Tag Archive | Excerpt

Oceanside Marine by Jennifer Ann

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Will they be able to survive her insecurities and the scrutiny of their friends and family?

Title: Oceanside Marine
Series: Kendall Family #4
Author: Jennifer Ann
Genre: Contemporary Military Romance
Release Date: April 24, 2017

 
Oceanside-Marine-e-bookFresh out of the Marine Corps, Braden Kendall has settled into a comfortable routine in SoCal with his 3-legged dog and a handful of good friends. Despite being undeniably handsome and perceived as a lady’s man, he’s lonely and tired of meaningless hookups. After becoming pregnant in her teens, Katie Walker dedicated her life to raising her two sons, putting any romantic notions aside until they flew the nest. Now that she’s on her own and free to date, she struggles with putting her needs first.
Though Katie and Braden aren’t related by blood, their families are intertwined by marriage, making a relationship seem forbidden. Katie always found the cocky Marine attractive, but their considerable age difference made him off limits. Little does she know, Braden has been crushing on her for years and can’t get enough of her quirky personality. When they meet up in Vegas for a family celebration, Braden offers to show her a good time unmatched by anything she’s experienced. Once Katie decides she wants more of what he’s offering, can she survive a judgmental society, her insecurities, and the scrutiny of those closest to her?

Amazon | Goodreads

 

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Excerpt:


      Though it’s been over twelve hours since I grabbed a breakfast sandwich in the Newark airport and my angry stomach sounds downright demonic, I’m too tired to go through the motions of ordering a meal. I simply want to soak in the suite’s giant corner tub and pass out in the king bed. I’ll be amazed if I have enough energy to either throw on pajamas, or even pull back the luxurious bedding.
      But the moment I round the corner to my hallway, I’ve never felt more awake.

      Braden’s here.
      Waiting outside my room.
      I almost trip over my feet as I continue toward where he sits on the floor, head tipped back against the wall, eyes closed, thick arms slung over his knees. He’s not wearing anything special—a worn AC/DC t-shirt, faded blue jeans, and canvas flip-flops—but he’s so beautiful that I briefly wonder if I’m hallucinating from lack of sleep and starvation. With the sight of his protruding Adam’s apple and the dark scruff lining his thick jaw, the temptation to lick his neck becomes wicked strong. A bolt of desire strikes between my legs.
      
Keep your thoughts PG, Katie.
      Gently nudging his calf with my bare foot, I call his name. He rouses slowly, wiping a hand over his face before his russet eyes focus on me. A brilliant smile spreads over his soft lips. The same lips that reminded me how it felt to truly be alive.
      “Hey, beautiful.”
      Face turning hot with his compliment, I fold my arms over my stomach. “What are you doing here? How’d you know I was in California?”
      “Ev called a couple of hours ago, said you could probably use some company after what would likely be a hellacious day.” He pushes off his hands to stand. “No offense, but it looks like she was right. Have you grabbed supper yet?”
      I nearly roll my eyes with the term
supper. He sounds just like his sister. “No, I figured it’s too late. Between work and the long flight, I’m exhausted.”
      “There’s a place around the corner that has killer fish tacos. I could grab some while you’re taking a bath.”
      His hands disappear in his jean pockets and his chest strains against the cotton of his shirt. How I stop myself from running my hands across the valley of muscles is a mystery more complex than the Bermuda triangle. And when I picture myself naked in the tub with him in the next room, moisture pools between my legs. My body still wants him regardless of whatever my overactive imagination thinks.

      Horrible idea.
      “I guess I could stay up long enough for tacos,”       I decide with a soft sigh. “But I’d rather eat at the restaurant. If I take a bath right now, I’ll be done for the night.”
      His adorable dimples pop into place when his smile grows. “You won’t regret it. They’re legendary out here.”
      But he’s dead wrong. I’m already regretting any decision that doesn’t involve sending him home and locking myself in the room.

 

The Author:

Jennifer Ann pictureJennifer Ann is the author of nine contemporary romance novels with complex love stories. Like her characters, she’s in love with the city of New York, trips on airplanes or the back of her husband’s Harley, and everything rock and roll. Sometimes you can catch her driving a tractor alongside her husband in southern Minnesota while trying to keep up with the madness of their four active children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads

 

Follow the tour and enter to #win an Oceanside Marine prize pack including a paperback copy of the book, $50 Amazon GC, adult coloring book, and Kate Spade clutch.

 

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April 24th

Lover of Big Books Cannot Lie – Review
Celticlady’s Reviews – Spotlight
Rainne’s Ramblings – Spotlight
For Love of Books4 – Spotlight
My Book Filled Life – Review
Books,Dreams,Life – Spotlight
Lamplight Review and Promotion – Review

 

April 25th

What’s Detetiv Doing Now? – Review
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Spotlight
Mommy Reads Books – Review
The Avid Reader – Spotlight
BF Bookies – Spotlight

 

April 26th

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review
Lisa’s Loves(Books of Course) – Spotlight
Tangled Hearts Book Reviews – Spotlight

 

April 27th

The Book Quarry – Review
My Girlfriend’s Couch – Spotlight
Nicole’s Book Musings – Spotlight

 

April 28th

Evermore Books – Spotlight
Booklove – Review
EskieMama Reads & Dragon Lady Reads – Spotlight
The Power of Three Readers – Review

 

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The Last Bucelarii (Book 3): Gateway to the Past

by Andy Peloquin

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A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past. The Hunter of Voramis–a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether?

