Monthly Archives: July 2016

Book Blast ~ RAVEN’S PEAK

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About the Author

Lincoln Cole is a Columbus-based author who enjoys traveling and has visited many different parts of the world, including Australia and Cambodia, but always returns home to his pugamonster and wife. His love for writing was kindled at an early age through the works of Isaac Asimov and Stephen King and he enjoys telling stories to anyone who will listen.

For More Information

About the Book:

Raven's Peak

Title: Raven’s Peak
Author: Lincoln Cole
Publisher: Kindle Press
Pages: 276
Genre: Horror/Paranormal Thriller/Urban Fantasy

A quiet little mountain town is hiding a big problem. When the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak start acting crazy, Abigail Dressler is called upon to discover the root of the evil affecting people. She uncovers a demonic threat unlike any she’s ever faced and finds herself in a fight just to stay alive.

Abigail rescues Haatim Arison from a terrifying fate and discovers that he has a family legacy in the supernatural that he knows nothing about. Now she’s forced to protect him, which is easy, but also to trust him if she wants to save the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak. Trust, however, is something hard to have for someone who grew up living on the knife’s edge of danger.

Can they discover the cause of the town’s insanity and put a stop to it before it is too late?

Raven’s Peak is available at Amazon.

Book Excerpt:

“Reverend, you have a visitor.”

He couldn’t remember when he fell in love with the pain. When agony first turned to pleasure, and then to joy. Of course, it hadn’t always been like this. He remembered screaming all those years ago when first they put him in this cell; those memories were vague, though, like reflections in a dusty mirror.

“Open D4.”

A buzz as the door slid open, inconsequential. The aching need was what drove him in this moment, and nothing else mattered. It was a primal desire: a longing for the tingly rush of adrenaline each time the lash licked his flesh. The blood dripping down his parched skin fulfilled him like biting into a juicy strawberry on a warm summer’s day. 

“Some woman. Says she needs to speak with you immediately. She says her name is Frieda.”

A pause, the lash hovering in the air like a poised snake. The Reverend remembered that name, found it dancing in the recesses of his mind. He tried to pull himself back from the ritual, back to reality, but it was an uphill slog through knee-deep mud to reclaim those memories.

It was always difficult to focus when he was in the midst of his cleansing. All he managed to cling to was the name. Frieda. It was the name of an angel, he knew. . . or perhaps a devil.

One and the same when all was said and done.

She belonged to a past life, only the whispers of which he could recall. The ritual reclaimed him, embraced him with its fiery need. His memories were nothing compared to the whip in his hand, its nine tails gracing his flesh.

The lash struck down on his left shoulder blade, scattering droplets of blood against the wall behind him. Those droplets would stain the granite for months, he knew, before finally fading away. He clenched his teeth in a feral grin as the whip landed with a sickening, wet slapping sound.

“Jesus,” a new voice whispered from the doorway. “Does he always do that?”

“Every morning.”

“You’ll cuff him?”

“Why? Are you scared?”

The Reverend raised the lash into the air, poised for another strike.

“Just…man, you said he was crazy…but this…”

The lash came down, lapping at his back and the tender muscles hidden there. He let out a groan of mixed agony and pleasure.

These men were meaningless, their voices only echoes amid the rest, an endless drone. He wanted them to leave him alone with his ritual. They weren’t worth his time.

“I think we can spare the handcuffs this time; the last guy who tried spent a month in the hospital.”

“Regulation says we have to.”

“Then you do it.”

The guards fell silent. The cat-o’-nine-tails, his friend, his love, became the only sound in the roughhewn cell, echoing off the granite walls. He took a rasping breath, blew it out, and cracked the lash again. More blood. More agony. More pleasure.

“I don’t think we need to cuff him,” the second guard decided.

“Good idea. Besides, the Reverend isn’t going to cause us any trouble. He only hurts himself. Right, Reverend?”

The air tasted of copper, sickly sweet. He wished he could see his back and the scars, but there were no mirrors in his cell. They removed the only one he had when he broke shards off to slice into his arms and legs. They were afraid he would kill himself.

How ironic was that?

“Right, Reverend?”

Mirrors were dangerous things, he remembered from that past life. They called the other side, the darker side. An imperfect reflection stared back, threatening to steal pieces of the soul away forever.

“Reverend? Can you hear me?”

The guard reached out to tap the Reverend on the shoulder. Just a tap, no danger at all, but his hand never even came close. Honed reflexes reacted before anyone could possibly understand what was happening.

