BLOG TOUR | Superluminary – O. Rising

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Superluminary.


Superluminary
Olivia Rising
(Powered Destinies, #1)
Publication date: August 1st 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Previously published as two separate books: Anathema: Transition and Anathema: Escalation.

Two years ago, The Pulse—a sudden shift in Earth’s electromagnetic field—caused a global blackout and wiped a minute from mankind’s collective memory. This event introduced superhuman powers to our world and changed everything as we knew it.

Now two young women are caught in the chaos of a changing world:

Christina Chung, an antisocial misfit whose force fields are fueled by the social bonds she broke during the event of her transition.

Former coke addict Sarina Baumann, whose reality-altering power forces her to abandon everything she holds dear.

The girls find themselves entangled with the renegade hero Radiant and the authorities that made him. The three must find a way—and a place—to be the heroes they’re destined to become. But sometimes, even the heroes fall…

A truly unique Urban Fantasy novel with superpowers and a stronger emphasis on realism than what is seen in most Fantasy novels, defying common tropes and genre expectations. Heroes and villains alike are painted in shades of gray, the cast is diverse and character choices can have devastating consequences. Strong female protagonists, no romance.

“This book was so unique! And the writing was SO SO SO GOOD.” (Mogsy @ the Bibliosanctum) The book was chosen as a semifinalist.

Goodreads / Amazon


Review:

Superluminary was an interesting book that follows the revolution amongst superhuamns. The story is told from the viewpoints of several individuals, but we mostly follow two young women who end up on opposite sides.

This was different than any book I’ve read. One downside I will note, is that I wasn’t always connected to the novel and had a hard time focusing. It was a little disorganized, and if it had been a bit more cohesive, I think it would have been less confusing.

However, I still really enjoyed reading this one. I think there were elements of this story that were fantastic, the characters were interesting, and the plot was unique. I would recommend checking this one out!

Rating:

4/5☆


Author Bio:

Born and raised in Switzerland, Olivia appreciates the small things in life. She shares her cozy little apartment with numerous books, videogames, and a multitude of fictional characters. True to form, even her bio is small. It might grow some if her book turns out to be a big hit, however.

Visit http://oliviarising.com/ for the latest news about upcoming book releases by this author.

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BLOG TOUR | Children of the Fifth Sun: Echelon – Gareth Worthington

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Children of the Fifth Sun: Echelon. You can read my review of book one here.


Children of the Fifth Sun: Echelon
By Gareth Worthington
Genre: SciFi, Adventure, Action

***SEQUEL TO THE AWARD-WINNING CHILDREN OF THE FIFTH SUN***

SHE THOUGHT THERE WAS NOTHING STRONGER THAN A MOTHER’S BOND. SHE WAS WRONG.

Fifteen thousand years ago, the knowledge bringers—an amphibious, non-humanoid species known as the Huahuqui—came after a great global flood, gifting humans with math, science, and civility.

We killed them all.

Seventy years ago, we found one of their corpses preserved in ice and eventually created a clone named K’in. Our governments fought over the creature, and we killed it, too. Now, a sinkhole in Siberia has opened, revealing new secrets.

***

Freya Nilsson spent the last five years trying to forget her role in the Huahuqui cloning program. She hid her son, KJ, from the regimes and agencies she believed would exploit him for the powers he acquired through his father’s bond with K’in.

An innocent trip to help KJ understand his abilities results in the conspiracy she fought to bury exploding back to life. Chased by new foes and hounded to put the world first, all Freya can think of is protecting KJ—at all costs.


Review:

I really loved book one, so when book two was available to review, I quickly jumped at the chance…and I was NOT disappointed! I recommend reading book one first. There is a ton of backstory that will help make everything come together for you.

The characters are awesome. Freya is pretty badass, and I love reading her story. The cast of characters is pretty broad, but I was able too keep up with them and each person felt real.

The plot is fast paced and exciting. As was with the first book, I’m obsessed with the world building in this book. It is such a unique world and a fun story. I highly recommend checking this one out!

Rating:

4/5☆


Excerpt:

Location: Somewhere on the Southern Indian Ocean

No one saw the attack coming.

The first blast tore a hole in the hull at 1:37 in the morning. By 2:15 the aft portion of the supply vessel, Marion Dufresne II, was pointing to the starless sky, while its nose was dipped below the frigid black ocean. A cutting wind battered the exposed keel and the remaining crew who managed to hold on to the outer railings.

Freya Nilsson clung to the thick frame of the eighteen-ton oceanographic crane, though it too was already slipping beneath the waves. She cried out, but her voice was drowned by the howling Antarctic maelstrom and the ship’s three, huge, Wartsila diesel engines, now churning nothing but air. Freya shivered uncontrollably, her hair and clothes frozen to her skin. “KJ!” she
cried out, again.

Her son didn’t answer.

Freya sobbed, tears freezing halfway down her cheeks. “KJ, where are you?”

A flash of lightning illuminated the angry ocean and a thick layer of clouds covering the heavens, but the attacking vessel was nowhere in sight. A deafening clap of thunder filled the air
followed by a wave of needle-like raindrops that shattered across her face. The vessel reared up and the engines roared. A muffled explosion beneath the water cleaved the ship in two and the nose began to sink.

Have to jump, Freya thought. Can’t let them take KJ! She pushed off the crane and dropped into the icy ocean below. Despite already being frozen, the shock of the glacial water
stole the breath from her lungs. Before she could swim to the surface, Freya was sucked under. Tumbling down, down, down, she struggled to find her bearing. Her lungs burned, poisoned with
carbon-dioxide. Instinctively, she kicked and fought and pulled until somehow, as if pushed upward, she eventually broke the surface.

