Life in progress


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A Special Collaboration

I had the distinct pleasure of collaborating with fantasy romance author D. Lieber on a special project in which our main characters met and had a chat!

A little about D.:

D. writes stories she wants to read. Her love of the worlds of fiction led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.
When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, crafting, watching anime, Korean television, Bollywood, or old movies. She may also be getting her geek on while planning her next steampunk cosplay with friends.
She lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John), retired guide dog (Samwise), and cat (Yin).

 

Links
Website: http://www.dlieber.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dlieberwriting
Google+: http://www.google.com/+DLieber
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15163863.D_Lieber
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dlieberwriting/

Her book, The Exiled Otherkin, is set to be released on November 2nd.

Our scene between Ember, the protagonist of The Exiled Otherkin, and Stephen, the main character of The Magician’s Curse, takes place quite by accident. Enjoy!

Stephen and Ember Meet

SETTING: In the catacombs of Rome, a Fae refugee marketplace thrives. Ember has just purchased a replacement boot dagger. As she is leaving the stall, she almost collides with Stephen.

EMBER: (pulls her hat lower) Excuse me.

STEPHEN: My fault entirely. I’m a bit lost.

EMBER: (peeking up at him) It’s my first time here as well, so I doubt I will be of any help.

STEPHEN: If you don’t mind my saying so, you don’t (clears throat) look quite as out of place here as I feel.

EMBER: Is he human? (squinting slightly) How did you get here?

STEPHEN: (smiles) I’m actually not quite sure. I’m looking for a set of knives. I mentioned it to someone in a bar, and the next thing I knew I was climbing down a ladder. The gentleman disappeared after that.

EMBER: (excited over her new purchase) I just bought an excellent dagger from that stall (points). Do you want to see it?

STEPHEN: (nods) How kind of you.

EMBER: (pulls her dagger from her boot sheath) Check it out. You see these two jewels? If you slide this one (slides jewel), and then press this one … (points dagger at a wooden sign above a tavern, then presses the second jewel. The dagger blade shoots out of the hilt and into the sign. Grins at Stephen.)

STEPHEN: (laughs) That’s a little more dangerous than I have a need for. I’m looking for something I can juggle, not kill my audience with. I’m a magician on stage. (looks up at the blade in the sign) Would you like me to get that for you?

Read the rest at D.’s blog and check out the details for The Exiled Otherkin while you’re there!


Today is the Day (Free Kindle Fireborn)

Trent McDonald’s fantasy novel looks both exciting and intriguing. And it’s free! Today only! Click on the original post and get yours right away!!


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Coming soon! “Blood Phoenix: Imprinted” by Alisha Costanzo

With an old war raging between vampires and shifters, Ria must learn to refocus her life if she’s going to survive.

Her renegade fight was just the beginning. The queen is recruiting new soldiers. Ria’s going on vicious missions with her battle buddy. And her explosive abilities are malfunctioning at inopportune moments.

So now, Ria must forgo her selfish desires to compartmentalize her life, but what’s she to do when she can’t save everyone she wants to? One girl may not be capable of taking down an empire. Good thing Ria’s got help.

Coming May 9, 2017!

An Excerpt from Chapter Eleven:

Tahe whimpered beside me as I came awake with the hot fumes of barbequed meat and blood clogging my sense of smell. Her breath fast and shallow, her nails dipped into my forearm. “You awake, red.”
“Yeah.” A mallet pounded on my temples in a steady staccato, and I rubbed them as the cracked windshield came into view.
“Good.” Her breath caught. “Need some help.”
Terror strangled me when I turned to her. A piece of metal pinned her to the seat through her abdomen. I jumped back, hitting the door handle with my shoulder blades.
“Oh shit.”
Harris blinked at me from the passenger seat, dagger handle jutting out of his chest and blood dripping from the corner of his mouth. “You bitch.”
“Red.”
I jerked back to reality and the blood spreading through her top. I peered around quick, looking for the phantoms of Harris. Nothing but woods.
“Ain’t nothing to go off the deep end about. At least it ain’t wood.” Tahe took another shaky breath. “How far out the back is it?”
The metal came out clean on the other side. “A few inches.”
“Doable.” Wetness garbled her words.
“Okay. You need to stop talking unless it’s necessary. Let me see if I can pull it out the front.” A single hole of a few inches in diameter punctured the windshield on her side, and the metal looked like one of the posts off the guardrail. The end still had a flat wire where it connected to rail and left Tahe enough room to grab hold of it with one hand. I hoped there were no jagged pieces inside that would tear her further when I pulled it out, but if it did, I’d need something to stop the bleeding.
My door was crushed shut. “I’m going to see if there’s anything in the trunk to tend the wound once you’re free, but I have to break my window. Turn away so I don’t spray you.”
Pulling my sleeve taut against my elbow, I hit the glass three times before it shattered. A small chunk fell inside, but the rest remained intact with spider-line fractures that I pushed out.
The trunk didn’t have a whole lot of useful junk: just fluids, a jack, and a spare tire. Crap. I needed to call for help. My phone proved useless with its smashed screen. Double crap.
My giant savior it was then.

