The Mark of Noba: Book Review

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I’m thrilled to be part of The Mark of Noba book blitz organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. If you’d like to catch up on earlier stops in the tour, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours: http://lolasblogtours.net/book-blitz-the-mark-of-noba-by-gl-tomas/. Before I post my review of this wonderful book, let’s have a look at gorgeous cover and the blurb:

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The Mark of Noba (The Sterling Wayfairer Series #1) by GL Tomas

Sterling Wayfairer has one goal for his senior year: make his mark. He’s been slipping into the background his whole high school career—distracted by his mother’s mental health, unsettled by the vivid dreams that haunt him at night, and overshadowed by the athletic accomplishments of his popular best friends. But this year is going to be different. He’s going to break a few rules, have some fun, and maybe even work up the nerve to ask his crush out on a date.

But things don’t go exactly as planned. Students are disappearing, Sterling starts losing time, and it all seems to center around Tetra, a girl no one else seems to notice but him. When he finally tracks her down for answers, they aren’t what he expects: He and Tetra hail from a world called Noba, and they’re being hunted by a Naga, a malevolent shapeshifter that’s marked them for destruction.

Tetra and Sterling have distinct abilities that can help them fight back, but their power depends heavily on the strength of their bond, a connection that transcends friendship, transcends romance. Years apart have left their bond weak. Jumpstarting it will require Sterling to open his heart and his mind and put his full trust in the mysterious Tetra.

If he doesn’t, neither of them will survive.

You can find The Mark of Noba on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25969847-the-mark-of-noba

You can buy The Mark of Noba here:

Noba teaser 5

My Review: Sterling is always in trouble. His parents are furious he’s broken curfew – again. Something weird happened at school, and he was blamed for it. And there are strange lapses in time he can’t explain. But things are going to get worse. Much worse. When Tetra begins popping in and out of his life, Sterling fears he’s losing his mind. She claims to be from another world and says the two of them share a unique bond. If they are going to defeat their enemy, Sterling is going to have to accept the truth of who he is and learn to control the power inside him.

I loved this book so much, it’s hard to know where to begin with this review. I’ll start with Sterling because it was his unique voice that hooked me from the very beginning. He’s such a fun character. He’s clever, engaging, and easy to relate to. In addition to typical teen struggles (trying to fit it, not being as athletic as his friends, crushing on a hot girl who seems to have him in the friend zone), he’s also dealing with a mentally ill parent. Sterling’s point of view is often amusing and always authentic. His character is very well written.

Tetra is harder to relate to. She’s from another world, so her tone is more formal. Her way of looking at the world and relating to others is the opposite of Sterling, so their alternating points of view really work in this story. As Tetra learns to adjust to the world she’s in, she shows the vulnerability hidden behind her strength.

In terms of diversity, this book earns an easy five stars. It’s refreshing to read a book where diversity is the norm and color of skin has nothing to do with race. Sexuality is dealt with in a matter of fact way, and gender roles are explored through Tetra’s introspection.

The world-building in this book is among the best I’ve ever seen. It’s a very well-written book I would highly recommend. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!!!

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Diverse Book Tours presents A Will For Love

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A Will for Love by Yolanda Ashton

Lanya gave her love and trust to a man, only to find out their relationship was a lie. Shattered, she decides she’s never giving her heart to anyone again. But when her ex, Mikael LockRidge, offers her a proposition she can’t refuse, Layna finds being with him makes it impossible to resist the sensual pull between them.

Blackmailed to commit an act that still haunts him, Mikael accepts his current loveless relationship as karma. But when he receives unexpected help from the grave, Mikael realizes he wants back what he lost. He just has to convince the ex he hurt to let him back in her life and her heart.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Will-Love-Yolanda-Ashton-ebook/dp/B00TR75NTK/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25140937/

Soulmate Publishing: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/a-will-for-love/



Layna hurried in, her eyes connecting with Mikael as soon as his apartment door closed behind her.

“I came as soon as I got your message.” Concern etched her face. “What’s wrong? Your message said it was important.”

Layna’s heart rate had skyrocketed when she received the text from Mikael telling her it was an emergency and to come to his apartment as soon as possible.

Expecting to see chaos as soon as she entered, Layna stopped and took a deep breath noticing for the first time that everything looked calm, including the sender of the text.

Something was not right here.

“Mikael, what’s wrong?”

His blue eyes were chilly and his usually messy black hair was styled perfectly giving him a debonair look. She asked as she realized he was dressed in business attire. Mikael’s usual style was rocker meets prep. He left her and other girls drooling when he wore his trademark tight black tee and faded blue jeans. Although the black suit fit his lean, muscular six–foot-plus frame nicely it also made him look cold and detached. She had jokingly referred to it as his LockRidge armor. He only wore his ‘armor’ when he had to deal with his father.


Yolanda Ashton is the alter ego of a thirty-something mother of three. Throughout daylight hours she’s an educational professional and during the nights (when she’s not daydreaming, reading and/or watching vampire drama) she’s writing, hanging with family and trying to recover from a day spent with middle school students.
Her two favorite things to do in the world (outside of family) are reading and writing-she fell in love with words at an early age. She loves creating worlds with them and entering new worlds designed by them. Throughout her life she’s always felt the epitome of a great “me” day is one spent reading a book or creating one.


Website: http://www.yolandaashton.wordpress.com/
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/YolandaAshton/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8120937.Yolanda_Ashton/




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The Beast of Callaire Book Tour

Welcome to the “Beast of Callaire” Mini-Tour featuring author Saruuh Kelsey!

Presented by Diverse Book Tours

For all you Speculative Ficition fans looking to diversify you TBR shelves, check it out on:

The Beast of Callaire


Want to know more?

Here’s the Blurb!

The Beast of Callaire: Yasmin is a descendant of the Manticore. A creature of Persian mythology. A Legendary.

But she doesn’t want to be. Unlike the Legendaries in The Red, Yasmin wants nothing more than an ordinary life. She tries to fool herself into believing that she doesn’t change into a beast every full moon and savagely kill innocent people.