Freya took a massive gulp of life-giving salty air, only to be pulled beneath again as a piece of the ship crashed into the ocean beside her. The falling debris dragged her farther and farther into the deep. She jerked and thrashed, but it only served to steal the energy from her stiffened limbs.

Blackness enveloped Freya’s mind, the cold claiming her will to fight. Yet, even as death stalked her, she couldn’t let go. KJ needed her. She couldn’t die. Refused to die. Freya summoned her last drop of power and kicked. Once. Twice. Three times. And then, she could breathe again. The wind whipped her jet-black hair about her face, and the rain stung her eyes. But she was alive.

The silhouette of the supply vessel bobbed in the distance, ass up, before gurgling down into its watery grave. Gone. Still the attackers were invisible. With only the lasting image of where the Marion Dufresne II had just sunk as a destination, Freya paddled forward. Fighting against the chop of the ocean, she inched along. The spray blinded her and the salt burned, but she had to find him.

“KJ where are you?” she called. “Answer me, baby. Please.”


Gareth Worthington BSc PhD is a trained marine biologist and also holds a doctorate in comparative endocrinology. Currently, Gareth works full time for the pharmaceutical industry helping to educate the world’s doctors on new cancer therapies. His debut novel, Children of the Fifth Sun, won in the Science Fiction category at the London Book Festival 2017. He has a number of passions, including: martial arts (he trained in Muay Thai at the prestigious EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore), studying ancient history, and most of all writing fiction. Born in England, Gareth resides in Switzerland.

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RELEASE BLITZ | The Siren – Jo Michaels

Title: The Siren
Author: Jo Michaels
Genre: Urban Fiction/Apocalyptic Fiction
Editor: Tia Silverthorne Bach with INDIE Books Gone Wild
Publication Date: November 19th, 2018
Blurb:

It’s one year until the apocalypse of 12.21.12 is supposed to take place.

Burning buildings, screaming babies, and death will surround us.

It will be the end of the world.

That can’t be allowed.

When six powerful women come together with one goal—to save humanity—they’ll get much more than they bargained for. They join forces and learn to use the gifts hidden within themselves to battle a monster feeding off something too many of us feel in our souls: Hate. But they must first learn how to forgive—themselves as well as others.

Hate is birthing a creature dwelling under Central Park in New York, and the fiend is eager to burst forth and sink his fangs into the Earth.

The Fury, The Visionary, The Beguiler, The Siren, The Prophet, and The Mystic are our last hope, and even they aren’t sure if they can win.

The end is coming, but with it, there may be a new beginning.

Buy Links:

The Visionary: https://amzn.to/2RXtH4W

Jo Michaels is…

Hi, I’m Jo. Let’s forget all the “Jo Michaels is blah, blah, blah” stuff and just go with it. I’m a voracious reader (often reading more than one book at a time), a writer, a book reviewer, a mom, a wife, and one of the EICs at INDIE Books Gone Wild. I have an almost photographic memory and tend to make people cringe at the number of details I can recall about them and/or their book(s). My imagination follows me around like a conjoined twin and causes me to space out pretty often or laugh out loud randomly in completely inappropriate situations.

I have a degree in graphic design, and my journey to the end was one few students who begin that program ever complete. However, this was one case where my memory and OCD tendencies helped me. Graduation was one of the most amazing days of my life. But, my most amazing day was when my now husband proposed. Every little girl dreams of being Cinderella someday, and he pulled off the proposal of fantasies.

At the risk of sounding cliché, I’m going to let it out there and say how much I absolutely adore the man I’m married to. Along with my children, he’s my whole world.

I’ve lived in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Georgia, but I’ve had my feet in almost every state. Traveling is something I adore, and have plans to someday see the Mongolia I’ve written about in Yassa.

One of my favorite things is hearing from fans! You can find me on social media most any day of the week. Connect! I’d love to hear from you.

Author Links:

Buy Links:

The Visionary: https://amzn.to/2RXtH4W

Chapter One ~ Running from Me

Melody walked through her parents’ house feeling tiny and insignificant. Grand halls, famous paintings, and statues towering over her always made her feel less important. Stopping to examine a withered tulip, she thought how like the flower she was. It seemed it was passed over when the maid did the watering, and Melody was sure no one had noticed. Just like no one noticed her disappearing body. They were both hungry, but the flower seemed to show it much more gracefully.

She passed her fingers over the petals and reveled in how soft they were. What a beautiful thing left here in a corner to die because somebody decided it needed to be put on display, and it can’t speak up to make demands for what it needs. It made her breath catch in her throat as the burn of tears rose behind her eyelids.

Crushing the flower in her hand, she jerked it off the stem, threw it on the floor, turned, and walked back toward the practice room.

Once she closed and locked the door behind her, she fell back and slid to the floor, allowing her tears freedom as she pulled the letter out of her pocket once again and opened it.

On the day she’d gotten the note, she’d just given a concert in downtown Atlanta and was on top of the world. Since that day, she’d read the cruel words scribbled haphazardly on the page no less than two hundred times. It was worn, and the creases were deep, but she couldn’t bring herself to throw it away. She read:

Melody,

From the 1st time I saw u on TV I new u were nothing special. U have a gr8 voice but a lot of ppl do. Ur fat an ugly an no1 wants to see u. Y dont u go sing on the radio n not make us have 2 look at u? If not y not do something w/urself? Work out or give up a meal 4 needy kids. Ur a spoiled BRAT. Every1 nos. Ur mom n dad look like snobs. Grow up lose w8 or get lost. Either way get off my TV. I hate u. Fatty!

