Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Joe Chianakas shares his debut horror story: Rabbit in Red

Gore without fear is like sex without love; you’ll squirm, but it’s better when your heart’s in it.

Distinguished Press is proud to launch Rabbit in Red, the first book in a horror mystery series by Joe Chianakas!




Bill Wise has blood in his past, so he turns to horror films to wipe it clean. Jaime Stein has felt the betrayal of death, so she too takes refuge in the on-screen deaths of others. Now Bill, Jaime, and seventeen other horror-loving teens have gathered at Rabbit in Red Studios, the brainchild of eccentric horror producer Jay “JB” Bell, for the terror-filled, blood-drenched contest of their lives. 
JB has presented this competition as a race between the best of the best that will reward the winners with cash, internships, and a career making the movies they love. But things aren’t always as they seem at Rabbit in Red, and soon life starts to imitate art. Will Bill and Jaime be strong enough to confront real horror to save their friends, or will they all fall victim to JB’s twisted plans?



This was the moment! He seized a knife that was on the kitchen floor and stabbed the hand—his own hand!—pinning it to the floor. He hesitated a moment, looking at this image in front of him. It was the strangest thing Bill could have imagined. There he was, on the floor of JB’s game chamber, but all around him he only saw the infamous cabin in the woods from The Evil Dead. And he had stabbed his own hand, but thankfully he felt no more than a sharp pinch. The knife was virtual, but the glove was real, and whatever technology JB programmed in it, the glove reacted in perfect real time to everything happening on screen.
He knew what he had to do next, and he was both excited and terrified at the idea. This was the epic moment with Ash in The Evil Dead. He had to cut off the possessed hand. That was the only way to get rid of the evil, to not become fully possessed. With his right hand pinned to the floor gushing out blood, Bill reached for the chainsaw that Ash had used earlier in the movie, which of course happened to be right next to him. Remembering this iconic scene from those younger memories when he and his friends cheered, Bill picked up the chainsaw with his left hand, bit on the cord and yanked it back with as much force as he could to start the gas-powered hacking device and brought it down on his right arm. The screeching noises, the loud mechanics of the saw, the crunching of bone, and the splattering of blood coalesced in a cacophony of noises, an orchestra of pain.
Bill cut off the hand.
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“Because you were home,” Bill whispered. “No other reason than that they were home.” His body twitched for a moment, his saddest, darkest memory stinging him like a wasp that appeared out of nowhere. Shake it off. No time for that now.
Their screens flashed CORRECT and the bloody rabbit danced.






Joe Chianakas is a professor of communication at Illinois Central College in East Peoria, IL. He’s a super fan of horror and literature. Rabbit in Red is his first published novel. He likes writing in all sorts of genres from horror to traditional coming-of-age. In addition to teaching and writing, he enjoys fitness, martial arts, and traveling. You can find Joe online at www.joechianakas.com or www.facebook.com/chianakas/




Friday, September 25, 2015

Pre-release of Katie in Denver by R. Colora

 Katie In Denver

AUTHOR: R. Colora
GENRE: Contemporary Romance

COVER DESIGINER: The Graphics Shed



Katie Blackwell loved Michael Kerrigan from the first moment he stopped her at an outdoor festival. She was fourteen and he was sixteen. For two years Micheal and Katie were inseparable; they were each others first loves. They experienced all their firsts together. 

Finding out she is pregnant at sixteen was not part of Katie's plan. When she tells Michael, he informs her that he has been accepted to an ivy league school; he has no intentions of staying in Denver to play the role of teen dad. 

Scared and alone Katie has to decide if she is going to terminate her pregnancy or keep the baby she already loves. 

Nine years later Katie and Micheal will cross paths and past secrets will come to light. Can mistakes be forgiven? Can first love be rekindled, or will past heartache and betrayal be to much to overcome?



“Please come this way,” the nurse says. “We need to do an ultrasound to determine how far along you are. If you’re under nine weeks, you can choose to take the abortion pill but if you’re over nine weeks, then you need to have an in-clinic surgical procedure.” I can feel the panic starting to set in. The nurse takes my hand.

“Listen, you haven’t made any decision yet. You can walk out of here right now if that’s what you want.” I nod but don’t respond.

