Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Between the Sea and Stars by Chantal Gadoury Release Day Blitz and Giveaway!


BETWEEN THE SEA AND STARS by Chantal Gadoury is available now!!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Chantal Gadoury, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a pre-order giveaway courtesy of Chantal. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.

About The Book:

Title: BETWEEN THE SEA AND STARS
Author: Chantal Gadoury
Pub. Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: The Parliament House
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: ?
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooks


A Legend,

A Magical Shell

A Girl Who Dreamed Of Something More...

Lena, a Merrow girl, lives in the Skagerrak sea with her father, Carrick and her brother, Javelin who tells her of the legend of the Merrow Queen murdered by her human lover when greed takes over. But what’s worth spilling the queen’s blood? Gifted from Poseidon, himself, a magic shell gives any human the ability to control both land and sea.
When Javelin is called to join a clan of Merrow soldiers bent on protecting their waters from human invasion, Lena resists Merrow law and ventures to the shore with no choice but to swim to land.
With newfound legs, Lena is whisked away on a new adventure with new friends and new trouble. Everyone seems to want something from her as intrigue lurks around every corner.
Trying her best to hide who she is and remain safe from the dangers of the human world, will Lena finally find where she belongs, or will she be swept into a strong and stormy current by lust, greed, and jealousy?


Excerpt:

“Tell me the legend of the Skagerrak queen.”

Javelin lifted a brow. “It’s hardly a legend, Lena,” he said. “It’s barely been a decade.” His voice was easy, unbothered by the possibility of being overheard. They were alone in this place. There was no need to whisper or scold or shush. Still, he groaned. “I’ve told that one a thousand times. You should know it by heart. Aren’t you tired of it yet?”

“Come on,” Lena urged him. “It’s my favorite. Tell me again.”

He rolled his eyes, but his mouth curved into a grin. “Fine.” His scooped a clam shell out of the sand and began sliding the sharp side of a rock against its grain. “The queen fell in love with a human man,” he began, his strong fingers holding the clam firmly in place. “Every full moon, she used her magic to travel ashore to see him.”

Lena settled onto her elbows, relishing the smooth sound of her brother’s voice as he recited the tale. 
A dreamy smile spread over her lips.

“I wonder how she met him,” she murmured softly, tilting her chin up and letting her lashes flutter shut.

“Likely the same way any merrow meets a human,” Javelin teased. “Shipwrecked during one of Poseidon’s storms. She should have drowned him immediately.”

“But she couldn’t!” Lena’s eyes pinged open. “For he was devilishly handsome, even soaking wet. The most handsome man she’d ever seen.”

“Devilish is right,” Javelin allowed. “Whether he was handsome or not, I’ll let your imagination decide.”

“Oh, he was.” Lena was smiling widely now. “He was, perhaps, the most beautiful human man in existence, and desperately enraptured by the queen. Each full moon, he waited for her, pacing the beach like a madman. And when she would emerge from the sea, he’d run hip-deep to meet her, unable to spend one more moment apart. He’d wrap his muscular arms around her—”

“For Poseidon’s sake, Lena.”

“And they’d dance together,” she pressed on, giggling, “as only humans can do. They’d dance and dance the hours away, bathed in starlight, humming songs into one another’s ears.”

“Until one night. . .” Javelin prompted smugly, and Lena rolled her eyes.

“Until one night,” she sighed, “something overcame the queen’s lover. Greed.”

“Human greed,” Javelin corrected. “Human nature. It was only a matter of time.”

She glared at him, but didn’t interrupt as he continued. This was the best and the worst part of the tale, and Javelin—damn him, was good at telling it. And he knew.

“That night, the queen swam toward the surface, impatient as ever she was. Ready to be rid of her tail. Ready to be human again. Her magic was a gift from Poseidon himself, contained in a delicate shell which she wore around her neck on a gold chain. It gave her the ability to explore the shore, and to control the storms and seas.”

Lena leaned in.

“As she swam, the queen began to change. Faint sobs faltered over her blue-scaled lips—cries of pain, lost to the rushing lull of the waves and the urgent beating of her fins. Swiftly, her tail separated into two perfectly shaped legs, and she rose out of the sea.”

“Don’t leave out the good parts,” Lena whispered. She knew her brother would skim over the romance just to annoy her.

Javelin gave her a pointed look. Then he grinned. “The moon was high that night,” he said, lowering his voice to a hush for effect. “The land was illuminated by an eerie, silver glow. Beneath its light, the queen’s new flesh was creamy and soft. Her hair became one with the wind, and her body shivered against a violent, uproarious breeze. Perhaps it was a warning from the gods, but the queen didn’t see it as such. The human lands were cold, suffering a new, frigid season, but her heart remained warm. She smiled, though her transition had been agony, when she heard the sound of water splashing and saw her beloved moving toward her through the shallows.

“She sang his name as he brushed chaste kisses against her neck, and relaxed fully against him, trusting him completely. She was blind to the wicked yearning which had wrapped around his heart. Which made his body tense, which crushed his lungs till he could hardly breathe. He wanted her shell, for he’d discovered what powers were locked inside that delicate charm. Powers gifted to whomsoever possessed it. His fingers dipped to her throat, caressing the shell which had allowed her to return to him, again and again. The queen eyed him strangely, and he dropped his hands to her waist, tugging her against him, kissing her deeply.”

Lena sighed, and Javelin smirked.

“She was a fool,” he said.

“She was in love,” Lena amended.

“She was both,” he conceded. “And that foolish love consumed her. Deceived her. Seduced her. Clouded her eyes, so love was all she could see. But that fateful eve, her beloved’s affection was not what it seemed. He’d seduced himself too, with all the prospects of what might be. His own love had been replaced by a lust for riches unknown. For control of the land and sea.”

Lena winced, for she knew what came next.

“He pressed his mouth against the queen’s skin, whispering sweet words, distracting her. She was smiling as he sent a knife into her back. Smiling, even as her eyes went wide with shock.”

