Spotlight: Dreadful Beauty, by L.M. Rapp

dreadful beauty banner

dreadful beauty cover(1)

Dreadful Beauty
by L.M. Rapp
Speculative fantasy/coming of age
364 pages
February 28, 2022
PG-13: Contains material not suitable for young teens. Mild swearing, violence, romance.

Nymphosis, a disease that turns Humans into Chimeras, is ravaging the land of Gashom. The More-Than-Pure, determined to protect themselves, have seized power and enacted segregationist laws.

The daughter of a high dignitary, young Neria learns she is afflicted by the very disease her father is determined to eradicate. Forced to surrender her privileges, she must flee her home in the capital and traverse the strange wilds to seek refuge with her fellow kind.

Will she have the courage to fight oppression to emancipate the Chimeras from the yoke of the More-Than-Pure?

Amazon / Goodreads


About the Author:

L.M. Rapp has lived in different countries and practiced several professions: dentist, web developer, artist, aikido teacher, farmer. Eager to learn and discover, she uses her experiences to enrich her stories. She has also written a thriller, Of Flesh and Tears.

LMRAPP_identity

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Spotlight, Author Interview & Excerpt: Last Star Standing + Giveaway

TourBanner_Last Star Standing

BookCover_Last-Star-Standing

Last Star Standing
by Spaulding Taylor
Genre: Thriller (speculative)

BLURB:

Aiden has always felt like an outsider. After the rebel assassin is captured and imprisoned by the world’s galactic overlords, he awaits execution. Then a mole working for the occupying regime alerts him to a plot that could destroy the entire resistance…

Engineering a daring escape, Aiden’s growing feud with the new rebel leader leaves him out in the cold and smouldering with resentment. Faced with deceit and betrayals on every side, he recruits a group of overlooked outcasts and stakes everything on one last mission.

Can the restless, reckless Aiden take a stand long enough to save humanity from enslavement?

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Goodreads

Sale .99


Excerpt:

Nothing. Clean as a whistle. Until my massive hand grasped hold of something, something which must have blended into its background so perfectly that I hadn’t even spotted it. Something alive, nestling under the co-pilot’s seat. I couldn’t believe it. A live gromeline. Trembling, possibly with fury, and trying in vain to squeeze back. Grabbing my trophy – I could feel its hot little heart throbbing like an injury against my palm – I hopped out of the plane so fast that my wound protested.

‘Bully!’

Bully raised one eyebrow. Two would have been overkill.

‘Bully, you are not going to believe this. I found a gromeline!’ The gromeline – only about fifteen centimetres – bit my finger, hard, even though I could have easily crushed its entire body with my fist – and probably would have, had I been a tester, and not merely disguised as one.

Feisty little gromeline. I flicked it lightly with my sausage-sized finger. When it protested, I growled, ‘Cheese it, munchkin,’ though I could feel it struggling obstreperously against my palm.

Bully was intrigued. ‘Is it genuine?’ ‘Of course it’s genuine. It just bit me, didn’t it?’

Bully probably considered this no proof. But they’re rarer than clean air these days and his fascination was obvious. Now gromelines come from the farthest galaxy so far discovered, can speak any tongue and own enviable mental powers. They are also brave to the point of stupidity and ludicrously small. This one was mouse-coloured – they can be spectacular – with tiny red eyes. Few humans have ever seen one.

@alicemcveigh0Last Star Standing: awardwinning action/adventure

♬ original sound – alicemcveigh0


Author Interview:

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
To zip, Star-Trek-like, from place to place and be reassembled effortlessly.
This is because, except for trains, I loathe all means of transport.

What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
I’m also a pro cellist, who has played on four continents with orchestras including the BBC Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic.
And there IS a lot of music in some of my books. However, there isn’t in this one. I didn’t “see” my principal character, Aiden, as being musical.

When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with?
Good question! I believe that people have auras. I go for that, first. Gender, race, attractiveness – everything else is secondary.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Have never plotted in my life. Have never written out a grocery list, or failed to forget what I came to shop for, either. ☹

Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so, what?
I set out to learn a lot, and I learned even more than I’d ever hoped I would.

I challenged myself – a middle-aged, straight, unheroic female mother – to write a novel from the perspective and narration of a young straight male kid-less hero – and I did.

And, had I not convinced, it could never have won a Kirkus Star, or been runner-up for the Independent Press Awards in Action/Adventure, or be a finalist – today – for CIBA’s Cygnus Award – or been a finalist for the Wishing Shelf and Eric Hoffer Awards.

It was a risk – to “be” a guy – but a risk I wanted to take.
Not being a guy – ever – just seemed too big a thing to miss out on.


About the Author:

author image

Alice (Spaulding Taylor) McVeigh has been published by Orion/Hachette in contemporary fiction, by Unbound Publishing in action/adventure and by Warleigh Hall Press in Austenesque fiction. Her novels have won Gold Medal/First Place is the Global, eLit and Pencraft Book Awards, been runner-up in the Independent Press Awards, finalists in the Eric Hoffer, Rone and Wishing Shelf Book Awards and selected by Shelf Unbound as one of the “top indies” of 2021. Two of her novels are currently finalists in the CIBA Book Awards (the Cygnus and Goethe Awards). Her most recent novel (Harriet: A Jane Austen Variation) was just selected as Editors’ Pick “outstanding” on Publishers Weekly.

