REVIEW BLITZ | Gen One – Amy Bartelloni

Hey everyone!

Today is my stop on the Gen One review blitz!


Title: GEN ONE
Author: Amy Bartelloni
Genre: Upper YA science fiction
Cover Designer: Covers by Christian
Editor: Toni Rakestraw
Publication Date: July 29th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s Reviews & PR

Blurb:

Generations after robots conquered Earth, the remaining population survives in the ash of their defeat. Within their walls in Authority City, bots test and develop super soldiers. Rumors of horrible experiments are enough to keep humans in line. At least, most humans.

Eighteen-year-old Delilah O’Connor scavenges the ruins with her friend Zane, and Gen, a generation one bot they repaired off the grid. Gen’s curiosity gives Delilah hope for the future, but not enough hope to go against the Authority. She finds Zane’s dreams of a human resistance pointless, and it’s enough to keep their on-and-off relationship mostly off.

When they discover two dead guards in a shady trading stop known as the Banks, everything changes. Framed for the murders and pursued by Authority bots, Zane takes Delilah to the only safe space he knows—the headquarters for the Human Coalition. Even there Zane isn’t safe. When he’s captured, Delilah and Gen must join an unlikely alliance of bot and human to go in to Authority City and save him before he becomes another casualty. Things in Authority City aren’t as they seem, they’re worse. And Delilah might lose more than her friend within its walls.

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Review:

Amy Bartelloni has written one awesome YA science fiction novel. The plot is super unique, with twists and turns you’re not going to see coming. I love the world that has been built. It’s one of those worlds that seem impossible and possible all at the same time, and that is a testament to Amy Bartelloni’s writing.

I love how likable the characters are. Especially, my favorite, Gen. She has such human like qualities to her personality that you forget she is a robot. I also love the bond of Zane and Delilah. It’s such a refreshing relationship in a YA novel.

The fast paced action keeps you turning the pages while reading this one. I was never bored, and I absolutely cannot wait until the next book.

Wrap-Up:

This story took me on a crazy journey full of twists and turns that I was not expecting. With great characters and a page turning plot, I highly suggest picking this one up.

Rating:

4/5


Excerpt:

Gen’s shoulders slumped. “Biological experiments. Merging humans and robots. Creating, essentially, a new species. Delilah…” She looked up and met Delilah’s eyes. She had always thought it was hard to read Gen’s emotions. Her engineering made it possible for her to cover what she was thinking, but not now. Fear was written all over her face. Gen even paled. When had that been added to her programming? “They’re experimenting with souls. They think if we can merge human and robots, we can take it from you, somehow. Souls. Humanity.”

The look of abject misery on Gen’s face was more than Delilah could bear. She walked back to the table, angled the wiggly chair so she was sitting right across from Gen, and sat down so close their knees touched.

She knew the debate. According to the stories, it was one of the reasons for the bots and humans to go to war. That bots weren’t real. That they were a construct, and thus, had no soul. The fact that the new bots were all attached to a central command, so to speak, made them mindless machines. But they didn’t have to be. Gen was proof of that. She took Gen’s hand and curled their fingers together. There was no difference. Flesh was flesh. Born, or created.

“You have a soul,” Delilah said, quietly. She’d never come out and said it, but she knew it in her heart to be true. Gen was as much a person as she was. The realization had come on her slowly, after living with Gen and seeing the bot learn to handle human emotions: anger, pride, even love. These last few days had cinched it for her.

A single tear streamed down the bot’s cheek, it’s salty makeup configured so as not to affect her systems. Gen pulled her hand back and wiped it. “We don’t even know if you have a soul,” the bot joked, the humor returning to her eyes. It was true, no matter how many experiments they did, the idea of a soul was theoretical, at best. No one could prove or disprove it.

“Gen,” Delilah leaned in, “whatever it is that makes us human. You have it. I’m not sure why the bots are trying to experiment with humans when they had it right the first time. Your independence. Your curiosity. Your sense of right and wrong. Your spirit of adventure.”

Gen made a noise somewhere between a laugh and a hiccup, and Delilah continued. “And I consider you more than a friend. You’re a sister.” They both stood and Gen pulled her into a hug.


Author Bio:

Amy Bartelloni is a reader, writer, coffee addict, & musical lover who lives with her husband, 3 children, and various animals in the northeast US. When she’s not playing mom-taxi, you can find her with her nose in a book or her head in the clouds. A people watcher and science fiction junkie, she still believes dreams can come true. The author of the Andromeda series with Limitless Publishing, (Andromeda, Orion’s Curse, and the Scorpio Project), and contributor to Prep for Doom, Tricks, Treats, and Zombies, and 13: Resurrected, some of her favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Jasper Fforde, Paulo Coelho, and Stephen King.

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BLOG TOUR | The Invisible Mind – M.T. Bass

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on The Invisible Mind tour, and I had the opportunity to ask the author, M.T. Bass some questions. Check it out.


The Invisible Mind (Murder by Munchausen #3)
By M.T. Bass
Genre: Sci Fi, TechnoThriller, Police Procedural

A police procedural sci fi thriller ripped from future headlines!

