Posted in excerpt, Fantasy, Young Adult on February 19, 2017

Synopsis

What if you thought you could play a better god than God?

Mudmen is a story unlike anything you have ever seen before. It all starts with a half-crazed dwarf scribbling furiously on a piece of paper while the world outside his little cottage is ravaged by a great storm. There is an artifact in his possession which gives him power over all else, but that artifact is stolen by the very creatures that he gave birth to in his frustration – these creatures are what we come to know as the Mudmen.

Excerpt

And for the first time in days he dreamt. He was climbing up a hill. It was the dead of the night and moonlight was his only guide to what lay ahead. His short legs carried him up the hill at a far slower pace than he had expected to cover.

Wait! What had he expected to cover?

All of a sudden the ground beneath his feet began to shake and a grumbling sound emanated from the top of the hill. It was almost as if the great giant that rests beneath the earth had finally decided to move and he was standing directly over him.

Why were there no trees on the hill? Why was the ground so barren?

He saw a light at the top, an orange glow that seemed to be taking on a more solid form as each second passed by and every step he took brought him closer to it. It was almost as if the night sky was on fire.

Oh no! This was not a hill – it was a volcano, one that was about to spew forth molten lava and rocks.

He fell down as the earth beneath his feet shook even more violently. A black cloud of smoke blocked out the moon but he could see the world around him a lot clearer now in the light of the fire that rained from the skies above. He turned around, willing himself to run away but his feet would not obey him. And then he remembered that he had to get to the top of the volcano no matter what happened, for what waited for him at the top was the only thing that mattered.

About the Author

Shitij Sharma is a nineteen year old budding author from India.He is the author of the book – THE GIRL FROM ROSTOV. He believes that he can successfully explain the world’s current situation in this one paragraph

‘This world was a strange place to live in. It was disorderly and chaotic. Therefore, we had to find our way through this labyrinth of human emotions and actions to arrive at a place where there was some resemblance to order, order in the form of disorderly governments and a moral compass that does not always point north.’

He currently resides in New Delhi, India. He spends most of his time writing his second novel which he hopes to complete before this year is out.

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Posted in Middle Grade, Spotlight, Young Adult on February 16, 2017

Grow Up Messy!

(A Hilarious Coming of Age Series Book1)

Author  : Paromita Goswami

Genre :  Middle School, Teen and YA

Publisher :  Ficus India

 

Synopsis

Childhood is considered to be the best time of one’s life. What if you get a chance to live it once more with a five-year-old?

Misry, a naughty five-year-old girl, lives with her parents in a B.S.F border outpost near Indo-Bangladesh border. But with no schools and friends she feels very lonely. She tries to befriend some local village kids.

But they find her incompetent in their rural antics. They nickname her Messy as most of the time she messes up their plan. Can Misry really be a part of the gang?

Set in the early eighties, join Misry in the adventures of her life.

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Fun Facts about the book & the writing journey

      1. Misry’s character in the book Grow Up Messy! is that of an innocent child who depends more on her mother for her smaller needs. The best part is she expects her mother to be know everything just like the superwoman. She believes there is nothing which her Ma cannot do or hasn’t seen. So when she requests her mother to make Pinjiri, something which she had tasted for the first time elsewhere, it never occurred to her that Ma might not know about its preparation.  This particular scene from the book is very close to my heart. Although the entire episode is very funny but it actually depicts the trust of a child in the mother. Something which no one can ever challenge. I see my son in this episode sometimes.
      1. Children enjoy being dirty. We have done it so many times in our days yet as a parent if we see our child playing in the soil we try to stop him immediately. The same thing our mothers might have also done with us while we enjoyed. Isn’t it strange, when we grow up we follow our mothers so blindly.There is an episode in the book where Misry plays in the muddy pool and ruins her fresh clothes. No doubt her mother is mad at her.
      1. Children have a very special place for animals in their heart. Whether they have pets at home or not but whenever they get a chance to pet an animal they will never stop themselves. I wish as we grow up we shouldn’t lose this emotion within us. It actually makes us more humane.In the book, Misry befriends a sacrificial  animal as her pet what follows next is very heart wrenching.
      1. As kids, our relationship with our first cousins is very interesting. Once in a year, during the school vacation we go to visit them. Whatever, time we spent together is always fun. We use to share things, study together, fight with each other and even share our little secrets. These moments are recreated when Misry visits her Dadu’s house. It is so much fun to have so many family members living under the same roof. Have you ever lived in a joint family or visited one?
      1. It will be a lie if I say I never had any difficulties in learning or rather mugging up the multiplication tables. This was one part that I always hated in Mathematics and the fact is no one said before that this multiplication table I will be using throughout my life. Yet when it comes to our kids we never fail to tell them how easy it is to learn the multiplication table. Was it really???  The book has a chapter for that too. Seriously dedicated to the Multiplication Tables.    How Misry and her family copes with it is something to watch out for.

