Emissary by EB Brooks – Q&A and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $25 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

That would be my childhood friend, Maria. We never went to school together, but we knew each other over the years from academic competitions. By high school, we’d become good friends and worked hard helping each other train to go to the Air Force Academy. In the end, I was accepted; she wasn’t. She went to a ROTC program instead, and ironically stayed in to become an officer where I switched gears midway and ended up going the civilian route after all. But in that first year, she wrote me every week…and I didn’t. Too busy, too stressed. Which I’m sure she was, too, but I didn’t return her kindness and effort. I saw her again once, years later, but then she disappeared. Maria, if you see this, I’m sorry. I failed you as a friend, but I haven’t forgotten the lesson from that failure.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

Well, we already have a ton of cats, so no pumas (forgive the Red vs Blue joke), and my daemon (à la Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials) is an ocelot, though she wouldn’t tolerate being called a pet, haha. My wife probably has a better answer for this, since she manages the animals on the homestead. Something that can dig really well, or help plants grow quickly. A little water dragon would be great for gardens or for watering the ducks and geese. Are there mythical animals that eat CO2 and excrete calm?

How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

Honestly, I don’t worry about it too much, because writing authentically kind of takes care of it for me. For example, I remember reading Ready Player One before publishing Emissary. I’d been worried and stressed that people would see the latter as a knock-off of the former, but the two stories are wildly different, sometimes diametrically opposed in their themes and characters.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

Hmm…the best was probably to always keep the story as the first priority. Everything else follows that, not the other way around. The worst was any of the myriad fashion-chasing tips. Never use said! Always use said! Kill all adverbs! Pack every sentence! Easy to lose sight of what you’re writing, that way. If it sounds right to you, it probably is. Put it down, let it rest for half a year, and I guarantee it’ll all look terrible and you’ll redo it anyway.

Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not per se. The Emissary Quintet is ultimately a story about the human condition and the reunion of spirit with matter to bring the best of each to bear, because that’s the key to making the world better. Characters are facets of me, and some inherited physical traits or hobbies, but none are me. Nor are they anyone else: I remember reassuring my mom that no, Ewan and Tree’s rocky early relationship was not a retelling of my early days with my wife. There are moments taken from my life, like interactions with pets or kids, but always the essence is what comes in, not a play-by-play account.

Two Worlds. One Future.

Ewan O’Meara is no stranger to death: in recent months, he’s found his way to limbo at least once per week, much to his parents’ concern. It’s a necessary price for getting experience to become the greatest adventurer his homeland of Veridor has ever known, but the overbearing Veridian Church has him pinned down, soaking him for the penance gold to unlock his stats each time he respawns. And because the Church’s ancient war put an end to both the godlike Gems and the epic quests they once bestowed, Ewan has no better alternative.

That is, until he encounters a young woman fleeing arrest from the Church’s soldiers. At first glance, Treanna Rothchild needs it: she’s clueless about Veridian life. But she has other skills that defy Ewan’s understanding, and she knows things. Unsettling, seditious things the Church wants kept secret at any cost.

And she’s in Veridor to raise an army, to fight an enemy only she can see.

Risking both life and soul, Ewan follows Treanna where no Veridian has ever been and there is no respawning. But for him to have a chance at making a real difference in the strange, harsh world she reveals to him, he must first come to terms with it. Especially as he and Treanna discover how much it has in common with Veridor—and how much they depend on each other to survive.

New-adult science fiction, wrapped in gaming and fantasy around a hopepunk core, Emissary is an immersive, thought-provoking adventure with a little teen romance and a lot of heart.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Ewan didn’t know why he did it. He had plenty of reasons. He was angry about getting censured, annoyed with Paul’s warning to keep his head down, and embarrassed by how quickly he’d ignored it. No one took him seriously as an adventurer, much less understood when he asked the big questions.

But, more than anything, looking into those eyes, he simply knew this girl was in trouble, and that he wanted to help her.

She flew past as time resumed its normal flow; Ewan shouted and leaped in front of the Swords to draw their aggro. He called up his menu, winced when he remembered he’d given Kate his armor, then equipped his blades anyway.

An ominous tone sounded in his mind, and a warning flashed across his vision that he now had a bounty, along with a reminder that only Swords were permitted to equip weapons in the cathedral. As if to prove the point, the soldiers slowed as they saw the blades flash into being on his back, but with grim smiles they equipped their own and changed targets.

Ewan spared a quick glance behind him to see the girl vanish down the steps, then turned to face his opponents.

The crowd was whispering excitedly now, but he focused on the Swords, quickly calling on his own basic aura-reading skills to scan them. They were stronger than him, and bigger too, but neither had bothered to bolster their defense beyond their armor, clearly seeing him as an easy mark.

Time to see what agility’s all about, he thought with a nervous chuckle.

About the Author: E.B. Brooks lives in the southeastern USA, where he splits his time between writing, research, and homesteading. He enjoys building fictional worlds, real houses, and landscape models, but he’s most at home with his wife and children, and their many, many pets.

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The World Council by Norm Meech – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Norm Meech will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Ricky Montgomery had just graduated high school in June 1976 and was enjoying life as an 18-year-old teenager. He was hired by the Dawson City Police Force, and after graduating from police college he was assigned to work as an undercover operative in a motorcycle gang.

Ricky, although happy, was struggling living his double life as a cop and biker. Then it happened: during a biker war, Ricky’s life was saved by agents from the World Council (TWC). TWC was created by the world’s leaders to prevent manmade disasters from happening and to liaise with aliens who have been monitoring mankind for hundreds of years. TWC’s mandate, with the assistance of aliens, is to ensure mankind’s continued existence.

TWC is a highly secretive organization, whose agents have the ability to travel through time, to change history, and to take lives to save lives. Ricky becomes a TWC agent and discovers that TWC’s command staff is making unethical decisions, hiding secrets about aliens and trying to reduce the world’s population through biological warfare. Ricky teams up with other agents and tries to save mankind and the world from disaster.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Just as I turned and looked outside, the van’s side door slid open and two masked men with guns opened fire. I yelled to everyone, to get down as I hit the floor. There were shards of broken glass and bullets flying everywhere.

