Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – MARRYING AN ALIEN POP STAR (Alien Pop Star) by Kendra L. Saunders

MARRYING AN ALIEN POP STAR Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for MARRYING AN ALIEN POP STAR, the third book in the adult scifi romantic comedy series, Alien Pop Star, by Kendra L. Saunders. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

MARRYING AN ALIEN POP STAR (Alien Pop Star #3) by Kendra L. Saunders

MARRYING AN ALIEN POP STAR (Alien Pop Star #3) by Kendra L. Saunders

About the Book
Title: MARRYING AN ALIEN POP STAR
Series: Alien Pop Star #3
Author: Kendra L. Saunders
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Release Date: November 20, 2016
Genre: Adult Science Fiction/Romantic Comedy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Daisy Kirkwood and her best friend Kammie have adjusted to life on an alien planet pretty well, all things considered. And thanks to Daisy’s alien pop star boyfriend, Griffin Valentino, she has plenty of sexy new experiences to keep her busy. But it’s not possible to take a massive music nerd away from her home planet and not expect her to pine for a concert or a record store at least in once in a while.

Heading back to Earth with Griffin and his best friend Dev for a brief but much-needed visit, the girls want nothing more than to catch up on the underground music scene of New York City. Unfortunately, thanks to Griffin’s less-than-stellar space traveling skills, they accidentally pick up a hitchhiker. Or three hundred. Their many-legged stowaway beasties take up residence in the darkest, creepiest corners of Manhattan, leaving the gang no choice but to experience a very different underground than they bargained for.

Giant alien bugs aside, Griffin has some epic plans of his own for their trip, plans that involve a concert, an album… and the most outrageous marriage proposal that Earth has ever seen.

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Excerpt #1
Somehow, every time I return to Earth, the awful smells that make up New York City seem even more welcome to my nose. A woman can only be without the olfactory cocktail of garbage, cheap coffee, morning cigarettes, and desperate hangovers for so long.

Finally, finally, here Griffin, Dev and I are, setting foot in the East Village with nothing but our clothes, one bag, and a bunch of semi-counterfeited money. Okay, not semi-counterfeited. Completely counterfeited. Griffin and Dev can create stacks of fake Earth currencies with almost no effort, which is disconcerting if I think about it for too long. I try not think about it at all, actually.

Griffin tips himself over a filthy looking garbage can and throws up for all he’s worth. I wander away a little and stare at taxis rolling by, willing my own stomach to calm down.

I’ve ‘traveled’ through space several times with Griffin, but it really doesn’t make it any easier, evidenced by my stomach’s gleeful attempt to empty everything inside it as soon as we land at our destination. Usually, I can bully my stomach into calming down before anything actually manages to come up, but the same can’t be said for Griffin. Somehow, he’s a million times worse at traveling through space than I am, despite his people’s advanced capabilities.

And see, I love him, and aspire to comfort him when he’s feeling sad or sick, but I know better than to get too close at a time like this. Besides, that’s exactly what Griffin’s best friend Dev is for.

Aforementioned best friend makes a beeline for Griffin, sidling up to him and patting him on the back. “It’s alright,” he says, in the special soothing voice he uses for Griffin in times of stomach disaster. “Just breathe through your nose, Griff. Pretend you’re on a horizon. Everything is still. Nothing moves. You’re weightless and blissful.”

Griffin raises his head and grumbles something about not feeling very blissful, and then lurches forward to vomit again.

Where Griffin is dark haired and pale and pointy, Dev’s handsomely golden in every respect. His skin always looks freshly sun-kissed, and his big gray eyes seem rested even when he hasn’t slept. He’s a calming force on everyone he comes into contact with, even his manic best friend. “Find your calm, Griff. You’re alright. You’re weightless and–”

“I’m not alright!” Griffin replies, flailing his hands around while still leaned fully over the bin.

Dev pats Griffin on the back. “I’m proud of you, Griff. You programmed our trip this time, and you didn’t kill any of us.”

His praise is justified, because this is actually kind of a big deal. Griffin is infamously terrible at travel, and has sent himself to a few dangerous places by accident over the years. Of course, reminding him of this fact never goes over well, and today is no exception. He raises his head again to pin Dev with a nasty look.

“I happen to be…” he starts to say, and then takes a long pause, “somewhat better at traveling than I used to be, thank you very much.” With that, he pukes again, and Dev bites his lower lip to keep from smiling.

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Alien Pop Star Series

Get caught up on the series!

Book 1: DATING AN ALIEN POP STAR
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Book 2: ENGAGED TO AN ALIEN POP STAR
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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Author Kendra L. Saunders

Author Kendra L. Saunders

About the Author
Kendra L. Saunders is a time-and-space traveling fashionista author who writes books about magical, dark-haired men, interviews famous people, and suggests way too many bands to you via whatever social media platform she can get her hands on. She writes with good humor because humor is the best weapon for a girl who can’t learn karate (or ballroom dancing).

She is the author of DATING AN ALIEN POP STAR, the magic realism novel INANIMATE OBJECTS, dark comedy DEATH AND MR. RIGHT, the upcoming romance THE UNLOVE SPELL, and has conducted interviews with NYT Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, goth rocker Aurelio Voltaire, and Project Runway winners Dmitry Sholokhov and Michelle Lesniak Franklin among many, many others.

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Where to Find Avery Flynn
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cover Reveals – Unknown Trilogy by Wendy Higgins

Unknown Trilogy Cover Reveals

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins, is unveiling three new covers to her new adult post-apocalyptic science fiction romance series, Unknown Trilogy. See below for the brand new covers, information on the books and buy links.

UNKNOWN (Unknown Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

UNKNOWN (Unknown Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

About Book 1
Title: UNKNOWN
Series: Unknown Trilogy #1
Author: Wendy Higgins
Release Date: August 16, 2016
Genre: New Adult Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UKBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.

In this first installment of NY Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins’s debut New Adult series, a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic America is brought to life, entwined with searing romantic tension that will leave you eager for more.

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UNREST (Unknown Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

UNREST (Unknown Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

About Book 2
Title: UNREST
Series: Unknown Trilogy #2
Author: Wendy Higgins
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Genre: New Adult Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UKBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having so many of the things they love brutally ripped from them by an unknown enemy who sent their world into the apocalypse.

Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they’ve been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities…lust. In their tight quarters, Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy can’t escape it. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times.

In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when they discover the truth about the war that’s ruined their lives. They thought finding out the enemy’s identity would give them the edge; instead it’s revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible.

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UNDONE (Unknown Trilogy #3) by Wendy Higgins

UNDONE (Unknown Trilogy #3) by Wendy Higgins

About Book 3
Title: UNDONE
Series: Unknown Trilogy #3
Author: Wendy Higgins
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Genre: New Adult Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UKKobo

Synopsis
Amber Tate never dreamed their heart-wrenching escape from the enemy’s attack would lead them to the most beautiful place she’s ever seen. Like everywhere else in the world, Elmendorf military base in Alaska has been taken over, but it’s time to take it back—all of it—one base, one city at a time. After losing so much, Amber clings to the one precious person she has left, and vows to sacrifice everything to help save the Earth.

Remy Haines is a lover, not a fighter, so when she finds herself in enemy territory, expected to feign allegiance while gathering intel for the rebel cause, she’s never been more out of her element. Tensions only increase when her feelings for Jacob “Tater” Tate won’t go away, and the enemy’s leader takes an interest in her. She’s torn between what her heart wants, and what she knows she should do. As for what her body needs…well, it’s always had a mind of its own.

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Author Wendy Higgins

Author Wendy Higgins

About the Author
Wendy Higgins is a soccer mom and backstage drama mama. Most people in her tiny bayside town don’t know she’s a USA Today and NYT bestselling author of paranormal, fantasy, and science-fiction romances. Wendy is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time in her pajamas, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and little doggie Rue. 

Wendy earned a bachelor’s in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University.

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Where to find Wendy Higgins
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram
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New Adult Book Review – THE BLOOD WILL DRY by Kate L. Mary

THE BLOOD WILL DRY by Kate L. Mary

THE BLOOD WILL DRY by Kate L. Mary

Synopsis
Five years after an alien invasion, the earth is unrecognizable. The human race has been decimated and the sun completely blotted out by dark clouds that bring constant rain. All indigenous plant life has been killed off and replaced by vegetation that has proven to be as deadly as it is invasive, and the aliens that have taken over the planet are seemingly invincible.

Living in a crowded building with other survivors, Diana Foster wants nothing more than to forget what she lost the day the aliens arrived. But an incoming platoon brings a familiar face, one that not only opens old wounds, but also forces her to deal with the painful memories she’s worked hard to forget. Bryan may not be the same cocky kid he was before the invasion, but his sudden appearance still turns Diana’s world upside down in ways she never expected. When he showed up she knew it would mean finally facing her past, but she never thought she’d find a future that was actually worth living.

After years of struggling to find a weakness in the aliens’ defenses, Diana stumbles upon a solution just as a new and more deadly threat surfaces. Faced with an attraction she never expected and a battle that most believe can’t be won, Diana must work through her painful past as the survivors mount a battle that may determine the fate of mankind. If her plan fails it very well could be the end of humanity, but if works it will mean having a real future, and a chance to allow the blood to dry once and for all.

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My Review
I’m a huge fan of Kate L. Mary’s Moonchild series, but this one didn’t quite live up to my expectations. THE BLOOD WILL DRY is set in a near-future dystopian America after an alien invasion. Think the TNT series Falling Skies. The premise is fantastic with the survivors attempting to live beside the aliens they refer to as bugs. At least until something changes after nearly five years of peaceful co-existence. A ragtag group sets out on a suicide mission to reclaim their planet. At the heart of the story is Diana, who lost everything she loved on the day of the attack. Along with her friends, they discover the bugs’ weaknesses and attempt to use those against them.

Plot
The plot is primarily the story of Diana and taking down the aliens, but there is a strong romantic subplot involving the younger brother of her dead husband. The romance didn’t work for me, since it was nearly a love at first sight kind of thing. There was no build-up, no “will they or won’t they”, the kind of romance I’ve come to expect from Kate L. Mary. The alien plot, on the other hand, is a gripping, intense, rollercoaster ride of action and suspense. While there are no jaw-dropping twists or unexpected turns, the story is well plotted and entertaining.

Characters
The characters are where the book falls short for me. I loved the depth and development of all of her characters in the Moonchild series, so maybe I expected too much here. I found Diana to be exceedingly annoying, to the point that I had a hard time caring what happened to her. The romance between Diana and David was too fast and almost forced. Diana experienced very little growth, unless going from annoying to super annoying is considered growth. However, Diana’s best friend, Daisy, was a breath of fresh air and I think this story could have been a solid 4 stars for me if she’d been the protagonist.

World Building
The world building is where the author shines in everything I’ve ever read of hers and THE BLOOD WILL DRY is no exception. The dark, post-apocalyptic world she creates is both depressingly awful and realistically hopeful. Her alien antagonists are well constructed and suitably evil.

What I Enjoyed About THE BLOOD WILL DRY
1. The setting.
 Having been born in Dayton, Ohio, I absolutely loved reading about so many of the local landmarks and neighborhoods of my childhood. I haven’t been back in more years than I care to think about, but even covered in all those vines, I can still vividly picture many of the locations mentioned.

2. Daisy. Her bubbling optimism was a contrast to Diana’s eternal pessimism. More than that, she’s vulnerable, honest, and has a great arc.

3. The plot. The author does a great job of creating a well-plotted scifi adventure.

4. Aliens. Okay, I didn’t LIKE the aliens, but I enjoyed the horrors the author showed us of their world, bringing an even darker element to an already bleak tale.

5. The strategy. Without giving anything away, I love the strategy the team comes up with to fight back against the aliens and the fact that it’s been right there in front of them the whole time.

Bottom Line
A good scifi/dystopian/post-apocalyptic tale, but with a protagonist I had trouble connecting with or rooting for.

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About the Book – Read for free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THE BLOOD WILL DRY
Author: Kate L. Mary
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Pages: 322
Genre: New Adult Dystopian/SciFi/Post-Apocalyptic Romance
Rating:
 3 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Kate L. Mary

Author Kate L. Mary

About the Author
Award-winning author of WHEN WE WERE HUMAN and the Amazon best-selling BROKEN WORLD series, Kate L. Mary writes everything from post-apocalyptic tales of the undead to new adult contemporary romance. A mother of four and an Air Force wife, her days are divided between keeping her household in order and creating new worlds for readers to get lost in.

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Where to find Kate L. Mary
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
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Young Adult Book Review – PRESCIENT (The Delphi Chronicles) by Derek Murphy

Prescient (Delphi Chronicles #1) by Derek Murphy

Prescient (Delphi Chronicles #1) by Derek Murphy

Synopsis
A GENETIC EXPERIMENT. AN APOCALYPTIC VISION. A RACE AGAINST TIME.

