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Author Spotlight: The Light From Other Suns by V.E. Lemp

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! I have a new visitor this week, V.E. Lemp with the first book in The Others series, The Light From Other Suns. She’ll be sharing an excerpt from her book today, but first lets get to know more about the author.

V. E. Lemp is a librarian turned author, and a lifelong science fiction and fantasy fan.

She loves speculative fiction in all formats, including books, television, and film. She also admits an unhealthy obsession with television shows that document extraterrestrial encounters and UFO sightings, and enjoys programs that present mind-expanding examinations of scientific discoveries and theories.

She believes the most important question is always: “What if?”

V. E. Lemp, who writes in other genres under the pennames Vicki L. Weavil and Victoria Gilbert, is represented by Frances Black of Literary Counsel, NY, NY.

 

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About the Book

Artist Karen Foster draws while dreaming. Scientists label her a valuable commodity. Aliens call her their perfect messenger.

Seeking money for art supplies, Karen is thrilled when charming researcher Alex Wythe recruits her for a dream study called the Morpheus Project. But the Morpheus Project is not what it seems, and neither are the detailed technical illustrations Karen draws in her sleep.

Warned off by government agent Mark Hallam, Karen refuses to leave the project, even after her fellow subjects suffer breakdowns. Like the sun, her love for Alex blinds her.

Karen believes their love is forever, until a tragic accident blasts both their lives.

Aided by Mark—as well as a UFO investigator, his psychic daughter, and the dark-eyed strangers who haunt her dreams—Karen must fight to uncover the truth.

A truth that includes humans trading lives for profits—and a powerful cabal that will kill to keep such secrets from the world.

A truth that unveils the ultimate, terrifying, reality –

We have never been alone.

Available the 8th of March 2017!

Pre-Order it today on Amazon!

 

The second book, The Dark of Other Skies, is also available for Pre-Order on Amazon!

 

Keep reading for an excerpt:

The man moved closer and laid one hand on her arm. His slender fingers were cool against her skin but sent a frisson of heat rocketing up her arm. “Alex Wythe, professor of psychology.”

“Karen Foster.” Her smile froze into an uncomfortable grimace. His name sounded familiar, but she couldn’t quite place it.

“You plan to pursue art professionally?”

“Yes.” Karen met his searching gaze without flinching. She had to pull herself together. She couldn’t allow some random guy to intimidate her. Not even if he was older than her by several years. And no matter how gorgeous he was.

“Nice. I’ve no talent for art, but I do appreciate it.”

Of course—Dr. Alex Wythe. A girl in her studio had taken his class and never stopped yapping about him. The charming, fatally attractive psychology professor who supposedly dated a new woman every month. But never students, much to her studio mate’s dismay.

“Nice to meet you, but I certainly don’t want to interrupt your moment of solitude.”

“Nonsense. I was just watching the stars. There’s supposed to be a meteor shower tonight, you know.”

“Is there?” Karen looked up. The night was clear. The dark sky was spangled with stars like sequins scattered over black velvet.

“Yes, I was waiting for that. It’s a bit later than I thought.”

“I don’t suppose you can schedule meteors, exactly.”

“Not meteors, no,” Alex Wythe said, in a tone that suggested other such things might be under his control.

Karen shot a quick look at him as he gazed at the heavens. “They’re almost impossible to paint, though. Can’t quite capture the quality of that light, and the depth of the darkness. How it goes on forever. I’ve attempted it, but the results always look flat and two-dimensional.”

“Paintings are two-dimensional. Color on canvas. But I suppose you’d argue it’s the artist’s task to make them into something more.”

“Depends on the artist.” Karen relaxed her taut shoulders. Talking about art was something she could do anywhere, with anyone. “Some people revel in the two-dimensionality, like they’re saying ‘what you see is what is.’ Others want to play tricks, fool the eye. Or maybe, capture reality in a way even a photograph can’t … Oh, crap, I’m going off on one of my favorite tangents. Sorry, sorry.”

“No need to apologize. I like people who are passionate about their work.” Alex leaned in, studying her face like an appraiser examining a canvas. “It’s a very attractive trait.”

Was he going to kiss her? No, that was absurd. True, she hadn’t been touched by a man since her breakup with Karl, over six months ago. Her feelings of deprivation were probably coloring her thoughts, but surely she wasn’t so far gone as to turn delusional. Karen flung up her hand to cover her mouth and coughed.

