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The devil you know…

THE REVELATIONS OF PRESTON BLACK BY JASON JACK MILLER

Coming June 2013 from Raw Dog Screaming Press

Cover Art by Brad Vetter

Preston and Katy face a new darkness….

Sometimes a battle between good and evil doesn’t look much like the ones they show in movies. The good guys don’t always wear white, and they don’t always walk away with the win.

And sometimes you’re better off with the devil you know.

The last time Preston went down to the crossroads, his best friend died and he nearly lost his brother. But Old Scratch doesn’t take kindly to fools, especially not those who come knocking at his front door. And before all is said and done, he’s going to teach Preston a thing or two about what it really means to sacrifice.

LINKS:
Read the first 100 pages of The Revelations of Preston Black – http://jasonjackmiller.blogspot.com/p/the-revelations-of-preston-black.html

Pre-order The Revelations of Preston Black at Raw Dog Screaming Press – http://www.rawdogscreaming.com/books/the-revelations-of-preston-black.html

It’s the knife you don’t see coming that gets you…a sneak peek at WINDMILLS

Windmills1This week’s Sneak Peek is from my soon-to-be-released novel WINDMILLS, the first in a YA post-apocalyptic trilogy. If you or someone you know liked THE HUNGER GAMES, you’ll like this too.  This scene is from a confrontation after Kwan and Zhong get from Hong Kong to San Francisco:

***

Li Zhong started off slow, shifting his shoulders every few driveways, trying to ease the claw of tightness that seized his breath. These moments came and went; they always passed. He simply needed to be patient.

Shouts rang out off to his right, the sound of one of the roving gangs, young men with not enough to do and too much frustration pent up inside. He’d suggested to the Hsus that they might be safer elsewhere, in a rural area where the gangs didn’t prowl by night like feral cats, but they were adamant they must remain. It was their home, Hsu said. If their son ever returned, that was where he would look for them. I just hope he does not find them dead.

Zhong continued, picking up his pace as his muscles finally seemed to find a rhythm and his inhalations were less troubled, although still shallow. Rounding the corner to the drugstore, he fastened on the idea that Mrs. Hsu could get the herbs to help him and held it close, like a child’s favorite toy, letting it comfort him.

The yelling of the gang got closer, and he checked his pocket for his knife. He’d defended local women from Seajay gang members on a couple of occasions, the women mistaking him for the mysterious Enforcer the Hsus spoke of often. Now, that’s one young man I’d like to meet.

As his mind wandered, a heavy stone landed in his path. He stumbled around it, although he didn’t trip. His breath caught, sending a sharp pain arrowing through his chest.

Someone grabbed the shoulder of his jacket and yanked him sideways against the brick building on the corner. He hit his head, but he already had the knife in his hand when he straightened to face his assailant.

        “They let you out alone, old man? Don’t they worry what might happen to you?”

***

For more information about WINDMILLS and more excerpts, click the tab above. The book comes out in the next several weeks from Zumaya Publications and will be available in ebook and print at Amazon. com and other online retailers.

Here’s the blurb:

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.

For other Sunday snippets, visit Sneak Peek Sunday.

ASDH is here!

asmalldegreeofhope3Talk about SQUEE!   I happened to stumble over to Amazon and saw that A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE had loaded up a week early–please give it a read. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever written.  :  http://www.amazon.com/A-Small-Degree-Hope-ebook/dp/B00D0G1B0Y/

Thanks Penny Barber for your dedication in making sure it met your tough standards.  🙂

Don’t just stand here–go get it!! Now!

When the winds of change come…SFFS

Never a dull moment in Lyndi-land!

Just when I thought my May promotion would all be about A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE, I found out from my editor at Zumaya Publications that the first book of my SF YA post-apocalyptic would be released nearly a month early. Awesome, right? 🙂

Windmills1 So here is the delicious cover, one of my favorites ever.

This is the story of Lin Kwan, a young Chinese girl who finds herself caught in the middle of world-changing events after a terrorist attack wipes out much of the Caucasian population of the world.

