Do You Want Free Ebooks, Audiobooks, and a 15-module Online Writing Course this Halloween?

Giveaway Banner!

Well? Do you? 

Well then you should have come to our SWEET “Colors in Darkness” Facebook Party!!

I hosted my hour just yesterday, and guess what? We played games, pitched creepy riddles, learned about transcultural monsters and demons, AND talked about MY all-time favorite survival horror video game franchise, RESIDENT EVIL.

Bohemian Badass School Website ShotWith each game, I was literally GIVING away my entire ebook and audiobook library! AND to sweeten the pot, I was also giving away a FREE 15-module writing course from my up and coming online school, The Bohemian Badass School for Creatives!

colorsindarknessbannerBut if you missed the party, don’t fret! There will be more opportunities to win, win, win as the holiday season comes up.

Still, in the meantime, I’d LOVE if you could join us for the REST of the Colors in Darkness event! More kick-ass multicultural horror, paranormal, and dark fantasy authors will be hosting, playing games, and giving away amazing prizes!

There are only TWO days left in the event, so DON’T MISS IT!

Click NOW to join the party and
WIN FREE PRIZES AND BOOKS!

Write on, rock on, keep it indie, and HAPPY HALLOWEEEN!!
<3 Colby

Grab This Paranormal Mystery to Spook Up Your Halloween!

Yup, you thought right. Before I unveil the special Halloween feature (coming October 31), I’m warming you up with some PARANORMAL MYSTERY KICK-ASSERY. Kick up the spook this Halloween by hanging out with Rasheedah Prioleau and her THRILLING paranormal mystery, American Specter!

Check out more info below, and enjoy! Happy Halloween!

American Specter

americanspecterrasheedahprioleauAudra Wheeler has been haunted for the last thirteen years by a paranormal attack that left her 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.

This cold case takes Audra to every corner of the town from the poor trailers where Abigail grew up, to the mansion of the richest family in town, the Shelleys.  With a town stuck on not wanting to know what really happened, Audra relies on specters to uncover the truth that involves the secrets and lies of the Shelleys.

Want even more from Rasheedah?

She’s cooking up more than specters in her repertoire! While she’s hard at work on the follow up novel to American Specter, she’s also got a fantastic backlist of romantic fantasy! Check out the Princess X series below!

princessx1coverThe Memoirs of Amullette Rose (Princess X Series, Book 1)

In a world fueled by greed and ruled by jealousy, a young lady, Amullette, finds herself caught in the middle of a power struggle between the corruption of the ruling government and the ambition of a rebellion. After her family is destroyed in an invasion, Amullette goes into hiding, hoping to bury the past. But, as years go by the past comes closer and closer until she finds herself face-to-face with it. Learning to fight and survive are not enough as Amullette must also learn who to trust.

Also check out Books 2 and 3 in the Princess X series!

princessx2cover princessx3cover

About Rasheedah

RasheedahauthorpicRasheedah Prioleau is a southern African American writer with an eclectic range of writing and ghostwriting credits. After a few years in the corporate world she started over from the bottom as an unpaid intern for a literary manager and never looked back.

“I love to write because there are no limits. All it takes is a finite space of time and I can create a story from infinite possibilities.”

Writers who have influenced her include: Judy Bloom, Jude Deveraux, V.C. Andrews, Octavia Butler, Stephanie Meyer, Charlaine Harris, Joss Whedon, William Nicholson, Shonda Rhimes, Quentin Tarantino, Tyler Perry, Mike Kelley, and J.J. Abrams… just to name a few.

CONNECT WITH RASHEEDAH AT:

Her WEBSITE
Her TWITTER
Her EMAIL

The Third & FINAL Chapter in This Dizzying Historical Vampire Romance Trilogy is Finally HERE!

A.D. Koboah wowed you with her first two novels “Dark Genesis” and “Rising Dark”. Now let her blow you away with the final installment: Dark Requiem!

Dark Requiem (The Darkling Trilogy, Book 3)

darkrequiemDid she go too far?

Dallas Marshall is beautiful, rich and…relentless. Once she decides she wants to be with Avery nothing will stand in her way. But becoming a powerful vampire who cannot control her hunger threatens to push Avery further out of her reach. And that is not all. Dallas now finds herself up against an ancient evil that seeks to be reborn through her.

