Guest Author: Amalia Dillin

Thor and Loki

In Norse Mythology, Thor and Loki have a very complex relationship. Loki, as Odin’s blood brother, has been a part of Thor’s life for an eternity and while he often led Thor into trouble, Loki usually guided him back out of it, too.

Reading the myths, it’s easy to see Loki as something of an indulgent and wild uncle, and if they were living in the modern world, I can easily imagine Loki as the person who buys the underage Thor beer so he can party with his friends, or takes him to the strip club for his 18th birthday, while Loki himself did some questionable business in a backroom.

In the myths, they go to Jotunheim to pick fights with the giants, traveling together like adventurers, and we see as the stories in the Eddas unfold, that Loki’s reasons for traveling with Thor are maybe not just the interests of “the cool uncle.” We start to see that Loki has ulterior motives, that he might be deliberately putting Thor in harm’s way, hoping for his destruction. Even in the myths, Thor, as trusting as he is, begins to realize that Loki’s tricks are turning malicious.

It’s after Thor has come to this understanding of Loki’s character (with a little help from a giantess), that the FATE OF THE GODS series takes place – and Loki had better watch out, because, as we see in this excerpt from FORGED BY FATE, Thor is getting tired of his uncle’s mischief!



“So sullen, Thor,” Loki said, seating himself across the table in Odin’s hall. “Surely you cannot still be angry about that mischief with your wife.”

Thor curled his lip, hiding the expression behind his mug.

“I see,” Loki said, when Thor had not responded with anything more than a long drink and a glower. “A shame, really. I thought I might travel East, and as often as Sif has been away, it seemed to me you might wish for an excuse to do the same. I have heard wondrous things about the Olympian goddesses.” His green eyes glittered, feral in the firelight. “Perhaps I should ask Magni and Modi to accompany me, instead. I’m certain they would enjoy themselves immensely.”

Thor growled. “My sons have better taste than to choose you as their companion.”

Loki laughed. “There was a time you did not find me so contemptible, Thor. Or do you forget that once you called me uncle?”

“An error in judgment, corrected by Jarnsaxa’s grace.” To his younger eyes, Loki had seemed so much wiser. Brilliant and daring and, even better, always willing to embark on some adventure or another, taking time for Thor while Odin had been too busy with his own affairs.

But that had been before Thor had recognized the malice behind the Trickster’s “mischief.” Before he had met Jarnsaxa, who had borne his sons while he had still believed Sif would never have him. Jarnsaxa had died in the wars on Jotunheim, the world where Thor had been raised, where they had fled with his mother’s aid after Surt had destroyed their own lands. But Jarnsaxa had not died before she had told him all she knew of the Trickster and his role in what had come to pass, fearing for her sons. Even so, Thor had not believed Loki would go so far as to meddle with Sif, and he was not certain which stung him more: that Sif had been taken in by his silver-tongue, or that Loki had betrayed him so completely. Sif, at least, might have been fooled. Loki had known precisely what he was doing.

“Just as well,” Loki said, smiling slowly. “Sif would never forgive you if she learned you’d gone off in search of Elohim’s daughter, though it is not only I who finds it strange you did not mention such a goddess in all your reports. Surely you had heard of her.”

Thor said nothing, his jaw tense with the need to keep his silence.

“I can only imagine you had some reason for keeping her a secret,” Loki said, reaching casually across the table to take a piece of bread from Thor’s meal. “A lovechild, perhaps? It would not be your first.”

“Magni and Modi were born long before I married Sif,” he growled, catching Loki’s arm by the wrist before he touched his plate. Thor threw his hand away, his eyes burning with lightning. The color had already leached from Loki’s face and the warm yellow of the wooden table had turned gray. “Nor have I fathered any godchild since, but for Thrud.”

“And then there is that pesky business with Ullr,” Loki mused, grinning now. “Did finding Sif in my arms not make you wonder in the slightest? Sif is as much a warrior as any of us, to be forced—”

“Freyja bore witness,” he said, grinding his teeth on the words. And Sif had loved him then, as he had her. She would never have betrayed him. Not so soon after their marriage, and not while they warred against the Vanir. She was not Aphrodite to take lovers among their enemies.

