Mar
14
2015
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Vampires and demons! – Of Blood and Sorrow

Do you like vampires? Do you like demons? If you also like urban fantasy then this is a great read for you.

Erin might look like a human but she's part demon and works in a funeral home – how's that for an original setting? When a cadaver wakes up, surprised to find himself a vampire…. well, let's just say that things go from bad to worse. This book will keep you turning the pages to discover just how many types of demon walk among us, and some of them are bad-ass! As is the head-vampire-woman, and of course the book can't end without a confrontation with her! Great action. Great emotion! It's well-written books like this (And the author's 13th floor series) that are luring me into the urban fantasy genre.

 


OfBloodAndSorrow_medium

 

 

Erin Driscol works the perfect job consoling fellow demons by feeding off their grief at Putzkammer & Sons Funeral Home.

When fledgling vampire Nicolas Reese comes to Erin for help, she learns the truth behind the legends and hides him from his sire and the vampire hunters who seek him. But when the Putzkammers begin to die one by one, Erin is caught between her act of kindness and the need to save her adopted family. Only by facing her own personal demons can she stop the slaughter and still rescue Nicolas from his dark fate.

Buy Now: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords
Add on Goodreads


CRainsauthorpic3small

CHRISTINE RAINS

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She's married to her best friend and fellow geek living in south-central Indiana. They have one son who is too smart for his parents' own good and loves to pretend he's Batman. Christine has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not reading or writing, she's going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. (South Central Indiana Fiction Interface). She has several short stories and novellas published.  Of Blood and Sorrow is her first urban fantasy novel.

Connect with Christine: WebsiteBlog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

 

Feb
10
2015
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Polar Day, by Julie Flanders

Do you like suspenseful horror? Do you like vampires? Do you like Alaska?

Combine the two and you get a great couple of books by Julie Flanders. In 2013, she brought us Polar Night. Now, brand new last week, is the sequel, Polar Day. I've yet to read it, but I loved Polar Night, it was a real page turner! (Read my review of it.)

 

 

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"The midnight sun bakes Fairbanks, Alaska as residents gather for the annual summer solstice baseball game. Amidst the revelry and raucous shouts of “Play ball,” a spark alights and a jogger bursts into flames. Detective Danny Fitzpatrick, still reeling from his near death at the hands of vampire Aleksei Nechayev, watches in horror as the man burns alive.

Someone is burning Fairbanks and its residents and leaving nothing but smoldering embers behind. As the city sweats under a record-breaking heatwave and unexplained fires claim more victims, Danny and his colleagues struggle to find an arsonist who can conjure fire out of thin air.

To Danny’s horror, the only one who may be able to help him stop the arsonist is his nemesis Nechayev. Will the vampire help in the hunt for a witch?"

Buy on Amazon ~ Amazon Kindle ~ Barnes & Noble


JulieFlandersSigningJulie Flanders

Julie Flanders is a librarian by day and a writer all the rest of the time. She is also a television show addict with a particular fondness for Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and a slightly obsessive sports fan who cheers for the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Reds. Julie is an animal lover and animal rescue advocate who shares her home with her rescued dog and cat. She has written about the joys of pets for outlets such as Cat Fancy, Thrive in Life, and Best Friends Animal Society.

Website / Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads

 

Jan
12
2015
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Dice & Debauchery

I don't often feature erotica on my blog, but I want to recommend a geek-inspired book with more than a passing connection to D&D. My good friend, Christine Rains (member of our Untethered Realms group) has written Loose Corset, Book 1 of the Dice & Debauchery series. (Isn't that a great series title?) Continue reading for a post by Christine on how D&D inspired her, and her great giveaway.

 

 

LooseCorset_MSR

 

 

 

Dice and Debauchery, Book 1

A weekend away at a convention is exactly what overworked student Morgan needs. Dressed as her character from her favorite online game, Morgan is braced—seriously, could her corset be tighter?—to meet the other players. As Lady Gyrfalcon, she’s ready for everything—except her intense attraction to Dean. A clandestine meeting in the hallway of the hotel and Morgan’s corset is looser but now she can’t breathe for entirely different reasons.

