Sneak Peek of “The Secret Lives of Superhero Wives”

I finished my first real draft of The Secret Lives of Superhero Wives and also came up with a new cover design. I wanted to share both with you. Next up is beta readers for this story, a round or two more of edits…then the editor…then it’ll be done! Woo Hoo! This one took me way to long, as it was my November NaNoWriMo Project.

(Just shows you that you can lose NaNoWriMo, and yet still finish your novel.)

Okay…new cover! 

LOW QUALITY SH WIVES

And here’s the first day of my story. It doesn’t have chapters, as I thought I’d try something different. (It takes place over a three week time span.) This story is lighter and…naughtier than anything I’ve written before. Nothing graphic, but there’s definitely tension. Maybe cozy mystery mixed with chick lit and superhero fiction? (I suck at writing to market.)

**Remember, this is a first draft and subject to beta readers and editing yet.**

YOU CAN FIND THIS ON AMAZON HERE.


Saturday, April 3rd

ARIANA 

‘Psst, Ariana. I’m gonna be late.’ Adam’s hushed voice whispered in Ariana’s mind, jolting her out of the present.

“Hold still,” her mother said.

Ariana stiffened and ignored her mom, focusing on her future husband instead. She wondered how long it’d take to get used to his telepathic superpower. She opened her mind to him and sent a reply, ‘Why?’

‘I’ve been…detained.’ Adam forced an image to flood her mind: his naked body with his manliness poorly covered by his hand. Her cheeks tingled and warmed as she looked at her mother’s smile. She focused on the image in her head instead, noticing the scorch marks on Adam’s skin. Black ash against his thighs and across the ripples of his abdomen. What had happened? She assessed his skin, unharmed as usual.

Her fiancé’s voice continued. ‘I may not make it in time.’

‘Like hell you won’t.’ She shifted her weight on the chair she stood on. Her hand jolted to her rump, swatting her aunt’s hand away. “Ouch!”

“Hey, you need to keep still.” Her aunt gripped her hips to keep her in place.

Ariana sprang off the chair, the bustle of her white gown half pinned, and half flowing behind her. “Um, I gotta go.”

Her mom’s jaw fell open. “You need to go? Now’s not the time for cold feet.”

Ariana found her mom’s purse, pulled out the minivan keys, and gave her mom a kiss on the cheek. “Trust me, if I don’t go now, there won’t be a wedding.”

Her mom’s jaw opened, and she appeared to search for words, but Ariana ignored her, focusing on Adam instead. ‘Where are you?’ She sent to Adam.

‘The alley behind Top Perks Coffee Shop.’

‘Do you know what time it is?’

Adam sent an image of his bare wrist. ‘I was going to look for my missing my watch, but I couldn’t find the time.’ He transmitted a chuckle.

‘Of course, you have a joke. You always have jokes. Come on! Our wedding starts in less than an hour.’

‘I know.’ Adam’s words enunciated in her mind. ‘That’s why I’m telling you I’ll be late.’

‘Stay there.’

Ariana flew out the door, her mother hot on her tail. “Where are you going?”

“No time to explain. Meet me at the church,” she panted.

Ariana stopped in the study of her parent’s house and snatched Adam’s Tux, flinging it over her shoulder. She wrapped yards of her gown’s white fabric around her arm and ran to her parent’s minivan.

“Ariana, you can’t do—” Her mother’s voice drowned by the purring V-6 of the sensible gold party machine.

The tires squealed as she flew down the driveway, leaving her mother yelling at her in the front yard. “Sorry, Ma, but there’s no way I’m being stood up on my wedding day.”

More than one neighbors’ necks turned to rubber as they watched the scene of the runaway bride. Ariana waved and blew them a kiss before she further pressed the accelerator and clenched the steering wheel.

The van lurched one way and then the other as she rounded the corners through the back streets of the city, running a few red lights and ignoring the speed limits. Who had time for that crap, anyway?

