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H.A.L.F. Series by Natalie Wright

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Series: H.A.L.F. Series
Author: Natalie Wright
Genre: YA SciFi Fantasy

Origins

Book 3

half origins 3_375x600Alien predators attack Europe. A deadly virus spawns an epidemic. And a clandestine organization conspires to profit from chaos and forge a New World Order.

In this heart-pounding finale of the award-winning H.A.L.F. series, Tex, Erika and the rest are in a race against time. For months they‘ve fought for their lives. Now they battle to save us all.

Tex and Erika are fugitives again, running for their lives. But when Tex falls gravely ill, a Navajo healer is his only hope for survival. Tex emerges from the ordeal changed in body and mind but with vital information: how to stop the predatory M’Uktah from destroying those he has come to love.

Erika Holt seeks a respite from the constant threats to her life but she’s not about to give up. As she and Tex launch a mission to shut down the galactic highway used by the predatory M’Uktah, she grows closer to her troubled half-human companion. But what about her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Jack?

Jack Wilson, with his new friend Anna Sturgis, is determined to put an end to the Makers’ schemes for world domination. Complicating matters, an anti-viral that could save millions from an alien virus has been stolen.

As both alien and human forces line up against them, the destiny of all mankind is hand the hands of these young warriors. And time is running out.

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Excerpt:

1
ERIKA

Raindrops pelted the windshield of the rust-bucket truck Erika had borrowed from Ian’s dad. Nearly an hour had passed since she’d seen the lights of the last police car recede in her rearview mirror, but her fingers still shook as she turned on the windshield wipers. They were little help. The spittle of rain turned the dusty windshield into a muddy mess, and the sun-rotted rubber of the wipers streaked the glass.

The jacked-up truck tackled the harsh terrain of the desert like a pro. The police cars were no match for barrel cacti and creosote bushes as large as small cars. The local Ajo police that had tried to stop them likely didn’t know that they were chasing a human-alien hybrid that had escaped, again, from a secret underground lab controlled by the clandestine organization known as The Makers. The Makers had surely spun the lies necessary to convince local law enforcement that Tex was a dangerous fugitive. Ironic. The lie had become the truth. Erika and Tex were, in fact, fugitives on the run and again fighting for their lives. It was like déjà vu all over again.

Erika’s bottom was bruised from bouncing on the seat. Her wrists ached from gripping the wheel. After nearly an hour of rough riding, they hit a two-lane road going east. Erika was heading to New Mexico, where her Aunt Dana, her father’s sister, lived. Without complications, they would get to Aunt Dana’s in about eight hours. If she’ll have us.

Tex had been quiet but awake as Erika navigated the bumpy ground. Once they reached the smooth pavement, he tucked his knees to his chest, hugged his arms around his legs, and became a silent egg-shaped blob on the seat next to her. Erika had seen him withdraw into himself before, but he was even more quiet and still than usual.

Erika wished he’d have stayed awake longer. She wanted to pry answers out of him. She had questions about his time with the Conexus, when he had been linked directly to their hive-mind collective. Ever since Dr. Randall had unhooked Tex from the Conexus, he was acting distant and short-tempered. Erika wondered what had really happened to him during his time with the Conexus. And what did he mean when he spoke of struggles for humans to come and the knowledge he got from the Conexus? She hoped he would answer these questions and more when they got to Aunt Dana’s.

 
What Others are Saying about H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS:

“The latest satisfying addition to the H.A.L.F. series has something for everyone: exciting action scenes; great, complex love stories; fascinating new aliens; and relatable teen characters fighting to save the world and find their places in it.” ~Alyssa H., Content Editor, Red Adept Editing

Author reading excerpt of H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS, accompanied by photos and music that inspired the story.

 

The Makers

Book 2

half 2_376x600Roswell. Area 51. The X-Files.

You’ve seen the aliens known as “the Greys” in movies and on T.V. But what if everything you think you know about them is wrong?

And what if the Greys are only the beginning?

On a nondescript planet on the far side of the galaxy, the M’Uktah have evolved from a wolf-like predatory creature into a highly advanced species that has mastered intergalactic travel. They are cultured. Refined.

And hungry…

Wright’s epic and much anticipated follow up to her multiple award-winning debut Sci Fi novel H.A.L.F.: The Deep Beneath.

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“Conflicts with alien races are given enormous depth in this engrossingly written science fiction novel.” ~Forewords Clarion Reviews

 

 

The Deep Beneath

Book 1

half 1_375x600Can a Human-Alien Hybrid, Created to be a Weapon, Save us from a Secret War we Don’t Know is Coming?
Library Journal eBook Selection
 
H.A.L.F. (Human Alien Life Form) #9 is the product of genetic engineering, the union of human and alien DNA. Created to be a weapon in a secret war we don’t know is coming, he proved too powerful to control. He has lived for seventeen years in an underground lab, sedated and trained to be a cold-blooded killing machine.
 
But H.A.L.F. 9 has escaped the lab and the sedation has worn off. He has never been more alive. More powerful. Or more deadly.
 
While H.A.L.F. 9 revels in his newfound freedom, Erika Holt relaxes in the desert with friends. But a typical Saturday night soon erupts into chaos when fate brings her together with H.A.L.F. 9. Erika is forced to make a choice that will irretrievably change her life. If she chooses to help H.A.L.F. 9 escape, her fate will become intertwined with his in what will become an intergalactic adventure. Little do any of them know that their actions trigger a vast New World Order conspiracy which began after the UFO crash in Roswell in 1947. Will H.A.L.F. 9 be reeled back in, once again forced to do the bidding of the Makers? And will any of them survive the dangers of The Deep Beneath them?

Award-Winning Sci Fi Appropriate for the Entire Family
Silver Medalist, Wishing Shelf Book Awards
Semi-Finalist, Kindle Review Book Awards
Runner-Up, Beach Book Festival Awards
Library Journal choice for the curated Self-E Library Collection

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What Readers Say About The Deep Beneath:

“The action is great, and the scene with the alien spaceship was crazy good. I found the ending to be quite surprising. It definitely made me want to read the next one to see what happens both above ground and below. I recommend this to all fans of sci-fi adventures.” ~C.J. Anaya, Best Selling Author of The Healer Series
 
“Once I began, I couldn’t put it down. It’s well-written, fast-paced, and the characters are believable. I highly recommend this book and anxiously await book 2!” ~M. Williams
 
“Extremely exciting and fast-paced story that sucked me in its sci-fi vortex and wouldn’t let me go. H. A. L. F. 9 is probably my favorite alien hybrid of all time. Can’t wait for the next book!” ~Ms. I Read to Escape

 
About the Author:

natalie_500x600Natalie is the author of the award-winning science fiction series H.A.L.F., and The Akasha Chronicles, a popular young adult fantasy trilogy with over 2 Million reads on Wattpad. She lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband, teen daughter, and two cat overlords.

Natalie spends her time writing, reading, geeking out over nerd culture and cool science, and meeting readers and fans at book festivals and comic cons throughout the western United States. Natalie appears frequently on radio, podcasts and vlogs such as The Speculative Fiction Cantina, Front Row Geeks and iHeart Radio.

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Guest Post by Natalie Wright:

The Four Seasons of H.A.L.F.

SummerIf you were a season, what season would you be? Are you a fiery, passionate summer? A cool, calm winter?

I had not considered this in terms of my characters while writing, but I recently wondered what seasons are my characters?

Erika Holt, the main character of the H.A.L.F. series, has a fiery nature. She’s passionate about causes but nothing brings out her fire more than someone messing with the people she cares about. She’d go to the ends of the Earth—and beyond!—for her friends. Erika represents the heat of summer.
 
Fall
 

Tex, aka H.A.L.F. 9, personifies the changeable nature of fall. One minute the weather is mild, the next blustery. In autumn it’s like the weather is trying to make up its mind. Tex can seem that way as well, but maybe it’s because he’s still trying to figure out how to be human. Fall may be unpredictable, but we love it anyway. That’s how Erika seems to feel about Tex too!

 

WinterOf all the characters you’ll meet in the H.A.L.F. series, I think Anna Sturgis is like the cold breath of winter more than any of the others. With her icy blue eyes and golden curtain of hair, she looks like a “winter,” and her personality matches. It’s not that she’s a cold person. Jack gets to see her personable side. But Anna is cool and collected, reasoned and logical. In short, she is often everything that Erika isn’t. Can Jack fall for a winter girl after being so in love with a summer?

Spring

 

Speaking of Jack, he is a spring breeze. With his sun-kissed curly blonde locks, laid-back flip-flops and loose-fitting jeans, Jack is like a shoot of bright green new growth poking up through the soil. He’s a peace-loving, guitar-strumming lover not a fighter. Jack faces life and death situations throughout the H.A.L.F. series. After stepping over dead bodies on the battlefield, will his sweet spring nature endure?

