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If you thought a poltergeist was bad–what about a deadly cyber-geist?

    


 

Maxx Fragg, V.P.I.

 

S.A. Check
Genre: Young Adult / Sci-fi / Paranormal
Release Date:09/03/15

 

Publisher Ink Smith Publishing

 

Cover Designer: Macy Stom
 
pasted image 0When Maxx lost his brother in a car accident, his world fell apart.  It didn’t help he was driving the car when it happened.  Finding an escape inside the virtual world of Other Syde, Maxx runs the Maxx Fragg Virtual Paranormal Investigative Agency with his best friend, Tane. But in a world where dreams become reality, can nightmares be far behind?

      When a real ghost attacks Maxx inside the program, he’s saved by the last person he ever expected to see again, his brother. Risking everything for a chance to say he’s sorry, Maxx, Tane, and Maxx’s almost-girlfriend Emi, need to figure out why real ghosts are haunting a virtual world while on the run from a murderous cyber-geist, high-tech security guards, a corrupt corporation with their own plans for the technology, the recluse genius who created the program, and Maxx’s own demons.

About the Author

 

 
 

 

Excerpt
Tucked between the shadows and the night, standing in a darkened corner of the room, Maxx Fragg watched the young couple huddled on the couch. They had no idea what he had in store for them. He almost felt sorry. Almost. He watched as Travis stroked Debbie’s hand and whispered something in her ear. Maxx locked eyes with her as he moved across the apartment. He saw the desperation mixed with fear in her eyes and he grinned. He liked it that way. Pulling a pair of gloves from his belt, Maxx cinched them tight around his wrists. The rush of adrenaline rose up from his chest. This was far from his first job but he still got a thrill each time. He clicked off the lamp and the room went black.
         Debbie gasped. “Can’t we leave a few lights on?”
         “I prefer to work in the dark. It helps me concentrate,” Maxx said. It really didn’t matter but he felt it intensified the experience.
         “I think I’d rather see what’s coming.” Travis pulled a cushion on his lap, clutching the fabric.
         “Why? You expecting a pillow fight?” Maxx dropped the equipment bag slung over his shoulder.
         Debbie jumped. “What are you going to do with that?”
         “What I’m being paid to do. My job.” Maxx nodded across the room to his partner, who shook his head in disapproval. Bending next to the couch, Maxx slowly unzipped the bag. He was close enough to see the goose bumps on Debbie’s arm rise with each click.
         “I don’t care what it takes. Just get that thing out of my house,” Travis said.

         “Don’t worry. You’ll be ghost free in no time.” Maxx knew his clients needed to believe he could make it better, take away their fears. If only it was that simple. Everyone wanted to name the night, put a label on their personal horrors. He wished someone could shut the door to the monsters in his own closet.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this… Sci-Fi Fantasy Saturday for 1-25

Greetings from the frozen Northland! I used to live in Montana, where THE ELF MAGE is set, and I decided to leave there because it just got too cold in the winter. So today I woke up to -3 (-16 with the wind chill) here in Pennsylvania, and in Missoula, it’s 22 degrees. What’s up with that?

cvr200x300elfmageAnyway, as I sit here bundled up in my chair and just my fingers sticking out so I can type, I wanted to share a snippet of THE ELF MAGE, part of the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series. This piece is near the beginning of the third book, just after the elf prince has been abducted by persons or elves unknown and the clan nearly destroyed. Daven Talvi, whose pride helped bring things to this point, has come to after being knocked out in a fight, in the queen’s enchanted home, finding himself alone and everything in shambles:

Astan had many times expressed his concern since the queen came to live in the forest with the clan, worried that Grigor had not perished alone in the forests, and that he would return to avenge his dead master Bartolomey. But Daven had counseled his son not to take action, to wait and watch. Astan disagreed, but obeyed his father, as duty required.

            And look where that has brought you.

            Truly Daven had underestimated the evil Grigor held within him, the sense of blackness that still pervaded the atmosphere inside the queen’s home. As a fullblood elf, well-trained in the ways of divination, Daven perceived several mental voices, several personas who had left the barest impression of themselves behind, an impression of menace and ill-will.

            Something about one in particular felt familiar to Daven. Something he had not felt for many years. Something so vague he couldn’t put a name to it yet. But he would.

***SFFSat logo

And thus begins a transformation that will lead to the biggest battle this clan has ever endured…that may be the end of them all.

For more on the series, visit the Clan Elves page or my tab above, or check it out at Amazon.com .

For other amazing snippets from sci-fi fantasy authors around the world, check out this week’s edition of SFFS here!

Wake up and smell the coffee–or whatever that is… SFFS for Dec. 14

Greetings from frosty Pennsylvania! With nearly two months of winter weather down, I’d say that we were pretty lucky this year to have mild conditions, but I don’t want to jinx us all! 🙂 Either way, it’s a great day to stay inside and read, SFFSat logoand the Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday team has some great snippets to introduce you to authors around the world this morning. Check them out here.

For my snippet today, I’ve returned to my science fiction romance that came out earlier this year, A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE.  Our heroine, Kylie Sanderson, is a lead investigator with the elite Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce team (SIRT, for short), and she’s been assigned to a case where a serial killer is dumping bodies of dead women, each partially mutated into a lizard form. As more of them are found, the heat is on for a solution and arrest of the perpetrator:

***

After the lab techs had analyzed the evidence, Kylie, as the squad deputy supervisor, prepared to give the daily briefing. Wishing she could prop her eyes open with toothpicks, she settled for popping two amp pills, and yawned as the fifteen members of the team gathered.

Her team met in the largest conference room of their digs, which were the best available in town. Boxes of evidence piled onto the table in the center of the room, allowing each team member scant space for their computers. She sat on the windowsill, watching the street six stories down as the team grabbed their morning sustenance.

After the sleepless night she’d spent haunted by the victim’s hideous face, the buzz of male voices, men laughing and joking about the usual crap–sports, spouses or subordinates–got on her nerves. She activated the computer projector, the first picture on the screen a full-on picture of the two bodies in the dumpster. Without the smell to accompany it, the view was nearly tolerable, but all the same, she didn’t look. Been there, done that. No one wanted the T-shirt.

***

asmalldegreeofhope3It’s tough to be a woman in a male-dominated field, but throw in murderous aliens, and life just gets pretty complicated.

“Teach me, Kylie Sanderson. Show me how to make love like a human.”– Griff

Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.
Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planet’s women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.
When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?

The novel is published by Lyrical Press, and is available in ebook for Kindle, Nook and other ebook platforms. Stay warm and enjoy!

The road goes on–SFFS for December 7

MB910216387I’m currently working on the second volume of the YA dystopic Color of Fear series, a follow-up to WINDMILLS, tentatively titled JOURNEYS. Having left San Francisco on their way to points east, Lin Kwan and Xi San, traveling separately, have each met new companions on the way to their destination.

San has linked up with some Nebraska college professors he found outside Yosemite, along with their young black inner-city fellow traveler Teremesha Johnson. One thing they all agree on is that they’re opposed to the racist white cult leader Gabriel, whose stated mission is to rid the country of the minorities now in greater numbers post-terrorist attack. They’re just not sure how they can attack him:

   A mocking tone in his voice, Terry said, “You really believe we’re ready to bust a move, us with our four, five little pieces and stolen jackets and cereal boxes?”

   “We survivors need to desire to live the right way, in harmony with the land and each other, not like that racist Gabriel,” Marie said quietly. “We’ve been spared, even if we don’t yet see why. We’ll have to do what it takes, together—black, white, Asian—it doesn’t matter.”

   Ballard’s glance slid over the others and came back to Marie. “I hope you’re not characterizing me as similar to that fellow by pointing out I’m a white man. Heaven knows the white man has been blamed for enough of what’s wrong with America—what?” he barked as Terry muttered under his breath.

   Marie stifled a smile. “He said you shouldn’t be so uppity about being white. The fact you’re still alive probably demonstrates there’s plenty of color in your family genetic woodpile.”

***

There’s plenty of time to catch up on WINDMILLS before book two gets turned in– here’s the blurb, if you Windmills1haven’t seen it yet:

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.

Here’s the link to Amazon–http://www.amazon.com/Windmills-Color-Fear-Lyndi-Alexander-ebook/dp/B00E7ADV32/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-3&qid=1386388328

It’s available in ebook and paperback, and a great Christmas book for the readers on your list. 🙂

SFFSat logoFor lots of other science fiction and fantasy snippets for your Saturday, check out the SFFS main page here.  Stay warm, everyone!

Consequences of a helping hand–SFFS for 11-2

Okay, I’m going to try again. SFFSat logo

Last week, I thought I’d signed up for SFFS, but apparently I hadn’t quite made it. You could check it out here, if you missed it.

Today’s snippet is also from HORIZON STRIFE, the second book in the Horizon Crossover series.  As the book opens, a mysterious illness is beginning to affect members of the Doubtful‘s crew. Dani Jamar, who runs engineering, is one of those first laid up in the infirmary. This leaves xenophobe Benzi Quinn in charge of the department.

On his way back to his quarters after a very long shift, Benzi finds one of the aliens who works in engineering unconscious in a hallway:

***

Benzi stared at the wall, trying to ignore the graying skin and labored breathing of the alien, then that despised pity crept in again, and he relented. “Damn me, I can’t leave him like that.”

