urban fantasy shapeshifting CL Schneider

A gritty urban fantasy reminiscent of Jessica Jones

As this blog focuses on world-building, I want to share with you my review of a great urban fantasy book I read recently that has excellent world-building – Nite Fire: Flash Point by C.L. Schneider – Enjoy!

A dark, gritty urban fantasy that is reminiscent of Jessica Jones

 

This book took me a long time to finish, not because I wasn’t enjoying it but because every inch of the world is so rich and loaded with fantastic details which all come together to build an image of this heavy, dark city plagued by crime and a nasty underworld of creature attacks. I was strongly reminded of the Jessica Jones TV show. This book has the same film-noir feel to it – sour, embittered detectives and dark underworld goings-on. The protagonist, Dahlia Nite is also very Jessica Jones – strong, independent and won’t take any nonsense from anybody!

As with all of C.L. Schneider’s work, the plot is complex and well-developed, the characters grey and layered. Nothing is as it seems, and there is always layer upon layer of mystery, intrigue, snappy comebacks and downright brutal violence. Schneider is one of few authors I read who can make my jaw physically drop. She is a master of the epic reveal!

A cracking read – I can’t wait for the next in the series!

Grab it on Amazon here!

More from C.L. Schneider:

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Wizarding Protection Program: J.B. Taylor

This week the incredible J.B. Taylor (author of a whole range of exceptional stories and novels) has released two fantasy stories entitled ‘Wizarding Protection Program’.

Take a look and grab a copy!

Wizarding Protection Program 1

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Wizarding Protection Program 1 – Christine is an actress, a breakout star in truth. She never believed in wizards. She never knew of the darkest wizard ever to have existed … Mortem. But Mortem knows of her. Christine is the sole survivor of his assassination of two wizarding journalists that resulted in a destroyed café and many dead civilians. Fearful her rising celebrity will bring his great plan to take over the wizarding world into the consciousness of the public he seeks her out, and Christine is forced on the run.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HYDFE60/

https://www.scribd.com/book/319509695/Wizarding-Protection-Program-1-Wizarding-Protection-Program-Series

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/wizarding-protection-program-1

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1138626342

http://www.inktera.com/store/title/f104070d-8e75-40d5-b0e6-ac8b1d8067f9

 

Wizarding Protection Program 2

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Wizarding Protection Program 2 – A disciple of Mortem is on the hunt, killing those who’ve offended him deeply. Christine has survived one dark wizard and is forced to flee yet another. Help proves to come from the strangest of places. And maybe, just maybe, Christine will prove magical after all.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wizarding-protection-program-2-jb-taylor/1124215726?ean=2940153347035

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1138626228https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/wizarding-protection-program-2

https://www.scribd.com/book/319509691/Wizarding-Protection-Program-2-Wizarding-Protection-Program-Series

http://www.inktera.com/store/title/3662b8e0-305b-4aff-a6e2-11ddf2b0c7ac

In desperate need of Thunderclap help!

With just 2 days left until my Thunderclap campaign ends, I am still in need of 22 supporters! From July 11th – 17th The Phoenix Project will be on sale for just $0.99 / £0.99 and in order to get this news to as many people as possible, I need Thunderclap’s help.

This means I need as much support as possible. I will gladly return support for anybody else’s campaigns, or if you need shares or tweets etc.

Here is my campaign:

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/43726-the-phoenix-project-for-0-99

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Relaunch promotion for Marnie Cate’s ‘Remember’

relaunch cover

Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic

Relaunch Tour

To celebrate the relaunch of Marnie Cate’s beloved first novel, Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic,  it will be available on Kindle for $0.99 / £0.99 beginning  October 29, 2015 through November 4, 2015

Remember_Complete

Author: Marnie Cate

Title: Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Synopsis

Hiding the truth from you is no longer protecting you. Sit and I will tell you what you need to know.

With those words, the secrets of my great grandmother, Genevieve Silver, were unburied and my role as a protector of the elemental magic was revealed.

My name is Marina Addisyn Stone but Mara is what my friends and family call me.  I had always felt that there was something missing and that nothing was permanent. Why would I feel that way?  I was being raised with my little sister by my grandmother that loved and doted on me. Then, there was Cole Sands. Who could forget the blue-eyed boy that had stolen my heart? What more could a girl need?  I always thought I was just being dramatic and that bad things do happen to people but that is part of life.  People die.  People go away. Little did I know that with one secret, my life would change forever and my new world would be surrounded by the world of elemental magic?

