Author: Cover2Cover

Blog Tour: Beautiful Carnage by Monica L Patton

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Hello Readers

Welcome to the Beautiful Carnage Blog Tour! To see the full tour schedule, click on the banner above. Read on for my review of the book!

Beautiful Carnage–a Neo Geisha novel
By Monica L Patton
Genre: Steamy Psychological Thriller

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Orphaned and brain-washed from the age of six, Philomene Doucette is a beautiful assassin programmed to be a soulless killing machine by the CIA— and death has never looked so good.

In the, steamy, psychological thriller, Beautiful Carnage, Philomene is given her most important assignment yet: executing Haruto Mori, the leader of a deadly Japanese clan. To conceal her identity, Philomene is smuggled into Japan under the guise of being a sex worker and is presented as a gift for Haruto. Philomene’s mission to kill Haruto becomes an inner battle as she struggles between her conditioning, the affection she feels for Haruto and her increasing desire for Tadakai, her CIA handler.

When Haruto is unexpectedly murdered, Philomene uses her deadly training to find answers. She learns of a shocking government plot for mass murder at an upcoming Yakuza Summit—where Tadakai will be in attendance.

Philomene rescues Tadakai, and together they find a haven in a remote, abandoned farmhouse. As they forge a deeper connection, the two make a life-changing decision to leave this dangerous lifestyle behind to create a new life together…but their past misdeeds will not be absolved without exacting bloody sacrifices

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My Review

I love books about assassins and after reading the premise I was sold. What the premise doesn’t say however is how emotionally wrenching this book is.

The main character Philomene is a ‘trained’ assassin, actually let’s insert ‘brainwashed’ here as I think that would be a better fit. She has been conditioned from a very young age and does close-up assassinations. As part of her job, she often has to get close, physically and emotionally, with her marks and in order to deal with this has developed Multiple Personality Disorder.

Man, oh man, I really felt for her because I could often sense the little girl part of her struggling to deal with the horrors she goes through, often demeaning,  yet twistedly arousing and totally heartbreaking.

This is a dark, suspenseful read and I found it to be immersive, captivating, and emotionally gripping. I really connected with Philomesne and empathised with her while at the same time admiring her strength, resilience, determination and all-round bad-assery in the midst of it all. Thumbs up for this Neo Geisha novel!

My Rating

4 hearts

Author Bio

Currently performing in the Broadway National Tour of The Book of Mormon, Monica has worked with such notables as Jesse Norman, Diahann Carroll and Freda Payne. She covered Eartha Kitt as the Fairy Godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s’ Cinderella and sang opposite Jon Secada as the Narrator in the National Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Her other credits include; Broadway: Finian’s Rainbow, Abby’s Song, and Ragtime. Off-Broadway: Little Ham. National Tours: Disney’s The Lion King, Annie 30th Anniversary; City Center Encores! productions: On The Town, Pipe Dream, Fanny, Anyone Can Whistle, Purlie, Finian’s Rainbow and Applause. The Distinguished Achievement in Production award was presented to Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices, by Walter Dean Myers. Monica was honored to have been a featured Narrator on the production. when she is not onstage, you can find her in a quick change booth–writing, playing video games with her daughter or perched on a stool, having a craft cocktail.

https://m.facebook.com/neogeishaforever/

Monica Patton @neogeishaforeve
monicapattonforever.com

Release Week Blitz: He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

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We are so excited to bring you the Release Week Blitz for K.A. Tucker’s HE WILL BE MY RUIN! HE WILL BE MY RUIN is a Suspense novel, published by Atria books, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster, being released on February 2, 2016! Grab your copy of this suspenseful read today and see what everyone is talking about!

 

 

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

IndieBound | Book Depository | Audible

 

 

He Will Be My Ruin - RWB teaser 1

 

 

About HE WILL BE MY RUIN:

The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her suspense debut with this sexy, heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans.

A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

 

 

 

He Will Be My Ruin - RWB teaser 2

 

 

Author pic - KA TuckerAbout K.A. Tucker:

Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook **Novel Goodreads ** Author Goodreads ** YouTube **Pinterest ** Instagram

 

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Cover Reveal: Painting Rain by Annette K. Larsen

Painting Rain
Painting Rain by Annette K. Larsen
How do you heal your heart after tragedy leaves you broken? When the person you loved didn’t deserve it and they can’t earn your forgiveness because they’re already dead? How do you move on, and heal, and love?

