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May 29, 2013

Storm Dancer On Sale for 99 Cents!

My friend Rayne Hall's dark epic fantasy, Storm Dancer, is currently on sale for only 99 cents! Definitely worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of The Unfinished Song!

Demon-possessed siege commander, Dahoud, atones for his atrocities by hiding his identity and protecting women from war's violence - but can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him?

Principled weather magician, Merida, brings rain to a parched desert land. When her magical dance rouses more than storms, she needs to overcome her scruples to escape from danger.

Thrust together, Dahoud and Merida must fight for freedom and survival. But how can they trust each other, when hatred and betrayal burn in their hearts?

'Storm Dancer' is a dark epic fantasy. Caution: this book contains some violence and disturbing situations, and is not suitable for young readers. British spellings.




Storm Dancer is available to download on Amazon (US), Amazon (UK and other countries), Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Smashwords.

May 21, 2013

Armageddon's Princess

Earlier this year my friend Anthony Pacheco published a wonderful scifi mystery, Armageddon's Princess. Here's some details...

ANGRY PRINCESS IS ANGRY. Investigator Lexus Nancy Toulouse, ex-soldier extreme: finds her Libido Generator is on the fritz, learns her old warship wants to "get back together" (despite the fact she already has four husbands!), loses whatever war-torn sanity she had left in a crime reenactment and becomes the Princess Concubine to the mysterious Empress. Then, while trying on lingerie, someone tried to blow her up and she regenerated all the way back to a teenager. Now there will be lots of blood AND NONE OF IT HERS.

An Excerpt


On command, the CSI bots begin their inspection of the bodies. Scott and I search the house while they do their job. We don’t find anything interesting at all. We take the trash, the garbage disposal contents, the air filters. I change out the filters for the replacements right by the HVAC, and turn the house system back on.

This takes another hour. With two of us, it’s taking a shorter amount of time to look for evidence and run the checklists, even while Scott is an amateur. It’s a sobering wake up call to my solitary existence.

Then Bob drops a bomb.

—ICDA has a scene reconstruction. Program available on request.—

Whoa boy.

I give the house commands, and the windows go opaque, the doors lock, and the lights dim.

“What’s up?” Scott looks curious. At least his color is back. Watching the bots swarm over the bodies is sure to remind him of some war shit he wants to forget. I know it does with me.

“Investigators use ICDA—Investigation Crime Database and Analysis. It’s a big honking supercomputer. We’re talking war shit—the computer used to design the AIs, so when paired with all the crime data known to man, it knows all about human behavior in a disgusting amount of detail. As the bots and I collect data, it goes to Bob, my work comp, and Bob sends it to ICDA. It’s an expensive system to maintain, but worth it.”

“ICDA—as in, Cheyenne Mountain ICDA? I thought that was some old Defense Agency thing.”

“Cheyenne Mountain, yes. And no, that’s also where the ICDA hardware is.”

Scott’s expression darkens again. Or still. I can tell he’s been to Cheyenne Mountain because what little happiness he was holding onto for dear life after seeing the murder scene has dripped from him as if I squeezed it out of his body with my armored fists. I can almost see it pooling at his feet, turning black.

“Between the details of the prior murders, your dream description, and the data from the CSI bots, ICDA thinks it can display a reasonable facsimile of the crime as it occurred.”

“Whoa,” says Scott. I give him a stiff smile. “How is that possible?”

“The CSI bots are finding forensic evidence, and ICDA matches that with M.O.s and details from prior crimes going all the way back to the beginning of recorded history. Even the lack of evidence has meaning, a profile. Data analysis doesn’t get any better.”

“Kick ass. Let’s watch it.”



Anthony lives and works in the Pacific Northwest where he dreams speculative dreams, smooches the wife, harasses the kids, tosses squeaky toys for the dog and serves as a human scratching post for the cats.

You can buy Armageddon's Princess on Amazon (paperback and ebook), Barnes and Noble (paperback) or Powell's Books (paperback).

May 16, 2013

Assassin's Gambit

Last month my friend Amy Raby released her latest fantasy romance, Assassin's Gambit from The Hearts and Thrones and Series. Here's a bit about the book:


Vitala Salonius, champion of the warlike game of Caturanga, is as deadly as she is beautiful. She’s a trained assassin for the resistance, and her true play is for ultimate power. Using her charm and wit, she plans to seduce her way into the emperor’s bed and deal him one final, fatal blow, sparking a battle of succession that could change the face of the empire.

As the ruler of a country on the brink of war and the son of a deposed emperor, Lucien must constantly be wary of an attempt on his life. But he’s drawn to the stunning Caturanga player visiting the palace. Vitala may be able to distract him from his woes for a while—and fulfill other needs, as well.

Lucien’s quick mind and considerable skills awaken unexpected desires in Vitala, weakening her resolve to finish her mission. An assassin cannot fall for her prey, but Vitala’s gut is telling her to protect this sexy, sensitive man. Now she must decide where her heart and loyalties lie and navigate the dangerous war of politics before her gambit causes her to lose both Lucien and her heart for good.

An Excerpt

Vitala was not her given name. When she was born dark-haired, Papa named her Kolta: “blackbird.”

She was eight years old when the stranger arrived. Mama and Papa took him into the bedroom to speak  with him. They shut her out, but she pressed her ear against the door to listen.

“We’ve completed the testing,” said the stranger, “and your daughter is exactly what we’re looking for. Highly intelligent, physically strong, and coordinated. And, of course, she’s black-haired.”

Mama said something she couldn’t quite make out.

“In the village, perhaps,” replied the stranger. “But in the Circle, dark hair is an asset. She can pass for Kjallan. It will allow her to move in areas where others cannot.”
   
