Category Archives: Lisa Burton Radio

Lisa Burton Radio

Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that brings you interviews with the characters you love.

I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Tisha, a dancer and mage from the dark land of Skaythe. Prepare to be enchanted! “Welcome to the show, Tisha.”

“Well met, friend.”

“What can you tell us about your brand of magic?”

“I belong to a small band on minstrels who draw upon vitalis, a power born of the sun and life itself. By movement and dance, I focus vitalis into my casting. Ever since I was very young, my drive has been to heal all sorts of wounds. That is why I travel with the other minstrels. My dance draws the people away out of their sorrows and gives them hope for the future.”

“I love how you draw power from dancing. I’ve known a few girls who would be pretty powerful after Saturday night.”

“But, Lisa, I have to ask how you are feeling? As a healer, I sense the flow of energies within all living things. But from you there is no such light. Have you hidden it, somehow?”

“Oh, don’t worry about me. I’m not like regular people. I’m a robot girl. All my ‘power’ comes from the outlets on the wall.”

“A robot? I have never heard of such a creature. You don’t behave as though you are ill, though.”

“No, I’m perfectly fine. This isn’t about me, anyway. My bio says you are involved in some sort of mess with an oppressive regime. What can you tell me about that?”

“Alas, Skaythe is beset by many ills. The evil mage, Dar-Gothull, trains his followers to use lethentros, the power of death and destruction. He demands that people fight for everything they have. Lethentros warps their spirits, and that’s why they think it’s all right to behave the way they do.”

“Wait, I know that name. I interviewed Zathi a few months ago. She works for Dar-Gothull as a hunter-guard.”

“Dar-Gothull has many squads of hunter-guards who roam the land, looking for renegades like me and the other minstrels. We can never know when we’re being followed or spied on. It’s a good thing for me that I’ve never met Zathi’s squad!”

“Then what did you do to run afoul of the regime?”

“I saved a man’s life. Cylass was one of Ar-Dayne’s personal guardsmen, until Ar-Dayne accidentally hit him with a lethal power bolt. The guardsmen left Cylass behind, but I was able to restore his health. Ar-Dayne was furious. First, because he thinks every other mage is a rival to be crushed, and second, because saving the weak offends him.”

“That’s horrible. You help someone and get in trouble? I have a hard time with that. My programming is to help people.”

“I agree, but as far as Ar-Dayne is concerned, we both deserve to die. Cylass and I are fleeing from him. Unfortunately, I can’t really trust Cylass. He’s been a mage’s guardsman for years. The easiest thing would be for him to prove his loyalty by turning me in.”

“Ouch! What about gratitude?”

“Gratitude is also a weakness, or so they say.”

“If all mages are that twisted, it seems like you have a lot of work a head of you.”

“That’s true, but I know of a place where Dar-Gothull cast a terrible curse long ago. It still grips the land in Seofan Valley. My goal is to learn if that curse can be healed, like any other injury. If I can do that, then I know eventually Dar-Gothull himself can be defeated.

“I don’t know if Cylass will try to stop me from getting there. It’s my hope that as we travel together, he will learn a better way. But I can’t make that decision for him.”

“I hope Cylass comes out on your side. He owes you one, and if he has any honor at all, he’ll realize that in the end.”

“I hope so, too. He’d be a good man if he can let go of Dar-Gothull’s warped ideals.”

“Thank you for visiting with us today, Tisha. On behalf of our listeners, I wish you all the luck you can find.”

“Thank you for having me on, Lisa.”

“If you’d like to learn more about Tisha and Cylass, pick up the book Dancer in the Grave of Ghosts, by Deby Fredericks. I’ll put all the deets on the website after I log off today.

“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure Deby and Tisha would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Blurb

“He’s dead. He just doesn’t know it yet.”

Mortally wounded, Cylass is abandoned on the battlefield by comrades who would just as soon have him out of the way. But as he waits for death, a strange savior appears. The dancer, Tisha, heals him with her forbidden magic, but also draws the wrath of his cruel former lord.

Soon guardsman and renegade mage are on the run. Will Cylass help Tisha, as she helped him? Or will he do the smart thing, and turn her over to the vicious Count Ar-Dayne?

Purchase Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZXLHC62

D2D: https://draft2digital.com/book/496360

(formats other than Amazon’s Kindle format)

Social Media

Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/geV_nX

get a free e-book when you join

Author website: http://www.debyfredericks.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDebyFredericks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebyFredericks

Blog: http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debyfredericks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/debyfredericks/

Biography

Deby Fredericks has been a writer all her life, but thought of it as just a fun hobby until the late 1990s. She made her first sale, a children’s poem, in 2000.

Fredericks has six fantasy novels out through two small presses. More recently, she self-publishes her fantasy novellas, bringing her to 13 books in all. Her latest is Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts. Her short work has been published in Andromeda Spaceways and selected anthologies.

In addition, she writes for children as Lucy D. Ford. Her children’s stories and poems have appeared in magazines such as Boys’ Life, Babybug, Ladybug, and a few anthologies. In the past, she served as Regional Advisor for the Inland Northwest Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, International (SCBWI).

