Teaser Tuesday with CM Michaels

Today’s Teaser Tuesday is with author CM Michaels.


Enjoy & Comment!

“Would you stop already?” Teresa grumbled, glaring at her ever-pacing brother. “No one’s following us. Relax.”

Travis finished scanning Beacon Street and ducked back into the alleyway. “God damn it! Do you ever listen? I told you we had to cool it for a while. What the hell were you thinking?”

“The bitch spilled her drink on me.”

He sighed and tiredly rubbed his eyes. Arguing with her was like trying to reason with a bratty three-year-old grabbing candy in a grocery checkout line. “So we’re homeless because someone accidentally got diet coke on your shirt?”

“Quit being such a queen,” Teresa said with a huff. “You know Stefan thinks of us as his kids, which is totally weird by the way. All he’ll do is make us listen to his rules again. If you wouldn’t have talked me into running, we’d probably be watching TV by now.”

“If Stefan and Alexander just wanted to talk, they would’ve waited until we got back, not raided our feeding room like a two-man S.W.A.T. team. This is serious, Terr. If they find us, they’re going to kill us.”

For the first time in as long as he could remember, his snarky, narcissistic sister looked vulnerable. She crossed her arms to conceal her jittery hands and looked into his eyes. “So what do we do? I’m not living on the street again, or in the skuzzy-ass hotels we used to stay in.”

Travis placed a comforting hand on his baby sister’s shoulder. “Things aren’t like they used to be, sis. Even you have to admit that Stefan taught us a hell of a lot. Once we get out of town, we can trance a bank manager and get all the money we need. I thought we’d head south—you always wanted to see Orlando.”

Acting as if he hadn’t even spoken, Teresa shrugged off his hand and headed further down the dimly lit alley, veering around overflowing dumpsters and piles of loose garbage before slumping back against the brick wall behind her. “And what about the skank who started all this? We just leave her to her fairy-tale life, sipping wine in her mansion? No fucking way.”

Anger coursed through his veins at his sister’s jealousy and unfounded arrogance. “Wake up!” Travis screamed, shaking her shoulders so violently that her teeth rattled. “You think you can take her? You don’t know jack shit. Raven’s been training for almost two hundred years, Einstein. She’d tear your ass apart like a piñata.”

Teresa rolled her eyes and pushed his hands away. “Not Raven, you douche. I’m talking about Emily.”

“Emily? What the hell did she do?”

“If she wouldn’t have wandered up to us like a lost puppy, we would never have fed with Alexander there, and Stefan would still be clueless. The bitch led Raven right to our door.”

“Oh come on. That’s a reach, even for you. Raven lied to her about our scent. You’re really going to blame her for that?”

She shot her brother a disgusted look. “I knew making her strip was a bad idea. All it takes is a flash of boobs and you turn to mush. Are you ever going to grow a pair? You’d still be Keri’s lapdog if it wasn’t for me.”

C.M Michaels grew up in a small town in northern Michigan as the youngest child of a close-knit family of seven. He met his wife, Teresa, while attending Saginaw Valley State University. Together they’ve provided a loving home for several four-legged “kids”, including Sophie, their eternally young at heart, hopelessly spoiled Spaniel.

He has always enjoyed writing, and still has fond memories of reading his first book, a children’s novella, to local grade schools when he was 14. Dangerous Waters, the first book in the Sisters in Blood series, is being published by Freya’s Bower on September 5th, 2013. C.M. is currently working on the second book in the Sisters in Blood series along with a Fantasy romance.

When he’s not writing, C.M. can be found curled up with a good book, watching movies or hitting the hiking trails with his wife. An avid reader since discovering Jim Kjelgaard novels in early childhood, his favorite authors include Kelley Armstrong, Peter V. Brett, Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Claire, J.R. Ward, Laini Taylor and Tessa Dawn.

C.M. currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky.

Social Media links:
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/UFAuthorCMMichaels
Twitter – https://twitter.com/UFAuthor
Blog – http://cmmichaels.blogspot.com/
Website – http://cmmichaels.com/
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/authorcmmichaels
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7Q7m0MrwlQ

Buy links:

Teaser Tuesday with Steven Donahue

Today’s Teaser Tuesday is with Author Steven Donahue.
Enjoy! 
Blurb:  Twelve-year-old Amy Sutter steals the experimental spacecraft Liberty Bell to rescue her father and
his colleagues from alien captors called the Crownaxians. She is pursued by Lt.
Yale Brown, the officer in charge of the ship’s security, who has orders to
bring back the Liberty Bell at any
cost.

