Seeking Beta readers for two short stories fro The Beta-Earth Chronicles
One is "A Day in the Death of the Magic Mabel" with a Word Count of 10196. Set 40 years in the future on our planet, it's set on a doomed cruise ship with a horrible fear-inducing chemical compound hidden somewhere on board. Can Mary Carpenter find it in time?
The other is "The Alien That Never Was" with a Word Count of 10772. It's set on Beta-Earth during the Alman Civil War with a distinctly WWII flavor. Can sexy special operatives of the Kirippean resistance fool the forces of the power-hungry Lunta?
If interested in an Advanced reader copy PDF, or Word file, of either of these yarns, reply to me here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks in advance--
Shadow: A Grimdark Military Sci-fi (Warpmancer Book 1)
Print Length: 266 pages
Publisher: Warpmancer Press (May 15, 2018)
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Reviewed by: Wesley Britton
In closing notes to Shadow, author Nicholas Woode-Smith admits this novel is a major retelling of the first third of his earlier version of the same tale, The Fall of Zona Nox. So there are several groups of potential readers for Shadow--those already familiar with his epic and readers like me completely new to his world-building--and world-destroying- adventures.
The story centers on James Terrin, a rough-edged thief and street-fighter turned soldier who is a bit, just a bit, reminiscent of Harry Harrison's "Stainless Steel Rat." Unlike Harrison's Jim DiGriz, who's an intergalactic rascal and con-man portrayed in light, satirical stories, Terrin lives in a grim, violent, and dark world in the 36th century where everyone has to be constantly aware of the many ways death can burst through the door in brutal cities like Galis where humans and aliens must survive meager existences.
What DiGriz and Terrin have most in common is their being almost constantly on the run, escaping or nearly escaping would-be killers and captors. Terrin is often running down alleyways and over rooftops while miraculously not getting hit by assassins, soldiers, or gangsters.
One aspect that really impressed me is Woode-Smith's ability to introduce new species and layers of his world's "cultures" with economy and precise descriptions. He's able to paint his gritty, gruff, dangerous environments in vivid detail while never letting the action slow. The book doesn't really have a plot beyond Terrin's becoming more and more involved in the various competing deadly interests on Zona Nox, especially as he goes beyond fighting for his own survival and then becomes part of his planet's defense against invading aliens and their deadly talons.
It's very obvious that Shadow is the starting point for the author's reinvigorated Warpmancer series which means the yarn isn't a stand-alone adventure with any story-lines tied up on the final pages. If you get interested in Shadow, plan to carry on with the epic in the subsequent volumes, both book length and short stories already available. The sequels begin with Trooper: Warpmancer Book Two listed here:
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on May 30, 2019:
Columbo Under Glass: A critical analysis of the cases, clues and character of the Good Lieutenant
Paperback: 428 pages
Publisher: BearManor Media (July 7, 2016)
Sheldon Catz's Columbo Under Glass is not your typical TV series episode guide. It provides very little production history or background and includes no interviews with any of the participants. As Catz admits in his introduction, that ground was already expertly covered by TV historian Mark Dawidziak in his 1989 The Columbo File: A Casebook. Dawidziak was kind enough to write a complimentary foreword to the Catz study, saying he never thought his own book was the end-all and be-all for Columbo.
Instead, Under Glass is a very personal analysis of the long-running, on-again, off-again series of TV movies. Yes, Catz reviews every one of the episodes but most of his commentary is his own thoughts on what worked and especially what didn't in the scripts and acting. Frequently, it's difficult to understand why he invested so much time in Columbo as most of his analysis points to flaws he saw in how writers established the clues in each episode, whether or not the storylines were credible, whether or not the conclusions were well-thought out, or whether or not the characters were sympathetic or two-dimensional.