About the Author

Paromita Goswami is a writer and storyteller by passion and a rebel by choice. She says the world is full of stories and as a writer she loves to pen them down. Her work is not genre specific. From literary fiction to children book to upcoming paranormal thriller and women fiction, Paromita Goswami‘s books offer the variety of life to her readers. Grow Up Messy! is her second book. She debuted in 2015 with Shamsuddin’s Grave, a literary fiction. Besides writing, she is also the founder of reading club that enhances book reading habit in children. She lives in central India with her family.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Young Adult on February 14, 2017

sketchy-TacosSketchy Tacos by Meg D. Gonzalez

Teenage artist Mila Gulick travels to Mexico to get away from warring influences and find herself. But life in the land of tacos is a far cry from her sheltered life back home. Mila must find the courage to step out from behind her sketchbook and get to know the people and culture around her. While her host family and the two boys vying for her interest are nothing but smiles, all may not be as it seems.

Soon Mila is questioning her choices and the beliefs she’s held dear. Her heart, her art, and even her safety are at risk as she struggles to find a balance between cultural differences, old assumptions, and strange romance. Will her trip end in disaster or will she find the strength for which she’s been searching?

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Praise for the Book

“This modern coming-of-age story has it all – humor, heart, genuine characters, and spiritual depth. I highly recommend it to teen readers.” – Krista McGee, Inspy Award winning author of First Date and Starring Me

“Meg D. Gonzalez gives us a vivid look at life for an American teenager in Mexico and an even clearer picture of what happens when you decide to embrace who God made you to be. No matter what. Great first novel. Great read.” – Nancy Rue, Christy Award winning author of the Real Life series

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Excerpt

The scent of sizzling quesadillas, bubbling soups, and slow-roasting meat made my mouth water. They dripped with flavor. I couldn’t wait to taste every single one. On the cordoned-off street, strings of flags crisscrossed the blue sky. Children laughed and kicked a soccer ball through winding legs. Everywhere the colors were so vivid they almost hurt. And the music… Ecstasy filled the notes. It’s no wonder I stopped and stared.

“A group of Folkorico, filled the main stage. Women wore dresses with huge skirts, each a different color. When the dance began, they lifted their skirts high and swished until the stage blurred with scarlet, saffron, tangerine, and amethyst. Their ribbons flew and shimmered in the sun. The raw beauty froze me to the spot.” I wished to pull out my sketchbook, but I knew the skills to capture the fluid movement eluded me.

“Julia stopped with me, but she was impatient. She couldn’t see what I saw. The rest of the class went ahead. When Mrs. Danphe found us, she didn’t scold us. Instead, she watched with me.”

She whispered, “It’s magical, isn’t it?”

 

MegAbout the Author

Meg D. Gonzalez is a tea-sipping, adventure-seeking, pug-loving kind of girl. She’s crazy for God and wants to share His love with awesome young women around the globe.

She started her first novel at the age of fourteen (it will never see the light of day and that’s best for everyone), but her writing really came alive two years ago after she moved to Mexico. The crazy, wonderful people and culture she encountered inspired the story of Sketchy Tacos.

When she’s not writing, she’s learning to play video games with her husband (she’s horrible), taking hikes in beautiful parks with her pug Pascal, crocheting, and watching way too much TV.

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/5/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in Children, Fantasy, Spotlight, Young Adult on February 9, 2017

Synopsis

Math City is a place within a Math book, and the pages of the book are the streets of Math City.

In this City, Monster Number was grossly overweight and had a shaggy body, like a mammoth. In the beginning, Monster Number could not walk very well. Though he swayed a little, tottering and often falling, my father trained him to detect and to kill. In a few days, we attacked Math City.

