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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Deleted Scene From Bound to You

As you may or may not recall, the story of Bound to You begins several months after the death of scientist Layl North. His best friend, Jacks Baine, has taken a new job with Ferrell Terraforming and his new partner is corporate liaison Lia Bernardi. Jacks and Lia find themselves trapped on a deserted planet, and discover that the inhabitants of V-097 never really left. 

What we do NOT discover, however, is what happens to Mr. North. He appears as a ghost throughout the novel, assisting Jacks and Lia whenever he can. But...what happened to Layl when he finally "moved on?"

I've been toying with the idea for a book just for Layl, and it should come out next year once a few of my other obligations are completed. But I thought it might be fun to share this bit of Layl's story and give you a hint at what's coming down the line for him.

An Excerpt from Layl's Story:

The top of the mountain looked out over miles and miles of vast plains. Layl stood at the top and looked at the swirling pool of water at his feet. “What’s this?”
“Imagine a tunnel that extends between this plane and the others. The right push in the right direction and we deposit you into your new life.”
“If I’m not going to be reborn then what’s going to happen?” The rushing water made no sound, and when Layl stared into the water he could see that it seemed to empty into a pit with no discernable bottom.
“Sometimes the soul departs the body prematurely, in such a way that another could take its place.” The girl knelt to run her fingers into the flow. “That’s where you’ll go.”
“I’ll be me, though?”
“Oh, yes.” She smiled at him, and she was beautiful in her kindness and the goodness that seemed to shine from her. “You will occupy a new body, but you’ll remember everything.”
He crouched beside her at the edge of the pool. “I didn’t really do anything worth this.” He waved at the pool and the second chance she was offering. “Surely there’s someone else who’s more worthy than me.”
“The Illaran people disagree. Without you, Jacks and Lia would never have defeated Verhagnis and their souls would never have been released.” She tapped his chest again, over his heart. “Checks and balances, Mr. North. Checks and balances.”
Layl stared at the water. His throat was dry, his heart pounding in his ears.
“Are you ready?” his young companion asked. Her hand was soft on his shoulder. “Don’t worry. All will be well.”
He sucked in a deep breath. “Yeah. I’m ready.”

She leaned forward to press a kiss to his cheek. “Farewell, Mr. North. Have a good life.” And she pushed him into the water.


I hope you've enjoyed this peek into Layl's upcoming book. I look forward to writing Layl's story and to make sure he has the happily ever after that he deserves.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Good Advice on Writing Week 4: The Discipline of the Writer

Set aside time each day, or select days each week, and write. Don't wait until you're inspired, because if you do, you'll never finish anything.
-Christopher A. Bohialian

I've discovered a lot about myself as a person since I've begun my journey as a published writer. For many years after I got my first "real" job and started my family, I didn't make time for writing. I was doing what I loved (working in healthcare) and raising my daughters. One day I sat down at the computer and decided I was going to try "that writing thing" again. I wrote three novels that, admittedly, weren't very good structurally, in a very short time. Still, I never planned to try to publish my work.

I decided to begin posting a bit of a story on Facebook, and my mother was adamant that I finish it. I sat down and wrote out the novel of fallen angels, a mythical KEY, and forbidden love. It turned out my story wasn't all that bad! I decided to look into publishing my work with a small press to get my foot in the door of the publishing world. After a few months of submitting my work...I got a publishing offer! The rest is history. I've since published ten novels and numerous short stories and novellas, and I feel that with each new work my sense of voice, craft and style got stronger. 

The thing that hasn't improved is my discipline. I've never been what you might call a "plotter", and I dislike trying to outline my stories before I sit down to write them. From time to time, the issue is that I just won't sit down to write! There's always tv to watch, laundry to wash, meals to cook and a myriad of other reasons that are all really just excuses to stop me from writing! Why would I do that to myself? Writing, like any job without strict supervision, requires willpower and dedication. It also requires a strict discipline. As suggested above, I've tried to combat this lack of will with a schedule. At the beginning of the week I know which days I have my afternoons and nights available for writing, and I make sure that I don't allow myself to make excuses NOT to write. This has been a very difficult thing to learn how to do, and it is harder than sticking to a diet or avoiding the mall when I'm low on cash! 

