Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thunderlight Book Blitz

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Thunderlight
Thunderlight (The Dragonian Series #2) by Adrienne Woods

Published November 21st, 2014
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
Amazon


Vibrant, scale swathed wings… Abilities that can be harnessed by a chosen few… Dragons…

All this may seem like old news, but for seventeen year-old Elena Watkins the world of Paegeia is not finished revealing all its secrets. During a summer break intended for relaxation, she discovers that her harrowing adventure to retrieve the King of Lion sword wasn’t the destiny foretold by the cryptic Viden, a dragon with the ability to see a person’s true fate. The words inked onto the page of the mysterious Book of Shadows remains black and Elena must return to Dragonia Academy to discover their true meaning.

Upon her return to the magnificent castle she has to face a challenge of a different kind, keeping her boyfriend Lucian McKenzie, the Prince of Tith and love of her life, away from the dangerous new student, Paul Sutton. As a Wyvern, Paul has made it his mission to claim Elena as his rider but he is proving to be more perilous than at first glance.

Everyone knew that Wyverns were bad news, and just as evil as the darkness that lurked inside Blake Leaf, the Rubicon forced to fight against his inner nature every day. But Elena can see a small light lurking in the darkness, a destiny still unfulfilled; to prove that Wyverns can be claimed.

Will Lucian’s dark secret about Wyverns and Elena’s need to prove their true nature cause their love to be torn apart? And which of Elena’s friends will be sacrificed this time if she is wrong?

adrienne woods
About the Author:
Adrienne Woods was born and raised in South Africa, where she still lives with my husband, and two beautiful little girls. She always knew that I was going to be a writer but it only started to happen about four years ago, now she can’t stop writing.

In her free time, If she gets any because Moms don’t really have free time, she loves to spend time with friends, if it’s a girls night out, or just a movie, she’s a very chilled person.

Her writing career is starting with Firebolt, book one with the Dragonian Series, there will be four books in total and two to three books that is about the stories taking place inside The Dragonian Series.

She writes in different Genres, have a woman’s fiction called the Pregnancy Diaries, but it would be published under another name. And then she has a paranormal series, called The Aswang series. There are about ten novels in that one, and another two, The Dream Casters series and Guardian of Monsters, which will be a NA paranormal fiction.

Connect with Adrienne Woods:
Fire Quill Publishing: http://www.firequillpublishing.com
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The Excerpt:
As we continued to look for the jerseys and get ready Isabel came up to give us a five minute warning. Blake had vanished around five, simply saying that he would meet us there. Sir Robert had given him his ticket before he disappeared so he would be able to find us.

Ever since that night at camp when he got wasted and he put me under some sort of hypnotizing spell which almost made us kiss, which was seriously ridiculous as he despised me, he’d been acting like his old self; arrogant and a total dick. Something about Blake being wasted and for some reason always wanting me, was really freaking me out…but it also made me wonder about a lot of things he was hiding and maybe that those things only came out when he was truly drunk.

I shook my head and the thoughts of Blake washed away as I grabbed my bag and followed Sammy to Sir Robert’s old Sedan.

The drive wasn’t that long and I gasped when Sir Robert pulled into the parking area in front of a giant mountain. There were at least a million cars already parked in neat rows and the noise coming from inside the mountain told me that it must be the location where the Warbel games took place.

Crowds of people wearing different colored jerseys, caps and scarves huddled around. Some even carried flags and I saw a yellow flag with a huge hornet on top of what looked like a raider.

Raiders were flying objects that made me think of an enhanced skateboard.

Everywhere in Paegeia’s parks, and ports, people flew on them. You needed a special license for one and I tried so hard to suppress my laughter when Becky told me that her next try would be her fiftieth or so to get hers. Becky wasn’t one of the safest drivers out there. I still wondered every time I was her passenger if the inspector that gave hers hadn’t been smoking weed or something.

We climbed out of the car and a feeling of excitement rose inside my chest as I followed the Leafs into the opening at the bottom of the mountain. It was dark as the only light came from tiny globes mounted in the wall. It took a while for my eyes to adjust to the soft glow of the lights as we piled into another tunnel.

People pushed and shoved us as we tried to make our way to our seats. The pace we moved was reasonable for such a big crowd, but it was still too dark and too cramped up for my liking. We finally stopped when the people in front of us didn’t move. I hated every second we had to wait for whatever held up the crowd to pass. I was feeling jumpy and took huge breaths as the heaviness on my chest came back, mixed with a shot of adrenaline.

“Are you okay?” Sammy asked softly and I realized that I was squeezing her hand really tightly in my own.