(The Last Bucelarii–dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature)

Title: The Last Bucelarii (Book 3): Gateway to the Past
Author: Andy Peloquin
Publication Date: March 31st, 2017
Paperback Price: 15.99
Digital Price: 3.99
Pages: 400

Bucelarii 3 SmallThe Hunter, legendary assassin of Voramis, has a purpose: protect Hailen, the boy he rescued from a demon in Malandria.

He joins a caravan in the hope of safe passage across the Advanat Desert. Yet he cannot outrun his enemies: the Illusionist Cleric on a holy mission to capture him, the bloodthirsty raiders out for blood and gold, and the Abiarazi, demons who masquerade as humans.

Every step north reveals who he was before becoming the Hunter, unlocking the truth about the woman who haunts his memories.

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

Amazon

 

Join Andy and Guests at the Book Launch Event:

Gateway to the Past Launch Party

 

Guest Post:

The Art of (Hopefully) Writing a Book Blurb

Want to make a writer cringe? Speak the two words that they hate most of all: book blurb.

Book blurbs are THE WORST! They’re bloody hard to write, and the fact that they’re so important—after all, they’re what sell the book on first glance—makes them even more dreaded. Most writers (myself included) would rather lose our favorite typing finger than have to write another book blurb.

Why is a book blurb so hard?

Basically, you have to write 100-150 words about a 60,000 to 130,000-word novel that summarizes the main theme and plot points of the book WITHOUT spoiling anything. You have to make it interesting enough that people will want to read it, yet concise enough that it’s a quick read. It’s probably the single most challenging part of the book-writing process.

I have written precisely five book blurbs to date, and I’m happy with all of them. However, it took A LOT of work to refine them from my original creation. By no means have I mastered the art—I know I’m going to struggle with every book blurb I write from here on. However, here are the things that help me to write a good book blurb:

Start off with the character – The first sentence of the book should always introduce the character by name, as well as who/what they are. For example, a line from the blurb for the third book in my The Last Bucelarii series:

“The Hunter, legendary assassin of Voramis, has a purpose”

I assume that everyone who’s read Books 1 and 2 will know who/what the Hunter is. But I have to also write the blurb for new readers. By using that qualifier “legendary assassin”, I pique new readers’ interest and make them more likely to take a second look.

Introduce the problem as early as possible – The sooner you can tell the reader of the danger/s your character/s face, the better. From the book blurb for Blade of the Destroyer:

“Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.”

That showcases the Hunter’s primary problems: the voices in his head and his need to kill. Those are the PERSONAL problems that make for the true journey—the journey of your character. Story is secondary to character. Use the character’s problem to help the reader connect with your character before they ever open the book.

Give them action – People want to know at least some of the thrilling highs and chilling lows of your book. Give it to them in a few short, snappy sentences. From the book blurb for Gateway to the Past:

“Yet he cannot outrun his enemies: the Illusionist Cleric on a holy mission to capture him, the bloodthirsty raiders out for blood and gold, and the Abiarazi, demons who masquerade as humans.”

This single sentence introduces the three main obstacles he’ll face in the book. Notice the dramatic words used: outrun, enemies, holy mission, bloodthirsty, gold, demons. These are all bold words that will arrest the attention of those reading.

End with the real hook – The ending of the blurb is the hardest part. Some people like to ask a question:

(From Blade of the Destroyer:

“The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?”

Some people like to use it to connect the book to the overarching theme of the series:

(From Lament of the Fallen):

“His discoveries will shed light on who he really is…what he really is.”

Either way, that last sentence has to get the reader thinking about what the book could offer them. If they’re thinking, they’re more likely to turn the first few pages and give the book a chance. With a killer blurb, a great cover, and an addicting opening scene, you have everything you need to get people to buy/read your book!

 

The Author:

Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious

Picture1I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist–words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I’m also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels.

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

Website | Twitter | Facebook

A Few of My Favorite Things:

Favorite Books:

      The Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch, The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, Sherlock Holmes by A.C. Doyle, Warlord of Mars by E.R. Burroughs

Favorite Songs:

      Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch, Prayer by Disturbed, I’m an Albatraoz by AronChupa, Look Down from Les Miserables, Shatter Me by Lindsay Sterling and Lizzi Hale

Favorite Movies:

      300, Red Cliff, Shoot Em Up, Love Actually, Princess Bride

Favorite Comics:

      Anything with Deadpool, Wolverine or Doop in it

Favorite Foods:

      Hot Wings, Meat-Lover’s Salad, A good sandwich (made by me), Yaki Soba, Sushi

Favorite TV Shows:

      The Flash, Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hawaii Five-0, Brooklyn 99, Firefly (too soon!), The Last Ship, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones

 

Other Books in the Series:

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

The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.
When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?

Amazon

 

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

The Hunter of Voramis is no more.
Alone with the bloodthirsty voices in his head, fleeing the pain of loss, he has one objective: travel north to find Her, the mystery woman who plagues his dreams and haunts his memories.
When he stumbles upon a bandit attack, something within urges him to help. His actions set him at odds with the warrior priests commanded to hunt down the Bucelarii.
Left for dead, the Hunter must travel to Malandria to recover his stolen birthright. There, he is inexorably drawn into direct conflict with the Order of Midas, the faceless, nameless group of magicians that holds the city in a grip of terror. All while struggling to silence the ever-louder voice in his mind that drives him to kill.
From feared assassin to wretched outcast, the Hunter’s journey leads him to truths about his forgotten past and the Abiarazi he has pledged to hunt. His discoveries will shed light on who he really is…what he really is.

Amazon

 

An Excerpt from The Last Bucelarii (Book 3): Gateway to the Past:

The Hunter peered out from behind the silent wagon. Good. No sign of Kellen or Graden. He’d have to keep an ear out for the caravan guards, but he should have plenty of time. The patrol had a lot of ground to cover.

