Ani Manjikian – Do You Believe In Legend?


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Author Bio in 3rd person

From a harsh diagnosis of hydrocephalus at birth, Ani has developed into all-around person with the technical knowledge and analytical mind of a programmer, creative and detailed orientation of a writer, and aesthetic instincts of a photographer. Her writing career started when a friend in Cyprus made her promise to stop throwing away her writings because she thought they weren’t good enough.

 

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Book Blurb

Legend isn’t about people. It’s about pursuing a dream or higher ideal. About believing in something impossible and transforming the belief into reality through faith and hard work. The future is a legend written and unwritten.”

Jo Mason believes that creativity, spontaneity, and faith exist as definable words, but not actionable items. Negative consequences always follow the rare positive outcomes. It seems her destiny is surviving a chaotic world she can’t control. Hearing her own voice where she shouldn’t have leaves her wondering about her place in time.

Jeff has always been a part of her life, offering encouragements, wise words when she needed them, and many other things she can never completely thank him for. She knows he replaced her cousin who died saving his life. When she questions why he didn’t get to stay with his family, Jeff replies that without fixing the timeline everything she knows would be different.

When Jeff’s twin brother Randy falls into her lap, both literally and figuratively, Jo hopes he can give her a better answer. There is only one slight problem… He doesn’t remember anything about himself or his life and what he does, doesn’t help.

Together, the three of them learn that life isn’t about who or what you know, but who and what you care for.

Links

Amazon Buy Link for the book – https://www.amazon.com/Believe-Legend-Stars-Heros-Book-ebook/dp/B01N5G2T1R

Website (Reader Subscription) – http://lonehorsespirit.com/stars-of-heros/

Goodreads Author Page – https://www.goodreads.com/lonehorseend

The Fell – Lyndsey Harper


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Author Bio:

authorpicLyndsey is a brilliant author you’ve likely never heard of, Superwife, and award-winning mother living life in leggings in the expensive and overcrowded state of New Jersey. She is fluent in Spanglish and Sarcasm and enjoys watching Arrow, Supernatural, Psych, and The X-Files repeatedly. You can find her either in the grocery store buying laundry detergent, Tylenol, and cat litter, hovering near her Keurig coffee brewer, or shaking her fist at the heavens in front of her computer. Occasionally, you may spot her on the beach or out shopping (when she actually has money to spare). However, you should avoid approaching her at such times as she is likely enjoying a rare moment of relaxation and can become moody if interrupted. If you decide to engage her during any one of these activities, approach with caution and a sizable cup of Starbucks in hand to avoid any ill effects.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorlyndseyharper
Twitter:
 @lyndseyiswrite

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lyndsey-Harper/e/B01MRWEM9W/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Buy Link:bookcover

https://www.amazon.com/Fell-Naetan-Lance-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B01NCHQ1DR/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Book Blurb:

After the brutal death of his mentor, Leer Boxwell’s only desire is vengeance. However, his belief that the murderer is the mythical Grimbarror has made him the laughing stock of the Vale. When Leer witnesses the beast steal away the princess in an unexpected attack on the royal city, he volunteers to hunt the creature. Battling self-doubt and ridicule, while struggling to control a mysterious power within that he does not fully understand, Leer must decide whether his convictions are worth the sacrifice the Fell demands.

Excerpt:

A hush fell over the inn; the fiddle music screeched to an abrupt halt.

Bilby’s eyes narrowed. “What did you say?” he asked.

I said,” Leer repeated, “I wish to know everything you know about the Grimbarror.”

Callous laughter exploded through the men and few barmaids present, ripples of mockery piercing Leer’s ears.

You well-washed loon,” Bilby cackled, slapping his knee through his amusement. “You wish to hear fairy tales, is that it?”

Leer’s jaw flexed as he clamped his molars together. “I seek the truth.”

Hah!” Bilby screeched. “Would you like a cup of warm milk to go with your bedtime story, Boy?”

Leer squeezed his eyes shut briefly, trying to push away the reverberating voices around him. “Are you, or are you not, the Marcus Bilby that Finnigan Lance spoke of?” he demanded. “The one whose life he saved?”

Another wave of eerie silence fell over the inn. Bilby leaned in, gripping the table with white knuckles. “What name did you say?” he asked.

Finnigan Lance,” Leer enunciated.

Curse you for speaking that name,” Bilby snarled, spitting on the ground.

Cheating scoundrel, he was,” a man bellowed from the rear of the crowd.

Nothin’ but a drink bloated habbersnitch.” another agreed.

You’d better have good reason for speaking that name in this place, Boy,” Bilby warned, leaning forward.

He wasn’t a cheat,” Leer snapped. “You peddled furs with him. You worked with him, and he saved your life from insurgents. And I do believe you owe him a favor.”

A murmur trickled through the crowd, sending Bilby into visible panic as his peers reacted to the revelation.

And what?” Bilby retorted with a scoff. “Lance has come back from the dead to claim it?”

Leer’s jaw flexed. Finnigan’s death was still fresh in his mind; it had not been long since he found his bloodied, mauled corpse. “Nay. You’ll pay your debt to him through answering my questions.”

Bilby’s eyes narrowed. “And just who are you to lay claim to any favors?”

Leer held his gaze. “His son.”

UTHOR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS::

(Please just answer as many of the following questions as you are comfortable with. Please feel free to explain or elaborate as frequently as you wish. You may also reword questions or add other questions.)