The best advice I can give is exactly the same advice that Mr. Bohialian gives. Make a schedule and stick to it. Know when you can write in your ideal environment without distractions, and take away everything that can possibly distract you. Lock doors, unplug the television and turn off your phone. Don't let YOU get in the way of you. A writer's best product is his writing, and you can't be a published author without a book to sell! 

Thanks for joining me on Amy Reads & Writes, and I hope to have you all stop by my upcoming YouTube channel debut. I will be reading passages from my favorite books and discussing how they made me feel, what I think they mean and my take on the book. I look forward to discussing my favorite books with everyone!

Happy Reading! 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Cyborg Sunday: The Women of Aeon Project

The Women of Aeon Project

Oh! Hello again! I see my cyborgs have kidnapped..er..coerced...er invited you back to visit with me today and I'm so happy to see you. We've talked about the men of the Aeon Project series in our last few visits and today's talk is about the women of the series. 

Aeon Project began with the Apparatic Monks. Their deep appreciation for life gave them the idea that their mission was to protect, prolong and improve life across the universe. Using cybernetics, they took the first few volunteers for their project from among the zealous followers with similar appreciation for the sanctity of life. 

Jump ahead in the project to the point where the Terran government learned of the success the monks were having, and decided that they needed to have Aeon Project for themselves. When the government took over the project by force, the men and women involved in the project were repurposed as the new wave of super-soldier for the Terran's frequent wars. 

The women of Aeon Project come into the story at the point when our project members have escaped their Command Programming and are trying to find their place in the galaxy again while remaining out of the hands of the Terran government. In short, our heroines are going to bring the light back into their lives and their hearts.

Sharyn: An Enduring Sun

Sharyn is a Ranger, an elite operative of the ERCAn Ag Corporation. In their constant war with the Rissid Corp, Sharyn has seen far too many children left orphaned, broken and alone. She runs an orphanage for the children of ERCA and swears to protect them from any further harm. 

When Sharyn is sent on a mission, she meets the enigmatic man named Ren. Despite his secretive nature, Sharyn is attracted to the handsome stranger. Through harrowing danger and desperate times, Ren and Sharyn find something together that neither one of them expected.

Yurie: Dark Star

Yurie Kilowie was taken from the squalor of her tenement as a child and raised by the Apparatic Monks. Educated and sheltered, she had no idea that the monks were preparing her for a particular experiment; copulate and have children with one of the cyborgs of the Aeon Project. Despite being used as nothing more than a brood mare, Yurie came to care for her chosen mate and they even found a bit of happiness together as they became the parents of four sons. 

The Terran government took over Aeon, and demanded that she use her knowledge of programming to create and implement Command Programming to control the cyborgs created by the monks. With no other choice, Yurie did as they asked and doomed both her mate and her sons to the loss of their free will. When they took her mate and sons away, Yurie was imprisoned inside cryostasis and believed dead by her family. 

Yurie returns to the story when Primary One, her mate, learns that she is still alive. Together they explore their past, their future and all the possibilities that lie ahead.

Gus: Decaying Orbit

Augustin Mureou worships cybernetics. The people of her sector, the Alluree, believe that body modification is the next step to evolution and one step closer to perfection. Augmented herself, Gus is one of the galaxy's leading scientific minds in regards to cybernetics. When her old friend Sharyn contacts her, desperate to save her friend, Gus agrees to help her without a second thought. Strange, that a man might swallow a bomb, but she was likely the only person with the know-how to remove it without killing him. Unfortunately, Sharyn and her friend show up to Gus' lab at the Debilliton University just as the planet goes into the throes of civil war. Trapped in her lab with the dying man, Gus must use all her wits and skill to save his life. Did she mention he's the sexiest man she's ever seen and he makes her body tingle like no amount of cybernetics ever could?

Samaira: Resonance

We first meet Samaira at the end of Decaying Orbit when she and Sevyn have a bit of a run-in while Sevyn and his brothers are attempting to escape the planet. A freedom fighter and devout worshiper of the Pythar God, Risik, Samaira believes herself to be on a mission of the utmost importance. Nothing has ever swayed her from her path until she locks eyes with the stunning man with hair the color of moonlight. She has no idea who he is, or why he haunts her dreams every night after, but she knows that if she ever sees him again she will have no choice but to kill him as Risik demands. 

