Archive for December, 2018

Deadly Ground


Deadly Ground by Thomas W. Starbuck & Judy Belshe-Toernblom

We’re all on deadly ground now. This virus doesn’t have rules. We don’t know what the next moments will bring.

For whatever reason, God saw fit to give me the responsibility of being the second Adam, and to restart the human race.

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“Great concept…makes you think. Could history be repeating itself? Fast read. Anxious for the sequel.”- Peggy Holder, Amazon

“A really good book and definitely a page-turner. I really liked the characters which is so important to me when I read a book. And the story really makes you think a lot about the things that are going on around us throughout the world. This was a different type of book than I normally read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This book has something for so many readers’ interests – some fantasy, some romance, some sci-fi. It’s also a quick read. I’m looking forward to the author’s sequel to ‘Deadly Ground’.”-Tamara, Amazon Review

About the Authors

Deadly Ground by Thomas W. Starbuck and Judy Belshe-Toernblom 

Thomas W. Starbuck

Thomas W. Starbuck, an eternal optimist, finds joy in everything around him – from quality time with his active family to quiet meditation and contemplation about the world around him. Never living life in the status quo, Tom had an idea for a story.

This spark of an idea for a screenplay turned into Tom’s first novel, ‘Deadly Ground’, published in April 2018. To give Deadly Ground the soul it needed, Tom worked with gifted writer, Judy Belshe-Toernblom, on both the screenplay and novel, and they were recognized by the 2018 Capital Fund Screenplay Competition Top 100.

Tom is the father of two daughters and a beloved granddaughter, who one of the Deadly Ground characters was named after. He lives with his wife of 45 years in Des Moines, Iowa, where he graduated from Drake University and worked in financial services for 32 years prior to retirement in 2009.

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Deadly Ground by Thomas W. Starbuck and Judy Belshe-Toernblom

Judy Belshe-Toernblom

Multi-talented Judy Belshe-Toernblom has spent her career as an award-winning writer/producer/casting director in Hollywood. Having published 5 books, Judy received the Dove Foundation Award for her book, Boonville Redemption: The End of the Beginning, as well as its film, Boonville Redemption, starring Pat Boone, Edward Asner and Diane Ladd. Working with Thomas W. Starbuck on both the screenplay and published novel, Deadly Ground, they were recognized by the 2018 Capital Fund Screenplay Competition Top 100. She also received the Irwin Award for her book, It’s A Freeway Out There! Everyone’s Guide to the Film and Commercial Industry.

She’s had the privilege of working with award-winning directors over the years, casting for movies, educational films, industrials and infomercials,  such as:  McGruff the Crime Dog series, How the West Was Lost (Cable Ace Award), Knotts Berry Farm, Oroweat, Disney educational projects, Boys and Girls Town PSAs, Will Rogers Institute PSAs, and 100s more.

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My Review

5 stars

AB is a genetic scientist that is on vacation when a strange virus starts in Africa and quickly spreads throughout the world. The virus quickly kills people then turns them into dust. He rushes to the CDC to try and create a vaccine but things go wrong and don’t seal themselves fast enough against the airborne disease. Strangely, AB has some genetic codes that keep him alive when everyone else dies. He decides to try and find survivors but learns that he is probably the last person in the world.

This was a short yet interesting read. It really makes you think about what you would do in his position as being the last person alive. What about when he loses his only companion? What about surviving in this new world?

I loved this story and couldn’t get enough. I was sad to see that it ended so suddenly but I have seen that there will be a sequel. I can’t wait to get my hands on that.

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

Premier Virtual Author Book Tours

I would like to thank Virtual Author Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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Book Details:

Book Title: Tammy The Little Cat With a Big Attitude by Liane Carter
Category: Adult Non-fiction, 140 pages
Genre: Pets / Memoir (told from cat’s perspective)
Publisher: Independently published
Release date: September 28, 2018
Tour dates: Nov 26 to Dec 21, 2018
Content Rating: PG (mild language – “hell”, “bloody”)

Book Description:

I was snatched from my mum when I was only two weeks old, and what happened next was bigger than any kitten could imagine.

