Archive for the ‘giveaways’ Category

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This is my own version of a weekly book haul and all things new on fuonlyknew.

I’m also linking up with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Sunday Post

Some chit chat.

Whew, it’s been one of those weeks. So busy at work. I don’t know if I’ve shared what I do before. I do extreme details to the inside of automobiles. It’s hard work but very rewarding. When I get a car, truck, or van that’s been trashed by kids, pets, and busy adults, it’s daunting and can take hours to get clean to my satisfaction. I do the interior from the roof to the carpet. Everything gets done. I use many different chemicals to clean and lots of different tools. My three best friends are my shop vac, my carpet shampooer and lots of toothbrushes. Yep, those toothbrushes get in all the cracks and crannies. Living in the south, I detail year round. No closing in the winter, even though sometimes I have to wait for the sun to warm enough so the chemicals don’t freeze. Summers are brutal. The heat waves shimmer off the asphalt and the humidity is so thick I’m sweating before I even get started. But, like I said, it’s rewarding when I finish a vehicle, step back and take a good look.

I’m sure you understand how exhausting this can be. I just couldn’t get my head around writing reviews and had a slow week with them.  I also had a hard time staying awake to read. I hate when that happens. LOL

So, here’s my books this week. Got lots of freebies for you to check out.

And I’ll be around to visit your posts. Happy Sunday!

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My new books this week.

Puppy Dog Tales by [Ho, Liwen]  28674479  33921282

22238184  26114493  31702803

34802356  34858858

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And here are some freebies for ya. Click on the covers to get your copies. Remember to make sure they’re still free before you hit that buy button.

Chasing Fireflies (Power of the Matchmaker) by [Dean, Taylor]  Entropy (The Countenance Trilogy Book 3) by [Moore, Addison]  Crossing In Time: An Edgy Sci-Fi Love Story (Between Two Evils Book 1) by [Orton, D. L.]

The Thoroughbred Conspiracy (The Kentucky Chronicles Book 1) by [Monahan, Robert]  The Box of Bones (Skye Cree, Book 3) by [McKeehan, Vickie]  Tipping Point: Arctic Terrorism Thriller by [Rosser, Simon]

Better Watch Out by [Rose, Willow]  Run, Run, as Fast as You Can (Emma Frost Book 3) by [Rose, Willow]  Icy Stares (Guess The Killer #1) A Serial Killer Mystery Thriller by [Winters, Cyrus]

Railgun: Earth Under Siege by [Robles, Luis]  The Colony (Rasper Book 1) by [Groger, Kathleen]  Mercury Ice-The Seventh Coordinate (Book One) by [Morrow, Michael]

Rescue Dogs, Firefighting Heroes and Science Facts by [Flory, Susy, Hanscome, Jeanette, Cantrell, Julie, Schuknecht, Troy, Elliot, Annie]

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Books I reviewed this week. Click on the covers to read my reviews.

35434633  Tales from Harborsmouth Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective Urban Fantasy Collection

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Other posts on my blog this week.

It was anything but….Harmless ~ Review and Giveaway

The 2017 RITA Best First Book Finalists ~ Blitz and Giveaway

Teaser Tuesday #212 ~ The House On Devil’s Bar

Moondance by Linda K. Hopkins ~ Blast and Giveaway

The Year I Dated The Internet ~ Sale and Giveaway

What A Blast! Tales From Harborsmouth ~ Review and Giveaway

From The Prospero Chronicles ~ Sliver ~ Blitz and Giveaway

Survival Instinct by Janie Crouch ~ Tour and Giveaway

The Friday 56 #159 ~ A School For Unusual Girls

Royal Replicas ~ A YA Dystopian Blitz and Giveaway

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Leave your link and I’ll come visit you.

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE.

(more…)


Today we have the blog tour stop for Survival Instinct by Janie Crouch. For the first week, all proceeds will be donated to cystic fibrosis research in honor of Tia Troopers. Check it out and grab your copy today!

 

About Survival Instinct

The voices in her head have decided to kill her.

Most people joke about hearing voices in their heads. For Chloe Jeffries, they’re real. And as the creative force behind one of the most popular shows on television, she has used the constant flood of voices in her mind to her advantage: fuel for entertainment.

But now one of the voices has decided it wants Chloe all for itself.

Ex-Special Forces soldier Shane Westman just wants to make it back to Wyoming to begin to heal from the horrors of war. The last thing he needs, even as a favor for a good friend, is to take on bodyguard duty of a flighty television writer. But once he does, he realizes there are threats at play he doesn’t understand. And the woman who has somehow begun to thaw his frozen heart is in desperate danger from a menace they can’t see, but is always close.

