The Athena Lee Chronicles

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Book of the Week. Fugitive of Magic by Linsey Hall

In the city of Magic's Bend, I protect what's mine. No matter what.

To the world, I'm a just a Conjurer. To my closest friends, I'm a FireSoul--a dangerous Magica with forbidden powers and a dragon's soul. The downside? If anyone discovers what I am, I'm dead. So I lay low, kicking butt with my weapons, not my magic.

Things get ugly when I witness the murder of a powerful vampire ally and become the key suspect. Soon, I'm hunted by the sexiest, strongest supernatural I've ever met. Ares is an unheard of vampire hybrid, and it's hard to say if he wants to kiss me or kill me.

I've got three days to catch the real killer. The bad news? It will take my forbidden magic to succeed. But can I control it, much less keep my secret with Ares watching my every move? Especially when the stakes get ever higher?

I'm used to protecting I have to protect myself. 

Fugitive of Magic is a fast-paced fantasy mystery with a kick-butt heroine, a tough hero, and magic that will blow your socks off.

Yet another Snippet! Here is the very first offering from Coven Codex -Book 2 in the Standard of Honor series


Wham! A pained breath exploded out of Zhanna’s mouth as she slammed into the ground. Before she could even draw one more tortured breath, a boot against her side flipped her over to roll again and again until she crashed against a rock. Despite the pain in her side, the young woman erupted explosively from the ground, shoving off with one hand, while holding a small shield in the other. She was off balance, and out of position as she scrambled to her feet. Gasping for breath, she wrenched her body around to watch the man that was coming after her.

All that could be seen of him were his narrowed eyes over the top of his shield. The rest of his face was concealed behind the shield and his other hand steady on his sword. As he advanced, Zhanna was aware that he was staring at her intently, watching her eyes and aware of her shoulders. An expert swordsman watching for the indicators of potential movement. Feeling like a trapped mouse, Zhanna twitched her body to the left attempting to feint him into a misstep. It didn’t work.

She froze with indecision for a second. WHAM!

Her vision spangled with lights as she was caught from the rear by another assailant. Dammit! She had lost situational awareness. Now her shoulder hurt on top of everything else! << I’ve got to stop thinking in the middle of a battle,>> she thought just before another blow on her shield almost wrenched it out of her arm.

She was on the defensive, pinned between two opponents. What was she going to do!?

<<Move it, girl! >>

The urgency of the yell in her head caused Zhanna to make a dash for position. She chose in a split second and ran, not through the inviting opening between the two men but up the rocks and over. Coming just a split second too late behind her, the young witch heard the sword crashing down onto the rocks.

“Shit!” The roar of an outraged fighter split the air in a snarl of sound.

Zhanna managed a soft chortle as she gasped for air. She crawled and scrambled up the rest of the rocks, finding a position where her back was protected, and where her opponents could not come at her from all sides. Just for this one second, she had the freedom to take a deep breath. That respite was not destined to last for long. 

The two men that were attacking her approached her from different directions. They were about 100° apart and the angle was just wide enough so that she couldn’t defend against, or even watch, both of them at the same time. A small quiet part of her, tucked far back in her mind, could appreciate the skill in which they were conducting the attack. The rest of her that was sweaty, aching, and would have bruises from head to toe tomorrow, didn’t find it impressive at all.

The two men seemed to glide across the loose rocks toward her. Surefooted, well-balanced, they made her feel like a gawky child. Telling herself to focus, the witch set her stance and waited.
Her opponents advanced to within 10 feet of her. Staring at her intently for a few seconds, the taller of the two men straightened up and pulled his helm off. It was Stefan, looking oddly pleased.
“Not bad at all,” he said. “Your footwork could use a lot of improvement, but you’re getting better at not thinking in the middle of the fight. We almost had you, but you recovered well and got yourself into a defensible position.”

The second man chimed in, “That roll and scramble actually were really good moves. I was waiting for you to take the opening, which would’ve left you open to attacks on both sides. You are definitely starting to develop instincts in a fight.”

“Thank you, Mikhail. I knew that if it were that easy looking you would’ve had something nasty waiting for me. I just couldn’t think clearly of what else to do so I thought I’d get out from the middle of the two of you.”

Stefan responded, “That’s exactly what battle instinct is, Zhanna. Operating on your training and feelings is far faster than trying to think your way through something in a life or death situation.”
“I know, but it still was very hard not to try to use magic in any of this.”

Mikhail gave a short laugh, and answered her, “The point of this was to teach you how to fight when your magic is worn out. Magic users are very susceptible to exhaustion. When that happens, you have to fall back on your other skills and if you don’t have strong skills in actual weapons use you will be at a significant disadvantage.”

