Manic Readers



N. D. Hansen-Hill

Hi! This month has been terribly hectic! Eleven book edits, with little else being accomplished, other than work and editing (oh, and the gym! I joined a gym and have actually been going, if only to get away from my computer).

These edits are brought on by a very lucky 2008. In Flames, Of Dragons, The Hollowing, GlassWorks, ErRatic, and Emerald City were all released last year.


The sequel to ~In Trysts~  

In Flames

1 - "Fast paced and edgy tension highlights this passionate thriller. In Flames is a roller coaster ride of secrets and ghosts and sizzling sensuality. The plot line is solid and kept this reader guessing to the dramatic end. Marco and Sophia are likable individuals that I felt an affinity with from the opening. Melody Knight is an author whose back list I look forward to reading."

Lettetia Elasser

Affaire de Coeur July/August 2008

2 - "Her combustibility and the secrets of her past form the basis for this intriguing mystery." Literary Nymphs


She’d gone down maybe a dozen stairs, following always that acrid smoke smell, her keen sense of smell guiding her. She wound through a maze of tunnels and intersections, Ys, in the dark, arms flailing, trusting to stink and instinct—and all the while dreading what she would find at the end of it.

She had been right to dread. The incinerate glow leached out into the darkness, staining the corridor red and orange. She knew, when she felt the heat emanating from within, that she’d reached Hell.

It was hot and holed and cavernous, and inhabited by maybe a dozen robed figures. The wall lengths were broken by alcoves; flattened bottoms with rounded arches above. A New World solution to Old World catacombs. The roof was a giant rock chute, and the smoke churned, eddied and swirled upwards and out.

The center was an inferno—a stone altar alternately orange, yellow, blue, red, black. Flames licked it, dancing like the wood-coal which fed it. Dying wood which glowed with that peculiar animacy of searing orange and bred in the efforts of sweating men in motion. Their robes flapped and their hoods slipped, as they fought to sustain illusion in the face of toil. Crackle, snap, branches flung and logs thudding against the base. The searing heat made the scene wobble in waves of molten air, and already heated tempers flared to incandescence at the pyre's demands for fuel.

Sophie stood there blankly, wobbling on her feet, blood leaking down her legs. She looked from the altar to the arched crevices around the walls. The dancing orange light picked up the dull dark brown of carbonized bone.

Carbonizing bone.

She was seen…of course. By Damian and not-Damian. They were both there, but only one was hers. The other one, she decided later in her nightmares, had been present only to show her there was more than one demon in Hell.

Damian and not-Damian had hit her, kicked her, pounded her, again and again.

Smoke, fire, flames, corpses.

And the demons danced on.




Sophie lost him in the smoke and steam. She screamed, choked on soot and swallowed water—then it was all gagging, paddling, churning her way through the wash. The surge was relentless, all troughs and waves, floating wood and falling stone. She was slammed against the wall and felt her shoulder give. Sophie shrieked and fought for air. “Marco!

He had her. Marco grabbed her, and clung. She held onto him weakly, and opened her eyes to find he was smiling.

A death’s head grin. It was Gerald Beaumont.

Sophie!” he cried, clawing at her head, her shoulders, climbing her like a bobbing tree. She was going under, down, when Marco snatched her out of Gerald’s grasp and flung him aside.

But Marco’s hold on her was tenuous, and Beaumont’s frantic antics cost him. Scratch, tear, rip, fling, but in the wildly swirling muddle, of dirt and bone, ash and wood, filthy foam and churning backwash, Sophie was jarred loose from Marco’s grasp once more, out of his reach. He heard her choked off “Marc-!” as she vanished beneath the rising waters.




Of Dragons

It'll eat you alive...

Nominated for Best SF/Fantasy Book of 2008 by LRC

Nominated for the Sir Julius Vogel Award 2008


1 - "The story is filled with adventure, danger, and conflict. Now that Ryon and his friend know about Glynt's world can they just ignore it or should they get involved? Is Ryon really human as he believes or something more as Glynt believes? If you are looking for an unusual tale of adventure, the strength of the human spirit, and love all rolled into a fantasy story about other dimensions, then you will enjoy Of Dragons.

