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Archive for September, 2018

Remembering Thomas

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Remembering Thomas by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks

Jennifer and James and their two friends, Kaytlyn and Sleepy, step through a time portal in the vicinity of modern-day Kips Bay and find themselves caught in the middle of a Revolutionary War battle. Their purpose is to stop the evil Malman, who wants to change the course of history by altering an event that occurred at the Battle of Harlem Heights. Their task is complicated by a man, Arthur Whitehair, who was turned into a pigeon by the misreading of a spell many years before.

During the course of twenty-four hours, the foursome meets the genteel Mary Murray and her daughter, Susannah, credited with delaying the British and allowing the rebels to escape. They share the camp of Margaret Corbin, who fought with the rebels and was injured. Their lives are saved by swashbuckling Major Aaron Burr. They encounter Thomas Knowlton, the hero of Bunker Hill, who died at the battle of Harlem Heights. And, finally, Jennifer discovers the joys and pain of first love with Frederick Knowlton, the sixteen-year-old son of Thomas.

Remembering Thomas is a sequel to Things Are Not What They Seem. As in that novel, the four friends learn lessons about love, friendship, and self-sacrifice.

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Author’s Bio

Kenneth Hicks writes all of his books with his wife, Anne Rothman-Hicks. Anne and Kenneth have been married for a little over forty-three years and have produced about twenty books and exactly three children so far. At press-time, they still love their children more.

Their most recent novels have been set in New York City, where they have lived for most of their married lives. Anne is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College where, in nineteen sixty-nine, as the fabled Sixties were drawing to a close, she met Ken, who was a student at Haverford College. They don’t like to admit that they met at a college mixer, but there it is!

Their most recent novel is a mystery called Weave A Murderous Web, published by Melange Books. Previous books include Praise Her, Praise Diana, thriller/mystery, Melange Books (2015); Kate And The Kid, mainstream, Wings ePress (2014); Things Are Not What They Seem, ‘tween fantasy/adventure, MuseitUp Publishing (2014). Other books include Theft of the Shroud, thriller, Banbury Books (1984); Starfinder, a non-fiction book about the stars for children, Banbury Books (1984); and a series of books on individual names for children (for example Michael’s Book, Elizabeth’s Book, John’s Book, Jennifer’s Book, David’s Book, Amy’s Book).

Ken and Anne have a website with the address www.randh71productions.com and a blog at www.randh71productions.com\Blog. There they have links to some of their books and display images that they hope will be used in future efforts. In case you were wondering about the website address, “R” is for Rothman, “H” is for Hicks, and 71 is the year of their marriage. No secret codes or numerology anywhere. Sorry.

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My Review

5 Stars

After stepping through a time portal, Jennifer, James, Kaytlyn, and Sleepy find themselves in the middle of the Revolutionary War. There the kids learn of a plot to change the course of history. They are going to meet some very important people that helped to protect the Americans, fight alongside of others, and come to care for them deeply.

I will be the first to admit that I am not very knowledgeable of the Revolutionary War and I loved how this book had real life events and people in it. Yes, as soon as I learned of a new person I was checking them out on the internet. I love the combination of a great story and real live events. This makes the story so much bigger.

Remembering Thomas is a continuation of the story Things Are Not What They Seem. I could have sworn that I read that book but I am not seeing it anywhere. I will definitely be going back to catch up. This is a great story for all ages that really bring history to life. This is one to check out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

RABT Book Tours & PR

I would like to thank Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Lonesome Song

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Lonesome Song

By Elliott D. Light

Genre: Mystery

Imagine you’re in your late twenties. School is behind you.  You have money, a beautiful wife, lots of friends.  Everything you ever wanted is at your fingertips.

And then suddenly, it’s all taken from you.

Shep Harrington was a young, prosperous and happy lawyer, his bright future shining on the horizon like a beacon.  But things that shine are not always what they seem.  Contentment can be intoxicating, dulling the senses to the signs of change.

He and wife Anna were living their dream—together.  And then they weren’t.

​Shep was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison.  Anna, believing him guilty, divorced him. Both were victims of a system created and operated by an older generation who valued power and money over fairness.

Out of prison, Shep must again contend with people who see truth in practical terms as he probes the death of a man whom he loved and who loved him.  A classic murder mystery, Lonesome Song explores the challenges of surviving injustice and of doing the right thing.

Lonesome Song is the first book in the Shep Harrington SmallTown® Mystery Series.

