Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Wings of Dragons #Excerpt by @JoshVanBrakle #Fantasy #YA

He was flying.
No, that didn’t make sense, because Iren could feel solid ground beneath his feet. Darkness surrounded him; he fluttered his hand in front of his face but couldn’t see it at all. The floor, if one existed, felt like flat stone. He took a few steps. The hollow ring of each footfall unnerved him. With trepidation he called, “Hello?” but only his nervous breathing replied. He reached for the Muryozaki, but it had disappeared from his hip. Fear took hold. Somehow, he had become lost in an infinite void without even a weapon to protect him.
Just as his desperation grew too great, a faint light appeared in the distance. At first Iren took it for a star, but it grew bigger the longer he stared. It soon took the form of a great undulating serpent with majestic wings, bursts of light erupting in every direction with each wingbeat. The vast majority of the dragon, for it could be nothing else, was of the purest white, with a few sky blue streaks accentuating the lines of its massive yet elegant body. Most impressive of all, however, were its eyes. Even from far away, they shone with a blue that bore through the blackness.
As the dragon flew closer, its light swallowed the shadows so that Iren nearly forgot they had ever engulfed him in the first place. The creature’s glow did not act like a beacon in the night, guiding ships to shore like the lighthouse at Ceere. Rather, it simply made the darkness go away, so that there was no need for such a lantern.
Iren gulped as the beast’s size truly came into perspective. Its eyes alone measured over five feet in diameter. The dragon’s teeth offered no comfort; each was longer than Iren’s entire body and had an edge that made the Muryozaki look like a worn butter knife.
The creature landed on four legs, each with three claws longer and sharper still than its fangs, and came into striking range. Iren expected it to devour him, but instead the dragon lowered its head in a deep bow of respect. The gesture so astonished Iren that he could do nothing but stare and take in the strange beauty of the awe-inspiring reptile. Long blue hair grew all along its spine, and two gigantic blue whiskers, each as thick as Iren’s thigh, adorned its face.
At last the dragon rose and, giving Iren a curious expression, loosed a low grumble, which sounded more like a sigh than anything threatening. Then, with a booming voice that shook the very fabric of the universe, the creature said, “So you are my knight. You are Iren Saitosan.”
The Wings of Dragons
From fantasy author Josh VanBrakle comes an epic new trilogy of friendship, betrayal, and explosive magic. Lefthanded teenager Iren Saitosan must uncover a forgotten history, confront monsters inspired by Japanese mythology, and master a serpentine dragon imprisoned inside a katana to stop a revenge one thousand years in the making.
Lodian culture declares lefthanded people dangerous and devil-spawned, and for Iren, the kingdom's only known Left, that's meant a life of social isolation. To pass the time and get a little attention, he plays pranks on the residents of Haldessa Castle. It's harmless fun, until one of his stunts nearly kills Lodia's charismatic heir to the throne. Now to avoid execution for his crime, Iren must join a covert team and assassinate a bandit lord. It's a suicide mission, and Iren's chances aren't helped when he learns that his new katana contains a dragon's spirit, one with a magic so powerful it can sink continents and transform Iren into a raging beast.
Adding to his problems, someone on Iren's team is plotting treason. When a former ally launches a brutal plan to avenge the Lefts, Iren finds himself trapped between competing loyalties. He needs to figure out who - and how - to trust, and the fates of two nations depend on his choice.
"A fast-paced adventure...led by a compelling cast of characters. Josh VanBrakle keeps the mysteries going." - ForeWord Reviews
Buy @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – YA epic fantasy
Rating – PG-13
Connect with Josh VanBrakle on Twitter

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dominic Buffery's 5 Steps to Self Publish Your #Novel @DominicBuffery #AmWriting #AmReading

