Nicole Minsk – I Know How You Feel: The Sensate

IKHYF_Cover_new_Nikki_Credit_3Title: I Know How You Feel: The Sensate

Author: Nicole Minsk

ISBN or ASIN: B00YT1LKAA

Page count: 396

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy / Urban Fantasy /  Science Fiction

Price (Print and Ebook): $2.99 Ebook also available FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Author Bio:

I am not trained as a writer, but as a lawyer. My training has been key to my work as a writer because I have found the rules of evidence vital in developing my characters. As I hold degrees in Biology and Law—I am, naturally, an expert in grammar. I have made up for my lack of formal training by indulging in long, pedantic rants over the grammatical mistakes of others. This action carries no risk of hypocrisy, as I never make none grammatical errors of my own. I live in sunny California with Seussian palm trees and certified-drought-tolerant fake grass.

 

nicole_author_photoTell us about your book:

“I know how you feel.” People say it. They don’t mean it. Hani does. Sure, he’s only eighteen, but he knows. Race, age, sex—doesn’t matter. He knows.

Things weren’t always like this. Hani was a normal guy. Well, as normal as a 6’4 Hawaiian growing up in Texas could be. He did have that strange inability to taste or smell, and there was that whole thing of being mysteriously abandoned in a trash bin as an infant, but apart from that and the stunning good looks, Hani was perfectly normal.

Then, the touch of a woman in a bar ignites Hani’s powers, and he can suddenly experience sensations through the nerves of others, smelling what they smell, tasting what they taste, and sex? He can feel everything his partner feels—more than that, he can control every last nuance.

What he can’t control is how badly he gets hooked on the women he touches and how gravely his body requires that touch. Plus, new powers keep popping up. So it’s a good thing when he hooks up with Laurie, the scientist.

Here’s hoping that his new girlfriend’s sense of what’s happening to him and how to control it is better than her sense of fashion, though, because what Hani doesn’t know is that someone is looking for him. And what he doesn’t know could kill him.

 

Share any thoughts you’d like the readers to know about you and/or your book:

I Know How You Feel: The Sensate is my first book. Chapter four won an Editor’s Choice Award on the Online Writing Workshop for Fantasy and Science Fiction.

 

Where can we go to buy your book?

Amazon http://amzn.com/B00YT1LKAA

 

Any other links or info you’d like to share?

I Know How You Feel: The Sensate has a Goodreads page. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25668461-i-know-how-you-feel

 

Excerpt from book:

In this chapter, Hani is invited to surf the big waves in Hawaii by Tim. Tim is an aging professional surfer turned instructor who thinks that Hani is a pro who was only pretending to be inexperienced when he attended Tim’s beginners’ surfing class. In reality, Hani has never surfed in his life, but via his supernatural powers Hani has taken Tim’s physical instincts and skill. Unfortunately, Hani doesn’t have the knowledge that goes with those instincts. Hani’s thoughts appear in parenthesis because the italics used in the actual book do not show up on this website. The word ‘FEEL” in all caps indicates Hani is using his powers to feel the bodily sensations of another person.

As Hani, Tim, and Laurie stepped onto to the beach, they passed a sign written mostly in capital letters. It said: “Warning HIGH SURF. Can cause serious injuries or drowning. IF IN DOUBT, DON’T GO OUT.” It was accompanied by a yellow diamond depicting a tiny man being hurled from the crest of a wave three times his size. Hani nearly ran back to the car.

Pavilions was occupied, but there were far more people on the beach than there were in the water. Tim stopped walking and nodded at Laurie. She spread out a beach towel and set up base camp.

Tim stretched out. Hani did too. Tim took the leash of his board and attached it to his ankle. Hani did too. Tim plonked down on the beach and watched the surf. Hani did too.

“Waves are breakin’ there, yeah?” Tim pointed at the surf.

Hani looked where Tim had pointed. It looked like there were waves there. Tim pointed to another location and said,

“It looks like there’s a channel there for us to paddle out.”

Hani nodded.

(This is a bad idea. Say something.)

“All right. This is what you asked for. Couldn’t be more stellar. You ready to catch some waves now brah?”

Hani nodded.