But when Yasmin starts hearing a voice in her head and is drawn into dreams that aren’t her own, she is led to Fray—a girl who once saved Yasmin from hunters, who has shadowy memories that hint at her having Legendary magic—and Yasmin is catapulted into a life of Majick and malevolence.

Despite the danger around her and Fray, Yasmin might finally have a chance at being a normal girl with a normal girlfriend. But with Legendaries being killed, a war between the Gods brewing, and the beast inside Yasmin becoming stronger each moon, her mundane life is little more than a dream.

Check out an Excerpt from The Beast of Callaire!

Symbols have been smeared in red on the wall over my bed—the same language as the words I saw lit up on the building across the alley. The words the original Phoenix confirmed to be the language of Gods.

Without really thinking about it, I start running through my apartment looking for anything else out of place, avoiding what’s in front of me. I feel my breathing quicken and I know I need to calm down but right now calm is elusive.

“It’s a warning,” Guy says, his voice edged in ice.

“How do you know?” I plead with my legs to hold me up as I dizzily return to my room. The liquid used to write the symbols is definitely blood—my Crea nose can smell the tang from here. Thankfully, it’s not human.

“Mavers has been teaching me to read Numina,” Guy tells me. “Do you want to know what it says?”


“It says to stay away from the Halfling or more Legendaries will die.”

Air rushes from my lungs all at once. “Fray.”

I disobey the warning without a second thought, rushing outside and tearing across the road, uncaring of traffic. When I reach the wood’s edge, I rip off my talisman and reach out for Fray. Guy catches up just as I’m screaming for her.

The muscles in my thighs strain with how hard I’m pushing myself. I don’t want to admit the truth to myself—that something is irreversibly wrong. I hear no static from Fray’s mind and there isn’t a single scared thought from her.

I unleash the monster I fight so hard to repress and scream a hostile growl into the woods. Guy flinches beside me.

Talons unfurl from my fingers. My vision sharpens all at once and I know I look beastly, that my eyes are the most golden they’ve ever been.

None of that matters.

My link to Fray is gone.

Looking to purchase it now? Click on the purchase links to check out more!

“The Beast of Callaire


About The Author

Saruuh Kelsey is the author of several novels for young adults, including the free Lux Guardians series and The Legend Mirror series. Her latest releases include THE BEAST OF CALLAIRE, the first novel of a new YA fantasy series, and a collection of diverse fairy tales in LOVE IN THE GILDED AGE. Find her online at saruuhkelsey.co.uk.

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Fire Baptized Book Tour

Welcome to the “Fire Baptized” Mini tour brought to you by the lovely Kenya Wright.
If you’re in the mood for Urban Fantasy, Diversity and Unapologetic characters, you’ve found your kryptonite!


Book Title: Fire Baptized

Author Name: Kenya Wright

ISBN Number: 0985023007

Publisher: Pursuit

Page Number: 286

Format (e.g. paperback, ebook, etc.): ebook

Genre(s): Interracial Paranormal Romance

Release Date: Jan 28, 2012


Since the 1970s humans have forced supernaturals to live in caged cities. Silver brands embedded in their foreheads identify them by species: a full moon for Vampires, a crescent moon for Shifters, a pair of wings for Fairies, and the list goes on, for each supernatural species has been tagged and categorized by humans.Lanore Vesta is marked with a silver X, the brand of Mixbreeds, second-class citizens shunned by society. She stays to herself, revealing her ability to create fire only during emergencies. All she wants to do is graduate college and stop having to steal to survive. But when she stumbles upon a murder in progress, she catches the attention of a supernatural killer. Now all she wants is to stop finding dead bodies in her apartment.Enlisting help from her Were-cheetah ex-boyfriend MeShack and a new mysterious friend named Zulu, she is steered through the habitat s raunchy nightlife. But their presence sometimes proves to be more burden than help, as they fight for her attention.While the corpses pile up, and the scent of blood fills the air, Lanore is left wondering: will she find the psycho or die trying?

Click on the pic to be directed to the purchase page!


About the Author:

Writer. Lover. Foodie. Mother. Book Addict.

Masturbator. Comedian. Super Hero. Blogger.

Professional Adventurer.

Stalk her….I mean it, Stalk her!
Kenya is in the league of looking for new minions!
Places of interest she’s waiting for you to come out of hiding:

Kenya Wright’s Official Site
Twitter @Kenyawright77

Happy Stalking!


Tricia’s Review of Fire Baptized:

When Lanore is a witness to a horrific crime, she embarks on a mission to solve the mystery. A target herself, Lanore is desperate to save her loved ones from a vicious killer. Will she discover the identity of the murderer before it’s too late, or will she have to make an unthinkable sacrifice in order to save her friends?

What’s not to love about this book? It’s violent, sexy, and magical. The world-building is top notch. Lanore is the type of character I love. She’s intelligent, street-smart, funny, and courageous. She can kick butt when necessary, but still displays compassion and vulnerability. In other words, she’s a well-rounded, well-crafted heroine.

If you’re in the market for a new book-boyfriend, Fire Baptized has two hot, gorgeous men to choose from. Lanore has strong feelings for her ex (MeShack) and growing attraction for Zulu, the powerful, overprotective shifter who is head over heels for her. She can’t fight her feelings (or lust) forever. There are some seriously steamy scenes in this book, so romance lovers will not be disappointed.

This book was absolutely phenomenal and had me glued to the pages. I read the last half of the book in one sitting, and I can’t think of anything that could have pulled me away. Did I mention I love this book? Honestly, it’s one of the best urban fantasy books I’ve ever read. It’s that awesome! You should read it. Now.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars! (I’d give it more if I could)


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Categories: #WeNeedDiverseBooks, book feature, book review, book tour, dark fantasy, diverse book tours, diverse books, diversity in books, fantasy, multicultural romance, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Origins of an African Elemental Book Tour

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Welcome to Origins of an African Elemental Mini-Tour and an interview with author, Alicia McCalla!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I can be best described as a writer on a mission.  I began my love of SciFi and Fantasy as a teenager. I couldn’t get enough of it until all of my friends and family members began to tease me.