Alex stepped back. In the ensuing silence, Karen toyed with her pencil in her pocket.

After a moment, Alex motioned toward her sketchbook. “Might I see? I don’t mean to pry, but I’m curious.”

“Sure. Don’t expect finished work, though. It’s all quick studies.”

“I promise not to judge too harshly.” He flipped through the pages, pausing to examine a few drawings more closely. “Very impressive.”

Karen was glad the shadows hid her blush. “Thanks. I mostly work in oils and watercolors, but my draftsmanship isn’t bad, or so I’m told.”

Alex didn’t appear to hear her. He was staring at one of the sketches with an odd expression on his face—a focus so intense it seemed his gaze might burn a hole in the paper.

“This one,” he said, his voice cracking, “this one is different. Where’d you get the inspiration for this?” He moved closer, holding out the small notebook.

She’d forgotten that sketch—an extremely detailed drawing of some unknown object, as carefully drafted as the blueprint for a high-tech machine.

“Oh.” Karen’s thoughts raced, but she didn’t know if it was due to the sketch or Alex’s proximity. “That’s something I can’t explain. I have these dreams, you see …”

“Dreams?” Alex’s blue eyes were very large and bright and very close, extremely close.

Karen took two steps back. “Yes. I’ve always had vivid, strange dreams. Decided I might as well make use of them. They’re worthless otherwise.”

“You remember your dreams? In detail?”

“Yes. Sometimes …” Karen hesitated. Strangely, she wanted to tell this man the truth she hid from everyone. The sad reality only her parents, a few doctors, and Thea knew. But years of keeping secrets won out. “Well, sometimes when I wake I remember images and draw things. Things like that.” She pointed at the sketch. “Weird, huh?”

Alex snapped the sketchbook shut and handed it back. “Not as weird as you think.” He studied her face. “Know anything about my research?”

“Psychology? I mean, that’s what you teach.”

“Yes, but I conduct research too. Have you ever heard of the Morpheus Project?”

“No.” Karen concentrated on shoving the sketchpad into her pocket. “But I’m pretty focused on my art courses these days.”

“Never heard of Ian Vance?”

“Well, yes, but only because his family’s rich. Not that I care about people with money, but you can’t live in this town and not hear about the Vance family. They own that big estate outside town, right?”

“Yes, quite a place. Anyway, Ian Vance is my boss. He designed the Morpheus Project.” Alex checked his watch. “Not sure we’re going to see that meteor shower after all.”

His frown was puzzling. Karen understood having an interest in such a phenomenon, but not the concern that colored his words. There would be falling stars—or not. Surely it didn’t matter either way.

“Anyway …” Alex’s smile erased her errant thoughts. “I doubt this catering job is something you enjoy. I assume you just need money?”

“Yes, for art supplies. For my senior show.”

“Then you should consider the Morpheus Project. Could be just the thing, if you need a job.” He laid his fingers back on her arm.

“Job? What kind of job?” Karen fought the urge to pull away. Not because his touch was unpleasant. No, definitely not. And that was precisely the problem.

“We’re looking for student subjects. It involves dream research, so it might suit you.”

“People get paid to dream?”

“Well, to sleep in our facility, with monitoring equipment, then record dreams in the morning, yes.”

“That’s actually research? I mean, funded and everything?” Karen couldn’t keep disbelief from coloring her words.

Alex lifted his hand from her arm. Karen thought she’d insulted him, until she caught a glimpse of his smile. “Believe it or not, it is. And I think you’d make a perfect research subject. It offers decent pay, plus free room and board. Interested?”

“Maybe.” Why she didn’t jump at this opportunity? To be paid to dream seemed like a dream itself, and the ideal way to make money for art supplies. Plus, no rent or paying for meals? Perfect. But a flutter in her stomach made Karen hesitate. It was true she remembered her dreams in great detail and wrote them down in a journal for artistic inspiration. But she hadn’t told Alex Wythe everything. She hadn’t mentioned her sleepwalking. If she joined his research study, surely they’d discover that little habit. And there was one other thing, even more disturbing—something that might expose her most embarrassing secret. The detailed sketch, the one Alex questioned her about, had been drawn in her sleep.

Author Spotlight: The Dragon Courage series by Kandi J Wyatt

Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! Kandi has become a regular visitor here, and we’re always glad to have her. This week she wanted to share The Dragon Courage series in preparation for audio release of Dragon’s Future. She’ll be sharing a story she wrote to help you get to know her character’s better, but first, let me reintroduce Kandi.

Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that’s her own five or the hundreds of students she’s been lucky to teach. When Kandi’s not spinning words to create stories, she’s using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.

Connect with the Author

Website
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
Facebook
Google+
Twitter
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Fellowship of Fantasy
Clean Indie Reads
World Famous Langlois

About the Series

 

 

In Dragon’s Future, book 1, the colony where twin dragon riders Ruskya and Duskya live is attacked by a rider seeking a mysterious plant, the twins must fight for their dragons’ future and their lives!

Dragon’s Heir takes place ten years later. When two nestlings are stolen from the hatchling cave, Braidyn’s sense of justice leads him on a quest to find the person responsible. Can Braidyn learn to temper justice with mercy?

Immediately following book two, Dragon’s Revenge, picks up the story of Kyn. New friends Kyn and Ben’hyamene discover a breed of wild dragons which have been at war with humans for four hundred years. They set forth to bring peace before more life is lost.

When Duskya’s grandchildren ask her to tell a story, they hear the tale of a rider who didn’t want to be a rider. For Serena, a teenager fleeing her abusive father, having someone control her is the worst imaginable feeling. Seeking her freedom, Serena finds herself with a dragon claiming her as her rider. As Serena runs from her dragon, she discovers there are worse things than having a dragon for a friend. Serena and her friend Carryn learn that bitterness leaves a person in bondage in Dragon’s Cure.

In a world where dragons and humans live in peace with each other, it is a privilege to be a dragon rider, but riders, like everyone else, must find their purpose. In this series, twins Ruskya and Duskya fight for their dragon’s futures and their lives! Braidyn struggles with balancing justice and mercy as he searches for a stolen nestling. Kyn and a new friend, Ben’hyamene, discover a breed of wild dragons which have been at war with humans for four hundred years, and the two learn that peace is better than revenge. Kyn helps Duskya and her daughter, Carryn, search for a young rider who stumbles upon a slave trade. Carryn learns that bitterness leaves a person in bondage as much as being a slave.

Follow along the riders’ quest in this exciting middle grade fantasy series by author Kandi J Wyatt.

 

 

Get them Today!

Dragon’s Future
Dragon’s Heir
Dragon’s Revenge
Dragon’s Cure
Dragon’s Posterity

 

Keep reading:

Creator and Created

Wiping the sweat from my forehead and pushing my dark hair back away from my face, I glanced up at the hazy sky and glared at the setting sun which still gave off more heat than my body was accustomed to. My gaze took in the campsite complete with tent, propane stove, and ice chest. One lone suitcase remained for me to carry into the pavilion. The rest of my family had scattered like leaves in an autumn wind. The older ones had gone off to explore merchants’ row, while the younger ones were finding new friends with whom they could have mock sword fights with foam covered PVC piping, and my husband had taken the van to the far parking lot.

Picking up the suitcase with a sigh of relief, I headed into the tent to change. The summer had been hard and busy; so the whole family was looking forward to this weekend where we could sit back and help recreate the medieval ages minus the plague. I set the suitcase down and opened it. Sorting through the miscellaneous garb, I chose my Irish dress. It was cool and easy to get into. It consisted of a lightweight, white underdress and a sleeveless, green print overdress that opened in the front with a corset style lace up from the waist to the top.

After tying the lacing, I wiped my forehead again. I could hardly breathe. I needed fresh air. Fumbling for the zipper of the tent door, I took a breath or rather tried to take one. The zipper came up, but I lost my balance. The last I saw was the tent floor and the ground rising up to meet me.

A sharp sound caught my attention. I tried to move my head and groaned. It hurt. A woman with kind green eyes wiped a strand of her red hair back behind her ear, while looking down at me.

“Hush,” her kind voice instructed. “Don’t try to move yet. Sylvern found you and got her brother to bring you here. It looks like you had a fall.”

The name Sylvern and the red-headed woman pulled at my mind. I couldn’t place it, and my throbbing head didn’t help me think. The woman bent down and placed a soft wet cloth on my forehead. It smelled of lavender and seemed to help my headache. I closed my eyes again.

When I opened them again, my head didn’t throb as much. I was able to take in my surroundings. I was in a pavilion on a cot with a small table beside it. The light filtering through the canvas was pale but bright. A shiver ran through my body. I must have been out for a long time for it to have cooled off this much.

