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Cover Reveal: The Sinister Booksellers of Bath – Garth Nix

I am so excited for this book. I loved The Left-Handed Booksellers of London. So without further ado….

There is often trouble of a mythical sort in Bath. The booksellers who police the Old World keep a careful watch there, particularly on the entity who inhabits the ancient hot spring. Yet this time it is not from Sulis Minerva that trouble starts. It comes from the discovery of a sorcerous map, leading left-handed bookseller Merlin into great danger. A desperate rescue is attempted by his sister the right-handed bookseller Vivien and their friend, art student Susan Arkshaw, who is still struggling to deal with her own recently discovered magical heritage.

The map takes the trio to a place separated from this world, maintained by deadly sorcery performed by an Ancient Sovereign and guarded by monstrous living statues of Purbeck marble. But this is only the beginning, as the booksellers investigate centuries of disappearances and deaths and try to unravel the secrets of the murderous Lady of Stone, a serial killer of awesome powers.

If they do not stop her, she will soon kill again. And this time, her target is not an ordinary mortal.

A wintry return to the somewhat alternate 1980s England of The Left-Handed Booksellers of London.

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Blog Tour: Small Angels – Lauren Owen

When Chloe turns the key to Small Angels, the church nestled at the edge of Mockbeggar Woods where she is to be married, she is braced for cobwebs and dust.What she doesn’t expect are the villagers’ concerned faces, her fiancé’s remoteness, or the nagging voice in her head that whispers to her of fears she didn’t even know she had.

Something in the woods is beginning to stir, to creep closer to the sleeping houses. Something that should have been banished long ago.

Whatever it is, it’s getting stronger, and pretending it’s not there won’t keep the wedding, or the village – or Chloe – safe.

My thoughts: woods have always been full of stories, magic and monsters. They have a pull on us and our imaginations. Mockbegger is the same here. The church of Saint Michael and All Angels – Small Angels, stands on its edges, not used by the villagers but only by the Gonnes. When Chloe hires it for her wedding she stirs up one of the things living deep in the woods.

A story of brothers and a death and a vengeful spirit, a story of sisters and secrets and a terrible night, a story of love and fear and finally setting the past free.

Beautiful, Gothic fiction, weaving a fairytale like spell over the people of the village, over Chloe and over the reader.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Vicar Man – Amelia Crowley

Dora is a barmaid.
Usually her life is fairly simple: she gets up, cleans the inn, feeds the chickens, argues with the increasingly obstreperous cockerel, listens to the woes of her fellow barmaid, avoids doing the laundry, and serves drinks to the motley crew of islanders who lurk about the taproom every night.
The same old routine, day in, day out.Tonight, though, is different.

Tonight, just one week before the vernal equinox, after a catastrophically bad harvest the year before, a stranger has walked into the bar…

Amelia lives in Yorkshire with her family.

At least she definitely had a family around here somewhere, but to be honest she’s spent so much of the last year staring into a word processor she thinks they may have wandered off.

Her writing is fuelled by mugs of terrible, over-sugared coffee, much better chocolate, and the occasional macaron, and is punctuated by her soulless whimpers and the sound of her head hitting the keyboard. 

Occasionally she remembers to get up and do something else, if the cats bite her hard enough.​

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My thoughts: this was very funny, poor Dora, she just wants to find a way to rule the new vicar out of being sacrificed to the island’s god, and seducing the vicar or scaring him off seem like such good plans too.

But she hadn’t counted on Norman (the vicar) being completely immune to everything she tries and they’re running out of time.

Clever, funny and a bit silly too. Maybe human sacrifices are a bit passé but the island’s terrifying god needs appeasing somehow. Just not with roasted vicar.

Playing with tropes of horror and Gothic literature, as Dora attempts to save Norman from the flames and realises that perhaps, even though she’s read lots of books, she doesn’t know much at all.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Book Blitz: Year Zero – David Dean Lugo

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Check out this thrilling new YA Dystopian novel, Year Zero! This is the first book in a new trilogy called Revolution’s Children and I have an exclusive excerpt for you all today!

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Year Zero (Revolution’s Children Book 1)

Publication Date: May 24th, 2022

Genre: YA Dystopian

A thrilling new YA dystopian novel has dark parallels to a conceivable future America.

It’s been two years since the establishment of the brutal dictatorship The Incorporated Precincts of America and its governing Board and CEO, as well as the death of the old America. Sixteen-year-old Joey Cryer has two missions: to keep their six-year-old sister, Julia, safe, and to not die.

America first. America last. America always. This is the vow that the CEO leader of the IPA—The Incorporated Precincts of America—pledges to his suffering citizens. With violent protests breaking out in every city, attacks against immigrants, and the national crisis of the Capitol Event, young Joey must keep their vigilance in staying clear of the IPA’s ever-watching Sons of Liberty—its ruthless police force—to avoid becoming “disappeared” with his little sister. This means not maligning the governing body, The Corporation, with any thought, word, or action, or else suffer the consequence. One such sanction for disobeying citizens is being forced on to the required viewing television show “Manhunt,” where they fight for their lives against the Sons, upholding The Corporation’s domination over society.

