Samaire Provost's Frequently Asked Questions
When will your next book be released? I release at least two books a month, sometimes more. So if you wait, there will be a new book to read in less than two weeks. I release the ebook and paperback on the same day, so both will be available for purchase.
What are your pets’ names? I have two cats, Tyrion and Aladdin. I have two dogs: Aspen and Athena. The cats bring me comfort and make sure there’s plenty of cat hair on my clothes every day. The dogs bring me laughter and make sure life never gets dull. I will post pictures of them frequently on the PETS tab.
Which of your books is your favorite? My favorite book of my own is usually the one I am currently writing.
What is your favorite book of all time? My favorite book of all time is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, followed very closely by Good Omens, by Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
Do you ever do public appearances? Very seldom. I usually try to do two signings a year, in southern Virginia, but I hope to fit more in, in 2020. My days are filled with writing, and I have a very strict schedule, so if I take time off for a signing, it usually means writing ’til midnight to catch up.
How often do you write? I write every single day.
Where do you get your story ideas? There’s a little shop on a damp alleyway in Schenectady, NY. I visit once every other year, and in the basement I roll the bones at midnight to see what the brownie that appears has for me. It usually works, and he hands me a sheaf of papers full of ideas, bound in goatskin.
Are you always a wisecrack? Yes.
What are your influences? Several authors have been of great influence to me, including Neil Gaiman, Susan Cooper, Madeleine L’Engle, Walter Farley, and Stephen King.
About Samaire Provost
Samaire Provost grew up in a lot of different places, and now happily resides on the
East Coast of America, laboring away at writing stories every day. She is an animal lover with far too many pets, yet she still muses how she’d like to add even more. A lover of all things night and gothic, she also loves to read and reread her favorite books. Owned by a cat named Tyrion, she can be found haunting the shadows and mists that hang low over the hills of southern Virginia.
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Title: Say You Love Me (Eva Rae Thomas Mysteries #4)
Author: Willow Rose
Former FBI-profiler Eva Rae Thomas is back and embedded in a true nightmare reaching deep into her own family.
What would you do if your brother was accused of a horrible crime, and you were certain he didn’t do it?
Life is not done throwing Eva Rae Thomas curveballs.
A phone call turns her life upside down – once again. The call is from her father, the man she hasn’t seen in thirty-six years, not since he kidnapped her sister in a supermarket.
Now, he is back in Florida, and he needs her help. Her younger brother – who she didn’t know existed – has been arrested on Amelia Island. The boy is in a coma after being shot by an officer during the incident. But his father doesn’t believe the police, and he asks for Eva Rae’s help to prove it.
At the same time, a serial killer is planning one of the most horrific mass killings in history.
Will Eva Rae find it in her heart to help her father after what he did to her? Will facing him again set her free or pull her under?
SAY YOU LOVE ME is the fourth book in the Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Series and can be read as a standalone.
About Willow Rose
The Queen of Scream aka Willow Rose is a #1 Amazon Best-selling Author and an Amazon ALL-star Author of more than 60 novels.
She writes Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Horror, Supernatural thrillers, and Fantasy.
Willow's books are fast-paced, nail-biting pageturners with twists you won't see coming. Several of her books have reached the Kindle top 10 of ALL books in the US, UK, and Canada. She has sold more than three million books.
Willow lives on Florida's Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. When she is not writing or reading, you will find her surfing and watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
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Title: The Voodoo That You Do (Chateau Rouge #1)
Author: Jolie St. Amant
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Three love stories. One enchanting weekend in New Orleans.
The Chateau Rouge Hotel in New Orleans is rumored to be a haunted hotel. It hides secrets and stories within its walls, tales that lure guests from all over the world.
It seems this enchanting hotel is still up to its old tricks, igniting the flames of romance while subtly nudging reluctant lovers to fall into the hands of fate.
Will Josey’s love survive the test of time, despite being doomed from the start? Can Julien melt Hannah’s cold heart, allowing her to see that love is right in front of her? And will Chloe find the home and love she’s been looking for all her life?