“And Freyja is so reliable when it comes to these things.” Loki rolled his eyes. “Poor Jarnsaxa. She tried and she tried, and all her efforts came to nothing. You’re still as thick as you ever were.”


You can learn more about the FATE OF THE GODS series and FORGED BY FATE, as well as my new e-novella tie-in, TEMPTING FATE on my website, and at World Weaver Press. You can also pick up a copy on Amazon or B&N, or add them on Goodreads!

Tempting Fate cover

~Amalia Dillin

Spotlight On: John Smith – Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars, by Roland Hughes

John Smith -Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars
by Roland Hughes

John Smith Last Known cover

Dystopian – SyFy


What if the Mayans got the start of the end correct because they had survived it once before? What if our written history was just as accurate as the old tale about three blind men describing an elephant? What if classic science fiction writing and television shows each got a piece of it correct, would you know which ones? If your eyes can only see a tiny portion of a collage do you know it is a collage?

Fans of Babylon 5, Star Trek TNG, Battle Star Galactica (the new one) and classic science fiction writing will enjoy the bountiful Easter Egg hunt contained within. When you were a child you learned to connect paper clips or thread beads together to make a necklace. Sit back and watch the beads you’ve had all your life form the picture you could not see. Consider for one second the possibility of the story, then hang onto your mind with both hands while you take the ride.

Roland Hughes’ Author Bio:
Roland Hughes is the president of Logikal Solutions, a business applications consulting firm specializing in VMS platforms. Hughes serves as a lead consultant with over two decades of experience using computers and operating systems originally created by Digital Equipment Corporation (now owned by Hewlett-Packard).

With a degree in Computer Information Systems, the author’s experience is focused on OpenVMS systems across a variety of diverse industries including heavy equipment manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, stock exchanges, tax accounting, and hardware value-added resellers, to name a few. Working throughout these industries has strengthened the author’s unique skill set and given him a broad perspective on the role and value of OpenVMS in industry.

To read Roland’s non-fiction books, please visit

To read Roland’s blog, please visit


Guest Author: Mark Iles

Today, Guest author Mark Iles shares information about his latest novel, A Pride of Lions, available on Amazon this Friday, August 30–and an excerpt!

A Pride of Lions


When Selena Dillon is caught in an assassination attempt on her planet’s ruler, she finds herself sentenced to 25 years servitude in mankind’s most feared military force, the Penal Regiments. Much to her surprise she enjoys the harsh military life and is quickly selected for officer training.

But something’s wrong; worlds are falling silent. There’s no cry for help and no warning, just a sudden eerie silence. When a flotilla of ships is despatched to investigate, they exit hyperspace to find themselves facing a massive alien armada. Outnumbered and outgunned the flotilla fight a rearguard action, allowing one of their number to slip away and warn mankind.

As worlds fall in battle, and man’s fleets are decimated, Selena is selected to lead a team of the Penal Regiments’ most battle-hardened veterans, in a last ditch attempt to destroy the aliens’ home world. If she fails then mankind is doomed. But little does Selena know what fate has in store for her, that one of her crew is a psychopathic killer and a second the husband of one of his victims.

Can she hold her team together, get them to their target and succeed in the attack? Selena knows that if she fails then there will be nothing at all left to go home to.



Sentenced to 25 years penal servitude for her crimes, Selena Dillon undergoes basic training:

Three weeks later the depleted remnants of another class joined them, to make up their numbers for their qualifying survival exercise. This was to be held on one of the other planets in the system and much to Selena’s delight she recognised one of the newcomers.

“Well, I’ll be damned. Linda McKenzie!”

The girl gasped. “Selena, is that you? This is fantastic! I was there at your trial.”

“Yeah, I know. I heard and saw you, so did the rest of the planet. If I remember correctly they threw you out of the courtroom.”

