*Promo* Avenger Mine (The Kataran Series #2) by T. M. Slay

Avenger Mine is book 2 of the sci-fi fantasy series, The Kataran Series, following Guardian Mine. Written by T.M. Slay and published by Fantasy Publishing, this new series makes for a very promising one… “Step into fantasy and leave ordinary behind”!

Avenger Mine - 4 purpleTitle: Avenger Mine (The Kataran Series #2)

Author: T. M. Slay

Genre: Sci-fi, fantasy

Release date: March 16th, 2015

Released by: Fantasy Publishing

Length: 430 pages

Blurb: Jackson, The Avenger. Alone most of his life, people feared him more than appreciated his psychic abilities; abilities that had kept their race safe for more than three hundred years. No one understood the pain and the solitude that came with being a Mind Bender. He saves who he can, and kills those who try to stop him. His world is black and white. Simple. Until now.

Marilena has no one to turn to. Swept away from her home world as a child, she’s lived in hiding with her parents most of these years. And now, the enemies who forced their flight to Earth have come…and are searching for her. Dare she trust the Kataran Warrior who swears her enemies are his? Where has he been until now, and why is he so interested in her psychic ability?

Jackson has been fighting this war for most of his life, and has been an interrogator for even longer. Marilena is a skilled psychic too and understanding her position in this war is proving to be one of the most difficult missions of his career. Is Marilena working with the Skimtar? Jackson isn’t sure, but he intends to find out, and first he has to find a way into her mind…

About the Author:

Avenger Mine - 4 purple author picRaised all over the United States, I decided to settle back in my home state of Louisiana.  A large immediate family of 7 (5 children) and an extended family of well over 20, I never have far to look for inspiration.  With a love of reading instilled in my very DNA by both my grandmother and my mother, we have a combined library of well over 5,000 books.  Of course, that love of reading had to give way to a love of writing. 

Once my characters jump into my head, they won’t jump out until they make their way to the page.  It’s a glorious and annoying problem to have all at once.  I hope you’ll get to know them as well as I do in my Kataran Series, my Atlantean Series, and a few stand alone books, all to be published in short order!

LINKS

Author website: http://www.tmslay.com/

Publisher website: http://www.fantasypublishingllc.com/

Amazon Paperback

Amazon Kindle Edition

Kobo ebook

Excerpt from Chapter 18

Standing in her room, Mala looked herself over in the full length mirror. Anxiety swirled in her chest, but it was time. If there ever was a time, it was now. Before her mother died, they had gone to a leather-smith, and with silver thread that Mala had pulled from the earth, she and her mother had made several garments. This had been one of them. Her dad had been a Guardian, and he was partial to black. Knowing that he would never see another Katara in his lifetime, he allowed her the luxury of wearing his colors, symbols, and weapons. As his only child, and one of their ancient days, her father tended to give her most of what she asked for. She strapped on his wrist cuffs and his knives.

The rest of her clothes weren’t traditional, but they had gotten used to making their own traditions after the first one hundred years. She wore a thin, black, long-sleeved shirt under a black leather vest. The lapels were painstakingly stitched with the symbols of her father and his father before him. It also fit tight, like a second skin. Katara females didn’t normally dress like this, but things had been changing on Xan even before the attack. The breathable, snug fabrics allowed for better movement. The pants were the same. Soft leather, worn from hundreds of years of wear. Mostly in private, for the Roma tribes were very fussy about such tight clothing. But it didn’t stop her from training with her father. Her boots, now they were all Mala. Black leather, of course, with a four inch heel, and a silver zipper up the inside of the leg, straps and buckles up the outside of her leg. Damn, they were sexy. Now her five foot ten inches would be a six foot two inches, and she could look that smug Katara straight in the eye.

It had been a long time since she dressed in this manner. But there was something about it. It was like coming home. A light brush of silver eye-shadow, matched the solid silver of her eyes. She knew they were different, that’s why she hadn’t even shown them to Jackson yet. His were the perfect Katara eyes. Hunter green shot through with stars of silver. Hers were just silver, even the pupil. They scared most people who saw her without her contacts. But tonight she would need all the edge she could get. She was going to be facing down some of the most well trained and feared Kataras ever. They had not only survived, but struck out in their own war. And Jackson led them. He had his own weaknesses, but she imagined they were nothing compared to his strengths.

Grabbing the thick bunch of silver strands in her hair, she braided them separately, leaving the rest of her black hair in a cascade of silk down her back. They were only collecting the team, if she had been expecting a war tonight, all of her hair would either be braided, or at least in a ponytail. Hair in the face, was not the way to fight a bunch of Skimtar who were trying to kill you. However, not looking might work too. Never having seen a Skimtar before, she might would rather be blind. God, what was she doing––thinking of fighting the Skimtar, war, and killing. It was crazy! She had officially lost her mind. Yup. She was headed for the loony bin. Only they would be really freaked out when she didn’t age for the next hundred years or so. Damn. Wasn’t there anywhere a crazy person could be committed in peace? Sighing at herself, she figured not. Might as well face this now.

One last look at herself in the mirror, and she hardly believed she was the woman staring back at her. She could have been her mother. Except the attitude. That was all her dad. She felt them, their presence in the air around her, expecting something else. She didn’t quite know what, but right now, it didn’t matter. Her curves were the full curves of a woman set on a tall body that made them look leaner than they actually were. Of course, all the black helped, but it was still nice to know she had this body hiding under the layers of conservative clothing. This look was not Roma. But it was Katara, at least the Katara she and her mother had created. And the two seemed to war within her.

But in this moment she could do nothing less than close the door to the Roma within her, and open the long closed door of the Katara instead. Instantly, The Universe responded to her. The air swirled around her like a small whirlwind, blowing her hair out and away from her shoulders. She took a deep breath as though for the first time, and colors jumped before her eyes––bright hues that she had never known existed in her modest bedroom. The elements glowed for her, called to her; she could feel the earth beneath her feet and its elation at her sudden awakening. It was a rebirth of some kind; The Universe within her was budding like a flower in the spring. Had she ever felt this before? Maybe, a long time ago, but never to this magnitude. Was it the effect of the Torta, or having Jackson so near? With one last, last glance at herself, she walked out of her room, knowing Jackson wouldn’t be long.

