I traveled to Austin, Texas this week at the invitation of my publisher, Liz Burton of Zumaya Publications, for a launch party for the second book in the Color of Fear series, DESTINATIONS.
The first adventure was tracking down the books. Liz had brought so much stuff for Zumaya, that she’d inadvertently left the box with the books at home. She had to send someone to get them. So we sold other books and held on to the dozens of colorful cupcakes she ordered for the occasion.
Along with Rie Sheridan Rose and Gloria Oliver, we got the table inventoried and set up while we were waiting. The dealer’s room was populated with really nice people–I’d never heard of Armadillocon, but it appears to be a science-fiction based con, with a lot of really interesting discussions and panels from the Aztecs to the DNA of mummies. Who knew?
Finally we got the table set up, the drawing ready to go and we let her rip!
The afternoon went faster than I expected, and the books looked great. I had to laugh that the guy across from us tried a unique technique to attract readers. He tied his book to a long string and set it in the middle of the floor, drawing them in a bit at a time.
All in all, it was a huge amount of fun meeting these writers and readers. We had a great day and followed it with a wonderful dinner.
If you couldn’t get to Austin this weekend, remember you can order your very own copy of DESTINATIONS on Amazon.com or other online booksellers:
Xi San saved the life of a mysterious girl one night in his ravaged San Francisco neighborhood. He can’t get her out of his mind, but believes that she’s lost to him.
Lin Kwan came to America to bring her scientist father Chinese medicinal herbs, hoping to stop the virus that killed most of the world’s Caucasians before it mutates to infect the rest of the world. On her way to finding him, she meets again the man who once saved her, a man she can’t forget.
With a diverse group of fellow travelers, they head for St. Louis, where civilization is being rebuilt. Between them and safety, danger lurks—Gabriel, a self-styled religious leader and white supremacist, who has organized his army from Upper Midwest survivalist and militia followers, determined to take revenge for the white man.
But Gabriel isn’t their only enemy. Before they reach their destination, they will battle nature, prejudice and even those hidden among them who wish their destruction.
AND there’s a Goodreads giveaway for a copy of WINDMILLS and DESTINATIONS through August 7–https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/99329-windmills PASS IT ON!!
Eddie Garrick is one of my favorite characters of the Color of Fear series–he’s telling the story of his journey across a virus-devastated America in the Splendid Expedition of Eddie Garrick, Esquire. Come check out his backstory, and get ready for the next book, DESTINATIONS, coming from Zumaya Publications in July 2014.
Tags: adventure, author, book, Color of Fear, cross-country, Destinations, Eddie Garrick, journey, life on the road, Lyndi Alexander, post-apocalyptic, publishing, San Francisco, science fiction, terrorist attack, vigilante, Windmills, writer, writing, YA, Zumaya
Today begins a new column here at the Worlds of Fancy, where one of the characters in The Color of Fear series gets the chance to share his story, one that isn’t told directly in WINDMILLS or DESTINATIONS. His life and journey, however, impact all the other characters’ lives in ways they could never have suspected.
Eddie’s wry observations of life on the road as he leaves the home he’s always known in San Francisco for a life away from the smell of death and the danger of the street gangs. He didn’t intend to go alone, but when his best and only remaining friend Xi San refused to give up his self-appointed job as vigilante protector of their Pacific Heights neighborhood, he didn’t have much choice.
Eddie may no longer have the cutting blog he loved back when they had internet as free as running water, but he can cut and piece a good journal together. You’re invited to come along on his journey. You might see some country you’ve never seen. You might meet some people you’d never have imagined you’d know. But you will meet one indomitable spirit, who helps save what’s left of America after the terrorist attack known as the Second Holocaust.
(For more on the story, click the WINDMILLS tab above–and stay tuned for DESTINATIONS, coming this summer from Zumaya Publications!)
