Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Jason Cook: True Crime Author, Film Producer

Jason seems more like a character in a true crime novel than as a writer in the real world, but he is.

Jason Cook - The True Crime Author

Jason Cook is a former gangster's runner who due to peer pressure; became a drug addict at the age of twelve years old.Within five years he was a face in London's underworld for all the wrong reasons.

Jason fully admits he became hooked on drugs, which led to him selling drugs from his bedroom and on the streets to pay off his growing drugs debts to local dealers.
Soon he was faced with a situation he couldn't get out of.

In trouble with Yardies; he was forced to smuggle drugs in order to save his friends and family from danger.

Introduced by chance to gangsters of London's underworld and their overseas criminal activities; he soon became a gangster's runner.

At the age of 20 he was heavily involved in the drugs world and he was also taking steroids to build himself up.

The young man with a sizeable drug habit was now being used to collect money from drug dealers on behalf of the gangsters who supplied them. Along with reducing his own debts he would also be paid in drugs for collecting money from other dealers. Jason was soon arrested and spent 3 years and 9 months in HM Pentonville Prison where drugs use was also prevalent.
Some will be able to relate to Jason's story, some readers will be intrigued, some will learn a lesson to not get involved in drugs and some will enjoy reading about his true life story.
Jason Cook was born in Hackney, London but eventually moved to Borehamwood and he has five children.
Here is a link to his virtual bookstore: http://www.authorjasoncook.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html
And here is his film production link: http://www.authorjasoncook.com/films.html
And you can Tweet to him here: @AuthorJasonCook

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Indie Writer's Showcase presents: Sex, Drugs and Meditation by Mary-Lou Stephens.

Sex, Drugs and Meditation Front cover

Sex, Drugs and Meditation by Mary-Lou Stephens

This is the true story of a woman with a talent for self-sabotage who learns to sit still, shut up and start living – and loving.                                                                                                       
Praise for Sex, Drugs and Meditation:
“Bracingly honest, funny and rewarding, this is a book you can’t put down.” Sydney Morning Herald.

“A bad girl antidote to Eat, Pray, Love.” Courier Mail.

“Truth is more compelling than fiction.” Daily Telegraph.

Mary-Lou’s dream job has become a nightmare. She knows Eliott Purvis, her young, ambitious, sociopathic boss, will not change. If Mary-Lou is to be free of the anguish and keep the job she loves, there is only one thing she can change. Herself.
Ten days of silent meditation is the solution she chooses. During these ten days Mary-Lou is forced to confront the demons of her past; drugs, alcohol, food and religion. She also has to deal with the demons in her mind; paranoia, self-hate, fear and murderous rage. She relives her time spent in Twelve Step programs, her years at acting school, the joy and heartbreak of her former life as a musician and the journey that led her to work in radio.
For ten days and nights she battles her memories, mistakes and fantasies. The rigours demanded by the long hours spent meditating result in excruciating physical pain. The overcoming of this pain enables her to understand, on every level, the basic tenet of the meditation technique – everything changes.
She is shocked when an old wound she thought had healed demands her complete attention. A relationship so wracked with obsession and betrayal it destroyed her ability to trust. Through the eleven hours of meditation a day she finally releases the resentment and blame and comes to a place of forgiveness.
When Mary-Lou returns to work the challenges remain but she went to the meditation centre to change herself, not her job, and the results are surprising. At a dinner party a week later, despite all her best efforts and worst habits, Mary-Lou meets the man she will marry.
*Sex, Drugs and Meditation  is available from one of the booksellers on the Pan Macmillan  directory here.
*It’s also available online here and has  been kindled,  ebooked and iBooked.
For more about Mary-Lou and her writing, click here: http://maryloustephens.com.au

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Indie Writer's Showcase: New direction. I promote your novels! My gift to you.

  • Do you have a book release coming soon? 
  • Do you have a cover reveal?
  • Do you just want to promote your series?
  • Do you want to promote your line of books?
  • Do you have a blog tour to promote?
You've come to the right place.
  • With a book release, I would need to the date and time of any book release party that might be in the works, a jpeg file of the cover, a blurb on the book and any web link you have to offer.
  • With a cover reveal, I would need a jpeg file, a blurb on the book and an author bio. with links to your website or an Amazon link to any other books you might have out.
  • To promote your series, please provide jpegs of any book you are promoting the most, a link to the website where your books are being sold, a paragraph about the series and an author bio.
  • If you have various books you want to promote in one shot, please email a snapshot sized jpeg of yourself, a like to the website and an author bio.
  • And if you have a blog tour to promote, please send a jpeg of any 'billboard' or banner ad you might have with the tour dates, book being promoted, prizes offered. Please don't make the graphic to large or it will not show right in my blog.

How do you get hold of me? 

The best way to make initial contact is to private message me on Facebook. You can find me under Liz Kingsbury Mckeown. You can attach Word files in the Facebook private message, I have never experimented with jpeg files, but they might work, too.
I look forward to hearing from you! Happy Holidays - Liz

  • Wednesday, December 16, 2015

    Indie Writer's Showcase: Author Interview - Jessica Samuels.

     •  What is the title of your book? 
             ***The Killer Contract Agency

    •   Please tell us a little bit about your book.  ***The Killer Contract Agency is about a girl named Salina Sinclaire, and she gets bullied so much she ends up in the hospital, and gets the attention of The Killer Contract Agency when a rogue Malian tries to kill her. She is a Hunter and they have a gene that makes them appear weak to lure Malians in so they can be destroyed using the power of The Bracelet.