Dream a Little Dream of Me
As a two hundred year old vampire in New Orleans, Josey has seen her share of stories. However, none are as tragic as her own. She falls in love with the same man only to have him die in her arms each time.
Afraid of history repeating itself, Josey decides to push him away. However, Archer won’t be easily deterred. He’s determined to pursue her, no matter the cost.
What if this time it’s different? Is there a chance for them to change their destiny? Or will this time destroy them all?
Hard Hearted Hannah
All work and no play, that’s how Hannah Montgomery likes her life. That is, until company photographer, Julien, accompanies her to New Orleans for a music festival. This dimpled Cajun with an easy smile and laid back attitude has the potential to be a complication to her well-organized existence.
Hannah tries everything to keep her distance from Julien, but seems to fail every time. It’s as if something--or someone--keeps pushing them together.
Is it the allure of the sultry South? The romance of the Crescent City? Or is the enchanting Chateau Rouge working its spell on these two lovers?
A Kiss to Build a Dream On
Chloe Devereaux arrives at the Chateau Rouge ready to leave her old life, and cheating husband, behind. The magic and mystery of the town captivates her, and soon sends her on an adventure leading her to former high school classmate, Jared Peterson.
Jared was crazy about Chloe in school. Her relationship with Chandler Montgomery had always kept her out of his reach. Now, seeing her in New Orleans and alone, Jared sees this as his chance at something his seventeen year old self had only imagined.
Chloe, finally experiencing the excitement of freedom, is not ready to jump into a relationship. Will Jared be able to convince her that love can be the most exhilarating feeling of all?
About Jolie St. Amant
Jolie St. Amant fell in love with all things New Orleans after reading Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. Now, a frequent visitor to the Crescent City, she can often be found getting inspiration from ghost tours, or sipping cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde.
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Title: All the Wrong Places
Author: Randi Perrin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
American-born, Australian-raised Rachel Kennedy was born to be an actress--all the way down to her drama queen ways. But when a bad day leaves her life and her dream in ruins, she's not sure what to do next. Her silver spoon-upbringing never prepared her for that.
With a bank account at nothing and an inability to pull off a convincing accent for casting directors, Rachel's about to give up on everything. Not on her best friend's watch. Lily is there to help her every step of the way--if the definition of help involves convincing her to take drastic measures, each one blowing up more than the one that came before.
Once Lily shoves Rachel into the let's-get-drunk-and-screw-a-stranger phase, she winds up tangled in the arms of Christian Whitmore, a cop with a sinful smile, sexy stubble, and impeccable timing. He's there to pick her up when she falls and to take her out for fish and chips at her favourite place.
But then again, so is his identical twin brother, Kevin. Double. Trouble.
Stuck at a major crossroads in her life, can Rachel ever find happiness again, or is she just looking in all the wrong places?
Introducing Rachel Kennedy: Today’s Community Theatre Actress, Tomorrow’s Star
I’m Lily May and I’m here with the hottest thing in this hemisphere, Ms. Rachel Kennedy. Let’s get to know our up-and-coming star with a little banter. She’s got excellent fashion sense, a hot car, and perfect pitch.
LM: Would you like to tell us who you are?
RK: You just told everybody who I am.
LM: *eye roll*
RK: *big, cheesy grin* I’m Rachel Kennedy.
LM: And you are…
RK: An actress.
LM: *sighs heavily* And American. You are American.
RK: *blushing* Yes, I’m American. Baseball is boring, though, and I don’t like apple pie.
LM: What brought you here to Aus?
RK: You know the answer to these questions.
LM: *sweeping gesture toward the audience* But they don’t. Talk to the people, Rach. Your people. Your audience.
RK: My dad is Australian, so after my mum died, he uprooted my entire life and decided to move back to his homeland.
LM: Have you always been an actress?
RK: Yes. My mum was an actress and I knew I wanted to be one too, follow in her shoes.
LM: Are her shoes as fancy as your five-inch Louboutins?
RK: We had more than enough money, but I don’t really remember her wearing designer shoes. She was more about flowers than shoes—we always had fresh flowers around. Those are my lucky audition shoes, don’t knock them.
LM: Knock them? Hell, I’d like to steal them.