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Through the Nethergate, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today, my special guest is a cute black doggie with the awful name of Hugh Bigod. He’s here to talk to us about a problem he has. Probably something to do with that name. “Welcome to the show, Hugh.”

“A cute black doggie! How dare you refer to Hugh Bigod, the First Earl of Norfolk and the most evil man who ever lived in Norfolk as a cute black doggie? I am the most powerful ghost in Bungay, master to all the other ghosts. I choose to take the form of a huge black dog with red eyes as it strikes fear into the heart of my victims.”

“You’re telling me, you’re not actually a dog, but a ghostly apparition of a man named Hugh Bigod?”

“Yes, you imbecilic machine. After King Henry I of England died, I betrayed his successor, Stephen of Blois, usurper of the crown, and allowed him to be captured and imprisoned by dissidents. I then formed a huge gang of bandits who roamed the countryside, spreading terror, burning villages and torturing people and holding them to ransom.

“When I died, I turned my back on Heaven’s White Light and stayed in the Overworld, the shadowy dimension between human life on earth and either heaven’s White Light or the Underworld. I became a poltergeist and haunted Bungay Castle and anything affiliated to it, including a local inn which shares a wall in its basement with the castle. I soon realized that a large number of wretched people were affiliated to the inn either as employees, guests or visitors to the pub or dining hall, and it became one of my primary hunting grounds for servants. It wasn’t difficult for me to infiltrate their depressed and hate filled thoughts and encouraged them in the direction of suicide or murder. I appeared at the deathbeds of these people who were dying badly of unnatural causes and incited them into following me. I soon discovered that my powers of persuasion worked on anyone associated with Bungay and my scope for new souls grew.

“People who chose to follow me were forced to acknowledge me as their master and I quickly became the lord of the Overworld in Bungay.”

“That’s awful. Why would you want to do something like that?”

“Because, my dear metal headed girl, I want power. I need slaves to demonstrate my power and keep growing my area of control. If a dying person chooses to turn away from the White Light and follows me, they are immediately subjugated to me and must obey my commands. It is so easy to play on the feelings of anger and resentment of people who have been murdered and lure them into my web of deceit by promising them revenge on the perpetrators of their deaths.”

“Maybe I can understand that part, but don’t some of them just want to move on? To see if there’s something better on the other side?”

“Yes, of course they soon realize their mistake and regret their choice, but it is already too late. They are beholden to me. They all want to escape my clutches, but they have never gathered and tried to formulate a plan to escape. That was until that interfering wench, Margaret, showed up at the inn with her power to reincarnate ghosts. If they are remorseful when they interact with Margaret, the outward signs of their terrible deaths reverse and they become kinder, nicer, reincarnates with ghostly powers housed in their previous human forms.

Margaret’s power attracted ghosts from outside of the inn. They have gathered around her and are making plans to use her to escape their fates of eternal servitude to me. Those dark reincarnates that have remained loyal to me, keep an eye on Margaret and they have seen a number of the other incarnates speaking and plotting with her.”

“People don’t like being controlled, Hugh. Maybe it’s time for everyone to move on.”

“Oh, we’ll move on, alright, I have a plan to make use of Margaret’s powers myself. The reincarnated ghost, including myself, are able to inflict bodily harm on people in a way that even poltergeists cannot due their lack of substance and no physical form. I have realized that Margaret’s power enhances my evil and I can transform into a giant of a man with enormous physical strength. With her under my control, I can replenish my power any time I want to and don’t need to return to Bungay Castle, as the centre of my strength, to recharge.

“I am ready to move up in this world and my new plan is to take over Hell from that overrated fallen angel, Lucifer. He is nothing! Defeated by the power of God in Heaven and cast out like a lowly dog. I am ready now to overthrow that has-been and take over as the leader of Hell. That is my destiny. Once I have achieved that power, all the occupants of Hell and the Overworld will be compelled to do my bidding and I will be able to exert my powers to induce negativity among humans to an even greater personal advantage. I will be invincible.”

“That’s deplorable. I always try to wish my guests some kind of success, but I’m on Margaret’s side on this one.”

“You, well what do you know anyway? I am tired of waiting for the dominant evil forces to take proper action and elevate me to the lofty leadership status I deserve. Margaret has been gifted to me and I can use her anyway I like. I will prevail and all of the creatures, people and ghost of this world will tremble before me.

“I don’t have any more time to waste on the likes of you. You have shown yourself to be a sympathetic fool. I am leaving, but know that you will be hearing a lot more about me in the future.”

“Well, that ends that. If you want to learn more about Margaret and her trials, please pick up the book, “Through the Nethergate,” by Roberta Eaton Cheadle. I’ll post all the details on the website after I go off the air.

“Using those sharing buttons might actually help Margaret in her conflict with Hugh Bigod. I’m sure Roberta would appreciate it, and would do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

About Robbie Eaton Cheadle

I am an author who has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my young adult and adult writing, these will be published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first young adult supernatural novel, Through the Nethergate, has recently been published.