       •     How did you come up with your book idea? ***I was bullied just like the character, and instead of kids killing other people I wanted it to be aliens instead. I also wanted to create a way to empower the kids being bullied like giving them super strength and invulnerability to stop them. I was also into secret organizations that stop the horrible people from hurting innocent people, and I wanted the Bracelet to give them an assassin/super hero feel to it.

       •     What are your publishing credits? ***I wrote for the school newspaper, and a year on the yearbook. I run a blog called The Writing Dreamer and I have 4 ebooks and two paperbacks.

       •     What are your plans for the future? ***I plan on writing more books at this point. I have 6 books I’m working on, and I want to have fun exploring the worlds I’ve created. They are all going to take place in the Luxor and Crystal Crest realms. Some will explore the Angelic realm which is a realm of angelic beings, and Blood Fall which is a dark realm. I’ll even bring in the merpeople as well.

       •     What is your day job?  ***Retail for now till I graduate and work in a newsroom, online, or write full time.

       •     What is your preferred genre to write? ***Paranormal romance in young adult and new adult, and some fantasy, too.

       •     How did you become a writer? ***I’ve been writing since the fifth grade, and my first fan fiction was me in the mummy returns. I’ve been writing ever since I could put a pen to paper. It did start in middle school, and I’ve been writing ever since. I finished my first novel in college, and published my first one before I was 21. I loved reading and writing is just something natural to me. I love books too so I was reading before I started writing.

       •     Are you a planner, complete with detailed outlines, or do you fly by the seat of your pants when writing?***Both. I’ve planned novels out when I got stuck, and some I’ve actually created an idea out of the blue and ran with it. For a few of them I actually have a few pages worth of what I want to happen and some are just general notes. Some I just said hey what if, and just ran with it. It all depends on the story and if I need to outline or not.

       •     What is the best writing advice that you have ever been given? ***Write what you know. Write what pisses you off, and write what you are scared of. Also never take bad reviews personal. Never give up no matter how hard it is since hard work pays off.

       •     What advice would you give a new writer? ***Think hard about it since it’s not an easy road, and if they really want to do it then stay true to your dreams. Roll with the punches and never give up. Observe everything you see, and put your experiences in your writing. Keep going even when you feel like giving up, and writing is not just a hobby it’s a passion and a way of life. Write drunk and edit sober like Stephen King. Don’t let reality destroy you, and if someone pisses you off put them in a story as the victim. You are now in control over your world, and everything can be used as fuel in your writing.

       •     What other projects do you have in the works at the moment? ***I have been working on several at the moment like the first three Scarlet books, and it will talk about how she got involved with The Killer Contract Agency. I have also been working on a story called AngelWitch and it’s about a girl named Angeline who can feel people’s emotions and read their minds. She works as a sales associate for Kyle’s General Store and hates it there. When she visits her friend Ginger’s shop she finds out who she really is which is an AngelWitch. Her mom is a witch and dad is an arch angel, and she has to come into her power before Felix’s evil brother Zach kills her in order to be free of the dark realm called Blood Fall Hills.

       •     What surprises can we expect from you in the future? ***Expect stories with revenge themes like getting even with exes, bullies, coworkers. Stories about working in a supernatural retail store. Vampires, witches, werewolves, angels, dragons, necromancers. Kick ass heroines who don’t need a man to rescue them and super hot guys that adore the main character with romance and fantasy. I write young adult, new adult, and paranormal romance so relationships and ass kicking are a must in every novel I write.

       •     If you could journey into any of your books, interacting with the characters, which would it be and why? ***I would rather interact with characters of AngelWitch because I love the world I’ve created and it would be cool to explore Luxor and the Angelic realm. I would also love to visit The Killer Contract Agency and meet Salina since I know what she has went through.

       •     What public appearances do you have planned in the future? *** I currently don’t have any public appearances right now, and if I do I’ll let my fans know.

       •     Is there anything else youd like to share with your fans? ***         have a ton of stories to tell, and I hope you enjoy the ones I create. I love writing stories, and I want this to be my job permanently. 

    The Amazon linkhttp://amzn.to/1Ykt80a

    Saturday, December 5, 2015

    Indie Writer's Showcase: Jessica Samuels' The Starr Family Reunion.

    The Family Reunion from Hell:
              It was that time of year again, and I really did not want to go. It’s bad enough that I have to fake being with a jerk like Viper who is everything I hate, and now I have to explain it to my family too. The Starr family reunion is always memorable since half of them like to flaunt their happy marriages around even through their husbands cheat on them with werewolves and vampires. I was one of the Starr family witches not married yet which is a big thing since we are supposed to get married and have kids around this time. I’m not since I was promised to Viper, and it’s not even my choice. I’m not happy with someone like him since he cheats on me constantly talking about other girls being cute. He was only with me for the fact that our line is the last for the high witches. My mom sits on the high council a long with his parents, and we were promised at a young age, and I’m almost done with him. I don’t want to be promised to him at all. It’s not like I have a choice at all either unless I meet someone else who is higher up since they don’t want to see me struggle for a job even though I’m working on going to Witch School for college students since I’ve already graduated high school.

