Fantasy Portal Feature of the Week: The Seedbearing Prince, Part I by DaVaun Sanders!

I’m a little late on this post (sorry everyone!), but it’s a good’un! As a reminder, every Monday this month, and on behalf of The Fantasy Portal GoodReads Book Club, I’ll be featuring each Fantasy Portal author and his / her work, so that you can get a deeper look at the writer, his process, and the world that he’s built!

Next up? DaVaun Sanders and his INCREDIBLE epic fantasy, The Seedbearing Prince, Part I!

The Seedbearing Prince: Part I

davaunbookpic2Dayn Ro’Halan is a farmer’s son sworn to a life of plowing on his homeworld, Shard. After finding a lost artifact called a Seed, he’s thrust into an ancient conflict between voidwalkers of the hated world Thar’Kur, and Defenders from a floating fortress called the Ring.

Dayn must become a Seedbearer and learn to use the Seed’s power to shape worlds before the entire World Belt is lost.

Excerpt from “The Seedbearing Prince”

The Seedbearing Prince, Part I: Prologue

The torrent shifted again, and a thousand shards of onyx flashed to fire as Corian swept through a roiling field of ice and stone. The sheath on his worn black armor held, but would not last much longer. The stream of rock in the space between the worlds drifted slower here, and boasted several floating mountains large enough to hold a layer of air. Green ferns covered the surface of the nearest, providing plenty of cover. Corian was tempted to stop and rest, but crater wolves likely roamed in such thick foliage. The entire World Belt hung on the message he bore to the Ring, and he could rest after his task was done.

A field of red granite stretched in the space above him like the bizarre clouds of some nightmare, the individual boulders careening off each other by the hundreds. Only the hardest minerals and metals endured the endless pounding of the rock flow, and only the most foolish men would brave such a swath of torrent. They were moving the direction he needed to go, into the flow where the rock moved fastest. In the torrent, speed kills, he reminded himself. He was the best courser among the Ring’s Guardians, but the rock never cared.

Corian deftly attached a new talon to what remained of his silver wingline, then heaved it. The metal hook took hold, his wingline snapped taut, and the boulder yanked Corian into the flow. He repeated the process, each time roping a boulder moving faster, until his last guide rock pulled him along at hundreds of spans a second. A layer of white frost appeared on his armor and mask in a blink. He reeled himself in and clung to the red surface, like a flea riding a river bison in the middle of a stampeding herd. He watched every direction at once from his perch, digging his gauntlets into the crumbling surface. The boulder was actually some ancient rusted metal, not granite as he first thought. The torrent here was so thick he could barely see the stars, and it filled his ears with a distant roar.

He sped along this way for some time, until he spied a pockmarked mass of stone and iron, large as a dwarf moon. A cleft right down the middle threatened to split the entire thing in half. A tower in the northern axis had seen more than its fair share of rust, but the light strobing from it pulsed regularly, illuminating the smaller rocks orbiting around it. As a whole, the wayfinder was ugly and old, but the mass of rock was the most blessed sight Corian could imagine after a week of surviving the torrent’s attempts to grind him to powder.

His next wingline took him closer. If the wayfinder was powered as well as he suspected, he could use the array inside it to find out where he was in the torrent, and see how close the Ring lay. He might even find food and water, if peace favored him. A fellow Guardian must stop here often for such an old wayfinder to be this well preserved, he thought.

Smaller debris pelted the wayfinder’s old crust, disintegrating in flashes of light. The surface shone with hundreds of impacts, large and small. Corian chose a crater near the old tower, perhaps seventy spans deep with high walls that would offer good angles to slow himself as he approached.

As he prepared to throw out another talon, dark shapes poured from the wayfinder’s cleft. He stared for a moment, incredulous. There could be no crater wolves on a wayfinder, with no game to hunt, unless they were marooned after striking some other erratic in the torrent. No, those shapes moved with a military precision, more lethal than the deadliest pack. He could see them clearly now, massive men covered in black. “No. Not here!” Corian barely recognized his own weary voice.

The voidwalkers had seen him. A pinprick of light shone on the wayfinder’s surface, brighter than the tower’s regular strobe. He eyed it mistrustfully as he searched for a place to throw his next wingline and change his momentum. He spotted a tumbling boulder half covered with ice, moving away from the wayfinder too fast.

The light near the voidwalkers flashed. A beam of energy rushed into Corian’s path, hot as molten steel. A lifetime of coursing experience kicked in, and he curled his legs up until his knees touched his ears, rolling forward. The strange fire passed underneath him by less than a span. He could feel the heat of it through his protective layer of sheath. The beam burned past, and slammed into a rock fifty spans away. The tumbling boulder barely even slowed in its course, but the spot where the weapon struck—for there was no question that is what it was—glowed red hot at the edges. The glistening center had cooled quick as glass.

Another pinprick of light. He twisted around in the weightlessness of the void to point his feet back toward the wayfinder and make himself a smaller target. It did no good. The beam rushed straight at him, and his world turned red with pain.

An impact jarred him awake. Another. Corian opened his eyes. I’m much too cold. The voidwalker weapon had burned away his sheath. Layers of his black armor were peeling away from the metal plates like paper curled in a fire. He had been caught in a tangle of purple-rooted vines intertwined in a mile long cluster of the floating rock, what Jendini coursers called a knotted forest. The roots were nearly hard as stone in places. Dusty old bones from animals Corian did not even recognize littered the tangles. Debris from the torrent stretched around the forest in every direction, and errant stones pelted the mass of vines, which he immediately recognized. Courser’s nap, the whole forest is covered with it.

Corian reached into a compartment on his armored belt and removed his last flask of sheath. He applied the clear liquid to his ruined armor in quick, smooth motions, not leaving one inch exposed. The sheath locked together in small patches of light, and his body’s heat immediately began to warm the interior of the invisible, protective barrier. Once the sheath was gone, his armor would not prevent the smallest pebble from killing him, if one struck him moving fast enough. For the first time, Corian considered that he may not survive.

This was to be his last circuit as a Guardian for the Ring, and he held the hope that he would look into his grandchildren’s eyes back on Jendini now that his service was finished. Yet his duty hung over him, heavier than ever. In the distance he could see the world of Shard, verdant and green just beyond the torrent’s chaos. His resolve hardened.

He slipped a speechcaster into his mouth and began to speak as he worked himself free of the tangled vines. The small wafer could hold his words in secret for a few days, should things go badly here.

“I am Corian Nightsong, a Guardian of the Ring. There are Thar’Kuri warriors on the world of Nemoc. The voidwalkers have built a device that allows them to…teleport themselves at will through the Belt. They are gathering in numbers, preparing for an attack. There are captives from all over the worlds imprisoned on Nemoc. The voidwalkers have weapons unlike anything known from the Ring. They use energy and can attack over great distances. They must have been made in the age before the Breach.

 If you knew where to look for this message, you must deliver it with all haste to Force Lord Adazia on the Ring. The worlds all depend on you, for I have failed them.” The admission filled Corian with bitterness, but he forced a strength he no longer felt into his words. “My sons and daughters live in Denkstone, on Jendini. Tell them…their father served well.”

One of the vines tangled around his torso began to quiver. Corian looked down, fearing a leaf, but instead he saw a voidwalker, climbing toward him. Corian was tall, but the hulking brute easily overtopped him by a head. His glistening black armor looked as if it were melted to his frame, and covered him from head to toe save two dark slits for his eyes. The vines broke like dried mud in the voidwalker’s grasp.

Corian began to climb, scrambling further into the vines. He did not bother to draw his sword, the voidwalker would overpower him in moments if they were to fight.

“So afraid of an old courser?” Corian shouted. He pulled at every vine in his path as he fled, but most of them were stiff and gray. Living vines of the courser’s nap were purple and sticky, but the true danger lay with the leaves.

The voidwalker’s gravelly voice called to Corian, cold as an orphan’s gravestone. “Come to me, degenerate.”

Corian drew his sword, and began slashing his way through the vines. They sparked as his blade struck, but gave way. He leapt through an open space nearly ten spans across. The voidwalker followed without hesitation. So strong. Corian knew the brute meant to take him alive. He could not allow that.

He landed on a solid gray swath, fleshy beneath his feet. He rolled and lunged just as the leaf stirred. A row of spikes slipped out of the edges, thick as Corian’s leg and sharp enough to cleave a horse in two. Corian barely cleared them. The voidwalker was not so lucky. His momentum carried him right into the center of the carnivorous plant, which enveloped him with a twist of blue-veined leaf. Steam issued from the folds near the plant’s edges as it fed.

More pods of the courser’s nap were coming to life, enlivened by the voidwalker’s screams. Corian avoided the leaves wherever they stirred. He climbed and lunged and dived through the vines, soon pulling himself to the edge of the knotted forest. Pure torrent lay before him, an endless landscape of chaotic rock. There was no clear flow in any direction, the individual boulders in the skyscape crashed into each other in a hundred shattering impacts. I’ll leap blind and pray that my sheath holds.

