Sunday, 30 November 2014

Accumulation by G. Nykanen Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Accumulation  

Title: Accumulation 
Author:  G.Nykanen 
Genre: horror/zombie 
Publish Date:   November 28, 2014 
Publisher: G.Nykanen  

ACCUMULATION1

~ Book Synopsis ~
“…Frosty The Snowman was a jolly happy soul…” unless his once mortal form was infected with an unknown pathogen that’s turned him into a biting machine.Then Frosty doesn't get a corncob pipe and a button nose…he gets two in the head.Seeking a safe haven from the impending danger of the infected, Governor Steve Landis commandeers a rural peninsula at the top of his state to enact a grandiose plan outlined in the survival guide passed down to him by his great uncle.People of the Bay Peninsula latch onto the ideals of their trusted official, desperate for sanctuary. But not Terry Riley. This hardened conspiracy theorist had packed up and fled to the north woods to join his son, who, like him does not trust the eager governor. In agreement on the uncertainty of the days to come, they journey to the family cabin to wait out the end of the world.Try to avoid hypothermia as you plow through this bone-chilling blizzard of flesh tearing chaos, because snow isn't the only thing accumulating on Christmas Eve in this neck of the woods.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Excerpt:


Chapter 3
This Is Not a Test

 “I swear to god, if the two of you don’t settle down right now, I’ll feed your breakfast to Spencer!” Laney Riley jabbed the spatula in the dog’s direction. Spencer, their twelve-year-old Labrador, remained curled by the back door, unaffected by the noise level produced by the Riley boys and their fed-up mother. Ian and Sean, eleven-year-old fraternal twins, tussled violently (as usual) their highly physical play accompanied by boisterous chatter. “Lick it! Lick it and looove it.” Ian held the dog’s freshly chewed and rather nasty rawhide to his brother’s lips. “I’m gonna kill you, Ian!” Sean wriggled, trying to turn his mouth away from the dirt and dog saliva mashed into the soggy beef hide. “I’m gonna end you both if you don’t cut it out,” Laney was forceful, her spatula in hand as she scrambled the morning meal. She glanced at the microwave’s digital display. Seven o’clock in the morning and I’m already exhausted, she thought as she continued to poke at the wad of eggs slowly congealing in the skillet. “Goddamn kids. Can’t get a moment’s peace around here,” she took a break from stirring to contemplate pulling the bottle of Jameson from the cabinet above the stove and putting a little Irish in her coffee. Just the thought of the booze warmly traversing her insides as it journeyed to coat every frazzled cell brought a split second of peace, quickly followed by torment. I will not cave to the temptation of self-medicating, she thought as she pulled the bottle of Xanax from her sweater pocket. I will not drink, I am not my father, she insisted. Just half of one, just half to take the edge off. She popped the pill. She flipped through the TV channels on the small kitchen set. Why does the same news report have to be on every station, she protested internally as she perused. A few people are sick, it gets hyped, the media incites panic, and violence breaks out. Crap, I sound like my father-in-law. “Finally, a local friendly face,” the morning news team provided a much-needed sense of familiarity. “This just in,” Cap Bozeman clutched the latest report in his boney hands. “We’ve just received word dat there’s a state-ordered closure tuh-day for all Bay Peninsula county schools due to a health scare.” Laney looked at Cap. “You’re the one having a health scare: pretty pale and thin today, Mister newsman.” “No playdates today, I guess Cap,” the female anchors blonde hairdo was heavily sprayed and immoveable. “That’s awesome. A few people in the deepest recesses of the world get sick, so they close school here. A few kids get a sore throat… now the boys will be home all day raising hell.” Laney dropped her head in defeat. Best keep to routines, she thought as she tried to find some strength before summoning her sons for breakfast. She reluctantly made the announcement, “School is cancelled.” They chanted in unison, working up a lather, “Whoop, whoop! All right, free day, free day…” “Hush.” She held her palm flat, extended in that all-too-familiar stop position. “Would you please go get your sister, it’s time for breakfast—and be nice about it.” She worried they’d do something to set her off. I don’t need her lathered up too. As the boys worked their way toward the staircase, Elle worked her way across the front porch, pulling off her shoes to creep more quietly up the front steps. She winced as the cold wood hit her bare toes. Thoughts of Josh swirled as she cracked open the door. Amazing night… Mom would be pissed…she won’t find out. Now perched on the first step, they turned and watched as their older sister snuck in. She was disheveled. Her clothes were crumpled and her long dark-blonde hair was matted and sticking up in the back. She set the shiny flats on the tile beneath the coat rack then lifted her finger to her lips. She ran her other hand past her throat in a slicing motion. Ian and Sean nodded; they instantly understood that they should keep quiet or she would kill them. With a judgmental finger pointed in her direction, Ian jumped from the step, headed toward his breakfast. Sean followed suit, chuckling quietly