Lena shuddered, picturing it. A joyful mouth, frozen in place. Bulging, horrified eyes going dim.

“The queen’s lover twisted his blade, releasing her cold merrow blood to the sand. He reached for the shell, yanking on its golden chain. But in the last throes of breath, the queen resisted him and threw the shell into the crashing waves, bidding Poseidon to wash it away.

“With a promised curse on his lips, her lover trailed back into the night, determined to one day possess the world between the sea and stars, and all who dwell beneath the earth, in the ocean’s depths. Our people.” He glanced sidelong at Lena, his meaning clear. “The merrows.”

“And the queen. . .” Lena murmured, though she already knew how the tale would end.

“He left her to dissolve into sea foam. She was washed away forever by the waves.”

Lena released a long breath and gazed at her hands, trying to imagine what it would be like to watch herself slowly disappear; what heartache and betrayal the queen must have felt in her last moments. She knew this was a gruesome tale, but a part of her thought the better parts, the magic and romance, were worth the gruesome bits.

“What do you think it would be like, to walk?” she wondered aloud. “Would it be like having two tails?”

“I don’t know,” Javelin chuckled. “I suppose it might be.”

“Where do you think the shell is now?”

Javelin shrugged. From a stony shelf above his head, he retrieved a slim, wooden railing he’d found in a ship a few days before and carefully tied his sharpened clamshell to its jagged end.
Lena smiled, realizing he’d made her a hunting spear.

“Poseidon is said to have hidden the shell before the human lover, or any human, could steal it. It could be anywhere.”

“If you could go to the surface, would you?”

Javelin pinched his lips together and didn’t speak. It was a silent reprimand. He knew how Lena longed to break through the waves, to see the human world with her own eyes, to know the uses of all the odd objects they’d collected over the years. But the laws of the sea were strict, and the king’s leniency had all but vanished in recent years.

Any merrow caught peeking at the shore was punished. Some were even struck down by Poseidon and reduced to sea foam, just like the queen.

“This is where we belong, Lena,” Javelin said softly, firmly.

“But how do you know?” She swirled upright and swam along the edge of the grotto, brushing her fingertips over cups and spoons and heaps of sodden fabric. Over small chests and tarnished, palm-sized figurines and other mysterious, unnamed things. “Haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like, to live on the land? To live among them? To be one of them?”

“Not as much as you have, I can see.”

She groaned, and sank to her brother’s side, resting her head on his shoulder. “It can’t be as bad as everyone believes. Humans can’t all be the same. We’re not all the same,” she reasoned quietly.

About Chantal:

Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published "The Songs in Our Hearts" with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh” with Parliament House Press, with future titles to follow. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-‘brother’ (aka, puppy) Taran.



Giveaway Details: Pre Order Giveaway!
Enter your Receipt for the chance to win a "Mermaid" Giveaway!
A Mermaid-Themed Tumbler, Notebook, Nail Filer, Face Mask, Hand Sanitizer, Handcream, Makeup Bag, Popsocket and an autographed  Paperback of "Between the Sea and Stars."
Submit Your BETWEEN THE SEA AND STARS Book Receipts HERE!
Any format of this book will qualify: E-Book or Paperback.
It can be purchased at any retailer; Amazon, Kobo, B&N, Parliament House - etc.
Receipts must be dated before June 24th.
You can also submit your receipt by emailing cgauthorgiveaway@gmail.com


Monday, 18 June 2018

Escape Forbidden by Ruth Silver Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Escape Forbidden
Ruth Silver
(Aberrant Prequel)
Publication date: June 15th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult


Fight to stay alive.
The Gravelands are a dangerous place.
In a world of uncertainty, Cora Manning knows one thing without a doubt: getting into Genesis will offer her a brighter future.
When the intake coordinator agrees to let her in because of her genetic makeup, Cora discovers the promised city of utopia is nothing like she imagined.
The rebellion has begun.


EXCERPT:

“Sit,” Noelle said and gestured toward the cot positioned on the floor.
Without much thought I wandered over and stretched out to lie down. Had it not been a trying day and with bombings outside, I’d have opted to go home or at the very least refused special treatment. That was what Noelle offered me, wasn’t it?
“You don’t have to stay here all night,” I said. It felt weird to be watched as I slept. “If I need anything, I can let you know. Or I mean, whoever stays.” I didn’t want to assume she wouldn’t go home either. I shut my eyes and relaxed against the cot. It wasn’t the most comfortable bed I’d been in, but it beat the straw in the barn.
“Toby and I will alternate, unless your fever breaks. Then we’ll both go home and let you sleep in peace.”
Hearing her words was enough to help me relax. “Okay,” I mumbled. If only I had the ability to control my own body temperature.
Noelle shut off the lights which helped ease the throbbing pulse behind my eyes. The distant wail of the siren ceased. Had it ended? Was everyone safe? I took momentary comfort in the quiet of Noelle’s office and allowed myself to fall asleep.
During the night, I heard the door whine and I attempted to roll over, only half cognizant of where I was. The cot groaned beneath me and I felt the warmth of metal against my cheek.
“Wake up, little girl,” an unfamiliar voice said, and I heard the distinctive click of the safety released from a gun.
My eyes flashed open, staring up at the intruder, the gun tight against my skin. How would I get out of this mess?

Author Interview:

Do you have any pets?

I have two dogs, a Border Collie and an Australian Shepherd. Both are about two years old and are rescue dogs. Our Australian Shepherd we foster-failed. She’s trouble (escapes under our fence) but super cute.

Favorite genre?
I really love reading YA dystopian stories, especially if there’s any mix of fantasy involved.

Last book you read?
Everless by Sara Holland.

Any upcoming events that you’ll be attending?
Yes! I’ll be a hosting author at RomCon, a fan event October 5-7th in Richmond, Virginia. You can learn more about it at http://romcon.com. I’ll have my own table at the luncheon and would love for readers to join me!

