Friday, October 30, 2015

Character Interview with Tommy Wilson from The Unseen Kingdom by Daniel R. Mathews

We’re thrilled to be talking to Tommy Wilson from Daniel R. Mathews, The Unseen Kingdom. It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character! 


Thank you for your interview, Tommy. Can you tell us your story? 

My name is Tommy Wilson, I’m almost fourteen-years-old and I live on Sutter Lane in the town of Plainville, Massachusetts. I’m a pretty normal kid I think. Well, mostly normal I guess. If you don’t count the ghost boys haunting my bedroom, the inter-dimensional portal at my bathroom door and the shelves of horror movies by my dresser. Don’t tell my mom, though, she’ll blame the portal on my horror movies. It’s complicated, you know? 

My best friend in the whole world is Brian. And Kevin who lives next door is like my big ‘bro. And then there’s Carlos and Jacob that live on the other side of town. They are wicked cool and we all hang out together every weekend. Things were going pretty good until I saw this weird kid when I was on the school bus. He had really old clothes, like from 1985 or something! 

Anyways, that’s when things started getting scary because he kept appearing to me, and then my other friends. Kevin had found this old parchment under his floorboards with like cult stuff on it, and that’s when things really started getting crazy. But, I shouldn’t say too much more. Daniel said if I give too many spoilers he’ll send me back to the book, so I better be good. There are some pretty crazy monsters in there! Although, I think they’re pretty sweet. Well, when they’re not eating the other kids I guess. 

These weird kids that call themselves “The Unseen” start taking us to a place they call The Realm of Dreams and Darkness. It’s like an island with a huge, really weird, twisted city in the middle of it. I’m pretty sure the city was once under the ocean. At the center of the city, high on the big hill, there is this huge black cathedral. That’s where HE calls to us. That’s where we belong with HIM. I guess if you want to know more about the story, you’ll need to read about us in The Unseen Kingdom


Where do you go when you are angry? 

Well, I don’t get wicked mad that often, but sometimes I’ll go into my room and shut the door, and just turn up the music. When I want to be alone, I’ll go out for a walk in the swamp. 


What is your most treasured possession? 

Oh, that’s a tough one! It used to be a tossup between my Xbox-360 and my Blu-Ray DVD collection of the Halloween franchise. But a friend gave me this really cool gold amulet with an emerald eye, it’s a symbol of Yog-Sothoth. I also got this really cool sacrificial dagger from a new friend in R’lyeh. I guess that was more than one, sorry. Don’t tell my mom about the dagger please! 


What is your greatest fear? 

 I guess I’m most afraid that Brian doesn’t feel the same about me, as I do him. 


What is the trait you most not like about yourself? 

Sometimes I’m too much of a chicken. Dad says I need to stick up for myself more, but my math teacher Mr. Mitchell says that I don’t give myself enough credit. I guess I need to learn to say how I feel and don’t keep it inside. I think dad calls it “being assertive.” 


Do you think the author portrayed you accurately? 

Oh, that’s a wicked tough question! Because if I answer wrong he’ll send me back to the book. Kidding aside, I think Mr. Mathews did a pretty darn good job. I mean, he could have made me more buff and cool. But I got a lot of great friends, parents who love me and one heck of an adventure that any boy would love! Well, if anyone survives it. I do wish he gave me martial arts skills. Now that would have been sweet! 


What is your idea of a perfect day? 

The perfect day is hanging out with all my friends, going out for breakfast in the morning, then going out to see the latest horror movie in the theater. After that, we’d go hang out at the arcade and cruise the mall while we do some window shopping. I don’t think it gets much better than that. 


Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends? 

If I’m not with my mom and dad, then I prefer to be with my friends, especially Brian of course! I mean, I guess there're times I want some alone time, but I’m happiest when I’m with people I care about. 


Do you like to cook? If so, what is your favorite thing to cook? 

I would like to cook more, but after the Rice Krispy disaster of 2014, Mom doesn’t like me hanging around the oven without a lot of supervision. The good news is I now am able to make Rice Krispy treats without getting marshmallow on the ceiling or starting any fires! 


If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today? 

I would tell Brian that I love him and want him to be my boyfriend. Wait, nobody else is going to see this right? Well, it doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s time I told him anyways.




About The Book



Title: The Unseen Kingdom
Author: Daniel R. Mathews
Publisher: Lost Legacy Press
Publication Date: September 19, 2015
Format: Paperback - 562 pages / eBook / PDF
ISBN: 978-0990710721
Genre: YA / LGBT / Horror / Science Fiction


Buy The Book:




Discuss the book at our PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/17505392-the-unseen-kingdom-by-daniel-r-mathews


Book Description:

A group of friends must band together to defeat an ancient evil in Daniel R. Mathew's terrifying debut, The Unseen Kingdom.

In a small New England town, thirteen-year-old Tommy Wilson's biggest worry is coming out to his close-knit group of friends. All of that changes, however, when the boys discover a dream portal to R'lyeh - home to the Titan god Cthulhu himself.

Inhabited by monstrous creatures and eerie children who have appointed Tommy and his friends their new "apostles," R'lyeh becomes a horrifying yet darkly fascinating world that proves to be increasingly real. 

Meanwhile, the town's population is suddenly overrun with a mysterious epidemic that threatens everyone. As the boys struggle to cope with what is happening, Tommy comes closer than ever to discovering the dark secret that lurks within R'lyeh itself - but will the price prove to be too costly? And, can the boys unlock the link between the secrets of R'lyeh and the devastation of their town's population before it's too late?

A truly unique work of fiction, The Unseen Kingdom is an LGBT coming-of-age novel skillfully infused with edge-of-your-seat horror, resulting in a wildly entertaining novel that will leave you guessing until the very last page.


Book Excerpt: 

CH A P T E R 1

The dust covered yellow school bus rumbled down the cracked asphalt road, shaking the children inside. Tommy’s body was inclined back against his seat, his feet planted at the top of the green vinyl covered seat in front of him. He alternated between glancing at his best friend Brian and peering out the window at the blur of the fading autumn colors along the road. Kevin was sitting rather imperiously at the back of the bus, grimacing down at his cell phone that he removed from his pocket every couple of minutes.

Unable to resist commenting, Carlos leaned across the aisle. “Alright, what’s the deal, Kevin? You got a hot date or something?”

Kevin’s face flushed slightly. “Uh…yeah! Jealous much?”