Another voidwalker tore himself out of the vines a few spans away. Peace, but look at the size of him! The voidwalker’s armor looked as chewed up as the oldest rocks of the torrent, endless dents and scratches plastered the black surface.

“I’ve enjoyed hunting you, degenerate.”

Another courser’s leaf reared up behind the voidwalker as he lumbered toward Corian. The leaf lunged and took the voidwalker up, curling round and round as the folds of leaf tightened. Corian allowed himself a moment of elation, but it was short lived. A pale hand appeared on the side of the courser’s nap, and bright green fluid poured out. The leaf whipped back and forth, emitting a piercing shriek as the voidwalker pulled it apart piece by piece from the inside. Corian needed to see no more. He leaped, and prayed the torrent would show him mercy.

You can get the Seedbearing Prince, Part I as a part of a four-book Fantasy Portal Box Set for just 99 cents!

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Also, Enter our GoodReads Giveaway where you can get The Fantasy Portal for FREE in paperback!

That’s four weighty, kick-ass tomes for you to add to your physical book shelves.

The giveaway is running from August 15 – November 12, 2014.

There are only FIVE paperback bundles available, so enter as soon as you can!

Want even more from DaVaun?

If you were totally addicted to the Seedbearing Prince, Part I in The Fantasy Portal, then I KNOW you’re itching to read the rest of it! But wait, there’s more! 🙂 Yes, yes, ya’ll he’s got even more stuff fresh off press and coming through the creative pipeline, so check it all out below!

davaunbookpicThe Seedbearing Prince, Part II

Disaster strikes when the young Seedbearer destined to save the World Belt is captured by voidwalkers. Certain that all is lost if Dayn Ro’Halan is killed, the Ringmen Lurec and Nassir set out to rescue him.

If he’s to escape and defeat the voidwalkers for good, Dayn must accept the Belt’s most terrible secret—before the voidwalker leader Raaluwos succeeds in twisting Dayn’s own power against him.

MORE OF DAVAUN’S WORK

Check out DaVaun Sanders Amazon Author Page to get The Seedbearing Prince, Part II, The Lesser Repository, and other future works!

About DaVaun Sanders

DavaunpicDaVaun Sanders has resided in Phoenix, Arizona since 2002, where the local spoken word community fostered his passion to pursue writing novels and screenplays. “The Seedbearing Prince” began as a dream vivid enough to play like a movie trailer. Deciding to write the debut novel took some time, as it wasn’t part of “The Plan,” but the housing market collapse forced DaVaun’s small design firm under in 2008. He eventually decided to step away from architecture and plunge into writing full-time, and is loving every minute as an indy publisher.

The Seedbearing Prince: Part I has reached as high as #1 on Amazon’s genre lists for Science Fiction and Epic Fantasy and is a perennial favorite in the top 100 downloads. DaVaun’s screenplay “Vault of Souls,” won the Grand Prize in Phoenix Comicon’s 2014 Short Script Competition.

DaVaun is currently hard at work editing Dayn Ro’Halan’s latest adventure, “The Course of Blades,” the third of six books in the World Breach series. Follow him on Twitter @davaunwrites or like on Facebook for updates and giveaways!

CONNECT WITH DAVAUN AT:

His WEBSITE & BLOG
His FACEBOOK Profile

His TWITTER
His INSTRAGRAM
His GOOGLE+ Page
His GOODREADS Page

Brave New Souls: Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers of the 21st Century

BRAVENEWSOULS LOGO DVDAs a part of the running theme of #WeNeedDiverseBooks month, I’m delighted to present an eye-opening documentary about the amazing and arduous journeys of successful Black creators through the comic, publishing, tv, and film industries. The documentary is called “Brave New Souls: Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers of the 21st Century”.

The producer and filmmaker, Brandon Easton, thought it was about time to shed light on how creators of colors are actively building a counter-narrative against the presiding stereotypes that African Americans do not read, write, or create works within a sci-fi and fantasy context.

Check out the BRAVE NEW SOULS documentary today, and have your world expanded!

About the “Brave New Souls” Documentary

BraveNewSoulsDVDcoverThis documentary explores the thoughts, goals and inspirations of a new generation of Black creators in graphic novels, television, cinema, literature and digital media. Producer / director Brandon M. Easton wanted to shine much-needed light on new Black writers whose contributions and market awareness have been buried under the onslaught of the myriad of entertainment options in the 21st century.

Brandon also wanted to provide a window into their creative process and expose both aspiring writers and potential fans to incredibly imaginative, witty and sophisticated storytelling that challenges your perception of reality.

Brave New Souls explores the various creative industries and their spearheads through 8 compelling chapters:

Chapter 1: Inspiration — 2:46
Chapter 2: Breaking In — 7:01
Chapter 3: The Politics of Being a Black Creator — 10:14
Chapter 4: Starting a Business — 17:48
Chapter 5: Where Are the Fans? — 24:30
Chapter 6: The Industry — 33:01
Chapter 7: Writing for Rookies — 48:05
Chapter 8: The Future of Black Speculative Fiction — 54:30

Check Out the Awesome Trailer for Brave New Souls!

BUY Brave New Souls TODAY!

Get your copy for just $7.99 at GumRoad by clicking the logo below:

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And it’s also coming soon on Amazon Instant Video!

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About Brandon

BrandonEastonprofileBrandon M. Easton is a professional writer, screenwriter, and educator based in Los Angeles, CA. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Easton is a graduate of Ithaca College and Boston University’s prestigious Screenwriting program. With over fifteen years of experience, Brandon has penned articles for the Boston Herald, Crashpad Magazine, and a variety of other publications. After teaching in NYC public schools for six years, he decided to go for his screenwriting dreams in Hollywood and eventually scored a writing gig on Warner Bros. newThunderCats TV series and Hasbro’s new show Transformers: Rescue Bots.

Brandon produces a popular podcast titled Writing for Rookies – the only show dedicated to comic book and Hollywood scriptwriters. His published work includes Arkanium and Transformers: Armada for Dreamwave Productions, a column for Blacksci-fi.com, and Shadowlaw, his newest major project that was released in January 2012 to much acclaim and an immediate sell-out from Arcana/Platinum Studios.

Shadowlaw garnered coverage in publications/outlets like USA Today, Wired, Forbes and Ain’t It Cool News. Easton has been named the new writer of the international franchise Armarauders as well as a guest writer for the new Watson and Holmes comic series. In 2012, Easton signed a multi-graphic novel writing deal with LION FORGE COMICS, a new transmedia company debuting in April, 2013.

Easton recently won the 2013 GLYPH AWARD for BEST WRITER because of his work on the Shadowlaw graphic novel.

In 2014, Easton was nominated for five GLYPH AWARDS for his work on the WATSON AND HOLMES comic book series as well as the MILES AWAY original graphic novel. In May 2014, Easton won three Glyph Awards: STORY OF THE YEAR, BEST WRITER and the FAN AWARD.

He was also nominated for an EISNER AWARD for his work on Watson and Holmes issue #6 for BEST SINGLE ISSUE in 2014.

CONNECT WITH BRANDON AT:

His TWITTER
His BLOG
His IMDB Page

Four Kick-ass Authors, Four Worlds of Wonder. Enter The Fantasy Portal!

fantasyportal3DfinalcoverNearly 1,000 pages of fast-paced urban, epic, paranormal, and romantic fantasy!

Get four epic stories by four amazing fantasy authors, all in one bundle, for over 85% off! Limited time offer!

If you’re looking for wild rides with vampire clans, otherworldly heroes, alchemists, and ghosts hunters, then step into the Fantasy Portal and be transported into four worlds of wonder! Don’t miss out on this thrilling, four-book collection of urban & epic fantasy, paranormal romance, and paranormal mystery from four emerging fantasy & paranormal fiction authors:

Brandon Hill – From Slate to Crimson (Paranormal Romance)
Colby R Rice – Ghosts of Koa, Volume I of II (Urban Fantasy)
DaVaun Sanders – The Seedbearing Prince: Part I (Epic Fantasy)
Rasheedah Prioleau – American Specter: The Seven Sisters (Paranormal Mystery)

AVAILABLE NOW AT THE FOLLOWING RETAILERS:

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WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE SOON AT:


What You’ll Get!


From Slate to Crimson, by Brandon Hill (Paranormal Romance)

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Talante, for 10,000 years has governed his clan like a father in the endless war with their hated enemy over the fate of humankind. One winter’s night, he chances to meet Amelia Grayson, a human whose blood arouses his desire, and whose presence arouses his compassion in a way no mortal ever has before.

Distracted and terrified by all but alien emotions and instincts by this burgeoning bond in a prelude to what may be his clan’s most desperate hour, Talante is caught between duty and desire, until he is forced by choice and circumstance to decide whether to hold to the one he has grown to love more than his immortal life, or in spite of the cost, let go for the sake of his people and Amelia’s safety, in spite of twofold danger: one from a ravenous enemy that has hunted her kind for millennia … and the other from the seductive bond that would make her forever his, body and soul.


