Blood and Metal
A Dark Desires Novel
Release Date: 24 August 2015
Copilot of the Blood Hunter, Daisy is a newly-turned vampire, and she's hungry. Really hungry and it’s interfering with her plans for revenge. Unfortunately, the only thing that can distract her from said hunger is sex...which is a problem when she can barely refrain from draining any man dry within moments. But old flame Fergal Cain might just be the sexy-assed solution to her problem.
Part human, part cyborg, and with a poison coursing through his system, Fergal's running out of time to find the scientist who has the cure. Unfortunately for him, the misfit crew of the Blood Hunter put a serious kink in his plans. And if the poison doesn't kill him, the hot little vamp he can't resist might do the honors herself...
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A mixture of myth and modern technology, Blood and Metal is a strange brew but a great read. The two main characters are well developed and I enjoyed the storyline. Daisy is a unique character with a severe hunger problem and her relationship with Fergal is electric. A must read for fantasy lovers.
About the Author:
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance, often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
Author Website: http://www.ninacroft.com/
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nina_Croft
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nina.Croft.author
2 sets of the paperback copies of the first three books in the series, Break Out, Deadly Pursuit and Death Defying, and five ecopies of Temporal Shift, book 4.
Interview – Ginger Lee Malacko, Author of the KINDLED series
1. Give us a brief description of your series.
KINDLED is a two-part series that follows thirteen year old Nathan Coville on his journey from spoiled town champion to heroic angel warrior. Nathan falls to his death in a suspicious accident and is thrust into an invisible world of guardian angels. Through magic and mayhem, and with the help of a few unlikely friends, a demon plot is discovered, an evil army challenged, and a legend saved as Nathan fights to change his fate and protect the little brother he left behind.
2. Where did the idea come from?
It actually started with the idea for a single scene that was playing in my head like a movie. I’ve always known that I wanted to write about courage and so I imagined a character brave enough to walk into an enemy stronghold, alone and unarmed, which Nathan does about two thirds of the way through SPARK. Most of my ideas spring from a feeling I want my characters to experience and my readers to share. All the people and places and situations in the book grow from those feelings and then it just becomes fun. Let’s make them fly. Let’s make them throw fire. Let’s put angel headquarters under a mountain. I also love a book based on the real, regular old world that we know, rather than a completely made up world. Reality with a little magic thrown in. That’s what I love to write. It makes me believe that magical things can and do happen even if we don’t always get to see them.
3. Do you only write Young Adult/Children's books?
Well, I’ve been writing books for a while now and I can honestly say I have never once had the desire to write for “grownups”. I love writing for middle grade because I find kids of that age (8-14) are eager for darker stories, more complex characters, more serious dilemmas, and yet they still love magic and wonder and they’re hungry to learn. I love books that teach and inspire, even if they’re also fun and exciting. I would like to write a tale or two more specifically geared for young adults at some point, but middle grade is really where my heart is.
4. Who are your favorite authors ?
I love anyone who can make me LOVE their characters. Some of my favourites include Lois Lowry, Eoin Colfer, Ellen Potter, Margaret Haddix, Kenneth Oppel, Claire Legrand, Natalie Loyd…there are actually quite a lot of them. There are also a lot of authors out there I’m sure would be on my list if given the chance. I live in a very small town with a very small library and there are so many books on my radar I haven’t had the pleasure of reading quite yet.
5. Do you have more books planned in the future?
So many. I’m working on a spy novel right now featuring a girl who gets mixed up with up the CIA and a global terrorist ring – and gets to travel to a few places in the world that I have been to myself. I’m super excited about it because it won’t be a book about a kid who somehow miraculously karate chops fully grown men or pilots a helicopter without lessons. Everything she does will be something a real kid could actually do. So there won’t be any magic in this one, but plenty of adventure and some cool spy tricks. I’m also very excited about the fact that my main character is painfully shy, as I was too, once upon a time. I want to tell my readers that you don’t have to be loud and bold to be brave and heroic.
6. What advice would you give a writer who is just starting out?
a) Create your own brand. Writing the book is only part of the story. What most people don’t realize is that even if you’re lucky enough to get a contract with a traditional publisher, they really only promote best sellers. So while you’re working on the plot and swapping out adjectives, constantly be learning how to use social media, tap into online resources, get involved in the local book trade. Learn to be your own best advocate.
b) Edit, edit, edit! And then edit again. I have seen many good stories and characters get zero attention because the manuscript is so poorly edited. Don’t just look for spelling errors or sloppy grammar. Concentrate on consistency, flow, clarity, resolution. A writer jumps around his or her manuscript so much it can end up feeling choppy and then good writing can look like poor writing. Whether you’re self publishing or trying to catch the eye of an agent, you need good editing like you need the air you breathe.
c) Write what you love. Because no matter how great a concept you come up with or how well you think it fits in today’s market, you will not have the drive to finish it or promote it unless it’s precious to you. Writing and publishing is a whole lot of work and it’s not easy to keep the faith. Write for yourself first and the market second.