ABOUT YOU::

  1. Please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself: Hi! My name is Lyndsey Harper, and I write dark fantasy. I love stories with magic and grit. I’m a wife, a mom, and I work in a theatre when I’m not writing.
  1. Please provide the link to your blog (and website, Facebook fan page, Twitter, etc.):

    My Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorlyndseyharper
    My Twitter: @lyndseyiswrite

  1. How many books have you written? Officially, “The Fell” is my first piece, but I’ve written six other fan fiction novels unofficially.
  1. Has any of your work been published yet? If so, please share the link(s) to purchase it:

    My debut, “The Fell,” comes out on January 18th! You can purchase at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCHQ1DR

  1. If you have been published, did you self-publish or use traditional publishing? Why? If you have not been published yet, what are your plans for the future? I am fortunate enough to have a publishing contract through Crimson Edge Press. For quite a while beforehand, I was convinced I would self-publish because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go the traditional route or not. I know me, though – I work better with deadlines made by people other than myself, so I think traditional publishing was meant to be.
  1. How old were you when you started writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author? I have been writing ever since I can remember. It started with a newsletter I wrote each month for my next-door neighbor about my pet rabbit, and then turned into poetry, fan fiction, songs, and eventually original work. I didn’t always want to write, though, despite my natural inclination toward it. My mother saw my future in writing well before I did. When I was younger, writing wasn’t glamorous enough for me. I thought it would be a boring career choice. Can you imagine, writing as a boring occupation? (LOL) It wasn’t really until high school that I embraced writing fully.
  1. What would you say motivates you to keep writing? The first is my daughter. Plenty of times, she’s actually a writing “hindrance,” so to speak. Still, my writing as an adult started full-swing when she was first born, and I keep going to show her that she, too, can achieve her dreams with hard work. Secondly, the characters themselves keep me going. If it’s not a character I’m familiar with that’s bugging me, it’s a new one waiting to be written. There are people in my head, and they won’t be quiet. 😉 The last thing is caffeine – caffeine most definitely motivates me.
  1. Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you currently reading (or what is the last book you read)? C.S. Lewis is a long-time favorite. I adore his work. I love Dan Brown’s writing style and his pacing. Right now, I’ve got quite a few books started. “Unclaimed” by Laurie Wetzel, “Crimson Bayou” by Alizabeth Lynn, and “The Shadow Revolution” by Clay and Susan Griffith.
  1. What is your preferred reading method? (i.e., Kindle, Nook, paperback, hardback, etc.) Why? I prefer paperbacks (a tried and true presentation) or Kindle (my favorite electronic source). Hardbacks aren’t quite as comfortable for me to read.
  1. Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why? Mainly I write in third person, using past tense. Though, for the right story, I would consider using first person, past tense. Third person always spoke more to me than first. Still, I’m careful to minimize the number of POVs because I don’t like a cluttered story.
  1. Do you “always read” or do you take breaks between reading books? Goodness, no. I wish I always read, but for as much as I love reading, I have to force myself to take time to do it. Life is very chaotic, so books weren’t always on the top of my list. However, I am a more productive writer when I am a more productive reader, so I try to make the time. It truly helps to spark my creativity when I read other works.
  1. How many books would you say you read in a year? How many at any one time? I can handle about three books at one time. I prefer to read one at a time, though, but sometimes (like currently), my impatience wins out. Lately, I average about ten per year.
  1. What is the title of your current work in progress of the most recent manuscript you’ve completed? My debut novel is entitled, “The Fell.” It’s the first installment of The Naetan Lance Saga.
  1. What is your novel’s genre? Would you say there is a sub-genre? What makes yours different than other books in the same genre? My book falls into the dark fantasy genre, with a sword and sorcery feel to it. I think what sets “The Fell” apart is how it uses concepts from dystopian and sci-fi works and weaves it into a medieval fantasy setting. And that’s pretty much all I can say without spoiling it. 😉
  1. What inspired the current or most recent story you’ve completed? There were a few inspiration sources for “The Fell,” namely “The X-Files” for its grit and mystery, and the conflict of defining truth. I also drew inspiration from “Star Wars,” and ancient Greek tragedies for character interactions, some themes, and backgrounds. I looked a lot to Scandinavian and Nordic geographies and cultural elements while writing, and that is reflected a lot in the story.
  1. What is your target audience’s age, gender, etc.? I would venture to say equally males and females, 18 and up.

17. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your story? Sure. Here’s the blurb:

After the brutal death of his mentor, Leer Boxwell’s only desire is vengeance. However, his belief that the murderer is the mythical Grimbarror has made him the laughing stock of the Vale. When Leer witnesses the beast steal away the princess in an unexpected attack on the royal city, he volunteers to hunt the creature. Battling self-doubt and ridicule, while struggling to control a mysterious power within that he does not fully understand, Leer must decide whether his convictions are worth the sacrifice the Fell demands.