The voice that will never allow Chloe to escape alive.

~~~~~

Enjoy this glimpse inside:

“Remember that time you were about to be beheaded in an unofficial Iraqi prison and I led the team that saved your life?” The voice mentioned the situation so cheerfully it was like he was talking about a long ago frat party or prom date.

Shane Westman groaned, shifting the phone more securely between his cheek and shoulder as he used both hands to carry a packing box across the room to the door. He swallowed a chuckle because laughing now would only spell disaster for the cause of resisting whatever favor his friend and ex-Special Forces teammate, Zac Mackay, was calling in.

“I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number,” Shane said. “I’m just a pizza delivery guy. Never been in an Iraqi prison, of either the official or unofficial kind.”

Zac didn’t even try to hide his own laugh. “It’s understandable that you might not remember. You’d been beaten to almost within an inch of your life and I had to nearly carry your sorry ass all the way back to the neutral zone. I even heard they did some sort of mind—control testing on prisoners to make them think they work at Pizza House for the rest of their lives.”

“Did you want pepperoni or olives on your pizza?”

Zac’s bark of laughter made Shane smile. “How’s the packing of your grandmother’s stuff going?”

“Hard. You know how it is. Some of the stuff in this house seems like it’s been sitting in its exact position since before the Revolutionary War. Getting rid of it feels like a crime.” Boxing up the memories of the woman who’d raised him, his Grammi, was much harder than Shane had thought it would be. He’d spent the entire day yesterday just going through her closet.

For someone who had spent the last twelve years unflinchingly fighting some of the most dangerous enemy combatants in the world, it was surprising how difficult boxing away one small woman’s clothing had been.

“Have you decided to sell the house? Rent it out?”

“I haven’t made any decisions yet. It’s completely paid off, so it’s no hardship. This has always been my home.” He might be moving to Cheyenne, Wyoming, in a couple weeks to begin his civilian career at Linear Tactical with Zac and some of his other former-Army brothers, but Black Mountain, North Carolina, would always be his home.  “I just wish I’d returned sooner. Gotten home last Christmas like I told her I would.” Before his Grammi had died of a sudden heart attack.

“That tough old bird knew you loved her. That’s the most important thing.”

“Yeah, I guess.” He hoped she’d known. He’d always tried to tell her, but for the last few years he’d been around less and less. “So, Mackay, you only bring up busting me out of the Iraqi prison—which I would’ve gotten out of just fine by myself, by the way—when you want to ask a favor.”

They both knew Shane wouldn’t have gotten out of that prison without Zac and the team’s help, as well as that Zac didn’t have to lord the rescue over Shane to get him to help with whatever Zac needed. If it was in Shane’s power, he’d do it. Just like Zac would do the same for him.

“Yeeeahh.” Zac dragged out the word in the most annoying way possible. “Linear Tactical has a job for you.”

Zac had formed a company with three of their other Special Forces buddies once they’d gotten out of the service. Linear Tactical trained others in tactical awareness, small—arms safety, wilderness survival, and self-defense. People from all over the country traveled to their compound in Cheyenne. People who wanted to learn from the best.

“This can’t wait until I get out there in two weeks? I know you miss me, Zac, but I want to enjoy not being snowed in for as long as possible.”

It was only September, but the Wyoming winters were damn long.

“You know, for someone with the nickname Avalanche, you sure don’t like cold weather.”

Shane began loading up another box, knickknacks of Grammi’s he wouldn’t be able to keep if he wanted to fit anything else in the house. “Yeah, well, I didn’t get the name because of my snowboarding ability.”

He’d gotten it because of his ability to completely shut down his emotions. To pull ice around him, distancing himself from a situation in order to obtain the best tactical advantage, regardless of the horrors going on around it. A saving grace many times when he’d been a soldier, people dying all around him. When he’d been forced to make decisions as team leader that cost others their lives. He’d frozen his emotions out to get the job done.

Unfortunately, now he couldn’t seem to thaw.

“Job’s not out here,” Zac continued. “As a matter of fact, it’s right in your backyard.”

“North Carolina?”

“Yep. It’s a side job.”

They both knew that type of job for Linear Tactical tended to be much more dangerous than the work they did in Wyoming. Their home base was for training and teaching about weapons and situational awareness. Their “side jobs” tended to involve the actual weapons and situations. Kidnap and ransom assistance, bodyguarding, even guns-for-hire if the situation was right.

“I’ve been out of the field for more than six months, Zac. I may not be in peak shape.”

Zac’s eye-roll was evident even over the phone. “Whatever. I’ll take you in not-quite-peak over most people at their very best. Plus, this is a pretty low risk job, which can help ease you back in to American civilian life, and it’ll get you on our payroll.”

“I’m already on it.”

“Whatever. Get you more on our payroll.”

Shane stacked another box. “Fine. What is it?”

“There’s a television show, Day’s End, that does all its primary shooting near you in North Carolina. They’re having trouble with some sort of stalker. Most of the stars have their own bodyguards, but the studio is looking for someone good—and discreet—to send and help coordinate the security teams. To look around, see if they can figure out who the stalker is.”

“I’m not a detective, Zac, nor an investigator.”

“Yes, but you are more observant than anyone I’ve ever known.”

Shane wiped a hand over his eyes. “That wasn’t enough to keep my whole team from getting killed.”

Zac didn’t even stop for a breath. “You were cleared of that. You made the best decision you could with the intel you had. Everyone agreed.”

Shane didn’t respond. Being cleared didn’t bring back the dead.

“Avalanche, listen. I need someone I know personally. Linear Tactical got the call because the show’s creator is Adrienne Jeffries’ sister. She helped us out last year with that kidnapping case that would’ve gone to hell in a handbasket without her.”

“The Bloodhound lady.”

Zac chuckled. “She still doesn’t like to be called that, but yep. Adrienne was concerned about her sister so she made sure the studio contacted Linear Tactical to get the security support the show needs.”

Shane rubbed his eyes. He didn’t want to do this. Didn’t want to be in charge of someone

else’s life again. “Send one of the other guys, Zac. I’m not the right person for this. I agreed to work for you because I thought I would be doing training. Teaching civilians how to defend themselves or handle their Glock.”