Thirty years ago, it really wasn’t cool for a black girl in the hood to read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But I loved those books and all things dragons, too. LOL.  I even played Dungeons and Dragons. As I grew older, I allowed other people to dictate my reading tastes. That didn’t end well for me. I became miserable and felt as if I were missing pieces of who “I” was.

One day, I put my foot down and not only did I openly read SFF, I began to write it. The stories that I write usually have epic plots and unique characters. It’s my goal to desegregate paranormal and SciFi worlds and add people of color into the center of new universes.  Shrug. Maybe, I’ll take over the SFF world someday. Bwahaahaa!(Evil laughter)

My writer self allows me the opportunity to grow my vivid imagination. I dream big and create outlandish worlds, unusual galaxies, and strange universes.

I’m also a school librarian and it is neat for me to see my students fall in love with a good SFF book.  They already live the everyday life but “eyes” light up when they can view a societal problem from a different perspective.  The stories that I and other SFF writers write help to engage a side of the brain that deals with curiosity, problem solving, and imagination. These are all abilities that need to be nurtured, particularly in the homes of minorities and people of color.

Truthfully, it’s why I continue to write when I know it’s not socially acceptable to read and write paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction.

When did you begin writing?

I wrote stories for as long as I can remember. I know for sure that I’d begun to use an old reconditioned typewriter to create my masterpieces at age 10 but my Mom says that I probably began writing much earlier than that.

I distinctly remember being a teenager and wondering what I should do with my life. I tossed and turned all night, in fact, it bothered me so much that I began sweating and became entranced. Then, a deep voice as “clear as a bell” told me to be a “writer.”

It rumbled and shook me awake. You would think that the heavenly voice waking me up from my sleep would have been enough to convince me. Unfortunately, I didn’t start seriously writing until my late thirties.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

Origins of an African Elemental includes two difficult stories. This Soul Eater boxed set deals with issues of Trokosi slave wives, female genital mutilation, ritualistic sacrifice and domestic violence.  This series mixes West African mythology and Norse mythology featuring vampire-like beasts.

Origins of an African Elemental was painful to write but I felt it was necessary to show controversial issues that impact African American women mixed with supernatural thriller elements to truly create a Black woman’s horror story.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

My writing voice doesn’t make things easy for anybody, especially me. I find that there is something untamed, sinister and dark lurking within my storytelling.  Add controversial issues and well, my paranormal stories border on being more literary than commercial.  When my supernatural writing voice grabs me, it scares the “heck out of me” and I can do nothing but watch the story unfold.  That’s what has happened with this Soul Eater series.

Friends and family members tell me that I have a “dark gene” when it comes to telling stories but I want readers to become up close and personal with the atrocities committed toward women. Some readers may find the serial killer’s violence against female victims to be disturbing and well they should. My goal is to spur understanding and encourage action against these abuses. Reader who enjoys sword and sorcery stories will want to read this series highlighting strong Black women warriors who sometimes have to fight to the death to survive.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

I’m too excited about the ability in the 21st century to become the “everyday” writer, artist or musician.  We now have the ability to create a platform, share our stories, find readers, and make a living doing exactly what we love, easily.

It’s an exciting time to be creative. I would encourage readers to support these authors, artists, and musicians by purchasing their works, spreading good news to family and friends, and putting positive reviews on sites like Amazon and other distributors.  This is the new form of social activism in the 21st century. We need to create a campaign “Support Indies to Change the World!”


And the tale of the African Elementals begins… This prequel boxed set is the first and second installment in the Soul Eater series. Mawu, Iniko, and Shania grow into their strength as mothers and warriors.These women wield the elements and war swords to save this universe from an ancient evil.

Mawu_300x200Mawu An insidious demonic force infects the West African pantheon and a modest Earth goddess goes on a quest to save her people from destruction. She finds strength in the arms of a Norse god who believes in justice. But when Mawu returns to the African pantheon, she must take an oath that threatens the life of her unborn child.


Iniko, daughter of a West African goddess and a Norse god, struggles with her estranged husband, who abducted their child and is intent on murdering the girl in a blood-soaked ritual to gain power for his ancient demonic master. Iniko travels to a West African castle during the slave trade to battle possessed vampire-like beasts with her sword and dagger to rescue her child. Can she find the strength to kill the man who once held her heart and the key to her magic?


Flee: A Short Story After the death of her grandmother, Shania Moore, a 27-year old African-American woman, is tormented by her ex-boyfriend and a paranormal serial killer. When Shania falls into a dream realm and connects with an ancient African goddess, her earth magic awakens. Shania realizes that in order to save her daughter’s magical soul, she must run into the arms of the white man whom she lied to about having an abortion and stood up at the altar ten years before.

alicia-McCallaAbout the Author:

It took thirty years for Alicia to accept her calling as a writer of “unusual stories.” Always writing edgy tales that pushed the envelope. She learned to hide her violent, controversial, heart-pumping,and tragically romantic stories from family and friends.

It wasn’t until she joined a local writer’s group that she began to share her stories openly and take the plunge. Alicia writes for both new adults and adults with her brand of multicultural supernatural thrillers, urban fantasy, paranormal, and horror. Her stories always include strong women heroines who fight back, sometimes to the death.

Alicia’s influences are Octavia Butler, LA Banks, Faith Hunter, Patricia Briggs, and Laurell K. Hamilton.

Alicia is an activist in the movement towards diversifying Science fiction and Fantasy (#diversityinsff). She created the first “State of Black Science Fiction 2012” blog tour, is an active member in the State of Black Science Fiction FaceBook group and has a ScoopIt page where she actively curates topics related to Afrofuturism, Black Science Fiction, and Black Speculative fiction.

Alicia is a native Detroiter who currently resides in metro Atlanta. She works as a media specialist or school librarian in a local school district. Alicia enjoys spending time with her husband and son.

Alicia’s adult series mixes African-American women’s fiction with dark urban fantasy. Check out the Soul Eater series. Sign-up on http://www.aliciamccalla.com for free downloads, e-updates, sneak peeks, and coupons.

You can support this diverse title/author by clicking, and purchasing on the link below, adding it to you Goodreads Want-to-Read List, following Alicia via Twitter or liking her on Facebook!




