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Monday, October 4, 2021

Dragonfly Girl by Logan Lansing

 


Dragonfly Girl
Logan Lansing

Genre: Romance
Publisher: Can’t Put it Down Books
Date of Publication: May, 2021
ISBN: 978-1736597927
ASIN: B093WXQ439
Number of pages: 206 pages
Word Count: 46,800
Cover Artist: Eric Labacaz 

Tagline: One Woman’s Search for Real Satisfaction

Book Description: 

AROUSING, POIGNANT, PROVOCATIVE 

After seven years in an unhappy and abusive relationship, Suzanne leaves her alcoholic husband and returns to her hometown to begin again. But returning home doesn’t necessarily grant serenity and security, it means dredging up old wounds—from meeting her former boyfriend, now the owner of a “gentlemen’s club,” to dealing with her mother’s recently acquired lifestyle. 

Gathering wisdom from an unlikely source in unexpected ways, Suzanne makes new friends in unusual places. They confirm her conviction that real satisfaction is not just for men. Her sexual enlightenment leads to danger but the risk to right some age-old wrongs brings her into a deeper connection with friends old and new and leads her toward a future filled with magic. 

In her dryly-funny debut erotic romance, author Logan Lansing titillates, surprises, and satisfies.


 

Excerpt:

Before getting on the Parkway, I took the scenic route along the ocean to clear my head and inhale the briny odor of salty sea air. The familiar cries of distant squeals of children, cawing of gulls and the peaceful repetition and rhythm of waves drew me in. As I relaxed and loosened my white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel, I caught a glint of the thin gold band around the finger on my left hand. The same gold band that had been waiting seven years for the promised matching wedding ring. Jamming the gearshift into park, I jumped out, sprinted over burning sand and yanked off the ring, flinging it far into the ocean. At the same time thinking I should’ve sold it for cash.

Yeah, that would’ve been the smart thing to do.

                                                       ***

          Loud music thumped from my car radio as I pulled into the middle lane heading north to Mom’s on the Garden State Parkway. Tears built up as I cranked open the window, blew out a deep breath and sucked in freedom!

But now what?

I could spend the entire trip up to Summit hoping to shake the picture of Frank’s beer bloated face. And try to remember why it took seven years of marriage to leave such a loser.

Or…

 I could review all the things I did before I left. Laundry washed. Garbage out. Food in fridge. Check. Check. Check. No leftover guilt, no remaining regrets. Nothing. Only anger.

At myself.

 But I didn’t want to think about any of it, not the dilapidated trailer we lived in until the house Frank promised to build was started or the dog who lovingly stayed by my side during the whole shit-show or the education I never finished. Not about our marriage that fell apart even before the honeymoon or all the nights of Frank’s lousy drunken sex moves until he passed out and I was left hanging and alone.

Or…

I could make a plan. A serious plan for my future. After all, I had two years of Community College. A good start. And Mom would be thrilled to know I’d dumped Frank and wanted to go back to school. She might even pitch in some bucks. But did I want to listen to “I told you so,” a million times and her ongoing insistence that I attend Al-Anon because it saved her life.

The traffic had picked up and I was in unfamiliar territory. Exit signs in the 130’s whizzed by for Linden, Rahway. Wait! Didn’t I read in the class newsletter that Jerry Spinella was now managing his uncle’s bar somewhere around here? Oh, man, Jerry, my boyfriend from Summit High School before I met that low-life, Frank on the beach at the shore and threw away my future. What was the name of that bar? An odd name. Oh, right, Dr. Unk’s. It spelled d-r-u-n-k-s. Guess that said it all.

One drink. I’ll stop off for one drink and do what I should have done years ago.

