Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Please Welcome Veronica Scott as She Tells Us About Her Sci-Fi Romance, JADRIAN, Sectors New Allies Book 3


JADRIAN: A BADARI WARRIORS SCIFI ROMANCE (SECTORS NEW ALLIES SERIES BOOK 3)
By Veronica Scott

Thanks for having me as your guest today! Always fun to talk about a new release!

The blurb:  Taura Dancer has been pushed to her limits by alien torturers known as the Khagrish and is ready to die when suddenly the lab where she’s held as a prisoner is taken down by an armed force of soldiers.

The man who rescues her from a burning cell block is Jadrian of the Badari, a genetically engineered alien warrior with as many reasons to hate the Khagrish as Taura has. This set of shared past experiences and the circumstances of her rescue create an unusual bond between them.

Safe in the hidden base where Jadrian and his pack take her, Taura struggles to regain her lost memories and overcome constant flashbacks during which she lashes out at all who come near. Only Jadrian can recall her from the abyss of her visions and hallucinations.

As the war against the Khagrish continues, it becomes increasingly critical to find out who she really is and how she can help in the fight. Until she can control her terrors and trust her own impulses, Taura’s too afraid to pursue the promise of happiness a life with Jadrian as her mate might offer.

When he’s captured by the dreaded enemy, will she step forward to help save him, or will she remain a prisoner of her past?

This is the third book in a new scifi romance series and each novel has a satisfying Happy for Now ending for the hero and heroine, not a cliffhanger. Some overarching issues do remain unresolved in each book since this is an ongoing series but romance always wins the day in my novels!

The excerpt – right after Taura has been rescued from the burning cell block:

The man who’d rescued her was easily seven feet tall, amazingly fit and muscular, and almost preternaturally handsome, but definitely not Terran descent human like her. His amber eyes were kind, even when glowing golden, and he seemed concerned with her welfare, as evidenced by their current race to find a medic. A good sign, but she’d learned not to take anything or anyone at face value on this hellhole planet.

Unable to draw a deep breath despite his encouragement, she drifted in and out of consciousness until she realized she was lying across a row of seats on a flyer, while voices talked above her head. She reached out, wanting to keep her rescuer close. He represented safety, she trusted him as much as she was able to put her faith in anyone other than herself. He’d saved her once and she was going to rely on him to continue to intervene on her behalf.

Her fingers were engulfed in a huge hand, gently squeezed. Her rescuer leaned close, his voice low pitched. “My friend Timtur’s a medic, he’s going to take care of you now till we get home and you can see the human doc.”

A human physician? Were these men connected to the Sectors after all? She had so many questions but was too debilitated to ask. Time would tell and she was too weak to take any action until someone tried to place a medical mask over her face. She struggled to sit up, shoving away the mask even after catching a whiff of pure, fresh oxygen. “Don’t leave me—how can I be sure I’m safe if you’re not here to keep watch?”

The soldier rescuer crouched to be at her eye level. Even in her state of confused panic, she was woman enough to notice yet again how incredibly attractive he was and how hypnotizing his eyes could be. Taura wanted to relax into the golden glow and keep him by her side, but it wasn’t to be.
 “Battle’s not over, I gotta get back.” He smiled. “There might be someone else who needs to be rescued. You want me to check, right?”

She nodded. “No other humans here, though.” Her voice was a croak. “I was told I was alone over and over. I never saw anyone else in the cells.”

“Well, we’ll make sure. Now you let our medic help you.” He tried to withdraw his hand and she tightened her grip.

“I’ll give her something to relax her,” said the other man, who she’d barely glanced at, stepping away from the seats. “Hang on for a minute.”

Although the mention of sedating drugs made her uneasy, given the Khagrish tendency toward using meds  to attempt to break her inner resolve,  she couldn’t look away from those fascinating eyes long enough to protest. Maybe all his people had glowing amber eyes but right now he was the special one to her and the only person she cared about making a connection with. “What’s your name?” she whispered despite the soreness in her throat.

“Jadrian, of the Badari. And you?”

“I don’t know.” Her name was the one precious thing she did remember about herself, but she hadn’t given it to the Khagrish, and she wasn’t ready to give it to anyone, not even her rescuer. She put her free hand to her forehead and gave him a different truth as a distraction. “They—the Khagrish—did terrible things to me. Everything’s jumbled in my mind.”

He smoothed her hair away from her face. “They did reprehensible things to a lot of us. It’s okay. I’m sure you’ll remember details soon enough.”

Taura fought not to recoil from his gentle, well intentioned touch, afraid to irritate the person who’d rescued her. “I didn’t let the scientist in charge win. I couldn’t let him win.” It was suddenly important to her this warrior know she was a fighter too.

“You survived, that’s proof enough for me how tough you must be.” His voice was an approving caress.

With great care, he pried her fingers from his as the medic rejoined them. “Wait a minute,” Jadrian said to his comrade. Opening his shirt slightly, he took a leather thong from around his neck and showed Taura the small blue stone pendant, swirls of color suggesting a sleeping cat. “Keep this safe for me. I’ll come reclaim it when I get back to the valley later, all right?”

