Friday, 31 August 2018

Hard Trigger by S.L. Hannah

In HARD TRIGGER by S.L. Hannah, Victoria finds herself entwined with a lover on the opposite side of a bloody feud. Seeking revenge to stop the flow of opiates that are killing her mother—she must spill the blood of her lover’s family to do it. Fans of RUIN by CD Reiss and SIN WITH ME by JA Huss & Johnathan McClain will devour this dark and sexy enemy to lovers tale where loyalty is in the eye of the beholder.

Title: Hard Trigger
Author: S.L. Hannah
Genres: Romantic suspense
Release Date: August 28, 2018
Publisher: AOH Publishing

“Your mother’s opiates are coming from Jose Herrera’s distribution network.” My pulse races as my stepfather speaks these words. Because taking on the Herreras also means taking on Diego.

Reckless, and hardened by a volatile past, Victoria does not see a future with Diego Herrera as a realistic option. As their childhood friendship ignites, they find themselves on opposite sides of a bloody feud between the two most powerful families in Mexico City. And she’s a Moreno now—brought up to be the secret weapon nobody suspected.

But Victoria can’t deny the attraction. Diego’s commanding muscles, the coarse, dark hair of his solid chest, that rugged scar above his sensuous lips…

Loyalty is in the eye of the beholder.

Check out the trailer!


Copyright © 2018 S.L. Hannah

My body is spent. I want to feel him release inside of me. I want to collapse on top of him. I want to keep fucking like two animals that want to survive a wilderness that is both beautiful and vicious. Our chests heave in a unison that signals it’s not over and he starts pumping into me…
Except I’m not just an animal. I turn my head towards the end table, lean over and grab his cell phone.
“Call them off.” I shove the phone into his palms. “All of them. Tell them I’m not here. That they made a mistake.”
Still pumping into me, his eyes grow wider. “Don’t be fucking crazy. Let me walk you out of here and make everyone believe that you’ve disappeared. At least for a little while.”
He’s hitting that spot. That warm and sensitive spot that makes me second-guess every decision and every goal. That makes me curl up and want to be swept away and taken care of even though I’ve never wanted it to be part of my long-term plan because I’ve seen everything that my mother has gained and lost by…being taken care of.
He searches my face for a place to reason. “What I’m offering…they’re going to catch up to you eventually. And before you catch up to my uncle again. He’s the second-in-line to a multi-national business. You killed one of his men last night. You almost killed him. You think no one noticed? This would give…us a chance.” he pleads. Even though he doesn’t say it, it’s the same proposal that he made on our trip, except without the ring. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted. I’d always been tempted.
I freeze. He’ll never know how many times I ran over the circumference of the diamond band on that night stand before I drove off, deciding on a different destiny. I knew the moment I stepped in the old Peugeot that the tread would be forever imprinted on my fingers.
“I can’t.”
The admission makes him choke on whatever he was about to say and roar in frustration, because he’s not the type of man to accept defeat.
His fingers fumble on the screen. Awkwardly he holds the cell against his ear, spitting in Spanish. He’s done what I’ve asked him to do.
He throws the phone, and then locks his forearms around my neck, leading me closer to him. His cock is still stiff, and it throbs inside of me, reminding me of why we’re even in this position.
Cursing, his lips find mine, biting, absorbing, demanding. And I reciprocate. I’m not unwilling. I never have been. Our tongues tangle as our bodies begin to move in unison again.

About S.L. Hannah:

S.L. Hannah was born in Poland, grew up in Canada, and moved to Southern California to pursue her love of single-engine airplanes. Her latest rogue romance, Hard Trigger, will be published on August 28th, 2018. Visit her online at to learn about her other books, to get updates about her new release, and to connect through social media. S.L. Hannah lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and garden of succulents. When she’s not writing fiction, she continues to solve the aviation problems of the world.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Xavier by Christina Bauer

Title: Xavier
Series: Angelbound Worlds, #1
Author: Christina Bauer
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: February 25th 2020

I am the archangel Xavier,
General of the Angelic Army.
My life began at the dawn of time,
And in all the long eons since
I have only known war, never love.
Until HER.

Enter the Angelbound Worlds, a new series of novellas that take place within different areas and eras of the after-realms (Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, the Dark Lands, and Antrum). Don’t miss Book 1 in the Angelbound Worlds series, in which the archangel Xavier shares how he finally fell in love.

Suggested to read after Angelbound Origins Book 1.


“SUCH interesting stories!! I love the characters, the plot, the writing style. Unique, beautiful, not sappy with the romance, but steamy enough to keep my interest. DEFINITELY recommend!” – Keri, Goodreads 

“Anyone into fantasy and other worldly experiences would enjoy these books. I am officially addicted!” – Rachely, Goodreads

Author Bio:

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!
WebsiteBlog • FacebookTwitterInstagram 

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

The McKenzie Files Author: Barry K. Nelson

Title: The McKenzie Files
Author: Barry K. Nelson
Genre: Science-Fiction

The United Protectorate is under attack by the Brelac, a bloodthirsty reptilian alien race bent on destroying humanity. A dark alliance between the Brelac and the Vendetta, a separatist organization, looms over the Protectorate. The Brelac’s onslaught brings forth the creation of the genetically engineered humanoid weapons called Reploids. Reploids are identical copies of real humans captured, killed, cloned, embedded with powerful psionic abilities, and programmed to serve the Brelac. They are untraceable and blend into human society so believably, the Reploids themselves do not know they are clones.