Maybe simply having another Katara around was some sort of trigger to the power within her. Electricity crawled up her arms, like ants over her skin, feather-light, but obvious in its arrival. Jackson. So, he had called his power too, and was waiting on her.

“I do not know that I want my men to see you looking like that.”

“Like what? A Katara? Isn’t that what you’ve been reminding me I am? How I should talk, think, dress, act?” She knew there was attitude in the swing of her hips. What could she say? She was feelin’ it. Another deep breath and the elements literally sang to her. She approached Jackson and his scent surrounded her; it had become an element all its own. Walking around him, she reached out, tracing the line of his shoulder with one hand, feeling their combined powers sizzling between her fingertips and his hardened body. She’d never felt so alive or emboldened. She wanted to rip open his deep purple tunic and rub her hands over his skin. Universe, she could imagine the rush of power that would come from actual skin to skin contact!

She watched a muscle in his jaw twitch when she ever-so-lightly ran a fingernail over the nape of his neck to cross over the hard expanse of the second shoulder. He actually growled. The sound emanating from somewhere deep inside.

*Blog Tour* Dark Seed by Lawrence Verigin

darkseedbanner2

Dark Seed coverTitle: Dark Seed

Author: Lawrence Verigin

Genre: Thriller, Lab-Lit

Release date: December 1st, 2013

Released by: Promontory Press

Length: 289 pages

Blurb: A disillusioned journalist and the grieving daughter of a murdered scientist uncover an immoral and destructive global plot by the largest developer of genetically engineered seed and its parent pharmaceutical conglomerate.

Nick Barnes and Morgan Elles learn that the goal of the man behind these organizations is the complete control of human existence. He eliminates opposition and interference without hesitation or remorse.

The couple quickly find themselves fighting for their lives. And yours.

Grab hold for a wild ride with this exciting, high concept thriller that tackles one of the big issues of our time.

Author Bio

Dark Sees author pic lawrence veriginLawrence Verigin’s goal is to entertain readers while delving into socially relevant subjects that need more attention brought to them. Since 1999 Lawrence has spent a considerable amount of time and effort learning the writing craft.

In his spare time Lawrence enjoys cooking good food, rich red wine, travel, running, reading and numerous rounds of golf.

Lawrence and his wife, Diana, live in beautiful North Vancouver, Canada.

Contact

Email: lawrenceverigin@gmail.com

Website: www.lawrenceverigin.com

Facebook: Lawrence Verigin

Twitter: @lawrenceverigin

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1qsWlJB

*Promo* The Awakening (Book 1) & The Reckoning (Book 2) by Emma Jones

The Awakening is the debut novel from author, Emma Jones. It is a YA paranormal romance and is followed by The Reckoning.  Between 26th March to 30th March the author is running a price reduction where The Awakening will be available for FREE, and The Reckoning for £0.99/$0.99. Be sure to check them out, and the super deal!

 

The Awakening Emma JonesTitle: The Awakening (Book 1)

 

Author: Emma Jones

 

Genre: Young adult, paranormal romance

 

Released date: December 6th, 2013

 

Length: 176 pages

 

Blurb: Do you believe in vampires? Ghosts? The supernatural world?

Meet Lauren who instantly clicks with Gavin at a friend’s BBQ. Everything goes well until Lauren starts to experience strange things and hears a weird voice. It seems like a warning but from what? Lauren eventually makes the… startling discovery that Gavin is a vampire and it has profound consequences for herself. The arrival of Daniel makes things even more confusing for Lauren as she is warned he is bad news from a ghostly source. Laurens life is turned upside down as things she thought were myths and legends become real and she struggles to cope with everything she has discovered.

Will Lauren and Gavin’s relationship survive and what about the mysterious Daniel?

THE AWAKENING is FREE at Amazon UK and Amazon US between 26 March to 30th March. (Prices subject to change after these dates.)

 

The Reckoning Emma JonesTitle: The Reckoning (Book 2) 

Author: Emma Jones

 

Genre: Young adult, paranormal romance

 

Released date: October 30th, 2014

 

Length: 191 pages

 

Blurb: As Lauren wakes after her 21st party she’s not sure if she’s hungover or dreaming but then she remembers.

The necklace.
The flashback.
The bond.
Daniel.

The consequences are great & details unknown. After a visit to the vampire council things settle down until vivid worrying dreams start to disrupt Lauren’s sleep & life.
The national news is filled with big cat killings but Lauren knows the truth & is being dragged into dark souls & black magic. Someone dangerous is getting into her head & her involvement with the council tests her relationships.
How will Lauren cope? Is there a happy ending? Will blood be shed?

THE RECKONING is only 99p/99c at Amazon UK and Amazon US between 26 March to 30th March. (Prices subject to change after these dates.)

Author Bio

Hi I’m Emma. I have always loved reading & about 8 years ago began writing as a hobby whilst on maternity leave. My hobby became my passion & The Awakening was born. I love the vampire genre so naturally my book is inspired by this theme. Self publishing has been a massive learning curve and my blog gives more information if you are interested into the ups and downs I’ve encountered. Apart from writing & reading my other interests are my two children (obviously) wasting hours browsing First Choice & Trip Advisor (I think I have a slight obsession) and spending time with my friends and family with a glass of wine or two.

I was inspired to write The Awakening (Book 1) and The Reckoning (Book 2) by my love of the vampire genre. I have always loved vampire films (long before Twilight was born) and below I have listed my favourites –

The Lost Boys 1987- This was my first proper vampire film and I’ve watched it loads of times. The character of Michael was my favourite and the actor Jason Patric became my first film crush. I can’t believe it was this long ago although the hair styles are 100% 80’s.