Grunting, he shifted the heavy load on his shoulder and darted out from the row of shelters, hurrying toward the outcropping of boulders he’d chosen specifically for his task. He ducked behind the boulders and hurled his burden to the ground. A grunt and muffled cry came from the bundle, and something squirmed within.
He’s coming to. Good timing.

The Hunter pulled back the canvas, and moonlight shone on Rill’s pale, sweat-soaked face and wide eyes. Blood oozed from a wound on the bald man’s temple. The Hunter hadn’t bothered to be gentle.

“W-What?” Rill’s eyes darted around, and his gaze fell on the Hunter. “What is this?”

The Hunter struck the man hard. “Justice.”

Rill made to cry out, but the Hunter stuffed canvas into his mouth. “Ironic, isn’t it?” His fingers twitched a corner of the thick cloth. “You spend every waking hour stitching up canvas. Fitting that it will serve as your funeral shroud. There was more than enough of it around your area to wrap you up.”

The bald man’s eyes widened, and he mumbled something through the mouthful of fabric.

The Hunter shook his head. “Better you don’t speak. Nothing you say can change what’s coming. Best you die with a bit of dignity. Watcher knows you had little enough while you lived.”

Soulhunger, sensing blood, pounded louder in his mind, and the demon added its eager demands.

“I never understood men like you, knocking around your women.” He squatted on his haunches. “Just doesn’t make sense.”

Rill tried in vain to shout through his gag.

The Hunter narrowed his eyes. “Did you know there is a special hell reserved for your kind? Those who take advantage of the helpless.”

He slipped Soulhunger from its sheath, and held the glinting blade before Rill’s eyes. “You may tell yourself she belongs to you, you can do whatever you want.” He leaned forward, and his voice dropped to a low growl. “Just because you can, that doesn’t mean you should.”

Rill’s eyebrows shot up, and his expression turned pleading.

The Hunter shook his head. “Save your excuses for the Long Keeper. You’ll be with him soon enough.”

With a vicious smile, he drove Soulhunger through the canvas and into the man’s chest. The gag muffled Rill’s scream, but the dagger’s shriek echoed in his head with mind-numbing force. Soulhunger’s gem flared, red light bright in the darkness. The Hunter grunted as a finger of fire etched a line in his chest. Power coursed through him, setting his muscles twitching, flooding him with life, and pushing back the voices in his mind.

Slowly, the brilliance leaking from the gemstone faded to nothing, and Rill’s screams of agony and terror fell silent. The Hunter basked in the stillness of the night. A soothing breeze washed over him, the chill soothing the burning of his new scar. Glorious silence echoed in his head. The voices had been sated. He had peace, for a time.

He straightened and stared down at the bundled corpse. Perhaps the Long Keeper will have mercy on you.

An image flashed through his mind: a pitiful figure huddled at the entrance to Rill’s tent, covered in filthy rags and reeking of blood and coitus. Rill’s desire to punish Gwen had made it easier for the Hunter to slip in, knock the fat bastard out, wrap him in his own canvas, and slip out unnoticed. The man’s absence wouldn’t be discovered until morning. Few would care.

He took a deep breath, relishing the cool scents of the desert at night. He would wait a few minutes until he was certain Graden and Kellen had passed, then he would dispose of the body, bury the canvas, and slip back into camp. Without the voices shrieking and pleading in his mind, he might even be able to catch a few hours of undisturbed sleep before the morning breakfast bell.

Tonight would be a good night.

 

Unsevered by Traci Sanders

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A gripping story of love found, lost, and rediscovered in a magical way.

 
unseveredJewel has met the man of her dreams … the one person with whom she’s meant to spend eternity. Harley is charming, charismatic, and although he can’t carry a tune in a bucket, he’s the most gorgeous man she has ever laid eyes upon—especially in his U.S. Air Force uniform.

Just days after the couple returns from their honeymoon, Harley is called to active duty in the Middle East. Jewel is heartbroken but determined to adapt to her new life as a military spouse and support her husband. Her plan is short-lived when Harley is killed in action just days after his deployment.
Unable to cope, Jewel withdraws from her family, friends, and the world around her, until Harley visits her with a message from the beyond.

Will Jewel surrender to the dark side to be with her true love, or will she discover that sometimes people are put in our paths for reasons beyond our understanding?

Genre: Romance, Supernatural

Amazon | Goodreads

“Five stars have never made me feel like this. Where are my Kleenex?” Allaina Daniels

 

 

Excerpt:
My mind returns to the moment and I scold Harley’s apparitional presence for lying to me. “You told me we’d be together forever. You told me that’s what the sign meant.”
“I did say that. But it didn’t mean we’d be together forever in the physical sense; just that we’d always be in each other’s hearts.” His voice lowers and adopts a serious tone. “But there is one problem.”
“What problem?”
“I am kind of stuck right now.”
“What do you mean stuck?”
“Well, I was supposed to move on to my afterlife, but I can’t do that until you let me go.”
“But how do I do that?”
“I can’t answer that for you. It’s something you have to discover for yourself for me to be able to complete my journey. I’m sorry you feel like I let you down, but I did what I had to do.”
A long pause cuts through the air for a moment. “I don’t blame you, Harley. I know you didn’t choose to leave me. I just miss you. Why can’t I see you?” My voice keeps cracking as I wipe my tears for the umpteenth time.
“You’ll see me when the time is right; when you are ready. And you won’t be able to see the gift I left you until the time is right either.” He was still surprising me, even in death.
“I’m ready! What is it? Please, I need something to hold on to.”
“When you are ready to see it—and me—you will.” He was beginning to sound like a broken record. “I have to go now, but I will be watching over you always. Please be kind to yourself and don’t do anything else to endanger your life. Live. Be happy. Fulfill your destiny. And remember, I love you.”
“I love you too, baby. Don’t go.” My voice is brittle, fading.
He doesn’t respond.
“Harley?” I call out his name until my throat becomes scratchy and my voice is almost absent.

