Double Bind

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A science-fiction Thursday teaser from the bestseller

By Seb Kirby

The guy with the bad attitude has been following me all week. My agent, Jerry, keeps telling me I have to get used to stuff like that, now that my writing has broken and I’m the next big thing in the literary world. But I don’t buy that. Just my luck that the bad attitude guy is also a writer. And, the last thing you’d expect from a guy who’s trying to be a literary type, he has a bunch of heavy friends. Worse than that, he’s saying that he’s me.

You don’t believe me? It’s just my paranoia at being exposed to all this sudden media interest? Well, I can prove it to you. Read on.

I’m sitting in this bookstore on Oxford Street signing books. There’s a queue of about twenty or so waiting for a signature and I’m getting the feeling of being watched. OK, there are people there who’re looking at me who have come to the signing and I know what you’re going to say, ‘You don’t like people looking at you, why set out to be a well-known writer?’ And I say, no, being watched. The feeling that someone, somewhere is looking you over out of sight. The kind of thing you just feel.

And sure enough, when the signing’s over and I’m in the bookstore washroom cleaning my hands, there he is. I see him in the mirror first, coming up on me from behind. There’s no one else about. He’s picked his moment. It’s just him and me. I turn to face him, hands dripping. Our eyes meet and he stands there open mouthed in front of me. He’s staring at me, eyes wide like he’s just seen the most frightening thing in his life.

‘I don’t know what you’re into but I can’t cope with the way you look.’ He’s there, right in my face.

I try to keep calm. ‘What’s with the way I look?’

‘I saw you first on TV in the interview show and I couldn’t believe it. You look just like me. Not similar, exactly like me. The same style, the same clothes, the same way of talking.’

You can see why I say he has an attitude problem.

‘So, you want to be like me?’

‘No! I’m saying that you are me. That in some whacked out and screwed up way you are another me.’

‘OK, Buddy, what’s your name?’

He doesn’t want to answer. But when I start to smile, he does. ‘Mark Bellamy.’

‘And I’m Raymond Bridges.’ I hold out my hand and he shoots back three paces.

‘Raymond Bridges. That’s my pen name. You didn’t have to steal that as well.’

I can see where this is going and start to move towards the door. He grabs my shoulder and I spring back to face him.  His eyes are a world of fear.

‘I know what you are. There’s a name for you. I found it out. A doppelganger. You’re my doppelganger, that’s what you are.’

I know then that he’s mad, that something is happening in his life to make this so much of a trauma for him.

‘I’m telling you here and now, Bridges, whoever you are or whatever you are, that I’m going to do you. Not here, nowhere as public as this. Somewhere very soon in a place of my choosing when you think it’s safe. And I’m going to do you dead.’

I can tell right there and then that he’s never going to make it as a writer. But the threat is real. I shake him off, make towards the door and leave him standing there.

Outside, I say nothing to Jerry. I don’t think he’s going to understand.

Double Bind

Over there! Someone like you. Not just like you. Someone who is you

From the moment he encounters his doppelgänger, life-changing experiences come thick and fast for Raymond Bridges as he attempts to unravel a mystery that goes to the heart of his being.

It’s a thrilling journey that leads him to question so much of what he finds in the world around him – including the loyalty of those he thinks he knows well.

What he uncovers is a conspiracy that shakes the world he knows to its foundations and asks key questions about our responsibility to the planet.

A book that just might invoke deep thoughts about how we live today – or just be appreciated for the wild ride of the imagination that it undoubtedly is.

Find it on Amazon.

Reader reviews of Double Bind

“I liked Bridges. I also liked his gorgeous girlfriend Victoria. I wanted them to win. I wanted Bridges to succeed in his mission…”

“The storyline and the characters are so compelling that you’re drawn in from the start.”

“What a fantastical sci-fi told as a cautionary tale – I loved it! This story is fast-paced, extremely well-written and extraordinarily different – one that gripped me from the beginning to the very end.”