Buy Links:  Amazon    iBooks   B&N    Kobo      Google

Author Bio and Links:
USA Today Best Selling Author
“SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog

 Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!

 She read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”




Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Back Alley Bookends




The back alley bookends, on display at Design Fiesta in Tokyo. Photo by twitter user @riku_ton

If you’ve ever wandered around Tokyo on foot you’ll know that it can sometimes be like a spider web of side streets and back alleys. It’s one of the things that makes Tokyo so unique and therein lies the allure of exploring the massive city. Now, one designer has brought that magic to bookshelves by designing back alley bookends.

The clever idea is the brainchild of a Japanese designer who goes by the name monde. Based in Tokyo, monde creates objects inspired by the city but also animals and insects. The back alley bookends come in a pair and can be used together to replicate a small back alley, or they can be used individually, exposing the intricate stepping stones, A/C units, piping, plants and other details that have been carefully recreated by hand.

Monde exhibited the back alley bookends, along with other works, last weekend at Design Fiesta, a Tokyo-based arts & crafts event where artists, both amateur and professional, come together to exhibit their artwork. The event has since ended but the next dates (August 2-4 and then November 10-11, 2018) have already been announced. If you’re interested, you can also try reaching out to the artist directly. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

(Click pictures for bigger size.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Please Welcome A.J. Wharton as She Tells Us About Her Urban Fantasy, REBIRTH, Birds of Change, Book 1


Rebirth
Birds of Change
Book 1
by A.J. Wharton

Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Angela Wharton     
Date of Publication: April 15th 2018
ISBN: 978-1732067806
ASIN: B07BS5T67B
Number of pages: 387
Word Count: 97,336

Tagline: What’s your talent?
Book Description:
In a world divided between those who are talented and those who aren’t, Vici is a city governed by an egotistical Praetor driven by his hatred for the gifted individuals—the Tallents—who he considers a plague. Tallents are forced into the shadows, for fear that they will be caught and executed.

An explosion rocks the city to its very foundation; the sole survivor a young woman with no memories of her past. Her only tie to her previous life is a silver necklace with the name Asylia inscribed. Risen from the ashes, she pieces herself together while taking control of her emerging fire talent. She must be careful; one mistake and she will end up like all the other Tallents who have faced the Praetor’s wrath.

Harbored by a mysterious group called Revival, the young woman discovers that the people of Vici are disappearing at an alarming rate. Together with her new friends, she must rally against the Praetor’s tyranny, racing to free the city in hopes that she isn’t too late to bring peace to this world in turmoil. 


Excerpt:

A rustling chain nearby; my body feels weak and heavy as the darkness surrounds me. Cold numbness fills my body. The razor-sharp wind cascades past my face. A shattering noise wakes me up to the icy wind whipping across my body. The current turns me over and over as if I’m a mere plaything for the air around me. My eyes spring open and struggle against the oncoming current. I am high in the air above the city. Beneath me, bright lights of buildings stretch as far as I can see. I panic as I fall faster and faster toward the ground.
“Aaaaaaahhhhhh!”
A bright light emanates from behind me and lights up the night sky as the pulse of power fuels an explosion above me. I twist and turn as I rocket toward the ground. Something is attached to me and squirming to get out of my reach. Got to hold on; got to hold on just a little longer. A black, crumpled mass tears from my body, its claws ripping at my flesh as it disappears above me. My body rocks from it, picking up pace as my arms flail around, helpless against the downward pull of gravity. Beneath me, I recognize the building as the one they had shown when Praetor Fraus delivered his announcement. It isn’t how I remembered seeing it though. When I last saw it, it was charred and broken, but this building looks pristine. The city fills my vision as I soar closer and closer. Brilliant glistening buildings formed almost a perfect circle: the edge of the city outlined by crystalline magenta walls.

A mangled voice comes from behind me, but the wind makes it hard to make out what it is saying. I see through the glass ceiling of the building and I try to change my path, but I burst through the glass as fire surrounds me.


About the Author:

Angela lives in the small capital of Delaware. An avid gamer and superhero fan, she spends most of her free time playing video games. With her work, she travels for hours at a time and that’s where she discovered her love for audiobooks. Angela would get wrapped up in the story, and the fantasy that came alive all around her made the miles fly by. After being inspired by Susan Ilene’s Sensor series, she was motivated to write her first book. Angela dreamed about the events in the books for weeks before she finally started writing them down. Rebirth is Angela’s debut novel, but first of many in a series.




Monday, May 14, 2018

Please Welcome Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor as They Tell Us About Their Paranormal Suspense Romance, BOUND, a Magnus Blackwell Novel, Book 2


Bound
A Magnus Blackwell Novel, Book Two

by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor

Genre: Paranormal Suspense/
Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Date of Publication: 4/17/18
ISBN: 978-1944109615
ASIN: B079L1Q1KM
Number of pages: 313
Word Count: 93,000
Cover Artist: Sam Shearon
Tagline: You can’t escape the darkness
Book Description:

Magnus Blackwell’s past is about to catch up with him.

