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Hello Everyone!

Hello IWA! It’s a pleasure to be a part of your group. My name is Karyn and I am the author of Spark, the first book in The Hellfire Trilogy, a story set in a post-apocalyptic earth in the midst of an ongoing angel/demon war with mankind caught in the middle. I could probably rant on forever about my book, but I’ll save that for the promos. This is supposed to be an introduction to me, not my book! So getting back to myself, I am a Class of 2013 graduate of UC Irvine and I have a Bachelor’s in anthropology. I speak, read, and write French, though not as well as I’d like—but according to my French-Canadian friend, my fluency level is better than some of the native speakers he knows in Montreal, so that’s encouraging. Anyway, I seem to have gotten onto a bit of a tangent. Expect this to happen quite often. My brain is weird enough that it makes logical connections between topics and suddenly I end up on tangents of tangents of tangents—oh look, I just did it again. See what I mean?

Moving right along, I should say that other than writing, I also love reading. But lately I’ve found myself so busy I can’t even sit still for a few hours to get a few chapters in on whatever book I’m trying to read. You see, I also have two dogs, my adorable fur babies, and they demand a lot of attention. Nikki, my German Shepherd mix, she always wants to play. If I sit still for a long time I usually end up with toys on my lap, or sometimes her head. Jamie, my purebred German Shepherd, he just wants to get some love from his favorite human. So needless to say, between those two, I’ve hardly got a moment to spare. It’s a miracle I get anything written at all!

But somehow I manage it nonetheless. My other interests, completely non-dog related, include playing video games like Kingdom Hearts, titles from the Final Fantasy franchise, Portal, Warframe, TERA, and sometimes even Guild Wars 2. The majority of my games are online, so you might catch me playing sometime. In which case, feel free to say hello or ask “Why aren’t you writing?” because every now and then I could use a good nudge (or kick) of motivation to get back to work.

I also enjoy music. Right now my current favorites are Imagine Dragons, 30 Seconds to Mars, and The Civil Wars along with my long-time favorites, Blue October, Incubus, Muse, and many others. I’d say my musical tastes are fairly eclectic, since my range of preferred music genres spans from Classical to Indie Rock and even a little bit of Metal. About the only genres of music I don’t really like are hip hop, R&B, and rap, with a few rare exceptions. I’m not too picky really.

Along with video games, music, and books, just like any normal person, I’m also a fan of many different shows on TV. In fact I have the CW’s Supernatural to thank for helping lay part of the foundation for Spark and the other two novels in the trilogy. I am a huge fan of Doctor Who, which is yet another show that has partially influenced yet another book I’m in the process of writing about aliens. Other shows I watch and love include The Vampire Diaries, Warehouse 13, Paranormal Witness, Covert Affairs, and so many others that the full list would be ridiculously long.

I know there’s a lot more about me to be said, but my heat-fogged brain can’t seem to come up with anything else. No doubt the hot weather has done something terrible to my brain cells. But in any event, if you’ve made it this far through my introduction, congratulations! My ranting hasn’t put you to sleep yet! Thank you very much for staying awake long enough to read to the end. I shall conclude this very long introduction by saying that I look forward to meeting everyone and getting to know you all and hopefully you all feel the same about me (provided I haven’t already scared you off with my eccentricity). It’s such an honor to be a part of the group and I look forward to working with everyone at IWA. Thank you for having me.

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Let the Females Lead

Faith Healing is a term used most often during a Christian revival; a person stands up and out of their wheelchair amazing the crowds with their saunter. The doubters among us think that the individual was planted in the audience and never really had walking issues. It’s an idea some say they witness after a ‘man of the cloth’ blesses a dying individual; it’s a spontaneous event from a death bed. Most skeptics want proof that that human was really leaving this planet permanently. Rarely, someone defines faith healing as a ‘condition of the soul’ and its healing from the cynicism that keeps that individual from experiencing the faith and hope of miracles and God’s interventions.

When my mother passed away, I witnessed the latter event; my spirit began its healing process. My mom died but my fears and concerns in my heart and soul were – for the most part- reconciled. However, I still lacked the full trust to’ let go and let God’ in parts of my daily life. Thus, He kept sending unsolicited proof that he was still there listening to my form of prayers and petitions. I protected myself most of my life from dysfunction and delusions. Even as I witnessed His Glory through others, it took a good pounding of my heart, mind, and soul before I’d surrender to God’s Will. I’d say, “We can only be 99% sure that there is a God and Heaven!” That was my way of justifying my coping mechanism with the many tragedies in my life.

As my revival began, Wavie walked into my world. Her story is quite a loud message that God is ‘alive and well’ and cares about our daily problems. Even on the first day I met the woman, as I walked with her across the campus where we worked, I had no idea of her full and amazing story. Spontaneously, she rambled on about her Christian witness and near death experience. Bottom line, the new friend claimed to have a personal relationship with Jesus and God but not just because her tradition spoke to that idea. That lady truly believed she met and knew the Maker of Heaven and Earth as she healed from a major car accident. The very religious woman states that while dead to this world that she had glimpses of life here and life after death. Was it the drugs or her swollen brain that made this woman delusional or did GOD really communicate with her during her 14 day coma?

While unconscious, that Human Being claims that she spent time in an intimate conversation with God through several situations including but not limited to visions, dreams, and prayers. Plus, without fully exiting her comatose state, she was acutely conscious of this world and the next. Are you the least bit intrigued?

I was and helped her capture her saga for posterity and God. After her near fatal car accident that required the ‘Jaws of Life’ to free her, she met God and still talks with Him, today, as He guides her Will and messages to other souls on this Earth. Find out how she recovered, the miracles involved, and how this soul coped. She found herself wheelchair bound being told she might never walk, again. What steps did her life take after surrendering to The Almighty’s Will? You’ll have to read her full witness to find out.

Then, there is Anne. Her life was less than picture perfect when she encountered breast cancer. Winning that battle with a potentially terminal disease, she went on to suffer some chronic and old age diseases from minor strokes through congestive heart failure. At over 80, she still struggles with her body’s desire to shut down. However, during one of her revivals, the woman escaped death with the help of a Presence that healed her from an apparent bleed out. What or who was that Presence? Angels? The Holy Spirit? God -himself? You can read about her amazing faith healing in her fuller witness or book.

Have I tempted you in a good way? To be continued….

In the meantime, come on buy their books Through the Storms HE Performs and The Presence-The Presents. Maybe, God will show you how HE has been with you through all your suffering and cares or will present you with your own faith healing including the healing of your soul.

Excerpt:- “Through the Storms HE Performs”

(Did I forget to tell you Waive was pregnant at the time of her accident? That situation complicated her healing process from the onset!)

Meanwhile, the doctors felt their hands tied because they could not operate freely on her due to her unborn daughter. In the aftermath of the near fatal accident, her physicians could not simply focus on getting her well because her surgeries had to be spaced out to protect the fetus. Plus, some alternatives to highly sedated operations must be found in order to protect the life growing within her womb. One day, her doctor trusted in prayer and this patient’s good attitude as he scheduled an alternative to a full out restorative procedure on one of her limbs.

“I want to fix the gaping hole in your leg,” He bowed the same way he did in prayer while this patient laid unconsciousness days earlier. “I cannot give you more anesthesia due to your condition.”

Wavie understood the severity of her lesion while wondering what the procedure entailed. As they stared at her wounded body, the image of missing chunks of tissue greeted them unpleasantly. The leg did not contain enough tissue or outer skin to simply press and pull to stitch is closed. He tugged at her remaining skin to demonstrate just how bad the hole in her limb looked. On top of the opening, that body part already housed metal pins and drainage tubes from previous procedures. However, the stench at the sight warned of pending bacterial invasions that might claim the leg if left in its open state. She remembered this smell that greeted her nose during her twilight state; her heart knew the area needed major healing. The procedure discussed already felt overdue.

This doctor did not leave her in the dark about her situation and the pending operation for long, “I need to graft a part of your buttocks to your holey leg, tomorrow. During the procedure, I will give you a local painkiller because I cannot put you completely under.”

After exiting the coma, this pending operation was the only time that Wavie ever felt apprehensive. She worried with prayer all night. If she balked at the doctor’s idea, infection might set in. Her wound needed to heal so that her leg could remain a part of her body. After her mediation on the consequences of resisting this surgery, worry set in. What would the next day bring?

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:8)
After realizing her full healing remained out of her control, she allowed God to whisper in her ear guiding her thoughts and prayers. As she contemplated the next day getting very little rest, she relived the man’s visits. She remembered a doctor praying with her the day he visited her comatose bedside. Suddenly, she envisioned the healing her physician asked from God. Her highly agitated soul settled into the Supernatural Being’s goal for her recovery.

The next day, when her physician arrived to prepare her for the procedure to repair the damaged tissue in that leg, he pulled her limb into view. Simultaneously, shock and amazement filled their souls and the room. The Lord recovered her tissue during the night, and there remained only a small hole where the drainage tube and metal bracing holding her broken leg resided on this once more fully mangled appendage. That day, one of many miracles met their eyes and blended into their hearts as well as this testimony. God stayed with her just as He guaranteed in His whispers throughout this whole ordeal. His promises healed her painful situation faster than the medicine or man!

While the faithful such as Wavie believe everlasting, those struggling with the reason bad things happen need to see legs heal and other mending wonders to widen their faith. Many humans need clearer signs of God’s love; that is why this and other miracles occurred in Wavie’s religious story. These types of phenomena happen to help those on the perimeter feel a part of the circle of God’s, loving arms. These events change outlooks; sometimes they help the victim. At other times, they encourage those nearby. When communicated orally or in a book, these testimonies give many new insights into God’s deep and eternal love for all mankind.

So, how far did the healing go? Would Wavie ever leave her wheelchair? COME ON BUY her book to find out

Excerpt: “The Presence-The Presents”

(In this part of the saga, Anne nearly dies!)

Even though, the time of day made it April Fool’s Day, the doctor looked her straight in her eye saying, “If we can’t stop your bleeding, you will be dead by the end of the day!” The announcement was not followed by laughter and a clever line about how this hospital visit was all just a bad joke. That would not be funny, anyway! Unbelievable thoughts raced through her mind as Anne heard, “This fever must break before you can receive a blood transfusion. Without it, there is not much hope!”

This news shook Anne to her soul. She finally heard that her bruising indicated internal bleeding that might kill her. When lunch arrived, she nibbled not feeling any urge to eat. She felt some contentment but she could not rest or sleep, either- not right away.

About three in the afternoon, two women from her church came in and gave her communion. They asked Anne to pray with them, which she did. All of the sudden, tears rolled down the patient’s cheeks. She sobbed as they continued praising. Soon, she heard Father Joe’s shuffle coming down the hallway.

The two women greeted this priest at the door informing him, “Our sister in Christ is crying but we do not know why!”

He entered the room as the two women left. Anne failed to speak due to her emotional state. Without delay, the priest started anointing this sick parishioner. As his healing hands moved over Anne’s forehead, again, with God as her witness, her body felt on fire. The tears really flowed through the prayers of this man. Without uttering a word, she remained mystified as he finished his sacramental blessing then left her hospital room.

Near the end of his blessing, she stopped crying. Anne felt a comforting “presence.” It lulled her into very sound sleep.

She failed to awaken for supper. After midnight, as the night nurse took her vitals, Anne finally spoke asking the woman, “Can you change this bedding and my gown? I am soaking wet!”

Her nurse recognized her, “I remember you from September of last year. I remember your heart’s irregularities spontaneously healed last time you visited us.” Then, she helped change this patient as well as the sheets. As she finished her tasks, the lady added, “I believe you broke that fever. I can call the lab technician to draw your blood. You may be well enough for that transfusion but the blood count will be studied before that procedure. I have a good feeling about your blood work.”

This nurse winked at Anne because this medical worker believed that her patient received blessings and presents of healing from a Supreme Source.

Anne felt very comfortable falling easily back to sleep. About four in the morning, she heard a male voice calling her out of slumber. The face of her technician became less blurry as she opened her eyes. Another familiar face; he drew her blood in September.

“Mrs. LaMonte?” He looked shocked and amazed to see her back.

“Jock, is that you?”

He asked, “How do you know my name?”

Anne answered, “When someone is as patient as you trying to find veins, your attitude remains a great memory especially when you had to use one directly connected to my heart. When you mentioned that only a few people are permitted to use that vein, how could I forget you and your gentleness?”

“So you remember me?”

“Yes, you introduced yourself by name back then. You are from Jamaica, right?” He shook his head smiling while completing his current task.

About a half hour later, the night nurse returned with a huge smile, “Just as I suspected! Your internal bleeding stopped; your blood count is back to normal. There is NO reason for a blood transfusion!”

This woman shared the secret of this healing with Anne but soon others would hear the good news- the God news.

