Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Cover Reveal: Beneath the Lighthouse by Julieanne Lynch


Beneath the Lighthouse
Julieanne Lynch
Publication date: TBA
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
SOME SECRETS ARE MADE TO BE UNCOVERED.
Sixteen-year-old Jamie McGuiness’s sister is dead. Sinking into a deep depression, he frequents the lighthouse where her body was discovered, unaware of the sinister forces surrounding him.
When an angry spirit latches onto Jamie, he’s led down a dark and twisted path, one that uncovers old family secrets, destroying everything Jamie ever believed in.
Caught between the world of the living and the vengeful dead, Jamie fights the pull of the other side. It’s up to Jamie to settle old scores or no one will rest in peace—but, first, he has to survive.

Author Bio:
Julieanne Lynch is an author of urban fantasy and contemporary fiction for both adults and teens. Julieanne lives in Northern Ireland, with her husband and five children, where she works on novels full-time. Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths, a rock star being one of them. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open University and considered journalism as a career path. However, she decided writing was the way for her and is thankful for each day she lives her dream.
Julieanne is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management, and is both traditionally and independently published. 

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Tour + Giveaway, Trailer, and Map: Esme's Wish by Elizabeth Foster


Esme's Wish
by Elizabeth Foster
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mystery
Release Date: October 2017
Odyssey Books

This was her last chance. Her hand twisted high in the air.

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the impulsive reaction of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother – so why can’t she? 

But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know. 

After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all…

Preview part of the first chapter on Kobo - https://www.goodreads.com/buy_buttons/6/follow?book_id=33634667

Purchase your copy of Esme’s Wish at elizabethfoster.com.au

Book Trailer:

Advance Praise:
I found the story very unique […] this book overtook my expectations […] A beautiful, fantastical mystery. I would love to read multiple books following this one.” – Tamsyn, 15 

 “I was enchanted by the world, awed by the creatures and as motivated as Esme to find out what happened to her mother.” – Angie, 14 

Esme’s Wish is a captivating, excellently-written novel. Author Elizabeth Foster did a great job of keeping me reading as I followed Esme’s journey to investigate the disappearance of her mother, a brilliant painter. [...]  This colorful, well-constructed tale is as much detective story as fantasy and deftly blends both elements into a page-turning plot that hooks the reader in. I was fascinated by the creative water world of Aeolia, described in Elizabeth Foster’s limpid, seductive prose.  -Sarah Scheele for Readers’ Favorite  5 STARS



About the Author
Elizabeth Foster read avidly as a child, but only discovered the joys of writing some years ago, when reading to her own kids reminded her of how much she missed getting lost in other worlds. Elizabeth lives in Sydney, where she can be found scribbling in caf├ęs, indulging her love of both words and coffee. Esme’s Wish is her debut novel. 
Find out more about Elizabeth at elizabethfoster.com.au 


GIVEAWAY:

Blog Tour Organized by:













Blitz + Giveaway: T.O.E. Trilogy by Al Stone

https://cbybookclub.blogspot.com/2017/10/book-blitz-giveaway-toe-trilogy-by-al.html



Talisman Of El
T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 1
Author: Al Stone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Centrinian

Book Description:
WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?

One Planet.

Two Worlds.

Population: Human ... 7 billion.
Others ... unknown.

When 14-year-old Char­lie Blake wakes up sweat­ing and gasp­ing for air in the mid­dle of the night, he knows it is hap­pen­ing again. This time he wit­nesses a bru­tal mur­der. He's afraid to tell any­one. No one would believe him ... because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died.

Char­lie doesn't know why this is hap­pen­ing. He would give any­thing to have an ordi­nary life. The prob­lem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home.

He belongs with the others.

On Sale for $0.99 for a limited time on Amazon!

Buy Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13419125-talisman-of-el


Blackout
T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 2

Book Description:
What was shall no longer be. What was not shall now become.

Despite having the protection of the talisman and the Legion, a reforming force of warrior angels and elementals, guarding his every move, things are not looking good for Charlie Blake. Tasked with the responsibility of saving mankind, finding the four diamonds to restore the talisman is all he can think of, but when his prophetic visions start to invade his reality and he suddenly can’t distinguish the dream world from the real world, the pending extinction of mankind becomes the least of his problems. Everyone assumes Charlie’s dormant powers are activating, until he starts showing symptoms of a deadly disease.