“Harley? Harley? Come back. Please don’t leave me again.”
There’s no reply.
He’s gone.unsvrd teaser 2

 

 

 

 

 

 
The Author:

traci headshotTraci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of nine published titles, with contributions to three anthologies.

An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance, and nonfiction guides.

traci sHer ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

 

 

 

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p1Guest Post:

Hey, guys!

This is my final post to share with you all.

It’s been a blast! Thank you so much to those who followed this tour, commented and shared my posts, and read/purchased my book. I truly appreciate you taking a chance on my writing, and I hope it lives up to your standards.

Just a little recap, in case you missed my bio and intro in previous posts. If you’ve already read this part, feel free to scroll down the page to the good stuff. 🙂

In case you missed the first stop on my tour, here’s a small recap. If you’ve already read this, feel free to scroll down this page to the good stuff. 🙂

I’m an author of romance, children’s, and nonfiction titles. I’m also an avid reader and huge supporter of other authors through a site I founded called Readers Review Room. Be sure to check it out whether you’re an author looking for promotion, or a reader looking for a great book.

p2I’d like to leave you all with a final thought today. Are you with someone who lights up your life? Someone who makes your toes curl at a single touch?

Even after twenty-something years together, and three kids, my husband still has this effect on me. Thank God for that! I see my friends and family living their lives with people they simply tolerate, or have become complacent with, and it truly breaks my heart.

What’s the point of sharing your time and your life with someone who doesn’t “get” you, who doesn’t set your soul on fire? Someone you think about first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. Someone you miss when he or she is not around. Someone you can’t wait to hold the next time your eyes meet.

If you do have this person in your life, be sure to cherish him or her, because we never know when our last kiss will truly be our last to share.

This is a story of love found, lost, and rediscovered in a magical way. Sometimes people are put into our lives … to teach us how to let go. Make sure you’re giving your time and love to someone who’s worth holding on to.

May you find the kind of true love that everyone deserves … the kind that’s forever Unsevered.

Thanks to Maia for setting up this blog tour, and to Rainne for hosting me here today. I truly appreciate the chance to share my work.

You can find any of my books on Amazon at this link: 
https://www.amazon.com/Traci-M.-Sanders/e/B00BA9VUUY

Traci M Sanders

 

Previous Guest Post Tour Stops:

Romance Novel Giveaways | Anna Del C Dye’s Blog

 
Also by Traci Sanders:

When Darkness Breaks

when darkness breaksLocal news anchor, Amber Woods, seemed to have it all – a thriving career, two beautiful children, and a doting husband named Drake. Life was perfect…until her world was turned upside down in one fateful night. While the incident caused Amber to renew her priorities; Drake was unable to deal with what happened, and sank into a deep depression laced with infidelity and alcohol. Hoping a change of scenery would salvage her quickly deteriorating marriage, Amber agreed to move to New York; but it didn’t take long for her to discover that the past is not always left in the past. Can Amber save her marriage without losing herself along the way? What will she do when darkness breaks her will to keep trying?

Perma-Free On Amazon!!

“A real and authentic romance” M. Abbott (UK)
“Heavy Subject Matter, Hope Filled Message” T. Dearen
“A short and engaging read” H. Kent

 

 

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Quest for the Harmonicon by Randy Lindsay

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battleelemtl001v4Chase Freeman is a boy with a heart for adventure stuck living in dull Drifter Flats. The only exciting thing that ever happens in his small town is Eclipse Day and even that isn’t enough for Chase—until he sees the strange ball of light streaking across the sky. Enlisting his best friend Jordan, her little brother Luke, and Harlan the smartest boy in school, they follow the light to an American Indian medicine circle. Drawn into the middle of it, the four friends are suddenly teleported to the Battlementals dimension along with the school bully Brendan and his friend Lena.

Once there, they find an elemental people desperate for them to accept the grand quest to save the universe. A deadly alliance has pulled it out of balance and, soon, everything will vanish altogether. Friends and enemies will have to find a way to work together to assemble the Harmonicon, defeat the Salt Giant, and find their own undiscovered abilities that will help them complete their quest. But when dark secrets are put in the wrong hands, their mission unravels and time is quickly running out. As the universe systematically starts to disappear, Chase and his friends race to put all the elements they’ve gathered together, but will it be too late to save it?

Amazon ~ Goodreads ~

 

Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

      Chase.
      A noise drifted out from the corner of the room, between the dresser and the closet. Chase looked over, saw nothing, and went back to getting dressed. Hitting the snooze button four times had put him in danger of being late for school—again.
      Chase.
      There it was again. Soft. Quiet. Chase snapped his head up and studied the area around the dresser. It sounded more like a voice than a noise. Except, nobody was standing in the corner talking to him. It had to be wind blowing through a hole in the wall or a crack around the window. And that would be a perfectly good explanation if there were a hole in the wall, or a crack around the window, or even if there were any wind blowing outside.
      He grabbed his shirt off the bed and out of the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of something small and white as it drifted out from behind his dresser, like a reflection off a car window as it passed the house. He whipped his head around to get a better look, but it was gone.
      Chase ran over and pulled the dresser away from the corner, finding nothing behind it but a blank wall. And some dust. And the book report he was supposed to have turned in last month.
      Weird! Strange whispering-lights didn’t normally visit his room. In fact, they hadn’t ever visited him, here or elsewhere. He shrugged and pushed the dresser back into place.
      “Chase,” his mother yelled from downstairs. “You’re going to be late for school.”
      His mother said that every morning. He didn’t know why. Show up tardy once, or twice, or even thirty-four times during the school year and everyone expected you to be late all of the time.
      He snagged his backpack off his desk and put on his Drifter Flats Falcons ball cap. The hat worked better than a comb to keep his dirty-blond hair in place. Even when there wasn’t as much as a breeze, his hair looked as if he had just run a marathon through a hurricane. The hat served another purpose, too. It hid his big Dumbo ears and placed his freckles in shadow. That just left Chase with the problem of disguising his disgustingly scrawny arms.
      Racing downstairs, his feet thudded loudly with each step, like a drum beating out the notes to a tribal war dance. Boom, boom, boom-boom.
      “How many times do I have to tell you not to run down the stairs?” his mother hollered from the kitchen. “You could trip and break your neck.”
      Why did it always have to be the neck? Why not break a leg? That way it’d be like how people in Hollywood wished each other good luck. And even though he would know what his parents really meant, he could pretend they were just cheering him on to have an excellent day.
      “Mom, can we move?” Chase grabbed a couple pieces of toast from the table and stuffed one of them in his mouth. The toast was warm, dark-brown, and lightly buttered. He would rather have had it covered in cherry jelly, but it was good this way too.
      “Where do you want to move now?” she asked. “Last week it was Arizona so you could look for the Lost Dutchman Mine.”
      Gold. Indians. Hiking through rattlesnake-infested deserts with a pickaxe over his shoulder and pulling a pack mule behind him. He had loved the idea until one of the kids at school mentioned that during the summer the temperature reached 120 degrees in the shade. No thanks.
      “Let’s move to Hawaii,” he said. “Then I can be a surfer and live on the beach.”
      “Wouldn’t that be fun?”
      Chase slapped his palm against his forehead. That’s what his mother always said right before she gave a long boring explanation of how the family needed to stay right here in Drifter Flats.
      “Sorry, Mom,” he called over his shoulder as he bolted through the side entrance that led out to the driveway, letting the screen door slam behind him. “I don’t want to be late for school.”
      He raced across the front lawn and found Jordan Rathburn and her little brother, Luke, passing by the house. Chase pulled alongside Jordan and said, “Hey-hey, J-J.”
      “I hate when you call me that,” said Jordan. She flipped her hair and looked away.
      “Yeah, but it rhymes,” said Chase.
      “So does Chase and head-case,” Jordan’s tone warned Chase that he was on the verge of earning a permanent name change if he didn’t stop.
      “Okay, Jordan. Is that better?”
      “Much better, thank you,” she said.
      Jordan had been his best friend since second grade. She had blue eyes which looked like the pools of ocean water he had seen in travel magazines and a lopsided smile that always made him feel better no matter what kind of mood he was in. Her dark-blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail that reminded him of a garden fountain, except it spouted hair instead of water.
      “Hey-hey, Chase-Chase,” said Luke.
      “That’s more like it,” said Chase. “What’s new, Mr. Rathburn?”
      Luke must’ve decided to take after someone else in the family because he sure didn’t act like Jordan. Or look like her, for that matter. His hair was bleached nearly white from spending all summer outdoors and he had a dark tan. Luke had the biggest, brightest grin Chase had ever seen. If the kid wasn’t careful, he was going to blind someone with that smile.
      “Did you tell your mom you want to move to Hawaii?” asked Jordan.
      “Sure I did, but my parents just don’t get it,” said Chase. “I mean, how could they? Anyone who decides to live in Drifter Flats on purpose must have something broke in their head.”
      “I like it here,” said Jordan.
      “Me too,” said Luke.
      Chase patted Luke on the back. He didn’t expect an eight-year-old to understand the problems with living in a town located in the middle of nowhere. Not that Drifter Flats was super small; it just wasn’t large enough to make up for its out-of-the-way location.
      But Jordan, she was old enough and smart enough to know better. Chase tried to slap a serious expression on his face. “There’s definitely something wrong with you.”
      “Do you mean something other than the fact that I’m friends with you?” Jordan asked with her trademark lopsided smile.
      “That too, but I mean it in the best possible way,” said Chase. “You just seem to get along with everyone better than a normal person should. And you’re okay with all the stupid stuff that happens around here, like shortening summer vacation to make up for the snow days we had last winter.”
      The three of them stopped at Bradbury Street and waited for a red pickup to drive past before they crossed. For a moment, Chase wondered if his comment had upset Jordan, but then he decided that wasn’t likely. The reason they were such good friends was because she had the ability to see past the words that came out of his mouth and guess at what was going on in his mind.
      “Why is it so important for you to move someplace else?” she asked.
      “There’s nothing special about Drifter Flats, and as long as I stay here there won’t be anything special about me.” Chase didn’t want to stay in the same place, doing the same things, for the rest of his life.
      “That’s not true—”
      “I don’t want to talk about it.” Chase reached into his back pocket and pulled out a stack of Powerz game cards. “These are for you, Luke.”
      Luke snatched the cards from Chase’s hand. “Awesome. Hey, this is a Dark Touch. Did you know that it’s ultra-rare?”
      Jordan looked alarmed. “Ultra-rare. Is it valuable?”
      “Maybe.” Chase shrugged. “They’re only cards. Besides, I won most of them from Ryan Carter. He always attacks on the second round. I thought Luke would have more fun with them than I would.”
      Jordan tapped Luke on the shoulder. “Aren’t you going to say something to Chase?”
      “These are cool,” Luke said without looking up from the cards.
      “That isn’t what I meant,” said Jordan.
      Luke’s face scrunched together as he thought about it and then burst into a smile. “Oh, I forgot. Thanks, Chase-Chase.”
      That was how Jordan acted all the time. She worried about hurting people’s feelings. She stopped to help whenever someone got hurt. It sort of reminded Chase of his mother on a good day, when she wasn’t in full bossy-parent mode. And mothers had to take care of their children; Jordan did it because she was nice.
      “We’re going to the eclipse party this afternoon.” Luke hopped up and down.
      “Sounds fun,” said Chase. “I better go along to make sure you don’t get into trouble.”
      “I thought Ms. Torrance had you staying after school all this week,” said Jordan. “Filling her desk drawer with live frogs wasn’t your best idea.”
      “Maybe not the absolute best of all time, but I think it made it to the top three. You should have seen the look on her face when she opened the drawer and they started jumping out.”
      Chase laughed and Luke joined him.
      “How about the look on your face when she figured out you did it and called you up to the front of the class? Was that funny too?” asked Jordan.
      This time Luke laughed alone, really hard.
      “It doesn’t matter,” said Chase. “Ms. Torrance wants to go to the eclipse party and she couldn’t do that if she stays in the class with me. Anyway, she made me promise to go and learn something at the party.”
      First bell rang just as they arrived at school. Kids went from playing and making a lot of noise to making even more noise as they rushed to grab their backpacks and charge inside. Jordan and Luke waved to Chase as they headed for their classes.
      Chase.
      Even though the noise from the playground was loud enough to cover up any sound short of cannon fire, Chase heard the small, quiet voice as clearly as if it had been whispered into his ear on a calm, silent evening.
      Assemble.
      He scanned the area around him, hoping to find whatever made the noise. But the only thing he saw was “Big” Brendan picking on Harlan Penderknack.
      Brendan had been held back a year and seemed to have taken it as a sign that he should personally demonstrate the awesomeness of his big, but flabby, arms to all of the smaller boys in sixth grade. He had a large nose that resembled a bull’s snout and dark blond hair that stuck out every which way. The one feature that stood apart from everyone else was his red complexion. It made him look like he was continuously upset with the rest of the world. For some reason the name “Meat Face” had stayed in Chase’s mind.
      Brendan finally let Harlan pass and the two of them made their way inside the school, Harlan hurrying and Brendan taking his time. That reminded Chase that if he didn’t hurry, he was going to be late.
      Assemble.
      Chase quickly turned in the direction of the voice and spotted something small and white bobbing in the air. As soon as he spotted the thing it zipped through the door leading to the cafeteria. Right through the closed metal door.
      This was the same thing he’d seen in his room. It was the same voice that had whispered his name. The thing moved so fast that he still hadn’t gotten a good look at it. Chase wasn’t really sure he wanted to see the thing. Running around the school, talking to floating lights no one else could see probably wasn’t a good idea.
      Then again, when had he ever bothered to think things out and do what made sense?
      Chase dashed into the cafeteria and searched for the unidentified floating object. He smelled the normal kitchen odors; vinegar, cleaning solution, and corn dogs. Bright light reflected off the stainless steel of the serving line, but no strange talking lights.
      Assemble.
      The sound came from the direction of the door on the opposite side of the room; the one that opened into the main hallway. Chase didn’t see the floating light, but ran toward the door anyway. He needed to prove to himself that the talking, floating, mystery light really existed and that he wasn’t going crazy.
      Chase burst through the door and slammed into an immovable wall of flesh. He bounced off the human barrier and flopped on the floor, landing hard on his butt just as the second bell rang. From his current position on the floor he had a good view of the brown leather dress shoes which belonged to Principal Jensen.
      “Mr. Freeman.” Principal Jensen spoke in that slow, calm voice which meant Chase was in trouble. “Since you don’t seem to be interested in attending your class, perhaps you can join me in my office.”

