Happy is he who...writes from the love of imparting certain thoughts and not from the necessity of sale-who writes always to the unknown friend.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)





Sunday, December 15, 2013

Erato: Book Two in the Sophia  Katsaros Series
due out December 20th. 

"A Wolf knows nothing of revenge, but a Man does."

When the smoldering remains of werewolves are discovered the Alpha of the Lykaonas pack has one suspect, Dr. Sophia Katsaros, the only human to learn their secret and live.

The Efarmostis, a trio of cinder colored werewolves. They have done the dirty work of the pack for thousands of years. A law unto themselves, once dispatched they wont stop until they catch their prey. 

As the body count rises Sophia fights for her life and the lives of those she loves. Out of desperation Sophia strikes a dangerous bargain. Along the way, will she discover the truth of the Dryad? What is the ancient evil that has risen? Will she find the killer before the Efarmostis find her?


****

To learn how Sophia's adventures began, don't forget to pick up a copy of 

Thursday, July 18, 2013


 Released July 18th by Spore Press

"It is said that unto everything there is a season...these are the stories of a group of survivors during the season of the dead."

Four individuals fight to survive as the zombie apocalypse crashes over the world in a wave of terror and destruction. Color, creed, social standing mean nothing as the virus infects millions across the planet.

Sharon: a zoologist from Nebraska, USA, has worked with the virus and has seen the effects on the human mind.  She knows more about the virus than nearly anybody alive, and far more than she wants to.

Gerry: from Ontario, Canada gets his first taste of the virus from inside a prison cell. Locked up after an anti-government riot, his prison guard transforms before his eyes into a flesh-craving zombie.

Lucia: A chemist from Pittsburgh, USA, flees a furry convention dressed as a giant squirrel, and escapes from the city in a Fed-Ex van. She's a girl who knows when to run and when to fight.

Paul: thinks he can sit out the apocalypse in his apartment block in Dublin, Ireland, until the virus comes to visit bursting his bubble and leaving him with no choice but to face reality or perish.

All four begin perilous journeys in mind and body as they face daily trials to survive: Four threads, four different parts of the world, one apocalypse!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Be Careful What You Wish For






Interesting….


They found it. I thought that it had been hidden so well by the sands of time that such an event was impossible. You would think that by now I would have learned that the impossible is not only possible, but a guaranteed, eventuality.

I had been dreaming about my childhood. Of days when I played in the sun, running through scorching sands and dancing along sparkling rivers. I had been born beautiful. Or so I was told. Because everyone told me it was true I never questioned it. And because I was beautiful nothing else was required of me. When I was three, the king came for me. I was to be his wife. Not his only wife, the twenty-seventh, to be exact. But my family did not care what number I was. As for me, well, I was never asked.

The sound of their digging woke me from my sleep, thousands of miles away.
The sands of my homeland were being disturbed. The parts of me that resided there still cried out. The call cleared the cobwebs from my sleep fogged brain and demanded that I wake. And because I had nothing else of note to distract me, I went.

I flew to the other side of the globe where an excavation site had been constructed. A grid pattern had been plotted making neat squares of the dig. Laborers dressed in flowing robes dug through layers of sediment that had seen Romans and Mongols alike come and go. I watched, curious and more excited than I would have thought possible. Had they really found it? And if so, how much of it was left?

I had become adept at watching mankind. Humans, content in their place on the food chain, never look up. I discovered long ago all I had to do was move above their line of sight and I could watch. Undisturbed and unnoticed.

The grating of metal on stone sounded in the stillness. They worked during the coolness of night. The desert sun baked the life out of anything that dared to brave it’s scorching rays. Dawn was still a few hours off and yet the huge flood lights illuminating the dig created a false day.

I was watching closely now. Focusing my eyes upon the shovel that found what had been lost to legend. They said it was a tower. But such descriptions conjured images of a drunken structure in Pisa. This was never a tower. It was a ziggurat, stair stepping itself towards the heavens. But not just a ziggurat, a temple.

A temple to a king that thought he needed twenty seven wives. A king that, like most men, wanted something bigger and better than others had.

The blood of thousands was shed to build it. Slaves who were not given the luxury of working at night, toiled endlessly. They worked until they dropped. When life left them, they were thrown into a pile. If their family came for them, fine. If not, the fires would receive them.