Then, in a number of essays, Catz analyzes the series from a wide range of angles, essentially retrodding the same ground he had covered in the episode guide in different ways. For example, "The Bloating Problem" re-examined why the 90 minute episodes were usually superior to the over-long two-hour TV movies. He looks at the "First Clues" that usually drew Columbo into pursuing a case and then the "Intermediate Clues and Some Delayed and Slippery Ones" that carried the plots forward for good or ill. He analyzes the various kinds of endings and complains about the lackluster Ed McBain novels rewritten into Columbo scripts. He writes about the developing character of Columbo, the "Morality of Columbo," the failed Mrs. Columbo spin-off, the supporting casts, the theme music, you name it. By the end of the tome, there's no "Just one more thing" left to talk about.
As with all such TV books, your interest in Columbo Under Glass is going to rely on your interest in Lieutenant Columbo as created by Richard Levinson and William Link and portrayed by Peter Falk from 1968 to 2003. Your interest may be piqued by the opportunity to match your own opinions with those of Catz. Odds are, most readers will find themselves skimming through the essays as so many points are revisited multiple times. But it's good to know there are those who still care about Columbo. So many of those old detective shows have disappeared without a trace.
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on May 24, 2019:
Illusional Reality by Karina Kantas
Reviewed by Alicia Smock from Roll Out Reviews.
Karina Kantas is a talented author who has dabbled in various genres and has reached a wide variety of audiences through her multiple fiction series, short stories, and flash fiction. Illusional Reality is the first in her young adult romantic fantasy duology and provides a pleasantly alluring introduction to this unique series. While the premise may seem a bit cliché and perhaps even predictable, Kantas has used her creativity to take this common fantasy premise and make it her own.
After a long day working as a marketing executive, imagine getting kicked out of a taxi in an unknown neighborhood, following a strange man named Salco who said you would be killed if you didn’t follow him, then nearly being killed anyway by a couple of strange otherworldly beings known as Senxs. Now imagine waking up from this crazy nightmare only to discover that Tsinia, the fantastical dream world you wake up in, is indeed reality and not only that, but that you are the last living heir to the throne of Tsinia which is on the brink of being overruled by the warlord of Senx, Darthorn. And, to top everything off, in order to create order amidst the chaos and stop your people from becoming eternally enslaved, a peace treaty is believed to be created if you wed Kovon, the son of Darthorn, within a very short window of time. Poor seemingly normal Becky is subjected to this crazy adventure and must do all that she can to save a land she has never known by facing off against a warlord using powers she never believed she possessed, while at the same time, struggling to not fall for a man she never expected to meet and is forbidden to love.
Let us begin by focusing on one of the hardest challenges any author faces when it comes to writing fantasy and science fiction: worldbuilding. There is no doubt that Kantas has succeeded in creating a memorable and unique world filled with equally unique beings and cultures. The world itself is described almost like an elven city found in various fantasy stories and most certainly a world would wish to visit or live in. Other than the imminent threat of doom, the land of Tsinia is beautiful and peaceful. The Tsinians are the main beings Kantas focuses on in Illusional Realty and they make for an enjoyable new race. Along with the elven-like land they reside in, they have the beauty and elegance of elves (without the pointy ears), yet they also have unique abilities that almost resemble superpowers (very similar to the X-Men).
One of the main highlights, as well as surprises, about the Tsinians is the way they speak. Rather than speaking with slang, abbreviations, lingo, etc., they speak very properly and eloquently. Imagine how people must have spoken in the 1700s or 1800s in high end society and that is more or less how Tsinians speak. It is most certainly surprising to find this in a young adult book; however, it is refreshing to read and perhaps even the young readers of today can, hopefully, pick up on this speech so they can stop speaking in text lingo.
