About the Book
Title: When Blood Reigns
Author: Barbara Custer
Genre: Horror / Science Fiction
Marked for death, Alexis accompanies her lover, Yeron, and four survivors of a zombie invasion on a search for the renegades who created a chemical that induces a zombie-like state. On the way, ravenous flesh-eaters attack Alexis’s team; one survivor turns on her. She realizes too late that the renegades have been tracking her every move. When officials capture her, she becomes deathly ill. Can DNA splicing save her? Will Yeron’s attempts at rescue jeopardize all their lives?
Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.
Other books by Barbara include Twilight Healer, City of Brotherly Death, Infinite Sight, and Steel Rose; also novellas Close Liaisons and Life Raft: Earth. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page, and then blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons, and you’ll find her.
Visit her at:
Under a sky dark as tar, Shively and his gang left through the rear exit of Jackson Hospital. The power blackout cloaked the surrounding streets in shadow. Shively and Tyrone led them through an alley parallel to Jonasville Street, where the hospital was. Alexis stayed close to Yeron, teeth gritted, with Johnny to her left, and behind Shively. Mark followed close behind her. Despite Johnny’s and the others’ assurances that they could control Mark, she found herself shivering. She felt his intent stare on her, the way she had ten years ago right before he threw her on the couch.
“Brrrrrrr.” She rubbed her arms, moving closer to Yeron.
The warm May air carried a stench like that of rotting tomatoes. At the end of the block, the full moon splashed silver over the buildings and bushes. Yesterday they had slaughtered an army of emaciated, wasted people who smelled like they were many days dead, monsters that had trashed Jackson Hospital’s research floor. They knew more lay in wait; the offensive odor betrayed their secrecy.
Unease festered in Alexis’s stomach. A creepy feeling nagged at her, like someone had eyes on her, biding his time, planning a surprise attack.
She glanced toward Yeron. The soldier in him had replaced the lover: squared shoulders, head erect, jaw muscles tight, and mouth closed. His ruby eyes shifted right and left. With the invisible eyes on her came an overwhelming sadness. Don’t be ridiculous, she scolded herself. It’s not like he’s snubbing you at some party. He’s watching out for trouble and you should, too, so pay attention.
Still, the feeling of being watched lingered.
Aw oooooooooo! AWOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Alexis let out a yelp, and this time, she did latch onto Yeron’s elbow as if they were dancing at a party. The howling continued, loud and plaintive.
“Listen to that.” She nudged his shoulder. “Those woods are crawling with dead and their stink’s drawing the dogs.”
“The dogs smell Kryszka renegades.” Johnny’s voice faltered. His wide blue eyes remained fixed on their surroundings. “I don’t like this.”
“Whether you like it or not, deal,” Shively told them.
“That’s right.” Mark’s voice raked her with freezing contempt. “We’ve had enough of your whining.”
Alexis stiffened, then set her lips in a grim line. Damn, I’m not spending the next several weeks listening to Mark’s shit.
With her telekinesis at the ready, she whirled upon Mark and unleashed a surge of psychic energy. Mark stumbled, fell against a brick wall, and then landed in a heap. He doubled over, one hand rubbing his right arm.
“Cut the shit, asshole,” she warned him.
“Whoa!” Johnny brayed nervous laughter. “She socked it to you.”
“Bitch nearly broke my arm.” Mark scowled, struggling to his feet.
“Next time, she might hurt you bad.” Tyrone’s solemn face shone with sweat. “If I were you, I’d shut it.”
Mark’s mouth worked like a guppy’s, and in the moonlight, his face reddened. Tyrone held his finger to his lips. Mark kept quiet.
The howling continued, sending liquid fear racing through Alexis’s veins.
“Of course, the dogs will howl,” Yeron said. “This street smells gamey.”
“The animals sense danger, too.” Alexis hugged her tunic around her shoulders. She had Yeron to thank for looting the plasma guns and uniform after his compound exploded. “Weekly World Reporter had a big article on dogs and how they smell scent.”
Yeron did not comment. He continued staring ahead, his face impassive.
