Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Rishallt by Aurora Springer

RISHALT, Taxyon Space, Book 2
 - SciFi Adventure & Romance

Two alien worlds. Two lovers torn apart. Twist the hyperthreads into unity.

Kiron Arqin Ramis is summoned home by his family to the unwanted honor of a new triad and union with a high-ranked female. Unable to forget Nikki, he endures a perilous exile on a wilderness planet instead of complying with his family’s demands. But, the Triarchs have other plans for him.

Stakes are higher than the lives of two individuals. Earth leaders are desperate to acquire the alien interstellar technology, while Warrish dispute the advantage of an alliance with inferiors. Can Nikki and Kiron pierce the barriers separating them to find happiness with provoking an unequal war?


With Nikki following, Kiron dove into deeper water, and descended to the seabed. Soon he spotted a cluster of the flower-like triales and beckoned to Nikki. They landed on the sandy bottom.

“Lovely,” she mouthed, gazing at the triales swaying in the current. Each one had a long stalk topped by three oval petals in pastel hues of pale azure, rose pink, or primrose yellow. Feeder filaments wriggled in the center of the imitation flower.

Joy thrilled into him, noting her graceful figure and intent focus on the animal flowers. She was lovely. Standing behind her, he leaned over to breathe, “beautiful,” in her ear, and bent down to nuzzle her bare neck.

She giggled and swung to face him, shaking her head in mock disapproval. Her teasing smile contradicted her admonition.
Gladly yielding to temptation, he leaned in to kiss her. Her inviting expression flipped to open-mouthed terror. A shadow moved across her pupils.


Alarm instincts honed in battle kicked in. He shoved her away and ducked. Spinning to confront the menace, he pulled out his prodder. A giant tantra lunged at him, its orange and blue batwings angled back, and its tentacle-ringed mouth agape.

Its sticky tongue shot past his head, burning agony across the skin of his biceps. He fired into the maw. Dodging backward, he knocked against Nikki.

She stumbled aside, gripping the harpoon in both hands. He dove to catch her, grasping her shoulders and steadying her in place. She shot the bolt into the horrid maw. Recoil slammed her against his chest. Wrapping an arm around her trembling body, he aimed his prodder at their attacker. He didn’t fire. Her bolt had hit a vulnerable spot.

The tantra jerked vertical, its gullet pumping water from the wound. Its stinging feelers whipped from side to side, and its skinny tail churned loose sand into eddies.

“Good shot,” Kiron said, tugging Nikki away from the thrashing predator. His upper arm smarted from the stinging tongue of the tantra, and Nikki had not escaped its toxic touch. It had scored a red weal across her right ankle. He grasped her waist and hit his jets. They sped above the sea bottom. When the tantra had vanished from sight, he slowed and halted in the shelter of a reef.

Nikki clung to him, still panting in reaction.
He inflated the bubble tent and pulled her inside the air-filled shelter.

Plopping onto her butt, she cried, “What was that animal? My leg feels like I ran into a furnace.”

“Giant tantras patrol the deep ocean. They’re rare in such shallow water.”

Stroking her fingers down his chest, she said, “They can’t penetrate this bubble. Correct?”

He breathed, “We’re safe.” Lifting his uninjured arm, he brushed her hair and caressed her soft cheek. 

“Then, kiss me.” She leaned toward him, an expectant smile on her sweet face.

Review of Rishalt, 
book two of the Taxyon Space series 
by Aurora Springer.
Review by CLM

When the watchers return, there is one missing: Kiron, the sentient Nikki has fallen in love with.

(Sadly, he’s been called back to his planet, where he is expected to marry into a triad marriage. That’s a marriage between three men and three woman as is the custom of his world. Only Kiron refuses, since he only wants Nikki.)

Fortunately, Nikki is selected to be one of the six earth people allowed to go to Kiron’s home planet. Sadly, that turns out to be a very dangerous honor for her. There are sentients who want Nikki to go away!

As in all of Springer’s stories, the detail is exquisite, the creatures vivid and captivating.

I thoroughly enjoyed the various sentient animals, (at least the nice ones—many were deadly) and all the intrigue and attempted murders. Also, Nikki isn’t the only strong, can do, female in this story.

Not surprisingly, I give it five stars!

Buy Links for RISHALT

EUROPA, Book 1 in Taxyon Space – discounted to 99c at Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N  GooglePlay

Author Bio
Aurora Springer is a scientist morphing into a novelist. She has a PhD in molecular biophysics and discovers science facts in her day job. She has invented adventures in weird worlds for as long as she can remember. In 2014, Aurora achieved a life-long ambition to publish her stories. Her works are character-driven adventures and romances set in weird worlds and described with a sprinkle of humor. Some of the stories were composed thirty years ago. She was born in the UK and lives in Atlanta with her husband, a dog and two cats to sit on the keyboard. Her hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like gardening, watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.

Media links:

Aurora Springer’s Published Stories are listed HERE

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Kraken's Prey by Echo Ishii



Pirate Aristad, Captain of the Night Witch, is always on the lookout for treasure. Knowing where his former captor, Black Death Joe, hid his loot makes it all the easier. An abandoned manor holds a secret stash, but Aristad knows it comes with a price -- the treasure is guarded by a creature that is half man and half beast. It is the Kraken in one of his many forms.
Aristad can't resist the Kraken's pull -- he gives into sexual cravings that only the Kraken can fulfill, but he knows once his first mate, Delacroix, discovers his secret, mutiny will follow. Has he made too many mistakes to return to the life he left behind, and follow Kraken into the sea?


There was no sound of footfalls or breathing, though something deep inside me told me that we were not alone down in that cellar. Even with Atlantis gone, the old gifts of my homeland told me: there was another mind out there.
"Stay here," I commanded.
I rounded the next corner. No one followed this time. In the dim light, I stared directly at a rotted wooden door. I hesitated. It may have been a prison but whomever or whatever had been there escaped long ago.
I took several cautious steps toward the door and pushed it open.
I held my breath.
There wasn't much to see at first, just a stone floor was covered in straw. No grisly remains. No stench of death. No splattered blood.
I let out a breath.
This room was no prison but something dwelled here. I felt the tingling in my bones.
I swung the lamp around to glance at all corners.
There they were... two large trunks pushed against the wall.
Delacroix shoved past me and stood in the middle of the room. He took one look at the treasure chests and his eyes went wide.
"Damn! It's all ours," he said with glee.
"Wait," I told him.
Delacroix turned to me.
"There's a fortune in front of us," he hissed at me.
"Exactly. Two trunks filled with treasure just sitting there," I said.
I turned to the others who'd joined us in the room. They all stared wide-eyed, greed written across their faces.
"Before you touch it, ask yourselves why unguarded treasure has stayed here all this time?"
That made them stop. Pirates are a suspicious lot. We all knew that gold didn't sit there for the taking unless there was a price to be paid.
"I'd listen to your captain if I were you," came a deep, dark voice out of the shadows.

Echo Ishii (https://www.echoishii.com) loves to write stories of the fantastic -- from high fantasy to high tech and everything in between. She is a long time science fiction fan, as well as a fan of all things fantasy and paranormal -- classic sci fi movies, shows, and even radio dramas. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook. Or stop by her blog to discuss SF and paranormal TV.