With his nemesis, Gaddis, threatening the lives of his loved ones, he faces a race against time to locate the Stone of Raphael, the air diamond, before an imminent pandemic destroys civilization. As he ventures into dangerous lands once again, he unearths shocking revelations about his past life that forces him to question his allegiance. With no one to turn to for answers, he can’t help but wonder if his purpose is truly to save mankind.

On Sale for $3.99 for a limited time on Amazon!

Buy Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13495579-blackout


Ground Zero
T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 3

Book Description:
It happens every 26,000 years.

Only a few ever survive.

This time ...

No one will.

That is unless Charlie Blake can locate all four diamonds to restore the Talisman of El and receive his calling from the remaining three elements before the Annus Magnus strikes. With both Arcadia and the mortal world in a state of unrest, his life quickly spirals out of control as it seems everyone has put a bounty on his head. Maybe even his closest allies.

Not knowing who to trust, Charlie starts to dig up the past. When new revelations arise, he begins to question whether the Legion of Light really is what it claims to be and whether he's been fighting for the wrong side all along. The line between good and evil is no longer as clear-cut as it used to be, especially when it appears Charlie's destiny could very well be to destroy everything he loves.

Hero or villain? Charlie isn't so sure anymore.


On Sale for $4.99 for a limited time on Amazon!

Buy Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13495593-ground-zero 



About the Author
Al Stone is the author of the YA fantasy trilogy T.O.E. After graduating with a BA in Film & Television, Al had worked in the television industry for a short period before a disabling injury caused her to turn her hand to storytelling. Talisman Of El is her debut novel. The sequels Blackout and Ground Zero are currently available for sale.

When she isn’t writing, she enjoys going to the movies, listening to music and travelling. At present, she lives in England, United Kingdom with her family.




***GIVEAWAY***

$25, $15 and $10 Amazon Gift Cards up for grabs. 3 Winners. Open internationally.

Book Blitz Organised by:
http://cbybookclub.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 27, 2017

Blitz + Excerpt and Giveaway: Joined by Mara Gan


Joined
Mara Gan
(Joined #1)
Published by: Inkspell Publishing
Publication date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Duty and prophecy get in the way of everything.
All I ever wanted to do was read my books, play my sports, and help people. Life and prophecy had other things in mind.
Helping people is what I do; as an empath and semi-frequent telepath, I can easily sense and understand people’s needs and emotions. Sometimes even before they do. Being able to read everyone’s thoughts and feelings all the time can drive me crazy with anxiety, but that moment when I can finally make someone’s life better makes everything worth it.
Unfortunately, I’m also the next in line to rule the galaxy, I’m the only diplomat most planets will listen to, assassins try to kill me on an annoyingly regular basis, and a much-vaunted Prophecy has decreed that I’m going to die. Oh, and someone blew up my home planet.
Kind of a lot to deal with, right?
Too bad I just got another problem: a big, irritating, overbearing bodyguard with serious anger management issues.
And I think I’m falling for him.

EXCERPT:
“Great, Clee,” I said. “Job’s all yours. I’m going to bed.”
Kenzi covered a snicker as Synie rolled her eyes. “Princess, you know the Yurilians will only talk to you.”
I leaned back in my chair and stretched my neck. “Yeah, yeah.”
Kenzi tilted his head at Synie. “Why will they only talk to the princess?”
Synie shifted uncomfortably. “King Cepheus was….” She paused, searching for the right word.
“A jerk,” Clee supplied unhelpfully.
“Clee!” Synie barked. “That’s practically treason.”
Clee shrugged. “Yep. But I already told him that to his face. He agreed with me.”
Cepheus had a weak spot for Clee, as did we all; her tendency to tell the truth and lighten the mood at the same time was curiously refreshing. And she was right: Cepheus was a terrible diplomat.
With another reproachful glare at Clee, who was no longer paying attention, Synie continued, “King Cepheus was less than sympathetic toward their grain dispute with us. Andromeda smoothed things over and managed to talk them down from outright war.”
Kenzi’s eyes bugged. “They were going to declare war on us, just for some grain?”
“Food is a common reason people go to war,” I said. “Or, rather, lack of it. When people starve, they feel they have nothing left to lose.” Perseus’s words came back to me: people who have nothing to lose, fear nothing.
That was true on a global scale as well as a personal one, I supposed.
Kenzi’s dark eyes turned to me and he gave me an awed smile. I really hated being an object of awe. I liked doing my job—a lot—and I loved helping people, but at heart, I was an introvert who wanted as little attention as possible.
Just my luck, I got the most high-profile job in the galaxy.

