A Grave Death by Victoria DeLuis

I am a recent convert to the Urban Fantasy genre and one author who has consistently produced storylines I love in this genre is Victoria DeLuis. She has the Rune Witch Mysteries, of which I binged through all the four tiles in short order. Following that, she has released a few other works that I have loved, but what I look forward to most is her current series, the Independent Necromancer’s Bureau (INB), of which only the first book has been released. It’s titled A Grave Death.
The INB is an outfit responsible for dealing with zombies, removing unwanted ghosts, and tracking down rogue necromancers. The M/C Cassie Dune is a sassy, fearless agent who gets the job done when she wants to.
In A Grave Death Cassie must hunt down a killer who not only has killed her friend and mentor but is also responsible for a couple other killings, and worse, has been known to animate corpses, turning then into murderous zombies.
What an enemy our heroine is up against.
I loved reading A Grave Death, discovering it’s world and characters through the exploits of it’s feisty lead. The pace is fast and the tension is palpable. The prose is clean and unpretentious, making the book very easy to read.
I recommend the whole Independent Necromancy Bureau series to anyone who would like to take on an Urban Fantasy series with a lot of promise.

MY RATING 5 Stars out of 5

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ALIENATED- Cover is out

Hi Guys. I’m so happy to announce that the cover for my paranormal thriller: ALIENATED is now out. It features the novel’s two lead characters Mia and Rex. You will love it more when you see the print version in high definition.

It took a number of revisions to get to this masterpiece. I’m going to show you the designs that did not make it and why.

First, I told my cover designer that I wanted something that showed at least the faces of two characters, a young woman and man. The woman would be more prominent since she is the lead, and the faces should show that both characters are for most of the novel in serious distress. ALIENATED is a story of pain and struggle and the path that the characters choose is no easy one. This is the first design that my go-to girl for book covers, Clarissa Yeo, came up with.

Initially I did not see what was wrong with this and I accepted it, only to realize later that the man looked much older than the male character in the novel is supposed to be. Rex is twenty-two or twenty-three.(When you read the novel you will know why he is unsure of his exact age). I then asked Clarissa to change the male face.

This is what she came up with. Again I liked it for a couple of days but after looking at it more critically I guessed the fact the characters face away from each other suggests distance and incompatibility. And even though this is true in the initial pages of the novel, Mia and Rex realize they need each other soon and grow close.

That is the realization that led me to ask Clarissa to switch the relative positions of the characters and this is what she came up with. in my opinion if the characters look at each other there is a lot more warmth being radiated and the coldness associated with characters looking away from each other as if they don;’t love each other anymore is eliminated. the result is what you see in the third pic.

 

Doesn’t this effort do justice to the narrative, gang. I personally think it’s awesome.

Young man with a mobile phone standing at the wall

I, Kezzy Sparks, am a Toronto, Canada based author of fantasy and paranormal thrillers and romances. I’m relatively new to actual book publishing and ALIENATED is my debut work. This is not to say I’m new to the art of writing, though, and I have been seriously working on fiction pieces since the early months of 2010.

Now, guys, I can hear some of you say hey Kezzy if you have been writing for this long why haven’t you been published in all those years. Well, the simple answer is all my older efforts were not accepted by the system, if you know what I mean. It takes years to perfect the art but I’m now at a point where I can be confident that whatever I put out there will be at par with the very best.

Apart from writing I also read a lot. My interests are spread across a variety of genres but most of my time is spent consuming fantasy and paranormal works. Major authors I’ve had the pleasure to read include Terry Brooks, George R R Martin, Terry Pratchett, Brandon Sanderson and others, not forgetting the inimitable Neil Gaiman. My favorite female fantasy authors include Jeanine Frost, Sherilynn Kenyon, Darynda Jones and Kim Richardson of the Guardian Angels series, also not forgetting my lady Amanda Stephens. I also spend considerable time on Wattpad checking out the tons of fantasy and paranormal romances there.

When I’m not reading or writing I watch TV, or go out to catch a movie, watch a game, or just plain hop from one bar to another. Books, though, remain my greatest favorite.

About Kezzy

Alienated: Book Summary

ALIENATED- A synopsis. (Contains a few spoilers)

Mia Willis is captured by aliens (called Qmalians) in this edge-of-your-seat magical thriller. The nightmare begins one night in New York City when Mia, a celebrated, drop-dead gorgeous socialite and entertainer, is emceeing a glitzy party in a nightclub in Manhattan. Unknown to the partyers, aliens launch a stealthy raid and Mia is one of those captured, drugged and taken away.

