The Assassin of Oz – The Twisted and The Brave #2 – Out Now!

The Assassin of Oz – The Twisted and The Brave #2

The Assassin of Oz – The Twisted and The Brave #2

Monsters and madmen and murderers, oh my!

A club of serial killers calling themselves Oz is stalking the streets of London. Alone and desperate, 17-year-old Halo finds herself drawn into the middle of their blood-soaked storm of murders. Struggling to survive, Halo must contend with both known and unknown killers, put her trust in the most unlikely of devilish places, and play by a new set of rules if she is to become the Assassin of Oz.

Gavin, a young US homicide detective, has moved to the UK to catch the serial killers, Tin Man, Lion, Scarecrow, and The Munchkin Masher but soon finds himself two steps behind the headline-grabbing murderers and one step behind vigilante group, Wonderland.

Stalked by death and danger, both Halo and Gavin are going to need all the brains, heart, and courage they can muster to take down Oz.

You can buy it here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia 

Direct at the Publishers

You can see it on GoodReads here…

Excerpt:

Cameras flash, journalists whisper, and the television crews quickly check their equipment. An odd hush then smothers the noise as a tall man wearing a dark suit and a graying white shirt steps onto the podium before them. His head hangs down somewhere between guilt and shame.

He scans the crowd and finds a mix of the usual faces, who will inevitably ask the usual questions, make the usual accusations, and of course never agree with his decision—whichever one he has chosen. He will give them the usual responses, the usual arguments, and defend himself, in the same manner he usually does. Yet this self-fulfilling prophecy gives him no comfort or confidence. What he is about to do will affect not just his life, but the lives of the whole country for which he is responsible. Even though he finds it easy to foresee his next few minutes with uncanny accuracy, his foresight cannot predict the years that will follow this speech.

He watches for the signal from his press officer and then drops his stare to the blank pages in front of him, surrendering his auto cue. With a sigh, he takes off his glasses and slowly opens his dry, pursed lips to speak.

“I cannot express to you the great sadness that grips my heart this day. As a man who has dealt with war, famine, and crises born of nature’s wrath, I can honestly say I have always tried to see the good in my fellow man, but today I … I stand in front of you in doubt. I have tried to pinpoint one single event that has brought me here. One particular crime that has been the catalyst to today, but alas there have been so many, they are now a bloody blur to me, leaving stains of faceless ambivalence.”

A murmur ripples through the crowd and the photographers steal the opportunity to take a few more choice shots for the morning news. The man squints at the barrage of flashes, shakes his head, and grips the podium tighter.

“It has been estimated there are now at least five murders occurring every week in London alone, with the bulk of these murders being attributed to at least seven different serial killers that are freely roaming our streets. We have drafted in police from across the globe to combat this alarming crime spree, but alas, I feel, as your Prime Minister, that this is still not enough to keep the innocent people of this country safe. And so it is with a reluctant and heavy heart that, as of this day, I reinstate the death penalty to be carried out no less than one week after a conviction of murder has been secured for anyone who is over the age of sixteen. From this day, if you willingly, and knowingly, take an innocent life for pleasure or gain, you will forfeit your own.”

The murmur rises to a roar as some reporters cheer, and others cry out angry questions.

“Prime Minister, how can this be justified? There has been no vote in Parliament?” one reporter yells.

“Why haven’t these killers been stopped by now?” asks another.

“Sixteen is too young!” cries another.

“What about the ongoing cases? Will this sentence be given to those already on trial?”

He recognizes the last voice, Levi Goodman, a sleazy reporter from a popular TV channel who’s been drumming up panic since the UK descended into this blood-soaked mess.

“Yes, this will apply to any conviction from today onwards,” he replies, his eyes downcast.

“How can that be justified?” Levi asks.

The rest of the reporters burst into a spasm of questions, comments, and more outrage.

The Prime Minister looks through the throng of animated journalists. He moves to step down, but pauses and then turns back to them and says, “May God have mercy on our souls, and may The Devil have room enough in Hell. There will be no answers to your questions. There were none to mine.”

Advertisements

Author interview swap with J Keller Ford

jkellerford

Today, I have with me J Keller Ford, author of the Chronicles of Fallhollow series.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

OMGosh, I would so eat dinner with Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I adore seafood, and who wouldn’t love that spectacular view from the Nautilus while eating mammoth lobsters!