Reviewed by: Stephanie B.

"Of Dragons is a story that tells of how worlds are connected to each other and how love can become a reality for those who want it. " Literary Nymphs




She was nearly dressed when she heard them. The vibration rattled the shiny Christmas ornaments on her dressing table, making the glass ping harshly against the table top.


Her fingers clasped the adamantine dragonfly encircling her neck, as terror quickened her heartbeat. Chills raced down her limbs in spiky little arrays. That sound—that horrifying, buzzing thunder—was one she recognized, deep inside. The fear of them—and their appetites—had been bred into her through a hundred generations.

Glynt ran. Panicked, she fled the bedroom with its flimsy-looking glass and raced for the balcony doors. They were thick fire doors—surely, they could resist the impact?

Ten thousand dragonfly wings…

The daylight went. The thickness of the horde—the sheer mass—was blotting out the sun. Desperate, near-petrified, she yanked the curtains closed.

The ramming slam of ten thousand exoskeletonned bodies splintered the glass, but it didn’t stop the beating—that horrific, mechanical swish of their wings. They were driving themselves at the doors, at the glass, frenzied. Day sounds were lost in the ceaseless roar of overlying wing beats.

In the bedroom, the glass imploded. Shatters of refracted light caught her eye, as they showered the door jamb.

As they blasted through, onto the carpet.

I didn’t close the door.

Her eyes widened in horror, and she raced for the exit. She was nearly to the front door when it began vibrating. They were in the hall, in hunting mode, and desperate to get to her.


Where?! Frantic, she ran back to the curtained windows, in hopes of fooling Them. She was out of her element, and hidey holes were nowhere to be found. She cowered down, wrapped herself in curtain fabric, and scrunched into her smallest form. Already, she knew it wouldn’t help—couldn’t help. They were lured. Starving. Driven. Those multifaceted eyes would find her.

Ever hungry, they’d hunt her…on the wing. ex.php?manufacturers_id=83


The Hollowing

Nominated for the 2008 Sir Julius Vogel Award


1 - "This is an exceptionally, spine-tingling, gut wrenching thriller that takes you by the seat of your pants and have you gripping your chair while you turn each page. From ghosts to time-traveling you are always entertained by the adventure and excitement of this plot excellent dialogue and fabulous description gives you a great seat up front to all that is happening. This is a phenomenal read, and I recommend it highly. Wateena" http: //







2 - "The Hollowing is a well-written novel involving the modern day conclusions drawn from a long history of paranormal events coupled with the age-old theories of time travel. Here is an old idea presented in a new and spell-binding story that will surely be of interest to fans of any genre." Reviewer: Lucille P Robinson http://tjb










Open the door.

But he couldn’t. His arm was rigid, his fingers clenched.

And he couldn’t make himself touch the knob.

Safe. Stay where you’re safe…

There was something waiting for him on the stairs. His impression of darkness—of The Hollowing—hadn’t been exaggerated. He stood there, shaking, and listened. Beyond the wooden partition the thick silence was giving way.

Breaking down the barriers.

Little whispers, small thuds, soft rustling cascades of movement.

Rats. Only rats.

Thuds and thunks. Rattles and clatters. And then a sound Shawn couldn’t attribute to anything else—the squeak and echo of a heavy tread on wood.

Someone was ascending the stairs.

Shawn was holding his breath so he could listen. He didn’t even realize it until his heart started throbbing in his ears. He stood there stiffly and listened to it coming.

The door’s unlocked. An invitation if ever there was one.

The knob was ice-cold beneath his fingers. The chill spread up his arm but he didn’t let it sway him. He squinted his eyes and yanked open the door.

The noise swept through him, carrying with it a rancid stink and a flurry of movement. He couldn’t see anything but darkness and there was noise all around him.

It was a fire. The crackling flames leapt up, roaring, popping, hissing. Screaming sizzles, mini explosions, whines of venting gas.

And then it was merely screams. Shouts that escalated to howls and shrieks. Terror. That’s what this was—terror. Old emotions, dredged up and waiting. The stink of must mingled with the rancid odor of burning hair. Shawn dropped to his knees, sick and sweating.

