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Book Review: Triangle of Hope by Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer’s Triangle of Hope follows three friends who have been battered by life. They wind up going on an adventure to a small Irish Town. The book is gripping, and there isn’t a dull moment throughout. Without giving away spoilers, I can say that this is a book that will stir your emotions and stick with you. The stories of the three characters are woven together, and just when you think there can’t be yet something else to knock the characters back – ell, you’ll have to wait and see what happens. I don’t say this lightly – this book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys literary fiction. 

Contemporary Fiction

Date Published: December 1, 2014

 Publisher: Pacific Books

Life grinds you down, but there’s always hope–and sometimes it can come in the strangest of ways….

After being battered by life’s cruelness, three unlikely friends find themselves drawn to a small Irish town seeking something–anything. Finding solace in one another, their quest throws them together and they make a courageous stand.

Clint Westerly was a success until a choice he makes blows his world all apart. Tanya Wilshire is broke and hell-bent on committing to her mother’s final deathbed request. 84-year-old Seamus Harrington needs to right an ancient wrong before time runs out.

Together, this unlikely trio of unexpected allies forms a Triangle of Hope against all odds, their disparate stories uniting for a thrilling conclusion that will leave the reader breathless.

If you love feel-good reads with happy endings, then TRIANGLE OF HOPE is for you. It is “a book that will stay with you forever.” – Wanda Hartzenberg, Wanda’s Amazing Amazon Reviewers

It is a “fantastic read that will pull at your heart.” – Lauren Alumbaugh, Goodreads librarian

SEMIFINALIST FOR THE 2015 KINDLE BOOK AWARD IN LITERARY FICTION

EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK:

1 – Los Angeles, California

His impending death hung in the air like thick smog, smothering everything in its path, obscuring a parade of ups and downs, the unevenness of thrills and chills that defined his life’s existence. It was eerie and scary, but also rather comforting, much like being in a warm bed on a cold night, like shivering while being filled with excitement at what was going to happen next. The news could very easily have been broadcast to those of his past and present, but he had made certain that all the speakers had been turned to mute. He had made the firm decision to meet his destiny without any chance of intervention by anyone. He was all alone in this, his final act.

The hotel room was a bit dark with all the lights switched off, but outside the window the sky was as bright blue as Cinnamon’s eyes had been. At least that’s the way it looked to Clint Westerly. For some reason his mind had suddenly flashed on Cinnamon of all things. Cinnamon had been the perfect cat. Paul Newman eyes, he had called them, which sparkled in the sunlight and glistened in the dark. Such beautiful eyes. Such a wonderful cat. Such a pity that eighteen years was all the time he had had to frolic through the world. Cinnamon had been the perfect cat, the perfect companion. The little cat had been much more than a friend. He had actually been like a son to both him and Sheila. Anybody who knew them would surely concur. That’s just the way things were in their wonderful world.

Their world. What a crock! What world? Everything gone now, vanished, disintegrated into thin air, the tiniest particles vaporized into non-existence. Not a remnant remaining except for the tortured thoughts brought about by that one memory that refused to disappear no matter how painfully the ever increasing toll that it took on his physical body and on his ever working brain, overwhelming him in the process, the remembrance bringing him to his knees, shutting out all other thoughts as well as the rest of the world. Darkness and clouds made up the present, and there would be no future. How could there be? Not with the ever painful memory tearing at his innards, wreaking havoc with the person he had once been. Obliterating the world he had once known. Snuffing out all that he had loved, all that had made up the world in which he had once so happily lived.

 He took a big swig from the large snifter of XO Remy Martin he held in his right hand, the cognac warming his throat at it snaked its way into his stomach, his left hand resting on the windowsill. There was so much beauty in the world. Just look at the trees gently blowing in the breeze. Look at how the leaves seem to glisten as they sway in the gentle breeze. See how the clouds out on the horizon take on the never-ending shapes of the imagination, slowly changing shapes and colors in an endless kaleidoscope of wondrous features, a galloping antelope, a smiling child, a mighty elm. All one had to do is look, and wonderful scenes could be seen and imagined, constantly evolving from one glorious image to the next.

Remember the giggles of little tots’ faces, the tail wagging of puppies, the sound of rain on the roof, the softness of a newly made bed, the warmth of a fire on a winter night, the smell of coffee in the morning, the moonlit sky, a beautiful sunset, the sound of waves crashing against the shore, the first gulp of water on a thirsty day, the move-it-forward power of a smile from a total stranger.

