Saturday, October 24, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner.
Lieutenant Colonel Tyler Graven is known as the “Demon of Kyoto,” and he specializes in death. When an assassin attempts to kill pharmaceutical mogul Mortimer Sackler, Tyler becomes the lead suspect and the target of a $100 million dollar hit. To save himself and clear his name, he must hunt down the true killer, a deadly entity known only as The Priest.
Tyler teams up with his former military unit, The Four Horseman, including his brother, crack-shot Corporal Jack Graven, the mysterious Lance Corporal Jin Xialong, and his one-time flame Colonel Diana Levitas. Once, they were an elite fighting team known for completing two of the most successful campaigns against terrorism ever launched. Now, they’ll find themselves locked in a war with The Church, the most influential organization on the planet--and pitted against the supernatural forces of the Underworld itself.
During their mission, Tyler and Jack learn of the legendary Black Muramasa, the only weapon that can destroy immortals such as demons, angels, vampires, seraphim, and nephilim. As they uncover the secrets of the ancient black blade--and their own heritage--they are faced with unforetold powers and infinite evils. If the Four Horsemen succeed, they may save themselves. If they fail, it’ll cost them their sanity, their lives, and even their souls...
Here comes an action-packed, gun-slinging fantasy adventure that packs the punch of a military thriller combined with high-stakes supernatural intrigue.
Read an Excerpt
This is real. I know it.
An acrid and sour smoke that could only be gunpowder filled my nostrils, caking my mouth with the bitter taste of ammonia. The air sang with an angry chorus of cracking, snapping, and buzzing as tiny projectiles assaulted me in hushed gunfire from every direction. The thuds of pierced wood rang out like hail on a rooftop. My heart raced with pure terror as I cowered beneath the classroom table, hands pressed to my ears.
This is it. They found me.
I had broken one of the rules. I didn’t have a weapon. I had neither Shade, nor a gun, nor a bayonet. Not even a kitchen or pocket knife. I’d even abandoned my eighty-cent mechanical pencil on top of my notebook the moment the shooting began.
They were going to murder me, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Thunder hammered in my head as pure terror consumed me; each second seemed an eternity. I was expecting to feel pain. Maybe even a part of me was hoping to hear one final gunshot that would be the last sound I would ever hear. Instead, I heard laughter.
Sheepishly, I poked my head above the classroom table. Every pair of eyes in my Beijing University International Business class had settled on me. Merriment filled more than a few, but concern and empathy occupied most. After a few moments of displacement, I realized what had occurred: I’d had another episode. This time it was during class, the attack ultimately spawning from my own imagination. And it was set off by one quiet click of a pen.
It was bad enough that I was the only white student in the classroom, as every other student was Chinese. Now I was the “crazy white guy” in the school. Unspeakable shame quickly replaced my confusion.
About the Author:Alex Stevens is a Marine Corps Veteran with two deployments and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interdisciplinary Studies program, a unique undergraduate degree that caters to students with various interests of study. He is also an advent traveler and philosophy enthusiast who has spent a lifetime studying religions, with a focus on Non-denominational Christianity. Alex spends most of his time going for walks, spending time with loved ones, and when the juices are flowing, writing. Fantasy fiction is his great escape from the mundane and he likes to create fantastical realities that are blended with non-fictional people, places, and events.
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Monday, October 19, 2020
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rachael Reilly will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Read an Excerpt
“I hate surprises.” Julia sighed, the sound drowning out the beer commercial on the car radio.
“No one hates surprises, blue eyes. People say they hate them because they’re control freaks, but no one does.” Clay glanced around before switching lanes on the busy street, moving to the right side. “You’re just going to have to be patient for a few more minutes. But how about this? If we get there and you don’t want to get out of the car, I will turn around and leave. No questions asked.”
“And we can get lunch somewhere?” She patted her stomach as it growled.
“For sure. I don’t want to starve you. You’ll need energy for my plans later anyway.”
“Maybe we should just go back to my house, then? See what we get into there?”
He just chuckled again and shook his head before turning his SUV into the entryway to one of Nashville’s larger parks. His hair fell across his eye again, as it was wont to do.
She reached across to brush the lock off his face before running her fingertips through his facial hair. Keeping her hands off him was difficult. “Are we playing Frisbee in the park? Or going to the museum nearby?”
“Nope and nope.” He tapped his nose, his long, slender fingers distracting her. “But I think if you look at the sign ahead, you might see the plan for now.” A plastic, rectangular sign blew in the fall breeze, Literary Fall Festival emblazoned on it in dark letters.
She squealed and moved forward in her seat. “Literary festival? What? Yes!”
“That’s how you surprise the librarian.” He whooped as he parked his SUV before jogging around to open her door. “Smell that? Popcorn.” He motioned to the food trucks up ahead. “Plus there are new and used books for sale, author signings by the museum, and lectures from people in the biz.”
“Did you just say ‘biz’ and mean it?”
“I believe you heard me. But you said you want to be a published author. Maybe this will help.”
She was so surprised she stopped walking. “Clay, you’re just...amazing.”
How had she gotten so lucky? He’d turned her life upside down overnight, but she loved that he had.
