Posts Tagged With: book feature

Book of the Day: Death is Not the End, Daddy

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John Doe

John Doe is a killer. Fourteen children in the last twenty six years. Teddy tells him to and he listens. He has to listen. He is parked across the street from the elementary school in Payne, North Dakota, waiting for Teddy to tell him the name of the next child. He hasn’t yet, but he will…

Matthew Mills

God is good. It’s the only truth Matthew Mills needs. But, pain is still pain. It has only been a week since his wife had her second miscarriage in the last three years. She has become a shell of who she was. Only his daughter Marcy is a light in his life.

What would happen if she was taken away?

“A revolutionary piece of fiction that expands far beyond the Christian market.”
-Clover Hogan (Smashwords Review)

“An incredible work of art.”
-M.J. Elliott (Smashwords Review)

“By far the book I’ve ever read.”
-Amit Sharma (Smashwords Review)

Excerpt:

John Doe

I don’t remember much before Teddy, but I do remember the laced leggings I found in the backseat of dad’s Buick. They weren’t mom’s. She was already sick by that time. Sick and dying. But, he was out sticking his piece in someone else…

He stuck his piece in me, too. That was the day Teddy came into my life. He wasn’t just my faded brown bear anymore. He was Teddy. He understood the pain of watching mom die; he understood the hate growing in me after daddy stuck his piece in me. He helped it grow.

Even before mom died, Teddy told me daddy didn’t deserve to live. At her funeral, he cried. The fake! Those tears attracted someone else, who he stuck his piece in later that night.

After mom died, I only had Teddy. He has never spoken in the way a person does. But, he does talk. His voice is constantly in my head. The bear just sits. And when I look into his eyes, I see blood. Lots of it. Blood and pain. I fill with tingles. Teddy says that’s as normal as the hatred I still feel for daddy. Sometimes I question it, though. And sometimes, Teddy gives me horrible nosebleeds, where my eyes feel ready to pop.

Teddy told me to come to Payne, North Dakota, and park across the street from the elementary school. He hasn’t given me the name of the next child yet. But, he will. He always does. My identity is what Teddy tells me to be. When I question it, he makes the blood I see in my head come out of me. He told me to kill daddy. With mom gone, there was no one else. It was just Teddy. Daddy didn’t even say a word to me anymore. He was gone most of the time. And when he was home, he scared me.

Teddy promised me that it would help. I listened. He was only protecting me. Teddy told me when to kill him, and what to use. There was blood. Lots of it.

Matthew Mills

God is good. It is the only truth I need. It has kept me afloat through my wife’s second miscarriage in three years. But, pain is still pain. It’s only been a week since she lost the baby.

Sometimes I wonder how Job felt when everything was taken from him. He made it through and came out a better person. The Lord uses pain to mold us—

I worry about my wife. The light has left her eyes. She used to profess her faith. Now it seems like she is drowning, and no matter how much scripture I read, the light doesn’t return. I am the pillar of this house. The Lord gave me that job, and I will stand even as everything else crumbles around me.

The devil has filled my head with thoughts of suicide. He tries to convince me that the razors from her shaver will be the death of her. He tells me to leave the bathroom door open when she showers, just in case. And I do, just in case. There is weakness in me. I’m not afraid of the enemy. My victory is through Jesus Christ. But, sometimes I fear her death is in His plan. Anyone who tries to tell me He would never allow that, I refer them to Job. The Lord takes away, sometimes for reasons we can’t understand.

My bible is out; the highlighter has already run across a few Proverbs, and a comforting piece in John. I have found quite a few verses that reassure me of my place in Him. I believe I have two sons in heaven.

I cling onto my Marcy. She is eight and a bundle of silly and sweet. I feed her the Lord daily. And His light shines from her in every way. I love her more than I thought possible. She is my little princess, and I try my hardest to make her feel that way, especially now that Janet has shut down…

Something is stirring tonight. I can feel fear trying to slip into my house. It’s trying to claw up the back of me, and enter through the front. I have a job to do tonight. My bible is highlighted on mostly every page. If a battle is coming, then I will win, because greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. I am the pillar, and I can feel the pieces beginning to crumble. Help me stand tall, Lord. Help me stand tall.

