Saturday, 30 June 2018

Superhero High by T.H. Hernandez


Title: Superhero High
Author: T.H. Hernandez
Genre: Adventure, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publication date: 2018


Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole member of her family without a super power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship and secure her future.

When the government unexpectedly ends the secret Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program, Annarenee is uprooted from Dayton, the only home she’s ever known, and relocated to San Diego with all of the other GEA families. Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams.

With the end of the program, her hero older brother now needs a college education, too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.

But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. If they don’t kill each other first.


Excerpt:

         Smith slides in beside me and drapes his arm around me, kissing the side of my head.
         Ryan glances over his shoulder before backing up. “You guys are coming tonight, right?”
         “Wouldn’t miss it,” Smith answers for both of us.
         The drive to my house is less than five minutes. On the way Smith leans in and whispers in my ear, “Anyone going to be home?”
         I shake my head then wonder if I should have lied. Smith’s been hinting more frequently that he wants to have sex. We’ve been dating for three months, but unlike Smith, I’m not ready. Call me old-fashioned, but I want my first time to be special. I like Smith, he’s cute, popular, and funny, but I’m not in love with him. Plus, I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t keep secrets from the person you share the most intimate part of yourself with, and I’m keeping a huge secret from Smith.
         We pull up in front of my house, and Smith and I hop out, grabbing our stuff from the back.
         “I’ll call you later,” Ronny yells as Ryan roars off.
         I wave as they turn the corner and disappear, nerves twisting in my belly as Smith takes my hand. I glance at him, my gaze drawn to his crystal blue eyes beneath messy-wild blond hair. Smith moved here last summer and rapidly became one of the most popular guys in our class. He’s always tan and his body is cut, a result of time spent in the pool or surfing in his native Florida. Every single girl in our school, and possibly even a few with boyfriends, would be thrilled to have my problem. I need to figure this out soon before he decides he’s tired of waiting.
         Smith guides me up the walkway toward the porch, and I wonder how far I can let him go this time before I put on the brakes.
         Our front door opens and two men dressed in black suits, white button-ups, black ties, and sunglasses exit our house. The taller of the two seems to size me up behind his dark lenses before he nods and passes. I turn and watch them get into a black Escalade parked across the street.
         My brother, Noah, cruises up and parks his vintage blue Mustang convertible in the driveway. He climbs out, his eyes glued to the SUV as it pulls away from the curb.
         Smith snorts. “What are the Blues Brothers doing here?”
         I don’t share his humor and instead turn toward my brother, eyebrows raised in silent question.
         Noah shakes his head, and inside my own head, I hear, “I don’t know, they were blocking me.
         A chill runs through me starting in the pit of my stomach. It’s not unusual to get a visit from the Men in Black, but my parents should be at work, and Noah should still be at his school for another couple of hours. Something is wrong.
         “Don’t panic, AR,” Noah says in my head.
         I turn to Smith, “Um, I’ll call you later, okay? Pick me up at eight?”
         He leans in and kisses my cheek. “Sure. Wear something sexy.” He smiles and waggles his eyebrows.
         “Douchebag,” Noah says only to me before heading inside.


Playlist for Superhero High by T.H. Hernandez



  • Luck by American Authors
  • Lampshades on Fire by Modest Mouse
  • Catch Me Now I'm Falling by The Kinks
  • Something Just Like This by Chainsmokers and ColdPlay
  • Hate Me by Blue October
  • So Alive by the Goo Goo Dolls
  • Waiting for Superman by Daughtry
  • Fade Into You by Mazzy Star
  • The Underdog by Spoon
  • Superhero by The Script
  • Hey Girl by Ingram Hill
  • Just Breathe by Eddie Vedder
  • Hero by Chad Kroeger



Author Bio:

T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.”







Friday, 29 June 2018

Absolute Darkness by Tina O'Hailey


A thrill ride through time that will make you hold your breath.

Sitting by the campfire, Brandy admitted a secret to her friends. She swore she saw a ghost when exiting a cave earlier that day. Was she seeing things? Did they believe her? The next day, breaking a cardinal rule, she snuck back to the cave alone. No one knew where she was. What if she fell or was trapped? There would be no rescue.

For ten thousand years Alexander had kept the time streams of this universe safe from an eternal destructive force that continually threatened to tamper and destroy all. Locked in an unremitting battle, the two foes become sidetracked by an unexpected visitor. An entangled journey begins with chilling twists and turns until becoming locked into an inescapable death in a submerged cave.
Who will come out of the watery depths alive?

Use code: PREORDER2018 to receive a 10% discount!


Excerpt:

Introduction: Susan and Brandy are on a secluded weekend getaway. Brandy has met Alexander but he has disappeared and she hates that she is thinking about him and coming up with reasons why he would disappear.