 

Follow the tour…

for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

In celebration of the release of ORIGINS, the third and final book in the H.A.L.F. series, all pre-order customers have the opportunity to receive the following exclusive goodies:

A full-color, digital book extra, Lost Chapter and Cut Scenes. This book contains the author’s commentary on cut scenes as well as photos illustrations. This book is only available to pre-order customers.
A video retrospective of the H.A.L.F. series, complete with “soundtrack” for the series, an author interview, and tons of photos and illustrations documenting the series.

Instructions

It’s simple to obtain the goods. All a customer has to do is:

Buy the book in any format. Digital, paperback, hardcover, or audiobook, and at any retailer.

Email a copy of the receipt (again, in any format—photo, screenshot, email receipt, etc.). Email the receipt to: half.origins.book@gmail.com

That’s it. The author or her representative will follow-up and send the customer the awesome goodness of free gifts!

Additionally, every pre-order customer that avails themselves of the pre-order giveaway will automatically be entered into the ORIGINS Launch Mega Giveaway and have the chance to win the following:

giveaway 2

Grand Prize:

1 Winner will receive: $100 Amazon Giftcard + Signed, Hardcover copies of the entire 3-book H.A.L.F. series + branded book swag, including metal bookmarks, complete set of H.A.L.F. Character Trading Cards®, keychain, and buttons + non-branded, retail swag themed to the book. Retail value of this prize is $240+

First Prize:

1 Winner will receive: $25 Amazon Giftcard + Signed, Paperback copies of the entire 3-book H.A.L.F. series + branded swag (as listed above) + non-branded swag. Retail value of this prize is $75+

10 Runner-Up Prizes:

10 Winners will receive: A gifted copy of Amazon Kindle version of an eBook of the reader’s choice from among Natalie Wright’s published, single-book works (Emily’s House, Emily’s Trial, Emily’s Heart, The Deep Beneath, The Makers, or ORIGINS). Retail value of this prize if between 99¢ to $3.99 (depending on book chosen and price at the time gifted).

Rafflecopter for Mega Giveaway (runs 8/24 – 9/15).

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Prepared by Courtney Konstantin

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Genre: SciFi. Dystopian, Thriller

Amazon Book Cover - 2650 x 1600_375x600She thought she was prepared for the end of the world… until it actually came.

Alex Duncan is a mother, a sister— and the daughter of a doomsday prepper. She always thought her father was insane, raving about an apocalypse she never believed in, but when a plague hits the United States and the dead no longer stay dead, Alex discovers heeding her deceased father’s advice is what will keep her family alive. Before he died, Alex’s father created a compound in Montana just in case situations like this arose.

Hell has arrived on earth.

The dead walk, hungry for human flesh. Living in a highly populated city like Las Vegas makes the reality of the plague imminent to Alex. With little time to spare, Alex must make split-second decisions to prevent her family from being devoured. Facing the end, Alex has three goals.

Escape Las Vegas. Get to the compound. Survive.

As the outside world crumbles and grows darker, Alex faces adversity from not just the infected, but the uninfected as well. Government assistance is nowhere in sight, and rumors fly that the nation’s only solution to the growing plague is execution.

Not everyone will outlast the plague. Doomsday is here. Will Alex be up to the challenge, or fall, and rise again as one of the undead?

An exciting apocalyptic thriller that’s intriguing, mysterious, and horrific, Prepared is the debut novel of upcoming author Courtney Konstantin. Stay up all night to read this terrifying tale of pandemics, zombies, and government secrets by one-clicking today!

Released Sept 1st!

Read the first two chapters free!

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About the Author:

CourtneyAs a child, Courtney always had aspirations of being a writer. She participated in journalism in school. At home, she wrote short stories, poetry and filled diary pages. Somewhere along the line becoming an adult took priority over her writing and she went to work in business operations.

Now as a mother to three beautiful children, she tells them all the time to follow their dreams, be whatever they want. Those lessons reminded her how much she loved writing. She finally opened the door to making writing a real priority in her life.

Living outside of Portland, Oregon she loves the green and beauty Oregon offers. When she’s not matching wits with her children, her crazy Siberian Husky or her bi-polar cats, she enjoys binge reading, hikes and touring wineries. Courtney and her husband, the love of her life, enjoy traveling the world whenever they can get a free moment. And cruises….she loves cruising. She’s especially fond of life, laughter and sarcasm – and she’s excited to share all of that and more with her readers!

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Guest Post by Courtney Konstantin:

Writing Process

As an author, I think everyone has their own personal writing process. What works for some, isn’t going to work for others. I have found that conventional processes don’t work for me. If I get too caught up in the planning of things, I will never actually get the writing done. So I stray away from outlines, or standard writing processes. My Brainstorming Bestie and I spend hours texting and emailing about the stories I’m trying to tell. It’s our verbal vomit sessions. When I hit a block, I bounce stuff around to her in a message, and suddenly it’s like the story will come to life. Getting out of the story and throwing around random ideas makes the writing lively and easier to complete. After I have the story close to complete, and I’m in editing mode, I send it off to my Editor in Chief, and she goes through it a few times, letting me know what needs changing. Fresh eyes on the story help with any possibly plot points I didn’t connect or words I just completely missed. Not to mention having the motivation to KEEP GOING.

How Long I’ve Been Writing

At my age *cough* 35 *cough*, it feels like I’ve been writing for forever. Realistically, I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. I had binders full of doodles and poems about family and the love only a teenager can feel angst over. I was in yearbook and the journalism classes, wanting to write in whatever capacity I could. As my life changed over the years, I picked up and put down stories I wanted to write. I had children, and my life changed direction. Writing feels like it’s a part of my soul, so it always came back. This time I refused to allow it to fall behind other things, and I’m loving every second of my stories coming to life in front of me.

Pet Peeves

Amazingly I can’t handle listening to other people eat. Hearing myself eat doesn’t bother me, but if the room is quiet and I can hear other people chewing, I get abnormally annoyed. I recently read about a condition called Misophonia, which is defined as the hatred of sound, specifically human sounds. The rage I can feel when I hear someone eating chips would fall right into one of these categories. That could also extend to the scraping of forks against plates, nails on chalkboards, or the screeching of chair legs on a hard floor. All of these things give me goosebumps and make me feel on the verge of a freak out!

Character Development Process

My characters seem to come to life as I write. I know who the main characters are going to be, but sometimes their personalities change as the events in the story unfolds. New characters sometimes show up, starting as small pieces of the story, but eventually turn out to be more significant. That’s the fun part of the writing, sometimes it has a mind of it’s own.

Future expectations

Prepared is the first book in the Sundown Series. The series planned to be at least a trilogy, with an additional novella. That novella is coming next, and will be about the teenagers that Alex Duncan takes under her wing. It’s going to be a quick, exciting story of survival. I have also dabbled in romantic adventure writing, so who knows….maybe there’s some of that to come!

Advice for aspiring writers

The one piece of advice I have received from authors around me, is always be doing something in regards to your writing. Write, edit, promote…something everyday. My goal is always to write at least 250 words a day, though I rarely only write just that. But on days I’m super busy, or stressed, or blocked, 250 words can be a challenge. I still do it, no matter how rough.

Writing as a Parent

Finding time for anything as a parent, is practically impossible. So I spend nights typing in my bed, or my lunches from my fulltime job, I write. But my kids are my inspiration. One of the reasons I finally made writing is priority is because I always tell my children, “You can be whatever you want in this world. Anything. So find what you love, and DO IT.” When I looked at myself, I realized I wasn’t doing that. So I wanted to be a better role model for my kids, and knew writing had to be real for me, show them passion means something.

 

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The Chronicles of Midway by Kevin Fleming

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Series: The Chronicles of Midway
Author: Kevin Fleming
Genre: SciFi Fantasy
 

The Storyteller’s Book

Book 1

1. The Storytellers Book - ebook_400x600“ … you must realise and accept, neither me, your mum, nor either of you are human.”

Nick and Mel are 14 year old twins living normal lives with their parents. When they discover an ancient book in their attic and read from it, strange events begin to happen around them. Something has been awakened which prompts their parents to take them away to a town called Midway where they reveal to the twins that they are not human. They had been hidden on Earth, brought up as though they were human, awaiting the right moment for the truth to be told.

When their parents mysteriously disappear on their first night away, they are forced to discover for themselves what their roles are in the new lives they’ve been thrown into. They struggle alone as they try to understand and balance their past human lives with their alien destiny. When the book they discovered at their home is stolen, it falls on the twins to recover it. The book has a lot more power than they realised, and if they fail, it will not be they who suffer, but the whole human race.

Along the way, they meet an array of characters, some will become friends, some will become enemies, who can they trust? For now, they can trust only each other.

