urban fantasy

All posts tagged urban fantasy

Everyone loves a nugget of what could have been, so I’m sharing a few small and unedited nugs from Soul Discovery. Made more difficult by the fact it’s a new release and I risk revealing too much.

#1.

Unfortunately the scene didn’t pertain to the forward motion of the story, so it was cut. I still envision the old man down in the park when I get to this part of the story.

Laundry tumbling, I lacked direction again. 5:30am was an okay good time to walk Bosco before he peed on the couch he was sniffing at and all she intended to do was hit up his favorite watering tree and scoot back to the apartment, but found the nagging urge to meander down the railway ties to where the dreams took place irresistible.

Maybe that was an unconscious plan all along. Regardless, he wouldn’t be down there, the dreams always took place in a rainstorm at night.. Now, the sky was alive beneath the rising sun painting variations of colour, the temperature change causing creek mist to hang like fog across the grass.

As I approached the right spot I she stopped and closed my eyes feeling my temples thrum with my heart. The morning air was crisp. The nights are still cool, enough I wished I’d worn a sweater. A shiver raced down my back causing a shudder and goose bumps to cover every inch of my body, only his face on the inside of my eyelids.

“Hey lady, gotta smoke?” called a gravel-thrashed voice.

I jumped and screeched like a little girl as the voice perforated my recall of the grey-eyed man. A homeless man in his fifties stood unshaven in clothing in desperate need of a good burning, the stink of cheap beer and urine wafted downwind.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to sneak up on ya.” His raised hands trembled.

“S’okay. Sorry, um…I don’t smoke.” Heading towards the stairs, cursing the dense idea to go down there at this time,  I scurried off as fast as I could.

“You don’t have to leave, sweetie!”

Ignoring him and sprinting up the staircase, I was embarrassed by how winded I was. I bolted so quick Bosco panted to keep up, no doubt confused at why we left without playing off the leash. He didn’t care about extra people no matter how bad they smelled.

Drained by foolishness, I retrieved my clothes from the dryer before they disappeared.

#2.

This one is confusing if you HAVE read the book because this depicts a time when Sophie worked at a women’s shelter as a counselor and Kim was a co-worker. In real life I work at a women’s shelter as a Women’s Advocate and was advised it would be a good idea to change Sophie’s profession to avoid any accidental correlations made with clients and/or coworkers. While this meant A LOT of changes including Sophie becoming a bartender while in school studying psychology, Kim being a neighbour and having a change in profession as well, and any and all scenes that occurred within the setting of the shelter. PAIN IN THE ASS but worth it.

Run ragged by the twenty or so clients and their children in the large old converted house, Kim had everything calmed down promising me a quiet night. Looking forward to seeing Kim relieve me at 7:30am, I gave Kim a tight hug, she looking like she wanted to stay and chat. Normally hugging was too personal for me, but over the month I got used to Kim’s touchy-feely personality and embraced her with ease.

Luckily, the night went by without crisis. Distributing medication, passing along sound advice, and everyone was in their rooms by midnight. Easy-peesy. Cleaning was the worst. Since nightshifts were a common Relief shift, I felt like the company’s personal Molly Maid. Unfortunately, when you’ve only been out of college for seven months, and hired before graduation, you suck it up and appreciate the experience.

After toilets, floors, and windows sparkled, all necessary paperwork complete, all client files updated, garbage cans dragged to the curb, and breakfast served, nightly tasks were behind me. The hour or so before Kim returned for the day shift was excruciating. As usual wasting the minutes reading made time zoom by, and when 7:30am came, I was so encased in the story I regretted putting it down.

 

#3.

We all seek answers to crazy dreams; ask a friend, your significant other, your mom, or in my case the internet. This is but a small scene of Sophie’s search for answers, removed since it was unfruitful anyway and didn’t lead the reader anywhere important.

