Tag Archives: aliens

Forced proximity and a surprise twist make this second entry a hit

58657555._SY475_Declared by Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This second entry in Sam and Fawkes’ alien Sci-Fi series is just as good as the introduction book but has a totally different tone.

The differences between Jax and Wesley were never more obvious than after their ship was forced to land on the ice cold moon Zathkar with most of its systems damaged but Wes is very quick to put Jax in his place about thinking he’s weak just because he’s smaller.

I loved the dynamics between them. Jax may be in line to be the Thorzi’s next Proeliator, their greatest warrior, but he’s also a ray of sunshine, always smiling and very aware of his place as a hybrid.

Wes may be a human, and more susceptible to the intense cold of the moon, but he’s also resourceful and won’t let Jax despair over the fact he can’t “protect him”.

When Wes meets the leader of the ancient enemy the Zathki that live beneath the surface in cleverly constructed tunnels, it becomes very clear that both sides in the turbulent conflict have been played by Crux.

I loved the tone of this book, it’s a bit less directly political than the first one and there’s obviously less need for extensive world building so the narrative moves swiftly through the crash landing and into the revelations that the Zathki are actually Thorzi also, just a different version. They are the Scientists to the Thorzi Warriors.

They bounce off each other as Jax begins to realise that there is more to what he’s been told about their planet’s history and the nature of the human abductions that Crux (he of the bad behaviour in book one and the series’ main nemesis) has been performing.

Learning about the differences in what are essentially the same people has more than a few similarities with how humanity treats people differently because of their ethnicity or where they were born.

It paints a poignant picture of a home world destroyed by people unwilling to work together towards better goals and instead, utterly destroying their planet and being forced into exile on Thorzan and Zathkar.

There’s also a bit more of a sense of slowburn in the relationship between Jax and Wes, even though it takes place over a relatively short period of time. It’s clear there is an attraction between them, but Jax’s honour and his future role makes him feel he cannot accept Wes as a potential mate because of his own hybrid nature.

Wes, with a great deal of humour, some rather funny pointed Star Trek and Star Wars references which had me chuckling, puts Jax firmly in his place about what’s suitable or not and their have a few very sweet and low key sexual encounters before the main story arc kicks in.

Suffice it to say, eventually things take a turn for the better and Wes’ position as Jax’s mate becomes as obvious as Lucas’ was for Kaelum in book one!

And it all leads into the final set-up for book three which I am desperate for. Kaelum’s half-brother Vorian, the Bastard – like literally that’s his official title! Born from Crux’s forced mating of Kaelum’s human mother and Beau, the most vulnerable of the humans who were abducted from Earth.

I can’t wait!

#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Release Blitz: Facets of the Nether by William C. Tracy

Facets of the Nether | William C. Tracy

The Dissolution Cycle #2

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Publisher: Space Wizard Science Fantasy

Release Date: Tuesday, June 23 2020

Length: 118,000

Buy Link: Amazon

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COVER - Facets of the Nether

Blurb

The Dissolution approaches.

Sam has saved the Assembly of Species, but at a terrible cost. Locked in his apartment, his memories gone and his best friend abducted, he is once again crippled with anxiety. Meanwhile, Enos struggles to free her brother from imprisonment, alone for the first time in her life.

Her true species has been revealed, and there are hints the deadliest of her kind survived an ancient war.

But the Nether contains more secrets. A musical chime disrupts daily life, signaling changes to its very fabric. To solve this mystery, Sam must face his anxiety and confront truths about his memories and unique abilities.

Only then can he save his friends from the machinations of the Life Coalition, by understanding the reality behind the Facets of the Nether.

 

MEME1 - Facets of the Nether

Excerpt

– The appearance of a new house of the maji is not to be as surprising as its origin. My apprentice, who firmly appeared to be of the House of Communication, is the one who is showing me these new things, at my age. Truly, the Nether is changing.

Journal of Origon Cyrysi, Kirian majus of the Houses of Communication and Power

A chime erupted through the Imperium, as if all the crystal plates in the world rang and shattered at once. Samuel van Oen held his ears and, through the window of his mentor’s apartment, watched a flight of alien birds split and scatter at the noise.