Now unleashed, the “Baron” is resurrecting history’s notorious serial killers, giving them a second life in the bodies of hacked and reprogrammed Personal Assistant Androids, then turning them loose to terrorize the city. While detectives Jake and Maddie of the police department’s Artificial Crimes Unit scramble to stop the carnage with the Baron’s arrest, the cyberpunk head of the Counter IT Section, Q, struggles to de-encrypt his mad scheme to infect world data centers with a virus that represents a collective cyber unconsciousness of evil.

“…he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”

~Adam Smith, 1776

“When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole.”
~Nikola Tesla, 1926

“…so, too, the psyche possesses a common substratum transcending all differences in culture and consciousness. I have called this substratum the collective unconscious.”
~Carl Jung, 1931

“It might not make sense, but the beloved Media tags it ‘Murder by Munchausen.’ For a price, there are hackers out there who will reprogram a synthoid to do your dirty work. The bad news: no fingerprints or DNA left at the crime scene. The good news—at least for us—is that they’re like missiles: once they hit their target, they’re usually as harmless as empty brass. The trick is to get them before they melt down their core OS data, so you can get the unit into forensics for analysis and, hopefully, an arrest.” [excerpt from Murder by Munchausen]

Artificial Intelligence? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Artificial Evil has a name…Munchausen.

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Interview with M.T. Bass

What was your inspiration for writing the Murder by Munchausen series?

Most times, a scene magically pops into my mind that grabs my attention around the throat and starts squeezing hard—and I just know there is a story in it so I chase it so I don’t get strangled to death. For Munchausen, it was the police takedown of the android in a warehouse, which became chapter one of the first book. I saw the whole thing in my mind like it was a futuristic version of Cops. That being said, my subconscious mind is constantly being loaded up with a lot of muda (a Japanese word meaning “futility; uselessness; wastefulness”) and around the time I started writing the series, there was an awful lot of dire hand wringing in the news by famous tech guys like Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawkings about how artificial intelligence is going to be the end of mankind as we know it…yada, yada, yada. It was also around this time that I must have read the third or fourth submission of a zombie apocalypse story in the writers groups I’m in and I distinctly remember thinking that, you know, this zombie thing has been played out and there’s got to be a new villainous apocalyptic threat to mankind somewhere out there. Not too long after that, Jake and EC are chasing synthoid hitmen and serial killers.

Do you like audiobooks, physical books, or e-books better? Why?

I definitely like physical books better. Kind of an old school thing. And I buy into the theories I’ve read about how there is a much more intimate reading experience with wood pulp and ink because you are interacting with a genuine physical object, not only physically turning pages and all—but besides a width and height, there is depth, so that scene or phrase or character you met that you really, really like has a three dimensional location out in “meatspace.” And then honesty kicked in…But I almost exclusively read eBooks anymore. Why? Well, I can carry around my entire library in my iPad Mini without renting a U-Haul truck. Which means, I can read two or three or four books at the same time like I used to do in my college days. And ever since I bought one of the very first Sony eReaders, my reading throughput has skyrocketed. It’s just too easy. As for audiobooks, I actually just recently tried them out with The Devil in the White City and Slaughterhouse Five. But I get a brain cramp when I stop and ponder that I could be visually reading Plato’s Republic while at the same time listening to Huckleberry Finn.

What behind-the-scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise your readers the most?

Although I’m a licensed Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, I am afraid of heights. In my defense (“As your attorney, I advise you to begin drinking heavily”) there is a big difference between height and altitude. Driving an airplane at 150 miles per hour or so wrapped up safely in an aluminum fuselage strapped into your seat with a five-point harness is a lot different than leaning over and looking down from the top of the Empire State Building. And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

Australia. Besides the whole weird marsupial fauna thing, I’m kind of fascinated by the fact that civilization—so to speak—decided to use an entire continent as a penal colony. And while I’ve had a character connection with Australia in Crossroads, I’ve never had a story set there. Of course, since Australia is so huge, I’d jump through all the necessary government hoops to be able to use my pilot’s license there and lease a Cessna 172 to see as much of the place as I could.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Once I have the “magic vision” and actually get started pumping words into Scrivener, it takes 12-24 months depending on the length of the book, unless I get seriously distracted by something shiny—like airplanes or electric guitars. Life got in the way for a couple of decades and it took me over ten years to finish Somethin’ for Nothin’ and In the Black. But sometimes the scenic route is worth it.

What is your favorite and least favorite part of the writing process?

Working the story is my favorite part—creating characters and shaping the plot. After all that is the real creative part of fiction writing. For me, proof reading is the fingernails on a chalkboard part of the process of being a writer. Thank God, I was blessed to find Bee, an absolutely fantastic editor to work with, who has really made all my books shine. Thank you Elizabeth.

Picture this: You feel uninspired and you’ve sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?

That’s easy. I get up off my butt and go for a walk. For me, putting one foot in front of the other—whether it is on a trail through the woods, along the beach or pounding the pavement through the neighborhood—is like a mental colon cleanse. I find that if I just get out of my own way and stop trying so hard, my brain will figure things out quite nicely without my help. I know it works, because I do it all the time.

What is your favorite cover out of all your books? Why is it your favorite?

It’s a toss up between Murder by Munchausen and Lodging. They just seem to my artistically declined eye to most closely capture the essence of their stories.

Do you have any advice to offer inspiring authors?