Dechtire: Escape Velocity

Dechtire (deck-tier-ah) is the voice in the night for our hero, Q. When they talk over their lost radio frequencies it seems like nothing else matters in the universe. Unfortunately for Dechtire, her life is far from easy. Banished to a desert outpost with her father, far from other civilizations, she is lonely, angry and sad. Her face terribly scarred from an accident, Dechtire aches for normalcy she knows she will never have. And the one person who seems to like her, the one person she has shared her inner thoughts with, would kill her in an instant if he found out who she really is. Because Dechtire's father isn't just another soldier. He's a General. And he was once in charge of Aeon Project. For Q and all his brothers, she and her father can never be more than the enemy. 


I truly hope you've enjoyed this look at the women of Aeon Project and a bit of a peek at what is coming down the line for our heroes. An Enduring Sun is available now, and Dark Star is with the editor! I'm hard at work on Decaying Orbit and Gus is an amazing character to write! I look forward to having all 5 of the Aeon Project books available to you by Summer 2018. As always, thanks for stopping by for Cyborg Sunday. Please don't forget to comment, email or pop by Facebook if you want to chat. 

Conversion for all or life for none. 

PS: I am currently working on a new VLOG that will work in conjunction with this blog. I plan to read passages from my favorite books and talk to the audience about why I like it, what it means to me and so forth. Please stay tuned for videos from Amy Reads & Writes and don't hesitate to let me know how you like them, and where you think I should go next! ~AR

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sneak Peek: Stone Guardian (Witches Amulet Book One) by Paulina Woods

A Sneak Peek into Stone Guardian

Milcah was born to rule. Stolen soon after birth, her magic was locked and she was forced to live a normal life, with no knowledge of her heritage.

Raised by a detached parent, she learned to depend on herself and her best friend, Mary, for support. While on a road trip across country she's forced to find shelter in an abandoned town called Beacon.

She finds her destiny and learns about her past which will lead to the salvation or damnation of the world, and a mate who can give her everything her heart desires.


“I see you have finally opened your eyes,” a deep voice stated, making her jump and turn toward the sound. As soon as she turned the pain in her head throbbed and her stomach rebelled, and she started dry heaving. Not wanting to mess up the very expensive bed and feeling really embarrassed, Milcah twisted and tried to scoot closer to the side of the bed. A strong arm circled her waist and helped her maneuver until she was leaning over a wastebasket. When her stomach finally settled, all she could think of was what a mess she must look. Her hair was flat in the back from where she had laid on it, her eyes had to be puffy, and her mouth tasted like shit and had to smell like it too. But there was no use hiding, so she looked up and almost screamed.
The man—no, the creature—standing over her was huge. He was bending down so his face was close to hers and she could see every detail. Long, black hair had been pulled back into a ponytail to reveal long, pointed ears and two large horns right above his temples. His skin was a bluish gray and looked like leather. A movement behind him caught Milcah’s eyes and she noticed his beautiful, almost transparent wings. Swallowing hard, she forced herself to meet his gaze. Striking gold with brown shooting from the center, his eyes were beautiful.
“I guess I wasn’t dreaming earlier?” Milcah croaked before clearing her throat.
The smile on his lips looked more like a grimace. “No. We were not properly introduced. I am Jarod, General of the gargoyle King Machisadis’s armies and elite Guardian. How are you feeling?”
“I’m feeling much better now that my stomach isn’t trying to climb out my throat.” Giving a little laugh, Milcah tried to sit up again but her head swam. “I’m Milcah, by the way. Why do I feel as if I have been run over by a truck?”
At first Jarod looked confused. “That is my fault, I believe. I didn’t have time to prepare you for travel through the portal. Many of my warriors needed to be taken to the healers immediately. I am forever grateful to you for helping us get home.”
“What portal? Where am I?” Feeling hysteria rising, she closed her eyes and concentrated on breathing.
“You are in the realm of the Guardians. A parallel plane to your world, which can only be reached by means of travel through interdimensional portals.” Jarod stood up and paced a few steps away.
Now Milcah could see all of him and he was impressive. His back muscles bunched as he paced and his wings, tucked close to his body, seemed to twitch. His strong thighs and calves ended on clawed feet. He was beautiful, that was the only way she knew to describe him. Rubbing her temples, Milcah thought of Neon and Mary, the only two beings left in the world who cared about her. “How do I get home? I have to take care of my dog and I’m sure my best friend is looking for me. I was supposed to call her when I reached my destination.”
“You need more rest. You have been unresponsive for three days.” Jarod turned back toward the bed.
“Three days?” Milcah sat up quickly and immediately regretted it as the cover slipped and she noticed she wasn’t wearing anything. She grabbed the covers and glanced up in time to catch his eyes fixed on her breast. “Jarod, where’s my clothes? Jarod!” Jarod jerked his head away and blinked his eyes, as if he was coming out of a trance.