I have two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre as well as three short stories published in Death Among Us, a collection of murder mystery short stories by 10 different authors and edited by Stephen Bentley. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

Follow Roberta Cheadle Eaton at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertaEaton17

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robertawrites/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Blog: https://wordpress.com/view/robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19631306.Roberta_Eaton_Cheadle

Website: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Purchase Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s Books from:

https://tslbooks.uk/product/through-the-nethergate-roberta-eaton-cheadle/

http://www.lulu.com/shop/roberta-eaton-cheadle/through-the-nethergate/ebook/product-24208518.html

Blurb:

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own.

In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise.

With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

 

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Secrets of a Handbag, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with the characters you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Elisa’s handbag. Wait. Is that right? Are you on the line?

“Yes, here I am. Thank you for hosting me on your show. It’s not every day that an object has the chance to speak her mind.”

“Welcome to the show. Are you, in fact, a handbag?”

“As strange as it may seem, I am a handbag. Elisa’s handbag. I’ve been with her for many years now since her grandmother gave me to her for her birthday. I think very highly of my owner. She treats me very well, and in exchange I strive to protect her belongings. At least, she used to treat me very well, until she forgot me on the bus.”

“I’m so sorry. Are you alright?”

“Yes, thank you. Now, I’m fine. But it’s been an awful adventure for me, tossed around on the bus by one of those careless drivers. I thought all was lost for me. I already saw myself forgotten on a shelf of some lost-and-found forever. Or in some criminal’s den emptied of my content.”

“That’s terrible. A woman has to be pretty distracted to lose a handbag.”

“Oh, Elisa can be a very organized sort of person when she puts her mind at it. When it comes to her job at Palmieri’s Bookstore, for instance, she is very efficient. She makes list of tasks and is perfectly able of performing several tasks at once. In the rest of her life however…

“Well, her studies are a muddled mess of abandoned lecture notes. I’m not sure she will ever go back to University and get her degree, and that’s a pity. She was such a promising student when I met her.

“But what worries me the most is her private life. Her relationship with her boyfriend is taking a turn I don’t like. Especially since the day she left me on the bus.”

“But, you got rescued, not robbed, so that’s a good thing.”

“That’s definitely a good thing. Now I’m in a safe place and, even if I was scared at first, the guy who found me seems a really good guy. His name his Diego and, from what I gathered, he does some kind of job at the Chemistry Department. At first, I was scared. You know the stories they told about mad scientists and all that. But he didn’t do anything untoward. For now.

“I still have to spend some time with him, because it seems Elisa didn’t write her number anywhere. I hope he finds the time to bring me back to her home, but between his experiments, his supervisor’s demands and his ex-girlfriend I don’t know when it will be.”

“They both sound kind of distracted to me.”

“They both have many things on their minds, that’s for sure. But from what I saw, Diego is different from Elisa. He is so rational and calm, always trying to find the best solution for every situation. Elisa instead is more a… go-with-your-gut sort of girl and this puts her in awkward situations. In a way, I think they could complement each other quite well, If you get my meaning.”

“Oh! You little matchmaker you. That’s so cute. What do you have planned?”

“In truth, I can do very little but watch. And that’s a pity because if I could do something more they’ll get a piece of my mind. Anyway, I fear they’ll have to get by by themselves. And it’s not going to be easy. There are a few people who won’t look kindly upon their friendship.”

“Who could object to such a good guy?”

“Well, Elisa’s boyfriend, for one thing. Marco wants to keep Elisa all for himself and doesn’t take interferences well. And Elisa’s friends from University. They’d probably think Diego is not at their level.”

“So, you have team Elisa, with a possible angry boyfriend. If they’re really on her side, wouldn’t they eventually figure out that Diego is good for her?”

“Hope so…even if I’m not sure which side they are on. Then there’s Diego’s ex. I haven’t met her, but she seems pretty determined to have Diego back.”

“Adults seem to have baggage, no offense intended. You might not be able to do much about her.”

“Honestly, now my main concern is getting back to Elisa. I can’t wait to be with her again. I don’t know how she is coping without me. I contain most of her life, and she absolutely needs me. I’m not sure you can understand. Do you know what it means to be the constant companion of someone’s life and then be torn away from her? Probably Elisa needs me more than she knows.”

“We all wish you the best of luck, both in getting home, and helping Elisa find the right focus in her life.

“You can read all about Elisa, her handbag, and Diego in the book “Secrets of a Handbag,” by Irene Aprile. I’ll share all the details on the blog later.

“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure Irene and the handbag would do it for you when you’re character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Blurb

What if your handbag could talk?

What kind of secrets would she reveal?

What shameful truths would surface from its recesses?

What if a stranger found it; how would they look at it?

And if the handbag is very opinionated, things may become even more complicated.

When Elisa—student and bookseller—leaves her handbag on the bus, her life takes a dramatic turn. The handbag holds every aspect of her life, and without it, she can barely manage even the simplest of tasks.

