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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – ILLUMINATED by Iris Marsh

 

Welcome to the blog tour for ILLUMINATED, a standalone young adult, coming-of-age, fantasy thriller, by Iris Marsh

Welcome to the blog tour for ILLUMINATED, a standalone young adult, coming-of-age, fantasy thriller, by Iris MarshSee below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.

ILLUMINATED, a standalone young adult, coming-of-age, fantasy thriller, by Iris Marsh

ILLUMINATED by Iris Marsh

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: ILLUMINATED
Authors: Iris Marsh
Release Date: November 21, 2022
Genre:
Adult Mystery/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR 

Synopsis
In this coming-of-age YA contemporary fantasy, a teenage girl has her life turned upside down when her family is breaking apart, and she discovers her supernatural powers. There’s no time to deal with it, however, as she’s targeted by a dangerous power-siphoner.

Nikki Chase, a 16-year-old striver, feels like her life is falling apart around her. Her parents’ marriage seems in trouble, her best friend prefers to spend time with the popular girl, and she’s quite certain she’s on the verge of a psychosis. After all, normal people don’t see colors around people or hear voices, right?

When a volunteering assignment leads her to a mental hospital, Nikki is determined to figure out what’s going on with her—and if perhaps she belongs in that facility. What she discovers is nothing she expected: Lorene, a volunteer, tells Nikki she’s not crazy but, in fact, has the power to influence people’s thoughts and beliefs. However, someone has been sucking the power out of people just like her, leaving them behind as an empty shell. Desperate for help and someone to trust, Nikki teams up with Lorene to discover who is behind the siphoning. But can she stop them before she becomes a victim? And can she do so without becoming addicted to the power herself?

Fans of suspenseful contemporary fantasy will love this YA coming-of-age fantasy thriller book about coping with difficult emotions, navigating relationships with family and friends, and the addictive quality of power. 

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Excerpt #1
I need more time.

Molly stared out of the window, a finger tapping on her kitchen table, the TV on only to provide background noise to drown out the silence. Only a sliver of the moon was visible through the dense clouds. The darkness was pressing. She could almost feel the pressure in the air like a storm brewing.

She eyed the sizeable antique clock standing against the wall, an old family heirloom, the cast corners faded and chipped.

Midnight.

The witching hour.

She snorted—it wasn’t far off. Granted, what she could do wasn’t exactly witchcraft, but it certainly came close.

Scraping her chair back, she stood up, her legs feeling too restless, too agitated, too much like a wind-up feather ready to uncoil.

She needed more time.

Images flashed through her mind as if she was fast-forwarding a show on TV. All the times she’d failed her mentor… All the times she’d been punished, given those sickening sensations of despair, pain, and darkness. Always that suppressing darkness.

Molly walked to her kitchen, grabbed a half-empty bottle of red wine, filled half her tea mug, and took a swig. The warmth and slightly tangy flavor rolled over her tongue and into her throat, an aroma of earth and fruit surrounding her like a comforting blanket on a chilly day.

Her nerves settled a little. Good. Another sip.

Ding-dong.

Time was up.

Molly jumped, a splash of the red wine falling on her burgundy blouse. Cursing, she walked to the door; she’d have to remember to clean it with some soda later.

She opened the door and shivered, both from the cold wind and the person standing in front of her.

“Come in,” she said, stepping aside.

The figure in front of her strode past her, not taking off their dark, hooded cloak. There was something wrong with the image; it was pixelated and fuzzy, like a picture taken with the wrong settings. Try as she might, Molly couldn’t get a clear image of the figure in front of her.

How was that possible?

“Some wine?” Molly asked.

In her hand, the wine trembled. She put the glass on the table, her knuckles turning white.

“Yes, thank you,” the figure answered in an equally distorted voice.

It was almost as if she was watching one of those legal shows, where they blurred the face and distorted the voice.

But why? Why wasn’t she allowed to look at her mentor? Was this a dream after all?

Molly returned to the kitchen, fetched a crystal wineglass—the only expensive one she owned—and poured the red liquid until just underneath the bulge of the glass. Walking back, she placed it in front of the figure, immediately pulling her hands away and wrapping them around her mug.

“Did you get the documents?” the figure asked.

Molly swallowed and closed her eyes briefly. “Almost.” Her voice cracked.

“Meaning?”

Molly’s palms started sweating. “I retraced them back to the Romero’s. I only need to identify the correct family—find out what last name they have now. They’ll have the ritual.”

“Hm. Romero, eh?” The figure took a sip of the wine. “I suppose that’s something. But we’re starting to run out of time. I needed those papers yesterday.”

The darkness circled and slithered around Molly, surrounding her—big, sticky, and oily. It weighed on her, even with her mental barriers up. With her mentor, mental barriers were pretty useless, anyway. How often had she tried to keep the darkness out and actually succeeded?

Not once.

“I know, I’m sorry.” Molly looked down, scratching the back of her hand.

“I know you are.”

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Author Iris Marsh

Author Iris Marsh

About the Author
Iris Marsh is a behavioral researcher turned writer. As such, she focuses on her character’s journeys as well as the plot. Her YA fantasy debut novel Illuminated is no exception: it’s both suspenseful and heavy on character development. Currently, she lives in the Netherlands with her partner and cat.

She would be overjoyed if you visited her website IrisMarsh.com and would love it if you followed her journey on Instagram.

 

 

 

Where to find Iris Marsh
Goodreads | Website | Instagram | Pinterest

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – NEVER PLAY FAIR (Sydney Evans Mystery Series) by Leah Cupps

 

Welcome to the blog tour for NEVER PLAY FAIR, the second book in the adult thriller series, Sydney Evans Mysteries, by Leah Cupp

Welcome to the blog tour for NEVER PLAY FAIR, the second book in the adult thriller series, Sydney Evans Mysteries, by Leah CuppSee below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.

NEVER PLAY FAIR, the second book in the adult thriller series, Sydney Evans Mysteries, by Leah Cupp

NEVER PLAY FAIR (Sydney Evans Mystery Series #2) by Leah Cupps

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: NEVER PLAY FAIR
Authors: Leah Cupp
Series: The Sydney Evans Mystery Series #2
Publisher: Vision Forty Press
Release Date: September 1, 2022
Genre:
Adult Mystery/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR 

Synopsis
Can Sydney find her FBI boyfriend in time, or will this gamble be here last?

Instagram Influencer Sydney Evans has seen and lived her share of photo-worthy experiences, but now, she’s found herself entangled in a situation she never saw coming.

After her FBI agent boyfriend, Alex, disappears while working a case involving a notorious Latin gangster, Vincent Estavez, the Department of Defense is forced to change tactics. Determined to bring down Estavez and the illegal online casino crime ring he’s been running by any means necessary, the FBI orchestrates an operation to infiltrate the gangster’s stronghold.

But Sydney only has one motivation for her own investigation: find Alex before he becomes collateral damage.

Desperate to locate her boyfriend in time, she flies to Costa Rica and is forced to seek help from an unlikely ally: her criminal ex-husband, Jack. He may be the last person she wants to see, but she’ll do whatever it takes to find Alex alive.

But Sydney isn’t the only one with a motivation against Vincent Estavez.

Never Play Fair is a fast-paced standalone thriller. If you like real-world issues, lavish socialite parties, and electrifying twists and turns, then you’ll love Leah Cupps’ provocative cozy mystery.

NEVER PLAY FAIR is the second book in the Sydney Evans Mystery Series and can be read as a standalone.

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Excerpt #1
Why am I still alive?

The question had been tumbling through Ethan Evans’ mind for months. He stared at the concrete brick wall in front of him, which was the color of stained teeth. Nothing was bright in this place, and little of it was clean. He had been left alone, sitting in a small room, waiting for his transport out of ADX Florence, a maximum-security prison in the Rockies.

Pale gray light dropped in from a small window near the ceiling, highlighting the specks of dust that hung in the stale air. The chill of the room bit through his thin clothing.

Under normal circumstances, he would fetch himself a jacket, but he didn’t have the freedom these days. The thought made him nervously wriggle his wrists inside the cold, steel cuffs.

Although his clothes were ill-fitted on his six-foot-two frame. But, he didn’t miss the abrasive fabric of the orange jumpsuit he’d been wearing earlier that day. It was one of the many discomforts of prison, less painful than others, though it branded him as one of the lost souls who needed redemption. Today, he had been given a pair of slacks and a button-up shirt from his old life. Even they didn’t feel as comfortable as they once had. At this point, Ethan was used to being uncomfortable, yet he had found a fortitude within himself he didn’t know he had. He was a survivor.

Surviving the mind-numbing routine of imprisonment had given Ethan plenty of time to ruminate over his feelings; the main one had been anger. It had been three months since he had been placed in a high-security facility to face the consequences of his decisions in Jamaica. Months to think about how his brother had betrayed him.

He had also felt fear. Fear that left him drenched in sweat every night, not knowing if he’d live to see the dawn of another day. When the cell block grew quiet, he still heard sounds and movement. And he would wonder.

Is today the day? The day he will send someone to kill me?

He knew Vincente Estavez would never let him live after learning Ethan had worked with the FBI. Estavez was still a free man, but the upcoming trial could change that rather quickly. From what little Inspector Sam O’Connell had shared with him during their interviews, the FBI had been working tirelessly to put an airtight case together to bring Estavez down.

Then again, nothing was nothing was guaranteed. Ethan was acutely aware of that little issue.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 0.5: ALL CRASH DOWN
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR 

Book 1: WHAT LIES IN PARADISE
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR 

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Author Leah Cupps

Author Leah Cupps

About the Author
Leah Cupps is an entrepreneur and author. She writes Middle Grade Mystery Adventure Books as well as Thriller, Mystery, Suspense for Adults.

Leah’s novels are fast-paced mysteries that will keep you up at night as you can’t wait to see what happens in the next chapter.

Leah lives in Indiana with her husband, three young children and three dogs. When she isn’t losing sleep writing her next novel or scaling her next business, she enjoys reading, golfing working out and spending time with her family.

 

Where to find Leah Cupps
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE RISE by Ross King and Shari Low

 

Welcome to the blog tour for THE RISE, a standalone adult romantic thriller, by Ross King and Shari Low

Welcome to the blog tour for THE RISE, a standalone adult romantic thriller, by Ross King and Shari LowSee below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.

THE RISE, a standalone adult romantic thriller, by Ross King and Shari Low

THE RISE by Ross King and Shari Low

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THE RISE
Authors: Ross King and Shari Low
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Release Date: September 13, 2022
Genre:
Adult Romantic Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
When we bury our secrets, they always come back to haunt us… Their rise was meteoric.

Only a few years before, they had been three friends from Glasgow, just trying to survive tough lives of danger and dysfunction. But on one Hollywood night in 1993, they were on the world’s biggest stage, accepting their Oscar in front of the watching world. That night was the beginning of their careers. But it was also the end of their friendship.

Over the next twenty years, Mirren McLean would become one of the most powerful writers in the movie industry. Zander Leith would break box-office records as cinema’s most in-demand action hero. And Davie Johnson would rake in millions as producer of some of the biggest shows on TV.

For two decades they didn’t speak, driven apart by a horrific secret.

Until now…

Their past is coming back to bite them, and they have to decide whether to run, hide, or fight. Because when you rise to the top, there’s always someone who wants to see you fall.

An exciting new glam thriller for the fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid, Liane Moriarty and Jo Spain 

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Excerpt #1
Prologue
The 65th Academy Awards,
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles,
29 March 1993

Lights.

The heat of the lights is as oppressive as the thick cloak of insecurity and desperation that shrouds the audience.

Billy Crystal steps to the podium, his laconic grin a teasing, gentle rebuke to a collection of egos teetering on the edge of explosion.

