Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Charlotte Gerber - author of I Dream of Zombies

Rose Lee is a zombie social worker in post-apocalypse Hornellsville, trying to help out zombies who are having a tough go of it.  She is ever watchful, looking for the next human who may have succumbed to the zombie disease.  Humans who have survived the apocalypse have a hard time understanding why she would help the zombies, especially since they are supposed to be violent.
Rose dispels some of the common misconceptions about zombies, such as they can’t eat brains because their teeth are falling out, and they must live in air conditioned surroundings or be at risk of disintegrating completely.  This is a task that she takes on with humor and tenacity.
Life is pretty much an uphill battle until she finds an ally – a zombie hunter named Alex Georgiades.  While he is a womanizer, he soon realizes Rose is a no-nonsense kind of girl who can easily resist his charms (and can run in high heels).  Together they begin to deal with the wreckage of their town, and figure out who wants the zombie virus to keep ripping through humans in the U.S.A.

Charlotte Gerber is a freelance writer and author. She lives in upstate New York on a farm with her husband, two children and numerous animals.  When she isn't writing (which isn't very often), she can be found outside chasing escapee chickens who want to get to the other side of the road, and wrangling ducks that would prefer to be wandering in ditches, much to the displeasure of local motorists.

Author Interview: Jennifer L. Armentrout + GIVEAWAY - author of The Lux Series

Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up. And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something... unexpected happens. 
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 
If I don't kill him first, that is.

# 1 New York Times and International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch + GIVEAWAY {BOOK BLITZ}

Perfection comes at a price.
As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.
Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating. But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death. For fans of Keira Cass’s Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.
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Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids. To learn more visit 