If you’re Princess Lorraina, you paint.
A year ago Lorraina watched Tobias die, and she still doesn’t know how she’s supposed to heal—or forgive. How can she when she’s still running away? In an attempt to reinvent herself, she steps outside her comfortable life as princess and seeks the tutelage of a master painter—a man who is not at all impressed by her pedigree, and demands not just talent, but emotional honesty.
Struggling to learn what’s being taught, she finds herself drawn to someone who not only knows her secrets, but who she once considered far below her notice. Now she is compelled to seek him out despite knowing their relationship would be forbidden if discovered. Staying away from him doesn’t seem possible when discovering him may be the key to healing her heart and rediscovering herself.
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Annette Larsen
Author Annette K. Larsen
I was born in Utah, but grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and St. Louis, Missouri, the fifth of seven children. I attended Southern Virginia University and Brigham Young University, where I studied English and Theater. I now live in Idaho with my husband and four children.
I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it.
I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.

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Cover Reveal Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Code or Paypal Cash
Ends 2/22/16

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

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Cover Reveal : Because by Jennifer Foor

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We are very excited to share the cover reveal of the latest standalone from Jennifer Foor, BECAUSE .

BECAUSE is the 4th book in the Seven – Year Itch Series and will release on March 14.

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Because_mock1bI’ve heard if you can make it through the first seven years of marriage you’ve made it past the tough part and it’s smooth sailing.
Whoever said that was an idiot.
I’ve been married for seven years, and in that time I’ve waited for my immature husband to grow up and become a responsible man.
It still hasn’t happened, and I’m at the end of my rope. I need him to be a father to our child, not someone who needs his own toys to be content.
I want a partner, not a guy more concerned about his friends than his wife.
This is my marriage, and before I throw in the towel I’ve decided to do something drastic to make it happen.
I’m Shayla Vincent and this is my story.

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Buy LInks:

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Jennifer Foor is an award winning Contemporary Romance Author. She’s best known for the Mitchell Family Series, which includes ten books.

She is married with two children and spends most of her time behind a keyboard, writing
stories that come from her heart.
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Side Street Cookie Promo Blast : Blood And Shattered Glass by Tyffani Clark Kemp

Blood and Shattered Glass
Book # 1
By- Tyffani Clark Kemp
Genre- Adult Psychological Romantic Thriller
Publication Date- January 5th, 2015
 
Four months ago, a traumatic accident put Trista in the psych ward. They were supposed to help her deal with the events that transpired, but something happened to her in there. Something changed her and Jeremi Lloyd can’t figure out what it is. As her guardian, it’s Jeremi’s job to make sure Trista is taken care of. During the day, Trista is happy and content with the best fiancé in the world, but at night, horrible nightmares plague her sleep.
But Jeremi has a huge secret, one the doctors say Trista isn’t ready to handle. It’s a secret that could shatter what little bit of happiness and stability Trista has been able to find.
When Jeremi learns that strange things are happening at the psych ward where Trista was being helped, he starts to wonder if her nightmares and her mental instability aren’t really her fault. And he wonders if the secrets he’s keeping are worth it.
As the answers begin to surface in ways neither Trista or Jeremi could have imagined, so does a level of danger that could be the end of them and their friends. Can they figure out the truth before they’re both committed?

Download your FREE copy here!

About the Author-
Tyffani Clark Kemp might be the quietest person in the room, but that just means she’s probably the biggest freak too. She is a multi-genre author with a gift for the written word and a desire to help all Indies reach their full potential. In 2012, she and her best friend Kimberly Fudge started SideStreet Cookie Publishing for authors who want to remain independent, but don’t have the time or the knowledge to do it all themselves. From the age of eleven she dedicated her life to writing and making sure she was good at her craft. Now, she passes that knowledge on to others. Her friends would describe her as determined and giving. She may be quiet, but she always has a story to tell.
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Book Blast: Borrowed Magic by Shari Lambert

