Thursday, April 24, 2014

Banks-Butler Book Tour: K Ceres Wright




  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Dog Star Books (July 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935738437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935738435




  • The Ryder family is at the top of the corporate elite. Father Geren Ryder heads up a global wireless hologram company with his son, Wills Ryder, a capable second, while daughter, Nicholle, is curator at an art museum. But when a dark stranger shows up, it sets off a chain reaction that puts Geren into a mysterious coma while Wills disappears with $50 billion from the family business. Worse, Geren's will specifies that he be taken off life support after five days. Just as Nicholle is trying to pick up the pieces, she becomes the target of an assassin and has to go on the run. With only a few days to save her father and keep the company from going under, Nicholle reaches back into the darkest part of her history, to the only person who could possibly help her. But the price is steep. Once she goes back, can she escape her past a second time? 



    Daughter to a U.S. Army father, K. Ceres Wright has lived in Anchorage, AK; Chicago, IL; Baltimore, MD; Frankfurt, Oberursel, and Munich, Germany; Seoul, Korea; and the Washington Metropolitan Area. She attended undergraduate school at the University of Maryland, College Park, with a double major in economics and finance, then worked for 10 years as a credit and treasury analyst before deciding to change careers.

    Wright received her Master's degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, and Cog was her thesis novel for the program. Wright's science fiction poem, "Doomed," was a nominee for the Rhysling Award, the Science Fiction Poetry Association's highest honor. Her work has appeared in Hazard Yet Forward; Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction; Many Genres, One Craft; and The 2008 Rhysling Anthology.

    Visit her website at http://www.kcereswright.com and find her on Twitter @KCeresWright.

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    Banks-Butler Book Tour: Milton Davis


    Milton Davis is one of the prime movers in Black independent publishing of speculative fiction through his publication company, MVMEDIA. His own books include the "sowrd and soul" books: 
    Meji Book Two
    Changa's Safari, 
    Changa's Safari Volume Two
     and A Debt To Pay


    Milton Davis has also been credited in leading the revival of Sword and Soul, a heroic fiction subgenre created by Charles R.Saunders, author of Imaro and Dossouye. He is also an innovator of Black speculative fiction anthologies. 

    The anthology he has edited include:


    A witch, more machine than human, judges the character of the wicked and hands out justice in a ravaged Chicago. John Henry wields his mighty hammers in a war against machines and the undead. Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman rule a country of freed slaves that rivals - and often bests - England and France in power and technology. You will find all this - and much more - between the pages of Steamfunk, an anthology of incredible stories by some of today's greatest authors of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Steamfunk - African and African American-inspired Steampunk. Editors Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade have put together a masterful work guaranteed to transport you to new worlds. Worlds of adventure; of terror; of war and wonder; of iron and steam. Open these pages and traverse the lumineferous aether to the world of Steamfunk!


    Magic. Myth. Warfare. Wonder. Beauty. Bravery. Glamour. Gore. Sorcery. Sensuality. These and many more elements of fantasy await you in the pages of Griots, which brings you the latest stories of the new genre called Sword and Soul. The tales told in Griots are the annals of the Africa that was, as well as Africas that never were, may have been, or should have been. They are the legends of a continent and people emerging from shadows thrust upon them in the past. They are the sagas sung by the modern heirs of the African story-tellers known by many names - including griots. Here, you will meet mighty warriors, seductive sorceresses, ambitious monarchs, and cunning courtesans. Here, you will journey through the vast variety of settings Africa offers, and inspires. Here, you will savor what the writings of the modern-day griots have to offer: journeys through limitless vistas of the imagination, with a touch of color and a taste of soul.


    Griots: Sisters of the Spear picks up where the ground breaking Griots Anthology leaves off. Charles R. Saunders and Milton J. Davis present seventeen original and exciting Sword and Soul tales focusing on black women. Just as the Griots Anthology broke ground as the first Sword and Soul Anthology, Griots: Sisters of the Spear pays homage to the spirit, bravery and compassion of women of color. The griots have returned to sing new songs, and what wonderful songs they are!








    The Following is an excerpt from his story, MASQUERADE

    Marigold sauntered back to her chair then sat on the armrest. Jeremy continued to stare in fascination.
    "What is it, Jeremy?" she asked.
    "Your mask," he replied. 
    Marigold laughed. "What is a mask, Jeremy?"
    "It's..it's everything," he answered.
    Marigold's smile faded. "It's a lie. A facade to keep people under control. A weapon that kills as dead as a bullet."
    "No," Jeremy replied. "It's a symbol of order. A symbol of status. It tell you who you are."
    "And who are you, Jeremy?" Marigold stood. "When you were kidnapped, were you a different person without your mask?"
    "I don't know," he said. "I never gained a mask, at least not the proper way."
    "Tell me, Jeremy, what is your favorite color?"
    Jeremy thought for a moment. "Blue, I think."
    "If you had received your mask, would that have changed?"
    "No," Jeremy said.
    Marigold smiled again. "Would you have abandoned your favorite foods, or not enjoyed your favorite pastimes? Would you have loved your mother and father any differently?"
    "No," Jeremy said.
    "So what does a mask have to do with you?" she said.
    "It changes my circumstances," Jeremy said. "It changes what people think of me."
    "Precisely," Marigold said. "But it does not change you."
    Marigold left the room. She returned moments later with a leather box.
    "Open it," she said.
    Jeremy opened the box. Inside was an Elite mask, a translucent masterpiece of delicate fabric and jewels.
    "It's yours if you wish," Marigold said.
    Jeremy took the mask from the box then replaced his old mask.
    "There's a mirror in the next room," Marigold said.
    Jeremy ran to the room and found the full length mirror. Marigold appeared behind him.
    "Do you feel different?" she asked.
    "Yes. Yes I do."
    Marigold frowned.
    "How disappointing."
    She left the room.
    "Take him home, Barron," she said.
    "To Middlebrix?" Barron asked.
    "No, his real home. Let his family finally see their son again. Let them see how he's come up in the world."
    Jeremy looked at Marigold. "You would do this for me? Why?"
    Marigold smiled. "To teach you a lesson Jeremy, a lesson I learned long ago."
    Barron grabbed his arm.

