AUDIO BLITZ | Give and Take – Emily Cyr

Title: Give and Take
Author: Emily Cyr
Genre: Adult Paranormal
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Addison Fitzpatrick settled her first favor, cataclysmic repayment that ended with hundreds of Pushers dead. Three months later, she receives a letter from the Vampire who betrayed her trust, asking her to save him.

The cryptic letter makes one fact perfectly clear – she has to find Lachlan, assuming he’s not already dead. In doing so, she is forced to do the one thing he asked her not to: involve Cannon.

But the search for Lachlan comes with a price. Addison is forced deeper into her debt, just as her life is put in jeopardy when a new danger surfaces. One from her past, stirring up inner demons threatening to take her back to hell.

Now Addison must find a way to kill a supernatural being she’s never even heard of, all while protecting her heart from its love for Lachlan, and its confusing stirrings toward Cannon. It was so much easier to hate the vampires.

Things are not always what they seem in Addison’s world. The fight to save Lachlan will test her strength, her conviction, and her skill as a Pusher. Will she survive unscathed, or will she let the demons win?

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Audio Links:
Push & Pull | Give & Take


Emily Cyr is a stay-at-home mom turned writer. She holds a degree in middle grades education with certification in English and social science. She has always had a love of all things paranormal and fantasy, but it wasn’t until Emily’s husband said the words, “Why not?” that she considered putting her thoughts and ideas into the book, The Lightning Prophecy. This trilogy was just the start for Emily. It seemed to open a creative door that had been locked.

Emily has always been an avid reader. Through reading came her love of writing. The more she read, the more she knew she wanted to create her own world. Many of her first works were fan fiction.

Emily and her family currently reside in Cibolo, Texas. She has an incredibly supportive husband who is also an officer in the United States Air Force. They have three sons, ages 6, 4, and 1. Somehow, even with the demands of being a parent to two little boys, she finds time to escape to her fantasies and write them down.

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Jay has done it again! Check it out! Academic Curveball is available for preorder, and the cover is FANTASTIC.


 

 

I’m excited to reveal the cover for the debut novel in my new Braxton Campus Mysteries series. The first book is called Academic Curveball and is available for pre-sale on Amazon as of today. The official publication date when you can download to Kindle is October 15th followed soon after by the physical printed copy. Stay tuned […]

via Academic Curveball: Cover Reveal & Pre-Sale Alert — This Is My Truth Now

BOOK TRAILER REVEAL | Dead Steam – Bryce Raffle

I am so happy to share this really cool book with you and reveal its amazing trailer! If you like the cover, wait to you see this! There is also a chance to win a digital copy of Dead Steam, so make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom!

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Dead Steam: A Chilling Collection of Dreadpunk Tales of the Dark and Supernatural

Expected Publication Date: October 1st, 2018

Genre: Anthology/ Dreadpunk/ Dark Steampunk/ Horror

Reader beware: to open this tome is to invite dread into your heart. Every page you turn will bring you closer to something wicked. And when the dead begin to rise from the steaming pits of hell, only then will you discover that it is already too late. Your life is forfeit.

Featuring an introduction by Leanna Renee Hieber, author of the Eterna Files and Strangely Beautiful saga, DeadSteam plays host to the scintillating writing of David Lee Summers (Owl Dance, The Brazen Shark), Jen Ponce (The Bazaar, Demon’s Cradle), Wendy Nikel (The Continuum), Karen J Carlisle (The Adventures of Viola Stewart), Jonah Buck (Carrion Safari), and more…

With seventeen chilling tales of Dreadpunk, Gaslamp, and Dark Steampunk, DeadSteam will leave you tearing at the pages, desperate for more. For within these pages, the dead rise from their graves to haunt the London Underground, witches whisper their incantations to the wind, a sisterhood of bitten necks hunts fog-drenched alleyways lit only by gaslight, and only one thing is certain: that dread will follow you until you turn that final page.

And that sinking feeling in the pit of your chest? That fear that something is following you, watching you, hunting you? It is not for nothing. Look over your shoulder, dear reader. Watch behind you. Listen to the whispers in the darkness.

But know this…it is all inevitable.