Ghosts of Koa, Volume I of II, by Colby R Rice (Urban Fantasy)

The Taken, Ghosts of Koa: The First Book of Ezekiel, VOLUME I of IIFor over one hundred years the Civic Order and the Alchemic Order have held a shaky truce, peppered by violence and mistrust. But when Koa, a Civilian-born insurgency, bombs an Alchemist summit, the truce is shattered. Now, Koa is rising. War is coming. And all sixteen-year-old Zeika Anon can do is keep moving as she watches the lords of alchemy slowly overtake her home.

But when clashes between Koa and the Alchemic Order put a final, deadly squeeze on the remaining Civilian territories, Zeika finds herself in the crosshairs of fate. She must walk the line between survival and rebellion against the Alchemists. On one side of the line awaits death. On the other, the betrayal of her civilization, her loyalties, and herself.
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The first volume in THE BOOKS OF EZEKIEL decalogy, GHOSTS OF KOA is a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic survival tale, set in the streets of a dying city that has been crushed by alchemic law. Layered with the elements of gritty crime drama, dark urban fantasy, hard sci-fi, and horror, GHOSTS OF KOA is a wild ride to the end of a young girl’s sanity as she struggles with an impossible choice: to keep one step ahead of a war… or to be consumed by it.

CONTENT WARNING – Contains coarse language, intense violence, adult / suggestive themes, and aberrant behavior. Reader discretion is advised.


The Seedbearing Prince: Part I, by DaVaun Sanders (Epic Fantasy)

davaunbookpic2Dayn Ro’Halan is a farmer’s son sworn to a life of plowing on his homeworld, Shard.

After finding a lost artifact called a Seed, he’s thrust into an ancient conflict between voidwalkers of the hated world Thar’Kur, and Defenders from a floating fortress called the Ring.

Dayn must become a Seedbearer and learn to use the Seed’s power to shape worlds before the entire World Belt is lost.

 


American Specter: The Seven Sisters, by Rasheedah Prioleau (Paranormal Mystery)

americanspecterrasheedahprioleauAudra Wheeler has been haunted for the last thirteen years by a paranormal attack that left her adopted sister, Kendra, in a coma. Mentored by FBI Assistant Director Jonathan Cordero to investigate specter crimes, Audra believes she’s on the trail of a serial killing specter with a mode of operation much like her sister’s attacker. The trail leads her to a small town in Georgia called Specter. Specter has become a haven to ghosts who have crossed back over and exist among the living. For better or worse she also finds herself working with the town’s Sheriff, Ethan Cole, her ex-partner and old flame.

With a chip on her shoulder and a strong dislike of specters, Agent Wheeler has a hard time adjusting to the ever-present state of specters until the latest victim, Gwyneth Miller, comes back as one. When specter Gwyneth Miller is adamant that it was not a specter that killed her, Audra Wheeler finds herself opening up the twenty-five year old cold case of the town’s most notorious unsolved homicide, the murder of Abigail Stevens, who just happens to be Gwyneth Miller’s biological mother.

NEW RELEASE: Ghosts of Koa Audiobook is OUT! Free Promo Copies Available!

GhostsofKoaAUDIOCOVERFINALNarrated by the talented Michael T. Bradley, check out this heart-pounding, dual-volumed urban fantasy thriller in audiobook form!

DESCRIPTION

BOTH EXCITING VOLUMES of Ghosts of Koa, The First Book of Ezekiel! 

For over one hundred years the Civic Order and the Alchemic Order have held a shaky truce, peppered by violence and mistrust. But when Koa, a Civilian-born insurgency, bombs an Alchemist summit, the truce is shattered. Now, Koa is rising. War is coming. And all sixteen-year-old Zeika Anon can do is keep moving as she watches the lords of alchemy slowly overtake her home. 

But when clashes between Koa and the Alchemic Order put a final, deadly squeeze on the remaining Civilian territories, Zeika finds herself in the crosshairs of fate. She must walk the line between survival and rebellion against the Alchemists. On one side of the line awaits death. On the other, the betrayal of her civilization, her loyalties, and herself.

EXCERPT

[cjtoolbox name=’Ghosts of Koa Audiobook excerpt’ ] [/cjtoolbox]

 

NOW AVAILABLE ON AUDIBLE, AMAZON, AND ITUNES!

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Just enter the Rafflecopter contest below for a chance to win a FREE PROMO COPY of the ENTIRE audiobook! Don’t wait, they’ll go super fast! No purchases necessary!

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Check out this HOT Erotic Paranormal Romance Series, ONE WARLOCK’S LOVE STORY!

Ready for a revolution in paranormal romance? Then check out the One Warlock’s Love Story series, where warlocks, conspiracies, vampires, and bisexual shape shifters take us on a wild ride into a world of intrigue and magic!

All Knight Long: One Warlock’s Love Story

ShadWalkerbook1In a world where shape shifters are openly bisexual, vampires have insatiable sex drives, and warlocks emit pheromones, warlock Zander Knight struggles to make sense of his own strict upbringing. Everything in Zander’s world changes the night he decides to break the rules and meet his on-line chat buddy, Giovanni Nugent, at an underground supernatural nightclub called Club Arcane. Suddenly, he finds himself face to face with a magical conspiracy, a huge family secret, and the most handsome man he’s ever seen.

Zander’s night of drinking and partying comes to a screeching halt when the club is attacked and several magicals are abducted and murdered. Zander is catapulted into the middle of a quest to find who or what is killing supernaturals, while sorting through his feelings for a fearsome shape shifter prince named Tau Long.

Born into a conservative magical family, Zander decides not to tell them he’s gay. Unfortunately, Zander isn’t the only one in his family keeping secrets. This is more than just one warlock’s love story — this is a supernatural adventure.

Check Out “All Knight Long’s” Sexy Book Trailer!

Interested? Here’s a sultry excerpt!

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The club was huge, and every inch seemed packed with writhing and wiggling bodies. Zander’s heart rate increased as the ruby went white hot against his skin.   It was so hot, in fact, that he took it off and stuffed it into his pocket. Men were dancing with men, women were dancing with women, vampires were dancing with shifters, and shifters were dancing with witches. Zander noticed that the dances that they were doing were nothing like the ones that he and his mortal friends did back at his old high school dances.   Someone howled behind them, and Zander jumped.

“Let’s go get a drink! Maybe that will loosen you up,” Giovanni laughed. Zander could barely hear him over the club music. Giovanni grabbed Zander’s hand and pulled him through the thrashing crowd toward the bar. Hands grabbed at every part of Zander’s body as they made their way through. He kept checking to make sure that his necklace, ID, and cash were still in his pocket.

The bar was at the other end of the club, furthest away from the DJ and dance floor, so it was just a little bit easier for Zander to hear.

“This shit is crazy!” Giovanni yelled.

“That is an understatement,” Zander sighed. The bar, like the rest of the club, was crowded, but Giovanni wasn’t shy about shoving his way up toward the front. A young, warlock bartender with shoulder length, blond hair immediately noticed them.

“Love and light,” he said, acknowledging Zander and Giovanni with the traditional warlocks’ greeting. They both responded with, “Blessed be.”

“My name is Milo. What are two little ripe warlocks like yourselves doing in a place like this?”

“Milo, my name is Giovanni, and this is Zander. We are here celebrating my friend’s eighteenth birthday,” Giovanni said. Zander smiled.

“No wonder you are so ripe. You just turned eighteen. You two had better not stand in one place for too long. You might get felt up in here,” Milo teased.

“Where does the line start?” Giovanni asked, and Milo laughed. Just then, the tall, slim, Asian vampire from the line slid up behind Giovanni.

“Bartender, these drinks are on me,” he said, pointing to Giovanni and Zander.

“We don’t know you,” Giovanni said, coyly.

“You don’t know me yet,” the vampire corrected. He looked to be around twenty-five in human years. He had a model’s swagger, a swimmer’s build, and he oozed of sensuality.

“I’m Giovanni and this is my friend, Zander.   It’s his birthday,” Giovanni announced again.   The vampire gave Zander a polite look and moved closer to Giovanni.

“My name is Hung,” he said.

“Really?” Giovanni raised an eyebrow.

“Hung is Vietnamese for spirit of a hero,” he explained.

“Oh, I thought it was vampire for you have a big dick,” Giovanni said.

“That, too.” Hung smiled, staring at the pulsing jugular in Giovanni’s neck.

“What are you having?” Milo interrupted, from behind the bar.

“I’ll have a Bloody Mary — type O,” Hung said.

“Give us Hennessy and hemlock,” Giovanni said. Hung paid, and Milo poured the drinks and slammed them on the counter. Giovanni gulped down his drink before Zander could properly thank Hung. Hung whispered something in Giovanni’s ear, and Giovanni turned to Zander.

“I’m going to go dance with Hung. Stay here. I’ll be right back,” Giovanni assured him. He was gone before Zander could object. Zander turned toward Milo, who was giving him a sympathetic smile.