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

You know, I’ve actually given this a lot of thought and here’s what I have as of today. It could change at any minute. J

Katharine Hope as Queen Mysterie

David Wenham as Sir Trogsdill

Kate Winslet as Slavandria

Paul Rudd as Seyekrad

Craig Parker as King Gildore

Liam Hemsworth as David

Alexandra Daddario as Charlotte

Ian Somerhalder as Eric

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I loved the Victorian era. I’d want to walk among the elites in Europe and would have loved to have been a friend/acquaintance of King Ludwig II. The gowns, the music. The castles. The palaces. The balls. Sigh.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?in-the-shadow-of-the-dragon-king-ebook-cover-2700x1800

Travel. See. Do. Experience.

So much of my life I’ve been very conservative, so mindful of what I should be, not what I wanted to be. I think if I could go back and do it all over, I would listen to my heart more. I would have traveled more, seen more, done more and experienced life without feeling so guilty for taking care of me.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I think I’d like to be a tree/forest dryad. I could commune with fairies, imps, and all creatures, great and small. I would have the power to heal the land and nurture nature. It would be such a peaceful existence.

You can find me online at

Twitter:               https://twitter.com/jkellerford
Pinterest:           https://www.pinterest.com/jkellerford24/
blog:                    https://jennykellerford.wordpress.com/
website:              http://www.j-keller-ford.com/

 

Author Interview Swap with Andrew Buckley

bio-pic-squareTell us about your publishing journey…

I wrote my first novel ‘Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish’ over the course of 6 years. I then spent two years querying agents to no avail. One agent recommended I build an online platform so I reluctantly began my social media journey and, through Twitter, I met my first publisher ‘Curiosity Quills Press.’ I signed 2 novels with CQ before securing an agent, the fantastic Mark Gottlieb at the Trident Media Group in New York. Since then, thanks to Mark and Trident, I’ve published two more books, one with CQ and my latest novel ‘Hair in All the Wrong Places’ with Month9Books.
What do you love about being an author?
I love everything about it. I love that it’s hard work, I love building stories, creating characters, exploring new worlds, and hearing people’s thoughts about my work (good and bad). I’m also keenly drawn to a career where you can work with or without pants.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
It’s probably a terrible choice because he’d likely kill me at the end of the meal but I’d like to chat with Lestat, Anne Rice’s Vampire Prince. I’ve read a lot of Rice’s books over the years and the Lestat character is steeped with so much emotion and experiential layers that he’d be a very interesting person to chat with. And being as it’s my final meal, I’d like Fish and Chips.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Using my latest novel ‘Hair in All the Wrong Places’ as an example, I’m not sure who I’d cast as the leads as they’d be young middle school aged but I’d want to cast Kurt Russell as the older werewolf, Silas Baxter, Kevin Spacey as Mr Winter, and Betty White as Colin’s Grandmother.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
Why can’t they be both?
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?hair-in-all-the-wrong-places
Medieval times! I think the dark ages would be a ton of fun as long I didn’t get run through with a sword or catch dysentery or anything to that effect. I always thought siege warfare was very interesting. People trying to break into castles, the feudal system, all those swords! Although I’m not really partial to horses . . . I may have to reconsider.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
I’ve been pretty fortunate to have some great advice over my short time on this earth. It would have been good if someone had told me to travel more when I was younger. Once you have kids (I have 3), travelling becomes a whole Oceans 11 bank heist planning experience.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
Werewolf, obviously a werewolf. Heightened senses and the ability to turn into a giant wolf creature. It would also justify all this hair I have.
Where do you write best? 
In bed, at night, when the household has gone to sleep. I don’t know if that’s the best time but it’s the time I get to write the most. I’m pretty sure any time of day would work if I had the opportunity.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
I’m currently reading the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown and it’s AMAZING. Book #1 had a few pacing issues I thought but I couldn’t put book #2 down, and now I’m launching into the third and final book. It’s a great series if you’re looking for a ski-fi with a bit more of an edge to it.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
I actually write in fantasy, urban fantasy, spy thriller, satire, and paranormal horror already. My foray into writing a spy thriller was my big departure from my usual genre and writing style. I had this concept for a female James Bond character that I wanted to develop. You can find the adventures of Eliana Havelock in the novel ‘Havelock’ by Jane D Everly (I promise it’s really me).
Where can fans find you online?
I’m active on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter, links to which you can find on my author website at www.andrewbuckleyauthor.com

