Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

With Halloween right around the corner, it seems only right to share some movies I want to watch.  Here are just some of the thrillers, chillers, and sci fi movies on my list.

If you have any suggestions, let me know!

I’m a huge fan of the Aliens movies so of course I’ll be watching Alien: Covenant.

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I loved the original movie for Stephen King’s IT so, yep, the new release is on my list.

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Getting goosebumps from The Conjuring movies, I must continue with the side series about Annabelle. Annabelle, the first movie, didn’t do much for me but I hear Annabelle: Creation is supposed to be pretty good.

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And I can’t go through a year without more sharks! 47 Meters Down looks amazing. Hope it lives up to the hype.

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I enjoyed the first Open Water movie but the second was an epic fail. Maybe this third one will be better.

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A Cure For Wellness looks like one of those that creeps up on ya. I’m liking the looks of this one.

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And of course I have to check out the Blade Runner 2049 Movie! I don’t see how they can come close to topping the original but I have to see it anyway.

So, are any of these are on your list? And I’m always looking for more so leave me some suggestions!

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For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

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Welcome to my stop on the tour for Prepared by Courtney Konstantin.
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Before I share the book and giveaway, please enjoy this guest post by the author where Courtney shares her writing process.
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As an author, I think everyone has their own personal writing process. What works for some, isn’t going to work for others. I have found that conventional processes don’t work for me. If I get too caught up in the planning of things, I will never actually get the writing done. So I stray away from outlines, or standard writing processes. My Brainstorming Bestie and I spend hours texting and emailing about the stories I’m trying to tell. It’s our verbal vomit sessions. When I hit a block, I bounce stuff around to her in a message, and suddenly it’s like the story will come to life. Getting out of the story and throwing around random ideas makes the writing lively and easier to complete. After I have the story close to complete, and I’m in editing mode, I send it off to my Editor in Chief, and she goes through it a few times, letting me know what needs changing. Fresh eyes on the story help with any possibly plot points I didn’t connect or words I just completely missed. Not to mention having the motivation to KEEP GOING.How Long I’ve Been Writing –
At my age *cough* 35 *cough*, it feels like I’ve been writing for forever. Realistically, I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. I had binders full of doodles and poems about family and the love only a teenager can feel angst over. I was in yearbook and the journalism classes, wanting to write in whatever capacity I could. As my life changed over the years, I picked up and put down stories I wanted to write. I had children, and my life changed direction. Writing feels like it’s a part of my soul, so it always came back. This time I refused to allow it to fall behind other things, and I’m loving every second of my stories coming to life in front of me.Pet Peeves –
Amazingly I can’t handle listening to other people eat. Hearing myself eat doesn’t bother me, but if the room is quiet and I can hear other people chewing, I get abnormally annoyed. I recently read about a condition called Misophonia, which is defined as the hatred of sound, specifically human sounds. The rage I can feel when I hear someone eating chips would fall right into one of these categories. That could also extend to the scraping of forks against plates, nails on chalkboards, or the screeching of chair legs on a hard floor. All of these things give me goosebumps and make me feel on the verge of a freak out!Character Development Process –
My characters seem to come to life as I write. I know who the main characters are going to be, but sometimes their personalities change as the events in the story unfolds. New characters sometimes show up, starting as small pieces of the story, but eventually turn out to be more significant. That’s the fun part of the writing, sometimes it has a mind of it’s own.Future expectations –
Prepared is the first book in the Sundown Series. The series planned to be at least a trilogy, with an additional novella. That novella is coming next, and will be about the teenagers that Alex Duncan takes under her wing. It’s going to be a quick, exciting story of survival. I have also dabbled in romantic adventure writing, so who knows….maybe there’s some of that to come!Advice for aspiring writers –
The one piece of advice I have received from authors around me, is always be doing something in regards to your writing. Write, edit, promote…something everyday. My goal is always to write at least 250 words a day, though I rarely only write just that. But on days I’m super busy, or stressed, or blocked, 250 words can be a challenge. I still do it, no matter how rough.Writing as a Parent –
Finding time for anything as a parent, is practically impossible. So I spend nights typing in my bed, or my lunches from my fulltime job, I write. But my kids are my inspiration. One of the reasons I finally made writing is priority is because I always tell my children, “You can be whatever you want in this world. Anything. So find what you love, and DO IT.” When I looked at myself, I realized I wasn’t doing that. So I wanted to be a better role model for my kids, and knew writing had to be real for me, show them passion means something.

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Prepared
by Courtney Konstantin
Genre: SciFi. Dystopian, Thriller
 
She thought she was prepared for the end of the world… until it
actually came.
Alex Duncan is a mother, a sister— and the daughter of a doomsday
prepper. She always thought her father was insane, raving about an
apocalypse she never believed in, but when a plague hits the United
States and the dead no longer stay dead, Alex discovers heeding her
deceased father’s advice is what will keep her family alive. Before
he died, Alex’s father created a compound in Montana just in case
situations like this arose.
Hell has arrived on earth.
The dead walk, hungry for human flesh. Living in a highly populated city
like Las Vegas makes the reality of the plague imminent to Alex. With
little time to spare, Alex must make split-second decisions to
prevent her family from being devoured. Facing the end, Alex has
three goals.
Escape Las Vegas. Get to the compound. Survive.
As the outside world crumbles and grows darker, Alex faces adversity
from not just the infected, but the uninfected as well. Government
assistance is nowhere in sight, and rumors fly that the nation’s
only solution to the growing plague is execution.
Not everyone will outlast the plague. Doomsday is here. Will Alex be up
to the challenge, or fall, and rise again as one of the undead?
An exciting apocalyptic thriller that’s intriguing, mysterious, and
horrific, Prepared is the debut novel of upcoming author Courtney
Konstantin. Stay up all night to read this terrifying tale of
pandemics, zombies, and government secrets by one-clicking today!
Releases Sept 1st!
Read the first two chapters free!
 
