First they took the world. Then they came for mine.
Aliens invaded eleven years ago and now they’ve taken the last of the family I had left. Prepared to fight my way through Population to save her, I know what I’m up against: Ruthless human scavengers, violent gangs, and rogue aliens that are built for conquering and have a taste for human blood and flesh.
When I come across a dying alien, I loot his corpse, the good little scavenger that I am. I don’t expect him to come back from the dead, hunt me…or save my neck. And when he looks at me, I begin to think that he might be hungry for something else.
He’s my enemy for life and I have every intention of keeping my distance, until he offers me the one thing I can’t turn down.
He offers to help me get her back.
Set in a post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest, Population is a full-length (97k word), action-packed, alien invasion SciFi romance featuring a strong female lead kicking butt alongside a possessive alien alpha. Population ends on a cliffhanger, but finds its happily ever after in book 2, Saltlands – available right now for #99cents. All other books in the Population series are standalones, though I do recommend reading them in order.
*Readers should note that this is a violent read, and off-screen assault does take place in this book and may be a trigger for some.
Science-fiction, climate change converge in thrilling debut novel seeking to rediscover Earth’s beauty in wake of disaster.
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania— Bridging the generational and cultural divide, physician Sam Stea’s debut novel imagines new solutions to the greatest global crisis of our time: climate change. “The Edge of Elsewhere” (Sept. 8, 2020), is a thrilling science meets climate-fiction adventure that follows refugees from the not-too-distant future in a race against time.
In a world reeling from ecological collapse, Abbey Lane’s waking life is a bleak routine. Between protecting her asthmatic older brother, Paul, and scouring gloomy ruins of Princeton with her best friend, Max, Abbey’s world couldn’t be more different from the technicolor eden she imagines in her dreams. But after discovering an old scientific notebook in the ruins of Princeton University, the trio find themselves in a world and a time they could never have imagined: New York City, 1971. There, they rediscover the beauty of the natural world, and meet a tragic music legend whose fate may hold the key to Earth’s destiny.
Born from his experience in the health care industry and his passion for literature, film, and music, Stea crafts an earnest coming-of-age story about the resilience of the human spirit in the wake of the most extreme circumstances.
Q & A with Sam Stea
What inspired you to write “The Edge of Elsewhere”?
“The Edge of Elsewhere” was inspired by my need to lend my hand to the climate crisis, which I see as the greatest health issue of the 21st century. With my busy medical practice, I cannot serve as an effective climate activist. But I can write. In my free time, I write. And I know the power of a good story.
How has your work as a physician informed you as a writer?
Each patient is locked in their own story. I don’t know the end, but I can, I hope, impart something to them — call it wisdom or simply keeping them human along with myself along the way. But to see them rise from the ashes! That is something. A patient getting a long-awaited transplant. Or someone recovering from critical illness. The hope and despair, frailty and strength — these simple things I see in them inspired me to write this book. It is mostly written for them, my patients.
What role do you think health care providers should play in addressing the climate crisis?
Health care providers need to lead us out of this climate mess. We must serve as the bridge between the hard climate scienctists and the public. We still retain the public’s trust — for now. I cannot understand this disconnect and cognitive dissonance. Not acknowledging the climate crisis for what it is, a growing existential threat to human health and survival, goes against everything physicians have sworn to uphold.
What do you think future generations will think about our actions on the climate?
Future generations will curse us if we fail to act, if we fail to break out of our simple, blissful complacency. In “Elsewhere,” we (those alive in the here and now) are called “sleepwalkers,” the seemingly ignorant and apathetic masses whose lack of action is incomprehensible to their grandchildren and great grandchildren.
What do you hope readers take away from “The Edge of Elsewhere”?
That they can see things differently, cherish the simple things, like clean water, a flock of birds, sunlight, or a cool breeze. If they can hold their children and think about their future just a bit more, that’s what I hope for. It’s all up for grabs right now!