Bio: Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She’s the author of BLOOD PHOENIX: REBIRTH, BLOOD PHOENIX: CLAIMED, BLOOD PHOENIX: IMPRINTED, and LOVING RED, and co-editor of DISTORTED. UNDERWATER, and AFTER THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. She’s currently editing her new 2017 fire-themed anthology, writing about Ria’s father, and crafting her new YA novel for its 2018 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.


Follow Alisha at these sites:

Website: http://www.alishacostanzo.weebly.com

Blog: http://www.alishamcostanzo.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/brokenworldauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlishaCostanzo

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/alishacostanzo/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/alishacostanzo/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4618491.Alisha_Costanzo

To enter to win an e-copy of Blood Phoenix: Imprinted, click the following link:

Rafflecopter giveaway


“Easy to read, difficult to put down”…

“The Wrong Stuff” is available for purchase, now both in paperback and ebook! Get it now!

Diary of an Internet Nobody.(Archive)

So, The Wrong Stuff has been out for a couple of weeks and I’m doing everything I can to promote it, including an upcoming interview on the local radio book club hour and a piece in the local paper.
I have also joined some Facebook author groups and I’m in the process of plugging away at a few of those each day.

The book now has its second five star review on Amazon, including my favourite quote so far, which I’ve pinched for the title of this post; “Easy to read, difficult to put down…” which is, if I do say so myself, pretty accurate.

I’m still waiting to hear when the Kindle edition comes out, but here once again are the Amazon links for the beautifully designed and glossily covered paperback;

IF YOU ARE A UK READER, THIS LINK’S FOR YOU

IF YOU HAIL FROM ELSEWHERE, USE THIS ONE.

View original post 72 more words


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After the Happily Ever After – Coming Soon!

As you may remember, some time ago I mentioned that one of my short stories (unpublished) was to be included in an anthology. Here it is!

Along with this cover reveal is a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, as well as a Kickstarter campaign where you can get all kinds of stuff, including coffee mugs, posters, short stories, hard cover editions of the anthology, and even a personal editing session with the Transmundane Press editors. Make sure you check out all the links.

And don’t forget to read the teasers: you’ll find mine under the “humor” section.

ever-after-amazon-kindle

SYNOPSIS:
The happily ever after is never the end. The curtain doesn’t fall once love is recognized or evil is vanquished. Credits don’t roll once the giant is slain or the big bad wolf is boiled alive. Wicked stepsisters, malevolent rulers, and hideous creatures still have lives after their sinister roles play out; heroes, lovers, and dreamers often find their victories lead to more troubles.
Within these pages are more than seventy continuations, retellings, and eldritch stories that explore the dark forests, magical castles, and hideous creatures After the Happily Ever After.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Website: http://www.transmundanepress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TransmundanePress/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TransmundnePres
Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/bYiL2r
Pre-order/Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/transmundanepress/1386536964?token=aede0285

EDITORS’ BIOS:
Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She’s the author of BLOOD PHOENIX: REBIRTH, BLOOD PHOENIX: CLAIMED, and LOVING RED, and is co-editor of DISTORTED and UNDERWATER. IMPRINTED, her new novel, is undergoing serious edits for its 2017 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.

Having relocated from Northwest Florida’s lonesome roads and haunted swamps, Anthony S. Buoni now prowls the gas lamp lit streets of New Orleans, playing moonlight hide and seek in the Crescent City’s above ground cemeteries. Anthony is the author of Conversation Party, Bad Apple Bolero, as well as the editor to the Between There anthologies. His stories and articles have been featured in North Florida Noir and Waterfront Living. When not prowling, Anthony keeps it scary, writing dark fiction, editing, and watching horror movies. In his spare time, he DJs, plays music, and conjures other worldly creatures with tarot cards and dreams.