His fourth time in the role, Crystal introduces the presenter of the next category with an ease born of confidence and familiarity. Romcom queen, Lana Delasso, glides onto the stage, blonde hair an homage to her namesake and idol, Lana Turner. Her nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actress will be decided later and she’s done everything possible to win. Everything. In her fifties now, the best surgeons have ensured that she doesn’t look a day over thirty-five, her white, cobweb Versace gown, defying the rule that you should never show cleavage and legs at the same time. The physical reactions in the audience are instant and visceral: tight smiles of envy on bejewelled women coincide with ferocious erections under some of the $1,000 tuxedos sitting next to them.

Her words are white noise until they reach the point: ‘…. Best Original Screenplay.’

Behind her, on a thirty-foot screen, the nominations roll.

Husbands and Wives by Woody Allen. A smattering of applause, hesitations fuelled by the desire to come down on the right side of the moral judgement on Allen’s affair with Mia Farrow’s daughter. In Hollywood, picking sides has little to do with principles and everything to do with career enhancement.

Lorenzo’s Oil by George Miller and Nick Enright. More applause. Camera zooms to a row in which the suits are overshadowed by Susan Sarandon’s uncommon beauty.

Passion Fish by John Sayles. A movie that was released in only two theatres, grossing only a few tickets over $36,000 before its nomination.

Unforgiven by David Peoples. A crowd-pleaser. Directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, the audience of stars greets it with a show of worship reserved for work that has been touched by a deity.

The Brutal Circle by Davie Johnston, Zander Leith and Mirren McLean. An outsider. A harrowing story of a life born in violence, lived in violence, cut short by violence.

The big screen spans several seats, but all eyes are on the ebullient form of the producer, Wes Lomax, legendary head of Lomax Films, the studio responsible for more million-dollar-grossing movies in the last decade than any other.

The image returns to Lana Delasso, revelling in her moment. The same fingers that caressed a very married studio mogul only an hour before, now slide delicately along the folds of the gold envelope.

‘And the winner is…’

Pause.

‘The Brutal Circle by…’

Sycophantic cheers drown out the names; stars rise to their feet, determined to ensure that when Wes Lomax watches the playback, he will see them heralding his triumph.

In the chaos, the director in the gallery is a fraction late in switching to the three bodies that move towards the stage, all of them almost as unrecognizable as the extras hired to fill the seats vacated by stars drawn to the restrooms by the call of nature or the need for a line snorted off the top of a toilet. When the zoom lens on Camera 5 finally catches up with the winners, they are ascending the stairs to the stage.

Davie Johnston, at twenty-two the youngest winner of an award in that category in Academy history, strides forward with the surety of a man with an unblinking eye on his destination – the spotlight of an Academy award winner and membership of one of the most exalted, exclusive clubs in the world.

Behind him, Mirren McLean, in the only haute-couture dress she has ever touched, her wild mane of Titian curls tamed to match the elegance of the midnight-blue Dior gown. Unaccustomed to heels, she steps with care, her expression a mix of concentration and disbelief.

Finally, with a demeanour that suggests reluctance, Zander Leith. For every woman who tried to ignore her partner’s sexual interest in Lana Delasso, here is six feet two inches of payback. Wide shoulders, his square jaw set in a brooding grimace, he could be heading to a wake, not the spotlight of a winner.

When only a few feet separate them, Lana’s eyes meet his and she instinctively flinches as he responds to the flirtatious flutter of her lashes with almost visceral scorn, his disdain barely masked by his own thick, black lashes. Rebuffed.

While the outside remains a movie goddess, on the inside she is twelve again: the odd kid at school that even the trailer-park waifs avoid. The one that turned into the most beautiful woman in Hollywood, but still felt she had to respond to the summons to Wes Lomax’s yacht and service his lust and his ego to get his support for her own nomination.

Davie Johnston takes the Oscar and moves forward to the microphone.

‘I just want to say thank you—’

More applause. Most of the audience know of this trio, despite the fact that they are barely out of their teens. Wes Lomax has ensured that their story has saturated the Hollywood press in recent months. All three are credited as writers on the script, but Mirren steered the story behind the scenes, while the two men played leading roles in a movie that had blown up at the box office. The success was due, in part, to a publicity and distribution campaign usually reserved for A-list releases, and, in part, to the fact that it was a damn fine piece of cinema. It was a raw, hardcore two hours of urban menace that had a generation of American teens queuing for their Saturday-night thriller kicks. It hit $15 million on the balance sheets after the first month, then word of mouth set it on fire. It was now well on the way to Lomax’s $100million target.

This was the kind of American dream, the triumph of the underdog, the discovery of wonder that this city loved. Three childhood friends from Scotland, pals from a run-down housing estate who’d stuck together in poverty and disfunction, before going on to be the creative talents behind an outstanding script discovered by Wes Lomax when he took his annual golfing trip to the UK. It was beyond surprising that these kids had managed to get their work in front of Lomax. Even more so that he’d taken enough time off from screwing high-class escorts in the presidential suites of the best hotels in the UK to read it.

Now the audience in the red velvet chairs furrow their brows as they try to decipher Davie Johnston’s accent. This isn’t the Scottish burr of Sean Connery. Nor does it come close to the accents they heard from Davie and Zander in the movie. It is harder. More guttural. Like bullets being sprayed from a gun in a scene from Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino’s big hit of the previous year.

‘Thank you to the Academy. Thank you to all of you for letting us be part of this incredible world. And most of all, thank you to the brilliant Wes Lomax. We owe him everything.’

Camera 3 zooms in on Lomax and millions of people watch him nod, eyes glistening, a godfather acknowledging gratitude from his chosen family.

Davie bows to signal the end of his speech, then punches the Oscar into the air. Neither Mirren nor Zander step forward. Recovered from the sting of Zander’s rejection, Lana sweeps them off stage right into the unbridled chaos of runners, technicians, gophers and make-up artists brandishing thick brushes at agitated stars.

They are propelled into a press room, cameras flashing, journos screeching questions, all of which they answer with naive honesty. Barely a few years ago they were hanging out in cafés, pooling their money to buy chips. Now they are on Hollywood’s biggest stage and Davie Johnston isn’t even going to pretend for a second that he’s not loving it.

How are they enjoying Hollywood? Fine. Great. Aye, it’s, erm, amazing.

Are they here to stay? Dunno yet. It depends. Nothing decided.

Is their next project already underway? No plans yet. Nothing concrete. Just ideas.

Davie answers most of the questions, with an occasional contribution from Mirren.

Lou Cole, a young, sparky journalist on the LA Times, changes the pattern.

‘So, Zander, how does it feel to be called the new Hollywood heart-throb?’

His bashful grin is automatic, and conceals the fact that for the second time that night his eyes flicker with pure contempt.

‘I don’t think Tom Cruise has anything to worry about.’

Oblivious to the underlying sentiment, the press pack laugh, as Paula Leno, Lomax Films’ hard-ass head of publicity, sweetly but firmly calls an end to the photocall, determined to minimize the risk of a fuck-up and all too aware that the next winners will soon be arriving on the conveyor belt of achievement.

Finally alone, there is a pause as each of them absorbs the last ten incredible minutes of their lives. Davie is the first to react, throwing his arms around Mirren and squeezing her.

‘We did it. Shit, I don’t believe it.’ As always, his enthusiasm oozes from under his skin. It has been that way all their lives. Davie is the life force, the driven one, the chancer. Mirren is the voice of reason, the one with emotional intelligence, always in touch with how everyone else is feeling. And she knows there’s a problem here.

Over Davie’s shoulder her gaze has locked with Zander’s, dispelling all notion of celebration. She can see the storm that’s been brewing for far too long is about to roar with thunder. Davie doesn’t get the memo. His first burst of excitement over, he turns to the new Hollywood heart-throb. His lifelong friend, bonded as youngsters by a shared recognition that no one really gave a fuck, their symbiotic pairing paying no heed to the reality that in the gene pool of life, Zander got height and physical perfection, while Davie got the kind of non-threatening appeal that made women want to ruffle his hair and tell him about their last broken heart.

‘C’mon, man, that was incredible! Did you hear them? That was for us. That has to make everything worth it. C’mon, man…’

The desperate repetition isn’t lost on any of them. Mirren’s teeth clench together as she raises her chin in defiance. She knows there is no point looking for resolution and rapprochement with Zander, and she refuses to show weakness by trying.

Her instincts are right.

For the last photograph, Zander was asked to hold the Oscar to give the picture editors a range of different images to choose from. Now he tosses it to Davie like it is a can of Bud pulled from the fridge to wash down a burger.

‘Take it.’

Davie’s reflexes are just quick enough to save it from the floor.

‘You got what you wanted.’ Zander’s words are barely louder than a whisper, yet drown out all other sounds. ‘Now both of you can fuck off, and if I ever see you again, walk the other way.’

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Authors Shari Low and Ross King

Authors Shari Low and Ross King

About the Authors
In January 2022, Shari Low celebrated 21 years since the publication of her first novel, What If?. Shari went on to be a best-selling novelist, publishing over 30 books, including My One Month Marriage, One Day In Summer, One Summer Sunrise, The Story Of Our Secrets and her non-fiction collection of parenthood memories, Because Mummy Said So.

In late 2020, her first novel, What If?, was updated and re-published. In January 2021, the sequel, What Now? was released, followed in April 22 by the third book in the series, What Next?. All three novels became international best sellers.

In real life, once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband and a labradoodle. Her two teenagers have now left home, so she spends an inordinate amount of time on video calls checking if they’re eating well and keeping up to date with their laundry.

For all the latest news, visit Shari on Facebook, twitter, instagram or at www.sharilow.com

Ross King is the author of the bestselling Brunelleschi’s Dome and Michelangelo & the Pope’s Ceiling, as well as the novels Ex-Libris and Domino. He lives in England, near Oxford.

Where to find the Authors
Goodreads | WebsiteNewsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | BookBub 

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Blog Tour – Review + Giveaway – YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING by Shani Michelle

 

Welcome to the blog tour for YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING, a standalone young adult paranormal thriller, by Shani Michelle

Welcome to the blog tour for YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING, a standalone young adult paranormal thriller, by Shani Michelle. See below for information on the book, buy links, my five-star review, and details on her giveaway.

YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING, a standalone young adult paranormal thriller, by Shani Michelle

YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING by Shani Michelle

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
A teen girl who sees visions of the past must use her gift to save a kidnapped classmate in Shani Michelle’s high-stakes YA thriller You Should Have Seen This Coming!

Hayden sees the past. Just touching an object will occasionally give her flashes of the previous owner’s memories. And if that memory happens to be a deeply hidden secret, then she has no problem making you pay for your crime, in cash.

Cassie sees the future, and it sucks. She will randomly wake up from dreams filled with disasters that she feels compelled to stop, and she would really like to stop watching her boyfriend fall in love with someone else!

But when Cassie tries to warn Hayden that her latest blackmailing scheme is a trap, she knows she’s really in trouble. All her visions warn her of the upcoming kidnapping, nothing she does stops it. And it’s all Hayden’s fault!

Can Hayden’s gift help her find Cassie before it’s too late?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
This is the book I’ve been waiting for! Shani Michelle’s young adult thriller grabbed me from the opening pages and never let go. Cassie sees the future. She sees her now ex-boyfriend falling for the new girl, Hayden. Hayden sees the past, but as the new kid in town she doesn’t share that information with anyone. When Cassie sees her own kidnapping, she does everything she can to prevent it, but sometimes destiny has other ideas. With a troubled past, the town isn’t convinced foul play was involved in Cassie’s disappearance. But her best friend, Audra, and ex, Brody, are positive Cassie wouldn’t just run off. Though they have no idea what Hayden is capable of, they know there’s some sort of connection between Cassie and Hayden and solicit Hayden’s help in finding Cassie before it’s too late. The dynamic that results from this unlikely trio makes for some of the best conflict in the book.

Plot
The story centers around finding Cassie once she goes missing, but the various subplots, involving the mystery around Hayden’s mom and the sheriff and Cassie’s relationship with Brody, help support the main plot. With so many twists and turns, I devoured the story to find out what happened next.

