Monday, 23 September 2019

Guardian of Angel by Lanie Mores



Title: Guardian of Angel
Series: Book 2 of the Father of Contention series
Author: Lanie Mores
Genre: Science Fiction and Fantasy, Paranormal
Publication Date: July 29, 2019
Publisher: Tellwell Talent


When evil finds a way, man becomes beast.


In the small town of Thunder Bay, 2002, Angelika Juris becomes unexpectedly linked to her guardian angel, Gavin, after a suspicious near-death experience. While trying to figure out the complicated nature of their connection, they uncover a plot so disturbing, it threatens to shift the delicate balance between life and death and eradicate the precious human gift of free will.

When her sister goes missing, Angelika must search the unforgiving terrain of the Rocky Mountains, with her guardian angel as her guide. But they find more than just her sister—a familiar face, Renner Scholz—and a secret lab teeming with his ongoing, unhindered experiments, including the most powerful of his offspring—the triplets.

Now, Angelika must find a way to free her sister from her evil captors, along with a newfound love interest—Anthony—Renner's only normal son. Will they be able to thwart Renner's malevolent schemes and escape with their lives, or will they suffer the same fate as so many of his previous victims?

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Tomas – 1984

Tomas Scholz sits upon a throne beside his father above the stones of fire. Surrounded by splendour, he bursts with pride as all bow down and honour them, bestowing gifts of great riches: precious gems and stones—sardius, topaz, diamond and onyx—silver and
gold, and the rarest of artifacts collected from all over the many realms. This destiny, although not yet achieved, awaits him after this world has passed away, or so the shadow has promised. 
 In time. He must be patient.

A three-toed woodpecker, normally a quiet, shy, little bird, hammers out a tune on a  nearby dead spruce, redirecting Tomas’ thoughts away from his daydreams and back to the matter at hand. Carrying the device with painstaking care, he reaches a clearing
 in the mountains. This flat fold of land has been carefully selected for the job, unchartered territory, a place no man has previously travelled. The device is light despite its enormous potential for destruction, light enough for his nine-year-old hands to carry.

The wind swells in unpredictable gusts sending uprooted weeds and debris to tumble across the dry landscape. It is not ideal weather to test out his experiment, on the contrary, but he is impatient, insistent. If it were anyone else attempting this feat they would be prudently dissuaded, encouraged to wait for more opportune conditions. The summer had been a dry one, and the arid conditions mixed with the gales of wind are a recipe for disaster. 


But Tomas is not like other children. His abilities are powerful enough to defy even the wind.

Besides, Tomas is too excited to see how it finally works, unable to wait a moment longer. Adrenaline almost palpable as he flits and floats across the glade despite his clubbed foot, preparing for the initial trial of the weapon he has designed and built all by himself.

He is a genius. Wisdom doesn’t grow on trees; it is inherited. Or prepared in a lab. Both methods are responsible in Tomas’ case. Born of Renner’s sperm, he has inherited the genes for brilliance, but his earthly father further manipulated Tomas’ genetic structure
to enhance his potential for genius. In this Renner has been successful.

Just a child, Tomas is already capable of recombinant DNA technology and minor medical procedures. Always the perfect pupil. Always eager to learn more. Technology and inventing advanced weaponry are his preferred hobbies, skills that come to him naturally, and had he been allowed to go out in public to submit these innovations for patenting, he would earn millions, perhaps billions. But they are billionaires and have no need for more money. And he is not ready to go out in public, to be exposed to the world—the world not ready for him yet. For Tomas’ talents don’t stop there.

Surpassing his higher level of intelligence are his supernatural abilities, having both fathers to thank for this gift. By the shadow entering Renner’s body that fateful night in the abandoned chapel, his DNA changed, which was then passed on to his offspring.
These changes increased the development of DMT produced by the pineal gland and the subsequent presentation of supernatural abilities, the like of which have never been seen in humans. Renner had also manipulated Tomas’ genes, splicing them with favourable animalistic traits to increase his special abilities. The final product is a boy who has powers that are both profound and intense. Unrestrained. In this Renner has also been successful.

Tomas is a telepath, able to read other people’s thoughts and desires with great ease. Most impressive are his telekinetic capabilities, able to teleport any object, from the size of a grain of sand all the way up to a massive Gothic castle to any location he so desires. Able to transport his own body.

But impressive though this is, Tomas is not perfect. None of them are. Flaws remain in Renner’s recombinant DNA techniques, glitches he still struggles to correct with each series of experiments. There is always an element of trial and error when it comes to
experimenting in new unexplored areas, but he has faith he will overcome these limitations and the supernatural abilities that all the offspring display prove he is on the right track.

