Renee Writes

Posts in category Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Flash Point (Elemental Trials, Book 2) by Ronelle Antoinette

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! Today I have Ronelle Antoinette returning with the second book in her Elemental Trials series, Flash Point. She’ll be sharing an excerpt from the book with us, but let’s get reacquainted with Ronelle first.

Ronelle Antoinette lives in western Colorado with her husband, two cats, and one dog-who-believes-he’s-a-person. While she is a mother to none, she’s an auntie to what should qualify as a small army. She is an admitted caffeine addict, chocoholic, and hopeless romantic who has carried on a passionate affair with the genre of fantasy since she was old enough to read ‘chapter books’. She dabbled in creative writing for many years and even considered it as a major in college. (She ended up getting a Bachelor’s degree in Counseling Psychology.)

Connect with the Author

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Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
Smashwords Author Page
Facebook Author Page
Facebook Series Page
Twitter
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About the Book

Scandal will shake foundations.

A night of careless passion leaves Battlemage Jex Xander and Adept Enari Alycon in a precarious position. Long-time lovers they might be, but the Imperial ambassador and the daughter of Egalion’s High Mage have rather public roles in the court—whether they wish it or not—and scandal couldn’t come at a worse time.

Treachery will tip balances.

When a hostile kingdom reluctantly agrees to parley, the fate of two-thousand years of peace is on the line. In the midst of negotiations, Enari becomes the target of one of the Greater Maelstrom. She and Jex must race against time to save her life and that of her unborn child. What happens when an earth-shattering secret, a demon bent on destruction, and a kingdom teetering on the brink of war collide is anyone’s guess.

Choices will have consequences.

The decisions of a few will determine the fate of many, and who or what will remain standing in the end is still uncertain. Hearts and lives are on the cusp of irrevocable change…and not necessarily for the better.

And secrets? Those will change everything.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an excerpt:

He raised the shard, letting her examine it for a heartbeat or two, then used the blade to cut her palm and his own. Enari winced at the line of pain that blazed across her skin, biting back a hiss just in time to keep from breaking the mandate of silence. Jex pressed their weeping palms together and laced his fingers through hers.

She could almost taste her own dread now, bitter as a mouthful of lemon rind.

“Blood to blood and gift to gift,” Jex intoned, “I lend you my strength for the test ahead. I will hold the door so you may pass and may it be with joy that I close it after your return.” There was a hint of fear in his emerald eyes as he spoke the final words.

“Initiate, it is time for you to face The Pool and The Dweller below,” her father announced.

Sweat broke out across her forehead and the back of her neck as her eyes settled on The Pool.

Jex rose to his feet, fingers still twined with hers, and she balked, not wanting to go any nearer to that still and menacing water. He reached behind her and seized her belt, forcing her up and forward. His hand remained at the small of her back to hold her in place once they stood at the very lip of The Pool.

Her stomach knotted and a slithering nausea twisted its greasy fingers around her throat. She swallowed hard and tasted bile.

Jex put his mouth against her ear and began to speak.

“We have to lower you into the water. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and don’t be afraid. It’ll be over before you know it.”

She turned to him, shaking her head. More than anything, she did not want to let that black water touch her. Blue eyes met green and she pled the only way she could.

His expression went flat and his voice hardened. “You asked me to serve as your Chosen. Let me do my duty.”

“Be silent!” the high mage barked.

Jex gave him a dirty look, but nodded once and the two men took hold of her, each putting a hand under one of her arms and grasping her hands in theirs. With agonizing slowness, they began to lower her.

The first shock of bitter cold stole her breath.

As the velvet of her robe became wet, it dragged on her and clung to her legs. She kicked, trying to free her feet but the heavy fabric stuck fast.

Before she was half-submerged, she started to tremble. The water felt just short of freezing solid and had a slimy quality that disgusted her.

Soon, only her head remained clear and Jex was crouching at her side, still gripping her bloody hand. His other settled on her hair.