  1. How often do you write? I just committed to a personal 1k A Day goal for writing in 2017, so if I keep on track, the answer should be every day. I’m sure life will happen, and days will be missed, though.
  1. Approximately how many words do you write at each sitting? I typically average anywhere between 500-1,000 per sitting, but I’m aiming for the later, since I made the commitment above. 😉
  1. Do you do your own editing or send it to someone else? A combination. I couldn’t imagine sending something off to the CEP editor without at least giving it a few serious looks for changes.
  1. What is your method of writing? (i.e., Do you write the entire manuscript, then go back and make changes? Do you plan chapters as you go along or write the story then go back and add chapters? Do you re-read as you go along or after you are done with the first draft?) I write the story in order. I can’t skip around and write scenes, then fit them together. My style is very linear in that sense. I’ll re-read what I write and tweak small things, but mainly it’s my habit to write the story in its entirety, then go back and fix it. I treat chapter breaks as different scene breaks in a movie. Sometimes things move around as necessary after the fact, but for the most part, the chapters happen naturally as I’m writing.
  1. Do you have a muse? If so, please elaborate. If not, what inspires you? There are a lot of people in my life that act as mini muses for me. There is something about them that speaks to me – their look, their voice, or their hobbies or habits. When I can, I also people watch; studying the way people conduct themselves in various situations fuels my inspiration.
  1. How long does it take you to write a full manuscript? “The Fell” took two months to complete the first draft. However, it took two years after that to get it ready for publication.
  1. Do you give yourself a word limit for each day or a time limit to finish your novel? If so, please elaborate. Before I was contracted, I wrote whenever the inspiration “struck,” which wasn’t regulated by any means. However, I’m now on a narrower road, so I have self-imposed quotas and deadlines to meet.
  1. How do you come up with your character names and geographic location / business names? Naming comes from a combination of research and browsing. I pick names that speak to me, either for what they remind me of, or for what they mean. About 90% of the time, I used a slightly different method for naming the creatures in my story: I would look at what animal or insect was the closest to what I saw in my mind, and see the number of syllables each name had. Then, I would base the new name off of a characteristic of the “real” animal or insect, using however many syllables I had. If I didn’t apply that method, then the names derived from just a characteristic, or from completely unrelated “nonsensical” words that stuck with me for whatever odd reason. For locations, I based a lot of the geography off Scandinavian and Nordic landscapes, so I played with consonant and vowel arrangements often seen in those areas.
  1. How long (or how detailed) are the notes you take before you start writing? I like to draft an outline, or have a bulleted list of important events or concepts I’m trying to get across in the story. They usually fall somewhere between hardly detailed, and fairly detailed, and they almost always change as I write.
  1. Do you have any “must haves” to help you write? (i.e., a full cup of coffee, a view of the ocean, etc.) A full mug of hot coffee. An absolute must. If someone wants to provide me a view of the ocean, though, I would certainly be grateful.
  1. Do you only write during a certain time of day or in a certain location? If so, do you make yourself stop after a certain time? Not really. Writing happens whenever I can fit it in, but almost always at night. I’m not fussy about location, as long as I can have earbuds handy.
  1. Does your real life ever get neglected because of your writing? If so, how do you feel about that? Yes, and very guilty. I try not to, though; I try to remember that it’s part of my job, and also part of me. I’m grateful for my husband’s help and patience through it all.

30.What is the quirkiest thing you do or have ever done when writing? I have had my husband stand in and move through physical motions with me, especially for a battle scene. It really helps to make sure the movements are realistic. I also read dialogue aloud a lot, which is a little embarrassing.

31. If you could be one of your own characters for a day, who would it be and why? I’d like to be Astrid. She has a keen eye and lives a rather unconventional life. It could be quite fun!

32. If one of your books became a movie, who would you choose for the “perfect cast” of main characters? If we’re basing it off looks, I’d choose Penn Badgley to play Leer (permitting he changed his hair color, of course), Kaya Scoldelario for Astrid, and Colin O’Donoghue for James. But whoever is able to capture the real essence of each character would be perfect. 😉

33. What is the oddest thing you have ever researched for one of your books? I think that would have to be the type of underwear, if any, medieval people wore. It certainly brought up a lot of … interesting … results.

34. What is the most difficult thing you have ever researched for one your books and why? The rules for the game of tafl, or as it’s formally known, Hnefatafl. It’s an ancient Viking version of chess, and very little regarding rules and gameplay is documented about it. Still, I used a lot of Nordic inspiration for “The Fell,” and when I came across tafl and the mysterious nature of the game, I knew I had to feature it in my books.

 

Child of the Night Guild – Andy Peloquin


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Tagline/Elevator Pitch:

Vicious, ruthless criminals are made, not born. Child of the Night Guild—an insight into the transformation from innocent child to thief and killer.

Book Blurb:

Child of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves Book 1)

“They killed my parents. They took my name. They imprisoned me in darkness. I would not be broken.”

Viola, a child sold to pay her father’s debts, has lost everything: her mother, her home, and her identity. Thrown into a life among criminals, she has no time for grief as she endures the brutal training of an apprentice thief. The Night Guild molds an innocent waif into a cunning, agile outlaw skilled in the thieves’ trade. She has only one choice: steal enough to pay her debts.

The cutthroat streets of Praamis will test her mettle, and she must learn to dodge the City Guards or swing from a hangman’s rope. But a more dangerous foe lurks within the guild walls. A sadistic rival apprentice, threatened by her strength, is out for blood.

What hope does one girl have in a world of ruthless men?

Fans of Sarah J. Maas, Scott Lynch, and Brent Weeks will love the Hunter…

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Excerpt 1:

We’ve been at this for hours! When will he let us rest? Mind numb from hunger and fatigue, Viola placed one weary foot in front of the other. Blood dripped from cuts in her hands, arms, and forehead.

Master Velvet refused to let up. “Your past is gone, your families forgotten. You have no names, no identities. You are nothing more than a number until it is deemed fit to give you a name.”

The children called out as one, “Yes, Master Velvet!”

“Everything you are, everything you will be, you owe to the Night Guild. We are your masters, your creators, your gods.” The tirade had repeated for endless hours, but Master Velvet never seemed to have enough.

“Yes, Master Velvet!”

Master Velvet’s voice cracked like a carter’s whip. “Disobedience will be punished harshly. Obedience will be rewarded well. Learn this and you will flourish in the Night Guild.”

Viola’s legs wobbled, her shoulders ached, and her arms shook from exertion. “Yes, Master Velvet!”

“Forget everything you know. Forget life outside this room. You eat, sleep, and shit at my command.”