Borrowed MagicBorrowed Magic by Shari Lambert

After a three-year siege, Lord Kern, the dark mage, is dead. Magic has left Tredare, and life is almost back to normal.
For everyone except Maren, that is.
Before the siege, an attack by Lord Kern left Maren near death and with a sliver of magic buried deep inside her. Now, for reasons Maren doesn’t understand, that magic has been triggered, giving her the ability to “see” the truth: that her world is nothing more than a magical façade; and that the kingdom’s hero may not be a hero at all.
But this gift of sight comes at a high cost. Maren is in constant pain, and fears her own death is imminent. Plus, no one believes her suspicions that another Dark Mage has risen, and that Tredare may be in just as much danger as it was when Kern was alive.
With the country’s future in the hands of a man who’s vowed revenge on its king, Maren must convince someone else of the truth. Unfortunately, the only person powerful enough to help is also the one man she can’t trust; the man she almost married; the man who abandoned her and disappeared for three years: Kern’s son.
As Tredare crumbles around them, Maren must persuade him to help – before the king is murdered by the very hero he reveres; and before the same magic that gives Maren the gift of sight also takes her life.

amazonbarnes and nobleKobo * Smashwords * iTuneExcerpt from Borrowed Magic

The siege had ended. Lord Kern, the dark mage, was dead.

Maren pushed her forehead against the warm glass, straining for a better view of the commotion below. A cheer went up from the crowd, and she searched for any sign of the man making his way to the castle. The man who’d saved the city – and the kingdom.

All she could see was a mass of bodies, crowding the path leading up from the city gates.

It wasn’t uncommon to see people in the streets of Delorme. They’d come every day for the past two and a half years, standing in subdued silence as they waited for the daily rations that grew more and more meager as the weeks went by. But today the crowd wasn’t silent. Today was different.

The tent cities beyond the wall, once teeming with soldiers draining the city of life, were now abandoned, destroyed, thin plumes of smoke the only movement. What was left of the lush, green fields sat charred and barren. Desolate.

“Anything?”

Maren jumped back from the window and felt the color rise to her cheeks.

“It’s all right, Maren,” Adare said, trying to get her own view of the street below. “We’re all curious. And you have more right than the rest of us. You knew him better than anyone.”

The dull, familiar ache in her chest forced Maren to hesitate until she was sure she could speak without her voice breaking. Even then, she couldn’t meet the queen’s eyes. “I’m not sure I knew him at all.”

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Praise for Borrowed Magic

“I was enthralled from the very beginning up until the very end. This is one of those rare stories that has been created by a truly talented author, that captivates its readers and pulls them in. I felt every emotion as it reached its final conclusion, and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief that we were given the ending we so desperately hoped for.” -Tasha Williams, Red’s Midnight Readers

“Borrowed Magic is a spellbinding story, and the mystery kept me turning pages well after I should have gone to bed. Completely engrossing.” -Dawn Rae Miller, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of Larkstorm (The Sensitives Trilogy)

“Shari Lambert has a way of capturing your mind and transporting you into her fantasy world. Filled with royalty and dark forces at court, Borrowed Magic reminds me of a Phillipa Gregory novel with the bonus of magic.” -Jamie Blair, author of Leap of Faith

 

SeigeFREE EBOOK

Siege: A Borrowed Magic Novella

For six years, peace has reigned over the kingdom of Tredare. Lord Kern, the dark mage who murdered the king and queen eight years prior, is imprisoned in a magical tomb.

Or so everyone thought – until one night when Kern appears during a ball at the royal castle, and life in Tredare changes for the worst.

Especially for innocent Maren.

Unbeknown to her, Maren’s father has a past history with Kern, and now she’s crossed Kern’s path, getting in the way of something he wants. Angry and boiling with dark magic, Kern vows to destroy those who dare defy him – including Maren, who protects the current King and Queen.

Despite Maren’s best efforts, Kern lays siege to Tredare for three years. Years Maren spends plotting revenge on the man who’s determined to ruin Tredare.

Free Ebook

shari LambertAuthor Shari Lambert

Shari has always loved to read. “Bookworm” may even be an understatement. But when she discovered Georgette Heyer in high school, her love of reading exploded. Ms. Heyer’s books were not only entertaining, witty, and smart, but they saved Shari from the awkward, unromantic teenage years. To this day, Shari’s favorite books all have romance in them.

Although Shari spent a good deal of her time at Brigham Young University on the ballroom dance team, she did manage to get a BA in History and English before going on to get a Juris Doctorate. After graduation, she decided her first priority was to be a mom — a career she’s stuck with and loved.

In between cleaning, laundry, and homework, Shari writes. Just like with reading, she wants to get lost in a world, whether imaginary or historical.

She lives just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and four children.

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BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 2/23/16

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

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Cover Reveal: Freeing Destiny by Faith Andrews

Freeing Destiny
Faith Andrews
(Fate #2)
Publication date: March 14th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Words to live by:

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Don’t break the rules.