Directions on my phone led me to a brick store front building sandwiched between two tall factories, the location basically hidden and ugly. There were only two trees on the entire sidewalk, each shading front windows of one of the factories. With all the vacant parking spaces on the street, I slid into one, adjusted the rear-view mirror in my direction and swiped on some lipstick. Stepping down from the van, I stretched, squinted into the sunlight for a moment and shoved open the humidity-swollen door that said Dr. Unk’s in chipped black lettering. As I adjusted my eyes to the dim entrance, I put my over-sized sunglasses on my head pushing back my hair and blinked my way further inside. The room was wider than it looked from the outside with a huge bar that ran the length of the place. Tables for two or four lined the edges of what seemed like a deserted dump.

My eyes narrowed as a door swung open and a backlit body of a tall man came out from the far end.

“Jerry?” My voice echoed off the dingy walls.

“We’re closed. Who wants to know?”

“It’s me, Suzanne Quinlan.”

The figure paused. “Suzy Q? Best ass in the class?”

I laughed. “The one and only.”

I stepped closer. Wearing jeans and no shirt, he didn’t move. Was he still angry after all these years?

Screw it.

I ran toward him and folded into his broad sweaty chest. As he pulled me in a scent memory sliced through: Jerry, me, back seat of his truck. It was after he had worked out. I loved being with him then. No fake spicy men’s cologne. Just Jerry.

“Hey,” I leaned back and looked up into his clear steel blue eyes ringed with dark lashes. “Even after all this time you smell like yourself.”

“That’s the way you liked it. Manly, you said.”

And there it was. His wide grin framed by dimples, spreading sunshine through the windowless room.  

How could I have given him up for Frank?

Taking me all in, Jerry put me at arms length before giving me a quick little spin. His eyes hesitated at chest level then rested on my face. “Lookin’ good, Suzanne. But come on, there’s no way you were just passing through this neighborhood. Let’s sit down and catch up.” As he draped his arm around my shoulder and steered me toward one of the tables, his hand slipped down and brushed my butt. I sat while he brought over two bottles of water from the bar and tried to ignore the low-level volt that hadn’t left.

I licked my parched lips, gulped some water and opened up. “I made a BIG mistake marrying Frank Wilson. You knew it, my mother knew it, all my girlfriends knew it. But not me. I was blinded by his beach-body muscles and the fact that he had an auto body shop at the shore. He seemed like an uncomplicated, undemanding, fun guy who loved cars and had a good start-up business. Looking back, I think I was desperate for a getaway from mom’s control and Dad’s drinking.”

I braced myself for the usual wave of sadness that followed thinking about dad but kept going.

“Jerry, please know it had nothing to do with how I felt about you. Anyway you were set to go to Rutgers for the next four years. Frank’s proposal seemed like the easiest solution for me. I had no idea he was an alcoholic and big bull shitter. So, today I left him. It was time. Way past time.”

 “And you’re here because…”

“Because I owe you an apology.”

His eyes widened.

“I’m sorry if I hurt you, Jerry. Really sorry.”

“I thought we had a good thing going. So, okay, I’ll admit I was upset when you left but there was no use trying to stop you,” he swallowed hard. “Moving on, Suz, what are your plans?”

“That’s the problem. I’d go back home to Summit with my tail between my legs but I hate the thought of listening to my mother. My eventual dream is to have my own business but first I need to make some money. Big money. So, maybe I’ll…”

“So, stay here.”

“Here?” He reached across the table and squeezed my hand. His fingers strong, his touch warm.

I scanned the empty room while his grasp remained. “You’ve got to be kidding. I don’t see any customers.”

“It’s Sunday. We’re closed. But during the week and Saturdays, it’s jammed.”

“Seriously? What’s the draw? This place is dark and uh, seedy. Don’t like to hurt your feelings but just sayin’.”

“Watch.” Jerry slid his hands away from mine then walked over to the sidewall with that solid, athletic stride of his and flipped several switches.

Whoa! A disco sound system kicked on in sync with revolving white and colored lights that flooded the entire bar. All the scuffed furniture and graffiti faded away. The run-down place took on a newer, almost high-end look.

“Ohmygod, Jerry, It’s beautiful. I’m impressed.”