I remember watching the construction throughout my childhood. “When it is complete we will be married,” he told me. And because it was what I was raised for, I smiled and nodded. But deep inside me, the part that hated the fat king and his greasy hands, hated that temple just as much. I prayed daily that it would never be completed. Which just goes to show you, be careful what you ask for.  Or at least have a care for how you word your requests.

On the day the last brick was laid, the day the golden doors were hung in the temple that sat at the highest part, I was pulled from my bed and prepared for my wedding. I was fourteen. A woman grown by the standards of the day. And yet I cried a child’s tears. Deep gut wrenching sobs for all that had been lost and all that would never be, though my eyes were dry. It would not do for me to show anything but a smile. And so I smiled my false smile to the attendants that dressed me. But that didn’t make my tears any less real.

I prayed once more that I would not have to be married to the king. I wanted to have a life. A life like no one had ever had. An interesting life. As I ended my prayer a mighty storm arose. I can’t recall what happened. I know only that I found myself wandering in the dessert, scorched, bruised and unmarried. 

I spoke to everyone I saw as the days went on. Not one of them understood me. Nor I them. Even the ones that looked familiar, the ones that wore the colors of my homeland spoke in a language that I could not name. Giving each other confused glances we went on our separate ways. Eventually, I stumbled upon a cave. In the darkness sat an old crone. She was staring at me expectantly, as if she had been waiting for me. She was not well pleased. Apparently, I was late.

She offered me a drink. I took it. Silly girl that I was. As the last drop of liquid slid down my throat she smiled. Then she stood up and walked out into the sunrise. When the first fingers of dawn touched her skin she cried out. And then, like a fire well stoked, she ignited. Orange flames danced around her, but she made no effort to extinguish them.  I screamed and tried to put out the flames but my skin began to blister as the light hit me. In terror I ran back into the cave. I watched as she was reduced to ash. An ash so fine the dessert winds carried it away, along with my old life.

No more would I play in the sun. I had given up light for life. A life I have lived well. Nearly 12,000 years if my estimation is correct. The uncovering of the temple seemed like a fitting end to such a life. And so for the last time I watched as the sun rose, painting the sky crimson and then blush before blue settled in.

I stood in the shadows and stretched my fingers out expecting to feel pain. But none came. I took a cautious step forward. As the sun bathed me in golden light I waited for the flames. Nothing happened.

“Well, this is interesting.” 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Succubus Kiss




Succubus Kiss

He lay upon the bed. His frail chest rising and falling rapidly. It seemed strange to me that a man who had been responsible for taking so many lives would soon loose his.

On his nightstand sat a book.  Malleus Maleficarum. “The Hammer of the Witches.” 

The light of the moon shown in through the window placed high on the wall. I crossed my legs, the buckle on my shoe caught that cold light and gave it back. 

That I loved him was never the question. That he loved me was also never cause for doubt. That he had me tried for witchcraft and summarily executed was equally factual. That I died. Well, therein lay the crux of our story.

I rose from the old rocker that had seen a constant presence for the past several months. It amused me to think what their reaction would be to find me sitting there. “They would likely use it for kindling. Throw it into the hungry flames just as I had been,” I said aloud not caring who heard, if anyone should care to hear.

“Wake up, Heinrich, ” I whispered against his lips. It was my gift, this kiss. I knew it would rouse his mind just as it had his body when life had coursed vigorously through his veins.

His eyelids fluttered and I smiled. They opened. The grey film that had obscured his vision for so long cleared. I smiled again. It wasn’t a genuine smile. More a demonstration that I had teeth. He flinched when he saw me. The real me. The me that lived in this body. The me that had survived when he put me to death. The me that mothered his children through that body. And the mother that mourned when he had those children killed.

“Meridiana,” he croaked, his voice unused to speech.

I smiled again. “Yes, my love.” I pushed the frail white hair back from his forehead watching it turn the fine chestnut color that his youth had known. “So much began with a kiss,” I said as my lips caressed his again. This kiss was long and slow. I relished the feeling of the magic as it encircled him. His breath evened out. His heart remembered the rhythm of long ago and settled into it like a well worn coat.  

“What have you made of me?” he asked his voice now strong and confident.

 “Incubus,” I said, my laughter echoing in the small cell while he screamed.