“I understand that and appreciate you guys drilling me on this. The only thing that I would change is…”

“What? What would you change?”

“I wouldn’t have you enjoy beating me with your swords so much.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Snippet Time! Check out a snippet from The Expanding Universe book 2

“Science vessel Thanatos Rising to base, we are declaring a Code Alpha 1-5. Are you receiving us?” The Colonial Service science vessel had just dropped out of jump. The gravity well of the small system pulled at the ship forcing it to make minor course corrections.

Captain Jed Moulton looked at his communications specialist and shook his head. “No answer?”

“Not yet. They may think we’re dead. It has been six months, Sir.” The specialist like his Captain was wearing an environment suit complete with helmet.

“Try again once they get over the shock of us showing up they should return your call. I blame Governor Jenkins for telling them we were lost.” Jed tapped his gloved hand on his helmet.

“Sir! That wasn’t your fault. He was overrun and he panicked. Command will understand when you tell them the whole story.”

Jed looked at his subordinate again. “I hope you’re right Peter. If they don’t contact us we will have to change our plans. Go ahead and try and again, please.”

“Science vessel Thanatos Rising to base. Are you receiving us?” The specialist put his station on speaker. Everyone on the bridge could hear static and finally a voice respond to the call.

“That affirmative. Thanatos Rising we read your transmission. Welcome home! We heard that your ship was destroyed.” The voice on the other end sounded wary as well as excited.

Captain Moulton waved at Peter. He pointed to his own console. “Command this is Thanatos Rising, actual. Captain Jed Moulton. The reports of out destruction was greatly exaggerated. Governor Jenkins was under attack and panicked. I will explain when I submit my report.”

“Captain Moulton! Welcome home. Director Orlando has requested that you be debriefed before you are allowed to dock.”

“What! Command I have wounded that need immediate treatment. They could die if they stay out here any longer. On whose authority did those orders come from?” Jed pounded his gloved hand on the communication console.

“Mine, Captain Moulton. The orders were mine. The last report we had stated you and your crew were lost to the infection. Quarantine rules are in effect at this time Captain. Your injured will have to wait. I really am sorry. Now what happened out there Jed? It was supposed to be a routine visit. The initial report said a flu virus.” Director Giuseppe Orlando, Joe to his friends stared at his console waiting for the voice of his friend.

Jed exhaled loudly into his helmet and smiled when the face plate fogged up. He could remember the first time he wore one of these suits. It was when he served with the Director on the old Deaths Acre. Jed shook his head at the name. The Colonial Service had a wicked sense of humor when they named ships. Especially science vessels. “We received our orders while in orbit around Ceti Alpha five. That colony had an unexpected smallpox outbreak pop up when a load of new workers came in from Ceti Alpha three. At least two of the new men were using fake ID’s and were actually from Malchor four.”

“Four? That is a restricted planet! How did they get off?”

Jed chuckled. The man had the same reaction that he had. “According to them they paid off a security patrol. I have their confessions and statements locked in my safe. You can pass them along to the breakers if you like for me.”

“Fine, fine. Back to the case at hand please.” Joe stared at the speaker in frustration. Faster-than-light communication had been achieved but not video. Some sort of glitch in the math is what the egg-heads had said.

“We broke orbit and proceeded to Altern five as ordered. It took us three jumps to reach them. Were you aware that the Altern system has one of the largest asteroid fields in the known galaxy?”

“I did know that actually. Did you run into something?” The Director leaned back in his chair. He should of remembered that Jed liked storytelling his reports.

“An asteroid. The damage was minor but it delayed us by a day. On Altern five a day was like a week for the virus. Let me back up a bit. About a week before they screamed for help the planet was strafed by an asteroid storm. That sort of thing isn’t all that unusual except this time most of them broke up in the atmosphere. Only one large rock made it to the planet. It hit a settler’s house and destroyed a barn. The man of course investigated the rock. Many of the local asteroids have been know to contain rare elements or crystals. This time the rock had an organic core.”

Joe sat upright. Organic! “Jed, please tell me he didn’t touch it.”

“Why even ask me that? You know he did. He and his family were patient zero as far as we can tell. According to his son the core of the rock was glowing green and when his dad touched it it climbed his arm all the way to the elbow. The man tried to remove the green material using everything he had on the homestead up to using the sonic cutter.”

It was all Joe could do but shake his head. A man finds a class eight organism and he touches it. “What happened to him?”

