~Book Tour – 02-07-2023~
~Available On Amazon~
Izabel spends hours on her tablet, taking her back to a time before The Turning when the drinking water was clear, the air quality was tolerable—a time when going outside wasn’t fatal…
‘[S]he taps on [the news feed of] 2020. The summary popped up. A bad year. A global pandemic. Everyone is wearing masks then, too. She was eight years. Her mother was alive. They were happy.
The novel opens in 2042; Izabel is a housewife who lives with her husband, Kaito, once a surgeon, who now works from home as a robot technician, and their four-year-old daughter Cami.
‘The emergency warnings were and weren’t a surprise. When the trees had turned, two weeks before, to the south of them, it was clear people were going to die. A lot of people.’
Home—is now a plastic dome with air filtration systems for the few who survived the pollen apocalypse.
‘Izabel had thought no one would kill another person again. Not after what they’d be through.’
Oh, how wrong she was. A serial killer on the loose coupled with Cami’s sleep-talking about the murders makes for an interesting read in CLEAN AIR by Sarah Blake.
Thank you, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, for providing me with a paperback ARC of CLEAN AIR at the request of an honest review.
SARAH BLAKE is the author of CLEAN AIR, a cli-fi domestic thriller, NAAMAH, a novel reimagining the story of Noah’s ark, and poetry collections MR. WEST and LET’S NOT LIVE ON EARTH. She received a Literature Fellowship from the NEA. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the American Poetry Review, and the Kenyon Review. She lives outside of London, UK.
~Coffee & Thorn Book Tour/eBook/Independently Published 10-11-2022~
~Tour Date – 01-23-2023~
~Available On Amazon~
E. Denise Billups was born in Monroeville, Alabama, and raised in New York City, where she currently resides. She’s a former Financial Analyst turned writer. A multi-genre fiction author, she’s published six novels and several supernatural short stories. A skilled artist, she trained as a dancer (ballet, modern, and jazz dance) in her younger years and dabbled in writing, which she would not pursue until much later.
As an avid reader of many genres, she was greatly influenced by magical realism, mystery, suspense, and supernatural novels. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s running miles in the park, finding her inner calm with yoga, experimenting with vegan dishes, and enjoying time with family and friends.
Presently, she is working on book two of her trilogy, Twilight Ends, a paranormal historical fiction, and book three of the Simone Doucet Series.
WICKED BLEU – Simone Doucet Series – Book Two – by E. DENISE BILLUPS
Though I have not read TAINTED HARVEST, Book One in the Simone Doucet Series—wherein an ancestral specter awakens Doucet’s second sight, thus enabling restless spirits to vie for her attention—I had no trouble navigating the storyline in Book Two, WICKED BLEU, which features a spectral pull from a being whose plight and intentions reveal in the Prologue.
Here is a snippet:
‘Your light gives me hope, another chance to set matters right before returning to that ultimate sleep. Fear, not my wiles. I may wander into your warm flesh, alive again, to roam beneath wrought-iron terraces, strut to the beat of sultry jazz in my beloved city once more. For a century, I’ve waited for someone to hear my story.’
‘Can’t you see the distance I’ve traveled?’
The novel opens on February 16, 2020, in Brooklyn, New York, and centers around Simone Doucet and her three Brownstone roommates: Stacy Sahara Alanis, Mitchell Hu Young, Jude Michael Foster, and a ghost who was murdered one hundred and three years ago.
Wanting to get away from the mysterious ghost, Doucet and her roommate’s venture to New Orleans, Louisiana, to take advantage of the seven-day complimentary Mardi Gras hotel accommodations she received for a travel magazine article she wrote about the aforementioned hotel, the Bourbon Orleans—that’s—you guessed it—haunted.
Having stayed there before, Doucet has never experienced anything paranormal, that is, until this trip. Having awakened her second sight, the spirit that’s drawn to her the most is the one she’s worked so hard to evade, a lady of the night in 1917 who lived a dangerous life in Storyville, near the French Quarter; her name is Bleu.
‘Visions of her past and horrific death beset Simone….But why are the images fragmented? Has Bleu forgotten what happened the stormy night she died? Can Simone uncover Bleu’s murderer and reunite her with her loved ones before it’s too late?’
You will have to read the book and find out for yourselves. 😉
From this reader’s perspective, WICKED BLEU ticked all the boxes for me, so now I ask you…
Would you care to partake in a Supernatural tale?
Witness a romance or two?
Try and solve a centuries-old murder whilst you are seamlessly thrust to and fro from present-day to events from the past in search of answers?
If you answered yes to one or all of the above, then I encourage you to dive into the Simone Doucet Series, starting with TAINTED HARVEST, then WICKED BLEU, and…
I hear there is going to be a Book Three!
Insert *squeeeeeeee* here
Thank You, Coffee And Thorn Book Tour, for inviting me onboard the tour, and Next Chapter Publishing, for providing me with an eBook of WICKED BLEU at the request of an honest review.
~The Grumpy Goat~
Illustrated by Ethan Roffler
A Dance-It-Out Creative Movement Story for Young Movers
~All royalties donated to Seattle Humane~
~Once Upon A Dance Publication~
~BlackBerry Book Tour: January 16, 2023~
~Available On Amazon~
THE GRUMPY GOAT: A Dance-It-Out Creative Movement Story For Young Movers
Illustrations by: Ethan Roffler
Written by: Once Upon A Dance – ‘Brought to you by a mother-daughter pair donating all profits to charity. Ballerina Konora is living her dreams as a Ballet Company Artist. Her mother, Teacher Terrel, taught creative movement and ballet for decades and was recognized by her local City Council for embodying the spirit of partnership and commitment to children for her work with young dancers. She’s breathed dance from every angle and has worked in education and child development and with various non-profits supporting kids and families.’
