Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Adventures of Mari Shu: Book 3


FAR GALAXIES (Book 3, Adventures of Mari Shu)
By Jody Wallace
Genre: SFR + Erotic Romance Spoof
Length: 100,000 (!!) words
Rating: Adults with a sick sense of humor

About the book: Mari Shu, a factory drudge in the year 4000-something, must choose how to protect her sisters, her purity, and her own conscience in a bleak futuristic society that’s been polluted by smog, rampant commercialism, tacky jumpsuits, sexual perversions, unjust socioeconomics, interstellar travel, and inconsistent use of the Oxford comma.

In this third exciting, universe-spanning adventure, will Mari Shu and her sweet sisters find love or mystery on the SS Rentaprise en route to the planet where they hope to start a new life…or will they fail before the ship ever arrives? Mari Shu has to battle aliens, sexual urges, evil computers, crash landings, and more before she ever gets her happy ending.

Warning: Book contains offensive material. Buttloads of boatloads of offensive, vulgar, disrespectful, and possibly triggering material. Sexual, political, economic, racial, physical, typographical, religious—really, trying to hit all the big ones. Please make sure to sign your correct name to the hate mail so we can give proper credit in the follow-up volume entitled, “The Hate Mails to Mari Shu.”


PREVIOUS ENTRIES IN THE SERIES (but they do stand alone)

Adventures of Mari Shu #1:

Adventures of Mari Shu #2: 



STORY INSPIRATION:


Unsurprisingly, I’ve always loved science fiction. Books, movies, TV, from the good stuff to the bad stuff. But it was when I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in mumble-mumble year that I discovered just how very much I loved comic science fiction. While SF could be heady, introspective, adventurous, deep, whiz-bang, and mind-bending, it could also be whacked out and hilarious.

Combining that with a branching fiction structure – choose your own adventure – and romance and erotica seemed like a natural fit when I wanted a change of pace from the rest of my more sedate catalog of books. Branching fiction is actually growing genre with the increase of people reading ebooks, which enables clicking the links, easier than flipping pages in a paperback. I’ve seen books and apps with similar structures get pretty popular, with all sorts of game offerings that are basically just illustrated choose your own path books. And Mari Shu, of course, is a riff on the “Mary Sue” character of fanfic fame who is the most perfect lovely individual ever to grace the pages of non-canon stories and often an author stand-in, though I guarantee that Mari Shu is no stand-in for any author I know!

Thus the Mari Shu series was born. It’s more a labor of love than a commercial effort, but I do love writing it. I hope you enjoy this short introduction to the series and realize how many interesting offerings the world of branching fiction and apps has in store for you.


EXCERPT:

From Segment 1 (1500 words)

Mari Shu Three Million Even, a worker in a widget factory in the far flung future, did these things at the beginning of the story:

1) Received a pay cut from EvilCorp. Again. Because Evil.

2) Trudged home through an ugly urban landscape, since “trudging” is more dystopian, depressing and onerous than merely walking and certainly more evocative than skipping or lollygagging or something like that.

3) Got hit on by a fellow widgeter, a rare occurrence for poor Mari Shu with her unfashionably lush blond hair, big boobies and creamy, milky skin in a society that values dark, shimmering hair, orange skin and stockiness. She turned him down.

4) Mari Shu thought some stuffy stuff about how she’d vowed to her grandmother that she’d never become a sexxorer and her mom had been a sexxorer and women in her social class—the millioners—have sealed up vaginas and the author assured you that there was no reason to bother your pretty little heads about things like “menstruation” and “how did her mom have babies” and “stuff like that”.

5) She arrived at her flat on the seventy-seventh floor where her sisters, whom she supports, waited eagerly for her and their dinner.

6) In a very convenient way, her sisters revealed that they’d allowed their landlord Gerald Scumbag to vaginally sexxor them, putting them at risk for deportation to the Venusian penile colony (and yes, the author is hip to homonyms) since female millioners aren’t allowed to remove their vag seals unless they become registered sexxorers.