It wasn’t signed, and she’d never shown it to anyone. But she watched what she put in her mouth from that day forward and had taken to running three miles every day. When her mom commented that Melody was looking good with all the weight she was losing, it solidified her resolve, and she swore never to be large again. Over one hundred pounds down, she still felt fat when she looked in the mirror and compared herself to the poster of supermodel Lily Conyers, hanging on the wall by the bed. Those last few inches needed to go, and Melody was bound and determined to make it happen.

As she sat there, reading the hateful words repeatedly, she dried her tears with her hand and stiffened her spine. She knew her eyes were glinting with the malice in her heart as she rose from the floor and stuffed the letter back into the pocket of her baggy jeans.

A shiver ran down her spine, and she hugged herself to ward off the chill. Unable to get warm recently, she’d taken to wearing a sweatshirt everywhere she went. She rubbed the thick hair that had begun to grow on her arms. Ugh! Why can’t Mom and Dad save some money and turn down the air?

Flipping on the CD player, she hit play before taking her position on the stage her mother had demanded be built in the room. Allowing the music to swell, Melody opened her mouth and sang. A trickle of pinpricks began at her toes and inched their way over her skin as she orated the lyrics. Her head fell back, and her eyes slid closed.

~~~~~

After Markaza chugged two more cups of coffee, she got up and headed for the bathroom to shower and get ready to hunt down her quarry.

An hour later, she stepped out of her room with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. She got in the elevator, pressed the button for the main floor, and passed out.

It was dark; Bronya, Lily, and Shelia were walking down the streets of New York, laughing and carrying large cups of coffee in their hands. From an alley, a man leapt into their path and pointed a gun at Lily’s head.

“Give me your purses!” he shouted.

Bronya laughed, and Shelia flicked her hand in the air.

At once, the man started to weep.

Lily’s body emitted yellow light, and the gunman dropped his weapon, running like the hounds of Hell were on his heels.

From Markaza’s vantage point, above the scene and to the right, she could see flashes from a number of cameras. Her friends seemed to be unaware their photos were being taken.

Markaza gagged as she took in a gulp of air and was overwhelmed with noxious smells. Waking up to sour breath is bad enough without the added stench of body odor. Above her, the over-eager manager hovered, looking worried and barking orders into his cellphone.

“Wait a moment, she’s awake.” Putting his hand over the mouthpiece, he asked, “Are you okay?”

She nodded while holding her breath and gave him a small push backward as she got up off the elevator floor.

“Yeah, she’s fine. Thanks anyway.” He flipped his phone shut and stared at her.

Giving him a smile and thanks for his concern while trying not to breathe in any more of his stench, she bolted for the front door of the Ritz. Once she was outside in the open air, she checked the time and was pleased to find she’d only been out for a couple of minutes. She unlocked her phone and dialed Bronya’s number.

No answer.

Trying again, Markaza dialed Shelia. One ring. Two rings.

Shelia sounded chipper when she picked up.

Markaza smiled. “Hey, you. How’s it going up there in the Big Apple?”

“It’s okay here. How’s it going down there in Hotlanta? Did you find our girl yet?”

“Yes. But I haven’t made contact. I’ll call you with an update as soon as I make some kind of progress. I need to ask you for a favor.” Markaza chewed her lip.

“Sure! Anything for you. What is it you need?” Shelia’s voice dropped low.

“Make sure you guys don’t go anywhere until I get back there, okay? At least, not after dark. Please, don’t ask me why; just trust me.”

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SPOTLIGHT | Nolan Dean

Hi everyone!

I’m excited to be doing this spotlight on Nolan Dean, an author and youtuber. He was kind enough to answer some questions, so definitely check this out!


Nolan Dean’s Bio

Nolan was born in Scotland and grew up in Dubai with a love for fiction, escapism and wonder. For all of his twenty-two years, he’s read as much as he can find, and has been constantly amazed by how much he can relate to all sorts of diverse main characters.

Being a part of the LGBT community, he dreams of giving a new generation of kids that same feeling with his stories, but that’s only when Freddy Krueger isn’t controlling his dreams. (Yikes) In his spare time, Nolan is an avid cinephile and runs a YouTube series called Stories As Lessons, which analyses what you can learn from the stories you love.

He also drinks way too much tea.


Pitch for Moonflower:

Stories give eleven year old Millie a comfort she can’t get elsewhere. Whilst other children including her crush, Samantha Evans play outside, Millie escapes into The Adventures of Moonflower Jones, written by her father.

When she discovers a goblin roaming her street, she decides to investigate and runs away on an adventure through 1980s London to hunt for the monster, along with Jade, a magical princess and Zigzag, a handsome inventor, who come from the strange world of Vacatio Valley.

Desperately wanting to help, Millie uses Jade’s magic to bring Moonflower Jones to life. But when Moonflower discovers her tragic past was a work of fiction, Millie will have to face the darker side of her role model head on and become the hero she’s always imagined her to be.


Interview with Nolan Dean:

What was the inspiration behind Moonflower?

I’ve written loads of stories. Ever since 2014, I’ve been writing, but nothing ever stuck. The concepts were either too safe or my style wasn’t developed enough for them to work. I usually wrote to deal with pain, and as a result, my characters came off as extremely cynical. No wonder agents didn’t want to sign me!

But something hit me around early 2017, I had been working on my first kids story called Freckled Fable, and when that didn’t work out, I thought I would give it one more try, and there was a character in that story who was an adult. She later became my main character, Millie Robertson, and I explored her childhood in the 80s.

I’ve always been fascinated by how we viewed heroes at the middle grade age. When I was young, I remember loving these characters so much that I wanted to be like them. My favourites were Spider-Man, Harry Potter and Peter Pan. You’d probably find me outside playing pretending I was one of them or imagining what it would be like to meet them.

But then I got a cool idea, what if I did that? What if I had a story about a keen bookworm who got to meet their favourite character somehow? And even better…what if I used what happened to my earlier characters as a basis to make that an origin story for a villain?

Writers often joke about their characters hating them for putting them through hell. That’s what I wanted to write about. That’s my villain. And that’s going to be her motivation. I mean, imagine if one day someone told you that everything you’ve achieved and all the pain you went through was because someone was writing your life that way? That would drive you crazy, so the story became really exciting for me then.