Thanks to advances in technology, self-publishing is growing at a tremendous rate. Authors considering this route are faced with a dizzying array of options. My self-publishing experience is still developing, but I have a novel that will be self-published sometime in April or May, and perhaps my experience will be helpful to someone just starting the process. Here are five steps that I have followed:
1. Stop thinking that you will write a book someday and set a real deadline for yourself. Far too many aspiring writers think that they will write their novel at some hazy point in the future when their life settles down some. Life never settles down. Just start writing and don’t stop;  even a page a day will produce 365 pages in a year. If you find yourself in this position in September or October, National Novel Writing Month in November is a great way to break through and actually finish a first draft. Their website is
2. After writing the first draft, let it sit in a drawer for at least a few weeks. You need some distance from it before you start the first revision. Give your mind some time to rest. Actually go outside for a change. When you come back to the first draft, read it out loud to see how the narrative flows, and remove sections where things bog down.
3. Send your revised draft to a good freelance editor. You need an objective professional to tell you where the book needs work, as well as to catch simple grammar, spelling and punctuation errors you wouldn’t see yourself. A Google search will bring up multiple freelance editors, but be sure you check their references before using one. A word of warning about letting friends read it before it’s finished: they are rarely objective, and their feedback is typically well meaning but just as typically useless.
4. Decide on a Print On Demand (POD) Publisher. Look for one who will support you throughout the process, with other services such as cover creation or coaching.
5. Don’t be shy about self-promotion. Even with a deal from a traditional publisher, you will have to do most of the marketing yourself. Tell everyone you know about your book, and ask them to tell everyone they know. Post links to your website or your book’s URL on Amazon and Barnes and everywhere you can. Use Google Adwords, and pester local and national book reviewer until they’re sick of you. Be creative, and stop at nothing to get the word out.
In the end, writing, publishing and marketing a book is a daunting task, but the satisfaction you will receive from seeing your book in print is worth the sacrifice.
The Odyssey of Daniel Bonner.
The first chapter finds Daniel Bonner as frightened fifteen year-old making an escape from a young offenders’ institution, incarcerated for a crime of which he is innocent.
During a harrowing escape he receives unexpected help from a total stranger who later becomes his mentor, to aid and abet his survival as a fugitive on the open moor. Daniel learns to trust him implicitly in what is seemingly an unbreakable friendship, and remains unaware that the stranger, Anthony Windrow, has a hidden, and altogether, sinister agenda.
At the time of his escape, Danny, unwittingly, sells his soul to the Devil, and nothing in this, or any other world comes free. Anthony Windrow, hell’s second-in-command, otherwise known as the Chancellor, sets Daniel on a course to leave the moor and make his fortune, hoping that greed would be the catalyst to turn him into the perfect representative for the forces of evil in the living world. However, no one had counted on Daniels inbuilt sense of right and wrong.
With an act of selfless philanthropy he undermines the Chancellor’s plan, proving that his path through life is destined to carry him on a very different journey; to become the Chancellor’s nemesis.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Paranormal Thriller
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Dominic Buffery on Twitter

Order of Earth (Elements of Ink) by Jennifer Cornet @J_Cornet

Book Excerpt: (Chapter 2)

The brass doors opened behind her bringing with it an unexpected guest.

“I knew you’d come home.”

Onyx’ heart sank hearing him speak in that gentle voice. He always used that voice when he knew he was wrong; when he was trying to make her forgive him. It felt repulsively sweet now.

“She was just leaving,” Jade said in a firm tone as she turned to face him.

“Nicky, you brought a bodyguard with you? That hurts,” he sounded genuinely insulted.

“Goodbye, Philip.” Onyx said softly, suddenly lacking the confidence she just had.

Philip reached out for her arm, but Jade intercepted the action, grabbing him by the wrist and twisting it until he let out an almost inaudible yelp.

“You will not lay a hand on her. Not now, not ever again. If you so much as brush against her in a way I don’t like, I will break every bone in your body, starting with your pinky toe and ending with your skull.” She twisted just a little further.

But he didn’t lose his composure. He looked Onyx dead in the eye, “Quite a lot of bark for your little Chihuahua of a friend here, huh? Nicky, we don’t need all of this. This running away, the muscle, the hiding out, we are better than this. You know I love you more than anything in the world. Just come home, baby. I need you. It’ll be different, I promise. I’ll start going to therapy like you always wanted. You can even hang out with that crayon haired one. No questions asked. Just come home. What do you say? Come on, I need you.”

