Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Woods, Volume 1 Review


The Woods: Volume 1, by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas

Book Description:

"On October 16, 2013, 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, far outside the bounds of the charted universe, 513 people find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness. Where are they? Why are they there? The answers will prove stranger than anyone could possibly imagine.

Collects issues 1 to 4 of the critically acclaimed series."





Angie's Review:

The Woods is everything I want from a weird horror comic. It's surreal and there is a big mystery right from the start. The high school is transported to some crazy alien world for no apparent reason. The only clue is a stone arrow that is communicating with just one student- Adrian Roth. He and a band of misfits decide to venture out into the monster-infested wilderness to follow the path laid out by the mysterious entity that they believe summoned them to this distant world. Meanwhile, back in the school, the teachers are struggling to come up with a plan to ensure the children's survival, and the student council is at odds with them on the best way to handle the situation. It seems that factions are forming and the staff and students may tear themselves apart before the monsters even have a chance.



The artwork is spectacular and the palette is what I love the most. In the normal world they give us  familiar scenes- a high school with beige walls and grey lockers- the boredom of a concrete place of learning. And immediately upon entry into the alien world that theme shifts and we find ourselves thrust into a landscape of purple skies, black, ominous trees and neon green wolf-beasts that leap out from the darkness. The colors amplify the sense that this is truly a world unrecognizable to us.



So, this gets a big thumbs-up from me. It's scary, it's weird, and it appeals to the senses. I give it 5 stars.






Monday, September 15, 2014

Doctor Who- Listen

This weekend, Listen gave us our first scary episode with Capaldi, and it was a good one!


CAUTION: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

The Doctor examines why we don't feel alone when we know we must be. Why we talk aloud to ourselves alone in the house, why we hear ticks and creaks at night when there are none at other times, and why the little hairs on the back of our necks sometimes stand up and feel like someone is breathing on us. He says that all of humanity shares a common nightmare- the "something grabbing you from under the bed" dream. (Personally, I've never had that one, though. Maybe I'm not human.)

And Clara steers the TARDIS to the past to examine her own nightmare- except, she gets distracted by thoughts of Danny Pink and instead takes them to his bedroom for his nightmare. Oops.



And now Clara is inadvertently shaping elements of her friend's life. Rupert Pink gets the idea to change his name to Danny from her, and the Doctor might have had something to do with his decision to become a soldier. And later, on a future bit of Clara's timeline, the Doctor encounters Orson Pink- who became a time traveler because it "runs in the family." Hmmm. A Pink, who looks remarkably like Danny is part of Clara's future and had a great grandparent who time-traveled? Sounds like Clara just got a nugget of info about her own timeline that she probably shouldn't have gotten.



And we wrap the episode up with the revelation that it was just the Doctor's own fear all along. There really was nothing this time. No monster in the dark, breathing... just the terror of a young boy, scared of the dark- scared to be alone. Except...then what was that thing under the blanket then that all of them saw?? That seemed real. And who wrote "Listen" on the chalkboard, and who was pounding on the door? While I thought the ending was sweet and kind of neat that, for once, there was no sinister force actually plotting humanity's demise, I also thought it didn't sufficiently explain what we saw in the episode. It was a bit frustrating. Sort of, "What do you mean it was nothing??"