“I’ll watch you until your friend gets back. Your next drink is on me since it’s your birthday,” Milo winked. Zander couldn’t tell if it was pity or flirting, but it didn’t matter. He would take either at this point.   Zander reached into his pocket to find that the stone was even hotter. So hot, in fact, that it was starting to burn his leg. He reached up to the bar, grabbed a few napkins, wrapped the ruby necklace several times, and stuffed it back in his pocket.

Zander could see Giovanni grinding his fat little ass on Hung’s dick in the center of the dance floor. It was a good thing that no one had asked him to dance because he wasn’t sure that he could move that seductively without some practice and a few more drinks. He took a sip of his cocktail and was pleasantly surprised at how the smooth potion warmed him up and lowered his inhibitions. He’d tasted alcohol before but had never had his own drink – and certainly not one with hemlock in it. He stood with his back to the bar, occasionally smiling at admirers and trying to make sense of Club Arcane.

shadwalkerpostpicThe DJ booth was perched up on a crow’s nest on the opposite end of the club behind a dark, smoky glass. Zander couldn’t see the DJ, but he could tell from the music that whoever was in there knew how to stir a crowd. The dance floor was shaped like a large square with pairs of male and female strippers dancing in cages in each of the four corners. Several platforms at different heights peppered the floor for dancers who wanted to see and be seen. To the left was the black curtain through which they had entered, and to the right was a series of numbered doors that were being patrolled by other security guards dressed like Ooba. The music changed into something with more of a reggae feel. Zander looked back toward the dance floor to find Giovanni and Hung now up on one of the platforms swinging and swaying to the beat.

Zander swallowed his entire drink and allowed the warm feeling to ease through his body.

“Not too fast, young warlock,” Milo said, as he slid another glass of Hennessy and hemlock toward Zander.

“Okay,” Zander agreed. He grabbed the second drink and took a small sip before turning his attention back toward Giovanni, Hung, and the undulating crowd. He could feel the Hennessy and hemlock opening him up. Zander wasn’t a bad dancer. He just wasn’t familiar with these particular dances. He studied Giovanni and imagined himself doing those same moves. Zander took the second drink and gulped it down.

“If you take it slow, then it might not hurt so much in the morning,” a voice said from behind Zander. He turned to find himself staring into a very broad and well-formed chest.   Zander looked up into a pair of light brown eyes and was speechless.

Buy the first two novels in the “One Warlock’s Love Story” series TODAY!

 ShadWalkerbook1 shadwalkerbook2

BUY NOW AT:

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

TORQUERE PRESS

BOOKSTRAND

SMASHWORDS

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS

AND check out the THIRD novel in the OWL series, “Last Goode Knight” coming JUNE 4th!

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About the Author

Shadrach Octavio Walker, a.k.a. Shad O. Walker, has always been an avid fan of all things science fiction, fantasy and paranormal.  It wasn’t until he realized that there were no significant paranormal series featuring GBLT characters of color that he decided to create One Warlock’s Love Story. This epic tale features main character Zander Borealis Knight and spans several installments with villainous vampires, sexy shape shifters, wild warlocks, fierce fairies, great sex, and the kind of drama only found in the very best urban literature.

Armed with his passion for literature and his grandmother’s dictionary, Shad remains as elusive as the vampires in his series’ House of Aleph with writing as powerful as the shifters in its Alpha pack.   Supported by a coven of loyal readers, Shad is sure to take the literary world by storm.

Inspired by the creativity of Octavia Butler, storytelling of James Baldwin, and passion of E. Lynn Harris, Shad is at the forefront of an entirely new expression of paranormal romance and fantasy.  What started out as a desire to create and share a new kind of tale turned into a dream come true with the release of the first installment of the series through Torquere Press.  Today, Shad enjoys “shadowalking” into the hearts and minds of his beloved readers, the OWLS.

GET IN TOUCH WITH SHAD AT:

His WEBSITE
His TWITTER
His FACEBOOK Profile

Balogun Ojetade & FIST OF AFRIKA: Stop #16 (and LAST STOP) on the Butler-Banks Black Sci-Fi Book Tour!

And closing out April as well as the last day of the Butler-Banks Black Sci-fi Book & Blog tour is another visit with BALOGUN OJETADE and his upcoming novel, FIST OF AFRICA! Check out the blurb, an excerpt, and a word from the author below!

Fist of Afrika

fistofafrika2Nigeria 2004 … Nicholas ‘New Breed’ Steed, a tough teen from the mean streets of Chicago, is sent to his mother’s homeland – a tiny village in Nigeria – to avoid trouble with the law. Unknown to Nick, the tiny village is actually a compound where some of the best fighters in the world are trained.   Nick is teased, bullied and subjected to torturous training in a culture so very different from the world where he grew up.

Atlanta 2014 … After a decade of training in Nigeria, a tragedy brings Nick back to America. Believing the disaffected youth in his home town sorely need the same self-discipline and strength of character training in the African martial arts gave him, Nick opens an Academy. While the kids are disinterested in the fighting style of the cultural heritage Nick offers, they are enamored with mixed martial arts. Nick decides to enter the world of mixed martial arts to make the world aware of the effectiveness and efficiency of the martial arts of Africa.

Pursuing a professional career in MMA, Nick moves to Atlanta, Georgia, where he runs into his old nemesis – Rico Stokes, the organized crime boss who once employed Nick’s father, wants Nick to replace his father in the Stokes’ protection racket. Will New Breed Steed claim the Light Heavyweight title … Or will the streets of Atlanta claim him?

I really enjoyed writing this book because I have always wanted to share with the world the fierceness, efficiency and effectiveness of the indigenous African martial arts for self-defense, as well as their transformative powers in the building of men and women with self-discipline, courage and good character.  Fist of Africa  is a perfect outlet for my unique brand of Fight Fiction, which I am sure you will enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing it.

In Fist of Africa, readers will experience jaw-dropping action on the mean streets of Chicago, in the sand pits of Nigeria and in cages in the “Dirty South” (Atlanta), as well as a bit of romance.

Excerpt from “Fist of Afrika”

ROUND SIX

Vee-Vee’s was packed. The line of men and women spilled out of the Nigerian restaurant and onto the hot sidewalk as the lunch crowd eagerly awaited the mouth-watering, sweet fried plantains, egusi soup with pounded yam and coconut rice.

Standing in the line, Nick and Baba Yemi still had two customers ahead of them before they were in the door. Nick rubbed his hands in excitement.

Baba Yemi raised an eyebrow. “Is the food really that good, Nicholas? You look … eager.”

“You just don’t know, grandfather,” Nick replied. “I haven’t had Vee-Vee’s in over ten years.

“You’ve had Nigerian food in Nigeria,” Baba Yemi said. “What’s so special about Vee-Vee’s?”

“It’s Vee-Vee’s,” Nick responded with a shrug.

Baba Yemi shook his head.

“Excuse me, you just jumped ahead of me,” a woman’s voice said.

Nick peered over his shoulder. A rotund woman addressed three young men who stood in front of her in the line.

“Look, lady, we just want to get some plantains up out of here,” one of the young men – a lanky teen with jeans hanging halfway off his butt – said. “You look like you’re about to order the whole damned menu.”

The young men laughed heartily and exchanged high fives.

“Teens today have no respect,” the woman said. “If you are the future, we’re in big trouble.”

“Shut up, pendeja!” Another young man spat. “That’s moron, in case you don’t know … pendeja!”

More laughter from the young men.

“Hold my place in the queue,” Baba Yemi whispered.

“Grandfather, don’t …” Nick muttered.

Baba Yemi approached the young men, stopping a few inches behind them. “You are being very rude. This young woman deserves an apology.”

The teens turned to face Baba Yemi. The largest of the trio, a tall, athletically built young man, who had not yet spoken, looked Baba Yemi up and down.

“Push on, old man, before you get yourself hurt,” he said.

Baba Yemi smiled and tapped the young man on his muscular chest. “Hurt? How?”

The lanky young man with the sagging pants placed a firm hand on Baba Yemi’s shoulder. “Get gone, old dude, before we kick your …”

The young man hit the pavement with a dull thump.

“My hand!” He screamed, clutching at his wrist and writhing in agony.

The Spanish-speaking young man launched an awkward-looking kick toward Baba Yemi’s belly.

The old wrestler side-stepped to his left, bringing his right arm up to scoop the young man’s leg. Baba Yemi shifted toward the trapped leg, grabbing it with both arms in a tight grip. He ducked under the leg, lifting his arms over his head at the same time.

The young man’s knee twisted at a sickening angle. He landed next to his friend with the dislocated wrist, who joined him in a chorus of cries, whimpers and yelps.

Baba Yemi exploded toward the remaining member of the trio.

The young man stumbled backward, then whirled on his heels and sprinted off.

The teen with the sagging pants and damaged wrist helped the young man with the dislocated knee to his feet. “Sorry, ma’am,” they said in unison.

Baba Yemi laid a hand on the shoulder of the young man with the sagging pants. The young man jerked in fear.

“Relax,” Baba Yemi said. “Let me fix it.”

The young man cautiously gave Baba Yemi his damaged hand. The old man grabbed the teen’s fingers and yanked hard. The teen winced at the pain of his wrist sliding back into its correct position.

