29 July 2013

The End Of The World Playlist by Dan O'Brien

This week I am hosting Dan O'Brien to discuss his book "The End Of The World Playlist."

Below you'll find a few questions and answers from the author, an excerpt of the book, and links for more information on Dan O'Brien and his work.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of "The End Of The World Playlist."

Follow his blog at http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!




Welcome to the fifth day of the The End of the World Playlist blog tour. It will run until August 1st and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this dystopian world:

The world as we knew it had ended. Deep in the mountains of the west coast, six men survived. In the town of River’s Bend, these six friends continued on with their lives as zombies inherited the Earth. As they navigated the world that had been left behind, the soundtrack of life played on.



A few questions for the author:


When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? 

I would like to think I will have done everything I said I would do. But who can know such things? I aspire to deliver on every promise that I have made to myself.


What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? 

The way people talk to each other and the level with which we think about things critically. I think that we too often denigrate another because we have not thought much about the content of their lives. I believe books offer an opportunity to create dialogues where they might not have otherwise been.


If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? 

Writing, editing, and publishing. It sounds cliché to say that I do what I love, but that is the truth. I am a very rich man indeed.



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


Track 5
I Am the Walrus


The sound of the engine was overwhelming, and the discussion was far from tame. Instead, it had reached a fevered pitch that bordered on accusatory. 

“Are you fucking kidding me? You think that Avenged Sevenfold has no business being on a playlist for killing zombies. Are you mental, man? Have you completely lost your marbles?” argued Will.

“Your question is: What belongs on an end-of-the-world playlist, correct? In the event of a zombie apocalypse, what would I want to be listening to?”

“Correct.”

“So you agree that the choices would be purely subjective?”

“Of course.”

“Then what exactly is the point of getting all hot and bothered because I think your little band sucks balls. I’m sorry I’m not fawning over it.”

Will threw up his hands in irritation. “What does the brilliant music critic, Kenny of Bumfuck Nowhere, believe belongs on such an auspicious playlist as one that may be the last one you listen to?”

Kenny watched the road out of the corner of his eye. 

“Anything by She Wants Revenge.”

“But you don’t want any Depeche Mode?”

“Fuck Depeche Mode, they don’t sound anything like She Wants Revenge, man.”

“You have got to be the dumbest motherfucker ever if you think that there are no similarities between their music. A fucking deaf-mute could tell the similarity.”

“So your argument is: someone who couldn’t hear the music––and couldn’t convey their opinion about said music that they couldn’t listen to––could do a better job of figuring out what good music is than I could?”

“Precisely.”

Kenny shook his head. 

“And you call me dumb.”

“Not just dumb, bordering on retarded, I swear to fucking God. Your rationale is equivalent to the guy who really believes there is a difference between hamburgers from different fucking fast food places. A Big Mac is the same anywhere, same fucking shit, different fucking day, and different fucking half-a-tard wrapping it up in crunchy paper for you.”

“I am not saying that there aren’t similarities, but I would certainly not compare them in terms of musicality.”

“Musicality? Are you a musical prodigy now? You are about as much an artist as I am a lawn gnome.”</ div>

Kenny laughed heartily. “Did I hurt the little artist’s feelings? Should we talk about those wonderfully dumb graffiti murals you plaster all over our corner of hell?”

“Fuck you. Don’t switch the subject. What makes you such a discriminatory judge of music that you can decide for everybody what constitutes good music and bad music. I don’t mock your shitty taste in music.”

“That is because I don’t have shitty taste in music.”

“What the fuck ever, man.”

“You don’t like what I got to say, then feel free to shut your fucking trap.”

“Fuck that. What about Radiohead? You wouldn’t want to have some Radiohead or Marley? You gonna sit there and look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t want some Marley?”

“I am going to do exactly that. Fucking snore-fest, man. Give me ridiculous beats or give me death.”

Will turned and looked out the window. “Ridiculous. This ain’t over yet, man. We are coming back to this. You wait and see.”

Kenny laughed and shook the wheel, jarring the Bronco one way and then the other. “I’ll be waiting, poopy pants.” 

*

The interior of the van was not a verbal ruckus. Brandon drove. Allen sat in the passenger seat, his automatic rifle across his lap. 

Dan and Jesse remained in the back. The older brother sat on the medical bed that would serve as a medic station if necessary; Jesse had been a medical resident before all of the madness went down. 

It was a useful skill now. 

“Usual run, gentlemen,” called Dan.

“Doesn’t feel usual, boss,” replied Allen.

Jesse looked at his brother. 

“All feelings aside, grab what we have to and get out of there. No fucking around, no messing with the deadheads. In and out.”

Allen nodded grimly and Brandon stared coldly from the driver’s seat. “You want me to do what we talked about? Re-situate our dead guests?” asked Allen.

“You head to the Sports Authority. Brandon, you take an eagle locale with the .50 cal and keep an eye on things,” replied Dan.

“Right, boss,” called Brandon from the driver’s seat.

“Me and Jess will hit the library while tweedle dee and tweedle dumb hit Wal-Mart to pick up the Big Box shit.”

“And deadheads?” queried Allen.

“Try to keep the noise to a minimum and add bolts to those that are previously bolted. Kill any that have gotten loose.”

“Right, boss.”

The stereo was low and the music somber. 

“Are we expecting trouble?” 

Turning and looking at Jesse, Dan’s face was grim.

“Always.”




Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten</ i>, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.


Follow Me On Twitter



Would you like to win a copy of The End of the World Playlist?

All you have to do is comment on a post during the tour. Two randomly drawn commenters will be awarded either a physical or digital copy of The End of the World Playlist.

Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!


22 July 2013

Cerulean Dreams by Dan O'Brien

This week I am hosting a tour of Dan O'Brien's book "Cerulean Dreams."

Below you'll find an interview, an excerpt, and links for more information on Dan O'Brien and his work.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of "Cerulean Dreams."

Follow his blog at http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!