Buy the box set!

 Tour Giveaway: One winner can choose a Kindle Fire HD 6 Tablet or a $99  USD Amazon Gift Card.  Each entrant will be subscribed to Alicia McCalla’s email list (they can unsubscribe at any time) and receive an eCopy of the first three chapters of Rise of an African Elemental. 

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Categories: #WeNeedDiverseBooks, author interview, book tour, diverse book tours, diverse books, diversity in books, fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Arkaz: Book Review

dbt presents arkaz

Arkaz by Barakat Akinsiku

Genre: YA MultiCultural Adventure

A young princess. A forced betrothal. The quest for survival.

Princess Kaella of Yatz’s serene world comes to a grinding halt when her tiny village is invaded by forces of the Great Sol, an arch rival of Arkaz, under whose rule her village falls.

Fleeing for her life and from a forced betrothal, she teams up with unlikely allies, searches for her kidnapped sister and hopes to bring back help for her village…

Arkaz Cover

My Review: Princess Kaella is on the verge of being betrothed to the man of her dreams, but upheaval in her kingdom combined with a vicious betrayal threaten all her plans. Now Kaella is forced to choose between love and family, between happiness and duty to her kingdom. With the fate of many resting in her hands, Princess Kaella must grow up far too soon.

Arkaz is the first in a series for young adults. It’s based in an ancient African kingdom where evil witches cast spells, where war is a constant worry, and where young women reach marriageable age at only fourteen. When we meet Kaella, she is preparing for her betrothal ceremony in which she will become officially engaged to marry Yassir, the young man of her dreams. Unfortunately for Princess Kaella, other plans are in the works. She has to make a heartbreaking decision in order to save her family, and as a consequence, she destroys the trust of someone she holds dear.

As the first book in the series, Arkaz leaves a lot unfinished. However, I do find the ending satisfactory. It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, so I felt the author found a very good stopping point. There’s definitely more adventures in store for Princess Kaella and her entourage and I can see tons of potential with this series and its cast of characters. At times, some of the characters felt a little one-dimensional to me, but I think this is because the plot moved very quickly, particularly toward the ending. I’m looking forward to learning more about Kaella as she faces the challenges ahead.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced, action-packed book with diverse characters and a unique setting, Arkaz might be just what you’re looking for.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book LinksAmazon  |   Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords  |  Kobo  |  Connect on Goodreads!

Author Information: Barakat lives in Lagos with her husband, twin sons and pretty daughter. An avid writer, she relaxes by reading a good book, watching documentaries and sketching designs. She is the author of The Surrogacy Deal and Arkaz.

Author LinksWebsite  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


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Categories: #WeNeedDiverseBooks, adventure books, book review, diverse book tours, diverse books, multicultural, multicultural books, young adult, young adult adventure, young adult fantasy | Tags: , , , , ,

The Sanctum Book Tour

Diverse Book Tours is back with two books from The Sanctum Series by Madhuri Blaylock. We have excerpts from both The Girl (Book One) and The Boy (Book Two). Happy reading, everyone!

The Girl (The Sanctum Trilogy, Book I)
Madhuri Blaylock

ISBN: 9780991203406
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Pages: 408
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: November 2013

The Sanctum, an all-powerful governing body founded by ten families, entrusted to maintain the peace amongst Magicals and ensure the ignorance of humans, has been corrupted by greed and savagery for generations, but is all Wyatt Clayworth has ever known.

A descendant of one of the Founding Families and Class A Warrior, Wyatt has always believed in the ways of The Sanctum, having grown up in the system and thrived under their leadership. A golden boy, renowned for his prowess and skill in battle, Wyatt has never questioned a mission or kill order until the night he crosses paths with a brutally injured and mysterious girl.

Scouring Central Park with his best friend and fellow Class A Warrior, Ryker Morrison, for the hybrid demon prophesied to bring an end to The Sanctum and destroy the world for Magicals and humans alike, Wyatt instead finds Dev and his whole life turns upside down. Told he was hunting a killing machine, hellbent on wreaking havoc and destruction upon all it encounters, Wyatt instead sees nothing more than a broken girl with haunted eyes and a bit of a death wish.

All Dev wants is for Wyatt to either kill her or leave her alone. When he refuses to do either, she finds herself being pulled into his life while being hunted by warriors everywhere she turns. Drawn to one another for reasons they cannot begin to explain to themselves, much less anyone else, Wyatt is determined to protect Dev and help her realize her mission to avenge the deaths of her family at the hands of The Sanctum. His abdication of his duties and his outright rejection of his responsibilities to The Sanctum create a maelstrom of events beyond anyone’s imagination.