RK: Stick your too-big foot in them and you’re dead.
LM: American, actress, hot—who is lucky enough to call themselves your best mate?
RK: *wraps an arm around LM’s neck* Why, that would be you. Duh.
LM: Do you see a conflict of interest in my being your best friend and conducting this interview?
RK: As if a conflict of interest has ever slowed you down before. I’ve seen you do way worse.
LM: You’ve been an accomplice to way worse.
RK: Shhhhh. Don’t go spilling my skeletons before I’m famous.
LM: Get ahead of them. Admit them. Go on, tell us what you do for a living. *nudges RK in the ribs*
RK: I’m a pole dancer, just like you, only I keep my knickers on.
LM: My knickers stay on, thank you very much. Everything else, well, that all depends on how big the notes are.
RK: Let’s get this straight right now, before she keeps going. I teach pole aerobics at the gym. Lily’s the stripper. Not me. I will not take off my clothes for money, no matter how desperate I get.
LM: You’ve clearly never been desperate enough.
RK: Let’s keep it that way. Desperation, like the color orange, doesn’t look good on me.
LM: Orange? There are a whole lot of colors that don’t go with that fiery, red hair.
RK: *checks the time on her phone* Can we wrap this up?
LM: Do you have somewhere more pressing to be?
RK: No, not really, but you’re boring me.
LM: Okay, okay … lightning round. What’s your dream role?
LM: Who is your girl crush?
RK: You, of course.
LM: Boy crush?
RK: My boyfriend, Mark. Right?
LM: You keep telling yourself that. He’s a douche.
RK: I love it when you have my back like that.
LM: Someday you’ll come crying to me and I’m just going to say, “I told you so.”
RK: Never. Not gonna happen. No need. We’re perfectly happy together.
LM: There you have it folks, a truly shallow interview with our next musical theatre superstar, the ever sweet and quite delusional, Rachel Kennedy. She is going places, you guys, so be sure to catch her at the community theatre here in Brisbane while you still can, before she leaves us to return to her birthplace to take her rightful place on Broadway. Goodnight folks!
Want to know all of Rachel’s story? Did Mark finally get his head screwed on straight and propose? Did she ever become desperate enough to strip? Pick up a copy of All the Wrong Places, out now at your favourite online retailer
About Randi Perrin
English may be Randi’s first language, but she’s the most fluent in sarcasm, and it shows in her writing. She is known for creating snarky, realistic characters—badass heroines who can hold their own and flawed, yet lovable heroes. Like Randi, her characters run on caffeine and swear words.
Her characters are often built around dichotomy, much like Randi herself. Although she is the least romantic person in the world, she writes romance. She also refuses to pick a lane on the romance highway, sometimes writing contemporary, other times paranormal, but always smokin’ hot.
She is the author of the Earthbound Angels paranormal romance series, several contemporary romance novellas including Anticipating Temptation and Mi Amor, and a gay romance novella entitled Wreck You. She has also had several short stories published in anthologies. Her next full-length novel, a romantic comedy entitled All the Wrong Places, will be out in Summer 2019.
Title: Tasting the Apple (The Bootleggers' Chronicles #2)
Author: Sherilyn Decter
Genre: Historical Fiction
A young widow on the edge. A policeman back from the dead. Together, can they take down the city’s most notorious bootlegger?
Philadelphia, 1925. With a son to raise and boarders to feed, Maggie Barnes is at her wit’s end. But when a criminal element infiltrates the police force, the single mother puts her cares aside to help. As she tries to dig up dirt on bootlegger mastermind Mickey Duffey, Maggie realizes she can’t take on the case alone…
Inspector Frank Geyer used to patrol the streets of Philadelphia before Maggie was born. As he attempts to clean up crime from beyond the grave, the spirit uses his Victorian sensibilities to fight back against lawbreakers. But with corruption throughout the police force, can the phantom informant save his city and Maggie’s livelihood?
