“No Ordinary Fairy,” shifter romance from author Claire Davon

No Ordinary Fairy final cover-Claire DavonWhen the new guy in town blows into Pani’s pet shop, bristling with impatience as icy as the Wyoming winter, she knows instantly he’s not there to buy dog food. She also knows exactly what he is. A cougar shifter. An apex predator not unlike herself.

Rafe Anderson needs help, which isn’t easy for a cat to admit. Not only has his dog mysteriously vanished, so has his ability to shift. The only creature who can find both is Pani, a woman the local coyote pack warned him to avoid. But he’s desperate—and running out of time. The longer his cat is caged, the closer he edges to insanity.

As a Vila, a fairy with the power to enchant men, even to their death, Pani has never dared reveal her true self, much less fallen in love. But something about Rafe’s fiery green eyes and uncommon vulnerability calls to her. And his touch tells her the feeling is mutual.

Desire rolls over them like thunder, but their search uncovers a dangerous secret that could turn everything to ashes…and bring destruction howling down upon all shifter kind.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON    B&N.com

Visit Claire Davon’s website here!

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YA fantasy “Forest of Demons” from author Debbie Cassidy

A new voice in High Fantasy, Forest of Demons by Debbie Cassidy, is available for download today!

No one goes into the forest alone.

No one steps off the beaten path.

Nineteen-year- old Priya has lived in the shadow of the forest all her life. She knows the rules better than anyone. Do not go into the forest alone and never stray from the beaten path. Her village has lived in tentative peace with the inhabitants of the forest for decades, until the day that someone breaks the rules.

With first blood drawn, Priya’s dreams of leaving for the Capitol are put on hold as the village goes into lockdown. The unbearable heat shifts to a bone-chilling winter and just as Priya thinks she will be trapped forever, two strangers stumble into the village with a fantastical story that will shatter all her conventions, freeing her at a horrifying cost.

Now Priya’s dreams are coming true, but in a way she could never have imagined, and the burden of protecting her people falls upon her shoulders. Will Priya succeed in delivering a message that could save them all?

From the dusty heat of a small village, to the icy grandeur of the Capitol, Priya must make an impossible journey.

Freedom always comes at a price.

Grab your copy today!

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Debbie Cassidy is a 35 year old multi-tasking ninja who lives in England, Bedfordshire, with her

three kids and very supportive husband. Coffee and chocolate biscuit s are her writing fuels of choice, and she is still working on getting that perfect tower of solitude built in her back garden. Debbie has been writing for eight years under the pen name Amos Cassidy with her best friend, Richard Amos, but Forest of Demons is her first solo venture, and the first book in a four book high fantasy saga.

You can connect with Debbie via her website at amoscassidyauthor.com. Check out her personal page and her other books under the pen name Amos Cassidy. You won’t be left without a great read while you wait for the next installment in the Forest of Demons saga.

Sign up to Debbie’s newsletter to get updates on her new releases: http://eepurl.com/bVywM5

Stalk Debbie Cassidy:  Facebook | Twitter | Website

Sign up to her Forest of Demons newsletter to get up to date information on new releases and take part in exclusive giveaways: http://eepurl.com/bVywM5

Sign up to the Amos Cassidy newsletter and receive two free novellas and information on new releases, exclusive giveaways and much more: http://amoscassidyauthor.com/amoscassidy-free-download/

“The Casquette Girls,” YA Paranormal Fantasy by Alys Arden

the casquette girls

Goodreads

Website

Amazon

Find out more about signed copies HERE!

 

Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.

**

After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.

As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal.

“Seven girls tied by time. Five powers that bind. One curse to lock the horror away. One attic to keep the monsters at bay.” –THE CASQUETTE GIRLS by Alys Arden Coming November 17th, 2015 http://amzn.to/1QzbOUX

About the Author
Alys

Alys Arden was raised by the street performers, tea leaf-readers, and glittering drag queens of the New Orleans, French Quarter. She cut her teeth on the streets of New York and has worked all around the world since. She either talks too much or not at all. She obsessively documents things. Her hair ranges from eggplant to cotton-candy-colored.

One dreary day in London, while dreaming of running away with the circus, she started writing The Casquette Girls. Her debut novel garnered over one million reads online before being acquired by Skyscape in a two book deal. Rep’d by ICM.

Website   Twitter: @alysarden   Facebook   Blog

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

On the Road

October 9th

The day had finally come.