“Let’s go,” Tim said.

Tim grabbed his board, stuck it under his arm, and ran out into the surf. Hani took a very deep breath and ran out too. Tim hit the surf, jumped on his board and paddled. Hani followed. As soon as Hani hit the water, his eyes started tracking the surf. They paddled through wave after wave, each wave larger and steeper than the last. Hani worked to paddle and keep Tim in sight. Tim was only six feet in front of him, but he disappeared over the lip of a wave that was about to brake.

It was a big wave, a very big wave. Hani did not want to be hit by this wave. His instincts, Tim’s instincts, were telling him to do something he didn’t like, but he did it. He pushed his board down with his knee and arms, putting all his weight on it and took a deep breath. The board sank, and Hani was able to dive under the wave and still keep the board with him.

Hani surfaced again and caught up with Tim. They had both reached the small group of bobbing surfers awaiting the next wave. Tim started when Hani paddled up.

“Hey, brah. Nice duck dive. I thought for sure that last one was gonna take you out,” Tim said.

“Still here.”

“Ya know. You really had me fooled. I thought you were a squid for sure. You even let me walk you through goofy versus regular foot. You’re a donkey,” but he was smiling as said it.

“You really couldn’t tell?”

“I knew I knew you from somewhere. I knew that much. Where have you competed?”

At that moment, one of the other surfers yelled,

“On the outside.”

Everyone took off paddling toward the horizon. So, Hani did too. Once he got a look at the wave coming toward him, he paddled like mad. This wave was much, much larger than one he’d dived under. One by one, the other surfers were disappearing over the wave’s peak. Hani was running out of time. He put on a final burst of speed and made it over, only to discover that the next wave was just as large.

More paddling. Hani noticed that some of the surfers ahead of him had turned and were now paddling in the direction of the wave. Tim was not among them. Hani pressed on. He made it over wave two and saw Tim pull the nose of his board up and twist so he was facing back toward shore. The problem was, he was eight feet from Tim, and Hani could feel that he wasn’t in position to copy Tim’s maneuver. This left no option but for Hani to keep paddling toward the horizon.

Tim was paddling double time trying to match the wave’s speed. As Hani went over the wave, he looked back and saw just Tim’s head, a tiny dot moving away at rapid speed.

A wave was approaching. It was the biggest wave Hani had seen yet. He felt that his position was right. He pulled up the nose of his board, just as Tim had, and paddled furiously toward shore. He felt the wave lifting the board’s tail. The board picked up speed. The tail went higher and higher. Hani clung to the board as it plummeted, knowing that the next thing he had to do was stand up. Only, his brain was telling him that he was heading straight down and if he tried to stand up, he’d fall off, because standing up was physically impossible.

(Okay. Ignore your brain. Trust Tim’s instincts. He knows what to do.)

He stood up. There was a massive burst of speed as he accelerated down the wave’s face and turned where the wave flattened out. Hani had never felt anything like this. The rush of speed, the thrill of escaping death, it was incredible. After his first turn, he traveled partially up the face of the wave and turned again, but less sharply this time, such that he was moving across the wave as it traveled to shore.

The wave formed a tube, a tube Hani was inside. On one side of Hani there was a wall of water rushing up, on the other, a wall of water cascading down. He reached out with his right hand and ran it through the water rushing up. Though he knew he was moving, it felt like he was standing still. For about five seconds, Hani rode through the wave’s pipe, until he emerged on the other side in a burst of air and spray. He gave voice to the joy of it and rode to the wave’s bottom.

Hani waited as long as he could before he turned, getting as much of the edge of his surfboard into the water as possible and projecting his body forward into the turn. He kicked up a fantastic spray and picked up fantastic speed. Speed was good; he could feel he needed it to ride a section of the wave he’d spotted and Tim’s instincts recognized.

He lined up with the wave section and, his legs spread in the selfsame stance Tim had taught him, launched himself toward the sky from the place where the wave’s lip was most vertical. As he flew threw the air, feet stuck to the board, he rotated himself and the board three-hundred-and-sixty degrees. He extended his arms outward to maintain his balance and kept the board’s bottom facing into the wind, rather than grabbing the board to stop it from blowing away. All this happened in the space of about two seconds. He descended, folded his arms back in, and landed square in the middle of the wave’s whitewash. He resumed surfing the wave, turning and turning again, riding until the wave lost its force.

