Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Life is but a Nightmare by Erin Hayes

Title: Life is but a Nightmare
Author: Erin Hayes
Series: The Elysium Legacies #2
Genre: Adult, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: February 28, 2017
The sequel to the genre-bending, hugely imaginative Death is but a Dream.

“There must always be a God of Wealth…”

Former police detective Callie Saunders shouldn’t be alive, but she’s been thriving with her new lease on life away from the machinations of the ancient Greek gods and goddesses.

Yet there’s always been someone missing from this little piece of paradise.

When a vengeful god kidnaps her son, she travels back to a world she barely understands to find him. A world where she must face humanity’s greatest enemies and her former lover. If she’s not careful, she’ll lose her soul again. And, maybe, even her heart.


In one of the dining room chairs, he sat, waiting. Our eyes connected across the room, and his milky-white eyes froze me in place. For a second, everything slowed down for us, as I was transfixed by the fact that he was in my house, sitting at my dining room table. Just like I had imagined so many times before, only under different circumstances.

He watched me, unblinking.

“What happened?” Plutus asked softly, although his voice held an undercurrent of tightly coiled tension. “Callista, where is our son?”

The ache in my heart stayed with me as I fell asleep.

In my dreams, I woke up, laying in a courtyard with an ethereal light. I'd woken up here before, back when Plutus and I were traveling across the country. I hadn't been back here since I got pregnant and Plutus had to return to his duties in the Underworld.

Familiar, strong arms embraced me. In those moments, time slowed down. Lips met mine in a crash of contradictions and unanswered questions. I gasped against them, not ready to get my hopes up. That this was really happening.


“If I could…” he whispered. “If I could, I'd hold him tight and never let him go.”

A moment passed between us. A reminder of what we couldn't have.

“Callista,” he said gently. “Tell him I said hi. Please.”

I chewed the inside of my cheek, but I nodded.

“Callista,” he said, his voice low. “Callista, I'm so sorr—”

I awoke with a gasp on the cot. I grimaced, feeling sore in unfamiliar spots. Paul stirred on his bed, and I quietly laid my head on the thin mattress. I stroked a hand along his arm, watching every bit of him.

My son.

I leaned in to whisper into his ear. I might have been angry at Plutus for everything, but I did know that there were things beyond our control. I understood it, but I didn't have to like it or accept it. I did decide to give Plutus this peace offering, to let him know that I'd be okay, at least for now. And I wanted to assure Paul, even if it was just his subconscious, that somewhere, his father was thinking about him, that he was worried about him.

“Daddy says hi.”

“I thought you would have fought harder.” He flinched at that, turning his head away. “I thought, if not for me, for Paul.”

“Callista...” he started, but I couldn't let him steer this conversation anymore.

“Are you trying to push me away?” I asked. This time, my voice hitched in my throat.

He didn't answer.

“Look,” I said. I slipped my hand out of his. I couldn't touch him. Not now. Not when there was an ocean of broken dreams between the two of us. “The only way I've been able to get through this—any of this—alone, is because I believe that you'll be there for me on the other side. And I can't do that if you...if you...don't love me anymore.”

Once again, he didn't answer. He just kept his head turned away from me.

“Say something...Plutus...”

No answer.


“Don't say that.” My voice was low. “Don’t you ever fucking say that Plutus. Because I can’t move on.”

“Tell me,” he said, his jaw tight. “Tell me why you can't move on.”

The tears started to fall afresh. How could he not understand?

“Tell me, Callista.”

“I…” I started. “I love you, Plutus.”

He stilled. A thousand different emotions conflicted across his face, mostly a mixture of regret, pain, and despair. And a bit of love. I was surprised to find that, considering that up until a few seconds ago, I believed he had fallen out of love with me.

He pulled me to him, his lips crashing into mine.

“Say that again,” he groaned.

“I love you, Plutus. I still love you.”

I See Fire by Ed Sheeran
Papa Don’t Preach by Madonna
Like a Prayer by Madonna
No Church in the Wild by Jay-Z
Death is the Road to Awe by Clint Mansell
I Don’t Wanna Live Forever by Taylor Swift and ZAYN
Hurricane by 30 Seconds to Mars
Committed to the Crime by Chaos Chaos
Paint It, Black by The Rolling Stones
Imagine by John Lennon

Fun Fact: Listening to Papa Don’t Preach on repeat while writing 
Life is but a Nightmare completely changed the ending.