Moonflower became a story about living your life through fiction, and the question of whether you’re really living at all if you’re not seeking out adventure in your own life. I think that’s something a lot of us writers related to. Whenever we’d get sad, we’d throw ourselves into a book and escape, hoping our problems would just disappear. That’s the kind of character I wanted to write.

Also, I’d never really expressed my own sexuality through my writing. Despite me being bisexual, a lot of my characters were straight. I suppose I was playing it safe because I wasn’t aware of the intense desire to see LGBT led stories yet, and I didn’t want to risk not getting signed because of it.

I’ve never been happier to be proven wrong, because the minute I started putting a bit of myself into the main character of Moonflower, that’s when everything changed for me as a writer and interest. It skyrocketed more than I ever had before, and I knew this was what I had to do.

I like to think a lot of my ideas for stories are quite unique, so the idea that those stories star LGBT leads is really cool to me. Often I see people saying they’ve written an LGBT version of an established story, and whilst I’m sure they’re good, I wanted to give LGBT readers a unique story of their own.

What made you decide to start your YouTube channel, Stories as Lessons?

Honestly, it was seeing all the pretentiousness related to film and book criticism online. You often get a lot of folk who will forget everything good about a movie for just one glaring flaw, and then that’s all they’ll ever mention, forgetting the rest of the incredible craft that goes into making a story for the big screen, and that felt wrong for me. The same goes for book criticism. One thing doesn’t work for a reader, suddenly that’s all they talk about. It’s why I often stay away from Goodreads.

I wanted to avoid that because I view stories very differently. Even if I read a story I don’t like, I like to think it can be a positive experience if you learn from it. I love it when I’m taken away from a narrative and I can look past minor flaws if I love the characters enough. So I wanted to do a show that celebrated what you can learn from your favourite stories, and it took off massively. Around summer 2017, I made a video about Spider-Man 2, which got really popular as it was around the same time Spider-Man: Homecoming was coming out in cinemas.

With that show, I don’t want people thinking of it as a review show in the sense. There’s so much of that now. I wanted people to come to my channel to appreciate and love storytelling in a safe environment, without worrying about snobby commenters telling them they’re wrong for liking something. That stuff still annoys me to this day.

What is an important lesson you’ve learned since starting your channel?

Editing is everything. Commenters will let you know if something isn’t working. Also, make what you’re passionate about. I try to avoid doing trendy videos because if I’m not interested enough in the topic, I don’t want to pretend I am for the sake of views. Sometimes I’m lucky where the trend is something I love, but it’s a rare instance. Don’t worry about the views; it’s all about getting your message out there.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite?

Coming up with characters definitely. I always try to steer away from the archetypes and do something different. This is usually when I’m creating villains and heroes. I always love it in movies where actors known for playing heroes play villains (Anthony Michael Hall in Edward Scissorhands is my favourite example), and vice versa. It adds an extra layer of intrigue for me that set it apart from the archetypes.

My least favourite is setting scenes, usually I feel like I overshoot the mark on this, because characters are always what I’m focusing on.

Is writing a hobby or a career for you?

It’s a hobby I’d love to make a career! Honestly, writing is the only thing in the world I think I’m good at, and I’m always at my best when I’m doing something creative.

What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired?

The great thing about being both a movie buff and a keen reader is that I’m usually never uninspired. If I get a case of writers block, what I’ll do is stick on a movie or read a book. Usually storytelling cues within them awaken my creativity and I get straight back to writing again. I’ve got a massive Blu-Ray collection and tons of books to go through, some I haven’t even read yet.

Who is your biggest supporter?

It’s hard to define biggest when it comes to support. I’ve got my incredible friend circle and my supportive family. I can’t write this without mentioning my incredible critique partner Lexine Higgins. We found each other through Twitter and she’s become like the sister I never had. We’re always geeking out over stuff, and she puts up with me constantly going on about Spider-Man.

Lex is probably who I’d call my best friend. We can talk about anything even if its not related to writing, but we just have this insane level of chemistry and make fun of each other, whilst always knowing we’ve got the others back.

When it comes to specifically Moonflower, the biggest supporter I’ve had besides Lex is my little cousin. She’s 8 years old right now, and like my main character, she’s also named Millie. (albeit spelt differently)

She was the inspiration for how I wanted to write Millie in this story. Whenever I go round my cousin’s house, she’s always so energetic and fun to be around, and I wanted to capture that spirit in this new character. We can lose hours talking about stories, playing video games, and I’ve taken her to a few of my cinema trips. Sometimes I read to her as well, she’s got me reading Harry Potter and Coraline to her simultaneously.

Just her energy and charming smile was exactly what I needed to write this character. Gone was the need for me to put all my cynicism onto my characters, and Millie became such an endearing protagonist as a result. I’ve made my cousin a promise that if I ever get an agent deal, the first thing I’m doing is heading over to their house just so I can see her smile when I tell her the news.

The best part is that she’s the reason I don’t want to give up. I couldn’t look into her face and tell her I wasn’t writing anymore. I feel like I have to do it not only so LGBT kids can have a hero, but so my little cousin will be proud of me. I love her to pieces, I really do.

What is something unique your readers/subscribers might not know about you?

I’m always writing. Even if I’m not sitting down and typing something. In my head, I’m always visualizing scenes and marinating on ones I’ve written. Often it helps me develop them, and I love doing that so much.

You’re a new addition to a crayon box. What color would you be and why?

I’d probably be a rainbow crayon if that exists. If not, it should. Mostly because I don’t like tying myself down to one thing. I want to experience everything I can.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

When it comes to writing, never give up. Don’t try to copy what others do, because it’s your unique voice that makes you special. Only you can tell us your perspective on a topic through storytelling, so make it the best you can. Don’t be afraid to really pour your heart and soul into something, because readers gravitate to that passion.

Also, if you’re a writer who also happens to do book reviews, remember you know how hard it is to craft a story. Don’t slam another writer because they wrote something you didn’t connect with. Be critical, sure. But remember to be constructive.

This was a lot of fun, Jessica! Thanks so much for letting me do this.