Tired from all the paddling, Hani decided to “listen to his body” and go in for a break. Laurie got lunch out.

“You were amazing. You disappeared into that wave under a curtain of surf. I was scared I’d never see you again, and then you came plunging out the other side whooping,” Laurie said.

Hani smirked, stared into her eyes, and ran his hand along her forearm. He could FEEL that she was aching for him. He leaned forward and whispered, “I’ll have you whooping tonight.” Then, he reached for a sandwich because he was starving. Tim came in about half an hour later and joined them.

Tucking into a fat, roast beef sandwich, Tim said,

“This is delicious, Laurie, thank you.”

“I wish I could take credit, but I just asked the hotel staff for a packed lunch for three.”

“This is for three? Three what, battalions?” Hani said.

“Hey, don’t complain. I, for one, am hungry. You should be too after what I saw,” Tim said.

“Oh, I was. I already ate. It was wild out there. Thanks for takin’ me,” Hani said.

“Anytime, brah. I saw the end of your ride. Nice air. No-grabs are tough. I love your style, and seeing you is a trip. I can’t do it quite like that anymore. I’m not as young as I used to be.”

After lunch, Hani and Tim hit the surf again and rode ‘the big waves’ until the tide went out.

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Marti Dumas – Jala and the Wolves

Jala-and-the-Wolves--ebook-frontTitle: Jala and the Wolves

Author: Marti Dumas

ISBN or ASIN: 978-1507805428

Page count: 102

Genre: Juvenile Fantasy/Middle Grade Fantasy

Price (Print and Ebook): Paperback- $5.99 Ebook- $2.99

 

Author Bio:

Marti Dumas is a mother, teacher, and author from New Orleans.  She is a contributing writer on education and parenting for Think504.com and other publications.  An expert in childhood literacy, Marti has worked with children and teachers for the last 15 years to promote an early love of reading. Her debut book, Jala and the Wolves, recently made the top of Amazon.com’s bestseller list for children’s fantasy and is available in stores and online now.

 

audible audio edititionTell us about your book:

When a magic mirror appears in Jala’s room, she’s mysteriously transported to the world of wolves — and discovers that she’s become a wolf herself! Can she help her pack survive? And will she ever get back to her human family again?

 

Share any thoughts you’d like the readers to know about you and/or your book:

I originally wrote this story as a gift for my little girl when she was six.  She loves fantasy and, at the time, she was absolutely obsessed with wolves.

 

Where can we go to buy your book?

Amazon, Audible, iTunes, and everywhere books are sold

 

Any other links or info you’d like to share?
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOK96se_X3Y

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A.J. Sendall – Flank Street – In The Sydney Underworld – Book Two

Flank_Street_Ebookcover-smTitle: Flank Street – In The Sydney Underworld – Book Two

Author: A.J. Sendall

ISBN or ASIN:  9781508495727

Page count: 300

Genre: Thriller/Crime/Noir

Price (Print and Ebook): (14.99USD – 2.99USD)

 

Author Bio:

I’ve always written, well, as far back as I can recall. Until 2011, that writing was just for me, or as rambling letters to friends and travelogues to family. I never thought about why, or if others did similarly, and the thought of publishing never entered my head.

Since I left England in 1979, I’ve been collecting experiences, people, and places. From the blood-soaked streets of Kampala, the polluted dust bowls of the Sahara, or the pristine ice floes of the Antarctic, I’ve gathered and filed them away. Some have recently squeezed through the bars of insecurity and are now at large in the pages of my first three novels. Others await their future fates.

 

Tell us about your book:

Flank Street is told through the distorted reality of career criminal Micky Dewitt, who arrives in Sydney on a rundown sailing yacht, broke and on the lookout for opportunity.

He soon finds his way to Kings Cross and gets a job in a bar run by an abrasive grifter called Lenny. At first he’s met with mild antagonism by the barmaid, Meagan, but they call a truce and become friends. Their friendship grows, as they drink and smoke together after hours.