You’d think time-travel would be a useful gift, for cheating on tests and winning the lottery–stuff like that. I might have enjoyed my ability…if I hadn’t discovered humanity is on the brink of a genetically-engineered apocalypse.

Bodies rotting in the streets.
Wilderness eating away at my hometown.
Monstrous creatures hunting down the few survivors.

No one can save the world… except me.Because for me, it hasn’t even happened yet.For me, it might never happen.

All I need to do is kill the man who will destroy the world. The father of my high-school crush.

The only problem is, the more time I spend in that dystopian wasteland, the less I want to erase it.To save the future, I’ll need to sacrifice the one person I can’t bear to lose.

Prescient (Prophet of Doom) is a young adult science fiction adventure for fans of the Maze Runner and Divergent. Let yourself be captured by this zombie-infested time travel adventure based on Greek mythology. .

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My Review
Young adult time travelling dystopian with a side of romance? Sign me up. This book is every genre I love rolled into one. The premise is fascinating — a teen girl has the ability to travel to the future where she discovers an earth she doesn’t recognize. Something in the very near future brings about devastation of apocalyptic proportions, and Alicia may be the only one who can stop it. While her ability to time travel isn’t fully explained, it has to do with experimental drugs that only affect Alicia in a way that allows her to time jump. At first, she believes she’s dreaming, except it’s far too real and she has lasting physical reminders of her journey. Of course her friends think she’s crazy at first, but soon they’re on board. However, the more time Alicia spends in the future and the people she meets there, she’s less sure disrupting the future and preventing their existence is something she wants to do.

Plot
The story is well-plotted and intriguing. It’s a little slow in a couple of spots early on, but more than makes up for it later. As Alicia navigates her two worlds, more than a few twists are thrown her, and the reader’s, way, adding complexity and intrigue. My only real complaint is that although this is the first book in the series, it just sort of ends. Not on a cliffhanger, but more like in the middle of the story. I kept trying to swipe my Kindle to see if there were more pages, because surely that couldn’t be the end.

Characters
Most of the characters were interesting enough, but this is really a plot-driven story, so they don’t have a lot of depth. I don’t know if that’s all that necessary in this type of book, though. Alicia is well-rounded enough as the protagonist, so I was able to overlook the lack of depth in the supporting characters.

What I Enjoyed About PRESCIENT
1. Premise.
 Time travel is my favorite genre of all time.

2. Alicia. She’s a strong female lead, and although she’s written by a male, she comes off completely female.

3. Zombies. While they’re not called that, it’s what they are and including them in this dystopian adventure was pure genius.

4. World Building. The author does a decent job of setting up the rules for his world. I look forward to exploring more in the next book in the series.

5. Twists. Loved all the twists and turns. Some I saw coming, but most I didn’t.

Bottom Line
A fun, unique time travelling dystopian zombie adventure.

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About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: PRESCIENT
Series: The Delphi Chronicles #1
Author: Derek Murphy
Publisher: Urban Epics
Release Date: April 1, 2016
Pages: 460
Category: Young Adult SciFi/Dystopian/Time Travel
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Derek Murphy

Author Derek Murphy

About the Author
I wrote my MA thesis on Harry Potter and my PhD thesis on Paradise Lost. Now I write YA fantasy novels and design book covers. I blog about self-publishing, book design and book marketing on www.creativindie.com and am renting a castle for Nanowrimo 2016. I hope you like my writing!

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Where to Find Derek Murphy
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – FALLEN HALOS (Cursed Angels) by Erin Hayes and Rebecca Hamilton

FALLEN HALOS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for FALLEN HALOS, the first book in the adult science fiction/post-apocalyptic adventure series, Cursed Angels, by New York Times bestselling author, Erin Hayes and Rebecca Hamilton. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for just $0.99!

FALLEN HALOS (Cursed Angels #1) by Erin Hayes and Rebecca Hamilton

FALLEN HALOS (Cursed Angels #1) by Erin Hayes and Rebecca Hamilton

About the Book
Title: FALLEN HALOS
Series: Cursed Angels #1
Author: Erin Hayes and Rebecca Hamilton
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Genre:
Adult Science Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic Adventure
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Haunted. Cursed. Helpless. Life is dangerous this close to the Door to Hell.

Half insane after the death of his wife and daughter, Rahym runs a lodge near the Door to Hell. With a sector curse that causes anyone to collapse into Hibernation after four hours of exertion, a stay at the lodge is the only way for people to cross the Karakum Desert without falling victim to fire or demonlings.

Then Nakir, an old friend and the angel leading the rebel group known as Halos, appears with a plan to break the curse. He’s brought Rahym’s childhood love Jennet whose special witch powers may be to be the tipping point the resistance needs to win.

But first, they’ll have to brave Hell itself.

They just need Rahym to show them the way. He’ll have to decide if he’s willing to risk his life for a cause he once believed in. Or if there’s even enough left of the world worth saving.

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Excerpt #2
“I know what you’re thinking, Rahym,” Nakir says placatingly.

I shake my head. “You have no idea.”

He waves me off. “We really have a chance this time. We’ve got a secret weapon.”

“A magic wand?” Because that’s all that I can think of that would get them through the Door to Hell. And that requires a fairy godmother and a list of good karma out the ass.

Neither of which Nakir has.

“No. Her.” He points to the woman at his side.

“Jennet?” I ask, certain that can’t be right. “How is…? What makes her…?” My mind stumbles across the thoughts and implications. “How is she a secret weapon?”

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Author Erin Hayes

Author Erin Hayes

About Nana Malone
Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.

She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she’s an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.

You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

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Where to Find Erin Hayes
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Street TeamTwitter | Instagram

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Author Rebecca Hamilton

Author Rebecca Hamilton

About Rebecca Hamilton
Rebecca Hamilton writes Paranormal Fantasy, Horror, and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids, along with multiple writing personalities that range from morbid to literary. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently.

Rebecca Hamilton is represented by the ever-more-amazing Rossano Trentin of TZLA.
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Where to Find Rebecca Hamilton
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE MERCENARY (The War Chronicles) by Petra Landon

THE MERCENARY Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE MERCENARY, the first book in the adult science fiction fantasy romance series, The War Chronicles, by Petra Landon. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE MERCENARY (The War Chronicles #1) by Petra Landon

THE MERCENARY (The War Chronicles #1) by Petra Landon

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THE MERCENARY
Series: The War Chronicles #1
Author: Petra Landon
Release Date: August 25, 2017
Genre: Adult Science Fiction Fantasy  Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
She’s a prisoner of the Imperial Forces. He’s a nomad with a private mercenary army. Can a desperate girl’s risky gamble and a fierce warrior’s love turn the tide of war and alter the balance of power in their slice of space?

In a distant corner of the galaxy, Quadrant Five burns in the flames of a deadly war. The Budheya people are one of the worst affected. Once the most advanced civilization in the quadrant, they now struggle under the cruel yoke of Ketaari occupation.

Saakshi
Imprisoned by the Ketaari Imperial Forces, a young Budheya girl is sent to a distant space station to work in an alehouse. For a girl who has known only hardship in her short life, things could be worse. Until an old foe walks into the alehouse.

Zoran
Zoran is Hadari’Kor – notorious across star systems for their prowess in battle. Their fierce reputation allows them to retain their independence, even as others are forced to choose sides in the war. Drawn to a weary-eyed server girl, Zoran is forced to confront age-old traditions and question his role in the war.

The Prisoner & The Mercenary
Alone, friendless and far from home, Saakshi makes a desperate gamble to trust a formidable and enigmatic stranger whose hot gaze haunts her dreams. The fallout from this improbable pact reverberates across space. As a relentless enemy hunts her, Zoran must fight to protect Saakshi through a minefield of shifting alliances. When passion ignites amidst the embers of a smoldering war, will a warrior’s quest for justice bring a mighty Empire to its knees …

Author’s Note : A spirited and resilient girl, a fierce warrior with a conscience, a fiery passion that flares amidst the debris of a deadly war and a love that will alter the fate of an entire quadrant forms the tale of The Mercenary, a standalone story that sets the scene for The War Chronicles – a collection of SciFi Romance & Space Opera tales with romance, swashbuckling adventure & a sprinkling of action.

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THE MERCENARY Teaser 1

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Excerpt #4
“How … where did you get the suppressor from?” she asked.

And how did you acquire one so quickly?

“I called in a favor from the friend of a friend” his eyes were still lit with amusement at her awed reaction.

“Wow” she murmured softly.

For a moment, she stared down at the bracelet on her wrist, now hidden under the sleeve of her uniform, before holding out her arm for him to detach the suppressor device still attached to her bracelet.

Saakshi followed him onto his sparkling ship, where the Captain ushered her to an empty ante-room off the main hallway. He closed the door behind them for privacy and invited her to be seated. Seats thronged the chamber, though the Captain parked himself by the wall to lean against it, his stance casual with his arms folded across his chest.

“What can I do for you?” he inquired blandly, his face impassive. The teasing male from the shuttle who had indulged her with an explanation while enjoying her undisguised admiration and wonderment was gone.

Saakshi’s courage almost failed her as she stared at the big alien with the inscrutable face. She had come this far, she reminded herself, jumping to her feet to pace nervously in a tight circle before him, her arms clasped defensively around her waist.

“I have a proposition for you” she directed at the ground while continuing her perambulations.

“I’m listening” he responded unhurriedly, the dark eyes watchful of her jerky movements.

“It’s a little awkward” Saakshi muttered.

“Take your time” he invited quietly.

Saakshi paced a few more circles before taking a deep breath. She faced him, not quite managing to meet his eyes, all the while conscious of his gaze tracking her.

“I … uh … I’ve noticed how you look at me in Pik’s.”

She chanced a fleeting glance through her lashes at him. The dark eyes held an arrested expression in them as he stared back at her, his big body held rigidly still. His gaze collided boldly with hers. “And …” he prompted.

“And I was wondering if you’d be willing to protect me if I … umm … agreed to become your lover” she managed to stammer out, a far cry from the polished speech she’d spent most of her morning practicing.

“What?” the big male barked, coming off the wall aggressively to lunge at her

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THE MERCENARY Teaser 2

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Author Petra Landon

Author Petra Landon

About the Author
An avid reader all her life, only recently has Petra allowed her own imagination to run riot. She loves to travel, loves the outdoors and reads everything she can get her hands on, time permitting. Her taste in books is very eclectic – she tends to like stories with vivid and quirky characters that have elements of fantasy, adventure, romance and mystery interspersed together. A good book for her is one that makes the reader think long after it has been finished and set aside. And, one that draws the reader back to it, again and again.

To share the tales that have lived in her imagination for so long is a labor of love and a lifelong dream come true for her.

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Where to Find Petra Landon
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – SUPERHERO SYNDROME (Solstice Survivors) by Caryn Larrinaga

SUPERHERO SYNDROME Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for SUPERHERO SYNDROME, the first book in the new adult scifi/urban fantasy/superhero series, Solstice Survivors, by Caryn Larrinaga. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SUPERHERO SYNDROME (Solstice Survivors #1) by Caryn Larrinaga

SUPERHERO SYNDROME (Solstice Survivors #1) by Caryn Larrinaga

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited!
Title: SUPERHERO SYNDROME
Series: Solstice Survivors #1
Author: Caryn Larrinaga
Publisher: Twisted Tree Press
Genre: New Adult Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Superhero
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Synopsis
Tess McBray was dying. The Solstice Syndrome had no cure, and she resigned herself to an early grave. But just when she gave up on survival, all her symptoms mysteriously disappeared.

All but one symptom, anyway. Something is wrong with Tess’s hands. They absorb any material they touch, and her skin turns to wood, or steel, or concrete. It doesn’t take this comic-book obsessed 21-year-old long to figure out what’s going on: somehow, she’s developed super powers. And she’s not the only one; across the country, people are coming forward and sharing their gifts with the world. In her own city, where the police are battling a human trafficking operation, a masked vigilante called The Fox is saving lives and stopping criminals.

Tess doesn’t know where she fits into this new, super-powered world. But when people around her start disappearing, she can’t just sit on the sidelines. Teaming up with The Fox might be the only way to rid her city of evil and save the people she loves most.

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Excerpt #2
And there was his face again, laughing at me from the empty white canvas of my living room wall. I clenched my fists and winced. They were too tender for that—so tender I didn’t dare unclench them. But I wished they weren’t. I wished I could go back to Bethany’s house and drag Bruce out through the back door, then beat his face in. I’d give him more than the bruises he’d given my sister, but that was only fair. This wasn’t something he’d started doing yesterday. He had years of abuse to pay for.

Years you weren’t even around for.