Can he let go of his lost beloved?

Avery’s heart has grieved for Luna, his lost love, for decades. When Dallas forces her way into his life, he cannot deny the eerie similarities between the two unimaginably powerful and dangerous women. There are times when a quick smile, a turn of the head, makes him wonder: is Dallas merely a descendant of his beloved Luna…or is something far more insidious at work? It takes everything Avery has to control Dallas. Can he save her from the evil that has lived in darkness for centuries waiting for its chance to devour?

Its time has almost come.

Together or apart, Dallas and Avery will come face-to-face with old enemies and strange allies as they run headlong to the brink of death and beyond to battle the darkness which has slaughtered Luna’s descendants for generations. And even then, the victory they have fought for may be forever denied to them. For nothing is as it seems.

Grab “Dark Requiem” TODAY at the retailers below!

AMAZON
SMASHWORDS
KOBO
ITUNES
BARNES AND NOBLE

Praise for “Dark Requiem”

4.0 out of 5 stars

I love this series. I was lucky enough to get this book early and I think it is just as good as the rest of them. Finally we find out who the chapel entity is, and the story behind it. I will not spoil this for any other reader, but I will say you will not be disappointed and that A.D. Koboah did the thing again.

I highly recommend it, and I look forward to a possible future novel. Enjoy! I sure did.

4.0 out of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of Dark Requiem from Ms. Koboah (screaming in the inside with so much joy) and I purposely took my precious time inhaling each page since it is the conclusion of the series (crying on the outside from the finality of it).

Ultimately, Dallas is proven useful and is a pivotal part to the storyline.
She becomes tolerable further in the plot which I find to be fine news and that is all I will mention of any roles in the book. 😉

It was overwhelming at times reading from the different point of views with the new characters and trying to figure out how they fit into the overall plot.

When the connection between to the main & new characters are revealed…MIND BLOWN!!

As an avid reader, I give props to writers/authors on the ability to take different threads (back stories/facts/issues etc) and weave it all together for a really good story which is what A.D did well in this final book.

Check out this Awesome Excerpt from “Dark Requiem”!

New York 1996

The being I had been waiting for first entered my world when I was five. It was on one of those hot summer afternoons in New York when the heat hung in the air like thick invisible clouds. Still the streets bustled with people, cars purring like large cats as they rolled by.

The sunlight that washed the lively city streets in gold did not reach the heavy gloom that hung within the walls of my home. Relatives came and went. Their faces were always tense, fear lurking in the shadows behind their eyes. Whilst the sound of weeping reached me from my mother’s room along with snippets of whispered conversations.

One of my family members had gone missing and everyone feared the worst. And in the gloom that had descended I was, as always, forgotten and simply left to the nanny.

The nanny, Alessandra, was a short, slim girl in her early twenties who had only been working for my parents a week. She dragged me out into the wilting heat that afternoon and when we came to the entrance of a bank, I came to a stop, forcing her to face me. I pulled my hand out of hers.

I want ice cream. You said you were taking me to the park for ice cream.”

The tension that reigned at home had stretched my nerves to a brittle thread, making me act up a little bit more than usual. And perhaps even then I was already aware of the Other; could already hear its sepulchral footsteps drawing ever closer.

Quiet!” Alessandra snapped in her heavy Italian accent. She wore thick black eye make-up and bright red lipstick. Her eyes were like black stones. “I did not tell you I was taking you to the park. I said I would think about it.”

She took hold of my arm once more in a painful grip and dragged me with her into the cool bank.

Aw, that hurts. I want ice cream.” A few people were already starting to stare at us.

If you behave yourself, then I will take you. If you do not behave, you get no ice cream. It is hard to believe everyone at that house—from your mother to the servants—are scared of you. You are just a child and it is time everyone began treating you like one!”

We were now by a row of seats opposite the tellers. She picked me up and sat me down.

Wait here!”

I’m not waiting.” I scrambled off the chair and stamped my foot. “I want ice cream and I want it now!”

She leaned over me, her mouth pinched, her eyes narrowed to black slits.

You will sit here until I have finished my business, do you understand?”

I felt hot, petulant anger rise and spill over in a childish flow of malice. “You’re stupid!” I said.

What did you just say to me?”

You’re stupid!” I repeated, letting a spark of something I did not understand let alone know how to control spill from my lips. “He’s married. He takes the money you send him and laughs because you’re stupid! Stupid, stupid, stupid!”