Tomas is the most handsome of them all if you could call him handsome. Hair, worn long and unruly. Taller than most nine-year-olds, he is more muscular as well but not a giant like some of his brothers. He prefers to wear mostly jogging pants, jeans, T-shirts, and sweaters for there is no need to dress up here. No one to impress. His eyes are as black as pitch and empty. Dead embers.

Born with a cleft palate, Tomas underwent corrective surgery as a young baby, but enner being untrained in cosmetic procedures, the repair didn’t go as well as planned. Tomas can feed and communicate much better than he would have without the surgical procedure, but a resultant lisp when speaking words that contain the letter s has Tomas training extensively to articulate his words. The lisp now more of an extended, exaggerated s sound. The speech impediment isn’t as bothersome as the thickened scar
tissue between his nose and upper lip. Tomas plans on visiting a real cosmetic surgeon who will correct the botched effort his father performed and eliminate the scar—when he is older, when he is permitted to venture out into the real world. He also has a clubbed right foot that gives him a mild limp. These deformities are considered minor compared to his brothers’. So, he has little to complain about, this he knows.

His brothers, on the other hand, have not fared as well. The flaws in Renner’s experiments far more evident. The deformities more intensive, requiring massive reconstruction, the likes of  which do not yet exist. Tomas is already working diligently on this limitation, inventing his own brand of prosthetics that will help the remainder of his triplet brothers—his womb-mates—and other siblings to help them be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye or at least less abhorrent while simultaneously helping them to channel their own gifts. Augment them.

But again, in time.

Tomas’ preparations slowly come to completion. He lopes across the field through tussock grasses and stunted shrubbery to the location he has deemed most beneficial for his test. He stops amidst a patch of denser grasses and wildflowers, adjacent to a stand of tiny gnarled aspens. Mounds of rhododendron underbrush proudly display their yellow and white puff ball-shaped flowers tinged with pink and lavender.

Soon their beauty will be extinguished.

The sound of a river rushing at highs speeds can be detected from this vantage point, an important proponent for this experiment to function smoothly.

He looks over to see if the shadow—his other father, the one that matters most—is watching, desiring his praise. A moment of insecurity?

But, the moment of weakness is short-lived. As soon as Tomas senses approval, he commences, extending his right arm towards the surrounding rhododendron mounds and dry grasses. Clumsily, he fastens the contraption to his extended right wrist with plastic straps and buckles. The weapon, a flame thrower, is like no other. It is controlled by Tomas’ mind alone, lacking buttons or switches, with nothing to turn it on or off, no dials to increase or decrease its power, except by his mind’s will.

Abruptly he stops, eyes fastening on the shadow as the sound of a woman’s scream pierces his mind. The sound is heard through his gift, although the actual source is not much further than their location, yet still safely out of harm’s way. Their eyes make contact, full of mutual understanding. It is Milena, once more in the throes of labour.

“It will be a boy,” he tells the shadow.

“Yes, yes, I know,” the shadow responds.

They are all boys, so it is a natural conclusion. However, Tomas knows this on another level, knows it for a fact as the baby’s thoughts can already be heard, although he is not yet born. “He is different,” Tomas adds, before returning to his task without further explanation.

A shiny, black crow bursts out of the shrubbery and furiously flaps its wings, escaping barely in time, somehow anticipating the fire that will quickly follow. Tomas telepathically transmits a message to the weapon to eject a far-reaching rope of flame from its tip, and the contraption immediately obliges, bathing the mountain glade in fire. He slowly spins in a circle creating a ring of fire around him, the flames dancing and rising as if in adoration and worship. The intense orange from the fire’s light is reflected in his black eyes as if tiny flames have been sparked from within the lifeless black embers.

“It works!” he exclaims. “Father, can you see it?”

The flames continue to rise.

And rise. And rise higher still, the flames licking and lapping at Tomas’ face and body and limbs. Searing, melting, binding. Until flame and skin become one.




About the Author:

Lanie Mores enjoys travelling to alternate realities, often found with her head buried in a book, binge watching Netflix, or playing video games. Although fantasy and science fiction are her obsession, she enjoys most forms of literature, and has been writing poetry since she was a wee bairn.

She has worn many hats throughout her life: cashier, medical records secretary, psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, personal trainer, and most importantly, mom. Her son is the moon of her life, her sun and stars, and she would do anything for him…destroy Terminators sent from a future realm, deflect an Unforgivable curse with her motherly love, and travel through the Upside Down to find him, even if she had to face the Demogorgon himself.