Two years earlier, before the Second Revolution ended and before the election, Joey’s biggest concern was sitting at the right cafeteria table at his high school or if the girl they liked liked them back. Avoiding the school bully, Harlan Grundy, was always a plus, and so was not getting pummeled. So, it was no big surprise that Harlan became a Son, loyal to The Corporation and carrying out their dirty deeds to keep citizens in check and in fear. The only correct response to a Son? Everything is goodly.

Having lost everything in the revolution’s aftermath, Joey takes an unfathomable risk by helping the near-dead leader of the rebellion, John Doe. Having anything to do with Doe will skip you right past penalties and sanctions all the way to the death penalty, not only for you, but for anyone you love. And yet Joey’s sole mission is keep Julia safe until they can secretly escape to freedom. To do so, they finds they have an unlikely partner in a recently betrayed Harlan. Trusting their former enemy may be the only way to ensure their future—but is it worth the risk for Joey, Julia, and his community?

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Chapter One

No law respecting the established religion, prohibiting its free and compulsory practice, may be passed. All citizens free or otherwise are responsible for their speech, as is the press. The Board may sanction the people or the press should they choose to malign The Corporation or its representatives in print, thought, word, or action.

—First Amendment, Constitution Incorporated Precincts of America

A hand grabs my shoulder, and I know I’m screwed. The flickering light from the Jumbotron across the street dispels the concealing darkness. What was I thinking trying to sneak my way across town square after dark? I pull my hat lower, hoping that he won’t recognize me.

Especially if curfew has started.

Dan and Katie are starting the Manhunt preshow on the Jumbotron, which isn’t a good sign. Manhunt rarely starts before seven.

My mouth is dry, and my heart’s hammering fills my ears. It’s the fight-or-flight response kicking in big time. Except in my case, it’s the flight-and-still-get-pommeled response.

Even knowing how it will end, I still think about running.

Just for a second.

Old habits die hard.

I move my eyes to the hand, hoping it’s not covered by a white glove. Crap. It is. So, the he attached to the hand isn’t a regular cop. A cop will just shake me down and let me go. But not this guy.

He’s a Son of Liberty.

I’m surprised he hasn’t shot me yet. They usually do. I mean, it’s kinda their go-to move. I glance from his glove to his face.

I silence a scream. This guy isn’t any old Son. He’s Harlan Grundy. That name alone makes most kids cry. Always has.

Harlan’s been bullying kids since the old days, back when we still lived in a place called the USA. By the time The Corporation ran things and changed the name to The Incorporated Precincts of America, or IPA, Harlan had transformed bullying into an art form. I mean, watching him terrorize a kid is like watching Michelangelo turn a hunk of stone into a statue. Pure artistry.

Unless you’re the rock.

All the Sons are big, but Harlan’s bigger. Not like Schwarzenegger big. It’s more natural. Like a gorilla. Most let his stocky form, with its squashed nose, thick fingers, and stubby legs, fool them. But he possessed a speed unheard of, even among Olympic athletes.

And I, underneath this big ass coat, am just a scrawny sixteen-year-old. Exercise and me are not the best of friends. I mean, we wave when we pass by in the halls. Unless running from Harlan counts. Because if it does, I’m a gold medalist.

Okay, maybe a bronze because he always catches me.

“Hold it, citizen,” he says loud enough for me to hear over the Jumbotron’s droning voices. That is quite a feat since they always have it turned up to like a million.

Wait. Citizen?

He doesn’t recognize me.

He says something, but Dan speaks over him from the Jumbotron. “We’ll be back after this message.”

A second later, tolling bells replace his smug voice, sounding out the half hour. I glance at the screen, hoping it says six thirty. Instead, a robotic voice says, “The time is now seven thirty. Curfew is in effect.”

I’m doubly screwed.

After curfew, you get arrested or worse, unless you’re on official IPA business. It won’t take anyone more than one look to know I’m not. And Harlan’s fists and I have known each other since I was eight, and he was eleven. It’s only a matter of time until his dim brain dusts off the cobwebs and the first faint itch of recognition dawns on him.

If he doesn’t shoot me, which I doubt, I have two simple choices left. But I won’t get to choose. Instead, an Inquisitor will decide between sending me to a Liberty Camp or inducting me into the army.

The second is most likely. They’re drafting more people every day. Younger and younger too. I mean, except for like Ward Commanders, Inquisitors, and Auditors, the whole Corporation is getting younger. I guess they figure the young don’t have as much attachment to the way things were.

The CEO says we’re winning the war, and the extra troops are for the last push into Ottawa. But I’ve heard the rumors. Who hasn’t?