“You’ll have plenty of time for that. Trust me, a year from now you’ll be begging me to send you back out in the field for some action.” Zac’s voice got serious. “I need someone I can trust one hundred percent. What Adrienne did for us with that kidnapping case? I can’t do anything but give her someone I trust completely to help with her sister. We need the best.”

“That’s not me, Zac.”

“Just give it a couple weeks. If you still feel like you can’t handle it, then I’ll find someone else. I know you’ve been on your little stroll for the past six months, but I have zero concerns that you’ve let yourself slip in either fitness or mental acuity.”

Shane rolled his eyes. His “little stroll” as Zac put it, had been a demanding hike through the Alps, one Shane had taken because he’d needed to be away from everything and everyone while he’d tried to come to grips with losing his team. And while Zac was right—the time had made him stronger and more focused—it sure as hell hadn’t brought him many answers.

Shane was going to argue more, but stopped. What was the point? It wasn’t like he was going to say no. When a brother asked you to do something, you did it. “Fine. Give me the details.”

“The show is Day’s End. It’s about all these different paranormal creatures that attempt to stay alive while being hunted by a sort of human mafia.”

“Yeah, it’s been shooting around here for three years.” The wilderness of western North Carolina had provided a beautiful backdrop for the show. “My grandmother mentioned it, but I’ve never watched it.”

“It’s one of the most popular shows on television, so you should probably check it out. Chloe Jeffries is the creative force behind the whole thing. It’s her baby. She leads all the writing and some of the directing too. She’s supposed to be this amazing, ingenious visionary.”

Great. Creative tended to mean flighty in Shane’s experience. Unaware of what was going on around them.  “How long do they need someone?”

“Two weeks tops. Threat assessment and coordination of security. See what you can spot and make any changes you need to. You might have to do a little people—watching for a few days, but those needing watching include Alexandra Adams. She plays the lead role, Tia Day.”

Shane might not know the show, but everyone knew of Alexandra Adams. The show had catapulted her straight into the role of America’s sweetheart.

“Yeah, I know who Alexandra Adams is.” Not that it mattered. This was about loyalty to Zac and the others, not about who he’d be guarding. “I’ll do it, Mackay.”

“I knew no red-blooded male could resist the thought of being near Alexandra Adams.”

Shane rolled his eyes. “Two weeks. If they still need someone after that, it’s more than just threat assessment, it’s long term containment. That’s not what I’m in for.”

Going in and assessing the holes in the security would be bad enough. Shane definitely wasn’t interested in holding someone’s life in his hands again.

Been there. Done that. Failed miserably.

Being a soldier was the only thing Shane knew how to do. He was glad to join his friends at Linear Tactical, but he wanted to teach, not be back out in the field. He was out of that game. And he particularly didn’t want to be guarding people involved with some crazy zombie, vampires, and faeries show.

“Got it. Two weeks tops.” Zac turned serious. A rarity. “Thank you, Shane.”

“Don’t thank me yet. You know I don’t tend to play well with others.”

Zac laughed. “If you’re not nice, they’ll just dress you up like one of the zombies and put you on camera. Wouldn’t take much makeup the way you scowl. I’ll let you go finish clearing out your Grammi’s house. Your house now. Shane, thank you. I promise not to bring up your near-beheading for at least another four months.”

Shane smiled. “Mackay, do you remember that time I carried you six miles over my shoulder in the Afghanistan mountains when you fainted?”

Fainted?” Zac let out a blistering string of curses. “I was shot in the damn head.”

“You were grazed and faking the whole thing because you were too lazy to walk. I’m convinced of it.” Shane couldn’t stop the grin spreading across his face.

“Damn it, Westman, go protect some movie stars before I fly out there and kick your ass myself. You obviously had your brain tampered with while you were in that Iraqi prison.”

“You want extra cheese on your pizza?”

100% of proceeds until July 16 goes to Cystic Fibrosis charities – with a special $0.99 price. Help us stomp CF! Plus, buy Survival Instinct before July 16 and get a free ebook by Janie not available anywhere else! More details here: http://www.janiecrouch.com/si-pp-0717

Grab your copy today:

AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

About Janie Crouch

Winner of the Golden Quill Award for Best Romantic Suspense, and a finalist in multiple other Romance literary awards, including the coveted RITA Award by the Romance Writers of America, Janie Crouch loves to read – almost exclusively romance – and has been doing so since middle school. She cut her teeth on Harlequin (Mills & Boon) Romances when she lived in Wales, UK as a preteen, then moved on to a passion for romantic suspense as an adult.

Janie recently relocated with her husband and four children to Germany (due to her husband’s job as support for the U.S. Military), after living in Virginia for nearly 20 years. When she’s not listening to the voices in her head (and even when she is), she enjoys traveling, long-distance running, movie-watching, knitting and adventure (obstacle) racing. Janie completed an Ironman Triathlon in 2014 and is prepping for another one in 2017.

Her favorite quote: “Life is a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller.

Connect With Janie:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Email | Website

.

Enter Janie’s Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~~~

Blogs Taking Part in the Blog Tour:

July 10th            

A Sky Filled with Sparkling Stars  Excerpt

Southern Vixens Book Obsessions             Excerpt

Movies, Shows, & Books               Excerpt

July 11th            

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog Excerpt

Lovely Loveday  Excerpt

Mythical Books  Excerpt

Spunky N Sassy  Excerpt

July 12th            

It’s All About the Romance           Excerpt

Book Sniffers Anonymous             Excerpt

Book Junkiez       Excerpt

MJ’s Book Blog and Reviews        Excerpt

July 13th            

Adventures in Writing     Excerpt

shannonbookishlife          Review

Book Bite Reviews           Excerpt

All Is Read           Review

July 14th            

Brittany’s Book Blog        Excerpt

Seeing Night Reviews      Review

Quesarasera Book Blog  Review

she READS          Excerpt

FUONLYKNEW   Excerpt

July 15th            

Susan’s Books I Like         Excerpt

Pardon My Blurb              Review

G & T’s Indie Café            Excerpt

nerd girl official Excerpt