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Excerpt

As I felt my determination build, the mirror in front of me began to change and the reflection filled with rippling water. The image made me think of the choppy water of Sparrow Lake. At first, the small waves were calm but the speed and intensity of each movement of the water grew. I found myself being splashed as the waves grew harder and began to slap against the mirror. Standing up, I moved away just in time to watch the mirror before me shatter and the violent water burst out towards me.

The room began to fill with rushing water. Feeling around the room, I searched for an exit. Behind the shattered mirror, I only found solid rock. Looking to the ceiling, I could see the same hard stone. Feeling the emotions build inside me, I began search the floor and walls around me for any exit.

“Damn! Damn! Damn it!” I cried.

The water did not slow. Instead it continued to fill the room as I frantically searched for my escape. The water soon reached my knees and, what seemed like seconds later, I was wading through waist high water. As the water continued to rise, I was soon struggling to keep my head above water. It was not enough that the water was filling the room so rapidly but soon the water felt alive. The cold waves kept tossing me back and forth as the water rose and I began to feel like I was in a game of Ping-Pong where I was the ball. Soon, I found myself pulled under the icy water and surrounded by thousands of bubbles. Frantically kicking my feet to keep my head above water, I broke the surface.

Remembering the swimming lessons my grandfather insisted on, I thought about the times I spent with my grandfather learning to swim. I began to feel less scared as I recalled his calm voice and gentle words telling me that I would be safe. As I floated in the rising water, it seemed to respond to my emotions. The thrashing became calmer as I focused on my grandfather’s words. My brief moment of peace did not last. Before I knew it, I had almost reached the ceiling that had no exit and I began to panic. At this rate, I would be trapped and drowned in minutes. As if it was feeding off my fear, the water began to toss me around again.

As the water began to rise up my neck and almost over the top of my head, I tried to calm myself. You are the granddaughter of Mae Veracor and the great granddaughter of Genevieve Silver. You are the descendent of strong women. You have nothing to fear. With these words, the water once again calmed and I was able to tilt my head back above the water. How am I going to get out of this?

Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic is on sale $0.99 / £0.99 Kindle from Thursday, October 29th to Wednesday, November 4th!

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Amazon Book link: My Book

marnie cate

Marnie Cate Biography

Marnie Cate was born and raised in Montana before adventuring to the warmer states of Arizona and California. Her love of Dame Judi Dench and dreams of caticorns and rainbows inspired her to chase her dreams. One great sentence came to mind and the world of elemental magic and the humans they lived amongst filled her mind. With Remember, the story has begun.

Other Works by Marnie Cate

Exigency: Protectors of the Elemental Magic – Coming Soon

The story of Mara Stone continues.  Her world was shaken but she is a fighter.  Facing new adversaries, Mara is learning what it truly means to protect the magic.

 

Awethology Light – Contribution Story  

Beginnings: Protectors of the Elemental Magic (Novellette)

The story of Genevieve Silver and the origins of the protectors of the magic. With the balance of the elemental world shaken, four elementals take on the task of protecting the magic.

Links:

www.marniecate.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarnieCate

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00UJNT7J8

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Marnie_Cate

Twitter: @Marnie_Cate

Stunning new cover for ‘A Game For Assassins’

This month, thriller author James Quinn has re-released his edge-of-your-seat political thriller ‘A Game For Assassins’. This stylish new cover casts the perfect image for such a gripping, dramatic storyline.

A GAME FOR ASSASSINS COMPLETE

I spoke with James Quinn about his book:

Introduction:

In association with my publishers – Creativia Publishing – we have decided to spruce up the cover of AGFA.  It was felt that since the interior of the book had been brought up to a high standard in terms of story, proofing and editing, we should also afford the same courtesy to the cover.

What we have now is a stylish, theme orientated cover that oozes “Cold War” espionage and action and which grabs the reader’s attention.

I hope you all approve.

Please feel free to share and thanks for all your help

James Quinn

Synopsis:

The assassination of a Caribbean dictator….

The “hit” on a traitor in Beirut……

The brutal murder of a young CIA officer behind the Iron Curtain…..

It is 1964, the height of the Cold War, and British Intelligence is riding high with its top double agent network: Constellation.

But in the secret war fought across Europe the enemy is never far away and soon the agents of Constellation are targeted by an unknown team of assassins.  In desperation British Intelligence sends in their best agent to protect the network and hunt down the killers.

