Friday, 20 October 2017
Thursday, 19 October 2017
Evil's Unlikely Assassin
An Alexis Black Novel
Release: June 6, 2017
Genre : Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Muse It Up Publishing
Number of pages: 290
Word Count: 80K
Cover Artist: Erica Petlit Designs
Tagline: Sometimes it takes evil to kill evil
Vampire Alexis Black is on a mission - to rejoin the human race.
Coerced into signing an ironclad contract by an Angel-with-attitude, Alexis must hunt down and assassinate at least one vampire, werewolf, or creepy crawly every night for fifty years to become human again. Too bad the contract didn’t mention the badass vampire who now rides shotgun in her brain, insatiable bloodlust, or her new I-hate-everything-with-fangs sidekick. If she can fulfill her end of the bargain, her humanity is restored, if not she will be destroyed.
But when a revenge-seeking bloodsucker threatens her city, Alexis must risk everything to ensure there’s a humanity to return to. Since her vampire nature is her greatest weapon to defeat the monsters that threaten her friends and future, Alexis must choose to accept her inner beast or watch those she loves die.
"Evil's Unlikely Assassin is a promising urban fantasy debut that features all that's great about the genre--action, attitude, and ass-kicking." -Jaye Wells, USA Today bestselling author of The Sabina Kane and Prospero's War series
Armed guards pulled me from my cell, and dragged me over the blood splattered Astro-turf. They shackled me to the goal post at the end of a football field turned-execution-chamber, stripped me of my last remaining article of clothing and left me to die.
Ten guards stood in a circle around me, machine guns pointed at my head. They thought they were safe. Five television crews hurried around the arena preparing for tonight’s broadcast. They thought they were safe. A priest knelt in front of a vat of water, blessing it. He thought he was safe. I’m a vampire.
No one was safe.
The announcer grabbed my chin with his pudgy, gloved hand. His mouth spread into an ugly smile before he turned and blocked the crowds view. He cleared his throat and spit. The warm glob landed on my cheek and slid down before dropping to the ground. He would be the first to die.
For five days my human captors tortured me, punished me, abused me. I allowed it. Their acts bought me time to plan my escape. The bitter blood of a family of rats who shared my cell kept me alive, their donation helped remove the last trace of poison that coursed through my veins.
Humans. They thought they got lucky catching one of the Seven Sovereign leaders of the vampire race. It hadn’t been luck. I’d been set up. By the six vampires I trusted the most. Betrayed, martyred, and left for dead at the entrance of a Vampire Apprehension Station. Silver injected in my blood to keep me compliant, close to death, to ensure I didn’t slaughter the humans. Sacrificed because I didn’t agree with their vision of the future and refused to cower to a lesser race.
Betrayal was an ugly thing.
But so was revenge.
The stadium lights flickered on and flooded the field in a cold white light. I lowered my head and let my greasy hair shield my eyes from the glare. Soft footfalls approached, bringing the all-too-familiar smell of body odor and peppermint with them. For five nights the same pungent odor visited me to pray for my undead soul.
My gaze followed the priest’s movements. He dipped a chalice into a vat of water, and raised the cup in the air, drops of water sloshed over the sides and fell to the ground. He walked over to me, the beads of his crucifix clicking against the gold cross.
“Delano Melazi, I’ll ask you again. Shall I pray for your undead soul?”
I ignored him tonight as I’ve done the last five times he asked me this question. It wasn’t my soul he needed to pray for, and it wasn’t my body they would be burying this evening.
A moment of silence stretched between us. He huffed and gestured for the guards. Two hurried over. “Hold his head.” Warm fingers dug into my scalp and forced me to meet the priest’s eyes. The twinkle in his baby blues was more devil than saint.
“By the authority of the church, I mark you as one of the damned.” He dipped his index finger into the chalice. The water rippled. He pulled his finger out and pressed it to the center of my forehead. It sizzled against my skin and burned along the two lines the priest traced with his finger. My fangs sank into my tongue, holding back my agonized scream. I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of enjoying my pain.
“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,” he finished. The guards dropped their hold on my head and it fell back to my chest.
The holy water cross was meant to weaken me, to stop me from fighting when the executioner came out and the real damage was inflicted. On a less powerful vampire, a younger one, it was effective, but I was almost seven hundred years old. I possessed more power than anyone knew, even the vampires who sent me here.