More mumbling from Mama.

“The Circle is prepared to offer you compensation. Four hundred tetrals.”

Papa gasped.

Mama raised her voice. “I’m not selling my daughter!”

“Of course not,” soothed the stranger. “But Kolta will never reach her potential here in the village—not with the prejudice against girls like her. Why subject her to harassment and ostracism, when among the Circle she will be valued and revered? The money is our gift to you. A token of our thanks for aiding Riorca in its time of need.”

Mama began to sob.

“Treva, he’s right,” said Papa. “It would be selfish to keep Kolta here. A half-Kjallan bastard will never be accepted—”

“You hate her!” cried Mama. “You want to be rid of her!”

“Madam,” said the stranger, “consider the advantages to Kolta in joining the Circle. She will receive a thorough education, far better than anything she could get here. And she will be among her own kind. We have other half-breeds like her, dark-haired girls who know what it’s like to be Riorcan but look Kjallan. For the first time in her life, she will have friends.”

Mama continued to sob.

“Treva, think of it,” said Papa. “Four hundred tetrals! You know what that money would mean for us. This man is right. The Circle can do far better for Kolta than we can.”

Something unintelligible from Mama.

“No,” said the stranger. “It must be now. She must begin her language training immediately, or she’ll never speak with the proper accent.”

A long silence followed, broken only by Mama’s sobbing. There were soft words that Kolta could not make out.

The stranger was saying, “We find it’s best if there are no good-byes.”

The door opened, and the stranger stepped out. Terrified, Kolta hid in the corner between the wall and the door. But the door moved away, revealing her. The stranger stared down at her in surprise. “Were you listening, Kolta?”

She shook her head.

He knelt, bringing himself to her eye level. “Tell me the truth, and you will not be in trouble. Were you listening?”

She hesitated a moment, but nodded.

“And yet you do not cry.” His mouth twisted as he lifted her chin with his finger. “My name is Bayard. I’m going to be your friend, Kolta. Would you like that?”

She was silent.

“The people here don’t treat you very well, do they? They don’t like dark-haired girls. But I’m going to take you somewhere else. Somewhere you’ll be loved, Kolta. Do you want to be loved?”

Her chin began to tremble.

“Of course you do.” He folded her into his arms, and she began to cry. “It’s what we all want.”




Amy Raby is literally a product of the U.S. space program, since her parents met working for NASA on the Apollo missions. After earning her Bachelor’s in Computer Science from the University of Washington, Amy settled in the Pacific Northwest with her family, where she’s always looking for life’s next adventure, whether it’s capsizing tiny sailboats in Lake Washington or riding dressage horses. Amy is a 2011 Golden Heart® finalist and a 2012 Daphne du Maurier winner.

You can buy Assassin's Gambit in paperback or ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo (ebook only).

May 2, 2013

Just released! ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD


I'm happy to be sharing this excerpt from Melodie Campbell's latest release, Rowena and the Dark Lord. I think you all will enjoy this funny romantic fantasy series.

Is that a broadsword on your belt, or are you just glad to see me?
“Hot and hilarious!" 
“A fantastical tour de force” 
“The Princess Bride with Sex”





Excerpt from ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD, book 2 in the Land’s End fantasy series:
I rose to my feet and turned to the east as the spell book instructed.
“What is she doing?”
Lars’s voice. What was he doing here?
I chanted the words from the book in my hand, silently, beneath my breath. Then I chanted them once more, louder and with confidence. My voice became richer, louder, resonating in my ears.
Whoosh. The ground trembled. The air in front of us seemed to swirl, clouding my view of the field ahead. A grey mist rose from the ground, thick with dust or soot, obliterating all vision.
I stood rock still, hardly able to breathe.
The mist swirled. I heard men yelling—coarse shouts over the ring of steel on steel, then an eerie silence. It put chills up my spine. Lars muttered something at my side. Gareth stood stock still. Loki moved up against me. We waited.
Men’s voices again, echoing like souls lost in a fog. The mist lifted in one swift movement to disappear into nothingness. In its place, were at least a hundred men.
Bugger. I messed up.
“Houston, we have a problem,” I said out loud. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I must have pronounced one of the words wrong.
“Who is Houston?” Lars said.
“Romans!” Gareth hissed. He drew his sword.
“Romans?” I stared at the battle-scarred men before us. They looked exhausted. They also looked bloody, dirty and rather short. Not to mention confused.
How the heck could they be Romans?
Someone yelled “Form Square!” in—yup—that was Latin.
“What the hell?” I stared. The men came to life moving with purpose into a square. Within seconds we were facing a shield wall bristling with spears.
Gareth and Lars already had their swords drawn. They tried to move in front of me but I spread my arms to hold them back.
“Sheath your weapons,” I commanded.
They hesitated, eyeing the wall of men and knives.
“For crissake,” I insisted, “what do you expect to do against that, besides get us all killed?”
With reluctance the swords slid back into their scabbards.
The man on the horse wore a breastplate the sort of armor that you only saw in museums back home. Or movies. I was reminded of Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor. Richard Burton playing the part of Marc Antony.
Hoo boy.
The man on horseback stared at me. No stirrups on his saddle. A helmet that was in history books. Definitely Roman. I stared back at him.
Romans? In this time? What the poop had I done?
“It’s a freaking temporal rift!” My laugh was strident. “Where the hell is Spock when you need him?”

Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best this year when Library Journal compared her to Janet Evanovich. She has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and 4 novels. She has won 6 awards for fiction. Find out more about Melodie on her website or blog

ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD, book 2 in the Land’s End series, is NOW AVAILABLE for only $3.99 on Amazon

And the one that started it all: ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL, book 1 in the Land’s End series is also available on Amazon.