Romance, she created a new world with her ground-breaking Buffalo Steampunk Adventure series set in her native city, in Western New York. Married and the parent of one grown daughter, Laura has also been privileged to mother a number of very special rescue dogs, and is intensely interested in animal welfare. These days while she’s writing, you can always find her latest rescue, Lacy, nearby. Her love of dogs, and her lifelong interest in Celtic history, magic and music, are all reflected in her writing. Laura’s mantra is Lore, Legend, Love, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Author Web site: www.laurastricklandbooks.com

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000002632317

Author Amazon page:  http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Strickland/e/B001KHSACW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Author Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/760146.Laura_Strickland

Author Twitter:

Laura Strickland Author @LauraSt05038951

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/laurastricklandauthor/

BookBub page: https://www.bookbub.com/search?search=Laura+Strickland

 

 

Money won’t save you in a plague

A passage from DESTINATIONS, second book in my post-apocalyptic series The Color of Fear. Seems apropos, esp. if these greedy Senators who used the news to save their own purses reap what they have sowed….

DestinationsWEBfsLater that evening, San arranged blankets on a chaise on the deck, now used to sleeping in the open air.
 The Ranger perched on the deck’s peeling wooden rail, and he turned it on, ready to listen to the voice of the woman who’d soothed him to sleep since he’d left San Francisco.
 As he settled in, the boy’s voice broke into his thoughts.
“Who’s that? Regular radio? Not ham?” Hang went over to adjust the dials.
“Hey! Don’t touch that!” San moved to protect his territory.
“Chill, homeboy.” Hang grinned as the opening guitar riff from “Dust in the Wind” started to play. “Oh, man. Didn’t know real radio was still around.”
“Yeah, well, it is.”
Somewhat embarrassed by his extreme reaction, San stoically returned to his makeshift bed. The boy dragged a futon onto the deck and curled up on it. They contemplated the starry heavens in silence as the song played to its haunting conclusion.
How true that is, San thought. Money hadn’t saved anyone from the infectious “dust” in the air, not in the Second Holocaust. Bankers and millionaires had died side-by-side with hookers and welfare moms. He’d lived for more than a year, traveled hundreds of miles, without need for dollars or even gov-scrip.
“Dust in the Wind”…a metaphor for this whole society lost to the schemes of those seeking ultimate power.

Domin8 by author Stephen B. King, a dark tale of love, sex and redemption

Meet Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend Stephen B. King!

Domin8

Release Date 13th of April 2020
Published by The Wild Rose Press

When I first had the idea for this complex story I was in my fifties, in a happy, stable relationship and my children had all grown up. I was a manager for a large car dealership, earning good money and life was good. I had achieved a lifelong goal of signing a contract with a reputable publisher for my first book, Forever Night, and they wanted more from me, so I told my editor, Shannon, of the idea I’d had for a long while about Domin8. She loved it and urged me to write it. Sadly, before I could complete the story, the publisher was bought out by a conglomerate, and the line I was contracted to suddenly, was no more.
Thankfully, through my wonderful publisher The Wild Rose Press, my editor Melanie also loved the story and allowed me to remove it from its self-published status, perform a massive re-write and work with her to publish it.

Dave Barndon is a 50-year-old car dealer who adores his wife of twenty-six years, and his three adult children. The only cloud on the horizon is that while he still desires sex with his wife as much as ever, she no longer does. Dave uses pornography to find release, and through some unusual circumstances becomes fascinated with women who chose to be submissive. Digging deeper into the internet through online chat rooms Dave gets to play with women, but, as he says, cybersex isn’t real, and he yearns for more. He discovers an internet website that specialised in hooking up married people who are looking for NSA dalliances, and Dave thinks he has found Utopia.
Believing Dianne, his wife, has given tacit approval so long as it doesn’t affect their married life, Dave edges deeper into a secret life; fuelled by the internet, until someone starts murdering his lovers and tries to frame him. The police are getting closer and Dave must try to find who has targeted him, and why to stay out of jail. Things take a terrible turn for the worse when Dianne, his alibi for the second murder, is killed while he is in the shower, and Dave is arrested for three murders.
I watched the TV show that sparked Dave’s interest in submissive women which began his trek that ended in disaster. Some would say it is  his fault, yet some other look deeper.
There are so many parallels between Dave and myself in real life, to make Domin8 as authentic as possible, for research only in writing I went online, and visited some of the plethora of dark D/s and dating websites on the internet. Some might find my descriptions of chat session far-fetched; I promise you they are not. As Dave asks the reader: ‘If what I did was so unusual, how come the internet is full of sex sites?’
Domin8 is a total work of fiction (other than my research) and written to entertain and most readers love the story. Of those who read and reviewed only one in ten guessed who the murderer was before he was revealed, and that pleased me no end. The book is a thriller, a dark psychological one maybe, but also a police procedural and a whodunnit.
I hope readers enjoy Domin8 and the story of Dave, his descent into a darker world and his attempt to find redemption for his hedonistic life choices.