The Sovereign leaders called my capture a small sacrifice, a peace offering to the human race. I called it a punishment, a crime, an injustice.
Static from the Jumbo-Tron played over the speakers. The announcer’s voice boomed through the stadium. The crowd cheered, excited to witness my demise. And they called the vampires monsters.
“This week, two brave VAU agents captured one of the Vampires’ leaders. Delano Melazi.” The crowd booed and hissed their hatred. “He alone is responsible for the Nightclub Massacre.”
I had nothing to do with it, but let them believe what they wanted. I had no quarrel with them, just like a wolf has no quarrel with a sheep.
Once the crowd quieted down the announcer continued. “A tragedy no human will ever forget. You’ve seen the pictures. Over one hundred and thirty humans captured, tortured, torn to pieces.” He paused and stepped closer. I felt the warmth of his flesh and heard the beating of his heart. “This monster locked those doors. This monster slaughtered your friends and family in cold blood. This monster deserves to pay.”
His words worked the already agitated crowd into frenzy. They raised their fists high in the air and yelled for my death.
Just a few moments more, that’s all I needed. Seconds until my power was restored.
The announcer’s fat fingers grabbed my hair, pulled my head back and forced me to look into the camera. “Tonight he will pay. He will suffer. He will die.” His words echoed around the stadium.
No one heard the handcuffs fall to the ground or saw me twist his head or heard his last breath. No one knew anything was wrong until his head slipped from my fingers and his body slid to the ground.
The crowd screamed.
The guards aimed their guns at my heart, pulled the triggers and let the bullets fly in a flurry of silver and speed, but I was swifter, stronger, superior.
Before the first bullet hit the metal pole that had bound me, I was in front of the final guard in line. Ten beating hearts at my feet. Ten gaping holes in their chest. Ten dead bodies on the earth.
I turned to the closest camera, the red lights still blinking, but unmanned. “I am Delano Melazi.” I raised my voice over the commotion. “And I will seek revenge against those who wronged me.”
The first blast of holy water hit me in the shoulder. It knocked me off balance. The second hit me in the face. The cross the priest had drawn on my head merely irritated me, but the onslaught of blessed liquid burned, weakened and crippled me. It ran down my arm, melted the flesh off the bone.
I had one chance to get out alive. With the last remaining bit of strength still hidden deep in my reserves, I vanished. Teleported, a handy trick only I knew I possessed, away from the stadium and the humans, but not the pain.
About the Author:
Jenn Windrow loves characters that have a pinch of spunk, a dash of attitude, and a large dollop of sex appeal. Top it all off with a huge heaping helping of snark, and you've got the ingredients for the kind of fast paced stories she loves to read and write. Home is a suburb of it's-so-hot-my-shoes-have-melted-to-the-pavement Phoenix. Where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and a slew of animals that seem to keep following her home, at least that's what she claims.
Jenn's Urban Fantasy, EVIL’S UNLIKELY ASSASSIN won the RWA Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FF&P), “On The Far Side” writing contest in July 2014, top 5 in the RWA Desert Rose, “Realizing the Dream” writing contest, and finaled in the Houston Writers Guild annual writing contest in April 2014. It was also selected as first runner up in Writers Type’s First Chapter Contest in April 2013.
Her Paranormal Romance, STRUCK BY EROS placed first in the RWA’s Golden Pen Contest, third in the Ruby Slippered Sisterhoods Make it Golden contest, and fourth in the West Coast Romance Writers Beacon contest.
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
It's Wednesday and time for a new My Favourite... post thanks to Maureen's Books and the theme of the week was "book I wish they made a movie off".
In my case, it's probably The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. It was something about this book which I think would make a good movie, if done correctly of course.
Genre: YA Horror
Date of Publication: September 19, 2017
Number of pages: 307
Word Count: 76,573
Cover Artist: Danielle Fine
The dead are easy to talk to. Live people, not so much.
Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar.
Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn river near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.
I don’t know what else to say. My brain just shuts down.
She is wearing the sheet, wound around her like a toga. It trails behind her bare feet, sort of like a painting about Greek goddesses I’ve seen in art books. She’s leaning over another body stored in the cooler unit on a cart. Her back is to me, and I can only see her pale skin and her burgundy-black hair shuddering.