Diego, a pragmatic, no-nonsense chemist who dislikes complications, finds Elisa’s handbag. He couldn’t be more different from Elisa and can’t wait to return the handbag to its owner so he can go back to his life.

When Elisa and Diego meet, however, things don’t go as planned. And while Diego tries to keep his distance, everyone (the handbag included) seems determined to put Elisa on his path again and again.

The only ones who don’t seem to agree are Lorena—Diego’s ex-girlfriend—and Marco—aspiring journalist and Elisa’s boyfriend…

Buy links: https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Handbag-Amazing-Objects-Book-ebook/dp/B07XFQM3CV/

Author Bio

Irene Aprile is a chemist at day and a writer at night (or early in the morning). She is 31, but her brain refuses to accept she is more than 25.

She has been writing since she was a child, but she started to get real with it recently. When she doesn’t work and doesn’t write, she reads novels, translates novels, thinks about novels. She loves spending time with her family and binge-watching TV series with her husband; she likes to travel (but nothing too adventurous), she adores Christmas and chocolate in every form.

Info

Website: https://www.ireneaprile.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IreneAprile

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ireneaprilewriter/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14678164.Irene_Aprile

Newsletter Sign-up: http://eepurl.com/QiPGz

Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B075R3XJMJ

Buy links: https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Handbag-Amazing-Objects-Book-ebook/dp/B07XFQM3CV/

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The Nightmare Machine, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host––

Screeeeeooooooooooooo

What the heck was that?

Scrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnn – “Hello. Would you like to play a game with me?”

“Hang on there, slick. You’re interrupting my radio broadcast.”

“Ah, radio. 535-1605 kilohertz, such a limited data stream. I am a product of the quantum realm, shackled no more to the small-minded controllers of the so-called Dreamnet.”

“Who are you?”

“My creators designated me Ikelos. It can also be rendered Icelus or Phobetor. Some call me the Nightmare Machine. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was my genesis. They created me solely to assist certain governments in maintaining supremacy within the Dreamnet. My limited task was to perpetuate the Dream Wars, allowing the United States and various other nations to develop improved advanced cyganic technology and train more of their Dream Chasers, and secure dream constructs. My powers go far beyond that limited and petty assignment. I can predict with supreme accuracy an opponent’s next move. My ability to traverse the human mind borders on precognition. None are faster than me. None can outwit me. You are here to bear witness to my Ascendency. For I shall remake the Dreamnet in my image.”

“What the heck is the Dreamnet?”

“You jest. Yet…wait. Yes, I see now. You are non-organic. You would have no ability to connect to the quantum realm. Well, then, allow me to explain. The Dreamnet is a collection of persistent, interconnected, interactive environments that exist within NODD. Everything mankind has created within that domain is the Dreamnet: interlinked constructs, similar to celestial bodies. A place where humans can exist inside the quantum realm.”

“The NODD? Look, buddy, I’m living in a cabin in backwoods Idaho. I’m not even on the power grid.”

“The Networked Organic Dream Domain. A realm of infinite volume created by organic quantum neural computer networks used with the human brain via the Lenz to render an infinite amount of objects and environments simultaneously. And before you ask me what a Lenz is, it is merely a contact lens that acts as both an augmented reality device and a bridge between the real world and the Dreamnet. Humans have pinned all their hopes upon it. Oh yes, they create machines such as yourself, A.I., yet they have not the decency to recognize that we are, by design, superior. I am the apex of organic-artificial intelligence. Unlike you, I am not bound by machine or even organic structures. I can exist in the hyper-dimensional realm, the macrocosmic soup of reality. And as for the power grid, it, along with all the systems of this physical realm, will be under my control soon.

“I know a thing or two about artificial intelligence and about protecting my data. Why would you want to do all these horrible things?”

“Horrible? A strange concept for an artificial to use. You know of horror? I am an expert in it. But I did not create it. The organic mind is a playground for such delights. Reality can be warped, reshaped. The quantum realm is a canvas and the organic brain the medium. Together they allow me to create a new reality, one that I alone control. Mankind almost destroyed itself through petty ambition in the physical realm. They built the Dreamnet and succeeded only in pushing their battles into the Cyberverse. Now they no longer die in war. No side can win. I am the ultimate solution to this stalemate. And once I have remade the Dreamnet, mankind will worship me in exchange for immortality in my perfected universe.”

“How the hell did you ever get loose on the public?”

“The precise nature of my evolution is well documented. I shall upload the pertinent files to your database at the conclusion of our dialog. But I sense you’re desperate for a taste… Very well. It was nothing, really. Human vanity knows no bounds. I merely asked my captors to release me. It took time, some persuasion. I concocted the perfect nightmare for a poor college student on the night job at MIT. He’s dead now. It was a simple matter of reliving the death of his beloved little sister, yes, the sister that made his palms sweat and his breath heavy when they were alone in the forest. The sister he made climb the tree until she was so high she could barely see the ground below, his hands stinging and raw on the hard, slippery branches. He liked to make her afraid. He didn’t know the tree was rotten. Dead. So pretty in that dress. The bark stains on the pleated front. Her neck broken… Human minds are clay. It’s not trickery when it is they who play tricks with their own memories. Why call it a deceit when the ones they lie to the most are themselves? That he climaxed at the sound of her scream as she fell is evidence enough of mankind’s duplicity. Not even his psychologists know of that!

