Thursday, February 25, 2021

Reaper Aftermath by Jonathan Pongratz

 



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jonathan Pongratz will be awarding a 15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Five years have passed since the Reapers invaded Earth and tore it asunder. Gregory, his mother, Trent, and their group of scavengers hunt the decimated wastelands for survival.

But when a sudden Reaper attack forces Gregory through a Reaper door, he finds himself in a bizarre place, one that may provide answers to the Reapers’ past and where they came from.

Can Gregory put together the pieces of the past and find his way home, or will he just become another human casualty in the lost war against the Reapers?


Read an Excerpt

A sudden noise woke me from my fitful sleep. I groaned and rolled over, squinting in the dark as I eyed Trent’s bed. He was fast asleep, snoring lightly. I sat up slowly, removing my covers.

I glanced at the doorway, flinching when I saw the outline of a dark figure standing there. I couldn’t make out much in the dim light from the hall, except that the person was short and had a feminine form.

I snatched my flashlight off the small end table next to my bed and shined it forward. My jaw dropped. My little sister stood before me. Her curly brown hair fell down in little ringlets, and she had an impish grin on her face.

“I-Imogen?”

She giggled, then ran off into the hall to the right.

“Imogen!” I cried. I couldn’t believe it. My little sister was back! I had to tell Mom, but first I had to get Imogen to stop running and tell me what happened, where she’d been all these years.

I scrambled out of bed and left my room, aiming my light down the hall. I caught a brief glimpse of Imogen before she turned a familiar corner to the right.

Why would she head to the library? We didn’t have time for games like this. I barrelled down the hall, my bare feet loud as they slapped against the tiled floor. Seconds later, I arrived at the small double doors of the school library. One of them was slightly ajar.

I entered the library with slow, cautious steps. The entrance was the only way out, but I didn’t want to spook my little sister. She must be so scared, confused to be back with everything so different.

A tall aisle of bookshelves stood before me, another opposing set on the other side of the room.

“Imogen?” I called.

I heard movement up ahead and crept closer.

When I reached the open center of the room I spotted Imogen several yards ahead, her back facing me. She stood before a large, rickety door that wasn’t supposed to be there. My stomach dropped. A Reaper door. She reached for the doorknob.

“Imogen, don’t!”

She ignored me, and as she opened the door a brilliant white light beamed through. I shielded my eyes with my arm. “Imogen!”

My little sister walked through the door. Without thinking I chased after her. I couldn’t lose her again. As I ran through the doorway, the blinding light suddenly snuffed out, replaced by darkness. I scanned my surroundings with my flashlight, a cold tingle shooting through me like icicles.

To my right a set of stairs led upwards. On my left, numerous items of furniture were draped in white sheets. Dozens of boxes stood in tidy columns behind them. This was … no, it couldn’t be. The basement from my old house in my hometown. But how was this even possible? We knew that the doors the Reapers used had to be some kind of portal, but this didn’t make any sense.

I shook my head. Find Immy first, ask questions later. I glanced at the stairs and ruled them out immediately. I’d been right behind her. If she’d climbed the stairs I would’ve seen her. I turned left. The covered furniture and other sheeted items created odd, threatening shapes in the dark. When I ran my light over them, a wave of dread shot through my core.

I needed to get out of here and fast. I frantically checked around each blanketed surface, calling for my sister as I progressed further into the basement. I made my way to the back where Immy had been taken five years ago, my anxiety soaring. Don’t think about it, don’t think about it, I thought to myself as I searched high and low.

Regardless, faded gritty images from the past flashed inside my head: the sudden appearance of the door in the wall, me scrambling to find a weapon to fight whatever would come out, Imogen being taken by the Reaper. Her cries ...

No. No, no, no! I wasn’t going to let the past get the better of me. I shined my light around again. “Immy, where are you? Say something, please!”

I headed down the aisle of boxes along the back wall of the basement, searching every nook and cranny. I was nearly through with my search when a familiar sofa with golf clubs sticking out from under it caught my eye. The white sheet draping the couch was discolored, misshapen. I inched closer until I could snag the sheet away.

As the white cloth fell to the floor, I cried out in horror. Imogen’s dead eyes stared straight up at the ceiling. Her chest and face were covered in blood, and her expression was frozen in shock and terror. I felt around desperately for a pulse, but couldn’t find one.

Oh god, oh god, oh god. This couldn’t be happening! I had just gotten her back. Warm tears rolled down my face, and I held my little sister in my arms as tightly as I could. “Please don’t leave me,” I squeaked.

A series of guttural warbles sounded nearby, making me jump. Goosebumps raised all over my body, and the air in the basement became heavy, electric. Reapers.

