Archive for the ‘Excerpt’ Category

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Title: DOMINION: FIRE AND ICE
Author: D.A. Hewitt
Publisher: Double Dragon eBooks
Pages: 372
Genre: Science Fiction

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My Review

I couldn’t resist the idea. An orbiting space resort. I’d sure buy a ticket.

Two big corporations are in a race to commercialize space. And the first space resort is about to become reality. You know they aren’t going to play nice. Oh, and did I forget to mention that there’s an asteroid headed right for Earth and the Pope needs rescuing? These new Jungi Knights are in a race against time.

This book has all the ear marks of an exciting space race. However, I had a hard time with the character’s. I just couldn’t connect with them. Especially the two main protagonists. They felt more like teenagers than grown up men and women.

I did enjoy how the rescue squad was trained in the Jungi discipline. Mind over matter and all that. I believe a quiet mind is the best for any situation and it was fun to read how they all came to accept that idea.

The authors world is vast and complex. I used my imagination from all of the science fiction movies I’ve watched and got a pretty good picture of it. I envisioned all of the complications that you’d run into on a daily basis, and do believe we will eventually colonize the moon and people will travel in space.

To really enjoy science fiction, I feel you need to suspend your disbelief and set your imagination free. Hitch a ride and enjoy the trip.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

It’s the year 2075. Lunar mining and processing facilities have prospered near the lunar south pole, where the Moon’s largest city, Valhalla, rests on the rim of the Shackleton Crater.

Dominion Off-Earth Resources has beaten the competition into space and is ready to establish its monopoly with the opening of the orbiting space resort Dominion. But Pettit Space Industries has a secret plan to emerge as a major contender in the commercialization of space. The upstart company is training the first space rescue squad at a secluded off-grid site in Barrow, Alaska.

The rescue squad gets nearly more than it can handle when its first mission involves the Pope, who’s traveling to the Moon to establish the Lunar See. During the rescue attempt, they discover Earth is imperiled by an asteroid large enough to cause mass extinction. Using the unique skills taught during their training, skills emphasized by the great psychoanalyst Carl Jung, these Jungi Knights must elevate their game if they are to save both the Earth and the Pope—while not getting killed in the process.

Purchase at Amazon

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Enjoy this glimpse inside the book.

The girl shook her head impatiently, the ponytail swaying back and forth. “You don’t recognize me?” she asked.

I looked closer. “I’m not up on the latest supermodel scene,” I told her, “and I haven’t seen many movies lately.”

“Supermodel? Movies? What on Earth are you talking about?”

“You seem to think I should recognize you. I assume you’re a model or an actress, someone who would be easily recognized.”

She whispered something under her breath, and having a modest ability to read lips, thought she’d said, What an idiot. “I’m Jessica Thibideau.”

I thought Julia was going to leap out of her chair and try to strangle the girl. I reached over and laid my hand on her forearm with as much reassurance as I could muster.

Julia reached over, grabbed the back of my neck, pulled my head down, leaned in, and whispered, “She runs the science departments in DOER’s space program. She’s the daughter of Benjamin Thibideau.”

“Oh,” I whispered. “Yes, of course I’ve heard of her. Never seen a picture, though. Why would she assume I’d recognize her?”

“Even in the Ural Mountains, I’ve seen news pics of the famous Jessica Thibideau. Her spaceship designs incorporate integrated shielding generators. She’s responsible for the explosion of industry in space.”

“And on the Moon,” I added. “Maybe I have seen her picture. She looks different in person.”

Jessica Thibideau began tapping her toe. “If you don’t mind, I have things to do.” She waved her arm in a wide sweeping movement. “And in case you haven’t noticed, we have a problem here.”

I began straightening myself but Julia grabbed my wrist. “Be careful,” she whispered. “Her company practically buried yours. Some say the stress is what killed your father.”

“Yeah, well, my dad worked too hard.”

I pulled away and straightened myself in my chair and folded my hands in front of me on the table. “Are you referring to the street music?”

She snorted. “Of course. What are you, some kind of joker?”

“Just trying to communicate.”

She reached up and pinched her nose, equalizing pressure. “You stole my asteroid retrieval drone.”

My reaction caught me by surprise. I jerked back as though jolted by a cattle prod such was my surprise at being accused of something so off my radar that she may very well have accused me of being an alien in disguise. “What?” I managed to eke out.

“You must’ve sanctioned it, at least. There are only two players in space—DOER and PSI. And DOER wouldn’t steal from itself.”

“Are you accusing me of something?”

“A DOER asteroid interceptor-collector drone has gone missing. Not only that, a dummy drone was left in its place to camouflage the theft. Now tell me, Mr. Pettit, how many companies have the capacity to handle what an interceptor-collector drone can deliver?”

I held up two fingers, eyebrows raised with uncertainty.

She stared as though trying to melt me with her glare. After a few moments, she made a sound that resembled harrumph and placed her hands on her hips. “Anibal Sanchez is your stooge, right?”

She throws out big tomatoes and observes your reaction.

I realized that this woman believed she possessed the skill to discern changes in blood pressure, eye dilation, and other change indicators that revealed when a person was lying.

Interesting.

“Never heard the name before,” I told her. “And now that I’ve answered your question, Miss Thibideau, I’ll tell you that you’re in no position to judge me. You don’t know me, and I doubt you have the depth of field to see clear enough for me to even want to have a conversation with you.”