“What was that?” Sam dropped his hands from his ears as the sound stabilized into a deep, clear tone he felt in his gut. It was loud, but not as unbearable as it had been. Deep in the back of his mind, the Grand Symphony responded to the noise like a tuning fork against a plate of metal. The different rhythms fractured and multiplied at the chime, like the whole world was vibrating.

No one answered his question, as Majus Cyrysi was out again. The Kirian had spent more time in the libraries of the Spire than in teaching Sam, not that he was ever particularly good at teaching.

The tower of the House of Communication vibrated beneath Sam’s feet as the sound lessened to a background hum. The music normally playing in its halls had ceased during the explosion of sound, but now picked up fitfully, warring with the chime’s resonance. The flock of birds—with crests of orange, and three scaly wings down each side of their body—swooped in an irregular pattern, disrupted by the noise.

Sam went to the window and looked down. To one side, dust fell from the strange stone bridge that ran from the middle height of the House of Communication to the immense wall of the Nether. He’d been out on it before, as it was a curiosity of this House, and maji occasionally used it to take in the view. There were a few maji on it now—a tall Etanela and two Methiemum—looking up at the immense wall of the Nether, bathed in blues and purples like a titanic sheet of ice.

On the ground far below, people milled around in confusion. Sam guessed the bell-like sound wasn’t normal, but he’d only been in this place a little under two months. Before that, things became blurred and hazy in his mind. The presence that had rooted through his head took many of his memories. He remembered Earth, and that he had stayed with his aunt after something happened to his parents. Their faces refused to come to mind. Thinking about what happened at the Dome of the Assembly made him seek the silence of Majus Cyrysi’s apartment, and he couldn’t stop. He was obsessing about what he could have—should have—done differently. He was slowly spiraling down to a place of solitude and loneliness, and his body wouldn’t obey his deeper wish to break the cycle.

Sam jumped back from the window as someone banged on the door. A spike like an icicle in his gut went through him. Sweat pricked his forehead.

Don’t be someone new.

It could only be one of a few people, but his throat threatened to close at the thought of explaining why he was sitting here alone, staring out a window. How long ago had Majus Cyrysi left?

Sam put one eye to the peephole in the door, then sagged in relief. It was Enos. He could ask her about the sound digging its way into his head.

He opened the door and let his friend in, looking her over. There were bags under her eyes and she hadn’t combed her long black hair.

“You haven’t slept either, have you?” said Enos.

Sam let out a burst of air. It wasn’t quite a laugh. “That’s what I was going to say.” He pulled her into the room by her hand, quickly closing the door. The hall should be familiar, but it didn’t feel like the right day to go outside. Again.

“You hear that too, right? Do you know what—”

Enos shook her head. “No idea. I was about to ask you. People are running around like mad. I don’t think anyone knows.”

Then why would she think I knew? He stared at the closed door.

Enos followed his gaze, then took his other hand. “It’s been a ten-day since you left Majus Cyrysi’s apartment.” She winced as if she had a headache. Probably that irritating chime. It was like a dull drill, pressing against the back of his head.

Sam frowned. Now wasn’t the time to talk about going out. Couldn’t Enos see he had other things on his mind?

“Before this noise started I was trying to remember…remember—” He bit his lip and focused over her shoulder. It was something about Earth. He’d almost had it.

“Remember what?’ Enos asked, bringing his focus back. “Is it connected with the attack on the Assembly? Or about the new themes you hear in the Symphony? Can they help us find Inas?”

Sam shook his head. He was letting Enos down.

She won’t want to be with me anymore.

He knew it wasn’t true, but the fact beat against the inside of his head. Inas had been the other side of a scale, balancing him. Without him, everything was harder.

About the Author

AUTHOR PIC - Facets of the Nether - William C. Tracy

William C. Tracy is a North Carolina native and a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy. He self-published his Dissolutionverse space opera books and has one epic fantasy published with a small press.

He also has a master’s in mechanical engineering, and has designed and operated heavy construction machinery. He’s trained in Wado-Ryu karate since 2003, and runs his own dojo in Raleigh. He is an avid video and board gamer, a reader, and a writer.

In his spare time, he cosplays with his wife such combinations as Steampunk Agent Carter and Jarvis, Jafar and Maleficent, and Doctor Strange and the Ancient One. They also enjoy putting their pets in handmade costumes and making them cosplay for the annual Christmas card.