“I’d like to give those creatures a nice, long, dirt nap.” Johnny scowled. “Too bad Weekly World didn’t give us an easy way to make it happen.”
“Do not worry, honey.” Yeron smiled and stroked her hair. “I will not let you face those creatures alone.”
“Be quiet, all of you!” Shively darted a withering glance over his shoulder. “There’s something weird ahead.”
Shively reached into his backpack for his binoculars and flashlight. Alexis and the others stopped and kept quiet. All eyes were on Shively. There was no sound coming from the houses; most of them were cloaked in shadow. No streetlights, thanks to the power outage. The dogs continued howling, long, melancholy wails. No other sounds could be heard except for the crickets. The air thickened with its rancid odor. Alexis slid her fingers around her plasma gun. Knees bent, she braced herself for an exchange of gunfire.
“Where at?” she asked.
“The back alley.” Shively pointed and moved to his left.
Alexis and the others hustled after him. An acrid smell wafted from a garage near a doctor’s office. The buzzing came next. The garage appeared intact, but the low beam from Shively’s flashlight washed over a corpse. Swarms of flies buzzed around its skeletal legs and the two blood-spattered bushes that concealed the rest of the body.
All She Never Wanted
Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys and one sweet kitty. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers.
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One moment changed everything…
Evie Ward had everything she’d ever dreamed of. An action-packed job where no two shifts were ever the same, the best friend a girl could ever want, and a fairy tale wedding just days away. Her life was absolutely perfect. Until one bullet—one horrible choice—left her with a broken heart and shattered dreams. Fleeing the city she loved and a lifetime of memories, Evie took a job in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the hopes that the ocean air and fresh beaches could somehow restore her soul. Falling in love again wasn’t part of the plan.
Landon Reed was on top of the world. The money, the women, the status—he had it all until one bad decision nearly cost him his life. His father gave him three months to get his act together or be cut off from the family fortune and business. No house, no job and no money. His will and his patience are tested further when his father hires a nurse to whip him into shape. She may be little but she’s mean and it looks like Landon has finally met his match.
With her shattered heart and his broken spirit, the road to recovery will be long. Can they help each other heal or will their fractured pasts be too much to overcome?
“Good morning, Landon!” Amelia hummed a little tune quietly as she set up the bedside table. “It’s a beautiful day, today. Perhaps you’d like to go down to the beach after your physical therapy appointment?”
I pulled the covers over my head. “I changed my mind. I’m not going to any appointment.”
“Come on, Landon. You can’t spend the rest of your life sitting here in this room.”
“Yes, I can.”
“You are going to physical therapy.” The covers disappeared from my face as I looked up into the smiling grey eyes of Amelia. “Rise and shine!”
“I’m not getting up.” I buried my head under my pillow.
Amelia walked toward the door. “Maybe you’ll have better luck with him.”
“Good morning, Mr. Reed. Do you plan to stay in bed all day?” A different voice, one thick with the distinctive accent of New York City replaced Amelia’s soft southern sound.
“What’s it to you?”
“Well, it’s all the same to me if you want to rot away in that bed. I get paid either way.” I heard soft footsteps cross the room toward the little sitting area.
Rolling over on my side, I shifted the pillow enough to peek out. From my vantage point, all I could see was a pair of canvas shoes. The television turned on. I heard her flip through channels, finally settling on that home improvement show with the twin brothers. Every woman I knew loved them.
“Nobody watches those stupid shows anymore.”
Either she didn’t hear me or she was ignoring me.
“Those shows are ridiculous.” I made sure to project my voice from under the pillow.
“No more ridiculous than a grown man hiding under a pillow and acting like a two-year-old.”
I threw the covers off and shot up to a sitting position, ignoring the burning pain in my leg. “What the fuck is your prob…” Holy shit. The woman sitting on the couch looking at the television and completely ignoring me wasn’t hideous or horrible. In fact, she was fucking hot. “Who the hell are you?” I knew exactly who she was.
She looked over at me, boredom in her expression, before returning her attention to the television. “The nurse your father hired. Who do you think I am?”
“I don’t need a nurse.”
“I agree.” She flipped the channel to a news program and grimaced. “The way you’re acting, you need a nanny.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I turned so I could swing my legs over the side of the bed, my knee making my movements jerky not angry and pronounced like I’d intended.