“Sorry, just crowded. What’s happening at the front?”

“It’s normal, we are close to the check-in point.”

I flinched as a huge horn blew right behind me. It echoed off the wall and sounded like an archangel announcing doomsday.

The crowd barely moved now, and I felt like punching the guy when he blew on it a second and third time. The other people thought it was funny, and I wished that I felt the same spirit inside of me, but this dark passageway seriously was starting to creep me out.

After a few minutes, I could finally see the outline of what looked like five cubicles and people moving into rows. We took the one closest to us and waited until it was time to present our tickets. Ours had blue dots on them and I still had no idea what I was going to find myself at tonight.

It took a couple of seconds for my eyes to adjust as we entered toward a lighter room. Six black elevators, three on a side opposite one another, made my heart jump a bit faster.

In Paegeia, an elevator wasn’t just an elevator. It was how the people of Paegeia traveled around the world, if you were a dragon, and inside Paegeia, if you were human. I hadn’t experienced it myself and had only seen them once inside their funny looking tubes when we went to fetch George at the Wall when he’d come back from the other side.

“Are these the same elevators they have at the Wall?” I spoke softly.

She laughed at the small shake in my voice. “No, Elena. They are normal elevators.”

People surged forward again as they maximized the elevator’s weight limit and I saw Sir Robert pushing the blue button. He wore a black t-shirt with a pair of jeans and a baseball cap. Wrapped around his neck was a green and black stripped scarf.

Sir Robert Leaf was Sammy and Blake’s father and, The Greatest King That Ever Lived, King Albert’s dragon. He looked nothing like the figure inside the museum of Etan, and he was nothing like I’d imagined. He was kind, always friendly and no matter how much Blake pissed him off, he would give me a soft look and a friendly smile. It was hard to imagine that he was Chromatic, a Night Villain, and one of the vilest dragons that roamed this world. The people of Paegeia didn’t address him as Sir Robert anymore. Some of them even thought that he’d had something to do with betraying the King, but I knew better. He missed his Rider every single day; he missed his Dragonian.

His wife, Isabel, stood next to him with her arm wrapped in his. She wore a parka with a green and black striped beanie. A huge smile, along with pure excitement, was written all over her face. She was the spitting image of her sister. She had a twin sister who I was very familiar with. The first time I saw her I’d thought for a second that Constance, the doctor at the Infirmary was Sammy and Blake’s mom.

Sammy had doubled over with laughter when she saw the expression on my face when I first met Isabel. She was a Swallow Annex just like Constance and I was sure if you put them together, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart just by looking at them. She was also just as kind as her twin and made me feel at home the first moment I stepped inside their house.

The elevator screamed as we ascended into the peak of the mountain. It felt like forever and a million things that could go wrong filled my head. The door finally opened and we all had to get out so that a couple at the back could exit.

When the door opened for about the fifth time, we spilled out.

NRCTHUNDERLIGHTTEASER2BLOGTOUR
 

  The Giveaway: $10 dollar gift card from Amazon. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sinful Folk Book Review

02_Sinful Folk

Publication Date: January 22, 2014
Campanile Press
Formats: eBook, Hardcover, Audiobook

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Medieval

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A tragic loss. A desperate journey. A mother seeks the truth.

In December of 1377, four children were burned to death in a house fire. Villagers traveled hundreds of miles across England to demand justice for their children’s deaths.

Sinful Folk is the story of this terrible mid-winter journey as seen by Mear, a former nun who has lived for a decade disguised as a mute man, raising her son quietly in this isolated village. For years, she has concealed herself and all her history. But on this journey, she will find the strength to redeem the promise of her past. Mear begins her journey in terror and heartache, and ends in triumph and transcendence.

The remarkable new novel by Ned Hayes, illustrated by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Nikki McClure, Sinful Folk illuminates the medieval era with profound insight and compassion.

Praise for Sinful Folk


In December of 1377, five children are burned in a suspicious house fire. Awash in paranoia and prejudice, the fathers suspect it is the work of Jews and set out to seek justice from the king, loading the charred bodies of their boys onto a cart. Unbeknownst to them, among them is a woman, Mear, who has been hiding out in the town for the past 10 years posing as a mute man. It is a treacherous journey, for their rations are spare and the weather is brutal. And always, they are haunted by the question, Why were their boys in Benedict the weaver’s house, and who would do this to them? Mear, ever resourceful, not only watches for clues to unravel the mystery but also provides invaluable aid in finding their way, for she has traveled this way before and is the only literate one among them. The reason for her false identity is slowly revealed as the villagers are chased by bandits and must overcome numerous obstacles, hunger and fear among them. Brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed, Hayes’ novel is woven through with a deep knowledge of medieval history, all conveyed in mesmerizing prose. At the center of the novel is Mear, a brave and heartbreaking character whose story of triumph over adversity is a joy to read. --Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist *Starred Review*