I’d managed to fail at both by fraternizing with the enemy’s brother. Guess I’d followed in my mother’s footsteps by ignoring all the rules when it came to love.

Mom was marrying a man only six years older than me. A man who was also her student. But the biggest surprise that came out of their wedding wasn’t my new stepdad’s academic status or his age.

It was Jack Davis—my stepfather’s best friend.

Jack was the guy who could change the whole game. He was quite possibly my soul mate. But time and circumstance were against us—there was no easy way around it. I was moving back to New York in two weeks and his sister, Aubrey, was the one person my family hated most in this world. How would his sister—the enemy—deal with another Edwards girl claiming what she believed was hers? The idea of letting Jack go crippled me. Would I have to cut ties with the only man I’d ever let into my heart?

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Previous books in the series:

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Author Bio:

Faith Andrews is living out her dream right outside the greatest city in the world, New York City. Happily married to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of two beautiful and wild daughters, and a furry Yorkie son named Rocco Giovanni. When she’s not tapping her toes to a Mumford & Sons tune or busy being a dance mom, her nose is stuck in a book or she’s sitting behind the laptop, creating her next swoon worthy book boyfriend. Coffee addict, lover of wine and cheese, and sucker for concerts and Netflix, Faith believes in love at first sight and happily ever after.

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M9B #T4T Blitz: Dead Jed Series by Scott Craven

 

Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday! #T4T presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books! And surprise this week we have 3 titles for you!
Today, we will be showcasing three titles that will tickle your fancy, and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:
Title: Dead Jed: Adventures of a Middle School Zombie
Author: Scott Craven
Pub. Date:
October 1, 2013
Publisher:
Month9Books, LLC.
Pages: 214
Formats:
Paperback, eBook, audiobook

 

Dead Jed is Shaun of the Dead meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jed’s not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to shield him from the implications of being ‘different’ for as long as they could (Jed was 8 and at a friend’s sister’s birthday party when he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the “Big Talk” from his parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow Middle School as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable.

From being stuffed in a filled trash can as “dead meat” and into a trophy case as the bully’s “prize,” to literally having his hand pulled off in the boys’ room (Jed’s always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler and some duct tape and he’s back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed’s had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. Besides, it’s awesome what you can do when you’re already dead!

 

Title: Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed
Author: Scott Craven
Publication date:
December 9, 2014
Publisher:
Month9Books, LLC.
Pages: 266
Formats: Paperback,
eBook, audiobook
As the fall semester ends and kids head home on for winter break, Jed and his parents gather for the annual exchanging of gift lists. Once again, Jed asks for a dog, leading to a heated argument and a firm “no.” But when Jed spots a stray, he chases it until the dog darts into the street where it is struck and killed by a car. Grief stricken by what he’s done, Jed cradles the dead dog in his arms. Soon, ooze from the dog mixes with tear drops from Jed, creating Tread the zombie dog. Finally getting his wish, Jed must convince his parents to let him keep the undead dog. But a zombie dog turns out to be the least of Jed’s issues. Seems some parents don’t want Jed attending school with their kids. Enter the mysterious NZN Network. They’ve been distributing anti-zombie propaganda in an effort to get Jed expelled. But Jed wonders if the creation of Tread has caused his relationship with Luke to sour. And why, just as he seems to need them the most, his best friends have abandoned him? Could they have bought in to the anti-zombie way of thinking? Was creating Tread a mistake Jed will live to regret? When Tread goes missing, and with his very existence at stake, Jed must rely on his instincts, team up with an old nemesis an fight for his right to have just as miserable a middle school existence as any other student – undead or alive.

Title: Dead Jed 3: Return of the Jed
Author: Scott Craven
Publication date:
December 15, 2015
Publisher:
Month9Books, LLC.
Pages: 266
Formats: Paperback,
eBook, audiobook

With seventh grade behind him, Jed jumps at the opportunity to spend the summer in Mexico with his dad. But there’s just one catch: Luke and Tread get to tag along.

In Mexico, fitting inmight be easier than Jed imagined, with Holidays such as Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Here, a rising 8th grade zombie boy and his zombie dog won’t draw that much attention.

But then Tread unwittingly sets off Mexico’s Chupacabra Defense Network and Jed accidentally collides with a bus. So much for blending in. The unusual pair catch the eye of a professional wrestler, who challenges Jed to a fight!