The colour completely drained from her face until it appeared to be a white mask with slashes of heavy black eyeliner and vermillion lipstick. Her mouth twisted in anguish and her voice was little more than a ragged whisper when she spoke.

He’s married? What do you mean? Why did you say that?”

I just looked up at her, having no idea where those words, the knowledge that had affected her so, came from. She grabbed me by the arm and dragged me back to the chair. She leaned over me. Anger, and perhaps even a little fear, passed behind her eyes like shadows beneath murky water.

You little brat.” Everyone in the bank was staring at us now. “You sit down and if you move from that chair, you will not have any ice cream ever again. Now sit!”

She straightened, took a shaky breath, and moved to join the queue. She reached into her bag, her gaze completely absorbed with its contents, her face deathly white, her hands trembling.

It was all the time I needed. I slipped off the chair and darted out of the bank doors as a young woman was entering, stepping into the warm arms of the sunlit afternoon.

She wasn’t going to stop me getting my ice cream. Central Park was a short walk away. I moved down the street in the direction of the park.

When I got there, the park—an ocean of green amidst the noisy concrete world—which had always seemed as familiar and as welcoming as my very own back yard, seemed vast and foreign. The throngs of people, distant giants to someone my size, moved to and fro in the bright sunshine. A band was playing somewhere in the distance, the jangly sounds adding to the disorientation I felt. When I entered the park I walked in the direction I believed my favourite ice cream stand to be. It was a while before I realised I did not know how to find it.

I came to a stop then, the heat making me feel lightheaded, little streams of sweat running down my back. I turned around to try and make my way out of the park only to realise I recognised nothing which would point the way to the exit. The air around me suddenly seemed too thick and humid and my breath hitched in my throat as I struggled to draw it in. I realised that for the first time in my short life I was completely and utterly alone. Suddenly the mean nanny, who had gripped my arm so spitefully, was a sight I would have given all my dolls to see. But she was not to be found amongst the throngs of adults I could see moving through the park.

Hey, are you okay?”

I whirled around to see a young coffee-coloured teenager in green shorts and a white T-shirt. She was focused completely on me, but her eyes were blank, as if the light behind them had been dimmed.

No, you’re lost. Don’t be scared, baby. You can sit with us.” She paused, then spoke as if she were reading words from a page. “Alessandra will be here in a little while.”

Relief washed over me like a cool breeze and I nodded, reaching for the hand she held out to me.

Then, almost like a burst of radiance lighting up an obscure, stormy sky, I felt an intense flush of emotion thrill through me. I spun around, my sixth sense tingling with an intensity that made my hands tremble.

What’s wrong, honey?”

The words of the teenager faded away as I searched the park, not even sure of what it was I was looking for.

And then I saw him.

He stood with his back to me some distance away, a tall, white male dressed in jeans and a blue jacket despite the heat.

The moment my gaze fell on him he began to move away, walking at a slow, leisurely pace. My entire world seemed to narrow to just this moment—the stranger moving steadily away from me.

I couldn’t speak. The two girls behind me, and the noise and chaos of the park, disappeared.

I snapped myself out of my fugue and looked around the park, frantic as the stranger moved farther away. Then I walked away from the two girls who now had identical frowns upon their brows, the dimness behind their eyes beginning to lighten like dawn breaking across a night sky. I kept my gaze on the white male as I ran in the other direction from the one he was headed in. I knew now I wasn’t that far from one of the entrances because I could hear cars roaring past. If I ran toward the road he would have to…

He came to an abrupt stop.

For a few moments I just stood there staring at his back, my stomach tied in knots. Knowing this would be my only chance, I ran toward him.

I reached him and moved to stand by his side, peering up into his face.

I had known before I saw him that he would be beautiful, but beautiful didn’t seem adequate to describe a face that was perhaps only seen in dreams or bestowed upon angels. He had a noble profile, aquiline nose and full lips. His hair was dark brown and curled just at the nape of his neck.

I knew instantly he was not quite like the rest of us but seemed to live behind a veil in this world, not fully a part of it. And my young mind could only conceive he was an angel come to brighten my very existence with his presence. The tension, along with the pangs of dread that had followed me that day, lifted.

I tentatively reached out and grasped his hand.

