Posted in Book Blast, fiction, Giveaway, paranormal on July 23, 2014

 

Son of War

Son of War, Daughter of Chaos

Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for the signs: people with greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and have the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks—things that get in the way of having a normal high school life.

When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.

 

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Janette RallisonAuthor Janette Rallison

Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that.

Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off.

Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)

 

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Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 8/17/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in excerpt, fiction, Spotlight on July 22, 2014

native book cover

 

A Native’s Tongue is about a young man trying to find his way in the world. He struggles to keep the woman he loves while entangled in the sex, drugs, and tragedy of Los Angeles. It was inspired by real events,” says Dennis.

Love and tragedy collide in Dennis’s poignant new novel, A Native’s Tongue.

Charlie Winters has never been an overachiever. He is used to just getting by while living with his single mother and working a dead-end job at a cheesesteak stand. Meanwhile, he’s constantly grappling with the voice of his sister, who died in a tragic car accident years earlier, echoing in his head.

So when Violet, an older woman, sets her sights on Charlie and refuses to let go, he follows along. He soon finds himself immersed in a destructive relationship that still fails to fill the void within him.

But then he meets Jennifer, a mystical young woman whose energy and life convinces Charlie to pursue her, even through the darkest corners of Los Angeles, and sets their lives upon a path that can’t be stopped.

Escaping to the California coast, Charlie and Jennifer finally find what they’ve always needed. But a sudden illness quickly pulls them both back to LA. It is there, amid the sex, drugs, and split-second decisions that pulse through the city, that tragedy strikes—threatening to tear Charlie and Jennifer apart forever.

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A Native’s Tongue is available for sale on Amazon in ebook and paperback.

Excerpt

CHAPTER 1.

Jennifer Bannister’s footsteps echoed down the hall. The uniforms of the inmates dampened the sound. Her ears tried to follow the faint sound, if only to affirm that she was still moving forward. There wasn’t anyone to hold her hand. She just trusted that each sign would guide her in the right direction.

I’ll get there at some point, Jennifer thought, trying to convince herself that she was doing the right thing. You can’t get lost in here; they don’t let you go off course. Her words slipped away. She felt the cold air settle over her skin. She glanced at a placard marked Visitors Only.

In the cool air, her skin tightened. Jennifer shivered and wished she were somewhere warmer. Seeing Violet for the first time was going to be hard enough. She was going to look the woman she hated most in the world in the eye. She didn’t want to be shaking from the cold and covered in goose bumps.

Jennifer peered through the bulletproof glass at Violet. There were markings embedded in the glass, swirls that made it harder to look directly into Violet’s eyes. Jennifer picked up the phone and listened. Violet grabbed it and began to speak, “It was never you that he loved. You know that right?” Violet’s voice was raspy.

Her expressions and mannerisms changed from static to fully engaged. She stood up and waved her hands maniacally at Jennifer, and then she slammed her fist against the glass.

Jennifer hung up the phone. Her blonde hair got caught in between her hand and the receiver as she placed it back on the black hook. Turning, she slid out of the red plastic chair and down the corridor, guided by the exit sign’s green light. In the stale air of the prison, she searched for a pack of cigarettes, unsheathed a Parliament, lit it, and smoked nervously.

Two overweight guards carrying guns in nylon hip holsters directed her to the parking lot, where they offered her matching robotic waves good-bye. The midnight blue 2005 Jaguar xk8, which her parents loaned her for this visit, was the only vehicle in the parking lot row. Her parents thought she would feel safer in their car rather than her own bright red Honda.

In either case, she seemed to fit this car, or the car fit her a lot more. Her lean physique matched the lines on the Jag, and it made her feel more mature. She was constantly trying to act older than she was. Jennifer went around to the passenger side of the car and opened the rear door. She set her oversized black leather purse on the back seat and took out a translucent orange bottle filled with tiny white pills. She slung her head back, popped two, shut the door and walked around to the driver’s seat.

The heat had melted the surface of the Jaguar’s leather seats, reducing the fabric to a buttery texture. Jennifer’s blonde hair clung to the sides of her shoulders, heavy with sweat. She retrieved her car key from the passenger seat, pressed the key into the slot, and burst into tears, suddenly unable to move.

Jennifer hadn’t eaten all day. The heavy dose of Xanax caused her to feel excessively nauseous. She blacked out and fell forward, hitting her forehead on the steering wheel. The car increased in temperature with the late afternoon heat. Her powder-white skin grew red.

“Miss. Are you alright? Miss?” A young guard, Bill Marsh, had spotted the car, and decided to go in for a closer look.

When Jennifer didn’t move, he took out his club and smashed the window. She woke up from her temporary coma and lashed out.

“You Fuck!” Her voice was barely audible, even with the window smashed. Her energy was gone.

“Miss–I, I’m sorry you didn’t look okay.”

“I am! What business do you have involving yourself in my business? Do you know what you did? You just fucked up my car, you moron.”

“Look, I just saw you from my station.”

To Bill, her face looked familiar, though he couldn’t place where he had seen her before.

“You have no idea. Sitting in your stupid box, behind that intercom.

“I’m sorry, I know we’ll pay for the window. Hell, if the prison won’t, I personally will.” Bill said.

 

About the Author

michael dennisMichael D. Dennis is an author and playwright who earned a degree in English literature from Loyola Marymount University. Winner of a LMU Playwriting Award for his play Death of a Watchdog, Michael also had his play, Hen in the Field, produced at the Whitefire Theatre in 2012. His highly anticipated debut novel, A Native’s Tongue, will be released in June 2014. Michael currently lives in Santa Monica, California with his girlfriend and two dogs, Jack and Aurora.

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Posted in Birthday, e-books, Giveaway on July 21, 2014

 

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The Page Girls is a new online mag with an emphasis on books, cocktails, and female friendships. Each week, they publish a themed issue containing short stories, book reviews, personal and funny essays, videos, cocktail recipes, and more. Some sample issues include The Craziest Thing I Did For Love and LYLAS (Love You Like a Sister).
From July 21-25, The Page Girls is celebrating its first official “birthday week,” which means a giveaway every day plus other goodies.
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Sign up for The Page Girls’ weekly newsletter to get notified about new issues, and be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Giveaway

The Page Girls are giving away a copy of any of the following book for your eReader.  If you are the winner, you get to pick which one you would like to read.  This is on top of the giveaways on their website!