    I want to help witches pick out the right spell ingredient for them, and talk to magical creatures in helping them out. As a future high council member I need to know about all the creatures here. The only thing I love is this apartment since it has a bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. Even a library and an office. My way since I needed independence from her at this point. I can’t live with her since she is happy about the engagement. I’m not I brush out my black hair, and put eye shadow on my grey eyes making them pop. I put on jeans and a black t shirt, and then black boots. It was going to be a long day at this point, and I just want it to end. I have no hope of finding someone else unless I can somehow prove to my mom how horrible he is for me.
    I need to for me since he is making me miserable. I got ready to go with my mom to our great Aunt Cindy’s house for the reunion. I drive to mom’s place after I’m done. Her house is a huge mansion, and I love it since I grew up there. Dad is away since he is a lawyer in the Luxor realm which is the one we live in. Mom is the head of the council since she is one of the highest witches of them all. She is in her office most of the time, and loves it when I interrupt her. I really need proof at this point to prove to her that he is not a good match for me. I want to be with someone who makes me happy, and not miserable. I’ve missed being happy with someone. I thought about this all day on the way to the place. I don’t have proof he is cheating on me yet. I still see all the signs. I did love him at one point, and it hurt since I tried to work things out with him, and I wanted it to last. It’s not going to if I keep seeing signs that he is not really mine.
    I’m going to go with my mom and Viper is meeting me there since he had a sorcerer military thing to do. He is not going to come till later, but he is meeting me there and taking me home. Fun, and at this point oh well. I get there, and the car my mom drove is still in the driveway, and I park next to it. The mansion is all black, and looks like it’s a house from The Addams Family, and it even has the d├ęcor to match. She is probably dressed in her mortician dresses too that are long and black with eyeliner done. She is already pale with red lips and brown eyes. I went inside, and mom is in the living room already in her mortician style dress since she loves looking her best, and she loves to wear corsets too.
    She smiled at me, “I see you made it, and thank god you are not late since we have to be there early. I hope you brought a bag to stay a few nights since I want to stay at the palace for a weekend.”
    “I did and Viper is getting his own room right?” I asked her hoping to get a separate bedroom from him.
    She looked at me like I was crazy, “Nope, you are sleeping together since you are engaged.”
    “Okay, no problem.” I tell her since I don’t want to start an argument.
    She has her stuff already in the living room and picks it up.
    “Get your things and let’s get this show on the road.” She told me.
    I nod hurry to my car, pop open the trunk, and then gather my things from my black overnight back. It’s been packed since last night. Mom put her stuff in the trunk, and I put my stuff in on top of it. She closed the trunk and I got in the passenger seat.
    My smartphone beeped, and I knew it was Viper since I put a ring tone especially for him.
    I swiped the screen to see what he said:
    R U on UR way?
    Yes, we are getting in the car now…
    Good, I’ll be there soon. I love you…
    Love you too…
    I text back even though I knew I was lying. I’ll pretend to be his just for one time. Then I need to find a way to get out of this situation. I did love him, and I remembered when we met in high school. It’s was on the bus when I went to one of the schools for Witches, Wizards, Warlocks, and Sorcerers…It’s called Salem High School. Yes, it’s where we learned spells, incantations, rituals, and even how to use our powers. It’s our version of the high school diploma. I loved the fact that I was born a witch, and it’s better then anything I’ve imagined. I grew up on it and I’ve never looked back on it since. Mom is a witch and Dad is a sorcerer. They get along together and at times they don’t it all depends. So yes I’m part witch and part sorcerer which is pretty cool since I can do something witches can’t do. I can walk through walls and use telekinesis and talk to animals and creatures. I even have the ability to shape shift into a wolf. Hence why it makes me different from others, and when I told that to Viper he freaked out and told him to never tell it to me again. See why I need someone else? Even my best friend agreed with me. A dragon shifter named Alexia who I play Enchanted Forest with which is a role playing game I love to play. Too bad I had to leave the laptop at home.