 
As a child, Courtney always had aspirations of being a writer. She
participated in journalism in school. At home, she wrote short
stories, poetry and filled diary pages. Somewhere along the line
becoming an adult took priority over her writing and she went to work
in business operations.
Now as a mother to three beautiful children, she tells them all the time
to follow their dreams, be whatever they want. Those lessons reminded
her how much she loved writing. She finally opened the door to making
writing a real priority in her life. 
Living outside of Portland, Oregon she loves the green and beauty Oregon offers. When
she’s not matching wits with her children, her crazy Siberian Husky
or her bi-polar cats, she enjoys binge reading, hikes and touring
wineries. Courtney and her husband, the love of her life, enjoy
traveling the world whenever they can get a free moment. And
cruises….she loves cruising. She’s especially fond of life,
laughter and sarcasm – and she’s excited to share all of that and
more with her readers!
 
 
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 
 

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

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The Storyteller’s Book
The Chronicles of Midway Book 1
by Kevin Fleming
Genre: SciFi Fantasy
 
“ … you must realise and accept, neither me, your mum, nor either of you are
human.”


Nick and Mel are 14 year old twins living normal lives with their parents.
When they discover an ancient book in their attic and read from it,
strange events begin to happen around them. Something has been
awakened which prompts their parents to take them away to a town
called Midway where they reveal to the twins that they are not human.
They had been hidden on Earth, brought up as though they were human,
awaiting the right moment for the truth to be told.
When their parents mysteriously disappear on their first night away, they
are forced to discover for themselves what their roles are in the new
lives they’ve been thrown into. They struggle alone as they try to
understand and balance their past human lives with their alien
destiny. When the book they discovered at their home is stolen, it
falls on the twins to recover it. The book has a lot more power than
they realised, and if they fail, it will not be they who suffer, but
the whole human race.
Along the way, they meet an array of characters, some will become friends,
some will become enemies, who can they trust? For now, they can trust
only each other.
 
 
The Mines of Kothkish
The Chronicles of Midway Book 2
 
When Sebastian, the brother of their friend Celeste is abducted by the
rogue faction known as The Malum-Atra, twins Nicholas and Melandra
Wigg are first in the queue to help the Shreen Angels in their quest
to find and rescue the unfortunate victim.

As the situation escalates and the full extent of the danger to Midway
and the whole human race is revealed, Nick and Mel face a race
against time to locate where Sebastian is held.
Do the Mines of Kothkish with their glowing caverns of billions of
precious stones hold the answer to the mystery of Sebastian’s
location? What role does Elaine, the human girl with the unusual
gifts have to do with finding the abducted Shreen Angel? And what is
the secret that has been hidden in Little Meesden for two hundred
years?
Find out as we meet friends and foe, old and new, as once again Nick and
Mel fight for the survival of the human universe.
From facing evil snow creatures to diving into lakes of fire, share in the
exciting adventures of Nick and Mel in the second of the Chronicles
of Midway series, The Mines of Kothkish.
 
 
The Warlords of Shreen
The Chronicles of Midway Book 3
 
Nicholas and Melandra Wigg have already met Hadad, the only warlord still at
large, but now they are faced with a plot to release the other three
warlords trapped within collectors. 


When Nick and Mel enter the dream room, a story of great tragedy, loss and
regret is revealed as they discover Malvern, once a colleague of
Rufus, is behind the terror that is the Malum-Atra. Insane with fear
and hatred of the human race, he is searching for a way to open the
collectors, thus unleashing the warlords upon the world.
What does the secret of Meesden House and the tragic history of the old
railway house have to do with preventing Malvern’s evil
plans?
Join Nick and Mel in this story of redemption and second chances as they
continue their quest to fulfil their destiny in The Warlords of
Shreen, the third book of The Chronicles of Midway series.
Carnival of the Otherworld
The Chronicles of Midway Book 4
 
Join Nicholas and Melandra Wigg in one more exciting adventure as they
come up against Natasha Moon, Malvern’s evil accomplice, who
together lead the Malum-Atra’s desperate final attempt to destroy
the human universe.


How would the humans react if Midway was revealed to them?
How would Midway’s lethal automated defence system respond to
an Earth attack?
Nick and Mel are faced with these frightening questions and even more
horrifying answers as they do battle with sea spiders, Shreen demons
and the ancient Defender of Midway.
What were the startling events of several years earlier that unknowingly
affected the lives of many humans in Little Meesden? What was the
tragedy that befell Celeste’s mother? Will Nick and Mel finally
come face to face with their destiny?
Find out, as these and many more secrets are revealed in Carnival of the
Otherworld, the final book of the series, The Chronicles of Midway.
 
 
Kevin Fleming was born and still lives in Liverpool. He worked for a large
telecoms company for over twenty years before leaving to run his own
business for a further fifteen years. 