“Deep breath, now,” he directed.

And before she could even think to scream, he jerked his hand free of hers and thrust her head beneath the surface.

Author Spotlight: My Shorts by Arthur M. Doweyko

Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Arthur M. Doweyko returning with his science fiction and fantasy short story anthology, My Shorts. He’s going to share an excerpt from one of his short stories with us, but first, let’s get reacquainted.

Arthur has authored over 100 scientific papers, invented novel 3D drug design software, and shares the 2008 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for the discovery of Sprycel, a new anti-cancer drug. He writes science fiction and fantasy. His novels include Algorithm (2010 Royal Palm Literary Award, pub 2014, E-Lit), and As Wings Unfurl (Best Pre-Pub Sci-Fi RPLA 2014, pub 2016, Red Adept). He has published numerous award-winning short stories, including Honorable Mentions in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Competition. He teaches college chemistry and wanders the beaches when not jousting with aliens.

Connect with the Author

Website/Blog
Amazon Author Page
Twitter

About the Book

Mind-blowing science fiction and fantasy short stories designed to make you rethink reality and your place in the universe. From first contact to thinking machines, from time-travel to the brutal realities of space travel, each story is finely crafted to set your teeth on edge and to grip your armchair. A policeman decides the fate of mankind when he unholsters his weapon during a first contact with aliens; Harry meets Harry in a time-travel attempt to save his wife; a little boy discovers he can’t lie; Andrew is the last human, a cyborg who must decide to be upgraded to fully artificial, or not. These and other thought-provoking tales await you in Arthur M. Doweyko’s collection of award-winning shorts.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an excerpt from Little Snowy Mountains:

Dr. Armstrong Pearl reached down through loose gravel and shoved his hand beneath the fossilized remains of the sauropod’s tenth cervical vertebra. He felt something that shouldn’t be there. Sweat ran down along his temples, seeped into the gullies and rills of his weathered neck, and emptied into his khaki shirt front. His fingers traced the unmistakable outline of a human eye socket.

Each year, Armstrong volunteered a week of his time to a group of local Montana diggers—paleontologists who were in the midst of unearthing segments of a sixty-five million year old sauropod fossil. This year’s Little Snowy Mountains excavation was about to become sensational.

“Whatcha got there, Armstrong?”

He jerked his hand up. “Nothing. Just trying to get under this verterbra, Johansen.”

“Careful you don’t get stuck and make us dig you out.” Johansen chuckled at his remark. “We’re closin’ shop in a few minutes, so wrap things up.”

After the man wandered away, Armstrong reached down again—this time extending his fingers below the nasal bone. The skull could be the find of the century. Hominids weren’t supposed show up until ten million years after the dinosaurs died out. He clawed away some more debris, and winced as his hand wedged between rock and bone. His forefinger reached the smooth edges of an alveolar margin which preceded the upper teeth.

Johansen had gathered the rest of the group, and called out to him. With one last thrust Armstrong’s fingertip curled around a tooth, loosening it. Gravel sifted back into the hole as he pulled his arm out. He held the specimen up for a closer look. The dying light brought out the tooth’s details, and suddenly, the evening air turned icy cold. He held a human canine, and it sported a ceramic crown.

* * *

“Dr. Pearl, aren’t you off this week?”

“Hi, Sasha. Just a few things to straighten out before I head back out to the dig. How’s business?”

“The crew has things under control. By the way, happy birthday.”

Sixty years was nothing to be happy about.

“Right. See you in a few days.”

Armstrong founded the Pearl’s Pearls dental clinic in Billings a few years before. In the hallway, he held up an x-ray slide to a ceiling fixture, and the blood drained from his face.

“Everything okay?”