    I got in the car with mom and thankfully it isn’t a long ride and we get there in recored amount of time. Quickly, and I get out of the car along with my mom who is named Sabrina. Our Aunt’s place is at the top of the hill, and a mansion is on it. Another ancestral Starr mansion, and I love the place too since it’s just as creepy as my moms. We get our stuff out of the car, and then head up the hill. I love to wear boots since it’s better then wearing heels. We walk up the walk way and mom goes right in through the door. She doesn’t knock since Aunt Cindy doesn’t mind us walking right in. The living room is all decked out for the holidays with gold and silver decorations, and a huge tree too. It’s pretty and there is even a fire going in the fire place.
    Aunt Cindy is right there in one of her sparkling blue gowns and even her eye shadow is glittery blue matching her dark blue eyes and ice blonde hair like a modern day Cinderella. She is pretty and her mom was blonde and our entire family is blonde on dad’s side which makes her Dad’s sister and his name is Giles he is the blonde haired blued eyed one. I got more of Mom’s then dad’s. I still love them both anyway. Dad is going to join in later when he gets done with the client he is with. I see everyone there, and even Viper is there talking to one of my other relatives. I look down at the ring. A diamond on top and diamond along the sides leading to a point. It’s supposed to be a good thing instead it feels more like a prison sentence, and I see him checking his cell, and texting someone while smiling it’s not me though… I need to just get through the family thing and pretend like it’s not happening just for today. I go up and mingle with my family taking my time to talk to Uncle Dave and tell him about what’s going on. He is blonde haired and blue eyed on my dad side. Always has a smile on his face and definitely knew what was going on.
    “So tell me about what you have been up to?” He asked me.
    “Just helping mom with the Spell Shop, and I have not even touched on the wedding stuff yet…” I tell him honestly.
    “Well, then I’d get to it have you set the date yet?”
    “We have set it to a year from now since that is when I’ll be back from my Sorcery Air Stuff…Going to be gone for a while like some months, and I figured we can do it after I’m gone. Then settle down and have a few kids.” Viper said trying to act like nothing is going on. It has but I’ll let it slide since he is trying to act nice-nice. It’s all a show anyway…
    “Yes, what he said then I’ll do the planning while he is gone.” I told Dave.
    “Good I’m happy for you kids…” Then he left to mingle with someone else.
    Viper turns to me, “I’m sorry okay…I don’t know what to say since I’m yours and no one else. No once is like you at all.”
    A beep on his phone….He checks it and texts while smiling then puts it away…
    “I swear that was a friend…”
    “Okay, well we can pretend just for today since you obviously love that talking to others more then me.” I told him and he gives me hurt eyes…
    “I love you and no one else. I’ll prove it to you by not answering my cell the entire time….” Then he pulled it out of his pocket and turned it off….
    “Wow…impressive if only you did it all the time…” I told him.
    The entire time he had it off, and we mingled with the family. I told them about the shop and my plans. That is it, and it was painful because I had to act like I was actually with him. It was hard since he was treating me the way I deserved to be treated. Dad came to join us, and we ate then enjoyed a vacation away from the shop. I will still remember it since it was the first time we acted like a couple. Still in the back of my mind I will prove he is not worthy of my love. The entire time I was talking to my family members I did enjoy the fact that the crazy witches in my family are all mine and no one else's. I loved spending time with them, and I could not wait for next year, and hopefully I’ll be with the person of my dreams instead of a lie.
        The end! But this story will continue in Fur and Fang of Love!