Tags: adventure, author, book, cross-country, Destinations, Eddie Garrick, journey, life on the road, Lyndi Alexander, post-apocalyptic, publishing, San Francisco, science fiction, terrorist attack, vigilante, Windmills, writer, writing, YA
Welcome author Katherine Wynter to the blog, with her new book, BLACKOUT!
Zombies walk among us. Look like us. Talk like us.
When Chicago scientist Bryan Southworth found the secret to eternal life through nanocell technology, he didn’t know it’d come with a cost: death. The process of Reanimation requires physical death for bio-synthetic cellular replication to take hold, but maintaining eternal life depends on timely injections of fresh cells to replace those used. Should a patient’s supply run too low, the computer chip installed at the base of the neck deactivates consciousness, freeing up the body to seek out new cells any way necessary.
Mikal Edmonds is your average zombie – or Reanimated Citizen as they prefer to be called – on his first date in over a decade when an attack by the religious terrorist group calling themselves the Naturalists changes everything. Now the target of a zealot’s fervor, Mikal’s willpower is tested as he confronts his past and tries to avoid the one thing he fears above all else: a blackout.
He scanned the darkened bar, his gaze passing quickly over worn tables and chairs, couples whispering in darkened booths, drunks playing virtual pool with neon balls projected on an old-style wooden table, and the ever present football game covering the back wall with brightly colored violence but no sound. Life had changed dramatically over the many years since his Reanimation, but a bar was still a bar and people were still people. Under normal circumstances neither interested him.
Few things did.
Blind date. Never should have let them talk me into it.
He spotted her sitting at the bar – right where Jose had promised she’d be – and froze. That hair, strawberry blonde, reached in waves past her shoulders, and her slender silhouette seemed as familiar to him as his own breath. Emily? In his mind, he was sitting at a different bar, and her blue eyes sparkled at a joke of his, something about politics though he didn’t remember what exactly. They had been happy then. Before. No. If Emily were still alive, she’d have to be over a hundred years old; this wasn’t Emily. She had moved on. Probably remarried with children and grandchildren by now.
He shook his head, banishing the unwanted memories, and slid onto an empty bar stool next to the girl who could not possibly be his former wife. How old could this new girl be, anyway? Early twenties? Twenty-five, tops. It didn’t matter. With the potential for surgery and Reanimation, apparent age wasn’t an accurate guide anymore.
She wore a Parisian-Oriental fusion dress which hugged her just enough to be alluring yet showed no more than a small taste of ivory skin and knee-high black leather boots. She was attractive, he was forced to admit. Especially with those green eyes. Green, not blue, he reminded himself. Emily’s eyes had been blue.
“Mikal, I presume,” she took a delicate sip of her pink cocktail then pressed a series of buttons on the touch screen built into the surface of the bar. The noise level faded to a hum as the environmental sensors kicked in, shielding them from their surroundings. He rubbed his sweaty palms on his jeans. He could have changed it back, but explaining why might be awkward. “I expected you to be…older.”
He grunted and leaned away. Even with six inches of space separating them, the heat of her body warmed the chill that never left his skin. “I am older.”
A pink flush spread across her cheeks to the tips of her ears as she looked away.
The gesture seemed quaintly sweet. Almost antiquated. Maybe the date hadn’t been such a bad idea after all.
He sat up a little straighter and tapped the touchscreen twice. “Scotch on the rocks,” he said when the bartender appeared inside the controlled environment. Mikal pricked his finger on the scanner set into the bar and opened his tab. As the drink was prepared, the computer system scanned his manufactured genetic code and registered the purchase to his company account. A yellow light flashed on the scanner, completing the transaction.
“Fucking zombie freaks,” the balding bartender muttered but he still set the scotch down before he disappeared into the hazy background.
“I’m…I’m Rose,” she extended her hand, which he took, her fingers like feathers, steel feathers, against his clammy grip ”It’s such a pleasure to meet you, you have no idea.”
“Same here.” He tried to smile, curling his lips up and baring his teeth. Rose didn’t run, so it probably worked.