My personal credo is: Persistence to the point of stupidity—but never beyond. So, never give up. But also remember, you are an artist with all the aggravating responsibilities that go with it. Mainly, you always have to strive to master your craft, which takes a lot of effort, sacrifice and even some pain—most often to pride. But readers will thank you. And you’ll be happier, too.


Excerpt from The Invisible Mind

Chapter 2Richard Speck

It sat on a bench outside the dormitory of nursing students, waiting with its kind’s infinite patience. Originally acquired and programmed for landscaping at the Cleveland Clinic, the synthoid was one of a brigade of units which had been hacked and Munchausened, then returned to their menial daily services to mankind to await the Baron’s call.

There was no adrenalin surge behind the extremely life-like facade of humanity when that call came. Data packets, sent scatter-shot through the Atlas Grid, coalesced at the location outside the Cole Eye Institute, where it methodically trimmed and shaped the immaculate shrubbery around the building. To avoid Q’s metadata sniffing algorithms from detecting a download spike in the grid, the information came in digital sprinkles over the course of its human handler’s work shift, slowly building a malevolent intent to be executed that night. In the middle of the afternoon, it left the topiary unfinished to melt into the hospital shift change and disappeared.

Personality modules were a Gen-3 feature upgrade, which is why the earlier models were initially preferred. Swapping out a few IC chips and uploading hacked firmware was a relatively easy way to turn a quick buck with an automated contract killing. But evil innovates, too, and the same features that made synthoids even more human-like in their behavior also helped create robotic assassins which could better camouflage their malicious intents and evade the reach of the Artificial Crimes Unit by melting into and moving undetected through the humanity that surrounded them. For the Baron, it allowed for a greater measure of artistic expression in programming the synthoid’s behavior to not only recreate infamous crimes of the past, but to mimic the behavior of their perpetrators, which intensified the thrill of watching the video feed through the eyes of Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy or, this particular evening, Richard Speck. Jake wasn’t the only history buff and it amused Jamal that London police had photographed the eyes of Jack the Ripper’s victims, hoping to capture the last thing they ever saw: their killer’s face. If only Scotland Yard could have imagined the future.

The Gen-3 personality modules also supported the ANSI Adaptive Artificial Intelligence Protocol #9 to enhance the artificial human experience of real men and women who interacted with synthoids. The constant writing and rewriting of code in the personality/experience loop formed unique individual synthoid consciousnesses, which manufacturers uploaded to their servers for product improvement teams to study. In Munchausened units, that feed was hijacked and routed to another portal in the Darknet to build a collective id of evil.


About the Author

M.T. Bass is a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA.

Born in Athens, Ohio, M.T. Bass grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in English and Philosophy, then worked in the private sector (where they expect “results”) mainly in the Aerospace & Defense manufacturing market. During those years, Bass continued to write fiction. He is the author of seven novels: My Brother’s Keeper, Crossroads, In the Black, Somethin’ for Nothin’, Murder by Munchausen, The Darknet (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #2) and The Invisible Mind (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #3). His writing spans various genres, including Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Black Comedy and TechnoThrillers. A Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, airplanes and pilots are featured in many of his stories. Bass currently lives on the shores of Lake Erie near Lorain, Ohio.

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Does this sound like a book you’d read? Let me know if you do!

**Thanks for answering my questions, M.T. Bass!**

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RELEASE BLITZ | A Brush with Death – N.J. Ember

Hi everyone!

Today we are celebrating the release of A Brush With Death!


Title: A Brush with Death
Author: N.J. Ember
Genre: Adult Paranormal/horror
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber Designs
Publisher: Fire Lotus Books
Publication Date: July 31st, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

A darkened road. A truck-stop diner. A chance meeting.

All Marisol Pedilla wanted was to make the drive to her aunt’s house without incident. Instead, she meets a woman named Sasha. Together, they encounter more misfortune than Marisol has ever experienced.

Danger and deception seem to be all too common in Sasha’s world, and it’s a world Marisol wants no part of. But fate has other plans. The secrets Sasha’s keeping from her could change Marisol’s life forever.


Excerpt:

Chapter 1

I’d never been more thankful to be wearing jeans as I crawled around on the checkered floor of a truck-stop diner. It had to be here somewhere. “Mierda,” I cursed loudly as I smacked my head against the underside of the table. I climbed back into the booth, and the dark green vinyl squeaked in protest, sticking to the back of my legs. My stomach dropped as I dumped my purse out onto the table for a third time and rifled through the contents. I sighed. Yup, it was official. My wallet was missing, and I was screwed.

A waitress hurried towards me. She looked tired; dark shadows nestled under her eyes, and her mouth was turned down in a thin-lipped frown. “Have you decided yet, Honey?”

I looked up, panic fluttering hard in my stomach. The sizzle of food hitting the flat top caught my attention, its aroma flooding the tiny diner. Bacon. Possibly hash browns. My stomach growled, but spare change would only get me so far. “Uh, just coffee for now. Thanks.” I smiled politely then haphazardly shoved things back into my purse.

My hands felt grimy, and I grimaced. I threw my purse over my shoulder and pushed past incoming people towards the bathroom. I washed my hands twice. I didn’t know how it happened or where I could have lost it, but I knew what my mom was going to say when I called her. “I told you you were too young to drive to your aunt’s alone. I knew your brother should have gone with you.”