Despite his retort, his hands were shaking. Sunlight streaming through the windows revealed a rather puffy ring of black and blue flesh underneath his right eye. Tommy spotted the clumsy attempt to hide the bruise with makeup. For an instant, the two boys’ eyes met but Kevin cast his eyes downward, looking ashamed. He looked at his phone again, and Tommy knew why.

A smirk curled across Carlos’ lips as he quipped, “Yeah, right. Your left hand isn’t a date!” A chorus of chuckles emanated from the kids sitting in front of the group of boys.

Kevin turned to face him and punched the boy in the shoulder with a dull thwack. Before he could say anything, Kevin leaned back in his seat and said, “Just FYI, it’s my right hand.” The children in earshot giggled at Kevin’s assertion.

After rubbing his shoulder, Carlos looked back at Kevin. “Seriously, dude, what’s up?” Tommy looked over at him and discreetly touched his own face, to draw Carlos’ attention to Kevin’s bruise. After Carlos had realized what he meant, the group became quiet.

Kevin put his phone away, leaned back against the window facing his friends and forced a smile. “The only problem I have is your ugly face.” Carlos flipped Kevin off, and poked Jacob who was giggling at his expense.

Tommy glanced at Brian and smiled. When he returned the smile, Tommy looked down, his face brightening. Carlos and Jacob nudged one another and pointed at the pair. Carlos was dozing in the sunlight, while Jacob leaned against him listening to music on his headphones, watching Tommy and Brian with bemused interest.

Kevin shook his head and grinned knowingly back at Jacob. Tommy caught the boys’ conspiratorial glances and turned his head to the side. He felt he was the punch line of an inside joke sometimes, but wasn’t quite sure why. His curiosity was interrupted by his cell phone vibrating in his pocket. He dug the phone out and read the text message from his mother.

“Yeah! It’s here!” Tommy exclaimed as he pumped his fist in the air excitedly.

His voice rousted Carlos from his slumber. “What’s here? Another My Little Pony?” he asked.

“Your birthday was last month, dork. No, my Halloween costume,” Tommy responded matter-of-factly.

Kevin spun his hand around in a circle. “Uh, and...”

“It’s a surprise!” Tommy said with a mischievous grin, staring into Brian’s grey eyes.

Carlos huffed with annoyance. “Dude, if you wear the same costume as me again this year I’m going to kick your ass.”

“You’re still going as the red Master Chief, right?” Tommy asked with sudden concern. Carlos nodded affirmatively. “You’re going as a Templar, right, Brian?”

Brian responded affirmatively, “I got some chain mail, and Mom bought me a historically accurate tabard and helmet to go with it! Now if I could use Dad’s old sword, the outfit would be perfect.”

“Even with the sword, I’m still going to own you,” Carlos said confidently. He looked over at Kevin. “You decide on an outfit yet?”

Kevin shrugged, breaking eye contact with the others. “I don’t know if my father’s going to let me go.”

“He’s gotta! There’s going to be ten thousand dollars in prizes. This is going to be the best Halloween ever!” Tommy said exuberantly.

“And, you know, nobody does Halloween better than us!” Brian proclaimed proudly.

“Alright...alright. I’ll come up with something, I’m sure,” Kevin assured his friends.

“What about you, Jacob?” Kevin asked.

Jacob smiled. “It’s a secret.”

“I’ll take care of this,” Carlos said, poking him mercilessly in the side, causing him to squeal. The bus driver cleared his throat loudly, glaring at the boys through the rear view mirror.

“Quit it!” Jacob protested, his face turning red enough to mask his pale freckles. “I’m going as a vampire,” he surrendered begrudgingly.

“God, another sparkly vampire!” Carlos teased.

“No way, dork! A real vampire!” he retorted. Tommy and Brian laughed and applauded.

Tommy leaned back and peered out the window again. The bus sputtered to a stop, letting a few children out. He sang under his breath, “Eight more days to Halloween, Halloween. Eight more days to Halloween, Silver Shamrock.” Brian’s reflection in the window beamed at him while Carlos and Kevin simultaneously rolled their eyes.

As the bus rounded a bend adjacent to the swamp that surrounded much of the town, Tommy caught a glimpse of a boy wearing filthy blue denim overalls and a wool beret. However, the boy disappeared behind the veil of swirling white smoke left by the bus’s exhaust. There was something inherently disquieting about the boy.

The bus ride grew progressively quieter as the bus approached the end of its daily journey. His eyes widened when he saw the same boy from earlier emerging from behind a row of wild hawthorn bushes. This time he made direct eye contact with the mysterious boy. A wicked smile danced across the child’s otherwise emotionless face, causing Tommy’s body to shudder involuntarily. There was something terrible in the child’s visage, forcing him to look away from those hollow, soulless eyes that invaded his consciousness. Tommy looked up to see the bus driver staring intently at him through the rear view mirror. The rest of the group had fallen into their own little worlds, lulled into virtual slumber by the constant droning of the engine and swaying of the bus. He sank down in his seat, trying to avoid the bus driver’s penetrating stare. He glanced over at Brian, who was playing with his phone.

Tommy felt some relief when the final stop was reached and it was time to offload. Carlos, Jacob and Brian were already halfway down the aisle before the bus reached a stop, leaving Kevin and Tommy as the last passengers to disembark. As Tommy descended the stairs, the bus driver reached out and grabbed his hand. “You’ve seen them, haven’t you?” he asked.

A startled Tommy gave the bus driver a bewildered stare as he struggled to withdraw his hand from the man’s tight grasp. “Seen who? What are you talking about?” he asked, growing fearful of the man’s narrowing eyes.

“The children of the Great Unseen have revealed themselves to you, and now it’s your turn to hear HIS call,” the man whispered in a raspy voice. He tried to back away as the man’s eyes darkened, much like the boy he had seen earlier.

“You’re hurting me!” an increasingly flustered Tommy stammered, trying to pull away from the man’s grip.

Like a passing summer storm, the man’s face brightened, and he released Tommy’s wrist. “Well, what are you waiting for, boy? It’s Friday night. You got the whole weekend ahead of you. Now git!” He smiled warmly at the astounded boy. Tommy stepped off the bus, confronted by Kevin and Brian.

“What the hell happened?” Kevin demanded.

Tommy could do little but shrug his slender shoulders. “I don’t know. He was mad about something; it didn’t make any sense. Whatever it was, he got over it quickly.”