Another challenge authors face, especially when they have quite a few characters within a shorter story as well as a shorter series, is giving each of their characters his or her own unique personality. Once again, Kantas has succeeded in giving her many characters just that. While some could have perhaps been developed a bit more, readers will be able to differentiate each of the characters by how he or she acts and what he or she does. With so many characters introduced, we shall focus on the main character: Becky on Earth/ Thya in Tsinia. She is most certainly a powerhouse woman and does not take crap from anyone, making for an excellent role model figure for the younger female readers. What is definitely refreshing about Becky/ Thya is how she reacts to discovering that she is a princess. It is on par with Mia from The Princess Diaries where she grudgingly accepts the fact that she is a princess, but in all honesty, truly does not want to be and Kantas continues to surprise her readers with Becky/ Thya’s decision as the story continues. Perhaps the only thing readers may have difficulty following are the names of the characters. Kantas is to be commended for all of the original names she created for her fantasy beings; however, it can become a bit tricky to follow who some of the characters are at times.
The story itself is alluring, though, with a concept that has been used time and time again within the fantasy genre, there are a few clichés readers will stumble upon. However, readers should not allow this to stop them from reading Illusional Realty. The “forbidden love” aspect of the story will seem both familiar and different for Kantas added additional surprises into the mix that readers will not expect. The feud between light and dark (Becky/ Thya and Darthorn/ Kovon) could have been expanded upon a bit more, but what is revealed to the readers is enjoyable and has its own unexpected twists as well. The talented Kantas has created an alluring twist on a familiar concept with Illusional Realty. She has taken fantasy elements and put enticing new twists onto cliché plots. While it would have been wonderful to read even more about the history and culture behind this new fantasy world, readers will enjoy the new fantastical land of Tsinia and will love reading the eloquent dialogue of the Tsinians. Readers will praise Becky/ Thya’s powerhouse character traits and will discover all of the other characters’ unique powers and personalities. Making for a quick read, readers will most certainly wish to pick up the second and final book in Kantas’ duology, The Quest, as soon as they have reached the last page to find out what happens next.
Here's an interview I did which gives more insight behind book 6 of The Beta-Earth Chronicles.
Question: Why a book on this subject?
Answer: Twice before, I thought I was done with the Beta-Earth Chronicles, first thinking book 4 was the end, then book 5 as I had gone as far as I could with the original characters. Then an editor suggested I write a Romeo and Juliet story with a new Adam and Eve. I took those two starting points and created a new cast of characters and sent them to our own planet 40 years in the future.
Question: What was the most interesting thing you discovered?
Answer: It’s very different to project what might happen on our earth from creating totally different alternate earths. Trying to describe what humanity might become in the aftermath of devastating global warming and weaponized biological plagues.
Question: What's in the book that no one yet knows about?
Answer: That we would become very localized in the aftermath of massive devastation to the point the U.S. would split into four countries. That keeping control of our lives would mean becoming tribal and more independent.
Question: The most fascinating character is . . . .?
Answer: That’s a toughie. I’d have to say a couple, Malcolm Renbourn II of Beta-Earth and his lover from our Alpha-Earth, Major Mary Carpenter.
Question: I'm only buying one book this year. Why should this be the one?
Answer: Well, this book includes a cosmic Romeo and Juliet story, sets up a new Adam and Eve, and has much, much more. As with the previous Beta-Earth books, expect originality, surprises, the unexpected, going where you’ve never gone before. I promise.
And, it works very well as a stand-alone book. This means you wouldn’t have to read the previous five books to understand what’s going on.
Question: What are you working on now?
Answer: Since Return to Alpha was published, I’ve been working on short stories that are both prequels and sequels to what happens in RTA. Several tales you can download for free at various book publicity sites—the rest you have to wait for until a collection of these stories is ready to go.
A new podcast from the Knights of the Sci-Fi Roundtable has been released to promote their members, their books, and their interests. Check it out:
Sci-Fi and Fantasy Spring Giveaway.
Here's your chance to pick up some great books.
New Box Set
Pick up the box set of the Shan Takhu Legacy
and get a BONUS short story.
