Omega's Choice The Black Ridge Wolf Pack Book 1 by Lilli Carlisle Genre: Paranormal Romance In a realm of elves, ogres and white witches, where danger is ever-present, Princess Helena Lichtenberg lost her parents at a young age. Raised by her uncle and aunt, Helena values family above all else. Now, as decreed by tradition, … Continue reading Black Ridge Wolf Pack Series
A Drop of Magic The Magicsmith Book 1 by L.R. Braden Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance The war isn’t over . . . With the world clinging to a fragile peace forced on the Fae by humanity after the Faerie Wars, metalsmith Alex Blackwood is plunged into the world of the half-fae who traffick in … Continue reading The Magicsmith A Drop of Magic
Lifeliners by Stefan Vucak Genre: Science Fiction When everybody is against them, it is tough being a lifeliner, as Nash Bannon found out. Lifeliners are ordinary people…almost. They can draw energy from another person; they live longer and are smarter. Scientists claim that Western high-pressure living and growing sterility in developed countries has triggered the … Continue reading Lifeliners
I was born mostly dead, my body purple, not a single breath or thump of my heart to be heard. Everyone figured I was already walking into Heaven, spying the Pearly Gates with closed eyes yet to see the mortal world. I guess that’s where all this Messiah stuff started. Mother was the only one who believed I wasn’t fully gone. She begged the Committee not to put me in the ground, but they’d made their decision. Mother nearly tore off their skin trying to keep them from putting me in that tiny casket. Once they had restrained her, they started hammering nails. Father fell to his knees, looked to the darkening sky, and begged God to spare me. My parents had been trying to have a child for almost seven years. The Committee had told Mother she’d never conceive. I was a gift from Heaven, and God decided to take that gift back. So Father offered a deal. He promised God I’d be a vessel for His will. I’d be His servant. And that’s when my cry ripped through the night. Mother tore off the top of the casket and pulled me from the earth just as the sun sank. At least, that’s the way Father recounts it. Just like all his other stories, it’s a mix of fact and fancy and no one will ever know how much of each. They’re simply tales to build my legend. He says belief is the only thing that matters, that we must do everything to preserve it, because without faith, there’s no reason to live.
Prologue 2228 AD The abyss and its twin gape at the Martian sky as if aware of the pain to come. One in daylight, the other night, they disrupt a global desert. The tunnels thrust to the very heart of the planet, as if the God of War had twice speared his namesake and wrought its demise. Mars was never a kind deity, and while he is no longer capable of violence, his blood-colored world remains just as hostile to life. Here the sun rises and sets without mortality to mark the passage of time. The thin air constricts no lungs. The cold bites neither flesh nor frond. Beds of ancient waterways gather dust, indistinguishable from surrounding barrens. Volcanoes stand as slowly withering ghosts. The underground reservoirs that once supplied them with magma cooled to rock millennia ago. Deeper still, the once-molten outer core endured the same fate, entombing the mass of solid iron, nickel, and sulfur that had been its heat source: the radioactive inner core. Both are cold now, and there is no geologic activity throughout the entire planet. Mars orbits the sun—half again beyond Earth’s orbit—as a rocky corpse. But perhaps not eternally doomed. The tunnels are the first phase of a mission where the odds are seemingly light years long and without historical precedent. Even if the mission is initially successful, the duration is unknown. Something killed Mars before and can do it again. But a chance at life has arrived where there was none. An opportunity to restore the vibrancy of the planet’s youth, now only hinted at with subterranean ice and mysterious impressions upon the withered husk of the surface. In its first billion years, the red planet may not have appeared red at all, but purple or even blue like Earth, depending on the ratio of breathable air to iron oxide particles spewed from volcanoes and lifted by wind from mountains and deserts. Surface water existed in the form of streams and lakes and perhaps even seas. Clouds of