Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! After The Ending is FREE for the holidays!!!

LP and I sat down and had a serious discussion about the merits of trying out After The Ending as a "permafree" book. Setting the first book in a series to free is all the rage with indie authors right now, so we decided to be followers and test the waters over the holidays.

Our thinking: what better way could there be to introduce more people to Dani and Zoe's end o' the world adventures than making that first step into their world as easy as possible?

That means more popularity for the series, more Endingers for you to discuss the books with, and more possibility that someone behind a camera will take notice and bring the series to life on the big (or little--we'd totally settle for little) screen! I mean, really, could you imagine it?!? That would be insane!

So, if you love the series and want to help it grow, please, please, please share the exciting news:




After The Ending can be downloaded for FREE all these awesome places:

Wattpad (censored version)


Happy Holidays, and as always, HAPPY READING!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Ending Series Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza!

It's officially the holiday season, and what better way to gear up for cold days, friends, and family than winning some great prizes! Are you already a dedicated Endinger and you've read all these book? Tell your friends, or enter to win a copy for them!

Starting Saturday, November 1st through Saturday, November 8th...


20 participants will win an ebook copy of After The Ending!


Book One, The Ending Series

For each additional entry, you're entered to be the second place or grand prize winner!



Second Place Prize:

  • Audiobook copies of book one, After The Ending, and book two, Into The Fire.
Grand Prize:
  • Series ebooks, including the prequel novellas, After The Ending, Into The Fire, and Out Of The Ashes
  • Audiobook copies of After The Ending and Into The Fire

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading and Good LUCK!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

ECHO QUEEN Preview: Chapter 3

Echo Queen (Echo Trilogy, #2)

The Sequel to Echo Prophecy

Did you miss the Prologue, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2? You can read them here:



Chapter 3
Arrive & Depart


Fifteen minutes later, Dr. Isa pulled the car onto a dirt driveway that led to a small, walled-off complex on the western outskirts of Mit Rahinah, one of the modern Egyptian towns that lay within Memphis’s ancient borders. She stopped the car in front of an imposing iron gate and removed a sleek smartphone from a handbag stashed on the floorboard against her door, tapping the face before holding it up to her ear.

After a single ring, someone picked up. Thanks to my heightened Nejerette senses, I could hear the woman on the other end, not that it did me any good. From what I could discern, they were speaking in Middle Egyptian, the same dialect that had long been the accepted standard language among Nejeretkind.

In the two weeks that had passed since our explosive confrontation with Set at Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple, Marcus, Neffe, and Dominic had been doing what they could to help me learn to understand the spoken language rather than just the written version, but I’d yet to make much, if any, progress in learning to speak Middle Egyptian. It was too different from Nuin’s ancient language—like modern Italian compared to Latin—to make learning it much easier than if I hadn’t known Nuin’s language at all. I certainly hadn’t progressed enough to translate Dr. Isa’s rushed words.

When she ended the call, the gate started swinging outward. Dr. Isa eased the car into the compound and parked in front of a modern, boxy building. It was relatively small, tan, and appeared to have no windows and only one entrance or exit so far as I could tell—a heavy metal door with no handle, but with a keypad on the wall beside it, about halfway up. It seemed high-tech, high-security, and more than a little out of place.

“Where are we?” I asked.

“You’ll see.”

ECHO QUEEN Preview: Chapter 2

Echo Queen (Echo Trilogy, #2)

The Sequel to Echo Prophecy

Did you miss the Prologue and Chapter 1? You can read them here:



Chapter 2
Present & Past


With a flash of smoky colors, the world reappeared, dark and drafty. I fell to my hands and knees on a floor that was both cold and hard, coughing up water on polished black and white marble tiles. I hacked, gagged, and retched until my throat felt raw, inside and out, like I’d been drowning in flames rather than bathwater. Flames seemed appropriate; I’d been drowning in my own personal hell.

Marcus . . . almost killed me . . .

Closing my eyes, I rested my forehead on a dry patch of floor and worked on catching my breath, uncaring that I was naked and had no clue where I’d landed in my panicked flight. Wherever I was, it couldn’t be far from Marcus’s and my suite; in all of my accidental spatial shifts, I’d never moved more than several hundred feet from my starting point.

Which meant I had to catch my breath—and fast—because I needed to get as far away from the man I loved as possible. Before he tried to kill me again.

Dread wrapped around my heart and lungs as a terrifying thought eroded my resolve to flee. If I was out of his reach, what would he do to the people I’d left behind in the palace—to Jenny, my human sister, who just a week ago had learned she was pregnant with Set’s baby, or to Kat, my half-sister, who’d only just started to manifest as a result of being forced in a last-ditch effort to rescue me from Set’s At prison, or to Dominic, my half-brother and closest friend . . . or to Marcus? What would that thing inside of Marcus do to him?

My efforts to catch my breath turned into frantic gasping, and glittering spots floated in front of my vision. I couldn’t catch my breath. There wasn’t enough oxygen in the air. I could barely breathe.

“Lex!” a woman shouted. Her heels clicked hard and fast on the marble tiles. “Lex! Are you okay?” There was something familiar about her voice, about the hint of an accent, but I couldn’t quite place her.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

ECHO QUEEN Preview: The (Almost) Complete Glossary

Five days until the release of Echo Queen! I can hardly believe it, and I can't wait for you all to continue Lex's journey! This installments full of plenty of history, steaminess, and good ol' fashioned time-bending fun. :)


I thought it might be neat to share the glossary from Echo Queen with you. It contains most of what was included in the Echo Prophecy glossary, along with quite a few new entries, some of which are blacked out because they're a little spoilery, but you can read them if you want by highlighting the blacked-out text. Enjoy!