Yes, life could be so good…so why did it have to end this way?

Where to Purchase Triangle of Hope

 

3 Anthologies to Support Great Causes

 
 
 
 
 

Three Anthologies to Support Three Great Causes 

 
 
 
 

Publication Date: October 4, 2013

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Charity: Exotic Feline Rescue Center

What is it about the tiger that so captivates? Or about the jaguar that enchants? Why are we so drawn to the lethal grace of the large feline predators of the world?Get ready to purr, growl and roar along with six paranormal romance authors in this anthology of love and shapeshifting kitties. After reading these six unique tales, from the sexy to the sweet, you’ll be guaranteed to be saying… Here, Kitty Kitty…

* * *

In ‘His Jaguar Princess’ by A. Star, jaguar shifter Selene Peters can’t deny her feelings for the tycoon Lucas King. Somehow, he’s penetrated her barriers and become more than just a client, but loving a human is dangerous and she fears her past repeating itself. Could he help her overcome the past or will she sacrifice her happiness and succumb to it? Not if he has anything to say about it…

In ‘In Our Nature’ by Jessica Nicholls, when Mira’s privacy and independence are threatened, she can be very nasty. Daniel is an expert on American mountain lions. His assistance is requested after an ‘incident’ on Mira’s front lawn. When the two meet, they recognise each other in more than one way.

In ‘Divine Passage’ by Dariel Raye, Kimani, a breeder with the power to preserve the human race, must depend on her guardian, Ahkil, a black panther shifter with more than one reason to distrust humans, but his secrets could change the course of her life forever.

In ‘The Distance Between’ by Mia Darien, she’s traveled thousands of miles, looking for a safe place. He’s brought her thousands of miles, looking to not be lonely any more. But they both have secrets. Can they bridge the distance between, and find what they’re looking for in each other?

In ‘Hannah’s Fate’ by Abigail Owen, cougar shifters have allied into groups, together in a rocky alliance to protect themselves against other shifters. Hannah Keller becomes the targeted Mate for Kyle Carstairs, the treacherous soon-to-be Alpha of another group. Meanwhile, Nick Jensen, her childhood hero and longtime secret crush, has returned home with hopes of claiming Hannah for his own. But will he be in time to rescue her from the Carstairs’s schemes?

In ‘Full Moon’ by B. R. Kingsolver, the full moon can get a girl stirred up, especially with a handsome cowboy paying her way too much attention. If it wasn’t for those damned werewolves causing trouble and getting in the way…

 

 

 
 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Publication Date: May 10, 2014

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Charity: American Red Cross

Romance can be found among the darkest of times. In this anthology, you’ll find four tales of sweet romance about those who dedicate their time, and sometimes even their lives, to helping others. 100% of the proceeds go to the American Red Cross.
 
“Cross My Heart” by Abigail Owen
 
“A Healing Touch” by Jessica Nicholls
 
“Lesson Learned” by Crystel G. Smith
 
“Hope” by Mia Darien
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Publication Date: August 1, 2014

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Charity: Wounded Warrior Project

Science Fiction and Fantasy, two genres that are both unalike and inextricably entwined, stretching the imagination to the expansive boundaries of time, space, and magic. These boundaries are often filled with warriors and war, fights and causes worth fighting for, and that’s what you’ll find in this anthology.
 
From fighting aliens in space to demons in a world of magic, you’ll find many stories to suit your starship’s entertainment collection or your favorite bard at the local tavern…or just your imagination here and now. Sit back and enjoy twelve stories from authors both familiar and new!
 
100% of the proceeds to be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.
 
 
“SARAH” by Lee Pletzers
“The Summoned Rise of the Phantom Knights” by Kenny Emmanuel
“Border Patrol” by BR Kingsolver
“The Twelve” by Mia Darien
“Ghosts” by Christi Rigby
“Outside the Walls” by A. L. Butcher & Diana L. Wicker
“My Brother’s Keeper” by Raphyel M. Jordan
“With Our Own Blood” by Jessica Nicholls
“The Connection” by Crystal G. Smith
“A Fly on the Wall” by Chantal Boudreau
“Slacker” by Doug Dandridge
“The Light Bless Thee and Keep Thee” by Mason Darien
 
 
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Book Review: Flirting With Fire by Tara Quan & Giftcard Giveaway

*My apologies, this was supposed to go up at 8:00 this morning. Instead, I fell asleep (and was out)after several days with severe sleep deprivation due to meeting the needs of a very cute, but not sleepy almost-one-year-old Baby Girl who finally decided that sleep was needed. 🙂 But here’s my review!*