About Paulina:

Some people write because they love it, others because it pays the bills but for Paulina it's a compulsion. Even before she published her first book she carried around notebooks to write in and could be found lost in thought as she scribbled away. From funny to dark, her thoughts flowed from her fingertips like water from an undying well. When she finally decided to publish it felt natural. This was what all her writing had been about over the years.
Her world may be a little dark and scary. Sometimes it may seem like she has fallen deep into a pool of despair but each character, each moment has been predestined from the beginning of time.

Find Paulina:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sneak Peek: Maiden of Fire by Ishabelle Torry

Maiden of Fire by Ishabelle Torry

I've featured Maiden on my blog before, but this is a special sneak peek into the novel, available now from author Ishabelle Torry! If you love historical SF/F with dystopian themes, this books is for you.

Jalomar’s temper rose as he reclined himself back on the chair’s two back legs and waited for Ramona to appear. He’d summoned her to the library hours ago to discuss the events leading to her entrapment. Based on reports from his men and his own personal observations from afar as she settled in, he no longer believed her to be the Fiery Maiden. The legendary being was recorded to be a warrior, something her mannerism fell far short of. Aside from an obnoxious laugh and a foul mouth, she displayed nothing other than ordinary female qualities.

A timid knock, immediately followed by the tardy Ramona, startled Jalomar and caused him to lose balance. The chair fell backwards with a loud thump; a last minute leap saved him from tumbling with it. “It’s about time, milady,” he growled.

“I came as soon as I was able to,” she responded sweetly.

He noticed her servant’s attire, minus the white apron, but chose to ignore it. “I am certain you did.”

She crossed her arms. “What's up? Your gofer said it was important.”

“By gofer, I assume you’re referring to Kald. But aye, it’s a matter of importance.”

“Yeah, then shoot .”

“Shoot what?”

She pursed her lips. “Say what you need to say, Jalo. Meg and I have plans.”

Jalo? Did the woman purposely disrespect his title? He'd let the indiscretion pass. This time. She'd learn soon enough the customs of his kingdom. He returned his focus back to the task—dispelling the Fiery Maiden myth. “What were you and the others doing beneath so much rubble?”

Emerald eyes mocked him. “Taking a vacation. What the hell do you think we were doing? We were taking cover for our lives.”

“What were you running from? Whom were you escaping?”

“Umm, the same as everyone else…an asteroid named Abaddon. Why the redundancy, Jalomar?”

“Lord Jalomar, or milord,” he scolded this time around. He rounded the desk and snatched up an open text book. So much for an easy solution. She was obviously well learned and knew her history. “What kind of warrior are you?”

“Warrior? More like a student.”

He looked her up and down. Those puny arms could never hold a sword. A scholar fit perfect. “Who is your teacher?”

“I've had several. What’s with the third degree?”

“Third degree? Are you a potter as well?”

She tapped her feet. “No. My turn for twenty questions. Why are refusing to acknowledge the bombardment?”

“Why are you pretending to be the Fiery Maiden?”

“Who?” She threw her arms into the air. “Is that what all this maiden calling is about?”