That same old smirk graced Linda’s face. “It’s a shame you didn’t manage to kill that bitch of a queen. I’ll be frank, Selena, and say a lot of people were shocked when you took the Penal option. But when they thought about it, most of them didn’t blame you at all. Naturally there were some that hated you for it, particularly the Queen, but it’s becoming common practice now.”

“What do you mean ‘common practice’?”

“More and more people are getting sent to the regiments these days, some for things that would have only received a small or medium sentence a few years ago. Guess they must be strapped for soldiers, huh?”

“Or something’s going on we don’t know about…” Selena replied, thoughtfully.

“Yeah, makes you wonder what’s got them all so worried.”

Selena reached out and hugged Linda, looking up at her green eyes and pitch black hair, remembering back to when they attended the same school on Capulet and had similar interests. Her friend’s ready smile and easy-going manner were to prove a balm to Selena’s sometimes fraying nerves and flagging spirit. It turned out that Linda had been caught red-handed committing armed robbery, to help fund the freedom fighters back home. One of the gang had been killed during a shoot out with the police, while she and two others were captured and volunteered for the Penal Corps. One of the other gang members had been killed only a week ago in a freak accident, leaving just her and a guy called Fish out of their original gang.

“Damn, Linda, it’s so good that you’re here. I was beginning to think I would never see a friendly face again. You’re joining us for the final test, huh?”

“Yup, we’ve had a few fall by the wayside, as no doubt you have. We’ve also got one guy in hospital at the moment, the bloody fool. At least he’ll remember to check his weapon next time before firing it, and that breech explosions tend to hurt. I’m looking forward to getting through this test and into the proper army. This shit is starting to bore my tits off.”

“Yeah, but its merits from the complete course, particularly this part, that determine what post we get,” Selena mused. Of course they could volunteer for a specific job, or role, if they so wished. Most would be sent to the battle units on ships or bases that were scattered throughout the galaxy, but a few would find homes elsewhere. Some might become pilots or navigators for the many starships or landing craft, perhaps even the new class of fighter that was coming into service. The list of positions seemed endless.

“Do you have anything specific in mind that you’d like to do?” Linda asked.

“Not really, just want to score high so that I get a decent choice. Has to be something exciting. An office job would bore me to death.”

“Ha, an office job sounds perfect for me,” Linda retorted. “I just want to get my time done safely and get out alive, then figure out a way to beat the system and get home to see my parents. And that queen still needs killing.”


About the Author


Mark Iles works for Southampton University, and also as a freelance writer. His short stories have been published in Back Brain Recluse, Dream, New Moon, Auguries, Haunts, Kalkion, Screaming Dreams, and the anthologies Right To Fight, Escape Velocity and Monk Punk. With an 8th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo he’s also written non-fiction for Combat, Taekwondo & Korean Martial Arts, Fighters, Junk, Martial Arts Illustrated, and

His first full-length work was Kwak’s Competition Taekwondo, and he also has a short story collection entitled Distant Shores. A Pride of Lions is the first in The Darkening Stars series. Having written features and fiction for over 30 years Mark applied to do an MA in Professional Writing. Pride had been bouncing around in his head for some time, and he seized the opportunity of the MA to produce this first novel as part of the course. Mark says it’s without doubt the best choice he’s ever made, as it really focused him, and that getting this novel accepted is the perfect conclusion to a wonderful experience. He’s now focusing on the second book in this series, The Cull of Lions.


Mark Iles’ Other Work

Distant Shores Book Cover
Buy at Amazon

Kwak's Competition Taekwondo Book Cover
Buy at Amazon

Cover Reveal: The Darkest Joy by Marata Eros

The Darkest Joy Cover Image


Title: The Darkest Joy

Author: Marata Eros

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Expected release: February 18, 2014

Genre: Dark Romantic Suspense

Age Group: New Adult

A sexy and poignant new adult novel from New York Times bestseller Marata Eros, about two lost souls who find each other in the wake of tragedy, only to learn that love may not be enough to heal the wounds of a dark and tortured past…

Twenty year-old Brooke Starr has escaped the aftermath of a brutal tragedy by abandoning her music studies and moving north to take a summer position as a part-time deck hand on a deep-sea fishing boat. When her survivor’s guilt becomes unbearable, Brooke realizes there’s only one thing she can do to finally erase the pain.