“We all make judgments constantly,” she shot back. “You’re judging me right now.”

“You’re the one who barged in on us.”

She took a step to her left, then to her right. She placed her hand on her chin, opened her mouth, then finger-tapped the side of her head. She looked like a frenzied shopper who’d lost her shopping list and was trying to recall each item in the order in which they appeared.

She reached up and pinched her nose. Instead of finding it annoying, I found myself attracted to it.

Here, let me help …

Finally she stopped fidgeting and looked at me. “Mr. Pettit, allow me to apologize, please. I just got back from Valhalla, and I’ve got a bit of the jitters. I’m jumping at conclusions.”

“I hear jitters can be a common problem for space-goers,” I said. I reached over and nudged a chair away from the table. “Have a seat.”

Julia jabbed me with her elbow. I leaned over and whispered, “Let’s see how much information we can get.” Then I kissed her neck and this seemed to appease her.

Jessica Thibideau glanced back at her sedan. “All right. I am starving.” She sat and whispered a command that brought up a translucent eight-panel octagonal grid interface that encircled her.

Impressive. But where’s the projector? An implant? No—more likely embedded in clothing.

Signorina Thibideau twirled her finger and jabbed at one of the displays on the panel to her left. She glanced at me. “How’s the pizza here?”

“Out of this world,” I said, trying to suppress the corner of my mouth from rising slightly. I failed.

Jessica closed her eyes, sighed, then placed her order.

Julia leaned in and whispered, “She seems flighty to me.”

“Jitters is typically temporary.”

