9 Things Vampires & Space Adventurers Have in Common – by M. Pax

Welcome back to fantasy and Sci Fi author, M. Pax!

M. Pax is known for her hit ‘Backworlds’ series of novels and the adult urban fantasy Hetty Locklear series. I am very pleased to have her back on Written Worlds! She has taken a fun look at the similarities between bloodsuckers and spacefarers – and also has a special announcement for her fans!

Take it away, M. Pax!

'Backworlds' author, M. Pax

‘Backworlds’ author, M. Pax

What fun to swap blogs with Mark Knight today. You’ll find him at mpaxauthor.com. We both have a love for things in the night.

Nine Things Vampires and Space Adventurers Have in Common:

1. Both work in the dark
2. They both fly – Vampires as bats. Spacepeople in spaceships
3. An irresistible allure – Vampires use their eyes. Spaceships use tractor beams.
4. Traveling at high speeds — Vampires faster than the eye, Spaceships faster than light
5. Both types of stories search for understanding of what it means to be human
6. Both space explorers and vampires enjoy seeing other people in red shirts
7. Eating a lot of garlic repels vampires and your shipmates
8. Some people think space travelers and vampires exist, some think it’s bullarky
9. Space travelers can also be very pale from a lack of sun if in space a long time

Can you think of any more?

I’m celebrating the audio release of The Backworlds. Currently available from Audible. You can win an audiobook by commenting at Samantha Geary’s blog on THIS POST before October 18, 2013.

In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendents to survive in a harsh universe. This is the first book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. Try it for free. A space opera adventure.

After the war with the Foreworlders, Backworlders scatter across the remaining planets. Competition is fierce, and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to improve his fortunes by destroying his son. He tells his only boy their moon isn’t big enough for them both and gives Craze a ticket for the next transport leaving the space dock.

Treated worse than a stranger, like the scuzzbag of the galaxy, Craze is forced to flee his home. Cut off from everyone he knows with little money and no knowledge of the worlds beyond his, he must find away to forge a new life and make sure his father regrets this day.

And stay tuned! Backworlds #4, Beyond the Edge will be available any hour now.

M. Pax — Inspiring the words I write, I spend my summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where I live with the Husband Unit and two demanding cats. I write science fiction and fantasy mostly You can find out more by visiting my website: mpaxauthor.com

Beyond The Edge

Beyond The Edge



Come chat on Twitter or FB. I spend a little time on Pinterest and Wattpad, too.

Backworlds - Audiobook

Backworlds – Audiobook

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Taking Time by Ellie Garratt

Fantasy author Ellie Garratt, fresh from her success with her anthology of the macabre, Passing Time, releases Taking Time and Other Science Fiction Stories! Congrats to Ellie from Written Worlds – this one looks to be another creep-tastic smash!

Taking Time by Ellie Garratt

Taking Time by Ellie Garratt

Book Blurb

Science fiction stories of time and space…

The future of humanity must be decided in Next Phase. Winning the Planetary Lottery is not as lucky as it first seems in Schrodinger’s Gamble. An apocalypse and its aftermath threaten to tear one couple apart in Daiker’s Children. In Life As I Know It a reclusive man finds both his heart and home invaded during an alien harvest. In Taking Time a demon seeking shelter on a distant planet finds himself facing a very different kind of demon, after answering a frontier settlement’s plea for help.

Stories range from flash fiction to novelette in length.

Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Goodreads / Facebook

Competition

Win one of two $25.00 (£15) Amazon gift cards and a character named after you in an upcoming novella…

>>>> Rafflecopter giveaway!

About The Author

Author Ellie Garratt

Author Ellie Garratt

A life-long addiction to reading science fiction and horror meant writing was the logical outlet for Ellie Garratt’s passions. She is a reader, writer, blogger, Trekkie, and would happily die to be an extra in The Walking Dead.

