BLOG TOUR – The Phoenix Cycle – SPOTLIGHT

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phoenixcyclefrontcover.pngThe Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise

Publication Date: June 23, 2017

Published By: The Department of Smoke

Genre: Dystopian/ YA/ Sci-Fi

New San Francisco is the last city standing on a world ravaged by storms of ash and debris. The city survived by putting the ideals of the American dream on steroids and inspiring its people to persevere, though they have become ruthless in the process. Its citizens are ruled by the General, who has made sure that his people understand that gentleness and pity have become weaknesses that nature no longer tolerates.

Now Steve and Leslie must choose whether they will apply for the General’s once in a lifetime opportunity to “Rise from the Ashes” and join the Inner Circle that rules the city. If they don’t, they will be damned to spend the rest of their lives in the ghettos of Edingburg, a place where virtual reality has become a government-subsidized addiction.

For Steve, the choice is easy. His loyalties lie with the IRA, a revolutionary army led by a voice only known as “Mom.” They are trying to overthrow the General and free the people of New San Francisco from the cruelties of the City Guard. Steve’s mission is to broadcast a recording of a speech that a famous philosopher died to tell. Many thousands have and will perish to get this message out, but is anyone willing to listen?

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Excerpt

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Every wrist in the stadium beeped. Every boy and girl glanced down at the face of their watch. “00:10” then “:09” then “:08.” Everyone turned their heads to the west. There it was. Right on time, as always. The nightly storm. A wall of blackness had lurched up into the sky, swallowing the setting sun. The hairs on Steve’s neck stood up, urging him to get the hell out
of there.

Instead he grabbed Leslie’s hand, who sat quietly quivering next to him, instinctively pressing her bow into her head for comfort. Steve knew her shaking wasn’t coming from Line’s yelling, the storm, or even the tank pointing at them. Her quivers never came from the barrel of a gun, no, the ragging agony she held within her was the very same thing that pushed him back into the sheets when the sun finally rose—are we going to lose each other?

Leslie’s mind pushed the feeling away for at least another moment. “It’ll be all right,” she whispered. Her brown eyes guided him to the dozens of mortar tubes pointing upward and outward on the vibrant green field and then to the perfect line of churning ash that approached the stands.

“Unity can only be achieved and be maintained when it is the STRONG who come together and fly under one flag! We, like no other in the world, have created a unity that has never broken, has never FLINCHED! When the rest of the world saw THAT—” Line’s long arm pointed at the coming avalanche of black— “They all fell to pieces!”

The earth began to quake as the wall rose over them. Someone screamed. The mortars on the field fired as one at the roiling sky. The blackness spilled over the stadium, then slid over the perimeter of the frizzing wall of static that had encapsulated the field. No Phoenix Cycler had seen—only heard rumors from past Cycle Pref parties—this blackness that was sliding over and them whispering their deaths.

– The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise

About the Author

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Bob is pretty dope. Firstly, his name is Bob, so…yea. Second, have you seen him rock that suit while in a maximum security prison? Epic.

Yea. That’s Bob. No psychological scarring with that author. Nope. Totally fine.

Gosh he looks good in suits.

Hey Have you read The Phoenix Cycle? He wrote that.

One suggestion before you read it and become one of those fans that leaves him roses by his doormat. Read her slowly. This book is not Twilight. She’s deeper than that. Take your time with her. Show the book you care. Cradle it and make it feel loved. If you do, she’ll be good to you. Go too fast and you’ll have no idea why she’s acting so crazy.

Philosophies Dead | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Goodreads

Giveaway!!!

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The author is giving away 10 print copies (That’s right 10) and 5 Digital copies of his book so make sure you enter as the odds are definitely in your favor! (Runs from May 21st to May 30th)

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BLOG TOUR – Honor Kills – REVIEW

Welcome! Today I’m hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Honor Kills by Nanci Rathburn.

About the Book

Honor Kills (Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries)
Hard Boiled Mystery
3rd in Series
Dark Chocolate Press LLC (March 14, 2018)
Paperback: 284 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0998755748
Digital ASIN: B07BH61872

Purchase Link: Amazon

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Synopsis

Did honor force him to abandon his wife and kids? Or is he just a weasel?

Six years ago, Marcy Wagner hired PI Angelina Bonaparte to find her missing husband Hank, who cleaned out their bank accounts and disappeared. Then Angie finds his obituary in an upstate newspaper. Marcy wants to know what why he abandoned her and the kids. Angie does, too!

She embarks on a mission that will blow the lid off Hank’s hidden life and reveal the reasons he ran. Was he a lowdown skunk? Or did he do the honorable thing when he left? Angie follows a twisted path to the truth and discovers that it lies perilously close to her own family life.

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Review

This was a great read! A different sort of mystery than straight murder, though we have that too. Even though this is the third book in the series, it was the first I had read. I will be getting the other two books in this series for sure!

The characters are awesome. They’re complex, well-rounded, and down-to-earth. Ms. Rathburn does a great job at showing us the struggles that Angela grapples with – things like reconcilating her own family history with the case she’s dealing with. I also love Bobbie, Spider, Bram, Papa and the rest.