at the state she’d slunk home in. He added a few obscene gestures as he thrust his hips. With her hand raised to hit her obnoxious little brother, Elle smoothed her hair as she walked toward the kitchen. With great focus she tried not to look suspicious. Sean ran ahead, wanting to avoid his sister’s wrath. “Boys, did you get your sister?” Laney started toward the front of the house to investigate. “Oh, there you all are.” The kids filed into the kitchen. “You were so quiet, I didn’t think you did what I asked.” Too quiet, she thought as she served the eggs. The three Riley children sat at the kitchen table, stoically chewing while Laney stared distantly out of the window. The sun had risen, but the deepening gray of the sky promised snow. Flurries from the day before had dusted the short mountain range that erupted from the back of the property. I hate the cold and the woods, Laney thought as she surveyed the landscape. I miss the city. Elle flipped open the laptop and perused the Internet, hoping to further lay off her mother’s suspicion by trying to act normal. The click of the keys brought Laney back from her daydream and drew unwanted attention to Elle. “Your hair’s a mess.” She eyed her daughter. “And weren’t you wearing that yesterday?” Her irritation was now limited by the warm buzz of the medication. “I overslept. I just grabbed clothes off of the floor and threw them on when the brats came to my door. I haven’t had the chance to brush my hair yet,” Elle searched her mother’s face for acceptance. I think she bought it. “I think you were out all night. I think you snuck out to see that boy again and your brothers caught you at the front door. I’ve sent them to get you for years, and they’ve never completed the task that quietly or quickly before.” “That’s crazy,” Elle tried to hold her ground. How does she always know? She was amazed by her mother’s intuition. “I guess I’ll just have to interrogate your brothers, then.” Not wanting to make eye contact with their mother or sister, the boys looked straight down into their breakfast as they shoveled quietly. Elle lifted her feet under the table, poking them both in the shins. Just a gentle reminder to keep your mouths shut, she nudged, as she dug the tip of her toes into their legs. They feared their sister, but they feared their mother more. Elle’s punishments were painful but swift. A punch to the arm or a pulled ear were a couple of the tools in her bag of tricks, but their mother, well, she had long-drawn-out punishments that would stick. She went for what really hurt, their fun. Laney walked up behind the boys and placed one hand on the top of each of their heads, her eyes locked on her daughter. The computer screen was lighting Elle’s youthful face as Laney peered at her from behind the boys. She ruffled her sons’ hair, Sean’s brown locks in her left hand and Ian’s blonde in her right. She spoke at the back of their heads, her gaze locked on Elle. “If you value hockey, or video games, or watching television, I suggest you both get ready to talk.” All Sean did was glance, eyes only, ever so slightly to his brother, looking for that familiar agreement to roll on their sister. That tiny movement was all their mother needed. “Uh-huh! I knew it! You were out all night doing god knows what with that boy. Why do you insist on making me crazy? Are you trying to get pregnant and ruin your life?” “Ahh man, you two and your stupid twin telepathy.” The boys stood mid-shovel and backed away from the table. “Sorry, sis,” they vacated the kitchen. Laney glared at her daughter; the stress of the morning had built quickly. Once again she faced the digital display on the stainless steel microwave, which was mounted above the induction cook-top. With her hands planted firmly on each side of the stove for support, she eyed the numbers: 7:20 and already on the verge. She studied her reflection in the microwave door. With professionally tousled hair and covered in the finest embellishments available for purchase at the local mall, her polished exterior was no indication of the mess that squatted within. She’d struggled, the last year or so, with some emotional issues. Her court-appointed therapist had suggested she visualize a gauge, “let’s call it your snap gauge,” she’d offered. Laney Riley stood in her high-end kitchen, visualizing the needle on her snap gauge, which was already in the orange, as she struggled with the stress of her rowdy sons and the promiscuity of her teenage daughter. Elle, who at seventeen had the attention span of a gnat, had returned to surfing the Net. “Mom! Mom, come see this, look what I found on YouTube.” “You know I don’t like to watch anything on there, and besides, you shouldn’t be watching it either. I think restriction from the computer and a week of being grounded is on your schedule.” “No, really, it’s crazy.” Laney approached her daughter. “Move over a scosche would ya’, my ass is too big—I’ll hang off the end.” Elle slid over in attempt to provide enough bench for her mother’s behind. “I can’t believe this footage.” “What’s that? Oh my… is that a man?” Mesmerized, they watched what appeared to be an African man in the midst of what seemed to be a series of seizures. He was lying on a dirt road, the fine dust clinging to his skin; it gave him a ghostly appearance. Several villagers had gathered around the poor soul. None of them came to his aid; they just kept their distance, simply spectators to the events that were unfolding