But more than this, it’s a story of survival. Kwan’s voyage to a decimated America, accompanied by her sensei Li Zhong, is traumatic, and surely would tear the heart from a lesser soul. The world she finds in San Francisco isn’t any better, but she’s determined to complete the task her father has set for her.

Today’s snippet is from the POV of the sensei, who’s just learned that his young charge has been summoned to bring a supply of fresh Chinese herbs across the ocean to America. Unsure where to even get the herbs, or how to travel, or even what Kwan’s father has done with his sanity to ask her to come on such a dangerous trip, Zhong returns to his dojo:

***

Even in mid-evening, the crush of humanity that called Hong Kong home remained boisterous and determined to suck every bit of life from the day. Young women with too much makeup and skirts too short strolled along the edges of trash-filled alleys, hoping to make a few yuan for groceries; young men congregated, looking for easy marks to rob. Neither would find their desires granted by Li Zhong.

As he passed, they fell silent, hesitating, looking up from their card games, mild flirtation fading from their eyes. He’d lived nearly six decades, the last one here on Hong Kong, but he knew none thought of him as an old man. His reputation as a martial arts master likely made up part of that respect, but an undercurrent of fear lived there, too, a word whispered, now and then, after a dark moment of recognition.

Spectre.

The ghost who walks through shadow.

Zhong had left his years in the service of the People’s Army behind, but his reputation had not vanished as easily. The distant detritus of Zhong’s silent, deadly work as an assassin for the Ministry of State Security trailed him like remora, hungry to suck up the bloody leavings.

***

Zhong is a strong companion for Kwan to have in her travels; she is no shrinking violet herself.  Their story is full of danger and darkness–see more at the tab above and in the weeks to come.

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that goes: “When the wind of change blows, some people build walls, others build windmills.” Hence the title of the book. 🙂  And also the impetus for all the action to come.

SFFSat logoFor more fascinating snippets from authors around the world, check out Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday!

Could this be the new Hunger Games?

How does the world end? Let me count the ways…  in Fire? Ice? Wind? Water? So many possibilities.

Windmills1But if the world doesn’t end immediately, what will really count is how we survive.
An old Chinese proverb says: When the wind of change blows some build walls others build windmills.

That’s the opening step of WINDMILLS, a story of survival after the United States is attacked with a bioweapon that genetically sorts out and kills Caucasians.

A year after the first bioagents have been released, 16-year-old Tzu Lin Kwan receives a summons from her father who’s defected to America–bring him Chinese herbs that might stop the mutations and save the remaining population of the world.

Surely he knows this will not be easy. No airplanes. No electricity in a good part of the world, without enough people to keep machinery running even to generate it. The Asians, the blacks, the Hispanics and other ethnic groups begin to find themselves in the majority for the first time. Many changes are on the horizon, if the virus can be stopped.

So, accompanied by her martial arts sensei, she sets out on a hellish boat trip across an uncivilized Pacific Ocean, unaware that their inquiries have alerted the Chinese MSS, their secret service, and an assassin has been set on their trail. Will they even survive to complete their mission?

EXCERPT:  (as Kwan and sensei Zhong get ready to leave Hong Kong)

Li Zhong surveyed the docks out of habit, checking for possible threat. He’d worried that his inquiries had triggered some alarm on behalf of his former masters, even though no one had approached him openly. Then, he chided himself for being too paranoid. Even in a crowd this size, no one seemed to be particularly interested in them. Why should they be? An old man and a boy taking the ferry across the harbor. Hardly remarkable. Which is just how I want it.

They boarded the ferry without difficulty, Kwan rushing onto the upper level that provided a better view, taking a seat close to the rail, her pack next to her feet. He hurried to keep up with her puppy-like enthusiasm. The wind blew warm across the water, ripe with the smell of salt air. It felt good to be going somewhere for a purpose.

He wiped his brow on his sleeve and counted the beats of his racing heart, willing it to slow down. You’re getting to be an old man, my friend. His lips clamped together, he stared at the steel-and-glass buildings of the city as the ferry crossed the harbor, using that concentration to calm himself. Kwan needed him.