GLOSSARY

Akhet  The first of three seasons in the ancient Egyptian year. Akhet is the inundation season, when the Nile floods, and is roughly correlated with fall in the northern hemisphere.

Ankhesenpepi  Nejerette. Nuin’s eldest daughter and queen and consort to many Old Kingdom pharaohs, including Pepi I and II.

Apep (Apophis) Netjer or “god.” One of two Netjers responsible for maintaining balance in our universe, the other being Re. Apep was historically worshipped against as Re’s opponent and the evil god of chaos.




At  Ancient Egyptian, “moment, instant, time”; The At is a plane of existence overlaying our own, where time and space are fluid. At can also be used to refer to the fabric of space and time.


Ankh  Ancient Egyptian, “life”.






Ankh-At  Nuin’s power. Includes (at least) the power to travel through time, to create and remove memory blocks, and to manipulate the At on this plane of existence.


Aset (Isis)  Nejerette. Heru’s sister. Aset was worshipped as a goddess associated with motherhood, magic, and nature by the ancient Egyptians.





At-qed  State of stasis a Nejeret’s body enters when his or her ba departs for the At.

Ba  Considered one of the essential parts of the soul by the ancient Egyptians. In regards to Nejerets, the ba, or the “soul,” is the part of a person that can enter the At.

Bahur  Arabic, “of Horus” or “of Heru”.

Blade  A ruling Nejeret’s chief protector and companion.

Council of Seven  The body of leadership that governs the Nejerets. The Council consists of the patriarchs of the seven strongest Nejeret families: Ivan, Heru, Set, Sid, Moshe, Dedwen, and Shangdi. The Meswett, Alexandra Larson Ivanov, is also an honorary member of the Council.

Dedwen  A member of the Council of Seven. Dedwen was worshipped as a god associated with prosperity, wealth, and fire by the ancient Nubians.

Deir el-Bahri  Located on the west side of the Nile, just across the river from Luxor in Upper (southern) Egypt. Several mortuary temples and tombs are located in Deir el-Bahri, including Djeser-Djeseru, Queen Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple.

Djeser-Djeseru  Ancient Egyptian, “Holy of Holies”. Queen Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple in Deir el-Bahri.

Hatshepsut  (ruled 1479—1457 BCE) Female Pharaoh during the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt. One of Heru’s many wives, and mother to the Nejerette Neferure.

Hat-hur (Hathor)  Ancient Egyptian goddess associated with love, fertility, sexuality, music, and dance. According to the Contendings of Heru and Set myth, Hathor is the goddess who healed Heru’s eye. She is often depicted as a cow or a woman with cow ears or horns, and a sun disk is frequently cradled by the horns.


Heru (Horus)  Nejeret. Osiris’s son, Nuin’s grandson, Aset’s brother, and former leader of the Council of Seven. Heru stepped down from his role as leader to function as the Council’s general and assassin, when necessary. Heru was worshipped as the god of the sky, kingship, and authority by the ancient Egyptians. He is often depicted as a falcon or falcon-headed.




Ipwet  Human, Nejeret-carrier. Nuin’s primary human wife at the time of his death.

Ivan  Nejeret. Leader of the Council of Seven. Alexander’s father and Lex’s great-grandfather.

Kemet  Ancient Egyptian, “Black Land”. Kemet is one of the names ancient Egyptians called their homeland.

Ma’at  Ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, justice, and order. To the Nejeret, ma’at refers to universal balance.

Men-nefer (Memphis)  Ancient Egyptian city. Men-nefer was the capital city of Egypt during the Old Kingdom.

Meswett  Ancient Egyptian (mswtt), “girl-child”. The Meswett is the prophesied savior/destroyer of the Nejerets, as supposedly foretold by Nuin upon his deathbed, though none actually remember it happening. The prophecy was later recorded by the Nejeret Senenmut.

Moshe (Moses)  Nejeret. Member of the Council of Seven. Central figure in most western religions.

Neferure (Neffe)  Nejerette. Daughter of Hatshepsut and Heru.

Nejeret (male)/Nejerette (female)/Nejerets (plural)  Modern term for the Netjer-At.

 
Netjer  Ancient Egyptian, “god”.



 

Netjer-At  Ancient Egyptian, “Gods of Time”.





Netjer-At Oasis  The ancient, historic home of the Nejerets, deep in the heart of the Sahara Desert.

Nuin (Nun)  Netjer/Nejeret. One of two Netjers responsible for maintaining balance in our universe, the other being Apep. Also known as the “Great Father”, Nuin was the original Nejeret and the father of all Nejeretkind. Nuin was worshipped as a god associated with the primordial waters and creation by the ancient Egyptians.

Old Kingdom  Period of Egyptian history from 2686—2181 BCE.

Order of Hat-hur  An over 5,000-year-old, hereditary order of priestesses run by Aset and devoted to aiding the goddess Hat-hur (Lex) during her temporal journeys.

Osiris  Nejeret. Heru and Aset’s father and leader of the Council of Seven until his murder a few decades after Nuin’s death. Osiris was worshipped as a god associated with death, the afterlife, fertility, and agriculture by the ancient Egyptians.

Pepi II (Pepi Neferkare)  Pharaoh of the 6th Dynasty of ancient Egypt, 2284-2180 BCE. Final ruler of both the 6th Dynasty and of the Old Kingdom.