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Who doesn’t like Halloween? It’s certainly my favorite holiday. So, when I was offered the opportunity to check out a Halloween-themed book, I thought “Sure, why not?” (Of course if you know me, and you’ve seen my living room, you know that there aren’t many books I won’t jump at the chance to review.) If you enjoy sexy stories – and stories that get the fires running, this is one that you should check out. It’s fun, it’s enticing, it’s a delight. Tara Quan always does a great job of breathing life to her characters, and you feel like you’re right there with them as the story goes on. In fact, when the story ends, you almost miss the characters (especially, if like I did, you sit down and read the story in a single sitting). I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

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Title: Flirting With Fire

Series: A Witch’s Night Out #1

Author: Tara Quan

Publication Date: October 24, 2014

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

Apprentice witch Catalina Gato is prohibited from assuming her human form in front of her new employer without his express permission. Since he doesn’t know he’s a warlock, he can’t give it, leaving her in a familiar’s limbo. To make matters worse, she’s barred from leaving his house, and her attempts to enlighten him of his true nature results in burnt notes, charred walls, and exploding laptops.

On All Hallows’ Eve, she gets one night of freedom. Deciding some no-strings-attached sex might take the edge off the intense attraction she feels for her clueless boss, she signs up for Madame Eve’s service. When she meets her masked mystery date at the Castillo Capital, she realizes she might have gotten much more than she bargained for.

After being gifted a one-night stand from his annoying best friend, attorney Leo Difuoco reluctantly ventures to the Castillo Capital to celebrate Halloween. When he meets his oddly familiar green-eyed date in a Cat Woman costume, flames literally ignite, sparks magically fly, and life as he knows it changes forever.

 

 

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 Buy Links

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Layla Tarar  Photo by Melissa GoldenAuthor Bio

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, Tara enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, paranormal worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Armed with magical powers or conventional weapons, her characters are guaranteed a suspenseful and sensual ride, as well as their own happily ever after.

 Social Media Links

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest  |  Google+ | Amazon

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Ashley’s Dream by B.R. Kingsolver Book Blast & Giveaway

Will she follow her heart and choose love, or follow her life-long dream?
Publication Date: TBD
Genre: New Adult Romance

Ashley isn’t looking for love. She has a dream to travel the world, and getting tied down by a man doesn’t fit into her plans. Relationships always get so complicated, and men always lie. It’s better just to have some fun and no one gets hurt.When she graduates college and the job offers don’t come rolling in, her life continues as usual: working as the manager of a college town bar and hanging out with her friends. Then a tragic event pushes her to take a chance on romance.

But things are not always as they seem, and Ashley’s white knight has secrets. Her friends try to tell her something isn’t right, but her common sense is smothered by his kisses and soft endearments.

When the job offer she has always wanted arrives, will she follow her heart and choose love, or follow her life-long dream?

This book is part of the Kindle Scout program, where you get to nominate the books you want to see published! Go vote and help see this book get published!
 
 
 

Kindle Scout

 
 
 
 
 
 
I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, among writers, artists and weird Hispanic and Native American myths and folklore. I’ve lived all over the U.S. and earned a living doing everything from making silver and turquoise jewelry, to construction to computers. I currently split my time between Baltimore and Albuquerque.

I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, and somehow found a career working with computers.
 
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads
 
 
 
 

 

The Rebel Series by Lance Erlick Kindle Blast, Giveaway and First Chapter Excerpt

As a pawn in a bigger game, who and what can Annabelle trust?
Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Voices in 16-year-old Annabelle Scott’s head aren’t God or signs she’s going mad—yet. Despite being a Mech Warrior recruit, she rebels against her post-Second Civil War society by not only refusing to kill Morgan, a boy she’s attracted to, but also helping him to escape. After officially kicking her out of the program, Commander Samantha Hernandez gives Annabelle auditory implants and contact cams for an undercover assignment to investigate her corrupt police captain. Morgan hacks the implants to plead for her help in freeing his brother from a heavily guarded geek institute.

Unable to get either her commander or Morgan out of her head, Annabelle can’t confide in her adoptive mom, her beloved sister, or anyone else. While this rift tears at her bond to her sister, circumstance prevents her from searching for her birth mother or who tried to assassinate her adoptive mom.

As a pawn in a bigger game, who and what can Annabelle trust, including whether her mission is the commander’s vendetta? Can she find a way to help Morgan and discover the link between the attempted assassination, the geek institute, and her corrupt police captain without leading Morgan into a trap, being exiled and separated from her family, or getting herself and those she cares about killed?