Will there be other stories in the Aberrant series to follow?
There is a fourth book due for release on June 29th, Refuge Forbidden. It follows one of our beloved characters in the Aberrant series, Adelaide as she grows up and struggles with the new laws of society and how the world has changed. It can also be read as a standalone story.

How can I connect with you?
I have a Street Team for fans of my YA books. I offer private giveaways, ARCs, answer questions, early cover reveals, and more. https://www.facebook.com/groups/ruthsilverstreetteam/

Favorite vacation spot?
Melbourne, Australia by far was the best. I’ve been there twice and if it wasn’t a thirty hour flight I’d go again.


Author Bio:
Ruth Silver enjoys reading, traveling, writing, photography, boardgames, and playing with her dogs.
REFUGE FORBIDDEN (Aberrant Book 4) by Ruth Silver will be available June 29, 2018.
She also writes adult romance under the name Allison West.

GIVEAWAY!
Blitz-wide giveaway
  • $50 Amazon gift card (INT)
  • A signed set of paperbacks of Aberrant, Moirai, Isaura (previous editions) (US only)

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Friday, 15 June 2018

Resurrection: Civil War by Summer Lane Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Resurrection: Civil War
Summer Lane
(Resurrection Series, #2)
Publication date: June 15th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult


JUNE 15, 2018 – THE SECOND INSTALLMENT IN THE NEW SERIES!
CASSIDY HART’S PRESIDENCY IS IN TROUBLE.
A house divided against itself cannot stand.
As the Western Republic and the Eastern Coalition are thrust into the beginning of a civil war, President Cassidy Hart fears for the survival of the country that she has worked so hard to protect.
A new, dangerous Omega Chancellor has taken control of the Eastern Coalition, heading up a new division of technological warfare, in an attempt to crush the Freedom Fighters and the entire structure of leadership built around Cassidy’s presidency.
While a new type of advanced warfare begins, Cassidy and her team penetrate the dangerous underbelly of Omega’s remaining secret societies to get closer to the Chancellor and to seize Omega technology…before it’s too late to save the Western Republic.
Torn between loyalty, duty, and love, Cassidy Hart will go down in history as either the most beloved – or most hated – president of all time.
This means war.
From the bestselling author of 20 hit novels, including the popular Collapse Series, Summer Lane. This novel continues the adventures of the Resurrection Series and beloved heroine, Cassidy Hart.


EXCERPT:

Uriah is inside my room when I enter—no surprise there. He’s got his boots propped up on the table, languidly drinking a beer. He’s assessing his weapons, which are spread across my bed. Guns, knives, you name it. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say somebody was excited about this mission.
“Wow, look at you,” I say. “Ready to go Rambo tomorrow, I see.”
“Today, actually,” he replies. “You’re up late.”
“So are you.”
“I was waiting for you.”
“You could have slept. It’s not like we’re married.”
“Are you hinting, Cassie?”
“God, no. I’ve had enough of engagements and marriage talk for a while, thanks.” I throw my stuff down on the table, folding my arms across my chest. “We should sleep.”
“What did you find out?”
“I’ll debrief you tomorrow, along with the rest of the team.”
He smiles, although I’m not sure if he’s annoyed or amused. This thing we have between us—this romantic tension, this all-consuming passion—is like the elephant in the room. It’s here, and we’re here…but nobody wants to bring it up. Not really.
“What are we doing here?” I blurt out. “You and I. What are we doing?”
Uriah takes a swig of beer, scratching the back of his head. I’ve honestly never seen him quite so relaxed, and it’s irritating. Or maybe I’m just tired.
Or both.
“Chris is still trying to win your heart back, right?” he asks, shaking his head. “Guy doesn’t know when to stop.”
“Cut him some slack.”
“Nah, why should I? He had his shot to make it work with you. He had years.”
“Half of his family is dead. He and I were close for a long time.”
“And that’s his problem, not mine. We’ve all lost people.” I sit down across from him, grabbing the beer.
“You didn’t answer my question,” I say, tasting it. Gross. Never liked beer. “What are we doing? Are we even in a relationship? Or are we just friends with benefits? What’s the definition of what we are?”
“We,” he replies, slowly, “are two people who can’t stay away from each other. So here we are.”
He takes the beer back.
I run a hand through my hair, frustrated. I am also aware that I am overtired and emotionally charged, so I try not to project my jumbled feelings onto Uriah. Ten points for Cassidy Hart for growing up…a little, at least.
“Relax,” he says. “This is right. Just go with it.”
“I want to know that you and I are going to last.” I level my gaze. “I want you to promise me that you’re not going to do something stupid.”
“Me?” He pauses, and I can tell he is fighting the urge to make a sarcastic remark, something that I probably deserve. “I’m here because I love you. Good enough?”
He stands up and leans over my chair, one hand on each arm.
“What else do you want me to do?” he whispers. “I’ve followed you around the world, and I’d do it again. You shouldn’t doubt how I feel about you. Doubt everything else…but not me.”



Author Bio:
Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 20 hit novels, including the Collapse Series and newly launched Resurrection Series, featuring popular heroine Commander Cassidy Hart.
Summer owns Writing Belle Publishing (a management company) and Writing Belle (an online magazine). She is an experienced journalist and writing instructor.
Summer lives in California with her husband, Scott, and their German Shepherd, Kona. She is an avid adventurer, animal lover, and coffee addict.
You can visit her at her website, summerlaneauthor.com, for new and upcoming book release information. To stay up to date on current titles and events, follow @writingbelle on Instagram, or @SummerEllenLane on Twitter. You may also check out Summer Lane on Facebook.

GIVEAWAY!
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • Regal Entertainment Gift Pack
  • Print Copy of Running with Wolves (by Summer Lane)
  • Print Copy of Bravo: Apocalypse Mission

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Monday, 11 June 2018

Surface Tension by Mike Mullin Nerd Blast and Giveaway!