Interview with a Vampire 1994 – I love everything about this film and I’m sure most vampire fans will have watched it millions of times. I love the end scene and think the acting throughout is brilliant. The last quote “I assume I need no introduction. Oh Louis Louis still whining. Have you heard enough? I’ve had to listen to that for centuries.” is one of my favourites. Christian Slater was my crush from this film and although I’m not a huge Tom Cruise fan I think he played an amazing part & stood out for me.

Blade 1998 – Love this think it maybe my absolute favourite. Stephen Dorff is absolutely gorgeous and I still love him now & Wesley Snipes is amazing.

Blade 2 2002- This film has amazing acting from Luke Goss who is barely recognisable as Jared Nomak.

Blade 3 2004 – Brilliant end to the trilogy and more humorous than the previous two courtesy of Ryan Reynolds who has some brilliant one liners and obviously has an amazing chest!

Twilight 2008 – I can’t believe the first film came out so long ago. I was always team Jacob and loved the films although always found Bella’s character annoying. I watched all five of the films at the cinema the last being released in November 2012 and has the best fight scene ever! It was a brilliant end which I didn’t see coming. Loved it.

There are loads more Underworld, Day breakers, Fright Night, Dracula this list goes on and on. What are your favourites? Have you seen the ones I’ve listed above?

If you would like to contact Emma Jones check out the following links –

https://twitter.com/booksemmajones

http://booksbyemmajones.blogspot.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Books-by-Emma-Jones/611953792173504

*Promo with Excerpt* Twisted by Lola Smirnova

Inspired by real life events, Twisted is a fascinating story of vulnerability, courage and the art of making a living in the sex trade…

Twisted Lola smirnovaBook CoverTitle: Twisted

Author: Lola Smirnova

Genre: New adult, suspense thriller

Release date: January 26th, 2014

Release date: Quickfox Publishing

Length: 316 pages

Blurb: Back in the 90’s, the corrupt post-Soviet Ukraine with its faltering economy, is thrown into a devastating depression. Times are hard. Opportunities are scarce.

Three young and eager sisters – Natalia, Lena and Julia – dream of a better life and weigh their options: do they stay and struggle like their parents, or join scores of their compatriots in the sex trade in glittering western European cities, who earn in a night what they’d take several months to earn at home? Naive and tempted by the allure of ‘quick’ money, the girls set off on an adventure that changes their lives forever…

For sensible, resilient and calculating Lena and Natalia, the transition to the underworld of Luxembourg’s deceptive champagne bars is eye-opening, but smooth. But for fragile, brittle Julia, haunted by a childhood assault, the change is more than just vocational. Struggling to adapt, she turns to alcohol and drugs, exposing herself to increasing danger and depravity; and, ultimately, betrayal, when a deceitful client, who claims to love her, drugs her and cleans her out.

Despite her sisters’ best efforts to intervene, she finds herself in Istanbul – culturally a world apart – in an attempt to make back the money and self-respect she’s lost. Vulnerable without the protection of Luxembourg’s champagne bars, she descends into a hell of drugs and high-risk sex until, at the novel’s terrible climax, a kidnapping, brutal assault and one-sided justice system lead to her imprisonment and a threat of deportation.

How will Natalia and Lena save Julia? 

Twisted is available for sale on Amazon in ebook and paperback.

Twisted is the first book in the trilogy. The second book Craved will be released soon. 

Praise for Twisted:

“A gripping and mature story deftly woven by Lola Smirnova, “Twisted” is the kind of suspense novel that will linger in the mind and imagination long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf… “Twisted” introduces an extraordinarily gifted author to an appreciative readership looking eagerly toward her next literary effort.” – Midwest Book Review

“Charged with some disturbing sexual scenes (including rape), the book manages a steady, readable flow as it shines a light on the multifaceted world of the European sex trade.”
 – Kirkus Reviews

“Smirnova takes us on a philosophical and pseudo-psychological pilgrimage through the sexual underworld as Julia, in first person narrative, describes her struggling introduction into a profession where she can ply the only skills currently marketable.” – 5 star review from Readers’ Favorite

“I highly recommend ‘Twisted’ to open-minded readers who aren’t afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen. It’s sure to shock and surprise you, with both its storyline and its literary value.” – 5 star review from Red City Review

“In the meantime, Smirnova hopes that Twisted will raise awareness to the problems of the sex industry… Kudos to Smirnova for an outstanding job achieving that goal!” – 5 star review from Pacific Book Review

“While the subject matter does not make for a light read, a breezy writing style and Julia’s willingness to fully and shamelessly lift the veil on her controversial lifestyle makes an irresistible combination.”


About the Author:

Aspiring author from Ukraine, Lola Smirnova loves twisting a suspenseful tale through the dark lens of realism around the sexual underworld, so clocked in secrecy and shame. Lola’s work is inspired by real-life events and is meant for the open-minded readers who are not afraid of a little blood, sweat and semen.

Her debut novel Twisted was released in 2014. The book placed as Honorable Mention in General Fiction Category of The 2014 London Book Festival’s Annual Competition.

Whether you prefer to slide your finger across a touchscreen or turn a paper page, Lola’s thrilling tales will surely shock and surprise you, with both its storyline and its literary value.

Now living in South Africa, Lola is about to release her second novel – a sequel to Twisted – Craved, which proves just how many fascinating stories she has to share about the ordinary women in the global sex industry.

You can contact Lola via twisted@lolasmirnova.com

To learn more, go to http://lolasmirnova.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BookTwisted

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/twistedlolasmirnova

Excerpt – Chapter One

‘Sag es!’ he screams at me.

The heavy motorcycle helmet is so tightly strapped to my head that I can hear the blood rushing through my ears. The smell of stale sweat reeks from the worn padding inside it. I struggle to swallow. A drop of spit runs down the ball gag that has been shoved into my mouth, then down my chin, and drips onto the couch beneath my knees. My shoulders are screaming from the pull of the handcuffs, which force my hands together behind my back.