Kevin watched with concern as the bus disappeared down the road, before turning his attention to the dilapidated two-story greyish white house in front of him. “Well, I can’t stall any longer,” he said with a sigh.

“What are you doing guys doing tonight?” Tommy asked.

Kevin shifted his weight. “I think I better stay in and work on homework.”

Brian said, “I promised Mom I’d clean up around the house tonight, but I’ll have the rest of the weekend free after my homework is done.” Tommy looked a little dejected, but at least this afforded him some time to check out his Halloween costume.

“We’ll see you tomorrow morning, right?” Tommy asked Kevin expectantly.

Kevin forced a smile and gave him a playful push. “Yeah, Bro, I’ll see you guys tomorrow. We’ll go into town or something.” Tommy and Brian said their good-byes and the boys parted company for the day.

Tommy’s house was a little larger than Kevin’s, painted a similar weather-beaten white although clearly more care and maintenance has been put into his house than Kevin’s. He bounded through the front door, his eyes scanning the entranceway and hallway for any signs of his package. He poked his head into the kitchen, spying the nondescript brown box sitting on the table between his mother and father.

He made a beeline for the package before his mom intercepted him. “Not even an acknowledgment of us being in the room?” she mockingly admonished him, wiping the curly locks of blonde hair from his face.

“Stop, Mom! Hi, Dad!” he blurted out as he reached for the box.

“So, remind me why you needed to spend six months of your allowance for this?” his father asked while Tommy tore open the package excitedly.

“It’s a surprise for...” Tommy cut himself short. “I mean, I’m just looking forward to Halloween.” The boy delved into the contents of the package, procuring large sheets of fine brown fur wrapped in translucent plastic.

“Is there something you’d like to talk to us about?” his father asked softly, casting a glance at his wife.

“You know, you can talk to us about anything,” Tommy’s mom said soothingly.

Tommy pulled out the lower jaw of the werewolf costume, running his fingers along the jagged teeth as he looked up at his parents with confusion. “What are you talking about?”

“Well, we thought maybe you’d like to talk about someone,” Tommy’s father said.

Tommy thought for a moment, unsure where his parents were going with this line of questioning, though admittedly he felt embarrassed as a sloppy grin crossed his face imagining Brian’s reaction when he sees the costume. Before he could assemble the pieces in his mind, he blurted out Kevin’s name.

“Kevin? What about him?” his mother asked, casting a confused gaze over at her husband on this unexpected subject.

“I think his dad beat him up last night. He was wearing makeup to cover up a black eye, but he didn’t have it yesterday,” Tommy said, looking out the kitchen window toward Kevin’s house. “I’m worried about him,” he added.

“That’s a serious accusation, Tommy. Has Kevin given you any indication of this?” his father asked, looking troubled.

Tommy shook his head. “No, but he acts afraid to go home. Every day on the bus you can see him start shaking the closer we get.”

“That’s a worrying sign, Tommy, but we need to know the whole story. Kevin is lucky to have you as a friend. I think the best thing you can do right now is be there for him, and let him know that when he’s ready to talk, you’ll listen,” his father instructed.

“Is there anything else, anything Kevin’s said that would make you feel there’s trouble with his father?” his mother interjected.

Tommy thought for a moment. “Kevin’s mentioned his dad drinks a lot. I think that’s when he gets in trouble.”

His mother rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Isn’t it always?” she whispered to no one in particular. “Your father is right, Tommy. Let know Kevin that you’re there for him. There is a counselor at your school trained for this kind of thing, so Kevin has options if he’s in trouble.”

“Couldn’t you talk to his dad, make him stop?” he asked his father.

Tommy’s father leaned back in his chair and sighed. “It’s not that easy, kiddo. Nobody likes to be told how to raise their child, and I’m afraid if we stick our noses into his business, he might take it out on Kevin. It would be best if the school became involved in this.”

Disappointed, Tommy knew this was a problem that couldn’t easily be solved. He pulled out the remaining mass of soft brown fur and the upper jaw of his werewolf costume. “Some assembly required,” he moaned, pulling out a plastic bag full of plastic claws.

“I hope you’re not expecting me to do all the work,” Tommy’s mother warned.

“Uh, no, of course not, Mom!” he replied, his bright, blue pleading eyes belying his underlying intent.

“Well, if you like I can take the measurements and help you get started this weekend,” his mom offered diplomatically.

His face brightened. “Thanks, Mom, that’d be awesome!”

“Alright, go get started on your homework. Dinner will be ready in about an hour,” she concluded, sending the Tommy and his costume out of the kitchen.

His father shook his head and laughed. “I have a feeling this is going to be an unforgettable Halloween.”

Tommy bounded into his room, and spread all the individual components of the werewolf costume across his bed. The macabre mass of soft fur, jaws and claws melded naturally with the horror movie posters hanging on the far wall, above the shelves filled with rows of horror movie DVDs and a couple dozen similarly themed novels. He plopped himself down in his wooden desk chair and rummaged through his backpack for his homework assignments.





About The Author


An avid reader of science fiction, horror, and fantasy, Daniel R. Mathews is a novelist and nonfiction writer whose books feature LGBT youth braving danger with honor and dignity, including his personal memoir, The Demons of Plainville, and debut horror novel, The Unseen Kingdom.
For the past two decades, Mathews has worked as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified ground instructor, meteorologist, and a member of the web development and Internet technical support community. He currently lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Connect with Daniel R. Mathews:



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Monday, October 26, 2015

Character Interview with Sergeant Button from Lethal Game by Julie Rowe

We’re thrilled to be talking to Sergeant Button from Julie Rowe's, Lethal Game. It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!


Thank you for your interview, Sergeant Button. Can you tell us your story?

 I’m a Special Forces Soldier coming off a medical leave. I got blown up. I survived. Now, I just want to get back out there and kill some bad guys. End of story.


Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?

People say I have a hawkish nose. Personally, as long as it doesn’t fall off, I don’t give a shit what it looks like.


What would I love the most about you?

I have four older sisters. There is nothing you can say or do that will make me uncomfortable.


Where do you go when you are angry?

The shooting range.


What is your greatest fear?

That I’ll get invalided out into a desk job.


What is the trait you most not like about yourself?

My inability to control my temper.


Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Yeah, she did her job, but that’s only half the story. The reader’s interpretation of the book is the other half. So, readers, when you read the book, remember I’ve spent way too much time in hospitals and I can’t wait to get back in the saddle.


What is your idea of a perfect day?

Low wind, a high spot to hunker down in and a clear view of my target.