After hearing the test results, Anne let out a sigh of relief falling back to sleep while feeling very content! Voices interrupted her rest. While making rounds with the entourage, the mentoring physician reviewed her blood results. As she remained drowsy, he listened to her heart. He announced to the interns, “This patient arrived with internal bleeding due to unmonitored Coumadin. For some unexplained reason, her bleeding stopped when her fever broke. A technician drew blood a couple of hours ago; her blood count returned to completely standard range. A scheduled blood transfusion became unnecessary.”
Pleasantly pleased, these resident interns and their mentor talked very softly among themselves while shooting strange looks Anne’s direction.

Did her spontaneous healing stump those physcians? COME ON BUY her book to find out that answer and more details.

By the way, as I slowly grew in trust of the ultimate goals God had for my life, as I co-wrote those books and many other nonfictions that witnesses of God’s presence, I encountered many other tales, which I later shared in other nonfiction books.

Stay tuned for more details!

You can find these books through AMAZON as paperbacks and for Kindles @
https://www.amazon.com/author/mchanson714

as well as other e-book formats thru

http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=mchanson714

Find my other blog @
http://mchanson714.blogspot.com/

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Spotlight on Rocky Road by Susan Loher

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Here’s an Excerpt for the great story!

Excerpt:

Wouldn’t someone who really wanted to get married be a little more careful than this? Not that Ancy doubted Mark’s intentions. He was he One. And she wouldn’t nag him about it.

Honestly though, severing most of the nerves in his hand should’ve been enough for one week—but no! He had to go and whop himself on the head too. It wasn’t like Mark to be this accident-prone, and he’d been getting worse over the last few months. Working too hard so he’d be a good provider, no doubt.that’s just the kind of guy he was. She smiled, visualizing him in a black tux.

Focusing on her impending nuptials usually distracted her from thinking about whether she’d make department head. And lately, her im-pending groom had been more than enough distraction.

She checked the temperature of the paraffin tub. “This’ll feel a little hot, but it’ll help with flexibility.” He grimaced as she dipped his right hand into the warm wax. Then he gave her bum a squeeze with the left one. “Quit it before someone sees us.”
Since he wasn’t dragging his feet—that much seemed obvious—why couldn’t he stay in one piece long enough to put some professional distance between them?
“Mark, you’ve dropped a wall on your head, nailed your foot to the floor, and dislocated your shoulder. Are you trying to get out of our wedding?”

Whoops. She bit her lip and glanced over her shoulder. Outpatient Physical Therapy was crowded in the afternoon. he last thing she needed was for someone to overhear her in a lover’s spat… with her patient. That would not only prevent her promotion to department head, it would end her career. Instantly. Working quickly, she covered the warm wax with a plastic bag, then slipped a padded mitten over the whole thing to lock in the heat.

If only there were a simple way to get around the patient-therapist dating taboo. But because her specialty was post-traumatic hand rehabilitation, she was the therapist most qualified to care for Mark’s injuries—so she and Mark were forced into secrecy until he regained the use of his hand. “Well, couldn’t you try to be just a little more careful?” She kept her voice to a low hiss. “At this rate, I’ll be ninety by the time we even set the date.”

“Aw Ancy, a few more weeks and this thing will be as good as new.” He grinned and held up his thickly swaddled hand.

Yeah, right. She’d treated her share of injuries. his one was far from pretty, even though she hadn’t seen it until after the surgery. His poor body.

“Please just be more careful. I want to wear my ring on my finger, not on my necklace where no one can see it.” She displayed her perfectly healthy left hand, its third finger perfectly naked. Did Mark have any idea how hard it was on her to keep this a secret? And not just from the department—from Jen, her best friend in the whole world.

Though she was the one best qualified to treat Mark, Jen—perky, sexy Jen—could have treated his injuries. But then Jen and Mark—not that she didn’t trust him—but why create temptation by throwing her beefcake fiancé into the capable arms of her best friend? Besides, every difficult PT case brought her another step closer to becoming department head. She couldn’t risk losing that kind of security, not when she almost had it in her grasp.

“Promise me you’ll be careful.”

“You worry too much.” He looked so hot when he gave her that wink that said she could count on him no matter what.

“Mark, I’m serious.” She added a stern, professional note to her voice as Doris Ridgewood, the department head—who was due for retirement any second—passed by.
“You have to take some time of work to rest. If you don’t, you’ll never regain full use of your hand.”

Doris nodded approvingly and continued on her way.

Mark leaned close. “It’s kind of exciting, don’t you think, Ance?”

“What is?” She checked her watch. Almost time to unwrap the hand and work on scar mobility.

“Knowing you’ll be mine to have and to hold.” He waggled his dark brows meaningfully. “His hand is going to make a full recovery, and you know what I’m gonna do with it.”
She could feel the blood rushing from her extremities, and probably from a few vital organs, straight to her face.

Jen, between patients, was walking past. Had she overheard Mark’s titanically not-suitable-for-work innuendo? She slowed. Cocked her head.Pivoted on her heels.Ancy’s promotion slithered down to the pit of her belly as Jen marched up to her and pulled her aside, a thunderstorm brewing in her eyes. “Is this guy giving you a hard time?”
Fresh guilt welled up inside Ancy, and she was sure her cheeks were as red as if Jen had targeted her with a laser pointer. Jen didn’t have a clue, and it made Ancy feel like a big, fat liar.

“I um, got something in my eye.” Jen shot her a strange look. But it was the only thing Ancy could think of on such short notice. She turned away and pretended to wipe at her face. When she looked again, Jen was with another patient. Ancy had never kept a secret from her best friend before, and she was starting to hate the way it made her feel.
Maybe she should tell Jen and just get this whole thing of her shoulders. But then Jen would be obligated to tell Doris, and Ancy wouldn’t blame her if she did. And she’d lose her job. Her watch’s second hand swept up to the 12.

Back to Mark. The mitten, the bag, and the wax came of, and she began to manipulate his hand through range-of-motion exercises, bending and stretching all his fingers, careful not to apply too much pressure to the still-healing surgery scars. His hands were muscular. Strong hands, dependable hands. the hands of a man who would stand by her through whatever life threw at them. And he wouldn’t leave her the way Steve had. he way her father had left her family.

“Nice technique, Ancy.” Doris’s voice behind her shoulder made her flinch. The woman didn’t approach like a normal person, she appeared. Ancy had never once heard her coming. “Young man,” Doris said, skimming over the floor and coming to stand beside Ancy, “our Miss Robertson is highly qualified in her specialty. She’s one of the best.”
Wow. It wasn’t every day Doris handed out a compliment like that. Could it reflect an intention to recommend Ancy for the promotion?

“Of course, Fidelity General Hospital is soon to be blessed with a second, equally qualified therapist. He’s one of our alumni. Your case might prove especially interesting to him.” She glided away, and Ancy pictured Doris as a young, heavy-browed girl balancing a book on her head.

Her mind was racing. “Mark, do you realize what this means? It’s the answer to our problems.” Because an equally qualified therapist who didn’t have her seniority could take over Mark’s case without threatening her promotion. Then the bit about the alumnus sank in.

“Ouch, let go!” Mark’s face contorted.

Ancy loosened her grip immediately and banished the unsettling thought from her mind. “I’m sorry.” She returned to her work on his hand and whispered, “You can switch to the new therapist, and we can come out in the open.”

She pulled the curtain halfway around the bench for a little more privacy before starting to work on Mark’s other injuries. These weren’t as serious as the one to his hand, and while she concentrated on deltoidius, trapezius, and rhomboideus major and minor, she couldn’t help but notice Mark’s build on a more superficial level, which was part of the reason she’d pulled the curtain. Half the staff would be drooling over him if they saw his bare chest.

As it was, all she could manage to say to him when she finished the examination was, “Looks good.”

The curtain behind her swished open, and the scent of Obsession for Men filled her mind with images from the past.

Steven Stone.

Steve and her, training together, working together.

Steve, the only guy who’d ever made an effort to understand her autistic brother and had never made fun of him.

Steve and her, in his fossil fuel–burning Mustang….

Steve… the second and last man who’d walked out of her life. A wall slammed down in her heart.

It couldn’t be him. She made herself turn around. Her arm brushed The paraffin tub, and liquid wax sloshed over the sides. A distant splash marked its landing on the floor.
Her heart did that funny flipping thing that made her breath catch in her throat.
It was him.

Susan Lohrer
About Susan Lohrer:

Susan Lohrer grew up all over western Canada and lives in BC with her husband, their two children who are still at home, three dogs, and far too many aquariums. She believes life is always better with a healthy dose of humor.

How to contact Susan Lohrer:

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Let the Girls Lead

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In their book(s) ‘the S.H.E Anthology, ‘The Evans Terrace Girls’ give their account of what happened when 7 or more parents died within a year or 2 of each other in a small subdivision of about 110 homes. People started saying their land was CURSED. The children heard those rumors about their subdivision and were scared to death. Then, when a neighbor lost her dad to a blood clot after surgery, the kids felt the need to help. When one of the girls heard the rumor that the mourning family ran out of milk, she setup a traditional solution or proverbial lemonade stand. That day, other angels or young children arrived; many of those neighbor kids ran door to door selling half glasses of hot lemonade. They raised enough quarters to buy milk and other perishables. More importantly, they formed a group that became a club and led their neighborhood out of grief. A CHAPTER excerpt from their story follows.

Excerpt: ‘Tis The Season

The holidays seem to make shopping imperative. Being girls, we enjoyed that event just as much as the nursing home women did. However, sometimes, our allowances were needed for more important things than just a new outfit to add to the other twenty- five in our closets. Our club was about to happen on one of those causes.

Right before the holidays a year earlier, Joy found out that one of her friends had inherited two cousins. One of the boys was just two weeks old and the other was eighteen-month-old when their single mother died in her apartment of an epileptic seizure. These two miracles survived two days with their deceased mother before authorities found them. Their aunt’s family was not well to do but had inherited two cribs for the boys. However, just near Christmas, they needed real beds for these toddlers.

Our neighborhood parents have a cookie swaps once a year during the holidays. The mothers go and exchange sweets while discussing us. We always wanted to be able to attend. This year the club came up with a reason to be invited to this party. We wanted to raffle items using the proceeds to buy at least one bed for these two boys.

Nicole’s mother hosted and let us set up a table to sell tickets. There were donations of new jewelry and Christmas items to raffle. We charged a dollar a ticket. On our little table sat our flyer of community services completed and goals to finish this year.

As one guest read the document, she handed us a five-dollar bill whispering to my mother, “What is their goal?”

“At least one bed,” She responded.

“Well, good luck. They probably won’t even raise enough for a mattress,” this woman added.

“I’ve seen them sell one hundred and seventy one dollars’ worth of lemonade and still have over half the original gallon. I bet they can get this bed,” My mother defended.

“Good luck,” The guest reiterated.

“I believe in miracles,” Mom observed smugly. “ ‘Tis the season!”

The next morning as we recounted the cash, it was our turn to gloat. We had raised one hundred-forty dollars for our orphans. Nicole and I had come up with the raffle idea and our pride filled us with joy.

The telephone rang early; it was Laura, Nicole’s mother. “Hey, why don’t we go to estate sales, today? We could try to find a nice used bed for the girls to give this orphan,” She suggested to our only adult, permanent member to this club. Along with exhausting and futile searches, they checked the local paper. In the paper, there was an ad for twin beds. Laura made a call to the woman with this item. After hearing the story, the lady agreed to meet us and possibly sell us the bed for a bit less than the asking price of four hundred dollars.

Laura made to appointment and took the directions to the self-storage facility. Unfortunately, Nicole’s mother was new to the area and from Brazil originally. Sometimes, these facts lead to communication difficulties. Unaware that we didn’t really know where this storage facility was located, the club members entered Nicole’s and my mother’s van.

“Okay, I’ll follow you,” My mother yelled across to the other driver.

After a few turns and some meandering, my mother became anxious. We were headed towards the migrant farmer area of town and away from storage facilities. A few more blocks and we’d be past the agricultural area landing in the middle of alligator pods and wilderness. Realizing there was a problem, my mother began signaling with her lights for Laura to stop. The others in that van must have realized we were lost because it didn’t take long for both vehicles to pull off the road to discuss the situation.

“I don’t know. This facility should have been sooner,” Laura spoke in her heavy Brazilian accent.

“I think we got a turn or two the wrong direction,” My mother agreed.

“Well, she says turn right on Airport Road,” Laura read her scratch sheet of paper.

“What is the name of the storage place?”

“U-Store, I think.”

“Hmm, I think I know where we wanted to be. Follow me!”

Then without a clue to whether she was heading for the correct facility because this area was big enough for several storage places. Our main chaperone led on a wing and a prayer. She pulled our car into the location that seemed correct but it had the wrong name.

As Laura pulled into a parking slot nearby, our fearless leader jumped out of the car and ran over to her window, “This place has the wrong name but is the only one on this road. Are you sure you have the street name correct?”

“Here, I have a telephone number. Maybe, we can call the owner,” Laura offered just as confused.

My mom grabbed her cell phone from our car and dialed rapidly muttering, “She’s probably at the storage place and won’t even answer this call.” Then, someone answered and a conversation occurred, “I am at public storage facility on Airport Boulevard, am I at the right location?” After a few nods and frowns, our leader spoke aloud to us. “I think we are lost. The woman on the telephone was the mother of the seller. We’ll wait ten minutes before we give up. The lady says we are at the right spot, maybe.”