The Characters
The author does an amazing job of creating uniquely differentiated characters with alternating first person point of view. Not something easily done. From Hayden’s tortured past, to the mysterious disappearance of Cassie’s mother, the author crafted layered characters with believable flaws combined with just the right amount of positive traits to make the cast come to life.

Top Five Things I Loved About YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING
1. Visions. This is one of my favorite supernatural abilities. And having one character who can see the future and one who can see the past was twice the fun.

2. Twists. Some things were predictable but many others were beautifully crafted twists I never saw coming.

3. Hayden. She’s snarky, irreverent, and complex — the best combination.

4. Pacing. The story unwinds at the perfect pace, with short chapters that kept me reading far too late.

5. Cassie. She may not always make the best choices based on what she sees in her visions, but her heart’s in the right place, making her someone you can’t help rooting for.

Bottom Line
Intense thriller with a fast pace and wonderful characters made this a fast, exciting read.

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

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About the Book
Title: YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING
Author: Shani Michelle
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: April 12, 2022
Pages: 362
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Thriller
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Shani Michelle

Author Shani Michelle

About the Author
Shani Michelle is the author of YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING. She also works in TV news. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her husband, family, friends, reading, watching way too much TV, and coming up with new story ideas. (She’s also written several rom-com and middle grade novels as Shani Petroff).

 

 

 

Where to Find Shani Michelle
GoodreadsTwitter | Instagram

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE LIARS BENEATH by Heather Van Fleet

 

Welcome to the book blitz for THE LIARS BENEATH, a standalone young adult romantic thriller, by Heather Van Fleet

Welcome to the book blitz for THE LIARS BENEATH, a standalone young adult romantic thriller, by Heather Van Fleet. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE LIARS BENEATH, a standalone young adult romantic thriller, by Heather Van Fleet

THE LIARS BENEATH by Heather Van Fleet

About the Book
Title:
THE LIARS BENEATH
Author: Heather Van Fleet
Publisher: Wise Wolf Books
Release Date: January 27, 2022
Genre: Young Adult Romantic Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
A romantically dark YA thriller set in the backdrop of Iowa’s suspenseful farmlands.

After a tragic accident ends her best friend’s life, 17-year-old Becca Thompson succumbs to grief the only way she knows how: by wallowing in it. She’s a fragment of the person she once was—far too broken to enjoy the summer before her senior year. But when Ben McCain, her best friend’s older brother, returns home, Becca must face her new reality head on.

She isn’t interested in Ben’s games, especially since he abandoned his sister during the months leading up to her death. But when he begs for her help in uncovering the truth about what really happened the night of his sister’s death, Becca finds herself agreeing, hoping to clear up rumors swirling in the wake of her best friend’s accident.

An unhinged ex-boyfriend, secret bucket lists, and garage parties in the place Becca calls home soon lead her to the answers she’s so desperate to unveil. But nobody is being honest, not even Ben. And the closer Becca gets to the truth—and to Ben—the more danger seems to surround her.

Clearing her best friend’s name was all she wanted to do, but Becca is quickly realizing that the truth she craves might be uglier than the lies her best friend kept..

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Excerpt
It was almost midnight when I heard the knock against my window. Three soft and consecutive thuds, all of which match the beat of my heart. Why he chose that way to get my attention instead of texting, is a mystery. The kind of mystery I was way too amped up to question.

I wasn’t excited in the sense that I like him and want to spend time with him or anything. At least that’s what I told my racing heart when I first saw his smile from the other side of the glass. He’d been crouched on his belly on the roof of our porch like a stealthy spy, and the sight was something I’d never forget.

I’d thrown a hoodie on over the Tee I’m dressed in, pairing it with some denim cutoffs. Then I tossed my hair up into a messy bun and slid on some cherry Chapstick—but only because my lips were chapped. That’s it. No other reason whatsoever.

Once my Docs were on, I slid out my window and met him head on, the two of us jumping the five feet off the low hanging roof. I’d giggled uncontrollably when he landed on his butt instead of his feet, and he’d nearly pulled me down with him when he tried grabbing my laces. That would be the last time I’d ever not tie my boots.

“Guess what?” he whispered when we started to walk away from the house. “I researched your family tree today and found out that you, Becca, are the biggest sap.” He ended that statement with a tap to my nose. My freaking nose, for God’s sake.

He’d booped me.

My response—one which had been paired with a hard thump to his equally as hard abdomen: “You’re so dumb, you planted a dogwood tree and expected a litter of puppies.”

We both laughed at how stupid we sounded, yet at the same time it felt good to just be goofy. Or dare I say, normal. Though that word—normal—was a bit of a stretch when it came to the two of us anymore.

After that, Ben took my hand like it was the most natural thing in the world and proceeded to lead me to where we are now: the middle of the cornfield.

I trail my fingers over the silky corn stalks, marveling at their height and the way the midnight moon reflects off the green color. Nothing about this spot eases my frazzled nerves, of course. It doesn’t give me peace of mind like it once had when I’d come out here with Rose either. It’s kind of like the alcove in that sense—a spot tainted by a bad memory, despite the many good memories trying to override it.

Ben moves closer, our shoulders brushing.

“What are you thinking about?” he asks.

“Stuff.” That no longer matters. A time and a place and a memory that’s long past.

“Rose said you guys used to hang out here a lot.”

I shrugged one shoulder, unwilling to indulge in what happened the last time she and I had been out here. It’s not a huge thing, smoking weed and all, but for some reason, I don’t want Ben to know that it’d been my bucket list item, not Rose’s. It shows my age—how I’d been so young and inexperienced.

Not that I care what he thinks.

“It’s nice,” he continues. “Quiet too. I can see why you liked it.”

“We did some of our best thinking out here.” Thinking that was more along the lines of Rose smoking joints, while I stood by to keep watch.

“Hmm.” He nods, kicks the toe of his foot into the dirt. “I’m gonna go to that party on Saturday,” he tells me out of the blue.

I frown. “You think that’s smart after beating up Adam like you did?”

“Yup.”

“Why?”

“Because Adam’s gonna be there.” He looks away, but I don’t miss the flex of his jaw—not even in the dark. “I don’t trust the guy.”

I turn him around by the shoulders, forcing him to stand in front of me. “What’s there not to trust, exactly?”

“Lots of things.”

“Like what?”

“I’ve got facts that need exploring.” His lips purse.

“Yeah.” I roll my eyes. “Because you’re suddenly a detective now. I forgot.”

Adam wouldn’t hurt a puppy, let alone be behind Rose’s death. He used to talk big, but his love for my best friend was endless. Without a doubt, I know that’s who her secret boyfriend was. I just don’t get why they never went public.

“I’m more of a private eye, actually.” He covers one eye and curls the corner of his upper lip, making an argh noise.

“That’s a pirate, not a private eye, dork.”

“Either way, they’re both sneaky, right?”

I sigh, wondering if he’s always been this weird. Cocky, a smartass, and a huge instigator—that’s Ben. Not funny.

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Teaser from THE LIARS BENEATH, a standalone young adult romantic thriller, by Heather Van Fleet

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Author Heather Van Fleet

Author Heather Van Fleet

About the Author
Heather Van Fleet is a stay-at-home-mom turned book boyfriend connoisseur. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, a mom to three girls, and in her spare time you can find her with her head buried in her Kindle, guzzling down copious amounts of coffee.

Heather graduated from Black Hawk College in 2003 and currently writes Adult contemporary romance. She is published through Sourcebooks Casablanca with her Reckless Hearts series and Bookouture with her Red Dragon series.

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Where to Find Heather Van Fleet
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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 Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR (High School Murder Mystery Series) by Deirdre Riordan Hall

 

Welcome to the book blitz for TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR, the first book in the young adult mystery/thriller series, High School Murder Mystery, by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Welcome to the book blitz for TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR, the first book in the young adult mystery/thriller series, High School Murder Mystery, by Deirdre Riordan Hall. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR, the first book in the young adult mystery/thriller series, High School Murder Mystery, by Deirdre Riordan Hall

TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR (High School Murder Mystery Series #1) by Deirdre Riordan Hall

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR
Series: High School Murder Mystery Series #1
Authors: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Release Date: December 28, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR 

Synopsis
Knives Out meets One of Us is Lying with a hint of the Inheritance Games. Like the original whodunnit, Clue, this suspenseful mystery also has three possible endings explaining what could have happened.

They all have secrets. They all have motives. They all tell lies.

Every year, at a prestigious boarding school, Professor Groff hosts the Midnight Masquerade. But this year, before the festivities, he’s discovered dead in his office. Yet six students still receive invitations. The same six students who’re questioned about his murder.

The show must go on. At the Masquerade, two additional students claim to know the truth. The lights go out and when they come back on, one of them is dead. Anyone could’ve been at fault.

Francisca blind in one eye and deadly on the rugby field. Toshi a number ninja and the campus punching bag. Taz who struggles with anxiety and lingers in the shadows. Fish the golden boy hiding wounds and not only in his heart. Caroline the heiress and the image of perfection. Gorgeous George the resident Greek God with nothing to lose.

The six receive anonymous notes, making them question themselves and the assumptions they’ve made about each other. Brought back together, they must prove their innocence before the all-school meeting the next morning, otherwise, they risk humiliation if their secrets are exposed exposed—and worse, if they’re found guilty.

It’s a long night of theft, danger, and threats by a secret society that shows Professor Groff was right during his final lecture.

Everything that can go wrong will.

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Teaser from TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR, the first book in the young adult mystery/thriller series, High School Murder Mystery, by Deirdre Riordan Hall

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Excerpt #2
Dean Hammond straightens a stack of papers then looks up. With a severe lift to her eyebrow, she scans those of us present, and then says, “Oliver Groff was found dead in his office at 3:22 pm, shortly after his last class of the day.”

A weight in my stomach sinks just as it did when Arpad made the announcement in the dining hall. Questions roll through my mind and collide when the realization hits me full force. He was alive, teaching earlier today, making dire pronouncements about how basically everything sucks.

Boy, was he right. Now, he’s gone.

The circumstances were different the first and second times someone in my life died but the familiar emptiness, the void, vacancy returns—or maybe it never left.

“Yeah, we heard—” George’s tone tells me he wants to say something more about loss and tragedy, something sentimental perhaps, but he’s hard-wired for nonchalance as the campus crush and most likely to smoke, hook up, and skip classes.

Caroline clasps her hands in front of her chest. Her knuckles pale. “I’m so sorry to hear that.” She pauses. “He was an…efficient teacher.”

I imagine she struggles to think of a nice thing to say about Groff. I sneak a glance at the others because I can’t be the only one wondering why we’re here.

Arpad already announced the news in the Refectory. There’s a good chance not everyone was there. Hammond inhales.

“Francisca Thompson-Sanchez, nice seeing you again.”

Francisca’s expression doesn’t suggest the feeling is mutual, although she is wearing a mud-streaked rugby uniform and likely feels as out of place in the plush office as I do.

“Can you please tell me where you were from the end of English class until now?” Hammond asks.

She focuses on something on the wall behind the dean but her hands tremble slightly. “I went to talk to Mr. Groff after class, but he looked, um, busy. Then I went to the bathroom.” She glances at Caroline. “Uh, then my dorm, followed by rugby practice, and then the Refectory.”

Arpad writes rapidly on a yellow pad.

Hammond’s penetrating gaze lands on a math whiz, gamer kid whose dorm room is by the day student room in my dorm. “I was at the Library then Refectory.” He speaks clearly, but he’s all-over sweaty.

“Tazmin King?” Hammond says, going down the line.

“Taz,” she corrects. Eyeliner stains the space around her big brown eyes like she’s been crying. “After class, I went to my dorm and then dinner. If Oliver died, it was because of a broken heart,” she blurts. Emotion streaks across her features, but she captures it and makes it disappear.

“And how would you know that, Tazmin?” Hammond’s tone is dark.

“It’s none of our business,” she answers. Then it’s as though she ghosts even though she’s still in the room with us. Hammond barely conceals a look of disgust.