“Aye, and you know it is. The legend of the maiden is common knowledge, and that unnatural color of hair you possess makes it easy to accomplish.”

“You’re insane. I'm outta here.” She turned to leave.

He closed the gap with three long strides and snatched her back by the upper arm. “I have not dismissed you, milady.”

She whirled around, fury contorting her lips. “Dismissed me? Are you fucking serious? Dude, I know we're currently living in a castle due to the end of the world thing, but seriously? Dismiss me? The Dark Ages have passed, and I highly doubt they're coming back.” She jerked her arm free. “And this whole I am the master of blah blah blah isn't working either.”

Her rant fell on deaf ears. Jalomar couldn’t help but stare at her bright red locks—her link to the prophesy. Beautiful. Vibrant. Tempting. Unnatural.

Majikal…just like the lights surrounding her arrival. He let out a deep growl. How could he not have seen it before? Damn her. He’d let her comely face distract him from seeing the truth of her real identity. He clenched his fists and inhaled deeply.
“Labelle sent you. You’re Labelle’s spy!”

“Who’s Labelle?”

“Don’t continue to lie to me, woman,” he snarled. “You are Labelle’s spy. Did you think a little dark majik to change your hair color would fool everyone for long?”

“My hair makes me a spy? You’re nuts. It’s hair dye. Women use it all the time to alter their natural color.”

He snorted. Nonsense. Who would purposefully discolor their hair for no reason? “Labelle sent you. Admit it, and I may be inclined to show leniency.”

“Fuck you.”

Jalomar raised his hand as if to strike her, but instead grabbed the loose hair at the nape of her neck and pulled her fully into him. She tried to collapse, but he held her firmly, ignoring the look of fear in her beguiling emerald orbs. Every part of him wanted to punish her for her deceit, but the idea of causing her pain turned his stomach into knots. His mouth rested a hairsbreadth from hers, he couldn’t resist brushing his lips against hers. “I will not hit a woman, spy or not. But be warned, milady. There are many among my men who will. I advise you to choose your words carefully while in the dungeons. Some may even take your choice phrases as an offer.”

“You wouldn’t? Let me go!” She lifted her leg in an attempt to clip his genitals, but he prevented the blow by catching her foot between his thighs. After several more attempts, she gave up and stood motionless against him.

“I’ll let you go if you promise to remain calm.”

She said nothing. He hoped for a denial, proof of innocence. He’d much rather lock the comely wench in his bedchamber than a dark and damp prison. The feel of her curves pressed against his body excited all of his senses. She remained close-lipped, breathing heavily in her guilt.

Jalomar released her, unable to concentrate with her so close. He returned to the desk, and snatched up the book containing the Fiery Maiden’s legend. He flipped through the pages without really looking. Since ascending the throne, he’d never had to imprison a woman. But what was he to do with her? She couldn’t be freed with the knowledge she’d gained of his defenses. By the Vespa. His only option was taking her into custody. He continued to peruse the pages in an effort to find another solution. He froze several pages over. “This cannot be,” he whispered. “Nay…it’s all wrong.”

“What can’t be?” she demanded from across the room. “What’s going on in this place? And for the love of God, what and where is this place? Goddammit! Answer me!”

He placed the book on the desk and motioned her closer. Humility silenced his anger. His fingers pointed to the passage he'd just read. “Read this here.”

Ramona crept to the desk; untrusting eyes watched him. She shook her head in denial as she read the text. “That’s absurd! You’re stupid to think I’ll believe this!” She fell to her knees. “It’s stupid…absurd…a joke, right?”

Jalomar stiffened. If only it were a jest.

He patiently waited for her to turn the page.

About Ishabelle:

When Ishabelle Torry stole Warrior’s Lady by Madeline Baker from her mother’s glass “no-no” cabinet at the age of fourteen, she had no idea it would be the start of a love affair with romance that would last a lifetime… so far! She loved the escapism from the real world, the strong and relatable characters and the powerful concept of love conquering all. Even having her scorching books confiscated at school couldn’t cool her passion for them and she swore that one day she would also write the kinds of stories that kept people turning the pages no matter where they were!

Find Ishabelle:

Twitter: @IshabelleT


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