“Hi, Ma,” a male voice reached my ears, “how’s your patient?”

“She was sleeping last I looked, but I was ready to take her this tea,” the green-eyed woman replied.
“I can do that for you,” the man replied.

Soon he rounded into my field of vision. The bright sunlight made his hair even brighter blond. As he saw my eyes on him, he bent down and looked at me. My breath left me in a whoosh. There was no possible way this could be. I knew those bluish-purplish-green eyes, eyes the color of clouds after the storm. I had created them!

“It’s okay,” he comforted. “Here, do you feel capable of sitting up? Ma made you some tea.”

In a daze, I let him help me up and took the mug from his hands. There was no way that I was sitting in a pavilion with Ardyn. That meant that the green-eyed woman was Carryl, and this tea would be a mint tea blended with who knew what herbs. I inhaled slowly trying to calm my heart and grasp what had happened.

“That’s right,” Ardyn said soothingly. “You have nothing to fear here. I’m sure we can figure out what group of riders you belong to.”

I wanted to tell him that I knew where I belonged, but how did you explain that you had just somehow fallen into your own story world? There was no way that Ardyn would believe me, let alone accept the truth that I had created him. I settled by just sipping the tea.

Read the Full Story!

Author Spotlight: Errant Spark (Elemental Trials, Book 1) by Ronelle Antoinette

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! Today I have Ronelle Antoinette visiting to tell us about the first book in her Elemental Trials series, Errant Spark. She’ll be sharing both a written and audio excerpt of her book, but first lets learn a little more about her.

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.) She published her first novel, Errant Spark, in July of 2016.

Connect with the Author

Website/Blog
Smashwords Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
Amazon Author Page
Twitter
Facebook – Author Page
Facebook – Elemental Trials Series Page

About the Book

In Egalion’s Imperial court, there is splendor and luxury, but it’s also a realm of treachery and cloak-and-dagger political maneuvering that threatens to destroy the peace of two thousand years. They say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but at court you can’t tell one from the other…and they change at the flip of a coin.

Twenty five-year-old Battlemage Jex Xander has a mouth which frequently gets him in trouble, while in contrast, Enari Namelum speaks not at all. When Jex becomes the target of a faceless curse-slinger, Enari, the girl he protects, must now protect him. The discovery of ritual human sacrifices and Jex’s growing inability to keep his feelings (and hands) to himself only serve to complicate matters. Passion and romance should be the last thing on their minds, but life and the Goddess seem to have other ideas.

Errant Spark is the hush before the storm, the last deep breath before the plunge. The flint has been struck and it’s possible the world might go up in flames…because love in Egalion’s Imperial court is as dangerous a thing as backroom politics and jealousy can be as much a driving force as silver and gold.

Get it today on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Audible!

 

Listen to the Audio Excerpt, then keep reading for a written excerpt below:

 

 

“May I join you?”

Without waiting for a response, Jex Xander settled gracefully to the ground beside her. He offered her a tin cup and she took it, warily examining the contents.

“You have the look of someone who could use that.” He jerked his chin at the cup before turning his attention to his own bowl of stew and chunk of bread.

Chamomile and meadowsweet wafted up on the steam and she inhaled appreciatively, but didn’t drink.

“Oh, I almost forgot!” Fishing a flask out of his pocket, the mage unstoppered it and leaned over her, pouring a small amount of something brownish into the tea. “Not the best quality, I’m afraid, and I know it smells vile, but it’ll take the edge off your sore muscles, I promise.” He grinned at her startled expression before settling more comfortably and beginning to eat heartily.

Enari took a tentative sip and tried not to gag. It was horrid, but the warmth that spread in her belly was soothing, so she continued to drink. They sat in silence for several moments as stars twinkled to life overhead. A few even shot brightly across the sky and Enari watched them, still awed at the sheer immensity of the view above her. At the Temple, parts of the night sky had always been obscured by foliage, even when viewed from the high branches of the trees she climbed.

“Mmm, Plamen works his forge tonight,” Jex observed around a mouthful of bread, “Wonder what he’s making?”

Enari didn’t answer and after a moment, he tried again.

“Did the kvinna speak truth? Are you really still a novice?” He used the remaining crust to mop out his bowl before licking his fingers and wiping them in the grass beside him.

She nodded, still not looking at him.

“May I ask how old you are?”