Colin McKenzie, part of a military team sent to a remote planet to investigate and capture a downed Brelac ship, turns on his commanding officer in an attempt to protect a shipwrecked band of Brelac soldiers. But he is captured and reprogrammed – along with two other arrested Reploids – to serve the government they were originally created to destroy.

The balance is upset when a weapon powerful enough to bring the Protectorate to its knees is about to be unleashed – and the Protectorate’s only hope of stopping it is the three Reploids.



      For a moment the Brelac standing before Fenlow remained silent. Fenlow’s skin twitched, apprehensive as to what would happen next. He had limited personal involvement with these creatures, but knew that they were as unpredictable as they were vicious. He eyed the rows of long teeth under the curled lips and suppressed a shudder.
      The Brelac uttered a deep growl to slowly form a single name. “Fenlow. So, you’re the Great Doctor Fenlow. One of the first traitors in the brief history of this war. We finally meet.”
      “I find the word traitor to be a little too malignant to suit my purpose,” Fenlow said quickly. “I’d like to think of myself as an entrepreneur.”
      The Brelac growled again. Showing more of his sharp teeth. “Traitor, entrepreneur. It’s all the same to me. The point is that you’re here. The question is, why?”
      “I’m here to speak to Bane Mariner. I have a proposition for him.”
      “You are addressing Governor General Bane Mariner. Supreme Commander of the Brelac Empire. And I hope that your proposition is worth my time.”
      “It is,” Fenlow assured him. “What I’m about to propose will greatly benefit both you and my company.”
      “Carp Technologies,” Mariner leaned back on his heels, his tail stretching out to counterbalance his shifting weight. “I admire your company. Playing both sides of the war for their own benefit. All the while maintaining the facade of a benevolent corporation serving your little corner of the universe. I wonder, what your people would say if they knew that you and your company were working with us to create the Reploid menace?”
      “I’m…I’m afraid that the Reploid program has been discontinued for the present time. More especially the advanced Reploids. En-route to Helios on the planet Meridan one of your shuttles carrying several Reploid units was shot down by Protectorate forces. Three Reploids were captured by the military. Carp considered this to be a threat to company security and decided to halt the project.”
      Fenlow withheld the fact that he himself had recommended halting the project. Aided by Carp’s resources, Fenlow produced the Reploids in a laboratory within a company research vessel stationed at a secret location in space. Fenlow notified his Brelac contact on a secured channel when each shipment of Reploids would be due for delivery, and would then meet a Brelac transport shuttle at a designated rendezvous point.
      Curious about the Brelac’s vision without the use of physical eyes, Fenlow had asked to examine their psionic implants. After months of extensive research he’d been able to create a more advanced version of the implants, and promised to deliver dozens of Reploids armed with the implants to help the Brelac achieve a swifter victory. Highly treasonous acts that would certainly earn Fenlow and others within Carp Technologies a swift death sentence.
      “Those Reploids in the hands of your military could pose a problem,” Mariner stated, cracking his knuckles.
      “They’re no threat. There are only three of them. The military will make limited use of their abilities, and I’ve already taken steps to diminish their effectiveness,” Fenlow paused. “Carp’s board of directors has decided to move forward with Operation Broad Axe. I have to do what I can to insure that the plan is successful. This means that I have to begin some of the more advanced projects that I’ve been working on.”
      “And you need my help to pull all this off,” Mariner added. He went silent, his eyeless face studying Fenlow. “Let him go,” he growled.
      Both guards raised their left hands to their heads in a familiar military salute and exited the hall with haste.
      Fenlow thought that it was curious how the two Brelac saluted in such a fashion. As if they were mimicking human troopers. He suspected that he would learn a great deal about these creatures by working closely among them in the days ahead.
      “Fix this man a seat next to mine,” Mariner blared out. “He’s my guest of honor.”
      The attendants serving food and drink quickly provided a place at the table on Mariner’s right side, and Fenlow sat as instructed, his hands slightly shaking in his lap. Using a long, two-pronged fork an attendant quickly loaded his plate with three long sections of the pale snake-like meats and two of the centipedes, steam rising from their cooked flesh.
      Fenlow stared at his plate. The appearance of the food before him was nauseating enough, but it’s oily smell combined with a sour milk odor left him near paralyzed. Mariner silently faced him, and a thin stream of saliva dripped out of the right side of his mouth. Fenlow shuddered, slightly spooked in the close sight of Mariner’s scaled face and the long pointed teeth in the constant grin.
      Fenlow nervously cleared his throat. “I suppose you’re not serving any salads.”
      A faint, hoarse growl came from Mariner’s throat. “Nothing so elaborate here.”
      “I see.”
      Fenlow looked to the left and right side of his plate and saw no silverware. He quietly groaned in frustration. It was evident that the Brelac were eating with their hands, and Fenlow desired to blend in with his hosts. He gingerly picked up a centipede. It was warm and soft to the touch. He held it up to his face and managed not to flinch away. At least he was able to distinguish which item smelled like sour milk.
      A deep grunt came from Mariner. “You look like you were just kissed by Pandora. Don’t worry, Doctor. It won’t bite you back.”
      Kissed by Pandora. A strange terminology to use. Perhaps an example of their alien culture?
      But the name, Pandora, stuck in Fenlow’s mind. There was something familiar about it. He thought that this would be the perfect time to get a little more background on his allies. He laid his centipede back down on his plate but kept his fingers on it.
      “So, I’ve done a little research and found that you Brelac are Reploids yourselves,” he said.
      “To a degree we are all the same,” Mariner sluggishly droned out, grabbing his own centipede and downing it in one loud gulp. “Our race needed a technological means to insure its continuation.”
      “A technological means,” Fenlow repeated. “And what of your females? I noticed that through all the grunting and growling you all sound male.”
      “As I have already explained, we are all the same,” Mariner said. “We have created the means of producing the perfect military force. Our soldiers originate from templates that are devoid of fear, unhindered by compassionate doubts, and minds that are not mired by the frivolous aberrations that obstruct you humans.”
      “What about these original templates that you mentioned? I’m assuming that it’s some sort of original genetic stock.”
      “Our original source is centuries old and continues to endure. But its history is not important.” He waved a clawed hand. “All that matters is that it serves us as we produce our numbers en-masse in order to achieve our objective.”
      “And that objective would be?” Fenlow asked, suspecting he already knew the answer.
      “Our objective is to spread ourselves across this universe and administer retribution to any and all opposition. Then we will become the only supreme power. That is our mission passed down to us through generations. This is what we will achieve. And you, Doctor Fenlow, will help us.”
      Fenlow pondered Mariner’s words, fingertips stroking the soft white flesh of the centipede on his plate. He was still dreading the notion of being forced to eat this thing.
      The Brelac mission of conquest and retribution. A chilling thought.
      But Fenlow’s job was to find a way to work Carp Technologies’ interests into the mission so that their own plans could materialize unscathed. And with the Brelac’s help his job would be much easier.
      “I’ll help you,” Fenlow told him, nodding.
      He took a long look at the centipede he was holding. He picked it up and slowly raised it to his face, holding his breath against the smell. He opened his mouth.

