Friday Fiction

Hi everyone, Happy April! I hope you’re enjoying your spring.

I’ve got a bunch of cool books to talk about today from some awesome indie authors. Be sure to check them out.

First up two freebies from Story Origin. Pick up these two titles in exchange for signing up for the authors’ newsletters.

When Vivian, the Lady of the Lake, is asked by Merlin to help him obtain a powerful sword for the soon-to-be King Arthur, she leaves Avalon to find the Forger of Light. But he has a reputation and she fears the cost for such a sword will be high.

This is a short story prequel to the series Rise of the King (previously called Tom’s Arthurian Legacy), a series about Tom’s adventures with King Arthur in the Other. If you love myth and magic, you’ll love this retelling of the Arthurian legend.

All stories have a beginning. Pick up this one here!

Now something for your little ones:

When Alexander starts school in the fall his teacher notices that he can’t stop growing. Before long, he’s too big for the classroom and has to move away to a farm. Alexander is heartbroken and so is his class. When the teacher tells Alexander how wonderful she thinks he is, Alexander believes it’s just because he’s unusually tall. However, when the teacher moves the entire classroom to Alexander’s farm they are finally able show him just how special he really is.

Download your FREE copy from Story Origin

And now back to something for the rest of us and to a subject near and dear to my heart. The world of shifters! But these are not your regular weres – these are aliens – check it out!

This alien warrior has finally met his match. But she’s not who he thinks she is…

Nora Marlin

Fired from my job. Kicked out of my apartment. And dumped at the altar. All in the same week. So of course, that’s when an alien swoops down in his spaceship and steals me away.

FML.

Worse, he’s an overbearing, possessive giant of an alien, complete with rippling muscles and a sexy smile that could melt even the most hardened heart.

Okay. Maybe being abducted by an alien isn’t so bad, after all.

But I still need to get home and straighten out my mess of a life. Right?

Commander Lutro Dax

I was supposed to go to Earth to pick up my matched mate. When I got to the rendezvous point, Nora was waiting—so of course I brought her aboard.

There’s only one problem.

Nora’s not the human woman I was supposed to meet. She’s not my mate at all. So why is it all I can do to keep from claiming her as my own?

If I were smart, I’d turn around and take her back to her home planet immediately.

But I won’t…

Star Mate Matched is the first standalone book in Interstellar Shifters, a steamy new sci-fi romance series featuring alien beast warriors, kick-ass human heroines, and a happily ever after in every book!

Pick up your copy today on Amazon! FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Last but not least let’s return to Earth for some dangerous lupines!

The Complete Wolf Wars trilogy in one set!

***** FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED *****

Includes:

Turning Wolf
When the hunter becomes the hunted, and his only ally is a newly turned wolf shifter, who will live, and who will die?
Allyson is happy, with a new love, and a good job – until a random mugging leaves her feeling odd, strangely ill and hypersensitive, and unsure of everything. But she’ll get better – right?
When a werewolf killed his wife, grief drove Garrett to join those who hunt all werewolves. But who is really the enemy? Faced with an order to kill an innocent woman, a woman he is rapidly coming to love, he discovers that his allegiance has changed. But that’s not a decision the hunters will easily accept.
Can he save himself, and Allyson? Or will they both be hunted down, before their love has a chance?

Captive Wolf
When hunters become torturers, any wolf shifter will do for their twisted experiments. Can a captive, once taken, have any hope of escape, and survival?
Allyson, still adapting to life since she was turned, finds herself trapped by a madman – whose only interest is in discovering just how much damage it takes to kill a werewolf.
When Allyson is taken, Garrett knows that he has to find her, fast – but how? With other newly turned wolves to help, and the suspicions of a nearby pack falling on him, will he manage to convince them to help, before it’s too late? Can Allyson, and the other captives, survive long enough to find a way out, or to be rescued?

Plague Wolf
When one man’s desire for revenge threatens to turn an entire city, can he be stopped? Or will thousands of newly turned wolves tear everything apart?
A series of deaths leave Allyson and Garrett suspicious of the motives, and the mystery deepens when they discover that wolf shifters are definitely the victims.
Then the nerdy guy that Allyson went to school with shows up – oddly changed, and with a new purpose in his life. A purpose that could begin the downfall of civilization for an entire region, if not the whole country.
Will the madmen achieve their aim, and infect everyone? Can Allyson and Garrett stop them, or will they be killed trying?

If you love fast paced urban fantasy and wolf shifters, you’ll love this set!

Pick up your copy today! ONLY 99 cents for the whole set on Amazon for a limited time!