Excerpt:

Amy Sutter
tightened her grip on the yoke as she stared at the monitor on the console.
Sixteen oval-shaped, purple objects dotted the screen. She took a deep breath,
targeted one of the alien ships and fired her first missile. The enemy craft
exploded and created a fireball that destroyed the ship beside it. Amy smiled
and wiped some sweat from her forehead. The other ships began firing missiles
at her as she turned the Liberty Bell to the right and dove hard toward
the surface of the planet below. A proximity alarm sounded behind her as the
missiles flew over the top of her ship. Amy then pulled back hard on the yoke
and lined up her next shot.
She
waited until the enemy fleet got closer before she fired the laser cannons
mounted on the outside of her 150-foot long spacecraft. She obliterated two
more vessels before the Liberty Bell took a direct hit of laserfire on
the portside wing. The shielding held but the concussion of the blow caused Amy
to smack her head against the console. Thankful she was wearing a helmet, Amy
shook off the momentary dizziness and tried to line up another shot. Before she
could, three more laser blasts wiped out her cannons. Two more blasts caused
another alarm to blare. Amy looked at the console and saw that her life support
systems were failing. However, her engines were still online. She sent out a
distress call as the enemy ships started to surround her. She then steered the
ship away from the fleet and initiated the Sprint
Drive system. The Liberty Bell bolted through
a gap in the enemy’s formation and the crafts disappeared from the ship’s radar
as they fell far behind the spaceship.
Amy
let out a sigh and quickly searched the digital maps for a suitable planet to land
on. Before she could find one, the Liberty Bell began to violently
shake. The temperature inside the cabin shot up. Before she should shut down
the Sprint Drive,
Amy heard a loud explosion behind her. Then all of her instruments stopped
working and the cabin grew dark.
The
exasperated pilot unbuckled her safety belt and flipped a switch on a side
panel. The door over her head opened and the twelve-year-old girl climbed out
of the simulator and down a ladder to the concrete floor. She took off her
helmet and looked at her reflection in a small window on the simulator. She
brushed back a lock of her dark brown hair and saw a welt forming over her
right eye. Amy shook her head and smiled at her clumsiness. “Serves you right
for sneaking in there,” said a voice behind her. Amy turned around and saw Lt.
Yale Brown marching toward her. The officer had a clipboard in her hand and a
relaxed look on her face.
Amy
shrugged. “I got four of them this time,” she said. “Then the Sprint
Drive exploded as I was getting away.” She handed
the helmet to the lieutenant and walked with her toward the equipment storage
room. Around them other pilots were training for various missions, while
security officers stood guard at the building’s four entrances. Amy glanced at
the busy soldiers and noticed their tense expressions.
“You
can’t trust that engine,” said Yale. “They haven’t perfected it yet.” At 5’10”,
the twenty-eight-year old woman towered over her young friend. Yale’s frame was
lean and strong as a result of her military training and her short blonde hair
fit neatly under her green cap. She wore a camouflage shirt and matching pants,
standard issue for Union soldiers, and no makeup. Her light green eyes had a
tendency to change colors in differently lighted rooms.
They
reached the door to the storage room and Yale unlocked it by running a blue key
card with a magnetic strip along a black keypad. Amy followed the lieutenant
into the room and watched Yale tuck the helmet on a shelf next to other flight
gear. Then she turned to face Amy. “Should I even bother asking how you got
into the machine?” she asked. She put her hands on her hips and smiled.
Amy
reached into her pocket and pulled out another blue key card with a magnetic
strip. She waved it in front of Yale’s face. “Just got to have the right
tools,” she said. Yale glared at her and yanked the card out of the girl’s
hand. The lieutenant stuffed the card in her shirt pocket and pointed to
storage room door. “I’m going, I’m going,” said Amy. The girl tiptoed past her
friend and watched the lieutenant lock the door.
Yale
chastised the guards on duty for letting Amy slip past them, before she handed
another officer the clipboard. Then she escorted the girl out of the facility
and they walked side-by-side toward the adolescent’s living quarters. The crisp
morning air was a delightful change from the normally arid atmosphere on
Paldor, a small hot planet just outside the Milky Way. The Sutter family
resided in building 400, in one of the more elegant homes in the 23 square-mile
Pioneer Settlement.
A