Author Bio:

A Pennsylvania native, Barry K. Nelson has attended college and has worked at a variety of jobs, including retail and the corporate environment. Barry enjoys reading and gardening and is a fan of science fiction and horror movies, Marvel comic collecting, and the X-box gaming.

Barry has written several short stories, and his first book in the science fiction series, The McKenzie Files, followed by the sequels, Assassination Anxiety, Obliteration, and Maximum Deevor.

Barry is a member of Ning and Goodreads, can be found on Facebook, and can also be reached through Dreaming Big Publications..

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

The Little Gate Crasher: The Life And Photos Of Mace Bugen

by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer.  

Mace Bugen might have been an achondroplastic dwarf, 43 inches tall with an average size head and torso set on small, twisted legs—but that didn’t mean he was an idiot or a pushover. In truth, he was smarter than most; over the years, he learned to effectively turn what society in those days called a handicap into a powerful tool he could use to his advantage.

“When I was a kid,” he once said, “I’d ask myself, Why is that guy on the football team? Why can’t I be on the team? Why didn’t God give me the height so I could be the hero?”

“Then at some point I figured it out: I gotta do something special to let ’em know I’m me.”

In The Little Gate Crasher: The Life And Photos Of Mace Bugen, I remember my amazing great-Uncle Mace Bugen through his journey as a first-generation Jewish-American kid in working class Philipsburg, NJ to becoming the first celebrity selfie-artist—way ahead of his time.

Featuring vintage photos of Mace with his exploits, The Little Gate Crasher captures three decades of American pop culture, seen through the unique lens of Mace and his gate-crashing exploits.

Underneath his antics, we meet a complex man who continually defies others expectations and meets life on his own terms. Mace becomes a successful businessman and devoted son to his aging parents. But in his gate-crashing antics, we best get to see Mace’s unique combination of guile, cunning and sense of entitlement, which he used to engineer photos of himself with some of the biggest celebrities of his day. If people were going to stare at him all of his life, he would give them something to see.

The Little Gate Crasher features over 50 vintage photos of Mace with celebrities, athletes and politicians, including Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Muhammed Ali, Richard Nixon, Jane Russel, Joe DiMaggio and more.

Author Bio:

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is an experienced educator, author and speaker. At Jewish Learning Venture, she works as Director of Whole Community Inclusion and leads disability awareness programs for the Philadelphia Jewish community.

Her most recent book The Little Gate Crasher, a memoir of her Great-Uncle, who overcame society’s prejudices about dwarfism to lead a remarkable life, was one of the national book selections for 2017 Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month.

Gabby writes for and edits The New York Jewish Week’s The New Normal: Blogging Disability and is also a featured Philly parenting blogger for WHYY’s newsworks. Gabby holds a B.F.A. in theatre and creative writing from Emerson College and an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

*Terms and Conditions –USA / Canada entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. 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 the right is reserved 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 be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time the data will be deleted. Rachel's Random Resources is not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Interview with Joe Albanese

My guest today is Joe Albanese. Joe is a writer from South Jersey. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry can be found in publications across the U.S. and in ten other countries.

Hi Joe, welcome to just books. I'm glad you could join us today.
Would you start by telling us a little about yourself...?
My name is Joe. I was born in South Jersey where I shamefully still exist. I went to school for Criminal Justice. Most of my longer fiction is crime-related, so I guess I always had an interest in it. There are probably more interesting facts about me, but I find myself pretty boring.

...and your book, Caina?

