Posts Tagged ‘sci-fi’

Murder by Munchausen
by M.T. Bass
Series: Murder by Munchausen Mysteries, #1
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Sci-Fi, TechnoThriller
Publisher:  Electron Alley Publications
Release Date: April 2, 2017

 

 

Artificial Intelligence? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Artificial Evil has a name…Munchausen.

When androids are reprogrammed into hit men, detectives of the Artificial Crimes Unit repo the AnSub and track down the hackers. Partners Jake and EC’s case of an “extra-judicial” divorce settlement takes a nasty turn with DNA from a hundred-year-old murder in Boston and a signature that harkens back to the very first serial killer ever in London.

 

The abandoned building in the Warehouse District was dark and cold. I didn’t have glass on the AnSub, but we were picking up an RFI signature that was an eighty percent match to the A-VIN profile. My Smith & Wesson eM&P was out and humming in my hand, ready for me to take a shot. Behind us the SWAT team was spreading out into position to monitor our visual feed from outside so they wouldn’t jam the ambient signals with their tac gear. We went passive on our glass as soon as we entered the building.

I looked over at EC, my partner, pressed against the far wall covering the left side of the industrial cavern, which was piled high with discarded junk—desks, chairs, pallets of boxed materials and strange hulking machines that no doubt once fabricated some kind of pieces-parts necessary for the stuff consumers once found they absolutely-positively could not live without in their daily drone lives—all collected from businesses that absolutely-positively no longer existed. The quiet was oppressive and haunting. We both strained for an aural clue to the location of our quarry, since the electronic intel was still too weak to pinpoint within the building.

We slowly wove around the junk, deeper and deeper into the room. I led. EC followed, constantly adjusting the ePD scanning app to search and map the room. I muted the tactical channels and stripped most of the data from my view to let him work the tech and comm. It’s too distracting. I needed to maintain focus. I needed to be able to react.

This particular Android Subject apparently went off the rails and killed a luckless pedestrian on his way to a bodega for some iced tea or bottled water to quench his thirst. A one-in-a-million occurrence, but every so often it still happens. Anyone who believes technology is infallible is a fool. The incident didn’t appear all that nefarious when first reported, but shortly thereafter the Atlas data stream went dark and patrol called our unit in. It quickly became obvious we were dealing with a malware hit, not a malfunction. The luckless pedestrian was actually not so luckless, being on what appeared to be the winning side of a particularly nasty termination suit with his ex, who we suspected had outsourced the final settlement to extra-judicial parties.

It might not make sense, but the beloved Media tags it “Murder by Munchausen.” For a price, there are hackers out there who will reprogram a synthoid to do your dirty work. The bad news: no fingerprints or DNA left at the crime scene. The good news—at least for us—is that they’re like missiles: once they hit their target, they’re usually as harmless as empty brass. The trick is to get them before they melt down their core OS data, so you can get the unit into forensics for analysis and, hopefully, an arrest.

EC’s scanner returned a hard ping. His quick double blink put his cross-hairs up on my lens and I followed his eye line to the northwest corner of the building. I swept my eyes up and down to acknowledge and we slowly headed in that direction. As we moved, the RF signal narrowed and confirmed bogey lock with a low growl in my ear buds. EC swung out from the left and unshouldered his shotgun. Good old-fashioned blast power often came in handy to buy some time. Like I said, usually they’re harmless, but usually just ain’t good enough odds for me…

 

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble (Paperback)

 

 

M.T. Bass is a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA.

M.T.’s April Writing Meme:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to Teaser Tuesday hosted by Ambrosia  @ The Purple Booker.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page.
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

My Teaser for this week is from

 Crossing In Time

Between Two Evils #1

by D L Orton

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Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Time Travel, Romance

 My teaser from page 74 in the paperback.