Chapter Book: 39 pages
Ideal For Ages: 4 – 7
Major Themes Include: problem-solving, the value of family, and kindness to animals.
Aspen (no pronouns)and Sycamore (she) Saps love to hear stories about the unique hats Mee’s (she) customers ask her to create and Mama’s (she) exciting stories as a Firefighter saving people and sometimes bringing home a rescued family pet waiting to be reunited with its owner. Aspen hoped one day soon, they could have a pet cat or dog, never anticipating that a Grumpy Goat named Gary, Piaz–a fun-loving yet temperamental pot-bellied Pig, and a rescued raspberry-blowing Lama named Lulu would be a part of the family. At the same time, they try to figure out what is making Gary so Grumpy.
This is my first time reading a Once Upon A Dance book, which amps up the fun with movement and laughter during story time, be it with your students, children in your care, your children, or, in my case, my granddaughter—and I can’t wait!
Concepts and Movement in this Story:
‘This movement journey is ideal for dance, creative movement, physical education, homeschool, kindergarten, first-grade, or second-grade activities. The Dance-It-Out! series features diverse characters. Books make a great gift for boys or girls interested in dance, ballet, gymnastics, or yoga, or reluctant readers who enjoy getting up and moving.’
Once Upon a Dance has received the following endorsements/awards:
Thank you, Blackberry Book Tour and Once Upon A Dance, for inviting me to participate in the Blog Tour for THE GRUMPY GOAT at the request of an honest review.
~Coffee & Thorn Book Tour/eBook/Independently Published 10-08-2019~
~Tour Date – 01-06-2023~
~Available On Amazon~
Jeffrey Sotto graduated from The University of Toronto, majoring in Film Studies and English Literature. He was the screenwriter and script consultant for the Canadian short films The Tragedy of Henry J. Bellini (2010) and Sara and Jim (2009), respectively.
Cloud Cover, his first novel published in 2019, won a Best Indie Book Award (BIBA) for LGBTQ Fiction, an Independent Publisher Bronze Medal Book Award (IPPY), and a Literary Titan Book Award. It also briefly topped the Amazon bestseller list in LGBTQ fiction upon release.
He published his second novel, The Moonballers: A Novel about The Invasion of a LGBTQ2+ Tennis League … by Straight People (GAY GASP!) in Spring 2022.
Jeffrey is also an advocate for mental health and eating disorder awareness and recovery, having shared his story on CBC Radio, Global News, and Sheena’s Place. He is currently a peer mentor at Eating Disorders Nova Scotia (EDNS). He will be contributing to the anthology Queering Nutrition and Dietetics: LGBTQ+ Reflections on Food Through Art, to be released in December 2022. Finally, in 2023, he will be appearing in the docuseries Wicked Bodies by Truefaux Films, which focuses on fostering positive culturally competent engagement in treatment and support centres, universities, and non-profit programs working with LGBTQ+ groups with disordered eating and body dysmorphia.
He is a self-proclaimed “cubicle dreamer,” tennis addict, and compulsive social media duckfacer.
The novel CLOUD COVER, by Jeffrey Sotto, opens in April of 2010, wherein twenty-nine-year-old Tony, our main character, works as a creative writing teacher to teens at the Gold’s Community Art Centre in Toronto, Canada, and, unbeknownst to him—his life is about to change.
Five years later, Tony has a new job at Melo and Co, a marketing and consulting firm, and teaches part-time at the community centre, where he first sees the handsome and much younger Antonio, a fellow teacher.
To his friends and coworkers, life appears to be going well for Tony, that is, until changes in his work habits prompt questions from his boss.
What they don’t know, and what the reader learns early on in the narrative, is that Tony is struggling with mental health, grief, and body image.
Sotto does a great job of weaving Tony’s heartbreaking past between present-day events that paint a clear picture of his mindset.
Here Is A Snippet:
‘“Everybody approaches life from their own narrow point of view. But to live what other people go through and feel their joy and pain and to share in it … it may not solve the problem, but it makes people feel less lonely. And I think that is magical.”’
No truer words were ever spoken, in my opinion.
New York City Trusts & State Attorney Rory McEntyre, who likes to play the hero in RPG video games, finds himself thrust into the role in real life when his college friends Monica Willams and her husband Tom walk into his office holding a winning lottery ticket worth sixty million dollars.
When Monica later finds Tom dead in their apartment from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, she turns to Rory for legal representation when homicide detectives Mason and Berkowitz consider Monica a suspect.
As detectives delve deeper into Tom’s presumed suicide, the winning lottery ticket goes missing as evidence of his shady business dealings rises to the service.
‘As Monica and Rory search for the ticket, their relationship heats up well beyond attorney and client. Rory has the chance to win the girl of his dreams, but does he have what it takes to be a real hero?
‘And is Monica everything he wants to believe she is?’