Leaving a track of rubber on the pavement, she screeched to a halt in front of a rusted dumpster at the end of the alley, perfectly matching the image Adam had sent. She clicked the button to open the side door, yelling into the empty ally, “This better be good.”

With caution, Adam emerged from behind the dumpster with one hand covering his frontside and another covering his backside. The hair was singed off his chest. Hmm…was all his hair below his neck burned off? She looked down at his legs. Yup, that’ll be interesting.

He crawled into the van.

Not waiting for the door to close, Ariana threw the vehicle in reverse and spun the tires out of the alley, heading for the church.

“Here,” she huffed, handing her naked fiancé a small foil-wrapped package.

In the rearview mirror, Adam twirled the package in his hand. “Fingernail polish removing wipes?”

“If I were you, I wouldn’t be complaining right now. Get the soot off and throw your tux on. Honestly, today, I don’t care what you look like. I wouldn’t even care if the hair on the top of your head would have been burned off. You have a wedding to be at in thirty minutes.”

Adam ran a hand through his short, light brown locks, appearing to ensure it was still there. “Don’t you want to know what happened?”

“That’s not important right now. Focus.” Ariana pointed at the tux then to Adam.

Adam laughed. “Well, he got away.”

“I said, get ready.” She hid any amusement from her voice.

“Isn’t it bad luck to see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony?”

Ariana looked up at the ceiling and held up a finger. “One day. All I ask is that you show up ON TIME this one day.” Ariana’s arm was shaking. She returned her hand to the wheel and tightened her grip. Note to self: don’t let Adam out of your sight on days with important events.

Adam was laughing now. “Don’t you ever worry about me?”

Ariana’s her heart raced and her palms were wet from sweat. “You’re invincible. You’ll always be fine. Now put that tux on!”

Pulling the van up to the church steps, she turned to her future husband. His lip curled up, and all her anger melted away. She took a deep breath as he leaned forward and placed a kiss on her forehead, giving one of her blond ringlets a little tug. He whispered, “I love you, but, I think, you’ll be late.” In a flash, Adam was out of the van and disappeared into the church.

Out came Ariana’s mother, her wavy gray hair wild in the wind. Ari stepped out of the van, took a deep breath, and smiled, letting it all sink in. She was going to marry the man of her dreams today. This was truly the beginning of the rest of her life. A fabulous life with an amazing partner at her side.

Her mom took her hand and helped her out. “We have ten minutes to finish getting you ready.”

Her dad stepped beside them. “You look beautiful, Dear.”

Ariana smiled. This was everything she ever wanted. Loving parents and marrying a man, everyone drooled about—even if they only drooled when he was in costume, saving the world.

 VICTORIA

Victoria swirled her straw in her Diet Coke. She hated Diet Coke, but being in a newer relationship, she needed to keep her figure in better shape than a marshmallow Peep. The duck kind, not the bunny ones. The thought was making her hungry. She enjoyed being “full bodied” and wanted to keep her curves. It was a fine line to not be too skinny, nor too heavy. The Diet Coke was her balance, but it reminded her how much it sucked to be thirty and no longer married.

Today, her mind was on everything except the man in front of her. Work, the book she was reading, and her grocery list.

“Vicky?”

Victoria shook her head and looked up at Mike. “Sorry, I was distracted. I have a lot going on. What did you say?”

“I had asked if you wanted to get away this week. You said you took a few days off of work. We could go to my cousin’s lake cottage. It would be romantic.” He winked at her.

Should she tell him she hated winking? It was creepy and something a sleaze-bag would do. She bit her tongue and focused on his question. “This week? Um… I’ll have Chew-Barka. Can I bring him?”

The smile on Mike’s face dissolved as he rubbed his temple. “I can ask, but can’t your ex take him?”

She sat back in her chair. “Ask him to do me a favor? I’d rather give up chocolate.”