Deep sea fisherman, Chance Taylor, has just wrapped his guitar set at the local saloon when he sees the silhouette of a young woman in repose, the full moon highlighting her shadow as she plummets from a pier too high for diving… into water too cold to survive. Without thinking, he plunges in after her, saving Brooke from drowning.

As Chance works to save her from her own emotional fragility, Brooke finally begins to learn how to save herself. But when their chemistry begins to consume them, Brooke withdraws. She’s determined to be the master of her own destiny… until the past catches up with her in a cataclysmic plan so dark, so final… it threatens their love and their very lives.
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About the Author

Marata Eros

Marata Eros is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of dark, romantic new adult novels, including A Terrible Love and its companion novel A Brutal Tenderness. A passionate writer who loves interacting with her readers, Marata lives in South Dakota with her husband.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest


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Author Profile: KateMarie Collins

Meet KateMarie Collins!

Born in the late 60’s, KateMarie has lived most of her life in the Pacific NW. While she’s always been creative, she didn’t turn towards writing until 2008. She found a love for the craft. With the encouragement of her husband and two daughters, she started submitting her work to publishers. When she’s not taking care of her family, KateMarie enjoys attending events for the Society for Creative Anachronism. The SCA has allowed her to combine both a creative nature and love of history. She currently resides with her family and three cats in what she likes to refer to as “Seattle Suburbia”.



Daughter of Hauk (Book 1 of the Raven Chronicles)

What would you do, if you found out your life was a lie?

After you were dead?

Arwenna Shalian spent her life in loyal service to a God she was never meant to serve. Tricked by her fellow priests, she betrayed a man she thought she loved by binding a demon to him. One that would send him to the brink of madness.
Can she find a way to forgive herself? And what of Hauk, the God she was Marked to serve? Will He find her and give her the chance to undo what she’s done, or leave her at the mercy of the creatures that torture her soul?


Son of Corse (Book 2 of the Raven Chronicles)

It’s been almost two years since Arwenna banished the Demon Corse from her world. Life has been good. Idyllic, almost.

The illusion is shattered in a heartbeat during her sister’s wedding. Not only are once-dead enemies back, but they’ve stolen Arwenna’s only child, Sera.

The price Arwenna will have to pay to save her daughter is high. Can she muster the strength to make a pact that jeopardizes not just her own soul, but that of an entire world?


Mark of the Successor
Dominated and controlled by an abusive mother, Lily does what she can to enjoy fleeting moments of normality. When a break from school only provides the opportunity for more abuse at home, the sudden appearance of a stranger turns her world even bleaker. Disappearing without a trace, he has left a lingering fear in Lily. His parting words to her mother, “Have her ready to travel tomorrow,” is something her mind refuses to accept.

Running away is the only answer. But before Lily can execute her plan, a shimmering portal appears in her room. Along with two strangers who promise to help keep her safe. With time running out, she accepts their offer for escape and accompanies them into a brand new world. A world in which she is the kidnapped daughter of a Queen, and the heir to the throne of Tiadar.

Can she find her own strength to overcome both an abusive past and avoid those who would use her as a means to power?


Kick the Can
Dave Smith and his wife, Jocelyn, had waited a long time to have children. And then they were blessed with twins!

The man in the suit that greeted Dave as he saw his children for the first time gave him chills. Dave needed to spend the next twelve years preparing to play a game that would change their lives forever.

Because playing this game could kill you.

Kick the can



Twitter: @DaughterHauk



Introducing World Weaver Press’s Newest Author, Margo Bond Collins!

I’m excited to reblog this news item from World Weaver Press!