Mia wakes up in a strange land called Qmalo, and is surrounded by beings she is unable to place, but the worst is that she is being sold to a lord who deals in human body parts for transplant purposes. Mia is fated to perish within hours.

Qmalians are unlike any other aliens ever written about. They are mostly ruthless, evil and barbaric, and will not hesitate to use their one big advantage over humans: their knowledge of magic which not only renders them invisible while on earth, but also allows them to fly for long distances in rudimentary planes that otherwise would never leave the ground.

Rex is a handsome young human of about twenty-two or twenty-three (he doesn’t know his exact age) who has been living with the Qmalians ever since early childhood. No longer exactly a slave, he now spends his time working as a lowly servant in the same alien family that bought and kept him. Apparently his alien master, called Aha Ishobad, is the same lord who buys Mia, and therefore Rex and Mia are bound to meet.

Ishobad takes Mia to his estate. The moment Rex glimpses Mia he loves her, and knowing that she is going to be killed pains him. He plots an unimaginably-hazardous rescue plan. His first act of treachery is to convince his master that he would like to help in the slaughter, and so he requests to take charge of Mia and prepare her for her death. Reluctantly, the master agrees and let’s Rex do the initial preparations.

Grateful for this bit of luck, Rex works another trick. He secretly inscribes a symbol on Mia that will cause her life to be temporarily spared. The symbol proclaims Mia to be elemental and holy, and that means she cannot be killed for body parts but must be surrendered to the great Qmalian church.

Unfortunately, though, it’s religious ceremony season and if Mia is taken by the church she is bound to be burned on the altar as sacrifice. Rex must therefore plot another rescue bid, and the two attempt to run away.

As she and her helper embark on a perilous journey, Mia begins to see and notice things that convince her Qmalians aren’t technologically superior to humans but rather use magic to evade the armies and police forces of the earth. They also use magic to power their raiding planes, (or is it rockets, she is not sure at this stage.) Mia and Rex’s journey becomes not one just to escape, but also to find and destroy that very source of magical power that gives aliens supremacy over humans.

Meanwhile, unknown to the star-crossed lovers, Aha Ishobad and the Qmalian church launch a manhunt like has never been done on their planet.  From shrines to mosques and then the lands of the dead, Mia and Rex must survive against enormous odds if their goal of saving themselves and the rest of humanity is to see any chance of success.

 

 

Inspiration for Alienated

Although the idea for this space adventure story of mine was sparked off by an air incident involving Paris Hilton, ALIENATED actually grew as a fanfiction featuring Bella Swan of Twilight fame. Incidentally, the Paris Hilton story was a hoax designed to promote her family’s chain of hotels, and we will deal with it no further here.

Bella is an all-time favorite book character of mine, but in ALIENATED, the fanfic, she does not get married to Edward, but departs Forks after their shocking breakup and the inevitable heartbreak. She ends up in New York, comfortable in its high society, and now works there as a top of the range entertainer and emcee. Because somehow I so much wanted to take Bella into space and involve her in a hot new romance, I invented a barbaric alien race called Qmalians, who come to steal people from earth. One night at a gig Bella is kidnapped and taken, and that’s where the novel ALIENATED begins.

Because I do not own the rights to the character of Bella, Mia therefore became my choice of main character. Mia is not only drop-dead gorgeous she is a true kick-ass heroine any lover of adventure stories will like.

ALIENATED – Meet The Characters

Welcome to this space opera featuring Mia Willis:

Lead Character: Mia, a twenty eight year old American entertainer and deejay who is kidnapped and taken away by aliens.

Second Lead: Rex. (No known last name). A twenty-three year old man who has been living with the aliens ever since his early childhood years. He has no recollection of his earthly family.

Aha Ishobad: The cruel alien master who purchases Mia and intends to kill her, cut her up, and harvest organs from her.

Fionn E: The actual alien who abducted Mia when they raided Manhattan. She is an ex-fiance of Ishobad, and she will get to meet Mia again.

Slasher: An aide of Ishobad’s. He helps carry out the business of organ harvesting by drugging and killing victims.

Vigoose: A zombie of  a dead alien chief.

Sheikh Ramzi: One of the few sympathetic aliens. He assists Mia and Rex with some clues as to how the Qmalian magic system works.

Captain Weba: A pilot of alien raider planes, one whose behavior just complicates things.