He had let that thought drive him though the last two months as the details of this grand mission came together. Determined to make this voyage, she would have gone by herself if he had not accompanied her. The idealism of the young—How long had it been since he’d believed that right would succeed in this life, just because it should? Reality was often quite different. What was moral, or right, often surrendered to a less-noble imperative. Sometimes, it was a financial cause, but more often a political agenda. Like the intent of those misguided souls who’d launched the SH.

While anti-American proponents around the world celebrated the initial attack, the terrorists had not only killed their chosen target but themselves and a major percentage of the non-white population of the world. Sloppy work. That’s what happened when you let amateurs run the show.

Another reason why his presence here was necessary. He could only pray that his aging heart would allow him to continue until the journey’s end. The doctors, both Western and Eastern, had warned him of his limited life expectancy. An old stab wound had never quite healed, the legacy of an assassination attempt years before. But Kwan didn’t know this. And he wouldn’t tell her.

Sneak Peek Sunday BannerWord has it at my publishing house that this trilogy could be the new Hunger Games… strong girls, damaged heroes, determined villains, a cast of interesting and diverse characters with plenty of action and still plenty of heart. It’s a great read for young men and women both. Pick up your copy on June 15!

Find more great snippets this week at Sneak Peek Sunday!

Meet Hydra author Rachel Hunter!

As the final day of the Hydra Blog Hop arrives, we have young author Rachel Hunter with us, with her book Empyreal Fate, first in the Llathalan Annal series.

Author Bio:

   Rachel Hunter has always been fascinated with words and the intricate way in which they combine. Since a child, she has been an avid writer, winding vibrant tales and elaborate stanzas on folded bits of paper. As the years passed, her love of words never died; her adoration for reading fared no equal. Always with her nose in a book, Rachel took fondly to works spanning all genres. Yet it was the compelling grasp of fantasy and science fiction that wrenched her fascination above all.
    In 2007, Rachel was selected a state winner of the Minnesota Promising Young Writers Program. Accordingly, her winning poem, It All Starts with Creativity, was published in An Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans. Senior year of high school proved another momentous year. A winner of the Oklahoma Young Writers Competition, Rachel was awarded with publication of her Sestina of Elven Regret in the 2010-2011 anthology, Growing Voices. In March of 2012, Rachel published her first short story with Trestle Press, titled, Perfect Nothing, which recounted her harrowing relationship with an eating disorder and was also fueled by her passion for psychology. But her writing does not end there. While currently pursuing a degree in nursing at the University of Oklahoma, she aspires also to illuminate the creative spark of eager readers. In her desire to incite intrigue, she is exploring new worlds and creating vast empires of her own. Empyreal Fate is only the first in her Llathalan Annal series. Indeed, it is only the beginning.


Empyreal Fate Blurb:

Filled to the brim with forbidden love, an ancient evil, and a nation in disrepair, Empyreal Fate is a tale of riveting bravery and mortal corruption.

 

The land of Llathala lingers on the brink of war between men and elves, a dark history surrounding each race. Stirred by tensions of the land, a shadow of the past reemerges, taking precedence in reality and consuming the very soul of mans’ mortal weakness. Darrion, the son of a poor laborer, is ensnared in a hostile world, forced to choose between loyalty to his king or the counsel of the elves. Yet Fate has other plans in store, tying his course to Amarya, an elven royalblood of mysterious quality and unsurpassable beauty. But this forbidden connection incites betrayal from members of their own kin, marking them as traitors to the crown. In a land torn asunder, only Fate’s decree can allow such love to coexist with an ancient enmity.

 

Behold: A Llathalan Annal: Empyreal Fate – Part One.



Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Empyreal-Fate-Llathalan-Annal-Volume/dp/0615638589
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Empyreal-Fate-Llathalan-Rachel-Hunter/dp/0615638589


Empyreal Fate Excerpt:

Drevan’s loins grew hot as he watched the sway of the woman’s body, and
he felt the urge to see her full – to gaze upon her womanly figure and marvel at her
sensitive places. It was not often he felt such appetence, and he relished it now,
taking pleasure in the maddened spur that gripped him.


            He wet his lips as she flicked her bronze hair to the side and stared at the
exposed flesh of her pale neck. He nearly swooned on the spot – the heat of his body
intense – and had to grasp hold of the trunk to keep straight. Then, from beneath a
tumbled lock, the woman’s pointed ear was revealed. Drevan caught his breath midthroat,
nearly choking. He bit his tongue as reality struck a blow. This woman –
she
belonged to the elves!

