Thursday, December 13, 2018

Aftereffects VBT

Blurb:
What could be more terrifying than falling in love with the person who is your good place? Maybe realizing just a smidge too late that there can be dire consequences to becoming your best friend’s lover.

The lives of Keir Stevens and Selene Georgiou serendipitously collide midspan on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, one jarring step ahead of fate. He’s a temporary transplant from Seattle; she’s facing the biggest career opportunity of her life. They have no notion of the common thread that connects them.

As they come to discover they share a similar adversity, their relationship evolves from a fun and frivolous infatuation with nowhere to go into a true friendship with sincerity, humor, and respect at its heart.

It’s awfully hard not to fall in love with that—even if you’re pretty darn certain you shouldn’t.

But when love and friendship suffer their own devastating collision—their interests brutally conflicting—the consequences of blurring the lines between the two suddenly become real. In the end, which one will be the stronger? And more importantly, can either survive?

AFTEREFFECTS is a standalone dual POV adult contemporary romance about the things we choose in life out of all the things that are beyond our choosing—a tale of love and friendship, of time and how we spend it, and of the inner wars that ultimately show us what really matters.



Excerpt:
Selene lifted her left hand and touched my face with her palm. It was definitely a new kind of closeness for us, at least sober—one to which I gave no resistance. Her skin felt warm and smooth as she stroked my cheek gently. And I couldn’t take my eyes off her face. My God, she was stunning. This close, I absorbed the perfection of her features, of her delicate earlobes. A tiny piece of dark hair curled around the back of one.

The air between us seemed to crackle quietly, and I sat frozen in my seat in case any movement might cause her to draw away.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you clean-shaven,” she said softly.

I could feel her breath, too, warm against my face. My fingers itched to reach up and touch her mouth, to feel whether it was as soft as I remembered. My heartbeat picked up not only faster but harder, like it was punching me from the inside.

Had a goal been scored just then I wouldn’t have noticed. Nothing could have pulled me from that trance. I didn’t hear anything going on around us. Not the crowd, not the announcer, not the buzzer.

Only her.

Only her voice and her eyes and her breath. The memory of her mouth.

“Do you have a preference?” I asked roughly. I had no idea what possessed me to ask her that.

No, that’s a lie. That other side of me wanted to be everything she wanted and would have shaved every single day if that’s what she asked of me.

“No.” Her beautiful lips curved slightly upward. “How could I choose between James Bond and Indiana Jones?”

Her palm came to rest on my jawline, and I took a deep breath. When had my wanting her turned into this painful kind of ache?

Under the sanctity of her expression, I had a sudden and startling thought that maybe we could write a different ending for the two of us. One I hadn’t yet considered. Maybe there was a different story we could tell in which the things we had to offer would be enough.

There was obviously more to our relationship than just friendship, and perhaps we could figure out how to have something more than what we’d allowed ourselves. After all, there was care and respect at the heart of everything we did together. That had to mean something.





An Aftereffects Holiday Epilogue

Keir

“Okay, so what’s the emergency?” Dan asked me, sliding into the booth on the opposite side and holding up a finger to signal the waitress. “Wait, did you order?”

Jamie shook his head. “Not yet, mate.”

It was just barely six o’clock on a Thursday evening at The Rose & Crown, and the happy hour crowd was already humming.

“What can I get for you?”

“Two Plinys,” Dan told her, gesturing between us. “Guinness for this guy,” he added pointing to Jamie, “and . . . what?” he asked Marcus. “A Shirley Temple? Extra cherries?”

“You’re a riot, grandpa,” Marcus mumbled. “I’ll have an IPA.”

Dan leaned back with his arm draped across the booth and turned to me again. “All right. So what’s got you stress-eating bar nuts? And by the way, I wouldn’t do that,” he cautioned, pointing at the cashew I’d just picked up. “Marcus licks his fingers and double-dips.”

I tossed the cashew back onto the table, and on a gusty exhale told them, “I need your help. I still haven’t figured out what I’m giving Selene for Christmas.”

I could almost hear the screeching of brakes that ripped through the bar at my admission. Time stopped. Conversation went silent. Somewhere, birds probably fell from the sky. Three pairs of eyebrows shot up and there was a subtle shifting of bodies around our table.

“You do know it’s—” Dan turned his wrist and the screen on his watch lit up with the date. “December 13th?”

