Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, Photography, Review, Trailer on March 16, 2017

Synopsis

I have always been fascinated by the sheer beauty and diversity in Indian culture. “Sensory overload in a glance” is an apt description of a country that is always in movement. To be able to stand still in the middle of all that movement allows me to really “see” her people and absorb the flow of life from birth to death.

From learning how to make yellow ink from cow urine to watching funeral pyres burn in Varanasi, I realized that I would have to spend a lifetime here to grasp the immense value of her art, stunning architecture, fascinating food and love of all that is beautiful.

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Review

I have never been to India, but the author does a beautiful job of bringing India to me.  The colors, the hopes of the people, the way they live their lives, all of these gave me a deeper understanding of the country and its beauty.  There is even one picture that made me chuckle, it is a store with a lot of false teeth/dentures for sale.  I really love all the bright colors the women wear: to me it brings job to potentially a bleak situation.  I enjoy seeing the pictures of dogs (and other animals) and how the dogs don’t seem to have a care in the world and are sleeping right on the street with people passing them by.

The book is diverse in the images – from nature, to the majestic buildings, the poverty in places, and the people.  I think that it is very down to earth and a realistic portrayal of India and various castes.

We give this book 5 paws up and you need to pick up a copy and view the images she shares with us.

About the Author

Debra Schoenberger aka #girlwithcamera

“My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me.

I am a documentary photographer and street photography is my passion. Some of my images have been chosen by National Geographic as editor’s favourites and are on display in the National Geographic museum in Washington, DC.  I also have an off-kilter sense of humour so I’m always looking for the unusual.

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Giveaway

Win one $25 Amazon gift card (international) – 5 other winners will receive one copy of INDIA (choice ePUB or PDF) (ends April 1, 2017)

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Posted in excerpt, Thriller, Trailer on February 12, 2017

Synopsis

THE GIRL FROM ROSTOV is a crime thriller/love story, but more importantly it is also a story of loss and the range of human emotions that a person goes through following it. The orphaned niece of a Russian gangster/international spy and arms dealer must solve the mystery of her uncle’s killer. She teams up with the son of a millionaire who has his own set of demons from the past.

* A couple of chapters in the beginning of the book are situated in Russia while most of the other scenes take place in India.

Excerpt

He stood there watching him, smoking a cigarette, silently waiting.

“Where is my money?” he asked. He spoke softly, as if scolding a child for his misbehaviour, trying not to come across as too harsh.

“I swear to you, I didn’t take it. I would never betray you,” the man sitting across from him replied. He was tied to a chair, unable to move, the rope cutting into his wrists.

He took two steps forward, towering over the man in the chair, well within his personal space. He smacked him hard across the face. The man and the chair were both knocked to the floor. He caught hold of his collar and pulled the chair with him still in it back onto its feet. He took two steps back.

“Now, shall we do this again?”

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About the Author

Shitij Sharma is a nineteen year old budding author from India.He is the author of the book – THE GIRL FROM ROSTOV. He believes that he can successfully explain the world’s current situation in this one paragraph

‘This world was a strange place to live in. It was disorderly and chaotic. Therefore, we had to find our way through this labyrinth of human emotions and actions to arrive at a place where there was some resemblance to order, order in the form of disorderly governments and a moral compass that does not always point north.’

He currently resides in New Delhi, India. He spends most of his time writing his second novel which he hopes to complete before this year is out.

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Posted in Crime, Spotlight, suspense, Trailer on February 7, 2017

Synopsis

When you’ve lost it all, how far would you go to get it back?

Bennett Covington has a good life. The support of a loving, growing family. A satisfying job. A roof over his head. Not perfect, but close enough.

Nothing lasts forever, of course. After stumbling into the middle of a back-alley murder, Bennett becomes entangled in a web of violence set in motion by members of a shadowy criminal organization.

Subjected to psychological torment, Bennett struggles to understand the depth of their evil intentions – intentions that threaten to take much more than just his life.

Through it all, one question endures: why have they taken such a keen interest in him? When he runs, they catch him. When he hides, they find him.

The only way out is to fight back.

About the Author

Chip Scarinzi is an award-winning communications executive and the author of two books. His first book, Diehards, is a work of non-fiction about sports fandom. Ghosts is his first novel. Scarinzi lives in the San Francisco Bay Area island community of Alameda with his wife and two young daughters.

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Posted in excerpt, humor, Spotlight, Trailer on January 13, 2017

Synopsis

Doesn’t it seem as if someone issues a new apocalypse prediction every week? Y2K? The Mayan apocalypse? The Rapture? Doesn’t it seem endless? As opposed to the traditional trend of post-apocalyptic literature, Apocalypse All the Time is post-post-apocalypticism.

Marshall is sick of the apocalypse happening on a weekly (if not daily) basis. Life is constantly in peril, continually disrupted, but nothing significant ever happens. The emergency is always handled. Always. Marshall wants out; he wants it all to stop…one way or another. Apocalypse All the Time explores humanity’s fascination with the end times and what impact such a fascination has on the way we live our lives.