Welcome to the sixth day of the Cerulean Dreams blog tour. It will run until July 24th and will feature excerpts, new author interviews each day, and a video blog by the author. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this dystopian world:

Orion, the last city of men. Deep within the desert, a secret lay waiting. Young women found dead in the street. A corporation that controls the sleep of a populace that never sees the light of day. Alexander Marlowe seeks to unravel the mysteries of Orion as he helps a young girl, Dana, flee the city. The closer they come to the truth, the greater the danger that hunts them. Follow them as they search beyond the boundaries of everything they have ever known for answers. 



A few questions for the author:


Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? 

I often couch characters in the sentiments and personalities of people who are in my life. I hover over speculative fiction, so most of the events are purely fictional. There are some amusing places in some of my novels that were inspired by real events though….


What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? 

I love to write the very sad parts. I find these parts in movies tremendously interesting as well. Also, any time I get to spend time with my antagonist, I consider it time well spent. 


How did you come up with the title? 

My titles are born from the truncation of an entire idea into a single word, or something pithy I thought of. I have blank files of great titles that will probably never be turned into novels. This arises from a need to have a title for a book before I begin writing it. 


What project are you working on now? 

Some re-releases, sequels, serials, and even some all new titles. It will be a busy year.



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


Chapter VI


The out-of-commission tunnel was serene darkness except for dim running lights that traced a path along the exposed electrical work. They had stepped off the beaten path almost immediately, knowing that the dead body on the train and the carnage that had ensued would draw government attention soon enough. 

Marlowe shook his head as he walked, muttering to himself. “Can’t be real….” He watched all around him. Sometimes faces appeared, horrifying renditions of things resembling humanity. 

Often, he would look at the dark corners and see the scurrying forms that seemed to plague his every step. He felt like they were being followed every second they walked. There was something else, some slinking force that haunted their footsteps. 

“It’s the Lurking, isn’t it?” he queried out loud.

Dana did not bother to stop, her long strides like miniature leaps. “You believe me now, do you?”

Marlowe craned his neck. The air moved, swirling about as if there were something twisting in the wind. He watched the darkness, bore through it with his penetrating stare and he swore he saw it. 

“Something is here.”

He drew his firearm slowly, watching as the entity moved in the corner. The folds of its body were whipping like a flag in a gale: a bloated, blackened flag that was sentient. It catapulted itself forward, taking flight. It was a great raptor of shadow that descended from consciousness. 

“Down,” he roared. 

He pushed Dana, his body covering hers. The entity fluttered––ripples of its being undulated like waves upon a rocky shore. Marlowe fired; the discharge of his weapon smoky and the impact meaningless as the bullets passed through the creature.

Dana turned her head, pushing away from Marlowe. 

“What the hell are you shooting at?” she cried. 

Marlowe watched the creature recede. 

It did not possess eyes. Ripples formed a dome that seemed to bob from side to side, as if watching Marlowe. He swallowed hard with his weapon tight in his hand. His gaze firm upon its departure back into the shadow. 

“There was something crawling in the corner, some kind of weird thing that floated in the air.” He looked at the gaze of disbelief upon her face and shook his head. “I know what I saw. There was something there.”

Dana moved past him despite his silent, physical protests. “I don’t see anything.”

Marlowe re-holstered his weapon, clearing his throat. 

“It’s gone now.”

She raised her eyebrows in mock surprise. “Of course it is. The thing that you saw that was attacking us, that I didn’t see, is gone. Vanished just like that.”

“Right,” he answered, looking farther ahead into the tunnel. She crossed her arms as if thinking. Marlowe threw his hands into the air in frustration. “I know what I saw. You said something was following us, something called the Lurking. Maybe that’s what this thing was.”

All the mirth in her mockery dissipated. She moved closer to him, her eyes very serious. “You saw the Lurking? The Lurking was here: is that what you are telling me?”

He spoke slowly for emphasis. “I saw something.”

“The Lurking,” she stated.

Marlowe shifted uncomfortably, watching as the undead wandered back into focus. Their gaze no longer seemed steeped in harmful intent. Instead, it shone of ridicule now. 

They were mocking him. 

“Since you know what it looks like, you tell me. It was a giant shadow that rippled in the air and seemed very intent at getting to us. You know anything else that fits the description? Because if you do that would go miles in explaining what’s going on here.”

It was her turn to fidget. 

“I do not know what the Lurking looks like.”

Marlowe scoffed, his laughter soon rolling in the high ceilings of the empty rail path. “You don’t know what it looks like? You are telling me that I didn’t see anything, but you don’t even know what that thing looks like? That’s brilliant. That is amazingly transcendent, Dana. Thank you so much for that insight.”

He turned––his laughter dissipating. 

“Are you coming?”



*



After an hour they emerged from the abandoned tunnel into a vertical shaft that crawled toward the surface. Marlowe grabbed the iron rungs of an industrial wall ladder and pulled himself up with a huff, taking each in order. Dana waited before following, her small body easily climbing the fifteen-meter shaft. 

Marlowe stopped at its apex, feeling around above him for a handle. The shaft would lead them back onto the streets of Orion; back into the race against time for which they seemed so ill-equipped. He found the handle––the slime that surrounded it something of which Marlowe would rather not know the origin. 

“Where are we going?” Dana’s voice seemed small from beneath Marlowe. He wrenched on the handle, the old metal giving way to his leverage. As it finally moved free, he let out a loud breath of air from the exertion. 

Light shone from above; night was giving way to day. “We are going to get some answers, since I seem incapable of coaxing them from you,” he mumbled as he pulled himself through the manhole cover and onto the streets of Orion. 

The sun had begun to make its presence known. The sky was filled with reaching fingers and tendrils of its grasp, the power of the day expunging the night. He sat on the street as he looked down at her dirtmarred face. She had been quiet since their exchange in the tunnel. 

“Give me your hand,” he ordered. 

She did so without question and he pulled her through. As she stood, he replaced the cover with a grunt. Orion was a different creature during the day. The bright signs of the night had dissolved. The effulgent lights that spoke of necessary things were dwarfed by the golden power of the sun. 

Buildings seemed less majestic as the sun shone on them. Dirty on the outside, they were covered in ash and dust that could not and would not be witnessed at night. “Orion sleeps through the day. We will have to be careful,” warned Marlowe as he looked at the buildings. Their appearance seemed more like fossils rather than advanced works of art. 