“Permanent jitters, in her case, if you ask me,” Julia commented.

~~~~~

About Author D.A. Hewitt

 Dominion author

D.A. Hewitt is an award-winning author of four novels and over a hundred short stories. One novel was awarded a gold medal from the Independent Publishers Book Awards for best regional fiction. He attributes his success to hard work, honing a skill and providing an outlet for his passion for writing.

Born in Michigan, he lived for 25 years in North Carolina before returning to live in his home state. In addition to enjoying sky diving and mountain climbing, he is a proud veteran of the US Marine Corps and has earned a degree in mathematics.

Mr. Hewitt admits to a fascination with the work of Carl Jung and of the Gnostic religion. He’d always thought intertwining these topics in a science fiction novel was a stretch, but one day the storyline of Dominion came to him. He wrote the novel in a stream of consciousness. “It makes sense, tapping into the collective unconscious,” Mr. Hewitt says, “very much like Carl Jung might have predicted.”

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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Child's Play by Merry Jones

Welcome to the tour for Child’s Play by Merry Jones February 1 – 28th.

I’m thrilled to share an excerpt from the book.

And there’s a giveaway. So don’t forget to enter!

Alsp, be sure to click on the link at the bottom of the post to follow the tour for more fun posts!

Child’s Play

by Merry Jones

Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date:  January 3rd 2017
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 1608091910 (ISBN13: 9781608091911)
Series: Elle Harrison Thriller #3 (Each can be read as a Stand Alone Novel)

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Synopsis

Since her husband’s murder two years earlier, life hasn’t been easy for Elle Harrison. Now, at the start of a new school year, the second grade teacher is determined to move on. She’s selling her house and delving into new experiences―like learning trapeze.

Just before the first day of school, Elle learns that a former student, Ty Evans, has been released from juvenile detention where he served time for killing his abusive father. Within days of his release, Elle’s school principal, who’d tormented Ty as a child, is brutally murdered. So is a teacher at the school. And Ty’s former girlfriend. All the victims have links to Ty.

Ty’s younger brother, Seth, is in Elle’s class. When Seth shows up at school beaten and bruised, Elle reports the abuse, and authorities remove Seth and his older sister, Katie, from their home. Is Ty the abuser?

Ty seeks Elle out, confiding that she’s the only adult he’s ever trusted. She tries to be open-minded, even wonders if he’s been wrongly condemned. But when she’s assaulted in the night, she suspects that Ty is her attacker. Is he a serial killer? Is she his next intended victim?

Before Elle discovers the truth, she’s caught in a deadly trap that challenges her deepest convictions about guilt and innocence, childhood and family. Pushed to her limits, she’s forced to face her fears and apply new skills in a deadly fight to survive.

Purchase Links: Amazon / B&N / Goodreads

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Enjoy this glimpse inside the book.

I was the first one there.

The parking lot was empty, except for Stan’s pickup truck. Stan was the custodian, tall, hair thinning, face pock-marked from long ago acne. He moved silently, popped out of closets and appeared in corners, prowled the halls armed with a mop or a broom. In fourteen years, I couldn’t remember a single time when he’d looked me in the eye.

Wait—fourteen years? I’d been there that long? Faces of kids I’d taught swirled through my head. The oldest of them would now be, what? Twenty-one? Oh man. Soon I’d be one of those old school marms teaching the kids of my former students, a permanent fixture of the school like the faded picture of George Washington mounted outside the principal’s office. Hell, in a few months, I’d be forty. A middle-aged childless widow who taught second grade over and over again, year after year, repeating the cycle like a hamster on its wheel. Which reminded me: I had to pick up new hamsters. Tragically, last year’s hadn’t made it through the summer.

I told myself to stop dawdling. I had a classroom to organize, cubbies to decorate. On Monday, just three days from now, twenty-three glowing faces would show up for the first day of school, and I had to be ready. I climbed out of the car, pulled a box of supplies from the trunk, started for the building. And stopped.

My heart did triple time, as if responding to danger. But there was no danger. What alarmed me, what sent my heart racing was the school itself. But why? Did it look different? Had the windows been replaced, or the doors? Nothing looked new, but something seemed altered. Off balance. The place didn’t look like an elementary school. It looked like a giant factory. A prison.

God, no. It didn’t look like any of those things. The school was the same as it had always been, just a big brick building. It seemed cold and stark simply because it was unadorned by throngs of children. Except for wifi, Logan Elementary hadn’t changed in fifty years, unless you counted several new layers of soot on the bricks.

I stood in the parking lot, observing the school, seeing it fresh. I’d never paid much attention to it before. When it was filled with students, the building itself became all but invisible, just a structure, a backdrop. But now, empty, it was unable to hide behind the children, the smells of sunshine and peanut butter sandwiches, the sounds of chatter and small shoes pounding Stanley’s waxed tiles. The building stood exposed. I watched it, felt it watching me back. Threatening.

Seriously, what was wrong with me? The school was neither watching nor threatening me. It was a benign pile of bricks and steel. I was wasting time, needed to go in and get to work. But I didn’t take a single step. Go on, I told myself. What was I afraid of? Empty halls, vacant rooms? Blank walls? For a long moment, I stood motionless, eyes fixed on the façade. The carved letters: Logan School. The heavy double doors. The dark windows. Maybe I’d wait a while before going inside. Becky would arrive soon, after she picked up her classroom aquarium.

Other teachers would show up, too. I could go in with them, blend safely into their commotion. I hefted the box, turned back to the car. But no, what was I doing? I didn’t want to wait. I’d come early so I could get work done without interruption or distraction before the others arrived. The school wasn’t daring me, nor was I sensing some impending tragedy. I was just jittery about starting a new year.

I turned around again, faced its faded brown bricks. I steeled my shoulders, took a breath and started across the parking lot. With a reverberating metallic clank, the main doors flew open. Reflexively, I stepped back, half expecting a burst of flames or gunfire. Instead, Stan emerged. For the first time in fourteen years, I was glad to see him. Stan surveyed the parking lot, hitched up his pants. Looked in my direction. He didn’t wave or nod a greeting, didn’t follow social conventions. Even so, his presence grounded me, felt familiar.

I took a breath, reminded myself that the school was just a school. That I was prone to mental wandering and embellishing. And that children would stream into my classroom in just three days, whether I was ready or not.

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Meet Author Merry Jones
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Merry Jones is the author of some twenty critically acclaimed books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has been translated into seven languages. Her previous Elle Harrison novels have been The Trouble With Charlie and Elective Procedures. Jones lives with her husband in Philadelphia.
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Catch up with Merry online:
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Click here to view the ‘Child’s Play by Merry Jones’ Participants