And that’s a wrap. Also remember to check out the group promos at the top and bottom of this post for truly something for everyone.

Meet Sami Valentine

Hi everyone, today I’m happy to welcome onto my blog Urban Fantasy writer, Sami Valentine. Sami grew up in the desert and now wanders in search of wifi and coffee. 

Formerly a mild-mannered librarian, she had a quarter-life crisis and shook everything up. She started working in an LGBT homeless center, shaved some of her head, and got really into tarot. After realizing that her goal in life was to get out of her small town and she only made it 30 minutes up the highway, she filled a bag and left. That was two years and a dozen countries ago.

She stopped by to answer a few questions about her series, the Red Witch Chronicles.

1. What is your book about?  
A Witch Called Red is the first book in the Red Witch Chronicles. This is a supernatural thriller about a witch trained as a supernatural bounty hunter. Where she came from is a mystery. Each book in the series has its own plot and conflict to solve, the overarching mystery is Red discovering exactly who she is and why she was left for dead with amnesia outside Eugene, Oregon. In the first book, Red and her mentor come to Los Angeles to solve the mysterious murder of a model left drained on the beach. Red gets in over her head as the murder investigations takes a hard turn into a conspiracy with the local vampires.

2. Every author does something different with urban fantasy, what is your twist on the genre?
 In the first book of my Red Witch Chronicles, I was inspired by those noir films like Double Indemnity and Kiss Kiss Bang Band LA so my UF has a gritty realistic flavor.  My style of urban fantasy could be described as character driven-thrillers.  

3. What inspired you to write this book?  
I am really interested in identity and memory and how it affects someone’s personality and choices. A big theme in the Red Witch Chronicles is the struggle in being yourself and it’s interesting to explore those themes with a character who has no memories.

4. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A goat. This might be because my astrological moon sign is in Capricorn. Goats are agile, hardy, and stubborn. They can handle all weathers and altitudes. I spent a good chunk of a decade in a writing funk so I want to emulate the consistent goat.

5. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
If we count the fanfiction too, then a lot! I usually just work on one project at a time so I am focused on the Red Witch Chronicles, but I do have two prequel projects in the works. One focuses on Red as a teenager with her memories so it’s an interesting challenge to write a character who has almost two personalities.

Thank you for taking time to answer my questions. You can pick up A Witch Called Red on Amazon.

https://storyoriginapp.com/to/rDkYoJL

Shades of Black – Now in Audio!

Shades of Black Audio cover

Shades of Black is a story I wrote originally for anthology that never happened. An idea conceived by Misha Burnett – Sins of Elsewhen. The concept was a series of horror tales set in alternate timeline.

I grew up in London in a outer suburb of the city, Barking, where the air was not great. I’ve had asthma since I was four-years old and probably Barking’s poor air quality contributed to it. But at least the local factories were controlled. I knew my history and knew that in 1956 Parliament passed the Clean Air Act otherwise air quality in London would have been a whole lot worse.

So, for my Sins of Elsewhen story I imagined a world where the Clean Air Act never passed due to an unscrupulous businessman called George Weeks. Read my story on ebook or listen to this wonderful new recording by the perfect narrator for the job, Londoner, Paul Winter.

Now available on Audible or if you would prefer you can pick up a review copy from Story Origin.

Ebook – 99 cents – everywhere.

Audible

Storyorigin – review copies – FREE but reviews appreciated.

Ebook (mobi, epub or PDF)

Audible (US and UK codes available)

Happy Reading and Listening (Or maybe Thoughtful is a better word here as this is NOT a happy story.)

Want more? Click on the banner below to pick up more audio book titles from me and a host of other sci-fi and fantasy authors.

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Shades of Black – New Release!

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In 1952 London experienced the Great Smog. Around 4,000 people died and 100,000 became sick. It was this that led Parliament to pass the Clean Air Act of 1956 which paved the way to cleaner air and was an important milestone in the protection of the environment. But what if the Act was never passed? What if a young and unscrupulous politician and businessman had blocked its passing? Meet George Weeks … A cautionary tale of a world that might of been.

Now in ebook (various venues) – just 99 cents.

I wrote this story originally for an anthology that didn’t happen — Sins of Elsewhen – horror stories for an alternative reality. I later tweaked the tale and added it to Sins of the Gods, but decided that with the dismal state of today’s environment that this was a good time to share my original tale with the world.

Pick up a copy today on Amazon, Kobo, or Apple (coming soon to other venues) for just 99 cents.
Or hop over to Story Origin to pick up a free review copy.

