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Archive for September 25th, 2018

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.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

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:

R&RButto200x200

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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