I grew up watching Hercules and Xena on TV, which was my first foray into the world of Greek mythology. In that world, gods and goddesses played with mortals like you and me. There were elements of action, and there were elements of drama. Most of all, I remembered it being fun.
Move forward about ten years. I was in high school, and I was an avid Japanese manga fan. Back then, I wanted to draw my own comics. I drew a character and labeled her as Hades' daughter. I created an entire world around that character and a young adult story to go with it.

Since then, I've evolved that story many times, to where it's almost indistinguishable from the original idea.

It's never left me though, so one day ten years after that first drawing, and nearly twenty years after watching my first Hercules episode, I sat down to write Death is but a Dream. And Life is but a Nightmare continues that story.

I will say, that while I spent a good deal of time researching Greek mythology, I have taken a few liberties in order to create a modern tale. Some of the characters are reimagined. For others, I chose the source that met my ends, even though I found others that said otherwise.

And then we come to the royal family of the Underworld. A lot of mythology says that Hades, as the God of the Underworld, was unable to produce offspring because Death can't create Life. Some texts even said that the Furies were his children.

I did find an article that talked about Plutus, the God of Wealth, who was often confused with Pluto, the God of the Underworld, who was also in charge of wealth. Another source said that he actually was Hades' son, which I honestly found to be pretty cool and a great foil to myths about the Underworld.

My wheels started turning, and that character played a big role when I started world building for the Elysium Legacies.

The Elysium Legacies are nearly twenty-five years in the making. And it feels so great to share with you. Happy reading!!

Author Bio:
Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.

She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she's a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.

You can reach her at and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.


Life is but a Nightmare #2

Death is but a Dream #1

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The Game Begins by Victoria Danann

Title: The Game Begins
Author: Victoria Danann
Series: R Caine High School #1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Myths
Release Date: February 28, 2017
When it came to the attention of the old ones that their creations, the Earth gods, had been playing games at the expense of humankind for millennia, they put a stop to it. But the rebellious gods were far too addicted to their games to give them up. After several summit meetings, they voted to use their own children as players and locate the playing field in the most treacherous environment in the known universe. High school.

To make it even more interesting, they would strip their children of their memories and withhold the rules of the game. The players believed they were ordinary kids until they were transferred to R. Caine High School. When odd things begin to happen, the players gradually realize they have special gifts or attributes. But that doesn’t mean they can’t die.

My name is Ever Moore.

I know. It makes me wince every time I say it. When I’m eighteen, I plan to have it legally changed to something that doesn’t make people laugh. But right now I’m stuck.

My dad thinks puns are the highest form of humor. He calls it ‘word play’. That’s right. I’m the spawn of nerds. My dad creates video games. My mother is an ethics professor at UCLA who thinks the battle between good and evil begins at home.

If you want to know just how weird it can get at the Thanksgiving table, I can go one better. My grandfather was a big deal rock star in the seventies. You wouldn’t know the name of the band. So there’s no point in name dropping. After a visit, he exits with a two-finger peace salute like all the other well-adjusted hippie grandparents, but he doesn’t say, “Peace.”

He says, “Rock steady.”


My family is big on manners. They’re too strict to let me say what I think, especially about Buzz’s love life. My grandfather doesn’t want to be called Grandpa or Grandad or Gramps or anything close to normal. Oh no. He wants to be called ‘Buzz’. I have no idea why. That is not his name.

Anyway, the best protest I can mount is rolling my eyes. I keep trying to get his attention and roll my eyes back further into my head when he does the ‘rock steady’ thing, but he will not be deterred.

Anyway I was leading a completely typical and deliciously angsty teenage life in Austin, Texas when my parents were suddenly offered jobs in the LA area at the same time. It was weird, but weird is part of my normal. Always has been.

Since my grandad, the rocker, still lives in LA with the latest girlfriend who’s barely legal - she’s two years older than I am - moving seemed like a good idea.

To them.

Author Bio:
New York Times bestselling author of thirteen romances. Victoria's Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES for the past THREE YEARS IN A ROW. Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.

Her paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on "imaginary" creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and, occasionally, enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, werewolves, hybrids, psychics, or past life therapists. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners... usually.

The rich characterizations come from being a lifelong student of behavior, casually, and a serious student of behavior academically. She also studied comparative religion, myths, and Dark Ages history.

Victoria lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and a very smart, mostly black German Shepherd dog.

Victoria is co-host of the popular ROMANCE BETWEEN THE PAGES podcast. 



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