Friday, March 31, 2017

Frank Martin



Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
I’m not afraid of boundaries and exploring new genres. Comedy. Horror. Sci-fi. Drama. My goal is to master them all.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My most interesting writing quirk is probably that I treat writing like a puzzle.

My main problem when trying to write is time. I simply just don’t have enough of it, so in order to complete a project without having it take forever I have to write whenever and wherever I can. To accomplish this I carry around a cell phone with a QWERTY keyboard wherever I go. That way I can get words down when I can. In line at the grocery store. Riding in a car. At the doctor’s office.

That alone isn’t really a writing quirk, but when you add motivation into the mix things get complicated. Sometimes you just don’t want to write. The words don’t flow all the time. But I want to take advantage of the small moments I can write and not waste them. This leaves me writing down random parts of a story as inspiration strikes. It could be an opening to a chapter or a line of dialogue. Anything that hits me at any particular moment.

Sometimes when I get a character’s dialogue going I might just finish it before I get any other words down. Then I go back later and fill in all the actions, sort of like a fill in the blank. Sometimes I might have written some of the dialogue or even a character description for a chapter weeks before I start it and have to fit it in with what I just wrote.

So in those ways, writing to me is like a puzzle. I write all these different pieces of a chapter at different times and have to fit them all together. It’s a construction project.

Author Blurb
I’m a prose and comic writer that always enjoys exploring new genres and mediums. Over the last year I’ve had both comic and prose shorts featured in several anthologies including Stitched Smile Publications’ Unleashing the Voices Within and the indie comic collection Torsobear. Volumes one through three of my comic anthology series “Modern Testament” are available from Insane Comics. I also have a dual novella recently released with Burning Willow Press. I currently live in New York with my wife and two kids.

Where can we buy the books?
My prose work can be found at: Amazon.com/author/frankmartin 
My comic work with Insane Comics can be found at: https://goo.gl/eSOUiL

How can we follow you on Facebook?

What is your Twitter Handle?
@frankmartinwriter

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Experiencers



Agency black-ops assassin Michael Valiant deals death without question. He knows it’s all in the name of duty and the fight against terror, particularly at a time when the earth is as close as it’s ever been to self-destructing.

Psychic medium Carolyn Fairchild is happy and contented, living in a nice home in Newmarket, Ontario, with her husband and daughter. All Carolyn wants is to live in peaceful obscurity. Unbeknownst to her, the UFO group she belongs to has made it onto the Agency’s hit list. When, one by one, the members in their group die or disappear, Carolyn grows desperate.

Ready to complete his latest assignment, Michael confronts Carolyn in her home but faces a difficult choice: finish the mission or do the right thing.

A New Age Science Fiction thriller that delves into existing UFO and doomsday weaponry conspiracy theories, The Experiencers keeps readers riveted with non-stop action while the characters struggle to control destinies that may have been determined lifetimes ago.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Christa Yelich-Koth


Christa Yelich-Koth’s books twist genres, leaving you wondering what is truth and what is illusion.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My interesting writing quirk is that I never know the endings to my books before I start writing them. I didn’t realize this was unusual until working with another writer who only wrote once they’d thought of the ending to their story.

He didn’t really believe me, since he’d just read a detective novel of mine, Spider’s Truth (coming 2018), wondering how I could possibly have woven the complex yet seamless clues together. I explained to him that my characters move themselves forward and I’m just along for the ride.

A great example of this came out while writing my second book, Identity. During a scene, one of the characters had very few lines, seemed only to echo what others said, and didn’t really have anything to do except hang around in the background. I realized it was because that character wasn’t supposed to be there anymore. In a previous scene, that character had been knocked out, but in fact, the blow must have been worse. They were dead.

It was the first time I discovered the power of this motivation. Even though I wanted the character to stay alive and continue on, the more I wrote about them, the worse the story became. It was not in my power to control them.

Because of this, my books will always ring true, even if it involves heartbreak or pain. My characters will not feel forced and will not bend to my will, only their own.

Author Blurb
Christa Yelich-Koth is the author of the Eomix Galaxy Books collection, which includes Amazon Bestsellers ILLUSION and IDENTITY, out from Buzz & Roar Publishing.

Aside from her novels, Christa has also authored a graphic novel, HOLLOW, and 6-issue follow-up comic book series HOLLOW'S PRISM from Green-Eyed Unicorn Comics. (with illustrator Conrad Teves.)

Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Christa was exposed to many different things through her education, including an elementary Spanish immersion program, a vocal/opera program in high school, and her eventual B.S. in Biology. Her love of entomology and marine biology help while writing her science fiction/ fantasy aliens/creatures.

As for why she writes, Christa had this to say: "I write because I have a story that needs to come out. I write because I can't NOT write. I write because I love creating something that pulls me out of my own world and lets me for a little while get lost inside someone or someplace else. And I write because I HAVE to know how the story ends."


How can we follow you on Facebook?
My Eomix Galaxy Books page: https://www.facebook.com/Eomix-Galaxy-Books-1594701900742078/

What is your Twitter Handle?
@cyelkoth

Your Website Address is:
www.christayelichkoth.com

Are there any other sites we should know about?
Trailer for Eomix Galaxy Books: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R-0fTOB51U

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Book Spotlight: SciFan Magazine


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZ7MX6Z

Enjoy this glimpse into this collection of authors!

Read
Review
Promote

You can read and review the entire magazine or just review one or two of the articles.

The best way to help authors is to talk about their work on public forums!

Post reviews here, on the 'Zon and on your social media!

Are you interested in being featured in future editions? check it out here:
Content Submissions

Friday, March 24, 2017

C.M. Estopare


Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
Tragedy and bittersweet endings are key to my stories. I create worlds that you can emotionally invest in.
           
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?     
At ten, I filled notebooks with half finished stories. At fifteen, I entered (and scored second place!) a handful of short story competitions for teens. At twenty, I enlisted in the military and lost my pen for a while but picked it back up in Korea during a particularly hard deployment.

Life is tragedy. I learned this while serving. A particular person that I cannot name taught me this especially. A girl quick to smile and laugh and play. A young woman brought to the brink of explosion because of how she looked and the way she acted. She was an unlikable person. And I don’t say this because I disliked her--she was my friend. And a good one at that. No, I say this because a long list of people could not understand her, and therefore they hated her. Sought to break her down and build her up again in their image, because the image she had carried (note the had) was not got enough for them. Not good enough for the military.

In my mind’s eye, I see her hanging. Teetering by a belt in a dingy korean shower stall. Fingertips blue. Lips open. Eyes poking out. I won’t end her story on a sad note, because the night before the accident she was happy. Glorious and shining and sparkling and happy. And that is how I will always remember her.

She is why I write.

About the Author
C.M. Estopare is a full time writer, avid reader, and yoga enthusiast. When not reading or writing, she’s exploring with her puppy, Duke, and her awesome husband. 

Buy my books here

Like me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter!

I post weekly short stories on my blog.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Spotlight: Darkstorm

Darkstorm (The Rhenwars Saga Book 1) by [Spencer, M.L.]

Darkstorm

When Merris Bryar stumbles across a secret meeting in the forgotten passages deep beneath Aerysius, she has no idea the harrowing sequence of events her discovery will set into motion. Merris discovers that deep below the city of the mages, forces of chaos are hard at work boring the Well of Tears, a gateway to the Netherworld.

Faced with an imminent cataclysm that will destroy the magical heritage of their people, a conspiracy of darkmages have resorted to harnessing the powers of Hell to save their legacy. The only mages who can oppose them are Merris and her mentor, Sephana Clemley, along with their protectors, Braden and Quin Reis: two brothers with a turbulent past and a caustic relationship. But both Braden and Quin are compromised, harboring terrible and tragic secrets.

Will Braden and Quin be able to protect Sephana and Merris long enough to stop the unsealing of the Well of Tears? Or will they fall victim to the darkmages’ sinister manipulations and join their conspiracy?

Buy
Review
Promote

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Question: Life

What is life?
As the creators of worlds you need to be able to determine the definition of life.
What are the criteria for something to be alive and of value?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

M.L. Spencer


Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
I am THE Next Favorite Author because my novel Darkstorm is finally being released on March 24, 2017!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I always wrote, even when I was very small. There was never a moment in my life when I didn’t want to be a fantasy author.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 
I plot to music from Two Steps From Hell while I drive. They are my muse.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love killing pixels on a screen. I am a chronic MMORPG junkie. I fall on and off the wagon.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd? 
Unlike most fantasy novels, The Rhenwars Saga isn’t about good versus evil. It is an exploration in the subtleties between two conflicting moral ideologies. This means it is very hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys – or who will end up which.

What do you enjoy most about writing? 
I get a “natural high” off of the writing process. It’s addicting.