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Book Trailer


Excerpt

Burke Street Station

The city was frost and fog. Icy crystals formed on the windows of the train station. Breath drifted up in a hazy clouds like puffs of cigarette smoke as Theodore tried to warm his hands, blowing hot breath onto his stiff, cold fingers and rubbing his hands together vigorously. When that failed, he thrust them back into his coat pockets, cursing under his breath. His threadbare coat offered little warmth. Drafts of wind found their way through the broken stitching and the tears in his sleeves like rats scrambling through the cracks in the station walls. A discarded page of newsprint, caught in the rushing wind, tumbled and turned in the air and landed, crumpled and torn, at Theodore’s feet.

He stooped over, picked it up, and glanced at the engraving of a wanted man. Even without a skill for reading, he knew what name was printed beneath the picture of masked man on the page. Anthony Tidkins.

Wanted, he read. That was one word Theodore recognized. Crimes was another, and then, finally…murder.

Rubbish. The newspapers always tried to make villains out of the radical thinkers of the world. The Resurrectionists, who named their organization after the sack-em-up men who provided the anatomists with subjects for their scientific endeavors, were scientists. They had provided the world with aether, revolutionizing air travel. They had brought Prince Charles back from the brink of death. They had devised the engines for the London Underground. Anthony Tidkins himself promised to cure death. Yet the newspaper men still called for his blood. Theodore balled up the page and shoved it in his pocket.

He pulled out his trick coin as he approached the gate. The station master was asleep at his booth, a little dribble of spit running down his chin. Typical. Thoedore stuck his coin in the machine, waited for the gate to open, and then, with a light tug on the fishing line threaded through a little hole in the tip of the coin, it popped back out. Easy. He was in before anybody noticed what he had done. He pocketed the coin and started down the hallway.

Tap-tap, clack, tap-tap, clack, his shoes beat a rhythm on the stone steps. The sole of his left shoe was beginning to wear, and the heel of his shoe tapped against the heel of his foot as he walked. He puffed on his hands again, and peeked over his shoulder. No one was after him. He had done this trick a thousand times before. So why did he feel like there was someone watching him?

Clack, tap-tap, clack. Again, he glanced over his shoulder. The odd double-rhythm of his broken shoe was suddenly unnerving in the deserted station. Where were all the other passengers? Nice folks avoided this place like the plague, especially after midnight. The oil lamps that lit Burke Street Station were so routinely out of oil that he could hardly find his own feet in front of him, but still, Theodore expected to see other passengers. But where were the other vagrants? They should be sleeping in the dark corners of the hallway under blankets made of rags. And the boys from the blacking factory should be heading home from their long shifts, fingers stained black with powders and oil. But there was no one. Only the rats skittering through rat tunnels to keep him company.

Tap-tap, clack, tap-tap, clack.

Another set of footsteps began to follow his own, beating out a different rhythm. A steady tap, tap, tap, tap. He paused to listen, and nothing but silence greeted him. He glanced over his shoulder. Nobody there.

He continued onward, and again, a second set of footsteps started up behind him. He paused to listen. This time, they didn’t stop.

Tap, tap, tap, tap.

Whoever it was, they were getting closer. Closer and closer, louder and louder, tapping out a steady rhythm as they approached down the long, dark hallway. He could almost make out the solitary figure in the gloomy, hazy light, but then the fog grew thicker, and whatever he thought he’d seen was gone. The footsteps kept on getting louder, though, and closer. He turned and ran down the hallway.

A long flight of steps delved deeper into the darkness of Burke Street Station, down, down toward the platform. The train was already rumbling, announcing its approach. It vibrated through Theodore’s toes to the tip of his spine, rattling his bones.

He grabbed the railing all but flew down the staircase. The rumble of the train grew louder and clearer.

“Shit,” Theodore cursed. Taking the steps two at a time, he hurtled down the steps and didn’t stop when he reached the bottom.