But then again, there was that moment when the Doctor asked Clara if she had had the dream and she says hesitantly, yes, that she must have. Maybe some experiences are like that- sort of universal, but not exactly like another. Maybe Clara remembers fear of something under the bed but not a specific dream. Maybe they were trying to say that fear is sort of contagious and when one person puts an idea into your head it can take on a life of its own. Sort of like how Clara put ideas into Danny's head and eventually the Doctor's too. Hmmm. And here's something- I've wondered why this Doctor went from being Clara's flirty chum to this sort of grumpy old man who is a bit cross with her at times. But think of this for a second- Clara has been in the Doctor's life always. Remember, she entered the Doctor's timeline to stop the damage the Great Intelligence had done to it. Little versions of her are scattered throughout his past. The Doctor really never was alone. It was even her under his bed. And it is his fear that was the focus in this episode. His fear has been of being truly alone. And this incarnation of the Doctor will be the first to have to face life without her. Is this why he is a bit testy with her? Does he anticipate losing her, and in order to steel himself for her departure he created an emotional wall?  This idea of him as a grumpy old man who is terrified to lose his one life-long companion makes this Doctor a lot more sympathetic for me. It's hard to know if its correct, though. Moffat doesn't really weigh in on theories too often.

But, I like my interpretation. Anyone else have one?

Next weeks episode is called Time Heist and here is a trailer for you. Till then, VampChix!



The Changeover

For an unusual psychic vampire story, try THE CHANGEOVER (1984), by award-winning New Zealand YA author Margaret Mahy. The opening scene instantly draws the reader into the sometimes hectic life of teenage heroine Laura Chant, her little brother, Jacko, and her divorced mother, Kate. They cope with a chronic shortage of money, a car that has to be push-started every morning, and lack of a phone (Kate couldn't keep up with the bills) but are fairly happy. Laura differs from her peers in one way; she sometimes gets intuitive "warnings." When a warning strikes at the beginning of the book, Kate doesn't take it seriously. On the way home with Jacko that afternoon, though, Laura discovers the significance of her premonition when they wander into a tiny shop run by a creepily over-friendly man, Carmody Braque. He treats Jacko to a hand stamp bearing a sinister portrait of Carmody himself. Jacko soon falls mysteriously ill, unconscious and wasting away. Laura's intuition tells her that Carmody, through the stamp, is draining her brother's life. It also tells her where to turn for help, although reluctantly. She suspects Sorenson Carlisle, nicknamed Sorry, an older student at her school, of being a witch. Appealing to him, she learns that he and his mother and grandmother do indeed have magical powers.

They inform Laura that only she can save her brother. She must activate her own latent powers by changing from a mere "sensitive" to a full-fledged witch. A mystical initiation in the form of a journey through an enchanted land within her own consciousness, with Sorry, his mother, and his grandmother as gatekeepers and guides, accomplishes this "changeover." Laura undergoes a transformation that alters her forever, not just long enough to defeat Carmody. Armed with her awakened power, she of course confronts him in a sorcerous battle for Jacko's life. Meanwhile, Kate becomes involved with a man she has just met, Laura's father and his new wife appear on the scene when Jacko goes into the hospital, and, most importantly, Laura discovers a strong mutual attraction between her and Sorry.

Having lived for ten years with a foster family who misunderstood and eventually abused him because of his uncanny abilities, Sorry is deeply damaged beneath his sophisticated, lightly ironic facade. Although intellectually brilliant, he has deliberately sealed his heart away and is just beginning to learn about human emotions. Unlike Laura, he has some sexual experience, but she knows far more than he about love. She's a very believable teenager with typical adolescent insecurities and resentments (of her mother's new boyfriend, for instance) but self-aware enough to recognize when she's being unfair to Kate. Laura's changeover through a hero's quest into a psychic underworld forms the centerpiece of the story. Carmody Braque, although we meet him in person only briefly at the beginning of the crisis and not again until the Laura challenges him toward the end, remains a threatening presence we're never allowed to forget for long. The scene where Laura finally convinces him he's been dead for ages, no more than a bundle of appetites bound together by magic and will, is a tiny gem of horror.

For an American reader, THE CHANGEOVER offers the added pleasure of glimpses of everyday life in New Zealand through the eyes of an outwardly ordinary teenage girl.

Margaret L. Carter

Explore love among the monsters at Carter's Crypt.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Horns

Horns was a book by Joe Hill (Stephen King's son) and it was adapted as a movie and released at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. It stars Daniel Radcliffe and it finally has a US release date- October 31st!