Math City was bombarded, the doors and the walls shaking while the dark shade ofthe Monster Number came down, covering the city. Monster Number threw big stones, one after another; and like a repulsive ghoul crashed throughany barrier.

Then, after many horrible explosions, Monster Number entered the city, and we followed him. He smashed countless numbers as he plodded along.

Reviews

“I have a feeling that the author is from another planet. It is the only explanation for his knowledge.” –  One of Math City’s Readers

“Math City is uniquely written in that the book is the city and the streets are the pages within it. Readers are introduced to characters that are products of mathematical equations, but the significance of these characters is much more than mere numbers.” – Stacie Theis

“Math City is different than any story you’ve ever read. Although, it appears to be a simple story written to entertain children through the use of numbers and math, it is anything but simple. The underlying story of war, conflict, and human rights is cleverly interwoven throughout the pages. Math City is a short story, but readers should take their time and absorb all the book has to offer.”

About the Author

Ahmad lives in the Middle East. He is a graduate of the Art University in Tehran. He has worked for many newspapers in Iran and Iraq as a journalist.

His books are stories about people, society, and culture.  The books were written in a new concept and fantasy form.

He hopes that his books make you think, while you enjoy it.

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Posted in Book Release, Spotlight, Young Adult on February 4, 2017

Synopsis

Spivey Spillane’s grandmammy always said there were only two good reasons to kill a man — for cheating on a woman, and for serving drinks to a Yankee. She may have had a hand in winning the Revolutionary War, but even she never met the likes of Alabama Sam. Sam robs a bank under Spillane’s name, casts him in an obscene one-man play wearing only a pink tutu, and starts a betting pool on how many wieners he has. Despite the indignities Spillane suffers, he chases Sam across Gold-Rush-era California because Sam is the only one who knows the location of a hidden fortune buried somewhere in the hills.

Meanwhile in the present, 17-year-olds Amanda and Jet have rekindled an old childhood rivalry. Amanda is obsessed with finding the treasure of her infamous ancestor Spivey Spillane. Jet and Amanda’s feud comes to a head over an extended incident involving a broken window, an exploded car, and a charge of sexual assault with a candy Batman. Jet vows that he is going to find to Spillane’s gold before Amanda does, but it doesn’t take them long to realize that someone may have come this way already — someone who wants the past to stay buried.

About the Author

What authors have influenced your writing the most and why?

People say I have a bit of Vonnegut in me, which is very flattering but only true in a figurative sense — I haven’t stolen his false teeth or anything. Of course I was addicted to Vonnegut growing up, but then I also love John Kennedy Toole, who wrote A Confederacy of Dunces. It’s one of the funniest novels of all time, and helpless indignation still cracks me up to this day. I’d also have to mention James Kennedy, whose novel The Order of Odd-Fish showed me that you can still write dazzling, hilarious, clever novels for teenagers. Somehow I’d got the idea that had gone out with hydrogen dirigibles and asbestos underpants.

Why did you choose to start writing YA novels? What about your voice really caters to that audience?  

I got into YA novels when I realized you can get away with pretty much anything except being boring. If you write for adults you instantly get shelved as one genre or another, but YA is kind of its own genre. No one bats an eyelid when you write about radium-obsessed teenagers in antique flying machines, or Old West vamps with guns that shoot round corners, or accidentally assaulting people with candy cake-toppers. The only thing you’re not allowed to do is be boring, which suits me fine. When a book spends ten pages telling me how the protagonist cooks dinner and how everyone’s hair smells, I’m halfway ready to drop-kick the thing into the street.

San Francisco writer ST JOHN KARP is an ornamental hermit who likes to live near exciting things so he cannot go to them. He has an undying love for the unusual, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and toast. His debut novel, RADIUM BABY, released in 2013. SKUNKS DANCE, Karp’s second novel, releases Jan. 24, 2017.

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Posted in 4 paws, Middle Grade, Review, Western, Young Adult on January 20, 2017

Synopsis

When Annabelle Fortune, the fastest gunslinger in the wild west, inadvertently stops a stranger from attacking a train — and he wears a suit that enables him to fly! — the government believes she’s the only one to have witnessed the Locomotive Reaper and survived to tell the tale.

Promising to find out what he can about her missing father, the Director of the Secret Service persuades Annie to swear in. Too soon, her detested nickname re-stakes its claim.