I just sit on the examining table in silence. The nurse instructs me to pull my shirt up, and she squirts some kind of gel on my stomach; it’s really cold. Slowly, she moves the wand around.


“You look to be about sixteen weeks so if you wanted to proceed today it would have to be a surgical abortion. I can explain the procedure, we have a coach that can come in and hold your hand while you have the procedure,” she says with a smile that doesn’t reach her eyes.

I look at the small dot on the screen and then she turns a dial, and I hear it: I hear my baby’s heartbeat and everything becomes so clear to me.
She goes to turn it off when she sees the tears running down my face, but I grab her hand. “Please, I just want to hear it a little longer.” I reach my hand out and touch the screen. She is clicking buttons, and I see pictures coming out the side of the machine. I don't even ask for them, I just snatch the pictures from the machine and grip them for dear life. I want to remember this moment; I want to remember the moment I stopped living for me, and I started living for my child. I look at the nurse and start getting off the exam table. “I’m not doing it, can I please go?”

She smiles. “Yes, let me get you cleaned up and you can go. You have a few more weeks if you change your mind,” she adds.


“No, I know I want my baby even if no one else does. Thank you for being so nice,” I say before running to the waiting room.





  






author
Writing a book takes a lot of energy not just the energy of the person telling the story, but the Editor, Proofreader, Beta Readers, ARC Readers, Cover Designer, Formatter, and bloggers or Promotional Team. You can't write a book for free an author has to pay for those words in a Plain Document to become something on your Kindle App or in your Hand.

As a writer, you don't expect everyone to LOVE or even LIKE what you write, but writers don't write to be praised they write because they enjoy it and it's satisfying. when your see something that was in your head transformed into an actual book the feeling is indescribable. I remember when I was young I use to think I would be a writer when I grew up up like most adults learn, Life happens and you have to put aside your childish dreams and work, provide, sacrifice. I live in this real world where every day is is struggle, so I made up a world of Billionaires and Superstars, in my books with all these characters beauty and charmed lives they still face semi-real life situation that is why I write fiction, it suppose to be over the top and unbelievable, if anyone has found any real life Werewolf or Bear shifters let me know!!!!

So with that said no matter how many one star reviews I get I will still keep telling my stories, you don't have to love them and you don't have to like them and I might be the worst author in the history of Amazon, but that's okay because I'm doing what I told my younger self I couldn't do.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Monica Cornwin shares King Takes Queen

King Takes Queen

KING TAKES QUEEN
by
Monica Corwin



Legend states when the King Arthur is needed most he will return. What if the legends are wrong?

Maggie Sanders gave six years and two feet of her now scarred and twisted body to the United States Army. She received a thank you note and a discharge in return. Effectively booted to the curb Maggie tries to pick up the pieces of her life until her revival is interrupted by one smoking hot immortal.

Arthur Pendragon, legendary King and military leader, has been trapped on the mythical island of Avalon for 1500 years. When he is thrust from captivity to the modern world he has to fight to stay there. Too bad for him, she has more fight than he anticipates. With the help of Maggie and a teenage Merlin, Arthur sets out to end his torture and free the rest of his comrades from imprisonment.



She stood up and began to stretch her cramped muscles when the scent of apples slammed into her. It fairly choked her—the taste of sweet earth and tart apple.

Maybe I'm having a heart attack. She shook her left arm around, but nothing happened. The Army First Aid Handbook definitely stated something about odd scents and tingling in the left arm. Where was it coming from?

She took a step from behind the counter and a gust of air flattened her in a heartbeat. The sound of an explosion followed, adding more to the assault. Dust coated the entire store; books and shelves toppled over every inch of the floor. The shelves lay together like the folds of an accordion, grotesquely littered with books torn from their homes. Dust and dirt assaulted her senses as she wondered if she still lived. She swallowed the bile clogging her throat as she stared at the ceiling, unable to bring herself to move.

One moment she lay on her bookstore floor, the next her mouth clogged with dust as her heart pulsed behind her eyes. She couldn’t see anything but she was right back there in the sandbox, with the dust, the pain, and explosion that took everything from her.