Peret  The second of three seasons in the ancient Egyptian year. Peret is known as the season of emergence, during which planting and growth took place.

 
Re (Ra)  Netjer. One of two Netjers responsible for maintaining balance in our universe, the other being Apep. Re was historically worshipped as the ancient Egyptian solar deity.




Ren  
Considered one of the essential parts of the soul by the ancient Egyptians, closely associated with a person’s name. In regards to Nejerets, a ren is the soul of a Netjer, like Re or Apep, much like a ba is the soul of a Nejeret or human.

Senenmut  Nejeret. Scribe of Nuin’s prophecy and architect of the underground temple housing the ankh-At at Deir el-Bahri. Senenmut was the “high steward of the king” to Queen Hatshepsut as well as Neferure’s tutor. Senenmut was killed by Set after the completion of the underground temple.

Set (Seth)  Nejeret. Nuin’s grandson, father of Dom, Genevieve, Kat, and Lex, and member of the Council of Seven. Possessed by Apep, Set went rogue when the Council of Seven chose Heru as their leader after Osiris’s death around 4,000 years ago.



Shangdi  Nejerette. Member of the Council of Seven. Shangdi is worshipped as the supreme sky deity in the traditional Chinese religion.

Shemu  The third and final of three seasons in the ancient Egyptian year. Shemu, literally “low water,” is known as the season of harvest.

Sheut  Considered one of the essential parts of the soul by the ancient Egyptians, closely associated with a person’s shadow. In regards to Nejerets, a sheut is the power of a Netjer, like Re or Apep, or the less potent power of the offspring of a Nejerette and Nejeret.

Sid (Siddhartha Gautama)  Nejeret. More commonly known as “Buddha” to humans.


Wedjat (Eye of Horus)  Ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, healing, strength, and perfection.



Saturday, September 20, 2014

ECHO QUEEN: Maps & Charts...and a short, unexpected treatise on symbols in ancient Egypt

I just put these little guys together yesterday, and thought I'd share. It gives you a little preview of where the events of Echo Queen take place (entirely in Egypt this time!) and which "Gods of Time"--the direct translation of Netjer-At--might be making an appearance.

Enjoy!




A note about symbology and ancient Egypt...

First off, I want to state that I am by no means an expert in Egyptian hieroglyphs--not like Lex--but I know enough to get by. :)

Egypt's ancient history is enormous, spanning thousands of years. As we all know from studying our own modern history in school, so much changes in decades and centuries that the culture--language, religion, technology, politics--of a civilization is often barely recognizable as belonging to the same civilization a couple hundred years down the road. Just look at your own country; whether you live in the US, the UK, South Africa, or pretty much anywhere, if you hopped back a couple hundred years in time, how easily would you fit in?

And when we look at Egypt's sprawling history, we're talking millennia, not centuries. Which brings me to my point: so much changed over those thousands of years, especially with language and religious symbolism and iconography. And, when there's so much time for ideas and symbols to evolve, there's also a pretty good chance that many will come to have multiple meanings...which to those of us living a good 2-5,000 years after they were really used and truly understood, can lead to a lot of confusion.

I think the symbol I chose to use for the goddess Hathor in Lex's world, cow horns cradling a sun disk, is a good example of this:


Recognize it from the cover of Echo Queen?


Here's a couple images from "the most beautiful" Queen Nefertari's tomb (New Kingdom, 13th century BCE) in Deir el-Bahri (Yeah! That's where Queen Hatshepsut's tomb, Djeser-Djeseru, which featured prominently in Echo Queen, is too!):


The woman with the cow horns cradling a red sun disk and a lazily draped snake on top of her head is totally the same lady, right? Right?

Nope. The woman in white is Nefertari, but the horned woman in the image on the left is the goddess Hathor, and the one in the image on the right is the goddess Isis. How can we tell the difference when they're wearing the same (topless) dress and accessories, including the divine adornment on top of their heads? By reading the hieroglyphs, of course!


Over time, the Goddesses Hathor (think of her as the rock star goddess--representing love, drink, dancing, sex, but also fertility and childbirth) and Isis (typically a "mother earth" goddess, representing an ideal mother and wife as well as nature) have often been confused, sometimes been merged, and at points have even become interchangeable. Another goddess, Sekhemet (more of a warrior goddess), often gets tossed into the mix too, just make sure we don't get to comfortable with our understanding of these complex ancient people with their ever-evolving culture.

Alright, so that was a really long-winded and slightly rambly way for me to explain that the symbol I used to represent the goddess Hathor in Lex's world also often represents Isis, as well as Hathor in our world.

What I'd intended to be a quick little post sharing the map and chart from the front of Echo Queen has clearly turned into quite a bit more. Whoopsie! Oh well...I hope you enjoyed it. :)


And keep an eye out for Echo Queen, coming out on September 26, 2014--that's next week!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ECHO QUEEN Preview: Chapter 1

Echo Queen (Echo Trilogy, #2)

The Sequel to Echo Prophecy

Did you miss the Prologue? You can read it here.


PART I 
Cairo, Egypt 
Present Day 


“. . . know this, Heru: 
however much time stands between us, 
however much distance separates us, 
I will find my way back to you. 
I will return to you . . .” 

—taken from the Hall of Lex, Nejeret Oasis, Old Kingdom, c. 2180 BCE



CHAPTER 1

Sex & Death

“I swear to some god who isn’t you, Marcus,” I said, closing my eyes and relaxing into our suite’s massive Jacuzzi tub. “If you don’t get that cute butt of yours in here right now . . .”