“Yes, Master Velvet!” Viola’s voice cracked from thirst and fatigue. She wanted to lie down, to close her eyes, to sleep.

Master Velvet snarled in her ear. “You live and die at the pleasure of the Night Guild. You belong to the Guild mind, body, and soul. What are you?”

“We are tyros, Master Velvet.”

He crouched beside her. “And what are tyros?”

“Lower than dirt, Master Velvet!”

A satisfied smile spread across his face. “Empty your buckets and set them on the floor beside the barrels. Double speed, my drudges.”

Viola tried to move faster, but her feet refused. By the time she reached the barrel at the far end of the room, only one other child remained. The boy, barely taller than her, had yet to empty his bucket. He strained to lift his heavy load. His hands trembled uncontrollably—a permanent condition that made even eating and drinking difficult. Water splashed down his tunic, turning the dirt to mud.

Emptying her pail, Viola dropped to the sodden ground with a half-sob, half-groan of relief.

“Get up, tyros!” Master Velvet would not let them rest.

Tears of exhaustion and frustration streaming, she climbed to her feet. Though her back protested, she forced herself straight when Master Velvet approached.

Stand tall, no matter what. Mama’s words echoed in her thoughts. I’m trying, Mama, but I’m so tired!

“Chow time, my drudges. You’ll find that table over there loaded with delights to fill your little bellies. Eat. You have done well.”

Someone had piled the table high with fruits, sweetmeats, and treats. She’d been too exhausted to notice. The scent of fresh bread, cinnamon rolls, and pastries wafted toward her. Her stomach rumbled in anticipation.

Master Velvet placed a hand on her shoulder. “Not you, Seven. You were the first to fail, so an example must be made.”

“B-But…” Viola couldn’t put up more than a weak protest.

“Off with you, Seven. To your bunk and reflect on your weakness.” His dark eyes held no kindness. “Pray to the Watcher for strength to survive.”

“Y-Yes, Master Velvet.” She turned away to hide her tears.

“Perhaps you’ll try harder tomorrow, Seven.” He spoke without a trace of compassion or pity in his voice. “If you want to have any hope of survival here in the Night Guild, this will be the last time you fail.”

Hunger gnawed at Viola’s belly, but it could not outweigh the bone-deep weariness. She forced herself not to look at the other children, to block out the sounds of their eating. Feet leaden, she turned to the tunnel that led to their sleeping quarters.

Tears flowed in earnest once she reached the darkness of the passage. Sobs of anger, desperation, and frustration washed over her, shaking her body like a leaf in a whirlwind.

Slamming the door shut behind her, she threw herself onto her bunk and buried her head in the thin pillow. She didn’t care that her clothes were soaking wet or that she hadn’t had any water to drink for hours. She wouldn’t allow any of the others to see her cry.

Bright Lady, hear me and protect me in my hour of need. Her parched throat refused to form the words.

The prayer had comforted her in the past, but now it felt empty. The hunger, exhaustion, and thirst remained. Minutes ticked by in silence. Nothing happened.

She balled her fists and swallowed the ache in her belly. Down here, she was all alone. The Bright Lady can’t hear me.

Why would she? The goddess of healing hadn’t heard when she’d prayed for Mama and baby Rose. The gods were far away, if they cared at all. Mama was gone and Papa had left her here. In this place, she was the only one she could count on. She had to be strong, just as she had been after Mama died.

I will get through another day. Just one more.

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Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Child-Night-Guild-Queen-Thieves-ebook/dp/B01N1TC3VW/

Amazon Paperback:

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Child-Night-Guild-Queen-Thieves-ebook/dp/B01N1TC3VW/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33412715-child-of-the-night-guild

Book Launch Event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/336765836707837/

Join my Thunderclap: http://thndr.me/fdeiQu

Bio:

Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious

I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist–words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I’m also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels.

Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion, race, or lifestyle–it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!

Website: http://www.andypeloquin.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndyPeloquin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andyqpeloquin

www.linkedin.com/in/andypeloquin/

https://plus.google.com/100885994638914122147/about

https://www.amazon.com/author/andypeloquin

https://www.facebook.com/andrew.peloquin.1

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYAKG5k06vcmc02Uy4fGLfA

http://andypeloquin.com/join-the-club/

10 Things You Need to Know About Me:

  1. Hot wings, ALWAYS!
  2. I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
  3. I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
  4. Marvel > DC
  5. I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
  6. Selena Gomez, Skrillex, Simon & Garfunkel, Celine Dion, and Five Finger Death Punch are all in my writing playlist.
  7. Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
  8. Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
  9. I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
  10. I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Favorite Books: The Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch, The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, Sherlock Holmes by A.C. Doyle, Warlord of Mars by E.R. Burroughs

Favorite Songs: Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch, Prayer by Disturbed, I’m an Albatraoz by AronChupa, Look Down from Les Miserables, Shatter Me by Lindsay Sterling and Lizzi Hale

Favorite Movies: 300, Red Cliff, Shoot Em Up, Love Actually, Princess Bride

Favorite Comics: Anything with Deadpool, Wolverine or Doop in it

Favorite Foods: Hot Wings, Meat-Lover’s Salad, A good sandwich (made by me), Yaki Soba, Sushi

Favorite TV Shows: The Flash, Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hawaii Five-0, Brooklyn 99, Firefly (too soon!), The Last Ship, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones

Reviews:

“Creative, gritty, and beautifully dark…fantasy addicts will love it!” — Peter Story, author of Things Grak Hates — http://peterjstory.com/

“The fantasy world has a compelling new antihero…the Hunter will terrify and captivate you.” – Eve A Floriste, author of Fresh Cut