Author Bio:
A Pacific Northwesterner by birth and disposition, Mara has lived in Washington DC, Oregon, Japan, and most recently the beautiful Pacific Grove, California, before returning to her roots in Seattle. By day she teaches history to unsuspecting teenagers, and by night she writes books and travels to far-flung places. She loves to be with animals, read, play sports, and drink more London Fogs than is likely good for her. 


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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Blitz + Excerpt and Giveaway: Posse: Legends by T. Hammond


Posse: Legends
T. Hammond
(Posse, #1)
Publication date: October 26th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
It should have been an easy job.
Track the jackal. Locate the girl. Rescue said girl. Return bad puppy to the Council for questioning.
As leader of the Posse, a paranormal alliance, shapeshifter Lexa O’Clare thought she’d seen everything over the past millennia. Neither she, nor her vampire partner, Etienne, expected this case to be different.
A fugitive werejackal leads them to a secret lab where supernaturals are unwilling subjects in genetic experimentation. The Posse uncovers a conspiracy implicating high-ranking members of the Inter-species Council.
Can anyone’s motives be trusted?
Lexa: a shapeshifter sheriff who also proxies for humans killed before their destinies are fulfilled.
Etienne: a Knight Templar, turned master vampire.
Yasmin: a dragon who walked among the gods.
Jade: an historian & Fox-familiar to a cranky dragon.
Sentinel: a gargoyle who mourns the fall of Atlantis.
Richard: a witch with a target on his back.
Tris: a rare polyshifter with an eye for a sexy male.
Rhys: four months ago he was human…

EXCERPT:
I rocked forward on my arms so I could lean closer and hear more clearly. My attic bedroom was directly above the coven leader’s desk, and from this angle, I had a clear line-of-sight to the witches gathered below. It’s surprising how, after all this time, they still hadn’t caught on to the fact I was spying. I could see and hear everything they discussed. Note to self: when creating a sound-dampening spell, it’s not sufficient to muffle the walls, windows, and door—the floor and ceiling should also be considered.
The peephole had been a fortuitous mishap. I’d been practicing my air-moving skills when I accidentally created a small tornado. Hey now, it was a little one, only a couple feet tall—it’s not like I created a whirlwind of epic proportions. Did you know, if you got air spinning fast enough over a single focal point, it’s possible to drill a hole in a wood floor? It was easy enough to make a plug to conceal the damage, and my room’s simple privacy spell was always active, so there were no worries of discovery. Even if they’d looked up—and they never looked up—my magic was flawless enough they’d see an unblemished ceiling. Cocky witches.
Each coven contained a main circle of twelve witches, plus a priestess. The strongest groups consist of extended families who could pick and choose the most promising amongst themselves, but most covens are formed from a collection of individuals with varying degrees of power and skill. Mother Nan’s coven was moderately talented, with a core group of six sycophants, err…I mean, mature practitioners, all of which were crowded around her desk—standing, of course. The seventh witch was Lea, a semi-strong practitioner who still lacked emotional control over her mouth and her magic, but was her mother’s favorite daughter.
“He’s an abomination.” Mara spat the words as if they left a foul residue in her mouth.
“Too true,” Betti agreed, as was her nature.
“It’s a miracle we haven’t been killed in our beds,” Ella said, lips pursed in sour disapproval.
“Oh, definitely, in our beds.” Betti nodded in quick little jerks, like a bobble-head doll.
Coral sniffed. “It was touch-and-go while he went through his let’s-set-everything-on-fire phase.”
Oh, come on now, I’d been sick, running a high fever. I was seven! You’d think, after all this time, they could let it go.


