Posts tagged ‘good book’

Earthwalker Excerpt

That night, as they slept, Paul twisted and turned in the sheets. He saw a young boy; another student of his: Damien. They were feasting on rat’s blood together. Paul loathed rats. They didn’t even have that much blood in their veins. Besides, they gave him the creeps. Yet the two of them were bloodthirsty. Paul couldn’t remember ever having felt so unquenchable in his life. He’d no sooner finish with one rat than grab another from the filthy floor, piercing it with his sharp canines and sucking it dry. He glanced over at Damien, who was covered with rat blood. Paul felt the warm, sticky liquid run down his own chin, and all over his clothes. He suddenly felt disgusted with himself, and threw down the rat he was drinking from. Damien was still gorging. The air was stale and smelled of all that carnage. Paul felt his bile rise. He thought he was going to vomit.
At that moment, Willa walked into the room wearing a gown in the fashion of his people. She came to him and pressed her lips against his own. He was partly disgusted, but partly aroused. He knew she must be tasting the blood in his mouth. Then she looked down at the boy. He held a rat up as if for her inspection. She nodded, and took the vile creature from him. Smiling at Paul, she put the rat to her lips and opened her mouth…
Paul woke up shivering. He’d tossed the sheets completely off himself.
“Paul? Honey? Are you okay?” Willa asked as she sat up in bed.
“Yeah,” he said, “I’ll be fine. Just had a nightmare, that’s all.”
“Really? What was it about?”
He told her about it.
“Eww, that’s pretty gross! I bet I know why you had that dream. We were just talking about humans who become vampires. It was just lying there in your subconscious and came through in your dreams.”
“Yeah, I know, but it seemed so real. We believe dreams can be very powerful messengers. It worries me.”
Indeed, he had a deep frown on his face, and had started sweating. Willa put her arms around him, but he didn’t hug her back.
“What’s wrong?’
“Nothing. I just have a sick feeling in my gut about this one. Something about Damien. I think I’ll meditate and try to reach him telepathically. He wasn’t my best student, but maybe I need to watch him anyway.”
“I trust your gut, honey. You do what you need to do.”
She kissed his cheek and lay back down. But she couldn’t stop thinking about her own interpretation of Paul’s dream. She did not share it with him because it would only upset him. Besides, nothing was ever written in stone. Despite her dismissal of the dream, Willa was too keyed up to sleep, and stared at nothingness for an hour before her own dreams took her away.
Meanwhile, the disgusting images played over and over again in Paul’s mind. He couldn’t stop trying to find the true meaning of it all. He didn’t fall back asleep until dawn.
Paul was only slightly groggy over coffee the next morning. He felt as though he didn’t need sleep here on Earth anymore. His teeth ached. He needed to hunt. He loped out the back door and into the deep woods without a word. Willa tried to be understanding, but after all, it was just a dream. It could just be Paul’s subconscious conjuring up a concoction of meaningless drivel. But Paul was taking it very seriously, too seriously for her liking.
When he returned, she decided to face him with her doubts.
“Paul, I think you might be putting too much weight on this dream of yours. Couldn’t it mean nothing at all? I’ve had a lot of dreams that seemed so real, but ended up being just my imagination gone wild.”
He looked down at her with his unshaven face and mussed up hair.
“Willa, you have to understand there are differences between our races. One of the things we have developed to a higher level is our dream lives. We don’t normally even have dreams, but when we do they have great meaning. The tough part is figuring out the interpretation of the dream. I have to do some thinking about the meaning of my dream last night. I might even need help from a dream looker. Those are people from my planet who can link up with one’s mind and see the visions from a dream. I believe what I saw last night means that we’re in danger, especially you. Please try and open your mind, and realize that it wasn’t any ordinary human dream. For me, it was real, and could have an impact on our lives.”
Willa felt her hand tingle, as she had been holding the arm of the chair so tightly as he spoke these words. Perspiration broke out on her forehead. A slight panic arose inside her.
“So your dreams are sometimes prophetic?”
“Almost always.”
“Okay then, we definitely have a problem.”
Willa’s fear escalated as she went over Paul’s dream in her mind once more. What could munching on rats possibly mean? She shivered at the thought of putting one anywhere near her mouth. Paul was going to have to interpret this dream. She had no idea what the heck it might mean. But she had a pretty good idea it wasn’t good.
“I’m going to the bedroom to meditate on it. Try not to make any loud noises, okay?”
“I won’t,” she said, and reached up to kiss him on the cheek. He smiled, but it quickly faded. Apparently he wasn’t feeling terribly positive about the dream, either. Nevertheless, he went into the bedroom, closing the door behind him, to see if he could garner anything substantial from his midnight vision.
Meanwhile, Willa decided to take care of some mundane chores she’d been putting off. When Paul still hadn’t come out she went into the garden. She was happy to see that it had started flourishing again after having been neglected for the past couple weeks. Some of the plants had tiny buds on them, promising flowers. She sat down on the warm earth. It was a good feeling. She let the sun shine on her upturned face. Soon Paul’s lips touched hers. At first it startled her, but then she leaned into his kiss. Finally pulling away, he sat down next to her.