Elation coursed through my head, my chest, my stomach—until the tips of my fingers tingled, as if the sensation were trying to escape the confines of my nervous system.

My father and I were finally on our way home.

Trying not to let the anticipation drive me crazy, I leaned back in the passenger seat and took deep breaths, inhaling the scents of worn black leather and bubble gum. The combination reminded me of sitting in the front seat as a child. I’d always been up for a ride in my father’s prized possession because I knew there’d be a sugary pink stick waiting for me in the glove box.

The city wasn’t exactly encouraging people to come home yet, but my father had always been a bit of a rebel. This fact, topped with endless nights of me begging and pleading, had finally made those four little words slip out of his mouth: “Okay, let’s go home.”

As soon as he caved, I fled the Parisian boarding school where my French mother had dumped me while my father and I were “displaced.” She didn’t tell me good-bye, and I never looked back.

I landed in Miami late last night, and we were on the road by six this morning. I didn’t want to give my father the chance to renege.

Ten hours later, we were still purring down the interstate in his 1981 BMW.

But I didn’t mind the long drive. In my sixteen years, I’d never been away from my father for that long. I’d never been away from New Orleans for that long either. It felt like years since the mandatory evacuation, but in reality it had only been two months—two months, two days, and nine hours since the Storm had touched ground.

The Storm was the largest hurricane in US history. Scientists were still debating whether it should even be considered a hurricane because it had smashed all previous classification parameters. They didn’t even name it. Everyone simply referred to it as “the Storm.” Economists were predicting it would end up being the greatest natural disaster in the Western world, and there were even rumors flying around that the federal government was considering constituting the area uninhabitable and not rebuilding the city. That idea was incomprehensible to me.

The media was all over the place about the devastation. We’d heard such conflicting stories there was really no telling what would be awaiting us (or not awaiting us) upon our arrival. Had our home been damaged, flooded, ransacked, robbed—or any combination of those things? Was it now just rotting away? I fiddled with the sun-shaped charm hanging from the silver necklace that nearly reached my waist, wrapping and unwrapping the thin chain around my fingers.

My phone buzzed.

Brooke 3:42 p.m. Are you close? Text me as soon as you get home. I want to know everything, ASAP! xoxo.

I quickly pecked,

Adele 3:43 p.m. I will! How’s La-La land? ❤

I didn’t exactly have a laundry list of close friends, but Brooke Jones and I had been attached at the hip since the second grade. The Joneses had been stuck in Los Angeles since the evacuation, and Brooke was freaking out on a daily basis because her parents were adjusting to the West Coast lifestyle at an alarming rate. Even the thought that her parents might permanently relocate to California made me cringe.

“Waffle House?” my father asked as we sped past the Florida state line into Alabama. He proceeded down the exit ramp before I could respond.

A bell dinged when I opened the door of the infamous southern chain, causing all of the employees to shout a welcome without looking up from what they were doing. My father headed to the bathroom, and I jumped into a booth, grabbing a napkin to wipe pancake-syrup residue off the table.

“I’ll be with ya in a second, darlin’,” a waitress yelled from across the narrow, shoe box–shaped diner.

Johnny Cash blared on the jukebox, the air reeked of grease, and the fluorescent bulb in the overhead light gave everything a sickly tint. I couldn’t help but chuckle, thinking about the stark contrast of this scene to my life just two nights ago: sitting in a café on the Champs-Élysées, eating a crêpe suzettes with my mother. Well, I’d been eating a crêpe. She’d never allow herself to eat something as appalling as sugar.

Midchuckle, I caught the gaze of a guy sitting solo in a booth across the aisle, who was slowly stirring a cup of coffee. Our eyes locked. My cheeks started to burn. I grabbed a menu so I could pretend to focus on something and let my long waves of espresso-colored hair fall in front of my face, trying to recall the last time I’d taken a shower. Ugh. I’d been in transit for more than twenty-four hours at this point.

I lifted my eyes to find him still looking intensely at me.

He was probably a few years older than me . . . and far too sophisticated to be sitting in this particular establishment among the tall hairdos and flip-flops. His black leather jacket was not the biker kind you might find in any diner in the Deep South—it was softer looking, trendier, possibly custom-made. The jacket, along with his dark, slicked hair, made him appear part James Dean, part Italian Vogue. For a split second I forgot where I was, as if stuck in some kind of Paris–Alabama time-continuum hiccup.