Author Blurb
M.L. Spencer lives with her husband and three children in Southern California. By day she works as a biology teacher; by night she sweats over a beaten-up keyboard. She just finished the third book in The Rhenwars Saga and is working on the forth. Her favorite authors are Robert Jordan, C.S. Friedman,  George R.R. Martin, David Eddings, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Terry Goodkind. M.L. Spencer won 1st Place Prose in the San Bernardino County Writing Celebration and the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Award for Fantasy. ​She is a member of the California Writers Club and Science Fantasy Society.

Where can we buy the books?
Darkmage   
Darkstorm (link to come)

How can we follow you on Facebook?
facebook.com/MLSpencerFiction

What is your Twitter Handle?
@MLSpencer1

Are you on GoodReads?
Yes - M.L. Spencer

Your Website Address is:
mlspencerfiction.com

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Social Media Checklist

Created
Social Media Platform
Facebook
Website
Blog
Author Page (On all book distribution sites)
Goodreads
Twitter
Linked in
Google+
Pinterest
Hootsuite
YouTube
 Add your favorite sites here...





















Do you have accounts on each of these sites? Take a few moments to look at each of these accounts and assess the following:

1.      Are you active on each of these accounts?
2.      Have you identified yourself as an author on each one?
3.      Do you interact with other individuals on each platform?
4.      Do you do more than talk about your book on each account?

If you answered no on any one of these questions you are not using your social media effectively.

Start Small: Choose one platform to work with. Master the skills necessary to make the most effective use of that platform and then move on to the next platform.

Work Smart: Set aside specific times to work on your social media accounts. Take advantage of scheduling options. Plan out what your campaigns and preschedule as many as possible. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Joy Nell Schultz


Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
My characters take over my story, becoming their own puppet master. The end-product is a fast-paced, cross-genre novel with wide appeal.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Since writing my first story in kindergarten, I’ve always loved writing. Throughout school, I turned all writing assignments into works of passion. My research papers turned into a work of fiction. My history report transformed into a time travel trip back to explore the Wright Brothers. My report on espionage became the next James Bond movie. Fiction or non-fiction was all the same, my heart poured into it.

By the time college came around, I picked a “reliable” profession—choosing a career as a pharmacist to pay the bills. (Even though my heart told me to go into journalism.) Now, that I’m older, I spend most my free time focused on my passion. I like pharmacy, but I LOVE writing. Thankfully, writing makes a great hobby.

Author Blurb
Joynell Schultz was raised at a zoo (yeah, bring on the jokes) which gave her a love of animals. She spends her days working as a veterinary pharmacist and spends her nights (cough, cough—very early mornings) creating imaginary worlds writing speculative fiction.

When she’s not trying to put food on the table (take-out, of course) for her husband and two children (and keeping it away from her sneaky Great Dane), she spends her time reading, writing, enjoying the outdoors, and planning her next vacation.

Where can we buy the books?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MXTGIZL

How can we follow you on Facebook?
http://www.facebook.com/joynelljschultz

What is your Twitter Handle?
@JoynellJ

Are you on GoodReads?
Yup. https://www.goodreads.com/JoynellSchultz

Your Website Address is:
http://www.joynellschultz.wordpress.com

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Book Spotlight: Year of the Songbird

https://www.amazon.com/Year-Songbird-Bryan-Caron-ebook/dp/B00AR7RKM2
https://www.amazon.com/Year-Songbird-Bryan-Caron-ebook/dp/B00AR7RKM2

Caution: This book contains adult language and adult situations

"When I was given the opportunity of sight, I wasn’t afraid of what I would see; I was afraid of what I would feel. And what I felt was a burning need to return to the fruit of my blindness, for only in the dark was I truly able to see." -- Madeline of the Ark, R.H. 28



"Year of the Songbird," written by award-winning writer/director Bryan Caron, is an emotional journey exploring one young girl's passage from the bed of innocence to the grave of immorality.

Set twenty-six years after World War III, Madeline, who lost her sight in a fire as an infant, lives a healthy life in a small Utopian community built as an anti-thesis to what initially caused the war, the history of which has been romanticized to keep the knowledge of sin, corruption and vice from the consciousness of its kin. When Grayland, a stranger from the outside world, stumbles upon the community, Madeline becomes intoxicated by his presence, sensing a connection to him that she doesn’t understand. When he offers her the chance to experience the world she so desires to be a part of, Madeline follows him into a truth she’s not at all ready to accept.