Excerpt

Chapter One

Someone ran into the room where Marshall had been sleeping. He’d been dreaming of being pursued by robed riders on skeletal horses. One person ran into the room, and then more people followed, their steps echoing everywhere. It got louder. He opened a tired eye, but he was alone in his apartment. The rumbling continued.

Then, the building was on log rollers, rumbling back and forth. Marshall was disoriented as he lay in bed. His body, always feeling a little oversized, seemed disconnected from up or down. Rudderless.

An earthquake.

Marshall tried to remember if they were still on Earth. So many things had happened and it was di cult to keep track of everything. If he was still on earth then it was only an earthquake. Otherwise, it’d be a something else quake.

Same difference for what it meant, but the distinction seemed as important as anything else. It was at least as important as the fact it was happening, which itself wasn’t a big deal.

Marshall grabbed the side of the bed to pull himself out from under the blankets. He let his body roll onto the door and tried to stand. Nothing fell off the walls, but only because Marshall had never bothered putting anything up. He started toward his front door.

It was just the apocalypse. An earthquake apocalypse. The ground under people’s feet would betray them. Great cracks would open and swallow up men without thought, without intention. Buildings would crumble. People would die. Continents would shift. Life would change forever.

Marshall yawned. He rubbed sleep from his eyes. He ran a hand through his shaggy, black hair. Then he emerged from his apartment, sure his pale skin made him seem like a naked mole rat tentatively greeting the day.

Oh well.

In the hall, a flood of people screamed, and owed toward the stairs, pulling Marshall awkwardly along with them. He couldn’t be sure who was screaming. There were so many people everywhere. Nobody seemed to be yelling, but everybody seemed to be. It was disembodied screaming, and Marshall stopped thinking about it when he remembered he didn’t care about who it was.

The flow swept him down the cement stairs. No one took 
the elevators during an emergency. They were well trained. The flow surged Marshall downward. Some people tumbled, but only onto other people. No big problem. No one seemed to be getting crushed. There was that at least.

The mass broke outside, each out for themselves, running anywhere away from the buildings.

The open.

The instinct was to head for the open.

Marshall found himself in a nearby green space. It was like a park, but with nothing in it. Like a vacant lot, but mowed. It was probably important for something, but for the moment, Marshall thought it best for avoiding earthquake dangers.

There was a tearing sort of roar. Marshall looked up to see an apartment building separating into halves. Like a wishbone, though Marshall didn’t bother making a wish. Steel frames shrieked and twanged, snapped. Bricks crumbled to powder. The whole thing fell to the ground as if it was tired and needed to sit.

No people died though, apparently. It looked like everyone had gotten out. That was a nice thing.

Other buildings fell.

Then the shaking stopped. People looked around, Marshall along with them. Thousands of voices buzzed, probably trying to ask what was going on. Confusion. It all merged into a giant mass of noise-thought. Indistinguishable sound like listening to all the broadcast stations at once. No message remained in all the messages. Then the rumbling began again. Stronger.

A red-haired woman in a brown jumper grabbed Marshall. She pulled him down to her and jammed her tongue into his mouth, searching. Need.

Surprised, Marshall returned the rutting kiss.

The woman was short and curvy. The jumper stretched, emphasizing attractive bulges. Not that he’d had a chance to judge, but Marshall felt attracted. His instinct wasn’t to push her off.

She ground her hips into him, something to which Marshall was unaccustomed. It wasn’t like he’d never been with a girl before, only it was usually a lot more work. Meeting, expressing interest, pursuing, and mood setting. A choreographed and stylized dance. It was kind of refreshing to have one just show up.

Her hands groped at his belt. She moaned. “Come on. We don’t have much time. This could be it.”

Marshall froze, disgusted. His arousal drained. The redhead repulsed him. She smelled of saliva and sweat, though she’d smelled of sex a moment before. Her grinding now seemed like an attack, desperate. She clung like a maggot, a greasy, rotting maggot. The taste of bile rose in Marshall’s throat.

The redhead didn’t seem to notice, still humping Marshall’s leg. Maybe she didn’t care. She still pulled at his clothes, frantic. Drool leaked out one side of her mouth.

“Get me off. We’re going to die.”

Marshall broke away. Stunned, he didn’t go far. He had to get the redhead o him, get her out of his face. He couldn’t breathe.

The woman didn’t pursue. She almost didn’t pick up on his departure, instead grabbing a fat man nearby. She latched on and the fat man did the same.

“We’re going to die,” the woman shrieked as a crack tore through the green space, splitting earth, and knocking everyone o their feet. “Do it, now.”

The redhead and fat man pulled at their clothes, frenzied. As soon as a path was open, she thrust herself onto him. The fat man grunted, red-faced, and pumped furiously. They looked like pigs.

Marshall stared in horror, wishing he could look away. “Faster,” the woman screamed, “before it’s too late.”

The fat man’s flesh rolled. It jiggled and shook more than the world around them. The coarse hair on his hide was flecked with bits of white deodorant, and the scent of rotting milk wafted o of him. He groaned and squealed, frantically trying to finish. He barely seemed to notice the redhead.