About the Author:
The book will be on sale for $0.99 from October 16 - October 30.
Book Link: https://amzn.to/32S28Bq
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Saturday, October 17, 2020
Thursday, October 15, 2020
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to 5 randomly drawn winners. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
For the past eight years, Bill Smith has been unable to set down roots. But he never forgot the magical night he spent with an auburn-haired beauty in Last Stand, Texas. When she finally tracked him down, he was more than happy to donate a kidney to AJ, the son he never knew he had. But now that AJ is better, Bill wants more time with him and his mother. He wants a family.
Annie Burleson can’t help but be grateful to this almost-stranger for saving AJ’s life. Still, she’s a little wary. AJ has already been through so much—what if Bill leaves again? And with Christmas in full swing, it’s difficult to discern which emotions are festive and which are forever.
As Annie and Bill’s lives collide, their mutual love for AJ makes this more than a marriage of convenience. But is it enough to give them the family Christmas they all deserve?
Read an Excerpt
Her door stood ajar, and he kneed it open. Inside, her bedroom was lit by candles that glowed softly from several locations. On either side of her bed, pink lightbulbs in the delicate glass lamps shed rose-colored light on turned-down bedclothes. She had prepared the room just for this moment. An invitation meant only for him.
“I see what you’ve had up your sleeve here, Mrs. Smith.” He laid her on the bed. Her still-damp hair rippled out in an auburn fan on the white pillowcase.
“Don’t you like it?”
“I love it. What I love most is knowing you’ve been thinking about the two of us being here, about us making love.”
She gave him a sly smile. “I figured we’d end up here eventually.”
He ran his finger along the opening of her robe, from her breastbone to her waist. She gave a tiny gasp. “Can I unwrap you now?”
About the Author:
For a while I penned erotic fiction under a pseudonym. Although it was fun to explore my “darker side”, I am now answering the true call of my heart: to write bigger stories that focus on emotion, loss, spirit, and true love, stories I hope my readers will relate to and want to read more than once. Small town America is my favorite fictional setting. I’m particularly enjoying my recent foray into writing Cowboy romance.
Link to Author Website: http://www.nolacross.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ NolaCross
Amazon Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Family-Christmas-Burlesons-Texas-Book-ebook/dp/B08C736NT7/ref=sr_1_1
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Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Maggie’s troubled past makes her seal off her heart. She shuts everyone out, and puts all her energy into work, but suddenly, she’s having erotic fantasies about her two bosses. They’re perfect. Good-looking, intelligent, caring… Everything a woman could want. But they only have eyes for each other.
Michael and Aaron have been a couple since college, but one thing is missing from their relationship. They’re bisexual and they miss having a woman in their lives. Maggie would be the perfect addition to their family. She’s beautiful, smart, compassionate… But they’re sure she’ll never accept their unconventional lifestyle.
Be Warned: menage (MMF) sex, m/m sex, anal sex, public exhibition
Jack leans toward me, and I don’t back away. It’s just a kiss. What harm can it do? His fingers tangle in my hair, and I inhale his spicy cologne. The exotic fragrance intoxicates me. Our mouths meet and I whimper. His prodding tongue slips past my lips. I like the prickly feel of his 'stache and I wonder how it would feel on other parts of my body. Now I’m wet with anticipation.
Jack’s lips trace a path along my jaw. His tongue traces the rim of my ear while his hand inches up my thigh and reaches the edge of my panties. He fingers the damp lace, and I start squirming on the cool leather. I’m soaked, and suddenly embarrassed. I pull back and press my legs together.
“Don’t play hard to get,” he says. “I like a woman who’s responsive.” He kisses me again, and then pulls my dress down off my shoulders, trapping my arms.
No. “Yes,” I hiss.
Jack’s eyes focus on my chest. He pushes down the cups of my bra, exposing my breasts. His warm palms cover them. I’m not the good girl I want to be, and I’m too aroused to pretend. I push my breasts into his hands and whimper as he rolls my nipples between his fingers. He must be reading my mind, or maybe my eyes, because he lowers his head, takes a nipple between his lips, and sucks. Oh, god! Every pull goes straight to my pussy.
Between the alcohol and the sex, I can’t think straight, but I have enough presence of mind to stifle my moans. Jack releases my right breast with a wet pop, and turns his attention to the left. He sucks until they’re both swollen and hard, then he lifts his head and captures my mouth. Jack’s kisses are slow and deep. His tongue slips between my lips and retreats. My swollen breasts press against his jacket while he fucks my mouth with his tongue. When we stop for breath, I sit back in my seat, panting. That look in his eyes makes me shiver. I know what he wants. I want it too.
Where you can find Optical Illusions
Gale Stanley grew up in Philadelphia PA. She was the kid who always had her nose in a book, her head in the clouds, and her hands on a pad and pencil.
Some things never change.
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Monday, October 12, 2020
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anya Summers will award a $20 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Sabrina Thomas needs to catch a break. By day she juggles two jobs, only to head home at night to care for her mentally ill brother. With their parents gone, the responsibility for his care, the doctor’s bills, the hospital stays, the at home care, falls to her. Six months ago, the trust fund their parents left them dried up and with the mounting bills, she has until the end of the month to make good on late rent payments before they are evicted. Sabrina knows where she could make a lot of quick cash with her looks: Bayou Sin, the classiest strip joint on Bourbon Street. But her plans go awry when Dante hauls her off the stage and takes her to his penthouse.