~~~~~

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Slivers (The Prospero Chronicles #3)
by Fiona J.R. Titchenell & Matt Carter
Genre: YA Horror/Scifi
Release date: June 20th 2017

Synopsis

Ben

Growing up is hard, and growing up in Prospero is even harder, but I think we manage. I mean, yeah, my friends and I spend more of our time fighting a race of shapeshifting aliens than we do hanging out, but we have our fun. We go to parties, help each other with our classes, maybe even fall in love…

I’ve no illusions that we live ordinary lives, but they’re our lives, and I’m going to make sure we make the most of them whether the Splinters want us to or not.

Mina

The truce is temporary. We will not humor the Splinters forever. It’s only until the Slivers can be stopped, until the army of Shards being planted among our classmates can be disassembled, until we get our hands on the thing I’d almost given up believing in.

The humanity test.

For the chance to know, once and for all, who can be trusted, some dealings with monsters must be excusable. Inevitable. Just like this feeling between Ben and me.

And that has to be temporary too.

 

Add to Goodreads

Previous Books in the Series (click on image for Goodreads link):

 

Buy links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
iBooks
Kobo
Smashwords
Indigo

~~~~~

Excerpt

1. Sabotage
Ben
At the time, my instincts told me that jumping onto the hood of a moving SUV was a brilliant idea.
After half a second of trying to find something to hold onto, I told myself I’d reconsider my instincts when I got out of this.
If I got out of this.
A voice in my ear—I hadn’t lost my Bluetooth after all. Haley’s voice, by the angry sound of it.
“Ben, what the hell are you doing?”
“I have no idea!” I yelled back, finally grabbing the roof rack with both hands and holding on for dear life, doing my best to block the windshield. The driver accelerated down the empty suburban street, jerking the wheel back and forth, trying to shake me off. I knew behind the tinted glass of this anonymous, plateless SUV were the gray faces of Slivers. Today they were supposed to be kidnapping one of Prospero High School’s nicest teachers from her home, and we were going to stop them. It wasn’t exactly a piece of cake, but we’d done it before and should’ve been able to do it again.
I looked to the sidewalks, trying to spot any other members of the Network.
There was a heavy blow against the windshield near my chest. The tinted glass spiderwebbed beneath me. The Slivers were trying to break through.
Not for the first time, I cursed The Owl.
“Everybody close on the house! They’re still on the move!” Courtney called over the party line.
“Where’s that spike strip?” Haley asked.
“About twenty feet behind Ben before he decided to go Shatner on us,” Greg answered.
The spiderweb of glass expanded as the Sliver continued to force its way through.
The next voice was impossibly calm. “If we can stop this vehicle, there’s every chance we can capture multiple Slivers at once in addition to preventing Ms. Craven’s abduction. Ben, do you think you can slow them down?”
Mina Todd.
She always asked for the impossible so reasonably.
The windshield broke open in front of me, safety glass exploding outward as a long, muscular arm with a seven-fingered, clawed hand burst through. It raked back and forth, opening up a large gash in the glass that allowed me to see the three Slivers inside. They were of slight frame with gray, hairless heads and bulging black eyes, and they had begun sprouting extra limbs and tentacles to better mangle me.
“I’ll try,” I said, diving into the jagged hole where the windshield used to be.
Their brief, startled pause before attacking was all I needed.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out one of the cheap stun guns Mina loved to make out of disposable cameras and jammed it into the driver’s chest. The creature shuddered violently, jerking the wheel to the side and stomping on the gas reflexively.
I forced the gearshift into neutral and pulled on the parking brake. The SUV lurched to a violent stop in the middle of the street.
So far so good.
Less good was the sound of snapping wood that came from the passenger seat as its occupant’s body began to shift. Its rib cage broke open into a giant, vertical mouth full of jagged teeth and swirling tentacles. The tentacles lashed out at me, wrapping around my arms and neck, and squeezed. The Sliver in the backseat joined in, grabbing the leg I tried to anchor myself with against the dashboard and forcing me closer to that terrible maw.
The passenger door flew open. The Sliver let out a howl of pain as Julie buried a large meat hook in its back and began pulling it from the car. Courtney wrapped her hands around Julie’s on the hook, throwing her track team muscles into the effort and hardly wincing when the gelatinous Splinter blood began to soil her neatly pressed blouse. The tentacles released me, and soon enough the two girls wrestled the Sliver from the vehicle and tased it.
One down.
The driver’s mutated arm reached across my chest and pulled the door shut. It looked deep into my eyes with those empty, black orbs. Its narrow mouth curled into the faintest of smiles as it held me pinned to the seat with that monstrous arm. Though its face was formless, its flesh waxy, I couldn’t help but feel something familiar in that smile and those soulless eyes.
“Soon,” it whispered to me in its chittering, popping voice.
A new arm burst from its shoulder, splitting into two insectoid hands that allowed it to shift gears and disengage the parking break simultaneously. I watched helplessly as Greg and Kevin finally caught up to us with the jury-rigged spike strip we’d built for just this occasion, tossing it uselessly to the ground just as the driver swerved out of the way.
I didn’t know if the Slivers were still going to try for Ms. Craven or if they would content themselves with taking me instead. Would they try to drag me to their Warehouse (assuming the Slivers had a Warehouse) and replace me, or would they kill me as soon as they found a nice, quiet place to pull over?
They weren’t slowing down. If anything, they seemed to be speeding up. They swerved down the street, aiming for the side of an old duplex. Ms. Craven’s duplex.
I took advantage of the driver’s focus to pull one arm free, fasten a seatbelt around me, and brace myself.