Inspired to write by Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, Jean M. Auel and Margaret Atwood, she has big shoes to fill, but has always been a huge dreamer and has the determination to aim higher than the stars. Guardian Of Angel is the second novel she has written and published, book 2 in the Father Of Contention series.






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Friday, 20 September 2019

13 Steps to the Cellar by Teresa Mathews



Title: 13 Steps to the Cellar
Author: Teresa Mathews
Genre: Mystery
Publication Date: September 4, 2019
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing


Thirteen Steps to the Cellar. They were steep; they were narrow—but was a fall down them enough to have caused the twenty-seven deep lacerations to her aunt’s head?

Callie Harris travels from her home in Alabama to her aunt’s former mansion in Maine to unravel the haunting forty-year-old mystery of Dr. Laverne Harris Doss’ brutal death.

Why wasn’t a murder weapon found? Was her uncle justly convicted of the killing? Was his mistress involved? Or was the murderer the bearded stranger rumored to have arrived by train that night?

In the charming town of Richmond, located on the banks of Maine’s historic Kennebec River, Callie uncovers the community’s darkest secrets—a botched police investigation, a betrayed widow’s lie, a dead woman’s blackmail, and a wealthy philanthropist’s shame. The web of intrigue extends far beyond her suspicions and its connection to her personal story pierces Callie to her core.


Excerpt:

      Arriving in the front office, she encountered a frumpy, middle-aged woman sitting behind a glass window. Unsuccessfully waiting to be acknowledged, Callie finally asked, “Excuse me, is there someone who can help me?”

      The clerk looked up from her computer. “What do you need?” she asked.

      “I’m here to see an archived box of evidence.”

      The woman sighed. “Do you have the name of the case and case number?”

      “Yes, yes I do,” Callie replied, pulling a piece of paper from her purse and slipping it through the glass opening.

      Studying the note, the clerk stood and, without explanation, shuffled out the door.

      While waiting, Callie observed the furnishings in the drab office. Pieces of outdated furniture cluttered the small fifteen-by-fifteen room. A potted ivy sitting on the clerk’s desk had long green runners dropping to the floor, with one trailing climber taped across the top of the computer. The green plant and a ticking clock above the door appeared to be the only signs of life in the building.

      After what seemed like an eternity, the woman returned carrying a tattered cardboard box. “Follow me,” she muttered, using her head to motion to a nearby door.

      Callie followed her down the hall to a room containing a long table lined with wooden chairs.

      “Here it is. Took forever to find this one,” the clerk complained, dropping the box on the tabletop. Without any further conversation, she walked to the end of the table, took a seat, and shuffled through some nearby papers.

      Feeling certain the clerk was watching, Callie carefully opened the box. Taking out the first item, she held a clear bag filled with multiple strands of hair. Locks matching my own auburn color. Unexpectedly moved and with tears brimming in her eyes, she took a deep breath, placed the evidence aside, and continued removing the bags one at a time.

      Several weren’t labeled and contained what appeared to be broken pieces of concrete. They’re from the cellar floor. She picked up another bag that had a tiny hole in the corner. Sand trickled out. Setting it on the table, she remembered reading sand had been thrown on the cellar floor in the cover-up.

      Labeled Wool fiber sample, Callie picked up the largest bag. Splotched with dark stains, the cut piece of heavy fabric filled the clear bag. Callie turned it over, studied the back, then flipped it to the front. She held it a while longer, even lifting it to her nose to smell. Keeping it at arm's length, she studied it again, then shuddered. Laverne’s blood is on this blanket. She hastily laid it aside.

      With only a few pieces remaining, she pulled out another see-through bag and gasped. It contained a classic, simply-designed watch with gold-toned numerals. The hour hand pointed to the eight, and the minute hand rested on three. The time was frozen. Callie knew from her research she was staring at the record of her aunt’s time of death. Holding the bagged watch in one hand, she ran her fingers across the broken glass.

      The newspapers reported the watch had been discovered near her aunt’s body. The theory was Laverne was kicked or pushed down the stairs, and her watch hit the railing as she tumbled downward, causing it to fling from her wrist.

      Wanting to share this moment with her brothers, she asked the clerk if it was okay to take pictures.

      “Whatever,” the woman answered with a careless shrug.

      Using her iPhone, Callie snapped pictures of the watch at different angles, then continued looking through the evidence.

      Inside the next bag, she felt an object wrapped in tissue. She used her fingers to massage the article into view. She took a gulping breath when she saw the simple gold band.

