Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Siren - Tiffany Reisz

The Siren - Tiffany Reisz

About the book:
The Siren is a modern-day retelling of My Fair Lady with uptight English literary fiction editor Zachary Easton as an unwilling Professor Higgins and well-known wild child Nora Sutherlin as his erotica-writing Eliza Doolittle. Zach only has six weeks left at Royal House New York before he heads to Los Angeles to take over as Chief Managing Editor at Royal West. When his boss orders him to help Nora Sutherlin rewrite her latest novel, Zach agrees to work with her only if he is given complete control over the fate of her book. If Nora doesn’t rewrite it to his satisfaction in six weeks, Royal won’t publish it.


My Review:
I will admit this is a book that captivated my attention just from seeing a small snippet of what it contained, so i count my blessings that i got to read this before it's due release day. I found that i was captivated and taken along with the story-line, although not always comfortable with what i was reading, the book still managed to enchant and delight me.  I loved the story-line along with the characters that is what made the book the read it is, with the ever growing and changing Zach you never quite knew what side of him you were going to meet next. This always left you hoping for one side yet getting a reaction you never thought you would see, although unexpected the reaction and his character worked well. I especially loved the sparring between him and Nora, they really do make a great pair. Nora is a loveable tease, yet still manages the poise and whit of any lady when she needs to. With her shady behind the scenes job that deep down she hates doing, she brings laughs and tears as you read through her story. I must say i did really enjoy this book, even if it did have me thinking and feeling emotions that i never thought a book could do. All credit to the author and i can't wait to see where she is going to go next and what world she is going to drag us kicking and screaming into, yet strangely enough we never want to leave. This book i would recommend to people who like reading the erotica genre, yet it does have a lot of lessons to be learned for others outside of that reading area. 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Company of the Dead - Marissa Farrar

The Company of the Dead - Marissa Farrar 

About the book:
A teenage girl living with a horrific birthmark down one side of her face discovers the cure may be worse than the affliction in ‘Stained’. 

A team of men digging the channel tunnel hit a coffin-like box buried deep under the ocean. Will opening it unleash the end of mankind? ‘The Tunnel’. 

A drug addict wakes to find herself trapped in a room of her worst nightmare, in ‘The Tortured Room’. 

A young girl suffering abuse at the hands of her father find solace in a porcelain doll, but the doll is out for revenge, in ‘Adeline’.

A woman suffering the loss of her husband in a car accident discovers her reality isn’t all it seems in ‘The Sickness of Grief’.

A hitchhiker gets the lift from hell in ‘Thumbing it.’

Six short stories of horror; ghosts, vampires and demonic dolls.


My Review:
This book is a collection of short stories that capture your interest with each on that you read. There is a little for everyone no matter what tastes you have and i found that not only were the stories well written and the characters well defined, in places they  were heart warming and thought provoking. The car accident story was especially emotional to read leaving you feeling everything that the characters felt when it came to loss and acceptance. Although i loved reading all the stories this is the one that i really connected with. All cresit to the author for bringing us this really great selection of shorts that i am sure everyone will love to read whether they are an avid reader or just want something to pass a few minutes in a day, with this book you can really do that. I know that after reading this i will definitely be heading out to find more books by Marissa to read, and i urge you to check out this little gem and just give it a quick read.  

Friday, 11 May 2012

The Witching Pen - Dianna Hardy

The Witching Pen - Dianna Hardy 

About the book:
(Book One of The Witching Pen Novellas) 

It's hard being the most powerful witch on the planet. It's even harder when you're a twenty-five year old virgin who'll lose all of that power the moment you sleep with someone ... that's why Elena's never slept with her best friend and flatmate, Karl, despite the true feelings they harbour for each other.

Elena's about to discover that there are even more difficult things in life to deal with. One of them comes in the form of a pen she discovers one day, a pen that allows anything she writes to come to pass...

Suddenly, it's not just her powers or her heart that's at stake, but her very soul, as a dream demon with a seductive pull uses the pen to try and turn her away from her reality, and from Karl.

But the pen is just the beginning. Everything Elena has believed in is a lie, and her world is about to fall apart...


My Review:
Picking up this the first book in the series, i found that i was consumed within it's pages from the very start. Elena as a character makes you want to keep reading you need to find out where she is going to go, what she is going to discover as there always seems to be skeletons in her closet. It's just you find out she is not the one hiding them, with very different relationships that she has between the other characters showing a whole range of emotions that are well written and realistic. She has flaws oh boy does she have flaws but this only adds to the story and what a story it is. She has to deal with coming to terms with the fact that she has been lied to and has missed out on a lot of life she never thought she could have, she faces soul searching decisions and life changing confessions. The story-line is gripping and full of action with the characters really making everything work so well. The depth and detail that the author go into in order to really ring you into Elena's world is amazing, she leaves only enough to the imagination for you to be able to picture every scene and emotion to it's full potential. I only gave this a 4/5 due to the fact that i just wanted that little bit more, not in a bad way i just  felt like i wanted to know more, feel more and learn more both in the background and with the characters. But by no means does this detract away from the amazing story that has been weaved by the author. For anyone out there wanting something to read that will captivate and draw them in, go and grab a copy of this book. I know i will be heading on the the next in the series and can't wait to find out what else the author has in store not only for the characters but for the readers. 

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Afterlife - Willow Cross

Afterlife - Willow Cross

About the book:
Two hundred years before the battle of the fortress, a young man named William Townsend had to die. 

William had big plans. He would become a valiant soldier, fall in love, have a family, and die. In fact, he was certain it would happen in that exact order. But fate is a fickle taskmaster and things almost never go as planned. And sometimes, just sometimes, your true destiny will greet you after life


My Review:
This is a great short story set before the first book Birthright, and i must say i really enjoyed this novella. Novella's like this are  great read as we manage to get an even more in depth look at some of our favourite characters and their lives before the books even started. We learn more about the background of the characters, and in this novella we learn so much more about William and how he came to be a ghost, and his bond with Angie. This is a great read whether you read it before you have read Birthright and Inheritance or at any point with in your reading. I would recommend you pick up this quick read and find out more about the characters. 

Haunted - Willow Cross

Haunted - Willow Cross

About the book:
Have you ever heard something go bump in the night and wonder if someone was there? Only to go looking for the cause of the noise and find nothing at all. Or how about unexplainably feeling like you’re being watched when you’re completely alone? Things disappearing for no reason or strange ghostly footsteps in the hall? This book is a collage of short stories about a few of the otherworldly experiences I’ve had. Although they are not movie worthy, you may find them interesting. All the stories are %100 true. Nothing has been added for dramatic effect.


My Review:
This is a short novella covering a personal telling of "things that go bump in the night". I must admit i really loved reading these accounts of strange and creepy happens that the author has been fortunate/unfortunate to encounter. The book is an easy and compelling read, sometimes giving you shivers. But the accounts are told so well that you can not help to want to continue to read, and this is not a long read so is ideal for those odd hours where you need something to fill a gap. I enjoyed hearing everything the author has to say and it was a bonus that the accounts were so well written that you really felt as though you could have been there. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a quick read or that just wants to find out about some of the authors personal experiences with supernatural occurrences. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Haunted Moon - Kymberlee Burks-Miller

Haunted Moon - Kymberlee Burks-Miller

About the book:
Before Lilyann stepped into her destiny to lead the coven, there was another powerful Moon witch...her grandmother. A teenage witch in Galway, Ireland, Leeny Moon was prepared to take her rightful place in the circle along side of her kin. Until, she witnessed firsthand the forthcoming nightmares she would be expected to face.

The fight between good versus begins here...


My Review:
This is a short novella based around the life of Leeny Moon as she was growing into her powers as a Moon witch. This is a great short that gives the reader an incite into the life of Leeny before we meet her in the full length book Compulsion. I found that this is a great addition to the series that not only expands and explains a little more of the back story behind compulsion, but also gives you great incite into the life of Leeny. I loved learning all about her and where she came from, learning form her elders as she grew up and was initiated into the Moon coven, killing her first vampire and all the emotional turmoil that came with learning how to be a true coven witch and learning her responsibilities. I feel everyone should read this whether they have read Compulsion yet or not, you won't want to put it down and i guarantee that if you have not yet read compulsion you will want to.  

More than Magic Semester Aboard - Elizabeth Kirke

More than magic semester aboard - Elizabeth Kirke

About the book:
Jen is looking forward to spending an entire summer studying abroad on a cruise ship and she knows the experience will change her life. Then she sees something she wasn't supposed to see, something she can't explain. Jen finds herself thrust into a world she never knew existed and her life will change more than she imagined. That is, if she can survive the dangers lurking on the ship.


My Review:
I was lucky enough to receive my copy of More than magic direct from the author, and although it has taken me a while to read it i must say i don't know why i waited so long to do so. From the very start i found myself captivated by the characters and the story-line. The whole books flows so well with well written dialogue and believable, personable characters dragging you along with the story. You never once feel like you are missing anything whether it be in action scenes or ones of a more personal nature between one or more of the characters it has everything you could want. The author leaves just enough for you to be able to picture everything that is happening for yourself, yet gives you enough detail to be able to see the whole picture. I loved all of the main characters although i do have a huge soft spot for Jen, with everything that she goes through dealing with it all in her own way, yet taking it all in her stride showing her  depth of character as well as her inner strength, yet still showing that as with all well rounded characters she has flaws and inner doubts with everything that she does and everything that she is. The interaction between the characters is well defined and well written making you laugh, sigh and feel all the emotions that are portrayed as if you are really there seeing and feeling right along with them. All credit goes to the author for bringing a new spin on a genre that is so well known now, making you want to sit back and read it. I know i for one can not wait to see where the next book is going to take Jen and the rest of the cast. An all round great job Elizabeth, now get to writing the next one i need to know what's going to happen. To everyone else i urge you to go get a copy of this book and give it a read i strongly believe you will not be disappointed. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Marissa Farrar - Blog tour

Today we welcome Marissa to the page, to give us an interview and tell us about her books. So show her some love as i know only you guys can. 

 1. From the book which is your favourite character? and why?

I always struggle when someone asks me to pick a favourite character – it always feels a bit like being asked which of my children are my favourite. Serenity and Sebastian (the vampire) are loved equally, but for different reasons. I love Serenity for finding her strength within herself and not relying on other people, and I love Sebastian because of how much he loves Serenity and because he’s just that little bit dangerous.

2. Is there a favorite genre of books that you love to read and write?

Anything paranormal gets my vote! I like to be left with a chill down my spine, so if it’s got a bit of an edge to it as well, even better.

3. If you could send a letter of advice to your younger self what would it say? And why?

I’d tell myself to stop submitting manuscripts and concentrate on learning the actual craft of writing. I was always great at producing stories but it’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve actually given thought to what makes good writing.

4.     What is your inspiration/muse while you are writing?

I love to listen to bands such as 30 Seconds to Mars, Live, and Kings of Leon.
Their music takes me to that dark, grungy place a lot of my work seems to thrive in.

5.     What are your habits when you sit down to create? Do you have a certain room or place where you go?

I have a little office area set up in my living room. I don’t have the luxury of my own actual office but I don’t think it would get used anyway! I have young children so I tend to be wherever they are so I can keep an eye on them while I’m working.

6.     Have you made any mistakes along the way?

Plenty. I can’t go into too much detail, but they would definitely be based around giving my work away too easily. I also wasted a lot of time and money sending out manuscripts before they were ready. Of course, I didn’t realize they weren’t ready at the time, but looking back I can see why I was never offered a contract in the early days.

7.     What do you like to do in your down time?

I spend time with my family, read, cook, and watch movies. I love horror films and all those paranormal television shows like ‘The Vampire Diaries’, ‘True Blood’ and ‘The Magic Circle’. I might be in my thirties but I’m still a teen at heart!

8.    Do you have a work in progress you would like to share with us?

Sure! This is from the start of my young adult novel, Enchanted, which will be a spin-off of the ‘Serenity’ series:

“Wake up, dreamer!”
A shoulder barged into mine as I stood, staring at the huge arrangement of red brick buildings that were about to become my home for the next three years.
“Hey, watch it,” I exclaimed as my forehead creased in a frown, my body jerking away from the impact.
The person who had nudged me—a tall guy with broad shoulders and a buzzed-short blond head—threw me a grin over his shoulder as he walked away.
The guy was wrong, I hadn’t been dreaming. Instead I’d been frozen into inertia, terrified of this new life I was about to plunge myself into. For a few moments, I’d forgotten what I was doing here; overwhelmed by the sheer number of people bustling around me.
I scowled at his retreating back, trying not to appreciate the muscles flexing beneath his form-fitting, gray t-shirt. My first introduction to my new college and I’d already been called out on one of my flaws. Self-conscious, I tugged at the sleeves of my long-sleeve tee, worn despite the warm fall day. I only hoped my other quirks weren’t quite so obvious.
Most kids blamed their parents for who they are. In that way, I’m no different. However, what I am is unlike any other girl starting college.
I am a Dhampyre; born of a human mother to a vampire father. My parents did their best to raise me as any normal child, but hey, when your dad survives by drinking the blood of other people, something like that is always going to play on a girl’s mind.

Thanks for hosting me!

So here's some more about the author and don't forget to check out her other work.

Marissa Farrar is a multi-published horror and fantasy author. She was born in Devon, England, loves to travel and has lived in both Australia and Spain. She now resides in the countryside with her husband, two children, a crazy Spanish dog, two rescue cats and six hens. She has a degree in Zoology, but her true love has always been writing.
Marissa is the author of four novels, including the dark vampire ‘Serenity’ series. Her fifth novel, Underlife, a dark fantasy set beneath the streets of London, will be published August 2012.
Her short stories have been accepted for a number of anthologies including, Their Dark Masters, Red Skies Press, Masters of Horror: Damned If You Don’t, Triskaideka Books; and 2013: The Aftermath, Pill Hill Press.
If you want to know more about Marissa, then please visit her website at You can also find her at her facebook page, or follow her on twitter @marissafarrar.
She loves to hear from readers and can be emailed at

Friday, 4 May 2012

A Hero Rising - Blog Tour

Today we welcome Aubrie Dionne to the blog, lets give her a warm welcome as she answers some questions for us all. 

1.     From the book which is your favourite character? and why?

My favorite character is James for sure. He was a smaller character in the second book in the New Dawn series, and I loved his character so much, I decided to give him his own novella! I just needed to know what happened to him and if he finally found lasting love.

2.      Is there a favorite genre of books that you love to read and write?

I read all genres, but when I write, science fiction and fantasy comes out. Even when I don’t want it to! It seems to sneak in when I least expect it! I’m not sure why this is? Maybe too much Star Wars and unicorn movies growing up? I’d really like to write literary fiction someday, but it never seems to come out that way.

3.      If you could send a letter of advice to your younger self what would it say? And why?

Be prepared to write. A lot. I thought as an author you could write one book and be set. But, life doesn’t work that way. To hone your craft, you need to write every day, just like playing an instrument. I’m writing my 9th book right now, and it seems like every book I write gets better.

4.     What is your inspiration/muse while you are writing?

Going to the movies lights my imagination on fire. I love the visual that you have to imagine reading a book. I also listen to Radio Gaia while I type, which calms me and also inspires me to write more epically.

5.     What are your habits when you sit down to create? Do you have a certain room or place where you go?

I write in my home office with all my notebooks and notepapers filled with ideas around me. When I get stuck on a scene, I get up, take a walk with the dogs, do the laundry, and then it comes to me and I can sit down and write.

6.     Have you made any mistakes along the way?

A few typos, but that’s about it. Thank goodness!

7.     What do you like to do in your down time?

I love going to the movies, spending time with my family (especially my one and a half year old nephew), and going out to eat!

8.     Do you have a work in progress you would like to share with us?

Yes! I have a young adult tie in series to the New Dawn series. Right now I’m writing book 3. Book 1: Colonization: Paradise 21 comes out October 7th from Inkspell Publishing.

Thanks for a great interview!

A Hero Rising (A New Dawn, #3)
By Aubrie Dionne

Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Length: Novella
Release Date: February 2012
ePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-83-1


After watching his love leave on a colony ship, James Wilfred must save those left behind from a planetary apocalypse. Their salvation lies in an unfinished ship tucked away in a secret government base, and only James can break in and pilot him and his people to freedom on a nearby space station.
Skye O’Connor’s boyfriend never returns after his gang attempts an assassination of the Governor, and the State Building is destroyed. Worse, crazed moonshiners addicted to the chemical Morpheus have stormed the city, and she must find a safe place for her and her boyfriend’s daughter. When a heroic man saves her, Skye asks to accompany him on his quest to find the last colony ship left on Earth.

As the city falls around them, James and Skye must work together to build a new future, all the while rediscovering their ability to love, before the apocalypse claims them both.

Chapter One
Left Behind

Clutching his retractable cable, James lowered himself down the glassy surface of the high-rise as the wind stole the warmth of the sheets he’d just left behind. He glanced at the fluttering curtain three stories above his, wondering how Mestasis would feel when she awoke to an empty bed. He detached his grappling hook and slipped inside the balcony of the building, fast as a diving raven’s shadow.
If only I could stay longer. If only things could be different.
His wristband flashed another message. If you don’t get down here within the hour, I’m coming to look for you.
The thought of Dal stumbling through the abandoned subway by himself sent adrenaline rushing through James’s veins. The lower levels had been dangerous since Dal was a boy, but with the introduction of Morpheus, the desperate scavengers had grown into vicious savages.
James typed a message back, hoping Dal would believe him. I’ll be there. Stay where you are.
Mestasis will have to understand.
He took an elevator down as far as it worked, holding onto the slim hope he’d have a chance to give Mestasis a decent good-bye later. The elevator creaked to a halt and the doors parted to a corridor lit by one flickering bulb. Crumpled rags and broken vials dusted with the dried, silvery sheen of Morpheus lined the floor.
The lower levels.
No one decent ventured down this far, so the government didn’t find it necessary to cover low level repairs. It would only bring up gangmen, like himself, to the upper levels. But some of us are good. It’s those Razornecks that give gangs a bad name.
He jogged to the end and slid down a plastic recycling chute to Level Five. The chute ended with a rusted metal grating piled high with cracked bottles and compacted cans. He kicked out the grating and emerged on a stairwell landing. Cracked bottles rattled around him as he shuffled through the debris to Level One, the place where only the bravest, or craziest, treaded alone.
The scent of dank air and old garbage wafted up from the moldy floor. It smelled like home. He’d been away too long. James ducked through a shattered window to an alley between the buildings.
Twilight spread through the sky, stretching the shadows of lumbering heaps of old mattresses, broken ionizers, and tattered plastic bags. Using the darkness as his cloak, he climbed through the debris and checked over his shoulder. The alley lay as silent as a wasteland. Residents had boarded most of the windows to keep out thieves, but apartments lay empty and dark as deep space.
Three windows down, a small child with wispy black hair peered out, clicking off a flickering light stick. The child disappeared as he approached. James reached in his pocket and left an orange on the sill before ducking away.
A stone stairway loomed at the end of the alley like a mouth to the underworld. James slipped down a corroded railing to an old subterranean transportation system once used by his ancestors in the days before the mega-high-rises and the elite’s reign of the upper levels.
Pitch-black oozed from under the brick, and his hair glowed neon green as the darkness enveloped him. The radiance was just enough to light his path, the permanent dye a trademark of his gang. James picked up his pace and jogged along the tracks, approaching a thick cement door with graffiti scribbled in hasty strokes.
He raised his hand to knock, but he paused with his fist in midair. Shuffling echoed down the track to his right. No one could see him entering the Radioactive Hand of Justice’s underground facility—he had to find out who had found him and make sure he or she wouldn’t talk.
James slipped past the door and tiptoed closer, his hair casting light a few feet around him in every direction. No one could sneak up on him.
Was it Dal?
“Hello?” His voice echoed down the shaft.
The shuffling continued and James froze, listening for footsteps. The motion sounded more like the fluttering of bats than any tapping of feet. Bats didn’t scamper on the ground.
Someone snickered and then sucked in a long breath before cackling lightly like a witch in a fairy tale. The person smacked his lips together. James narrowed his eyes.
Oh great—some desperate savage, looking for anything he can sell for Morpheus. Maybe I can knock him out and leave him on Level One where he came from.
“Stay where you are.” James’s voice was deep and authoritative.
The shadow moved toward him in a flurry. The smell of mold and rotten food clogged his throat, and James resisted the urge to gag. Where had this man been?
“I said, stay where you are.”
He blinked, and when he opened his eyes again, the figure had scuttled ten feet closer, arms writhing like snakes in the air. James stumbled back. He’d only seen them from the safety of the city walls before.
Oh geez. A moonshiner gone over the edge.
Moonshiners got their superhuman speed from the drug Morpheus, a chemical mined on the moon. Too bad the drug also caused an insatiable urge to kill. James had heard about the moonshiners who lost their minds from stories the city wall guardians told. He reached for his laser, but the man scurried closer like he was in an old movie on fast-forward.
James had enough time to deflect the moonshiner’s jaws with his elbow as the man’s face came into view. Sunken cheeks held shadows where the chemical spread like ink underneath the skin. James pushed back against the man’s weight, throwing him off. The moonshiner lunged at him before James could recover, scratching his chest with jagged fingernails that had grown so long, some of them were curled. James kicked him in the gut, but it did no good. The moonshiner was past the point of reacting to pain.
The man pushed James over and fell on top of him, jaws clacking an inch from his face. James held him back with one arm while the other worked his laser out of its holster. The man’s eyes had turned into black holes, the pupils bleeding over the whites to give him a fiendish glare. Strands of hair shed from his scalp, trailing down his arms to tickle James’s face. The moonshiner’s head was disproportionately larger than his body, as if his skull had begun to grow and change, morphing into an oval.
Yeah, this moonshiner is past gone. Must have been using for years. Why didn’t the guard take him out when he entered the city?
James yanked his arm free to fire his laser directly into the man’s midsection, and the moonshiner fell back with the force. Jumping to his feet, James raised his laser again. He shot the moonshiner three more times in the chest and shoulder, but the man scrambled up and kept coming.
Panic rose inside James in a riptide. Would the moonshiner never tire or die? Hissing with a black-toothed grin, the man crashed into him, pushing James into the wall and knocking the air out of him. Even the guy’s teeth looked different—inhuman, pointed like a shark’s incisors. James banged his head against the cement and dropped his laser. He struggled to focus as the world warped.
Would he die like this? Torn to pieces by a druggie monster?
No. Too many people needed him. He had to see Mestasis one last time.
James fought, wrestling the moonshiner to the ground. He rolled over and stretched his hand out, clawing for the laser. His index finger curled under the trigger and he brought the gun up in one swift motion. The man caught his wrist, and James struggled to point the laser at the moonshiner’s head.
Just a little lower.
The moonshiner opened his mouth, and a dry, rasping voice whispered, “Aliens. They left something behind on the moon.”
“What the—” James hesitated, and the moonshiner lunged for his neck. He fired at the man’s head and the moonshiner stilled and collapsed.
Pulling himself up, James tried to calm his racing heart and think straight.
Where did this moonshiner come from? What brought him into the tunnels? And what aliens?
James didn’t have time to decode the strange riddle leaking from a moonshiner’s crazy mouth. Worried about Dal, he rushed to the cement door and banged five times: two quarter notes followed by three eighth notes. If anything had happened to them while he was away, he would never forgive himself—even if it meant regretting his last hours with Mestasis.
The door creaked and three laser barrels poked through the crevice. James held up his hands. “Whoa, guys. It’s only me.”
An older man with a tuft of white hair stared back at him. Relief shone in his bright blue eyes.
“James, we thought they got you.”
“The Razornecks, the government, or the moonshiner I just blasted in the tunnel?”
“Any. All three.” Dal clapped him on the shoulder and led him inside while two guards stayed behind to close the entrance. Even though the cement locked in place, James had a hard time letting go of the encounter outside. The hideout didn’t feel safe any longer.
“What’s happened while I’ve been on the upper levels?”
“Nothing good.” Dal led him through a tunnel to the concrete bunker underneath the subway system. He talked over his shoulder as they hurried down the steep incline.
“As you can see from your new friend lurking by the door, moonshiners have infiltrated the sewers, climbing through miles of pipeline to rise to the lower levels.”
“Yeah, the one I met smelled like death.”
“That’s not all. A crazed mob of ’em storms the city walls as we speak. Guardians pick them off with gallium laser blasts, but they don’t have enough firepower to keep them back.”
“Hold it now.” James stopped midstep and Dal halted beside him. “The walls are five feet thick. No way the moonshiners can get through, even if they clawed with their fingernails all day long.”
Dal shook his head slowly. “They are, and they will. Some of them still have part of their brains left, and they’ve been tossing hypergrenades at the cement.”
James scratched his head. “Jeez, where have I been?”
“Making sure three hundred of our people got the hell out of here.” Dal squeezed his shoulder. His voice was shaky. “Did it take off?”
James shook his head. “Not yet. But it’s on schedule. I’d like to see it leave, so if we could hurry…”
“I understand.” Dal clapped him on the back. “Just checking to make sure my grandkids made it safely.”
“If you’d tell me why I’m here, I could make sure of it.”
“Yes, yes. Let’s go. There’s something I have to show you.”
James followed him to a low-ceilinged room lined with wallscreens displaying input feeds from all over the world. In the dim light, Dal’s wispy hair glowed like James’s, giving the old man a halo of green, otherworldly light.
Dal sat in a rolling chair across from a circular desk and gestured for James to follow. James waved his offer away. “I prefer to stand.” Every second counted. He knew Mestasis wouldn’t wait for him—shouldn’t wait for him. She’d probably think he’d left to avoid such a painful good-bye.
“You may want to sit down when you hear what I’m about to tell you.” Dal gave him a sad smile.
“I can take it.” James’s gaze passed from a riot in Mexico to a volcano warning in the Hawaiian Islands to flames consuming Utopia, the last giant greenhouse that fed all of New England and the surrounding states. “No place is safe, is it?”
“No.” Dal pressed a button, zooming in on the ruins of Utopia. “One of our spies got a lowdown on the Razornecks’ counterattack…”
“A counterattack? Already? I thought most of the Razornecks died in the blaze?”
Dal shook his head. “They have cells throughout the city, and they’re all seeking revenge.”
James ran a hand through his hair. “What is it this time?”
“Assassination attempt. Governor Ursula Grier. They found out she was the one who ordered the counterstrike on Utopia after they took it over.”
That’s why Dal had called him down so quickly. “Should I organize a team to stop them?”
Dal clicked a button and the screen changed. “No.”
“No? What do you mean no?”
“The Radioactive Hand of Justice shouldn’t get involved in government affairs. Besides, she’s got enough guards and artillery to defend herself, and in two days’ time, she’ll be leaving on the Heritage, along with the other heads of state. The government in New York will be nonexistent.” The inevitability in Dal’s voice sent a shiver down James’s back.
“They’re going to abandon us?” Government officials didn’t just get up and leave their posts. This was serious.
“It’s their only choice for survival.” Dal clicked on another screen, bringing up a meeting of world leaders from at least five countries, all sitting around a circular table.
“More problems?” James studied the screen, recognizing the faces: most from the World Coalition. “What are they saying?”
“They want to nuke the areas with the largest concentration of moonshiners before the mobs grow out of control. As it is, the force outside these gates could rip through this entire population within days.”
“They’re targeting us? Citizens?”
“Bingo.” Dal sighed. “We think this bunker would hold during the attacks, but we’re not sure we could live here until the fallout dispersed. We have the fluorescent greeneries, and the stocks are piled high, but it would take years for the radiation to return to safe levels.”
“Not acceptable.” James shook his head, refusing to resign to such a fate. “There has to be another way.”
“There is.” Dal’s fingers flicked across the keypad and a picture of a gigantic chrome hull loomed over their heads.
“The Destiny.”
“Wait a second. We were deemed unfit for the Expedition. Who’s to say whoever built this ship wouldn’t conclude the same thing? I’m sure they have their own people to transport.”
“The project was abandoned three months ago. It’s not finished. The biodome hasn’t been completed, and it isn’t stocked with enough energy cells. It won’t be able to fly us on a hundred-year journey, but with a little work it could get us off this doomed rock.”
James put his hand on his hip. Every paradise planet he’d heard of was hundreds of years away, which could only mean one thing. “You’re thinking Outpost Omega, aren’t you?”
“It’s the biggest space station within a parsec of Earth, fully equipped with biodomes, solar panels, and energy cells.”
“It’s also the most important and the most heavily guarded. They’d never let a ragtag army like us live there. Only government workers are allowed to set foot on it.”
“Then we’ll take it by force.”
James exhaled a long, slow breath. “No. It’s too dangerous. Too many deaths.”
Dal leaned back in his seat and raised his hairy eyebrows like when he had a winning move at chess. “And staying here isn’t?”
James considered the impending attack of moonshiners coupled with the plan to nuke them all. Even if his group survived the mob and stocked their shelves high, did they really want to huddle underground for the rest of their lives, hoping rations wouldn’t run out? “You’ve got me there.”
“Exactly.” Dal slumped forward, clicking off the screens as if in resignation.
James’s mind whirled with all the possibilities and probable outcomes. “Even if we secure this quasi-built ship, who’s going to fly it?”
The room had gone black, and only their haloed heads illuminated their faces. Dal folded his hands on the table as if further discussion was unnecessary. “You.”
“You’re kidding me. I’ve never flown anything that large.”
Dal grinned. “Practice makes perfect.”
James’s wristband beeped. He glanced down at the time and his stomach sunk. “Dammit, Dal, the Expedition is leaving in fifteen minutes.”
Dal gave him a knowing twitch of his eyebrow. “Do you really want to see it take off?”
“I have to.” James shot toward the door, adjusting his backpack.
“Whatever you do, don’t try to defend the governor. Leave that to her bodyguards. They view all gangs as threats, and you’d be killed along with the Razornecks.”
“I won’t.” Although the governor had always been a thorn in his side, James still worried about her and her family surviving the attack. Yes, she blew up Utopia and planned to abandon her own city, but she didn’t deserve to be taken out by the Razornecks. Besides, James needed some sort of structure until the Expedition took off and he could get to the Destiny. If the Razornecks gained control of the city, every street would go to hell. He pressed the panel and the sides parted, revealing a crowded corridor.
“James, you never agreed to fly the Destiny.” Dal’s voice was a gripping force, holding him back.
James turned around. “You know me better than that, Dal. You know it’s a yes.”
Dal’s face softened. “All the more reason to be careful. We can’t have the most important person in the Radioactive Hand disappearing on us. Every time you go through those passages, you risk your life.”
James shot Dal a steady stare. “I’ll be back. Besides, some things are worth the risk.”

© 2012 Aubrie Dionne

About the Author

Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf.

Her books are published by Entangled Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She recently signed her YA sci fi novel with Inkspell Publishing titled: Colonization: Paradise 21, which will release in October 2012.

When she's not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras. She's a big Star Trek TNG fan, as well as Star Wars and Serenity. Her dogs are appropriately named Jedi and Princess Leia.

You can find Aubrie online at the following places:

Twitter: @authoraubrie

Aubrie welcomes email from her fans at

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