Author Bio:
 T, a paranormal romance and urban fantasy author, feels writing is not a calling so much as it is a compulsion. No one is more surprised than she is when characters take over the plot and dialog, (re)directing stories in directions she had not (consciously) intended. Although T starts out each novel with a basic outline, she finds one or two chapters into the novels, not only have the characters shredded her outline into tiny unidentifiable pieces, they use the resulting confetti in a nose-thumbing parade.
T is fully convinced the writer is the tool a story uses to tell its tale. 


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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Blitz + Teasers and Giveaway: Haven by Mary Lindsey


Haven
Mary Lindsey
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.
Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.



Author Bio:
Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.
Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 "pet" Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the "pet" roaches found a home... somewhere else. 


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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Blitz + Giveaway: Marked by Fate by Various Authors


Marked by Fate: A Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction Collection
Publication date: October 24th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Marked by Fate is now enhanced with Augmented Reality! Read, Watch, Listen. The new ultimate reading experience!
Step into adventure with Marked By Fate; the ultimate reading experience. Be immersed in twenty-six fantasy & science fiction worlds with state of the art Augmented Reality technology. Read, listen, and watch bonus content inside to bring the characters and story to life around you.
Enjoy the added features of this special edition, which allow you to enjoy bonus content right from your reading device. See character artwork. Listen to your story’s soundtrack. Watch book trailers and bonus videos. Experience behind the scenes like never before, thanks to Augmented Reality technology. Immersive Fantasy™; bringing fantasy worlds to life.

25 COMPLETE SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY NOVELS BY 26 BESTSELLING AUTHORS. PLUS, A SPECIAL BONUS NOVELLA.
Embark on fantastic journeys through magical realms, dystopian lands, and faraway galaxies in this exciting collection of fantasy & science fiction novels brought to you by some of today’s hottest authors. Encounter werewolves, robots, angels, time travelers, shifters, and more in this action-packed box set that will leave you breathless.
Authors:
Kristin D. Van Risseghem
Rhonda Sermon
Kelly St. Clare
Raye Wagner
Ednah Walters
Erin Hayes
Siobhan Davis
Jamie Thornton
Debra Kristi
Sarah K. L. Wilson
Hilary Thompson
Ingrid Seymour
Jeanne Bannon
Melle Amade
Lena Mae Hill
C.J. Anaya
Jackson Dean Chase
D. L. Armillei
Emily Martha Sorensen
Amalie Jahn
Dionne Lister
J.L. Weil
Alisha Klapheke
Angela Fristoe
Meg Cowley
Brandon Barr
99¢ for a limited time only!

Welcome to Marked By Fate:
An interactive Immersive Fantasy™reading experience!