“You’ll do what, Little Ivanov?” Marcus said from the doorway, his low, silken voice and enticing accent heightening my anticipation.

Keeping my eyes closed, I let the corners of my lips curve upward. The things that man can do to me with only his voice . . .

I shook my head ever so slowly and slouched a little lower in the oval tub, the almost-too-hot water scented with the tiniest drop of vanilla essential oil. Over the past week, this tub had become one of my favorite things about our rooms in the Council’s Cairo palace; the Florence Palazzo had been stunning, but its accommodations were definitely cramped by modern standards. Thankfully, the Cairo palace, though nearly as old as the Palazzo, didn’t suffer from the same historical handicap.

I’d only just left Marcus’s side to sink into the water, but even a minute away from the man I was quite literally addicted to, whose bonding pheromones were as vital to my survival as oxygen, was a minute too long. Our bond was both emotional and physiological, and it was both the most wondrous and the most terrifying thing I’d ever experienced.

Marcus’s shoes squeaked faintly on the polished marble floor as he entered the palatial bathroom, which meant he was still wearing shoes . . . which meant he was still fully dressed. Damn.

I sighed and opened my eyes just as he stopped at the foot of the tub. He was staring down at me, his golden irises burning with desire. But he wasn’t showing any intention of shedding his gray slacks or pristine white, button-down shirt, of revealing the sculpted masculine body the clothing tried, and failed miserably, to conceal.

“You’re not actually going to join me, are you?” I stuck out my lower lip, just a bit.

One side of Marcus’s mouth quirked, and he narrowed his eyes. “That depends.”

“On . . . ?”

He inhaled deeply and glanced up at the ceiling. “On what you’ll do to me if I don’t join you.” His eyes settled on me.

I shifted my legs, teasing him with a different view. “I honestly think you should be more concerned about what I won’t do to you . . .”

Something dark glinted in Marcus’s eyes, far different from the playful, predatory intensity that had shone in them only a moment ago, and an unexpected burst of anxiety twisted in my gut. I shifted in the tub, closing my legs and sitting up a little higher.

And again, Marcus’s eyes glinted with darkness. “You really are a little whore, aren’t you?”

I stiffened, and my blood ran cold. Despite all the reserved, almost stony characteristics several millennia had chiseled into Marcus’s personality, he was never cruel to me—a little frightening, perhaps, and sometimes frustratingly tight-lipped and other times shockingly blunt, but never cruel. My anxiety expanded, snaking out to my limbs and electrifying my muscles.

ECHO QUEEN Preview: Prologue

Echo Queen (Echo Trilogy, #2)

The Sequel to Echo Prophecy

PROLOGUE
The Delta, Egypt
c. 3500 BCE

“Quiet, girl,” Apep said. Sick of the young Nejerette’s whimpers, he lashed out with his arm, backhanding her across the face. She fell on the cavern floor in a heap of shapely limbs and bruised flesh. He grinned.

The young Nejerette was pretty enough now, in her pre-manifestation state, but he saw the potential for true beauty hidden beneath her thinning mask of humanity. There was just enough time left before she manifested completely . . . just enough time for her to conceive and bear his child and pass on her beauty to the first-ever offspring of a union between two Nejerets. Just enough time . . .

Apep sneered. She would make a decent enough mother to his new host body, but he cared less about how attractive that body might be and more about the power it was certain to contain. Finally, he would take one giant step closer to defeating Re, to being in control . . . to unmaking everything.

“Please,” the young Nejerette whispered. “No more.” She pulled her legs up in front of her, hugging them to her chest in a pathetic attempt to hide herself from him.

It was useless; he’d already seen all of her. He’d already done what needed to be done. If she wasn’t with child by now, it would be too late. He would have to dispose of her, as he’d done with his other failed attempts, and start over.

“Your depths of depravity never cease to amaze me,” a woman said from behind Apep, her voice oddly accented and laced with scorn.

He spun around, pulling an obsidian dagger from his woven leather belt.

The intruder, a striking Nejerette, stood in the mouth of the cavern. Behind her, the sky shone with silvery starlight, but not even the heavens could compete with her eyes. They were aglow with fire. With power. He could feel it writhing beneath her skin, seeking a way to expand out into the physical plane. He needed that power.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

OUT OF THE ASHES (The Ending Series, #3) is available!!!

Out Of The Ashes (The Ending Series, #3)

Where to buy: Amazon, Barnes & NobleKoboiBooks


Hope brought them together, but it's now fear that drives them...

...and threatens to tear them apart.


Zoe and her companions succeeded in rescuing Dani from the Colony. But not without sacrifice. Beaten and broken, they head west, determined to leave behind the torment and horrors they experienced in Colorado.

As Dani and Zoe make the perilous trek home to Bodega Bay, they learn that danger can take many forms--other survivors, their friends, even themselves--and that things are rarely what they seem. Zoe is desperate to become the woman she sees in others' memories, while Dani struggles to conceal damaging secrets, risking losing herself--her humanity--completely. Together, they must rediscover the true meaning of friendship, love, and trust, and learn just how hard they're willing to fight for what remains of their shattered world.

As relationships are put to the test, second chances are given, and new life emerges, death lurks in the most unlikely of places. To survive, Dani and Zoe must accept that sometimes hope alone isn't enough.