            This time, he leaned his back against the wall and put his feet square against Halian’s thick arm. Digging his toes under Halian’s shoulder, he slowly straightened his knees, pushing with all his might, till the big alien flopped over on his side. The pressure released, Benzi crashed to the floor, ass first, sending a wave of pain up his jolted spine right to the top of his head.

            His groan echoed down the hall, and he fell sideways, holding his aching noggin. When he opened his eyes, he found himself staring at Halian’s wide hind end. His stunned, tingling nerves wouldn’t even let him move away. He was stuck.

            “Bleeding fried chicken gums!” he growled through clenched teeth.

***

cvr200x300horizonstrifeNo good deed goes unpunished, isn’t that how the saying goes? Poor Benzi. Poor Halian, too.

The novel, in final edits, is expected out next spring. I’m working on volume three, HORIZON DYNASTY, as a NaNoWriMo project, hoping to get a first draft down quick and dirty. Any of the rest of you use NaNo for that purpose? Or doing it in general?  What do you like about it? Or dislike?

For more great snippets from a variety of Sci-fi and fantasy authors from around the world, check out Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday, this week and every week!

(P.S., if you haven’t had a chance to read the first series book HORIZON SHIFT yet, you can still pick it up here. Enjoy!)

Is reputation everything? SFFS Oct. 26

Hello, sci-fi fans and friends! I’m finally getting things back on track after a whirlwind summer from hell that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. (Well, maybe on my WORST enemy. Just sayin’.)

cvr200x300horizonstrifeI’ve been nose-deep in the second novel in the Horizon Crossover series, and just now am coming up for air, about to submit it for editing. Those of you who are writers may sympathize with the issue, in series writing, of trying to get back into the flow of a cast of characters and a setting after you’ve worked on other things in between. *raises hand* Learned my lesson here. So I’ll go right into book three, HORIZON DYNASTY as a NaNoWriMo project so I can kick out the first draft while I’m still immersed in these people’s lives.

Today’s snippet is set in a repair and parts shop in the city of Roandock, on planet Marriel. Under-the-table dealer Jowalt Edwards has been approached by Temms Rogers and his mercenary captain friend C.T. Dutton for information about some mysterious alien artifacts associated with the Ancients. Rogers has previously learned that the Ancients seeded the universes with their progeny and are actively trying to re-engage with those left behind.  Jowalt, however, is less than excited about that:

***
Jowalt rolled his dark eyes. “Yeah, you want to harvest the artifacts and build yourself a superweapon.”

            Temms couldn’t have been more surprised if Jowalt had punched him in the face. “I—what?”

Jowalt’s gaze darted from one of them to the other like a vole hyped up on speed. “That’s what the scuttlebutt says–you hunted down a gob of those artifacts already, and you used them to destroy an empire where you came from. You’re looking for these so you can challenge the Agency and you’re going to destroy the worlds.”

            A shocked silence settled over the room at his pronouncement, then C.T. started laughing.

            “All this time I’ve been associating with a destroyer of worlds, and I didn’t even know it? Hey, Temms, why haven’t you just singlehandedly blown up Agency headquarters by now?”

***

It sure would have saved a lot of time, I suppose, but that’s obviously not what happened. 🙂

Hope to be here more regularly, with new material. You’re all still plugging away–I’m proud of you!

Never a dull moment…

Happy Saturday scifi and fantasy fans! Hope you have something lovely planned–here in beautiful Crawford County, it’s the last night of the huge fair…demolition derby and fireworks! Highlight of the backwoods week. 🙂

cvr200x300horizonstrifeBut out in space, book two of the Horizon Crossover series is slowly coming together. HORIZON STRIFE picks up a year after Temms Rogers and his crew burst through a wormhole into a new universe. They face new issues and new enemies:

After his sudden, shocking arrival in the Mariel star system, his ship broken and crew decimated, Captain Temms Rogers has fought his way back to self-sufficiency, even prosperity, in a new universe with his new crew. Over the months, he’s established a reputation as a fair and competent mercenary ship—if someone’s got a job, he can handle it. His fledgling alliance with the powerful Consortium has opened many doors for him, and he repays that support with his loyalty.

As time goes on, what appeared to be a rosy future begins to pale. First, the Consortium’s system rival, The Agency, takes notice of Rogers’ efforts to rally the other independent ship owners against them, and trouble isn’t far behind. Worse, those officers who crossed over through the wormhole with Rogers have begun to fall ill, victim to a local virus or germ to which they’ve never been exposed or developed immunity.

 Just when he needs his ship at full battle readiness, Rogers finds his crew incapacitated, one by one, leaving the new recruits from this side of the barrier to try to rescue them from impending death.