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About the Author

David S. Atkinson is the author of Apocalypse All the Time (forthcoming from Literary Wanderlust), Not Quite So Stories, Bones Buried in the Dirt (2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards® finalist, First Novel (under 80,000 words)) and The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes (2015 National Indie Excellence® Awards finalist in humor). His writing has appeared in Bartleby Snopes, Grey Sparrow Journal, Atticus Review and other literary magazines and journals.

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Posted in excerpt, nonfiction, Spotlight, Trailer on August 22, 2016

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Scapegoat cover

 

Title: Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villians to Redemption
Author: Emilio Corsetti
Publisher: Odyssey Publishing, LLC
Pages: 472
Genre: Nonfiction Narrative

Synopsis

“This is the kind of case the Board has never had to deal with-a head-on collision between the credibility of a flight crew versus the airworthiness of the aircraft.” NTSB Investigator-in-Charge Leslie Dean Kampschror

On April 4, 1979, a Boeing 727 with 82 passengers and a crew of 7 rolled over and plummeted from an altitude of 39,000 feet to within seconds of crashing were it not for the crew’s actions to save the plane. The cause of the unexplained dive was the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations at that time.

While the crew’s efforts to save TWA 841 were initially hailed as heroic, that all changed when safety inspectors found twenty-one minutes of the thirty-minute cockpit voice recorder tape blank. The captain of the flight, Harvey “Hoot” Gibson, subsequently came under suspicion for deliberately erasing the tape in an effort to hide incriminating evidence. The voice recorder was never evaluated for any deficiencies.

From that moment on, the investigation was focused on the crew to the exclusion of all other evidence. It was an investigation based on rumors, innuendos, and speculation. Eventually the NTSB, despite sworn testimony to the contrary, blamed the crew for the incident by having improperly manipulated the controls, leading to the dive.

This is the story of an NTSB investigation gone awry and one pilot’s decades-long battle to clear his name.

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Excerpt

When TWA 841 departed JFK on April 4, 1979, no one onboard had any idea of the drama that would soon unfold. One passenger, travelling with her husband, wrote in a journal about the smooth takeoff. She had been keeping a personal journal of her travels to share with her children on her return. She documented everything down to the most inconsequential detail such as her ears popping as the aircraft climbed. Days, weeks, and years later, after TWA 841 had become the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations in the agency’s history, investigators would scrutinize every minute of the flight in a similarly detailed manner. Much like a criminal investigation, the movements, actions, and whereabouts of each crew member were documented. Routine tasks such as when and where the meal trays were exchanged between the cockpit and cabin crew would take on added significance. Unraveling the mystery of TWA 841 was a monumental puzzle that needed to be solved. But unlike any accident investigation before or since, the same evidence investigators would use against the crew would be used by others to challenge the theories put forth by Boeing and the NTSB. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to which version is correct.

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About the Author

Emilio Corsetti IIIEmilio Corsetti III is a professional pilot and author. Emilio has written for both regional and national publications including the Chicago Tribune, Multimedia Producer, and Professional Pilot magazine. Emilio is the author of the book 35 Miles From Shore: The Ditching and Rescue of ALM Flight 980. The upcoming book Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption tells the true story of an airline crew wrongly blamed for causing a near-fatal accident and the captain’s decades-long battle to clear his name. Emilio is a graduate of St. Louis University. He and his wife Lynn reside in Dallas, TX.

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Posted in 5 paws, Book Release, Review, Trailer on August 16, 2016

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Synopsis

Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, teams up with Emmy-winning writer Phoef Sutton for a brand-new series of thrillers featuring the invincible and incompatible pairing of Knight and Moon.

Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little to no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he’s also brilliant, rich, and (some people might say) handsome, or he’d probably be homeless. Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard Business and Harvard Law. Her aggressive Texas spitfire attitude has helped her land her dream job as a junior analyst with mega-bank Blane-Grunwald. At least Riley Moon thought it was her dream job, until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight.

What starts off as an inquiry about missing bank funds in the Knight account leads to inquiries about a missing man, missing gold, and a life-and-death race across the country. Through the streets of Washington, D.C., and down into the underground vault of the Federal Reserve in New York City, an evil plan is exposed. A plan so sinister that only a megalomaniac could think it up, and only the unlikely duo of the irrepressibly charming Emerson Knight and the tenacious Riley Moon can stop it.

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Review

This is a new series coming out this summer and I finished this one very quickly. To me it reads like her Plum books, quick, funny and lots of action. I like that in a book!

Emerson is a smart, rich recluse that wants to see his gold being held by the investment firm. Riley is new that to investment firm and is assigned to watch over Emerson. I don’t think she knew what she was getting in to with that job assignment.

I loved how quirky Emerson is…from his estate, to the menagerie of animals to his meditation habits (at least we think he is meditating!). Riley is from Texas (yeah!) and just wants to do a good job and move up within the company. She is definitely not prepared for Emerson. But once she starts working with him, it turns out they are a good fit in figuring out where his gold is and the mystery behind the Grunwald family. Oh and I love that her nickname from the investment company is Moonbeam…makes her sound like a hippy and she definitely is not.