before them. Convulsions ripped through him in waves, every tendon in his body visible as his muscles tensed under the extreme strain of the violent episode. Dark, thick blood began to run from every orifice, cutting a path through the dust on his skin as he shook and flailed. With his back arched and his head thrown forward, he gurgled and groaned through his clenched teeth. Laney was suddenly overcome with the impulse to shield her daughter’s eyes. “What the hell, Mom?” she swatted her mother’s hand away from her face. “I’m seventeen, you don’t need to protect me.” “I can’t look anymore.” Laney shut the laptop. “That’s one Internet hoax that’s gone too far.” “It doesn’t look fake to me.” Elle re-opened the MacBook with every intention of viewing the video. Laney couldn’t help but take one more peek herself. I’m sure if I really concentrate, I’ll find proof that it’s fake. “He does seem to really be suffering,” she was suddenly uneasy at the thought that whatever was happening to him could be real. Once again they were sucked in, mesmerized by what unfolded before them. They both watched as he underwent this horrifying and seemingly real metamorphosis. “You know,” Laney began to explain to her daughter, her head tilted to the side as she contemplated, “It kind of reminds me of those lycan movies… like he’s shifting.” With his hands open and his palms facing skyward, he lurched and writhed as though he were pleading for divine intervention. “Is that the sound of his bones cracking?” Elle gawked as his form twisted on the screen before them. The bent and tensed fingers broke, each snapping loudly under the intense strain of the relentless spasms. He was suddenly still, his joints bent and locked into configurations now more animal than human. His teeth were exposed to the gums, his mouth drawn into a snarl like some unknown force had pulled back his lips. “Holy shit!” Elle cried. “You don’t think that’s what all the talk’s been about lately, do you?” Laney cringed. “Don’t let your brothers see this.” Just when they thought it was over, he popped up, lunging forward; the crowd scattered. Startled, they jumped, the intense moment palpable even through the computer screen. With great speed and agility, he moved, as he swept a man to the ground and tore into his flesh with his jutted jaw and extended teeth. He snapped, his head popping back and forth from his now distended neck. The camera kept filming as this now-rearranged man mauled an onlooker. Flesh was torn from tendon, as bits of tissue and sinew stretched from prey to predator, each tear followed by a gush of blood. Unable to contain his horror, the filmmaker gasped with his heavy British accent, “Oh my god!” The creature, now crouched on all fours, snapped his head, and turned in the direction of the camera. That’s when the filming stopped. “What did we just see?” Laney sat mired in disbelief. Elle was emphatic in her response. “I think we just saw a guy turn into something and then eat another guy.” “Nonsense. I won’t believe it…I can’t. It’s just a farce, special effects.” “Well, I’m convinced,” Elle crossed her arms at her chest. “Convinced of what,” a familiar voice called from the kitchen doorway. Laney turned to find her father-in-law, the shock of his presence plastered on her face. “What’re you doing here?” Sue Riley, (Nan to the kids) crossed her arms and tapped her foot, already striking her judgmental posture. Laney eyed her in-laws and then the dog. “Good job, if it was an intruder we’d all be dead.” Spencer was still sleeping soundly, his nose stretched and pressed against the crack under the back door. “My gut was telling me to flee Vegas. Weird news reports, brownouts, watering bans, felt like they were building up to something, made my ball hairs tingle, I didn’t like it. So I packed Ma into the car and started the drive north. I figured if the shit was going to hit the fan, this was the place to ride it out. I mean, could you imagine trying to survive out in that desert once the system broke down. The goddamn highway would be littered with bodies for miles. No water or air conditioning—certain anarchy.” Elle harassed her grandfather. “Is this another one of your conspiracy theories, Pop?” Now worked up, with his eyes glossed over, he flexed the tendons in his neck while his stiff and wiry gray hair stood at attention. It was unwavering as he flailed and gestured (in his typically violent fashion) while he explained his theory. “No. You know they never tell you the whole story; trying to control the masses, manage the chaos by keeping us in the dark, only out to save themselves. Why do you think they try so hard to discredit people who’ve had encounters?” His thin but muscular arms tensed as he made air quotes. “And even if they don’t discredit them, they make them come off as crazy.” The five o’clock shadow that coated his tanned and wrinkled face darkened the deep creases activated by his overly animated expressions. “Besides, it seems we got here just in time. If I hadn’t listened to that little voice telling me my government was lying to me, I wouldn’t have been able to get into town. National Guard vehicles were setting up a checkpoint.” “What? What are you talking about? Why would they be doing that?” Laney’s anxiety multiplied. First the video, now a checkpoint, what the hell… With her hand now jammed into her sweater pocket, she rolled the pill bottle through her fingers, the sound of the powdery white pills tapping