IT IS THE YEAR 2079. Fourteen-year-old Abbey Lane dreams in colors that don’t exist anymore. Her life is a drudging routine of protecting her asthmatic genius older brother Paul from dust, and scrounging the ruin of the world with her best friend Max. But when they discover an old notebook in an abandoned university, possibilities open she never imagined. The three set out on an adventure into the past–to 1971 New York City and beyond. Along the way they rediscover nature, eat pizza, become hippies and befriend a tragic, legendary musician who may hold the keys to Earth’s destiny–if only they can save him!
SAM STEA is a practicing physician, proud husband, and father of a wonderful son and daughter. Some time ago, Stea took a simple and deliberate step back from the complexities of life to see himself in a much bigger picture, within a context of past and future, within the balance of the human species with nature, and with what is truly lasting beyond one’s own years.
His great hope is that others in health care, physicians, nurses, therapists of all kinds, scientists and administrators, and young people everywhere will join him in his fight to better inform the public that climate change is the greatest imminent health challenge humanity has yet to face.
Abel should have let me die. Jack should have killed me.
Tormented by ghosts of monsters, including the one I’ve become, Abel – the human queen – had no business doing what she did. Bringing me back from the dead. I’m alive now, but can you call it that? Trudging through hell alongside aliens with this band of survivors that thinks they’ll rebuild civilization. We pick up stragglers along the way and I’m expected to fight to keep them alive, keep them safe. I don’t know what that instinct even looks like, until I crash into her. Pia.
She fights her own battles – to keep her father alive – and to keep one worse than a scavenger, worse than a gang member, from taking her. But I’ve been through Population. I’ve seen its demons and swallowed them whole.
She looks at me like I’m her savior, like she doesn’t see the scars on my face, hear the hiccup to my speech, or care about the things I’ve done. Even if she doesn’t know better, I keep my distance. As we fight our way through Population, hoping to reach a safe place for us humans that are left, I don’t need to be near to kill for her when ghosts from her past — and mine — come.
Generation 1 is book 3 in the Population series! An interracial, post-apocalyptic, SciFi romance, complete with HEA, this book can be read as a standalone, but may be better appreciated after reading Population and Saltlands. Trigger warnings for dark themes, moderately steamy sex and more than moderate violence. There is NO cheating, menage or love triangles and no degrading or demeaning forms of intimacy. Only savage warrior men worshipping their warrior queens.
The futures of both mankind and an alien species rest in the hands of one hybrid son in the award-winning science fiction author’s masterful sequel to Dawn.
Nuclear war had nearly destroyed mankind when the Oankali came to the rescue, saving humanity—but at a price. The Oankali survive by mixing their DNA with that of other species, and now on Earth they have permitted no child to be born without an Oankali parent. The first true hybrid is a boy named Akin—son of Lilith Iyapo— and to the naked eye he looks human, for now. He is born with extraordinary sensory powers, understanding speech at birth, speaking in sentences at two months old, and soon developing the ability to see at the molecular level. More powerful than any human or Oankali, he will be the architect of both races’ intergalactic future. But before he can carry this new species into the stars, Akin must decide which unlucky souls will stay behind.
At once a coming-of-age story, science fiction adventure, and philosophical exploration, Butler’s ambitious and breathtaking novel ultimately raises the question of what it means to be human. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Octavia E. Butler including rare images from the author’s estate.
The Containment Zone is a 500-mile radius surrounded by mountains and closed in by gates. No one can leave, and anyone who tries will die. Within are lawless bandits, corrupt soldiers, and once-human greyskins that hunt down people to spread the virus. Some say the Containment Zone is where the greyskin virus originated. Others say the people inside are little more than lab rats being studied by the nefarious Screven government.
When 12-year-old Skylar and her father, Liam, are caught trying to escape, they are taken to Vulture Hill, a government prison camp no one has ever left alive. Inside the prison, Skylar learns that the facility is little more than a testing site for finding people of a certain bloodline – the Starborn. These are people with special powers that manifests in various spectacular ways, and Screven wants to exploit them.