Having written short or incomplete stories on and off all his life, he
believes now is the time to put his full commitment into writing more
seriously. Since 2012, he has devoted his time to writing and has
completed a four part sci/fi, fantasy series aimed at ages from 11
years old and upwards, called ‘The Chronicles of Midway’.
He is mainly interested in writing supernatural, science fiction and
fantasy novels that would appeal to young and old alike. Currently he
is working on another series that would combine all these genres.
 
 
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE



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Uncanny
Sarah Fine
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

Two sisters. One death. No memories.

Cora should remember every detail about the night her stepsister, Hannah, fell down a flight of stairs to her death, especially since her Cerepin—a sophisticated brain-computer interface—may have recorded each horrifying moment. But when she awakens after that night, her memories gone, Cora is left with only questions—and dread of what the answers might mean.

When a downward spiral of self-destruction forces Cora to work with an AI counselor, she finds an unexpected ally, even as others around her grow increasingly convinced that Hannah’s death was no accident. As Cora’s dark past swirls chaotically with the versions of Hannah’s life and death that her family and friends want to believe, Cora discovers the disturbing depths of what some people may do—including herself.

With her very sanity in question, Cora is forced to face her greatest fear. She will live or die by what she discovers.

Goodreads / Amazon

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Enjoy this glimpse inside

I did not anticipate the wind. on the sidewalk, it made jackets flap and leaves rustle. Seven stories up, it threatens to throw me right over the edge.

Is that what I want?

I’m not good at knowing what I want—that’s what she said to me, and it turns out she was right. This will be my last decision, and it could be my worst or my best, but I don’t know if it will be something I want.

But wanting isn’t relevant now.

My shoes scrape over cement as I stand on the roof’s ledge. I am battered. Faltering. My arms are out, my fingers splayed. I turn around and face the school’s security cannies, who have formed a semicircle around me on the roof as they slowly approach. outdated, outmoded, neo-plastic skin, expressionless. They are here to stop me, or at least detain me until emergency services reach us, but like me, they are not immune to gravity. If I go over, they can’t save me.

They’re programmed to save me. They won’t feel a thing if they fail, though. They can’t. That’s the difference between us.

Looking at their blank eyes fills me with a sense of the inevitable.

I can’t remember not existing, whatever happened before I became me. I don’t think it hurt, not like this. Perhaps I’m wrong, though. Maybe I’ve been here before.

I crane my neck to see past the machine men, searching for the one face I need, one I know I’ve already seen for the last time. She isn’t here. Of course she isn’t. She can’t be.

I want to see her one last time. After everything I did, she wouldn’t look at me with anything other than sorrow or maybe hate or pity. But still, I want to see her.

There. That’s one thing I know I want. Even if it were relevant, it still doesn’t matter. I inch back a little. It would be easier for the wind to take me. I’d prefer that over doing this myself. But the cannies keep getting closer, and the wind is still now. Unhelpful.

“This is my choice,” I say loudly. “I’m doing this of my own free will.”

Is this what she wanted? I think this might be what she wanted.

It’s all tangled up in her, and she’s not here. I’ll never see her again. I’ll never see her again, and it’s because of the choices I made.

Free will.

Want.

I close my eyes. It’s time.

Author Sarah Fine

Sarah Fine was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a child psychologist. No, she is not psychoanalyzing you right now.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

 

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

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Serengeti
by J.B. Rockwell
Genre: SciFi Adventure
 
It was supposed to be an easy job: find the Dark Star Revolution
Starships, destroy them, and go home. But a booby-trapped vessel
decimates the Meridian Alliance fleet, leaving Serengeti—a Valkyrie
class warship with a sentient AI brain—on her own; wrecked and
abandoned in an empty expanse of space. 


On the edge of total failure, Serengeti thinks only of her crew. She
herds the survivors into a lifeboat, intending to sling them into
space. But the escape pod sticks in her belly, locking the
cryogenically frozen crew inside.
Then a scavenger ship arrives to pick Serengeti’s bones clean.
Her engines dead, her guns long silenced, Serengeti and her last two
robots must find a way to fight the scavengers off and save the crew
trapped inside her.
**On sale for .99 from Sept 4th- 9th**
 
 
Serengeti 2:
Dark and Stars
 
Fifty-three years Serengeti drifted, dreaming in the depths of space. Fifty-three
years of patient waiting before her Valkyrie Sisters arrive to
retrieve her from the dark. A bittersweet homecoming follows, the
Fleet Serengeti once knew now in shambles, its admiral, Cerberus,
gone missing, leaving Brutus in charge. Brutus who’s subsumed the
Fleet, ignoring his duty to the Meridian Alliance to pursue a
vendetta against the Dark Star Revolution.


The Valkyries have a plan to stop him—depose Brutus and restore the
Fleet’s purpose—and that plan involves Serengeti. Depends on
Serengeti turning her guns against her own.
Because the Fleet can no longer be trusted. With Brutus in charge, it’s
just Serengeti and her Sisters, and whatever reinforcements they can
find.
A top-to-bottom refit restores Serengeti to service, and after a rushed
reunion with Henricksen and her surviving crew, she takes off for the
stars. For Faraday—a prison station—to stage a jailbreak, and
free the hundreds of Meridian Alliance AIs wrongfully imprisoned in
its Vault. From there to the Pandoran Cloud and a rendezvous with her
Valkyrie Sisters. To retrieve a fleet of rebel ships stashed away
inside.
One last battle, one last showdown with Brutus and his Dreadnoughts and
it all ends. A civil war—one half of the Meridian Alliance Fleet
turned against the other, with the very future of the Meridian
Alliance hanging in the balance.
 