There are many characters and the book is fast paced which kept my interest from start to finish. It is definitely on par with the author’s other books and I can’t wait for a second book to come out in this new series.

We give it 5 paws up!

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense, Spotlight, Trailer, women on July 14, 2015

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Cuba Undercover

 

Happy Release Day for Cuba Undercover by Linda Bond!

Get Ready To Be Kidnapped by Sexy Hero Antonio and Head to Cuba Where the Sun Isn’t the Only Thing That’s Hot

Synopsis

Cuban-American TV reporter Rebecca Menendez’s success comes from playing by the rules. When she’s kidnapped by a fierce and intensely handsome man who needs her help, however, all of those rules seem pointless. Nothing could have prepared her for being taken hostage…or the irresistible reward if she complies: information about her long-thought dead father. Antonio Vega has spent almost every day of his adult life dreaming of revenging his father’s death. With his sister’s life and freedom in jeopardy, Antonio isn’t taking any chances. But once Rebecca and Antonio are in Cuba, they’re immersed in a world of corruption, deceit, and betrayal. It’s a deadly game…and there are no rules.

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In honor of Cuba Undercover’s release, Linda Bond is sharing one of her favorite Cuban recipes here!

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Excerpt

He stroked her cheek. “I never expected this.”

“Expected what?” Her heart sped up.

“To care.” He dragged his thumb against her bottom lip, his eyes following his movement.

A rush of excitement shimmied down her spine. “To care about what?”

“To care so much about you.” He parted her lips with his thumb. “To want you so much.”

She licked his thumb. He tasted salty. Her head spun. Now she did feel drunk. But it wasn’t from the alcohol. She was drunk with lust. Closing her eyes, she allowed the pleasure to wash over her. She sucked his thumb, longing to do the same to his rum-soaked tongue.

Yes, she was acting like a crazy woman. But she didn’t care. She’d never felt this turned on in her life. And she feared she never would again. She was in Cuba, on a farm, far away from America. Who would possibly know? It’s not like they had surveillance cameras or iPhones here. She had to explore this feeling further.

As if reading her mind, Antonio’s lips pressed against hers with a need that matched her beating heart. He tasted of the seven-year rum, which she now loved. She gave in and played with his tongue, savoring the flavor. Sucking on it softly at first, she dragged it through her teeth, wanting to, hoping to inflict the slightest bit of pain. Truth be told she wanted to hear Antonio express his needs. He was usually so locked up. She was desperate to know he longed for her the way she longed for him.

He inhaled sharply, but didn’t yell or stop her. If anything, her naughtiness provoked him further. His big hands moved down to her butt, his fingers gently caressing her there. She could only imagine what it would feel like if those long fingers stroked her underneath her thin little sundress. She willed his fingers to find their way there.

So lost in this glorious sensation, it didn’t register at first that the music had stopped. The kiss ended, and Antonio leaned away. Maybe he noticed, too? A round of applause erupted, and a few adults whistled. Oh God, was the whistle for them? She’d totally forgotten where they were. She dragged her hand across her mouth. There were kids here. Oh Lordy.

She turned around. Dallas was staring at her with his mouth wide open and his eyes full of disbelief. He had a video camera with him. Was he shooting video of her and Antonio? Holy shit. Heat blasted both her cheeks. She felt breathless, just like she had when Ignado had pressed that nasty-smelling rag against her face.

If the police ever saw her making out with her “abductor” that would shoot down any chance she had of getting back into America without repercussions. “Oh my God.” Her hand covered her galloping heart. “What the hell have I done?”

About the Author

linda bondLinda Bond is an Emmy award winning journalist by day and an author of romantic adventures by night.  She’s also the mother of five, four athletes and an adopted son from Cuba. She has a passion for world travel, classic movies, and alpha males. Linda currently lives in Florida, where the sun always shines and the day begins with endless possibilities.  You can become a Bond girl and share in her continuing adventures on her website.

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Giveaway

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Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, Fantasy, Giveaway, Spotlight, Trailer, Young Adult on March 28, 2015

Pride2

Pride by Rosie Somers

Seventeen-year-old Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself, but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. When she gets a visit from three men claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings imbued with the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS, her life is changed irrevocably.

Gabby is the steward of PRIDE

To make matters worse, she’s falling hard for fellow steward, Grant Barnett, and he hates her guts. Now Gabby has to learn to protect Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.
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Praise for the Book

Iola’s Christian Reads: “Pride is aimed at the YA market, and is the first in a planned series (presumably one for each of the seven deadly sins). It incorporates elements of other well-known YA series such as Harry Potter and Divergent, (an orphan who is the ‘chosen one’ fighting the forces of evil). It has that fast pace and addictive quality which makes it hard to put down.”

“…it was thrilling enough to grab my attention and I can’t wait to continue Gabby’s story in the next installment. Rosie Somers has made it to my Author’s to watch for list!”