With the roof leaking and the lawlessness spiraling, Maggie and Frank have one chance to take down a criminal and prevent the unthinkable…
Excerpt from Tasting the Apple
©2019 Sherilyn Decter
The handsome Russian lieutenant gazes down at the helpless woman supine before him. She trembles. His eyes smolder with desire. He is tall, dark, brooding. His Cossack uniform, ripped from his muscled body, lies scattered on the carpeted floor of the Czarina’s palace bedroom. She doesn’t struggle, caught by his magnetic eyes. He lowers his head, her lips part…
“Oh, Rudy,” Edith says. She breathes his name.
“Shh,” Maggie says.
“Oh, shh yourself.” Edith never takes her eyes off the screen until ‘The End’ flashes, and the theater lights come on. The Eagle is Rudolph Valentino’s latest silent movie to hit the theaters. The lineup to get tickets had been around the block.
“Oh, isn’t he just the dreamiest?” Maggie is standing, eyes shut. Raising a languid hand to her forehead, she pretends to swoon.
“Oh, you goof. Come on, let’s go grab a coffee before I run you home.” Edith slips into her fur coat, then links arms with Maggie.
Leaving the movie theater, adjusting to the afternoon light—despite the gathering clouds—the two women are a study in contrast. Edith Duffy, a tall, sleek beauty in her early thirties, has that pampered languidness that wealthy women often get. Her movie companion, Maggie Barnes, a few years younger, is not quite so well-turned out: a cloth coat to Edith’s fur; sensible shoes rather than satin pumps; a plain brown knit hat compared to Edith’s saucy garnet number that sports a jaunty feather.
Maggie is solid; some would say dependable. She’d cringe at that; aspires to something more glamorous. Where Maggie is steady, Edith is flamboyant. Where Maggie is cautious, Edith is devil-maycare. Where Maggie carefully counts out her pennies to pay for the movie, Edith throws a tenner onto
the counter, picking up the tab. Maggie looks forward to the day when she’ll be able to treat Edith. There’s a running tally in her head, keeping track of the obligation.
About Sherilyn Decter
The Roaring Twenties and Prohibition were a fantasy land, coming right after the horrors and social upheaval of World War I. Even a century later, it all seems so exotic.
Women got the vote, started working outside the home, and (horrors!) smoked and drank in public places. They even went on unchaperoned dates (gasp)! Corsets were thrown into the back of the closets, and shoes were discovered to be an addictive fashion accessory after hemlines started to rise. And thanks to Prohibition, suddenly it was fashionable to break the law. The music was made in America- ragtime, delta blues, and of course jazz. Cocktails were created to hide the taste of the bathtub gin. Flappers were dancing, beads and fringes flying. Fedoras were tipped. And everyone was riding around in automobiles (aka struggle buggies and I leave it to your imagination why- wink.)
Bootleggers’ Chronicles grew out of that fascination. Writing as Sherilyn Decter, I will eventually have a series of historical crime fiction novels dealing with the bootleggers, gangsters, flappers, and general lawlessness that defined Prohibition. The Bootlegger blog rose out of all the research that I’ve been doing about this incredible era.
Growing up on the prairies and living next to the ocean, I am a creature of endless horizons. Writing allows me to discover what’s just over the next one. My husband and I have three amazing daughters, a spoiled grandson, and two bad dogs.
Sherilyn Decter is enthralled with the flashing flappers and dangerous bootleggers from the Roaring Twenties and Prohibition. Through meticulous research, that lawless era is brought to life. Living in a century-old house, maybe the creaking pipes whisper stories in her ear.
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Title: Lost Horizon (Oz in Space #1)
Author: Michelle Hercules
Genre: Young Adult, SciFi Romance
A magical planet torn apart by war. A defiant space pilot cadet determined to save the ones she loves. The adventure of a lifetime.
Oz like you have never seen before.
Space Academy prodigy Dorothy Hanson doesn’t have time for love nonsense. She has one goal, complete the mission her parents started before their untimely death.
When a cosmic disturbance hits the Kansas Space Station, Dorothy seizes that opportunity to go on her first space voyage. She didn’t expect to be sucked into a vortex nor land on a strange planet ravaged by war.