Author’s Notes


The Malleus Maleficarum (Latin for "Hammer of the Witches", or "Der Hexenhammer" in German) is an infamous treatise on witches, written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer, an Inquisitor of the Catholic Church, and was first published in Germany in 1487

It is said that Pope Sylvester II (999–1003) was involved with a succubus named Meridiana, who helped him achieve his high rank in the Catholic Church. Before his death, he confessed of his sins and died repentant.



Friday, March 1, 2013

Apophos



Apophos

“Good morning, ma’am,” Hiro said as the base commander entered the control room.

“Well, it’s morning,” she said, raising an eyebrow. “We shall see if it proves to be good or not.” He grinned and placed her favorite mug in her hands, filled to the brim with steaming hot coffee.

She sighed enjoying the aroma. Out of all the people on Lunar Outpost Lobos, Hiro was her favorite to work with. When she reported to duty in the morning the command center was always well organized and running along without a hitch. She never worried when he had the watch. And he made coffee. Damn good coffee at that.

“Anything, I need to know?” she asked as she walked over to the sliding doors that separated the command center from the “outside”. The lunar base was situated under a dome made out of a synthetic carbon lattice. It perfectly mimicked the hardness and clarity of diamond. She remembered standing on earth as it was being constructed. Whenever the sun’s light struck the dome it looked very much like the man in the moon was crying. One single, crystalline tear.

Around the base of the dome was a opaque wall several stories high. Upon that wall a hologram was projected. Today, it was the ocean. They even piped in the sounds and smells associated with each scene. And so it was, as she walked out onto the lunar soil, the glowing blue magnificence of Earth hung above an azure Caribbean sea. She could even hear gulls crying, signing soprano to the deeper voice of the ocean waves.

From the command center she heard the triple chime that heralded a call from Jupiter Space station.

“Ma’am, I think you need to come in here.” Hiro was never agitated, that his voice quavered concerned her.

With one last glance at the cerulean waters she strode back inside, closing the door behind her, silencing the surf.

A spate of Mandarin flowed freely over the intercom. When she took this assignment three years ago she was required to learn no less than 5 languages. Mandarin was not included in her packet. She looked at Hiro inquiringly.

“I’m Japanese. I don’t speak Mandarin,” he said with a shrug. 

“This is commander Daniels. I don’t speak Mandarin. Please use the common tongue.”

“Sorry, we have a situation, ma’am.”

“I gathered that. Are you going to tell me? Or must I guess?” she asked downing the last dregs of her coffee.

“It’s Apophos,” he said.

“The meteor? What about it? We have been watching it. Its not supposed to pass by Earth’s orbit for 105 days. We estimated it would come no closer than 2.5 LD’s. I don’t see why that’s a problem.”

“There’s been a miscalculation.”

“Elaborate,” she commanded.

“It passed closer to Jupiter than we expected. It was caught in the gravity well… and…Jupiter launched it like a shot put.”

She did her level best not to curse. It was a habit that did not suit a commander. Or at least that’s what her father drilled into her from the time she could walk. The only problem was that she now knew several more languages. All of which had a vast array of swear words, tailor made for situations like this. “What’s it’s new trajectory, speed?”

“We don’t know”

“What do you mean you don’t know?” And this time she indulged herself, swearing under her breath in fluent Japanese. The corner of Hiro’s mouth curled up. But, being a lifelong military man, he new that discretion was the better part of valor, and left. She would need more coffee, he was bound to find it.

“We had it clocked at approximately 250,000 kph. It’s current speed has taken it out of range. Mars station should be picking it up on long range sensors soon. They should be able to get a read.”

“Hiro…”

“Mars Space Station on the vid, ma’am,” he said as he placed another cup of coffee in her hands and opened the channel to Mars.

“Tell me what you’ve got, Commander Fedorov,” she demanded in lieu of greeting.

“We just spotted it. At first I thought we had missed something important. I could not believe that this was Apophos.”

She grunted, imagining his surprise when his long range sensors started squawking.

“We have it traveling at a speed of approximately 442,000 kph.”

She cursed again, this time in Italian. “What’s the impact probability?”

“Impact is assured,” he said quietly. 