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Excerpt:

      Far below, and for as far as they could see into the distance, pushing through the mist, was not countryside, but the enormous curve of the Earth itself. You weren’t supposed to be able to see the curve of the Earth horizon unless you were very high above the surface; they’d learned that fact from Mr Schober in school during one of the times he’d been diverted from his lesson plan. So it couldn’t be just an extension of the hill they were stood upon that sloped off miles towards the horizon. That was the Earth, the planet Earth, detached from where they stood, floating and turning ever so slowly on its axis. As incredible as it was, Nick and Mel were not on the surface of that planet, but looking down from somewhere detached. They were somehow high above, and yet here they stood on fresh moist grass, breathing warm sea air. How could they be looking down on the Earth? Especially as they’d arrived here with their parents … in a car!

 

 

The Mines of Kothkish

Book 2

2. The Mines of Kothkish - ebook_400x600When Sebastian, the brother of their friend Celeste is abducted by the rogue faction known as The Malum-Atra, twins Nicholas and Melandra Wigg are first in the queue to help the Shreen Angels in their quest to find and rescue the unfortunate victim.

As the situation escalates and the full extent of the danger to Midway and the whole human race is revealed, Nick and Mel face a race against time to locate where Sebastian is held.

Do the Mines of Kothkish with their glowing caverns of billions of precious stones hold the answer to the mystery of Sebastian’s location? What role does Elaine, the human girl with the unusual gifts have to do with finding the abducted Shreen Angel? And what is the secret that has been hidden in Little Meesden for two hundred years?

Find out as we meet friends and foe, old and new, as once again Nick and Mel fight for the survival of the human universe.

From facing evil snow creatures to diving into lakes of fire, share in the exciting adventures of Nick and Mel in the second of the Chronicles of Midway series, The Mines of Kothkish.

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Excerpt:

      Mel set off walking slowly, taking only short steps and reaching her hands out in front of her to feel for anything to guide her. She felt an uneven rocky wall, cold and damp, but she followed it as it took her in the rough direction she wanted to go. There seemed to be increasing light as she continued, and when she reached the end of the passage and turned, she stood open mouthed in awe at what she could see. Celeste came up alongside her and for a few moments the girls remained silent, looking in wonderment at the cavern before them.
      Everywhere glistened with sparkling, dazzling lights. The low ceiling of rock, the walls and pillars, even the floor glowed with millions of rich, lively colours. They danced and flickered, changing tone and pattern. They moved and pulsated as they exuded flowing waves of living colour in a kaleidoscope of beauty. Everywhere was filled with an intoxicating air of overwhelming purity, far removed from the drab deadness that was above ground. Mel walked slowly, keeping in mind the direction they needed to follow. She ran her hand gently on the cavern wall as she walked and gasped as she felt warmth and life flow up her arm and fill every inch of her body.
      “Celeste, what an amazing place this is.” She felt so happy and relaxed.
      “It is wondrous indeed, Melandra.”
      “Just touching the walls I can feel the colour, the strength, the power and the beauty of it all.”
      Celeste put her hand on the wall near Mel. “I have not seen or felt anything like this before.”
      “I can feel the life of Kothkish all around us, and it makes me want to hug the walls.”
      Mel turned to face the cavern wall and stretched out her arms and rested her body against it as if trying to embrace the cavern. After a moment she turned and sat down on the floor with her back and head resting against the glowing stones.
      “It’s just so comfortable here, Celeste, I can feel words flowing through me, it’s so strange.”
      Celeste sat beside her. “This is a most astonishing place, Melandra, I too can hear words as though voices were singing inside my head; such beautiful music.”
      The girls closed their eyes and relaxed, soaking in the peace that flowed from their surroundings.

 

 

The Warlords of Shreen

Book 3

3. The Warlords of Shreen - ebook_400x600Nicholas and Melandra Wigg have already met Hadad, the only warlord still at large, but now they are faced with a plot to release the other three warlords trapped within collectors.

When Nick and Mel enter the dream room, a story of great tragedy, loss and regret is revealed as they discover Malvern, once a colleague of Rufus, is behind the terror that is the Malum-Atra. Insane with fear and hatred of the human race, he is searching for a way to open the collectors, thus unleashing the warlords upon the world.

What does the secret of Meesden House and the tragic history of the old railway house have to do with preventing Malvern’s evil plans?

Join Nick and Mel in this story of redemption and second chances as they continue their quest to fulfil their destiny in The Warlords of Shreen, the third book of The Chronicles of Midway series.

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Excerpt:

      The door to the dream room creaked open and quiet footsteps walked in. The twins remained on their backs but turned their heads to see who’d entered, already sensing it would be Rufus.
      “I take it the dream room has completed its story.” His sombre tones acknowledging the effect it had had on the twins.
      “Why?” Mel asked, calmly.
      Rufus looked down at her.
      “Why?” she asked again more forcefully.
      “Melandra?”
      She jumped to her feet and stood unsteadily as she regained her balance. “Why does it have to happen this way, Rufus?” She spread out her arms inviting answers.
      “No-one said it would be easy.”
      “Not easy?” She looked at the old man, tears of anger and exhaustion in her eyes. “I can think of ways to describe it other than … not easy.”
      “Melandra, we are in the midst of a struggle that has gone on for thousands of years to lift the human race to its feet. You and your brother, whether you like it or not, have vital roles to play. The fact that Midway has chosen to show you so much is proof that this is the way it is meant to be.”
      Nick was now standing beside his sister. “If we didn’t go back in time to save Douglas, what would happen?”
      “He would die when the bullet hits his heart. He would not return home. He would not marry Eleanor. The four children would not be born. Three of the warlords would not be captured. All four warlords would wreak havoc, resulting in the destruction of humankind. Malvern and his Malum-Atra would succeed. The universe, this universe would cease its existence as no life would remain in it and …” He sighed and looked pleadingly at Nick and Mel. “You know that is not the way it is meant to be.”
      The twins stood defiantly before Rufus looking him in the eye but saying nothing.
      He made one final plea. “The human world is once again reaching out to you.”
      The twins took a last look at Rufus, and knowing what they had to do, walked past him through the door leaving the old man alone in the dream room.

 

 

Carnival of the Otherworld

Book 4

4. Carnival of the Otherworld - ebook_400x600Join Nicholas and Melandra Wigg in one more exciting adventure as they come up against Natasha Moon, Malvern’s evil accomplice, who together lead the Malum-Atra’s desperate final attempt to destroy the human universe.

How would the humans react if Midway was revealed to them?

How would Midway’s lethal automated defence system respond to an Earth attack?

Nick and Mel are faced with these frightening questions and even more horrifying answers as they do battle with sea spiders, Shreen demons and the ancient Defender of Midway.

What were the startling events of several years earlier that unknowingly affected the lives of many humans in Little Meesden? What was the tragedy that befell Celeste’s mother? Will Nick and Mel finally come face to face with their destiny?

Find out, as these and many more secrets are revealed in Carnival of the Otherworld, the final book of the series, The Chronicles of Midway.

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Excerpt:

      Although Nick was receiving more information than he’d heard before of Celeste and the race of angels, more questions seemed to be dropping into his head. “How much do you know about me and Mel?”
      Celeste turned to Nick with a questioning look. “With what regard?”
      “This whole destiny we’re supposed to have. We were brought here suddenly and told the time of our calling was upon us, that we had a destiny to fulfil. Are we really supposed to become custodian or warden, or whatever it is, as people seem to suggest? If so, when? Does your father know the answers? Because if he brought all the Shreen angels back at the same time as we came, he must know more about us than we know ourselves.”
      “I have asked my father many times about you and about all that is meant to happen,” Celeste replied, “but his answers are vague. I do not believe he is hiding information from me, but the more likely explanation is that he doesn’t know exactly what is to happen.”
      “It’s so frustrating knowing there’s so many secrets.”
      “Calling them ‘secrets’ implies people are keeping information from you, but I do not think that is the case.”
      Nick gave a long sigh. “I wish I could open up a set of wings and fly like you.”
      “Why?”
      “I don’t know, maybe so I could escape for a while and be free from all these problems … questions … secrets.”
      “I find no freedom in flying, Nicholas.”
      “You must do.”
      “Why do you think I fly in the middle of the night? I have already told you: because my father forbids me to open my wings in this universe, I must fly without his knowledge.”
      “I know. But just to have that ability must be fantastic.”
      Celeste stayed silent.
      “I can understand Alioth’s concern if he lost his wife, he doesn’t want to lose you the same way.”
      “Now you are beginning to sound like him, Nicholas,” Celeste teased.
      The two smiled at each other.
      In the far distance beyond the silhouetted shape of the castle, the sky was showing its first signs of morning light, but Nick’s eyes were beginning to feel heavy. He pulled his dressing gown tightly around him.
      “I think it is time for me to return to the angels’ suite,” Celeste said, sadly.
      “I’m sorry I disturbed your flight.”
      “There is no need to apologise, Nicholas, I enjoyed speaking with you. I do not often have the opportunity to speak of my own family.”

 

 

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About the Author:
IMG-20170710-WA0001_270x480Kevin Fleming was born and still lives in Liverpool. He worked for a large telecoms company for over twenty years before leaving to run his own business for a further fifteen years.