“Dammit!” As the word burst from my mouth, my left hand shot out and collided with the wall beside me. Plaster exploded around my arm, and my fist sailed clear through the wall until I sagged limply in the corner with my arm in a hole.

Startled, I yanked my arm back and stared at the mess I’d made. My landlord was going to kill me. I hadn’t just dented the plaster—I’d punched clean through the wall and could see my empty bedroom on the other side.

I raised my left hand up to my face. My fingers were still curled into a tight fist, but other than that, my skin didn’t look the way I expected. It was no longer red. It still looked like it’d been torn up a bit, but in the blue light from the sign outside, it looked even unhealthier than usual. It looked… gray. Like the little bits of broken plaster all over my floor.

“What the…” I murmured, bringing both of my hands closer to my face.

They stung like a rug burn, but beneath the pain, there was something else—a warmth, almost like I was hovering my hands over an invisible fire. It was such a strange feeling. I focused on it, trying to figure out where it was coming from, and tried to open my fists. I wanted to rub my palms together to see if that would intensify the warmth.

My fingers wouldn’t budge.

My two fists rubbed against one another, knuckles to knuckles. But I felt nothing. And instead of the soft, dry sound of skin rubbing against skin, I heard a rough scraping like two stones grinding into each other.

Frowning, I pulled my hands apart. I stood and bumped on the light switch with my fist, sure it was a trick of the light, but the bright yellow glow only made the truth clearer.

My hands were covered in hard, dry plaster.

I’ll admit it. I screamed.

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Author Caryn Larrinaga

Author Caryn Larrinaga

About the Author
Caryn Larrinaga is a Basque-American mystery, horror, and urban fantasy writer living in Utah with her husband and cats. Her debut novel Donn’s Hill (March 2017, Immortal Works Press) garnered rave reviews from fans of the cozy mystery and paranormal genres, and her new urban fantasy Superhero Syndrome (September 2017, Twisted Tree Press) will be out this fall. Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. She lives in a 90-year-old house with a colorful history, and the creaking walls and narrow hallways send her running (never walking) up the stairs from her basement. Exploring her fears through writing makes Caryn feel a little less foolish for wanting a buddy to accompany her into the tool shed.

When her fingers aren’t glued to her laptop keyboard, Caryn also enjoys binge-watching Netflix with her husband, reading, playing video games, and filling up her phone’s flash memory with pictures of her cats. She loves music and plays the bass guitar. Caryn is an active member of the League of Utah Writers and the Utah Chapter of the Horror Writers Association.

Where to Find Caryn Larrinaga
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Twisted Tree Press

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Book Blitz – Playlist + Giveaway – PREMONITION (The Division) by Leigh Walker

PREMONITION Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for PREMONITION, the first book in the young adult science fiction romance series, The Division, by Leigh Walker. See below for information on the book, buy links, the book’s playlist, and details on her giveaway.

PREMONITION (The Division #1) by Leigh Walker

PREMONITION (The Division #1) by Leigh Walker

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: PREMONITION
Series: The Division #1
Author: Leigh Walker
Publisher: CMG Publishing
Release Date: July 19, 2017
Genre:
 Young Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
When Riley heads off to boarding school for a summer work-study program, she knows it’ll be demanding. What she doesn’t expect? To be thrust into an intense physical training program described as special, exclusive and worst of all–top-secret. She signed up for tuition assistance, not to be held in a secret government facility for boot camp…

Welcome to The Division, the government agency that’s so classified, most United States senators have never heard of it.

The Division wants Riley bad, but she can’t figure out why. Skeptical of what she’s being told, Riley’s determined to uncover the truth. Boot camp is intense, physically and mentally draining. The upside? One of her new teammates is the cutest boy ever. Watching Finn hit the gym wearing a tank top doesn’t suck–although sometimes his brooding attitude does. But when training forces Riley to confront her tragic past, even Finn’s big biceps aren’t enough to make her want to stay…

Beware: The Division isn’t something you just walk away from. You better run.

Riley realizes her capabilities and strengths are greater than she’d ever imagined. But she also learns she wasn’t just chosen for this special program…

She was made for it.

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PREMONITION Teaser

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Playlist
The Other Side – Bruno Mars
Elastic Heart – Cia
Leave Out All the Rest – Linkin Park
Look What You Made Me Do – Taylor Swift
I Don’t Wanna Live Forever – ZAYN and Taylor Swift
Starlight – Muse
We Found Love – Rihanna
Princess of China Coldplay and Rihanna
Attention – Charlie Puth
Dusk Till Dawn – ZAYN and Cia

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PREMONITION Teaser 1

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Author Leigh Walker

Author Leigh Walker

About the Author
Leigh Walker lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. She has a degree in Journalism and a law degree. She’s never been to the Naval Shipyard prison in Kittery, ME, but she’s driven by it…and boy, is it creepy!

Leigh has lots of books planned for The Division Series. Sign up for her mailing list at www.leighwalkerbooks.com to be notified of the next release in the series! You can also find her on The Division’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/divisionbookseries/

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Where to Find Leigh Walker
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Release Day + Giveaway – SUPERHERO SYNDROME (Solstice Survivors) by Caryn Larrinaga

SUPERHERO SYNDROME Release Day

Today is release day for SUPERHERO SYNDROME, the first book in the new adult scifi/urban fantasy/superhero series, Solstice Survivors, by Caryn Larrinaga. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SUPERHERO SYNDROME (Solstice Survivors #1) by Caryn Larrinaga

SUPERHERO SYNDROME (Solstice Survivors #1) by Caryn Larrinaga

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited!
Title: SUPERHERO SYNDROME
Series: Solstice Survivors #1
Author: Caryn Larrinaga
Publisher: Twisted Tree Press
Genre: New Adult Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Superhero
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Synopsis
Tess McBray was dying. The Solstice Syndrome had no cure, and she resigned herself to an early grave. But just when she gave up on survival, all her symptoms mysteriously disappeared.

All but one symptom, anyway. Something is wrong with Tess’s hands. They absorb any material they touch, and her skin turns to wood, or steel, or concrete. It doesn’t take this comic-book obsessed 21-year-old long to figure out what’s going on: somehow, she’s developed super powers. And she’s not the only one; across the country, people are coming forward and sharing their gifts with the world. In her own city, where the police are battling a human trafficking operation, a masked vigilante called The Fox is saving lives and stopping criminals.

Tess doesn’t know where she fits into this new, super-powered world. But when people around her start disappearing, she can’t just sit on the sidelines. Teaming up with The Fox might be the only way to rid her city of evil and save the people she loves most.

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Excerpt
I felt someone’s eyes on me but ignored them. I knew what I looked like. I knew how my hazel eyes had started to look too big for their sockets and how my swollen joints looked wildly out of proportion with my thin limbs. I snuggled into the blankets and pulled out my sketch pad, drawing the people around me to keep my fingers warm. In front of me, a short woman with poofy red curls was digging around in a picnic basket, handing sandwiches to the two small children who sat beside her. To my right, a middle-aged guy with glasses was cringing as he tried to pop the cork on a champagne bottle. I flinched when he finally succeeded. The cork shot off into the trees, and the people around him laughed nervously, probably as happy as I was that they hadn’t lost an eye.

A lump formed in my throat, and I gripped my pencil tighter as I sketched. Everyone here had a future. They had something to look forward to tomorrow… and the day after that. Once the meteor shower was over, they’d go home to warm kitchens and cups of hot cocoa and talk about how perfect and beautiful the night had been.

And I… well, I’d be here until someone found me, I supposed.

The sky above us was rapidly darkening. Millions of stars shone, and everyone in the clearing stared upward, waiting for the show to begin.

The universe did not disappoint.

Sometime around midnight, a streak of light appeared above me. I gasped as it bolted partway across my field of vision before vanishing. A few minutes later, another appeared. Then another. It was unlike any meteor shower I’d ever seen, and from the gasps and oohs around me, I could tell I wasn’t alone in my awe.

I tasted salt. When did I start crying?

The cold seeped through my jacket and Davies’ blanket, stinging my skin, but it didn’t bother me. My tears could freeze right on my face for all I cared. I could melt into the ground beneath me and not even feel it. There was no looking away; I was riveted by the magic above me.

Three lights appeared in the sky at once. They were much brighter than the streaks that had preceded them, and they tore through the stars like soldiers rushing into battle. My eyes went wide. I knew it had to be an optical illusion, but they appeared to be coming right at me.

As the meteors sped toward the clearing, a rushing sound filled my ears, growing louder with each breath. A wave of nausea hit me, and I realized I was about to pass out. It’d been happening a lot lately. The edges of my vision fuzzed into blackness, but the cluster of meteors shone in the center, still appearing to speed directly at me.

This is it, I thought.

This was no ordinary fainting spell. It was different; I could feel it. The skin from the top of my head down to the soles of my feet began to tingle and burn, and my heart pounded in my ears.

These were my last moments.

A face, so much like my own, swam in front of my eyes. My sister smiled at me, but her eyes were filled with sadness.

“Goodbye, Bethany,” I whispered.

And the world went dark.

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Author Caryn Larrinaga

Author Caryn Larrinaga

About the Author
Caryn Larrinaga is a Basque-American mystery, horror, and urban fantasy writer living in Utah with her husband and cats. Her debut novel Donn’s Hill (March 2017, Immortal Works Press) garnered rave reviews from fans of the cozy mystery and paranormal genres, and her new urban fantasy Superhero Syndrome (September 2017, Twisted Tree Press) will be out this fall. Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. She lives in a 90-year-old house with a colorful history, and the creaking walls and narrow hallways send her running (never walking) up the stairs from her basement. Exploring her fears through writing makes Caryn feel a little less foolish for wanting a buddy to accompany her into the tool shed.

When her fingers aren’t glued to her laptop keyboard, Caryn also enjoys binge-watching Netflix with her husband, reading, playing video games, and filling up her phone’s flash memory with pictures of her cats. She loves music and plays the bass guitar. Caryn is an active member of the League of Utah Writers and the Utah Chapter of the Horror Writers Association.

Where to Find Caryn Larrinaga
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Twisted Tree Press

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – REWIRED by S.R. Johannes

REWIRED Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for REWIRED, a stand-alone young cyber thriller, by S.R. Johannes. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can purchase the ebook for just $3.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

REWIRED by S.R. Johannes

REWIRED by S.R. Johannes

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited.
Title:
 REWIRED
Author: S.R. Johannes
Publisher: Coleman & Stott
Release Date: August 27, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Cyber Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Synopsis
YA cyber thriller, ReWIRED, by Shelli Johannes-Wells (writing as S.R. Johannes), which offers a fresh and exciting new take on the genre, and could be described as Ally Carter’s HEIST SOCIETY meets THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO for teens.

Sixteen-year-old Ada Lovelace is never more alive and sure of herself than when she’s hacking into a “secure” network as her alter ego, the Dark Angel. In the real world, Ada is broken, reeling from her best friend Simone’s recent suicide. But online, the reclusive daughter of Senator Lovelace (champion of the new Online Privacy Bill) is a daring white hat hacker and the only female member of the Orwellians, an elite group responsible for a string of high-profile hacks against major corporations, with a mission to protect the little guy. Ada is swiftly proving she’s a force to be reckoned with, when a fellow Orwellian betrays her to the FBI. To protect her father’s career, Ada is sent to ReBoot, a technology rehab facility for teens…the same rehab Simone attended right before killing herself.

It’s bad enough that the ReBoot facility is creepy in an Overlook-Hotel-meets-Winchester-Mansion way, but when Ada realizes Simone’s suicide is just one in an increasingly suspicious string of “accidental” deaths and “suicides” occurring just after kids leave ReBoot, Ada knows she can’t leave without figuring out what really happened to her best friend. The massive cyber conspiracy she uncovers will threaten everything she cares about–her dad’s career, her new relationship with a wry, handsome, reformed hacker who gets under her skin, and most of all–the version of herself Ada likes best–the Dark Angel.

With a deliciously twisty plot, the topical bite of Cory Doctorow’s LITTLE BROTHER, ReWIRED delves into technology addiction, internet privacy, and corporate/government collection of data, as it vividly illuminates the universally human questions about ethics, privacy, and self-definition that both underpin these socio-political issues and dovetail with classic coming-of-age themes. Ultimately, ReWIRED is about the daily choices we all make about who we want to be, how much of ourselves we choose to share with others, and the terrifying risks and exhilarating rewards of being ourselves, online and off..

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Excerpt #3
The lab smells like burned toast.

Fisher races back in the room. “Ada, I think this place is on fire. We gotta go.” When I finish uploading the files, he grabs my hand and yanks me out of the room.

We race down the hall and push through a door that leads us to an empty stale room with nothing but a mahogany fireplace in one corner. The small space is already filling with thick, black smoke, and the heat is unbearable. When I glance back, the steel door starts to turn red from the intense temperatures.