Steve

www.stephen-b-king.com

Twitter: @stephenBKing1

Facebook: @stephenbkingauthor

Blurb
After his wife loses interest in him, fifty-year-old Dave Barndon turns to the dark side of the Internet and sex chat rooms. There he finds willing partners who are happy to fulfil his needs with no strings attached. But they aren’t the only ones looking to play.
When a woman he had an affair with is murdered he becomes the prime suspect. He thinks his alibi is solid until a second woman is murdered, and then a third. He fights for his freedom and redemption while the body count rises. He must figure out who is framing him and why before the killer strikes again.

 

Buy Links:

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/38NApSu

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2xCrMNC

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2Qe0vaI

Apple: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781509230761

An exclusive excerpt:

“I was frustrated and couldn’t find anyone who would treat me how I wanted to be treated. It was boring on normal dates, and the once or twice when I tried to explain to men, they thought I was weird. One of the women at work mentioned the dating site After Dark, which I joined and I hooked up with a couple of Doms, before meeting my Mistress. It was love. I absolutely adore her, and I have been with her ever since. You should try After Dark, Master. It is a good site. And you will meet women like me.”

That was the longest statement she made the entire night. Normally she preferred to speak only when spoken to. “I’ve never heard of it, angel. Tell me more.”

“It is a dating site for people who are looking for a partner to experience different lifestyles. They might be bi, or gay, sadists, masochists, Doms, subs or people into pee games or whatever turns them on whether they are married or single. The good thing is once you meet someone through the site you are expected to go back in and rate them, so others can have a guide as to what you are like. I can tell you will be a great Master, and I am sure in time you would have a lot of women who would want to serve you.”

Chloe was a mine of good information and she told me all about the website which in the future would change my life.

We drove back to her place, where Chloe invited me inside and offered a glass of wine with a smile on her bowed face. I got to undress the beautiful woman that she was. Dianne was on night shift, so I had time and we made love three times during the night. She was superb, reveling in every command I gave her and seeming to enjoy herself the more she submitted. It was a new experience for me, to have someone so willing to please and perform anything I asked. I got home before three, showered and climbed into bed, but couldn’t sleep
because my mind was racing about the night I’d had. I was in total awe of Chloe.

When Di got home in the morning she remarked that I looked tired. I blamed an upset tummy and being a nurse, she was concerned. I told her it was just a bug going around and that several people at work had come down with it.

I felt guilty and hated myself for the  lying, but if she suspected anything at all it was as if she didn’t want to ask, in case she found out something she didn’t like. That was genuinely what I believed at the time.

I had that same feeling with Dianne several times over the next few months. Possibly, she was perceptive, or had an inkling of my infidelity, perhaps not; I don’t know for sure. I suppose if she didn’t know it for a fact, she could convince herself things were fine, and her life would stay the same. On the other hand, if she was certain I was screwing around it would be different and she would have to confront the issue, which she herself had created.

Maybe I am deluding myself in thinking that, but over time, the more I considered it, the more the theory made sense. That helped somewhat with the ultimate guilt that was to come. It’s hard, considering what eventually occurred to look back now and be totally
objective and unemotional. At that time, I had no idea how bad things would turn out, so blindly carried on enjoying my selfish hedonistic lifestyle, because I had been spurned by the woman I chose to spend my life with. Did I over rationalize it? I can’t honestly say. I wish I
knew for a fact, but I never will now.

Dianne didn’t have the emotional make up to play around; sex wasn’t something that was important to her, but it was for me. I know she loved me, and she didn’t want to spend her life with anyone else, or alone. It’s comforting to think now she did suspect me but made
a conscious decision not to pursue it further.

I will take that grain of comfort to my grave.

stevebooks

 

Can reality rival fiction? Read some post-apocalyptic novels for hope

MB900301060“Hope?” you say? From all these stories of civilization torn down, people in chaos, life destroyed?

Sure.

