Saturday, 25 July 2015

Shadow Stalker: Escape Part 1 (Episode 11) by Renee Scattergood

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn't start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing fantasy. She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker series, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series, Savior of the Serpent Isles. The first book, The Galvadi Invasion, is due to be released later this year. Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Find out more about her, and sign up for her newsletter for a free copy of the Shadow Stalker Part 1 Bundle (Episodes 1 - 6):

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Renee Writes - my personal website and blog.

Shadow Stalker: Escape Part 1 (Episode 11) 

Finally, it's time to put the escape plan into action. Auren is relieved when the security system goes down as Makari promised. On her way to Shai's cell, she learns the Galvadi suspect she is a shadow stalker, and they are on their way to her cell to test her. When they find it empty, they'll know she has escaped. Auren is running out of time.
Auren and Shai's escape doesn't go as expected, and they have to continually adjust their plans, but they refuse to give up. They are pushed to their limits and Auren's untried talents are put to the test. If Auren fails, they will both be recaptured, a fate worse than death.

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Episode 8 300 dpiHere's an excerpt from this episode of Shadow Stalker:

I took a deep breath. This was it. My cell was dark and, as I couldn’t risk a light before leaving, I checked the corridor through the shadow world. It was clear. The Dansig Troops on patrol were heading away from me, down an adjacent corridor. As long as Makari had shut down the security system and unlocked the doors, I would be safe. I took a deep breath and tried the handle. The door slid open without protest; Makari had come through for us.
Leaving my cell, hopefully for the last time, I didn't glance back. My focus was directly ahead as I crept down the wide corridor, keeping as far to the side as I could. The space was dimly lit by wall lights, spaced far enough apart that they created shadows. It meant I would be all but invisible to someone on the other end of the corridor as long as they didn’t get too close. As I neared the first intersection I spotted a security camera. Despite the likelihood it had been disarmed, I skirted around it as much as I could.
I paused at the next corner, my gaze on the row of lifts. If I took a lift, I would get to my destination faster. On the other hand, there was a risk of being caught if the lift was occupied. Stairs seemed like the safer option, given that I only had to travel down one flight. But I had no idea where the stairwell was located. I weighed the odds, contemplating Makari’s advice about using the shadow world. He had warned me of the dangers of traveling into the shadow world in proximity to my father and Shai’s rooms. The Galvadi had the ability to scan the area, enabling them to detect when a shadow stalker's powers were being used. It had something to do with energy surges; a device that had captured a number of shadow stalkers in their attempt to rescue Zain, including Shai.
I chanced a quick scan, which revealed the stairs were located directly across from the lifts. Convenient. It was barely a hundred meters away. It meant the only thing I had to worry about was being intercepted at the lift or stairwell door. As I edged my way toward the stairs it appeared luck was on my side. The moment I entered the stairwell, however, I detected a threat; the clanking of hard soled shoes. A second later I heard voices travel toward me from the level below. Acting quickly, I ran up one flight, praying they didn’t keep climbing. I didn’t want to be forced further away from my destination.
The men answered my silent prayer by walking through the door I had just used, exiting the stairwell. It crossed my mind that I could have used the lift after all since nobody appeared to use it. My instincts told me the stairs saw the most traffic, so I risked another shift into the shadow world to watch and wait. Two more guides entered from the lower floor. I recognized one of them as the guard who had accompanied Makari when he caught me snooping around in the office. Their voices were muffled, but I could just make out their words.
"What makes you think she's a shadow stalker?" the unfamiliar guide asked.
"It's just a hunch, but either way it wouldn't hurt to check."
Their voices reverberated off the walls, filling me with a sense of dread. I could no longer decipher the echo of their conversation, but it didn’t matter. I’d heard enough. They were on their way to my cell. I was sure of it. It was clear that, had I not begun my escape tonight, the guides would have discovered I was a shadow stalker and fitted me with a recinder. I had come too close. The thought made me queasy, but I had no time to dwell on the startling fact. The moment the guides reached my empty cell, they would raise the alarm. Time was running out.
As soon as the stairwell was clear, I ran as fast as I could down the two flights of stairs. I paused only to check the corridor beyond the exit and, seeing it was clear, I slipped out. My chest tightened as I hurried past my father’s cell. A part of me wanted to go inside, even knowing what I would find. Ignoring the impulse I moved on toward Shai’s cell.
Inside, I was taken aback by Shai’s appearance. She was in bad shape. Her body was covered in bruises, evidence of her beatings since Makari had been called away.
I pushed away my doubts, my concern about her ability to escape and moved over to where she lay. "We don’t have much time." I told her what I'd overheard in the stairwell.
An alarm sounded as if to validate my words, and we spoke at the same time.
"We have to go."
Back at the door I checked the corridor, and then we were running. The intersection we were aiming for was directly ahead. All we had to do was go right, and travel down the next corridor to the end of the hall where, according to Makari’s directions, an emergency exit was situated. We slowed as we reached the turn, pausing long enough to peer around the bend. My heart sank when I spotted the Dansig Trooper guarding the exit.
I motioned for Shai to back up. "We can't go that way after all." My voice was pitched low so we wouldn’t be overheard.
Shai motioned to an empty cell on our left. We slipped inside, leaving the door cracked open in case the security came back online. It was safer than standing in the corridor as we considered an alternative route.
"I'll have to try to contact Makari. He might know another way out. Can you watch the door?"
Shai nodded.
It took me a few precious seconds to realize Makari was blocking me again, so I went into the shadow world. It didn’t take long to find him, even without our connection. I understood immediately why he was ignoring me; he was with Drevin. Makari’s father was clearly annoyed about something, hopefully that something wasn’t me. I didn’t have the luxury of waiting to find out, regardless of my concern. Shai was waiting for me.
Slipping back into the room, I met Shai’s worried gaze. "We're on our own."
"Maybe I should go back to my room. You can still escape through the shadow world. It might be the safer option."
"No." It wasn’t an option I wanted to consider. Not unless we were left with no other choice. "I'll think of something."
My mind whirled as I scanned the small room. In the sliver of light coming from the corridor, I caught a glint along the back of the cell. Walking over to inspect the wall, I saw it was a vent, and it looked big enough to climb through. Briefly I wondered if every cell had one, hidden in plain sight. I pushed the distracting thought away, grateful for the opportunity it presented. If we could maneuver through the vent, we could avoid the corridors, and hopefully find another way out.
"Feel up to crawling?" I asked.