This must be what hell feels like.

Fisher tugs on my sleeve. “This place is going to torch quickly. It’s a freakin’ tinderbox.”

And he’s right, the place is already blazing with fire. My eyes burn as I cover my mouth with my shirt, coughing. “Which way?”

“There.” He points in the opposite direction.

As we weave through the labyrinth of suffocating rooms and tiny hallways, neither of us speaks. The air is heavy with soot, burning my throat. Thick gray spirals of smoke crawl out of the cracks in the walls, curling finger-like tendrils around my throat.

I try to control my smoke intake. “Now what?” I choke out.

“Breathe shallow, stay low, and keep moving.” He hands me his handkerchief. “Keep this over your mouth.”

We wind through the twisting hall until we reach a stairway. Flames nip at our heels like a pack of seething dogs. The searing air singes the tiny hairs on my face. I panic and gulp in dirty air, igniting a fit of hacking. The fire alarm remains silent, so I’m guessing help is out of the question. It’s possible that no one at ReBoot is aware of the danger stewing behind the main house.

I holler into the rag, muffling the rising panic in my voice. “We’re trapped!”

Fisher dashes around, frantically opening and slamming cupboards, searching for a hidden escape route. In this place, you never know. The fire prowls across the floor, roaring at anything in its path. The flames chase us, rolling in from all sides.

Fisher steps on a trapdoor in the floor. “Here!” He dusts off the opening with his shoes and jerks the round latch. The wood planks squeak open, revealing a kitchen on the floor below us. He drops through the hole and lands in a kneeling position on the rusted stove.

A beam in the ceiling splits and comes crashing down behind me. I scream and lower myself through the opening, hanging by my hands.

“Drop!” Fisher screams.

I release my grip and hit the counter.

This time, he breaks my fall by grabbing my waist, but pain sears through my sore leg. I crumple to the floor. Without missing a beat, Fisher scoops me up and races toward an exit, half carrying me.

Somewhere in the maze, a door slams. Clunky footsteps cross the floor moving closer and closer.

“Someone’s chasing us,” I hiss under my breath.

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Author S.R. Johannes

Author S.R. Johannes

About the Author
S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling Nature of Grace thriller series (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). She is a winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award in YA, an IPPY a Silver Medalist for YA Fiction, a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Young Adult Fiction, and a Finalist in US Book News Best YA Book.

Since leaving Corporate America, she has followed her passion for writing and conservation by working with The Dolphin Project, the Atlanta Zoo, other animal rescue organizations, and by weaving conservation themes into her books.

Currently, she lives in Atlanta, GA with her English-accented husband and the huge imaginations of their prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.

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Where to Find S.R. Johannes
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – IVAR’S PRIZE by Amy Pennza

IVAR'S PRIZE Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for IVAR’S PRIZE, a stand-alone adult science fiction romance series, by Amy Pennza. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

IVAR'S PRIZE by Amy Pennza

IVAR’S PRIZE by Amy Pennza

About the Book
Title: IVAR’S PRIZE
Author: Amy Pennza
Publisher: Loose ID, LLC
Release Date: July 10, 2017
Genre:
Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
Nadia Green has everything–power, prestige, and a fiancé. That all ends when she’s sentenced to life on the prison planet Tolbos. Within hours of landing, Nadia finds herself captured, stripped, and placed on an auction block, where she’s purchased by Ivar Holok, a brutal warlord with golden eyes and an ability to wield kaptum with a mastery unlike anyone she’s ever seen.

Ivar is instantly attracted to the beautiful slave, but he suspects her presence on Tolbos has sinister implications. The Council wants him dead, and what better way to achieve its goal than by planting an irresistible assassin in his bed? No matter how much he wants to trust her, Ivar has to protect his people–even if it means denying Nadia her freedom. He vows to keep her enslaved and at his mercy until she confesses her involvement in the Council’s schemes, but he didn’t count on the slave enthralling her master.

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Excerpt #3
Nadia seethed as her new captor pulled her down the platform steps. What an ass! He could have at least given her his shirt.

She was acutely aware of her nudity as he tugged her through the crowd, which had barely thinned since he’d freed her from the manacles. Men stared openly at her breasts, her legs, and the juncture of her thighs. Something brushed her backside, making her spurt forward—an action she immediately regretted when her breasts bounced, drawing more stares.

The warlord seemed unaware of her discomfort as he pulled her through the sea of bodies, her fingers tight around her biceps. She struggled to match his long strides. She stepped on a rock, the sharp edge like a nail in her foot. She swore under her breath. She’d had enough of being dragged around.

She tugged at his grip. “I can walk just fine on my own.”

He hauled her against his side, and she gasped. He put his mouth next to her ear. “You want to get out of this place alive? Be mindful of our audience.”

She’d avoided meeting the gazes of the men around them, but now she glanced at the hard faces following their progress. The avid, hungry expressions they’d worn during the auction had been replaced by something else…something more sinister. Hundreds of dull, flat stares met hers. She swallowed.

“You see?” the warlord said, his breath ruffling the fine hairs around her temple.

She nodded.

“Good. Now keep your head down and try to act docile.”

Something in his tone made her glance up. He’d sounded almost…amused. She searched his face, but his eyes were hard, his mouth a straight slash. She must have imagined it. She lowered her head and allowed him to continue leading her through the crowd.

He halted them beside the man who’d accompanied him to the platform. The man’s kind, brown-eyed gaze stayed firmly on her face when he said, “I have your boots here.” He lifted them from a bundle on the ground.

Nadia never thought she’d feel weepy over a pair of ugly prison-issue boots, but tears smarted in her eyes. “Thank you,” she said, taking them. She stood awkwardly between the two men, wondering if she should put them on.

“I’m Porter, by the way,” the man said.

She hugged the boots to her chest, grateful to have some covering, no matter how meager. “I’m Nadia.” Her gaze drifted to the warlord, who stared over her head at the men around them. The tattoo on his forearm had retreated to its original position on his bicep. She wondered if she’d hallucinated it moving. She’d hit her head on the pole when Axos slammed her against it. Maybe she’d been delirious.

“My name is Ivar,” he said, still focused on the crowd. “You may use it, unless I tell you otherwise.”

“And if you tell me otherwise? What do I call you then?”

He looked at her. “Master.”

She had to bite the insides of her cheeks to keep from spitting something hateful back at him. She’d been captured, enslaved, stripped, and sold—all in one day. Now she stood naked and humiliated on a strange planet, the property of a man who’d traded a few liters of water for the right to have sex with her.

Porter pulled a shirt from the bundle and held it out. “Ah, here. It’s the best I could do.” He gestured to the ground. “Unfortunately, your other clothes are torn, but they can be mended.”

She dropped the boots so she could pull the shirt over her head. It was missing most of its sleeves, and it had several small holes, but it covered everything. She tugged the hem down her thighs.

“It’s too big,” he said.

Big was good. After today, she was switching her clothes to the full-length variety. “No, it’s fine.”

“Sorry about the sleeves.”

“I like sleeveless.”

“That’s exactly what the guy I just took it from said.”

He’d literally taken the shirt off someone’s back? She pictured a big, pouting man, arms folded over a bare chest after losing his favorite sleeveless shirt. She smiled tentatively. “Thank you.”

His eyes warmed as he smiled back, his teeth white and even.

“Put on the boots so we can go,” Ivar said, cutting through the moment.

Worried he’d take the shirt back if she disobeyed, she bent and did as he ordered. Her socks were missing, but she didn’t dare complain. She had a feeling he wouldn’t respond well to a request for socks.

“Raddoc won’t forget today,” Porter said over her head.

Ivar grunted. “I’m counting on it.”

He reclaimed her wrist and resumed tugging her through the crowd, Porter falling into step beside him. They hadn’t gone far when Axos and his one-eyed sidekick appeared in front of them.

Ivar released her. “Be forewarned, Axos. My patience is wearing thin.”

Although Nadia could have gone several lifetimes without seeing Axos again, she took pleasure in watching him look up to address Ivar. It was also satisfying to see him eye the serrated sword Porter slid casually from its sheath.

“I don’t want no trouble,” Axos said without taking his gaze off the deadly-looking weapon. “But Dario and me agreed to split her eighty-twenty, and I don’t trust him.”

“You shouldn’t,” Porter said, running a thumb down his blade.

Axos swallowed. “I just want what’s coming to me. Fair and square.”

Ivar’s smile held no humor. “I have no doubt you’ll get it…one day.”

The one-eyed man shook his blond dreadlocks over his shoulders and stepped forward. “We found her. If we go back to our master empty-handed, he’ll kill us.”

“That would be a shame.”

Axos growled. “We had a deal. We’re owed.

Ivar glanced at Porter. Some unspoken exchange passed between them—so subtle Nadia would have missed it if she hadn’t been watching them closely. Porter tugged her gently backward, away from the other men. Ivar turned back to Axos. “Your deal was with Dario. Take it up with him.”

They weren’t particularly threatening words, but Axos and his man paled under their tanned skin and left without another word.

Nadia sent a questioning look to Porter, but his eyes were on Ivar, who rolled his head slowly on his neck before stalking away.

Porter took her wrist. “Let’s go.”

Apparently, no one on Tolbos trusted her to walk unaided. His hold was much gentler than Ivar’s, although she knew instinctively he would be just as difficult to escape if she tried. The friendly look he’d given her when he’d offered her the shirt and boots was gone, replaced with the same expressionless mask his leader wore.

Something about these men had caused both Raddoc and Axos to back down. That meant they were dangerous—the sort of biggest and baddest that made others want to please them. The one-eyed man had even been willing to risk the wrath of his master rather than face off with Ivar.

Master. That had to mean he and Axos were slaves, didn’t it? Yet Axos had called her slave. She trotted to match Porter’s strides. Just how fucked up was this planet’s social structure? Ivar had told her to ask questions later. Well, she was racking up quite the tally. Unfortunately, the only thing she could do at the moment was stumble alongside her taciturn companion.

As they left the crowd and the platform behind, she wondered where they were taking her. They were both convicts; everyone on Tolbos had been sentenced for something. Whatever these men had done, it had been bad enough to land them on a barren mining planet for life. For all she knew, they were rapists or murderers. Maybe both. Tolbos was home to all manner of criminals.

“Including you,” said a little voice in her head. Her boot caught the edge of a rock. She tripped forward.

Porter grabbed her elbow. “You all right?”

“Yes. Sorry.”

“I’m probably walking too fast.” He lifted his head and whistled.

Ahead of them, Ivar stopped and looked over his shoulder.

“Slow it down a little. She can’t keep up.”

Ivar glanced at her. He grunted and kept walking. But he modified his strides.

The slower pace gave her a chance to think. As outraged as she felt about her sentence, she had to accept it. She’d known the penalties for breaking the law. She’d done it anyway. That made her a criminal. According to the Council’s rules, she was exactly where she belonged.

After the fourth Great Conflict had decimated Earth’s population, the Council had worried humanity would never fully recover. Life was simply too precious to waste, so they had created a strict behavior code that abhorred violence of any kind. If the human race was to survive, the Council needed everyone to do their part.

Unless, of course, it decided you were irredeemable.

That’s what the head magistrate had called her when he’d read her sentence. His face, a pale moon in the shadows of his hooded robe, had been emotionless. Except for his eyes. His eyes had found her all the way across the hearing room, and they’d burned with scorn when he said, “Prisoner 757, the Council does not tolerate crime. I deem you unfit for habitation in the common populace and declare you an irredeemable. I sentence you to hard labor on Tolbos for life. No possibility of parole.”

The last part had been a formality. No one ever left Tolbos.

Their boots crunched against the rocks, and the heat of the suns beat down, making sweat trickle between her shoulder blades. Tolbos was locked in close orbit with its twin red dwarf stars, and the hazy suns hung heavy in the sky, creating a claustrophobic atmosphere.

The heat reminded her she’d had nothing to drink or eat since before she’d launched, and her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. To distract herself from her discomfort, she studied Ivar’s broad back as he stalked ahead, his long legs easily eating up the terrain.

For such a big man, he moved gracefully. His shoulders were crisscrossed by a harness that held the long broadsword. Her gaze strayed lower. His loose black pants were tucked in the tops of his boots and rode low on his narrow hips. He wore a knife strapped to his thigh, and the hilt of another stuck out of his boot. It flashed in the sun as he leaped over a small boulder, the muscles in his ass flexing.

She stumbled but recovered quickly. She had not just been admiring his ass.

“You okay?”

She glanced at Porter. “Yeah. Just clumsy.” She trained her gaze on the horizon—safely away from any part of Ivar’s anatomy.

They continued trudging across the rocky surface. Sweat trickled down her forehead, burning her eyes. Her muscles twitched—a sign of dehydration, she knew. She scowled. Ivar had made his intentions toward her quite clear. She’d be no good to him as a sex slave if she died of thirst.