His lifestyle called into question…
Billionaire Michael Fitzgerald and his partner in crime, Dante Rousseau, have been topping submissives together for years. As the owner of the fifth largest sugarcane supplier, with a host of multi-conglomerate corporations to run, Michael has always kept his bedroom preferences under wraps. When a rival on the board attempts to engage in a hostile takeover and have Michael expelled from his own company, he knows he needs to find a woman he can trust to pretend to be his fiancée and put the kibosh on the illicit rumors spreading like wildfire through the company’s board members. When Dante shows up with their housekeeper, Sabrina, who is spitting mad at being denied the opportunity to make some fast cash, Michael knows she is just the woman for the job.
An offer neither can refuse…
Michael and Dante make Sabrina a deal: pretend to be Michael’s sole love interest for thirty days to dispel the rumors and stop the takeover. In exchange, they will pay her ten million dollars at month’s end. But the lines soon become blurred as to what is real and what is make believe. And when their time together is up, will they be able to walk away, or will they take the chance to make their relationship the real deal?
Read an Excerpt
Brad Coldwell, the CFO of Fitzgerald-Logan Realty, added, with a pensive, concerned expression on his face, “Now, we plan on conducting a discreet investigation over the next thirty days. If these claims are true, we will be forced to take action at that time.” Michael could tell that the matter troubled the longtime associate of the realty company. His salt and pepper hair looked like he had been running a frustrated hand through it all morning.
“I can promise you those claims aren’t true. In fact, I will be announcing my engagement shortly,” Michael lied through his teeth, and kept his face stone cold as he surveyed his board. He wondered which one of them was the culprit behind the claims. At this time, they were all suspect. And he hated that because, until this meeting, he had considered the people in this room to be individuals he trusted—otherwise they wouldn’t be on the board. It was true he didn’t care much for Dan personally, but he knew the work Dan did for his company, and that he was at the top of his game.
“Oh, really? I hadn’t heard you were dating anyone,” Dan stated with a hard gleam.
The man always had been a sanctimonious asshole. Once Michael got past this blip, he would see about replacing the ingrate. Keeping his tone smooth as butter yet with an edge of steel behind it, Michael said, “That’s because she is no one you know, Dan. We’ve kept our relationship low key and out of the press.”
“Well, that’s wonderful news,” Robert said, with relief covering his expression, “And if that’s the case, we can put this nasty business behind us.”
“And who, might I ask, is she?” Dan asked with a tick in his jaw.
The fucking bastard was trying to shove Michael out of his own company. The company his grandfather and father had built. Fucking prick. “Look for the announcement in the papers next week.”
About the Author:Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.
Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.
Visit her website here: http://www.anyasummers.com
Visit her on social media here:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Anya-Summers/e/B01EGTVRKC/
Crescent City Kings
Lone Survivor, Book 1: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X4JN5DX
Far Reaching Consequences, Book 2: https://amzn.to/2SmLqWm
The Right to Remain Silent, Book 3: https://amzn.to/2URBzY2
Bound to Protect, Book 4: https://www.amazon.com/Bound-Protect-Crescent-City-Kings-ebook/dp/B08FCX75XZ/
Self Sacrifice, Book 5 – Coming December 2020
Never Surrender, Book 6 – Coming 2021
Oath & Indenture, Book 7 – Coming 2021
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Saturday, October 10, 2020
She’s off limits. A brother’s daughter. But I’m going to make her mine.
Shella – The Devil’s
Fury are the only family I’ve ever truly had. My mom was a junkie. When she
died, no one wanted me. Except Grizzly. I had a home, until things went
horribly wrong. I went wild, pushed too many boundaries, and overstayed my
welcome. So I ran and didn’t look back. Trouble always seems to find me, so
it’s no surprise I ended up pregnant, alone, and scared out of my mind. Then
Slash shows up. Out of all the Devil’s Fury brothers to come for me, why did it
have to be the one I’ve been crushing on since I was a teenager?
Slash – Little Shella was always a pretty girl. Spoiled. Outspoken. A complete terror. Now that she’s all grown up, she’s stunning. I needed to keep my hands to myself, and maybe I would have if she hadn’t been adamant not to disclose the name of her baby-daddy. Only way to protect her is to give her my name. Doesn’t matter I’m old enough to be her father. When I find out her secrets, and the reason she’d behaved so badly, I know I’ll do whatever it takes to make her feel safe… even if it means burying a few men. I already have blood on my hands. What’s a little more?
WARNING: Slash’s book contains graphic violence and sex, bad language, and scenes that may be difficult for some readers.
ABOUT HARLEY WYLDE
When Harleys writing, her motto is the hotter the better -- off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can't deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you've come to the right place. She doesn't shy away from the dangers and nastiness in the world, bringing those realities to the pages of her books, but always gives her characters a happily-ever-after and makes sure the bad guys get what they deserve.