Partnered with Beau Slokam, whose penchant for gambling leads them straight to the Doom Gang, Misfortune Annie guides the smooth-talking Southerner in a chase through the Rockies, with her Cheyenne friend, Wontoa, rounding out their unlikely trio.

When Annie again meets the Locomotive Reaper, his gadgetry proves far more advanced — and deadly — than even top scientists could have imagined.

A sequel is already underway! Visit Annie at MisfortuneAnnie.com for updates on release, as well as announcements regarding future books in the series!  You can also check out the Facebook page.

Praise

“At a time when women weren’t typically adventurers, especially at Annie’s age, it’s great fun to see a story about a girl who loves an adventure, is capable, and well-respected.  Annie is a great model for young girls.”

“Annie is whip smart and a dead shot. If you are looking for western action, train robbers, and a sharp shooter – look no further.”

“A fast-paced, action filled adventure in the Wild West with a wonderful heroine. Misfortune Annie’s bravery and determination leap off the page from the first scene.”

Review

This book was entertaining and a little different from what I normally read, but enjoyable all the same.

Annie is a gunslinger, and while I don’t know her age, I assume she is rather young (teenager or early 20’s at the oldest). Despite that, she is apparently known for having misfortunes on a regular basis, hence the nickname. She is persistent and when shooting at people tries not to kill them, but rather shoot guns out of their hands or just wound them. Sometimes that is to her detriment as they seem to continue coming after her. She is also a whiz with a rope and does some impressive roping throughout the book. Despite her scrapes and adventures, she is a character that is very likable.

Despite the era, she is educated and likes to read. That is a plus near the end of the book…but I can’t tell you why because it will spoil some of the anticipation while reading the book.

The book does leave you with a little of a cliffhanger that I assume will be addressed in a future book.

This book would be great for kids to read because of the action adventure, humor and historical setting.

We give this book 4 paws up!

About the Authors

Janet Fogg

Janet Fogg’s focus on writing began when she was CFO and Managing Principal of OZ Architecture, one of Colorado’s largest architectural firms. Fifteen writing awards later, she resigned from the firm to follow the yellow brick road. Ten months after that, she signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for her historical romance Soliloquy a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner.

With husband Richard, Janet co-wrote Fogg in the Cockpit (Casemate), one of five books nominated in 2012 by the Air Force Historical Foundation for best World War II book reviewed in Air Power History.

Keeping her historical knowledge sharp, Janet manages the 359th Fighter Group’s Facebook page, sharing WWII stories and photos about the Fighter Group.  She is also a proud member and 2015/16 Vice President of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She previously served as Published Author Liaison in 2010.

Website | ChiseledInRock.com |  Janet “The Kid” Fogg on Facebook | Goodreads | YouTube

Dave Jackson

Not your typical author, Dave Jackson started writing in his constant pursuit to become a renaissance man, but later fell in love with the art form. He performs stand-up and skits regularly, as Comedy remains one of his many passions and he writes and performs skits, as well as stand-up. Also a songwriter and guitarist, Dave has composed over 300 musical titles.

A country boy, Dave was raised in Oklahoma and taught 6th grade English for two years. He enjoys sharing the tale about when he climbed high into a towering black jack tree and grabbed a dead branch. Snap! He hurtled toward his death, but he held tight to the branch and it slowed his fall, saving his life.

In 2013, Dave enjoyed the release of Tattoo Rampage by Curiosity Quills Press. The novel follows Evangelina Marquez-James, a strong female heroine, who gets her first tattoo as a symbol of courage to carry on after her police officer husband dies in the line of duty.

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Posted in Children, excerpt, Science Fiction, Young Adult on December 31, 2016

Synopsis

Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world.

To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp Hannah found the most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special.

Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do.

She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . .

The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is a timeless tale, filled with magic and adventure. More importantly, it will make you believe in the overwhelming power of love.

Excerpt

Hannah Bradbury opened her eyes, feeling forty, not fourteen. Every part of her ached: head, stomach, neck, back—which was weird because she had felt perfectly fine two seconds ago. Plus now she was freezing. That part, at least, made some sense, for it was cold outside and she was lying next to her cupola window.

But the weird part? —the seriously bizarre, mind-blowing part? —two seconds ago she had been lying in her bed across the room.

