Mad Water by Nicholas C. Rossis

Yesterday’s crime. Tomorrow’s retribution.

 

This is the third installment of the exciting Pearseus epic fantasy series and the best book so far. For more on the book and my review, head over to my main blog here.

Book title: Mad Water
Author: Nicholas C. Rossis
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Purchase link: http://amzn.to/1wbajhP

 

Ephia

Teo

Why can’t things ever be easy?  An exasperated sigh escaped his lips.  Gella had insisted they test the cannon as thoroughly as possible before firing it.  She claimed it was the only way she would accept a possibly dangerous weapon around her men, but Teo suspected it had more to do with her desperate hope Ephia would surrender before they had to try out his new toy.

He caressed the warm metal, which pulsed under his hand as if alive.  It was a miserable morning, overcast and wet, with dark clouds smearing the sky, but the weapon radiated welcome heat.  There was still no sight of the sun, but at least the drizzle falling for the past few days had finally stopped.  He clasped his woollen coat tighter and patted the weapon.  Soon, you will heat things up for me, won’t you?

A slight tremor passed under the metal skin, as if the beast acknowledged his thought.  A sergeant barked a command behind him and Teo stepped back.  A nozzle lifted, allowing scalding steam to escape quivering safety valves.  With a loud groan and a tremor, the weapon stood still, ready for the first shot.

“We should wait a few more days, they will surrender by –”

The plea in the voice behind him annoyed him.  Not this again!  “We’ve waited long enough,” he snarled without looking at Gella.  This was his moment, and he would not let her ruin it for him.  What did Parad ever see in you?  Why don’t you go back to your tent – or, even better, The Capital – and let me win my war?

She said nothing, but her sullen silence annoyed him all the same.  “What’s taking so long?” he asked the sergeant.

“Nothing Sir, we’re ready.”

Teo’s eyes lit up.  “What are we waiting for?  Fire!”

“Yes, Sir!”

The sergeant rushed to the control panel and hit a multitude of buttons, glancing at Teo’s e-lib.  It had been hard enough to find someone who could read, let alone operate the ancient weapon.  Sergeant Sinan was one of a handful of people who could be trusted not to blow them all up.  The man swallowed hard and slammed his palm against a button.

The cannon hesitated for a moment, as if considering its options, then recoiled in anger.  Ba-Thump!  A thin line of smoke traced the missile.  It overtook the city to disappear behind it.

“Lower!” Teo commanded, and the sergeant hastened to move various sliders.  The barrel inched downwards and the sergeant cast an inquisitive look at Teo.  He nodded impatiently, his attention fixed on the city.  Ba-Thump!

A portion of the wall disappeared in the distance, leaving a gaping hole.  The wind brought the urgent ring of bells tolling from the city.

“A bit lower, and the hole will be large enough for an attack,” Gella said.  Teo stole a glance at her; she now seemed excited at the ease with which the wall had been breached.  A thin smile crept on his lips.

“Belay that order.  Shoot higher.  I want the next shot to fall inside the city itself.”

“Why the city?  It’s the walls we want to tear down!” Gella protested.

Teo threw her a dark look.  “Higher,” he ordered, and the sergeant hastened to obey.  Ba-Thump!

A thick column of smoke rose from the city.

“Again!” Teo ordered.  Ba-Thump!

Every bell in the city now rang, but the wind also carried the howl of people being cut to pieces from shrapnel.

“That’s enough,” Gella said and grasped his shoulder.  “We have what we need.”

He pushed her hand away.  “Again!  Continue until I tell you to stop,” he ordered.

The sergeant blinked, staring at Teo, then Gella, then back at Teo again.  “Left to right.  Raze the city.”  Sinan stared at him, bug eyed.  “You have your orders,” Teo snapped.

“Yes, Sir,” the man murmured and turned a wheel before hitting a button.  Ba-Thump!  Ba-Thump!

“This is madness!” Gella rasped.