Micky is approached by Carol, a quiet, high-class escort. She wants Micky to do a job for her, and persuades him to listen. Carol tells him she needs a gun stolen from a lawyer’s safe. Says she killed somebody with it, and that she’s being blackmailed by the lawyer.

Micky scopes the place out. It all seems easy enough and he wants to help her. He steals the gun, Carol pays him. He thinks that’s the end of it.

Ten days after the robbery Micky is visited by two heavyweights from the underworld who tell him that Carol’s using the gun he stole to blackmail the boss of Kings Cross. He has to get the gun back, and kill her.

Nothing is quite what it seems as Micky falls into a honey trap and nudges the edge of sanity.

 

Share any thoughts you’d like the readers to know about you and/or your book:

I took a different approach to writing Flank Street: I wrote the last page, called it a prologue, then set the main character loose to find his way there. It was fun, and the writing went quickly. I didn’t edit or review until the book was complete, I just bashed out 2000+ words a day trying to keep up with the twists and turns.

 

Where can we go to buy your book?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flank-Street-Underworld-J-Sendall-ebook/dp/B00TN37XYG

https://www.createspace.com/5319431

 

Any other links or info you’d like to share?
Visit my website for information about other books in this series. www.ajsendall.com

 

Excerpt from book:

We rolled into Sydney a few minutes before eleven the following morning. It had taken five hours from Coffs, with a breakfast stop on the way. Carol had been quiet, but not hostile or angry, and I’d tried to keep the peace for the duration of the journey. Things would tense up when we got to the bank.

As we drove through the northern suburbs, I asked her where her bank was located.

‘It’s right in the middle of town, in Martin Place. I need to go home and get my keys first.’

‘Bullshit! Why wouldn’t you have your keys with you?’

‘I just didn’t bring them, that’s all. I didn’t expect to need them.’

‘So you’re telling me you were going to return to Sydney, to live here amongst people who want you dead?’

She lit a cigarette and drew heavily. ‘I didn’t know what I was thinking.’

‘Yes, you did. You’re a strategist. Some would say a cunning bitch.’

‘Nice.’

‘What’s the real reason for wanting to go home?’

She faced me, and said, ‘I want us to talk. I want to tell you what a huge mistake you’ll be making if you give that gun back to them. Micky, please listen to me.’

‘You’ve just had a thousand kilometres to tell me any bullshit like that. What’s different at home?’

She went quiet as if in thought, smoking her cigarette and staring out of the side window.

‘We can work something out, Micky, something where we both come out all right.’

‘If you’re so sure, let’s get the gun first, then I’ll listen. I just don’t trust you, Carol. Are the keys at your place or are you just jerking me around?’

She wound the window down, threw out the cigarette, closed it and straightened her windblown hair. ‘They’re in my bag.’

‘I thought so.’

We were approaching Martin Place. She pulled down the sun visor and touched up her lipstick. I parked in an underground about two hundred metres from the bank, then we walked in silence.

It took ten minutes to get access to the safety deposit box. Two minutes later we were back on the street, walking toward the parking lot with the Makarov in my pack. It would have been easy to just walk away, give the gun to Mitchell and tell them she was dead, but I drove to Turnbuckle instead. Not a word was said and she didn’t seem surprised that I knew where to go.

I followed her inside. She looked around, taking in the missing photograph and the glass fragments on the floor, but all she said was, ‘Drink?’

‘Sure.’

She poured Jameson into crystal tumblers and handed me one. It was early for me and I’d no intention of getting pissed and waking up on the wrong side of a .38. When I sat in an armchair, she sat opposite me with an expectant look on her face. I raised my hands palm-up. ‘So speak. I’m out of here after one drink.’

‘What’s the rush? You have the gun. You have me where you want me.’ When I didn’t answer, she asked, ‘Have you killed before?’

‘What do you want to say? What’s your great scheme where we both come out on top and Kurt Reed or Mitchell don’t chop us into little pieces?’

‘There are ways, Micky, and you know it. We could get on your boat and both disappear.’

‘You’re not my type. Anything else?’

‘I know you don’t want to kill me.’

I sipped my drink. ‘What makes you so sure?’