An Imaginary House by the Sea by Cecily Gates (Contemporary Romance)
HDU by India Lee (New Adult)
Normal is the Watchword by Jasmine Tru (YA Thriller)
Here for the Cake by Emily Poule (Rom-Com)

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Posted in excerpt, fiction, mystery, Spotlight on July 21, 2014

Retarded Girl cover copy

Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen by Lauren Leigh is a spellbinding murder mystery that offers a sympathetic look at the struggles faced by individuals with disabilities.

Publication Date: March 15, 2014
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Publisher: Sartoris Literary Group

Synopsis

Baby is every adoptive parent’s nightmare—blind, paralyzed from the waist down, unable to speak, and diagnosed with developmental and intellectual disabilities. For the first 10 years of her life she is raised outside in a dog pen by a cruel adoptive father, a Mississippi deputy sheriff who values his bird dogs more than his daughter.

Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen is the story of Baby’s placement in a Mississippi mental institution for individuals with profound retardation after the brutal murder of her father and the arrest of her mother, and her desperate attempt to escape the institution.

Once the mother is convicted of murder and sentenced to death, the story takes a bizarre twist as mental health professions discover that Baby is capable of communication, despite being trapped inside a grotesque body that holds her prisoner.

How much does Baby know? Can she prove her mother’s innocence?

As the mother sits on death row, the clock ticking, a brilliant psychologist has the shock of her life when she discovers that Baby is not who she seems. The question is will the psychologist be able to solve the mystery in time to save the mother’s life?

Similar to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in the manner in which it reveals the inner workings of a mental institution, it is, in the end, about the triumph of intellect and passion over indifference and cruelty. It is written in the tradition of The Sound and the Fury and To Kill a Mockingbird, two novels that address the complex issue of intellectual disabilities.

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Excerpt

When Thad Vanderbilt arrived at the county jail, he was eating a hamburger that he’d picked up at the drive-through window of a fast-food restaurant. He took bites of the burger and sips from a cup filled with iced tea as he walked into the building and asked to meet with Rivers in a private conference room.

As she walked in the door, he was in the process of wadding up the paper wrapping around the burger. He tossed it into a nearby trash can and then took a sip from the cup, gurgling the last few drops from the bottom of the cup before discarding it. Left behind was a touch of mayo that stuck about an inch from the corner of his mouth. Rivers noticed it, but said nothing, not really caring whether her lawyer looked foolish or not.

Thad stood and extended his hand as she approached the table and sat in a folding chair. His fingers felt damp from the soft drink cup, and she wiped her hand against her jumpsuit.

“I’m Thad Vanderbilt,” he said. “I’ve seen you around town, but I don’t think we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.”

“I’ve seen you in your convertible.”

Thad laughed. “Yes, and it will be paid for in another three years, just in time to trade it in for a new one.”

Rivers didn’t think that was funny and she did not respond with a laugh of her own.

Thad looked at a legal pad, reading over his scribbled notes.

“I see your husband was a deputy.”

Rivers nodded.

“And you have a little girl named Baby. Is that correct?”

“Yes. Have you seen her?”

“No, I haven’t. I understand she was taken away and placed at Silverstone Retardation Center.”

“That’s what the sheriff told me.”

“She’ll be well taken care of there.”

“I hope so. She’s not used to strangers.”

“They are used to people like her.”

“What do you mean, people like her?”

“You know, retarded.”

“Oh.”

“How do you want to plead on this?”

“What do you mean?”

“Guilty or not guilty.”

“Oh.”

Rivers didn’t answer, sort of drifted away, lost in thought.

“Did you hear me?”

“What?”

“Guilty or not guilty?”

“What’s the difference?”

“If you plead guilty, there is no trial and the judge decides your sentence. If you plead not guilty, you go to trial and listen to people say a lot of bad things about you, and then the jury decides if you are guilty or not guilty, and then, if you are guilty, they pass sentence.”

“And if the jury decides I am not guilty?”

“Then they send you home.”

“In that case, who goes to prison?”

“The prosecutor will decide if there is someone else he wants to prosecute. If there is, then he will go after them and try to get a conviction.

“Oh.”

“So what do you want to do?”

“Did the sheriff give you any information about Angus?”

“I don’t understand.”

“Did the sheriff give you any details about what happened to him?”

“Sure.”

“Would you mind telling me what you know?”

“No problem.” He looked over his notes. “OK. They found his body yesterday, buried along the tree line of your property, about fifty yards from the dog pen.”

“Did he look upset?”

“Excuse me?”

“Did it look like he was upset over being dead?”

Thad paused again, this time to collect his thoughts. “Ma’am, when you’re dead I don’t think you necessarily look upset or not upset.”

“I see.” She lowered her eyes, looking down at her lap, where her fingers were intertwined in a knot. “Does it say anything about how he died?”

“Yes, ma’am, it says he was struck in the chest with an ax.”

“That all?”

“No, it says he was hacked on a little bit.”

“Do they have the ax?”

“Apparently, it was buried with him.”

Rivers sat quietly for a while. Then she put her hand on her chest, feeling her thumping heart. “Would you mind seeing after the burial?”

“That’s not really what I do.”

“Baby and I are the only family he’s got. If not you, then who?”

“Ma’am, you’ve put me on the spot.”

“I know that.”

Thad doodled on his legal pad as he struggled with her request. He had moved to Murphy County from Memphis, where lawyers played by a different set of rules. In Memphis, her request would have been laughed at, but not in a rural community where everyone knows everyone else, or if they don’t, they know of them or have heard stories about them.

“That’s not something I usually do,” he said. “But I’ll make an exception in your case.”

“Thank you.”

“But you still haven’t answered me.”

“About what?”

“About your plea.”

“Can I decide what goes on the tombstone?”

“I don’t know for sure, but assume that would not be a problem. You are his wife.”

“Will there be flowers?”

“Yes—if I have to send them myself.”

“That’s nice.”

“I don’t mean to be rude, ma’am, but I need to know your plea.”

Rivers looked up, as if searching for the answer on the ceiling. Inexplicably, a serene look appeared on her face. “What will happen to me if I plead guilty?”

“It is a capital offense to kill a police officer, so the penalty would be death by injection.”

“I see.”

“Is that what you would like to do?”