Check out: http://gingermalacko.com/
Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next -- never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency. Today, he is a recently retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/ Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.
Lacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who's very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn's android boyfriend has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth's earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop 'till You Drop): he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save the Universe in exchange for the designation of Earth as a planet which is eligible for continued existence within a universal economic structure that exploits underdeveloped planets for their mineral content. Lacy Dawn’s magic helps her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family. At first, this story seems sooooo serious, until……. Then, through the darkness, or perhaps because of it, laugh-out-loud comedy erupts to move the plot toward an outrageous closing scene.
Saving an entire universe is a big job for anybody. It takes more than just magic. Lacy Dawn needs a team and a very strong sense of humour. First, she motivates the android into helping her fix her family by putting her foot down and flat out telling him that she won't save the universe unless he helps her first. The android agrees to the terms. After Lacy Dawn's father is cured of his mental health problems and stops being so mean to Lacy Dawn and her mom, Lacy Dawn next arranges for her to mother get her rotten teeth replaced, pass her GED, and to get a driver's license. The mother feels so much better about herself that she also joins the team. By this time, the android has fallen so deeply in love with Lacy Dawn that she has him wrapped around her little finger. Add a pot head neighbour who sells marijuana and has a strong sense for business transactions, Brownie, a dog who proves to have tremendous empathy for the most vile occupants of any planet, and Faith, the ghost of Lacy Dawn's best friend who was murdered by her own father -- the team is ready to embark on a very weird off-world adventure. Of course, in preparation, Lacy Dawn has studied for hours to learn about sociology, math, economics, psychology, languages, culture and every other school subject that has a title -- her brain gets so filled up with knowledge directly downloaded from a universal database that she increasingly needs the perspectives of others on her team to sort it all out. Working together, the team figures out how a few greedy capitalists had made such a mess of the entire universe and how to prevent its destruction without intentionally killing one single being.
Rarity from the Hollow is a Children's Story. For Adults." The content includes serious social commentary and satire. There are graphic scenes in the first chapters before Lacy Dawn's family is fixed. "…You will enjoy the ride with Lacy Dawn, her family and friends, but don't expect the ride to be without a few bumps, and enough food to last you a long time." -- Darrell Bain, Award Winning Author
From chapter 13, Mom I’d Like to Introduce You to My Fiancé:
…..…Jenny (the mother) walked up the hill to Roundabend. She called Lacy Dawn's name every few yards. Her muddy tennis shoes slipped and slid.
I hear her voice. Why won't she answer me?
“Sounds like she’s talking to someone,” Jenny said to the Woods.
Nobody responded. The trees weren't supposed to since Jenny was no longer a child. Her former best friends had made no long-term commitment beyond childhood victimization. They had not agreed to help her deal with domestic violence in adulthood. She hugged the closest tree.
I will always love you guys.
Jenny quickened her pace, stopped, and listened for human voices. A few yards later, she stopped again.
Now it sounds like she’s behind me instead of in front.
Jenny looked to the left of the path.
There ain't no cave Roundabend, but there it is.
She walked toward the entrance. The voices grew louder and she looked inside. Lacy Dawn sat on a bright orange recliner. Tears streamed down her face. Jenny ran to her daughter through a cave that didn't exit and into a blue light that did.
“All right, you mother f**ker!”
“Mom!” Lacy Dawn yelled. “You didn’t say, ‘It’s me’ like you're supposed to (a traditional announcement mentioned earlier in the story)."
DotCom (the android) sat naked in a lotus position on the floor in front of the recliner. Jenny covered Lacy Dawn with her body and glared at him.
"Grrrrr," emanated from Jenny. It was a sound similar to the one that Brownie (Lacy Dawn's dog) made the entire time the food stamp woman was at their house. It was a sound that filled the atmosphere with hate. No one moved. The spaceship’s door slid shut.
“Mommmmmy, I can’t breathe. Get up.”
“You make one move you sonofabitch and I’ll tear your heart out,” Jenny repositioned to take her weight off Lacy Dawn.
Stay between them.
“Mommy, he’s my friend. More than my friend, we’re going to get married when I'm old enough -- like when I turn fourteen. He’s my boyfriend -- what you call it -- my fiancé.”
“You been messin’ with my little girl you pervert!” Jenny readied to pounce.