"Her characters are phenomenal and have a lot of depth to them. She is absolutely fantastic at writing an engaging sexy story. Harley Wylde keeps the words flowing so that you have to turn the page to see what happens next."
-- All Author
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a
FREE copy of Dingo (Devil's Fury MC #1)
Thursday, October 8, 2020
by PD Alleva
A masterful, dystopian science fiction thriller of underground genetic experiments, telepathic evil greys, mysterious rebellion, conspiracy, martial arts, and Alien Vampires.
Sandy Cox believed WW3 was over. But for those Alien Vampires, War Has Just Begun.
Forty-eight hours after a World War III treaty is signed Sandy Cox awakens in an underground compound unable to move. Tied to machines she screams for help but no one answers. At least NO ONE HUMAN.
And they’ve taken her unborn child.
Enter Phil, a rebel freedom fighter who has had more than his share of Alien Vampires. Armed with THE BLADES, a sacred alien martial art, he enters the compound on a mission to find Sandy. But as he battles his way through the compound, Phil discovers Sandy has her own agenda. Finding her stolen child is all that matters.
But the vampires have their own plan and Sandy’s baby is at the heart of their diabolical plot. Joined by a crew of rogue soldiers, they must navigate the underground compound, battling genetically mutated humans, aliens and monsters.
When battling Alien Vampires, one thing is certain…Get Ready To Bleed!
Fans of The Hunger Games, George RR Martin, VE Schwab, Star Wars and Ancient Aliens will be fascinated by this high-powered, intelligent, edge of your seat dystopian sci-fi action thriller.
He heard Sandy’s pounding heart growing stronger between his ears. Just one more corner. He took the corner as if he’d been shot from a cannon when his heart jumped, his feet slid to a stop. Not far down the hall stood Orion, blocking the hallway where Phil needed to go. The vampire’s eyes glared at Phil, standing erect, arms by his side and Phil could see he wore the blades. Orion’s face stiff. Phil took a few steps closer.
“This is the end for you,” said Orion. He shook his head and stretched his finger in Phil’s direction. “You will be no more.”
Phil looked to the floor, cocked his head. Times wasting. He shook his head. “No matter what,” he said raising his eyes to meet Orion. “I’m getting down that hall.”
Orion smiled. “Never.” He stretched his arms, taking a fighting stance. “After I sever your head like you did to Titus, I’ll reach into your corpse and pull out your heart to feed on.”
Phil stepped closer, stretching his arms. “Damn vampires,” he said. “Nothing more than devolved cockroaches, scattering in fear at the first sign of the light.”
Orion threw his boot into Phil’s chest. Phil reeled back, slammed on his back and slid across the floor. Orion dropped his arms. “Humans,” he snarled. “So pathetic and weak. Nothing more than food…” he glared at Phil who pushed himself to his feet. “…for us cockroaches.”
Phil spit a wad of blood to the floor. He gripped the handles in his palms and tightened his arms as he rushed at Orion who met Phil’s blade with his own. As they fought, crossing blade to blade, Phil could hear Sandy’s screams.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
PD Alleva is an alternative fiction author. His novels cross genres, blending mystery, conspiracy, psychology, and action with horror and dystopian science fiction. Alternative fiction is PD's attempt at describing what readers uncover in any one of his books, a new discovery towards mainstream storytelling. He's been writing since childhood, creating and developing stories with brash and impactful concepts that he would describe are metaphors for the shifting energies that exist in the universe. PD exists inside of his own universe, working diligently on The Rose Vol. II and exceptional horror novels. Be prepared for Golem, PD’s upcoming horror thriller.
Social Media Info:
Facebook Page: @pdallevaauthor
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER
One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday, October 5, 2020
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jay Kerk will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Have you ever found that the world does not believe you? I did.
I have been betrayed by the people I trusted the most. They coil around me like snakes, lulling me with whispers about protection and safety and for your own good.
They offer up pills like sweets, promising me relief. Just take the meds and everything will be fine, Belle – the meds, Belle, the meds.
Everything will not be fine, and it never will be again. Justice is gone from the world. I have been wronged by Gabe, the man I loved most, and when I turned to others for backup, they sided with him because he’s a star. When I ran to my father for safety, he locked me up in his great big mansion and threw away the key. Now I drift like the ghost Gabe pretended I was, my bare feet tasting the coldness of rich tiles, my breath turning to ice.
Gabe isn’t real, they tell me. They insult me, they spit at me, then smile and pretend that they wish to help. Meanwhile, Gabe is out there, luxuriating in all that I won for him, and I suffer and burn.
Read an Excerpt
Yup and okay are the only words I have muttered since he returned home. We eat dinner in silence, and I watch him as he slowly chews every bite, enjoying and wowing at the flavors. I hate how much I hate him.
A few bites into dinner and I find myself without any appetite. I turn my eyes away from my father because if I don’t, I will either become mad enough to do something nasty to annoy him, or I will burst into tears. I stare up at the glittering chandelier hanging over the dining table. I wish its warm lights could dispel the gloom that has filled my soul.
I can feel my palms sweating, my forehead prickling.