Check out the trailer-


And if you haven't read the book yet, now is the time before the movie comes out!


Book Description:

"Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.
 
At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin's death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It's time for a little revenge. . . . It's time the devil had his due. . ."


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hatter M Graphic Novels

A while back, I introduced VampChix to the Looking Glass Wars novels, by Frank Beddor. If you liked those, or even if you didn't read them, but liked the idea of a dark twist on the classic Alice in Wonderland story, you might want to check out the Hatter M graphic novels. These books take the character of Hatter Madigan and tell the story of just what happened to him when he went through the portal into our world in search of Alyss. The comics are fantasy melded with reality and they are seriously cool. Since they are a separate story from the novels, they can be read independent of them or as a companion. There are four volumes to read now, and the fifth and final book is due soon!






Hatter M Volume 1: Far From Wonder
Description:

"In Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan was ordered by Queen Genevieve to take Princess Alyss and leave Wonderland after a bloody palace coup staged by the murderous Redd. But while escaping through the Pool of Tears (the portal connecting Wonderland to our world), crushing centrifugal force pulled them apart, and Alyss was lost. In this geographic parallel adventure, Hatter finds himself in Paris, France in the year 1859 shockingly separated from the child he had been sworn to protect.

Unbeknownst to Hatter, Alyss had exited a puddle in London, England. Lost and alone, she was befriended by an aspiring author to whom she told the surreal, violent, heartbreaking story of her young life only to see it published as the nonsensical children's fairytale Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. But Carrol had got it all wrong.He even misspelled her name! Alyss had trusted Lewis Carrol to tell the truth so that Hatter would find her and bring her home. Instead, Hatter must endure a non-stop quest, crisscrossing the globe for 13 years in search of the lost Princess. While formidable with blades, a moment must be taken to introduce his signature weapon, the Hat. Woven and blocked from a material not available in any realm except the origins of wonder, the Hat, when hurled by his expert hand, instantly unfolds into a circle of blades to attack or defend.

The mad odyssey begins here..."





Hatter M Volume 2: Mad With Wonder


Description:



"It's a mad, mad, mad world as Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan's maniacal quest to find Alyss continues! In Volume 2, Mad With Wonder, Hatter follows the Glow from London to the battlefields of America's Civil War in search of the Princess who must some day be Queen. The America that Hatter encounters is a sprawling, wounded, boiling landscape of innocence and energy run amok. The war is tearing the country apart, yet Hatter must maintain his sanity in this maelstrom of holy rollers, child healers, prophetic snake handlers, deranged outlaws, and passionate southern belles. As Hatter searches he learns he is not the only Wonderland presence that has found its way to the Promised Land. Queen Redd's black imagination is fueling the Civil War and threatening our world with her evil!"



Hatter M Volume 3: The Nature of Wonder


Description:

"In Volume 3, The Nature of Wonder, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan follows the Glow of the setting sun into America's wild west in search of Wonderland's lost princess. Hatter's adventures will include a shamanic vision quest in the Grand Canyon and tracking Black Imagination through San Francisco's Barbary Coast where he discovers an astounding clue to his own haunted past."


Hatter M Volume 4: The Zen of Wonder


 Description:

"Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan's search takes an unexpected detour in the Zen of Wonder when he travels 'within' guided by a mischievous and often maddening young girl named Nekko. Nekko's origin is a Zen mystery, but her devotion to Hatter's quest to find the lost Princess is unwavering. After Nekko leads him on a fearless chase across the rooftops of 1871 San Francisco, Hatter must acknowledge her as a teacher!"