PURCHASE LINKS:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Transmundane-Press/e/B00Q9R2F9W
KICKSTARTER Pre-Order: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/transmundanepress/1386536964?token=aede0285

GIVEAWAY

$10 Amazon Gift Card
https://gleam.io/bKc4r/after-the-happily-ever-after-cover-reveal-giveaway

TEASERS:

Horror

“The Spider’s Kiss” by David Turnball:
Her complexion had assumed the tainted gray of the corpse, the white of her eyes inebriated red with the wine of ruptured veins, the flesh on her fingers as black as spider legs.
“How perfectly contrary I’ve become.”
For entertainment, she plucked wings from flies and hung their panicking bodies from the gossamer mesh of a spider web draping the dusty corner of her mother’s garret, watching lustfully as the long-legged spider came slowly dancing around his prey. When the mood took, she’d pop the panicky little insect torsos into her mouth. Their sour juices oozing down her throat afforded her an invigorating but fleeting sensation.

“Jack and Jill” by Tom Williams:
Mrs Dob. He tapped an inch of ash off the joint. That ridiculous paper turban the child had worn. Evan remembered Jack’s pinched little face looking up at him, so serious, so sombre it made him smile. Dear Jack, have you lost your Jill, too, you poor thing. He took a deep, lungful of smoke.
Imagine, Jack and I both losing our Jills.
There was a difference though, an important one. Evan knew where his Jill was. Oh, yes, he knew exactly where she was. Hadn’t he carried her corpse, twice as heavy in death, across a ploughed field, staggering under her weight as he tottered over the furrows.

Fantasy

“Trader” by Robert Dawson
The ocean holds many kinds of islands. There are the ordinary sort of islands that stay in the same place all the time, solid reliable islands where men and women raise their children and cabbages. Beyond them lie the barren rocks, swallowed and released as the moon draws the tides, where only the selchie folk live, and the shifting sandbars where the cold mermaidens wait to marry drowned sailors.
Then there are hidden islands that appear on no charts. The boats of Land’s Men cannot find them except now and again by mischance, and to land there is perilous. The largest islands have been sighted often enough by Land’s Men that they have names: Thule, Hy Brasil, and golden Atlantis. But most are nameless to the people of the Land, and on these, the Sea Folk dwell.

“The Dragon” by R. Judas Brown
Lavender knew no one would come for her. Bad things happened to the daughters of poor, dairy farmers every day. The best she hoped for in life was a good marriage arrangement to a solid provider. Her dad only just found that arrangement with the town miller, a man her dad’s age. His apprentice looked like more fun, but the miller was well off.
Then she had been taken.
Fire from the sky.
A slam from behind, knocking her flat before the ground fell away impossibly fast.
Trees and rivers rushed by as she hung from yellow, bony talons until the darkness crept mercifully into her vision to steal her terror away.
She awoke on a bed of sharp sticks in a cave reeking of sulfur. Confused, she stood slowly, trying to find some semblance of sanity in the dark. A glowing sliver of daylight burned around the covered mouth of the cave.
Her feet froze before she had taken a full step as what she thought was a boulder in the dark shifted.
A long tail whipped as a pointed snout swung to regard her. It filled the cave entrance, a giant, scaly mass—a creature renowned for merciless violence and calculated malevolence. Lavender jerked back, tripping on the hem of her skirt in panic. Hands and arms scraped along jagged edges as she fell into the pile of sticks. When she came face to face with a skull, the truth shuddered through her.

Humor

“Alice on the Analyst’s Couch” by Linda G. Hill
Alice’s psychiatrist, the esteemed Dr. Dinah Fell, promised her the nightmares would stop. And to the doctor’s credit, she seemed to know what she was talking about; six months after the incident when seven-year-old Alice fell asleep under the tree, they had. That was, however, fourteen years ago.
Fresh out of college, Alice found a job quickly—to the dismay of many of her peers who had exceeded her in marks, but not in popularity —in the accounting industry for which she had studied. She hadn’t wanted to admit, even to her sister with whom she shared an apartment, that the leering man in human resources hired her based on the length of her legs and the cut of her blouse rather than her qualifications. He reminded her of someone with far too many teeth for the size of his mouth.
But regardless, she left her car at home and took the bus to work, knowing that parking spaces downtown were prime real estate. She walked the two blocks from the bus stop—about all she could stand in stilettos—and approached the receptionist at the paneled desk that fronted the office of Queen and Jack Inc . The middle-aged woman with a red bouffant hairstyle studied Alice from top to bottom. Her tight-lipped moue indicated her disapproval of the young woman’s tight sweater and short skirt, but she conceded that there was, indeed, a Mr. Topper waiting to see her in his office. The secretary stood and told Alice to follow.
“I’m Rose . You’ll come to see me only when you leave for the day, so I’ll know to take messages. You will not come to me for copies, faxes, telephone books, coffee, or favors of any sort.” She stopped at a door at the end of the long hall and placed her hand on the knob.
“Good luck.” She opened the door, and walked back in the direction from whence they had come.