‘If he’s not careful, Rory could end up like Tom – a Dead Winner.’‘
If you enjoy reading mystery thrillers with a dash of organized crime for flavor and main characters you will love and love to hate, then I think you will like DEAD WINNER, with an ending I did not see coming until a well-placed reveal clued me in.
Thank you, Lilyan, of Coffee & Thorn Book Tour And First Legacy Publishing, LLC, for providing me with an eBook of DEAD WINNER at the request of an honest review.
Kevin Chapman is an attorney specializing in labor and employment law. His passion (aside from playing tournament poker and rooting for his beloved New York Mets) is writing fiction. He recently completed the first five books in his Mike Stoneman Thriller series.
Kevin writes: “The process of writing crime thrillers involves hours of thinking about and talking about how to kill people. And how to get away with it. It also involves figuring out how my protagonist detectives might solve the case. But mostly, it’s about planning out ingenious ways to murder people. My wife is a willing participant in this process (so she must trust me). My current book is more of a mystery and a little bit of a tragic romance. But all the stories are about the characters. If you don’t care about them, then I’m not doing my job.”
~Now Available On Apex~
The year is 1973; seventeen-year-old Earl Boudreaux, and his family, formerly from Louisiana, moved, for reasons unknown to him, to Stovall, Texas, where he lives with his twin older brothers, Cary and Larry, a phone-addicted mother—who pays little to no attention to her growing boys as she jaws the ears off of her sisters via Ma Bell what seems like 24/7 (an area Earl reflects on frequently throughout the narrative)—and a father who is vaguely around.
Earl spends his life and time as a loner, preferring to listen to music on the radio his father gave him—he has a penchant for pedal steel and quoting songs lyrics—would rather read a book in the woods instead of socializing that is until he meets Tina.
When Tina talks Earl into driving her to Austin to see her mother, Earl’s world turns completely upside when the two get separated, and Tina goes missing; the police find blood in the trunk of his car, and Earl is sentenced to a crime he didn’t commit.
The novel’s second half jumps forty-four years when Earl is released from prison and must learn to navigate this new world he’s been thrust into, concluding with an ending I didn’t see coming.
I have to admit; I had a Pollyanna mentality regarding how the storyline would play out, but, as in real life, that isn’t always the case, making a character I had no trouble empathizing with…Uhhhhh, let’s just say—to a point.
Thank you, NetGalley and Algonquin Books (Workman Publishing), for providing me with an eBook and a paperback ARC of I AM THE LIGHT OF THIS WORLD at the request of an honest review.
‘MICHAEL PARKER is the author of five novels – Hello Down There, Towns Without Rivers, Virginia Lovers, If You Want Me To Stay, The Watery Part of the World and two collections of stories, The Geographical Cure and Don’t Make Me Stop Now. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various journals, including Five Points, the Georgia Review, The Idaho Review, the Washington Post, the New York Times Magazine, Oxford American, Shenandoah, The Black Warrior Review, Trail Runner, and Runner’s World. He has received fellowships in fiction from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Hobson Award for Arts and Letters and the North Carolina Award for Literature. His work has been anthologized in the Pushcart, New Stories from the South and O. Henry Prize Stories anthologies. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia, he is a Professor in the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.’
Visit his website at ~Michael Parker~
CITY ON FIRE is the first book that I have read by Don Winslow; though I have my eye on THE POWER OF THE DOG, THE BORDER, and THE CARTEL for quite some time, I was thrilled to receive and review an advance paperback copy of CITY ON FIRE—an excellent introduction into the Winslow Crime Fiction Catalogue.
‘Two criminal empires together control all of New England.’
Soon the line between friend and foe blurs when a beautiful woman, the likes of Helen of Troy, enters the fold turning the Italians and Irish against one another.
As the body count builds, Danny must rise as a leader whilst struggling to take care of and protect his immediate and extended family from the mayhem and bloodshed that turns brother against brother.
As you delve into a book, as the reader, it’s essential (in my opinion) to reflect on or become familiar with, though possibly disturbing, the ideology of the period a book is set in—in this case, the late 80s.
Thank you, William Morrow (HarperCollinsPublishers), for providing me with an ARC of CITY ON FIRE at the request of an honest review.
CITY ON FIRE—Highly Recommend
Scheduled To Release – April 26, 2022
~Amazon Image/William Morrow/Paperback~
~Available On Amazon~
Don Winslow is the author of twenty-one acclaimed, award-winning international bestsellers, including the New York Times bestsellers The Force and The Border, the #1 international bestseller The Cartel, The Power of the Dog, Savages, and The Winter of Frankie Machine. Savages was made into a feature film by three-time Oscar-winning writer-director Oliver Stone. The Power of the Dog, The Cartel and The Border sold to FX in a major multimillion-dollar deal to air as a weekly television series beginning in 2020. A former investigator, antiterrorist trainer and trial consultant, Winslow lives in California and Rhode Island.
FUTURE TENSE: Tales of Apocalyptic Vision –
Short Story Collection by Michaelbrent Collings
The Following Are My Favorites:
I AM AN OCEAN
THE SHORTEST CON
END OF SHIFT – That Was Good!
THAT’LL SELL – Love This One!
I CAN DO THIS ALL NIGHT – LOVE This One!
THE STRANGER INSIDE – That. Was. AWESOME!!
I absolutely love—and got chills—as I read the Author Note at the end of the book!