 Hatter M Volume 5: Love of Wonder- In production now and expected to release in October


 Description:

"In the 5th and final volume, looking glasses shatter as our worlds collide and characters from Wonderland increasingly cross over to aid or block Hatter in his single-minded quest to find Alyss and bring her home. Redd's Black Imagination has ruled Wonderland for 13 years without fear of reprisal and now the specter of Alyss' return to claim the throne has unleashed a storm of paranoiac rage. Hatter Madigan is at the center of this crusade as he must simultaneously battle the enemies of wonder as well as his own beliefs and loyalties. All paths through time and space, through blood and steel, from his world to our world, have led Hatter Madigan to this moment -- a life or death confrontation with the only warrior in the Looking Glass Wars universe capable of defeating him and destroying the love of wonder."



Monday, September 8, 2014

Silent Partner Release Day blitz and giveaway




Silent Partner
Stan Schatt
Genre:  Paranormal Mystery
Publisher:  Pen-L Publishing

ISBN:   978-1-940222-45-4

Number of pages: 239
Word Count: 60,000

Cover Artist: Kelsey Rice



Book Description:
Detective “Frankie” Ryan tracks a sadistic killer while the press attacks her as a feminist vigilante who takes the law into her own hands. The only one who can help her is a tabloid reporter who can’t decide if he’s a psychic who sees ghosts or is just going insane.

As they search for the killer in a sunny seacoast city’s seamy S&M underside, they begin to question everything they know about sexual identity. How can they find the killer before he strikes again when he defies any description?

Silent Partner is a paranormal mystery, a police procedure novel with a female detective that will remind you of Harry Bosch, a ghost story that suggests what lies beyond death, and a comic look at a tabloid where the “truth” is whatever sells.

Excerpt:
Frankie glared at Landry. His neck turned red, but he didn’t say anything. “How could I live without her? I was addicted to her. Once you had her in your system, you never wanted her to leave. When I was away from her, I thought of her constantly. It wasn’t just the sex. She was the smartest, wittiest woman I’ve ever known. She was the most interesting and exciting woman I’ve ever met. She was also the most manipulative woman I’ve ever met. I hated myself for not throwing her out, but I just couldn’t. Love is a horrible thing, and not the wonderful things
poets say.”
“Did she leave a note?” Frankie was trying to develop a timeline.
“I came home around five-thirty, and she didn’t leave a note. I never believed her notes anyway. You have to understand something about Lorna. She never admitted she was wrong about anything, and she never apologized. She could convince herself in a minute that anything she said was true. Lorna once left me a note that she was going shopping with a girl friend. That friend called later and didn’t know anything about the shopping. I told my wife I knew she lied to me, and she became furious that I didn’t believe her. I’m sure she totally believed that she was right and I was wrong. I think the shrinks call someone like that a sociopath.” “We’ll  need  your  statement.  Does  your  wife  have  any  enemies?”
Frankie said.
Marco looked up. His eyes glistened from his tears. “It’s probably a long list. As I told you, Detective, she didn’t play by the same rules as everyone else.”
“Let’s start with the names of people you know had reason to dislike her,” Frankie said.

About the Author:

Stan Schatt grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and now resides in Carlsbad, California. He has written thirty-five books on a wide variety of subjects ranging from fiction to technology.  He is co-author of Journey to a Different Dimension, an Amazon bestseller. He also authored Egypt Rising, a YA novel focusing on a teen’s experience in Egypt at the time of the Egyptian revolution of 2011. This novel contains paranormal elements including a secret buried under the Sphinx. The paranormal mystery Silent Partner is Schatt’s latest novel.

He has led several careers including futurist and executive for many of the world’s leading technology market research firms, police department administrator, autopsy assistant, software trainer, Telecommunications Department Chairman, and English professor. He taught at Tokyo University as a Fulbright exchange professor. His non-fiction includes books on such diverse topics as strategies for changing careers for a green industry job, studies of Michael Connelly and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., network and data communications technology, telecommunications, computer programming.

Author website: www.stanschatt.com



Tour giveaway 

$25 Amazon gift certificate







Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Trailer for Freak Show- Finally!

American Horror Story: Freak Show finally has a full-length trailer!