*****

Death is Not the End, Daddy is currently available for FREE download at the following retailers:

 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/485063

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/death-is-not-the-end-daddy-nate-allen/1120604119?ean=2940046349535

 

Connect with Nate Allen on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cloudsdweller/

 

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Categories: authors to watch, book excerpt, book feature, book of the day, books, christian fiction, thriller | Tags: , , , , ,

Book of the Day: Rarity from the Hollow

Today’s Book of the Day is RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW by Robert Eggleton. In addition to the book feature and excerpt, we will also have an opportunity to find out more about the author and his writing next week when he’ll be back for an interview! I would also like to note that author proceeds from this book support the prevention of child maltreatment: http://www.childhswv.org/

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Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage — an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It’s up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. A Children’s Story. For Adults.

“The most enjoyable science fiction novel I have read in years.” —Temple Emmet Williams, Author, former editor for Reader’s Digest

“Quirky, profane, disturbing… In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.” — Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review

. “…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse…tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…profound…a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” — Awesome Indies (Gold Medal)

“…sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved…a brilliant writer.” –Readers’ Favorite (Gold Medal)

“Rarity from the Hollow is an original and interesting story of a backwoods girl who saves the Universe in her fashion. Not for the prudish.” —Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author

“…Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” — The Baryon Review

“…Brilliant satires such as this are genius works of literature in the same class as Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm.’ I can picture American Lit professors sometime in the distant future placing this masterpiece on their reading list.” — Marcha’s Two-Cents Worth

5star-flat-web

Excerpt from RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW:

(Chapter 32: “The First Sexual Harassment Complaint on Shptiludrp”)

Scene Prologue: Rarity from the Hollow includes political allegory, parody, and satire. Long before Donald Trump was on the political radar, it predicted his rise to political power. In the story, Lacy Dawn, the eleven year old protagonist, is a most unlikely savior of the universe. At this point, readers have learned that the universe faces an imminent threat. An android named DotCom (a recurring pun in the story) was sent to Earth to recruit and train Lacy to fulfill her destiny. She changed the android’s name to “Bucky” to cover-up its true nature, assembled and prepared a team to diagnose and address the threat, and took her team to planet Shptiludrp (Shop Until You Drop), a giant shopping mall and the center of economic governance for the universe. The following scene is the team’s first meeting with the Manager of the Mall and takes place in the only high rise office building on the planet, now easily identifiable as Trump Tower.

…Lacy Dawn scanned across a desk larger than her bedroom and lowered her gaze until just above the desk top. In an oversized swivel chair behind the desk sat a humanoid…. Mr. Prump stood up…. He extended a small hand with six fingers, each of which had at least two overly large golden rings.

“It’s very nice to meet you, Lacy Dawn,” he ignored the others….

“He looks almost just like that short guy on those taxi cab reruns,” Dwayne whispered. “What’s that actor’s name?” (Dwayne, Lacy’s father, is an Iraq War damaged Vet who suffered from PTSD, night terrors and anger outbursts until cured by the android since he had refused treatment by the VA hospital. Dwayne, an expert used car salesman, plays an important role on the team and worked very hard to save the universe in an effort to achieve Lacy’s forgiveness past abusive behaviors.)

“Shhhh,” Lacy Dawn glared.

“I have a complaint to make,” Lacy said to Mr. Prump.

“Oh?” Mr. Prump sat down, opened a drawer, and shoved a form across his desk in her direction. “Please call me Mr. Prump.”

Hospitality has been extended to her entourage.

The form ran out of momentum half-way across the desk. Lacy Dawn extended and retracted because it stopped well short of her reach.

That’s too far regardless of obligatory respect.

“I was not aware of any dissatisfaction of any type, sir,” Bucky reverted to his role as DotCom in the presence of his long-term authority figure. Lacy Dawn gave him The Look and trumped.

“Your elevator operator just told me that I have a nice ass,” she said.

Dwayne started for the office exit to get the offender. Lacy Dawn pushed him toward one of the chairs in front of the desk. Tom grabbed Dwayne’s arm. (Tom is Lacy’s neighbor. He is a wealthy “back to the land” marijuana dealer who relocated to The Hollow when he concluded that city life aggravated his Bipolar Disorder.) Then, Tom and Lacy Dawn had to restrain Bucky’s attempt to go after the offender.