water vapor circled the globe. Lightning flashed and thunder boomed. Rain fell on Mars. And it was no coincidence that the planetary cores were active and “alive.” Radioactive heat loss and convective currents of magma produced a magnetic field that bound the atmosphere to the planet in a geologic dynamo, the like of which still functions on Earth. What killed Mars? Perhaps its smaller size limited the amount of radioactive supply, and it simply ran out of energy. Or massive impact with an asteroid ejected the charged particles out to space. Whatever the case, death arrived soon after the Martian inner core went cold. Having lost its heat source, the molten outer core turned to stone as if succumbing to the Hydra’s gaze. The dynamo failed and its magnetism all but vanished. Gravity alone was too weak to hold the atmosphere. Air and water molecules escaped into space. Without a magnetic shield and atmosphere to deflect them, solar winds and radiation further stripped the surface dry. Mars lost the means to support life beyond a microbial level. Now temperature fluctuations spawn the only weather events. Night and polar regions regularly plunge two hundred degrees below zero Fahrenheit; cold enough to freeze its most abundant gas—carbon dioxide—into dry ice, though at times the equator at full sun can reach as high as sixty degrees. Far less drastic temperature swings combine with the weak gravity in a near vacuum to spawn frequent dust storms. The greater the temperature difference, the larger the storm. Dust, prevalent everywhere, is lifted rather than scoured from the surface. Storms of it can be monstrous, at times engulfing the entire planet except for the gargantuan Olympus Mons. Far more common are the dust devils that waltz through a desolate Hell. Some of the rust-hued particles fall into the open maws and down the tunnels. No twists or turns arrest their journey. They gain no purchase along laser-bonded walls. Down they drift like mineral snowfall, passing signal relays at every mile. The dust falls for weeks toward the core. Recent inductees will never reach bottom before Detonation Event. Electronic relays form a spiral pattern and flash in sequence for two thousand miles, down and back again, each briefly illuminating a section of tunnel along the way. Constantly monitored by satellites positioned above, the relays are members of a large supporting cast. The lead roles belong to the hydrogen (thermonuclear) megabombs residing at the base of the each tunnel. These are cutting-edge nuclear fusion explosives; the latest in the class of Asteroid Busters. Ever silent, Mars awaits its chance at resurrection.
Addict The Cassie Tam Files Book 1 by Matt Doyle Genre: SciFi, Crime Noir, Clean Lesfic When PI Cassie Tam is hired to investigate the death of a local virtual reality junkie, she thinks it will be easy money. In New Hopeland, VR junkies die every day, and the local PD already declared it an … Continue reading The Cassie Tam Files
Knight Sons of the Alpha Book 1 by Addison Carmichael Genre: Paranormal Romance Alexia Raine has a major problem. She’s being stalked by very dangerous men for some unknown reason, but one that will turn her entire world on its axis. Neil Duran has five major problems. Just when he’s closing in on a vicious … Continue reading Knight Sons of the Alpha
The Haunting of Thores-Cross Ghosts of Thores-Cross Book 1 by Karen Perkins Genre: Paranormal Suspense "The ghost of a wronged young woman in the village of Thores-Cross waits 230 years to have her story told in Perkins's suspenseful and atmospheric first Yorkshire Ghost novel" - BookLife by Publishers Weekly *Silver Medal Winner, European fiction - … Continue reading Ghost of Thores-Cross
Princess of Dragons Dragon Mage Academy Book 1 by Cordelia Castel Genre: YA Fantasy A disguised princess. A murder most malicious. A dragon condemned to death. Desperate to escape a forced marriage, seventeen-year-old Princess Alba disguises herself to join the all-male Dragon Mage Academy. Her plans go wrong when a dragon accused of murder forms … Continue reading Dragon Mage Academy
A Mistress for Penndrake by Tammy L. Bailey Genre: Historical Romance The Marquess of Wesley is out for blood. For a year, Lord Wesley has tried to undo the devastation his father left to Penndrake, their ancestral home, only to discover the man gambled it away right before his death. Now Wesley is being blackmailed … Continue reading A Mistress for Penndrake