 

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Meet Joseph Madden

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Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome science fiction writer, Joseph Madden. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Joseph.

I was born and raised in Queens, New York, but now I live in East Central Wisconsin with my wife, daughter and a plethora of fur-covered critters. When I was seven years old, my parents took me to see the original Star Wars for the first time. It changed my life. I became obsessed (in a good way) with it. I devoured anything science fiction that I could read or watch, and it remains a passion to this day.

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When did you first start writing?

I actually wrote my first story when I was about six years old. It was about the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon character, Muttley. Six or seven pages written AND illustrated. It has yet to see publication.

When I was twelve, I had a teacher who put a bunch of words up on the board (dragon, castle, wizard, etc.) and told us we had to use them in a story. Rather than it being a boring assignment, I took it as a challenge and turned in four hand-written, front and back pages. I had so much fun with it that I started writing stories just for fun. Been doing it ever since.

Who are your favorite authors?

I grew up loving Mark Twain. Arthur C Clark, Timothy Zahn, and Dean Koontz are all favorites and strong influences on me. Probably the earliest things I remember reading were Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comics. I think I was reading him even in kindergarten.

What are you reading now?

I am reading The Pioneers by David McCullough. I have a deep-seated love of American history and McCullough is, in my eyes, the undisputed master of historical non-fiction.

What inspires you to write?

So many things inspire me. Movies, books, historic events. Music is a huge fount of inspiration for me. I love film scores. John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith and others write such epic pieces and I will draw from those sources and sometimes I find myself writing scenes to match what I listen to. In addition, a good trip to Disney World is always a good way to get my creative juices flowing.

Tell us a little bit about your most recent release.

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The Starhawk Chronicles: Rest and Wreck-reation is the sequel to my first novel (Also titled The Starhawk Chronicles). It was originally inspired by, of all things, a trip I took to Las Vegas back in the mid-nineties. I had put my characters through so much in the first book that I decided to give them a break in the second book and send them on vacation. Of course, chaos ensues as the become wrapped up in a planetary revolution while just trying to take some time off. It was the most fun I’ve had to date writing.

What was your favorite subject at school?

I always liked to read, even from a very early age, so English was probably my favorite (except for book reports). As I got into high school, I really developed my love of history, especially for the Revolutionary War and World War II. And, of course, I excelled at lunch.

Who is your favorite character you’ve written?

Kayla Karson, one of the characters in the first Starhawk Chronicles. She’s a maverick. A loose cannon, and you never know what she might say or do next. That includes myself, there are literally times when I go to write her doing one thing, and she just disobeys and runs off to do her own thing. She is also a perfect foil for my main character. She drives him absolutely crazy, and that interplay makes things really fun to write. Currently, I am in the middle of writing her own spin-off novel.

What attracts you to fantasy?

In Middle School, we had to read The Hobbit. I thought it was going to be the most horrible read. The first chapter moved so slow and I thought I would never be able to finish it. Once I got into the meat of the story, I flew through it and was the first in class to finish reading it. After that, I started reading TSR’s Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. I was hooked on fantasy after that.

What are you currently working on?

In addition to the Kayla Karson novel I mentioned, I am working on the third book in The Starhawk Chronicles, another series about a band of fighter pilots engaged in a galactic war that predates The Starhawk Chronicles without being a direct prequel to it, a story about Earth’s first, successful off-world colony, AND an epic fantasy duology. Think Lord of the Rings but with much, much more humor.

Any big news you’d like to share with us?

Things are pretty quiet for now, until the release of my next novel, whichever that may be. I’ll have to let you know.

How can readers connect with you?

My Facebook page is probably my biggest go-to. (www.facebook.com/authorjjmadden) I try to respond within a few hours of any messages. I am also prevalent on Twitter and Instagram (both use authorjjmadden as my handles) and I have a blog, Getting My Geek On, (jjmadden.blogspot.com) where I rant about anything from writing, to science fiction, to writing science fiction, and whatever else blows across my mind at the time.

A big thank you to Joseph for joining us today. Check out his newest book on Amazon.

 

 

June Jamboree!

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Hi folks, I’m traveling in June. Off to visit my mum in Israel and then to spend a while with my family in London.

Thus, I won’t be updating this page as much, so I decided to have a June Jamboree sale of my three short story collections. There’s something for everyone here.

WILL THERE BE WATERMELONS ON MARS?

The last thing Susie expected on the morning after the apocalypse was watermelons. The last thing that Na’ima expected was that one day she would be flying to Mars. But Will There Be Watermelons on Mars?

