About JessicaS

I love a variety of books from romances, to teen fantasy, to horror. I enjoy the artwork and storylines in graphic novels, and have been known to pick up childrens' books if the book description hooks me.

BOOK BLITZ: Climate of Monsters by Mitchell Sanders #SupernaturalThriller #Horror @RABTBookTours @MSanders_author

Climate of Monsters Series, Book One

Suspense, Dark Fantasy, Supernatural Thriller, Horror

 Published: June 28, 2022

 

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Climate of Monster is a book of two incredible but unlikely heroes that
intertwine to fight legendary mythical monsters and new creations that are
rampant due to climate change. Our heroes include a young Italian master
swordsman, and a dangerous Swedish woman who is both a special forces expert
and medical doctor. Book 1: Friulian Son features incredible monsters that
are larger than life: from biker werewolves, sea monsters, anthropomorphic
squirrels, and a human hybrid cuttlefish (among many others).

Book Two Climate of Monsters: Breath of Fire is due out later in
2023.

 

About the Author

Mitchell Sanders is just another ordinary individual. As a scientist and
serial entrepreneur, in his spare time he enjoys reading and writing horror
books. His inspirations come from his lovely wife and best friend,
Elisabeth, and three children and three grandchildren, who encouraged him to
write and finish his first book. Mitch spent a good portion of his life
studying biomedical sciences and advanced wound care. He has a BA in biology
from Boston University with a minor in Latin language and literature, and an
MS in molecular biology and a PhD in biomedical sciences, both from
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Mitch did two postdocs at the
Whitehead Institute / MIT, a world-renowned nonprofit research institution
dedicated to improving human health through basic biomedical research. Mitch
is a worldwide expert in wound repair and regeneration. Mitch was formerly
founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of a diagnostic company for
sixteen years and is currently the chief scientifi

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SPOTLIGHT – Taken by the Cyclops by Megan Slayer #UrbanFantasy #NewAdult @MeganSlayer @changelingpress

Piper wanted nothing more than to escape the life she’d come to know, full of abuse and danger — certainly not love. When she drives to Eerie, she’s convinced she’ll get a fresh start. What she doesn’t expect is Diesel.

Diesel believes he’s not worthy of love, but when he looks at Piper, he wants more than to protect her. He wants to own her — body and soul. There’s just one problem. He’s a cyclops — dangerous, destructive and hated. He’s done things he knows are unforgivable.

Will the sweet runaway find the love she deserves in the monster she’s found? Or will the monster from her past catch up and ruin her chances at the future she craves?

Now available at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2023 Megan Slayer

Just let me get there. Piper sped through the night, checking the rearview mirror every few seconds just in case he’d followed her. She’d tossed her phone a hundred miles ago, but her wad of cash wouldn’t hold out forever. He’d see she’d taken her life savings — a whopping thousand dollars — and run. She had to get to Eerie. Anything was better than where she’d come from.

Her life wouldn’t get much better in the new town, but she’d get away from John. He was a bully, and she’d been a fool to hook up with him.

She sped on, blowing past the posted speed limit sign and praying the cops hadn’t seen her. Then again, a night in jail would be better than being with John.

She tugged her sleeve down to hide her bruises. God. She was a smart person and strong, but she’d allowed him to put his hands on her. He’d convinced her she deserved the treatment.

Even alone in the car, she could hear his voice in her mind.

Never going to do better than me.

You don’t deserve anyone else.

You’re bringing me down to be with you, but no one wants you.

You’re a waste of a person.

You’re a piece of shit.

Worthless.

Whore.

Her tears clogged in her throat. Her sex life hadn’t been his business before she’d met him and had gone to nothing once she’d become his punching bag. She’d only ever had three lovers before she met John.

He’d been her undoing. He’d convinced her to quit her studies and change her appearance, and he’d hurt her. What kind of man did that?

John did.

She spotted the village limit sign and gunned the engine.

Eerie was the place for paranormal creatures to belong — so she’d been told. She’d heard stories of having Faerie blood. Did she? She hoped so. If she truly did, she’d be able to pass the village limit into Eerie. If not, then she’d been lied to, and she’d have to find somewhere else to hide.

Right now, she had to focus on the sign. She sped forward and held her breath.

The second she passed the yellow line on the road, she expected to be in the middle of a field or bland road. Instead, she rolled down the quaint street filled with closed shops, a restaurant, and even a drive-in theater. The place was cute — in a dark and slightly scary fashion.

At least she was here. That rumor about Faerie blood must’ve been true.

She didn’t hit the accelerator and instead coasted along the main drag through the village.