What’s your idea of a perfect meal?

Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings. There isn’t anything better than that.


When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

 I wanted to be Alex Trebek. That guy knows everything.




About The Book



Title: Lethal Game
Book 2: Biological Response Team Series
Author: Julie Rowe
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: October 12, 2015
Pages: 270
ISBN: 978-1459290198
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: eBook, PDF


Book Description:

Book 2 of Biological Response Team Series

As the nation's youngest virologist and hematologist, Captain Sophia Perry had always been one step ahead of her peers. But there's one thing she can't beat - cancer. She wants to make a difference in the time she left, so when she's sent to investigate a breakout at a Syrian refugee camp, she goes, saying nothing of her diagnosis. But saving the masses isn't easy when the man tasked to protect her is so irresistible.

Communications Sergeant Conner Button is back on active duty after a deadly explosion, but he doesn't feel whole again until he meets Sophia. Assigned to keep her safe, he's prepared to die for her, but for the first time in months he truly wants to live - if only she wasn't so determined to put them both in danger. 

With a secret to keep and nothing to lose, Sophia is determined to find the source of the breakout at any cost. Violent attacks on the camp convince her that someone wants her to pay dearly. But as Sophia's health deteriorates, Connor must find a way to help her defeat her enemies before her body defeats her.


Book Excerpt:

Security is mostly a superstition ~ Helen Keller

Chapter One

It had taken him three airplanes and over twenty-six hours to travel more than seven thousand miles, and now he was going to have to kill someone.
Ten feet from his room in the Navy hotel at the American Naval base in Bahrain.
All Special Forces Communications Sergeant Connor Button wanted was to find a bed and crash for a few hours.
What he did not need was witnessing some idiot striking out with a hot blonde and not taking it well.
She’d just removed his hand from her waist.
The man put it on her shoulder and tried to bring her closer. “Aw, come on, sweetheart.”
She slid away, her voice clear across the short distance. “No.”
Okay, dude, time to retreat. Only, the guy didn’t. He grabbed her by the back of the neck, hard enough to make her gasp in pain, and leaned down, his mouth aimed for hers.
She slapped the moron, but he didn’t get that hint either, just grabbed her hand and twisted it behind her back.
Con had to make himself stand still for a second. One second, so he could throttle back the instinct to beat the stupid fuck to death.
Fine. His jaw flexed. He wouldn’t kill the asshole, but he could hurt him real bad.
Con dropped his duffel on the floor and stomped toward the woman and the moron whose arm he was about to break.
Into several pieces.
Small ones.
The stomping got the moron’s attention. He glanced up, saw Con coming and his eyes went wide. He let go of the woman so fast she wobbled off balance and fell to the floor. Con stopped to help her while the moron ran like a track star down the hall and around a corner.
Good call, asshole.
Con bent down and offered his hand to the woman. “Are you okay?”
Her head jerked up and she stared at him with eyes that didn’t miss a thing. She scooted away, leaving his hand hanging in the air, then stood. Her shoulders went back and her chin rose.
He almost smiled. She was so not interested in another man getting all up in her business. He’d make sure she was all right, then he’d back off.
“Ma’am, did he hurt you?”
“I’m fine,” she said, retreating a step.
Blue-green eyes stood out in a face framed by white-blond hair hanging in a sheet down to the middle of her back. She was also stacked, though she wasn’t showing it off. She was following military clothing requirements, wearing long pants and a collared shirt one size too big, buttoned up to her neck. An asshole had just tried to sexually assault her, but Con would bet a year’s pay that had he not come along, the moron would have had his hands full with a pissed-off female trying to smash his balls into paste.
He glanced down.
Her mouth was pressed into a thin angry line, but her hands were shaking.
For the first time in months something other than anger or despair slammed into him.
He knew just how she felt. Hyped up on adrenaline and looking for a target.
It surprised him so much he opened his mouth to make some inane comment or other to show her he was no threat, but she raised a hand to stop him.
She spoke a quick, firm “Thank you.” And then she was gone, inside the room closest to her. The click of the lock being engaged echoed down the hall.
He blinked at the empty hallway. He wasn’t sure she was okay, but those shaking hands and that locked door sent a pretty clear signal that she didn’t want another man anywhere near her.
Sometimes other people just made things worse.
He sighed, strode back to his bag, checked his room number again and discovered he was next door to the blonde.
At least he wouldn’t have to go far if Moron came back.