Mike tilted his chin. “You know Thursday’s our anniversary.”

“Anniversary?”

“We’ve been dating for three months.”

Had it been that long already? “You’re counting months? I thought only teenagers did that.”

Mike’s lips tightened. “Are you not into this relationship?”

She swirled her straw, splashing soda over the edge of the glass. “Yeah, it’s fine… I mean good. It’s just—”

Mike looked up. “Speaking of the devil. How is it he always seems to interrupt us?”

She ground her teeth, not needing to spin around to know her ex-husband stood behind her. “Yes, Vance, how is it you always seem to know where I am?”

Her ex made his way to the side of their table. His voice was smooth, deep, and familiar. Victoria tried to forget how much it appealed to her. “Coincidence, I guess. I was on my way to the mayor’s campaign headquarters, but saw you here.”

“Come on. Campaign headquarters is across the city.” Victoria played with her straw.

“You’re a supporter?” Mike asked. “I thought nobody liked the Mayor. How he won, I’ll never know.”

“Obviously, more than half the city likes him, otherwise he wouldn’t have won. Besides, I always root for the underdog.”

Mike leaned forward. “I read that they are trying to have a recall election. Nobody believes he won.”

Victoria turned to Vance and didn’t hide the annoyance in her voice. “So, why are you here?”

Vance’s smile said I’m-hiding-something-I’m-not-going-to-tell-you. “I was simply getting extra steps in.” He turned to Mike. “So, how have ya been?” He gave Mike a small punch on his shoulder.

“Ow—” Mike jerked away, shielding his bicep with his hand. He straightened and recovered his manliness.

Vance didn’t seem phased. “Were you done here?”

Victoria ground her teeth together. “No. We hadn’t ordered yet.”

“Great!” Vance smiled. “I’m starving.” He grabbed a chair from the neighboring table, turned it backwards and straddled it.

“Join us,” Mike said to the already sitting down Vance. “I think Victoria has a question for you, anyway.”

Vance picked up the menu that laid in front of Mike. “Were you done with this?” He tipped down his sunglasses and stared at Mike’s hot coffee for a moment.

He better not use his power.

He tipped his sunglasses back in place and smiled again. A smile that made Victoria sweat. “A question for me? You were thinking about me?”

Victoria shook her head and sputtered out the lies. “I don’t have a question, and I never think about you.”

Mike interjected. “What she means is would you keep Chew-Barka until the weekend?”

“This weekend?”

“Yeah, I’d like to take Victoria away for our anniversary.” Mike picked up his coffee.

“Anniversary? What’s it been? A few months? I thought only kids counted months.” Vance shook his head and focused on the menu. “Nah. That won’t work. I’m busy.”

Victoria set her menu down and glared at her ex. “You’re busy? How is it that you always seem to find enough time to find me and torment me?”

“Well, I have plans now.” Vance turned away from Mike, towards Victoria, and curled the corner of his lip up into a sly smile. Of course he had plans. They involved keeping her and Mike apart. Now throw in a little irritating her and Vance’s week was full. Did he really hate her that much? She had broken his heart.

Victoria chocked down a sip of her Diet Coke. “That’s okay. I think it’s time I found a kennel for Chew-Barka.” She turned to Mike who lifted his coffee mug to his lips.

“No—” Victoria tried to stop him, but it was too late. He had tipped the coffee cup back and taken a sip. The icy cold liquid sprayed out of his mouth, all over the table.

Mike set the cup down. “What the hell! It’s freezing.”

Victoria wiped her face and glared at Vance.

Vance’s sly smile appeared again, then a little chuckle. “I don’t know why you’re looking at me.”

Victoria shook her head at him, trying to tell him, she was on to him. On to the fact he used his freeze vision.

Vance set the menu down and changed the subject. “No kennel for Chew-Barka. That’s like doggie jail. Let me see what I can do. I’ll get back to you.”