The place sort of reminded her of photos she’d seen of the 1950s small towns with lots of little businesses, neon signs, wide sidewalks, and eclectic names on the buildings — Nan’s Nothings, Curiosity Closet, Hot Dogs Dog Wash, Witch’s Brew Coffee… She’d bet the place was pretty in the light of day.

But no one who wasn’t a paranormal creature would be able to see it.

She spotted a hotel on the city square and pulled into one of the parking spots. She’d tucked what was left of her hair into a baseball cap and wore thick gloves — anything to disguise her appearance. If John found her now, then she’d have to find another safe place and work out another disguise.

She tossed the gloves and hat onto the passenger seat, then grabbed her purse. For all she knew, she’d be turned away at the front desk. She didn’t exactly look like someone who could afford a night at the posh hotel.

Being new in town, she might stick out too much, too.

She braced herself and headed into the hotel. She had a backup plan in case she got tossed but hoped that wouldn’t happen.

A woman with flame-red hair and faint, actual wings stood behind the counter. “Welcome to Eerie. How can I help you?”

“I need a room for the night, please?” She signed, then rummaged through her purse for some money and her ID. “I mean, I’d like a room, please?”

“Sure.” The woman swept her gaze over Piper. “You’re not from around here. How’d you find us?”

“My great-grandmother married a Fae. I never met either one of them, but I’ve been told stories.” She produced her ID card and fisted the small wad of cash.

“Do you have a credit card?” The woman eyed Piper’s ID. “We prefer a card to hold the room — that and in the event you destroy the property.”

“I don’t have a credit card.” She’d left hers at the apartment and tossed her phone along the road, hoping it’d be smashed by a passing car. Besides, she hadn’t wanted John to find her, and the quickest way to track someone outside of their phone was their use of a credit card.

“Just a moment.” The woman spoke softly into a tiny mic clipped to her shiny blue blouse.

The longer Piper had to wait, the lower her heart sank. She truly doubted she’d ever get away from John, but the odds he’d find her here had to be just about nil. He could be persistent, and if he thought he’d been shafted, he’d be tenacious. Nothing about him surprised her any longer, either.

She put her money back into her purse and held onto her ID.

“Okay.” The woman nodded and produced a swipe card. “I’ll give you a room for the night.”

“Thank you.” She had no idea how happy she’d made Piper. A place to stay that wasn’t the lumpy front seat of the shit car she’d bought for five hundred dollars.

“Don’t thank me yet.” The redhead crooked her over-drawn eyebrow. “You’re a stranger in town.”

“I know.” Piper squirmed under her gaze. Jesus. She hated being nervous.

“And we don’t always take to strangers. You never know why they’re here,” the woman said. “So for now, you’ll have a handler.”

ABOUT MEGAN SLAYER

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

Megan’s Website | Facebook | BookBub

RELEASE BLITZ: Blood of my Monster by Rina Kent #DarkRomance #Mafia #ForcedProximity #Military @valentine_pr_ @AuthorRina

I’m out for revenge. He’s out to rule the world.

Kirill and I are as different as day and night.

We shouldn’t have been in the same frame or universe.

But we meet under the strangest circumstances.

He’s my superior in the military and the man who’ll introduce me to carnage.

His charm and exterior perfection shouldn’t have tempted me.

Behind the smokescreen lurks a manipulative emotionless monster.

And that monster might find out all my secrets, including the reason why I’m pretending to be a man.

He might also lure me to the point of no return.

Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: https://bit.ly/3Pd516I

Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/BloodOfMyMonster

Special Edition Paperback: https://mybook.to/SEBloodOfMyMonster

Hardcover: https://mybook.to/BoMMHardcover

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3Ydq510

Meet Rina


Rina Kent is an international bestselling author of everything enemies to lovers romance.
Darkness is her playground, suspense is her best friend, and twists are her brain’s food. However, she likes to think she’s a romantic at heart in some way, so don’t kill her hopes just yet.
Her heroes are anti-heroes and villains because she was always the weirdo who fell in love with the guys no one roots for. Her books are sprinkled with a touch of mystery, a healthy dose of angst, a pinch of violence, and lots of intense passion.
Rina spends her private days in a peaceful town in North Africa daydreaming about the next plot idea or laughing like an evil mastermind when those ideas come together.

Connect with Rina

Website: https://www.rinakent.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18697906.Rina_Kent

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rina-Kent/e/B07MM54G22

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rinaakent/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rinakent.club/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/author_rina/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorRina

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@author.rinakent

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rina-kent

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/AuthorRina/

RELEASE BLITZ: Captain of Second Chances #HistoricalRomance #regency @RABTBookTours

Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Clean & Wholesome

Date Published: January 26, 2023

 

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In this sweet Regency romance by USA Today bestselling author Jennifer
Monroe, a young woman fights for a second chance with a former captain who
is haunted by his past.