Caina is my first novel, though I had a novella, Smash and Grab published earlier this year.
Caina is a crime comedy about a small-time criminal who, in order to escape debts to multiple gangs, assumes the identity of his successful twin brother, only to find himself involved with the mob, DEA, and a drone delivery company.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? (And was there a particular moment you thought, ‘I can do this!’?)
I think in high school I wanted to be a journalist. Then I took a journalism course and hated it, so that dream was stillborn. I hated writing for the most part in school, probably because you aren’t allowed much creativity. I got bad grades on high school papers, good grades on college papers, so maybe I was an okay writer. But in those papers where I could sneak in some creativity and humor, I kind of enjoyed it.
After college, my friend asked if I wanted to write a screenplay with him. He was stoned out of his mind at the time, but I said sure. I had nothing going on. It turned out bad, but I liked creating a story from nothing. I kept writing by myself and transitioned to prose and poetry. I wrote a story about a vampire soon after. It wasn’t written all that well, but for a vampire story it was kind of original and I thought I had some potential. I still think I have potential, but will probably never think, “I can do this.” Or let me put it this way: I think I can, but know I can’t.

Do you have a writing routine?
Usually, after I decide I want to explore an idea or concept, I spend the longest amount of time, probably a few months, taking a shit-ton of notes: characters, scenes, story, some dialogue, whatever else… until the full story is in my head. Then I do notecards to help organize and see where the story is lacking, then I outline, then I write, rewrite, repeat.

Are there any particular places that help you get the creative cogs turning?
Any place other than in front of my work table and at any time other than when I sit down to get work done.

What can we expect from you in the future?
Hopefully, I’ll continue writing. Writing is hard enough when you have so much free time. Should I ever have a “real” career or start a family, I know it will be even harder. But we’ll see. Once I win the lottery, I’ll have more freedom to write more.

What is your biggest fear?
Hollowness of life. I’m afraid of feeling empty, unfulfilled. I’m not sure how to fix that. I thought writing might help, and although I do enjoy it, I know it’s not what’s going to give my life meaning. Does that feeling ever go away? Does any life have meaning? Instead of asking these questions in a promotional interview, should I be asking a therapist? Oh, life’s imponderables.

What are the hardest and easiest parts of being a writer?
The hardest is probably forcing myself to get work done. With most “normal” jobs you can kind of get work done or do nothing, but with writing you have so many options of what to do instead of working, and let’s be honest, writing is torture a lot of the time. The easiest part is the freedom. You start with nothing and create anything you want. Publishers and editors kind of take some of that freedom away, but ninety-nine percent of the time you work the way you want and create the way you want.

Can you tell us anything about any of your current work(s)-in-progress?
I just finished a full-length novel that I’m looking to get published. It’s another crime novel, but has less comedy in it than Caina. It is the longest thing I’ve written by far, so that’s kind of exciting. I don’t have any other ideas, at least any good ideas, at the moment. But I’m in no rush.

Which, if any, of your personality traits did you write into your characters?
There’s a lot of my sense of humor in the characters. The dialogue is quippy and snarky, and although I am very quiet and shy in real life, that’s how a lot of my comments sneak out. I got in trouble for making inappropriate jokes in another interview I did, so I tried to reel myself in on this one.

Caina is being made into a movie, what music would you use as a soundtrack?
Caina is a crime comedy, so I think some fun rock songs would work for it. I’d have to go through my iPod to give exact songs.

What is your favourite scene from Caina?
Several people have said how much they loved the strip club scene in Caina. I like it too. There’s a lot of humor in it, and I think it would make a good movie scene, flashing back and forth. It does have my favorite joke in the book, however offensive it may be.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I try to read, but I’ve been awful at reading in 2018. I need to step up my reading game. I exercise a lot and watch a lot of movies and sports. I’m not too exciting. I say I don’t do more because I lack the funds, but really I’m just lazy.

If you could travel to any time in history, when would you visit?
I tend to like late-19th century England in movies and tv. The atmosphere is very cool. Of course, if I did visit that time period, I’d probably want to leave as soon as it was time to use the bathroom.

Optimist or pessimist?
People think I’m negative, but my real problem is I romanticize things way too much. I think I fantasize about improbable best-case scenarios so much that I have to force myself to know the worst thing is more likely so I have less of a letdown.

I wish I could tell my younger self…
To be myself and accept it. You can’t trick someone into liking you, which sucks when someone doesn’t like you, especially when you like them, but it does mean you get to be yourself. And when (if) someone does ever like me, I know it will be one hundred percent for who I am. Like I said, I unrealistically romanticize things.

You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take three people who would they be and why?
Hmm… do I choose people I like and give them a death sentence like that movie Passengers, or do I choose people I hate and don’t mind cannibalizing?

What three words would others probably use to describe you?
Friends or psychiatrists? 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I’m not too active on Twitter, but you can follow me @JoeAlba88 where I post updates and share links to poetry and other short writings I get published.

Thank you for taking the time to be with us, Joe.

Amazon  Goodreads

Smash and Grab
Amazon  Goodreads

Sunday, 26 August 2018

The Glass Diplomat by S.R Wilsher

Title: The Glass Diplomat
Author: S.R Wilsher
Genre: Literary Fiction / Thriller / Historical fiction
Publication Date: 20th August 2018

In 1973 Chile, as General Augusto Pinochet seizes power, thirteen-year-old English schoolboy Charlie Norton watches his father walk into the night and never return. Taken in by diplomat, Tomas Abrego, his life becomes intricately linked to the family.