“This easy-to-understand-and-follow Sci-Fi / Action / Thriller / Adventure / Romance wondrously expands your imagination. This is what a truly great author can achieve and Seb Kirby fits the bill.”

“Hooks you early on…. it’s hard to stop reading. An excellent story and really well told.”

“An engaging narrator with a nice line in challenging humour and moments of real emotion.”

‘Thought provoking and exciting ….. chillingly believable.”

“I like a thriller like this one where the plot takes you for a wild ride but leaves no loose ends in the grand finale.”

Find it on Amazon.

Seb Kirby

was literally raised with books: his grandfather ran a mobile library in Birmingham, UK and his parents inherited a random selection of the books. Once he discovered a trove of well-used titles from Zane Gray’s Riders of the Purple Sage, HG Wells’ The Invisible Man and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities to more obscure stuff, he was hooked.

He’s been an avid reader ever since.

He is author of the James Blake thriller series, Take No More, Regret No More and Forgive No More; the science-fiction thriller, Double BindEach Day I Wake; and Sugar for Sugar. His latest book is another psychological thriller, Here the Truth Lies.

Seb can be found:

BestSelling Reads author page  |   Amazon Author page  |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |    Goodreads   |   LinkedIn   |    Website & blog 

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Velvet Rain

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A Thursday teaser from the Readers Favorite-selected read

By David C. Cassidy

The black car eased left, onto the dark country road that would lead to its destruction.

“I’m telling you,” Christensen said again, tapping his wristwatch. He’d been going on about it for nearly five minutes. “No way it’s nine-thirty.”

Strong glanced up at the rear-view mirror, then brought his focus to bear on the road. He seemed quite put off with the private’s obsession with the current time, even more put off by the ill color of his own bloodshot eyes. “Just shut the fuck up.”

Christensen looked like he might say something about the lieutenant’s skin, which was quite unsightly now, what with its odd blister here and there. He studied it a moment longer, then simply turned and faced the road.

The headlamps cut through the darkness. After a short distance, Strong shut the air vents. “I can’t take this no more. Smells like cow shit, for Chrissake. Fucking hick towns.”

Christensen disagreed as he rolled up his window. “I think it’s more like a dump. Sir.”

Brikker was not surprised at the darkness. What surprised was that foul odor; the hideous transformation of Strong. The man rarely suffered but minor aches and the occasional bout of nausea after a Turn, but how it had affected him in this manner, yet showed not the least in the private, was a puzzle. Perhaps it had something to do with the homosexual gene (of which he was certain existed and could be eradicated in time), but that was only speculation. More likely, the queer was simply one of the fortunate few who suffered no ill effects of the Turn, unlike the vast majority predisposed to certain side effects of the magic. And thus it did not surprise him when he reached up and touched his cheek and found it blistered and worn. He could smell his own blood from the open sores. Could taste it on his lips.

What most surprised—and intrigued—was this strange turn of events. Richards had struggled to summon the magic, had nearly destroyed himself in the process; had nearly destroyed all of them. He could still see the burning bodies in his mind, the fall from human to human waste, terrifying. He could not recall such horror, nor such agony. And from this moment onward, he would remember the agony.

The world was different now; of that he was certain. Perhaps a rebirth of ten minutes had come … perhaps fifteen. Nonetheless, the effects would be far-reaching in every sense: There would be mild chaos and confusion for a radius of several miles. Miles of wasteland, yes, and perhaps that would serve as a saving grace. But what he did not know, could not possibly know, were the full implications of this strangest of Turns. Richards had not only struggled, he had suffered the loss of his greatest strength: control.

Indeed, to grasp Time’s Wheel and draw it back without thought, with no guiding hand … who knew its danger. The Turn itself had been disastrous, and already this new world had taken a darker path. The air reeked of filth; Strong was a fright, as was he. He would heal, surely, his nausea would pass, and his eyesight, of which he had never suffered the least ill, would clear. Yet the question tasked him: What darker surprises awaited?