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About the Author

I am a retired patent attorney living in Florida with my wife, Sonya, and our feline, Tsuki.  I spent most of my life in the Washington, D.C. area.  I grew up in McLean, Virginia before the beltway was constructed.  Some of my classmates in grade school lived on nearby farms.  ​McLean had a small town feel to it.  Gossip spread without the Internet.  Party lines were common.  Secrets were hard to keep.

​When I was in my early thirties, my life pivoted when I was accused of a crime I didn’t commit.  My defense counsel and I discussed plans for my likely indictment and possible imprisonment.  I could expect to be handcuffed and paraded in front of the media.  This experience with the so-called justice system ended after a two year ordeal without an indictment and without going to trial. Even so, it could have ended differently.

Sadly, I will never fully believe that prosecutors, investigators, or the government are as interested in the truth as they are in getting a conviction, an attitude that I share with the semi-fictional Shep Harrington.

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Excerpt from Chapter 10

Before his death Reilly Heartwood was a famous country singer.  Frieda was his housekeeper and Lora Jean is a teenager whom Reilly and Frieda cared for.

The open casket was at the end of the room. A stray beam of sunlight danced across Reilly’s waxen face. I watched as a male tabby cat appeared on the closed end of the coffin. He walked confidently toward Reilly’s head, his tail raised in a question mark. When the cat was half way across the coffin, his gait slowed and his tail twitched nervously. He continued to move forward in a crouched position, until he came to the edge of the opening. The cat stepped gingerly on Reilly’s chest, his head bobbing as he took in the scent of the dead body. He looked up, his mouth open—it was the feline’s way of tasting what he had inhaled. A moment later, he was on the floor, scurrying away. I could see by the fluff of his tail that he had encountered something frightening. I wondered if the brave tabby would spread the news to the others that Reilly had used up his nine lives and was no longer of this earth.

Lora Jean and Frieda gathered behind. “Who is that?” whispered Lora Jean.

“That is what Reilly looked like before you were born,” explained Frieda in a slightly louder whisper.

Lora Jean approached the casket, “What you see is Mr. Heartwood of the late fifties,” I said. “Reilly in his prime.”

“Reilly with hair,” added an uncertain Lora Jean. “I never seen Reilly wear a wig before.”

“Another of Jason Grubb’s bright ideas,” I said.

“God have mercy on us,” said Frieda genuflecting.

I met Frieda’s eyes and like the cat tasting what he couldn’t smell, I saw what I couldn’t hear. “I’m sorry,” I said. “Perhaps I should close the lid.”

Frieda shook her head. “Later.”

I took a deep breath. “Lora Jean, could you show me where you keep the aspirin?”

Lora Jean made a face. “But you know…”

Her protest ended when Frieda touched Reilly’s cheek. LJ turned quickly and walked out. I followed her to the kitchen. “I’m sorry,” said LJ. “I didn’t think about Frieda wanting to be alone with Reilly.”

“You did fine,” I said.

She studied a fingernail for a moment, then asked, “Are you going to sleep in this house with that dead body? I mean, jeze, I couldn’t.”

I swallowed two aspirin. “I’ve slept in places with a lot worse,” I said.

“Prison must really suck,” said LJ. Whether she was referring to me or to her father, or both of us, I wasn’t sure.

I put my glass in the dishwasher, then asked, “Did Reilly ever mention the name Hollinger and why he adopted it as his stage name?”

“God, no,” replied Lora Jean, rolling her eyes.

“I gather I’ve asked a dumb question?”

“The most. I asked Reilly about it once. Chewed my butt out but good.”

“Reilly had a temper?”

“Not usually,” she said.

I could see that the interaction still bothered her, but I persisted. “Do you know why he got so heated?”

“No, and neither did Frieda. He apologized—sort of—but that’s the only time it came up when I was around.” Lora Jean bit her lower lip. “It feels strange to be pissed at someone who’s dead.”

I put my hand under Lora Jean’s chin and lifted her head so that she faced me. “No matter how someone dies, people are always left behind. The dead have what comes next. The living have all the unfinished stuff, like arguments that weren’t settled, things that were never done, words that were never said. When someone kills himself, you can’t help but feel cheated, like he should have said good-bye, or you should have said something. There’s no right or wrong about it. Just feel what you feel, and let it play itself out.” I had just synthesized a few thousand dollars’ worth of therapy into a couple of sentences. I patted her on the cheek and she smiled back at me.