“The sonic cutter didn’t do a thing except cause the organism to harden up. The family took him to the local hospital. Doctors investigated and couldn’t figure out what the mass was.”

The Director shouted. “Why the hell not! They are trained to watch for Class five and above lifeforms. What sort of hospital are they running on that planet?”

“Joe, they didn’t know. None of the family mentioned the asteroid until it was too late. As I was saying. They scanned it and couldn’t find a way to remove it. They were discussing amputation when one of the lab techs suggested chemical means. They tried several acids to no end result. It was only when they turned the oxygen up in the room to because the farmer was having a hard time breathing did they get any sort of reaction. The organism dissolved into a mass of flying insects or particles. We aren’t real sure what they were exactly. The vid cameras in the emergency room failed to show any real detail. It was then that they quizzed the family more strictly and discovered the class eight. But it was too late. They did quarantine themselves after exposure.”

Joe sighed and shook his head. Only three, now four, Class eight organism’s have been found. Each was unique and extremely dangerous. Just because no thinking aliens had been found didn’t mean that other things weren’t out there floating in space. “What happened Jed?”

“It presented itself as the flu. Or at least that is what every test they threw at it said it was. The Capital city ordered instant quarantine for all cities and towns. They really did try to keep it contained in the countryside. It spread so fast! The only way to avoid catching it was to stay at least fifty feet from the afflicted. It was then that they called for help. And as I said before, we got there a day later than expected.”

“If it was just the flu why scream for help. That doesn’t make any sense. Was there a mortality rate for the virus?”

“Yes and no. I’ll get to that in a moment. We landed the ship at the space port in Blake, the capitol city. Governor Jenkins met with us personally. The secondary symptoms presented themselves the day before we landed. Those afflicted began to lose all sense of being. They lost communication skills along with all cognitive motions. If they hadn’t been walking around you would think they were all coma patients. There were several accidents as well as many deaths as afflicted crashed aircars and machinery they were operating.”

“Operating? Jed are you telling me that sick people were actually working? Was the Governor mad?”

“Joe, calm yourself. It’s a colony world. Over ninety percent of the planet was infected with this thing. Only the Capitol was secure. Life still went on sick or not. We were just getting started examining several quarantined subjects when the Tertiary symptoms started.” Feeling a tap on his suit Jed looked to his left.

“Joe, did you send a ship out here to us? Our sensors are picking up a contact vectoring to our position.” The Captain nodded to his executive officer and pointed at the console in front of him.

“A ship? Hold on a moment Jed.” Director Orlando paused the speaker and caught the eye of the military commander.

Back on Thanatos Rising, Captain Moulton touched his helmet to that of the executive officer. “Report.”

“Sir, they sent a scout ship up. Military security protocol states that they dock with us and assess the situation remotely. The Director might not be aware of those procedures. We all forget about the military side of things. What are your orders?”

Jed looked at the plot for a moment. “Can they see us and the scout ship on their scopes yet?”

“I don’t think so. They know we are here from the tachyon field our engine puts out. The system detectors will allow them to pinpoint both ships but they they only know generalities not precise locations.” The executive officer pulled away and motioned to another suited crewman to his rear.

Touching his officer’s arm he pulled him closer. “Proceed with contact if they dock. Don’t allow anyone to report in if possible.”

Mysterious Hearts. A new Anthology from Phoenix Prime. 

This one is Special. Mongo from the Federal Witch is getting his own Series this summer and the very first story about him is in here! Mongo was unceremoniously drummed out of the FBI for "self medicating" while at work.  That didn't stop the big WerePolarBear. He returned to his home in Huntsville, Al and went work as a Private Detective. To keep himself in BBQ he works part time for his dad at the Bearly Naked Rib joint. His adventures are sure to be fun.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Found another Unicorn

These things just keep popping up on my desk! My wife thinks she's funny.

I haven't figured out how to get the tape roll off of him as of yet. But if you want one of these for your own Desk, look for it HERE!

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Federal Witch Collection Book 1 is now available in Audio.

This contains Books 0,1,2 in Audio. 

  • Born a Witch, Drafted by the FBI
  • Conjuring Quantico
  • Magical Probie

Taki Drake has a New Short Book out and it's cool.
Author Taki Drake has a New short out and it's pretty cool. It will be the start of a new series for her.

Never underestimate those around you. This military science fiction tale explores the surprises that the universe holds when alien races, colonization, and society come together in a story of the relationship of command, the value of respect and building of teams. It highlights the risk of letting preconceived ideas cloud one's judgment. And why new officers should always listen to their noncoms.