“Moving on. John?”

“Maybe the professor was tired of his life and wanted to escape. Suicide? Or maybe he just wanted out. Faked it. On a plane to Tahiti.”

By Hammond’s pinched expression, I instantly realize this is the wrong answer. My sweat now rival’s Toshi’s. I cannot get kicked out. I cannot afford to go back to Burningham. Whatever this is about… I cannot lose my spot here.

“No, we found the body. Poetic though. However, the question was where were you this afternoon?” Accusation fills Hammond’s tone.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. I misunderstood. I was in the dayroom at my dorm, Varth Dader, then lacrosse practice in the lower fields.”

She glances at me dismissively and nods at Caroline. I know all too well not to allow relief to replace the nerves inside. Best to stay alert.

“I was with the Promenade committee, finalizing some items for tomorrow. Wait. You’re not canceling prom because of this are you?” Typical Caroline, always concerned about her agenda.

The goth girl, Taz, narrows her eyes. “It should be after the tree went up in a blaze and now Oliver, I mean Professor Groff, is dead.”

Hammond hardly looks at them. “Ladies, that’s none of your concern. Now, George. If you please.”

“I was in the student center. You can ask Mrs. Carson.” He smirks. Likely, he was hooking up with someone.

“Do any of you have a reason to want Oliver Groff dead?” Hammond’s question is like a stone thrown in a lake. The ripples of this implication could be devastating.

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Teaser from TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR, the first book in the young adult mystery/thriller series, High School Murder Mystery, by Deirdre Riordan Hall

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Author Deirdre Riordan Hall

Author Deirdre Riordan Hall

About C.A. Rene
Deirdre Riordan Hall is the author of the contemporary young adult bestsellers Sugar and Pearl as well as the High School Murder Mystery series. She’s in an ongoing pursuit of words, waves, and wonder. Her love language involves a basket of chips, salsa, and guacamole, preferably when shared with her family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to find Deirdre Riordan Hall
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal – TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR (High School Murder Mystery Series) by Deirdre Riordan Hall

 

Author Deirdre Riordan Hall is revealing the cover to TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR, the first book in the young adult mystery/thriller series, High School Murder Mystery, releasing December 28, 2021

Author Deirdre Riordan Hall is revealing the cover to TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR, the first book in the young adult mystery/thriller series, High School Murder Mystery, releasing December 28, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it your Goodreads TBR.

TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR, the first book in the young adult mystery/thriller series, High School Murder Mystery, by Deirdre Riordan Hall

TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR (High School Murder Mystery Series #1) by Deirdre Riordan Hall

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR
Series: High School Murder Mystery Series #1
Authors: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Release Date: December 28, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR 

Synopsis
Knives Out meets One of Us is Lying with a hint of the Inheritance Games. Like the original whodunnit, Clue, this suspenseful mystery also has three possible endings explaining what could have happened.

They all have secrets. They all have motives. They all tell lies.

Every year, at a prestigious boarding school, Professor Groff hosts the Midnight Masquerade. But this year, before the festivities, he’s discovered dead in his office. Yet six students still receive invitations. The same six students who’re questioned about his murder.

The show must go on. At the Masquerade, two additional students claim to know the truth. The lights go out and when they come back on, one of them is dead. Anyone could’ve been at fault.

Francisca blind in one eye and deadly on the rugby field. Toshi a number ninja and the campus punching bag. Taz who struggles with anxiety and lingers in the shadows. Fish the golden boy hiding wounds and not only in his heart. Caroline the heiress and the image of perfection. Gorgeous George the resident Greek God with nothing to lose.

The six receive anonymous notes, making them question themselves and the assumptions they’ve made about each other. Brought back together, they must prove their innocence before the all-school meeting the next morning, otherwise, they risk humiliation if their secrets are exposed exposed—and worse, if they’re found guilty.

It’s a long night of theft, danger, and threats by a secret society that shows Professor Groff was right during his final lecture.

Everything that can go wrong will.

 ————————————————————————————–

TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIAR, the first book in the young adult mystery/thriller series, High School Murder Mystery, by Deirdre Riordan Hall is Coming December 28!

 ————————————————————————————–

Author Deirdre Riordan Hall

Author Deirdre Riordan Hall

About C.A. Rene
Deirdre Riordan Hall is the author of the contemporary young adult bestsellers Sugar and Pearl as well as the High School Murder Mystery series. She’s in an ongoing pursuit of words, waves, and wonder. Her love language involves a basket of chips, salsa, and guacamole, preferably when shared with her family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to find Deirdre Riordan Hall
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – WHAT HAPPENED TO COCO by V.B. Furlong

 

Welcome to the book blitz for WHAT HAPPENED TO COCO, a standalone young adult thriller, by V.B. Furlong

Welcome to the book blitz for WHAT HAPPENED TO COCO, a standalone young adult thriller, by V.B. Furlong. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

WHAT HAPPENED TO COCO, a standalone young adult thriller, by V.B. Furlong

WHAT HAPPENED TO COCO by V.B. Furlong

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: WHAT HAPPENED TO COCO
Author: V.B. Furlong
Publisher: Darkstroke Books
Release Date: December 4, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR 

Synopsis
When a girl disappears, long-buried secrets resurface…

Coco is missing. Her room’s a mess, and her phone is left behind in her dorm at Lainsbury Hall School

Ella, Coco’s childhood best friend, is desperate for her to return, although she knows that if she ever sees Coco again, there’ll be a lot of explaining to do.

Bea knows that her new group of friends attracts drama, and she thinks she has the last shred of common sense between them all. Only, if that was true, she would leave Genevieve, her toxic ex, well alone.

Conrad is confident that Coco will return safe and well. Only, the way his secrets are unravelling, he’s worried he won’t be when this is all over.

Harrison and Coco are the perfect couple. Everyone knows that. But looks can be misleading. Even the smartest boy in school can make a terrible mistake.

In order to navigate the web of secrets and lies that Coco leaves behind, her circle of friends needs to unravel a few of their own.

But the question remains: What happened to Coco?

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Excerpt #1
In the misty darkness lit only by a blue streetlamp, Ella knew that she was not alone. She turned and saw the faceless figure far down the drizzly street. It came towards her at speed. It didn’t seem to be moving, but she knew that it was gaining on her. She started to run, but her legs would not move. She was stuck, as though in quicksand.

When she dared check over her shoulder once again, the figure was only about five steps away, and she could see raspy breaths escape the black silhouette in a wispy white cloud. The scene whirred in front of Ella as she pulled on her legs, sobbing, begging them to move. But they would not. All she could hear was the breathing, slow and rattling, as though it was the figure’s very last. Four. Three. Two.

It was the skeletal hand on her shoulder that woke her. In the darkness of her room, she was alone. She turned her alarm off and felt uneasy in the silence. She was soaking wet, her back from sweat, her face from tears.

She washed her face, hardly daring to open her eyes and look into the mirror above the sink. She felt watched, hunted. As she brushed her teeth, she turned on all her lights and opened the dreary brown curtains that Lainsbury Hall School had placed in all the dorms. But even in her bright vanity lamps that took over her dressing table, drowning her in bright white light as she did her make up, her eyes darted around the corners of her mirrors, checking all angles of the room in the reflection for the faceless spectre. She was not herself today. Then again, she hadn’t been herself yesterday, either.

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WHAT HAPPENED TO COCO, a standalone young adult thriller, by V.B. Furlong is Out Now!

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Author V.B. Furlong

Author V.B. Furlong

About The Author
VB Furlong is a trainee lawyer and writer of young adult novels living in Berkshire, UK. She wrote her first “novel” at aged ten and has not stopped since then. Through her writing she aims to explore many of the issues she faced herself growing up, in the hopes that others facing the same issues feel some solidarity. Her friendships are a huge part of her life and consequently is a major theme in her writing, exploring the way in which we interact with each other, especially in difficult times.

Originally from Mumbles, Swansea, VB Furlong enjoys the sun and the sea, and walking her three dogs across the cliffs. These walks have offered her inspiration for many pieces of writing, including What Happened to Coco which she is excited to introduce as a coming of age boarding school thriller.

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Where to Find V.B. Furlong
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – DAGGER HILL by Devon Taylor

 

Welcome to the blog tour for DAGGER HILL, a standalone young adult scifi thriller, by Devon Taylor

 

DAGGER HILL, a young adult scifi thriller, by Devon Taylor

DAGGER HILL by Devon Taylor

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
A young witch tries to unravel the mystery of who is framing her for dark magic in Georgia Bowers’ creepy YA debut fantasy, Mark of the Wicked.

Magic always leaves its mark.

All her life, Matilda has been told one thing about her magic: You use only when necessary. But Matilda isn’t interested in being a good witch. She wants revenge and popularity, and to live her life free of consequences, free of the scars that dark magic leaves on her face as a reminder of her misdeeds.

When a spell goes awry and the new boy at school catches her in the act, Matilda thinks her secret might be out. But far from being afraid, Oliver already knows about her magic – and he wants to learn more. As Oliver and Matilda grow closer, bizarre things begin to happen: Animals show up with their throats slashed and odd markings carved into their bodies, a young girl dies mysteriously, and everyone blames Matilda. But she isn’t responsible — at least, not that she can remember. As her magic begins to spin out of control, Matilda must decide for herself what makes a good witch, and discover the truth…before anyone else turns up dead.

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
I was in the mood for something different, and DAGGER HILL delivered! Set in 1989, before everyone had a smartphone, four friends hang out during their summer before senior year, each dealing with different issues associated with coming of age, when the world as they know it comes crashing down around them in the form of a military plane. Before the plane crashes into Dagger Hill, the kids see someone parachuting out of it. And Gabe sees someone in a gas mask pick up and carry their injured friend, Kimberly, to safety. At least that’s what he thinks. Until the army begins to interview them and they realize something more is going on, and no one knows where Kimberly is. Or the man in the “bug” mask.

Plot
The story is gripping from early on and never lets go. The author uses a fun method for his storytelling — a combination of first person, newspaper articles, third-person, and interviews to bring his tale to life. It makes each chapter different from the last and helps reveal the information to the reader in a unique way. The plot unfolds at a steady pace with lots of twists and turns.

The Characters
The characters are awesome. Each of the main characters, Gabe, Sonya, Charlie, and Kimberly, are complex, with secrets, worries, and problems of their own as they try to hold onto childhood for one more summer. The adults, from Gabe’s police chief dad to Sonya’s scientist dad, to the army officials and doctors, are just as varied and complex as the main characters, making this more than just a plot driven tale.

Top Five Things I Loved About DAGGER HILL
1. Pacing. The story MOVES. But at the right pace. I stayed up late devouring the story but without becoming overwhelmed. It was perfect.

2. Setting. I love both the small town and the era it was set in. It feels modern, but without all the high-tech stuff that can interfere with a good thriller. Plus the music and movie references were a fun blast from the past.

3. Characters. While this is primarily a plot-driven tale, the character development is off-the-charts good and will stay with me for a long time.

4. Twists. So many good twists that left my jaw hanging open.

5. Storytelling. I love the way the author unfolds his tale using different techniques for a unique approach to a really unique story.

Bottom Line
Fabulous, fun, un-put-downable read!

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

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About the Book
Title: DAGGAR HILL
Author: Devon Taylor
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: August 17, 2021
Pages: 287
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

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Author Devon Taylor

Author Devon Taylor

About the Author
Devon Taylor was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two daughters. His day job consists of sneaking around the house with ninja-like stealth to avoid waking up his kids. When not writing, reading, or tediously typing out text messages with all the correct spelling and punctuation, he spends his time with his family. THE SOUL KEEPERS is his debut novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Devon Taylor
Goodreads | WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – HE’LL BE WAITING by Liz Alterman

 

Welcome to the blog tour for HE'LL BE WAITING, a standalone young adult thriller, by Liz Alterman.