It seemed like an eternity, “Let’s go. This lady isn’t late! We are at the wrong place!” Joy’s impatience revealed itself, again.

Just as we all gave up hope, in came a car with a “Jesus is the magic” sticker. It was truly a miracle that we found one another because we arrived by reversing the scribbled directions, and she was held up in traffic. When she called home her mother told her we were at the wrong location. So, this Christian almost drove home but figured she’d drive by just in case her mother was incorrect.

After a good chuckle, we started to bid on the twin beds. They were gorgeous oak and in fine shape. However, we only had one hundred-forty dollars, and it was weeks until Christmas. Thus, our allowances were all assigned to various gifts for our family.

“I am sorry! I want to help your cause but these two beds that can be arranged as bunks are less than a year old. I paid a thousand dollars for them before I lost my job. The price of four hundred is already a sacrifice.”

“Couldn’t you sacrifice a bit more?” Laura’s mom commanded instead of questioning. “These beds are for some orphans not for some rich family.”

“They lost their mom to epilepsy and went to stay with their aunt who already had children to raise. She lost her job to care for her nephews,” Mom tugged on her heart.

“Excuse us,” Laura pulled my mother aside. “These beds are too nice, and she has her own sad story. I don’t think she’ll give them to us for less. What should we do keep looking?”

“Yes!” Then our leader noted, “The girls only have one hundred-forty. We can’t even meet her in the middle with a bid.”

Wandering back over, my mother explained it to us all. At that, the stranger stopped our movement back to our vehicles, “I’ll let you have both beds for two hundred dollars but only if you can pick them up by tomorrow.”

“Sold!” We all screamed as Laura and Mom flinched. The club was sixty dollars from reality. However, our leader knew that when we had a goal we’d usually surpass it so both adults remained silent or too stunned to speak. In either case, I called an emergency meeting to find sixty dollars in less than twenty-four hours.

As we sat at our kitchen table, Stacey, my cousin and current sibling, overheard the plight of the two orphans. She was five years older than I was, so this sister usually stayed away from my activities. However, this project hit home for her. A few years before this Christmas and a short time before Jane lost her dad, Stacey buried her mother due to cancer and her dad because of suicide. After these four horrible weeks, my cousin came to our house permanently and became our older sister. Thus, she could empathize with the plight of orphans.

Wandering back in sight, Stacey tossed ten dollars on the table. “Here, I want to help with my allowance.” She vanished as quickly as the money arrived to the table.

“We can use our allowance. If we all gave ten dollars it would be more than enough,” I stated.

The next day was rainy. Our leader had arranged for my dad to drive the beds to their new home using his pickup truck. She invited the recipients to meet us at the storage facility and guide us to their home. It poured and drenched all the earth around us as we loaded up the beds and covered them with traps, plastic, and raincoats. Then, we caravanned to their new location. In spite of the rain, the orphans received their Christmas gifts early.

Our main adult sponsor has a letter from Jesus that her mother left behind on the day of her death. It talks about talking problems over with Jesus and letting him be your friend or guide. One line in the note says that He feels our emotions with us, and his tears are in the rain. Today, they are droplets of joy; I am sure.

“Praise the Lord,” the new mother of the orphans, their Aunt Nora, gasped as she hugged each member in attendance and blew kisses to the rest. Then, she made her two toddler boys smooch each girl and with a loud voice say, “Thank-you!”

Before we left, my mother bent over to say good-bye to the boys. The oldest one leaped into her arms hugging her wildly. Our mentor threw her head back laughing. Then, she talked quietly into his ear, “You are so sweet.”

At his young age, he seemed brilliant as he told her loudly, “I see the angels! Right there!”

“Where?” My mother giggled not mockingly but just because she was taken off guard.

Nora chimed in, “This one is so special!” She grabbed his arm and said, “He sees the angels that took care of his brother and him. I believe him.” She gave the child a peck on the cheek.

Then, he made his eyes stay open by using his fingers saying, “When mommy was like this,” the unspoken word was dead, “the angels told me what to do for my brother.”

“The angels were with you,” Nora sang hugging the youngest child. “They helped you find food to feed your brother and yourself.”

“Yes, I found the cereal. I couldn’t do the diaper.”

“That’s okay because your brother was clean at the hospital.”

“Yes, the angels helped him.” This youngster jumped from my mother’s arms taking his brother by the hand. They ran off to jump on his newly installed bed. We followed except for Nora and our mentor.

“It took two days for the neighbors to realize something was wrong. My sister was dead just after coming home because the baby was still strapped in his car seat. My sister must have gone for her medicine but didn’t make it. The medicine was lying next to her.”

“Wow!” My mom listened as I lurked in earshot.

“When the neighbors realized that my sister had not been seen in days and the baby was crying too much, they went to her door. It was locked but that little boy,” Nora recounted the incident while pointing towards the bunk beds, “called out, ‘My mom is sleeping too long!’ ”

“Sad!” My mom tried to imagine the scene. I did, too.

“That boy was only eighteen months old, and he was really being instructed by his angels to know what to say. They put another older child through an open window. She went into my sister’s apartment unlocking the door for the police and her parents. They found the boys. The oldest was trying to wake his mom up to talk to them.” She mimicked him poking her face to wake her up. “Like that!”

“Awe, were they okay? I mean I know the boys lived but were they okay at that point? Was the little girl that opened the door traumatized?”

“All the children saw the angels according to her mother. That kept the girl okay,” Nora told her newest children’s story. “They took these guys to the hospital and not one diaper rash out of either of them. Not one bruise or harmful mark! No sign of dehydration or malnutrition! The oldest said it was because of the angels. I believe him.”

Goose bumps took over my skin as I believed this story, too. “It makes sense. To last two days unharmed, there must have been angels with them.”

“To this day, anyone that helps these boys is blessed. You all are very blessed,” Nora added.

“Yes, we were to get these beds for you!” My mom gloated.

“No, I mean you are blessed forever by these children’s angels.”

After that, the oldest boy emerged from his bedroom and leaped back up into my mother’s arms. “Thank-you!” He hugged her. “Did you see them? The angels are here!”

My mom nodded and smiled at him.

“This one is very leery of strangers, but he loves you,” Nora explained. “It is because you are close to his angels. All of you are! God bless you!”

The little boy’s sentences were so eloquent for his age that he captured our imagination. His new mother was so sure about the angels that none of us left doubting their miracle story.

To the neighbor that played doubting Tom, my mother’s heart winked as she said, “I believe in miracles!” However, sometimes, you have to help God accomplish them instead of just praying and then waiting.

A majority of the proceeds from the S.H.E. Anthology go to agencies that deal with children with PTSD. So, come on buy to be inspired and help grieving children.
It’s a WIN-WIN.

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Today’s stop on the Page Turner Book Tour for Elizabeth Lang and The Empire

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Thank you for stopping by and joining us for our stop on the Read-A-Long portion of The Empire by Elizabeth Lang virtual tour. We are excited to post this segment of the story and we hope you enjoy it too!

The Empire – Chapter 7

The lights were dimmed when Kali ventured back into the cabin. Just a faint glow from the lighting strip above the door. Had he left the room after kicking them all out? That would be strange. Reaching for the light switch by the side of the door, she spotted a bump on the couch and a thin blanket stretched over it.

A ragged breath broke the silence and a strained sigh. Adrian moved restlessly, trapped by a burdened mind. His clothes lay neatly draped over the back of the chair. The bed wasuntouched.

There was a lump in Kali’s throat at the sight. She knew that despite what he had said earlier, Adrian didn’t want to be alone, but he felt he had no choice. Quiet as the shadows lurking in the room, she prepared for bed, watching to make sure he was not being disturbed.

~~~

Adrian was a realist. Each day unfolded to new disappointments an d this morning was no exception. His stomach was queasy and his mouthtasted bitter as the acid churned in his stomach. He spit out the cleansing water and splashed more of it on his face as he studied himself in themirror. Blood-shot eyes and the face lacked a healthy color, but otherwise he appeared normal. Whatever that meant. His jaw tensed at anotherstab of pain in his head. The tracer was only supposed to take a few hours to attach itself to his brain, or so the doctor said, but it was clearly takinglonger than that.

A visit to the medical unit was required. He didn’t have to report to the science lab yet, and breakfast wasn’t an appealing idea this morning.

Raking fingers through tousled brown hair, he passed a comb through it. It was a longer than regulation by one full centimeter, time for another cut.

There were never any excuses for a shoddy appearance.

Re-entering the bedroom, he averted his eyes when he saw Kali getting up. She wore a simple beige nightgown that gave her a soft, feminine aura that was hard to imagine in the severe black uniforms. Her gray eyes seemed lighter than he remembered. “The bathroom is yours, Ensign.
I’m finished.”

Kali winced at the formal address. Rank had never been a barrier before. “Thank you.” She slipped on a matching beige robe, trying to keep the atmosphere civil. “You’re up early.”

He stared at her for a moment, his dark hazel eyes deep with unknowable thoughts. “I have to go.”

“Thank you for the use of the bed last night. You didn’t have to do that.”

“Tell Bryce to clean up when he arrives. And have him deliver breakfast to Science Lab Four.” With that, he left.

~~~

“The pain is normal,” said Dr. Grift, as Adrian slid off the examination bed. The bio-readouts showed multi-colored graphs and in the center, adetailed scan of a brain in varying overlapping hues.

“You said the device only takes a few hours to attach itself.” He drew his dark gray shirt back on and refastened it.

“That’s right.” The scans clearly showed a small black area that did not belong in a normal brain. “It has successfully integrated with yournervous system.”

“But I still experience pain.”

“Well, you would,” Dr. Grift said, his eyes unwavering.

“I see.”

“I’m glad you do. I do hate having to explain the obvious. Especially if it’s unpleasant.”

“I need to be able to concentrate.”