Author interview swap with Cynthia A Morgan

morgan-3Tell us about your publishing journey…

I started out publishing my book, Dark Fey The Reviled, through Kindle Direct Publishing.  It was the easiest and fastest avenue to get my work ‘out there’, but I quickly realized that patience merits a far better publishing experience.  Though I subsequently released my second book, Dark Fey Standing In Shadows, via KDP as well, I shortly thereafter withdrew both of them when I signed with a publisher, Creativia.   I have found their SEO marketing expertise far superior to anything I could have accomplished on my own, but maintain my Indie Author freedom, which appeals to be greatly.  I have the best of both worlds!


What do you love about being an author?

I love words, love painting pictures with lyrical expressions and detailed descriptions that transport readers wherever I wish to take them; so for me, being an Author is my calling.  I have found the poetry I write touches people in ways I could never plan or anticipate and that is an immense blessing for a writer.  I also love the freedom to do what it is that I enjoy, while earning a few pennies from it.


If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

 It would more than likely be one of my own, I have to admit; as I do find them endlessly fascinating, but if I didn’t, my readers would not either.  So I would have to say Gairynzvl or perhaps Evondair, or both…and we would enjoy a vegetarian meal of some sort beneath the eaves of the forest.


If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I will confess, this is something I’ve actually thought about, because I have been told by more than a couple of readers that they can see Dark Fey as a movie.  I tend to envision actors I am familiar with, like Tom Hiddleston as Gairynzvl, Scarlet Johansson as Ayla, and perhaps Chris Hemsworth as Mardan; however my characters are young, early to mid 20’s, so better suited might be Jennifer Lawrence as Ayla, Liam Hemsworth or even Jack O’ Connell as Gairynzvl and Freddie Stroma as Mardan or perhaps even better as Evondair.


Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?  reviled-awards

The nice thing about vampires is you can have it both ways, really :)


If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

My interests have always centered around Regency Period England (the early 1800’s).  I am actually working on a historical romance set in this period, so I would love to visit to gain a better understanding of the constraints of the day, which were many, and the culture, which was quite different from ours today.


What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner? 

We Create our own Reality through what we Say and what we Believe.  The Power of Positive Thought truly does Move Mountains.


If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why? 

That’s easy, I’d be a Fey, of course, because I would love to live in Jyndari, even in its darkest moments, and have the gifts, not only of Flight, but the ability to read another’s thoughts, wield magic or bend light.  It would be amazing.


Where do you write best?  

Always at my laptop, in my writing room, often with music playing that is ethereal and mystical, rhythmic and very frequently tribal. Delerium gets played repeatedly, especially when I’m working on Dark Fey, or Brunuhville.


What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I recently read The Eternals by Richard M. Ankers, a vampire tale set in the distance future with a dystopian flavor and steampunk twists that really captured my imagination and left me anxious for book two of the trilogy, which is being released this autumn. His strong lead character was irresistible! (who just happens to be both sexy and a blood-thirsty vampire)


standing-in-shadows-w-5starIf you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

 I love writing, it doesn’t really matter what genre it is.  I have a work in progress that is Historical Fiction/Romance; I have written YA Romance/Fiction; Dystopian/Sci-Fi and even Children’s stories.  Of course, I also write poetry.  If it involves words, I will (most likely) write it.


Where can fans find you online?

All Things Dark Fey Website http://allthingsdarkfey.wix.com/feyandmusings 

Blog / website: www.booknvolume.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorganBC728

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cynthey728

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Morgan/e/B00JYJ0NEG

Dark Fey The Reviled on Amazon/Kindle:    https://www.amazon.com/Reviled-Dark-Fey-Book-ebook/dp/B00RZMVNQQ
Dark Fey The Reviled on Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Fey-Reviled-Cynthia-Morgan/dp/1505413230

Readers Favorite 5-Star Review:  https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/dark-fey

Dark Fey Standing In Shadows on Amazon US –  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018HF4HSA

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018HF4HSA

Readers Favorite 5-Star Review:  https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/dark-fey/1

 

Links to:

 Delerium – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_xNJfMq1l3ce9_K8Esj7nw

Brunuhville –  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZg2-TZBGrwRbuettVf10uw

The Eternals by Richard M Ankers https://www.amazon.com/Eternals-Richard-M-Ankers-ebook/dp/B01FVCE7O

Author interview swap with Kirstin Smith

Kristin Smith pic(1)Tell us about your publishing journey

In March of 2016, my debut novel CATALYST was picked up by Clean Teen Publishing. It will release in November, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m currently working on the sequel with plans to release it Spring 2017. Obviously, my publishing journey hasn’t been all rainbows and roses, because publishing, in general, is tough. It’s a road riddled with rejection but lined with perseverance. I’ll spare you all those boring details!

