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Blog Tour: Division X – August Hill

Congratulations to author August Hill on the release of his novel Division X, the perfect Halloween read!FINAL COVER PROOF Division X 7-25-22 - CopyPublication Date: October 20th, 2022Genre: Supernatural Horror/ LycanthropesPublisher: Brother MockingbirdTW: 80’s slasher gore in chapter one.Twenty-four years old, no job, and kicked out by her parents, Randi Matheson is living at her aunt and uncle’s trying her hardest to complete a novel she can’t seem to start when a carnivorous monster interrupts her middling life on a full moon night. Attacked during an ordinary family dinner, Randi’s relatives are murdered, and she is bitten by the beast. Surviving the slaughter, Randi returns home to her distressed family only to become a monster herself under the next full moon. Nearly devouring her younger brother, she is stopped by the intervention of Division X, a company devoted to the killing and capture of paranormal threats. She awakens in a containment cell the next morning to be given an ultimatum… work for them as a new weapon in the fight against evil or be dissected. A cure to her lycanthropy is promised along the way, and with real motivation to stay alive, Randi pushes herself to the brink to return to her normal life. Small town horrors lie in wait with even smaller heroes to stand against them. Can Randi save them and herself, or will everything crumble to the wills of evil?Add to Goodreads

I’m not me when I kill people. At least, that’s what I tell myself. I wake up, and I know I’ve done something horrible. My hands are covered in blood, my clothes are gone, and my stomach feels full. I don’t remember what I did. All I remember is the pain. It’s impossible to forget.

It starts with the fur. It spreads like fire, melting me. My bones go next, shifting, changing, breaking. I always cry, always scream, but I can live with the pain. I can’t live with what comes next. Something takes control and pushes me into the dark. I sleep a dreamless sleep, and when I wake up, the nightmare begins.

I don’t know them, the people I’ve killed, the ones I’ve eaten. But I do know they weren’t all bad. I live with the pain because I deserve it.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Ryan1After receiving an education at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, August Hill started writing Division X, a supernatural horror filled with dark humor, adventure, and sinister creatures that leap off the pages.His love for all things spooky and scary was unleashed when he discovered Jurassic Park at four years old and the R. L. Stine Goosebumps collection in elementary school. He holds a huge appreciation for 80’s horror and is partial to fun, dark, and witty ensemble casting with younger heroes. Some of his favorite influences include The Lost Boys, Aliens, Gremlins, and An American Werewolf in London to name a few.Hill’s knack for writing fiction emerged at an early age when he wrote stories for his own enjoyment. He is a collector of horror films and is a board game enthusiast. When not writing, he can be found walking trails with his dog, enjoying movie nights with friends, spending time playing video games, and camping in Maine.

August Hill | Instagram | Twitter

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Blog Tour: The Unlikely Spy – Sophie Schiller

Welcome to the book tour for The Unlikely Spy by Sophie Schiller! Read on for more details!

The Unlikey Spy NEW 2022 Kindle

The Unlikely Spy

Publication Date: August 21st, 2022

Genre: Spy Thriller/ Historical Romance/ Historical Fiction
Casablanca meets Notorious in a Hitchcock-style thriller of espionage, romance, adventure, and intrigue.

1917. Emma Christensen is a young widow who returns to the Danish West Indies to reclaim the life and the villa she left behind. When she discovers her husband has disinherited her in favor of his young heir—an illegitimate son—she turns to the one thing she knows, gambling, and soon finds herself deeply in debt.

Emma is approached by Cornelius Smith, a representative of an American shipping line, who offers an alternative: infiltrate the suspicious Hamburg-American Line and spy on its nefarious leader, Julius Luckner, to gain valuable business intelligence for his firm.

It doesn’t take long for Emma to realize that both Smith and Luckner are not as they seem. Close to the Allies but even closer to the enemy, Emma bravely engages in missions that could blow her cover at any moment. But with the Panama Canal at stake, how far will she go to help the Allies?
A gripping and suspenseful World War I spy thriller from an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

From the moment she left the telegraph office, Emma had an eerie feeling that someone was following her. It stayed with her all the way back to the hotel. She felt as if someone was watching her every move although she was quite certain she had slipped past the German in the lobby.

When she returned to her hotel, waited impatiently for Smith’s cable. She called down to the front desk numerous times to ask if any message had arrived for her, but the answer was always no. With no other recourse, she went to bed, tossing and turning half the night, fearing that something terrible had happened to Allendorf and now she was all alone. This was completely unexpected. For several agonizing hours she pondered what she should do, but couldn’t come up with a viable plan. The Germans were watching her every move. She was basically trapped in her hotel room, and Smith was counting on her to complete her mission. But no one could have foreseen such a reversal.

As the hours ticked by, she had an ominous feeling she couldn’t shake, that her life was hanging in the balance. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up and she had an unsettling feeling that would not quit.

When she could no longer tolerate her insomnia, she picked up the phone and ordered a chamomile tea from room service, hoping it would calm her jangling nerves. When the drink arrived, she splashed a bit of rum in it from her trusty flask. Yet she still had a nagging feeling that something was wrong.