A professional London cellist, Alice lives in London and Crete with her professor husband: their only child is completing her Masters in Chinese Literature. They also share two miniature long-haired dachshunds and an incurable addiction to tennis.

Website
Facebook (me) / (author me)
Instagram
Twitter
Amazon author page
Linked in
Pinterest
tiktok


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you cannot embed the code, please use this HTML link:

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight, Author Interview, & Excerpt – In Between: Stories of the Eververse + Giveaway

Tour Banner_In Between Stories of the Eververse

BookCover_In Between

In Between: Stories of the Eververse
by Darby Harn
Genre: Speculative Fiction

Telepathic wolves. Zombie gangsters. Sentient houses. Just another day for Kit Baldwin.

Fifty years after an alien ship crashed in Break Pointe, the only protection in a strange new world is Great Power, a corporation of superhumans. If you can afford them. Most people can’t.

Enter Kit Baldwin, a young woman who helps people to help people. Except her power is the alien’s power, and she may be more of a danger to her city than she is a help.

This collection of stories and novellas follows Kit’s journey in a series that’s been called ‘the next logical step after Watchmen.’


Excerpt:

Starter Home
1. Reality

Someone keeps rewriting reality. Mostly it goes like this: one minute I’m talking to Abi about things we’ll never do, like go to New Zealand or just go to bed at the same time and then she disappears along with the rest of what passes for my life these days.

I write this to make some record. A way back.

2. Honestly, It’s Not That Different

Strange things happen around here.

There isn’t any life for me outside of waiting for the next shoe to drop, so I wasn’t too bothered at first. Now it happens all the time. On and off. In and out. Hours. Days. Minutes. Reality like summer floods. The strange always recedes back to a big, three story house on Severin St. American castle. Picture window.

Picture perfect.

Milk trucks inch down the street, lined with ’67 Chevys. Pig-tailed white girls swish in yards with hula-hoops. Boys play stickball in the middle of the street. Cops patrol the neighborhood, and keep black girls from smudging the frosted scenery in midtown.

The cop points back toward the fringes of downtown. “You took a wrong turn back there.”

I zip open my leather jacket. Crimson light illuminates the shock on the cop’s face. “Tell me about it.”

He takes off running. There’s a reason I know when reality changes. My reality is out of sorts, too. TL/DR: if I touch someone, I acquire their energy. Consciousness. They go into the jar of this glowing alien crystal suspended within my chest. Entire universes reside there. Infinite realities. Plus, I’m half-Irish, so.

The doors are always open.


Author Interview:

1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.
In Between: Stories of the Eververse started with the desire to reconnect to my main character, Kit Baldwin. Kit features in all three novels in the series, but is only the POV character in Book 1. By the third book I felt very distant from her and started writing stories and novellas with her back at the fore. That coalesced over a period of time into the book, which collects the stories into an overarching narrative.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
I learned a great deal about myself. I discovered about five years ago that I am autistic. I initially didn’t deal with this very well, and worked out a lot of my feelings in the work. Kit’s autism was present from the first page of the first book, but never acknowledged until this one. I learned so much about who I am during the creation of this book. I learned to appreciate who I am and Kit helped me do that.


3. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
The stories are in many ways morality plays, but I don’t think of the book as having any kind of message or lesson. Good fiction asks questions. It doesn’t necessarily have answers or even pursues them. These stories struggle with things we struggle with in the real world. Inequality. Gun violence. Grief. None of those things have simple answers or explanations. My hope is the reader comes to the end of the story asking questions. Hopefully that leads them to wondering why things are the way they are in the world.

4. What is your favorite part of the book?
My favorite part of the book is the way it realizes what I’ve been trying to do in my work for a long time. I want to create a world, I want to explore issues, and I want to find a way to discovering something beyond my own considerations through language. I feel like this book more than any other I’ve written so far does that. These stories give me the chance to experiment and explore and most of all broaden the canvas of this sandbox I get to play in. As a kid I always wanted to create a secondary world like the ones I found in movies or comics but never imagined it would be this. It’s a revelation every day.

5. What are your immediate future plans?
The immediate future is bringing Eververse Book 4 to readers. Black Market Heart will come out next year and I’m very excited for people to see it. It’s finishing Book 5, which I’m about halfway through. It’s hopefully finding a home for a space opera novel I’ve written and I’m very proud of. I have ideas for other novels unrelated to the Eververse I’d like to find the time to get to and hopefully this year I’ll be able to.


About the Author:

Darby Harn studied at Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland, as part of the Irish Writing Program. He is the author of the sci-fi superhero novel EVER THE HERO. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer, The Coffin Bell and other venues.

author image

Website
Buy Link
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook Author Page


Giveaway:

Darby Harn will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’re unable to embed, please use this HTML:

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Scroll Up