“You haven’t spoken a word all night,” my father says.
I reply with a smile, but I can’t hide the disappointment behind it. Captivity breaks your spirits. Captivity makes you cherish small things that you were not aware you valued. Finally, after everything else, captivity crushes you.
If my mother was still alive, he would not even dare speak to me like that.
My mother never had the patience for helping me with schoolwork, or setting up pink balloons for my birthday. My father was the one who sat me down for French spelling, bedtime stories, and even talked me through my trouble with boys. He was the rock. She never made much effort, but she would not have harmed me like he is doing.
They weren’t different people because of how they were brought up – they were different because of his approach to life. Any greedy businessman learns new millennial skills if they bring in more money. He controls the environment he operates in to ensure he achieves his goals. Discipline in hierarchy is a term he created to describe how an employee should have a soldier’s obedience with regards to company objectives. Without, he says there is no way to run any large company – and he had more than a thousand staff.
My mother was an artist who believed in autonomy and individual expression at any cost. Side by side, they were wolf and sheep, predator and gentle, peaceful grazer. I regret not spending more time with her before she passed. She could have warned me about the monster.
The power to converse with him about anything eludes me, and I struggle through the couple of hours that I have to endure in his presence until he retires to his room. The moment I return to mine, I lie on my bed, close my eyes, and think of Gabe.
About the Author: As a physician, I used my clinical background to keep the readers on their toes. All options are on the table. Is Gabe real? Did Gabe ever love her? What was their relationship? Was he her husband, and did she kill him? Is Gabe her brother?
My name is Jay Kerk, and I am a 33 year old. I am a medical doctor, and I use my background to illustrate unlikely but realistic situations revolving around the alterations of the mind. My first book A Predator and A Psychopath, self-published in July 2019, received five stars from Readers Favorite and 4 and a half stars from Self-Publishing Review.
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08HXQFHSB/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1
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Saturday, October 3, 2020
Monday, September 28, 2020
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Bullied, neglected, and alone – Eva’s only friends are an odd, thirteen–year–old Sephardic boy named Jack and a small cohort of Bedouin sister-wives. On the brink of giving up on life, Eva stumbles upon a mysterious cat in the middle of the desert. Or really, did the cat stumble upon her?
Together they must fight to stay alive, win the battles thrown at them, and Eva must learn to not only lean on others but to trust in herself.
Filled with mystery, magic, and symbolism – Moon in Bastet is a story of resilience, survivorship, forgiveness, and women empowerment. This is a work filled with Jewish mysticism that can be enjoyed by people of all races, ages, and religions everywhere.
Read an Excerpt
Mist twinkles atop the desert sand as a cohort of camels take their morning promenade. A girl runs past them, chasing the rising globe of fire.
Her breath labors as she slips on a rock.
A perfect little scrape forms on her knee, but she continues onward and unfazed.
Her skin is olive tinted; her head covered by a canopy of endless brown, curly hair. On her face sit two prominent beauty marks, on either side of her mouth. She is slender and not yet fully grown, but by no means does she have a frail frame. She wears a beige, spaghetti strapped dress that is knee length and complete with a secret pocket - all of which is covered in dirt. A headband woven from plants and flowers sits around the girl’s head.
This girl is named Eva.
She sprints up another dune’s side, her dress ballooning around her as she sits suddenly with crossed legs. The mirage of the sun’s gaseous performance begins to play on the horizon; another Israeli sun rise in the Negev. Like toy soldiers, the sun’s rays advance in a medley of oranges and yellows. Pink is usually reserved for sunrises - however on this day, a rosy aura is cast around the girl as she grabs a rock and casts it towards the sun: This is how a desert girl skips rocks. Next, she takes aim at the arse of the nearest camel.
The rock misses by centimeters, causing a fuss amongst the cohort, but Eva’s almond shaped, brown eyes glisten.
“G-d! Adonai! Where are you? I see you in the colors of the sky!” Her voice echoes as her eyes drift upon the sunrise. “Why are you ignoring me like everyone else does? I feel you in the warmth of light but where are you? Why haven’t you rescued me yet?” She shivers and brings her bare feet in closer to herself. “Can you at least give me a jacket? You’re not very gentleman-like, you know… it’s really chilly this morning.”
Eva puckers her lips in defeat, and then meditates in the following silence, focusing on the warmth ricocheting from the sand and onto her goosebumps.
“Well at least my cramps are gone,” she says once her anxiety diminishes – massaging her lower stomach, happy that her most recent predicament has gone away. “But yet I still must deal with the cramp of life: being unheard and misunderstood.”
Reminded of the reason why she came to pray in the first place, Eva turns to the sky and gives a cloud a dirty look. “G-d, you have approximately twenty-four hours or I will throw rocks at every camel that I see! I can’t survive in that stupid Circus another day.” She throws a finger towards the unsuspecting cloud in the sky and pauses, thinking of a way to coax G-d into saving her.
“You know what - if you like your camels so much, then you better get me out of this place!” Shaking her head, she mumbles, “I’ll just throw rocks at each of their heads. Not like they would care. They’re already dumb… dumb camels.” She looks at a moon shaped scar on the top of her hand, given to her by one of the water-hoarding creatures several years ago.