    "Let's go, Master Jeremy," he said. "Time for a family reunion." 




    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Banks-Butler Book Tour: Kai Leakes



    From Iowa, but later relocating to Alton, IL and St. Louis, MO, Kai Leakes was a multifaceted Midwestern child, who gained an addiction to books at an early age. Sharing stories with her cousins as a teen, writing books didn't seem like something she would pursue until one day in college. Storytelling continues to be a major part of her very DNA, with the goal of sharing tales that entertain and add color to a gray literary world. 

    In her spare time she likes to cook, dabble in photography, and assists with an internet/social networking group online. Loving to feed her book addiction, romance, fantasy and fiction novels are her world. Reading those particular genres help guide her as she finds the time to write and study for school.

    Author of the Devotion Book Series, Sin Eaters:Devotion Book One & Sin Eaters - Retibution: Devotion Book Two, you can find her at: kwhp5f.wix.com/kai-leakes





  • Series: Devotion (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Urban Books (July 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601623593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601623591

  • Khamun Cross was born to do one thing and that was to watch Sanna Steele, a woman so unique and special he would risk his all to have her. So what, that in his job of watching her, he happens to prowl the streets, hunting the very things that go bump in the night. Even monsters or everyday looking people that steal humans' souls become Khamun's victims, and he brings with him a power, a vampirism, that would send one straight to the dark.

  • Khamun craves the darkness in his victims as if it were his own personal dinner, but not as much as he craves the very woman he has been ordained to watch over as her Guardian Angel. Sanna Steele is just your average twenty-seven year old, with your everyday hopes, dreams and insecurities. She is clueless about the war that is secretly raging around her in the streets of St. Louis. A war she will soon become a part of. But what is so special about Sanna that the very things that go bump in the night, seeks to snatch her from her very existence in life?

  • EXCERPT

  • Today…

    Metallic, sweet and mind intense flavor filled the air.  The quiet that floated around made the hairs on passerby’s in the night to stand up as if the already chill filled wind wasn’t enough to have them shivering.  Rich, black ebon swallowed the alleyway keeping the individuals who occupied it secured and sequestered away from all who dared peek down the tight tunnel.  Water idly sliding down the asphalted street, mixed with oil and idle trash skating against the cracked surface, cushioned midnight colored Timberland’s as the flash of twinkling light cascaded in a flash like a pulse near the booted body.

    Inhaling even shallow breaths, the individual listened as all sound seemed to be absorbed away as if in a tornado.  This silence triggered the timed attack, which had the anticipation in the individual’s body expand with power, velocity, speed and well checked strength.

    If one was to be one of the many idle flies which hovered in the nearby dumpster, they would be amazed at the sight of the super human individual running in an almost flying position and landing on the second hulking form in the alley.
    The rise of a scent that had cats meowing and arched in defense on the railings of a window and under a parked car filled the air again as the crisp white flash of light slashed in the night air, landing against the second balked individual as the attacker hissed.

    In a fraction of a blink, claws the size of an oversized lion slashed in the air as tentacles dipped out near the blind spot of the attacker, making the being jump in the air. Bringing down a flashing light of metal unto the second balked former human looking being but now entity of horrendous looks, the precise slash against the entities flesh caused the now familiar smell to fill the air once more.  

    The attacker crouched low in a resting battle position, taking in shallow calm breaths as the thing turn to attack again, running full speed.  Its Italian leather wing tipped shoes creating a rhythm of tapping song on the alleyway floor, causing the attacker to hum, throwing the entity off its thoughts.
    Light sheen of perspiration kissed the attacker’s forehead with each calm inhale.  The attacker lived for this, loved it and desired the hunt of creatures such as this.

    Strategizing the next move, the attacker thought back to how this prey was hunted.  A

    quiet smile flashed across the attackers lips.  It wasn’t hard to get to the sick bastard, the attacker posed as the entities preferred targets, an angry teenager, who wanted nothing but to get away from their parent.  It made the attacker clutch the blade that nestled comfortably against his palm, in anger at the obscene and pornographic discussions that would occur with the demon.
    It made it even easier to identify that this monster wasn’t the shrewd Italian entrepreneur he portrayed to be, but was in fact a succubae level soul polluter demon.  These breed of evil were the most degenerate of demons, they enjoyed feasting off the pain of the victims through lewd sexual means, physical decapitating torture and flesh eating.
    Knowing this, it silently pleased the attacker to stalk and mentally threaten the demon’s territory by baiting it, since these demons were known for their territorial nature.