Friday, 10 July 2015

The Fallen by Melissa Barker-Simpson Now Available for Pre-Order

Pre Order ButtonThe start of another awesome series by one of my favorite authors, Melissa Barker-Simpson. (I can say that even though I haven't read it cause I haven't read anything she's written that I don't like...including genres I don't normally read.)
After the Demonic War, a battle which devastated the mortal realm, hunter cells were established across the globe to serve and protect every living soul. Maddison Wood is part of an alpha cell in the north of England. But Maddison has a new role now; her responsibilities as Watcher. She belongs to a legion of warriors assigned to serve the Fallen; guardian angels afforded the privilege of residing on Earth.
When Maddison is drawn to the city by an event which resonates hundreds of miles away, she is thrown into the path of a newly fallen angel. But Obadiah is no ordinary angel. He is a Prime, and his presence symbolizes a new threat. There is a war coming, and Maddison must form an alliance if she has any hope of winning this first battle. After all, the Fractured are a formidable enemy; a group of lost souls - powerful creatures of darkness who crave to destroy those who belong to the light.

MelAbout the Author

Melissa Barker-Simpson has been writing since  she was knee-high to a grasshopper. Melissa often looks back on those earlier stories, and apart from laughing at the heavy-handed drama, or cringing at her inexperience, she is reminded that she has always lived in other worlds.
Her first novel was published in 2008, and Melissa loved nothing more than working on a new project. The voices inside her head invariably pull her in different directions, so although she tried to work on one thing at a time, those who know her would tell you it doesn’t always work!
She works a full-time job, which does not involve writing per se, incorporates her love of language. As a British Sign Language Interpreter, Melissa gets to translate information between two languages which is (mostly) fun.
She also has two beautiful daughters who bring her great joy. They keep her grounded,  otherwise she would be stuck in the clouds permanently!

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Now for an excerpt from The Fallen!