He stands in the middle of the small and gloomy room and I can see the outline of his large body. Two bloodshot eyes are firmly fixed on my exposed nipples. A fleshy tongue slides backwards and forwards through the gap in his teeth. He licks the sweat off his lips, moans, and starts rubbing his groin, rocking his wide hips back and forth. He increases the pace, while his moans get louder and louder. Next, he stops abruptly, moving his eyes from my chest to my face, scowls, and takes a few menacing steps towards me. I shrink instinctively, tensing my body …

I know him. Don’t be scared Jul. He’s a bit strange, but a harmless motherfucker.’ That is what my sister, Natalia, managed to whisper in my ear half an hour ago, before I followed this freak, with the brain bucket in his hand, upstairs.

Natalia and I were sitting at the bar counter when he walked in. He didn’t even have a drink; just stepped in the door, looked around, stopped his stare at me, and mumbled, ‘I want you. Let’s go.’

It’s time to work!’ teased Natalia. Her naughty look followed us all the way up the stairs.

‘Sag es!’ the crack-head screams again, which I think means ‘say it’ in Luxembourgish or German.

He grunts, and with a wild thrust shoves his hips right into my face. He doesn’t even bother to take his jeans off. A quick unzip and he pulls out a flaccid penis, puts one foot up on the couch and starts violently pumping it, so close that his clenched palm is punching the helmet. Lucky for me the visor is shut.

I sigh deeply and try to shift on the couch to get rid of the cramps, which start crawling up my legs and back.

A bit strange? Come on, Natalia! You could call him anything – cracked, insane, alien on Earth – but hardly ‘a bit strange’!

I glance at the half-empty bottle of champagne seductively chilling in the ice bucket. If I’d known what Natalia had meant by ‘a bit strange’, I would have finished it before he handcuffed me and shoved the damn ball into my jaws.

‘Sag es!’ brings me out of my thoughts again.

I peep at his red face … What the hell does this crack-head think he is doing? I wouldn’t even call it masturbation! He tortures his penis in a spasmodic exertion. The awful tongue tossing in his distorted mouth, the dark brown hair stuck to the film of sweat on his broad brow, and the whimpering noises coming out of his fat body make a disgusting spectacle.

‘Sag es!’

According to the instructions he gave me before we started this session, I was supposed to say ‘I love you, I forgive you’ through the gag.

I wonder what my seventh-grade teacher would say if she walked in the door right now? She always believed in me and encouraged: ‘You are going to come out on top, Julia … ‘Good shot, Anna Ivanovna. You were pretty close!

He shuts his eyes and wrinkles his forehead in concentration. Frustrated, he drops his limp penis and squats next to the small table in the centre of the room. He pauses only to wipe the trickle of sweat from his forehead. Then he quickly snorts the line of blow on the glass table, and doesn’t get up for a while, staring deadpan at the wall.

Hey, fat boy, get on with it so we can have some time together after this. I think I deserve a little pick-me-up for my efforts here.

I wonder what could possibly have happened to turn his grey matter inside out like this. A few hours later, when I kick my ‘labour hour’ around with the girls, they will tell me some rumours about him having had a motorbike accident. Apparently, he was riding ‘under the influence’ with his fiancée in tow. She died there on the street, in his arms, in a puddle of mud. With the last beats of her heart, he stared at her wide-open eyes, full of terror, and at her bleeding lips that breathed in agony: ‘Please, baby, I don’t want to die.’

I shudder. I don’t know if he was injured in the accident, but after this short time we’ve spent together I can assure you that his brain was nowhere to be found after that crash.

‘Sag es!’

Yeah, whatever …

He finally comes back to the couch, pulling and beating his poor half-dead cock in front of my plastic shield. I try to say what he demands – anything to get this over and done with, and me out of here – but ‘I love you’, that forms beautifully in my throat, dissolves into an incoherent mumble as it hits the ball.

His small eyes devour every inch of my naked body, which is truly just skin and bone with boyish nipples where there are supposed to be breasts. The only reason why any man would choose to fuck me (aside from being a paedophile, of course) would be my big blue eyes and long blonde hair.

‘Sag es!’

His whole face is scrunched up in an ugly leer and his bottom lip is quivering as he makes a weird whining noise.

Oh please! Don’t tell me you are going to cry now! Pathetic, sick, even disturbing, but not just ‘a bit strange’, Natalia?!

He keeps on yanking and jerking and thrusting like a maniac – harder and harder. He’s going to pull that thing off if he doesn’t stop!

‘Sag es! Sag es!’ he whines over and over, then forcefully flips the visor up and pulls the bottom of the helmet so close that his soft crotch hits my face. I shut my eyes a second before the first squirt of semen hits them.

It’s over’ slips with warmth and ease into my head, then streams down through my body, echoing the semen on my face. My eyes are closed but I can still hear him sobbing, sniffling and mumbling.

I can’t believe this fucker just ruined my make-up!

All I’ve got from this pathetic episode is an experience I will never be able to share with my grandchildren and €60 with no promise of a tip.

*Promo with Excerpt* Haggart’s Dawn by Martyn J. Pass

Haggart’s Dawn is Martyn J. Pass’ latest release. It has a great fantasy plot, with some strong characters for the reader to really get behind. After fighting enemies of the King for many years, Haggart and the Captain are now living in peace, but rumours begin to change all this. Is it possible that someone they once believed to be dead is now back, and wanting revenge….

And, for this week only (Mon 16th – Fri 20th March), it is FREE on Amazon UK and Amazon US. (Please note that the price will be subject to change after Friday 20th).

After having Martyn’s ‘The Wolf and the Bear’ on my reading list, I am also excited to say that Haggart’s Dawn has also been added.

Haggart's Dawn Cover CTitle: Haggart’s Dawn

Author: Martyn J. Pass

Genre: Fantasy

Release date: March 12th, 2015

Length: 243 pages

Blurb: A vision of the future shows war is coming to Ulfwen. Can Haggart and the Captain discover the truth before it is too late? Or will their world end in fire as the dead return to avenge themselves? 