Mike frantically wiped the coffee off the table. “That would be great if you took him for the whole week.” He reached over to reciprocate the punch Vance gave him.

“No!” Victoria tried to warn him again, but it was too late. Mike shook out his fist after slugging Vance’s shoulder. Vance hadn’t budged. Like a rock as always.

Mike opened and closed his hand. “Wow, man, you must spend a lot of time at the gym.”

Victoria stood up. “I’ve lost my appetite. You two enjoy each other. Vance, I’ll see you tomorrow when you pick up Chewy.” Victoria left the men alone for their romantic lunch.

EMMA   

When Becky opened the door to Emma, the first thing she saw was her bright white smile. “Hey, Sis! I’m so glad you could come over at the last minute. I hope I’m not pulling quality time away from you and your hubby.”

Emma bit her lip, holding back a smile of her own. Quality time? Ha. She purposefully didn’t leave out his costume when she left. Would Estavon be able to find his black leather super suit without her? “It’s really no problem. Besides, I want to hear your news.”

A little curly-haired, pig-tailed girl, wearing a black sweat suit and black mask, pranced across the room like a gazelle, finally stopping in front of Emma. Swooping her niece up in her arms, Emma kissed her chubby cheek. “How’s the little princess today?”

Samantha lisped out. “I’m not a princess. I’m a superhero.”

“Oh, well I’m mistaken. What are your secret powers?”

“I’m just like Capitán Rápido. I can move super-duper fast and can see into the future… a whole day into the future.”

“Instead of only ten seconds? You’ll be unstoppable!”

Samantha slid from Emma’s arms and ran as fast as she could around the living room.

Emma laughed, “She’s so cute!”

Becky took her purse from the shelf beside the door. “I’ll be home in about two hours. Do you want to hear the news now, or later?”

“Well… Now, of course.”

A big smile grew across Becky’s face, swallowing all her other features. “I’m pregnant!”

“Really?” Emma heaved her sister into her arms. “That’s fantastic!”

“Hopefully, you’ll have success soon, too.”

Emma shook her head, pushing the thought away. “This isn’t about me right now. I can’t wait for another niece…or maybe a nephew this time.”

Becky looked down at her watch. “I gotta go. Josh is meeting me at the doctor’s office. I have my first ultrasound today, three months along already.” Becky gave Emma another hug before heading out the door.

“Watch this, Auntie Ems!” Samantha crawled up on the couch and jumped off the back with her arms outstretched. “Did you see that? I can fly!”

“Wow, you’re even better than Capitán Rápido. He can’t fly. Not like The Kite.”

“Mommy says I’m going to have a brother or a sister, but I need to be patient.”

“Your mommy’s wise. You’ll need to be very patient.”

Samantha ran around the sofa again, crawled back up and jumped off, one more time. Emma smiled. Oh, how did she want a child of her own.

Was that even possible in her life?

Someday, I hope.

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek. 🙂 Have a great day.

–Joy

Copy of Book Spotlight

Subject 23 – Free Prequel to Love, Lies & Clones

Sound the trumpets!

I finished a short prequel to Love, Lies & Clones that I thought was a lost cause.

It’s called Subject 23. Here it is:

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Blood &Subject 23

Alice Taylor poured her heart into the advancement of science. It wasn’t until she connected with a surrogate mother, Subject 23, did she begin questioning what path science was taking her down.

This is a glimpse into June’s father’s cloning experiments. Meet June’s mother, Alice, and watch her struggle with the ethics behind the project.

You can download a copy HERE.

I had started writing it back in January with hopes of using it to entice readers to pick up the full novel, but abandoned the project because it contained spoilers, and I couldn’t figure out how to get the spoilers out of the story.

What a shame to have a story mostly finished and not be able to let people read it…that was until I had an idea last week while writing the post for my 1000 “true” fans blog series.