“Thanks,” she said. “I didn’t believe he was dead until I saw him in the coffin.” Her eyes welled up, but she didn’t cry. “I know he liked me. I hope he knew I liked him.” A single tear rolled down her cheek, then dripped onto the floor. “I just didn’t tell him.”

“He liked you very much,” I said, wiping her cheek with my finger.

I handed her a table napkin and she blew her nose.

“Thanks,” she said, then asked hesitantly, “Did someone shoot Mr. Heartwood? I heard you and Doc arguing.”

“I don’t know,” I replied.

“But you’re going to find out? Right? I mean, even if one of Doc’s old friends shot Mr. Heartwood, it doesn’t seem right that he should get away with murder.”

“No. It wouldn’t be right.”

I would like to thank Sage’s Blog Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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Thelema Blitz

YA Fantasy
Date Published:  March 2018
Publisher: Thelemic Arts
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What if you were born into a world where the gods once walked among men and women? Where you wake up every morning to find a mystical pendant around your neck and know, as everyone knows, that the gods had granted you this awesome gift, to house your will, allowing you to perform incredible feats. But what if that blessing was also a curse in that it tethered your soul to the world; and if you removed it, you would forfeit the will to live? What if your pendant was merely the missing half to someone else’s pendant? Someone whom you’ve never met, and may never meet, for the gods were selfish and cruel in keeping you apart? Everytime you gaze down at your pendant, you feel the promise of great joy and despair simultaneously as every fiber of your being is drawn to your other half – your twin flame.
If only you could summon the will of a god yourself, perhaps you’d be united.
What if this same world was inhabited by legions of monsters known as juristic persons – living, breathing corporations with wills and minds of their own? What if such creatures had rights and powers that far exceeded those of humans?
Into such a world were born Dean Maynard and Jane Stewart – Justices of the Peace who use the Thelemic arts, along with their martial prowess and knowledge of the Law, to bring about order and justice in the land of Severa. When a routine trial by jury gets turned into a trial by combat, however, the balance of power between mankind and its creations shifts, leading some to question whether the course of history will be forever changed, and humanity’s future suddenly becomes uncertain.
As everyone tries to find peace and purpose in their lives, dark and sinister forces begin to emerge from the shadows thrusting the Department of Justice into a battle for the soul of Severa and the lives of its citizenry.
Journey now into that world in this fantastical tale of love, action, intrigue, and will.

Purchase Links

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Excerpt

Where could he be? Justice Jane Stewart adjusted her dorky black glasses on her gentle face and brushed her bangs from her eyes as she reviewed the file in her hand for a third time.

The seventeenth day of the month of the Lamb, near Samuel Forest, just outside Fiber City, Belier. Sixth step of Rael. She looked around to see the sordid remains of the heavily deforested region that had once been Samuel Forest. The location was right. The presence of the adverse parties, as well as the jury, confirmed it.

She looked at her watch. It was already half a step passed midday. He’s late. Could he have gotten lost?

In high-profile cases such as this, a Justice of the Peace would sometimes request the trial be held at the scene of the crime in order to help the jury understand certain key factors about the case. Jane specifically chose this location in order that they might see the devastation the defense’s actions had wrought to the trees, the animals, and the land itself. She hoped they’d be moved to side with her against the adverse party.

However, none of her careful tactics would work unless the judge arrived soon to administer the proceedings.

And I can’t do it without you, Dean.

The advocates for the defense began whispering amongst themselves.

“Is everything set?” asked the one.

“Yes,” said the other, “It’s been arranged, just as we planned. All we have to do is wait for the trial to finish before we make our move.”

“That may not be necessary,” said the first, in a sinister insinuation, “At this rate, there might not even be a trial. The other judge isn’t even here yet.”

“It’s not like they need two Justices to try a case, right?”

“No, but that was the agreement and it’s at our discretion whether we exercise our rights or not. We both know our clients are guilty as hell, so we’d be fools not to press any advantage we can.”

“In that case, let’s hope he never shows. Then we won’t even have to get our hands dirty. We can just stand on our right to a speedy trial, motion for dismissal, and since he’s not here, we would enter into default judgment and estoppel. If that happens, the Department of Justice won’t be able to try this case again because of the provision against double jeopardy.”

“That would certainly be an embarrassment for one of Severa’s top prosecutors.”