Welcome to the blog tour for HE’LL BE WAITING, a standalone young adult thriller, by Liz Alterman. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

HE'LL BE WAITING, a standalone young adult thriller, by Liz Alterman

HE’LL BE WAITING by Liz Alterman

About the Book
Title: HE’LL BE WAITING
Author: Liz Alterman
Publisher: Willow River Press
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Genre:
Young Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | indiebound

Synopsis
There are no safe spaces…

When Tess Porter agrees to pick up her boyfriend’s college pal at the airport on a snowy December night, she has no idea she’s about to embark on the most dangerous ride of her life.

Two days later, the 17-year-old wakes up in a hospital with broken bones, and unable to remember how she got there.

Her parents are acting strangely, and neither James, her boyfriend, nor her best friend Izzy has visited.

As she struggles to physically recover, Tess wrestles with haunting questions: What happened? Will her memory ever return? and what if she’s better off not recalling any of it?

 

 

 

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Excerpt #4:
I stare at the phone again. It’s after six o’clock. More than two hours have passed since James asked me to get Nick.

“He’ll be waiting.” I hear James’ voice in my head. What if he didn’t? What if he ran into someone he knew or bummed a ride from a stranger? The airport’s only exciting when you’re heading off on a trip. When you’re standing around waiting to go home, it sucks. I’m no world traveler, but even I know that.

A blast of heat smacks my face as I walk through the automatic doors. I look at the monitors. If someone gave me a dime for every time the word “canceled” appears beside a flight, I could buy a private jet.

Stranded holiday travelers sleep on the floor using their suitcases for pillows. Families eat dinner slumped against garbage cans. Two men scream over who’s been waiting longer for an outlet to charge their phones. The stale air smells like French fries and feet. It’s chaos, and though I don’t want to drive again anytime soon, I’m jumpy to get out of here as fast as possible.

Circling the baggage carousels like a shark, I’m bursting with adrenaline after that hell ride. My shirt, damp with sweat, sticks to my skin. I feel chilled beneath Mom’s coat. I’m wondering how I’ll ever find Nick Lawrence in this sea of people when a guy walks up to me. At first, I think he’s going to ask me for money or a ride, but then I take a closer look. Dark hair, dark eyes, empty-looking duffel bag slung over his shoulder. He’s wearing a lightweight hoodie over a t-shirt. The neck is stretched out and wavy. He looks sloppy, not like a guy who attends a top university, but maybe he’s shot from finals too. His eyes, vaguely familiar, meet mine. He holds out a thick, clammy hand.

When our palms touch, an electric shock passes between us. He holds my hand a beat too long and smiles, a weird, goofy grin. I have the sudden urge to pull away, turn around, leave him standing there. He doesn’t look like the kind of guy James would befriend, but James always reminds me: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

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Author Liz Alterman

Author Liz Alterman

About the Author
Liz Alterman lives in New Jersey with her husband and three sons. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Parents, McSweeney’s, and other publications. He’ll Be Waiting is her first young adult novel. When she isn’t writing, she spends most days microwaving the same cup of coffee and looking up synonyms.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Liz Alterman
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Instagram

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Cover Reveal + Giveaway – PRETTY SAVAGE by T.A. Kunz

 

Author T.A. Kunz is revealing the cover to PRETTY SAVAGE, a standalone young adult LGBTQ+ thriller, releasing July 13, 2021

Author T.A. Kunz is revealing the cover to PRETTY SAVAGE, a standalone young adult LGBTQ+ thriller, releasing July 13, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book, a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR, and details on his giveaway.

PRETTY SAVAGE, a standalone young adult LGBTQ+ thriller, by T.A. Kunz

PRETTY SAVAGE by T.A. Kunz

About the Book
Title: PRETTY SAVAGE
Author: T.A. Kunz
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Genre: Young Adult LGBTQ+ Thriller
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
“An intriguing mystery, Pretty Savage is a tension packed, wild journey with engrossing characters. A true page turner.” – #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

Bad things never happen in the picturesque town of Haddon Falls … until now.

It all starts with a killer party.

It will end with a savage crime spree.

Seniors Donovan Walsh and Drea Sullivan attend a high school party for very different reasons. But after discovering the body of one of their classmates, they find themselves thrust into the same waking nightmare. From that moment, their lives become intertwined in a search for answers to questions they never should have asked.

As bodies pile high, the unlikely pair dig into Haddon Falls’ past and uncover secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. In a small town where every face is friendly and every door unlocked, Donovan and Drea must unravel who is an ally … and who is willing to bury them-and the truth-six feet under.

“Pretty Savage is a gripping, fast-paced YA thriller featuring a savvy gay male protagonist and his kick-ass female counterpart! Readers who love hints of horror with a blood spatter of romance mixed with page-turning mystery will be left gasping by this wicked masterpiece by T.A. Kunz.” -Bestselling and award winning author Raine Thomas

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Teaser from PRETTY SAVAGE, a standalone young adult LGBTQ+ thriller, by T.A. Kunz

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Author T.A. Kunz

Author T.A. Kunz

About the Author
T.A. Kunz is the pen name for Adam Kunz, who lives in Orlando, Florida. And unfortunately a lot of the rumors you’ve heard about his state are true. When he’s not writing, Adam spends his time reading, playing video games, watching anime and Korean dramas, and spending time with his partner while cuddling with their two dogs, Nicky and Rusty. Since childhood, he’s had a great fondness for reading and writing. His fiction genres of choice are eclectic, but mainly are in the YA, MG, and NA categories. So, it was no surprise when he decided to write his own books that he’d be a grab bag kind of author in terms of story ideas. And he just loves mashing up genres. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Adam advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. He may or may not have a coffee addiction, the jury’s still out on that one. And his hands-down favorite holiday is Halloween, which holds a very special place in Adam’s heart.

Where to Find T.A. Kunz
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | TwitterInstagram

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Giveaway
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Book Review – THE SWALLOWS by Lisa Lutz

 

THE SWALLOWS by Lisa Lutz

THE SWALLOWS by Lisa Lutz

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
A new teacher at a New England prep school ignites a gender war–with deadly consequences.

What do you love? What do you hate? What do you want?

It starts with this simple writing prompt from Alex Witt, Stonebridge Academy’s new creative writing teacher. When the students’ answers raise disturbing questions of their own, Ms. Witt knows there’s more going on the school than the faculty wants to see. She soon learns about The Ten–the students at the top of the school’s social hierarchy–as well as their connection to something called The Darkroom.

Ms. Witt can’t remain a passive observer. She finds the few girls who’ve started to question the school’s “boys will be boys” attitude and incites a resistance that quickly becomes a movement. But just as it gains momentum, she also attracts the attention of an unknown enemy who knows a little too much about her–including what brought her to Stonebridge in the first place.

Meanwhile, Gemma, a defiant senior, has been plotting her attack for years, waiting for the right moment. Shy loner Norman hates his role in the Darkroom, but can’t find the courage to fight back until he makes an unlikely alliance. And then there’s Finn Ford, an English teacher with a shady reputation who keeps one eye on his literary ambitions and one on Ms. Witt.

As the school’s secrets begin to trickle out, a boys-versus-girls skirmish turns into an all-out war, with deeply personal–and potentially fatal–consequences for everyone involved.

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My Review
Told from various third-person points of view, THE SWALLOWS is a deep-dive into the world of privileged boys meets aggrieved girls hellbent on revenge. When new teacher, Alex Witt, assigns a routine paper for students to anonymously tell her something about themselves, she discovers an ugly secret society of misogynistic boys who rate girls on their unique abilities. What she discovers will ignite a fire under the girls to fight back and get even, with tragic consequences. The mystery of what the Darkroom is and means to students at Stonebridge Academy unfolds slowly, leaving the reader turning the pages to find out what happens next. It all builds to an ugly climax that leaves everyone forever changed.

Plot
This is my first novel by Lutz and I’m hooked. She weaves a captivating tale, building suspense, gluing me to the pages, or in the case, my Kindle screen. More than a few hours of sacrificed sleep were involved. Her characters are so complex, damaged, real, and very well distinguished from one another, that I always knew whose point of view I was reading. Though she sets up the tragedy throughout the story, it doesn’t ruin the ending. All we know is something bad is going to happen, but so much builds throughout the preceding chapters, there’s no way to know exactly what it’ll be.

Characters
The cast is full of diverse, well-developed, well-differentiated characters. Because it’s told in so many first-person points of view, this was key, and the author knocked it out of the park. Lutz does an amazing job of crafting compelling characters to tell her story. Even the ones I didn’t like, I still felt like i really understood.

What I Loved About THE SWALLOWS
1. Pacing.
The story is expertly paced to keep me turning the virtual pages.

2. Alex Witt. The primary protagonist and the most damaged of the bunch. She was the perfect blend of jaded teacher and inspirational mentor.

3. Getting Even. The girls fighting back with what they had available was one of my favorite parts of the story.

4. Characters. A thrilling cast brought this story to life in a way that other characters wouldn’t have been able to carry.

5. Ending. Without giving anything away, I love the way the author concludes her tale and the ramifications it has on her characters’ lives.

Bottom Line
A thrilling tale of lust, power trips, and revenge.

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

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About the Book
Title: THE SWALLOWS
Authors: Lisa Lutz
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Amazon DE | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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New York Times bestselling Author Lisa Lutz

Author Lisa Lutz

About the Author
Lisa Lutz is the New York Times bestselling author of the six books in the Spellman series, How to Start a Fire, Heads you Lose (with David Hayward), and the children’s book, How to Negotiate Everything (illustrated by Jaime Temairik). Her latest book, The Passenger, a psychological thriller, will be published March 2016 by Simon and Schuster. Lutz has won the Alex award and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Although she attended UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, the University of Leeds in England, and San Francisco State University, she still does not have a bachelor’s degree. Lisa spent most of the 1990s hopping through a string of low-paying odd jobs while writing and rewriting the screenplay Plan B, a mob comedy. After the film was made in 2000, she vowed she would never write another screenplay. Lisa lives in the Hudson Valley, NY..

Where to find Lisa Lutz
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – CAPTURING FATE (Fatal Truth Series) by Abbie Roads

 

Welcome to the blog tour for CAPTURING FATE, the second book in the adult romantic thriller series, Fatal Truth, by Abbie Roads

Welcome to the blog tour for CAPTURING FATE, the second book in the adult romantic thriller series, Fatal Truth, by Abbie Roads. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

CAPTURING FATE, the second book in the adult romantic thriller series, Fatal Truth, by Abbie Roads

CAPTURING FATE (Fatal Truth Series #2) by Abbie Roads

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
CAPTURING FATE
Series: Fatal Truth Series #2
Author: Abbie Roads
Release Date: January 28, 2021
Genre: Adult Dark Romantic Thriller
Links: Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
Can love untangle a web of lies and expose the truth?

A loner with a mysterious childhood…

FBI agent Dolan Watts is no stranger to pain. From his childhood spent in foster care to his daily grind of hunting down hardened criminals, it’s been the one constant through the years. Pain carved out gut feelings he can trust and instincts able to solve cases in record time. Until now. Confronted by a malicious new enemy who revels in mind games, Dolan begins to doubt his own perceptions. Fearing he’s spiraling into insanity, he seeks help from the one woman who can shine light into the darkness consuming him.

A woman haunted by a secret…

Psychologist Daughter Dawson sabotaged her own safety the moment she accepted Dolan as a client. Still, she felt compelled to help him. Dolan’s past mirrored many of the questions about her own, making his torment achingly familiar. Despite their growing attraction, her career demands she keep an ethical distance. Yet when she makes the mistake of confiding in him, both their lives are thrust into unimaginable danger.

Nightmares come to life…

When gruesome tragedy uncovers a serial killer’s twisted agenda, Daughter and Dolan must cling to each other if they hope to survive. Can they stop the body count from rising? Or will they find their only purpose from the start was to be pawns in a reign of evil?

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Excerpt #2
He placed her hand over his heart. “You feel this too, don’t you?” His words were a breath across her lips.