“When my uncle died, family members asked me if I would help save the place from going under. I agreed because they didn’t want to let the liquor license lapse. I thought it would be short term but after I put in the lights and built a DJ booth,” he pointed to a small stage on the side wall, “and hired some girls who could dance, the rest is history. My aim is to turn this from a bar for tired factory workers into an upscale Gentleman’s Club for all men.”

“I’m interested but what would I do? I never bartended and I sure as hell never stripped or danced around a pole.”

“You’repretty.” He leaned forward and smiled as I imagined seeing the wheels turn behind his eyes. “That’s a big plus.So what are your other talents?”

“Organizing and managing people. So far in my life I’ve sold myself short and played small. Now I want to change. And as you remember,” I said in a joking, well, okay, flirty way, “I do a fairly decent blowjob.”

Did I just say blowjob?

“Couldn’t forget that, Suz.” Jerry’s grin grew as the memory sunk in. “Here’s the deal,” he cleared his throat. “What you’re willing to do is going to determine how much money you’ll make. Talk to my manager, Julia. She’ll fill you in.” He hesitated. “But I have a few ideas of my own. And, I sure as hell could use a blonde around here.”



About the Author:  

Logan Lansing currently lives in New Jersey, not far from New York City, and spends summers in the Adirondacks or at the Jersey shore. She loves every dog she ever met and every cat that jumps into her lap.

Although Logan has written in a variety of other genres, Dragonfly Girl is her first erotic romance. No matter what category, her writing always has purpose that defines, draws and guides.

When not at the computer, Logan does a high intensity-boxing workout, appreciates a deep tissue massage and enjoys a good breakfast and stimulating conversation at a local diner.

Every day is an adventure to Logan as long as it includes fun, friends, family and fantasy.




Friday, October 1, 2021

Feature The Curse of the Werewolf

 



The Curse of the Werewolf 

The werewolf originated in the times of ancient Greece when their gods reigned supreme.  During one fateful festivity, Lycaon, the son of Pelasgus, was in need of a meat to serve.  Too lazy to go hunting for wild game or to slaughter a lamb, he served the Greek god, Zeus (who was the ruler of the sky and of all gods and mankind), a meal made from the remains of a sacrificed boy. This severely enraged Zeus. As punishment, the angered god turned Lycaon and his sons into wolves. They were to be looked upon by the rest of humanity as something to abhor. 

Zeus’ lover Selene (who was the goddess of the moon) took pity on Lycoan’s family.  She felt it unfair to make them pay for a sin that they had no part of.  After much effort, she convinced Zeus to shorten the curse and allow them to enjoy humanity until they were of age to wed and breed.  (This age, at that time, was their early teens when their hormones took over and a girl became a woman and a boy became a man).  Instead of the curse being a constant, it would activate only during the hours of the full moon. All other times they were allowed to be human.  

Although she campaigned for the pain that was involved in the shift to be eliminated, she was only able to have it become lessened over time.

As for humanity’s viewpoint on the werewolf, she was able to do nothing to change it.

As centuries passed, new gods came into play and Zeus’ power faded enough to allow certain branches of Lycaon’s bloodline to  breed out the curse enough so that it often skipped generations. In some, it would afflict only one or two per generation.  In others, it remained dormant unless they were exposed to a werewolf’s venom or scratch.  

Because humanity abhorred and hunted them, they kept to themselves and hidden as best as they could.  This meant that many with a dormant werewolf curse in their genes never encountered a werewolf.  They had the good fortune to go through life never knowing their true selves.  

Those who were less fortunate and encountered a werewolf had the curse awaken in them.  As did those of a generation that followed one that was skipped, leaving them without others nearby to aid them in their shift.

Such is the curse of the werewolf.


Jasper: The Beginning
Book One
Eileen Sheehan

Genre: Paranormal Romance Thriller
Publisher: Earth Wise Books
Date of Publication: June 29, 2021
ISBN: 979-8527979565
ASIN: B097XFT4VT
Number of pages: 162
Word Count: 55,511

Tagline: Taking a shortcut through a dark and remote alley on Halloween night proved to be a life changing decision of research scientist, Jasper Greene.