Spiritually resonant and genuine in its conviction, “Year of the Songbird” speaks on many different levels, dealing with the power of addiction, sexual and spiritual awakening, the corruption of labels, how outside influences can devour even the strongest of convictions, and how weakness and vice are more easily attained than virtue and happiness.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Question


What is your best tip for promotions.

Mine is: be unique.

Everyone out there seems to post promos with a lot of squiggly images and emojis to try to get attention. I scroll right past those.

The posts I end up stopping at have images related to writing. 

Sometimes a really great cover image will make me pause and look, but only if the image is not buried in the buy link.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Conda V. Douglas


Why are you the Next Favorite Author?
Next Favorite Author Conda Douglas here because I write what I love! Fantasy and Mystery galore! I’m a fifth generation Idahoan who loves my home state. Most of my writings take place in Idaho with Idaho characters, even my tween fantasy series, The Mall Fairies. Boy, do I know Idaho!

Author Blurb
Award winning author Conda grew up in the ski resort of Sun Valley, Idaho. Her childhood was filled with authors and artists and other creative types. She grew up with goats in the kitchen, buffalo bones in the living room and rocks in the bathtub.Now her life is filled with her cat and dog and permanent boyfriend and writing.

She's traveled the world from Singapore to Russia (in winter!) and her own tiny office, writing all the while. She delights in writing her cozy Starke Dead creative woman mystery series with amateur detective jeweler Dora Starke. The more Dora discovers cursed jewelry, her aunt digging graves, and a rampant poisoner, the more fun Conda has--although sometimes Dora complains about her plight! The first in the series, Starke Naked Dead, won Third Place in Mystery in the Idaho Author Awards 2014. Next up, Starke Raving Dead, in which Dora's mad Aunt Maddie proves the aptness of her name.

When she's not writing Dora into her quirky and quixotic mysteries, Conda writes the popular tween fantasy Mall Fairies series. The fairy inspiration for her Mall Fairies came from the sparrows that live in the Boise Towne Square Mall in Boise, Idaho. When not rescuing fairies from humans, cats and themselves, Conda works on the last title in the Mall Fairy trilogy, The Mall Fairies: Destiny.

Where can we buy the books?

How can we follow you on Facebook? 
https://www.facebook.com/conda.douglas

What is your Twitter Handle?
@Conda_V

Are you on GoodReads?
Yes!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Writing Prompt: Inspiration



Use the image to create a short piece of fiction.

Post your story.

Feel free to give feedback on other stories..

Feedback:
  1. Say what you liked about the story.
  2. Say what needs to be improved about the story.
  3. Be specific in your feedback.
  4. No general comments like: It's good or this story needs improvement. Let the author know specifically what you liked or didn't like.
At the end of your hour, post something you would like to promote.

You can post either a short story or an excerpt from a current WIP.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Listening

Foster a culture of listening.

Listening to respond is so ingrained in us as a culture we frequently start formulating our responses long before the other person begins to speak. Instead of formulating answers in your mind, formulate questions. Get them talking about what you have to offer and find a connection for them.

Make a list of questions you can ask to prompt readers to listen to what you have to offer.

Do not prepare a list of answers. Allow the conversion to flow organically.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Sonnet O'Dell



Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
I like to think that I write enjoyable stories that people will enjoy reading more than once.
What do you enjoy most about writing?

My favourite part is the planning. Once I have the beginning of an idea, the next stage is to flesh it out with deciding on characters, events that happen, twists, turns and checking the facts. I love doing research, especially as I tend to use a lot of myths, legends and obscure creatures.

I enjoy using pieces of information I find in the story, either as a clue toward a characters real identity or as a puzzle for them to solve to uncover the truth behind the mystery. I take everything I come up with and work it out into the chapters I want to make the story line. I don’t always stick to it but it’s great to refer back to it every time I go off on a tangent and need to get back on track.

I also really like the last bit, when you are holding the finished book in your hands, seeing all that planning and hard work come to fruition. That your creation is ready to go out into the world and be enjoyed.

Author Blurb
Sonnet was born at the John Radcliffe in Oxford and spent many years living in different spots all over the UK.

Sonnet now live in Worcester, Worcestershire, home of Lea & Perrins and the site of the last battler of the Civil War. Sonnet enjoys nothing more than reading or writing a good book. She is fascinated with worlds created by words and has a passion for mythology that can be seen in some of her works.

She has a BA Hons Degree in Creative Writing & Writing for Performance and a writing companion in the form of a large black tom cat called Salem.