World Weaver Press

Margo Bond CollinsMargo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.

Her forthcoming novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy set in the Bronx featuring the (accidental) vampire slayer Elle Dupree. It will be published by World Weaver Press in 2014 as the first in the Vampirarchy series.

Find Margo Bond Collins online on GoodreadsGoogle+FacebookPinterestTwitter @MargoBondCollinTumblr, and

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The Urban Fantasy Anthology – Review

Review of The Urban Fantasy Anthology. Ed. Peter S. Beagle and Joe R. Lansdale. San Francisco: Tachyon, 2011. $15.95.
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In The Urban Fantasy Anthology, Peter S. Beagle and Joe R. Lansdale have created a much-needed collection of urban fantasy suitable for classroom instructors, academics, and interested laypersons alike. As Beagle notes in his introduction, “urban fantasy has become so vibrant, and has evolved so rapidly, that it has emerged as a distinct marketing category.” This book brings together a variety of important stories in the field from both grand masters of fiction and comparative newcomers, creating an important text for anyone interested in urban fantasy. Perhaps more importantly, however, the anthology creates a collection that leaves the impression of a genre (and series of sub-genres) still developing.

The Urban Fantasy Anthology

Beagle and Lansdale have chosen to divide the collection into three categories: Mythic Fiction, Paranormal Romance, and Noir Fantasy. The sections are introduced by Charles de Lint , Paula Guran, and Joe R. Lansdale, respectively. However, the section introductions illustrate the difficulties inherent in defining a genre, particularly one as new as urban fantasy. Indeed, beyond the basic element of the fantastic in a modern setting, the various section editors themselves show little consensus about what constitutes an “urban fantasy” story. In the introduction, Beagle claims that “I still think that urban fantasy’s most important distinction is that it isn’t The Lord of the Rings” (9). Each section editor’s introduction provides his or her ideas about the concept of “urban fantasy,” deepening and enriching the conversation surrounding the genre and its various sub-genres—a move that will, I suspect, more firmly entrench the various categories, despite everyone’s apparent reluctance to do just that.

Charles de Lint entitles his section introduction “A Personal Journey into Mythic Fiction”—and given the fact that de Lint’s novel The Jack of Kinrowan: A Novel of Urban Faerie inspired the term “urban fantasy” (much as his fiction participated in inspiring the genre itself), the development of the genre and de Lint’s development as an author might well be synonymous. However, de Lint writes that he “found the terms ‘urban fantasy’ and ‘contemporary fantasy’ unsatisfactory . . . partly because not all the works we were looking at were urban, or set in the present day” (18). His use of the term “mythic fiction,” then, arises out of the fact that, as he notes, the difference between other urban fantasy books and what he calls mythic fiction is that “the magical/mythic/folkloric elements of these books is colour and shade, rather than the substance of the story. The new urban fantasy story remains rooted in the genres from which it sprang. Its magic is more often matter-of-fact—bricks and mortar—rather than something that leaves the reader with a sense of wonder.” Mythic fiction, he implies, should create that wonder missing in other kinds of urban fantasy.

Included in the first section are two stories by de Lint himself, as well as one each by Emma Bull, Neil Gaiman, Jeffrey Ford, and Peter Beagle. These are certainly not stories of the matter-of-fact or brick and mortar, but their forays into the mythic vary widely. Gaiman’s otherwise apparently prosaic tale of a novelist-turned-screenwriter invokes the magic of the silver screen in the era of silent film as well as that of Victorian stage magicians, while Beagle’s story of a medieval tapestry unicorn set free in the modern world by a sympathetic museum-goer reads more like the works included in the “Paranormal Romance” section. All of the stories, however, deal with worlds of myth and legend, from a road-tripping Jesus and Satan in Ford’s “On the Road to New Egypt,” to an elf who plays music in a coffee shop in de Lint’s “Make a Joyful Noise,” to a Native American shape-shifting crow in Bull’s “The Bird that Whistles.”