Her ears began to ring and she touched a tender spot on her forehead to check for blood. Her vision cleared and nothing on her scalp seemed hurt or bruised either; she'd missed the counter by inches. The thought of dying from a blow to the head while in her bookstore seemed preposterous, and if she wasn't already crying she might have laughed.

She sat up on her elbows, taking short breaths to remain calm. Nightmare after nightmare rolled through her mind so fast that all she could do was breathe through the pain invading her body and the tears tracking through the dust on her cheeks. She pushed a long gust of air from her chest, and used the relaxation techniques she learned to deal with her post-traumatic stress. Slowly, breath after breath, her heartbeat resumed a normal cadence and she felt more like herself.

Shame battled for ground amidst the cacophony of emotions swelling to burst insider her. She hadn't worked through the worst of her nightmares; they could follow her to this new life. As feeling returned to her hands, chasing away the tingling of adrenaline, she realized she was happy to be alive, of course—and angry. She pushed stray cardboard and books off her legs and out of the way so she could stand, unsteady on her feet. She straightened her dress and brushed tears from her cheeks. She bent over so she could peek around the corner of the counter, sneaking out farther for a better view of where the explosion came from. On the ground lay a hand, palm facing her.

Maggie started to creep toward the hand, remaining cautious because whoever owned it knocked over two cases, and books flooded the floor in her path. She pushed through, gently sliding them out of her way as she moved closer while looking around for...

Maggie reached down and grabbed a large and scary edition of The Oxford Unabridged English Dictionary and held it up over her shoulder with both hands. She continued to inch toward the body. Her vision broke the edge of the last bookcase hiding him, and all the air rushed out of her lungs. He was huge, large, ginormous, and every other large adjective she could conjure up.

He was also very naked.

She leaned in closer, against her better judgment; the instinct to ensure he was at least alive proved more than she could resist. She scooted books out of the way with the toe of her shoe as she continued toward him. He certainly wasn't dead; she knew what death looked like, so she kept the book up in a throwing position. Finally close enough to check his pulse, she crouched down, much to her hip's dismay, and picked up the strong beat of his heart under her fingertips at the curve of his neck. He was alive, definitely alive, and his skin burned hot to the touch.

Far too much time had passed since she appreciated a naked male body, and his was certainly something to appreciate. He’s injured. You shouldn’t ogle him. She needed to conduct a damage and injury check. Starting at his feet, she progressed upward until she reached his face, cradled by books, and found herself staring into deep ocean eyes.

Their gaze shifted from her face to the book. In a blur of movement, so fast she couldn't react, he held the book in one of his hands, his body pressed over hers, and her wrists clutched in his other fist. A stunned moment of stillness descended. They were both breathing heavily, chests rising and falling, touching where his body held hers to the ground. He recovered first, throwing the book at a nearby pile and reaching to grip a wrist in either hand.

She shot him a nasty look before wrapping her legs around his waist in a grip strong enough to crush ribs, and then neatly smacked her forehead against his. Rearing his head back, he dropped a wrist and tentatively brought his hand to his forehead, checking for blood. In a split second, Maggie grabbed her fallen weapon and hit him square across his cheek.

Loud muttering curses exploded from him in a deep, accented voice. Before she could rear back he wrenched the book from her hand and threw it farther than her reach. It ricocheted off the other books as he regained control of her. Books dug into her back but she barely noticed with her bare legs wrapped around his narrow hips and his chest pressing her body to the ground. Maggie stared him down with a glare so menacing even the most insane of people would have released her, but the look he gave her in return was all heat.


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Monica Corwin is an outspoken writer who attempts to make romance accessible to everyone no matter their preferences. As a new Northern Ohioian Monica enjoys snow drifts, three seasons of weather, and disliking Michigan. When not writing Monica spends time with her daughter and her ever growing collection of tomes about King Arthur.

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Sparks Saga by RS McCoy

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THE SPARKS SAGA
by RS McCoy

IN CELEBRATION OF THE RELEASE OF BOOK THREE OF THE SPARKS SAGA...

RS McCOY WOULD LIKE TO REINTRODUCE YOU TO...

SPARKS




Original Publication Date: December 4, 2013


“Everyone in the world has a Spark, a light inside that guides them, keeps them alive.” 