Some say Mexico, Canada’s ally, has won ground in the Southwest. Others say the early winter weather has paralyzed our troops in Ontario and Alaska. What’s happening in Europe is anyone’s guess.

So, whatever the Inquisitor decides, it’s better if Harlan shoots me.

Usually, I’m home before curfew, but I had forgotten it’s earlier now. That’s thanks to the Does—John and Jane Doe—and their rebels blowing up stuff. Last Tuesday, the day most Sons get their rations, they blew up the rationing center. Now, the rest of us are still living off our last pitiful portion.

Movies make rebellion seem exciting and heroic. I guess it is, fighting oppression or whatever. But from where I sit, trying to get by and staying off The Corporation’s radar, it’s terrifying. It doesn’t help people like me. Maybe it will someday, but I’m not holding my breath.

I burrow deeper into my father’s coat, trying to avoid eye contact. The coat must be the only reason Harlan hasn’t recognized me. There’s no point in trying to hide the bag of contraband I’m holding.

I mean, it’s right there.

Besides, it’s just dumb cans of stupid beef stew I bought at the black market. E-rations don’t hardly give anyone enough food. So, most people, leastways those who can afford it, turn to the black market. Even Block Watch Commanders like Harlan.

It’s not totally the Does fault, though. Food, at least the unpowdered kind, was scarce even before they blew up the rationing center. The troops passing through on their way north to the wall, took most of what we had. They didn’t bother leaving much for us citizens.

I’m not sweating the stew, though. I expect he’ll “impound” it. I’m more worried that what’s stuffed into my belt will spill out. If it does, he’ll definitely shoot me.

He’s eyeing the bag though. His mouth might even be watering. We both stand there, playing our weird freeze tag while waiting for the stupid bell to stop tolling.

As soon as it does, Harlan says, “You’re behind curfew, citizen. Slice me the stew, and I won’t donate a one.”

Ugh. Slanguage.

It takes me a moment to translate his words to regular English. If I give him the stew, he won’t give me a class one penalty. I can’t speak because he’ll recognize my voice, so I nod. Kneeling, I set the bag down and take off.

I don’t look back.

You never look back.

If you do, they might see your face, connect it to a list of subversives, rebels, or whatever list you didn’t know you were on.

I’m two blocks away before a grin spreads across my face. Dumbass Harlan was so preoccupied by the bag that he didn’t notice the cans crammed in my pockets.

I decide to go home through the woods. It’s longer and a thousand percent spookier, but it has more cover. Plus, The Corporation hasn’t put cameras in the forest. At least not yet anyway. That might change if they suspect the squirrels of treason.

Plus, Harlan lives two houses away from me. If he’s heading home, it’s worth the extra twenty-minute walk to avoid him.

I trudge along. I can’t see a thing in the inky blackness. Everything is a muddied silhouette, and I don’t want to trip on something and break my neck. I used to find the sounds of leaves crunching under my feet satisfying. But I don’t anymore.

They just tell the Sons or the rebel squirrels where you are.

My breath comes quick now. Heart racing. It’s my anxiety getting the better of me. I don’t bother fighting it because I’m too busy cursing myself. If Harlan is out on patrol, he’s nowhere near his house. Then again, it might be dumb luck that we ran into each other.

Either way, I don’t really care right now because I’m sure Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers has spotted my dumbass alone in the woods. I stop for a second, but the sound of crunching leaves doesn’t.

A twig snaps.

I turn.

A half-naked figure lunges from the darkness, falling to the ground.

I almost scream.

A man lies motionless. I get a little closer and notice he’s covered in blood. Against my better judgment, I turn him over. A few holes leak his blood.

Someone shot him.

The only people with guns these days are Sons or rebels. Which means they’re probably out searching for him. That thought alone makes me nope my sorry ass out of the woods as fast as I can.

I emerge, unharassed by either rebel squirrels or a fictional slasher, near the non-Harlan end of my block. My breath comes in short, panicked gasps. I’m more than a little embarrassed by how fast I’m moving down the block.

I turn the corner. My house blazes bright in the frigid night. It’s almost enough to chase away the harsh twilight glow from the screens on the telephone poles.

Julia, my little sister hates being alone, but she isn’t right now. Unless Winnie’s wandered off again. She has turned on every light, which means he probably did. The Sons don’t pay him much mind, so he’ll be okay. Hopefully, she hasn’t used up our electricity ration for the month.

I linger in the driveway, eyes darting. I need to make sure I wasn’t followed.

An angry orange flower of fire blooms over the nearby hills. Must be the rebels blowing something up or being blown up themselves. Either way, a bunch of people are dead. A tenth of a second later, a dull roar reaches my ears, and everything shakes.

Every porch light in the neighborhood blinks on, and people spill out from their houses, scurrying around like angry ants. A few have wide eyes, their O-shaped mouths gulping the chilly night air. Which reminds me of the fish that Dad and I used to catch. Others just sigh, wringing their hands. A few look furious.