Despite his love for the Abrego sisters, he’s unable to prevent Maria falling under the spell of a left-wing revolutionary, or Sophia from marrying the right-wing Minister of Justice.

His connection to the family is complicated by the growing impression that Tomas Abrego was somehow involved in his father’s disappearance.

As the conflict of a family divided by politics comes to a head on the night of the 1989 student riots, Charlie has to act to save the sisters from an enemy they cannot see.

Author Bio:

It didn’t occur to me to write until I was twenty-two, prompted by reading a disappointing book by an author I’d previously liked. I wrote thirty pages of a story I abandoned because it didn’t work on any level. I moved on to a thriller about lost treasure in Central America; which I finished, but never showed to anyone. Two more went the way of the first, and I forgave the author.

After that I became more interested in people-centric stories. I also decided I needed to get some help with my writing, and studied for a degree with the OU. I chose Psychology partly because it was an easier sell to my family than Creative Writing. But mainly because it suited the changing tastes of my writing. When I look back, so many of my choices have been about my writing.

I’ve been writing all my adult life, but nine years ago I had a kidney transplant which interrupted my career, to everyone’s relief. It did mean my output increased, and I developed a work plan that sees me with two projects on the go at any one time. Although that has taken a hit in recent months as I’m currently renovating a house and getting to know my very new granddaughter.

I write for no other reason than I enjoy it deeply. I like the challenge of making a story work. I get a thrill from tinkering with the structure, of creating characters that I care about, and of manipulating a plot that unravels unpredictably, yet logically. I like to write myself into a corner and then see how I can escape. To me, writing is a puzzle I like to spend my time trying to solve.

Guest Post by S.R Wilsher:

Research techniques and what research I did

I start researching after I’ve lived with an idea for a while. If the story is set at home, then I tend to research the themes and not do the location research until much later (or not at all if it’s my hometown as in ‘…was played by Walter Johns’). If the story is set abroad, I do the background reading of geography and history once I’ve mapped the idea and think I’m going to run with it. I enjoy the research considerably, and it’s also a measure of whether I can live with the story for the next couple of years. If the research excites and interests me, then I know the story will be worth pursuing – on my part, at least.

I’ve travelled the world in my books and previous settings have included Asia, Europe, Central America and Africa. When I decided my next place of visit would be South America, I started thinking about what I knew about that continent. I considered Argentina initially, because of the way The Falklands War lives in our consciousness, but I dismissed that as too obvious, and instead switched my attention to Chile.

Often, the idea for a story can be no more than wanting to know more about somewhere that has sat in the background of my mind. The research is often as much fun as the writing.

As with so much research it’s easy to go off at a tangent and find interesting articles that can tie you up for days if you let it. That was the case with Harald Edelstam, a Swedish diplomat who smuggled dissidents out of Chile during the troubles. I found Edelstam’s story so interesting that I began seeing how I could fit a similar character into the story, even though it didn’t chime with the plot. In the end I abandoned the idea, but not before I’d spent a lot of time on it.

But then, there are often a lot of research black holes and detours that don’t make it into the finished article. There are times when a day’s research appears in the story as no more than a word or phrase. But as is often the case in real life where so much can be deduced from what people don’t say, then the same can be seen in the research. Even if the detail doesn’t make it into the finished story, the background work can be glimpsed in a character’s actions or back story.

But research has changed considerably. Years ago I would compile a list of questions and then spend hours (overrunning many lunchtimes) at the library trying to hunt down answers. Occasionally I would chance across a useful photo. In those days I wrote everything down longhand and typed up later. Now I type everything and Google my questions as they arise. I no longer buy Lonely Planet books or encyclopaedias. And with Google Earth, I don’t need to get lucky with a photo. Now I can visit.

One scene that didn’t make the cut for The Glass Diplomat involved a dash for the border between Chile and Argentina, and I was able to complete the trip virtually on Google Earth, right up to sight of the border.

The change is staggering for someone who was used to altering a story because I couldn’t pin down an answer or visualise a location.

The downside is I tend to do less pre-research, and my depth of knowledge of the story background is weaker. It has also made me less confident about what I do know. I find myself looking up facts for reassurance I would once have laid money on.

My next story is set in my home town in 1976. A significant part of my childhood, I could possibly write it without doing any research - possibly foolhardy given our memories – and yet I’m looking forward to revisiting my past through the research.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Akea – The Power of Destiny by Elizabeth Jade

Title: Akea – The Power of Destiny
Author: Elizabeth Jade
Genre: Children’s fantasy, Children’s adventure
Age Range: 8-12
Publication Date: 25th May 2017

Akea is born into a family of sled dogs and a life that follows a predictable path, but from the day she first sees the lone wolf, Kazakh, Akea knows her future lies beyond the safety of her home. Kazakh is well aware of Akea's destiny and the pack laws he will break to help her reach it. Regardless of the challenges ahead, he must make sure this young husky will be ready, even if it means his life.


From Chapter 5 and takes place just after Akea has met the Wolf Queen and discovered her own destiny.