Book Description: 

Bitten by a zombie and brutally attacked by a group of werewolves, he was left for dead only to be discovered and rescued by a vampire king who took him home to heal. 

Delighted to discover that Jasper's research was on genetics with a focus on elongating life (for which he often used himself as a test subject due to lack of money), the vampire king assigned him the task of shifting the vampire DNA so that it was less obvious what they were when in the company of humans. 

With his assistant, Lila, in tow he was provided a lab and set to work. With toxins from werewolves and zombies mingling with the vampire blood he was provided during his healing time, Jasper struggled to adjust to his new body while he did his best to accommodate the vampires until the opportunity to escape presented itself. But, where does a man who has vampire, werewolf and zombie traits go?

The Beginning, is book 1 of the Jasper series.

Amazon      BN     Kobo     Apple     Smashwords


Excerpt
… Even though he’d drawn blood, it wasn’t the zombie character who pummeled him to the ground. He was still trying to piece it together, but he was certain that the beating came from another source. Two. No, three men.

They came out of nowhere in wolf-like costumes and sliced off the head of the zombie dressed character with a large sword while Jasper was struggling to be free of him.  
Jasper’s first thought was that he’d stumbled into a gang war zone of some type.  Gang battles were nothing to take lightly.  Although death was often a result of such battles, beheading wasn’t something that he’d read about in the news.

Traumatized to the point of being immobilized by what he’d just witnessed, he was unable to fight back when the three men proceeded to tackle him to the ground and pummel his body with fists, rocks, and, finally, a crowbar. It wasn’t until much later that he questioned why they’d left his head intact.

The attackers desire to closely mimic the character of the costumes they wore was both frustrating and shocking.  He could only reason that there was some sort of contest or gang challenge that they were participating in to make them behave with such dedication even while mugging someone.  If memory served him right, he was clawed and bitten by one of them as well.  

Left broken and barely holding onto life, he felt certain that he wouldn’t survive more than a few hours.  The possibility of someone of strong moral character stumbling upon him in that dingy alley and calling for medical help was bleak. If by some miracle someone did come along to rescue him in time, he’d definitely have to get tested for diseases that could have entered his bloodstream via these wounds.

He grew weaker and weaker as he faded in and out of consciousness. Whenever his mind got coherent enough to realize his situation, he was surprised to discover that he was still able to inhale life giving air.  He shouldn’t have survived such a brutal attack.  Yet, the searing pain that coursed through every inch of his body told him that he’d done just that.  

The question was… for how much longer?

Summoning enough strength to move his hand to his pants pocket, he was surprised to discover that his money was still there. He could feel that the designer watch that he’d purchased to replace the watch he’d inherited from his grandfather and had been stolen in a mugging while in his early twenties had also been left on his wrist.  Things weren’t making sense. Getting drunk and, then, acting in character and attacking in such a way was one thing, but since when did robbers beat a man to mere inches from his life and then not rob him?  Then, were they really robbers?  They’d beheaded a man, after all.  





About the Author:


Eileen Sheehan primarily writes hot, steamy romances (mostly New Adult) with a sexy male and strong female. A few are steamier than others (see their description). The majority of her novels are paranormal, but some are just plain novels about people in love (contemporary or historical with the author name of Ailene Frances). ALL of her stories have a bit of naughtiness, some excitement, a few thrills, and maybe a touch of mystery mixed in with sometimes naughty, sometimes sweet lovin'. She strives to write a novel length that will allow the busy woman to be able to sit down in an evening or two and be taken on a romantic journey without having a week go by before she gets to the end of the story.

An incurable romantic, she has a love affair with at least one of her characters... one book at a time. She hopes the same thing happens to you.