“Well, I can’t imagine a universe where I loved anyone but you. So, somewhere, somehow, I think we got it right.” 

~~~~~

Read on if you want to know more.

Synopsis

If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?

They say that love transcends time… But what if your lover is murdered, and you’re given the chance to go back in time to warn his much-younger twin? She agrees to go, knowing it will kill her in a matter of days, because it gives her one last chance to be with the man she loves. Except he doesn’t believe her! In fact, he thinks she’s one fry short of a Happy Meal. Oh, and she’s suppose to save the world while she’s at it. Go figure.

This offbeat tale is about falling madly in love when one is too cynical for such things, letting go of pessimism when it’s the last life jacket on a sinking ship, and racing against the clock when one doesn’t have the proper footwear. It’s a coming-of-age story for old fogeys, a how-to-make-love guide for diehard celibates, and a laugh-out-loud tragedy with a hopeful twist.

Amazon

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How about you? Got a tease? Tell me!

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

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

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday hosted by Ambrosia  @ The Purple Booker.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page.
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

My Teaser for this week is from

 Heart Of Eve

Trilogy Of Eve #1.5

by Pam  Godwin

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Genre: Dark Romance / Sci Fi / Dystopian

My Teaser 4% in the eBook.

Rumor was, only ten percent of humanity remained worldwide. The rest were mutated creatures. No children or elderly survived. No women.

Except Evie.

And one more. I just loved how these words flowed.

From 8% into the book.

Her sleepy whisper floated across my skin, caressing places no woman had ever touched. The sensation filled me with wonderment. Hunger. Guilt.

Poor Roark. A man of the cloth, and wouldn’t you figure, one of those rare women left on Earth arrives on his humble doorstep, seeking sanctuary. Doesn’t help that Evie is one fine woman to look at. LOL

I love Roark and love how the author made me wish for something forbidden. Makes it quite the suspenseful quickie.

I loved the first book and I’ll be reading the third one soon.

Heart Of Eve is free right now. If you want to meet these characters, click on the cover or the link below and it’ll take you to Amazon.

~~~~~

Synopsis

My vow of celibacy has never been broken nor tempted, not even when the plague thrust me into a lawless, brutal world. So why did God send the only surviving woman to a priest? To test me? Or to save me?

*This is a 10,000-word novelette and can be read as an introduction to the Trilogy of Eve or as bonus material between the other books. It was previously published in the For the First Time anthology.