“Yes, I believe it is.”

About the Author

Lauren Leigh is a mental health professional who has devoted her life to working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. This is her first novel.

 

 

Posted in excerpt, Fantasy, Horror, Spotlight on July 20, 2014

zombie attack

Synopsis

Xander MacNamara’s adventure continues when he is placed in charge of a civilian colony outside Barstow. He and his young wife, Felicity Jane, are forced to deal with the daily grind of reconstruction, the constant menace of zombies, and an equally hungry cannibal tribe known as the Alphas.
Things heat up fast when Sonya, a mysterious stranger sent by a secretive benefactor, frees him from enemy captors. Once again, Xander and Felicity find themselves fleeing for their lives from a never-ending series of new threats as well as old ones. A hidden enemy within the military is hell bent on creating a secret weapon: genetically engineered super zombies! Friends and soldiers are pitted against each other, as one side races to spread the cure while the other battles to gain ultimate control over the fate of mankind.
‘Zombie Attack! Army of the Dead’ is filled with pulse-pounding undead action from the very first chapter until the bitter sweet end. Child celebrities, reality television stars, nightmarish zombie clowns, bikers, ninjas, warlords, and more — this book has it all! The story takes off like a bullet and doesn’t slow down until the last sentence. You won’t be able to put it down!
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Excerpt

At one point in their journey back to Port Hueneme our heroes come across a circus tent with music playing in the middle of nowhere. Inside is a grisly scene featuring the remains of several children. Xander overpowers the lone biker left behind, a supposed prospect named Skeeter who promises to take them to his truck with a full tank of gas if they let him live.

***

 “That one came in last night,” Skeeter offered, trying to be helpful. “The other tribe brought her. She jumped the line and got put on right away.”

“What do you mean, she jumped the line?”

The words were out of Felicity’s mouth before I could speak but I was thinking the exact same thing. I knew the answer would only make it harder to keep my promise not to kill Skeeter but I had to hear him say it.

“They bring the cattle in order of capture usually,” he said.

“Cattle?”

“That’s what they call ‘em,” he spit on the ground. “Some of the guys call ‘em the entertainment but most call ‘em cattle.”

“And how do they get these cattle?”

“Generally the same way they got me,” he said. “They ride into an unprotected area and kill anyone who fights back. Then they divide up the women and children into categories for sale as food or slaves or entertainment. We get sent the cattle, mostly kids. Every now and then traitors or enemies show up and get put to the front of the line.”

“I thought you said last night was your first night,” I reminded him, exposing his glaring, baldfaced lie.

“It was,” Skeeter protested, shaking his hands for emphasis, “but that don’t mean I never heard anyone else talk about it. They kept me in a small prison cell and beat me for information. I used to be a local cop. Plenty of times they told me how I would end up here when they were done with me. Said it was better than watching me dig my own grave. Eventually they broke me with the threat of killing my family. I’m not proud of what I’ve done, but I’d do it again for my wife and son. I just hope they’re still in one place wherever they are.”

Sonya, Felicity, and I all exchanged looks once more. I wasn’t sure I believed him but I also knew we didn’t have much of a choice at this point. We needed his help to get out of there but first I had to see for my own eyes that we weren’t leaving any kids behind to these monsters.

“Where do you keep them? The prisoners.”

“The kids you mean? Out back in the pens. That’s why they call ‘em cattle. They got them locked up until they’re ready to perform.”

“How many are back there?”

“Pens can hold up to a hundred kids but usually they don’t keep more than a week’s worth of cattle at a time,” he said with a shrug. “They’re too hard to feed and care for. Alphas aren’t known for being motherly types if you know what I mean. We ran out of live bait early because of the big emergency. Last thing the boss man did before he left was let all of them loose at once. It was a slaughter as you can see. After that everyone just took off.”

“Take me to the pens,” I said, the bile rising back up in me. “Now!”

“It’s your world boss man,” Skeeter said, turning and walking slowly out in front of us. We followed him back through a series of flaps to a large gated area that cut the circus tents off from a walled in community of trailers sitting idly by and animal cages. He fumbled nervously with the padlock. Sonya slapped him up side his head right where on his fresh bruise and he let out a fresh cry of pain.

“Quit stalling,” she said.

He snapped the lock apart and pulled the squeaky gate open. Casting cautious glances he made a beeline past empty iron cages filled with dead animal corpses riddle with bite marks. There were the remains of lions and bears and zebra, all now covered in thick moving blankets of flies. One last cage had an angry looking elephant that paced back and forth knocking against the bars of its cage. It let out a loud roar when it saw us.

“What the hell is going on?” Felicity asked.

“Looks like they’ve been using the circus animals they found as part of the act,” Sonya said with disgust. “And when they’re done they just feed them to the giants.”

“Close,” Skeeter said, a strange look crossing his face as he smiled. “but no cigar.”

“Where are the kids kept?” I demanded.

“Here are the pens,” Skeeter said, his smile growing as he pointed to a series of wooden boxes sitting in the grass behind him. I moved forward to see they had tiny scratches covering the outside. They reeked of piss and fear but were otherwise empty. Glancing down I saw that there were no locks on the boxes. It didn’t make any sense.

“There’s no locks on the pens,” I pointed out. “How exactly did you keep the cattle from escaping?”

“We didn’t have to,” he giggled, looking like the tables had turned for him. “They did it for us.”

Before I could ask who he meant Skeeter threw back his head and let out a long, high pitched whistle. The question died on my lips as I heard the sound of low moaning coming from all sides of us in stereo. I turned to see an impossible sight and my mind reeled in sheer terror. Rows of blood splattered zombie clowns were closing in on us from every side.

“Xander,” Felicity called out. “What are we gonna do?”

Before I could answer Skeeter turned and bolted, sliding under one of the trailers and scurrying out the other side. A moment later I heard the sound of his bike being fired up, the loud rumbling only drawing more of the nightmarish monster clowns in our direction.

“See you suckers in hell,” Skeeter cried out as he pulled back on his throttle and ripped off into the early dawn.

I raced to Felicity’s side along with Sonya, who had begun to turn in wide circles, her lips moving like she was trying to count them all.

“This doesn’t look good,” Felicity cried.

“Don’t worry,” I said, holding her tight as we backed towards the animal cages. “I’ll think of something.”