         “Why doesn’t the pizza guy deliver here, Brandy?”
         “Used ta” Brandy, who tried to hide her central Florida twang, easily slipped into the accent of her youth.
         “What did you do? Piss him off with your girlish charms?”
         “‘Gater got ’im. That pepperoni will drive ’em wild.” She picked a few pepperonis off the top of the lonely last piece. It was nearly naked.
         “Was that before or after the mosquitoes ate him alive?”
         “Prob’bly after. They were just tenderizin’ him for old Fred, don’t ya see. He’s gettin’ a bit old.”
         Susan broke character first. “Have you really seen that gator or are you just fooling?”
         “Oh yeah. You don’t want to go off that way in the swamp.” Brandy motioned towards the north of the shack.
         “They’ve been dumping alligators and snakes and everything that was getting in the way in suburbia out here. It’s like something out of a horror film. Daddy tried to go boating up that way one day, ’bout ten years ago—just to see. Said the gators he saw out there made his legs turn to water. He turned back and no one else goes out there.” She poked at the naked piece of pizza and settled for a bite of the crust. “The bigger animals don’t come this way, except for Fred. Guess he likes being alone. He stays out here.” Brandy pointed to the south of the house. They were facing west—behind the house. To the east was the driveway out.
         “You don’t feed him or anything do you?”
         “Golly no! Don’t want him to confuse the two topics—me and food.”
         “Surprised we don’t see more alligators when we are diving in the pits. Did you see any yesterday at Devil’s Eye?”
         “Only some littler ones further out along the river.”
         “I never see any big ones. What happens when the little ones grow up?”
         Brandy pointed back to the north of the shack. “Out here—or Gatorland, unless they are killed. They eat good.”
         Susan wrinkled her perfect nose and made a face.
         They finished picking at their non-delivery pizza and languished on the back screened in porch. A bottle of wine sat between them. The night crickets sung in the thick air. Frogs croaked. Friends talked.
         Brandy sunk into her chair dreading going back to work, back to civilization where there were real schedules and goals and things that had to be done. At least out here it was her schedule, her goals and if she wanted to change them she could and would. If she decided to throw the whole day’s plan right out the window just so she could watch a thunderstorm come through, no problem. But there, back there—that was the real world. She didn’t want to go back. Especially now that she had to face Mark every day. The thought of not wanting to see him flushed her full of guilt. She pushed the thoughts aside, not wanting to ruin a perfect evening. She tried to replace the guilt with the excitement of Alexander returning soon. She frowned instead. Not only five kids, but three ex-wives. She was sure of it.
         Susan came out of the kitchen door with bowls of ice cream and interrupted the thought.
         “Mmmm, lovely,” Brandy crooned.
         The evening was perfect and peaceful. Unknown to them, the next time they would be at the shack it would not be so perfect and not so peaceful. In fact it will be the most terror filled day of their lives.










Author Bio:

Tina O'Hailey (author of animation text books “Rig it Right” and “Hybrid Animation”, professor in animation, visual effects and game programming, caver and occasional mapper of grim, wet, twisty caves—if she owes a friend a favor or loses a bet—whose passion is to be secluded on a mountain and to write whilst surrounded by small, furry dogs and hot coffee) was struck by lightning as a baby.



Guest Post by Tina O'Hailey:

A Day in the Life of Tina O'Hailey


There are so many hats that I wear—every day is completely different: different states (sometimes countries), different desk, different responsibilities. Yet, underlying it all there is a routine and this routine has been the same for over a dozen years. During the academic school year, I pack my suitcase on Sunday night with the help of my noble, long-hair Chihuahuas. Please be careful of them, they are ferocious beasts trapped in forever-puppy-bodies, the indignity of it. Monday mornings, I arise at 4 am in the morning to travel to a different state to work for the week. There I tend to my responsibilities in a highly creative environment (a university dedicated to creativity!) and am surrounded by all manner of extremely intelligent, creative, inquisitive, individuals who shape and inspire my every day. Depending on my role for the day I either am at a desk scheduling and doing managerial tasks or teaching in the classroom (my favorite subjects being animation and all things programming). Sometimes I can be found at admissions events for the university or helping with the latest Festival or signature event that is happening. These amazing opportunities have included interviewing Warren Beatty for an hour Q&A session on stage where he played the straight man and expected me to deliver funny lines to him—and I did. What an honor and a blast. Other moments have been nearly being killed by a horse who played chicken with our taxi in Punjab and flying over a riot to visit perspective students in India and give them a workshop on coding for the arts. (I did not fly the plane. That’s a different story for another day.) All in all—there is something challenging and new to learn each day. I thrive in that type of environment.

The hallways that I walk through are indescribable. I could explain to you that all corners of my work place are fabulously decorated and intentionally designed, but you could not picture it without seeing it yourself. I could describe the fashion museum where I can wander and find inspiration for a character, but your imagination would fall short of picturing the splendor. There is no boring spot, nor colorless wall, no place where creativity has not spontaneously combusted. To be surrounded by a place like that which is in turn filled with a vast group of eclectic and energetic people presents one with a daily challenge to be unique, creative and to dream large. In surrounding oneself with people who achieve such creative heights and in turn urge you to succeed as they do—with that support—one finds themselves reaching goals with confidence and surprising oneself with what can be achieved. Daily. Confidence and creativity are contagious.