Amazon

~~~~~

How about you? Got a tease? Tell me!

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

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Dekkir
Lara Larue
(Galaxy Alien Warriors, #1)
Publication date: October 26th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

This Alien Warrior will fight—kill—any who dare attempt to take his female.

Dekkir, war chief and military leader has found his mate…a human. She is tiny contrasted to his hulking size, but her luscious curves and delectable scent call out to his heart like no other.

Anthropologist Grace was sent by Earth Military Command to act as emissary to Dekkir’s planet. Her mission was clear: make contact and live among the aliens recording details on their culture and world. The job should’ve been simple but like the story of her life sh*t got complicated fast. Now she has a hot alpha alien warrior trying to claim her like some caveman. WTH?

Adding to the chaos of her life, she’s attacked by her own military command. Dekkir is prepared to do whatever it takes to keep her safe. Can they survive the coming battles? Or will they die before he can claim his mate?

Dekkir is the first book in the Galaxy Alien Warriors series, it features steamy sex, thrilling battles, and plenty of romance. All books in this rock-hard science fiction series can be read as standalones, there are no cliffhangers, and happily ever afters are guaranteed!

Goodreads / Amazon

Grab yours for 99c for a limited time only!

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EXCERPT

I smoothed his tangled hair back from his brow, and gentle warmth swelled inside me. Perhaps the bond was not completed, but I could feel it now. And it was time for me to do something about it.

I took off my boots and settled on the bed with him. After a moment, he stirred, and his eyes opened.

He sat up, startled to see me leaning over him, and then stared at my face. “Your eyes,” he murmured. “What have you done?”

“What I knew had to be done. Anything else wouldn’t have been fair to either of us.”

“But—”

I laid a finger on his lips and then moved forward and put my arms around him. It was like embracing a sun-warmed statue. There was nothing soft about him but his skin and hair. I ran my hands over his muscled back through his tunic, eagerly mapping the contours of his body with my fingertips. He shuddered, his eyes hooding again, but held himself still, as if wary of frightening me off. I reassured him the best way I could think of, leaning up and pressing my lips to his.

He caught me in his arms, pulling me against him hungrily. The kiss ignited suddenly as we clung to each other, intensifying until my lips stung, stealing our breaths until we finally had to lean back from each other just to catch them.

“I… do not wish to hurt you,” he murmured. I could feel his muscles tighten with restrained strength as he held me.

I smiled. “You’ve bled for me twice, Dekkir,” I purred as I ran the back of my hand down his cheek. “I’m not worried about you hurting me in any way I wouldn’t like.”

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Author Lara LaRue

Lara LaRue is a romance author who lives in New York City. She loves writing sizzling, sexy stories.
To learn more about Lara LaRue and her collection of romance novels, visit her at www.laralarue.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook

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For a list of my reviews go HERE.

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Welcome to the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Party!

Welcome to the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway! We have something really exciting set up for you. First, some KILLER Science Fiction and Fantasy books at a steal, and after that, a chance to enter our $1200 Gift Card Giveaway! Read on for more information, but first, check out the books from our sponsors at the link below!

VIEW BOOKS FROM THE SPONSORS HERE!

Here are a couple of sneak peeks!

Ambassador 1: Seeing Red
I had never been on first-name terms with the president, but while I sat there trying hard not to succumb to jet-lag, he chatted about my father, whom I had just visited, and who had finally retired from Lunar Base to his native New Zealand. Sirkonen opened the drawer of his desk and took something out, which he flipped across the gleaming wooden surface. I could do nothing but catch it. A datastick. I turned it over. The black plastic cover reflected the sunlight.