He stared ahead for a few moments, his demeanour aloof as if he didn’t even know I was there. Then he looked down at me.

I stared up into haunting, vivid blue eyes framed by thick dark lashes. Everything seemed to disappear, the people milling all around us as well as the wilting heat of the afternoon sunshine. The sounds of laughter drifted away along with that of the grinding traffic churning in the distance.

All that remained was him.

A melancholy smile touched his lips.

I should have known I wouldn’t be able to hide from you, Dallas.” He paused and I was breathless. Everything hung on his next words. “Come on, let’s get you that ice cream.”

I smiled for the first time that morning and let him lead me away to the ice cream stand.

We sat by the side of a fountain whilst I ate my cup of ice cream. My legs dangled over the side of the fountain, my expensive, shiny blue shoes gleamed in the afternoon sun. I wore jeans and a blue T-shirt and my hair was in four bunches tied at the end with blue baubles. Although it was blisteringly hot, he wore his jacket zipped up and appeared unaffected by the heat. He was also very still, watching me with sad, deep eyes whilst I talked about everything that mattered in the world of a five year old. The only time he moved was when he brought a hand up to lazily push a stray lock of hair that kept falling into his eyes, away from his face.

When he peered into the distance and once more brought his hand up to push his hair out of his eyes, I put my ice cream down on the side of the fountain and pulled one of the bright blue baubles out of my hair. Eager to please, I stood so I could reach his hair and gather the unruly lock of hair into the bauble. I secured it and then sat back down. His eyebrows came together and he stared upward as if to peer at the bauble in his hair, his expression one of almost comic perplexity. I grinned when he gazed at me, proud of my handiwork. He gave me one of his sad smiles and handed the ice cream to me.

Thank you, Dallas.”

You’re welcome, Avery.”

His smile widened, although it did not reach the desolation in his eyes, desolation as enduring and fluid as the water gushing from the fountain behind us.

I don’t recall telling you my name, Dallas.”

You’re Avery. We all know that. And,” I added, trying to mimic his accent and deep voice. “I don’t recall telling you my name.”

He chuckled softly. “No, I don’t suppose you did.”

It was a few moments before he spoke again, his voice gentle but hesitant.

Do you want to talk about what happened with your nanny at the bank?”

I froze with a spoonful of ice cream halfway toward my open mouth, my eyes locked on him.

His gaze was gentle as he peered down at me. “It is all right, Dallas.”

I was able to breathe again and let the spoonful of ice cream continue to my open mouth. His expression grew serious, his gaze earnest as he spoke.

Do you understand what happened and why what you said upset Alessandra?”

I brought the ice cream down to my lap and lowered my gaze. Tears pricked my eyes. I so desperately needed him to like me.

What you can do, it is a gift, one that must not be misused. It is a very big gift for a child to have, a burden in some ways. Your grandmother tried to take that burden away from you for a while, but she was not able to take all of it away. What I am trying to tell you is that you must not use it to hurt people like Alessandra, okay?”

I nodded. He smiled at me and the moment of misery was swept away.

He reached a hand absentmindedly toward his hair, but stopped when he remembered the hairband holding the unruly lock of hair in place. He glanced at me and a small smile touched his lips before he looked off into the distance. The smile melted away and his expression soon resembled that of someone weeping silently, completely unaware of the tears cutting a glistening trail down their cheeks. Misery welled up within at the sight of his sorrow and I spoke without knowing what it was I meant to say.

Luna? What’s Luna?”

He looked at me, his eyebrows raised in surprise. “You can read my mind, Dallas?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know. It just came into my head.”

I think you can.”

There was another of those long, thoughtful pauses. His voice was heavy when he spoke.

Luna was one of your ancestors. I was thinking that she would have adored you.”

He looked away again and suddenly appeared smaller, as if he were shrinking inside his clothes. His misery and yearning, along with pain so raw and intense, smothered me. Desperate to say something to make him feel better, I said the first thing that came to my mind.

She’s not dead.”

He looked up, his attention focused entirely on me for the first time that afternoon.

What…what did you say?”

His voice was low, his expression blank. I wouldn’t have known how affected he was by my words if it wasn’t for the powerful emotion I could feel rolling off him and the intensity in his haunting blue eyes. I faltered for a second or two, the ice cream forgotten.