Like the other section editors, Guran is uncomfortable with the term “urban fantasy”—but unlike de Lint and Lansdale, she also takes exception to the term “paranormal romance,” noting that many of the works categorized as paranormal romance are as likely to trace their origins to other genres. As she points out, Charlain Harris’s initial Southern Vampire Mysteries novel (the basis for the HBO series True Blood) “won an Anthony Award as Best Paperback Mystery of 2001” (139, emphasis Guran’s). For Guran, the central shared characteristic of fiction in this category is “an intersection of ‘the other’—the magical, the strange, the weird, the wondrous, the dark that illumines, the revelation of the hidden—with the mundane, the world we know” (145).

The anthology includes in this section stories by de Lint, Kelley Armstrong, Norman Partridge, Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs, Bruce McAllister, Suzy McKee Charnas, and Francesca Lia Block. In many ways, Guran is right—Block’s story of a grieving-mother-turned-zombie-hunter-P.I. (“Farewell, My Zombie”) and Vaughn’s tale of a party-crashing zombie created by a controlling boyfriend (“Kitty’s Zombie New Year”) seem more mystery than romance. Similarly, Charnas’ “Boobs”—the story of an adolescent girl becoming a werewolf—ends more in horror than romance (though not entirely in either), as does Armstrong’s “A Haunted House of Her Own.” Indeed, of all of the excellent offerings in this section, only McAllister’s “Seeing Eye” seems to conclude with the potential for love that is the hallmark of commercial fiction romance novels.

Although none of the authors of the introductions are entirely at ease with the term “urban fantasy,” Lansdale is the most outspoken: “It’s not my purpose here to round up these stories and brand them. They can be tagged to some degree, but they are not confined by the tag” (275). Lansdale also notes that “this section of stories owes less to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and more to noir and writers who tripped the dark fantastic with gleeful enthusiasm” (276) such as Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, and Flannery O’Connor (among others).

The Noir Fantasy section includes two stories by Lansdale and one each by Thomas Disch, Susan Palwick, Holly Black, Tim Powers, and Al Sarrantonio. Steven R. Boyett’s short story “Talking Back to the Moon,” also included in this section, is the only previously unpublished work in the collection. Only in this portion of the anthology do the selections seem to fully live up to their section name: these stories are dark. Disch’s “The White Man” is chilling in its depiction of a young Malawi girl encouraged to hunt vampires in Minnesota, and in Palwick’s “Gestella,” the reader follows a domesticated werewolf wife as she spirals down to her inevitable horrific end. Black’s “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” dispels any romantic notions about vampirism, while “Talking Back to the Moon” offers a bleak post-apocalyptic world, even for werewolves and centaurs. “The Bible Repairman” and “Father Dear” both feature parents making dreadful sacrifices for their children.

The anthology has a few weaknesses, perhaps unsurprisingly for a collection attempting, in part, to both stabilize and expand conceptions about a relatively new genre. Guran’s section introduction, for example, relies fairly heavily upon comments in Landsdale’s section introduction, though Guran’s precedes Lansdale’s—but this is really only a problem for a reader reading the anthology in strict order, and I suspect that most casual readers will pick and choose among the stories available. More problematically, Beagle’s introduction attributes “cheerful werewolf heroines running radio call-in shows” to Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series (10)—a mistake that perhaps indicates an only passing familiarity with the “Paranormal Romance” version of urban fantasy, as the werewolf in question is actually from Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series. Ultimately, though, The Urban Fantasy Anthology offers a much-needed collection of what Beagle calls “raw, consciously commercial fiction, feeding an unquenchable hunger for walks on the wild side, blending and shaking up familiar themes until they are transformed into something new and meaningful” (11)—an affordable collection that brings together some of the best stories to be found in urban fantasy, accompanied by an accessible critical framework. Despite its minor flaws, it’s an absorbing collection—so much so that I read it in a single sitting—and the consistently well chosen stories overcome the taxonomical tensions among the various section introductions.