The Rebel Trap was written as a standalone story, but also follows Annabelle’s adventures from The Rebel Within.

 

Publication Date: March 25, 2013
Sixteen-year-old Annabelle Scott lives under the iron rule of a female-dominated régime that forces males to fight to the death to train the military elite. When pressed into service as a mechanized warrior to capture escaped boys, Annabelle stays true to herself by helping some escape. Her defiance endangers everyone she loves and thrusts her to a place of impossible life and death decisions.
Publication Date: June 12, 2013
Geo Shaw is a young Outlands frontiersman and a sworn enemy of the female-dominated Federal Union. Nineteen-year-old Annabelle Scott is a Union Mechanized Warrior charged with killing Outland rebels. During a skirmish, she should kill Geo but instead lets him escape, which mystifies them both. In a political power play, Annabelle is given to the Outland Warlord as a bride. She has no other choice than to get Geo’s help—but now there’s a bounty on him and his father. Betrayed by their own people, Annabelle and Geo have to overcome mutual distrust to rely on each other in order to survive.
Tell us a little about yourself and the story you’re in. What should we know about you?
Annabelle: That’s a bit tricky, you see, because everything I say and do is being watched and overheard, as you will learn in The Rebel Trap. Here, let me mask the connection. There.
I didn’t ask for any of this, really. I’m sixteen, forced to be a cop intern, recently arrested for fighting, actually protecting my younger sister Janine from a bully. For that, they kicked me out of high school, and coerced me into trying out for the elite Mechanized Warriors.
I guess it all began when that same Mech outfit took me from my birth mother when I was three. That pain still gnaws at me every night. It’s an ache I can’t share with my sisters, even Janine, with whom I share most things, well, before I got these tracking devices implanted. See, she doesn’t know we’re not biological sisters. When her mom adopted me after my mother was taken away, she made me promise to keep my adoption secret. We have entirely too many secrets to keep, which is hard now that my Mech commander can see and hear everything I do.
To add to the secrets, my commander officially kicked me out of the Mechs and kept me on as a spy to ferret out secrets within a corrupt police department run by my captain during my cop intern days. Did I mention that males have either fled to the Outlands or wound up in prison or as targets to train Mech warriors in the arena? Well, boys are outcasts and I’d never seen one until six weeks ago. When he was caught, I couldn’t kill him in the arena, which was the official reason for kicking me out of the Mechs. Now he has hacked into my implants to pester me to help his younger brother.
I just want to scream, but that bring two voices. My commander would tell me to suck it up. Morgan would be more consoling while adding pressure to help.
What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won’t tell.
Annabelle: It was a bit strange at first climbing into a guy’s head, but I found him quite open to listening to my tale, most of the time. Whenever he trotted off, letting his imagination take hold, I had to reel him back in to telling the story as it happened. You know how guys like to embellish?
One of the hardest parts for him to get was how I could remember events when I was three. He kept telling me no one remembers back that far. Well, one night, I decided to roll the tape of that day long ago, over and over. Let’s just say he looked horrible in the mirror the next morning. After that, he became a better listener.
Do you like being a character in the book?
Annabelle: I like that the author wrote down my story. After being unable to share even my thoughts while my commander was monitoring me, it’s a relief to finally talk about what happened. It was important to get it down before I began to doubt the mess I’d gotten myself into. I also needed to let others know in the hope they could prevent what I had to go through.
How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.
Annabelle: I am reminded of something I once heard, something like this: “All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to stand back and let it.” Yes there are problems and perhaps more than we deserve, but my adoptive mom taught me to never give in. I try to live up to her spirit as a leader of the opposition in a society that ostracizes those who don’t toe the line.
What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?
Annabelle: I was glad the author told my stories in The Rebel Within and The Rebel Trap. I appear as co-protagonist in Rebels Divided. I have other stories to tell, but I can see the author has taken to writing a new series. These stories take place in a world faced with abrupt climate change, with an interesting girl protagonist I’d like to get to know. Perhaps after that I’ll bug him to tell more of my stories.

 

Lance Erlick grew up in various parts of the United States and Europe. He took to stories as his anchor and was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future. He studied creative writing at Northwestern University and University of Iowa.