“Onyx, don’t you listen to him. Put the bags in the elevator, we’re leaving.”

Onyx hesitated, switching her gaze back and forth between the two. He looked so hurt, so broken up, she just wanted to leap into his arms and console him. For a moment, she could feel her heart ripping in her chest; she believed him. She believed he meant he would change and things would be different. She believed it and she hated herself for it.

Onyx rolled her bags into the elevator before she lost her nerve.

“Goodbye, Philip.” She said again.

“If you love her even half as much as you say, you’ll let us leave here. You’ll leave her alone and move on with your life. But keep the therapy bit, you need it.” Jade winked at him before joining Onyx.

As Jade released his wrist, he noticed a small green marking on her arm; a very familiar mark that he knew all too well.

The girls disappeared down to the ground floor, leaving Philip alone in his flower filled living room. He pulled out his phone and hit speed dial.

“She’s with the Order of Earth. Find out what family, find out who their Protector is, and find out now.”


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Urban Fantasy

Rating – PG – 13

More details about the author

Connect with Jennifer Cornet on Facebook & Twitter


Friday, March 7, 2014

C.A. Szarek & Susan Sheehey's #WriteTip for Choosing the Right Writers’ Conference @caszarek

So you want to attend a writers’ conference? First time? Even BETTER!
There are so many great ones out there. Before you make any decisions, make sure you do your research, talk to others that have gone; listen to what they might have to say.
Most conferences have their agenda listed with plenty of time to review it beforehand. Read over it carefully so you can plan your conference experience.
What do you want to accomplish? This is important to decide, because if you’re there just to socialize, you’re not maximizing the resources writers’ conferences offer. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with meeting other authors, but it probably wouldn’t be beneficial if this is your main attendance goal.
Authors attend conferences for many reasons, but here are a few main benefits that draw people.
*Pitching: This is a fantastic opportunity that is rather unique to writers’ conferences. Personal, face-to-face contact with editors and agents who want to give you a shot. Believe it or not, they attend conferences for some of the same reasons authors do, but the positive thing here is these particular editors and agents make time because they are actively seeking quality work.  No waiting on that pesky email.
Sometimes these are what we would consider big deal editors from the coveted New York Houses that you don’t get into without an agent. This is a major benefit of a conference. On the same token, agents are not always easy to gain. Speaking to one face to face, whether from a big agency or not is a great opportunity. You can make an impression so they remember you, even if your current project isn’t for them.
This alone can be a great reason to attend a conference. But make sure you research well. Some conferences charge extra for this perk, and some don’t.
If you’re a conference virgin, even the thought could have you shaking in your boots, but don’t. Editors and agents are people, too. They enjoy talking to you. Just think of it like this: You can practice your pitch all you want, but if it’s not natural, it can lose appeal even if your words are awesome. So speak to an editor or agent as if you’re telling your best friend about your book. No one knows the book better than you do.
Don’t let nerves make you miss out on this conference-unique opportunity.
*Workshops: Most conferences have a variety of sessions that cover everything from craft to marketing. What the conferences offer can also be a deciding factor in which conference you choose. No matter what stage you’re at in your career, whether you’re pre-published or have several books out there, you never stop learning as an author. The more you write, the better you get.
So, look at the agenda (most, if not all, will have it available beforehand) and see which would benefit you. Workshops can be a great reason to attend a conference. 
*Book Signings: A perk of many a conference is a book signing that’s open to the public. Hopefully this won’t be your only reason for attending a conference, but it can be a nice experience as well. You can get your name and your book(s) out to other authors as well as the general public.
If you are going to take part in a signing at a conference, ask questions. Will they have a sponsor? Will you have to be your own cashier for the books you sell? Will sales benefit a charity? (This is very common at conference book signings) and research what turnout they usually have, if the conference is annual so you can plan the number of books and swag you need to bring.
*Networking: Another awesome reason for attending a conference! Read the brochure/agenda to see what headliners will be at the conference of your choice. Then, make it a point to speak to these people. Yes, you really can talk to famous authors! Just like editors and agents, they’re people, too! You never know what kind of friends you could make—for life.
Let your inner social butterfly can come out and shine! It pays to talk to people. Writing, like any other industry can depend on who you know. So make some contacts! Get business cards and keep them handy.
Other authors, editors, agents, you never know who can be around the corner, at a meal, even hanging out in the lobby at the conference. Make use of free time by being observant. Read name badges. Don’t be afraid to ask other authors what they write. And remember, when someone asks what you write—they really do want to know.
You could end up with a fantastic critique partner or some awesome new reads.
Other factors to consider in choosing which writer’s conferences to attend are:
*Genre Specific: Make sure you pick a conference that includes the genre in which you write. If your stories are mainly thriller or science fiction, then attending a romance based conference won’t be as helpful. There are plenty of conferences that are more specific to a particular genre that gears many of their workshops and key speakers to that genre. Pay close attention to those. But of course don’t completely disregard the broader conferences like the Writer’s Digest Conference (, where many big editors and agents always attend looking for new talent to add to their lineup.
*Budget: How much can you spend in a given year on these conferences? Between registration fees, airfare, hotels, food, books, contests, and other miscellaneous items, the endeavor can get expensive. The best conferences are those that do not charge extra for pitch sessions, specific workshops or even parking. Make sure you choose one that has all of those included (unless you don’t plan to pitch your manuscript).  Another tip is to choose conferences that are geographically close, saving you the cost of airfare and/or hotel. Or if you have several friends all attending, split the costs by sharing a hotel room and make a road trip out of it. Most conferences also offer an ‘early-bird’ rate, so book early if you can. Some conferences also give out ‘scholarships’ to help ease the cost to a few individuals who present a financial or business need.
*Workshops: Make sure you review the list of workshops presented, and who is presenting them. The best conferences are packed with exceptional workshops on a variety of topics, on improving craft, managing your business, and industry trends. Workshops that will be relevant to where you are in your career. You shouldn’t have any ‘free’ blocks in your schedule. There should be so many interesting classes you just have to attend, how can you possibly choose between them. Research the presenters as well: are they experienced in what they’re presenting? Have they given it the presentation before and have others found it helpful?
*Attendings Agents/Editors/Authors: If you’re pitching a novel or just want to meet the experts in the industry, make sure the ones you’re really interested in plan on attending. Conferences will always list the names of presenting authors, agents and editors on their websites in advance, especially those that will accept pitches. They often include the kinds of things the experts are actively looking for. So research the editors and agents attending and see if they cover your topic/genre. If you’re spending this much money, make sure it’s worth your while.
Conference Etiquette
Dress appropriately. No one is asking you to wear an uncomfortable suit or dress or three-inch heels for an entire day of workshops, presentations and pitch sessions. But be professional. Don’t show up in ratty jeans, tank top and flip flops.
Don’t stalk agents/editors in the bathroom or just before they present. They are clearly focused on other things and they won’t give you their full attention. And it’ll annoy the hell out of them, and that’s not the kind of impression you want to leave.
Networking is a must, but monopolizing conversations with constant reminders of what you’re story is about is a turnoff. Give others a chance to talk, and LISTEN.
What to Bring
Business cards with your email address and contact info
Notepad or Notebook and a good pen
Synopsis/Query Letter
A prepped 1-line ‘elevator pitch’ of your story.
A small messenger bag to carry the ‘goodies’ you’ll get
Cash- for buying books, the cash bar, raffles, tips for housekeeping
Light Jacket/Sweater- you never know how powerful the air conditioner will be
Extra Luggage Bag- to cart home the extra books and stuff you’ll get (if you’re flying, and if you don’t leave extra space in your original bag)
Snacks- if you’re staying at the hotel overnight, do you really want to pay hotel prices for a bag of chips or granola bars?
What to Leave
Laptop (leave it in the hotel room)
A copy of your full manuscript. If agents ask for it, they all prefer email. (Why would you want to cart around that extra weight, anyway?)
Shy or Wallflower Tendencies- this will kill your experience at conferences, and the whole point is to network and meet people who will help advance your career and/or skills. 
Book one in the Fantasy Romance series, The King's Riders!
For generations, the Ryhans, ruling family of the Province of Greenwald, have been keepers of a sword rumored to possess enough magic to defeat kings. Lord Varthan, a former archduke and betrayer of the king, covets the sword and invades Greenwald.
Lady Ceralda Ryhan, daughter of the murdered duke, gains the sword and flees, trusting only her white wolf, Trikser-magically bonded to her. Cera needs nothing more to aid in her fight.
Jorrin Aldern, half elfin and half human, left his home in the mountains of Aramour to find his human father who disappeared twenty turns before, but finds Cera with Varthan and his shades on her tail instead.
His dual heritage and empathic magic will tempt Cera in ways she never thought she'd desire. But can he convince her trust and love can pave the path to redemption-or will the epic battle end in tragedy, and evil conquer them all?
Buy Now @ Amazon
Leargan Tegran, Captain of Greenwald’s personal guard, is an honorable knight. When his king commands him to wed Senior King’s Rider Ansley Fraser, he intends to follow orders; even as he knows nothing of the girl. Not to mention her blasted wolf bondmate, Ali, who barely lets him near her.
Ansley has been in love with Leargan for turns, but marrying him out of duty doesn’t sit well with her. She’ll fight the match tooth and nail—no matter how much she craves to be in his arms and in his bed.
The sudden appearance of Avril, a mysterious girl on the run, creates suspicions of powerful magic and evil lurking on the horizon. Dangers lead to a fight Leargan’s not prepared for.
With the Province threatened, will duty interfere with Leargan’s orders or entwine him and Ansley regardless of their desires?
Buy Now @ Amazon
Sword's Call is FREE, Love's Call is 50% off until 8th March 2014 at Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy Romance
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with C.A. Szarek on Facebook & Twitter