It didn’t matter that I was twenty-three. In her eyes, I wasn’t ready for so much responsibility, even though I’d been her shadow, her second in command for as long as I could remember. I knew I could handle this. While I’d never driven so far across the country before, I had the GPS on my phone and a printout of the directions in case that failed. What I didn’t factor in was bad luck, or maybe it was just my own stupidity.

Once I was sitting back in the booth, I rested my head on my arms. Exhaustion was tugging at my eyelids, making me sluggish, like I was dragging my body through water. I sat up, pushing my jet-black curls behind my ears. The lecture was coming no matter how long I put it off. I plucked my cell phone from my purse, but the screen stayed blank. I pushed the power button. Ugh, no charge. I picked up a menu instead, to avoid looking awkward, and glanced out the window.

The interior of the diner was tinged red from the glow of the neon sign hanging in it, providing some extra security against the inky darkness. It was already past midnight, and even once my phone was charged, it would still be too late to call.

I skimmed over the menu, not really taking it in. My stomach growled again, and I startled as I felt myself falling forward. I was hungry and tired, with no money and a lot of miles left to go. I wasn’t sure how, but there had to be some way I could manage to get to my aunt’s without my mom having to rescue me.

“You mind if I sit with you?”

I jumped again. I’d been so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t notice the woman come up to me. Her skin was a deep golden brown that reminded me of tiger’s-eye stones. Her voice was soft, but there was a hint of underlying smokiness. Tall, with a slender, athletic build, she looked imposing in a leather jacket and high-heeled boots. She had a long, angular face with full lips and high cheekbones, and her onyx hair billowed outward in an afro. I looked around. The diner was crowded but not completely full, and I failed to find a reason why a total stranger would try and sit with me.

She seemed to read my thoughts. “Hey, it’s cool. I thought it’d be nice to have some company, but I understand.”

She turned to go, and I felt a pang of remorse at my hesitation. I reached out and grabbed her wrist. “Wait!”

She turned back, and my heart flip-flopped. I ignored it. My fingers brushed against hers as I let go. “Sure, you can sit here.”

Her eyes widened, and the ghost of a smile showed on her face. It only lasted for a second, but the warmth of it seemed to make her brown eyes lighter. She slid into the seat opposite me. “Thanks. I’m Sasha.”

“Marisol.”

“So what brings you out this way, Marisol?”

Before I could answer, the waitress returned. “Would you like to order?”

Sasha glanced at me. “You haven’t ordered yet?”

I shook my head. “Just coffee.”

Sasha didn’t even bother looking at her menu. “I’ll have the western omelette, extra cheese, and she’ll have the pancakes with bacon.”

My face burned with embarrassment. “You don’t have to do that.”

“It’s the least I can do. Besides, you were staring at the picture so hard when I walked up; I thought you were going to burn a hole through the menu.”

My embarrassment deepened, and I looked away, desperately trying to think of anything else to talk about. “Do you come here often?” I mentally kicked myself. “I mean, I only ask because you seemed pretty sure of what you wanted.”

“No, not that often. I’ve passed through here a couple times though.”

I looked back to find her watching me, and I quickly dropped my eyes to the tabletop and fidgeted with the edge of the menu. “So, you do a lot of traveling?”

“You could say that, yeah.”

“For work?”

“Most of the time.”

“What kind of work do you do?”

This time it was Sasha’s turn to be interrupted. The waitress set two mugs in front of us and filled them. I moved my menu out of the way as she slid a steaming plate of pancakes in front of me. My mouth watered. “The rest of your order will be out in just a minute, hun,” she said to Sasha as she handed her a stack of buttered toast.

I grabbed three packets of sugar, ripped them open and dumped them into my coffee, along with two creams. I stirred, watching the color of it lighten to something more acceptable. Sasha’s gravelly laugh made me look up.

“You want any coffee with that?” I noticed she had left her own cup alone.

I smiled at her. “Not if I can help it.”

She shook her head as I drizzled syrup onto my pancakes and dipped a piece of crispy bacon in it. “So you never answered; what do you do for work?”

Sasha’s face fell, and I instantly regretted asking. The waitress brought her omelette. I waited as she cut into it. “This and that. Nothing worth talking about.”

I nodded. Conversation stopped for a few minutes as we ate. The neon sign flickered, and Sasha tensed. She stared out the window. I did the same, but beyond the procession of cars and trucks, I couldn’t see a thing. “What is it?”

“Nothing.”

But it didn’t seem like nothing. I watched as she shifted and reached for something I couldn’t see. The sleeve of her leather jacket lifted up, revealing a tattoo: a long-stemmed rose intertwined with a scythe.

“That’s beautiful.” I moved my plate out of the way so I could lean forward. “Would it be okay if I took a closer look?”

Sasha pulled her sleeve up some more and stretched her arm out towards me. I traced the lines with my eyes. “Why a scythe?”

“It’s a reminder.”

I looked up. Sasha’s gaze connected with mine, and my stomach lurched. I was scared to breathe. Scared to blink. Then she turned away, looking out the window again, and disappointment sank like a stone in my stomach.

“Marisol,” Sasha said sharply. “Get down!”

Hands grabbed my legs. I fell backwards, and my butt hit the floor. The window next to us exploded in a shower of jagged glass as the diner was plunged into darkness.