Here’s a snippet:
‘Horror shows us the monsters. It shows us the real, terrible truths that hide in our lives. Better horror reminds us that those monsters can be beaten. And the best horror… The best horror reminds us that, all too often, we are the monsters…’
Thank you, Michaelbrent Collings, for providing me with an eBook of FUTURE TENSE at the request of an honest review.
~Amazon Image/eBook/Independently Published~
~Available On Amazon~
While he is best known for horror (and is one of the most successful indie horror authors in the world), Michaelbrent Collings has also written internationally-bestselling thriller, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, humor, young adult, and middle grade works, and romance.
DAVID MASSIE AND THE QUANTUM FLUX – by Andrew M. Nehring – A Middle-Grade Sci-Fi Action And Adventure Book.
‘In this ordinary world of extraordinary technology lies a kid genius, David Massie. After the abrupt disappearance of his older brother, Morgan, David spends his days fending off the class bully and searching in Morgan’s past for answers. Then one rainy day, his world implodes thanks to a mysterious dark armored figure.’
I had a blast reading DAVID MASSIE AND THE QUANTUM FLUX, a story centered around fantastic characters, imaginative scenes, tense moments, and at times, its laugh-out-loud funny.
After reading this book, I have one question for the author: ‘When do we get to read the sequel???’
I Neeeeddd It!
Thank you, Zoe Venezia, for reaching out to me to request an honest review of DAVID MASSIE AND THE QUANTUM FLUX. My apology to you and Andrew M. Nehring for the delay in my review. Thank you so much for your patience.
Andrew M. Nehring is the author of David Massie as well as The Corrupted Light Chronicles. Growing up, he was always a very imaginative child who would tend to get lost in these worlds he created for himself. That passion for creativity never stopped. The concept of David Massie came to him after years of being an avid fan of science-fiction. This world that he created draws from both old and new sci-fi concepts.
Andrew has recently graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in the beautiful city of Chicago. Now that he has graduated, he is focused on expanding David Massie’s worlds and The Corrupted Light Chronicles.
~An Interview With Andrew M. Nehring~
The inspiration to write “David Massie and the Quantum Flux” came from my love of the sci-fi genre with media like Star Wars as well as action-adventure like Indiana Jones, all of which I was obsessed with as a kid. That being said, the idea itself came to me one night when I suddenly thought of a kid stuck in different realities, having to overcome impossible odds. Over time, I expanded that idea into what it is today.
I feel middle grade to YA is the perfect audience for my books. First, the books themselves aren’t too long, but more importantly, I want them to be a fun adventure that inspires the youth to read. Because I remember when I was a kid, I’d look at these thick novels and feel so overwhelmed.
Like with most authors, my books are like my babies, I want them to grow and succeed. But David Massie holds a special place in my heart because it’s sci-fi, and I love the characters as well as the universe I built.
Around the time that I started thinking of “David Massie and the Quantum Flux,” I read about different dimensions or realities, as well as listened to podcasts explaining it. As for other research I did, I pulled from a variety of sources, whether in the sci-fi genre or different genres like action-adventure or even a nine.
5. What do you hope readers take away from reading the book?
I want readers to take away a few things. First, after they read, I want them to be excited for the next book and curious as to what happens. Second, I want my readers to think back on the fun experience they had reading the book. Finally, with all my books, I want my readers to know that if you lose or make a mistake, like David Massie, you can get through it and find victory through perseverance.
6. So, what’s next for David Massie?
There will be a sequel where the group of CP, David, and Rory will travel back in time to ancient Greece, and the plot will thicken as the universe expands. As for the David Massie series itself, I plan for at least five books in total.
THE DOOMSDAY MEDALLION, Book Three in the VanOps series, centers around Maddy Marshall—an Aikido black belt—and her twin brother Will Argones. As they celebrate the completion of Marshall’s black-ops training, news of a military takeover in the South China Sea shocked the world because it was predicted by a sixteen-year-old French student, Avril.
‘VanOps Director Bowman assigns Marshall and Argones to protect the girl.’
‘Emotions between the siblings are running hot due to their aunt’s recent stroke, which has reminded them of the childhood accident that scarred both his chin and her heart. Tensions ratchet higher when they arrive at Avril’s home to find the instant social media star has been kidnapped….’
THE DOOMSDAY MEDALLION is my first read of Centrae’s writing; color me surprised to learn the main characters hail from my neck of the woods in Northern California–the Napa Valley region, their younger years spent in Lake Tahoe. Nice!
Now, the characters may reside in Cali, but the VanOps task force in Book Three must travel the globe in this tension-filled Thriller in search of the teenage seer whose been kidnapped whilst deciphering cryptic code that will lead to…
Nope, no spoilers! 😉
If you are a fan of historical fiction, I think you will enjoy reading THE DOOMSDAY MEDALLION, easily read as a stand-alone or in order.
What I love about reading historical fiction, centered explicitly around places I’ve never been, is visiting these places online to vicariously experience what the characters are seeing and feeling in that moment as described by the narrator.
Thank you, Blackthorn Book Tour and Thunder Creek Press, for providing me with an eBook of THE DOOMSDAY MEDALLION at the request of an honest review.
NOTE: It would be remiss of me not to mention how much, as a content warning, the storyline in the book kept reminding me of real-world events.
Blackthorn Book Tour – February 28, 2022
Scheduled Date Of Release – March 8, 2022
International multi-award-winning and Amazon #1 bestselling author who blends intrigue, history, science, and mystery into pulse-pounding action thrillers.