He writes science fiction, dystopian and young adult stories and likes to explore the future implications of social and technological trends. He’s the author of The Rebel WithinThe Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he flips traditional exploitation to explore the effects of a world that discriminates against males and the consequences of following conscience for those coming of age.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

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EXCERPT–First Chapter of The Rebel Trap

 

I won. I lost. I’m out. I’m in. I cannot tell a soul. It was enough to spin my head, to make me wish I was back in that zoo of a high school I just left.

My thoughts darkened with the implications of what I’d done and the commitment I’d just made. I hurried out of Commander Hernandez’s sparse office; even the khaki-colored corridors looked darker than I remembered only an hour before. The drab lobby of the Tenn-tucky Mechanized Warrior compound brimmed with sister warriors, a gauntlet I had to squeeze through on my way out. Yet, I could no longer call them “sister” anything.

“Loser!” someone yelled. It sounded like one of Dara’s girls. Defeating the amazon bully in the mech tournament final hadn’t silenced her, or her posse.

“Hey, Annabelle,” Dara yelled, “how’s it feel to wash out?” She stood a head taller than the other girls like some ruling monarch.

Joke’s on you. I took deep, steady breaths while I marched toward the exit. Don’t get into a fight, I reminded myself. That was what she wanted, bringing up how, after the tournament, I’d refused to kill my male opponent in the separate arena final.

Hot, locker-room bodies surrounded me, sweat-soaked from their own arena fights to the death against boys pumped up with steroids and chemical enhancers to make the challenge even tougher. Some two dozen male corpses lay in the arena morgue, testament to the training and bravery of these recruits. Unlike them, I couldn’t bring myself to kill Morgan for sport, even when I had him pinned in a chokehold. For that failure, they took my title and kicked me out of the Mech Corps. Well, to hell with them.

Things weren’t that simple, though. They never were for me.

“You don’t have what it takes,” Dara shouted. The amazon’s large face tightened like a monstrous fist. She growled, “Weakness finally caught up with you.”

“They’ll strip away your title,” scrawny Margarite said from behind Dara.

I inched forward through the crowd, my eyes fixed on the tinted, bulletproof door that promised freedom. Don’t fight. Only a few more feet.

Dara stepped in front of me to block my exit. “You know what that means? I’ll have the title that’s rightfully mine. All that work for nothing. Sucks, doesn’t it?”

Not like getting a title you didn’t earn.

Brandy, my closest mech friend, cowered in the corner, face hidden beneath auburn curls. She brushed the hair aside and glanced up, eyes pleading. I hated letting her down. During training, she’d latched onto me as her lifeline. I sensed she wanted to talk, to get answers, but I was a pariah. I embarrassed the entire program by winning the tournament and the arena contests, yet disqualifying myself on a technicality.

I wanted to reassure Brandy, and thank her for being a good friend, but that would make her life hell with her sister recruits. I couldn’t do that to her. I looked for a path around Dara, one I could take without stirring a fight with one who needed no provoking.

“What ya do, fall in love with that redhead?” Rox yelled. The dark-complexioned loner must have decided to align herself with Dara now that I was out.

The jibe bit hard. Yeah, I’d like to get to know Red—Morgan. Even if I didn’t, I won’t kill for sport. Maybe if I hadn’t saved him several times before the arena match, I might have acted differently, but that wasn’t it.

For the past six weeks as a mech trainee, I’d counted these girls as friends, with the exception of Dara. Now, their scornful looks reminded me of high school. Escaping at 16 had been a gift. Now I longed to return to a cage I understood.

I held my head high, squeezed between Dara and Margarite, and pushed the weaker girl out of the way. I ached to yell out the truth, but Commander Hernandez had been clear and insistent: “Tell no one you’re still in the program.”

Instead, I kept moving and endured jabs to my arms, already inflamed from my fight. Morgan had been a tougher competitor than Dara, and almost killed me twice. Yet, I couldn’t hurt him. Stay calm.

Dara grabbed my arm and pulled me back. “I’m not finished with you.”

“Yes, you are.” I yanked free and pushed through the glass door into sticky heat. Haze drifted in from Knoxville. I was tempted to take my mech-cycle and race to the Outland border to make sure Morgan crossed safely. Then the mechs would follow me and catch him for sure. Patience, Annabelle. Besides, the commander took my electric cycle when she officially kicked me out of the program.

The forest-camouflage guardhouse across the concrete clearing seemed miles away. My adoptive mom and her electric sedan weren’t waiting for me outside the gate, where the commander had arranged for her to pick me up. Nor was Mom’s car among the line of other cars and buses leaving the arena parking lot. Sweat soaked my neck and beaded up on my forehead.