“It means, you can’t even dress yourself so how can anyone expect you to do anything?”
I followed her glance down to my lap. “See something you like?
“Nope. I’m a nurse. I’ve seen worse. Of course, I’ve seen better too. Much better.” She clicked to another station. I could have sworn I saw her lip twitch as I growled over her insult.
“Just get out. I don’t need you. Tell my father to go to hell.”
She tossed the remote control on the coffee table and checked her watch. “You have ten minutes to get ready for physical therapy or I’m taking you the way you are.”
I pulled the sheet onto my lap and crossed my arms over my bare chest. “I already told Amelia, I’m not going.”
“You are going to get dressed.” She stood and looked me in the eye. “You’re down to nine minutes.”
“And just how do you expect me to get down all of those stairs?”
“The same way you got up them. Walter showed me the elevator.”
Damn it. I was hoping she hadn’t found that yet. “Are you planning to watch?”
“Watch what? There’s nothing to see.” She dropped her gaze to my lap and gave me a little smile that was way more taunting than friendly.
“Fine. Suit yourself.” I whipped the sheet back and reached for my wheelchair. Instead of turning away, she stayed right where she was with that little smile dancing around on her lips. With about as much grace as a bull in a china shop, I managed to get from the bed to the chair while she just stood there and watched.
“I thought you were supposed to be here to help me.”
“You didn’t say you needed my assistance.”
“Really? I had to ask? Isn’t that what you are here for?”
“Let’s get something straight, Mr. Reed.” She put her hands on her hips and glared at me. “I’m a trauma trained RN. I am not your maid or your gopher or any other thing. It is my job to get you back on your feet both literally and figuratively. I’ll handle your medical care and your personal care as needed but I am not at your beck and call.”
“Just get out of my way so I can get dressed.” I pushed past her to the large walk-in closet and started grabbing clothes. Dragging a pair of sweats, some boxer briefs and a t-shirt into the bathroom, I struggled my way into them. The doctors had promised me that things would get easier once the pain wasn’t so excruciating but my knee just refused to bend like it used to.
When I was done, I ran a comb through my wild hair, mostly so I won’t have to see the look on Amelia’s face when we leave the house.
“Come on, we’re going to be late!” The nurse called.
“I’m coming already!” I whipped open the bathroom door and scowled at her. “You never told me your name.”
She shrugged. “You never asked.”
She was fucking infuriating—despite the way her long brown hair tumbled in sexy waves over her shoulder from the pony tail it was secured in.
“Fine. What is your name?”
“What’s your real name?”
“That is my real name.” She stepped behind me and turned the wheel chair toward the door. She stopped and grabbed a pair of tennis shoes from the floor, placing them in my lap.
“I meant, is Evie short for something?”
“Yes.” She pushed the chair down the hall toward the door at the end and pressed the button for the small service elevator—the number one reason I had chosen the beach house as my home base after the accident.
“Are you going to tell me what it is?” The elevator opened and Evie pushed me inside.
“It’s none of your business. You can call me Evie or nurse. That’s all you need to know about me.”
“Anyone ever tell you that you can be a real bitch?”
“Honey, I grew up in New York. They teach a class on that in high school.”
The door opened at the ground level. Evie pushed me out of the elevator and down the ramp Walter had constructed to get me in and out of the house.
“I’m going out on a limb here but I bet you aced that class.”
“You’re smarter than you look, Mr. Reed.”
About the Book
Title: Legacy of Luck
Author: Christy Nicholas
Genre: Historical Fiction
Irish Traveler Éamonn loves gambling, women, and drinking, not necessarily in that order. But he’s entangled in a true mess when he falls for fiery redhead, Katie. When she’s married to a Scottish Traveler, Éamonn travels to Scotland to find her, with the help of Katie’s sister and cousin, and the magical brooch gifted by his father. Their quest takes them across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Skye, encountering war, betrayal, death. In the end, Éamonn must make his own luck.