The writing, which must take place lest demons crawl from my eye sockets, mostly takes place in the evenings, or on the long plane rides to visit the university’s Hong Kong location, or when on admissions trips to far lands (and some near). I carry a backpack with my laptop at all times so that any moment can be the perfect moment to write.

When the work week is done, I pack again and return to the mountain where I sit and write on my back porch over looking a wooded valley—again cheered on by my faithful, small, furry fiends…friends. If it is a lucky moment in time where I can sneak away and have some unplugged fun, I crawl into a cave with my best friends and see where the darkness goes. My other favorite getaway is riding motorcycles with my husband. Having grown up on a dirt-bike, I have continued to ride street bikes since the age of 18 when our first valentine’s present to one another was a motorcycle.

Every day is filled with texts between my grown children, my husband, and myself (mostly memes), coffee conversations, movie dissections, art projects and diving into the latest research obsession. I’m constantly curious and enjoy digging deeply into digital media techniques such as rigging for animation. Those dives result in textbooks.

My favorite moment is to sit on the back porch and watch the sun set over a blaze of lightning bugs while the insect orchestra begins.




The #FORLINEARS puzzle

 Please check out the virtual blog tour and you might find some embedded fun in the imagery.


In fact, I dare you. Can you find the hidden puzzles that lead to an autographed book give away? First one to figure it out wins an autographed book.





Follow the tour - Solve the clues - Win an autographed book.




Thursday, 28 June 2018

Alpha by Jus Accardo


Title: Alpha
Series: The Infinity Division #3
Author: Jus Accardo
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult 
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: July 3rd 2018


“A fun YA sci-fi story with a compelling cast of characters.”
 —Kirkus Reviews on Infinity

Sera is the obsession of a killer chasing a ghost. G is a soldier with too much blood on his hands.

Dylan lost the only person he ever loved—and will stop at nothing to get her back.

In a whirlwind chase that takes them back to where it all started, Sera, G, and Dylan will have to confront their demons—both physical and mental—and each other, in order to win their freedom.

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Excerpt:

      I watched it come—the subtle twitch of his left eye and the pull of his lips as he ground his teeth. Rage swirled behind his eyes and I knew… Somehow, I was sure that I’d taken this too far. This could be it. I might have finally pushed him hard enough.
      I thought about the twin scars on the insides of each of my wrists. I had no recollection of how they’d gotten there, but every day I spent with Dylan was one day closer to convincing me that I’d had a death wish in my old life. One that had carried through the memory loss and was fighting its way to the surface.
      He grabbed two handfuls of my shirt and hauled me away from the chair. Whipping me around as though I weighed nothing more than a feather, he flung me at the bed. I crashed into the mattress and bounced, rolling off the side and hitting the floor with enough force to jar my hip. A jolt of pain shot through me, and I winced, lifting my head to glare at him in defiance. “That’s it? All you’ve got?”
      He clenched his fists and closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them, the anger had gone. Mostly. “You’d like that, right? If I killed you? Then you’d feel justified in believing I’m a monster.”
      “You don’t need to do anything to justify to me that you’re a monster.” I grabbed the edge of the bed and climbed to my feet. I’d traded one captivity for another, and I’d be damned if I let him bully me into silence. “I’ve told you repeatedly that I want to leave. That I don’t want to be here with you. The fact that you refuse to set me free, to let me find G, proves it in spades.”
      “For three weeks I’ve done nothing but keep you safe.” He had a point. A small one. Cade and Noah and G weren’t the only ones chasing us. Cora’s main man, Yancy, and his crew had been nipping at our heels for weeks now. Sometimes we burned the cooldown on his chip, skipping and waiting out in the open until they found us, only to skip again. After the fourth and final skip, we hunkered down in some out of the way hole, like we were now, a brief twenty-four hours of reprieve granted while the chip reset before we had to do it all again.
      That was, of course, assuming they didn’t land right on top of us when they followed. The way the chip worked, you could track someone’s frequency, but the individual landing spot was a bit random. It could put you anywhere from one foot to half a mile away from your target. We’d had a couple of close calls but had gotten lucky this last time. “If it wasn’t for me, you’d be back rotting in that cage.”


Author Bio:

Jus Accardo spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather's footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food.

Jus is the bestselling author of the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.







Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Go Home, Afton by Brent Jones



Title: Go Home, Afton
Series: Afton Morrison, #1
Author: Brent Jones
Genre: Adult, Thriller
Publication date: June 25th 2018

“Kenneth Pritchard had to die, you see—she and I agreed on that much—but it would be me who would have to kill him. He would be my first, and his death had to be just right.” —Go Home, Afton (Chapter 1)


We all wear masks, and Afton Morrison is no exception.

A small-town librarian with a dark side, Afton, twenty-six, has suppressed violent impulses her entire adult life. Impulses that demand she commit murder.

Blending her urges with reason, Afton stalks a known sexual predator, intending to kill him. But her plan, inspired by true crime and hatched with meticulous care, is interrupted by a mysterious figure from her past. A dangerous man that lurks in the shadows, watching, threatening to turn the huntress into the hunted.