Where can we buy the books?

How can we follow you on Facebook?

What is your Twitter Handle?

Are you on GoodReads?

Your Website Address is:

Are there any other sites we should know about?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Book Spotlight: Echoes of Savanna

https://www.amazon.com/Echoes-Savanna-Parent-Generation-ebook/dp/B006RM66QM

Every generation has its defining moments, events that change history and turn the course of lives. Forever will the children of that generation be defined by those moments.

Savanna Taylor is a medical doctor in 2036, the same year terrorists release a series of plagues and viruses into the world. She is a nineteen year old Brain Trust whose task it is to find a cure for the diseases and develop vaccines to prevent their further spread. The world is thrown in turmoil and Savanna needs to find a way to survive with her sanity and family intact. She needs to find a safe Haven for herself and for those she loves.

Can Savanna cope in a world in constant flux brought on by war and disease? Can she save the world and protect her loved ones or will she make the ultimate sacrifice? How will she be defined?

Thursday Tip: the Six Word Pitch

The six word pitch should: grab attention, explain your goal and explain the actions you will take.

An example of a six word pitch:
Teaching to write and publish quality

Give a six word pitch for your book.




Just a glimpse of the concepts I am developing in the companion to my book on writing.

Start your journey by learning about writing and publishing through Write Well Publish Right.

Stay tuned for updates to preorder Publish Promote Repeat!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Questions


How do you overcome writer's block when you hit the wall?
When I know I need to write but the words can't come I take a break. I only give myself a few minutes.

Some things I do:
  • Take a walk
  • Get a snack
  • Get a drink
Nothing that takes more than 15 minutes. I find this is just enough of a break to get my brain going again.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

B Fleetwood


Author of Chroma: Imogen’s Secret (Book 1 of the Chroma trilogy)

Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
My writing crosses genres: mystery, sci- fi, adventure, & romance, with believable characters and a quirky concept.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd
Can you imagine an extra sensory perception that enabled you to clearly see if someone was lying? A means of determining what a person was feeling or thinking? Imogen, my sixteen-year-old heroine, has this skill – she can read Chroma, the normally invisible aura of colours we all unknowingly emit. The first of the trilogy, this is a mystery / sci-fi adventure as Imogen sets out to uncover the truth of why she is so different, before a dangerous enemy closes in.

Why ‘Chroma’? Well, I always thought it would be brilliant asset if you could ‘see’ a lie (how would politicians go on?). Body language can betray something of what we are thinking, but I wanted to invent a way to see through a person’s ‘outer layer’ to their true feelings. As the story developed, these Chromatic skills became a central part of the narrative. As readers of Harry Potter can memorise spells and the basics of curses, I want my readers to know which colour means what, and assimilate the concept of Chroma, as naturally as they would the magic in JK Rowling’s stories.

On the one hand, ‘Chroma’ is a tale of fantasy, but on the other, I have endeavoured to make the story - and the science within it - appear real and believable. I am a fan of science fiction ‘proper’, which is grounded in fact. Add to this that my hubby is an engineer, plus I like to keep abreast of ‘futuristic’ style technologies, and the result is that all my gadgets and gismos are within the realms of the possible, no matter how improbable. A reviewer wrote that my ‘DE’, or ‘Data Encounter’ was “like Google on steroids!” That put such a smile on my face.

About the Author
Becky Fleetwood lives in the Northwest UK with her engineering hubby. 

Her love of writing started when she won a large quantity of chocolate in a Cadbury's writing competition, at the age of 8.

At the age of 20, she fell in love with Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonflight" series, in particular the female heroine, Lessa. Since then, she has burned with an ambition to write a novel with a similar female protagonist - someone who was strong, analytical and did not see the world in black and white. It is from this that Chroma was born.




Twitter: @bfleetwoodhome




Monday, March 6, 2017

Writing Prompt: Death Scenes


End of Days: Write a death scene.

From Hunter: Chronicles of the Soul Eaters

MY SCREAM ECHOED OFF the rocks and came back to us in a hollow mockery of my rage. The creature turned and bounded towards me, scattering sand and rock in every direction. I held up my hands to deflect his charge, pushing energy from my core directly into is path. It closed within ten yards of me, moving so fast it was almost a blur. When it hit the energy barrier erected in front of me its body contracted and it fell to the ground, writhing against my restraining force.