Steps Into Darkness (A Shakertown Adventure) by Ben Woodard @benswoodard

The unknown figure’s back was to them as he connected the wires to the detonator. Will shoved Tom. Only minutes remained.

They located the last connection point where the blasting caps were wired to two sticks of dynamite. The wires to the plunger snaked up the hill. The connecting strands were twisted, tightly, as with pliers. Tom snatched a rock, but Will grabbed his hand and pointed up the hill. Tom understood. The man would hear the pounding. They each took a twisted connection and tried to pry it apart with their fingers. They would need to break only one.

The wires resisted. Tom gritted his teeth, then remembered his pocket knife. He pulled it out, flipped the blade open, and wedged the tip between two strands. He twisted and the blade snapped. The sound startled the man. He whirled around and stared directly at the boys. Tom forced the broken blade into the gap in the wires. Will put his finger on top of one and pulled as Tom twisted. Blood ran down Will’s hand as the metal bit into his finger. They strained, and watched the man. His eyes darted in all directions. Then he made his decision. He pulled the plunger up, hesitated a moment, and slammed it down.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - YA/Mystery

Rating – PG – 13

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Ben Woodard on Facebook and Twitter


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Devolution by Peter Clenott @PeterClenott


Chiku couldn’t help stare at the large bulge that was Rebecca’s baby-to-be. It made her reflect upon the gynecological exam Dr. Kessel had just given her. At sixteen, she couldn’t imagine being anyone’s mother, except maybe a chimpanzee’s. Rebecca was only fourteen, an eighth grader back home, a middle schooler. How could she be a mother? Yet even in wealthy well-educated America girls in their mid-teens were getting knocked up all the time, having their babies, and changing their lives in ways unpredictable and permanent. Not Chiku. Boys could go to hell.

“When was the last time you saw him?” Chiku asked.

“Two week. Three week. He ask me how my baby doing. I tell him, fine. He give me twenty francs. He always give me money.”

“And that was it?” Chiku gazed at Tim who was still holding all of the things she had given him from her buried stash. “What about Dr. Fisher? Do you know why he’d be in my dad’s house?”

Rebecca dipped her head in thought then gave out with a startled grunt as the baby inside her gave a hefty kick. “Soon,” she said, “Any day my Abasi.” Then she staggered against Chiku.

“You okay? Maybe she’s coming out now.” Chiku was aghast.

“No. No. He. Not yet. No water.”

“Well, you can’t stand here. You have to sit, Rebecca. In the shade.”