“A gently witty and charming story which draws the reader in from the word ‘go’ to a truly entrancing feline perspective on human well-intentioned but frequently misguided behaviour when taking on a new pet.”
– Mary Ashton, retired veterinary surgeon

“A heart-warming story that really has unique perspective on the ever-important animal-human bond (and how our pets really feel about us).”
– Sommer Pari, licensed veterinary technician

To read more reviews, please visit Liane Carter’s page on iRead Book Tours.
Buy the Book:
Meet the Author:

Devoted to giving her readers smiles, tears and tension in both her poignant non-fiction and fast-paced fantasy adventures, Liane Carter bares her soul. Author of The Chronicles of Joya, The Dream Devils, Darcy: The Dog Who Talked and Tammy: The Little Cat With A Big Attitude, she has written features and a weekly column for Costa Blanca News, articles for Writing Magazine, and has taught over 150 writing workshops. She pours her innate joy into her books and also expresses it in nature, playing instruments, creating art and dancing.

Connect with Liane: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest

Guest Post
Books and Cats

Books and cats go together for me. Maybe because Tammy, my cat, used to love me reading to her, or maybe because they snuggle with us when we snuggle up with a book.

Even though my husband had asked me more than once to write about Tammy, I didn’t feel brave enough, skilled enough, or healed enough in my heart. He didn’t want to forget her. I didn’t know if I was brave enough to remember over and over through the first draft, rewrite and subsequent edits.

Then, years later, our dog, Darcy, died and I found myself unable to progress with the fantasy adventure sequel I was writing. I found it difficult to progress with anything. This time, he and a close friend asked me to write about her. My friend asked me to so it would help her in years to come when she would have to face the end of her journey with her dog.

And so I started writing the Darcy book. It took four years and in the middle of that four year journey, Tammy – never wanting to be left out – kept coming in my mind for me to write about her. So I started writing Tammy: The Little Cat With A Big Attitude while editing Darcy: The Dog Who Talked. During the writing of both books I laughed and cried and wondered why I would put myself through such an emotional rollercoaster, and at the same time knowing I had no choice. These books had to come out. My instinct whispered and my heart pushed.

I am learning more and more that it is more painful not to write, and when a subject comes up from inside that needs to be written about, and wants attention, it will NOT be ignored – rather like the wonderful cat I knew.

My Review
5 Stars

This is the story of Liane who convinced her mother to adopt a little two week old kitten that she called Tammy. What follows is the 16 year journey of both of their lives together. Liane writes Tammy’s perspective from what she thinks she would have said in the different situations. If you have had the pleasure of any cat’s company it is easy to see exactly what Tammy “says”.

I loved this story as you follow along as Tammy is scared of the giants and how it takes her a while to start coming out of hiding and her shell. I loved all the antics Tammy got into and know exactly what Liane goes through having grown up on a farm with numerous barn cats, having several cats of my own, and raising several foster babies. Of course the ending breaks your heart but I believe that is the sign of a great pet.

This is an amazing story and one that I recommend for everyone to read. It will appeal to younger kids all the way to adults and cat/pet lovers.

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

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Dec 29, 2018
Enter for your chance to win
An 11 x 14 inch print of Tammy: The Little Cat With A Big Attitude book cover signed by the author and the illustrator
An 11 x 14 inch print of Darcy: The Dog Who Talked book cover signed by the author and the illustrator
A signed paperback of Tammy: The Little Cat With A Big Attitude
A signed paperback of Darcy: The Dog Who Talked
and a $10 Amazon GC (open internationally to wherever Amazon delivers)

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

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Spring Thaw

Audiobook Details:

Book Title: Spring Thaw by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult fiction, Unabridged Audiobook
Genre: Murder Mystery, Short Stories

  • Narrated by: Mike Alger
    Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
    Release date: October 23, 2018
  • Publisher: Acorn Book Services

Content Rating: PG (mild violence and sexual suggestion)

Book Description:

In today’s hectic world, many whodunit fans don’t have time to get their mystery fix diving into a whole novel. Lauren Carr’s SPRING THAW AND OTHER MYSTERY SHORT STORIES is for these fans—but that doesn’t mean whodunit fans who do have time can’t dive in as well.