7) In a similarly convenient way, their Scumbag landlord raises their rent and Mari Shu realizes she’s got to figure out a new way to support herself and her sisters that doesn’t involve sexxoring, since that’s Book 1: Earthbound Passions. She opts to board an interstellar colony ship at the Relocation Commission, or RLC.

8) In book two, Mari Shu chooses the vessel traveling to nearby Mars, but in this book she makes another choice…a more mysterious and adventurous one. We’ll continue with the initial segment at the RLC, and if you already read Book 2 and have a fantastic memory, unlike the author who currently can’t find her car keys, you can JUMP AHEAD TO THE BIG DECISION…

******

Mari Shu fidgeted with her jumpsuit collar as she and her sisters stood in line at the Relocation Commission. She’d spent the last of her credits on goo tubes and a taxicraft to transport them to the RLC, positioned in the area that had been known as Florida in the 21st century. Now it was one of the least optimal sectors in the North American District due to the smells.

The smells, smells, smells, smells, smells, smells, smells. The roiling and the boiling of the smells. But that was what happened when you used the Everglades and Gulf of Mexico as a toxic waste dump.

Unlike the Sexxoring Commission in the less smelly northern portion of their great district, the RLC boasted no neon archways, no flashing lights, no air purifiers, no hoverwalks, no portals for instant transportation from location to location in the vast complex. Mari Shu had visited the SXC many times as a child, dragged behind her mother when she attended the seminars and health inspections required of every sexxorer. On their own dime, of course.

The RLC, on the other hand, was as drab and featureless as any slum apartment complex. In fact, considering the breadth and height of the building, stretching into the sky further than her eyes could see through the brackish, blackish, looming smog, it wouldn’t have surprised Mari Shu to find out that it was a decommissioned apartment building.

Decommissioned as unsafe for human habitation—but fine for the RLC’s uses.

BUY LINKS 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jody Wallace writes sf/f romance, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. After growing up in the South in a very rural area, she went to school a long time and ended up with a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. Her resume includes college English instructor, technical documents editor, market analyst, web designer, and general, all around pain in the butt. She resides in Tennessee with one husband, one Grandma, two children, six cats, and a lot of junk. You can find out more about Jody at:




Thursday, December 7, 2017

Freelance Exorcists by Janie St. Clair

Are you interested in Young Adult Literature? Science Fiction? Fantasy? The Supernatural and Paranormal? Religion? Magic Realism? Bad jokes and puns? Memorable characters? Romance? Sarcasm? Comics and Superheroes? Action, Adventure, and Suspense? Nerds, outcasts, rejects, weirdos, band nerds, drama geeks, and popular kids all coming together to save the world? Look no further...

A group of teenagers must work together to banish evil spirits
according to their own religious traditions.

The series will highlight the religions of:
Buddhism
Catholicism
Christianity
Islam
Wicca
Science
Judaism
Zoroastrianism
Shinto
Taoism
Hinduism

This seven-book series will explore the truth and beauty that can be found in each faith.

Beneath all our perceived differences, our commonalities reveal deep truths about our existence. Beneath it all, we each hunger for a taste of the mystical.

Thrilling action, charming characters, wit, and wisdom combine in a story that will leave you wishing it were real...
...and thanking God it’s not.


About the Author:
Janie St. Clair has lived most of her life lost in another world. She was frequently trapped in a faraway galaxy, a parallel dimension, or an ancient civilization lost to time. From an early age, she has been trying to entertain and inspire others, whether through acting, singing, dancing, painting, or writing. She has also lived with a fervent passion for studying the religions of the world and discovering the common beliefs that connect us all. Her current project, Freelance Exorcists, seeks to marry her two passions into one thrilling tale.

Book one of the series, Peter Hunter and the Minions of Mara, follows a boy on his journey through the wisdom and self-mastery of Buddhism.



In the fall of his eighth grade year, Peter’s karate teacher told him that their town was overrun by evil spirits called asuras – the minions of the devil, Mara – and he wanted Peter to become his apprentice exorcist.