Although the barrage of gunfire only lasted a few minutes, it seemed a lot longer, like time had slowed down. One of the Devils who was packing a gun was able to return fire and the van disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. I looked around and most of the people were starting to get up off the floor. All except for a couple.

Then I realized that Vicky was still on the ground and there was blood pooling beside her. My God, she had been shot! I yelled for someone to call an ambulance and to get me some towels. I got the towels and applied pressure to her midsection. I looked around for help but there wasn’t any. The other waitresses were helping one of the Devil’s members and another waitress who had also been shot. Hammer and the other guys took off knowing that the cops would be showing up soon.

Sure enough, in a matter of minutes ambulances and a ton of cops arrived at the bar. The ambulance attendants started working on Vicky and the cops pushed me off to the side, telling me to stay back, let them do their job. Obviously none of the cops or ambulance people knew we were undercover. I was judged to be a low life biker and my “old lady”, a waitress, was also judged to be the lower part of society. They allowed me to ride in the ambulance with Vicky, only after I gave some uniform cop our names and addresses. They worked on Vicky all the way to the hospital and they told me that she was in critical condition when they wheeled her into surgery.

It suddenly hit me like a truck. It did not matter who I was, a biker or a cop. We are all humans and Vicky did not deserve this. She was only 23 years old and she was a beautiful person. I knew she understood the risks of being a cop, especially an undercover cop, but she was harmless. She had stepped up to the plate, she had warned me, she had my back. Besides saving me, she probably had saved a lot of other people in that bar. I was so emotional and confused; I was holding back tears and I was so full of anger I did not know what to do. Who could I call? It could not get out that she was a cop! I called Christine to tell her what had happened.

About the Author: Norm Meech has been retired for nearly two years, capping a distinguished forty-four-year career in policing. He fondly recalls the camaraderie of work friends forged during his tenure and the unique experiences as a police officer.

While missing aspects of his former profession, Norm keeps himself engaged by maintaining fitness and pursuing various hobbies. Additionally, he channels his creativity into writing, aiming to produce a book annually. His latest work delves into science fiction, inviting readers to ponder questions about the existence of aliens, unidentified flying objects, government involvement in secret conspiracies, the potential for time travel, and the impact of human activities on the planet. Norm hopes readers enjoy the fictional stories he crafts, sparking contemplation and curiosity.

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Winter Blogfest: Tom Riley

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of “Dark Heat.” There are two prizes total, and each one will be given out to an entrant whose comment the authors feel best express the purpose and direction of the Sarah and JanetN books. 

ChatGPT-4 Turbo by Tom Riley

This year we got a big Christmas present in the form of the hot new AI, ChatGPT-4 Turbo. There is every reason to believe that AIs have already passed a social tipping point and major changes to society are now baked in.  

In our stories, strong AIs (technically AGI, Artificial General Intelligence), like JanetN, are well established but still expensive.  They are teamed with a responsible human being, Sarah.  They can appear on any screen but do not have robot bodies, as this would have too high a carbon footprint.

There are people who think they deserve to live and not be turned off on human whims.  There are also people who think they should all be killed off the instant they have lost their usefulness.  This conflict drives a lot of the drama in our stories.

Working in a near future where climate change has hit and hit hard, are Sarah and JanetM, a human/AI research team.

Their boring work for small businesses is disrupted when a friend/ex-lover vanishes; he was always a shady character. A major climate disruption in Southeast Asia has put the world into full food insecurity. There is great social distress over how much of America’s bounty should be committed. A black-market gang has hijacked a grain shipment intended for the devastated area. This action could endanger thousands of faraway people.

Our team thinks this gang is responsible for the disappearance of their friend too. The friend’s family offer to pay our team’s fee even if it is only to give the body a proper burial. The hunt is on.

 

Tom Riley retired from NASA a few years ago and continued coaching young people in STEM. It soon became clear that we owe our young people a better vision of their future in facing our climate crisis. This led to this series of now 3 books that take on that responsibility.

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RESEARCHING TIPS: Fantasy Writers, Are You Guilty of “Copy-Pasting” Cultures? Here’s the fix. by Z. Lindsey – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Z. Lindsey will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

RESEARCHING TIPS: Fantasy Writers, Are You Guilty of “Copy-Pasting” Cultures? Here’s the fix.

Human culture is complicated. Add elves, orcs, lizardmen, and more to that, and things get very complicated. When you’re writing about fictional cultures, it’s tempting to find a culture you like from the real world and ‘copy-paste’ it into your story.

On Facebook science fiction and fantasy writing groups, I see questions like, “How can I sensitively base my mountain-dwelling dwarven miners off of ancient Mongol culture?” (This question is based on a real post, but I changed details to avoid shaming a specific writer, because this is not about shaming.) As an anthropologist, I know how to address this–but it may not be the answer the writer wants to hear.

Sometimes writers will say that it’s their right to write about anything they want, whether sensitive ears are offended or not. If I want to base my lizardmen on the Aztecs, who’s to stop me? But the issue isn’t some culture war question about who has the right to write about what. If you base your lizardmen on the Aztecs but profoundly fail to understand Mexica culture, those of us who study these things will not be offended. We’ll think you’re dumb. I assume no writer wants that.

So how can you base your dwarven miners off of Mongolian culture without coming off as a dope?

The answer, I’m sorry to say, is you probably can’t. Culture develops very much in response to its environment and its neighbors. That means starting with an existing culture is usually doomed to failure.

Mongol culture as we understand it today began on a plateau. While there are mountains around, that’s not where the ancient Mongols grew up, and Mongols didn’t usually harvest minerals by digging deep into the mountains like we typically imagine dwarves doing. Even today, most mines in Mongolia are open-pit mines, not in the mountains.

So there’s dissonance taking dwarven miners and putting them in Mongolian clothing. Your dwarves can be Mongols, but why would they use yurts, for example? Yurts work best on flat land because of their construction style. In the mountains, you can take advantage of caves for shelter.