Haggart and the Captain fought the enemies of the King for most of their lives before being pardoned by those who overthrew him. After retiring to run an Inn out on the northern borders, strange rumors reach them – rumors of a terrible catastrophe ahead and those who listen to them are fleeing north. The Council is worried and Hunters are seen abroad, tracking down Summoners – those with the power to manipulate the very world around them, and murdering them in cold blood. 

Unable to live a life of peace after years on the battlefield, they set out at once to discover the truth behind these strange events. They soon realise, however, that someone from their past, someone they believed to be dead, has somehow returned. With him come machines far more terrifying than anything they’ve seen before and destroying them becomes their only hope of stopping him from taking over their world. 

Can Haggart and the Captain act in time to stop him, or will the dead be summoned to life again to exact their revenge upon the living?

Bio of Martyn J. Pass

Martyn J. Pass was born in Lancashire, England and is a tradesman in Metal Work. His first book, ‘At The Dawn Of The Ruined Sun’ was written in 1999 as Martyn was reaching the end of his time in High School. It was first published in paper back by the time he’d left. It tells the story of several friends trying to survive in a world where adults have been killed by a deadly plague. Set primarily in the UK, this book precedes the ideas of many films and books that would go on to follow an uncannily similar story line. 

Several years later, Martyn wrote alongside his brother, Dani, to create the crime thriller ‘Waiting For Red’. Stepping away from Science Fiction for a spell, this novel follows the exploits of Ben and Spiff; notorious criminals who follow very different paths that cross with bloody and explosive results. 

Martyn returned to Sci-Fi in 2013 with the release of ‘Soul At War’ published in Kindle format. This is the first title in the John Shap series, following the exploits of Lieutenant John Shap who finds himself drawn back into a war he neither wanted nor believed in. Only a request from a friend to find his son carries him back to the battlefields of deep space and into some of the fiercest fighting he has ever seen.

The Wolf And The Bear‘The Wolf And The Bear’ was published through Kindle in May 2014 and tells the story of Alex Hogg, a girl on a quest to find a relic in the cursed city of Glass and Bone. Bear, a Dalesman, offers to be her guide and together they head south, discovering that a man from Bear’s past has plans of his own, plans to rebuild the old world – even if it means destroying the new.

Speaking in 2014, Martyn said “For me, character wins over plot. That’s not to say plot doesn’t matter, but people want great characters they can relate to. A story with a poor plot can be carried by outstanding characters who ‘steal the stage’, but a great plot with poor characters is doomed before it begins. My writing is readable because I start every novel with a hero or heroine people can get behind and then I just write down what they do. The plot follows right behind them without me even trying. That means that what you read is what the character wanted you to read, not necessarily what I wanted you to read. Sometimes they even surprise me!”

Excerpt from ‘Haggart’s Dawn’ – by Martyn J. Pass

Raiders,” said the Captain whose voice was suddenly drowned out by the screams of the villagers and the clatter of steel on steel as they crested the slope. “Talbert, stay with Lorrie. John, to the left on the rise, Haggart with me.”

Talbert muttered something but it was lost in the noise. Haggart jumped down from his horse and quickly unfastened his saddle bags and let them drop to the floor. In a few moments he’d put on his armour and helm and was back on the horse and riding alongside the Captain.

Circle around and come from the east,” said the Captain. “I’ll meet you in the middle.”

Haggart wheeled the horse to the right, leaping over a fallen lean-to and spurred the animal faster around a burning barn. As he hit the turn he saw someone, there was a flash of pink skin in the corner of his vision and he changed course, bearing down on the rapist before he had time to realise what was happening. His sword cut through the air and came down on him in a blur, slicing deeply into his chest with a spray of blood and fingers where he’d attempted to fend off the strike with a feeble hand.

He sped on, seeing that the Captain was already ahead of him on the main pathway into the village. When he reached half-way he turned and charged down two more fighting over a young woman whose clothes hung off her in tattered shreds. The first was crushed under the horse, the second had time to draw his sword and swing for him. Haggart had no room to turn but he felt something in the air suddenly whip past his ear and the raider collapsed with an arrow embedded in his neck.

Go right!” yelled the Captain as they met in the middle of the village. Haggart pulled on the reins, feeling the wind cool his sweating brow through the slits in his helmet and he saw that at the end of the path a defensive line was being formed.. They rallied behind their leader – a short, fat man who was struggling to close a clasp on his stolen armour that bore the sigil of the Council City Guard. Haggart adjusted the straps of his shield and drove his mount forward, leaning into the wind and settling into the saddle with the muscle memory of twenty years of cavalry warfare. With a roar he charged the line, finding its weak spot and hacking the scalp from the nearest raider in an arc of blood, bone and brain-matter. He sped onwards and turned as the Captain passed him to charge the rear of the line. His axe found its target, cleaving the skull of their leader in two and causing the remaining few to break ranks and run for it. Haggart gave chase immediately, killing two and maiming another before returning to the Captain who had called John down from his vantage point on the ridge.

Building by building, let’s make sure they’re dead. I’ll take the left, Haggart, you take the right. John, keep an eye out here with the horses, kill anything that tries to escape.”

Yes, Captain,” he replied.

Haggart, sweating and sore but still alive with the thrill of battle, cleared each building as quickly as he could. He found many of the villagers hiding inside and they screamed when they saw him silhouetted in the doorway, his sword dripping with blood. In the next two huts he found nothing but bloody corpses and looted rooms but in the last, a white-washed two-storey house, the rest of the village children were being protected by the Farmer and his wife.

Come any closer and we’ll butcher you, you scum!” he yelled when Haggart managed to force the door open.

I’m no raider,” he said, taking off his helmet. “We saw the fires and came to help. Are there any more?”

I don’t know,” the Farmer replied. “We’ve been hiding the little ones in here the whole time. It was the only thing I could think to do.”