    Saturday, November 21, 2015

    Reminder: Will be blogging Saturday for the Indie Writer's Showcase: Relatively Paranormal!

    Perfect for the holidays!

    Theme: A Paranormal story about family. Were you born paranormal? Do you suspect a sibling or parent is paranormal? Did you find something paranormal in Grandma's attic? Could you have a paranormal family reunion? Etc., etc. 

    A week later, I will 'harvest' indie writers for the showcase. After a two week notice, the writers will email me (or Facebook message me) their stories. I will them post each entry on a first come, first served basis on this blog and Tweet about it. I will also post it on several Facebook pages.

    How do you contact me? Find me under 'Liz Kingsbury McKeown' on Facebook. Message me on Twitter: @WritersBoost

    OR you can leave a comment on this posting.

    I can't wait.

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

    Be sure to sign up for the book blitz for A Horse Named Dog by Theresa Oliver. Details below.

    The book blitz, hosted by YA Bound Book Tours, will run from Monday, November 16th to Friday, November 20th.
    Here is an excerpt from the book:
    “Hey,” Carlos said, peeking his head in the door. “Frank, I hate to interrupt, but Mr. Callahan is out here. He says he’s dropping off a horse?”
    “Oh, man! I completely forgot. Thanks, Carlos. I’ll be right out,” Frank said, quickly rising to his feet as he took another swig of his orange juice. “Come on, son.”
    “What’s Mr. Callahan doing here?” Sam asked, picking up another piece of bacon to take with him.
    “He’s bringing a horse for us to train,” Frank said, then headed out the door with Sam close behind. “I’m supposed to break him.”
    Then Sam remembered what his mother had told him. “Mom said something about ‘having to teach the horse manners’?”
    Frank smiled and shook his head. “I’ll have a talk with Mr. Callahan about that.”
    “Dad, what do you think that means?” Sam asked as they headed out the door.
    “I’m not sure, son. Your mother told me that he has some ‘quirks’,” Frank said, shaking his head.
    “What does that mean?” Sam asked reluctantly, remembering that he was the son of Trumpeter.
    “I guess we’ll find out,” Frank replied. They walked up to the gate, and an older man with gray hair, wearing a beat up cowboy hat, was standing by a horse trailer, pulled by a shiny new pickup truck. Frank walked up to him with his hand extended.
    “I heard about Sasha’s … accident,” Mr. Callahan said as he shook Frank’s hand. “Sorry to hear about it. How’s she doing?”
    “She’s going to be fine, thanks, but we need to get back up to the hospital soon,” Frank replied, then continued. “It gave us quite a scare.”
    “I’m sure it did,” Mr. Callahan said as his eyebrows knit together. “Look, if you’d rather me bring Dog back some other time …”
    “No, that’s fine,” Frank replied. “We’ll take good care of him for you. Carlos can get him settled while we’re at the hospital.”
    “Excuse me, but what did you just call him?” Sam asked.
    Then, as if on cue, a loud whinny came from inside the horse trailer.
    “Dog,” Mr. Callahan said, and then amended, “Well, actually, his full name is Dogs of War, but we call him Dog.” He paused for a moment, then added, “Your mother was going to help me with him …” Then, he turned his attention to Frank. “… but if you can just break him for me, that’ll be fine. I completely understand.”
    “No; we’ll take a look at him and see what we can do, but let’s get him out of this trailer first,” Frank said, heading to the front of the trailer, taking a lead strap with him, while Carlos stood at the back, ready. “On my count, Carlos,” Frank yelled, reaching through the small side door to hook a lead strap to the horse. “One … two … three …” and then Carlos opened the back door.
    The horse whinnied loudly as the men backed him out of the spacious trailer. Despite the nondescript clothing that Mr. Callahan wore, Sam could tell from his equipment that money wasn’t a problem for him. But to Sam, how much money someone had wasn’t important. What was important was how people treated others.
    As soon as the horse was out of the trailer, it saw Sam and started toward him. Sam jumped back, remembering that he was the son of Trumpeter and wanted nothing to do with him. Then suddenly, Dog smiled and his tongue lulled out the side of his mouth, and he actually started wagging his tail. Then he bent down, crouching down on his front legs, looking at Sam as if he wanted to play. The men started laughing … everyone except Mr. Callahan, who took his hat off and ran his hand through his gray hair.
    “Well, I’ve got to hand it to you,” Frank said, concealing a smile, “at least he’s living up to his name.” The men laughed again. “Now I know what you mean by ‘quirks’.”
    “See what I mean?” Mr. Callahan replied, shaking his head as he placed his hat back on his head. “Here he’s the son of a famous racehorse and he thinks he’s a dog! I can imagine pulling him up to the starting gate with him waging his and smiling like that. I’d be the laughingstock of Indiana Grand.” Sam knew that Indiana Grand Racing and Casino was the premier racing facility for Quarter Horse Racing in the state of Indiana.
    The men couldn’t help but laugh again.
    “Evidently, Dog was spending too much time with the dogs on my farm when he was a colt,” Mr. Callahan said, shaking his head as they men concealed a smile.
    Dog started toward Sam again, wagging his tail and raising his lip widely, showing his teeth, as if trying to smile.
    “Well, would you look at that? You’ve made a friend, Sam!” Mr. Callahan said, smiling. Sam took a wary step back.
    Book Trailer: hyperurl.co/hj8ffe
    Amazon: hyperurl.co/il3ukn
    Barnes & Noble: hyperurl.co/a4lqq8
    To sign up, please follow the link: http://yaboundbooktours.blogspot.com/2015/10/book-blitz-sign-up-horse-named-dog-by.html