Go Home, Afton is the first of four parts in a new serial thriller by author Brent Jones. Packed with grit and action, The Afton Morrison Series delves into a world of moral ambiguity, delivering audiences an unlikely heroine in the form of a disturbed vigilante murderess.

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“…a thin line of red trickled down his throat. Even seated as he was, he towered over me. He looked down his nose through widened gray eyes, waiting to see what I’d do next.” —Go Home, Afton (Chapter 6)


Author Bio:

From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his career to pursue creative writing full-time.

Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex.


“I debated my next move, chastising myself for allowing fear to creep into my consciousness. I hadn’t come this far to turn around and go back…” —Go Home, Afton (Chapter 15)







Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Guns, Rations, Rigs, and the Undead By K.E. Radke



Title: Guns, Rations, Rigs, and the Undead
Author: K.E. Radke
Genre: Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Date of Publication: May 1st 2018
Pages: 239
Edited by: Audrey Moran


Prepping was his way of life.

Lincoln realizes it’s every man for himself when the big cities are swarming with the military and the law disappears in the tiny town of Dessarillo, Texas, causing chaos to erupt. People Lincoln’s known for years were attacking their friends and family with their minds set on eating them limb by limb. He’d been prepared for this exact moment, waiting for disaster to strike so he could take a front row seat to society’s self destruction.

As an outcast, he learned to rely on no one. Until he unexpectedly finds his life in the hands of his neighbor, Wyatt, the man proving to be trustworthy. Together they try to carve out a safe place while people are turning into flesh eating monsters, decaying from the inside out, and destroying humanity one bite at a time.


Excerpt:

In the doorway Lincoln stepped out onto his small, enclosed porch, feeling the twitch in his upper lip turning into a scowl. The huge tree in his front yard towered over his house, blocking the sunlight so he could see the large crowd huddled together on his lawn and driveway. The space felt small with his almost six-foot frame filling it as he eyed each person. All of them avoiding eye contact like they’d come to secretly gawk at the neighborhood anomaly. He recognized most of them by name, wondering how long it’s been since he’s actually spoken to any of his neighbors.

They never bothered with him before. Always whispering behind his back. Calling him bat shit crazy. The kooky neighbor that came along with the neighborhood. Harmless, if you don’t bother him. But never an actual word said to him.

Within a few months of living in Dessarillo, Texas, his neighbors had turned his house into an ominous staple of the neighborhood. His street was the furthest back from the main road. The last block where both ends of the street swing around to take you back toward the main front entrance, a type of cul-de-sac. His little, brown house became the destination for all the neighborhood kids to pull pranks. The one girl scouts avoided when selling cookies, and invitations were lost the minute his name was written on the card. Not once, was Lincoln ever thought of in a friendly way. He wasn’t considered a neighbor, more like an attraction. The local gossip.

Breaking Lincoln’s train of thought a question rippled over the crowd directed at him. “What do we do?” it was a strong, take charge tone belonging to Wyatt. The conformed, heartthrob of the neighborhood stepped forward making his presence known, branding him the leader of the mob. Lincoln recognized the panic set in his amber eyes, as Wyatt squinted, flinging his hippie hair out of way, trying to hide the fear by a nervous smile.

On the lawn the others subtly moved inward trying to get as close as they could without invading Lincoln’s space. They wanted to be close enough to hear his

advice, but far enough to run back home so they won’t have to stay and chitchat afterward.

A surge of energy making Lincoln’s heart pound made him flex his hand as icy rage built silently, threatening to crack through his weakening tolerance toward them. Each face a reminder of the ridicule he endured for years living next to them. Oh how he’d love to shout obscenities at them while brandishing his Glock 17 from its holster and watch as they trampled each other to scurry back home with their tail between their legs. Only the law stood in his way, but not for long. All in good time, he thought.

Wyatt spoke up trying to fill the awkward silence, “Maybe we should go over what supplies to buy?” Lincoln’s jaw clenched but he wanted to scoff at Wyatt’s question. The fury threatening to consume him as he kept it contained. You stock supplies before the panic; Lincoln kept the thought to himself with a smug expression. Allowing the silence to fuel the tension, letting their fear stoke the desperate situation they’ve put themselves in. After all, Lincoln’s only doing what he does best, keeping to himself. Something his neighbors thought was a blessing until now.

Everyone sat in denial. All the signs were there if you searched for them. Overpopulation, abnormal weather, new epidemics, the growing tensions between countries, all of it public information, and ignored. Lincoln stopped ignoring it after the horrendous attempt the government made to evacuate the city of Houston for Hurricane Rita. Panic and fear fueled from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina had the entire city fleeing.

Like the rest of Houston, Lincoln evacuated, only to sit on the side of the road out of gas and slowly dehydrating. No one bothered to stop and help, people were desperate to escape, giving into the primal beings we evolved from millions of years ago. Concerned for their own survival.