For the first time in my life, I was frightened of this power, this knowledge that always came unbidden, terrified I was about to say something that would wound him as much as it had wounded Alessandra.

Um…she’s not dead. She changed,” was all I said in the end.

He studied me in silence for a few moments, and it felt as if someone was brushing feathers along the insides of my skull.

Stop that,” I said, giggling and bringing my hands up to my forehead. “It tickles.”

He reached for my ice cream and extracted the cherry at the bottom I had been trying to reach. It seemed he had completely forgotten what I had said, so I continued to tell him about my world, my dolls, and even the mean nanny.

When the ice cream was finished, I scrambled off the side of the fountain. He took the empty cup from me and tossed it in a trash can.

Thank you for buying me ice cream, Mr Avery.”

It was a pleasure, Dallas.”

I just need you to take me home so I can get my teddy, and then I can come and live with you.”

He appeared completely speechless, and for the second time that afternoon, pulled himself away from his thoughts and focused on me completely. I thought I saw blind panic in his eyes.

Dallas, I…you…. I’m afraid that’s not possible.”

I felt my chest clench with anxiety for the second time that afternoon. I stared up at him in bewilderment, wrenching anguish at his words, making it difficult to breathe.

But…but…I promise I’ll be good.”

It’s not because of that, Dallas. I would if I could, but you belong at home with your parents.”

Tears rolled down my cheeks. “But I don’t want to be with them. I want to be with you. I’ve been w—”

Hush, Dallas.” He knelt and pulled out a white handkerchief. He gently wiped away my tears. “You belong at home with your mother and nanny. She’ll be here any minute now to take you home.”

Panic fluttered in my chest. He was right. I could already sense her getting closer. I grabbed his arm, the waves of anguish cresting.

Please. I’ll be sad if you don’t take me with you.”

He smiled a weary smile that told of unrelenting sorrow. “You won’t remember me, Dallas.”

He bent and kissed me on the forehead.

I was alone.

I looked around me for the teenager in the green shorts who had been standing behind me only moments ago. Not only was she gone, I was now by the fountain. I looked about me, that anxiety about to overwhelm me again when I heard someone scream out my name.

I turned to the sound of the voice and saw Alessandra running through the throngs of people toward me. Her perfect black eyeliner now ran in jagged tracks down blotchy, red cheeks, the black and red making her face look even paler by comparison. Her hair stuck out at crazy angles as if she had grabbed fistfuls of it while in a frenzy. She reached me and pulled me to her. She held me tight for what seemed to be the longest time before she pulled away to peer at me. Her eyes flashed with anger even as they filled with tears.

You are a naughty, naughty girl. Do you know that? Mama mia! Why did I ever agree to be your nanny?”

She pulled me into a tight hug once more.

Filled with a sadness that seemed as deep as the widest chasm, one I could not even understand or explain, I could only cry silently into her shoulder.

After a few moments she was able to let me go. She smiled through her tears and pulled out a grubby tissue.

You silly girl. Look at you.” She wiped at my face. “Next time, you listen to me, okay? Now let me buy you this ice cream and we can go home.”

At the mention of ice cream, the sadness rose to an agonising peak and I was overwhelmed by a feeling of debilitating loss, but I did not know why. At the fresh onslaught of tears, Alessandra picked me up, stroking my hair.

Okay, I’ll take you straight home,” she said.

She carried me home, holding onto me tightly the entire way.

Check out the First Two Books in the Series,
“Dark Genesis” and “Rising Dark”!

Dark Genesis (The Darkling Trilogy, Book 1)

darkgenesisLife for a female slave is one of hardship and unspeakable sorrow, something Luna knows only too well. But not even she could have foreseen the terror that would befall her one sultry Mississippi evening in the summer of 1807.

On her way back from a visit to see the African woman, a witch who has the herbs Luna needs to rid her of her abusive master’s child, she attracts the attention of a deadly being that lusts for blood. Forcibly removed from everything she knows by this tormented otherworldly creature, she is sure she will be dead by sunrise.

Dark Genesis is a love story set against the savage world of slavery in which a young woman who has been dehumanised by its horrors finds the courage to love, and in doing so, reclaims her humanity.

BUY IT TODAY AT THE FOLLOWING RETAILERS!