Avanti Centrae is the author of the international multi-award-winning VANOPS thriller series. Her father served as a U.S. Marine Corporal in Okinawa, gathering military intelligence during the first decade after the Korean War. Her work has been compared to that of James Rollins, Steve Berry, Dan Brown, and Clive Cussler but has a voice all its own. She resides in Northern California with her family and German Shepherds.
About The Dark Chorus
Oblivio salvationem Angelis opperitur: Oblivion awaits the Angel’s salvation
The Boy can see lost souls.
He has never questioned the fact that he can see them. He thinks of them as the Dark Chorus. When he sets out to restore the soul of his dead mother it becomes clear that his ability comes from within him. It is a force that he cannot ignore – the last shard of the shattered soul of an angel.
To be restored to the kingdom of light, the shard must be cleansed of the evil that infects it – but this requires the corrupt souls of the living!
With the help from Makka, a psychotically violent young man full of hate, and Vee, an abused young woman full of pain, the Boy begins to kill.
Psychiatrist Dr Eve Rhodes is seconded to assist the police investigation into the Boy’s apparently random ritualistic killings. As the investigation gathers pace, a pattern emerges. When Eve pulls at the thread from an article in an old psychology journal, what might otherwise have seemed to her a terrible psychotic delusion now feels all too real…
Will the Boy succeed in restoring the angel’s soul to the light? Can Eve stop him, or will she be lost to realm of the Dark Chorus?
THE DARK CHORUS is the first book that I have read by Ashley Meggitt, and in a word—WOW!
I Love Meggitt’s writing style; though the content is violently intense at times, the mystery surrounding The Boy (as identified throughout the narrative) and the storyline piqued my interest to the point I did not want to put the book down.
LOVE the opening paragraph:
‘I was born right here in this asylum – literally into bedlam, delivered into a stark white-tiled cell, in what I’ve come to think of as The Screaming Room. As quickly as I arrived, I left. Prised from my mother’s arms, I swapped one institution for another. But even as the car took me away, the darkness of my mother’s despair curled itself around my soul, anchoring me to her and my birthplace. I know this because I remember.’
About the Author
Ashley Meggitt lives near Cambridge, UK, with his wife Jane. He left school to join a psychedelic rock band when he realised that sex, drugs, and rock and roll was a thing. Subsequently he went back to education and became head of IT for a Cambridge University college. In recent years Ashley has retrained in psychology and is now an associate lecturer in sports psychology. He is studying for his PhD.
Ashley writes when not studying, playing his guitar, or coaching triathletes.
Sergeant First Class John Nicholas and his Recon Team New York, lead by the inexperienced Captain Brandon Doran, are sent on a rescue mission in North Vietnam to find Recon Team Florida have gone missing.
‘At first, John expects heavy resistance. But intercepted radio traffic suggests something near that village has spooked even hardened NVA. And soon after New York’s midnight insertion behind enemy lines, John finds out what.’
INHUMAN is an intense Supernatural, Military Thriller that I didn’t want to end—with unexpected, cringeworthy moments and scenes that broke my heart. Author Eric Leland does an excellent job submerging the reader into the vast jungle of Vietnam alongside characters you genuinely care about as they come face to face with formidable foes.
Thank you, Eric Leland and Publicist Shelby Kisgen, for providing me with an eBook and Paperback copy of INHUMAN in the request for an honest review.
Trigger Warnings: sexual abuse, suicide, child abuse, discrimination
Courtesy Of Smith Publicity
Question: What inspired you to write Inhuman?
Eric Leland: During a class for my MA I wrote a 25-page short story titled Recon Team: Mercury. That story was shortened to five pages and is now the prologue to Inhuman. For a NaNoWriMo idea I thought it would be interesting to see what happened when the rescuers came looking for the team that disappeared in my original short story. Inhuman is the result.
Q: What sets Inhuman apart from other military and horror books?
EL: The bravado one comes to expect when reading military fiction is quickly ripped away to expose and pick at the delicate flesh of fear and self-doubt we are ashamed to admit exists.
Q: What do you hope readers will take away from the book?
EL: It was never my intent for Inhuman to be didactic. Primarily I hope readers are entertained. I hope readers will remember the experience of Inhuman rather than any particular lesson.
Q: Inhuman features a diverse cast of characters. How did your military friendships, and experiences with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” inform this inclusivity?
EL: A diverse cast adds verisimilitude to military fiction simply because any U.S. military unit features a diverse roster. In my first combat experience I found myself fighting shoulder to shoulder with Mexican Americans, an African American, and a gay woman. Unfortunately, DADT was still a thing for most of my military career and I would only find out after DADT was repealed that some of my greatest friends were gay. I think truth in fiction is important, and if I did not write a diverse cast I would by lying. Readers can spot a lie from a mile out.
Q: How did you develop your characters? And which of them do you have the strongest connection to?
EL: The character Jaran is heavily based on my wife’s experiences who was born in Vietnam. At an early age, she and her family fled to a refugee camp after the war. The chaos of displacement during war time seemed terrifying. I can’t really say which character I have the strongest connection to—John’s sense of duty; Chris’s refusal to take anything seriously; and Brandon’s severe depression and self-doubt—they’re all variations of me.