“Remember… You’ll never be one of them,” Miss Gellner said, repositioning each of us on our divans in the sitting room so our gowns draped elegantly around our crossed ankles. 
She stepped back and gazed at the group of us, her face pinched and stern like always, but I spotted a tiny glimmer of pride behind her rheumy eyes. Twenty girls: lovely, demure, quiet. She was pleased with us, even if she wouldn’t say it out loud.
Miss Gellner blinked, as if bringing herself back to the moment. “Things won’t change once you leave here,” she went on. “Simply because you’ll be pampered and spoiled, your life’s mission won’t suddenly be any different. Remember that. Your sole purpose is to enrich the lives of your new owners.”
As she said this, she lightly tapped her bamboo training stick against my back, not a hard whack the way she had done relentlessly when we first transferred from the Greenwich Kennel to the training center, where she and her staff could cultivate us into the sort of girls we were bred to be. This was just a warning tap, reminding me to sit so that my spine was a stem, and I was the flower resting atop it.
It was a pose we’d practiced daily for the past four years; during music and etiquette and dining, even during our nightly baths. But the fluttering in my stomach distracted me, drawing me down into myself. My whole body felt fluttery: my hands, my feet, even my eyes. I worried that the moment the two grand doors leading to the reception room swung open, I might flap away; a feather caught on the wind.
Next to me, Seven bit nervously at her bottom lip. It was weird to think that by tonight she’d have a new name, a real one. The breeders at Greenwich assigned us numbers as names at conception: One through Twenty, since twenty was the maximum number of girls they were allowed to have each year. I was Eight, but not for much longer. By tonight, I could be anything. 
Across the room, Miss Gellner took a few steps towards the grand wooden doors, resting her hand lightly on the knob before she turned to face us one last time. 
"I want you to keep your composure when they come in. I've spent four years preparing you for this moment.” She thumped her training stick on the ground for emphasis. “Four years. Don’t waste them. Each move that you make, every turn of your head and pout of your lip speaks to my effectiveness as a trainer and I won’t have that work tarnished. When I open these doors, I expect you to remember all the things I've taught you.”
The stiff lining of my dress rubbed against my rib cage and I ached to shift to a more comfortable position, but I held still, staring straight ahead at Miss Gellner with a soft smile placed carefully on my lips.  
“Be sure to hold your tongues,” she went on. “You are not doing the selecting. Do not ask questions. Speak if spoken to, but keep your answers brief. We don't want to scare away a potential buyer with a girl who has too forward a notion of who’s in charge." 
Beside me, the other girls were sitting silently. We were perfectly trained, all of us. And lovely, too. In our new dresses, we looked like royalty. Miss Gellner had picked out a different shade of gown for each of us, our first piece of clothing that was distinctly ours. She’d deliberated long and hard on the color choices. She wanted us each to look different. It wouldn't do for the customers to think they were getting cloned girls even though there were plenty of differences between us to set us apart. Yes, we all had large eyes, spaced perfectly on our heart shaped faces. We all had small noses, long, thin necks, and rose petal lips. But we each had distinct coloring. Seven’s hair was nearly black. Sixteen’s eyes were green, the color of fresh summer grass, and Twenty’s skin was the same warm brown of the toasted bread that we were rewarded with on Sunday mornings. We were unique. One of a kind.
I was happy with the dress Miss Gellner had chosen for me. It was the palest shade of blue, hardly a color at all. These dresses would be the only item that would accompany us to our new homes. Our new owners would provide everything else. 
"We’re lucky to have a number of congressmen and senators here today," Miss Gellner went on. "Power, prestige, wealth, you'll be surrounded by the best, which is why it is important that you be the best." Miss Gellner sighed, nodding her head once. “All right girls. It’s time.” 
 She turned and threw open the doors. “Ladies… Gentlemen…” her voice boomed as she glided into the next room. “If you’ll kindly follow me, I’ll show you to the sitting room. You’ll have a chance to look over each of the girls before you make your decision. As I told each of you over the phone, the number on your tag will determine the order of selection.” 
A moment later a stream of bodies and voices flowed into the room. I drew a breath and held it, trying to compose myself, but the fluttering inside me only grew worse. My vision blurred as the men and women pressed closer, talking loudly to one another.
“Oh my! They’re so little,” a woman cooed “They look like twelve-year-olds.”
“I can assure you, they’re sixteen,” Miss Gellner said. “They’re fully grown; all measuring in at exactly five feet.”
An older man grabbed a lock of my hair and rubbed it between his fingers. “Like corn silk,” he said to the woman next to him. “Did you say you were hoping for a blond or a red head? This one almost seems like a mix of the two.”
“And it does have beautiful eyes. Look, they’re practically turquoise,” she crooned. “But, I was hoping for a real red head. There’s an auburn one over there we should look at.”
I didn’t dare turn my head to watch them walk across the room to look at Ten.
A middle-aged couple finished looking at Seven and circled around me. I blinked a few times, finally bringing my eyes back into focus as the man’s dark eyes skated over me. He was obviously quite a bit older than me, but his jaw was much stronger than the other men I’d seen so far and his eyes were bright. A sprinkling of gray hairs dusted the dark hair at his temples. The woman beside him had probably been a beauty when she was younger, but now she was a different sort of beautiful: regal and refined. She was tall, even taller than Miss Gellner, with high cheekbones, a strong jaw, and long arched brows perched overtop piercing blue eyes. Even though she had lines around her eyes and mouth, her hair was almost as dark as Seven’s, without a hint of gray. Everything about her intimidated me.
“Now this has some promise,” the man said, looking into my eyes. “Do you like this one?”
“Oh, John, do we really need to do this?” The woman sighed, her eyes drifting around the room.
“Do what, Darling?”