Hours went by as he walked in the roasting heat until he reached a gas station. They tried to charge him five dollars for a bottle of water. He drank it and said he

left his wallet in the car, then offered to wait for the police with them when they made the threat. Price gouging was the bigger crime, and he easily called their bluff. In a feverish rage, he stole a gas container right in front of them, filled it up and left without paying for that either.

Back in his car, he didn’t follow the traffic out of the city. Instead he rode home in the opposite direction with the stolen gas fueling his car vowing never to be vulnerable again. The next disaster he’d have to endure, he’d be prepared. No one would be able to take advantage of him and he’d survive without help. He learned the only person you can truly depend on is yourself.

After hurricane Rita, Lincoln moved from Houston to north Texas settling in Dessarillo, where he’s been for over ten years. Shunned by his neighbors as a radical enthusiast, and asked why he wasted his time and money on things he’ll never need. The corner of his mouth lifted slightly, amused at his sudden popularity. It’s programmed in their DNA to survive. By any means possible. His extreme prepping lifestyle doesn’t seem so peculiar to them now. Not when it’s convenient to have him as a neighbor and they need his expertise.

Lunatic turned messiah.


About The Author:


Settled in Southern Nevada, Kendra spends her time trying to convince her two Yorkies to stop staring at her while she eats. She is a proud spouse of a Veteran and mother of two boys. When she’s not writing about the next adventure for her readers, she’s traveling on her own.





Tour Schedule: 


June 25th The Page Unbound Review
June 25th Books & Broomsticks Author Interview
June 26th Just Books Excerpt
June 26th The Faerie Review Review
June 27th Sci-Fi & Scary Excerpt
June 27th A Booklion's Hideaway Author Interview
June 28th Rebecca R. Cahill Guest Post
June 28th Queen of My Fairytale Review
June 29th Descendant of Poseidon Reads Guest Post
June 29th A Striking Viper, Caught in a Tangled Web Excerpt




Book Tour Organized by:

Monday, 25 June 2018

Storms Over Babylon by Jennifer Macaire


Title: Storms Over Babylon
Series: The Time For Alexander Series, Book 4
Author: Jennifer Macaire
Genre: paranormal romance (time travel)


From the scorching plains of Persia to the opulent city of Babylon, Ashley and Alexander continue their sensuous and passionate journey through history. Alexander the Great is now king of Persia and Greece but his reign will be short. Time-travelling Ashley knows when her husband will die. She's determined to cheat Fate and save Alexander and her children, even if it brings the gates of time crashing down. Following Alexander on a tour of his new kingdom, she plans her moves and bides her time. She must, however, convince Alexander to abandon his crown and his kingdom.



Excerpt:

We lay on the bed and he kissed me. At first I couldn’t talk, and then I didn’t want to as our movements quickened and grew more urgent, searching for the release we both knew the other had the power to give. Much later, when I felt the pulse in his neck slow, I was ready to speak, but I still didn’t know what to say.

“I’m going to have a baby.” I decided to start with the good news first.

Alexander sat up in the bed. There was enough moonlight coming through the window to show me his face. His eyes were shining, one light, one dark. He smiled, and his teeth seemed to glow in the darkness. “That’s wonderful,” He whispered. “Was that why you fainted during the wedding? I was so afraid that it was because you were upset I’d married Stateira again. However, it made her happy, and I remembered what you said, that she would die soon after I do. I feel so helpless,” He went on, his voice tightening. “I wish I could do something. She’s a nice enough girl and she would so love to stay in Babylon and rule the city. She’s quite good at politics actually. Then I thought maybe it was because Plexis was marrying Drypetis, but no, that’s not it.” He went on in a rush. “You were so happy when he told you he was getting married, and you couldn’t have teased him so much if you were really hurting. Besides, you know how much he loves you and Chiron. I think I was more jealous than you were. When Drypetis asked me if she could marry him, it gave me a shock. I never knew how much I really loved him until...” He broke off and bit his lip. “I’m sorry. I should let you speak.” His voice was breathless, his color hectic. I wondered if he was drunk. But there was no wine on his breath, he was simply all nerves.

“I don’t know how to tell you this,” I said painfully.

“Is it harder than telling me about my own death?” He asked, a note of teasing in his voice.

“Yes,” I was sad.

He caught my mood and sobered immediately. “Is it Chiron?” He asked quickly. “Is he ill?”

“No.” I threw my head back and groaned. “Oh no, I can’t! I can’t do this! “I started to sob.

Alexander grew frightened. I had managed to stay calm for so long, through so much, that when I fell apart he immediately assumed the worst. “Is it you?” He asked. “Are you dying?”

“No. No I’m fine.” I wiped my eyes. “It’s just something I remembered during the wedding ceremony.”

“During the ceremony, When you were watching me and Stateira? Or Plexis...”His voice trailed off as he watched my face carefully. I had flinched. “Is it Plexis?” He breathed.

My shoulders sagged. I put my face in my hands.

“Plexis. Will he die then? Is that it?” It was a whisper. Pain tightened his throat.