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Title: Unawqi, Hunter of the Sun
Author: Kali Kucera
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 218
Genre: Mythical Realism

Synopsis

In a time when supernatural and industrial worlds are staged to collide, an Andean boy finds himself in the center of an epic struggle between the cosmos and the earth. Unawqi is born with both insurmountable power and a fate of certain death, both of which are challenged by his hunt of the emperor, Aakti, the Sun: the very force that desires to abandon the earth unless Unawqi can overcome him.

Premise: How easily we take the Sun for granted. We are conditioned to its rising and setting on time, and assume it enjoys doing so, or more likely is indifferent. Unawqi, Hunter of the Sun reveals a more perilous tale: the Sun, Aakti, is a being who is a reluctant player in providing light and warmth to our world, and even more has always desired to leave us to die if he didn’t have certain personal complications standing in his way. Aakti will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if that involves murder of his own kin or annihilation of an entire living planet. Ironically, what holds him back is the very life he is creating; the family from which he tries to but cannot wrest control, and among them a young intrepid boy emerges, a hunter who sets out on a journey, not to stop the Sun, but to overcome him with a force we also take for granted: our humanity.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Enjoy the Excerpt

THANKSGIVING

Beware the empty chair.

It was the only one unclaimed in the room of hungry diners in the basement of St. Rita’s church in Tacoma.  The legs were slightly turned out, as if an invisible waiter had pulled it back to let me slide in.

Guilt had gotten the best of me to be there in the first place.  It was Thanksgiving morning, and a day earlier, my neighbors, who were never ones to shirk a promise, came to me with panic on their faces.  Their son’s house had burned down, they said, and they needed to leave immediately.

I gave them my sympathies, but something else was bothering them still.  They had obligated themselves to help prepare free breakfast at St. Rita’s in the morning, an annual tradition for the city’s homeless.  I tried not to wince at the pious sound of it all, but I could sense what they were leading up to and I remembered the many times they’d watered my garden when I was out of town.  I knew my morning would be free before needing to drive to my aunt’s house for our family dinner, so, of course, I told my neighbors I would be glad to fill in for them and they should think no more of it.

Never having even been to St. Rita’s, I was loathe to socialize and threw myself into the work, but after a couple hours of scrambling eggs, I was impressed by my neighbor’s commitment to do this year after year.  My feet felt like two ends of a barbell, and I was just about ready to grab a plate myself and take a break.

If I had not been so tired, my finicky nature would have guided me to pass up the solitary chair and look for a less conspicuous corner of the room where perhaps there were fewer people.  The less forgiving angel on my shoulder bit me with the words: “You hypocritical, insincere, lazy ass.” It was right.  The people were streaming in through the door. Most had no home, no job, and no money.  Their bodies told their stories of broken dreams, crippling work, and damaged minds.  And here I was, fancying an emperor’s throne somewhere, so I could separate myself off to swallow my grits and baked apples?

The lonely chair in front of me could have been reserved for someone else, so I asked the person sitting on the opposite side of the table if it was taken.  He said no, gestured for me to claim it, and I sat down with my plate and coffee without giving it another thought.

It wasn’t until I looked back up that I noticed something about him seemed out of place.  I glanced at him across the table as he salted his eggs, observing how his right hand moved gracefully to the shaker.  He had none of the typical displays of mental edginess.  He was not disheveled, or weary on the brow.  His hair was combed, and he wore a leather jacket that didn’t bear a single tear.  His eyes were calm, like having emerged from a prayer, and he was happily occupied with his own thoughts.

But his left hand remained fixed in place on the table, appearing to be hiding something underneath his palm.

I must admit, it was also plain to me how strikingly handsome he was.  His jet black hair, and his face with the sheen of a brown eggshell suggested he was Latino, and I wondered what had brought him here, far from where he might have been born.

Normally, it’s prudent in these settings not to ask.  People are scarred enough by their circumstances and they don’t want to be interviewed as the price for their meal.  I wanted to protect his privacy and let him eat in peace, and in my own defense, didn’t want to unleash an emotional outbreak.  But still, his appearance challenged me, and his seeming self-confidence broke through my etiquette, and I asked him that inadvisable question anyway:  “So, what’s your story?”

His face sprung up like a soldier’s salute and he gave me a smile, wide with contentment.

“I am Unawqi.  I am hunting the Sun.”

It was such a terse thing to say, and he was so oddly composed in saying it, that I could only smile and nod back, disguising my disappointment, sure he was just as crazy as the rest, albeit happily crazy.

I thought some more about the strangeness of his name, sounding out the phonemes in my mind.  Was it Finnish or Japanese?  Apache, perhaps?  A second later I thought again that maybe he was making a clever joke in order to break the ice.  After all, Tacoma has plenty of days of being overcast with gloomy clouds refusing to budge, and talking about the weather is indeed how we all usually start a conversation.  So I returned to him again and said, “Yes, the Sun has a lot of good hiding places in November.”

Unawqi dropped his fork on his plate and his eyes bore into me as if I had just given him the key to paradise.

“So you have seen him?” Unawqi beamed.

Regretting, now, that I had not taken the warning sign of the empty chair, I searched my mind for an excuse to get up and return to the kitchen.  But before I could finish my breakfast, Unawqi had lined out enough of his story that I found myself not only glued to my seat, but devoid of any fatigue or hunger but for the feast of his very next word.

I fell in love with Unawqi instantly, as I imagined everyone did.  In the first thirty minutes he made me laugh more than I had over the course of a year.  It puzzled me how such an energetically positive young man could end up in a basement of broken heartedness, but this only compelled me to listen all the more.

I wouldn’t be telling you this story if Unawqi was, in fact, merely making a joke about the weather.  His opening line was literally and plainly what he’d meant: he was a hunter, the Sun was his prey, and his extraordinary pursuit, which had begun ages ago, had finally brought him here, to Tacoma, of all places.  And it was here, in Tacoma, that he was just as zealous as he had always been to see his hunt come to an end.

Naturally, I had to ask why would one hunt the Sun, and this was when his story grew more complicated, his face showing pain, at many points, as he struggled to justify the emotional struggle of his journey.

He set his plate aside, for the heaviness in his heart overtook any appetite he had left, and he reached out and took my hand, asking me to listen.

“Think back, if you will, to the first time your father took you for a walk in the night.  The darkness, how it horrified you.  It swallowed you whole, and the only link you had to the light was the touch of your father’s fingers in your palm.  So small and tenuous a wall, you remembered, separating your life from your death.