Hardcover: 350 pages 
Publisher: Tanglewood (May 8, 2018)
 
SYNOPSIS

After witnessing an act of domestic terrorism while training on his bike, Jake is found near death, with a serious head injury and unable to remember the plane crash or the aftermath that landed him in the hospital.
A terrorist leader’s teenage daughter, Betsy, is sent to kill Jake and eliminate him as a possible witness. When Jake’s mother blames his head injury for his tales of attempted murder, he has to rely on his girlfriend, Laurissa, to help him escape the killers and the law enforcement agents convinced that Jake himself had a role in the crash.
Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall series, delivers a gripping story with memorable characters and all-too-real scenarios.



AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

Praise for SURFACE TENSION

Mullin's premise is riveting and timely . . . a strong action story that touches lightly on topics of grave complexity. ―Publishers Weekly

[A] popcorn action flick. ―Kirkus Reviews

[A] fast-paced thriller. . . there is something of Hitchcock in the narrative, with a blend between The Man Who Knew Too Much, North by Northwest, and Rear Window, and the story...is gripping and frightening. ―VOYA



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really glad this writing thing seems to be working out.
Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats. His debut novel, Ashfall, was named one of the top five young adult novels of 2011 by National Public Radio, a Best Teen Book of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and a New Voices selection by the American Booksellers Association. He is represented by Kate Testerman of kt literary.

PHOTO CREDIT: LARRY ENDICOTT

WEBSITE: http://mikemullinauthor.com/
TWITTER: @Mike_Mullin
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4445700.Mike_Mullin
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/mike.mullin.author/
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/mikemullinauthor/



--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

- 3 Winners will receive a Copy of SURFACE TENSION by Mike Mullin.


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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

The Gathering by Bernadette Giacomazzo Book Blitz and Giveaway!


The Gathering
Bernadette Giacomazzo
(The Uprising, #1)
Publication date: March 31st 2018
Genres: Adult, Dystopian


The Uprising Series tells the story of three freedom fighters and their friends in high — and low — places that come together to overthrow a vainglorious Emperor and his militaristic Cabal to restore the city, and the way of life, they once knew and loved.
In The Gathering, Jamie Ryan has defected from the Cabal and has joined his former brothers-in-arms — Basile Perrinault and Kanoa Shinomura — to form a collective known as The Uprising. When an explosion leads to him crossing paths with Evanora Cunningham — a product of Jamie’s past — he discovers that The Uprising is bigger, and more important, than he thought.


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EXCERPT:

Jamie

I saw Emperor – looking like a hot air balloon, sounding as ridiculous as ever – blathering on about his personal Reichstag fire, and laying the blame of the explosion squarely at the feet of myself and my brothers-in-arms.
“…and it’s these traitors of the state – the threat to the security of my Empire of the United States of America – the defectors of the Cabal who go by Jamie Ryanand Basile Perrinault and, my greatest betrayal, Supreme Allied Commander Kanoa Shinomura…” he hollered into the microphone, which seemed to reverberate throughout the city.
At the sound of Kanoa’s name, the Cabal members below the balcony slammed the butts of their guns on the floor in rhythm. I knew that rhythm all too well – it was meant to be a war cry for those of us in the rank-and-file of the Cabal – but, to the untrained ear, it sounded like a machine gun going off…which was exactly the point.
But I couldn’t help but sneer at the accusation that the blast that nearly killed Evanora and Tommy was somehow our fault. He’d spent decades trying to catch us and failing miserably, yet in the same breath, believed we were inept enough to set off a blast that took no lives and could be cleaned up during a balmy New York evening. And he managed to sell this ridiculous belief to the crowd, no less.
“Let’s make something clear, asshole,” I muttered, “if it had been me and the boys that lit your shit up, you wouldn’t be standing here today.”
Despite the absurdity of the accusation – and despite the obvious absurdity of the accusation – the victims of psi just grunted along, agreeing with everything and anything that came out of Emperor’s mouth, in part because they didn’t know any better (they were psi victims, after all), and in part because any disagreement with what Emperor had to say was met with a fierce, painful punishment.
“His Word, Before All and Above All,” I muttered. “With liberty and justice for no one, so kiss my peasant Old New York ass and take a breath mint afterward, unless you like that funky aftertaste…”
My voice trailed off as my eyes focused on a strange woman on the balcony.
At first, I couldn’t discern who she was – she looked like someone I’d seen before, yet someone I’d never seen before.
Her hair was a garish white-blonde, stringy and lifeless, and pinned tightly behind her head with a set of black ceramic chopsticks. Her makeup was almost cartoonish – cat-like black eyeliner and matte black lipstick sat atop a ghostly white foundation. Even her outfit was a hideously hilarious cultural appropriation – a black silk kimono paired with a set of black stiletto heels. I’d seen Old New York 42nd Street prostitutes, with terrible heroin problems, sell the “Asian coquette” look better than what I’d seen before me now.
“Who the actual…” I began, hesitantly, unable to process who I was seeing before me.
And then it hit me, all at once, who she was.
For the first time in a long time, I was literally speechless.
When I could finally find my voice again, it barely came out in a whisper. “Rosie,” I squeaked.
I walked into the Ludlow Street apartment I shared with Angelique and was instantly greeted with the smell of a meat dish that, I would later learn, was calledcarne asada.
“Angelique!” I called out over the loud sizzling of steak as I kicked off my black Frye boots and set my matching acoustic guitar down. “Where are you, my love?”
“In here!” she called, out of sight, from the kitchen, where more clanging and banging sounds echoed over her voice.
I began walking through the apartment, shedding layers as I went along until I reached the kitchen wearing nothing but my black leather pants and a mischievous smile. I was hoping to have a little appetizer of crème d’Angelique before dinner, but when I reached the kitchen, I realized – much to my chagrin – that we weren’t alone.
Angelique, her hair tied back into a messy ponytail, was wearing a tight, white, see-through shorts jumper and a matching white apron. She was standing next to an unfamiliar-looking woman with a matching messy ponytail, but whose thick chocolate brown hair stood in sharp contrast to Angelique’s thin flaxen locks. The rest of her, too, was in stark contrast to Angelique, but not in a bad way – she was olive-skinned, in contrast to Angelique’s pale white skin; she was curvy, in contrast to Angelique’s ectomorphic figure; she was fiery, in contrast to Angelique’s ethereal nature.
They were standing side by side, working on something that smelled simply delicious. Angelique was mixing flour, sugar, and garlic powder, and her friend was adding melted butter and salted water to the resultant powder, then kneading it until it formed a dough.
“Am I interrupting something?” I asked as I walked behind Angelique, wrapped my arms around her waist, and kissed her neck, breathing in her scent of lilacs as I did so.
She smiled, then took her index finger and bopped the tip of my nose with the flour mixture. “Hey handsome,” she said, beatifically. “We’re making something special for you for dinner. We’ve got carne asada in the pan over there – we’ve got some arroz con gandules in the rice cooker – and we’re making…wait, girl, what’s this called?”
Arepas,” her friend said, smiling as she continued to knead the dough between her hands, her silver thumb ring glistening in the light of the dusk as she did so.
“Right, arepas,” Angelique repeated. “Ramira here is teaching me all her magic ways – she says this is the exact dinner I need to make if I want my man to marry me.” She giggled, then elbowed Ramira, who giggled along with Angelique.
I couldn’t help but giggle, as well, as I unentwined myself from Angelique and walked over to Ramira to properly introduce myself. “I’m going to be stuffed fordays with all this delicious food, so it’s only right that we become friends,” I began, extending my hand. “Hi there. I’m James Randall Ryan IV, I somehow lucked out enough to convince this lovely lady Angelique to be my girlfriend, and it’s a pleasure to meet you. You can call me Jamie.”
Ramira smiled, then shook my hand with two of her fingers, taking care not to smear the wet dough across my palm. “Well, my name is Ramira Diaz, Angelique is my best friend, and it’s a pleasure to meet you too. You can call me Rosie, though. Everyone else does.”
I sat under a wilting star magnolia tree and stared, intently, through the open window of a room that had to be Rosie’s dressing room. She peeled her black silk kimono off and turned her back to the frameless window, exposing her prominent ribs and shoulder blades as she did so. The sight of her suddenly-bare, emaciated frame shocked me, especially given how pronounced her curves were in our younger years, and tears welled up in my eyes yet again.
In the decades since Angelique and my son had died, I could count the number of times I’d cried on one hand. In the past 72 hours, though – as I realized that my best friend’s kid, and my best friend’s girlfriend, were alive and well, and that the Uprising was bigger than I’d ever imagined – the tears came quickly and flowed easily, and I couldn’t decide if this was a sign of strength or weakness on my part.
Rosie slipped a shimmering white camisole over her emaciated frame, which she then tucked into a pair of white linen slacks. I couldn’t get over how thin she’d gotten, then wondered if this was by her own design, or if she was under orders from that evil husband of hers. No way would Jordan be cool with this, I thought to myself. On his fucking grave would this go on. On his fucking grave. And wouldn’t you know it – here we are, on his fucking grave.
I saw Rosie leave the room and begin to head down a flight of stairs, and I took that as an opportunity to get her alone, away from the rabid Cabal and out of sight of the vainglorious Emperor. She’d taken a few steps away from her building, and into Emperor’s Park, before passing by the wilting star magnolia tree that I was hiding behind. It was only when I saw the back of her slicked back, perfect ponytail – what a difference from the one she was wearing when we first met, I thought – that I saw the opportunity to get her alone and began walking behind her.
“You’ve come a long way from making arepas on Ludlow Street,” I said, tapping her on the shoulder when I finally caught up with her.
She spun around, her face scrunched up in fear, and for a split second, I thought she was going to hit me. But just as quickly, she relaxed as her eyes registered who owned the disembodied voice. “Jamie,” she whispered tearfully. “You’re here. You’re alive. I didn’t realize…”