TEA AND DARK CHOCOLATE

Meet a cat called Cecilia, a disgruntled android named Doris, and a weasel called Popgoes and discover that with enough Tea and Dark Chocolate you can achieve anything.

TALES FROM P.A.W.S.

Cats and Wolves and Tegs – Oh my!
Alistair is a werewolf seeking justice. When his mentor sends him on his first mission he knows who the victim must be.

Ramora, is a young girl due to wed a man she hates. Morgana the Teg offers her a way out, but can she be trusted?
Griddlebone was  the first experiment. The Nazis never really understood what they’d created. But they learn that one should never underestimate a cat.
Meet Alistair, Ramora, and Griddlebone in three stories from the world of P.A.W.S.

 

Happy Reading

Debbie

Meet Bob Morris

Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome sci-fi author Bob Morris.

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  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Bob.

I was born in Texas but grew up in Colorado. I have written for small-town newspapers for 20-plus years and held jobs in Rocky Ford, Colo., Raton, N.M., and Duncan, Okla., before settling into my current job in Kingman, Kan. Along with newspaper writing and novel writing, I write for the Denver Broncos website, Mile High Huddle and do other creative writing in my spare time – as you can tell, I love writing! Other than that, I volunteer at the Kingman County Humane Society, collect (American) football cards and do a lot of reading. I’m also a comic book geek and my fandom there includes the Arrowverse shows on the CW Network, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a bunch of graphic novels.

  1. When did you first start writing?

Regarding writing novels, I first started with an idea that popped into my head a few years back for a group of teenage superheroes, but was lacking a premise for how they came together. The idea came from watching the TV series, Young Justice. As I mulled over my idea, I ran across The Hunger Games series and loved it. That’s when I asked myself the question, “What if a group of teenage superheroes emerged in a dystopian world?” And that’s what led to the inspiration for The Six Pack Series.

I started writing the first draft of the first book back in the spring of 2015. From there, I came across the Kansas Writers Association and got useful tips about writing and editing. I read a couple of books about writing from there, did more research, got feedback on my drafts and it took off from there.

My first book, Six Pack: Emergence, was released in March of 2018. The second book, Six Pack: Gyration, will be released May 22.

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  1. Who are your favorite authors?

I’ve loved Suzanne Collins’ work – she’s so good at character development and building tension. I’ve read a lot more books by Stephen King in recent years. Brad Meltzer is another author I enjoy. I also like S.E. Hinton and Douglas Adams.

  1. What inspires you to write?

What usually inspires me are current events or topics and how they could be twisted into a unique story. Also, some TV shows have inspired me to think about what they might look like if there was a different twist to them. And I do get inspiration for characters from people I have met in real life.

  1. Tell us a little bit about your upcoming new release.

Six Pack: Gyration is the second book in The Six Pack Series. It follows up on the events in the first book, in which our group of teenage superheroes is adjusting to a new life, but Tyler Ward, the main character, is worried for the safety of the people they left behind. When he learns that his professor from secondary school is in trouble, he encourages his friends to rescue him – but his decision has bigger consequences than he realizes.

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  1. What attracts to writing sci-fi?

Sci-fi allows you to explore different possibilities for what worlds may look like, how technology could advance and how people may interact with one another. It lets you use your imagination to think about what could be. Though some research is necessary, you don’t have to be as exact as with, say, historical fiction. The ability to think of your own ideas, so long as you keep them grounded in the worlds you build, gives you a chance to be more creative.

Also, I have an overactive imagination, so sci-fi is the best way to use that to my advantage!

  1. What are you currently working on?

I am completing the third novel in The Six Pack Series – it’s going through beta reading and final edits. I hope to have it released next year. I’m also doing a creative writing project on my blog called the Arrowverse, “Other World” in which I look at alternative versions of the characters in the four CW series. I have other novel ideas in mind, but just need to decide which one to pursue next! (This is what happens when you have an overactive imagination!)

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

I’m either reading or watching DVDs. And volunteering at the humane society is another way to relax – what could be better than spending some time with dogs, walking them, feeding them and caring for them.

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I also like to hang out with my parents dog, Ginger. She’s a good friend of mine.

  1. If you could have any superpower what would choose?

Oh, that’s a good question! I think I would go with mental telepathy, because I can imagine the possibilities that would bring. No more guessing whether or not a politician is being honest with you!

Seriously, the possibilities with mental telepathy could go beyond mind reading. I think it would be interesting to see how far that power could go.