    Allowing the demon to believe they were to meet up outside of a popular artist’s concert, the attacker led the demon to the alleyway through simple mind manipulation and the rest is history.  Shuddering with a lethal dose of pleasure and battle tactics, the attacker’s body tightened with the wait as the breeze in the alley lightly brushed against skin.
    Side stepping within the low crouch, the attacker pivoted and flipped forward with the lithe agility of a panther producing a silver gun.  Suddenly as if time stopped, bullets exploded in the air as the glimmering and glowing objects penetrated the thrown back body of the beast, causing it to howl in pain.

    The attacker ran full speed, watching the bullets hit each expertly calculated point on the beast’s body.  Landing a blow to the entities ribcage; the muscles in the attacker’s bicep tightening with the impact of breaking bones and tearing flesh.
    Seething in anger, contempt, disbelief and hate, the monster attempted to slash at the attacker with its claws, its teeth dripping with a mixture of its own blood and a liquid miasma.  The beast successfully slammed the attacker into the side of a building, breaking bricks and creating a crater in the wall, rushing like a bull to launch another attack of teeth and claws.  Pivoting out of the way with a deep guttural grunt, the attacker let another round of bullets to release and absorb into the slashing and bleeding beast, watching him fall.

    High pitched human screams burst from the beast as it lay on the cold glistening wet pavement, its twisted and contorted body writhing as the attacker casually walked over it kneeling down and grabbing it by its neck.


    Watching slowly as the entity howled, hissing and fighting back, its eyes begged to be left alone as its tentacles and claws melted away into a very human hand.  As the once beastly thing revealed itself during its cries, a disheveled looking handsome muscular man, dressed in an Italian designed straight from the runway suit, coughed up spewing blood and wheezed in agony.  The clawing man, murmured in unintelligible sentences, his sun kissed olive skin, slowly fading into a murky grey.

    Wrinkles of decay and diseases, emitting from his once handsome frame, seemed to slosh away with every scream of pain and anger.  Flowing oak colored hair, drifted away as if it was dust in the wind. The man reached out attempting to tear at the attacker’s throat as flashes of the demon’s past life of darkness flowed into his vision through the eyes and briefly flashed smile of the attacker’s photogenic face.

    Hunching over in a swift movement that would rival and shame a snake, if a snake could be shamed, the attacker hissed, claw palmed the man in the chest clutching at his

    engorged heart to pull it to its surface, beating against rapidly thinning skin, as the man screamed in garbled terror.

    “Ashes to ashes…”, was whispered in the air as the attacker pulled the heart from the man’s cavity and ferociously bit into the side of the screaming man’s neck tearing and cavernously biting until the attacker’s mouth seemed to fuse with the writhing man’s jugular, as rivers of blood fluidly glided everywhere.


    -Sin Eaters by Kai Leakes ©copyright 2012-







  • Series: Devotion Book (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Urban Books (June 24, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601624174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601624178


  • Darkness is swallowing the streets of Chicago, and a key may have been found.  Khamun and Sanna's epic journey together has led them to this, their mission to save Nephilim Society from themselves. Still trying to open the secrets of the first book, Khamun and Sanna's fight has resulted in a travesty that may change their lives. Now with Khamun at the cusp of a life and death decision, it's up to his team to close ranks and protect their Oracle.
    Calvin Freeman is surrounded by death. Not only has his cousin fallen in battle, but he's now being stalked by ghosts from his past lives and a familiar lethal foe, The Medusa. What is deathly has become alluring, and what is toxic has become bittersweet. His dreams are betraying him, and war is coming as society turns a blind eye. It's up to him and his family to bring their retribution, and it's up to him to find out why the woman known for bringing nightmares has suddenly knocked at his door.
    Take a final walk in the chilling world of Kai Leakes in Sin Eaters 2: Retribution Devotion Book Two.

  • EXCERPT

  • The past . . .

    “Where are you going to go, boy? You’re surrounded!”

    Like hell, woulda ever let ya take me down, boss, rushed into his mind as he ran. More like sprinted through the thick, grasping trees that surrounded him. Rigged branches reached out to him as if they had a mind of their own. Their thick almost-black rooted stems twisted in their uprooting from the bowels of the earth to make him trip, but he was smarter than the trees. He leaped and veered out of their menacing way and his arms jolted outward to part through bushes.

    With all of the trees that surrounded him, he would not have believed that he was back in Harlem, had he known any better; but for those who don’t know it by that name, New York was where he was. The bustling city lights covered the sky like fireflies splashed across the sky’s black canvas. The noisy zipping of various buckets and hacks driving carelessly pass tourists and city folk gave him a sense of how close he exactly was to civilization. It

    also gave him a sense of purpose.

    Twigs snapped suddenly and the rustling of leaves tussling against each other let him know they were still hot on his trail. His mind was racing as he looked for an out. All of this was too familiar to him. Beady red eyes flickered at him in the darkness of the wilderness—no, of the park. He was in Central Park. He should have realized that. Those piercing eyes stared at him in delight, ready to seize the opportunity to hogtie him so that he could be their little plaything but he would not give them that satisfaction. Not yet.