Utterly charmed, Morgan decides to roll the dice and indulge in a fantasy-worthy weekend of sexy roleplaying, scorching sex and life-altering orgasms. Still, through it all Morgan is too smart to believe the chemistry constantly stripping her of costumes and control can last more than the length of the convention. But if she wants to keep a relationship so intense she thought it only existed in fiction, she’s going to have to let go of her cool-headed logic and allow herself to fall far and fast for the perfect guy.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Buy Now: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Ellora's Cave
Add on Goodreads


How Dungeons & Dragons inspired Christine:

I wish I could say I've been playing Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) since I was a kid, but I wasn't so lucky. My husband is that nerd. One of the first things I did when I met him was play D&D with him and his friends. I fell in love. With him and the game.

Since then, I've played countless hours as brave rangers, steadfast clerics, and wild berserkers. I have an awesome collection of dice and characters. I've sat down on solo quests, with a small group of good friends, and with large groups strangers at conventions. Never once have I been bored or disappointed. Even the most lame stories created by a Dungeon Master (DM) can be made fantastic by the players.

The game itself has aroused many stories in me, but it is the players that inspired my Dice & Debauchery series. These people hiding behind their game books and dice are some of the most fascinating and creative folks you'll ever meet.

I confess I like to be behind the DM screen. Not because I like to be in control – every DM knows that if they think they're in full control of the game, the players will remind you that you're not! – but because I love creating worlds and watching how the story unfolds as the players take on their quest. I'm a voyeur peeping over the top of my screen and eagerly awaiting to see what they will do when faced with the next challenge.

There are characters that run blindly into battle just wanting to hack and slash. Or those that check for traps every step. Don't forget the highly skilled that devise elaborate plans, and of course, those who go totally off-track and end up in a tavern demanding more ale.

I watch the people behind those characters. The geeks playing footsie under the table where they think their affections go unnoticed. The gamer who memorized all the rules but can't remember where he left his house key. The shy nerd who blushes when a guy smiles at her, but she becomes a fearless leader in the game.

Where are their stories? I want to read them. Books about gamer geeks are sadly few in number. So I wrote my own series.

D&D has inspired many writers over the years. Great fantasy tales fill bookshelves because of this incredible role-playing game.

Geeks are sexy. It's time for a story about the players.


Christine is giving away some cool prizes, including a personalized d6 dice: CRainsd6
a Rafflecopter giveaway


CRainsauthorpic3small

CHRISTINE RAINS

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She's married to her best friend and fellow geek living in south-central Indiana. They have one son who is too smart for his parents' own good and loves to pretend he's Batman. Christine has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not reading or writing, she's going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. (South Central Indiana Fiction Interface). She has several short stories and novellas published. The Dice & Debauchery series is her first contemporary erotic romance.

Connect with Christine: WebsiteBlog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

 

Oct
29
2014
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Halloween: Secret Keepers by Gwen Gardner

Gwen Gardner is author of the popular young adult Indigo Eady Paranormal “Cozy” Mystery series that began with Givin’ Up the Ghost. With Halloween approaching, I wanted to mention her latest ghostly book: Secret Keepers.

SecretKeepers-novella-3-Max
 

About Secret Keepers:

 In Second Death, Indigo and her team of sleuths escape the clutches of underground evil.

In Ghostly Gallows, Indigo and the gang managed to dodge the falling ruins and free those spirits trapped by the evil spell that bound them to Gallowsgate Prison.

Now in Secret Keepers, even though Indigo speaks to ghosties, there is so much about the afterlife she doesn’t understand. Such as…how can spirits be sick? They’re dead, for goodness sake! But once again Indigo is forced to go where she made it a point to never go: the hospital. There, the mystery of the sick and missing spirits explodes into a frenzied battle for souls where dawn may bring life or final death.

Indigo Eady:

Much to her chagrin, Indigo Eady is a celebrity among spirits. She’s the girl who can see and speak with them. She has a proven track record in helping spirits find their murderers, so it’s no surprise when she’s drafted onto the Missing Paranormal Committee. Who better to help them than the experienced teenage ghost whisperer- investigator and her friends?