 

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The Author:

randy1-smallRandy Lindsay is a world traveler. Which sounds impressive until you realize the worlds he visits exist only in his mind and on the pages of his novels. He claims to prefer this method of sightseeing because he can stop at any time, go to the kitchen, and indulge his ice cream addiction. When he isn’t busy making things up he likes going to movies with his wife to watch what other people have made up and plays board games with his children who are in the habit of making up the rules as they go along.

Battlementals: Quest for the Harmonicon is Randy’s third published book and the first in a series of stories that take place in the Battlemental universe. He switched to writing full time in 2011 and has had two novels published through Bonneville Books.

His journey as an author has been an exciting one, full of unexpected discoveries. One of those being the decision to focus more of his writing on middle-grade fantasy. The fact that the style feels more natural to Randy might be an indication that he is really just a kid at heart.

The second unexpected discovery was that he enjoyed marketing. Book signings, writing workshops, and podcasts about storytelling all gave him opportunities to discuss what he loves with others who share the same interest. This combined with the decision to write middle-grade stories led to his development of C.A.S.T. (a program intended to show children and teens how to incorporate storytelling into their everyday lives).

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Shadow Wolf by Heather Long

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 Some leave because, in their hearts, they can’t bear to stay. Some leave because they see no way to go back…

Title: Shadow Wolf
Author: Heather Long
Series: Wolves of Willow Bend
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Format: eBook
Digital ISBN: 2940157404178

 
shadowwolf300-2Most wolves will roam at some point in their lives, fledgling adults leave to explore the world while more senior wolves may undertake a journey they always wanted to take. Many came home again, but Mitch Jackson didn’t. He loved his life on the road, first as a roadie for a rock band, traveling from city to city, then later as an animal trainer for a circus. He’s had a lot of jobs and all of them fun. Two years as an Enforcer hasn’t curbed his smile, but a rogue invasion of Russian wolves are enough to put a damper on anyone’s party, especially when they set their sights on the packs’ more vulnerable members.