I’ve lived here for like forever and recognize everyone.

That is everyone except the young man with the neat dark hair walking along the walkway in front of the house next door. His hands are in his pockets, posture crisp but relaxed.

I do a double take because I didn’t expect to see anyone coming from there. It and the house across the street have stood vacant since the Perrys and the Youngs disappeared a year ago. He might be a zig though.

Zig is short for zigzag. They’re the people who refuse to go along with The Corporation but won’t join the resistance either. So, they zigzag between the two opposing forces that shape the IPA. They usually come in small groups, no more than four. There’s not a lot of them. At least as far as anyone can tell. Anyway, neither side likes them much, and both will see them wiped out just as soon. Which is why, if he is a zig, he certainly wouldn’t be so careless and let everyone know where he lives.

He might be a rebel. They sometimes hunker down in vacant buildings. That thought both excites and frightens me.

As he draws closer, there’s no mistaking this man for a zig or a rebel. He wears a suit, but the distant flames give everything a crimson tone, so I can’t tell what color it is. Something on his jacket flickers. He reaches the end of the walkway, and I notice that the light glints off a bunch of Corporation commendation pins on his lapel.

At first, he acknowledges no one as he crosses his arms and stares straight ahead. He appears calm, but his breath comes in peculiar fits like he’s out of breath but doesn’t want anyone to know. Maybe he’s asthmatic? I don’t know. His eyes don’t watch the distant flames like everyone else; they’re watching the streetlights.

Something glistens on his forehead like sweat, but the night is cold, so that’s impossible. He appears to sense me gawking and gives me a nod.

By reflex, I wave.

Another fireball blossoms, this one almost bright enough to read by. The windows rattle from the blast. The neighborhood lights blink a few times before going out. Someone screams as we’re plunged into a weird twilight of flickering screens since those never stop.

I swear Pinman smirks.

A second later, old Doc Salazar asks, “Do you think it’s the Canadians?”

That isn’t as silly as it sounds, since if you’re lucky enough to own a car, it’s like three hours to the border.

“Nah. I bet it’s the Does and the rebels,” Mr. Taylor replies.

Everyone stares at him for a moment. Calling the Does rebels is against the law.

“You mean terrorists,” a throaty unfamiliar voice—my new neighbor—says.

“Yes, y-yes,” Mr. Taylor stammers. He probably noticed every commendation on Pinman’s jacket. He chuckles nervously, running a hand across the back of his neck.

I don’t want to call attention to myself, but Taylor was my dad’s fishing buddy. I can’t count the number of times that the Taylors shared a meal with us after a good day on the lake.

A familiar voice breaks the uncomfortable silence. “Mr. Taylor is scaredly is all. He’s not trying to be outside the box.”

I look around, trying to find who spoke. For some reason, everyone’s staring at me like I punched a nun or something.

Well, everyone except Taylor. He’s got a grateful smile pasted on his stupid round face. The looks confirm my growing suspicion. The voice was familiar because it’s mine.

Pinman doesn’t reply, just cocks his head.

“Well, um, good night, sir,” Mr. Taylor croaks as he scurries back inside his house.

A second later, the loudspeakers atop every telephone pole on the block crackle to life. On the screens, a severe looking yet appealing middle-aged woman appears with her hair wrapped tight around her head. Everything can go dark but not PR Polly, the voice of The Corporation.

There’s a whine of feedback, and Polly stares with a Mona Lisa smile on her lips, waiting for it to pass. It fades to a crackling static and clears.

Her familiar, faintly British voice sounds out. “Return to your homes. All is goodly. We have the situation under control.” As always, she adds the Corporate slogan. “America first. America last. America always.”

Another squeal of feedback sounds out. Dan and Katie return to the screens, laughing about the ratings bonanza it’ll be when the real Does are caught and put on Manhunt. But since Manhunt is required viewing, ratings are a bonanza every day anyway. I’m also not sure how we’d know if they’re the real Does. I mean, every time they think they’ve got them, it turns out they’re regular rebels.

No one even knows what the Does look like.

A weird sensation tingles my leg. It’s my phone vibrating in my pocket. I put aside my stray thoughts for now as I fish it out.

“What did you think of this Realnews brief” flashes on the screen. Underneath, like always, are two emoji:

a smiley one,

and a frowning one.

I tap the smiley face to show that I loved it. No one clicks the other one anymore. Well, no one without a death wish.

Soft clicking echoes around me as my neighbors do the same. By the time I’m done, they’re scurrying back into their homes. I guess they’ve all realized it’s after curfew, so we are all technically criminals right now.

Pinman still stands there with his arms crossed, staring at me. I try not to meet his gaze and mumble something about how my little sister is waiting for dinner inside.

In the distance, sirens blare. A lot of them. All isn’t goodly. I sense the stranger watching me as I walk into my house.

I don’t look back.