A novella, Spring Thaw features retired federal agent Chris Matheson from Lauren Carr’s newest bestselling cold case series. When his late father’s former friend is indicted for the seven year old murder of a church bishop, Chris renews old broken friendships to thaw out the cold case.

Featuring Mac Faraday from Lauren Carr’s popular Mac Faraday Mysteries, an estate auction turns into a deadly affair after Gnarly’s antics cause Mac to purchase a gem of a dress, which isn’t his color in Killing Bid. (Previously published in Lauren Carr’s BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Beauty to Die For features the Lovers in Crime, Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates in a race against the Angel of Death to clear the name of a dying woman’s son, who was framed for murdering Miss Pennsylvania. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Countdown to Murder returns to the Lovers in Crime where Cameron and Joshua try to solve the murder of a young pregnant widow before it happens. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Mystery fans will see that every dog has his day, especially if that dog is Gnarly. In Lucky Dog, Gnarly helps Mac Faraday to solve the murder of a wealthy society girl. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Dog Loving Mystery Fans will get a special treat when they read The Gnarly Rehabilitation Program. In this Gnarly Mystery Short, Bert and Ernie learn the hard way that crime does not pay when they dog nap Gnarly. (Previously published as a bonus feature with A WEDDING AND A KILLING.)

Gnarly, the rambunctious German shepherd, is also features in Lauren Carr’s Christmas short, A Gnarly Christmas. It is Christmas day and Gnarly has been up to his old tricks again. Now he’s in the dog house–or rather the boathouse–after stealing the Christmas feast! Moments after Archie and Mac leave Spencer Manor, Gnarly hears a call for help from Rocky, the Maltese down the street. Four assassins for hire have invaded the home of Rocky’s elderly owners. While the home invaders wait for instructions from a mysterious caller, Gnarly must plot to stop them. Can Gnarly save Christmas with only the help of an 8-pound Maltese dressed in an elf suit? (Previously published as a single short story by the same name.)

To read more audiobook reviews, please visit Lauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy Spring Thaw:
Praise for Lauren Carr’s books:

“Lauren Carr is a master storyteller who combines the humor of Janet Evanovich and the investigative skills of Patricia Cornwell. She is always at the top of my reading list.”
– Sherry Fundin, Fundinmental

“Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!”
– Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R

“Lauren Carr’s books are never boring, that’s for sure. They entertain, give us a good mystery to dig into, keep the reader guessing, give us a few good laughs and make us eager for the next book. Warning: Lauren Carr’s series are addictive, so be ready to read more than just one book!”
– Laura Fabiani, Library of Clean Reads

“She is an amazing author that draws you into the story, makes you fall in love with the characters (they feel like family!) and keeps you guessing right to the very end.”
– Working Mommy Journal

“Lauren Carr does a good job of moving the quirky storyline along nicely with an abundance of witty dialogue. And you have no idea who the good guys are and who the bad guys are until the end.”
– Every Free Chance Book Reviews

Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Guest Post

Living the Life of Gnarly: (Story of a K-9 Sidekick)

By Lauren Carr

 This guest post is the story of Gnarly, German Shepherd sidekick to Mac Faraday, the star detective of Lauren Carr’s Mac Faraday Mysteries.

Mac Faraday was a homicide detective in Washington, DC, when his life changed in one day. With the pound of a judge’s gavel, Mac’s twenty-year marriage was over and his wife got everything. He was wiped out financially. As he was leaving the courtroom, a lawyer approached him. Fearful that he was about to get another financial hit, Mac ran for three city blocks before he felt sorry for the little man chasing him.

With the expression of a child bursting to tell his secret, this lawyer informed Mac Faraday that the teenaged girl who had given him up for adoption forty-seven years earlier had grown up to become Robin Spencer, world famous murder mystery writer. Upon her death six weeks earlier, she had left her entire estate to her only child.

