Thursday 29 November 2012

Steampunk in Space: A Review of Abattoir in the Aether

My Book Review of  Abattoir in the Aether:

Abattoir in the Aether by L. Joseph Shosty is very fine sci-fi space adventure, served up in a smart steampunk style. It was an enjoyable read, a lovely mix of fantasy, steampunk and science fiction blended to distinction.
The book is the fourth in the Space: 1889 & Beyond series,(each book penned by a different author), but is written so you can read it as a stand-alone book (although after reading this one, I am quite curious about the rest of the series). It continues the adventures of Nathanial Stone and Annabelle Somerset -beginning with the rescue of their crippled space flyer- as they become the slightly unwilling guests on a heliograph station in solar orbit between Earth and Mars. The pair must unearth the sinister secrets of this place, before they, the station and all its inhabitants are sucked into an aether space vortex.

I thoroughly delighted in reading this book. The author took anachronistic history and Victorian science fiction and created a fascinating and full-blown steampunk setting that makes its own perfect fictional bubble of reality. Add to that some wonderfully interesting characters, very Victorian villains, a well-rendered plot full of nice twists and a great ending, it leaves you with a splendid novel. I highly recommend Abattoir in the Aether to any fans of steampunk, or anyone who likes a great read.

Abattoir in the Aether  is available at Amazon:

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Interview with Kikkina Rihki Destinu-Bantano

Today author Kikkina Rihki Destinu-Bantano stops by for an interview and to talk about her book, Angels in the City that Doesn't Sleep

Interview with Kikkina Rihki Destinu-Bantano

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself?

I am a New England (America) writer who graduated in 2009 from writing college.  I decided to do this after I started to write my first saga when I was 15!  It took me seven years to finally publish it!    I love angels, I am inspired by angels.

Can you tell us a bit about your book, Angels in the City that Doesn't Sleep?

Here is the synopsis of the book:
My name is Chrysti Neopli. I am a fifteen year old New Yorker. For the most part I am like any other teenager from New York. My parents are divorced and live in two different states. My mother lives in New York and my father lives in Maine. The only difference I have that most teenagers don’t share with me is that I am an innovative living angel. I am not by the book at all. I was born as a living angel and was raised in New York City as a human until I was eleven. That’s when I found out I had blue wings and that I had powers most people could only dream of. The truth is as an opportunity comes into my life I don’t want to go to Heaven again. I had been to Heaven before and it didn’t end well. I really don’t fit in there, just like I don’t fit in with anyone in New York either. I constantly split between Heaven and New York. The only thing different this time is the opportunity seems like it was given as a sign to make me deal with the past which I have to make extremely hard decisions to save the future of my friends.

How did the idea for the book begin?

The truth would be the fact I had just moved to a different town and everyone seemed to have forget about me.  Inspired by angels and always loved the feathered wings, I decided to write about a girl who was always stuck in the middle of the fact she was a living angel, split between Heaven and New York.

Why did you decide on a teenager as a main character?

I think when I began writing it, this was the age bracket I was in and I could relate to her. 

What first interested you in the fantasy genre?

I love to write fantasy genre because anything can happen and anything is possible.  It isn’t like real life where you are stuck sometimes an ending to a story you wish never happened. 

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?

The very first page!  I always begin to write it and to me it will never sound perfect.  I keep going at that first page for a very long time.  I have in several cases rewrote the book because of the first page didn’t get the hype I wanted.

Can you tell us about your writing process? Do you have a certain writing routine?

I search for a lot of different pictures online, so I can visually picture them and describe them in my books.  (For example, Azeen, a pure black tiger.  I honestly never realized that there were such a thing)

Who has inspired you as an author?

I have been inspired by A LOT of great authors out there!!  The one that really inspired me with his own story would be Ray Bradbury with the fact he kept writing and never stopped.  People told him his books would never make it, and now they are classics!

What’s next for you?
I am going to continue writing the ‘Angels in the City that Doesn’t Sleep’ Series!

Author Bio:

Kikkina Rihki Destinu-Bantano was born and raised in Maine, where she lives a quiet life.
She began writing at a young age and at fifteen she wrote Angels in the City that Doesn't Sleep. She set it aside for years until she was twenty four and then decided to have it published.
For more information on her books and more about Book Tours, Blog Tours, Radio Interviews, and free book giveaways please check her out on Facebook or Google Plus

Friday 2 November 2012

Above Ground: A Blog Tour

As promised, A. M. Harte stops by on her Above Ground blog tour.  Today, All Souls Day, she brings an excerpt from her new dark fantasy, Above Ground.  Not only is she sharing a tantalizing tidbit to read, she comes bearing gifts, in the form of a Rafflecopter contest.  So read on and then enter (the contest that is)...