Chiku pulled the pregnant girl into the cooler cover of the banana tree. “You want water? Something to drink?”

Rebecca leaned against the tree rather than risk getting herself into a position from which she couldn’t rise. She panted, holding a hand against her belly, Chiku watching that hand move not of its own volition but due to the child inside raring to get going with life.

Not for me, Chiku thought.

Rebecca said, “I okay.”

“You’re sure?”

“When the water break, then we know.”

“Know what?” Chiku asked.

“That the baby is coming,” Tim said. He placed his hands on his friend’s shoulders. They were trembling as if she were the one about to go into labor. “Honestly, Chiku, what do they teach you in Brookline, Massachusetts?”

“How to avoid reality.”

Chiku took Rebecca’s hand. It was cool and sweaty and on her ring finger she was wearing something that looked awfully familiar to Chiku. “Nice,” she said. “Amethyst. My color. My ring, actually. How’d you get it?”

“Your father give me.”

“Cool. It matches your dress.”

Chiku didn’t care that it was an old ring, one that she had either lost or forgotten some distant time in the past and that probably couldn’t even fit her fingers anymore. She just wondered why her father would have given this particular girl this particular ring.

“I think they kill him,” she said.

“What?” Chiku’s eyes darted from the purple colored ring to the black face of the Hutu teenager.

“They were mad mad.”


“Fisher. Your father. Dr. Kessel. They all mad. And the others.”

“What others?” Chiku asked. “Does Colonel Fundanga know?”

“Colonel Fundanga one of them,” Rebecca said. “I keep quiet. Bad enough in the camp. I don’t want to die.”

Rebecca let out a long breath, took in a deep mouthful of air, and let out her discomfort once again. Then she smiled at Chiku before saying, “They come for you next. You his daughter.”


Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre - Young Adult

Rating – PG

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Dance For A Dead Princess by Deborah Hawkins @DeborahHawk3 #Romance #Mystery

PROLOGUE Mid-April 2010, Paris

In the gray spring rain, he stood in the Place d'Alma staring down at the tunnel where she had vanished from his life on the last night of August 1997. He came here whenever he was in Paris. He counted the pillars until he reached number thirteen, the one that had taken her life. Tears formed behind his eyes, as they always did in this place. But he refused to let them overflow. Instead, he took a long breath of fresh rain mixed with the exhaust of cars speeding through the tunnel.

When the big black Mercedes entered its skid that horrible night, his last living link to Deborah had been taken from him. Diana and Deborah, West Heath girls, friends forever. Deborah had been dead since 1994, but he had lost her long before she became his wife, three years after he met her at Diana's wedding to the Prince of Wales in 1981. How many nights had he spent talking to Diana about his marriage, about her marriage, about his guilt over Deborah, and about the impossibility of being in love? Too many to count. He ached to tell her now how empty his life had become without either of them.

He stared down the long, gray tunnel, wondering as always what she had felt as she had slipped away from everyone who loved her. Had she struggled against it, as Deborah had? Or had her torn and broken heart quietly accepted its fate? No, he doubted that. She'd have fought to stay with her boys. Diana hadn't gone into death quietly. That January, she'd had a warning of what was coming. She'd recorded a video tape naming her assassins and had given it to someone in America for safekeeping. But she would never tell him who it was. Too dangerous, she always insisted. If you had it, they'd come after you, too. Leave it alone, Nicholas. The tape is safer out of England.

His phone abruptly interrupted with a text message from his assistant. He was late for a meeting of the Burnham Trust at the Trust's Paris headquarters, and everyone was waiting. Well, they could wait. All day and all night if he wanted. He was the Eighteenth Duke of Burnham and the second richest man in England after the Duke of Westminster, and he'd be late if he decided to be. He hadn't wanted to be a duke but having been forced into the job, he was going to enjoy every possible perk.

As soon as the news of Diana's death reached him, he'd vowed to find her tape and make it public. No luck for the last thirteen years, but his latest operative had just come up with a stellar lead at last. It was so stellar that not only was he pretty sure he was going to find the tape, he was also going to have the opportunity to unload the decaying family seat in Kent and exact his well-deserved revenge upon his father, the Seventeenth Duke.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance,Mystery
Rating – G
More details about the author and the book
Connect with Deborah Hawkins on Facebook

Eternal Night by Jade Kerrion @JadeKerrion


Ashra pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.