Jack “Gorilla” Grant isn’t your typical Cold War secret agent.  Short, tough, uncompromising, rough edged. He doesn’t fit in with the elitist spies and debonair intelligence agents.  He prefers working at the rough end of British covert operations.

But “Gorilla” is one of the best “Redactors” in the business.  He’s an expert at close quarter combat: quick to the draw and deadly accurate when it comes to the elimination of traitors and extremists on behalf of the British Secret Service (SIS).  He is soon drawn into a game of cross and double cross where nothing is as it seems and even the most perfect spy can die in a wilderness of mirrors.

“A Game for Assassins” is an action packed edge of your seat thrill ride played out across the global stage of the Cold War.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

James Quinn spent 15 years in the secret world of covert operations, undercover investigations and international security before turning his hand to writing.

He is trained in hand to hand combat and in the use of a variety of weaponry including small edged weapons, Japanese Swords and Hunting Bows.  He is also a crack pistol shot for CQB (Close Quarter Battle) and many of his experiences he has incorporated into his works of fiction.

He lives in the United Kingdom and travels extensively around the globe.

For more information check out the James Quinn Website:

http://jamesquinn.webs.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-Quinn/1558765681046413

Twitter: James Quinn – Author @Ape101Quinn

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00VRR0DYI?ref_=pe_1805931_64002121

http://www.amazon.com/James-Quinn/e/B00VRR0DYI/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

#Awethology release day!

It’s that day! The day that my two projects – Awethology Dark and Awethology Light – finally go live. Both are available to download for FREE! Who will you support – #TeamDark or #TeamLight? (Or both?)

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Download your FREE copy here:

Awethology Dark:

http://www.inktera.com/store/title/12728bf9-06bf-414e-9e36-afeb1dd14797
https://www.oysterbooks.com/book/n4QyiLmf833WgAc4R4unbE/awethology-dark
https://www.scribd.com/book/285289607/Awethology-Dark
https://www.oysterbooks.com/book/n4QyiLmf833WgAc4R4unbE/awethology-dark
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/awethology-dark

Awethology Light:

http://www.inktera.com/store/title/03e766fc-c197-491c-a089-b64b3736f6e4
https://www.oysterbooks.com/book/jsTREGBVXE9Z4mKQiKS9Wj/awethology-light
https://www.scribd.com/book/285289638/Awethology-Light
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/awethology-light

Awethology Light and Dark countdown – 1 day to go!

Tomorrow, a completely FREE set of anthologies by the writing group the #Awethors will be released! 49 authors from all over the world have come together to bring out a pair of anthologies of all genres. The anthologies have been split into two volumes – Awethology DARK and Awethology LIGHT – the difference being the content and age rating of the pieces included. (I’m the Dark volume – no surprises there!)

The most incredible thing about these Awethologies is the dedication and commitment of the authors involved (who truly do earn themselves the title ‘Awethors’. Many of them have created banners or postcards promoting their stories within the books, and they look fabulous! So here are a few examples of the incredible designs I’ve seen the past few days:

The End postcard 1

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Awethology Light and Dark

On the 18th October, The #Awethors facebook group will be releasing two Anthologies which involve nearly 50 authors worldwide.

1396983_10156051931160562_6023094947837649362_oAwethology blurb

One of the anthologies is Awethology Dark. This is a set of short stories for adults. (My brand new short story ‘The End’ featured in this one!)

The other is called Awethology Light and is for any age group especially those under 18.

awethologyDARK       awethologyLIGHT

The eBooks of both of these anthologies will be FREE and paperbacks will also be available. Please grab a copy and enjoy all the different genres of awesome indie authors worldwide. 

Blurb for my entry – The End

Wayne Dixon, a middle-aged bachelor, is cursed by voices echoing inside his head. They tell him that soon the world will end. It is his duty to the human race to convince as many people as possible that the end is approaching, but nobody will listen to him. As the end gets nearer, will he convince them to join him or will they all be doomed?

The End postcard 1

The Distant Sound of Violence by Jason Greensides – Chapter 3

I am so proud to be hosting the re-launch of this incredible book. I read ‘The Distant Sound of Violence’ a few months ago, and the messages within it and the depth of the plot have stayed with me ever since. (I have now passed this book on to others, because I can’t seem to go a single day without recommending it to somebody!) This book also features Nathan Dawes – one of the greatest literary characters I have ever seen! An all-round incredible book and definitely an author to watch out for.