 

A Captain lost at sea

After a devastating shipwreck kills several of his crewmen, Captain Luke
Bannerman has sworn off all aspects of his former life—including Miss
Ruth Lockhart, the flaming-haired beauty he once loved. Now working for the
Bow Street Runners, Luke is sent to the small village of Chatsworth to
investigate a decades-old murder in-volving the headmistress of the very
school Ruth attends. Although he has a duty to fulfill, the old feelings he
has shut away resurface, mak-ing him reconsider what he has cast
off…

 

Her love will bring him home

Miss Ruth Lockhart once dreamed of marrying Captain Bannermann and sailing
the high seas. But a heartbreaking letter brought that dream to a crashing
end. When the handsome Luke unexpectantly reappears, Ruth finds the strong
and gentle man gone, replaced by one who is broken and lost. Although her
heart yearns for a second chance, Ruth knows the cost of having her captain
returned to her may prove to be more than she can pay.

 

Only the truth will calm a storm of secrets…

Suspecting a second chance is on the horizon, Ruth aids Luke in the search
for the truth. But as the investigation unfolds, Ruth realizes her own
secrets may be the very thing that will keep them apart.

As for Luke, he must decide which man he wants to be—the brave
captain Ruth once knew or the Bow Street Runner who uncovers an unsettling
truth that could ruin their chance at happiness…

 

 

Sisterhood of Secrets Series

 

#1 Duke of Madness

#2 Baron of Rake Street

#3 Marquess of Magic

#4 Earl of Deception

#5 Knight of Destiny

#6 Captain of Second Chances

 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Monroe writes Regency romances you
can’t resist. Her stories are filled with first loves and second
chances, dashing dukes, and strong heroines. Each turn of the page promises
an adventure in love and many late nights of reading.

With over twenty books published, her nine-part series, The Secrets of
Scarlett Hall, which tells the stories of the Lambert Children, remain a
favorite with her readers.

 

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PREORDER: Henry (Devoted Guardians MC) by Harley Wylde & Jessica Coulter Smith #mcromance #shifters #PNR #Fantasy @HarleyW_Writer @kitcatjms @changelingpress

Henry (Devoted Guardians MC) by Harley Wylde and Jessica Coulter Smith

Genres/Themes: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Shifters, Mages

Preorder for February 24th at…

Amazon – https://amzn.to/3XFvNHQ

B&N Nook – https://bit.ly/3HqiQwl

Kobo/Walmart – http://bit.ly/3ws7EJf

Apple Books – https://apple.co/3Wx6BlC

Add to your Goodreads – http://bit.ly/3Hn9Rfa

Add to BookBub – http://bit.ly/3XNO5qh

Get it February 17th at Changeling Press

http://bit.ly/3GZ0eC6

ABOUT THE BOOK

Raya — Elias kidnapped me nearly a decade ago and used me for his awful experiments. His goal: to create a superior race. How could that possibly go wrong? Now I’m no longer fully human and I’ve lived a life in hell. But I adore my two kids, no matter how they were conceived. I thought we’d die before we ever found freedom, but it arrived in the most unexpected way. The big biker shifter is scary as hell, but it’s either go with him, or remain chained and starving.

Henry — The dark mage killed my mate and unborn child. There’s nothing I want more than revenge. It never occurred to me he’d have a woman and kids chained in his cellar. They reek of black magick, enough so, I hated them on sight. I’d planned to leave them behind. Until I heard their story. My club won’t be happy when I walk in with three people covered in the stench of black magick. But something unexpected happens when I catch Raya’s true scent. She’s my fated mate, and now I have the difficult task of not only gaining her trust, but the children’s as well.

WARNING: Contains subject matter some readers may find difficult to read. Recommended for ages 18+ due to adult situations, bad language, and violence. Guaranteed happily-ever-after, no cheating, and no cliffhanger.

∙∘☽ SNEAK PEEK ☾∘∙

Copyright 2023, Harley Wylde

“He’s been gone a while,” Logan said. “He didn’t forget us, did he? I’m not sure starving to death is much better than suffering whatever he’s planned for us.”

With no windows, I couldn’t tell what time of day it was by now. However, my butt had gone numb from sitting on the hard ground. I had to have been down here for more than an hour. I listened intently, wondering if Elias had managed to quietly return. Minutes ticked by, and when I was going to give up, I heard booted steps. They seemed to scout the entire house.

Would they find the hidden door to the cellar? Did we want them to? I caught Logan’s gaze, and he gave me a slight nod. Whatever he sensed seemed to make him feel as if the person upstairs wouldn’t harm us.