He fell down the stairs, hitting the landing with a gigantic crash. He couldn’t hear it though—couldn’t hear anything over the cacophony in his ears. In a half roll, half dive he splatted to the bottom floor and crawled, then pushed himself to his feet and staggered for the outer door.

It was closed. Locked. He yanked on the knob, fumbled with the lock but it wouldn’t give. He couldn’t get the hinges loose on the door. The pins were as tight as the lock. No way out.

He ran to the window and slammed the glass with a chair. Glass gave, bars didn’t. He rattled and shook and pounded.


He yanked out his cell phone. It was dead.

Like me.

Around him the air seethed. It was transmitting itself to the furnishings. Chairs scraped, dust spiraled, papers flew.

Shawn barely noticed over the smoke pouring into his eyes.

There was only one way out. The upstairs room with its cool moonlight and empty spaces. Shawn flattened his hands over his ears, squinted his eyes and headed for the steps. His flesh was burning as he crawled, clambered and wriggled up the stairs.

At the top he slammed back the door and dove…

Onto a pyre of flame.






Reflected Moments...Refracted Terror


"I have to say I've read this one and LOVED it. "


Author of Infidelity ( )


Cate picked up the slab of glass from its tilted resting spot. It had dropped nearly intact. Her fingers shook as the first tracings of shimmery silica began to move beneath the surface. All those crystalline lattices somehow rearranging themselves…





She froze, her breath frosting the glass from the sudden chill. Gooseflesh rose on her skin as the air around her grew cold.





It had never happened this way before.





The man was lying there, in the glass, his body sprawled with the indignity of all things dead and unburied. Cate's breath caught in her throat, the unspent fog almost choking her. Oh, God!





It wasn't here—hadn't happened here—but it was happening now.





There was an argument lingering, on the air. She couldn't see the moment of confrontation, or the altercation, but it had been about the mutilated body on the ground. About how to deal with it, to cast off blame with as much ease as they'd cast away his life.





Only, they didn't realize he could hear them still. Hear them and hate them.





Because it had always been about his looks. His looks, and justifying what he was. The grave they were giving him, the twisted notoriety they were planning, would leave him neither looks nor justice.





Cate's eyes focused on his face. What they'd done, what they were doing to the rest of him didn't bear watching.





But, apparently, she did. Bear watching, that is.





The corpse's eyes opened, to stare straight at her.





Cate flinched, twitched, recoiled, but she couldn't let go. Some part of her was screaming, but she was no longer sure whether it was her...or him.





She clung to the pane, trapped. When, a forever it seemed, later, she freed her fingers enough to fling it, she remained there rigid, staring, as the moonglow image shattered in a hundred spiky shards.





Some part of her was still recoiling, as if in reflex to a striking snake.





God help me!





In those instants of metaphysical contact, she felt as though one shriveled digit had touched her. Spanned the gap between life and death—





I'm not a medium!





She'd never been a medium—never even come close. It had been the one blessing, in an otherwise twisted gift, that however conversant she might have become with a dead person's past, she was never conversant with the dead!





Until now, it seemed. Cate backed away, panted white puffs coiling and twisting in the otherwise still air.





I'm not alone.





It should have been comforting, that there was a taxi driver waiting just outside, but somehow, it came out differently. That "I'm not alone" was filled with horror. The taxi driver might be outside, but something else moved within. In a dreadful moment, she knew she'd brought this on herself—that by coming here she'd been willing, demanding almost, a contact with his person—had wanted so badly to save him, that she'd drawn in a soul barely severed from its body.





Cate backed, tripped, twisted, and ran. She tore the length of the room as though the Devil were at her heels, and slammed open the end door with a loud squawking thunk. Using two hands, Cate wrenched the door closed again, locking evil within. She stumbled back, the small door pane fixing her into its framed panel.