Starting school is supposed to be a fun and exciting time for any new student. But for Lark, a skilled archer and fledgling mind-reader, it’s a creative form of torture. Locked in rooms and hallways with both friends and enemies, bombarded by the thoughts and feelings of his peers, Lark is a prisoner. 

On a quest to master his Spark, Lark’s mentor–his one ally–is anything but helpful. What Lark fails to realize is the value of his rare ability, and just how far some are willing to go to have control of him.


I ran over to her as soon as I saw her, but the blank expression she wore made it clear she wasn’t all that pleased to see me. It had been months, and I'd almost thought she'd gone home, or hadn't had a bright enough spark after all. I could have jumped and yelled from excitement to see her.

“Khea?”

“Lark, have you met my mentor Mathias?” She turned to look at a middle aged man who stood behind her. I couldn’t get a read on either one, though it was hard to tell in the commotion of the training area. He wore the gray coverings that all mentors wore, and despite the age on his face, his golden hair matched the yellow pendant about his neck; which itself was inlaid with a black stone spider.

“Where have you been all this time?”

“Training, of course. Haven’t you?”

“Well, yes, but—Why haven’t I seen you?”

“Mathias is responsible for all my lessons.” She was cold and dismissive, almost as if I bothered her. I couldn’t believe it. Why is she being so weird? I only wanted to make sure she was safe, that she was taken care of. What happened?

With a wave of dismissal she walked past me to challenge Parvani and I was sure my mouth dropped to the ground. Does she have any idea what she’s doing?

“Is she crazy?” Micha asked. He seemed more worried for her mental faculties than her general well-being, though I couldn’t disagree.

They stood and faced each other as Sinha commenced the fight. Khea was at least a full foot shorter than Parvani and looked like she could be her toy. I didn’t imagine Parvani was going to let her down easy.

In a moment of what must have been suicidal desire, Khea lunged, blocked a punch, and landed her fist square on Parvani’s cheek before the larger girl dropped onto her back on the ground. It was the most impressive display I had ever seen. Once she knew what she was up against, Parvani put in real effort to fight, and for a while, it seemed as if they were evenly matched. The final blow came when Khea grabbed Parvani's wrist, spun around her, and forced her to the ground. “Yield,” Parvani let out, defeated.

Without a word to me or Micha, Khea walked back to Mathias and he led her away. It was all I could think about the rest of the day, and into the next morning. What happened to Khea? Where has she been all this time and why is she so distant now? And since when was she some sort of combat master?

The next day Khea returned alone and challenged Shaz, a move that made me feel that Micha might have been right. Unlike Parvani, Shaz only lasted a measly few minutes before the pain in his leg prompted a yield. That time I was able to catch her before she left.

“Hey, Khea. What’s going on? Why won’t you talk to me?”

“I’m sorry, I’m not allowed to.”

“You’re not allowed to? Says who? That Mathias guy?” It seemed outlandish that anyone should be prevented from seeing me, particularly Khea.

She nodded before she replied, “I’m not supposed to talk to you. Please leave me alone.” Right then a boulder fell from the sky and crushed me. I just wanted to make sure she was alright. Why would someone prevent that? What made it worse was that she went along with it. She hadn’t fought against it or refused to follow his rules. My insides ached in a new kind of pain.

She began to walk away, but she turned around suddenly and leaned in close. “Meet me at the gardens after dinner,” she whispered. A wide smile pressed into my cheeks; my friend was in there somewhere. Mathias may have convinced her to follow him publicly, but somewhere and in some small part, she was still my friend.




SPIRITS




Original Publication Date: July 20, 2014


"Loving her was easier when I thought we were going to die." 

With a new home on an island that prizes human sacrifice, Lark finds that reading minds is not enough. As he battles the tragedies that haunt him, his queen insists on the continuation of the violent practice, and he is powerless against her unrivaled Spark and uncompromising authority. 

In order to stop her, Lark needs to learn the secrets of the spirits of the world. Only there isn’t much time. War looms just over the horizon.


“Lark—” Khea’s hand stroked my sweat-covered chest like she did on so many nights. My eyes fluttered open to find nothing but more darkness. After a moment, I could make out the faint hint of moonlight around the edges of the thick velvet covering the east windows.