      Laverne’s wedding ring had been the focus of several newspaper headlines. One read, Murdered Doctor Threw Her Ring in Jealous Rage. Another read, Esteemed Detective Finds Ring Under Refrigerator in Murder Mansion on the Hill. Studying the band, Callie had a fleeting desire she’d like to slip the ring on her finger. But glancing at the inauspicious looking clerk, she didn’t dare ask. Instead, she placed it on the table.

      A book was the last item wedged in the bottom of the box. Callie lifted it and used her finger to trace the gold lettering on the leather-bound hardcover, which read Appointment Book. Opening to the first page, she studied the neat, elegant penmanship.

      Beginning with January, she slid her finger down the page as she read each entry, envisioning her aunt entering every appointment.

January 1 - 12p.m. - Lunch at the Club in Gardiner
January 2 - 8a.m. - Jeryl Welch
                 8:30a.m. - Regenia Upshaw
                 9a.m. - Dona Young
                 9:30a.m. - Marsha Tomlin

      The list continued with every time slot filled. Laverne’s day began at 8 a.m. and ended at 6 p.m. On several days, the morning was blocked off with school board meetings. Then, without delay, patients would resume after lunch.

      Callie studied entries for January, February, and was beginning March when her eyes widened. On March the sixth, in the seven o’clock time slot was written in her aunt’s neat cursive, Meet Vernon at Portland Airport. Callie leaned closer to be certain she was reading it correctly. No question, the name is Vernon.

      She stood, closed the book, and placed it in the box. She put everything back as she’d found it, thanked the clerk, and hurried out of the building. As she reached the car, she leaned against the door and took a deep, cleansing breath. The name Vernon drummed in her head. Surely, this is a mistake. Vernon was her father, and he always said he’d never been to Maine.



About the Author:

Teresa Mathews is a graduate of The University of South Alabama. She’s a member of the Mobile Writers Guild and serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association.

An avid gardener and artist, she has multiple book covers to her credit. Several years ago after visiting the site of her real-life aunt’s murder, Teresa discovered a third passion–storytelling. Although inspired by an actual tragedy, Thirteen Steps to the Cellar is fiction.

Raised on the Gulf Coast, Teresa, her husband, and son now live on a farm with a second home on the sparkling white sands of Fort Morgan, Alabama. This is her first novel.





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Thursday, 19 September 2019

Starchild Book One: The Age of Akra by Vacen Taylor



Title: The Age of Akra
Series: Starchild Book One
Author: Vacen Taylor
Genre: MG Fantasy


The foreshadowing of a dark future threatens the seven nations. Mai is selected to train with the mysterious elemental master Sah Dohba who will prepare her to become the protector of the desert lands. Her brother Long, steps forward to travel with her as her chaperone to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts.

A chance encounter brings them together with Akra, the Starchild. The trio travels on into a battle with the elements. Sandstorms. Deadly creatures. Starvation. Then a chance meeting with powerful earthfollower, sets them on a new path where they must each find the strength to face a terrifying foe from the Underworld.







Author Bio:

Vacen Taylor is a children’s author with a portfolio of screenwriting and stage play achievements. A selection of her poetry has been published in Art and Literature Journals. One of her plays was selected to be part of the Playwrights Program 2017 and then directed and performed as a performance reading at HOTA (previously the Gold Coast Arts Centre).

Her feature film script received a special commendation for Best Unproduced Screenplay titled Grandfathers at the British Independent Film Festival in 2018. The logline can be found under Special Commendations for Unproduced Screenplays here.

Her TV pilot for a series (teleplay) was selected as a semi-finalist in the Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles, CA. This pilot was listed in the top 50 for the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition in 2018.

She presented the first mental health panel at OZ Comic-Con in 2017. This panel was a fantastic opportunity to discuss openly and honestly about artists and their mental health to help support wellbeing, foster connectivity and provide a culture of support.

In 2018 she presented the panel, ‘An artist’s guide to creative happiness: How to strengthen your creative performance’ at Oz Comic-Con in Brisbane. Her panels are extraordinary opportunities to explore ideas with people who are currently working in the industry. She aims to discuss subjects like individualism, the community, mental health, wellbeing, happiness, creativity, co-creating and self-awareness which often leads to interesting questions from the audience.

What else does she do? Vacen is also a creative workshop facilitator and proficient in, teaching, speaking and concept creation. Guest Speaker. Workshop Presenter. Creative Panel Facilitator. Mentor. Support Worker. Counsellor. Social Welfare Advocate.