Suddenly the Reverend was standing. He hovered above the guard who was down on his knees. The man let out a sharp cry, his left shoulder twisted up at an uncomfortable angle by the Reverend’s iron grip.

The lash hung in the air, ready to strike at its new prey.

The Reverend looked curiously at the man, seeing him for the first time. He recognized him as one of the first guardsmen he’d ever spoken with when placed in this cell. A nice European chap with a wife and two young children. A little overweight and balding, but well-intentioned.

Most of him didn’t want to hurt this man, but there was a part—a hungry, needful part—that did. That part wanted to hurt this man in ways neither of them could even imagine. One twist would snap his arm. Two would shatter the bone; the sound as it snapped would be . . .

A symphony rivaling Tchaikovsky.

The second guard—the younger one that smelled of fear—stumbled back, struggling to draw his gun.

“No! No, don’t!”

That from the first, on his knees as if praying. The Reverend wondered if he prayed at night with his family before heading to bed. Doubtless, he prayed that he would make it home safely from work and that one of the inmates wouldn’t rip his throat out or gouge out his eyes. Right now, he was waving his free hand at his partner to get his attention, to stop him.

The younger guard finally worked the gun free and pointed it at the Reverend. His hands were shaking as he said, “Let him go!”

“Don’t shoot, Ed!”

Let him go!”

The older guard, pleading this time: “Don’t piss him off!”

The look that crossed his young partner’s face in that moment was precious: primal fear. It was an expression the Reverend had seen many times in his life, and he understood the thoughts going through the man’s mind: he couldn’t imagine how he might die in this cell, but he believed he could. That belief stemmed from something deeper than what his eyes could see. A terror so profound it beggared reality.

An immutable silence hung in the air. Both guards twitched and shifted, one in pain and the other in terror. The Reverend was immovable, a statue in his sanctuary, eyes boring into the man’s soul.

“Don’t shoot,” the guard on his knees murmured. “You’ll miss, and we’ll be dead.”

I have a clear shot. I can’t miss.”

This time, the response was weaker. “We’ll still be dead.”

A hesitation. The guard lowered his gun in confused fear, pointing it at the floor. The Reverend curled his lips and released, freeing the kneeling guard.

The man rubbed his shoulder and climbed shakily to his feet. He backed away from the Reverend and stood beside the other, red-faced and panting.

“I heard you,” the Reverend said. The words were hard to come by; he’d rarely spoken these last five years.

“I’m sorry, Reverend,” the guard replied meekly. “My mistake.”

“Bring me to Frieda,” he whispered.

“You don’t—” the younger guard began. A sharp look from his companion silenced him.

“Right away, sir.”

“Steve, we should cuff…”

Steve ignored him, turning and stepping outside the cell. The Reverend looked longingly at the lash in his hand before dropping it onto his hard bed. His cultivated pain had faded to a dull ache. He would need to begin anew when he returned, restart the cleansing.

There was always more to cleanse.

They traveled through the black-site prison deep below the earth’s surface, past neglected cells and through rough cut stone. A few of the rusty cages held prisoners, but most stood empty and silent. These prisoners were relics of a forgotten time, most of whom couldn’t even remember the misdeed that had brought them here.

The Reverend remembered his misdeeds. Every day he thought of the pain and terror he had inflicted, and every day he prayed it would wash away.

They were deep within the earth, but not enough to benefit from the world’s core heat. It was kept unnaturally cold as well to keep the prisoners docile. That meant there were only a few lights and frigid temperatures. Last winter he thought he might lose a finger to frostbite. He’d cherished the idea, but it wasn’t to be. He had looked forward to cutting it off.

There were only a handful of guards in this section of the prison, maybe one every twenty meters. The actual security system relied on a single exit shaft as the only means of escape. Sure, he could fight his way free, but locking the elevator meant he would never reach the surface.

And pumping out the oxygen meant the situation would be contained.

The Council didn’t want to bring civilians in on the secretive depths of their hellhole prison. The fewer guards they needed to hire, the fewer people knew of their existence, and any guards who were brought in were fed half-truths and lies about their true purpose. How many such men and women, he’d always wondered, knew who he was or why he was here?

Probably none. That was for the best. If they knew, they never would have been able to do their jobs.

As they walked, the Reverend felt the ritual wash away and he became himself once more. Just a man getting on in years: broken, pathetic, and alone as he paid for his mistakes.

Finally, they arrived at the entrance of the prison: an enclosed set of rooms cut into the stone walls backing up to a shaft. A solitary elevator bridged the prison to the world above, guarded by six men, but that wasn’t where they took him.