Her eyes fell on her purse. It sat on the nightstand near her bed, just within her reach. She opened it, took out the pistol, and rehearsed priming it so she could use it in a tight spot. She needed to have the movements go like clockwork. There was no room for failure in this business. Luckily it only weighed two pounds. That made slipping it into her pocket easier. The magazine was already loaded with seven bullets. Seven chances to save her life. She gripped the pistol in her right hand and racked the slide, then added a bullet to the barrel. Now it was ready. She flicked the lever to “safe” and set the pistol down on the nightstand. Perhaps now she could sleep.

She lay down, pulled the sheet around her, and turned off the light. She closed her eyes and tried to relax, but she could not fall asleep.

Outside, the moon cast a luminous glow on the surroundings. Crickets croaked their nightly serenade and the stars lit up the heavens. The palm fronds billowed in the breeze. The waves crashing on the rocks sent an ominous warning. Emma found it difficult to sleep in a different bed, and impossible to relax when she had so much on her mind, so much responsibility on her shoulders.

She got up and peered outside. Despite the late hour, there were still people milling about, laughing and heading to restaurants and casinos. Horse carriages trotted past while motorcars meandered down the streets, their glowing lights like the eyes of a puma. Sounds of amusement echoed from the restaurant below. Lights shone from the ships in Manzanillo Bay, creating a scene that was idyllic, almost peaceful. Further out, she could see the lights on the ships waiting to enter the canal. There was a long line of them that suspended off to the horizon. Each one had its own purpose and destination. Each one could be sunk at any time by German torpedoes or hidden bombs. She shivered. An explosion along the canal would cause chaos for the Allies. The Kaiser would gloat in his victory. His generals and their underlings would launch even more attacks. Emma could picture Luckner in his office toasting his triumph, patting himself on the back even as the embers of the canal still glowed.

She went back to bed and covered herself with the sheet, trying to block out her worries. But it was impossible. She had a sense of impending doom. And for some strange reason, the hairs on the back of her neck stood up.

Suddenly she heard a scratching noise near her door. A man’s footsteps shuffled just outside. She froze and listened, not daring to move. Someone was fumbling with the lock, trying to break in. She sat up in bed, listening. She felt her heart stop. Yes, somebody was trying to break in.

She fumbled in the dark for her pistol. She grabbed it, flicked the safety to “fire” then eased herself off the bed. Crouching down on the floor, she listened as the noise continued ever so slightly that it was barely detectable. She sat behind the bed, aiming the pistol, not daring to breathe.

The latch turned and the door opened, allowing just enough light from the hallway to illuminate the figure of a man entering her room. When he was inside, he closed the door behind him and latched it. Her eyes widened. He tiptoed toward the bed and raised his hands as if to attack. Emma’s heart pounded as she released the pistol break and held her breath.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Sophie Schiller author photo 1

Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ. She is a novelist and a poet. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews has called her “an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer.” Publishers Weekly called her novel, ISLAND ON FIRE, “a memorable romantic thriller”, her novel RACE TO TIBET, “a thrilling yarn,” and her TRANSFER DAY, “a page-turner with emotional resonance.” Her novel, THE LOST DIARY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, was called, “an engaging coming-of-age story of heartbreak, bravery, honor, and triumph” by Kirkus Reviews. She graduated from American University, Washington, DC and lives in New York.

Sophie Schiller | Facebook | Twitter

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Blog Tour: Seekers: The Winds of Change – Troy Knowlton

Seekers copy

Welcome to the book tour for epic fantasy Seekers: The Winds of Change by Troy Knowlton, perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faisal!

UPDATED-FRONT-SEEKERS

Seekers: The Winds of Change

Publication Date: July 12th, 2022

Genre: YA Fantasy/ High Fantasy

After an assassination attempt that could lead to an all-out war, Tyras and Oren, two young Seekers of the Argan Empire, are each given secret missions in an attempt to thwart the coming chaos. Both tasks require the Seekers to venture through the war-torn continent of Tiarna where the young men face mortal danger, horrible monsters, and hostile groups – all challenges Seekers are trained to combat. Luckily, the two Seekers also find guidance, friendship, and romance along the way. However, powerful and mysterious forces are conspiring behind the scenes and both Tyras and Oren will have to overcome a host of obstacles, including their own inner demons, in order to maintain a glimmer of hope for success. With war imminent and the unknown ahead, will the Seekers triumph, or will they be swallowed by the turbulent, relentless Winds of Change?

Set in a new, masterfully created high fantasy world, Seekers: The Winds of Change is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faisal.

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seekers

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Troy Knowlton always had a burning desire to tell stories. He started at a young age by drawing maps of made-up continents and fantasy kingdoms. The empty kingdoms beckoned to be given life, and his work eventually blossomed, leading him to create full narratives and characters for his worlds. He currently lives in California where he works as an X-Ray technologist and teacher when he isn’t writing. He’s also a great lover of history, currently working to earn his bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science.

Troy Knowlton

Extract – Phantom in Blue

The night sky was like a dark and shifting ocean, pitch-black and ominous. Strong winds kicked up swaths of desert sand into the horizon. The waves of brown earth raged across the heavens with a low roar. The rough weather spewed thousands of coarse, rocky grains that tore into anything standing in their path. It made the inhabitants of the Koterran mining camp miserable. The small encampment sat at the edge of a large rift in the sands, where precious iron and sandstone had already been torn from the earth. Webs of scaffolding hugged the edge of the chasm and stretched deep into the hole below. The tents of the camp were arranged in two circles. A dozen or so constituted the outer circle, and five made up the inner circle, the largest of which housed the spoils of the dig. A robust campfire sat in the center, which shone defiantly against the darkness of the wild night.