Her short stories have been published in anthologies and online. Passing Time: Nine Short Tales of the Strange and Macabre was published in March 2013 and contains nine previously published stories. Taking Time and Other Science Fiction Stories is her second short story collection.

Author Links

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Taking Time by Ellie Garratt

Taking Time by Ellie Garratt

Excerpts

Schrodinger’s Gamble

They–the lottery officials–are waiting for me. It turns out the last door on the right isn’t an exit, rather a walkway that leads past the fleet relay station, now buzzing with activity, and on to lottery headquarters–a large room with a metallic desk and four chairs in one corner.
“Hi,” I say as I walk into the room. An elderly man and middle-aged woman I recognise from lottery advertisements are standing behind the desk.
“Charles Schrodinger?” the elderly man asks.
“Yes.”
“Excellent,” he says.
I hear an eruption of cheers travelling our way from the flight deck and suspect I’m being ousted from the draw after all. I glance at my ticket and begin examining it for signs of forgery.
“There are a few things we need to go over before the planet is officially yours, Charles. You understand there are matters that need to be addressed?”
I must give the impression of being vacant at that point because the old man repeats himself twice.
“But that would mean I’ve already won,” I mutter.
“Yes. We thought you’d been briefed.” The old man and woman glance at one another.
The female official, who I finally remember is called Janna Brisbane, makes a tutting sound.
“Take a seat, Charles. There are a few things we need to discuss,” Janna says with an exasperated tone to her voice. I stay standing.
Ignoring my failure to sit, she continues. “The thing is safety–your safety. We couldn’t possibly leave you out there to be savaged by the fleet. Have you any idea of the tactics those friendly-faced terraformers would use to part you with your ticket? The deceit they would employ to pass themselves off as you? No. We won’t even start talking about the religious groups. So, the draw is pre-determined in this way.”
“Pre-determined?” I ask.
“You don’t think we leave it to chance, do you? Let a random person or ship win a planet. Considerable research and thought goes into deciding who is the best candidate for the job. Of course there’ve been mistakes; the first planet and the isolationists, but on the whole I believe we got it right.”

Daiker’s Children

I picked up the heavy bundle of survival rations left for me in the exit corridor, took one last look at the door to The Facility through which one kind of future was offered, and then walked out into the yellow-tinged atmosphere of Southern England. The aliens’ offer of a safe living environment and human facsimiles stopped being an option the moment I learnt Jen had not made it to their facility. I had to find her even if it cost my life. She was my world, and a world without her was not one I wanted to live in.
During the days of alien-enforced quarantine–I have no idea how long it lasted because there were no clocks to tell the time or date–I forgot just how acrid Earth’s atmosphere had become. The toxic air outside the facility scratched my lungs like cats clawing sharp talons down my windpipe. My breathing slowed and became more laboured. I could hear myself starting to wheeze. As my eyes burned and watered and my vision deteriorated, I dropped my heavy backpack on the ground and pulled out the gas mask they gave me. A few fumbling seconds later, the clear plastic mask covered my nose and mouth, and cool, clean air refreshed me. Within seconds, my breathing returned to normal though the mask could not remove my memory of devastation’s stink–the sweet scent of burned bodies and a burnt-out civilisation.
I found it hard to believe there was ever a world, a safe world, as I gazed in horror at the toxic wasteland before me. A sea of atomic destruction blinked back. Nothing remained standing or intact except for the ruins of Exeter in the distance. I’d allowed myself to bask in a happy kind of naivety, ignorant of the destructive power our governments and military harboured. Now I faced the consequences. I vowed never to be so naive or stupid again. To find her meant questioning everything.