If you say, “Fine, they won’t use freaking yurts,” well, home is where activities like cooking take place. Without yurts, you’ll have to reevaluate food culture and how people cook. In the end, what is Mongolian about your dwarves? They look like it? Superficial appearance is a road to racial stereotyping.

The other option is not doing that.

Instead, say, “My dwarves need to be miners for my story, so how did ancient cultures who mined live? What kind of houses did they have? What social patterns were common?”

This research might seem more abstract. You can’t google “Mongolia” and read the Wikipedia article. But I suspect you’re doing more than that already. It’s not a matter of doing more research, but shifting the focus. Focus on how a variety of real-world cultures adapt to environments similar to the ones in your story.

If we want to emulate Mongols, we’d probably have our dwarves make incredible woodcarvings. Mongols were famous for wooden sculptures. But maybe our dwarves don’t have many trees on the high mountains where they work, so they create incredible sculptures out of stone. Maybe they even find wood art to be repulsive. They work with stone all day, so why not? Wood is for the elves!

Focusing on the environment does two things: 1) It lessens the chance of creating stereotypes and unflattering portrayals of real cultures. That’s because your base point is an environment, not a people. And 2) It gives you more freedom, because you’re not bound by the facts of a real culture. You can build elements into your story that you want to, regardless of facts. If your dwarves still look Mongolian after all that reverse-engineering, there’s nothing wrong with that. They’ll look like that for logical reasons, not because you thought Mongols looked cool.

You don’t have to throw away your visions of rugged mountains. But if that’s where you want your story to take place, research how people adapt to the mountains. There are lots of fascinating details, like higher infant mortality rates because of oxygen issues! I recently wrote a story about a young woman who comes down from the mountains while pregnant to ensure her child comes to term … only to find a devastated and apocalyptic world waiting for her.

Rather than picking real-world cultures to emulate in your fantasy (especially when creating monsters), consider researching how people respond to certain environments. A great starting point is The Alternative Introduction to Biological Anthropology, by Jon Marks. And don’t copy-paste!

Some heroes have swords. Essimore Darkenchyl has a pen. But it’s a magic pen.
Some wizards have spellbooks. Essie has Gossen’s Guide to Shipping Law. But it’s a current edition.
Some sailors have . . . experience. Essie has a new diploma and a year-long contract, and her people have won wars with less.
And that’s good, because between stolen weapons, a coup, and a strange disease creeping in around her and the crew, she might need to win a war.
In a world that blends traditional fantasy with the Age of Exploration, Essie knows a pen is mightier than a sword, especially since hers sometimes shoots lightning.

But what she thinks is a routine political dispute turns out to be something much, much more, and she may have finally met the one problem she can’t talk her way out of.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Essie cleared her throat. From her backpack, she removed the letter of service that granted her travel permission to sail on the ship. It was folded neatly into thirds, with a glittering blue wax seal on it.

“Essimore Darkenchyl at your service, sir. I’m your new fully licensed shipping coordinator with Power of the Pen. It’s an honor to be aboard.”

The captain took the letter without opening it, folded it in half with no regard for the beautiful wax seal, folded it messily again, and jammed it into his pocket. The whole time, Essie winced.

“Right-o.” As he smiled, the older man’s cheeks dimpled and his white teeth shined in the sun. “Well, I thought we were leaving without you, but here you are. Good on you. Great. Yeah.” The captain turned to the teenager at his side. “Grab her bag and get her stuff to her room. She can hang out there til dinner.”

As the teenager shouldered her bag and grunted, she and the captain looked at each other, the captain with his beaming smile. Once the teenager left, she said, “Thanks for welcoming me onto your ship.”

“Yeah. Fully licensed, you say?”

“Absolutely!”

“Okay. Have a nice one. See you at dinner.”

“Don’t we need to . . . uh . . . onboard?”

“You’re already on board. You managed that just fine.”

“But . . . signing things. Paperwork. Reviewing the staff log. Staff log, sir!”

The captain’s smile faded, but reappeared so fast she wasn’t sure if she’d seen it go.

“Okay, fine. Let’s talk in my cabin.”

About the Author Zac Lindsey is an anthropologist and a linguist who focuses on the Maya people of Quintana Roo. Since childhood, he’s had a not-so-secret love of weird, silly, and well-structured fantasy. When other people’s parents were reading them picture books, his mom was reading him Terry Brooks. He typically writes hopeful and character-driven fantasy.

Today, he lives in Quintana Roo, Mexico with his wife, daughter, and various stray cats.

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What Thia Taught Me by K. M. Warfield – Guest Post and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. K. M. Warfield will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What Thia Taught Me

My thanks to Long and Short Reviews for hosting me!

One of the main characters in my Heroes of Avoch trilogy is named Thia. One of her biggest obstacles is herself. In ‘Scales and Stingers’, she has zero self-confidence. She’s not had an easy life, and it’s made her practically unable to trust anyone. She can’t take someone at their word; it must be backed up by actions.

She knows she’s good at what she does but refuses to step out of the shadows and be seen. It’s not the best life, but she knows what to expect. She’s not living, though. She’s existing, going through the motions, surviving. But that’s it.

I’ve had some problems. Undiagnosed and ignored PTSD led to depression and anxiety. In writing Thia’s journey, I found myself seeing the trap I fell into with my own life. I was raised to not talk about my achievements, not actually admit to anyone or myself that I could be good at something. I got very good at hiding behind sarcasm (something else Thia tends to do) and dreaming of things I knew I was capable of but terrified of going for them. By having Thia confront that in herself, grow past it, I started to believe I could.

One major step I took recently was realizing that this series is good. Not everyone will agree with me, but I know it matters. To me, to my friends whose characters I stole for the books. And I don’t feel guilty for saying it. I no longer feel the need to add some sort of self-deprecating comment after saying it. It’s okay to embrace what I’ve accomplished with the series, be excited for others to read it.

As Thia grew into her strength and sense of self, she took me along with her. Kicking and screaming at points, but I wasn’t exactly nice to her either. Facing our inner demons are rarely battles won without scars, though. I’m finally letting some of those heal instead of picking at them until they bleed. That’s Thia’s doing.