He took a long pull of the scotch, savoring the line of fire that trailed down his throat and settled in his stomach. A wave of lightheadedness moved through him, relaxing his muscles and bringing a small sigh to his lips as he settled onto the stool. The sensation faded quickly, however, as the tension returned in a rush. Stuck sober just when I need help the most. Not bothering to lower the controls this time, Mikal gestured for another round and waited for it to appear.
She arched one eyebrow.
Shit. I need to say something.
“Have you been waiting long?” Mikal asked, his stomach knotting as soon as the words passed his throat. What a stupid question to ask. He ran his hand awkwardly through his hair.
“No, not long.” She lifted her glass slightly: “This is my first.” The silken material of her dress parted briefly when she uncrossed and then re-crossed her legs.
He swallowed, hard. The movement had bared her smooth, defined legs along the line of the slit, exposing a tantalizing expanse of thigh for the briefest of moments. He ran his hand though his hair again. “Can I get you another?”
She laughed, a sound like the ringing of small bells, and tossed back the rest of her drink. “I’d like that.”
Mikal signaled for the bartender again, and the conversation stalled while they waited for the drinks to appear. He tried to find something appropriate or suave or at least inoffensive to say, but the words just wouldn’t form in his head much less make their way past his lips. What do girls in this decade like? The only ones he saw were usually naked and dancing on a table at the club where he worked. Do I talk about the weather? Politics? Shopping? Please not shopping.
The empty glasses disappeared and a moment later there were two fresh drinks on the bar next to them. Rose picked up the glass, wrapping her slender fingers around the stem, and sipped. “So, Mikal, my friend tells me that you work at NightWatch. How’s that?”
So it was work then. He shrugged, relieved to be on safe ground. “It’s a job. Had worse – not many people want to employ some like me.”
“You mean a zombie?”
“I used to hate that word but anymore…I guess I’m getting more tolerant as I age.”
Her eyes lit up. “You don’t look a day over thirty-two.”
“Pretty spry for the oldest man alive, huh. Maybe next time I’ll bring a cane.”
She laid a hand gently on his wrist. “Next time?”
Warmth flooded through his hand. Life. She hummed with it, vibrated joy and youth and everything he’d missed by hiding himself away the past few decades. Mikal didn’t move away from her touch. “I’m boring and old. Tell me about yourself. Do you have a job?”
Small lines tightened around the corners of her eyes, only to vanish a moment later. The change was so brief he almost missed it.
“Not right now. The economy, you know. I studied cellular bionics at the university before I had to drop out. Now, without a degree, there aren’t many options for a girl like me.”
“A girl like you?” What was he missing? He couldn’t imagine her having trouble finding work. Problem was, the more desperate people became the more depraved their tastes. He studied the angles of her face again. Had he seen her at NightWatch? He clenched and unclenched his fist. She deserved better than that.
She sipped her cocktail and shrugged delicately.
Can I tell her she’s too beautiful to have trouble finding work? Would she think it flattering or creepy this early in the evening? Girls liked compliments. That couldn’t have changed. Mikal opened his mouth to speak.
That’s when he heard it.
A sound, nothing more than a slight ringing, something that shouldn’t have been able to get through the environmental sensors, pulled his attention. First one and then another shadow flitted across the blurred edges of his vision.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, but he gestured for her to be quiet.
The time for civility had ended. No one should have been that close besides the bartender, and they had already received their drinks.
Mikal tapped the touchpad twice; the environmental controls lowered in response. What he saw didn’t make sense. Half of the bar’s hundred-odd patrons drank contentedly, oblivious to their surroundings.
The other half ran for their lives.
One woman tripped in the mad rush for the front doors, knocking over a chair on her way down as a younger man stepped on her back, using her to vault himself up and over her. Three guys in football jerseys each grabbed one of the antique wooden cue sticks off the wall and used it to shove an older man aside, sending pale ale flying up into the air and startling a couple out of their environmental sensors.