“How the hell did you not?” I asked, furrowing my eyebrows and side-eyeing her. “Your damned husband has been hunting me for decades.”
“I knew that,” she said, taking ragged breaths. “But just the fact that he was never able to take you alive led me to believe that you were…you know…” Her voice trailed off.
I wasn’t convinced, and I continued to stare at her intently as I scratched my left cheek, which was now beginning to show the first signs of salt-and-pepper beard stubble. “First of all, why the hell are you talking like you’re Queen Elizabeth? Second, let me just state it for the record: you give your asshole husbandway too much credit if you think he can take me down.”
Rosie bit her lower lip, then shifted her eyes down. I put my hand under her chin and tipped her face up, forcing her eyes to meet mine as I tried, desperately, to search for a sign of the Rosie I once knew. “Rosie,” I whispered intently. “It’s me. You don’t have to hide from me.”
Her face was a blank slate. “My name is Rose. Rose Cunningham,” she said with flat affect.
“Oh, bullshit,” I whispered, even more intently. “Whatever happened to ‘call me Rosie, everyone else does’? What happened to that woman who was makingarepas in the kitchen with my Angelique?”
That got her attention, and her deep brown eyes flashed with fire as she balled up her fists and began swinging at me. “You shit! You bastard! You did it! You almost killed my baby!”
I ducked, bobbed and weaved, avoiding each blow as I carefully tried to talk her down from the ledge. “Rosie! What the hell are you talking about? I didn’t do that shit! I swear!”
She continued to swing at me. “Yes! Yes, you did!” she squealed tearfully, repeating the same “yes, yes” with each swing, her voice getting louder each time.
“Do you want to knock it off before the fuckin’ Cabal finds us, Rosie? The fuck is wrong with you? Jesus Christ!” I was shouting despite myself and began scanning the landscape frantically for Cabal soldiers that would have undoubtedly heard us, all while bobbing and weaving like a prizefighter to avoid getting punched in the face.
She swung even harder and squealed even louder. “You tried to kill my baby! Just like you killed yours!”
That line finally got me to react, and I had to steady my breathing to stop from clocking her in the mouth. Even in the throes of the worst of my Faustian behavior, I never hit a woman, and neither did any of my bandmates – the thought of violence against a woman, let alone a woman we’d loved, didn’t even cross our drug-addled minds.
Instead, I grabbed her wrists and forced them down to her sides, holding them in place at hip level as she struggled, trying to hit me, until she finally began whimpering in defeat.
“Now you listen to me, Ramira Diaz, and you listen well,” I began, angrily. “You may have forgotten everything you were and are, but I sure as fuck haven’t forgotten a goddamn thing, and let me rest assure you, I never fuckin’ will.”
Her lower lip was trembling, her eyes were watering, and it became evident that she was on the verge of tears. Still, I continued. “So, let me get a few things out of the way now, so we’re not confused. Number one: that blast? It wasn’t me. It wasn’t anyone tied to me. It wasn’t anyone whose name I can even spell. Because let me assure you, again, that if it were me, or anyone tied to me, we’d have burned down the entire fuckin’ city, even if it meant killing ourselves in the process, and wouldn’t have left a survivor anywhere on this God-forsaken island.
“Number two: you know goddamn well I didn’t kill Angelique or our baby. Now I wear their death on my heart every. Fucking. Day. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in twenty fucking years, from the day they were killed, because I can’t get their murders out of my mind. There are times I wish I was dead, just so that I don’t have to live with the guilt of their murders, but no, here I am, and ain’t that a fuckin’ bitch from Hell. I’d give all the money in the world to have my Angelique back. I’d trade my life for Jordan’s any day of the week. And my son – my only legacy – never had a chance at life, and you think that’s all fair?
“Number three – and this is the most important part, Rosie, goddamnit, you’d better fuckin’ listen to this if you listen to nothing else: remember that promise I made to you in the hospital room? All those years ago? Because I fuckin’ do. And that’s why when Evanora and Tommy came down the Bowery after the blast, and I realized who she was, I made sure she was safe and clean and warm…”
Rosie looked shocked. “Wait. She came to you?”
I searched her face, trying to see if I could register where her loyalties lie before I continued to answer the question. For some reason, however, I couldn’t make it out. I even tried to read Rosie’s mind using a gentle form of psi, but I still couldn’t read her mind at all. It was like trying to probe a brick wall. So, to protect Evanora – and the rest of us – I chose to cover my tracks. “Yeah,” I said airily, “she mentioned something about listening to Uprising Radio.”
The name of Uprising Radio registered some type of recognition with Rosie, and her eyes lit up slightly. “My baby has heard Uprising Radio?”
“I don’t know for sure,” I continued, still adopting an airy affect, “but I’m pretty sure that’s what she said.” Using my Cabal training, I put a mental wall between my thoughts and Rosie, mostly because I didn’t know how much training she’d had in the psi arts, and I wasn’t sure if she, too, could read my mind. And if, God forbid, her loyalties lied with that pathetic excuse of her husband, I could at least protect, if not myself, then the whole Uprising movement.
I made sure the wall was firmly in place before I continued. “I think I’ve heard Uprising Radio a few times, but I don’t know much about it, who does it, or anything of the sort.”
“Yeah,” Rosie said, hesitantly, behind a mental brick wall of her own, “I have no idea, either.”
We were calmer, now – our breath was steady, our thoughts were collected, and Rosie’s fists were limp. I finally felt confident that she wasn’t going to try to hit me again, so I loosened my grip on her wrists.
But I suddenly found myself unable to let her go, so I slid my hands from her wrists to her hands and grabbed her fingers lightly. I was overcome with emotion.
“What is it, Jamie?” Her voice was cracking.
I exhaled loudly, then drew in a ragged breath. “Do you think about him, Rosie? Do you think about Jordan at all?”
She closed her eyes and allowed the tears to fall as she exhaled shakily. “Every day of my life,” she said softly. “There’s not a day that goes by that Jordan doesn’t cross my mind. Every time I look at Evanora – every time I hear her laugh – he comes to my mind. Sometimes, she gives me this look – you remember, Jamie? You remember when Jordan would hear something that was just too stupid for words, and he would get this look on his face, like, ‘were you dropped on your head as a child?’” – and to this, I gave a half-smile and a nod – “and now, she gets that look. And that one eyebrow” – she took her finger and drew on her left eyebrow – “it would just go up like…like…”
She dropped her hand as her voice trailed off, her eyes filling with tears.
I nodded my head, closed my eyes, and sighed. “Fuckin’ guy,” I said, opening my eyes and looking at Rosie. “So. You didn’t see me, right?”
Rosie smiled and winked at me. “Ivan Sapphire? Please. Get over yourself, rock star.” She squeezed my hands one last time for good measure. “I’m going to leave now. I’m not going to look back because I don’t want to see where you’re going. This way, if someone with bad intentions against you asks me if I know where you are, I can answer honestly when I say I don’t know. But just because I don’t look back, doesn’t mean I want to see you go. I need you to understand that, Jamie Ryan. I don’t need you to over-analyze things that don’t need over-analyzing. I need you to let me go, Jamie Ryan, and I need you to know that I love you, and I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”
She finally let go of my hands, gave me a slight nod, then turned and walked back to her home. I watched her, silently, keeping the promise I made so long ago to Jordan Barker and didn’t leave what was once known as Central Park until I saw, for sure, that she was safe inside.