He wasn't within. Behind her, his hatred ever so much more pronounced in proximity, was the mutilated visage of the recently deceased.







http://redrosepublishin re/product_info.php?products_id=161Reviews


1- "I just finished reading ErRatic and must tell you I enjoyed it IMMENSELY!" Ruth



2 - "A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining tale that offers as much thrill as it does amusement, ERRATIC is not to be missed.

Kathy Samuels



Romance Reviews Today"








Emma glanced blearily at the clock. Three a.m., and Studley obviously needed to go out. He was whimpering, deep in his throat, and his cold nose kept nudging her arm.



Damn dog! She reached out and gave the silky coat a pat. Zombie-like, she stumbled across the room, to the front door, and unfastened the lock. “Out!” she commanded, punctuating it with a squeaky yawn.



When she opened her eyes again, the man was standing on the grass, just off the porch.



It was a very small porch.



She slammed the door and locked it, then raced through the house. She kept picturing Him running, trying to beat her to the back door.



It’s locked. It’s got to be locked.



It was, but she didn’t feel any better. No one had any business standing there, on her property, at three in the morning. He was up to no good.



She ran for the kitchen and picked up a knife in one hand and the phone in the other. The knife shook in her frozen fingers. Not a good thing. He’ll use it on me.



He damn well better not try. Her shadowy reflection in the window glass was that of a madwoman, brandishing a blade. Her staccato movements glinted across the toaster face, and she jumped, slashing the air.



Hysteria burbled up, like an unwanted belch, before sense clunked in with a nearly audible jolt. Window. Nightlight. He’ll see me. Frantic, she dropped onto the floor, and punched in a fumbling “911”.


If he saw me, I hope he saw the knife, too.



She shouted into the phone, “There was—!”, realized she was shouting, and quickly hissed, “There was a man!”



Why the hell hadn’t Studley barked?! The damned dog had practically dumped her in the killer’s lap!



The Police Operator was offering instructions now, and Emma listened to them blankly. She’d just recalled something very pertinent to her case.



“N-Never mind,” she said, replacing the receiver with shaking hands.



A dream. It had to be a dream.



But it wasn’t and she knew it. It was what she’d tell them, though, when they asked.



She sat there, huddled, too scared to challenge the near-dark. Her eyes were already scrunched closed, but now she drew up her knees and buried her face in her arms.



Shielded. Safer.



Not really.



She couldn’t afford to move now, even if it meant lighting the house. She was too afraid of what she might see.



She nestled her head deeper, to block her ears.



Too afraid of what she might hear.



She hummed a little whimper, deep in her throat the way Studley had. Just enough noise to challenge any other whimpers in the room.



When they came with the squad car to check out her call, she’d have to get up—but not till then. Then, it’d be okay—maybe even safe.



Why hadn’t Studley barked? That one was easy—now that she’d remembered.



About Studley.



He’d been dead—for almost a week.




































Was it worse to think profanity in the face of phantasms?

"Bloody hell!" she griped. "I thought for sure you couldn't follow me here. Or does the heat remind you of home?"

She glanced over to the corner of the ruin, and spotted a wave of movement that had nothing to do with rising heat. The distortion bent and disordered those orderly stacked stones, but to her heat-dried eyes it shimmered almost like a waterfall. For a moment she was tempted…

"I know it's you. You're unhealthy—that's what you are! I'm here to burn you out of my system!"

And with that, she booted aside old stone and precious block, stood, and tromped back to the camp.

Some men never learn.

Not even after they're dead. facturers_id=83&prod ucts_id=243



The heat ate at her skin. The wretched sun was a beast which had also eaten her thermometer, so she couldn't even brag to friends back home how tough she was. Claudia lifted her head, but there was no breeze off the Red Sea. The sight of all that water held promise, though.

And she was no ancient Egyptian. If I'd lived here, I would have fought to go to sea. No conscription necessary.

Berenike was a dead city now—all ruins—but it had once been a thriving port. Hot and beaten down.

And dummy me, I'm still standing in the bloody sun! Her scalp was on fire, and the pounding of her heart echoed in her head. That's all I need, first day out—heat stroke.

Making a name for myself already…

She forced her boot-clad feet beyond trudge and popped behind a ruined wall, to squat on a pile of stone. It made a sandy scrape, rattle and crack, but she was beyond doing dainty. She reminded herself she was supposed to be revering these slabs—treating them with respect.