    Beads of midnight dew kissed his face the moment he stepped through the thicket. His wingtip shoes abruptly skidded as they made contact with wet, slick grass. He jumped. Then he lifted in the air, almost floating for a mere second. Both of his large feet clacked against pebbled stone the moment they met the ground.

    He could hear the enemy. He could feel them breathing against the back of his neck. Each hair on his body stood in salute, coming alive in electric awareness. In this life at least, he knew he could die on his terms and die giving them a fight. In seven minutes, his time would be up soon anyway, so what could he really do about not being bumped off?

    Seven . . .

    A whizzing sound sizzled past his ear and he felt the hot trickle of blood mixing with his sweat and the quick pop of the gun after the fact. They wanted to play dirty. They wanted to make him appear to be a patsy and a hood. He had to laugh; he was better than a hood. Sure, at one time, he had to fill that slot but now he was his own man, a bruno to a well-known trouble boy who protected the meek of Harlem. They worked together with his gang to find those who were kidnapped or were bumping gums to the wrong people. They worked to regain money lost in predatory loans and schemes and wrongful repositions. They worked to build up their people and to protect all who walked the streets of Harlem from the highbinders that made it their mission to tear down the community. But these men who were after him, the very scum and thugs themselves, were no normal men.

    Corrupted monsters in the flesh of coppers more like it. Oh, what he wouldn’t give to go out between the gams of a looker for a change.

    Six . . .

    The menacing snarl of dogs in the distance made him grimly chuckle before closing his eyes with the feel of his body vibrating with his gift. His gift allowed him to use the sound waves around him to channel it into music. With a slight part of his lips, he let out a low hum. Whistling he changed the pitched and dropped into a low crouch. Both hands extended outward and he observed his skin lighting up in swirling patterns against its burnished surface. That was his clue to project that vibrating power out in waves toward the hunting dogs. A change in his vision instantly allowed him to see through their glittering eyes. He then knew where to run next. With a quick shift of the pitch of his song, he caused the dogs to halt their barks, whimper, and then stopped in their tracks to turn. Attack, was his simple mental command and he watched the dogs attack their owners before sprinting away in retreat.

    His sweat dripped down his face like rain on the ground before him. His ragged breath came out in sharp bursts and he pushed up to start his run again. They wouldn’t get what he had been given a vision to find. That he was sure he had hidden well; he had taken something priceless, something rare, and something they wanted destroyed but couldn’t. Something they had to hide from his people because he had learned it could kill the leader of their kind.


    Five . . .

    (Find out what the countdown is about when Sin Eaters 2: Retribution drops June 24th 2014)


  • Additional places to follow Kai Leakes:
    FB – https://www.facebook.com/kaileakesbooks
    Twitter – https://twitter.com/KaiLeakes
    Tumblr – http://kaileakes.tumblr.com/
    Sin Eaters Devotion Book One is out now! Sin Eaters 2: Devotion Book Two will be released June 24, 2014! Contest also coming soon!




  • Monday, April 21, 2014

    Butler/Banks Book Tour: Carole McDonnell


    I have been a book and film reviewer. My reviews have appeared in some of the following The Peekskill Herald, The Quarterly Black Review of Books, Christian Spotlight on the Movies, Christian Spotlight on Video Games, www.blogcritics.com curledup.com compulsivereader.com and fantastic stories website.


    My Short stories have appeared in various anthologies, such as So long Been Dreaming, edired by Nalo Hopkinson; Fantastical Visions III; Jigsaw Nation edited by Ekaterina Sedia; Fantastic Stories of the imagination edited by Warren Lapine; Griots, Griots II: Sisters of the Spear, Steamfunk, edite by Milton Davis. My stories have placed in contests such as New Mass Media’s, Westchester Weekly and the Annual Contemporary Western Fiction Contest.

    My writing honors and credits include being a Poetry Judge at the annual NAACP ACTSO. I've been a participant in NYC’s The Women’s Caucus for Art. I've read at many venues including the AfricanAmerican ReadIn  a national literacy cable project , Mercy College, Trinity School, Purchase College.


    I was a Teaching Assistant at Peekskill High School as a finishnotfail teacher.  I came from Jamaica to the United States when I was eleven and lived in Brooklyn until I was seventeen. Then I went to SUNY Purchase. I stayed there until I graduated in 1981. I’m married with two children. In the past, I was a Sunday school teacher and a neighborhood Bible class teacher.




    I'm a fantasy writer, primarily.





    Occasionally I dabble into contemporary fantasy humor



    But if you want Science Fiction, here is one of my attempts. Please note, though, that Science Fiction is not something I do well. Probably because I generally don't believe in it. For me progressive joyous Science fiction is not true, not likely to be true -- whereas fantasy always has a truth to it because fantasy does not speak of the physical world.


    This is How You Make a World
    by Carole McDonnell

    To the left was a small planet, gray, apparently lifeless, about one eighth the size of the destroyed, forsaken earth. To the right, about three million kilometers from Searcher 871, was a large planet, green, blue and gold, reminiscent of the old earth — but eight time its size— populated by humans with various stages of civilization development.  The Searcher had stopped in between both planets, equidistant from both. Inside, its aging inhabitant debated the pros and cons of the terraforming the smaller planet or sending their children into the populated world.

    Terraforming would take six months. Not long, considering the ship’s inhabitants had been in space for eight years, since the blighted earth had died.