Lacy and Jenny stood alone in front of the desk while the males sat. Jenny moved to her daughter’s side. (Jenny is Lacy’s formerly downtrodden mother whose self-esteem had been enhanced after the android had replaced her rotting teeth with new ones.) Brownie growled. So did Bucky. (Brownie is the family mutt and the only member of the team with enough empathy skills to communicate with, at this point in the story, vile invaders of the universe.)….

Mr. Prump shoved another form in her direction with the same result. The complaint forms were the only papers on the desk….

“Tree says that to me all the time,” the receptionist said from the doorway. “Would anybody like something to drink or a snack?”

Nobody responded except Mr. Prump. He extended a cup that had been on his desk, but the gesture was ignored.

“That’s different, you…” Tom started but Lacy Dawn’s look cut him short.

“The females of those people got no figures at all — straight up and down,” the receptionist said. “I wouldn’t take it personally, Lacy. All males from that planet become infatuated with any curve on any body that they think is female. He’s a nice person once you get to know him.”

“Regardless, it was inappropriate for him to tell me that I have a nice ass.”

“Yeah,” her team said in unison. DotCom was the loudest except for Brownie’s bark followed by another growl.

“I ought to kick his ass for talking trash to my little girl,” Dwayne said.

I’m such a juvenile.

Lacy glared at him again.

“Sorry,” Dwayne hung his head.

“Further,” Lacy Dawn continued. “I’m not about to do business with any planet that permits the sexual harassment of its visitors or employees to go undisciplined.”

Jenny sat down.

“Yeah,” the receptionist said.

Mr. Prump sank deeper into his seat….

“I’m never going to sit on your lap again unless I want to,” the receptionist said. “And, as for anything else, you can just forget it from now on unless you take care of this. Take care of the whole problem on the whole planet — equal respect for all people — within their financial means, of course.”

“Take a memo to Division Managers with a copy to All Staff.”

Lacy Dawn stood alone before the desk. He dictated the memo and she listened.

It’s pretty good. There’s procedure for making sexual harassment complaints, investigation, due process, and penalty.

“That’s all for now. I’ll contact you tomorrow to begin negotiation of terms,” she said.

Mr. Prump asked her what time but she didn’t answer. Lacy Dawn had concluded her first meeting with the most powerful being in the universe and had beaten him in negotiations.

Purchase links:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/robert-eggleton/rarity-from-the-hollow/paperback/product-22910478.html

http://www.amazon.com/Rarity-Hollow-Robert-Eggleton-ebook/dp/B017REIA44

http://www.doghornpublishing.com/wordpress/books/rarity-from-the-hollow 

Public Author Contacts:

http://www.lacydawnadventures.com

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32993259-rarity-from-the-hollow

https://www.facebook.com/Lacy-Dawn-Adventures-573354432693864/

https://twitter.com/roberteggleton1

https://plus.google.com/b/108662084126982201049/108662084126982201049/posts

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-eggleton-909b154b?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

 

Categories: authors to watch, book excerpt, book feature, book of the day, comedy, excerpt, literary fiction, science fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Celine: A Teaser!

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Harper Kemp had long believed that she was the last Night Touched in modern times. With the help of her friends, Lily and Jason, she learned to accept what she was, and even blend into the world of the New York City elite. A please from her dreams and a forbidden romance send Harper on a path of discovery, love, and difficult decisions.

Silas Foster had just caught a huge break after a hunt and kill order turns into a major discovery. Little did he know that what he’d found was going to change everything. Determined to please the higher ups, Silas only has one road block, and she is everything he’s ever dreamed of.

Celine Mai was still very young when she’d been turned. Her previous love of vampire novels and cheesy T.V. were helping her navigate the dark world of being a vampire, or so she thought. After being detained, Celine had to find a way out, or die.

Celine is available on Kindle. It’s free if you are on the Kindle Unlimited program: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BRGNR8S/

Categories: authors to watch, book feature, new adult, vampires | Tags: , , , ,

The Wanted Lawman: Book Review

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The Wanted Lawman by A.C. Smith

Deputy Jesse Morgan has a dark past and will do almost anything to keep his secrets safe—especially from his fellow lawmen. After all, he’s a wanted man.

But when he’s tasked with helping the sheriff’s sister in law, Cecilia Drake, move to town, the simple task becomes more than he bargained for. The feisty reporter captivates his attention but leaves him feeling betrayed when he discovers his picture published in the local paper—with his name.