“What’s on it?”

“You might find it useful. Think of it as some . . . personal advice, from me to you. We’ll talk about it later, when you return for your first briefing.” He shut the drawer with a thud as if closing the subject.

This was highly irregular. “Mr President, can I ask—”

He shook his head, and offered me a drink—Finnish vodka, best in the world, he said. While he poured, his hands trembled.

I should have insisted that he tell me what was wrong, but who was I? An unimportant, sending-out-our-feelers type of diplomat, expendable and twenty years his junior. Not the type of person to draw attention to his problems—with alcohol or otherwise.

We made a toast. The heavy scent of the vodka did nothing to improve my alertness.

“Mr Wilson, when you come back in six month’s time, you must present your report to the general assembly. We need to know in detail what sort of regimes we’re dealing with.”

I didn’t understand why he spoke in such empty generalities; I wondered when he was going to open that folder on his desk and sign the contract. Nicha, my Coldi assistant, was waiting in the foyer. We had a whole heap of work to catch up on. I was annoyed that Sirkonen had changed our meeting time at the last minute—the original meeting had been scheduled for tomorrow morning.

Sirkonen stopped speaking.

I stared at him, realising with embarrassment that I’d been off with the fairies. Was I meant to have said something? Was I breaking rule number one of the diplomatic circle: never show any sign of sleep deprivation?

An attack of dizziness overtook me. My vision wavered, as if the world were painted on a silk flag that flapped in the wind, and all the furniture was rimmed in a red aura. “Mr President, I’m—”

I just managed to put my vodka down. The glass hit the wood with a soft clunk, the only sound in the frozen silence.

There was a small sound from outside, a click.

As if stung, Sirkonen turned to the window; his eyes widened.

“Sir?”

The president opened his mouth, but a sharp crack interrupted his words.

Releasing Rage
She stepped into the firewall square. The door behind her closed and she authorized the interior door to open.

A buzz swept over her. No, not simply over her. Into her. She gasped, her inhalation of air drawing more of this unknown presence inside her.

It was too much, almost suffocating. Joan swayed, lightheaded. “Do not faint. Do not faint,” she repeated to herself, closing her eyes.

The rolling under her feet gradually stopped. She opened her eyes and wished she hadn’t. Crimson spray covered everywhere she looked. Gore was splattered into the farthest corners, hanging from the ceiling. Cleaner bots scrubbed the walls and floor.

This was why she felt dizzy, she reasoned. She smelled and sensed this butchery.

C899321, the being she had been told was responsible, stood in his uploading dock, a cable inserted into his nape, his towering form naked, covered with blood, his long black hair dripping with it.

He turned his head, locked his gaze with hers and she sucked in her breath. There were worlds of agony, of rage, in those bright blue eyes. This was no rational, logic-driven cyborg. This was a man, an animal, crazed by bloodlust and pain.

“They thought to pacify me with the use of a human female?” he thundered, his deep gravelly voice clawing across her skin, awakening parts in her she didn’t realize slept. “I’d kill you before I allowed you to touch me.”

This insult didn’t hurt her the way he’d intended. Joan knew she wasn’t the slim tiny female males desired. She was solidly built, good breeding stock, as her mother had once said.

She discarded his words and focused on the torment in his tones. He hurt. Horrifically. Her fingers twitched, the urge to reach out to him, to comfort him, tremendous. Judging by the flex of his powerful biceps and thigh muscles, by the anger radiating from him, he wouldn’t appreciate that response.

He also wouldn’t listen to any command she issued. A reprimand, verbal or physical, would add to his hostility. Some being had already tried to restrain him and failed. The reportedly unbreakable wrist and ankle cuffs attached to the frame of the uploading dock had been shattered, rendered useless.

Joan discarded four solar cycles’ worth of theory on how to handle malfunctioning cyborgs, realizing now that the academy experts knew nothing.