Nails on a blackboard. The tines of silverware scraping against a ceramic plate. The screaming madmen at Newgate Asylum. The anguished cry of a mother weeping over her stillborn babe. Theodore had heard these sounds all, but not one compared to the shrill screech of an automatic train rolling into Burke Street. Iron wheels grinding against iron tracks. Hot metal sending up sparks, belching out steam as black as sin. The carriages rattling and clanging against one another. The hiss of hot coal burning in the engines. The shriek of brakes as the train ground to a halt. If it went on long enough, it would surely drive a man mad. Theodore covered his ears with his hands, pressing them against his head to muffle out the deafening noise, and waited for the thundering train to come to a halt.

When it did, he realized it must have drowned out the sound of the steadily approaching footsteps he’d heard in the hallway, because he could hear them again, and they were closer. So close he half expected to feel someone’s hot breath on his neck. He whirled around, but there was no one there. Silence greeted him like an old friend. His heart hammered against his chest.

“There’s no one there,” he muttered to himself. But he didn’t sound convinced.

A smell lingered in the air, as if something foul had passed through. The smell was familiar enough, the breath of a man with rotting teeth. It was a foul, cloying stench. He spun around again, and this time found himself face to face with the man to whom those dreaded footsteps belonged.

Only he wasn’t a man. Not really.


About the Author

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Bryce Raffle writes steampunk, horror, and fantasy. He was the lead writer for Ironclad Games’ multiplayer online game Sins of A Dark Age and is the founder of Grimmer & Grimmer Books. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Hideous Progeny: Classic Horror Goes Punk, Denizens of Steam and Den of Antiquity. His short story, The Complications of Avery Vane, was awarded Best Steampunk Short in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll in 2016. He lives in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, where he works in the film industry.

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Bryce is giving away a digital copy of Dead Steam to one lucky winner. The giveaway will run from Sept. 17th to Sept. 20th so make sure you enter!

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BOOK TRAILER REVEAL | The Scented Bones – Angelina Lerner

Hi everyone!

Today, I’m bringing you the book trailer reveal for The Scented Bones by Angelina Lerner. Check out the giveaway!


The Scented Bones: The Svabodina Case Files (The Svabodina Case Files Book 1)
Genre: Paranormal/ Crime Thriller
Expected Publication Date: September 28, 2018

Synopsis:

Angel Svabodina is a rookie forensic anthropologist, enjoying the beginning of her new career. That joy comes crashing down when she figures out the skeleton she’s working on is not human and then it vanishes.

She throws herself fully into the case without thinking about the parties involved, a psychopomp associate, and paranormal mafia families made up of vampires and werewolves—or the consequences.

When she sees there’s no avoiding the inevitable, Angel has to suck it up and work with the werewolves to solve the case but can she trust them?

Werewolves and witches are in a centuries-old feud, but that doesn’t stop the shivers running down her spine from one wolf in particular. What’s more, nothing comes for free, including information. To get what she needs from the werewolf don, Angel has to meet with the fae queen. Can she meet her without repercussions and solve the case?

“A magical mystery in more than one sense of the word, this beautifully woven tale will charm you more than an ethereal fae.” – Liliyana Shadowlyn, The Faerie Review

“This book is what happens when you mix crime stories with the supernatural. And, the result is spectacular.” -Dylon Crone, beta reader

“This story combines the paranormal, the mafia, and good old detective work – a fun read!” – Sycamore, beta reader

📽Book Trailer Link📽

Add to Goodreads
Available for Pre-order: Amazon


About the Author:

ANGELINA KERNER is a self-published author of paranormal and lighthearted romance. She’s the wife of a photographer/physicist, and the mother of a cute little toddler, but she’s also been a dancer, a psychologist, an anthropologist, a geographer, a dreamer, and an adventurer. She does her best writing while being bothered by her cats, taking care of her son, in dressing rooms while waiting for family to try on clothing, and at home in sunny California. Angelina loves to play goddess-dragon matchmaker, transporting readers to a place where young goddesses have lovable flaws, the Fates plan to dethrone, the universe is endless and untamed, and dragons roam free! She also loves to write carefree romance where one can finish reading with a smile.

Visit her website at www.kernerangelina.live
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🌟🌟🌟Giveaway🌟🌟🌟

Click HERE to win a Custome Made Necklace Featuring “Tarotia” Family Tattoo

Every family in the book has a family tattoo. Tarotia family is the main family that will appear in every book. The necklace is of the tattoo – two snakes wrapped around a T! Thank you for being part of the book trailer reveal for The Scented Bones!” – Angelina Kerner


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BOOK BLITZ | The Dog Walker’s Diary – Kathryn Donahue

Hi everyone!