Giveaway to Win all 4 books of the Starchild Series by Vacen Taylor (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.




Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Silent Voices by Fran Lewis


Title: Silent Voices
Author: Fran Lewis
Genre: Horror, Suspense
Publication Date: June 10th 2019
Publisher: Southern Owl Publications, LLC
Number of Pages: 51
ISBN: B07S75JPQW


Driving down a rocky road I saw the overgrown grass, weeds, and poison ivy overtaking the outer perimeter of the bushes. The smell of mildew permeated the air, along with the stench of animals killed by cars coming up from the ground along this dirt road. I could see the sadness on the faces in the cars behind me; I could feel the pain and sorrow. As I looked inside the cars and saw the faces of the drivers, I began to wonder what they were thinking, their thoughts and feelings as they traveled down life’s highway, maybe for the very last time.

What stories lay behind the faces behind the wheel of each oncoming car?
What stories were hidden?
Whose voices are now silenced?






Reviews:

“Unique, haunting, terrifying, incredibly moving: Fran Lewis’ SILENT VOICES is all that and more as people tell spell-binding stories of their lives - and their deaths - from beyond the grave. You won’t forget this one!” - R.G. Belsky, award-winning author of the Clare Carlson mystery series.

"Silent Voices is a shrewd, sensitive and scintillating collection of short stories that make us feel and think. Noted talk show host Fran Lewis proves herself to be as skilled a storyteller as she is a listener, adept at both tugging on our heart strings and exposing the raw emotion between the lines. Her tales reach beyond the grave in fashioning rich tapestries drawn on a sprawling landscape at once both rich in color and gray-toned. A can't miss effort certain to live with you far beyond the turn of the final page." - Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author

"Once again, Fran Lewis knocks it out of the park with the latest in the Silent Voices series. At once chilling, but also inspirational, these stories do not fail to entertain. They will also raise the goosebumps on your skin. Prepare to be thrilled." - Vincent Zandri, New Your Times bestselling Thriller Award winning author of The Remains and The Caretaker's Wife




Author Bio:

Fran Lewis taught for 36 years as a staff developer in reading and writing and a dean. She is the author of the Bertha and Tillie series and the author of the Faces behind the stones series as well as her books for caregivers on Alzheimer’s and mj magazine and mj network.






On Tour September 1 - September 30, 2019

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

These are the stops on the tour as of August 15 and are subject to change




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Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Kingdom: Tiber City Blues by Anderson O'Donnell



Title: Kingdom: Tiber City Blues
Author: Anderson O'Donnell
Genre: Dystopian Sci-Fi
Age Category: Adult
Release Date: February 2019


In a secret laboratory hidden under the desert, a covert bioengineering project—codename "Exodus"—has discovered the gene responsible for the human soul.

Somewhere in the neon sprawl outside the nation's collapsing economic core, a group of renegade monks are on the verge of uncovering a secret that has eluded mankind for centuries.

In a glittering tower high above the urban decay, an ascendant U.S. Senator is found dead--an apparent, yet inexplicable, suicide.

And in the streets below, a young couple races through an ultra-modern metropolis on the verge of a violent revolution....closing in on the terrible truth behind Exodus--and one man's dark vision for the future of mankind.



Excerpt:

Tiber City

Now

         The rain started an hour or so after the sun sank below the horizon. It continued for most of the night, pelting the city with a warm, gritty rain that smelled like hot dogs and medicine. A few of the billboards flashed warnings, and several of the community action drones bleated pre-recorded pollution alerts as they circled the city. It was the same message over and over, advising that atmospheric alterations may be—may be—responsible for elevated levels of toxicity and that citizens may want to seek shelter.
         Meghan had been back in the city less than a week and she was already sick of the endless warnings, public service announcements, and targeted advertising pulsing from the thousands of video screens that tattooed all the empty space in the city. Buildings, cars, statutes, benches, the sandwich boards of doom prophets—everything was fair game, including the fucking sky, which came with really low cost-per-square-inch projections, and outstanding consumer visibility. Meghan hated it all. She had developed a particular loathing for the community action drones, which, she knew, were capable of alternating any number of differently phrased warnings but instead the AI chose to repeat the same few sentences over and over as they looped around the city until the announcements blurred into a singular noise bent on hammering the city into submission. Tiber wasn’t just loud—it was so oppressive that outside thought or private external communication was almost impossible.
         That night, the rain cast the entire city into slow motion; the streets a sea of brake lights and flashing police sirens. There was spillover from the subway; service had been disrupted after a young woman had blown her brains out all over one of the shiny new D-line trains, the sirens from the response teams howling in concert—city police, fire, ambulance, hazmat, terrorism, transit police, and for some reason, various representatives of Tiber’s private security forces. Closed Circuit television footage of the suicide was being broadcast on the city’s massive digitalized billboards reserved for the ‘news,’ presented in ultra-high definition by the Shinto-Blackpool corporation, details of the incident streaming across the bottom of the screen. A police spokeswoman would address the media shortly.
         Pressing her way forward through the chaos, Meghan jumped from taxi to taxi, switching cars whenever the traffic in her lane froze, moving from car to car, a few blocks at a time. Each time she slid into a new taxi, the drivers just stared at her through their rearview mirror—it was better to have a rider than none, even if only for a few blocks. She would light a cigarette and stare right back. All around her, the city was brake lights and flickering advertisements. It was on nights like these that Meghan hated Tiber and its endless blocks of skyscrapers and nightclubs and lifestyle centers. Don’t like your current life? Just swipe your card and sign here, and here, and here—that was the promise offered by the multitude of screens looming on either side of the avenue. No returns though, thought Meghan, as her taxi drifted past yet another massive glass-front gym packed with grim-faced, solitary thirty-somethings. A decent looking guy on one of the elliptical machines noticed her through the windows and offered what Meghan assumed was his best sexy smile, his back snapping straight, his stride suddenly more confident. Smiling back, Meghan raised a middle finger in his general direction.

         Figuring out where Dylan had been was the easy part; finding people was one of Finn’s specialties. Getting to him before someone else did—that was going to be the trick. Finn warned her to stay away; told her Dylan was in bad shape, and getting worse. But she needed to know what he knew—what the information she stole from her father meant, and how it related to what she saw in the desert. And, there was something else—a deeper motivation she wasn’t willing to accept or admit but it was there, driving her into the Tiber City night.
         By the time she reached the End of the World party, the celebration was in its death throes—revelers scattering in ones and twos, languid beats slouching through open doors and into the rain-soaked alleyways, slow but relentless. Meghan slipped through the half-shadows and flicking neon toward the warehouse where she could see the bullet-proof glass on the 24-hour opioid dispensaries vibrating from the bass. This reminded her: Junkie business in the Jungle district is bad news all around.
         When Meghan found Dylan—exactly where Finn had told her he would be—he was face down in a back alley behind a warehouse, the outline of his body visible in the glow thrown off by a digitalized advertisement—Jack Heffernan, Progress Party candidate for President—stretched across the face of a skyscraper, blanketing this and the adjacent dozen or so blocks in a cold artificial light. There were razor-sharp gashes cleaved into the city’s surface and as she picked up her pace toward the body, Meghan imagined the earth’s crust recoiling from the steel, light, and noise, retreating back toward the darkness at its core. The Heffernan ad flashed the nation’s flag for several seconds, bathing the alley in a pale red hue. A drone was hovering a few feet above Dylan’s crumbled form.



What reviewers are saying:

"A taut, brilliantly conceived thriller with impeccable pacing bursting with ideas...For fans of noir-laden science fiction in the vein of Philip K. Dick that is in equal measures suspenseful, gripping, darkly funny and philosophically challenging." (starred review and named a Top Indie Book of the Year) - Kirkus Reviews

"There simply aren't enough stars to communicate the impressiveness of O'Donnell's work here. He has taken religion, science, politics, theory and philosophy and blended them all together to create what is easily one of the most important books to come out this year." - Pavarti K. Tyler, Fighting Monkey Press

Kingdom is a thrill-a-minute, bio-punk myth that manages to wrestle with the most pressing issues of the new millennium. O'Donnell has crafted a kickass novel of tomorrow night, when the big party gets raided by the monsters we've been building for the last half-century. Hip and hellish, wild and weird, Tiber City is the dystopian megalopolis into which we will all soon move--whether we know it or not. - Jack O’Connell, Author of Word Made Flesh and Box Nine



About the Author:

Obsessed with dystopian fiction and the Clash, Anderson resides with his wife and three children in Collinsville, CT.






There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Kingdom: Tiber City Blues. One winner will win a prize pack (open international) containing the following items: a signed copy of Kingdom Tiber City Blues, a poster of the cover Kingdom Tiber City Blues, a bottle of whiskey and a copy of The Clash’s “London Calling”.




This is my stop during the blog tour for Kingdom: Tiber City Blues by Anderson O'Donnell.

I hope you enjoyed reading.


The blog tour runs from 16 September till 6 October.