Skylar has always known there was something special about her family. For years, her father has had the ability to completely numb pain with just a thought. Lacerated skin, broken bones, they can all be ignored with enough concentration. Learning that her father is a Starborn means Skylar is probably one too, placing them both in extreme danger.
Now, father and daughter must do the impossible and break out of a prison known for killing so many. But Liam has leverage the government may be willing to buy – the cure for the greyskin virus.
The first two books of The Starborn Redemption are set 40 years after The Starborn Ascension and 17 years before The Starborn Uprising. Each Series can be listened to independently.
Jason D. Morrow is the author of more than 15 books in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, including The Starborn Uprising, The Starborn Ascension, The Starborn Redemption and Prototype D.
Stacy Gonzalez is a Chicago based narrator and commercial voice actor. She is feisty, bright and expressive. Stacy specializes in YA, self-help and romance, especially when the narration calls for a good handle on comedy, wit and sass. Audiofile Magazine has praised her pace and her ability to create bold characters. Stacy, who is half Colombian, speaks conversational Spanish. She has a great love for Old Hollywood—watching the movies and listening to audiobooks about any and every aspect of it! Follow her on Twitter at @stacygonzalezvo or visit her website at stacygonzalezvo.com.
How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
I did theater for years. Then, I got married and had a child, and I just felt there was no way I could keep up with the theater schedule (and terrible pay, at least in Chicago). We moved to the suburbs, and we had a lot more space that we did in the city. We had a sauna in our basement—which is just so crazy and ‘70s, but we thought it was sorta cool, especially since I am half Finnish, and if Finnish people love anything, it’s a good stretch in a sauna. Anyway, we never used it, so I decided to make it my recording studio for recording my commercial auditions. Because my space wasn’t bad, I started doing actual commercial jobs in there, and then that led to auditioning for audiobooks, and here we are!
Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
It actually was not hard for me to get my first paying audiobook gig. What helped me most was my lack of fear and my tenacity. You have to hustle as an actor of any kind. You can’t sit back and let it fall into your lap.
A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
I think actor training is super important. The ability to just slide into the world of the book and the bodies of the characters—the ability to do that without really even trying, so that it’s just a muscle memory kind of thing, is essential in audiobook narration.
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
I had never listened to an audiobook when I started narrating. A coach told me that listening to audiobooks as a narrator is non-negotiable. And he was right. I started listening and fell in love with listening to non-fiction. I love listening to books about Old Hollywood. I love that I can go out for a run and listen, and that the story can compel me to run farther than I had planned. Or make me clean my house longer than I had planned. A bio of Rita Hayworth compelled me to repaint my bathroom, and I love that bathroom now!
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
There are so many things that I love about it, but my least favorite part is very clear. It’s lonely! I loved doing theater because I loved being social and having fun during breaks with the other actors. Narrating is a very lonely thing. But audiobook narrators have a very strong online community, so that’s great. And when you get to record at the studio with a director and/or engineer, that’s great, too.
What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
Jason, the author, found me, and I’m so glad that he did. I was intimidated a bit that so much of the book is narrated from the father’s perspective, but it was a delicious challenge. The book, in my opinion, is so well written. I love when a book shakes me in some way. After a day of narrating this book, I would move on to my regular life, and then I would feel anxious. I couldn’t figure out what was making me feel anxious. Then I figured it out—I was anxious because I had spent hours living in the world of Beyond the Gates.
Who are your “accent inspirations”?
A lot of times, I use famous people. I like using famous people better than people I’ve met in real life, because I can look up interviews and stuff for the famous people to help really lock me in to that person. Alan Rickman finds his way into a lot of what I do. So does Tilda Swinton. And my idea of Tony Blair— not a real Tony Blair, but my idea of him. Even if the characters aren’t English—these people have very specific personalities to me.
If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?