When I realized I was staring at him again, I became instantly flustered. His eyes didn’t move, but the corners of his mouth slowly spread upward into an innocent smile. Or maybe it was deceptively innocent? Just as my heart began to speed up at the prospect of finding out, my fork slid across the table, flew halfway across the room, and clanked against his ceramic mug.

“Sorry!” I covered my face, mortified, and considered crawling underneath the table. I’d been so caught up in the moment I hadn’t even noticed myself flick it.

“Don’t worry, honey, I’ll bring ya a new one,” the waitress yelled.

As if I was worried about the fork. I’d nearly taken out the eye of the hottest guy within a fifty-mile radius. My heart pounded melodramatically.

When I finally mustered the courage to raise my head to catch another glimpse of him, all I saw was his mug on top of a ten-dollar bill. Realizing I’d been hiding my gaze from no one, I became even more embarrassed.

Of course he ran. I am obviously hazardous.

 

The Trailer:

“The Soul Summoner,” contemporary adult fantasy from Elicia Hyder

I love this cover…so sinister and even a little creepy, right? The Soul Summoner by Elicia Hyder is an adult contemporary fantasy, book 1 of a new series, and you can find it for sale at Amazon!

soul-sommoner-cover400The Soul Summoner (The Soul Summoner Series #1)
Publisher – Forge Creek Press
About the Book:

Blessed–or cursed–with a connection to the souls of others, Sloan Jordan can see the best in people… and the worst. For twenty-seven years, she’s kept her ability to judge the innocent from the wicked a secret, but eleven young women have been murdered in the mountains of North Carolina, and Sloan may be the only hope of finding their killer.
She has just agreed to help Detective Nathan McNamara with the case, when a stranger–who is as alluring as he is terrifying–shows up at her doorstep with a dark past and another puzzling mystery: she can’t see his soul at all.
Now, Sloan is on the hunt for a deadly psychopath with two irresistible men. One of them would die for her, and the other would kill to keep her safe.
Book Trailer – Amazon  –  Goodreads


About the Author:
Elicia Hyder is the author of several contemporary fantasy novels such as The Soul Summoner, The Siren, The Angel of Death, and The Daughter of Zion as well as a few contemporary romances, The Bed She Made and To Be Her first. Elicia studied American Literature and Creative Writing at the American Military University. She lives with her husband and five children in central Florida.
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“Science Fiction – An Evolving Genre” – a guest post from author Tom Olbert

 

Please welcome a guest to Vala Kaye’s “Other World” today, sci-fi author Tom Olbert! ~ Vala

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Speaking as a writer who primarily works in science fiction, I am painfully aware that the genre holds extremely limited appeal for the public. The genre has dropped out of popularity. Most of the general public doesn’t take SF seriously. Kid stuff, they assume.

Maybe it started out that way, but the genre is evolving. The science fiction that has won current popularity in books and their big screen adaptations is the sub-genre we call post-apocalyptic science fiction (PASF). Stories that offer tortured young heroes and heroines struggling to find their purpose in dark, dystopian future worlds run by cold, duplicitous adults. And, if aimed and written properly, science fiction can be an excellent canvass for expressing such social themes and depicting characters who thrive in them, because it has no set limits or boundaries.

The writer creates the world that is needed to illustrate the point and to channel the development of the protagonist. The challenge is in making that world seem relevant to an audience that tends to be skeptical of the genre. To be taken seriously, SF has to escape the stigma of glitz and gadgetry and offer stories that are actually character-centered. The setting must frame and present the character, not just use the character to present itself.

One particularly dark and stinging PASF franchise is the CW’s “100” T.V. series, set in a post-war irradiated wilderness grown over the ruins of Washington D.C. Based on the Alloy books by Kass Morgan. A century after a nuclear war, the last survivors of humanity (or, so they think) live under harsh Draconian rule on an orbiting space colony beset by rapidly dwindling resources. They send a hundred of their incarcerated juvenile delinquents down to the surface to find out if it’s habitable. Turns out it is, but already inhabited, by two other groups of survivors. Warlike, savage tribes who live in the forests, and a technologically advanced but isolated society that’s lived inside a mountain bunker for the past 97 years.

Character development is strong and intense, weaving through dark themes of society-building, tribalism, leadership dynamic, and such timeless moral themes as justice, capital punishment, and war. It’s a raw, gritty look at human nature in its purest form, and it spares us nothing. Its strength is definitely in its lead characters. Most notably Clarke, the teenaged daughter of the space colony’s chief medical officer (a mother who betrayed Clarke’s father to execution at the hands of the regime, justifying it for the greater good.)