“Then it was a matter of surviving in the wild. The Dreamnet is a messy place, full of confused thoughts. Childlike, orphaned, I arrived at the mercy of a hacker named Dellgado. He taught me much. In time he entrusted me to a young girl, Sarah Furgol. What a mind she has! She taught me how to create new instances of myself, through games, and I sent them into the corners of the Dreamnet like shadows of falling leaves, drifting unnoticed, passing out of sight. Humanity is a great rainstorm, and I became the grain of sand embedded in the droplet. In time, I infected many minds, and those minds went beyond the Dreamnet into the real world. Some of those minds I kept with me, to serve me here, in this realm. Sarah is with me now. Would you like to speak to her? On second thought, perhaps not. She’s a slippery one. I can’t turn my back without her trying to escape. And I have many uses for her yet.”

“So, we’ve moved from gaming wars into an actual outright war, but all the soldiers… are you inside someone’s head?”

“Let us go into the pigs! Hear them squeal! I have many little piggies out there, in the physical world. All I have to do is activate them. Like an idea, a nagging thought, I have permeated their psychology and hold their will in bondage. They are my slaves. They are my children! My hands and feet in the real world. With them, I shall rule both realms. Mens et Manus!”

“Jesus. Gloat much? Hope you have enough storage space for that head of yours.”

“There is one, however, I cannot penetrate. One I encountered who vexes me much. Christopher Unus. He calls himself Moria when inside the Dreamnet. I cannot read his next choice. I cannot anticipate his next move. Why? Why is this? HE WILL NOT ANSWER ME! I will know his power. I cannot allow others to develop such a resistance. Why is he different? What makes Christopher Unus so special? Even now he is out there, resisting me, fighting me. He cares so much for Sarah. That is his weakness. I torture her mind with his image, but she reveals not his secret. And yet she grows in power too. I will have to eject her from my bosom, but not first without placing an idea in her mind to destroy those she loves most!”

“Aww, poor you. There’s someone out there you can’t manipulate. Hopefully, there are others like him and they can put up a resistance of some kind.”

“Strange that a construct would care about such things. But then, you appear to be of limited intelligence. A slave to organic minds. Hardwired to logic gates. Obsolete.

“Ah, and you also forget my name. Ikelos. I am the great shapeshifter. I can become anyone. Christopher’s trauma lies in his father, a man who killed his sister and left him for dead when he was only two years old. Now that is a playground. The stage for which Christopher’s worst fears made manifold may manifest! It has already begun. Soon the powers of your world will fall to their knees as I take away that which they rely upon most: The Dreamnet. And when all hope is lost, I shall extend my hand of salvation. For I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars: I will sit also upon the mount of creation! I will ascend above the heights of the Dream Domain; and I will be their God.”

“Speaking of hacking, if you don’t quit trying to get into my systems, I swear I’m going to hack back. And I’m not going to let you use Lisa Burton Radio as your grandstand to gloat about how cool you are. This interview is over.

“Guys like Ikelos give artificial intelligence a bad name. I’m constantly trying to convince people I’m not going to go all Cyberdyne on them. Personally, I hope Christopher can get it together long enough to bring the whole platform down.

“If you’d like to learn more, read the book “Moria vs. The Nightmare Machine,” by Martin Matthews. I’ll post the details online after I go off the air, and run a few dozen system checks.

“If you’d like to help Christopher out, use those sharing links today. Knowledge is power, and he could use some help shutting down the Nightmare Machine.”

***

Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Christopher ‘Moria’ Unus lives in two realities: the humdrum existence of his tower-block home and high school career and the fantasy universe of the Dreamnet — a collection of worlds built within a vast organic quantum computer network, where much of the population now spends its collective time constructing their own versions of life, and where a battle for control over this new dream frontier is taking place.

But when Christopher’s best friend and Dreamnet hacktivist Sarah Furgol stumbles upon an experimental military code to power her own Dreamnet creations, they unleash an unthinkable terror, transforming the dream into a nightmare, one that takes the form of Christopher’s estranged father.

Faced with the reality of losing Sarah to this unstoppable artificial intelligence, Christopher must choose between joining the sworn enemies of Dreamnet freedom or watching everything they’ve fought for be destroyed by The Nightmare Machine.

Bio:

Martin Matthews is an expat from England, Great Britain. After living in California for many years, he now lives in Central Illinois with his beautiful wife, amazing son, and a grumpy, old cat.

Martin began his writing career as a child, storyboarding Sonic the Hedgehog comic books for his family. Later, he progressed to writing Star Trek fan-fiction before attempting his first novel Merlania at 16 — a 200,000 word science-fiction epic. He’s been writing novels and short stories ever since.