K. M. Warfield
Author – Heroes of Avoch trilogy
She/Her

An ancient relic. Two solitary quests. A chance to prove one’s worth.

After an intense battle against the malicious Goddess, Lolc Aon, and freeing the Fallen citizens of Byd Cudd, Jinaari and Thia are presented with new challenges while in the public eye. Even though Thia has been granted nearly unlimited healing power through the God Keroys, many still doubt her because of her Fallen lineage. Jinaari does his best to support her, but his lessons are cut short after his sister is kidnapped.

Faced with life altering obstacles, will Jinaari keep his vow to protect Thia even from afar? Can Thia learn to trust herself and win over the public? Or will it be too late?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Jinaari looked at his friend, “You and Pan kept all three of us alive, brought us back here. That’s plenty.”

Adam shrugged. “I know that’s what you needed us to do. It doesn’t feel like enough, though. You two do all the heavy lifting while we barely make a dent.”

“Stop that,” he stared at the warlock. “I couldn’t have gotten her away from Lolc Aon alone. Not in one piece. You kept that spider from getting her, too.”

“After I led her into the nest in the first place,” he grumbled.

“Hey, I told everyone to check the wall and she ended up falling into a pit because of it. That doesn’t matter. We’re a team. You and Caelynn know what to do so well that I don’t have to tell you. I trust it’s going to happen, and it does. Thia’s learned a lot since she first came to us. She trusts you and me. I don’t worry about anyone else dying because I know she won’t let it happen. She’s too damn stubborn.”

The blonde man nodded. “You’re right.”

“Of course I’m right,” Jinaari said as he sat back. “I’m glad you finally admit it.”

“You’re also arrogant, insufferable, and demanding,” Thia’s voice made him twist in his chair.

Caelynn stood next to her. The blue tint of her skin had faded. It wasn’t gone, but it wasn’t as prevalent as when they’d first come back. The bard’s face was tired, but happy.

“Everything okay?” he asked.

About the Author:Born in the late 1960’s, K. M. has lived most of her live in the Pacific NW. While she’s always been creative, she didn’t turn towards writing until 2008. Writing under the pen name of KateMarie Collins, she released several titles. In 2019, the decision was made to forge a new path with her books. The Heroes of Avoch series, along with a new pen name, is the end result.

When she’s not writing, she loves playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends, watching movies, and cuddling up with her cat. K. M. resides with her family in what she likes to refer to as ‘Seattle Suburbia’.

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What Does It Take to Make a Sci-Fi Author? by A.M. Griffin – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A.M. Griffin will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Hey Party People!

For those who don’t know me, I’m A.M. Griffin, avid reader cosplaying as a sci-fi author. I’m taking over Long and Short Reviews to introduce myself. While I’ve written in multiple genres, sci-fi is my first love. I’ve always been curious about space, aliens and life on different planets. As a young girl, I wrote many short sci-fi stories. Or should I say that I “started” many sci-fi shorts (I don’t think I finished any) (this is a no-judgement zone lol). I published my first sci-fi novel in 2012 and haven’t looked back since. That series, Loving Dangerously, will forever hold a special place in my heart and the first in the series, Dangerously Mine, will forever by my favorite book as it’s the first that I’ve finished to completion.

So, what does it take to make a sci-fi author?

Sci-Fi Author Ingredients:

1 cup Introvert
3 cups Weird
6 cups Overactive Imagination

Mix all the ingredients together and season to taste with a pinch of snark, feisty, sleepiness and addiction to doom scrolling through social media. The bake time would depend on the specific individual.

The Hunter. As the new Game Warden, Xrez Ym’ihla brings patrons from across the galaxy to track prey in a game built to enslave the weak and mate the strong. The business is a long running family legacy and Xrez is determined to succeed as his father had before him. He hadn’t meant to let one human occupy his thoughts, mind, and body.

His lies may come back to haunt him, but if he reveals the truth, he’ll ruin his chance to capture the heart of the one he wants.

The Prey. Esme Valdez had her entire life planned from an early age. As a chemist, her life was average and mundane, just the way she liked it. Until the impossible happened. Never did she imagine being abducted by aliens and forced to participate in a survival of the fittest game called The Hunt. If she survives and makes it to the end, she’ll be freed. If not, she’ll be forced to mate the one who captures her.

Esme is determined to win at all costs, even if it means putting her trust in a sexy alien who taunts her in the most delectable way.

Their love was built on betrayal. Can she trust him with her heart and life?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Property,” she said, finally finishing her sentence. She didn’t recognize anything. Not a God. Damn. Thing. “We aren’t on my property.” Her voice didn’t sound right on her ears.

“So you didn’t kidnap me and give me this fancy new BDSM collar?” He tugged on something about two inches wide and silver around his neck

Esme fumbled at her neck, finding a collar of her own. It felt like metal, not thick, but seemed sturdy and cold on her skin. Her fingers trembled as she followed around the circumference. There wasn’t a way to unhook it. Her breathing picked up. Her chest heaved.

This was wrong. So very wrong.

The man shrugged. “I mean, if you’re into BDSM, I won’t judge you. But as I said, I’m through with all the weird shit.”

Esme clenched her fists in frustration. Tears welled in her eyes. Her heart felt like it was one beat away from exploding. “Hey, nitwit, this isn’t just about you. I think we’re all in the same boat here. I woke up probably the same time you did and just assumed I was home, because,” a hysterical chuckle left her mouth, “where else would I be on a friggin’ Friday night?”

“Hate to break it to you, but it’s Sunday night. I just played Comerica Park in Detroit.”

Esme frowned and shook her head. “No, I’m positive. The last thing I remember is coming home from work and thinking about binging on Netflix. It’s what I do every Friday night.”

He snorted. “Well, that’s sad.”

“Hey! We all can’t play at Comerica Park.” She exhaled loudly. “What is that anyway and why are you dressed like an over the top rock star?”

She’d heard of Detroit, even visited once when she’d lived in the United States to attend college. Her mom had a distant cousin who’d live near the United States and Canada border, and she’d spent a Christmas with them instead of flying all the way home to Mexico.