 
Hecate
Prequel to Serengeti
 
Black Ops—the intelligence arm of the Meridian Alliance Fleet came
calling with an offer Henricksen couldn’t refuse: a ship—an
entire squadron of ships, actually—and crew to command. A chance to
get back to the stars.
Too bad he didn’t ask more questions before accepting the assignment.
Too bad no one told him just how dangerous this particular skunkworks
project was.

 

They call the ship the RV-N: Reconnaissance Vessel – Non-combat, Raven for
short. A stealth ship—fast, and maneuverable, and brutal as hell.
On the surface, Henricksen’s assignment seems simple: train his crew,
run the RV-Ns through their paces, get the ships certified for
mission operations and job done. But an accident in training reveals
a fatal design flaw in the Raven, and when an undercover operative
steals classified information from a Black Ops facility, the Fleet
Brass cancels the tests completely, rushing the faulty ships and
their half-trained crew into live operations. On a mission to recover
the Fleet’s lost secrets.
Out of time and out of options, Henricksen has no choice but to launch
his squadron. But a ghost from his past makes him question
everything—the ships, their AI, the entirety of this mission, right
down to the secrets he and his crew are supposed to recover.
Audiobook available 10-17-17
 
 
J.B. Rockwell is a New Englander, which is important to note because it
means she’s (a) hard headed, (b) frequently stubborn, and (c) prone
to fits of snarky sarcasticness. As a kid she subsisted on a steady
diet of fairy tales, folklore, mythology augmented by generous
helpings of science fiction and fantasy. As a quasi-adult she dreamed
of being the next Indiana Jones and even pursued (and earned!) a
degree in anthropology. Unfortunately, those dreams of being an
archaeologist didn’t quite work out. Through a series of twists and
turns (involving cats, a marriage, and a SCUBA certification, amongst
other things) she ended up working in IT for the U.S. Coast Guard and
now writes the types of books she used to read. Not a bad ending for
an Indiana Jones wannabe…

 
 
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Slivers (The Prospero Chronicles #3)
by Fiona J.R. Titchenell & Matt Carter
Genre: YA Horror/Scifi
Release date: June 20th 2017

Synopsis

Ben

Growing up is hard, and growing up in Prospero is even harder, but I think we manage. I mean, yeah, my friends and I spend more of our time fighting a race of shapeshifting aliens than we do hanging out, but we have our fun. We go to parties, help each other with our classes, maybe even fall in love…

I’ve no illusions that we live ordinary lives, but they’re our lives, and I’m going to make sure we make the most of them whether the Splinters want us to or not.

Mina

The truce is temporary. We will not humor the Splinters forever. It’s only until the Slivers can be stopped, until the army of Shards being planted among our classmates can be disassembled, until we get our hands on the thing I’d almost given up believing in.

The humanity test.

For the chance to know, once and for all, who can be trusted, some dealings with monsters must be excusable. Inevitable. Just like this feeling between Ben and me.

And that has to be temporary too.

 

Add to Goodreads

Previous Books in the Series (click on image for Goodreads link):

 

Buy links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
iBooks
Kobo
Smashwords
Indigo