Thrust into circumstances beyond her control, Clarke reveals natural leadership ability and swiftly rises to power in her group. She soon has to face wrenching moral decisions that seem to echo the dark days of World War II. When the outwardly civilized, seemingly cordial mountain people start performing horrific Mengele-like experiments on the outsiders, draining their bone marrow in hopes of gaining their immunity to the radiation, Clarke must form an uneasy alliance with the savages to save her people. Clarke learns of an impending missile attack from the mountain through a spy she has on the inside, but decides not to warn her people about it, knowing it would tip off the enemy, robbing her side of the critical advantage. She must live with the guilt of her decision as dozens of her friends die a horrible fiery death while she gets herself to safety. A plot-point obviously alluding to Winston Churchill’s alleged similar decision at Coventry. When Clarke’s ally makes her own deal with the enemy, selling Clarke out to save her own people, Clarke must throw away the rule book to save her friends. She takes hostages and personally executes a prisoner just to make a point. When the enemy leader still won’t release her people, she makes the deliberate decision to commit genocide. Her hand pauses dramatically over the switch only a moment before she presses it, releasing deadly radiation into a bunker full of people, including innocent children and conscientious objectors who tried to help her people. The resulting nightmare scene of pleasant, family oriented cafeteria dining dissolving into excruciating death, bodies blistering from the radiation, women and children dying, conjures shades of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

“I tried to be one of the good guys,” Clarke later tells her mother. “Maybe, there are no good guys, Clarke,” mom replies. It’s not that everyone is out for number one, you understand. They’re all just doing their best to save their own people. Which is, of course worse. The story is a dark mirror of the world in which we live, but the characters have more life than that. We care about them, and they bring the dark lessons to life for us because their pain and conflict and love and hate for each other are potent.

In my SF novella “Black Goddess,” I combined theoretical quantum physics with the dark yearnings of a morally conflicted Gulf War vet who has lost his faith and becomes obsessed with finding the core of darkness at the beginning of time. The story deals with the real-life agony of torture and what it does to the soul, and asks the timeless questions of whether primal evil truly exists, if life is anything but blind chance, and if there is a God. At its core is a simple yearning for love.

Quote:
“Beneath her black head scarf, her dark eyes stabbed through him with a flaming hatred. Then…nothing. Like a black abyss where a soul had been a micro-second before. A strange kind of peace. More than that, a oneness.

That look in her eyes. In his dad’s. It was the same as he’d seen in Lark’s memory…in the eyes of that kid in Uganda who’d held a knife to her throat. But, he hadn’t harmed her. Something had stopped him. When their eyes had met…something in her had pulled him back from the abyss.”

To read more on Black Goddess please click a vendor’s name
Mocha Memoirs PressAmazon

Tom Olbert lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts; cradle of the American Revolution, and home of University egg heads and kooky liberals. He loves it there. His work has most recently appeared in Musa Publishing. Previously in Mocha Memoirs Press, Eternal Press, and such anthologies as Ruthless, Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, Something Wicked Vol II, In the Bloodstream, and Torched.

When he’s not working or writing sci-fi or horror, Tom volunteers for causes he cares about. He comes from a most interesting family; his mother, Norma Olbert is currently self-publishing a biography of the life of Tom’s dad Stan Olbert, a retired MIT physicist and veteran of the Polish underground during WWII. Tom’s sister Elizabeth Olbert is an artist, art teacher, and avid lover of horses.

Learn more about Tom Olbert on his blog Other Dimensions.

“Cherish,” a YA ghost mystery from author Norma Huss

Cherish12-1-2013-Front-400

 

It’s the sophomore Local History cemetery visit. Sure, it’s almost Halloween, but Kayla has seen that teen-age ghost for years. Why won’t she leave? When the dreamy senior asks Kayla for a date, she decides to prove to herself that she’s mature and in charge. She’ll tell that ghost to go away. But Kayla shouldn’t have touched the ghost’s cold hand, because that’s when everything changed.

Suddenly, it’s 1946, or is Kayla dreaming? Is she crazy? Why is her name Cherish? Why is her mother at home baking cookies when she should be at work? And, she has a father? Didn’t he die years ago? Why is her best friend Trudy instead of Dani? And the thing in her pocket is not a compact with a bad mirror. DON’T TRY TO OPEN IT!

