Welcome to a Fictional Reality

Welcome to a Fictional Reality

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Enigma Black - 5-Star Review

Wow!  I was truly blown away by Enigma Black, and cannot wait for the sequel!  Dystopian stories are by far my favorites, but this one made stood out as a new favorite.

Sara Furlong Burr's writing is wildly imaginative and filled with snark and wit.  The characters are brilliantly developed throughout the story making them come alive in settings described with such imagery that you feel a part of the story.  Enigma Black is filled with twists and turns that will leave you guessing all the way until the end (don't worry, this is a spoiler free zone).

Personally, this first book sets the stage for the series to join the ranks of The Hunger Games in my mind.  Even though it is a young adult book, it has the ability to draw in audiences of all ages.  If ever there was a book that should be made into a movie, I am voting for this one!



Dystopian/ Sci-Fi
Date Published:11/21/12

When she was just seventeen, the course of Celaine Stevens' life was permanently altered with
the murders of her father, mother, and brother in one of a series of mysterious and violent
explosions occurring across the country. Struggling with picking up the pieces, she's haunted by
the memory of that day and her promise of retribution against those responsible for her misery.
But just as she seems to be getting her life back on track, an encounter with a mysterious stranger
promises her the vengeance she desires, ultimately turning the former target into the assassin.
However, as she soon learns, all choices come with consequences. And the consequence of her
choice threatens to destroy the very fabric of her being



Excerpt
The automatic door was now more manual than automatic. I banged on it with my fists, attempting to do the job the explosion had been unable to accomplish. When that failed, I braced a leg on one side of the frame and, with my aching arms, attempted to pry the door open like a human crow-bar. No luck. After a couple more minutes of kicking, smacking and invariably flipping the door off, I realized that what I was doing was not going to work. Undeterred, I scanned the rubble for an idea. A piece of scaffolding stuck out like a sore thumb within the concrete. Lunging towards it, I prayed it would be suitable to pry the door open. Just as I bent down to grab it, I felt one hand on my shoulder and another one around my waist, attempting to pull me back.
“What in the hell do you think you’re doing?” A man whirled me around to face him. His eyes were wild, his hair gray from soot. He appeared to be a security guard or an officer of some sort. It was too hard to tell based on what was left of his tattered uniform. “There’s nothing left. Do you hear me? The ramp is gone. You’re going to get yourself killed trying to go out there.”
Even though I heard the words he spoke, they made absolutely no sense to me. What did he mean when he said the ramp was gone? It had been there just twenty minutes ago. Deciding that the good officer must be crazy, I broke away from him and proceeded onward in my quest to pry the door open, grabbing the piece of scaffolding from its concrete tomb.
“No!” he screamed at me again, lunging to restrain me.
I’d had enough. As much as I didn’t want to do it, I felt like I had no other option but to disable the officer, as reasoning with him was clearly not going to work. Raising my arm, I forcibly swung it back, striking him in the chest. The force of my elbow to his rib cage caused him to release his grip on me enough to where I was able to break away. Once free, I whirled around, swiftly kicking him in the legs as hard as I could in the hope that it would incapacitate him long enough for me to pry the door open.
Fetching the metallic bar from the rubble, I jammed it between the seal and the frame of the doorway, pushing it with all my strength. At first, it put up an admirable fight, but after several solid jabs it finally conceded defeat, slowly squeaking open. Smoke — thicker and black in color — poured into the store from the outside, sending me into another coughing fit. Holding my breath, I gave the bar a few more solid pushes until enough room opened up for me to squeeze my entire body through the door. Through the clouds of smoke, I took off down the crumpled concrete. In the suffocating fog, snowflakes stabbed my face like tiny daggers, grinding salt in my wounds.
My eyes worked to focus in the direction I’d left my parents’ vehicle. I walked carefully down the pavement, looking for the familiar sight of the garage. I should have been there by now; this walk was taking entirely too long. The smoky haze slowly became less and less dense the further out I walked until a wayward gust of wind blew past me, punching a hole into the unknown. What it revealed was a scene I hadn’t expected.
Instead of the familiar ramp, I found myself standing on the edge of a ledge with the rest of the city spread out before me. Sirens surrounded me. I shielded my ears with my bloodied hands. A strange sound approaching from above drew my attention to the helicopter that was circling the mall. The hurricane-force wind it generated pushed my broken body in all directions. Did I take a wrong turn? Was I that disoriented?
No, I wasn’t. This was where I’d left my parents and Jacob. They had been right here waiting for me. A thought occurred to me then; a thought that rendered my delicate stomach as fragile as an egg shell. Taking in a deep breath, I staggered to the edge of the cliff, peering over the edge to see what I had feared and somehow already knew would be there.