The SUV slammed through the duplex’s wall with a crushing impact that knocked the wind out of me and whipped my neck forward. The unsecured driver flew through the jagged remnants of the windshield and landed in what used to be Ms. Craven’s living room. The passenger from the backseat climbed over me with spindly spider’s legs, following the driver out the windshield.
A woman screamed inside.
Slowly, painfully, I undid my seatbelt and crawled through the windshield, landing on the floor in a dazed heap.
Somehow I stumbled to my feet and pulled the mini flamethrower from my back. It wasn’t much—just a kitchen lighter duct-taped to one of those recalled aerosol fire extinguishers that Mina had stocked up on, but it did the job. Flicking the lighter on, I lifted it high.
The driver had Ms. Craven wrapped in a set of tentacles and interlocking claws, lifting her off the ground. Ms. Craven looked at me fearfully, trying to cry out through the tentacle lashed across her mouth. The flamethrower wouldn’t do much good at this range, standing as much a chance of burning Ms. Craven. I was going to have to wait for backup.
“Let her go,” I said shakily. All of my experiences with Slivers so far had proved that they loved to talk. I only had to stall them long enough for Mina and the rest to get here.
The driver looked to the passenger, exchanging a low series of pops and clicks. The passenger nodded, calmly raising one of its three arms and pointing the hand at me, flat. Just like the driver, a small, frightening smile crossed its face.
I lost all feeling beneath my waist, my legs giving out beneath me. Then I could feel again—too well. It felt like every nerve in my body had burst into flames. Violent waves of nausea hit me, and my muscles no longer seemed to be my own.
Two realizations hit me at once.
First: they had a Shard we hadn’t documented yet.
Second: this Shard had remote control of human bodies.
There was shouting, and then Kevin and Greg slid through the massive hole in the wall, brandishing their flamethrowers and Tasers. Less than a second later, a sliding glass door opened in the next room, and Mina and Haley ran in to join us.
Only Aldo, Julie, and Courtney had yet to catch up.
The two Slivers looked at each other, then at us. They could have taken me easily, maybe even two of us. But five of us, well-armed as we were—that gave them a moment of pause. The driver dropped Ms. Craven roughly to the floor. Both of the Slivers raised their arms, and the driver looked at me, curling its lips into that faint, unpleasant smile.
“Soon,” it said again.
Long spikes of bone erupted from each of their chests and backs. They both began to laugh—a raspy, choking sound—as the base of each spike began to pulsate.
“DUCK!” Mina blurted, falling to the floor.
Everyone dropped, dozens of bony spikes narrowly missing us as they erupted from the Slivers’ bodies, lodging in the walls and shattering windows.
By the time we regained our feet, the Slivers were gone.
“Is everybody all right?” Mina asked.
There were murmurs of assent. Ms. Craven was on the floor, sobbing.
Finding out about Splinters is never easy for people to deal with under the best of circumstances, much less while being kidnapped by the extreme anti-human cult of Splinters that we’d taken to calling “Slivers” last fall.
Not that getting kidnapped by regular, garden-variety Splinters was all that much better.
I was confident that Ms. Craven would come out of her shock soon—she’d always struck me as pretty tough. Once this wore off, we’d be able to tell her the truth. Maybe even make her a part of the team.
Assuming, of course, she was really human.
Haley examined my scratches and scrapes. Content that I must have been okay, she smiled and threw her arms around my neck, hugging me close. I don’t know what was more uncomfortable, Haley’s weight against my aching ribs or the look of annoyance on Mina’s face.
“I’m fine,” I assured Haley, pulling away, “though that Shard they have sure did a number on me.”
“One of the ones The Owl showed you?” Haley asked.
“No, this one’s new,” I said.
“Dammit, I hate Shards,” Greg said, shuddering. I didn’t blame him; the last time we’d gone up
against a Shard, it had made him feel a swarm of spiders crawling beneath his skin.
“Tell me about it,” I said.
“Hey, guys?” Aldo said over the group line.
“Did you secure the other Sliver?” Mina asked.
“Yeah, we got her. No problems there. What about yours?” Aldo asked.
“They’ve retreated. They haven’t doubled back your way?” Mina asked.
“No, we’re clear,” Aldo said. There was something held back in his voice I didn’t like.
“What’s wrong, Aldo?” I asked.
“Uh, I think you need to see this one for yourselves.”
“We’re on our way,” Mina said. “Haley, Greg, keep an eye on Ms. Craven.”
“I got some stuff that might calm her down,” Greg said, patting a pocket on his old army jacket.
“Don’t,” I said.
Greg shrugged. “More for me then.”
I followed Kevin and Mina out the front door. By force of habit, I looked up and down the street, hoping by some miracle that we hadn’t been spotted—or heard, for that matter. It was early Sunday morning, so the streets were mostly deserted. Typical abduction timing. The cops would be here eventually—a vehicle crashed through the side of a house has a way of summoning them sooner or later—but given the Prospero Police Department’s closeness with the main Splinter Council, this would all no doubt be hushed up pretty quickly.
“You’re gonna have to spend some quality time with Mina’s first-aid kit, brother,” Kevin observed.
“I’ve looked worse,” I said.
“You’ve looked better, too,” Mina interjected coldly.
“What’d I do?” I complained.
“You nearly ruined the operation. This didn’t go half as smoothly as our other interceptions,” Mina shot back.
I didn’t have a good defense for that. Ever since she’d started receiving those messages from the Owl, giving us the Slivers’ plans for abductions, we’d had a pretty good (though not perfect) track record of intercepting and stopping the Slivers before they could take their intended targets. Over the previous month and a half, we had managed to save the mayor’s son, Sheriff Diaz’s wife, and the head of the PTA from being taken without their ever knowing anything was going on. Things could have gone better this time, I knew that, but they also could have gone a lot worse.
“I didn’t have a choice. They know what we’ve been doing, and they’re being more careful. I did what I had to do,” I said.
“You could’ve been killed.”
“But I wasn’t!”
Kevin squeezed his way between us and put an arm around each of our shoulders.