The rockstar guy brushed off his pants and straightened his clothes. “It’s called ‘stage presence,’ baby.”

“Oh, my God. Can you guys keep it down? Some of us are trying to sleep,” came a tired voice from a shadowy corner.

Rockstar guy held up his hand and pulled each finger down slowly.

New guy scrambled to his feet. He was a lot bigger than rock star guy and bigger than most men she knew. He had on army fatigues, military boots, and dog tags hanging from his thick neck. He scowled. “Wait. Where the hell am I?”

Rockstar guy smirked and dropped his hands. “And there it is.”

About the Author: A. M. Griffin is a mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.

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If I’d Never Heard of Me, Would I Read My Book? by Robyn Singer – Guest Post and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess fish Promotions. Robyn Singer will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If I’d Never Heard of Me, Would I Read My Book?

A question like this is a tough one, especially as I don’t read nearly as many novels nowadays as I did when I was younger. I’m sure many of us in our 20s and 30s can recall speeding through a book in a day or two when we were kids, but now needing a week or month to finish one. Let’s say that I’m a passionate reader with no professional connection to my publisher, Cinnabar Moth, and The Order of the Banshee happened to come across my dash as a
recommendation.

Based on the gorgeous cover, my attention would immediately be drawn. I almost exclusively read books with female protagonists, the framing makes it seem like there’s a deep emotional connection between the two women on the cover, the shattered sword between them is a dynamic visual, and the women’s contrasting red and bluish-black hair, combined with their depressed facial expressions, would make me think of my favorite tv show in recent years,
Arcane. Looking at the description of the book, my attention would be further captured. The tagline hinting at this being a story set after “Happily Ever After” would sound right up my alley.

The first paragraph of the summary establishing that the women on the cover are married and that this is a space opera with found family, and a thief as the main protagonist would almost certainly seal the deal for me, but it would also make me question if this book was a sequel.

Sure enough, after a quick Google search and most likely a cup of coffee, I’d find that The Order of the Banshee is a sequel to last year’s, The Sunrisers. I might ask the person who put the book on my dash if The Order of the Banshee could be read on its own, but even when they said, “Yes”, I’d still probably want to read The Sunrisers first, so I could see how the series
leads, “professional thief and amateur noodle critic” Yael Pavnick and former military captain, Molina Langstone, first got together. Lesbian childhood friends to enemies to lovers would be impossible for me to pass up.

I wrote these books to be everything I want in stories, with the series protagonist, Yael, being specifically designed to be everything little me would have wanted in a hero. Yes, I would absolutely read both The Order of the Banshee and its predecessor, The Sunrisers, even if I’d never heard of me. I suppose it wasn’t such a difficult question after all.

It’s been five years since Yael and Molina reunited. Yael is one of the richest and most infamous thieves in the universe and a member of the Order of the Banshee. She is rising through the ranks of the elite organization with her wife and her ride-or-die best friends, Aarif and P’Ken, at her side, and she’s even running her own school for thieves. Molina, former captain in the universe’s premiere peacekeeping organization, the Sunrisers, is happily married to Yael and tells herself that’s enough.

Their seemingly perfect lives are interrupted when they receive news of the death of Molina’s father. When Molina returns home for his funeral, she reunites with her former friend and now enemy: Kaybell, the emperor of the Cykebian Empire. Kaybell, eager to mend the relationship, informs Molina that her father was murdered and offers to help Molina find those responsible and bring them to justice.

While Molina and Kaybell hunt the people responsible for her father’s death, Yael is hunted by an invincible assassin – one with a terrible secret. These two seemingly unrelated events are more connected than Yael or Molina could possibly imagine.

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Yael was never peaceful in her sleep. Sometimes it was adorable, as she’d blurt out lines from her ridiculous dreams and punch and kick the air. Other times it was annoying as Hell, as she’d sleepwalk, go to the fridge, and stuff food in my mouth. And usually it was weird food she and Aarif liked that I wouldn’t normally touch. But sometimes, it wasn’t adorable or annoying. Sometimes it was scary.

“Ahh!” Yael shrieked, shaking her knees. “Ahhh!”

“Yael, baby, wake up,” I said, getting on top of her and resting my hands on her face. “Wake up!”

Yael’s eyes jolted open and she tried to throw me off her. That had happened a few times before, but I’d learned how to grab onto her so I stayed in place. As Yael panted, she wrapped her arms around my waist and squeezed me like one of the stuffed animals she’d had as a kid.

“It’s okay,” I whispered. “It’s okay. You’re home. You aren’t back there.”

Yael’s warm breath continued to blow against my ear. “It hurts. It shouldn’t, but it does. Every other week…I’m on the Noriker. And every time I close my eyes, I see that bitch.” Yael roared, slamming her fists down on the bed, shaking the entire room. “I could have killed her. Instead, she’s the fucking emperor.”

About the Author: Robyn Singer is a lifelong New Yorker, and since she was a kid playing with her action figures, all she’s wanted to do is tell stories. She went to SUNY Purchase to get a degree in Playwriting & Screenwriting with a minor in Film and has produced several comic books, but she’s always had her eye on becoming a published novelist.

As an Autistic, bisexual trans woman, diversity and inclusion in stories are vitally important to her, and she seeks to represent as many groups as possible in her work. While she wants to show characters of marginalized groups experiencing joy, she also draws inspiration from real-world problems which bother her.

The Sunrisers (Cinnabar Moth Publishing, November 2022) is her debut novel. Order of the Banshee is book in the The Ricochet Trilogy. Robyn was the author in residence for quester 1 of 20222 for Cinnabar Moth Literary Collections. She writes novels and short stories of all genres and for all ages, and she continues to produce comic books. Her ongoing series, Final Gamble, began publication by Band of Bards in 2022.

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Character Creation by Chad Hunter – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a randomly drawn winner a $10 Amazon/BN gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Character creation is the foundation of any story. I have found that if you know your protagonist, antagonist or even supporting characters well, they will almost write the story for you. These are my essential steps for moving the people in my imagination to paper (or screen!)