They guided him to one of the side rooms, opening the door but waiting outside. Inside were a plain brown table and one-way mirror, similar to a police station, but nothing else.

A woman sat at the table facing away from the door. She had brown hair and a white business suit with matching heels. Very pristine; Frieda was always so well-dressed.

“Here we are,” the guard said. The Reverend didn’t acknowledge the man, but he did walk into the chamber. He strode past the table and sat in the chair facing Frieda.

He studied her: she had deep blue eyes and a mole on her left cheek. She looked older, and he couldn’t remember the last time she’d come to visit him.

Probably not since the day she helped lock him in that cell.

“Close the door,” Frieda said to the guards while still facing the Reverend.

“But ma’am, we are supposed to—”

“Close the door,” she reiterated. Her tone was exactly the same, but an undercurrent was there. Hers was a powerful presence, the type normal people obeyed instinctually. She was always in charge, no matter the situation.

“We will be right out here,” Steve replied finally, pulling the heavy metal door closed.

Silence enveloped the room, a humming emptiness.

He stared at her, and she stared at him. Seconds slipped past.

He wondered how she saw him. What must he look like today? His hair and beard must be shaggy and unkempt with strands of gray mixed into the black. He imagined his face, but with eyes that were sunken, skin that was pale and leathery. Doubtless, he looked thinner, almost emaciated.

He was also covered in blood, the smell of which would be overpowering. It disgusted him; he hated how his daily ritual left him, battering his body to maintain control, yet he answered its call without question.

“Do you remember what you told me the first time we met?” the Reverend asked finally, facing Frieda again.

“We need your help,” Frieda said, ignoring his question. “You’ve been here for a long time, and things have been getting worse.”

“You quoted Nietzsche, that first meeting. I thought it was pessimistic and rhetorical,” he continued.

“Crime is getting worse. The world is getting darker and…”

“I thought you were talking about something that might happen to someone else but never to me. I had no idea just how spot on you were: that you were prophesizing my future,” he spoke. “Do you remember your exact words?”

We need your help,” Frieda finished. Then she added softer: “need your help.”

He didn’t respond. Instead, he said: “Do you remember?”

She sighed. “I do.”

“Repeat it for me.”

She frowned. “When we first met, I said to you: ‘Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.’”

He nodded. “You were right. Now I am a monster.”

You aren’t a monster,” she whispered.

No,” he said. “I am your monster.”

“Reverend…”

Rage exploded through his body, and he felt every muscle tense. “That is not my name!” he roared, slamming his fist on the table. It made a loud crashing sound, shredding the silence, and the wood nearly folded beneath the impact.

Frieda slid her chair back in an instant, falling into a fighting stance. One hand gripped the cross hanging around her neck, and the other slid into her vest pocket. She wore an expression he could barely recognize, something he’d never seen on her face before.

Fear.

She was afraid of him. The realization stung, and more than a little bit.

The Reverend didn’t move from his seat, but he could still feel heat coursing through his veins. He forced his pulse to slow, his emotions to subside. He loved the feeling of rage but was terrified of what would happen if he gave into it; if he embraced it.

He glanced at the hand in her pocket and realized what weapon she had chosen to defend herself. A pang shot through his chest.

“Would it work?” he asked.

She didn’t answer, but a minute trace of shame crossed her face. He stood slowly and walked around the table, reaching a hand toward her. To her credit, she barely flinched as he touched her. He gently pulled her fist out of the pocket and opened it. In her grip was a small vial filled with water.

Will it work?” he asked.

“Arthur…” she breathed.

The name brought a flood of memories, furrowing his brow. A little girl playing in a field, picking blueberries and laughing. A wife with auburn hair who watched him with love and longing as he played with their daughter. He quashed them; he feared the pain the memories would bring.

That was a pain he did not cherish.

“I need to know,” he whispered.

He slid the vial from her hand and popped the top off. She watched in resignation as he held up his right arm and poured a few droplets onto his exposed skin. It tingled where it touched, little more than a tickle, and he felt his skin turn hot.

But it didn’t burn.

He let out the shuddering breath he hadn’t realized he was holding.

“Thank God,” Frieda whispered.

“I’m not sure She deserves it,” Arthur replied.

“We need your help,” Frieda said again. When he looked at her face once more, he saw moisture in her eyes. He couldn’t tell if it was from relief that the blessed water didn’t work, or sadness that it almost had.

“How can I possibly help?” he asked, gesturing at his body helplessly with his arms. “You see what I am. What I’ve become.”