Taking Time

A tall, lithe woman of a similar age to Ing approached me. Her short-cropped hair was the colour of darkness, and there was a confidence to the way she swaggered up to me. She was the person in charge.
She stopped only a couple of inches from my face, almost breathing down my throat. I prayed she didn’t notice my lack of breath–the undead had no need for air in their lungs.
“You don’t look well, bounty hunter,” she said.
As I stood taller, so that my already imposing six-foot frame loomed over the human female, I knew I’d have to talk her around. “I’ve not been on solid land for a few months. I’ve been running down illegal passage ships and cargo. Illegal cargo.”
Her eyes flashed bright with something. I wasn’t sure what it meant, but the word illegal had excited her.
She held out a hand for me to shake. “The name’s McCaffrey. Formerly of any planet left to colonise.”
I took her hand and shook it, then re-introduced myself. “Victory Dead. Formerly of Earth.”
McCaffrey dismissed everyone but the scare-faced Ing, and they took me into a bar like all the others I’d passed through since travelling the frontier–a cheap and fast assembly metal-frame construction. It contained only the most basic furnishings. There were more patrons than I could count, and they went silent when we entered.
When I reached the bar, a stone-faced human male behind the counter slid a bottle towards me. I wasn’t sure what it contained but accepted it anyway–to refuse would have been rude and invited trouble. “Compliments of Daring,” he said as I placed my supplies on the floor beside me.
“Thanks,” I replied before pretending to sniff the contents of the bottle. As a vampire, I could only smell blood.
The bartender turned his attention to McCaffrey and scar-face. “Evening, Captain. Thought I told you to keep Ing away.”
Ing scowled and stepped forward, his hands balled into fists. McCaffrey placed an arm across his chest.
“You know it’s not Captain anymore. I haven’t been a captain since I crash-landed here three years ago. And Ing won’t be causing you any trouble while I’m here. You have my word.”
The owner grunted something and then moved off to serve another customer.
I wasn’t sure how long a Revelation year lasted, so when McCaffrey spoke of crash-landing three years ago she could have been talking any number of Earth years or months.
“Well it’s about time,” said a voice behind me, interrupting my thoughts.

Author Tara Fox Hall!

Tara Fox Hall

Tara Fox Hall

Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, action-adventure, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

Tara Fox Hall is an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop in upstate New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a double minor in chemistry and biology from Binghamton University. Her writing credits include nonfiction short stories, flash, short and novella-length horror stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance.

Her horror stories have appeared in Deadman’s Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Ghastly Door, The Halloween Alliance, Black Petals, SNM Horror Magazine, Microhorror, Dark Eclipse, Cemetery Moon, and various anthologies, including the recently published charity works Fear (Vol. 1) and Shifters. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers – Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

Tara Fox Hall on vampires: “I’ve loved vampires since I saw Frank Langella in the first “hot vampire” version of Dracula years ago. That love intensified in my later teens with The Lost Boys, and reading Interview with the Vampire, along with anything vampire I could get my hands on. But I wanted more than the evil monster chasing young virgins; more than the sweet, misunderstood handsome fanged stranger that becomes the perfect mate for the woman who captures his heart after so many lone centuries. I wanted a vampire so well-crafted in detail that I could believe he was real. I wanted something different to happen in the story, other than girl becomes vampire, or vampire becomes dust. I wanted passion, tragedy, romance, suspense, action, and the haunting sweetness of poetry and song floating on a soft night breeze. So I penned my own vampires.”

Tara Fox Hall talks about her latest book: “My latest book is Taken for His Own, the fourth instalment in my Promise Me Series. It takes up where the third book left off. Sar had done her best to rebuild her life when her fiancé Theo went missing. She’s partnered with her former vampire lover Danial to raise Theo’s daughter Elle (Elle’s natural mother is dead from childbirth complications). She’s also had a child of her own with Danial, Theoron, and is trying to come to terms with her inevitable turning from human to vampire.

“When she finds out Theo’s alive, she can’t stop herself from journeying west to find him, and confront him about where he’s been for the last year and a half. This is where Taken for His Own begins. After a passionate reunion and a hasty marriage, the two lovebirds are headed back east. But picking up the pieces is far from easy. While Danial is accepting of Theo’s return, Elle prefers her vampire adoptive father over Theo. More than one enemy is waiting in the wings, making repeat attempts on Sar’s life. Add into the mix Devlin, Sar’s old enemy who’s now turned good guy, and a new paramour for Danial and you’ve got a powder keg primed to explode.”