So, here it is!

Seven Days, Seven Blogs, Seven Chapters

Day Three, Chapter Three

The Distant Sound of Violence by Jason Greensides Relaunch Blog Tour

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To celebrate the relaunch and Kindle $0.99 / £0.99 promotion of Jason Greensides’s acclaimed literary coming-of-age debut, The Distant Sound of Violence, you can read the first seven chapters on seven different blogs over seven days. I’m proud to host Jason for day three of the tour, featuring chapter three.

Author: Jason Greensides

Title: The Distant Sound of Violence

Genre: Literary/Contemporary/Coming-of-age/mystery

Book Content Rating: Adult, based on language, violence, and sexual content

Synopsis:

Do we ever escape the decisions we make when we’re fifteen?

Nathan Dawes, the loser from school, an outsider, street philosopher and member of The Grove Runners gang, needs Ryan’s help to get Stephanie to fall for him. When Ryan’s lawnmower is stolen, Nathan sees this as his chance to enlist Ryan in his plan.

Although Ryan knows becoming friends with Nathan could lead to trouble, he reluctantly agrees to help.

Stephanie wants nothing to do with either of them. Besides, she’s more interested in the one guy in the world she really shouldn’t be.

As Nathan continues his pursuit of Stephanie, and Ryan gets mixed up with The Grove Runners, soon events overtake them all, haunting their lives for years to come.

This intelligent and compelling debut is a heart-breaking tale of bad decisions and love gone wrong. It’s about choices that lead to violence, loss and tragedy.

Excerpt

Chapter Three

The reason Nathan had sat back and watched as some random kid stole my aunt’s lawnmower was because of Stephanie Redding. He’d seen me around school, knew I was never without a girlfriend, and figured if he could get the lawnmower back for me then I would have felt obligated to speak to Stephanie on his behalf, put in a good word for him, somehow work my magic to get her to fall in love with him.

What Nathan didn’t realise was that I was starting to feel sorry for him and his need for a girlfriend, even if he had caused me problems with Karen, and at that point I would have helped him anyway. Perhaps if I’d told him this at the time, I might have been able to stop what happened next.

That same afternoon, he skipped detention and scampered out the back entrance, took the bus home and changed into a navy blue Nike tracksuit. There, he waited for it to become dark, before setting off towards the Harrow Road.

Ignoring the blaring horns of cars forced to slow down to let him pass, Nathan crossed the road at the point where he and Dwain had been arguing the previous evening, and disappeared into the gloom of the alleyway next to Lee’s Arcade.

He unlatched the gate, crept across the garden and peered into the darkness of the shed. He pulled out a torch and shone the light through the window. After a few seconds, in amongst the gardening equipment and mountain bikes, he spotted the lawnmower sitting behind a Suzuki FA50 moped.

He clicked the torch off, spun it around in his palm and used the handle to smash the window. Clearing away the shards of glass, he reached inside at full stretch, grasped the lawnmower’s handle and pulled it towards the window. He placed his elbows on the window frame for leverage and lifted the lawnmower up into a horizontal position. But the lawnmower was heavier than he’d anticipated, so, as he paused to gain a little more strength in his arms, the lawnmower fell into the moped, causing the bike to crash to the floor with a loud, nasty crack.

He spun around to make sure no one had heard the noise, rivulets of icy sweat breaking across his brow.

Finally, seeing no movement from the back of the house, he hauled the lawnmower through the window and lugged it out to the street.

*

By the time Nathan had dragged the lawnmower off the bus at Kensington Church Street and onto Campden Hill Road, the clouds had begun to disperse. He sat down in his usual place opposite Stephanie’s house. He’d been going there every other night since the beginning of term, hoping to catch a glimpse of Stephanie through the living room window, or perhaps as she took out the rubbish.

And now, if she’d come into the living room and peeked through the velvet curtains, she’d have seen a young man, half-hidden by rosebushes, staring up at the house with yearning and hope; this boy now cradling his head in the moonlight, hair ruffled by the midnight breeze, a lawnmower sitting by his side, so consumed by solitude he was willing to die for her. If she’d seen this then perhaps she’d have gone down to him in her pajamas and, at the very least, shooed him away in case her mum spotted him.

As it was, she slept soundly in the back bedroom, oblivious to the madness of love imploding in the heart of this reclusive boy from school.