Her late father, however, had taught her how to deal with wild beasts.

“I would never touch you without your permission.” She lowered her gaze, showing submission, recognizing C899321 as the dominant male he was. He’d seek to harm any aggressor, to protect himself and his territory. If she wasn’t female, she suspected she’d already be dead.

“I also would never hurt you.” Joan stuffed a couple of cleaning cloths into her pockets and dropped to her knees, into a puddle of red. The moisture soaked through her flight suit. “I’m here to serve you, to clean you.”

 

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Entering is easy! Directions are on the Rafflecopter, but as an overview:

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  3. You may unsubscribe at any time, but reporting as Spam will get you disqualified from all future giveaways, and we run some pretty awesome giveaways (in the last 30 days, we’ve given away multiple books as well as a $2000 and $1000 gift card, and now this $1200 one!)
  4. Winner will be announced at our Facebook Party and contacted via Email. We will have other prizes at the Facebook Party as well!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS FOR SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY FANS ONLY. IF YOU ARE NOT AN AVID READER OF THOSE GENRES, YOUR ENTRY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Please do not try to find a way around this. There will be other giveaways Enter this one if you love SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY! Thank you!

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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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Drafter Waylaid banner

Being a fan of Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, I was excited to try this new one.

Enjoy my review of The Drafter.

And check out Waylaid. The short story that brings characters from each series together!

About the Books:

Title: The Drafter
Author: Kim Harrison
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 560
Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Sci Fi/Fantasy

Drafter cover

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My Review

I had my fingers crossed going into this one. I loved Kim’s Hollows series and was excited to try the new world she introduced here.

What a blast!

Peri Reed is a drafter. She’s able to draft back in time and alter history.  People with this ability are few and far between. When she drafts, she loses her memory of what she went back to change and how she changed it. An anchor is someone who works closely with a drafter to recover those memories. It should come as no surprise that Peri is lied to and used, both by her anchor and Opti.

If we really could do this, you know Big Brother would have their hands all up in it. Peri works for Opti, a secret government agency. Her last draft cost her three years of memories.  The trust she placed in her lover and anchor is betrayed and now she’s adrift, pursued by people she trusted, and her only hope of recovering her memory and clearing her name is in the guise of an anchor that works for the Alliance, a group of people who want to take down Opti.

I did stumble a bit at first. It felt like it started somewhere besides the beginning. Lucky for me I had two copies of this book, so I switched to the most recent edition, which had the prequel, Sideswiped, at the beginning, so I was introduced to the world and characters first. Then came The Drafter. I’d recommend you read the short story first.

The author is good about giving you strong characters and Peri is double tough. I couldn’t believe it when people that should have been the ones she could turn to, were the very ones who betrayed her. Especially her lover of the last three years.  I can’t imagine how scary it would be to not know if your memories were real or not. To not know if you did something good or something awful when you altered history.

As the plot thickens, new characters enter the mix and it’s nonstop thrills until you reach the end. I was afraid to like some of the characters because if they turned out to be bad guys, I too would feel betrayed. So many curve balls are thrown, your head spins. Really. You better duck or one of Kim’s surprisies will smack you right up side the head. Lots of fun and waiting for more!

4 Stars