“From the first words on the page this fantasy holds the reader spellbound even after the book is finished…his character is very well-defined even if his past is a mystery. Root for an assassin? Oh, yes, one must!” — Carol Conley, for InDTale Magazine

“Oh the carnage! Fantastic bloodthirsty carnage! The fight scenes in this book were fast-paced, detailed and thrilling. I love a good sword fight and there is plenty of that here.” — Ami L. Hart

“One could get lost in this novel for its twisting plots, seemingly endless imagination, dark yet irresistible characters, or the mind-numbing paradox of its simultaneously dark and romantic world. One could follow the long and winding road of the dusky, fierce protagonist and fight tooth and nail not to sympathize with him. One could dance in the dizzying, intricate circles of Peloquin’s neo-mythology, or even basque in the black sunlight of a well-crafted gothic novel that both entertains and enlightens.” — Jesse G. Christiansen

John Ryers – The Glass Thief


ABOUT JOHN RYERSauthor-pic-john-ryers

John is a graphic designer by day, and graphic designer by night (depending on the client), but most importantly, he’s a writer at heart. His dreams include writing for a living, experiencing virtual reality on a Matrix-esque level, and flying unaided (or possibly via really sweet jetpack).

John writes all genres but prefers Dark Fantasy over most anything else. This is due in part to the fact that he likes it the best, and because it’s awesome.

John prefers blue cheese over cheddar, cats over dogs, and will attempt to answer any question with sarcasm whether appropriate or not.

He completed his first novel The Glass Thief in 2017 and you should buy it. Or don’t. He’s not the boss of you.

BACK BLURBthe-glass-thief-cover

A debt is owed.

Del Kanadis–indentured thief to the King of Fires–desires freedom above all else. When given the opportunity to repay his debt with a single job, he begrudgingly accepts, believing it to be a fool’s errand. His task: infiltrate a secluded village rumoured to hold a relic capable of defeating the Fire King’s enemies.

Living amongst the townsfolk and gaining the trust of those in charge, Del quickly discovers they know more than they’re letting on, and that perhaps the relic truly does exist. Upon discovering their ultimate secret, he realizes winning his own life back could come at the cost of everyone else losing theirs.

the-glass-thief-promoGLASS THIEF EXCERPTS:

CHAPTER 1:

A debt was owed.

Four simple words and a simpler concept still, but it was the repayment of said debt that was particularly difficult for one glass thief, Del Kanadis. If it were just a matter of acquiring enough gold to satisfy the debtor, then Del wouldn’t be freezing his ass off in the middle of a moonlit cornfield right now. But as it was, it wasn’t to be settled by coin alone, but rather favours of a delicate nature. A nature that required weeks of meticulous plotting, planning and preparation.

CHAPTER XXI:

If you could describe Uri’s home with a few words, it’d be sterile, bare and spartan. Almost militant. It reminded Del of the early days, back when he’d steal glass from the barracks and keeps of human kingdoms before the Glass Wars diminished their numbers and put the faen into power.

Nothing was out of place here. His clothes were organized into two sections: patrol Uri and magistrate Uri. Light armour and leather on the left and garish robes and ceremonial trinkets on the right. No Glass Crown.

A mouse would be hard-pressed to find a crumb of food in the kitchen. The floors were scrubbed, the table clean and polished, and the scent of citrus lingered in the air. No Glass Crown.

Upstairs was, as expected, equally tidy. Saria’s bedroom would seem chaotic compared to the order of Uri’s, and all she had was a bed and a book of poems. The sheets were pressed and fitted tight around a bed that’d hold no more than a single person. If Uri had anything going on with Renny, it sure as hell wasn’t going on here. Perhaps they rolled around on the floured floor of her bakery. An image both amusing and disturbing. No Glass Crown.

Del returned to the kitchen and grabbed a glass along with the bottle of wine beside it. He pulled the cork out with his teeth, spit it onto the floor and filled the glass, putting his feet up on the table. A small consolation for a fruitless search, but a deserved one nonetheless. He had after all saved Uri’s life.

CHAPTER XVII:

Don’t run,” Arisee whispered.

It was like she could see the list of options scrolling through Del’s mind. Running away being at the top of the list. Screaming or soiling oneself tied for second place and wishing for a pair of loaded glasslocks came in third.

Arisee shifted her feet and crouched into some sort of exotic combat stance suggesting she’d be making a stand, and since Del’s ankle had so conveniently betrayed him on the way here, it seemed he’d be making a stand too. A weaponless, armourless, hopeless stand most likely ending in a gruesome death.

Get your Copy at Amazon Today

 

Memories drive us


There is always a new feeling when old memories come back to haunt us. That idea of what we can be and what we could have been build conflict within us.

Please enjoy the first chapter of my newest release. Memories. Genre Urban Fantasy.

SparkMemories by Jin Okubo

The morning was just like any other he had experienced in his twenty-five years of life. Yet, stumbling through the apartment to do his morning bodily evacuation, he had an idea that would lead him from this day on. The idea was about a way to make life easier through invention. As the saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention”. Here was a true living version.

Taking time to look around the apartment, he evaluated what and where he could build from. The apartment had a lingering haze reminiscent of a honky-tonk bar. If he looked hard enough, he could swear that there were eyes looking back at him. The eyes told him to spend the rest of his life looking down the barrel of a shot glass or some other mind-numbing drink. He had felt the loss of hope in those eyes.