She turns at the sound of my voice, seeming only to hear me for the first time. Her face is covered in dark blood. In her hand, she’s holding a big chunk of purple flesh. Her eyes are half-closed. The autopsy incision on the elderly body below her has been ripped open, and I’m pretty sure that what she’s holding is a lung.
“So hungry…” she murmurs.
I retreat until my back presses against the cold door. A whimper escapes my lips, and I drop the laundry basket with a sharp crack of plastic on the tile floor. This has to be a dream. A screwed-up anxiety dream that I’ll wake up from any moment now…
Amanda’s black eyes snap open. She stares at the chunk of flesh in her hand. “I…Agh…What’s going on?”
Lothar waddles over to her and begins to beg. Bile rises in my throat. “That’s Mrs. Canner,” I manage to answer. “She’s seventy-two and died of surgery complications for varicose veins. Deep vein thrombosis, I think. I don’t remember.” I’m babbling, trying to keep the bile down.
Amanda drops the lung with a wet splat. The dog scrambles to it and begins scarfing it down. Her hands are trembling. She presses them to her temples. “I don’t understand. I don’t understand.”
I nudge the laundry basket closer to her with my foot. “I brought you some clothes. And, um. Food. You should get dressed.”
I think I should be afraid. I think I really ought to be. But Amanda seems genuinely confused. She reaches for the clothes I’ve brought her. To be polite, I know that I should really look away. But I can’t move. I am not turning my back on her. My heart pounds, and I struggle to take deep, uneven breaths.
Amanda unwinds the sheet and slips into my clothes. Though I avert my eyes, I see that her shoulder and side are still torn open. But my mother hasn’t begun the autopsy yet, so there is no Y-incision across her chest and abdomen.
“Do you remember what happened to you?” I manage to ask. I congratulate myself for having a rational thought. Woot.
Her voice is halting, and her brow wrinkles as she struggles to button my jeans. “I remember…something was chasing me. Jesus, it hurt…” Her hand comes up to her neck, and she seems to remember, fingering the edges of the wound. “Am I in a hospital?” she asks again.
I suck in a breath. “No. You’re at my house.” It’s not a lie. Not really.
She scans the room, as if registering the sight of the cadavers. “You’re the girl whose parents run the funeral home. The Ghoul Girl.”
“It’s gonna be okay,” I tell her.
“Why am I here?” Her breath makes ghosts in the cold air.
“The Sheriff found you, alongside the road.” That’s true also, even if not the whole truth. “I think we should get you upstairs, so you can talk to my parents…”
She shakes her head, and her dark hair slaps across her face. “No. I…Oh my god. I’m here because…somebody thought I was dead?”
I swallow hard. “Yeah.”
About the Author:
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.
The latest details on her work are available at:
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Tuesday, 17 October 2017
It's Tuesday again, which means it's time for a new Top Ten Tuesday post thanks to The Broke and the Bookish. The theme of the week was yummy foods mentioned in books.
My list is;
Turkish Delight from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
The obvious chocolate in Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Chocolate in The Sweetest Thing by Fiona Shaw
Oysters in Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Honey in The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Indian spices in The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Chocolate in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Morrocan cuisine mentioned in The Saffron Trail by Rosanna Ley
Waffles mentioned in The Twistose Key by Tone Almhjell (I really want to visit such a waffle café - those who have read the novel probably knows that I'm talking about)
All the yummy food at Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling
Monday, 16 October 2017
I Stole His Car
Love At First Crime #1
by Jessica Frances
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
She stole his car, so he stole her heart…
I saw something I never should have seen.
I took something they wanted back.
I was desperate.
So, I did something I never would have normally done.
I stole a car.
Not just any car.
Now I have no choice but to trust him.
Only he can help me get out of this mess.
Then, when we both become hunted,
And when feelings begin to complicate things,
Can I still count on his protection?
Can I trust what is happening between us to be real?
Because, as some people say: there is nothing quite like love at first … crime.
Jessica Frances is an Australian author who currently resides in South Australia. She is an avid reader and loves to write. She works full-time as a baker, so writing is her hobby done when she has the time. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV.
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