fighter jet flew overhead. Amy squinted at the tail markings for Earth’s Union
Defense Fleet. She thought about their ongoing war against the Crownaxians, an
alien species that no surviving human has ever seen. The highly intelligent
warriors attacked a human settlement on the planet Blaros. More than 3 million
people were killed in the attack and eight years later the human death toll had
skyrocketed past 29 million, with no end in sight.
            Amy knew that Earth’s overpopulation
and dwindling natural resources forced mankind to seek shelter elsewhere among
the stars. However, the Crownaxians refused to negotiate a peaceful resolution
to the conflict, which had forced the Union
to institute martial law on all human colonies. The five major settlements on
Paldor all fall under the jurisdiction of Gen. William Knox, a 55-year-old
career officer. Amy had heard rumors that the general had become overly
cautious, sending out only defensive patrols, and that some of his subordinates
had lost faith in him.
Yale
and Amy walked into Amy’s home and found Clayton Sutter sitting at the dining
room table. The diplomat was typing on a laptop computer. His chestnut brown
hair was prematurely receding toward the top of his skull and his fierce brown
eyes stared intently at the screen in front of him. Amy said a quick hello to
her father and tried to duck into her bedroom, but her mother spotted her in
the hallway.
Pam
Sutter’s hazel eyes widened as she put her hand on her daughter’s chin. “What
happened to you, young lady?” she asked, shifting her gaze from Amy to Yale,
who was still standing behind the girl.
The
lieutenant spoke first. “I’m afraid she bumped her head while running a program
in the flight simulator,” said Yale. She tightened her fists as she glanced at
Clayton. Amy watched her dad rise and walk toward her. He put his hand on his
daughter’s shoulder and looked at the bruise. “I promise this won’t happen
again,” said Yale.
Clayton
shrugged and turned toward his wife. “It doesn’t look too bad to me,” he said.
Amy let out a sigh of relief. Then she saw him turn and glare at her. “But you
shouldn’t have been in that simulator,” he said. His face reddened. “What were
you thinking?” He moved his face close to hers. “This base is not your playground.
You cannot go wherever you want any time you want to. There are a lot of
dangerous places that you need to stay away from. I want you to promise me that
you will follow the rules from now on,” he said.
Amy
nodded, having heard this before, and forced herself not to blink. “I will,
Daddy. I promise,” she said. She opened her arms and wrapped them around him.
He hugged her back and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. Then he let go and
sat back down at the table. Pam crossed her arms over her chest. Amy knew what
she was waiting for. “I’m sorry,” said the young girl. “It won’t happen again.”
Pam
looked at her watch and sighed. The auburn-haired woman was a few inches
shorter than Yale, but Amy found her far more intimidating. She was a
meticulous and ambitious physician with a strong need for order and discipline.
Pam tended to be less affectionate than her husband, at least toward her
daughter, who frequently felt uneasy around her.
            The doctor glared at Yale. “I hope
this breach of security is not commonplace, lieutenant,” she snarled. “I’d had
to think what a spy for the Crownaxians could do if given the chance.”
            The lieutenant cleared her throat.
“I assure you it is not,” she replied. “And those responsible will be
punished.” She glanced at Amy, who offered a sympathetic shrug.
            “I have to go to work,” said Pam.
Then she addressed her daughter. “There’s an ice pack in the freezer. Put it on
your bruise for twenty minutes, then take it off for twenty, then put it back
on for twenty more,” she said to Amy, without looking at her. “It will help
keep the swelling down.” Amy watched her grab her physician’s bag and move
toward the door. Pam stopped by her husband and kissed him on his forehead. He
looked up at her and smiled. “I should be home by six,” she said.
He
kissed her goodbye, and then continued typing. Yale held the door open for Pam,
and then followed the woman out. Amy noticed the pained look on Yale’s face and
she wondered if her friend would get into trouble for her stunt. After the door
closed, Amy went into her bedroom and quietly shut the door behind her.
She
flopped down on the bed and quickly forgot her mother’s medical advice. Instead
she stared up at the stars and planets painted on the bedroom ceiling. She
silently counted each star and gave each one a name, something she always did
when she was trying to calm her nerves. Then she thought about the Union
Academy again. It would
be two more years before she would be old enough to apply. Not that she thought