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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Far Beyond Woman Suffrage by David McCracken

 


Far Beyond Woman Suffrage 
The Prices of the Vote
Book One
David McCracken

Genre: Alternative History
Date of Publication:  8/25/21
ISBN: 979-8464929616
ASIN: B09DPSTN35
Number of pages: 104
Word Count: 32,514
Cover Artist: PixelStudio

Tagline: “It isn’t just about women in long skirts finally voting!”

Book Description: 

It isn’t just about women in long skirts finally voting. The racists and the rich know that, and the politicians worry.

Mercy Martin has an inside view as the battle for woman suffrage nears a climax, but she encounters many puzzles.

So many women and Southern states oppose votes for women.  

So many people are afraid it would bring on free love, abandonment of family, economic catastrophe, or communism.

So many suffragists are willing to abandon black women voters.

From an innocent teen to a young adult, Mercy has a central role in the campaign. She advances from confinement in a suffragist jail cell to the national campaign for the suffrage amendment. She campaigns around Tennessee, ending at the capitol for the explosive climax in the last state that might ratify the amendment and grant the vote to women. 

Why should something so clearly right be so hard, and why were some bitter compromises made? Mercy is right in the middle, relied on by key players. Along the way, she acquires a husband, a baby, and better parents than she was born with.

This is an intimate view via alternative historical fiction, as accurate as it can be and as thoughtful and moving as it must be. In this first novella of a series, Mercy jumps into the campaign for woman suffrage and prepares for a vital role in the coming decades. She’ll continue on into the wider civil rights struggle growing out of woman suffrage. 



Excerpt  

Anita and I have taken a circuit northwest from Knoxville and back around to the northeast. We’re canvassing as many legislators and their key supporters as we can track down. Finding them is the tricky part. Sometimes we go as far as the road goes and finish the journey to an isolated farmstead on foot, with our dresses trailing in the dust. We’ve been drenched by rainstorms, chased by watchdogs, and even had to change a flat tire, which isn’t that easy in a long dress, but we find our men.

Some seem to be avoiding us, like Representative Cletus Jacobs. He keeps barely visible off in his woodlot. We mark him as a “no.” Senator Phil Gridley graciously, really graciously, says we are communists betraying our gender, our state, and the country. Fortunately, the next two are warm and positive. However, Sen. Billy Broadus says he is nervous the women’s vote will support that anti-American League of Nations. He seems mollified when we point out it would first have to go through a vote in the U.S. Senate, where it is sure to fail.

“Anita,” I ask, back in the car, “why is there such a fear of communism here?”

“Well, with the recent Russian Revolution and the widespread unrest in European countries after the war, people are nervous, especially people with property. You may not realize that Communism seemed on the verge of sweeping across Europe after the war, with uprisings all over. I guess women are considered softies who might vote communists in or go easy on them. Maybe they’re especially sensitive in the South on the loss of property since their human property, slaves, were ‘taken’ at the end of the Civil War.”

“I guess big business is hyping the fear for their own purposes, against labor unions.”

“You’ve got it, Honey!  That started before the Russian Revolution, as a way to smear and foil labor unions.”

“I don’t guess we could ever reach people so concerned about communism, however they got concerned!"

“ ’Not bloody likely,’ to use a term  Alice Paul picked up from a friend over from England. (The shocking phrase was uttered by Eliza Dolittle in George Bernard Shaw’s new hit play, Pygmalion. Alice loves throwing  it out.)”

Driving east from Livingston, on a dim overcast day, we have a scare. Three white-robed riders and horses are moving into position as if to stand astride the road and block our path. Behind us, we see three more horsemen trotting out of a grove we had just passed and following us.  We look at each other and gulp. It doesn’t look good, even if their robes look rather shabby. A lonely road doesn’t seem ideal for a twilight chat with six mounted Klansmen. Luckily, they hadn’t reckoned how fast our Blue Knight moves or how well Anita can handle it. Just as the ones in front are getting into position, Anita swerves far over onto the left edge of the road and races onward. The nearest horse nervously dances back, then rears and throws his rider as we roar around them.

“I thought the Klan was dead,” I say.

