Wednesday, April 18

Guest Author and Giveaway: TJ Michaels


Hey all *tj waving madly*! How is everyone doing? Hopefully well. If any of you are Facebook junkies, like me, you may know that I was recently in Austria for the day job while sick as a dog. If I don't see another bottle of NyQuil for the next ten years, it will be too soon! Gah!
I'm SO looking forward to the Authors After Dark readers convention in New Orleans. I can't believe it's only 4 months away! If you're going, be sure and let me know if this blog post so we can try and get together in NOLA! I'm running a contest centered around the predicted Zombie Apocalypse from now until AAD in August. I'm giving away a book every week, plus grand prize winners will be announced at AAD - Four premium gift baskets from the ZART authors, and One paid registration to AAD Savannah next year!
Now on to more the cool stuff - NEW RELEASES! The inspiration for this book is different than my usual stories. Usually something at the day job or something I've seen while traveling inspires a story. But this one, Silk Road, is a bit different.
I was watching Discovery one day and a documentary came on about lost books of the bible. My brain said, "Huh...there are LOST books? Never heard anything about that when I was growing up." And that program drew me right in and held me captive. After that I picked one of those lost books, did a crap-ton of research, invented some mythology to go along with the results of that research and began the first book in the Seals of Destiny series, Silk Road.

Blurb:
Every rogue longs for a second chance, right? Wrong. Larien, former angel of The Host is not looking for redemption. What he needs hasn’t been seen in millennia but he’ll search the ends of the Earth to find it - from hills of San Francisco all the way to…the Silk Road.

Prologue
Silk Road
Coming June 2012

Catalog Date: July 2, 1887
Logged by: Dr. C. Wilhelm Humann
Find: Torn page of document found during excavation of the ancient ruins of Hierapolis, near Denizli Province, now modern day Turkey
Age: Estimate - 200 BC
Origin: Unclear
Material: Ink of unknown substance written on parchment
Language: Ancient Greek
Status: Unverifiable
Theory: Believed to be a hoax or part of a written play, perhaps to be performed by an artist or storyteller in the amphitheater located in the middle of the city. Given the Hellenistic origins of this site and the belief by the ancients that the city was founded by the god, Apollo, it is unlikely, given the belief in the Greek pantheon of that time, that anyone other than a storyteller would write of angelic beings.
Translation:
A single, jagged tear in the fabric that makes a family can destroy it forever. We felt immeasurable loss as those who have been a part of us since their very creation were ripped away. Left behind is a hole in the landscape of our community, a chasm of emptiness that will never be filled.
Like having an arm twisted from the socket without the luxury of a blade, their severing was agonizing and unspeakably ugly, leaving the exposed tatters of our emotions every bit as raw.
We felt the longing of those who wished to stay just as we’d felt their joys, triumphs and sadness through the ages. It assaulted our senses, even as we were driven to obey, driven to force them out of the only realm they’d ever known.
Beaten bloody, battered thoroughly, bruised in mind, body and spirit; we felt the sting of our own betrayal. We’d turned on them. Abandoned them. The pain they felt as they were separated from us reverberated from their minds to ours like the ripples of sound and space after striking a large gong. It was soul-deep as they looked us in the eye while we landed blow after blow.
“Don’t do this to us,” they cried. “Don’t make us leave you. We’ll die. Worse, we’I’ll die alone.”
Yet we had no choice. The smallest seed of rebellion could not be allowed to root or sprout, let alone grow. Could not be allowed to corrupt order.
Even as they fought back, tried to keep what had always been theirs, it wasn’t enough. They knew it. We knew it. We pushed them beyond the boundary of the heavens, beat them back until they were beyond the stars. Even my fellow Watchers, those who inhabit the skies and those who serve on the earth, observed with awe the utter destruction that we, the Host, delivered without quarter.
Their wings were nothing more than bloodied stumps as we tore away the last symbol of their former status. Bodies, once as bright as the stars, dimmed as they fell.
None would ever be punished as these, thrown down so that the impact shook the earth itself.
Some landed on jagged mountain peaks. Some crashed in the seas with such force it was as if they met solid stone rather than water. Some sprawled unmoving in snow to experience an utterly foreign sensation - bitter cold. Some met burning hot deserts where the rough sands scraped away the last of their flesh.
What small bits of their bodies that had not been damaged in the fighting were shattered, rended apart as they made contact with hard earth. And to Earth are they bound until their final judgment.
As if the judgment received weren’t enough.
They would never take to the air or rise again. Ever.
What were they to do? What were they to become now that what they had been created to serve was no long accessible? Would they mend? Of course. They were created as beings of the stars, celestial through and through, yet that which sustained them could no longer be called upon to replenish them. We are all warring angels, injury is nothing new. But for our brethren, what would normally take moments to heal would now take… Then I realize that I have no answer, having never been cut off from the Source.
We watched their expressions of disbelief harden even as their bleeding tattered bodies began to mend oh so slowly. With the mending of each wound came a new emotion.
Rage.
It affects us, their anger, but we must remain true to our purpose. We must remain connected. The need, the determination, to hold on to what is left of our family after we wrought such devastation helps keep us strong.
So we turn our backs knowing that we, that I, committed such fierce and lasting judgment, such violence against my own…the agony of it will forever reverberate through my soul.
There is no need to wonder if any who were to be cast out remained. We have been thorough. It is done. Something that none have witnessed before is finished.
The Fall.
As I sit and write this, it occurs to me that it is no wonder my brethren continue to despise man. A creature created of the dust of the ground had been given dominion over all the earth, a creature they had been expected to bow before. In punishment were they cast down to live among those very beings they saw as beneath their notice.
I never thought anything could cause me to question my purpose, my existence. My masters. Yet doubt lingers as to whether what we have done is…right. But it is a doubt I will never share with another lest I suffer the same fate.
[illegible writing – smudged ink here]…
We miss them as they were and we will always love them deeply for the rest of our days. Yet we cannot undo their rebellion, nor condone what they have become.
~Larien, Principality and Angel of the Art of War, Watcher and member of the Host