“Help! Please, we’re down here!” I yelled as loud as I could. By the fifth time I’d called out, the door at the top of the stairs opened and a large silhouette moved toward us. My breath caught when the man approached. I couldn’t tell his age and depending on what he was, he could have been hundreds of years old and still appeared young.

“What the f**k?” he muttered. His gaze narrowed on me before shifting to my children. I held them tighter, wondering if I’d made a mistake by calling for help. “Who are you?”

“A slave,” I said. “And these are my children.”

He scented the air, and a low growl came from him. “Dark mages.”

I shook my head. “No. At least, not entirely. If you could please release us and get us upstairs, I’ll tell you everything.”

Did you miss book one?
Click the cover to find out more…

COVER REVEAL: A Kingdom of Death & Despair by Whitney Dean #FantasyRomance @XpressoTours

A Kingdom of Death and Despair
Whitney Dean
Publication date: June 27th 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Once upon a time, there was a half-witch of three
who walked on the land where creatures roamed free.

Once upon a time, there was a prince of one
who danced with the waves under the sun.

Once upon a time, there was a prince of two
who hid amongst the shadows where fear only grew

But when time became impatient, a prophecy was conceived of twins born of darkness
who would live their lives aggrieved
but coupled with their misery was the answer all sought
but the question remained, which one would be left to rot?

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

ART COVER:


Author Bio:

Whitney grew up reading books from all genres, but her favorite has always been anything within the fantasy realm. Now, she’s living her dream and creating new worlds for readers to get lost in.

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RELEASE BLITZ: One Soul’s Journey by Barbara Daniels Dean #shortstories #humor @RABTBookTours @barbdena5424

Second Collection of Short Stories Book 2 of The Soul Series

Fictional Humor Short Stories

Date Published: 01-25-2023

Publisher: Magic Zoe Publishing

One Soul’s Journey is an eclectic and extraordinary collection of short
stories.

The ingredients: imagination, a dash of real life, inspiration, and lots of
love. If you’ve read and loved her first collection, “For the
Soul,” this book will delight you.

Praise for The Soul Series

5.0 out of 5 stars

“Delightfully charming short stories”

“Excellent book. A must-read”

About the Author


Barbara Daniels Dena is an American best-selling author and influential
writer of her eclectic short stories in ‘The Soul Series.’

The author’s stories are almost a memoir and are a unique collection of
inspiring short stories of ‘good ole fashioned living,’ along with many past
and present memories and life experiences that tug on the heart, warming
stories, and fictional tall tales and doggie tails delighting readers
worldwide. The books are available on Amazon Books, Kindle, and many fine
online book sites.

Barbara began writing at an early age as a lover of
“Make-Believe.” Today, her writing has developed from memories of
family experiences, various compilations of events in her life, and her love
of animals. She is willing to admit that her vivid imagination plays a role
in her stories. The author is an Illinois native who has lived in many
places; as Barb says, like a free-spirited “Gypsy,” she has lived
and worked in Illinois, Washington, Idaho, and Georgia, but Ultimately,
comes home settling back in the Quad Cities area of Illinois.

She is a proud mother of two grown children. She was a business owner, ran
a Temp Agency, transitioned into her passion for floral design, and opened,
owned, and ran several floral shops. Her favorite flower is the
“Casablanca Lily.” Her favorite color is Red, and when she isn’t
writing, Barbara spends her free time oil painting and enjoys quilting,
knitting, and reading.

Her favorite book is “Death Be Not Proud” by John J. Gunther. Her
first love will always be playing with her fur baby; a little Yorkie named
Zoe. She continues to write from her cozy nook as she gazes over a pond full
of geese and ducks. On many days it is more gazing than writing.

 

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COVER REVEAL: Jonah (Somnolence) by Ali Lucia Sky #PNR #coverreveal #NewAdult @XpressoTours @AliLuciaSky1

Jonah
Ali Lucia Sky
(Somnolence, #3)
Publication date: February 14th 2023
Genres: Adult, New Adult, Paranormal

The most heartbreaking truth is finding that you aren’t the master of your own destiny.

Lizzy Phillips is healing from an attack that she suffered at a Somnolence concert years ago, and struggling with facts that came to light during the last tour. Feeling like the odd girl out, she can’t find her footing in this world.

The only thing Jonah Creed has ever known is that Lizzy and he are Written in the Stars. They are destined to be, and knowing she’s his Tether only reaffirms that. Until she ran from his arms during the last tour.

Now he has her back, but she’s not what either of them expected and they both have hungers to feed.

Please be advised by the trigger warning inside the book.