I held the monster there, under the weight of my energy, not allowing it to rise from the ground. The rasp of a sword being drawn pulled my attention to the Warrior. For a moment my attention wavered from the creature and I could feel it struggling against its bonds. With a quick thrust of my mind I forced the monster back to the ground.

“Wait,” I said a I held up one hand to restrain the Warrior.

Drakon studied me for a moment, his sword in the ready position to lash out and separate the monster’s head from its neck.

“Would you allow this monster to live?” the question echoed within the vaults of my mind. I couldn’t turn and face the Warrior. My focus needed to stay on the monster at my feet. I didn’t know how to convey my thoughts directly to his head. The monster pushed against the energy barrier, struggling against my restraints. Shaking my head, I took a step towards the creature.

“No,” I said, surprised at how steady my voice sounded. “I will let you kill the creature, but I need to know its secrets.”

Reaching forward, I placed my hand on the monster’s chest. It recoiled from my touch, but not before I caught a glimpse of its mind. Hunger. Deep abiding hunger overwhelmed my senses. My belly was full so I knew it wasn’t my hunger. The creature’s entire being was consumed with the need to feed. Placing my knee on its chest, I pinned the monster to the ground and grabbed its head between my hands. It flinched away from my touch and struggled under me for a moment. I twisted my fingers through its hair and grabbed handfuls of it in my fists, twisting until its face twisted in pain.

I studied the creature’s angular face, looking for the mark of evil I knew had to be there. These monsters fed on the souls of innocents. There had to be some indication of their evil deeds. I wanted to find the mark delineating this monster from the humanity of the world.

The creature bared its teeth and offered me a deep, primal growl. Its teeth flashed white in the moonlight. I studied its face, looking for any strange mark. Pale skin, dark eyes, skinny, wiry. I could feel its muscles contracting as it tried to force my restraining energy away. Forcing my knee deep into its chest, I forced the creature to hold still. My energy pinned it to the ground and restricted even its most feeble attempts at movement. The creature seemed to be a pale version of a human. Its skin was nearly translucent. Where its cheeks and lips should have been pink from the flow of red blood through its capillaries, they were so white I doubted if it had any blood flow at all. It stared up at me through golden brown eyes so light all I could really see was the black pupil and the black rim surrounding the iris.

A strange gurgling sound echoed from the depths of the creature’s throat. I suddenly realized the monster was laughing at me. It ceased its struggles and stared at me with its pale eyes.

“Kill me then, Hunter,” it said. “You may slay this body, but I will never die. I will take possession of your soul and live forever in you.”

I nearly released my hold on the creature. A shudder flowed through my body at the thought of this evil taking up residence in my body. The memory of the monster crouched over the body of the hapless hiker blurred in my mind and was replaced by the sudden image of me in my priestly garb pinning down the girl and giving her the Devil’s Kiss.

I shook off the image and refocused on the monster. The Devil’s Kiss. I had never heard the term before. At least I don’t remember hearing the term. I knew what it was though. I had seen the other monster perform it. Had seen the life-force being drained from its victim. I remember even feeling it one time when we were locked in battle. I lowered my face close to this monster’s, piercing it to the ground with my gaze.

“You are mine to control,” I said. “No more will you cause harm to others. Even in death I will control your every action. Your life is forfeit. Your soul will be trapped and will never be reborn.  Just as you consumed others, I will consume you.”

The monster gasped as I lowered my mouth over its. I felt it release itself into me, relinquishing control of the energy it had just consumed. The girl’s spirit flowed through me, grasping at her salvation. I lifted my face off the creature’s and opened my mouth wide, allowing the girl’s spirit t flow into the universe where it belonged.

The creature lay, gasping, where I had it pinned to the ground. Its body had taken on a wizen look, shrinking into itself. I finally noticed the creature was male, but even this piece of information did not allow me to see any humanity in its form. It was all monster. All destruction. All death.

I stood, releasing the creature from my physical restraints but still keeping it pinned with my energy. The rasp of a sword being drawn from a sheath shattered the night. With one smooth motion the Warrior separated the monster’s head from its body. I watched as its body crumpled to dust and scattered in the wind.

A bright, blue ball of energy arose from the remains of the creature. It hovered for a moment, quivering in the air before flying towards me. My entire body tingled as the energy washed over me and settled into my muscles. A bitter, coppery taste flooded my mouth but the contents of my stomach stayed put. I swallowed away the taste and turned to the Warrior. He had put away his sword and was standing at the edge of the drop off, gazing down at the body below.