ERIC LELAND grew up in Massena, NY and entered Army basic training upon high school graduation. He was an MP in the Army for six years and reclassified to a Special Agent with the Army Criminal Investigation Division. Eric deployed to Honduras in 2002, and Iraq in 2003 and 2009 where he was awarded an Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for valor. He completed his MA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University and has happily traded in his gun for a pen. Eric lives in Seattle with his wife. Connect with Eric Leland on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.
Inhuman is available on Amazon in both print and digital.
Audiobook forthcoming in Summer 2021.
~Amazon Image – NetGalley/Kensington Publishing Corp./I received an eBook – 04/27/2021~
~Available Now On Amazon~
I would describe HOLD BACK THE NIGHT as Grip-Lit—a psychological thriller that kept this reader engrossed until the very end. The novel is set in my neck of the woods, though the County depicted in the book is fictional, a firestorm that sweeps through Northern California—the backdrop of the story—is very real to Cali’s like me, adding a visceral tension to the narrative.
‘It begins with a spark. A simple act of carelessness that ignites the autumn grass of the Sierra Nevadas. In minutes, the flames spread.’
‘In Farnham County live three very different women. Marjorie Guthrie, a wealthy suburban housewife fleeing an abusive marriage; Mary Hernandez, her troubled, rebellious sister; and Leanne Strayer, a young SWAT deputy with a dark past. All three share one thing in common: they are in the wrong place at the wrong time….’
‘Today, their worst fears come true. Tonight, the nightmares come home.’
I LOVE a novel centered around strong women, and Lynch did not disappoint!
Thank you, NetGalley and Kensington Publishing Corp., for loaning me an eGalley of HOLD BACK THE NIGHT in the request for an honest review.
Scheduled To Release On – April 27, 2021
It’s a topsy-turvy world that children live in today, but the adventures must safely return. Face masks on or face masks off, this fast-paced book takes kids through the ups and downs of a balance bike ride with friends. A stuffed bunny is temporarily lost, but a community is found. No matter which way you read it, the book reinforces the joys and freedoms of childhood and advocates for a safe return to the fun. Print copies of this book flip over so that the book can be read either way.
Perfect for Covid-19 and to normalize the wearing of masks. Yet, this book will remain in your collection when the crisis has ended. e
About the Authors:
Ashley is a writer and lawyer on the central coast of California. She loves books, especially children’s books, and began her book career as the then youngest editor-in-chief of her elementary school’s press. She dreams of marshmallows and witches.
Arwen is a PR executive. Her mission is to raise strong girls, which is important as she has three of them. She spends her commute embroidering elaborate gifts while dreaming up her next story. Arwen is a member of SCBWI.
Abigail Gray Swartz is a fine artist, muralist, and illustrator. Her work has appeared in The NY Times, countless magazines, and most notably, she painted the Women’s March cover for The New Yorker magazine (Feb 9, 2017 issue). Her cover went on to win several awards. Abigail is also the founder of City of Hidden Figures a national public art program that seeks to celebrate local hidden figures through murals, statues, and the renaming of streets while providing art opportunities and equal pay for female-identifying artists. Abigail earned her MFA from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She lives in Maine with her young family and a handful of chickens, where she loves to garden, go swimming and breathe in the salty sea air.
By Ashley Wheelok and Arwen Evens
Illustrated by Abigail Gray Swartz
THE SAFE RETURN: KIDS WEAR MASKS FOR A SAFE RETURN TO FUN
I am a huge advocate for wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic—both children and adults—in the ongoing effort to keep everyone safe, so when I was presented with THE SAFE RETURN to read and review, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
As things begin to slowly normalize, children safely return to the classroom, spending time with their friends, it’s important to do so safely by wearing a mask, but you can still have fun.
In THE SAFE RETURN, five friends go on a bike-ride through their neighborhood—together but slightly apart—as the main characters’ Dad jogs behind them.
‘Feet on pavement.’
‘Tush in seat.’
‘Kick, balance, roll.’
During their adventure, ‘a stuffed bunny is temporarily lost, but a community is found.’
The book illustrations are warm and colorful, reminding of those late Summer days that blend into Fall, my favorite time of year.
Thank you, Blackberry Children’s Book Tour, for providing me with an eBook of THE SAFE RETURN in the request for an honest review.
Blackberry Children’s Book Tour/My Blog – April 19, 2021
Age Range: Infant to 12
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
The novel centers around one of the many main characters, archeology Professor Callum Ross, who is asked by one of his colleagues, Dr. Jonas Olsen, to take his place on The Arctic Council to conduct a field survey in his stead, which means going to Harmsworth Island in the Russian Arctic.
As Ross and his colleagues survey the Island, Ross and his guide discover a prehistoric ice mummy preserved for thousands of years—it’s evident that they did not die from natural causes.
‘As Callum races to unravel the mystery of the mutilated corpse, others race to sabotage the expedition. He and his team are left stranded, and they are not alone on the island. Someone, or something relentless, is stalking them.’
Have you ever read a book that so profoundly puts the suspense and thrill in Suspense-Thriller, that keeps you on the edge of your seat with anticipation and makes you utter out loud, ‘Ooooooohhh, I wasn’t expecting that!’?
For me, at this moment, that book is COLONY by Benjamin Cross. I am a fan of chapters that end on cliffhangers, which deliciously amps up the suspense and tension as you eagerly wait to see what happens next.
The one issue I have, though it does not factor into my overall enjoyment of the book, was the depiction of the women, at times, portrayed as damsels in distress.