Amelia Sullivan couldn’t stay in Willow Bend, not after her sister embraced the life she’d always wanted. It aggravated her that Shiloh’s defiance earned her a free pass from their family, and parents who’d raised them all to reject the idea of going wolf. Taking the first excuse she can to go to a cooking school on the west coast, she flees. The last thing she expected was an order to return home within three months of her getting away. She wasn’t a wolf, she doesn’t have to obey. Of course, not following the rules proves even more costly than she can imagine when she finds herself a prisoner and the change she always thought she wanted forced upon her…

Rescuing Amelia seemed a straightforward job until Mitch realizes what they’ve done, then saving her life proves to be the easier task as she undergoes her first transformation far from any alpha. Can a happy go lucky Enforcer find the strength to keep her sane

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | B&N

Excerpt:

When their front bumper slammed into theirs, he gritted his teeth. When he crested 120 mph, they slammed into him again. They were not going away and it was growing harder to keep the vehicle on the road with every hit.
Double checking Amelia had her seatbelt, he ripped his down and locked it in. Another glance at the review mirror showed him two figures in the car, though he could make out the backseat.

Trusting the airbags would deploy, he jerked the wheel to the left then slammed on the brakes. The SUV began to spin as its inertia took over. The other vehicle clipped the corner of his bumper jarring him as it shoved them further off the road and they slid sideways. He turned into the spin, but it was too late. The SUV flipped. He had no control as it bounced over and over rolling and until it finally came crashing down and sat on all four wheels. His jaw ached from the airbags deploying. The friction burn left his face raw, but Amelia slumped in her seat, unaware.

He listened for a split-second, determined her heart was still beating and her breathing was a little rough. Though it had been harsh before.

After breaking the seatbelt off, he wrenched the door open, then exited the vehicle. He made it out just in time to catch the side blow of a crowbar as one of their wolf pursuers brought it crashing down against his shoulder. He blocked the second blow, then jerked him forward and ripped out the other wolf’s throat. He had no time for games.

The beast gurgled but dropped still gripping the crowbar; Mitch abandoned him then rolled over the hood. The second wolf had gone straight for Amelia, and ripped off the passenger door. The wolf, sensing his assault struck upward with the discarded door and caught Mitch hard in the side, knocking him back several feet.

Undeterred, he lunged into him They grappled, the wolf getting in more than his fair share of blows, including digging his claws into the injury Mitch sustained just above one kidney. Pain arced along his spine and sent hot lances digging into his brain. Snarling, he jammed his elbow into the man’s arm, twisted then snapped the bone. Pivoting, he jerked the wolf over his shoulder, and locked his hand against his chin. One yank, the wolf’s back broke. As the wolf went down to the ground Mitch turned his head they gripped each side of the man’s head, then twisted hard.

Both wolves dead, Mitch headed to their abandoned vehicle. Damaged and leaking fluid, the interior was empty. But at least the motor still ran, more than he could say for the bashed in vehicle he and Amelia had used. Retrieving his little human, he carried her over to the new car. After settling her inside, he turned up the air conditioning to help combat her fever.
Locating a gas can in the back of the car, he put the two bodies in their soon to be abandoned vehicle. After coating the bodies in gasoline, he pulled out the vodka and shattered them inside until it ricked. Finished, he tossed a lighter inside and left it to burn.

He didn’t have time to stay and wait for everything to go –, but it should be more than enough to destroy all DNA any evidence of the wolves. As much as they needed to know who these wills were exactly, and their plans—the protection of pack secrecy was paramount. Retreating back to the new SUV he winced as he opened the door. Fresh blood slid down his side and soaked his jeans.

He couldn’t put off shifting much longer.

The goals of escape remained the same. It wasn’t until he turned the vehicle back on the road and started driving that he realized he’d forgotten it empty the phones off the other wolves.

Slamming his fist against the steering wheel he cursed.

Next to him Amelia let out another moan. She was hurting, and he’d added a car wreck to her experiences.

“Hang in there, little sister. We’ll be safe soon.”

Though he might not have it in him to get her to the hospital, he wasn’t that far from a turnoff which would take him east into the Sierra Nevada. His cabin was there—and completely unrelated to his passenger. They were also high enough up, the temperatures would drop and visitors would be noticeable.

He could get her fever down there, then seek medical assistance as soon as he was capable of defending her again. A cough racked him, and flecks of blood sprayed the back of his hand.

Great he had internal bleeding too.

“New plan little sister,” he said adjusting his own expectations. The SUV he was driving was too noticeable for one, with the damage to the fender. But it was also one of the wolves the Russian wolves. If they had a way of tracking the vehicle he needed to ditch it before leading them to her.

They also needed a new vehicle. And they needed to disappear up into the Sierra Nevada.

After, he would shift. And shift again until he healed his injuries.

Another cough brought up more blood and he grimaced.

Of all the times to be without a phone, it had to be today. They lived in a digital world, where communication was easily accessible in a message sent in a heartbeat could be reached across the world. And right now—they were all alone.

“We got this little sister,” he told her. Faking it until he could make it. “I swear to you I will get you home.”

And if it was the last damn thing he ever did, he would.