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Excerpt

1. Sabotage
Ben
At the time, my instincts told me that jumping onto the hood of a moving SUV was a brilliant idea.
After half a second of trying to find something to hold onto, I told myself I’d reconsider my instincts when I got out of this.
If I got out of this.
A voice in my ear—I hadn’t lost my Bluetooth after all. Haley’s voice, by the angry sound of it.
“Ben, what the hell are you doing?”
“I have no idea!” I yelled back, finally grabbing the roof rack with both hands and holding on for dear life, doing my best to block the windshield. The driver accelerated down the empty suburban street, jerking the wheel back and forth, trying to shake me off. I knew behind the tinted glass of this anonymous, plateless SUV were the gray faces of Slivers. Today they were supposed to be kidnapping one of Prospero High School’s nicest teachers from her home, and we were going to stop them. It wasn’t exactly a piece of cake, but we’d done it before and should’ve been able to do it again.
I looked to the sidewalks, trying to spot any other members of the Network.
There was a heavy blow against the windshield near my chest. The tinted glass spiderwebbed beneath me. The Slivers were trying to break through.
Not for the first time, I cursed The Owl.
“Everybody close on the house! They’re still on the move!” Courtney called over the party line.
“Where’s that spike strip?” Haley asked.
“About twenty feet behind Ben before he decided to go Shatner on us,” Greg answered.
The spiderweb of glass expanded as the Sliver continued to force its way through.
The next voice was impossibly calm. “If we can stop this vehicle, there’s every chance we can capture multiple Slivers at once in addition to preventing Ms. Craven’s abduction. Ben, do you think you can slow them down?”
Mina Todd.
She always asked for the impossible so reasonably.
The windshield broke open in front of me, safety glass exploding outward as a long, muscular arm with a seven-fingered, clawed hand burst through. It raked back and forth, opening up a large gash in the glass that allowed me to see the three Slivers inside. They were of slight frame with gray, hairless heads and bulging black eyes, and they had begun sprouting extra limbs and tentacles to better mangle me.
“I’ll try,” I said, diving into the jagged hole where the windshield used to be.
Their brief, startled pause before attacking was all I needed.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out one of the cheap stun guns Mina loved to make out of disposable cameras and jammed it into the driver’s chest. The creature shuddered violently, jerking the wheel to the side and stomping on the gas reflexively.
I forced the gearshift into neutral and pulled on the parking brake. The SUV lurched to a violent stop in the middle of the street.
So far so good.
Less good was the sound of snapping wood that came from the passenger seat as its occupant’s body began to shift. Its rib cage broke open into a giant, vertical mouth full of jagged teeth and swirling tentacles. The tentacles lashed out at me, wrapping around my arms and neck, and squeezed. The Sliver in the backseat joined in, grabbing the leg I tried to anchor myself with against the dashboard and forcing me closer to that terrible maw.
The passenger door flew open. The Sliver let out a howl of pain as Julie buried a large meat hook in its back and began pulling it from the car. Courtney wrapped her hands around Julie’s on the hook, throwing her track team muscles into the effort and hardly wincing when the gelatinous Splinter blood began to soil her neatly pressed blouse. The tentacles released me, and soon enough the two girls wrestled the Sliver from the vehicle and tased it.
One down.
The driver’s mutated arm reached across my chest and pulled the door shut. It looked deep into my eyes with those empty, black orbs. Its narrow mouth curled into the faintest of smiles as it held me pinned to the seat with that monstrous arm. Though its face was formless, its flesh waxy, I couldn’t help but feel something familiar in that smile and those soulless eyes.
“Soon,” it whispered to me in its chittering, popping voice.
A new arm burst from its shoulder, splitting into two insectoid hands that allowed it to shift gears and disengage the parking break simultaneously. I watched helplessly as Greg and Kevin finally caught up to us with the jury-rigged spike strip we’d built for just this occasion, tossing it uselessly to the ground just as the driver swerved out of the way.
I didn’t know if the Slivers were still going to try for Ms. Craven or if they would content themselves with taking me instead. Would they try to drag me to their Warehouse (assuming the Slivers had a Warehouse) and replace me, or would they kill me as soon as they found a nice, quiet place to pull over?
They weren’t slowing down. If anything, they seemed to be speeding up. They swerved down the street, aiming for the side of an old duplex. Ms. Craven’s duplex.
I took advantage of the driver’s focus to pull one arm free, fasten a seatbelt around me, and brace myself.
The SUV slammed through the duplex’s wall with a crushing impact that knocked the wind out of me and whipped my neck forward. The unsecured driver flew through the jagged remnants of the windshield and landed in what used to be Ms. Craven’s living room. The passenger from the backseat climbed over me with spindly spider’s legs, following the driver out the windshield.
A woman screamed inside.
Slowly, painfully, I undid my seatbelt and crawled through the windshield, landing on the floor in a dazed heap.
Somehow I stumbled to my feet and pulled the mini flamethrower from my back. It wasn’t much—just a kitchen lighter duct-taped to one of those recalled aerosol fire extinguishers that Mina had stocked up on, but it did the job. Flicking the lighter on, I lifted it high.