  1. How can readers connect with you?

They may find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bwmorrisauthor. I’m on Twitter at twitter.com/sixpackwriter. I am currently building a new website at bwmorrisauthor.com. I hope to get that website launched in June to kick off a launch party for my newest novel. Until that website is launched, readers may visit my current blog at relaxingwithsixpack.blogspot.com. They may also contact me at bwmorris at mail dot com. And I am working to get a newsletter and mailing list started.

THE SIX PACK SERIES

By B.W. Morris

It all started with a drink – a drink that gave Tyler Ward and five of his friends superpowers. Now they must figure out how their new powers can change society.

But who can they trust?

Who has their best interests in mind and who has a bigger agenda?

And what cost comes with change?

The young adult, science fiction/dystopian series is published by Clean Reads.

SIX PACK: EMERGENCE

Available on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

Just weeks before Tyler Ward is to graduate from secondary school, he learns the truth about Novusordo and how a drink controls the population. After sharing this information with his five friends, they visit a professor’s house, take another drink and gain strange powers. It leads to them learning more about how the government controls people and the discovery of a movement against the government. Calling themselves the Six Pack, Tyler and his friends must learn how their powers can change society. But they first must learn to trust this movement… and even each other.

SIX PACK: GYRATION

To be released May 22, 2018

Months after the Six Pack has fled City 37N104W, Tyler Ward wonders how much longer the Underground Network can afford to wait to make its next move against the Novusordo government. The disappearance of five more students from Monroe Secondary School pushes his desire to take action. And when he learns that Professor Roger Woods may be in trouble, he is convinced he and the Six Pack must take matters into their own hands, even if it means defying the Network. But actions have consequences, and the decisions Tyler and his friends make will impact everyone they encounter — including themselves.

SIX PACK: UPRISING

In editing stages, targeted release in 2019. More info to be announced.

Need something more to read in the meantime. Check out the P.A.W.S. Saga box set (Books 1-3) – Just 4.99 for a limited time.

Meet Stephanie Barr

Hi everyone today on Paws 4 Thought we’re pleased to introduce fantasy author, rocket scientist and cat lover, Stephanie Barr.

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1) Which of your characters are you most like?

Most of my protagonist characters, including several side characters, are based on aspects of my own personality either gifted with traits I lack, taking that aspect to a much greater degree or both. Sometimes the aspects I lack are provided by people I know (a few exceptions like Lofar (short story) and Dante da Silv (Tarot Queen), both more based on my husband of the time).

Two in particular were focused on my being unusually bright (which does not get you friends) and my social awkwardness (not shyness) that makes me incredibly unpopular even today except among a few discerning folks. That’s Dylan Chroz of Saving Tessa and Nayna from the forthcoming Ideal Insurgent.

However, I’m probably most like Darma from Nine Lives. I know my own strengths, I’m smart, I’m not afraid to show it, but I’m also a dabbler, pushy, capable of quick changes of temper with moments of insecurity. And exceptionally protective.

2) What is important to you in your character building?

Strengths and weaknesses. Relatability. Depth. Growth. Sheesh so many things. Intelligence. Most of my characters are smart and I generally use brains over brawn to solve problems. Sarcasm is pretty popular, too.HUMOR! Too many books just aren’t funny enough.

I like characters that challenge stereotypes, that force readers to reexamine their preconceived notions or open them to new perspectives.

3) How much do you know about your characters ahead of time?

Before I put even one word to paper, I usually have a very good sense of who the character is, how they’d react, what shaped them, where they need to grow. Not what they look like. That’s rarely a key factor for me and I’ve had to be reminded a few times to even mention that.

I might not know everything consciously, but my subconscious will have it in my head and cough key details rationales, mindsets in the story that solidify my original thought. I’m a total pantser when writing a story, but not the characters; they’re always true to my original vision.

4) What genre do you admire but not write?

Truly well-researched historical fiction. Some of my favorite books are from this category (Hawaii, Shogun, etc) I’m a perfectionist and I’d have to have it exactly right, and I love research, but the amount of research to get every detail correct takes a lot of time and organization, two things I rarely have. It’s not that I couldn’t do it if I was really compelled, but, at least so far, I haven’t felt more compelled than I am for my speculative fiction that requires relatively little research.

5) What haven’t you tackled yet but plan to?

I’m a single mother with three kids–two at home and on the autistic spectrum. More than one person has encouraged me to take some of the little vignettes I’ve written on facebook and compile them into a book to encourage other parents of autistic kids, not only that they’re not alone for the challenging pieces but to really steep themselves in the joy of the fun and unique pieces.

Check out some of Stephanie’s books:

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Also Stephanie has an awesome story in Sins of the Gods – the most recent release of my Sins of Time anthology group.

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