 
The Author:

heather-longNational bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

Other Books in the Wolves of Willow Bend Series:

 
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WOLF AT LAW
Prequel
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

WOLF BITE
Book 1
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks 

 

 
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CAGED WOLF
Book 2
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

WOLF CLAIM
Book 3
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks 

 

 
wolfnextdoor300-200x300rogue-wolf-199x300

WOLF NEXT DOOR
Book 3.5
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks 

ROGUE WOLF
Book 4
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

 

 
bayou-200x300untamed-199x300

BAYOU WOLF
Book 5
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

UNTAMED WOLF
Book 6
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks 

 

 
wolfwithbenefits300-682x1024riverwolf300-200x300

WOLF WITH BENEFITS
Book 6.5
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks 

RIVER WOLF
Book 7
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks 

 

 

singlewickedwolf-200x300desertwolf2400SINGLE WICKED WOLF
Book 7.5
 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks 

DESERT WOLF
Book 8
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks 

 

 

51cyqtruicl51xlwj-dclSNOW WOLF
Book 9
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks 

WOLF ON BOARD
Book 9.5
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks 

 

 

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January 2nd

Book, Dreams, Life

Carol Kittie Reviews

I Love Books 

Joyfully Reviewed

Rainne’s Ramblings

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

 

January 3rd

Bea’s Book Nook

Loving Books

OMG Reads

Splashes Into Books

 

January 4th

Angel’s Guilty Pleasure

Lisa’s Loves (Books of Course)

Lisa’s Home for Books

Tangled Hearts Book Reviews

Yearwood La Novela

 

January 5th

Book Loving Pixies

Carrie’s Book Reviews

Em & M

Evermore Books

Small Girl, Her Man and Her Books

 

 January 6th

The Avid Reader

Diane’s Book Blog

Got Fiction?

Nikki’s Book Nook

T&L Book Reviews

 

The Secret King: First Contact by Dawn Chapman

Title: The Secret King: First Contact
Author: Dawn Chapman
Genre: Science fiction thrilling adventure
Release Date: 20/12/2016
Cover: Jaime Bengzon

 Here is the fabulous cover for book two of The Secret King series:

FIRST CONTACT

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With their journey from planet Letháo fraught with peril, the Aonise finally arrive at what they hope will be a new home. Earth offers a new start for the displaced race, and Kendro, King of the Aonise, desperately seeks a peaceful end to their voyage. However, once they make first contact, not all is as expected. Some humans are not as welcoming to the alien species, and their resettlement onto Earth is faced with resistance from splinter groups determined to drive the Aonise away from their planet. Coupled with internal strife, can Kendro appease all, or will greater misfortunes come to pass?

Excerpt

A loud ringing echoed through the house. Prime Minister Robert Walker bolted upright. His wife, Christine, still slept, her chest rising and falling in even breaths. Is that… the…
His heart pounded in his chest, as the ringing stopped. Silence. No…
Glancing at Christine, he let out a breath seeing she hadn’t stirred. The chemo from yesterday had wiped her out. They were trying to rest, and now, he was terrified what little rest they’d had at their country holiday home would be ruined. As the phone rang again, Walker threw the covers off, and reached out for it. Damn, this will wake her.
Monday, 23rd Sept 2041 – 1:14 AM flashed on his clock.
Picking up his phone. Walker hit answer, and slid out of the warm bed into the cooler air of their hallway.
“Hello.”
Christine murmured, turning over, and searching blindly in the bed for him.
“Robert?” The Chief of Defence’s adrenaline-pumped voice almost screamed across the line. Walker listened to words he never thought he’d hear. “We’re at Threat Level Critical. A copter is on its way. Suffok will meet you at the nearest hotel conference room.”
What? Critical? The UK hadn’t issued critical status ever. What on Earth is going on?
“I’ll be right there.” Then, Walker thought of Christine. He couldn’t leave her alone. Not tonight. Phoning his sister-in-law, he asked her to come over and stay with Christine.
There were highly trained nurses stationed in the house, but they weren’t family. Guilt clutched as his conscience, as he headed back to the bedroom and dressed.
Christine had settled back, and he perched on the end of the bed, stroking the back of her head. “I’ve got to go out. Ani is on her way. She’ll stay with you tonight.”
His wife turned to face him. “At this hour, seriously?” The annoyance on her pale face and bloodshot eyes spooked him.
Walker sighed. Christine knew his job came before lots of things. “I’ll see you for dinner.” He kissed his wife gently on the forehead.
Christine didn’t respond. She turned her head away from him. Concern filled him, as he gave her one last look before hurrying to the door. He had no way of knowing if he would be home for dinner today, or next week.

 
The Author:

12113470_10156095893875137_3839474474695413848_oDawn Chapman has been creating sci fi and fantasy stories for thirty years. Until 2005 when her life and attention turned to scripts, and she started work on The Secret King, a 13-episode Sci Fi TV series, with great passion for this medium.

In 2010, Dawn returned to her first love of prose. She’s been working with coach EJ Runyon who’s encouraged her away from fast paced script writing, to revel in the world of TSK and Letháo as an epic prose space journey.
Dawn has also had success with a web series, co-written with ‘Melvin Johnson’, produced by Nandar Entertainment.
This year her experience of working with Producers/Directors from the US and AUS has expanded. From Drama, Sci Fi to Action, Dawn’s built a portfolio of writing, consulting and publishing.

Website | Facebook | Amazon | Twitter

 

Books by Dawn Chapman:

The Secret King, Lethao
Kindle  &  Audio book

The Truth Hurts
Novella audio book

Bree’s results
Novella audio book

Coming soon 

First Contact – Book 2 of The Secret King scifi series
Release 20/12/2016

The Secret King – anthology TBA