She peered at the back of his neck, where a dark tattoo—much like the one she’d glimpsed on his arm—peeked above his collar. The thing was, she could have sworn it hadn’t been there when she’d watched him confront Axos. Similar in color and design to the ones Raddoc and his men wore, it didn’t look like any tattoo she’d seen back home. There were no words or symbols—just thick whorls of brown so dark they appeared almost black.

Porter glanced down. “Almost there.”

They crested a small hill dotted with Tolbos trees. Her boots skidded against the rocks, but Porter steadied her. He pointed ahead, to where an empty vehicle sat baking in the heat. Like the others she’d seen, it was a jumble of scrap parts affixed to mismatched wheels. Ivar was shrugging out of his sword harness as she and Porter approached.

Ivar tossed her a canteen across the vehicle’s hood. “Drink.”

She caught it and fumbled the cap open. Water splashed out of the opening as she jerked it to her mouth and drank. She closed her eyes on a groan. The canteen was almost too hot to touch, and the water was warm, but nothing had ever tasted so good.

“Don’t gulp it,” Ivar said. “You’ll get sick.”

She lowered the canteen. He was probably right. The water sloshed in her empty stomach. She leaned across the vehicle and held out the canteen, but he gestured for her to keep it. His gaze dipped to a point below her chin. She glanced down. The oversized shirt gaped open, giving him a full view of her breasts.

She jerked upright and folded her arms over her chest.

Gold eyes snapped up to hers. She stiffened, expecting to see anger there, but was surprised when she detected a glimmer of something that looked suspiciously like amusement. It softened his jaw. Her gaze drifted to his mouth. His lips were full and expressive—a sharp contrast to the hard, unforgiving planes of his face. He turned to Porter, leaving her to wonder whether she’d imagined the fleeting emotion.

“Anything?” he asked Porter.

Porter shook his head. “No sign of them. Still,” he said, casting a slow, watchful look around the terrain, “I’ll feel better when we put some distance between us and this place.”

Ivar nodded. “If we leave now, we’ll be home by nightfall.”

* * * *

For the second time in less than twenty-four hours, Nadia raced across Tolbos’s rocky surface toward an unknown destination. At least they’d left her hands and feet untied. She wiped grit from her eyes. Never taking that ability for granted again.

She rubbed her wrists, where angry red welts marred her skin. The manacles had tightened every time she’d moved, almost as if they’d adjusted in response to her struggles. She’d never heard of kaptum behaving that way.

She gazed at the hilt of the broadsword that stuck up between the two men seated in front. Ivar had planted it point-first into the vehicle’s floor, where it had promptly melted into the metal. The blade now shimmered a dull red in the fading sunlight.

By her reckoning, they’d been traveling for nearly three hours. Her stomach rumbled continuously, and her back ached from the constant jolting of the vehicle over the rocks.

Neither man had so much as glanced back at her since they’d started their journey. They obviously weren’t worried about her trying to escape while their backs were turned—not that she’d had an opportunity to try it. The terrain had changed, the hills growing taller until they resembled small mountains. Still, Ivar maintained the same breakneck pace, driving up and down the slopes at a speed that made Nadia cling to her seat.

A jump from the rapidly moving vehicle would almost definitely leave her with serious injuries, assuming she survived it. Even if she did, there was little chance she’d make it through the night without food or shelter. With its thin atmosphere, Tolbos lost heat rapidly after sunset, and temperatures plunged low enough to cause hypothermia. Her options boiled down to jumping from the vehicle and possibly freezing to death or staying put and living out her days as a warlord’s personal sex toy.

She sighed and studied the backs of the men’s heads. Her options sucked. As if voicing its agreement, her stomach growled loudly.

Porter twisted in his seat and grinned at her. “Hungry?”

“I haven’t eaten since I landed.”

“Don’t worry. We’re almost there. Just over this ridge.”

Her breath caught when they reached the top. The “ridge” was actually the lip of a giant crater that stretched so wide she couldn’t see the other side. But that wasn’t even the most impressive part. In the center rose a mountain so tall it blotted out the descending suns, which created a hazy reddish-brown halo around the peak.

“Impressive, isn’t it?” Porter asked, as Nadia threw up a hand to shield her eyes.

For someone who had spent the majority of her twenty-five years aboard a starship, it certainly was. There might have been taller mountains on Earth and other planets, but Nadia had never seen one in person. She gripped the back of Porter’s seat as Ivar took the vehicle down the crater’s steep slope. The mountain loomed over them, casting a black shadow that swallowed the vehicle and raised goose bumps on her exposed skin.

They hurtled down the side of the crater, and her stomach dropped as they headed straight toward the mountain. It was even more massive from this angle. Nadia stared up at it. Did they expect her to climb that thing? As they neared the base, two structures appeared. She squinted, struggling to make them out in the suns’ dying light.

The vehicle sped closer, bringing them into view. They were guard towers, she realized, spotting a handful of men on platforms at the top. Tall and white, the two identical towers stood like giant, lonely sentinels at the foot of the mountain. She wondered how many Tolbos trees it had taken to build them. She’d been taught they were scarce, but her teachers at the Academy had got it wrong. The stunted trees were everywhere. Fascinating. She’d love to get her hands on one. Maybe run a few experiments.

She tightened her grip on the seat. Remember where you are, idiot. Her heart sank. She’d just been sold at a slave auction. No one on Tolbos cared about science or experiments.

The men in the towers saluted as the vehicle passed between them. For a moment, it looked like Ivar would drive the vehicle smack into the side of the mountain, but the road dipped and curved at the last second, revealing an opening big enough for the vehicle. At last, he slowed down, and they entered a yawning tunnel. It was dark, but a blaze of light beckoned. After a few soft curves, they emerged from another wide opening and into the light.

Nadia gaped at the world that opened before her. They drove through an enormous cavern ringed with a network of caves that soared as high as the eye could see. There had to be hundreds of them. She craned her head to search for a ceiling. Each level of caves was set back from a wide path that climbed up and around smooth walls. Lights flickered in most of the openings, and she caught glimpses of people and furnishings. The inside of the mountain was practically hollow—an intricate honeycomb of caves dug from solid rock. She was counting the levels when Ivar stopped the vehicle.

The sound of the engine shutting off brought her crashing back to reality. They’d stopped in the middle of the cavern’s smooth stone floor, near half a dozen empty vehicles. Twisting around, she realized no daylight reached the inside of the mountain. The entire cavern was illuminated by dozens of torches set in hooks on the walls.

She was in the belly of the beast now—literally. Her heart beat hard against her ribs as Porter and Ivar climbed out of the vehicle and gathered their weapons. Despite the water she’d sipped during the long drive, her throat felt suddenly dry.

Porter stretched and ran his fingers through his wavy brown hair, grimacing when they came away coated with dust. “I’m in serious need of a bath, not to mention food. You headed to the dining hall?”

Ivar shook his head. “Nadia and I will eat upstairs. We need some time to get acquainted.” The way he said her name put the emphasis on the second syllable, so it came out sounding more like Na-dee-ya.

Still seated, she took deep breaths in an effort to slow her heart rate. Get acquainted was an interesting euphemism for nonconsensual sex. Just her luck. She’d landed a warlord with manners. Great.

“Right,” Porter said, tossing her a quick smile. “It’s been a pleasure, Nadia. I’m sure I’ll see you around.” He swept her a courtly bow, adjusted his sword, and strode off.

She felt abandoned as she watched him go. He wasn’t exactly a friend, but he’d been kind to her. A small sound snapped her attention back to Ivar, who watched her with his odd-colored eyes.

“If you’ll follow me, I’ll get you something to eat.” It was couched politely enough, but they both knew it wasn’t a request.

She got out of the vehicle on stiff legs and stood before him, her gaze darting to the kaptum sword in his brown hand and traveling almost against her will up the muscular arm, across his shoulder, to his face.

He wasn’t classically handsome. His face was far too cruel and hard for that. But she had to admit he was pleasing to look at. Golden skin stretched taut over deep cheekbones and a square jaw. His blade of a nose had a scar across the bridge. He had another scar on his forehead, where his black hair formed a prominent widow’s peak. It was buzzed so close to his head she could see his scalp, which sported several more scars. Either he was especially clumsy or someone had tried to kill him multiple times. Considering how she felt about him after less than a day in his presence, her bet was on the latter.

“Like what you see?” his deep voice rumbled.

Her cheeks heated at being caught staring. “Does it matter?” she dared to ask.

In reply, his gaze dropped to her legs, then traveled upward with an agonizing slowness that made her breath hitch. By the time his gaze settled on her face, she was certain her cheeks could have started a fire. She could hardly complain about his scrutiny, considering she’d just subjected him to the same.

He flipped the broadsword up so the flat of the blade rested on his shoulder and his wrist draped over the hilt. “Come,” he said and then turned and walked away.

She opened her mouth to tell him that, slave or no, she had no intention of sleeping with him, but he kept walking, the sword bouncing in sync with his stride. Clearly, he expected her to follow him like an obedient dog.

Screw him.

She spun in a slow circle. The cavern’s smooth floor was shiny, almost polished, and it showed no tracks from the vehicle’s tires. There were openings at various points along the walls. She could walk right out. Goodbye, asshole! She looked back the way Ivar had gone just in time to see him disappear through an arched doorway carved into the stone.

She stared after him, wondering what sort of game he was playing. Although she could hear the faint sounds of movement and voices drifting from the caves along the walls, the cavern floor was deserted. As far as she could see, there was no one to stop her from leaving. He probably assumed she was too terrified to make a run for it. His arrogance galled her, even if it was closer to the truth than she cared to admit.

She smoothed her sweaty palms down the tattered shirt. The chill she’d felt in the mountain’s shadow had been a strong reminder of how dangerous night was on Tolbos—especially for someone with no food or supplies. She glanced around at the various openings and muttered, “Pick a door, any door.” Even if she managed to make it out of the mountain, she’d still have to get past the guards on the towers. And what then? A quick, miserable death in subzero temperatures? Another run-in with Axos or Raddoc?

With a last, lingering look at the nearest opening, she headed toward the doorway Ivar had entered. Before she stepped through it, she stopped to stare at the torches blazing on either side. They glowed with an odd blue-tinged light unlike anything she’d seen before. The flames also behaved strangely, undulating so slowly they seemed to move as though underwater. She watched, mesmerized, as one twisted in midair and dipped toward her. Heat bloomed against her chest as a long tendril of flame crept closer. Nadia extended her hand.

“I wouldn’t,” a deep voice said from the shadow of the archway.

She jumped and let out a muffled yelp. The flame shivered in the air and retreated to the top of the torch. She glared at Ivar. “You scared me!”

He leaned against the doorway. “Don’t touch the flames. They’re infused with kaptum.”

“Are they?” She glanced at them. “I thought kaptum exploded when heated.”

“Not trace amounts.”

“You put it in the fire? Why?”

“Everything on Tolbos contains kaptum. The soil. The air.” His eyes gleamed in the torchlight, which now leaned in his direction. “It’s all around you.”

The light played over his face. Not for the first time, she felt small and fragile standing next to him. At nearly six feet, she was tall for a woman, but he dwarfed her. “You can’t force me to sleep with you,” she said in a low voice.

One black eyebrow lifted. “I bought you. The word ‘force’ doesn’t apply to slaves.”

She gritted her teeth. “I’m not your slave. A person can’t own another person. The Council—”

“As you might have noticed, the Earth-Space Intergalactic Council does not maintain a presence here. This is a prison planet, and you’re a prisoner, which means you’re no longer entitled to the Council’s protection. As it happens, however, I have no interest in forcing anyone to sleep with me.”

“But you—” She glared at him. She’d almost said ‘bought.’

His smile was slow and wicked. Oh, yes. He knew exactly what she’d been about to say. He gestured toward the cavern. “You decided to follow me rather than escape—a wise decision, I might add—and you’ll decide to share my bed. Force won’t be necessary.”

“Don’t count on it.”

To her consternation, he winked at her before turning and walking through the arch once more. “As you say, Na-dee-ya,” he said over his shoulder. “Come.”

The command set her teeth on edge. She was getting awfully tired of being ordered about like an animal. She followed him down a narrow corridor lit with torches set high in the walls. His broad shoulders almost touched either side. The memory of being flung over the one-eyed giant’s back sent a phantom ache through her middle.

At least Ivar hadn’t done that. Compared to Axos and his men, he’d been downright courteous.

His words from the auction came back to her. “You want to get out of this place alive?” He’d gripped her arm as he’d pulled her through the crowd, but he hadn’t hurt her. Unlike Axos, he hadn’t tied or threatened to maim her. Most people were more honest in their actions than their words. Ahead of her, the bluish light of the kaptum torches glinted in the broadsword he still carried.