I finished this 5000+ word story up and am marketing it as a prequel best enjoyed AFTER reading the full novel. I mean, that’s better than letting it sit on the virtual shelf, unread, right?

If you’re interested, it’s a standalone story. You can read it if you’ve read Love, Lies & Clones, don’t intend to read the novel, or don’t really care about spoilers.

I kept a similar cover to Love, Lies & Clones, just to keep it easy. Hopefully, that doesn’t make things confusing.

Subject 23 (1)

Have a great day, everyone! Thanks for sharing my journey.

–Joy

 

Book Spotlight – BEYOND THE FOREST by Kay L. Ling

book-spotlight-1

Novel: Beyond the Forest

Author: Kay L. Ling

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Epic Fantasy

How I found this book: Beyond the Forest was up for nominations in the Kindle Scout program at the same time that I had my first novel (Love, Lies & Clones) in the program. Seeing the story so much, I just had to read it!

Amazon book description:

beyond-the-forest

Lana can draw arcane powers from gemstones, but she’s no match for a gem master like Sheamathan, brutal ruler of the gnome world. The oppressed gnomes of Shadow long for a better life, and Lana agrees to study their native gems to find a solution. But when she goes through the portal, she discovers her gnome guide has a different agenda. He takes her straight to Sheamathan’s castle through a land full of mutant insects, intelligent flying serpents, and other horrors. There, he forces Lana to make a choice–turn her back on the gnomes and go home, or brave Sheamathan’s goblin-like servants to find the throne room and deliver a warning. Only someone very brave or very foolish would risk enchantment, the dungeon, or death, but the gnomes’ conflict may spill over into her world if Lana refuses to go.

What’s not in the blurb: I’m a sucker for any story that has a little clean romance…and this one does. It snuck up on me, which was a pleasant surprise.

As I writer, what I really enjoyed and appreciated: Kudos to the author on her grasp and description of the fantasy world. I struggle with world building and really appreciated Kay L. Ling’s amazing grasp of the world she created. Her creativity and descriptions of the giant flying insects had me shivering in repulsion. Bravo! In addition to the fantastic world building, I appreciated the humor she brought in with the giant talking rats. Giant rats? You’ll have to read the story. 🙂

Who’d enjoy this book: Lovers of both epic fantasy and urban fantasy who want to read something more positive and uplifting.

My overall impression: Beyond the forest took me to another land with a main character (Lana) that followed her heart. There was the right amount of humor (sometimes, even silly, which I love) to keep me entertained. I defiantly cheered for Lana and her crew of gnomes and other fantasy creatures. The whole time I was reading this, I kept thinking how it reminded me of Lord of the Rings. I will definitely be watching for the second novel in this series, Shadowglade.

About the author: Kay L. Ling began writing fiction at an early age. In grade school, her stories evidenced a sense of wonder and love of adventure. In one, mythical creatures lived and traveled inside a rainbow, and in another, a bored sixth-grader turned her teacher into a maroon sofa and then teleported herself to London. As she grew up, Kay never lost her ability to imagine strange and wondrous peoples and places, and now she would like to share her unique fantasy adventures with others.

Where to find this novel:

  • Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M6AIPYX
  • Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M6AIPYX

Other books in the series:

  • Shadowglade (Coming in spring.)

My disclosure: I hate star ratings. Honestly, I think these are so subjective and sometimes reflect the reader more than they do the book. Because this is my blog, and I can do anything I want, I’m not using them.

I think ANYBODY who puts the time, effort, and dedication to write and publish an entire novel deserves 5 stars anyway. Also, when I read indie authors, I realize they operate on a shoestring (non-existent) budget and don’t have a team of college educated professionals helping them fine tune their novels.

 

Cover Reveals or Cover Input?

I’m partaking in a HUGE event right now for writers and lovers of stories of suspense called Mystery Thriller Week. (Check out the giant calendar of events HERE.) Somewhere during the preparation for this event, I was asked by author Bryce Gibson if I would host a cover reveal on my blog.