I have a book blitz to share with you!


Title: The Dog Walker’s Diary
Author: Kathryn Donahue
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Madeline Berger
Editor: Kelsy Thompson
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

Daniel Ashe has reason to believe he is incapable of falling in love. He certainly has no romantic interest in Annie, the odd Irish woman he hired to walk his dogs – but every night he comes home to find she has left him a new and fantastical story about their secret lives. His dachshund is a buccaneer on the high seas, his retriever recounts a past life as a circus lion, and Daniel is cast time and again as a romantic hero.

As her stories become the highlight of his day, Daniel realizes that Annie is embedding hints about her own astonishing past, and he has to ask himself if he’s truly incapable of falling in love after all.

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Excerpt:

10/29/15

Dog Diary

Thursday, 5:00 a.m.

Dear Annie,

Your stories are back in here, but during their short hiatus to my office I showed them to my boss. After reading them, Peter took off his glasses and said, “So you’re telling me that this woman leaves you a new fairy tale every night?”

“Yes. Every night.”

“Then you know what she is, don’t you?”

“What do you mean?”

“This Irish woman. Do you know what she is?”

I shook my head. “What are you talking about? What is she?”

“Wake up, Daniel. That dog walker of yours is a Scheherazade.”

Annie, you didn’t respond to my invitation, and in looking back I can see how easily it could be misconstrued. If I were a woman, alone and in a different country, I might not agree to meet a semi-stranger for coffee either, even if I had been entertaining him for days with fantastical stories.

So please, allow me to make myself less of a stranger.

I am known by a small but select group of females as a heartless jerk incapable of falling in love. Each in turn soon gave up on me, more with a sad shake of the head than with dishes flying. It has happened so often that I have to concede the ladies are right. Apparently I have skipped or tripped over some developmental step that makes me incapable of true intimacy. I’ve made my peace with that, and recently have been lucky enough to meet Victoria, a lady who seems to suffer the same affliction. (Does that make us soul mates or soul-less mates?)


Author Bio:

Kathryn Donahue is a freelance writer and former tongue-in-cheek advice columnist for The Deepwell Press. Her humor essays have been published in First Sunday, and she won the Spotlight Award for her one-act play The Sty. Her debut novel, The Dog Walker’s Diary, is a Forward finalist for Indie Book of the Year. It earned a coveted star review from Publishers Weekly, ( “… a diverting delight from beginning to end,”) and a four star rating from RT Book Reviews, (“… one of the most remarkably unique contemporary romances this year.”) Ms. Donahue is completing a new novel, and working on a screenplay.

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Story Idea Writing Tag

Hi everyone!

I haven’t done a tag in a while, so I searched WordPress and found this one. As usual, I tag anyone who wishes to answer the questions. 😊

Found on Janet Barry’s blog, A Writer’s Thoughts.


CURRENT STORY:

What is your current story idea that you’re working on right now?

I’m still working on Alter Reach. I’ll share my teaser blurb, so you can get an idea of what it is about:

In A journey to recover their lost memories, twins, Marci and Alyson, must return to a world they were forced to forget, and fight a battle they didn’t know was coming.

SPARK OF INSPIRATION:

Do your ideas begin with characters, plot, world building, or something else entirely?

Alter Reach began with world building. I had a crazy dream about a magical world that could only be accessed through a tunnel system underneath a silo on an abandoned farm. That was the foundation, and that part hasn’t changed.

BRAINSTORM:

How do you puzzle piece your story elements together? Do you start with the ending and make your way to the beginning or vice versa?

I started at the beginning of Alter Reach, because of the dream I’ve had. It’s taken me quite a while to come up with an ending that I’m satisfied with.

KEEP OR TOSS:

How do you know when you want to keep or dump a story idea?

I’m not the greatest multi-tasker when it comes to writing. I keep a journal of other ideas as they come, but I don’t throw them out. I just save them all, and work on the one that calls to me.