“You can cut it with the ‘Darling’, too. It’s not like anyone’s listening. They’re busy choosing their own pets,” she said, gesturing towards the rest of the people in the room with an elegant sweep of her arm. “And you can stop pretending I have any say in your precious little project. You know I couldn’t care less about getting her.”
Her husband stepped forward, so close their bodies almost touched. “You know how it looks for us not to have one, don’t you? After all the time I spent getting this bill to pass. People are saying things. You don’t want them to think—”
She took a step away from him, eyeing an old man who had turned his attention to their conversation. “Whatever you say, Dear,” she interrupted. “I’m merely along for the ride.”
“You can’t argue that Ruby needs this,” the man said. “We agreed.”
Her face softened. “I know.”
He took a deep breath, and when he turned back to me, it was as if he’d flipped a switch, changing his face back to the same well-groomed look of prominence and stature I’d seen on it to begin with.
“Stand up and give us a little whirl, Love,” he said to me.
I hadn’t anticipated the weakness in my legs, but I stood and turned slowly, the way I learned in my Poise lessons. I kept my chin up, neck elongated, my arms held out ever so slightly from my sides as if my hands were brushing the skirt of a tutu. 
The man smiled once I faced him again. “And what are your talents? The Kennel Trainer said that you each specialized in two.”
“My talents are piano, dance, and singing. Although my vocal range is not as diverse as some.”
His forehead creased, his eyes narrowing, and my stomach flipped. If Miss Gellner had been standing next to me, she would have lashed me with her stick. We’d practiced our lines over and over and still I said it wrong. There hadn’t been any need for me to point out my faults so blatantly. I should have only mentioned the piano and dance and not said anything about the singing. I was trying too hard to impress.
“Three talents?” he asked. “Marvelous. I suppose We’d be getting a little bit more bang for the buck if we go with you then, isn’t that right?”
The man’s phrasing confused me and I lowered my eyes to the ground and smiled softly the way we’d been taught to do if we ever didn’t know how to answer a question.
“So which is your favorite?”
“Favorite?” I asked.
“Which one do you like the most?”
“I’m quite good at all three as long as the song I’m singing is written for a mezzo soprano.”
“But certainly you have a favorite?”
My mind raced, trying to think over all the scenarios we’d spoken about like this one in our Conversation class, but I drew a blank. Those classes were meant to help us understand our new owner better, not to help them understand us. I couldn’t come right out and tell him that I had a favorite. Miss Gellner would be outraged. Maybe I could try to change the subject? But then he might realize I was doing it to avoid his question, and he would know that I really did have a favorite. 
It was too complicated an interaction.
The woman smiled slyly. “Maybe she doesn’t understand your question John. Sure, she’s pretty, but they weren’t bred for brains.”
“I thought you said you wanted to stay out of this.”
She raised her hands and took a step back without saying another word.
The man tried again. “What I mean to say is: which one of your talents do you prefer? Is there one that makes you particularly happy?”
I swallowed, hoping to push down the rock that had lodged itself in my throat. “Well sir, if there’s one that you prefer, I’m sure I’d be delighted to perform for you.”
The man sighed and shook his head. “Never mind. Why don’t you sit back down?”
I smiled once more and sank back onto the divan, trying to hold my head high even though my eyes burned. 
For the next hour, the groups of men and women circled around the room. They were all so much bigger than I’d imagined they’d be, not only in their physical stature, but their presence, as if the room couldn’t contain them. They gobbled up the air.
Finally Miss Gellner moved us into the concert room. We’d each been assigned one talent to demonstrate to give the clients a better taste of what they’d be buying. Four and Five would each be performing an adagio en pointe, a few girls were playing the flute and the cello, but the majority of us would be playing the piano or singing. 
Maybe it should have bothered me that I wouldn’t stand out, but all I could think about as we sat down in the velvet seats arranged along the edges of the room was Debussy’s First Arabesque in E major, the song Miss Gellner had chosen for me to play. It wasn’t an elaborate song. I could play solos that were so much more difficult like the piece by Prokofiev that I learned last year, but I was glad she hadn’t chosen that one. Sure, I wouldn’t be able to show off my finger work playing the First Arabesque, but that didn’t matter. I could already feel the notes of the song moving up through my fingers and arms, a soft vibration that settled somewhere at the base of my neck like the warm hand of a friend. 
We moved in order: One, Two, Three, Four, on and on until finally it was my turn. As I climbed the stairs to the small stage at the front of the room and sat on the tufted cushion of the piano bench, it was as if a white curtain had been drawn down between the crowd and me. I took a deep breath, savoring the moment before I placed my hands on the keys and started to play.
My fingers floated over the ivories for only a short four minutes, but my heart and mind quieted. I didn’t know if the other girls felt this way when they were playing, as if they were all alone and the rest of the world melted away leaving the air awash in soft color. I’d always been too embarrassed to ask. What if it meant that I had something wrong with me? 
Those four minutes didn’t last long enough and before I knew it my fingers had stopped, hovering over the keys as the last notes died away. A polite spattering of applause brought me back to the room full of strangers. As I stood, I glanced out into the audience, allowing myself to imagine which of these people might be my future owner. Toward the back of the room I spotted the man with the salt and pepper hair and his wife. Neither of them was clapping, but for just a second he held my gaze and nodded ever so slightly. 
That small gesture made my face burn with shame. He knew that I lied to him before when he’d asked me which one of my talents was my favorite. Of course it was piano, but I could never say it out loud. I was supposed to bring pleasure to my new masters, not to find pleasure for myself. 
A cold sweat broke out across my back and I shivered, sitting back down on my chair to watch the remainder of the performances. If he could read me so easily, maybe everyone else could, too. 