The doctor punched in the commands to save Adrian’s scans. “If you’re looking for chemical aid, you won’t find any. Not until the Admiral changes his orders. They tell me you’re a bright man and a Firster. Genetically superior to the rest of us. I’m sure you’ll find a way to adjust. You’redismissed, Lieutenant.”

~~~

“Well, well, well, look at who decided to grace us with his presence. If it isn’t our former Tech Commander.” The hostility rolled in wavestowards Adrian the moment he entered the Science Lab.

The speaker, a man with an arrogant air and a perpetually tanned face, was a familiar figure to Adrian. He wore a white knee-length lab coat with a swirling science emblem like his. The Tech Commander markings were new and nearly made Adrian’s lips curl in sarcasm, but he
maintained a blank expression.

Alan Kegan was a dangerous little sycophant with no talent, ordinary intelligence and a disgusting ability to do ‘favors’ for those who hid his ineptitude and advanced his career. If his family had not been rich and had the right political connections, he would have spent his life in the juniorranks. A spoiled, vicious, nasty product of his class; the youngest son only marking time until he inherited his portion of the family fortune. Adrian had detested him the moment he set eyes on him. The toad appeared to have come up considerably in the Empire food chain. Kegan had been asimple lab tech—one who required constant supervision—on the Neutron Wave Project.

Pain pierced Adrian’s head again and he gritted his teeth in annoyance, but otherwise he remained stony-faced.

Kegan came up to him, toe-to-toe and a nose shorter. A few lab-coated scientists and gray-jumpsuited techs were working around the roombut they kept their heads down, hoping to stay out of the line of fire.

“Professor Stannis.” Kegan spat out Adrian’s name and his nose flared. “You nearly ruined my career with that little stunt of yours. To think I admired you once. But things are different now. I’m in charge.”

“Are you really?” Adrian’s voice was acid on unprotected ears.

“You think you’re smart but who’s laughing now? All I need to do is tell the Admiral you’re not cooperating. Then what do you think will happen?”

Adrian’s lips lifted in a snarl and his eyes were penetrating, a spear of ice poised to strike. “What do you think will happen to you if this project doesn’t produce results? I doubt if the Admiral is a patient man and you are the Tech Commander. Push me too hard and I will bring you down withme.”

“Is that a threat?” Kegan’s face was so close, Adrian saw the individual hairs of the stubble on the man’s cheek and his hot breath carried the smell of coffee with too much sugar.

“I do not issue threats, only inescapable facts.”

“I can make your life very uncomfortable.”

Adrian tilted his head slightly, his eyes full of insolence, but he didn’t say anything. He didn’t need to.

“I’m the Tech Commander,” said Kegan, his voice rising.

“Are you trying to convince me, or yourself?”

Kegan’s tone abruptly changed. He became friendly and his eyes were sly. “If you do well, I could see to making things a bit more pleasant for you. The Admiral and I are close.”

Adrian snorted in derision, thinking the Admiral had very little taste and even less in brains. “So that’s how you received a promotion you are supremely unqualified for.”

“You’ll pay for that.” Kegan’s eyes flashed murderously.

“If you’ve finished this charade, I’d like to start work.”

Kegan picked up a large screened datapad and threw it at him. “Here! Phase One. You remember it don’t you? The one I was working on?”

With reflexes still dulled by his ordeal, Adrian nearly dropped the pad. “You mean the one you botched and I was brought in to fix?”

“Well then you should be able to do it faster, won’t you? You have one month.”

“That’s impossible,” Adrian gripped the pad tightly, the only outward sign of his growing anger,
“Phase One took—”

“I know how long it took.” Kegan stepped too close again. Adrian decided that sugar in coffee was disgusting and he would never have that combination again.

The insipid man continued, “I told the Admiral you would be able to complete it in a month. He likes fast results and I intend to give it to him.”

“You’re a fool. It took two years to generate the right compression wave.”

“Yes, but we know how to do it now, don’t we?” A rankly sweet smell punctuated every sentence as Kegan put his hands on his hips. “I must hand it to you, Stannis. You made sure you were the only one who understood the whole thing. Made the rest of us looked like idiots after they foundout what you’d done. None of us could reproduce the results.”

Adrian gave a cynical laugh, a corner of his lips curling in disdain. “You tried?”

“Fat lot of good it did. A whole year wasted and we couldn’t get past Phase One. Then they decided to bring you back in.”Kegan paced, circling Adrian, treating him like a caged animal. “Some people wanted to have you executed. Did they tell you?”

So the Sedener had been an illusion, thought Adrian. No one believed he was just a failed researcher, an embarrassment who needed to be put out of the way. In reality, they had given him a long leash and reeled him in when they found him useful again.

Kegan sneered, smelling success. “How does it feel to know the truth?”

“Do you think death scares me?”

An archly cynical female voice said from behind him, “Adrian isn’t afraid of death.”

Adrian’s back stiffened as the woman’s voice chilled the room, and there was another stab of pain in his head.

“He’s only afraid of life. Isn’t that right?”

Without turning to look at her, Adrian already imagined the steely black pupils and jet-black hair in his mind’s memory. There was no reaction in his voice, only a passive acknowledgement of her arrival. “Professor Boudreaux.”

“We weren’t that formal with each other once upon a time.” She came around to face him, another figure in a white lab coat but one possessed of an icy beauty, almost like a colder, female version of him. Her coat was pristine, with no markings, designating her as a civilian.
Tamara Boudreaux was a brilliant woman in the field of Wave Dynamics. A ruthless, ambitious climber. They had got on well and the sparksbetween them had provided for some spirited discussions. Adrian always appreciated intelligent people who didn’t waste his time.

His eyes locked on hers, their past relationship seemed like yesterday and her face was as he remembered; her ice-chiseled features, the high cheekbones that most models would be envious of, her lush dripping-red lips, and the eyes that mesmerized. He said, “Times have changed.”

“So I’ve noticed.” She ran a finger along his collar, a teasing motion that stirred old urges as he stood, a man needing to be a statue. “You haven’t changed.” Her chuckle sent ripples of excitement and apprehension down his spine.

His teeth clenched. The time with the Therapists was too close and Boudreaux was too much; she had always been too much. His mind wasin chaos, a confusion of revulsion and old desires.

“We’re working together?” He kicked himself for such an obvious question. His mind was no longer working at full capacity; control was slipping through his fingers.

“Does that displease you? Or make you uncomfortable? I hope it does you bastard.” Her eyes flashed with fury. “You nearly destroyed my career until they found out what you did.”

“I warned you to leave.”

“Yes, but you didn’t tell me why!”

“Then you’re after revenge?” He wondered how many in this room had the same agenda.

“I will get my revenge one way or another.” She came close, her voice an icy whisper only the two of them heard. “I’m not a fool like Kegan. I know how to make you squirm.” Her voice was seductive in its menace. “You have a consort now, don’t you?”

“No,” Adrian reacted before he could control himself. His heart was racing.

Boudreaux took a step back, with a satisfied smile that was far from her eyes. “You should never have crossed me, Adrian. I’m not a good enemy to have.”

“Do we plan to start Phase One today?” Adrian said grimly, his mask back in place. “Or would you like to save time and tell the Admiral we’ve already failed to meet the target?”

~~~

Bryce, thrilled at having his own room, and after spending most of th e night arranging his personal belongings, overslept and didn’t manage toarrive at Adrian’s cabin until long after the scientist left. He was about to buzz himself in when a yellow blinking light on the door panel screen caughthis attention. He slipped his ident-key in the slot and pressed the retrieval button. A message appeared.

Bryce,

Your ident-key will allow you access to the room.
Lieutenant Stannis’ orders for the day:
Bring breakfast to Science Lab 4.
Clean the room.
I will be in meetings all day.

Ensign Mirren
This was dead easy work, how hard could it be to clean one room. Most of it was self-cleaning anyway except for a few minor things like folding clothes and putting away of personal items. Maybe delivering some laundry. He didn’t know where to yet. He’d have to find that out.
“Sirs.” He nodded to two officers—a man and a woman with medical sciences emblems—who walked by and looked at him suspiciously.

Bryce wondered when he would stop feeling like he didn’t belong.

There was the little problem of bringing breakfast. He hoped the Lieutenant wasn’t too miffed at him for being late on his first day. He’d have to make it up to him somehow. Maybe a great big lunch. Speaking of which, his stomach growled in complaint at having been sorely neglected.
Time to get some food, for Adrian and himself.

~~~

Adrian peered inside the half-burnt accelerator unit, poking at charre d wires with an extended sonic probe. “How many attempts did you makewith this?”

His tone was flat but the barely veiled criticism of the words made Kegan bristle. “Three.”

“It exploded all three times,” Adrian noted impassively. He pulled out charred circuit boards and other twisted components to get to the less damaged ones underneath, throwing the useless parts to the floor with a clatter to join the ones already there.

“Yes,” Kegan said defensively, “if you must know.”

Adrian glanced up at him for a second before bending to his task once more. “Madness.”
Professor Boudreaux, who was setting up the computer simulations, said, “What Adrian means is that you’re a fool, Kegan.”

“Shut up, Boudreaux. If I wanted your opinion—”

“You would give it to me?” Her lips pulled back, revealing a row of pearly white teeth, like a shark who had just heard a bad joke. She saiddismissively, “You’re not only a fool, you’re pathetic.”

Adrian hissed and his fists clenched as sharp pain pierced the base of his brain.

Looking over sharply, Boudreaux asked, “Are you alright?”

“Nothing.”

“Some of those multi-packs probably still carry a residual charge.”

“I’m aware of that.” Everyone jumped as Adrian pushed the entire unit onto the floor with a loud crash. “This thing is useless. It would take less time to build an accelerator unit from scratch than to fix this mess.”

“Are you trying to say something about my work?” said Kegan, stomping over.

“Only that you’re incompetent as well as being a fool,” said Adrian, as he went to the storage compartments along the wall.

Looking over the neatly labeled drawers, arranged by category, he gave a small nod of approval at the organization. There was no excuse for shoddy work or not using your brain, even for a low leveler. The drawers slid open at a touch and he drew out components, arranging them on a
tray.

“You know, Kegan,” Boudreaux’s voice was rarely below a sarcastic tone when addressing the Tech Commander. “If you insist on being so defensive about every one of your mistakes, you’re not going to get any work done. Not that you’re getting any done now.”

“I’m the Tech Commander, I supervise.”

Boudreaux’s brow rose. “Adrian, I think you’re wrong.”

Adrian looked at her expressionlessly, though his eyes held faint curiosity—it was like old times. He brought the full tray over and sorted the parts by function. “About him?”

“Yes. He’s not only incompetent and a fool; he’s delusional if he thinks he’s fit to supervise either one of us.”

“I stand corrected.” Adrian’s tone was deadpan.

Bryce entered the lab with a tray, the delicious odors of roast chicken and buttery mashed potatoes wafting in with him, making stomachs grumble. Adrian continued sorting parts and neatly arranging them on one side of the workbench.

“Your food is here,” said Boudreaux, her mouth-watering. “Which reminds me, I’m off to get some lunch. I’ll see you in an hour.” Giving anotherglance at the tempting items on Bryce’s tray, she rushed out followed by the others.

Kegan continued glaring at the man who was ignoring him but decided it was much less rewarding without an audience. “Don’t forget. One month.” He left to get some food.

~~~

“What was that all about?” asked Bryce, putting the tray down on the only clear area of the table. He decided he didn’t like the look of the TechCommander and the woman; well she was beautiful, but she made him shiver in places that didn’t feel right.

Adrian looked blankly at the tray and the disappearance of the workspace he had deliberately left empty. “What is this?”

“It’s…” Bryce knew being late on his first day was going to come back to bite him. “…well, I know you said to bring you breakfast but I thought, as it’s…” He hoped he hadn’t messed up this assignment already. “Look, I’m really sorry. I know I messed up. I’ll try harder. You’ll get breakfast atbreakfast time and lunch at lunchtime from now on. I promise.” He looked at himwith slightly pleading eyes, hoping against hope Adrian wasn’t thecold-hearted bastard he always accused him of being.

Adrian continued staring at the intrusive tray. “Remove this.”

“Now look here. I apologized and this is just my first mistake.”

“The first of many, no doubt.”

“Fine!” Bryce grabbed up the tray angrily, sloshing coffee over the chicken leg. “I don’t know why you picked me. I wouldn’t have picked you in a million years!”

“You didn’t,” Adrian hissed, and clench his fists.

Seeing this, Bryce thought Adrian was angry and wanted to hit him. “I’ll go pack my things and you can tell the Admiral. The Sedeneris better anyway. It doesn’t have you on it!”

Keeping his voice even, Adrian said, “Plain ham sandwich. Leave the coffee.”

“Yeah, sure. I’ll get your damned ham sandwich. Plain.Before you throw me out.”

“You’re improperly dressed.”

“Isn’t it clean enough for you?” Bryce said sarcastically, determined to get his licks in since he was already on his way out. He was going to miss having his own cabin. And as for Kerril, he’d have to settle for remembering her in his dreams.

“Firster PAs wear a different uniform.”

“What do you care? You can dress up your next lackey if you find one good enough for you.”

“Familiarize yourself with the ship.”

“Why would I—” It was Bryce’s turn to stare at him, his mouth open. “Wait a minute. You’re not kicking me out?”

Without answering, Adrian used the cleared workspace and began building the framework for the new accelerator.

“Well, you could have said so.” Bryce breathed a sigh of relief.

“I believe I did.”

“You know, nobody understands you.”

“That’s not my concern.”

“For a smart man, you’re not very good with people. Though you probably don’t care, do you? ‘Course you don’t.”

“Are you finished?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll go get your stuff. Do you have any other orders?”

“Not presently.”

With this unexpected second chance, Bryce was determined to do it right. Adrian seemed to be hinting there were more privileges to being a Firster PA that he didn’t know about. He wasn’t about to give them up before finding out what they were first. “Why didn’t you tell me to wake upearlier so I could get you breakfast?”

“Do I need to?”

Bryce thought about his reply. “Alright, what time do you start here?”

Adrian continued working. “0800.”

“Eight?” Bryce groaned at the inhumane hour. “Right. I’ll be ready tomorrow. Even if I have to force myself to wake up.”

“Don’t put yourself out.”

“Well if you can do it, so can I.”