She pulled her father’s shirt tighter around her narrow shoulders and sat up. Her dog, Griff, was still asleep in her bed, just as he had been two seconds ago. And her furniture looked fine—chest-of-drawers, study desk, nightstand—right where they should be. At least they hadn’t moved like last time.

The only thing that wasn’t where it should be—other than herself—was her clock. It was one of those old-fashioned analog clocks—brought to her from London by her father—and night before last it had been moved from her nightstand to her study desk. Now it was back on her nightstand. And the time had changed. She had checked it before closing her eyes, and it had said it was midnight. Now, two seconds later, the luminescent hands pointed to 6:15 a.m.

She shivered as she swung her legs off the love seat. Keeping her thigh muscles tensed in case someone grabbed her legs, she let the toe of her left foot touch the floor first. The wood felt buckled and splintery and colder than usual, but nothing grabbed her legs, so she stood up.

She hovered next to the love seat for a moment, her hand gripping the wall for balance, then wobbled unsteadily to a pile of dirty clothes on the floor of her closet. She rifled through them until she found a pair of jeans that didn’t smell too badly, slipped them on, then took one of her father’s sweaters off a hangar and pulled it over her nightshirt. It was thick and warm and still smelled like her father. Thinking of her father made her smile, but that smile disappeared when she saw her reflection in the mirror on the back of her closet door.

She looked horrible: pale skin, dead seaweed hair, dark circles around her eyes. Her skin used to be tan, her hair the color of burled walnut, and everyone used to compliment her eyes. Now everything about her looked dull and lifeless. And she was weary, dead tired. She would have loved to climb back in bed with Griff, but morning would be coming soon, and she didn’t want to miss anything.

She returned to her love seat and sat down with her legs crossed. The advantage to living on the second floor of a three-story house in Green Park, Tennessee, was that on a clear morning you could see for miles. The disadvantage was that there were very few clear mornings in the Great Smoky Mountains. They were usually—well, smoky—and it often took the anemic sun half a day to burn off the fog.

Fortunately, the mist was already starting to lift from the cemetery below. Soft, grey wisps still lingered lazily among the tombstones, but they would be gone soon. A dove was cooing, and that meant the sun was about to peek over the mountains.

She was starting to think they were going to be late, when she suddenly heard the deep rumble of an engine. Seconds later a pickup truck chugged through the cemetery’s wrought iron gate. Hannah followed it with her eyes as it came, fog swirling around its tires, engine sputtering, tailpipe coughing. It stopped beneath the gnarly branches of an arthritic oak tree not far from her house. She watched it shake off like a dog after a hard rain, then heard its motor shut down. All became quiet again.

Trailer

About the Author

THE UGLY TEAPOT is Fred Holmes’s first novel. He’s known primarily as a writer/director of television and films, specifically children’s television and family films. He’s worked on such TV shows as WISHBONE, BARNEY & FRIENDS, MARY LOU RETTON’S FLIP FLOP SHOP, IN SEARCH OF THE HEROES, HORSELAND, and many, many other shows. He’s written and/or directed over 250 episodes of television and has been nominated for Emmys five times and has won twice. He’s also won three CINE Golden Eagles, plus numerous other awards. Besides his work in TV, he’s directed three feature films: DAKOTA, starring Lou Diamond Phillips, for Miramax; HARLEY, starring Lou Diamond Phillips, for Lionsgate; and HEART LAND, a Bollywood feature film that he directed in India and starred Indian superstars Divya Dutta and Prem Chopra.

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Posted in Spotlight, Young Adult on December 22, 2016

Synopsis

Two months before Troye Saavedra’s senior year of high school, his father’s drinking problem skyrockets. When Troye’s parents make an impulsive move to Georgia in order to “help” him finish high school on a positive note, he is forced to leave behind everything he knows. Things couldn’t get worse for Troye. That is, until he meets three enigmatic teenagers: Adelaide, an independent violinist with radical ideas; Zaidan, fiercely loyal and always funny; and Arabella, a girl who harbors secret struggles. Together, the four friends try to pick up the jagged pieces of their lives without getting hurt themselves. An insightful tale of perseverance, Silence Interrupted is a young adult novel about the beauty and peril of traversing the world as a teenager.

About the Author

Sania Shaikh is a junior at Cambridge High School. Inspired to write from a young age, she worked on Silence Interrupted, her debut novel, starting in eighth grade.