“Let us not forget, my friends, that we did stop them from replacing Ms. Craven. It may have been sloppy, and she may have been needlessly introduced to our world, but we saved her. We did a good thing; the forces of evil are in check for another day. We should be celebrating!” Kevin said, smiling that easy smile he always used to defuse tense situations.
Mina sighed. “Please try to avoid unnecessary risks in the future.”
“Will do,” I said.
“There, isn’t that better than fighting like a couple o’ freshmen?” Kevin said.
“So says the senior commencement speaker,” I replied, punching him in the ribs softly.
“Hey, I’m as surprised as you guys are that I actually got the gig,” Kevin said, grinning.
“Right… so how long have you had that speech written?” I asked.
“Seventh grade, give or take a month.” Kevin laughed. “Come on, it’ll be my last chance to try to change a few minds here before I move on to the real world.”
“Freshmen don’t fight any appreciably more or less than any other students,” Mina said as if she’d missed half the conversation, looking a bit lost in thought.
“Really? Maybe we should ask Aldo,” Kevin joked.
Tall tales about Aldo’s secret second life, or third life in our case, had become something of a running joke among the Network, given his habit of accumulating even more scrapes and bruises than the rest of us in spite of spending most of his time behind the scenes, digging for information or tinkering with the equipment.
Underground cage fighting and undercover spy operations were common speculations.
This conversation did lead to one topic that had been eating at me lately: the passage of time. Of the eight members of the Network, Kevin and Courtney were both seniors and were going to be moving on from Prospero within the next six months. I didn’t know how we were going to keep the fight going without them. We would find a way to manage, Mina always had in the past, but it would be rough without Courtney’s organizational skills and Kevin’s ability to put things in perspective.
Julie, Courtney, and Aldo had dragged their captive Sliver to the privacy of Courtney’s backyard, a good five blocks from Ms. Craven’s, and by the time we caught up with them, they already had it tied up in copper wire and were threatening to touch the wire to a car battery. As usual, Julie (her jet black hair streaked with hot pink and red for Valentine’s Day coming up) smiled at us perkily beneath her thick goth makeup.
“Ya all right, Ben?” she asked, eying the scratches on my face.
“I’m fine.”
Aldo’s concerned expression was unsettling. Ever since our fight with Robbie, Aldo had assumed a bravura I’d never known he had in him. He was the first to cheer any victory lately. If he wasn’t smiling…
“What is it?” Mina asked, looking down at the Sliver, which looked more human now despite the few extra limbs it still possessed.
Courtney held the end of the copper wire above the car battery with a plastic pair of tongs. “Show them again.”
The Sliver hissed something in its chittering language that must not have been kind. Courtney and Mina
exchanged a glance. Mina nodded. Courtney dropped the wire onto the battery’s contact.
The Sliver screamed too humanly as it shuddered and arched what could best be approximated as its back, and the wire sparked violently. When Courtney took the wire away, it reluctantly took the face of its true, human form with a look of pure spite.
It was the face of Ms. Claudette Velasquez, my calculus teacher. That she was a Splinter was not news; we had known this for a few months.
That she was working with the Slivers was a surprise. The last time we had seen her, she had a seat on the Splinter Council.
“What are you waiting for? Kill me. That’s what you want, isn’t it?” she challenged.
“We’re not that stupid,” I said.
Ms. Velasquez looked at the battery with a mix of anger and fear. “Then what is your plan for me?”
“You’re going to tell us everything you know about the Slivers’ plans,” Mina said simply, taking the tongs from Courtney and holding them a little closer to the battery. “And when we’re convinced you’re not holding out, we’ll hand you over to the Splinter Council.”
Ms. Velasquez’s eyes went wide with genuine fear. “And if you’re never convinced?”
“We turn you over to them anyway, only we don’t tell them how remorseful and cooperative you were.”
Ms. Velasquez’s eyes scanned us, probably trying to gauge whether or not Mina was telling the truth. She must have believed her, because her body visibly slumped.
“Fine. I will cooperate. Just don’t—”
She let out an ear-splitting scream, her eyes bulging—then fell still with mouth agape. We stared, trying to figure out if it was a trick, when the flesh began to melt from her bones in thick gray rivers.
“What the… no, no…” Aldo muttered, trying to scoop bits of dissolving Splinter into one of his specially rigged containment boxes, watching with confusion as the liquid continued to evaporate after the box was sealed.
The entire Splinter corpse down to the bones was deteriorating into nothingness as the raw Splinter matter became incompatible with our world.
“What the hell just happened?” Courtney asked. “She was going to talk!”
“Was she?” Mina asked doubtfully.
“Well she sure as hell wasn’t going to die!” said Aldo, staring at the last vanishing remnants of the body. “Splinters just don’t do that spontaneously.”
“They might if they got one of those in ’em, brother,” Kevin said as he pointed to what was left of Ms. Velasquez’s deteriorating bones.
What looked like a foot-long, white caterpillar made of tumors and small air sacs disentwined itself from around her spine. Slowly, it walked away from the dissolving remains of my math teacher, shaking off bits of gray slime.
Then it started to glow a faint, pulsing white, lifting off the ground and beginning to float away like a plastic bag in the breeze. Mina grabbed it with her tongs.
“That a Splinter?” Kevin asked.
“No, I don’t think so,” Mina said.
“Then what is it?” Aldo asked.
The answer hit me before Mina could say it out loud.
“A game changer,” I said. “If they’ve got themselves some sort of alien suicide pill hiding inside them to keep them compliant, we might have to reconsider our capture strategy.”
Capturing a Sliver for information had been one of our dreams ever since we started receiving information from The Owl.
Just when we thought we had the Slivers figured out, they had to come up with something like this.
I would’ve laughed if it weren’t so damn depressing.

.