"A pilgrim tale worthy of Chaucer, evocative, compelling and peopled with unforgettable characters artfully delivered by a master storyteller." - Brenda Rickman Vantrease, bestselling author of The Illuminator and The Mercy Seller

"Brilliant, insightful, unflinching and wise. This spellbinding mystery will keep readers turning pages until the last sentence. Remarkable." - Ella March Chase, bestselling author of The Virgin Queen's Daughter and Three Maids for a Crown

"Suspenseful, page-turning mystery of a mother pursuing the truth... Every reader will come to love the brave and intrepid Mear, a most memorable character in a most memorable story." - Jim Heynen, award-winning author of The Fall of Alice K.

"Sinful Folk is a work of art. Miriam's story is a raw and brutal and passionate tale, but her story touches the reader because it's a timeless story - a wonderful portrayal of medieval life. Highly recommended." - Kathryn Le Veque, bestselling author of The Dark Lord and The Warrior Poet

"A suspenseful and mesmerizing tale full of rich and vital characters. Ned Hayes crafts a narrative that shows a devotion to craft in each word." - Renée Miller, editor of On Fiction and author of In the Bones

Buy the Book



Booknote Interview with Ned Hayes


         

My Review

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Miriam Houmout has many secrets.  After living ten years as a mute man raising her only son in the small village, Duns.  She becomes apprentice to the local smithy, Salvius, as her young son, Christian, works with the other young boys helping Benedict the weaver.  She's kept her secret close to her heart and only one person has ever known her true identity, her deceased friend Nell.  No one knows who actually killed Nell, but everyone assumes it was one of the men working there during the harvest.  But when the weaver's home burns to the ground with Christian and four other boys inside, all of the men scream for justice.  This book tells of their journey to London and all of the difficulties they endured.  When secrets are revealed, everyone's world is forever changed.

This was a very engrossing novel.  We tend to forget how women were treated in medieval times.  They were never allowed to know or do any of the things Miriam had accomplished.  A woman hunter was unheard of, as was a woman that could read and write.  This was an excellently written novel, with such vivid details that the story just comes to life. If you like historical fiction and want to learn more about the medieval era, then this is definitely a book you'll love!

03_Ned Hayes Credit Linda Marus 2012About the Author

Ned Hayes is the author of the Amazon best-selling historical novel SINFUL FOLK. He is also the author of Coeur d'Alene Waters, a noir mystery set in the Pacific Northwest. He is now at work on a new novel, Garden of Earthly Delights, also set in the Middle Ages.

Ned Hayes is a candidate for an MFA from the Rainier Writer’s Workshop, and holds graduate degrees in English and Theology from Western Washington University and Seattle University.

Born in China, he grew up bi-lingually, speaking both Mandarin and English. He now lives in Olympia, Washington with his wife and two children.

For more information please visit www.sinfulfolk.com and www.nednote.com. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Booklikes, YouTube, Google+, and Goodreads.

Sinful Folk Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, October 20

Tuesday, October 21

Wednesday, October 22
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 23
Guest Post at Books and Benches

Monday, October 27
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, October 28
Interview at Layered Pages

Wednesday, October 29

Thursday, October 30
Interview at Back Porchervations

Friday, October 31
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Monday, November 3
Interview at Triclinium
Spotlight at Boom Baby Reviews

Tuesday, November 4
Spotlight at Historical Tapestry

Wednesday, November 5

Thursday, November 6
Review at bookramblings

Saturday, November 8
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, November 10
Review at Book Babe

Tuesday, November 11
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, November 14
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, November 18
Review & Giveaway at Beth's Book Reviews

Wednesday, November 19

Thursday, November 20

Friday, November 21
Review at Library Educated

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Thanksgiving to Remember Giveaway!

Thanksgiving To Remember Giveaway! Prize:  Wonderful Fall Tote Bag filled with several prizes including restaurant gift cards.  Prize value over $200! One lucky person will win it all!
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Enter to win a Simple Savings For ATL Moms Fall Color Tote Bag ~ This bag will include items to help you have a wonderful Thanksgiving including coupons, Department Store Gift Cards, and Restaurant  gift cards, etc. 
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*I  have been compensated to share this fantastic giveaway!  This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest.