Having written short or incomplete stories on and off all his life, he believes now is the time to put his full commitment into writing more seriously. Since 2012, he has devoted his time to writing and has completed a four part sci/fi, fantasy series aimed at ages from 11 years old and upwards, called ‘The Chronicles of Midway’.

He is mainly interested in writing supernatural, science fiction and fantasy novels that would appeal to young and old alike. Currently he is working on another series that would combine all these genres.

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Guest Post by Kevin Fleming:

How The Chronicles of Midway came into being

The Chronicles of Midway began life over twenty years ago as a short story I wrote for my children. It existed in its original form for over a decade but was always floating in and out of my thoughts prompting the question: What happened next? As someone who had no patience writing novels, apart from not being able to find the time through running a business, I couldn’t give an answer.
 
What moved me to action, I don’t know, but one day I sat down at my PC and typed ‘Chapter 2’. I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next, but as I typed, the characters started to come alive. Once that happened, they became real people with their own thoughts and ideas, all I did was put a few guidelines in as to what type of world I wanted them living in.
 
I didn’t even know if a second chapter would complete the story, it didn’t, neither did a third or fourth. It took me over twenty chapters to finish the tale, but when I looked at how it ended, I realised the first, original short story that had started the whole thing off, although absolutely crucial to the whole thing, gave too much away. I had to completely re-write the first chapter.
 
My own personal preference when reading a book or watching a movie is that there needs to be an ending, a satisfactory ending. I don’t mean it always has to be ‘happy ever after’, a resolution of any sort will suffice, as long as I’m not left dangling with a load of unanswered questions. With The Storyteller’s Book, although I’d given an ending, there was so much more that had to be dealt with, too many characters with incomplete stories of their own. When I continued through The Mines of Kothkish and The Warlords of Shreen, more characters arrived with their own stories to tell. By now, I had a vague idea where I was going, but even so, it was the characters that were driving the story. I had to take enough control to ensure every question would have an answer, and there would be nothing left that was unresolved.
 
Although the original short story was replaced at the very beginning of book one, I saved it for the very end of book four. In terms of the chronology, the action did take place before The Storyteller’s Book, but it was only revealed near the end of Carnival of the Otherworld. It was the best way it was going to work and saved the biggest revelation to the end.
 
So that, briefly, is how The Chronicles of Midway came into existence. It was an absolute pleasure to write, I enjoyed not knowing what was going to happen next, so it was almost as a reader that I discovered the characters and got to know them. Now that it’s over, it feels sad that they will no longer be occupying my every thought as they struggled with the tasks before them. They have left this universe for good and will never come back … but, as I have no control over them, they are living beings with minds of their own, so I suppose maybe one day they may choose to return to see how we’re getting on.
 
One particular character a felt such sympathy for was Dora who was introduced in The Warlords of Shreen.
 
Despite knowing Carnival of the Otherworld would be the final book, I still didn’t know what the outcome would be for Nicholas and Melandra. Would one of them become Custodian of the Council, if so, which one?
 
The final revelation for me was the fate of Dora, a character introduced in The warlords of Shreen. I had no idea who she was going to be or how I’d provide a satisfactory resolution for her. I felt sorry for her, I’d caused her so much turmoil and pain in her life, I wanted her to have a happy ending. Then I realised there was a vacancy for a scribe four thousand years ago, I was genuinely pleased for her that she found a place where she could fit in and be accepted.
 
I think it was necessary not knowing who the boy was until then.

 

 

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The Cedric Series by Valerie Willis

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Series: The Cedric Series
Author: Valerie Willis
Genre: Epic Fantasy

Cedric the Demonic Knight

Book 1

CedricDemKnt_eBookCoverArt_310x215_416x600Known for hunting the supernatural, no mortal man realizes Lord Cedric is one of Sorceress Morrighan’s abominations. After competing in a tournament, he is wed to a Lady of the Court, Angeline. Cedric’s senses begin to overwhelm him and he struggles to decipher his feelings; Are they a creation of his incubine bloodline or truly heartfelt emotions for the girl who has lost it all to him? He finds himself forced to choose between falling in love or continuing his suicidal quest to kill his creator. Epic battles against all manners of beasts and demons fill this story with memorable antagonists such as Morrighan and her two sisters; Romasanta the Father of Werewolves; Succubus Queen Lillith and many more. Find yourself engulfed in lores and history long forgotten from the 12th Century and beyond.

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Excerpt:

“Let me tell you a story about the girl I lost. Then, perhaps we can be friends? I do miss having someone to talk to since my best friend left me behind.”
“I don’t know, Cedric. You’re a little out of my league at this rate.” Praying he had not offended him, Tony topped off Cedric’s glass, eyeing the missing finger once more. “You can call me Tony.”
“Well, Tony, I’ll make it a Thursday ritual to tell you my story. I have nothing else to do while I wait. It’s been far too long since I last indulged in another’s companionship.” There was a burdensome sigh from his fanged mouth and his eyes dulled. “I lost my best friend not too long ago. The old dog lived far too long for his kind, but I was glad to have someone like that to help me during those hard times. Good friends are hard to come by, especially in my case.”
“So sorry to hear that,” Tony watched as the vacant stare of Cedric’s green eyes seemed far off for several minutes. The weight of pain and sorrow was unmistakable in his gaze. “It’s never good to lose a close friend.”
“Where to start?” The shine had returned to Cedric’s eyes as he finished another glass of vodka and nodded for his refill. “How about the first night I saw her? It’s only appropriate. Like the poet said so many years ago; whoever loved that loved not at first sight…”
“Yes, tell me about this girl of yours.” Tony eagerly refilled the glass waiting to hear what kind of story this was going to be.

 

Romasanta: Father of Werewolves

Book 2

RomasantaCover_397x600Romasanta finds himself a cursed man and struggles with his internal demon, literally. All his troubles start with a stone and after that he will be losing everything he’s ever loved. Faced with clinging on to what little humanity he has, he will lose it many times before reaching the end of his journey. His life’s tale will take you through time to see how every lore, every moment in history tied in with wolves all come back to him. They call him the Ancient One, others simply refer to him as the Father of Werewolves, but we know him by his name, Romasanta. Many battles will be fought before he gets closer to his goals, but will he be ready to finish what was asked of him at the very beginning of his horrible fate. Will he be able to return the Eye of Gaea and free the love of his life from the laurel tree in the Black Forest?

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Excerpt:

An alcove held a glimmering gem about the size of a man’s fist. As he approached, its light became brighter, as if encouraging him to free it from the stone. Gripping it tight with both hands, he steadied a foot on the rocks, putting his full weight into pulling it out. Jerking his weight into it, it broke from the rock face sending him tumbling up against the far wall. As he leaned there, the sunlight hitting his hands, he opened his fist to see what it was that he had claimed for himself.
The gemstone’s light dissipated and within it, a liquid bubbled and swirled.
He had heard rumors of bloodstones found in the area, but this was the first time he had encountered one. The powerful vibrations the gem gave off told him this could be something more. It was of the deepest red he had ever witnessed as it mesmerized him. Heat flowed from it, making the summer temperature feel cool by comparison. Focusing on a sound that tickled his ears it seemed as if a humming sound was coming from it. A curious sound called his attention deeper into it, almost as if a whisper on the wind.
Growling broke him away from the stone. His gaze stopped at two large golden eyes that glowered down at him. Fenrir had found him. Romasanta shivered as the demon wolf took another step closer, baring his enormous fangs.
Staring in awe, one canine was the size of Romasanta’s forearm, if not larger.
Another step forward allowed him to smell the blood of his bull upon Fenrir’s breath as he growled louder. The sound coming from the beast’s chest and muzzle shook the air from Romasanta’s lungs. He had overstepped his boundaries. Fenrir was enraged. The black wolf had planned to lure him out this far the whole time. Pain pounded against Romasanta’s chest, his heart screaming to be set loose as fear washed over him. Fenrir had him; he was to be the next kill. As the monstrous wolf lunged, Romasanta could only raise his arms in defense. The action would do him no good against the demon wolf.
Fangs dug deep into his arms. He screamed from the twisting pain as muscles popped in half, bones rattled as the impact greeted them. Blinding red light stopped the horrendous bite from breaking his bones. Fenrir’s eyes grew wide. The stone pulsed and burned in Romasanta’s hand as a red glow engulfed the demon wolf. Both of them were startled as the massive monster swirled in the air like fog. Horrified, Romasanta watched as the stone absorbed the demon into it.

 

The Oracle

Book 3
Released Sept 1st!