It was a rude question to ask a woman, he knew, but he’d been watching her all afternoon and hadn’t been able to guess her age. ‘Young’ was all he’d determined for certain. Probably too young.

Using a stick, she drew a number in the dirt and his conscience eased. Eighteen. Not too young, then, or at least not so much that he felt guilty for looking. And he definitely had been looking. Couldn’t blame a man, really.
Well, the kvinna probably would. She seemed the excessively protective sort.

“I have a sister about your age, back in Rowan. Not as quiet as you, though,” he mused, hoping to at least get a smile out of the girl. She was exotically appealing and he could only imagine how much more radiant she would be if she smiled.

Enari stood quickly. She didn’t know how to fend off interested men and retreating to bed seemed like the easiest way out of this awkward situation.

“Novice!” one of the guardsmen called out. To Jex, he sounded more than a little drunk. “If you be done with that pretty boy, come and spend time with a real man. The night promises to be chill, but I’ll warm you well if he won’t!”

Jex rose to his feet upon seeing her uncertainty and embarrassment.

“You!” he called back, “Didn’t your mother teach you how to address a lady?”

“Mind your own business, mage,” the man retorted. He got up unsteadily and swaggered towards Enari. She hurriedly backed away, eyes darting left and right as she sought an avenue of escape.

Before the man could reach her, Jex stepped up and put his palm in the center of the other’s chest. He gave him a stiff shove, eyes dark with menace.

“Don’t be a fool. I wasn’t sent to protect these women from their own escorts but I will. I suggest you find your bedroll, friend,” he said dangerously, “Sleep it off, or you’ll be no good to anyone on the morrow.”

Enari stared at the pair with round eyes. The mage didn’t even know her, yet here he was, protecting her honor like she was some grand lady.

After a moment of glaring at each other, the guardsmen broke eye contact first. Muttering sullenly under his breath, he retreated and Jex released a sigh. He really hadn’t wanted to fight the drunken lout, even though he was confident he’d have won.

“Silent little thing, aren’t you?” Returning his attention to Enari, he reached out and touched her cheek gently.
Weariness in blurry waves of gray, spikes of hard red adrenaline and anger, fading sparks of vibrant blue lust… Goddess, she’d be so pretty if she smiled. Too pretty to stay much longer in a group of men with no one but her Sura to look after her. Stupid, stupid to send such a small party across so much open land.

Quiet thunder of a rapidly pounding heart, the sharp tang of fear-sweat, nervous little brown mouse… That man almost…he could have…and the mage. I don’t even know him, he doesn’t know me, but he stopped the other one. His hand is on my skin and…

Starting in alarm, Enari recoiled and the string of awareness that was and wasn’t hers snapped like gossamer thread. She took a quick step back and the sudden movement unbalanced her. Her sore leg muscles were unable to compensate and with a surprised gasp, she fell onto her bottom in the dirt. Jex looked down at her, clearly as startled as she.

A heavy hand grabbed the back of his tunic and the grizzled old guard captain shook him roughly. His voice was deep and his accent was rough. “She dun’a like to be touched, mageling. Keep your mitts to yourself!”

“I-I’m sorry. I didn’t know, I,” Jex stuttered and cleared his throat. “Sorry,” he finished lamely, looking back and forth between Enari and the captain, as if unsure who he was actually apologizing to. He offered her a hand up, took a look at the captain’s face, and put both of them in his pockets.

“You alright, little mistress?” the captain asked Enari.

She nodded and climbed stiffly to her feet, brushing dirt from her trousers.

“I’m sorry for startling you, Nani,” Jex apologized again. Enari smiled and waved it away. He frowned at the captain and opened his mouth.

As if guessing the younger man’s thoughts, the captain shook his head. “She dun’a speak, either.” He narrowed his eyes threateningly at Jex, thick brows beetling down even further. “But dun’a you be going and thinking she be stupid for it, mage. She ain’t.”

Jex held up his hands in placation and took a step away. “I would never!”

“See that you dun’a.” With that, the captain strode away into the darkness. Jex made a face and gestured rudely at his retreating back. Enari covered a smile.

Turning back to her, he raised a speculative eyebrow and put his hands on his hips. “He wasn’t having me on, was he?”

Enari’s expression turned distant.

“Alright, alright. Keep your secrets.” His eyes darted to the bowl of stew she’d somehow managed not to drop or spill all over herself. “Are you going to eat that?”

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