An evil force has seized New Orleans. Pestilence, suffering, and darkness cloak the city. The citizens are scared and need their mambo to guide them, but Lexie Arden can’t help anyone. A diabolical presence has taken Lexie’s power and severed her ties with the other side.

Magnus Blackwell is fighting demons of his own. Torn between his devotion to Lexie and a spirit from his past, Magnus’s loyalty is put to the test. He must revisit his sins to uncover the key to the hatred ripping the city apart. If he doesn’t, Lexie’s reign as mambo will end.

Their search for answers leads them deep into the darker realms of voodoo—until a desperate Lexie does the unthinkable, and Magnus can do nothing to spare her from her fate.

Amazon       Books2Read       Goodreads



Excerpt

Magnus waited outside the cottage, anxious for Lexie. Vulnerable because he was cut off from her. Something had changed between them. The thoughts, emotions, and even the actions of the living left impressions in his head. In the beginning, he’d only connected with Lexie; now it appeared as if every person he encountered touched him in some beguiling way.  
Confounded by what was happening, he went to the green water at the swamps’ edge along the side of the house. Raindrops created ripples on the stagnant water. Their concentric circles grew, intersecting in swells, releasing voices in their wake.
Magnus waited at the slimy green bank, attempting to make sense of the strange sounds. The cries of men, women, and children rose up and overwhelmed him.
“Save us!” a woman shrieked.
“Please, help me. I want to be free,” a man’s husky voice entreated.
“Take me away from this hell,” a high-pitched wail begged.    
The voices built around him, crowding his ears, imploring him to rescue their tormented souls. He had never heard such noises from anyone.
A vision of his Frannie hurtling over the cliff’s edge at Altmover Manor replayed in his head. The sound she made as she toppled to the rocks below resembled the pitiful cries of the spirits around him. Magnus closed his eyes, disgusted by the memory.
When his eyes opened, he scampered backward. In the boggy water, hundreds of bodies floated in various stages of decomposition. Arms, hands, legs, and torsos bobbed on the surface. The woman in black he’d seen with Lexie stood at the water’s edge, calling to the dead to wake from their soggy tombs.
Horrified by the agony he saw on their contorted faces, Magnus wanted to obliterate the vision by returning to his shadowy realm, but he couldn’t tear himself away. The images of body parts and broken souls held him captive as bitter waves of anger and anguish rolled off the water.
“Your master’s in danger.
Magnus spun around.
A little girl in a long white nightgown trimmed in yellow ribbon stood next to him. Down the front, a stain of burnt red went all the way to her bare feet. She held a dirty teddy bear in her arms, but when she peered up at him, a gaping wound across her throat exposed the bone underneath.
Magnus didn’t know if he could believe the phantom before him. Spirits had never reached out to him before. This was Lexie’s realm. Why did he suddenly have her gift?
“Are you real?”
“Yes, sir. Very real, just like you.”
He knelt down beside the child. “What is your name?”
“Mattie. I died in the swamp when I was six. The mistress has enslaved my soul to do her bidding.”
He touched the nose of the teddy bear in her arms. His fingers passed through the toy. “What mistress?”
“The Lady La Fay. The one who called your master to her side.”
Magnus examined her gray skin and sunken eyes. “I don’t have a master.”
She pointed to the porch steps of the cottage. “You’re bound to the woman who went inside. She’s your master and the one who controls your fate. We are all bound to those who work the dark realm. You’ll see.”
Magnus was about to question the child when her eyes went black and rolled back into her head.
Her mouth opened, and her lips stretched, expanding painfully beyond her chin and cheeks. The gaping, black hole spread and almost split her face in two. It covered her entire face, leaving only her flowing brown hair untouched.
Alarmed, he stood up. Then the child dropped the teddy bear and held her arms out to her sides.
He searched the swamps for an escape. He found the souls in the water, their dismembered bodies rising from the surface, coming toward him. A parade of legs, arms, torsos, and heads covered with algae and muck approached his spot on the shore.
He faced the girl, her toes floating above the boggy ground.
A soulless, wretched cackle came from the blackness covering her face.   
“Welcome, Magnus Blackwell,” a woman’s whiny voice echoed from the darkness. “Welcome to my world.”  


About the Author:

Born and raised in New Orleans, Alexandrea Weis grew up in the motion picture industry and began writing at the age of eight. After finishing her Ph.D. in Nursing, Alexandrea decided to pick up the pen again. She has published a number of award-winning novels, and won countless national awards for fiction. A certified/permitted wildlife rehabber with the La. Wildlife and Fisheries, when not writing, Alexandrea rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She and her husband live in New Orleans.

Visit Alexandrea Weis online at: www.alexandreaweis.com




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Saturday, May 12, 2018

I Painted A Mountain Of Cats On A Blank Wall To Bring It To Life






Based in Singapore, I (the artist, not me) was approached by a newly-wed couple who just got the keys to their new home.

They had two cats and wanted to personalize the boring wall of their living room. I took 6 hours to complete this wall and I even added in a request to include two dogs. Can you spot the two dogs?

Click the pics to see larger versions. Or here's the link to see more!