Shattering Halos by Sunniva Dee + GIVEAWAY {BLOG TOUR}

He traded my death for love. I wasn’t given a choice. His decision has caught up with us, so now I am a living, breathing catalyst to war between Heaven and Hell.
The violations he committed saved my life. Since the collision, he’s appeared everywhere. In my hospital room, my school, even my house. He shows up in my paintings, my drawings, in all of my art projects. I can’t stop thinking about him.
He says his name is Gabriel, and he doesn’t understand what’s happening to him. He doesn’t know how I can see him or why he loves me in ways that should be impossible for a Celestial. My obsession grows. I want him to hold me, kiss me—give all of himself. For every day he protects me, the consequences loom darker and taller. Soon, they’ll crash down on us. Yes, the war is about to begin.

Originally from Norway, I moved to the United States twelve years ago.
The first awesome five years I spent in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, before moving to the beautiful city of Savannah, Georgia.
I'm currently on my seventh year in the South, where my husband, son, and I are enjoying the heat, the humidity, as well as our crazy menagerie of animals better known as the petting zoo. The only one not here is my daughter, who returned to Norway for college.
I hold a Master's degree in languages, and for ten years, I taught at university level, before settling in as graduate adviser at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Writing is my passion, my joy, and my addiction. Shattering Halos is my debut novel. When I'm not writing, I read. A lot. :)

What originally made you want to start writing?
As most writers, I’ve always loved writing. I used to write to sort my thoughts out—as a teenager, I wrote about all the “exciting things” that happened to me and my friends (insert eye-roll here) and then the fictive stories started taking over. I soon realized that my characters’ fictional lives were even more interesting. ;-)
Do you have a specific writing style?
I have a short, clipped and to the point style, although at times I use a bit of a lyrical prose. It’s simple and fast to read, and I aim at making it hard for the reader to stop after a chapter—I want them to want to move on to find out more. Lots of suspense, passion, and unpredictability mixed with some seriously flawed characters. I write what I love to read.
What exactly is your editing process?
I am very cruel with my manuscripts. Once I’ve written the first draft, I start hacking at it with an oversized, figurative axe. I also use a wonderful program ( which helps me catch overused words and constructions. Then, I go over my manuscript again for flow before I send it to my first CP. Not to make this part longwinded, but I use at least 4 CPs (critique partners who are also authors) and at the most 7 to make my manuscript as flawless as I can. Then, it’s on to the professional editor, before it heads off to beta-readers for their input.
Where do you see yourself in a year or two from now?
The short-term goal is two more books published this year: Stargazer, the spin-off book to Shattering Halos about one of the side characters, Cassiel, among other characters—and Pandora Wild Child, a New Adult contemporary about a bad-girl and the sexy young men who are there to save her—or deprave her, depending on the person. The latter book will be out in September/October, while Stargazer I’m guessing will be released from my publisher in November. In two years, though, I would like to live off of my books. 3 books published in 2015, and then the same the year after. For the 2015 releases, two of them are already in the writing stages.
What are you currently reading?
So happy you asked! I’m reading the newest book from one of my all-time favorite New Adult authors, Penelope Ward’s “My Skylar.” It is as awesome as I expected. 