You never look back.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Author David Dean Lugo often gets ideas for his stories by wondering what if? In his new young adult dystopian novel, Year Zero, he probed this when writing about a future fascist America run by a governing body called The Corporation and its CEO. Lugo believes that today’s trend of people judging one another too harshly—whether based on their political party, gender identity, or something else—is causing people to drift too far away from one another. His story explores potential extreme ramifications of this.

Lugo believes a great book is one that has believable characters that readers can identify with and relate to. He hopes his stories evoke emotion and thinking from his readers long after the book is closed.

When he isn’t writing thought-provoking YA novels, Lugo enjoys playing guitar, watching movies, playing video/board games, and hanging out with his amazing family. He lives in southwest New Hampshire with his wife Meredith, son Jacob, and their rascally Labrador/Collie mix named Astrid. Year Zero is the first volume in his The Revolution’s Children trilogy.

David Dean Lugo | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Cover Reveal: Short Stories for the Long Haul – John T. Buckley

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Looking for a collection that has something for every mood? Check out Short Stories for the Long Haul by John T. Buckley! Coming soon!

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Short Stories for the Long Haul

Expected Publication Date: August 12th, 2022

Genre: Anthology/ Fantasy/ Sci-Fi/ Crime Fiction & More

A collection of short stories that explore the human condition. Everything from a self absorbed wannabe quarterback who gets his shot, to a woman who marries her dog…

Coming Soon!

About the Author

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John T. Buckley is a 47 year old writer from Maine who’s been writing most of his life. He also loves to paint and seeing the world. He studied at University of Southern Maine as well as at SMTC in Cape Elizabeth. Fun fact, John T. Buckley was once the lead singer in a band called Mammyth.

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Blog Tour: Until the Last – Mike Shackle

THE TIME HAS COME.
SEKINOWARI – THE LAST WAR – HAS ARRIVED.

The breakneck conclusion to the trilogy that started with We Are the Dead. To beat the ultimate evil, sometimes the price is more than you can pay . . .

The war with the Egril has changed Tinnstra forever. A coward no more, she’ll go to any length to defeat every last one of her enemies.

Zorique has grown into her powers. It’s time for her to lead her army into Jia and spearhead the fight for her homeland.

But at what cost? The Egril emperor Raaku – the Son of Kage himself – is waiting for them. And he intends to destroy Zorique, Tinnstra and all their allies.

They will need to put everything on the line if Jia hopes to see the dawn.

My thoughts: Fantasy fans, where are you? I cannot believe you’ve been sleeping on this series! Yes, this book is chunky, but we like a hefty tome around here. So, what are you doing? Do you like action, adventure, good triumphing over evil, strong characters, great world building, sarcastic sailors, women with power, magic, intrigue, monsters and ordinary people doing extraordinary things? You do? Then get copies of this whole series – there’s 3 books, and get reading.

Until The Last chronicles the final war – Sekinowari – when the armies of Egril and Jia will meet for the last time, when heroes will rise and monsters will walk among people, mostly killing them. But even ordinary Jians will stand against the Skulls, will fight back to protect their lives and save their home from the Great Darkness. Raaku, as Tinnstra keeps saying, is just a man, not a God, after all.

Ralasis remains possibly my favourite character, knowing full well he’s an idiot, he keeps running into danger and somehow, even after buildings literally fall on him, still survives to run into more danger. I also love Ange, another person who knows they’re being stupid, who should have left when they had the chance, but still there, fighting.

Honestly, I don’t understand why this series isn’t huge, inspired in part by the author’s time living in Japan, it’s cracking, and should definitely be on your tbr if you like a bit of epic fantasy blended with down to earth, every day issues like getting enough food in a country at war. Most of the heroes of the book, and series, are ordinary people caught up in something so much bigger than them. Highly recommended reading.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Come True – Brindi Quinn

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I’m so excited to share this amazing book with you today! Read on for more details about Come True: A Bomb-Ass Genie Romance by Brindi Quinn! You’re going to want to read this one!

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Come True: A Bomb-Ass Genie Romance

Publication Date: April 27th, 2022

Genre: New Adult/ Paranormal Romance/ Comedy

Publisher: Midnight Tide Publishing

★A jaded girl. A persistent genie. A contest of souls.★

Recent college graduate Dolly Jones has spent the last year stubbornly trying to atone for a mistake that cost her everything. She doesn’t go out, she doesn’t make new friends and she sure as hell doesn’t treat herself to things she hasn’t earned, but when her most recent thrift store purchase proves home to a hot, magical genie determined to draw out her darkest desires in exchange for a taste of her soul, Dolly’s restraint, and patience, will be put to the test.

Newbie genie Velis Reilhander will do anything to beat his older half-brothers in a soul-collecting contest that will determine the next heir to their family estate, even if it means coaxing desire out of the least palatable human he’s ever contracted. As a djinn from a ‘polluted’ bloodline, Velis knows what it’s like to work twice as hard as everyone else, and he won’t let anyone—not even Dolly f*cking Jones—stand in the way of his birthright. He just needs to figure out her heart’s greatest desire before his asshole brothers can get to her first.