~~~~~

Synopsis

Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run. Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. When Peri discovers her name is on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. Her memory of the previous three years erased, she joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her fateful final task. Her motto has always been only to kill those who kill her first. But with nothing but intuition to guide her, will she have to break her own rule to survive?

For More Information

Book Excerpt:

The room was a featureless eight-by-eight, relieved by a single chair and the door pad softly glowing in the recessed overhead lights. Pulling up from a stretch, Peri stifled a shudder as a feeling of electricity crawled over her skin, pooling where the training suit pinched.
Concerned, she passed a hand over the spiderweb of white stress lines in the otherwise black leather, frown deepening when her hand turned to pinpricks as the electric field in the fabric phased. Seriously? The slick-suit ran from her neck to the top of her boots, elevating her slight form to dangerous and sexy, but a wardrobe malfunction would slow her down.
“Hey! Excuse me?” she called toward the ceiling, her high voice laced with demand. “I’m getting excessive feedback from my slick-suit.”
A soft chime fell flat in the tiny room as the audio connection opened. “I’m sorry,” a man’s voice said, the hint of sarcasm telling her they knew it. “Possible suit malfunctions are acceptable under the parameters of the exercise. Begin.”
Again the chime rang. Adrenaline surged with her quick intake of breath. She didn’t see the cameras, but people were watching, comparing every move to an unattainable perfection. Squandering a cocky three seconds, she stretched to show her confidence along with her lithe shape. Challenge one: technological fence, she thought, glancing at the locked door pad.
In a swift motion, she grasped the back of the wooden chair, flinging it into the wall. It hit with a startling crack of wood, and she knelt before the pieces. Nimble fingers bare of the slick-suit’s gloves sifted through until she found a metal pin. Rising, she padded to the locked door and used it to wedge open the door pad.
This task is mine, she thought, then walled it off, concentrating on the maze of wires until she found the one she wanted. Hand fisted, she tensed to yank it free, then hesitated. With her “malfunctioning” suit, she might end up on her ass, blowing out smoke as she tried to remember how to focus. Not worth the risk, she thought, following the wire back to the circuit board and shorting the door with the pin instead. The ceiling chimed her success. Peri saluted the unseen cameras, smug as the door slid open. Eleven seconds.
Pin set between her fingers to gouge, she dove into the cooler air and into a spacious, spongy-floored room. The ceilings were higher, the light brighter, and at the far end, a closed door beckoned, the light on the lock already a steady green. Beyond it was everything she’d been working for, everything she’d been promised. She just had to get there.
A faint whisper of air gave her warning. Peri ducked, lashing out with a back kick to send a man pinwheeling into the wall. Shit, he’s huge! she thought as his slick-suit flashed white. But it was fading to black even as she watched. He wasn’t out of it—yet.
“Nothing personal, right?” she said, her eyes jerking from his holstered weapon to the two men sprinting to her. Three against one wasn’t fair, but when was life ever?
They attacked together. Peri dropped, rolling to take out the closest. He fell and she swarmed him, jabbing his throat with her elbow. There was the telltale thump of a pad, but she’d struck hard enough to make him gag. His slick-suit flashed white as she rolled to her feet. One down.
The second grabbed her, a glass knife at her throat. Screaming in defiance, she stabbed his ear with the chair pin. He howled in real pain, and she threw him over her shoulder and into the first man, now recovered.
Following them both down, she scrambled for his blade, running the glass training knife across both their throats. The glow of the technological blade against their skin flashed, indicating a kill, and their slick-suits turned white. Gasping, they went still, paralyzed. Real blood, looking alien in the training floor, dripped from the one man’s ear.
Peri straightened, keeping the pin as she turned her back on the men and walked confidently to the distant door. No more of their lame excuses, she thought, the adrenaline high still spilling through her, though shifting to a more enduring burn of anticipation. She’d been working toward this for months. How many times did she need to prove she was ready?
With a heavy thunk, the lights went up. At the door, the pad shifted to a locked red.
Peri jerked to a halt. “Excuse me?” she directed at the ceiling, and the audio connection pinged open.
“You failed to demonstrate proficiency with projection weapons,” the man said again, but she could hear an argument in the background.
Peri cocked her hip, knowing the time was still running, ruining her perfect score. “You mean a gun?” she asked with disdain. “Handguns are noisy and can be taken away, and then I have to do more damage to fix it.”
“Your time is still running,” the man said, smug.
“How can I prove my value if you keep changing the rules?” she muttered, stomping back to the three men, still paralyzed in their white slick-suits. Jaw clenched, she snatched the nearest man’s handgun. “I already killed you,” she said when the man’s eyes widened, and she spun, shooting out the cameras in the corners instead: one, two, three.
“Reed!” the man shouted as his screens undoubtedly went black.
Peri dropped the weapon and waited, shaking the pinpricks from her fingertips. The audio channel was still open, and a smile quirked her lips as she caught some argued phrases, “best we have” and “it’s that shitty attitude of hers that makes her perfect.”
Glancing at her watch, Peri shifted her weight. “So am I going, or do you want me to try it again with feeling? I have stuff to do today.”
There was silence, and then a younger voice took the mic. “You will report to medical tomorrow at nine. Congratulations, Agent Reed. It’s yours.”
Her breath caught, the quick intake lighting a fire all the way to her groin, and then she steadied herself. “Friday,” she countered, ignoring the men behind her, groaning as their slick-suits returned to a black neutrality. “I want to say good-bye to my mother.”
Again the silence, and Peri’s good mood tarnished as she caught a whispered “Might not remember her when she gets back.”
“Friday,” the young voice came back, and Peri’s jaw clenched at the pity in it. Her mother didn’t deserve anyone’s pity, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to say good-bye.
But the door lock had shifted green, a solid thump echoing as it opened onto an