Get a novelette by signing up for William’s mailing list or follow him on Twitter at for writing updates, cat pictures, and martial arts.

Social Media

Author Website: http://williamctracy.com/

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Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/William-C-Tracy/e/B01D1Z2MD8

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Series Tour: Gods of Earth Series by Nina R Schluntz

Gods of Earth Series | Nina R Schluntz

GODS OF EARTH SERIES 2

 

Overall Heat Rating: 4 flames

Cover Artist: John Molinero

A single book from the series could be read on its own. There is an ongoing story that spans all the books, but each has a couple who receive their happy ending at the conclusion of the book.

Gods of Earth Series on Amazon

Influence of a God

BOOK 1 INFLUENCE OF A GOD

Length: 141 pages

Release Date: January 1, 2019

Trope/s: Casual hookup to serious relationship / getting over an ex

Amazon | Goodreads

Blurb

Jesse has a type-the heartbroken. He doesn’t hide this fact, he’s even tattooed a damaged heart on his chest. His partners love the people who left them, which means there’s no fear of them getting attached to him. He showers them with the affection they have been deprived of and in return, he gets no string attached hook-ups.

Except for Ben.

No matter what Jesse does, when he gets drunk, its always Ben’s porch he ends up on. Which is fine, because Ben is still deeply in love with his ex-wife, even though she’s already remarried.

It might have all stayed fine, if Ben hadn’t met Cooper, the twelve-year-old stepson of Ben’s ex. He knows things he shouldn’t. He has a weird quirk of disappearing for hours. He even predicts future events with uncanny luck. And Cooper has a plan for Jesse. He wants himself and Ben’s daughter to live with Jesse and Ben. Which is a problem, because Jesse doesn’t do relationships.

To Cooper that just means Jesse needs to learn things the hard way.

Prophet of a God

Length: 199 pages

Release Date: September 22, 2019

Trope/s: Fated love / destined love

Amazon | Goodreads

Blurb

Isaiah has heard voices in his head his entire life, so it’s ironic when his brother declares that he has been chosen as a prophet for a god. Isaiah assists his brother in his search for the messiah and quickly discovers the god chose his brother in an effort to get closer to Isaiah.

The messiah isn’t shy at all in declaring that Isaiah is fated to be with him. But the voice in Isaiah’s head is skeptical and easily finds errors in the god’s claims.

Cooper is a god, one of many on Earth, but he is approved to pose as a messiah. He warps the path he’s supposed to follow in an effort to get closer to a man that is supposed to be his lover for only one night. Doing so has consequences, because Isaiah is not the man he expected. For one, he cuts himself in an effort to deal with the darkness of his past.

And second, there’s the pesky sprite that loiters on Isaiah’s shoulder, whispering advice that Cooper would rather it didn’t.

Muse of a God

Length: 256 pages

Release Date: February 1, 2020

Genre/s: Supernatural M/M romance

Trope/s: Reluctantly falling in love / clinging to an old lover

Amazon | Goodreads

Blurb

Lawrence, who prefers to go by Laurie, is one of those gifted performers that everyone envies because he always gets the lead role.

Carter is a god with a shaded past. He created a planet… and then helped parasite type symbiotes destroy it. His current time on Earth is to prove he is rehabilitated.

He isn’t.

But he is good at manipulation. He wants to stay close to the two scientists who will discover a means to save Earth once Carter brings the symbiotes to it. One of them is Laurie’s roommate in college. Which means Laurie is Carter’s best means to befriending the scientists.

A not so chance encounter and some mocking, gets Laurie to join the lacrosse team Carter is on. Seducing him is easy enough, but Laurie quickly proves refreshingly unpredictable and his quick tongue makes Carter reconsider his choices to stay loyal to his previous love who controls the symbiotes.

But can Carter’s growing affection toward Laurie be enough to convince him to save Earth rather than destroy it?

Enemy of a God

Length: 151 pages

Release Date: May 17, 2020

Genre/s: Supernatural M/M romance

Trope/s: Falling for a friend’s boyfriend, Forbidden love

Amazon | Goodreads

Blurb

The world is ending and the gods are abandoning Earth. A strange woman arrives at the same time the parasite symbiotes do. She has no memory of who she is and the question remains, is she an ally to save earth or the enemy of the gods here to destroy them?