“Just think how disappointed she’ll be to see all her hard work wasted because her partner couldn’t be bothered to show up on time.”

The two shady lawyers cackled and snickered amongst themselves.

“We’ll give him a few more minutes before we move to dismiss,” said the one, “Just so we can say we were gracious and thereby avoid drawing any suspicion to ourselves.”

Jane’s slender calloused hands began to shake with anxiety. Come on, Dean. Where are you? She gripped the curved hilt of the two-handed hunting saber at her side in an effort to calm her nerves. Her heart pounded. She closed her doe brown eyes and took a deep breath. Judge or no judge, she could not stand idly by any longer.

It was still possible to stall for time by going over preliminaries.

“I guess we’ll get started,” Jane declared, the tinge of an Ionian accent still lingered in her voice from her days in finishing school as a child abroad.

She turned to her clerk and said, “Hanji, summon Adaiah.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Hanji replied.

The young black-haired clerk grabbed the pendant around his neck with his left hand and drew his quillon dagger from its sheath with his right. He held the blade out in front of him with the tip pointed down, like an ice pick. This position would allow him to draw energy out from the weapon and, in this case, summon Adaiah.

“Arcesso!” he shouted.

Sparks of electricity and light surrounded his short, frail body as a surge of unseen energy traveled from the dagger, up his right arm, through his stomach, down his left arm, into his Thelema, through his heart, along his spine, and out the top of his head, before finally discharging into the sky.

The energy body’s meridian path, through which one’s chi flowed.

A creature the size of the blade emerged from the disc at the hilt and floated in midair just above it. She looked like a short, slender black bear with white tufts of fur on her elbows, knees, paws, and ears. She had a long, thin prehensile tail that ended in a white ball of fluff, as well as a pair of velvet-covered wings.

Her name was Adaiah and she was a Notary. Every Justice had one by operation of law, though it usually fell to the Justice’s clerk to manage them.

The Notary’s sole job was to take in everything that transpired around them and retain it with perfect memory for later use. The testimony of a Notary was held as self-evident, legally treated as indisputable fact; and for this reason, they made excellent record keepers.

“Adaiah,” Jane commanded, “Begin recording.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Adaiah replied in a high-pitched, squeaky voice. Her eyes flashed white and a pale blue glow enveloped her. From that point onward, she would remember everything that happened to Jane and Hanji until she exited the trance.

Hanji returned his knife to its sheath. Beyond being the indenture that bound Adaiah’s soul to the world, it could still serve as a weapon like any other.

“Clerk, call the roll,” Jane ordered.

“Yes, ma’am,” said Hanji. He cleared his throat and turned to the restless crowd that had gathered in the clear-cut forest to watch the trial. “Are the advocates for Bunyan Logging and Blue Ox Shipping here?”

“Here.” They said.

“Kindly step forward and present your indentures.”

They did as they were instructed. A man in a dark suit emerged from the crowd and held up a small statue carved to look like a beaver wielding an axe and wearing a flannel shirt with overalls and large boots. A lawyerly woman also emerged from the crowd and held up a similar totem that looked like a Minotaur with a ring piercing its nose and a yoke around its neck. These were the indentures of the juristic persons of their respective companies.

Hanji squatted down in front of them. This time, he gripped his Thelema with his right hand and placed his left hand on the ground in front of them.

“Infero!” he shouted.

 

The same light as before surrounded him. A surge of energy traveled from the ground, up his legs, along his spine, through his heart, into his Thelema, along his right arm, through his stomach, down his left arm, out his hand, and back into the ground before discharging. A pair of glowing red seals, about the size of Hanji’s hand, appeared. Each seal consisted of two squares offset by forty-five degrees so as to form an eight-pointed star and inscribed in a circle, with a smaller circle inscribed inside both of them. Centered within each of the triangles formed by the overlapping squares was an elegant sigil depicting one of the eight heavenly bodies.

Having completed the seals, Hanji withdrew his hand and stood up.

“Please place your indentures into the summoning circles,” he said.

The two advocates set their totems on the ground within the seals and then stepped back. Hanji stretched out his arm towards them.

“Ligo!” he shouted.

The seals began to glow more intensely as a wall of light rose up to surround the statues, binding them in place.

“All set,” said Hanji.

“Good,” Jane declared.

Such formal protocols as these aren’t strictly necessary, but they at least help me buy time.