THE FALLEN_SW_EB_COVER_6-21Donovan led him through the front, out onto the road and down another side street. They made it a hundred yards before they ran into Maddison, and she had company. Four demons circled her, their grotesque features lit by a beam of light coming from her braid. Obadiah recognised the species, but couldn’t pinpoint a name. His memories were incomplete. Pushing the thought aside he concentrated on Maddison. Her hair had a life of its own; suspended in the air to her left, rotating in what he could only describe as a taunt.
“Stop playing with them, Maddy,” Donovan said. “We need to go.”
She laughed, but didn’t turn, which was a good thing because the demons moved in unison towards their target.
As Obadiah watched the elegant dance in front of him, he tried to search his brain for the missing pieces. They didn’t come. From his room in the tower, Obadiah had watched the world; monitoring progress within the mortal realm. He decided he hadn’t watched Maddison enough.
Her training was evident in the way she anticipated her attackers. Her braid struck the demon closest to her with enough power to lift him off his feet. But Maddison did not rely on her hair alone, she had a blade in each hand, weapons which moved so fast they were but a blur of motion.
It took less than five minutes, when all he could hear was the clashing of metal and the sickening crunch of bone, and four became one.
“Witch!” The curse lost its effect the moment the demon began to whimper like a cornered dog.
“Is that meant to be insulting?” she crooned, and Obadiah shivered against the sound.
He watched as her braid wound itself around the demon’s neck. “You’re going to tell me your secrets.” Maddison laid a hand against his forehead, chanting softly.
After a moment the hair dropped away, and Obadiah realised she had bound the demon with gold.
“Congratulations, scumbag. You just won an all-expenses paid trip to the abyss.” The moment Maddison released him, he disappeared.

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Friday, 3 July 2015

The Other Inheritance by Rebecca Jaycox on Sale!

Rebecca Jaycox's novel, The Other Inheritance, is on sale from now until the 5th!

IMG_1408Rebecca grew up in the tiny town of Berryman, which borders the Mark Twain National Forest and the Courtois River about 70 miles south of St. Louis. The beautiful landscape fed her imagination, and she began writing stories at age 10 and never stopped. Always seeking adventure, Rebecca moved to France after she graduated college with a journalism degree to teach English at a French high school. Bitten by the travel bug, she has recently visited Italy, Greece, Austria, Spain, and finally made it to her bucket-list destination of Istanbul last summer. Rebecca now lives in New York City with her husband, Gregory. She is the curator and program director of the YA Lit Series at the 92nd Street Y--one of New York's premier cultural centers. She enjoys reading and writing fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction. The Other Inheritance is her first novel.

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TheOtherInheritance-FrontCoverAbout the Book

She touched the frog. Just once. It leaped into the air and hopped away, disappearing under the classroom desks. It had been awaiting its fate as a science experiment, fully dead, the stench of formaldehyde permeating the room . . .
Seventeen-year-old Reggie has been having a tougher time than usual. As if dealing with her alcoholic mother and fighting school bullies isn’t enough, dead things keep coming back to life and this biker dude shows up in her dreams, babbling about magic and a world called the Other.
Reggie’s life is changing, and she has no idea why. Or whether she should believe Rhys, the man in her dreams, who claims she’s in danger and that someone is coming to take her to a safer reality.
And when Asher shows up, things really get crazy.

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The sale only lasts 3 days!

Here's an excerpt from the book!

“Did anyone ever tell you that you’re a cliché?” seventeen-year-old Reggie Lang asked. She was hunched in an antique, high-backed chair. Her chestnut hair spilled over her shoulders, her splattering of freckles barely visible in the firelight.
“Am I?” he said.
The man on the other side of the hearth stretched his long legs out toward the fire. A scar puckered his right cheekbone, slanting down to the sharp blade of his nose.
Reggie took in his tough leather boots and duster. “The Hell’s Angels called. They want their motorcycle back.” His rough exterior stood at odds with the delicate furniture and pink-veined marble fireplace.
He laughed. “Hell’s Angels? Never heard that before.”
“Really? The leather look of doom isn’t deliberate?”
He tugged at his coat, designed for function, not fashion. The light from the fire picked out grooves and scrapes that pitted the hide. “It’s for protection.”
“From what? Don’t tell me you’re a rebel with a cause.”
His amusement faded. “I have a very important cause. And you’re a key part of it.”
Reggie wrapped her arms around her knees. Wariness shone in her large brown eyes.
“I’m a key part of your cause? Does this mean you’re finally going to tell me what I’m doing here? These little chitchats are getting on my nerves. Tell me what you want from me or leave me alone.” Three nights now, they’d been meeting, and he refused to give his name or any answers.
“I’m here to help with the changes you’re going through. To help you understand your place.”
“My place? Who are you to tell me about my place? For all I know, you’re just some pervert who gets off by harassing teenage girls,” Reggie said, pushing herself to her feet.
“I’m not a pervert. Never accuse me of such things again.” His anger surprised her.
Reggie’s eyes narrowed as she searched his, but she found no signs of a lie. She sank back down into the chair. “Sorry, I have to watch out for myself.”
“Understood. Now, would you like to know what changes I’m talking about?”