“I’m sorry. It was the name. Plexis didn’t mean anything to me. I’d never read anything about him. I realized during the ceremony that…that Hephaestion died.”



Author Bio:

Jennifer Macaire lives in France with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. After graduation in St. Thomas, she moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.






Sunday, 24 June 2018

Boy in the Mirror by Robert J. Duperre




Title: Boy in the Mirror
Series: The Infinity Trials Book 1
Author: Robert J. Duperre
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy/Horror
Date Published: December 31, 2016
Publisher: TRO Publishing


Fifteen-year-old Jacqueline Talbot’s boyfriend Mal lives in the mirror of her makeup case. There’s never been anything normal about Jacqueline; not during her time in foster care, and certainly not in her new hometown of Mercy Hills.

With rumors of actual monsters in the woods, the popular kids taking an unhealthy interest in her, and the revealing of her own dark past, all Jacqueline wants to do is run away forever with Mal. Too bad he’s trapped in the mirror.

But when she learns the ancient forces of the town want to destroy everything she loves, the race is on to free the boy in the mirror, because he just might be the only one who knows how to stop them.

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Excerpt:

         Jacqueline’s bedroom was a barren place consisting of a bed and dresser and nothing else. The walls were adorned with framed scripture verses and a pair of paintings, both of Christ. When she’d first arrived, Jacqueline had asked Papa Gelick if she could hang up the only two pictures of her parents that she had, but she’d been shot down.
         It was in this room that Jacqueline had spent most of the three months she’d lived with the Gelicks. And while she did indeed sleep and pray as ordered, she also plotted her eventual escape from this cruel place.
         Cruel place.
         Jacqueline’s guilt reared its ugly head. She was being judgmental and mean, and she knew it. The Gelicks might’ve been rigid and a bit odd, but neither the pastor nor his wife had ever done anything outwardly cruel. Even when she was paraded in front of Papa Gelick’s congregation every Sunday and made a spectacle of, the pastor had assured her it was to show the good God-fearing folks of Colebrook that even sinners could change if they accepted the grace of God. Even if he and his congregation were way more fundamentalist than any other Protestant churches she’d been to, it was really just an annoyance.
         They’re trying to help you, her conscience scolded.
         “I know,” she whispered.
         The tears came hard and fast, and she curled up in a ball on her bed. Her mind was a jumble of contradictions. She’d been a girl without a family for so long that she’d started to identify as such. Just the possibility that it might not be true was enough to make her feel hope for the first time in a long while, which in turn made her unravel.
         “Please don’t cry,” said a voice in the room. “I don’t like it when you cry.”
         Jacqueline lifted her head, wiped the tears from her cheeks. She sucked in the last of her sniffles and slid off the bed, making her way across the bedroom.
         Her compact was on the dresser, an old thing with rusted hinges. The blush inside had long been used up, but it was her most prized possession, a relic left behind by a mother she never knew.
         Jacqueline pried open the case and stared at her reflection in the mirror. Once again she marveled at how alike she and “Aunt Mitzy” looked. The resemblance was so uncanny that she could have been the woman’s daughter.
         Downstairs, the Gelicks bid good day to Aunt Mitzy, and Jacqueline faintly heard the woman say she’d be back in a week so they could “clear up any confusion.” The front door then closed, followed by the crunch of tires rolling down the driveway. The tingling in Jacqueline’s stomach disappeared. She glanced back at the mirror.
         He was there.
         His eyes, gun-metal gray, gazed up at her from behind his reflective prison. His white, slightly tousled hair flopped over one side of his face. He smiled his perfect smile. “Hey there, Jackie,” the boy in the mirror said.
         “Hi, Mal.”
         Jacqueline had first discovered the boy who lived in the compact a week after her father’s arrest. Child Services had escorted her home to collect her valuables before she was sent to a group shelter in Newport, Vermont. She’d been in a daze, tossing random odds and ends into her travel bag, when she heard someone call out her name. She’d followed the voice to her father’s bedroom, but saw nothing but an unmade bed and laundry scattered everywhere. She was only ten at the time, but she knew enough to understand that her daddy wouldn’t be sleeping in that bed any more, that those clothes would never again hang off his slender frame. Not after what he’d done.
         Jacqueline had started crying again—there had been so much crying in those days after the incident—when the voice called out again. “Please don’t cry.” She followed the sound of humming to the drawer in her father’s dresser where he stored Jacqueline’s mother’s old keepsakes. She rummaged through knickknacks and costume jewelry until her hand touched a metal disk. The brass surface of the thing was warm. When she’d opened it, he’d appeared, white hair, gray eyes, and all. He’d introduced himself as Mal, her guardian angel. Jacqueline had been young enough at the time to believe him without question. She’d been na├»ve enough to have faith in things like hope and miracles.
         Five years changed so much.
         With each subsequent move to a different foster home, she’d retreat further into her relationship with the mysterious boy in the mirror. It was in moments like this, when the last of her optimism seemed ready to crumble away completely and leave a dead husk in its wake, that her simple, childlike belief that the unreal boy actually existed made her sane.
         She went back to the bed and sat down, placing the open compact in her lap. She grabbed her brush and ran it through her long, black hair, tugging at the roots, letting the pain come. Doing so let her remember that she was still capable of feeling something. In the mirror, Mal watched her, his ever-present smile faltering.
         “What’s the matter?” he asked, lips twisting into a thin white line.
         Jacqueline sucked snot into her nose. “I’m just sad.”
         “Is it him? The pastor?”
         “No. Not really.”
         “Then what?”
         She sighed. “A woman came. She said her name’s Mitzy Sarin. You know her?”
         “Nope. Never heard of her. Related to your mom?”
         “Yeah. Says she’s her sister. I didn’t know I had any family left. But we look alike. A lot alike, so it’s gotta be true.”
         “Gotta be, or you hope it is?”
         Jacqueline shrugged. She had no answer for that.
         “What does she want?” asked Mal.
         “To take me away from here.”
         Tears again rolled down Jacqueline’s cheeks. One fell from her chin and landed on the mirror. The bead of salty fluid immediately vanished.
         “I don’t like it when you cry,” Mal said. “This is a good thing, isn’t it?”
         “Maybe,” Jacqueline sniffled.
         “Well, where does she want to take you?”
         “Connecticut, I think.”
         Mal’s smile widened. “That’s good. That’s very good.”
         “Is it?”
         “Yup. Have faith, Jackie. These things always work themselves out in the end.”
         She sat there in silence for a while, the beautiful boy in the mirror gazing up at her. She wanted to believe him, but her life had been one catastrophe piled on top of another, from her mother’s death when she was three to her father’s horrible acts to the countless love-deprived homes she’d found herself in afterward. It was dangerous to think anything would change. She just couldn’t set herself up for disappointment again, no matter what Mal told her.
         “You’re right,” she finally said, placating him. “Just think positive thoughts.” A sad smile crossed her lips. “At least I have you.”
         “That you do,” Mal said with a wink.
         “Thank you.”
         “Of course. You’re the most beautiful girl in the world, Jackie. I love you.”
         “I love you too, Mal.”
         Jacqueline peered out the window. The sun was setting, and she suddenly felt dead tired. She closed the compact, placed it beneath her pillow, then took off her clothes, slipped on her nightgown, and climbed beneath the covers. The residue of Aunt Mitzy’s cookies still lingered in her mouth, and when she licked the back of her teeth, she felt a strange, calming sensation come over her. Jacqueline succumbed to the feeling, closing her eyes, wondering about Mal. Was he floating through space, drawn back through the fabric of existence whenever she opened the mirror? Or did he exist purely within the confines of the compact, his soul trapped for eternity like a genie, waiting for her to rub the mirror in the right way to release him?
         Or maybe he wasn’t there at all.
         While she pondered this, Mal’s sweet voice, muffled by her pillow, sang her to sleep.
         “Pretty little lady with a heart of gold. Poor pretty lady, without a dream, without a home.”