“Sir.” It was Strong.

“Shit,” Christensen muttered. He was struggling to read the directions on his crumpled notes.

Brikker lowered his window. At least all had not changed.

In the distance, the farmhouse burned.

“That’s the place,” Christensen said. “Jesus.”

In the other direction, far to their right along the road perpendicular to them, Brikker saw a pair of headlamps in the blackness. The vehicle was moving at quite the rate of speed. The bumpkin who would be hero, he thought. Or was it the farm boy?

It mattered little. What mattered was avoiding another collision.

“Slow down,” he snapped.

“Slow down?” Strong asked. “What for?”

“Do it.”

Strong eased up on the gas and brought them under the speed limit.

Brikker nodded to himself as a second pair of lights appeared, perhaps a quarter mile behind the first vehicle. It was closing quickly.

All three vehicles converged toward the intersection. The first, a flatbed, Brikker now discerned, had slowed as it approached. It was still a hundred yards shy.

“Stop,” Brikker said. “Let them pass.”

Strong hesitated, clearly wondering why, but followed the order to the letter. The black car slowed, creeping up on the intersection. It finally stopped, a safe thirty feet from the stop.

And waited.

Velvet Rain

Award-winning author David C. Cassidy takes you on an extraordinary journey into the heart of the human soul, where one man’s incredible story of courage and tragedy will lift you, shock you, stir you—and leave you begging for more. 

Velvet Rain is a rollicking thrill ride, pitting unstoppable power against unstoppable evil. With a nerve-wracking beat that weaves paranormal and horror with a deeply human touch, this is a gripping tale of heartbreak and redemption, terror and torment, with a stunning climax that is simply unforgettable.

HE WAS BORN A MIRACLE.

IT WILL TAKE ONE TO SAVE THE WORLD.

A mysterious drifter, Kain Richards is the last of his kind—and a man on the run. Once a tortured prisoner and pawn in a secret government experiment, his freedom hangs in the balance against the relentless pursuit from Brikker, an obsessed and brutal madman who will stop at nothing to possess him.

Born with the Turn—the godlike power to reverse time—Kain’s ability is constrained inside a “bubble” that alters time within it. The further back he turns, the larger the bubble, the larger the effect—and the greater, stranger, and more dire and unpredictable the consequences, for those within, and beyond, the Turn’s reach.

Kain also possesses the Sense, giving him knowledge of the previous timeline and fuzzy, incomplete glimpses of the future. While the vast majority of the population don’t have the Sense, some do—and Brikker is one of them. And yet, while those who have it aren’t even aware of it, experiencing little more than déjà vu when time has turned, Brikker’s Sense far exceeds Kain’s, and is utterly dangerous. Not only can he remember every detail of a previous timeline, his glimpses into the future are far deeper, far more telling, giving him a deadly advantage. As these glimpses can only occur when time has turned, Kain is the key to Brikker’s twisted plans that tread an unalterable path to a terrifying future of death and destruction.

Knowing full well he must keep to the road, yet worn from the chase and his curse of the Turn, Kain settles into a job as a farmhand, only to fall for a beautiful and sensible Iowa farmwoman. Unable to stay but unwilling to leave, his dark secret sets their lives in peril. His health and his powers failing, only an iron will in an epic final battle will give him the chance to stand against the evil menace that threatens to consume him and the woman he loves—and to save the world from a hellish apocalypse.

Read more about it on the author’s web page.

Get it from

David C. Cassidy

David C. Cassidy, horror and science-fiction

Award-winning author David C. Cassidy is the twisted mind behind several chilling books of horror and suspense. An author, photographer, and graphic designer—and a half-decent juggler—he spends his writing life creating tales of terror where Bad Things Happen To Good People. Raised by wolves, he grew up with a love of nature, music, science, and history, with thrillers and horror novels feeding the dark side of his seriously disturbed imagination. He talks to his characters, talks often, and most times they listen. But the real fun starts when they tell him to take a hike, and they Open That Door anyway. Idiots.