Moonflower is currently being looked at by my dream agent for my Revise/Resubmit, so fingers crossed I get to go over to my cousins to tell her the good news.


Background Info On Nolan:

I’ve always been fascinated by how we viewed our favorite heroes at such a young age. How we wanted to be like them and wish we could inherit their bravery. I often did this a child with my favorite heroes such as Harry Potter, Peter Parker and Wendy Darling.

But because I’m me, I had to give it a strange twist, and figured it would be really fun to turn the brave and powerful hero into the story’s primary antagonist. Authors always talk about how much their characters would hate them if they ever met, so why not take that concept and turn it into the villain’s origin story?

Fascinated with this concept, I began writing Moonflower two years ago and it’s been the most fun I’ve had writing in my whole career. When I started writing, I was doing it to deal with anger after I’d broken up with my significant other at the time, and as a result, a lot of my characters came off as cynical.

Then enter my little cousin (also named Milly) who has such a love for nerdy things and is always excited to talk with me about the latest Marvel movie or debate which Star Wars character is the best. This innocent love and passion is what inspired me to write my new main character, Millie Robertson, as both a tribute to the cousin I love dearly and to write a sweet compelling hero as opposed to a cynical one.

Being a member of the LGBT community, I loved that I could take this unique concept and make it one of the first fairytale adventures to feature a queer lead. Millie approaches her first crush in a very innocent way, and because it’s set in the 80s, she has a lot of sensitivity about coming out to her parents and allowing herself to be happy.

Moonflower is a story about a fictional hero gone bad, but it’s also a story about learning that whilst you can love the stories you read, letting them define you and refusing to live your own life can be harmful in the long run, so Millie has to find the hero within herself and discover that life itself can be a great adventure.

Currently, my dream agent has shown interest in this story, so I’m in the midst of rewrites to get it perfect for her, but my little cousin always keeps me determined. I’m not just doing this to be an author, I’m doing this for her and she’s my biggest inspiration. Hopefully she’ll be proud of her big cousin if I’m successful.

I also run Stories as Lessons, where I like to discuss what you can learn from stories you love. I’ve included a link. Click HERE.


Thanks so much for coming on my blog, Nolan! Fingers crossed for Moonflower.

Keep an eye out for Nolan’s work!

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BLOG TOUR (1st Stop) | The Janitor and the Spy & The Dragon and the Lumberjack – S. W. Ellenwood

Hi everyone!

Today is my first stop on the blog tour for The Janitor and the Spy & The Dragon and the Lumberjack. Today I am reviewing The Janigor and the Spy, and I will be reviewing The Dragon and the Lumberjack on the 21st.


Baby wipes are not the best at cleaning up blood or what happened to Thornhill in Amsterdam.

They told Thornhill it would be a simple spy mission that he was more than eager to take on, but of course, it wasn’t.

It didn’t take long after meeting the contact for Thornhill to question if he or anyone else connected to him was going to be able to make it out of Amsterdam alive. Passing strangers on the streets became potential hitmen and dinner with criminals became safe heavens as Thornhill seeks to find answers from an old man named Golay.

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Review:

With a title and a cover like this, The Janitor and the Spy was bound to be quirky, and I really loved it. S.W. Ellenwood’s debut novel is short, intriguing and a good set up for what is to come with this series.

This starts off as a slow burn and then with a quick turn of events, takes you on a ride. It leaves you with more questions than answers, but I loved that about it.

This is a fun Spy novel that will have you guessing and leave you hanging, but fear not, the next novel is available. I’m impressed with this one, especially since it is a debut and I look forward to reading more from S.W. Ellenwood! Highly recommend checking this out.

Rating:

4/5☆


S. W. Ellenwood is thankful to have a close-knit family of two parents, a brother, and two sisters. A homeschooler who graduated college from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, Ellenwood loves all forms and genres of stories and was inspired by The Lord of the Rings films and his parents to write. You can find Ellenwood writing his next novel at the local coffee shops or playing table top games with his best friends.

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BLOG TOUR | Ricochet – David A Kennedy

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the Ricochet blog tour.


Ricochet
David A. Kennedy
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: November 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Thriller

Brenda Roseberry’s youth was fractured with personal loss and sexual assault. In response, she’s trained her body through rock climbing and Isreali martial arts. Her genius at engineering tends toward the devious: she invents technology that allows her to see through walls, along with bulletproof clothing and specialized grenades.

Brilliant, fearless, and eminently disturbed, Brenda is ultimately recruited by Special Crimes Response And Mitigation—SCRAM. And so begins her daring pursuit of white-collar crime, fringe terrorist conspiracies, and anyone deserving of her unique brand of draconian justice.

Her only real friend is a notorious MS-13 gangster named Pucaso. He’s got a crush on her but that only makes Brenda deride him and loathe herself. Still, she relies on his help, whether she’s in Belize to wipe out the server farm of a corrupt hedge fund, or on Maui to take on the poisonous executives of a giant chemical company. Brenda treats wrongdoers like insects—the kind that need extermination.

Goodreads / Amazon


Review:

Brenda is one of those main female leads that you want on your side. She is kick-ass, with incredible endurance. Her personality is captivating. Nothing bothers her and she rains vengeance on bad guys, and she was just a really awesome character to read.

This story is really driven by Brenda. It was almost like watching an action video game, and it reminded me a bit of Tomb Raider because of Brenda. I really liked that aspect.

David Kennedy has a knack fordescribingaheart pounding action. This is one action packed novel, and I recommend checking it out!

Rating:
4/5☆


Author Bio:

Dave is a guidebook writer/publisher turned novelist. He began rock climbing around 1984, which was a “logical” extension of hiking, camping and backpacking since boyhood. After his first article on climbing in San Diego’s back-country was published in Rock & Ice magazine, he created the San Diego County Climbing Guide, which proved extremely popular. Next came San Diego Adventures: Classic hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing. In 2007 he completed and published a second edition of the climbing guide, which vividly detailed over 2,000 routes.

Subsequently, he embarked on a fiction-writing odyssey, producing sci-fi novels and short stories “rather unsuccessfully” in terms of publication. He finally found his proper voice in 2017 when he wrote Ricochet, an intense modern-day thriller about a young female vigilante. Upon its completion, he learned about Acorn Publishing while attending the 2018 Southern California Writers’ Conference and was signed by them shortly thereafter.