against the amber plastic a soothing lullaby for her tired nerves. “To keep people in, or something else out. Probably whatever illness, or virus, or whatever’s been mentioned on the TV lately. Where is my son?” he transitioned abruptly as though it just occurred to him that he wasn’t present. “He’s already down in his office. The ever-pressing needs of his job, I guess.” Doolin Riley had left his station in D.C. when he was granted a virtual position to move his sick wife to a quieter setting. So now he analyzed his slice of the bureaucracy from his basement office. Laney wished he were upstairs now; she didn’t think she could deal with the in-laws alone. (They made her self-conscious). Both rail thin, she felt judged by them for her size and the size of her kids. They weren’t fat by any means, just thicker than Pop and Nan who subsisted on coffee and cigarettes. Suddenly a high-pitched alarm blared from the television, cutting through the momentary lull in the kitchen. Laney clutched her chest, startled by the sudden noise. “This is the emergency broadcast system. THIS IS NOT A TEST. Please stand by.” A clock appeared. It began to tick away; its digital numbers flipped rhythmically. “Kind of cruel to make us wait like this, isn’t it?” Elle was now clinging to her grandfather for comfort. “My guess is some official will appear when this clock is done counting down, and tell us how they plan to protect us from whatever it is bearing down on us.” With his hands on his hips, Pop broke into his sarcastic voice, which was just like his regular voice but high-pitched and mocking. “They’ll probably say something like “stay in your homes,” or “come to us, we’ll help you.” Laney glanced at the computer, then at Elle, and then at her mother-in-law who was standing in the doorway, her judgmental arms still crossed. Her blood pressure began to rise, along with her anxiety. We did just witness some terrible illness transform a man into something unmentionable. There’ve been vague reports of illness and some hysteria in the far reaches, but wouldn’t they tell us if we should be concerned? Wouldn’t someone warn us if there was a situation? Pop is crazy. It’s only been what, a few days since the first report. What could possibly move that fast? She stood quietly as she contemplated, rolling the bottle, until the needle on her snap gauge drifted out of the red and comfortably back into that zone between yellow and orange. “You should see this video on the computer.” Elle beckoned to her grandfather. “It’ll make you believe.” “Is that what you were talking about when I walked in—well, make me a believer my dear girl. Show old Pop what the media has neglected.” Elle hit play, once again enduring the horrific transformation, in hopes that her grandfather would believe too. “Kind of looks like those movies where a guy turns into a werewolf for the first time.” “That’s what Mom said, except more zombie than werewolf, maybe.” She turned her head to the side while she tried to decide. “No such thing,” Laney was unwilling to accept any such analyses. “There is no such thing; you are talking about movie nonsense. Fiction!” “Clearly he was infected by something,” Pop posited, “who knows what, and, if they do know, they aren’t telling us. Hey, maybe there are other videos.” “Yeah, something more clear.” Elle quickly typed, hoping to find anything else. “There, click on that one.” Terry Riley was shoulder to shoulder with his granddaughter, eager to see what was next. “It’s the same, but it’s so fast, they are turning so fast…” She was suddenly terrified. Elle looked to her mother, concern plastered on her young face as she watched those things attack and their victims spring up just moments later, they themselves now changed. “This isn’t just an illness… some freak occurrence. This is meant to spread. It’s the form they’ve taken, the neck…the jaw… they are built to bite, to transmit. This is intelligent design.” With a shudder Pop nodded, sure of his observation. “Design by whom?” Laney had to doubt the theories of her father-in-law. He was notoriously given to bouts of conspiratorial whimsy. Nan shot her a look of disapproval, clearly defending her husband. “Don’t start with me.” Laney was now on the defensive herself. “I refuse to entertain you when you’re hostile.” Nan stood, arms crossed, her signature scowl laser-pointed toward her son’s wife. Trying to ignore the rift between his wife and daughter–in-law, he explained who was responsible. “Nature, science, the goddamn government, who knows; but they are perfect machines, designed to attack, to bite, to spread.” He reiterated his earlier observation. “Didn’t a guy recently get high on bath salts and then try to eat someone’s face off on the street?” Laney was still trying to rationalize any scenario but the one they were faced with. “Yeah, but you have to admit,” Elle continued to plead her case, “it seemed like he died, right? I mean he convulsed and stopped breathing before he popped up. The way he was crunching, you’d think every bone was broken; how was he still moving?” “That’s what I saw,” Pop interjected. “I mean, Christ, he, he was more creature than man by the time he jumped up.” With the palm of his right hand he vigorously rubbed his bristly hair. “Looked like a howler; I don’t know what explains that.” He stood with his hand to his gaping mouth, for once in his life speechless. “One more time. I have to see it one more time, just so I can really absorb it.”