“Dumb camels,” she repeats.
Silence again is all that responds to Eva once she finishes speaking to herself. She slumps over, shrugs, and decides to head back to her home that sits half-a-mile away from the dunes.
Her feet slip on the sand, causing her to lift her left hand to her face. She huffs as she thinks of her favorite book; reading it gives her solace in her own solitude. Eva sighs, feeling stuck in an ocean made of sand and trapped with her own imaginary desert marlin. She’s already picked out several camels to act as the sharks.
Ironically, one of the camels spits at her as she passes – as if asking, “Where’s your rock – dumb human?”
“Rude,” she mutters in response.
Eva finds her way to a camp studded with only several architectural structures that is surrounded by seven-foot-high wall made of sand. There is only one exit and one entrance, a sky-high rectangular structure made of wood that suffices as a gate. As she skips under it, a sign that reads Cirque du Christianism sways after her.
Officially home, she is welcomed by an array of Circus tents.
Her lazy footsteps saunter past the main tent to her right, soon halting as she approaches a much smaller blue tent. Looking back towards a white tipi, she can feel her body tensing as she holds her breath before leaping forward in front of the blue tent.
I hope he doesn’t attract attention to me.
About the Author:
When that didn’t pan out to be the glorified job that she expected, finding herself covered in shark snot and fish scales daily, Elizabeth became a technical writer. In her spare time, she began doing standup comedy after taking comedy bootcamp with the Armed Services Arts Partnership. At this time, she married the most wonderful man who also provides most of her joke writing material. Unfortunately, because he’s Indian he has also enabled her Maggi addiction… Like she needed that on top of her already long-standing iced coffee issues.
Her favorite show is Schitt’s Creek, as she feels a special bond to her fellow comedians - and Sephardic brethren. Growing up half-Jewish herself, Elizabeth eventually converted to being full-Jewish with Temple Israel as a student of Rabbi Panitz.
Her enriched, but complicated, heritage has been an inspiration for most of her creative writing. Being an Aries, she has always felt like a leader and has therefore integrated her feminist beliefs into her work, albeit dropping every women’s studies course that she ever elected in college.
Additionally, her writing has an unmistakable international presence. Elizabeth wanted to discover as much as she could about her Sephardic Heritage and went on Birthright, followed by her independent travels to over ten other countries… carrying nothing but a red bookbag.
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Friday, September 25, 2020
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. RW Reels will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Back in Tacoma, Washington, Detective Landis is still unable to cope with the loss of his daughter and his ex-wife Jada, even as the Detective struggles with a new relationship. Landis’s past is not so easy to escape, as Thomas Barstow attains parole and looks for the opportunity to settle the score that can only be resolved through bloodshed.
The lives and souls of all hang in the balance and divine intervention may be only the solution.
Read an Excerpt
“Thou are all cursed. And will die by my hand and suffer before me. Come forth and do not hide, but seek my refuge.”
About the Author:
As a young girl, my grandmother would bring her puppy with her to stalk rabbits every morning. The two of them would chase an unlucky long-eared rascal until it escaped into a hollow at the base of a tree, and she would run a stick around the inside of the opening as though churning butter. The spell of the sound and vibration would lure the rabbit out of the tree and into her hands.
Good fiction, inventive and provocative fiction, reverberates in readers and spellbinds them. It can spur surprise, delight, discomfort, and revelation and defy reason. As a storyteller, I strive to help others solve their problems by sharing things that I have read about, heard about, and seen. But I also prize the look on people's faces when they hear the brilliant punch line of a joke, or when they experience an epiphany that knocks the logical wind out of them. These are the reactions that I live to inspire in my audiences when I write paranormal thrillers.
My obsession with the extraordinary in my writing might also, ironically, stem from my 20-year career in the U.S. Army. I can allow my mind to wander in the extraterrestrial sphere while my love for my country keeps me grounded in domestic affairs. Of all of my accomplishments, serving as a paratrooper in a Special Forces Group and a Field Artillery outfit during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm claims high rank. Few situations force a person to confront his humanity as painfully as going off to war, and this experience taught me both to accept accountability for my actions and to trust others. Eventually, I became a successful Army Recruiter and Station Commander, earning the Top Recruiting Station awards in Dallas and Seattle Recruiting Battalions. North Carolina Central University granted me a Public Service Award for my work in the local community. And currently, I serve fellow veterans as an HR Specialist for the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Other passions of mine include playing chess, photography, traveling, and indulging in my contrarian nature by instigating debate. Spending time with my wife tops the list of my life's privileges, however. Whether I am entertaining her with my emulation of Laurence Olivier as Marcus Crassus or protecting her from an elk during one of our photography excursions in the wild, I treasure her companionship and affection.
When I was twelve years old, I announced to my Aunt Becky and Cousin Tony that I wanted to write a book. They stared at me in astonishment. The world of publishing was an enigma to simple country folks in Beaufort, North Carolina in 1982. These days I am achieving my dream with the ebook, a medium through which I can express my individuality without sacrificing my voice to expectations of marketability, popularity, and deadlines. My goal is to create an opportunity for escapism that is bold and absolute.