What do you love about being an author?

Gah, I love it all! I love “going to work” in my pajamas. I love connecting with other authors, who are total rock stars, by the way! I love being able to tell the stories that are swimming around in my head. And I LOVE seeing my work in print. There’s nothing better!

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Hmm, I’d have to say Trey from CATALYST. He’s a bit of a bad boy, and I totally have a crush on him! We’d eat mashed potatoes because Trey loves them. :)

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Emma Stone as Sienna, Brant Daugherty as Trey, and Alex Pettyfor as Zane. Sounds like a stellar cast, right?

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?Catalyst Cover

Sexy leads, definitely! Especially if they look like Damon from Vampire Diaries. Love him! :)

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I would love to visit the Roaring Twenties. It would be so cool to experience the Art Deco period for myself. Plus, I love the style back then—the flapper dresses, cute hats, and hairdos.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

“Don’t date that boy in high school. He’ll only break your heart.”

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A wizard, of course! It would be great to have my own wand and cast spells on those who don’t do what I say. Mwahahahaha!

Where do you write best?

Either on my bed or at my desk. Usually, the bed wins out. It’s just too comfy!

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I recently finished THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater and really liked it! It was the first book I’ve read of hers, but I’d heard so much about her writing that I had to see for myself. I wasn’t disappointed! She knows how to pull you so far into a world that you’re practically able to taste the saltiness of the air and feel the sea spray on your face. She’s a masterful storyteller!

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

Adult contemporary romance. I’m a sucker for romance in my books, and I really do enjoy writing the kissing scenes. I’ve written a couple romances so far but haven’t tried to publish them yet. Maybe someday…

Where can fans find you online?

Please do visit me at any of the links below! :)

Blog

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

 

Author interview swap with Kai Strand

Kai Strand - Copy (124x150)Tell us about your publishing journey…
 
I sought publication for six years, receiving rejection after rejection – some encouraging, most form letters. I seriously considered that I just wasn’t good enough and maybe I should give up. Then I saw an upcoming event at our local Barnes and Nobles. Multiple children’s authors and illustrators would be reading and signing from their books. That got my attention because I’m in a small community in the middle of nowhere and we didn’t have any other children’s authors besides me – but MULTIPLE? I knew someone had to be local, so I researched the list of people appearing and discovered that one of the illustrators lived in the area. I contacted her and offered to help with the event, and she kindly declined saying she had plenty of support, but invited me to a barbecue at her house. It was lovely to finally meet so many people involved in the business I’d been struggling with on my own for so many years. Plus, I met their publisher, who impressed me with her forward thinking. It was a lovely evening and I took my kids to the signing a couple days later. It was maybe a month or two later when it struck me that one of my manuscripts would be a good fit for that publishing house. I submitted, she accepted, and the rest is history. My Weaver Tales series is up to three books now.

What do you love about being an author?
 
So many things! Working in my pajamas. Creating people and worlds that no one else would think of. Fan mail. But mostly engaging with readers – at signings, classroom visits, workshops – I love talking to readers.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
 
I’d love to dine with the Pevensie siblings (well, maybe not Edmund.) Lucy has such a pure, sweet spirit, and Susan and Peter are very brave. I think hearing about their experiences in Narnia and even wartime London would make for great dinner conversation. I’d probably whip up a batch of homemade macaroni and cheese. I recently made some with sautéed onions, crumbled bacon, and loads of mozzarella and pepper jack cheese.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?both covers
 
I’d love to cast Zayn Malik as my lead, Jeff, in King of Bad. He’s got the right look – can he even act? I’m not sure I care. But I can totally imagine him as the conflicted villain, developing his super powers of fire and ice. And I’d put Brenton Thwaites as his nemesis, Set. I LOVE Set. He wields his super powers over the weather and boy is he electric! However, both guys would have to fake an Idaho accent.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
 