5 Reasons to Write Dystopian

I consider myself an eclectic writer in that the genres for the stories I’ve written tend to vary, from romance, science-fiction, dystopian, political thriller, paranormal, adult, young adult, and chick-it. In fact, my first novel, Enigma Black, is four of those aforementioned genres all rolled into one. But, if you were to hold me down, kicking and screaming, after careful thought, I would tell you that the increasingly-popular dystopian genre is by far my favorite type of novel to write. Why? I’m glad you asked because I just so happen to have five reasons why I prefer to write dystopian novels:

1.  Better world building. A dystopian setting offers a literal world of possibilities. Whether your literary world is governed by anarchy, oppression, a disease that forces its  inhabitants to live in seclusion, forced pairings, or generalized fear, the dystopian genre allows you more of a creative liberty (in my opinion) to multiply the darkest fears buried in the deepest recesses of your mind and bring them to life on paper.

2.  More kick-butt female protagonists. From Katniss in The Hunger Games to Tris in Divergent, dystopian novels are rife with strong female main characters who make wonderful role models for young women, and have more honorable traits for others to emulate, such fearlessness and strength (as opposed to selfishness and a dependence upon others to save the day).

3.  Because rainbows and sunshine get old. I, for one, don’t want to read a novel where everything is hunky-dory all of the time nor do I always want there to be a happy, sugar-coated ending. I want there to be tension; I want to feel a sense of impending doom amidst a world I can’t seem to figure out. And you get all of that in the dystopian genre, making it one of the more exciting genres to both read and write.

4.  You can stack other genres on top of it. There is so much more you can work into a dystopian novel. You can have an epic romance, an alien invasion, a political thriller, or even a horror story (think zombies), all set within a dystopian environment. Really, the world’s your oyster when it comes to the dystopian genre, allowing you to be a tad more creative with less restrictions than some of the other genres impose.

5.   Heroes rise from oppression. One of the things I love most about the dystopian genre is the ultimate banding together of those who oppose it. Alliances are made, heroes are born, and a darn good story usually ensues as a result.


Sara Furlong-Burr
Author Bio:
Sara "Furlong" Burr was born on February 1, 1982, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. At an early age,
when it became apparent she wouldn't have the luxury of skating through life on her looks
or athletic prowess, Sara found her true passion in writing. While in fifth grade, she wrote
her first "novel"(whose name escapes her at the moment) about five friends who win a trip to
Hawaii. At ninety-something pages, it was her crowning achievement during her childhood (you
may now begin drawing your own conclusions on how sad a childhood Sara actually had).

After focusing much of her adult life on her family and career as a paralegal, Sara found the
voices in her head becoming unrelenting and she returned to her true passion. Currently, she's
working on the sequel to Enigma Black entitled Vendetta Nation. She's also tossing around ideas
for a chick-lit book about two ill-fated lovers (Lord, help her).

When she's not writing, Sara enjoys reading (pretty much a given), attempting to garden,
shopping (prerequisite to being a woman), and spending time with her family and friends who
somehow manage to tolerate her numerous disappearances propagated by infrequent bouts of
inspiration.