Jesse fears it will bring the wrath of the law, or worse, his old gang upon his head. For the last ten years, they have been looking for him and want to settle their score in blood. The safest bet is to get out of town and keep running, just like he’s always done. But he loves St. Elmo, and more than that, he’s fallen for Cecilia. Hard. When a bounty hunter comes sniffing around town, it kicks off a chain of events that could jeopardize the lives of everyone he loves.

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MU1SUQP/

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My Review:  Jesse is lawman with a secret in his past. It’s a secret that has shaped his present and prevents him from planning his future. He never knows when everything might come crashing down around him, so he lives his life always wondering when his good luck might run out. When he meets Cecilia, the feisty sister-in-law of his sheriff, it sets off a series of events that make it impossible for him to continue on the path he’s on. For the first time, he is thinking in terms of the future and the kind of life he could have if he were able to settle down. Unfortunately, his past is dangerously close, putting him and those he cares about in danger.

The Wanted Lawman is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It’s a historical romance, but so much more. Romance is at the heart of the story, but it’s also a novel about friendship, loyalty, and facing your inner demons. Because of Jesse’s past and the trauma that has shaped who he has become, there are times when he can be ruthless and even dishonest. Though he comes across as cocky to some, there is an underlying insecurity that comes from more than just his fear of being caught. He’s an extremely complex and endearing character who evolves tremendously throughout the story.

Cecilia is a determined, independent heroine who is strong-willed but still vulnerable. She isn’t afraid to show her emotions, nor is she afraid to fight for the people she loves. She drives Jesse crazy – in more ways than one. He finds her infuriating, but infatuating at the same time.

In addition to the two amazing main characters in this book, there are also many secondary characters I absolutely fell in love with, particularly Tracker. He provides much needed comic relief throughout the story, but he also gives us a unique glimpse into Jesse’s character that we otherwise would not see. Tracker and Jesse have a friendship that endures despite challenges that would normally destroy a relationship.

This is the type of story romance lovers will swoon over, but history buffs will love this book too. The story is very well-researched and full of rich descriptions that bring the past and the Colorado landscape to life. Filled with action, adventure, and passion, The Wanted Lawman is a book I can wholeheartedly recommend to book lovers of all kinds.

My Rating:

5 star

Categories: authors to watch, book feature, book review, books, historical fiction, historical romance, new release | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Autumn Reads: Lament of the Fallen

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The Last Bucelarii (Book 2): Lament of the Fallen

The Hunter of Voramis is no more.

Alone with the bloodthirsty voices in his head, fleeing the pain of loss, he has one objective: travel north to find Her, the mystery woman who plagues his dreams and haunts his memories.

When he stumbles upon a bandit attack, something within urges him to help. His actions set him at odds with the warrior priests commanded to hunt down the Bucelarii.

Left for dead, the Hunter must travel to Malandria to recover his stolen birthright. There, he is inexorably drawn into direct conflict with the Order of Midas, the faceless, nameless group of magicians that holds the city in a grip of terror. All while struggling to silence the ever-louder voice in his mind that drives him to kill.

From feared assassin to wretched outcast, the Hunter’s journey leads him to truths about his forgotten past and the Abiarazi he has pledged to hunt. His discoveries will shed light on who he really is…what he really is.

Fans of Joe Abercrombie, Brandon Sanderson, and Brent Weeks will love the Hunter…

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Bucelarii-Book-Lament-Fallen-ebook/dp/B01JJ5CKOU/

Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Bucelarii-Book-Lament-Fallen/dp/1535388668/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Last-Bucelarii-Book-Lament-Fallen-ebook/dp/B01JJ5CKOU/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30973111-lament-of-the-fallen

 

Author Bio: Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious

I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist–words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I’m also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels.

Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion, race, or lifestyle–it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!

Connect:

10 Things You Need to Know About Me:

  1. Hot wings, ALWAYS!
  2. I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
  3. I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
  4. Marvel > DC
  5. I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
  6. Selena Gomez, Skrillex, Simon & Garfunkel, Celine Dion, and Five Finger Death Punch are all in my writing playlist.
  7. Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
  8. Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
  9. I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
  10. I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

A Few of My Favorite Things

  • Favorite Books: The Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch, The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, Sherlock Holmes by A.C. Doyle, Warlord of Mars by E.R. Burroughs
  • Favorite Songs: Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch, Prayer by Disturbed, I’m an Albatraoz by AronChupa, Look Down from Les Miserables, Shatter Me by Lindsay Sterling and Lizzi Hale
  • Favorite Movies: 300, Red Cliff, Shoot Em Up, Love Actually, Princess Bride
  • Favorite Comics: Anything with Deadpool, Wolverine or Doop in it
  • Favorite Foods: Hot Wings, Meat-Lover’s Salad, A good sandwich (made by me), Yaki Soba, Sushi
  • Favorite TV Shows: The Flash, Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hawaii Five-0, Brooklyn 99, Firefly (too soon!), The Last Ship, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones

 

 

 

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The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer

The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.