 “Apparently, that Birth of a Nation propaganda film of a few years back is reviving them. Next, they’ll burn a cross.”

 “Well, they’re eating your dust. Great driving!”

“I hope we’ve seen the last of them. How’d they know where we were?”

I think and respond, “Was Senator Broadus actually less friendly than he seemed?”

“I wondered why he spent so long in idle chatter before he let us go,” offers Anita.




About the Author:

David McCracken became a political activist when the Supreme Court ruled against school segregation. Fellow students joined him in urging the school board in Winchester, KY, to integrate immediately. He campaigned for a Democratic governor and joined the ACLU before he graduated from the University of Kentucky. After debating at U.K., he got a degree in economics and a job with the U.S.  Department of Commerce.

When his daughters approached school age, he became increasingly concerned with how he wanted them schooled. Researching that, he decided teaching was what he really wanted to do. He got a master's degree in elementary education at Murray State University. He taught for several years, until the fact that his girls qualified for reduced-price lunches based on his salary got to him. Ronald Reagan's anti-government policies prevented him from returning to government work, so he took programming courses and shifted careers again. Programming was like being paid to solve puzzles all day, but teaching eventually drew him back until retirement.

For many years of this time, he was working intermittently at a novel that became Fly Twice Backward: Fresh Starts in Times of Troubles. This concerned his waking on his twelfth birthday, trying to figure out what had happened, following his new opportunities, and ultimately outliving an evil president resembling Donald Trump. After thirty-six years, David finally published it as an interactive alt-history Kindle novel. He soon started Far Beyond Woman Suffrage: The Prices of the Vote, an alt-history novelette dealing with the campaign for woman suffrage. He finished this piece in just ten months. At 81, he is bold(?) enough to plan this as the first of a six-volume set dealing with the far-reaching results and implications of woman suffrage. His completed novels and another in the works are presented for discussion on a new website, DoFancifulFlights.com

David now lives with his third wife, stepdaughter, and step-grandson near Winchester, VA. He has a son from his second marriage, six grandchildren, and two stepchildren. And a funny black dog with four white feet.








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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Tales from The Foxes of Foxham ZANI’s Tales Trilogy by Matteo Sedazzari

 


Tales from The Foxes of Foxham 
ZANI’s Tales Trilogy
Matteo Sedazzari

Genre: Light Fantasy, Humour, Young Adult. 
Publisher: ZANI 
ISBN: 13-978-1838462420
Number of pages:207 
Word Count: 60428 

Tagline: A magical adventure story, packed with colourful characters and exciting situations, in a battle of good versus evil. Set in 1950’s Naples and Norfolk.

Book Description:

It is the late fifties and the Witches of Benevento are determined to plunge the world into darkness by kidnapping and sacrificing the jolly and young Neapolitan fox, Alberto Bandito, in a sinister ritual.

Yet, fortunately for Alberto, he is rescued, then guarded, by his loving mother Silvia and mob boss father Mario with his troops, a good witch Carlotta with an uncanny resemblance to Marilyn Monroe, the Bears of Campania, the boxing wolves’ brothers Francesco and Leonardo, and other good folks of Naples and beyond.

However, their protection is not enough, for Alberto has been cursed. So, the young fox, along with his family, has to travel to the village of Foxham in Norfolk, the spiritual home of foxes across the world, to rid himself of this spell. The ritual has to be performed by a good fox witch, Trudi Milanese, but there is a problem, Trudi doesn’t know she is a witch….

Tales from The Foxes of Foxham is a magical adventure story, packed with colourful characters and exciting situations, in a battle of good versus evil.

Amazon UK     Amazon     Blackwells    Hive




Excerpt 1

Upon hearing the conceited tone of Andriana’s declaration, Carlotta glances at Francesco and Leonardo, and says, ‘Which one of you fancies your chances then?’

Leonardo, the elder of the brothers, slowly takes off his three-button tailor-made jacket, neatly folds it, places the item of clothing slowly on the ground, then valiantly declares, ‘I do.’