An easy solution brought her a search engine result of over 100,000 hits claiming to interpret the unconscious. A promising website looked as hokey as one would assume a dream dictionary site could look. “Shadows” and “stranger” encompassed the premise surrounding this mysterious figure in the darkness. The result read, “The ‘shadow’ represented a part of the dreamer not yet recognized, a part that is hidden or repressed. The ‘stranger’ could be a helper trying to give the dreamer direction or advice.”

Until the next book comes out that’ll be all the peeks you get (maybe :-P). If you haven’t read it already here’s the link to find Sophie and see what really happened in the polished final version AVAILABLE NOW.

 

166_0.364980001452645463_sd_cv_hr

Sophie Saterlee has made it her mission to get her life together. Leaving behind an abusive relationship, she’s bartending her way through a psychology degree. Ultimate goal? A new, stronger sense of identity.

When a terrifying recurring nightmare begins to poison Sophie’s waking hours and threaten all her progress, once again she’s close to losing everything.
An invitation to a tea leaf reading party sounds like exactly the kind of distraction Sophie needs. But an innocent girls’ night out turns into a journey through a complex and treacherous world of magic.
To survive it, Sophie must forge uncomfortable alliances with arrogant Donovan and mysterious Caine. One of them is tied to her past, and the other fills her present. Both men might hold the key to her uncertain future.
There’s more going on in her little corner of the world than Sophie realizes, and the truth will change everything.

Anyone who knows/follows me on social media is probably sick of hearing about my writing a book, especially when it’s taking a millennia to be real. Once I signed with Booktrope Publishing my hobby became a second job and “advertising” my progression through the trenches came with hesitance and excitement, so hopefully only a few have added me to their hit lists.

A year after signing with  BT (maybe more than a year…definitely more…Gah!) it has taken me to get my first book SOUL DISCOVERY, SOUL SEER CHRONICLES ready. Which sounds like it was a POS to begin with, maybe so, but she’s shiny and ready for release tomorrow.

Holy fuckbuckets full of demon tears, I’m releasing a novel, TOMORROW.

With a career devoted to helping others through their struggles, I sought out a dose of fantasy and stumbled upon a drive to weave stories while utilizing my experience to craft  characters. To see them on pages like so many on my personal shelves, pages I can touch and smell (you know us crazy readers and our book huffing issues), was a dream and now soon-to-be a reality.

The publishing process is a whole separate animal equipped with jagged teeth and claws on the body of a snarling multi-headed monster, a.k.a. my writing team. (Jokes, love you guys). And I haven’t even been released yet.  Next is me hiding under my writing cape and forcing myself not to check sales numbers and dodging hazards I’m sure my Book Manager hasn’t warned me about yet.

That’s okay, I love it. I love words and the feeling of when a story idea comes together. Being published is like being able to eat all the foods I’m allergic too without dying; a rush while flipping Death the bird. And I plan on enjoying it.

While I’m cheating death and hunkering down to get book 2 ready for consumption, you can follow the link I’ve peppered all over social media and now here, yes again, and order a copy of your own in either ebook or paperback.

Keep an eye out for future signing events, I’m sure I’ll be around somewhere, looking awkward and hopefully able to answer the question “What’s your book about?” without starting with “Ummmm”. No promises.

 

SOUL DISCOVERY
myBook.to/souldiscover

Sophie Saterlee has made it her mission to get her life together. Leaving behind an abusive relationship, she’s bartending her way through a psychology degree. Ultimate goal? A new, stronger sense of identity.

When a terrifying recurring nightmare begins to poison Sophie’s waking hours and threaten all her progress, once again she’s close to losing everything.

An invitation to a tea leaf reading party sounds like exactly the kind of distraction Sophie needs. But an innocent girls’ night out turns into a journey through a complex and treacherous world of magic.

To survive it, Sophie must forge uncomfortable alliances with arrogant Donovan and mysterious Caine. One of them is tied to her past, and the other fills her present. Both men might hold the key to her uncertain future.

There’s more going on in her little corner of the world than Sophie realizes, and the truth will change everything.