Mac Faraday also inherited Robin Spencer’s dog—Gnarly, who has recently been elected mayor of Spencer, Maryland, located on the shores of Deep Creek Lake.

Here’s Gnarly’s story, as dictated to Archie Monday, because Mac has grounded him from using the computer after ordering a $2000 Home Pet Spa, complete with a massage attachment, on his credit card.

Take it away, Gnarly!

I was born a poor German Shepherd at Beck’s Kennels, located in a small town in West Virginia called Inwood. Okay, maybe I wasn’t exactly poor, but let’s face it, it was a far cry from Spencer Manor on Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.

Well, I could tell you about my life in the Army, but then I would have to kill you. So, I guess you want to hear about how I ended up as chief of security at Spencer Manor, Mac Faraday’s multi-million-dollar estate, and mayor of Spencer. I know, most mayors quit their day jobs after getting elected, but I just can’t leave the security of my favorite human to just anyone. I mean, if something happens to Archie, then who’s going to feed me? Who’s going to take me to the salon? Who’s going to cover up my scandals?

Anyway, I digress …

It all started after the Army decided they needed to get rid—I mean, it was time for me to leave my life of service in the United States military.

Eventually, I ended up on Spencer Point, assigned to protect this less-than-nice woman named Katrina Singleton in It’s Murder, My Son.  Let’s just say she and I didn’t see eye-to-eye. I kept trying to tell her that someone was seriously stalking her, but she wouldn’t listen and kept telling me what a bad dog I was because I was digging up her yard. She kept locking me in the garage. Hello! It was my job to protect her and she’s locking me in the garage. How am I supposed to protect someone when I’m locked up?

But there was this nice police officer, David O’Callaghan. He listened. After Katrina’s murderer almost killed me when I tried to apprehend him, David took me to the vet. Katrina’s husband ordered them to put me to sleep, but Robin Spencer, the nice lady who lived next door to Katrina, saved me.

Life with Robin Spencer (until she died a couple of months later); and then Mac and Archie Monday (Robin’s assistant, now Mac’s wife) is the best. Mac has a tendency to get testy on occasion—like when I find things and bring them home. He especially gets mad when David, who it turned out is Mac’s half-brother, shows up in his role as chief of police and accuses me of stealing this stuff that I have found fair and square.

But, I flash everyone my big brown eyes. My favorite female human, Archie will jump to my defense and plead temporary insanity. David will agree to abuse his position as chief of police and cover up my crime. (He’s even paid off some of my victims to drop their complaints, but you didn’t hear that from me.) Mac will grumble, glare, and ground me.

I must confess that the life of a rich and famous K-9 is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Take Mac’s latest case in Crimes Past:

It was autumn. The weather was fair and mild and the leaves were at their height—I mean brilliant colors—until I stepped outside and a feral cat attached itself to my face and started biting my eyebrows.

Not a good way to start the day!

Of course, I had to defend myself. I bucked the cat off and snapped its neck. So, I’m standing there with puncture wounds on my head, bleeding, and Mc’s sanding there with his mouth hanging up and there’s a dead cat laying at our feet.

Meanwhile, we are well aware that right next door, the crazy cat lady who brought all of these feral cats to torment me, is just looking for something to get me into trouble―like I can’t get into trouble on my own without her help. She calls the police if I so much as sneeze and my phlegm hits her driveway.

What does Mac do? What any good political advisor will do. He throws me in the car and we get the hell out of there. Then, he calls David to get rid of the body. Only problem is that the dead body disappears.

Anyway, other than yet another political scandal, it was the perfect weekend for a wedding. No, not mine! I’m a confirmed bachelor. Let’s get that straight. Though, I do admit I have a favorite girl by the name of Storm. She’s Belgian, by the way. She lives with David O’Callaghan, who has been a bit sad lately since his last girlfriend took off for Paris.