Oracle_CoverArt2016_Lighter02_403x600With Angeline back in Cedric’s arms and the Eye of Gaea in Romasanta’s grip, the next step in their journey begins. All eyes are set on Mt. Parnassus where the Oracle is protected by Delphyne, the mother of all dragons and beasts. Assembling a group of willing patrons, Romasanta leads them to Delphi, Greece where they will cross into a realm void of technology. Only brute strength and magic reign in a place where packs of Mimick dogs, Wyverns and Jaculus still run wild. Meanwhile, back home Lillith takes on a mysterious curse cast on Tony who will have to make a life changing choice. The question weighing on all their minds is if two werewolves, the Incubus King, and a demonized sorceress will live to fight their way into Gaea’s Gate to enter the Otherworld?

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Excerpt:

It wasn’t her first time there in Tony’s bar with its neon sign out front blinking The Lion’s Den through the dark tinted windows. Still, like the last visit here, the smell of smoke overwhelmed her. She had grown sensitive to smell, touch and even her sight looked into dark corners as if lit by an unseen torch. Most of the bar was dark with nothing more than yellow-toned bulbs, her ears hearing them buzzing as they casted shadows on the patrons who loitered under them. It wasn’t very busy, but they had come long before the main rush.
This was her way, Cedric’s way, of slowly helping her grow more comfortable with this new world she knew nothing about.
Everyone had told her their own version of what had happened the day they found the entrance into Avalon. The bar had been destroyed when the portal opened and they leapt in, magic lashing out in angry swipes like a wild animal.
Tony insists Badbh the Battle Goddess had been the front runner in wiping out most of the place. She had destroyed the bar top with the pool table and then the rest of the furniture afterwards impatiently waiting for Avalon to return to its former state, eager to join the battle. None of that damage could be seen. The bar top was glossy black with her reflection staring up at her doe-eyed. The long countertop came off the wall in a large ‘L’ shape from the entrance to where it protected the office door. A new pool table lay under a long fluorescent light and spiraling out from there were several tables and chairs until your eyes hit the walls adorned with booths hugging around them.
The Lion’s Den had become a meeting place for creatures and demons alike.
It was a much needed hub for the rebuilding of a community where they no longer fought for the top of the pyramid of power in this new age. Many hadn’t a clue they were weighed on these imaginary scales, but there was no mistaking they were frightened by those who dominated the top: Lillith, Cedric and Romasanta. Merlin had taken down some of the strongest nonhumans in the world. With the Eye of Gaea keeping him safe from recoils and even curses, he had dwindled their numbers to the point where humanity was choking out the remaining populations to near extinction. All that remained were half-breeds or those who rarely left the many sanctuaries keeping them hidden from modern man.

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signed paperback copy of Oracle with some signed bookmarks followed by 5-10 ebook copies (Their choice from Cedric Series) for runner-ups.

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About the Author:
13466145_10153698556906334_1460444520094580972_nValerie Willis is a sixth generation Floridian who loves crafting novels with elements inspired by Mythology, Superstitions, Legends, Folklore, Fairy Tales and even history. She braved the Independent Publish route at the end of 2012 and has devoted herself to being a pillar of “Self-Publishing How-to” from formatting of both print and digital versions to book cover designs.

Her fantasy romance novels within The Cedric Series is a wonderful blend of genres that appeal to a wide-range of readers whether they like paranormal, fantasy, romance or action adventure. The characters are flawed in mental and emotional ways while being amazing powerful creatures, demons, witches and Gods. Many of the monsters presented in battle derive from Medieval Bestiaries and adds a fun flavor of new yet deeply rooted assortment of creatures such as Coin Iotair, Shag Foal, Cynocephali, and many more.

For Young Adult readers looking for a Dark Fantasy and coming-of-age lessons, Tattooed Angels Trilogy is an ode to her teenage life for those teenagers getting ready to step out in the world on their own. Hotan is a failed reincarnation and is becoming immortal against his will. Life is complicated and often we withdraw within ourselves, shut others out, when life becomes hard. As the story unfolds we learn the importance of opening up and asking for support in all its forms to the people in our lives even beyond friends and family. Each immortal controls amazing powers of Nature, like fire, or elements of Humanity, such as fear.

You can often find this Author hosting workshops about writing and self-publishing in the Orlando, Florida area or working on the next novel. She loves to inspire other writers and creative minds. Be sure to visit her blog for some of the advice she has to offer from a perspective that has influences from Game Development and Graphic Design.

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Guest Post by Valerie Willis:

It was brought to my attention that I should take a moment to talk to the readers and fans of The Cedric Series.

I wish to share my inspirations for writing this story. This will explain a lot on how I came about creating these amazing ideas, characters, creatures, and events as a fictional work with heavy fantasy and romance elements in the mix. If one really wanted to drag out all its genres, I could label this a historical fiction, mythology, or even occult and paranormal. So far, Fantasy Romance has done this work the most justice for my readers’ expectations.

Historical fiction can be applied to several parts throughout the series, whether it’s a  scene, event, or even a reflection of a character and their on-goings. What do I mean by this? Well a lot of you might get the Vladimir Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler references, but it dove deeper than that. King Frederic was the First King of Germans, the lepers in those times did indeed have to ring bells and seek refuge in colonies, Cerdanya was a  real trade town, and so on. There are a ton of subtle hints here and there because I  wanted to bring the unseen, untold side of the history during Medieval Times to a  tangible state.

As far as the Mythology side of this series, I wanted to teach you all my version of forgotten lores, legends, and mythology. I did my best to not use anything that was newer than the 12th Century as I dug deep. Some of the concepts weaved in with my own perception was hard to obtain and justify. There was a lot of book buying, digging through a Medieval-age bestiary, and though I scoured the internet, it failed me often in my journey for research. As I created and developed each character, I did my best to tie them into one or more myths so that I may weave a wondrous story without limits. At the same time, I wanted some of you to get caught in a conversation or sitting in class and have that moment of, “Oh! I know how this myth goes!”

Let me enlighten you all on some of the tales, history, legends and myths stitched into  some of these amazing characters you have experienced so far:

Cedric takes after a very forgotten and neglected epic legend from Medieval Times of the  Russian Knight Hero, Ilya Muromets. Search him, check it out and feel free to compare what you unknowingly learned about this amazing legend. You’ll be excited to see a red haired knight on a black horse as one of the images in the mix.

Included in this was some really obscure Romanian beliefs involving early vampire-like stories. The off-shoots involving the strigoi showed less of fear towards these vampire creatures, but held a tone of sorrow and remorse. People who became these creatures had not finished living their lives (Including not ever getting married) and met the insane stipulations to come back as one of the undying. Truly interesting, and I can only hope to capture that same empathetic tone I had discovered in my digging.

Barushka combines a few tales as well, starting with his name drawn from the Russian  Knight Hero tales. Other than that, I focused heavily on the Shag Foal lores. I was intrigued by the first few variants I stumbled on and found that the internet proved void of information. Amazingly, the hairy phantom horse tales started so long ago, there was  o exact date as to when they began. The folklore was mysteriously always there. Adding to my wonder about this lore was the fact I stumbled on a 1927 Naturalist journal that devoted a section to them. Even this far forward, it was believed it may be an undiscovered species of horse! Despite that, the one thing I saw reflected in all the writing was that a shag foal approaches lone travelers and scares them so much that they run off to their deaths.
Never once did the research say the horse actively killed someone. Morrighan, Badbh,  and Nemaine were derived from the tales involving the evil sorcerer Calatin. This was the older tale involving them that did not mix the three as one entity. There are no words to describe my frustration and disappointment at how many times that Badbh and Nemaine were labeled as alternative names for Morrighan.
Especially when the story of the Legendary Cuchulainn made it clear that they were three sisters each with unique powers. Seeing that Badbh and Morrighan had earned the title of Goddess at some point through the passing of time, I felt the need to give Nemaine her own placement as a Goddess as well.

Romasanta is the most complex of all my characters. His name is taken from a man in history that is not as common as it once was, Manuel Blanco Romasanta. He was the first serial killer to be trailed and as you read book two of the Cedric Series you will see a lot of that history drawn upon. Feeding off the tragic aura, I pulled in both werewolf and wolf-related myths and lores, wanting to show a more accurate flow through a single entity. It was my intentions to bring in familiar aspects and add in the historically  forgotten complications that modern book culture has failed to take into account. Those wellversed in mythology will be able to pick out elements on their own,  but the amount of lore here is wide. Tales of Apollo and Daphne, Pan and Pitip, Fenrir, versipellis,  Romanian beliefs of vampires were caused by a werewolf, Wolf of the Cemetery from  Haiti, Romulus and Remus, and so on. There are deep seeds that I only give you teasers to the mythology that is mentioned here.

As for the monsters, you can say thank you to the Medieval Bestiaries. There are so many wild and crazy creatures in these that are no longer touched that I wanted to bring them to life again. Orms, Jidra, and Aitvaras were a few of the frightening things that travelers spoke of and warned each other about in their explorations. I can only imagine what they may have been based on, but there is a great sense of pride I take in including such monsters into my story. Granted, I have not followed their descriptions exactly and have embellished them with my own imagination, but I hope they make my stories more memorable.