David lives and plays in Ontario, Canada. From Mozart to Vivaldi, classic jazz to classic rock, he feels naked without his iPod. Suffering from MAD—Multiple Activity Disorder—he divides his time between writing and workouts, photography and Photoshop, reading and rollerblading. An avid amateur astronomer, he loves the night sky, chasing the stars with his telescope. Sometimes he eats.

Website   |     Facebook     |     Google+     |     LinkedIn     |     Twitter     |     Instagram

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It’s science fiction and fantasy season

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Fantasy season begins for BestSelling Reads

Fantasy, science-fiction and occult horror books are some of readers’ favorite genres. The great news is that BestSelling Reads members have plenty of titles to offer you.

Here are some of the best fantasy, science fiction and horror books you’ll find, available from your favorite bestselling authors.

Samreen Ahsan

  • The Stolen series—historical fantasy
    • Once Upon a Stolen Time
    • Once Upon a Fallen Time
  • The Prayer series—romantic fantasy
    • A Silent Prayer
    • A Prayer Heeded

Frederick Lee Brooke

The Drone Wars dystopian science fiction series

  • Saving Raine
  • Inferno
  • The Drone Wars

Scott Bury

  • The Bones of the Earth—epic historical fantasy
  • Dark Clouds—urban fantasy

David C. Cassidy

  • Never Too Late —horror
  • HauGHnt—horror
  • The Dark—horror
  • Velvet Rain—science fiction
  • Fosgate’s Game—horror

M.L. Doyle

  • The Bonding Blade—urban fantasy
  • The Bonding Spell—urban fantasy

DelSheree Gladden

  • The Ghost Host series—romantic fantasy
  • The Aerling Series—urban fantasy
    • Invisible
    • Intangible
    • Invincible
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes series—urban fantasy
    • Wicked Hunger
    • Wicked Power
    • Wicked Glory
    • Wicked Revenge
  • Life & Being—paranormal romance

Seb Kirby

  • Double Bind—science fiction

Toby Neal

  • Island Fire—dystopian science fiction
  • The Scorch series—dystopian future

Corinne O’Flynn

  • Death Comes Ashore: Witch Island Mysteries Book One—paranormal suspense NEW
  • Midnight Coven Collections—paranormal romance
    • Forever Still
    • Immortal Oath
  • The Expatriates series—fantasy adventure
    • Song of the Sending
    • Promise of the Scholar
  • Ghosts of Witches Past—paranormal suspense
  • The Aumahnee Prophecy series—urban fantasy
    • Marigold’s Tale
    • Watchers of the Veil (with Lisa Manifold)
    • Defenders of the Realm (with Lisa Manifold)

Raine Thomas

  • The Ascendant series: science-fiction Romance 2014
    • Return of the Ascendant
    • Rout of the Dem-Shyr
    • Rise of the Faire-Amanti
  • The Firstborn Trilogy—young adult urban fantasy 2013
    • Defy
    • Shift
    • Elder
  • The Estilorian series
    • Deceive
    • The Prophecy (short story)
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Why we write what we write

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Photo by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash

Romance, mystery, thriller, science-fiction … what makes an author choose to write in a particular genre? Your favorite bestselling authors reveal why they chose their literary path. This week, we continue with Kayla Dawn Thomas, David C. Cassidy, Scott Bury and J.L. Oakley.

Kayla Dawn Thomas

Romance

I’ve always been fascinated with falling in love, with everyone finding their perfect someone. While I read romance from all time periods, I like writing contemporary to show that people can still find love in this somewhat jaded, prickly world.