“Sleeps?”

Marlowe felt for his weapon. 

He did not see the crawling creatures. 

Despite their general creepy nature, he had become accustomed to them; their absence did not bode well for his paranoia. “Orion is a city of the night. I am rarely awake at this hour. The visors regulate our sleep, make sure we are rested, watching our vitals and sleep patterns in an effort to make things more harmonious,” he spoke as he walked out into the empty streets of Orion, the lack of humanity disquieting. 

He looked back at her. 

The sun’s reach bounced from building to building, bringing ever-present light. “I am beginning to suspect that our sleep has something to do with all of this. I haven’t been able to piece together what has happened. That is why we are going to see a friend. To get some answers.”

Her tight-lipped stare revealed a woman who wanted to say more. “Where is your friend?”

Marlowe checked the buildings visually. Without access to the network, he would have to depend on knowing the city by sight. He pointed at a marble statue. Its beauty was disfigured by blackened lines of soot, marred by the inattention of the populace. 

“That is the Barren Maiden. It was placed there some time ago. It was a gift from an artist to the city to commemorate the destruction of the world as we knew it, the infertile landscape that gave birth to Orion.”

Dana ran a hand over it, stepping past Marlowe. 

“It’s beautiful,” she marveled. 

Several hundred meters tall, she was only able to touch the feet of the statue. The woman stood facing west, away from the rising sun. Her clothes windblown, her hair ravaged about her perfect face. Her eyes looked toward the future. “The great matriarch of Orion at its center, we are a stone’s throw from Cerulean Dreams and the Pearl District. A place we do not want to be.”

“Why?” Her mind was still absorbed by the statue. 

“Pearl District is home to OrionCorps main headquarters. My friend lives in the Portrait, just east of here. We should not linger,” he spoke. He started to walk east, past the statue and into a throng of smaller buildings that were painted mustard yellow. 

Dana looked high into the smoky red clouds of the rising sun, seeing that the morning light hid the face of the woman. “What will your friend be able to tell us?”

Marlowe watched the terrain. 

The ground seemed cracked, like it had hardened and split in places. He watched as the cracks crawled across the ground and up the side of the building, shattering the windows into broad webbed strokes. The running board of information that ran around the building did not glint in the morning light. Instead, its information seemed labored and slow.

He stepped closer to the running board, reading the information there. Normally it spoke of rising stocks, news and information that was pertinent to Orion. It was often nothing more than mindless advertising. 

This, however, was different. 

His lips moved as he read it, his neck pulsed: They are coming for you. They are right around the corner. They are going to get you, Marlowe. You can’t run from them. The Lurking is watching you. The board stopped and crackled, electricity arcing and leaping out at Marlowe. 

“Marlowe,” she shouted. 

He looked at her. 

She stood a meter from him. “What are you doing?”

Looking back at the board, he saw that it was simply spewing information about stocks, useless numbers running and cataloguing themselves. “I was looking at the board there. It said….” 

He struggled to find the words. 

“Sir, do you need assistance?” 

The voice was masculine 

Marlowe turned and groaned. 

The crisp OrionCorps uniform seemed unfettered by the morning. His face was clean-shaven, young. He hadn’t yet drawn his weapon. Dana looked from Marlowe to the youthful officer. 

Marlowe tried to shake the cobwebs from his mind. The things that he was seeing were confusing him. “No, we’re fine. We are on our way home,” mumbled Marlowe and then adding, “thank you for your concern.”

Dana’s fear only intensified; she felt like the exchange was slowed. The officer stared at her again, seeing her fearful face. The fact that Marlowe was twice her age and looked like he hadn’t showered in weeks gnawed at the officer. 

She was a pristine young woman. 

Alarms went off in his mind. He touched the side of his temple, his visor coming out only over his left eye. The blue was not as vibrant in the light of day. “What are you doing out at this hour? Aren’t you tired?”

Marlowe could hear the man’s heartbeat, the accelerated thud of fear and anticipation mixed in a dangerous concoction. “Long night, I’m just trying to get my daughter home, officer.”

“Why is your visor up?” 

His voice challenged Marlowe’s sensibilities. 

Marlowe’s arm itched. 

The sun brought the heat with it. The smell of the rail tunnels overpowered his nostrils and he couldn’t remember the last time he slept. The little man was getting on his nerves. “I must have shut it off early. I know the way home without it.”

The officer scrutinized Dana, his half-covered face smooth, as if oiled. “Is that your father? Are you in trouble? Your heart rate is too fast, your pupil dilations read as if you were in fear for your life. Is this man taking you somewhere you don’t want to go?”

Marlowe watched Dana. Before this night, he had only seen dead young girls, their once-perfect features distorted and mangled. 

He had gotten to one of them in time. 

She wasn’t dead. 

Dana looked at Marlowe. 

She was shaking now. 

Opening her mouth, no words came out. 

Her eyes were glassy and wide. 

“He’s….” 

The world snapped. 

Light became brighter. 

The night was gone and with it the madness that had impaired him. There were no longer denizens from some horrific dream. He had the girl and nothing was going to stop him from getting answers. “Not her father,” Marlowe finished. 

The officer turned, his weapon drawing with him. 

Marlowe was already in motion. He grasped the officer’s hand as he tried to pull his weapon free. His startled look brought a sad smile to Marlowe’s face. He pulled the trigger, the weapon exploding against the officer’s leg. 

Screaming out in pain, he fell back. 

As he did so, Marlowe pulled the officer’s weapon from the holster and steadied it on his prostrated frame. The man covered his face, though his lips moved. He was using the visor to communicate. 

The shot caught him along the left temple, shattering immediately any connection he had with the network and OrionCorps. The man twitched, the involuntary spasm drawing a panicked gasp from Dana as she hid behind Marlowe. 

“Sorry kid,” he whispered as he placed the young, dead officer’s weapon inside his long coat and turned without another word. 

Dana stood over the dead man, kneeling and touching his face where the round had impacted. She smoothed away the blood-soaked hair from his face. He had been handsome. She had not wanted him to perish like this, but he would have interfered. He would have undoubtedly complicated things.