On unsteady legs, I moved toward the gate. It felt like nightmares where I reach for my birth mother while mech-warriors tear me from her arms and send her to prison for trying to help my dad escape. That happened when I was three. Yet the horrid ache returned to me nightly as a fresh wound. To spare me from an institution Mom adopted me and raised me as her own.

I picked up my pace to get away from the taunts that echoed from Dara and her crew on the steps behind me. I had to get outside the compound, which reminded me of a prison with its high concrete walls, concertina wire, and hidden cams.

Still shaken by the mess I’d gotten myself into, I also reeled over having just witnessed someone try to assassinate Tenn-tucky State Senator Cora Scott, my adoptive mom, in the middle of my life-and-death struggle with Morgan. What a cluster. I prayed no one would connect his escape to Mom or me.

She still wasn’t outside the gate.

While getting out of here sounded great, I couldn’t face Mom’s disappointment at my failure or relief that I was out of the mech program. I wasn’t out. Yet. But I couldn’t tell her. I didn’t need Janine’s probing questions either, or her attempts to comfort me as if I were the younger sister. At least with me officially out of the program, she wouldn’t feel the need to join the mechs to follow me.

Where are you, Mom?

I reached the guardhouse. Still no car.

The stocky guard with coal-black hair stepped out of the shadows and blocked my exit. Though shorter, she had the commander’s solid build and looked ready to take my head off—me, the true winner of the Spring Mech Tournament. She probably could. Even though I’d gone through grueling mech qualifications, I hadn’t completed my training yet.

I hung my head. “Sorry, Sandy.”

She grabbed my arm and spun me around to face the building. “You will be. Commander wants you back in her office.” She pushed me toward the mech building and that gauntlet of angry recruits.

“What’s going on?” I looked behind and still couldn’t see Mom’s car.

“Don’t cause me any grief,” Sandy said. Her thick fingers dug into my forearm, making me gasp.

She pushed me back to the building. “Whatever it is, I suggest you humble yourself. The commander has never recalled a washed-out recruit before.”

“Come on, Sandy, give me something.”

Dara, Rox, and Margarite glowered at me from the top step. They blocked the door.

“I don’t know, but good luck,” Sandy said. “For the record, I had my money on you.”

She pushed me up the steps. “Everyone out of the way.”

Dara looked like a giant next to Sandy, but the great amazon stepped aside. Sandy dragged me along the khaki-colored corridor back toward the commander’s office. My eyes watered. It was like getting a pardon from prison, only to have the judge reverse her decision.

“Haven’t you had enough?” Dara yelled after me. “Had to come back for more?”

I dropped my gaze to the concrete floor. Moving toward freedom had given me courage. Now, as my nerve bled away, I could only imagine what had gone wrong.

<Don’t be alarmed,> a muted bass voice said directly into my skull.

You know how when someone says think fast, you can’t? My brain scrambled to make sense of this male voice deep inside my head, given that I’d never heard a masculine tone until six weeks ago.

Sandy tugged me forward. “Don’t keep the commander waiting.”

I pulled back. Morgan, what are you doing in my head? It felt like the mech com-link that allowed you to hear another’s projected thoughts. I couldn’t imagine how to turn the blasted thing off, or how to talk to him without Sandy overhearing. I couldn’t let her or the commander think I was crazy on top of everything else. I considered that possibility.

Morgan said. Mechs are rounding up the other boys. Your mom’s in danger.>

I froze. I wanted to see Morgan’s face. Yet I didn’t trust all this craziness inside me, as if I wanted more than just to see him. His tone did sound comforting, though, the only really friendly voice since I ran the gauntlet.

Sandy yanked me forward.

<Sorry for being such a bother. I need your help,> Morgan said somewhere inside my skull.

I followed Sandy, shook my head, and mouthed, “No.” As if somehow, he could see that. I’d done my bit. I’d tried to help him escape.

The gravity of my situation sank in. Had Commander Hernandez caught the nurse helping the boys, or connected the escape to Mom? The entire idea had been stupid, a rushed effort because I really liked Morgan, despite having to fight him. I should have had a better plan, but I was not a planner.

 

Book Review: Spelled by Kate St. Clair

If you think you have bad luck, you need to pick up Spelled by Kate St. Clair. The book is a lot of fun, and while it’s geared toward a young adult audience, I found myself enchanted by the words. I mean, seriously, how much bad luck can a person have? If you’re Georgia Sayers, quite a bit and then some. Even though it falls into that Teen Witch/Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Percy Jackson theme of “I didn’t know I had these amazing special superpowers,” it still does so with grace and entertainment. I strongly recommend it.