“You better do it fast,” Sonya said. “We’re running out of time.”

“I hate clowns,” Felicity said, turning her scared face into my neck and shoulders and burrowing in. “Please Xander make them go away! I can’t die like this.”

“I’m working on it,” I promised, holding my sword up and trying to come up with a plan. My mind raced but try as I might all I could do was focus on the gnashing teeth of the zombie clown horde descending on us like a dinner bell had just been rung. There was easily a hundred of them, maybe more. I wouldn’t be able to cut them down before they reached us. There were just too many of them to take on at once!

Think! There has to be a way out of this! It was no use. My mind was stuck on the terrible streaked faces, torn with gashes, leaking pus and oozing black gunk, hungrily making their way towards us.

The elephant behind us roared once more making Felicity shriek in fear. I could feel the air move we were so close and my ears were ringing. It stomped hard and rattled the bars of its cage for good measure, the padlock on the iron cage rattling against the rusty metal. Suddenly everything became clear.

“I’ve got it,” I said, “but you’re not going to like it.”

“What is it?” Felicity’s eyes brimmed with fear like I’d never seen before.

“Just stay right by my side no matter what happens. When I move you move, you got that?”

“I got it,” Felicity said, her lips trembling. “Xander please don’t let me die. Please don’t let these clowns eat me!”

“None of us are going to die,” I promised, turning to Sonya who seemed to understand my plan without me having to tell her. “On three, got it?”

“Got it,” Sonya said, picking up a metal pipe out of the grass near her feet.

“One, two…”

Please let this work, I silently prayed.

“…three!”

Author Bio

dave zombieDevan Sagliani was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from UCLA. He is the author of the Zombie Attack! series, The Rising Dead, A Thirst For Fire, and the UNDEAD L.A. series. Devan also wrote the original screenplay for the movie HVZ: Humans Versus Zombies. He writes a bimonthly horror column for Escapist Magazine called Dark Dreams.
Devan’s fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Million Writers Award. In 2012 his debut novel Zombie Attack! Rise of the Horde won Best Zombie/Horror E-book on Goodreads. He is also an active member of the Horror Writer’s Association.
He currently lives in Venice Beach, California with his wife.

Website * Goodreads * Amazon * Twitter * Permuted Press * Zombie Attack Facebook * Dark Dreams Column on The Escapist Magazine

Posted in mystery, Spotlight on July 19, 2014

slice and dice

 

Synopsis

“Nothing good ever happens before ten in the morning.” ~Skylar Wolfe

Skylar Wolfe is far from your average PI. Full of snark and purple hair with a quick tongue and no filter from her brain to her mouth. Trouble always seems to find her and she always drags her cousin Levi along for the ride.

But this last bit of trouble she seems to have fallen into is the deadly variety. There’s a corpse at her door (no really, I’m completely serious) with her name all over it. It seems she has pissed off the wrong person. Being Skylar the list could be a little long. She teams up with Norcrest’s new delicious lead detective, Aiden Livingston. Then leads the hunt to find the person responsible.

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About the Author

Mariana Thorn is the author of Urban Fantasy and Mystery stories. She currently has one title in her Fur, Fangs, and Fairies series, a full-length novel, Seizing Darkness and one title in her short story series Skylar Wolfe Mysteries, Slice & Dice. There are also three anthologies with her stories in them. She has many more books in both her series scheduled for upcoming releases. Besides writing, Mariana enjoys reading, photography, and playing with her dog. She lives in Western Washington, but loves to travel to Florida to sit on the beach to write.

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Posted in Blog tour, excerpt, romance on July 19, 2014

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Standalone Dark Contemporary Romance

Release date: July 15, 2014

Cover Design: Regina Wamba (Mae I Design)

Synopsis

Some stories are a fairytale…but this isn’t one.

Caelan Gregory’s life fell apart the night he went home and opened the door to find his whole family murdered. Since then, his life has held no meaning. He’s angry. He’s bitter. He’s barely human anymore. There’s nothing left to remind him of the straight A student, and football quarterback he once was…but he wasn’t a good person then, and he’s certainly not a good person now. He’s retreated into a world where all that exists is numbness and his passion for painting.

When Sutton Hale moves into the apartment across the hall from Caelan she’s not prepared for her reaction to him. Something in his broken blue eyes calls to her—after all she’s always had an irrational need to fix everything.

But Caelan doesn’t do relationships or feelings. He does drugs and alcohol. However, he can’t ignore his desire to get to know the raven-haired woman across the hall.

Two broken souls trying to mend one another.

But not everything can be fixed.

In the end, Caelan and Sutton will have to learn that there is beauty in the ashes.

BitA ebook

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Excerpt

UNEDITED AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE

prologue

Caelan

Life is like a flame.

It burns bright for a while, then it flickers and fades, until finally one small breath extinguishes it and we’re left with the ashes.

 

The house was quiet, but I still waited ten more minutes, making sure I heard the sounds of my dad snoring.

I’d been grounded for a month the last time I got caught sneaking out.

I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again.

I crept over to my bedroom window, sliding it up as quietly as I could. It squeaked and I halted my movements, holding my breath to make sure no one in the house stirred.

I all but jumped out of my skin when the door to the bathroom that connected my room to my sister’s opened.

“Cael, what are you doing?” She asked, standing there in pajama shorts and a tank top. Her eyes were wide, reminding me of a doll.

“Isn’t it obvious?” I whispered, nodding at my half open window.

“Mom and dad are going to kill you if you get caught,” she hissed, padding into my room like she owned the place. Nosy little sisters were good for nothing. I missed the days when I could bribe her to keep quiet with candy.

“I can’t miss this party, Cayla,” I groaned. “I’m the quarterback. I have to be there,” I reasoned.

“I want to go,” she squared her shoulders defiantly.

“No,” I hissed through my teeth. No f*ing way was I bringing my sixteen-year-old sister to a senior party. It wasn’t because of her age that I wanted her to stay behind, but the way I saw my friends looking at her. Cayla was too sweet and innocent to get wrapped up in one of those fuckers. I’d kill them if they touched my sister.

“Fine, then I’m going to wake up mom,” she turned on her heel to stalk out of my room.

I reached out and grabbed her arm, my fingers digging into her skin. “No,” I said sternly. “Don’t be a little tattle tale bitch.”