    Monday, November 9, 2015

    Indie Writer's Showcase featuring Stephanie Greenhalgh's A Zombie Hunter and the Boobie Doll.

    A Zombie Hunter and The Boobie Doll
    By Stephanie Greenhalgh
    Sunlight glinted through the leaves of the large oak as Caine and Nolia enjoyed a little down time. Completely engrossed in the latest Charlaine Harris novel, Nolia sat cross-legged with her back against the tree. A sly smile tugged at the corners of her mouth while she twirled a strand of brunette hair through her fingers, her eyes moving from side to side. Caine’s gaze intent on the Sudoku game on his phone.
    Nolia’s phone buzzed. Lazily, she reach for it and smiled when her best friend’s name popped up. “Yo, what’s up?”
    The hysterical voice on the other end had her sitting upright in record time. “We’re on our way,” her voice all business. Focused and serious, the athletic beauty clicked the phone shut and faced Caine.
    “It’s Natalie’s sister, Lydia. She went to a cheer competition in Vegas. She was supposed to be home earlier today but never got on the plane. Natalie called all her friends, but they all thought she left. She was coming home early for a special mother/daughters birthday dinner.” Nolia informed.
    “What do we know?” he asked. Natalie, an accomplished seer, had many inventive ways to gain otherwise difficult information, and Caine was certain she had already exhausted a variety of resources.
    “She checked the looking glass and saw zombies.” Nolia met Caine’s gaze
                “On it,” the bald buff biker dude said. As the resident zombie hunter, he had his own wide reach of resources for the weird and supernatural. In a matter of seconds, he sent out an alert to friends and other zombie hunters. Not even a minute ticked by, before his phone blew up, Caine’s baby blues scanned the plethora of incoming texts.
     “A couple of local grease balls were seen grabbing a blonde girl near the airport. They hang at a local club and zombie habitat, my favorite.” He grinned, “I’ll head out there and check it out. Think you could give me a magical lift, babe?” He leaned in, brushed her neck with his lips, and gave her his best crooked grin.
    “Yep, I think I have just what it takes to concoct the perfect Hickory Grove to Vegas portal.” She winked, and her shoulders straightened with pride. Caine didn’t doubt the reigning queen of realm traveling. His girl had mad skills.
    When they walked through the front door of the second story apartment Nolia and Natalie shared, a leggy blonde stood over a looking glass. “We’re on this, Natalie, don’t worry. We’ve already got a lead and Caine is heading to Vegas to check it out. Plus, I have all the necessary ingredients to get him there in the next15 minutes,” She gave her friend a gentle hug, then got to work in her small but efficient kitchen.
    Before long, Nolia had the caldron in front of her boiling and toiling. Natalie paced and Caine watched stoically, while Nolia expertly added a pinch mandrake and eye of newt to the already simmering pot.  After a brief chant from an old tattered booklet, a swirling bluish cloud engulfed the breakfast nook. Nolia raised her eyebrows and nodded expectantly toward Caine.
    “I’ll text soon, babe.” Caine pulled Nolia into him and kissed her, running his hand down her back to her bum to give her ass a good-bye pat.
    “Be safe,” she said, with a twinkle in her eyes.
    “Always. And don’t worry, Natalie. I’ll have your sister back in a jiff.” He said, then leapt feet first into the swirling blue cloud and disappeared.
    Moments later, the portal burped and spit Caine out in Las Vegas, Nevada. He shimmied to an abrupt stop right in front of ‘The Boobie Doll’ strip club. His core contracted as he balanced himself and allowed his insides to slide back into their regular space. Once he settled, the zombie hunter cocked his head from side to side until his neck snapped, crackled and popped. “Well, all right. This looks like my kinda place,” he said with a crooked smirk in place. Cracking his knuckles, Caine walked into a very dark and very seedy gentlemen’s club.
    Zombie habitats could be enjoyable as long as you didn’t disrupt them. If one had a sick twisted sense of humor, habitats could be amusing to watch. Caine stared at the zombie bartenders, patrons and strippers. One look at the gray goo flopping around on stage and Caine cracked up.
    The more he watched, the more he chuckled, until he heard a commotion from the back. The laughter froze in his throat. Quickly, he ducked behind a curtain to eavesdrop unnoticed. Turning, he found himself in the private room of a gelatinous male zombie getting a lap dance from a lady stripper zombie. Caine was certain she was losing her implants and maybe an eyeball. Unaware of the intrusion, the zombies continued their song and dance, but the voices outside distracted Caine.
    “Get in there! The big guy wants to talk to you!” A foul fat man grumbled as he yanked a petite blonde by the hair.
    “Let me go!” she yelled, kicking and contorting in any attempt to free herself from fatty’s slimy paws and leering eyes.
    THWACK! The meaner, but quieter of the two goons, hauled off and smacked her. Blood spurted from her lip and she cried out in pain. “Easy now,” the chattier of the two asshats added.
    Clenching his fist from behind the curtain, Caine resisted the urge to jump over tables and dim-witted zombies to pummel the two captors. He took five deep breaths. He didn’t bother with ten, if he couldn’t refrain in five, then whatever he was up against didn’t deserve the extra seconds.  Grudgingly, he breathed deeply and allowed the two goons to drag the girl into the back room.
    Leaving the cloak of the private room, Caine gingerly made his way through the zombie horde. It would a huge disaster to disrupt the herd while planning a one-man rescue. In an attempt to keep disruptions to the bare minimum, Caine even endured a lap dance with one gooey stripper zombie before he made it across the club floor.
    Finally, Caine got the back door. Putting his ear up to the door, he listened carefully, before he turned the knob slowly and peeked into the room. A blonde girl sat gagged and tied to a chair.
    “Lydia…” He whispered. Closing the door behind him, he crept into the room.
    Her eyes smiled and she sat up straighter.
    “You okay?” He whispered, pulling his dagger from the sheath tethered to his thigh. With one quick movement, he sliced through the plastic ties around her wrists, freeing her. “Let’s get out of here. Ready?”
    Lydia nodded, pulling off the duct tape covering her mouth. As the pair turned to leave, Caine’s eyes widened and his crooked grin broadened when he pulled open the door. At least a dozen dead and drooling zombies stood before them, looking for an afternoon snack.