Title: Spelled

Author: Kate St.Clair

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Synopsis

Misfortune seems to follow the Sayers family. Georgia has tried to reestablish normality since her mother died, and she’s no closer to escaping her strange past when a mysterious fire destroys the only other high school in her tiny Texas town. Georgia is thrown into the company of Luke, a cryptic senior who brings her face to face with the truth about her heritage. Her loving, perfect mother created her family for the singular purpose of birthing five of the most powerful witches in the world, capable of terrifying magic. Now that she knows the truth, can Georgia keep her siblings safe? Who is behind the dark cult that’s after her family? And does Luke know more about her powers than even Georgia does?

Buy Links

Amazon | Black Hill Press

Author Bio

Kate was born in a tiny town outside of Austin, TX. At fourteen, she was accepted to a creative writing program at Oxford University in England. She attended boarding schools in Texas and California. When not writing, she’s contending with her activity ADD, which entails horseback riding, aerial silks, and playing with her menagerie or rescued animals.

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Book Review: Black Moon by Becca C. Smith and F.M. Sherrill #MoonTour

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In F.M. Sherrill and Becca C. Smith’s (Atlas) collaborative effort, Black Moon, we meet the bored Shea Harper, a college student stuck at ASU in Phoenix. I say stuck, because it’s clear from the outset that she is miserable there – she wanted to go to UCLA, but couldn’t find funding. Like me, she cannot stand the dry, suffocating heat (my little college town in California isn’t a desert, but it certainly gets hot here, and the town just kind of sucks you in like a vacuum). I was immediately able to relate to her situation.

While I found Shea relatable, I sometimes found the prose…a bit purple. While this did bother me a fair bit, it wasn’t enough to stop me from continuing to read to see what happened to Shea and the other characters. Immediately after meeting Shea, we meet Aiden, her BFF. I think I may be a little old for the term “BFF”, since it makes me cringe a bit to use it here – but I know that 20-somethings won’t be at all bothered by its use.  The language use throughout the novel makes me feel as though it is definitely aimed toward young adult readers and 20-somethings – especially given the college setting.

In all, it was an enjoyable read. We meet Lucian who shakes things up quite a bit for bored Shea. She learns that she has special powers, that there are vampires in the world, and that perhaps, yes, there was some sort of divine intervention keeping her chained to Phoenix. The novel moves quickly, and I was able to get through it in an afternoon. It’s a great escape from chores and the boring things of every day life. One of the best things about this book involves the author’s ability to blend their collaborative effort together seamlessly.

 

Black Moon CoverTitle: Black Moon

Authors: Becca C. Smith and F.M. Sherrill

Publication Date: July 7, 2014

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Synopsis

Shea Harper is forced to stay in boring, hot and dry Phoenix, Arizona for college. But once she meets the enigmatic yet positively egocentric Lucian, Shea’s life changes forever.

She finds out that she comes from a long line of descendants called Vessels. In her soul is the key to destroying an ancient prison protecting the world from darkness itself: Lucian’s father.

Up until now, Lucian has captured every descendant except Shea. With her powers awakening, all vampires want to drag her down to the pit. But Lucian is territorial. She’s the first female Vessel… and he’s convinced she belongs to him.

Saucy and tauntingly surprising, Black Moon captures the struggle between burning desire or denying the heart. This is a love story that will drain you dry.

Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Authors Bios

Becca SmithBecca C. Smith received her Film degree from Full Sail University and has worked in the Film and Television industry for most of her adult life. In 2010 Becca published her first novel, Riser followed by the sequel, Reaper, in 2011, and the finale, Ripper in 2013. In 2012 Becca wrote the children’s novel Alexis Tappendorf and the Search for Beale’s Treasure. She is also the co-author of the teen graphic novel Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted. Most recently Becca released Atlas, the first book in a new urban fantasy series. She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Stephan and their two cats Jack and Duke.

Social Media Links

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

 

 

FM SherrillF.M. Sherrill: recent citizen of earth. Plans on ruling the planet once she gets over the common cold. Or, F.M. Sherrill: time traveler. Decided to alter the space-time continuum by writing a novel, thus changing history slightly, which will eventually lead to the rise of a new human species.