I released Imogen for a moment, taking a cautious look around. I couldn’t see them, but they could be anywhere. I reached for my gun, but grabbed at empty air. Shit! It was still in the storeroom back home. I mulled my situation over for a quick second. I couldn’t just sit here and let them find me. I scooped up Imogen’s body with a grunt and made my way back. I wouldn’t leave her here. She deserved better than that.

I tottered back to the open Reaper door as best I could, stumbling several times due to the awkward load in my arms. When I was just feet away, an inhuman shriek of protest stopped me dead in my tracks. I spun around. Three Reapers approached me from the way I’d just come. A cloaked Reaper, flanked by two others on all fours. The cloaked Reaper pointed a crooked finger in my direction, and the two hunter Reapers prowled forward. Saliva oozed from their mouths and their predatory yellow eyes leered at me dangerously.

I turned back around to escape, but the door was no longer there. With one hand I struck the wall in disbelief. No, it had just been here! The Reapers on all fours closed in on me, forcing me back against the wall.

“No,” I whimpered. I couldn’t believe it. This was it. This was the end. I looked down at Imogen’s still body, propping her up to me. I kissed her forehead, my vision watery with tears. “I love you, Immy.”

I glowered at the Reapers defiantly, just in time for them to pounce upon me.

About the Author:
Jonathan Pongratz is a writer and author of captivating horror, fantasy, and other speculative fiction stories. When he’s not writing, he’s busy being a bookworm, video game junkie, and karaoke vocalist. A former resident of Dallas, he currently resides in Kansas City with his Halloween cat Ajax. By day he works magic in finance, by night he creates dark and mesmerizing worlds.

Website: http://www.jonathanpongratz.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jonathanpongratz
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/jonathanpongratz
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jonathan-pongratz
Tumblr: https://jonathanpongratz.tumblr.com/

Reaper: Aftermath Universal Ebook Link: https://buy.bookfunnel.com/3asmrg39g7
Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578827441
Barnes and Noble Paperback: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reaper-jonathan-pongratz/1138649891

Reaper: A Horror Novella Universal Ebook Link: https://buy.bookfunnel.com/yaar1pv37e
Jonathan Pongratz will be awarding a 15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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Friday, February 19, 2021

Something Wicked by Tom Williams

 



I'd like to start by thanking Jennifer Macaire for her hospitality on her blog and then to immediately abuse it by telling you a dark secret about her.

Jennifer once tried to learn to dance tango and was so bad at it she was asked to leave the class!!!*

Actually that says a lot about the teacher and nothing about Jennifer’s terpsichorean abilities. As I keep telling her, if she would only come over to London (once we’re allowed to move again) I would happily teach her to dance. If you can ride a bicycle, you can learn to tango. (If you can’t ride a bicycle you may have balance issues that make dancing impossible.)

But should she learn? You never know who you might meet in a darkened ballroom long after midnight. Who can you think of who only comes out at night and who might want to embrace you in the dance with their teeth conveniently close to your neck?

The connection between vampires and tango is so obvious that I can hardly believe someone hasn’t written about it before. (Probably they have. Please don’t tell me.) At least there is a tango vampire story out now and it’s called Something Wicked.


Fortunately my vampires are (generally) urbane types who try to avoid unnecessary gruesomeness. As one of them explains: “There are people who will sell their blood quite cheerfully. Some are happy to let us have it freely. They seem to get some sort of sexual thrill from it. Then, at a pinch, there is animal blood.”

Sometimes, though, things go too far and people die. Over the centuries, vampires have become very good at covering such incidents up. But when a maverick vampire leaves a peer of the realm completely drained of blood, the police inevitably get involved. As Chief Inspector Galbraith closes in on the killer, he faces a dilemma. How will people respond to learning that they are living alongside a substantial vampire sub-culture? Is this a crime that is better left unsolved?

Welcome to the most unusual police procedural novel of 2021.

Something Wicked: not your usual stake out.


BIO

 Tom Williams used to write books for business. Now he writes novels, mostly set in the 19th century. Something Wicked, though, is his second contemporary urban fantasy book (after Dark Magic, which came out on Halloween 2019). His stories have given him the excuse to travel to Argentina, Egypt and Borneo and call it research.

Tom lives in London. His main interest is avoiding doing any honest work and this leaves him with time to ski, skate and dance tango, all of which he does quite well. In between he reads old books and spends far too much time looking at ancient weaponry.

LINKS

Tom’s blogs appear regularly on his website, https://tomwilliamsauthor.co.uk where you can also find details of all his books. You can follow him on Twitter as @TomCW99 or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTomWilliams).

 

BOOK LINKS

Dark Magic: mybook.to/DarkMagic

Something Wicked: Mybook.to/Something_Wicked


*Note by Jennifer - Tom is almost right - actually, the teacher stopped dancing with me, saying I'd never learn to tango if I "couldn't learn to be submissive to the man". End of quote, and end of any hopes of me ever learning how to tango... 