Jane grabbed her Thelema pendant with her right hand and held out her left hand towards the two indentures. For anyone who was right-handed, this position would have allowed them to emit energy from their left hand; but because Jane was left-handed, the flow of chi through her meridians was reversed, and so it would yield the opposite effect. Thus, she used it to draw energy out of them the way Hanji had summoned Adaiah.

“All rise!” she commanded.

Her petite warrior body lit up in a bright aura much like Hanji’s did, only more intensely. The seals around the statuettes erupted in a flash of electricity and light. Two towering creatures slowly emerged from the indentures. Each measured about eight to nine meters tall. Their appearance conformed to the likenesses of their totems – an axe-wielding beaver and a burly, blue Minotaur.

These were the juristic persons of Bunyan Logging and Blue Ox Shipping in their living, breathing forms.

They were also the principle defendants in this case.

Jane released her pendant, letting it fall against her chest.

Now we just need to wait for Dean to show up.

As if on cue, the rumbling of an engine crescendoed like rolling thunder as Justice Dean Maynard came riding over the hill on his motorcycle. He parked the vehicle under a tree away from the action and walked towards the group without any sense of urgency at all. He marched with the confident poise of a medieval knight having just dismounted from his trusted steed. His hooded black cloak and the bastard sword hanging from his side only served to reinforce the image. He wore his weapon with pride, like a badge of honor, for indeed a Justice’s sword was a badge of their authority.

A modern rendition of the classic priestly robes, the uniform of a Justice of the Peace consisted of a simple, yet elegant frock jacket and matching pants, both black with elaborate gold trim around the edges. The jacket was designed so that it could be worn over a judge’s regular shirt or blouse and provided a thin layer of padded protection. A Justice’s duties to give chase and to engage in combat were also taken into consideration, with most choosing to wear leather boots of some kind as opposed to dress shoes.

Slight variations in the overall attire existed between male and female, and also between members of the same sex, depending on season, climate, and the need for mobility, with some parts being cut longer or shorter than others, but all falling under the same general style. The idea, in the minds of the outfit’s designers, was that anyone could look upon a Justice of the Peace and recognize them instantly as such. This was not merely decorative, but practical as well in that a Justice served as a symbol of authority among the people out in the real world.

The uniform also came with a cloak, which had a variety of subtle features, such as earbuds, a visor, and an inflatable pillow all sewn into the hood for long-distance trips.

A Justice’s cloak was usually black with gold trim as well, though in more recent times, some latitude was given to tailor its interior to the judge’s personal preference and to help distinguish them from one another. The interior of Dean’s cloak was a cobalt blue that matched his deep-set eyes, while Justice Stewart’s was a deep red-violet that paired well with her long, chestnut brown hair.

Jane felt relieved to see Justice Maynard finally arrive. Her opponents were less than thrilled.

“Sorry I’m late,” said Dean nonchalantly, “I’m afraid my clerk was nowhere to be found this morning. We’ll just have to start without him.”

“We’ve already started, Your Honor,” Jane said curtly.

Dean sulked in disappointed. “Aw, man, really? Well, in that case …”

He grabbed his Thelema with his right hand and knelt down on the ground, touching the earth with his left hand.

“Saepio!” he shouted.

His body lit up even more intensely than Jane’s had. A thin wall of blue light stretched out from behind him and carved a path in an enormous arc around him. It continued outward, encircling Jane, Hanji, the jury, the juristic persons, their agents, and the other officers and onlookers who were present for the trial, before eventually closing in on itself. All told, it formed a giant hemispherical dome, some fifty meters in diameter around them, isolating the group from the outside world. This was Dean’s Chambers. Its purpose was to prevent interference with the trial and all Justices were given discretion on when they could invoke such a power. Once erected, however, no one and nothing could enter or leave the area without the consent of its creator.

Dean slowly stood back up and released

About the Author
Marushia Dark is a mysterious figure whose real identity is unknown.  Only to a select trusted few are privileged enough to be invited to know their secret.  Marushia can often be found on social media, writing from the shadows of a blog called “The Darkness Files.”  Marushia self-identifies as your favorite dark transhumanist and has created a number of campaigns to help bring human beings together in an otherwise divided world.  As for why they choose to remain anonymous, you can learn more at: http://www.darknessfiles.com/
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I would like to thank Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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Dead in the Dark

Dead in the Dark

by Stephen Booth

on Tour September 25 – October 25, 2018

Synopsis:

Dead in the Dark by Stephen Booth

How do you prove a murder without a body?