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Excerpt

Copyright © Rosie Somers

Gabby

The man didn’t make a sound. He stood stock still for the span of one sharp, inhaled breath, then he crumpled to the floor. After assuring herself there was no one behind him, Gabby flipped her flashlight on and knelt to give the unconscious heap at her feet her full attention. Oh God, she’d killed him. She just knew it.

Save for green streaks coursing through his thick, black hair, and a spot of blood near his temple, there wasn’t any color on him. His clothes were black, his skin winter-pale. Everything about his appearance was smooth, lean, handsome—no feature out of place. Full lips, chiseled jaw, and strikingly thick eyelashes. He was pretty, for a boy. It all fit, even the green hair. And he was still breathing. She wasn’t a murderer.

Suddenly, a strong hand gripped her forearm, and the heavy flashlight was ripped from her grasp. Wrenching free from the iron grip, she tried to turn around as she stood. Instead, she fell backward over Pretty Boy, landing hard on her butt with her legs draped over his torso.

Gabby scrambled to her feet. The moment she was steady, she broke into a run, but only made it as far as the back door before arms like steel bands wrapped around her from behind, pinning her to a rock-solid chest. She couldn’t breathe.

“We’re not here to hurt you, Gabriella,” a deep voice murmured into her ear. As if to prove the honesty of his words, the man relaxed his hold just enough for her to breathe normally.

“Yeah, right.” And her foster dad had only wanted to give her a kiss goodnight—with his tongue. Gabby knew what men were like, and she was not about to be fooled by this one. “How do you know my name?”

“It’s a long story, but we’ve been lookin’ for ya for some time now.” He had an Irish accent.

“Who are you?”

He turned their bodies back toward the unconscious man across the room. Now another guy stood over Pretty Boy. He wasseveral years older, thirty maybe. His pale blond hair was short and, even from across the room, it was clear he was much taller than her.

As Vice Guy half-carried her to the other men, a muffled moan floated up to meet them, and the guy on the floor took great care disentangling lanky limbs to pull himself to a kneeling position. He rubbed the side of his head with one hand while he used the other to brace himself against the wall. The look Pretty Boy raked over Gabby as he got up made her cringe.

The guy still holding her spoke. “If I let ya go, will ya promise not to run? We’re not goin’ to hurt ya. We’re here because we need your help.”

She believed him. Maybe because, even though she’d just clobbered his friend, he hadn’t hurt her. She nodded and was immediately released.

She turned, but the guy behind her wasn’t the giant with superhuman strength she’d imagined. Her captor was probably only a couple of years older than her, with dark auburn hair and a hint of a dimple on his right cheek. Despite the seriousness of the situation, his bright blue eyes sparkled with interest, and the corners of his lips were turned up in an amused smile.

He didn’t take his gaze off her, even when he took several steps away. Instead, he stood arms crossed, feet planted apart. Poised to give chase if she fled. Running had crossed her mind, but something compelled her to stay at least long enough to hear what they had to say.

“Well …?” She prompted with a wave of her hand that clearly said, get on with it.

The blond man cleared his throat. “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Andrew. This is Lucas.” He motioned toward the man who’d grabbed her, then to the one she’d knocked out. “And Grant.”

Grant’s eyes were narrowed. She shifted under his scrutiny and diverted her gaze.

Andrew whispered something in his ear, and Grant looked down at his feet. Andrew continued, “We need to go.”

They were there to abduct her. At the realization, panic rose in Gabby’s chest, choking her breath into shallow threads. She threw her hands up defensively and backed away with slow, shaky steps. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

Andrew sighed. “You may not want to now, but you will when you find out why.”

“Then tell me.”

He checked his watch, then squared his shoulders in determination. “Have you ever heard of the seven deadly sins?”

Gabby snorted. “Who hasn’t?”

“I assume you don’t realize how serious they are. We’ve spent our lives protecting humanity from the temptations and you laugh at the mention of them?” Grant’s voice was deep and forceful.

He looked as though he would have continued scolding her, but Lucas uttered a soft “Dude” and shook his head. Grant snapped his mouth shut and raised a hand to rub the back of his neck.

Lucas picked up where Andrew left off. “Do ya know much abou’ the history of the sins?”

She’d only ever heard an Irish brogue on TV. His lilting tone was soothing.

He raised an eyebrow.

Oh, he’d asked a question. What was it? Ah yes, history of the sins. Gabby shook her head.

“In the latter half of the fourth century, a monk fled Constantinople to a small monastery in Egypt. There, he penned a list of eight sins which he referred to as the Temptations of Man: Pride, Avarice, Acedia, Gluttony, Impurity, Anger, Sadness, and Vainglory.”

He took a few steps back and leaned against the wall, then continued, “For two centuries, almost all of those not involved with that particular monastery thought the list of Temptations was nothing more than the opinion of one monk, a suggestion of how to lead a good Christian life. Then, sometime around five-ninety A.D., Pope Gregory the First came across a collection of rings tha’ had been housed by this monastic order in utter secrecy. They considered them so powerful only the handler was permitted near them, just one specific monk who devoted his life to ensurin’ no one else came into contact with the Temptations.”