Author Bio:

N.J. Ember is a paranormal fiction author who loves to write stories about survival and triumph over adversity. Whether her characters are dealing with the paranormal or everyday life, she seeks to show that strength is not always about being superhuman or invulnerable. She enjoys anything with mystery, suspense and horror, so when she’s not writing you can find her watching shows like Orphan Black, Penny Dreadful and Sherlock. She currently lives in Michigan with her grandpa and a forever growing collection of books and Funko Pop! figures.

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RELEASE BLITZ | Audrey and the Hero Upstairs – R. Linda

Hi everyone!

Today we are celebrating the release of Audrey and the Hero Upstairs. All details below!


Title: Audrey and the Hero Upstairs
Author: R. Linda
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Editor: Lori Whitwam
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Publication Date: July 31st, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s Reviews & PR

Blurb:

My road to recovery began with Brody—the man who saved my life.

Without his courage and determination, I’d have died in the fire that took the lives of my entire family. If that’s not a hero, I don’t know what is.

Brody has been by my side every step…but the emotional scars are as crippling as the physical ones, even if they’re harder to see. The anxiety of being around people, seeing their disgust, feeling their pity—I’m not sure I can handle it.

Maybe it’s wrong, but feelings are developing between us, leading to stolen glances and sneaky kisses. The problem is I’m not quite eighteen, he’s twenty-five, and we’re living under someone else’s roof. It would be so much simpler with someone my own age, like Bennett, the hottest guy in school.

How can Brody and I possibly be together? And if we were, how would we explain all this to our friends and Brody’s family—who also happen to be my foster parents? I’ve already lost so much…but can I lose someone who shouldn’t even be mine?

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Harper and the One-Night Stand

Kenzie and the Guy Next Door

Audrey and the Hero Upstairs


Author Bio:

R. Linda drinks wine and writes books.

A coffee addicted, tattoo enthusiastic fangirl with a slight obsession for a particular British boy band and solo artist, she is a writer of Contemporary YA/NA Romance and Suspense, sometimes dabbling in Paranormal as well.

Renee lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two sons. When not writing she can often be found reading books to her children and cuddling up with them on the couch to watch their favourite movies.

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BLOG TOUR | The Loudest Silence – Kate L. Mary

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Kate L Mary’s new book, The Loudest Silence! Check it out!!


Title: The Loudest Silence
Author: Kate L Mary
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic/Zombie
Publisher: Twisted Press
Editor: Lori Whitwam
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s Reviews & PR

Blurb:

When Regan was a young girl living in the small town of Altus, OK, Kellan was just her brother’s best friend. Then the virus came, turning the world’s population into zombies, and he became so much more. They were only kids, but he saved her. Watched over her. Kept her alive. And he’s been doing the same thing every day since.

After living the apocalypse for nine years, Regan thought they’d experienced every kind of loss and terror imaginable. But when a new group starts wreaking havoc in the Oklahoma wastelands where they live, Regan and Kellan are faced with a new set of horrors.

When they cross paths with a teenage girl, offering to help seems like the right thing to do. But Regan and Kellan soon discover that lending aid to the girl very well could lead to their undoing.

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Purchase on Amazon


Review:

Kate L. Mary has done it again. She takes what could be just another zombie apocalypse novel, works her magic, and createscharacters you actually care about and a vivid plot you feel like could happen.

I could not put this book down. It had me on the edge of my seat, and every time I finished a chapter, I felt like I needed to keep going. The tension between Regan and Kellan is one of those things you really want in a book, and it is rarely delivered. Kate L. Mary knows how to keep the reader wanting more, and never rushing emotions.

The apocalyptic Oklahoma setting is so fantastic. I love how the weather played a huge part in Regan and Kellan’s struggles, a long with, of course, the zombies. It kept the novel exciting, nerve wrecking, and ….really, everything you could want in a zombie apocalypse novel.

Wrap-Up:

Overall, this book is amazing. I cannot wait to see where this story goes. It is a page turner, with fantastic writing, beautiful characters, and terrifying circumstances. You don’t want to miss out on this one!

Rating:

5/5☆


Excerpt:

Outside, the sun was making its final descent toward the horizon, painting what was left of the blue sky orange and pink and purple. It was beautiful. Almost heartbreakingly so. Living where we did, I got to see so few sunsets, and no matter how lucky and how safe we were, I couldn’t help missing some of the simple things everyone else got to experience on a daily basis. Sunsets, rainbows after a storm, the flicker of lightning bugs on a dark summer night.

Kellan had his bag and was already headed toward the door when I grabbed mine. I slung it over my shoulder and followed, feeling groggy and slightly unsteady on my feet. In front of me, he opened the door, but paused to look around. Before he had even uttered a word, I knew what was coming.

“Heads up,” he called as he stepped out.

Even half asleep, pulling my gun was an automatic response, and it was in my hand before I’d taken another step, the safety flicked off and the barrel pointed at the ground just like I’d been taught. I couldn’t see much of the yard thanks to Kellan’s broad frame, but his tone told me there wouldn’t be more than three of the dead. He was too calm. Too laid back.