empty, white hallway. Her thoughts already on a shower and what was in her closet that her mother might actually approve of, Peri paced forward into the light.

~~~~~

Title: Waylaid
Author: Kim Harrison
Publisher: Pocket Star
Pages: 100
Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Romance

Drafter Waylaid

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Synopsis

Worlds collide when Rachel Morgan of The Hollows meets Peri Reed of The Drafter, in this exciting new short story from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison!

For More information

Book Excerpt:

“You know what I’d like to do?” Jack leaned in to Peri, his hand curving suggestively about her waist, and she breathed in the faint scent of ozone and aftershave like a balm. Under it was a hint of gun oil, and Peri was hard-pressed to decide which one intrigued her more as they stood outside her apartment door with their carry-ons, glad they had the next week off.

“Mmmm, I like games,” Peri said as she tapped her key card to her apartment door pad. It disengaged the lock with an almost unheard click, and she turned to him, seeing the bound heat behind his sandy hair and blue eyes as he leaned to nuzzle under her ear. The tips of her short black hair tickled her neck along with his lips, and she stifled a quiver.

“I’d like to be there tomorrow when they find that ball of wax you left them,” Jack whispered. “That’s all. What did you think I meant?”

Peri exhaled in annoyance, giving him a little shove as he pulled back and took up their bags. Eyes rolling, she pushed open the door, her faint smile widening as Carnac, their cat, came out to weave between their feet, threatening to trip them.

“Hi, Carnac. Did you miss me more than Jack is going to tonight?” she said, scooping up the orange tabby and cuddling him as she followed Jack into the spacious apartment they

shared. It was dark, and Detroit’s neon-draped skyline sparkled through the wide glass windows. The lighted mass-transit rail circled to touch upon the city’s hot spots to look like jewels on a necklace, and she let Carnac slide from her. It hadn’t been a strenuous job, but the timing had been meticulous, requiring several days and multiple dry runs. She was mind-weary and ready for some downtime.

“Lights up,” she said, to shake the apartment out of extended leave, and the glow brightened to show the comfortable mix of her and Jack among the modern open-floor plan, everything angled to take advantage of the view of a glittering new Detroit.

“Sure is a pretty thing,” Jack said as she dropped her coat and purse on a chair and went into the open kitchen to give Carnac some soft food.

“The accelerator?” she asked, seeing that he’d taken it from his pocket and was holding it up to the spotlight over the gas fireplace. The walnut-size, meticulously engineered crystal was one-of-a-kind, and it caught the light like a disco ball, sending wavelengths too short to be seen ricocheting around the apartment to make her back teeth hurt. She’d held it briefly before giving it back for Jack to carry. It gave her the willies, the orb’s facets feeling warm and malleable even as they pricked her skin.

Jack lowered the glittering crystal. “Hard to believe something this small is worth an entire city,” he said as he put it back in his pocket.

Hard to believe you can hold it like that in your bare fingers, she thought as she ripped open a pouch of cat food. “Whenit’s plugged in, sure,” she muttered, watching Carnac weave between her feet as she set the bowl on the floor and fondled the cat’s ears. “Right now it’s giving me a headache.”

The small orb was Event Horizon’s latest wonder, fracturing wavelengths to allow information to be sent out on a particle, instead of an entire wave. In layman’s terms, it was like having a single bandwidth hold a hundred thousand conversations instead of one, and it would revolutionize how information was handled. Whoever held it would own the world.

And it’s in Jack’s pocket, she thought as she seriously considered sleeping with it under her pillow tonight. It would go to Opti in the morning, and from there, returned to Event

Horizon, the company that had developed it. It bothered Peri how often corporations stole or patented technology just to shove it in a drawer so their older technology would remain viable.

The pop of a wine bottle brought her head up, and she smiled at Jack, loving him. The accelerator had been in a research facility outside of Cincinnati, and they’d done well to

get in and out with no one the wiser. Preparation and skill had meant there’d been no need for her to draft, transposing a small part of time and space a few seconds into the past in order to erase a mistake. Content, Peri gave Carnac a last fondle about the ears and went to join Jack in the living room. It had been months since she’d needed to draft to rub out what could have been a fatal error, and she enjoyed feeling normal.

“Oh, please tell me you’re joking,” she said as Jack turned on the TV and settled back into the cushions, eyes riveted on the menu as he loaded his latest fix. “Ja-a-a-ack  .  .  .” she moaned as opening credits flowed over the flashing images of an athletic girl and her sidekick parrot, doing a magic spell and catching the sexy vampire. “Can’t you fall in love with something remotely possible?”

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About Kim Harrison

Drafter author

Kim Harrison, author of the New York Times #1 best selling Hollows series, was born in Detroit and lived most her her life within an easy drive.  After gaining her bachelors in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she remained until recently returning to Michigan because she missed the snow.  She’s currently working on the Peri Reed Chronicles, and when not at her desk, Kim is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home, in the garden, or out on the links.

For More Information

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Nighthawk banner

I have such a wonderful post to share with you today.

Author Jeremy Flagg is here with a fun interview.

I have his science fiction/dystopian book, Nighthawks to show you.

And a thrilling excerpt.

Plus a giveaway. So don’t forget to enter!

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An interview with Jeremy Flagg

Can you describe your dream home?