Under her palm, the steady rhythm of his heartbeat was the best cadence she’d ever felt. A tear escaped, trailing a fiery streak down her cheek.

 “Aww… Daught… You’re killing me.” His fingers were warm on her chin as he lifted her face. Magnetic pulsing energy radiated from his touch, twanging low in her stomach.

She wanted more of his touch. All of it. Hand-holding and kissing and long, lazy lovemaking. The next two years without him were going to be torture, and it was all her fault.

His face was naked with longing, desire, affection. It was beautiful to see this powerful man baring his emotions to her. Emotions that had everything to do with her, with wanting her. It was a heady drug, one she wanted to overdose on. If she never saw him after today, she’d forever remember the way he looked at her right now, like she was his entire world.

He slid his hand into her hair, the movement causing a rash of goose bumps to break out all over her body. “I’m sorry for breaking the rules. I take all the blame.”

 She opened her mouth to ask him what rule he’d broken, just as his lips landed on hers. The world fell out from under her. She grabbed on to him to keep from falling, latching onto his shirt and yanking him closer. His arm clamped around her, holding her even tighter to him, and the raw male strength of his body against hers was a revelation. Heat radiated off him like he was her own personal sun.

And then his tongue was in her mouth—hot and warm and tasting like a wish. The salt of her tears mingled to make this kiss the one that all other kisses would be measured by.

And then it was over, and he was pulling away. She wanted to beg him to keep kissing her, and maybe the world and the two years separating them would disappear.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: SAVING MERCY
Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | GooglePlay

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Author Abbie Roads

Author Abbie Roads

About the Author
Seven Things about Abbie Roads:

She loves Snicker Parfaits. Gotta start with what’s most important, right?

She writes dark emotional books featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages.

By day she’s a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. At night she burns up the keyboard. Well… Burn might be too strong a word. She at least sits with her hands poised over the keyboard, waiting for inspiration to strike. And when it does—the keyboard might get a little warm.

She can’t stand it when people drive slowly in the passing lane. Just saying. That’s major annoying. Right?

She loves taking pictures of things she thinks are pretty.

She’s represented by Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary.

Her first book RACE THE DARKNESS was a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Pick for Fall...

Where to find Abbie Roads
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Facebook GroupTwitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE SILENT SPEAK by Val Collins

 

Welcome to the book blitz for THE SILENT SPEAK, a standalone adult psychological thriller, by Val Collins

Welcome to the book blitz for THE SILENT SPEAK, a standalone adult psychological thriller, by Val Collins. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE SILENT SPEAK, a standalone adult psychological thriller, by Val Collins

THE SILENT SPEAK by Val Collins

About the Book
Title:
THE SILENT SPEAK
Author: Val Collins
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Genre: Adult Psychological Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon IT | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
“There’s a lunatic out there who butchered five innocent people and nobody is looking for him.”

Aoife Walsh has plenty keeping her busy—finalising her divorce from her manipulative husband, settling into her still-new relationship with Detective Conor Moloney, and trying to win the trust of his teenage son. So for the moment, her fledgeling career as a freelance journalist has been put on hold.

Then comes the horrific news that an entire family has been slaughtered in their own home. Aoife is shocked to discover two of the victims were members of her on-again-off-again book club. Even more disturbing is the revelation that the police believe it was a murder-suicide.

That’s when Aoife receives a tantalising offer. Lisa, the main suspect’s sister, will grant Aoife access to the victims’ extended family for an exclusive news story—if Aoife will help find the real killer. Moved by Lisa’s unwavering belief in her brother’s innocence, Aoife agrees to help.

As she digs into the secrets of her fellow book club members, Aoife discovers potential suspects everywhere: people having affairs, a jealous husband, and a power-hungry business partner who’s clearly hiding something.

Aoife keeps pulling at the threads of the story, untangling more and more deception. Is the killer really dead and buried? Is it someone Aoife already knows? Could the lunatic be closer than Aoife ever imagined?

You won’t be able to put down this twisty thriller from international bestselling author Val Collins.

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Prologue
She read the note again.

Twice in the past three years, similar notes had been splashed all over the newspapers. She knew immediately what it meant, but her brain wouldn’t allow her to process it. For several minutes she just stared at it. Her lips formed words that never came. When her brain caught up, it went straight to denial.

This could not be happening.

Things like this did not happen in ordinary families.

Not in families like hers.

She pulled down the door handle. The door was unlocked. That was a good sign, right? She would go into the house and find everything exactly as it had always been. There just had to be some simple explanation for that note. Yes, she nodded to herself, relieved to have come to a decision. She nudged the door open and put one foot on the wooden floor. The house was eerily quiet. No kids running around. No noise from the kitchen.

‘Now don’t panic,’ she muttered to herself. ‘Everything will be fine. Just go inside.’

She tried to lift her foot, but her brain wouldn’t cooperate. Hands shaking, she pulled out her mobile and dialed 999. She was still frozen in the doorway when the police arrived.

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THE SILENT SPEAK, a standalone adult psychological thriller, by Val Collins is Now Available!

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Author Val Collins

Author Val Collins

About the Author
Val Collins is the author of the award-winning psychological thriller GIRL TARGETED, the international bestseller ONLY LIES REMAIN and her new release THE SILENT SPEAK. All three books feature heroine Aoife Walsh.

A native of Ireland, Val began reading at the age of three and still devours books at the rate of one per week. Her favourite authors range from Philippa Gregory and Sophie Kinsella to Lee Child and Linwood Barclay.

Join Val online at valcollinsbooks.com, and on social media @valcollinsbooks.

 

 

 

Where to Find Val Collins
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – SKELETONS (Elephant Series) by Natalie Rodriguez

 

Welcome to the book blitz for SKELETONS, the second book in the young adult contemporary thriller series, Elephant, by Natalie Rodriguez, releasing February 26, 2021

Welcome to the book blitz for SKELETONS, the second book in the young adult contemporary thriller series, Elephant, by Natalie Rodriguez, releasing February 26, 2021. See below for information on the book and series, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SKELETONS, the second book in the young adult contemporary thriller series, Elephant, by Natalie Rodriguez

SKELETONS (Elephant Series #2) by Natalie Rodriguez

About the Book
Title:
SKELETONS
Series: Elephant Series #2
Author: Natalie Rodriguez
Release Date: February 26, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon IT | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

Synopsis
When was the last time you confronted the skeletons in your closest?

Immediately following book one, “Elephant,” Matthew “Matty” Smith awakens from his coma and discovers that his worst nightmare is all true: his grandmother, Jamie, and Derek have gone missing and his mother murdered his father and grandfather years ago.

With the hospital placing him on lockdown, including no visitation rights by his loved ones such as his best friend, Lisa, Matty finds himself deteriorating into a state of the abyss, consumed with the secrets of his family. Convinced that it was the ‘stranger’ who kidnapped his grandmother and friends, no one believes him. The hospital only believes that Matty is slipping into a toxic mental state, repeating the cycle of his family.

Until one day, Lisa helps Matty escape the hospital.

On the run from Dr. Brown, Officer Barry, and the town of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Matty and Lisa set off to find their friends and Lucia and for answers on who the ‘stranger’ is. Once they unmask who the ‘stranger’ is, Matty continues to unravel the deepest secrets of what was supposed to be forever hidden in the Smith family as well as the town.

This story is for those who feel their voice is unheard and for children, teenagers, and adults who never had the chance to heal from their pain.

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Trailer

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Excerpt #4
ON THAT BLAZING SUMMER DAY in August, an elderly man of seventy years old sat in a wheelchair. He gazed down upon two gravestones that stood in front of him. It was heartbreaking. A breeze whispered through one ear and then out the other. He crinkled his nose from the chilliness it brought. The elderly man bundled himself up in his burgundy snow raincoat. A beanie hugged his hairless head, and solid-colored gloves covered his fingers, like angels who looked out for him from above.

After months of chemotherapy and radiation, the aftermath of cancer left him restless. Yet, he still yearned for his old reality. The river of tears that skimmed down his face added more blemishes to his crumpled and desiccated skin. He broke down even more and concealed his face with his fuzzy, dark gray gloves.

From afar, an elderly woman, also in her early seventies, listened to his whimpers until she could no longer bear it.

“Sweetheart!” She bundled herself up in her pink woven sweater and ran over to the area. She leaned in and pressed her cheek against the elderly man’s stubble.

“What is it, sweetheart? Tell me.” She caressed his dampened cheeks.

“Mom!” a handsome male in his mid-thirties bellowed, as he dashed into the depths of the cemetery.

Following a few feet behind the handsome man was two women, both in their twenties—one of them was six months pregnant; she took her precautions, holding the hand of a child. Beautiful, like the adult man and two women, the child slipped her fingers through the non-pregnant female’s hand, as though it were a sign of devotion

“’Am about to fall!” her minuscule voice rasped.

The woman who was not pregnant, scooped up the girl into her arms while she and her pregnant sister-in-law scampered over to her brother’s side. They waited with him underneath a tree that stood taller than most of the others. Except, that tree had more greens and cherry toppings. It was the tree of life itself, magnificent and a reminder of what was beautiful…

“What’s going on?” the pregnant woman asked and reached for her husband’s palm—The Handsome Man.

He gave her fingers a squeeze before he released them and stepped aside. He sniffled and pressed his free hand against his round lips. He closed his eyes, as though to be swept away by sweet dreams.

“Whaa’s goin’ on?” the little girl asked, broken-hearted by the sight of her father’s tears. She and the two women (the pregnant one being her mother; and the non-pregnant woman being her auntie) glimpsed back and forth at the elders and the man.

“Talk to me sweetheart.” The elderly woman spoke tenderly and daubed away her husband’s tears with a tissue. “You can only go so long until, a whisper turns into a scream.”

The elderly man met her sight. When her hand contacted his cheek, he flinched from the coldness of her fingertips. He gazed into her eyes; and her eyes only beseeched him to speak. Teary, she pressed his hands together and lowered them to kiss theirs tops. By the time she looked at him, his eyes were closed in agony. A moment later, he shook his head because now was the time to address the elephant in the room.

“Then when is?” she asked.

“What’s wrong with papa?” The sister (non-pregnant woman) turned to her brother, who daubed the wetness off his eyes. “He’s been like this for the past few months.”

“It’s because he’ll never get over it,” he whispered back.

The little girl disengaged her fingers from her mother’s hand—the man’s wife remained in place—and reached for her father.

“Is papa gonna be alright?”

“Yes. Yes, he is.” The man hugged his daughter back. From behind, the pregnant woman swaddled her arms around her husband and rested her cheek against his back. Off her touch, the handsome man relaxed a palm on his wife’s wrist and gave it a peck.

“I’m fine,” they heard the elderly man protest—the man and non-pregnant woman’s father.

The elderly man wiped a sleeve across his lukewarm, moist face.

“I’m fine,” he repeated, as though he convinced himself. “I just had to let it out.”

“Sweetheart.” His wife knelt onto the dirt. “Don’t do this. Don’t you dare pull the ‘everything is okay’ card. It’s okay. It’s okay to be…sad.”

“I am not sad—!”

“You sure about that?”

And then, he cracked. “I, I thought I was. A long time ago, I didn’t want to live.”

“Dad!”

“It’s true,” he said. “But I don’t feel that way anymore.” He turned to his wife. “I promise.”

She smiled. She believed him.

“But I’m okay now,” the elderly man informed his group of family members. “I have been for all these years. I swear…I’m okay. We’re okay.”

He looped his fingers through his wife’s shaky ones—the one with the wedding ring on it that he gave her many years ago. It still shimmered in a halo glow as soon as the sunlight hit it.

“You don’t need to feel guilty about anything,” he said to her. “You gave me the best gift that any man could ask for. I have four wonderful and beautiful family members because of you.”

The relatives beamed like one of those families about to be snapshot onto a Christmas card.

“I’m the luckiest man on Earth. So far, eighty is looking great in the next decade.”