Then the fearless wolf runs towards the red-capped goblins, who quickly disperse upon seeing the oncoming, scary-looking animal. Andriana gazes at Leonardo with astonishment, which turns to shock as Leonardo leaps high into the air, grabbing the front handle of Andriana’s broomstick.

‘Get off me, you crazy filthy wolf,’ Andriana screams, yet the courageous and strong Leonardo shakes her broomstick so hard in mid-air, regardless of his own safety. Leonardo has one thing on his mind—for Andriana to drop her leather satchel of spells.

His bravery pays off, as he rattles the flying broomstick so hard that Andriana has no choice but to use both her arms to steady it, allowing the bag to slide all the way down her left arm and into the cypress trees sloping on the roadside.

‘No!’ screams Andriana, as she sees her weapons of mayhem drop with so much force that they break many branches before hitting the dusty and hard soil, which explodes upon impact.


About the Author:

Matteo Sedazzari developed the zest for writing when he produced a fanzine entitled Positive Energy of Madness during the height of Acid House in 1989.  

Positive Energy of Madness dissolved as a fanzine in 1994 and resurfaced as an ezine 2003 which became ZANI, the ezine for counter and pop culture in 2009,  promoting online optimism, along with articles, reviews and interviews with the likes of crime author Martina Cole, former pop star and actor Luke Goss, soul legend Bobby Womack, Clem Burke of Blondie, Chas Smash of Madness, Shaun Ryder of Black Grape/Happy Mondays and many more.

After producing and writing for his own publication, Matteo’s next step was to pen a novel, A Crafty Cigarette – Tales of a Teenage Mod.

Matteo is influenced by Hunter S Thompson, Harlan Ellison, Kenneth Grahame, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Irvine Welsh, DH Lawrence, Alan Sillitoe, Frank Norman, Joyce Carol Oates, Mario Puzo, Iceberg Slim, Patricia Highsmith, Joe R. Lansdale, Daphne du Maurier, Robert Bloch, George Orwell, Harry Grey and many more.  American comics like Batman, Superman and Spiderman, along with Herge’s Tintin, also provide Matteo with inspiration.

Matteo also finds stimulus from many films like Twelve Angry Men, A Kind of Loving, Blackboard Jungle, Z, Babylon, This Sporting Life, Kes, Midnight Cowboy, Scum, Wild Tales, The Boys, Midnight Express, La CommareSecca, Dr Terror’s House of Horrors, so on and so forth.

As for music, anything that is passionate, vibrant and with heart is always on Matteo’s playlist.

Matteo Sedazzari resides in Surrey, which he explores fanatically on his mountain bike. Matteo supports Juventus, travels to Italy and Spain, eats and dresses well, as he enjoys life in the process.







Monday, September 20, 2021

A Few Good Elves Toy Soldier Saga Book One by Diane Morrison

 


A Few Good Elves
Toy Soldier Saga 
Book One
Diane Morrison

Genre: Science fantasy, military science fiction, space opera, epic fantasy, dark fantasy, blackpowder fantasy
Publisher: Aradia Publishing
Date of Publication: September 7, 2021
ISBN Ebook 978-1-9995757-5-5
ISBN Hardcover 978-1-9995757-4-8
ISBN Paperback 978-1-9995757-3-1
ASIN: B09D79BJW1
Number of pages: 490
Word Count: 155k
Cover Artist: Cayotica

Tagline: A dark blackpowder fantasy military space opera

Book Description: 

Toy Soldier: A derogatory slang term for an elven marine.

Battles great and terrible, small and bitter, raged across Known Space as the wars of Elves and Orcs played out their legacy of hatred across the stars themselves. Epics would be written, songs would be sung; but wars are fought by real people with loves and families and homes.

All Shaundar Sunfall ever wanted to be was a Star-Pilot. Raised on his father's ship, he has found an affinity for the stars -- although as a mixed-race elf and a bit of troublemaker, he often runs afoul of his commanding officers.