Armstrong threw a curt nod to one of his dental associates, Nolan, who had just walked into the building. He hurried out without saying a word. It wasn’t until he angled into his Hummer that he drew enough courage to inspect the slide again. The ceramic cap wasn’t unique, but the same could not be said of the root canal, which contained two lengths of fine wire. Armstrong’s tongue wandered over the inner surface of his uppers. He knew of only one case where a fine wire probe was broken twice—and that was his own canine. He rolled down his window for some air.

Author Spotlight: Airwoman by Zara Quentin

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Zara Quentin visiting with the first book in her Airwoman series, Airwomen. She’ll be sharing an excerpt from her book later, but first…

Zara Quentin is the author of Airwoman, the first book in the Airwoman series. She was raised in Adelaide, Australia, with one younger sister. Zara grew up with a strong sense of adventure, which she inherited from her parents, who took her and her sister on trips to the United States, Europe, and Asia.

She also inherited a love of reading from her mother. Throughout her childhood she explored fictional places through books, and in particular, through fantasy novels. She’d turn the black and white text on the page into the colourful worlds of her imagination.

After graduating from high school, Zara studied at the University of Adelaide and has lived in France, London, and Auckland, New Zealand. She is always determined to fit in as much travel as possible, spending time in Europe, the United States, southern Africa, Morocco, Peru, the Pacific and south-east Asia.

Zara now resides in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children. She is currently working on the next instalment in the Airwoman series.

Connect with the Author

Website/Blog
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
Facebook Page
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Get a free preview of Airwoman!

About the Book

Jade Gariq is the daughter of a respected Taraqan leader, and the heiress to Gariq Industries—a large, cross-Portal trading company. Her future appears to be set. Except for one thing: It’s a life that she doesn’t want. Jade has always dreamed of joining the Traveller Force—the elite Taraqans who traverse the Betwixt, filled with terrifying beasts, and who protect and patrol the Dragonverse. Despite having been Travellers themselves once, Jade’s parents remain vehemently against risking their only daughter’s life. When Jade’s father dies suddenly, she inherits Gariq Industries, its assets, trade deals and social responsibilities.

It seems as though her fate has once again been decided.

Meanwhile, Axel—her close friend and secret crush—disappears without a trace. Then Jade discovers the circumstances surrounding her father’s death are not what they seem— her uncle Zorman suspects foul play. To find the truth and avenge her father’s death, Jade travels to an uncharted world, where she will learn more about her family, herself, loyalty, and betrayal than she ever imagined.

Get it Today!

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Keep reading for an excerpt:

Tick.

The only sound was the slow tick of the clock on the wall.

Jade took another step towards Papa. The torch cast a spotlight over his hunched figure. The rest of the room retreated into the shadows, distancing itself from the wrongness of the scene.

Tick.

A message, now forgotten, slipped out of Jade’s trembling hand and fluttered to the ground. Jade reached forward to shake Papa, thinking—hoping—he must be so tired.

Tick.

Jade grasped Papa’s shoulder, expecting him to jerk to consciousness and look up at her, groggy. But he did not move. She pressed harder, but his body was rigid under her touch. He did not wake. He didn’t even groan.

Tick.

Papa’s head fell forward, from where it had rested on his arm. His forehead connected with the polished wood of the desk with a thud. His wings hung limply across his back, their magenta scales dull.

Tick.

Tentatively, Jade smoothed his grey-streaked hair away from his face. She gasped at his eyes; open and staring at his own clenched right hand. She pressed a hand to his forehead.

He was cold, too cold.

Tick.

Jade’s hand fell away. A deep fog settled over her, paralysing her. Deafening her. She stared at Papa’s body. His lips, blue. His eyes, wide. Lifeless. She stared and saw nothing.

Tick.
Tick.
Tick.

Dimly, Jade heard herself screaming, calling for help. There was a clatter of footsteps, then a set of hands on her shoulders.

“Shhhh, shhhh,” someone said, and eventually the screaming stopped.

But the clock did not.

Tick.
Tick.
Tick.

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