Ten years ago, Reece Bower was accused of killing his wife, a crime he always denied. Extensive police searches near his home in Bakewell found no trace of Annette Bower’s remains, and the case against him collapsed.

But now memories of the original investigation have been resurrected for Detective Inspector Ben Cooper – because Reece Bower himself has disappeared, and his new wife wants answers.

Cooper can’t call on the Major Crime Unit and DS Diane Fry for help unless he can prove a murder took place – impossible without a body. As his search moves into the caves and abandoned mines in the isolated depths of Lathkilldale, the question is: who would want revenge for the death of Annette Bower?

 

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 0062876104 (ISBN13: 9780062876102)
Series: Cooper & Frye Mysteries #17
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

No one wants to die in the dark. To lie alone in the blackness, feeling the chill of death creep slowly over you. Shut away from the light as the fear numbs your limbs and chokes the breath in your throat. The long, long sinking into the cold depths. And then to sense that slipping away. The final slipping away into nothing.

Do you feel that stab of pain as it shoots through your chest? Try to make your breathing more shallow. You have several broken ribs, a fractured arm, perhaps a punctured lung. You can hardly know, in the dark. But you can feel the internal bleeding, the seeping blood as it squeezes your internal organs, bloats your stomach and intestines. You know your injuries are fatal.

That fear of the dark is overwhelming. Because this is true darkness, an eternal night in which your eyes have become useless. Your heart thumps uselessly as you strain to see where you’re lying. You can sense space around you, a slight movement of icy air, a shifting of heavy masses, a solid weight way above your head. A sharp, stabbing pain is in your back from something hard you’re lying on. This isn’t a grave. But it is your tomb.

Does your fear of the dark make any sense? When you’re dead, you go into endless blackness. Yet you’ve always hoped you would get one last glimpse of the light, always prayed that you wouldn’t die alone.

Well, that’s not going to happen. There’s nothing for you to see here. Not a glimmer of light, not a flicker of hope. Only the darkness.

A creak and a rattling makes you freeze. Is someone here? Or some thing? But no . . . you breathe out and release the pain. The noise has quite a different meaning. It’s something huge shifting overhead. It signals the end, the approach of your death. You’re about to be crushed completely.

***

Excerpt from Dead In The Dark by Stephen Booth. Copyright © 2018 by Witness Impulse. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.

 

Stephen Booth

Author Bio:

A former newspaper journalist, British author Stephen Booth is the creator of two young Derbyshire police detectives, Ben Cooper and Diane Fry, who have appeared in 17 crime novels, all set in and around England’s Peak District.

Catch Up With Stephen Booth On:
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My Review

4 stars

Ben Cooper has quite a case load, some arson fires, robberies, and a missing person. This all seems standard stuff until you learn that the missing person, Reece Bower was accused of his former wife’s disappearance ten years earlier. He maintained his innocence and without a body they really couldn’t prosecute him. Now he has disappeared the same way.

At the same time Diane Fry has moved on yet finds herself investigating the death of a Polish immigrant and some human trafficking cases. Although the cases are not related except that the investigators have a history, as the story progresses you find that they do link up. Although Ben and Diane clearly have issues, you can tell that they still complement each other with their cases.

This is only the second book in this series that I have read. I am still curious about the split between Ben and Diane but it’s clear that I’m going to have to start out from the beginning to find out what happened.

As for the story, this is a great procedural investigation. Ben clearly does his best looking for clues and following the book. I really enjoyed the history of the Peak District and think it adds that must more realism to the story. This is a great read but if you want to find out more between Ben and Diane you should read the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

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Enter the Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Harper Collins/Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) copy of SECRETS OF DEATH by Stephen Booth (eBook). The giveaway begins on September 25, 2018 and runs through October 26, 2018. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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Kingdom in Chains

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Kingdom in Chains by JW Zulauf

The common people have become the currency, outlaws have shifted to mercenaries, and freedom is no more than a thought of the past.

Fear, violence, slavery–throughout his adult life, Barloc has known no other way.

A quarter of a century has passed since King Sclavus decreed slavery legal in the Kingdom of Kuldaire, certain it was the only way to keep the economy strong. He created alliances with the wealthy ruling class, and cast the common folk into chains. A handful of rebellions rose, but fell almost as quickly as they began, and the concepts of freedom and peace became dusty relics of the past, a nearly forgotten dream.