“I think I know what it means. Part of it, anyway,” he told her. “Some very lean times are coming for us. Rats symbolize scarcity. Vampires wouldn’t touch them unless they were desperate. I also got that somehow someone’s going to try and turn you. Don’t be scared, though. I would never let that happen. I just have to be on guard. The only part that still mystifies me is where Damien fits into it all. He seemed like a nice kid. As I recall, he did well in our classes, but didn’t excel. I think I’ll listen in on the radio transmissions and see if I can find out anything from that.”
“You mean a vampire is going to try and turn me into one of you?” Willa’s voice quivered.
“I do. But please don’t forget that that’s just my interpretation of the dream. I’m afraid, though, that seeing you in those clothes and holding a rat to your mouth seems pretty clear. In my dream you were definitely a vampire.”
Willa’s stomach knotted up.
“Paul? You never told me if it’s true that vampires live a long time. Is it?”
“Yeah. Why do you ask?”
“Well, actually I was wondering how old you are.” There. It was out. Willa dreaded the answer.
“I’m only twenty-six. You see, I was born a vampire. But my parents are well over two hundred years old. They were around during the dark times when Panterra was controlled by a clan of vampires known as the Mankyries. Those were bad times from what I know about it.”
Willa was relieved. She’s half expected to find out Paul was much older than she was. Now she knew he was only a year older. Thank goodness, she thought. She couldn’t have stood it if he were really an old man deep down inside. It would have changed the way she saw him, she knew. She smiled and kissed him.
“What was that for? Not that I mind.”
“I’m just glad you’re not really old or something. I couldn’t take that.”
He looked serious for a moment. “But you do realize I’ll get older, don’t you?”
She looked at him quizzically. “Of course, silly. And so will I. We’ll grow old together.”
His face grew sad. “The life span of a human female is eighty-two years as of now. But Willa, the lifespan of a vampire can be hundreds of years.”
Her smile faded. “I’m an idiot,” she said. “I should have realized. I’ll be gone long before you then.”
She put her head in her hands. Paul stroked her hair.
“And you’ll never even look much older than you do now, will you?” she asked, looking up at him.
“That’s right. Willa, I’m sorry.” He brought her into his arms and held her. “I feel as bad about this as you do, honey. In fact, probably worse knowing that I’ll lose you one day. I’ll have to spend the rest of my life without you. I haven’t even wanted to think about it. That’s why I never brought it up.”
Depression fell over her like a veil. This was so unfair. When she was an old lady, people would think Paul was her grandson or something! And how disgusting she would eventually be to him!
“Honey, please don’t be upset. It’ll all work out somehow. I’ve heard your people are making huge advances in how long you’ll be able to live. Hell, some of you live to be a hundred and thirty something even these days. And by the time you’re forty our people will have been able to share our technological advances with Earth, too.” He was pleading with her, but her face said it all.
“But Paul, I’ll look older no matter what. What am I going to do about that? Keep getting plastic surgery so I can look twenty-five forever? I can’t deal with this,” she said, and ran into the bedroom, closing the door behind her, blocking Paul out.
Tears of pain and frustration fell down her cheeks. Why hadn’t she thought of this before? She wondered what else she was blocking out or missing. She supposed she had just not thought Paul was like vampires in the movies or books. He seemed so normal to her except for his diet requirements; so much like a human. Now she was forced to see him as an alien being and she didn’t like it one bit. She realized that he must have thought about all this before now. Yet he had never said a word. He’d kept it from her. She felt a flare of anger towards him, but the feeling left as quickly as it had appeared. He was only trying to make her happy, yet he had been suffering, knowing all along that their time together was short-lived by his time standards. She kept trying to think of something that could be done, but it was like a cat and mouse chase in her head. One thought led to another, which led nowhere.
Paul knocked on the door. “Can I come in?” he asked quietly.
Willa wiped her tears away. She felt so naïve.
Paul slipped into the room and sat down by her side.
“There is an answer, you know. I could turn you myself.”
He said it so matter-of-factly that she almost laughed. He couldn’t be serious. But the look on his face told her otherwise. He was quite serious.
“You don’t have to decide right away,” he said quickly. “We’ve got plenty of time. But I want you to know I’ve given this a lot of thought. It’s not just a whim. I didn’t want it to have to come to this, but you’re so upset that I thought this might be the time to bring it up.”
He took her hand in his, and bent down to kiss it. Then he slowly kissed his way up her arm to her shoulder. Willa began to relax at his touch. He kissed the hollow of her throat. They made love almost frantically then, clutching each other as if they were lost at sea, stranded in a lifeboat. Afterwards, they lay exhausted on top of the covers, sweat pouring off their bodies.