“I know what you were.”

“What I am no longer,” he corrected. “I was ignorant and foolish. I can never be that man again.”

“Three girls are missing,” she said.

“Three girls are always missing,” he said, “and countless more.”

“But not like these,” she said. “These are ours.”

He was quiet for a moment. “Rescues?”

She nodded. “Two showed potential. All three were being fostered by the Greathouse family.”

He remembered Charles Greathouse, an old and idealistic man who just wanted to help. “Of course, you went to Charles,” Arthur said. “He took care of your little witches until they were ready to become soldiers.”

“He volunteered.”

“And now he’s dead,” Arthur said. Frieda didn’t correct him. “Who took the girls?”

“We don’t know. But there’s more. It killed three of ours.”

“Hunters?”

“Yes.”

“Who?”

“Michael and Rachael Felton.”

“And the third?”

“Abigail.”

He cursed. “You know she wasn’t ready. Not for this.”

“You’ve been here for five years,” Frieda said. “She grew up.”

“She’s still a child.”

“She wasn’t anymore.”

“She’s my child.”

Frieda hesitated, frowning. He knew as well as she did what had happened to put him in this prison and what part Abigail had played in it. If Abigail hadn’t stopped him…

“We didn’t expect . . .” Frieda said finally, sliding away from the minefield in the conversation.

“You never do.”

“I’m sorry,” Frieda said. “I know you were close.”

The Reverend—Arthur—had trained Abigail. Raised her from a child after rescuing her from a cult many years earlier. It was after his own child had been murdered, and he had needed a reason to go on with his life. His faith was wavering, and she had become his salvation. They were more than close. They were family.

And now she was dead.

“What took them? Was it the Ninth Circle?”

“I don’t think so,” she said. “Our informants haven’t heard anything.”

“A demon?”

“Probably several.”

“Where did it take them?” he asked.

“We don’t know.”

“What is it going to do with them?”

This time, she didn’t answer. She didn’t need to.

“So you want me to clean up your mess?”

“It killed three of our best,” Frieda said. “I don’t…I don’t know what else to do.”

“What does the Council want you to do?”

“Wait and see.”

“And you disagree?”

“I’m afraid that it’ll be too late by the time the Council decides to act.”

“You have others you could send.”

“Not that can handle something like this,” she said.

“You mean none that you could send without the Council finding out and reprimanding you?”

“You were always the best, Arthur.”

“Now I am in prison.”

“You are here voluntarily,” she said. “I’ve taken care of everything. There is a car waiting topside and a jet idling. So, will you help?”

He was silent for a moment, thinking. “I’m not that man anymore.”

“I trust you.”

“You shouldn’t.”

“I do.”

“What happens if I say ‘no’?”

“I don’t know,” Frieda said, shaking her head. “You are my last hope.”

“What happens,” he began, a lump in his throat, “when I don’t come back? What happens when I become the new threat and you have no one else to send?”

Frieda wouldn’t even look him in the eyes.

“When that day comes,” she said softly, staring at the table, “I’ll have an answer to a question I’ve wondered about for a long time.”

“What question is that?”

She looked up at him. “What is my faith worth?”

Giveaway

Lincoln Cole is giving away an autographed copy of RAVEN’S PEAK!!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one autographed copy of RAVEN’S PEAK

  • This giveaway ends midnight July 11.

  • Winner will be contacted via email on July 12.

  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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VBT ~ Love, Alchemy

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Love, Alchemy
by Eden Ashley

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GENRE: New Adult Romance/Fantasy

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BLURB:

Daveigh Little is no stranger to bad choices, but when one of them lands her in hot water, she finds herself on the run from a ruthless criminal who places a price on her head…and then there is Ethan.

From the moment she first laid eyes on Ethan Remington, Daveigh knew there was something very different about him…she just didn’t know how different.

With the habit of showing up exactly when she needs him the most, Ethan displays an uncanny intuition towards Daveigh’s whereabouts. But then the tables are turned and soon Daveigh realizes that it is Ethan who actually needs saving.

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BOOK EXCERPT

The Party

Cooper’s fingers dug into her arm with bruising force, leaving Davey no choice but to defend herself. Punching out with the heel of her free hand, she struck him in the nose. Rearing back in pain, he immediately let go and she struggled to keep her footing. Recovering, Cooper snarled and lunged to retaliate. Davey scrambled but wasn’t fast enough to escape his reach. And then suddenly she didn’t have to. A dark figure stepped into Cooper’s path, and seconds later, Cooper was on the ground bleeding and wearing a dazed look. He wouldn’t be getting up anytime soon.