The driver had Ms. Craven wrapped in a set of tentacles and interlocking claws, lifting her off the ground. Ms. Craven looked at me fearfully, trying to cry out through the tentacle lashed across her mouth. The flamethrower wouldn’t do much good at this range, standing as much a chance of burning Ms. Craven. I was going to have to wait for backup.
“Let her go,” I said shakily. All of my experiences with Slivers so far had proved that they loved to talk. I only had to stall them long enough for Mina and the rest to get here.
The driver looked to the passenger, exchanging a low series of pops and clicks. The passenger nodded, calmly raising one of its three arms and pointing the hand at me, flat. Just like the driver, a small, frightening smile crossed its face.
I lost all feeling beneath my waist, my legs giving out beneath me. Then I could feel again—too well. It felt like every nerve in my body had burst into flames. Violent waves of nausea hit me, and my muscles no longer seemed to be my own.
Two realizations hit me at once.
First: they had a Shard we hadn’t documented yet.
Second: this Shard had remote control of human bodies.
There was shouting, and then Kevin and Greg slid through the massive hole in the wall, brandishing their flamethrowers and Tasers. Less than a second later, a sliding glass door opened in the next room, and Mina and Haley ran in to join us.
Only Aldo, Julie, and Courtney had yet to catch up.
The two Slivers looked at each other, then at us. They could have taken me easily, maybe even two of us. But five of us, well-armed as we were—that gave them a moment of pause. The driver dropped Ms. Craven roughly to the floor. Both of the Slivers raised their arms, and the driver looked at me, curling its lips into that faint, unpleasant smile.
“Soon,” it said again.
Long spikes of bone erupted from each of their chests and backs. They both began to laugh—a raspy, choking sound—as the base of each spike began to pulsate.
“DUCK!” Mina blurted, falling to the floor.
Everyone dropped, dozens of bony spikes narrowly missing us as they erupted from the Slivers’ bodies, lodging in the walls and shattering windows.
By the time we regained our feet, the Slivers were gone.
“Is everybody all right?” Mina asked.
There were murmurs of assent. Ms. Craven was on the floor, sobbing.
Finding out about Splinters is never easy for people to deal with under the best of circumstances, much less while being kidnapped by the extreme anti-human cult of Splinters that we’d taken to calling “Slivers” last fall.
Not that getting kidnapped by regular, garden-variety Splinters was all that much better.
I was confident that Ms. Craven would come out of her shock soon—she’d always struck me as pretty tough. Once this wore off, we’d be able to tell her the truth. Maybe even make her a part of the team.
Assuming, of course, she was really human.
Haley examined my scratches and scrapes. Content that I must have been okay, she smiled and threw her arms around my neck, hugging me close. I don’t know what was more uncomfortable, Haley’s weight against my aching ribs or the look of annoyance on Mina’s face.
“I’m fine,” I assured Haley, pulling away, “though that Shard they have sure did a number on me.”
“One of the ones The Owl showed you?” Haley asked.
“No, this one’s new,” I said.
“Dammit, I hate Shards,” Greg said, shuddering. I didn’t blame him; the last time we’d gone up
against a Shard, it had made him feel a swarm of spiders crawling beneath his skin.
“Tell me about it,” I said.
“Hey, guys?” Aldo said over the group line.
“Did you secure the other Sliver?” Mina asked.
“Yeah, we got her. No problems there. What about yours?” Aldo asked.
“They’ve retreated. They haven’t doubled back your way?” Mina asked.
“No, we’re clear,” Aldo said. There was something held back in his voice I didn’t like.
“What’s wrong, Aldo?” I asked.
“Uh, I think you need to see this one for yourselves.”
“We’re on our way,” Mina said. “Haley, Greg, keep an eye on Ms. Craven.”
“I got some stuff that might calm her down,” Greg said, patting a pocket on his old army jacket.
“Don’t,” I said.
Greg shrugged. “More for me then.”
I followed Kevin and Mina out the front door. By force of habit, I looked up and down the street, hoping by some miracle that we hadn’t been spotted—or heard, for that matter. It was early Sunday morning, so the streets were mostly deserted. Typical abduction timing. The cops would be here eventually—a vehicle crashed through the side of a house has a way of summoning them sooner or later—but given the Prospero Police Department’s closeness with the main Splinter Council, this would all no doubt be hushed up pretty quickly.
“You’re gonna have to spend some quality time with Mina’s first-aid kit, brother,” Kevin observed.
“I’ve looked worse,” I said.
“You’ve looked better, too,” Mina interjected coldly.
“What’d I do?” I complained.
“You nearly ruined the operation. This didn’t go half as smoothly as our other interceptions,” Mina shot back.
I didn’t have a good defense for that. Ever since she’d started receiving those messages from the Owl, giving us the Slivers’ plans for abductions, we’d had a pretty good (though not perfect) track record of intercepting and stopping the Slivers before they could take their intended targets. Over the previous month and a half, we had managed to save the mayor’s son, Sheriff Diaz’s wife, and the head of the PTA from being taken without their ever knowing anything was going on. Things could have gone better this time, I knew that, but they also could have gone a lot worse.
“I didn’t have a choice. They know what we’ve been doing, and they’re being more careful. I did what I had to do,” I said.
“You could’ve been killed.”
“But I wasn’t!”
Kevin squeezed his way between us and put an arm around each of our shoulders.
“Let us not forget, my friends, that we did stop them from replacing Ms. Craven. It may have been sloppy, and she may have been needlessly introduced to our world, but we saved her. We did a good thing; the forces of evil are in check for another day. We should be celebrating!” Kevin said, smiling that easy smile he always used to defuse tense situations.
Mina sighed. “Please try to avoid unnecessary risks in the future.”