COME TRUE: A BOMB-ASS GENIE ROMANCE is the romantic, fantastic second-coming-of-age story of two flawed twenty-somethings from different realms battling their inner demons, and each other, one wish at a time.

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Excerpt

I’ve been poisoned? I’ve had an allergic reaction? There are toxins held within that ancient turquoise glass?

These are the thoughts racing through me as I blink open my eyes and find my face planted on the kitchen floor. Never a good idea to get eye-level with your kitchen floor. One finds all sorts of treasures hiding out under crannies and betwixt nooks. I see an eraser, a spill mark, a hair cluster and . . . feet.

FEET?

There are most certainly bare feet standing on the other side of my open fridge door! At least I got my wish. A burglar came for me instead of fire. I reach for a gun, but I have no gun. I don’t even like guns. So what do I grab? A fucking glue gun from the craft bin beside my kitchen table. And I hold it with all the confidence it hasn’t earned.

“L-Larry?” I venture. “Is that you?”

Larry’s the name of the super. The only one that should have keys to my apartment.

The fridge door slams, and feet much too tan to be Larry’s begin closing in on me. Not to mention, Larry always, always, always wears socks. One time, I saw him wear them under flip-flops. That toe-separator was working overtime.

I digress, and the feet are nearly upon me, soon accompanied by a head dropping into frame; the intruder has just crouched. Definitely not Larry. Larry’s incapable of smirking like that.

WHAT THE FUCK?

It’s a guy and, let’s be real, it’s a guy of higher than average features, with dusk-blue hair tossed effortlessly with product and eyes a paler shade of blue than I thought possible on a person. Sharp, the centers pierce like turrets through a blizzard while the corners taper with smug amusement.

Oh, yeah, and did I mention he’s NAKED? All but for a pair of gray sweatpants low around his waist and rolled up at the ankles.

“Hello, Master,” he says with undue familiarity. “Sorry for invading your refrigerator. You were taking your time, and I was getting hungry.” He makes a chomping noise with his teeth.

“Stay back!” I scamper into a sitting position and steadily crab crawl away from him, holding the glue gun like it might fool him into thinking I’m armed.

“No use pulling the trigger,” he counters, straightening to reveal a body that’s lean. “Your bullets will miss me every time.”

He . . . thinks it’s a real gun?

But it has a cord!

No matter.

“I have a very steady hand,” I assert, knowing my hand is anything but. “You have three seconds to get out of here or I’ll shoot!” It sounds like something someone would say in a movie—from what I remember of movies.

“I don’t doubt your hand, Master,” he says and takes a step closer. “But you’re incapable of hurting me physically. It won’t work, even if you try.”

Again, this is clearly a glue gun.

“How did you get in here?” I demand. “We’re on the third floor, and I know I locked the door.”

He tips his head. “Really? You’re the one that brought me in. You said I could spend the night. And then you sealed it with a kiss.”

Blinks befall me—One. Two. Three.

“You were in my apartment the whole time?!” I jab the glue gun in his direction and notice for the first time that it has a half-used stick of glue butting out the ass of it. “You were watching when I kissed that—that vase?!”

And, oh, dear lord, now we’ve admitted to another living person that we kissed a vase.

“Vase?” He shakes his head comically as though this is all a big misunderstanding. “No, no. That’s not a vase. It is my holding vessel. I’d invite you in for a tour, but it’s a bit cramped.”

“Your holding vessel? As in something that contains you?” I look between the shirtless, blue-haired guy, eyes trailing over the tight chest of him before flicking to the bottle on the counter in all its arcane wonder. “As in, you expect me to believe you came out of it? Like you’re a . . . a genie or something?”

“To be honest, genie is kind of a derogatory term where I come from, but—”

“Get out.” I prod the glue gun at him with new vigor. “Get out, get out, get out!”

For a moment, it’s as if a shadow settles over his brow as a shimmer from some nonexistent light source catches his eye. “Is that a wish?”

Purchase a copy here!

About the Author

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Brindi Quinn is a fangirling fantasy author from Minnesota specializing in world-building and romance. She is an advocate of quirky love and firmly believes that banter makes the heart grow fonder. Her main ingredients for a great read are spice, sparkle, and SWOON.

Since 2011, Brindi has written over a dozen young adult and new adult novels beginning with her debut epic fantasy series, Heart of Farellah. Her works often blur the lines between paranormal romance, science fiction, and fantasy, and her series have been hailed as unique, addictive reads by reviewers.

Brindi is an IT Project Manager by day and has a bachelor’s in communication-based studies from Southern New Hampshire University. She lives in suburban Minnesota where she likes to bike, indulge in video game lore, and spend time with her life partner, Kent, the world’s cutest pup, Burton, and the fluffle of cantankerous rabbits that hop around her house.