David C. Cassidy

Horror

For me, it was simply a case of being enthralled and inspired by Stephen King and Clive Barker at a young age. For me, they taught me two things. King: How to tell a story with “real” characters a reader cares about. Barker: How to imagine … and then to imagine more.

Scott Bury

Historical fantasy, non-fiction and mystery

When I was about 15 or so, I was into science fiction. I read a novella by Larry Niven featuring a detective named Gil the Arm. He served in a global police force, a couple of centuries in the future, so it was essentially a science fiction detective story. I was hooked!

When I started writing fiction, I felt frustrated by the expectations and tropes of genres: noirs, police procedurals, fantasy, science fiction … Plus, I am interested in many different types of stories. That’s why I not only write in different genres, I cross the boundaries as often as I can.

J.L. Oakley

Historical fiction

I’ve always loved history and even wrote a very serious thesis on Comanches as prisoners of war using primary materials from the National Archives and the Smithsonian Institute. My goal was to make it readable, not some high-faluting work that people wouldn’t understand. That’s what a publican historian is all about.

Writing historical fiction is another way to present history in an engaging way. When a reader becomes involved with a character facing the troubles of her time or just living life, you can teach about an era much more effectively. 

Take your pick

Whatever genre you like, BestSelling Reads members are authors who adhere to the highest professional publishing standards, dedicated to bringing readers compelling, enjoyable stories that leave you wanting more.

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Monday musings: Life inspired writing inspired life

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By Autumn Birt

I love adventure, especially traveling. One of my remaining bucket list trips is cave rafting in New Zealand (seriously).

The only thing that makes a trip more interesting is throwing in some local history and artifacts and I’m pretty much in love. Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru to Machu Picchu was an experience that will live with me and color my writing. How could following an ancient pathway of stones and steps through mountain passes and by a handful of stunning ruins, each unique, to end at one of the wonders of the world not show up in a story somewhere, especially when you are a fantasy writer?

My hobbies of hiking, kayaking, and sailing have lent a realistic air to many of my books. I know what it is like to carry everything you need on your back for days at a time, slogging through mud and crawling over steep ledges. I’ve ridden horses, though prefer motorcycling over long distances. I know the feeling of stepping into a new land and feeling equally lost and fascinated.

Those are the easy details that permeate my writing, often without me realizing it. But it was a conference in Miami in 2010 that not only changed my worldview but inspired an entire series.

The guest speaker was a proponent for an Everglades National Park, but had given up because he didn’t think the Everglades would exist in fifty years. Slide by slide, he unrolled more scientific details on climate change and historic trends in past climate changes than I’d ever seen. He ripped away the idea that the seas would rise slowly and lethally. Instead, he showed the ancient benchmarks where the land dropped feet at a time due to storms. A storm surge would arrive, inundate everything, and never leave.

The future we have crafted due to past actions is not going to be predictable or follow a smooth chart laid out by scientists doing the best they can with predictive modeling. It will be messy, chaotic, and cause havoc we can only guess at. Working as I did in sustainable agriculture for a government agency, my mind whirled with how would governments respond? How many such storms as Katrina in the US would it take for an area to be abandoned? How many would it take to weaken a government to the point it could be overthrown or bought?

Throw in increasing droughts, lack of clean water, and a pandemic or two, and you have a world in chaos.

It took years with those ideas planted in my brain to finally grow into the post-apocalyptic series, Friends of my Enemy. A twisted tale of a dark future rife with conflicted relationships, it is nevertheless one of my favorite things to have written, even though it is so far different from the epic fantasy books I usually prefer. It is my nightmarish dream and imbued with a bit of hope for mankind in our not-so-distant future.

Plus, the unruly roots sprouted out of that conference eventually lead me to quit my job.

I’m not a prepper or survivalist by any means, but when the future looks unstable, the government you work for is not responding to mitigate anything of what might be coming, and you are going to be in your late 60s by then anyway, grasping life and seeing the world while you can still enjoy it feels so much better than saving for retirement because some guy in a suit said you should. Ok, I might be a bit of a rebel at heart too.