Deeply shaken, Davey opened her mouth to thank her rescuer, but he had already gone. Swallowed up by the dancing mass of sweaty teenagers.

Davey wanted to be home at once. All she could think of was cuddling with Hogan while reading him a bedtime story before tucking him in. She ran outside, yanking a hoodie over her head to protect against the chill. Gulping in the misty fresh air, she calmed down enough to slow to a stroll and began what would be a long walk home. But there he was. It hadn’t been her imagination. Remington stood on the shadowy road, blocking Davey’s path.

She stopped several yards from his position. A safe distance away, she hoped. “What do you want?”

His reply was so low she could barely make it out. “I needed to be sure.”

Davey’s heart was thudding out of her chest. Had he seen her dealing? “About what?”

“That you were okay.”

“Oh.” She hadn’t expected that. “If you were so worried, why didn’t you stick around?”

“The directive tonight was recon only.” Remington took a step closer. “I think I may have compromised it by causing a scene.”

Weirdo alarm bells ringing at full volume, Davey took two steps back. “I’m sorry saving my ass messed up your mission. Thanks anyway.” Going in the other direction would get her away from him but also make the trek home thirty minutes longer. It really didn’t seem like a bad trade off.

“What did that guy want from you?”

“It’s none of your business.” Davey quickly started walking.

Remington followed. “You could have been hurt.”

“Again, none of your business.” She doubled her stride, but he kept pace effortlessly. Forging ahead for about fifty feet, Davey stopped. “What the hell are you doing?”

“I’m escorting you home.”

Flabbergasted, her mouth opened and shut. “Why?” she finally asked.

Remington watched her for a quiet moment. His features were oddly attractive in the glow of the streetlights. “I swore to serve and protect. It’s my job to keep you safe.”

Unconvinced, she gestured toward the house where the party raged on. “So a cop is going to show up and escort every one of those kids home too?”

“No.”

She folded her arms. “Then why are you following me?”

Remington shifted. “I don’t know.”

It wasn’t really an answer, but the way he spoke, as well as the manner of his movements, made the words seem true. Plus, Remington hadn’t appeared comfortable admitting them.

“What’s your name?”

“Officer Remington.”

“Well, I don’t like cops. Give me something else to call you.”

“Like what?”

Davey rolled her eyes. “Like your first name.”

“Oh.” Remington smiled. The expression transformed his features, and she thought he should do it more often. “Ethan.”

“Okay, Ethan. Walk me home.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Realist, cynic, and hopeless romantic all rolled into one, Eden lives in a small, sunny town in SC where thunderstorms inspire her best ideas. When not daydreaming about her next novel, Eden can be found curled up with a musty old paperback and a cup of coffee…or mired deeply in her next plot to take over the world. She enjoys reading or watching anything with supernatural elements, so writing paranormal and fantasy romance is a natural fit.
Links:
Blog: http://edenbynite.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdenAshleyAuthor
Twitter: @Eden_byNite
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7150184.Eden_Ashley
Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ENMA95G

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Enter to win 1 of 2 $10 Starbuck gift cards -a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Fpllow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

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VBT ~ Floor 21

We’re happy to be hosting Jason Luthor’s FLOOR 21 blog tour today!  Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!

 

About the Book:
The last of humanity is trapped at the top of an isolated apartment tower with no memory of how they got there or why. All travel beneath Floor 21 is forbidden, and nobody can ever recall seeing the ground floor. Beneath Floor 21, a sickness known as the Creepinfests that halls of the Tower. A biological mass that grows stronger in reaction to people’s fear and anger, the Creep prey’s on people by causing them to hallucinate until they’re in a state of panicking, before finally growing strong enough to lash out and consume them. Only a small team known as
Scavengers are allowed to go beneath Floor 21 to pillage the lower levels in search of food and supplies.
Jackie is a brilliant young girl that lives far above the infection and who rarely has to worry about facing any harm. However, her intense curiosity drives her to investigate the bottom floors and the Creep. To deal with her own anxiety and insecurities, she documents her experiences on a personal recorder as she explores the secrets of the Tower. During the course of her investigation, Jackie will find herself at odds with Tower Authority, which safeguards what remains of humanity, as she attempts to determine what created the Creep, how humanity became trapped at the top of the Tower, and whether anyone knows if escape is even possible.