The sun was in full view in the east, proud and strong. She hoped that the day would be better for the two of them than it had been for the young officer that morning.




Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten</ i>, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.


Follow Me On Twitter



Would you like to win a copy of Cerulean Dreams?

All you have to do is comment on a post during the tour. Two randomly drawn commenters will be awarded either a physical or digital copy of Cerulean Dreams.

Visit http:/ /thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

15 July 2013

Bitten by Dan O'Brien


Welcome to the seventh day of the Bitten blog tour. It will run until July 16th and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this dark world

A predator stalks a cold northern Minnesotan town. There is talk of wolves walking on two legs and attacking people in the deep woods. Lauren Westlake, resourceful and determined F.B.I Agent, has found a connection between the strange murders in the north and a case file almost a hundred years old. Traveling to the cold north, she begins an investigation that spirals deep into the darkness of mythology and nightmares. Filled with creatures of the night and an ancient romance, the revelation of who hunts beneath the moon is more grisly than anyone could have imagined.



A trailer for Bitten:


video


Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


Chapter VII


Lauren Westlake had not been this nervous about a date since she had been a teenager. To be completely fair, it had been some time since a man took interest in her, especially a man who had not been recently serving time or one who liked the idea of a forthcoming, commandeering woman. She felt a twist in her stomach that was akin to those first few moments right as intoxication took over. 

It was a pleasant, but unsettled feeling.

The case file for Evelyn Marshall was spread out over the bed. There was a page here, a photograph there. She reached up with one hand to readjust the towel turban she had created to dry her hair. The small shirt she wore revealed her lithe body, though the muted print on the front was long since faded. Her slender fingers picked up a glossy picture of what Evelyn Marshall had looked like only days before. </ div>

Tall and statuesque, she had a sense of sadness behind the heavy strokes of mascara around her eyes. The shimmering dress she wore was a kind of mauve. Clearly the picture had been taken in late spring or even summer, for the sun was shining, casting glimmering rings across distant windows. 

A man helped her from a long black car. 

She pushed through the papers, idly rearranging them as if they possessed no clear order. With a slick sound, she pulled free another glossy picture, this one smaller than the rest. “Evan Marshall,” she mused, touching one of her unpainted fingers to her thin, pale lips. 

The picture was not flattering.

There was a quality of irritation that oozed from his grim line of a smile. Dark circles enshrouded cold brown eyes that looked at the camera with indifference. A wide black coat hid his features, but the heaviness of his face was enough of an indicator for Lauren. There was something Orwellian about him, massive and powerful, but somber.

With a sigh, she pushed away the photograph and picked up the typewritten file once more. Clicking her fingers against another picture just below her hand, her eyes drifted to the bedside clock. The red lines of the digital clock revealed her procrastination: 7:30. 

A half of an hour more and Dominic would be knocking on the door. Her chest was suddenly tight. With an uneven, spastic movement, she was off the bed and the file in her hand cast onto the ruffled blankets and comforter of the hotel bed set. 

Lipstick was smeared with broad strokes of a red hue. Eyeliner skillfully applied while dressing. It was a tornado of movement and application. Getting ready for a date required a strange kind of theater act. 

The knock at the door, though expected, was sooner than she had anticipated. Pulling a warm, yet tasteful sweater jacket around her shoulders, she grasped the door handle. 

The outside air was chilly.

Winter’s bite was a piercing one. 

Her body warmed as she saw Dominic. His hair was wild, blown from the frigid gales. Yet the haphazard manner in which it was situated was perfect. His blue eyes were intense. The darkness of the cold night made them appear more vibrant than when they had first met. As he opened his mouth to speak, the perfect line of his white teeth made her smile. 

“You look wonderful, Lauren.” 

His voice was smooth and confident. 

She fidgeted with the door key in her hand. “Ah, thanks. Do I need to bring a warmer jacket? Do you think I might need it?”

He smiled again. 

“It is quite cold, Agent Westlake. I imagine an additional coat would not be a bad idea, though we will not be gallivanting through the woods tonight.” He paused, his self-reflection making his eyes glow. “At least I hope not.”

For a moment, she considered bringing her weapon. It passed as she grabbed a heavy coat, imitation fur lining along the inside and around the neck. She pulled the door closed and locked it with a resounding click. Dominic held the coat for her, allowing her lithe figure to move inside it, seeking the warmth and protection. 

He held out an arm, gesturing toward a dark sedan. 

“Shall we?”

*

The room was quite dark and were there a casual observer it would have seemed quite odd. The computer screen provided the only light in the room. Drawn shades hid the partial moon that slid through lidless clouds in the night. Large headphones that enveloped his obscenely large head thumped rhythmically. 

His eyes watched the screen with a strange intensity. 

The door to his room was closed, the rust-colored handle locked as he reached his hands down into his pants. There was something perversely fascinating about the way he listened to Vivaldi and pornography of the most graphic nature as one intermingled symphony of sound and myriad imagery. 

His placid face was accented by wide, cow eyes with near transparent irises. Bushy blonde hair, a testament to his Nordic heritage, violently expelled from around the firm grasp of the headphones. 

His face twisted as he watched the perverse play of coordinated sexual movements and glistening bodies, artificially created and produced to enhance the experience. The chair rocked slightly as he shifted position, a strained looking coming to his face as he felt the clear rush of climax. 

He raised an eyebrow as he removed his hand and then the obligatory moment of uncertainty that followed the self-flagellation to elation. The room was silent except the strange cacophony that erupted in his mind. As he unplugged the headphones, the sounds from his computer filled the room. 

Absurd moaning and telegraphed dialogue were combined with precise symphonic rhythm, creating an aural nightmare. The windows were lined with frost. Cold seemed to crawl along the walls, dampening the world. He stood, wiping his hand against his leg. And then again for good measure, he made sure to blend the color of his pajamas, dark black with white writing. 

His feet were bare: hobbit feet. 