It may seem contrary, when real life is at a frightening point. But one common thread in much of this fiction is the inherent goodness of man. For every toilet-paper hoarding idiot, there is a Stu Redman fromThe Stand.  For every self-serving politician, there is a Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead. Even in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which is about the most bleak, horrifying, hopeless story ever, in the end there is a moment of humanity.

I believe we’re starting to see it now, in the communities around the world. People are beginning to reach out to others, while observing the new rules and realities of Covid-19 times.  Italians confined to their homes sing to each other to boost morale. Local restaurants in my city  make sure kids have lunch while schools are closed, and surely they can least afford it, since restaurant attendance is down.  People shop for their at-risk elderly neighbors who should not be out.  Granted, we are early in the process, and things may become more desperate as it lingers on. But humans are best at doing human.

Dystopia_promoMy own post-apocalyptic YA series THE COLOR OF FEAR is founded on that issue of hope, and the conviction that those who stick to the path of right will triumph in the end over those who espouse hate and fear.

Tzu Lin Kwan, Xi San, Valery Paz, Eddie Garrick, Marie, Arik and all the others who try their best for their fellow humans are inspirational, and some of the favorite characters I’ve created. Not only do they fight the results of a terrorist plague, but they also oppose the white supremacist cult leader Gabriel and his Angels, who take advantage of the decimated population and the fears of the remaining white men and women to try to overthrow what remains of a poorly-organized government. The first book, WINDMILLS, takes the reader from Hong Kong to San Francisco; the second, DESTINATIONS, tells what happens as the ethnic survivors band together in the face of Gabriel’s threat, and the yet-to-be-released ADVERSARIES will reveal what happens when the inevitable clash of the two occurs. Find out more at the COLOR OF FEAR tab above.

In the meantime, there are many other books that can remind you about the good that may come from tumultuous, post-apocalyptic times:

https://best-sci-fi-books.com/23-best-modern-post-apocalyptic-books/?fbclid=IwAR2PzsxK_CfaoDx6O90p4cHbFm9o9N13tivbFsQoJKsRUFu11cQCacJ-i1Y

https://theportalist.com/authors-on-apocalyptic-fiction?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Portalist%20Weekly%20Thursday%20Newsletter%202020-03-12&utm_term=The%20Alt

If you prefer movies, check these out: https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/30/entertainment/contagion-and-pandemics-in-movies/index.html

A swashbuckling cat!

Welcome to Lyndi’s adventurous friend, Mary Kit Caelsto!

 

When an anthology call for swashbuckling cats hit my social media feed, I easily imagined a cat with a jaunty hat, a cutlass in one hand, and an eyepatch. Probably not a parrot, though my parrot and the kitties seem to get along well enough. As a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady, pirate cats seemed like the perfect thing to write. And they fit into my magical world very well since I wrote characters that each had their scotia or familiar.

Orains’ story came to me. Not only would he be the sotia of someone who looked for magical artifacts in shipwrecks, but he also had mythology and a mission of his own. The characters arrived fully formed, with this snippet of their story, and this novella pretty much wrote itself.

This story allowed me to expand my world of Musimagium to the high seas and bring the idea of a pirate cat into the modern world. Pirates still exist, and they’re not the ones you hear about occasionally on the news. There are explorers and scientists all looking for sunken treasure and answers to questions. As someone who really enjoys documentaries on the topic, it fascinates me. Add in a cat and an element of magic, not to mention a few pictures of cats in scuba suits, and Nadia and Orains sail on in my imagination.

This story stands alone and I suspect it also won’t be the last we hear of them.

Chasing Neptune’s Cat Blurb

Nadia and her cat Orains pilot the Lilly Princess around the world in search of sunken magical treasure. She’s got a lead on the sunken wreck of the Astrea and its magical cargo. A magical storm conjured by the Samurai, a group of mages with designs of their own on the treasure, pushes them off course. What could have scuttled the entire mission turns fortuitous when they discover the mystical treasure of Neptune’s Cat. And once Orains puts on one of the collars, things may never be the same again.

Book link on my site (with all links and excerpt) :  https://marykitcaelsto.com/blog/book/chasing-neptunes-cat/

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2VQYRiT

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48337919-chasing-neptune-s-cat

About The Author

Mary Kit Caelsto never grew out of the phase of being a “horse crazy girl”. Though she’s now over 40, she’s finally fulfilling her dream of writing equestrian books for others who haven’t grown out of being “horse crazy”. She lives in the Ozarks with her four very spoiled and very opinionated horses, as well as a large flock of poultry and enough cats to qualify her as a crazy cat lady. Her husband, though not an equestrian himself, understands and supports all her equestrian dreams.