“Will do,” I said.
“There, isn’t that better than fighting like a couple o’ freshmen?” Kevin said.
“So says the senior commencement speaker,” I replied, punching him in the ribs softly.
“Hey, I’m as surprised as you guys are that I actually got the gig,” Kevin said, grinning.
“Right… so how long have you had that speech written?” I asked.
“Seventh grade, give or take a month.” Kevin laughed. “Come on, it’ll be my last chance to try to change a few minds here before I move on to the real world.”
“Freshmen don’t fight any appreciably more or less than any other students,” Mina said as if she’d missed half the conversation, looking a bit lost in thought.
“Really? Maybe we should ask Aldo,” Kevin joked.
Tall tales about Aldo’s secret second life, or third life in our case, had become something of a running joke among the Network, given his habit of accumulating even more scrapes and bruises than the rest of us in spite of spending most of his time behind the scenes, digging for information or tinkering with the equipment.
Underground cage fighting and undercover spy operations were common speculations.
This conversation did lead to one topic that had been eating at me lately: the passage of time. Of the eight members of the Network, Kevin and Courtney were both seniors and were going to be moving on from Prospero within the next six months. I didn’t know how we were going to keep the fight going without them. We would find a way to manage, Mina always had in the past, but it would be rough without Courtney’s organizational skills and Kevin’s ability to put things in perspective.
Julie, Courtney, and Aldo had dragged their captive Sliver to the privacy of Courtney’s backyard, a good five blocks from Ms. Craven’s, and by the time we caught up with them, they already had it tied up in copper wire and were threatening to touch the wire to a car battery. As usual, Julie (her jet black hair streaked with hot pink and red for Valentine’s Day coming up) smiled at us perkily beneath her thick goth makeup.
“Ya all right, Ben?” she asked, eying the scratches on my face.
“I’m fine.”
Aldo’s concerned expression was unsettling. Ever since our fight with Robbie, Aldo had assumed a bravura I’d never known he had in him. He was the first to cheer any victory lately. If he wasn’t smiling…
“What is it?” Mina asked, looking down at the Sliver, which looked more human now despite the few extra limbs it still possessed.
Courtney held the end of the copper wire above the car battery with a plastic pair of tongs. “Show them again.”
The Sliver hissed something in its chittering language that must not have been kind. Courtney and Mina
exchanged a glance. Mina nodded. Courtney dropped the wire onto the battery’s contact.
The Sliver screamed too humanly as it shuddered and arched what could best be approximated as its back, and the wire sparked violently. When Courtney took the wire away, it reluctantly took the face of its true, human form with a look of pure spite.
It was the face of Ms. Claudette Velasquez, my calculus teacher. That she was a Splinter was not news; we had known this for a few months.
That she was working with the Slivers was a surprise. The last time we had seen her, she had a seat on the Splinter Council.
“What are you waiting for? Kill me. That’s what you want, isn’t it?” she challenged.
“We’re not that stupid,” I said.
Ms. Velasquez looked at the battery with a mix of anger and fear. “Then what is your plan for me?”
“You’re going to tell us everything you know about the Slivers’ plans,” Mina said simply, taking the tongs from Courtney and holding them a little closer to the battery. “And when we’re convinced you’re not holding out, we’ll hand you over to the Splinter Council.”
Ms. Velasquez’s eyes went wide with genuine fear. “And if you’re never convinced?”
“We turn you over to them anyway, only we don’t tell them how remorseful and cooperative you were.”
Ms. Velasquez’s eyes scanned us, probably trying to gauge whether or not Mina was telling the truth. She must have believed her, because her body visibly slumped.
“Fine. I will cooperate. Just don’t—”
She let out an ear-splitting scream, her eyes bulging—then fell still with mouth agape. We stared, trying to figure out if it was a trick, when the flesh began to melt from her bones in thick gray rivers.
“What the… no, no…” Aldo muttered, trying to scoop bits of dissolving Splinter into one of his specially rigged containment boxes, watching with confusion as the liquid continued to evaporate after the box was sealed.
The entire Splinter corpse down to the bones was deteriorating into nothingness as the raw Splinter matter became incompatible with our world.
“What the hell just happened?” Courtney asked. “She was going to talk!”
“Was she?” Mina asked doubtfully.
“Well she sure as hell wasn’t going to die!” said Aldo, staring at the last vanishing remnants of the body. “Splinters just don’t do that spontaneously.”
“They might if they got one of those in ’em, brother,” Kevin said as he pointed to what was left of Ms. Velasquez’s deteriorating bones.
What looked like a foot-long, white caterpillar made of tumors and small air sacs disentwined itself from around her spine. Slowly, it walked away from the dissolving remains of my math teacher, shaking off bits of gray slime.
Then it started to glow a faint, pulsing white, lifting off the ground and beginning to float away like a plastic bag in the breeze. Mina grabbed it with her tongs.
“That a Splinter?” Kevin asked.
“No, I don’t think so,” Mina said.
“Then what is it?” Aldo asked.
The answer hit me before Mina could say it out loud.
“A game changer,” I said. “If they’ve got themselves some sort of alien suicide pill hiding inside them to keep them compliant, we might have to reconsider our capture strategy.”
Capturing a Sliver for information had been one of our dreams ever since we started receiving information from The Owl.
Just when we thought we had the Slivers figured out, they had to come up with something like this.
I would’ve laughed if it weren’t so damn depressing.