For More
Information

  • Floor 21 is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

 

Book Excerpt

When you stop and think about it, I mean, our lives don’t make sense. We couldn’t have always lived up here, right? It gets me pretty antsy thinking about it because, I mean, this is a tower, so we had to have come up the stairs at some point. Didn’t we? I don’t know, and thinking about it gets me frustrated. When I’m in this kind of mood, I go to the rooftop and look out. You can actually see other towers rising up in the distance. Some aren’t even that far from ours. I stare at them, and I’m just like . . . is anybody over there? Is anybody looking back at me? Does anybody know or remember we’re trapped in this place? Or are we all that’s left? After I’ve gotten myself sufficiently depressed, I’ll stare over the edge of the roof, trying to see how far below I can look. Thing is, it’s impossible to see much. This tower
just vanishes into the Darkness. Nobody, and I mean nobody, even knows why. It’s just blackness down there.
Oh, about Floor 12. Yeah, that’s where the Creep really starts. The Creep? It’s this . . . gunk. Super-disgusting stuff that you shouldn’t touch because it makes you feel weird, and the lower down the Tower you go, the more you see it. It starts to cover the walls, and it’s kinda gross. It’s really slick, like saliva, and it looks all muscle-y. Almost alive. Good thing you don’t have to worry about it when you’re higher than Floor 11. Still, I wonder what it is. We all do. I know that when you touch it, you can start hallucinating. I did once. Well, okay, I’m lying. I’ve touched it a few times when I’ve been on the lower levels, which is why my parents made the rule that I couldn’t head down there in the first place. I mean, I don’t pay attention to them, but I get why they don’t want me going that far below into the Tower. The Creep makes you see . . . things. Shadowy things. Sometimes they’re right in front of you, but most of the time, they’re in the corner of your eye. They say that by Floor 21, you don’t even have to touch the Creep to hallucinate,
which is a total trip. Must suck to live down there.

Why I Wrote Sci-fi Dystopian Novel ‘Floor 21’

It was National Novel Writing Month and I was spending the month chatting with people in the Facebook group. I had no intention to participate. I simply had no interest. However, one day I was watching the Walking Dead. During this particular episode, a girl was being kept on the upper floors of a hospital She was later lowered into the dark, knowing she might have to avoid zombies to leave the building.

So as I thought there, I thought that was terrifying. However, at least she knew what was in the darkness. I wondered, what if nobody knew what was below? What if nobody had ever been in the darkness? If they’d lived their whole lives at the top of the tower? That was the core idea from which FLOOR 21 was born: an entire society of humanity that has existed for all its living memory at the top of a tower. What lies below? They may never know, given the disease known as the Creep that kills them off as they go lower and lower into the tower.

The idea resonated with some video games I knew of. I draw a lot of inspiration from game narrative techniques. One of the most popular narrative delivery techniques in gaming today is the use of recordings left behind by inhabitants. It lets players choose whether to get into the story, or focus on the game. So, my book features a girl who tells her story by recordings. It also lets me switch to other viewpoints if I want, because if these are all recordings, then it makes a cohesive sense. This is a story told by assembled recordings, like a history drawn together. It had something in its DNA drawn from World War Z in that respect. It also relied on narrative forms such as Black Hawk Down and Into Thin Air, where stories were told with exciting first person perspectives, but set in this dark fictional world.

That world itself was inspired first by the scene from the Walking Dead, but also from a game called Lone Survivor. Lone Survivor deals with the single inhabitant of an apartment building dealing with zombie type creatures and infections along the walls. It draws on zombie clichés to make a thematic point, but again what was important to FLOOR 21 was the use of a single building in which to tell the entirety of the story. Finally, a French surrealist game called OFF heavily inspired the ‘weirdness’ of the novel. OFF is almost a modern Alice in Wonderland with a much darker tone, and deals with incredibly bizarre characters. Those all fed the overall tone of the story, which deals with incredibly strange phenomena and an infection nobody really understands.

As for Jackie, the main protagonist? My college years were defined by Ellen Page and Michael Cera, and I draw thematically on a lot of my own youthful experiences in combination with their mannerisms and means of discussion. More than anything, I enjoy the informality of that duo, and that comes through pretty clearly in the way Jackie speaks as well. Despite being in a dark environment, she is overly casual at times. The resulting contrast is interesting, and provides a unique blend of dystopian horror with young adult delivery. You may find the final result unusual, but I think that’s been part of the appeal of the book, and Jackie herself is typically beloved by almost every reader.