Jayson is the first to find her and he forms an immediate friendship with her. They are both outcasts with a dark past. He makes a deal with a god, Cooper, in an attempt to learn more about his alien friend.

He doesn’t expect to fall in love with Cooper and worse, learn that his alien friend must die in order to save Earth.

Symbiote of a God

Length: 101 pages

Release Date: June 15, 2020

Genre/s: Supernatural M/M romance

Trope/s: Friends to lovers / refusing to come out as gay

Amazon | Goodreads

Blurb

Stephen, Nick, and Lawrence have been best friends since college. Stephen and Nick are scientists, tasked with finding a cure to the symbiotes which have invaded Earth and use humans as hosts. Removing the symbiote kills the human, and a human doesn’t live long once infected.

Months after the initial invasion, Lawrence becomes infected and seeks the help of his friends. The rush to find a cure is now paramount, but something is strange about Lawrence’s infection. He is still in control of his body, and he can now understand the symbiotes.

Nick and Stephen realize he may hold the cure to finally ridding the world of the symbiotes.

Resurrection of a God

Release Date: July 6, 2020

Length: 115 pages

Genre/s: Supernatural M/M romance

Trope/s: Reluctant hero / Love triangle

Amazon | Goodreads

Blurb

Earth is the second planet Carter has created, and now the same symbiotes that destroyed his first planet, are here, destroying Earth. Afraid he will only aide in Earth’s destruction, since it’s his soulmate and lover behind the invasion, he goes into hiding.

Jayson knows Carter is the only god who can save Earth and he is done waiting for him to come back. He resurrects the god and saves the planet, but its something not just any human can do. Jayson realizes there’s more to his relationship with Carter than he thought. He’d assumed he was Cooper’s soulmate, he loves Cooper, but when he keeps running into Carter he realizes the truth. A god has a different soulmate on every planet, and on Earth, he is Carter’s soulmate.

But Carter doesn’t want him. His soulmate from his first planet was destructive and Carter fears what Jayson will become if he bonds with him.

Jayson has to convince the god that he is different, and that your past does not determine your future.

Excerpt

INFLUENCE of a GOD

“You shouldn’t want him to love you,” Jesse muttered to himself. He dropped the cigarette that he didn’t remember smoking and smashed the burning embers out with his heel. He went in the back door of the house. He could already hear the woman—the Nicole—speaking to Ben.

“I can’t believe you let some whore into this house with our daughter,” Nicole said. Jesse reached the end of the hall and stood in the doorway to the living room.

Nicole was wearing a large winter coat, so Jesse was unable to properly assess if she was fat. He had really hoped she was a fat, ugly thing. Her hair was cut into a cute bob. Her face was, well plain, but then again, she’d been woken at one in the morning, so who bothered with make-up at that hour?

Ben was standing behind the kitchen island, using it as a shield to protect himself from her. He’d never looked so small before. He was a pathetic puppy who had disappointed, yet again, the woman he loved.

“Who are you?” Nicole asked. She put her hands on her hips and aimed her dagger-filled gaze at him.

“This is Jesse,” Ben said, speaking meekly. “He came over to—”

Jesse didn’t want to listen to whatever lie Ben had in mind. “I’m the whore,” Jesse said. “The whore who scared your little girl.” He turned his head so the head of the snake on his neck was visible to her.

Nicole’s eyes bulged. A look of disgust passed on her face. She looked back at Ben.

“You’re gay.” The words didn’t come from Nicole. They came from another member of the party that Jesse hadn’t even noticed. A boy, early puberty age, maybe twelve, sat on the couch to Jesse’s left. He was a slender thing, a stick of a kid who was swallowed up in his big winter coat. He was pale and so still, Jesse wondered if he had actually been the one to speak. The kid sat there, an amused look on his face. “Ben is gay,” the boy repeated, speaking the words while Jesse looked at him, confirming that he was indeed the speaker.

“And you are?” Jesse asked.

“Cooper,” the kid said. He nodded at Jesse. “And you’re a sinner.”

“This whole family is full of flattery,” Jesse said. He crossed his arms and looked at Ben. “You have two kids?”

“She’s my stepmom,” Cooper said. His tone was even. There was a hint of amusement, but otherwise it stayed emotionless.