Her eyes widened at my harsh words. Yeah, Cayla and I bickered like most siblings, but we also got along better than most too. She wasn’t used to me being so rude.

“Let go of me,” she yanked her arm from my grasp. “You can be such a dick, Caelan.” She headed back towards the bathroom and stopped in the doorway. “I won’t say anything to mom and dad about this, but you owe me.”

“Deal,” I smiled.

She started to leave, but something in me made me say her name. “Cayla?”

“Yeah?” She stopped, her blonde hair swishing around her shoulders.

I swallowed thickly. “I love you, you know that, right?”

She rolled her clear blue eyes at me. Cayla and I looked a lot alike—so much alike that many people believed we were twins.

“I see what you’re doing here, you still owe me dickwad.”

I chuckled. “Believe me, I know.”

I was surprised she hadn’t put up much fight. I think she knew the real reason I didn’t want her to go and probably wanted to avoid me getting in a fight—which would result in our parent’s finding out that we had both snuck out.

“Have fun,” she smiled, closing the bathroom door.

“Night, Cayla-belle,” I said softly, so low that she couldn’t hear me.

I eased the window the rest of the way up and crouched outside. I waited a minute to make sure Cayla wasn’t going to reappear—or one of my parents—then closed it.

I tiptoed down the eave of the roof, spotting the taillights of Kyle’s car waiting down the street for me.

I lowered to my stomach, sliding over the edge and grabbing on. I dropped down to the ground, careful to tuck my body so I didn’t injure myself.

Getting down was the easy part of sneaking out. Getting back up…now that was a different story.

I jogged down the street to Kyle’s white car.

“Dude, what the f* took so long?” He asked when I finally slid into the passenger seat.

“My sister caught me,” I muttered.

Kyle grinned and I didn’t like his smile one bit. “Why didn’t you bring her? She’s hot, I’m sure someone could’ve had some fun with her.”

I glared at him, my fists clenched. “Don’t talk about my sister like that.”

Kyle raised his hands in mock surrender, a smirk playing on his thin lips. “It’s the truth. A lot of the guys would love to have a piece of—”

I punched the side of his face.

I didn’t care if he was my friend or not.

No one talked about my baby sister like that. Hopefully he’d take this as a lesson and so would the other guys.

“F*, Caelan, did you really need to punch me?”

“Yeah, I really did. Maybe that will teach you that running your mouth about my sister is a bad idea,” I retorted. “Would you want me making comments about your sister?”

“My sister is fourteen,” he countered.

“Mine’s only sixteen,” I continued to pin him with a glare.

“Fine, whatever dude. She isn’t worth getting punch over for no-f*ing-reason,” he hissed.

He finally pulled away from the curb.

“Where’s this party at?” I asked.

After we’d won the football game, I’d had to head home for dinner—my parents were really big on family time. Sometimes ‘family time’ could be a major pain in the ass since it kept me from doing stuff with friends, but when I heard some of them talk about how messed up their families were I was silently thankful for my overbearing parents.

“The Cove,” he answered, winding around a turn too fast. I knew better than to complain. He’d only speed up.

The Cove wasn’t really a cove at all. It was a rock formation near the lake that provided great shelter from the surrounding neighborhoods. As long as we kept the noise level reasonable, most people didn’t know we were out there.

“Leah is going to be there,” Kyle said casually, watching me out of the corner of his eye for a reaction.

I’d been going after Leah for a few weeks now. She always tried to blow me off, but I could tell I was breaking down her walls. It wouldn’t be long until I had her right where I wanted her. She was enjoying playing hard to get, and I was enjoying the chase, but it ended tonight. I’d have her.

Kyle parked a block over from The Cove and we walked from that point. People would get suspicious if a bunch of cars were parked too close.

“Cael?”

I turned at the sound of my name, my lips curling up as I spotted Leah.

Her shiny red hair was curling down her back and her lips were coated in some kind of shiny gloss that I was desperate to taste.

“I’ll see you later…I guess,” Kyle winked, heading on without us.

“You know,” I told Leah, “you shouldn’t be standing out here all by yourself where anyone could get you.”

“Oh,” she purred, striding forward, “is the big bad wolf going to eat me?” She asked, purposely letting her breasts brush against my shoulder.

“Maybe,” I smirked, staring down at her.

“And maybe,” she stared brazenly up at me, “I want him too.”

Aw, hell.

I’d been waiting weeks for this moment, and I wasn’t going to let it pass me by.

I reached out for her, my hands finding the curve of her butt, and pressed my lips to hers.

She let out a soft little moan that stirred something inside me. I pressed more firmly against her as her fingers pulled at my hair. I knew she was a feisty little thing. I nipped at her bottom lip and then plunged my tongue inside her mouth. I wanted her and I wanted her bad, but we were standing on the street, and I did value my life, because if I got caught my dad would be pissed enough to string me up by my balls and leave me to die, so I broke away.

“That’s hardly over,” I warned her.

She giggled, reaching for my hand. “I hope not…and it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s over,” she bit her lip, running her fingers over the hard-on pressing against my jeans.

My breath hissed through my teeth as she felt me up. If I’d driven I would’ve told her to forget about the stupid party and we would have went back to my car to finish this.

I led her through the tall grass and around the large rocks where the party was roaring. A small fire provided warmth—but wasn’t large enough to attract unwanted attention. Someone played music from their iPod dock and bodies swayed.

“Dance with me,” Leah pleaded, pulling me towards everyone else.

I wasn’t a dancer, but I agreed just for the pleasure of watching her sexy little body move.

She grinded against me and I closed my eyes, tilting my head back.

“If you keep doing that,” I warned her, grabbing her stomach and rubbing my thumb against the underside of her breast, “I’m going to haul you out of here and make you scream my name.”

She looked up at me, her brown eyes sparkling in the moonlight. My throat tightened as her tongue flicked out to moisten her pouty lips. “I wouldn’t complain.”

“F*,” I growled, my hands tightening against her.

I wanted her and I wanted her bad.

“Come on,” I pulled her away from everyone else and into the tall grasses. I kept dragging her until we were far enough away that we wouldn’t be found easily.

I sunk down on the ground, pulling her with me onto my lap.

“You’ve been teasing me for weeks,” I lifted her shirt off her head. “This ends tonight.”

“Just make it good,” she challenged.

“Oh, trust me, baby, you don’t need to worry.”