The authors of Marked By Fate are thrilled to share this ground-breaking novel with you!
Think Harry Potter and Kindle in Motion. Moving, singing books,and all the excitement of a truly enriched reading experience.
We call it Immersive Fantasy™, because that’s what it does. It draws you into our stories and brings our worlds to life!
The titles in Marked By Fate use this revolutionary technology to bring you the best reading experience of your life.
How does Immersive Fantasy™ work?
Immersive Fantasy™ utilizes what’s known as Augmented Reality (AR). Using a smart phone/device, you can scan secret cues in the stories, and extra AR content will pop up on your device, streamed direct from the cloud (internet connection required).
See amazing, exclusive character artwork. Watch video content.Listen to the soundtrack whilst you read. Discover behind the scenes with the authors in bonus content.
Would you like to try it?
Then keep reading! You have already downloaded the Immersive Fantasy edition of Marked By Fate, and you just need to bring the magic to life.
The simple instructions overleaf will help you easily access this astonishing new world of fantasy that will delight your every sense.
Start your Immersive Fantasy™ adventure today!
Immersive Fantasy™ Instructions
Getting set up
These three steps are crucial to ensure you can access the AR content.
1.On your smart phone or tablet, download the Aurasma app from your app store.
2.Login to the app, and register your account.
3.Search for the user ‘MarkedByFate’, and click follow.
Accessing the Immersive Fantasy™ Augmented Reality content
Follow these steps carefully to access the AR content. Additional help can be found on the Aurasma help desk.
1.Read and enjoy the story, and watch for clues to the AR content. These will appear in the form of images with a symbol next to them, denoting the type of AR content. Content viewable includes images (camera icon), videos (movie clip icon), or music (music icon).
2.You will need one device/format to read on, and a smart device to access the AR content.
3.When you spot an Immersive Fantasy™ clue, open the Aurasma app on your smart device.(Navigate to the viewfinder screen if the app does not automatically do this.)
4.Centre your viewfinder on the trigger image. Make sure to include all of the trigger image in the screen. You can view the content vertically/in portrait or horizontally/in landscape.
5.The app will display the AR content in the form of an image overlay, video overlay,or music overlay, as denoted by the symbol next to the image.
6.Enjoy!You can zoom in and out and tilt your camera to fully explore each piece of content. Make sure you have your sound turned on so you can listen to the video and audio content! You will have to continue focusing on the content to keep listening to music/watching videos/viewing images.
7.It might take a little practice – don’t worry if you struggle on your first try.
Troubleshooting
What to try if it won’t work.
1.No AR content is popping up: have you registered an Aurasma account,and followed ‘MarkedByFate’? You must do this to access the content.
2.No AR content is popping up: have you made sure all of the trigger image is in your viewfinder?
3.No AR content is popping up on my kindle/e-ink device: please adjust your device screen brightness. If the screen is too bright or too dim, the image cannot be recognised by the app.
4.I can’t hear any sound: check the icon. Only video/music AR content has sound.
5.I can’t hear any sound, and it should be playing some: please ensure your volume is not muted,and turned up.
6.The content keeps disappearing: ensure you keep the viewfinder focused on the trigger image so that the AR content will remain overlaid on your screen.If you move too far away from the trigger image, the AR content will disappear.Activate it again by re-scanning the trigger image.
7.Can I access the eBook and the AR content on the same device? No. Aurasma uses your device camera, so you will have to read the book on a difference device to the device you are using Aurasma with.
8.It’s just not working – I’ve tried everything: Please refer to the Aurasma help files,and contact their help desk if you are still having issues. Whilst extensive testing has been performed to ensure maximum device compatibility, regrettably not all devices may be compatible. Best compatibility will be found on pixel based screens with good brightness levels.



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Monday, October 23, 2017

Tour + Review and Giveaway: Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz


Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz

The Rain brothers fight for the survival of humanity in Last Chance, the thrilling sequel to New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz's YA debut, The Rains.

The New York Times bestselling author of Orphan X, Gregg Hurwitz, returns to Creek's Cause to follow the Rains brothers as they fight an alien threat that has transformed everyone over the age of 18 into ferocious, zombie-like beings, in this thrilling sequel to The Rains.

Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity’s only hope for salvation.
















Praise for RAINS


“The Rains is one of those all-too-creepy-and-believable stories that leaves you looking in your backyard for the next strange weed to poke through the ground. Chilling!”—Ridley Pearson, New York Times bestselling author

Review:
4 stars

Last Chance is the kind of sci-fi book that I'm always searching for. I love sci-fi, but I want something different - and that's what The Rains series by Gregg Hurwitz is. Yes, it is about zombies, but I thought the origin of how the zombies came to be in this book was unique and added a little extra excitement to this survival story.

Another amazing thing about this book was the characters. They were well-written, and complex. It was hard to not like or get attached to the characters. I loved the differences between the brothers, and the relationship between the two. Chance does a lot of growing in this novel from the last novel, and is definitely my favorite of the two brothers. I also like Alex, and thought she really completed the trio and was a strong character.

I really enjoyed reading this novel, as much as I enjoyed reading the first novel. I look forward to reading more by Gregg Hurwitz, and would highly recommend this book if you are a fan of sci-fi.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Gregg Hurwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of 18 novels, including HELLBENT (2018). His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been published in 30 languages.

He is also a New York Times Bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, Punisher) and DC (Batman, Penguin). Additionally, he’s written screenplays for or sold spec scripts to many of the major studios (including the upcoming THE BOOK OF HENRY), and written, developed, and produced television for various networks. Gregg resides in Los Angeles.