David is also an accomplished horticulturist. He became interested in tropical plants called Bromeliads in 2010, which quickly turned into a passion. He is an active member of the San Diego Bromeliad Society, and has won “Best of Show” awards in their annual show multiple times. His Tillandsia collection is considered one of the best in the region. For many years he and his wife Debbie have been chief volunteer caretakers of the San Diego Zoo’s Kent Bromeliad Garden.

Becoming a novelist is the realization of a lifelong dream. David loves the process of storytelling, of waking up each day well before dawn and diving into the art of making words come together in a way that appeals.

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BOOK BIRTHDAY BLITZ | Visions of Zarua – Suzanne Rogerson

Hi everyone!

Today I’m on the book Birthday blitz for Visions of Zarua.


Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past?

An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.
Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.

Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.

The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard wWin 3 x Paperback Copies of Visions of Zarua (Open Internationally)hose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?

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Visions of Zarua is only 99p for a limited time to celebrate the book birthday.


Review:

I loved everything about Visions of Zarua! From the flawed, relatable characters to the intricately planned out world of Paltria, and the ancient, abandoned city of Zarua…this book had everything I want to see in a fantasy novel.

Suzanne Rogerson has crafted a novel with a mix of fantasy, mystery and magic. The story is told from two time lines, 350 years apart. There wasn’t any point in the story where I felt confused. I knew where we were in the story the entire time, and I couldn’t put it down.

This is full of choices and secrets, with flawed and well developed characters. The magic system is unique, the world building is top notch and the mystery is intriguing. I highly recommend checking Visions of Zarua out!

Rating:

5/5☆


Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

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Win 3 x Paperback Copies of Visions of Zarua (Open Internationally)

*Terms and ConditionsWorldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


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BLOG TOUR | The Beguiler – Jo Michaels

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Beguiler.


Title: The Beguiler
Author: Jo Michaels
Genre: Urban Fiction/Apocalyptic Fiction
Editor: Tia Silverthorne Bach with INDIE Books Gone Wild
Publication Date: November 5th, 2018
Blurb:
It’s one year until the apocalypse of 12.21.12 is supposed to take place.
Burning buildings, screaming babies, and death will surround us.
It will be the end of the world.
That can’t be allowed.
When six powerful women come together with one goal—to save humanity—they’ll get much more than they bargained for. They join forces and learn to use the gifts hidden within themselves to battle a monster feeding off something too many of us feel in our souls: Hate. But they must first learn how to forgive—themselves as well as others.
Hate is birthing a creature dwelling under Central Park in New York, and the fiend is eager to burst forth and sink his fangs into the Earth.
The Fury, The Visionary, The Beguiler, The Siren, The Prophet, and The Mystic are our last hope, and even they aren’t sure if they can win.
The end is coming, but with it, there may be a new beginning.
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Review:

I think The Beguiler is my favorite so far in The Hate Apocalypse series! I’m honestly a little obsessed with these books to begin with, but there was just something so compelling about this story in particular.

Shelia is by far my favorite character of the six so far. I love the progression from book one and I am really looking forward to the rest of this series.

Jo Michaels delivers books that have everything from interesting and intricate plots to intriguing and relatable characters. I just love her writing style, and I keep becoming more of a fan with every book I read by her.

Rating:

4/5☆



Jo Michaels is…
Hi, I’m Jo. Let’s forget all the “Jo Michaels is blah, blah, blah” stuff and just go with it. I’m a voracious reader (often reading more than one book at a time), a writer, a book reviewer, a mom, a wife, and one of the EICs at INDIE Books Gone Wild. I have an almost photographic memory and tend to make people cringe at the number of details I can recall about them and/or their book(s). My imagination follows me around like a conjoined twin and causes me to space out pretty often or laugh out loud randomly in completely inappropriate situations.
I have a degree in graphic design, and my journey to the end was one few students who begin that program ever complete. However, this was one case where my memory and OCD tendencies helped me. Graduation was one of the most amazing days of my life. But, my most amazing day was when my now husband proposed. Every little girl dreams of being Cinderella someday, and he pulled off the proposal of fantasies.
At the risk of sounding cliché, I’m going to let it out there and say how much I absolutely adore the man I’m married to. Along with my children, he’s my whole world.
I’ve lived in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Georgia, but I’ve had my feet in almost every state. Traveling is something I adore, and have plans to someday see the Mongolia I’ve written about in Yassa.
One of my favorite things is hearing from fans! You can find me on social media most any day of the week. Connect! I’d love to hear from you.
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Chapter One ~ Mom and Dad
Little Shelia Morgan stood in her living room, using her chubby, six-year-old arms to hold her teddy bear while she cried. Recordings of her dad’s violin music played in the background and people kept walking through the room and hugging her. It was making her more scared than she was when Aunt Ivy told Shelia she’d have to go live somewhere else because her parents wouldn’t be coming back again.
Aunt Ivy and Uncle Melvin didn’t come around very often. Shelia didn’t know why, but she’d been to visit them once and didn’t like it there. Their house smelled like old people, and Aunt Ivy hated kids. As Ivy sat in Shelia’s mother’s favorite recliner and chatted, the child watched with intensity. Aunt Ivy never smiled at anyone coming in and hadn’t shed a tear since the news of the deaths had come. Shelia couldn’t figure it out; even the police officer had cried when he’d given them the terrible news. She knew her mother and Ivy were sisters but had no idea why she wouldn’t be crying. It all seemed wrong somehow. All Shelia knew was, she did not want to go live with her Aunt and Uncle—not ever.
A nice lady from Child Services showed up after everyone left and offered to help Shelia pack her things. They chose seven outfits, two pairs of shoes, and a few photographs to put into the tiny suitcase. When the locks clicked, Shelia began to cry in earnest. It all felt so final, and the “click” seemed to lock it into place in a way nothing else had. She launched her little body at the social worker and cried into her shirt.