Now the orcs have returned to once again wage war on their ancient enemies. The fate of his people is at stake. Although he is too young, Shaundar lies about his age to join up. But he is about to learn that no matter what the sagas say, war is no great adventure.

A bit like what would happen if Horatio Hornblower met the Honorverse, met Lord of the Rings, met Game of Thrones, A Few Good Elves is part naval adventure, part high fantasy, part space opera, and part war novel.

CW: graphic violence, sexual violence, torture, war, genocide


Excerpt
All about on the decks of the Queen’s Dirk, the crew were running and screaming. There were too many dead and wounded to count, and the Chiurgeons had elves spread out over the tables in the mess, the garden, even the Captain’s bed.

Shaundar sensed Lieutenant Sylria on the remains of the fo’c’sle, now mostly a debris field, commanding the mages to ready spells and the weapons crews to continue their attack. He could also see the gravity well of the Vengeance, just now coming about on their starboard side, though he was certain that it had been much longer than they needed.

“I have the helm!” Shaundar cried.

“Get us out of here, Shaundar!”

He turned his head and studied the rapidly oncoming Balorian ship through both the hole in the starboard wall, and Queenie’s senses. Even with Sylria’s magical boost, he knew this to be hopeless.

“I can’t do it, Sylria,” he said in a hollow voice. “They’re just too fast.”
Sylria looked down at her feet for a long moment. She squared her shoulders. “Then we shall die with honour.”

Shaundar nodded. Amazingly, there was no fear, just sadness, that he would not see his family or Narissa again. “Sails, evasive manoeuvres!” Shaundar commanded. “Hard down!”

As the insectoid ship neared, it closed those claw-like limbs to grapple them. But under Shaundar’s power and direction, they dodged the attempt. Shaundar saw a whole army of armoured Balorian warriors pour out onto the deck and stand to the rails.

Sylria shrieked, “Mages, fire!” and she let off a lightning bolt herself. There were only a couple of elves left alive topside to obey Sylria’s command, but they responded. Flames and electricity washed over the orcs, enough that it stopped them in their tracks and aborted their boarding attempt.

“Bring ‘er about,” Shaundar ordered. “Hard astarboard!”
Queenie answered sluggishly with all the shorn rigging and shorthanded crew, but she came back around. As they swooped back towards each other, Sylria’s command rang out. Defiantly, the Queen’s Dirk fired another volley.

The Balorians greeted it with a broadside of their own as they both swung starboard at the last moment. The larboard ballistae both missed, but two of the three others dented the hull. The third pierced it once more on their larboard side with a ringing tear of sheet metal.

Their catapult did not fire at all. Whether it was because it was damaged, or because there were too few crew left to man it, Shaundar would never know.

The decapitated Vengeance had only one gun it could bring to bear on the pass, but it fired that larboards bombard at point blank range. The fo’c’sle simply collapsed like a sandcastle. Sylria was swallowed into the sinkhole. Shaundar roared in horror and pain but could not hear his own voice in the overwhelming noise.

There was no sail crew left to command, but hoping against hope, Shaundar bellowed anyway,

“Hard aport!” The mizzenmast was shorn away, and he knew it, but knowing there was nothing else to be done, he yelled out, “Prepare to ram! All hands brace for impact!” just as Garan had attempted.

He didn’t flinch as the Queen’s Dirk collided head-on with her foe.


About the Author:

Diane Morrison lives with her partners in the Okanagan Valley, BC, where she was born and raised. She has been published in SFF markets such as Terra! Tara! Terror!, Air & Nothingness Press, and Cossmass Infinities. Under her pen name “Sable Aradia” she is a successful Pagan author, a musician, and a Twitch streamer and podcaster.  She likes pickles and bluegrass, and hates talking about herself.


https://dianemorrisonfiction.com/

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https://aradiapublishing.wordpress.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/sablearadia

https://www.youtube.com/user/sablearadia

https://www.worldanvil.com/w/toysoldiersaga

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

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