She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon—

“Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?

Ashra pulled back and stared at the human. Her mouth dropped open. Her heart pounded in her chest, its beat erratic. It couldn’t be. It simply couldn’t be—

She looked up at Tera. The other icrathari nodded.

Rohkeus’s soul reborn…in a human.

Ashra threw her head back and laughed, a despairing sound.

Elsker stepped forward. The sole male icrathari was slightly taller than the female icrathari, and dressed in a black silk shirt and linen pants. His silver hair was cropped short, and his light blue eyes were wide. “Rohkeus reborn? That’s impossible.”

Siri shrugged, her red gown shifting around her curvaceous frame. Her silver hair, cut short, framed her face. “Stranger things have happened.” Her pale violet gaze raked over the human. “At least he had the good sense to choose a pretty body.”

Ashra shook her head, the movement jolting her out of her daze. Her prince, her love, reduced to a human? Her slender fingers coiled into fists. Her golden eyes glittering, she pushed away from him, though her body trembled from the loss of his warmth. No, the human was not Rohkeus; he could never be Rohkeus.

Steeling herself against the gasp of pain that escaped from his lips as the anesthetizing effect of her kiss faded, Ashra rose to her feet with sinuous grace. “He is not one of us. Not anymore.” Nothing had been more devastating than losing Rohkeus to a human assassin. To see his soul reborn in that contemptible and weak race was an insult to the person Rohkeus had been.

“Should we turn him into a vampire?” Tera asked.

“Kill him. Set Rohkeus’s soul free.”

Siri seized Ashra’s hand before she could turn away. Siri’s lips, painted the same provocative color as her dress, shaped an O. “You’re not serious. How many people are offered a second chance at the love of a lifetime?”

A second chance? Her traitorous pulse raced even as her lips curled with disgust. “He’s human.”

“We can make him immortal—a vampire.”

Ashra swallowed hard. “But not an icrathari.”

Siri’s gaze fell. “No, of course not.”

“Kill him.”

“You can’t.” Siri stepped forward, placing herself between Ashra and the barely conscious human. “This is amazing. It’s never happened before—a soul reborn.”

“Rohkeus is dead, and I rule Aeternae Noctis.” She turned to Tera. “I told you to kill him.”

Tera hesitated for a fraction of a second, and then she shook her head. “I won’t do it, and neither will Siri or Elsker. If you want him dead, you’ll have to do it yourself.”

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Jade Kerrion developed a loyal reader base with her fan fiction series based on the MMORPG Guild Wars. She was accused of keeping her readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars. And then she wondered why just screw up the time management skills of gamers? Why not aspire to screw everyone else up too?

So here she is, writing books that aspire to keep you from doing anything else useful with your time.

Her debut novel, Perfection Unleashed, spawned the Double Helix series which has won a total of seven science fiction awards, including first place in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and the gold medal in Readers Favorites Awards 2013. She is also the author of Earth-Sim and When the Silence Ends, which placed first and second respectively in the 2013 Royal Palm Literary Awards, Young Adults category.

She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with her wonderfully supportive husband and her two young sons, Saint and Angel, (no, those aren’t their real names, but they are like saints and angels, except when they’re not.)

Connect with Jade: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Eternal Night ebook

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Genre - Fantasy, Paranormal

Rating – PG-13

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Return of the Bones by Belinda Vasquez Garcia @MagicProse #Historical #Fiction #MustRead