         Akea stared in disbelief. She thought that she had been accepted by the pack, so why after all this time would they suddenly turn on her. Equally puzzled Kazakh stepped forward and demanded an explanation.
         "You are in no position to demand anything," bellowed his father as the pack opened to let him through. "You have disregarded everything you have ever been taught, and now that I know the truth I intend to put a stop to it." Akea had never seen Leopardo look this angry. "How could you possibly train up this creature in place of your sister?"
         "But the Volk Queen has given her approval," argued Kazakh.
         "Nonsense! She would never permit such a thing. Accepting your friend into our pack was obviously a mistake; she has turned your head. How could you even consider fathering her pups? You are an alpha, a future pack leader and..." Leopardo paused for a moment, exasperated. "Do our laws mean nothing to you?" Kazakh began to understand what was going on.
         "This is your doing Bluinse," he growled, turning to face his sister whose face bore more of a smile than a snarl, but he couldn't think of anything else to say. To an extent, what Bluinse had told them was true; he did plan to train Akea for a role that would have gone to his sister, but for the right reasons. As for fathering Akea's pups, well he couldn't deny that the thought had crossed his mind. He realised now that he should not have struck Bluinse. Akea stared at Kazakh, wondering why he had fallen silent.
         "As for you Akea, you are no longer permitted to remain with the pack," declared his father. "You are banished - forever!"
         "No!" snapped Kazakh. "You can't do that; she would never survive alone."
         Before he could say anymore, two of the wolves lashed out at Akea. Kazakh tried his best to stop them, but he was roughly pinned to the ground by his father and Akea turned and ran for her life. As the pack chased after her, Kazakh noticed that only Javier remained, and he could see that he had been severely disciplined. Poor Javier; his only crime had been one of defending Akea’s name.
         As Akea fled the forest, the only wolf still in pursuit was Bluinse. Suddenly Akea turned and snapped, causing Bluinse to recoil in surprise. Akea seized her chance and raced away, vanishing from view as the snow began to fall thicker and faster. Poor Akea; she was used to being tucked up in her shed or huddled up with Javier or Kazakh for warmth, but now she was on her own and nursing wounds inflicted by the wolves before she fled. She had no idea how far she had run, and she was beginning to feel the strain now. She was cold, tired and hungry. She didn't know where she was or where to look for shelter from the snowstorm. Her pace slowed, and in the end Akea found that she couldn't take another step. She tried her utmost, but to no avail. Finally, she was overcome by exhaustion and collapsed in the snow with the wind howling around her.

Youtube Author Reading from  Chapter 1

More Youtube Author Readings:

Reading  from  Chapter 6 - (2 mins 26 secs)
Reading from Chapter 10 - (2 mins 17 secs)

Author Bio:

Elizabeth Jade was born in North Yorkshire, England, in 1998 and moved with her family to Wellington when she was very young.

Her early schooling did not go smoothly and she began home schooling at the age of 7.

She stumbled into writing at the age of fourteen when she began to struggle with depression and anxiety, and quickly found her story ideas pouring out faster than she could get them onto paper.

It wasn’t until the age of eighteen that she realised her struggles in school had been due to Aspergers Syndrome (an autistic spectrum disorder). She has always had a passion for animals and has volunteered at various animal rescues, so it seemed only natural that her stories would revolve around them.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Everything Under The Sun by Jessica Redmerski

Title: Everything Under The Sun
Author: Jessica Redmerski
Genre: Adult, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic,Romance, Suspense
Publication date: August 28th 2017

Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?




“Are you still angry?” I asked him.
“About what?”
“Giving the bread away to those people.”
He shook his head against the quilt.
“No, Thais, I’m not still angry.”
After a moment, he said, “Thais?”
“Don’t ask me to kiss you again.”
I paused, tensed. “Why not?” I was afraid of the answer.
We continued to look up at the stars. Behind us the horses whickered and their tails swished about. A light breeze combed through the trees, carrying the bitter and sweet scents of pine and honeysuckle with it.
Finally, Atticus answered, “Because whatever you want from me, Thais, I’d rather you just take it.”
I wanted to cry.
I smiled to myself instead.


Author Bio:

Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and award winner who juggles several genres of fiction.

She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Dark Ride by Angela Smith

Title: Dark Ride
Author: Angela Smith
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Date Published: 8/7/18

Adrienne Fuller is used to working late hours and long nights. As a nurse, her job is to save people, but when she witnesses a wreck on the road in front of her home and sees the men involved leave a dead body in a crumpled car, saving anyone is the last thing on her mind. This was no accident, and she’s already learned a hard lesson about the criminal justice system. She vows to tell no one what she saw, even the cops who come knocking on her door the next day.

Henry “Zan” Duncan is deep undercover investigating a human trafficking ring, and in his line of work he has to pretend to be the bad guy. During a horrendous car chase, it’s either kill or be killed. When he spots a woman with fiery red hair hiding in the bushes, he goes back the next day to save her life, unaware he just raised the stakes on his mission, blew his cover, and failed in his effort to never fall in love.

Dodging bullets, fights, and explosions, Adrienne must learn to trust the man who claims he wants to protect her, and Zan must open his heart to the woman he is starting to love.



