What Are AmberPax™ Collections?

Simply put, AmberPax™ Collections are groups of five stories centered around a specific theme. Each story within an AmberPax™ is released individually, on the same day as the others, and can be purchased separately, but these five stories can also be purchased as a single unit (the full AmberPax™) at a discount, currently 25%. Generally, an AmberPax™ is similar to an "anthology" of stories, but instead of the titles being released in only a single volume (file), they are also available individually. These AmberPax™ Collections are sold exclusively through our website and only in electronic format.

THIS BLOG is for news about the Pax Collections - follow it to keep up with releases, find early news of the upcoming collections, and share Pax fun and chat with the authors!

All Amber Paxes can be bought at Amber Quill HERE.

Monday, 20 July 2015

The Beast of Campus Colorado by D.J. Manly

Beware the Beast is the name of our newest collaboration of stories and everyone has their own take on it. The question begs…what is a beast? If we don’t know, we can always google it and go with a very traditional definition.  The following serves as the definition(s) of a beast: 
  • Any nonhuman animal, especially a large, four-footed mammal. 
  • The crude animal nature common to humans and the lower animals 
  • A beast is a cruel, coarse, filthy, or beastlike person. 
  • A live creature, as distinguished from a plant, so maybe a farm animal.
  • Or the Antichrist as mentioned in Rev.13:18

The label of beast however has often strayed from the traditional. We all know the story of Beauty and the Beast, and most recently the television series. The ‘beast’ indeed has his wild side but is he really to be feared? And from what I’ve seen, after shedding the beastlike coverings, he is in fact very lovable. Beast is sometimes a label used to describe someone who’s very passionate in the bedroom, and in this case, it’s used positively and even embraced by those involved. It’s a playful adjective and indeed nothing to be feared.

The definition of ‘beast’ throughout the ages has experienced some transition, along with that of the vampire. Although you might say that there has always been something sexy about Dracula, and that his love for his long lost Mina, made us sympathetic, in the end, Dracula had to be destroyed because he was a killer, beastly in the true sense of the word. No one would applaud today if someone staked “Edward” at the end of the Twilight series though.

In Campus Colorado, I brought together a few characters who, on the surface, may be thought of as beasts, and I turned them inside out, giving the “beasts” humanity, which is just what has happened to the vampire, werewolf and other like creatures over the last few decades in literature and on screen. Who can forget Teen Wolf, or Buffy, or The Kindred? The vampire cop in Moonlight may have drank blood but he was nice enough, and the werewolf cowboy most recently on Penny Dreadful is rather cute for a killer. On the one hand he can be labelled beast, but yet, in the core, he is no more or less beastly than those who walk by us on the street each day or run the countries of the world.  Those ‘beasts’ have impulses they must control, and when they lose control, things happen. Not always good things. But can we not say the same of human beings? Manslaughter and crimes of passion earn humans jail time. Are they not ‘beasts’ when they lose control and kill someone? 

As human beings we live within a collective where we are subjected to rules and regulations, some written, others expected. Humans break the rules every day. Sometimes they are punished for these infractions by authorities. Other times, their punishment is more personal. We alienate those we love, we lose friends and opportunities to prosper. 

Sometimes “beasts” live with a different set of rules. In Campus Colorado, our main character, Troy survives by sucking the breath from others (an Incubus, whose father labeled Succubus, when he discovered his son was gay). Although he takes what he needs, he doesn’t kill anyone.  When Troy is asked to capture a death demon on a Campus in Colorado, he calls on those he trusts, a werewolf and a vampire. On the same campus is a hunter of supernatural beasts, also called to catch the demon. Two enemies unite to catch something deemed even more heinous. The question remains in this story, and in life, who are the real beasts?

Was Hitler a beast? Many would say, yes. He was a mass murderer. What about the mysterious Jack the Ripper, or the Son of Sam? What about political leaders who kill and condemn those of a different faith, or prevent girls from going to school, or refuse to accept same sex love? What do we call these people? Do they earn the label of beast? I know what my answer is. What’s yours?

So enjoy Campus Colorado where you’re never sure what beast you should beware of. And remember why writers create the ‘beast’ as you read it. The ‘beast’ is no more or no less a reflection of us.    


Campus Colorado by D.J. Manly is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post, making sure to include your email so we have a way to contact you. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!


  1. I loved the post. I really am intrigued by the story and the thought you put into this world.

  2. This is quite a hard question (without writing a thesis about it :) ) as beast has many definitions, mostly negative when in comparison to a human such as a person who is: brutish/untamed; a scheming, manipulative little beast; an inhumanly cruel, violent, or depraved person. Then again a beast of burden can be applied to a donkey and those negative human beastly descriptions applied to donkey seem wrong. Unless you have read Animal Farm, I have never actually known a pig or an animal (beast) to be a genocidal psychopath as this seems something more akin to the so called superior species of human, so linking the beast (human to animal) does not seem a fair comparison at all and monster seems more appropriate?

    Great question, thank you for a chance to win this Pax collection as I cannot wait to read your beastly book :)