Contact Links
Twitter: @Sarafurlong



Monday, April 29, 2013

Hope's Reign - Cover Reveal


Hope's Reign
Selina Fenech
YA Fantasy
Book Two in Memory's Wake Trilogy
Date Published: May 10, 2013

Summary:

Everything is slipping away from Memory. The bond of friendship between her, Eloryn, Roen, and Will, that was formed while running for their lives is tearing. In a world that doesn’t feel like home, with a mind filled with nothing but questions, Memory struggles to be true to herself… whoever that is. When her past self starts haunting her, she knows her sanity could be the next thing she will lose.


Selina Fenech


Born in 1981 to Australian and Maltese parents, Selina lives in Australia with her husband, an unnamed cat. During her life Selina has found ancient Roman treasure, survived cancer, had knights joust at her wedding, been mugged for doughnuts, made a living as a visual artist, and shared her imaginary worlds in paintings and now in her novels.



Contact Links

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dead Light - 5-Star Review




Wow, Dead Light is absolutely haunting!  It is an action packed thriller, that I hesitate to even place within the classification of "paranormal."  Yes, it is about the devil's light that he uses to 
capture souls, but with the references to Scripture, and the way that it is written, it feels so real!  
To the point that I would describe it as terrifyingly realistic.  

Thankfully, I read this one during the day.  Otherwise, I don't think I would have gotten any sleep!  
The characters are great, and the plot is so unexpected that you just lose yourself within the pages.  There were points where I was literally shaking while reading it.  And even once I finished, it still haunted my thoughts.  

Horror - Thriller/Suspense
Date Published-  4/4/13

Synopsis: 
…a matter of light and death…
                In the sleepy college town of Cumberton, MD, an old cemetery must be moved to make room for a new dormitory, and an ungodly Light, buried for centuries, escapes. A rash of gruesome student suicides rocks the town. Sheriff Estin Booker teams up with former Baltimore homicide detective Anna Tucci to investigate the deaths. What neither expects is to have all roads point to a 2000-year-old legend which, if true, could lead to the destruction of mankind.
                The most frightening account of the power of evil breeching our world since The Exorcist, DEAD LIGHT will teach you the most improbable lesson you will ever learn:
 FEAR THE LIGHT!



Excerpt
With Jill’s help, and using his previous foothold, it didn’t take long for him to crawl out of the grave. He took a couple of deep breaths and tested his ankle. Still hurt, but not as bad. Definitely just a sprain.
She pointed the light beam at the box. Looked about five inches square and maybe three or four inches high. At one time it probably had been painted red, but now was more the shade of rust. Curious. It was made of wood, yet unlike the casket, had remained intact. He shook the box. Nothing.
Jill took the box and shook it. “Empty.”
“Why would they bury a locked empty box?” he asked.
She aimed the light on the headstone, which lay on its side nearby. The letters were barely legible.
                            Father William Cumber
                                     1645-1713
“The guy they named the town after?” she asked.
“Maybe it’s some religious relic. When we get back, I’ll get a screwdriver and pry it open.”
“What if there’s something valuable inside?” She turned. Momentarily, the flashlight beam moved away from the path. In that instant, Tony tripped again.
“Shit.”
They both fell, sending the flashlight flying out of Jill’s hand.
Pain from his ankle shot up Tony’s leg. “Find the flashlight,” he said through clenched teeth. He rolled over onto his stomach and tried his best to get to his knees.
Jill crawled in a short radius, groped around for the light while still holding tight to the box.
“Got it.” She turned on the flashlight, pointing the beam upwards as she slowly rose to her feet.
Tony thought he felt something brush against his skin; probably a moth. And a sweet odor. Familiar, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Must be from opening all the graves after hundreds of years.
From behind them, a deep, gravelly whisper. “Give me the box.”
Jill’s shriek reverberated throughout the entire cemetery. She turned, and the edge of the light beam caught the face of a wild-haired, crazy-eyed old man. She screamed again and dropped the flashlight; the light went out. Though he was as scared as she was, Tony hobbled back to insert himself between Jill and the old man. The man grabbed for the box. Tony flailed out with his right arm, the box flew out of the old man’s hand, smacking into a headstone. The soft wood cracked, splitting the box open along its seams. Instantly, a searing light from inside the box flashed, then disappeared.
Tony thought, how could that be possible? He must've been seeing stars from hitting his head. Frantic, he looked around but the old man had disappeared. Jill knelt in the soil, her face buried in her arms. She must’ve tripped, too. He helped her to her feet.
“You okay?” she asked, then brushed her arm.
“Moths,” he said. “They’re all over the place.”
“Tony, think I saw a flash of light coming from the box.”