Promise Me #1

Promise Me #1

Website: www.tarafoxhall.com

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Book Title: Promise Me (Promise Me Series #1) – Vampire romance
Format: print and e-book
Pages: 233
Date Released: June 2012

Author Roy Huff!

My blog tour for Blood Family – Quest for the Vampire Key has come to an end, but it goes out with a bang! Today I am very happy and honoured to be featured on OwenSage.com – the website of YA author, Roy Huff! Roy has written a spectacular interdimensional tale – Everville.

About the book:

Everville Everville

Owen Sage is the emblematic college freshman at Easton Falls University. With all the worries about his first year in college, he was not prepared for what would happen next. His way of life was flipped upside down when he mysteriously crossed into another dimension, into the beautiful land of Everville. His excitement was abruptly halted when he discovered that there was a darkness forged against both the natural world, which he knew well, and the new land which he discovered, Everville. He must devise a plan to save both worlds while joining forces with the race of Fron and The Keepers, whom both harbor hidden secrets he must learn in order to gain power over the evil that dwells in The Other In Between.

With a race against time to save both worlds, his short time at Easton Falls did not quite prepare him for the evil, dark forces he must fight in order to conquer The Other In Between.

About the author:

'Everville' Author, Roy Huff ‘Everville’ Author, Roy Huff

Roy Huff is the author of Amazon’s #1 international bestselling epic fantasy novel, Everville: The First Pillar. This is the first installment in the remarkable Everville series which combines elements of epic fantasy and young adult fiction in a form that nearly anyone will enjoy reading, young or old. He is a man of many interests including but not limited to science, traveling, movies, the outdoors, and of course writing teen and young adult fantasy fiction. He holds five degrees in four separate disciplines including liberal arts, history, secondary science education, and geoscience.

Roy Huff’s background includes work in art, history, education, business, real-estate, economics, geoscience, and satellite meteorology. He was born on the East Coast but has spent more than half his life in Hawaii, where he currently resides and writes his epic fantasy sagas.

Solomon Grimm and the Well of Souls – Next by Mark Knight

Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up about my next Young Adult paranormal urban fantasy, Solomon Grimm and the Well of Souls. This will be released in a few months, and tells the story of fifteen-year-old British foster kid, Solomon, and the gypsy curse that transforms him into one of the walking dead. There is a cure, but finding it means the most perilous of journeys…

My inspiration for this tale came from not only my years in Ireland, but also from living in England, which is a very mystical place in itself. In researching Solomon Grimm and the Well of Souls, I personally contacted Dr Bob Curran, an author of many books on Irish folklore, often interviewed on Coast to Coast AM radio and countless others programs.  His gracious and highly detailed input has given this book the authenticity I required, and therefore I have given him a special acknowledgment. Have a look at my interview with him here on Written Worlds!

Blurb

Solomon Grimm is a pretty average teen. He goes to school. He hangs out with friends. He plays guitar in a band. There’s a lot to look forward to—new friends, playing gigs around the country, and hopefully a special girl to become part of his life.

All that is about to change.

While on Easter vacation in Ireland, Solomon falls foul of a gypsy woman. He is cursed and joins the marbh bheo—the living dead. Never to breathe, or grow, or love, and now able to see every supernatural being once invisible to him, his fate is to wander the fog-shrouded hills of Shanvarra for eternity… never to return home.