***

So much for getting some sleep. He’d lain awake, alert for any noise that might indicate a problem in the room next door, but it had been church-quiet. He got up at 0700 base time, then went in search of his new commanding officer, Colonel Maximillian. The man had an interesting reputation, but he trusted what his buddy, Jacob “Sharp” Foster, a former Special Forces soldier, had to say about him. Everyone else said the colonel was one bullet shy of a magazine. Sharp had warned him that the colonel wasn’t exactly regular army, but he gave a shit about his people, and that was number one for Con. If your CO had your six, at least you didn’t have to take your attention off what was coming at you.
The colonel had a fancy lab that didn’t exist on the base, according to official records. Officially, the lab that did exist on paper was rated for level two containment. Good enough to run the sort of tests any big city hospital conducted. In reality, the lab was capable of level four containment testing. The stuff you needed to wear a bio-suit for and breathe your own oxygen supply.
Con had to pass through two internal checkpoints to gain entry to the nondescript building that was his destination. Colonel Maximillian’s office was the first one inside the prefab rectangle that housed the lab and offices. A soldier who didn’t look a day over sixteen sat typing on a computer facing the entrance to the building.
The kid’s gaze darted over Con’s uniform, then he stood and saluted. “Private Eugene Walsh.”
“Sergeant Connor Button, Special Forces.”
“Yes, sir. Colonel Maximillian is expecting you.” Walsh extended his hand in the direction of the first office. “Go right in.”
Con gave him a nod, then walked into the office.
He saluted the salt-and-pepper-haired man, who stood and saluted back. “Sir, Sergeant Button reporting for duty.”
“Welcome, Sergeant.” The colonel came around his desk and offered his hand.
Con shook it once, twice, then released a hand that hadn’t tested him beyond what would be considered polite.
“Take a seat,” the colonel said, gesturing at one of the chairs facing his desk. “I’d like to go over your assignment and answer any questions you might have.”
“Thank you, sir.” Con sat and adopted a neutral body posture, back straight and hands resting lightly on his thighs. It was harder than it should have been.
The last time he’d been in the Middle East he’d been deployed with his unit, attempting to ascertain the military strength of two groups of extremists in Northern Iraq and Syria. Both groups had threatened multiple American and allied targets, as well as calling for sympathetic citizens to carry out terrorist acts inside their own countries.
The last time he’d been in the Middle East, he’d been the only survivor of an IED that took out their vehicle. Fortune had smiled on him that day. He’d been thrown clear.
More and more often, he wished he hadn’t been so lucky.
Colonel Maximillian continued to stare at him and seemed content to not say anything for several moments.
Con waited with the patience of a man who’d waited days for just the right moment to take a shot at his target.
Finally, the colonel asked, “How much do you know about your mission here?”
“Probably not enough.”
Maximillian’s face didn’t change. “Sharp said you were smart. Are you, Sergeant Button?”
“That would depend on your definition of smart.
“Observant, creative, organized, able to see unusual relationships between people and information.”
“Sir, you’re looking for Sherlock Holmes. He’s a fictional character.”
A brief smile crossed the colonel’s face. “How would you describe yourself?”
“Flexible, determined, fuck the box.”
Colonel Maximillian’s forehead lowered over his eyes. “Were you aware General Stone had some reluctance in assigning you to this mission?”
“Not directly, but it doesn’t surprise me.”
“Oh?”
How many conversations like this had he had recently? Five, six? “Sir, I received injuries in an attack that killed all the men in the armored vehicle with me. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t hesitant.” No officer wanted to have a suicidal or homicidal soldier on a mission. Survivor’s guilt could lead to either one. Or both.
“Do you consider yourself fit for duty?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Why?”
Goddamned why-questions. Why judged, weighed and measured what was in a man’s head. What was in his head was not pretty, and not to be shared.
“Sir, I signed on to serve my country. My service isn’t done.”
Maximillian tilted his head to one side. “That is one of the best non-answers I’ve ever heard.”
Fuck it. Con leaned forward and said in a less civilized tone, “I got thrown off the horse. I need to get back on and finish my ride.”
“And if you don’t?”
Con’s throat closed up. “That thought can’t be in my head.”
The colonel’s face lost its sharp inquisitiveness for a moment, replaced by a surprising level of comprehension. A second later it was gone and he was flipping through pages on his desk. “You’ve had some problems with your temper since you returned to duty.”
“I’m working on that.” Anger was easy. Acting on it was even easier.
The officer considered Con for a couple more seconds, then nodded briskly. “My Biological Response Team is tracking a very dangerous man who’s created his own extremely deadly strain of anthrax. We managed to prevent an attack on a base in Afghanistan, but not before nearly one hundred people died of the infection. We think he’s not done. We think he’ll continue to strike at high-quality American or allied targets, and we don’t know where he is or where he will attack next.”
Con straightened. Hunting down a homicidal nutcase wasn’t the sort of duty he’d taken on before, but it sounded dangerous. Good.
Holy fuck he was messed up.
Maximillian continued. “We were successful in preventing the last attack because we had one of our infectious disease specialists embedded with an A-team training members of the Afghan military. General Stone agrees with me—until this man is found, we need more cooperation between my team and army Special Forces. I asked for specific men to work with my people. Men who are not only well trained and smart, but also creative and who can take a step back and support his teammate or take charge of a situation if that’s what’s needed. Jacob Foster says you’re that kind of man. Are you?”
It might be nice to have a specific enemy, with a face and a name, rather than a faceless one who could be anybody. The need to kill, to avenge his dead, was a relentless voice in the back of his head. This mission could get him the opportunity to give himself that, and maybe a measure of peace.
“Sir.” He paused, trying hard not to come on too strong. If he lost this chance, he might not get another. “I’m a team player. That means I’ll play whatever role is needed by the team.”
Colonel Maximillian smiled. “Do you mind working with a woman?”
“No, sir. Sharp mentioned the possibility I’d be paired with a woman.” Man, woman, two-headed alien, he didn’t care as long as they shared a common enemy.
“You’re okay with that? No hesitations?”
The colonel seemed unusually concerned.
What the hell? While he might smack down a fellow Special Forces soldier, he’d never lay a hand on a woman.
“Sir, I’m the youngest of five children with four older sisters. Working with or for a woman is nothing new to me.”
“Good.” Maximillian nodded. “I don’t mean to sound paranoid, but the doctor you’re going to be working with is somewhat high-strung.”
“High-strung?”
The colonel shook his head. “That’s the wrong description. She doesn’t trust…people. I’ve been trying to find a suitable partner for her, but I’ve been unsuccessful.”
“Unsuccessful?”
“Most people look at her and see a young woman who looks as if she’d have trouble with breaking a nail. Coddle her in any way and she’ll find a way to make you miserable.”
The bottom of Con’s stomach grew cold. “So why me?”
“Growing up with sisters is part of it.”
This interview was a personality test. Fuck.
“You’ve also been through some challenging combat situations and I think that will give you a level of experience she’ll respect.”
Con had to work to keep a growl out of his voice. “I’m not going to sit around the campfire telling her war stories.” What he’d seen wouldn’t instill confidence in anyone.
“I don’t expect you to. She works best with people who are highly competent, who don’t brag or try to impress.”
First time he’d been complimented on his ability to keep his trap shut.
“Another issue is her age. She’s young, she’s a genius and she has absolutely no idea how to talk to anyone who isn’t a scientist or doctor.”
That didn’t leave a whole lot of people. “Genius, as in graduated from medical school really young?”
“She’s twenty-four and is the youngest physician in the USA to have a double speciality in virology and hematology.”
“Virology, I get. Hematology?”
“The study of blood cells.”
If she was an overachiever, he could work with that. “So, work is her life, and before that, it was school?”
“Exactly.”
“S’okay. My second-oldest sister is married to a physicist. He speaks math, and we get along just fine.”
Maximillian quirked an eyebrow. “You speak math?”
“Nope. I speak barbecue. Everyone has something to say about properly grilling a steak.”
The colonel laughed. “You’ll do. Time to meet her.” He stepped out of his office and led the way down a hall. “Oh, and call me Max. It’s shorter.”
“Thank you, sir.”
Max sighed as he opened a door with a key and preceded Con inside.
The room they entered was part office and part lab, with a couple of desks and two tall microscopes set up on the end of each. Papers and boxes of slides littered both surfaces. Only one of the desks was occupied.
A woman sat looking through the lens of one of the microscopes. Her hair was white-blond and pulled back into a severe bun. She wore an army uniform with a lab coat over top. When she saw Max, she pushed away from the scope, stood and moved to meet them.
The blonde from last night. With her hair pulled back, she could have passed for even younger than twenty-four.
Fucking gorgeous. He took that thought, hog-tied it and shoved it into a dark corner. His personal mission left no room for anything beyond a professional relationship.
She also looked ready to rip someone’s head off.
“Sophia,” Max said. “This is your new partner, Communications Sergeant Connor Button.” He turned to Con. “Connor, this is Captain Sophia Perry.” Her mouth, pressed into a thin line, convinced him to pretend last night hadn’t happened. He nodded at her respectfully. “Good to meet you, ma’am.”
“Ma’am?” she asked, crossing her arms over her chest and displaying a huge bruise on her right hand.
Must’ve hurt.
“This is who you found to babysit me, Max? A fossil?”
Damn, she came out swinging. Maybe he’d let her win this bout. Con managed to keep a straight face and said in a hesitant voice, “I’m only twenty-nine.”
“Would you rather I pair you up with someone who follows all the rules and regulations?” Max asked her, irritation showing in his rigid posture. “This guy—” he pointed a thumb at Con “—hates inside-the-box thinking as much as you do.”
“Oh yeah?” she said, looking Con full in the face. A challenge. Why was she so pissed off? Because she didn’t think she needed a babysitter?
He shrugged, then coughed to hide a chuckle. If he laughed now, she’d think he was laughing at her. “I don’t like boxes. They’re never big enough, and they’re too…square.”
She blinked at him, then narrowed her gaze. “What did you do to draw this duty? It had to have been bad.”
Max opened his mouth, but Con didn’t want to escalate things, so he spoke first, and went with the unvarnished truth. “I got blown up. I spent almost seven months in hospitals and physical therapy. The last three or four months I’ve been instructing and getting back into shape.” He smiled at her. “When I found out what my first mission was going to be, bodyguarding some army doctor, I thought what the fuck? I sure as shit didn’t want easy duty. But having talked with Max here, I’ve changed my mind.” He shifted his gaze to Max’s face. “This isn’t easy duty, is it, sir?”
“No. It’s not a matter of if there will be another biological weapon attack somewhere in this part of the world, it’s when.”
“My role isn’t just to bodyguard Dr. Perry, is it?”
“No.” Max began pacing back and forth between Con and Sophia. “We have intel that points to the Biological Response Team as a specific target. I don’t want you to just protect Sophia, I need you two to be a team. All of us are being paired with Special Forces soldiers, even myself.”
“Assassination?” Con asked. The idea of it made the back of his neck itch.
“Very possible. Sabotage is another danger.”
“Have any attempts been made?”
“Yes. Dr. Samuels and her Green Beret were nearly killed in a trap I believe was set for them. We have an enemy who is intelligent, ruthless and fearless.”
“Can I get everything you have on this guy?” Con asked.
“My assistant will have it ready for you in an hour or two.” Max turned to him. “Have you been assigned quarters?”
“Yeah.”
“I’m going to have you moved to the room next to Sophia’s.”
The woman in question opened her mouth to say something unpleasant—he was sure from the way she’d screwed up her nose—which is why Con spoke first again. “Are you sure that’s necessary?” He looked down, like he was thinking hard. “Do you want to advertise to the whole base that I’m her bodyguard, or would you like to keep it below the radar?”
Max gave him a dirty look. “Whose side are you on?”
“Hers, sir.”
“Fine,” Max said, with bit of an impatient edge to his voice. “I’ll check to see where you’re housed now. If it’s not too far, you can stay where you are.” Max pressed his lips together, glared at them both, then stomped off.
Con looked at Sophia.
She looked back at him, snorted and went back to her microscope. “Nice attempt to come to my rescue. Again. But I don’t need anyone to rescue me.”
She needed to talk to someone about the moron. To prevent fear and anger from getting too deep a hold on her brain.
Despite how fast things had happened, the human mind had a way of warping events so the memory of them seemed to take a thousand times longer than the reality had.
Hell, he was a walking testament for how three seconds of hell could totally screw up the rest of a man’s life.
Or take it.
Listen to him passing judgment on her mental state, when he’d done his level best to keep the shrinks out of his. Right now, he just had to convince her he was on her side. He wanted this assignment. “I know.”
“Really?” Sarcasm turned the word into something sharp and heavy. “You just met me. How would you know that?”
“I saw you in action last night.”
She froze, and for a moment the expression on her face was a mixture of anger, fear and disgust. A second later, it was gone, smoothed away as if it had never been there.
Whoa. What was that?
Without looking at him, she said, “Babysitting me is going to be a complete bore for a soldier’s soldier like you. I’ll tell Max to find someone else.”