Peter thought he had enough on his plate with the normal stresses of teenage life: dealing with parents, fitting in, making good grades, and getting the girl. How could he possibly be expected to add “battling evil spirits” to the list?




Excerpt from Peter Hunter:
“Do you believe in spirits?” Peter’s karate teacher asked.
Peter felt a shiver run up his spine. “Like ghosts and stuff?” he asked.
“Almost every world religion has some belief of spirits either good or bad, who interfere with our lives. Even in Buddhism, there’s Mara and his minions, called the asuras. According to the Buddha, they tempt men and women to make choices that distract them from the way of enlightenment. Do you believe any of this?”
“I’m open to the possibility,” Peter answered. “Why?”
Sensei Rob took a breath. “When I was younger, I took a year to study in India. While I was there, I met this guy. A Tibetan shaman or guru, like a spiritual doctor. I witnessed him perform a ritual and save someone’s life. Afterwards, he told me that the spirits don’t just tempt people. Sometimes they take over their body.”
A fresh wave of goosebumps prickled Peter’s skin. “Are you talking like demonic possession?”
Rob nodded. “The guru, Yeshe was his name, said he could cast the dark spirits, the asuras, out of people and exorcise them.”
“And you,” Peter paused and raised an eyebrow, “believed him?”
“I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t seen it for myself. When a dark spirit takes over a person, you can tell. I mean, weird stuff happens, but it’s more than just that. You know it’s evil. It reverberates within you, freezes you to the core. You can’t really say what it is, you just feel the evil. I saw Yeshe expel the evil from the guy and he went back to normal like it had never happened. But then, the strangest thing happened.”
“Stranger than everything else?” Peter asked dryly.
“Yeshe told me that I had been chosen to be his successor.”
Peter felt another chill up his spine.
“He said if I accepted the mission, I’d be able to save people from the asuras, too. So I decided to let him train me to be an exorcist. And that was about fifteen years ago.”
Rob paused. Peter waited for him to say something.
“Ok,” Peter bluffed a calm and disbelieving attitude. “Assuming this is true, why are you telling me?”
“Because you’re next.”



Book 1.5 of the series, Drop by Drop, is a compilation of short stories based on the characters from
Peter Hunter and the Minions of Mara.

Excerpt from Drop by Drop:
“And you’ve given yourself over to me,” the spirit finished the accusations. “Once a soldier for the kingdom of darkness, always a soldier. You are trapped. You are my slave.”
Rob wanted to cry. He wanted to be free, but the spirit was right. He didn’t know how he could possibly be free from this prison. At the thought, he felt his heart slipping into despair.
“Hello!” greeted a friendly voice.
Rob and the spirit both looked up at the Indian man, dressed in jeans, sandals, and a blue and white-striped button down shirt, standing just a few feet away. He had to have been in his forties or fifties, and he didn’t look very different from anyone else in the crowd. He smiled pleasantly as he held onto the strap of his messenger bag.
The spirit snarled at him, but the man merely chuckled in return. Rob wanted to tell him to run. The man’s eyes were filled with a friendly, innocent kind of warmth. Rob didn’t want this man to be hurt, and there was no telling what the evil spirit would do to him.
The man’s smile deepened. “I’ll not argue or bargain with you,” he spoke in Hindi. “And this is not a warning. It’s time for you to leave.”
Rob was terrified. Somehow, the spirit had gained too much notice, and now Rob was being kicked out of the market. Or maybe he would be arrested.
Then the spirit in Rob cackled wildly. “He invited me in!” it answered in the same language. “I am welcome here.”
“I would not be here unless your welcome had expired,” the man returned.
The spirit gnarled and lurched forward, but then it stopped. Rob’s feet were stuck. He looked down and saw blocks of ice somehow cementing his feet to the hot pavement. The ice was strangely unaffected by the Indian summer sun that baked the road underneath. Instead, even as he looked on, frost spiraled in tendrils up his legs.
As he marveled at the sight, a blizzard began swirling all around him. A tornado of ice and sleet blasted him from all sides, blocking out all other sights and sounds. The icy storm should have hurt him, but there were no cuts on his skin and Rob felt no pain or cold.
The spirit, however, howled and thrashed, rending Rob’s shirt. It cried out like a wild animal in the throes of death. But then, suddenly, it was gone. It was just gone.
Rob felt as if he were coming up for air after being held under water for too long. He looked at his hands, now under his control. He moved his fingers, then his arms to test them. He turned his head from side to side.
As the ice and snow faded, as quickly as they had come, Rob felt a rush of relief and exhilaration. Like waking up healed after an injury or sickness, he felt immensely grateful for the normal state of things. He wanted to sing, to dance, to shout and leap for joy.
Suddenly, however, he fell to his knees, acutely feeling the accumulated effect of the walking, fasting, and sleep deprivation. His stomach growled, loud enough for the whole block to hear.
The man in front of him laughed wholeheartedly. Rob watched him and noted how different his laugh was from the spirit’s. The spirit had laughed with contempt and malice. This man laughed with joy, compassion, and patience.
He held out a hand to Rob. “Come with me,” he said, “and we’ll find you some food.”