Cover reveal? What’s the purpose of that?

Frantically, I went to my favorite reference (google, of course) and did a little preliminary research before I explained to Bryce that my blog is more about the writing journey…then thought that a post on what cover reveals are would be an interesting topic.

So here we are. As followers of my blog know, I’ve never done a “cover reveal” with my own novels. I always ask for input on my covers. Here were some of the graphics I’ve created in the past when I was seeking input from various social media channels:

which-cover-do-you-like-better_-1 which-catches-your-eye-first_-1

I know this way of feedback isn’t perfect, but it’s better than me picking which one I like best. (BTW-I have terrible taste.)

So…on to the point of this blog post.

What is a cover reveal? A cover reveal is a planned day, before the release of your novel, for you to give the world the first glimpse of your story.

What are the benefits of a cover reveal? As I’m learning, much of the marketing of a novel is done BEFORE release day. A cover reveal is another outlet to start pre-publishing advertising. To begin to get readers excited for your book. If you’ve read anything about marketing and advertising, a potential customer needs to see something many times before they decide to make a purchase. (Some say 7 times, other say the magic number is 20. Wow.) A cover reveal is another way to get branding and image in front of the reader.

So…on to the cover reveal I have for you today.

Drumroll…

the-reading-buddy-cover

I don’t know about you, but this definitely makes me want to read the blurb. The Reading Buddy will be up for pre-order on Amazon in April. You can watch for it on Bryce’s Amazon Author Page or by following him on any of these social media channels.

 

 

 

About author-photothe Author: Bryce Gibson writes Southern fiction that takes readers to charming and oftentimes sinister areas of the The South. He has a degree in Media Arts from the University of South Carolina, works full time as a farmer, and lives in South Carolina with his wife and their dog.

Bryce is the author of the Young Adult thriller, Perennials, and the Southern mystery, Unclaimed Acre. His next book, The Reading Buddy will be available in 2017.

 

 

And finally, to answer my question in the title of this blog post: Cover Reveal or Cover Input?

Well, I think it depends on your platform. For me, I’m sharing each step of my journey, which includes me wanting to share the actual design and selection of my cover. (And the multiple failed attempts in between.) If I didn’t blog…and had a professional design team, I’d probably go with the cover reveal.

What are your thoughts?

Crime Division: Medications as a Murder Weapon (in Fiction Writing, Of Course) Joynell Schultz, PharmD, RPh

Here’s an article I wrote for Mystery Thriller Week called, “Medications as a Murder Weapon (In Fiction Writing, of Course)” Check it out if you’re interested.

Mystery Thriller Week

Hmmm… You have someone to kill. You need a creative way, and the old-fashioned gun, knife, rope, or pillow suffixation simply won’t do. Using a medication sounds intriguing. In the alphabet soup of drugs, which one makes the perfect instrument of death?

View original post 1,191 more words

Wanted: Readers to Review my Novel (Again!)

Anyone willing to receive a free digital copy of my novel, BLOOD & HOLY WATER, in exchange for a review or two on Amazon, Good Reads, or wherever else? I’m planning on publishing the book in April and would love to get some reviews right away upon publication.

Any takers? Comment below, use the “contact me” page, or shoot me an email and I’ll get you a copy of the novel.

I’ve been describing the story a urban fantasy with some suspense/paranormal romance.

You can read the first few chapters here to see if you like it: Blood & Holy Water on Kindle Scout

high-qualityVAMPIRES AREN’T PERFECT, BUT NEITHER ARE ANGELS.

Ava’s sick of mundane angel duties. She wants a promotion to finally earn her wings. A promotion takes more than hard work; it takes a miracle—literally. Unfortunately, her miracle’s impossible, as it involves a vampire.