Brindi is published through Never & Ever Publishing and Midnight Tide Publishing.

Brindi Quinn | Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | Goodreads

Click the link below for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of the book!

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My thoughts: this was a funny, entertaining read, I liked Dolly and her sarcastic, slightly hostile world view, and how naive Velis was about humans and the world we live in. Not everyone wants to be an influencer!

Their adventures take in other worlds, time travel, obnoxious siblings, falling in love with the wrong person and a lot more kissing than I Dream of Jeannie would dare.

Are genies, genii, djinn, about to be the next big thing in fantasy romance after vampires, werewolves and fairies? I don’t know but this a fun start.

Book Tour Schedule

July 25th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Riss Reviews (Review) https://rissreviewsx.wixsite.com/website

@rissreviews_xx – https://www.instagram.com/rissreviews_xx/

@the_pageling (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the_pageling/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

@junk.journal.librarian (Review) https://www.instagram.com/junk.journal.librarian

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

July 26th

@dany.alvy (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dany.alvy/

@wraithreads (Review) https://www.instagram.com/wraithreads/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

Ecce.Libri (Review) https://eccelibri702630676.wordpress.com/

@ecce.libri – https://www.instagram.com/ecce.libri/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

July 27th

@aliciareviewsbook (Review) https://www.instagram.com/Aliciareviewsbooks/

Cheryl’s Book Nook (Review) https://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/

@beastreader – https://www.instagram.com/beastreader/

@by_hckilgour (Review) https://www.instagram.com/by_hckilgour/

@stepintothepages (Review) www.instagram.com/stepintothepages

@bhaneereads_ (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bhaneereads_/

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

July 28th

Balancing Books and Beauties (Review) https://balancingbooksandbeauties.wordpress.com/

@balancing_books_and_beauties – https://www.instagram.com/balancing_books_and_beauties/

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

@gryffindorbookishnerd (Review) https://www.instagram.com/gryffindorbookishnerd/

See Sadie Read (Review) http://sadieforsythe.com/wp/

Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

July 29th

@itsabookthing2021 (Spotlight) http://www.instagram.com/itsabookthing2021

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

@amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

@tm_ghent (Review) https://www.instagram.com/tm_ghent/

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*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Cover Reveal: The Gifts – Liz Hyder

The paperback edition of The Gifts is out 1st September in all good bookshops. And I’m sharing the beautiful cover today. So get your orders in!

Waterstones

In an age defined by men, it will take something extraordinary to show four women who they truly are . . .

October 1840. A young woman staggers alone through a forest in Shropshire as a huge pair of impossible wings rip themselves from her shoulders.

Meanwhile, when rumours of a ‘fallen angel’ cause a frenzy across London, a surgeon desperate for fame and fortune finds himself in the grips of a dangerous obsession, one that will place the women he seeks in the most terrible danger . . .

THE GIFTS is the astonishing debut adult novel from the lauded author of BEARMOUTH. A gripping and ambitious book told through five different perspectives and set against the luminous backdrop of nineteenth century London, it explores science, nature and religion, enlightenment, the role of women in society and the dark danger of ambition.

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Blog Tour: Heroes and Harbingers – ARK Horton

Welcome to the tour for Heroes and Harbingers, the first book in ARK Horton’s Secrets of Pantheons series! Read on for more info and a chance to win a great giveaway!

Web

Secret of Pantheons (Heroes & Harbingers #1)

Publication Date: June 11th, 2022

Genre: Adult Fantasy Academia

Food fights. Detention. Dissecting fairies for science class. Just another day for teachers at a Magical Public School.

Ms. Sirin’s fate as a death harbinger has ruined her life. She longs to be more than a herald of doom, aspiring to impact lives in her teaching career. But when a new student with bold dreams joins her class and is picked as this century’s Chosen One, Ms. Sirin’s dark power senses a terrible sacrifice to come.

Finn MacCool’s warrior past didn’t prepare him for a hundred years of teaching for his community service. Spending the last decade of his sentence at a new school, the immortal develops a crush on his tempting but aloof coworker. The Irish legend blows his chance when he butts heads with the Council of Pantheons’ latest brave heroine—who also happens to be Ms. Sirin’s favorite pupil.

However, the Chosen One’s quest isn’t all it seems. Pavlina’s lethal prophecies come to pass, and her gift warns of more to come. Will this daring trio of heroes have what it takes to make the grade, or will they fail before they even make it to Summer Break?

Set in an alternate reality of Jacksonville, Florida, this adult urban fantasy is the first book in the Secret of Pantheons series. If you enjoy a hearty helping of mythology, found family, and unbreakable bonds, this book is for you. Class is in session with Heroes & Harbingers—delve in now before the bell rings!

Meet the Characters

CONTENT WARNING:

This is a book written by an adult mostly about adults and for an adult audience. While many teenagers may appreciate this book and even learn positive things from it, please read ahead if you intend to gift it to anyone under 18. It may contain some content you deem inappropriate for them. Consider the following content before purchase.