Text messages do travel across the years, judging from those on her cell phone. But why is Dani mad at her? She isn’t there, is she? It can’t be, but it must. Someone is taking Kayla’s place in the twenty-first century. Who?

Fact: Cherish is ruining her life in two centuries. If Kayla doesn’t find her way home to her own time and her own body, she will die in 1946 with Cherish.

Cherish (A YA Ghost Mystery) is now available as a paperback and e-book for Kindle. Buy the paperback and download the e-book for free!

AMAZON

 

About the author:

Norma_Huss_author

Norma Huss calls herself “The Grandma Moses of Mystery.” Cherish is her first book for young adults—for her grandchildren, of course. (She freely admits this book required a lot of help from the younger generation when it came to current technology. She handled the 1946 concepts herself.)

Her adult mysteries, Yesterday’s Body and Death of a Hot Chick are set on Chesapeake Bay where she and her husband sailed for many years. Her non-fiction, A Knucklehead in 1920s Alaska, was taken from her father’s exploits as a nineteen-year-old college student looking to earn money.

“When I first started writing,” Norma says, “I wrote for children and young adults, submitting to magazines, and finally having quite a few published in popular magazines. I moved on to novels for the same age groups, but none sold. As my children were outgrowing those markets, I switched to my market—mysteries. But, I did have a few YA plots that had gotten nibbles from major publishers. I decided to update one before my grandchildren got too old to enjoy it.

However, after updating Cherish, the only part of the original that remained was the name Cherish for a teen from the past, her desire for an automobile of her own, and the number and sex of the other characters. The original had no ghost, just bones. Even the historic time changed, moving from the 1930s to the 1940s. (I did want someone still living who remembered Cherish.) And 1946 fit in quite nicely for two reasons—I could remember it, and the news from that year contributed to the story.

Early readers have mentioned mother-daughter reads, and that this one is more like a grandmother-granddaughter read. Actually, some of the scenes are contributed by one of the young men in the story, so grandsons may like it too (although that may be pushing it).”

Norma’s Website  Norma’s blog  Goodreads  Facebook  Twitter

Review for “Ghost Writer” from Long and Short Reviews

Ghost_Writer_sp300dpiLASR (Long and Short Reviews) YA reviewer “Snapdragon” totally got the meaning of Ghost Writer, and gave it 4 stars.

“Ghost Writer is an unpredictable story with a nice little mystery wrapped around a sense of empathy – a sense that will try to stretch across centuries. I’d have to call this novella the perfect Halloween present: A real indulgence with no calories!”

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Just click on the cover to download the e-book for Kindle or a Kindle app or to order a print copy from Amazon.com.

The e-book is also available here from B&N.com and from Smashwords.

It’s never too early to get into the Halloween spirit! (No pun intended there, honestly!)

Featured post

My thoughts on “The Raven”

The RavenLast night, I watched The Raven on DVD.

It’s no secret that I like the work of actor John Cusack, who wore the character of Edgar Allen Poe as if it were a second skin. I’ve enjoyed a number of Cusack’s films, everything from rom-coms Must Love Dogs, Say Anything and Serendipity, to thrillers like Identity and 1408, to the odd and quirkier movies, such as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Martian Child.

The Raven was a mystery-thriller-love story, filled with blood and gore. But, based on the works of Poe, really, how could it have been anything else? As I watched, though, I connected with this story on a level that I think is only possible when one writer observes incidents that occurred (or could have occurred) in the life of another.

Now, do I rank myself as an author with the status of Poe? Hardly. But his work was considered part of the ‘pulp fiction’ of his day, much like horror, sci-fi, romances and mysteries are today.

The Raven portrays Poe’s understanding that he was forever subject to the vagaries of newspaper editors, critics, and his readers, who consumed his stories with a rapid and morbid interest one minute while considering him capable of serial murder the next. Poe also knew that his own dark thoughts had never translated into dark actions, but he still felt responsible when what he’d written prompted an evil mind to carry out the plots of his murders on real victims.

I can identify with this. I haven’t plotted many murders in my stories, nor do I have any plans to…at the moment. But one thing that all writers need to be cognizant of is that the printed word, on paper or on a computer screen, has the power to touch others.

Are we, as writers, responsible for the actions of our readers? No, of course not. But when we see how the 50 Shades trilogy has sparked a mini-baby-boom, don’t we have to wonder?

Or, to paraphrase Poe (the character) in The Raven, “If I’d known my work would have such an effect on my readers, I would have paid more attention to eroticism.”

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