“I’m well aware,” I answered, leaning forward and dropping my head into my hands. Apparently, this situation was as bad as I imagined. “I’ve been running through all these ideas but nothing feels right. It’s our first Christmas together, our first real gift-giving occasion. I can’t blow this.”

Like an act of divine holiday magic, our waitress returned with alcohol and lots of it, materializing through the crowd and setting our drinks down on coasters in front of each of us. As we descended into our glasses, there was a general consensus around the table that, yes, I was totally screwed if I blew this.

“Okay, here’s the plan: You need a gift,” Dan said to me. “We’ll just do some research.” He pulled out his phone and opened the Google app. “What. Women. Want. 2018,” he mouthed, typing. “Here,” he said pointing to his phone. “Good Housekeeping’s 37 best gift ideas for the woman in your life. Number one, face cream.” He frowned. “Number two, a life planner.” He paused and looked up. “What the hell is a life planner?”

“Dude,” Marcus said sitting forward and holding up his hands. “Isn’t the correct answer to this problem always jewelry? We’re done here.”

“Are you both mad?” Jamie asked them. “Keir cannot give his fiancĂ© a generic gift on their first Christmas. Keir, my mate, you need to come up with something that demonstrates some thought. Some individuality.”

A sinking feeling took hold in my gut. I knew he was right, of course, which is why I hadn’t slept in a week and my brain was practically melting in my head. “What was the first gift you gave Mel?”

“Ah,” he said, nodding. “I wrote her a song and performed it for her in front of thirteen hundred people at The Fillmore.”

My heart immediately bottomed out. I could only look at the bastard and blink.

“I suppose that’s not much help,” he added quickly and with an apologetic wince.

“Not much,” I affirmed. “What about you?” I glanced over at Dan, who looked up from his phone where he was still scrolling the list for something better than face cream.

“I surprised Sarah with a piano. And above it, I hung a portrait of her I’d taken on our first date. She says she thinks it was the exact moment we fell in love.”

Groaning, I rubbed a palm over my mouth. My stomach felt twisty and gross. I was so screwed.

“You know the funniest part of all of this?” Marcus chimed in next to me, arms resting on the table and a wicked grin on his face. “The girls are probably sitting around right now, having this exact conversation. And what you just heard from these saps,” he said nodding his chin at Dan and Jamie, “that’s your measuring stick.”

“You are such a dick right now,” I told him, laughing despite the fact that I was this close to throttling his scrawny throat.

“Yeah, well, what did you expect?”

“Maybe that your seven-year friendship with my bride-to-be might be of some small use in this situation.”

“I don’t know shit about women.” He said it lightly, but his expression suggested there was something tighter beneath it—and nothing he would ever say to me.

Silence engulfed us again and I glanced around, feeling like the weight of every Christmas wreath and blinking light and Ho, Ho, Ho was sitting heavily on my chest. 

“Well . . . I did have one idea.” I was hesitant to even mention it because for all I knew it was just as terrible as giving Selene face cream. “I was thinking I could take her to Vegas.”

My eyes flickered over to Dan, measuring his reaction. For several beats, he said nothing. Then slowly I watched his expression go from blank to wide-eyed as my meaning dawned. “Elope?”

I winced. “It’s bad. Right?”

Jamie laughed. “Depends how do you feel about castration at the hands of your mother-in-law?”

“No castration required,” I said holding up my hands. “We’d still do the whole wedding thing exactly as planned. I’m not talking about cancelling that. I’m talking about something private just for us. We wouldn’t even have to tell anyone, if she didn’t want to.”

God, was this a terrible idea? I hadn’t actually said it out loud until just now, and the response around the table was not reassuring.

Selene and I joked often about eloping because the wedding planning was reaching comedic levels of absurdity. But in truth, I think I was only partly joking. Yes, a part of me was excited to proudly holler my love for her in front of a big crowd of everyone we knew. Look! Look what I got! But there was another part of me that only needed her, and that part of me was happy to whisper my commitment between us in this small, quiet space where only we existed because that was the only place that really mattered.

“Being married to Selene is the only thing I want. Just to stand before her and pledge myself to her and promise her a life together with love and respect at its core. Giving her anything else right now just feels like I’d be swinging at a curve.” A sure miss.

I let go of a deep breath and lifted my glass, feeling mildly defeated and, honestly, not even caring if my crew gave me a mountain of shit for being so whipped. I deserved it. Truthfully, I relished the feeling that I’d finally been claimed.