Ba-Thump!  A large dome disappeared, covering the city with dust.

“Why did you become a soldier if you can’t stomach a little blood?”

Ba-Thump!  A minaret collapsed, the sound of its destruction reaching them as if they stood next to it.  The acrid stench of fire reached their nostrils.

“Not to slaughter unarmed civilians!”

Ba-Thump!  The centre of the city disintegrated into deadly debris

Teo let out a disappointed sigh.  A thick cloud of smoke and dust hid away the city, so he could no longer enjoy the sight of his weapon at work.

Ba-Thump!  Numerous fires now burned in the distance, choking the city.  The wails could be heard more clearly now, despite the heavy smoke.  Most of the bells had stopped ringing.

Gella slipped next to him.  “My greatest mistake was not killing you when I had the chance,” she whispered in his ear.  “A mistake I will fix very soon if you don’t stop right now.”  Ba-Thump!

Fear and rage rushed through Teo, each fighting for supremacy.  Before he had a chance to put her in her place, the gun howled and screeched, stopping its relentless fire-spitting into Ephia.  It started to tremble and shake, as if the weapon had a seizure.  “That will do, sergeant.  We don’t want to tire her on her first day,” Teo said in alarm.

Sergeant Sinan was already sliding various sliders and stamping switches on the control panel.  “I’m trying, but she’s fighting me,” he said through gritted teeth, then punched a big button.  With a loud screech, steam escaped valves and the gun lowered its barrel in shame.  Men hurried around it, covering it in oiled blankets, as if it were an exhausted boxer.  Warm vapour rose from the scalding metal.  Sinan wiped his brow, a deep crease of worry on his forehead.  “That was close,” he murmured.  “I don’t think we can do that again for a while,” he shouted at Teo.

Teo nodded absent-mindedly, observing the ashes that had started raining around them, like grey snow.  The wind carried screams and curses from afar.  That will teach them never to mess with me again. 

The smell of smoke made him think of food.  I’m starving!  He clapped his hands and his servant rushed to his side.  “I’ll have my breakfast now.”  For the first time in weeks, something stirred in his loins as he swaggered towards his tent.   “And send for some women.”
Nicholas C. Rossis bio:

Author. Avid reader. Web developer. Architect by training, holder of a PhD in Digital Architecture from the University of Edinburgh.

Nicholas loves to write. Mad Water, the third book in his epic fantasy series, Pearseus, was just published, while his first children’s book, Runaway Smile, is currently being illustrated. He has also published The Power of Six, a collection of short sci-fi stories.

He lives in Athens, Greece, in the middle of a forest, with his wife, dog and two very silly cats, one of whom is always sitting on his lap, so please excuse any typos in his blog posts: typing with one hand can be hard…

Book links:

• Pearseus: Schism, Book 1 in his epic fantasy series is available on http://amzn.to/1aDgXDA
• Pearseus: Rise of the Prince, Book 2 in his epic fantasy series is available on http://amzn.to/1jlXLj6
• Pearseus: Mad Water, Book 3 in his epic fantasy series is available on http://amzn.to/1wbajhP
• You can also read Books 1 & 2 (special edition) on http://amzn.to/RqjNbU and
• The Power of Six: 6+1 Science Fiction Short Stories can be found on http://amzn.to/1kKVduI
• Also available: Tao Te Ching (translated into Greek) on http://amzn.to/1ovrc4n

Web presence:

https://twitter.com/Nicholas_Rossis
http://www.nicholasrossis.me
https://www.facebook.com/NicholasCRossis
https://plus.google.com/+NicholasRossis
https://www.goodreads.com/nicholasrossis

The Dreamshifter by Elle Boca

Elle Boca is the author of the Weeia urban fantasy series set in Miami, Florida in the United States. Unelmoija: The Dreamshifter and Unelmoija: The Mindshifter, the first and second books of the series respectively, are available as ebooks on Amazon.com. Unelmoija: The Spiritshifter will soon follow.