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Posted in Fantasy, Giveaway, Science Fiction, Young Adult on November 19, 2016

rimrider-cover

Synopsis

Teenager Jane Benedict is awakened by her father and ordered to memorize a mysterious code. Hours later, Mathias Benedict is dead and Jane and her brother, Will, are wards of United Earth Corporation. To evade the company’s murderous clutches and uncover the meaning of her father’s last message, Jane leads Will on a desperate escape across the galaxy aboard the Freetrader smuggler ship, Solar Vortex. Tangled in the crew’s fight against UEC, Jane saves the life of young smuggler Maclan Sawyer and learns her father’s code identifies a secret cargo shipment that may spell doom for the entire Freetrader cause and the extinction of an alien race.

Piracy, intrigue, romance, and a daring rebellion from Earth wait on the planet Rimrock. Will Jane answer the call to adventure and find new purpose on the galactic rim or will death for high treason be her fate?

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Excerpt

As they raced across the bay another pallet full of cargo erupted. Flying bits of debris rained down on them. Jane slapped the falling embers from her hair. They reached the bulkhead and huddled behind stacked containers. Jane stifled a cough as acrid smoke rose in billowing clouds from the burning goods.

Her mouth went dry. “Mac, there’s no alarm. The fire suppressors must be off-line. The smoke will get thicker and eat up the oxygen.”

Mac spied around the corner of the crate. “I see him. A sweeper on the catwalk with a laser rifle. He can’t draw a bead from there, but the instant we make a run for the hatch, he’ll spot us. We’re trapped.”

“How did a sweeper get on the ship?” whispered Jane. “I thought no UEC boarding party made it over.”

“No clue. Nobody spotted any, and none of the alarms went off….what’s he doing now?”

Jane and Will inched up beside Mac. The sweeper bent over and appeared to adjust a device at his feet. “We have to warn the others,” Jane said. “There may be more.” She spoke into her com. “Doc, can you read me?”

“Jane—” A crackly din drowned out the rest.

“We’re trapped in cargo bay Delta-120 with a sweeper. Do you read?” The only response was a hiss of static. Jane peered at them with anxious eyes. “My line is dead. Anyone have a signal?” Neither Mac nor Will’s com had reception.

Jane swallowed. “I don’t know if Doc got the message.”

Mac scowled. “We’re out maneuvered and outgunned and can’t wait around to find out. The smoke is getting thicker by the second.”

Hack emitted a muted tinny whine. “What’s his problem now?” hissed Jane.

Will yanked off the tarp and checked the readouts. “The weird signal’s back. It’s stronger this time. Hack has a lock. It’s definitely coming from that thing on the catwalk with the sweeper.”

Mac’s gaze narrowed. “His rifle beats the cutter for long-range shooting. If the sweeper were at ground level, the odds would be more to my liking. I can sneak up on him.” He blew out his cheeks in frustration. “How to draw him out without getting shot is the problem.” He turned to Jane and Will. “You two wait here. When the shooting starts, make for the hatch.”

Jane grabbed his arm. “Mac, this is crazy. You’ll never get close enough. We need a better plan—”

Mac shook off her grip. “There’s no time. One of us has to make it out of here and go for help. Now run!” He broke from cover and darted around a loader.

The sweeper instantly spotted him. Jane watched in horror as the laser rifle fired a spread of explosive charges. A direct hit to the loader’s engine mushroomed debris into the air. Mac dove behind a cargo container abutting a rack of mech suits. He was unharmed for now, but had no safe way to advance any farther.

“What do we do?” said Will. “Run for help?”

Jane’s focus returned to the sweeper. With his laser rifle at the ready, he used his other hand to hurriedly work on the object at his feet, acting as if time weighed hard against him. Jane’s gaze narrowed. A person so consumed by a task would hate to be interrupted. As a matter of fact, the right interruption might make him boiling mad. Mad enough to drop his guard and take his attention off Mac.

Her expression hardened. “Will, I have a plan.” She explained in a rush.

Will chuckled. “I like it.”

“How much time will you need to get into position?”

“Thirty seconds ought to do it.”

“I can keep the sweeper busy that long without getting shot.” Jane drew the cutter from her holster. With shaking fingers, she reset the controls for a tight beam. At this distance, hitting the sweeper would be a miracle, but the glow from the cutter made her a fine target for him in the dark. “Ready?”