Photo Content from Gregg Hurwitz




Saturday, October 21, 2017

Blitz + Excerpt, Teaser, and Giveaway: Canary Club by Sherry D. Ficklin


The Canary Club
Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: October 16th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
“Bad Luck” Benny is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.
Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.
Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.
Perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams’ A CERTAIN AGE or Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS, THE CANARY CLUB by Sherry D. Ficklin will entice Historical Romance fans of all ages. This Gatsby-era tale filled with dazzling speakeasies, vicious shoot-outs, gritty gangsters, and iridescent ingenues has also been compared to the television series Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING and BOARDWALK EMPIRE.

Glitter and Gold (A Canary Club Prequel) is currently FREE!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


EXCERPT:
Lepke.
I roll the name around in my head like a curse.
Glancing back over my shoulder toward my room, toward June, I know what I have to do.
For the most part, it suits me just fine to let people think I’m just some silly girl, some empty-headed dame. Because what it means is that they never see me coming, never suspect me of being capable of doing terrible things.
But I am my father’s daughter.
I was born to violence like a fish is born to water. It’s part of me, part of who I am. All my life I’ve watched the people around me suffer—the women most of all. It’s a fact of this life that more often than not, shots are fired, grievances aired, and warnings sent through the women around the powerful men. They are soft targets. Disposable, but cared for enough to make a point.
In this business, women are nothing more than weaknesses to be guarded and fodder to be thrown when needed. Pawns in a game we aren’t even allowed to play. It’s one of the reasons I was so glad when Mother had sent me off to private school upstate. For a few months, I’d felt normal. Safe.
Being called back to the life after losing her was like suddenly having an axe hanging over my head again. For one dark, dark moment I’d considered running away—and I might have too. But soon enough I realized that this is where I belong, even if I might wish otherwise. I have to do what I can to protect my family, what family I have left. I know my part and I can play it as well as any Hollywood starlet. I know I should be appalled, bereaved that things like this come so easily to me now. But I let that grief, and the dreams of being anything other than what I am, go a long time ago. And so I stay. Cursed to walk the fine line between hero and villain, between vengeance and redemption.
But Lepke isn’t going to get away with this. Not this time.
I drag my hand through the water, mixing in the salts, cementing my plan in my head.
As soon as I deposit June in the tub I steal away to the den to make a call.
“Hello?” Vincent Coll’s groggy answer reverberates through the receiver.
My heart stutters at the sound of his voice. “It’s Masie. I need a favor.”
“What’s up, doll?”
I hesitate, biting my bottom lip. It’s then that I notice the smear of blood on my dress.
“I have blood on me, Vinny,” I say, more to myself than him, but his tone heightens.
“Are you alright?” He’s awake now, alert and sharp.
“It’s not my blood,” I clarify. “It’s the blood of someone I care about, though.”
He calms again, “What do you need?”
“Lepke Brewer,” I spit the name, unable to quite put into words how I want him to suffer. How much I want him to hurt.
On the other end of the line there’s a deep sigh, followed by the sound of a lighter flicking and Vinny taking a long drag. Despite being someone I once cared about greatly, Vinny is a dangerously unstable man on a good day. I know he’ll do what I’m about to ask without breathing a word of it to anyone—not out of loyalty to me or sympathy for June and what had happened to her, but for the sheer opportunity to level some brutality on a rival. Most people call him Mad Dog, thanks to his reputation for being about as well tempered as a rabid animal. But to me, he’s just Vinny, the young boy who’d come to stay with us after being expelled from the Catholic Reform School his mother had abandoned him to. We’d spent our formative years together, thick as thieves and practically family, until he took up the roll as Daddy’s enforcer and hit man. He’d changed after that.
Hell, we’d both changed. And neither of us for the better.
I roll the memory of him around in my head, biting the inside of my cheek as I decide what to say next. We haven’t been close in a very long time, and that’s the way it has to be. It might have been something more once, or maybe I just wanted there to be something there that never was. He’d kissed me exactly once, and it had been enough to sear itself into my memory, only to be buried beneath piles of disappointment and choices neither of us can take back. He has to be hard to do what he does, with no weaknesses for our enemies to exploit. And if I’m being honest, it’s the darkness in him that terrifies me. Not because I don’t understand it, but because I do. I know exactly how easy it would be to allow myself to be consumed by the violence of this life—and how good I would be at it.
But that’s not the person I want to be.
Even so, here I am, about to ask him to do the dirty work for me, just so I can keep my hands just a little bit clean.
“You want him taken care of?” he asks finally.
I suck in a breath before answering. Yes, I want him dead. I want him wiped from the face of the earth so he can’t ever hurt anyone ever again. I imagine myself saying yes. I imagine myself throwing a fistful of dirt onto Lepke’s coffin as it’s lowered into the ground. And then I imagine trying to look myself in the mirror every day after that.
“I want him to hurt,” I say after a moment. “I want him to be broken to the core of him. But leave him breathing.”
Leave it to Vinny to echo my own fears back to me. “You sure about this, Mas?” he asks, taking another drag and exhaling it slowly. “It’s not going to keep you up at night?”
It’s a barb from an accusation I’d leveled at him the last time we spoke, when I’d asked how he slept at night, after all he’d done. His answer had been crude and aimed to hurt me. Mine would be much kinder.
“I suppose I will have to find a way to live with myself,” I answer, keeping my tone indifferent.
He hangs up without even saying goodbye.
I hold the receiver in my hand for a few heartbeats before returning it to its cradle. JD is being groomed to take over the family business and –despite daddy’s constant berating that he’s too soft-hearted or slow-witted or whatever insult he feels like hurling in the moment for the job—I’ve never stepped in and asked for a place in the business. I’m just the girl, after all, to be coddled and protected and mollified. I’d been surprised that he let me worm my way into the club as it’s headline singer rather than being shipped off to wherever. Now, I can’t help but wonder, if Daddy had seen me tonight, if he might rethink the line of ascension.
And I can’t help but wonder what life would be like for me if he did.