My fans can connect with me via social media sites at Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram or Email.

Damsel Not Book Blast

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Damsel Not
In the days of old, one knight fought to save the maiden he loved – a battle that ended in a bloody promise for the future.

 In the days of the 21st Century, Izz doesn’t believe in prophecies. A recent widow, she struggles to find the passion that once fueled her life – a passion that is reignited the day a knight in disguise cuts into her life in a flash of swordplay and seductive grins.

Izz doesn’t want to love him. The guilt of moving on nearly crushes her, yet she finds herself unable to resist the touch, the feel, the scent of the man who leaves her breathless with just one look. But each day Izz finds herself drawn to Cade, the more danger she finds herself in, for someone believes Izz to be at the center of an ages-old prophecy – and will do anything to stop it.

When threatening messages turn even more dangerous, Izz must rediscover a part of herself she’s never known before and fight to save her knight in shining armor. With only a sword passed down throughout the generations to guide her, Izz must prove to her adversary that unlike maidens of old, she will never be a damsel in distress.

Kristina Circelli's first contemp romance with a slight touch of fantasy, for readers 18+

Buy on Amazon

 

Meet the author:

kristina-2Night owl, Dorito lover, and quiet eccentric - Kristina Circelli is the author of several fiction novels, including The Helping Hands series, The Whisper Legacy, The Never, and The Sour Orange Derby. Her latest series, The Whisper Legacy, features Beyond the Western Sun. This book is what all fantasy adventures must strive to be: a complex, intricate examination of human emotion set within the context of worlds known only in our imagination. Melding fantasy and legend in an epic quest, this series signals the arrival of Kristina Circelli as a master storyteller and an important voice in Native American literature. A descendent of the Cherokee nation and niece of a Cherokee elder, Circelli holds both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from the University of North Florida, where she teaches creative writing. She also heads Red Road Editing, a full-service editing company for independent authors and commercial clients. She currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband, Seth, and cats, Lord Finnegin the Fierce and Mr. Malachi the Mighty.

Follow Kristina on

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Literary Addicts | GoodReads

Enter to win a prize pack from the author. Fill out the form to enter. Open to US residents 18+ a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Darker Past Book Review

Synopsis:
The past is Darker than they thought...

Between helping her mother with the Darker Agency and laying the smack down on monster baddies, Jessie Darker puts the “normal” in paranormal. But lately, things have gotten a little crazy...even for a smart-assed half-demon teenage girl.

For starters, Jessie’s been contracted into fifty-five years of annoying servitude. To a demon. Then there’s Lukas Scott, her sexy new boyfriend. Once the former incarnation of Wrath, he’s been going through some...uh, changes. Like residual anger. And trading chaste hangouts for lusty make-out sessions.

But it’s when Lukas and Jessie accidentally release a Very Nasty Demon that things get really bad, setting into motion a chain of death and mayhem that threatens both Earth and the Shadow Realm. Jessie has exactly four days to fix it...before all of Hell breaks loose.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble



My Review:
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

A Darker Past is book two in The Darker Agency series.  Seventeen year old, Jessie Darker has an interesting life.  By day, she's your typical high school senior with her best friend, Kendra. But in her off hours, she works alongside her mother, father(a demon), and boyfriend Lukas in an investigative agency.  While recovering some special Darker trinkets before they are in the public, Jessie angers a ghost that in turn damages a mirror that was keeping a demon trapped. Now they must race against time to uncover the secret to recapturing him.  Will they be able to piece the puzzle together? Is the rumors about the Belfair magic true?

This was a really great book with lots of action and never a dull moment. I loved how Kendra stood up for her friend to her mother.  The characters each had their own unique personalities and they complimented one another.  The descriptions of the Shadow Realm is very imaginative, you can easily visualize the image in your mind's eye.  The growth of Jessie gradually progresses as she soon realizes what is really important to her. I can't wait for book three too see what other trouble Jessie and Kendra get into.


About the Author:

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

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

#SALE #FREE #EBOOK November 14-16 Twisted by Amity Hope

Twisted KINDLEMaya Anderson has faced more than her share of tragedy and heartbreak. For the past six years she’s constantly been on the move with her mom. When another disaster strikes, she finds herself back in her childhood hometown of Beaumont, living with her older sister for her senior year.

A chance meeting reacquaints her with Ben McCaffey, a long-forgotten classmate from her past. After the murder of his girlfriend, Ben has become a social outcast. He’s despised by some and feared by most.