Book LinksAmazon  |  Goodreads

Summer finally arrived with all her fanfare and gusto, from people sunbathing on rooftops to the smell of barbecue wafting from those homes lucky enough to own a small patch of urban greenery. The city was alive; winter’s hibernation was quickly forgotten and everyone wanted to be outdoors. Thrown into the mix of throbbing humanity were, for all practical purposes, two boys, scouring Central Park, not for lost treasure or a missing pet as most would expect, but a demon.
A particularly deadly demon to be precise.
“I think you’re jealous of how I handled those girls last night,” Ryker’s laugh rang through the woods, “you probably keep asking yourself, how the hell does he do that?”
Wyatt grinned as he searched the perimeter of the ninth quadrant of the park.
“Your ability to read me like a book is uncanny.”
He retraced his steps to where he parted ways with Ryker and waited, watching his friend run through his inspection with a complete lack of care or concern.
Ryker turned and smirked.
“Stop watching me like that, man. You see me every day. You should be used to all of this by now,” he laughed.
Ryker Morrison was blindingly perfect, all six foot five inches of him. The saying “tall, dark and handsome” was probably coined with Ryker in mind. His coppery skin appeared perpetually sun-kissed, his hair was always perfectly cropped and lined up, despite Wyatt having never seen him enter a barber shop and Ryker’s body was a work of wonder, something akin to Michelangelo’s David. Which was such a cliché when describing the perfect male specimen, but in Ryker’s case it was fitting. It could be quite jarring standing next to the guy, and a lesser man would probably cringe at the task, but Wyatt wasn’t daunted.
“Shut up and let’s at least pretend to care about this inspection.” Wyatt moved onto the next quadrant and continued his work.
“You know why I don’t care.”
“Don’t start, Ryker,” Wyatt cut him off before Ryker could get going, “I’ve heard it a million times, and it makes no difference. We have to do this. At least until they catch this hybrid.”
“Newsflash Clayworth: there are no deadly, hybrid demons relaxing in the park in the middle of the day,” Ryker growled to himself, knowing full well Wyatt would ignore him and continue his sweep of the quadrant.
That was Wyatt Clayworth though, always doing what was expected of him, following the rules set forth by The Sanctum to a tee. If they said jump, Wyatt would jump. And then he would roll over just for good measure.
“Stop staring at my ass, Ryker, and finish the sweep,” Wyatt commanded with a laugh.
Wyatt knew Ryker was studying him right now. Despite being the closest of friends, practically brothers, the boys could not be more different when it came to handling authority, especially that of The Sanctum. For every rule and order Wyatt obeyed, Ryker either worked around it or just flat out broke it. Ryker could not accept that The Sanctum ruled their lives. Wyatt only knew The Sanctum.
“You are aware that you’re a Clayworth, right? A member of one of the founding families of The Sanctum, the bloodline that has consistently produced the most fearsome Class A Sanctum warriors and ablest leaders,” Ryker imitated the voice of the most powerful member of The Sanctum, Carter Breslin. “Did you forget your parents run our Academy? Which means we really don’t have to do this. Everyone knows this is a garbage assignment.”
Ryker finished walking the perimeter of his last quadrant, not paying attention to a thing, just walking it to appease Wyatt.
“Despite what you think, not every Sanctum decision revolves around driving Ryker Morrison to the brink of madness,” Wyatt finished his sweep and started throwing his equipment into his backpack, “and for the record, it wouldn’t make a difference who runs the Academy, I would still handle my assignments with the level of seriousness they deserve.”
Ryker rolled his eyes as he strapped his long-blades to his back then cleaned his knives on the leg of his jeans. “I know, man. Trust me, I know.”
Ryker and Wyatt had known each other since they were ten years old. It was around that time The Sanctum passed a new edict requiring every boy and girl of at least ten years of age to begin their training within the confines of their local Academy. That meant Ryker began training in the New York Academy, run by the Clayworth family since the creation of The Sanctum, currently led by Wyatt’s parents, Sam and Josiah Clayworth. Ryker’s parents pulled him out of his Brooklyn public school and shipped him off to Manhattan to fulfill his duty. He came from a long line of Sanctum warriors, the best in fact, Class A, and his parents were going to make sure Ryker continued the
tradition, no matter how much he rebelled against it.
The boys were paired together from day one at The Academy and immediately fell into step with one another. Ryker was all bluster and brag while Wyatt quietly listened and observed. Both boys impressed their teachers and quickly rose through the ranks of the training Academy, becoming so close they could finish one another’s thoughts and more importantly, have each other’s backs in the thick of battle. When they fought, it was a thing of beauty. One boy could sense the other’s movements and counterattack without even a look, making it nearly impossible to defend their
Their value to The Sanctum as warriors, coupled with their impeccable lineage, allowed many to overlook some of the duo’s less-appealing attributes: the girls, the fights, the drinking, the disobedience, the inability to stay away from the random, gorgeous Magical. All Ryker’s vices but Wyatt would never let him take the blame alone, he would never let Sanctum authority punish his friend. Wyatt always made certain the boys fulfilled their duties with a capability and professionalism any fellow warrior would kill to claim, everything else was just white noise.

That said, even great warriors must answer to their leaders. And right now those leaders felt the boys needed to be reined in and made to understand that for all their prowess and killer instinct, they still served at the pleasure of The Sanctum. They fought for The Sanctum. Their mission was that of The Sanctum’s. And right now, The Sanctum wanted them sweeping Central Park for a hybrid demon.


The Boy (The Sanctum Trilogy, Book II)
Madhuri Blaylock

ISBN: 9780991203413
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Pages: 432
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: May 2014

In THE GIRL, Madhuri Blaylock introduced readers to the world of The Sanctum, one corrupted by greed and savagery and hellbent on achieving a single goal: destroying the prophesied hybrid. When one of its most celebrated warriors questioned his allegiances, age-old secrets were unveiled and violence erupted. The journey becomes more perilous and intense as the trilogy surges forward with THE BOY.

Can you cross the plains of death, collect every piece of your soul and make it back to the land of the living?

And if you complete the journey, will your loved ones welcome your return?

The Ramyan have been answering such questions since the creation of The Sanctum. A mysterious sect of Magicals, haunting the blank spaces of time and memory, they serve no one but themselves and their higher purpose. They exist on a plane removed from earthly matters, shifting easily between the living and the dead, moving in time to the beat of their own drummer.

At least they did.

Dev and Wyatt change all of that when the prophesied hybrid lands on the steps of Rinshun Palace, seeking help for the wounded Class A Warrior. That decision alters lives and sets old agendas back on course. But at what cost to Dev and Wyatt? And does that really even matter?
Book links: Amazon   |   Goodreads