When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?

 

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Destroyer-Last-Bucelarii-Book-ebook/dp/B012EI9M4A/

Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Destroyer-Last-Bucelarii-Book/dp/1515038955/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25269614-blade-of-the-destroyer

Categories: authors to watch, book feature, book of the day | Tags: , , , , ,

Autumn Reads: The Dead Planet

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A dead planet. A rogue AI. A secret mission.

Tara Royce’s first day as the Academy’s newest Earth Defense Engineer was anything but ordinary. If humanity has any hope of returning to the dead planet in the next few thousand years, that is assuming it regenerates at all, they must first protect it from alien attack – and the Defense Engineers are its first and last line of defense. Aliens aren’t the only thing the new Engineer needs to look out for, though, and she soon discovers that the stakes are much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Amazon reviews:

“This is a great intro to what promises to be a very interesting scifi series. It’s got a little bit of everything without going overboard on anything, and more than that, it’s a solid premise with far-reaching implications to a future society we’re not even introduced to yet. Fans of scifi without all the hard science or too much techno-jargon, that focuses more on character and crisis will enjoy this for sure.”

“I didn’t except so much action and mystery in such a short story.”

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KCQF86M

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Excerpt:

“I want to thank you.”

The hatch closed behind her with a snap-hiss and she started down the handrails to the bottom level. “Thank me for what?”

“For not disclosing the parameters of our mission.”

“I don’t think this is ‘our’ mission, Aiden. That would have to mean that you let me in on it from the beginning. Instead, you’ve kept me in the dark this whole time, remember?”
He was silent until she opened the door to the bottom levels. “Then I want to thank you…for keeping my secret from Engineer Tyrese.”

“Sure, Aiden. Whatever.” The hall down here was dimly lit, with strips of light on the floor that led to the separate sections.

“I would not have liked Tyrese to know what we are doing.”

The armament section was the first door on the right. “Why would you care what Tyrese knows or doesn’t know?”

“Because…I do not like him.”

A sense of forbidding creeped up her spine. Aiden was doing it again. Sounding far too human and far too…interested in her. “You don’t like Tyrese?

“No.”

“Aiden, you don’t know him.”

“I know he wants to see you. I don’t like that.”

She bit down on her lip. She was definitely going to have to inspect Aiden’s programming, whether he wanted her to see him naked or not. For the moment, she chose very carefully to not ask any more questions. She didn’t want to know what he was going to say next.
Instead, she opened the door to the section where the weapons tubes were charged and loaded and maintained. Usually an Engineer would never have to come down here. The flash lasers were maintained by the droid crawlers on the rare occasions when something went wrong. Only Tara wasn’t looking for something wrong. She was looking for something that shouldn’t be there.

Inside, among the standard configuration that she expected to see from the simulations and technical data specs, among the massive cable lines and sleek black tubes that carried the energy for the flash lasers, was something that definitely should not have been there.
Twice as long as she was, sheathed in a spiraling metal shell, with four direction jets built into the fins at the back. A device perfect for launching through a planet’s atmosphere to the surface, and then retrieving it from there again.

“Beautiful,” Aiden’s voice said to her. “Isn’t it?”

She had to admit, it kind of was.

“All right,” she said after another moment’s consideration. “Let’s go find out if the Earth is worth saving.”

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KCQF86M

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Author bio:

TJ Ryan is a Canadian author, born on the rainy West Coast (or is that wet coast?) of British Columbia. He spent his early years travelling the world, obsessing over new cultures and culinary experiences. Preferring spaceships to airplanes, he has now settled into his little slice of rainforest paradise, escaping reality through Science Fiction.

He is known for packing high levels of action and mystery into his writing, and his latest book The Dead Planet has a growing number of 5 star reviews. TJ has a number of exciting new sci fi books planned for this year, including the second book to his Broken Earth Saga space opera series.