Serana sat on a rock at the edge of the campfire’s light and peered off into the distance. She wondered why her father made the decision to send her to this bizarre corner of the kingdom to guard this tiny, insignificant camp. A whole party of knights accompanied her, which seemed unnecessary. There’d been reports of bandits attacking caravans in the area, causing the High Commander to take action. He’d entrusted his daughter with organizing the camp’s protection. On the surface it made sense, but this was a job for regional guards, not Serana and thirty royal knights. Perhaps there’s some other reason, besides bandits. What if there’s a threat too dangerous to reveal, one he wanted to keep secret? The idea both terrified and excited her.

A powerful gust of wind smashed through the circling encampment like an ocean tide crashing against rocky shores. It ripped through the tents and carried enough force to extinguish the fire, shrouding the camp in near-total darkness. Bedlam ensued as miners and knights ran around in that darkness, fumbling like blind infants, trying to find where they had left their torches.

Serana didn’t join in the hysteria. She listened through the commotion, blocking her ears from the miners’ squabbling and sensing outward. She could feel a presence approaching the camp’s edge. She squinted at the outer circle of tents and saw the shape of a figure moving across them, like a predator circling its prey. Her hand reached for the sword at her hip, but she stopped short. She realized there was a danger in having her weapon drawn, with so many people running around in the dark. In her moment of hesitation, she lost sight of the figure. She shouted a command to her knights: “Gather your bearings and spread out. We aren’t alone!”

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October 7th

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Blog Tour: Island of Dreams – Harry Duffin

IslandofDream copy

Welcome to the book tour for historic fiction novel, Island of Dreams by Harry Duffin. Due for release early this Winter!

Island of dreams v4b

Island of Dreams

Expected Publication Date: December 1st, 2022

Genre: Historical Thriller/ Historical Romance

A love story set against the backdrop of the 1950’s Cuban Revolution.     

In May 1939, when Professor Carl Mueller, his wife, Esther, and their three children flee Nazi Germany, and find refuge on the paradise island of Cuba, they are all full of hopes and dreams for a safe and happy future.

But those dreams are shattered when Carl and Esther are confronted by a ghost from their past, and old betrayals return to haunt them.

The turbulent years of political corruption leading to Batista’s dictatorship, forces the older children to take very different paths to pursue their own dangerous dreams.

And – among the chaos and the conflict that finally leads to Castro’s revolution and victory in 1959, an unlikely love begins to grow – a love that threatens the whole family.

Having escaped a war-torn Europe, their Island of Dreams is to tear them apart forever.

Coming Soon!

Excerpt

May 1939, Havana, Cuba

‘It’s so warm, Papa. It’s still night, but it’s so warm!’

Professor Carl Mueller smiled down at his daughter, holding his hand at the rail of the  S.S. St Louis, the ship that had been their refuge, their salvation, as it slipped slowly through the darkness towards the sleeping city. A sense of relief washed over him, like the caress of the tropical breeze.

‘We’re in the Tropics, Anna. It’s always warm here.’

Anna gazed at the shimmering lights of the city strung out along the shore. ‘Look! It’s like one of Mama’s diamond necklaces!’

‘She hasn’t got them anymore!’ snapped her elder brother, Hans, in German. ‘We had to sell them to get on the boat!’

‘Because of your stupid Nazis!’ replied Anna fierily.

‘The Nazis are not stupid!’

‘Children, children, don’t fight!’ said their father firmly, but gently. ‘And please remember we must speak English now.’

Hans snorted his annoyance, but said nothing.

As the deep throb of the engines slackened below their feet, they fell quiet. The scent of wet palms and exotic blooms filled Anna’s nostrils. She breathed deeply. At twelve years old her life was beginning again. She breathed deeply once more. It was the smell of freedom.

‘It looks so beautiful, Papa. Our new home.’

‘It isn’t our home!’ retorted Hans. His father looked at him. Hans continued in English. ‘Germany is our home, isn’t it, Father! Our Fatherland.’

‘Perhaps one day, my son, it will be again. Until then…’ Professor Mueller’s voice tailed off.

‘I want to explore everything, Papa!’ Anna said excitedly. ‘I shall learn Spanish and learn everything about Cuba!’

Her father smiled at her again, but beneath the smile there was deep sadness. There was one person who could teach Anna everything about the island. A charming, lively, intelligent man who would make the perfect guide to their new home. He didn’t know if the man had ever returned to the island, his home, but if he had, Carl Mueller fervently hoped that they would never meet him.

The cab splashed to a halt, waking Freddie Sanchez as he was thrown against the back of the driver’s seat. Streetlights dazzled him from the wet, empty sidewalk. He felt disorientated and a little sick. That last daiquiri was one too many. The last half dozen, really.

‘Thank you, Carlos,’ he muttered, groping for the door handle.  ‘Put it on my tab.’

‘Señor Sánchez –‘

‘Mañana, Carlos. Mañana, I promise.’

‘I have a family to keep, Senor Sanchez –‘

‘You’re a lucky man, Carlos. A lucky man. I have no one.’