You’ve done well. Me and my friend are clearing out the last of them. Their leader is dead. Wait here until I return.”

Haggart left them, closing the door behind him and meeting the Captain on the pathway.

Anything?” he asked.

The Farmer and his wife are in there with as many children as they could save. There are a few more in that house there. The rest are dead. You?”

Nothing but meat in those.” A maimed raider was crawling across the muddy ground, moaning and bleeding heavily from his cloven shoulder. The Captain strode over to him and placed his boot on his back, pushing him deeper into the bog.

Rapists and murderers,” he cried. “Thieves and scum. Not even fit to burn lest the rest of us breath your foul stink.” The wounded man squirmed under his foot, trying to claw air into his lungs. Haggart plunged his sword into the back of his neck and he went still.

What did you do that for?” asked the Captain. “Mercy is too good to be wasted on them.”

I have no time for suffering – my own or another’s. There is enough evil in the world without adding to it. Let’s…”

A scream tore through the silence of the village and his heart froze.

Lorrie!”

Her horse was rearing when they found her. One of the raiders was wrestling with the animal’s reins trying to rip them out of Lorrie’s hands and she was swinging her sword wildly but ineffectively. He managed to tear them from her and he yanked the horse downwards, grabbing her arms and pulling her off the animal. She hit the ground hard and the air was knocked out of her lungs. Seeing his chance he hitched up her robe and pinned her to the floor. John crested the hill and raised his bow, planting his first arrow in his shoulder whilst he ran and the force was enough to send him sprawling across the ground. John’s second arrow pierced his skull and left him twitching helplessly where he lay.

Lorrie – where’s Talbert?” cried Haggart as John swept her up in his arms. She was weeping hysterically, unable to answer. There was no need – he came swaggering along the road, his crossbow on his shoulder, laughing.

I got one!” he said.

Haggart ran to him, launching his fist into his stomach. Talbert doubled over and vomited.

What the hell were you thinking?” he yelled. “Why did you leave her alone?”

I…”

Haggart, seething with rage, came back to Lorrie who was sobbing into John’s shoulder. The Captain had retrieved her horse but the one with their equipment was gone.

Find it,” barked Haggart as Talbert got unsteadily back on his feet. “Or your life won’t be worth living.”

He got his breath back and turned away in search of the horse, his face still a livid red colour.

Let’s head back and see if these people need any more help,” said the Captain. Haggart, still boiling with anger, managed to nod and led his own sweating mount behind him. When they returned, the survivors were just starting to gather in the centre, already picking through the rubble for their belongings or trying to put out the fires that destroyed them. The Captain approached the Farmer who looked pale and weary as he stared at the devastation.

Is that all of them?” he asked nervously. “Are they dead?”

We think so,” replied the Captain. “Though it would be wise to be on your guard. Do you have any idea where they came from?”

One of my farm hands says he’s seen them before, gathering at some caves to the east. You’ve done more than enough for us already, we’ll deal with them,” the Farmer said, though it was clear that such a task was beyond them.

We’ll go and look,” said Haggart, putting his helmet back on. “You’ve suffered enough today.”

Aye, we will,” agreed the Captain. “In the mean while, two of our friends will deal with the dead and help you bury your own.”

Thank you, thank you so much. If you hadn’t been passing by…” The Farmer began to sob and the Captain put a gentle hand on his shoulder and assured him it would be okay.

Search the raiders,” he said to the others. “Pile up their gear in the middle of the village and give these people the first choice. After that take anything you think is valuable to us, then burn the bodies outside the village and help them bury their own. Understood?”

Aye,” said John. Lorrie was calmer now but refused to let go of John for the time being. Haggart didn’t think it was a bad thing. Then they led their horses back towards the path and turned them eastwards, feeling their sweat cool upon their backs as their breathing calmed a little.

Raiders and bandits. Under the King this would have been dealt with severely,” said the Captain. “This Council has a lot to answer for, leaving these people defenceless and their borders unchecked. Remind me, Haggart, what did we fight for again?”

It does make you think, doesn’t it? But the older I get the more I realise that it’s just a great big wheel that goes round and round. Nothing really changes. Remember how we took back Barahad one year only to hand it back during peace talks the year after?”

Aye, I remember that one,” said the Captain, laughing. “Didn’t we take it back again the year after?”

We certainly did.”

We rode in from the west and cut off their rearguard. Twice if I recall.”

General Kazak led the infantry charge the first time, remember? Grizzled man with grey hair and a bald patch. Always used to twitch when he gave commands.”

That’s the one.”

The first time we rode in hard, struck their rear lines and harassed their reinforcements until they pulled out.”

The second,” said the Captain, gesturing with his fist, “we punched straight through their pikemen before they had chance to form ranks. We were behind that hill for most of the battle. What a stupid place to put a fort. No killing grounds and too many places for us to hide in, no wonder it kept changing hands.”

The good old days, eh?” said Haggart.

The memory always tastes better than the deed I say.”

Their horses stepped deftly over a patch of broken wall and began to climb a long sloping hill that led up to the mouths of the caves that were hidden in the shadow cast by the setting sun.

Going back to what you were saying, I’ve heard that they’re even demolishing the old Forts and outposts now, using the bricks to build better housing. Back in the old days those were places to flee to in danger. Now where will these people go? They’re isolated, cut off from the help they need. Any common raider will probably love the Council now, their life is so much easier.”

Well, there’ll be a few less of them to worry about in a minute. Look up there,” said the Captain, pointing upwards.

Haggart saw that thin wisps of smoke were wriggling out from the mouths of the caves and escaping into the evening skies.

Nothing like secrecy,” said the Captain, sniggering.

They set off along the path, stopping just before the plateau that marked the entrance to the cave. A raider was gutting the body of a recently slaughtered goat and when he looked up he dropped the carcass and shouted back over his shoulder to someone just inside the mouth of the cave. He was soon joined by three more, clubs and swords in hand and they stood in a line, waiting for them to attack.