 
Author Picture
                         ~ About the Author ~
G. Nykanen was born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This small, rural land mass seems to cultivate a wide variety of colorful characters who provide a plethora of inspiration. The Point, Nykanen’s first novel, is filled with nuances of these local characters and the landscapes one might find in the north woods.
Well traveled thanks to her husband’s government career, she has lived in Europe and many of our United States over the last twenty years. She has recently returned home, moving back to her beloved Upper Peninsula where she resides with her husband and three children.
With The Point now completed, she will continue working on her next novel, Accumulation, along with continuing to develop other stories in the works.


Giveaway

Gift Card $25.00

Bound by Blood by Margo Bond Collins Blog Tour and Excerpt!




Bound by Blood
A Night Shift Novella by Margo Bond Collins
Urban Fantasy, Horror
Release Date: November 10, 2014


Sometimes the monsters in the dark are real... 
As a child, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother's cryptic warnings to avoid children outside their Filipino community in Houston. When many of those other children fell ill, Lili ignored the whispers in her community that a vampiric aswang walked among them. 
Years later, Lili returns to Houston to work for the Quarantine Station of the Center for Disease Control—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. When a strange illness attacks the city's children, Lili is called in to find its source, and maybe even a cure. 
But in order to save the city, she must first acknowledge the sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—closer than she ever expected....
Bound by Blood Playlist

All of the songs in these playlists represent some element of the characters, setting, or plot of Bound by Blood—and they’re also the songs I listened to when I was writing the book!  I wanted songs that highlighted both the relationships among the characters and the horrific situation in which they find themselves.


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Excerpt
Sitting straight up in bed, I gasped and threw myself back against the headboard, the thud dying away along with the remaining shreds of my dream.

But the word still ricocheted through my mind.

Aswang.

Until yesterday, I hadn't thought of the term in years—not since I'd left Houston for med school in Maine, determined to get as far away from home as I could.

But this resurgence of the same, odd illness that had swept my city years before was apparently also dredging up the old stories from deep in my subconscious: the aswang, a vampiric woman who lived a quiet life by day and fed on children in the night, flying back home on bat-wings just before dawn.

My unconscious mind had clearly also expanded on the idea, casting me in the role of aswang and adding schizoid conversations with a chorus of internal voices.

Great. I'm insane in my dreams.

And I'm a monster.

Shuddering, I wiped my hand across my gritty, raw eyelids.

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Buy Links



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About the Author 


Margo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Bound by Blood, Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.

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Connect with Margo

Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com
Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.net
Blog: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/

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The Bleaklisted Books by David M. Brown and Donna Brown Teaser Tour and Giveaway!


Today I'm excited to share the teaser tour for The Bleaklisted Books by David M. Brown and Donna Brown. This is humorous non-fiction for every cat and animal lover. The Bleaklisted Books releases December 1st!


My mini-irons,
I urge you to embrace the goose-spell of Animal Farm and you will find sanctuary when our difficult war is over. I will add, of course, that given that conquering the world means a long, long, long, long, long war, I will permit you to read another book every now and again.
Just remember which books are bleak-listed; e.g. Barry Potterer, 100 Years of Silly Tudor, Prude and Perjury, The Hungary Olympic Games, The Chronicles of Nerdia and Of Mike and Ben.
In the meantime, here is a list of books I have vetted and will reconsider for approval if the appro... apprap... proper changes are made. Read this manyule carefully mini-irons.
Your Cat-tainCharlie Brown


US Amazon | General link (diverts to relevant Amazon) | Goodreads


Excerpt


What happens?

Some spy is told to carry out an assignment in East Germany to uncover a double agent but he falls for someone prior to this and love ultimately messes the operation up.

Reason for bleaklisting?

Proper spies don’t fall in love. Wimps they are!

What should have happened?

Eric is sent on an exclusive mission into East Germany to assassinate a double agent. Before setting off he is approached by an air stewardess named Fiz who fancies him but he turns her down. She does warn him that it’s cold in East Germany and gives him some cough syrup.

Suspicious of the bottle labelled poison with a skull on it, Eric tosses the syrup and completes his mission. When he returns home to England he has a runny nose and is coughing a lot. Fiz realises he has seen through the poison expertly disguised as cough syrup and she runs away. She is shot and killed by a traffic warden who believes her car is parked on double yellow lines. Eric ends the novel by nipping to the pharmacy for some genuine cough syrup.

Special instruction

Make available at MI5, MI6, CIA, B&Q and M&S and rename The Spy Who Came Home with a Cold.

Mr B compares the stories

Dear me, Charlie, I thought you’d like John le CarrĂ©’s 1963 Cold War Novel. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold does deal with Communist East Germany where Alec Leamas is sent, under the pretence that he is defecting, and with the intention of locating Mundt, suspected of being a double agent. Alec has a romance with Liz which ultimately throws a spanner in the works. There isn’t anything about cough syrup thankfully and as with Charlie’s other efforts, this one is likely to disappear into the ether. My apologies to Mr le CarrĂ© for this despicable alternative to his story.



About the Authors: 

Donna: Donna is a longtime book lover and sometime book reviewer and has devoured books from an early age. She writes short (or long) stories as and when inspiration hits and is married to fantasy author David M. Brown (Fezariu's Epiphany, A World Apart). She was also co-contributor to David's book, Man vs Cat, a humorous look at life with six rambunctious rescue cats.
Donna has lived in many different areas of the UK over the last 30-something years but has remained in Yorkshire for the past decade. She ardently disputes the misnomer that 'It's grim up north'. You can find Donna on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Goodreads, or visit her and her husband's shared blog: B-Lines and Felines.

Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram 


David: David Brown could be considered a fantasy fanatic, especially since he has spent the last 10 years developing a 47,000-year history for his fictional world of Elenchera. When converting his obsession into literary form, David commits himself to a rigorous writing and editing process before his work can meet his approval. Combined with the critical eye of his wife and a BA Hons in History and English, David's dedication leads him to his goal of inspiring readers through heartfelt stories and characters.
Although David is inspired primarily by fantasy fiction, he also finds his muse in the form of anime, world cinema, history, and biographies. His own books, Fezariu's Epiphany and A World Apart, combine aspects from worlds both old and new into compelling tales of a world not soon forgotten., David himself certainly does not lack a spirit of adventure; in fact, he left his job in 2007 in order to spend a month travelling. Second only to meeting and marrying his wife, David counts this as one of the most amazing experiences of his life.

Feline Central

Giveaway:
$20 Gift Certificate for Amazon or B&N & paperback or audiobook of Man vs. Cat (INT)
Ends December 16th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Possession by Annie Oldham Blog Tour and Giveaway!


Possession
(Song and Shadow #1)
Annie Oldham
Young Adult Paranormal
Date Published: October 31, 2014


Constance Jerome wants nothing more than to make it through her senior year of high school without being noticed. But when her mother drops the world's biggest bombshell, flying under the radar just isn't in the cards. It turns out Constance is a necromancer—one of the few who can travel the realms of the dead.
Apparently it runs in the family. And now there's a threat coming: another necromancer with plans to disturb the living and the dead, and Constance and her mother are the only ones who can stop him. If only they knew who he was. Or what exactly he was up to. A quiet senior year isn't an option, and Constance must race to stop a high school apocalypse before the balance between the living and the dead is overturned.




Excerpt:

Constance remembered what her mother said: it was a mistake bringing life back. But wasn’t it a mistake to mess around with death at all? How could anything good come from it? She saw the way her mother had looked the past week. She was exhausted and worn too thin. And who enforced the rules anyway?
And she needed to know.
She needed to know if what her mother was saying was true—if Biscuit and the duckling were just those flukes that sometimes happen because life is unpredictable, or if there was something more to their existence. Constance needed proof, and if she had done it once—and it wasn’t a fluke—then she should be able to do it again.
Her spade struck the box, and she used her fingers to edge around the lid and pry it off. She sat back on her heels. Maggots were crawling over the bird’s feathers.
She reminded herself that she needed to know.
How did she even start? What had she done with the duckling years ago? She forced herself to look at the tiny body and the spindly legs, and tried to ignore the white worms destroying the small form. She had felt so sad for that duckling, had wanted to return it to its family. But what had she actually done? Her hands hovered over the shoebox. She couldn’t bring herself to actually touch it, but as her hand lingered, the shadows made a film around the edges of her vision. She shook her head, trying to clear her eyes, but they pressed in even more deeply. Did she have to sing? Should she have brought one of the candles? Her mother had said something about using both of them together. But she didn’t know anything. All she knew was that she needed to know if this was who she was supposed to be.
As she stared at the bird, the wind floated over her arms and hands, and then the breeze kicked up, pulling her hair out in tendrils. She imagined the bird as it must have been in life: sandpipers scurried along the ground, their toothpick legs moving so quickly they were a blur. As she stared at the bird in the box, the shadows seemed to play tricks on her. Her vision blurred and doubled and then tripled, the outlines of the ground hazy in all the ways her vision had refracted. She shook her head, and when she did, her eyesight was back to normal.
The wind ruffled through the bird’s mangled feathers, and Constance was just about to put the lid back on the box, ready to be done with this perverse experiment, when it happen.
The bird’s eye opened, and where there should have been a glassy, ink-drop eye there was a maggot. And then the bird blinked.
Constance’s hand flew to her mouth, the bile rose in her throat, and she wheeled backward, falling back into the grass. Her lungs wanted nothing more than to force her vocal chords into a scream, but she swallowed it down. How would her mother like this, if she saw it? Here Constance was bringing something back to life—that is what happened, right?—when really the only thing she had been taught so far was never to do that.
Her chest heaved for a few moments, and then she crawled on her hands and knees to the box. She had to make sure.
The bird’s head rested feebly on the cardboard, and it could do nothing more than blink at her, maggots inching their way across its decomposing flesh. And then her heart plummeted. It was now alive when it was supposed to be dead. She had done this; she had made this monstrosity. Tears pricked her eyes. It had been easy—was it supposed to be this easy?—to just bring it to life. Now she had to send it back, and that was going to be hard. Her stomach heaved as she grabbed a heavy rock from the rock bed and raised it over her head. As it came smashing down, the tears poured down her cheeks, and she had so many thoughts racing through her head that she couldn’t untangle them all until one finally threaded its way to the forefront.
She would go along with her mother on this necromancy thing, but she could never, ever tell her about tonight.