⌘⌘⌘

When we returned—clothes and hair mused, but completely satisfied—the party had grown even larger. It seemed like everyone in our senior class was in attendance.

People wanted to talk and congratulate me on the game. I smiled and nodded—but honestly, I didn’t really care. Football was fun, but it wasn’t my whole life.

I sat down on the ground, beer in hand, with Leah between my legs. Her head rested against my chest.

When the sun started to peek above the edge of the lake, we all knew it was time to leave.

I said goodbye to Leah, giving her a long lingering kiss. Tonight had been good and I wasn’t ready to let her walk away just yet.

“Come on, Lover Boy,” Kyle pried me away from her lips.

I laughed, calling to Leah, “See you later?”

She nodded, her cheeks flushed with happiness.

Kyle dropped me off at the same spot he’d been waiting for me earlier.

I walked slowly towards my house, my head bowed.

When I finally looked up, ready to cut across the side yard to the back, so I could get back to my room, I noticed that the front door was slightly ajar.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end.

Oh, shit.

My parents had woken up and found me gone. I was in so much trouble it wasn’t even funny.

I swallowed thickly, my heart pumping in my chest as I made my way up the front steps into the house. There would be no point trying to sneak in. I had been caught and I needed to face this.

When I pushed open the front door the rest of the way, I was surprised to find the house in disarray. Drawers were open, lights smashed, and our belongings strewn about everywhere.

“What. The. Hell,” I gasped.

My heart raced even faster.

Something bad had happened. It looked like someone had broken in and tried to rob us.

I walked to the back of the house, to the kitchen, expecting to find my mom and dad there calling for the police, but it was empty.

“Mom!” I called. “Dad!”

Silence greeted me.

Maybe they had run to the neighbors house? Or were at the police station? Or—?

Something told me that neither of those things had happened.

Dread settled over me, sliding through my body like toxic sludge.

I swallowed thickly, heading for the main staircase.

I took the steps slowly and when I came to a standstill.

Blood.

Blood everywhere.

My shoes were growing damp with it.

“Dad!” I dropped to my knees, not caring that his blood was now soaking my jeans. “Dad!” I screamed again and again—willing him to answer. I rolled him over, choking on a sob as his lifeless eyes met me. There was so much blood. God, it was f*ing everywhere, seeping out of a series of knife wounds on his chest.

I released him, running for my parent’s room.

“No!” I yelled, when my eyes took in the sight of my mom lying on a blood soaked mattress, her eyes focused on the ceiling. There were cuts and slashes all over her. I couldn’t mistake the sound of her blood dripping from the bed onto the hardwood floors.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

I ran to Cayla’s room next, praying that she had hidden and was okay—or better yet, hoping I’d wake up and find this to all be a nightmare.

“Cayla!” I shouted, clutching my stomach as it heaved violently.

Like my mom, she was lying in her bed. Her eyes stared straight at me—the color so light it was almost white. Her normally rosy complexion was now a grayish blue color. Her throat had been slit open, the blood coating her, the bed, and the floor. Her mouth was open in a never-ending silent scream.

I fell to the ground, sobbing hysterically.

“Cayla,” I cried, crawling on my hands and knees over to her bed. “Cayla, please! You can’t die! Cayla!” I smacked her cheeks, shook her, yelled at her, and none of it did any good.

She was gone.

They were all gone.

I pulled my phone out, fumbling to press the right buttons.

“911 what’s your emergency?”

“Help! You have to help me! They’re dead! They’re all dead!”

“Who’s dead, sir?” The calm voice asked me.

“My family! They’re dead! God, they’re all dead!”

“Sir, what’s your address?”

I couldn’t answer the woman. I had lost all capability of speaking. A strange noise was escaping me—half crying, half screaming.

I shook Cayla some more, hoping in vain that what I was seeing would disappear and she’d wake up and tell me I was crazy.

I’d rather be losing my mind than face this reality.

When I knew that Cayla wasn’t going to wake up I sat on the floor beside her.

I rocked back and forth, sobbing, my blood-covered hands running through my hair. I kept muttering under my breath, “This isn’t real, this isn’t real, this isn’t real.”

That’s how the police found me.

Even five years later, I still felt like I was stuck in that room, rocking back and forth beside Cayla.

Only now, I said, “This is real.”

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About the Author

Micalea Smeltzer is a bestselling Young and New Adult author from Winchester, Virginia. She’s always working on her next book, and when she has spare time she loves to read and spend time with her family.

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Techno Crazed Cover photo SarahMakela_TechnoCrazed_zps031411c4.jpg
Title: Techno Crazed (Hacked Investigations)
Author: Sarah Makela
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance (with SciFi flare)
Sexual Content: Hot bordering on erotic
Publish Date: July 11, 2013
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC

~Synopsis~

Private investigator Hannah Franklin’s life is turned upside down after being contacted by a former employee of MAX Home Security, the leader in security services. But they’re not just protecting people anymore. Hannah’s informant claims to have proof that MAX has ordered the assassination of politicians who stood against the corporation.

When her informant is killed and an attempt is made on her life, Hannah has no choice but to contact a freelance hacker. Her only hope now lies in the hands of a man she never expected to welcome back into her life.

Ian Bradley has lost his girlfriend and his job, as well as having acquired a very annoying gnome. Now his ex, Hannah, is in danger, and she needs his help. Ian vows to protect Hannah with every resource available to him — and as a technomage in a high-tech world, his resources are almost endless…

 

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Purchase Links

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 Excerpt

A loud, metallic click sounded from the other side of the room. Then footsteps raced around the couch.

“Hannah? Are you okay?” Ian’s voice drew her gaze to his concerned face.

“What did you do? What are you?” She gulped, unsure if she wanted an answer to that.

He frowned, and a muscle clenched in his jaw. “I’m a technomage. I use and simulate magic through technology.”

“What?” She pressed the back of her hand to her forehead. Pain formed at her temples. “Whoa. How long have you…?”

“Since puberty. My mother was also a technomage.” He shrugged a shoulder. “It’s always been part of who I am. I’m just pretty good at hiding it.”

She blinked. Wow, his mother had seemed so normal when she’d met his parents. Had she really known him? He seemed like a stranger. No, she wouldn’t throw away their memories together because he’d hidden part of himself. She wouldn’t do that to him. Or she’d try not to, at least. “Were you ever going to tell me? Like if things had progressed between us?”