Mac Faraday has offered up the Spencer Inn, his hotel, as a free venue for the daughter of a detective he used to work with. The bride’s late mother had been the victim of a double homicide—a case Mac had never solved. Of course, Mac does have a devious streak in him. The bride had invited all of her mother’s co-workers and friends—who happened to be suspects in the murder. (And to think he scolds me when I’m devious.)

David was supposed to help Mac on the case, which meant I got to spend some extra time with Storm, only he ended up blowing Mac off when some lady from his past showed up out of the blue with a young man who bore a striking resemblance to David. Storm liked them both right away, so I guess they were cool—which is a good thing considering what they asked me to do at the end of the weekend.

Mac was so desperate to explore every avenue for a break in the cold case for the double murder that he even entertained a suggestion from disgraced former detective Lou Gannon that one of their former friends was the killer.

So I was taking a nice nap in my reserved chair in the lounge at the Spencer Inn when a toilet blew up! That’s right. Someone blew up a toilet and set Mac’s hotel on fire—in my town! No one blows up a hotel in my town and gets away with it. Of course, I had to get straight to work biting butts and taking names.

That was all Mac needed to rip into this cold case to get to the truth. The big question was—which was of Mac’s old friends was really a cold-blooded killer.

Read Crimes Past to find out.

My Review

4 stars

Spring Thaw is the first short story in this collection. An old friends of Chris’ father is being charged with killing a church bishop seven years prior. Around the time of the murder he had cut ties with people but Chris is determined to help how his son. I loved how Chris was not going to just let this charge go without more proof and he discovers there is a lot more to the story than when everyone knows.

Included in this collection are also previously published stories with Mac Faraday where an estate sales leads to so much more. Cameron Gates and Joshua Thornton looking into a woman being threaten with dead roses. Joshua Thornton is asked to help clear the name of a dying woman’s son so she can go in peace. Mac looks into the death of a wealth woman by her dog hating ex. And of course there is Gnarly helping stop a robbery and getting out of a dognapping.

Having never read the other stories I was thrilled by this collection. They are all a great addition for anyone that enjoys mysteries and a wonderful sampling of Lauren Carr’s books. But then I learned that all but the first book have already been released. I’m torn on my feeling about this.

Overall I loved the book and I just love how Mike Alger brings these books to life. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.

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

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Dec 22, 2018
Enter for your chance to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of Crimes Past (open internationally to wherever Amazon delivers / 1 winner)

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

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Unimaginable Kidness

Title: Unimaginable Kindness
Author: Samatha Harris
Release Date: 12/11/2018
Genre: YA, Romance
Waking up was never part of the plan. Turns out, I am as much a failure in death as I am at life. Now I’m trapped in a hell of my own making, being haunted by some jerk who thinks he can save me with some kind of emotional bucket list. 
Make a friend
Make someone’s day
Laugh until you can’t breathe
Do something unexpected
Change your mind
Find forgiveness
Do the hard thing
My name is Elena Carter, and I have three days. Just three days to decide if I am worth saving, to decide if one act of unimaginable kindness is enough to change someone’s life.
Available on Amazon and KU

Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north which most people agree was a little backwards. She has been an artist all of her life, a Tattoo Artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid.

Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and Jazz and Blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From Romance, to Thrillers, to Historical Fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer she tells the stories that she would want toread.


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Lip Services PR
I would like to thank Lip Service PR for the opportunity to share this book.

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12 Days of Clink Street

The Adventures of Eric the Spider by Elaine Madle

This is the story of a spider called Eric and the very big adventures he has.

Amazon UK     Amazon US     BN     Goodreads

My Review

5 Stars

Eric is a big spider that is going to have some big adventures. He steals some socks and a bike and goes on the run. He does get caught by the police but that is not going to stop him. He also goes camping on a very wet day and has a birthday party with some great characters.

This is a cute collection of stories for a child that will show how spiders may be scary but they are pretty good too. There are wonderful illustrations to really add to the story. I think my favorite is the picture of Eric riding the bike.

This is a great story that will appeal to kids of all ages. If you have a little one that is afraid of spiders I think this book would be a great read for them. It shows how a spider sure can have some fun.