“Listen guys, much as I appreciate the history lesson, I’ve got work in …”she made a show of checking her non-existent watch, “a few hours, so I really hope you’re getting to a point.” This earned her a leveling glare from Grant.

“Pope Gregory had the rings studied and discovered they were in fact imbued with special properties. It seemed they had the power to influence people toward certain … well … temptations,” Andrew replied.

What asylum had these guys broken out of? Did they actually believe this nonsense they were spouting? “Seriously, jewelry that makes people sin? Right.” Gabby moved to her bag and gathered her clothing, making sure to keep the men in her line of sight.

Lucas reached into his shirt and pulled out a chain. He slipped it free of his neck and dangled it from the tips of two fingers. Swinging like a pendulum at the bottom of that chain was a brilliant, red ring.

“What is that?” She already knew the answer.

Lucas took several slow steps in her direction and extended his arm toward her. She clenched her fists and bit down on her tongue to keep from yelling at the men. How dare they sneak into her makeshift home, intruding into her life, practically scaring her to death. Now, they were feeding her this absurd story about sin-possessed rings and crazy monks.

The closer he got, her anger went from muted seething to barely-contained rage. The more she thought about it, the more she wished she was still in possession of her Maglite so she could hit him with it, and maybe again after that. When Lucas was little more than five feet from her, he winked and reversed direction. With each step he took away from her, the violent feelings receded.

“Anger,” Gabby answered her own question.

“Anger,” Andrew affirmed. “Lucas is the steward. I’m the steward of Pride, Grant of Envy.”

Grant’s eyes narrowed at her, while Andrew pulled a matching chain from beneath his own T-shirt and let the attached orange ring fall to rest against his chest. Something about Andrew’s ring was different though. Sure, power emanated from it, too, but she wasn’t experiencing pride. This power was different. It tingled—almost like static electricity.

After slipping the chain back over his head and tucking it under his neckline, Lucas picked up his story from where he’d left off. “Each of the rings has the ability to influence people toward a particular sin. Pope Gregory discovered which ones led to which temptation and labeled them accordingly. As a result, the original list of temptations was amended. It came to be known as the seven deadly sins.”

That was why the list Lucas spouted earlier didn’t sound right.

“The rings didn’t create the sins, of course. They just have the power to promote that particular feeling or action. Each sin has two rings and two custodians.” Lucas was matter-of-fact.

“What, like a janitor?”

He shook his head, but didn’t otherwise acknowledge her interruption. “The stewards are bound to their particular ring, can sense it, can control its influence over others.”

“How come I’ve never heard of these … stewards?”

“We exist in secret. If the world knew about us and the sins, all hell would break loose. We are not equipped to deal with that,” Grant answered in a tone that clearly said she should already know the answer.

“I still don’t understand what any of this has to do with me.” Were they ever going to get to the point?

Lucas took a tentative step toward her. “You’re the other steward of Pride, Gabriella.”

 

 

About the Author

Rosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year round sunshine. She can often be found in her favourite spot on her favourite beach, nose-deep in a good book.

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Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, Trailer, Young Adult on February 13, 2015

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Title: LINES

Genre: Contemporary Young Adult

Release Date: January 20, 2015

ISBN: 9781310636943 | 9781310444067 | 9781311639011

 

Synopsis

Grace was only dating bad boy Danny Cross to get her father’s attention. Danny was only dating Grace to help his friend get revenge. But when Jessie, the new kid, comes to town and brings hidden secrets about Grace’s family with him, suddenly everyone’s plans turn upside down.

As secrets are brought to the surface, Grace finds herself sinking deeper into Danny’s world of drugs and partying, uncovering truths that could destroy them all.

Enter the world of high school, blackmail, racism, and drugs, a world where there is no escape from crossing the LINES.

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Excerpt

GRACE

“Skipping class?” she asks as she finds her voice. It’s airy, cracky, like she is trying to summon the courage to be like Julie, crude and pissed off.

I give her my best fake nice guy smile, it can be convincing. “Not worth going if you’re not there.”

“You never go to class anyway,” she points out the obvious.

“Well,” I try to pull something out of my ass. “Today’s special, so I’m driving you to school.” Then I grab her hand, her porcelain skin so much cooler and more fragile than my own. I try to lead her toward my car when she plants her feet hard into the ground and pulls away, making me face her gold eyes again. Here we go, she’s gonna end it now, I think, as I paint on my face a look that says I have no idea what’s coming. This look is for Storm, but I think Grace knows perfectly well that I know this is a scam. Somehow, everyone is fooling everyone here.

“And why is today special?” Her face holds demands I don’t understand, testing me, like I should know something that no one has cued me in on. Why is it girls always expect men to magically read their thoughts and know the answers?

“Because, ah, today’s a good day apparently?” I’m losing my smoothness.

She glares at me with disappointment, like everyone has disappointed her except for moronic Julie. “Well Julie’s already here so … ” She says this like that’s all that matters, like it doesn’t matter that I’m here too.

“I’m sure Julie can figure out her way to school,” I remind her as if Julie’s five. Grace rolls her eyes crossly and starts turning around to go, just leaving me standing, dissed, in front of my best friend. Girls are cold. Then again, I deserve this, and I’m relieved that this hopefully spells out that we’re done, though I suppose I’ll miss several things about this jest.