The plot line was great! There was just enough suspense to keep you reading but not enough to really “scare” you, which is good for me.

The descriptions in the book were a little on the “too much information” level for me. I don’t need to know if my heroine has a demi bra or thongs on. But it wasnt completely overwhelming and I still enjoyed the story.

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Thanks for joining me today! Have a great weekend!

BLOG TOUR – Full Moons, Dunes, & Macaroons – REVIEW

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Welcome! Today, I’m excited to bring you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Full Moons, Dunes, & Macaroons, the fifth book in the Spells & Caramels series.  I absolutely adore this series and this one was no exception!

About the Book

Full Moons, Dunes & Macaroons: A Cozy Witch Mystery (Spells & Caramels)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Self Published
Print Length – 248 Pages
ASIN: B07BPGFNRR

Purchase Link: Amazon

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Synopsis

The big day has finally arrived, and Imogen, Iggy and the bakers head to the Fire Kingdom for Hank and Shaday’s wedding. Imogen is totally fine with it—or so she keeps telling herself.

Even the murder of a famous wedding guest can’t stop the impending nuptials. So when Imogen’s repressed feelings magically ruin her baking and she’s banned from the kitchen, she sets herself to finding the killer.

Her search leads her through the desert kingdom’s bustling marketplaces and the maze-like raid, to discover underground movements, shady characters, and more secrets about the people around her than she thought possible. Could the killer be the clever journalist or the rebellious palace maid? Perhaps it’s a member of the royal family.

With the Fire Kingdom’s people churning for change, a mysterious artifact missing from the museum, and a dastardly plot brewing, Imogen begins to feel the heat. When Horace contacts her and makes her a tempting offer, she struggles to choose between him and her new friends.

Imogen’s choice will have enormous consequences over a deadly plot that threatens the people she loves. Will she stop a killer and find a happy ending in the process? Or will an ancient legend come to life and destroy them all?

Review

As I stated above, I absolutely adore this series!  I’ve been a fan of this series since the first book, Seashells, Spells, & Caramels. I look forward to each book coming out! Thankfully, Ms. Johnson writes them quickly so it’s never too long of a wait!

A blogging friend of mine recently said that this was his favorite of the series so far. I’m at a toss-up between this one and the fourth book, Cookie Dough, Snow, & Wands Aglow as to which one is my favorite. I really liked this one, but I really liked the last one too.

I’m totally in love with the characters in this series. I relate to Imogen so much! Our personalities are similar and I can also understand her curiosities and her feeling torn between things. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’m not going to say what she’s torn over.

This book took us to the Fire Kingdom, which was a desert setting with high heat; draping, light fabrics, and good food. The setting descriptions were excellent. I was able to easily imagine all the locations as well as characters and other things.

The plot line was wonderful. It was complex, well thought out, and there were plenty of red herrings as far as whodunit. I was surprised at the end. I hadn’t completely put two and two together this time.

All in all, another wonderful, magical book in the series! If you’re going to read the series, you really do need to start with book one, Seashells, Spells & Caramels. Run, don’t walk, over to Amazon to pick that one up and start enjoying this series! You won’t be sorry!

5 books

About the Author

 

Erin Johnson is a native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

Author Links

Website: www.erinjohnsonwrites.com.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/EJohnsonWrites.

Twitter: @EJohnsonWrites

 

Thanks for joining me today! I hope you enjoyed the post and want to find out more about this terrific series!  If you’re interested in visiting other spots on the tour, please click on the banner below and visit the main tour page!

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BLOG TOUR – The Things We Learn When We’re Dead – EXCERPT

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Welcome! Today I’m hosting a stop on the Reads & Reels book tour for The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw. I have not had the opportunity to read this book yet, but it does look very interesting!  Today’s post includes an excerpt from the book.

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The things we learn COVER FINAL.jpgThe Things We Learn When We’re Dead

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Humor

Publication Date: January 26, 2017

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Purchase Link: Amazon

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Synopsis

With elements of The Wizard of Oz and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead shows how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, and how sometimes we can get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… Or does God have a higher purpose after all?

At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decision to make and that maybe she needs to find a way home.

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Excerpt

The old man was as good as his word and a tray was swiftly brought by a male nurse in white clinical overalls who looked spookily like a young James Bond. On it was a plate of grilled lamb cutlets, string beans and sautéed potatoes. There was also a warm bread roll with a knob of butter and, under a silver dome, a bowl of chocolate profiteroles with cream. In short, exactly what she would have ordered in an expensive restaurant, given the choice, and if she’d ever been able to afford to eat in one. Also on the tray was a small metal jug of white wine, which made no sense. During her coma, had it become health service policy to keep patients inebriated? And why the metal jug?

“The boss says that you’re up and about now,” he remarked, placing the tray down and making sure it was well-balanced on her knees. The jug of wine and glass he placed on her bedside table. Why wasn’t there a bunch of flowers in a vase? That’s the first thing her mother would have brought. It was the first thing she always took to friends and relatives in hospital, even the ones who suffered from hay fever.