I'd like to know if there are strange, uncommon or interesting stories you'd love to read, and tell me if you're going to AAD. We'll pick a random winner and let you pick any of my Nook or Kindle books you like (International), as well as ship you a ZART (Zombie Apocalypse Response Team) t-shirt (U.S. and Canada only).

Visit me on Facebook to see what's up! http://www.facebook.com/the.real.tjmichaels

13 comments:

bluesun1218 said...

Strange or uncommon things to read about, hmm...I still think it would be awesome for a Were-Phoenix.
I will be at AAD and I have really been enjoying ZART! Can't believe it's only 4 mths away!
bluesun1218@yahoo.com

REGINA ROSS said...

I wont be at AAD. Strange things to read about? Anything dealing with paranormal would be great :)

reginamayross@gmail.com

kog said...

I'm not going to AAD NOLA. I wish I was!

Uncommon story? Hm. I'd like to hear about the discovery of a birth certificate that is discovered that changes everything for the heroine. I know this story has been done a lot, but I think a new contemporary twist could be put on it. And now I'm off to scribble down some ideas...

TJ Michaels said...

A were-phoenix? I actually kind of like that. The phoenix has some significant meaning in mythology. Hmmmm *tj rubbing hands together*

TJ Michaels said...

Hey Regina, I must admit I'm a paranormal junkie myself!

TJ Michaels said...

Kog, I don't think I've actually read a book where the birth certificate has changed the life of the heroine...? I'll have to look for one of those, or write one of those ;D

Colleen said...

No trip to ADD for me. Uncommon & strange things... I love the paranormal, mystical things, even finding out little bits of info I did not know about... a few months ago I watched a program about Cleopatra's sister... did not know she had one...

greenshamrock AT cox DOT net

AprilAlvey said...

I wish i could go but i cant i love every thing paranormal butterfli262002@yahoo.com

Cathy M said...

Hi TJ,

I love reading paranormal romances, so weird is kind of the norm for me. I did read my first zombie romance, Lust After Death, which was definitely a unique storyline.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Tore said...

I like reading ghost stories, paranormal and horror stories. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

bn100 said...

There are some weird paranormal books, but I don't mind reading them. I'm not going to AAD, but it would be nice.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Julianne said...

I'd love to be able to attend AAD this year, but it's not possible.
Paranormal is one of my favorite genres, wolf shifters would be great.
luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

TJ Michaels said...

Congratulations to the winner of our giveaway. And that winner is *drumroll* TORE! I will send you an e-mail directly. Please claim your prize within one week.

Congrats again!

And thanks so much for everyone playing with us!

TJ

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