He stumbled from the cab, ignoring the muttered Spanish oath behind his back. Freddie understood. Being half-Cuban, of course he understood. But at such moments he leaned on his English side and played the colonial.

The cab squealed into a turn and roared back along the deserted sea-front towards the casinos.

Leaning against the harbour wall to support himself, Freddie remembered falling headlong down the stairs of the Hotel Nacional, and the young policeman catching him, saving him from breaking his neck.

‘You have to be more careful, Senor Sanchez’, said the young man as he helped him to a taxi.

‘Thanks, Ramos,’ he had said. ‘I’m…er, just a little tired.’

Freddie recalled the flash of gleaming white teeth, the sarcastic smile. Why did he still pretend with people like Ramos, who must know as many gutter secrets as anyone on the island. Ramos could care less about him being a drunk, so why did Freddie pretend? Perhaps because the years of excess still hadn’t quite left their tell-tale traces, and the last thing to leave him was his vanity. From his medical training, Freddie knew he’d been born lucky. He had a constitution like the sea wall he was leaning against. Solid, resistant, able to take anything that life threw at him. In body at least, if not in mind. Certainly not in mind.

The klaxon on the S.S. St Louis broke into his self-pity. Out in the dark ocean, like a birthday cake ablaze with candles, the S.S. St Louis stole into the arms of the harbour, the smoke from its stacks ghostly wraiths against the night sky. It looked as if it was headed straight towards the second-floor window of his tiny room by the harbour.

Nearly a thousand refugees, the papers said, escaping from the Nazis. German families like the one he once knew as a student in London. Where were they now? Safe, he was certain. Professor Carl Mueller’s family would be safe…Despite the warmth of the night, at the thought of that family, Freddie shivered. After so many years, the cold chill of self-disgust still lingered.

About the Author

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Harry is an award-winning UK screenwriter, who won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best TV serial, while writing for Granada Television’s ‘CORONATION STREET’. Before that, in 1985, he was on the first writing team for the BBC’s ‘EASTENDERS’.

Before beginning his career writing drama for television, Harry spent a dozen years working in British theatre, as stage manager, writer, designer and director, working with actors such as Nigel Hawthorne, Anne Reid and Lesley Manville.

After script-editing the BBC’s HOWARDS’WAY, he freelanced for series like DISTRICT NURSE, THE BILL, BOON, THE BRETTS, EMMERDALE.

In 1994 he became Head of Development at the UK independent company, Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment. As the script executive he was responsible for seven major television series, included ‘SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON’ starring RICHARD ‘JOHN BOY’ THOMAS, and ‘TWIST IN THE TALE’, featuring WILLIAM SHATNER. He also wrote the film, RETURN TO TREASURE ISLAND.

In 1998 he was the co-creator of the UK Channel Five teen-cult drama series ‘THE TRIBE’, which ran for five series, numbering 260 episodes. ‘THE TRIBE’ has been sold world-wide, and all series is on YouTube.

His first novel, CHICAGO MAY, is the first book of a two-part series.  He has also written JAIL TALES, about his wife’s 20 year career in the prison service, and the novel BIRTH OF THE MALL RATS, the prequel to THE TRIBE.

He has just finished his third novel, ISLAND OF DREAMS, to be published on December 1st 2022.

Harry Duffin

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Blog Tour: Kingdom Come – Danielle M.Orsino

KingdomCome copy

Welcome to the book tour for the beautiful fourth installment in the Birth of the Fae series, Kingdom Come! Read on for more details and a chance to win a FairyLoot Crate!

KC cover

Kingdom Come (Birth of the Fae #4)

Publication Date: May 30th, 2022

Genre: Fantasy/ Fae

All is peaceful in the Veil, which is usually when everything falls apart…
Queen Aurora of the Court of Light and King Jarvok of the Court of Dark have fallen in love despite all odds. A relationship of political convenience has turned into something real and tangible for the two monarchs. After centuries of conflict and mistrust, the two Courts are about to unite as one: the Court of the Fae. But not every Fae is happy about the impending union.
Queen Aurora’s most trusted advisors have never lost touch with their old Angelic ways. These bishops still believe that Virtues and Power Angels were never meant to mix. According to them, Queen Aurora is no longer suitable to rule. As they mount a complex coup d’état to grasp the throne, a new threat to the monarchy makes their move.
Will the entire foundation of peace crumble with one last act of betrayal? Or will the bond between Court of Light and Dark prevail in the face of danger?

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About the Author

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Danielle M. Orsino is a fantasy novelist whose lifelong vision to create whimsical realms that her readers can escape to. Her compelling word-weaving pays homage to a multitude of personal muses, from Chris Claremont and George Pérez (both famous comic book writers), to Anne Rice and Wonder Woman.

The creative spark of storytelling has been with Danielle ever since she was a child, but martial arts and her nursing career took center stage into adulthood. Then, on a day like any other, it was reignited during the most unexpected of moments: while treating one of her patients. Seeing that they longed for a distraction during their arduous treatments, the floodgates of inspiration soon burst forth. So, Danielle took it upon herself to tell them a story; a fantastical narrative that would leave the confines of that IV room’s walls and land upon a page. Before she knew it, what started as an imaginative tale to pass the time, turned into book, followed by an entire series: The Birth of Fae. This awe-inspiring series includes Locked out of Heaven (Book One), Thine Eyes of Mercy (Book Two), and From The Ashes (Book Three), all of which are published by 4 Horsemen Publications, Inc. And with an unwavering passion for cosplay and comics, it was a unanimous decision to place her on the cover of each book in all her Fae cosplay glory. The Birth of Fae also features Los, an affable chameleon dragon inspired by her fun-loving Yorkie named Carlos.