    But the artificially created air, food, light, was already taking its toll on the children. The damaged children, children born with limited mental and emotional and physical abilities because of the tainted foods, pharmas, and air of the old earth. Their parents too were fading, on their last legs — as the old earth maxim went.

    But the other planet, the one that shone like a big aqua marble in the dark sky presented other problems. True, its inhabitants had their share of petty wars. But, as far as the aged navigators could tell, chances of atomic bombs and other damages wrought by science were not little. The planet was large, resources varied and many, and tribes — who were as varied as those in the craft— were scattered across the planet. The travelers of Searcher 871 could place their damaged children in a small wood — a natural Eden, if possible— and the children and their future descendants would not be found for hundreds of years to come.  But there were fears and questions, especially among the darker-skinned inhabitants of the craft, about conquest and racial discrimination. The humanoid inhabitants of the planet had features the earthers did not have, and vice versa.

    Both planets were the first they had encountered that could take on human life, their shared sun life-giving and rare for human life.

    “I choose to terraform the asteroid,” Lily, the African-American woman navigator said.

    “Why put our children in a world that will challenge them? We have the skill to make the asteroid suitable for them and their needs.”

    “A whole year?” Denny, the Irish Captain replied. “Can they survive? Can any of us survive that long? And if we terra-form, won’t we be using up our resources even more? Our ability to recycle the air, the food, will be taxed.”

    There were eighteen adults of all races, of pleasant enough dispositions. They knew how to accommodate themselves to others and to the world. Before the earth died, most parents — those who were actually fertile— had children who were “damaged” and labeled as mentally “limited” or “developmentally slow.” Yet, these children were viewed as a blessing because children themselves were so rare. The year the earth died, ten thousand ships had departed the earth, each with about five hundred crew members. Over the years, most of the crew of 871 had died, or gone stir crazy and suicidal (another American earth phrase.)  It had been difficult to explain the deaths to the children — who were both young and “limited.” But the crew had managed, telling the children that the dead crew members had really gone to worlds along the way. The children — if they missed the dead at all— believed the crew’s protective lies. But now, as the remaining elders looked at each other’s wrinkled faces and at the faces of their children, they knew their limits. Death would come soon. Puberty would appear.

    Lily often wondered if puberty would be natural. Would the children “know” what to do? Would “nature” take its course? Some of the children were astute enough to understand many things. They would share their knowledge no doubt. Others could barely feed themselves. But these are the last of Earth humanoids, Lily thought. Unless some others have survived,  we are all that’s left. And even if others have survived, aren’t their children as wounded and “limited” as ours?

    As the old travelers looked on their children, they could only come to the decision that terraforming might take a year, but their children would not survive in a world that was not specifically meant for them. Terraforming it had to be. The year went by. No longer did they see the stars passing past them (or vice versa.) No longer did they use the great craft’s power to move forward. All its energies were used to create a perfect land for their children. During that year, five of the eighteen parents died. But their children lived and were taken care of by the others. And each day, the planet took on its form.

    A great dome was built around the planet — the laser technology creating a new atmosphere. The ice at the poles farthest from the sun were melted and pushed toward the equator where lakes —not deeper than a man’s foot, not wider than a mile—were built. The seeds of non-genetically-modified non-poisonous plants, the frozen larvae of insects and embryos of animals that would bow to humans were planted in green forests, cold artic poles, and deserts.

    At last, the day came when the parents landed their craft on the new world. Some eighty children exited the craft. Lame, halt, mute, mentally limited — a joyous kind new breed of humans, incapable of hatred or pettiness. It was not known if the damage to their bodies and minds was mutagenic. Nor was Lily sure how long she and the old ones would live in that world. The children sat on the grass in front of her — their minds not really focused on the sex video she was showing them. But how could they focus? They had never seen a lake before, or little bunny rabbits, or sheep or bees before.

    But Lily stood there and pointed to the dolls, then at the sex video. “This,” she said, hoping some would understand and would teach the others, “This is how you make a world.”
    THE END


    Call me a cynic but here are a few facts:


    One hundred years ago, the death rate from cancer or diabetes was about 1 in 100,000. Now one in three people in the US will get cancer.


    Cancer, Diabetes, Arthritis, and so called degenerative diseases (which mostly attack the aged) are now affecting children with about one in ten childhood deaths attributed to cancer.


    In a recent health consortium, it was declared that we are the last generation that will live longer than our parents. (Of course people have always lived to be around 70, but yeah.)


    Autism now touches one in every 88 children in the US


    So, as a realist, I really think health issues will preclude all kinds of positive science fiction. So I wrote this little scifi piece. I wouldn't call it a short story because it doesn't use any storytelling elements.




    From there, you can find

    THE CONSTANT TOWER






    And my short story collection, Spirit Fruit





    Some stories in this collection include:


    -- “Homecoming” –  Won first prize in New Mass Media's Annual contest and was a third place winner in the annual national Contemporary Western Fiction contest.


    -- “Lingua Franca” –  So Long Been Dreaming: Post-Colonialism in Science Fiction, edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan -- Arsenal Pulp Press – October 2004.


    -- “Black is the color of my true love’s hair,” –  Fantastic Visions III, edited by William Horner – Fantasist Enterprises – August 2005.