*

Several days after my aunt had come hobbling into my bedroom, saying that she’d bore witness to the miracle of her lawnmower sitting outside the front door, I finally found the right opportunity to speak to Stephanie. I didn’t share any classes with her, while she usually spent her break with her friend Taylor Brown, so finding the right moment to approach her was a real pain.

Then, one morning as I apologised to Peter about missing football practice (again), I spotted her. She was sauntering along with her gaze fixed on the floor, wearing her purple, blue, and white shell suit top.

‘Hey, Stephanie,’ I said, telling Peter I’d see him later. He dropped away into the crowds of children.

Although I’d never spoken to her before, she didn’t even crack a polite smile. ‘Yes?’ she said, slowing down but not stopping.

‘Hi,’ I continued, undeterred, struggling to keep up with her in the throng of kids. ‘I was just wondering if you have a boyfriend?’

Traces of a smile played at her lips and her nose twitched, as if she were trying to ward off a sneeze.

‘Don’t worry,’ I added, ‘it’s not for me why I’m asking.’

‘OK…?’ she said, moving to one side, giving us a chance to talk without being knocked over by manic year-sevens.

I searched her eyes for some clue how to proceed. ‘A friend of mine has seen you around and thinks you’re gorgeous,’ I said at last.

‘Oh,’ she said, pursing her lips, the light going out of her eyes – not the response I was after. Did she know I was talking about Nathan?

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘Nathan Dawes.’

She checked her watch – a big, cumbersome pink thing with a picture of Dumbo on the face – then glanced over my shoulder.

‘You know,’ I stuttered, pressing on, ‘white boy, straight brown hair, graffiti-covered rucksack?’

‘The freak?’ she said. It was a harsh remark and she seemed to know it. She shuffled on her feet, rubbed her arm with a fist as if she were cold.

I smiled, trying to hide how gutted I was that Nathan’s dwindling chances with this girl were fast becoming non-existent.

‘Er yeah,’ I stammered, ‘I think that’s him, although “freak” is a little unfair. He’s just…’ Suddenly inspired, I thought I’d take a chance. ‘Have you read some German guy called Arthur Schopenhauer? I think I’m pronouncing that right.’

She blinked at me, swung her bag onto her shoulder and searched for an ebb in the river of children into which she could dive into. Clearly, trying to find a connection with Stephanie through a reference to a nineteenth century German philosopher hadn’t worked.

‘Look, I’m sorry,’ she said. ‘I have a boyfriend.’

It was a lie, and we both knew all she meant was that she wasn’t interested in either Arthur Schopenhauer or Nathan Dawes. Once again, she searched the corridor for an escape route, her eyes brightening at finally spotting it: Taylor. ‘But it was nice to meet you…?’

‘Ryan.’

‘Ryan. Sorry, I’ve got to get to PE.’ And with that she loped off with Taylor.

I tried to think of one last thing to say before she was fully out of ear-shot, one last thing to make Nathan look good, knowing that I was unlikely to get another chance, but all I could come up with as I tried to catch up to her before Taylor and the tide of children carried her away, was, ‘Well, he thinks you’re great. Actually, he thinks you’re amazing.’ Then, shouting in desperation, the worst thing I could have said: ‘And he said he loves you!’


The Distant Sound of Violence cover

The Distant Sound of Violence is on sale $0.99 / £0.99 Kindle countdown deal from Tuesday 29th September to Sunday 4th October!

Amazon Book link: mybook.to/TDSOV

Jason Greensides Biographyauthor headshot photo

Jason Greensides has a degree in Video Production and Film Studies and has made several short films, two of which have been broadcast on television – but writing fiction is his real passion.

He’s interested in ‘outsider’ types, people operating on the edge of society. This inspired him to write his first novel, The Distant Sound of Violence. It’s about a group of kids, one in particular, Nathan Dawes, whose philosophical obsessions and criminal connections have made him an outcast at school.

Jason is now working on his second novel, another coming-of-age mystery, but on coffee breaks he blogs and tweets about writing, and throws in the occasional book review.

Links:

Jason Greensides website: jasongreensides.com

Facebook: facebook.com/jasongreensidesauthor

Twitter: twitter.com/jasongreensides

Google Plus: plus.google.com/+JasonGreensides

Pinterest: pinterest.com/jasongreensides

Goodreads: goodreads.com/Jason_greensides

Amazon page: amazon.co.uk/Jason-Greensides