And, you know, it doesn’t hurt that I live in a self-contained, all-terrain adventure vehicle. I’m totally prepared for the zombie apocalypse. 😉

Autumn Birt

is a bestselling author in fantasy, epic fantasy, and war – not all on the same series though!

She is the author of the epic fantasy, adventure trilogy on elemental magic, The Rise of the Fifth Order. Her newest series is Games of Fire, an epic continuation of the world and characters begun in The Rise of the Fifth Order. Book 2, Gates of Fire & Earth, is also a Fantasia Reviews 2017 Book of Year nominee and winner of Best Worldbuilding.

She is also the author of Friends of my Enemy, a military dystopian/ dark fantasy tale laced with romance.

Stop by her website and blog to learn more about the worlds of her books at www.AutumnWriting.com. You can also find her on Facebook at Author.Autumn.Birt or more frequently on Twitter @Weifarer. Check out Exclusive Stories page to pick up free short stories.

Learn more about her on her BestSelling Reads author page and Amazon Author Page.

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Life Imitating Fiction: I Married an Alien

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By Raine Thomas

When I found out that our group was tasked with writing posts about something we’ve experienced in our lives that imitated our books, I puzzled and puzzled over it. I’m a fiction writer, after all. I don’t generally write about things that happen in my real life or that I ever think I’ll personally experience. I write about fantasy and sci-fi worlds; in my contemporary fiction, I write about hunky baseball players and rock stars. None of which, I’m afraid to say, is my reality.

If I really stretch this blog concept, however, I can loosely relate my reality with the characters in my award-winning sci-fi romance Ascendant series. Kyr and Ty are aliens who travel great distances to be together. Similarly (although here on Earth), I married a man from another country who then became a permanent resident alien here in the U.S. And trust me, there was a lot of travel required before we ended up married and living together.

(Okay, I said it was a stretch. Work with me, people!)

I met my husband in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. We were both attending with friends and ended up staying in the same place. Rather like when Kyr sees Ty at the beginning of Return of the Ascendant, there was an immediate sense of awareness and familiarity between us when we first saw each other. I simply can’t explain it. I’ve read about moments like that one in romance novels…that instant spark between two people. To have it happen to me felt otherworldly.

So that’s the “life imitating fiction” moment that I decided to share with all of you. I’m happy to say that after that first meeting in New Orleans and a couple of years of long-distance dating, I married that “alien.” We just celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary…and we couldn’t be happier!

I thought it would be a fun touch to include the scene from Return of the Ascendant where Kyr (or Kyra when she’s on Earth) first sees Ty. Enjoy!

Kyra wondered how he’d known what she was thinking. She shook her head, figuring he’d just made a lucky guess based on the circumstances.

They walked for several feet before her sanity kicked in. She tried to remove her arm from the man’s grasp, but he just held her tighter. While the action should have alarmed her, it didn’t. It sure as hell annoyed her, though.

Giving him a more careful study, she tried to place his face. What little of it she could see as he studied their surroundings seemed familiar. Had she met him at a party? Was he in one of her classes last year?

That didn’t seem likely. She’d surely have remembered someone as hot as he was.

His gaze moved sharply to hers. She found herself catching her breath as she looked into the most startling silver eyes she’d ever seen. No one could possibly have eyes that color.

“Who are you?” she whispered.

Grab your copy of Return of the Ascendant on any of these platforms:

Raine Thomas

is the award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine has signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen. She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream.

Raine is a hopeless romantic with a background in the fields of mental health and wedding planning…two areas that intersect far more than one would think. Her years working with children and young adults with emotional and behavioral challenges inspired her to create protagonists who overcome their own conflicts. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Where to find her

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Tumblr  |  Instagram  |  YouTube  |  Goodreads  |Linkedin  |  Tsu

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