Book 2 of the series, Chiara Marino and the Demons of Darkness, follows one girl’s journey through the rich traditions and devotions of Catholicism as she rediscovers the beauty and strength found within her Faith.

Chiara Marino was a typical high school girl. Except that she was incurably nerdy. And she was a devout Catholic. Oh, and she could see diabolical entities that threatened to drag humans into the miseries of sin and death. But other than that, she was normal.

Then her life changed when a new student arrived at school. He seemed normal, too. Except that he had manners. And he saved her from a fatal accident caused by a vindictive demon. Oh, and she happened to see him glowing blue as he battled with a man possessed by an evil spirit. But other than that, he seemed normal.



Excerpt from Chiara Marino
The morning sun cascaded through the windows of the suburban home as Chiara Marino studied herself in the mirror. Her dark, curly hair was impossibly frizzy, her hazel eyes were too small, and her smile showed too much of her large front teeth.
I look like a mouse, she thought. A boring, plain mouse.
She finished with a sigh and pulled her hair into her signature style of a messy twist held in place with a pen. Simple and practical.
“It’s okay to admit defeat sometimes,” her older brother’s voice sounded from behind her. “Especially when something is a lost cause.”
He was standing in her doorway with his arms folded casually and his dark hair smoothed back with gel. His appearance was tall and dominating – muscular from years of athletics.
She fixed him with a scowl. “What do you want, Adrian?”
Then she nearly jumped when she saw a dark billowing cloud of smoke appear on his shoulder. As she tried not to watch, the cloud shifted in and out of a lizard-like appearance, digging its claws into her oblivious brother. It looked like a zombie iguana, with molting scales and rotting flesh hanging off skeletal features. It was the stuff of her personal nightmares.
This nebulous reptilian parasite was almost like another sibling to her. It had lived in their home for years, leaping from shoulder to shoulder and bringing out the worst in her family. It fed off their negativity.
She had been able to see these creatures for years and yet they still filled her with fear. She felt a chill in the air and the pressure of predatory eyes focused intently on her.
“Just here to remind you about the rules,” Adrian continued, unaware of his diabolical accessory.
Chiara held her breath as he strutted closer. “Right, right,” she agreed quickly and counted on her fingers: “No talking to you; no talking about you; and no telling anyone we’re related.”
“Good,” he pinched her nose tightly, knowing that she hated it. “Just follow the rules and I won’t have to punish you.” He slapped her cheek with a playful air, but the act had left a sting. “Have a good first day, dork.”
She sighed as she watched him leave. The exchange had gone surprisingly well.


Peter Hunter and the Minions of Mara and Drop by Drop
are already available on Amazon for download or paperback.

Chiara Marino and the Minions of Mara will debut this month.
Make sure to stay connected so you don’t miss the release:

Subscribe to the blog for updates on future releases, giveaways, and free short stories!
You can buy the books on Amazon
Or you can follow on Facebook
Catch me on Pinterest and share in my research.
Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.