~~~~~

About the authors

Fiona J.R. TITCHENELL is an author of young adult, sci-fi, and horror fiction, including Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of). She graduated from Cal State University Los Angeles with a B. A. in English in 2009 at the age of twenty. She currently lives in San Gabriel, California, with her husband, coauthor, and amazing partner in all things, Matt Carter, and their pet king snake, Mica.

 Connect with Fiona J.R. Titchenell on:

Her blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

 MATT CARTER is an author of horror, sci-fi, and yes, even a little bit of young adult fiction. He earned his degree in history from Cal State University Los Angeles, and lives in the usually sunny town of San Gabriel, California, with his wife, best friend, and awesome co-writer, F.J.R. Titchenell. Check out his first solo novel, Almost Infamous, or connect with him on:

His blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Happy book birthday, Tales from Harborsmouth! We’re celebrating the new Ivy Granger Psychic Detective book release with a party and a giveaway. Keep reading for a chance to win an Ivy Granger Prize Pack,
including a flashlight keychain, button, glow-in-the-dark fangs, and a
collectible Passport to Ivy Granger booklet signed by the author.

Let’s party!

 

Tales from Harborsmouth Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective Urban Fantasy Collection

Tales from Harborsmouth (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective #0.5,
#1.5, #2.5, #5.5) by E.J. Stevens.

My Review

I’ve been wanting to read this series and what better way to discover more about the characters than to read this collection.

Ivy Granger, a psychic detective with some Fae in her blood line, is one tough lady, and that’s without special training and weapons. She’s smart, snarky, and you don’t want to be on her bad side. And if she doesn’t set you straight the first attempt, her friend and sidekick, Jinx, will take out the trash.

These short stories were just what I needed to get me started on the series. What’s not to love. Paranormal Detectives, loony vampires, a sexy demon that sizzles, trolls, werecats, and so much more.

I have to say my favorite was Club Nexus. It’s comprised of Iced, Dusted, Jinxed and Demonized. It’s a particularly nasty case and you get each of the four character’s views on how it all went down. Bloody mayhem, death, and that sexy demon I mentioned earlier made these wickedly delicious for me.

Haven’t met Ivy Granger and her pals yet? Give this a go. You’ll be glad you did.

4 Stars

In Tales from Harborsmouth, readers get to delve deeper into
the award-winning world of Ivy Granger.

Ivy Granger is a psychic detective with ties to Harborsmouth’s
paranormal underworld. Too bad those ties tend to ensnare Ivy and
her friend Jinx in the Machiavellian schemes of the city’s teeming
population of bloodsucking vampires and psychotic faeries.

Tales from Harborsmouth is the first time the Ivy Granger
novellas are together in one collection and features two exclusive
short stories the series prequel Frostbite and the newest
Ivy Granger tale Thrill on Joysen Hill.

Featured in this collection:
• FROSTBITE (Ivy Granger #0.5)
• BLOOD AND MISTLETOE (Ivy Granger #1.5)
• CLUB NEXUS (Ivy Granger #2.5)
• THRILL ON JOYSEN HILL (Ivy Granger #5.5)

Genre: Paranormal Mystery, Supernatural Suspense, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: July 11, 2017

Add to my Goodreads TBR List.

Start Reading Tales from Harborsmouth

We’re giving away fun swag prizes, but first, grab a cupcake and check out these teasers.

Tales from Harborsmouth Teasers

A detective’s job is to take note of the little things, the small
details that can break a case wide open, but having anthropomorphic
snot treat you like you smelled worse than a troll fart could give a
girl a complex.
—Ivy Granger, Frostbite

If a faerie, a vampire, and a demon walk into a bar, you wait for
the punch line.  At Private Eye, when a faerie, a vampire, and a
demon walk through the door, it’s just another day at the office.
—Ivy Granger, Blood and Mistletoe

Of all the nightclubs, in all the cities, in all the world, the
freakin’ demon had to walk into Club Nexus.
—Jinx, Club Nexus – Jinxed

I’d seen a lot in my nine lives, but nothing so strange as Ratfink’s
Family Fun Palace and its tone-deaf taxidermied talent.
—Torn, Thrill on Joysen Hill

Want to read more books in this series? You’re in luck.

Books in this Series

Want to win fabulous swag? We’ve got you covered.

Tales from Harborsmouth Swag Giveaway

We are giving away an Ivy Granger Prize Pack,
including:

     • Ivy Granger Flashlight Keychain
     • Ivy Granger “Private Eye” Button
     • Glow-in-the-Dark Fangs
     • Passport to Ivy Granger *signed*

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL. Giveaway ends July 26, 2017 midnight EST. Good luck!

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You can find a list of my reviews HERE.

For a list of free eBooks go HERE

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I’ve got the perfect summer read.

And with social media being a major part of our lives these days, I’m sure this one will be a whole lot of fum!

There’s also a giveaway, so don’t forget to enter.

The Year I Dated the Internet by Stacy Lynn Carroll

With her 30th birthday fast approaching, Chelsea Wilson decides she is done being single. She is going to be married by the end of the year if it kills her. And sixteen first dates might just do that. With no male companionship, other than her cat Daughtry, Chelsea reluctantly creates an online dating profile. She begins meeting all kinds of men in a world now full of man buns and skinny jeans. While trying to find one good man, she ends up with four. How will Chelsea ever decide? The best part is she doesn’t have to. It’s up to you. In this romantic comedy like no other, you, the reader, get to pick who Chelsea chooses in the end. Her fate is in your hands.