Author Information:

Robert J. Duperre is an author from Connecticut, the land of insurance, tobacco, and unfulfilled dreams. Over his mildly interesting life, Robert has released seven novels that skirt the line between horror, science fiction, and fantasy, as well as edited and contributed to a pair of short story collections. His novel “Soultaker” was released in 2017 by Ragnarok Publications. He also co-wrote "The Breaking World" series with David Dalglish, which was picked up and published by 47North, a subsidiary of Amazon Publishing. And all this was accomplished while living happily ever after with his wife, the artist Jessica Torrant.









RABT Book Tours & PR

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Interview with Mike Schlossberg


On June 5, 2018, Redemption by Mike Schlossberg was released and I featured the book here on Just Books.

Today the author,  Mike Schlossberg, has joined me to answer a few questions about the book and himself.


Hi Mike, welcome to Just Books.
Would you like to kick off by telling me a little about yourself and your background?
Hiya! I’m Mike Schlossberg. I’m 35, married with two kids (Auron, 7 and Ayla, 5 – bonus points for your readers if they can figure out what video games the names came from). My full time job is serving as a Pennsylvania State Representative, where I represent 65,000 people in the city of Allentown and South Whitehall townships.
I also suffer from a major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, and have since I was 18 (probably longer). I’ve been openly discussing my mental illness for the past 3.5 years now, and that experience has become the biggest issue of my career. That experience, in particular, helped inform Redemption.


When and how did your interest in writing begin…?
6th grade. That’s an easy one. I remember my teacher at the time teaching us about writing and I remember thinking, “WAIT. I can just…make things happen in my magical story land and have total control?” It was a blast. And I never stopped. So much so that I dedicated my first book (a non fiction book called Tweets and Consequences about how politicians screw up their lives with dumb things they do on social media) to my middle school English teachers.


And what made you decide to put your work out there to be read by others?
I hate to say it, but that makes it worth it. I view writing the same way as I view my career in government and politics – it’s a chance to inspire and help people. Writing for myself – and only myself – just isn’t enough.