ORIGINAL IDEA:

How much of your original idea for your story is actually used once everything is finished?

For Alter Reach, the foundation has been the same through the entire writing process. However, the rest has changed over and over.

HIDE OR SHARE:

Do you share your book ideas with friends or keep them a secret?

I share with certain people. I’m not the most outgoing, so if I don’t feel comfortable, I don’t bring it up.

DREAM:

Have any of your book ideas originated with a dream/nightmare?

Yup. It’s where a lot of my ideas spark from. I often have vivid dreams and nightmares. If I can remember it, I write it down…even if it’s just a fragment.

DOPPLEGANGER:

Have you ever had an idea for a story but then see a similar premise in a book/tv-show/movie?

Alter Reach is semi-similar to many different things in the fantasy world, but it is unique enough that I don’t think anyone is going to say that I reminds them of one thing in particular.

BIG SCREEN INSPIRATION:

Have any of your favorite movies/tv shows sparked ideas for scenes in your book?

Absolutely. I draw inspiration from all sorts of places.

NOSTALGIA:

What’s the oldest/first story idea you remember coming up with/writing down?

I’ve shared it in my Early Writing posts. It’s called The Mouse and the Bear. I wrote short stories all the time. I’ve loved writing since I was able to write.


My husband had Monday off, so we are spending the long weekend together. I have my second opinion, Rheumatologist appointment on Monday. I’m trying to stay positive while also keep my expectations low. Not sure what we will do this weekend, but sometimes that’s more fun.

What are your plans for the weekend?

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Uprising by Kate L. Mary *Blog Tour & Review*

Hi everyone!

I’m so excited to be part of the Blog Tour for Uprising by Kate L. Mary. I recently review book one, Outliers. You can read that review here. I’ve been really excited to share my review of this book. I highly recommend you check out this series!


Title: Uprising (Outliers Saga, 2)
Author: Kate L Mary
Genre: Adult Dystopian
Publisher: Twisted Press
Editor: Lori Whitwam
Publication Date: May 21st, 2018
Hosted by:Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

I stood by and let it happen for too long, but I will not do it anymore. I will not be the person who watches others get hurt and does nothing to stop it. Not anymore.

Returning to Sovereign City after everything that was stolen from her is something Indra never thought she would do. Despite the scars she wears both inside and out, left there at the hands of the Sovereign and the Fortis, she is determined to save her people from oppression, even if it means putting her own safety at risk. But it isn’t long before she once again finds her world shattering around her. As the dust settles, Indra manages to find strength among the ruins, and she sets out on a quest to unite the four Outlier tribes, hoping to take their enemies down once and for all.

Readers agree that Outliers is a “A brilliantly beautiful soul trembling story that has left me pining for more,” and that “Indra is the kind of dystopian protagonist I’m always searching for, but rarely find.”

Add Uprising to Goodreads

Buy Outliers|Buy Uprising


Review:

Just when I thought Indra’s story couldn’t get any more intense and incredible, I read Uprising, and my mind was blown. Again. I’m thoroughly impressed with the world building, character development, and writing. Outliers was fantastic, and Uprising has just gotten better.

Indra is becoming one of my favorite characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Her growth has been such and incredible and inspiring journey to read about. She has everything I look for in a lead – flaws and strength.

The world building has been taken to a new level in Uprising. I love how we really get to see the culture and beliefs of each tribe. They are so unique and different, but they are also human. It’s such a cool reading experience to actually see well developed cultures intermingling with each other in one book.

Kate L. Mary’s writing is beautiful. There is never too much description- what we need to learn is beautifully interwoven into fantastic character dialogue.

Wrap-Up:

This is another page turner. The story is intense, inspiring and edge-of-your-seat action that I love to read. I didn’t want the book to end, and now I’m sitting here, hoping the next book is not far away!

Rating:

5/5☆


Excerpt:

Asa and I stood in silence for a moment before he said, “You’ve started down a very dangerous path, Indra. You have to know that. You’ve been lucky so far, but it can’t last. Eventually, one of the men you attack will get the better of you, and then you’ll get hurt.”