When writing wasn’t at the forefront of her mind, Danielle was a successful Martial Artist. Some of her achievements include “1999 World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee”, “Female Martial Artist of the Year”, “WKA World Champion Silver Medalist 2008”, and numerous more. She has also garnered hundreds of martial art tournament wins, various other national and world titles, and features on big-name channels like TLC and CBS. She even had the rare opportunity to perform for former U.S. President Bill Clinton and collaborate alongside Vincent Lyn and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. From there, she pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science, and she is now a Licensed Practical Nurse who focuses on Lyme disease research.

This “New Queen of the Fae’s” unmatched world-building and masterful Fae-origin retellings have led to an ever-growing queendom of “Fae-natics”. To begin embarking upon a quest in an epic world unlike any other, visit Danielle M. Orsino’s official website at http://www.BirthOfTheFae.com. You can also connect with her on Instagram (@BirthOfTheFae_Novel) and Twitter (@BirthOfTheFae).

“After summoning this world into existence through an imaginative force of will, Danielle has scoured every inch of the landscape several times over. Critics often praise a story’s world building by saying that it feels “lived in.” Well, the world of the Fae certainly seems like that because Danielle herself has happily lived there for years as she worked to put all of this together… My favorite part of this story is that it is gloriously depicted in vibrant images.”

-Clete Barrett Smith, New York Times Bestselling Author of If We Were GiantsAliens on Vacation series, and Magic Delivery

The Birth of the Fae | Instagram | Twitter

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Blog Tour: The Prism Effect – J. Wint

ThePrismAffect copy

To celebrate the release of the second instalment in The Skylight Series by author J. Wint, we’re going back to where the adventure began with The Prism Effect! Read on for more details!

The Prism Effect MIDJOURNEY EBOOK

The Prism Affect (The Skylight Series #1)

Publication Date: September 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy/ Sci-Fi

LIFE has never been easy for young Jet Stroud.

He is affected by a rare condition known as ephebus mortem, also called the youthful death, and legend says it will kill him before his twenty-fourth birthday. To make matters worse, the legend also claims that its victims become delusional as they grow older.

However, things take a turn for the better when he is unexpectedly accepted into the renowned Skylight University–an orbiting system in the Earth’s atmosphere. At first, he doubts the legend and begins the semester hoping to learn more about his strange disease. As the school year unfolds, he meets a group of students like him and they band together. Soon, strange things start to happen–mysterious shadows follow them, bizarre holographic prophecies appear that only they can see, and haunting voices cloud Jet’s thoughts. He begins to struggle on the blaze pitch and with his studies. The small group of students threaten to splinter apart as the semester races to a close and Jet wonders if he will survive. In the end, he uncovers something about himself so profound that it will change his life forever.

Excerpt

“Jet?” she asked. “Everything okay?”

He didn’t respond, still gazing in the direction of the fountain. She snapped her fingers in front of his face to gain his attention.

He blinked and looked at her. “Sylvant, over there next to the fountain… do you see it?”

It was the heat mirage again. It shifted around the base of the fountain, blurry and transparent. But it was too cool for a heat mirage, though it looked exactly like the ones he’d seen on hot and humid days.

She glanced in the fountain’s direction while pulling him out of the street. She shook her head. “No, I don’t see anything. Are you sure you’re okay?”

Jet looked at her defensively. “I’m fine, thanks.” He walked towards the fountain with the mirage in his sight. Sylvant followed, the heels of her shoes clicking across the vacant intersection. Jet stepped up to the fountain’s basin for a look around, but the mirage was gone.

“I swear… it was here,” he said.

“What was here? What are you talking about?” she asked.

“There was a… a shape, or something like a mirage here, just now.”

Sylvant cleared her throat. “Why don’t we go inside. We need to talk about this.” She flashed her sister’s journal in front of his face.

Jet hesitated. He wanted to understand what he’d just seen as much as he wanted to hear about the journal.

The shape suddenly reemerged near one of the alleyways, steam momentarily cloaking it. Then, the sunlight dimmed and turned everything a shade of rust.

“There. It’s there!” he hissed at her. “You can’t see that?”

She peered toward the alleyway. “Jet. You’re starting to worry me.”

“You don’t believe me, do you?”

“Jet, I’m trying to understand, but I don’t know what to say.”

“I’m going after it,” Jet said. “I want to prove to you—”

“Whatever it is, let it go!” Sylvant looked down the dark alley and back at him. “We can talk about it inside the café, alright? My first concern is your safety.”

Jet could see the uneasiness in her expression. “Sylvant, I’m asking for your help, not your protection.”

It was growing darker, and an unsettling stillness seemed to descend around them. Sylvant recovered her composure. “As a professor to a student, it’s my responsibility to look after you. You need to come with me.”

Jet watched the mirage move down the alleyway and vanish into the steam. “I can take care of myself. I’ll call you later, Sylvant. I promise.” He sprinted down the alleyway, leaving her behind.