New Book Releases
Anodyne Dreams by Clancy Weeks
Relic Hunter by Melinda Kucsera
MarvelousCon & Tax Cons by Rachel Ford
Safe Passage by Rachel Ford
Deconstruction by Steve M
Schrödinger's Dog by Allan Brewer
Druid's Portal: The Second Journey by Cindy Tomamichel releases May 22, 2019
Freebies and Sales
Get Max and the Banjo Ferret FREE
May 15 - 19, 2019
Get Sentient for $0.99. Sale ends on May 31
Blogs, Short Stories & Interviews
Transformation: A postapocalyptic flash fiction from Cindy Tomamichel
This month MF Metheringham IV reviews ‘A Game of Thrones’ by GRR Martin Satire at its finest.
Zachry Wheeler interviews Zora Marie on ZeeDub Bezzies.
If someone asked you to explain what's going on in the world right now, would you be able to?
What if the person who was asking had no prior knowledge of our world, how difficult would it be to help them makes sense of current events?
That's the challenge Alyce is presented with when she's kidnapped by aliens who want her help in creating a museum of curiosities based on Earth's culture.
Follow Alyce down the rabbit hole as she experiences the journey of a lifetime; the trip might just paint the reality you've become accustomed to in a new color...
“Characters are clever and in many cases entertaining while the commentary is clearly outlined and yet still thoughtfully delivered.”
“I stayed riveted to this book until the very end. You get that rabbit, Alyce.”
Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US, but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US, with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter!). Mistral's work includes a satirical science fiction novel, Answers From Alyce; a tongue-in-cheek animal rescuer’s guide, Animal Rescuer’s Guide to Staying (Relatively) Sane; a paranormal romance series, Spellbound Hearts; and a cyberpunk science fiction series, The Petri Dish Chronicles. All of Mistral’s work can be found on Amazon.
She thanks you humbly for purchasing and reading her books and would be honored if you would leave a review so that she can see what you thought.
Where you can find the book
Where to find Mistral
Follow her blog on which she posts excerpts, sneak peeks, interviews, pictures, and various other musings.
New Book on Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary Offers Front-Row Seat to Greatest Concert in History
STEVENS POINT, WI – The year was 1969. Richard Nixon was in the White House. Neil Armstrong was on the Moon. And revolution was in the air. In that backdrop, 500,000 young people gathered on a mid-August weekend in upstate New York for the promise of three days of peace and music. What they experienced at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was something far greater.
Celebrating “the greatest peaceful event in history,” Woodstock 50th Anniversary: Back to Yasgur’s Farm (Krause Publications) offers a dazzling and compelling front-row seat to the most important concert in rock history, an implausible happening filled with trials and triumphs that defined a generation.
Author and Woodstock attendee Mike Greenblatt brilliantly captures the power of music’s greatest performers such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Santana and the Who, while sharing stories both personal and audacious from the crowd of a half million strong who embraced not only the music but each other.
The book features a Foreword by Country Joe McDonald, whose rousing solo acoustic version of “The Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” was one of the most memorable performances at Woodstock. Readers will enjoy interviews with such rock icons as Graham Nash, Carlos Santana, Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, Country Joe McDonald, Edgar Winter, members of Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly & The Family Stone, Canned Heat, Sha Na Na, co-host Chip Monck, fans and countless others. In addition, all 32 performances at the festival are showcased.
Equal parts circus and surreal, Woodstock 50th Anniversary: Back to Yasgur’s Farm tells a transcendent tale of a musical and mythical moment in time.
Advance Praise for Woodstock 50th Anniversary
“Straight from a long-haired hippie who experienced all that Woodstock had to offer — the beauty, the mud, the music and the cultural eccentricities — Mike Greenblatt has carried Woodstock deep within his soul ever since. Fifty years later, he writes with charming alacrity about that weekend, his memory on fire, lighting up the personal details of what occurred at this once-in-a-lifetime communal concert event.
— Pat Prince, editor, Goldmine magazine
“Mike Greenblatt’s long-awaited debut book on Woodstock— filled with his own hilarious memories and impressive interviews and research— is fascinating and dazzling. It’s definitely the definitive book on the wild festival fifty years ago that rocked America.”