AMAZON
BARNES AND NOBLE
KOBO
ITUNES
SMASHWORDS

Rising Dark (The Darkling Trilogy, Book 2)

darkrisingWhen the newly married Reverend Avery Wentworth embarks on a journey to the Americas to begin a new life, he foresees only joy ahead of him. But along with the shocking evils prevalent in a world of slavery, he comes against a much older, darker evil that steals his soul and turns him into a creature of the night. Cut off from humanity, he wanders through a wilderness of despair. A nameless, faceless creature forced to exist in the shadows, his only hope for salvation is the vision of a beautiful Negro and three words: “Wait for me.”

Rising Dark is the long awaited sequel to Dark Genesis and takes us from London 1757 to present day America in a love story that defies, time, death and the all-too-human flaws inherent in mortals and immortals alike.

BUY IT TODAY AT THE FOLLOWING RETAILERS!

AMAZON
BARNES AND NOBLE
KOBO
ITUNES
SMASHWORDS

About the Author: A.D. Koboah

A.D. Koboah author picI am A.D. Koboah, the author of The Darkling Trilogy, an unconventional and epic love story between a vampire and a slave girl. The trilogy was inspired by my thoughts on dehumanisation.

I was fascinated by the ways in which people are able to dehumanise others, the impact it has on the psyche and whether it is possible for people to find their way back from being dehumanised. This led me to a slave called Luna and the ruins of a haunted chapel deep in the heart of Mississippi.

Fantasy Portal Feature of the Week: American Specter by Rasheedah Prioleau!

Yup, you thought right. Here’s the final special feature on one of the authors of The Fantasy Portal, a four-book fantasy novel bundle that’s available globally for just .99 cents! Check it out when you can, and also check out The Fantasy Portal GoodReads Book Club, where eager readers will be discussing each novel as well as jumping into contests and giveaways for some great prizes!

Next up? Rasheedah Prioleau and her THRILLING paranormal mystery, American Specter!

American Specter

americanspecterrasheedahprioleauAudra Wheeler has been haunted for the last thirteen years by a paranormal attack that left her 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.

This cold case takes Audra to every corner of the town from the poor trailers where Abigail grew up, to the mansion of the richest family in town, the Shelleys.  With a town stuck on not wanting to know what really happened, Audra relies on specters to uncover the truth that involves the secrets and lies of the Shelleys.

You can get American Specter as a part of a four-book Fantasy Portal Box Set for just 99 cents!

fantasyportal3Dfinalcover

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 Rasheedah?

She’s cooking up more than specters in her repertoire! While she’s hard at work on the follow up novel to American Specter, she’s also got a fantastic backlist of romantic fantasy! Check out the Princess X series below!

princessx1coverThe Memoirs of Amullette Rose (Princess X Series, Book 1)

In a world fueled by greed and ruled by jealousy, a young lady, Amullette, finds herself caught in the middle of a power struggle between the corruption of the ruling government and the ambition of a rebellion. After her family is destroyed in an invasion, Amullette goes into hiding, hoping to bury the past. But, as years go by the past comes closer and closer until she finds herself face-to-face with it. Learning to fight and survive are not enough as Amullette must also learn who to trust.

Also check out Books 2 and 3 in the Princess X series!

princessx2cover princessx3cover

About Rasheedah

RasheedahauthorpicRasheedah Prioleau is a southern African American writer with an eclectic range of writing and ghostwriting credits. After a few years in the corporate world she started over from the bottom as an unpaid intern for a literary manager and never looked back.

“I love to write because there are no limits. All it takes is a finite space of time and I can create a story from infinite possibilities.”

Writers who have influenced her include: Judy Bloom, Jude Deveraux, V.C. Andrews, Octavia Butler, Stephanie Meyer, Charlaine Harris, Joss Whedon, William Nicholson, Shonda Rhimes, Quentin Tarantino, Tyler Perry, Mike Kelley, and J.J. Abrams… just to name a few.

CONNECT WITH RASHEEDAH AT:

Her WEBSITE
Her TWITTER
Her EMAIL

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

Check out this Chair-gripping Deep Space Sci-fi Thriller, HAYWARD’S REACH!

Dive into a deep space sci-fi thriller that chronicles the rise and fall of a world long lost. From gods and wars to aliens and depravity, Glendale Makoto takes us by our imaginations and guides us through the last days of his world as he saw it… and we never want to leave his side. Check out HAYWARD’S REACH today!