The Greer Agency Blog Tour

An exciting new approach to detective novels, 15 interconnected short stories
involving a different kind of private eye.

The Greer Agency is 75k words of gritty detective fiction presented in 15
separate but connected stories. The reader follows the development of private
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anonymous benefactor, Greer lands some interesting cases—cases that he
solves with guts and determination. Throughout the stories, his budding
romance with Susan grows. Eventually they realize they are right for each

Readers will find Mike Greer an accessible everyman with luck, pluck, smarts
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Each story has its own plot and can stand on its own but, as the book
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Mike Greer is a protagonist with a low tolerance for bullshit and an easy
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Review of Quantum Earth by Sambath Meas

Quantum Earth is about a team of seven metaphysicians, lead by Mel Hawkins (“Hawk”) and Shauna Troy, investigating why the Earth is in peril.

In light of the tsunami, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, and other natural catastrophes, many people are wondering if Armageddon is coming for real. Would 2012 be the end of the human race, as we know it? Most importantly, are we responsible for these natural disasters? If so, are we being destroyed so the earth can replenish itself? How can we survive the Earth changes? What can we do to appease it and save the human race? These are the questions the team is asking and seeking solutions to. They have their work cut out for them.

Quantum Earth is more than about metaphysics and climate changes. The author, Julie Achterhoff, fills it with romance, mystery, and fantasy. I read this book in one sitting, because I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know who is this mysterious Starborn one, the friend of the team, and the equally enigmatic benefactor who donated 2.5 million dollars. What does he have to gain from the team’s work? Is he benevolent enough to help save the Earth and the human race or does he have an ulterior motive? More importantly, I wanted to know the scientists’ findings and solutions.

Ms. Achterhoff does a great job of keeping the story intriguing all the way to the end. I love that there are actions in this book. She makes me care about her characters, especially the romantically involved leaders of the team: Hawk and Shauna. My jaw dropped when I found out about half of her identity.

I love this book and highly recommend it.

Sambath Meas, Author of The Immortal Seeds

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