It’s recommended that you read the series in order beginning with RAIDEN.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

Author Bio:

Ali Lucia Sky is the author of The Powers That Be and Somnolence series. She lives in Southern California with her husband and a house full of kitty cats, a yard full of crows, a backyard of ferals and a possum affectionately named Garcia.

She loves laughing, drinking good coffee, vegan food, and supporting animal rescues.

When she isn’t writing or dreaming of new stories, she can be found planning her next vacation because traveling is life.

If you encounter her in the wild, don’t be offended if she should run away. She’s timid with strangers, but can be plied with shiny things and pictures of your cat or dog.

She’s a weirdo like that.

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Aliens, Shifters, and More… Find your next book boyfriend! #SFR #PNR #Fantasy #Aliens #shifters

Two enemies unable to fight each other’s pull. Love will either bind them to Heaven or curse them to Hell…

After being marked by his father and thrown into the land of Nod, Cain’s wrath and vengeance know no bounds.

Finding a tentative place in Lucifer’s army, Cain longs to become a dark angel, crash through the gates of Heaven, and deliver retribution.

Lucifer assures Cain he’ll finally earn long-coveted wings once Cain captures Phoebe–the only human immune to his mark and stirs emotion in his dark heart–if Cain can deliver her to Hell.

Torn between the burning hatred for his father and a consuming obsession for Phoebe, Cain is faced with an irreversible, life-shattering choice.

READ IT WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED

This is not the alien I wanted…

My whole life, I’ve wanted to compete in the Alien Bride Games. So when my name is drawn in the Alien Bride Lottery, I’m ecstatic. With any luck, I’ll get one of the hot, giant aliens I’ve been admiring for ages.

And when I’m kidnapped from Station 21, I’m furious.

Even if my abductor is one of those sexy aliens.

Now I have to figure out why he’s stolen me from the Bride Lottery—and more importantly, how to get back!

Fans of Ruby Dixon, Grace Goodwin, and Laurann Dohner will love this steamy new series featuring gorgeous, bright alien heroes and the sassy human women they choose as mates!

Every book in the Khanavai Warrior Bride Games series is a standalone romance and part of an interconnected series. Join these brides as they find a whole new world of happily ever afters.

READ IT WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED

Invincible superpowers and nobody to stop him. Will he save the day, or trigger global annihilation?

England, 1989. Arthur Merlin is plagued by restlessness. Ever since he woke up from a head injury with extraordinary abilities, the Vietnam vet has turned the world into his unsuspecting playground as he masters his gifts. Showing off in front of scientists after teleporting to The Institute of Psychic Research in London, he’s intrigued by the red-haired woman who remained unimpressed.

Irresistibly drawn to the feisty doctor who seems to prefer the company of women, Arthur reluctantly plays a part in an MI6 mission to foil a plane hijacking. But determined not to be exploited by any government agency, he transports himself and the beautiful researcher away to an unassuming lake. Yet a mystery he finds lying beneath the still waters makes Arthur’s control over his powers slip… while a hidden threat lurks in the shadows.

Will his hunt for the truth lead to a legendary fate… or his ultimate destruction?

The Secret of Excalibur is the captivating first book in the inventive Excalibur Saga science fiction fantasy series. If you like quirky characters, erotic fun, and surprising twists and turns, then you’ll love Sahara Foley’s snarky paranormal adventure.

READ IT WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED

DO YOU LIKE REVIEWING BOOKS?

CHECK OUT THIS REVIEW COPY…

I’m Kyra Baxter. Once, I was human—now, I learn it’s all a lie. As the top student at my university and the best intern in Dallas, I thought my life was built in the clouds, and I was on top of the world. But then…it all crashed hard.

A murdered friend.

A secret world.

A mysterious warrior.

It’s safe to say that the life I thought was solid will never rise from the rubble. It’s time to move on, and live the life I was always meant for–what I was born for. Except there are those who want to make sure that never happens. In fact, if I don’t move quickly, the enemy who I’d been hidden from is coming for blood.

REQUEST A COPY

BOOK TOUR: Hell Holes Book IV – A Slave’s Revenge by Donald Firesmith #SciFi #Horror

A Slaves Revenge

Hell Holes Book 4

by Donald Firesmith

Genre: SciFi, Paranormal Horror

An epic story of love, loss, friendship, and survival under the most hellish of conditions, Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge is the award-winning prequel to the Hell Holes series of alien invasion novels.

After killing his father, alien demons teleport a fifteen-year-old boy, his mother, and his sister to Hell, a desert world in the Demonic Empire. With survival far from certain, they have just two choices: to live as useful slaves or die as demon food. As the boy becomes a man, he must decide just how much he must collaborate with his demon masters to survive. But can he live long enough to take his revenge and regain his freedom without losing his humanity and his very soul?