“For a brief second he let go of your hand, to, instead, put it on your shoulder, and in that moment you felt what it was like to be forsaken.  You cried out in terror, and even when his hand returned, you realized it could leave again, throwing you into the vastness of space to be on your own.

“Still, he urged you to continue, to go further, deeper into space, farther away from home.  So you trusted him again, and you walked together until you shivered from the cold.

“But for some reason still a mystery, imagine that he truly chose to let his hand go, and his voice to go silent.  You would pray it wasn’t true, that he must soon return, and yet he would not.  No matter how many times you called, he would not answer.  He just left.

“This time you would be all alone, a boy, abandoned to face the boundless night, led to the loveless abyss, rejected by your own genesis, without a compass or line to find your way  back.

“No greater a cruelty can be imagined than this.  But this is just between one father and his son.  How much greater is the cruelty when the father casts a million sons, indeed, the whole world, to the abyss?

“That is the crime.  That is why I’m here.

“But there is more, for now the father is no less the boy, and the boy no less his father.

“We are all in danger of casting each other out.”

Unawqi told me he was not hunting for sport or pleasure.  He was a bounty hunter of sorts, and the Sun had committed a crime against humanity, a preconceived crime that had not yet come to pass, but still could, if the right conditions were met.  It was a crime that Unawqi said he himself needed to overcome. Indeed, that we all must do the same, at some point or another.

My mind came around again to his left hand, which still had not moved.

“And what is this you’re keeping?” I asked.

“Oh, this,’’ he answered with a little chagrin and lifting his palm.  “This is a gift.  A little silk worm I hope will bring me good fortune and make things right.”

The tiny insect was crawling around in a nest of straw, making spindles of silk that played with the overhead light.  This smallest of living things, manufacturing the miraculous in the middle of such a somber place, enchanted me to no end.

Unawqi, of course, wanted to protect it, which is why he kept it covered so securely.  His hand was its shelter, its mighty fortress, and he would be certain to never abandon this creation for as long as he lived.

His story would not have come from Finland or Japan or the mesas of Arizona.  His beginning belonged to a patch of green, high in the Andes, where farmers herded goats, and unearthed potatoes, when they were not dancing to the sounds of their magical flutes.  It was a peaceful place, and he longed to return home, as soon as he was able, but only if he could bring the whole world home with him.

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About the Author

kali-kucera

Kali Kucera is an American lorist and short story writer living in Quito, Ecuador, where he also rides and writes about bus and train travel. Since he was 9 years old he has been composing plays, operas, short stories, and multi-disciplinary experiences. He has been both a teacher and performer as well as an arts mobilizer, and founded the Tacoma Poet Laureate competition in 2008.

His latest book is the mythical realism novel, Unawai, Hunter of the Sun.

Website / Twitter / Facebook

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Welcome to the For Duty And Honor Book Blast.

Enjoy the excerpt.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway.

Genre: Thriller, Political Thriller
Published by: Kensington Books/Lyrical Underground
Publication Date: November 22nd 2016
Number of Pages: 96
ISBN: 1616509813 (ISBN13: 9781616509811)
Series: Dan Morgan #5.5

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Synopsis

In this action-packed novella, Black Ops veteran Leo J. Maloney delivers a heart-pounding tale as fast, cold, and sleek as a 9mm bullet…

For Duty And Honor

The unthinkable has happened to operative Dan Morgan. Captured by the Russians. Imprisoned in the Gulag. Tortured by his cruelest, most sadistic enemy. But Morgan knows that every prisoner has a past—and every rival can be used. With the most unlikely of allies, Morgan hatches a plan. To save what’s important, he must risk everything. And that’s when the stakes go sky-high. Dan Morgan’s got to keep fighting. For duty. And honor. And even certain death…

Amazon / B&N

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Enjoy this excerpt

The prisoner’s body was a brick of exhaustion and pain.

Steel cuffs chafed against his raw wrists and ankles, the rough uniform scraping the burns and cuts that lined his arms and legs and pocked his torso. Even under the blackness of his hood, the prisoner smelled stale sweat mingled with his own breath: iron from the blood, acetone from the starvation. He could barely hold himself up against the jolting ride. All that was keeping him upright were the two thick guards at his sides boxing him in. At the outset, hours ago at the landing strip, the guards were in high spirits, joking and jesting in Russian, which the prisoner could not follow. Whenever he couldn’t hold himself up anymore and leaned into one of them or into the front seat, they would box the prisoner’s head and laugh, forcing him to sit upright again.

But as they drew nearer to their destination, and the car’s heating lost ground against the cold, the guards grew quiet, like there was something grim about the place even to them.

The prisoner swung forward as the jeep came to an abrupt stop, tires on gravel. The doors opened and the spaces on his sides cleared as the men got out, leaving him exposed to the frigid Siberian air. Against this cold, the canvas uniform felt like nothing at all.

The guards unlocked the cuffs and yanked the prisoner out. Too tired to offer any resistance, he walked along, bare feet on the freezing stony ground. Someone pulled off his cowl. He was struck by a hurricane of light that made him so dizzy that he would have vomited, if there were anything in his stomach. It took a moment for the image to stop swimming and resolve itself into the barren landscape of rock and creeping brush lit by a sun low in the sky.

The Siberian tundra.

They prodded him forward. He trudged toward the Brutalist conglomeration of buildings surrounded by tall mesh fences and barbed wire. Prison camp. Gulag. The prisoner’s trembling knee collapsed and he fell on the stony ground. A guard gave him a kick with a heavy, polished leather boot and pulled him to his feet.

They reached the top and entered the vakhta, the guardhouse. He passed through the first gate and was searched, rough hands prodding and poking at him. They then opened the second, leading him through, outside, into the yard. His gaze kept down, he saw guards’ boots, and massive furry Caucasian shepherds, each taller than a full-grown man’s waist. He didn’t look up to see the bare concrete guard towers that overlooked the terrain for miles around or at the sharpshooters that occupied them.

He was pulled inside the nearest boxy building, walls painted with chipping murals of old Soviet propaganda, apple-cheeked youngsters over fields of grain and brave soldiers of the Red Army standing against the octopus of international capitalism. On the second floor, they knocked on a wooden door.

“Postupat’.”

The guards opened the door, revealing an office with a vintage aristocratic desk. They pushed him onto the bare hardwood.

A man stood up with a creak of his chair. The prisoner watched as he approached, seeing from his vantage point only the wingtip oxfords and the hem of his pinstriped gabardine pants, walking around his desk, footsteps echoing in the concrete office.

“Amerikanskiy?”

“Da,” a guard answered.

The man crouched, studying the prisoner’s face. “You are one of General Suvorov’s, are you not?” His voice was deep and filled with gravel and a heavy Russian accent.

The prisoner didn’t respond—not that he needed to.

“You are tough, if he did not break you.” He stood, brushing off unseen dust from his suit jacket. “And if he had broken you, you would be dead already. I am Nevsky, the warden. Welcome to my prison.”