Plumes of steam gushed from the buildings lining the alley and hid the fleeing mirage. The sunlight was nearly gone, making it difficult to see. Jet had to stop a few times to see where he was.

The chase came to an abrupt halt when the alley ended at a brick wall. The mirage was gone. Jet backtracked, looking for signs of it. He noticed a ladder on one building and climbed up three stories and onto the rooftop. He skirted the parapet and stopped to regain his bearings.

The sunlight flickered and dimmed, like someone sliding a gossamer drape in front of it. Jet looked at his watch, surprised to see there should still be half an hour of daylight left. What happened next made the hair on his arms stand up. One of the system’s outer belts crossed slowly in front of the sun, casting a long shadow over the cityscape beyond. The eclipse’s shadow inched eerily across each building, engulfing the city in darkness. Jet had read an article about the event, something called a skylight eclipse.

His skin grew cold as the eclipse overtook him. From the rooftop, he watched the leading edge of it creep doggedly across the pitted field and towards the dimly lit factory in the distance. Fleeing just ahead of the eclipse was the shimmering mirage.

Jet leapt over the building’s parapet and onto an adjacent rooftop. He scrambled across a metal bridge spanning the alleyway and sprinted across the field.

He entered the abandoned factory minutes later and slowed to a halt, kneeling against a storage tank to catch his breath. He could hear equipment running in the distance, which seemed odd since the factory appeared to be vacant. A rust-colored smog from old chemicals still lingered in the air. Rogue weeds grew up through cracked concrete, and above him, a maze of catwalks and pipes cast a kaleidoscope of patterns onto the pavement.

He crept further into the factory, searching for the mirage. The ground below his feet quivered, and the sound of equipment grew louder. Tremors accompanied a dull scraping noise that sounded like metal grinding on metal. Something big moved below the surface. He placed his hand on a storage tank and felt it vibrating rapidly.

Jet followed the thrumming for several minutes before stumbling upon a vast clearing. Rusted sheet metal walls rose up to create a circular pit. Sand and dirt covered the ground, and tumbleweeds piled along one end like skeletal remains. In the center stood an oddly shaped contraption that resembled the smokestack of a ship. Its bow pointed skyward like a steel chimney with steam spewing from it.

An uneasy feeling settled over him as he hid in the shadows. He was in the middle of nowhere and chasing a mirage. It was getting late, and the eclipse had him on edge.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Wint graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. He is a licensed architect and LEED accredited professional who believes in a strong, sustainable community. As a student of architecture, he developed a love for design and continues to push for creative solutions.

As a child of the 70’s, he developed a love for cheesy science fiction movies, and later became an avid fantasy reader. His youthful influences—combined with his college experiences and background as an architect—have propelled his work as a writer to create the Skylight Series.

J Wint | Twitter | Facebook

Book Tour Schedule

September 19th

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

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

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

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

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

 September 20th

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

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

September 21st

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

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

Sadie’s Spotlight (Spotlight) http://sadiesspotlight.com/

September 22nd

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

Book Reviews by Taylor (Review) https://www.bookreviewsbytaylor.com/

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

September 23rd

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

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

Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

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Blog Tour: The Safe Game – Wes Verde

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Welcome to the book tour for The Safe Game by Wes Verde. Read on for more details!

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The Safe Game

Publication Date: July 22nd, 2022

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Crime Thriller

New Jersey, 1928.

The Cons – Roy, Urbane, and Victoria – made a living by separating fools from their money and rarely stayed in one place for too long. Keeping food in their bellies and a roof over their heads often meant hopping from one game to the next, barely staying ahead of the law or poverty and sometimes both.

That was until the day Roy – the Idea Man – thought he found a big score; one that would put the Cons on Easy Street. No more scraping by. No more hungry nights in the cold or picking pockets in desperation. Maybe even enough to get them out of this life for good. But things were never that simple.

When a tragic death brings the law snooping around, the Cons find themselves running afoul of cops, gangsters, and other powerful people – ones with secrets.

The Cons have gotten out of scrapes before, but their luck may soon run out and this particular game may end in luxury, a jail cell, or an early grave.

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Excerpt

Today she was on fire. Heads started to bob and the group pressed closer, trying to get a better look at the device.

With her work done, Victoria fell quiet. The excitement of the crowd was properly kindled now. A contended grin curled up her full lips. To Urbane’s surprise, her sharp eyes suddenly found his. At first, he thought it might be a fluke. Or perhaps his supposedly concealed location had been somehow compromised. Before he could stress himself over the matter, she winked. Then, all other thoughts fled. Just as his face started to heat up, she returned her attention to Roy. It was his turn to bring it home.

“Now, I’ve been given strict instructions by Treasury Department officials to accept no less than two thousand dollars for this device,” he intoned formally.

This was met with groans of disapproval and one or two boos and justifiably so; one could buy a small house for that amount of money. It was a far higher bid than in previous towns.

Feigning surprise, the Idea Man continued. “You understand, surely, that such a sum would be recovered in a matter of weeks if the prescribed regiment is followed?”

Urbane wondered if that was right. Knowing the scam – game – he had not previously given much thought to its premise. Having lost sight of Victoria for the moment, he quickly did the math in his head and came up with about fifty days. This was with the assumption that the machine was operated every five hours… and that it was not a scam.