Buy The Book:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lethal-Game-Biological-Response-Team-ebook/dp/B00VYD2FA0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1442957430&sr=1-1&keywords=Lethal+Game+Julie+Rowe

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lethal-game-julie-rowe/1121720078?ean=9781459290198

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23366556-lethal-game?ac=1


Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads:  
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/17506509-lethal-game-by-julie-rowe


About The Author



Julie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she’ll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, “No one would believe them!”.

In addition to writing contemporary and historical medical romance, and fun romantic suspense for Entangled Publishing and Carina Press, Julie has short stories in Fool’s Gold, the Mammoth Book of ER Romance, Timeless Keepsakes and Timeless Escapes anthologies. Her book SAVING THE RIFLEMAN (book #1 WAR GIRLS) won the novella category of the 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. AIDING THE ENEMY (book #3 WAR GIRLS) won the novella category of the 2014 Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in several magazines such as Romantic Times Magazine, Today’s Parent, and Canadian Living.


Connect with Julie:
Author Website:  http://www.julieroweauthor.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JulieRoweAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieRoweAuthor
Goodreads: https://twitter.com/JulieRoweAuthor



Virtual Book Tour




Thursday, October 22, 2015

Character Interview: Petyr Crest from P.I. Alltraine's HEARTBOUND




We’re thrilled to be talking to Petyr Crest from P.I. Alltraine’s, Heartbound.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Petyr.  How old are you and what do you do for a living?

In your time, five centuries and twenty-seven years, but time works differently in my world. I am one of the future leaders of my world. I have been given the task to enter the human world and understand the cause of the disease that’s killing my kind.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?