I love a warm welcome,” said the Captain. Then, turning towards the raiders he said: “We’ve killed your friends. Now we’re going to kill you.”

You’re welcome to try,” said the butcher whose hands were still bloody and Haggart could see them trembling as they gripped their feeble weapons.

We won’t be trying, I’m afraid.” The Captain climbed down from his horse and tied it to the nearest tree. Then, taking a firm grip of his axe, he pulled his visor down and began walking towards them. His armour rattled and clanked as he walked, each footstep sounding more and more terrifying as his tall form cast a deathly shadow over them.

Haggart followed, still wielding the sword and shield of Alfred Dern which glittered in the sunlight. The nearest raider stood his ground bravely enough but the one who’d been cleaning his kill, realising the cave was on a high shelf with no other exit than through them began to stumble backwards. When the Captain’s axe disembowelled his friend, he soiled his pants.

*Promo with excerpt* Noise by Brett Garcia Rose

NOISE, by Brett Garcia Rose, is a thriller/mystery centering on a deaf character’s search for his missing sister. It’s short, violent, but ultimately it’s about love. Noise was published in June 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

noise book coverTitle: Noise

Author: Brett Garcia Rose

Genre: Action adventure, mystery, thriller

Release date: June 17th. 2014

Released by: Velocity Imprints

Length: 147 pages (Kindle edition)

Blurb: The world is an ugly place, and I can tell you now, I fit in just fine.

Lily is the only person Leon ever loved. When she left a suicide note and disappeared into a murky lake ten years ago, she left him alone, drifting through a silent landscape.

Or did she?

A postcard in her handwriting pulls Leon to the winter-cold concrete heart of New York City. What he discovers unleashes a deadly rage that has no sound.

A grisly trail of clues leads to The Bear, the sadistic Russian crime lord who traffics in human flesh. The police—some corrupt, some merely compromised—are of little help. They don’t like Leon’s methods, or the mess he leaves in his wake.

Leon is deaf, but no sane person would ever call him disabled. He survived as a child on the merciless streets of Nigeria. He misses nothing. He feels no remorse. The only direction he’s ever known is forward.

He will not stop until he knows.

Where is Lily?

Praise for Noise:

A staggering, compelling work of fiction…mind-blowingly perfect. It has everything. Exquisite details, world-weary voice, and people worth knowing. It is truly amazing!” – MaryAnne Kolton, Author and Editor of This Literary Magazine

Strong, compelling, raw and human in the best sense. Beautifully written.” – Susan Tepper, Author of Deer and Other Stories

Perfect, compact and explosive, closing with the gentlest word.” – James Lloyd Davis, Author of Knitting the Unraveled Sleeves

Wow. Beautiful and wonderful and sad and real.” – Sally Houtman, Author of To Grandma’s House, We . . . Stay

Frighteningly good.” – Meg Pokrass, Author of Bird Envy

Superbly explosive. The rage escalates and careens out of control. Amazing.” – Ajay Nair, Author of Desi Rap

About the Author:

brett garcia rose headshotBrett Garcia Rose is a writer, software entrepreneur, and former animal rights soldier and stutterer. He is the author of two books, Noise and Losing Found Things, and his work has been published in Sunday Newsday MagazineThe Barcelona ReviewOpiumRose and ThornThe Battered SuitcaseFiction AtticParaphilia and other literary magazines and anthologies. His short stories have won the Fiction Attic’s Short Memoir Award (Second Place), Opium’s Bookmark Competition, The Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction, and have been nominated for the Million Writer’s AwardBest of the Net and The Pushcart Prize. Rose travels extensively, but calls New York City home. To learn more, go to BrettGarciaRose.com, or connect with Brett on TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads.

https://twitter.com/BrettGarciaRose

https://www.facebook.com/brettgarciarose

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8307465.Brett_Garcia_Rose

http://www.brettgarciarose.com/

Excerpt:

Twenty-Eight

The sounds I cannot hear: The whistle of the hammer as it arcs through the air. The wailing of pain and the begging of The Bear. The dripping of blood from thawing meat onto the wet concrete floor. The beautifully crude threats.

My own hideous voice.

I drag The Bear into a walk-in freezer by the hook sunk through his shoulder and toss him into a corner on the floor. When I reenter the freezer, dragging the oak table behind me, The Bear is hard at work on the hook, trying to muscle it out, but it’s sunk deep, through the tendons. Hope is adrenaline, fear masks pain, begging helps no one.

I yank him up by the hook and then hold his hands outstretched, one at a time, as I nail his wrists to the table with railroad spikes. I put all of my 240 pounds behind the hammer, but even so, it takes several swings. His body shakes, the nails sink further into the wood, his face is pain. He screams, but I cannot hear.

The building above burns a deep blue hue with my smuggled-in accelerants.

The sound of the hammer into The Bear. The pain in his eyes. I have never seen so much hatred. It is beautiful to me, to reach this center, this uncomplicated base, to disassemble the past and honor a new history. It is another film, also homemade and rough, an overlay, an epilogue. The Bear is broken but I have spared his face, and to see those eyes, that is what I needed; to see his hatred flow into me, my own eyes sucking down the scum like bathtub drains. His life whirls into me and I taste the fear, the hope, the sharp sting of adrenaline pumping and the reeking muck of despair. His pain soothes me, a slow, thick poison. We will all die.

I know it now; I am a broken man. I always was. I imagine Lily watching me, Lily keeping score, making lists, balancing all. As a child from far away, she was the queen, even more so than her mother. But she didn’t survive. The world was not as we had imagined, not even close. The world is a cruel, bastard place, Lily cold and lost somewhere, me hot and bleeding and swinging my hammer. Life as it is, not as we wish it to be.