Gwen explains her Excerpt

In honor of Halloween, I’m giving you a short excerpt from a chapter called Asylum. It’s a haunted hospital after all, and a lot of the book ending takes place there with the final showdown against the demons and dark spirits.

This scene is where Indigo, Badger and Simon are approaching the hospital for the first time. Councilman Diggles has become ill enough to be admitted (yes, he’s a ghost, and yes, apparently ghosts can get sick!), so they are going to brief him on the updates of their investigation into the missing paranormals.

Simon, as usual, is worried about the crazy…

 

We stared up at the gray and dilapidated building. It was almost like the village had shrunken in on itself, with all the abandoned buildings that sprang up around the edges of Sabrina Shores. Or maybe I had just never noticed them before. Stucco and plaster peeled and fell off in chunks. Four stories high, what was still standing, and every window broken, the jagged edges like monsters ready to take a bite.

I shivered.

Why did I always seem to be hanging out in broken down buildings lately? Look at the bright side, Eady. It’s better than being underground.

We approached the door. Oval shaped and shored up with metal strips riveted to the heavy wood, probably oak. The strips were once painted black according to the specks remaining. Now it was rusted and the door splintered.

Next to the door a sign hung sideways by one nail, squeaking slightly in the breeze. Simon lifted the loose side and read. “Belgrave Asylum.” He turned to me. “Oh great. The crazy potential just kicked up a notch. As if we didn’t have enough already, now we’re expected to enter the insane asylum?”

“Short answer?” I asked. “Yes.” I pushed on the door and it creaked open relatively easy. The boys and I stood just inside, our shadows standing before us while we waited for our eyes to adjust to the dark.


Gwen Gardner author photo (2)GWEN GARDNER

Gwen Gardner is a native Californian living in sunny San Diego, where her love of reading and writing led to a BA in English literature. Life is now complete with her husband, two dogs and a daily call from her daughter.

Since ghosts feature prominently in her young adult Indigo Eady Paranormal “Cozy” Mystery series, she has a secret desire to meet one face to face – but will run screaming for the hills if she ever does. Gwen adores travel and experiencing the cultures and foods of different countries. She is always up for an adventure and anything involving chocolate – not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Gwen here: Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Amazon / B&N

 Secret Keepers available here: Amazon / B&N / Google Play / iTunes

Sep
24
2014
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Rifters by M. Pax

Here’s a great new series you might want to read from M. Pax who wrote the classic sci-fi series Backworlds. The first book in the series, Rifters is free and the sequel, Initiate is only $1 right now. How can you go wrong?

theriftersWEB
 

“A junction erupts between the worlds.

The Gold Rush trickles to a fool’s quest and a string of stagecoach heists. In 1888, Earl Blacke decides to make a new start and become a better man. He escapes into the mountains, heading north. In the wilds of Oregon, a rift inside an ancient volcano opens and sends him into the future, into the present day. It also shaves forty years off his age, forty years to live over again and atone for what he’s done.

Starting over is hard to do. In current day New York, Daelin Long’s dream job at a publishing house goes the way of the dinosaurs her sister chases. With no money and nowhere else to go, Daelin accepts the librarian position in her sister’s dinky town in the middle of Oregon. Nestled inside ancient volcanic peaks, the town of Settler holds onto many secrets. Residents roam the streets with weirdly fashioned devices, and odd lights pulse in the night skies. People whisper of a phantom outlaw and start dying, murdered and missing their heads. On top of it all, Daelin’s sister is missing, and Daelin doesn’t know who to trust.

Earl knows more than he’s saying. He shares a notorious history with the phantom, one he’ll see remains buried. Keeping Daelin’s sister’s secrets is his only chance at redemption, and the only way to keep this world safe.”


My Review

What an imaginative ride! Rifters is a great start to a new series, continued in Initiate. It’s a bizarre mix of contemporary, western, paranormal and sci-fi with hints of steampunk, sort of. Certainly like nothing I’ve read. It’s a lot of fun with plenty of action and mystery. If you want something out of the ordinary then you’ll enjoy this.