Cross has another book coming out in 2022, THE ANACONDA TREE: A Ryan Miller Thriller, and I can’t wait to read it!
COLONY was unputdownable, a novel that I Highly Recommend!
Thank you, Blackthorn Book Tours, for providing me with an eBook of COLONY in the request of an honest review.
Benjamin Cross has an M.Phil. in Landscape Archaeology from the University of Oxford. He’s been lucky enough to explore some of the world’s most spectacular ancient sites; from the temples of Cambodia to the Andean cloud forest cities of Peru; from the burial sites of the Tibetan plateau to the Maori strongholds of New Zealand.
He is now an Associate Director of Heritage and Archaeology at a national consultancy and is a member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. Colony is Benjamin’s first novel and it was written whilst he worked full-time as a professional archaeologist.
~About the Author~
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar.
As well as the sci-fi novel, ORANGE City, his first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021.
After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others.
He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box.
His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests.
He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com
What would you do, by way of a second chance at life, if you were selected to live in a hidden City—a place for felons and deformed outcasts, a place for rehabilitation wherein everyone gets a job, a place to live, but there’s one catch—you can never leave—would you agree?
And, what would a dystopian world be without a dictator to rule over its citizens—keeping them firmly under his thumbs as he watches their every move through the pupil on top of the Eye Tower, who has eyes everywhere—they call him the ‘Man,’ a looming, Stalin idolizing figure with multiple robotic limbs the likeness of a monstrous, demented spider as seen by the expendable flys caught in his web.
*Insert full-body-cringe here*
Through fear of being exiled into the apocalyptic region known as the Empty Zone, everyone follows the ‘Mans’ every order to make Promised Land stronger, including Graham Weathered.
Graham Weathered, the book’s main character, who, after ten years working as an advertising executive in the Factory Region of the City, is given the job of testing different flavors of Pow! Soda, Warton, Mind & Donovan Advertising and Concepts’ newest client.
It is only when Graham becomes addicted to the mood-altering soda that he sees the puppeteer holding the strings in his newfound variegated reality, but is it too late to cut the ties that bind him?
You will have to read the book and find out. 😉
ORANGE CITY is the second book that I have read and reviewed by author Lee Matthew Goldberg, THE ANCESTOR being the first—you can read my review here ~THE ANCESTOR~
Though the first half of the ORANGE CITY is a slow build, it is not difficult to like, root for, and get invested in some of the characters—many pawns themselves under the oppressive thumb of the ‘Man,’ specifically Graham, who’s the most fleshed-out within the dystopian world Goldberg created.
I am a huge fan of dystopian, apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, survivalist stories, so I look forward to reading Book II, LEMONWORLD.
Thank you, Blackthorn Book Tours and Atmosphere Press, for providing me with an eBook of ORANGE CITY in the request of an honest review.
‘There’s a good reason we’ve been hired again and again by some of the biggest names in publishing. Our covers stand out from the pack and assist you in selling your book. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it, everyone does, and that’s where we come in. Check out some of our designs below and drop us a line if we can help you!’
Take It Back is a harrowing and twisting courtroom thriller that keeps you guessing until the last page is turned.
Zara Kaleel, one of London’s brightest legal minds, shattered the expectations placed on her by her family and forged a brilliant legal career. But her decisions came at a high cost, and now, battling her own demons, she has exchanged her high profile career for a job at a sexual assault center, helping victims who need her the most. Victims like Jodie Wolfe.
When Jodie, a sixteen-year-old girl with facial deformities, accuses four boys in her class of an unthinkable crime, the community is torn apart. After all, these four teenage defendants are from hard-working immigrant families and they all have proven alibis. Even Jodie’s best friend doesn’t believe her.But Zara does—and she is determined to fight for Jodie—to find the truth in the face of public outcry. And as issues of sex, race and social justice collide, the most explosive criminal trial of the year builds to a shocking conclusion.
‘Take It Back is an intense courtroom thriller that had this reader riding an emotional rollercoaster until the very end. Highly Recommend!‘
— ~D.K. Hundt
~More Praise For Take It Back~
“Riveting, thought-provoking legal thriller… Abdullah is definitely a writer to watch.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Abdullah has done an exemplary job of character development and is especially good at ratcheting up suspense as the trial proceeds.” – Booklist, starred review
“A thought-provoking and sparklingly intelligent novel, with the welcome bonus of an unguessable ending.” —The Telegraph
KIA ABDULLAH is an author and travel writer. She has contributed to The Guardian, BBC, Channel 4 News, and The New York Times. Kia currently travels the world as one half of the travel blog Atlas & Boots, which receives over 200,000 views per month.
She watched her reflection in the empty glass bottle as the truth crept in with the wine in her veins. It curled around her stomach and squeezed tight, whispering words that paused before they stung, like a paper cut cutting deep: colorless at first and then vibrant with blood. You are such a fucking cliché, it whispered—an accusation, a statement, a fact. The words stung because Zara Kaleel’s self-image was built on the singular belief that she was different. She was different from the two tribes of women that haunted her youth. She was not a docile housewife, fingers yellowed by turmeric like the quiet heroines of the second-gen literature she hated so much. Nor was she a rebel, using her sexuality to subvert her culture. And yet here she was, lying in freshly stained sheets, skin gleaming with sweat and regret.