she could get in. Amy knew that her math grades weren’t high enough and that
her language skills needed to improve. Still, she hoped that she could follow
in her parents’ footsteps and graduate from the academy someday. Then she would
study for her pilot’s license and try to get a job on a real spacecraft.
After
dozing off and dreaming about the academy, Amy awoke to the sound of someone
knocking on her door. She sat up and told the visitor to come in. Amy
brightened when she saw Madison
walk through the doorway. The 6’6” robot closed the door behind it and walked
to the middle of the room. A briefcase dangled from the robot’s left hand. The
sleek, dark green metallic machine was modeled on the human form. “I’m sorry
I’m late,” it said. “Suzy Porter asked me to stop by and replace the Science
data file she lost over the weekend.” Amy smiled at the familiar brass sound of
her friend’s voice. Madison
rested the briefcase on the desk that sat four feet away from the top of Amy’s
bed. The robot took out a mini-comp and turned it on.
Madison
was the first fully automated, sentient being to successfully emerge from the
laboratory of a Union science group headed by biologist Stanley Greenland.
Unfortunately for the group, they were not unable to duplicate that success
with later models, nor were they ever able to explain why the androgynous Madison
worked and those that followed didn’t. Amy believed that it was because Madison
had a soul, an opinion not shared by anyone else.
Originally
conceived as a supersoldier for the Union Defense Fleet, Madison
was reassigned to Paldor after several Union Council members lost faith in Greenland’s
work. The constant setbacks became too disheartening for the biologist, who
then decided to retire after the Council cut off his funding. With no teachers
living in the Pioneer Settlement, Madison
was reprogrammed to tutor the students of various ages who resided with their
parents in the small hamlet. Since none of the other kids were Amy’s age, Madison
taught her privately. Amy felt honored to be among the robot’s pupils but she
still wished that she could attend a regular school on Earth. Her father’s
numerous assignments kept them moving from place to place and the Sutter family
hadn’t been back to Earth in nearly four years.      
“We
are going to start with Algebra today,” said Madison.
The robot pulled a chair away from Amy’s desk, placed it against the wall and
sat down in it. Another chair was pressed against the desk.
Amy
plopped down in the empty chair and rolled her eyes. “Algebra is so boring,”
she said. “Can’t we start with something else?” She picked up a pencil and
started doodling on a small pad of paper. Without thinking, she began to sketch
the outline of a spacecraft. Although she had never seen the real Liberty
Bell
, Amy could imagine what it looked like from having been in the
simulator. When she finally realized what she was doing, she filled in the
details of her sketch from what she thought the outside would look like.
“Please
turn on your tutor-comp and go to page 43 of the math section,” said the robot.
“We have a lot to cover this morning. Your last test score was very
disappointing.” Amy frowned and put aside the sketch. She picked up her
tutor-comp and sighed as she searched for the page. “Look at the first problem
and tell me how to begin.”
Amy
did as she was told and the duo spent the next hour deciphering the mysteries
of Algebra. Then they moved on to History, Science, English and Social Studies.
After the lessons ended, Madison
packed up its teaching materials, while Amy sat on the bed and stared at the
stars on her ceiling. “Why did this stupid war have to start?” she asked,
looking over at the robot.
Madison
zipped up the briefcase and sat down on the bed beside her. “You know all about
that,” it said, shaking its head. Amy shrugged. “I don’t have anything new to
tell you. Blaros was attacked and the Union
fought back. It certainly is a terrible thing, this war.”
“Have
you ever seen a Crownaxian?” asked Amy. The robot shook its head no. Amy leaned
against the wall. “I know, I know, no one has ever actually seen one. But I
hear that they want to take over every planet in the universe. And nobody can
do anything to stop them.”
“Where
did you hear that?” asked Madison.
Amy
crossed her arms over her chest. “From some of the other kids. They say the
Crows are mindless killing machines, just bred for war. And they’ll eat
anything, even each other.” Amy grimaced. “That’s so gross. I hope I never have
to see one of them. If I did, I think I would just die.” The words slipped out
before she realized the gravity of them. “Oh, I don’t mean like the people at
Blaros. I know that was tragic and all. But I’d be terrified to come up against
a Crow unless I had a laser gun in my hand.”