It’s set in a sleepy Oregon town that is wonderfully brought to life and realistic, with plenty of odd but memorable characters. Just outside of town lurks a rift between worlds and time, through which emerges a nasty creature that delights in stealing people’s heads. A secret society exists in town to try to hold the inhabitants of the Rift at bay, and they have some curious technology to help them.


TheRiftersBook2 WEBgold


SONY DSCM. PAX

M. Pax is a Browncoat and SG fan, she’s also slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. In the summers she docents as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory where the other astronomers now believe she has the most extensive collection of moon photos in existence. No fear, there will be more next summer. She lives in stunning Central Oregon with the Husband Unit and two lovely, spoiled cats.

Website / Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads;

You can also find M. Pax on LinkedIN, Pinterest, YouTube, and Wattpad

 

Sep
04
2014
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Twisted Earths Anthology: Pre-order now

Our first Untethered Realms anthology Twisted Earths comes out October 14th. We had such fun putting it together. You can preorder it now from most retailers (links below).

TwistedEarths
Nine twisted stories from nine twisted worlds.

 

Here’s a cool offer: Preorder Twisted Earths and get your choice of an Untethered Realms’ authored ebook for free with proof of purchase. For proof of purchase, you can do a screenshot of where you ordered the book. Send this screenshot along with which ebook you’d like for free (our book list) and which ereader format, to untetheredrealms@gmail.com

 

Preorder at AmazonSmashwordsiTunes, and Google Play!

 

Preorderdeal

Contributing authors:

Angela Brown
River Fairchild
Gwen Gardner
M. Gerrick
Graeme Ing
M. Pax
Christine Rains
Cherie Reich
Catherine Stine


Twisted Earths is a collection of tales from Untethered Realms, a group of speculative fiction authors. The stories are as varied and rich as the types of soil on this and other planets—sandy loam, clay, knotted with roots and vines, dreaded paths through unexplored planets, and in enchanted forests, lit by candlelight and two moons.

M. Pax, author of the series, The Backworlds and The Rifters spins a tale called Patchworker 2.0. Specialists with digital interfaces are the only ones who can distinguish between biological energy and mechanical pulses, and “patch” AIs, which hold the world together. Patchworker Evalyn Shore meets up with an AI with deadly intent.

Cherie Reich, known for her epic fantasy series The Fate Challenges and The Foxwick Chronicles, presents Lady Death. Umbria, a beautiful and powerful swordsmith, is given an impossible task by her brother Leon when he asks, “You are the assassin. Are you scared to destroy Death when you are up to your elbows in it?”Angela Brown is the author of the paranormal Shadow Jumpers and NEO Chroniclesseries. In her story, In The Know, Jacob, a loyal family man is struggling to stay out of debt when he’s hired to report on big plans for a future Detroit. He’s given a mysterious manila envelope with instructions to “open it alone” or pay the price. With switchback twists you won’t see coming, a debt of a much steeper cost is what he just might end up paying for his involvement.Catherine Stine, author of the futuristic thrillers, Fireseed One and Ruby’s Fire, offers The Day of The Flying Dogs, a sinister tale of brilliant, troubled NYC high-school student, Theo. He experiences a day at Coney Island that includes drugs, delusions, a lonely capybara, Nathan’s hotdogs and a mind-bending lesson in our very twisted universe.

Christine Rains, known best for her paranormal series The Thirteenth Floor, gives us The Ole Saint, a story at once sweet, horrific and heartrending. Ezra longs to fit in and have boys stop calling him witch and freak, yet his unique supernatural skill sets him apart, and the last gift from The Ole Saint cinches the deal.

Graeme Ing, known for his young adult fantasy, Ocean of Dust presents The Malachite Mine, a gripping, scream-inducing ride. Whatever was Mary thinking when she accepted her husband’s gift of a most terrifying twenty-first birthday celebration in an abandoned Russian mine?

River Fairchild, author of her Jewels of Chandra series, presents A Grand Purpose. Rosaya and her cousin, Drianna are soon to be married off, but Rosaya is unhappy with her assigned match. She’s much more intoxicated by the older Firrandor, a wizard she hardly knows. When Rosaya is accused of killing an oracle boy, all bets are off, not only for her love, but her freedom.