Ooo, honestly I’ve enjoyed them in both roles. It depends on the story and the hero/heroine. It’s funny. I always say, “I don’t like vampire stories.” And then I read one and enjoy it. But seriously, Buffy! Interview with a Vampire! The Lost Boys! And of course Dracula! Yeah, okay, vampires rock.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
 
I’m pretty happy here in the twenty-first century. But if I had to travel, I guess I’d go to the Victorian era as long as I can guarantee I’d be someone in high society. It might be fun to play dress up for a short time and shock all the prim and proper folks with my outspoken personality. I’m really shy at first, which would lure them in, but then I’d open my mouth and say something completely scandalous, like my opinion! It would be fun to watch.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
 
I wish I’d been told that being cool is so NOT important. I wasted so much time and energy in school and in my early adult life worrying about if I fit in, how I looked, drawing attention without actually standing out. Gawd! If I could go back to high school and do the things I enjoyed even though the people who did them were labeled as nerds or geeks or whatever, I’d have so much more fun.

FindingThor_1-FINALIf you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
 
An Amazon. I’ve always loved Wonder Woman – her strength, intelligence, kindness – so if I could be more like her than this human condition currently allows, then I’d jump at the chance.

Where do you write best? 
 
On a laptop. Probably not what you meant by the question, but the laptop allows me freedom to write wherever I’m most inspired. I usually sit in the me-sized crater I’ve carved in my couch, but I also like to go to coffee shops, libraries, or the park from time to time. It depends on what kind of atmosphere I need to get my creative juices flowing.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
 
I can’t just talk about one book. The Olympics are on, so I’m multi-tasking by plowing through as many graphic novels as I can while enjoying the competition. Before the Olympics I was thoroughly enjoying making my way through the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve put off reading it forever and now I can’t get through it fast enough. I’ll pick up the fourth book, Queen of Shadows, after the Olympics are over. I’m always listening to an audiobook, too, while I exercise or cook dinner or vacuum. And recently I was all fired up after listening to All American Boys by Jason Reynolds. We have so much stupid, needless prejudice in my country and that book really showed off the nuances of how and why it happens, but best of all demonstrated how and why it’s important to DO THE RIGHT THING!!!

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
 
I write in whatever genre I’m inspired to write in. I have a young adult speculative fiction series called Super Villain Academy. Maybe by the series name you can figure out it’s about angsty teens wielding super powers. So much fun to write. But I also have a YA Contemporary romance series that explores the relationship between a barista and a homeless boy and a standalone YA romantic suspense with car chases and torture with kitchen implements. So, yeah, I jump around. I’ve also published contemporary fiction and fantasy for middle grade readers. I even have a New Adult ghost story under the pseudonym LA Dragoni. I plan to explore time travel under that pseudonym, so that’ll be interesting. I look forward to many-a-mind melt getting through that one.
SVA series

Where can fans find you online?

 
When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website, www.kaistrand.com.
 
 
Book Links:
 
Super Villain Academy:
King of Bad (be sure to get the 2nd edition for the bonus scenes!) –Amazon| Barnes & Noble| Whiskey Creek Press Add it to Goodreads
Polar Opposites – Amazon| Barnes & Noble| Whiskey Creek Press| Add on Goodreads 
 
Worth the Effort:
Ella’s Story – Amazon| Barnes & Noble| iTunes| Kobo| Goodreads
Ayden’s Story – Amazon| Barnes & Noble| iTunes| Kobo| Goodreads
 

Lost in Wonderland by Nicky Peacock – out now!

lostwonderland1l__75328.1460684650.300.450

My new series, The Twisted and the Brave has kicked off today with the first book, Lost in Wonderland.

The Twisted and the Brave, 1

Monsters, serial killers, and imaginary friends—being a Wonderlander can be murder… 

Once upon a time, Kayla was lost. Then she found Wonderland, but not the one you know. Run by ex-government agents and funded by an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire, this Wonderland is the name of a collective of highly trained vigilantes who hunt serial killers. Now Kayla, aka Mouse, works tirelessly alongside her fellow Wonderlanders, Rabbit and Cheshire, baiting dangerous murderers. But even her extensive training hasn’t prepared her for the return of her older brother… 

Shilo has spent most of his life in an insane asylum, convinced his mother was abducted by a sinister Alaskan monster who lures the lost away to feast upon their flesh. And now he’s certain that his sister is in the same monster’s crosshairs. But if Shilo is going to save what’s left of his family, he’ll have to convince his sister that maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little mad.