"Why was she so upset with you, Gabriel?” I asked.
“I can’t read her mind.”
“Oh right, how silly of me.” I rolled my eyes. His thoughts were somewhere else, so my sarcasm didn’t register with him.
“I’ve never had to cloak myself before.”
“Oh, with your other humans, you mean?” My voice came out strange.
Gabriel turned fully and looked at me. His eyebrows lifted. “Right…”
“How many others have you had?”
“I don’t know, thousands.”
Holy. Crap.
I leaned my forehead against the window, trying to hide the flare of jealousy.
“Gaia.” A gentle hand reached around and pulled me back toward him. I couldn’t meet his stare.
“They were humans that lived before you.”
“Girls?” Why did I sound sulky? Oh, right, because I was a terrible actress. Gabriel’s quiet laughter drizzled over me. “Babies. Some growing into women and others into men. Many never grew up.”
“Did they see you?” Did you kiss them?
Gabriel didn’t reply at first. Then the back of his hand traced my cheekbone down to my mouth.
“No, I didn’t.”
My breath hitched. I must have heard wrong. His eyes focused on my lips, and my gut clenched.
He let go of me too fast. An arm hid his expression as he fell back into his seat. I leaned over, my palm molding to his face. I needed him close.
When it slid down his neck, a muffled groan slipped from him. “Please don’t touch me, Gaia.”
“You started it.”
“I know—I won’t. We have to stop this.”
“Crap! You’re not making any sense—you know that? This is bullshit!”
Gabriel pushed his seat up and faced me, his irises shimmering like water. “Gaia. I don’t know why the archangels haven’t come for me, but humans and angels—” He cut himself off, then continued. “I screwed up. Since I’m still with you, they must have given me another chance.”
And just like that, I transformed into pure instinct all over again and jumped into his lap. Clearly I could not be trusted near this—this…angel.
The steering wheel jabbed into my back, but I barely noticed. The pain was just another reason to get closer, much closer to him. My fingers slid into his hair, tangling with it. I tugged him to me and pressed my mouth against his.
Gabriel reacted immediately. He crushed me so tight that my breath wheezed out. The seat lowered underneath him, and he pulled me with him, devouring my mouth.
“We can’t be together?” I panted.
“No, we can’t.”
“Never?” Desperate, my tongue found his. He shook his head against my mouth. My stomach burned with need.
One at a time, I forced the words out in clipped gasps. “I can’t ever touch you again?” Gabriel groaned. I could feel him under me. So male, so alive.
I want him so much it hurts!
Gabriel’s eyes opened beneath me. He rocked me closer, and I moaned.
“Will you be visible to me?”
“Sometimes.” The tiny suckling noises as he feasted on my lips sent fire straight to my womb.
“Please, promise me you’ll be visible always.”
His hands moved up to my face and held me out from him. The kiss he gave me was too light on my lips, and I shuddered.
“No, not always. But I promise that you will see me every day.”

I absorbed the kisses, lucid enough to know they were the last ones I would ever receive from Gabriel.

The V Girl by May Robarts + GIVEAWAY {BOOK BLITZ}

In post-apocalyptic North America, rape and sexual slavery are legal. Lila Velez, desperately wants to lose her virginity before the troops visit her town and can take it away by force. She makes plans to seduce her only friend, Rey, the most attractive man in her town. Lila does not love him but he is the only man who has shown her true affection, an affection she is willing to take as a substitute of love.

Lila’s coping mechanism to her mother’s rape and kidnapping is her secret. A secret that will bring her closer to Aleksey, a foreign, broody man. Lila does not trust him because his links to the troops and his rough, yet irresistible appearance. Aleksey offers Lila an alternative to her plans, a possibility that terrifies her…and tempts her in spite of herself.  All the while Lila will have to find a way to live in the constant company of death, slavery, starvation, sexual abuse and the danger of losing the people she loves the most. This book is recommended for readers over the age of 18 due to strong language and sexual content.

I am a bookaholic and regret nothing.

I spent years trying to become a contemporary dance choreographer. Eventually I realized that I enjoyed writing my stories rather than creating dances for them.
I am obsessed with books that present damaged characters, swoon worthy guys, controversial topics and happy endings.