Gwen Gardner, who pens the cozy paranormal mystery series, Indigo Eady, adds to her collection with Ghostly Guardian. Indigo and her rib-tickling ghost-busters must travel to a dangerous pirate-laden past in order to unearth a curmudgeonly eighteenth century spirit that is plaguing the Blind Badger Pub.

Misha Gerrick, whose War of Six Crowns series is forthcoming, gives us a story called Red Earth and White Light. Emily, a young ghost bride has long haunted a house. She longs to cross over into the afterlife, but she’s trapped in memories of lilies and betrayal.

Aug
17
2014
--

Twisted Earths Anthology: Coming Fall 2014

This Fall, our first Untethered Realms anthology comes out: Twisted Earths. We hope to do one a year for each of the four elements.

TwistedEarths
Nine twisted stories from nine twisted worlds.

Contributing authors:

Angela Brown
River Fairchild
Gwen Gardner
M. Gerrick
Graeme Ing
M. Pax
Christine Rains
Cherie Reich
Catherine Stine


Twisted Earths is a collection of tales from Untethered Realms, a group of speculative fiction authors. The stories are as varied and rich as the types of soil on this and other planets—sandy loam, clay, knotted with roots and vines, dreaded paths through unexplored planets, and in enchanted forests, lit by candlelight and two moons.

M. Pax, author of the series, The Backworlds and The Rifters spins a tale called Patchworker 2.0. Specialists with digital interfaces are the only ones who can distinguish between biological energy and mechanical pulses, and “patch” AIs, which hold the world together. Patchworker Evalyn Shore meets up with an AI with deadly intent.

Cherie Reich, known for her epic fantasy series The Fate Challenges and The Foxwick Chronicles, presents Lady Death. Umbria, a beautiful and powerful swordsmith, is given an impossible task by her brother Leon when he asks, “You are the assassin. Are you scared to destroy Death when you are up to your elbows in it?”Angela Brown is the author of the paranormal Shadow Jumpers and NEO Chroniclesseries. In her story, In The Know, Jacob, a loyal family man is struggling to stay out of debt when he’s hired to report on big plans for a future Detroit. He’s given a mysterious manila envelope with instructions to “open it alone” or pay the price. With switchback twists you won’t see coming, a debt of a much steeper cost is what he just might end up paying for his involvement.

Catherine Stine, author of the futuristic thrillers, Fireseed One and Ruby’s Fire, offers The Day of The Flying Dogs, a sinister tale of brilliant, troubled NYC high-school student, Theo. He experiences a day at Coney Island that includes drugs, delusions, a lonely capybara, Nathan’s hotdogs and a mind-bending lesson in our very twisted universe.

Christine Rains, known best for her paranormal series The Thirteenth Floor, gives us The Ole Saint, a story at once sweet, horrific and heartrending. Ezra longs to fit in and have boys stop calling him witch and freak, yet his unique supernatural skill sets him apart, and the last gift from The Ole Saint cinches the deal.

Graeme Ing, known for his young adult fantasy, Ocean of Dust presents The Malachite Mine, a gripping, scream-inducing ride. Whatever was Mary thinking when she accepted her husband’s gift of a most terrifying twenty-first birthday celebration in an abandoned Russian mine?

River Fairchild, author of her Jewels of Chandra series, presents A Grand Purpose. Rosaya and her cousin, Drianna are soon to be married off, but Rosaya is unhappy with her assigned match. She’s much more intoxicated by the older Firrandor, a wizard she hardly knows. When Rosaya is accused of killing an oracle boy, all bets are off, not only for her love, but her freedom.

Gwen Gardner, who pens the cozy paranormal mystery series, Indigo Eady, adds to her collection with Ghostly Guardian. Indigo and her rib-tickling ghost-busters must travel to a dangerous pirate-laden past in order to unearth a curmudgeonly eighteenth century spirit that is plaguing the Blind Badger Pub.

Misha Gerrick, whose War of Six Crowns series is forthcoming, gives us a story called Red Earth and White Light. Emily, a young ghost bride has long haunted a house. She longs to cross over into the afterlife, but she’s trapped in memories of lilies and betrayal.