The first sense awakened was smell; the first familiar scent was jasmine. It was not overpowering, as it tended to be at times, but rather just a hint in the air, enough to arouse a memory.
Shopping in the market and the vendor giving her a string of flowers for her hair. She wanted to weave them into her braid but there was no time. They were simply wrapped around her neck, a sweet-smelling chain, but not half as pretty as they would have looked in her hair.
The green grass.
Her sight returned next and she thrilled at the vision before her, the tall grass of her home, so lush and brilliant. So soft to her touch which followed and soon she could feel her body returning to itself, feel the ground below her and hear the life around her.
The water of the channels, lazily rolling along, the birds calling to one another in an endless conversation of nonsense and the branches of trees, swaying in the wind, scratching against each other.
And finally taste.
She wiped her mouth and the back of her hand came away red.
She sat up and spit. Bright red against the brown of the dirt. She didn’t care. The blood was insignificant; the boy was of much more importance.
The fact that Dev could sit up at all was amazing, a testament to her minute learning curve. Only her second time toying with portal travel and she had no broken bones, not even a scratch she realized as she studied her arms and legs. She stood up slowly, her legs feeling a bit shaky, and wobbled around like a newly-birthed colt. She stretched her arms above her head and shook them out, needing to get the blood flowing through her limbs properly. All the while, she scanned the area for his dark hair, his fair skin.
He suffered a mortal wound at the hands of Max Breslin during their battle in the park but with the help of that bizarre vampire, Darvin, she had been able to temporarily close his chest and make it to the portal. Dev walked back through her steps, certain she had strapped Wyatt tightly to her before allowing the portal to suck them into the ether. She was positive he was somewhere close by, she just needed to calm herself before setting out in search of him.
Breathing deeply, Dev slowed her pulse and began methodically taking in her surroundings, from the blades of grass to the animal life. She stretched out her mind and became one with her environment, feeling every living organism in her vicinity, searching for a blank.
Wyatt was the blank. She had never been able to read him, so knew any black space would be him.
Unless he died. Then he would be missing altogether.
Dev shook her head as if to rid herself of the negative thought.
He was here. Somewhere. She knew it.
He had to be.
He promised.
He swore.
Walking the field in wide circles, an aspect of Dev’s psyche noted the fact that her family home, which once stood on the very spot where she exited the portal, was completely destroyed, obliterated, nothing left behind but ash. Max Breslin had evidently taken fireflame to the entire compound and the bodies of his victims, her mother, father, and brother, prior to his departure, ensuring should she come back to the location, Dev would find only wide, open space.
But that was a concern from a different lifetime, for a different girl; Dev really just wanted to find Wyatt.
As she walked, the panic started to rise again in her chest, threatening to overtake her senses and render her useless. Dev stopped where she was, stood stock still and inhaled deeply, calming herself.
She closed her eyes and waited.

Several minutes later she could be seen slowly walking southeast of where she exited the portal, near the water’s edge, bent low and then altogether disappearing. Seconds later the still of the afternoon was pierced by her animal-like howl and her soul-crushing cries for help..


About the Author:

Madhuri is a Jersey City Heights girl via Snellville, Georgia, who writes paranormal fiction and is slightly infatuated with tattoos, four-inch heels, ice cream, Matt Damon, scotch, Doc Martens, Laini Taylor, photo booths and dancing like a fool.

She’s currently working on The Sanctum trilogy and hopes one day soon, everyone is walking around with a copy of The Girl in their pocket or on their Kindle.

She wants to get a goat and a burro, but since she lives in the city, will settle for some chickens.

To learn more about her, you can follow her blog at http://madhuriblaylock.wordpress.com, follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MadhuriBlaylock or like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thesanctumtrilogy.com

She’s totally chatty so drop her a line any time.

Connect with Madhuri Blaylock:

Blog   |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Tumblr

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Hush Puppy Book Tour

Diverse Book Tours is back with another fabulous book! Today, we’re featuring HUSH PUPPY by Lisa T. Cresswell. We’ve got an excerpt for you to enjoy AND a giveaway!!!

HUSH PUPPY by Lisa T. Cresswell

ISBN: 978-1608208791
Publisher: FeatherWeight Press
Pages: 232
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Intelligent Corrine, abandoned by her mother, and artsy Jamie, forced to play football by a redneck father, both dream of leaving their podunk town and never looking back. Their shared love of literature and a dream of a better life bring them together and a romance blossoms between them in a secret place of their own in the steamy North Carolina woods. When Jamie is involved in the accidental death of a white girl, he’s terrified of his abusive father. Corrine takes the blame to protect Jaime, with dire consequences for herself and her dreams of the future. Her life in danger, Corrine’s left wondering if Jamie ever cared about her at all.

Book Links: 
Amazon   |    Barnes & Noble   |    Goodreads    |    Book Depository
Excerpt from HUSH PUPPY:

The weeds had deep roots. They kept breaking off in my hands as I yanked on them, cursing under my breath. Sweat dripped off my nose, making wet spots on the red soil. The beans were in flower and it seemed like every insect in town was humming around them. I was so busy trying to avoid the bees with my hoe, I didn’t notice the shaggy-haired boy walk up behind me.

“Kind of hot for yard work, ain’t it?”

I snapped up and spun around too fast, the blood rushing out of my head. I steadied myself on the hoe as stars blurred my vision. As my sight cleared, I saw Jamie’s face, a halo of glittering lights around him.

“Hey, Hush Puppy!” he said. “Those were good.”

“I’m Corrine.” Still blinking, I wiped my sweaty forehead with the back of my dirty glove.

“I’m Jamie.” For a minute, he just stood there holding a red spiral notebook in one hand. Not knowing what else to do, I tried to make conversation.

“Going to summer school?”

“What?” He seemed confused.

“You look like you just got off the bus,” I said, pointing to his notebook.

“Oh, this?” He glanced at his notebook. “I just write stuff sometimes.”

“What kind of stuff?”

“I…the kind of stuff my old man don’t like, I guess.” Jamie smiled like he thought that was funny. I threw the hoe down in the wilted weeds.

“I need a drink. Want some tea?” I offered.

“Sure,” he said, following me to the house.

I got the tea from the fridge and found two glasses while Jamie sat at the table, setting his notebook on the red and white vinyl tablecloth in front of him. The kitchen was stuffy so I cranked on the window air conditioner until it blew frosty gusts at us. Jamie watched quietly while I cracked a tray of ice cubes and tossed a few in each glass before pouring the tea. We both took a long drink.

“You’re not like most boys around here.”

“Oh yeah?”

“I can’t think of one who would actually admit to writing something that wasn’t for school.”

Jamie smirked and chugged some more tea.

“So what’s in it?” I asked.

“In what?”

“Your notebook. What do you write?”

“Um…” Jamie’s thumb fingered the corner of the pages. “Stories, essays mostly.” His eyes traveled over the plastic tablecloth between us, not daring to look up.