Determined to become Ben’s friend, Maya begins to break through his layers of emotional protection. It isn’t long before they realize that they both have secrets in their pasts. As the line between dealing with grief and struggling with a desire for revenge begins to fade, the secrets that draw them together may be what will ultimately tear them apart. Because the closer Maya gets to Ben, the more dangerous her situation becomes.


**Listed by Amazon as a Top 100 Kids & Teens Kindle Book of 2012**

Twisted is free on Amazon November 14th, 15th and 16th!!

 

Grab your copy here

 
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Follow the author on: Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Website

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Furious Fire Release Day Launch

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  We are so thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Shiloh Walker's FURIOUS FIRE! FURIOUS FIRE is the eighth novel in Shiloh’s Grimm’s Circle Series published by Samhain Publishing! Think you know fairy tales? Think again...  
Furious Fire

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes 

About FURIOUS FIRE: November 2014 The Grimm are coming to an end…the second to last book He is the love of all her lives… Grimm’s Circle, Book 8 Thomas Finn, troublemaker, gunslinger, guardian angel…loner. More than a hundred and fifty years ago, he was shot in the back then brought back to life just in time to watch a demon masquerading as his best friend kill the love of his life. Now, as a Grimm, he satisfies his need for vengeance hunting down demons like the ones that took Rebecca from him. His mission: kill as many as he can, then, when the time comes, go down in a blaze of glory. But with each kill, he comes closer to a line no angel should cross. Her name was Rebecca. Then it was Tilly. Then Ada. Now, Kallypso. She’s lived so many lives, she can’t even remember when or why it started. All she knows is, she’s always searching for a man with golden eyes that make her burn. And when she finds him—as she always does—she knows that spark of joy means she’s only seconds away from death…again. This time will be no different…unless something breaks the cycle once and for all. Warning: Contains the Groundhog Day of star-crossed lovers, a pissed-off guardian angel, a demon-hunter with an axe to grind, and the battle to end all battles. Be warned…there’s pain ahead in this book. Oh, and that HEA finally happens. For these two, anyway. This will be the second to the last in the Grimm series…make sure you read it if you want to see how it all comes down…

Grimm's Circle Banner

Candy Houses, Book 1

No Prince Charming, Book 2

I Thought It Was You, Book 2.5-Grimm's Circle Novella

Crazed Hearts, Book 3

Tarnished Knight, Book 4

Locked In Silence, Book 5

Grimm Tidings, Book 6

Blind Destiny, Book 7

Author Photo
    About Shiloh Walker: Shiloh Walker is an award-winning writer…yes, really! She’s also a mom, a wife, a reader and she pretends to be an amateur photographer. She published her first book in 2003. Her newest series, Secrets and Shadows, launched in April 2014. Look for the newest book Deeper than Need, to be followed by Sweeter than Sin and Darker than Desire. She writes romantic suspense, contemporary and paranormal romance, and urban fantasy under the name J.C. Daniels.    

Website | Facebook  | Twitter  | Author Goodreads | FURIOUS FIRE Goodreads | Newsletter Sign Up  | Pinterest

Furious Fire BT Prize
 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Favors and Lies Book Blast

FavorsandLiesBannerFavors & Lies
Dan Lord is a forty-year-old private detective with a law degree working the blurred line between right and wrong in the Nation’s Capital. As a self-employed solutions broker and legal consultant, he works for a very select clientele. He doesn’t advertise and only takes cases on referral. But when two people close to him are murdered, Dan’s work becomes very personal.

With the assistance of a newly hired female intern, extracting clues from a ladder of acquaintances, Dan bounds through both the underbelly and elite of society, each step bringing more questions and yet ultimately taking him closer to the answer he seeks. A bail bondsman, a recluse hacker, a court clerk, a university student, an old-school barber, a high-class madam, an intelligence officer, a medical doctor, and a police detective are among the list of people Dan must cajole for help. His quest will lead him to discover things he never wanted to know, and put him in the position to reveal things that important people would prefer remain unrevealed.

Tense, ingenious, and filled with the unforgettable characters, Favors and Lies is Mark Gilleo’s most thrilling novel yet.

Buy on Amazon | Website

 

Read an excerpt from the book: 
The cab pulled to the curb on one of the city’s myriad one-way streets and Dan spoke through the holes drilled in the security glass. “What’s the damage?”

“Nineteen even.”

Dan stepped from the back of the cab and slipped a twenty through the front passenger window. “Keep the change.”

“Thanks, big spender,” the burly driver replied, shoving the cash into the front pocket of his sweaty shirt.