Contact:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorTJRyan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authortjryan
Blog: www.tjryan-author.com

 

Categories: authors to watch, book excerpt, book feature, book of the day, fantasy, science fiction | Tags: , , , , , ,

Need a New Read for Autumn?

There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book, especially when the days are short and the nights are longer. When there’s a chill in the air. When that first early snow begins to fall… Oh, who am I kidding? It’s always a good time to read a good book! This week, I’ll be featuring some excellent Autumn Reads. If you’re looking for fantasy or science fiction to fill your lonely bookshelf or e-reader, here’s a sneak peek at the books we’ll be featuring this week:

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Categories: authors to watch, books | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

New Release: The Encore

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The Encore by Christine S. Feldman

When Jane married her college sweetheart and the love of her life, she never dreamed she would lose him to leukemia before either of them reached forty. A year later, she’s struggling to move on and create a new life for herself, a second act that she never expected to have to follow the first. Picking up the pieces is hard enough—it’s even harder when those closest to her don’t understand or support the way she’s trying to put them back together again.

But while the curtain may have come down on the life she originally had planned, life itself certainly isn’t finished with her yet.

And neither, as it turns out, is her heart.

Buy now for only $0.99 at the following links:

Amazon   |  iTunes  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords  |  Barnes & Noble

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Excerpt from The Encore:

Mother Nature cut them a break: no humidity today.  Instead the air was clear and balmy, complete with a mild breeze that was enough to feel good on Jane’s skin without blowing her hair into her eyes.  She breathed it in with a sense of relief.  Strange how even a house that had no memories of Noel could somehow remind her of him, or at least remind her of the plans they’d never had the chance to bring to fruition.  Family kinds of plans in particular.

But maybe it only hit her hard today because of Bobby and Anna being there.  Maybe the silence of the house would seem peaceful again rather than empty when she got home, and things would be fine.  Soothing, even.  Comfortable.

Maybe.

She turned her attention to the sidewalk on which they ambled, and to the dog trotting obediently if disinterestedly next to her.  It was a quiet street with no traffic at the moment, so she was more than willing to let him lead her wherever his nose and his curiosity took them, but he only kept to the straight line of the cement in front of them instead of sniffing at shrubs or grass or even—surely the dog equivalent of catnip or a ball of yarn?—the lone fire hydrant that they passed.

Nothing.  His ears twitched once at the sound of a car horn that blared for a moment in the distance, but once all was quiet again, Otto’s only movements were those of his legs, keeping a slow and steady rhythm that Jane didn’t have the heart to push any faster.

Her mind was less on their path as they rounded a corner and more on what might be the least ridiculous way to ask a veterinarian about therapy for her dog when she finally realized just how far they’d already walked.  They were only a stone’s throw away from the good doctor’s driveway.  A small voice in the back of her head—the same one that often tried to get her to rein in some of her more impulsive decisions—suggested that this might be a mighty fine time to turn back.  She would have sworn that voice sounded an awful lot like Lizzie’s at the moment.

And Jane might have considered listening to it if it wasn’t for a damnable and familiar spark of curiosity that often overshadowed that cautionary voice and that flared up now at a glimpse of movement in the doctor’s driveway.  A dark grey car that was parked there—his car, presumably—had its hood up, and someone who was half-hidden by that hood was working on something beneath it.  Home on his day off, or had he perhaps been sent home by a superior after his actions the other day?

None of your business, Jane…

No, of course it wasn’t, and yet any alternative must have seemed better than facing the loudness of the silence waiting for her at home, because her feet were still headed in the doctor’s general direction as if they had a mind of their own.  And then they stopped, just as autonomously, in front of the rear bumper of the parked car.

She studied it while the clinking sound of metal against metal marked the activity of the as of yet oblivious would-be mechanic at work at the other end of the car.  Some kind of sedan.  It wasn’t exactly old or beat up, but neither was it the kind of vehicle one might expect to see a physician driving.  Maybe she was unjustly pigeonholing doctors in thinking that way, but she would have thought he’d have something more like a shiny BMW or Mercedes with a vanity plate that read something like #1 DOC or HLN HNDZ.

Well, no, maybe not this doctor, she thought, remembering the coolness of his eyes and rigidness of his posture.