“You had a nightmare again,” she added, as if I didn’t know. In fact, there was no denying they were getting worse. It had been at least a month since a night when I was free of the torment. Beside the haunting visions, my Spark gave me greater insight to the events, offering the pain as Micha felt it, the fear of death and leaving Isuet alone which he experienced in his final moments. My chest still burned from the heat of his blood even as Khea’s hand moved back and forth to calm me.

The familiar shame crept up into my cheeks. I missed Micha. I loved him as my lost friend, but it didn’t make it any easier to endure the night terrors or admit how lost I had become. And I hated to show how much his death affected me in front of Khea.

A man should be strong. A man should protect his wife. Even without the Affinity to keep us bound together, I felt the strong urge to protect her courtesy of the trace of my mother’s Spark which lived within me. Technically, we weren’t really married and, according to Nakben law, we never would be. Even with a child in our future, the queen could never take a husband—though that hardly changed the reality of our relationship.

The only defense against my disgrace was the thin band of copper I wore on my left hand. Khea had charmed my father’s ring with a hawk’s image to keep out Readers, but I doubted my recent use was what she had in mind. It was quite clear she hated it.

I moved my arm to wipe the beaded moisture from my brow and attempted to roll away from her. My love for Khea was eternal and transcending, but I didn’t want her to see me at my weakest. Despite the rise of my shoulder off the feathered bed, a small yet strong hand pushed me back down.

“You can’t avoid this, Lark. Talk to me.” The wall sconces burned with light that hadn’t been there a moment before, the sudden flames a clear sign of her resentment at being pushed away. The light illuminated the black band of tattoos wrapped around her upper arm, a repeating pattern of iconic suns representing the queen she had killed to save our lives and earn her title. Not only was it a horrific reminder of that night our friends were murdered, but it was also a barbaric and permanent mutilation of an otherwise perfectly beautiful young woman.




SCHISM


Original Publication Date: September 14, 2015


“Keeping them alive was harder than I ever thought possible.” 

The devoted lover and proud father Lark is on the verge of losing it all. His abilities are slowly fading without reason and his enemies are looming ever closer. He has mere days to prepare for war and earn the allegiance of the Nakben tribes, none of which are eager to fight for a foreign queen. 

With his life and family hanging in the balance, Lark enters enemy territory, but he doesn’t realize just how weak he’s become.


Keeping them safe was harder than I ever thought possible. After all, Khea and I were two of the most powerful people to grace the planet in generations. Like anyone else, we also had our limits.

But today wasn’t the day to worry about that. Regardless of the enemy only a day’s voyage from the coast, eagerly awaiting our deaths, there was something we needed to do first.

Though Khea didn’t know it yet.

“Don’t go in too far,” I warned her, still nervous of that power she held over me. Despite all my growth, despite all the gifts I’d earned, she still had more.

My stunning Khea, queen of Nakbe and mother to our strong son, sat on the edge of the massive bed and nodded. In the hours since my return and the birth of our son, I’d kept the ring on for the most part. I still didn’t trust myself to keep the darkness at bay, to keep her safe from the looming anger I couldn’t seem to quell. If anything, I’d only become better at hiding it.

Sun streamed through the long velvet curtains where the wind toyed with its edges. While I would have liked to think the slight breeze the mere effect of the morning heat on the island, I knew better. If nothing else, Khea was a Puffer with a talent for wind that bordered on the unnatural. She was just too damn good at it.

Today, that little breeze was an easy sign of her nerves, of her fear I would recede into the darkness again. I was all too aware of how long I would have to pay for my absence. “I have a surprise for you, that’s all,” I told her, hoping to calm her fears but still knowing she wouldn’t quite believe me.

Kneeling before her, my hands gently stroking the smooth skin of her thighs until they contacted the pale blue wrap across her hips, I kissed our son’s head where he lay in her arms. “After today, I don’t have to put it back on. You just have to stay where it’s safe.”

If she could heed to the boundary between control and darkness, this just might work.


RS McCoy didn't ever plan on being a writer. With a career teaching high school science, writing is the last thing she expected. But life never goes the way you think it will. While battling cancer, she picked up her laptop and let the words flow out. One year later, her first published fantasy novel was released on Amazon followed by her second novel six months later. She is a wife, mother of two, a scientist, baker, gardener, and life-long science fiction and fantasy addict.