“Can I see?” I reached for the notebook, but Jamie quickly slid it away from me.

“Naw. You wouldn’t like it.”

“How do you know?” The questions sounded ruder than I meant and I tried to make up for it. “I like a lot of stuff.”

“It’s just that it’s not that good.” He pulled it off the table onto his lap where I couldn’t see it. I felt myself frowning.

“Fine. Be like that.”

The crunching sound of a car on gravel grabbed my attention. Memaw wasn’t due home for hours. I jumped up to check out the tiny kitchen window, but there was no one there. When I turned around, Jamie was gone, his empty glass on the table. I walked into the living room and saw him down the short hallway, standing in my room.

“What are you doing?” I asked, hoping I hadn’t left my underwear on the floor that morning. It was dark in my room because we kept the windows covered during the day to keep it cool. I walked up behind Jamie, who was gazing up at the world map on my bedroom wall. I caught our reflection in my mirror and realized just how different we were next to each other. My dark skin, the color of rich, black coffee, made his skin look that much lighter. My kinky hair, poking out of the braids that were coming undone, made his hair seem that much straighter. But Jamie didn’t notice any of that.

“Cool map,” said Jamie. “What are the pins for?” He fingered the blue push pin I had stuck in the map at Munich.

“Places I want to see one day.”

“You sure got a lot of traveling to do.”

“That’s the plan. Red is for must-see, blue is for nice to see.”

“There’s a lot of red. These your books?” Jamie asked, looking over my shelf.


Jamie paused a minute and then sighed. “I should probably go. My dad would freak if he knew I was here.” He turned to walk down the hall toward the front door. I should have been relieved to get him out of my room, but some part of me was disappointed to see him go. I followed him outside and across the yard toward the driveway. He glanced back at me once or twice, as if he thought I was going home with him.

“I gotta finish weeding,” I explained.


“Thanks for stopping by,” I said. It was something Memaw would have said.

“Yeah, thanks for the tea.” He kicked a grubby sneaker toe into the fresh garden dirt I’d just cleared of weeds. The notebook dangled from his fingertips. He stared at me like he had something more to say, but he never got the chance. Harley’s truck, held together with duct tape and wire, rattled down the road, stopped suddenly and backed up. Harley drove his truck into our driveway and hung his head out the window.

“What the hell are you doing over here?” he shouted at Jamie, who didn’t answer. Instead, Jamie looked at me and offered me the notebook he had been so reluctant to share before.

“I’ve been looking everywhere for you!” Harley kept ranting.

“I think you dropped this,” Jamie said to me, somehow ignoring Harley.

“What?” I couldn’t understand what was happening.

“Damn it, Jamie! Get in the truck!”

“Isn’t it yours?” Jamie’s eyes pleaded with me to play along. “Take it.” I finally did what he said and he joined Harley in the truck.

“When I call you, I expect you to answer, boy!” I heard Harley shouting as they drove away. I didn’t understand how or why, but suddenly the mysterious red notebook was mine.

About the Author 

Lisa, like most writers, began scribbling silly notes, stories, and poems at a very young age. Born in North Carolina, the South proved fertile ground to her imagination with its beautiful white sand beaches and red earth. In fifth grade, she wrote, directed and starred in a play “The Queen of the Nile” at school, despite the fact that she is decidedly un-Egyptian looking. Perhaps that’s why she went on to become a real life archaeologist?

Unexpectedly transplanted to Idaho as a teenager, Lisa learned to love the desert and the wide open skies out West. This is where her interest in cultures, both ancient and living, really took root, and she became a Great Basin archaeologist. However, the itch to write never did leave for long. Her first books became the middle grade fantasy trilogy, The Storyteller Series. Her first traditionally published work, Hush Puppy, is now available from Featherweight Press.

Lisa still lives in Idaho with her family and a menagerie of furry critters that includes way too many llamas!

Author Links

Website: http://lisatcresswell.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisaTCresswell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peach83352

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5245305.Lisa_Cresswell

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Niko Book Tour and Character Interview

Diverse Book Tours is stopping by Authors to Watch and they’ve brought a very special guest. Niko, the main character in the novel by Kayti Nika Raet, is here to speak with us. Let me tell you – it wasn’t easy to get her to talk, but with me, the author, and the Diverse Book Tour peeps twisting her arm, we finally persuaded her to answer a few questions before she dashed off to vanquish some Slithers. Don’t know what a Slither is? Read on...

So, Niko, for those of us meeting you for the first time, what can you tell us about your world? Looks pretty crappy ;p

The hotel was nice. Everything else could be better. There are lots of things that can kill you out here; the rain is corrosive and can burn through almost anything; Slithers eat you, preferably while you’re still alive. Starvation. Disease.

I think we can change that though. At least, most of it.

That bat you have is pretty interesting. What is it used for?

Killing Slithers. (You mean it can be used for something else?)

Holy Crap! What the heck was that (Assuming a slither just ran by, ignoring us hopefully!)?

That was Ben. He’s probably hoping I’ll say something about him. I’m not.

Did you ever have any goals that didn’t involve killing Slithers?

My goal was never to just kill Slithers, my goal was to survive, to make sure our water lasted till the end of the week, to find enough food so that my brothers wouldn’t starve. To keep breathing. Slithers happened to get in the way of those goals, luckily, I was good at killing them.

Now that I’m in the city things are different. There’s clean water EVERYWHERE, and food too. The threat of Slithers is contained, which means I don’t have to focus on solely survival anymore, but Slithers don’t only attack the cities, they attack everyone, and Outsiders are more vulnerable towards it. Shouldn’t they be protected too?

I notice you don’t like dresses! What you got against dresses?

They’re pretty but they aren’t very practical. If it’s long, it tangles up in your legs and a Slither eats you. If it’s short, water might splash on your legs and the acid will burn you. Jeans are fine, no need to die just to look pretty.

Any special boy toys in your life that arent dead? Got your eye on anyone special?



What does your favorite hobby involve?

I like to paint. It’s relaxing.

If you could change anything about your life right now, what would it be?


Ben says that’s cheating. Fine…

I would like to have my brother back, for the fire to never have happened. If I could only have one thing, I would like to have that.