Dan bent at the waist, his manila folder in hand, and peered into the open window. The glare from Dan’s light-blue eyes melted the driver’s bravado, bringing long-sought momentary silence to the interior of the car. The cabbie muttered something unintelligible and the car pulled away from the curb into evening rush-hour traffic.

Dan straightened his dark blue suit and his red tie before heading down H Street. The business side of the White House sat just beyond Lafayette Square to his left. As a white male in a suit, within spitting distance of the White House, Dan was perfectly camouflaged. Despite the changing face of American society and the dual terms of President Obama, those making the rules remained largely as it always had been – lily white. An hour watching C-Span was the only proof needed.

Dan walked deliberately to the corner of H and 16th streets and silently mingled with a half-dozen likeminded suits waiting for the light. The pedestrian signal changed from an illuminated red hand to the depiction of a person walking. The crowd moved. Dan took three steps toward the street and then froze at the edge of the curb. He scanned his environment for a mirror reaction from anyone in the vicinity. Sometimes the best way to see if you are being followed is to stop. It was a standard counter-surveillance move, likely perfected a hundred thousand years ago by an animal on the Serengeti trying to avoid becoming dinner.

The sidewalk around Dan emptied as the pedestrian signal on the far side of the street began to count down. Dan swiveled his head slowly, finishing with a glance over each shoulder. No one, he thought. At least no one on foot. Walking against traffic on a one-way street mitigated most of the possibilities of being trailed by car.

He waited until the countdown on the pedestrian signal reached five and then crossed the street illegally in the opposite direction, dissecting a group of lawyers and think-tankers on their way to a local watering hole to finish their briefs and pontifications for the evening.

On the far side of the street Dan turned right and headed back in the direction from which he came. Once again he checked for surveillance. Nothing.

Near the end of the block, with a taxi queue ten yards ahead, Dan checked his watch with a casual glance and turned left down an alley without looking back.

He passed several dumpsters and looked up at the darkening sky framed by the buildings on both sides of the alley. A light scent of urine wafted through the air. Under a fire escape near the corner of the building Dan turned again. He followed a staircase downward, his hand running along a worn metal handrail, his shoes trampling cracked concrete steps. Three stories above the urban crevasse, room rates started at eight hundred a night.

Dan forced himself to relax. Feeling out of place was the single greatest contributor for being spotted in an area where one had no earthly business. But with the appropriate behavior and movement, a man in a suit in an alley was no more out of place than a man in overalls in the lobby of an office building. Properly portrayed, every appearance could be overlooked.

Dan reached the bottom of the stairs and admired the collection of discarded cigarette butts thrown half-heartedly at an empty coffee can resting just outside the door. He took one more calming breath and pushed through an unlocked metal door that read “Exit Only” in neat white print.

Unlocked doors were goldmines. Half the buildings in the Nation’s Capital were circumventing million-dollar security systems with propped open doors. A brick here. A doorstop there. If you knew where to look, an employee with a smoking habit could be better than a week of surveillance. Not to mention cheaper and less risky than paying off a doorman.

Inside the building, Dan entered an elbow-room-only foyer facing another door. He watched the light under the closed door and waited for the telltale movement of people on the other side to subside. When the timing was right and the movement ceased, he pulled the knob.

An attractive blonde in an off-the-shoulder red dress took a breath of surprise. Dan muted his response and without pausing pointed towards the men’s room with his chin. “Wrong door.”

The lady in red smiled and Dan followed through on his impromptu ruse and entered the restroom.

“Shit,” Dan whispered, looking into the mirror over a granite sink with gold fixtures. He had rules. One adjustment in the plan was standard. Two put him on notice. Three unforeseen adjustments to a plan and he aborted – immediately and without exception. There was little he could do about the woman in the hall so he pushed it aside. That’s one, he thought. A little early for an adjustment.

The lower level back door at the Hay Adams Hotel was a direct line into the living room of the elite. Off the Record – the appropriately named bar in the basement of the Hay Adams Hotel – boasted a history as long as its client list. It was where the rich blew off steam. People with faces too famous to enjoy a quiet drink in Georgetown or along Connecticut Avenue. Faces from the morning paper and evening news. Off the Record embraced customers who didn’t mind overpaying for drinks or the forty bucks it cost to valet their cars. Money was rapidly becoming the last legal barrier for keeping out the riffraff.

The Hay Adams Hotel, and its subterranean watering hole, was public. Dan could have chosen to walk through the lobby. He could have nodded at the bellhop and doorman as he strolled in unquestioned and unmolested. He could have slowly crossed the ornate wood-paneled entrance and past the polite scrutiny of the front desk as he made his way to the stairs. But why announce your arrival when you didn’t have to? Especially so close to payday.