The sounds I cannot hear: The laughter of the watchers. The groan of my sister as The Bear cums inside of her, pulling her hair until the roots bleed. The Bear screams and shits himself inside the dark freezer. Lily’s wailing and cursing and crying. I scream at The Bear with all my mighty, damaged voice, swinging the hammer at his ruined hands, hands that will never again touch anyone. Lily at the end, beaten and pissed on and begging to die.

Lily is dead. I am dead. It will never be enough.

I remove the stack of photos from my wallet that I’d printed at the Internet café a lifetime ago and place them face down on the table in front of The Bear. I draw an X on the back of the first photo and turn it over, laying it close to the pulp of his ruined hands.

The Bear offers me anything I want. An animal can feel pain but cannot describe or transmit it adequately. The Bear both is and is not an animal. I lack hearing, so the Bear cannot transmit his experience to me unless I choose to see it. His pain is not my pain, but mine is very much his. I swing the hammer into his unhooked shoulder, and then I draw another X and flip another photo.

His lips move, and I understand what he wants to know. Five photos.

In my notepad, I write: you are a rapist fucking pig. I put the paper into the gristle of his hands and swing the hammer against the metal hook again. It’s a sound I can feel.

Anything, The Bear mouths. He is sweating in the cold air of the freezer. Crying. Bleeding.

In my pad, I write: I want my sister back. I swing the hammer claw-side first into his mouth and leave it there. His body shakes and twitches.

I turn over his photo and write one last note, tearing it off slowly and holding it in front of his face, the handle of the hammer protruding from his jaw like a tusk. You are number four. There are a few seconds of space as the information stirs into him and I watch as he deflates, the skin on his face sagging like a used condom. He knows what I know.

I turn over the last photo for him. I turn it slowly and carefully, sliding it toward him. Victor, his one good son, his outside accomplishment, his college boy, the one who tried to fuck him and they fucked my sister instead.

I remove another mason jar from my bag, unscrewing the metal top and letting the thick fluid flow onto his lap. I wipe my hands carefully and light a kitchen match, holding it in front of his face for a few seconds as it catches fully. He doesn’t try to blow it out. He doesn’t beg me to stop. He just stares at the match as the flame catches, and I drop it onto his lap.

The Bear shakes so hard from the pain that one of his arms rips from the table, leaving a skewer of meat and tendon on the metal spike. I lean into his ear, taking in his sweet reek and the rot of his bowels and, in my own hideous voice, I say:

Wait for me.”

*Promo: FREE story* A Shilling Life by Phil Lecomber

MaskOfTheVerdoy Cover - low resYou may remember our promo (with Q&A and excerpt) of Phil Lecomber‘s period crime mystery thriller, The Mask of the Verdoy (A George Harley Mystery #1). This series has started off with some fantastic reviews, and I am looking forward to the read myself at a later date. With Book 2 due to be released later in the year, the author has decided to share a FREE short story, A SHILLLING LIFE, with you to whet your appetites!

A Shilling LifeBlurb:  A Shilling Life opens with Soho veterans Benny Levine and Sammy Shapiro reminiscing in their 1960s cabaret bar about the dark days of the 1930s, when the East End was living under the threat of Sir Pelham Saint Clair’s fascist BBF movement (as featured in MASK OF THE VERDOY).

The conversation prompts Benny to begin to pen a firsthand account of the time (THE CHRONICLES OF GREEK STREET) and the first subsequent ‘story within a story’ is a stark record of the effects that extremist movements such as the Blackshirts can have on the lives of everyday folk.

Here’s a sample of the first few paragraphs:

Soho, London – 1963

For the third time that morning Benny returned to contemplate the photograph on the front page of the newspaper. Through the air vent above his head there wafted in a heady mix of piquant aromas and the industrious clamour of a Soho readying itself for another weekend’s revelry—a task that, to the casual passerby, might seem daunting in the stark light of day, without the feverish neon to flatter its glamorous squalor.

Outside in the bright autumnal morning brooms were pushed, steps hosed and canopies raised; liveried Austin vans squeezed down the narrow backstreets to deliver the raw materials for the coming night’s entertainment: livid cuts of meat and iced shoals of silver for the restaurants; crates of knocked-off spirits and wines of dubious provenance for the clip-joints; and stacks of Scandinavian delicacies (baled in brown paper wrapping) for the pornmongers.

In steamy coffee bars, slumped over sticky Formica, the victims of card sharks stared into the milky froth of their cups, numbed for the moment from the size of their losses by cheap whisky hangovers. And from anonymous-looking doorways furtive working girls slipped out into the streets to play at normal life for a few hours. All this to a soundtrack played out by the jangle of the Wurlitzer and the sigh of the Gaggia … 1960s Soho in all its truculent glory.

But cosseted in the subterranean gloom of Sammy’s Cabaret Bar, Benny Levine was lost in a different decade; transported back thirty years by a piercing stare which, although diminished somewhat by age, still held its aristocratic threat of superiority and entitlement …

And here’s the link to the download (it’s available in 3 formats – MOBI, EPUB & PDF):

http://www.georgeharley.com/books/short-stories/a-shilling-lifeI will be reviewing The Mask of the Verdoy, book 1, later in the year, but if you would like to check it out now, here is the blurb:

MaskOfTheVerdoy Cover - low resLONDON, 1932 … a city held tight in the grip of the Great Depression. George Harley’s London. The West End rotten with petty crime and prostitution; anarchists blowing up trams; fascists marching on the East End.And then, one smoggy night …The cruel stripe of a cutthroat razor … three boys dead in their beds … and a masked killer mysteriously vanishing across the smoky rooftops of Fitzrovia.

Before long the cockney detective is drawn into a dark world of murder and intrigue, as he uncovers a conspiracy that threatens the very security of the British nation.

God save the King! eh, George?

For our promo on The Mask of the Verdoy, with Q&A with Phil Lecomber and an excerpt, please follow the link below:-

*Promo w/Q&A and Excerpt* The Mask of the Verdoy (A George Harley Mystery #1) by Phil Lecomber

Purchase links for the Mask of the Verdoy:-

Amazon UK Link

Amazon US Link