‘I’m not saying you wouldn’t kill; you might, but not a woman in cold blood. You’re not the type.’ She tipped the whiskey back and got up to refill her glass.

‘You don’t know what type I am.’

She gave a short, derisive snort. ‘I know men; that’s one thing I do know. And you, Micky Dewitt, are not a cold-blooded killer.’

When she emptied the tumbler for the second time in five minutes, I guessed it was fear, not thirst. She’d just said she knew men. She also knew men I needed to know about, so I decided to loosen her tongue and see what I could find out. There were three days before I had to face Mitchell. I drained my glass and held it out for a refill. Time to play.

‘Do you know men that are? If you know I’m not, then you must be comparing me with someone else.’ I leaned back, waiting for her to speak. She had to play along. In her mind, keeping me entertained was all that was keeping her alive: a modern day Scheherazade.

‘Hanging around The Cross, you meet all sorts of people. People come and people go: some are good, others scum. Sure, I knew of one guy had the reputation of being a cold-blooded killer. I didn’t know him, but I’d seen him around. You know how the grapevine works with people like that. Must be the same where you’re from, where ever that is.’

‘London.’

‘Is Soho like The Cross?’

‘Not even close. What happened to the guy?’

‘He got whacked. I heard he crossed Brookes over money…’ Her words trailed off as she realised what she’d said, and how she was destined to end up getting whacked for the same reason.

‘He doesn’t like to be duped over money, does he, Carol?’

She hung her head, her arms resting on her thighs. ‘Fuck.’

She sighed, stood wearily and walked into the kitchen, returning a moment later with a bag of chips and a pack of cashew nuts. She poured herself another and held the bottle out, offering me more. I accepted with a shrug. She poured until my tumbler was nearly full and stood the bottle between us. I could feel the alcohol and guessed she could as well, which was why she’d gone for food. She tore open the pack of nuts, put a big handful in her mouth and chewed.

‘Why’d you want to stop Reed from expanding?’

She held up the index finger of her left hand as she finished eating, and then washed it down with a mouthful of whiskey. ‘Like I told you, he’s a complete arsehole. Kurt is the worst of them. There’s lots of bad bastards hanging round The Cross, but Brookes keeps them in line to some degree. If the Reeds ever take over, it’ll be a free for all.’

‘Why do you care?’

She drank again, reached for chips. ‘I just do.’

‘Enough to risk getting killed, it would seem. So why did you try to extort him? Surely if you’d recovered the gun and taken it to him, there would have been some gratuity? Yet you spent ten grand on me, plus whatever else, to achieve what?’

‘You could fake my death.’

‘Say what?’

‘You could fake it. How would they know?’

‘How about if they want your head as proof: how am I going to fake that? Anyway, after you screwed me like that, maybe I want to kill you anyway.’

‘If you wanted to, you would have done it already, instead of sitting her drinking whiskey and looking at me like you want to fuck me instead.’

‘You’ve well and truly fucked yourself; nothing I could do would top that.’

‘I have money. I’ll——’

‘Then why did you try to blackmail Brookes? Or is that how you got money in the first place?’

‘I’ll give it to you. You could sail away and never come back. I’d disappear. We could fake a car crash, which is plausible, given how you drive.’

‘So now you want to insult me?’ Despite the seriousness of the situation, the banter was taking on a comic surrealism. I found myself enjoying it. I held out my glass for a refill. She was quick to oblige, refilling her own at the same time, taking another handful of nuts and scooping them into her mouth.

‘Okay.’ She tipped her head back to stop the nuts spilling out as she chewed and spoke at the same time. ‘What will it take?’

There was no pout now, no sign of fear, just a hard and knowing look as she locked eyes with me, like she probably had a hundred other guys.

‘Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, I was prepared to consider one of your hare-brained schemes. I’m not, but let’s just pretend I am. What have you got to offer?’

‘Money. Contacts. Information.’

‘Okay, tell me about the information: information about what?’

‘I hear a lot of things, things that a dishonest person could use.’

‘You mean you used to. You’ve lost your Kings Cross privileges. You’re persona-non-gratis, on your way to becoming the recently departed Carol Todd, and the only thing you’re going to hear is the racking of a 9mm slide.’