She’s convinced three of the best things in the world are the smell of a sun warmed horse, the smell of leather tack, and making sure to hug her horses every single day.

 

Picture of the author and “SuperDuck” taken 3/2019. Hair color varies depending on mood.

Website: http://marykitcaelsto.com (Visit and sign up for free stories!)

Patreon: https://patreon.com/marykitcaelsto (Patreons receive free stories. Support starts at $1/month.)

Twitter: http://twitter.com/charmedozarks

Facebook: http://facebook.com/marykitcaelsto

Instagram: http://instagram.com/marykitcaelsto

GoodReads:https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/98579871-mary-caelsto

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/mary-kit-caelsto

18 Wheels of Science Fiction Tour

18 Wheels of Science Fiction:
A Long Haul into the Fantastic
Genre: Science Fiction Anthology
with Stories by
Eric Miller, editor, John DeChancie, Del Howison, Bond Elam, Lisa Morton,
Paul Carlson,
Janet Joyce Holden, Michael Bailey, Carla Robinson,
Jeff Seeman, Kate Jonez, Gary Phillips,
Lucio Rodriguez, Terry Bisson,
Eric Miller, Edward M. Erdelac, Michael Paul Gonzalez,
Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Sean Patrick Traver
“…Definitely fun.” –Analog Science Fiction and Fact
Take a trip through the imaginations of 18 visionary writers as they
explore the future of trucking in this new science fiction anthology!
There’s something for every genre fiction fan in this follow-up to
the hit “18 wheels of Horror – a Trailer Full of Trucking Terrors.”
From the back cover:
An alien fuel additive shows just how fast a big rig can go…
A disembodied driver wages war on self-driving trucks… A haul
through time takes an unexpected turn… Reality shatters for a
trucker using an experimental delivery device… Stargazing gives an
overweight driver a new lease on life… A young girl risks her life
to hitch a ride out of an apocalyptic wasteland…
The highways of the universe will never be the same!
THE WRECKERS by JOHN DECHANCIE
The Wreckers” is a continuation of DeChancie’s highly popular
“Skyways” trucking Science Fiction novel series, in which
legendary driver Jake McGraw (now an AI) and his son Sammy find new
adventures on the mysterious skyway between worlds.
SPEED TRAP by JEFF SEEMAN
In “Speed Trap,” a chicken hauler’s misfit co-driver buys an
exotic alien fuel additive at a truck stop, and the two find out just
how fast their Big Rig will go.
THIN ICE by BOND ELAM
In “Thin Ice,” A trucker running mineral ore on an ice planet gets
caught in a rebellion, and learns a terrible secret about her past
that affects not only hers and her beloved daughter’s lives, but
threatens humanity itself.
Q-BITS by LUCIO RODRIGUEZ
A trucker’s reality fractures in “Q-Bits” due to an experimental
quantum delivery device, and has to make a choice that could re-unite
him with his son, or take him to a unknown future.
I, TRUCK by GARY PHILLIPS
I, Truck” features an unemployed trucker who signs up for an
experimental driving program, but a cyber-attack by hackers turns him
into an revenge-fueled ghost in the machine.
OVER FLAT MOUNTAIN by TERRY BISSON
In the classic SF story “Over Flat Mountain,” which appeared in OMNI
Magazine, a trucker helps out a young hitchhiker as they travel over
the miles-high mountain that an apocalyptic seismic event has thrust
through the heart of America.
WHEELS OF WRATH by JANET JOYCE HOLDEN
In “Wheels of Wrath,” a breakdown stops the massive train carrying
hundreds of trucks through the blasted wasteland of middle America,
and a group of drivers discover a secret that could change the
world—if it doesn’t get them killed first.
SHOTGUN SEAT by PAUL CARLSON
In “Shotgun Seat,” a trucker and his new trainee learn to cope with
the robot drivers that threaten to take over human jobs—and who
also yearn for freedom.
JOB NO. 34264 by LISA MORTON
Job #34264” features two truckers who travel back through time to find
water for a droughtriddled future, but encounter a time paradox
threatens to destroy everything they know.
ESSENTIAL OILS by MICHAEL BAILEY
In “Essential Oils,” a trucker hauling tankers full of essential
oils deep into the Arctic tries to find out what the Canadian
government is doing with the odd cargo.
BIG RIG, BIG RIP by ALVARO ZINOS-AMARO
The pilot of a long-haul space cargo carrier in “Big Rig, Big Rip”
flies through a hidden wormhole and winds up thousands of light years
from home. Scared and lost, he struggles to find a way back to his family.
A FLICKER OF BRIGHT LIGHT by DEL HOWISON
A Flicker of Bright Light,” is about a young girl living in an
apocalyptic wasteland, who risks her life to stow away on a truck
that could carry her to freedom.
HIT/RUN by EDWARD M. ERDELAC
In “Hit/Run,” a trucker runs from two mysterious men who are chasing
him years after he committed a hit and run accident. But things are
far from what they seem…
EVERYTHING LOOKS SO SMALL by CARLA ROBINSON
An overweight trucker in “Everything Looks so Small” gets a new
lease on life thanks to the fantastic things he sees while looking at
the stars.
SILENT PASSENGER by KATE JONEZ
In “Silent Passenger,” a driver on her last run finds the
experimental technology propelling her truck has somehow brought back
a ghost from her past.
INDICA ASTERION & THE WIZARD OF OZYMANIDAS by SEAN PATRICK TRAVER
In “Indica Asterion & The Wizard of Ozymandias,” a trucker falls
afoul of a government agent when he tries to smuggle contraband alien
technology, and his fugitive sister in-law works to save him with a
seemingly magical interdimensional artifact.
HUMAN, TRAFFICKING by MICHAEL PAUL GONZALES
Human, Trafficking” is about a trucker who signs his life—and body-—away
when he goes to work for a high-tech autonomous trucking company.
DRIVE by ERIC MILLER
Drive” follows the Greatest Driver Alive as he takes a tanker full of
volatile rocket fuel through gang-war torn Los Angeles, and nothing,
not bullets, bombs, or bad luck, will stop him from delivering his
incendiary cargo.
**scroll through the slideshow to find out more about the authors!!**



Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!

 

Why are redheads always trouble?

Please welcome Lyndi’s adventurous friend Michelle Miles!

Hi, everyone!

I’m excited about my upcoming release next Tuesday! Vol 4, Lord of the Underworld, in my time travel action/adventure series, Ransom & Fortune Adventures, will be available in ebook and paperback (but you can preorder now). Here’s the blurb:

RF4 Lord-PromoIn this new adventure, Dane is heralded as a god while Skye is branded a sorceress. Can he use his godlike power to save them both?

Skye and Dane hurtle through space and time only to end up in a desert world resembling that of Ancient Egypt…but not. As they navigate the dry, dusty world in the aftermath of war, Dane is heralded as the Lord of the Underworld, a god resurrected as human and eerily like the Egyptian god, Osiris. The ancient inhabitants fear him, the pharaoh and his wife worship him, while Skye, with her flaming red hair, is branded a sorceress and sent to work in the blistering heat as a slave.

 Now Dane must work his way back to her but is thwarted by factions he never expected and can’t outmaneuver. And when a new enemy appears, their situation becomes the most dangerous yet.

The series started out as a serial a long time ago and ended up in a two-book novel format with a small publisher. When I got the rights back, it took me a while to decide what to do with the books. I finally committed to turning them into 30k word novellas! They have been a lot of fun to revisit and rewrite. Volume 4 is a brand new, never before published adventure!

And if you want to catch up on the series, here are the other three novellas:

Vol 1 – Highland Fling

Vol 2 – Dead of Winter

Vol 3 – The Citadel

They’re short, action-packed reads that will keep you turning pages. I hope you’ll check out the series. It’s a whole lot of fun!

Here’s where you can pre-order Lord of the Underworld: https://books2read.com/Lord-Underworld-Vol4

And here’s where you can find me on the web and sign-up for my newsletter: http://www.michellemiles.net

About Michelle Miles:

Michelle Miles believes in fairy tales, true love and magic. She is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy, IN THE TOWER OF THE WIZARD KING, as well as the fantasy romance series, REALM OF HONOR, featuring knights and their ladies fair, and the paranormal dragon-shifter romance series, DRAGON PROTECTORS.

In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, reading, cross-stitching and watching movies. Even though she’s a native Texan, she loves castles, dragons, fairies and elves and is an avid Game of Thrones fan. She can be found online at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

No room for elves in “Boz Angeles”?

IMGP1072

Interesting story about Bozeman, Montana, not too far from the Bitterroot. Seems like they have a lot of problems that my new home city, Asheville, NC, is dealing with:

https://www.businessinsider.my/should-i-move-to-bozeman-montana-2020-3/amp

Is it possible to build up too much fun for anyone to afford?

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