The woman pet Shelia’s hair and whispered, “It’s okay, baby. I know you’re scared. You’re gonna be okay. Shh…”
Shelia jerked back and looked the lady in the face. “I don’t have to move with Aunt Ivy and Uncle Melvin, right?”
“No. I found you a really nice place to go where you’ll be very loved.”
“But Mommy and Daddy won’t know where to find me as angels,” Shelia said, stepping away and wiping her nose on her sleeve.
“They always know. But if it makes you feel better, we can leave them a note, okay?”
Shelia’s head bobbed up and down.
“Do you have paper and pencil?” the woman asked.
Racing around the room, Shelia gathered her drawing paper and crayons. She sat down, and the lady helped draw a picture telling the angels where to find their little girl.
The lady held Shelia’s hand, and they walked out to the car where she was put in the back seat and buckled in. Aunt Ivy watched from the porch as they drove away but never lifted her hand to wave.
After a time in the car, Shelia saw they were turning up the driveway of a little blue house with a swing set in the yard. She was hustled out of the car and brought to the door.
The lady that answered was thin, tall, and pretty, wearing a flower-pattered apron over her t-shirt and jeans and no shoes. There was flour on her nose, and the scream of a baby could be heard from the depths of the house.
She smiled and squatted down so she was Shelia’s height. “Hello there, Shelia. I’m Mary Alice. It’s nice to meet you.”
“Hi,” said Shelia. She turned and grabbed the other lady’s pants, feeling shy.
Mary Alice stood up to talk to the social worker. “I’m sorry to hear about her parents. We’re happy to take her in. I’m so glad you called me.”
“Yes, it’s a tragic story. Poor kid. She’s too little to even understand what’s going on. You have my number; call me if you need anything.”
“I will.”
Turning and looking down at Shelia, the social worker said, “You’re going to stay with Mary Alice. She’s really nice, and there are other kids here you can play with, too. Don’t be scared, honey. We told your mom and dad where they could find you.” She peeled the child off her legs, turned Shelia and the suitcase over to Mary Alice, and left.
Shelia stood on the porch and cried, her teddy bear dangling from her hand.
“Sweetheart, why don’t you come on in, and I’ll introduce you to the other kids.”
Tilting her head back, Shelia looked up into the twinkling eyes of Mary Alice before taking her hand, sniffing, and nodding.
“There’s a good girl.”
In the kitchen, there was chaos. The baby was still crying, and two kids around Shelia’s age were running around, whooping and hollering.
“Janet, Michael! You two stop that! You’re makin’ Cleo cry!” Mary Alice said. She snatched the two mid-stride and deposited them in front of Shelia. “This is Janet; she’s eight. This is Michael; he’s five. That,” she said, gesturing to the baby in the highchair, “is little Cleo; she’s just seven months. My husband’s name is Herb, and he’ll be home later. You can meet him then. Do you want somethin’ to drink?”
Shelia shook her head and clutched her teddy bear to her chest.
Janet narrowed her eyes at Shelia and the bear.
Michael smiled.
Cleo wailed.
Mary Alice threw up her hands and said, “Okay. Ya’ll go outside and play. I gotta get this baby to stop screamin’ or I’m gonna tear out my doggone hair.”
Janet and Michael bolted for the door, but Shelia hung back. Instead, she curled into a corner of the couch where she cried into her teddy bear’s fur until she fell asleep.
Sometime in the middle of the night, someone moved her, and she woke up in a bed with bright, colorful sheets on it. When she opened her eyes, she began to cry again until she remembered where she was and why. Those thoughts made her want to snuggle back under her covers and go back to sleep. Maybe forever.
Instead, she got out of bed and went in search of a bathroom. She did her business and was on her way back when she found her path in the hall blocked by Janet.
“What?” Shelia asked.
“How come you sleep all the time? You sick or somethin’?”
“No, I’m sad.”
“How come?” asked Janet.
“Because my mommy and daddy went to stay with God, and they didn’t take me with them,” Shelia answered, her voice faltering.
~~~~
Shelia relaxed into the buttery leather of the couch and closed her eyes. A voice that seemed too far away was like a mosquito buzzing in her ears, and she just wanted to shut out the woman’s words. Shelia took a deep breath and let it out in a rush.
“Now, Shelia, you need to remember what happened when you were little. Hypnosis has never hurt one of my patients, and it might help us unlock what’s in your head, making you sad.”
“Look, lady, I’ve been to countless shrinks like you. They all say they want to help me fix this and help me fix that. Nothing’s wrong with me.” Shelia lifted herself into a sitting position. She adjusted her too-tight shirt and squirmed.
“That can’t be true. You’re battling some kind of personal demon. The problem is: you won’t tell anyone what’s really making you sad. Is it moving out of your aunt and uncle’s house?”
She snorted. What a ridiculous thought!
Dr. Candy sat forward in her chair and leaned forward. “Why did you snort like that? Did I ask a stupid question?”
“Um, because those two treated me like a slave? I cooked and cleaned and mowed and washed my whole life while I lived under their roof. I was happy to be out of there! I thank God every day Ivy didn’t spend the money from my parents’ house being sold.”
“But there must be something you’re repressing or you’d be happy now,” said the doctor.
Repressing, my ass, thought Shelia. She knew damned good and well what demons she was battling. Sinner! For the previous few months, she’d been trying to work off the weight she’d put on since her twelfth birthday. Seven years of overeating in an attempt to disgust Melvin had taken its toll. A lot of good that did. That bastard still came after me. She hid her thoughts with a smile. “I am happy. Why would you think I’m not?”
“Your posture, the way you never have a kind word to say about your relatives, and the look on your face right now,” answered the doctor.
“So I’m uncomfortable in my skin. Big deal. I’ve been working out.”
“I’m not talking about your weight, Shelia. I’ve read in your file that you were in a foster home after your parents had their accident. Can you tell me what happened there?”
“Nothing. I cried in bed for a day, and then I was taken away and given to that pair of vipers that call themselves my family.” Shelia bit her bottom lip at the memory of Janet and her fear of being taken away from Mary Alice; that little girl had obviously seen horrors Shelia couldn’t even have begun to imagine at that age. She thought she’d learned just how the girl had felt and why. Thinking about anyone doing something to Janet like Melvin had done to Shelia made her shudder.
Dr. Candy pressed for more. “Tell me about the years you spent with your aunt and uncle.”
“What are you pushing me for? You have everything in your stupid file, right?”
“I want to hear what you felt, not read what your papers say.”
“Fine! I got taken away from a real nice lady and put into the hands of slave drivers. I cleaned, cooked, and took care of the house from age six to age eighteen. Never did they give me anything I wanted. I wore second-hand clothes and got a haircut once a year. Because of them, I couldn’t even make a friend and keep one. Is that what you want to know?” Shelia was breathing hard as she finished her speech and hoped like