It is super new- here's a link for the video.

Looks awesome! AHS Freak Show will air October 8th on FX at 10pm ET/PT.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Robot of Sherwood Recap





  as always, CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD

Doctor Who, Series 8, Episode 3 was a sillier, more light-hearted story than the last episode. We go on a romp through medieval England and visit Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Except- they aren't real...are they? The Doctor is convinced that they are some sort of trick, and he may be right because it turns out the Sheriff of Nottingham is in cahoots with a band of robots from outer space that are harvesting gold to repair their ship and reach the "promised land." (There's that reference again.) So Robin of Locksley might well be a robot too.



The robots have made a crucial error in their plan though, and unless the Doctor and Robin can help, they are going to burn half of England and explode their ship when they try to take off. You know...for aliens with advanced technology, they sure don't seem too smart. Anyway, there's the evil Sheriff to deal with and peasants to rescue, so the Doctor and Robin need to start working together instead of arguing like children. Good luck with that.



Lots of giggles in this episode, but it was a bit overly silly at times and had some plot holes. So, not my favorite so far, but not bad. We did see a trailer for next week and it looks like we get a good scary one! Those are the best! Can't wait!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Geek Chic Fashion for Girls of All Ages and Sizes

Anna and I have both fallen in love with a newish website that sells geek wear for girls only.
 It's Her Universe. Not only do they cater to fan-girls like ourselves, but they carry a range of sizes so all women can show their love for their favorite nerdy indulgences.



The website was started by Ashley Eckstein. She was the voice behind the beloved character, Ahsoka Tano, from Star Wars, The Clone Wars. She started the clothing line because she saw that there was a lack of fun nerd wear designed for women. Her Universe has taken off and now carries Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, Transformers, Walking Dead, and Marvel lines and is adding a Studio Ghibli line soon! They even sponsored a fashion show at San Diego Comicon this year and they regularly feature a "fangirl of the day"- giving shout-outs and love for the girls that are not afraid to flaunt their fandom. It's just a really fun and empowering place for  women, and they have such cute things!




Cute choices from the site.




SDCC Fashion Show


So if you're wanting to wear your fandom literally on your sleeve, check them out! :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Memory War release day blitz and giveaway



Memory War
The Memory Wars Trilogy 
Book 3
Paul Anthony Shortt
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: WiDo Publishing LLC
Date of Publication: September 2nd, 2014

ISBN: 978-1937178550
ASIN: 1937178552

Number of pages: 330
Word Count: 104,500
Cover Artist: Steven Novak


Book Description:
War is coming to New York. Nathan Shepherd's growing band of followers is dedicated to protecting the city, but they now face their greatest threat.
Athamar returns, plunging the city into chaos. Uniting the forces of darkness against Nathan and his allies, Athamar strives to discover a secret hidden for thousands of years. A secret lost to Nathan's memories. Something so dangerous, even the gods themselves fear it.
Nathan and Elena were once the greatest of heroes, champions against evil. Now, haunted by Nathan's past-life betrayal, they must work together and brave the pain of long-buried lifetimes. Somewhere, locked within their former incarnations, lies the key to stopping Athamar, an enemy who has hunted them from one incarnation to the next.
As the city burns and innocents suffer, as heroes fall and hope dies, Nathan and Elena face their final battle, a battle where legends will be reborn.
Available at  Amazon