As one who dealt in numbers and concrete reality, this world of deception was foreign to him. How people could believe such an outlandish proposition boggled his mind. A naturally curious sort, Urb simply could not fathom the lack of such in others.

Outside, Roy let the groans begin to subside before he extended the olive branch.

“Hang on, now. Hang on. Well… it will mean some hard questions from my superiors. Maybe even some shady bookkeeping on my part. But if that is asking too much, perhaps a discount might be considered. Just for the hard working folks of Lawrence, mind you.” In a quieter voice, he added, “But I must implore you to please keep this just between us. I could go as low as twelve hundred dollars.”

Again, boos. Though, fewer than before. In the end, Roy was obliged to drop the bid twice more before a collection hat started passing around. Urb shook his head, astonished. Roy and Victoria could steer a crowd the same way he could tickle a lock or build a mechanism. For the price of a decent used car, these people had accepted this deal that should have been too good to be true – of course it was. The crowd soon divided into two factions, apparently debating how the forthcoming riches would be allocated.

One man emerged as the representative of the group, holding the collection hat. Urbane’s eyes went wide. It was more cash and coin than they had made in the past three towns put together. If properly budgeted, it could well be enough to carry them into summer. The crowd shifted and he caught sight of Victoria again. She had also glimpsed the considerable sum. Like Urb, she bit her lower lip in anticipation. Seeing the curve of her face and the swell of her hips, he nearly forgot about their windfall and most everything else for that matter.

And he was not the only one to take notice. Would-be suitors were not an uncommon issue. As a professional hazard, Victoria tended to attract male attention like iron filings to a lodestone and today was no exception.

It was a young fella. The excessively confident ones often were and Urbane frowned as this one fixed Madame Charmer in his sights. She inspired many emotions: infatuation, longing, lust. Urb was a thinking man, but after six months of living and working in close proximity, even he could not fully resist her allure. Watching others make the attempt for her affection, even knowing they were doomed to fail was not good for his heart.

Though entirely capable of rebuffing such attempts, it seemed Vic had not yet detected her latest admirer. As the young man drew closer, Urb realized too late that something was off. This fellow had none of the telltale signs of one about to ask for a date.

At the same time, another speaker fired a bombshell question directly at Roy.

“How is this not counterfeiting?”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Wes is an engineer by trade, a busybody by habit, and a lifelong Jersey boy.

Writing has been a hobby in one form or another since 2006 when he started drawing 3-panel comics. When he is not putting words down, he is picking them up; the “to-read” pile only seems to grow larger.

A fan of nature, he spends as much time outside as possible.

Wes Verde

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Blog Tour: The Past That Haunts – Jennifer Porter

Congratulations to author Jennifer Porter on the release of novel, The Past That Haunts! Read on for more details and an exclusive excerpt!

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The Past That Haunts (Wardman Chronicles #1)

Publication Date: September 12th, 2022

Genre: Paranormal/ Mafia Romance

Lilith Wardman was six when her parents died. Since then, she’s gone through the motions of life, dreaming of what might have been had her world not been ripped apart.

Yet at the age of twenty-three, she finds herself thrust into a fresh nightmare.

Two sides are pitted against each other in a brewing vampire war, and Lilith is caught in between them. One wants her dead. The other will put their lives on the line to save her.

When Dominic Rosini kidnaps Lilith, he claims he accepted his boss’s offer to protect her. Little does she know, Dominic is driven by motives of his own. His boss made a promise Dominic intends to keep, despite his growing attraction to the frightened mortal.

Trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse, can Lilith trust the feelings she’s developing for Dominic? Or will the delicate life she built be left in shambles once more?

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Excerpt

“Go on. I won’t stop you. But you have two minutes from the time you open that door.” He fished out another cigarette and lit it, talking as he closed the lighter. “What are you waiting for?”

Two minutes… I could do it. All I had to do was run until I found the front door and then run some more. Should be easy enough. Right?

I forced myself to stand up, but the room spun quickly. The sedative… Damn it. I fell, my right knee slamming against the floor. I bit down on my bottom lip, making a fist against the thin rug as I cursed under my breath. I didn’t realize just how unsteady this stuff made me.

“Looks like you’re the one in your way.”

“Fuck you,” I fired back, jaw clenched.

Dominic walked past me and opened the door. “Keep going.”

Doing all I knew I could do, I mustered up the strength and crawled across the floor. Dominic stepped out of the way, neglecting to help me up as I reached the doorway. I pushed on and dragged myself, entering the hallway with my handbag in my hand. Time was of the essence. I needed to think fast, but it was difficult through the fog.

The long, narrow red area rug was rough beneath me.

I approached a railing and took advantage, moving toward it as fast as I could, and grabbed its smooth wood. Using it for support, I pulled myself up on my feet, my legs wobbling like jelly.

“One minute and ten seconds,” he announced.

I looked over my shoulder to see Dominic tapping his watch as he watched me, leaning against the door frame.

Fear should’ve consumed me like the sedative did. But I wasn’t afraid; I was focused. When someone told me I couldn’t do something, I proved them wrong or exhausted everything inside of me trying.

I could do this; I had to.

Shaky, my first few steps were slow. I looked at the ceiling. Hardwired lights went down the length of the hall. With the red of the area rug, it gave off a chilling glow.

“Forty-five seconds.”

Inhaling deeply, I ran as fast as these wobbly legs would take me as I exhaled. My heart raced wilder than my thoughts.