14+ due to violence and adult situations

Excerpt:

Before I can scream, he stuffs me in his trunk. It is dark, smelly, and contains an empty plain black plastic bag and a dirty shovel; these are not good signs. I put my hands to the top of the trunk and push. It is locked. I wasn’t getting out till he wanted me to. I resign myself to curl into a ball, the acidic-smelling sweat of his palms still imprinted on my bare, narrow shoulders. I should be listening out for the car engine, hearing when it slows for corners or revs on open roads. I should be testing the resilience of all the sides of the black space around me. I should be doing all the things they tell you to do, but I don’t. I simply stay in my little ball, quiet and patient.

The car bounces up and down and I realize we’re not on the main road anymore. He’s taking me somewhere remote…

We come to a soft stop. The slam of a car door shivers through the metal of the vehicle. I know what is going to happen. It’s so inevitable that it’s almost laughable. Death comes to everyone at some point; what is that saying, “No one can avoid death and taxes.” Funny the things you remember when you’re in danger. I suppose your brain tries to distract you with all sorts of useless crap, anything to keep you from shutting down and freaking the hell out. I grab at my forearm, an almost robotic reaction, feeling down it to check that my tracking chip is still there. The hard edges beneath my skin make me smile. My small, metallic friend never lets me down, never abandons me.

The lid to my dark place is pulled up and I see him. His face is blank. There’s no hint of emotion or even intent other than what can be derived through his actions. His hands are sturdy as he pulls me from the trunk and stands me up before him. Being barely five feet tall, I only stand to his chest. I look down to the ground between us and see the cheapest sneakers in the world, ones probably made by enslaved third-world children. Man this guy is pure evil.

“Don’t worry, girl.” He puts a hand on my cheek and graces me with a twitchy smile that doesn’t reach his eyes. The hand lingers longer than usual polite social circles would allow. My eyes widen. I know that I am one of many girls he has brought here—one of the many that he planned to rape and strangle, then leave used and vacant by the side of the road, a hollow tangle of floppy limbs. How do I know this? Because I know him. I was looking for him. I’m not who, and what, he thinks I am. I’m not a fourteen-year-old girl, scared by the death sentence before her. No, I am something else entirely.

I smack his palm from my cheek and use the momentum to reach over with my other hand to grab his wrist. I position myself in front of him and use his own body weight to pull him down and over my now bent back. He hits the ground so hard he cries out. I keep hold of his arm and twist it around and under. He moves his body, angling it in the same direction in an attempt to ease the tension I’m creating.

“Stop!” he yells, those crappy sneakers frantically pumping to find enough purchase to get him to his feet.

I push harder till I hear the bone snap. He screams, but thanks to the remote location he has taken us to, no one hears him. I let go of his wrist and turn to retrieve the shovel from the trunk. I take a minute to loom over him. He is trying to get up, but the weight and pain of his broken arm is putting him off-balance. Funny how fragile the human body actually is, even one that belongs to a sick serial killer.

I raise the shovel and smack it over his knees. He howls and tries to shield himself with his good arm. An arm that is not intact for long, as I turn the shovel and this time use the edge to dig into his flesh. Blood pools on the ground and he begins to crawl. I’m not sure where he’s trying to go. I think his goal is just to get away from me. I walk the few steps to where he’s managed to drag himself to then bring my weapon down hard onto his skull. The splintering sound of bone meeting metal is my cue to get on with the operation. I pull my cell phone from my pink sparkle-covered jeans and dial the only number on it. An automated message greets me. “Off with their heads.” I take a breath and look over at the mangled mess of the serial killer they knew as the Doll Maker. “Here, here,” I say. The call rings off and I know that I have to make my exit now. They will come and clean up the mess. No one will ever know that the Doll Maker was an accountant with really bad shoes, and I mean really bad. It’s not till they’d stopped moving that I see peeling luminous go-faster stripes adorning their sides. Yeesh. The blood splatter does little to hide their ugliness.

I stoop and check for a pulse, finding none. His skin is already clammy and I could swear slightly rubbery, but in truth it is probably just my imagination.