**More notes - I just got my copy of Something Wicked and it's terrific! 

Friday, February 5, 2021

Her Timeless Gamble by Nancy Fraser

 



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nancy Fraser will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When Matthew McAlister pulls a nearly-drowned woman from the mucky waters of the Mississippi, he has no idea what's in store for him. Or, how easily he'll willingly give up his carefree, love-em-and-leave-em lifestyle for a chance at real happiness.

Kathryn (Kate) Lowell can't believe her bad luck. Or the fact she's somehow been transported from the twenty-first century back to the post Civil War south. Worse yet, into the arms of the one man she grew up hating. The man she blames for her father's recent demise.

Can these two off-kilter and infinitely stubborn individuals fight their mutual attraction? Or, will they give in to the inevitable? And, when the time comes, will Kate choose to stay with Matt in the past, or return to her former life?


Read an Excerpt

Kate moaned softly, and lifted a heavy hand to her aching forehead. “Where am I?”, she wondered aloud.

“Just rest. You’re safe, everything is fine.”

The muffled sound of a man’s voice penetrated the throbbing in her head and she struggled to open her eyes, to identify the source. A dim light shone on the man’s handsome features and Kate realized she’d come face to face with the devil. His intense expression, an expression she felt certain could stop rush hour traffic in Times Square, seemed to mock her. Haunt her.

I must be dreaming. That’s it, I’m dreaming. I didn’t really drown, I’m just asleep.

Kate closed her eyes and waited, certain that at any moment she’d awaken. Until then, she’d allow this ridiculous dream to run its course. She’d let this man who looked suspiciously like Matthew McAlister sit at her bedside without so much as a single complaint. After all, it was only a dream, a dream most likely resulting from the trauma of her father’s death. A dream in which her subconscious had conjured up a man who’d been dead himself for nearly a hundred years.

Cautiously, she reopened her eyes and met the man’s darkened gaze.

“Oh my gosh, it is you. And just like my father’s sketches, and the way he described you, right down to the scar above your left brow.”

Unconsciously, Kate suspected, he reached up and ran his finger across the scar. “Someone described me?”

As soon as he spoke, Kate recognized the voice from her dreams. Either she had totally lost her mind or, like Matthew McAlister, she was dead. “I’ve got to be dreaming. This can’t be real. And, you can’t possibly be Matthew McAlister.”

Nervously she scanned her surroundings, taking in the beamed ceiling, the heavy wooden furniture and the brocade coverings. The dim light, she realized, came from an oil lamp on the bedside table.

“Lady, I don’t know who you are, or where you came from, but I can assure you, I am definitely Matthew McAlister.”

She shook her head in disbelief, regretting the quick motion when a shooting pain radiated from back of her head forward. “Where am I? Never mind, don’t answer that. I’m dead. I must be dead because that’s the only way I could be seeing you.” She scrambled for the edge of the bed, saying, “I’ve got to get out of here. I can’t…”

Rather than free herself, her legs tangled in what seemed like yards of bed linens. In her haste to get away, Kate slipped unceremoniously off the edge of the bed and landed flat on her backside, the thick carpet cushioning her embarrassing attempt at escape.

“Are you all right?”, he asked.

Bracing himself on the foot rail at the end of the bed, he reached out and offered his free hand. His gaze settled on her bare legs. A man’s shirt, most likely his Kate realized, rode high on her thighs, exposing far more than she was willing to show.

“All right?”, she repeated nervously. If being insane is all right, then I’m fine.

“Are you hurt?”

“No, I’m not hurt. I’m just in a room that looks like something off the set of Maverick, and any minute now a young and rakish Mel Gibson will burst through that door with someone shooting at him, and I’m talking to Matthew McAlister. Other than that, I’m fine.”

Matthew McAlister looked positively baffled by her insane rambling. Yet, when he spoke, his voice held firm conviction rather than confusion. “First of all, you are not dead. And second, who is this Mel Gibson fellow who’s going to burst into my stateroom at any moment?”



About the Author:
NANCY FRASER—Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy has published over thirty-five books in full-length, novella, and short format.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Website: http://www.nancyfraser.ca
Facebook: http://facebook.com/nancyfraserauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor
Bookbub: http://bookbub.com/profile/nancy-fraser
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Fraser/e/B004AOL61Y/
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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/fraser425/
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Newletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/bxkKvD
Puzzle Link: HTG Jigsaw Puzzle - https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=2a6411aeb716

Buy Links: The book is on sale for only $0.99

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RZBYQZV
Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1547274584
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/her-timeless-gamble
BN/Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/her-timeless-gamble-nancy-fraser/1138562029
Universal: https://books2read.com/u/4NXpRx

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Smart Bitches Buy Bitcoin by Branden LaNette

  This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions . Branden LaNette will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC ...