Renee Writes

Author Spotlight: Of Beasts and Men by Anike Kirsten

Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have the science fiction author, Anike Kirsten, here with her book, Of Beasts and Men. She’ll be sharing an excerpt with the book, but first more about her.

Anike Kirsten is a South African social science-fiction author, who writes to highlight social issues that plague the world. Growing up in South Africa and experiencing these issues, she works to provide mediums through which readers can relate and find courage in.

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About the Book

Of Beasts and Men is a dystopian hard science fiction pocket-novel that deals with social injustices, the consequence of reckless genetic engineering, and clandestine politics; through the perspective of a privileged person. A novel that blends together the ideas of Diaspora by Greg Egan and that of Conditioned Response by Majorie F. Baldwin.

“On a distant planet – where literature rules the economy, cybernetic technology flourishes, and one race oppresses the other – Gliese Libra, a Librarian of considerable influence, must find understanding and equilibrium, through conflicts of identity, interest, and existence, to save humanity from annihilation. Gliese is pulled into a war fought in the shadows, between humanity and its oppressors. Along with Albert Hollows, a human and forerunner for the Insurgency, Gliese uncovers truths of her race; truths of their planet and their biology.

But nothing is ever as it seems.”

Get it Today!

Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | iBooks | Google Play | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

Keep reading for an excerpt:

Anger seethed through her cleft in huffs of hot breath. She had to purge the world of the filth of beasts. She pulled the tubes out from her veins and ripped the four patches off her chest. Several hairs followed them to the floor. She threw her legs over the side of the bed and slid off. A sharp prick at the back of her neck stopped her from walking out the door. She looked back over her shoulder; a tube was still attached. She reached behind her and guided her fingers along the soft plastic until she felt the cold of metal.

“And where do you think you’re going, love?” Albert stood in the doorway and leaned against the frame with his arms crossed over his chest. She flicked her hand away from her neck in pretense of a yawn. She felt a pop in the back of her neck and heard the tube hit against the bed’s railing. There had to be a reason for it.

“Stretching my legs, human,” she snapped. He embodied everything she hated about the beasts, and deserved no respect from her. He raised his brow. “Don’t care if you don’t believe me. I don’t owe you any explaining!”

“Right. So you’re still pissed at me? That’s fine, love. Take your time, I won’t push you. The prophecy will still come true,” he said as he unfolded his arms.

“What prophecy?”

“The pale girl of drymis will pave the way to a sleep and wake us in an old new world, or somethin’ like that.” He shrugged and stepped into the room.

“Wha’?” She felt her face distort.

“Never mind,” he sighed.

“How in Holl d’you keep getting out?!”

“I have a guardian, love.” He smiled.

“Arg, must you always be so vague?”

“No, but it’s fun seeing you freak out about silly things,” he said as he laughed. Fire burned under her cheeks and through to her ears. It scorched at her neck.

“I’ll meet you at the Library when you get out, love. Give you some time too cool off.” He turned out the room. She took a deep breath in while her jaw clenched, then let out some of the rage. She looked back to the bed at the tube hung over its rail.

A silver liquid ran down to the tiled floor. She lifted her hand and rubbed the back of her neck; it was smooth, and wet. She brought her hand forward and sniffed at the silver fluid on her finger tips. Mother? She turned her head to the left and let it lean on her raised shoulder. Was it some new medicine for bone marrow transplant? She rubbed at her sore hip. The last one she had was before she left for Learning. She had to thank her, but not yet. She was too raw.

Author Spotlight: Showdown (Wyrd West Chronicles #1) by Diane Morrison

 

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight. Today I have Diane Morrison visiting to tell us about the first book in her Wyrd West Chronicles series, Showdown. One of the characters from the book, Graeme Walsh, will be paying us a visit as well, but first more about the author.

Diane Morrison lives with her partners and works part-time in a bookstore in Vernon, BC, where she was born and raised. An avid National Novel Writing Month participant, she is proudly Canadian and proudly LGBTQ. Under her pen name “Sable Aradia” she is a successful Pagan author, a musician, and a professional blogger. After a lifetime of putting the needs of her family first, she is striking out to become what she always wanted to be; a speculative fiction writer.

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About the Book

In Queenstown, an untried youth is the only one who can face down a notorious Desperado. But Graeme Walsh is not a Gunslinger: not yet. Will his training and his secret sorcerer’s powers be enough to get the drop on the Outlaw, before the Outlaw gets the drop on him?

Welcome to the Wyrd West, the world next door, where Western meets high fantasy, apocalyptica and a dash of steampunk. This novelette serial will be published bimonthly in e-format, with collections published in print format once a year.

 

 

 

Get it Today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an interview with Graeme Walsh, Apprentice Gunslinger, from Showdown:

Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?

Well, I was born on my folks’ horse ranch, ’bout a day’s ride outside of Queenstown. It’s a region we call the Windpan. Guess they used to call it Saskatchewan? A province in Canada? That was before the Cataclysm, of course. Ancient times now. I guess my upbringin’ was pretty typical of a rancher’s son, except of course that I’m half-sidhe, which ain’t common ’round these parts, and I’ve been trainin’ to be a Gunslinger like my father.

Do you have a close relationship with your family?

Sure I do! I’d say we’re a real close lot. My folks are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Unless you’re a Desperado, of course.

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?

Listenin’ to my momma play piano and sing. She’s sidhe and she has a beautiful voice.

Who was your best friend growing up?

I guess that’d be my little sister Piper. She’s still my best friend, really. But if I had to pick one outside the family, that’d be Jessie Williams. His folks own the cattle ranch just north of us. Sometimes our folks would take us in to town together to do their business, and we’d chum around.

Who is your enemy?

Any right-thinkin’ Slinger has got to regard the Desperados as our enemies.

What makes you enemies?

They’re our dark reflections, so to speak. We Gunslingers try to defend the common folk, and the Powers of Light are kind enough to grant us some abilities to help do that. Desperados make deals with the Powers of Darkness for selfish reasons, mostly power. We got to stand against ’em.

Who do you most admire in your world?

My father.

Why?

I wish I were half so brave. I’m not quite so naive as to think he’s perfect, but he’s got some mighty big boots to fill.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?

Well, there ain’t nearly as many people as you have in your time! I guess the Cataclysm took care of that. Like I said, long time ago now, ancient history; we keep findin’ ruins of the Ancients but we ain’t entirely sure what they all were for. I guess lots of them nuclear power plants blew up when it happened, so some areas you still can’t go or the air and the ground’ll poison you. Most of that’s far to the south and the east, though.

The rest of us mostly live in cities like Queenstown, but there’s still lots of frontier folk like ourselves. Big exodus from the south when the Cataclysm happened, so I guess our ancestors came from both Canada and the United States? Except I know you ain’t got no elves, dwarves or gnomes in your time. Or trolls, or Mantis-folk, or intelligent equines like the Gunslinger horses and the Nightmares.

And I know our technology ain’t what yours is. See, the laws of physics don’t work the same in all places these days, so you can’t rely on them. We’ve started to figure out ways to make tech work in some places, though, like steam engines and dirigibles and telegraphs. So I guess we’re catchin’ up!

There’s Cree in the Qu’Appelle Valley, and we get on fine with them. Respect them and they’ll respect you. Spirit Bear, he’s their shaman, and he’s a friend and a mentor of mine. But the local Mantis-folk can get violent. Inter-tribal warfare bleeds over and truces between tribes change with their chieftains. And someone just got lynched recently. Piper and Henry — that’s our lead ranch hand and a family friend, kind of like an uncle to us — and I found a body on the way into Queenstown to ship the latest young horses off to the Order.

As to “my place in it” . . . well, our family raises Gunslinger horses for the Order. My dad’s semi-retired since he married my momma and he’s been teaching me how to be a Slinger since I was knee-high to the Mantis-folk. He don’t want to, but all the signs say it’s my fate, so he figured I ought to be ready. And I help out with the ranchin’ of course. Me and Momma and Piper too. We’re responsible for the ranch hands and Queenstown is our Protectorate. The local folk tithe us a share of their harvest so we can concentrate on their defense.

What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?

Aw, shucks, I get tongue-tied when I try to do public speakin’. My tongue trips over itself and I sound like a fool.

What are your goals?

To do justice to the Gunslinger legacy. To honour my predecessors. Maybe to make a difference in the world, and protect people as best I can.

What is your greatest fear?

I’m afraid of lettin’ people down.

How will you overcome it?

I don’t rightly know how to overcome it; I just keep tryin’ to do my best and hope it’s enough.

 

Reader Interview: Vivienne’s Thoughts on My Work!

 

I’d like to thank Vivienne for taking the time to give me her feedback on my Reader Interview and for all her support. Here’s what she has to say:

Tell me a little about yourself:

I love reading fantasy, science fiction and historical novels in the main. I am from the UK and live in the south east of England. It’s a nice part of the world. We have some decent towns, the seaside, the South Downs and the flatter parts of drained marshland known as the Levels’

My hobbies, apart from reading, are painting and drawing, crochet, cross stitch, card-making and tatting. I also knit and sew, making some of my own clothes if I can’t find what I want in the shops.

Which of my books is your favorite?

All the Shadow Stalker books.

What did you like most about them?

It is well written and has an original plot.

What did you like least about that book?

Nothing

Who was your favorite character?

Makari

Is there anything else you’d like to share with other potential readers?

Renee Scattergood’s books are most enjoyable and are well-written, which is not always the case nowadays.


Viv is also an author of fantasy, and you can check out her work here!

 

Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6)

Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6)

Free
Auren learns she is destined to enslave the people of her world, and Drevin, emperor of the Galvadi Empire is determined to end her life before it happens. Her foster father, Kado, has sworn to protect her and trains her as a shadow stalker. But her training is cut short, when their people are overrun by the Galvadi Empire. Now she has to find a way to help her people without succumbing to the prophecy. *** This book may or may not be listed as free on Amazon. They will sometimes mark it up to $1 for price testing purposes, so if it's not free, try Smashwords. Smashwords has the Mobi edition, which can be read on Kindle readers and apps. Sorry about the hassle, but it's out of my control. *** More info →
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