As an Astra, my brain can process information at a maximum speed. For instance, I can analyse every detail in situations and interactions, compose myself, choose the most precise response before the other person can even blink. A strong Astra is supposed to be all knowing of the past, future, and everything in between. I used to think I had all the answers. Then, I stumbled upon Scarlett, and I never seemed to stop stumbling.

What would I love the most about you?

I don’t know if there’s anything about me I could be proud of. My entire existence is encrusted with guilt and shame, but I am doing my best. I want to be brave enough to step out of the safety of my lies. I want to fight. I want to be free.

What would I hate the most about you?

I hold my hand up to my arrogance and my ignorance. These led me to believe I could never lose control, and I could never be capable of committing the Forbidden. I’ve also been called a rebel. The word is a reminder of how much I’ve changed. The sound of it stings. With it, I hear reckless, weak, traitor.

Where do you go when you are angry?

My mind is far too rational to entertain angry.

What is your greatest fear?

I want to say that I’m afraid Scarlett wouldn’t be safe from all the dangers being with me could bring into her world. I care about her and her safety. Of course, I do. But the fear of her finding out the truth is what haunts me. I’m afraid to see the look in her eyes when she finds out my true purpose in her world, the monster I can be.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

I wished I could have hidden my fears and my cowardice, but I had been exposed for everything that I was. I had to hide my true identity from Scarlett because I was afraid she would not be able to accept me. I had to hide the extent of how I felt for Scarlett from my kind because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to protect her from them.

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?

I’d been jumping and exploring worlds alone for Centuries, but since my time in the human world, I’d come to appreciate the value of having someone to share my life with.

Who is your best friend?

I consider Dru to be a true and loyal friend. I owe him so much for trusting me, for never losing faith in me, for supporting me as I deciphered the dangerously unfamiliar emotions I’ve been experiencing.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?

I would hold her close to me, hoping she’d know how much I do love her. I would give up everything for her, wage a war for her, turn into a monster for her. I know that it’s against all the odds for someone like me to ever experience the power, the immense happiness from the abstract notion the humans call love, and for a human, whom by nature embraced ignorance, to witness what I am and still look at me with affection is close to impossible. Yet, I still hope for it.  

About the Author: 
 
P.I. Alltraine is an award winning poet and author. She has won several international poetry competitions, and her poems have been published in separate anthologies.
She teaches English Language and Literature in London. She earned her degree in BA English from Queen Mary University of London, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and Master’s in Teaching at the UCL Institute of Education, University of London.
Before moving to London, she lived in the Philippines where she was ensconced in the rich culture encrusted with dark myths and enchanted tales. She draws inspiration from these in her writing. Although she has lived indifferent places and experienced different cultures, she always enjoyed the constancy of writing in her life. Her favourite authors include John Milton, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce.
Her latest book is the YA fantasy romance, Heartbound.
For More Information
About the Book:

Title: Heartbound
Author: P.I. Alltraine
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Pages: 177
Genre: YA fantasy romance

Petyr has never found it necessary to consider the humans as anything more than distant, inferior beings–until now. They are the cause of the fatal disease that has plagued his realm, taking the lives of too many of his kind. As a future leader of a realm in peril, Petyr must find a way to resist and cure the affliction. He must enter the unfamiliar realm, appear to be an ordinary eighteen-year-old human, observe, and learn.

However, things don't exactly go according to plan. Instead of embarking single-mindedly on his sober mission, Petyr meets an 18-year-old girl who does things to his emotions that he can't quite fathom or control. Petyr is falling in love, and he almost forgets the gravity his choices have on his entire world. Despite the risk it poses to his life and hers, he wants to know her, and he wants her to know him–and his world.

For More Information

  • Heartbound is available at Amazon.
  • Watch the trailer at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Character Interview with Joscelyn from Between The Cracks She Fell by Lisa de Nikolits

We’re thrilled to be talking to Joscelyn from Lisa de Nikolits’, Between The Cracks She Fell. It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Joss.  Can you tell us your story?

I think you should read the book for that! But I will tell you this, my loser boyfriend lost his job, then he had a nervous breakdown, then I lost my job and I didn’t want to tell my Mum what happened, so I decided to go and camp in an old school until I got my life back together. It turned out to be quite the summer, I can tell you. Murder, thieving realtors, crazy-assed kids, a girl I thought was my friend who turned out to be real piece of work. It was not the peaceful summer I had in mind. But I came out of it stronger and I’m super glad it all happened.
  
Where do you go when you are angry? 

I run away. I run away and hide. It’s what I did when I was a kid and it’s what I did this time too. I don’t let people help me, I go and find a place where I can lick my wounds. This time I ran to the old school but then a bunch of things happened and I stopped running. At least I stopped running away. I did end up running to some things but running to something is very different from running away from things.
  
Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

I think I have more fun in real life than she gave me credit for. I mean sure, it was a tough time, a lot of stuff had gone wrong, and I was mourning a lot of stuff. But I enjoy life, I really do. Well, I do now, I guess. I guess that she (the writer) helped me work through a bunch of stuff and now I am happier than I was. So maybe she was accurate and it’s just that I am kind of sad for the me that I had to go through all that. But if I hadn’t gone through it, I wouldn’t have come out stronger and happier. I guess the book was therapy for me!

What is your idea of a perfect day? 

I have become a photographer and a perfect day is being out and about, photographing things. I have a new boyfriend, he’s a photographer too, that’s how we met and a perfect day is him and me hanging out, taking pictures.
  
What is your favorite weather? 

A thunderstorm! The darker the sky, the better!

What’s your idea of a perfect meal? 

Welsh Rarebit! Which, according to Wikipedia, is: Welsh rarebit (spelling based on folk etymology) or Welsh rabbit (original spelling)[1][2] is a dish made with a savory sauce of melted cheese and various other ingredients and served hot, after being poured over slices (or other pieces) of toasted bread,[3] or the hot cheese sauce may be served in a chafing dish like a fondue, accompanied by sliced, toasted bread.[4] The names of the dish originate from 18th-century Great Britain.[5]

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

I wanted to be a character in a book. That may sound weird but it’s true. I loved books from the time I was very little and the characters were my friends. So to be a character in a book is a dream come true! I am very grateful to Lisa de Nikolits because I think there were times when she got annoyed with me – like my refusal to give up looking for my biological father. I know she thought hey, get over it already, your stepdad’s a great guy but I was stubborn and in the end, I learned the truth and she helped me live my dream, to be a character in a book.