Even as he deals with these possibilities, Rogers finds he has to face a horrifying fate worse than that of his crew: a lovesick doctor determined to marry him—or else!

So here’s today’s snippet, from the opening chapter:

The door slammed open, and the two men, blindfolded and bound, were shoved inside, bouncing off the hallway’s narrow walls. “Keep moving!” barked the man who’d brought them. He planted a hand firmly in the back of the second in command of the ship Ramman and pushed him ahead into the darkness.

“Captain, what do they want?” the second gasped between clenched teeth.

“Shut up,” his captain replied. Jak Moster had been around this cosmos for nearly sixty-five annuals, forty of those dealing with the financial monster called the Agency. The organization controlled the way free captains did business in nearly the whole interplanetary sector, on an unofficial basis. The local governments couldn’t—or wouldn’t—take action against them.

He had a pretty good idea what was wanted here–most important now was the ability to stay alive through this encounter. It might happen, too.

***

Poor Jak. Not a good time to be wrong.

If you haven’t read HORIZON SHIFT yet, it’s still available. Check it out here:

PAPERBACK LINKS:
| Alibris.com
| Amazon.com
| Amazon.UK
| Barnes & Noble

or also on Kindle.

SFFSat logoFor more wonderful snippets for FREE, check out the rest of today’s list at Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday!

 

 

Never trust a pirate–SFFS for July 27

Whew.

After a summer that’s been plagued with some serious personal issues, I think I’m finally back on track. Life goes on, as they say, and it’s time to get back to my book babies, making sure they’re all warm and loved.

I’m so proud to have had my books featured on this blog over the last few months–thank you, my friends! Now it feels like coming home. 🙂

cvr200x300triadToday’s snippet is from TRIAD. The Solarii have launched a daring, two-pronged rescue attempt of their man Monty Winston, who’s been captured by the space pirates. While the intrepid team goes through the sewer to break into the dungeon and get him, Stefan and Catava, posing as a slaver and his merchandise, try to distract the pirate leader and his men on the main level of the stolen Dragonfleet base. But somehow things just don’t go as they expect…

***

Weapon in hand, Stefan spun to face Marcand. He couldn’t figure out why the pirate hadn’t summoned his guards, but he suspected it was a matter of pride—he wouldn’t let a woman and a skinny trader beat him. “Let her go, Marcand.”

“She’s mine.” Marcand caught Catava’s neck again and turned her back to him, wrapping his sinewy arm across her throat, holding her between him and Stefan. “Back off, Philean, or she’s meat.”

The pirate sucked in deep draughts of air, still trying to catch his breath from her assault. “I knew something reeked of duplicity in this. Who is she, an assassin? Out to kill me for her DragonFleet revenge?”

***

Love it when a plan comes together, right? Ooops.

Find out more about TRIAD at the tab above–or buy it now at Amazon.com in Kindle or paperback.

Ready to read more thrilling snippets? Check out Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday!SFFSat logo

Because they have to…. SFFS for 6-8

SFFSat logoWe all owe a huge debt of thanks to our firefighters, our police, first responders, even those on the Federal level, FBI and Homeland Security, even if we don’t encounter them every day. They do what they do, not for their own self–aggrandizement, but for the health and safety of the rest of us.

In A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE, heroine Kylie Sanderson is part of an interplanetary law enforcement branch that investigates alien incursions and a lot of X-Files kind of things. The Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce (SIRT for short), has come to find out why so many women are dying, ending up in landfills and dumpsters, half-mutated into a reptilian form unknown on the planet.

The investigation takes Kylie much deeper into the reptilian plot than she expected to be, captured by them and transformed into a mindless reptile female. Griff rescues her and she’s treated and nearly healed. But then something worse happens and Kylie’s forced into a deadly choice:

***

“And if you remain reptile?” Griff held her by her shoulders, watching her face with such intensity she almost expected to be burnt by his eyes.

She couldn’t think about that. Right now, all that concerned her was the safety of her sister. “Then it happens.”

He continued to stare at her.

“Griff, when I graduated from the SIRT school, I took an oath, and I believe in that oath. I promised to serve and protect those who weren’t as powerful, who didn’t have choices, who were victims. Not only have I been a victim in this, but my sister’s now pulled in, too. I can’t just walk away.”

***

Hail, hail to those who serve. May they always come home safe and sound.

reptile loveThe blurb:

Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.
Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.

Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.

When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?

Now available at:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-asmalldegreeofhope-1216809-343.html

http://www.amazon.com/A-Small-Degree-Hope-ebook/dp/B00D0G1B0Y/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-small-degree-of-hope-lyndi-alexander/1115425659

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-small-degree-of-hope/id626158615?mt=11

And for more great Saturday snippets, check out the loop here!

 

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.

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