1. Knowing the background that the audience knows (and doesn’t) – It is important that I know everything about the character that the audience does and does not. When you know their backstory, you know what drives them and what they fear. When you know a secret about the character, it can help influence their actions in a “show don’t tell” fashion. It is also very important that you never mention their secret or tell it in a story. It doesn’t have to be big but it has to be something untold. I find that this creates a unique bond between you and your creation.

2. Using my senses – What do they look like is an obvious start but what do they sound like? Do they speak loudly and with confidence or do they speak in a soft tone with hints of insecurity? Do they smell like they wear perfume or cologne? When you shake their hand or touch their skin, are they warm or cold? I find that using my senses to fully embrace a character’s traits greatly fleshes them out and makes it easy to give these descriptions to the reader. It also gives me insight into who they are and what they stand for. A character who speaks meekly may have trauma in their backstory. Someone who stomps with every step may be intimidating or overcompensating. A villain with a warm smile may believe he or she is in the right and still be a good person doing terrible things, etc.

3. Having coffee – Lastly, in my imagination, I have coffee with the characters. Regardless if they are a zombie from the future, an alien space captain or a college student hacker, I imagine sitting and having coffee with them. It gives me more input into their nuisances and three dimensionality. How do they interact with not only me but the environment? Do they order a complicated drink or go for something simple? Are they relaxed or impatient about their time and why? Coffee is one of those great equalizers that allows us a chance to lower our guards and connect. This is true for the real and the imaginary and if they’re in your head, who is to say that they’re not kind of real already?

Get creating.
Chad

Without warning, the demonic computing device rose up. Red arcs of crackling electricity snapped out from the server and struck the men and women in the chest. Involuntarily, they each screamed out in dying shrieks. Each worshiper hovered off the floor, transfixed and held for feeding.

DedKode moved forward but James knew it was too late. He placed his hand out and stayed the young, undead hacker.

The worshipers continued to undulate and now fluids ran from their orifices; heavy thick drops collected in puddles beneath each of them.

Faces sunk in.

Eyes rolled back.

Limbs twisted and cracked.

After what seemed like hours, but was only minutes, of watching these men and women sucked dry of their lives, the bodies collapsed to the flooring. Several landed in the pools of their bodily fluids – that which the server did not demand.

The server hovered still, humming like a thousand computer room fans and the singing of a damned chorus. The crimson energy that had drawn life from the worshipers crackled and snapped in oscillating arcs around the device.

The room was still empty as DedKode’s hacks were still running and fooling the security systems.

“What’s the plan now, Devon?” James asked, keeping his eyes on the demonic equipment hovering either obliviously or without care at his presence. “Do we still try to shut this thing down and take it back or—”

Suddenly DedKode held his hooded skeletal head. Palladino’s attention shifted to his teammate.

“What is it?”

There was a feeling that stirred up from a buzzing between where DedKode’s ears once were to a deafening roar he could not ignore. It was an energy, a swelling that circled the room, and DedKode could feel it in part. “Shit, King James, look —”

He pointed a gloved bony finger towards the now pulsating vibration only he could feel. The zombie hacker directed Palladino’s gaze to the dead, robed corpses.

They were rising to their feet.

Their hoods fell away and it was clear that they were once alive and were now resurrected dead. Jaws were sunken in, eyes pulled back into black sockets completely void of life. Mouths hung in slow, smacking moans and patches of hair fell with each step, covering the floor along with tears of desiccate flesh.

Arms lifted up and bony hands reached out in trembling grasps.

A hoarse cry rumbled from within breathless, shrunken lungs.

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The street was once Lake Shore Drive.

It had been considered one of the most beautiful stretches of road ever constructed. From nearly any point on the arterial Chicago road, one could stop and see the lake, Museum Campus, and other aspects of sheer magnificence.

Testaments to humanity’s architecture, designs, and vision literally reached up to the sky. Willis Tower was legendary. Floors and floors of beautiful windows that once caught the rising sun were now almost completely shattered. Unimaginable amounts of flesh-cutting shards of shining triangles littered the streets.

The Cloud Gate, lovingly referred to as “The Bean,” was a mind-boggling, visually-stunning stainless-steel sculpture that had once captured the imagination of both locals and visitors. Its mirror-like surface played tricks with reality, reflecting the city’s vibrant life in mesmerizing ways.

Now, the Bean was covered in scarred marks and awash in dark splotches of foul-smelling liquids. Instead of laughing faces and optically-twisted visitors, what reflected in the artistically crafted curves was now a sea of countless reddish white deathly stares of layers and layers of skulls laying under the landmark.

The air was layered with gut-churning rancidity not unlike the reek of meat left exposed atop rank garbage in offensive summer heat.

Even on a chill-bitten fall night, the gore was overpowering to all aspects of human interaction.

Nearby, the Crown Fountain had once captured onlookers with its interactive art, projecting the faces of Chicagoans on towering screens, spouting water from their mouths into the reflecting pool below. Tonight, the fountain did not spray immaculate pristine waters but instead bubbled from time to time, as would a swamp. The fluid within was greenish in color and reeked of acidic bile and vomit. Flies had made the site a place of egg laying and maggot rearing.

The Adler Planetarium once world-renowned for its celestial studies was a broken half-dome. Immense cracks ran atop the once majestic structure that had brought countless visitors from across the globe.

The Field Museum had been a cauldron of the past and the present with future aspirations and wonder. It was once the place where history was held in honored perpetuity. Now, whatever remained of mankind’s history had violated and pulled from the museum’s halls.

Glass cases had been shattered.

Exhibits had been torn out and thrown asunder.

Red, pink and white littered the stairs as intestines, blood and bone made a carpet atop the museum’s walkway.

Chicago was a city known for its sides – its South Side, North Side and West Side. Each was unique from its ethnic communities to its dominant food vendors and carts to its well-known struggles of parking. Yet now, there were no sides anymore.

Now all that was gone. Sides were identical – each area of the city, like each area of other metropolitan sprawls across the globe – were miles and miles of death.