I throw down the shovel and begin the trek back to civilization. The night air is bitter and cruel, so I pull up my lilac hood against it. An unmarked black car zooms past me. They were quick tonight. I rub my hand up my forearm and feel the comfort of my chip. My chip is a constant friend, albeit a chatty one; they will always be able to find me, know where I am, where I’ve been. Not that I’m complaining. I was lost once, when I was very little. And although that fear bubbles in my mind every day, I beat it back with my chip. I’ll never be lost again; or at least that is what my adoptive parents tell me. Wonderland doesn’t lose its operatives.

Buy links:  Evernight Teen  Amazon UK  Amazon US  Amazon Canada 

Interview with C Lee McKenzie

Lee20_250Tell us about your journey…

It’s hard to recall a journey after a few years, but I do remember finding an article in a newspaper that upset me. I wanted to write about it, and I intended to write an article. That article somehow morphed into a story, and then into a book that I titled Bad Ass Attitude, but became Sliding on the Edge. So you see journeys are complicated because they don’t go along a well-lighted and well-paved freeway. However, I sold that story. I sold a second one, and it was published. All was well, and then the publisher shut down its YA division. A year later I put both books out on their own. My last two young adult novels, Double Negative and Sudden Secrets, came out through Evernight Teen.

I have two others with an agent, so I’m kind of waiting right now to see what happens. The journey hasn’t ended; it has only slowed a bit.

What do you love about being an author?

I love to make the stories the way I want them. That’s huge for me.

I also love meeting writers and readers and talking about writing as if I knew what I was doing. I think those two things are what I love about this endeavor—notice I don’t say work. That implies something I don’t feel. Writing isn’t work. It’s agony, but not work.

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you eat?suddensecrets_350

Hemingway. Fish. Lots of fish with tequila. Not because he was a great writer, but because he created a fantastic mystic. Of course, he was not a very nice man. . .most of the time. And so the mystic!

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Well, I have seven books out, so I’d have to think about which one and why before answering this question. So I’ll come back to this, or wait. . .maybe the best thing to say is I’d like Brant Daugherty (Pretty Little Liars) to play Hutchinson McQueen in Double Negative.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

I steer clear of vampires unless they’re classical or super sexy.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

The WWI era always fascinates me. That could be because it was such a huge shift in the way the world connected. And it could also be because I love the the clothes. Very glam.


200X200What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Learn how to market. Pure an Simple.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A Dragon, of course. Not a European one with nasty habits, but a Chinese one that has been man’s second best friend in the Eastern world for centuries. I’m a huge Chinese Dragon fan. My next middle grade book’s titled Sign of the Green Dragon. How could I not hug a dragon?

Where do you write best? 

I have no idea. I write where I am. Editing’s a whole different matter. That happens in my office at my desk with concentration.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

Laurence Yep’s Dragon Gate. You see, I said I was a huge Dragon fan, so you should not be surprised. But Yep is a brilliant storyteller and I read all his books.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I only write in two categories: YA and MG. I haven’t thought about other fiction categories. That’s a lie, BTW. I have thought about it, and actually, since I’m narcing on myself, I have written in other categories. I just haven’t put any of that out there. Not yet.

Where can fans find you online?

My website is http://cleemckenziebooks.com

I’m on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2809083.C_Lee_McKenzie

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cleemckenzie

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cleemckenzie/

 

Buy Links:

Interview with Laurisa White Reyes

P10 (2)Tell us about your publishing journey…
I started writing books about a decade ago and was fortunate to have my first two middle grade novels, The Rock of Ivanore & The Last Enchanter, published by Tanglewood Press. But I found that I loved reading young adult novels, so I decided to give that a try. The result was, CONTACT, a sci-fi thriller about a girl who can upload people’s psyches with a single touch, an ability that drives her to attempted suicide. The book was originally published by Hallowed Ink Press, but HIP went out of business a year later. I am very lucky that Evernight Teen liked the book and re-published it. They even made it an Editor’s Pick.
What do you love about being an author?
I love the way characters seem to take on a life of their own. When I get about half way through a project, it begins to feel like the story exists outside of me and that I’m just the one writing it all down. It’s the moment when a story and the characters break free, become independent of the creator. It’s kind of magical.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Jo March from Little Women. When I was a young girl, I wanted to be Jo March. Jo is strong-willed, feisty, and a writer. I’d love to pick her brain and just spend a little creative face-to-face time with her. I would probably want to introduce her to sushi, since I don’t think would have ever tried that in the 19th century.