But here it is. F.M. Sherrill is a novelist, A.K.A. an avid bullshitter; that’s why she lives in L.A.. She’s been writing for as long as her ancient mind can remember, devouring tales like an anemic vampire roaming the streets in hot pink heels, always thirsty for more. When she’s not writing, she’s making steampunk weapons, sewing giant plant-eater Mario plushes, making costumes for some film bloke or cosplayer, and sculpting/casting movie prop replicas while gardening in her urban apartment. Her favorite tools? A soldering iron, a blowtorch, a band saw, a sonic screwdriver, a replicator and an active imagination.

 

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Book Review: Atlas by Becca C. Smith #AtlasTour

Hey guys, sorry this one is up a little late and that I haven’t been posting much this week. I wound up coming down with the fall crud that’s going around, and I don’t have the energy to do much other than resting – BUT there are good posts coming, I promise! Without further ado, here’s the review of Becca C. Smith’s Atlas.

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Have you ever wanted to know what it would be like to carry the whole world on your shoulders? Me neither, but the Titan, Atlas, has no choice. Becca C. Smith’s latest novel, Atlas weaves together Greek Mythology with a Special Ops/Navy Seals soldier, Kala Hicks. She has to deal with a slew of demons, angels, and gods as well as those mortals who wish to mess with her. The pace is quick, and it’s a fast read for anyone who wants to sit down with it for a while. From a very sassy Atlas to Kala’s kick-in-the butt attitude, the characters are amusing – like in a Will Smith movie.

Atlas CoverTitle: Atlas

Author: Becca C. Smith

Publication Date: November 11, 2013

Genre: Paranormal Action

 

Synopsis

Every four days. Commit one act of atrocity. Keep the balance or the planet dies.

At least, that’s what Special Ops soldier Kala Hicks is told by the Titan god, Atlas, after blacking out when she shoots the President of the United States. Even though killing the president had been sanctioned by the government, Kala wonders if the whole ordeal had fried her brain cells.

Kala is thrown into a world of demons, angels, and gods, each with their own agenda of whether or not they want her to live or die. She faces off against creatures of legend, all trying to sway her, use her, or kill her. There’s the annoyingly attractive demon who is determined to get into her pants as well as make her fail and plunge the world into chaos. Then there’s the stunningly beautiful Grigorian angel who is convinced he’s Kala’s soul mate, but to Kala he’s a supernatural stalker. Not to mention her own boyfriend – who may be the key to ending it all.

Pitted against the forces of good and evil, Kala must choose whether to save the world by doing the unthinkable, or sit back and let it burn.

Four days later, she’ll have to do it again.

 

Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Becca SmithAuthor Bio

Becca C. Smith received her Film degree from Full Sail University and has worked in the Film and Television industry for most of her adult life. In 2010 Becca published her first novel, Riser followed by the sequel, Reaper, in 2011, and the finale, Ripper in 2013. In 2012 Becca wrote the children’s novel Alexis Tappendorf and the Search for Beale’s Treasure. She is also the co-author of the teen graphic novel Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted. Most recently Becca released Atlas, the first book in a new urban fantasy series. She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Stephan and their two cats Jack and Duke.

 

Social Media Links

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Gaybash by David Jay Collins Review & $15 Giftcard Giveaway #GYBTour

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Title: Gaybash
Author: David Jay Collins
Publication Date: May 28, 2014
Genre: LGBT Fiction

Gaybash 3DSynopsis
Matt Tompkins, a reserved gay man, has always played by the rules and has created a comfortable but unfulfilling life for himself. When his bold best friend Greg reaps unexpected rewards for standing up for himself in a very public display, Matt’s jealousy leads him to risk everything when he’s confronted by two attackers. Determined to be more like Greg, a split-second reaction brings astonishing changes to Matt’s life–for better and for worse.

Set in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, Gaybash explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the unintended consequences of wanting to be somebody else.

Review

When you read something that is painfully honest, it’s always a beautiful thing. Were I not part of this blog tour, I probably wouldn’t have happened upon this work, but I’m glad I did. The pain and awkwardness lends truth to the writing you don’t want to miss. I’d recommend it not only to those in the LGBT community, but to those allies who want to know more about how it feels to be in the situations that Matt finds himself in. Take a chance to get outside of your own head and into someone else’s to expand your own horizons.

 

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

author

David J. Collins

David J. Collins

Author Bio
David Collins lives and works in Chicago. Gaybash is his first novel.

Social Media Links
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  YouTube

 

giveaway

Giveaway: There is a giveaway for this tour. A $15 Amazon/B&N Giftcard or a Book Depository shopping spree of the same value.

Open Internationally. Ends 8/1. Void where prohibited.

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