              Tony glanced down at the broken box. Of course there was no light inside. “From hitting your head when you fell, that’s all.”
“But I didn’t—”
The cough interrupted her. They both froze. He was still there.





Mike Pace
Author Bio
Mike Pace was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Illinois on an art scholarship, and graduated with a BFA degree. He taught public school inWashington D.C.’s inner city, while attending law school at Georgetown University. As an attorney, he prosecuted numerous cases, including those involving murder and rape. He resigned in order to practice law part time, thereby allowing him the time to devote to his first love, creative writing. He lives on the Chesapeake Bay with his wife and two dogs, Blueberry and Scout. DEAD LIGHT is Mike’s first novel.
 Website- http:// Mikepacebooks.com
Twitter- www.twitter.com/MikePacebooks




BUY LINK

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Once A Druid - Promo



"By the light of the Lunar Eclipse—let them see!"


There is something seriously wrong in Kirra Munro's head. Besides suffering from amnesia, night after night she is plagued by dark dreams of other worldly rituals and a past she has no right in remembering—or does she?

Psychology professor Cayden McKinnon has the ability to unlock the blockages in her mind, but after one visit things begin unraveling far too fast. 

Time is running out...or has the battle for one woman's soul just begun?

Available in print and digital April 25th, 2013!




Beyond her heavy eyelids, Kirra knew she was no longer alone. In the darkest shadows a presence had joined her.

The being didn’t breathe. Her sensitive hearing would have detected the slight whoosh of air filtering through the spongy mass of a living lung.

It also wasn’t human—her tongue would have tingled from the imminent promise of a blood offering.

Whatever the thing was, she had never encountered its kind before.

A slight shift in the air to the left alerted her to the creature’s exact position. Part of her wanted to be afraid but her stronger essence knew there was nothing to fear.

A prickling began in the tips of her toes as she pushed the comforting thought into every corner of her brain. Curious about the cause, she stilled her mind and focused on the heat spreading from her feet throughout the rest of her body. Not an entirely unpleasant sensation, it was much like bathing in a gentle wash of warm water.

Once the sensation penetrated her brain she knew all her past actions were being picked apart and judged by the invading heat. Somehow she understood that the being held her life in its hands. Despair saturated the infrastructure of her spirit but ceased almost immediately, leaving a sense of weightlessness at her soul’s core.

“Only the pure of heart can receive my protection—all others perish during the purging.”

The edict slipped into her thoughts like soft feathers turned to a thick warm liquid. Through the haze washing over her reflective process, Kirra sensed her body being lifted off the slab of stone and was unable to resist the movement.

To be cradled against an essence exuding such strength and vitality made her want to cry. All she’d been lacking in her heart flooded her system, choking the breath from her lungs.

“Weep not...”

The voice drifted off into unintelligible murmurings as the shadows behind her eyes turned pure black and Kirra’s thoughts were no more.


Pre-order your print copy today!

Living in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Alex and SJ Byrne are just trying to make their way through the insanity that comes with creativity. Writing is SJ's passion—life is her muse—Alex is the force that brought this long anticipated novel to light after 17 years in a box.


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