Anger flared through me then, replacing the fear that had been swimming in me since Asa came upon me in the forest yesterday. He knew I had already been hurt, in so many ways. He had seen it with his own eyes, had told me that my pain had hurt him as well, yet he had the nerve to say this to me.

“Hurt?” I found myself spitting the word at him. “I am getting hurt every day, Asa. You have seen it. You have seen what these men have done to me, to the people I love, to my tribe, and to all the other Outliers working in the city. I stood by and let it happen for too long, but I will not do it anymore. I will not be the person who watches others get hurt and does nothing to stop it. Not anymore.”

We stared at one another for a moment, each of us lost in our own pain, in the pain that was both for ourselves and for our people. I could see the battle raging in him, the one that pulled him in two different directions. Between me, a person he had come to care about, and his people. It was unfair to ask him to do this thing for me, to make a choice that went against who he was, but I could not turn back now, just as he could not change the fact that he had been born a Fortis. Those were his people, but I was an Outlier, and we had been fooling ourselves for too long. Our worlds were too different to mix. We were too different.

“I understand the things that have been done to you,” he finally said. “I understand your anger. But I’m looking out for you, Indra.”

“I know, but maybe it is time I learned to look out for myself,” I replied.

“Are you saying you don’t want my help anymore?” he asked, surprise and doubt clouding his vision.

I exhaled as the truth settled over me like a heavy weight. There was no way I could walk away from his help, not if I wanted to keep Mira safe.

“You know I cannot do that,” I finally said, “but you must also know I cannot turn my back on my people either. I will leave it up to you to decide what you must do from here. If you cannot live with the things I have done, the things I plan to continue to do, I will understand.” I stepped back, and it seemed as if a large canyon had opened up between us. I waved down at myself when I said, “This is who I am, Asa. That will not change.”

His brown eyes swept over me, softening even more. “I know who you are, Indra, and even if I don’t agree with it, I can’t turn my back on you now.”

For once, his assurances gave me no comfort. Asa and I were involved in an alliance which defied logic, and one which could not last. Eventually, something would happen that would cause him to turn his back on me, and when that time came, I was unsure of what would become of us. Of what I would be forced to do to not only save myself, but my people.


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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The Last Princess of Latura by Darren Simon *Blog Tour, Giveaway & Reviews*

Hi everyone!

I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for The Last Princess of Latura by Darren Simon! I had the opportunity to review both books, which I definitely enjoyed. There’s also a giveaway at the end, so be sure to read through the post. 😊


Guardian’s Nightmare
The Last Princess of Latura Book 1
by Darren Simon
Genre: Middle-Grade/New Adult fantasy

Charlee Smelton is an average thirteen-year-old girl struggling to adapt after her family moves to San Francisco. She thinks her biggest obstacle is facing the bullies who brand her a nerd and a dweeb. She’s wrong. Her life is about to change—for the worse. First, she receives a gift of the ugliest, most old fashioned bike she has ever seen. Try as she might to ditch it in the city, she just can’t seem to escape that very mysterious two-wheeler. Then come the visions of a world across a dimensional divide, a princess in fear for her life and a dark knight pursuing her. Are they just dreams or something more? For Charlee, everything she ever thought she knew about herself soon crumbles as she starts down a path to discover her true self, and she will need that hunk-of-junk bike more than she could ever imagine. Without it, she might not be able to find the hero in herself—the hero she must become to save her friends, family, her city—the world—from an evil only she can defeat. An evil she allows into this world.

Add to Goodreads

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Excerpt:

Theodora nodded. “As you wish.” The sorceress drew back her hand and slung Charlee and the bike clear across the city.

They hurtled uncontrollably through the night. But this time, Theodora was not going to stop their fall. The bike spun out of control, its wings flailing uselessly. It seemed…unconscious.

Have to…wake it…up…or we…die!

Charlee reached out for the bike. She had to snag a handlebar, a pedal, a wing—anything to make contact.

Come on! Reach. Reach! Reach!

The city rushed by beneath her. She flew by one rooftop, then another. She craned her neck to glance ahead.

Oh my God!

A skyscraper stood directly in their path. They would smash into the glass exterior in seconds.

Try…again! Reach for the bike! Reach!

The fingers of her right hand touched the handlebars. Then she got a full grip and pulled herself onto the banana seat, but the bike did not respond to her presence.