Monday, September 21, 2020
When Lions Roar
by Karen Leigh Gruber
Maggie has become unrecognizable to herself, succumbing to the predictability of being a mother and wife. Every day she reminds her daughter to brush her teeth, has the same conversation with her husband about what’s for dinner. Maggie struggles to cope with the disenchantment of the monotonous tedium that has become her life. Despite her boredom, when her husband David is called on assignment to South Africa, Maggie resents having to rearrange her life just because David has decided they all need to traipse halfway across the globe.
While on safari, Maggie awakens one morning to a mother’s worst nightmare; their daughter Hannah has gone missing. Just when things can’t get any worse, Maggie is confronted with the harsh truth of her emotionally abusive marriage and what she has allowed her life to become.
When Lions Roar is set against the backdrop of the exotic and intriguing landscape of South Africa, when the country is reeling from the aftershocks of apartheid. Will Maggie find the strength and courage to abandon the fragile ties of her marriage and confront her self-destruction in time to save the life of her daughter?
After several days, while David had left on assignment, Akilah came to see me. Although there was alarm in her eyes when she first saw me, that shifted to compassion as she found me lying across the bed. Unwashed for weeks now, my mouth was crusted over and my hair a tangled mess. I reeked of alcohol, filth, and despair. Quickly, she ran to the bathroom and started the tub. Gingerly, she lifted my arms and began to guide me toward the tub. I resisted her.
“David is coming back. He will find you here. You must leave,” I pleaded.
“Not until you are washed.” She helped me into the bath and proceeded to wash me as one would wash a little baby. It was with such tenderness and loving hands, I thought I might simply dissolve under her touch. She started at my neck, face, and mouth and wiped away the crust that had been lingering there for far too long. She lifted each arm with the warmheartedness of a mother. As she washed up and down the length of my arm, I couldn’t help but notice the contrast of her dark skin, which seemed so strong compared to my delicate white skin that could peel away at any moment. She pitched the top half of my limp body forward in order to scrub my back. I could feel the suds from the sponge trickle down my spine into the water below.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Karen Gruber is an international #1 best-selling contributing author, inspirational speaker, and a Leadership Development Coach for women and moms. She specializes in inspiring moms to realize their potential as mothers, women, and leaders. Karen has had extensive specialized training in parenting, feminine spirituality, and leadership. Over the past 15 years she has provided innovative leadership coaching for moms and has dramatically transformed her own life.
Sharing her life with her husband Jim and daughter Jaymie, presenting her message to other women, and traveling the world bring her the greatest joy.
She is the founder of The Inspired Mama, a company located in gorgeous Denver, Colorado that focuses on the inspiration, leadership, and wellbeing of women and moms.
When Lions Roar is Karen’s debut fictional work. She is freakish about Christmas lights and loves to play Baccarat.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
One randomly chosen winner via
rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
Friday, September 18, 2020
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The publisher will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter and a signed copy of the book to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
When billionaire game designer, Brogan Prescott, asks Corbett to consult on a major vineyard acquisition, Corbett sees it as a shot at redemption, until he learns of Brogan’s ridiculous vision of a virtual-reality, Woke Ant Colony Winery. Disgusted, Corbett decides to buy the vineyard himself and preserve its magic and history. Cashless, clueless, and with his reputation in tatters, Corbett enlists the help of his bass-player-turned-lawyer Seamus O’Flaherty, who may have finally lost his stomach for Corbett’s bad ideas; his uber-rational daughter Remy, who wants Corbett to uncork some family secrets he’d rather leave in the cellar; and Sydney Cameron, whose sudden appearance in Corbett’s life may repair his heart or shatter it forever.
With their help-and sometimes despite it-Corbett discovers what Brogan has known all along: a four-billion-dollar gold deposit lies beneath the vineyard. If Brogan acquires the property, the ensuing gold rush will destroy Napa Valley.
But if Corbett can get out of his own way long enough to purchase the vineyard first, he’ll be faced with the hardest decision of his life: take the fame and fortune he desperately craves, or save the soul of the valley he loves so much.
Read an Excerpt
I found Chef Dan at a table with his sous chef, Stacy, looking over some notes.
“Corbett Thomas!” he bellowed. “I’m doing a monkfish for the prix fixe tonight that’ll go beautifully with this Albarino you picked up.”
A near-empty bottle of 2016 Pazo Senorans sat on the table. “Yes, Chef. Sounds great,” I said hurriedly. “Hey, can I talk to you for a moment?”
“Sure.” Chef Dan handed his stack of papers to Stacy. “Take these,” he said to her, adding, “and if you want Geoffrey to be more forceful on the line, then tell him to stop being such a pussy.”
Stacy rolled her eyes. “Oh, that’s right,” Chef sighed. “We can’t say ‘pussy’ anymore.”
At sixty, Chef Dan was at least twice as old as everyone else at the restaurant. I was only twelve years behind him, which made us both anachronisms in the eyes of the staff—cautionary tales from a lost generation, something to be tolerated at best.
“All right, rock star,” Chef motioned me to sit down. “What can I do for you?”