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

The Dead Travel Fast (Ancient Gramarye – 2) by Nick Brown

When archaeologist Steve Watkins fled to the Greek island of Samos to escape the horror he’d unearthed at Skendleby, he’d hoped to have found refuge. But the ancient terror that had spawned at Skendleby was waiting for him. Across the island an enigmatic and haunted detective, Theodrakis, is baffled by a series of brutal ritual killings infecting the island like a plague and spreading violent anarchy. Now the fates of these two men will be drawn together; against a backdrop of mayhem, fire and violence they begin to uncover the horrifying cosmic significance of this most ancient evil.

Amazon UK     Amazon US     BN     Goodreads

About the Author

Nick Brown has an extensive background teaching and writing in the field of archaeology and ancient history and has taught and studied at Leeds and Manchester universities.

Brown later taught at a number of Manchester schools, where he experienced first hand the racial tensions plaguing the area. At one of the schools a pupil was stabbed to death in the playground, an event which Brown has described as ‘life changing’. He moved to Oldham to work for the council, advising schools and planning a reconstruction of a Romano-British Villa with Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit.

Soon after arriving, he was asked to take over the headship of an Oldham school where a pupil had been killed in a racially-charged shooting. Brown later became Principal of a new Sixth Form college, set up by Oldham council in an attempt to instill a multi- racial ethos. In his 20 years there the college became one of the most successful in the country, and Brown has been awarded an OBE for his work.

Since leaving the school, he now devotes his time to writing. This is Brown’s debut novel and is the first in a series set in the fascinating and tumultuous 5th Century BC Athens.

My Review

4 Stars

Archaeologist Steve Watkins has moved to the island of Samos. He is trying to put the events that happened to him at Skendleby. But when a series of ritualistic murders start happening around him it is clear that the evil has followed him. Detective Theodrakis has his hands full with these murders. Both men will be working together to figure out what is going on and try to stop it.

This was an interesting read. I loved the location and could tell that Steve was just trying to recover from what he went through a year earlier. But of course when you awaken true evil it’s not like you can just walk away from it. I have to say that I really liked Theodrakis. He has a past and thing happening in the present without all the supernatural killings to just make his life that more troubled.

I have not read the first book, Skendleby and I think that might have added to my liking this book. I did enjoy this book and will go back to catch up on what I missed. I also want to see where the story goes in the next book.

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

Saturday 1st December

A Thousand Worlds

Marie’s Book Boutique

Pen & Paper

Sunday 2nd December

Heavenly Good Books

Jazzy Book Reviews

Between the Pages Book Club

Monday 3rd December

Librarian Laura’s Great Reads

Grass Monster

Life at 17

Tuesday 4th December

Mixing Reality with Fiction

Donna’s Book Blog

Nayu’s Reading Corner

Wednesday 5th December

Tea Party Princess

Between the Pages Book Club

Bookshine and Readbows

Thursday 6th December

Novel Kicks

Life of a Nerdish Mum

Just Us Book Blog

Friday 7th December

Yet Another Blogging Mummy

Sincerely Stacie

Orchard Book Club

Saturday 8th December

A Thousand Worlds

The Little Contemporary Corner

Impressions in Ink

Sunday 9th December

Wrong Side of Forty

Reading for Pleasure


Impressions in Ink

Monday 10th December

Librarian Laura’s Great Reads

Reading Away the Days

OBC Mini Reviewers

Tuesday 11th December

Alisons Book Reviews

Portable Magic

Just Us Book Blog

JBronder’s Book Reviews

Wednesday 12th December

The Writing Greyhound

Between the Pages Book Club

Bookshine and Readbows

I would like to thank Authoright for the opportunity to be part of this tour.

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Are you looking for a gift for someone that loves comics? What about a great book that they will love?

Check out these books that will appeal to any comic lover.

The Zaftan Troubles Series

This is a seven part collection of short stories.


Contact (Book 1)

An alien mining ship discovers a planet loaded with rare earth minerals. The aliens, known as zaftans, plan to fill their ship with the mined minerals. Unfortunately, the planet is inhabited by intelligent beings. But what could possibly go wrong with a simple mining operation on a planet with primitive natives?
The zaftans negotiate with the government for permission to mine the minerals. The aliens vow to respect property rights and not damage any property.