He helped her up and grabbed the blanket, keeping her covered. “I would have, eventually. Wouldn’t be nice of me to do otherwise, you know?”

She nodded and stared into his brown eyes. “I’ve missed you.”

He released a breath and rested his forehead against hers. “I’ve missed you too. God, I really screwed things up, didn’t I?”

Placing her hand against his chest, she angled her face to brush her lips against his. “We both did.”

Ian ran his hand through her hair, cupping the back of her head before deepening the kiss. His mouth possessed hers like a thirsty man at a well. He always kissed hard and desperately, and she loved it.

Ian scooped her into his arms, making her feel desirable. He carried her into the bedroom and kicked the door shut. Crossing the room, he set her down and ran his hands over her neck, shoulders, and down to her hips.

“You’re so beautiful, Hannah. I missed out on a lot when –”

“Hush. Don’t think about that. We’re together now.” She drew his face down to hers, kissing him.

He held himself over her, obviously being careful of her wounded state. She appreciated that, but part of her didn’t care about the injury, she just needed him.

He stiffened and glanced over his shoulder, looking at the door. She followed his gaze to see the gnome peeking inside.

“Sorry to disturb the party. As much as I’d like to listen to you two HAVE SEX, there’s stuff to be done!” Bernard looked as happy as ever, and she so wanted to wipe that cheerfulness off his face.

Yet he was right. Damn it. She still needed to check out the donut shop. There was a possibility they might find evidence of a struggle that they could bring to the police. But hadn’t she heard a couple weeks back about someone spreading rumors of police involvement with MAX Home Security? Ian rolled next to her and placed his hands over his face. He let out a ragged sigh. “Fine. We’ll be out in a moment.”

“No more SEX!” The gnome slammed the door behind him.

“Why do you put up with him?” she asked.

“I don’t know. He tends to be okay. Most of the time, that is.” He propped up on his elbow and ran a fingertip along her arm. “He’s dangerous, though. Don’t antagonize him. He causes suicide. That’s what happened to his previous owner. I happened to be nearby, and Bernard started following me no matter what I did.”

“How do you keep him from killing you?” Hannah frowned.

“I keep him happy enough. Besides, my power doesn’t let him impact me much.” He glanced back at the door. “Unfortunately, we need to get going before he bursts in here again.”

She nodded and stared down at the quilt. “Would be easier if I had something to wear. I saw your living room floor; you cut my blouse off.”

He sighed. “Right. Well, I can give you some sweatpants and a T-shirt. Guess we’ll need to do some clothes shopping.” Cocking an eyebrow at her, he smiled. “Not that I mind.”

“Okay, what did you do to the Ian I know? You used to hate when I took you shopping.” She grinned.

Ian shrugged. “I’m just glad to do stuff with you now. I’m not like I used to be.” He glared at the door before glancing back at her. “Trust me.”

“I do.” She nodded. “With my life.”

His lips thinned into a pink line. “I’m going to do everything I can to make you safe again. I swear.” He caressed his thumb along her jaw line and brushed his lips against hers once more before getting out of bed.

About the Author

Sarah Makela photo SarahMakela1_zps4cedd93d.jpgSarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy… even a sweet contemporary romance!

A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies and Ghost Adventures, and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.

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Posted in Blog tour, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense, Spotlight on July 18, 2014

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Book Title: Down Among The Dead Men

Author: Claire Baxter

Release Date: July 14th, 2014

Genre: Romantic suspense

Synopsis

When Caitlyn ventures into the rough, tough world of the South Australian opal fields on a mission to find her estranged father she instead discovers a half-sister she knew nothing about and learns that her father is missing and suspected of a crime.

Dale is a former city lawyer-turned-lapidary hiding out in Minagoona after death threats endanger him and his daughter. When Caitlyn approaches him for help finding her father, he’s reluctant, but attracted by her determination to right the wrongs dealt to her family. His sense of justice is very much like hers, but when his daughter’s life was threatened by men who wanted him to break the law for them, he fled to protect the child he loves.

Still the more Dale gets to know Caitlyn, the more he realizes he can’t let her go up against organized crime on her own—which is exactly what she proposes when she sets out to clear her father’s name. No matter what, he’ll do his damnedest to keep her safe—even if it means exposing himself and his daughter to the men who want to kill them…

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About the Author

Claire Baxter writes contemporary romantic fiction. Her short stories have been published in commercial women’s magazines around the world, while her novels have been translated into 20 languages, and nominated for the Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year Award, the Booksellers’ Best Awards, the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and the Cataromance Reviewers’ Choice Awards (winner, Best Harlequin Romance). Claire grew up in England, but for more than 20 years has called Australia home. She considers herself lucky to live near one of Adelaide’s beautiful beaches where she loves to walk and think up stories.

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July 14

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July 15

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July 16

Interviewed at Review From Here

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July 17

Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish

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July 18

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July 21

Book featured at Book Nook Nuts

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July 22

Guest blogging at Ramblings from this Chick

July 23

Guest blogging at Theresa M. Cole

July 24

Interviewed at Literal Exposure

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July 25

Book featured at First Page to the Last

Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Posted in 4 1/2 paws, excerpt, Medical Thriller, Review, Thriller on July 17, 2014

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The New Reality 2

 

Title: The New Reality
Author: Stephen Martino
Publisher: Light Messages
Pages: 333
Genre: Thriller
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

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Synopsis

After a deadly retrovirus is inadvertently released upon the planet in 2080, no country is financially prepared to deal with such a disaster. Only the acclaimed neuroscientist, Alex Pella, and NIH expert, Marissa Ambrosia, have the audacity to lead a search for the cure while simultaneously fending off a foreign elite military unit sent to stop them. Guided by an ancient code concealed within the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the scientists must traverse ancient lands and attempt to solve a biblical riddle in order to save humanity from its eminent destruction.

Drawing from both our nation’s politically charged environment and the worldwide economic crisis, The New Reality follows Alex Pella on a journey that projects a frightening path for human existence in the twenty-first century.

Thoughts about the book from the author

THE NEW REALITY is the first book in a projected trilogy starring Alex Pella, created by New Jersey-based neurologist Stephen Martino. With his mixture of medicine, politics, biblical riddles, and futuristic science, Martino joins such masters of the medical thriller genre as Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, and Robin Cook.