“Thank you,” the young man said. “And I … I’m sorry.”

“What about my knee, sir?” The Spanish-speaking young man inquired, still gasping in pain.

“That is going to require more treatment than I can do here,” Baba Yemi answered. “Do either of you have a car?”

“Yes, sir, I do,” the Spanish-speaking youth said.

“What’s your name, boy?” Baba Yemi asked.

“Hector, sir,” the young man said.

“And yours?” Baba Yemi asked the young man with the sagging trousers.

“Miles,” he answered.

“Miles, take Hector to the hospital,” Baba Yemi said. “They’ll put the joint back in proper position, then you bring him to me and I’ll really heal him. Talk to my grandson over there. He’ll give you the address.”

“Yes, sir,” Miles said, approaching Nick.

“Thank you, sir,” Hector said.

Vee-Vee’s waitress, who had come outside to see what the commotion was all about, handed Nick an ink pen and an order slip. Nick wrote the address to his parent’s house on the slip.

The two young men shambled off, Hector’s arm wrapped around Miles’ shoulder for support.

“Thank you!” The pudgy woman shouted. She wrapped her arms around Baba Yemi’s torso and held him in a warm hug.

The people in line applauded as Baba Yemi returned to his place in line.

“We’re running a compound for young thugs out of my parents’ house now?” Nick said, shaking his head.

“You weren’t so different when you first came to me, Nicholas,” Baba Yemi said.

“True,” Nick said.

“So, I ask again,” Baba Yemi said. “What now?”

A Word from the Author

balogunauthorpic2For those who know me, I am a writer.

For those who don’t know me, I am a writer.

I write speculative fiction – mainly Steamfunk, Dieselfunk, Rococoa and Sword & Soul.

Recently, I have expanded my writing into the Fight Fiction – aka Action / Adventure, aka Pulp – genre, which was pretty much inevitable because my novels contain lots of exciting action and fight scenes.

What, exactly, is Fight Fiction. You ask?

Fight Fiction is comprised of tales in which the fighting – whether it happens in a temple in Thailand, a boxing ring in Las Vegas, a cage in Atlanta, or in a bar in New York City – is not merely in the story to make it more exciting; or to add a different spin to it. The fighting must be an integral part of both the story and its resolution. Take the fighting out and you no longer have a story. Think Fight ClubRockyBlood and BoneKung-Fu HustleMillion Dollar Baby; and Tai Chi Zero.

Writing fight scenes has always been something I enjoy and that I believe I do fairly well. This is probably due to the fact that I have been a student of indigenous African martial arts for over forty years and I have been an instructor of those same martial arts for nearly thirty years. I am also a lifelong fan of martial arts, boxing and Luchador films.

Recently, I joined a team of stellar authors, who all write under the pen name Jack Tunney (for e-book versions only; paperback versions are in the authors’ names), as part of the Fight Card Project.

The books in the Fight Card series are monthly 25,000 word novelettes, designed to be read in one or two sittings, and are inspired by the fight pulps of the 1930s and 1940s, such as Fight Stories Magazine and Robert E. Howard’s two-fisted boxing tales featuring Sailor Steve Costigan.

In 2013, the Fight Card series published twenty-four incredible tales of pugilistic pandemonium from some of the best New Pulp authors in the business. I am writing under the Fight Card MMA brand with my book, Fist of Africa.

Buy “Fist of Africa” TODAY!

Buy it in Paperback on Balogun’s Website, OR at,

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About Balogun Ojetade

balogunauthorpicBalogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link and Rite of Passage: Initiation.

He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or  steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at Chronicles of Harriet.

He is author of six novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic,Once Upon A Time In Afrika, two Fight Fiction, Action-Adventure novellas – A Single Link and Fist of Afrika and the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk.

Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis.

CONNECT WITH BALOGUN AT:

His WEBSITE
His FACEBOOK Fan Page

His TWITTER Handle
His TUMBLR Page

Crystal Connor & IN THE FOOTHILLS OF MT. EMPYREAL: Stop #15 on the Butler-Banks Black Sci-Fi Book Tour!

The fifteenth stop on the Butler-Banks Black Sci-fi Book tour, Crystal Connor brings us something slightly different than what we’ve seen before.

She’s working on a special two-writer project with some interesting results! Check her out along with a book blurb, an author interview, and book trailer for her upcoming horror novel, IN THE FOOTHILLS OF MT. EMPYREAL!

In the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal: The End is Now

crystalbookpicTHE END IS COMING! Maias 26:14

Two writers, tell two very different stories detailing the same event.

Griot. Raconteur. Bard. Jongleur. Skop. Spinner of yarns. Rabbi. Named by a thousand words, storytellers and those who crave them know one thing as true: that every truth has two sides.

This is a simple truth that has not been denied.

In a world with two realities the imaginations of author’s Crystal Connor and Lori Titus are unleashed upon the unsuspecting people living in the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal and the fate of all the world hangs in the balance.

Who will save you now?

COMING IN MAY 2014!

Check out the Book Trailer for “In the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal”

Early Review for “In the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal”!

“One catastrophe. One Town. One story told two different ways by two different authors…What started in the foothills of Mt. Empyreal could be the end of all of us.”

The dynamic duo known as Connor Titus have merged together to create a story that will chill you to the bone. Each adds a dark and distinctive quality to this compelling read and it’s almost impossible to favor one over the other as the ink bleeds upon the page for everyone to witness.

Connor’s interpretation is fierce and grabs readers by the throat as they gasp for breath once Old Man Winter strolls in and they’re left powerless. She allows you to visualize the characters movements and endure their emotions without flaw. The highly descriptive settings throughout will make one feel as if they’re part of the story which makes her rendition realistic and absolutely terrifying.

Titus’ version captivates one by taking hold of their mind first before they even know what hit them. Then the emotional setback follows. Her gifted storytelling ability will have you thinking you’re reading just a novel, but your brain may tell you something different as you actually may experience bouts of terror or feel perspiration at your brow.

Each author singularly has the ability to lure you into the book quickly, but as a pair it may feel as if they’ll never let you leave.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Mt. Empyreal.

-Jaime A. Geraldi, RT Book Review Magazine

A Story from Crystal on How “In the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal” Was Made!

An entire year ago, I swore an oath of secrecy when I agreed to co-write a book with paranormal-romance author Lori Titus under the penname of Connor Titus. The reason, in the beginning, for the vow of silence was simply for the sake of peace.

Now this is in no way meant to be a complaint, but my fans take their jobs seriously. It takes about a year for me to write a book, but just a month or two after announcing a new WIP that’s all my fans talk to me about, and writing is crystalpic2all they want me to do.

I know some of you remember me posting in ‘Walgreens incident.’ Two weeks after the release of Book II: Artificial Light I was standing in line in Walgreen and asked the woman in front of me where she got her drop dead gorgeous shoes. When she turned to tell me, I was recognized, and she demanded to know why I wasn’t at home writing. Sadly she didn’t tell me where she got her shoes.

If my fans had found out that I had teamed up with Lori their excitement would have been too much especially because at the time we where both working on our own books which of course held more priority than a joint project, so we didn’t even know when this book would be finished.

About a 3rd of the way into the project, the fact that mum was the word literally became a life saver, because we started to realize that we were going to be writing two books. And at that moment it stopped being about peace and immediately became a trade secret.

“One catastrophe. One Town. One story told two different ways.” 

We co-wrote, two, stand alone books about the same thing.

We’d never heard of anyone doing that before and because it’s such an insanely original idea or had been done which such infrequency that the concept isn’t widely known we didn’t want anyone finding out what we were doing and beat us to the punch.

Once the decision was made that this story was going to be told from two different points of views, we also made the decision to not only stop working together, but to also not to talk to each other about what was written from that moment forth. I mean we went into complete radio silence, we didn’t even see each other’s cover until they were revealed earlier this month as part of our blog tour. We did this because we didn’t want to influence each and judging by the reviews that turned out to be a really good move.

After our books were shipped off to the editor Lori and I decided to interview each other for our own blogs. Those interviews turned out to be a blast and that’s what I am going to share with you today.

Interview with Crystal Connor’s Writing Partner, Lori Titus!

connor&loriauthorpicThe Wordsmith: Ok, 1st off I need to get something off my chest. I heard through the grapevine that you prefer Pepsi over Coca~Cola. Is that true?

Lori: Yes, I’m a Pepsi drinker,

The Wordsmith: Oh hell no, this is a crime against the Crown. This interview is over, we’re not friends anymore. Lol I’m just kidding.

Lori: LOL! But I drink Coke if I’m at a place and that’s what they’re selling. I still get the specific craving for Coca Cola now and again.

The Wordsmith: Oh, okay …good save cuz I was about to send you straight to the gallows. I write straight up horror with a service of science fiction and dark fantasy on the side. As a rising star in paranormal romance what was it that made you want to be a part of the Mt. Empyreal project?

crystalbookpic2Lori: I think of dark fiction as being one genre, whether it includes romance or science fiction. I love anything that challenges the characters with something greater than themselves, and that was definitely the obstacle our characters faced in the Keep. Since I’m a huge romantic, something of that always comes through. I couldn’t write you a cookbook without some reference to romance in there.