Excerpt: Above Ground by A.M. Harte

The midday sun beat down on werewolf and girl alike, withering the plants, sucking every ounce of moisture from the air. Great clouds of red soil swirled upwards with every beat of the werewolf’s paws, and within minutes Lilith’s cheeks were stinging from the heat and the flecks of grit in the air. She pressed closer to his fur, jostled by each leap, certain she would soon fall.
“Hey!” The wind tore the word out of her mouth. “Hey you! Slow down!”
No response. Ahead there was nothing but open land. A quick glance over her shoulder confirmed Lilith's suspicions: they were going the wrong way. She tugged on the thick fur of Wolf’s neck, trying to steer him towards the cliffs, but either he couldn't feel what she was doing or he was ignoring her.
“Turn around! You’re going the wrong way!”
Wolf flicked back an ear but didn’t stop running. With every passing moment the theatre—her only way back home—faded further into the distance. Unless she wanted to remain stranded in the middle of nowhere, it was time for drastic measures.
This was going to hurt.
She let go of Wolf’s neck. There was no time to think. Lilith threw herself sideways and saw the ground rush up to meet her. Her eyes squeezed shut. The air was kicked out of her, dust rising in a cloud as she tumbled across the sandy soil.
It took a moment for Lilith to realise she had stopped rolling. Dirt choked the inside of her nose and mouth, and her head was still spinning, struggling to catch up. She kept still, winded. Her shoulder ached and the oppressive heat made it almost impossible to move. A tall shrub obstructed her line of sight, yet she could feel Wolf looming.
Lilith flexed her right leg, then the left. Her fingers curled into the dirt, her shoulders rolled obligingly. Nothing broken.
She sat up carefully. Her clothes were streaked with red dust and her palms stung.  She wiped her hands on her jeans as she stood slowly, legs trembling. Then she forced herself to turn around and say, “I asked you to take me home.”
The werewolf ignored her—or, more likely, didn’t understand. He stood still, ears pricked forward, tail up, staring warily in the direction from which they had come. A vast expanse of barren earth separated them from the theatre, its domed roof reflecting the sunlight. At this distance the building was no longer impressive; it was not, as Lilith had initially thought, reaching towards the sky. Instead it huddled at the base of the cliff face, cowering into the ground.
The enormity of the situation struck her: she was above ground.
     This was unchartered territory, the heart of wilderness: the land stretched out uninterrupted in every direction, and the sky above was a flat, endless blue. Not even the largest of caves in the Lower Halls could compare to the infinity of the sky. Even the air was different, drier, as if someone had left the dehumidifier on all night—but up here there were no dehumidifiers. Above ground, there were only monsters.

Above Ground

The first glimpse of sun may be her last.
When Lilith Gray goes above ground for the first time, she hardly expects to stay there — much less be trapped on the surface with no way home.
Hunted by trackers and threatened by the infected, Lilith is on the run, desperate to return underground. Her only hope for survival lies with a taciturn werewolf with a dark agenda of his own.
Lilith’s old carefree life has been reduced to one choice:
Adapt. Or die trying.

Author Bio:

A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the post-apocalyptic Above Ground and the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate. She lives in London, a city not half as foggy as some seem to think.

You can find her Above Ground blog tour schedule here:

RaffleCopter Contest:

Thursday 1 November 2012

Coffin Hop: The Aftermath

The Coffin Hop is through and we little monsters have crawled back to our writing holes. But there are still a few orders of business, namely the contest winners:

Winner of the signed copy of The Cult of Me by Michael Brookes: Katy S.
Winner of the Death by Drive-In sampler:  wwe11
Winner of my three ebook package of Gothic Cavalcade, Ruined City and Killers and Demons (via free Smashwords coupon codes): K. N. Porter

And if you entered The Karen Dales contest be sure to check in with her Facebook page.

Congratulations to all the winners!

I'll be passing the the winner's names along to Michael Brookes and to Axel Howerton (who's in charge of the Death by Drive-In sampler) and contacting the winner of my contest.  So keep a eye on your email.

And thanks to all the visitors, and participants it was a great Hop. Don’t forget to return tomorrow for an All Soul’s Day post, when A. M. Harte brings you an excerpt from her new book, Above Ground.

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