    -- Homecoming at the Borderlands Cafe – Jigsaw Nation anthology, edited by Kat Sedia – DNA Publications March 2006


    The Gleaners -- in Black Faery anthology


    So Far -- in Black Science Fiction Society anthology 2009


    Changeling -- in Griots edited by Milton Davis and Charles Saunders 2011


    Housewarming -- in When the Morning Stars Sang anthology edited by Lyndon Perry 2011


    A Cry For Hire – Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, edited by Warren Lapine (Not included in this anthology)

    My fantasy novel, Wind Follower and my collection are also available on Audible. The Constant Tower will be available in late 2014



    Seeds of Bible Study
    On Kindle ebook











    Sunday, April 20, 2014

    Banks-Butler Book Tour: Keith Gaston




  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456473298
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456473297


  • D-Shroud, a criminal kingpin, has dreams of growing his empire. By selling three suitcase nuclear weapons to buyers that have no compunctions about using them, he believes he can secure his vision. Tease, his number one assassin, is beautiful and deadly. When a mysterious Washington attorney named Shaw asks too many questions about D-Shroud, Tease is ordered to put an end to Shaw’s life. Shaw is blamed for a crime he didn’t commit. Pursued by police and being tracked by an insane killer, his problems become even more complicated by an undeniable heat rising between him and Tease. With tens of thousands of lives at stake, will Shaw’s passion for Tease take precedence over his sense of duty?


    • Print Length: 187 pages
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B007WH8KPQ

      After Tease is abducted by an unknown organization, her face, name, and very identity are eradicated. They trained her to be a better assassin. 

    She becomes Sphinx--she’s fouled mouth, hot tempered and deadly.

    Her first mission as Sphinx is to travel to a remote tropical island posing as a scientist to get close to Viceroy, a ruthless drug lord. Her goal is to entice him and to discover all she can about Grandeur, a new, incredibly addictive drug. Standing in her way is Boss (The Devil) Jacobs, Viceroy’s adviser and security chief. He is immediately suspicious of Sphinx and does everything in his powerful to find out if she is who she claims to be. 

    With little patience for the spy game or taking orders, it’s only a matter of time before Sphinx falls back on the psychotic ways of her former self. And when that happens--all hell will break loose.



    • Paperback: 296 pages
    • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 26, 2013)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1482632306
    • ISBN-13: 978-1482632309


    In his Washington DC office, his door reads: Shaw, Attorney at Law, but he has never fought a case in court. He has no known residence and barely anyone who he can count as a friend. He works for a clandestine agency with no name and no real ties to the government. His true identity is cloaked in mystery. Tease, once an assassin for a powerful crime lord, now works for an agency no one knows exists. Her face and body has been changed, along with her identity. As Sphinx, she was trained to be a better killer and brought down an operation marketing a deadly new drug called, Grandeur. Always a loner, she is forced to work with a team who does not have a problem cutting her throat if she ever steps out of line. The chase for two deadly men who control nuclear devices nears its explosive end. The tables have turned on Shaw. For years he was the hunter, but now he has become prey. Assassins from around the world have been commissioned to take him down at any cost. Fighting to stay alive long enough to complete his mission, Shaw knows the clock is ticking ever closer to a nuclear explosion unless he succeeds. With hundreds of thousands of lives at stake, failure is not an option. To make matters worse, a familiar enemy of Tease’s reemerges from her past, rekindling their deadly rivalry. This time the killing isn't for business, it’s personal.




    About the Author

    D. Keith Gaston was born in Detroit, Michigan. He served in the military as an Infantry soldier. After leaving the Army, he earned his Bachelors degree at Davenport University and began a career in Computer Networking. Since then, he’d earned two Masters Degrees from the University of Phoenix. Keith Gaston is a devoted husband and father residing in Michigan. He is currently working on his next novel.



    Taurus Moon

    My most reason speculative fiction novel is Taurus Moon: Magic & Mayhem, which is the follow-up to Taurus Moon: Relic Hunter. Taurus makes his living by searching for supernatural artifacts for anyone willing to pay his price. These two novels are among my favorite because it allows me to express my humor as much as the fast-paced actions throughout the books.



    Book Description

    Taurus Moon: Magic & Mayhem is a fast-paced action and fantasy novel, sprinkled with humor. After saving the lives of a family about to be slaughtered by Lycans, Taurus and Gully are pulled into a realm where magic is supreme and technology is nonexistent. They must travel through harsh lands to find their way home.

    The uneasy alliance between an evil sorceress queen, Morgana le Fay, and Grimes, a Lycan king, is threatened because of the relic hunter's and mage's presence. Taurus and Gully will have to use every trick they've every learned to survive the looming battle, but will it be enough?







    Excerpt

    Chapter One



    Gully’s lungs burned, and cold sweat dripped down his face, but he couldn’t stop running, because stopping meant death.

    Shadowing them on all fours, their stalkers were urged on with an inhuman need to slaughter. The heavy pounding of their massive paws against the frozen landscape grew ever closer. He pictured his pursuers’ tongues lolling from their mouths, salivating with anticipation. Wails filled the night; their terrifying howls alerting others of their pack that the chase was nearly over.

    Gully had hoped the thick trees would offer him and the people he’d rescued, places to conceal themselves, but it wasn’t to be. The predators’ night vision could penetrate the dark with ease and their sense of smell could detect the four of them wherever they may hide.