~Margo Bond Collins

* Originally published in Monsters and the Monstrous. 2.1 (2012): 96-8. (

Cover Reveal: A Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods 2)

New cover art from World Weaver Press (

A Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods 2), a novel by Amalia Dillin.

Since the gods returned Adam’s memory six hundred years ago, Thor has been a scourge on his lives. But when Adam learns that Thor has been haunting his steps out of love for Eve, he is determined to banish the thunder god once and for all. Adam is no fool: Eve still loves the man she knew as Thorgrim, and if she ever learned he still lived, that he still loved her, Adam would lose any chance of winning Eve to his side, never mind liberating the world. But after everything Thor has done to protect Eve, everything he’s sacrificed, the thunder god won’t go without a fight. Not as long as Eve might love him again.

Which means that Adam has to find a new ally. The enemy of his enemy, complete with burning sword and righteous resentment of the gods. But in order to attract the Archangel Michael’s attention, he needs Eve — an unmarried Eve, willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to find her in the future. Not now that he knows how to look.

Publication date: November 5, 2013

Fate Forgotten web

Guest Author: Lizzy Stevens, “Rachel’s Legacy”

Please welcome Lizzy Stevens, author of the contemporary romance novel Rachel’s Legacy. See below for more information about this book, as well as a special sneak preview!

~Margo Bond Collins

Rachel’s Legacy

An Amazon Best Seller!

#35 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Anthologies

Rachel Connors loves her life and her job as a manager at a ski resort in Aspen Colorado, but after learning she is ill, she takes a long-needed vacation to visit her parents at their ranch in Tennessee. There, she meets ranch-hand Kyle Landers.

Before he even meets her, Kyle, unable to understand why the Connors’ ungrateful daughter has chosen to distance herself from them, decides not to like her. He had been alone in the world when Rachel’s parents took him in, and he couldn’t bear to see them hurt.

Nonetheless, Rachel and Kyle feel an undeniable attraction. But everything changes when Rachel is summoned back to Aspen to hear a terrifying diagnosis. Kyle follows her, but their blossoming love is cut short when their plane crashes and Kyle is presumed dead. When he awakes from a coma four years later, Rachel has moved on with a new love, Marcus.

Who will Rachel choose? Is Kyle’s love enough to bring her back to him? Will the same fate that brought them together now keep them apart?

Available on Amazon here:

Watch the book trailer:

Rachel’s Legacy Preview

cover Rachel's Legacy

The snow was coming down hard, quickly blanketing the ground as it fell. Rachel Connors sat on her window sill, watching it fall. The tears rolled down her face, as the thought of going back home haunted her. She hadn’t seen her parents in five years, and wasn’t completely positive she was making the right decision in going back now. She needed to be near family now more than ever. Rachel decided to keep her medical problems to herself. There was no sense in making her parents worry about her. She would tell them nothing.

The sound of the cab’s horn jarred her out of her thoughts. She wiped the tears away and grabbed her bags. She would be staying with her parents until after the holidays. The doctors didn’t need to see her until the new year. How am I supposed to forget everything and enjoy a vacation at a time like this? Rachel sat in the back seat of the cab as it headed to the airport. It would be a long plane ride from Colorado to her parents’ ranch in Tennessee, an hour and a half outside of Nashville. It was always beautiful there. They always teased her growing up about being a singer, but she never had any interest in singing. She always wanted to be a talent agent. She wanted to be the one who found the talent, which was exactly what she did. She was very successful at it, until she received a job offer to manage a friend’s ski resort in Aspen. It was a great escape from the harsh realities of the past, and she grew to love her new life.

Rachel took a long nap on the plane. She had been under a lot of stress lately. It seemed like only minutes after her head hit the pillow that she heard the flight attendant say they were landing. She looked around and saw that they were coming onto the runway. She rubbed her eyes and stretched her arms before standing up.