He’d said he wouldn’t force her to sleep with him. So far, he’d given her no reason to doubt him.

With the threat of rape off the table, she was free to indulge her curiosity about his home. Although crude by Earth or starship standards, the network of caves was an amazing feat of engineering. The walls bore chisel marks here and there, and she marveled at how long it must have taken the prisoners on Tolbos to dig this place out of the mountain.

The corridor ended in a spiral staircase carved into the cavern wall. Ivar grabbed a torch and, holding it aloft, began to climb. Nadia followed, wondering just how high it went. Her stomach was rumbling again, and her temples throbbed. She propelled her body up stair after stair.

Every fifteen steps or so, they passed a landing that led down another corridor. Her side pinched. Another landing. Maybe this time he’d stop and say, “We’re here!”

Nope. He kept climbing.

She stared blearily at the bobbing light from Ivar’s torch. Did he intend to summit the stupid mountain?

Just as she was about to sink onto the step in front of her and beg him to leave her for dead, the stairs leveled out into a broad passageway. Ivar tucked the torch into an empty holder and watched her drag herself up the last few steps.

“You get used to the stairs,” he said.

She sagged against the wall, her shaking legs threatening to collapse under her.

Without warning, he scooped her into his arms. She squawked and struggled to tug her shirt back down her thighs. The hard arm under her legs skirted dangerously close to her bare backside.

“Stop wiggling.” He hefted her higher up on his chest. The movement further dislodged her shirt, making it puddle around her stomach. Her entire lower half was bared to his gaze. Before she could protest, he carried her through another doorway and set her down in a large room dominated by the biggest bed she’d ever seen.

In the middle of it, a beautiful blonde sat on her knees brushing another woman’s hair. Nadia gasped. So that was what he kept in his mountain hideaway? A harem?

The woman with the brush stopped mid-stroke and nudged the other, who glanced over her shoulder. They regarded Nadia with identical curious expressions.

Apparently unfazed by the scene, Ivar moved around her and crossed to a big desk made of Tolbos wood. He lay his sword on the surface and settled himself behind it. “Eleni, Annika, this is Nadia. Nadia, meet Eleni and Annika.”

The women smiled. They could have been sisters with their long, wavy hair and clear blue eyes. Although they weren’t dressed provocatively, their clothes couldn’t hide the fact that they both possessed lovely figures.

Nadia looked at Ivar. “You have a harem?”

He shrugged.

“You…have a harem.”

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Author Amy Pennza

Author Amy Pennza

About the Author
Amy Pennza is an author of romantic fiction that’s not afraid to turn up the heat. A lawyer-turned-copywriter, she’s much happier behind a keyboard than she was in the courtroom. A mom of four, including a set of twins, she always has a granola bar and a package of baby wipes handy. After years in Tornado Alley, she now makes her home in the Great Lakes region with her husband, kids, and one very persnickety cat.

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Where to Find Amy Pennza
Goodreads |Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – H.A.L.F. ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. Series) by Natalie Wright

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for H.A.L.F. ORIGINS, the third book in the young adult science fiction romance series, H.A.L.F., by Natalie Wright. See below for information on the book, buy links for all three books in the series, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. Series #3) by Natalie Wright

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. Series #3) by Natalie Wright

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
H.A.L.F. ORIGINS
Series: H.A.L.F. Series #3
Author:
Natalie Wright
Release Date: August 24, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE
Book 1 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE
Book 2 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE

Synopsis
Alien predators attack Europe. A deadly virus spawns an epidemic. And a clandestine organization conspires to profit from chaos and forge a New World Order.

In this heart-pounding finale of the H.A.L.F. series, Tex, Erika and the rest are in a race against time. In books one and two they fought for their lives. Now they battle to save us all.

Tex and Erika are again fugitives and running for their lives. But when Tex falls gravely ill, a Navajo healer is his only hope for survival. Tex emerges changed in mind and body but with vital information: how to stop the predatory M’Uktah from destroying those he has come to love.

Erika Holt seeks a respite from the threats to her life but hasn’t given up. As she and Tex launch a mission to shut down the galactic highway used by the invaders, she grows closer to her troubled human-alien hybrid companion. But what about her on-again, off-again boyfriend Jack?

Jack Wilson, along with his new friend Anna Sturgis, is determined to put an end to the Makers’ schemes for world domination. Complicating matters, the valuable medicine to counter the alien virus has been stolen.

As both alien and human forces line up against them, the destiny of all mankind is hand the hands of these young warriors. And time is running out.

“The latest satisfying addition to the H.A.L.F. series has something for everyone: exciting action scenes; great love stories; fascinating new aliens; and relatable characters fighting to save the world and find their places in it.” ~Alyssa H., Red Adept.

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H.A.L.F. ORIGINS Teaser 1

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Excerpt
Erika

Raindrops pelted the windshield of the rust-bucket truck Erika had borrowed from Ian’s dad. Nearly an hour had passed since she’d seen the lights of the last police car recede in her rearview mirror, but her fingers still shook as she turned on the windshield wipers. They were little help. The spittle of rain turned the dusty windshield into a muddy mess, and the sun-rotted rubber of the wipers streaked the glass.

The jacked-up truck tackled the harsh terrain of the desert like a pro. The police cars were no match for barrel cacti and creosote bushes as large as small cars. The local Ajo police that had tried to stop them likely didn’t know that they were chasing a human-alien hybrid that had escaped, again, from a secret underground lab controlled by the clandestine organization known as The Makers. The Makers had surely spun the lies necessary to convince local law enforcement that Tex was a dangerous fugitive. Ironic. The lie had become the truth. Erika and Tex were, in fact, fugitives on the run and again fighting for their lives. It was like déjà vu all over again.

Erika’s bottom was bruised from bouncing on the seat. Her wrists ached from gripping the wheel. After nearly an hour of rough riding, they hit a two-lane road going east. Erika was heading to New Mexico, where her Aunt Dana, her father’s sister, lived. Without complications, they would get to Aunt Dana’s in about eight hours. If she’ll have us.

Tex had been quiet but awake as Erika navigated the bumpy ground. Once they reached the smooth pavement, he tucked his knees to his chest, hugged his arms around his legs, and became a silent egg-shaped blob on the seat next to her. Erika had seen him withdraw into himself before, but he was even more quiet and still than usual.

Erika wished he’d have stayed awake longer. She wanted to pry answers out of him. She had questions about his time with the Conexus, when he had been linked directly to their hive-mind collective. Ever since Dr. Randall had unhooked Tex from the Conexus, he was acting distant and short-tempered. Erika wondered what had really happened to him during his time with the Conexus. And what did he mean when he spoke of struggles for humans to come and the knowledge he got from the Conexus? She hoped he would answer these questions and more when they got to Aunt Dana’s.

The dribble of rain became a hailstorm. Peanut-sized ice balls pinged the metal roof of the truck. Within minutes, the hail turned into a deluge. Erika turned the wipers to full blast, but that only smeared the windshield faster. The Tex blob remained eerily quiet and unperturbed.

Erika’s swollen right eye, a gift from one of the Makers’ guards during their escape from the school, made it difficult to see. Both eyes were heavy with fatigue. She blinked rapidly and shook her head, trying to clear the drowsiness. She switched on the radio, and raucous Tejano music blasted. She wasn’t a fan of the accordion-heavy genre. The ancient truck speakers distorted the sound, making it nothing but noise to her ears, but at least the booming music helped keep her awake.

Erika had never been much of a life planner. Her current situation of living day-to-day did not bother her as much as it might have irritated some people. She was focused on her current task, getting Tex safely to a location where he could heal. She’d help him find a place to stay hidden from the Makers and Sturgis. She wasn’t sure what came after that. Just stay awake. And alive.

Tex didn’t stir or acknowledge the radio. Is he dead? She poked at him with a finger. “Tex? You okay?”

With his head still to his knees, his voice was muffled but cool and even. “I am alive if that is what you mean.”

“You’ve been so quiet. With the escape back there at the school, the dogs, and now the rain… I was just hoping that you’re all right.”

Tex raised his head slightly and turned toward her, his large eyes peeking over his arm. “I have been through worse.”

The understatement of the century. She’d been through worse, too: the days of fever she endured after the Conexus gave her the virus, the long hours of watching Ian wracked with pain when she could do nothing but watch him inch toward death, weeks of hunger and thirst. She had been forced to take the lives of others or lose her own, and she had watched her mom breathe her last breath. They’d all been through hell and back.

Tex’s indifference was still better than silence between them. The tinny horns and the beat of the music stopped abruptly.

The radio announcer broke in, speaking in Spanish. “There has been a massive terrorist attack in Europe. The entire continent is without power. Communication systems are down. Though reports are sketchy, US authorities state that the attacks appear to be focused on London and Paris.”

Erika’s chest tightened. For a moment, she forgot to breathe. “He said that communication systems are down in Europe and there’s been a massive terrorist attack. The terrorists hit London and Paris.”

Tex unwound his arms from around his legs. “I understood what he said.” He sounded condescending, as though everyone could understand Spanish as well as English.

“Oh. I just assumed that—”

“You assume a great many things.”

Erika didn’t know what he meant, but she was more worried about what the heck was going on in Europe than her traveling companion’s surly attitude. The radio announcer spoke of the apparent sophistication and coordination of the attacks. He stated that the terrorists had clearly used an advanced technology that took out the power grid across Europe. Terrorists with advanced technology? Could the Makers be behind this?

Continuing in Spanish, the announcer said, “The US has raised the terrorist alert level to high and has closed all borders, effective immediately. There are reports of disruption to GPS and cellular service in the United States, indicating possible destruction or interference with multiple satellites.”

“Just what we don’t need. First the virus to deal with, now terrorists run amok.”

“It is not a terrorist attack,” Tex said with total conviction.

“You just heard the guy say it’s a terrorist attack. He said the report came from NORAD.”

“Then this NORAD fellow is wrong… or lying.”

During her time at Casa Sturgis, Erika had lost most of her faith in the authorities. Getting locked up in an underground city run by crazy government scientists and black-budget military would do that to you. Even if The Makers were behind AHDNA, that didn’t negate the fact that, somewhere along the line, some important people were very corrupt. Maybe even a lot of people.

 

Even after all she’d seen, though, she still believed most of the people working for the government weren’t crooked, self-serving traitors who would sell out the lives of millions just for their own little piece of the post-virus pie. People like Dr. Montoya worked for the government. Dr. Montoya had risked her life to help them to keep the antivirus out of the hands of the Makers so it could be synthesized to help the masses rather than the elite few chosen by William Croft and company.

“Why would the military lie about terrorists?” she asked. “And if it’s not terrorists, then who would cause a massive power failure?”

“Something far worse than extremists with a vendetta. Pull over. I will drive now.”

“Have you ever driven before?”

Tex shook his head. “Pull over,” he repeated.

“And what do you mean ‘worse’?”

“Erika, I tire of questions every time I ask something of you. There is a helicopter on its way. You did not think that the Makers would send only a few local law-enforcement vehicles after me, did you? Shall we argue further? Or shall I attempt to lose those that tail us?”

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H.A.L.F. ORIGINS Teaser 2

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Trailer

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Author Natalie Wright

Author Natalie Wright

About the Author
Natalie writes adventurous fantasy and science fiction for teens and adults including her award-winning H.A.L.F. series and The Akasha Chronicles. Her first novel, Emily’s House, has been read over 2 Million times on Wattpad!

When not writing, reading or questing in Skyrim, Natalie meets readers and appears on writer panels at comic cons and book festivals throughout the western U.S. She and her mascot baby alien traveled over 10,000 miles in the past year!

Natalie lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband, teen daughter and two cat overlords.

Sign up to my email list and receive a FREE PDF copy of book 1: http://bit.ly/SUBSCRIBE_Natalie

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Where to find Natalie Wright
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | Wattpad | BookBub

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – BODY PARTS by Jessica Kapp

BODY PARTS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for BODY PARTS, a stand-alone young adult science fiction thriller, by Jessica Kapp. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, the book’s trailer, and details on her giveaway.

BODY PARTS by Jessica Kapp

BODY PARTS by Jessica Kapp

About the Book
Title: BODY PARTS
Author: Jessica Kapp
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | IndieBound | Audible

Synopsis
People would kill for her body.

Raised in an elite foster center off the California coast, sixteen-year-old Tabitha’s been sculpted into a world-class athlete. Her trainers have told her she’ll need to be in top physical condition to be matched with a loving family, even though personal health has taken a backseat outside the training facility. While Tabitha swims laps and shaves seconds off her mile time, hoping to find a permanent home, the rest of the community takes pills produced by pharmaceutical giant PharmPerfect to erase their wrinkles, grow hair, and develop superhuman strength.