Before she can leave my reach fully a noise comes. Her garage door opens and stops her as if it has the power to turn Grace into solid ice. Or maybe that’s her pop’s power. He comes out of the garage fast, briefcase in hand, not even looking my or his daughter’s way. He uses his remote to pop open his Mercedes as he screams into his phone. “I told you to hold that patient until I get there. Don’t do a thing!”

And then abruptly Grace suddenly turns fast toward me. What the … I feel her cool fragile skin get dangerously close to mine as she takes ahold of my arms. They come right around my neck as I feel her perfect body press right into mine. Then she kisses me. Grace’s whiplash really shouldn’t have shocked me anymore.

I know right away she’s only doing this, kissing me, to make her father mad. I take full advantage, kissing her back and pulling her further to me as I wrap my own arms around her, tasting her as the light perfume she has on drives me crazy. Yes, I know, I’m a messed up individual. She fills my head as I feel her tremble and kisses me harder. She’s the gem I’ll never be able to afford but I get to touch right now. How the hell can I really resist when she suddenly just kisses me like this?

Sounds of her dad leaving, and Julie yelling, finally make her lips slow, then they stop. As she pulls away and our eyes meet, our reality crashes back, yet we both totally want to keep going. How far would she really be willing to go?

“Grace! We are going to be late!” Julie is screaming. She’s been yakking for a while now. “And I’m going to throw up!” Her voice is like that of an angry hag, mad someone was stealing her plaything. Grace pulls completely away from me, steps back, and any look or want between us is gone.

“I can’t ride with you. You should have called and let me know you’d be here.”

“Come on,” I try to protest. Am I glad she is leaving or do I want to grab her and kiss her again, maybe up against Julie’s car to really piss the man hater off?

I hear Storm sneer and I suddenly want her to go, get away from him and away from me, as I keep my face the same, shaking my head at her for guilt, but also backing off.

“Why don’t you just drive me home,” she offers. “If I go with you now she’ll kill me. After school we can finally … talk.” Talk as in not make out, talk as in tell me to take a hike. Fine, after school it is. With that, she turns and is gone.

Julie makes sure to give Storm and me extra dirty looks before taking off with my “girlfriend.” She is in such a hurry she almost brakes the speed limit to get Grace away from me. Almost, but not quite.

I hear Storm laugh.“Pick me up, do my laundry,” he mocks me. “Yeah, you’ve really got this one, Danny.”

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About the Author

Ashley C Harris.1000pxAuthor and film director Ashley C. Harris resides in Florida. Ashley was first recognized for her edgy writing and unique film work when she wrote and directed the teenage film Lines. Lines was the first feature film in the world captured using only Mac Laptops..

In 2013 Ashley teamed up with Barclay Publicity to release the first title in a new young adult series Shock Me. Ashley then went on to release the first of a new NA series, One Night In Heated Snapshots, that quickly reached Amazon’s Best Selling top ten list for sports romances.

When she is not dreaming up new books and working on film sets, she loves to spend time with her friends and family.

Keep a close watch for Ashley’s newest young adult books releases!

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Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, Fantasy, Giveaway, Trailer, Young Adult on February 12, 2015

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Aumelan – book one

From the award-winning author of the Cornerstone Deep saga, comes a story of love, devotion and courage.

Chad Aumelan is in love, but his world isn’t right. Not when he’s forbidden to have Dae just because she’s his slave.

When Salana Goffin meets Chad, she’s faced with the unbelievable: a man who must take energy from a host to survive. He wants to find a cure to free the woman he loves. How can Salana turn away such a noble cause?

Together, they search for answers, but fate has another plan.

 

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Excerpt

Styne’s thrill of adventure diminished as a howl reached into the narrow vein of the cave. He lifted his crystal-lit torch as if it would hush the mourning sound, but the light seemed to pulse with each beat of his heart. Gathering his nerve, he inched down the steep trail. Pebbles rolled beneath his feet, and he grasped at the granite wall to secure his balance.

A clash echoed through the catacomb, and he angled the beam down, squinting his eyes to see the bottom of the tunnel better. Water rose and then ebbed at the threshold, a tall stalagmite breaking the flow. His stomach knotted. No wonder the Chambers haven’t come to serve us yet. They must be scared to death.

Trotting down the pitch, he rode the gravel giving way to his quick pace. As he entered the hollow’s belly, waves crashed against the bluff. Bolts of light flashed beyond thick sheets of water like strobes. The fallout pounded onto the landing. Waves swept along the cave’s tongue and filled the gullies in a rush. Mats and crystals swirled with loose rock as the flow carried away the remnants from their earlier gathering.

He inched into the wide dome, gaze glued on the panoramic view. Awe locked logical thought as he scanned the vast World Above. Confusion passed his lips in a low mumble. “Chad said there would be stars, a moon…” It’s the real reason I agreed to come back down here and get the Chambers!

His steps slipped on the slick rock as he approached the open stage. He reached for the wet boulder at his side and braced his stand, digging his boot into the crevice at its base. Lifting his torch beyond the ledge of the ceiling, he drew it across the upper scope. The illumination from the crystal did nothing to penetrate the ominous cover. “What…what is this?”

Light shot across the horizon, and then a web of silent flares netted the expanse, highlighting the battle among the crests of the black sea. The sky turned musty gray as thick vapors morphed into engorged billows. Shock quaked his stomach as he tried to make sense of it all.

The heavens clashed, shaking the world around him. His heart jumped to his throat, and his arms flew over his head. A salty scent assaulted his nasal cavity as water clashed against the mountain. Thick sheets sprayed skyward and pelted him with heavy falls. He threw his hands out at his sides to keep balanced and then swiped his palm down his face.

The sky flashed white. Blinded, Styne shot his gaze toward the back of the cave, to the safety of the World Beneath the Rock. Fear held him rooted.

From the far left corner, a small light bobbed within the blob of white branded in his retinas. He scrubbed his eyes with the heels of his thumbs to clear his vision and then squinted in the same direction. Stafford waded through the waist-high current, his torch casting light across his pale face. The servant’s voice reached Styne in spasms. “Master Styne! They…taken! I tried… Great waters!”

Styne stepped toward him, an urgent command to halt on his tongue. His footing slipped. “Stafford, don’t… ”

Reaching the open cave, and free of the water, Stafford’s feet hit gravel. His long legs launched into a sprint. “Master Styne! They are gone!”

“Wait! It’s… ” Styne threw his hands out for balance and struggled to gain composure. “Don’t… ” Desperate to warn Stafford of the slick surface, his demand roared from deep in his chest. “Stop!”

Stafford jarred to a halt, his last stride slapping against the landing. His feet flew from under him, and his crystal torch clattered on the ground. The light flashed in his frantic eyes as he skidded past Styne, his master, his Keeper…the one entrusted to guide and keep him safe. Clawing at the wet surface, he disappeared over the ledge of the cliff.

The sky rumbled.

Styne’s mind reeled. A gasp punched from his lungs. Words wouldn’t form. “St… ”

He blinked and scrubbed his eyes with his palms. Another wave clashed into the bluff, and as it rose before the cave, a hungry howl moaned throughout the hollow.

Scrambling back into the depths, Styne swung himself past the stalagmite to the steep tunnel. Wild shadows danced around him as his torch revealed every frantic lunge up the rocky pitch. Flashes of the wild World Above swirled in his mind.

He fell against a boulder and squeezed his lids shut, heart pounding. Choppy breaths punched from his cheeks. His arms and legs shook, and he bunched his shirt with his fist to control the quakes in his stomach.

How could such a change take place in the short time they’d been in the upper chamber of the cave? The evening had been pure beauty, pink and orange ribbons trying to trap the sun as it descended beyond the horizon. Soft waves had lulled them as they sat around the crystal fire.

Shaking his head, Styne willed himself to master his actions. He filled his lungs with the familiar scent of sediment and focused on the safety around him. Fortification. Security. Control.

He opened his eyes to the reliable environment of the World Below. Silence rested on him. Soft light flowed from the crystal torch, illuminating the climb to his family camp. Lifting his chin, he set his resolve to maintain a dignified demeanor and reached to heave himself up the rocks. A cluster of crickets sprang from the ledge.

Shock rushed his edged nerves, and he threw his hand to the side. Stafford’s panicked face crossed his inner eye. Tremors returned. Sliding down the rough wall to the ground, he allowed the juts to graze his shoulder.

How could he not show strength during chaos for his server’s sake? He was frightened and I couldn’t warn him. What Keeper shows such weakness? He pressed his fists to his head and knotted his fingers in his hair. Irritation boiled in his gut as shame riddled his heart. Temper this! You’re not a child.

Clutching a fistful of gravel, he cast it at the wall to expel the guilt of his failure. What would his family think? They can’t see me like this. Not now. I’m to be a Father of the Nation. He shoved himself to a stand and then strode into the pass. I’ve got to gain control before I stand before Father.

 

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Praise

“Aumelan is much more than a love story. Ms. Wilson has crafted a masterpiece in which she closely examines the human condition: How far will we go as a society to survive? How far will we go as individuals for compassion? The literary genus is covertly wrapped in a delicious genre romance where readers are submerged in the lives of her characters and the fantastic sci-fi backdrop of their imperfect world. Make no mistake, Aumelan may easily become a classic to transcend time. A definite recommended read!” ~ J.D. Brown, author of Dark Heirloom series.

Aumelan

CharleneAbout the Author

Charlene A. Wilson is an author of tales that take you to other dimensions. She weaves magic, lasting love, and intrigue to immerse you into the lives of her characters.

She began writing in her early teens when her vivid dreams stayed with her long after she had them. The characters and worlds were so amazing she brought them to life through her books.

Charlene resides in a small community in Arkansas, USA, with her two beautiful daughters, husband, a cuddly Pekingese, and a very chatty cockatiel named Todder.

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Ends 3/1/15

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 author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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