My name is Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon. I do many things, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing and photography. In real life I’m a CPA, but having grown up with art and around me (my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected me, as it were. I love to draw and to create things. It’s more of an obsession than a hobby. I like looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or a fragrant blossom, a dramatic seaside. I then wish to take a picture or create a piece of jewelry to share this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus I write. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. I do local art and craft shows, as well as sending my art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.
About the Book
Title: To See a Jaguar
Author: E. Etinger
To See a Jaguar is a fascinating book of adventures.
It illustrates the complex relationship that exists between Humans and Nature. It also considers the discord existing between existential, rational insights, and primordial mysteries such as in ancient legends.
Philippe is a tour guide in the rainforests of the Amazon Basin. He embodies a boundless admiration for nature in its totality, and the duality of bringing people to experience nature, on the one hand, while dreading to disturb the primeval natural balance on the other.
While journeying throughout adventurous sites in the Amazon Basin, the author of the book guides the reader through the unique fauna and flora of the rainforest in a breathtaking manner.
To See a Jaguar describes the Amazon Basin of today and periods in its history over the last several centuries, in an interesting and entertaining way.
E.Etinger has worked with animals all his life. After touring in the savannah and rain forests of South America for a year, he decided to stay a further six years working as a guide on the various reserves. The book gives an account of his experiences and is inspired by the places he visited.
About the Book
Title: Emerge Beyond Circles
Author: John Geers
Thuban-Pol is the latest in a lineage of Siberian witches. Their eternal aim is to guide humanity to true love. Their guiding tenet, “For love to bloom, these three endure: sacrifice, perseverance and suffering. But the greatest of these is suffering.” Since the dawn of humanity, they have summoned countless couples, inflicting suffering with the intention to grow true love. They have never succeeded…but now they have their best opportunity in two couples from Wisconsin.
John Geers drew inspiration to begin his debut novel from a dream he experienced.
Hours spent in the caffeinated air of his favorite coffeehouse proved to be the perfect place to complete Emerge Beyond Circles.
John is a middle school literacy educator, where he inspires and is inspired by the writers of tomorrow. He is the founder and facilitator of his school’s Creative Writing Club. He is also a columnist for the online magazine Elephant Journal.
He loves a good story, being on the water, and witty puns. He can be found hiking the wilderness, biking big hills, sipping dark coffee, and looking for a chair in the mall.
WRITER WEBPAGE: http://bit.ly/2fSVGDL
WRITER FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/2glo25s
THUBAN-POL FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/2gTcBTQ
You can win a stuffed tiger animal (a character from the book), a signed paperback copy and a $10 amazon gift card during the tour.
Book Genre: Children’s Fiction
Print Length: 517 pages
Publisher: Al E. Boy (October 1, 2014)
Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
The Adventures of Fawn is a ‘coming of age’ series set in the magical world of Santa’s North Pole! The year is 1849, and legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen have a young daughter, Fawn. In this first book, ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls’ the young reindeer spends far too many days alone in the stable at Santa’s Village with no friends and nothing to do.
While her parents caution her she’s much too young and inexperienced to go exploring outside Santa’s Village by herself, Fawn disagrees. Declaring, “I want some fun and excitement! I don’t care how dangerous it is!” she begins sneaking out each day in search of friends, excitement and adventure. She’ll find them all…but also find herself facing dangers like a fierce hungry wolf, a freezing North Pole blizzard, and the treachery of a sea captain capturing animals of the arctic to sell to a zoo in New York City.
Along the way, she’ll also learn some valuable lessons about what’s really important in life. The Adventures of Fawn are filled with fun and excitement for all ages!
But sometimes even the best laid plans can fall apart.
It was at that very moment…something very strange occurred.
broken patterns…almost like shattered, electrified pieces of glass. Every angle of the fractured pattern sputtered and flashed likenesses of them……but each one different. In some they looked younger…and in others, older…….and older still.
They had absolutely no idea what was happening…or what they should do. The only choice they had was to stand there powerlessly watching.
overwhelmed, everyone just stood there…watching Santa and Wajic.
face, and added, “Why do you ask?”
You didn’t notice? You didn’t feel anything?”
available now! Sign up to win a paperback copy of her book or one of 5 ebooks!