Grab your copy for just 99 cents from July 11th to 15th

Praise for the Book
“I highly recommend reading this book. The story is fantastic, the dates memorable, and the ending is what you decide. I was so happy to choose which guy Chelsea ends up with, I felt even more involved in her story.” –Stacy Lybbert, Amazon reviewer

“Having read plenty of fiction with endings I didn’t love, this book was refreshing and fun. And having been married for a couple of decades and out of the dating scene, it was eye opening to get of glimpse of the new world of online dating and how difficult it can be.” –Holly Frasche, Amazon reviewer

“There was plenty of humour throughout the story and I shared some of the jokes with friends and family who all laughed as well. I would like to see more books like this. It lived up to its description and recommendation and I’m glad I read it. I would recommend it. It was just what I was looking for: a nice, light read with no heavy stuff.” –Autism Mom, Amazon reviewer

“I especially liked how real and well developed the characters were. The main character has dating experiences that anyone in the dating world can relate with, as well as experiences that no one would want, and ones that are unique to our age of the internet, taking the reader on a ride that is entertaining and heart warming.” –Leilani Peterson, Amazon reviewer.

Check out this glimpse inside!

Me: That’s a beautiful cat
Cat Lover: Thanks, her name is girlfriend.
Me: Oh, that’s funny.
Cat Lover: What’s funny?
Me: Your cat’s name. I just think it’s really clever.
Cat Lover: I don’t understand…
Me: Never mind.
Cat Lover: Do you like cats?
Me: Yes, I love them. I have an orange tabby named Daughtry.
Cat Lover: I have eight cats.
Me: Oh, wow.
Cat Lover: Would you like to see them?
Before I can even type a response, he starts sending me images. Eight pictures in all. In each one he’s holding a different cat and posing. With his shirt off. I am so glad I’m not using the camera on my computer otherwise he would see me laughing. I can’t stop. Even when I try and look away, the giggles continue. It’s like watching a train wreck. A train wreck involving eight cats. And a nubbin.

Grab your copy for just 99 cents from July 11th to 15th

Author Stacy Lynn Carroll
Stacy Lynn Carroll has always loved telling stories. She started out at Utah State University where she pursued a degree in English, learned how to western swing, and watched as many of her fellow students became ‘True Aggies’. She then finished her BA at the University of Utah where she got an emphasis in creative writing. After college, she worked as an administrative assistant, where she continued to write stories for the amusement of her co-workers. When her first daughter was born, and with the encouragement of a fortune cookie, she quit her job and became a full-time mommy and writer. She and her husband have four children, two dogs, two rats, two fish, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Instagram

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amazon or paypal$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 7/23/17

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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You can find a list of my reviews HERE.

For a list of free eBooks go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Moondance banner

Moondance

by Linda K. Hopkins

Moondance Cover

Genre: Paranormal Romance

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Synopsis

Are some obstacles too difficult for love to overcome?

For years, Melissa Hewitt has dreamed of being hunted by a panther, a huge, black creature that pursues her relentlessly. But panthers do not exist in real life – not in Canada, anyway. And it is in the Canadian Rockies that Melissa escapes the stresses of her work – a job that come with a handsome but unfriendly boss who exudes both danger and allure. There is something about Leander Garrett, however, that draws Melissa, making him almost impossible to ignore; that, and the fact that once they had been friends.

As winter turns into spring, Leander’s chilly demeanor begins to thaw, but danger prowls through the mountains, and Lee has a secret that lurks beneath his elegant clothes and rippling physique. Something that compels him to reject what he desires the most.

Can he learn to see the good in himself and finally allow his heart to love, and be loved in return?

A captivating paranormal romance, Moondance will keep you enthralled to the very last page.

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Enjoy the excerpt

Darkness hung over the ground like a pall as Melissa stumbled blindly through the forest, lurching between shadowy trunks and swerving around bushes that seemed to materialize out of nowhere. Barbed branches clawed her face and arms, leaving angry welts in their wake. Protruding roots, intent on hindering her escape, sent her to her knees, leaving them scratched and bleeding. She gasped for breath as the blood pounded furiously in her ears while her chest burned with each breath. Sweat dripped down her forehead, covering her brow. Fear had slickened her palms, and her legs trembled as she careened between the trees. Behind her, her pursuer flew with seeming effortlessness over the ground, its enormous paws making no sound as it closed the gap between them. From the corner of her eye she saw the huge cat drawing alongside her, its bright green eyes shining eerily in the dark. Her foot caught the rough end of a stump, and she flung out her hands as she tumbled to the ground. The panther leaped toward her as her screams tore through the air.

Melissa jolted upright in her bed, her eyes wide as she searched her room in terror for the beast. Rigid fingers gripped the sheet, straining the fabric until it was close to ripping. Her heart hammered in her chest, the memory of reaching claws and hot breath on her neck still too close to dismiss. She loosened her hold on the sheet one aching finger at a time until it fell from her grip.

~~~~~

Author Linda K. Hopkins

Moondance author

Linda K. Hopkins lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Calgary, Canada, with her husband, two kids and one dog, but originally hails from South Africa. When she’s not dreaming about fantastical creatures, you will find her with her nose buried in a book. Linda also loves to travel – through both physical and imaginary time and space. And if she has a slab of dark chocolate and cup of hot coffee while travelling, so much the better!

Linda holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of South Africa. She is also the author of The Dragon Archive series.

Website / Facebook

 

Buy Links: The Book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour:

Amazon / Kobo / B&N / Smashwords

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