— Susan Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Lighting Up, Unhooked and The Byline Bible
About The Author
All Mike Greenblatt has done in life is listen to music and tell people about it, be it as a New York City publicist, editor or freelance journalist. It’s been five decades of chronicling rock ’n’ roll in all of its permutations. Whether sitting front row at Woodstock, flying with Hank Williams, Jr. in his private jet, driving around the Jersey Shore with Bruce Springsteen, getting angrily thrown against a backstage wall by Meat Loaf, or being locked in a dressing room with Jerry Lee Lewis threatening to kill him, Greenblatt’s voice has sung the praises of rock loud and long.
Greenblatt has interviewed Elton John, the Eagles (where he extemporaneously interviewed Joe Walsh at side-by-side urinals deep within the bowels of Giants Stadium), Paul McCartney, Blondie, The Allman Brothers, Waylon Jennings and hundreds of others.
He lives in Easton, Penn., with his music-teacher wife and their two rescue beagles.
Woodstock 50th Anniversary: Back to Yasgur’s Farm
By Mike Greenblatt
8 x 8, hardcover, 224 pages
List Price: $24.99
Available in July wherever good books are sold
For more information contact author Mike Greenblatt: Mikeg101@ptd.net;
610.253.9324; or contact Editorial Director Paul Kennedy at email@example.com/715.318.0372
Here's the link to Wes Britton's May 9 50 minute video interview with Jasveena R Prabhagaran of International Book Promotions:
Topics include: creative inspirations, the impact of blindness on Wes's writing, being an indy writer, the writing process, differences between non-fiction and fiction, and much more . . .
Horror, adventure, and sci-fi movie fans might like to hear about these titles from BearManor Media:
Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees for the 17th Annual Rondo Award Winners. Amongst those this year include two BearManor Media publications:
Book of the Year
The Dr. Phibes Companion by Justin Humphreys
In The Abominable Dr.Phibes (1971) and its sequel, Dr.Phibes Rises Again (1972), horror great Vincent Price starred asvaudevillian organist and super-genius Dr. Anton Phibes, architect of incredibly ingenious murders. Set in 1920s London and Egypt, their outstanding ArtDeco production design, absurd humor, and soaring romance made them hits,beloved by generations of horror fans.
‘When Danforth Ruled the Earth,’ by Mark Wolf, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #41.
Hammer Films had a huge hit when One Million Years B.C. was released in 1966. Sir James Carreras says "give me another one like that!" Out came the wonderfully colorful followup with well coifed cave people and Jim Danforth's Academy Award nominated Stop Motion Animation effects!
BearManor Media has also just added these Kindle Titles:
Drums of the Lost Gods
by Dan Leissner
Drums of the Lost Gods is a thrilling cliffhanger, set in South America, in the turbulent 1930s. An ill-assorted band of adventurers follows a nameless river into the sacred mountains and steaming jungles of a Lost World, in search of ancient civilizations and vanished cities of gold.
Who Framed Boris Karloff?
by Dwight Kemper
It is 1938 and there is murder afoot on the set of Son of Frankenstein. Boris Karloff has been framed for murder! He joins forces with Basil Rathbone, in full Sherlockian mode, and a gleeful Bela Lugosi. It's a case of the legends of horror meet the three stooges as our daring heroes search for a missing movie mogul and end up crossing swords with the Hollywood Mob.
by Anthony Ambrogio
Midnight Marquee Press, Inc. is pleased to introduce this volume that begins the "second phase" of Midnight Marquee Press’ acclaimed Actors Series. Having shone the spotlight on those titans of Golden and Silver Age horror (all American by birth or naturalization)—Lugosi, Karloff, Chaney, Jr., Price, and Lorre—Midnight Marquee now ventures into the Iron Age of Hammer (and British horror) with a collection examining the work of Peter Cushing.