In the end, I encourage my thirsty readers to explore what you’ve read in my Cedric  Series. Search the names, look deeper in the scenes, places, events and discover these in more detail. My goal is to introduce you to the forgotten lores and history while adding my own perspective and imagination into the mix. May this tale make its mark in your heart and open your world to the legacy our ancestors once talked about over the dinner table so long ago!

Happy reading and discovery!
Valerie Willis

 

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Resurgence by Sharonlee Holder

Resurgence by Sharonlee Holder - TOUR

Title: Resurgence
Author: Sharonlee Holder
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: Strong Image Editing
Publisher: Changing Tides Publishing

ResurgenceIt’s been a thousand years since the Fates forced the gods into exile. Now they are preparing for war.

A prophesied weapon is sought by both sides. Eros and the resistance want to use it to win their freedom, while the Fates seek to find it first and destroy it.

Antara is the Tracker Eros needs, and finds herself drawn into a world she never knew existed—with feelings she may not be ready for.

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Excerpt:

 
Antara washed her face, brushed her hair and changed into her own clothing from the bag Murphy had picked up. Emerging from the bedroom, she found the Irishman scooping baked beans out of a pot and heaping it onto three plates of decent looking toast. Ross was once again out on the balcony with his hands curled over the wrought iron railing and staring off into the distance. Not ready to deal with his particular brand of jackass, she padded barefoot over to the kitchen area and parked her butt on a stool at the long granite counter. Murphy pushed a plate toward her and then held out a knife and fork.

“You’ll feel better if you eat,” he advised.

Antara levelled a sceptical look at him after eying the orangey-brown mush on the toast. He tilted a lopsided grin in return and shrugged. “I’m no Gordon Ramsey, but it’ll fill a hole.”

She could point out the various ways a simple meal like beans on toast could be juiced up to restaurant quality, but, right now, she was starving and more than willing to chance whatever crap was put in front of her.

Foregoing the use of eating utensils, Murphy lifted the whole slice of toast from his plate and took a bite. After chewing for a while, he swallowed. “You know he’s trying to protect you, right?”

Antara glanced up from cutting a neat corner off of her toast and arched a brow. “Why? He doesn’t even know me. And if I need protecting from anything, it’s from him.”

Murphy’s attention skated over her head to the raven-haired male on the balcony.

“He can’t help it. It’s uh,” he paused and, catching a sauced bean about to fall from his toast, licked his finger, “it’s in his DNA.”

She frowned and ate the bite she’d cut off. “What is? Being an arsehole and scaring the shit out of a perfect stranger?”

Murphy muffled a gruff sound of amusement with another mouthful. “You’d think after all this time he’d be better with the charm stuff, eh? I’ve seen him smooth talk his way past kings, politicians and into the beds of queens. But you…” Murphy waved his toast at her, and a couple of beans slid off and landed on hers. “You came out of nowhere. You were the one kink in his plan he couldn’t anticipate,” he added and squared her with an unsettling stare.

Antara dropped her gaze and with the tip of her knife scraped the fallen offerings to the edge of her plate. Gross.

“If I’m cramping his style so damn much, then why won’t he let me go?”

“Because first, I need to know what you are,” came Ross’ voice followed by the sound of the glass door sliding closed behind him.

She hated the way the sound of him warmed her in places she didn’t want to think about right now.

“What I am,” she said, pushing her plate of half-eaten food away and swivelling around to give him the stink-eye, “is fairly sure you were raised by hyenas and have little to no social skills.”

Behind her, Murphy made a choking sound and coughed into a fist.

“What I am.” Antara slid off the stool and stalked over to where Ross was standing with his arms folded over his bared chest, fixing her with a narrowed look. “Is so over your fronting and thinking you’re all that, with your expensive car and your la-di-da apartment when your tattoo isn’t even real. Not to mention those creepy, glow-in-the-dark contact lenses of yours.”

An explosive splutter came from behind her. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Murphy snort his coffee all over the granite counter.

Stopping a foot away from Ross, Antara gave him the thorough once over. “Sure. You’re a stud. Let’s give you a round of applause for going to the gym and reading Men’s Health. Maybe if you tried to be nicer, you wouldn’t need cheap tricks to get a girl into your bed.”

Ross stood there, an implacable expression in place, eyes boring into her. If he expected her to fall to her knees and beg for his mercy, he had another thing coming.

In an even, quiet voice, he said only three words. “Murph. Catch her.”

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Author Bio:

Sharonlee HolderSouth African, born and bred, Sharonlee Holder lives in one of the outer suburbs of Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa.Life is a happy and creative jumble of a husband, three grown daughters, one super cute grand-daughter, three dogs, a cat, and a mouthy African Grey parrot.Endless hours at the keyboard are supported by copious amounts of frothy coffee and ‘What ifs?’. Writing breaks are a blend of the big outdoors astride a motorbike, reading or watching anything and everything to do with fantasy, romance and the paranormal.

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Inside the Mind of The Author

I can’t speak for others but when it comes to writing, inside of mine, there is a movie theatre. It’s nothing fancy. No plush velvet seats. No concession stand either. Only a stretch of short summery green grass and a big screen set against a warm night sky.

Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

Sit on the grass, watch the movie and write what I see.

Oh, if only my muse and characters allowed for it to be that simple. Instead, what I often wind up with is something between a Mad Hatter’s tea party and the Looney Tunes on crack. The director is drunk and the producers are playing Pokemon Go.

You’re the studio boss, you say. Take back control and make those puppets dance! Command the ducks to line up and start paying attention.

Problem is, those aren’t ducks at all, they’re squirrels wearing feathers and they’re at a rave. And as for those puppets aka characters? They know where I sleep.

However!

Despite how so often it feels like I’m herding cats and corralling clouds, I love my writing process. I love that my characters talk to me. Love that I see the scenes and chapters playing out in my head across that movie screen. Live for those ‘OMG WHAT DID YOU JUST DO!?’ moments when a character springs a surprise on me or the story takes an unexpected turn. It’s addictive, it’s entertaining and appeals to my inner child.

Writing Resurgence taught me a lot about my process and how my muse works. He – yes, my muse is male – is a mercurial git and doesn’t appreciate being told what to do or how to do it. I am merely a conduit. The channel he has secured through which my characters tell their story. I am not in control and neither should I have the impudence to presume that I am. The times that I have attempted to take control, have been disastrous. The film flies off the movie reel and I’m left staring at a blank screen.

Teaser 3How then, you may ask, is it possible to put together a series such as Blood of The Custodians?

Thankfully, my muse isn’t a total sadist and is as invested as I am. The bones of a broad overview have been revealed to me along with a working understanding of how book two (Renegade) will play out. The details, however, are being provided on a need-to-know basis.

And so, all that is left for me to do, is to throw out that picnic blanket, grab a frothy mug of coffee and a bowl of popcorn, settle in for a movie complete with soundtracks and try to transcribe it all as best I can.

Thanks Bunches!     

 

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Taming the Lion by Kerry Adrienne

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Pack bonds are tested in the Shifter Wars as the lion heir must choose between his legacy and his mate.

Title: Taming the Lion
Author: Kerry Adrienne
Series: Shifter Wars
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 14, 2017
Publisher: Carina Press

 

0317_9781460397510_Taming the Lion_Kerry AdrienneFor Marco, heir to the lions’ throne, seizing control of the Cave of Whispers from the bear clan is more than just a quest—it’s fulfilling the legacy of his breed. But the latest crusade has left Marco gravely wounded in enemy territory and in the hands of Alicia, healer for the bears. An irresistibly sensuous adversary, Alicia presents a serious problem. She carries the scent of a mate.

Drawn to this dominant master of his den, Alicia knows her allegiance has been compromised. His brooding sexuality is testing her defenses, but falling in love with Marco means falling in league with a rival shifter. And turning her back on the bears in a time of war is a lethal move.

Two breeds united by destiny could inspire a peaceful new future for their opposing clans—or ignite the fiercest battle yet and destroy all of Deep Creek forever.

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Excerpt:

“Go away.” His voice barely a whisper on the thick summer air. “I’ll kill you.”

Alicia gripped the scalpel. She could slide it across his neck in a flash, and it’d be over. No one would have to know. A mercy killing, of sorts. Though she’d be lying to herself to categorize it as such.

Her grandmother’s words echoed. Alicia was a healer, not a killer.

From the looks of the lion’s shirt, already dark, yet now wet with blood, he might not recover even with her best efforts to save him. The scent of gunpowder and burnt flesh peppered the blood-laden air. The lions had left him to die under a bush in bear territory, shot in the shoulder.

She shook her head and settled to the ground on her knees. “I’m not going anywhere.” The strength of her voice hid her fear, though he might sense it anyway. His scent was that of a strong and confident shifter, even in his current state.

He looked at her.

She blinked, trying to calm the adrenaline rush that shot through her. His eyes, mesmerizing and wide, lured her in, and she couldn’t turn away. Deep green or maybe brown or even both, they were a color she’d never seen and his gaze was magnetic. Her mouth went dry.