It got a chuckle from his wife, their two children, daughter-in-law, and grandbaby. The elderly woman leaned toward him. He met her halfway for another sweet, and still sensational, kiss. Like many years ago, the scent and taste of her chapstick—not lip gloss—thrived on his lips like caramel from an apple.

“I love you, sweetheart,” she vowed. “Always here, since day one.”

The elderly man smiled. He brushed a strand of fallen hair behind her shoulders. It was difficult to not admire her beauty—his heart skipped a few beats, even after forty-years together. Marriage was the best decision he made; well, they promised to each other as teenagers, a long time ago. Together, they listened to the chorus line of birds and the rustle of leaves. The family stood in silence for a few more moments. The adults and grandchild stayed at their short distance, so the grandparents had some time to themselves.

The sunlight tip-toed through the swarm of tree branches and created a glow around the elderly woman’s body. She had aged gracefully and was the definition of a woman who embraced getting older. There was never shame in it, at least not for her.

In a flash, the elderly man saw the younger woman she once was—her gray hair melted back to its dark brunette roots. No matter how many years bypassed, the elderly man was attracted to his wife more than ever. He touched her cheek.

“I always knew I’d marry you,” he said.

She smiled and kissed each of his fingers. They were each other’s everything and world. In unison, they inched closer, until their lips met. Their eyes shut, and the memories floored back for them—from the first time they made eye contact; introduced themselves; spoke; spooned; kissed; made love; and finally, married each other. The elderly man nuzzled against his wife as strands of her hair toppled over his beanie. She was forever the girl of his dreams.

“I love you, Jamie,” he whispered.

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SKELETONS, the second book in the young adult contemporary thriller series, Elephant, by Natalie Rodriguez

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: ELEPHANT
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon IT | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

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SKELETONS, the second book in the young adult contemporary thriller series, Elephant, by Natalie Rodriguez

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Author Natalie Rodriguez

Author Natalie Rodriguez

About the Author
Natalie Rodriguez is an award-winning writer, director, and mental health and anti-violence/trauma advocate based in Los Angeles, CA. In 2014, she graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio-Television-Film. Her first experience in entertainment was an internship at the Conan O’Brien show and Peter Guber’s Mandalay Pictures, where she worked at the offices of producers, Matthew Rhodes (“Cherry,” “Men in Black: International”) and Academy Award-winner, Cathy Schulman (“Sharp Objects,” “Crash”). Natalie was also a panelist at events, including Google, Hispanicize, and YouTube, where she has shared her story as a writer, filmmaker, and a female working in the entertainment industry. Some of her previous writing work can be found in publications such as the HuffPost Blog, Thrive Global, Anxiety Resource Center, Opposing Views, NowThis News, Zooey Deschanel’s Hello Giggles, The Mighty, and more.

In 2017, she founded her production company, Extraordinary Pictures, focusing on both films, television, digital series, and social issue projects. The company has a list of projects in its roaster, including development on a TV sitcom, “The D,” which placed in top-ten for best comedy screenplays at Stage 32. At the moment, Natalie’s second directorial feature film, “Howard Original,” is in post-production and set for an August 2020 release date on YouTube Premium. The film is based on the award-winning short film about a washed-up screenwriter named Howard, who encounters more than just selling a story, a studio rejection, and writer’s block when his pet cat comes to life.

Natalie’s directorial feature film, “The Extraordinary Ordinary,” which she also wrote, produced, and was the executive producer on, is making its round through the festival circuit. The film deals with young adults, mental health awareness, and the aftermath of trauma. The film won ‘Best Film About Women’s Empowerment’ at the Glendale International Film Festival and scored nominations in Best Director, Best Female Director, and Best Picture. The film also had a sold-out world premiere screening at the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival (LADFF), winning ‘Best Performance’ by the leading actress, Maddison Bullock. Further details on the project can be found @theextraordfilm, including recent film festival awards and nominations.

Her other screenplays and films have also been featured and placed in the final rounds at HollyShorts Film Festival, NALIP: Latino Lens Film Festival, ShortsTV, Stage 32: Comedy Screenplay, Beverly Hills Film Festival, Culver City Film Festival, Indie Night Film Festival, Hollywood Screenplay Contest, Table Read My Screenplay – Austin Film Festival, and others.

Natalie was most recently an ambassador for Jen Zeano Designs (JZD), a clothing company in association with USA Networks. While she continues to build her creative background, Natalie is always open to collaborating with other artists and advocates. Currently, she awaits the publication of her first young adult novel this April 2020, “Elephant,” a story about four childhood best friends who uncover a family secret. The book was also a finalist at Clare Books’ the Binge-Watching Cure II contest for ‘Best Novel.’.

Where to Find Natalie Rodriguez
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – CAPTURING FATE (Fatal Truth Series) by Abbie Roads

 

Welcome to the blog tour for CAPTURING FATE, the second book in the adult romantic thriller series, Fatal Truth, by Abbie Roads

Welcome to the blog tour for CAPTURING FATE, the second book in the adult romantic thriller series, Fatal Truth, by Abbie Roads. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

CAPTURING FATE, the second book in the adult romantic thriller series, Fatal Truth, by Abbie Roads

CAPTURING FATE (Fatal Truth Series #2) by Abbie Roads

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
CAPTURING FATE
Series: Fatal Truth Series #2
Author: Abbie Roads
Release Date: January 28, 2021
Genre: Adult Dark Romantic Thriller
Links: Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
Can love untangle a web of lies and expose the truth?

A loner with a mysterious childhood…

FBI agent Dolan Watts is no stranger to pain. From his childhood spent in foster care to his daily grind of hunting down hardened criminals, it’s been the one constant through the years. Pain carved out gut feelings he can trust and instincts able to solve cases in record time. Until now. Confronted by a malicious new enemy who revels in mind games, Dolan begins to doubt his own perceptions. Fearing he’s spiraling into insanity, he seeks help from the one woman who can shine light into the darkness consuming him.

A woman haunted by a secret…

Psychologist Daughter Dawson sabotaged her own safety the moment she accepted Dolan as a client. Still, she felt compelled to help him. Dolan’s past mirrored many of the questions about her own, making his torment achingly familiar. Despite their growing attraction, her career demands she keep an ethical distance. Yet when she makes the mistake of confiding in him, both their lives are thrust into unimaginable danger.

Nightmares come to life…

When gruesome tragedy uncovers a serial killer’s twisted agenda, Daughter and Dolan must cling to each other if they hope to survive. Can they stop the body count from rising? Or will they find their only purpose from the start was to be pawns in a reign of evil?

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Teaser from CAPTURING FATE, the second book in the adult romantic thriller series, Fatal Truth, by Abbie Roads

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Excerpt #2
Through the shifting snow, a mass moved toward her from the edge of the water, growing more solid until she recognized the shape of a man. Somehow, someone with a boat was here to save her.

The man stalked through the snow, his vibrant green eyes locked on her.

Dolan.

The world around them slipped away until it was only him and her and the snow between them.

The flakes seemed to slow, hanging suspended as time halted.

Dolan.

She stared, unable to move, unable to believe the message her eyes were sending her brain.

Dolan.

Time turned back on, and he came to her, stopping only inches from her. His eyes carried a pain in their depths that only love could tame. He’d been through so much.

Dolan.

Slowly, as if worried he would frighten her, he reached out with a bare hand and cupped her cheek. His touch warm and magnetic and soothing, and she couldn’t help herself, she reached up and pressed his hand harder to her face, trying to absorb him. She closed her eyes, savoring the moment. She wasn’t certain she wasn’t dreaming. If she was dreaming, she’d make the most of it.

She turned her face and kissed his palm before settling it against her skin again.

“Daught?” Her name came out in a choked whisper.

She opened her eyes. He still stood there, staring down at her with such love and longing in his eyes, her heart swelled and threatened to erupt. “You’re here? You’re really here?”

The corner of his mouth tipped up. “I’m here.”

And then it was like reality and her mind finally melded together. Her arms were around him and his mouth was on hers. They talked into the kiss, his words, her words blending together.

“It’s you.”

“Are you okay?”

“I missed you.”

“I missed you.”

She tasted him on her tongue, smelled the warm masculine scent of him, and stared into eyes the color of summer leaves. He was oxygen, and she hadn’t had a breath in months.

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Teaser from CAPTURING FATE, the second book in the adult romantic thriller series, Fatal Truth, by Abbie Roads

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: SAVING MERCY
Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | GooglePlay

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Author Abbie Roads

Author Abbie Roads

About the Author
Seven Things about Abbie Roads:

She loves Snicker Parfaits. Gotta start with what’s most important, right?

She writes dark emotional books featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages.

By day she’s a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. At night she burns up the keyboard. Well… Burn might be too strong a word. She at least sits with her hands poised over the keyboard, waiting for inspiration to strike. And when it does—the keyboard might get a little warm.

She can’t stand it when people drive slowly in the passing lane. Just saying. That’s major annoying. Right?

She loves taking pictures of things she thinks are pretty.

She’s represented by Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary.

Her first book RACE THE DARKNESS was a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Pick for Fall...

Where to find Abbie Roads
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Facebook GroupTwitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Book Review + Giveaway – PLAYING WITH FIRE by April Henry

 

Welcome to the blog tour for PLAYING WITH FIRE, a stand-alone young adult thriller by April Henry

PLAYING WITH FIRE, a stand-alone young adult thriller by New York Times bestselling author April Henry

PLAYING WITH FIRE by April Henry

4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
When a fire cuts off a popular trail in the Oregon forest, a small group trapped by the flames must find another way out―or die―in Playing with Fire, an unrelenting teen-vs-nature YA thriller by New York Times bestselling author April Henry.

Natalia is not the kind of girl who takes risks. Six years ago, she barely survived the house fire that killed her baby brother. Now she is cautious and always plays it safe. For months, her co-worker Wyatt has begged her to come hiking with him, and Natalia finally agrees.

But when a wildfire breaks out, blocking the trail back, a perfect sunny day quickly morphs into a nightmare. With no cell service, few supplies, and no clear way out of the burning forest, a group of strangers will have to become allies if they’re going to survive. Hiking in the dark, they must reach the only way out―a foot bridge over a deep canyon―before the fire catches them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
PLAYING WITH FIRE is a page-turning thriller set against the majestic falls, deep canyons, and lush landscape of the Pacific Northwest. During fire seasons, Natalia and her friends-to-more co-worker, Wyatt, are out for a hike when a new fire breaks out, trapping them and independent groups of strangers as night approaches. Without a phone signal and no way to call for help, they retreat from the punishing flames, hoping to outrun the fire in time to be rescued. At nearly every turn, something impedes their odds of success, from someone missing from their ranks, a blocked bridge, a precarious ledge to cross, and someone within their group working against them.

Plot
This is primarily a survival story, and the action moves at a steady pace. There is a romantic subplot between Wyatt and Natalia, and a very small change arc on Natalia’s part. The story is well plotted and crafted to keep me turning the virtual pages on my Kindle. Even though we know from the opening pages how the fire started, that is the only thing we are sure of. Because this is a standalone and a thriller, there is no way to know if our favorite characters will all make it out alive, which is the hallmark of excellent storytelling.

The Characters
The characters were where I felt the story lacked. Natalia and Wyatt never felt like authentic teens to me. They were far too level-headed, prepared, and unemotional to be like any teens I live with, or happen to have met. But they were likable, and the supporting characters were fascinating, like the cast from an early season of Survivor, making me want to pull for all of them. Natalia is the victim of a home fire when she was younger, and is understandably terrified of the wildfire. The flashbacks to that event are hard to read, but really well done.

Top Five Things I Enjoyed About PLAYING WITH FIRE
1. Setting. The wilderness provides so much opportunity to throw curveballs at the characters, and left the reader on edge, never knowing what was coming next.

2. Survival. I love a good survival story and this one really shines.

3. Surprises. Nearly ever chapter ends with a cliffhanger which kept me reading late into the night.

4. Fire. Okay, I don’t love wildfires, having had to evacuate more than once in recent years, but I love the unpredictability of fire as an antagonist.