Excerpt Chapter One
Tuxedos were the worst. At least in the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, even during the Renaissance, clothing, men’s especially, was designed to allow enough freedom of movement to fight or defend oneself. The 21st century had long seen the end of that. Nathan Shepherd’s feet blistered in polished shoes. He was sure they were too small, despite what the man in the rental store had said, and found himself longing for a practical form of battle dress which would also go with black tie events.
He scanned the ballroom as he descended the marble steps. The scent of expensive perfume drifted across the air, accompanied by the gentle sway of a string quartet on the stage. Tugging at his collar, Nathan walked to the buffet table and plucked a glass of champagne.
“Status?” Cynthia Keller’s voice crackled in his earpiece. 
“Champagne’s not bad,” he said, softly. “Not sure about the caviar though.”
“You’re supposed to be watching the mayor.”
“I’m getting into character.”
“Well listen, 007, we’ve got four people who just went in through the kitchen door and one of them looks a lot like Lucius.”
Lucius was a vampire, one of the top-ranking enforcers for the Council of Chains. He’d been seen on the street a lot since Dorian went missing last year. 
“Were they armed?” Nathan asked, sipping the champagne.
“Couldn’t see,” Cynthia replied. “Nothing big, at least. No heavy bags or boxes that could conceal large amounts of weaponry.”
“How are they going to do this?”
“Poison?” Cynthia said. “That’s how they got the chief of police.”
“Difficult,” Nathan said. So many people were taking hors d’oeuvres and drinks from tables and passing servers that it would be impossible to predict what the mayor would take. “Unless they poison something other than the food,” Nathan said. He frowned. It was something to watch for.
“What else is there?” Cynthia asked. “This is too big for a bomb or a shooter.”
“Keep me posted on anything suspicious entering or leaving the building,” Nathan said, sipping his drink and wandering along the dance floor. The crowd on the dance floor parted and he saw the mayor speaking to a group seated at a table.
“I have him,” Nathan said. “Tommy, what’s your status?” This was Tommy’s first time in the field, and he was doing everything he could not to seem nervous.
“Uh, restroom,” his voice came back through Nathan’s earpiece.
“You’re supposed to be by the stage.”
“Sorry boss,” Tommy said. “Must have been the crab meat crackers.”
“I’ve got Green,” Nathan said. “I need your eyes out here.”
“I’ll do my…” The sound of Tommy’s voice was replaced by retching and the splash of liquid hitting liquid. Nathan’s stomach turned a little.
“Just give me a minute,” Tommy said, coughing.
Movement caught Nathan’s eye. Four men moving through the crowd, shoulders set back and arms loose. They were ready to pounce. “I don’t have a minute.” Where was Lucius?

One of them nodded across the ballroom. Nathan turned to follow the gaze and spotted Lucius emerging from a staff door. Nathan set his glass down and started across the dance floor.
Then he saw her, flowing across the floor in a backless scarlet dress, split along the sides to reveal her sculpted calves and thighs. Three ebony hairpins held her long black hair in a coiled bun, leaving only a few tantalising locks framing her face. She turned and narrowed her eyes. He wondered how many other people would have been able to spot the marks on her arms and back where she’d used make-up to cover her scars. Marks earned in battle. Nathan’s gaze drifted of its own accord, up each curve from her hips to her neck, settling for a moment on her blood red lips and wide, practiced smile. Her sea green eyes fixed him and she advanced, sweeping toward him and locking her arms around his shoulders.
“Elena,” he said. “What are you doing here?”
“Making sure you get out alive,” she said. Her smile never faltered. She pulled Nathan into the crowd as the musicians started up a new piece.
“I don’t have time to dance.” He tried to pull away, but Elena held him firm. Nathan placed his hands on her hips and pushed, but she pressed herself against him. He shivered and inhaled her perfume.
“You have four behind you,” she said, “and another four coming from the staff entrance.”
“I know,” he said, leading her across the floor in time to the music. “Lucius is leading them. It’s a Council hit.” He glanced to the side. “Two more on your left, dancing.” They moved apart, keeping their steps in perfect rhythm.
Elena flicked her eyes around. “Three by the stairs. Just you?”
Nathan shook his head as they closed in together again. “Tommy’s inside. Cynthia and Cadence are watching from the next building. Sue’s got the truck waiting.”
“Sam?”
“Watching the bar.”
“You should have Cadence in here,” she said.
“I can handle this,” he said.
“You need help.”
Nathan smirked and dipped Elena, gazing down at her.
“That’s the wrong step,” she said.