Where to buy: Amazon, Barnes & NobleKoboiBooks

Thursday, July 31, 2014

CHAPTER REVEAL: chapter 1 from Out Of The Ashes



NOTE: The book is still going through copy edits, so please pardon any errors. :)


Chapter 1
Jake
March 23, 1AE
Colorado Springs, Colorado


Body tense and heart racing, Jake scoured Zoe’s face for any inkling of recognition. He couldn’t allow himself to believe she had no memory of him or all they’d been through together. She’d admitted she loved him only hours earlier. Now, she was scared, casting furtive glances around the room at friends and family she clearly didn’t remember, including him.

In the dying moonlight seeping through the undressed windows, Jake watched her, desperation making it hard for him to breathe. Her eyes…he couldn’t tear his gaze away from her teal eyes.

Zoe studied the two women in front of her, taking in Chris and Dani before settling her gaze on her brother, Jason. Her wide eyes narrowed, and her chest heaved, like she was frantically trying to remember him. Her gaze lingered on him a moment longer without a hint of recognition, and then landed on Jake. He could see the confusion and fear warring within their depths, making his heart ache and his conscience cloud with an undeniable guilt.

He shouldn’t have left her alone on the golf course.

Her head tilted slightly as she considered him, and he prayed there was even the slightest nagging familiarity. Remember, he silently pleaded. But seeing no recognition of him—of them—reflected in her eyes, he knew the Zoe standing in the room, looking at him like he was a complete stranger, was only a shadow of the woman he’d fallen in love with.

His grip on the doorframe tightened so hard he thought the wood might detach from the wall. Zoe was terrified, and for the first time since he’d met her, there was nothing he could do to help her. He fought the instinct to go to her, knowing that if he did, he would frighten her more, and then he might lose her completely.

Unable to stand the tension any longer, Jake turned and strode out of the suffocating room. He couldn’t get away fast enough.

Cooper, his loyal-friend-through-it-all Husky, trailed behind him, panting and trotting to keep up as Jake made his way down the hall. He needed space…needed air. Continuing toward the kitchen, he hoped the fresh air beyond the sliding glass door would give him a clearer head. But regardless of how quickly he strode through the house, the image of Zoe’s fearful eyes remained, permanently projected in his mind, a constant reminder of his failure to protect her.

His hands fisted at his sides. He’d known something wasn’t right when Zoe said she felt strange outside of the Colony, and if he’d just stayed with her instead of leaving her side to help Harper, she might not have run off…she might still be her.

With a roar, Jake spun toward the wall. His fist met the hard, textured surface in unbridled anger. His knuckles cracked beneath his skin as they barreled through a layer of drywall, but he was unfazed. Bracing his hands against the wall, he tried to catch his breath…to stop his mind from spinning out of control.

Hearing Dani and Zoe’s muted voices in the bedroom down the hall, Jake turned away from the hole his fist had made and continued into the small kitchen, but stopped. With a heavy sigh, he leaned against the Formica countertop, not ready to go outside with the others. Not ready to answer questions.

Almost immediately, Jason came through the doorway behind him. In two steps he was at the counter, gripping the ledge, and in the dim light pouring in through the sliding glass door, Jake could see the hard set of his features.

“I can’t blame the Colony this time,” Jake said. “I knew something was wrong.” Zoe was infuriating and stubborn, but she wasn’t stupid; she wouldn’t have just run off for no reason. But without her memory, there was no way to know why she’d done it.

With a heavy sigh, Cooper lay down on the linoleum floor, his eyes angling up to Jake and then to Jason, ensuring that, even in their silence, they were still standing there.

After what felt like a few minutes, Jason grunted and shook his head. His shoulders were tense, and dark emotions clouded his vibrant blue eyes.

Jake couldn’t help but wonder if Gabe—his best friend turned traitor—was to blame. Despite their friendship as children, Gabe had brought soldiers into Jake’s home, ready to take his sister, Becca, away from him, and then he’d lured Dani into the Colony for the General. Had he been just as involved in what had happened to Zoe?

“What a fucking mess,” Jason said, shaking his head. “I guess I’ll just keep nulling her, at least until—”

The sound of footsteps approaching brought both men’s attention to the hall doorway. Chris spoke softly, Zoe’s hand resting in hers as they entered the kitchen, Dani and Jack, her German Shepherd, close behind them. Though Chris and Zoe were both grown women, the image of them walking hand-in-hand resembled that of a mother and child.

Jake’s eyes met Zoe’s as she passed him; hers were shrewd and penetrating. They were the same eyes that had affected him so intensely the first moment he saw her, their brilliance and expressiveness capturing his attention—his soul—in a way no other woman ever had, pulling him in so fully that she’d become his home. Regret and anger gnawed at him; he’d never told her any of that, and now she might never know how he felt.

Her eyes narrowed on him slightly. He could tell from the way Zoe walked—with less fortitude and more uncertainty—that she was a poorly made replica of his Zoe. But she was a version of her, nonetheless, and like always, the endless depths of her eyes housed her every emotion: embarrassment – curiosity – confusion. Jake was grateful she didn’t seem to be afraid, and he knew he had Chris’s Ability to curb Zoe’s unease with a single touch to thank for that.

Chris whispered something inaudible, and Zoe’s gaze shifted to the sliding glass door. They stepped through and outside, heading toward the rest of the group and the horses waiting in the early morning shadows, Dani’s dog traipsing after them.

Dani, however, hung back in the kitchen. She moved closer to Jason, her gaze darting between him and Jake. With her broken arm, swollen and bruised face, and hunched shoulders, she looked like she’d been the General’s punching bag while she’d been held captive in the Colony. The sidelong glance she gave Jake made his blood run cold.