Madison
stood up and grabbed the briefcase. “I wonder what their children say about
humans,” it said. The robot extended a hand and helped Amy stand up. The cold,
metal surface of the robot’s hand made her shiver. She quickly let go and led
the instructor to the door. Amy exited first and Madison
followed her through the living room to the front door. Clayton walked over
from the kitchen and thanked Madison
before the robot left.
Author Bio: Steven Donahue was a copywriter for TV Guide magazine for 14 years. His first novel, Amanda Rio, was published in 2004. It has received critical acclaim from reviewers for Amazon.com and thebestreviews.com. Steven currently resides in Bucks County, PA with his wife, Dawn. He has two novels coming out in 2013: The Manila Strangler (Rainstorm Press) and Amy the Astronaut and the Flight for Freedom (Hydra Publications).
Links:

Teaser Tuesday with Erin Danzer

Today’s Teaser Tuesday is with Author Erin Danzer.

Enjoy!

Blurb:
Fifteen-year-old
Veronica “Ronnie” Lambert wants to get out from under her older brother’s
shadow. When Ronnie gets a tattoo and then is struck by lightning, she suddenly
finds herself able to see and hear things in shadows that don’t appear to
others. Then Ronnie meets Gavin Clearwater, the hot new guy in all of her
classes and finds out he can see and hear the same things she can.
Gavin
tells her about the Spiral Defenders, a group of warriors that travels through
space and time to defend the planets of the Spiral. After meeting the Commander
of the Spiral Defenders and realizing his intentions might not be pure, Ronnie
struggles between following her destiny to become a Spiral Defender and trying
to regain the life she had before being struck by lightning.
Excerpt:
Ronnie said good night and
watched her mom walk down the hall that led to the master suite at the back of
the house. Then she decided her mom had a great idea and pulled out her phone
as she walked upstairs. She knew Andi would still be up; she had promised to
call when she got home. She walked into her room and dropped her phone when
something moved on her bed. Her eyes widened as the black shadow crossed the
room with amazing speed and a human hand covered her mouth to keep her from
screaming.
“I’ll let you go if you promise
not to scream,” Gavin said in a low voice. She nodded.
“What the hell are you doing
here?” she hissed as soon as he took his hand away. “Were you following me?”
He arched an eyebrow. “Yeah, I
was following you. I managed to slip by while you were making out on the porch and get passed your mom to get up here
before you,” he pointed out. “Try again, Princess.”
She glared at him, a little
unnerved by his close proximity. He may have removed his hand but he hadn’t
stepped back and she was starting to feel nervous having him so near. He was
close enough to kiss. She closed her eyes as she realized this and wished he
would move away. She didn’t even want to think about what that thought said
about her.
“Problems, Princess?” he asked,
a smirk evident in his voice. Her eyes flew open and she glared at him.
“Yeah, you,” she growled. “Why
are you here?”
He finally stepped back, his
trademark smirk in place as he looked her up and down. Ronnie tried not to
squirm under his scrutiny. Her heart pounded as something she refused to
acknowledge flashed in his eyes. He took another step back and she could
breathe again. She stepped into her room enough to close the door behind her and
then flipped on the overhead light, blinking in the sudden brightness. When her
eyes finally adjusted, she saw that Gavin had reclaimed his place on her bed,
sprawled over her pillows in a way that was entirely too inviting. She
continued to glare at him.
“You know, I thought you had a
good time tonight, Princess,” he commented. “You don’t look very happy.”
“I’m not; I had to come home and
find you here. And you still haven’t told me why you’re here. You can’t just show up out of thin air.” She ran a
hand over her hair and started pulling out the bobby pins that held it in
place. She needed something to do before she entertained the thought of choking
Gavin and throwing him out. He really knew how to ruin an evening. She crossed
the room to sit at her vanity table and laid down the pins in her hand. She
knew Andi had used close to two dozen; this was going to take a while.
“Consider me your guardian
angel; I just wanted to make sure you got home all right,” he finally told her
as he sat up.

“Well, I’m home safe and sound
so you can leave.”
Buy Links
Amazon:
AmazonUK:
Add it to your Goodreads TBR list!
About the Author:
Erin Danzer wrote her first book at 10-years-old for a Young Authors competition, where she was awarded Into the Spiral is the first of a four book series. In addition to her novels, Erin writes a monthly short story serial, The Cassandra Serafin Chronicles, posting alternately on her blog and in Literary Lunes bi-monthly online magazine. Erin resides in Racine, Wisconsin, with her husband, two children, and their cat.

an Honorable Mention and discovered a passion for the written word. She’s written several novels and short stories since that spark ignited.

Social Media Links