Decided he would not allow it any longer, he chose to change it. Light was the first thing that had to be allowed. This was in order to see about clearing up this living area to make it a representation of some new hope. Walking around the un-opened boxes sent him by loved ones in an attempt to reach him, he threw open the curtains and let light flood into the room. The light that flooded his senses brought new forms of pain that he had not experienced for days. He never enjoyed the sun and what it symbolized. It brought with it life and warmth, and they were two things he had given up on. As he walked the dying path he had chosen, he knew that light was contrary to the solitude he worked so hard to attain. This was especially true after she had left … or was she taken? The thought stopped him in his tracks. He wanted so much to remember, but never could get a good grasp on the events of that day.

He felt all the way to his core that he was at fault. Still in the haze of light and shadows that were his past he could not really, truly be sure of anything. It had now become just bits and pieces of places not fully formed or names only half-spoken in his mind. He could not see himself in her arms, though. Every time the sun struck him head-on, there he was again. Hers were the eyes that brought life, life that would never let go. “Move past this” was the thought that kept tearing at his heart, but there he was in her arms, unable to move. The smell of her hair was just out of reach, teasing his mind. He could almost savor that sweet fragrance again, but, like the elusive sun melting Icarus’s wings keeping him at bay, his golden memories melted just before he could get a solid grasp of them.

There he stood for the world to see, paralyzed with joy. This basking in the sun was a rarity in his life, where few moments of pure pleasure existed as islands in a vast sea of despair. Slowly, he turned to see what life had become in the dank pit he called home. He had taken a spiraling fall down the ladder of success almost as quickly as he had climbed it.

Here he was at rock bottom and this moment was where he would see his own life for what it had become. He had reached the goal of living on the outside as he felt on the inside. He was a rotting cesspool full of bile and despair.

The apartment was not one that could be taken all in at one glance. In order to take in the volumes this pit spoke about its owner, someone would have to take in each section in the proper light. Why anyone would choose to live this way was beyond the reasoning of any normal citizen of modern society. The first thing to be noticed was the floor—or rather, the lack of it. Strewn throughout the apartment were boxes filled with clothing in need of washing and plates with moldy food. A closer look brought the eyes to a focal point: a beautiful porcelain teapot bought at some obscure auction. This teapot was something of an oddity in this apartment, which caused the onlooker to wonder why anyone would live in such disrepair, while at the same time maintaining such a beautiful piece of antiquity.

In the sun the pot shined like a fire that refused to be put out; it was like a beacon of life, pure and white. It was reminiscent of the life spent in days gone by, a time in some distant dynasty where ordinary people would live out their lives as farmers or merchants of some kind. This was not the trend of current times, but there it sat, something more than two centuries old still in near-mint condition from what could be seen by walking around it: a diamond in the mist of coal for all to see and digest.

Still the question remained: who was this man who kept such a priceless artifact sitting on a desk where a mere inch away sat a plate with a slice of pizza? By the looks of it, any person with eyes could tell that the pizza had been sitting there for at least two months. The mold had completely covered the plate in a suffocating barrier and looked as if it was getting ready to attack the teapot. He would never allow that to happen. Preventing that invasion was his daily chore.

Clean the pot, keep it safe, and place it in its proper location where it would remind him of what he truly did not know.

Not picturing himself as a person who would buy such antiques led him to the conclusion that it must have been the woman in his memories who purchased it. She was gone and not even this pot would bring her back.

As most folks know, porcelain of this quality is made in pairs to fulfill the Yin and Yang. The mate of the pot had disappeared at the time that she had. The thought that they would never be re-united was constant in his mind.

An ashtray could be clearly seen half-covered in a greenish slime, the clear offspring of the pizza. Yet, rather than clean it, someone had continually stubbed out cigarettes in the slime. By the looks of it, the slime was feeding on the nicotine. This was something that would have taken time to grow in a lab, but here it was flourishing in this rather new and extreme ecological environment with each new butt that had been put out in it.

A new cigarette butt had recently been stabbed into the organism, dripping a grayish black mixture of ashes and slime over the edge onto the desk. The dry stains around the ashtray indicated there was no hope for life on the outskirts of the ashtray. The fact that certain death awaited the slime had kept it within the limits of the ashtray. Yet, now and then it would try to reach out and infest.

A picture hung on the wall in the direct line of sight between the pot and the ashtray. The picture, which was and was not truly a picture of what it was meant to represent, hung stoic in all its glory. Although only a single wallet-sized picture, it hung in grandeur, framed in a fashion befitting a royal portrait. It had been maintained on the wall with such care and dedication, it appeared to blend into the wall. It was easy to forgive the fact that the picture was nothing more than eyes staring blankly into the void, the rest of the image having been damaged by fire. It only laid proof to his madness for having a portrait built into an apartment he did not own. What was even worse was the fact that the portrait this man cherished was nothing more than eyes. Looking hard enough, it was clear that the eyes were the eyes of a woman. There was a kindness in those eyes that gave reason for the disrepair. What reason lay within the eyes could only be speculated, although as he stood there, the eyes gave him pause to ask for forgiveness. They seemed to smile back at him in such a way that his heart felt the tears come as he stood there, letting them rip deep. They tore into the memory of his lost love, allowing him to retain the pain, but not the memory.

There were no other pictures on the walls. This one and only picture had been kept free from any external influences that lay about this cesspool of an apartment, just as had the pot. The frame was made of wood so exotic that one could not rightly say which tree had provided its flesh in order to bring these eyes to life. The glass appeared to have been handmade in some artistic institution.

Everything about this frame indicated the state of mind one would have needed to have been in: obsession, it was, or could it have been called devotion. When a love, a true soul mate style of love is lost, there are two things that can be done: move on and find something else to fill the void or devote the remainder of one’s life to the memory. With him it was hard to tell, for he did not open the dark recesses of his heart. Like a home closed up for decades, everything was kept under the cover of dark sheets or else left alone to the ravages of time. Yet, the true treasures of his heart where kept in perfect order, locked away in the deepest crevice, far from prying eyes.