“I can’t believe you let our little girl see you having sex with a man,” Nicole said.

“She didn’t see us doing shit,” Jesse said. He stepped to block the entire hall as she moved to pass him.

“The tattoos,” Ben said. He took a small step forward. “The snake and… she saw the Jungle Book the other night and…”

“Tattoos? Plural? What else is there?” Nicole asked. She looked Jesse over from head to toe.

“There’s a lot more,” Jesse said. “Want me to show you?”

A wave of revulsion crossed her face and she waved him away. “No, I do not. Let me pass. I want to see Maggie.”

He stepped to the side and let her dart down the hall. Ben quickly followed after her. He paused as he reached Jesse. “I told you to leave.”

“I’m not leaving you to deal with this by yourself,” Jesse said.

“You aren’t helping,” Ben said. The door to Maggie’s room opened and Ben slipped past Jesse to assist in calming their daughter. Jesse looked to the other occupant left in the room. The kid—Cooper—was staring at him.

“Are you a God-fearing man?” Cooper asked. He pushed the hood of his coat down and short blond hair jutted out. The hair was so light it almost looked white. The whole white hair/pale skin thing might not have looked bad on him, except for the dark brown eyes. It made him look—odd. As if all the pigment in his body were focused at that one point of his body.

“No,” Jesse said. “Are you?”

“No,” Cooper said. “Why aren’t you?”

“You first,” Jesse said. He walked into the kitchen to look for some aspirin.

“My answer won’t be one you’d like,” Cooper said. “Did you reject God because he doesn’t approve of your way of living?”

Jesse pulled out a bottle of over-the-counter pain relievers and popped the cap. He shook out four pills. “Which way of living is that?”

“All of it,” Cooper said. “The premarital sex, excess use of drugs, alcohol, lying with a man, adultery, marking your body with—”

“Whoa kid, that’s a lot of judgment. You just met me.”

“It’s not judgment if I’m simply listing the facts. You have done and will continue to do those things. I am asking if you have forsaken God to free yourself from those rules so you can live a lifestyle that brings you immediate gratification.”

“You don’t know that those are facts.”

“You deny them?” Cooper’s eyes went to the floor. “You lie. To everyone, even yourself.” His eyes shot back up and looked into Jesse’s. Those dark brown, practically black, eyes seemed to look directly into Jesse’s soul.

“Why are you here, tonight? In this house?” Jesse asked.

“I think I’m here to meet you,” Cooper said. “But to answer it in the way you meant, I’m not allowed to be home alone. Nicole had to bring me.”

“And why’s that? Why can’t you be home alone?”

“I have a tendency to not stay where people leave me,” Cooper said.

Jesse couldn’t help but grin. This kid was amusing. Egotistical and fighting a hell of a god complex, but still amusing.

Nicole came into the room, holding Maggie to her chest. The girl was bundled in a coat, her face buried against her mother. Ben came after, holding a backpack with a Hello Kitty symbol on it. A little blue bunny’s ears were visible under Maggie’s blond locks.

“We’re leaving,” Nicole said. “Cooper, take the bag.”

“The roads have gotten icier,” Cooper said. “It’s not safe. We should wait.”

Nicole aimed her daggers at Cooper. “I’m the adult, Cooper, and I say we are leaving. Take the bag and get in the car.”

Cooper rose and took the bag from Ben. “For the record, Jesse,” Cooper said. “I don’t view the things you do as sins. And you should forgive yourself, for Angie.”

A chill ran up Jesse’s spine. How the hell did the kid know about Angie?

“Sorry. He does that,” Nicole said. She freed an arm and pushed Cooper toward the door.

“He should start a psychic show. He’d be good,” Jesse said.

About the Author

Nina Schluntz is a native to rural Nebraska. In her youth, she often wrote short stories to entertain her friends. Those ideas evolved into the novels she creates today.

Her husband continues to ensure her stories maintain a touch of realism as she delves into the science fiction and fantasy realm. And their three cats are always willing to stay up late to provide inspiration.

You can find Nina on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

Her blog, mizner13.wordpress.com, has updates on any current or upcoming novels, plus her thoughts on her most recent reads and movie viewings.

Social Media

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter: @Mizner13

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