    Desperation begged that he plunge deeper into the woods. More than once, he’d seen what the claws and teeth of the predators could do to human flesh—saw the terror frozen in the eyes of their dead victims. Gully saw that same fear in the eyes of the family he was trying to protect. A hard knot had gotten trapped in his throat when the small girl glanced in his direction. Her gaze became saucers and she mouthed a silent scream.

    Gully forced himself to twist his neck around to glance over his shoulder toward whatever she saw. He spotted the blood red glow of their ominous eyes first, then saw three of the beasts leap out from the darkness, their maws snapping open and close with enthusiasm as they anticipated flesh being trapped between their razor-sharp teeth.

    The girl finally gave voice to her scream. It was time to stop running. Gully turned on his heels and faced the rampaging creatures. Exhausted and out of breath, he struggled to control his panic. Every fiber of his being shouted for him to continue running, but deep inside he knew that running would only get them killed. Gully shoved his fear aside, not for himself, but for the small girl and her parents.

    The werewolves hastened their charge.

    ***

    I sliced a jagged line across Darla’s neck with the silver blade from my wrist-mount to let her father know, I was serious about killing her. A thin line of warm blood trickled down her throat to her naked body. Grimes snarled, but stopped his advance toward me. His long abnormal fingernails and fangs retracted. Red menacing eyes reverted back to lifeless gray ones. As the dark brown fur slowly withdrew back into his skin, he grew smaller by several feet as he returned to his natural six-four height.

    Grimes, naked and fully human, did not bother to hide his manhood, and he stared at me as if I was the one wrongly dressed for the occasion. “You are bluffing, Moon. You would not kill my daughter in cold blood,” he said not sounding entirely convinced of his words.

    Under my grasp, Darla snarled like a wild animal and said, “He’s weak, father! Kill him now!”

    “Take it easy, princess. No one has to be hurt here tonight,” I whispered. I spoke to her father in a louder voice with as much confidence as I could. “Make one move, Grimes, and I’ll take off her head. Trust me, I don’t bluff.”

    “That’s not exactly true, sir. Since my association with you, you have, indeed, deceived your way out of five precarious situations,” Mosley said deadpan while in his holographic Idris Elba form.

    Grimes, Darla and I slowly turned our gaze to the hologram. “You’re not supposed to let the bad guys know you might be bluffing, Mosley. Sort of defeats the purpose, don’t you think?” I scolded.

    The hologram winced in apology then his image disappeared. Sometimes, I wondered if Mosley was with me or against me.

    Grimes smiled, his teeth elongating once again. “My daughter and I shall have white wine as we dine on your flesh tonight, Moon.”

    I gritted my teeth and narrowed my eyes at him. “Despite what my blabbermouth friend said, I will cut her throat!” Something in my expression or body language told him I spoke the truth, because his teeth became human-like again.

    “You dare call my daughter and me bad guys, when it was you and your conjurer friend that broke into my castle in a pitiful attempt to rob me!”

    Can you believe this guy? “You’re just going to skate over the fact that, in the midst of our pitiful attempt at robbery, Gully and I saved the lives of a family you and your darling princess here, were about to make a meal of. Here’s a tidbit of information for you. Eating innocent folks definitely places you and Darla on the wrong side of righteousness.”

    Darla squirmed in my grip perhaps to break my hold, but I wasn’t having that. I pressed the silver blade tighter against her neck, drawing more blood from her. “Play nice,” I whispered into her ear.

    “We have to eat,” she said defensively, as if that justified everything. “How else do you expect us to live?”

    I shook my head, bowled over by the question. “That’s why the world has frozen meat sections in supermarkets, princess. You and I both know it’s not a prerequisite for werewolves to feed on human flesh. Raw meat is all you need to survive.”

    “We are predators. We hunt for our food,” Grimes huffed. “You have no right to be here--no right to take our prey!”

    “You’re only half right, buddy,” I retorted. “I don’t have any legal right to invade your home, but I do have a noble one. I need something from you. Not to keep… only to borrow,” I said, trying to gain some sort of control over the situation. I needed to nullify them before things got worse.

    Grimes stood ramrod straight and folded his arms together. “You are joking, correct? My daughter is your prisoner, and you expect me to let you borrow something from my castle?”

    “Kill him, father,” Darla yelled, as she shifted slightly, readying herself to make a move.

    I lifted the flat of the blade, scratched off a thin layer of skin from her neck, and then gave her a solid tap underneath the chin. “Will you shut the hell up? Grown folks are talking here.”

    She didn’t like that at all.

    Too late, I realized, I’d gone too far with my belittling of her.

    In an instant, Darla went into full animal state, growing two feet in height with hair covering her entire body. Two inch fangs and long fingernails as sharp and strong as the finest steel knives were only seconds away from ripping into me. I stood at a crossroads in a split second of indecision—if I cut off her head, Grimes would be on top of me with a father’s fury like no other—if I did nothing, Darla would eventually get the upper hand in her stronger animal state. I hesitated a moment too long with my conundrum.