Solomon tracks down the woman who cursed him. She makes a deal with him. If he will bring her abducted daughter, Tara Danan, back to her, she will reverse the spell and restore Solomon to his old self. Solomon now has a terrifying task ahead of him. For Tara has been taken to the Underworld, a place reachable only through the forbidden Well of Souls. Along with his new friend, the incurably curious Mungo, Solomon must brave the darkening depths of this hidden world, where the slavering, flesh-eating Savage Dead search endlessly for a way to the surface. If Solomon’s bravery—as well as a whole host of undead powers—holds out, he might just find Tara Danan before becoming trapped in the Underworld forever…

As with Blood Family, I have asked artist David Rabbitte to do the cover art for me. Here is a sketch of the cover, with possible fonts – subject to change. The final artwork has actually been finished; you may just find it on his website!

Solomon Grimm Cover Sketch by David Rabbitte

Solomon Grimm Cover Sketch by David Rabbitte

Solomon Grimm Cover Sketch by David Rabbitte.

Read the first 8 chapers on Wattpad!

Alien Abduction – A Fairy Story?

My short story collection, From Elsewhere, contains six tales of unearthly vistiors. ‘Them‘ is a story about alien abduction. Everyone has heard of this phenomenon. Is it real, or does it have a secret origin?

alien1_jpg

Alien beings have been with us in folklore for a very long time.

Before accounts of abductions by alien beings entered into the public domain, another kind of abduction scenario was known throughout various cultures – especially England and Ireland. These tales of interactions with fairies (or faeries as was the ancient spelling) are remarkably similar to modern accounts of interactions with those other ‘diminutive folk’, the Greys from – allegedly – the Zeta Reticuli star system. Could these tales be based upon knowledge of early interaction between humans and aliens?

From very early times there have been traditions of mortals carried away into faerieland. Often this mortal was a human baby, taken from its mother’s side – shades of the implantation/hybridisation programme carried out by the Greys. The hybrid parallel comes into this comparison in more ways than one.

Faeries were believed, almost more than anything else, to be obsessive about the possession of human children. Infants would be stolen, and duplicate ‘changelings’ put in their place, though the trick was often found out. Mentions of thefts of babies are to be found in the medieval chronicles of Ralph of Coggeshall.

Fly-boy

From early classical times there have been numerous legends of the visits of goddesses and nymphs to human mortals, and their loving intercourse with them, though always ending tragically for the human – the mother usually dying or seeing the infant spirited away to the faeries’ world. So what were these beings actually believe to be?

In England, Scotland, and Ireland, the small ‘people’ were believe to be the spirits of the dead, though in Wales they are simply described as being half way between something material and spiritual. The spiritual nature of aliens is often referred to in modern-day as abduction accounts, many abductees have recalled that, on some occasions, they are taken spiritually rather than physically. An Isle of Man resident wrote in The Nature of Fairies that ‘Fairies are spirits. A man below here forgot his cow, and at a late hour went to look for her, and saw that crowds of fairies like children were with him. It is interesting to note here that in modern abduction accounts our Zeta Reticulan friends are often likened to ‘children’.

When does alien abduction occur? The research shows that it is during the hypnogogic state – the state between being awake and asleep – that the tagged person is taken. In this state, the brain is in ‘alpha wave’, referring to the type of brain activity we lapse into during the hypnogogic state. This seems to attract/suit the aliens. When in this state, it seems, abductees can be transported, mollified, and eventually made to forget the entire occurrence.

Curiously, in Amelia and the Dwarfs (1870), author Juliana Horatia Ewing says in order to see one of the little folk, ‘you must be a little sleepy – but not too sleepy to keep your eyes open, mind. Well, and you ought to feel a little – what one may call ‘fairyish’. The Scots call it ‘eerie’.’

There was no technology during the times of these stories, so an explanation of this phenomenon would have to have manifest itself in a way digestible to the people of the time. Obviously, elaboration and corruption will occur in the telling of any tale, but the basic similarities are intriguing.

Captured. Studied. Humiliated. A tale of an alien abduction from the victim's point of view. What exactly do these creatures want?

Captured. Studied. Humiliated. A tale of an alien abduction from the victim’s point of view. What exactly do these creatures want?