    “Well, shit. I knew that seemed too easy. Change of plans, kiddo,” He said before he grabbed the girl and threw her over his shoulder. “Phone’s in my back pocket, Lydia. Grab it and text Nolia. Tell her I’ve got you and we’re ready,” Caine instructed. The frightened girl nodded reaching for the phone. “And hold on.”
    Even with a girl slung over his shoulder, Caine spun on one foot and kicked the first decaying dead person in the face. One of his round-house kicks took out at least six zombies as they systematically tumbled like dominoes. With the miniature crossbow tethered to his arm, Caine sent tiny silver darts into the necks of three more ghouls. Then a female zombie from behind the bar stood drooling in front of Caine. She was larger than the rest with nails like talons. Grunting and moaning, she lurched forward. With little effort, Caine’s heel made contact with her jaw. As her gooey head caved in, Caine whipped around to unleash another round-house. At the same time, Lydia flung her silver necklace toward the last of the zombie mob. Between the kick and the silver, the large bartender zombie stumbled backward, taking out the last four drooling dead guys like bowling pins.
    “Hold on, Lydia. We’re almost home.” Caine said as they bolted out the front door to find a bluish cloud swirling before him. With a satisfied grin, he tightened his grip around the girl before he jumped in and the two vanished from the desert.
    The pair shimmied to a stop back in Natalie and Nolia’s apartment. Caine steadied himself and gently set Lydia down. Natalie rushed to embrace her sister, while Nolia sauntered over with a satisfied smile. “Well done, handsome.”
    “It was all for you, babe,” he said, as his eyes took in every inch of her, like he hadn’t seen her in a year.
    Leaning on her tip toes, she wrapped her arms around his neck. He pulled her closer, lifting her off the floor. “There’s more to this, though babe, all those girls are in danger. Lydia was their guinea pig. These grease balls are planning to grab more when the rest of the cheerleaders leave tomorrow. They are trying to increase their zombie stripper horde.”
    “I know. That’s why I’m holding on, handsome. We’re going back, you and me. I’ve concocted a potion to trap them in a prison realm, then we’ll hand the off to Xander. He’s the wise mentor and he’ll know what to do with them. Plus, this way, no one else will get hurt.”
    “You are brilliant and it’s so freaking sexy. I’ll get a hold of a buddy of mine and make sure that habitat gets cleaned up after we’re through.”
    “Handsome and helpful. Only two of the many reasons I adore you.” She let her lips brush across his lips, then found his cheek before she let go of him and turned toward Natalie and Lydia. “You two get to your mom’s for your special dinner. I’ll text you later,” Nolia said, blowing a kiss in the direction of her best friend.
    “Thanks, guys! I owe you!” Natalie gushed and pulled her sister closer. “Give ‘em hell and lock those bastards up!”
    “You know it,” Nolia turned back to Caine, “Ready?”
    “Yep,” Caine stepped behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her close.
     Nolia reached into the travel bag slung across her body, then tossed a pinch of something into a stone bowl on the kitchen table before she chanted, “MOTARIOUS TRAVELIOUS IMMEDIOUSATED LAS VEGAS.”
    Within moments, a swirling blue whirl erupted. Grabbing a small vial from her bag, Nolia gathered a small bit of the blue purplish swirling portal. “For an easy get-a-way,” she said securing the vial back in her travel bag. Turning to face Caine, she reached around his neck and held on tightly, “Go when you’re ready,”
    Caine jumped in with both feet, but before long, he was skidding to a stop in the same private room he had hidden in not that long ago. “What were you thinking when we went thru?” Caine chuckled, releasing Nolia.
     “I wanted to land in a safe place. What on earth is that?” Nolia pointed to the gyrating glob of goo as she danced for the male.
    “Don’t ask, but it’s better to not disturb. The rest of the club is on the other side of these.” He opened the curtain a crack to see what lay ahead. “It’s quiet out there, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”
    “Man, this place stinks,” Nolia crinkled her nose as she squeezed between Caine and the curtain to get her own view. “I’d like to capture these two asshats and get home. Where do you think they are?”
    “My guess would be the storage room in the back.”
    “Then, let’s go,” Nolia brushed passed the curtain and tip-toed across the room. The amount of zombie goo was simply unreal and she had on her new Chuck Taylors. Caine followed without a care about his shoes. Work boots were meant to get dirty and he had a job to do.
    As they approached the door, Nolia opened a charm on her necklace and poured a handful of pink dust into her palm. Then she brought her forefinger to her lips and mouthed, “On three.” Caine nodded, as she counted down with her fingers. When she had a fist, Caine burst through the door, leading with his crossbow. Deftly, he sent two tranquillizer darts flying across the room.
    Shocked, the men reached for their necks, as numbness began to seep into their blood. Nolia walked in with a polite smile plastered to her face and a handful of disappearing dust in her palm. “Until we can figure out more about you, we’re going to keep you and others safe,” she said before, blowing the dust in their direction with one big breath.  The goons’ eyes widened and their bodies swerved and swayed, until they slowly distorted into tiny fragments of dust floating in the air.
    Satisfied the danger had been neutralized, Nolia reached into her bag and pulled out a small steel box. When she opened the rectangular box, the pentagram carved in the bottom illuminated. A bright purple hue glowed throughout the room. The floating dust roared to life as the box jumped and bucked. Nolia gripped it in her hands until the box consumed all the dust and the lid snapped shut. A quiet calm filled the zombie strip club.
    “Damn, I’m glad that’s over,” Nolia sighed, clipping mystical a padlock to the outside. “Let’s get these two fats cats home to Xander. He can figure out if they’re a threat or just stupid,” Nolia said, closing the gap between her and Caine and placing one arm around his neck, “And I’m certain he won’t have any intel until tomorrow at the earliest, so I think we need to celebrate our small victory with a night out.”
    “Now, that’s an idea I can get behind.” He pulled her close.
    Nolia retrieved the vial with the blue purplish liquid from her travel bag. She snapped her wrist, flinging the vial at the wall. “Hickory Grove,” she said. Within moments, the blue swirl sucked them home.