I would love to narrate Christopher Pike YA horror books. I loved those books! I remember going to the mall every Friday, heading straight to Walden Books (I grew up in New England, I don’t know if that chain was everywhere) and buying a new Christopher Pike book every week. Whisper of Death is one that I’ve found in used books stores recently. I re-read it, and I swear, it stands the test of time. I actually have used a piece from it as a demo sample.
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
In this day and age, when we are realizing how the most effective way of learning or absorbing information is different for each person, who is anyone to say that one thing is better than the other? Audiobooks really stay with me. I retain a lot from audiobooks. Let’s exercise different parts of our brains and include both formats in our enjoyment of literature!
What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
Listen to audiobooks. Join audiobook narrator forums online and listen to the great advice from the working narrators out there. Look out for charlatans promising “work from home, make lots of money,” who have no or bad audiobooks to their names. Get coaching from the many pro narrators who make themselves available for such a thing, in the comfort of your own home via Skype.
My name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.
What does that mean?
In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.
Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?
My books aim to fill that gap.
If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub. I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.
Shaun can’t shake the deep anger over his mother’s death. But when his father’s desperate actions release parasitic hell-beasts upon the world, he has a much bigger fight on his hands.
Kevin hoped his country would be immune to the pandemic turning everyday people into psychopaths. But as his horror grows, an incredible new power could be the only thing that prevents Earth’s destruction.
Sophia is terrified of God’s plan for her. Plagued by visions of planetary devastation, she prays she can reach her allies in time to save humanity.
As doomsday approaches, can the teens accept their destiny in time to protect their world?
The Emerald Tablet: Omnibus Edition is three books of dark speculative fiction in one. If you like brave teenage heroes, intriguing mystical connections, and apocalyptic international settings, then you’ll love JM Hart’s incredible collection.
Buy The Emerald Tablet: Omnibus Edition to unlock the adventure today!
For a limited time only, Shadows of Doubt – book one in The Emerald Tablet Series is only $.99 on Amazon.
JM Hart was born in Sydney, Australia and has been a storyteller from a young age, with a particular interest in horror and things that go bump in the night. Favorite authors include Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, to name but a few. After being told at the age of 11 that writing about dead bodies and newlyweds dying in a plane crash was unbecoming, JM’s life was instead directed towards bookkeeping and finance.
For the next twenty years, immersed in a point-of-sale advertising company, JM occasionally wrote advertising blurbs, learnt how to ride a motorcycle, taught color physiology to spiritual mediums, meditation and relaxation, studied Religions, Kabbalah, tarot cards, astrology, creative and professional writing, philosophy and volunteered at palliative care, and worked on the local church newsletter – not quite the appropriate outlet for a writer interested in the supernatural. And she became a grandmother.
From the author of Jurassic Park, Timeline, and Sphere comes a captivating thriller about a deadly extraterrestrial microorganism, which threatens to annihilate human life.
Five prominent biophysicists have warned the United States government that sterilization procedures for returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. Two years later, a probe satellite falls to the earth and lands in a desolate region of northeastern Arizona. Nearby, in the town of Piedmont, bodies lie heaped and flung across the ground, faces locked in frozen surprise. What could cause such shock and fear? The terror has begun, and there is no telling where it will end.
When Captain Tyris Bekkert crash lands on a planet that’s been deleted from the star charts, he’s sure he’s doomed. What he doesn’t expect is to find a village. The residents seem strangely reluctant to help him escape. All except Marlee.
She needs a partner.
For Marlee, trapped on a dying planet, Tyris’s spaceship is a lifeline–an opportunity to change her future. She agrees to help him repair the ship, if he’ll pretend to be her partner to appease the village council, who are obsessed with securing the next generation.
As winter closes in and they’re cut off from their only means of escape, their pretense is tested to the limits, likewise Marlee’s own resolve. The handsome space captain is everything she’s always wanted.
But what’s the point of letting yourself fall in love when you know it can’t last?
Forbidden Planet is the first book in the Worlds Apart series. This series is currently complete. Each book can stand alone.