Stranded, she must embark on a perilous mission to the Land of Oz, the only nation that possesses the technology to send her home. Three strangers join Dorothy in her quest, all carrying reasons of their own for reaching Emerald City. A man without memories marked with a strange symbol on his face. A cyborg with a chip on his shoulder and a mysterious past. And a scarred hellioncat plagued by nightmares in the dark.
Dorothy doesn’t know if she can trust them, but as their journey progresses, their bond becomes stronger and Dorothy's feelings evolve from suspicion to caring too much. Torn between contradicting emotions, she must find the strength to fight the evil forces that stack up against them along the way. Surviving the trip on the yellow road is priority number one, but can she survive losing her heart?
About Michelle Hercules
USA Today bestselling author Michelle Hercules always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would write a novel. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first book, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born.
Michelle Hercules resides in The Netherlands with her husband and daughter. She is currently working on the Legends of Gattica series.
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Excerpt from A Phoenix is Forever
©2019 Ashlyn Chase
Instead of going straight home, Luca parked nearby and started to walk off his hurt and frustration. He wasn’t in the best part of town, but he didn’t care. He wasn’t in the best mood either. How the heck had he gotten to this point in his life? Up until a short while ago, he had been hopeful about his future. Now, he wasn’t so sure. Still wearing his police uniform, he stuffed his hands in his jacket pockets and walked aimlessly with his head down.
Half an hour later, nearing the fountain of the Christian Science Center, a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, he barely noticed the regal elegance of the domed structure overlooking the calm reflecting pool. But in the quiet of the early morning, his ears perked up in sudden alert when he heard a woman’s strained gasp.
He glanced up and saw a young woman standing near the fountain. She was about five six with short, spiky brown hair, wearing a black leather jacket. Neck tattoos and a lot of piercings gave her a bad-girl vibe, but what was even odder was that she was staring right at him, wide-eyed. Then she passed out.
“Shit,” he muttered and ran over—faster than a human could. Worried she could wind up with a concussion, he cradled her head before she hit the pavement. He shook her shoulder and shouted, “Hey! Are you all right?”
Eventually, she opened her eyes. Big gray-green eyes. Unusual. Supporting her back, he helped her sit up.
“What’s the matter?” He was tempted to ask if she’d ever seen a cop before, but that was because he was in a crappy mood. Sarcasm aside, he was trained not to assume what was going on in a person’s brain. Asking open-ended questions would gain more information.
“I…saw blood.” She paused and closed those big green eyes again, taking a deep breath. “I always faint at the sight of blood.”
“What do you mean? You saw an accident or someone get hurt?” Luca gentled his voice in concern. Perhaps she’d witnessed a murder and had a delayed reaction.
She shook her head and reached out to grasp his hand. “Look, this may sound crazy,” she said, “but I’m a psychic. I saw you walking this way, and I got a dreadful feeling. Did something just happen to you? I see auras and have premonitions. Your aura is just…well, terrible. Then I had a vision. I saw you covered in blood.”
Blood? Luca helped her to stand. He believed in psychics—the genuine kind. After all, he was a shapeshifter, and he came from a family of shifters. But there were a lot of charlatans out there.
Given where his head was at after just being dumped by Lisa, he could only imagine what kind of energy he was giving off, let alone his aura…but blood? This chick could just be some wacko.
He folded his arms. “Do you want money to tell me more?”
“No! I’m not like that. I help people. Maybe the accident I just saw is something you can prevent from happening.”
He cocked his head. “You saw an accident? Where?”
“On a side street. It looked like an older part of town. They were just kids. Maybe sixteen or seventeen at the most. It looked like they were drag racing. A little kid rode his bike into the street and he was struck by one of the cars.”
“What does that have to do with me?”
“I don’t know. Sometimes I see through other people’s eyes. I think I was looking through yours.”
Luca wanted to stay openminded in case she was the real deal.
“Some more weird energy is clinging to you,” she went on, her expression seeming earnest. “I think it has to do with other people in your life. Your aura is red. Angry. But it feels justified—and not just that. I-I feel as if someone is out to get you.”
Who could be out to get him? Was it just his fellow cops, taking advantage of the rookie? Doubtful. That was just for their own chuckles and part of the usual hazing. Something all newbies went through.