Publication occurred due to my participation in the Amazon Scout contest. I won my contract after several thousand readers voted for my book. I’ve been involved in the agenting and publishing process before, and this was the most straightforward publishing process I’d ever been involved with. After being told I’d won, I was contacted by Amazon, given a contract offer, given a copy edit of my book, and six months later was published. It was a whirlwind, but one I’m grateful for.

About the Author

 

Jason Luthor has spent a long life writing for sports outlets, media companies and universities. His earliest writing years came during his coverage of the San Antonio Spurs as an affiliate with the Spurs Report and its media partner, WOAI Radio. He would later enjoy a moderate relationship with Blizzard Entertainment, writing lore and stories for potential use in future games. At the academic level he has spent several years pursuing a PhD in American History at the University of Houston, with a special emphasis on Native American history.His inspirations include some of the obvious; The Lord of the Rings and Chronciles of Narnia are some of the most cited fantasy series in history. However, his favorite reads include the Earthsea Cycle, the Chronicles of Prydain, as well as science fiction hits such as Starship Troopers and Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep?

For More Information

VBT ~ Syndicate’s Pawns by Davila LeBlanc

 

Inside the Book:

 
 
Title: Syndicate’s Pawns
Author: Davila LeBlanc
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Genre: Action/Adventure
Format: Ebook

A month has passed since the eclectic crew of the Covenant Patrol vessel Jinxed Thirteenth endured a harrowing mission on the abandoned space station of Moria 3 and rescued its sole surviving crew member. During the mission, Moria 3’s deranged AI all but crippled the Jinxed Thirteenth, and the skeletal crew is now desperately trying to get it repaired.

Waking from several millennia of cryo-sleep, Jessie Madison’s worst fears are confirmed. She is the last surviving member of the Human race. Surrounded by the descendants of mankind in a world she knows nothing about, not even the basic alphabet, Jessie finds herself only able to communicate with the ship’s medic, Marla Varsin, and its translator, Machina Chord.

When the merchant vessel Althena arrives on the scene, its captain, a shrewd trader named Domiant, offers to sell Captain Morwyn the parts he needs. As guards are lowered on the Jinxed Thirteenth and repairs get underway, it becomes evident that a cunning foe has managed to infiltrate the ship. A deadly game of deception begins to play out, with a sinister foe setting its sights set on capturing Jessie. Captain Morwyn Soltaine, the crew of the Jinxed Thirteenth, and Jessie Madison find their mettle tested as they are dragged into a desperate battle for survival.

 

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Meet the Author:

Davila LeBlanc spent his college years studying print journalism but quickly found himself working as a writer and performer in the comedy circuits of Montreal. During this time his goal became to break into the world of professional writing. He would get his first opportunity when he co-created and sold the hit animated television series The League of Super Evil. This was his first foray into the world of production and an important first step on his road to becoming a writer. After working on various television shows, in 2013 Davila decided to take a year off from children’s animation to focus on writing his first novel, Dark Transmissions. He is an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy and wants to add his own voice to the genre that inspired him. Davila currently resides in Ottawa where he is working on several other writing projects.

You can visit his website at http://davilathewhite.com

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Creatives On The Couch – TV Premiere

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4PM today. Our new series airs on C31.

If you are in Melbourne/Geelong, tune in or you can watch online 🙂

http://www.c31.org.au/series/2781

Release Blitz ~ Raven’s Peak

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About the Book

Title: Raven’s Peak

Author: Lincoln Cole

Genre: Horror / Urban Fantasy

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A quiet little mountain town is hiding a big problem. When the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak start acting crazy, Abigail Dressler is called upon to discover the root of the evil affecting people. She uncovers a demonic threat unlike any she’s ever faced and finds herself in a fight just to stay alive.

Abigail rescues Haatim Arison from a terrifying fate and discovers that he has a family legacy in the supernatural that he knows nothing about. Now she’s forced to protect him, which is easy, but also to trust him if she wants to save the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak. Trust, however, is something hard to have for someone who grew up living on the knife’s edge of danger.

Can they discover the cause of the town’s insanity and put a stop to it before it is too late?

Author Bio

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Lincoln Cole is a Columbus-based author who enjoys traveling and has visited many different parts of the world, including Australia and Cambodia, but always returns home to his pugamonster and wife. His love for writing was kindled at an early age through the works of Isaac Asimov and Stephen King and he enjoys telling stories to anyone who will listen.