My dream home would be a cabin in the woods. I grew up in Northern Maine and I have always wanted to go back when I’m ready to retire. I figure I could build a cabin, live a simple life and try very hard to stay off the grid. There’s something romantic about it. I love the idea of seclusion and being able to sit with my thoughts and just pick apart the universe. The only thing I would need is wifi, without that I wouldn’t be able to look up how to plant a garden or watch repeats of House.

If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?

It would most likely be steak tips on the grill. If I have the time, I love firing it up and marinating some tips for dinner. However, with my writing schedule, I’m noticing more and more often I’ve been eating out again. I need to curb that, I enjoy cooking and it gives me a break from the laptop. It also doesn’t hurt that I look dashing in an apron!

Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.

My Suburban Zombie High series is largely inspired by the outlandish students I deal with as a teacher. There are times when I can’t resist talking about with them. Last summer I received a message from one of my students who showed a picture of her reading my book. I was flattered she was reading it and looked forward to what she had to say. She revealed to me she had gotten permission from her English teacher to use it as her optional summer reading. I had to admit I was amused with her exuberance, but I was extremely flattered that she would pick my novel as her optional summer reading. Still to this day, I’m not quite sure how her teacher felt about the whole zombies eating all the teachers in a school. This could be why he avoids me at staff meetings.

If there was a piece of research you could do in person, what would it be?

Part of Children of Nostradamus takes place in a radiation riddled post-apocalyptic Boston. Since I can’t visit that, there are some scenes in the sequel novel I’m working on now that would take me into the abandoned subway tunnels below Boston. Otherwise, the book has parts that happen in a warehouse in New York City and I’d love to see it in person. Right now, I’m making a lot of assumptions based on what I saw on the subway, so it would be awesome to see it up close and let my senses soak it up.

Who designed the book cover for the book you are touring?

This book jacket was designed by the lovely folks over at http://www.derangeddoctordesign.com. I was nervous at first since I work in graphic design and have a fairly high standard of design. Designers are notoriously egotistical, but I was happy to see my fears were quickly set aside. They listened to my notes on the cover from liking grunge, to being inspired by dark horror, and my love of typography. When I saw the preliminary cover I was nervous to give a critique but they were beyond professional. We batted around some ideas and they quickly turned my ideas into a great book cover. I’m very pleased with how they collaborated, definitely somebody I hope to work again with in the future.

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Nighthawks

Children Of Nostradamus #1

by Jeremy Flagg

Nighthawks cover

Genre: Sci-Fi / Dystopian

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Synopsis

Twenty-six-year-old painter Conthan Cowan takes art to a shocking frontier…

 

His debut exhibit features the transformation of his high school friend, Sarah, as she went from a shy, soft-spoken girl to a Child of Nostradamus—an individual gifted with extraordinary abilities. Living in a society where the Children of Nostradamus are captured by the government, Conthan’s exhibit draws attention from officials and protesters alike.

 

A government psychic may be dead, but that doesn’t stop her from manipulating the future…

 

The deceased White House aide is only remembered for her failed assassination attempt on the president decades before Conthan was born. Foreseeing her own death, she scribed letters to bring together specific Children of Nostradamus on a mission that will change the world.

 

On the night of the gallery exhibition, Conthan receives one of those letters…

 

Whispers from the past direct him to visit Sarah, the subject of his paintings, who like many Children of Nostradamus, is being detained in a government research facility. It’s there he finds himself aligned with a rogue group of Children on a mission to prevent a dark future.

 

As a dark future unfolds, there’s only one hope to stop the destruction of the world…

 

The Children of Nostradamus.

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Excerpt

Conthan Cowan,

As you ponder the situation laid out in front of you, it is clear that things will never be the same. Before you are many decisions, but alas, beyond this point I cannot see nor predict your future.

You are an element that seems to defy the strands of probability. I fear that before you lies a path that will test the fortitude of your soul. I wish I could give you more than a simple direction. I have done everything in my power to see you safe to this point. I wish I could tell you that somewhere on the other side of the darkness will be you, standing triumphant. However, I cannot. For that, I am sorry. What I can do is start you on your hero’s journey.

Go to Sarah.

With Regards,

Eleanor P. Valentine

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Author Jeremy Flagg

Nighthawks author

I’m high school graphic design and marketing teacher, at a large suburban high school in Massachusetts. Working as a high school educator and observing the outlandish world of adolescence was the inspiration for my first young adult novel, “Suburban Zombie High.”

My inspiration for writing stems from being a youth who struggled with reading in school. While I found school assigned novels incredibly difficult to digest, I devoured comics and later fantasy novels. Their influences can be seen in the tall tales I spin.

I took the long route to becoming a writer. For a brief time, I majored in Creative Writing but exchanged one passion for another as I switched to  Art and Design. My passion for reading about superheroes, fantastical worlds, and panic-stricken situations would become the foundation of my writing career.

I participated in my first NaNoWriMo in 2006 and continue to write an entire novel every November. Now I am the NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison to the Massachusetts Metrowest Region. I also belong the New England Horror Writer’s Association and to a weekly writing group, the Metrowest Writers.

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