  • Grief
  • Death
  • Kidnapping
  • Pregnancy Loss
  • Substance Abuse
  • Life-Threatening Situations

Add to Goodreads

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EBook Available on Amazon

Paperback Available on Amazon & Barnes & Noble

About the Author

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A.R.K. Horton is a small woman made of round shapes and long sighs. Children and animals surround her in her Florida home. Her vice is hoarding responsibilities, and she has the tired eyes to prove it. They still have a sparkle, though, seeing the next project ahead.

She began writing as a child when she became obsessed with learning about the most obscure fairytales, folktales, and myths. Now, as a Pagan Witch, she uses the stories she loved growing up with, as well as her own spiritual journey, to inspire her blogs and novels.

ARK Horton | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest

Giveaway

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For a chance to win this tee and a $20 Amazon e-gift card, click the link below!

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Book Tour Schedule

July 18th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

@loki_and_lore (Review) https://www.instagram.com/loki_and_lore

@readwithemstar (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/readwithemstar/

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

July 19th

Balancing Books and Beauties (Review) https://www.instagram.com/balancing_books_and_beauties/

@balancing_books_and_beauties – https://www.instagram.com/balancing_books_and_beauties/

@fariha_binte_islam (Review) https://www.instagram.com/fariha_binte_islam/

@mels_booksandhooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mels_booksandhooks/

Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

Cocktails & Fairytales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

July 20th

@theenchantedshelf (Review) https://www.instagram.com/theenchantedshelf/

@over.on.my.bookshelf (Review) https://www.instagram.com/over.on.my.bookshelf/?hl=en

@genoviareadingco (Review) https://www.instagram.com/genoviareadingco/

better_0ff_read (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/better_0ff_read

@dany.alvy (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/dany.alvy/

July 21st

@amanda_coffee_books (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amanda_coffee_books/

@amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

Ecce.Libri (Review) https://eccelibri702630676.wordpress.com/

@ecce.libri – https://www.instagram.com/ecce.libri/

@takealookatmybookshelf (Review) https://www.instagram.com/takealookatmybookshelf/

@elinasbookstagram (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/elinasbookstagram/

Freelance Writer, Janny C (Spotlight) https://freelancewriterjannyc.com/

July 22nd

Nica’s Bookish Diary (Review) www.nicasbookishdiary.Wordpress.com

@nicasbooksta – https://www.instagram.com/nicasbooksta

@what.kerry.reads (Review) https://www.instagram.com/what.kerry.reads

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

@gryffindorbookishnerd (Review) https://www.instagram.com/gryffindorbookishnerd/

Sadie’s Spotlight (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/sadiesspotlight/

Book Tour Organized By:

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Pre-order Event: Invitation to Hell – Amber Bunch

Invitation to hell copy

Welcome to the pre-order event for Invitation to Hell, a dark romantic fantasy by Amber Bunch! Read on for details, pre-order a copy, and enter the giveaway ($25 Amazon e-gift card – open to everyone)!

When you pre-order you get a few extras when your book arrives:

2 Stickers (Including Chibi Sticker of Asmo and Kali) 

2 Bookmarks

Art Print of Asmodeus

Signed Book Plate 

Casebound Cover ITH sample

Invitation to Hell (Goddess of Death #1)

Publication Date: September 22, 2022 (First Edition)

Genre: Dark Romance/ Dark Fantasy/ Mythology

What if, all you’ve ever known was ripped away from you…

You were thrown into a world full of the same creatures that have haunted your nightmares for years. Magic, and the Gods are no longer a myth, but a part of your destiny. 

Now, you’re about to lose everything and everyone you love to an evil King known as the Devourer of Souls. 

Then, there’s Hades son…

The ruthless Prince that drives you crazy and thinks you are a waste of his time. 

You can’t stand him, but he has been instructed to protect you, so now you have to deal with his arrogance on top of everything else. 

The two of you must travel across the Realms to find a way to stop King Lucius before all is lost and you still don’t even know how to use your newly awakened power. 

Well, this should be fun. 

Pre-Order Here and at B&N!

About the Author

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Amber is an author of spicy romance with a twist…
She isn’t committed to any one genre. She lives in Ohio with her family and her dog. She enjoys the outdoors, reading, playing guitar, and loves to stay active. She is a mother of three and her family is her biggest support group. She has also written a children’s book series that was inspired by her children and their play adventures together.

Amber Bunch | Facebook |  Twitter | Instagram

Pre-Order Incentive:

Must sign up for newsletter via website for shipping updates

Must be ok with sharing mailing address with Amber Bunch for shipping book swag

Must have proof of purchase to receive Pre-Order Incentive (Either Print or Digital and sent to R&R Book Tours or Amber Bunch)

For a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-gift card, click the link below!

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Book Blitz Organized By:

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