Author Bio:
With an impressive list of credentials earned over the course of two decades, Bernadette R. Giacomazzo is a multi-hyphenate in the truest sense of the word: an editor, writer, photographer, publicist, and digital marketing specialist who has demonstrated an uncanny ability to thrive in each industry with equal aplomb. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and many, many more. She served as the news editor of Go! NYC Magazine for nearly a decade, the executive editor of LatinTRENDS Magazine for five years, the eye candy editor of XXL Magazine for two years, and the editor-at-large at iOne/Zona de Sabor for two years. As a publicist, she has worked with the likes of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit record label, rapper Kool G. Rap, and various photographers, artists, and models. As a digital marketing specialist, Bernadette is Google Adwords certified, has an advanced knowledge of SEO, PPC, link-building, and other digital marketing techniques, and has worked for a variety of clients in the legal, medical, and real estate industries.
Based in New York City, Bernadette is the co-author of Swimming with Sharks: A Real World, How-To Guide to Success (and Failure) in the Business of Music (for the 21st Century), and the author of the forthcoming dystopian fiction series, The Uprising. She also contributed a story to the upcoming Beyonce Knowles tribute anthology, The King Bey Bible, which will be available in bookstores nationwide in the summer of 2018.

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Monday, 4 June 2018

Relegation by Karri Thompson Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Relegation
Karri Thompson
(The Van Winkle Project #3)
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: June 4th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult


The end is near—and I’m fated to save humanity.
I’m feared, yet revered. The presidents are leery of me, but I’ve read the files. And I know the truth—at least, I think I do. And I’m the one who is going to tell the clones. They deserve to know.
Michael and I have been forced to fight, to kill. We’ll do anything to keep our daughters safe and free. But we can’t do it alone. There’s a rumor about a secret society eager for battle… and we’re going to find them. Help them end the government’s corruption.
It’s my duty, my calling as the first mother of the new world I want to create.
This started with me, and that’s where it’s going to end.



Playlist for RELEGATION

Rockin in the Free World by Neil Young
This is exactly what Cassie wants―to rock in a free world, a world without mandatory Liaisons and obscuras.

Don’t Stop Believing by Journey
Of course the theme of this classic song applies. Although Cassie often feels “as if hope itself had turned its back on [her]”, with Michael by her side, she doesn’t stop believing in her duty and role as the mother of the thirty-first century.

Run by the Foo Fighters
These lyrics certainly apply: “Run for your life with me. Wake up. Run for your life with me. In another perfect life. In another perfect light. We run.” Cassie has been on the run with Michael since the beginning of her awakening.

Go to War by Nothing More
“With every battle we lose a little more. Remember everything that we die for. You are everything that I die for.” These lyrics are particularly significant toward the end of the novel. Michael would die for Cassie, and Cassie needs to remember that.

Mr. Roboto by Styx
Okay, so I had to include a song about robots, and this song features synthesized robot voices. Cassie would hate this song, but it is fun and has a catchy tune. Cassie despises all bots, but they play an important part in this series, especially in RELEGATION.

There’s Nothing Holding Me Back – Shawn Mendes
I included this song for Michael. This is how he feels about Cassie and his relationship with her: “She pulls me in enough to keep me guessing, and maybe I should stop and start confessing.”

Be still by The killers
This is something Cassie would say to Michael: “I won't be afraid if you are here. You silence all my fear. I won't be afraid.” When Cassie starts to doubt her role in the project, Michael brings her back to reality.

Freak on a Leash by Korn
When Cassie is in the regions, tethered to Liaisons One, Two, and Three, she feels like a freak on a leash.

I will not Bow by Breaking Benjamin

After Cassie is forced to leave Tasma, and run back to the regions, these lyrics are her motto: “All is lost again. But I’m not giving in. I will not bow. I will not break.”

Whatever it Takes by Imagine Dragons

Cassie will do whatever it takes to save humanity: “I do whatever it takes
'cause I love how it feels when I break the chains. Whatever it takes.”


Author Bio:
Growing up in San Diego, California, Karri Thompson spent much of her years at the beach, reading novels, tanning, and listening to music. At SDSU, she earned a BA in English, MA in education, and her teaching credential. As a wife, mother, and high-school English teacher, she began writing novels, giving all of the compelling plots and unique characters in her head a home. Victorian literature rocks her socks, and when she’s not writing, jogging, going to concerts, or watching her son play football, she’s reading Dickens.

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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Hands of the Colossus by Nicole Grotepas Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Hands of the Colossus: A Steampunk Space Opera Adventure
Nicole Grotepas
(A Holly Drake Job, #2)
Publication date: May 31st 2018
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction, Steampunk


One massive shadow organization. One bad ass heroine.
Holly Drake just wants a simple thing–to destroy the Shadow Coalition and the evil at the heart of their business. Using tip-offs from the secretive government official pulling her strings, Holly and her crew swoop in, break up the cash drops and steal the money. If one or two baddies die on accident, no big loss. Right? Holly could do this forever, picking the Coalition apart till not even bones remain.
Until someone goes missing. In that moment, everything changes.
To save the victim, Holly and her team will put everything on the line to penetrate the mysterious Shadow Coalition and stab at their enigmatic leadership: the Hands who protect the Heart. Treacherous journeys across the 6-moon system in space-zeppelins, dangerous infiltrations of the Coalition, bartering with thieves, and relying on the seedy underbelly of the 6-moons. Anything it takes.
But … is the whole set up a trap? How many snares will Holly and her crew have to spring to the save just one victim?
This is Holly Drake and her crew of thieves. If they have to, they’ll go into the hornet’s nest to get the job done. But will it be their final job?
The Hands of the Colossus features a snarky, strong, bad ass heroine fighting against the odds to save the helpless.
If you don’t like seeing a woman experience self-doubt, overcome obstacles, and then dominate, this book is not for you.
Love strong female leads, an entertaining cast of characters, and adventure? Then grab your copy today!