 Annie adores writing and reading YA novels. She grew up with an insatiable desire to read and then came the insatiable desire to write. Annie has been blessed to have both of those in her life.

Away from her writing, Annie is the mother of the most adorable girls in the world, has the best husband in the world, and lives in the hottest place in the world (not really, but Phoenix sure feels like it). She loves to cook, sing, and play the piano.


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Vanished From Dust by Shea Norwood Review!


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Title : Vanished From Dust
Author : Shea Norwood
Pages : 321
Published : September 20th 2013
Publisher : Dust Devil Press
Reviewed by Ailsa

The Blurb (taken from Amazon.co.uk)


A chill runs through his skin as the phantom appears.
He sees them everywhere. . .

Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn’t think so. He wishes everyone in Dust, Texas, felt the same way. But that’s not going to happen since the whole town thinks he’s crazy. Why didn’t he keep his mouth shut? 

No one understands. Eric is alone as he battles his sanity in a town of tormenters. Suddenly a new friendship emerges after the new kid, Kyle Barrett, moves to town. Eric reluctantly reveals his secret. Is it a curse or a gift? He isn’t certain, but with Kyle by his side he finds the courage to seek the truth. 

They soon realize that something sinister is descending on the residents of Dust. Is it caused by Eric’s phantoms or is it something else? Is it connected to the mysterious death of hundreds of townspeople over sixty years ago? One thing is certain—only Eric and Kyle can save them. 

They set out on a heart-pounding adventure and find themselves transported to a disturbed and deserted version of their small southern town. They quickly discover that this new world has mysteries of its own to uncover. What they find could prove more than they bargained for, and it only leads to more questions. Eric and Kyle must face a horrifying fact—they may never get out alive. 

“We’re gonna die here,” Kyle muttered. 
“I don’t believe that,” Eric said. “And neither do you.” 


Will they survive their encounter with these dark and mysterious beings?
Will they find a way back home?
Or will they be lost forever?


Summary
This is a story about a fourteen year old boy from Texas, called Eric. Eric isn’t your ‘usual, normal’ child and is constantly bullied by others at his school. One day he is being beaten by a bully when the new boy at school, Kyle steps in to defend Eric. From this point on they become instant friends, but Eric is hiding something from his one and only friend.
Eric is different. He can see and communicate with ghosts.
One night (while Kyle is sleeping over at Eric’s) they decide to play ‘Knock Knock’ when they should be in bed. Once they know Eric’s parents are asleep they sneak out and start knocking on neighbours doors and then hide so they can watch to see if anyone comes out. When one neighbour answers the door holding a shotgun, this scares them so they decide to run.
While running a safe distance from the gun wielding neighbour, Eric notices a shadowy figure at the door of the abandoned theatre.
Soon they both come to the conclusion that there is something not right going on in their home town and they decide to try and solve it.
Eric convinced he did see something in the abandoned theatre, the pair decides to investigate.
While investigating, strange shadowy, dark beings appear around them. The questions I will leave you with is; Are they safe? Will they survive? And are they going to get to the bottom of the strange occurrences that has been going on in their hometown?
My Thoughts
Eric is a very special child with an amazing gift that first presented itself at the age of eight, which unfortunately isn’t understood by anyone which makes him an outcast. Having the ability to see phantoms/shadows/demons/dark creatures (depending on what you call them) means he has gone through a rather unpleasant childhood (only 14 at this point), which has included ridicule and beatings from bullies and having his parents sending him to a ‘specialist’.
The book starts with Eric and his “friend” Josh walking to school together. This is not a friendship but is an arrangement set up by Eric’s mum. Once they are far enough away, they go their separate ways.
Kyle is the new boy of the school and when he witnesses Eric being beaten, he steps in and defends him. Immediately, they realise they are similar in many ways (especially when it comes to creating mischief and playing video games) and become instant best friends. They become inseparable.
When they play their favourite mischievous game of ‘knock, knock’, Eric notices a figure standing inside the abandoned theatre in front of the door. At this point Eric has had it. The only other person who understands what he sees is the town drunk. This is when Kyle and Eric decide to investigate (Eric mainly wants to know once and for all if he is crazy like everyone thinks he is or whether what he is seeing is real).
Although, I found this book a little bit slow to start with, it most definitely picked up. I found the characters very likeable and a perfect match for one another, they were more like true brothers than just friends.
For a person who enjoys reading paranormal stories then this is a book you should try. All I will say is persevere as it definitely improves.
One thing I did find with this book to start with reminded me of the Bruce Willis movie “The Sixth Sense”, but once the story developed it turned into something else (sorry don’t want to spoil it so won’t mention the other book it reminded of).