Luka’s post-coital pillow talk echoed in her ear: It’s always the religious ones. She smiled a mirthless smile. The alcohol, the pills, the unholy foreskin—it was all so fucking predictable. Was it even rebellious anymore? Isn’t this what middle-class Muslim kids did on weekends?
Luka’s footsteps in the hall jarred her thoughts. She shook out her long dark hair, parted her lips, and threw aside the sheets, secure in the knowledge that it would drive him wild. Women like Zara were never meant to be virgins. It’s little wonder her youth was shrouded in hijab.
He walked in, a climber’s body naked from the waist up, his dirty blond hair lightly tracing a line down his chest. Zara blinked languidly, inviting his touch. He leaned forward and kissed the delicate hollow of her neck, his week-old stubble marking tiny white lines in her skin. A sense of happiness, svelte and ribbon-like, pattered against her chest, searching for a way inside. She fought the sensation as she lay in his arms, her legs wrapped with his like twine.
“You are something else,” he said, his light Colorado drawl softer than usual. “You’re going to get me into a lot of trouble.”
He was right. She’d probably break his heart, but what did he expect screwing a Muslim girl? She slipped from his embrace and wordlessly reached for her phone, the latest of small but frequent reminders that they could not be more than what they were. She swiped through her phone and read a new message: “Can you call when you get a sec?” She re-read the message, then deleted it. Her family, like most, was best loved from afar.Read More
When a serial killer pulls Dale and Jessica into his world of torture and murder, they are left fighting to escape the clutches of a sadistic cult leader.
Dale simply wanted to rebound from a failed relationship. Now, he is fighting to escape abduction.
Jessica’s curiosity led her onto the dark web where she found The Silent Red Room Show. She admired the show from afar…until she found herself sucked in.
Will these perfect strangers survive the dark web? Or will they become a part of a vicious serial killer’s deadly collection?
‘Most people are unaware of what lurks on the other side of Google or Yahoo. […]There’s a huge space, the deep web, that’s full of cyber trash and noise. Nothingness, really. Then there is the other side. The darknet.
‘What was it going to be? A hatchet to the knee? A butcher knife to the lips? Would they make him remove that blindfold? Did they want the poor bastard to see the artist at work? Envy coursed through her veins. If only she were there. Watching. Learning. Partaking.‘
All I can say, with a sinister grin on my crimson lips, is ‘Welcome To The Dark Side—of the internet, that is. K.T. Rose has no trouble pulling this reader into the tangled web she weaves, kicking, and screaming will be had, though, not by me.
As the reader, you will soon get acquainted with two of the main characters; Dale—broken-hearted—is introduced to the world of online dating by his well-meaning sister, Diane. Then we have the impressionable fifteen-year-old, Jessica, who’s allured by the dark web and the macabre within.
Don’t be fooled into thinking there is nothing but gore filling the one-hundred and twenty-nine pages. Rose created characters I care about, each given enough back story that paints a picture of who they are for the reader, as in life, flaws, and all.
Will they survive?
You will have to read the book and discover that for yourself. 😉
NETTED: THE BEGINNING – Highly Recommend!
K.T. Rose is a horror, thriller, and dark fiction writer from Detroit, Michigan. She posts suspense and horror flash fiction on her blog at kyrobooks.com and is the author of a suspenseful short story series titled Trinity of Horror, an erotic thriller novel titled When We Swing, and A Dark Web Horror Series. She also writes supernatural and paranormal horror novels and short stories.
Newlywed Will Battese finds himself homesick and overwhelmed after following his ambitious wife, Shannon, to New York City. When a surprise pregnancy shreds their already meager budget, Will drops out of college and settles for work at a low-end diner. There, a small act of kindness draws the attention of Victor Degas, a man with an unsettling presence and deformed eyes. Unbeknownst to Will, Degas belongs to an ancient, sophisticated cult known as the Edens and believes Will to be the key to gaining otherworldly power. As the sun sets on Good Friday, Degas orchestrates a home invasion in which Will and his baby boy, Gideon, are kidnapped, leaving Shannon to join forces with an unreliable agent from the Roman Catholic Church. While Will struggles to save other innocents from the Eden parish below the city, Shannon discovers that the cult plans to use her family for an unimaginable demonic ritual, and that the Vatican may let it happen. With no one to trust but themselves, Shannon and Will must fight not only to survive, but to keep their humanity intact. THE CULT OF EDEN is the first volume in The Unrisen saga.
Bill Halpin was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, where he grew up on the horror genre. After graduating from the University of Central Florida, Bill moved on to New York City and earned a degree in Optometry from SUNY. Now, he lives and practices in Saratoga Springs, NY and writes in between his appointments. The Cult of Eden is his debut novel.
“Along the riverbanks beware
People disappear down there
Never to return again
That’s where the legend
– Jim Boy
“The Cascade Mountains used to be the heart of Yakima Washington, a landscape burning with color this time of year. That is before the trembling aspen and maple pine leaves lay to rest on the surface of the Snohomish. A river that divides the land into two parts of a long-forgotten whole. The days belong to the locals here. You’ll find them on the river banks catching salmon and crawfish under the pillars of the waterfront restaurants. A feeding ground primed with entrails. But the nights. Well, the nights are seasoned with tourists who camp near the river’s edge.
“All are hoping to catch a prize picture of the myth we relics call Qah-lin-me,” Harry said.
“Who’s Kwa…ah-lin-me, grandpa?” Marc asked.