About the Author: Chad Hunter was born in East Chicago, Indiana. Raised by a single mother in the city’s Harbor section, he is the youngest of four. Growing up in the Midwest and a proudly self-proclaimed “Region Rat,” Hunter has written and published several books and novels. He has written for magazines and newspapers throughout North America and has been published in several languages. His writings have been called sophisticated yet humorous, sharp witted and unrelenting.

Most often, Hunter’s writings have been considered so wide and diverse that they span a scale that would include multiple writers with multiple forms. If anything binds his varied styles, it is Hunter’s theme of the human condition, humor and family closeness – all to the backdrop of romantic love, vibrant remembrance and even monsters themselves.

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The Travelling City by Adrienne Miller – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Adrienne Miller will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

After a hundred years of watching humans make bad decisions, anyone would be sick of their job as peacekeeper.

Reihan, a seaver created to deal with humans who lose control over their manifestation abilities, is no exception.

Worse still, virtually all humans in the Travelling City can manifest.

That is, shape reality according to their more or less well-formed and often poorly thought-out designs.

That alone would be enough to keep her busy, but then there are people like Phillippe.

Phillippe, who drenched himself in the city’s collective subconscious to strengthen his inborn powers.

Even though he shouldn’t be, he seems fine, crowned as the new star escort in the Brothel of Transformative Curiosities.

But Reihan has seen this story play out before. And Phillippe is far too charming, far too kind, and far too inconsolable for her to simply look away.

The Travelling City is a dark fantasy mystery packed with romance and even more existential dread; set in a whimsical, bizarre and ever-changing world.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Why would you say that to me?”

Phillippe’s voice was still shrill, but it assumed a layer of calm that Reihan found unusual. His eyes fixated on her, almost as if he was intrigued by the callousness lurking behind her words.

“Because I didn’t cause this, Phillippe. Because I was created to solve a problem that you humans could so easily avoid if not for your petulant greed and insistence on breaking every rule, no matter how well-meaning.”

“We had no choice”, Phillippe replied, still with that eerily resigned tone of his.

“I don’t believe that. All you people can manifest at least to a degree. You’ll never truly go hungry, and you’ll never truly go cold. Hells, if you get sick, you can make yourselves healthy, and when you get old, you can make yourselves young, at least for a little while. Everything else is a choice.”

“You don’t know – you wouldn’t understand.”

About the Author:Adrienne Miller writes in the genre of Dark Fantasy; combining beautiful aesthetics with existential dread. Her stories feature complex romances, found family dynamics, and storylines centred on world mysteries.

She has grown up with both classic and new Fantasy, from Michael Moorcok’s Eternal Hero series, Michael’s Scott’s “Thraxas” magical detective romps, to quiet and heart-felt Science-Fantasy by Becky Chambers.

The Travelling City is inspired by her love for the imaginative worlds of old-school role-playing games like Planescape Torment and the intricate character work of urban fantasy authors like Holly Black.

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What Kind of Writer Am I? by Lachi – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a voritual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lachi will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What Kind of Writer Am I?
Before anything else, I am a world-builder. It’s difficult to get engaged in character motivation without being deeply engulfed in the scene. I believe the setting itself is a main character and deserves to be well developed, have its own voice, and its own sense of humor, loss, love and pain.

I also hold character development right up there beside stage setting. Through immersive multi-POV with quippy, distinct internal monologue, I really love exploring 4-dimensional characters who kick butt, but whose motivations grow and change along with circumstances, and whose generational traumas seep through in unexpected ways. As an author with a disability, I also like to make sure disability is represented in everything I write, whether it be a main character working through their neurodivergence to socialize or a side character casually dealing with random bouts of inaccessibility.

In ‘Death Tango’, a horror-tinged whodunit mystery wrapped in Sci-Fi, I get the opportunity to dive headfirst into all of these passions in a future cyber-laced New York City run by corporations and robots alike, where folks work from home, order in, and communicate via second life-esque social media. And our four headstrong mains must work to overcome their own traumas to figure out how to save the city from a growing plague.

In a Utopian twenty-third-century New York City, where corporations have replaced governments, AI dictates culture, and citizens are free to people-watch any other citizen they choose through an app, this horror-laden Sci-Fi Thriller follows four mis-matched coeds as they attempt to solve the murder of an eccentric parascientist. Only someone or something able to navigate outside the highest levels of croud-sourced surveillance could get away with murder in this town. If the team can’t work quickly to solve the case, New York City will be devoured by a dark plague the eccentric had been working on prior to his death, a plague which, overtime, appears to be developing sentience.

Enjoy an Excerpt

It is nine years ago. I stand alone on an unstable rock. Beneath that rock are a few precarious slabs of granite. Beneath the granite lies a hundred feet of air, of silence, of potential bone-shattering death. Surrounded by a dusk sky, Mount Venom—the cliff aptly named for the lives it has claimed—stretches endlessly beneath my quivering legs and far beyond my blurring vision.

Through the blaring wind, I hear several SOIs—School of Intelligence kids—hurl down demoralizing insults from the cliff’s edge. “She’ll never make it!” “Fall and die, swine!” Each year the SOIs goad us TFs—Testing Facility subjects—into scaling the cliff. If successful, the TF is accepted as an equal, putting an end to constant ridicule and torment. There is little sympathy for those who accept the challenge and fail. I tell myself to reach for the next stone along the slope, to keep my hands steady, to breathe.

I near the finish line.

Every inch of my body tastes it as much as my mouth tastes it. Get there; say nothing; feel no pride. My face wet with tears and mucus, my fingers slippery with blood, I feel around for my next grip and pull on my burning calves. I have only two heaves left. Two heaves, and no more being treated like trash.

I notice a small gap between two large stones above me. As I place my dampened hands into the hole for leverage, the rubble on which I stand gives out. My legs dangle freely. I have the willpower to lift my body onward, but my concentration is broken by a pair of black-gloved hands that pop out of the fissure above me.

Someone is hiding behind the rocks.