 A quick glance at the solar system simulation on the wall showed that Jupiter was currently at it’s closest to Earth.  “That is just perfect,” she hissed. The urge to throw the mug across the room was hard to resist. But the waste of good coffee and the destruction of millions of dollars of equipment stayed her hand.

The details were beamed to her, as Hiro dialed up a connection with Earth. Normally, she would put on her dress uniform when she spoke with Earth’s President. There simply was no time today. “How long?” He asked coming straight to the point after she briefed him.

“59 days.”

“What can we expect?”

“Apophos is 0.270 kilometers in diameter. If its a land impact you can expect earthquakes of 13 on the Richter scale. If its a water impact there will be Tsunamis between 1-2 kilometers high.

“What is your advice?” he asked running a hand over his face.

“Get to higher ground, and get under ground.”

“We have 9 Billion people on this planet commander.  What do you propose I do with them?”

“I don’t know, sir. Lobos is self-sufficient for 72 people. Those of us who took this assignment have been chemically sterilized as a means to stabilize our population. The base is balanced for those exact numbers. We cannot handle even one extra person.

The space stations were similarly balanced. Manning and maintaining space stations was a delicate and expensive undertaking. There was simply no margin for extra people.

“Sir?” she asked, hating what she was about to say.

“Yes, Commander,”

“We expect a 70-80% world-wide extinction rate.”

The president, being ex-marine, looked at her like one old soldier to another. “It’s been a pleasure serving with you, Commander.”

“And you, Sir,” she said, as she ended the video connection.

Two months later as cool Himalayan air greeted her, she stood and watched, along with mankind’s remnant as Apophos slammed into the middle of the Atlantic.

“Whose bright idea was it to name a meteor after a demon?” she asked.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Erato:
Book Two in the Sophia Katsaros Series


Hello everyone, I thought I would post an update on the series. I just finished book 2 and am now in the editing process. Yay! Once I've read through it and made some changes I’ll send that off to my editors. I’m hoping the book will be out in March or April.

Book 2 picks up at exactly where book 1 ends. Obviously, as there is a book 2, Sophia manages to survive the encounter with the wolf in her apartment. I don’t want to ruin it for you, so I won’t tell you how.

When I began this book, I thought I knew how it was going to end. And while that ending stayed true, I had characters still living that I expected to be dead. Which just goes to show that I don’t have any real control over my characters. I just take dictation.

So, what’s this book about? Well, as with the last book, there are several threads that are woven together as the story progresses.

With this book there is a wolf story-line. The wolves are being hunted. No one knows who is doing it, or why and the wolves bodies are left burnt and smoldering. This is not how the wolves tend to their dead and they find it incredibly offensive.

Then there is Sophia’s story line. Her story is the tent pole that all the other ribbons twine around.  So, as I said the wolves are being hunted and based on the events of the last book, Sophia is their main suspect. The Efarmostís, the enforcers for the pack, are sent to eliminate what is perceived as a threat to them. That would be Sophia. But America is not Europe and giant wolves in Cincinnati Ohio create quite a news sensation.

Unfortunately, there are some innocent people that are killed. In an effort to protect those she loves Sophia makes a deal with the Alpha of the pack to help him find the killer. The problem with that is the Efarmostís are a law unto themselves, and once they are dispatched they are not so easily recalled.  So, what remains to be seen is if Sophia can find the real killer before the Enforcers find her.

And lastly, there is the story of the Dryad. If you stop and think her story is the reason for all of the others. In her quest to find love she had a child, Accalia. That child became queen and was betrayed. That betrayal was the cause for the curse that created the Lykaonas pack. In this book we learn more about the dryad. Her loves, and losses and about her decision to interact with humans. Her relationship with her grandchild Illyanna is developed. And we learn what role, if any, she is to play in Sophia’s life.

This series hinges on the notion that the Greeks gods are only myths. But that within those myths lay truth. And those truths include dryads, naiads, oceanids and wolves that take human form. In this book, I take the myth of the Satyr god Pan and explain that. The image above is of Pan playing his pipes for the dryads to dance to. 

I had a lot of fun writing this book. It took me on a journey of twists and turns. There are some new characters as well as the return of some old favorites. The rise of ancient evil and explanation of dryad magic round out the book.

I look forward to sharing this with you, and hope that you enjoy it as much I did.

~Sharon 

Lykaia: Book 1 of the Sophia Katsaros series can be found in all formats