Elle has been kind enough to offer an exciting excerpt of The Dreamshifter, the first book in the series. For more about Elle Boca and her work, check out her WIP interview on MM Jaye writes.

Title: The Dreamshifter
Author: Elle Boca
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase Link: Amazon

 

Something about his face seemed familiar. He was older, about Mom’s age, attractive, tall and distinguished looking. When he noticed me looking at him he smiled and I turned away. I didn’t want to give this strange man the wrong impression. It was clear he was looking at me so I entered the mart, seeking the safety of the store, and bought a bottle of water. When I left the shop he was waiting for me.

“Amy, do not be frightened. It is you I came to see. If you give me a moment I will explain.” His words, the unexpected familiarity and friendliness shot me with adrenaline. This man had found me, after I’d only just moved the night before, during my morning jog. I kept my distance and remained silent while I considered the situation.

Until that moment, I hadn’t realized how the recent kidnapping attempt had shaken my trust in strangers. We escaped our captors under the cover of a storm, but our comfortable lives hadn’t returned to normal. I didn’t think he was one of the men who had taken us to the Caribbean. They acted like military men; they used physical force and veiled threats. This man looked more like an executive.

He appeared to be alone, but he might have me under discrete surveillance. If he’d been keeping tabs on me, it was better to discover his identity and agenda; but I needed a safer place than standing on the street alone before dawn.

“Who are you?” I couldn’t help blurting. It would be useful to make mental note of as much as I could to describe him to Mom. I noticed he had straight brown hair that was graying in parts.

He spoke without contractions, like someone who preferred formal English or spoke English as a second language. There was something deeply powerful about him. It was more than that. He looked like a man accustomed to being in charge and giving orders.

“My name is Thomas McKnight.” “What do you want with me? Why are you here?” I kept my voice down, looked at his eyes. “Please give me a few moments and I will explain. If you do not like what I say I will leave you alone.” He looked at the store and back at me. “How about if we sit inside? Would you like a cup of coffee?” It occurred to me that it had been a long time since anyone had refused his commands. He probably gave orders and people obeyed. He was going out of his way to be friendly, but I wondered for how long he’d hold back and what he wanted with me.

I entered the twenty-four hour mart and chose a table in the small coffee shop. In this ritzy neighborhood, the mart was stocked with exclusive brands and expensive merchandise. It appeared that most of the patrons lived in one of the nearby residential towers. At that hour, they were grabbing a light breakfast, out for a morning jog or walking their dogs. The occasional office worker or executive on the way to the office a few blocks north filled foam cups with coffee, and bought lottery tickets and newspapers. Although our corner of the store was deserted, there were cameras and a couple of employees who would notice if he got physical or blocked me from leaving.

He followed at a measured pace, stood in line to buy an espresso and sat down across from me at the table. I sat in silence, except for the pounding of my heart which sounded loud in my ears, while I waited for him to speak. He was the one who wanted to talk to me. Let him say what he had to say. He had a radiant smile like he’d just won the Lotto or found the fountain of youth. A dark suntan made the blue of his eyes seem intense.

Manicured hands held the cup of espresso which he drank in a long swallow without sugar or milk, just like my sister Kat. I missed her more at moments like this; she always knew what we should do in any crisis. I hoped Mom had found her and would return soon.

His well tailored suit was expensive. Custom-made, I speculated, and the way it hung on his trim frame and his graceful movements told me he was in excellent physical condition. If I ran, he could chase me. And, he was dangerous. I could tell by looking at him he was strong and lethal. This man had killed. I didn’t know how I knew but I knew it was true. There was a darkness to him that had nothing to do with the tan.

“Your mother has done a phenomenal job, better than I imagined. You are smart, cautious and have excellent self-control. And your special abilities are starting to develop.” I must have reacted to the last words because he smiled at me. “Yes, I know about your abilities Amy. It is a gift you must learn to use with care but a gift to be used nonetheless.” I lowered my eyes to keep him from seeing the burning curiosity and temptation they held.