A girl screamed.
A lone man with sunken, bloodshot eyes, loomed in the center of the bar, his balding head glistening from sweat. The jacket of his camo-green duster parted momentarily as he raised his arm, revealing a series of clear tubes filled with a greenish liquid strapped to his chest. Thin wires connected the tops of the tubes.
His left hand rested on what had to be a trigger.
“…deserve to die. You are abominations of existence, a blight on the sight of the God who had given you breath and life. Death is sacred and pure, feared only by those certain of their own damnation. Prepare to face His judgment, monsters, and know the wrath of God!”
Instinct took over. Mikal stood, hooked Rose around the waist, and pulled her over the bar with him.
I’m going to die. His shoulders slammed into the hard concrete floor as shattered glass fell around him like rain. He covered her with his body. Maybe this death will be the last.
The world exploded around them.
Katherine Wynter is a fantasy/horror/steampunk author of novels and short stories. Her debut novel Blackout is being rereleased by Under the Moon, an imprint of Final Sword Productions, in April 2014. Her second novel, Reaper Legacy, is due out later this year.
Katherine fell in love with the horror and fantasy genres at a young age, hiding in libraries whenever she had the chance and reading till they made her leave – usually by throwing her book out the door so she was forced to follow. When she was old enough for an allowance, she spent it exclusively at bookstores and began building her own library which has grown and been donated only to grow again like a bookish vestigial tail. Although she once planned a career in genetic engineering so she could create her own time traveling dragon, she abandoned this profession when it became clear that sometimes the best science lives only in the imagination of readers. (Okay, her friends pointing out that said dragon, should she create it, would probably just end up having her for lunch instead of letting her ride its back may have also influenced that decision.)
On a less crunchy note, Katherine lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and three insane cats of doom and destruction. She’s an avid reader, hiker, and world traveler. Nothing makes her day more than taking off for somewhere new and getting to experience different cultures and ways of life (probably why she spent two years with the Peace Corps serving in Kazakhstan).
She’s always happy to answer questions or hear from readers. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website http://www.katherinewynter.com
Dragonfly Publishing has negotiated a great promotion over at Smashwords on the science fiction novels TRIAD, HORIZON SHIFT and HORIZON STRIFE–50 percent off!! That’s less than three bucks or the price of a cup of coffee! Here’s your special codes for those ebooks, and they should be good for the near future.
After five years of silence, the Arkosian space pirates are back to terrorize the sector where Trezanna Len fights to save her Solarii colony, a small group of Terran descendants settled on the planet Induna. To survive, the Solarii need assistance. And soon. Trezanna could ask for help from the neighboring group called Dragonfleet, but its cruel leader Estrella Drake has been on a rampage to annex Solarii space. Estrella would never agree to an alliance with the Solarii. Or would she?
CODE: Get 50% off at Smashwords with the code: ER34U
When Captain Temms Rogers of the Confederation spaceship Doubtful disobeys orders to attack innocent civilians, he and his crew become hunted rebels. In the midst of a desperate space battle, they risk using an experimental alien device that opens a wormhole which hurls them into a new universe.
CODE:Get 50% off at Smashwords with the code: DY37V
In FIVE-STAR REVIEWED Book II of the Horizon Crossover Series, Captain Temms Rogers and the crew of the spaceship Doubtful are caught between a powerful interplanetary group called the Agency and mystical beings known as the Ancients. With the voices of the Ancients haunting his dreams and a mysterious illness plaguing his crew, Rogers must find a derelict space station and discover its secrets before the Agency destroys them all.
CODE:Get 50% off at Smashwords with the code: NK38Y
Don’t miss your chance to read these exciting space operas! Get caught up on the Horizon Crossover series before the final book, HORIZON DYNASTY, is released later this year.
Please pass it on, and I hope you’re enjoying these soon!