“Bike, wake up!” No response. “Bike, we’re going to die!” Nothing. She steadied herself. This time, instead of shouting, she used thought to communicate.

She willed it to regain consciousness.

Bike, please! Wake up!

Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though it was clearly aimed at a younger audience. It has a fun plot with a lot of humor and action in it, and I think it’s a perfect coming of age story for a middle schooler to enjoy.

Charlee is a great main character, who really shows growth in her journey. She is 13, and struggling with real life problems – then added into the mix, all of a sudden she has a whole new world filled with magic to deal with. I think she is a relatable character, with a snarky personality, which I enjoyed.

Bike is worth mentioning. What a great side character. I won’t get into too much for fear of spoilers, but I just loved how unique this character was.

I thought the world building was decent. I have to admit, I was a bit overwhelmed toward the end, as Charlee learned who she really was. I think there was some info-dumping, and it threw me off a bit. However, the book is fast paced, and it’s a page turner. I was never bored.

Wrap-Up:

Overall, I think this was a great read. Again, I would recommend this for a middle schooler, mostly, but as an adult, I found the story entertaining as well.

Rating:

4/5☆


Guardian’s Return
The Last Princess of Latura Book 2

A month has passed since fourteen-year-old Charlee Smelton discovered her magical abilities and faced her great aunt, Theodora, in a life or death struggle to protect Earth. A month has passed since she tricked Theodora back across the dimensional gateway that brought Theodora to Earth. Since then, Charlee—now fully aware that she is part of a noble bloodline from another world…another dimension…has grown stronger in her magic, aided by her protector, a shapeshifter sent to Earth to protect her.

But the terrible dreams won’t stop.

Theodora lives, and if Charlee’s dreams of death and fields of spilled blood are true, her great aunt has avenged herself on that world across the dimensional divide.

Charlee knows what she must do. The fight is not over. She must travel across the gateway to the home of her ancestors and face Theodora one more time. But doing so may cost Charlee more than her life. The same medallion her great aunt desires so much—a medallion Charlee possesses—could make her just as evil as her great aunt.

Can Charlee stave off the twisted tendrils of the medallion long enough to defeat Theodora—for good—or will evil consume her? Can she even survive so far from home? Her only hope may rest in the Lord of the Dragons, but that beast turned his back on her grandfather long ago…

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Excerpt

Calling on her magically heightened strength, she kicked the door. It didn’t budge, but the timber around the hinges cracked. She struck a second time. The door broke from the frame and fell forward. A wall of fire rushed through the opening, engulfing Charlee. She dropped to one knee and shielded her eyes.

The blinding flash muzzled her cries. Somehow, though, the layer of energy kept her alive—a glowing barrier between her flesh and the inferno. She could breathe, too, but the air had become thick. She could only manage short breaths.

“I have to move. Can’t fail.” Peering through her fingers, a swirling vortex of oranges, yellows and reds prevented her from seeing beyond a few feet in any direction.

Her mom’s thoughts returned.

Get up! Run through it! Straight ahead!

Her body trembled, and her heart pounded so fast it might burst from her chest. Her skin baked despite the protective shell. Blinking sweat from her eyes, she charged through the firestorm.

Don’t stop…don’t stop until you’re through,her mom urged.

Overhead, the house creaked in protest. Oh no! Burning timber plunged toward her. Diving out of the way, she broke through the flames. Behind her the fire roared. Ahead, the second-floor hallway lay darkened by charred mist.

Coughing, Charlee clutched her chest to quiet her wild heart and slow her breathing. Her legs wobbled and her head drooped. Hot tears formed. She couldn’t help it.

I’m alive.

Still have a chance. Must press on.

Standing tall, she lifted her head.

You’re not going to beat me, fire.

“Sir, where are you?” she called to the little girl’s dad. “Can you hear me? Sir…”

Review:

I think Guardian’s Return is a bit better than Guardian’s Nightmare. This is probably because we get to see more magic. This was a bit more fast paced, and I felt myself getting excited toward the end to see what happened.

I think Charlee has grown as a character. She is well aware of what she needs to do, but is still timid – which makes her relatable. She still has a bit of an attitude, and I love that about her.