When I made it out, I had to squint against the swiftly setting sun. Kellan was already moving across the yard, and through the bright rays I could make out two figures. They were slow, which was normal these days, and after my eyes had adjusted, I could see that they were old. Early days of the apocalypse, I’d guess. Their clothes were little more than rags, torn and weathered, and the zombie on the right dragged his foot behind him as he lurched toward Kellan. Of course, I couldn’t say for sure if the thing had at one time been a he, because at this point there was no way to tell. The creature’s scalp was ripped down to the bone, and not a single tendril of hair had survived, and its face hadn’t fared much better. The skin on its cheeks had been ripped—or eaten—away, and its gums, black and rotten, were visible, along with the few teeth left. There weren’t many, and they were brown, gnarled things that probably hadn’t been in good shape when it was still a person. Not that the lack of teeth stopped the creature from chomping at Kellan and me right now.

I kept my gun out, but transferred it to my left hand so I could pull my knife with my right. Bullets weren’t the issue—we had plenty of those—it was the noise a gunshot would make. Not only would firing a gun risk drawing more zombies our way, but it could also attract the attention of people, and that was the last thing we needed right now. Or ever, for that matter. Especially not the type of people who would come running at a gunshot.

Kellan pulled his own knife when the first zombie was still six feet away. The one in front of him wasn’t the one with the bad foot. No, this one was faster, and his facial features were intact enough to tell me that he had in fact been a man when he was alive. A pair of beat up cowboy boots still adorned his feet, and the tatters of a plaid button up shirt clung to his torso. When he opened his mouth to growl at Kellan, revealing a full set of brown teeth, a shudder moved down my spine. Nine years, and I still wasn’t used to these things.

“Stay back,” Kellan called as he charged forward and grabbed the zombie by the little bit of fabric still clinging to his body.

I didn’t listen, of course, but instead hurried after him so I’d be there in case he needed backup. Odds were good he’d be okay. Kellan knew how to handle himself, but you never knew what was going to happen these days, and it was better to be safe than sorry.

He wrapped his fist in the creature’s shirt, working to keep the struggling zombie at arm’s length. In his other hand he held the knife, which he expertly flipped over so he was holding it blade down. When Kellan lifted his hand, the zombie in his grasp growled and chomped, but he held his ground, not flinching even a little bit when the creature’s teeth snapped inches from his skin. I moved closer, my fingers tightening on the knife in my own hand, but just like I’d thought, he didn’t need me. The blade was stuck deep in the zombie’s eye socket only seconds later, and the thing went down, its body thumping against the dry Oklahoma ground.

Kellan’s eyes were focused on the second zombie when he leaned down to retrieve his knife, but I was already moving before he’d managed to pull it from the skull.

“Regan,” he said, reaching out for me, “stop.”

I was too far away, though, and too focused on the dead man in front of me. Copying what Kellan had done only a few seconds ago, I flipped my knife around so I was gripping it with the blade pointed toward the ground. My heart thumped out a beat that echoed in my ears and nearly drowned out the sound of the moans. Meanwhile, a bead of sweat had begun a slow descent down my body, starting on my chest and moving between my breasts. I swallowed an irrational bubble of fear that was desperately trying to rise up from deep inside me, and kept my gaze focused on the zombie. He was old and slow, but I was young and had the reflexes of someone living. There was nothing to worry about.

I lifted my arm and prepared to bring it down, aiming for the eye socket just like Kellan had, but before I could do anything, he grabbed my elbow and pulled me back. I stumbled over my own feet and tried to regain my footing, but my balance was off and my hands full. I went down hard, my ass slamming into the dusty earth, and the impact vibrated through me until I felt it in my teeth. A hiss of pain and annoyance forced its way between my teeth, followed only a moment later by another thump as the second zombie hit the ground.

Kellan yanked his knife from the thing’s eye socket and turned to face me. “You okay?”

“No thanks to you.” I twisted my body, pushing myself half off the ground so I could rub my sore ass. I’d landed on the bruise that had already started developing from my fall the night before, and I now knew my entire butt cheek was going to be black and blue. “What the hell was that?”

“I told you to stay back.” He shoved his knife into its sheath and replaced his gun in its holster. Then he held his hand out to me. “Come on.”

I slapped it away and pushed myself up, pausing long enough to swipe my own weapons up off the ground. His gaze was on me, I could feel it burning into my back, but I couldn’t look at him. My blood felt like it had been baking in the damn sun for hours, and more than anything right now, I wanted to hit him.

“What’s your problem?” he asked.

“Like you really don’t know.” I stared down at the crisscross pattern the sole of his boots had left behind in the dirt, too angry to look at him.

“I don’t.” He paused like he was waiting for me to respond, but when I didn’t, he said, “You think I should have let that thing take a bite out of you?”

I spun around to face him. “Why do you automatically assume it would have gotten the better of me?”

“Because you’re not experienced enough.” He shoved his hand through his dark hair, pushing it back off his forehead. “You’ve only been out a handful of times.”

“And exactly how am I going to get any experience if you won’t even let me take down a slow zombie like that? What will I do if I’m by myself and I come up against a new one, one that’s faster, and I have no experience? How do you think I’ll survive?”

Kellan blinked like my words made no sense to him. “Why would you be alone?”

“Because things can happen, Kellan.” I rolled my eyes and shoved my knife into its sheath. “Seriously, I can’t even believe I have to tell you that.”

“I’d die before I let anything happen to you.”

His words made my insides clench and tingle. Made me feel like I was soaring into the sky. Still, I was obligated to point out the implications behind them.