Their antics manage to capture the attention of a doctor whose knowledge of the undead causes Jed to question his very existence. Is this the answer Jed’s been hoping for since his parents sat him down for the “you’re a zombie” talk? Jed may have finally found a way to be normal, but at what cost?

Dead Jed: Return of the Jed is book 3 in Scott Craven’s humorous and heartwarming series about surviving middle school, fitting in, and embracing one’s differences – even if you are a zombie.

Praise for the Dead Jed Series:
“Hilarious adventures of a zombie teen who navigates the jungle known as middle school, this is one story that will resonate with readers.” —YA Books Central


“If you know a middle-grader who loves to laugh or sometimes feels out of place and needs some reassurance to be true to him/herself, this series is a must..”~ Dorothy Dreyer author of the Reaper’s Rite Series.
WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:
” Like its predecessor Dead Jed, Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed is an incredibly cute and fun read! Aimed at middle graders, it’s filled with child-sized humor, puns, and adventure.”~ Books 4 Tomorrow
” This story is a light fun read which will have you laughing in seconds. It is unique and quirky, where Zombie triumphs over evil. GO ZOMBIES! Wahoo!”~Once Upon A Moonlight
Review

 

 

My love of zombie movies arrived long before my love for writing. I was 10 when I saw a girl about the same age sink her teeth into her father, a scene that hooked me on “Night of the Living Dead” and one the genre as a whole. I would embrace writing much later, but it has had a much more lasting impact. After graduating from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, I packed the back of my Datsun B-210 and headed to Colorado, relying on the $600 my parents gave me as I walked out the door (“We don’t think this is the smartest move,” my father said as he handed me the cash, “but we’ll always be there for you.”) Over the next 35 years as a newspaper reporter, I would cover sports, crime, courts, travel and much more. I’ve spent nearly 30 of those years in Phoenix, and am now a features reporter at The Arizona Republic. My 18-year-old son Bryson has turned out to be a pretty cool kid, even though he dislikes reading and writing. When it comes time for him to find his own path, I may not think it’s the smartest move, but I will always be there for him.
 
 
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Giveaway Details:

  • 3 winners will receive the complete eBook set of the Dead Jed Books. International!

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Book Blitz : Burning Bright by Chanda Stafford

 

 

Burning Bright
by Chanda Stafford
Release Date: January 25th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Three years ago, Samantha Gray killed her parents.

Haunted by their deaths, she hides her scars behind sarcasm and vintage t-shirts, counting the days until she can escape her foster home in Alegria, Arizona. Then she meets Ben, a California boy whose filmmaker parents constructed a big cat sanctuary outside of town. She’s hesitant to get close, terrified he’ll learn her secret.

When Ben introduces Sam to Solomon, a Bengal tiger on borrowed time whose gruesome history eerily mirrors her own, she must decide whether she’s strong enough to overcome her past and save not only Solomon’s life, but her own. And to do that, she’ll need to tell Ben the truth.

 