“How gratifying.”

~~~

With filled stomachs, work on Phase One began in earnest.

“We need more people for the ancillary tasks,” said Adrian. “Computer techs, weapons engineers, lab techs for the neutron mixtures.”

Knowing Kegan tended to recruit according to those who gave him the most benefits, not for skill or intelligence, he added sarcastically, “Preferably people who can read.”

Kegan had been hovering like a vulture, carefully watching Adrian’s every move, looking for any infraction to pounce on. “Give me a list.”

Popping in a translucent green data chip from a tray of blank ones on the table, Adrian compiled the requirements on his data pad. He handed the chip to Kegan. “The sooner the better.”

The Tech Commander might be an unpleasant toad, but he knew the price of failure. He raced out to exercise his authority.

“Unpleasant little man,” said Boudreaux. She activated the holoprojectors on the modeling unit and a rough outline of the accelerator unit appeared above the table. “Does your little consort have any useful technical skills or is she purely decorative?”

Her voice was innocent but Adrian knew nothing about Boudreaux was remotely innocent.

“If you touch her—” Adrian’s voice was low in case Kegan came back and overheard this conversation. Regardless of what his relationship was with Kali, and he wasn’t prepared to admit anything, she was his responsibility.

“Oh, I’m sure I won’t be able to touch her the way you do.” Her voice snaked seductively around him.

“I will end you.”

“You surprise me. I never thought you were capable of caring about anyone other than yourself. Of course…” Her voice became insinuating.

“She is a delectable treat. And as a consort, she is free.”

The look in his eyes could have frozen molten lava. “If you hurt her—”

“Oh, I don’t plan to, but I won’t guarantee that you won’t.”

Also Elizabeth Lang has shared with us an exclusive picture from The Empire Series

Empire 007

To read more of the Read-A-Long please follow the tour schedule…

03/03/2013 – Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways – http://tributebooksreviews.blogspot.com/ – Chapter 1

04/03/2013 – Vixie’s Stories –
http://vickiejohnstone.blogspot.co.uk/ – Chapter 2

05/03/2013 – Decadent Decisions –
http://wlynnchantale-decadentdecisions.blogspot.com – Chapter 3

06/03/2013 – Reviews From Beyond the Book – www.reviewsfrombeyondthebook.blogspot.com – Chapter 4

07/03/2013 – Great Alpha Speaks –
http://atrussell.com/Blog/ – Excerpt – Chapter 5

09/03/2013 – The Edible Bookshelf –
http://www.theediblebookshelf.blogspot.com/ – Chapter 6

10/03/2013 – Independent Writers Association –
http://iwassociation.com – Chapter 7

11/03/2013 – Self Publish or Die –
www.selfpublishordie.com    Excerpt – Chapter 8

12/03/2013 – Natasha Larry Books –
http://natashalarrybooks.com – Chapter 9

13/03/2013 – Michelle Anderson-Picarella –
http://shellypicarella.wordpress.com/ – Chapter 10

17/03/2013 – SheenahFreitas –
http://sheenahfreitas.com – Chapter 11

18/03/2013 – Castle Macabre –
http://castlemacabre.blogspot.com – Chapter 12

19/03/2013 – My World –
http://stephsgrn.blogspot.co.uk/ – Chapter 13

20/03/2013 – Reading, Writing And More –
http://stephsgrn.wordpress.com/ – Chapter 14

21/03/2013 – Ami R Blackwelder –
http://amiblackwelder.blogspot.co.uk/ – Chapter 15

Page Turner Book Tours and Elizabeth Lang have teamed together to set up an amazing contest, be sure to enter today for your chance to win a KOBO MINI!!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YzIxMjZkNjdjMTM3NDJjY2VlZGY1YWE2OTBmOGMzOjIz/

Thank you for joining us and Page Turner Book Tours and Elizabeth Lang today on our stop.

Ms Lang  About Elizabeth Lang:

I’m a science fiction writer who started off life as a computer programmer with a love for reading, especially science fiction, fantasy and mystery.

Being in computers, I found my writing skills deteriorating so I decided to take up writing. It became a joy to create characters, stories and worlds and writing soon became a passion I couldn’t put down. As a writer, I like to explore, not only the complexity of characters but the human condition from differing points of view. That is at the heart of the Empire series, of which ‘The Empire’ and ‘The Rebels’ are the first two of a four books series.

You can connect with Elizabeth Lang at the following places:

Author Page on FaceBook | Blog | Twitter | Website

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About Page Turner Book Tours:

Page Turner Book Tours is fronted by the face behind Read2Review Kate. Page Turner Book Tours has been put together to help promote authors and give something back to the writing world. Kate has put together a team of incredibly talented people to help with the project by incorporating their individual skills into making new, fresh and exciting promotional plans that we hope you agree are amazing. If you would like to book a tour with Page Turner Book Tours please check out their tour packages. If you would like to become a tour host with Page Turner Book Tours please check out their Tour Host page. You wont be disappointed!

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Today’s stop on the Page Turner Book tour for Elizabeth Lang

The Rebels Banner

Thank you for stopping by and joining us for our stop on the Read-A-Long portion of The Rebels by Elizabeth Lang virtual tour. We are excited to post this segment of the story and we hope you enjoy it too!

 

The Rebels – Chapter 4

The panther-bird flew straight at Kali, its glowing red eyes like laser beams about to slice her in two. Bryce panicked and chucked the broom at the creature. The hastily thrown projectile spun wildly and Kali flung her hands out to block it. The animal screeched, banking left as the broom whizzed past her left ear, bouncing off the door frame a millimeter from Adrian’s nose just as he stuck his head in to see what was going on. The bird-creature flapped frantically, winging its way back up to the rafters. It gripped the beam with stiletto-like claws, glaring balefully at them, and chittering unhappily.

Adrian rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Your aim could stand improvement.”

“Next time I’ll take a course before trying to help,” grumbled Bryce.

“Thanks for the warning.” Kali smiled in appreciation. “And the broom.”

“Yeah, well…you’re welcome.” Bryce eyed the bird warily. The creature skulked along a beam, its baleful eyes glaring at them from the shadows.

The corner of Adrian’s lips twitched as he followed the creature’s movements. It was small, barely ten centimeters standing on the beam, hardly a threat against three full-sized humans. After the dangers of the Empire, it was rather comical.

“Nevertheless, your imprecise efforts appear to have had the desired effect.”

Bryce bent down to pick up the broom and the creature spat at him.

“Watch it you oversized rat!” Shaking his fist at the bird, he brushed at the spittle that clung to his uniform in slimy yellowish globs. The pantherbird scratched the beam and flipped its tail at him. He was sure it was laughing at him.

“It doesn’t appear to be a rat,” said Adrian. “And it doesn’t seem to like you.”

“The feeling’s mutual,” said Bryce, picking up the broom.

Facing the winged creature, Kali had a far-away look, one Adrian recognized.

“I don’t sense any hostility,” she said.

The panther-bird cocked its head as if listening to their conversation. Its furry, pointed ears flicked occasionally. It leapt nimbly to the next beam, its wings half-fanned, dropping dust and soot on the watchers below.

“What do you mean ‘no hostility’?” Bryce jabbed the broom handle at it. “The thing tried to attack us.”

“I sensed fear.”

“Are you sure it wasn’t mine?”

“Very sure.”

“That doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous.”

The winged animal slinked along the beam, its sinuous body moving fluidly, keeping a watch on Bryce and his broom.

“I don’t think it was trying to attack us,” said Kali. “I think it was trying to make it through the door.”

“It was trying to escape,” Adrian noted, squeezing into the room past her and looking up at the creature. The thing stared back with big round eyes that didn’t blink. They regarded each other, their heads cocked in mirrored contemplation.

“We surprised it.” Kali joined him, her shoulder lightly brushing against his arm. She said in a soft voice, “It’s alright little one. No one will harm you.” She indicated the door with an open palm. “You can leave now.”

Light ripples of encouragement and reassurance radiated from her and bits of it splashed against Adrian’s conscious walls.

The little creature chittered in query, glaring at Bryce.

“Bryce, put your weapon down,” said Kali.

“It’s only a broom.”

Adrian added in a firm tone, “Now.”

“Fine.” The young man laid the broom on the table and stepped back, grumbling, “It’s only a bird. With fangs.”

The bird-creature dipped its head towards Kali, gave Bryce one last glare, and pushed off, flapping leathery wings as it flew out the door.

“That was educational,” said Adrian, taking a better look at the dim cabin. Rough-hewn logs formed the walls, in the manner of an inexpertly fashioned children’s puzzle. The knots in the wood were mutant growths rooted in the relatively straight grain. There wasn’t a great deal of precision in the construction but it was solidly built, enough to keep the snow out at least, if little else.

In the far corner away from the bedroom was the heater, an antiquated monster with a fat belly and rusty pipes that reached up and snaked along the walls, opening in vented grates. A model from the previous century, clogged with grime and debris no doubt. Next to it was a squat cube that appeared to be a generator.

Adrian noted, “At least we know there is a food source if we’re desperate.”

“Adrian, we can’t,” said Kali.

He glanced sideways, noting her reaction and wondering if he would have to forgo eating anything she made a psi connection with. This kind of ‘closeness’ appeared to have its drawbacks. “Let me guess. You wish to make a pet of it.”

“No. I mean, I’m sure there’s something else we could eat,” said Kali.

“Bryce.”

Bryce started. “Hey now, you’re not eating me.”

Adrian’s voice was dry. “I doubt if you would be palatable, but I was about to suggest that you go to town in the morning and pick up some supplies.”

“I could do that.”

“In the meantime, we make this place habitable. I will see to the heating system and the generator. You can patch up the holes and remove the debris.”

“We should keep the cold out.” Kali closed the door, plunging them into darkness.

“Well, that wasn’t a good idea,” Bryce’s voice chimed.

“It will be once we open the blinds and Adrian fixes the generator so we can have some light.” They heard a bump when she hit the table. The slats opened and dim rays filtered in from a half-eaten moon. “We might be fugitives but at least we have a home now.”

Adrian thought that calling this place a ‘home’ was somewhat premature and a rundown shack in the middle of nowhere was hardly his idea of an acceptable residence, but it was a shelter of sorts for people who had nothing. He didn’t plan to stay here indefinitely.

~~~

Adrian rubbed his hands and flexed fingers that felt as stiff as icicles. Candlelight flickered, throwing creeping shadows along the walls.

Candlelight. Primitive and barely adequate, but it was better than nothing. He set the dials on the generator, wiped a tattered cloth over the monitor screen, blowing at the dust and dirt, trying not to breathe it in. Antiquated seemed too generous a term for the machine. It belonged in a museum. Even the Sedener, their ancient science vessel, had technology from this century. He sighed, wondering if he was resigned to eke out an existence far from the cutting edge of all things civilized.

A panel to the side lay open, exposing tangled wires and circuit boards he checked earlier. The device ran on photovoltaic cells powered by solar panels on the roof. Not very efficient judging by the alternator setup. He paused a moment—if he was the praying type, he might utter a few words, or at least cross some fingers—and pressed the ON button. Bright light flooded the small cabin from illumination squares hanging from the rafters.

“Whoa,” exclaimed Bryce, his hammer poised to strike a joining tab. “Let there be light. Do you take requests? ‘cause I could sure use a beer.”

Adrian stared at him. “Is that all you ever think about?”

“Not all, but pretty close.” He grinned and rapped the tab.

Adrian scowled faintly, slid the panel back into place and went to examine the antiquated heating unit. His glower deepened as he stared at the monstrosity.

Bryce tugged the board to test the seal. It wiggled a bit but held. “Anything else?”

“There’s that wall.” Kali pointed.

A groan greeted that statement and he trudged over.

A thick crust of dust coated the heating unit and a latticework of cobwebs netted the monitor screen. Adrian leaned over it, shrugging off a shudder of repulsion as he used his sleeve to brush away the offending debris. Sensitive fingers felt along the edge of the access panel and hooked into a protruding lip. The covering gave way to a dull-edged bread knife.

Brown patches and a black scorch was burned into the middle circuit board. He yanked it out. “This requires replacement parts and a tool kit. I don’t suppose you’ve seen one during your explorations?”

“Back in your lab,” said Bryce.

Adrian directed a penetrating glare at him. “One that doesn’t require a suicidal trip back to Earth.”

“Oh, that,” said Bryce with forced lightness.

“Unless you’re volunteering.”

“We don’t have a ship.”

“We’ll find you one.” Brushing the dust from his sleeves, he studied the scarred board. “I can adapt the circuits from the medical scanner. As for the tools we need—”

“Wait a minute.” Kali lay down the piece of wood she was using to cover a hole with claw marks on the edges. “You can’t do that.”

“It won’t be simple, but if I bypass—”

“That’s not what I meant.”

A frown crinkled his brow. “I don’t understand.”

“What if we get sick or injured? This is an unknown environment. We don’t know what viruses are here and we haven’t been inoculated against local diseases. We might need the scanner.”

“I can easily convert it back if the need arises.”

“Can’t you find something else?”

“There is nothing else. We need the heater working before it gets colder.”

“Colder?” Bryce’s voice squeaked. His face twisted in a pained grimace, and looked as if someone had just frozen his pet cat and left it on his doorstep as a warning to those foolish enough to make their home in this winter wonderland.

“The average minimum temperature is minus forty during winter.”

Bryce groaned. “Don’t tell me this is summer.”

Adrian directed a long gaze at him—the kind he was famous for, devoid of humor and ready to dissect him for analysis. “Summer doesn’t come with snow.”

“Oh, good.”

Adrian directed his question to Kali. “Well?”