Jan
21
2014
--

Cover Reveal: Reborn – by Cherie Reich

Cherie Reich is one of the super talented writers of Untethered Realms. On May 23rd this year, she releases the first book in an exciting new YA epic fantasy series: The Fate Challenges. Take a look at the gorgeous cover:

Reborn

To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.


Add it to your reading list on Goodreads, and check out Laura Sava, the artist of this fantastic cover. Here’s the full, wraparound cover for the print edition:

RebornPrint


CherieReichAuthorPicture

A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her ebooks include the horror series Nightmare, a space fantasy trilogy titled Gravity, and a fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms.

Her debut YA Epic Fantasy novel Reborn, book one in The Fate Challenges, will be released on May 23, 2014.

Contact Cherie: Website | Blog | Newsletter signup

Dec
05
2013
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The Vanished Knight by M. Gerrick

TheVanishedKnight200x300Misha Gericke is a fellow author in Untethered Realms. Back in October she published The Vanished Knight, a brand new fantasy. You might want to check it out or buy a copy for friends this holiday.

 

Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land…

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith’s realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine’s crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.

 Buy it on Amazon or Amazon UK


Misha

M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects.

She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.

If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com, Circle her on Google Plus or follow her on Twitter. If you’d like to see her writer-side (beware, it’s pretty insane), please feel free to check out her blog. You can also add The Vanished Knight on Goodreads.

Jul
15
2013
--

Excerpt from “The Ghost”

TheGhostblogtourbadgeSo you’ve probably heard me rave all this year about Christine Rains‘ paranormal series The 13th Floor. Though I’m not usually a reader of paranormal romance, these are among the best books I’ve read in 2013. Today I’m part of her blog tour marking the release of the final book in the series, The Ghost. Although each book is its own story and stands on its own merits, you probably want to go and read them from the beginning, especially as The Marquis is free!

Here is an excerpt from The Ghost, with inline comments from the author, rather like those Director voiceovers you get on DVD movies. Fun.

 

Setting up the scene: Chiharo and Jeremy find a spirit that survived an attack the monster that’s killing people in the building. They want to question the tortured spirit, but most of his essence is gone.

“Adam.” Chiharo whispered his named and then cleared her throat to say it louder. “Adam. It’s okay. It’s over.”

A portion of the mist swirled in her direction. His head? Did he hear her? (It took me a few days to come up with how this scene was going to go. A powerful ghost talking to a lesser ghost. How could I do it? I eventually decided to go with how it might be if a psychic were speaking with a spirit.)

“Adam.” All the books said to remind the spirit of who they were. Help them focus. “Adam Creel. We’re here to help you. My name is Chiharo. I used to live on the eighteenth floor. Two guys live there now. One burps a lot. Remember being in the elevator with him last week? He laughed when his burp echoed in it. You laughed with him as not to offend, but later you told your mom you thought it was gross.” (I thought humor like that might trigger a powerful memory in a teenage boy.)

The mist thickened slightly, forming a barely recognizable facial structure. The mouth moved. (Chiharo and Jeremy are fully formed ghosts. She’s in full color while Jeremy is less powerful and gray.)

“You’re doing it. Keep talking.” Jeremy urged her on and rested his hand on the small of her back.

The gesture took her out of the moment with Adam. The coolness of Jeremy’s palm and the imagined weight of it was immensely vivid. There was no open back to her dress, but it felt like skin on skin. Technically, there wasn’t flesh either. Just their energies mingling to form these impressions. It was far more sensual than she anticipated. (I loved writing the small things between Chiharo and Jeremy. Touches are so much more than simple touches between ghosts.)

“Chiharo. Are you okay?” Jeremy’s voice made her blink and brought her back to the situation at hand.

“Yes, fine. Just a bit unnerved.” A huge understatement! She held out a hand toward Adam. “It’s okay, Adam. Just focus on the words. You can speak. No one can hurt you now.”

The fuzzy shape of a teenage boy moved toward her. Not exactly floating, but something between that and crawling. A brumous limb shot out, and an icy chill claimed her hand.