Hell Hath No Fury Like Her: The Making of Christine
by Lee Gambin
Packed with interviews from director John Carpenter, screenwriter Bill Phillips, producer Richard Kobritz, stars Keith Gordon and Alexandra Paul, plus various members of the cast and crew including co-composer Alan Howarth and SFX artist Roy Arbogast, “Hell Hath No Fury: The Making of Christine” is a definitive look at the 1983 cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s terrifying novel about the eponymous demonic Plymouth Fury and the obsessive teenage boy who loves her.
If any of these books trip your trigger, find out more at:
The Blind Alien
By Wesley Britton
Reviewed by Marc Watson
I can not express enough how original and imaginative The Blind Alien is. The way the narrative weaves between different voices is completely flawless, and never once did I feel that it was just another story told by the same narrator. Each piece is unique and complex in it's own way, a feat that's hard to master.
Science Fiction / Fish out of Water stories have never been my strength, but after reading "The Beta Earth Chronicles" by Dr. Britton, I needed to find out more about this world. Science Fiction often gets wrapped up in its own babble and self-importance, which I never once got from this. Malcolm is a great, strong, sometimes flawed, and perfectly reasonable protagonist. He acts believably, and deals with things in a very human way once he's robbed of his sight and whisked away to another world. He's a great lead and a fantastic character to hang an entrance into this mythology around.
By Marc Watson
BearManor Media Announces a new book for horror film fans:
Bela Lugosi & The Monogram 9
By Gary D. Rhodes and Robert Guffey
Between 1941 and 1944, Bela Lugosi starred in a series of low-budget films released by Monogram Pictures. To many viewers at the time and during the decades that followed, the “Monogram Nine” were overacted and underproduced, illogical and incoherent. But their increasing age has recast such condemnations into appropriate praise: in the 21st century, they seem so different not only from modern cinema, but also from Classical Hollywood, enough so as to make the aforementioned deficits into advantages. The entries in the Monogram Nine are bizarre and strange, populated by crazy, larger-than-life characters who exist in wacky, alternative worlds. In nine films, the improbable chases the impossible. This book, in turn, chases them.
“Gary Rhodes has become my favorite nonfiction author, while the subject of some of his writings, Bela Lugosi, has long been one of my favorite actors. Now Gary has teamed up with co-author Robert Guffey to present, for the first time, a collection of in-depth and insightful essays evaluating those lesser ‘classics’ that comprise the so-called ‘Monogram Nine.’ If you are a Lugosi fan and also a fan of old ‘B’ horror films, you will love this book.” – Donald F. Glut, filmmaker, Marvel Comics writer, and author of The Empire Strikes Back novelization
“An extraordinary volume. Rhodes and Guffey refract these films through the lens of surrealism, detailed genre study, auteurist-informed close readings, star studies, and vigorous historicism to name a few of the kaleidoscope of methods employed. This book provides a breakthrough model for serious work on films that have to date received very little scholarly attention.” – Michael Lee, Ph.D. (University of Oklahoma), editor at the journal Horror Studies
Learn more at:
Other horror titles you might enjoy:
Bela Lugosi in Person
by Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger
The latest in a series of books by researchers extraordinaire Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger, Bela Lugosi in Person brims with new facts,figures, and never-seen photos documenting the actor’s scores of live public performances from 1931 to 1945, the era of his greatest fame. Three-act plays, vaudeville sketches, variety shows, and personal appearances are all chronicled at length, bringing new perspective to Lugosi’s life and career.
Robert Florey's Frankenstein starring Bela Lugosi
by Philip J. Riley
With the success of Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, Universal Pictures was quick to capitalize on creating a new Lon Chaney in Bela Lugosi. Chaney had been the original choice to portray a duel role as both Dracula and Professor van Helsing, Dracula's adversary. Before production could begin, Chaney died, suddenly leaving Carl Laemmle Jr. without a star.