No, his dark mood was due to getting dumped. Lisa had acted strange that morning, but he didn’t see her as a danger. Did she have someone else already, and maybe that someone considered him a threat?
He was still mulling over the possibilities when the spiky-haired girl pulled out a card and wrote her name and number on the back.
“I’m sorry if you think I’m trying to take advantage of you. I’m not. Knowing that cops are usually close-minded about psychics, I wouldn’t have even bothered, except I think you’re in danger. And those kids certainly are.”
Glancing at the card, he saw the name she’d written. Dawn Forest. He flipped the card over. It read ScholarTech: Academic Software for Brilliant Minds.
“Is that your real name?”
“Yeah. If I were going to come up with a fake name, it would be better than that.”
“You mean something exotic, like Zelda the Magnificent?”
She laughed. “No. Something like Susan Jones. I don’t think my mom realized how many times people would ask me if my name was fake or if my middle name was ‘inthe.’”
“So you work at this software company?” He wondered why someone who looked like her, with her tats and piercings, would be working for a company that created academic software.
“Yes, I just started there last month. Someday, I’ll get my own business cards instead of the generic ones.”
“Your look doesn’t exactly scream ‘corporate head office.’”
“Well, your assumption is outdated,” she retorted, hands firmly on her hips. “I have a college degree and was top in my class. Not to mention, I’m the only person at ScholarTech, including the engineers, who can recite the entire software manual by heart.”
“Wow. And you’ve only been there a month? How did you learn everything in so short a time?”
“I have a photographic memory.”
“You’re a psychic and you have a photographic memory? Shouldn’t you be raking in the big bucks on Wall Street?” Luca flashed her his trademark grin. It usually got him out of hot water. She smiled back and visibly relaxed.
He took a good look at her, past the tats and piercings and spiky hair, and noticed how pretty she was. Her nose was slightly turned up and covered with cute freckles. The tiny diamond stud in her left nostril almost got lost among them. Her hair made her look like a pixie. Maybe the badass tattoos and piercings were a way to counteract all that cuteness and be taken seriously.
“So do you do anything with your psychic talent, professionally?”
“Like working at a tea room? Or doing parties? No.”
“Anything other than stopping strangers on the street?”
She looked at her feet and kicked at the pavement with the end of her leather-booted toe. “Sometimes. If friends ask me for help, I do what I can for them.”
There was something about her body language that had him questioning that statement.
He tucked her business card into his jacket pocket. “It was nice to meet you, Dawn Forest. I should be getting home though. I worked the night shift, and I need to get some sleep.”
“Okay. Watch your back,” she said and returned to her spot by the fountain to retrieve her backpack.
About Ashlyn Chase
Award winning author, Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. With a degree in behavioral sciences, she mainly worked as a psychiatric nurse and Red Cross RN. She’s happily married to her true-life hero husband who looks like Hugh Jackman if you squint.
Connect with Ashlyn online
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Title: Aries 181
Author: Tiana Warner
Genre: LGBTQ+, Science Fiction
A crime spree to steal aerospace technology. An intern with the brains to stop it.
When Jess uncovers evidence that her boss is stealing technology to build his company, her coveted internship at Aries turns from dream job to catastrophe. Worse, her boss cons another young woman into becoming his accomplice, and the duo’s chemically enhanced skills and weapons help them become the most infamous supercriminals to sweep the tech world. Before they pilfer every aerospace lab in North America, Jess must use her ingenuity to stop them—risking her career, her relationships, and maybe even her life.
Excerpt from Aries 181
©2019 Tiana Warner
A dead engineer was an inconvenient way to start the week.
From the passenger’s seat of his Bentley, Tony used his phone to post a new job opening.
“Get her car out of the parking lot. Torch it so it looks like tragedy struck on her way in.”
“Yes, sir,” said Reah, weaving through traffic as she took him to the Aries office.
Accidents were uncommon in the research lab. The work involved too much time behind a computer for that. But when the occasional ‘whoops’ did happen, it was an annoyance. Covering them up was a pain. Finding a willing and qualified replacement was worse.
“Warehouse,” said Scott when Tony entered the lab to check the damage. “She was modifying the propellant.”
Tony stifled a curse. Of course it was the propellant—the substance too stubborn to realize its own potential.
He and Scott crossed the lab with its white lights reflecting off white tiles, white walls, white tables, and white lab coats. The five other engineers kept working, unease leaking from their pores like sweat. With only seven of Tony’s two hundred employees cleared for the lab, the hole left by their dead colleague was more of a chasm.
Tony was unruffled. Their non-disclosure agreements were thorough enough for a situation like this.
“What’s the damage?”
“She, uh—she was completely burnt, Doctor Ries.”
That much was obvious. Scott’s fluorescent-pale skin and lab coat were smudged, leaving a goggle-shaped clear spot around his eyes. Holes split the toes of his shoes, revealing socks with hamburgers printed on them.
“Was anything else destroyed?”
An empire of technology filled the warehouse. These were his top achievements, past and future. No accident, no matter how messy, could quash the pride he felt every time he entered it.
He flung open the double doors. The stench of burnt metal and hair tickled his gag reflex.
“Minor damage to the surrounding area,” said Scott, dabbing his sweaty brow with a singed sleeve. “No property was ruined.”
It took a moment to blink the warehouse into focus. Dim, cold, and vast, the place could have passed for a storage facility. Walkways snaked between mounds of technology.
An early prototype of the Aries satellites—what the world came to know as the Aries 180 fleet—stole Tony’s attention as he entered. The size of a bald eagle and mounted on a podium, it was the one now-useless technology he refused to incinerate. He caressed it as they passed.
Yet, despite all that filled the floor, the place was a cold vacuum, a void. Like the invisible substance called dark matter, every space in the warehouse represented an irksome gap in knowledge. Empty corners, walkways, every molecule of dead air held promise. As creator of the Aries universe, Tony intended to use any means necessary to fill those gaps.
Tony’s watch vibrated. He looked at it to find a text.
Reah: Need your clearance to get her purse. Locker 4.
He replied, 5 mins, and quickened his step.
The temperature rose as he and Scott drew deeper into the warehouse. A drone whirred overhead, taking photos at intervals. More drones hovered beneath the three-story ceiling, LED lights marking their presence. He would have to review the surveillance images later to see what happened. He might enjoy popcorn with it.
They stopped at the explosion site. The concrete floor rippled, like it had melted and hardened again. Every adjacent surface was dented and singed. Five dry chemical fire extinguishers lay nearby. Most intriguingly, a black, body-shaped imprint traced the floor like a shadow, a dusting of ash in its center.
Tony scattered the ash with his toe. “Looks like this place was pretty lit.”
Scott cast him a sideways glance.
The culprit was the twelve-foot vat towering beside the scene of the accident. Smoke wisped from the top, Tony’s hopes and plans disappearing with it into the black ceiling. The heat wrapped around him like a wool blanket.
“So the propellant isn’t going well,” said Tony, like a challenge.
“It just reacted badly,” said Scott. “I’m confident we’ll get it in time.”
“Hm.” Don’t placate me, Scotty. What churned inside that vat represented tens of millions of dollars.
Sure, every aerospace company had rocket propellant, but no one had this. This was his next opportunity for international success—his next Aries 180 fleet, so to speak. If only the damn stuff would stop failing him. The setback choked his sense of control like a vice around his throat.
His father had told him there was no point in going into business unless you were going to be the best. Rather, the advice had been something like, “You wanna run a business, you gotta do whatever it takes to get on top. Might as well quit and be a shit-scraper if you’re gonna be a pussy about it.”
Tony held that wisdom close. Using methods no one else was brave enough to try, he was on his way to upgrading Aries from a humble Canadian startup to the world’s most cutting-edge aerospace company.
His watch vibrated.
Steve: Korean Space Agency wants you to join the call.
Korea would have to wait. He was already late for an appointment with the bank.
“What are you going to do to fix it?” he said to Scott.
“We’re, uh, looking into it.”
“I hired all of you because you’re the smartest engineers in the world. You’re telling me you don’t know?”
Scott hesitated. Tony hated hesitation.