First, I’d like to thank Lyndi Alexander for inviting me to be a guest on her blog today. I plan to discuss the setting of my debut novel, Shift Happens, which is now available exclusively on Amazon. At the end of the post, you can enter for a chance to win one of five kindle ebooks of Shift Happens.
Shift Happens takes place in Vancouver, Canada. In this case, I took Mark Twain’s “write what you know” quote literally (although I personally feel he referred to emotions). I’ve lived in Vancouver for many years and definitely know it. Born and raised on the West Coast, I feel at home in the rain, with the ocean breeze, and the picturesque views of snow-capped mountains and dense evergreen forests.
My not-so-secret plan is to spotlight a beautiful city in a beautiful country. With writing Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, I add “supernatural” elements to the location to make it my own, but I keep a lot of the landmarks, street names and areas the same, hopefully preserving the ”feel” of the city. I like mixing the known with the unknown. Isn’t that what Urban Fantasy is all about?
Does that mean every book I write will be set in Vancouver? No. In fact, I’m currently working on a short story set in Maine. Writing a piece with an unfamiliar area takes a lot of research. It’s definitely not the easy way out. What types of birds do they have? Flowers? Trees? What kind of slang do people from the area use? It’s exhausting. As much as I love research, the need for accuracy (total A-type here) means I’ll never do something like Historical Romance. Not only do historical writers have to get the area and landmarks right, they also have to get the time period aspect correct as well—when did they stop wearing pantaloons, when did indoor plumbing come about, when did men wear knee-high boots, etc, etc. Exhausting!
So did I “cop out” by placing my series in Vancouver? I don’t think so. Vancouver fits with the dark, gloomy and rainy image I’m going for with Shift Happens. I needed a city that could be beautiful and bright, and at the same time be seedy and grimy; and all surrounded by the brilliance of pristine nature, namely forests and mountains. In other words, Vancouver! My imagination took me on a journey; one that specifically took place in a city I love.
What’s your take on setting?
Does it matter to you if you read a book set in Vancouver, versus New York or LA?
Do you like it if you read a book set in a place you know really well, or do you find it distracting, even insulting (if they describe a place you like negatively)?
Do you prefer to read about a place you’ve never been to? Escapism at its best?
Thanks for taking a moment to join me. Happy writing and reading!
· HER PAST DESTROYED HER HEART, CAN SHE PUT IT BACK TOGETHER IN TIME?
Andrea McNelly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.
Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.
Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.
A large black wolf trotted into the clearing to confront me. He had a white-tipped snout, white boots and mitts and would have looked cute had he not been the most intimidating Werewolf I’d ever seen. Standing tall and solid, power rolled off of his body. His eyes bore into mine. I sniffed the air. The strong Werewolf scent of rosemary swirled around me, strong and seductive, laced with sugar. A weird fuzzy sensation spread out from my chest. Whoa.
My other form growled low, demanding release, straining against my skin. The energy of the wolves built—layers upon layers of excitement and impatience. The air pulsated with anticipation. They could sense the imminent kill.
Let me out! My other form repeated, throwing her power against my built up walls, howling in defiance.
When the energy of the Werewolves surged, I finally released her. My wolf form flowed out fast, wiping out the feline in little more than a heartbeat. Smaller, weaker and the size of a natural wolf, a Shifter in this form was no match for a Werewolf, especially a dominant one. I had time to meet the eyes of the Alpha for only an instant before the pack leapt forward. My limbs shook. It went against every instinct ingrained within me, but I rolled onto my back—submissive.
Available exclusively in Kindle electronic format on March 27th, 2014
Available in print and all other electronic formats on July 16th, 2014
Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/j.c.mckenzie.author
Facebook Account Name: JC McKenzie
Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/JC_McKenzie
Twitter Account: @JC_McKenzie
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So excited that A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE is back on the “shelves” as a Kensington product now– check it out!