He was her sworn enemy. Sexy, but injured.

She glanced to the sky, but didn’t see Grandmother Hawk. Typical. Recently, she’d started leaving Alicia to figure out the moral decisions on her own, trusting that she would make the right one.

Part of the training.

“Shit.” The scalpel had warmed in her hands, and the sun glinted off the blade in a flash of silvery-white. What would her grandmother do? No doubt, she’d help the lion. Maybe she wouldn’t tell the bears, who she was loyal to, but she’d never let a lion die if she could heal him. She’d never intentionally let anyone die on her watch.

“War is for the weak minded,” she’d always said. Alicia was beginning to think she was right. Why couldn’t shifters all get along?

Because the damn lions wanted the bears’ territory. If they’d stayed in their own area, none of the bloodshed would’ve happened. Even though Alicia had heard the stories of the lions and bears and wolves sharing the cave, the actuality felt as foreign as items in an ancient history book. As remote as a fairy tale.

Fantasy.

“Go.” He turned away, but she could still see the strain on his face as he winced.

His black hair, falling to his shoulders, was damp and matted. How early in the battle had he been wounded? He was bound to be dehydrated.

“I’m here to help. Like it or not.” She slid the scalpel into its sheath and back into the pocket of her pack. Her earlier assessment was correct. The lion was no threat at the moment. He could barely move. The rise and fall of his chest showed his respirations were high and labored. Blood loss was nearing the severe level.

He needed help before his body went into shock.

She looked back toward the trail to make sure she was alone. If Griff or Derek found out about him, the lion wouldn’t need help anymore and her time as medic would be over.

She’d worry about that another day. She had a lion to save.

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About Kerry Adrienne:

MCP-Kerry-Vail-2-small-large-300x200USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne is repped by Marisa Corvisiero at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Kerry writes in many sub-genres of romance including paranormal, science fiction, erotic, m/m, time travel, and many more.
She loves history, science, music, and art and is the mom to three daughters, many cats, and various other small animals. She loves live music and traveling most anywhere. In addition to being an author, she’s a college instructor, artist, costumer, editor, and bad guitar player.

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Guest Post by Kerry Adrienne:

The art of writing a book blurb

Book Blurbs! The mere mention usually makes authors freak out and doubt their ability to even put a sentence together. Perhaps the only thing worse is the ever-dreaded synopsis!

I mean, really, how do you summarize the high points of a 50-80K word novel in a couple of paragraphs, make it interesting, not give away the plot, and not pull out every hair on your body in the process?

I’ve written a lot of blurbs and edited a lot more. I don’t enjoy it. It’s a ton of pressure and I usually put in too many adjectives and adverbs rather than sticking to the bones of the story.

Who are the main characters, what do they want, and why can’t they have it? And what will make a reader think, I need to read this book!

Sounds easy? It’s not. Not for me. Sometimes, I’ll come up with what seems like a good phrase—then it’s the rest of the blurb that becomes impossible. Sometimes, I ramble about the characters and end up chopping 400 words.

With Carina Press, where my Shifter Wars books are published, I don’t have to stress over the blurb, as they have a team to write them. And I think they do a great job. I cannot tell you how much getting an awesome blurb makes an author go, oh crap! Is my story good enough? And then work even harder to make sure!

Another important thing that blurbs need are keywords for searches. For Shifter Wars, seeing “shifter” and other words is really important. Thankfully, Carina knows all about that, too.

I do have to write the synopsis and the book, though. Haha.

How about you? Do blurbs make you want to read or discard a book? Can blurbs be too long? And which sells a book to you more quickly, a fantastic cover or a great blurb?

Thanks for having me!
Kerry Adrienne

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Brainrush Series by Richard Bard

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Genre: Action/Adventure Thriller, Romantic Suspense

An “international thriller with soul.” Features a broad cast of characters with kids playing significant roles. Ideal reading for fans of Michael Crichton, Clive Cussler, James Rollins, Brad Thor, Dan Brown, Matthew Reilly, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, and Vince Flynn.

Brainrush is a story about second chances, and embracing every day of your life as though it’s your last. Called “a terrifically entertaining thriller” by Publishers Weekly, Book-1 of the series was named The Wall Street Journal #1 Bestselling Action/Adventure in their Guide to Self-Published Big Sellers, while Book-2 was on the Top-10 Amazon Mystery/Thriller Top Rated list for 53-straight weeks. This set the stage for the blockbuster release of the third book in the series, which was heralded by Suspense Magazine as “part science fiction, part thriller, part suspense, part love story, and part mystery. It’s got it all and that’s what makes this novel one of the best.” The characters live on in the final four books of the series. Books 4 & 5 were released in 2014, and were met with rave reviews that outpaced even those from the first three books. Book-5 was named “one of the best books of the year” by IndieReader.com. The final two books in the series, No Refuge and Against All Odds are available now, and they promise to keep you on the edge of your seat in a fashion that lives up to what the series is all about—a thought-provoking, soulful and satisfying rush that will keep you gasping long after the final page.

Get the first three books in a box set!!

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Brainrush

Book 1

Brainrush-web25%_401x600Publishers Weekly heralded the first book in Richard Bard’s Brainrush thriller series as “terrifically entertaining” and “inventive and compelling.” It went on to earn The Wall Street Journal’s #1 Action/Adventure slot in the Guide to Self-Published Big Sellers list.

Before he slid into the MRI machine, Jake Bronson was just an ordinary guy with terminal cancer. But when an earthquake hits during the procedure, Jake staggers from the wreckage a profoundly changed man, now endowed with uncanny mental abilities.

An ocean away, Luciano Battista wants a piece of Jake’s talent. Posing as a pioneering scientist, the terrorist leader has been conducting cerebral-implant experiments in a sinister quest to create a breed of super jihadist agents…and Jake’s altered brain may be the key to his success. But Jake refuses to play the pawn in an unholy war–and when an innocent woman and autistic child are taken hostage to force his cooperation, he embarks on a jihad of his own. Jake and his band of loyal friends are thrust into a deadly chase that leads from the canals of Venice through Monte Carlo and finally to an ancient cavern in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan–where Jake discovers that his newfound talents carry a hidden price that threatens the entire human race.

An “international thriller with soul.” Ideal reading for fans of Michael Crichton, Clive Cussler, James Rollins, Brad Thor, Dan Brown, Matthew Reilly, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, and Vince Flynn.

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The Enemy of My Enemy

Book 2

Enemy-web25%_401x600The Enemy of My Enemy (Brainrush 2) became the Amazon #1 Top Rated (best reviewed) Mystery/Thriller, AND the #1 Top Rated Action/Adventure within one month of its release. It maintained the #1 or #2 slots for 10 straight months.

Bestselling author Richard Bard returns with his highly rated Brainrush thriller series, pitting hero Jake Bronson against his jihadist nemesis–and a new bioweapon that threatens the soul of every mother in America.

When a freak accident gave Jake Bronson near-superhuman mental powers and landed his loved ones in the crosshairs of an Islamic terrorist, the only way out was with guns blazing. But Jake was unable to put a stop to his nightmares or his murderous nemesis, Luciano Battista, in that ferocious Afghan mountains showdown. Now the terror czar and his minions have brought the fight to American soil–along with the most terrifying bioweapon that has ever threatened the free world. They demand vengeance, and Jake’s family and friends are caught in the crossfire.

From California’s beaches and Mexico’s deserts to the depths of a raging underground river and the treacherous Venezuelan jungle, Jake and his unlikely alliance of combat veterans and gangsters wage a rolling war of wits, weapons, and indomitable will–to rescue those they love, to save America from extinction, and to stop a madman’s bid for global conquest dead in its tracks.

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Beyond Judgment

Book 3

Beyond-web25%_401x600With Publishers Weekly heralding the first book in his Brainrush thriller series as “terrifically entertaining” and “inventive and compelling,” and Book-2 holding a death grip on the #1 or #2 slots of the Amazon Top-Rated (best reviewed) Mystery/Thriller and Action/Adventure lists for 10 straight months, Beyond Judgment, the third in the series, sees hero Jake Bronson at the mercy of his hidden past.

After waking up with amnesia from a six-year coma, Jake Bronson’s past is lost to him. But that doesn’t mean the past hasn’t been looking for him–or that it will let him live when it finally catches up.

Jake’s placid, anonymous life in Italy is shattered by the arrival of an assassination squad hell-bent on eliminating him–and he has no idea why he’s in their crosshairs. He’s saved only when an American scientist intervenes, wielding strange technology that briefly reactivates Jake’s dormant memories and deadly skills. As unknown enemies continue to hound Jake’s every step, the scientist helps him reconnect with lost friends and loved ones who believed him long dead.

Any happy reunion is forfeit, though, as Jake’s murky history and mysterious talents conceal a terrible secret that–should it fall into the wrong hands–could trigger the extinction of the human race. Averting this apocalypse means Jake must risk everything to reawaken his true self and stop an ancient order from unleashing humanity’s ultimate judgment.