Tech Sports knitted in thin red stitching on each glove slides into view. My body ignores the anxiety presented by this new predicament, and I continue to lift. The gloves grab both my forearms and yank. I am now dangling by the grip of those hands; I am now at their complete mercy.

“Friend or foe?” I manage to growl between pained gasps, the wind forcing hair into my mouth.

“You’re so close,” replies a male voice I can hardly distinguish.

“I know! I know! Help me up!” I yell. My legs work uselessly to find hold. Receiving no verbal or physical response, I wriggle my shoulders. “Hey! Help me up!”

“Beg me!” the voice demands, barely audible over the blood rushing in my ears. I fend off a rapidly growing well of despair. Despair is a choice, a manifestation of surrender.

“Please!” I bark, the word taking with it all of my remaining willpower. I look up wide-eyed at the gloved hands, ignoring the falling stones as I await my fate.

“This is for putting in the application!” he yells, and with a quick jolt he lets go of my arms.

I fall.

I keep my eyes open, desperately hoping for something to grab, but all I see are a mix of gray sky, red rock face and my flailing arms. I hear my bones smash against the jagged teeth of Mount Venom and scream one long uninterrupted exhale, silenced only by the jarring collision of the back of my skull against the cold, hard pavement.

I don’t feel the fracture. I only hear it between my ears. Pop.

I lie at the foot of Mount Venom, looking up at dark clouds, a metallic taste oozing over my tongue, a harsh pain working its way down my neck. A thick puddle coalesces under my head as onlookers gather.

My vision snaps away instantly with a blink. Surrounding echoes fade slowly as the internal sound of my curtailed heartbeats takes over. Suddenly I feel cold and heavy. I am motionless, no longer taking in oxygen.

After an onslaught of euphoria, I feel my brain flatten. I hear its slight gummy movements of deflation against my last few heartbeats. And somewhere between no longer feeling the ground beneath me and no longer feeling the air around me, I realize I am dead.

I perceive only a black vastness about me. Like an autumn leaf I float in the Cartesian circle that is the keen awareness of my nonexistence. A mix of bliss and terror. I try to hold on to something physical, something I can understand. “You are safe. You are safe,” I repeat, exercising the remnants of my inner monologue.

Then I begin to see things.

A single bright blue diamond, about the size of a fist, appears five feet before me. It is soon joined by two more on either side, followed by two more still, until a string of blue diamonds surrounds me. I realize I can see my entire periphery, no longer limited by physical eyes. A light source switches on behind me, revealing that I am floating at the center of a rotating diamond-rimmed disco ball.

Trying to locate the light source, I push my perception upward, downward, left, right, only to find that I, myself, am the source of that light. The speed with which the disco ball spins steadily increases, faster and faster, until all is a blur of spinning frenzy. Suddenly thousands of quick snapshots of familiar faces speed toward me: my friends, my bullies, the dark skin of my estranged father, the Spanglish ravings of my drunken mother, their parents, their parents’ parents. Images of a cottage in France, a village in Africa, past wars, ancient discoveries, tree scavenging, gasping air, breathing ocean, swimming in gas, feelings of remorse, loss, shame, excitement, immense love, bitter anguish, and a desperate need for acceptance. Every imaginable emotion ravages me whole.

I experience my consummate past. A massive rewind that stops at a sweeping explosion. A sphere of white fire so bright, it could hardly be described as fire. I am an endless wave of raw emotion drowning in the unyielding flames. And in that eternal instant I understand everything.

Again, all fades to black, the warmth, the understanding. And though the blackness around me is infinite, I sense a presence. I am not alone.

“Look around you,” the presence communicates to me, not through sound, sight or touch, but through direct understanding. I am certain it is—at least in part—a being other than myself. I hold fast to my mantra. “Do not fear,” the presence continues. I allow the mantra to fade. “Do you see how far the blackness reaches, stretching beyond infinite horizons? That is how much you do not know, how much you’ve yet to learn.” A brief silence. “Fear is the great enemy of knowledge, and you, Rosa, are the switch between them.”

“Me?” I manage to convey through the slivers of my consciousness.

“Us.”

“Us? How? Why? What do you mean?” My figurative words come childlike and excited.

“You already know how,” the presence responds as it fades. “You already know why.” I feel a growing bitter loneliness as the presence drifts away.

“Wait!” I yell. The blackness around me congeals to a bumpy dark brown. “Come back!” The glistening euphoria gradually declines as my flattened brain begins to restructure. A physical atmosphere swiftly surrounds me, and a palpitating sensation starts beneath me, causing me to rise and fall. The pulsing sensation reveals itself to be my heart grappling for a pulse.

A crashing ocean of white noise fills my head. I feel that I have a head. A body. Arms. A face. My face.

I open my eyes as the rush of noise fades to the sound of an open room. I am lying on a bed in the infirmary, surrounded by the school nurse and Dr. Ferguson himself, their blurry faces examining my head wound.

Dr. Ferguson bends forward. “You had a very nasty fall, Ms. Lejeune. Do you remember that?” He watches a nurse as she dabs a cloth at my face. “You’re lucky to be alive.”

About the Author:Lachi is an internationally-touring creative artist, writer and award-winning cultural activist living in New York City. A legally blind daughter of African immigrants, Lachi uses her platform to amplify narratives on identity pride and Disability Culture. In her public life, Lachi has helped increase accessibility to the GRAMMY Awards ceremonies as well as create numerous opportunities for music professionals with disabilities, through her organization RAMPD. Lachi also creates high-quality content amplifying disability. She has hosted a PBS American Masters segment highlighting disabled rebels and releases songs such as “Lift Me Up” and “Black Girl Cornrows” that elevate disability and difference to the pop culture market. Named a “new champion in advocacy” by Billboard, she’s held talks with the White House, the UN, Fortune 100 firms, and has been featured in Forbes, Hollywood Reporter, Good Morning America, and the New York Times for her unapologetic celebration of intersectionality through her music, storytelling and fashion.

In her free-time Lachi writes sci-fi and fantasy novels with diverse, headstrong characters, focusing heavily on atonal world-building, quip-ridden character development, likable villains and psycho-spiritual discourse.

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