When Tabitha’s finally paired, instead of being taken to meet her new parents, she wakes up immobile on a hospital bed. Moments before she’s sliced open, a group of renegade teenagers rescues her, and she learns the real reason for her perfect health: PharmPerfect is using her foster program as a replacement factory for their pill-addicted clients’ failing organs. And her friends from the center, the only family she’s ever known, are next in line to be harvested.

Determined to save them, Tabitha joins forces with her rescuers, led by moody and mysterious Gavin Stiles. As they race to infiltrate the hospital and uncover the rest of PharmPerfect’s secrets, though, Tabitha finds herself with more questions than answers. Will trusting the enigmatic group of rebels lead her back to the slaughterhouse?

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Trailer

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Excerpt
The exit door buzzes. My breath catches when I notice it’s not a trainer—it’s Ms. Preen. And, she’s holding a red file, which can only mean one thing.

One of us is getting out.

Her heels make quick, light clicks as she crosses the floor past the weight equipment and yoga mats. She crinkles her nose as she moves through the thick cloud of sweat. By the time she reaches us, Meghan’s out of the pool. We stand, two-dozen bodies huddled together, anxious to hear the news. I scan my friends’ faces, wondering whose turn it is to go. Parker wraps his free arm around me. I imagine this is how a gymnast feels after a routine, waiting for her scores. Did I perform well enough? Could I have done more?

Will I win the ultimate prize: a family?

Ms. Preen presses through to the pool area, but stands far from our group, as if she thinks we’ll throw her in.

It’s crossed our minds before.

The light shines off her blonde bob, and her face is flawless. Freeze-dried, we like to say.

“Where is she?” Ms. Preen looks at our group as if she can’t tell us apart, which is probably true. Even though she pops in at least once a month to check on our vitals, she isn’t interested in getting to know us. She’s the one in charge of pairing us with families, but all she knows is what we’re good at. Meghan is the fast one; Paige climbs like she’s part monkey; Parker’s built like a brick house; and me, I have the lungs.

“The redhead, where is she?”

All eyes turn to me.

“We have names, you know,” Paige says, her voice curt. “Hers is Tabitha. T-A-B…”

Ms. Preen pulls a piece of paper out of the file, holding it up toward the row of skylights to read it. “Yes. She’s the one.”

Parker tightens his hold on me and I clasp my hands together to stop them from shaking. Ms. Preen doesn’t need to know I’m nervous. I’m supposed to be elated, ready to go. Maybe I’ve been fooling myself.

I wiggle out of Parker’s grip to step forward. “That’s me.”

Ms. Preen shoves the paper back into the file. “Get dressed. I’m taking you for your final screening. If you pass, you’ll be out tomorrow.” Her voice is hard and she turns to walk away.

I glance back at the group, at the faces I’ve known since childhood. They’re excited for me, but I can see the disappointment in their eyes. I know the look, because up until today I’ve watched friends leave, waiting for my turn.

Now that it is, I can’t move.

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Author Jessica Kapp

Author Jessica Kapp

About the Author
Jessica Kapp enjoys writing Young Adult Contemporary and Speculative Fiction. Story ideas often strike at inopportune times, and she’s been known to text herself reminders from under the covers.

She lives on a small farm in Washington with far too many goats and an occasional cow.

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Where to Find Jessica Kapp
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Trailer Reveal – H.A.L.F. ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. Series) by Natalie Wright

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS Trailer Reveal

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS Trailer Reveal

Author Natalie Wright is revealing the trailer to H.A.L.F. ORIGINS, the third book in her young adult science fiction romance series, H.A.L.F., releasing August 24, 2017. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and the trailer.

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. Series #3) by Natalie Wright

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. Series #3) by Natalie Wright

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
H.A.L.F. ORIGINS
Series: H.A.L.F. Series #3
Author:
Natalie Wright
Release Date: August 24, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE
Book 1 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE
Book 2 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE

Synopsis
Alien predators attack Europe. A deadly virus spawns an epidemic. And a clandestine organization conspires to profit from chaos and forge a New World Order.

In this heart-pounding finale of the H.A.L.F. series, Tex, Erika and the rest are in a race against time. In books one and two they fought for their lives. Now they battle to save us all.

Tex and Erika are again fugitives and running for their lives. But when Tex falls gravely ill, a Navajo healer is his only hope for survival. Tex emerges changed in mind and body but with vital information: how to stop the predatory M’Uktah from destroying those he has come to love.

Erika Holt seeks a respite from the threats to her life but hasn’t given up. As she and Tex launch a mission to shut down the galactic highway used by the invaders, she grows closer to her troubled human-alien hybrid companion. But what about her on-again, off-again boyfriend Jack?

Jack Wilson, along with his new friend Anna Sturgis, is determined to put an end to the Makers’ schemes for world domination. Complicating matters, the valuable medicine to counter the alien virus has been stolen.

As both alien and human forces line up against them, the destiny of all mankind is hand the hands of these young warriors. And time is running out.

“The latest satisfying addition to the H.A.L.F. series has something for everyone: exciting action scenes; great love stories; fascinating new aliens; and relatable characters fighting to save the world and find their places in it.” ~Alyssa H., Red Adept.

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Trailer

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Author Natalie Wright

Author Natalie Wright

About the Author
Natalie writes adventurous fantasy and science fiction for teens and adults including her award-winning H.A.L.F. series and The Akasha Chronicles. Her first novel, Emily’s House, has been read over 2 Million times on Wattpad!

When not writing, reading or questing in Skyrim, Natalie meets readers and appears on writer panels at comic cons and book festivals throughout the western U.S. She and her mascot baby alien traveled over 10,000 miles in the past year!

Natalie lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband, teen daughter and two cat overlords.

Sign up to my email list and receive a FREE PDF copy of book 1: http://bit.ly/SUBSCRIBE_Natalie

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Where to find Natalie Wright
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | Wattpad | BookBub

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Pre-Order Giveaway

In celebration of the release of ORIGINS, the third and final book in the H.A.L.F. series, all pre-order customers have the opportunity to receive the following exclusive goodies:

  • A full-color, digital book extra, Lost Chapter and Cut Scenes. This book contains the author’s commentary on cut scenes as well as photos illustrations. This book is only available to pre-order customers.
  • A video retrospective of the H.A.L.F. series, complete with “soundtrack” for the series, an author interview, and tons of photos and illustrations documenting the series.

INSTRUCTIONS:
It’s simple to obtain the goods. All a customer has to do is:

  • Buy the book in any format. Digital, paperback, hardcover, or audiobook, and at any retailer.
  • Email a copy of the receipt (again, in any format—photo, screenshot, email receipt, etc.). Email the receipt to: half.origins.book@gmail.com

That’s it. The author or her representative will follow-up and send the customer the awesome goodness of free gifts!

Additionally, every pre-order customer that avails themselves of the pre-order giveaway will automatically be entered into the ORIGINS Launch Mega Giveaway and have the chance to win the following:

  • GRAND PRIZE: 1 Winner will receive the following: $100 Amazon Giftcard + Signed, Hardcover copies of the entire 3-book H.A.L.F. series + branded book swag, including metal bookmarks, complete set of H.A.L.F. Character Trading Cards®, keychain, and buttons + non-branded, retail swag themed to the book. Retail value of this prize is $240+
  • FIRST PRIZE: 1 Winner will receive: $25 Amazon Giftcard + Signed, Paperback copies of the entire 3-book H.A.L.F. series + branded swag (as listed above) + non-branded swag. Retail value of this prize is $75+
  • 10 Runner-Up Prizes: 10 Winners will receive: A gifted copy of Amazon Kindle version of an eBook of the reader’s choice from among Natalie Wright’s published, single-book works (Emily’s House, Emily’s Trial, Emily’s Heart, The Deep Beneath, The Makers, or ORIGINS). Retail value of this prize if between 99¢ to $3.99 (depending on book chosen and price at the time gifted).

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Cover Reveal – RENEGADES (The Eurynome Code) by K. Gorman

RENEGADES Cover Reveal

Author K. Gorman is revealing the cover to RENEGADES, the second book in her adult science fiction series, The Eurynome Code, releasing September 30, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and an exclusive teaser.

RENEGADES (The Eurynome Code #2) by K. Gorman

RENEGADES (The Eurynome Code #2) by K. Gorman

About the Book
Title: RENEGADES
Series: The Eurynome Code #2
Author: K. Gorman
Release Date: September 30, 2017
Genre: Adult Science Fiction
Links:
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
The Shadows have taken over, and she is the only one who can fight back.

Genetically engineered from birth, Karin Makos’s powers have made her the Alliance’s most wanted person. With her sister still missing, and only a cryptic notebook left behind for clues, the mystery of her past is going to take a lot more time and resources than they have to unravel it.

And there’s a bigger problem looming. Keeping their promise to heal Ethan’s stepfather and the rest of the people on the Ozark puts them right past Caishen station and its Alliance allies—and there might be another force on their tail.

After the crew split apart on a wild chase that puts Karin in the hot seat, it’ll take all of their strength and ingenuity to bring them back together. With enemies gathering in the wings, a desperate, heavy-handed station commander hard on their tail, and the Shadows an ever-present threat, they must race against the odds and scramble to fight their way out.

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RENEGADES Teaser

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Author K. Gorman

Author K. Gorman

About the Author
Originally from the west coast of Canada, K. Gorman has switched to the west coast of Taiwan, where she broadcasts a steady stream of Science Fiction and Fantasy stories. When not writing, she enjoys long rides through Taichung on U-Bikes, marathons Twin Peaks and Battlestar Galactica, and is slowly turning Final Fantasy VIII’s Squall into a card-playing god before she runs through the rest of the game.

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Where to find K. Gorman
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Instafreebie | Amazon
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Pre-Order Blitz + Giveaway – MYTHS AND MAGIC – A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection

MYTHS AND MAGIC Pre-Order Blitz

Welcome to the Pre-Order Blitz for MYTHS AND MAGIC – A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection, twenty-one exclusive full-length adult science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal romance novels by some of the most creative writers in the genres. See below for information on the collection, pre-order links, and details on various giveaways.

MYTHS AND MAGIC - A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection

MYTHS AND MAGIC – A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection

About the Book
Title: MYTHS AND MAGIC – A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection
Authors: Various
Publisher: Carter & Bradley Publishing
Genre: Adult Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 22, 2017
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Pre-Order MYTHS & MAGIC now and get BONUS GIFTS!

MYTHS & MAGIC sends you on a wild ride across universes where a safe return cannot be guaranteed.

Abolished magic returns to Earth. Telekinetic sorcerers, witches, and fairies discover their powers. Humans become cyborgs. Dragons prowl the depths of Iceland’s volcanoes.

All this and more is packed inside one boxed set overflowing with stories from today’s hottest USA Today and International Bestselling authors!

From dystopian thrillers to steampunk romance, from gothic fantasies to paranormal adventures, come journey with unlikely heroes, valiant shifters, rogue vampires, and even a sensual brujo. Dabble in scientific espionage, thwart scheming sorcerers, and challenge hordes of vengeful demons. And maybe fall in love…

If you’re ready for 21 exclusive full-length novels and novellas, including some BRAND NEW material, in a boxed set where vampires, shifters, ghosts, demons, and even Djinn haunt the pages, then fall into MYTHS & MAGIC, a collection of science fiction, fantasy, and a dash of paranormal romance that will take you to the edge of your imagination

Pre-Order today to secure YOUR copy of this exciting collection!

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MYTHS AND MAGIC Teaser

 

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BONUS GIFTS:  The Myths and Magic authors are offering FREE gifts to everyone who pre-orders our boxed set. Don’t miss this amazing deal. $.99 pre-order gets you 21 full-length SF&F and paranormal tales in the boxed set, plus 15 FREE eBooks and an exclusive Myths and Magic coloring eBook. Here’s how you can claim these free gifts:

After pre-ordering your copy of Myths and Magic, head to http://www.subscribepage.com/mythsmagic, enter your e-mail address and your confirmation number (or the store name and date, since some vendors don’t have confirmation numbers). You’ll be sent to a “success” page that shows you all the book covers with links to the download sites and then you’ll receive a one-time courtesy e-mail with the download links as well.

Download a sneak peek of each book in this fantastic collection.  

Be sure to like the Myths and Magic Facebook page and join the authors on release day, August 22, 2017, for an all-day release party with tons of giveaways, including a loaded Kindle Fire! https://www.facebook.com/MythsMagicGathering/

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MYTHS AND MAGIC Pre-Order Giveaway

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MORE MYTHS & MAGIC GIVEAWAYS!

Enter to win a KINDLE FIRE HD8.

Enter to win a KINDLE FIRE 7, a $25 Amazon gift card and more, courtesy of author Erin Richards.

SUPER GIVEAWAY courtesy of author Anne Renwick.