When Barloc is sold to Lord Harbor, his new owner offers queer promises of freedom, promises only King Sclavus can honor after a thirty-day trial. Barloc, as someone who has lost everything, or who never had anything of his own to begin with, is forced to question everything around him as he embarks on this new trial.

Whom can he trust? Why has he been selected and thrown into this strange new setting? What happened to just being a slave? How can life be any different from the only way he’s ever known? What is freedom, and at what cost?

This is Barloc’s chance–perhaps his last chance–to once and for all cast off the chains that bind him. And maybe, just maybe, he can bring others to freedom with him.

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J.W. Zulauf

Author’s Bio

J.W. Zulauf wears many hats while walking the streets of the writing world. He started with a focus on the short story, first winning the Marjorie Flack Award for Fiction. Then he became one of the editors for Daylight Dims, which has grown into an annual anthology. He now works as an author at Evolved Publishing, creating the children’s series, ‘The Balderdash Saga’, beginning with ‘The Underground Princess.’

Website

My Review

5 Stars

The Kingdom of Kuldaire was failing and Kind Sclavus decided to make slavery legal to keep things going. It has been 25 years and this is the story of Barloc. He has only known slavery and when he is sold to Lord Harbor he is offered the opportunity to be free. Of course Barloc agrees but he is confused with the tasks that he has been given. But how are the off things he does related to freedom. But you don’t plan a revolution out in the open.

This is a captivating story. It is a brutally honest look at slavery without focusing on the shocking gore, this is meant for young adults after all. You will find yourself right there with those wanting slavery and those fighting for freedom. You will cheer for freedom and hope that eventually they will throw off the chains of this kingdom.

I really enjoyed this story and love how the book ends without a major cliff hanger but leaves you wanted to see what happens in the next book. This is a great read and one that I recommend checking out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Ari at Candid Book Reviews for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Fountain Dead

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How cool is this cover?! I’m thrilled to host this reveal today, and tell you all about Theresa Braun’s first full-length novel, Fountain Dead! Theresa is also giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card, so be sure to enter at the bottom!

Fountain Dead edited

Fountain Dead

Expected Publication: Mid-November

Genre: Mature YA Horror/ Paranormal

Mark is uprooted from his home and high school in the Twin Cities and forced to move with his family into a Victorian in Nowhere-ville. Busy with the relocation and fitting in, Mark’s parents don’t see what’s unfolding around them—the way rooms and left behind objects seem alive with a haunted past.

Of course, Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house’s dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history. As romantic entanglements intensify, the paranormal activity escalates. Past and present come together. Everything is connected—from the bricks in the walls to the hearts beating in their chests, all the secrets of Fountain Dead are finally unearthed.

Coming Soon!

Excerpt

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The vapor wafting from the stagnant pool smelled like the rancid rot from inside a carcass. Mark felt he breathed in fire. The gooey surface boiled and foamed as if a prehistoric substance. His heart stopped as something emerged. A goopy and gnarled dome became a sickly face. The eyelids still closed, the rest of the form rose, covered in green.

A tattered dress clung to the feminine curves. The cloth slipped from the shoulders, drawing his attention to her skin. The texture made him gag.

A sour taste of bile filled his mouth. His skin contracted as he contemplated her spongy flesh. Her black eyes sprang open like a demonic doll’s. Her inhuman gaze stabbed his very core, and he knew he was facing a soul-less being. The eyes burned like hot stove burners.

A decomposing hand extended toward his throat.

Mark woke, wet with perspiration. His pillowcase and sheets were damp, as if he’d taken a swim in the fountain. That idea made him unable to breathe. His heartbeat sped along at a rate close to heart attack status as he tried not to blow a gasket about the evil that lie in wait. He whipped his pillow from behind his head and squashed it to his chest. No one would grasp what he’d been feeling—or what he’d been seeing.

His lip trembled.

Something—a fiend, a spirit, the fountain—wanted to hurt him.

Mark’s chest compressed.

The devil on his shoulder advised him that his mother had to be right. All of the metal music, the cartoons, the swearing, had been an invitation for demons and darkness. Forget the fact that none of his friends had ever mentioned opening some gateway to hell. These dark forces had chosen him.