In the mirror in the bathroom, Dan checked his watch, his hair, his face, his glasses, his teeth, his fingers. He peeked inside his manila folder. He exited the room and walked through the lone swinging door into the bar. He located his target before his first foot hit the deep burgundy carpet. He completed his room assessment by the time his second foot landed. Nine men and four women, he calculated, parsing his headcount before anyone noticed he was in the room. Five men at the bar, two of them seated together, most likely coworkers. Two women alone at a table on the far side of the room in similar black dresses. Waiting for dates, he thought. A table of three huddled in the opposite corner, far enough away to be out of most contingency scenarios. Dan added two more to the headcount for the bartender and waitress, and one more for the lady in red who was now in the bathroom.

Dan stepped from the dark corner near the bathroom and approached a man in his early fifties sitting alone at a table, his hand caressing a glass of Maker’s Mark.

“Judge McMichael,” Dan said, sitting quickly without invitation.

The judge tried not to look surprised but the corner of his eyes betrayed him as they danced towards the entrance of the bar.

“The back door?” the judge asked.

“Bathroom window,” Dan replied straight-faced.

“Am I at the correct table?”

“Yes. Thank you for following instructions.”

Dan didn’t take his eyes off the judge. The judge looked older than his pictures in the press. More stately. Fifty and fit with large hands and sharp eyes. The lighting at the table was romantic – enough light to see the judge, but dark enough to erase cosmetic imperfections from across the table. Perfect call-girl ambiance.

The judge stared back across the table at a short grey mop of curls and wild blue eyes dancing behind thick black-framed glasses. The judge’s eyes dropped to Dan’s hands and the manila folder on the table. Dan noticed the judge’s attention and he covered one hand with the other, both on top of the folder.

“Why don’t we both agree to keep our hands on the table,” Dan suggested before getting to work. “See the two guys at the far end of the bar?”

The judge turned his head slightly.

“They are with me.”

The judge nodded.

“I will make this short and sweet. Your wife has divorce papers for you to sign. She also has an agreement regarding alimony and the custody of your stepson and stepdaughter. She says you have been refusing to sign these documents and have threatened her and her children.”

“Do you know who I am?”

“Yes. Judge Terrance J. McMichael. Born in Naperville, Illinois. Educated at Princeton. Law School at Dartmouth. Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit… also known as the D.C. Circuit. Wife is named Cindy. Stepdaughter is Caroline. Stepson is Craig.”

“And you are?”

“Someone willing to ruin your life. Your wife hired me to make a request on her behalf. You are a highly intelligent man so I’m going to assume you heard my request the first time and that I don’t need to repeat myself.” Dan paused for effect. “You are going to sign the papers.”

“Do you have any idea what I can do to you?”

Dan slid the manila folder into the middle of the table and opened it. The first photograph showed the judge’s wife with raccoon eyes, her nose broken, swollen to...

mark gilleoAbout the author:
Mark Gilleo is the author of three award-winning novels. His books have won both the National Indie Excellence Award and the Readers’ Favorite Award. His two most recent novels were finalists in the 2014 International Book Awards. His latest novel, Favors and Lies, was named Runner-Up for fiction in both the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival and the 2014 New York Book Festival. Mark has a graduate degree in international business from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in business from George Mason University. He enjoys traveling, hiking and biking. He speaks Japanese. A fourth-generation Washingtonian, he currently resides in the DC area. Follow the author on Twitter | Goodreads

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tainted Energy Book Review

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A Young Adult Fantasy Novel
TAINTED ENERGY
by
Lynn Vroman
published by Untold Press
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For seventeen-year-old Lena, living in the trailer park with the rest of town’s throwaways isn’t exactly paradise. Dealing with a drunken father who can't keep his fists to himself doesn’t help matters either. The only good thing in her life, other than track, is the mysterious man who visits her dreams, promising to find her.
When a chair burns her arms, Lena chalks it up to stress-induced crazy. Yet as bizarre incidents escalate, even being crazy can’t explain it all away… until one day dream guy does find her.
Tarek lost Lena seventeen years ago after she was accused of treason and marked Tainted. He finally discovers her reborn on Earth into a life of suffering as punishment for her crime. However, someone else has already found her… and wants her dead. Willing to sacrifice everything, he fights to keep her safe so she can live the only life she’s ever known—even if that life doesn’t include him.
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My Review

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Tainted Energy is a unique young adult, sci-fi/fantasy novel where instead of dying, your energy is recycled and you're basically reincarnated.  This is also taken a step further, as they visit the idea of soul mates, people who are automatically drawn to one another.