This blog tour is organized by:



Monday, 16 September 2019

Strands Of Truth by Colleen Coble


Title: Strands Of Truth
Author: Colleen Coble
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: September 10th 2019
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0718085906 (ISBN13: 9780718085902)


Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under?

Harper Taylor is used to being alone— after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.



Excerpt:

Prologue

January 1990

St. Petersburg, Florida

Lisa ran to her Datsun Bluebird and jerked open the yellow door. Her pulse strummed in her neck, and she glanced behind her to make sure she wasn’t being followed. She’d tried not to show fear during the confrontation, but it was all she could do not to cry. She couldn’t face life without him.

She’d been on edge ever since yesterday.

Twilight backlit the treetops and highlighted the hanging moss. Instead of finding it beautiful, she saw frightening shadows and shuddered. She slid under the wheel and started the engine, then pulled out of her driveway onto the road.

She turned toward the Gulf. The water always calmed her when she was upset—and she had crossed upset moments ago and swerved into the scared zone.

Her belly barely fit under the wheel, but this baby would be born soon, then she’d have her figure back.

She accelerated away from her home, a dilapidated one-story house with peeling
white paint, and switched on her headlights.

The radio blared full of the news about the Berlin Wall coming down, but Lisa didn’t care about that, not now. She switched channels until she found Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’ ”playing, but even her favorite tune failed to sooth her shattered nerves. Could she seriously be murdered over this? She’d glimpsed madness in those eyes.

She pressed the brakes as she came to a four-way stop, but the brake pedal went clear to the floor. She gasped and pumped the pedal again. No response. The car shot through the intersection, barely missing the tail end of another vehicle that had entered it before her.

Hands gripping the steering wheel, she struggled to keep the car on the road as she frantically thought of a way to bring it to a stop that didn’t involve hitting another car or a tree. The baby in her belly kicked as if he or she knew their lives hung suspended in time.

“We’re going to make it, little one. We have to. I can’t leave you alone.” No one would love her baby if she died. Her mother couldn’t care for her child. She cared more about her drugs than anything else.

Lisa tried to tamp down her rising emotions, but she’d never been so frightened. The car fishtailed on the sandy road as she forced it back from the shoulder. Huge trees lined the pavement in a dense formation.

Where could she drive off into relative safety? A field sprawled over on the right, just past the four-way stop ahead. If she made it through, it seemed the only place where they might survive.

Had the brakes been cut? What else could it be? She’d just had the car serviced.
Lisa approached the stop sign much too fast. The slight downhill slope had only accelerated the speed that hovered at nearly seventy. Her mouth went bone dry.




Author Bio:

Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.




Interview with Colleen Coble:

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a Hoosier through and through. Born and raised in the cornfields around Wabash, Indiana, I love my little Midwest town with its friendly people and safe streets. I’m the oldest of four and always wanted a sister, though I dearly love my three younger brothers. I mercilessly mothered them while growing up. Dave and I have two kids and three grandkids who make life wonderful.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? (And was there a particular moment you thought, ‘I can do this!’?)
Oh yes! I can still remember the first story I ever wrote. It was in first grade and was about twin colts. My teacher praised my writing, and the seed was planted. Someday I would have a book in a library! Libraries are hallowed places to me, so that was my goal.
The seed lay dormant through the early years of marriage and raising a family. We women often put our dreams aside to focus on our families, and that’s what I did. “Someday” I was going to write.
August 28, 1990 changed everything. The phone rang late that night with the news that the oldest of my three younger brothers, Randy, had been killed by lightning in a freak farm accident. In the coming months, as I emerged from the storm of grief, I realized that if I was ever going to follow my dream, I needed to get started. I was approaching my fortieth birthday, and time was marching on.
As part of the grieving process, my husband and I made a trip out to Wyoming to see where Randy had lived with his family for a few years. As I stood on the parade ground at Fort Laramie, the first idea took root and sprouted. The fire of grief and adversity had finally cracked open the seed that had lain dormant in my heart all those years.
I went home and started to write. It took a year to write that first book. I was sure there would be a bidding war! Not so much. It took SIX years of rejections before the call came from Barbour that they were going to publish my first book, Where Leads the Heart. I screamed so loudly the cat hid under the bed and wouldn’t come out for hours. I called my pastor to tell him the news, but I got his answering machine. I cried and babbled out what was happening. When he listened to the message, he thought someone had died, and he didn’t know who to call back. True story!


Are there any particular places that help you get the creative cogs turning?
Would you believe the car? My husband likes to drive so we often go on long trips. I get some of my best ideas just cruising along the highway. I love the beach too. Sitting there with my toes in the sand really revs up my creativity.