Moving across the wooden floor without a sprite’s dexterity, he opened and unlocked his bedroom door with one quick movement. He lowered his head as he darted into the hall. Had he been looking up, he would have seen the slinking, crawling shadow with death on its breath at the end of the hall leading to the back porch. 

As it was, he did not. 

Closing the door behind him, he flicked on the light. 

The partial shadow of something grotesque moved silently across the wooden floors without sound, watching him. And again, had he been more observant, he would have seen the cold eyes and strange, uneven mane of something awkward watching through the sliver of the door to the bathroom: something wicked. 

A torn towel hung off the back of the door. 

He turned on the faucet, hot water erupting in spurts and fits from the aged pipes of the cold apartment complex. He wrung his hands, washing them beneath the scalding water. Steam rose in little curls, fogging up the oval-shaped antiquity that served as a mirror in this closet masquerading as a bathroom. 

The city of Locke did not have much in the way of community housing. Small, squat buildings weathered and frigid like human freezers lined a narrow street just north of the railroad tracks. The small apartment occupied by the lonely young man was one such sparse residential arrangement. 

He splashed his face, reaching for the beaten towel. Rubbing his face hard, he let it fall to the sink. Looking around his miniscule accommodations, he sighed. There was something defeatist about living so far north. 

You had to be content with the minor victories: working plumbing, a warm room with four walls. Necessity was paramount, want often falling to the wayside. Opening the door to the bathroom, the artificial light spilled into the narrow hallway. 

He looked to his bedroom, the door half-open. 

Feeling thirsty, he turned down the hallway toward the diminutive living room that was inhabited by a small couch with an orange comforter. There was an ancient television set, yellow blinking lights of the satellite receiver hidden beneath it in an avalanche of video games, movies, and various clothing. 

The kitchen floor was cold linoleum. His bare feet bristled with gooseflesh and he made a face that indicated so. The dull light of the refrigerator cast shadows across the vacant cupboards and overflowing trash can. 

He did not see the shadow approach. 

The breathing caught his attention. He paused, his body partially illuminated by the refrigerator light. Licking his lips, he turned slowly. His breath caught in his throat. 

“What the fuck,” he whispered. 

The creature moved toward him slowly, chest heaving. The slash dislodged his intestines. He tried to catch them as they fell. There was blood, so much blood. His hands fell aside as the shadow climbed atop him, ravenous claws tearing flesh. 

*

Lauren laughed. 

She was more prone to smirking than the wide-mouthed laugh she was utilizing currently. Had it not been, of course, for a rather potent bottle of Pinot Noir that so succinctly ravished her palate. Jabbing her fork into an ample portion of fish in a manner that would not be considered womanly in any society, she attempted to engage in her wittiest of banter. 

“So a federal agent? A fearsome title for such a beautiful woman.”

Lauren paused, glancing over her food with wide eyes. Beautiful: the compliment often elicited butterflies in women of all ages. She cleared her throat, brushing back her hair. “That is quite the sentiment. Being a federal agent keeps me from being harassed by the less than reputable.”

Dominic shifted, touching the glass of water. He did not drink the wine. She would surely not begrudge someone for having discipline. “So what does Agent Lauren Westlake like? What does she enjoy?”

She smiled coyly. 

“I like this. I like being here.”

Dominic smiled. 

It was in such a way that he knew, but did not judge. 

He understood. 

“I am pleased that you are enjoying yourself. Do you enjoy dancing?” The approach of the house band was subtle; violins humming softly. He stood and crossed to her side of the table, extending his hand. “Would you care to dance?”

She blushed, accepting his hand and standing with him. The restaurant was mostly empty. There were other patrons, older couples who smiled in reflection of their lives, of moments very similar to this one. 

They danced slowly, his hand on her lower back. 

She hugged against his strong back, feeling the powerful muscles and crevices where his muscles gave way to bone. After a time, she laid her head against his shoulder, closing her eyes. She thought of something she had not for some time: happiness. 

Too long had her life been the job; in mere moments, he had broken down that defense. She felt safe and cared for in his arms. They moved across the floor. The veneer wood beneath their feet clicked and creaked with their every movement. Some people had gathered, cooks from the kitchen, wait staff in the back. 

Together, they were a portrait of bliss.

A slight rumble became an intrusion; her phone vibrated inside her coat. She did not hear it at first, her thoughts lost in the powerful arms of Dominic. As they turned, he led her up the open area that was serving so well as a dance floor, twirling her and bringing her close once more. Her eyes looked out into the clear night, the moon hanging ominously in the distance. 

The rumble came again, moving her coat. Her eyes caught the movement and she stared as Dominic moved her around the floor, finding great peace and rhythm. Her intense look grew, her mind retreating from the joy she had felt so briefly. 

And then she saw the movement clearly, unmistakably. With a sad smile, she looked up at Dominic. “I think my phone is vibrating,” she spoke. 

He looked deeper into her eyes. 

His blue eyes were oceans of depth and consideration. Something quite old deep dwelled within those eyes, a history much older than the stunning man who stood before her. “I understand,” he replied and then stepped away, holding onto her hand. 

He raised it slowly, holding her eyes and kissed the top of her hand lightly. She smiled, her shoulders lifting. He turned over her hand and kissed her palm, this time lowering his head and closing his eyes. Gooseflesh traced her body, the entire right side of her body experiencing a chill. Her smile had shrunk, though not from lack of joy. It took everything she had to not giggle goofily, to not blush and fawn as a teenager in love. It took a great deal of control to move away from him then. 

But, she did so. 

Lifting up her coat, she pulled free her phone and frowned. There were several calls from the sheriff’s department. Scrolling down, she saw another from the sheriff’s cell number. With a sigh, she put the phone to her ear and rung her voicemail. 

The news did not improve. 

The sheriff was speaking in hurried tones and despite Dominic’s electric smile, her brow furrowed. By the time she had replaced her phone back into the pocket of her coat, she was positively fearsome.

“There has been another murder.”

Dominic’s face mirrored her seriousness. 

“I am sorry, Lauren. Where shall I take you?”

Time felt as if it ebbed with his words. She had forgotten her weapon, leaving it because she felt it would not be a necessary evil on this night. That had proven incorrect. “We will have to cut the evening short. I fear that I will be held up for a while at the scene.” 