“I suppose we don’t have a choice.” She sighed, retrieving the scanner from her pouch and handing it to him. “Don’t break it too much.”

~~~

The tall man in the faded leather jacket blended into the shadows of the alley across the street from the security station. Pekanas was the kind of place where you might expect dust balls to roll picturesquely down mud-spattered roads.

Wood trim finished the buildings and frost painted the windows in jagged cracks. Lighting globes sat atop old-style lamp posts made of wrought-iron. The streets resembled cobble-stones but the smooth surface quickly revealed it was only a design etched onto a gritty composite cement-sheet.

A pair of shiny hover-bikes zipped past, trying to beat the traffic standard turning from amber to red. An energy barrier sprang up and they ground to a head-jarring halt.

Young fools. Argus turned his head to the newer, box-like building at the end of the street. It was an anomaly amidst the rustic look of the rest of the avenue. A single word in white block letters
against a black background. SECURITY.

A chill wind lashed his face as he stepped into the street like a man who knew where he was going. Long strides quickly took him to his destination, the Security building, a squat structure at the end of the street.

The automated door opened invitingly and officious gray walls greeted the newest visitor. A raised counter faced the doorway, with a single access gate on the right side and a security camera trained on the door from the corner. A freckled young officer in a dark green uniform sat straighter on seeing the visitor and shoved a tray of data chips to the side. A name badge read, Taylor. The young officer’s trained smile turned to a thin frown as he regarded Argus with the seriousness of a cadet wondering if this was a test. His pistol looked squeakingly new in the shiny holster at his waist. “May I help you?”

Argus imagined the young officer’s finger poised over the call button behind the counter. He tossed a badly scratched ident marker towards him and his voice was a rough, alcohol-soaked growl. “Your bounty log. I want to see it.”

“What?” The young man’s eyes crinkled as if this was the strangest request he’d ever heard.

“He’s a bounty hunter,” said a cracked voice, as a tall, gangly man with a thin graying beard emerged from door behind the young officer.

Sergeant stripes slashed his right sleeve and a badge with a worn bottom edge (as if it had been used to scrape something hard and nasty) identified him as Camsell. “We don’t get many of your kind here.” He leaned an elbow on the counter and looked down at him.

Argus faced them squarely, his hand nowhere near his gun, but not because he feared discovery. “Just passing through.” He could easily kill both of them without any weapons. “Trying to pick up some credits.”

“This is a peaceful town. We don’t need trouble here.”

His eyes bore into theirs, lips curling slightly. Then don’t get in my way. Instead, he said, “There won’t be any. I’m not here to make trouble.”

“They say people like you aren’t that much different than the criminals you hunt.”

“Then be glad I’m on this side of the counter,” he snarled, grabbing his ID marker. “I want to see the bounty log.”

Sergeant Camsell jerked his thumb in the direction of the corner. There was a hooded computer hutch with various screens. “Back here. Check it yourself.” He nodded to Taylor who pressed something behind the counter. A click unlocked the gate and it swung open. Argus pushed through, dropping his ruck beside the table with a heavy thud. He angled his body so they couldn’t see what he was doing, but he could watch them.

The computer screen displayed the Orasis planetary crest. A sleek, panther-like animal spreading fibrous wings and trying to look impressive with its talons extended. He touched the surface to bring up the menu and slotted his ident marker in the side. It wasn’t his, of course. A fake name with a fake identity to go with it. And a fake job. No one would guess he was audacious enough to waltz into security buildings as a bounty hunter, not when his name graced the same logs he was now searching for prey. He took great pains to make sure he didn’t look like the old days. No clean-cut soldier look for him.

Quickly scrolling through the options, he picked out details and committed them to memory. A couple of targets were in nearby systems, even one on Orasis at last sighting. Two had been caught and delivered by other bounty hunters. He glanced behind him. The older officer had left the room and the young one was reading through the data tray. Morbid curiosity guided his fingers as he called up a familiar bank of two rows, each with a golden fist symbol at the top right corner and rimmed in red.

Well, well…He leaned forward. The clean-shaven, crew-cut, uniform-pressed, square-jawed image that had once been him, had slipped to third place. With a lip-twisted scowl, he glanced over at the young officer who was still bent forward, reading reports on his monitor. Argus’ right fist clenched. One day…Hopefully very soon.

He turned back to the list. There was one cheery bit of news. Tucker the Rebel (or The Irritant as he was known in Empire Security circles) had dropped to number two.

He tapped on the first square and a new grim face expanded to fill the screen.

Lt. Adrian Stannis. The shoulder emblem showed the swirling atom symbol of the physical sciences division. Strange. What would a scientist be doing at the top of the ten most wanted list?

Wanted: Alive. $100 Million credits.

He gave a low whistle and glanced to make sure he hadn’t drawn any attention. Young officer Taylor tapped busily on his monitor.

Who did you piss off, Stannis?

At a hundred million it was enough to bring every bounty hunter this side of the Empire looking for the newest member of the Most Wanted club.

He wouldn’t mind collecting on it himself, but these high profile targets carried far too much attention for his taste.

He preferred bounties he could collect without making a personal appearance, and he usually didn’t touch ones that required them delivered alive. However—he touched the blankly staring eyes—if Stannis fell into his lap, he might find a way.

A hundred million could buy a lot of freedom.

Also Elizabeth Lang has shared with us an exclusive picture from The Empire Series

 

Rebel 004

To read more of the Read-A-Long please follow the tour schedule…

02/03/2013 – The Edible Bookshelf –
http://www.theediblebookshelf.blogspot.com/ – Chapter 1

03/03/2013 – Vixie’s Stories –
http://vickiejohnstone.blogspot.co.uk/ – Chapter 2

04/03/2013 – Decadent Decisions –
http://wlynnchantale-decadentdecisions.blogspot.com – Chapter 3

05/03/2013 – Independent Writers Association –
http://iwassociation.com – Chapter 4

06/03/2013 – Self Publish or Die –
www.selfpublishordie.com – Chapter 5

10/03/2013 – Reviews From Beyond the Book –
www.reviewsfrombeyondthebook.blogspot.com – Chapter 6

11/03/2013 – Great Alpha Speaks –
http://atrussell.com/Blog/ – Chapter 7

12/03/2013 – The Kat Daughtry –
http://thekatdaughtry.wordpress.com/ – Chapter 8

13/03/2013 – Sheenah Freitas –
http://sheenahfreitas.com – Chapter 9

14/03/2013 – Natasha Larry Books –
http://natashalarrybooks.com – Chapter 10

27/03/2013 – Castle Macabre –
http://castlemacabre.blogspot.com – Chapter 11

28/03/2013 – My World –
http://stephsgrn.blogspot.co.uk/ – Chapter 12

29/03/2013 – The Cro’s Nest –
http://p45crok.wordpress.com – Chapter 13

30/03/2013 – Tink’s Place –
http://myblog2point0.blogspot.com/ – Chapter 14

31/03/2013 – Reading, Writing And More –
http://stephsgrn.wordpress.com/ – Chapter 15

Page Turner Book Tours and Elizabeth Lang have teamed together to set up an amazing
contest, be sure to enter today for your chance to win a KOBO MINI!!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YzIxMjZkNjdjMTM3NDJjY2VlZGY1YWE2OTBmOGMzOjIz/

Thank you for joining us and Page Turner Book Tours and Elizabeth Lang today on our
stop.

About Elizabeth Lang:

I’m a science fiction writer who started off life as a computer programmer with a love for
reading, especially science fiction, fantasy and mystery.

Being in computers, I found my writing skills deteriorating so I decided to take up
writing. It became a joy to create characters, stories and worlds and writing soon
became a passion I couldn’t put down. As a writer, I like to explore, not only the
complexity of characters but the human condition from differing points of view. That is
at the heart of the Empire series, of which ‘The Empire’ and ‘The Rebels’ are the first two
of a four books series.

 

Ms Lang

You can connect with Elizabeth Lang at the following places:

Author Page on FaceBook | Blog | Twitter | Website

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About Page Turner Book Tours:

Page Turner Book Tours is fronted by the face behind Read2Review Kate. Page Turner
Book Tours has been put together to help promote authors and give something back
to the writing world. Kate has put together a team of incredibly talented people to help
with the project by incorporating their individual skills into making new, fresh and
exciting promotional plans that we hope you agree are amazing. If you would like to
book a tour with Page Turner Book Tours please check out their tour packages. If you
would like to become a tour host with Page Turner Book Tours please check out their
Tour Host page. You won’t be disappointed!

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The Fantastic and Fabulous Author Catherine Stovall: Reborn Blog Tour

Author Catherine Stovall

Author Catherine Stovall

Today is a special day because I’m interviewing Author Catherine Stovall. Not only is she a fantastic writer, she’s also a great friend of mine. I met Catherine over six months ago and we’ve spoken nearly every day since. She’s devilishly charismatic, exceedingly intelligent, wildly humorous, and vastly resourceful. I’ll never forget the conversation we were having when she mistakenly thought I was barely in my early twenties. The conversation was based on my own personal lack of action in the book publishing world. I was impressed at her success and all that she’d accomplished, and her words to me were, “You’re younger than I was when I got started.” Again, like I said, she’s very entertaining and I just can’t allow her to live that down. It’s always good for your ego when you are able to baffle a person as brilliant as she is, but it still sucks that I’m no spring chicken.

Catherine doesn’t like to be forced into a box, and she doesn’t like labels, therefore she writes in any genre that suits her fancy. Stolen and Reborn are considered many things including YA, Horror, Romance, and Occult. Fearful Day is General Fiction Horror. She’s currently working on a fantasy novel, a crime novel, and preparing to release a Drama Short Story.

Okay, enough dilly-dally. I could go on all night about how awesome Catherine Stovall is, but let’s get on with the interview and you can see for yourself why I so adore this woman.

You can enter to win a copy of Reborn from the Rafflecopter giveaway.

“I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.”
—Marilyn Monroe

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?
I am an eclectic in all areas of life. I wear many hats and do many things. In my “normal” life, I am a full time office manager, a wife, and a mother of three children. In my “creative” life, I write, sketch, and do amateur photography. In my “crazy” life, I ride motorcycles, play with giant reptiles, and generally do anything for an adrenaline rush.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing very early on in my childhood. It was not until I was 30 that I decided to write a book. I finished and published it within that same year.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I started with poetry when I first learned to write and it became a true passion for me. Later in life, it became a necessity for me. On the face of a blank page, I found my outlet for all things.

Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I grew up all over, born in Florida and later moving to multiple places through Missouri. I traveled extensively on the East Coast and lived in Alabama for a bit. We lived on farms and in small towns. I was the youngest of a large family and though times were hard and my parents were strict, I had a wonderful life full of hard-learned lessons.

Where do you live now and what’s it like?
I currently live in what I like to refer to as Sandland. It is a tiny town in Southeast Missouri with little life. It is a nice safe place to raise teens.

Do you have a day job? If so, tell us about it…
I am an Office Manager at a small loan company. I work with a crazy bunch of humans. They are always colorful and interesting. Sometimes they are plain insane.

If you could write a different genre, what would it be?
I am interested in writing Steampunk. I have tried my hand at it before but I don’t feel I have really captured the genre yet.

How much of the book is based on real life experience?
Many scenes in Stolen are based on true events in my life. When Jenda and Soborgne first meet the readers actually experience an embellished version of how I met my best friend of 20+ years.

What are your current projects?
I am working on ten separate projects right now, including Eternity: Requiem of Humanity: Book 3. There are several different genres to include YA Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, and Thriller. You can check out the complete list and their descriptions on my webpage.

>>> Catherine Stovall’s Webpage <<<

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about a book and what would it be?
I would like to redo the beginning of Stolen. Many readers have found the start to be a little slow. Being inspired by the early greats, I have a huge love of backstory and today’s readers seem to prefer a more action packed beginning.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
A short paragraph from Arcana ~ I spent three years in the darkness with no sun. It seemed like an eternity without feeling its warmth on my skin. Sometimes, I dreamed about it. In these dreams, I was younger and the world was the way it was before the war. I was twelve when the war first broke and sixteen when it ended. I remember clearly, what life was like before the High Priestess’ Age of Magic.

Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you get your inspiration back?
Writer’s block curses all writers at some point in their career. For me, it is best to separate myself completely from my writing for a few days. When I come back, I am similar to a starving man at a banquet table.

What do you do when you are not writing?
I read, spend time with my kids, and have adventures with my husband on our motorcycle.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
Horror has always been a fascination for me. Turning to the YA genre came from the desire to produce books I would want my children and little sister to read. I wanted to provide them with material that focused on true imagination and less sexual situations.

Where do you get your ideas?
My dreams are often nightmares and they provide plenty of inspiration. Other times I derive story ideas from everywhere around me. Music plays an enormous part for me as well.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I start with a general and very weak outline. I have learned not to focus too much on preconceptions because my characters never seem to cooperate and I end up veering way into left field.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I use social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. I find photo contest are very effective online. I also do as much in-person promotion as possible. This summer, I held a pet food drive for my local No-Kill Shelter. I also pass out fangs with promo cards attached to them at Halloween while I take my own children trick or treating. Both were great promotion opportunities. We will be hosting a blood drive in the spring for the print release of Reborn as well.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
I recently finished a YA Fantasy novel titled Faire Eve. I believe that once the book has found the right home, my readers will love it as well. Faire Eve is currently being reviewed and hopefully will be joining the growing list of my novels available to the public.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Not very original but, “Don’t give up. You may receive a hundred rejections but it only takes one yes. Also, save up and get an editing program. It will change your life.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you. Without my readers and fans, I would not be able to do what I love and share it with the world.