‘Not if we play it smart.’

‘We? What the fuck are you talking about? There is no we.’

‘We, you and I, Micky, can both get out of this sweet, if you’ve got the stones for it.’

She was almost cocky as she slopped more whiskey into both glasses. Her speech was slurred and her face carried a loose smile. I sat back and swallowed whiskey and chips. She told me her plan. Just like last time, it sounded simple enough.

All we had to do was find a fall guy who we say was holding Carol and forced her to call Brookes with threats. That she was a square gee all along, and would never cross him.

The more whiskey we drank, the more plausible it sounded.

‘Who’d you have in mind for the fall guy?’ I asked.

She lit a cigarette and handed it to me, the tip stained red from her lips. I could taste it as I placed it between mine, and waited for her to light her own.

‘Hedges; he’s one of the few who knew about it. He’s known as a grasping arsehole with few, if any, ethics. If somebody told me he’d done that, I’d have believed them.’

‘But he’d be afraid of what happened when he got caught, and getting found out would be inevitable in the long run, unless he was going to kill you.’

She thought for a moment, ‘You lifted his gun from the nightstand, didn’t you?’

I smoked and waited for her to continue. She had it all planned out, which made me wonder if she was playing me again.

 

When I woke the next morning, there was an empty bottle on the floor and an arm across my middle. My head was hammering and I could feel her breath against my chest. I turned my head and breathed through her hair. The memories of the previous night came flooding back.

Her plan had sounded simple. Put Hedges in the frame by claiming he was extorting Carol and had forced her to call Brookes. Make up some bullshit about him needing the extra cash to feed a gambling and hooker habit. Maybe we’d throw in something about cocaine as well. I tracked them down, grappled with him, and shot him with his own gun.

All we needed to do was find him, shoot him, and let the cops find the body. I had other choices, but none of them good. I could kill her and hand the gun back to Mitchell, which would square me with them, but really piss off Kurt Reed. I could grab what cash I could from Carol and head out to sea, leaving her in the shit and Meagan at the mercy of Ray.

My gut told me that even if I killed Carol and gave the gun to Mitchell, I would still be a problem they might try to get rid of. Even if they didn’t, I would always have to watch my back for Reed.

I didn’t want to run away to sea leaving Meagan in the shit, plus I wanted to stay in Sydney. I felt at home here.

That left me with killing a scumbag lawyer who worked for the industrial-strength arsehole Kurt Reed, who hated me anyway. Killing the lawyer would also have a beneficial effect on my dealings with Mitchell and Brookes. Meagan would be in the clear, Carol would probably be alright. If she was, and if she did have access to information, then I’d be alright as well. There were a lot of ifs.

I shook her awake. She groaned, pushed herself up on one elbow, looked at me through blood-shot eyes, and vomited. I rolled away just in time.

‘Sorry,’ she said, retched again and bolted naked to the bathroom.

I followed her, turned the shower on full, and guided her under the stream of cold water. She gasped, shuddered, tried to hit me, and hurled again. When her lips were blue and she’d stopped fighting, I turned the water off and wrapped her in a towel.

‘Dry off and get dressed while I make some coffee.’

Looking like death, she hugged the towel to her shaking body and sat on the edge of the spa-bath. I wasn’t feeling much better, but wasn’t going to show it.

There was chaos in the kitchen. I had vague recollections of making fried egg sandwiches halfway down the second bottle, but from the state of the place, we went further than that. There was a bowl of spaghetti with garlic, oil, and cigarette butts, two empty fruit cans that reminded me of a peach-guzzling contest which she won—no surprises there—and an assortment of snack wrappers from Pringles to Rainbow Nerds.

I dressed while the coffee was heating up. When she hadn’t come into the kitchen after five minutes, I went back to the bathroom and found her asleep in the spa. I picked her up and carried her to the bed; I doubt she weighed more than a hundred pounds. Just before laying her on the bed, I remembered that there was still a puddle of cold sick in the middle of it, so I took her into the spare room, dropped her on the bed and threw a sheet over her.

When I was pushing the vomit-laced bedding into the washing machine, after cleaning the kitchen, I knew somehow I’d reached a decision.

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