“There are other engineers who might know more about high-energy liquid tetrapropellant, Doctor Ries.”
“I’ve scoured universities. I’ve head-hunted in the Silicon Valley. They’re too—” Tony waved a hand. “They’re not ready for the scope of the job.”
Scott didn’t need to know how many applicants failed the psychological evaluation. A PhD and a 150 IQ meant squat when the candidate couldn’t pass a basic obedience experiment.
Tony’s watch buzzed again. He ignored it.
If he wanted this propellant, he would have to get his engineers something to work from. Sometimes, they needed a push. Call it inspiration, or pieces of the aerospace puzzle.
This was a gap in the matter that made up his universe. It needed to be filled.
“Give me a week. I’ll get you the data.”
Global Nanosats was making headway in liquid propulsion. They could be of use.
He pulled out his phone to check his calendar. An email notification appeared, reminding him of a development meeting in twenty minutes. He swiped it away.
Stress tickled the base of his brain. He would have to make time to get that data between his other appointments, or cancel a few. This was more important.
He’d known for a while that he was overexerting himself. His universe was expanding faster than he could manage. If he wasn’t careful there would be a stellar collision. He couldn’t keep filling these voids alone.
He needed someone to help him get this information—someone smart, fearless, and malleable. He needed a personal assistant.
About Tiana Warner
Tiana Warner is the best selling author of the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy. Her books have been acclaimed by Writer's Digest, Foreword Reviews, and the Dante Rossetti Awards. She holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. Tiana enjoys riding her horse, Bailey, and is an active supporter of animal welfare.
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Inferno was such a satisfying conclusion to The Fourth Talisman series. I'm not entirely sure how she managed it, but Kat Ross wrapped up the loose ends (not always into pretty little bows - but they were wrapped up) and still managed to leave the world open for rediscovery - and I'm hoping she does takes me back there again someday.
The war is on - the world vs the Vatras. Meb was amazing and powerful and somehow still just a kid doing what needed to be done, but she stole the show here. One of the things I loved best was seeing that while she was the most powerful of her kind, she wasn't all-powerful and the shock and violence of everything really seemed to hit her.
Nazarareen needs to learn to fight another way. After her trip to the Dominion and coming back feeling a bit helpless, she struggles to find her place in the battle. Darius is there for here - he was the only character in the whole series that seemed a little too perfect at times. He always seemed to do the right thing.
The ending gave me a nice glimpse into the far future of their lives as well. Seeing how they begin to live out the rest of their days always makes these epic series stick with me a little bit longer. If you haven't read any of the books from Kat Ross - I highly encourage you to go do so now! I will be picking up The Fourth Element and The Dominion series so I can see what happened before the grand adventure of The Fourth Talisman.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
About Kat Ross
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She's the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. For more information about Kat's books, come visit her at katrossbooks.com.
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Ten Reasons Why I Have a Total Love-Hate Relationship With My Abilities
by Maité Martinez
I LOVE BEING A HALFER.
I HATE BEING A HALFER.
Title: Off Planet (Aunare Chronicles #1)
Author: Aileen Erin
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
From USA Today Bestselling Author Aileen Erin
Maite Martinez has always yearned for more than waitressing in a greasy diner on the polluted ruins of planet Earth. Hiding her special abilities is a full-time job on its own, even with the government distracted by the mysterious alien race – the Aunare.
When a SpaceTech officer gets handsy with her, she reacts without thinking. Breaking his nose might not have been her smartest move. Now she’s faced with a choice: serious jail time working in a chain gang on a volcano planet or join the corporate army to fight against the impending war with the Aunare. It’s really no choice at all.
As with everything in her life, Maite quickly realizes that the war with the Aurnare isn’t what it seems. And Lorne, the Aunare prince, keeps popping up everywhere she goes. Being seen with him could get her in even deeper trouble with her commanders, but he’s the first person who sees through the wall she’s built around herself and she can’t bring herself to send him away.
When the situation between SpaceTech and the Aunare escalates, Maite has a way to end the war before it even begins. There’s only one question: Can she stop the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?
About Aileen Erin
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.
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