The Wordsmith: OMG that’s so true! I knew from the beginning that the story would have elements of romance but you do it really well so I wasn’t worried. That’s one of the things that interested me in co-authoring with you is seeing how we would build off each other’s strength. You also co-authored the novel Harmony’s Prophecy, with Angel Brown Kemph, which is now out of print, was it the same kind of writing process or was it totally different and if so why/how?

Lori: The book with Angel was very different. She was the primary author. I worked on editing with her, and we had some sessions where we tossed around story building ideas, but it is her book. I was really pleased and surprised that she felt my efforts earned a co-author credit.

crystalbookpicThe Wordsmith: Dude, how in the hell did we end up co-writing two books? Who does that?

Lori: I think only we do, ha! It was a great idea that you came up with. We both got to have complete creative free reign. Whenever I read about authors who co-wrote together, I always hear about the constrictions placed upon the authors, and how one person ends up being the leader with the other being the follower. We were able to build our foundation for the stories together, and then throw the proverbial paint against the wall to see what would stick.

The Wordsmith: I like that concept, that we both had creative free reign. The constrictions was something I knew I wanted to overcome before either of us wrote word one. It didn’t take long to see that we had two very different ideas of how this story should be told but I didn’t want to sacrifice one idea for the other and that’s what made me start thinking about doing something completely different.

The funny thing is, I didn’t start researching ‘how to co-write a book’ until we we’re nearly done. Otherwise I don’t think I would have done it. LOL, speaking of horror stories about co-writing, what was the hardest part about working with me? (Tell the truth).

crystalauthorpicLori: The hardest part was figuring out where we needed to split! I was enjoying watching the story unfold, and I was so curious as to where you were going to take it. Once we did split, it took a week for me to get back into the story properly, because I missed being able to see what you had written and talk about our ideas together.

The Wordsmith: OMG I was the exact same way. I was starting to think that splitting up wasn’t going to be a good idea. Thank God we didn’t chicken out of that decision lol. Was there anything that worried you about Mt. Empyreal?

Lori: Yes! I was really concerned about which characters were going to make it, and who wasn’t. With a story like this one, there is a balance between making things so hard that it’s impossible for your characters to triumph, and making it too easy. You don’t want to make it so easy that the readers roll their eyes at how neatly things work out. That’s often a concern I have when I’m writing. Real life is messy, and I tend to like stories that reflect complexities in character and outcome.

The Wordsmith: I know one of the things I was worried about and brought up often was I felt like I had unfairly taken charge and all the ideas were mine. I didn’t mean for it to be that way, I was just having so much fun that my excitement got the best of me. This was my 1st co authored book, so I guess my question would be, is this just the way things work when co-writing a book or was it really not an issue for you?

crystalpicLori: It’s part of the beast – someone has to start, (The Wordsmith nods head) and you wrote a beginning that was so unique and chilling that I wanted to let you run with it. Once our start was firmly in place, I was able to see what I wanted to elaborate on and where I wanted things to go. That said, I don’t think that our writing partnership is like anyone else’s. While you were in the driver’s seat I was already planning.

The Wordsmith: LOL, that’s the Virgo in you, I was thinking ahead when you were the one with the pen too. Which of the characters that we created together do you think will totally blow my mind?

Lori: I always say Emerson; I love that character in ways that I could never have expected. We have talked about Khrystle before, and that she surprised you with some of the things she did in our shared copy of the book(s). Jerrod is also going to be a big surprise to you. Just you wait until you read it!

The Wordsmith: I can’t wait to read it either, you have no idea how hard it’s been not to open the ARC copy you sent me to send to my reviewers.

Wait…I don’t think I mentioned this, ok so the reason Lori said she can’t wait until I read her book is because once we stopped working together we promised each other that we would not read each other’s books until our editor signed off on both books. And we didn’t even see each other’s covers until the 18th of April. Dudes, its been brutal.

So far our reviews have been really good but every time a review for yours comes in it just amplifies my excitement. That’s it, I’m changing the subject! You have another book coming out soon, can you tell us a little more about that?

Lori: lol. Bell House is a ghost story about a modern southern family with many skeletons in their past. At the forefront of the story are two half-sisters, Jenna and Diana, who share a contentious relationship. They were raised by different mothers, and most of what they believe about each other comes from things that they have been told by others, some of which may not be entirely true. After a tragedy in the family, Diana moves into a house willed to her by her father, and all sorts of trouble ensues.

The Wordsmith: Just for fun. If you got the funding to take a year off to write where in the world would you live for that year and why?

Lori: It could be Hawaii or Bora Bora, but I want to live somewhere on the ocean. I think it would be great to wake up every day with the ocean right outside, and take my laptop out onto the patio and write while I enjoyed my coffee. And of course I’d want a great big house where I could invite my friends to come out and stay for as long as they want. That would be great.

The Wordsmith: Dude for as long as they want, by the beach, in Bora Bora? And you expect to actually get any work done? Yeah ok.

(With laughter in the background fade to black)

About Crystal Connor

Crystal grew up telling spooky little campfire-style stories at slumber parties. Living on a steady literary Crystal Connordiet of Stephen King, Robin Cook, Dean R. Koontz and healthy doses of cinema masterpieces such as The BirdsFriday the 13thHellraiserThe Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone; along with writing short stories specializing in the Science Fiction & Horror genres since before Jr. high School, it surprised no one that she ended up writing horror novels!

She now lives in Seattle, WA, where she is a member of the Dark Fiction Guild, and belongs to both the Authors Anonymous and The Seattle Women’s writing groups and she is also an active member of The Critters Workshop.

The Darkness, is her first full-length novel, followed by And They All Lived Happily Ever After and Artificial Lightthe sequel to The Darkness.

Check her out at http://www.wordsmithcrystalconnor.blogspot.com/.

If you would like to see the interview of Lori interviewing me here is the link: http://loribeth215.wordpress.com

And to follow us on our blog tour as we promote both books, please click here. If you follow us be sure to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of both books, a promo T from each of us plus a signed copy of The Darkness along with a signed copy of Ryder: http://junipergrovebooksolutions.com/foothills-mt-empyreal-connor-titus/

CONNECT WITH CRYSTAL AT:

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Zig Zag Claybourne & HISTORICAL INACCURACIES: Stop #14 on the Butler-Banks Black Sci-Fi Book Tour!

Here’s the fourteenth stop on our Afrofuturistic journey, Zig Zag Claybourne and his short story anthology HISTORICAL INACCURACIES! Check out the blurb, an excerpt, and a word from the author below!

Historical Inaccuracies

zigzagbookpicKnow your history, because the story you think you’re telling is never the one that’s being told. 13 bold stories of dream factories afraid of the dark, charlatans, inquisitors, barbarian Smurfs, the reincarnation of lazy Americans, British devil babies, the power of loneliness, the usefulness of boy bands to time travelers, and more… 

Historical Inaccuracies. Pop quiz: Are you sure?

HISTORICAL INACCURACIES contains several science/speculative fiction selections, including the pile-driver “Revolver,” praised by Lois Tilton of Locus Online as “harrowing” and one that delivers. These are stories meant to disturb the dust, call forth the spirits, and sit with you a while.

A Word from the Author

I love fiction. Period. Worlds imagined, worlds altered, whether simply reshaped or irrevocably twisted. Anything that fires the imagination is a gift from the gods. I grew up on Star Trek, the Twilight Zone, Sir Graves Ghastly’s Saturday Matinee Movies (for us Motown folks), and the other-realm lives of a bunch of kids ganged up against one named Charlie Brown. Peanuts was “Village of the Damned” minus the world domination, mixed with a psychic dog trying its best to be human.

Which is to say all fiction is speculative fiction. That’s what the spirit of the Butler/Banks tour celebrates, because how else can you get away with writing things like this (from Historical Inaccuracies):

An Excerpt from “Historical Inaccuracies”

“The only evidence I need of Intelligent Design,” said Senator Bloodaxe, unsheathing his crusted blade and laying it before the security dogs for evidence of illegal killing, “is what I have seen with my own eyes.”

“But, Senator,” someone said from the throng of pelt-clad reporters, “isn’t it true you were once a staunch supporter of the scientific prin—”

“Who said that!” Bloodaxe raged, grabbing up the sword that had sent scores of unbelievers to undeserved glory and swinging it round.

The news crews were used to his rages and smoothly raised shields. The senator calmed.

“Senator, it’s been rumored,” came a crisp, female voice from beneath the turtle’s back of shields, “that you yourself have killed angels and that this conversion is purely political.”

Bloodaxe grinned at their fear. “Face Bloodaxe, wench,” he said, eyes scanning. “Taste congressional steel.”

Movement issued from the rear. Reporters parted until she stood before Bloodaxe (R) from Indiana. The huge man’s eyes narrowed.

“I am Kurok, daughter’s daughter of Couric,” which sucked balls because politicians hated a reporter with something to prove.