“He’s not dead; he just had a slight heart attack,” Steve said. She cried in Steve’s arms and peeked over his shoulder. Ah, look at the old man with no teeth and puckered lips; so skinny, mostly bones. His white hair swept his heart. He lay in a coma in an oxygen tent with tubes running into his chest, arms and stomach. He also suffered a slight stroke. The doctors marveled that at his age he held his own.
A priest arrived to administer the last rites, shoving her aside while he blessed his forehead.
“He has not worshipped Catholicism for years ever since he secretly joined the Native American Church,” she said, pushing him back and quivering with anger that this man would just assume.
“Ah, so the poor soul is not Christian then. No wonder he worships in secret,” the priest said.
“The American Indian Religious Freedom Act has allowed him for twenty-one years to practice his peyote religion openly. Our church believes in the Bible but we use peyote to commune with Jesus,” Steve said.
She glared at the priest.
He spun on his heels and hastily left the room.
With shaky fingers, she covered Grandfather with another blanket. “He always complains of the cold and the swamp cooler. He’s not going to die. That priest…” With long strides she hurried towards the exit and ran down the hall, holding a hand to her mouth. This Clorox-stinking hellhole must have a damned bathroom.
She barely made it to the toilet, folded over and emptied her stomach.
Steve waited for her at the bathroom exit. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder, led her to a chair, and grasped her hands in his.
“He knows you love him, Holly,” he said.
She wiped her eyes, remembering Grandfather’s wish for her to act strong and shuffled back to his room.
The case he gave her at Pecos had words engraved on the leather: Dr. Alfred V. Kidder, Professor of Archae-ology, Harvard University. The case contained a black and white photo with the words, Pecos Bones, scrawled across the back along with the date December 23, 1915. The photo showed a slender, recent Ph.D. grad, an Indiana Jones wan-nabe, with burning ambition in his eyes that bespoke of a hunger for fame. He stroked his moustache with a delicate hand. The Pecos ruins drooped in the background of the photo, not as time-ravaged as present day. Dust caressed old-time trucks parked in the distance. Tents poked out from the earth like giant ant hills. He stood with hands on hips and puffed-out chest by a pile of bones. One booted foot rested atop a skull like a trophy, yet his furrowed brow and eyes reflected a sadness that revealed his conscience. The photo showed wear, not just due to age; Grandfather apparently twisted the picture in his hands many times.
She dropped the papers and with shaky fingers gathered the diary into her arms and shoved the photo into the case.
Grandfather fluttered his eyelashes and moved his lips. His fingers grasped at the bed sheet.
She ran out the door with Steve at her heels.
“He’s awake,” she yelled at the nurses.
The first thing he did when he gained full con-sciousness was motion her to come closer. He spoke in a voice slurred by his stroke but between her and Steve they understood.
“Did you bury me at Pecos? My heart beats there still because the Pecos is where we began. Life and death should come full circle,” he croaked.
“Governor, didn’t you hear the doctor? You can’t die yet. I’m going to bring home the bones. You have a re-union to look forward to.”
In his confusion he must have misunderstood her words. He thrashed about the bed and the attendants tied him down.
He cried something about his rusty magic. “Why does my spirit linger in the crossbow of life?”
return of the bones Audio Cover nov 2013 winner
A dazzling, family epic of love and forgiveness. Return of the Bones is a very special book inspired by a true story -- In 1915, 2,067 skeletons were stolen from the ghost pueblo of Pecos and transported to Harvard University for medical research...In present day and across the miles, the wind carries their cries to Grandfather who hears the bones longing for home.
Hollow-Woman and Grandfather are the last of the Pecos people, but Hollow-Woman is not interested in ancient skeletons. She works at an Indian casino and is of the modern ways, while Grandfather is a shaman and values tradition. She hopes the road trip will heal their broken hearts.
Grandfather fashions a magical dream catcher to help her "see" her ancestors' lives, and come to love the missing bones, as he does. While driving a ratty old pickup-camper, the cantankerous Grandfather and stubborn Hollow-Woman bicker from New Mexico to the Peabody Museum.
A glowing literary work, with religious undertones of the persecution of Native Americans by the Catholic Church's Spanish Inquisition. Return of the Bones pulses with emotion. The pages are filled with the comical way Grandfather looks at the world while embracing the heartbreak and spirituality of the Native American peoples.
You may know these famous bones on which landmark studies proved that exercise prevents osteoporosis! 
Did you know that President George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, dug up Geronimo's grave and stole his skull to be used as initiation into the Skull and Bones Society at Yale?
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Genre - Historical fiction
Rating – PG
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