“MOM! Take a chill pill! He ain’t been messing with me. He’s a good person, or whatever. Anyway, he’s not a pervert. You need to just calm down and get off me.”
Jenny stood up. DotCom stood up. Jenny’s jaw dropped.
He ain't got no private parts, not even a little bump.
“DotCom, I’d like to introduce you to my mommy, Mrs. Jenny Hickman. Mommy, I’d like to introduce you to my fiancé, DotCom.”
Jenny sat down on the recliner. Her face was less than a foot from DotCom’s crotch and she stared straight at it. It was smooth, hairless, and odor free.
“Mrs. Hickman, I apologize for any inconvenience that this misunderstanding has caused. It is very nice to meet you after having heard so much. You arrived earlier than expected. I did not have time to properly prepare and receive. Again, I apologize.”
I will need much more training if I'm ever assigned to a more formal setting than a cave, such as to the United Nations.
“Come on, Mommy. Give him a hug or something.”
Jenny's left eye twitched.
DotCom put on clothing that Lacy Dawn had bought him at Goodwill. It hung a little loose until he modified his body. Lacy Dawn hugged her mother…
…(scene of Dwayne, the father, overheard by those in the spaceship while talking to himself)… “Besides, the transmitter was part of Daddy’s treatment. There're a lot of other things that he did to help fix Daddy. DotCom is like a doctor. You can see that Daddy has gotten better every day. And no, there ain’t no transmitter in you. DotCom figured you out like a good doctor and the only things wrong are a lack of opportunity and rotten teeth that poison your body. You don’t need no transmitter. He just gave you a few shots of ego boost. I don’t know what medicine that is, but I trust him. You ain't complained since the shots started -- not even with an upset stomach.”
"He's a doctor?" Jenny asked.
“What's your problem anyway?” Lacy Dawn asked. “I know. You’re prejudiced. You told me that people have much more in common than they do that's different -- even if someone is a different color or religion, or from a different state than us. You told me to try to become friends because sometimes that person may need a good friend. Now, here you are acting like a butt hole about my boyfriend. You’re prejudiced because he’s different than us.”
“Honey, he’s not even a person – that’s about as different as a boyfriend can get,” Jenny said.
Mommy's right. Maybe I need a different argument.
A fast clicking sound, a blur of motion, and a familiar smell assaulted them.
"What's that?" Jenny asked.
She moved to protect her daughter from whatever threat loomed. Brownie, who had been granted 27 / 7 access to the ship, bounded over the orange recliner, knocked DotCom to the floor, licked DotCom’s face, and rubbed his head on Jenny’s leg. He then jumped onto the recliner and lay down. His tail wagged throughout. Jenny sat down on the recliner beside Brownie and looked at Lacy Dawn.
“But, you were crying when I first came in. That thing was hurting you.” Jenny shook her finger at DotCom to emphasize a different argument against him.
“Mommy, I'm so happy that I couldn’t help but cry. My man just came home from an out-of-state job. I didn't talk to him for a whole year. Before he left, he told me that he wasn’t even sure if he'd be able to come home. I still don’t know what happened while he was gone. We ain't had no chance to talk. All I know is that he's home and I'm sooooo happy.”
“Your man came home from an out-of-state job?” Jenny patted Brownie on his head, some more and some more….
It's unusual for a man to promise to come back home and ever be seen again. Brownie likes him and that's a good sign. Maybe she's right about him helping Dwayne. Something sure did and it wasn’t me. It is a nice living room. They've been together for a while and I ain't seen a mark on her. That's unusual too. He ain't got no private parts and that's another good thing. Hell, if I get in the middle, she’d just run off with him anyway. I'd better play it smart. I don't want to lose my baby.
“What about his stupid name?” Jenny asked.
“I’ve got a stupid name, too. All the kids at school call me hick because my last name is Hickman.”
“My name was given to me by my manager a very long time ago. It represents a respected tradition -- the persistent marketing of that which is not necessarily the most needed. I spam…,” DotCom said.
They both glared at him.
"Dwayne is sure to be home. I don’t want him to worry. Let’s go,” Jenny said.
“I love you, DotCom,” Lacy Dawn stepped out the ship’s door, which had slid open. Brownie and Jenny were right behind her.
“I love you too,” DotCom said.
Lacy Dawn and Jenny held hands and walked down the path toward home. The trees didn’t smile -- at least not so Jenny would notice. On the other hand, no living thing obstructed, intruded, or interfered with the rite.
Jenny sang to the Woods, “My little girl’s going to marry a doctor when she grows up, marry a doctor when she grows up, when she grows up. My little girl’s going to marry a doctor when she grows up, marry a doctor when she grows up, when she grows up….”
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”