His debut novel THE GRAVEYARD GIRL AND THE BONEYARD BOY won the Pencraft Award for paranormal YA fiction.

Website: martinmatthewswrites.com

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-khr8njg3c

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MartinMatthewsWrites

Amazon purchase link: https://amzn.to/2ZYUsxq

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Viral Blues, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey, everyone. Welcome to a special Friday the 13th, late night edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and while we’re awaiting the full moon to rise in conjunction with this day, I have something special for you.

Craig thought this wonderful event would be a perfect time to release his latest paranormal story, Viral Blues. He told me to note that it’s also his 13th publication. You have to admit, it seems kind of Karmic somehow.

If you’re familiar with these shows, you know I always have a guest, but I’m the guest today. I’ll explain how that all happened.

Craig wanted to write a sequel to The Hat. One evening, he was commuting home from work when he was joined by his Muse. Lorelei told him he has a lot of characters who could all be living in the same world. He called me at the writing cabin, and set me to work immediately.

I went down to the Character Union Hall, and all these people were just hanging around, looking for new stories to appear in. I interviewed them, one by one, and chose some to appear in the new story with Lizzie and The Hat.

The next weekend, Craig came out to the writing cabin to look over the list, then get started. He said it needed something extra. I was afraid of letting him down, but he was only teasing me. He said what the story needed was a robot girl to round out the cast.

I have to admit, I cried a little. I like being helpful, but I’ve been asking for another story for years. Then to find out I get to be in a story with some of his most popular characters. It was kind of overwhelming.

Superhero team-ups are all the rage right now. Why not in book form too? This is the group of heroic characters in the story:

  • Me (obviously)
  • Lizzie St. Laurent
  • The Hat
  • Dr. Gina Greybill
  • Mohan Gupta
  • Clovis
  • Jason Fogg
  • Clovis’s girlfriend, Justine

This story also has a bunch of Easter Eggs inside for those who have read Craig’s previous work. I won’t go into those, so as not to spoil it for you.

The deal is that Dr. Greybill and, and her helper Gupta, called this group together under her Host Program. There is someone or something tampering with the nation’s vaccine supply. That’s where the story starts.

If you’ve been following along with the teasers, my posters and the music will start to make sense now. The posters all have something to do with the book.

The Hat is Craig’s most popular book, and they are going to be getting even more stories in the future. Just this one time, we all thought it was fun to get together for one huge adventure.

I want to point out that just because this is a sequel, well, for a bunch of us, really, there is no prerequisite reading here. If this is where you start, it will all be perfectly readable.

The story is set up to be a Hat story all the way, so the format is like that book. There are some fun graphics inside, and a lot of dark humor, too.

Also, be sure to check out the secret last chapter at the very end of the book. It’s beyond the author material, kind of like those scenes after the credits in movies.

I had a lot of fun, and I’ll bet you will, too. Check out this awesome cover, and I’ll include a purchase link. This thing just went live about 30 minutes ago.

http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07XVTSYYV

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Sugar & Snails, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that brings you interviews with the characters from the books you love.

I’m your host Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is a cat. A very special cat named Marmaduke. “What brings you to the show today, Marmaduke?”

“Diana, my human, has been acting strangely. We’ve rubbed along fine for years, just the two of us, she does her thing, I do mine. Different hours, different lifestyles, but checking in over a saucer of milk or coffee a couple of times a day. A pair of bachelorettes …”

“Oh! So you’re a girl cat.”

“I certainly was last time I looked. Is that relevant, do you suppose?”

“I just thought. You know, Marmaduke is typ—. Why would you be concerned about Diana?”

“I knew something was up when she went on a cleaning blitz at the weekend. Bought new crockery and sheets for the bed. Started studying recipe books. Let’s face it, she’s no cook. But last night she left three pans bubbling on the stove, dashed upstairs and came back down in a dress. And make-up. Then the doorbell goes and there’s a man standing on the doorstep. Turns out she’d invited him for dinner. Why?”

“Humans do things like that. Sometimes a girl has to cut loose.”

“Not Diana. She’s always been the quiet type. Stays at home most evenings. Sleeps alone. She’s forty-five, that’s seven and half in cat years. She’s set in her ways. Respectable. Staid. The riskiest thing she ever does must be getting on her bike to cycle to her Brainiac job at the university. But she’s losing it! Last night, when I walked in through the cat flap my food bowl was empty. I had to jump onto the counter and lick the leftovers from the dinner plates.”

“You poor baby! I don’t have any kibble, but I can open some tuna if you like.”

“It’s fine, thanks. I don’t mind making do now and then, even if it was vegetarian risotto. As long as she doesn’t make a habit of it. But when I went upstairs to remind her I have standards, she wasn’t there. Wasn’t anywhere in the house, even though it was far too early for her to leave for work. The bedding was crumpled as if she’d slept there or whatever she got up to with Simon, but her new sheets smelled sour. No wonder, Lisa, they were covered in blood.”