And then before her mind could stray too far after the sudden thought that PP DOC would be a great license plate for a urologist, Jane cleared her throat and said, “Hi.”

The clinking of metal stopped.

Jane put her free hand up to shield her eyes from the sun and peered around at the quiet street.  “Nice day for a tune-up.  Or are you just checking its vitals, Doc?”

Nothing but silence answered her, but after a moment, the face of Dr. Cullen Douglass appeared at one side of the car’s hood to look at her.

Jane offered him a flick of a wave not unlike the one she’d offered him on Moving Day.  She got pretty much the same response this time as she had then, which was to say, none at all.  Undeterred, she countered with a blithe smile.  “I’m Jane Freeley, your new neighbor—”  She nodded her head toward the far side of his house.  “Thataway.  And unless you have an evil twin running around out there, you’re Dr. Cullen Douglas, right?  We kind of sort of didn’t meet at all at the hospital the other day.”  Refusing to let her smile falter, she waited patiently for a reaction, any reaction.  And she was prepared to wait as long as it took to get one.

Maybe he sensed that, because finally she got a curt nod that could actually have just been an involuntary twitch of some kind, but she preferred to be optimistic.

Instinct told her not to stick out her hand, because he was not likely to take it.  Snap it off maybe, but not take it.  Fair enough.  “So you work with my sister-in-law, Lizzie Berkoff.  Well—work, butt heads with… one or the other.”

Nothing.  No reaction at all.  Really?  But she found it less off-putting than intriguing.  He stood there and stared back at her as if waiting for her to come to her point.  Deliberately turning up the wattage on her smile, she waited him out again instead.

Finally, he gestured at his car’s exposed engine.  “Look, Miss Freeley…”

Mrs., she nearly corrected him out of habit, and even after a year it still felt strange somehow to swallow the word back.  “Jane,” she corrected him instead.

He continued as if she hadn’t spoken.  “I have an engine to fix, and I’m really not interested in whatever it is you’re trying to do here.  Scout out prospects somewhere else, please.”

Prospects?  She blinked.  It was a cutting remark, the kind designed both to leave the recipient with no doubts that the conversation was over and to discourage any future attempts at one.  Any normal woman would huff with indignation and perhaps hurl an insult before spinning on her heels and marching off to fume.

But no one had ever accused Jane of being normal.  Instead of taking offense, she started to laugh, and it wasn’t a laugh that was intended to put him in his place and show him just how insignificant he was to her; it was one hundred percent pure, genuine amusement.  “Scout out prospects—You think I’m hitting on you?”  And as she said the words aloud, they seemed even funnier to her.  Although maybe the good doctor did have his share of admirers, because some women really went for the whole dark and broody kind of thing, not to mention the medical degree.  Some women.  But that he had cast her in that role…  “Really?  Because I’ve gone around to introduce myself to at least half a dozen other neighbors this week, and I’ve got to say, none of them seemed to interpret it as sexual harassment—unless I’m really doing it wrong.  I only tore the clothes off the one, after all.”

His expression was guarded, but not quite guarded enough to mask his initial startle at her cheerfulness, and her teasing.

“Oh, don’t look so worried, Doc.”  Unable to help herself, Jane patted one of his grease-stained hands.  “Your virtue is safe with me, I promise.”

The look he gave her was wary, and it tempted her to be playful.  Prickly people often did.  Be good, Jane.  And she tried, she really did.  But when Otto sniffed the toe of Dr. Douglas’s shoe and gave it a quick lick, she couldn’t help but add, “Just so we’re clear, he’s not hitting on you either.  But if it would make you feel better, I’ll be sure to have a long talk with him about boundaries when we get home.  Which should probably be sooner rather than later, I suppose—”  She glanced at her watch and spoke more to herself than to him.  “—since I’ve got stacks of work waiting for me.”  Figuratively, at least.  The stacks were all in the form of computer files.  “But… A chi vuole, non mancano modi.”  —Where there is a will, there is a way—  “Come on, Otto.  Good luck with your car, Doc.  Thanks so much for the warm welcome to the neighborhood.”

Tugging a surprisingly reluctant Otto away from both the man and the car, Jane led him back the way they’d come, still fighting back mirth and with the odd thought that if anyone else would have appreciated the humor in the situation, it would have been Noel.

*

Now available!