Winter 2022 Pinnacle Achievement Awards – Winner – Science Fiction Category
2021 Top Shelf Magazine Book Awards – Runner-up – Fiction/Fantasy Subcategory
July 2022 BooksShelf.com Book Awards – Finalist – Fiction Category
2021 The Wishing Shelf Book Awards – Finalist – Adult Category
ReadFree.ly – 50 Best Indie Books of 2021

**Only. .99 cents!!**

Amazon * Audiobook * Bookbub * Goodreads

EXCERPT

Prologue

My name is Paul Chapman. When I was just fifteen years old, a band of demonic aliens murdered my father and captured my mother, sister, and me. These vicious creatures — the source of humanity’s myths of devils, imps, and hellhounds — took us through a hidden portal to Hell, the nearest planet to Earth in their vast empire. I spent the next twenty-three years there as their slave.

I was rescued during the Armageddon War and became the only captive human to ever escape from Hell. Over the following months, members of the US military and various specialists spent countless hours interviewing and debriefing me to learn everything I knew about Hell and the demons. They provided a therapist to help me recover from my horrendous experiences and adjust to my new life back on Earth. She recommended I document my life as a slave. This book is my story: the autobiography of my life as a slave on Hell.

1 – The Hunt

My parents, Robert and Mary Chapman, met while first-year students at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He studied wildlife biology while she studied anthropology, concentrating her studies on the history and culture of the native Inuit. Although they had grown up in the Lower 48, they fell in love with Alaska and decided to remain after graduating.

Dad had hoped to obtain a job as a wildlife biologist, but such jobs were rare and paid little. Mom had an even harder time finding suitable work. So, when my maternal grandfather died two years later, my parents decided to use her modest inheritance to buy a dry cabin and live a subsistence lifestyle. They would hunt caribou and moose, trap small game for furs and food, and fish for salmon during spawning season.

Mom and Dad eventually bought a cabin on the north shore of the Kobuk River. Only seven miles upstream of the tiny town of Kobuk, the house was close enough to make buying provisions easy. The town’s simple landing strip also made visiting relatives practical and would enable evacuation in case of a medical emergency.

Miles from their nearest neighbors, the cabin was also isolated enough to offer all the seclusion a family could ever want. Nestled between the nearby river and the Brooks Range a few miles to the north, my parents had found the home of their dreams.

My twin sister, Sarah, and I were born a few years later, and we grew up in some of the most beautiful land imaginable. The chores were many, the work was hard, but the rewards of freedom and the wilder-ness’s majesty made the hardships well worthwhile. I loved the life and couldn’t imagine ever leaving it.

This story begins when Sarah and I were fifteen. It was early August, and the Chinook salmon were running up the river to spawn. After breakfast, Mom and Sarah were going fishing. Dad and I had built a fish wheel, an ingenious tool that automatically catches the salmon. An underwater fence forces some of the fish towards the wheel that the river’s current turns. Baskets attached to the wheel’s rim scoop up the fish and dump them into a box. Mom and Sarah were going to carry the salmon back to the cabin, clean them, and hang them up over a fire in our smokehouse. Their work would ensure we would have plenty of smoked salmon to eat during the long Alaskan winter.

While they were fishing, Dad and I would hunt moose and check our traps for small game. We took our rifles and headed upriver away from town. We left our dog, Sergeant, behind so her barking would warn Mom and Sarah of any bear that might be attracted by the smell of our fish.

We started by checking our traps, but they were empty. Not a single one had been tripped. And we didn’t spot any small game even though we didn’t talk, and we walked carefully to avoid making any unnecessary noise.

When it was nearing lunchtime, we turned around and headed back to our cabin. This time, instead of following the river trail, we hiked up towards the nearby mountains forming the southern edge of the Brooks Range. As before, the area seemed completely devoid of animal life, which was pretty unusual. We’d typically see something, even if it was too far away or on the far side of the river.

About halfway home, we spotted the remains of a bull moose that had been recently killed. Because the bears were busy with the salmon, we initially thought it had been brought down by wolves. But it wasn’t. Enormous chunks of flesh had been removed in single bites, and the bites’ edges were too clean to have been made by wolves or bears.

It was strange that we couldn’t identify the tracks in the soft ground around the carcass. There were many large and small hoof prints, but they were shorter and rounder than moose and elk tracks.

Stranger still were the giant paw prints from the carnivore that had brought down the moose. Easily twice the length of wolf prints, they had only three toes, and the separate claw marks were much longer than wolf or even bear claws. Dad, the biologist, was stumped. The prints didn’t seem to belong to any Alaskan wild animal or to any animal for that matter. The only tracks he could think of that were even somewhat similar were those of ostriches, emus, and cassowaries. But the claw marks were too short for ostrich and emu tracks, and the cassowary only has one claw that long, not three.