.

~~~~~

About the authors

Fiona J.R. TITCHENELL is an author of young adult, sci-fi, and horror fiction, including Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of). She graduated from Cal State University Los Angeles with a B. A. in English in 2009 at the age of twenty. She currently lives in San Gabriel, California, with her husband, coauthor, and amazing partner in all things, Matt Carter, and their pet king snake, Mica.

 Connect with Fiona J.R. Titchenell on:

Her blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

 MATT CARTER is an author of horror, sci-fi, and yes, even a little bit of young adult fiction. He earned his degree in history from Cal State University Los Angeles, and lives in the usually sunny town of San Gabriel, California, with his wife, best friend, and awesome co-writer, F.J.R. Titchenell. Check out his first solo novel, Almost Infamous, or connect with him on:

His blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Welcome to Freakin Fridays, where I share my reviews of books that scare you, thrill you, and get those endorphins pumping.

I’ve got a few good ones to share today.

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After The Ending

The Ending #1

by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue

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Genre: Post Apocalyptic

My Review

I enjoyed the dual points of view from best friend’s Dani and Zoe. They are far apart when the flu virus starts, killing off most of humanity. They struggle to stay in touch, traveling in two different groups, hoping to meet up later.

It was fun to follow Dani and Zoe as they try to survive and reconnect. And the groups they travel with add much to the turmoil and danger. They all need each other to survive but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own agendas. This is my favorite part of this genre. The group dynamics. Who shines. Who falls short. And who goes homicidal. I like to pick one person I loathe and wait to see what happens to them. Sure adds to the suspense.

And while I expected to be left hanging in the end, with this being an ongoing series, I felt like it just stopped. Like it went to commercial and didn’t come back, right in the middle of the action. A good beginning and I’ll probably continue with the series as it’ll haunt me until I know what happens to who.

 3  Stars

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Synopsis

THE FIRST BOOK IN THE EMOTIONALLY CHARGED POST-APOCALYPTIC ROMANCE SERIES, The Ending.

The Virus spread. Billions died. The Ending began. We may have survived the apocalypse, but the Virus changed us.

When people started getting sick, “they” thought it was just the flu. My roommate, my boyfriend, my family…they’re all gone now. I got sick too. I should have died with them—with the rest of the world—but I didn’t. I thought witnessing the human population almost disappear off the face of the earth was the craziest thing I’d ever experience. I was so wrong. My name is Dani O’Connor, and I survived The Ending.

The Virus changed everything. The world I knew is gone, and life is backwards. We’ve all had to start over. I’ve been stripped of my home, my dreams…all that is me. I’m someone else now—broken and changed. Other survivors’ memories and emotions haunt me. They invade my mind until I can no longer separate them from my own. I won’t let them consume me. I can’t. My name is Zoe Cartwright, and I survived The Ending.

We’ve been inseparable for most of our lives, and now our friendship is all we have left. The aftermath of the Virus has stranded us on opposite sides of the United States. Trusting strangers, making sacrifices, killing—we’ll do anything to reach one another. Fear and pain may be unavoidable, but we’re strong…we’re survivors. But to continue surviving in this unfamiliar world plagued by Crazies and strange new abilities, we have to adapt. We have to evolve.

And more than anything, we have to find each other.

THIS BOOK CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT AND LANGUAGE.

Amazon

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Paranormal Painless

by Shannon Reiger

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Genre: YA Paranormal Thriller

My Review

You know those stories that creep up on you? Where the author takes their time, slipping in subtle clues that you don’t always catch right away, and the atmosphere becomes darker and darker? I do, and I very much enjoy the slow build up as the author introduces the characters, fleshes them out so you connect with them, and then starts adding in some odd occurrences that keep you on edge. Like in a movie where the music builds and you know any second now something horrific is going to happen, you brace yourself for that moment. But it doesn’t come. Then it builds again, gets a little creepier, but doesn’t happen. You start to think it never will, and then you’re caught off guard and jump when the author yells boo. This is one of those stories. It’s edgy, suspenseful and so very creepy.

Christian Moore is a mild mannered English teacher and a self proclaimed loner. He’s got his routine and he’s content.  As such, he’s ill equipped when a strange package is left in his driveway. He opens it to find an enormous black cat with huge paws.  He brings it in out of the rain and the cat is so traumatized it won’t leave his side.  It’s odd behavior rubs off on him and he starts jumping at little noises and things moving in the corner of his vision. Soon he wonders what the cat dragged home as he becomes haunted in his own home.

So much to like in this one. Especially how Christian uses the students in his writing class. The students really like Christian and find it fun when he gives them a new assignment about ghosts and hauntings, hoping they don’t catch on that it’s really happening to him.

The cat, Pacman, is such an important part of the story. He’s one of my favorites. When reading this book, see if you pick up on something special about him.

As Christian is pushed into solving a serial killer cold case, his life changes quickly. The hauntings become the least of his worries when an act of kindness puts him in the local newspaper. Now he’s a target and those around him will suffer for it.

Such a great story. At times I smiled and laughed. Other times I felt so sad. And when things took the dark turn, I cringed, worried about these characters, and for good reason.

A slow burner but never boring, Paranormal Painless will haunt you.

5  Stars

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Synopsis

Bewildered by an unexpected, peculiar package and disturbed by its accompanying antagonistic spirits, English teacher Christian Moore is shaken from his carefully crafted, cocooned existence and catapulted into the shocking reality of an unpredictable, haunted and sometimes evil world. With his own safety and sanity at stake, he must learn to embrace the paranormal when he is confronted by the serial killer of innocent children. To survive, Christian forms unlikely alliances with once feared intruders from the supernatural realm, as well as, a mysterious man with unique insight and abilities.

Just when he thinks he has solved the mystery of his chilling visions, he is propelled into a tomb of water where he is forced to unravel the heartbreaking history buried for years within the confines of those same walls.

While helping the unfortunate, trapped souls, he is compelled to examine his own traumatic past and to risk everything he knows for a life truly worth living.

Amazon

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Ash

Wheels and Zombies #1

by M. Van

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Genre: Horror

My Review

This could be a refreshing twist for zombie fans. Our main heroine is a thirteen-year-old girl in a wheelchair. Ash is in the hospital fighting a losing battle with cancer when the world goes mad. A virus is killing people, but they rise again, rabid for human flesh. As the virus spreads through the hospital, Ash doesn’t have to worry about cancer killing her anymore. The zombies are the big worry now.

Ash is a resilient young girl, brave in the face of death, and refusing to be looked at as a weak victim. She has plenty of ideas on how to get out, to survive. And shes’ adept at reading people, which comes in handy when she discovers why the military want all of the patients on the cancer ward.

There’s lots of action, relentless zombies, and some intrigue for conspiracy fans. Not everyone is brave or good. And I was caught by surprise by a few of the characters. A clever way for the author to offer up more fodder for the zombies

I knew going in this was a novella for a continuing series, but I wasn’t too thrilled when I looked at my kindle and noticed I was 99% through the book and there was no end in sight. It ended on a zinger of a cliffhanger, but, since I enjoyed the characters, I’m encouraged to keep going.

  4 Stars

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Synopsis

Facing the zombie apocalypse in a wheelchair might prove a challenge to others. For thirteen-year-old Ash it’s just another fight for her life.

When feeling deserted and alone with the knowledge that your days are pretty much numbered, you might decide not to be pushed around anymore. But stuck in a wheelchair with the risen dead on your tail—this might prove a challenge.

Ash’s stay at a hospital that for all intents might be her last, turns into a different nightmare when a killer virus overcomes the staff and her fellow patients.

With the walking dead roaming the hospital halls, Ash has to depend on the help of an old man, and a soldier who could turn out to be the enemy to survive. She not only has to use her head, avoiding zombies, but also to stay out of the hands of a shady government agency that wants to dissect her.

Amazon

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