EXCERPT:

“What do you think, Trip?” Holly Drake asked. She glanced at the pilot of the ship the SC Olavia Apollo. The female was a Centau, which Holly would have never imagined using in her life. However, tech genius crew-member Darius had sworn that she wouldn’t compromise the operation and turn over their illegal activities to the Centau leadership. Despite his scoundrel ways, Darius had proven himself enough that Holly trusted him. “Can you do it?”
The Centau turned to the stare at Holly, where she sat in the co-pilot seat, and smirked. “‘Think I can do it?’ What sort of question do you ask me, Drake?”
“A nervous question. I hate space-flight.”
“Yes. So you’ve said. Repeatedly.” Trip’s dark gaze flickered over Holly’s face, then went back to the monitor.
Charly was already suited up in the air-lock and waiting, while Odeon was strapped in behind Holly, humming. This mission wasn’t the sort that lent itself to drinking for nerves. Was it a terrible thing to ask her Druiviin friend that he hum to help her through the ordeal?
Probably. But there weren’t a lot of options at the moment.
“You needn’t worry the least. Centau ships are the most advanced in the known galaxies. He’s mapping the gravity of this misshapen moon as we approach for landing. It won’t even be rough. And I will have very little to do with the actual landing. It is in the hands of the Olavia Apollo’s AI.” Trip gestured at the video image of the moon on the monitor as they approached.
It was a small one, indeed. Around seven and a half miles at its longest and as lumpy as a potato-tuber hybrid. Darkness and unfiltered sunlight gave the moon’s surface relief, revealing its pockmarks, scars, and vast gouges. There were several transponders attached to the surface. These transponders were what had brought Holly and her team to the small moon in the first place.
Holly held her breath as their ship, in some mysterious advanced physics and engineering, slowed upon nearing the touchdown. A low noise began suddenly, whining through the background sounds of the ship’s systems. Holly looked around, panic rising as the danger seemed to grow.
“What is that?” she whispered, clutching the hard cushion of the edge of her seat.
A calming violet hand appeared on her shoulder. She could see it in her peripheral vision.
“It is you, Holly Drake,” Odeon said. There was a song in his voice, and a slight tone of humor. “Peace. You are nervous. All will be fine.”
Trip’s gaze was also on Holly.
“Shouldn’t you be watching this landing?” There was a definite edge in Holly’s tone. No peace at all.
“The AI. If I interfere, I could ruin the landing. Olavia Apollo has it.” Trip nodded at the sleek control board. “Don’t worry.”
The first time they’d ridden with Trip, Holly had expected wood, brass, and a large steering wheel—like the space zeppelins. Not at all what she found. Instead the small space cruiser was something right out of the future. Trip barely even piloted it.
That didn’t stop the Centau from wearing a white jumpsuit with patches on the upper arms and a pair of goggles with amber tinted lenses. Right now the eye-pieces were on top of Trip’s ivory stubble-covered head as she watched the surface of the moon float toward their ship on the video image on the screen.
“What is it you want to do with the transponders?” Trip asked. She watched the video footage onscreen as they moved closer to the surface.
A knot tightened in Holly’s gut. Her stomach stretched taut. Her shoulders arched back against her seat slightly. Odeon’s hand burned through her jacket, seeming to heat up as the tension tore through her body. She wasn’t sure what she feared—crashing too hard into the unforgiving surface of the moon or their ship ripping apart and sending them all careening into the void of space, like flecks of ice off one of the un-terraformed ice moons of Ixion. The one they were about to land on was one of the few asteroid-like moons, and therefore peppered with transponders on all sides, repeating audio and video signal through the 6-moon system.
If Odeon’s hand hadn’t been there, if Odeon’s low song hadn’t been worming its way into her ears, digging deep into her brain, pirouetting across her neurons like an ancient earth-ballet dancer, soothing her like a pied-piper of lore, Holly knew that she would have been nothing more than a puddle of adrenalin, dispersed through the low-G-interior of the ship, floating around like rain drops.
She did not like space-flight.
The ship balanced, thrusters fired, a harpoon-like anchor ejected and tethered their ship to the rock and they connected with the moon in a light thud, touching down.



Author Bio:
I'm passionate about human rights, animal rights, and living life with no regrets. I love how becoming a parent has deepened my devotion to making the world a better place. I do that best by crafting stories that attempt to answer hard questions--the ones I think about most--while also being entertaining and fun. I live in a landscape that reminds me of my place in the universe, under an endless sky and towering mountains that are older than human memory, and I love it here.

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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Pink Slips by Emma J. Wolfen Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Pink Slips
Emma J. Wolfe
Publication date: Summer 2018 (relaunch)
Genres: Adult, Romance


Happily married and the head of a prestigious ad agency’s venture capital division, Hope Hunter has it all. Then, disaster strikes as an attack on her reputation ends her marriage and puts her career in jeopardy.
Hurting and still recovering from a whirlwind affair with a man who reveals an unforgivable secret, Hope flees Chicago for London, England. There, she tries to pull herself together and decide what, if anything, of her old life is worth fighting for.
They say you can’t have it all, and the events of the last few months seem to be trying to prove that. Hope’s not ready to give up, however. After all, where is it written that a woman must choose between passionate love and an exciting career?
A story about beating the odds, Pink Slips is the first installment in Emma J. Wolfe’s Hope Hunter Chronicles.




EXCERPT:

The next morning, she awoke with an odd feeling of vigor and excitement. Somehow the turn of events made her happy. How that could be, she was not sure, but she felt inspired—hopeful—in a way she had not for so long. Finally, she would be free of David; he would no longer abuse her emotionally. Her future was ahead of her. Her marriage was over…but so was a caging relationship that kept her from real happiness. Being alone would be better than being with him. She was about to launch one of the most successful new companies focused on the new condition of a contemporary woman. She would bring a voice to so many. She would channel her pain into helping others—and maybe even herself. And now, thankfully, David had cheated, and so she didn’t have to. She could escape and be free—free to live and to love.
She wore her favorite blue Armani suit that day with beautiful nude pumps and a matching Valentino handbag. She piled on as much eye serum as she could to hide the evidence of the tears and shame from the night before. She wasn’t sure if she should go home first or not, but she decided not was a better answer. She threw all her things in the trunk of her car, unsure where she would spend the night but certain today would bring something new and better. I have my courage and conviction. I have me, Hope, she thought. No pun intended.
Today, she thought, would change everything.



Author Bio:
Emma J. Wolfe is a technology entrepreneur and attorney. She is currently working on the second installment of the Hope Hunter Chronicles, Southern Life.






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