“It’s Dornin,” I replied, taking Stacy’s seat. “There’s a party of major VIPs tonight and he’s giving it to Andrew.”
“That’s his job. He manages the staff. We’ve been over this.”
“I know, but you manage him and he’s doing a shitty job.” I grabbed the bottle of Albarino and poured the last of it in Stacy’s glass. It was gorgeous, the color of spring in Barcelona.
“God, you’re worse than Stacy.” He leaned back in his chair and ran his fingers through his asphalt hair. “Don’t take it so personal.”
“I’m not taking it personally.” I was. “It’s bad for the restaurant. It’s bad for the brand.”
Chef took the last swig of his wine and let out some ghastly noise that sounded like he’d been punched in the throat. “Look, you should know this by now, but every day a restaurant stays open is a miracle—a goddamn blessing. Rick’s doing something right, so let him do it. Revenue is up, the place is booked, everything’s working. Besides, Andrew needs the experience. What if you get gorged by a deer or something?”
“I’m sorry,” I stuttered. “What if I get gored by a deer?”
“You know, if you die,” he explained. “Randomly. But horribly.”
I got the feeling that he might enjoy that. “I just need to know if you’re considering my replacement.”
Chef Dan grabbed the wine glass from my hand and drank its contents in one gulp. “I’m not considering anything except a monkfish entrée for tonight. And that’s why Rick is here, so I don’t have to consider you or Stacy or deal with any of the fucking drama in this place.” He stared down the neck of the empty bottle like a telescope. “God, this stuff is good. Did you save me a case like I asked?”
“Yes. And you drank it all.”
“Save me another.”
I got up and walked away from the table. “You got it, Chef.”
“Corbett,” he called after me. “It’s the worst kept secret that if you pass your sit next week, you’re out of here.”
I swear to God, the rumor mill at a restaurant was like playing a game of Telephone with a dozen drunk, horny sixteen-year-olds. “Look, I’ve always been honest with you, Chef. This is the best job I’ve ever had. Why in the hell would I leave?”
Chef Dan lumbered off towards the kitchen. “Why indeed, Rock Star?”
The whole Dornin and The Whales Episode was officially under my skin, so I decided to go out on the terrace and get some fresh air.
Appellation was built into the side of the foothills of the Vaca Range, about a half-mile up a winding road in Rutherford. Our terrace was one of the most stunning places to dine in all of Napa, as it looked out across a 180-degree panorama of the valley floor and was framed by the Mayacamas Mountains to the west.
I leaned against the waist-high railing atop the stone wall lining the terrace and soaked in the view. The vineyards below weaved a delicate tapestry of early fall colors. Waves of vibrant green segued into pale yellow, which then collided with vibrant crimson and an orange so burnt it threatened to steal the glory from the autumn sun.
Twenty years earlier I drove into Napa on my way down to L.A., stopped for the afternoon, and never got back in my car. Now this place was a part of me. Looking out across the acreage of Cabernet and Chardonnay, I could set my watch by the changing of the vines. These colors told me it was the third week in October, the end of harvest.
This sunset told me I was home.
The bucolic scene may have calmed my shit for a moment, until I felt a disturbing presence beside me. A peripheral glance confirmed it, and my grip unconsciously tightened around the railing as Andrew Ridgley moved up quietly next to me, seemingly taking in the view, but mostly standing there just to piss me off.
Andrew was preternaturally thin, to the point where his midsection curved in slightly, giving him the appearance of a flat Pillsbury Crescent roll. A man bun popped from the top of his tiny head like a lonely radish in a barren field, and his face was framed by a freakish red beard, in which every single hair was of uniform length and curvature. If he was going for the King of the Very Polite Vikings look, he nailed it.
“So,” I started, still gazing at the majestic scene before me, “might one call those pistachio-colored Capri pants?”
“One might,” he replied, faux ignoring me as well. “Might one call that the world’s most heteronormative blue blazer?”
I nodded. “One might, if one knew what the word ‘heteronormative’ meant.”
“I rest my case.”
About the Author:
By 1996, John and his band, The Uninvited, had produced four independent albums and became one of the most popular acts in the western United States. This lead to a deal on Atlantic Records, which released the band’s self-titled debut album in 1997. The band had two Top 100 hits, and toured nationally with Dave Matthews, Blues Traveller, Third Eye Blind and many other acts. Their music appeared in the TV shows Beverly Hills 90210 and Party of Five, and in the motion pictures The Commandments and North Beach. The band can also be heard in several HBO Documentaries, video games and on that annoying “One Hit Wonders of The 90’s” station your co-worker always plays on Spotify.
In 2001, John’s vast experience in shattered dreams was once again called into play as the band hung up their touring shoes for good. After a brief but horrifying career in real estate, John got wise and made a career out of his favorite hobby – wine – and has held various sales and marketing positions in Napa Valley since 2011. John’s writing career started in earnest at this point, with blogs, essays and short stories appearing in various publications. John is the author of three novels, including the aptly-titled Pairs With: Life, which will be released by Hurn Publications in September 2020.
The Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Pairs-With-Life-John-Taylor-Triumph-Book-Covers-Raven-Eckman/9781734763416
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