The best thing about being an author is….
The friendships! My critique partner and I have been together twenty-one years, and I have many sisters and brothers of the heart. I adore my publishing team at HarperCollins (I’ve been there seventeen years) and my agent and I are buds as well.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Oh I’m a pantser. I start with characters and an interesting premise. I usually don’t know for sure who the killer is and I lay down several rabbit trails to see where they take the story. I’ve plotted books early in my career, but it took the fun out of writing. If I know what’s going to happen—why write the book?

Would you say your book has a message or underlying theme?
Yes, the underlying theme is we can find our own family when life doesn’t give us a family of the blood. True, wonderful friends can fill in those lonely places.

Do you develop characters from your personal experiences or draw from that of others?
My family and friends know that anything they do is fair game. When my son got into Harleys, I had a Harley-riding hero. When the kids started scuba diving, I had to have some characters who do that. Those kinds of things springboard my imagination in different ways.

Who designed your book cover/s?
My team at HarperCollins is the best in the business! I have adored every cover they come up with!

Why do you think this book will or should appeal to new readers; what makes it stand out?
The complex plot surrounding DNA abuses as well as the backdrop of pen shells and sea silk should intrigue new readers. My longtime readers always talk about how my books immerse them in the setting and characters, and I think those elements are even stronger in Strands of Truth.

Which writers inspire you?
My favorite suspense writer is Lisa Gardner. I love the complex plots she creates and how she weaves two heroines together so well. My favorite romance writer is Denise Hunter who also happens to be my critique partner. But she writes the most romantic scenes!

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?
Raising my kids brought me so much joy and pride. They turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Dave and I love to travel! I always go to the setting of a new novel. We’ve been to all fifty states, Canada, England, Finland, Sweden, and Cambodia.

What is the most important thing in your life and why?
I love God and my family, and they are my priority. I always try to spread love to the best of my ability.

You’re stranded on a deserted island and you can take three people who would they be and why?
Only three? That’s hard. My hubby. I’m also going to choose my two kids because I’m sure they’ll bring along my grandkids! My husband and our son are very handy and creative. They’ll make sure we’re all fed, housed, and cared for.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I’d love to meet Stephen King. I learned to write close POV by reading his novels. His works were so much more immediate than all the classics I’d grown up reading, and his novels were the first ones I’d ever read that so immersed me in the experience.


Name three things you won’t leave home without.
  • My Bible
  • My MacBook Air
  • My Kindle

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I love hearing from readers! I hope you love Strands of Truth.

Thank you, Colleen :)



On Tour September 9 - October 4, 2019
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

These are the stops on the tour as of August 16 and are subject to change.





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Sunday, 15 September 2019

A Tale of Stars and Shadow by Lisa Cassidy


Title: A Tale of Stars and Shadow
Author: Lisa Cassidy
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: 20th June 2019


…’Burn bright and true’…


Dumnorix princess and born warrior, Talyn Dynan was the finest fighter of her generation. With her Callanan partner at her side, she was invincible, reckless, a death-knell to their enemies. But after her partner is torn away from her, Talyn is left broken, wracked with guilt and unable to regain the confidence she once had. Could an unexpected mission to the mysterious country of Mithranar, home of the magical winged folk, be the thing that saves her?

The Shadowhawk lives a life in the shadows. Constantly hunted for his criminal exploits, yet desperate to help the human folk of Mithranar who are oppressed by their winged folk rulers, he haunts the streets of Dock City. The arrival of a foreign warrior threatens to upset the carefully balanced life he leads, but when she begins to offer a hope for the humans he’s only ever dreamed of, can he risk trusting her?

And unbeknownst to both, a mysterious foe stalks the dark corners of Dock City. One that answers to a single purpose…

Vengeance.



About the Author:

Living in Australia's capital, I’m a self-published author who mostly sticks to novel-length fantasy but occasionally likes to break out with short stories on random things like unicorns and ninjas. When I’m not writing, you might catch me enthusiastically spectating a basketball game (#NewYorkKnick for life!), reading a tonne of books, or…who am I kidding? I spend a lot of time writing!

All four books in my debut YA fantasy series – The Mage Chronicles – are available for purchase, and I debuted a brand new series - A Tale of Stars and Shadow - in June 2019.

Whenever you buy a copy of one of my books, you’ll be helping to support One Girl. One Girl is committed to educating 1 million girls across Africa, and I’m SUPER excited to contribute to this vision. Together we’re changing the world, one girl at a time.