But instead they were conspicuously silent for what felt like an eternity. Dan and Jamie exchanged a brief look. I couldn’t tell what any of them were thinking and it drove me crazy.

“Damn, Stevens,” Marcus finally said, shaking his head. “You certainly do know how to throw down when you want to.”

I sniffed out a laugh. “So, is that a thumbs up or a thumbs down, asshole?”

Marcus shrugged. “She already said she’d marry you, so what the hell? I say do it.”

Dan hummed thoughtfully, considering this. He was, himself, a newly wed. “I can’t believe I’m saying this but I think I agree with Marcus. My wedding day was one of the best days of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But you do get pulled in so many directions. It would’ve been nice to have a moment to just let it all sink in and enjoy the significance of what we’d done. So yeah, I get it. I think Selene would, too.”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously.” He held my gaze and I felt a knot loosen in my chest.

“I agree. It’s brilliant,” Jamie added with a grin. “And if nothing else, you’ll get a whole weekend away together—some great meals, a few shows. What do you have to lose?”

A surge of relief flooded my system and I couldn’t fight the smile that exploded across my face. I felt a little shaky and slightly euphoric at the thought that this crazy idea might not be so crazy after all—that my girl might hear me out and not think I was a total lunatic for wanting the future we envisioned together to start, well, . . . now.

“Thanks,” I told them, and I couldn’t make my cheeks go back to their normal shape. I thought they just might stay like this forever.

“Okay, then,” Jamie said, “the only question remaining is, D’ya need a few witnesses?”



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Author Bio and Links:
LJ Greene is a self-professed obsessive multi-tasker who writes really boring stuff by day and lets her inner romantic fly by night.  This California native is married to the most amazing man and has two beautiful children, not old enough to read her books.   (They probably wouldn’t want to anyway on account of the “Ew, gross” factor.) She’s an avid reader of all genres with an embarrassingly large ebook collection, and a weird penchant for reading the acknowledgements at the end of a novel.  She's also a music lover with no apparent musical talent, a travel enthusiast, and a cheese connoisseur. 

Buy links:
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Monday, December 10, 2018

Final Notice Blurb Blitz

Blurb:
The year is the very near future. A brilliant young doctor and mathematician, Vijay Patel, has invented a new health/sport watch that monitors blood chemistry so accurately, it can actually predict when someone will die – within 10, 20, or 30 days. The intention of this “Final Notice,” as it is called, is to allow people to get their affairs in order and reach out to loved ones before it’s too late. But when those notified have easy access to a gun, the result is sometimes lethal for more than just the watch-owner.

These are the stories of several people who receive their Final Notice and their very different reactions ... including a desire to get revenge with impunity. They range from an 89-year-old resident in a retirement home to a U.S. Senator...from a benevolent widow to a crass tycoon to a noted climate change scientist.

But in this fresh, fast-paced page-turner, their stories are all set against the all-too-recognizable backdrop of a guns-gone-wild America, and the relentless push by the NRA and their surrogate politicians to make guns even easier to acquire.

There is plenty of dark humor and political satire in FINAL NOTICE, as well as touching scenes and outright suspense. So expect to laugh out loud, dry some tears, and bite your nails (not necessarily in that order).


Excerpt:
Taking a deep breath, he charged into the small clearing and faced the two guys across the flickering fire, aiming the gun at them. The guy holding the pipe dropped it behind them. In a voice as menacing as possible, Vince demanded, “Where’s Rambo?”



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About the Author:
“After 21 years with an airline, and 30 years in management consulting, I retired and found that my phone didn’t ring and the only emails I got were asking for money. So, since I was at my computer, I decided to write a novel.”

This is only half the story. (Van is notoriously modest.) The author was Director of International Marketing with TWA, and an International Management Consultant – taking him behind the closed doors of boardrooms and executive offices around the world. He knows how business works, which gives the slightly “sci-fi” premise of Final Notice a realistic feel. Moreover, his two careers led him to live abroad for much of his life. After growing up in New Jersey and Florida, where he never thought much further than the length of a football field, and going to college in New Mexico, he wound up living in England, Scotland and France, travelling frequently to the Middle East and Asia. He even spent a year living in India. And his first-hand experience with – and respect for – other cultures is apparent in this book.