“Who was the old man? The one who was here a minute ago?” she asked, as if there might be several old men in her wing of the hospital. “Grey hair. Beard. Beads,” she added.

The nurse merely gave a small shrug. “He’ll tell you himself the next time you meet. Anyway,” he added, making for the door, and looking uncomfortable, “if there’s anything else I can do, just ask.”

“I’d like to know how long I’ve been asleep.”

“Asleep?” The nurse raised one eyebrow.

“Yes, asleep. I mean, how long have I been here?”

He didn’t reply for a few moments, hands clasped behind his back. “Not long, as far as I know.”

“And how long is not long?” she asked. “Look, if you don’t know, could I please speak to someone who does.” Lorna, running out of patience, had raised her voice. The nurse took a step backwards towards the door.

“All in good time,” he assured her and indicated the tray. “For now, you need to eat. Get your strength back.”

“Look, I really need to know how long I’ve been here. Can I see a doctor? Actually, I shouldn’t have to bloody ask that, should I? What kind of useless hospital is this?”

The nurse, perhaps unused to being shouted at, had backed himself to the door. “Anything you need, just ask. Okay?”

Lorna wanted to scream at him. “But how?” she asked instead, looking around the blank walls for a call button. “And what did he mean by not feeding the little brutes?”

“Just ask, that’s all. Your room is sound-activated so don’t worry, I’ll hear.” He touched a blank place on the wall that somehow made the pneumatic door hiss open. “But he’s right about not feeding them,” he added as the white door closed again, leaving Lorna utterly exasperated. – The Things We Learn When We’re Dead

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About the Author

I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault.  That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father.  That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh.  I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist.  I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics.  I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries.  Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa.  What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then.  However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

Author Links

Twitter: @claidlawauthor

Facebook: charlielaidlawauthor

Website: http://www.charlielaidlawauthor.com

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Thanks for joining me today! I hope you’ll think about looking into this book and perhaps purchasing it or asking your local library to purchase it! I’ve already gotten my Kindle copy and hopefully will be able to read it soon!

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BLOG TOUR – The Face on the Other Side – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Welcome! Today I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for The Face on the Other Side by John Carenen. Mr. Carenen has gracious provided a Character Guest Post for today. My apologies to Mr. Carenen for getting this up late! 😦  Information on the book and a rafflecopter giveaway will be at the bottom underneath the guest post!

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Character Guest Post

Call me Lunatic. That’s my name. Full name? Lunatic Mooning. My mother, following Ojibwe tradition, named me after the first thing she saw after giving birth to me in the state mental health facility in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. She claims I was fathered by either the governor of the state of Iowa or Willie Nelson. Who knows?

She died when I was a little boy. Then I was in foster homes until I ran away. I’ve been on my own since, settling down in Rockbluff, Iowa. I own The Grain o’ Truth Bar & Grill, a fine facility that generates serious income.

Thomas O’Shea is my friend. We killed men together, which helped us to have a stronger relationship.

People wonder about my relationships with women. They want to know if I’m married. Do I have children? Girlfriends. No one’s business.

When O’Shea came to town a while back, our town became more interesting. Land fraud, multiple murders, and corruption were ferreted out by him and, together, we cleaned it up. For now. There’s always something. Good thing O’Shea is here to help me put it down.

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About the Book


The Face on the Other Side (Thomas O’Shea Mysteries)
Mystery
3rd in Series
FPS (February 10, 2018)
Paperback: 340 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1945338946

Purchase Links: Amazon

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Synopsis

He’d promised Sheriff Payne that he wouldn’t take any more matters into his own hands. So, when on a leisurely morning drive, SEAL-trained Thomas O’Shea sees two girls attacking a boy on a sidewalk, he opts not to intervene. When the boy is later murdered in the local hospital, though, all promises are off. What seems at the start to be a simple case of gang activity turns out to be far more. Even O’Shea, who has seen more than his share of evil, could not have guessed what is about to transpire…

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About the Author

John Carenen, a native of Clinton, Iowa, graduated with an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the prestigious University of Iowa Writers Workshop and has been writing ever since. His work has appeared numerous times in Reader’s Digest (including a First Person Award), McCall’s, Dynamic Years, and other periodicals. He has been a featured columnist in newspapers in Morganton, North Carolina and Clinton, South Carolina. His fiction has appeared in regional literary magazines. A novel, Son-up, Son-down, was published by the National Institute of Mental Health. He is happily married to (long-suffering) Elisabeth, and they have two grown daughters, Caitlin and Rowe. When he isn’t writing, he thinks about getting in shape, cheers for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Boston Red Sox, and takes frequent naps. He has traveled extensively, having visited 43 states and 23 countries. He is a USAF veteran, having served in the Philippines and Massachusetts. A retired an English professor at Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina, he is hard at work on another novel.

Author Links

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Thanks for joining me today! If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click on the banner below to visit the main tour page!

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