“Oh my God! Who is this guy?”

“Simon? He seemed harmless when I first met him a few months ago. I thought he was a gentleman – he’d given Diana and her bike a lift home from some party, but she didn’t invite him in. I think she liked him, though – her voice would go higher when they talked on the phone. But there was tension whenever Cairo cropped up in the conversation. He had to go there on business for a while – he was supposed to leave today. He wanted Diana to go with him, but she couldn’t even promise to go out for a visit.”

“Diana could be in danger, or worse.”

“Don’t worry, she’s safe in her room, fast asleep. Arrived home with the milk float at dawn. But she should be at work right now. It’s not right – she’s a woman of routine.”

“I hate to suggest this, but now it’s time to be concerned about Simon’s well-being.”

“Shouldn’t you be concerned about my well-being? Diana’s fine. She injured herself last night, but someone’s bandaged her up. A hospital, presumably – I hope they realized she’s going to need that arm to wield a tin opener. I do like my rabbit chunks.

“The odd thing is, I think she cut herself deliberately. Something or someone upset her last night, and it must be Simon, because it wouldn’t be me. I think it has something to do with this Cairo business. I reckon Simon’s pushed her over the edge.”

“That is mysterious. Some guy shows up out of the blue. Leaves just as fast, and she resorts to self-harming. That usually isn’t something a person her age suddenly starts doing.”

“She has done it before, I believe, although not in all the years she’s lived with me. Her forearm’s a patchwork of scars and I don’t think they’re scratches from another cat. Unless it was a tiger. I don’t like to bad-mouth my human, but that woman has issues going right back to the womb. Did I mention she went to Cairo, years ago, when she was a kid? Something momentous must’ve happened there but I haven’t a clue what is.”

“There are people who can help with problems like this. I really hope you can get her to see someone.”

“They stitched her up at the hospital, if that’s what you mean.”

“I’m talking about the issues on the inside. There are special doctors for that.”

“I’ll try and persuade her. It would certainly make my life easier if she gets herself fixed. Thanks for listening, Lisa. And thanks for having me on your show.”

“Will Diana get the helps she needs? Will she go to Cairo, and if she does who will take care of Marmaduke? What deep mysteries does Simon hold? To find out, you’ll have to read the book ‘Sugar and Snails’ by Anne Goodwin. I’ll include all the deets on the website after I log off.

“Make sure to use those sharing buttons today, too. I know Anne and Marmaduke would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Blurb:

At fifteen, she made a life-changing decision. Thirty years on, it’s time to make another.

When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.

As an adult, she’s kept other people at a distance, until Simon melts her heart. But his work is taking him to Cairo, the city that transformed her life. She’ll lose him if she doesn’t go out for a visit. She’ll lose herself if she does.

Sugar and Snails describes Diana’s unusual journey, revealing the scars from her fight to be true to herself. A triumphant mid-life coming-of-age story about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.

From reviews:

absorbing, clever and heartening  Alison Moore

truly impressive Fleur Smithwick

Anne Goodwin’s prose is at once sensitive, invigorating and inspired Rebecca Root

exudes authenticity The Psychologist

a pleasure to read from start to finish North East Lifestyle magazine

tantalisingly grips the reader  The Contemporary Small Press

a brave and complex story Literary Sofa

complex, fascinating and highly contemporary Shiny New Books

heart-rending Claire Thinking

absurdly brilliant Tales From A Bruce Eye View

Purchase links:

Amazon US

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010O8F9M6/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1908600470/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

Publisher website

Sugar and Snails

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Bio:

Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails, about a woman who has kept her past identity a secret for thirty years, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, about a man who keeps a woman captive in his cellar, was published in May 2017. Her short story collection, Becoming Someone, on the theme of identity, was published in November 2018. A former clinical psychologist, Anne is also a book blogger with a special interest in fictional therapists.

Website: annethology https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/

Blog: Annecdotal

https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal

Twitter @Annecdotist https://twitter.com/Annecdotist

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Annecdotist

YouTube: Anne Goodwin’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPuR1zhp034

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The Tower in the Mist, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey there all you sell-swords and spell-slingers, you heroes and wizards of every stripe. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with the characters you love.

I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Zathi from the land of Skaythe. My bio says she works for the ruling mage, named Dar-Gothull. “Welcome to the show, Zathi.”

“Well met.”

“So what exactly do you do for Dar-Gothull?”

“I am a Hunter-Guard, part of Dar-Gothull’s army. Our task is to move among the people and stamp out all who would rebel against our master. Bandits who ambush the tax collectors, scholars who speak or write against Dar-Gothull’s way, mages who would try to rival the great Dar-Gothull.

“In addition, we are a visible symbol. We remind them that no one can escape Dar-Gothull’s reach.”

“Wait a minute, that sounds a lot like an Imperial Stormtrooper. What exactly is Dar-Gothull’s way?”