Rey is the only man I can think of who can serve my purpose. He’s the only boy in town who doesn’t despise me. He even protects me. Hopefully, he won’t find a reason to protect me from himself.
I don’t want to develop feelings for my best friend.  Because of my plans, Rey has been in my thoughts constantly since the troops announced their arrival, and I hate it. To distract my mind from Rey, I venture a little further in the water current.
Feeling fresh now that I’m clean and shaved, my mood improves. I splash and swim in the water, allowing myself to relax and play.
If I swim to the other side, I might catch Divine and Joey making love in the river beach. Perhaps I should get a little bit of last minute instruction. 
A rumble brings me out of my reverie and then I hear some distant shots. My survival instincts wake up and I’m instantly alert.
More shots. It isn’t possible. Nobody in town has access to gun powder or explosives. You don’t get caught with them unless you want to get executed. They have to be soldiers. Patriot soldiers. 
Just then I hear sounds above the current noise. Steps on the river beach. I’m barely armed not to mention undressed and unprepared. My razors might keep Starville peeping toms at bay, but they’ll be useless against soldiers. 
I hear steps approaching and I wade away. In no time I find myself far from where I left my clothes. My best chance to safely get out of this situation is to avoid a fight. I can remain hidden if I move to the other side of the river behind the rocks. If soldiers see me so vulnerable and naked, I’m doomed. 
I need to hurry. I have to head home soon and make sure my dad and siblings are safe. 
The steps sound like they come from only one person but I can’t be sure. As they sound closer, I notice they come from my right. 
I don’t know what I’m more afraid of: the intruder being an armed soldier or the fact of being caught so exposed.
Trying to not splash attract attention, I put distance between me and the steps. Hiding behind some bushes and rocks, I submerge myself, leaving only my head above the water line. 
I stand still. Several minutes pass and I hear nothing. When I consider it safe to leave my hiding place, I swim, splashing as little as I can.
Then I notice something that makes my heart skip a beat.
I’m not the only person here.  There’s someone else treading the water.  I can’t see how many people are around, but I can hear as someone else splashes.
A feel of panic rushes hot through my veins.
I’m surprised no one’s attacked me yet.  Haven’t they seen me? Does the splashing come from Starvillers hiding from the shots as well?
For a moment there’s only silence. Then another shot startles me and I fight my body to keep calm. I swim as fast as I can, not caring about silence anymore. Better to put distance between myself and my possible enemies.  The water and the current make my escape slow. I reach a point where the water is only at my knees and I’m hiding behind a trunk.
Then I see him. 
A young man, so tall and built that for a moment, I think he’s Sasquatch minus the fur. The water only covers him around the thighs. No one in Starville, not even Rey, is so big or built. His strong muscles reveal years of military training and hint at the drug use that makes Patriot soldiers so inhumanly tall and big. Wet strands of sandy blond hair run down his broad shoulders. A tattoo on his back tells me he has been in combat and is to be respected. A soldier! Something tells me he’s alone.
My stomach clenches in panic. I’m terrified of Patriot soldiers. They are sadistic giants and killing machines. The tonics they take to build their muscles and stature make them extremely dangerous and violent. And horny.
I lose sight of him for a moment. He emerges in a different spot where the water is deeper. He is so tall, the water covers only up his waist while he’s standing. He must be at least seven feet tall. When he moves I can see his most private areas. Every part of him is enormous.
He’s in the very spot I left my clothes. I could wait for him to go, but what if others come to join him? What if they plan to camp here? I want to go home to check on my dad and the twins. The possibility of being discovered with no one to witness when he rapes me makes the hairs on the back of my neck prick. I won’t wait for the coast to be clear, risking discovery and gang rape.
He doesn’t seem to be in attack mode. The soldier is inclined and rubbing foam around his huge torso. He is bathing! I suspect he has a good reason to be unbothered by the shots. If he’s not startled, it’s likely whoever’s making the racket will take his side.
Suppressing the fear that runs through my veins, I force my mind to remain focused. For a moment, I consider attacking him while he’s so naked and defenseless. I’ve been practicing knife throwing with my rebel group. But I’m still learning and suck at it. I rarely hit the target. Besides, Sasquatch’s nakedness and apparent relaxed behavior are deceiving.  I’m armed while bathing, so he probably is too. What if he alerts his companions?
I don’t stand a chance fighting against a trained unit of steroid-injected soldiers. At this moment my only advantage is my knowledge of the hiding places of this river. And stealth. I can do stealth.
  He’s blocking the only way to get my clothes and the safer spot to get out of the river.  There’s a gargantuan rock behind him that reaches not far from where I’m hiding. If I could climb it unseen, I could get back my clothes and escape. The only other option is to swim to the other side, where the current is too strong.
The soldier submerges frequently and emerges several minutes after. I pay attention to the soldier’s face.  He looks extremely sad.  Sadness isn’t an emotion I associate with soldiers.
When he rubs his face with foam and closes his eyes, I silently approach the low part of the current and climb the rock. I’m still naked and holding a knife awkwardly. If I can pass him, I’ll hide on the other side and then dress completely unnoticed. 
I put my foot on the base of the rock. The water has made it smooth and slippery. There are few places to put my fingers and climb on. But I manage to climb my way up.   
When I’m almost at the top, I toss my knife over the rock to free my hands. From here I can confirm the soldier is by himself.  
Sasquatch is back under the water now and hasn’t resurfaced for a while. In spite of the danger, I’m impressed. He has lung capacity.  
The higher I climb, the less visible I become to him. He finally emerges to take air, but I hide until he goes back under.   
I’m close to my goal when my feet become slippery traitors. 
 I fall to the water below me. 
Butt first. Straight toward the soldier’s head.