166_0.364980001452645463_sd_cv_hr

 

 

23365359

Click for Goodreads page

 

**Any spoilers are unintentional and I apologize in advance if I let any slip that ruin the story for you. The purpose of the reviews are to highlight books I’ve read as part of a personal reading and blogging challenge for 2015. Read here for my personal expectations. I have not been asked by authors to do these reviews, I’m just reviewing as I read.**

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Crime Drama

Synopsis: Detective Elliott “Eli” Robinson and his new partner, Ava Aguilar, are baffled by a series of brutal murders happening in their fair city. No evidence, no eyewitnesses…only mutilated corpses with missing internal organs.

When Eli and Ava stumble upon evidence of similar gruesome crimes around the globe, they realize there is more to the murders, but the answers continue to elude them. In a race against time, Eli and Ava must figure out who is behind the killings and stop them before more people die.

But the answers will take them out of their comfort zone and into the realm of the fantastic: another world with a different set of rules, and a leader who has no qualms about killing.

My Star Rating:

4 stars

 

 

My Review:

As the synopsis tells us, ORGAN REAPERS is a mash of two worlds. For the reader this means the grit of real life we drive by and rubberneck at, and the fantasy world equipped with steam powered technology we imagine when we can’t sneak a peek at the gore past the police tape.

Detectives Eli and Ava are faced with too many mutilated bodies with similar causes of death, and zero evidence of their murderers, to leave the case alone. It consumes them and takes their mind off some of the not so glamorous consequences of being married to the job.

First thing, I love these two. A good crime drama needs it’s archetypal heroes and Eli and Ava filled out the roles and made me want to know more about their private lives than what Shay West shared. Plus, every good story needs an ample smattering of eye candy equipped with a keen intuition for the nasty side of life. Secondly, Shay West made me grit my teeth along with Eli’s impatience at lacking answers, never immediately convinced of anything without proof, and feel giddy and alive with Ava’s anticipation to delve into the otherworldly explanation behind these murders. This keeping me stabbing my e-reader to find out what happened next.

While allowing us to tag along with Eli and Ava, Shay West also brings us into the lives of two young and naive idealists, Keena and Tani, who skip into our world with a purpose they question. A mission considered of the near highest importance in their world and handed down by someone you don’t say no to. Besides being truly entertained by them navigating the modern world, I found myself cursing their actions and then rooting for their cause, attempting to wrap my mind around their decisions and question if I would have made the same.

Alongside driving the plot with characters I rooted for, Shay West brought about a continuing theme I couldn’t ignore. How do you choose one life over another? How do you decided how far is too far when considering saving a life? Should you blindly follow leaders without question regardless of the higher power they speak for? In Keena and Tani’s world these answers is easy, but since Eli and Ava’s world is the one suffering, they won’t stand idly by without intervention. Shay West ensures I never got lost between worlds, yet also challenged me to think deeper into the lengths at which is appropriate to explore when considering the stakes involved.

I was left with many questions. Not ones that diminished the ending or I’d be pulling my hair out and giving it a lower rating, but ones I was curious about enough to give me a reading hangover as I contemplated the possibilities. HOWEVER, I’m fan-girling after hearing Shay West is releasing a sequel called SOUL REAPERS on October 31, 2015. One that promises to step things up a notch and (I’m hoping) answer some of those mind-boggling questions I was left hanging with.

If you enjoy genre crossing stories that hit you with compelling characters, and moral quandaries which question your corner of the world, than ORGAN REAPERS is worth picking up and binge reading as I had, having finished it in 6.5 hours.

Sacrificing sleep was worth the payout.

 

Where to Buy: Amazon.com – Kindle Edition

Author Bio and Contact:

Author pictureShay West was born in Longmont, CO and earned a doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical. Dr. West currently lives in Grand Junction, CO with her two cats. When not writing novels, she plays with plushie microbes and teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University. She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She has also been published in several anthologies: Battlespace (military scifi), Orange Karen: Tribute to a Warrior (fundraiser), Ancient New (steampunk/fantasy), and Horror in Bloom.

 

 

website: http://shay-west.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shaywestauthor
Twitter: @DrShayWest
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4687346.Shay_West
WattPad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/ShayWest5