~~~~~

Author Leo J. Maloney

Leo J Maloney

Leo J. Maloney is a proud supporter of Mission K9 Rescue, www.missionk9rescue.org, which is dedicated to the service of retiring and retired military dogs and contract dogs and other dogs who serve. Mission K9 rescues, reunites, re-homes, rehabilitates, and repairs these hero dogs. Leo donates a portion of the proceeds from his writing to this organization. To find out more about Mission K9 Rescue, or to make your own donation, please visit www.missionk9rescue.org or go to www.k9gala.org

Catch up with Mr. Maloney

Website / Twitter / Facebook

** (Photo Credit Carolle Photography)

~~~~~

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Historical biographies may not be my normal reading genre, but if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that you miss those hidden gems if you don’t read outside the box.

Madam President sounds like one of those gems.

Check out The Secret Presidency Of Edith Wilson.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Madam President
Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson by William Hazelgrove

After President Woodrow Wilson suffered a paralyzing stroke in the fall of 1919, his wife, First Lady Edith Wilson, began to handle the day-to-day responsibilities of the Executive Office. Mrs. Wilson had had little formal education and had only been married to President Wilson for four years; yet, in the tenuous peace following the end of World War I, Mrs. Wilson dedicated herself to managing the office of the President, reading all correspondence intended for her bedridden husband. Though her Oval Office authority was acknowledged in Washington, D.C. circles at the time–one senator called her “the Presidentress who had fulfilled the dream of suffragettes by changing her title from First Lady to Acting First Man”–her legacy as “First Woman President” is now largely forgotten.

William Hazelgrove’s Madam President is a vivid, engaging portrait of the woman who became the acting President of the United States in 1919, months before women officially won the right to vote.

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Praise

William Hazelgrove’s riveting style lets us into the backrooms of the White House to see how a woman who had only two years formal education was able to pull it off and do it for two years! A great read and ride!
~Robin Hutton New York Times Bestselling Author of Sgt Reckless

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Excerpt – Chapter One

The Cover-Up

President Woodrow Wilson lay with his mouth drooping, unconscious, having suffered a thrombosis on October 2, 1919, that left him paralyzed on his left side and barely able to speak. The doctors believed the president’s best chance for survival was in the only known remedy for a stroke at the time: a rest cure consisting of total isolation from the world.

His wife of four years, Edith Bolling Wilson, asked how a country could function with no chief executive. Dr. Dercum, the attending physician, leaned over and gave Edith her charge: “Madam, it is a grave situation, but I think you can solve it. Have everything come to you; weigh the importance of each matter: and see if it is possible by consultation with the respective heads of the Departments to solve them without the guidance of your husband.”

From there, Edith Wilson would act as the president’s proxy and run the White House and, by extension, the country, by controlling access to the president, signing documents, pushing bills through Congress, issuing vetoes, isolating advisors, crafting State of the Union addresses, disposing of or censoring correspondence, and filling positions. She would analyze every problem and decide which ones to bring to the president’s attention and which to solve on her own through her own devices. All the while she had to keep the fact that the country was no longer being run by President Woodrow Wilson a guarded secret.

~~~~~

hazelgroveAuthor William Hazelgove

William Elliott Hazelgrove is the best-selling author of thirteen novels, Ripples, Tobacco Sticks, Mica Highways, Rocket Man, The Pitcher, Real Santa, Jackpine and The Pitcher 2. His books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly and Booklist, Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards and optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today and other publications. He has been the subject of interviews in NPR’s All Things Considered along with features in The New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Richmond Times Dispatch, USA Today, People, Channel 11, NBC, WBEZ, WGN. The Pitcher is a Junior Library Guild Selection and was chosen Book of the Year by Books and Authors. net. His next book Jackpine will be out Spring 2014 with Koehler Books. A follow up novel Real Santa will be out fall of 2014. Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson will be out Fall 2016. Storyline optioned the movie rights. Forging a President How the West Created Teddy Roosevelt will be out May 2017.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter

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amazon or paypal$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 11/8/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

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We’re happy to have Deborah Ann Davis, author of the new adult novel, Fairly
Safe, here with us today! Please leave a comment to let her know you stopped
by!

Title: FAIRLY SAFE
Author: Deborah Ann Davis
Publisher: D&D Universe
Pages: 356
Genre: New Adult Romance

Fairly Safe (Love of Fairs Book 2) by [Davis, Deborah Ann]