Who do you trust most in the world?


You seem to be in a hurry! Where are you off to? Where can we find you if we’re looking for you!

I’m headed to another city, Cherai. Hopefully, everything turns out all right and we don’t encounter any Slithers.


We’ll encounter some Slithers.

Have you ever… Niko? NIKO? Sorry, folks. She’s gone. Hopefully, we’ll catch up with her again one of these days. I’d like to thank Niko for (reluctantly) answering a few questions, and I’d like to thank Kayti Nika Raet and Diverse Book Tours for stopping by. If you’d like to learn more about Niko, please keep reading…

by Kayti Nika Raet

ISBN: 9781301255191
Publisher: Kayti Nika Raet
Pages: 188
Format: Ebook
Genre: YA, Post-Apocalyptic, Thriller, Romance

One can live for several weeks without food but only a few days without water, a fact seventeen year old Niko is only too aware of as she struggles to provide for her two younger brothers in a post apocalyptic landscape where the rain burns like acid, food grows increasingly scarce and any Slither that crosses her path is laid low before it can sink its teeth into her.

Then one night everything she’d ever worked for and loved is consumed by a raging fire, leaving her with one brother missing, the other dead and herself gravely injured.

She’s rescued by the Rose Circle, a rogue group of Slither hunters. They sneak her into Amaryllis City, a decadent metropolis where those able to pay the exorbitant entrance fee live a life of relative ease.

But for Niko, Amaryllis City is not the haven she grew up believing it would be and her unique abilities as a Slither hunter make her a particularly visible target to a city with hopes of experimentation, replication and other nasty bits.

All Niko ever wanted to do was find her baby brother, but that’s proving to be harder than expected.

Book Links

Amazon: Purchase Link

Goodreads: Connect about it on Goodreads!

Author Biography

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Kayti Nika Raet moved down South when she was 11, where she was bitten by the writing bug, as well as other, less friendly insects.

She is the author of the Outsider Chronicles, a five book series starting with NIKO and set in a world where the rain burns like acid and flesh eating monsters roam.

She’s also a reviewer for Readers’ Favorite and has her own Youtube Channel: Kayti Edition.
When she is not hard at work on her fourth book she has fun reading, listening to K-pop, and photography.

Kayti lives in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Author Links

Website: http://kaytinikaraet.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kayti.nikaraet

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KNRwrites


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Dia of the Dead Book Tour and Review

Today, I’m thrilled to be a part of the book tour for Dia of the Dead, presented by Diverse Book Tours. I had the pleasure of reading Dia of the Dead and I’m excited to share my review with all of you. I absolutely loved the book, and I’m sure you’ll love it too!

Dia Of The Dead
Brit Brinson 

ISBN: 978-0-9907401-0-0
Publisher: Big Moon Press
Pages: 276
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal

Protecting Romero High from all things supernaturally spooky as Dia Muerto is a tough gig for sixteen-year-old actress Dia Summers, but it’s nothing compared to protecting the ones she loves from real, live—well, formerly alive—zombies. Unlike the zombies that shambled around on set, the real deal don’t follow a script.

At the majorly important birthday party of her boss’ daughter, Dia experiences a series of potentially career-ruining social disasters. Before the night is over, she soon discovers that the possible cancellation of her show isn’t her biggest worry.

Armed with what they can find around Bixby Studios, Dia and her friends band together to find out why everyone they know has begun popping up as gray-skinned, black-eyed, limb-nomming zombies. With the ailment spreading, time is running out before Dia is swept up in Hollywood’s latest trend.


My Review: Dia is a teen television star whose greatest worry is the possible cancellation of her show. Until the zombies come. The television studio is being overrun by zombies and Dia must find a way to escape. With a group of friends, enemies, and a cute crush, Dia battles her way through flesh-eating undead, desperate to find a way out of the studio and back to her mom.

Okay, so I’m a sucker for a good zombie novel, and Dia of the Dead is about as good as it gets. Fast-paced and action-packed, the story moves along quickly, but not so quickly that we don’t get to know the characters and the world they live in. In many of the zombie books I’ve read, the main character is never fully formed because the zombies are introduced so early, we never get past the non-stop battle scenes. Not so with Dia of the Dead.

In this book, the author gives us a chance to get to know Dia and her real-life, pre-zombie struggles. We meet a girl who is likable and who is someone teens (and adults) will be able to relate to. This is a girl who is the emerging star of a popular, highly rated show, but instead of being an arrogant diva (like so many of those around her), she still harbors tons of self-doubt. She bears the burden of being the breadwinner for her family. As an Afro-Latina actress, roles are limited, so there’s additional pressure to try to keep her existing job. On the social front, she’s afraid to alienate the wrong person, or of making a mistake that could potentially end her career. She’s still trying to figure out who is safe to hang out with, and who NOT to crush on. Instead of being dazzled by the glamour of Hollywood, she feels overwhelmed by it. At the end of the day, she’d rather hang out at home with her mom and dog, than attend the elite parties she’s expected to attend.

By the time the zombies came on the scene, I really felt like I knew Dia. I sympathized with her. I understood her struggles and I was rooting for her. As a fighter, Dia doesn’t have any special ninja fighting skills, but she’s smart. And she’s fiercely loyal to her friends. She isn’t stupidly, foolishly brave, but she’s always the first to go back to save someone in trouble. In other words, she stays true to character throughout the book.

Dia of the Dead is one of the best (if not THE best) young adult zombie book I’ve read. I would love to read more about Dia. I’ll be sure to check out future books by this author. This is definitely a book I’d recommend.

My Rating:5 out of 5 stars

Buy the Book:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0990740102/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23117815-dia-of-the-dead

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Dia-Dead-Brit-Brinson/9780990740100

Author Biography:

Brit Brinson was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. After time away to attend college and graduate school, she returned home. When she’s not writing, she enjoys doing nerdy stuff with her friends. She lives for all things horror, paranormal, and sci-fi.

Dia of the Dead is her first novel.

Author Links:

Website: www.britbrinson.com

Twitter: @britbrinson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8507189.Brit_Brinson


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