But fate had other plans.

I lost my balance and collided with the railing, almost falling down the connecting staircase. I gritted my teeth, close to tears. “Damn it.” I tried again, even though I was certain at this point I wasn’t making it out of here. A fluttering spread through my chest. I clutched my handbag tight against me when the voice of another man that I couldn’t see interrupted my thoughts.

“Time’s up,” he said in a mocking tone.

Studying the staircase where the voice came from, the man became clearer through the dark. So did the barrel of a gun. The unfamiliar man was tall like Dominic, wearing a gray, hooded sweatshirt and black sweatpants. He kept his head tipped forward, his face hidden by the hood as he aimed the gun at me, moving up the staircase step by painfully calculated step.

My breaths sped up, my chest tightening. I tried absorbing everything in sight, backing up a step at a time. The only way out was to jump through the curtained window behind me.

Available for Purchase Here!

About the Author

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Jennifer Porter resides in the city of Lewiston, Maine. She enjoys writing and reading adult paranormal romance, mafia romance, & dark romance. The darker and spicier, the better.

She was told she had the potential to write her own book while attending elementary school, and as she grew older, she discovered her passion to become an author. She has written opinion pieces for her local newspaper. Coffee, music, and her supportive husband and family keep her going.

Jennifer spends her spare time with her husband and tends to get lost in her favorite television shows when she’s not lost in books or her creative worlds.

Jennifer Porter | Instagram | TikTok | Facebook

Book Tour Schedule

September 12th

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

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

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

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

September 13th

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

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

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

September 14th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

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

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

September 15th

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

@itsabookthing2021 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/itsabookthing2021/

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

September 16th

@bookishkelly2020 (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/BookishKelly2020/

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

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

@the.brooke.library (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.brooke.library/

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Blog Tour: Dreams of Song Time – Amy L. Bernstein

Welcome to the book tour for Dreams of Song Times by Amy L. Bernstein. Read on for more info and a great giveaway to enter!

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Dreams of Song Times

Expected Publication Date: September 23, 2022

Genre: Sapphic Fantasy/ Mermaids

When sixteen-year-old Ell Gossamer’s two mothers mysteriously disappear, the teen human-mermaid hybrid quickly flees home with little more than a mysterious family keepsake, a book called “Dreams of Song Times.” Ell will learn astonishing secrets about her past—but only after endangering her life to save others. Standalone fantasy/LGBTQ+ fiction.

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I sped away on Zif, imagining Angel watching until I was out of sight. I did not get far, however, before my body started shaking uncontrollably, Zif began weaving over the center line, and my vision blurred. I had to stop. Trembling, my breath coming in shallow gasps, I cut the engine and rolled Zif into a patch of woods that I hoped would shield me from the road.

In the gray light of a cold dawn, I sat down on wet leaves, drew up my knees, and hugged myself as tightly as I could. The shaking grew worse. I felt the oxygen mask clamped on my face, reliving every moment of paralysis that put me right on the line between life and death.

I vomited onto the forest floor, then closed my eyes and tried to regulate my breathing. I saw myself hovering above my body splayed on the bed in the shack, unable to move, utterly helpless. The urge to lie down on the cold ground and fall sleep nearly overtook me, as shock worked me over. Though seated, I felt my body begin to sway.

I could have died.

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About the Author

Amy L Bernstein Headshot

Amy L. Bernstein writes for the page, the stage, and forms in between. Her literary preoccupations include rooting for the underdog and putting ordinary people in difficult situations to see how they wriggle out. Amy is an award-winning journalist and speechwriter as well as a playwright. When she’s not glued to her computer, she loves listening to jazz and classical music, drinking wine with friends, and prowling around Baltimore’s glorious waterfront.

Follow Amy on Twitter or on Instagram

Amy L. Bernstein

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Book Tour Schedule

September 12th

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

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

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

September 13th

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

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

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

September 14th

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

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

Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

September 15th

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

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

Book Reviews by Taylor (Spotlight) https://www.bookreviewsbytaylor.com/

September 16th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

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

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

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Blog Tour: I Am Not OK – K. Lucas

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We are so excited to share I Am Not OK by author K. Lucas with you all today! Read on for more info!

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I Am Not Ok

Publication Date: July 5th, 2022

Genre: Psychological Thriller

All he ever wanted was a normal life, but now he’s been indicted for murder.

Ed is a social pariah, a target of bullies at work, and bears the brunt of his father’s brutality. When his co-workers start to go missing—people he has a reason to hate—Ed finds he’s a prime suspect.

Now, barbed wire, armed guards, and a forthcoming prison sentence separate him from the only person who matters: his twin sister, Emmie.

Emmie witnesses his abuse and vows to do everything she can to help him start a new life. But as the court date looms, everything she thought she knew is brought into question. Ed seems resigned to his fate and time is running out. She must convince her brother to fight for his defense before it’s too late.

CW: Profanity, Mental Illness, Abuse, Violence, Death

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About the Author

Author

K. Lucas is an author who lives for the unexpected twist. Originally from California, she now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, son, three dogs, cat, chickens, and ducks. After earning a bachelor’s degree in information technology, she became a homeschool mom and then a full-time author. She loves all things thrilling & chilling, and her favorite pastimes include reading, watching scary movies, and exploring nature.

K Lucas

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