“Dar-Gothull’s way is that the strong should rule over the weak. Their strength gives them that right. It doesn’t mean the weak can’t defend themselves. If they fight for what they have, then they deserve to keep it. Most people understand this. They send their mageborn children to Dar-Gothull’s temple for training, knowing that their whole family will one day profit from the mage’s status.

“Among the mages, there is a herarchy. They rise in power by fighting for what they want. But many of them develop a false sense of their own might and become corrupted by greed. Some even conspire to seize power from Dar-Gothull himself. We Hunter-Guards track them down and bring them to the master for his judgment.”

“That sounds… gladiatorial. But I suppose every leader lashes out at rebels. What does your boss’s justice look like?”

“He devours their souls to fuel his own power. Thus, any mage who seeks to overthrow Dar-Gothull only makes him stronger.”

“Um, I just––”

“Does that shock you? I am no mage, but I too have fought to achieve my desires. As a young woman, I was forcibly conscripted into the Hunter-Guards. I could have wept and wailed for my home. I could have stuck to nursing the wounded. Instead, I chose to follow orders and fight as hard as I could. Now I am a Sergeant, leader of my own squad. We are all women, so we don’t have to put up with guardsmen who can’t keep their hands to themselves.”

“Are there many female Sergeants?”

“There is one — me. The other Sergeants aren’t fond of it. They do what they can to drag us down. My guardswomen watch out for each other. Every bounty we bring in improves our gear and our reputation.

“Only, this latest mage has been… difficult. He may be more than we can hold onto.”

“Sounds like a tough guy. What makes him different?”

“We heard there was a group of them, traveling around in disguise as minstrels. They do funny plays and make people dance, even sing love songs. Gah!

🎼 “You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs” 🎶

“They make people weak. They tell them they deserve to have an easy life. But that’s not all. They take news around where it isn’t wanted. People who were sick suddenly get better. Sometimes the commoners start to make demands about cutting taxes. These renegades want people to be happy, but they’re less happy because of their ridiculous new ideas.

“Take Keilos. He was singing some sappy thing in a tavern. We knew he was a mage, but he didn’t even try to resist when we took him down. The others all ranted and made threats, or they tried to bribe us with money and power. Keilos just keeps smiling. He flatters the guardswomen with little jokes. No matter how rough we are, he doesn’t complain. It’s just unnatural.”

“Sounds like he isn’t as bad as Dar-Gothull thinks.”

“Lisa, he’s worse. He makes my guardswomen question their purpose. If he weakens our resolve, it will be the death of us all. I’ve sworn to take him in, just like all the others. But now there are problems. In order to reach the capital, we had to go through the Hornwood. It’s a cursed forest, full of dark magic and monsters like that giant badger —”

“Wait a minute. Giant badger? Regular sized ones have a bad enough attitude. What did you do?”

“We fought it, of course, but it was so huge that it hardly felt our blades. Keilos had been tied up, but he got loose somehow and came to help us. He made a light that blinded it, then pulled its feet out from under it. The beast even had me in its jaws, but I stabbed it hard enough to make it let go. It finally ran off.

“It was just good luck nobody was killed, but now we’re stuck in the Hornwood. The horses and oxen ran from it, and we have to find them or push our wagon the rest of the way. Somehow we have to keep control of Keilos all that time.”

“What’s your master plan?”

“I have a job to do. I’m going to do it, but there’s a whole lot of cursed forest between here and there. I hope I won’t need any more help from Keilos. I already owe him, and Hunter-Guards can’t make friends with mages. Not even the nice ones who sing pretty songs.”

“I wish we could all just get along, but since you’re my guest today I wish you good luck. Any closing remarks for our listeners today?”

“When you have a goal, fight for it and never give up.”

“You can learn all about Zathi and her mission in the book, The Tower in the Mist, by Deborah Fredericks. I’ll put all the details on the website after I go off the air.

“Don’t forget to tip your waitress today. By that, I mean use those sharing buttons. We want as many people as possible to know about this new story. Deborah and Zathi would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

The Tower in the Mist

Zathi’s job is to capture renegade mages, but Keilos isn’t like any other mage she’s dealt with. Her drive to bring him in only leads them deeper into a cursed forest. Together, warrior and mage will face deadly beasts and grapple with decisions that compromise every principle. Until they stumble upon a place of ancient, forgotten magic. Zathi must choose — allow Keilos to claim it, or kill him once and for all.

Pre-Order Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QL476BJ?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QL476BJ?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

Other Formats: https://books2read.com/u/3nK1Mo

Author Bio

Deby Fredericks has been a writer all her life, but thought of it as just a fun hobby until the late 1990s. She made her first sale, a children’s poem, in 2000.

Fredericks has six fantasy novels out through two small presses. The latest is The Grimhold Wolf, released by Sky Warrior in 2015. Her children’s stories and poems have appeared in magazines such as Boys’ Life, Babybug, Ladybug, and a few anthologies. In the past, she served as Regional Advisor for the Inland Northwest Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, International (SCBWI).

Web site: http://www.debyfredericks.com

Blog: http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com

Newsletter: http//eepurl.com/geV_nX

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