    In a flash, she batted my arm away from her neck and heaved her head rearward, slamming the back of her skull hard against my forehead. In pain, I reeled backwards several steps, my vision an explosion of colors. I swung my blade wide and wild to make sure they couldn’t get close while I tried to regain focus. I could have used Gully right then and there, but he was busy getting that family Grimes and Darla had planned to eat to safety.

    By the time my vision cleared, I saw that they had moved away to a safe distance. Both father and daughter were now full werewolves, and they both drooled at me with hunger in their eyes. Standing side-by-side, they looked at each other, then spoke in a series of grunts and growls, apparently debating who would get the first chunk of my flesh.

    Grimes took a step back, letting Darla take the lead, an indication that they’d made their choice. I glanced over my shoulder, weighing what my chances would be if I sprinted down the corridor. There were no doors or turns, at least not until I’d ran down the long stretch for about thirty yards.

    I would never make it. If I turned away to run, Darla would be on top of me before I took three steps, biting and clawing into my back. My pistols were already emptied from an earlier encounter. Though I had spare magazines, I’d never have time to reload. Left with the choice to fight, I planted my feet into a defensive posture and readied myself. One thing was in my favor—they’d decided to come at me one at a time.

    Darla let out what I guessed was a laugh as she advanced toward me. She leapt to her left. Her paws pounded heavily against the left wall, as she launched herself to the wall on the opposite side. She bounded back and forth across the walls in a zigzag fashion so fast that she was almost a blur, in what I assumed was an attempt to disorientate me. I didn’t focus on her movements; it would have been impossible to track her that way. Instead, I listened to the timing of her paws as they made contact on the hard surface.

    In my head, I counted down, three-two-one. Quickly dropping to one knee, I sliced my blade across the air above me. A dark shadow passed overhead at the same time. A gush of warm air and the smell of foul breath brushed against my face. An incredible weight fell on top of me. Darla and I went barrel rolling down the corridor. Her body stopped its momentum before mine. I continued rolling another few feet and landed on my back. Dizzy and aching, I lifted my head and tried to gain my bearings.

    Darla was sprawled on the floor, and blood and spit overflowed from the severed jaw she worked desperately to put back together. My strike wasn’t a killing blow, but I’d nearly sliced her head in two. Darla’s supernatural restoration ability would eventually heal the wound. For the meantime, she would be out of the fight. Scrambling to my feet, I noticed my tumble with the princess had shortened the distance to the end of the corridor.

    An anguished howl came from her father, who charged down the hallway. Leaping over Darla, Grimes made a beeline for me.

    Already in mid-turn, I ran. Unlike Darla, her father wouldn’t be nearly as easy to subdue. He had a thousand years of fighting in armies throughout history under his belt. He also wasn’t as headstrong as her and had a habit of never underestimating his enemies. Lucky for me, Grimes wasn’t as agile or fast as his daughter. Immortal or not, he still suffered from the slow downs of aging.

    I made it to the end of the hall and took a sharp left. Antique tables, vases and artwork adorned the walls. I retracted my blade, and pushed over anything I could get my hands on to slow him down. It didn’t work out as I’d hoped. Rather than duck and weave through the mayhem, he barreled through it as if there were no obstructions.

    I groped in my pocket for a magazine and inserted the clip into my pistol. All the rounds were laced with silver. Stopping my run, I whirled around and raised my weapon to shoot. There was nothing behind me but smashed furniture and artwork. Grimes had disappeared. Cursing under my breath, I muttered, “This is not good.” I knew he could attack from any direction. Grimes’ castle probably had a network of secret passages running from every room and corridor. No matter which way I proceeded, I was likely to run into an ambush.

    The best maneuver would be to stay where I was and try to find a way out of his little mousetrap. “Mosley, I need you,” I whispered, though I might as well have spoke with a bullhorn, knowing Grimes’ enhanced hearing in his wolf state could detect a pin drop a mile away.

    “Is that absolutely necessary, sir? I mean, can’t you do this alone?” Mosley answered.

    “Do we really need to have this conversation, you crazy computer? Of course it’s necessary, otherwise I wouldn’t be calling out to you for help,” I said frantically as I watched for an attack.

    He let out a synthesized exhaustive breath. “Very well, sir.” Mosley appeared beside me clutching a chimney poker like a baseball bat. “How may I be of service?”

    “Give me an overlay of the castle’s interior and then point out any heat signatures other than my own.”

    Mosley’s form changed from Idris Elba to a three dimensional map. Red blips indicated Grimes and his daughter. Darla remained where I had left her, but her father was quickly circling around to get ahead of me if I continued down the hallway. I was about to turn in the opposite direction, heading back toward Darla when more red blips appeared on the first level of the castle.

    I pointed to the new blips. “Are there any cameras on that level you can tap into for a visual?” I asked, knowing he’d already bypassed Grimes’ security systems. Before Gully and I entered the castle, I had Mosley program in a loop into all the cameras to mask our illegal entry.

    “Wait one moment, sir.” The overlay faded for several seconds and then was replaced with a visual of the first floor.

    My heart pounded like a drum in my chest. Things had just gone from bad to a hell of a lot worse. Entering the castle like they’d been invited to an-all-you-can-eat dinner were a dozen or so large werewolves. They headed up the front and rear stairways, and used all the elevators. That howl from Grimes earlier hadn’t been anguish over his injured daughter as I had thought. It had been a clever call for backup.



    TM: Relic Hunter is available in the following formats:

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