It had not been that long since he had lost her—just a couple of years. Still, without her there to keep order, he was at a loss. The dreadful event that had taken her and his memory now forcing him into re-learning the fact that a room needs to be kept, though, that was about to change. As of this day, he had made a decision to bring the rest of the apartment up to the standard of care enjoyed by the pot and the picture. But where to start was the issue revolving around him. In all actuality, it had stumped him. He was at a loss about what to do with the amount of unwanted growths that were continually fed by the countless care packages sent by his family. This in turn brought about the first decision in his steps to bring everything back under control. He got a trash bag to take care of the filth. Taking the first of many boxes, he opened it to find a sweater next to a container of juice, which, lacking refrigeration, had spoiled beyond recognition.

The juice in the trash bag, along with the sweater box, was placed under the picture. This process was repeated for the next six hours. In the end, eight bags full of trash, twenty sweaters, thirty shirts, two pairs of pants, and countless socks left his apartment free from the cancerous growths. With bags now placed in the kitchen, he started the next part. To further clean the floor, he would also have to wash clothes. Armed with another trash bag, he started picking up the garments strewn across the floor. Finishing with four trash bags full of clothes, he needed to see if the washing machine still functioned.

In the country he now called home the washing machines where smaller than those common in the western world. With the machine at max capacity, he could clearly see that it held only a third of a trash bag of his clothing. The cleansing of the apartment continued. The floor was now noticeable, though dust balls were still seen scudding about the room with the slightest breeze. This was easily rectified by a mop-style cleaner.

The cleaner held a moist paper towel on the flat surface of the floor and was attached on the other side to a pivot joint, followed by a handle, allowing the towel to remain in full contact with the floor as the cleaner was pushed about in any direction. Just as the Americans in the early days of settling the western United States eradicated the buffalo from moving trains and such, he also eradicated the copious amounts of dust balls.

This massive cleaning prompted the use of another trash bag for the used paper towels. With a furrowed brow he pondered Dam rug, how do I even take care of it? Do I wash it? A rug that he could not even remember buying. It would require a turn in the washing machine in order to bring its original colors back to life. He dropped it in line behind the trash bags full of clothing yet to be washed.

With a lively chime, the washing machine indicated that the first load of clothing was now done and required drying. Carefully, he took the clean clothes to his veranda where he could hang them to dry. Just then he noticed something had been growing where his rug had been apparently not needing a constant source of light to live, it reminded him of himself.

He chuckled. He had to take care of this, although by the looks of it, a simple wet paper towel would not be sufficient. Taking the cloth towel that he had used ever since he had moved into this new place to dry his hands after washing them every morning, he set it in the sink to soak. He sprinkled laundry detergent across the grungy rug and then followed by getting onto his hands and knees. Using the soaked towel, he started to scrub away every bit of mold. Upon finishing the task at hand, he noticed that he had not eaten all day. Deciding that the floor needed time to dry, he stepped out for a bite to eat. But the trash blocking his way had to be handled first. It took him three trips to take out all of the trash bags from his apartment. As he did this, he noticed the sun was marking the time as late afternoon. Since he did not like being outside after dark, he decided that a quick walk to the liquor store was all that time permitted.

He went there to buy a sandwich and something to drink there before once again attacking the monumental amount of things to clean. What a society in which he lives where everything that is edible can be made into a sandwich. He stood there wondering what to get, but could not decide. She was working that day and by chance saw that he was in need of some help. Walking out from behind the counter, she asked in a soft voice if she could help him in any way.

Nothing looked particularly good to him. Suddenly noticing that she existed, an end to his confusion was at hand. Looking up into those nice brown eyes brought him face to face with something that had been lacking in his life since the woman of his dreams had been taken. With a nice smile he calmly stated that he had no idea what was good. She nodded and returned his smile while saying that the vegetable sandwich was one of the top choices and that the nutritional value was probably worth the price. Taking the sandwich in hand, he glanced down at the drink he had already chosen, which he was now sure would ruin this healthy meal by introducing toxins not to be found in a healthy vegetable sandwich. This frustrated him with questions about the true value of health for a man in his state. She quickly saw in his furrowed brow that he was truly in need of help—and more than just in food. He needed help for his life. She walked over to the drinks and pulled out a simple green tea.

Handing it to him, she simply said, “This will compliment that sandwich.”

From then on he would only eat lean meat for health reasons, but more so because someone had taken the time to care.

Finding out the name of this woman would not be as simple as asking for it. The thoughts started to flood his mind, ‘What kind of man would he be if he were to try to pick up a woman just after meeting her? What would she think of him if she was even remotely interested? Where would any form of a relationship go, matching a stable and sensible woman with a man bent on self-destruction?

Would this even work?

There was only one way he could find out and that was through the simple admission that he was interested in her. However, this would have to wait for another time when he could be better prepared and look more the part of a gentleman instead of some stranger off the street. What was important now was the task at hand. He followed her slowly back to the counter and paid for his small meal. With a nod and smile, she accepted his payment and thanked him for his patronage. This was when their eyes met, giving them both a glimpse of the spark, that solitary spark that fuels whirlwind romances. She blushed; he simply smiled back at her as he walked out the door. A quick glance back into the store revealed that she was watching him even after he had walked out the door. He smiled again as he started his trudge back to the apartment, where he would continue with his work. This work of changing the conditions that had kept him a prisoner to his past would consume him until it was done.

Everything until now had become the past now that he had been given a renewed spark for life.