Hayward’s Reach

Hayward's ReachHayward’s Reach is a series of short stories told by the last survivor after an unexpected cataclysm destroys the birthplace of Pan-Humanity and its attendant species.

Glendale Mokoto, now as a Scout of the Corvan Empire which rescued the remnants of Pan-humanity, has time on his hands and uses it to study temporal records in which the entire history of Old Earth is embedded. Looking though time and space he reminisces about an Earth that no longer exists.

In these tales, Mokoto studies both the past and the future of Pan-Humanity, its allies and enemies, and learns even in his current state of in-humanity what it really means to be truly human.

Hayward’s Reach is divided into four sections:

The Fables of Old Earth: Stories about humans as we might remember them still struggle for survival against a world which only seems to be under their control; instead a hidden reality is just beyond the sight of these early humans, a reality which affects the ultimate destiny of the species.

A Time of Troubles: The quest for wealth and power affects the choices of both man and god alike. Dark pacts are often made in order to satisfy avarice and the innocent are its first victims.

Entering the Penumbra: Tales of the darkest nature; a descent into depravity, deprivation and destruction. Each tale reinforcing the horror of the last. But even in this time, a single hope always flickers, a voice brave enough to claim victory, at least some of the time…

The Diaspora of Earth: the final tales of the Human species after the destruction of Earth. Six adventures of Pan-Humanity’s struggles in a hostile universe, more alien than they imagined with creatures whose powers are only hinted at, capable of altering matter and energy which hint at even recreating the Earth, for a price.

Excerpt from Hayward’s Reach

Two hundred years ago, I was nothing special. I had no extraordinary abilities or talents. I was not blessed with superhuman strength like members of the New Order, genetically manipulated to be the perfect human specimens, trained and bred to be the ultimate warrior protectors of the human race.

I did not augment my mind with sentient mechanical intelligence like the Cognoseti, who became human predictors of the future of man. It was their wisdom that discovered the Earth’s greatest hidden secret; that we were not the first creatures on Earth to evolve into sentience. These human machine hybrids would later house the first true machine-descended intelligences in human history.

I did not mingle my DNA with those of animal species to garner advantages lost by the development of our bigger brains. The Transformed, whose malleable DNA allowed them to absorb genetic traits of other species would lead Humanity in the exploration of new worlds after we lost our home in the Sol System.

You see, I was just a baseline human, good genes, nice teeth, good skin, and until it fell out in my fiftieth year, a nice head of hair. Two hundred years ago, I was also the most celebrated hero; indeed, I was the last hero of the Exodus of Man. They named a starship after me, they named a continent after me, they named thousands of children after me. And to me that was a strange thing, seeing how I did not actually survive the experience.

To ponder this, and to explain why you are now able to know any of this, you have to know a bit more about Old Earth.

I remembered the stink of the war. It got up into your nose and never left. You could smell the burning flesh, the expended rounds, the fear, exhilaration, the blood-lust, the sheer terror of the Henrenki boiling up out of the ground in every major city on the planet.

I remembered the fighting, the endless fighting, the bravery of our young ones, their ceaseless dying, wheat before the scythe. When we retreated, the Henrenkai came, wave after wave, like the ocean filling in the beach of our dead.

I remembered them as they swarmed over our positions with machine guns blazing; our bullets tearing into their nacreous, resilient flesh but they kept coming.

Things looked hopeless until the New Men appeared, with their mysterious talk about the Art of War, talk of the brush strokes of their weapons, their mastery of their mysterious battle-trance. In those days, all we knew of war was the spastic struggling of the uninitiated to battle. We had been too long at peace.

Our struggles for survival, even before He came all but absorbed our attention. But even after generations of peace, we were still a warlike species and returned reluctantly to the field of battle. Every man woman and child was armed because this was a war without quarter and without mercy.

When the Cognoseti revealed His existence, He rose from the oceans, the Ancient Enemy of all who live in our galaxy. We did not know He was legendary. We did not know what scars He and His kind had swept across the face of that, as yet unknown to us, galactic empire. We did not know what He wanted, only that He destroyed all that we had, with malice and forethought. We did learn one thing: when He rose from the Pacific Ocean, we realized the nature of our enemy, He had the might of an entire world, buried within our own.