My butt will be perfectly respectful, thank you very much. Amazing how heat waves could generate sarcasm—or maybe that was her mind revolting against the lack of oxygen. Hell, the air was so hot she couldn't even breathe!

Ingrate. Well, that much was true, anyway. Claudia made herself close her eyes and suck a deep, hot…tolerant…breath.

She willed herself to relax, and lulled by warmth, dozed. Everyone else was smart enough to be napping, too. Nobody worked in the day's full heat. Only newbies like her went wandering, wanting to soak in atmosphere and ending up needing to soak up a couple of day's bed rest instead. She'd heard the stories. So now, she chased the shade as the sun moved, stretching out behind the wall and resting her head on a stone shaped very much like the headrests used by the ancients. Her conclusion-jumping fully in gear, she wanted to shout "artifact!"—to pick up the curved Y of rock and go running to the Prof. Intuition told her there might be something in it…

Until she recalled something else she'd heard. Newbies are always good for a laugh. So instead, she stretched out amidst the broken stones and rested her neck on the curve.

Queen of Egypt.

She spared a thought for scorpions in the rocks, then tossed it aside. Damn them if they could venture out in this blasted heat to do their hunting. Maybe they'd be as wary of her as she should have been of them, but at the moment, ignorance made a happy shield. What I don't know can't kill me.

She lay there, far from sound sleep, but definitely dozy. The dirt layer coating the floor was comfy in its way, and if she were to open her eyes to slits, she could almost imagine this as a complete building, even looking as it did, with no roof and a fourth wall missing. Rather like a studio set.

I could live here. Who needed walls in temperatures like this?

Somebody did. She peered at the almost haphazard piling of rock on rock, then realized it couldn't have been all that haphazard and have remained standing for twenty-five hundred years. She sat up then, running her fingers over the mismatched layers. Same stone, different sizes.

Precious. Quarried and carried here by hand, camel, boat. Each stone valued, utilized. There were no chinks in the layers that she could see, which meant they'd been well-fitted. Either that or they'd been filled over the centuries with sand.

Every hollow I possess now has a sprinkling of the stuff. She used her pinkie to pick sand out of her ear.

Her elbow was still up, her pose awkward, when the chill hit. It started in her shoulder blades, then shivered down her arms, the hair standing in salute. Her nape strands were already dancing, and her back crawled with what felt like a dozen scorpions. Icy scorpions, which sent shivers shunting down both legs…


Was it worse to think profanity in the face of phantasms?

"Bloody hell!" she griped. "I thought for sure you couldn't follow me here. Or does the heat remind you of home?"

She glanced over to the corner of the ruin, and spotted a wave of movement that had nothing to do with rising heat. The distortion bent and disordered those orderly stacked stones, but to her heat-dried eyes it shimmered almost like a waterfall. For a moment she was tempted…

"I know it's you. You're unhealthy—that's what you are! I'm here to burn you out of my system!"

And with that, she booted aside old stone and precious block, stood, and tromped back to the camp.

Some men never learn.

Not even after they're dead. cturers_id=83&prod ucts_id=243



























A Note From N. D. Hansen-Hill

AUTHOR: N. D. Hansen-Hill
GENRE: Fantasy/Time Travel
PUBLISHER: Cerridwen Press
ISBN: 978-1-60202-061-0
BLURB: Shawn Walsh's problems don't arise from his own troubled past but from someone else's. Fires, floods, battles, bone-rattling quakes — he's frequently an unwilling and horrified participant in events long gone. For when The Hollowing claims him, his present dissolves.

Unfortunately, his problems have everything to do with family and his rather questionable heritage — with a birthright he'd rather know nothing about. Lost and tossed about by destiny, trapped and extorted by those long deceased, he's tired of playing a victim.

And he refuses to give up hope. There is still a chance he'll be able to resolve his issues without dying, given the right place… And enough time.
AUTHOR WEBSITES: N. D. Hansen-Hill  | Melody Knight 

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At Red Rose Publishing
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