Kyle Landers waited for her in the terminal, holding up a sign for a woman he had never met. How do I get myself into situations like this? he thought as he started to pace back and forth. He couldn’t tell Sue and Tom that he wouldn’t go pick up their daughter for them even though he knew he wouldn’t like her. He couldn’t understand how she could stay gone as many years as she did knowing her parent’s missed her. Kyle would do anything for Sue and Tom. They took him in four years ago when he didn’t have anywhere else to go. He had no family and them gave him a job on the ranch. He looked back and forth for Rachel. He had seen many pictures of her over the years. Kyle decided he didn’t want to give some stuck up, too good to come home to her family, uptight woman a ride. He dropped the sign into the trash can and walked out. He would tell Sue and Tom the flight must have been delayed. He felt a little bad lying to them, but he knew that their daughter could use a good lesson on how you treat people.

As she entered the terminal, Rachael looked for her ride. Her parents told her a man named Kyle would be picking her up. Not seeing him, she thought he might be outside, or in the luggage area. As she left, she saw a large cardboard sign lying in the trash can with her name on it. Where was he? Why didn’t he wait? The plane was right on time.

She collected her luggage and walked out of the building, hopeful of catching a cab. Rachel walked up and down on the sidewalk trying to hail someone, with no luck. All the cabs were busy and she wanted to go home. She grabbed her bag and started to walk. Surely somebody would give her a ride within an hour and a half’s distance, she thought. As she looked around for prospects, she saw a young man getting ready to get into his truck. “Excuse me, sir. My name is Rachel Connors. Can you please give me a ride to my family’s ranch? I’ll pay for the gas and if you can’t take me all the way there, I would be happy with anywhere close. My ride didn’t show up to pick me up and I can’t seem to get a cab.”

Kyle shot her a look that let her know he wasn’t in the mood to talk. He couldn’t believe his luck. Of all the people wanting a ride it had to be the one person he wanted to leave at the airport. “Let’s go. I have a lot of work to get done back at the ranch.”

Rachel didn’t know what to think. “Okay,” she said, as she glanced down at the ground.

She jumped up into his truck, not saying a word. Rachel felt a little uncomfortable with him. Once she buckled in, she looked over at him. “Excuse me, but you haven’t even told me your name.”

“Kyle. My name’s Kyle,” he said as he continued to drive.

“Have I done something to offend you? I don’t even know you, but you seem to dislike me for some reason,” she said, as she played with her hands nervously. “Wait a minute. Are you Kyle Landers? The same Kyle Landers that works for my father? Why were you going to leave me here at the airport? I wasn’t late.”

Words, Words, Words

Blog Posts: Words, Words, Words

I’ve always been especially fond of the moment in Shakespeare’s Hamlet when Polonius asks Hamlet what he’s reading and Hamlet replies “Words, words, words” (II.ii.192). The line comes while Polonius is trying to discover the cause of Hamlet’s possibly-feigned madness and it can be played in a number of ways. In Kenneth Branagh’s rendition, the line serves to show Hamlet’s disdain for Polonius:

David Tennant uses the scene to emphasize Hamlet’s potential insanity:

Lawrence Olivier’s version is matter-of-fact, and Derek Jacobi flips through the pages as if checking to make sure there is nothing more in the book:

But I’ve always been particularly fond of Mel Gibson’s rendition (available at the end of the clip above), because it inevitably makes me laugh.

With so many version of “words, words, words,” it’s perhaps unsurprising that I would choose the line as the title of my blog. I’ve been in love with words for as long as I can remember. As a child, then a college English major, a technical writer, a graduate student, a college English professor, an academic writer, and now a soon-to-be published fiction writer (Waking Up Dead, forthcoming from Solstice Publishing, and Legally Undead, forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press), I have always loved the malleability of words—how they feel, sound, taste, smell.

This blog is designed to examine words in all their manifestations. I will write about writing, post academic essays, host other authors, review books, share fiction excerpts. My hope is that, like the many versions of Hamlet’s line, this blog will careen wildly from matter-of-fact, to serious, to unexpectedly funny.

Welcome to Words, Words, Words. Enjoy!

~Margo Bond Collins