“The Secret Life of Blanca Snowe” by Saryn Chorney:
The tragic events of Blanca’s childhood were at least partially to blame for her present condition. Blanca’s mother died in childbirth, and her wealthy father, the lord of Fairest Landing, raised his beloved only-daughter by himself. Although he lavished Blanca with love and affection, he missed having a wife. When Blanca turned thirteen, he remarried. Unfortunately, his new wife, Hilde, was a manipulative and vain woman with a suspicious agenda. Mostly, she busied herself spending her new husband’s fortune on beauty products. Hilde ignored Blanca; she passed the majority of her time in the toilette, mixing ointments and talking to herself in the mirror. Perhaps that wasn’t so odd, though, as Blanca spent the majority of her day talking to the birds, bunnies, squirrels, and stray cats in the courtyard of their estate.
Although the Fairest Landing police officially declared it an accident, Lord Snowe died suddenly from an allergic reaction to one of his wife’s homemade tonics, which he mistook for mouthwash. Hilde made a big show of appearing devastated, but after a month of official mourning, she debuted a new youthful look and entertained suitors. To her disdain, most of them took a shine to Blanca, who was sixteen by then. In juxtaposition to her innocent beauty, the girl also had an alluring countenance that intrigued men. This infuriated Hilde, who gave a handsome sum to a handsome hitman named Hunter to make Blanca disappear. Mid-kidnap-and-chop-up plan, Hunter found himself pitying his pretty prey. Instead of offing her, he dropped her off at a so-called safe house where seven merry men lived.

Romance

“Beauty and the Beast: The Beast Within” by Lorraine Nelson:
“And that’s what you miss?” he snapped. “That childish, immature, ranting, raving, beast-like creature?”
Belle bit back a smile. “You need to let me finish. All will be explained.” She hoped. Adam grunted, the sound so much like what her beloved Beast made whenever he was displeased that her heart twisted. For one brief second, he was back with her. Then he glanced at her, questions evident in his beautiful, human eyes. And the moment was gone.

“Need to be Apart” by Jody Sollazzo
“Once upon a time in a land far, far away, Westchester, New York…” Cam pauses.
He kisses her all over. His lips are moist, biting, and wanting. He gets to her stomach and kisses a line across it. He rolls her to her side and bites her ample hip, and she squeals.
“…there was a beautiful princess. Everyone saw how beautiful she was except for the bloody beast.”
His voice is as thick as the Dublin heat outside of this crisp air-conditioned Hilton. Em almost forgets about the all the hidden trafficking below. How all these people look the same to her. Em almost forgets who she is.
“That’s not how it was at all,” she says with giggles.

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Business As Usual by Sirius Bizinus – A Book Review

Business As UsualBusiness As Usual by Sirius Bizinus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes irreverent, always bizarre, Business As Usual is a hard book to put down. Set in a freakishly corrupt world through which the main character wades through her first day on the job, it balances between social commentary and how society worships both its deities and the almighty buck. I found myself nodding my head as many times as I laughed out loud.

It’s a fantastic first time out for a new author. I recommend this novel to anyone who wants a combination of a good giggle and a thought-provoking read; as I said, bizarre. In a good way.

View all my reviews

And now it’s out in print too! Click here for details.


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My Name in Print!

Worms of Heaven by Misha BurnettI picked up Misha Burnett’s latest installment of The Book of Lost Doors series, entitled The Worms of Heaven last night and I noticed at the back he had included a chapter of Acknowledgements. I went there to have a read and, lo and behold, there was my name! Right there in black and white!

So I thought what better excuse could there be to promote this fantastic series of books which I am thoroughly enjoying? I’m not one to give out praise willy-nilly and so you can take it from me that if I say a novel great then I really, truly recommend it.

You can read my glowing review of the first novel in the series, Catskinner’s Book here and the second book, Cannibal Hearts here.

Thank you so much, Misha for thinking of me. 😀