    Be sure and check out Stephanie's first book in the Ruby Hood series, now only 99 cents: http://amzn.to/1PxPl9L

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    Saturday, November 7, 2015

    Indie Writer's Showcase: My very first entry! Jessica Samuels: A Vampire Bar.

    A Vampire Bar
    Crystal Crest Realm
    By:Jessica Samuels
      It was a long day at work, and I needed to drown out the pain of dealing with people. I hated today since they were making me crazy with  running freight, and I wanted to sit and relax at a bar. Where do I go? Wing Command since I love their food, and a shot of Goldschlager and a Red Bull and vodka is just what I need. It was one of those days, and I got off at 5 while boyfriend got off at the same time. I thought about it the whole time at work, and I really wanted this night at the bar. I got out of my work clothes since I just got off.  I relaxed a little bit just to wind down while I wait for my boyfriend Derek to get home. I wrote some because I’m a writer and I was so pissed at this day I just had to get it off my chest. The day had been long with me working non-stop doing different things at once. Zoning, phone watching, repeat over and over again. That’s it and the time ticked by so slow I thought I would go bonkers with it. I hated it. Picking up shoe after shoe when customers toss out a shoe they don’t want to buy. They stuff it under the shelves or leave it where it is.
              I let it all go since I’m off from that hell for two days which means I can go to my hangout. I’ll have a few drinks and it will make the night off better. I worked on my retail story AngelWitch to get over the stupidity of today, and that’s what they say write what you know. My name is Dannika, and this night at Wing Command will change my life forever. My boyfriend comes home from work, and I’m happy because he is my rock to this crazy life. I get my things ready and we go out. We take my car, and the drive is short too. It’s less than ten minutes away, and close by which is good after drinking some. Derek parks the car, and I get out. The front is a big place, and on the outside Wing Command is there with a little plane at the end of the blue words. I love it, and I don’t need to be ID’d since it’s still early right now. We go inside and it’s all red walls with flat screens placed throughout the store. There is a bar area, pool area, and the main area with a place where bands can perform on Thursday. I know the owner, and he is a very friendly Filipino guy. Always gives me a hug, and his wife is nice too. I’ve been going there for a few years. I love it there, and I get my usual place with my waitress. Her name is Monica, and she always gets my drink order. I get the usual drink and so does Derek. I love his blue eyes and short hair too cut like military style since the Army has it like that. He is 5’5 and I’m 4’8 we make it work since we have been dating for 8 months. We talk about everything his day and my dreaded morning shift. I can talk to him for hours at this point. The drinks are here, and I take a shot down of the drink and sip on my Red Bull and Vodka. It makes all my troubles go away, and I’m happy now. I’m no longer worried over work bull shit, and the boss threatening to get me in trouble if I don’t work faster thanks to the person in charge of my area. I don’t worry about much, but I notice it doesn’t taste like it usually does. It has a metallic taste to it. Like blood. I look at my drink and it is blood….

    ….I pass out and wake up in a room with a bed and I’m tied to it. Great…I wonder how much time is passed since I took a drink. Derek is nowhere to be found. But some time passes, and he comes through the door.
    “Are you okay?” He asked me.
    “What happened?” I asked him wondering how I got here.
    “I turned you into a vampire so you can get revenge on your evil boss, and coworker.” He told me with a wicked glint in his eyes. He knew exactly what I needed.
              Things are getting worse at SaveMart, and it was time to clean house. I’m thirsty and I look to my left there is a glass of blood on a nightstand, and I drink the whole thing. It actually has a taste to it, and it tasted really good. The best drink of water when I’m in the desert. Why don’t I freak out? Why don’t I call him a monster and break up with him? Because I’ve had an obsession with vampires for a while, and I have always wanted to be one. The owners of my favorite haunt are vampires, and they even turned their waitresses into them. They need me to be on their team to go after the mean customers.
     I look at him, “Thanks, and I love you.”
    “I love you too, and I don’t want to go on living without you. Now go after the bitches. They deserve to die especially the snitch.”
    “Will do, and I don’t want to be without you either.” I tell him.
    I get up and notice that my reflexes are better, my strength stronger, and I’m fierce too. My humanity is gone, and I will not feel guilty about killing that lazy bitch either. She does not do anything. Then afterward I can go to Luxor, and live there with Derek. I wanted to get out of Crystal Crest so here is my chance.
              A few days later I clock in for my last shift ever because I’m not going to go into work anymore for this hell hole. They ride me too much, and I can’t take it anymore. I plan on getting in trouble and then when they both pull me in I will take them out with my silencer on my revolver. My silenced .38. I drive and the sun does not bother me at all. I love it. I was afraid I would have to give up the sun I don’t have to. I get dressed in my tacky uniform and head out. Once I get there I start zoning like usual. I notice a cart of shoes, but I ignore it today. I’m giving her a taste of her own medicine first. I’ll make her do her job for once.
    Supervisor comes up to me, “You know you have a cart to do, and it’s right there. Then we have five more to go.”
    Screw it…
    “Well, if that’s the case you had better start now so you can finish it by the time you leave.”
    She scoffs, “It’s your job actually do as I say.”
    “No, I won’t do work for you since your a lazy bitch. You have me and others do the work while you do practically nothing. You call me slow and say I need to speed it up while you leave shit behind the counter. You’re a lazy piece of shit, and I hope you choke and die.”
    She glares, “I’ll get the manager and we will coach you for being a smart ass.”
    “Then go get her because I want to talk to her about how much of a lazy bitch you are…”
    She leaves, and I’m happy since I did see the manager. Once they pull me into the office I’ll take them out to finish the job….
    An hour after finishing the area she called me slow in I get a call.
    “They need to see you in the office.” A coworker tells me.
    I walk to the front, and the bitch is there with the boss.
    Boss looked at me, “Now tell me why you were rude to supervisor.”
    “She is a lazy bitch, and I’m not doing shit till you fire her.”
    “How about I fire you?” She told me.
    My reply, “You can’t since I already quit…”
    I take my .38 and aim it at the bosses head. I pull the trigger, and the bullet goes right through her and blood splatters into the wall.
    “You were useless anyway…” I tell her unmoving body.
    I turn my attention to bitch supervisor, and then give her a mean glare.
    “Consider this death sentence for being a lazy bitch, and not doing your job.” I do the same to her, and then I leave. I fill the office with kerosene and strike a match.
    “I’ve always hated this job anyway.” I throw the match, and it lights up like a Christmas tree…I get home in record time, and tell Derek about everything…
    “Good they deserved it.”
    Then we leave the Crystal Crest, and go to Luxor where I get a better job and better treatment. I become a famous author there, and live out eternity as a vampire loving it every single day…..

    The End….
    Jessica's book The Killer Contract Agency is coming soon from Write More Publications!