-–Scene from Empyreal Fate– Part One of Rachel Hunter’s Llathalan Annal series.

 

Contact Links:

Blog: http://www.rachel-m-hunter.blogspot.com

Website: http://www.rachel-m-hunter.yolasite.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-Hunter/170131499766376
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/young_author
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Empyreal-Fate-Llathalan-Annal-ebook/dp/B007WWB24W

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5762735.Rachel_Hunter

 

Welcome Hydra author Dianne Gardner!

As part of this week's Hydra Publications author blog hop, today I'm hosting fantasy writer Dianne Gardner and her book Deception Peak.
 

Synopsis

The first book of a trilogy, Deception Peak is a young adult adventure fantasy about a teenager, Ian Wilson, who follows his father through a portal that magically appears on their computer screen. They travel into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life. But when the two are separated, Ian is abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and is forced to find his courage. As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search to find his father, Ian meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm. It's then that he learns there is a greater purpose for being there.

Link to the Deception Peak book trailer: http://youtu.be/7nhN62CmJsI

 
And a teaser link as well : http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0090009/photos/77081516@N03/7842689196/

Excerpt:

They came to a bend lined with thick brush that rose over their heads. The passage led them through giant firs into a part of the forest wild with sword ferns and fallen trees.  The rapping of a woodpecker hollowing a rotten trunk echoed through the thicket. The whisper of wind brushed the tree limbs high above his head, causing dots of sunlight to dance on the forest floor. Ian was awed by the forest’s beauty, yet he was terrified by what might await them at the next crook in the trail.

To learn more about this book or the author, Dianne Gardner, see her amazon author page or contact her directly:
 
 

Welcome Hydra author R.S. Hunter!

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc. Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?  

It’s great to be here. I’m R.S. Hunter, a science fiction, fantasy, and horror author from sunny San Diego. I live in the suburbs so I use writing as a way to escape them.

 Unlike a lot of writers I know, I don’t drink coffee. However, I am a sucker for a good craft beer. (One of the perks of living in San Diego). All I need when I write is my laptop and my headphones. That’s what you’ll find on my desk, which also doubles as my kitchen table.

 Tell us about your new novel, coming in September from Hydra Publications. 

My debut novel, The Exile’s Violin, the first book of the Tethys Chronicles, is a steampunk adventure tale that follows a young woman’s quest to unravel the mystery surrounding her parents’ murder. Along the way she teams up with bored socialite Clay Baneport, and the two of them discover a conspiracy that threatens the fate of the world.

 How would you best describe your books?

 I have a lot of experience with video games and writing about them, so I think because of that, my books have a very strong visual quality to them. A lot of times when I write, I try to picture how the scene would look in a movie or in a game.

 The Exile’s Violin has clear steampunk influences along with parts that feel like action/adventure movies. But I’ve also been told that some parts of it have some noir influences. I wasn’t trying to channel that when I wrote the book and characters, but I can’t say I’m complaining!

 What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

 My favorite genres to write and read are speculative fiction. Hands down. I’ve been in love with genre fiction ever since I saw Star Wars as a small child. I also like horror a little bit, but it comes in third after SFF. To clarify, I like horror books. Horror movies on the other hand scare the hell outta me. No thank you.

 I wrote The Exile’s Violin and its sequel, Terraviathan, because they were the books I wanted to write at the time. I don’t try to chase trends or try to jump on the next big thing. I write what I like—explosions, science fiction, fantasy, gun fights, sword fights, etc.—and I just try to make sure it ends up being the best damn book I’m able to produce.

 

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

 I love being able to create new worlds and characters. That’s one of the best parts about speculative fiction; I’m not hampered by real locations and people.

 Many other writers out there all say things like they started writing when they were 4 etc. etc. Not me. I’ve loved reading all my life, but I didn’t start writing fiction until college. I asked the professor of my World Literature class if I could write a story instead of writing a final paper. She said yes. I wrote the story. Passed the class. Workshopped the story the next semester, and then it became the first thing I ever had published.

 Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

 I want to find a local SFF writing group that focuses on novels rather than short fiction, but I haven’t had any luck yet. As far as websites go, I like Absolute Write and Goodreads. I also have a bunch of “name generator” websites bookmarked. Those sites are life savers.

 Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

It all depends on my mood. Sometimes I listen to videogame music, remixes, and electronica. Other times I’ll listen to heavy metal or classic rock. I have to have music on while writing though. Silence and me are enemies.

 Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many stories did you write before selling one?

 The first piece I had published was a short story called “Runner” in the Abaculus II science fiction and fantasy anthology. The Exile’s Violin will be my first published novel. I know it’s incredibly rare to have your first novel also be your first one published, but the book has undergone significant changes between when I first wrote it and where it’s at today.

 What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

 Right now I’m working on revising and polishing Terraviathan, the sequel to The Exile’s Violin. Unfortunately due to financial reasons, I won’t be able to travel to any conventions. There might be a few local signings around the San Diego area, but there’s nothing definite yet.

 Readers can visit my website (http://rshunter-author.com) for more information about me and my work. And of course, follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/rshunter88). I love talking about writing, speculative fiction, videogames, TV, and just about anything on there.

THE STORY:

 
Why hire mercenaries to kill an innocent family just to obtain one little key? That question haunts Jacquie Renairre for six years as she hunts down the people responsible for murdering her parents.
 
Not even accepting an assignment to investigate a conspiracy that aims to start a war can keep her from searching for the key. Armed with her father’s guns and socialite Clay Baneport, she continues her quest for answers abroad.
 
With the world edging closer to disaster, Jacquie is running out of time to figure out how the war, the key, and ancient legend are intertwined. The fate of the world hinges on her ability to unravel both mysteries before it’s too late.

 

Thanks so much for coming by today–steampunk is definitely an up and coming genre, and I’m sure this book will be fabulous!   Lyndi

Meet Hydra author Kate Lynd!

As part of this week’s “Getting to Know You” blog hop for the Hydra Authors, we kick off with Kate Lynd. Welcome, Kate!

Growing up I loved all forms of escapism. Film, books, television. It was all the same to me. And I always, given my background, wanted to be rescued, but as I got older I found the victim role to be less appealing, and I wanted a bad ass heroine to be. And I found myself, whenever I wrote, casting the hero as my favorite actor (high school it was Scott Bakula, how I loved Quantum Leap), and me as the heroine. That still true today.

 In my most recent release, GLADIATOR, I chose Daniel Craig. To be honest most times I choose Daniel Craig. He’s such a brute force and has this bad ass quality that won me over in Casino Royale and his tender side flashed a bit in that film too. Of course an easy pick would have been Russell Crowe. And at one point I might have picked him, but these days it’s all about Daniel.

 GLADIATOR tells the tale of Tristan Shane, a man who in an effort to avoid fighting loses his family in a swift act of brutality and is enslaved and forced to fight to the death for the mob’s and the new regime’s pleasure. Until one night the queen comes to him and demands the unthinkable, murder her innocent sister for fear she is the Healer prophesized believed to be sent to usher in a new world of equality and healing.

 Tristan was a great hero to write about. His heart twisted and jaded, the Healer changes everything for him, and for the first time since the loss of his family he begins to believe their might be hope for him. To say much more would be to give away what was so much fun to write about him. And seeing Daniel Craig as this character was easy for me. I was on so much caffeine while penning this sometimes I forget what writing some passages were like. But I remember thinking I hope people really like this story. But then, don’t all authors feel that way?

 My heroes now are less soft and have more of a world weariness to them. And my heroines my have been through hell, but they don’t feel sorry for themselves and maybe have an edge all their own. I hope you pick up GLADIATOR. It’s my favorite book I’ve written to date. It’s out now. And the second book, ORACLE, is targeted for March of next year. But that’s another blog.

Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to answer you. I love hearing from my readers. Or even potential readers. Until then, happy scribbles.

 

BUY LINK:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_12?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=gladiator+kate+lynd&sprefix=gladiator+ka%2Caps%2C194

For more information:

http://Creative-Chatter.blogspot.com 

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