Nathan felt the energy in the crowd shift. A forgotten sense most mortals possessed, but which only those regularly exposed to the supernatural were aware of, allowed the detection of emotional energy and even the presence of supernatural creatures and magical effects. The crowd was nervous. Eyes moved to Nathan and Elena. People backed away. One of the men approaching from behind Elena flashed a grin, showing a pair of long fangs.
“It’s time to change the tempo,” Nathan said. “Allegro, perhaps?”
Elena nodded and reached for one of her hair pins. Nathan pulled her back up and she threw the pin. It flew straight into the heart of one of the Council agents. Nathan ignored the scream and delivered a side-kick to the sternum of the vampire behind Elena.
“Tommy,” Nathan yelled into his radio. “Where are you?”
Nathan spotted him pushing his way through the crowd as two more vampires moved in on him and Elena. They fought back to back. Elena kicked off her shoes and used another hair pin as a close-range stabbing weapon. Nathan blocked a wild punch and twisted the vampire’s arm, breaking it at the elbow joint. The vampire yelled and Nathan spun, hurling him against the buffet table.
A female vampire leaped onto Nathan’s back. Her hiss closed in on his ear as she reached for his throat. Nathan reached around to grab her, but another vampire kicked him in the stomach.
Tommy tried to push onto the dance floor, but the crowd was too thick and panicked.
“Cadence,” Nathan said, struggling to breathe as the woman on his back tried to strangle him. “Now.”
A window smashed inward as a rolled-up black wrap flew through the air. It landed close to Nathan and fell open, revealing the hilt of his sword.
“Elena!”

The woman on Nathan’s back seized and shrieked. Her grip loosened. Nathan spun his hips and threw her off. One of Elena’s pins stuck out of her back. These vampires weren’t dying immediately upon wood piercing their hearts. That meant they were older; more powerful than the average street vampires. They’d need their heads cut off or their bodies burned to finish them off for good.
Nathan dove for his sword, snatching it and slashing the next vampire’s leg. He rolled to his feet and swung down as the vampire’s fingernails grew into long black claws. Its hands fell away and the vampire shrieked, running from Nathan.
Elena reached for the roll of weapons and took two small curved axes. Five vampires surrounded them. Nathan pointed for Tommy to get to the mayor and he nodded, running to the stage. The vampires pounced.
Nathan and Elena reacted as one, fighting off their attackers with precision and unity honed over a hundred lifetimes. Dark blood splattered the dance floor as they cut down the vampires one by one. With every heartbeat, Nathan felt Elena’s soul pulsing and his own respond in kind. They breathed in unison, feeling what the other felt, seeing what the other saw. It was in this, the work of performing death, that their last true bond remained. Nathan was almost used to the regret. It urged him on, giving him power, bringing forth memories of past-life battles to fuel his strength and speed. He reached into those memories now, plucking one from the chaos and taking his past-self’s adrenaline to keep his mind focused on the task at hand. There was no room for mistakes here.



About the Author:
A child at heart who turned to writing and roleplaying games when there simply weren't enough action figures to play out the stories he wanted, Paul Anthony Shortt has been writing all his life.
Growing up surrounded by music, film and theatre gave him a deep love of all forms of storytelling, each teaching him something new he could use. When not playing with the people in his head, he enjoys cooking and regular meet-ups with his gaming group.
He lives in Ireland with his wife Jen and their dogs, Pepper and Jasper. Their first child, Conor William Henry Shortt, was born on July 11th, 2011. He passed away three days later, but brought love and joy into their lives and those of their friends.
The following year, Jen gave birth to twins, Amy and Erica. Their fourth child, Olivia, was born in January, 2014.


Tour giveaway 
3 signed print copies of Memory War


a Rafflecopter giveaway