Fin has no time for frivolous gestures. He’s too busy avoiding his own kind to care what a naïve angel wants. But when the other vampires uncover his deepest secret, threatening what he cherishes most, nothing can help him except a miracle. Too bad he chased the angel away.

Have a great day and, as always, thanks for stopping over & supporting me.

–Joy

 

Book Spotlight – Codename Omega: Omega Rising by Jessica Meats

Did you know that I love to read? I don’t talk about it much on this blog, since my focus has been on writing, but it’s true.

I love books!

I love them so much, that I’m adding a new feature on my blog. I figured, since I’m putting the time in to read books, I’d share them with whoever’ll listen to me. (Note: I tend to almost exclusively read independently published novels these days, and this is a nice plug for them too.) I’ll be sharing the speculative fiction novels I read, since that is my writing focus (and my passion.)

**See my disclosure at the end**

I hope you enjoy this new feature.

Okay…here we go.

book-spotlight

Novel: Codename Omega: Omega Rising

Author: Jessica Meats

How I found this book: Mystery-Thriller Week is an eleven day celebration of novels, authors, and readers with a passion for mystery and thriller stories. It runs from February 12th to the 22nd. I stumbled across this novel through the pages of participants. What caught my attention was the books genre: a scifi mystery. If you enjoy mystery & thriller novels, head over to the Mystery-Thriller Week blog or join their Facebook group. It should be a lot of fun.

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Amazon book description:

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Jenny Harding has no money, no qualifications and no career history. A job working security for a big tech firm seems too good to be true. Maybe it is.

She is tasked with hunting down a group of thieves who have been stealing sensitive technology. Caught up in a battle involving alien forces, Jenny has some important questions to answer:
–Who are the thieves?
–What’s their real purpose?
–And is she on the right side?

What’s not in the blurb: Being hunted down and attacked wasn’t the kind of job interview Jenny Harding had in mind when she turned in her resume to Grey Tower. Now, she’s got the job and becomes tangled in a web of missing high-tech devices…not only that, when one of the thief’s are killed, she finds her hands on technology that can only be described as alien.

As I writer, what I really enjoyed and appreciated: Kudos to the author on the foreshadowing. The story was told in first person past tense and there were times the main character would give you a glimpse of things she wished they knew at the time…or what was yet to come. I felt this did a fantastic job of creating suspense and a feeling of dread for the future. (And secondarily, I enjoyed the references to the martial arts throughout the book. While I was reading, I caught myself wondering if the author had some type of training herself.)

Who’d enjoy this book: This book is a great, quick read, with some good action and science fiction that takes place on Earth (not space-opera, even though there are aliens.) Right up my alley. The book wraps up quickly, and leaves some things unresolved, as it is the first book in a series.

My overall impression: For some reason, this is the third novel in a row I’ve read written by a European writer. I’m digging that. This story was a nice introduction to a series, showcasing how an “average” person got caught up in an alien conspiracy—becoming a hero, costume and all. I enjoyed the alien technology, adapted for human use. This had it all…a little action…conspiracy…scifi…mystery…and romance. The plot was well done. Despite really enjoying the creative concepts of the story, this story is told first person, filtered through the main character’s perspective. It gave it an old-time detective story feel, which detached me from the story’s action. Not bad–just different than I typically read.

About the author: Jessica Meats is a graduate of the University of York and works in the IT industry. She draws on her experiences as a technology specialist and martial arts student to create a unique and interesting fictional community of combat experts and computer geeks.

Other books in the series:

  • Codename Omega: Traitor in the Tower (Book 2)

My disclosure: I hate star ratings. Honestly, I think these are so subjective and sometimes reflect the reader more than they do the book. Because this is my blog, and I can do anything I want, I’m not using them.

I think ANYBODY who puts the time, effort, and dedication to write and publish an entire novel deserves 5 stars anyway. Also, when I read indie authors, I realize they operate on a shoestring (non-existent) budget and don’t have a team of college educated professionals helping them fine tune their novels.