“Final Notice is meant to highlight, my concerns with America’s handling of three important issues: gun control (not anti-gun), ageism and the importance of immigration. The book won’t fix these issues, but there are a number of great organizations with even greater people working on our behalf to right these wrongs. Proceeds from sales of Final Notice will help support those efforts.”

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Friday, December 7, 2018

The Dark Road Book Blast

Blurb:
Jonmarc Vahanian fled from the raiders and monsters that killed his family, but when danger dogs his steps once again, he leaves the traveling caravan that gave him shelter to become a mercenary in nearby Principality. His fighting skills help him rise through the ranks, and draw the attention of a Nargi general—and the general’s undead mage. An old, unsettled score turns deadly, trapping Jonmarc in dangerous intrigue. He can save himself—and betray everything he holds dear—or die a hero as the raider’s curse holds true.

This collection is the second set of short stories and novellas that reveal another phase of Jonmarc’s growth from a blacksmith’s son to becoming one of the greatest warriors in the history of the Winter Kingdoms.

Soldier. Fight slave. Smuggler. Warrior. Brigand Lord. You may have encountered Jonmarc Vahanian in the Chronicles of the Necromancer but you don’t really know him until you walk in his footsteps.



Excerpt:
Bad Blood

Sure enough, Peters insisted that the small caravan camp for the night on a field just inside the border of Lord Nemic’s lands.

“It’s still early,” Harrtuck argued. “We could travel another hour, be that much closer to the manor, and arrive before noon.”

“It will do no good for us to arrive exhausted,” Peters sniffed. “We are performers. We must be sufficiently rested. Lord Eston’s orders were clear. We are to provide an excellent performance for Lord Nemic, as befits a gift of this magnitude. We will not drag in like peddlers, half-asleep and unable to give our best showing.”

“We were hired to defend you,” Harrtuck snapped. “And as your guards, I need to warn you that this position is once again too close to the trees and difficult to defend.”

“Deal with it,” Peters replied, eyes narrowing. “We are camping here.”

This time, Harrtuck did not attempt to hide his muttered curses as he stalked away. “Either that man is incredibly stupid, or he wants to be attacked,” he mumbled to Jonmarc when he had returned to where the rest of the War Dogs waited with their horses.

Jonmarc raised an eyebrow. “I’m not questioning his stupidity, but maybe he does want to be attacked—there’s something about this whole thing we don’t know, a piece we’re missing.”

Harrtuck nodded. “Aye. But I can’t figure out what it is.”



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Author Bio and Links:
Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Vengeance is the second in the new Darkhurst epic fantasy series. Also new is The Dark Road, the second in the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures series, and Assassin’s Honor (coming, October 2018), the first in the new Assassins of Landria series.

Her Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC has a new novel, Tangled Web, and two new collections, Trifles & Folly, and Trifles & Folly 2.

Other work includes the Chronicles Of The Necromancer series, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms series, and the alternate history novel Iron & Blood and the Storm & Fury collection (co-authored with Larry N. Martin) She is also the co-author (with Larry) of the Mark Wojcik monster hunter series (Spells, Salt and Steel) and the upcoming Wasteland Marshals series and the Cauldron/Secret Council series from Falstaff Books.

As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. New and upcoming books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, Badlands, and Lucky Town.

Find her at www.GailZMartin.com, on Twitter, on Facebook, at DisquietingVisions.com blog, and on Goodreads. She is also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign. Join her email update and never miss a new release—plus get great free stories just for signing up! 

Buy on Audio, ebook, paperback or free on Kindle Unlimited here.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Twelve Days Blurb Blitz

Blurb:
Zoey Blake is having a perfect holiday season. Finals are over and it's time to head home for Christmas, but when she wins the Hartbreakers True Love contest to join them of their tour, she has a chance to follow her favorite band for twelve days -- and twelve steamy nights.

Mackenzie Hart has been a player since and joining Hartbreakers has only edged up his game, that is until he meets Zoey. She's turned his world upside down and only she can make it right. Now all he has to do is convince her to stay with him forever. For a guy like Mack, that shouldn't be too hard but it's gonna take all he has and twelve days to win her true love.



Excerpt:
“Zoey,” Nia yelled from inside her bunk, where she had been talking to Josh. “Mack wants to say good night.”

I heard a chorus of approvals from the back of the bus. I stuck my tongue out at them and they laughed. I took the walkie-talkie from Nia and went back to my bunk.

“Hello?”

“Hi, Zoey.

“I just wanted to say goodnight,” Mack said over the crackles.