“Bring it, wench.”

Kurok approached. “Today is a good day to cry…”

Buy “Historical Inaccuracies” TODAY in Paperback and E-book!

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About Zig Zag Claybourne

zigzagauthorpicAs Clarence Young, I write humor and drama. As Zig Zag Claybourne I wish I’d grown up with the powers of either Gary Mitchell or Charlie X but without the Kirk confrontations. My fiction and poetry, ranging from science fiction to street-lit satire to magic realism, have appeared in The Wayne Review, Flashshot, Reverie Journal, Stupendous Stories, and numerous online attractions. The books Neon Lights, By All Our Violent Guides, and Historical Inaccuracies are all independently-published.

You can find me scribbling like a mad man at my author site www.Writeonrighton.com, Amazon author page Zig Zag Claybourne, tweeting or squawking at: @zzclaybourne, while having silly fun at www.thingsididatworktoday.blogspot.com. And look out for the sci fi adventure THE BROTHERS JETSTREAM: LEVIATHAN, coming to save the world summer 2014!

CONNECT WITH ZIG ZAG AT:

His AUTHOR SITE
His AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE
His BLOG
His TWITTER

DaVaun Sanders & THE SEEDBEARING PRINCE: Stop #13 on the Butler-Banks Black Sci-Fi Book Tour!

Here’s the thirteenth stop on our Afrofuturistic journey, Davaun Sanders and his fantasy novel THE SEEDBEARING PRINCE! Check out the blurbs, an excerpt, and a word from the author below!

The Seedbearing Prince: Part I

davaunbookpic2Dayn Ro’Halan is a farmer’s son sworn to a life of plowing on his homeworld, Shard. After finding a lost artifact called a Seed, he’s thrust into an ancient conflict between voidwalkers of the hated world Thar’Kur, and Defenders from a floating fortress called the Ring.

Dayn must become a Seedbearer and learn to use the Seed’s power to shape worlds before the entire World Belt is lost.

The Seedbearing Prince: Part II

Disaster strikes when the young Seedbearer destined to save the World Beltdavaunbookpic is captured by voidwalkers. Certain that all is lost if Dayn Ro’Halan is killed, the Ringmen Lurec and Nassir set out to rescue him.

If he’s to escape and defeat the voidwalkers for good, Dayn must accept the Belt’s most terrible secret—before the voidwalker leader Raaluwos succeeds in twisting Dayn’s own power against him.

Excerpt from “The Seedbearing Prince”

The Seedbearing Prince, Part I: Prologue

The torrent shifted again, and a thousand shards of onyx flashed to fire as Corian swept through a roiling field of ice and stone. The sheath on his worn black armor held, but would not last much longer. The stream of rock in the space between the worlds drifted slower here, and boasted several floating mountains large enough to hold a layer of air. Green ferns covered the surface of the nearest, providing plenty of cover. Corian was tempted to stop and rest, but crater wolves likely roamed in such thick foliage. The entire World Belt hung on the message he bore to the Ring, and he could rest after his task was done.

A field of red granite stretched in the space above him like the bizarre clouds of some nightmare, the individual boulders careening off each other by the hundreds. Only the hardest minerals and metals endured the endless pounding of the rock flow, and only the most foolish men would brave such a swath of torrent. They were moving the direction he needed to go, into the flow where the rock moved fastest. In the torrent, speed kills, he reminded himself. He was the best courser among the Ring’s Guardians, but the rock never cared.

Corian deftly attached a new talon to what remained of his silver wingline, then heaved it. The metal hook took hold, his wingline snapped taut, and the boulder yanked Corian into the flow. He repeated the process, each time roping a boulder moving faster, until his last guide rock pulled him along at hundreds of spans a second. A layer of white frost appeared on his armor and mask in a blink. He reeled himself in and clung to the red surface, like a flea riding a river bison in the middle of a stampeding herd. He watched every direction at once from his perch, digging his gauntlets into the crumbling surface. The boulder was actually some ancient rusted metal, not granite as he first thought. The torrent here was so thick he could barely see the stars, and it filled his ears with a distant roar.

He sped along this way for some time, until he spied a pockmarked mass of stone and iron, large as a dwarf moon. A cleft right down the middle threatened to split the entire thing in half. A tower in the northern axis had seen more than its fair share of rust, but the light strobing from it pulsed regularly, illuminating the smaller rocks orbiting around it. As a whole, the wayfinder was ugly and old, but the mass of rock was the most blessed sight Corian could imagine after a week of surviving the torrent’s attempts to grind him to powder.

His next wingline took him closer. If the wayfinder was powered as well as he suspected, he could use the array inside it to find out where he was in the torrent, and see how close the Ring lay. He might even find food and water, if peace favored him. A fellow Guardian must stop here often for such an old wayfinder to be this well preserved, he thought.

Smaller debris pelted the wayfinder’s old crust, disintegrating in flashes of light. The surface shone with hundreds of impacts, large and small. Corian chose a crater near the old tower, perhaps seventy spans deep with high walls that would offer good angles to slow himself as he approached.

As he prepared to throw out another talon, dark shapes poured from the wayfinder’s cleft. He stared for a moment, incredulous. There could be no crater wolves on a wayfinder, with no game to hunt, unless they were marooned after striking some other erratic in the torrent. No, those shapes moved with a military precision, more lethal than the deadliest pack. He could see them clearly now, massive men covered in black. “No. Not here!” Corian barely recognized his own weary voice.

The voidwalkers had seen him. A pinprick of light shone on the wayfinder’s surface, brighter than the tower’s regular strobe. He eyed it mistrustfully as he searched for a place to throw his next wingline and change his momentum. He spotted a tumbling boulder half covered with ice, moving away from the wayfinder too fast.

The light near the voidwalkers flashed. A beam of energy rushed into Corian’s path, hot as molten steel. A lifetime of coursing experience kicked in, and he curled his legs up until his knees touched his ears, rolling forward. The strange fire passed underneath him by less than a span. He could feel the heat of it through his protective layer of sheath. The beam burned past, and slammed into a rock fifty spans away. The tumbling boulder barely even slowed in its course, but the spot where the weapon struck—for there was no question that is what it was—glowed red hot at the edges. The glistening center had cooled quick as glass.

Another pinprick of light. He twisted around in the weightlessness of the void to point his feet back toward the wayfinder and make himself a smaller target. It did no good. The beam rushed straight at him, and his world turned red with pain.

An impact jarred him awake. Another. Corian opened his eyes. I’m much too cold. The voidwalker weapon had burned away his sheath. Layers of his black armor were peeling away from the metal plates like paper curled in a fire. He had been caught in a tangle of purple-rooted vines intertwined in a mile long cluster of the floating rock, what Jendini coursers called a knotted forest. The roots were nearly hard as stone in places. Dusty old bones from animals Corian did not even recognize littered the tangles. Debris from the torrent stretched around the forest in every direction, and errant stones pelted the mass of vines, which he immediately recognized. Courser’s nap, the whole forest is covered with it.

Corian reached into a compartment on his armored belt and removed his last flask of sheath. He applied the clear liquid to his ruined armor in quick, smooth motions, not leaving one inch exposed. The sheath locked together in small patches of light, and his body’s heat immediately began to warm the interior of the invisible, protective barrier. Once the sheath was gone, his armor would not prevent the smallest pebble from killing him, if one struck him moving fast enough. For the first time, Corian considered that he may not survive.

This was to be his last circuit as a Guardian for the Ring, and he held the hope that he would look into his grandchildren’s eyes back on Jendini now that his service was finished. Yet his duty hung over him, heavier than ever. In the distance he could see the world of Shard, verdant and green just beyond the torrent’s chaos. His resolve hardened.

He slipped a speechcaster into his mouth and began to speak as he worked himself free of the tangled vines. The small wafer could hold his words in secret for a few days, should things go badly here.

“I am Corian Nightsong, a Guardian of the Ring. There are Thar’Kuri warriors on the world of Nemoc. The voidwalkers have built a device that allows them to…teleport themselves at will through the Belt. They are gathering in numbers, preparing for an attack. There are captives from all over the worlds imprisoned on Nemoc. The voidwalkers have weapons unlike anything known from the Ring. They use energy and can attack over great distances. They must have been made in the age before the Breach.

 If you knew where to look for this message, you must deliver it with all haste to Force Lord Adazia on the Ring. The worlds all depend on you, for I have failed them.” The admission filled Corian with bitterness, but he forced a strength he no longer felt into his words. “My sons and daughters live in Denkstone, on Jendini. Tell them…their father served well.”

One of the vines tangled around his torso began to quiver. Corian looked down, fearing a leaf, but instead he saw a voidwalker, climbing toward him. Corian was tall, but the hulking brute easily overtopped him by a head. His glistening black armor looked as if it were melted to his frame, and covered him from head to toe save two dark slits for his eyes. The vines broke like dried mud in the voidwalker’s grasp.

Corian began to climb, scrambling further into the vines. He did not bother to draw his sword, the voidwalker would overpower him in moments if they were to fight.