Enter to win another KINDLE FIRE HD8 courtesy of author Bradon Nave.
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Cover Reveal – ISAN by Mary Ting

ISAN Cover Reveal

Author Mary Ting is unveiling the cover to ISAN, a young adult science fiction/dystopian tale, releasing May 1, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.

ISAN by Mary TingISAN by Mary Ting

ISAN by Mary Ting

About the Book
Title:
ISAN
Author: Mary Ting
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Dystopian
Links: Goodr’eads | Amazon

Synopsis
The world has changed.

Scientists warned it would happen.

Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into four quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.

Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her better. To receive the serum Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.

While on a training mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.

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Author Mary Ting

Author Mary Ting

About the Author
International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

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Where to find Mary Ting
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – BEACON (Lantern) by Chess Desalls

BEACON Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for BEACON, the second book in the young adult fantasy/scifi series, Lantern, by Chess Desalls. See below for information on the book, buy links for both books, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. Book 1, LANTERN, is now available for free.

BEACON (Lantern #2) by Chess Desalls

BEACON (Lantern #2) by Chess Desalls

About the Book
Title: BEACON
Series:  Lantern #2
Author: Chess Desalls
Publisher:
Czidor Lore, LLC
Release Date: January 9, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Book 1 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Synopsis
When Serah’s life in Havenbrim becomes unbearable, she accepts an apprenticeship with a celestial mechanic and glazier. Her master assigns her the task of opening a globe framed in copper. But the glass and seal are unbreakable. The solution to the puzzle traps Serah inside the globe, and transports her to a world where she longs for home.

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Excerpt #2
Machin turned around and pointed the tongs at the shelf. “Which of the two bulbs do you prefer, Serah Kettel?”

She rubbed her chin. I wonder if this is a test. What do I say? If I choose the wrong one, will he turn me away?

“It’s not a difficult question, child. There is no wrong answer. I’m merely asking for an opinion, your preference.”

The flesh on Serah’s back and arms crawled with a spidery, tingly feeling. “May I take a closer look?”

Machin shrugged and stepped out of her way. The clink of metal hitting metal rang from somewhere behind her. She guessed he’d dropped the tongs back inside the bucket. Flame from the furnace reflected off the glass objects before her, both crystal clear and hollow. Though she found the diamond-shaped bulb more pleasing to look at, there was something about the round bulb—the first of the two Machin had pulled from the furnace. Her knees shook.

Serah pointed a finger at the round bulb.

“Are you sure?” Machin called from behind her.

She stepped forward. Her knees knocked together. Yes. No. I don’t know.

“Yes?”

The tip of her finger kissed the glass.

The bulb filled with smoke. A blue spark formed in its center, and then stretched to a finger-sized lightning bolt that crackled and reached out to her. When it zapped her finger, she fell back.

Serah stared at the ceiling, her finger still pointing—not to the lanterns, but to the round bulb on the shelf.

She lifted her head. Her mouth opened wide in horror. The bulb was empty, as if she’d imagined everything.

Warmth surrounded her outstretched hand and pointed finger. Large eyes blinked down at her from behind goggles.

“Serah Kettel,” Machin said, pulling her to her feet. “You must go now. If you wish to accept the position, return here in two weeks’ time.”

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Author Chess Desalls

Author Chess Desalls

About the Author
Chess Desalls is the author of award-winning young adult fiction. Her nonfiction writing has been included in academic and industry publications, with a focus on law and technology. She’s also a contributing editor for WritersTalk, South Bay Writers’ monthly newsletter. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.

Sign up for Chess’s newsletter to receive updates on giveaways and new releases.

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Where to Find Chess Desalls
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour – Book Review + Giveaway – DREAM ME by Kathryn Berla

DREAM ME Blog Tour

DREAM ME by Kathryn Berla

DREAM ME by Kathryn Berla

Synopsis
Zat is a dreamer from the distant future—a time when humans no longer dream and Earth is a desolate wasteland. He dreams of the beautiful Earth of the past, and a fiery-haired beauty named Babe. Against the wisdom of his peers, Zat decides to risk everything to travel back in time and live in Babe’s dreams…

Babe is the perpetual new girl in town. Her father’s job frequently moves the family around the country, and Babe just longs for a place to call home. As she settles into the sleepy town of Sugar Dunes, Florida, Babe begins to have strange dreams of a green-eyed boy named Zat. Night after night, Babe shows Zat her world. But the dreams come at the cost of nearly crippling migraines every morning. Babe’s life outside of her dreams pales in comparison to her growing love for Zat and their time spent together.

But the more time Babe and Zat spend together in her dreams, the more Babe’s pain increases, and Zat begins to question the reality of his existence. How can he live a life with Babe, when all they have is her dreams?

Can a dream become a reality?

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My Review
At times, DREAM ME felt like two different tales, but woven together, they tell the story of Babe and Zat, an unusual couple in an impossible situation. Babe’s father is a golf pro, and she and her family move around for his job. The latest move takes them to the Florida coast where she meets the locals over the summer before her senior year of high school. Included are the queen bee, Mattie Lynn and her minions, LeGrand, the poor little rich boy who only comes on his yacht for the summer with his parents, and Mai, the daughter of the owners of the local fish market who befriends Babe. An avid tennis player, Babe takes a job in the tennis pro shop where she helps Mattie Lynn with her charity program, throwing her in the path of other local kids. The move also triggers vibrant dreams where Babe continually meets with a boy named Zat. She’s inexplicably drawn to Zat and during the day, longs for sleep so she can be with him.

Throughout the summer, Babe navigates the waters of new friendships, unusual dreams, and corporate politics when the chairman of the board of the club where she and her parents work has designs on an underage Babe. The majority of the story takes place during waking hours and reads like a typical contemporary novel. The dream sequences are written as blog posts by Babe.What it’s missing, for me anyway, is more time travel. Billed as a young-adult time-traveling romance, I expected more time traveling. Yes, Zat is from the future, but it’s Babe’s story for the most part. Zat’s point of view is told in third-person and is sparse and too brief in my opinion.

Plot
The plot is two-pronged. The first centers on Babe’s dream world and her relationship with Zat. The other is her relationships with the people in her waking world. Even as Babe grows closer to Zat in her subconscious, her friendships with new friends develop and grow. There isn’t much overlap, which is why it feels like two separate stories sometimes. There are some things I would have liked to see more of, though. For one, with something this sci-fi-y, I would have liked to see a little more world building. I didn’t understand how the time travel worked or what the rules were. This became particularly muddled at the end. The other is that I felt like Babe’s relationship with Zat wasn’t nearly as well developed as her relationships with Mai or LeGrand. Even her relationship with Mattie Lynn seemed to have more depth. As a result, I was a little ambivalent about them being together.

Characters
I loved Babe. She’s spunky, fierce, but still believable as a seventeen-year-old girl. LeGrand, Mai and the rest of Babe’s friends are exactly the kind of friends anyone would wish for. But I never got a strong sense of who Zat is, even though we get bits and pieces of his point of view.

What I Enjoyed About DREAM ME
1. Babe.
She’s a fantastic young adult protagonist with the right balance of burgeoning independence and insecurities to make her completely relateable.

2. Settings. The author has the ability to bring her settings vividly to life. While I’m not all that familiar with Florida, it was easy to visualize the scenes.

3. Friendship. As the new girl in town, Babe’s blossoming relationships were depicted as organic and authentic.

4. The Concept. I really liked the idea behind DREAM ME, but I felt like it left a lot on the table.

5. Twists. There were a few of unexpected twists toward the end that left me smiling.

Bottom Line
A scifi wrapped up in a contemporary with a few of unexpected twists.

Disclaimer
I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: DREAM ME
Author: Kathryn Berla
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Pages: 175
Category: Young Adult Contemporary Romance/SciFi/Time Travel
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble

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Author Kathryn Berla

Author Kathryn Berla

About the Author
Kathryn Berla graduated from the University of California at Berkeley as an English major. She has lived in many different countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Where to Find Kathryn Berla
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Young Adult Book Review – UNDER SUNLESS SKIES (Starlight Saga) by Sherry Soule

UNDER SUNLESS SKIES (Starlight Saga #2) by Sherry Soule

UNDER SUNLESS SKIES (Starlight Saga #2) by Sherry Soule

Synopsis
True love is hard. And a doomed relationship with epic trust issues and shady secrets? Even harder.

For Sloane Masterson, her forbidden love with Hayden Lancaster has been a series of highs and lows, which is overly complicated by those annoying interstellar dating laws.

But once Sloane discovers a shocking family secret, she won’t let those lame rules get in her way—she’s on a mission to win back her hybrid!

Too bad convincing her stubborn ex that they belong together isn’t Sloane’s only problem. . .

After receiving creeptastic blackmail messages, Sloane’s life becomes a real-life horror movie. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Hayden slimes her with smelly ectoplasm and freaky mutants start tracking her every move. Insert one more major disaster. . .the unexpected arrival of Sector Thirteen.

If she hopes to survive all the crazy with Hayden at her side, Sloane needs to expose the blackmailer and get that potent residue off her skin—fast. Because with Sector Thirteen’s monsters hunting her, Sloane’s not going down without a fight, even if that means trusting the one boy who broke her heart.

*This series is intended for upper-YA readers, has lots of steamy romance and campy humor, and is not considered hardcore science fiction.

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My Review
Book two in the series picks up where the first one ended. Sloane is reeling from being dumped by Hayden, but oh yeah, she’s got a secret, apparently she’s part alien, too. Hoping this will convince Hayden their relationship isn’t doomed after all, she sets her sights on winning him back. This was the first time I disliked her. Her singular focus on getting a boy to like her made her seem very un-Sloane like, the girl I loved in book 1. She spends a fair amount of the book pining over him, but since he’s equally lost without her, it’s mutually pathetic. That said, the angst is well-done, the snarky dialogue is as good as ever, and other than being a lovesick puppy half the time, Sloane is as kick-ass as ever. My biggest problem with this book is that it feels oh so familiar. Anyone who has read the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout will notice many, many similarities. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, Armentrout’s own Covenant series borrows heavily from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. My issue is that too much of it was predictable as a result. However, if you haven’t read the Lux series, you’re in for a real treat with this.

Plot
Primarily a romance, this main plot centers around the Sloane/Hayden will-they-or-won’t they dance. But there are subplots involving Sloane’s alien dad, Sector Thirteen, Hayden’s missing adopted sister, and the mystery surrounding who is blackmailing Sloane. Underlying all of that is Sloane’s obsession with all things horror, including her love of hanging out in her town’s cemetery.

Characters
I still adore Sloane. She’s tough, witty, and so secure in who she is. She’s a great young adult role model except when she obsesses over Hayden. Don’t get me wrong, this is young adult fiction, and teens definitely obsess over the opposite sex. I just felt that in this case, it sas of out of character. With her newfound alien blood, she’s even a little tougher in some respects. Hayden seems to have lost some of his umph from the first book. He had that dark, brooding alpha male thing going on, but he came across as more…I’m not even sure what the right word is. Just less Hayden-esque.  The supporting characters are all there to prop up Sloane and Hayden, but Sloane’s BFF seems to accept her huge secret a little too easily. That didn’t ring true. I think she’d want some proof or something. There was also something about Sloane’s mom that felt off, like she didn’t come across as authentically parental, even a parent married to an alien.

What I Enjoyed About UNDER SUNLESS SKIES
1. Dialogue.
 Once again, the author excels at witty repartee that deliciously moves the story along.

2. Blog Posts. I love how Sloane’s horror film blog posts help the reader grasp what Sloane’s going through without extensive internal monologue or exposition.

3. Sloane. She’s simply one of my favorite young adult protagonists. She embraces her plus-size self and doesn’t fret over her body image at all.

4. Hot Make-Out Sessions. Soule knows how to bring the heat without crossing a line.

5. The Mystery. I have to admit, I was never sure who the blackmailer was. The author does a great job of creating a pool of plausible suspects.

Bottom Line
A fun, fast read that’s light on sci-fi and heavy on teen angst.

Disclaimer
I was provided by a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: UNDER SUNLESS SKIES
Series: Starlight Saga #2
Author: Sherry Soule
Pages: 335
Category: Young Adult Paranormal/SciFi Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Sherry Soule

Author Sherry Soule

About the Author
Sherry Soule lives with her family and two black rescue cats in Northern California. She’s always wanted to live in a world where sweatpants are sexy, cupcakes don’t make you fat, and she could adopt every homeless animal.

She writes young adult, new adult, and adult in urban fantasy, romantic comedy, and paranormal romance genres set in fictional places within the SF Bay Area that feature independent females and sexy alpha males.

Many of Sherry’s books have spent time on the Kindle bestseller lists and have been nominated as top picks in the “Best Paranormal Romance” categories.

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Where to Find Sherry Soule
Goodreads | Blog | Twitter | Facebook