Dominic paused, a pregnant one in which he seemed to evaluate her claim carefully. “Would it be inappropriate if I accompanied you to the scene?”

She looked at him with wide brown eyes. 

Again, he surprised her. 

There was something powerful about the manner with which he conducted himself. The restaurant chattered on. Other patrons ignored their exchange, the elegance of their movements having faded back into the white noise of the world. 

She grabbed her coat and put it on. 

“I am not sure that it would be the best idea.”

He moved in closer, taking advantage of the height difference to surround her. “I will not be in your way, Lauren. I would simply be a glorified chauffeur. It would not be an inconvenience for me.”

She considered his words. 

The night had only begun and her plans far exceeded where they had found themselves. The restaurant, though inhabited with souls, felt empty except for Dominic and her. His cerulean eyes watched her with an old look, a wisdom that wandered far beyond his near perfect body. A body she wished to explore more of. She blushed at the thought and his perfect smile returned. 

“I do not imagine that Sheriff Montgomery will be too encumbered by my presence. It might amuse him somewhat. He seems intrigued by you, as I imagine a great many men are.”

Lauren had never felt so giggly and light as she did in his presence. For her life, she had always avoided those flowery feelings of placing men’s needs and wants ahead of hers. Dominic erased that, but she knew that he would never allow her to believe such a thing. She cursed herself for finding such a man during dark times. 

He stepped closer, taking her hands in his. 

“I am intrigued by you. You enchant me.”

Her legs felt weak, a feeling that made her resolve steel. Walking that tightrope of maintaining her reason and allowing her feelings to run away with her, she smiled. “You don’t strike me as the squeamish type, though I should warn you that these crime scenes can be quite gruesome.”

His smile faded to a tight smirk. “I will take that as your acquiescence. And if it alleviates your concerns, I am not in the slightest squeamish, as you say.”

She allowed him to put her coat over her shoulders. Looking at him, she spoke in a low tone. “I should at least stop by and get my gun.”

There were others things she would have liked to say. But it would have to wait. She had a feeling in her stomach that whatever she believed was haunting Locke had reared its tumultuous head again. She took his arm as they exited the restaurant out into the cold night.




Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten</ i>, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.


Follow Me On Twitter </ div>



Would you like to win a copy of Bitten?

All you have to do is comment on a post during the tour. Two randomly drawn commenters will be awarded either a physical or digital copy of Bitten.

Visit http:/ /thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!</ span>



01 July 2013

Blog Tour - Dan O'Brien and The Path Of The Fallen

Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting information on author and publisher Dan O'Brien and many of his works. He is sharing interviews, reviews, and excerpts of some of his books and stories through a blog tour. As part of the tour, he is holding a contest for readers to win copies of his publications. He is even offering folks who follow his blog (http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/) the chance to win a Kindle Fire.

It is my pleasure to host this fellow member of Wyoming Writers, Inc.

Let's begin with Dan O'Brien's book, The Path Of The Fallen.

Please enjoy. And please feel free to share with others.


****


Welcome to the first day of The Path of the Fallen blog tour. It will run until July 8th and will feature excerpts, new author interviews each day, character interviews, and a casting call by the author. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this sprawling fantasy world:

Set against the backdrop of the tundra and a world desperate for hope, the journey of a young man, E'Malkai, will come to define a realm that has been broken by an evil that does not sleep. A bitter betrayal, and the inception of a war that will consume the world, forces E'Malkai to confront the past and undertake a pilgrimage that is his birthright. Follow him on his journey and be transformed. 



A few questions for the author:


Where did the idea come from for the book?

I had a very strange dream in which I was navigating a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by these beasts born of some terrible darkness. The setting and landscape was so vivid that the idea stuck; I would reenter this dream night after night, eventually giving rise to an outline. 


What genre does your book fall under? 

It would be fair to call it science fiction and fantasy.


What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? 

A hero's journey that challenges ideas of good and evil submersed in a fantasy world.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took 6 months and included an extra two hundred or so pages that eventually became another novel. I would come home from work and write until I feel asleep everyday until it was finished. 


Who or what inspired you to write this book? 

A love of fantasy and science fiction led me down the path to writing in the first place, and this novel was a natural story for me to follow given my love of reading and the genre in general.


What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?

I will offer some reviews it has received to better emphasize what about the novel might interest a reader:

"Once again author Dan O'Brien brings together a riveting storyline and a multi-faceted, well-developed cast of characters. Get INSIDE their thinking! A stark foreboding landscape, the chilling reality, characters that take you outside your comfort zone and lead you down the dark path of dystopia is what you will find in 'The Path of The Fallen'. You'll also find in 'The Path of The Fallen' a WILD premise, compelling read - What happens to E'Malkai and his brothers in arms is an unforgettable journey! Dune, Alien, The Handmaiden's Tale??? Move over! You looking for a book that you WON'T put down? Then join the hundreds and hundreds of avid readers who wait for a new Dan O'Brien novel. Congratulations go out to Dan O'Brien for another intellectual, developed, well-constructed epic! Writing a novel of this magnitude takes the dedication of a driven Master, Bravo!"

"There are stories that resonate across the boundaries of the written word. Stories that come off of the page and become a part of the reader. The Path of the Fallen is the best part of such a story, the beginning. From the first sentence, O'Brien draws the reader into a universe of awe inspiring wonders, both technological and otherwise, that does not stop impressing until the end. An absolute must for any fan not just of science fiction, but of good storytelling."

"I loved this book it took me in immediately and has all the aspects that make a book great. My favorite character was Elcites, the loyal and lethal companion who stands by our main guy through thick and thin. A must read if you like action, adventure and books that take you away!"


What other books in your genre would you compare this to?

Strangely, I am not a fan of comparison as different readers get different things from a story. I would hate to say it was like one book or another and then have someone expect the plot to follow a particular course. The Path of the Fallen is certainly like other books in its genre, but it also stands apart.