 Contact-evernightpublishing-JayAheer2016-finalcover
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
That’s tough. I’m a bit older than my readers, and many of the actors I love are closer to my age and would naturally be too old for CONTACT. But maybe Daisy Ridley (Star Wars) or Selena Gomez (don’t laugh!) could play Mira. For her love interest, David, Diego Boneta (Pretty Little Liars) has the right look.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
I recently read Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the first time, and I was stunned how scary it was. I imagine it was terrifying back in 1897 when it was first published. The best vampires remain true to Stoker’s original vision–suave, sophisticated, but also cruel and violent. They are the epitome of irresistible evil.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
There isn’t a time in history I wouldn’t want to see. I’m kind of an ancient history buff. But I suppose if I chose one era, I’d love to travel back 2100 years to the time of Jesus Christ, see some of those miracles first hand. Then again, I’m not so sure I’d want to face the Romans or live in a time prior to ibuprophen or antibiotics.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
150272918
To write books. To follow my dream. I wanted to become a novelist since I was a kid, but it took until I was forty-two before I actually did it. I wish I’d started pursuing my dream sooner.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
I’m really not into supernatural creatures. Ask me what super hero I’d want to be, and I’d say Kitty Pryde from the X-Men. I love how she can phase through walls. I’m a total Marvel Universe geek.
Where do you write best?
Anywhere where I am alone, which is no where. I have five children and a house full of people. So I quite literally never get any peace and quiet time, which makes it very difficult to write. I’ve tried going to the library, but you’d be surprised how noisy libraries can be. Normally, I write at my desk in my home office. At least I can close the door.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
The Dogs by Allan Stratton. It’s a middle grade horror novel. It had just enough creep factor and mystery to give a kid chills. Perfect book for reluctant readers. I’m always on the look out for good horror novels for all ages. For adults, I recently read The Troop by Nick Cutter about these boy scouts on a island who get infected with genetically modified worms that make them really, really hungry. Some pretty disgusting things happen. Loved it.
Omnibus_Front (2)
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
My secret dream is to be a horror novelist. CONTACT has some elements of horror, and I just finished writing a horror/sci-fi manuscript set on a distant planet with an invisible creature that rips the characters to shreds. Hoping to get that published in the near future.
Where can fans find you online?
The best way to keep up with me is via my e-newsletter. People can subscribe for free on my website:http://www.laurisawhitereyes.com/ or blog http://laurisareyes.blogspot.com./ I’m also on Facebook  and Twitter.

Interview with Medeia Sharif

my headshotTell us about your publishing journey…

It took me a long time to break in. I queried for thirteen years, for several manuscripts, until I found the agent who sold my first book. After that agent and I parted ways, I’ve had subsequent books and short stories published through small presses.

What do you love about being an author?

I love creating stories. I can’t imagine not writing. Then to have people tell me that they enjoy my work is uplifting.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I’m a fan of Erica Jong’s Isadora books, so I’d have dinner with Isadora Wing. I’d go with Thai, since that’s my favorite restaurant food.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I have no idea. I don’t watch many TV shows or movies, so I’m out of touch with today’s celebrities.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Since I lean towards horror, I’d say blood hungry monsters.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I’d love to visit the 1960’s and 1970’s (although I was born in the latter part of the ’70s). I find the societal changes during those decades fascinating. I also like the music, fashion, and entertainment of that time.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

To get involved. I did many things alone and in a bubble when I would’ve learned things faster by working with and receiving support from like-minded people.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I’ve always been fascinated by vampires since an early age, so I would choose that creature. From shows to movies to books, they’ve always captured my imagination.

Where do you write best?

My home office space. Sometimes I write somewhere else in my home or at a public spot, but that space is where I write the most.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The last book I read was Kelly Hashway’s Out of the Ashes. It’s book 2 in a paranormal YA series. It has mystery, romance, and so many other wonderful elements.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I’d love to try writing one of those sweeping speculative fiction series that run into 3 or more installments, either paranormal or sci-fi. I’ve had ideas for them, but never planned them out.

Where can fans find you online?

I have a website, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads page.

evernight covers