The world building and lore of the world is much more fleshed out in this book. You learn a great deal about the past events that led to the present circumstances. I really enjoy when a second book has purpose and isn’t just a bridge to a third book.

Wrap-Up:

Overall, I enjoyed this story. It has a lot of heart, action and it keeps you entertained. I think the magic system is unique, and I’m definitely interested in checking out the next book.

Rating:

4.5/5☆


About the Author

Darren Simon resides in Southern California where he works as a college English teacher after a career as a newspaper journalist. His love for writing began with a love for reading when his grandmother gave him a wonderful gift—a brown paper bag filled with comic books from the 1960s and ’70s. From there, he moved on to Choose Your Own Adventure books. Eventually he discovered the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, which solidified his interest in writing epic fantasy and science fiction tales.

So far, he has focused his writing on middle grade and young adult fiction to inspire young readers just as he was inspired to read and write at a young age.

He self-published his first novel though iUniverse and immediately went on to write the second book in the series. Upon completing the second book, he decided to seek more traditional publishing. After countless rejection letters, a small independent publisher—Divertir Publishing—decided to pick up the series, a fantasy about a teen-aged girl who learns her family is actually from an alternate dimension, and only she has the power to protect Earth from a sorceress from her world—who just happens to be her great aunt. Divertir republished the first book, titled, Guardian’s Nightmare, in 2015. The second book in the series, Guardian’s Return was released in April.

Darren has also written another series—a young adult historical pirate fantasy set in the golden age of piracy, mixing historical pirates and pirate hunters with his fictional characters in a time-traveling, swashbuckling tale. The first book in that series, The Dangerous Legacy, was published in 2016 by Tell-Tale Publishing. The second book in the series, The Deadly Waters, is due out later this year.

All his books are available at Amazon.com and Barnes&noble.com.

Darren, who lives with his wife, Sandra and two sons, Daniel and Jacob, and two crazy dogs, in the Valley, is continuing to write and develop new stories, including a young adult novel now in the hands of literary agency.

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Giveaway

$15 Amazon gift card

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!


Tour Hosted By:

Silver Dagger Book Tours


If enjoy middle grade fantasy, these are definitely fun books. If you pick them up, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Work In Progress Tag

Hi everyone!

I’m still in pain. My last doctor appointment didn’t yield much of a result, although at least they tried something instead of just sending me home with nothing. I have two appointments this coming week, two the first week of May, and one the second week of May. I’m also waiting on another specialist to let me know if they think my issue is something they can help with. I have to call again Monday to see where they are at with that. Ugh. This is very frustrating, so thanks for being patient with my lack of updating and reading of your blog posts.

I’m doing a tag today all about my WIP, Alter Reach! Enjoy.


What is the working title of your book?

Alter Reach

Where did the idea for your book come from?

I had a really crazy dream that I was jumping through different “portals” to other worlds. That’s where Alter Reach started, but it has changed into a completely different story and barely has anything to do with the dream anymore.

What genre is your work in progress?

Fantasy/Adventure/Romance

Choose the actors for your movie rendition.

This question is so hard because, I did look at different people’s faces while I learned what each character looked like, but it’s hard to narrow it down. Marci, the lead, sort of resembles Nina Dobrev and of course, Alyson is her twin.

One sentence synopsis of your book.

In a journey to discover their lost memories, Marci and Alyson must return to a world they were forced to forget and fight a battle they didn’t know was coming.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A year. Ugh.

Who or what inspired you to write the book?

I’ve always loved writing. I looked forward to essay assignments in school, and always wanted to write books. It just tool me a while to get going.

What else about your book might peak the reader’s interest?

It has a bit of a mystery, which I personally think is unpredictable. It also has a very healthy romance, which I think is something that is lacking in many books. It’s has funny moments, loveable characters, and I can’t wait to share it with you!


That’s all I have for you today. I tag anyone who wants to participate.

I could use all the thoughts and prayers as we try to figure out this pain. In good news, so far, doctors are sure it’s not life-threatening, so that is a plus. But it really hurts, and I’m ready for some relief.

If you do the tag, let me know. I’d love to read about your WIP.

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