What do you enjoy most about writing?
The ability to create and manipulate worlds and organically allow characters to grow – and using that ability to help people.


How did you come up with the title, Redemption?
I did a whole blog entry about this: https://mikeschlossbergauthor.com/2018/04/26/why-redemption/
Short answer: It’s the name of the ship, but it’s also a journey that I think every person who suffers from mental illness seeks: Redemption from imagined guilt and wrongs. Redemption from their own minds.



So you use your personal experiences in your writing?
Absolutely. The main character – Ash – is largely informed by my own experiences with depression. He’s what would have happened if my life had gone a different way (minus the Spaceship part, obviously). He’s not exactly like me – he’s more stoic, more reserved – but he still presents an interesting perspective of how my life could have been (and almost was).


Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
It is not Ash, the character based on me. It is Alexis, the character largely based on my wife, albiet in a more exaggerated form. She is brash, vulnerable and multi-layered. Her experiences sent her life in a different direction than Ash’s, and I loved writing her growth as a character – but much of that comes in book two!


For those of us who are thinking of reading your book, could you tell us what to expect?
I summarize it in one sentence like this: “A story about depression, anxiety and the end of the world.” That being said, it’s a story of personal growth, set against the background of a world-ending plague. It has action, adventure, romance and a decent amount of crying. I hope – and I think – that it keeps you on your toes. And it’s certainly something that has broad appeal for anyone who likes a coming of age story.


Tell us about the cover and how it came about.

So this part was one of the neater things. It’s a space adventure so I had to incorporate that, but at the same time I wanted to make sure that the mental health component of my book was captured as well. I merged them the best I could and I think it rings true for people with mental illness or depression – the world is exploding around the person in the picture (supposed to be Ash), but his hands are in his pockets as the galaxy burns. I think that is something that every depressed person can sympathize with.



Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
No question about it – who doesn’t look twice when they see a great cover?


Do you have a special time to write? How do you fit your writing around your family and work?
Usually, yes! Evening. Kids go to bed, wife watches TV, and I do at least 1,000 words, every night/every other night. I have an easier time writing in the evening than anything else. As for doing it with family around…noise-cancelling headphones, man. They’re the best.


When you consider your future, what would you like to make happen for you?
I would like to be in politics as long as I have the passion for it – and you need that passion to survive the insanity that comes with it sometimes. That being said, I’m employed at the will of the voters, and if they decide they are done with me, that’s that. Whenever this part of my journey ends, I’d love to swing it as a writer full time. This is so much fun – and I enjoy interacting with people like this.


Other than writing, what are you passionate about?
Again, helping people, and particularly the most vulnerable in society. I’m a pretty progressive Democrat – I believe in giving those who need it a hand up and making sure that everyone in society has the same opportunities that I have been lucky enough to have.


It’s time to relax! What do you do?
VIDEO GAMES. I mean, reading, obviously. I read vociferously. But video games. Skyrim and Final Fantasy are my two favorites.


Quick fire round:

Favourite Season?
Fall.
Favourite quote?
“The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Favourite book?
Hard one. The Dome, Stephen King.
One food you will NOT eat?
Tuna fish.
Dream vacation?
Hawaii or Jamaica.


Which fictional character, book or film, would you like to meet and why?
That is a good question! I am legitimately going through my Goodreads books to try and come up with an answer that sticks out more than anything else. I’m gonna go with Phoebe, the sister in A World Without You by Beth Revis – the most aware character I’ve ever read that she is not the main character of the story.


What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
That I can answer easily. This speech. If you watch it, you can’t tell, but I am utterly terrified. I finished it and sat in my seat and just shook for five minutes. People don’t realize how much all of us are pretending to be strong and smooth, when in reality, at moments, we are collapsing or raging inside.


It's an outstanding speech, Mike, thank you for being a voice for anyone affected by mental illness, myself included!

Thank you ever so much for joining us today, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
This was really comprehensive! Thanks so much for the excellent questions.


If you would like to know more, you can catch up with Mike Schlossberg here:
Website  Blog  Facebook  Twitter

Redemption is available to buy in ebook and paperback
Amazon  B&N  Kobo  Smashwords




Friday, 22 June 2018

Wolf Boy by Gerry Sammon





Peragrim was his name. An inhuman human sworn to destroy his quarry, three human children – Connor, Evey and Billy. They had been transported to a world ruled by the Wolf People, but Peragrim was waiting for them.










Author Bio: 


Gerry Sammon is a journalist and former newspaper editor based in Bolton, Lancashire.

From September 2015 he has been a tutor in Media Law at News Associates in Manchester, an award-winning private training provider, tutoring trainee journalists in media law and ethics. He also teaches media law to students at Manchester Metropolitan University, and at the University of Central Lancashire based in Preston.

He has travelled widely, both for business and on family holidays.

The idea for Wolf Boy came from a dream my daughters used to have when they were small children. The elder daughter would dream there was a wolf in the wardrobe (this is how our adventure begins in Wolf Boy), and my youngest daughter had a dream that a crocodile lived under her bed.

Gerry is married, with two grown-up daughters.



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