He lied back, exhaustion sinking him deeper into the mattress. After pulling the blood warm sheets up to his chin, he shunned the moonlight streaming into the room. The crooked claws of the branches squealed against the half-open windowpane. Summer’s hot breath puffed into the house. Mark didn’t have to strain to hear its griping—the sighs of the woodwork and the building’s various joints.

The door to the servants’ quarters was open again. However, that bothered him less and less. A perfume of fragrant flowers sent him to sleep.

About the Author

theresa-braun

Hmmm. What’s this? Looks like Ms. Braun left her computer on and her Goodreads bio open.

This should be fun.

What can we say about Theresa? I mean other than the fact that she’s weirdly obsessed with smiley faces :-). Like, seriously obsessed >:-*. It’s kinda scary :-O.

I think she thinks she’s from Renaissance England or Venice or something. I never could figure out which one it was. (She’s really bad at doing accents.)

She likes romance novels and crime TV, which are pretty much the same thing when you think about it. Ha! Am I right?

She has a hell of a singing voice. Seriously. It’s, like, seventh circle of hell bad.

She likes editing. A lot. Just wait till she get’s aload a this.

Cats. Shoes. Chips and salsa. In that order.

Yeah, that last part didn’t make sense to me either.

Theresa Braun

*There will also be a blog tour for Theresa’s book starting Nov. 12th to Nov. 16th. If you would like to participate, please fill out the sign up form

Giveaway Time!

For your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift card, click the link to enter! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fountain Dead Blog Tour (Nov. 12th to 16th)

Cover Reveal Organized By:

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I would like to thank R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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She Lies Hidden

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She Lies Hidden by CM Stephenson

How far would you go to find your missing sister?

When DI Thomasine Albright is informed that the remains of her fifteen-year-old sister have been found, she has the tragic responsibility of breaking the news to her mother. Thomasine promises her mother that she will be the one to find Karen’s killer.

But Karen Albright wasn’t the only girl to go missing during that weekend in 1973… Veronica Lightfoot disappeared too. They’d lived barely four miles apart, yet apparently never met. Suddenly there is a new question, was Veronica involved in Karen’s death? Is that why she vanished?

DI Mel Philips is handed the original case file and begins a new investigation. Unwilling to be side-lined, Thomasine decides to go it alone.

As the case unfolds, Thomasine realises that there may be other victims. Can she find them too?

Amazon UK     Amazon US   Barnes and Noble    Goodreads

C.M. Stephenson

Author’s Bio

After growing up in a small Lancashire village, Christine Stephenson left school at fifteen. Four years later she moved to Cornwall.

In her late teens she met people whose lives were complicated, fuelled by drugs, and filled with violence and aggression. There were others too, in her mid-twenties, everyday people, educated, with careers, who had decent parents; people who you wouldn’t look at twice in the street. They were worse; she knew the victims of their crimes too. These experiences continue to influence her writing.

Her career can be described as eclectic. Jobs ranging from office junior to dental nurse, management consultant to executive and corporate coach. She ran her own training consultancy for over twelve years. It was there that her love of writing bloomed. She went on to produce an extensive portfolio of work which included resource packs, case studies, role-plays, games, presentations and academic texts.

In 2008 her husband’s job dictated that they move to South Gloucestershire. This in turn, lead to a brand-new life. They now live just outside a small medieval town, set between Bristol and Bath.

In 2009, she decided it was time to study the craft and undertook the A215 in Creative Writing with Open University, and later followed that with an MA Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, graduating in 2016. She gained representation with Andrew Nurnberg & Associates soon after. She spent the following eighteen months writing and editing what is now her debut novel. In May 2018 Christine was delighted to accept a contract with Bloodhound Books.  ‘She Lies Hidden’ is due for release in September 2018.

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My Review

3 Stars

Twenty three years ago DO Thomasine Albright’s sister Karen disappeared. Thom’s mother always insisted that Karen would return home. With the discovery of Karen’s body it is up to Thom to break the news to her mother. Since this directly affects Thom, she is not allowed to formally investigate Karen’s murder but this doesn’t stop her from looking into it and discovering a couple other girls disappeared at the same time.

This story follows along with a couple different story lines that eventually come together. Although the different perspectives gave this story a little more depth, it didn’t really bring us closer to the different characters. It was also a touch repetitious when you learn the same piece of evidence from different viewpoints.

For a debut book She Lies Hidden was a good start. It was a tough rough and I think the story was spread out a little thin. But this is not a bad thriller. I am eager to see that CM Stephenson is going to come up with next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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