Will’s face turned pale. “Are you positive Mac will be in position?”

“He’ll understand as soon as I start running. He knows how to shoot.”

“Yeah, but you don’t. Be careful, Jane…promise.”

“I’ll make it back, Will. I swear. On three…one…two…go!” Jane dashed from cover aiming straight for the sweeper’s position.

Jane fired wildly while mentally counting the seconds. Her shots went way out of range. Although none landed anywhere near the catwalk, they drew the sweeper’s immediate attention.

Crackles of lightning ripped through the air as he returned fire. An energy blast hit near her feet, bubbling the metal deck plate. Jane dodged in panic, adrenaline pumping through her veins.

Close—too close. Don’t think! Run! Run! Run! Twenty more seconds

Jane tore across the bay, darting through smoke, dodging flames. She veered toward the bulkhead aiming for the safety of a storage container. The back of her neck burned as if she could feel the laser sight zero in on her. A beam sliced the dark to her left. Jane sidestepped in a panic. She was in the open…no place left to hide. The sweeper had her in his sights. A red dot centered on the middle of her chest. She looked into the face of death.

“Now, Will!” Jane shouted.

About the Author

l-akelley_bird-mamaBest-selling Kindle author, L. A. Kelley lives in Florida where the heat and humidity have driven everyone slightly mad.  Every aspect of Mother Nature in Florida is evil and wants to kill you. The state has hurricanes, tornadoes, rip currents, floods, brush fires, and giant sinkholes that will drag you to hell without even time to pack a change of underwear. She considers it a favorable place to write fantasy/scifi adventures with humor, romance, and a touch of sass. Her favorite pastime is to call in Bigfoot sightings to the Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife. They are heartily sick of hearing from her.

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Posted in excerpt, Fantasy, Spotlight, Young Adult on October 24, 2016

wishingworld

Synopsis

In the Wishing World, dreams are real. You can transform into your own hero, find wild and whimsical friends, and wield power as great as your imagination. But Lorelei doesn’t know about any of that. All she knows is that a monster took her family.

It happened during a camping trip one year ago. Hiding inside the tent, she saw shadows, tentacles and a strange creature. By the time she got up the courage to crawl outside, the monster–and Lorelei’s mom, dad, and brother–were gone.

Lorelei is determined to find her family. When she accidentally breaks into the Wishing World, she discovers a way. It’s a land more wonderful than she could have imagined, a land of talking griffons, water princesses, and cities made of sand, where Lorelei is a Doolivanti–a wish-maker–who can write her dreams into existence.

There’s only one problem: the monster is a Doolivanti, too. What he wishes also comes true, and he’s determined to shove Lorelei out, keep her family, and make the whole Wishing World his. To save them, Lorelei must find the courage to face him, or her next wish may be her last.

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Excerpt

I ran like there was a monster behind me. Because one year ago today, there had been. Black tentacles slithered right out of the rain and snatched my little brother. Snatched my parents, too. That’s the way it happened. Freaky truth, right? Bright like a neon sign in your face.

Too bad nobody believed me.

The clouds were low and dark, bellies full of water, so I didn’t stop running until I got to my house. By then my legs were jelly. Lungs burning. I had that metal taste in my mouth that you get when you run too hard. Florid Flecks of Phlegm. Gick.

The towering street light made a bright circle on the blacktop, the sidewalk, and the sloped lawn. The first rain droplets speckled my face lightly like they were innocent. Like they hadn’t snatched my whole childhood away. But I was done being afraid. I was done flinching. I stood still with my fists clenched and let the drops hit me. I wanted my family back.

I spat out the nasty acid taste and tried the purple front door. Locked. And I didn’t have a key anymore. Auntie Carrie and Uncle Jone had sold my house last week and sent me to a sleepover in the old neighborhood to make me feel better. Like that works. Have a pillow fight and a cup of hot chocolate, and you’ll forget they’re selling your house. You’ll forget you ever had a brother or a Mom or a Dad. Welcome to the new normal. You get with the program yet, Lorelei?

No. Double no with a forget-you on top.

 

About the Author

toddTODD FAHNESTOCK won the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age Award for one of his short stories, and is the author of the YA bestseller Fairmist as well as The Wishing World. Stories are his passion, but Todd’s greatest accomplishment is his quirky, fun-loving family. The Wishing World began as a series of bedtime stories for his children.

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