I smirked. “Why don’t you just call me?”

“Isn’t there something romantic about saying good night over a two-way radio channel in the wilds of Texas where a dozen truckers can hear us?”

I rolled my eyes. “I guess it’s romantic,” I said with a laugh. “Thank you. That is very sweet. Good night Mack.”

“Night.”

Before I shut off the walkie-talkie, I heard from over the waves, “Aw, you kids are cute.” I let out a laugh and turned it off as I handed it back to Nia. I closed my curtains and laid down to sleep as visions of Mack danced in my head.




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About the Author: 
Straight out of fandom, Hope Waters has been writing for over thirty years. From a young age, she was crafting stories to entertain others of all ages and continues to do so to this day. Hope uses she/they for pronouns and enjoys a good book with a cup of coffee and snuggles from her cats.

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NOTE: The book is on sale for $0.99.
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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Sea Archer VBT

Blurb:
Raven Hunter, a musical prodigy, flees to the Hawaiian Islands to pick up the pieces after her marriage to her manager collapses. Instead, she experiences extraordinary and unsettling events that are beyond her understanding.

Living in paradise, marine biologist, Finn Taylor has the unconscious but effortless ability to understand the needs of the animals he cares for. His playboy lifestyle is most men's fantasy. That is, until the night he meets the shy and elusive new island resident. Suddenly his life no longer feels like his own.

The attraction is undeniable. However, vastly contrasting lives, peculiar dreams, and an unbelievable proclamation that they could be the direct descendants of Poseidon and Apollo threaten to divide them forever. Will they accept their destiny and begin the quest of a lifetime or will they remain in their comfortable yet separate existence?



Excerpt:
“Finn, I understand it sounds crazy, really. I knew nothing about Greek mythology or who any of these people were until she told them to me.”

“And now you think Poseidon… I’m assuming you think I’m some offshoot of Poseidon, right?”

“You have a trident on your back.”

“Because I thought it was cool when I was twenty-years-old.”

“And you’ve never felt anything strange that you can’t explain?”

“And Raven,” he continued, unwilling to entertain those thoughts. “Who I just met, is Apollo? You realize, Apollo was a dude, the boy half of the twins, right?”

“God of music.”

“Jesus!” 




Hello there! I was trying to think up a guest blog topic and realized the one thing I haven’t done on this tour is talk about the Greek gods. Their connections, names, titles and stories are beyond confusing, so I thought I’d shed a little filtered light into the world of Greek mythology. Please keep in mind I’m boiling this down to the extreme 411 and I delve a lot deeper into these incredible people on my website, www.jenyheckman.com The best way to approach the Greek gods is to think of them as concepts rather than people. This is especially true for the deities and primordials or earliest ones. So, you’ll see I refer to many of them by their personifications or what they rule over.

So, Chaos aka the great void was hanging out one day and decided to procreate. He created Tartarus/deep abyss, Gaia/earth, Eros/desire, Erebus/darkness, and Nyx/night. These are deities or those with divine status. Several of these guys “hooked up” and created primordials, or entities existing at the beginning of time. Gaia alone created the mountains, sea and sky. Tartarus and Gaia created storms. Erebus and Night created heavens and day. Nyx alone created doom, dreams, retribution, blame, affection, ageing, death, sleep, strife, deceit, distress, and the fates. 

As I said before Gaia created the sky and his name was Uranus. Gaia took Uranus as a husband, which is gross, but in all fairness, the pool was limited. Together they created the Titans, Hecantoncheires/hundred-handed ones and the Cyclops/one-eyed giants. So, Uranus didn’t like the Hecantoncheires or the Cyclops and imprisoned them in Tartarus, which supremely pissed off Gaia. She created a sickle and asked her children to cut down their father. Her children, Oceans, Mortality, Intellect, Prophecy, Female Fertility, Law and Order, Memory, Heavenly Light, Sight and Constellations all said, get bent. Only her son Cronus, god of harvest, took up the sickle and castrated his father. He threw the dude’s junk into the sea, which roiled and foamed, creating Aphrodite, again, hard ew, and Cronus became the new leader. The Golden Age had begun.

Fearing his own children would overthrow him, Cronus, who learned nothing about a wife scorned, decided to eat each of his children the second after they were born, which gives new meaning to the word, indigestion. As you can imagine his wife and sister, Rhea aka Female Fertility, became uncorked. She hid the last of her children, Zeus, in a cave and presented her husband with a bag of rocks. Idiot that he was, Cronus just believed his wife would offer up another healthy dose of offspring and gobbled the bag, thereby allowing Zeus to live and grow. 