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Brainchild

Book 4

Brainchild-web25%_401x600The first three books in #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Richard Bard’s Brainrush series garnered over 2,000 Amazon 5-Star reviews, setting the stage for the continuing story spanning three continents and two more books. With Brainchild (Brainrush 4) called “a high-speed thriller that ignites pages with scenes of action and suspense” by Kirkus Reviews, and Smoke & Mirrors (Brainrush 5) named “best book of the year” by IndieReader.com, this mind-gripping adventure is sure to capture the imagination long after the final heart-stopping chapter.

A gifted boy forced to grow up too fast… A father who will do anything to protect him… A madman bent on destroying them both.

In Amsterdam, a visionary scientist is laying the groundwork for a cybernetic life-extension project that will transfer individual consciousness to a personalized avatar. Halfway around the world, his brilliant grandson is secretly planning to use the same technology to infiltrate the world’s most secure networks. But the scientific advances necessary to perfect the brain-to-computer interface are slow in coming, too slow for the aging founder of the Everlast foundation–who may die before realizing his dream of immortality–and too slow for his ruthless grandson, who will stop at nothing to attain the recognition that is his birthright.

Caught in the middle are Jake Bronson and his seven-year-old son, Alex, whose combined mental gifts might provide the key to leapfrogging the impasse.
When Jake’s family and closest friends are simultaneously abducted in a globally coordinated kidnapping scheme, he races across two continents before uncovering the first clue to their whereabouts, unaware that his hostage son and teenage siblings crash-landed in the jungles of South China, where they must find every ounce of their courage and wits to survive the wilds and escape the ruthless drug lord who is hot on their heels. Can a seven-year-old boy learn to kill to save his family?

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Smoke & Mirrors

Book 5

Smoke-web25%_320x480Named “Best Book of the Year!” by IndieReader.com

Smoke & Mirrors (Brainrush 5) is the exciting conclusion to Brainchild, Book-4 of the Brainrush series.

A gifted boy forced to grow up too fast… A father who will do anything to protect him… A madman bent on destroying them both.

Jake Bronson and his seven-year-old son, Alex, possess mental gifts that could provide the missing link to a cybernetic life-extension project that will transfer individual consciousness to a personalized avatar. But those same gifts are sought by a Chinese underworld mastermind who will use them to infiltrate the world’s most secure networks.

As the story continues from Book-4 of the Brainrush series, Alex and his brother and his sister are lost, and Jake’s wife and best friends have been taken hostage. Jake will risk everything to save them, and he is thrust into a frantic race that takes him from the back alleys of Hong Kong to the depths of the South China jungles, where he must lever every scrap of his failing abilities to rescue his loved ones and crush a madman’s plans to bring the world to its knees.

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No Refuge

Book 6

No-Refuge-25%_320x480#1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Richard Bard, who entertained fans with his wildly successful Brainrush thriller series, now unleashes the heart-pounding series finale in a two-book ride that will take your breath away.

Jake Bronson’s family and friends are mourning him. They’d watched as he sacrificed himself so their lives could return to normal. But normal wasn’t to be. The megalomaniac whom Jake had killed during his suicide assault left a legacy of videos that damn Jake and everyone associated with him, leading to a price being put on their heads, dead or alive. They go to ground, unaware their every move is being tracked by a new breed of young, tech-savvy jihadists about to unleash vengeance on America’s homeland–with Jake’s family and the unsuspecting citizens of Los Angeles in their crosshairs.

As the jaws of the terrorist trap begin to close, Jake’s eight-year-old son, Alex, faces a threat of his own. He carries a deadly secret that endangers the world, and now that his father is dead, Alex is the only one who can deal with it. He slips away to heed the call of unearthly visions that demand his presence, and his journey draws him to the back alleys of Bogota, Columbia, where he encounters a group of terminally ill orphans. One of their siblings has been abducted by child traffickers. Alex can’t ignore their cry for help, and the unlikely alliance plans a nothing-to-lose rescue mission that has little chance of success.

But the bloodthirsty outcry against Alex’s family and friends reaches beyond those who wish them harm, as do the visions that reveal their dark secrets to Alex. Help is on the way…

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Against All Odds

Book 7

AAO-web25%_401x600The highly anticipated series finale to the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller Publishers Weekly called “a terrifically entertaining thriller!”

In this conclusion to Richard Bard’s popular Brainrush series, Jake Bronson’s family and friends face their biggest threat ever. The startling challenges revealed in No Refuge (book 6) are coming to a head, and the team must wrest every resource available to them in hopes of preventing a terror-driven cataclysm unlike anything America has seen.

But the menace from within America’s borders pales by comparison to the global threat revealed to 8-year-old Alex Bronson in a series of otherworldly visions. And Alex isn’t the only one targeted by the mind-bending revelations.

The stakes are higher than ever. The fates of America and the world hang in the balance, and Jake Bronson’s family and friends must risk everything to tip the scales against evil.

Releases September 12th!!

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Gifted

A Brainrush Novella

Gifted-web25%_401x600From #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Richard Bard comes a heart-pounding adventure of love, loyalty, and survival – as a gifted child faces the ultimate question of whether or not he can kill in order to save his loved ones.

A gifted 7-year-old boy and his teen siblings are ripped from their peaceful lives–kidnapped by a sinister organization determined to get back at their father. But when their plane crashes an ocean away in the bear-infested jungles of South China, the mysterious motive behind their abduction is the least of their problems, and they must lever every ounce of their courage and wits to survive the wilds and escape the ruthless drug lord who is hot on their heels.

Important Note: Gifted is a compilation novella taken from the Brainrush thriller novels Brainchild and Smoke & Mirrors, which are books four and five of the series. If you’ve read those full-length novels, then you’ve already read most of the contents of this novella. If you’d prefer to read the entire series from start to finish, then you’ll be happy to learn that Brainrush (Book-1) is currently available FREE.

FREE on Amazon!

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About the Author:

BARD photo crop interiorRichard Bard draws on his own experiences as a former USAF pilot and cancer survivor to craft compelling characters who risk it all for love and loyalty. Born in Munich, Germany, to American parents, he joined the United States Air Force like his father. But he left the service when he was diagnosed with cancer and learned he had only months to live. He earned a management degree from the University of Notre Dame and ran three successful companies involving advanced security products used by US embassies and governments worldwide. Now a full-time writer, he lives in Redondo Beach, California, with his wife and remains in excellent health.

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Guest Post:

Hello, and thanks for being here! It’s all about making new friends, and introducing you to characters whose journeys will keep you turning pages until late into the night. In that spirit, I wanted to tell you a little about me and my buddy, Jake Bronson.

I lived in a 400-yr old apartment overlooking a canal in Venice, Italy, when I started writing Jake’s story in Brainrush. I’d visited the Old City several times before in my life, but each departure left me with a yearning to return. So, when I came back the next time, I did so with a determination to feature the city’s haunts in my very first novel. I walked the cobblestones late at night, absorbing the sights, the sounds, the smells, the history, allowing my mind to run free. The following mornings I’d hover over my laptop at outdoor cafés, sipping cappuccinos as I breathed life into characters who’d lived in my mind for so many years.

The thriller that unfolded on the page was about second chances, and living every day of one’s life as though it was the last. It was a natural first step in my writing since Jake Bronson’s emotional journey—as an Air Force pilot who faces a terminal diagnosis—paralleled my own. In his case, however, I gave Jake a parting gift by endowing him with extraordinary mental abilities after he suffered a traumatic accident at the beginning of the book. I drew that aspect of the story from real-life incidents, where ordinary people develop uncanny abilities after a blow to the head—to become what are known as “sudden-savants.”
Jake’s journey grew from there, and before long I had him swept up in a race against time to save a woman and her autistic child from the clutches of a megalomaniac. The story takes him from the beaches of California, to the canals of Venice, the Grand Casino of Monte Carlo, and finally to an ancient cavern deep in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan, where he discovers his gift carries a price tag that threatens the entire human race.

I loved weaving that first tale. Imagine my excitement when Publishers Weekly called it “A terrifically entertaining thriller,” and it became the #1 bestselling Action/Adventure in The Wall Street Journal. Of all the novels I’ve written, it’s still my favorite. If you’ve read it already, or are about to, I hope you “hate” it as much as the reader who wrote:

Dear Mr. Bard, I hate your books! They keep me up late at night and irritate my wife! Once I read a few sentences I am hooked and can’t put it down! I have just downloaded the next one in the series… How am I going to get anything else done because of these page turner books???

That’s an actual email message I received in March of this year. I loved hearing it – so if you have the same reaction to Jake’s story, I hope you’ll reach out and let me know. That’s the kind of ‘hate’ mail this author can’t wait to get! And guess what? The fan who sent that letter has since written back to tell me his wife is now hooked on the series as well. Made my day!

 

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