No Traveler Returns: The Lost Years of Bela Lugosi
by Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger
In No Traveler Returns, Bela Lugosi scholar extraordinaire Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger provide a fascinating time travel journey back to the late 1940s/early 1950s, when Lugosi – largely out of favor in Hollywood – embarked on a Gypsy-like existence of vaudeville, summer stock, and magic shows.
Scripts from the Crypt: Ed Wood and the Lost Lugosi Screenplays
by Gary D. Rhodes, Tom Weaver, Robert Cremer, and Lee R. Harris
With trowel and brush in hand, noted film archaeologist Gary D. Rhodes excavates the cinematic sepulcher of Ed Wood's unproduced scripts for Bela Lugosi, The Vampire's Tomb and The Ghoul Goes West. Joining Rhodes on the expedition are pith-helmeted horror movie expert Tom Weaver, plus Lugosi's original biographer Robert Cremer.
The Classic Horrors Club Podcast:
EP 30: The Dr. Phibes Companion
Check out this interview with Justin Humphries, author of The Dr. Phibes Companion on The Classic Horrors Club Podcast.
Click here for Podcast:
Sign up to Wesley's mailing list and get his new sci-fi thriller for free.
Wesley sends out his newsletter just once a month and it 's always full of great offers, latest news, and giveaways. So sign up now and don't miss out on reading. It's Not About Death, It's About Fear.
Two authors, two versions of the same book in two exciting genres of fiction. Karen J Mossman and Karina Kantas present, Toxic.
Lexi isn't your normal Malok. She craves adventure and freedom from the mundane life forced upon her. 100 years ago, the first drop of acid rain fell. Maloks fled to the mountains, building a new way of life—a desolate life—a life Lexi knows all too well.
Lexi has a plan, her ticket out of this miserable existence, becoming a ranger. Aron, her partner, believes she’s not strong enough to fight alongside him. Lexi will stop at nothing, no matter what the danger, to achieve her independence, even if that means defying him.
Amidst everything, Marcus, Lexi’s childhood best friend makes a sudden return. Before she can rejoice in a reunion, her happiness is crushed when she sees Mae, the bully that had terrorized her in her teens. Marcus was aware of the mental abuse Lexi had suffered and yet the person she loved and the person she hated the most, stand before her, together.
“A powerful dystopian thriller that captures the heart and imagination”.
“I was fascinated by Stephanie Meyer’s book The Host, where people lived in mountains. This was a world I wanted to explore as a setting for Toxic. Living in a close environment as this, there has to be rules. Those rules don’t always have to be fair. This gave me scope to add intrigue and animosity between my characters.”
Karen J Mossman
Karen J Mossman comes from a family of journalists with her grandfather and uncle having been newspaper editors. Further back a 2x grandfather wrote for his local paper and also published a book based on those articles. Karen is the only one to go into fiction.
All Karen's books are in collections - The Decade Series, Electric Eclectic and Just Stories.' She is also a founder member of Electric Eclectic books and now has six in that collection.
Karen is also an avid blogger and book reviewer, "It's especially important to me to have feedback from my readers, so please leave a review when you have read one of my books."
Karen lives on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey off the North Wales coast with her husband and two dogs. She has two grown-up children, who were both born on the same day, two years apart.
Karina Kantas is the author of the popular MC thriller series, OUTLAW and the loved romantic fantasy duology, Illusional Reality.
She also writes short stories and when her imagination is working overtime, she writes thought-provoking dark flash fiction.
There are many layers to Karina's writing style and voice, as you will see in her flash fiction collection, Heads & Tales and in UNDRESSED she opens up more to her fans, giving them another glimpse into her warped mind.
When Karina isn't busy working on her next bestseller, she's a publicist, author manager and VA. She's also the host of the popular radio show, Author Assist on the Artist First Radio Network.
“A sensual, erotic read…Karina dares to figure out the nature of passion…thoughtful and thought-provoking.”