Once matured, Zeus came to live in his father’s kingdom and his occupation was to provide drink to the ruler. He tainted a glass with an emetic, causing Cronus to yack profusely. He regurgitated Demeter, Hades, Hera, Hestia and Poseidon, who immediately shook themselves off and joined Zeus, becoming the Olympians. You can imagine how angry Cronus was at this and waged a battle with many of his siblings, against his spawn. A bloody ten-year battle called, Titanomachy occurred, leaving the Olympians as the supreme ass-kickers and most of the Titans imprisoned in Tartarus, thus exiting the Golden Age and entering the Bronze Age.

Now the Olympians were an incredibly horny bunch and the connections here get even more muddied if you can believe it. Suffice it to say Zeus is the father of Dionysius/god of wine, Hermes/messenger of the gods, Apollo/god of music, and Artemis/goddess of hunting, all from different women. He fathered Ares, god of violent war and Hephaestus, god of metallurgy by Hera, his wife and sister. Athena/goddess of strategic war was different. Hearing and believing this child would overthrow him… can you guess what happens next? Zeus, only marginally smarter than his father, decided not to eat his child but turned his pregnant conquest into a fly and swallowed her instead. He had the mother of all migraines and asked his son, Hephaestus to cleave his head (immortalizing the splitting headache). Athena emerged in full battle armor and taking pity on her father became strategic counsel to him rather than open yet another can of paternal whoop-ass.

And there you have it in a nutshell. You didn’t realize there was a test coming! Tell me what you’ve learned or think of these crazy omnipotents!



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Author Bio and Links:
Jeny Heckman, loves romance. She especially loves romance with a paranormal and/or historical twist. When not ignoring her family and friends by writing you will find her time exclusively on them and photography. Jeny lives in Stanwood, Washington.



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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Tar VBT

Blurb:
Brendan Cobb calls it tar, but there might be as many names for it as cities left standing.

To some, it’s known as filth, or blight. Others call it the Black God in reverential whispers. Whatever name it takes, the effects are the same. Cities left in ruins. People turned into monsters. Living infections with no known cure. The best anyone can do is avoid it, but even that gets harder the more it spreads.

Brendan survives this waking nightmare by trading salvage for shelter and for repairs to his cybernetic arm, until a newcomer arrives, convinced Brendan is the key to ridding the world of tar once and for all. Reluctantly, Brendan and his mechanic join the newcomer on a journey across the desolate highways of a ruined world, where he learns the true history of the tar…and of the dark power inside him, which grows stronger every day.



Excerpt:
I know who you are, and I know with whom you travel.

The voice thundered across the expanse, bringing with it a powerful wind. Out of the corner of his eye, Brendan saw the tree bend under its force, and then break apart and turn to dust. This was the voice from his dream at Krystal’s house, the voice from his journey to Tir Anhrefnus with Alicia.

Your companion wishes to destroy this, for he finds it evil.

A form rose amid the tentacles. It had a recognizable head and body, but the waving tendrils and branching threads rendered the creature completely alien.

But there is no evil here, only hunger. To sate an appetite is not evil. The wizard you follow only sees evil because he has found something he cannot control. He does not seek justice. He seeks safety. He is not noble. He is afraid.

The voice buffeted Brendan like a hurricane, gaining strength until its power knocked him onto his back. The dusty earth gave way beneath Brendan. He plummeted into the fresh pit, and he watched the tar trace a network of paths across the sky until what little light remained was blotted out by the black infection.

Tell me which is more evil: Destruction out of hunger, or destruction out of fear?




Taylor, thanks so much for stopping by. Tell us a little about yourself.
Thanks for having me! Tar is my fifth full-length novel, which just came out November 27. When I’m not at my keyboard banging out another book, I’m at my day job, which is a total blast. I’m a morning show host and program director at a Christian radio station in Des Moines. So that means I spend the first half of my day telling stories and jokes with my awesome co-host, and then the rest of my day is spent making sure the station sounds as good as possible. It’s a demanding job, but really rewarding. If I’m not writing or working, I’m watching movies with my wife, hitting the gym, or reading whatever my latest Kindle find has been.