What is your most treasured possession? 

A pic of me and Mum and Gran.

Do you like to cook?  If so, what is your favorite thing to cook? 

I can’t cook to save my life and I have no interest in learning! Life’s too short for cooking, I’d rather be reading. Or taking pictures. Fortunately for me, all the men in my life have liked to cook. My new boyfriend loves to cook and Shayne loved to cook too and Ashley (another character in the book) is a great cook and so really, I don’t have to worry! If there’s no one to cook for me, I am content to eat a bag of chips or a packet of biscuits or get takeout.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today? 

I would try to take the greatest picture of my life. And I would tell my mother how much I love her.  And I would give all my money to charity and go and play with puppies and eat cheesecake with my boyfriend at a funfair. And I would sing What’s Up, by the 4 Non Blondes and I would thank this world for having me as a guest.





About The Book



Title: Between The Cracks She Fell
Author: Lisa de Nikolits
Publisher: Inanna Publications
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Format: Paperback / PDF
Pages: 350
ISBN: 978-1771332255
Genre: Suspense Thriller


Buy The Book:




Discuss this book at our PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads by clicking HERE


Book Description:

The award-winning author of the Hungry MirrorWest of WawaGlittering Chaos and The Witchdoctor's Bones delivers an original and riveting new novel about societal betrayal, familial loss and religious jihad. A suspenseful and lyrical read, Between The Cracks She Fell is a powerful - first person narrative about the explosive consequences of betrayal, survival in troubled times and the pervasiveness of religious domination.

When Joss finds herself having to make mortgage payments without help from her depressed, stoner boyfriend who has just moved out, and the company she works for folds leaving her suddenly unemployed, she is forced to sell her house, on which she takes a financial loss. She decides to camp out in a vacant complex of school buildings to give herself time to decide what to do next. It turns out the building is used by a gang of teenagers for wild, drug-fueled parties and Jess soon finds herself both repelled by their charismatic evil leader, as well as sexually attracted to him. She knows he is dangerous even before she finds his girlfriend's dead and violently abused body in the school library. During this time, she meets and befriends two other people in difficulty: Emma, a narcissistic thief living with her dog in a stolen car and Ashley, a young homosexual who is heartbroken by the fact that he has been expelled from the Jehovah's Witness church because he is gay. When her former boyfriend reappears as a born again Christian, Joss is immersed in a journal she found that contains the thoughts of a Muslim teenager who becomes increasingly radicalized. Her struggle to understand her former boyfriend and this young man's spiritual quests prepare her to make some hard decisions about her future. Between The Cracks She Fell is about a woman who falls off the grid and the explosive consequences of betrayal, survival in troubled times, and the pervasiveness of religious domination.


Book Excerpt:

Exodus

I reached my destination with no great sense of joy but at least I wasn't crying.

A purple, red and black pentagram marked the path ahead of me and the sea of grass rolled this way and that and my throat closed and my eyes stung but I swallowed the tears.

I tried to pretend I was Gibreel Farishta, a hero bigger than me; that tuneless soloist tumbling out og thin air; what an entrance, yaar.

First you have to die. Ho ji! Ho ji! How to ever smile again, if first you won't cry?

But there would be no more crying for me. My former life was dead. I needed to escape for a while, hide out and then, once I got my energy back. I would figure out what came next.

Right now all I could say was that I was alive, and that is the point I guess, much like Gibreel, standing, with pigs falling out of his face and no God to help him.

I held my arms aloft and waded through the knotty field, as if paddling through an upward flowing river, pushing forward against the current.

The summer offered shoulder-high fragrant grasses laced with thistles and weeds and despite the misfortunes of past events, I was not blind to the beauty of the tiny lilac flowers or the red roses that grew wild and free.

I could see the buildings in the distances. It had been a while since I had seen them but they sprawled low at the other end of the playing fields, just as I remembered.

I had packed for the task at hand; knife, bottled water, flashlight, pillow. Kind of funny really, how natural this solution felt, like it was some kind of okay. It wasn't the first time I'd purposefully left the grid; my first solo adventure had taken place when I was eleven. Tired of school, friends, mother, swimming lessons, and tuck shop lunches, I hid out in a farmer's shed, armed with books and apples and bars of chocolate. i stayed for two nights and two days, sleeping in a hairy horse blanket that I shook free of cobwebs and drew close around me, breathing in that rich scent of dry sage, dust, leather, sweat and all the other good things that horses smell of. I returned home when I ran out of food and reading material. Mum was furious but I wasn't sorry; I'd done what I needed to do and it was the same this time, although there was less choice in a sense, as I had in fact lost my house to the bank and my job to the recession and my boyfriend to a nervous breakdown.

I could think of no other way to heal, to regroup and to find the solo me that I could rely on. I had made a mistake, relying on Shayne but I would get over that. I would get over everything.


Book Trailer: http://bit.ly/1h9oqnN



About The Author



Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has been a Canadian citizen since 2003. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the U.S.A., Australia and Britain. 

Her first novel, The Hungry Mirror, won the 2011 IPPY Awards Gold Medal for Women's Issues Fiction and was ling-listed for a Relit Award. Her second novel, West of Wawa, won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction and was one of Chatelaine's four Editor's Picks. West of Wawa is available in bookstores and online.

Her third novel, A Glittering Chaos, launched in Spring 2013 to reader and review acclaim, and is about murder, madness, illicit love and poetry.

Her fourth novel, The Witchdoctor's Bones was launched Spring 2014 to reader and literary acclaim. The Witchdoctor's Bones is a thriller about the darkest secrets of African evil; the novel seamlessly weaves witchcraft and ancient folklore into a plot of loss, passion and intrigue and a holiday becomes a test of moral character.

Her fifth novel, Between The Cracks She Fell, was published in Fall 2015 and has been called "a whirligig-ride into the dark recesses of "what-next?" It is a compelling and multi-layered penetrating and twisty tale of insurrection."

"A lyrical and deeply moving examination of emotional pain and faith on a collision course with organized religion. Lisa de Nikolits highly believable and human characters are outsiders struggling to find meaning, and perhaps hope, in contemporary urban society. With a deft and confident clarity of style, she explores the complex interplay of faith, crime and social isolation. Highly recommended." - M.H. Callway, award-winning author of Windigo Fire (Seraphim Editions). 


Connect with Lisa:

The Mesdames of Mayhem: http://mesdamesofmayhem.com/about/



Virtual Book Tour Event Page