Uncovering Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark + PAYPAL CASH GIVEAWAY {BOOK BLAST}

Uncover Cobbogoth
Norah Lukens needs to uncover the truth about the fabled lost city of Cobbogoth. After her archaeologist uncle’s murder, Norah is asked to translate his old research journal for evidence and discovers that his murder was a cover-up for something far more sinister. When she turns to neighbor and only friend James Riley for help, she realizes that not only is their bitter-sweet past haunting her every step, but James is keeping dangerous secrets. Can Norah discover what they are before its too late to share her own.

Hannah L. Clark lives with her husband and their son in the Rocky Mountains. She has always known she would be a storyteller. In 2006 she graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor’s degree in English and immediately began writing Uncovering Cobbogoth, the first book in a seven book series based on Clark's mythological brain-child, the Icelandic Legend of the Cobbogothians. Clark loves her family, running, mythology, laughing, soulful bluegrass music, road-trips, studying alternative medicine, retro hairdos, and growing things. Like her heroine Norah, she also kind of believes trees have souls, but must clarify (for her parents' sakes) that she was not raised by hippies. ;-)  

The Legend of the Cobbogothians is really where Uncovering Cobbogoth begins. For as long as Norah can remember, her Uncle Jack has been obsessed with the mythical people. He became an archeologist and world famous Myth-chaser because of the Cobbogothian legends he heard while visiting his Granddad Aegissida’s farm in Iceland.


 Long ago, at the beginning of time, a peculiar race ruled the earth. They found favor in the eyes of the gods and received great gifts of knowledge and power at their hands. These gifts made them elementalists—masters of earth, wind, fire, water, metal, wood and space. The elementalists thenceforth became rulers of the earth and sky. With this power came corruption, and the elementalists soon forgot their patron gods. Instead, they turned to worshipping themselves and their own creations. This angered the gods, and in their wrath, the vowed to bring an icy end to the prideful race. Rumors of the looming destruction were heralded throughout the land, and a final invitation was issued to the elementalists to renounce their fallen ways. Yet only a few heard and heeded. Among them was a man named Cobbogoth. Being a wise and humble servant of the gods, he believed the warnings and led all who would listen deep into the bowels of the earth to wait out the approaching storm. When the day of destruction was come and the wrath of the gods rained down, the race of elementalists was wiped away, and then came the dawning of a violent and frigid ide age. It is said that Cobbogoth’s posterity still lives beneath our feet, waiting to rise and rule the earth and sky once more. Sigurd Jorgensson Icelandic Bard, 1045 AD   *Translated from the original Old Norse by Dr. Jack A. Lukens of Harvard University, April 1975   

June 2014 {issue 9}

Fandom Monthly Magazine presents.....

June 2014