“It was a pleasure to read an erotic story that had an actual plot. The genre itself is probably the most misunderstood. The plot drives an erotic story and the sex just adds to the enticing nature of it. You've done a great job building a world for your reader. “
“Toxic is based in a future world where acid rain forces the people, the Maloks to build their cities inside mountains for protection. What is also amazing is this book has two versions, the romantic and the erotic. In both books the story focuses on a female Malok called Lexi, who is determined to become a Ranger and help society guard against the Outcasts. Only Lexi has little support, even from her own boyfriend, Aron. Mix in a childhood sweetheart, in the shape of Marcus, and the unexpected arrival of Mae, Lexi's childhood bully and things begin to get interesting. Toxic is the story of Lexi's determination to satisfy her ambitions, both professionally and personally. The Erotic Toxic tells the same story but delves deeper into Lexi's sexuality and passions. Whichever Toxic you chose, you find yourself living the fantasy.”
“Lexi,” greeted the young medic.
“Hey, Sha.” Lexi smiled.
She walked past Sha and sat down on a stool, took a sterile cloth, and wiped away the dead skin, causing her to take an intake of breath. No matter how many times she had been burnt there was no way to get used to that kind of pain.
As she reached for a jar of Dozax paste, Sha spoke. “You’ve been outside again, haven’t you?”
Lexi didn’t answer at first, as she felt the wonderful relief as the paste went to work, taking away the pain and healing the burn. The skin immediately started to regenerate and within moments all that was left on her hand was a green coloured dye, which would eventually fade. Still, Lexi needed to wear a patch that had a tiny spot of Dozax cream to complete the treatment. It was dangerous for any Malok to use Dozax in its pure form. Everything had to be diluted.
“You are such a strange Malok,” Sha said, shaking her head.
Lexi smiled. “I can’t help it. I’d go crazy if I was cooped up here forever.”
“Has your ranger training started?” Sha asked.
Lexi’s grin was wide. “Not yet. At the end of the week,” she answered, still not believing she had been accepted into the academy. “Okay, I’m done," she said and then jumped off the stool. “See you tomorrow.”
“Oh wait. You have four inoculations to do tomorrow.”
“Four?” Lexi questioned.
“Yes, some Maloks arrived last night with the new commander.”
“Oh, yes I forgot about Jow. So sad. He was nice as a commander, and so approachable and happy all the time, you know?”
“Yeah,” Sha agreed and then giggled. “Remember when he came and said he wanted to learn basic aid? Oh my, he was so funny.”
Lexi laughed as she remembered that day and how he always made her smile. “See even now, just thinking of the late commander makes us happy. He left a great legacy behind.”
“He sure did. Let’s just hope the new one can live up to that.”
“Okay, I’m off. See you tomorrow, Sha.”
“I will have the Dozax jabs ready for you in the incubator," Sha called.
“Super! Thanks,” Lexi mumbled.
Lexi still couldn’t get that sad day out of her mind. She even had to visit the Charmer to talk and get closure. The loss of Commander Jow was hard for everyone. A party of fifteen went out that day and only two returned. Lexi wished for peace every day, but the only way that would happen was if the Outcasts and the Maloks agreed to share.
She shook her head. Of course, that would never happen, she was kidding herself. Outcasts needed the Terra leaves to feed their addiction. Never mind that this amazing plant could cure pain, protect the body from germs, Illness and normal medical problems that come from age and a weary body. She couldn’t imagine how life used to be when young people would die, because they didn’t know the secret of the plant and the properties it possessed. So, sad, she thought, as she quickly made her way back to the residence she shared with Aron.
Everyone assumed that Lexi and Aron would marry and settle down. Her friends certainly thought so, and at the start, so did Lexi. Only now she had woken up, and the adventurous Lexi wanted so much more from life and becoming a ranger was a step in the right direction.
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20th-century historical MC romance
"Ms. Saccenti’s writing is compelling and lyrical. Her descriptive writing immerses the reader into the era, scene and story. The characters of Noémi’s Journey, (both main and secondary), are well developed. Her talented writing allows the reader to understand why the characters behave the way they do."
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