THE TIGRESS AND THE YOGI
threatens gods and mortals alike.
terror, she encounters an old yogi. She offers him hospitality. As an
untouchable, her very shadow may sully the holy man, but he accepts, repaying
her kindness with stories that awaken her hunger for forbidden spiritual
knowledge. Soon after he leaves, she is orphaned and enslaved, but the warrior
goddess Durga appears in a vision and offers her hope.
Brahmins and lowly keepers of the cremation grounds, outlaws and kings, and
young Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who is prophesied to become the Buddha. She
finds happiness for a brief time, but when she loses everything, her quest goes
terribly wrong. She becomes an outlaw warrior, worshipping the dark goddess,
Kali. She masters occult powers but descends into madness, misusing the
supernatural gifts the goddess bestows, and when she again encounters the old
yogi, she must decide whether to continue on the path of bloody vengeance or
seek transcendence through the power of yoga.
vivid mythical world of ancient India and transports the reader
to the Buddha’s time in a story filled with love and fear, anger and desire. This visionary novel
creates a memorable portrait of a powerful woman, her extraordinary daughter,
and the men they challenge and inspire. It examines the yearning for spiritual
transformation and inner peace, and the ways in which the pursuit of wisdom and
compassion can go terribly wrong.
grove, though open patches among the leaves admitted some dappled sunlight.
After the thick, dense forest, this place was like a spacious and cool green
temple. There was a tall, slender stone pillar set in a circle of stones in the
very center. The snake-loving Nagas, the most fearsome of the hidden forest
tribes, must have sacrificed here once. Nagas had not been seen near the
village in years, but everyone still feared them. Sometimes when a village man
disappeared, people whispered that the dark ones had sacrificed him to their
Great Mother, She who was ancient as the earth.
unease. It was so peaceful and beautiful, there could be no danger. She crawled
to a tree trunk and curled up against it to rest awhile. The birds and insects
remained silent. Her own breathing was loud in her ears. It felt good just to
rest her hand on her belly as it rose and fell. Soon she was aware of nothing
her head nodding, Mala slipped into a strange new place of lights and sounds. The
tree’s roots cradled her and the earth’s coolness was like a soothing caress.
Light fell from the leaves above like drops of water. Then she gasped.
beautiful goddess appeared in radiant splendor, waving hands carrying weapons.
One hand the goddess held before her breasts in a strange gesture, thumb and
forefinger touching. The other she held out toward Mala, and from its upward-facing
palm shot a beam of light. Mala prostrated before the vision.
dismounted from the tigress and with her two free hands lifted her ruby and
diamond garland from around her neck, smiling as she did so.
necklace, the red jewels began to drip blood. Mala cried out.
the edges of consciousness like a wild animal hiding in the forest’s shadows.
Dusk was approaching. In the distance, there was something or someone: a horse
whinnied, human voices called and laughed. Or did she imagine it? Was Durga
only a dream?
real. Warriors had strength and courage. It was a sign. Mala must be strong and
courageous, too. But what did the jewels dripping blood mean?
justice, blood is shed.
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Buddhism and yoga arose sixteen years ago, when she and her son earned black
belts in Tae Kwon Do. The links between the martial arts and Buddhist techniques
to calm and focus the mind fascinated her. By profession a librarian, Shelley
plunged into research about the time, place, and spiritual traditions that 2500
years ago produced Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Yoga, in some
form, has a role in all of these traditions. Its transformational teachings
soon prompted Shelley to hang up her black belt and begin a yoga practice that
she follows to this day.
fiction, Shelley looked for a good novel about the Buddha. When she didn’t find
one that satisfied her, she decided to write her own novels based on the
spiritual struggles of women in the Buddha’s time. She published the first book
in the Sadhana Trilogy, The Tigress and the Yogi, in 2016 and will
publish the second, The Mountain Goddess in early 2017.
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Shelley is giving away one
autographed copy of The Tigress and the Yogi PLUS 5 ebooks!
- By entering the giveaway, you
are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
- Six winners will be chosen
- This giveaway ends midnight January 27.
- Winner will be contacted via
email on February 1.
- Winner has 48 hours to reply.