Author Bio:
Sherry is the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she's on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.
Sherry also writes contemporary romance under the pen name SJ Noble. You can find her at her official website, www.sherryficklin.com, or stalk her on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/sherry.ficklin. 

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Blast + Excerpt and Giveaway: Red Right Hand by Levi Black



Red Right Hand by Levi Black

Charlie Tristan Moore isn't a hero. She's a survivor. On a night when her demons from the past are triggered, she arrives home to something even more harrowing-an attack by three monstrous skinhounds, creatures straight out of nightmares. She fights but is outmatched. Just as hope seems lost, in sweeps The Man In Black, a rescuer even more monstrous and unlikely, dressed in a long, dark coat that seems to have a life of its own and with a black-bladed sword held in his terrible, red right hand.

Her rescue comes at a cost. She must become his new Acolyte and embrace a dark magick she never knew she had inside her. To ensure she gives it her all, he takes her friend and possible love, Daniel, in thrall as a hostage to her obedience. The Man in Black, a Lovecraftian chaos god, claims to be battling his brethren gods, other horrors who are staging an incipient apocalypse. But is he truly the lesser of all evils or merely killing off the competition? Either way, will Charlie be strong enough to save herself, Daniel, and possibly the entire world?




Praise for RED RIGHT HAND


Red Right Hand is a perfect blend of old-school horror and modern storytelling sorcery. Levi Black is absolutely riveting! ―Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Predator One and Deadlands: Ghostwalkers.



Visceral and creepy, Red Right Hand is a sincerely twisted tale that’s every bit as thrilling as it is macabre. ―Cherie Priest, bestselling author of Boneshaker and Maplecroft



A merge of horror and dark fantasy that will grab you by the throat! ―Faith Hunter, New York Times bestselling author of the Jane Yellowrock series.



Red Right Hand is a beautiful, terrifying nightmare of a book. Stylish and nerve-wracking, it held me constantly in an iron grip as I read it...and has yet to let me go. More, Levi Black! ―Nancy Holder, New York Times bestselling author of The Rules



Levi Black writes with bare knuckle confidence and a champion prizefighter’s skill. Red Right Hand is his first round combination that leaves you flat on the canvass, dazed and impressed. Get in the ring and be ready for battle. ―Nate Southard, author of Pale Horses and Will the Sun Ever Come Out Again?