Martino says he wrote THE NEW REALITY “more than just to entertain the reader. I really wanted to create a novel with substance, like (Brown’s) THE DA VINCI CODE or (Crichton’s) JURASSIC PARK. These books not only tell a fantastic story, but they also make the reader think.”

In THE NEW REALITY, Martino has included such hot-button contemporary topics as genetic manipulation, gene therapy, unprecedented economic debt, and the rise of big government, combining them with more esoteric subjects such as the Bible Code and the mysteries hidden in the Book of Revelation.

The Bible Code, Martino explains, does exist and was discovered by Dr. Eli Rips, a mathematician in quantum physics. The code has been confirmed by mathematicians at Yale, Harvard, and Hebrew University, as well as by peer-reviewed mathematical journals and the Pentagon. The code, Martino continues, is found in the original Hebrew version of the first five books of the Old Testament, called the Torah, and only in its untranslated, Hebrew form.

All of these elements, Martino maintains, separate his book from the pack. He calls THE NEW REALITY “issue-oriented fiction. There are real concerns facing society today that threaten both the sovereignty and prosperity of our future generations. Though fictional, my novel addresses some of these issues and predicts the potential consequences we face as a nation if they are not properly addressed today.”

Excerpt

“Off to work again?” Suzan asked, both half-kidding and annoyed.

Her husband seemed oblivious to the question. Because he labored three weeks of double shifts and returned home from work only four hours prior, she thought he was going to at least have the rest of the this day off. Clearly that was not the case. With so many of his coworkers getting sick, it left only a handful of dedicated employees to man the local factory.

“They’re working you straight into the grave,” Suzan added. “They only care about money and not their employees. I don’t know why you let them do this to you. Look at you.” She pointed the dishtowel towards him. “You are an old man and your body can’t do this anymore.”

She was right. Berk was going to be 65 next month and his youthful vitality had been quickly dwindling over the past few years. As arthritis in his back and neck set in, he could do less physical activity, causing him to gain weight. No longer a strapping young man, he had acquired a large gut and two extra chins in the process. Berk’s jet-black hair had also grayed precipitously since putting in all these extra hours at work.

“You worry too much,” he cajoled with a cherub-like grin.

In fact, Berk had been the one doing most of the worrying. He was concerned not only for himself but also for his friends and family in this small town of Yakakoy. Located in western Turkey just off the Aegean Sea, the town’s sole means of sustenance was its local factory. With fewer healthy employees remaining, it left only a handful of people to keep the business alive.

“If I didn’t do the worrying, who would?” Suzan scoffed, while washing the pots in the sink.

Suzan was a sturdy woman, full of life. Accustomed to the hard work of living on a farm as a child, she had grown strong both physically and mentally. Though fifty years of age, she still retained her youthful glow and joked about marrying such an old man. She always responded that he was young when she married him, and now look what happened.

Berk tried to leave without his wife noticing, but she held out her cheek, expecting a kiss before his departure.

“I have to be at the factory,” he curtly responded, while attempting to open the door.

“Oh, no honey. You’re not leaving until you give your wife her proper goodbye.”

Suzan grabbed Berk’s wrist. To her surprise it felt warm and clammy, almost as if she were holding a wet snake. She then realized how red her husband’s face appeared. It was as if he fell asleep in a tanning bed and forgot to wake up for a day.

Berk looked down, not knowing what to say to his wife. They both had witnessed at least half their town come down with the same condition. Whenever someone developed these symptoms, they were immediately whisked away, never to be seen again. Over the past six months Yakakoy had slowly dwindled down to a fraction of its original population. Berk hoped that if he continued working no one would notice his declining health. Failure was not an option for him, and the last thing he ever wanted was to be forced to leave his dear wife and town.

“They’re not going to take you away, honey!” Suzan blurted with authority. “They will have to get through me first. Now you go upstairs and get some rest. You probably just have a fever from working too hard. I’ll tell the factory that you sprained your ankle and will be there in the morning.”

Berk knew excuses would not suffice. If anyone missed work or was late, the town police would immediately come to the house. With so many people in Yakakoy becoming mysteriously sick, the Turkish government had become adamant about removing anyone from the town with signs of The Disease.

The Disease is what the people called it. Since its appearance almost a year ago, it first spread quickly through Greece and Turkey, afflicting more of its population than either government cared to divulge. Scientists could give it no other name. No pathological organism for this new scourge could be found. Neither bacteria, virus, protozoa nor other infectious agent was ever discovered. Even rare pathogens such as prions, similar to those causing mad cow disease, were investigated but without any success.

Now as new victims began cropping up all over the world, humanity lay helpless at the mercy of The Disease. Without knowing the cause of this scourge or having any idea about the mode of its dissemination, humanity stood at the precipice of mass extinction. To prevent global chaos, there remained a total media blackout on the situation. All the general population of the world knew was that The Disease had been mostly confined to Turkey and Greece. Those that understood the truth were forced to secrecy.

Review

If you like your books to be futuristic, a little sci-fi, a tough of romance, a smattering of religion and some medical twists thrown in, then this is the book for you!

It’s the year 2080 and The Disease is killing many people and the race is on to find the cure.  New Reality is a large corporation that has lent money to many countries who do nothing but spend it unwisely (sound familiar?!).  As the story unfolds you will come to love some characters and hate others…and well maybe just not understand some either.  There are a few story lines that all tie together at the end leaving me wondering if this is the first in a trilogy what else can go wrong?!  Oh wait, I think I know but can’t say too much without giving away the ending.

I felt like the author did an amazing job of revealing just enough of the science and technology to make it believable (it is 60+ years in the future after all) but kept the characters like people you would run into walking down the street.  There will be times that you wonder why some of the characters put up with the actions of others…but all is revealed in the end and there are a few surprises too.  Many I was not expecting!

We enjoyed this book and give it 4 1/2 paws.

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About the Author

Stephen MartinoStephen Martino holds an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is a neurologist in New Jersey. When he is not working, he can be found with his five children doing homework or cheering them on at a soccer field, basketball court, or dance recital. Martino is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Cub Scout den leader and is an active public speaker, helping to educate the local community and healthcare professionals on the signs, symptoms and treatment of stroke. THE NEW REALITY is his first novel.

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