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Abomination: Book Review

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Abomination

(Pathfinders Book 1)

By Jane Dougherty

As the end of the world begins, Carla and Tully hurtle through a wormhole five years forward in time, only to find they haven’t missed the Apocalypse after all.

Carla and Tully are picnicking in the quad of their international high school in central Paris when the end of the world begins. They are sucked into a wormhole that spits them out five years later to find that the world is a freezing desolation but still hanging on, waiting for something even worse to finish it off. The something worse turns out to be the Burnt Man and his horsemen. Taken prisoner by the Flay Tribe to their lair in the ruins of a shopping mall, Tully is forced to become a warrior, while Carla joins the other girls as a kitchen slave and comfort woman.

Tully might like the idea of playing soldiers, but Carla knows what is waiting for the girls when the food runs out, and it isn’t pleasant. The supermarket holy man’s vision of the return of the Burnt Man and his demon friends drags Tully back to reality. When the four fiends are reunited, the Apocalypse will really begin. Carla and Tully don’t plan on being there when that happens.

But in this post-Abomination world where only the young and brutal have survived, where food and fuel are running out and the climate is plunging into another final ice age, there is nowhere to run—except down another wormhole, with no idea of what might be waiting for them at the other end.

******

My Review:

Carla and Tully are there to witness the beginning of the world’s end. When they are sucked into a wormhole that transports them five years into the future, they are stunned to discover a new and horrible version of the world they once knew. A world where violence is a way of life, where strange and terrifying creatures stalk the surviving humans, and where women are treated as lesser beings. They are forced to join a brutal tribe and shoved into the roles befitting their genders. As the story progresses, we learn more about the last five years and how the world they now inhabit came to be. We also learn the worst is yet to come.

Fast-paced and well-written, Abomination is a very strong start to the Pathfinders series. Jane Dougherty has created a desolate, post-apocalyptic world where the worst of human behavior thrives. We meet characters who are courageous, who love and care for others in spite of starvation, fear, and the daily threat of violence. These characters are beautifully drawn and complex. The story also has its share of twists and surprises.

I would recommend this book to teens age 13 and up. Adults will also enjoy the story. I sure did! Fans of dystopian tales and those who enjoy a thought-provoking adventure will love this book. I’m looking forward to book 2.

My Rating:

5 stars

Buy the book:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Finch Books

Watch for book 2 in the series coming soon!!!!

Devastation

 

 

Categories: authors to watch, book feature, book of the day, book review, books, dystopian, dystopian fantasy, young adult, young adult adventure | Tags: , , , , , ,

Book of the Day: Initiation

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Initiation

By Nicole J. Knight

It’s the last Monday in September. For sophomore girls at Moreland High, it’s the most important day of their lives. They rush to their lockers and hope to find that one-of-a-kind invitation to the Sapphires Social Club. For the lucky few who are chosen, there is the promise of popularity and high school fame if they complete initiation.

​Queenie, a cheerleader with a basketball star boyfriend, believes that being a Sapphire is her destiny. Taylor, a tennis player, is a reluctant participant in a bet that she can’t complete initiation. Chanel, an honor student from a low-income neighborhood, is looking to secure her status among Moreland’s rich kids. Anna Maria, who is struggling to lose weight, sees the Sapphires as a way for her peers to accept her.

​The girls soon discover that the Sapphires Social Club is different from their expectations. Ultimately, they will have to decide if being a Sapphire is worth the total price of admission.

Nicole J. Knight

About Nicole J. Knight

Nicole J. Knight is an educator and multi-genre author. She is a proud graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, where she majored in English and minored in Spanish. She is a successful educator, and has been recognized as a campus Teacher of the Year and as a finalist for Teacher of the Year in her school district. Her experience educating tweens and teenagers is one of the reasons she decided to focus on young adult fiction. Her first young adult full-length manuscript, Sapphires Social Club: Initiation, explores the lives of four teenage girls vying for a spot on their high school’s most popular social club. Most recently, she completed three manuscript outlines for a Canadian publisher. The outlines resulted in three published novels about the ins-and-outs of high school cheerleading. Currently, Nicole resides in North Texas, where she is hard at work on her next manuscript.

Purchase Links

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01BEGULAM/

Contact Links

https://twitter.com/njknightwrites

http://newsite.browngirlspublishing.com/

Categories: authors to watch, book feature, book of the day, books | Tags: , , , ,

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