Great new reviews, too–
“…highly recommend this story to young adult to adults who enjoy a smart, well written, interestingly different sci-fi story with lighter romance in it.” Open Book Society
“The author grabs you in the beginning of this amazing story and doesn’t let go. I loved it. I loved the characters; Kylie–she rocks, I’m in awe of her. She’s tough, not perfect, and totally loyal to her family (sort of) and job. Then of course Griff, so sweet and loving and sexy in both forms…” Up All Night, Read All Day Reviews…
Tags: A Small Degree of Hope, adventure, alien, author, book, Kensington, Lyndi Alexander, Lyrical Press, publishing, reptile, science fiction, science fiction romance, shapeshifter, strong women, writer, writing, YA
What could draw poet, explorer, loner and paranoid Mykol Ranglen away from the relative peace of his own ring-in-space habitat?
He has no choice in the matter as one by one acquaintances are murdered or disappear altogether. Propelled by ever changing and deepening mysteries Mykol embarks to uncover secrets which could make people rich beyond their wildest dreams…or tear apart human civilization.
The escalating quest takes him through worlds of many dangerous extremes, leading him to confront the deadly alien Fist of Thorns, extinct species refusing to give up their power over the future, and those racing against him to uncover the secret first. But in the course of his pursuit, he must also face his own secrets. And some of these are even more dangerous.
The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes by Albert Wendland
Cover Art by Bradley Sharp
Foreword by William H. Keith
Space Opera Paperback coming from Dog Star Books in June 2014
What They’re Saying About The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes
“Mystery, heart-pounding adventure, and the dazzling wonders of far-flung space play significant roles in Wendland’s breakout novel, all while gifting us with a mesmerizing tour of alien landscapes destined to get under your skin and remind you of the very reason science fiction exists: Not to escape to other worlds, but to find ourselves within them.”
–Diana Dru Botsford, author of THE DRIFT and FOUR DRAGONS
Inside are alien worlds and titanic space habitats and a brilliant and paranoid hero, all skillfully blended together with long-vanished galactic secrets. Science fiction… good science fiction, by a college professor of literature who loves good SF.”
–From the foreword by William H. Keith, New York Times Bestselling Science Fiction Author
Today’s snippet comes from WIP JOURNEYS, the second volume in the Color of Fear series, that follows WINDMILLS. Lin Kwan and Valery Paz have started their trip east to find Kwan’s father in Cincinnati, carrying their precious medicine, but one of their traveling companions has come up on the losing end of a meeting with a rattlesnake. They stop in Holden, Utah to pick up some medicine at what they think is an abandoned drug store. But they’re not quite right about that:
The display came crashing over on top of Kwan, driven by a heavy male body that took her down. Her head hit the floor and she blinked dizzily, trapped under the man’s weight. Light flashed off the barrel of a gun in his right hand.
She reached out almost instinctively, grabbed the gun from the inside of his grip with her left hand as she flexed her knee into his crotch. He pulled back and she planted her foot solidly in his midsection and pushed, squeezing her fingers tight on the gun, his momentum allowing her to pry it into her own hand. She slapped it into her right, pointing it at him.
Surprised blue eyes locked with hers. “Now just take it easy, miss—”
Another gun cocked, above them. Valery said, “No, chief, you take it easy—get your ass up and I won’t put a bullet in your head.”
Bio-terrorists release a plague in the United States that spreads to kill most of the world’s Caucasian population. As the deadly virus mutates, Tzu Shin, a renowned medical doctor and biologist, defects from China to help 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 he needs to develop a cure. Lonely and missing her parents, she accepts the challenge, traveling with her sensei Li Zhong to the New World.
But a Chinese assassin 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.
Book two should be released some time this summer, and carries the story east as Kwan and her companions head for what remains of civilization in the east, perhaps St. Louis, Cincinnati or beyond, unaware that danger travels with her every step of the way.
Tags: adventure, author, book, journey, Lyndi Alexander, publishing, science fiction, Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, SFFS, St. Louis, strong women, travel, Utah, virus, writing, YA, Zumaya Publications