How did you get started writing?
I’ve always been drawn to stories. I remember drawing comic books on pieces of scrap paper, then stapling them together and trying to sell them door to door. I had a group of friends in junior high who all got involved on FanFiction.Net, and we all wrote stories together, many of which featured each other as main characters. It was after I got married that I really started pursuing the publication route, though. I’d always enjoyed writing, so the idea of having one of my books in actual print was a pretty cool idea. So I basically decided I was going to sit down and write every day until I had a new book on my hands. That was Alpha, which was the first book I self-published. Since then, I’ve published something new every year, and I’ve been having a blast doing it.


What was the inspiration for Tar?
Maybe it was the Desden Files. I think that was the first time I read about a wizard carrying around a shotgun, and I just thought that was the coolest thing ever. I didn’t sit down and say, “Yeah, I should make another Dresden Files,” but I did say, “Man, a book where a wizard with a shotgun goes on a road trip would be a blast to write.” That was an idea that really energized me, so I started with that little kernel and built out from there. By the time I was done, I’d created this weird, cyberpunk/urban fantasy/post-apocalyptic world with monsters and wizards and cybernetics, and I was even more energized than I was when I first had the idea. I am absolutely pumped to finally be able to share this with people.


What’s a genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I’d like to tell a really good haunted house story, or just a good ghost story in general. Like, really drill down to the essence of these types of stories and put just a tiny twist on them to make them fresh. I don’t have a great idea for one yet, but the minute I do, I’ll probably start scribbling away.


Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
Historical fiction is just not my jam. I need monsters or aliens or ghosts or robots, or some combination of all four in my books…whether I’m reading them or writing them. Also, half the reason I write soft science fiction is that I don’t like doing research.


What are you up to now? Do you have any releases planned, or are you still writing?
I’m pretty much always working on something. I think there were like three or four weeks after I finished Tar that I really truly took time off working on a project of some sort. My current project is an end-of-the-world comedy. So, I’m still sticking to the apocalypse, which I’ve done for the last four books now, only this time things aren’t quite as dark as they’ve been. It’s a change of pace from my last few for sure, but it’s been really fun changing my tone a bit and using some different tools to solve different problems.


Alright, now for some random, fun questions. Favorite color?
Black. Everyone tells me that’s not a color, but I don’t care. Every color looks cooler when it’s next to black. And I look cooler when I’m in black. Anything that makes me look cooler is a winner in my book.


Favorite movie?
If I want to feel deep and intellectual? Cloud Atlas. If I want to have fun? Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.


Book that inspired you to become an author?
I don’t know if it inspired me to become an author, but I read Stephen King’s IT while I was writing my first published novel Alpha, which I mentioned earlier. It was the most I’d loved a book in a long time, and I just kept imagining writing a book that would make other people feel the way I felt when I read IT. That’s what drives me with every book I write. I’m an entertainer at heart. My job has me performing live radio every morning, I’ve obviously written a few books, and I’ve played drums in my share of bands. As different as all of those media are, the thing that remains the same is that I love creating things that make people feel things.


You have one superpower. What is it?
Mind-reading. Underrated power for sure.


You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
1.     Have you picked up on how I’m a Stephen King fanboy yet? Because I’d totally sit down to dinner with him. I want to play just one song in his all-author band someday, and I would spend dinnertime simultaneously fanboying and auditioning.
2.    My cousin, Josh. He was one of my best friends, and I lost him this past spring. We never lived very close together, except for a couple years when we went to the same college and took the same major, but he was the kind of friend who you could pick up right where you left off every time you see him.
3.    My wife. She is truly my best friend, and being with her is just like breathing to me. Sometimes I don’t even think about how much I need that time with her, and sometimes it’s hard to be with her because there’s all this junk in the airway of my life…but when we make time to spend together—I mean, really spend together, not just browse Facebook on the same couch—I just come alive so much more.


Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
This is a tough question, because I don’t really think of any characters as being a lot like me. Each one has a little piece of me in them, but I’ve never really tried to create someone that really behaves like me. I think I’d be boring in my types of stories. I’d just cower in the corner and ask if I can read my book and have a cup of coffee yet. Maybe one of my close friends who’s read all my books could answer this question a little better!



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Author Bio and Links:
Taylor Hohulin is a radio personality by morning, a science fiction author by afternoon, and asleep by 9:30. He is the author of The Marian Trilogy, Tar, and other genre-blending works. He lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife, where they are owned by a dog and a cat.

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