“Dad, how about a really big dog?” I asked. “Maybe a Newfoundland had lost a toe.”

Dad shook his head. “Can’t be. See how the toes are arranged symmetrically? And besides, why would a dog have the same toe removed on each paw?”

“What about a dinosaur?” I suggested jokingly.

Dad actually considered it for a second before answering, “You know, it does look a little like a theropod footprint. It might have been a reasonable hypothesis if it weren’t for the little fact they’re all extinct except for the birds. No, this has to be a hoax. Someone’s trying to start a rumor about a strange beast roaming the Alaskan wilderness. Probably wants to draw tourists hoping to catch sight of the mythological creature.”

“But Dad, what about the bite marks?”

“My guess is that they used a curved knife to make them. Still, whoever did it did a good job. They had me going for a bit. Come on, let’s head home and tell the girls about our mysterious find.”

So, we hiked back to the cabin and had lunch with Mom and Sarah. They told us about the baskets of fish they had caught and cleaned. We told them about the moose kill we’d stumbled on, the strange tracks, and the huge bite marks. Mom agreed with Dad that it would probably turn out to be a hoax, but Sarah wasn’t sure what to think.

After lunch, Dad and I headed out again to see if we’d have any better luck hunting. We didn’t. The animals, both big and small, were still missing, and we were once more forced to come back empty-handed. I did, however, carry my camera with me and took some pictures of our find. For a laugh, I figured I would upload them onto Facebook the next time I was back in town where I could get internet service.

2 – Demons in the Dark

Sergeant, our three-year-old German Shepherd, woke me from a pleasant dream by barking her head off and scratching at the cabin door. I glanced at my alarm clock. It was just after three in the morning, and much too early for her to need to be let out to do her business. She was also far too excited for that to be the problem.

“What is it, girl?” Dad called. “Are the raccoons back again?”

Sergeant ignored him and continued barking.

I thought I heard a deep growl coming from outside my window. “I think it’s a bear, Dad.” I groggily dragged myself out of bed, stepped into my slippers, and headed downstairs.

Dad was already there, taking his hunting rifle down from its home over the fireplace. He checked it to ensure it was loaded while I pulled Sergeant back from the door.

Grizzlies occasionally break into empty cabins looking for an easy meal. Still, I’d never known one to bust into one that was occupied, and a dog could usually be counted on to keep them at bay. Besides, it was late summer when their food was plentiful.

“What is it, Robert?” Mom asked. She was halfway down the stairs with Sarah just behind her.

“Probably just a bear,” Dad answered.

We had a thick solid door with a strong lock, so I wasn’t too concerned. I just hoped that it wouldn’t break a window because I’d be the one Dad would send into town to buy the glass to replace it.

Boom! The door rattled as something massive struck it. Sergeant growled, jerked her collar out of my hands, and bounded to the door. She pawed at it, barking like mad.

I was just about to run forward and grab her when there was a deafening bang. Ripped right off its heavy hinges, the door flew across the room, knocking Sergeant sideways and narrowly missing me before crashing into the dinner table.

Dad raised his rifle and fired just as a huge, wolf-like creature charged into the room. The bullet struck it squarely in the middle of the chest, dropping the monster to the floor.

We all gawked at the nightmarish beast lying at Dad’s feet. We’d never seen or even imagined such an animal. Easily four times the size of a timber wolf, the beast had neither fur nor anything you could call skin. Its massive brick-red muscles and yellowish bones and tendons were clearly visible as were the finger-long fangs and large, triangular teeth in its gaping mouth. Its yellow eyes with horizontal pupils stared blankly up at us while it bled blood the color of crude oil.

“What the hell is that?” Dad exclaimed as a second such beast burst into the house and bounded over the body of the one he had shot. Before he could react, it sank its teeth into Dad’s neck and shook him like an orca shaking a seal.

Several things happened almost simultaneously. Mom and Sarah screamed. The gun flew out of Dad’s hands and slid past me into the kitchen. Sergeant whined and bolted out the door as I sprinted to retrieve Dad’s rifle.

Grabbing his gun, I started to turn back to face the monsters when someone yanked the rifle right out of my hands. No, not someone. Some thing!

A grotesque, little, ape-like monster no more than three-feet-tall stood in front of me holding Dad’s rifle in one hand and a sword to my neck with the other. The imp had short little horns and stared at me with yellow, goat-like eyes. Like the hellhound, it was totally naked and seemed to have no skin covering his heavily muscled body.

Perhaps those huge muscles were what made me feel certain he was male despite his lack of any obvious indicator of his sex. The imp grinned, flashed an impossibly wide mouth full of shark-like teeth, and shook his head. His intent was unmistakable.