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RELEASE BLITZ | The Ash Moon – Michelle Dare

Title: The Ash Moon
Author: Michelle Dare
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design
Publication Date: November 16th, 2018
Blurb:

A kept secret. A life altered. A new journey.

Ariane lived her life one book at a time. She would never have guessed those books were about to change everything.

They led her to Orion.

Tall, dark, with eyes only for her. The rest of the world ceased to exist when Orion was around. But during a fateful ash moon, he shifted into a wolf. Ari thought she was dreaming, but she’d recognize those eyes anywhere.

Fiction became reality. Fantasy was actually history. And soon, Ari would learn her role in it.

A pack war was on the horizon, and she was the only one who could stop it.

Nothing would ever be as it once was, because Ariane was now part of the Avynwood Pack.

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Michelle Dare is a romance author. Her stories range from sweet to sinful and from new adult to fantasy. There aren’t enough hours in the day for her to write all of the story ideas in her head. When not writing or reading, she’s a wife and mom living in eastern Pennsylvania. One day she hopes to be writing from a beach where she will never have to see snow or be cold again.

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BOOK BLITZ | Nevermore – M. Stratton

Title: Nevermore
Author: M. Stratton
Genre: Gothic Romance
Blurb:

Raven Pallas ran from her past.

Easton Poe had a past he couldn’t escape.

When Raven gets her dream job on Nevermore–a private, remote island–she can relax for the first time in years. As the person in charge of the island and making sure the buildings are kept in perfect condition, especially the large English manor house, is her ideal job. Using her unique skillset learned from her father, she has forgotten more than most men knew of construction.

The memories of Easton’s wife’s brutal murder haunt him still. Escaping the mainland and Poe Distilleries, he’s holed up on Nevermore, alone with only memories of his Lenore to keep him company. For almost five years, he has driven away all the other caretakers his twin brother had hired to make sure he was safe on the remote island.

Raven is different. He can’t chase her away–and for reasons he doesn’t understand, he is relieved when she stays.

But something–and someone–dark and sinister is just along the edges of their oddly tranquil life. Secrets long buried come back to haunt both of them and the answers will haunt them, evermore…

Nevermore, a modern gothic romance inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven.

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M. Stratton is an International Amazon bestselling author in the romantic suspense and mystery suspense categories for her Storm Series and Bender. She lives with her husband and son in Arizona, which is a big difference from where she grew up north of Chicago, Illinois. As an only child she learned to tell herself stories to make the long winters go by quicker while dreaming of summer vacations. Now as an adult she still makes up stories to pass the time, but now she writes them down to share with other people.

Stratton is a self-proclaimed dork who loves to make people laugh. Her inner rock star is always on stage performing to a sold out crowd, but she quiet and shy on the outside. She spends her days plotting new ways to surprise her readers.

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