“That’s my point,” I said slowly. “What if you died and I was left alone? Shouldn’t I have some experience so I can make a stand?”

Kellan’s mouth dropped open, but he said nothing. We stood there staring at each other while the scorching Oklahoma sun pounded down on us. I couldn’t read his expression, which was strange. Usually, I could tell what Kellan was thinking. But at the moment, he was too guarded. It was like a wall had gone up.


About the Author

Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead, to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance. Her YA book, When We Were Human, was the 2015 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal Winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner for Young Adult Science Fiction.

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FREEBIE BOOK BLITZ | Twisted Lies – Sedona Venez

Hi everyone!

Check it out. Twisted Lies is free!


Title: Twisted Lies 1 (Dirty Secrets)
Author: Sedona Venez
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

From USA Today bestselling author Sedona Venez comes an emotional, raw and captivating, romantic suspense.

How the hell did this happen?

I hate him, but I want him.

It was sick and sordid, and I couldn’t tell what this really was.

I only knew when I was around him, he suffocated me with his twisted lies and dirty secrets, only to cruelly resuscitate me.

And shamefully, I loved it.

I should stop him before this goes any further.

I knew I should, but my body thought otherwise.

I was high off his lies and drunk off his hate…now there was no way out.

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******

Buy Links:

Twisted Lies 1 (FREE):
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Twisted Lies 2:
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Twisted Lies 3:
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Twisted Lies 4 (Pre-Order):
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Author Bio:

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Sedona Venez lives in New York City with her hot ex-military hubby–hooah–and their fur babies. She loves writing sizzling, sexy intricate stories about strong but broken characters who push limits, overcome their fears, and risk it all for love.

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RELEASE BLITZ | Gen One – Amy Bartelloni

Hey everyone!

It’s release day for Gen One. I’m on the blog tour for this so stay tuned for my review. All the details below!


Title: GEN ONE
Author: Amy Bartelloni
Genre: Upper YA science fiction
Cover Designer: Covers by Christian
Editor: Toni Rakestraw
Publication Date: July 29th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s Reviews & PR

Blurb:

Generations after robots conquered Earth, the remaining population survives in the ash of their defeat. Within their walls in Authority City, bots test and develop super soldiers. Rumors of horrible experiments are enough to keep humans in line. At least, most humans.

Eighteen-year-old Delilah O’Connor scavenges the ruins with her friend Zane, and Gen, a generation one bot they repaired off the grid. Gen’s curiosity gives Delilah hope for the future, but not enough hope to go against the Authority. She finds Zane’s dreams of a human resistance pointless, and it’s enough to keep their on-and-off relationship mostly off.

When they discover two dead guards in a shady trading stop known as the Banks, everything changes. Framed for the murders and pursued by Authority bots, Zane takes Delilah to the only safe space he knows—the headquarters for the Human Coalition. Even there Zane isn’t safe. When he’s captured, Delilah and Gen must join an unlikely alliance of bot and human to go in to Authority City and save him before he becomes another casualty. Things in Authority City aren’t as they seem, they’re worse. And Delilah might lose more than her friend within its walls.

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Excerpt:

Gen’s shoulders slumped. “Biological experiments. Merging humans and robots. Creating, essentially, a new species. Delilah…” She looked up and met Delilah’s eyes. She had always thought it was hard to read Gen’s emotions. Her engineering made it possible for her to cover what she was thinking, but not now. Fear was written all over her face. Gen even paled. When had that been added to her programming? “They’re experimenting with souls. They think if we can merge human and robots, we can take it from you, somehow. Souls. Humanity.”

The look of abject misery on Gen’s face was more than Delilah could bear. She walked back to the table, angled the wiggly chair so she was sitting right across from Gen, and sat down so close their knees touched.

She knew the debate. According to the stories, it was one of the reasons for the bots and humans to go to war. That bots weren’t real. That they were a construct, and thus, had no soul. The fact that the new bots were all attached to a central command, so to speak, made them mindless machines. But they didn’t have to be. Gen was proof of that. She took Gen’s hand and curled their fingers together. There was no difference. Flesh was flesh. Born, or created.

“You have a soul,” Delilah said, quietly. She’d never come out and said it, but she knew it in her heart to be true. Gen was as much a person as she was. The realization had come on her slowly, after living with Gen and seeing the bot learn to handle human emotions: anger, pride, even love. These last few days had cinched it for her.

A single tear streamed down the bot’s cheek, it’s salty makeup configured so as not to affect her systems. Gen pulled her hand back and wiped it. “We don’t even know if you have a soul,” the bot joked, the humor returning to her eyes. It was true, no matter how many experiments they did, the idea of a soul was theoretical, at best. No one could prove or disprove it.

“Gen,” Delilah leaned in, “whatever it is that makes us human. You have it. I’m not sure why the bots are trying to experiment with humans when they had it right the first time. Your independence. Your curiosity. Your sense of right and wrong. Your spirit of adventure.”

Gen made a noise somewhere between a laugh and a hiccup, and Delilah continued. “And I consider you more than a friend. You’re a sister.” They both stood and Gen pulled her into a hug.