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Synopsis
When Mistaken Identity collides with Secret Identity, who wins?
JACOB HAS COME A LONG WAY FOR AN ORPHANED FOSTER KID.
He has a mentor, a great job, and has finally fallen in love. Granted, she
mistook him for a stalker when they met, but every relationship has its little
problems. Unfortunately, for the past few years, as the object of his affection
pops in and out of his life, she has refused to share any personal info, like
where she’s from, or her real name. Regardless, Jacob is ready to take their
relationship to the next level. Now, if only he can locate her so he can tell
her.
CASEY’S FAMILY IS IN THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM. Safety
has to be their only priority. Their cover has been blown before, so Casey
knows at any given time they could be forced to disappear again. Obviously, a
shy young man with hopeful eyes cannot possibly be added to the mix. You cannot
build a relationship like that. Now, if only she can stop thinking about him.
JACOB’S AND CASEY’S WORLDS UNEXPECTEDLY COLLIDE when
Jacob inadvertently helps hide her family. Exposed to their 24-7 vigilance,
Jacob realizes he must come up with a plan to keep them out of harm’s way,
because this time if Casey disappears, she will be taking with her Jacob’s
heart, and his hopes of finally having a family of his own.
.
For More Information
  • Fairly Safe is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB
    Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

 

Book Excerpt:

Wipeout!
Jacob Kent stepped out of his car as he scanned
the fair on the other side of the parking lot, his heart pounding. As with many
country fairs, the parking lot was no more than an abused pasture. This one was
about the size of two football fields. Fair employees decked in bright yellow
directed the early trickle of cars to their temporary berths. Jacob ignored
them, choosing instead a parking spot near the exit. Anticipating the possible
need for a quick getaway outweighed a pimply teen’s futile attempts to redirect
him.
He regarded the rides twirling and
spinning above and around the strolling families. Despite the morning sun, the
lights flashed merrily, beckoning to all. At
11 a.m. it wasn’t crowded, but he knew that would soon change.
Locking his car, he slowly picked his way through the beaten grass, combing all
directions for a clue the girls were there. As the unmistakable sound of
carnival music floated toward him on the warm summer breeze, he reviewed
his plan.
First, he would walk through the fair to
familiarize himself with the layout they had printed out. Then he would adjust

~~~~~

their escape route to where he parked the car. After assessing the grounds, he
would plant himself somewhere along the concourse, and watch the crowd. That’s
how he had always found Casey in the past, and that’s how he was going to find
her again.

A voice came over the loudspeaker, momentarily
dimming the carnival noise. “Would the owner of a red ford truck, license plate
AIP537, please return to your vehicle? Your lights are on.”
Jacob tensed. Was that some kind of clue? He
looked over the parking lot. No, he could see the lights of the red truck from
here. He smiled ruefully to himself.
Get a grip, Kent, he thought as he
watched a portly balding man march exasperatedly toward the truck.
He sighed. Intellectually, he had to
acknowledge they might have pieced together a bunch of randomly forgotten items
into a fantastical story, but emotionally, he couldn’t help but believe the
items served an ultimate purpose. If The Herd was here, he was going to find
them. He also knew if he wasn’t careful, he could spend the entire day jumping
at shadows and following dead ends.
Like that little commotion over by the edge
of the fair.
To his over-active
imagination, that game of tag could look like a child trying to escape from the
evil clutches of—
“HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, WIPEOUT!” sang out over the
loudspeaker.
His head jerked up. As the pounding drums
from the familiar song drowned out the carnival music, all doubt was erased.
The loudspeaker was sending out a warning. His eyes darted back toward the
commotion he had noticed. That was no game of tag. That was a child trying to
escape a man in hot pursuit. Jacob couldn’t be positive at this
distance, but it sure looked like Robin.
With his heart in his throat, he broke
into a run, zigzagging between cars, trying to intercept the fleeing child as
it headed toward the side of the parking lot. In this surreal moment, the same
song they had used for obstacle course training was being piped out like
background music to a scene in a movie. But this scene was real, where a real
menace was gaining. Caught in his own nightmare, Jacob was watching Robin run
for her life, and he was not close enough to help.
As the predator and prey crossed the area
between the fair and the parking lot, the longer legs of the adult closed the
gap between them, but once they reached the cars, the advantage became hers.
Robin’s small size and training put some distance between them as she dodged
around vehicles. However, her constant change of direction made it difficult
for Jacob to maintain a course of interception.
Watching Robin’s progress, Jacob realized she
was trying to head back toward the fair. Silently applauding Robin’s decision
to get closer to other people who could help her, Jacob altered his course
accordingly.
So did Robin’s pursuer.
Suddenly, her stalker eliminated the space
between them by clambering up and over two pickup trucks, and landing an arm’s
length away. Skidding, Robin veered around another vehicle with the man on her
tail. As Jacob frantically tried to reach her, a brunette Sam suddenly popped
out from behind a car and neatly took the man out with one magnificent sweep of
a skateboard to the head.
Where did she come from? A stunned Jacob skidded to a stop, gasping for breath, his
chest burning.
With a quick high-five, the sisters raced back
to the fair. Jacob tried in vain to get their attention, but he hadn’t quite recovered
enough breath to formulate sounds louder than gasps. He shook his head as he
tried to calm the burning in his lungs. He was a wreck, but they were able to run
off.
And I was going to save them? He weakly chuckled. What was I thinking?
Sobering, he trotted over to the man who
was staggering to his feet. With rage marshalling all of his strength, Jacob
drew back and smashed his fist into the man’s face. The unexpected pain in his
fist was nothing compared to the satisfaction of watching Robin’s former threat
drop like an anchor.
Shaking the pain out of his hand, Jacob aimed a
vindictive kick at the ribs of his girls’ attacker. Any qualms he might
ordinarily have about hitting a man when he’s down were nonexistent when it
came to someone threatening his family.
Satisfied the man was no longer a danger,
he took off in the direction he had seen his girls disappear, trying to
calm the fear rising in his chest. He doubted this man had come alone. The
girls probably knew that, too, and would be hiding. How was he going to find
them before their pursuers did?
The light glinting off the speaker perched atop
a telephone pole caught his eye. Jacob skidded to a stop and stared at it. Of
course.
When Robin had been trying to escape, that speaker had been
blasting out WipeOut, but now he only heard carnival music. With a grin,
Jacob decided it was time to stop believing in coincidences. Someone at the
fair must be helping them. If he found that person, he’d be able to find the
fugitives.
About the Author
.

 

DEBORAH ANN DAVIS has
been writing since she was assigned to keep a Journal in her 5th grade
English class. She began to look around for writing inspiration. Lo and
behold, she found her world was full of funny stories just waiting to be told.
As she grew older, occasionally she could manipulate one into
some school assignment, but it never occurred to her to pursue writing,
not even when she discovered her flare for telling stories at college parties.
After a string of college majors, she realized she could
have a captive audience EVERY DAY in the public school system. As it turns out,
teenagers love to laugh, and what could be more entertaining than Biology,
Earth Science, and Environmental Science? Then there’s the added bonus
that once kids know you like to laugh, they want to make
you laugh.
Go figure.
In addition to Writing, she is also an Educational Speaker
and a Certified Personal Trainer. She taught for 25+ years,
although somewhere in the middle of all that educating, she stepped out of
teaching for 6 years to do the Mommy Thing, and run the office for their family
construction company.
Even though they had followed separate paths, Deborah
reunited with, and married her childhood sweetheart, twelve years after their
first kiss.  Together they coached their daughter’s AAU Basketball
Team, which swept States two years in a row. (Yay!) Then, for several years
their daughter and their money went to college.
They currently reside on a lovely lake in Connecticut. She enjoys dabbling with living a sustainable life,
writing novels for her Love of Fairs series, dancing, playing outside,
and laughing really hard every day. She promotes increasing the amount of
movement throughout your day via Wiggle Writer posts on Merry
Meddling
, her blog at www.DeborahAnnDavis.com. Follow her @DeborahAnnDavis.
Remember, you can do anything if you set your mind to
it— including becoming an author at any age— but it’s way more fun if you are
grinning back when the Universe smiles down on you.
.
For More Information
 ~~~~~