Links

Amazon

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Twitter

http://www.LincolnCole.net

http://www.LincolnCole.net/blog

VBT ~ The Athena Operation

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About the Book

Title: The Athena Operation

Author: Dalton Cortner

Genre: Science Fiction

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In a future where wars and poverty are quickly on the rise, the universe has hit its ultimate enemy: itself. Once known for their dedication and loyalty to the good of the universe, the seythra, a strong-willed alien race, have attacked and declared war on the rest of the universe. Now, throwing their immense numbers against the opposition of the Confederate Military, hope is dwindling. Trust between factions, races, and planets are weakening by the moment. What caused the seythra to rebel? Why can they no longer be reasoned with? And most importantly, can anyone stop them in time? 

Seraph Aydrian, an infamous soldier one reprimand away from termination, must lead an army of soldiers, mercenaries, and civilians against the seythra assault and not only stop the chaos and destruction, but uncover the dark and sinister motives that are driving the murders.

Author Bio

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Dalton Cortner is the author of “The Athena Operation,” a sci fi novel. It is his first published work. The idea first came to him in 2010, and took many different shapes and forms throughout the writing process. 

Dalton was born in Wichita, KS on September 14th, 1993. He didn’t start writing until he was about 10 years old. It was the discovery of online roleplaying that led him to writing his own fictional stories, creating worlds, and devising characters. 

He currently resides in Harrisburg, PA with his fiancée and is hard at work on his next story.

Links

Official Website: www.daltoncortner.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/daltoncortner

To buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Athena-Operation-Dalton-Cortner-ebook/dp/B01FVEHFI4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1465521639&sr=1-1&keywords=the+athena+operation

Book Excerpt

“The last thing Seraph wanted the next morning was to be woken up early. He’d spent at least an hour after the hostage situation lying in bed, replaying the scenario in his mind. Seraph would tell himself that there wasn’t a way he could’ve saved the girl, but deep down, he knew that to be false. If he would’ve sacrificed his own ego and let the soldiers move in, if he hadn’t hesitated to take that shot…

Eventually he’d fallen asleep, but his dreams all circled back to the dead woman. He knew Sadhis thought him heartless, but he cared just as much about innocent lives as Sadhis did. He saw the whole greater than the parts that made it up, willingly giving death to ten if it would save a hundred.

A small rumble had woken him up. The entire military command building was shaking gently. He opened his eyes halfway and brought his hand to his face to block the light streaming in the window. Another rumble, this time much louder, caused the building to shake violently. Seraph leapt from the bed and slipped on his standard issue military shirt. He scrambled to grab his pistol from the bedside table.

As soon as Seraph began walking through his doorway, the building shook again, so hard that Seraph was nearly thrown to the floor. It took him a moment to realize that the building was beyond shaking now; now it was falling, swaying as it collapsed floor by floor. Seraph was thrown against a wall as the building swayed. The floor collapsed and he went crashing down to the room below. He dove to the right as debris came raining down from above him. Chunks of concrete, wood, and plaster crashed around him. Screams came from all sides of him. Smoke engulfed the area.

Seraph crawled across the room and dove under the bed. The building continued to fall around him, and it was all he could do to curl into a fetal position and try to outlast it.”

Book Blast ~ INDIELOVE MAGAZINE

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IndieLove Magazine, Issue 2

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GENRE: Magazine

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BLURB:

IndieLove Magazine is a publication promoting independent Authors, Musicians, Crafters, Artists, Film etc.

Issue 2 has some of the best, Authors Mia Sheridan and Amy Harmon grace the pages as well as Goddessfish promotions. Artist Kim Walker, Actor Shawn Hawkins, Derek Webb, Co Founder of Noisetrade etc.

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EXCERPT

Kelly Oliver- recently enchanted assembled music lovers around the country on her 18 date second album tour. Kelly is a guitarist/ harmonicist, with influences ranging from the song style of Bob Dylan, the intense lyrics of Alanis Morissette and a touch of Kate Bush around the vocals. Her album Bedlam, which was released, March 6th, has been carefully crafted to show off Kelly’s strengths to full advantage. BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris is a fan and says she has a ‘beautiful, pure voice and is ‘a vital voice in British Folk’ and Chris Hawkins, who has played her on BBC 6 Music said she is ‘fabulously gifted, something special’.

Kelly Oliver is one of the new breed of bright young musicians who stands out from the crowd with her ‘golden vocals’. Bedlam features a range of songs with themes ranging from war to migration, and social injustice to love in all its guises as well as the ever tempting eternal triangle.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

For 3 days only from the 1st of July to 3rd of July Issue 1 will be Free for readers of the blogs!

On my website!

www.indielovemagazine.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indielovemagazine/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndieLoveMag

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

The publisher will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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