Lena has a a difficult childhood, living in a rusted trailer in a poor trailer park.  Her father is an abusive alcoholic, beating on her and her mother, Jacie whenever he felt like.  But Lena takes solace in Wilma, her school lunch lady.  Wilma is always there giving a listening ear and a ride to school.  Lena also has a plan, she turns eighteen soon and with the help of her boss Jake, she's procured an apartment for she and her mother.  Add her sure thing scholarship to Penn State, she has a lot to look forward to.  There's also the new boy at school that has quickly become her best friend, Zander.  

Things are looking up until the chair in the theater tries to swallow her...Has she lost her mind?  Lots of strange occurrences begin to unfold, and she continues to dream of a handsome gray eyed giant, she thinks will save her.  When she finally meets him, it triggers a chain of events that will forever change her life.

This was a really neat story about love surviving the test of time.  I thought it was amazing how Lena's character grew more courageous the angrier she became.  I can't wait for the next book in the series, the end of this one left me feeling a bit sad, but there are still many loose ends and unanswered questions.  All in all, this was a great book with never a dull moment!
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Born in Pennsylvania, Lynn spent most of her childhood, especially during math class, daydreaming. The main result that came from honing her imagination skills was brilliantly failing algebra. Today, she still spends an obscene amount of time in her head, only now she writes down all the cool stuff.

With a degree in English Literature, Lynn used college as an excuse to read for four years straight. She lives in the Pocono Mountains with her husband, raising the four most incredible human beings on the planet. She writes young adult novels, both fantasy and contemporary.
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Be sure to click the link below for a chance to win an Amazon gift card and E-copies of Tainted Energy!

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We sat in the back row, Nig834a0-newteasers-2
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"You always smell like apples and flowers." She inhaled deeper, making it hard for him to breath. "It's our orchard." The strain of control made his voice a whisper, and against his better judgment, he bent to kiss the top of her head, allowing his lips to linger in the softness of her hair. "Our orchard? Is that where we're going?" She craned her neck, and green eyes shot him straight in the heart. Mouth dry, he said, "Somewhere better."
"What about you? You immortal or something?" His eyes hardened, the smile turning a little dangerous. "No, I'm just really good at staying alive."
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Friday, November 7, 2014

A Plague of Shadows Cover Reveal and #Giveaway


Synopsis: 

"Enter the world of O, where a plague of shadows creeps through the land, ensnaring those it infects and turning them into soulless shadow people damned to pollute all of the nine worlds along the world tree. Fear of these darklings, and the magic they possess drives people to kill those that appear different or go against the light.

At nineteen Abagail Bauer should be setting off on her own, not still caring for her father and her family home as she’s doing. The hard life has made her practical, and she has little time for flights of fancy, unlike her sister, Leona, who insists her doll can predict the future. That all changes one day.  While tending their bees she encounters a blackness spreading through the hive. Abagail knows what it is: the shadow plague, the sickness that will creep into ones soul and make them nothing more than a shadow, a darkling bent on the destruction of all things good. And now she’s caught it. She doesn’t believe in other worlds outside of the land of O, but when her father finds out she’s infected he decides to send her to the one person who can help her learn to control this weird power: her Aunt Mattelyn in a distant world called Agaranth, and for Abagail everything she’s believed to be myth becomes a staggering reality.

Joined by her neighbor, Rorick Keuper, on a quest of revenge against the darklings who destroyed his home, and her seer sister, Leona, Abagail sets off across the rainbow bridge to another world in hopes of curing herself of the plague. But Abagail finds that her infection is only the beginning of her ill fate. When she arrives in the new world, she’s far from where she needs to be. Braving the winter of this new land, along with the darklings that hunt her, will Abagail be able to find her aunt before the shadow consumes her, or is she destined to become a husk of who she once was and kill those she loves?"
Pre-Order: Amazon 

About the Author:
Travis Simmons was kicked out of magic school for his refusal to study and his penchant for mundane activities like cooking. While selling his sword he stumbled upon dogs that he wrongly thought were magical and imagined he could commune with them. After a vicious zombie attack in which witches helped him push back the undead horde, Travis found himself apprenticed to a necromancer.

Afraid that winter was coming, Travis tucked into his magical studies, but always chased his dreams of writing tales science fiction tales and fantasy stories where he could explore his wild imagination about life on other planets. Adamant that Travis learn the esoteric ways of the occult his master made his life a horror of practice and studies. But no matter how he tried, he could never conquer Travis' questing mind.
Connect with Travis:

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