Buy Links:Amazon
Chapter One:
“Please listen to me,” my aunt Mary begs, clutching my uncle’s hand. “We love you, we really do, it’s just—” She glances at him for help, her dark brown eyes welling up with tears.
“You can’t handle me, right? I know how it is.” I scowl at her. The scars on my arms itch, but I ignore it to focus on my family’s betrayal. “You can’t even bear to look at me most of the time.” My face burns and moisture pricks my eyes.
My aunt’s shoulders bow and my uncle wraps his arm around her. “That’s not it, at all,” she says. “Please, let me explain.”
“Why? If it weren’t for me, mom and dad would still be alive.” My body thrums with adrenaline and pain and I stand up, unable to sit there any longer. “That’s why you’re kicking me out.”
My uncle raises his palm to stop my angry tirade. “Now Samantha, you know we don’t blame you for that. It was a horrible tragedy, but it wasn’t your fault. We love you very much, but we just can’t tolerate your behavior any longer.”
“So that’s your excuse?” I pace the faded living room, anger propelling me forward. “What exactly am I doing wrong?”
My uncle holds up one finger. “You skip school.” I snap my mouth shut, unable to deny his accusation. I can’t stand being trapped inside those walls with everyone staring at me all the time, the girl who murdered her parents.
Another finger pokes skyward. “You’ve gotten in two fights this year because of your temper.” My fists ball at my sides, proving his words. “You also lied to us about your whereabouts several times since you’ve moved in with us, and we’ve caught you sneaking out to do God knows what. You stole money from your aunt and me.” He takes a deep breath. “And last night we found drugs under your bed.” He sounds weary now, as if this is taking all the fight out of him.
I freeze mid-step. “What are you talking about?” I can’t deny the rest, but it takes a few seconds for me to remember the little sandwich bag tucked under my mattress. He holds up the offending narcotics. “Oh, that.”
My face stings in humiliation and I grab on to any wisps of anger I have left. “I can’t believe you searched my room! And for your information, it’s just a joint. Lexi asked me to hold on to it for her until tomorrow. I wasn’t going to smoke it, I swear.” I cross my arms in front of my chest. “It’s not like it’s cocaine, or meth, or anything.”
Disbelief stretches my uncle’s eyebrows until they disappear into his receding hairline. “It’s still drugs.”
“But it wasn’t mine!”
My aunt stops sniffling and raises her watery gaze to mine. “We wish we could believe you. We really do.”
A sharp knock on the front door ends our standoff. My aunt draws in a shaky breath and glances toward the other end of the house. “I’ll get it,” she says and flees the room, her mincing steps quickly fading down the hall.
I turn the full force of my fury on my uncle. “Do Toby and Delilah know what you’re doing?”
My uncle stares at the faded brown carpet. “Your aunt thought it would be best if they weren’t here for this.”
“She’s right!” I bark out a laugh. “They’re just little kids and they’ve been traumatized enough.”
The front door closes, and two sets of footsteps approach the living room. My body stills, something’s wrong. If it was just the pizza guy, my aunt wouldn’t have invited him in.
My uncle’s lips thinned. “Just remember, you pushed us to this point. We only want to help you. Where you’re going, they have doctors and therapists. We can’t afford all that and we can’t have your negative influence around your brother and sister.”
“Who’s here?” I turn toward the doorway as the footsteps pause, just outside. “What’s going on?” My heart lodges somewhere in my throat.
Aunt Mary hurries in first. She tries to take my hands in hers, but I jerk them away. “Please understand that we only want what’s best for you. We love you and this isn’t good-bye. We can still talk as much as you want. We can call each other on the phone, email, text, anything. And—and they said that we can come visit, maybe even with Toby and Delilah.”
“Where are you sending me?”
Our visitor clears her throat as she crosses the threshold into the room. She’s a middle aged woman with red hair straight out of a bottle and an unfortunate purple pants suit. She nods at my aunt and uncle before sticking her hand out to me. “Hello Samantha, I’m Madeline Monroe, from the Department of Child Safety. I’d like to talk to you.”
 

About the Author

Chanda Stafford teaches middle and high school English. She loves traveling and currently lives in Michigan with her husband and a menagerie of rescued dogs and cats.

When she’s not reading or writing, Chanda enjoys old zombie movies, authentic Italian food, and comic books.

 

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Cover Reveal: Bewilderment Of The Eyes by Theresa Sopko

Bewilderments of the Eyes
Theresa Sopko
Publication date: Summer 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

The climb from the shadows of her cave into the bewildering sunlight is not an easy one, but Quinn can’t afford not to try.

When her best friend insists on a spontaneous summer road trip, twenty-year-old Quinn Aldredge finds herself on a desperate and daring mission to reclaim the version of herself that was swallowed by her crippling depression.

Not entirely sure if it’s even possible to bounce back from something as bone-deep as depression, she abandons the numbing life she had established in her hometown and dives head-first into an attempt to break free of the confines from her own mind. If she wants to succeed, Quinn will have to learn a valuable lesson: sometimes the right path isn’t the safest one.

As her eyes adjust to the light of the living, she finds friendship, freedom, and romance waiting for her under the sun.

Quinn wants nothing more than to uncover The Old Quinn, the one who smiled and socialized and actually participated in her own life without the whisperings of mental illness in her ear. But what she finds instead turns out to be so much better.

Quinn’s story is one that captures the hope that there is a purpose to getting out of bed every morning, without denying that it will be difficult.

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Author Bio:

Storyteller, bird lady, lover of sitcoms and collector of books. Shopaholic, makeup addict, 81 bottles of nail polish and counting. I like my coffee to taste like dessert. I could spend hours talking about The Great Gatsby. I do some of my best brainstorming while doing the dishes and I don’t believe in naps, though I do fall victim to them from time to time.

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