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


Fe’rein


There was a grand crystallized window along the port side of the vessel––the Harbinger. It afforded a view that overlooked Terra, as the blue planet had been called for the past thousand years. The sun cast a glare over its edges. Had one known what the world had looked like millennia previous, they would have seen the changes. The dark coloration of the seas, the murky, bruised clouds that covered a good portion of the land––save for the hundreds of square miles just beneath Culouth, the world above as it was called by those below.

A figure stood abreast the window; the one-piece jumpsuit was dark black, matching his short-cropped hair. The tight spikes were flushed forward. Hands clasped behind his back, he wore the expression of a military man.

His furrowed brows formed a sinister line over his cold brown eyes; the solitude that encompassed him reflected in his frozen glare. The corridor around him was bathed in shadow. The only light came from the glow of the planet below and faded illuminators that lined far off into the distance.

He was called Marion. Once he had been a respected member of the House of Te’huen, a warrior sect of Culouth that had waged wars against man and rim worlds alike.

He broke from Culouth, a clear distinction being made be-tween those who chose to align themselves with Intelligence: fiber optic enhancements and regenerative replacements and those who opposed these technological interventions.

The clicking of footfalls resonated in the dismal chambers.

Marion did not bother to turn.

His dark eyes watched the slow rotation of Terra. His cheek muscles flexed. “So Kyien would not come himself I see,” Marion spoke with an air of confidence.

Deeper down the hall the lights flickered.

The running lights dimmed and then exploded in a shower of clear sparks. Black boots walked over the carpet of glass as each one shattered in turn. The face was shadowed over; only the stark white pants and the dark boots emerged from the darkness that seemed to surround the being.

“To see you?” responded the shadow man.

Marion lowered his head.

Eyes closed, his hands were still firmly placed behind his back. “A peace must be reached. Even your master must understand this….”

The man snorted indignantly.

He still hid in the shadows. His eyes were now illuminated crimson. Billowing energy flowed freely from his face. “There can be no peace. There will be no peace.”

“Why then did you bother to come here?”

The shadow man paced outside of viewing range, ignoring the question and posing another. “How many refugees are here with you?”

Marion’s surprise showed visibly in the cock of his head, looking back toward the shadowed figure. The twin clouds of energy shone like two animal eyes in the night. “What?”

“How many of your tainted kind walk this hollow home?”

“What is the meaning of this?”

The man emerged from the darkness, his features apparent for the first time. His bald head was tan. A jagged scar ran diagonally across his face, carving a ridge over his eye, nose, and ending just below his lip. A light brown beard covered his chin.

His brown eyes were tainted.

Crimson clouded where white should have been.

He wore a gray suit, fitted around his waist and flared out loosely over his thighs and legs. Marion inhaled sharply upon seeing the man move into the light.

His features darkened, outlining the set of his strong jaw. “He who kills his own kind,” whispered Marion. His words were like a hiss, a curse at the man who stood before him.

“I have no kind.”

“You have tainted the power of Terra, used its energy for the Intelligence. You were once a man, a human not unlike us,” reasoned Marion, his voice wavering.

“How many are here with you?” pressed the warrior with a level, unrelenting glare. A sweep of his hand dismissed Marion’s words.

“I am alone,” responded Marion.

The shadow warrior turned his head and looked toward the corridor wall. His face curled into a cruel grin. Turning back to Marion, the shadow warrior clucked his tongue against his cheek. “You lie,” he spoke with a hint of sarcasm and wagged his finger as if he were doing so to a sullen child.

“No,” called Marion, but it was too late.

The shadowed warrior raised his arm to the wall, flattening his hands against it. They shimmered with the same energy that consumed his eyes. The wall began to swell from the heat radiating out from his hands, the center brighter than the rings that flowed around it. Marion moved forward to intervene, but in the eyes of the shadow warrior he might as well have been standing completely still.

He had lowered his shoulder to bull rush into the dark warrior.

The denizen of shadow proved too quick, his foot flew out with true aim. He caught Marion along his kneecap, disintegrating the bone with inhuman efficiency and power.

“Damn you,” Marion snarled as he fell to the floor.

He grasped at the empty pocket of flesh riddled with shards of bone. His cold glance fell on the shadow warrior. His eyes welled with tears from pain and shock.

The shadow warrior did not even acknowledge the man’s pain.

“Why do you slaughter your own kind like cattle?”

The being looked down, but did not respond.

The wall melted away like a viscous liquid and pooled on the ground, solidifying into a gnarled mass of steel beneath the makeshift entrance. The shadowed man stepped through, his stride broad and the scowl carved across his features sunk in seriousness.

Startled screams erupted throughout the room.

Azure energy waves swirled with amber and complete darkness. He reached out with his left hand and traced it vertically. A spherical energy field formed around him. The energy blasts rebounded over the sphere, scorching the walls with burn trails as the crimson energy flowed outward from within the warrior, consuming him like a surreal flame.

He walked, searing the floor beneath him.

His eyes lacked the human quality they had previously.

The splatters of energy slammed into the sphere, melting like snow on a hot engine. The warrior grimaced outwardly as he sliced his hand through the air, energy ripping like a disc running horizontally across the room. Horrendous screams echoed against the darkened, blood-soaked walls.

“Why do you oppose what is meant to be?”

“Because they have chosen to be free,” muttered Marion as he struggled across the hole that the shadowed figure had created. A sigh escaped his lips as his arms struggled to carry his heavy, useless body. “You are a….”

The shadowed man’s eyes settled on Marion’s fallen figure.

His dark eyes seared into the man.

Sweat beaded at Marion’s forehead. The sheer heat from his energy choked Marion, forcing him to gasp as the oxygen thinned around the fallen Resistance warrior.

“I am what, lower being?” mocked the dark eyes.

Marion gasped for words.

Clawing at his throat and then his chest, he rolled over onto his back––his mouth opening and closing like a beached fish struggling for its last breaths. The shadow being spun and with him went the current of dead air. A sputter of air emerged from Marion’s open mouth and then his lungs took in a fresh taste.

A blade collapsed against the sphere.

Energy trickled like flakes.

The shadow figure lashed his arm out.

The blade collided with his outstretched forearm, shattering the reinforced steel. The face of the assailant came into view as the shadow warrior’s gloved hand wrapped around her throat.