“I ask you again, who are you Mr. McKnight and what do you want with me?” I figured he was going to give me some lame answer and was unprepared for his next words.

“I am your father.”

As soon as the words left his mouth I knew they were true. I didn’t know how I knew. I just knew. The powerful man before me was my father. Before I’d accept that statement I wanted answers. My mouth became dry, my heart raced, I felt overcome with conflicting emotions. All my life, I waited to be reunited with my father, an idealized figure perfected over the years in my mind. Here he was before me and I didn’t know what to say or how to feel. I should be happy, but I wasn’t. I was afraid of this man.

“You can’t be my father.” His puzzled look made me continue. “My father was captured years ago by our enemies. The same men who took him kidnapped my mother and me a few weeks ago.”

“I was captured, but it happened before you were born.” I knew again he spoke the truth. “Your mother told you the truth, but not the whole story.” He had ignored the revelation that we had been kidnapped; I wasn’t sure what that meant. Did he know about it? Had he been involved? More than anything, I wanted to talk to my mother at that moment.

“The real question is what you want with me. Why are you here? How did you know where to find me?” I worried that I didn’t dislike him and I didn’t like that he knew far more about me than I knew about him.

Author Links

Website:

http://elleboca.poyeen.com/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/elleboca

Amazon author page:

http://www.amazon.com/Elle-Boca/e/B00HRCBEYK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7499807.Elle_Boca?from_search=true

The Necklace of Goddess Athena by Effrosyni Moschoudi

Genre: Fantasy

“The Necklace of Goddess Athena”, a fantasy novel that I’ve read and 5-starred, is FREE on Amazon on April 17-18. Enjoy a family adventure of Greek myths and time travel that the Fantasy & Sci-fi Network has described as a “Rare Gem”. The ebook has reached Amazon’s #1 in Mythology and #2 in Fairy Tales. It has also made the shortlist in the Fantasy category for the “50 best self-published books worth reading” from Indie Author Land! 

Book Excerpt

First, there was this tremendous roar.

Everything around them shook with force and then, a blinding light surrounded them as they were taken through a cyclone of ear-piercing sounds. Phevos held the hand of his sister Daphne inside the forceful vortex of Time.

Neither of them knew where they were headed as they swirled frightened beyond description, their bodies surrendered to the powerful whirlwind. Their eyes were tightly shut to the blinding flashes of light and a sound that resembled a sweeping tornado tortured their ears. In the twenty years of his life, Phevos could never have imagined the intensity of the experience.

Although still captured in this unprecedented storm of light and sound, he managed to recall random pieces from his father’s stories. Efimios, his father and teacher, had described to him hundreds of times his experience of the Passage through Time but Phevos never expected there would come a day that he would experience it himself and at that, in such a different way.

Suddenly, he realized in panic that his sister’s hand had slipped away from his. He started calling out her name but through the roar he couldn’t even hear himself speak.

All at once, there was darkness and a soothing silence and next thing he knew, he was lying on the ground.

A strong buzz still sounded in his ears. It took a few moments to fade as he opened his eyes and tried to gather his wits. His body felt numb at first but he managed to sit up somehow and look around him. The ground felt wet under him and the air smelt of grass.

The moon shone high above on a starry sky with a velvet light that was ample, allowing him to inspect his surroundings quite easily. He was in an orchard.

There were trees, plants and bushes all around him.

Panicking, he realized that he was alone.

Connect With The Author

Blog: http://www.effrosinimoss.wordpress.com

FB Book page: https://www.facebook.com/Necklaceathena

FB Author page https://www.facebook.com/authoreffrosyni

Twitter: https://twitter.com/frostiemoss

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7362780.Effrosyni_Moschoudi

Google + : https://plus.google.com/+EffrosyniMoschoudi

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/effrosyni-moschoudi/82/347/a01


Buy Links

Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I5GXHCO

Amazon (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00I5GXHCO