“So afraid of an old courser?” Corian shouted. He pulled at every vine in his path as he fled, but most of them were stiff and gray. Living vines of the courser’s nap were purple and sticky, but the true danger lay with the leaves.

The voidwalker’s gravelly voice called to Corian, cold as an orphan’s gravestone. “Come to me, degenerate.”

Corian drew his sword, and began slashing his way through the vines. They sparked as his blade struck, but gave way. He leapt through an open space nearly ten spans across. The voidwalker followed without hesitation. So strong. Corian knew the brute meant to take him alive. He could not allow that.

He landed on a solid gray swath, fleshy beneath his feet. He rolled and lunged just as the leaf stirred. A row of spikes slipped out of the edges, thick as Corian’s leg and sharp enough to cleave a horse in two. Corian barely cleared them. The voidwalker was not so lucky. His momentum carried him right into the center of the carnivorous plant, which enveloped him with a twist of blue-veined leaf. Steam issued from the folds near the plant’s edges as it fed.

More pods of the courser’s nap were coming to life, enlivened by the voidwalker’s screams. Corian avoided the leaves wherever they stirred. He climbed and lunged and dived through the vines, soon pulling himself to the edge of the knotted forest. Pure torrent lay before him, an endless landscape of chaotic rock. There was no clear flow in any direction, the individual boulders in the skyscape crashed into each other in a hundred shattering impacts. I’ll leap blind and pray that my sheath holds.

Another voidwalker tore himself out of the vines a few spans away. Peace, but look at the size of him! The voidwalker’s armor looked as chewed up as the oldest rocks of the torrent, endless dents and scratches plastered the black surface.

“I’ve enjoyed hunting you, degenerate.”

Another courser’s leaf reared up behind the voidwalker as he lumbered toward Corian. The leaf lunged and took the voidwalker up, curling round and round as the folds of leaf tightened. Corian allowed himself a moment of elation, but it was short lived. A pale hand appeared on the side of the courser’s nap, and bright green fluid poured out. The leaf whipped back and forth, emitting a piercing shriek as the voidwalker pulled it apart piece by piece from the inside. Corian needed to see no more. He leaped, and prayed the torrent would show him mercy.

Download the Seedbearing Prince, Part I for FREE!

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BUY the Seedbearing Prince, Part II!

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A Word & Free Gifts from the Author!

Thanks for checking out the work of all the authors participating in The 2014 Butler/Banks Book Tour. This is a huge year for many of us, and we couldn’t do what we love without the support of YOU, our readers! I hope you’ve been exposed to your next favorite author and encourage you to leave honest reviews of our work wherever you purchased it! Your feedback to other readers who share your interest is pure gold for indy authors.

Please enjoy the excerpt from my first novel, The Seedbearing Prince: Part I posted below. You can download it for FREE on Amazon for a limited time! The Seedbearing Prince: Part II is also available—click here!

Dayn Ro’Halan’s adventures will continue in The Course of Blades, to be released this summer—the third of six total books in the World Breach series. I’m really excited about this novel, it’s going to be the best one yet.

That being said…let’s do a giveaway!

Rules are simple: send me a picture of yourself READING a novel by ANY AUTHOR on The Butler/Banks Book Tour. You use an e-reader? Great.  Reading in costume, or upside down? Even better! Go crazy—just keep it SFW please! Share with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

I’ll post your pictures to my Facebook and happily send you a FREE ebook of The Seedbearing Prince: Part II OR “The Course of Blades” when it is released this summer. We’ll all pretty much be famous together. It’s all so clear to me.

Let the photobomb commence, because this giveaway ends with the last day of the Butler/Banks Book Tour, April 30th!

About DaVaun Sanders

DavaunpicIf imagination was a mutant power, DaVaun Sanders could have enrolled at 1407 Graymalkin Lane. Instead, he went the safe route and earned a Bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002. After two fulfilling service terms with AmeriCorps in Phoenix, he eventually acquiesced to the student loan gods and returned to architecture. Yet his passion for the field faded as he spent more free time writing and performing spoken word poetry.

The Seedbearing Prince began as a dream vivid enough to play like a movie trailer. Deciding to write his debut novel took some time, as it wasn’t part of “The Plan,” but the housing market collapse forced DaVaun’s small design firm under in 2008. He decided to plunge into writing full-time, and is loving every minute of it. When the keyboard cramps his fingers, DaVaun gets lost in the great outdoors of Arizona or attends open mic spots in the Valley. DaVaun is currently hard at work editing The Course of Blades, the third book in his World Breach series. Follow him on Twitter @davaunwrites and like on Facebook (facebook.com/davaunsanders) for updates and giveaways!

CONNECT WITH DAVAUN AT:

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Milton Davis & GRIOTS, SISTERS OF THE SPEAR: Stop #11 on the Butler-Banks Black Sci-Fi Book Tour!

Here’s the eleventh stop on our Afrofuturistic journey, a revisit to MILTON DAVIS, but with a kickass Sword and Soul anthology, GRIOTS: SISTERS OF THE SPEAR! Check out the blurb and an excerpt from the foreword below!

Griots, Sisters of the Spear

miltongriotsbookpicGriots: Sisters of the Spear picks up where the ground breaking Griots Anthology leaves off. Charles R. Saunders and Milton J. Davis present seventeen original and exciting Sword and Soul tales focusing on black women.

Just as the Griots Anthology broke ground as the first Sword and Soul Anthology, Griots: Sisters of the Spear pays homage to the spirit, bravery and compassion of women of color.  Seventeen authors and eight artists combine their skills to tell stories of bravery, love, danger and hope. The griots have returned to sing new songs, and what wonderful songs they are!

Excerpt from “Griots, Sisters of the Spear”

miltonbookpic2The woman in Andrea Rushing’s evocative painting that graces the cover of Griots: Sisters of the Spear symbolizes the essence of the anthology. Although the painting is not a direct depiction of any of the characters in the stories, the spirit of this woman imbues all of them. She is a teller of truth, and a slayer of stereotypes.

As is the case with black men, black women have been subjected to invidious stereotyping for centuries in real life and fiction alike. For the most part, these characterizations have ranged from the condescending to the downright hostile – from the faithful “Mammy” of Gone with the Wind to the scornful “Sapphire” of Amos ‘n’ Andy to the degraded “Ho” made infamous in all-too-many rap-music lyrics. The fantasy-fiction genre is no exception. Until recently, black women have been either non-existent, or portrayed in ways that made absence the preferable alternative.

Real life defies the stereotypes. Throughout history, there has been no dearth of strong and courageous black women who have stood alongside – and sometimes in front of – their men and children during the course of a 500-year-long struggle against oppression in Africa, and the places in the rest of the world to which Africans were taken against their will to fuel economies with their forced labor.

A few examples: The Candace, or queen, of Kush defied the legions of ancient Rome. Queen Nzinga of Ndongo in central Africa fought to protect her people from the depredations of European slavers. Harriet Tubman risked her life to lead slaves to freedom in the years before the U.S. Civil War. Fannie Lou Hamer endured vicious physical abuse from the authorities in her non-violent quest to win basic civil rights for black Americans. Women such as these – and many more like them – stand as living contradictions to the misrepresentations that persist to this day.

miltonbookpic3So do the women in Sisters of the Spear. When Milton Davis came up with the idea of a woman-themed sequel to our first anthology, Griots, I co-signed immediately. Like Griots, Sisters of the Spear presents an opportunity to bring more black representation to a genre that’s still in need of more color. Thanks to Griots, we knew there were more than a few writers and artists of all racial persuasions who would embrace our theme of powerful black womanhood and create stories and illustrations that would be excellent by any standard.

Our expectations have been more than fulfilled. Our modern-day griots came through with – not to belabor the point – flying colors. The fictional warrior-women and sorceresses you will meet in the following pages can hold their own and then some against the barbarians and power-mad monarchs and magic-users of both genders who swing swords and cast spells in the mostly European-derived settings of modern fantasy and sword-and-sorcery. The reach of sword-and soul has expanded greatly with Sisters of the Spear.

It’s time now to allow the woman on the cover serve as your guide through the anthology. The light she carries will illuminate the truth that is always inherent in the best of fiction. And her spear will slay the stereotypes.

Buy “Griots, Sisters of the Spear” TODAY!

In Paperback at MV MEDIA, OR at

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About Milton Davis

miltonpicMilton Davis is owner of MVmedia, LLC , a micro publishing company specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Soul. MVmedia’s mission is to provide speculative fiction books that represent people of color in a positive manner. Milton is the author of eight novels; his most recent The Woman of the Woods and Amber and the Hidden City. He is co-editor of four anthologies; GriotsA Sword and Soul Anthology and Griot: Sisters of the Spear, with Charles R. Saunders; The Ki Khanga Anthology with Balogun Ojetade and the Steamfunk! Anthology, also with Balogun Ojetade.  MVmedia has also published Once Upon A Time in Afrika by Balogun Ojetade.

Milton resides in Metro Atlanta with his wife Vickie and his children Brandon and Alana.

CONNECT WITH MILTON AT:

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