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For a list of my reviews go HERE

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Just take a gander at that cover art! Isn’t is awesome?

This is one for your Halloween reading list folks.

Enjoy the blurb and exclusive excerpt.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

The Grotesques

by Tia Reed

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Genre: Urban Fantasy

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Synopsis

Discredited journalist Ella Jerome isn’t thrilled about working at Adelaide’s fanciful tabloid The Informer. So when zoologist Adam Lowell seeks her help in finding his missing cousin, she’s cynical of his claim a monster lurks near the Church of the Resurrection. The trouble is, solving the gruesome case could be her best shot at restoring her shredded reputation.

 

With her old instincts resurfacing, Ella combs the Port for clues. Experience tells her the only monsters are the human variety, and the bloodied stonemason certainly raises her suspicions. But when her investigation turns up everything from petrified remains to the headless carving of a dragon, the truth threatens to steal both her sanity and the man she’s falling for.

 

After all, gargoyles can’t be anything other than harmless stone. Or can they?

~~~~~

Enjoy this exclusive excerpt

Ella cleaned the supermarket shelf of the wilting bunches of basil. For good measure, she went into the next aisle and added ten tubs of pesto to the shopping basket.

“Got enough there, dear? ’Coz the delivery truck’s due out back,” the checkout operator said.

“Really?” Ella was about to ask if she would check but the girl was eyeing her like she was out of her mind. “It’s a Halloween thing,” she said and hurried off.

Back at the car, she passed the bag to Doer.

“Has this herb got some addictive properties I don’t know about?” the drug dealer asked, taking a deep sniff of the sweet aroma and eyeing the two full bags on the back seat.

“I’ll tell you on the way. Just don’t eat it all,” Ella said as he tore off a leaf and popped it in his mouth. “Do you think we have enough?”

“Now that depends on how many clients you got to supply.”

“Four.” She pulled out into the traffic. “Let me know if you see a supermarket.” A few bottles of the dried herb would not go astray.

“I think we’ve got enough. Start talking,” Doer said.

She chose her words.

“What are you not telling me?” he said.

“The crazy stuff that will get me certified.”

“Spill it. Nobody’s going to take my word you need to be in a loony bin and nothing you say is about to stop me going into that church.”

That she knew, which was why she had asked him along, because nothing on the planet, not even her growing feelings for Adam, was going to drag her back to the church alone. She gave him all the facts. No interpretation. Objective journalism at its best.

~~~~~

AUTHOR Tia Reed

Tia Reed loves nothing better than burying her nose in a story of her own imagining, cuddling her bossy cat and rescuing chewed pillows from her hyperactive dog. She takes every opportunity to do all three when she is not teaching English as a second language. Her other hobbies usually take a back seat but include trying to tame her beast of a garden, hiking and travelling. The latter has thrown her many interesting, sometimes hair-raising experiences, which she loves twisting into stories. She was born in Malta, but lives in Adelaide, Australia.

Goodreads / Tyche Books / Facebook

Buy Links

Amazon / B&N / Smashwords

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