“What is it?” he said.

“There was a letter,” she said tentatively, fingering the edge of the sling holding her left arm. “It’s from one of my Colony contacts. She brought Zo here after finding her in the golf course…with Clara.”

Jake stopped breathing. His anger drained from him, his stomach knotting with fear.

Clara.

He exhaled slowly and rubbed his hand over his face harsher than was necessary, fighting to maintain what semblance of composure he had left. Clara’d had it out for Zoe from the first moment they’d met. Back at Fort Knox, she’d poisoned Zoe in a desperate attempt to get rid of her, then attempted to kill them all in a barracks fire that had claimed several lives. And now she was here, in Colorado, trying to hurt Zoe again. White, hot rage and self-loathing scorched through him. He should’ve left Clara in the hospital where he’d found her, wandering and scared.

“She’s dead now,” Dani said, but Jake’s anger lessened only slightly.

“Dead,” he repeated hollowly. Clara might’ve been dead, but not before managing to strike one final blow.

Dani’s eyes met Jake’s for a brief moment before settling back onto Jason’s. “Did you tell them about the T-Rs and the memory wiping…?”

Jason nodded.

“It looks like that’s what happened to Zo…sort of. Clara started the process, got interrupted…at least now she’s dead.”

Jake studied Dani, finding it difficult to believe in Clara’s demise through hearsay. “How do you know for sure?” he asked.

Dani smiled weakly and shook her head, wisps of her curly, red hair escaping the braid it was gathered into. “My contact said so,” she said. “I trust her…at least with this.” She glanced between them once more, like she wasn’t quite sure of something. “There’s more, but we should probably get going.”

Jason reached for her, lacing his fingers with those of her good hand, and nodded. “We’ll figure the rest out on the way to Colorado Trails,” he said. “We’ve got to get moving or Ky and the others will think something’s happened to us.”

The sliding glass door opened and Becca stepped into the doorway. She glanced between Jason and Dani, and even though she still didn’t seem to believe that Jake was her brother, her eyes found and locked with his. “We should go,” she said, her voice raspy, as it had been since she was young. “I have had a vision. If we do not leave soon, the General will find us.”

“Shit,” Jason muttered, and Becca turned slowly and exited the kitchen, leaving the door open behind her.

Dani led Jason toward the sliding glass door. His imposing form dwarfing her petite, battered one. Part of Jake wished Zoe’s wounds were as straight forward as bruises and broken bones; those wounds would heal, what Clara had done to her might not.