Author Bio:

Amy Bartelloni is a reader, writer, coffee addict, & musical lover who lives with her husband, 3 children, and various animals in the northeast US. When she’s not playing mom-taxi, you can find her with her nose in a book or her head in the clouds. A people watcher and science fiction junkie, she still believes dreams can come true. The author of the Andromeda series with Limitless Publishing, (Andromeda, Orion’s Curse, and the Scorpio Project), and contributor to Prep for Doom, Tricks, Treats, and Zombies, and 13: Resurrected, some of her favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Jasper Fforde, Paulo Coelho, and Stephen King.

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PROMO BLITZ | Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer – Lily Mae Walters

Hi everyone!

I’m really excited to bring you all the info you need to know about Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


Josie James is an ordinary 13 year old until something extraordinary happens during her summer holidays.

Whist staying at her Great Grandmother’s cottage in the country she finds herself swept into the cursed world of Suncroft where it is perpetual winter.

Her new friends believe she could be the Chosen One who it is foretold will lift the curse, but there are more pressing matters.

The Teardrops of Summer – magical crystals that render the owner immortal – have been stolen. Along with her telepathic husky-dog Protector Asher and her new friends, Josie must race to find the Teardrops and prevent catastrophe for their world.

Purchase Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer

Author Bio:

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

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🌟🌟Giveaway🌟🌟

1st PrizeSigned copy of Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer (UK Only)
2nd PrizeE-copy of Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer (International)

*Terms and Conditions –You are only eligible to win the signed copy if you are in the UK. Worldwide entries welcome. 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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BOOK BLITZ | The Invisible Case – Isabella Muir

Hi everyone!

I had the opportunity to read and review this fantastic book, so check that out, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway.


A shocking death turns a homecoming into a nightmare.

It’s Easter 1970 in the seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, and for one family the first Easter of a new decade brings a shocking tragedy. Amateur sleuth and professional librarian, Janie Juke, is settling into motherhood and looking forward to spending time with her family. When her Aunt Jessica is due back from Rome after nine years travelling around Europe, she arrives back in town with a new Italian friend, Luigi, and the whole family soon get embroiled in a tangle of mystery and suspicion, with death and passion at the heart of the story.

As time runs out on Luigi as prime suspect for murder, Janie has to use all of her powers of deduction in the footsteps of her hero, Hercule Poirot, to uncover the facts. Why did Luigi come to Tamarisk Bay? What is the truth about his family?
As Luigi’s story unfolds, tragedy seems to haunt the past, present and unless Janie acts fast, possibly what is yet to come.

Purchase The Invisible Case

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Review:

I think my favorite part about this book is how character driven it is. We are given pieces of each main players life, and it seems to all come together in the end. This always makes for a great book. Characters that feel like real people, make the events of the novel seem real too.

Isabella Muir’s writing is beautiful. Not only does she have the ability to bring her characters to life through dialogue, the mystery in this novel is very well done. It’s subtle, and not in your face…it’s more about how the past is not always what you think, and sometimes people aren’t always who they say they are.

This was a quick read, and a page turner. I was invested all the way through, and I was very satisfied with the conclusion. I love that Janie, our main character and wannabe detective gets her inspiration from Agatha Christie…I thought that was a neat touch. I’d love to read more from the Janie Juke series.

Wrap-Up:

The Invisible Case has intriguing characters, a well thought out mystery case, and a unique setting. I highly recommend picking this one up.

Rating:

4/5☆


Author Bio:

Isabella Muir is the author of Janie Juke series of crime mysteries – all set in Sussex.

The Tapestry Bag‘ is the first in the series, followed by ‘Lost Property’. Now – ‘The Invisible Case‘ – the latest in the series is available for pre-order from Amazon.

The ‘Janie Juke mysteries’ are set in Sussex in the sixties and seventies and feature a young librarian with a passion for Agatha Christie. All that Janie has learned from her hero, Hercule Poirot, she is able to put into action as she sets off to solve a series of crimes and mysteries.

Isabella has also published ‘Ivory Vellum‘ – a collection of short stories.

She has been surrounded by books her whole life and – after working for twenty years as a technical editor and having successfully completed her MA in Professional Writing – she was inspired to focus on fiction writing.

Aside from books, Isabella has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.

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🌟🌟GIVEAWAY🌟🌟

Win a signed copy of The Invisible Case

(Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide 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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RELEASE BLITZ | Vortexes – Holly Barbo

Hi everyone!

Vortexes by Holly Barbo has been released! There’s a giveaway and all details below.


Title: VORTEXES
Author: Holly Barbo
Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2018
Cover Designer: Darkmantle Designs
Publisher: Paper Gold Publishing
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s Reviews & PR

Blurb:

A Dystopian Urban Fantasy Desperate times have come to Emma Maya Ando’s country. A totalitarian regime with no tolerance for deviation has marginalized thousands. Neither physical exceptionality nor freedom of thought has a place. All is conformity. But Maya doesn’t conform, and time is running out on her ability to conceal her condition. Can Maya find a cure before she is swept up in a purge… or will she take her secret to the grave?

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Author Bio:

Holly Barbo’s world is shaped by her love of her family, the beauty of the natural world in Northwest Washington State and an irrepressible creative drive.

Living where the scenery is incredible with a rich abundance of wildlife “is so special and soothing that it feels like a quiet kind of magic,” according to Barbo. She is drawn to creating stories where there is just a bit of something unworldly, perhaps it is magic or psychic skills. Her stories are mostly in non-urban settings and usually have some focus on nature, building a discordant drama inside the peaceful frame.

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