The Hypothetical Hotspot™

with Author Catherine Stovall

What are you going to do when the Zombie Apocalypse hits?
Grab a chainsaw, a bunch of guns, lots of food and ammo, and my laptop before heading to the most unpopulated area possible.

Where do babies come from?
Oh, they crawl in under the door while you sleep. Just like cockroaches, they never seem to go away either.

Can you pick any product of your choice and write a catchphrase for it?
Turtle Lattes. It’s like crack in your coffee. 😀

Do you have Road Rage?
My biggest pet peeve is when people pull out in front of me just to slam on their brakes and turn. It sends me into a spree of cuss words that could make a sailor blush.

What are three of your worst habits?
Marlboro’s, Mountain Dew, and my filthy mouth.

What happens when you get ‘half scared to death’ twice?
Well, if you have recovery time between the two scares, I am assuming, you could end up one quarter to one-third dead. If no recovery time then, I will see you when you return on the wrong side of the Zombie Apocalypse.

If I got slobbering drunk, would you make me a sandwich?
As long as you promised to slobber on the sandwich and not me. I got a thing with spit. Ewww…yuck.

If you write a book about failure, and it doesn’t sell, is it called success?
If you start writing a book and you finish it, that is success in itself. So, yes.

If something “goes without saying,” why do people still say it?
Because people love to hear themselves talk.

Why do all the superheroes wear underpants on the outside?
I always assumed it was for more restriction in that area. I mean the man of steel must have a few issues if he gets excited. ~~ waggles eyebrows~~

What is another word for “thesaurus”?
I was really tempted to list the word in every different language I could find but… I’m lazy so I’m going to go with an attempt to be funny. It’s a writer’s cheat sheet.

What would happen if Batman gets bitten by a vampire?
He’d be a Vampire Batman or he’d ditch the suit and just be hot.

If chocolate comes from cocoa beans, and beans are a vegetable, why isn’t chocolate a vegetable?
Wait! Chocolate isn’t a vegetable. OMG… my whole life has been a lie.

When does it stop being partly cloudy and start being partly sunny?
At the same moment when the glass stops being half-empty and becomes half-full. To specify that would be when people become delusional or they take their happy pills.

If a stripper gets breast implants can she write it off on her taxes as a business expense?
Actually, yes. Other tax write offs include thongs as uniforms and latex as safety materials. Thanks to a strange lawsuit.

What does PU stand for (as in “PU, that stinks!”)?
Not to be boring and informational but it is a shortened version of the French term peur that means to stink.

What do people in China call their good plates?
Home Plate?

What type of animal is Snuffaluffagus?
I believe Snuffy was created in the image of wooly mammoth, minus the tusk, so he did not frighten children. Whatever he is, he cracks my shit up!

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?
I have done a lot of research on how to kill people in cold blood (for the books I swear) and it is the general style and manner overall that determines a killing to be an assassination.

Stolen

Stolen

Stolen: Requiem of Humanity Series:
Book 1
Jenda and Soborgne are best friends and everything they do, they do together. Unfortunately, this time the girls may be joined at the hip in a far more horrible way: by death. The girls are kidnapped and held captive by Belle and Matteo, two vampires with a plan. Belle, a sociopath in life and death, is searching for an heir to her reign as the only vampire to hold the secret to surviving the sun. Matteo is a lost soul who would give anything to be loved and to see the light of day. As the four characters’ worlds collide, blood is spilled, lives are lost, and rules are broken. Disappointment in love and life bring out the worst in humans but, with vampires, it leads to a chilling tale of romance and terror.

Click the links for Stolen on E-Book and Paperback

Reborn

Reborn

Reborn: Requiem of Humanity: Book 2

After killing the only female vampire known to walk in the sun, Jenda and Soborgne travel with Matteo, Jenda’s true love and a major player in the girls’ human demise, to Budapest in search of protection and answers. Hunted by the Dracul for their crimes against the vampire Belle, their future is unsure and the danger is mounting. An ancient feud between God, Demons, and Vampires places Jenda and Soborgne at the center of a battle for their lives and a mysterious prophecy. The girls find themselves separated once again but this time, Soborgne has chosen to walk away. Feeling as if the world thinks she is the epitome of evil, she turns away from her friends and the light. Even the constant thirst and the rising darkness inside Jenda’s mind can’t stop her. To many coincidences and unanswered questions sends her back into the world of her mind and a visitor she thought long gone offers her the information she needs… for a price.
Click here to purchase Reborn.
You can also enter to win a copy at the Rafflecopter giveaway

Fearful Day

Fearful Day

Fearful Day (Short Story)

Sometimes, in the darkness, there are things waiting for the most innocent souls. Things that seek out the goodness in its victims because it is the most precious thing they can destroy. 

The author of Stolen: Requiem of Humanity: Book One brings you into the recesses of a twisted mind in this tale of demons, shadows, and prophecies fulfilled.
Click here to purchase Fearful Day.

Who designed the covers?
The incredibly talented Alaskan multi-medium artist Christy Weber, who also happens to be my sister, designed the covers for Stolen and Fearful Day. The Reborn Cover was designed by Mrs. Venus Botticelli, an equally talented artist who typically does not share her work with the world.

Before we go, did you enter a Rafflecopter giveaway? Did you join The Official Catherine Stovall Fan Page? Did you check out Requiem of Humanity Series on Facebook?

There’s much more to come on The Reborn Blog Tour. Stay tuned, she’ll be on the Writing Network tomorrow.

I adore you, Catherine Stovall. Thank you so much for dropping by. ♥

By Coey Cain

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Hypothetically Speaking with Author RG Porter

An Author Interview
by Coey Cain

“Even when Life seems at its most dark and despairing… there is within, the power to make change.”
Unknown

Author RG Porter

RG Porter has written a plethora of titles in genres such as Fantasy (dark, urban, epic) Paranormal and Supernatural Horror. She’s dabbling into some murder thrillers as well. Most of the covers were done by Tamra Westberry and Deadly Descent was done by Elena Helfrecht.

There’s several ways to reach RG Porter. Her website is done nicely and you can check out more about the Author and her books. You can get a hold of her on Facebook, show your support and keep up with what’s new and make sure you scope out her Blog.

Keepers of Water

Keepers of Water
Arieana’s brother is murdered by fanatics hell bent on eradicating humankind. In an attempt to free her brother’s soul, she crossed the rift between her world and humans. Once there she uncovers a conspiracy more deadly than the storms tearing her world apart.
Links:
Amazon US & Amazon UK

 

 

Innok’s Curse

Innok’s Curse
Gabriel is cursed. During the day he flies as a dragon, and during the night as a man. One woman can save him, and she’s hunted by the same man who caused his curse.
Links:
Amazon US & Amazon UK

 

 

Deadly Descent

 

 

Deadly Descent

Sometimes the discovery of a lifetime is better left alone. Dr. Tori Cutter finds out just how true that statement is when she is stuck hundreds of miles beneath the water’s surface and getting out alive proves more dangerous than the water outside.
Links:
Amazon US & Amazon UK

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I have 2 kids, 2 cats (also my kids) and a hubby who is a Brit. I love all sorts of music and hope to move back to the UK down the line. Oh, and I love playing MMORPGs (online role playing games). Past that, I’m quite easy going. I do have a day job, so writing is done when I’m able to. OH and I LOVE horror/supernatural movies.

If you use a pen name, tell us why…
I write under RG Porter. It’s a pen name, but only in a sense. It’s actually my last name and my first and middle initial.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I’ve written for as far back as I can remember, or at least told myself adventures. The first thing I ever wrote was when I was about 6 years old and had a cold. It was winter time and I was stuck in my bedroom in Ill. I wrote a small poem about a snowman.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always loved coming up with stories in my head. We had to write a story for school one day and my teacher told me I needed to keep writing as my ideas were fun.

Where did you grow up and what was it like?
Well, I was born in Illinois, grew up in Kansas and have since lived in Florida and now Texas. Out of them all I preferred growing up in KS as we lived in the country and I would just sit outside staring at the stars and tell myself stories. It was a brewing pot for ideas.

Where do you live now and what’s it like?
I currently live just outside Austin and it is just plain hot. Lots of traffic, dust and people. It’s busy here, but it could be worse. We live in an area that is quiet for the most part.

Do you have a day job?
If so, tell us about it… I work in Insurance ( I know quite mundane for a writer). But I enjoy it as it provides structure to my brain.

If you could write a different genre, what would it be?
I’ve started a couple stories that involve murder mysteries of sorts. One of them is in first person, which is totally new for me. What I would love to do is take a stab (no pun intended) into medical thrillers. I adore Leonard Goldberg’s stuff.

How much of the book is based on real life experience?
Most of my novels take aspects from everyday living. Whether it is where I live at, people I’ve been exposed to, or things I’ve watched/read. Everything around us has an influence on how we perceive things, even if we don’t see it.

What are your current projects?
I have a few items in works. I’m writing a short novella involving an Agent of the MCA (Mystical Creatures Agency) Think of it as the FBI of the Fae world. I’m also working on a novel being done in 1st person titled Blood Betrayal. Think of a Detective show meets Dylan Dog (movie). Both are a ton of fun. I also have follow-ups to a few of my series jotted down as well as a short for another anthology coming up.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about a book and what would it be?
I would make the Darkness Unleashed series darker I think. My writing has evolved from light fantasy to a more darker element.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Well, for the FBI one, the main character is Agent Fae E. Nuff. He’s teamed up with Jasmine (Jaz) Frost to try and find a kidnapped toothfairy agent. So far it has been a ton of fun to write. Working on the Fae world but without all the light magic you see most times. This is definitely an action adventure book, but will be readable by most ages.

Blood Betrayal follows the MC Samantha (Sam) Stone. She lives in a world where humans and creatures of the night (undead, werewolves, shapeshifters, immortals/ancients) co-exist with humans. It’s not always smooth and there are rifts between all the races. She’s a detective that is called in when crimes cross over between the species.

Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you get your inspiration back?
Oh definitely. I generally will take time away from what I’m writing and either watch a movie or get on one of my online games and play around. They are both great for kicking the juices back into gear.

What do you do when you are not writing?
Spend time with my family. That can be doing anything from swimming, TV, playing games, whatever we feel like doing.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’ve always been drawn to things paranormal/supernatural. I may start with an idea, but the story will take on a life of its own as it is written.

Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere, anywhere. Not to mention my dreams are fantastic for giving me crazy plotlines. It’s the one place you can have anything happen and there is so many possibilities available.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I’ll generally put together a rough outline, but I never stick to it. My characters tend to have different ideas in mind.

How do you market your work?
What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? I find it can be hit or miss, so I just go with what I can. I blog when I can, announce on FB/Twitter/Goodreads etc. I also do giveaways/contests when I’m able. Plus I’m part of a group of authors and we put out anthologies a few times per year.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Not as of yet. Being an indie, I can get the works out there, once they are ready.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Never give up. Just keep writing and reading. Learn what you can and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You won’t learn unless you try.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for your words of kindness, for reading the adventures and for taking the time to read.

On What’s Unique about RG Porter…

“Well if you ask my husband, he would tell you that I’m mentally insane for marrying a Brit and that I’m half human half cat. Never sure how true some of that is. I am an animal lover and find I can get most creatures to come up to me. I’m also a huge believer in paranormal activity. Some of it is due to an open mind, the other half is due to experiences I’ve had in the past. Between dreams coming true (nothing crazy but very mundane lol) to seeing images that can’t possibly be there.”

The Hypothetical Hotspot™

What are you going to do when the Zombie Apocalypse hits?
Get a boat and make my way to an island that can be fortified to keep me and my family safe. I’ll make sure to grab as many weapons, food and seedlings that I can. Good help any zombie that makes his/her way to my place. They won’t like the outcome.

Where do babies come from?
From a place where they believe in giving instant karma for past indiscretions.

Can you pick any product of your choice and write a catch-phrase for it?
Space Food: When regular food isn’t bad enough.

Do you have Road Rage?
Only when I’m driving I will take those who really make me mad and put them in one of my horror books where they suffer a horribly bloodied death.

What happens when you get ‘half scared to death’ twice?
You find yourself in limbo with the grim reaper trying to decide whether to slash you or make you spend eternity with Barney the Dino.

If I got slobbering drunk, would you make me a sandwich?
Of course. You would be praying for more alcohol in turn though. Peanut butter, hot sauce, marshmallows….

If you write a book about failure, and it doesn’t sell, is it called success?
It’s called repetition and being an overachiever. Not only did you talk about tanking, but you choose to relive it again.

If something “goes without saying,” why do people still say it?
Because repetition is the best form of idiocy.

Why do all the superheroes wear underpants on the outside?
Because in reality they are exhibitionists at heart. Why else would they feel the need to show off so much?

What is another word for “thesaurus”?
Unimaginative

What would happen if Batman gets bitten by a vampire?
The vampire would get Rabies from Batman and go on a rampage with the rest of the world.

If chocolate comes from cocoa beans, and beans are a vegetable, why isn’t chocolate a vegetable?
Because the government can’t condone something they can’t make extra money from.

When does it stop being partly cloudy and start being partly sunny?
When the sun decides it wants to be the center of attention.

Is there a time limit on fortune cookie predictions?
Of course, when they happen.

Why aren’t drapes double sided so it looks nice on the inside and outside of your home?
Because no one cares what other people think. Only what encompasses our small lives.

Why do people say beans, beans the magical fruit when beans are vegetables?
It gives parents a way to get kids to think they are eating fruit when they really aren’t  We all know kids hate veggies.

How fast do hotcakes sell?
Fast enough to keep you from getting burnt.

If a stripper gets breast implants can she write it off on her taxes as a business expense?