Once again, Zoe was right in front of him, but as unreachable as though she were miles away; it infuriated him. While Clara’s first attempt to kill the only woman he’d ever loved had inevitably brought Zoe and Jake closer together, Clara’s final attempt might’ve succeeded in tearing them apart completely.

~~~~~

Keep an eye out for chapter 2, coming soon! Out Of The Ashes will be released on August 23.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

COVER & BLURB REVEAL: Out Of The Ashes


Hope brought them together, but it's now fear that drives them...
...and threatens to tear them apart.

Zoe and her companions succeeded in rescuing Dani from the Colony. But not without sacrifice. Beaten and broken, they head west, determined to leave behind the torment and horrors they experienced in Colorado.

As Dani and Zoe make the perilous trek home to Bodega Bay, they learn that danger can take many forms--other survivors, their friends, even themselves--and that things are rarely what they seem. Zoe is desperate to become the woman she sees in others' memories, while Dani struggles to conceal damaging secrets, risking losing herself--her humanity--completely. Together, they must rediscover the true meaning of friendship, love, and trust, and learn just how hard they're willing to fight for what remains of their shattered world.

As relationships are put to the test, second chances are given, and new life emerges, death lurks in the most unlikely of places. To survive, Dani and Zoe must accept that sometimes hope alone isn't enough.


OUT OF THE ASHES will be released on August 23, 2014.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Echo Queen: TEASER EXCERPT

Here's a teensy snippet from the middle of chapter 24 of Echo Queen. :)

Suddenly, his arms were around me, and I was sobbing, and I didn’t understand why. 
Set rubbed my back as I clung to him. “I am here, my daughter…I am here…”

*gasp*

I know. I'm so mean.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Echo Queen SNEAK PEEK: Opening Quote

Hey there, guys! So, as I've been passing through the final pre-beta reader round of revisions on Echo Queen (Echo Trilogy, #2), I've come across a few little snippets that I thought would be fun to share. Whether these little bits will make it to the final version is still up in the air, but sharing is caring, right? :D

The first sneak peek snippet is the "historical" quote at the beginning of the book.

For reference, here's the quote from the beginning of Echo Prophecy:

"Meswett, know yourself and you shall know the gods.
Meswett, trust yourself and you shall trust the gods.
So it ends, from start to finish,
as found in writing."

—taken from the Prophecy of Nuin, Old Kingdom, c. 2180 BCE


And...here's the (unedited) quote from the beginning of Echo Queen:

“…but know this, Heru:
however much time stands between us,
however much distance separates us,
I will find my way back to you.
I will return to you.”

—taken from the Hall of Lex, Nejeret Oasis, Old Kingdom, c. 2180 BCE


Interesting...very interesting...

Sunday, June 29, 2014

This is why I love my my readers SO MUCH... (...and Resonance is FREE!)

So...Resonance (Echo Trilogy, #1.5) came out a week ago, and the reviews you guys have been posting are blowing my mind. I love them all! Thank you so much!!!

Side note - Resonance is FREE right now! 
It'll be free until Thrusday, July 3, so make sure you snag a copy.

I wanted to share some of my favorite bits from the reviews, and you should totally follow the links back to the reviewers' blogs and share the love...and possibly find some other great books to read! :)

Alright, here are my favorite review snippets so far...

Lindsey Pogue:
I thoroughly enjoyed this novella. It has everything I enjoy reading in a story--a well thought out plot, intrigue, brooding characters, a strong female personality, and intricate world-building with equal parts research and imagination that I can only envy.

Diane's Book Blog:
Resonance is a cleaver and well done novella that made me anxious for the release of Echo Queen (Echo Trilogy, #2). I enjoy the couple’s relationship and cannot wait to continue their story.

Emily's Reviews:
This novella is interesting, has action, and brings us back into the world of living Egyptian gods. Fun, excitement and danger...good tease.

Jeanie Zelos Book Reviews:
It is brief...but really enjoyable and a way to bring my thinking back into the very different world Lindsey has created.

And this little bit is technically about Echo Prophecy, but I just couldn't help myself...
It’s been a while since I reviewed book one, and I’ve read hundreds of books since. Nevertheless, once I’d read my review to refresh my memory I soon remembered the story – its one that so unusual with the world setting, the marrying of Egyptian mythology to a sort of time travel adventure set in modern times.

Reality's A Bore:
I pretty much adore this entire AMAZING review, but here are a few of my favorite snippets...
For everyone else who loved Echo Prophecy and is eagerly awaiting the next installment, this is going to tide you over for a little while. A very little while.....oh who am I kidding?! It'll tide you over for like 5 seconds before it re-ignites your excitement and impatience for the second novel!

And this...
I still love Lex, I mean I can just really relate to her and she's such a realistic character you can connect with...I love how as soon as Marcus says something flirty or a bit ,wink wink, to her, she's goes from being all sassy to all flustered, it's adorable, and to be honest probably a reaction a lot of people would have. It's endearing and it makes you like her even more.

And this...
Marcus and Lex continue to have an interesting relationship with many different sides. I love how Lex stands up to Marcus and isn't afraid to call him on his bullshit, she's not a wilting flower or totally controlled by him...I just really love the fact we have a strong female lead, something you can never get enough of! And I love the dynamic between Lex and Marcus and watching as it progresses and changes.

And this...
With Resonance, not only do we get to check in on Lex and Marcus and find out a bit more about them, but we really get to see more of the world Lindsey has created, more specifically, we get a better understanding of how the world works. We find out in Resonance just what is possible in this new world, and the depth of what Lex is capable of, and it's got so many interesting possibilities it's made me more excited for book two!

And this is the last one, I swear!...
I just can't get enough of Egyptian mythology/Gods and time travel. I need more! This series continues to be mind blowingly unique with a wealth of rich mythology, that clearly hasn't all been explored. The possibilities for the next two books in the trilogy are endless and intriguing!


Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU! Feedback like this is what keeps me going. :)  All of you are so wonderful, and you just plain-old make me smile. I'm well and thoroughly blushing. :D

Oh, and one final reminder - Resonance is FREE now until Thursday (7/3). Happy reading, all!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

NEW RELEASE: Resonance (Echo Trilogy, #1.5)

Yippeeeee! I just released Resonance, the novella that takes place between Echo Prophecy (Echo Trilogy, #1) and Echo Queen (Echo Trilogy, #2), which is coming out in September. Woohoo!


BE WARNED, ALL YE WHO READ BEYOND THIS POINT...

This novella (and mildly, its description) contains spoilers from the novel, Echo Prophecy. I definitely recommended that you read Echo Prophecy first, though it's not required.
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*
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A week has passed since the confrontation with Set. Lex and Marcus have been biding their time in Florence, waiting for Set to make a move.

Just as they're settling in to their new life together, an act of vandalism on one of Marcus's most prized possessions reveals that their past--and future--is far more complex than they realized.
 
***as usual, this bad boy contains adult content ;)***

Guest Post by Lindsey Pogue (my co-author!): Writing Stories Is Like Eating Skittles, I Want To Taste The Rainbow