5. Thriller. Taking this beyond just a story of man vs. nature and adding the bad seed among them was a delicious twist.

Bottom Line
A gripping survival tale of man vs. nature and man vs. man.

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

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About the Book
Title: PLAYING WITH FIRE
Author: April Henry
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date: January 19, 2021
Pages: 233
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble

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New York Times Bestselling Author April Henry

Author April Henry

About the Author
April Henry is the New York Times–bestselling author of many acclaimed mysteries for adults and young adults, including the YA novels The Girl in the White Van; Girl, Stolen; The Night She Disappeared; The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die; The Girl I Used to Be, which was nominated for an Edgar Award and won the Anthony Award for Best YA Mystery; Count All Her Bones; The Lonely Dead; Run, Hide, Fight Back; and The Body in the Woods and Blood Will Tell, the first two books in the Point Last Seen series. She lives in Oregon.

 

 

 

Where to Find April Henry
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – OVERLAND by Ramcy Diek

 

Welcome to the blog tour for OVERLAND, a stand-alone adult romantic thriller, by Ramcy Diek

Welcome to the blog tour for OVERLAND, a stand-alone adult romantic thriller, by Ramcy Diek. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

OVERLAND, a stand-alone adult romantic thriller, by Ramcy Diek

About the Book
Title: OVERLAND
Author: Ramcy Diek
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Genre: Adult Romantic Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Skyla Overland is proud to work for Overland Insurance, the company founded by her grandfather. She enjoys sharing an apartment with her best friend, Pauline, and is in love with Edmond. Besides one nerve-wracking insurance fraud case in the past, her sheltered life is uneventful and just the way she likes it.

Until one day, everything changes…

Skyla and Troy, the manager at Overland Insurance, are the last ones to leave the office. In the empty parking lot, Troy takes her in his arms. Why would he ruin their easy-going friendship by kissing her, especially since he knows she’s dating Edmond?

Left alone, Skyla hurries to her car, puts on her seatbelt, and glances in her rearview mirror.

The face of a stranger grins at her from the backseat. “How nice to see you again,” he hisses close to her ear.

Regaining consciousness, Skyla finds herself on the backseat of her own car, with her hands tied behind her back.

Is she getting kidnapped? Who is he? And where is he taking her?

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Excerpt
Chapter 1

A STRANGE SENSATION crawled up Skyla Overland’s spine as she crossed the busy parking lot toward the grocery store. Slightly on edge, she looked from left to right, and then over her shoulder. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, with cars pulling in and out, and others looking for a spot to park. Shoppers pushed their carts, loaded their groceries, or hurried to the entrance. Everyone went their own way, all bundled up in heavy coats, hats, and scarves. Winter had come early this year. People wanted to finish their shopping and get home as soon as possible, to escape the persistent drizzle and near freezing temperature on this bone chilling and dreary evening.

Skyla shivered and pulled the faux fur-lined hood of her red parka closer around her face. She’d bought the thigh-length, well-insulated coat on a whim three weeks ago, while she still walked around in shorts. It turned out to be a smart decision. They’d gone from summer straight into winter.

At the entrance, she found a shopping cart and walked inside. With Thanksgiving only a few days away, the store was extra crowded. People rushed along with huge shopping lists, wanting to get a head start to avoid long lines with overloaded shopping carts at the last minute. Skyla had a list herself. She’d promised her parents to bring a fruit salad for Thanksgiving and wanted to surprise Edmond with a home-cooked meal tonight. They’d met just before Thanksgiving last year and she wanted to celebrate. She wondered if he remembered.

Her earlier unease forgotten, she melted inside her coat and undid the zipper as she walked through the aisles. After she found the basics, like almond milk, bread, eggs, and garbage bags, she pulled out her cell phone to check her list. Lasagna was one of Edmond’s favorite dishes, especially if she added spinach and mushrooms. It was five-thirty. If she hurried, she could have dinner ready by seven.

As Skyla made her way through the produce department, she noticed a small boy wearing a red Santa hat and a green raincoat. He stood by himself, next to the bags of green and red grapes. His bottom lip trembled, and he had tears in his frightened blue eyes. He seemed lost, searching for a parent.

 ————————————————————————————————

OVERLAND, a stand-alone adult romantic thriller, by Ramcy Diek

 ————————————————————————————————

Author Ramcy Diek

Author Ramcy Diek

About the Author
A long time ago, I fell in love with the United States while traveling around in an Oldsmobile station-wagon with my husband. We are both born and raised in the Netherlands.

Together, we eventually found our way to the Pacific Northwest, built up a business, and raised our two boys into amazing young adults with their own careers. During this time, I also made a slow transition from reader to writer of many different stories.

My multiple award winning debut novel “Storm at Keizer Manor” sets the bar high for my second novel, Eagles in Flight.

All my books are stand alone novels in different genres. You might be in for a surprise, or a disappointment.

Where to Find Ramcy Diek
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | TwitterInstagram | BookBub

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – A SWEET, SOFT GLOW by Joshua Magnotta

 

Welcome to the book blitz for A SWEET, SOFT GLOW, a stand-alone adult thriller, by Joshua Magnotta

Welcome to the book blitz for A SWEET, SOFT GLOW, a stand-alone adult thriller, by Joshua Magnotta. See below for, information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

A SWEET, SOFT GLOW, a stand-alone adult thriller, by Joshua Magnotta

A SWEET, SOFT GLOW by Joshua Magnotta

About the Book
Title: A SWEET, SOFT GLOW
Author: Joshua Magnotta
Release Date: December 15, 2020
Genre:
Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Synopsis
In the ten years since John Malley lost his wife and daughter, he has slowly faded into obscurity in a rural Pennsylvania town. He spends his days at the local bar and tries to numb the pain of his loss. That is, until Ted’s Dead Rose Tavern becomes the home of the biggest mass killing in the history of the town. John, the lone survivor of the killing-spree, is forced on the run. He heads north where he hopes to hide out at his brother’s house.

Meanwhile, in New York City, young Melanie Parker investigates a disturbing new trend she discovered online. From what she has learned, metallic black bands worn along the forearm are responsible for some form of mind control. Skeptical of this theory, Melanie embarks on a night time excursion that places her in the middle of a riot in the middle of the city. Melanie fights for her life as chaos spreads throughout the city.

As John witnesses the events in New York, he is compelled to take action. But once in the city, John is forced to confront his past.

 

 

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A SWEET, SOFT GLOW, a stand-alone adult thriller, by Joshua Magnotta

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Excerpt #3
He felt a soft, cool touch on his arm. He opened his eyes, and to his right, standing next to him in the rain was Elly. Tears streamed down her cheeks, her hands outstretched toward her father. John let go of the gun and rushed to her. He swept her off her feet and held her close. Her small arms squeezed him around his neck like they always had. She was here; he could feel her heart beating against his chest as he held her tight to him.

“Elly,” he cried, his tears fell into her locks of golden-brown hair.

“Daddy,” she said.

Her arms still tightly around his neck, Elly leaned back so John could see her face. Her bright blue eyes shone back at him. And there it was, that smile he missed so much. Her face was bright, ebullient as always.

Then she was gone. John’s arms were still locked in her embrace, but she was no longer there. When he blinked, he could see her like the image on a polaroid coming into focus except in reverse. Each time he blinked, she became a little less. His head was numb, and he suddenly felt lightheaded.

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A SWEET, SOFT GLOW, a stand-alone adult thriller, by Joshua Magnotta

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Author Joshua Magnotta

Author Joshua Magnotta

About the Author
Josh Magnotta has been a resident of northern Pennsylvania for most of his life. Throughout his early life and teenager years he was an avid writer but during college drifted away from the passion as work and other priorities took precedence. In 2014 he graduated from college and soon began working swing shift in a factory. It was here, during off shifts where Josh would read during the night to stay awake, that his passion for writing was rekindled. After leaving the factory-life behind Josh went back to college and began work on his first novel, A Sweet, Soft Glow. He has since been writing ever since.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Joshua Magnotta
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – OVERLAND by Ramcy Diek

 

Welcome to the book blitz for OVERLAND, a stand-alone adult romantic thriller, by Ramcy Diek

Welcome to the book blitz for OVERLAND, a stand-alone adult romantic thriller, by Ramcy Diek. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

OVERLAND, a stand-alone adult romantic thriller, by Ramcy Diek

About the Book
Title: OVERLAND
Author: Ramcy Diek
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Genre: Adult Romantic Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Skyla Overland is proud to work for Overland Insurance, the company founded by her grandfather. She enjoys sharing an apartment with her best friend, Pauline, and is in love with Edmond. Besides one nerve-wracking insurance fraud case in the past, her sheltered life is uneventful and just the way she likes it.

Until one day, everything changes…

Skyla and Troy, the manager at Overland Insurance, are the last ones to leave the office. In the empty parking lot, Troy takes her in his arms. Why would he ruin their easy-going friendship by kissing her, especially since he knows she’s dating Edmond?

Left alone, Skyla hurries to her car, puts on her seatbelt, and glances in her rearview mirror.

The face of a stranger grins at her from the backseat. “How nice to see you again,” he hisses close to her ear.

Regaining consciousness, Skyla finds herself on the backseat of her own car, with her hands tied behind her back.

Is she getting kidnapped? Who is he? And where is he taking her?

 ————————————————————————————————

Excerpt
Chapter 1

A STRANGE SENSATION crawled up Skyla Overland’s spine as she crossed the busy parking lot toward the grocery store. Slightly on edge, she looked from left to right, and then over her shoulder. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, with cars pulling in and out, and others looking for a spot to park. Shoppers pushed their carts, loaded their groceries, or hurried to the entrance. Everyone went their own way, all bundled up in heavy coats, hats, and scarves. Winter had come early this year. People wanted to finish their shopping and get home as soon as possible, to escape the persistent drizzle and near freezing temperature on this bone chilling and dreary evening.

Skyla shivered and pulled the faux fur-lined hood of her red parka closer around her face. She’d bought the thigh-length, well-insulated coat on a whim three weeks ago, while she still walked around in shorts. It turned out to be a smart decision. They’d gone from summer straight into winter.

At the entrance, she found a shopping cart and walked inside. With Thanksgiving only a few days away, the store was extra crowded. People rushed along with huge shopping lists, wanting to get a head start to avoid long lines with overloaded shopping carts at the last minute. Skyla had a list herself. She’d promised her parents to bring a fruit salad for Thanksgiving and wanted to surprise Edmond with a home-cooked meal tonight. They’d met just before Thanksgiving last year and she wanted to celebrate. She wondered if he remembered.

Her earlier unease forgotten, she melted inside her coat and undid the zipper as she walked through the aisles. After she found the basics, like almond milk, bread, eggs, and garbage bags, she pulled out her cell phone to check her list. Lasagna was one of Edmond’s favorite dishes, especially if she added spinach and mushrooms. It was five-thirty. If she hurried, she could have dinner ready by seven.

As Skyla made her way through the produce department, she noticed a small boy wearing a red Santa hat and a green raincoat. He stood by himself, next to the bags of green and red grapes. His bottom lip trembled, and he had tears in his frightened blue eyes. He seemed lost, searching for a parent.

 ————————————————————————————————

OVERLAND, a stand-alone adult romantic thriller, by Ramcy Diek

 ————————————————————————————————

Author Ramcy Diek

Author Ramcy Diek

About the Author
A long time ago, I fell in love with the United States while traveling around in an Oldsmobile station-wagon with my husband. We are both born and raised in the Netherlands.

Together, we eventually found our way to the Pacific Northwest, built up a business, and raised our two boys into amazing young adults with their own careers. During this time, I also made a slow transition from reader to writer of many different stories.

My multiple award winning debut novel “Storm at Keizer Manor” sets the bar high for my second novel, Eagles in Flight.

All my books are stand alone novels in different genres. You might be in for a surprise, or a disappointment.

Where to Find Ramcy Diek
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | TwitterInstagram | BookBub

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Giveaway
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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