He started to realize that there could be life after such a loss. His life began to show signs of flourishing. He just had to want it badly enough to move in this new direction. The rest of his cleaning seemed to take less time, although he did not complete it until early the following morning. The clothes were washed and hung out to dry, the ashtray lay empty and clean, and there were just four more trash bags remaining to be disposed. Once they were taken out, he returned to his sanctuary. In this new womb he had created he would soon be full of life rather than gloom, which prickled the back of his neck even now as he stood there in satisfaction of his accomplishment. His mind would never really be free and clear of the gloom.

A glance around his apartment bore witness to what he could truly become with the past properly packaged and thrown away. Where the piles of gift packages had once claimed space, there was now beautiful emptiness. Where the clothing and the rug had once desecrated his floor, there was only pure wood. The copious amounts of dust balls were all corralled into the trash and led away, leaving nothing more than a distant memory.

Lying down on his bed with a nice book, he read a few pages before drifting off into a dream—one he had been having ever since he could remember, yet this time it came harder, faster, and was more painful than ever.

The pangs he suffered from this dream were there to remind him about what he had lost. There was no denying that he could have changed the outcome of the events that had led to the loss of his love. There was a certain truth when he spoke to his one confidant about the numerous events that kept these memories in his head and yet still a blur, and that truth was REGRET. There was regret where something else had been torn out. This was a thorn in his side about not being a man. Could he have changed what had happened, and if so, then what would he have done? Could he ask for another chance to run through the maze, a maze where he would gladly starve looking for the cheese? But this was his lot in life. As long as he could remember, he had chosen the sequence of events that laid the foundation of what he had become. That fact clearly still held true. It was in the past. That is where these fevered dreams came into meaning. For a man whose soul was wracked with regret, they served as a reminder. Why do people let others torture one’s soul when they can do such a great job on their own? The clear thought was more of a wisp of smoke rather than anything as tangible as the pain about to come.

By Jin Okubo Please find my book at Memories

Where does the heart go.


There are many things that bring about a new view on novels. This is especially true when it comes to the romance genre. It is my opinion that this genre has seen a large shift to both extremes as to what can constitute romance.

Then there is the idea of who is qualified to write romance. While many of the top romance writers tend to be women, it is clear that this is not just a topic in which women can prevail. That is not to say that women cannot write, but quite the opposite it is to say that we can all write in any genre and should try to step away from the stereotypical ideas of who is qualified to write what.
I am a male writing romance.  I also think that I am doing quite well in the genre as my novels are unique and work well to introduce the topic at hand. Relationships and the complexity that they entail. No one relationship is the same as the other and still there is the need in society for that happy ever after.

I do not write THAT story. I am more into the reality of love. The clear fact that love can prevail and overcome. And while my endings may not be the fairytale endings. They are true to life endings and you can see how love endures beyond our wildest expectations.
So take a ride on the side of love that burns, yearns, and wrecks everything in its way in order to dominate and surpass all.

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If you are interested in the great romance ride then check out my work.

Jin Okubo

Kaoru In Loves Shadow

 

 

“So… what is the word on him?” Kaoru was direct in her question as she was in her piercing stare. “Please tell me you found something. You did… didn’t you?! I can see it on your face. What…? Tell me! He is crazy, no he is heavily in debt, married?! Yes, I knew it… he is married and I should just move on.” “Easy now,” Bill started, “Don’t get yourself all riled up before it is time. Just like your mother you are. Besides I don’t see my shirt anywhere in the room so what makes you think that I will tell you what I found out.”

Knowing that he could only poke fun at her for so long Bill enjoyed playing games with his niece. “It is going to take me time. But I promise that I will get that shirt before the end of the spring. But I must know about him.” Kaoru pleaded faking tears and all. Knowing her uncle as well as she had the tears were well planned. “It is just that I want to have what mother and father had and now here you are denying me the only information that will bring me happiness.” Turning to look out the window she managed to hide the fact that there were no tears in her eyes.

“Now, now,” Bill moved to console her. “You know that I will not be able to deny you anything. Let me tell you a bit about him. Will that dry those eyes of yours?”

“Well it depends on what you were able to find out.” Kaoru was clearly milking the situation for as much as she could. Had she done any less and her uncle would be less forthcoming with the information. There was always the chance that she was going to miss some vital point that would cause her to make a mistake and have to backtrack later on in a relationship. Robert was a man that she did not want to make that mistake with. There was so much work that she had planned to put into him that would make backtracking tiresome if not impossible.

“Well let’s see where to start.” Bill heading back to the sofa decided against sitting but rather to continue on to the books beautifully shelved and maintained. “These are really nice books now, aren’t they? It really is a shame that there is noone, not a living soul that can pour through these as your father did.” Looking down at a small table the books that had lain open for the world or any visitor to see the previous visit still… lay open in the same spot. There were even new additions to the group, as the earlier ones, had apparently in the same manner been abandoned for other projects.

Shaking his head he continued, “You know that your father would have never let the books sit as they do now. But then again you are not your father. No, no don’t get upset now it is just that there should really be someone that could take care of these books as they are meant to be taken care of.”

“What are you trying to say?” Kaoru interjected.

“Well…” Bill took his time. “This new guy that you have an interest in really likes his books. He is paranoid enough where I was not able to watch him long enough and should I had employed enough junior detectives I might have gotten a chance to follow him for more than a week. But not more than a month. What a jittery young man that you have chosen.”

 

Still looking for Beta Readers


Sequel to Love is done. The name is chosen. I just want to find people who can beta read it and help me make it better.
If you are interested please, please send me an email at kalamadea1234@gmail.com or use the contact form on this post.