My personal rating would be a 3.5 only because the start was slightly slow but then when it picks up I would pump it to a 4 as it becomes’ unputdownable’. Although this is aimed at young adults, I would personally say that it is suitable for YA and above. If you like paranormal then this is for you.


Friday, 28 November 2014

Hemlock Veils by Jennie Davenport Blog Tour and Giveaway!



Hemlock Veils by Jennie Davenport Release Date: 11/25/14 Swoon Romance


Summary from Goodreads:

When Elizabeth Ashton escapes her damaging city life and finds herself in the remote town of Hemlock Veils, Oregon, she is smitten by its quaint mystery; but the surrounding forest holds an enchantment she didn’t think existed, and worse, a most terrifying monster. The town claims it vicious and evil, but Elizabeth suspects something is amiss. Even with its enormous, hairy frame, gruesome claws, and knifelike teeth, the monster’s eyes speak to her: wolf-like and ringed with gold, yet holding an awareness that can only be human. That’s when Elizabeth knows she is the only one who can see the struggling soul trapped inside, the soul to which she is moved.

Secretly, Elizabeth befriends the beast at night, discovering there’s more to his story and that the rising of the sun transforms him into a human more complex than his beastly self. Elizabeth eventually learns that his curse is unlike any other and that a single murderous act is all that stands between him and his freedom. Though love is not enough to break his curse, it may be the only means by which the unimaginable can be done: sacrifice a beauty for the beast.


Buy Links: Amazon


My Thoughts : 

Ok, this took me really by surprise. I wasn't sure what I expected but I know it wasn't this!!

When Elizabeths car breaks down just outside Hemlock Veils late at night, she decides that she better find help before she gets hypothermia. When she exits the car she hears some rustling near her. Out steps an old man brandishing a riffle. She explains that her car broke down and despite him telling her that she needs to leave, he has no choice but to take her back to the town. They go through the woods and Eustace tells her about the strangle beast that has been terrorizing Hemlock Veils. He tells her that he won't rest till he kills it. They continue on to the town and once there Elizabeth feels a strange sense of peace and knows she wants to stay but will the mysterious and enigmatic Mr Clayton allow it? Why does Elizabeth feel such a pull towards the strange monstrous beast and is he as monstrous as everyone thinks?

I really like Elizabeth, she is a strong, no nonsense girl and well able to stand up for herself. She knows she wants to stay in Hemlock Veil, and despite strong opposition from Mr Henry Clayton, she stays and tries to make a life for herself. 

Henry owns basically everything in Hemlock Veils and is hesitant to let Elizabeth stay but finally gives in. He tries everything to push her away put she ends up getting under her skin. Henry is such a complex character. He wasn't always the nice guy but now he is such a sweetheart, though very grumpy ;) 

I loved the tension between Henry and Elizabeth. They both fight their feelings, especially Henry but they can't. Their relationship is complicated but feels real because it's a slow burner. 

Plot wise, I loved finding out about the curse and how it came about, the twist about breaking the curse was awesome too!!! I never knew it is a Beauty and the Beast retelling which I think helped me enjoy it so much. There's no surprise when we learn who the beast is but I think it was meant to be like that. 

Anyway, Hemlock Veils was a wonderfully written and intriguing read. From it's imaginative plot to it's enigmatic characters, it's a must read. I really enjoyed diving into this rendition of one of my all time favourite fairy tales and would recommend it to everyone. 





About the Author

Though Jennie Davenport was raised throughout the Midwest, she now lives in the little desert mining town of Bagdad, Arizona, where six guys beg for her constant attention: a husband, three young, blond sons, a German shepherd with a name much mightier than his disposition (Zeus), and a black cat named Mouse. When she isn’t trying to run her home with as little casualties as possible, Jennie loves snuggling with her family, laughing with her friends, delving into brilliant entertainment of any vein, and playing outside. Despite the way being a writer is in her blood, and the wheels of her writerly mind are constantly turning, Jennie likes to think that in another life, she would have been a Broadway star. Or an American Idol finalist.


Jennie lives for the fall, and not just because of her adoration for the NFL (Go Broncos!). In her perfect world, she would have the springs, summers, and falls of Colorado, and the winters of Arizona—someplace where the climate and weather would allow her to go on a trail run all year round. But even though she prefers the pines and mountains, she is a devoted fan of all nature, from sandy beaches to woodsy cabins, and all are her greatest inspiration. She believes nature is one of the best healing remedies, with a magic all its own.


Jennie’s passion for writing is the way she survives, and is as vital to her sanity as oxygen, caffeine, food, and music. Even before she began writing it, well-told, original, and character-driven romance was always her weak spot. Add the paranormal or magical realism element and she may never make it back to reality. 

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Imagination Designs
Images from the Meadow of Dreams kit by Irene Alexeeva