      She pulled on shorts and a t-shirt. A racket made her flinch—the wind against the window—but when she shifted the curtain to peer outside, not even the tree branches moved.
      Her blood pounded. She was just being paranoid. Her mental fatigue weighed heavy on her and her thought patterns were going way too negative. Tonka hadn’t budged. If Tonka hadn’t heard anything—
      The bathroom door crashed open. Tonka bolted.
      Adrenaline, thick and heavy, infused her. The man from last night loomed in the doorway. Her knees buckled, but she didn’t allow room for weakness. She dove for the shotgun, stumbled over the dirty clothes pile, and managed to catch herself on the corner of the counter so that she didn’t fall or, worse, hit her head.
      He held up his hands as if to ward off blows. Good idea. Find something to throw at him. She reached for her hair straightener. Strong, heavy metal. Maybe it would do some damage. If only it had been plugged in and burning hot.
      “Didn’t mean to scare you.”
      His voice, a refined edge of rasp, incited horror. Scared was an understatement.
      This man had killed someone last night, and now he was here to kill her. Her throat clogged with a silent scream. Black shadows hazed her mind, an orbit of acceptance and denial, accession and refusal, fight and surrender.
      She’d fight.
      She yanked the straightener from the shelf and aimed it at his face. He shifted to avoid the blow. It thwacked on the wall and slid to the floor. She grabbed a makeup jar to throw at him. Again, he sidestepped her blow. Why had she kept the shotgun too far from reach?
      “Please, woman. I’m not going to kill you. Obviously I should have planned this better.”
      He’s dead. His voice, so gut-wrenching, ripped out her confidence. Her body trembled. She hurled a lotion bottle at his head. It smacked the wall and fell, spewing its contents all over the floor. Sweat pooled on her forehead, her wet hair channeling water droplets down her shirt.
      She clenched the counter behind her as she leaned to reach the gun.
      “I’m a cop. Please, I’m not going to hurt you. But I think I was followed, and whoever followed me probably does intend on hurting you. Please don’t attract any more attention.”
      The bathroom was too big. Why did it have to be so big? The gun so far away? She hurled a shampoo bottle and was pleased when it hit his chest. Still, he didn’t move. She lunged for the shotgun and managed to aim it at him without dropping it, even if it wasn’t cocked.
      He kept his arms up. “Put the weapon away. I’m not going to hurt you, but someone is coming who will.”
      Her pulse beat at her temples. Her legs weakened, but she held on, refusing to allow herself to crumble.
      “Don’t you hear that?” he asked when the front door slammed and footsteps pounded against the floor, stopping and starting in heavy exploratory drifts. Whoever was in her home was looking for something. Probably her.
      But this man was not a cop. And if he was, she definitely couldn’t trust him. Not after what she’d seen last night.
      “I’m sure it’s my boyfriend,” she lied. Her voice was a high-pitched whine, and she swallowed. Nervousness was not the way to win this battle.
      “You don’t have a boyfriend.”
      “Yes. I do. He’s big, and strong. He likes guns. And he has a dog even bigger.”
      The man blinked, his sneer not one of amusement. “No, you don’t. Come on, I don’t want to hurt you. Or scare you. But I don’t plan on dying today so as long as you don’t, you need to come with me.”
      It sounded like a bulldozer was destroying her home. But she couldn’t go with this killer. She’d seen him. He wasn’t the one who’d been driving, who’d hurled Bill Dane into that tree, but he had been there, in the car following afterward, like a horror movie becoming real.
      She remembered that frame, that hair. That walk. Although she hadn’t seen his dark brown eyes, now they were familiar, as if they’d flamed bright out of a blackened night and branded her with only a look.
      His jaw clenched. “My God, woman. You’ll kill us both.” 

Author Information:

Angela Smith is a Texas native and was dubbed most likely to write a novel during her senior year in high school since she always had her nose stuck in a book. Although high school was decades ago, the dream began when her mom read ‘Brer Rabbit’ to her and her sister so often they could recite it back to each other before ever learning to read. Research is one of her favorite parts of piecing together a story, and she loves creating new characters. Angela started with writing romantic suspense and is branching into other genres, but she hasn’t been able to write one yet where falling in love doesn’t come into play. She works as a certified paralegal and office manager at her local District Attorney’s office and spends her free time with her husband and the animals on her small farm. Although life in general keeps her very busy, her passion for writing and getting the stories out of her head tends to make her restless if she isn’t following what some people call her destiny.

RABT Book Tours & PR

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Embassy by S. Alex Martin

Title: Embassy
Series: Recovery #1
Author: S. Alex Martin
Genre: Science Fiction
Publication Date: January 2014
Pages: 330

Arman Lance was supposed to travel the galaxy with his father, not watch him die. He was supposed to experience the adventures from his father’s stories, not isolate himself from the world. He was going to join the Embassy Program, fly across the galaxy, and find Ladia Purnell, a girl from another planet whom he loved years before.

Clinging to his fading hopes and dreams, Arman joins the Embassy Program to fulfill that last promise. If he can reach Ladia, he’ll never have to worry, never have to feel alone. But it doesn’t take long for his plan to fall apart when he’s confronted by his fellow Embassy recruit, Glacia Haverns, the ever-smiling adrenaline junkie who decides it’s her job to show Arman there’s more to life than chasing a desperate obsession.

Check the rest of the series on

About The Author:

S. Alex Martin grew up fascinated with astronomy and reading Harry Potter. His books reflect his vision for the future of humanity in the way of space exploration. He hopes to help inspire that same love of the final frontier in another generation to do his part to help progress humanity a little further.

In the words of Stephen Hawking: "There should be no boundary to human endeavor."