Well, since I can write movies I watch to further my writing, I don’t see why not. She’s using for her work, now isn’t she?

What does PU stand for (as in “PU, that stinks!”)?
Pathetic underling?

How come lemon cleaning liquid contains real lemons, but lemon juice contains artificial flavorings?
Because our bodies can’t handle natural products anymore. We would shrivel into a ball of nothing.

Why do they put holes in crackers?
To let them breathe.

What do people in China call their good plates?
Home. Since everything is made there anyway.

If piece of land, do they own it all the way to the center of the earth?
Someone owns a Owning land is a false economy. We are just borrowing it until Mother nature comes and knocks us on our ass.

What type of animal is Snuffaluffagus?
A creature the government wants to keep us guessing on while they inject our brains with strange substances to make us all docile to their orders.

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?
Well, whoever requests someone to be killed, its clearly an assassination on every death, since they were important enough to take over another person’s life to have them killed.

 

It’s been awesome.  Thanks to RG Porter for participating and I’ll see you guys next time!

Coey Cain

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Jim Henry in the Spotlight

An Author Interview

by Coey Cain

 

Author Jim Henry

Jim Henry is in the Spotlight today. He writes Sci-Fi/Fantasy with religious themes and designs his own book covers. He is a 2012 NaNoWriMo Winner.  Saga Books has brought him on board as a fill-in Editor but I’m confident he’ll be a permanent facet.

First things first, make sure you check out his website Full Moon Over Bunganut. You can find him on Facebook at Standing At Armageddon, Ascending Olympus, Antiquity Calais Children Of Light, and Wrath Of The Cryptids.

 

 

Antiquity Calais Standing at Armageddon

Antiquity Calais Standing at Armageddon is the first book in the Universal Life Force Series. In this book, Antiquity Calais receives a vision of Leviathan Avalon, Satan’s most prolific Destroyer, conjuring a tsunami along the east coast of the United States. Every city from Portland, Maine to Key West, Florida is under water, and no one but Antiquity Calais knows it was the greatest act of terrorism in history. In time, Antiquity discovers he has unique skills given to him by The Creator to serve as The Creator’s Liberator, sworn to vanquish Avalon. The book moves around the Multiverse quickly, and even involves sojourns into hell, until the climactic battle at Avalon’s Castle of Armageddon.

Antiquity Calais Standing at Armageddon is available in numerous places online, but the book is cheapest at Amazon.com. Click the book cover to purchase this on Amazon.

 

Antiquity Calais Ascending Olympus

Antiquity Calais Ascending Olympus is the second book in the Universal Life Force Series. In this book, Satan is not a happy camper, following the battle at the Castle of Armageddon. He intends to torture his Destroyer, but instead Avalon turns the table on the Prince of Darkness, and in so doing, he escapes from hell, determined to amass an army to battle against the “insignificant cockroach Antiquity Calais” as well as Satan. He wants to control heaven, hell, and all points in between.

At the end of Antiquity Calais Ascending Olympus, there is a twist that required a change of plans for this series, as I added an entirely new book, which is in progress, titled Antiquity Calais & The Children of Light. Ascending Olympus is available through Amazon.com. Click the book cover to purchase this on Amazon.

 “We stand at Armageddon and do Battle for the Lord!” – Teddy Roosevelt

August of 1912 at the convention for the National Progressive “Bull Moose” Party,Chicago,Ill.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I am a single father of three children, ages 13, 9 and 5. I also have two stepsons and each of them has made me a grandfather, with a boy and a girl. I plan to dedicate each book in the Universal Life Force Series to one of the children and grandchildren, so obviously I have a lot of writing to do! Professionally I teach for the University of Phoenix and Ashford University online. Previously I worked as a reporter and as a municipal government administrator.

If you use a pen name, tell us why… When I was young, I found my name boring, and given that it is Henry James backwards, the last thing I wanted was to use my own name. So when I first started writing fiction, I chose the wildest and craziest pen name I could think of – Zan K. Cepadico. However, when I finally produced a book worthy of publishing, I wanted all the credit for writing the book, so I went with my main nickname – Jim Henry. Not many folks are likely to call me Henry Jim!

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book? I wanted to write as soon as I learned how to read, so we’re talking elementary school. I finished my first “book” when I was 12. It was titled Time Warp, and it was 67 hand-written pages long. I followed up that book with a sequel titled North Cove. I mention both books because my next book project, which I plan to write in November as part of the 2012 NaNoWriMo contest, is tentatively titled The Time Warp Chronicles. My plan is to try to recreate these stories, updating them, but still keeping the storyline essentially intact.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Like I said above, I knew when I learned how to read that I wanted to write. I started out writing songs about things I thought were funny, like the coffee pot my mother had that when you put it on the stove to boil water it would blow its top off! In time, I started writing stories about people I hated and all the terrible things I wished would happen to them. This often involved neighbors. Finally, it was my love of space, which developed in fourth grade, when I started writing science fiction stories. I’m 45 now, and I still love them!

Where did you grow up and what was it like? I grew up in Greenfield, Massachusetts. I often describe Greenfield life Bedford Falls from It’s A Wonderful Life. I always felt like George Bailey, because every time I thought I had left Greenfield forever, something would bring me back. Now I think I am sufficiently far away from its gravitational pull….maybe I’ll have to create a catastrophe in one of my books to wipe it out completely!

Where do you live now and what’s it like? I live in central Florida. It is warm. Which is good.

Do you have a day job?  If so, tell us about it… I teach online for the University of Phoenix Online and Ashford University Online. It’s not just a day job, because I can log in to the classroom any time, day or night.

If you could write a different genre, what would it be? Probably political. I worked for many years in government, and I still have that bug, even though I don’t have any desire to work in government again. I discovered it is much more exciting being a politician than working for them.

How much of the book is based on real life experience? Considering that all my main characters in the books are either dead or were never alive in the first place, I would say none of it!

What are your current projects? Antiquity Calais & The Children of Light, Antiquity Calais & The Wrath of the Cryptids, and The Time Warp Chronicles

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about a book and what would it be? I suppose there are many things I would change, but nothing major. The thing that really bugs me about my first book – Armageddon – is that I included a colon in the title, but now that does not fit. See what I mean? Nothing big.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Here is an excerpt from Antiquity Calais & The Children of Light:

“We’re coming up on your stop! You guys will need to depart the train on the fly!” the conductor shouted.

Mundoo, as the first by the door, prepared to go out, saying, “I can’t believe I’m going back here!” With that, he took the plunge.

Gillian was next, and she said, “Oh my babies! I hope they’re not out there!”

Antiquity followed, saying, “If I get my hands on those kids, I’ll strangle them!”

Everyone else departed silently, although there were a few silent prayers uttered before leaving the train.

Instinctively, everyone tried to gain altitude when they left the train, but even the mighty Mundoo was having trouble gaining height above the whirlpool.

Antiquity was fighting the incredible pulling power beneath him, and was aghast as he watched his Inter-dimensional Train, and the conductor still on board, go sailing down into the great abyss below. Suddenly, Antiquity remembered being in a volcano on the world of Egalatar, helping to raise Sherman, Mundoo, and Gillian, against the downward thrust that was controlling them then. And then he thought about the occasion when they were hovering above the mass of souls gathered in the first level of Heaven, known as the Rat Race. He remembered using the energy from Heaven to lift billions of trapped, recently deceased souls out of the Rat Race, and to escort them to the portal leading to the second level of Heaven.

Antiquity knew what he had to do.

It was difficult for Antiquity to maintain his focus, even with his eyes closed, but he knew it was imperative that he try. He attempted to tune out all distractions, and focus 100 percent of his attention to the task at hand. This proved to be a critical error, for if he had left at least the ability to hear partially turned on, he might have heard Gillian screaming that he was getting sucked into the vortex at the bottom of the whirling pit.

Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you get your inspiration back?  I had writer’s block for 10 years. Seriously. I cannot tell you why I got over it, because it was more or less of a gift. The first chapter of Antiquity Calais Standing at Armageddon came to me in the form of a vision, while I was having a Reiki session, following a traumatic injury. The vision of the tsunami wiping out life all along the east coast was so stunning that I opened my eyes in terror. The Reiki practitioner asked me what was wrong, and when I told her, she said, “You have to write about this.” I agreed, so I did. Since that day, I have been flooded with ideas for more adventures with Antiquity Calais and his friends that I won’t have to worry about writer’s block for a long time to come!

What do you do when you are not writing?  Being a single father, if I am not writing or teaching, I am usually cleaning. These kids are pigs!

How did you choose the genre you write in?  I wanted to be an astronomer once I studied the planets for my fourth grade science fair project. The problem is, I stink at math, and once I realized that I needed to be strong at math to be a good astronomer, I quickly transitioned to writing about the stars and planets, instead of aspiring to study them!

Where do you get your ideas?  I kind of already answered this, at least as far as my current books are concerned. However, when I was younger I derived a lot of inspiration from music. I would get images in my mind as I listed to favorite tunes and try to write stories about the feeling the songs inspired.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?  Usually I know how the story will begin, and I know how the story will end, but I haven’t got a clue in the middle. I am experimenting with an outline for The Time Warp Chronicles, to see if that makes hitting 50,000 words in NaNoWriMo any easier this year.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?  I have sold most of my books face-to-face at events, but I am trying to improve my rankings at Amazon. To be honest, marketing is a mystery to me.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?  In a way, yes. The Time Warp Chronicles are my first love, and I think the reason I want to focus on them is so I can bring these stories to life for people to read.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?  Do not expect your writing to improve over night. It is a craft that takes hard work, persistence and diligence, but if you try to improve your writing one issue at a time, you can see real improvement over time.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?  I just crossed over 1,000 FB friends, and most of the books I have sold are among those friends. So I really am grateful to have the coolest friends in the Multiverse. If we are not yet friends, that’s OK too, because we can always make new friends!

“I have found that what I am good at, usually I am the best. What I am bad at, usually I am the worst. So I focus on doing what I do well. I believe I tell a good story, and my number one goal is to entertain my audience. I always keep the audience in mind as I tell my stories.” -Jim Henry

 

The Hypothetical Hotspot™

with Jim Henry

What are you going to do when the Zombie Apocalypse hits?  Chase after the Zombies and collect quotes.

Where do babies come from?  I’ll bet you’re thinking I’ll say the stork, but that’s ridiculous! Everyone knows babies come from Santa Claus!

Do you have Road Rage?  I swear, officer, I don’t, and if anyone says so, I WANNA KNOW WHO SAID IT!

What are three of your worst habits?  Yelling at the cops, driving like a maniac, especially when a complete jerk cuts me off, and only giving two of my worst habits….oh wait, that’s three, so we’re good!

If something “goes without saying,” why do people still say it?  Because people like to hear the sound of their own voice!

Why do all the superheroes wear underpants on the outside?  It’s harder to get a wedgie that way!

Is “vice-versa” to a dyslexic just plain redundant?  Not to mention repetitive!

What is another word for “thesaurus”?  A book I never use!

What would happen if Batman gets bitten by a vampire?  Nothing.

If chocolate comes from cocoa beans, and beans are a vegetable, why isn’t chocolate a vegetable?  Hey, makes sense to me. Reagan said ketchup is a vegetable, so why not chocolate?

What’s the difference between normal ketchup and fancy ketchup?  I don’t know. Ask Reagan. Oh wait, he’s dead!

Why aren’t drapes double sided so it looks nice on the inside and outside of your home?  You have uncovered the great drape conspiracy!

Why do people say beans, beans the magical fruit when beans are vegetables?  You’re still stuck on beans and fruit, huh?

If a stripper gets breast implants can she write it off on her taxes as a business expense?  Why not? The government will be happy to take a share of the dollars she collects, so it is a business expansion!

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?  If they have been on CNN.

 

There you have it.  Wise words from Author Jim Henry and now you know everything there is to know. Leave a comment and let Jim Henry know just how awesome he is!

Jim, thank you so much for participating, the pleasure was mine.

Coey Cain

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Week 22: The Next Best Thing

Blog-hop Questions for Elizabeth A. Lance:

What is the title of your new release? Soul Mates: Bewitched

Where did the idea come from for the book? Soul Mates: Bewitched is the second book of my Soul Mates series. I fell in love with Max’s best friend Tony, from book one and decided I had to tell his story as well.

What genre does your book fall under? Young Adult Paranormal

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Oh good question… maybe Nick Simmons for Tony Gunari and Emma Stone for Jillian O’Neal.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  Tony Gunari, a Dark Fae assassin, must save the world from total darkness and discover his true calling.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Soul Mates: Bewitched is published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  It took about eight months to write Soul Mates: Bewitched.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  Soul Mates: Bewitched is a Young Adult Paranormal, so in that regard, it is similar to others of the genre, but I can’t think of any others that I’d compare it to.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?  I was inspired by Twilight to write the first book of the series, and by my students who enjoy reading and wanted a series written from a male’s perspective.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  Soul Mates: Bewitched introduces several new characters to the series, but also brings back some favorites from book one. I really hope you enjoy reading it, as much as I enjoyed writing it and be on the lookout for book three, Soul Mates: Magic, coming out next year.

I would like to thank Ressa Empbra @ http://ressaempbra.wordpress.com/ for inviting me to participate.

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