Wresting my gaze away from the imp’s hideous face, I looked up to see a second, sword-carrying imp motioning for Mom and Sarah to come down from the stairs. They, however, were transfixed by the sight of the hellhound feasting on Dad’s body. The one he’d shot had staggered to its feet, the wound in its chest miraculously healing before our eyes. The hellhounds snarled and growled at each other as they bit off softball-sized chunks of flesh and swallowed them whole.

I was having a nightmare! The worst nightmare of my life. I was asleep. I had to be.

The imp in front of me poked my stomach with the tip of his sword. It hurt! What? It shouldn’t hurt. You don’t feel pain in dreams. I glanced down and saw a little circle of blood staining my pajamas.

I wasn’t dreaming! Two wolf-like monsters were eating my dad, and two diminutive demons with swords had taken over the house. I couldn’t imagine how things could get any worse, but they did.

The devil, who was completely naked like the imps, walked in through the open doorway. There he stood with his long swept-back horns, his cloven hooves, and his red naked body. The only things missing were a pitchfork and tail. Tall and far more muscular than any Olympic athlete, he looked around the room with yellow, goat-like eyes, just like those of the imps and hellhounds.

The devil pointed at my mother and sister and barked out a series of incomprehensible sounds. They had to be words in the demonic language of Hell. Several of the syllables were so weird and spoken so rapidly that they were difficult to grasp and impossible for any human to repeat.

The imp standing at the base of the stairs motioned with his sword for Mom and Sarah to come down. Then the devil said something else, and the imp in front of me motioned for me to join them. Mom and Sarah were crying, their shoulders shaking uncontrollably as they watched the hellhounds feasting on Dad’s body. We hugged, and I did my best to make them turn their backs on the horrific scene. But there was no way we could ignore the horrible sounds the hellhounds made as we waited to learn our fate.

To Hell and Back

Hell Holes Book 3

The beautiful young photojournalist, Aileen O’Shannon, is not who she seems. For centuries, she has been a demon hunter, a sorceress who has tracked and killed small bands of demons that occasionally crossed into our world. But that changed when she joined Dr. Jack Oswald’s expedition to study one of hundreds of huge holes that mysteriously appeared overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle. Instead of small sporadic incursions, hordes of demons now pour from these hell holes like water from a sieve. With bombing little more than a losing game of whack-a-mole, Earth’s armies are unable to destroy the portals. When Jack suggests a desperate plan, he is drafted to join Aileen and a team of other sorcerers and Army Rangers to travel to the demon homeworld. Once there, they will unleash a plague virus and set off a nuclear bomb to destroy the portal complex. It’s a suicide mission. But Aileen has given Jack’s wife her word to bring him back safely, and the demons have already killed three men under her protection. Just how far will Aileen go to avoid losing another?

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Demons on the Dalton

Hell Holes Book 2

When hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appeared overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, geologist Jack Oswald picked Angele Menendez, his climatologist wife, to determine if the record temperatures due to climate change was the cause. But the holes were not natural. They were unnatural portals for an invading army of demons. Together with Aileen O’Shannon, a 1,700-year-old sorceress demon-hunter, the three survivors of the research team sent to study the holes had only one chance: to flee down the dangerous Dalton Highway towards the relative safety of Fairbanks. However, the advancing horde of devils, imps, hellhounds, and gargoyles will stop at nothing to prevent their prey from escaping. It is a 350-mile race with simple rules. Win and live; lose and die…

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What Lurks Below

Hell Holes Book 1

It’s August in Alaska, and geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the new school year. But when hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, Jack receives an unexpected phone call. An oil company exec hires Jack to investigate, and he picks his climatologist wife and two of their graduate students as his team. Uncharacteristically, Jack also lets Aileen O’Shannon, a bewitchingly beautiful young photojournalist, talk him into coming along as their photographer. When they arrive in the remote oil town of Deadhorse, the exec and a biologist to protect them from wild animals join the team. Their task: to assess the risk of more holes opening under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the wells and pipelines that feed it. But they discover a far worse danger lurks below. When it emerges, it threatens to shatter Jack’s unshakable faith in science. And destroy us all…

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Donald Firesmith is a multi-award-winning author of speculative fiction including science fiction (alien invasion), fantasy (magical wands), horror, and modern urban paranormal novels and anthologies of short stories.

Prior to retiring to devote himself full-time to his novels, Donald Firesmith earned an international reputation as a distinguished engineer, authoring seven system/software engineering books based on his 40+ years spent developing large, complex software intensive systems.

He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, his daughter Sera, and varying numbers of dogs and cats.

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