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Amazon | Goodreads

Interview with S. Alex Martin:

Hi Alex, welcome to Just Books.
Would you kick off by telling us a little about yourself and your background, please?
I started writing science-fiction novels when I was 11 years old, so it’s been a little longer than 14 years now. I’ve written six novels in total, and am in the process of writing my seventh, the fourth installment of my current series. I graduated college from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as an English major and Mathematics minor, but now I’m a full-time science communicator and educator. In June, I traveled to Finland to speak at an international science education conference, and hope to attend the global conference in Malaysia next year. I also founded a program called Sidewalk Science Center in Savannah, Georgia, where I literally set up a table on a sidewalk in a popular park and let people engage with science demonstrations every weekend. It has since led me to begin founding a science center in Savannah. I’m in the beginning stages of this process. As of this writing, I’ve held meetings with the CEO of the local non-profit Coastal Heritage Society, have toured a potential site for the center, and am writing a proposal that I will present to the Board of Directors. All in all, it’s been a VERY busy summer!

When did you start writing for publication, what made you decide to put your work out there to be read by others?
I’ve been writing for publication ever since my first novel, although I no longer sell my first three novels. Only Embassy, Resonance, and Perihelid are for sale (I began writing this series in 2013). More recently, the reason I want other people to read my work is because I’ve seen my books impact people. I’ve cried from some of the stories people have emailed me with. Seeing how people relate to these characters and emotions is so amazing, and I want to continue giving that reassurance and relatability to people. These books also kind of outline the future I want to see, and am working to create. Had it not been for me writing this series, my science education program never would have been created, and I probably wouldn’t be living in Savannah, working to build a science center. You never know where life will take you, and writing these books has put me at the head of founding an educational institution. It’s crazy!

What gets your creative juices flowing?
Music. I love tropical house music, and getting those vibes flowing through me gets my brain going. Just slip on the headphones, drink a coffee, and go. I also need to be in a coffee shop. I hate writing and editing in my house. It’s not fun. It doesn’t feel...write.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?
Honestly, just start. There’s really nothing else any other writer has told me that is universally true. If you want to write a book, just do it. Just throw some words on the page and see where it goes. All the other rules can be broken.

Tell us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?
Go to a coffee shop, order a coffee. Sit down, usually next to or facing a window. Let my coffee cool off a bit, start drinking it, and then begin writing. I use the “cool down” time to think about, reflect on, and plan for what I want to write that day. Write for two-three hours, leave. Pretty simple!

The best thing about being an author is….
Being in the world you’re writing. Connecting with the characters as pieces of yourself. Recognizing your emotions, your ideals, your thoughts and insecurities. Figuring out who you are. I’ve learned so much about myself. Writing books has helped shape who I am and what I stand for, and there’s nothing I would change about that. Writing helps me evolve every day, and I’d rather be changing and improving myself, rather than standing still. I’ve gotten to meet lots of cool people, do lots of cool things, and have experiences I don’t know if I could have had were it not for writing books.

Give us an insight into your main character. What makes him special?
He’s a guy who’s been through a lot and often plays himself off as the victim of his circumstances. He doesn’t like being held accountable for his thoughts and actions, and in a way, hates himself for being that way. He’s resistant to change, but begins to see the value in it, and from there on out, constantly works to improve himself...even if he’s not always able to. He’s not much of a likeable character at first, honestly, as most reviewers point out. That’s what makes him unique, though. You root for him not because he’s always the best/funniest/friendliest person, but because he’s making an effort to be better than he used to be. He falls short a lot, but he also rises above his flaws a lot. He’s human. We all are.

What do you like to do when you're not writing or working?
I do my best to travel. More like...hike. I’m starting to travel more, though, which is good. Traveling is good for you. *stuffs writing materials and work materials out of sight in suitcase* Yeah. I’m...not doing either of those things.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Writing the end of Perihelid. I’m switching narration style and narrators for the final few books in the series, and leaving Arman behind is just...I’m going to be missing a piece of my identity as I move forward. I truly will be. This character saw so much of my life, the worst and the best, and now he’ll forever be on the sidelines. There’s really nothing else in my life I can think of that tops that, honestly.

What is your favourite book and why?

The series His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman. It was one of the first trilogies I ever read, and I just fell in love. One of those pieces of my childhood I will always cherish. I bought The Book of Dust, but haven’t read it yet.

Quick fire round:
➢Are you right- or left-handed?

➢What words and/or phrases do you use very frequently?
“Prolly” (probably), “lemme” (let me), “see” (see you later/goodbye). Anything that ends in “-ly.” I love the evolution of language, and truly believe “prolly” will replace “probably” in the future. I just have a feeling. Also, I never use “lol.” I can’t stand that at all.

➢Are you generally introverted or extroverted?
Generally introverted, but I’m prolly more of an ambivert at this point thanks to my science stuff. Talking to hundreds of people on a weekly basis does that to you. But in other scenarios, when I’m not working, I like staying invisible (though it is cool when people recognize me as the science guy). But yeah, I try to blend in with crowds. I even act like a tourist in my own city unless I frequent a place.

➢Name three things you consider yourself to be very good at.
Networking, recognizing emotions, and gathering knowledge.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
If you’re ever in Savannah, Georgia, come visit my science center! Even if you haven’t read my books, I’d love to meet you! Just visit to find me!

Thank you for joining us. Have a great tour!

Tour Schedule

August 20th
The Page Unbound | Review

August 21st
Rebecca R. Cahill | Audio Excerpt

August 22nd
Just Books | Interview

August 23rd
Books & Broomsticks | Guest Post

August 24th

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