by Lindsey Pogue, Co-author of The Ending Series
Being a new-ish author, I feel like I’ve been treading water over the past few years, trying to navigate authorship-ism-ology to the best of my ability without drowning. There are plenty of things that are difficult about being an indie author, like marketing and book covers, editing and more marketing…If you want to produce high-quality work to the best of your ability, to get your work out there, gaining a loyal readership, then you’ve got to work hard at it. But that’s not necessarily the most difficult part of being an author.

Finding a niche is easy, for most people…
The most looming question of all is, which genre do I write for when I love reading them all? That might seem like an easy answer to some, but having a controversial series under my belt that’s gotten both rave and scathing reviews because it so delicately balances so many genres, has made me question where I stand as an author.

Other authors have told me to avidly read the genre I want to write so that it will make me a better writer, and so that I’ll understand what works well and all the key components to those types of stories. Well, I have seven bookshelves in my house chockfull of historical fiction, historical romance, contemporary romance, new adult, dystopian, science fiction, literary fiction, the list goes on. So, what do I do when my mind is a bottomless pit of possible story ideas that span the breadth of many genres? Yes, I’m fully aware this is a first-world problem, but it’s a problem for me nonetheless. I’m an author, I want to make my fans happy, just like all authors do.

YA? New Adult? Science-Fiction? Romance?
Until I actually started working on The Ending Series with my co-author and dear friend, Lindsey Fairleigh, I never saw myself writing science-fiction, let alone thought the first book I’d publish would ever be considered so; I never read science-fiction and had no interest in writing it. Obviously, things worked out much differently than expected.

Three years, three books, and six novellas later, LF and I are writing our fourth and final installment in our emotionally charged, post-apocalyptic world of The Ending. Perhaps it’s because of our series’s inability to “fit” in anywhere that I am so curious about my own personal writing future. People equally love and hate After The Ending. The feedback is all over the board—it’s too emotional for sci-fi, it’s too girly and the content too young to be adult fiction, but the themes are too adult for YA…see where I’m going with this?

So, that poses the question I keep asking myself, what will I write next? Where will it fit in? Do I care? Yes, I care, but I know I shouldn’t let that stop me.

Writing stories is like eating Skittles, I want to taste the rainbow.
I’ve been writing all my life, completing my first YA manuscript when I was in high school. I was so proud of myself, thinking, oh yeah, this is my niche for sure! I’m gonna be a writer! Woot! Woot! Yeah, well, then my genre of choice changed, and I went completely off the path and ended up writing science fiction—romancey, new adult sci-fi, but sci-fi all the same. I still want to write them all—the fantastical and gritty real life—and just thinking about the possibilities gets my gears turning and revved up for my next writing adventure. Let me tell you, when your book doesn’t fit nicely into a package, you open yourself up to harsher reviews from people who were expecting one book but got another, and when it’s not cookie cutter, your book is much more difficult to market.

But, over the past year or so, I’ve realized something: nothing is black and white. There are tons of authors out there who write historical fiction and paranormal romance, erotica and thrillers. While it generally works out best if a story easily fits into a genre as I mentioned above, that won’t always be the case. So why have I been trying to box myself in? As far as I can tell, there is no single choice to be made if I want to be myself, to write what I’m passionate about.

So folks, apparently finding a niche in the writing world isn’t as easy for me as it is for other authors. But then, I’ve decided to give myself a break. I need to do what feels right. I don’t have to choose one single genre. I can be diverse as long as I can accept the can of worms that comes with it. After all, diversity is what makes good writers, right?

As long as there’s some romance, please.
Assuming that twenty years from now I’ve written stories across many genres and I’m still going strong, there’s one thing I know they’ll all have in common. Romance. YES! Nothing makes me happier than creating new brooding characters or jokesters or hotshots with cocky grins, and some of our fans most beloved characters are those very ones. This gives me hope and a strange sense of security that no matter what I decide to do, if they loved The Ending Series, people will enjoy all that comes next from LF and I as well.

If you’re interested in reading After The Ending and forming your own opinion on the matter, you’re in luck! It's on sale for 99 cents over at Amazon!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Huge EBOOK SALE Tomorrow & A GIVEAWAY of (Post)Apocalyptic Proportions

I'm participating in two awesome Facebook events this weekend with a bunch of other awesome authors, and I just had tell you all about them. Because, really, they're that awesome. Yeah...that awesome. Alright, here they are:

Legends, Lovers, and Lives SALE!


Not only are all of these books going to be on sale tomorrow (Saturday, June 14), but there are already some fantastic giveaways on the Legends, Lovers, and Lives Facebook page, and the prizes include signed paperback copies of After The Ending and Into The Fire as well as the audiobook version of After The Ending! You can find out more about the books included here. Plus, LP will be there, LIVE, hanging out, answering questions, and chatting about books from 12-3 pm EST tomorrow.


And, here's the second. And holy mutated post-apocalyptic cow...it's HUGE.

Cruel Summer GIVEAWAY


The grand prize includes 40 ebooks from 17 of the hottest indie apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic authors! LP and I are so flattered to be included! :D And all you have to do to enter is "join" the Cruel Summer Giveaway on Facebook. That's it!

Here are the prizes:




And EVERY SINGLE PERSON who joins the Cruel Summer Giveaway will receive a free sampler pack of participating authors' books!


AND, on June 18th and 19th, LP and I will be hanging out at the Cruel Summer Giveaway Facebook page, chatting, answering questions, and talkin' books. Here's the schedule of when each author will be featured:


I hope to see you at both events! And as always...HAPPY READING! :D

Lex's Theme Song: ECHO QUEEN (Echo Trilogy, #2)

Effing awesome song...super creepy video. Maybe just minimize and listen if your wanting to get into Lex's head for book two. :)  I have it on repeat on iTunes while I write. Repeat x 1000. Obsessive? Who me? Nah...

written by Kate Bush, performed by Placebo


It doesn't hurt me.
You wanna feel how it feels?
You wanna know, know that it doesn't hurt me?
You wanna hear about the deal I'm making?
You be running up that hill
You and me be running up that hill

And if I only could,
Make a deal with God,
And get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
If I only could, oh...

You don't want to hurt me,
But see how deep the bullet lies.
Unaware that I'm tearing you asunder.
There is thunder in our hearts, baby.
So much hate for the ones we love?
Tell me, we both matter, don't we?

You, be running up that hill
You and me, be running up that hill
You and me won't be unhappy.

And if I only could,
Make a deal with God,
And get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building,
If I only could, oh...

'C'mon, baby, c'mon, c'mon, darling,
Let me steal this moment from you now.
C'mon, angel, c'mon, c'mon, darling,
Let's exchange the experience, oh...'

And if I only could,
Make a deal with God,
And get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems [x2]

'If I only could, be running up that hill.' [x7]