Her blond hair fell over her shoulders. The tousled curls hung back from her face as he lifted her into the air. The veins in her throat bulged as she struggled to swallow. “Bastard,” she spoke, her words labored as she tried to breathe.

“You are only a child,” croaked the shadowed warrior, looking at the woman’s features with a snarl. Her blond hair was draped over smooth, tan features.

Intense blue eyes stared at him.

He shook his head, mental pictures flashing across his vision.

He saw images of a young woman.

Her short hair faded to white.

Dark eyes stared back at him.

He pulled back, releasing his grip upon the woman.

She fell from his grasp.

“Run, child,” groaned Marion, a defeated look in his eyes.

She remained crouched, staring up at the shadowed creature.

As she backed away using her hands to propel her retreat, the being’s energy dissipated. He lowered himself to the ground, the sphere fading, receding back into his body.

“We have to get out of here,” spoke Marion, desperately trying to move from the rubble. His hands clawed at the surface of the metal.

The girl backed away from the shadowed man. Her hands supported her as she backpedaled and then slipping, she tried to regain her balance.

She fell flat on her back.

Grimacing, she brought her hands to her face.

A dark liquid covered them.

She wiped them against each other and turned her hands into the half-light from the adjoining room. A thought ricocheted hollowly in her mind: blood.

She looked around in a panic.

There were bodies scattered all over the floor, blood smeared across the metallic walls. A wail started deep in her throat, a thin whining sound that was trapped in her chest.

“So much blood,” she cried, crawling up the walls.

She slipped with each step, the screeching sound escaping her lips. Placing her hands on her face, she let loose a primal scream. Its volume opened the shadowed man’s eyes––irises still consumed in fire. The sphere reopened once more, a devilish fire accompanying it. The heated gale knocked Marion back into the corridor and the girl against the wall, holding her there by an in-visible force.

“You are not her,” he spoke.

His eyes were black now, like polished obsidian stones.

“What?” she queried through tight lips.

“You look like her, but it cannot be,” he continued, his presence unfolding around her.

Marion watched the exchange with a bewildered look. The dark warrior spoke casually, as if he were in tavern and not on a battlefield. “There is still time to end this madness, you don’t have to slaughter us like animals,” spoke Marion.

The shadowed figure looked at the man.

Disdain was plastered across his features.

Her overhead strike caught him across the skull.

She struck again, the steel bar gripped tightly in her hands, a cold snarl carved across her beautiful features. The shadow whirled on her, his face hidden in the crimson aura that consumed him.

He stared down at her, and then rose into the air menacingly.

“You are a brave girl, but that is not enough.”

He grasped the free end of the pipe and lifted it, taking with it the girl’s diminutive figure. She kicked her legs out in a useless gesture, striking him across the chest.

“You wish to make this a game?’ he mocked, cocking his head.

Reaching out with an unreal quickness, he grabbed her throat with his free hand and then threw her into the adjoining corridor. Her body collided with the opaque window that overlooked the world below.

A whimper escaped her lips as she rolled onto her back.

“By all means, run.”

“Don’t do this,” whispered Marion.

His voice wavered.

Glassy eyes watched the hungry, predatory look in the shadow’s eyes. The warrior turned, looking down at Marion and lifted his foot. He did not pause as he smashed down on the base of Marion’s overturned neck.

A crack echoed in the dismal chambers.

His eyes glazed over; death had claimed him.

“This must be done,” replied the shadow to the corpse.

Looking down into the dead gaze of Marion, he sighed.

Not one of regret, but of annoyance.

The girl had a good lead on him.

Her boots clicked as she charged through the corridor.

Her breath came out in practiced lengths.

The muscles of her legs pulsed with adrenaline as she glanced back, seeing only that the darkness of the corridor chased her. She breathed out as she slowed, her arms flailing at her sides as she ran.

The shadow warrior stood before her, his dark red eyes the only visible feature. As she backpedaled, he followed her. She looked down, seeing that each step he took seared the metallic walkway.

Burn marks stretched far off into the distance.

“Why?” Her words had a pleading tone. “This can’t be the power of the Believer.”

The shadow angered visibly.

The curl of his tight-lipped grin lessened and disappeared.

His face was like charcoal, the deep inset regions of the sun marred in extreme heat. “What could you know of the power of the Believer, the burden that it carries?”

“I know that you were not meant to have it, your dark heart.”

The shadow was upon her, a flash accompanying his sudden forward motion. He lifted her by the throat, holding her against the glass, high above his own body.

Tears streamed down her face.

Eyes held strong, but her lips quivered beneath his gaze.

“I will show you a dark heart,” he sneered.

He pulled her body back easily, as if she weighed nothing at all, and then flung her forward. His unnatural strength, coupled with her body mass, was sufficient to shatter the opaque window. A powerful sucking sound permeated the corridor as both of them were pulled out into space.

She shuddered in the cold abyss.

Her mouth gasped for only a moment; the lifeless scream trapped in her throat faded. The blood drained from her face as he let her free––her body floating weightlessly in the expanse of space.

The fire engulfed him completely, though it lacked the licking branches it had in an oxygenated environment. His eyes were buried beneath the dark power that claimed him.

He watched the girl drift away.

“Ryan.”

A voice whispered in space.

It was a woman’s voice, powerful and clear.

He shook his head defiantly, beating his fists against the side of his head. His human features appeared as the fire died away, leaving his listless eyes to stare off into space.

“I am no longer that man,” he screamed, his arms tucked close as he spoke the words. As he extended his arms over his head in a powerful motion, a wave of energy resonated from his body. The force of the power surged across the stars and disintegrated the space station.

He pulled his arms close to his body again.

The energy reached the limits of its power. And then as quickly as it had come, it returned to the shadowed warrior who had once been known as Ryan, son of Evan, but now as Fe’rein, the half-man assassin of Culouth.




Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.





Would you like to win a copy of The Path of the Fallen?

All you have to do is comment on a post during the tour. Two randomly drawn commenters will be awarded either a physical or digital copy of The Path of the Fallen.

Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!