Fantasy artist, David M. Rabbitte

Just a short post to share the fantastic artwork of illustrator, David M Rabbitte – artist responsible for the great cover art to my upcoming vampire tale, Blood Family.

David is well-known to the massive Star Wars community. His art and sketch cards are very popular (and sell for crazy money on Ebay) and his illustrations have appeared in the Lucasfilm offician magazine. He has also done art for the Lord of the Rings trading card set and book covers for a series of X-Men novels for Marvel.

His next project is the artwork for my next novel, Solomon Grimm and the Well of Souls. I am very proud to have David on my team!

Check out David’s work!

David Rabbitte Official Website

David's Empire 30th Anniversary Art

‘From Elsewhere’ – Paranormal short story collection – available now!

From Elsewhere_Collection

Ghosts? Angels? Aliens? This collection of short tales concerns entities which could be any of these. Unearthly visitors have always fascinated me. Could they really exist? Or are they only part of our imagination?

Last month, I introduced my short story collection – ‘From Elsewhere’. This is a collection of six paranormal-themed short stories about unearthly visitors. Many of these stories were accepted and published in anthologies and magazines over the past few years. Gathering them together into one volume seemed the right thing to do.

In December, I released one of these tales, ‘Forbidden’ – about the illicit love affair between an angel and a demon – as a freebie. It has done very well on Smashwords.com, having 160 downloads since its publication on December 23rd. I then released two other stories (also as freebies), ‘Them’, and ‘Grey Eyes In Silver’. Both are accumulating downloads just as fast as ‘Forbidden’ did!

‘From Elsewhere – Six Tales of Unearthly Visitors’ (ISBN: 9781301729739) has been published on Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, and soon will be available on Barnes & Noble, and other book outlets.

I enjoyed putting this collection together, and loved writing these stories. Huge, heartfelt thank you to those people who have read the free stories and gave them the thumbs up!

Strange visitors is a subject that has always fascinated me. Do we have unearthly entities interacting with us and our planet?

Welcome to Written Worlds!

Hello, friends – this blogsite will soon be in full swing, bringing you news about my novels and short stories. Most of what we will talk about here are my Young Adult adventure novels – aimed at young guys, young gals – in fact, ANYONE on this rich and story-filled planet who wishes to dip into my ‘written worlds’.

About me: I was born Sacramento, California only a handful of years ago (yeah, right! I think that should be ‘decades’) and fell in love with books and movies very early on. Roald Dahl, Planet of the Apes, Tolkien, Star Wars…they were all part of my journey. From age sixteen I was compelled to write my own. I have always been fascinated by amazingly ‘out there’ type stories – be it fantasy, horror, or science fiction – that have an element of reality in them. You know, where you can say ‘Oh yeah, I can relate to that’ or ‘I know someone who has that problem’. To me, the more real your characters, their emotions, problems, etc, then the more thrilling it becomes when the fantastic comes knocking at their door.

For instance,

Daniel Dark, the seventeen-year-old protagonist of Blood Family, has family problems that have led him to smoke weed and chug beer with his equally indolent friends – until he discovers that he is a half-vampire with incredible powers. Finally, his crappy life is supercharged.

Fifteen-year-old Solomon, hero of Solomon Grimm and the Well of Souls, comes from a broken home and suffers from hypoglycaemic attacks his diabetes. It screws up his life – until a gypsy curse renders him undead. Diabetes is the least of his problems now.

Dealing with the death of a parent was bad enough for Gunner Robinson. He has a sixth-sense, the ability to know when evil is near. Other powers are manifesting themselves as well, and they are getting him into trouble, at home and at school. Which is why he wound up in therapy. Telling the doc that he is a warrior angel reborn would definitely make things worse…

But these are just a few examples. Look out for new books, new links, new uploads. Oh, yes – and the occasional freebie too. 🙂

I’ll be here for you to listen to you, bring you information, entertain you, and to generally be a goofball. Here’s to a blogtastic future!

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