Levi Black's Red Right Hand is visceral, violent, and sexy. This book has jaggedly-sharp humor, snappy patter and tight pacing that can literately leave you breathless at some points. It's crazy fun with unspeakable horrors! ―R.S. Belcher, author of Nightwise and The Six-Gun Tarot



Imagine that one of Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones showed up at your door and said, ‘You work for me now.’ That’s the premise of Red Right Hand, Levi Black’s grim and gory tale that takes urban fantasy into the darkest places of both the universe and the human heart. Riveting in both senses of the word: it grips your attention, and it feels like bolts punching through your flesh. ―Alex Bledsoe, author of Long Black Curl



Levi Black mixes deft characterization, vivid description, and H. P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horrors to create a thoroughly engaging urban fantasy. ―Richard Lee Byers, author of The Reaver and Blind Man’s Bluff



With Red Right Hand, Levi Black gives us an exciting, pulse-inducing mashup of Urban Fantasy and Lovecraftian Horror. Charlie Moore is a great entry into the pantheon of urban fantasy heroines, and The Man in Black is a Mythos character made even more terrifyingly real. I can't wait for the sequel. ―Gini Koch, author of the Alien/Katherine"Kitty" Katt series



Levi Black’s Red Right Hand is a perfect fusion of noir, action and horror. Urban decay, Lovecraftian madness and emotional desperation are only a few of the ingredients in the mix that powers this breakout novel. The engine on this beast is burning high-octane fuel and running hot. Highly recommended! ―James A. Moore, author of the Seven Forges Series and Alien: Sea of Sorrows



Sleek, savage and brutally well-written, Black's story hurtles you into a world where the elder gods view humans as expendable playthings or tasty snacks. Even as you obsessively turn the pages, you'll be rooting for good to triumph over endless evil. A brilliant blend of horror and urban fantasy, Red Right Hand proves that truth is chaos, and hell is only a tentacle away. ―Jana Oliver, award-winning author of the Demon Trappers series



If Mickey Spillane had delved into the Cthulhu Mythos, he might have turned out something like this. Hard-hitting and truly scary, Red Right Hand is a postmodern Lovecraftian nightmare of a tale. Dark and bloody and bad to the bone. ―Charles R. Rutledge, co-author of Congregations of the Dead

EXCERPT:

THE CHEAP ALCOHOL burned as it splashed down my throat.
Fumes roiled up the back of my esophagus, making me choke. It felt like getting punched in the tonsils with a fistful of kerosene.
I sucked in a breath, swallowing hard.
Dammit, Daniel …
I really like you.
Holding the dented, plastic bottle of vodka, I smeared my arm across my face, wiping away hot tears.
The first guy I … and he knew. He knew.
I fumbled keys out of my pocket and held them up, jangling them in front of my face. They woozed and blended in a fuzz of eyestrain, tears, and alcohol.
Now you know there’s nobody in this crappy world you can trust.
My rage had cooled on the walk home, devolving into a ball of hurt and anger and drunken fog. The stairs to the townhouse I shared were treacherous, threatening to throw me back down them with each step, but I wasn’t going to let them get the best of me.
I’m stubborn that way.
Besides, it was cold outside.
The key in my hand stabbed at the keyhole, brass clicking on brass. I had to lean my forehead against the door frame to get the key to slide into the lock. It turned in a smooth motion, barely a click to tell me it had unlocked. I stumbled across the threshold, slamming the door closed behind me, harder than I meant to.
Dammit.
At least the night is over. Just go to bed and try again in the morning. You’ve got jujitsu at ten. You can take it out on the mat.
My keys hit the table by the door with a metallic clatter, clashing against my roommates’ keys.
Keep it down, or you’ll have the whole house up. Shasta’ll want to know what’s wrong, and you do NOT want to get into that. Not tonight.
I looked up the stairs to my room.
Bed.
Just get to bed.
I’d taken only a few wobbly steps when the first skinless dog stepped from the shadows.
Copyright © 2016 by Levi Black


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Levi Black lives in Metro Atlanta with his wife and an array of toys, books, records, and comics. He's been weird his whole life and is almost as scary as he looks. Red Right Hand is his first novel.

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