Mechanically-sentient, He created weapons like the Henrenkai from His very flesh, the organo-mechanical body in which He fell to Earth billions of years ago and hid in the iron core of our planet. He hid because He was pursued by the greatest species our galaxy had ever spawned. He hid and waited until they passed away or forgot; we are not sure which. When He arose again, He had been all but forgotten by everyone in the galaxy. How could they not; nearly three billion of our years had passed while he slumbered.

So we were forced to fight Him on our own, tiny simians against a god-like machine who had tried to enslave an entire galaxy. He fought us on land, sea, air, and even in space. What could we do against an enemy so incredibly powerful? He destroyed a third of the human race and had barely awakened. We lost all hope.

Then we received a signal from space. It appeared on every communication band, every wavelength, every technology, all at once. If you were watching anything, listening to anything, it appeared and told you to be ready.

A prophecy had sent them back to us. They told us it was time to leave our world. They told us to gather as much of our world as we could carry. We did not understand, but we gathered our resources, every animal, every plant, every insect we thought we could find and catalog. We even set aside entire islands, marked with force fields to make them stand out.

We had no idea of what the Sjurani were capable of back then. We did not know what to expect, but their message gave us hope, so we fought on.
I remember the first time I saw their ships. They blotted out the sun. We fought a retreating battle to their designated pick up points. They gathered us up with tractor beams, entire cities, whole islands. It was rumored they took the entire African continent. Something about it being a template for our entire world’s DNA.

They landed in their reptilian regalia and fought alongside us, as terrifying as the Henranki in their own way. Garishly colored in silks and metal, reptilian, festooned with gem-encrusted scales, loud, large, and boisterous; think of Old Earth fraternity boys armed with plasma cannons and rocket launchers and you will know something of the Rex, a warrior-breed of the Sjurani.

They helped us hold the line against the Ancient Enemy while we fled. They claimed they were the descendants of dinosaurs who had been born on Earth hundreds of millions of years in the past. We were too desperate to care. And too foolish to realize why that was more important than we knew at the time…

Pick up Hayward’s Reach in Paperback on Amazon TODAY!

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About the Author: Thaddeus Howze

ThaddeusHowzeauthorpicThaddeus Howze is a California-based author and essayist whose non-fiction writing has appeared in magazines, including Black Enterprise, Empower Me Magazine, the Good Men Project, the Examiner.com, the Astronaut.com and many others. He maintains a prodigious amount of non-fiction work at his own blog, A Matter of Scale (http://ebonstorm.wordpress.com). He has answered over a thousand questions on the Scifi.Stackexchange.com and Quora.com.

Thaddeus writes in a wide array of genres in speculative fiction including hard science fiction, climate fiction, fantasy, horror, wuxia, pulp and space opera. His fiction writing has appeared in blogs such as the Magill Review, ScifiIdeas.com and StartYourNovel.com. His collection of short stories can be found at Hub City Blues (http://hubcityblues.com/). He has recently led a writing challenge in May where authors write a short story every day called 30 Cubed (http://30cubedsf.wordpress.com).

His speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies including Genesis Science Fiction Magazine,The Future is Short Anthology, Visions of Leaving Earth, Mothership: Tales of Afrofuturism and Beyond, Genesis Science Fiction Anthology, Scraps, and Possibilities.

He has authored a collection of short stories called Hayward’s Reach (2011) and an e-book novella called Broken Glass (2013). He is planning on releasing Motus Vita, a sequel to Broken Glass and A Millennium of Madness, a new collection of prompt-driven short stories inspired by StartYourNovel.com.

Like many speculative fiction authors, Thaddeus has worn a variety of occupations before pursuing a writing career. Currently an information technology consultant, he has also been a corporate executive, an information specialist, an adjunct professor and a member of the United States Navy. He has also written tabletop roleplaying games, including materials for Cyberpunk 2020, Shadowrun, Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer 40K, and Hero Games.

An active martial artist and youth mentor, Thaddeus engages in autism advocacy, hoping to help his autistic son have more opportunities in the future. He also champions improving the environment using clean energy.

CONNECT WITH THADDEUS AT:

His FACEBOOK GROUP: TALES FROM AROUND THE MULTIVERSE
His TWITTER
His WEBSITE
His RECENT WORKS

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:

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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:

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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:

His FACEBOOK Profile
His TWITTER
His INSTRAGRAM