“Something in the room! I couldn’t see it! I couldn’t hear it! It just had me, and I couldn’t get free. I fought so hard, but it had me. I couldn’t get away.” Adam’s cry sounded like the scratching of mouse trapped in a tin can. Tiny, squeaky, and frantic. “Help me, help me, help me!” (I had Adam speaking gibberish at first, but I didn’t like the way it sounded. There’s a portion of him still there, and he needs to get this message across to Chiharo. Language is ingrained to us and so I believe he could still talk so she understood him.)

“It’s all right. Adam. We’re here. The monster is gone.” Chiharo really hoped the fiend was gone. Fighting the urge to steal a look around the room, she kept her gaze upon Adam. “Do you remember anything? You didn’t see or hear a thing? No warning?”

“Nothing! It just suddenly had me. Please help me. Where’s my mom?” Adam blubbered. A lost little boy. Too young to die.

Chiharo’s chin quivered. “No one else is here. I’m sorry. It’s just us. We’ll take care of you. You’re safe now. Do you think you can get up?” (Chiharo is protective of the tenants of her building. She especially relates to Adam being an only child and a bit different from his peers.)

“Mom. I want my mom.” Adam didn’t move, but his grip became fiercer. “I can’t move. My legs. It ripped off my legs and drank me. It drank me!”

“It drank your blood?” Chiharo gasped.

“I knew it was that bastard vampire!” Jeremy whooped.

Chiharo nudged Jeremy with her elbow, not taking her eyes from Adam. “Tell us what happened so we can help you.”

“It drank me. Not my blood. Me!” Adam screeched. He said something more, but Chiharo couldn’t understand him. His anguish muddled his words. (I wasn’t sure how to put what the fiend did to Adam. It stole his essence, drained him of his being. I wanted to stick with something basic. Something a terrified boy could explain.)

“What did he say?” Jeremy poked her.

Chiharo threw him a stern look. She knew he wanted it to be Kiral. Just another reason to hate his murderer, but she wasn’t going to let him have it. “Adam said it drank him, not his blood. I don’t know what it means. He’s not making much sense. You can’t hear him?” (It’s not a secret that Kiral killed Jeremy five years ago. Before Kiral changed and sought out his redemption. Jeremy thinks the monster killing people could be Kiral, but Chiharo is certain it’s not.)

“Nothing. I can see his smoky lips flapping, but it’s like having the TV on mute.”

Her contact with Adam’s hand must’ve given her the channel to speak with him. The new ghost had no form now. The trauma was too fresh. Adam needed time and that was something none of them had.

“I don’t think he’s going to be able to tell us anyth—” A bright flash of light cut her off. She held up an arm to cover her eyes. Spots danced behind her lids. Jeremy cursed beside her.

When Chiharo could see again, there wasn’t a trace left of Adam’s spirit. Not one wispy strand.

“Dammit! He went into the freakin’ light.” (This part wasn’t something I planned. It happened as I wrote the story. I love being a pantser! Chiharo and Jeremy briefly talk about the light, but neither of them ever saw the light. I don’t get overly philosophical. I deleted a few paragraphs so it wouldn’t be. Perhaps if the situation weren’t dire, they might have a long talk about the afterlife. As it is, they have much more important things to worry about!)

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About The Ghost:

Chiharo Black lives with six supernatural tenants in a haunted building’s mysterious thirteenth floor. Of course, no one knows she’s there except the cats. Being a ghost can be a bit frustrating and lonely, but it isn’t as bad as her mother made it out to be.

Until another ghost intrudes on her territory. Jeremy Emerson wants revenge on the vampire that killed him and won’t stop until he has it. To top it off, a nightmarish shade sneaks in and leeches the energy from the building’s residents before setting its sights on Chiharo and the thirteenth floor. She can’t decide which one is more frightening: the one wanting to eat her soul or the one who might win her heart.

Chiharo must convince Jeremy to stand with her against the hellish parasite. If they cannot work together, the greedy fiend will not only drain their energy but everything that supports the thirteenth floor’s existence.


Christine Rains

ChristineauthorsmallChristine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. Christine is a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. She has twenty-one short stories and eight novellas published.

Contact Christine via her Website, Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter as @CRainsWriter


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