Amazon     BN     Goodreads


Confusion (Book 2)

Afterwards, the zaftans deploy robotic explorers to search for minerals. The robots trespass on private property and also destroy some property. A local gem miner, MacDrakin, uses his battle axe to destroy one trespassing robot. More robots are destroyed by yuk chieftain after the machines survey his tribal lands
Uh-oh! This isn’t going the way it was planned.

Amazon     BN     Goodreads


Combat (Book 3)

Enraged by the loss of valuable robots, the zaftans protest to the government officials who send a telegram to the local constable ordering her to protect the robots. The constable can only watch as MacDrakin, after destroying a second robot, gathers warriors and declares war on the aliens and their machines.
Can the aliens be defeated?

Amazon     BN     Goodreads


Convolution (Book 4)

Enraged by the loss of valuable robots, the zaftans protest to the government officials who send a telegram to the local constable ordering her to protect the robots. The constable can only watch as MacDrakin, after destroying a second robot, gathers warriors and declares war on the aliens and their machines.
Now what will happen?

Amazon     BN     Goodreads


Sam (Book 5)

Three hundred years later, the gundies and zaftans continue their scrum. This time in outer space.
Sam is an new type android, one with an organic brain. Assigned as an ensign on a Gundy battle cruiser, she is disturbed to realize she can experience emotions. Her primary emotion is loneliness until Slash 9, the ship’s main computer, befriends her. Can an android and a computer experience love? How about marriage and sex? While battling a zaftan fleet?

Amazon     BN     Goodreads


Klatze (Book 6)

Klatze is a low-ranking naval officer in the zaftan navy. She is determined to win advancement through talent and ability rather than the traditional method of assassination. Beautiful by alien standards, she comes to the attention of the fleet commodore, Gongeblazn. After she refuses to have sex with him, Gongeblazn’s lust turns to thoughts of vengeance.
Can Klatze survive the attacks of a crazed assassin?

Amazon     BN     Goodreads


Gongeblazn (Book 7)

Gongeblazn is jailed through an inspired bit of treachery. Eventually he escapes, steals a ship and turns to space piracy. On his travels, he comes across Sam, now a stew-bot for a cruise line and Klatze, now a fleet commodore. Gongeblazn makes one last attempt to pay back Klatze for refusing to have sex with him.

Will Gongeblazn succeed this time?

Amazon     BN     Goodreads


The Neuromorphs by Dennis Meredith

The robots were good. The Russian thugs were evil. But then. . .

It’s 2050, and self-learning Helper androids have proven invaluable servants to humans, making their lives easier, even saving them.

But to their horror, retired SEAL Patrick Jensen and his wife Leah discover that rogue programmers and Russian mobsters are reprogramming the trusted robots to murder their wealthy owners. The crooks then skillfully disguise the lifelike robots as their dead masters, directing the robot mimics to plunder the victims’ estates of billions of dollars.

But neither the corrupt engineers nor the greedy thugs realize what catastrophe they have wrought in giving the robots autonomous abilities.

They have created a new race of networked, “hive-minded” sentient creatures driven by a relentless survival instinct: the Neuromorphs.

Patrick must enlist his SEAL team to marshal their combat skills and futuristic firepower to thwart the seemingly unstoppable evolution of a new dominant species on the planet.

Amazon     Goodreads


Mythicals by Dennis Meredith

They’re real: fairies, pixies, werewolves, ogres! They’re aliens!

Drunken journalist Jack March can’t believe his bleary eyes when he stumbles onto a winged fairy! She vaults away into the night sky, and his unbelievable—and unbelieved—encounter leads to a stunning revelation that all the creatures of myth and legend are real!

Fairies, pixies, trolls, werewolves, ogres, vampires, angels, elves, bigfoot—all are alien exiles to the planet. For their crimes, these “mythicals” are serving out banishment disguised in flesh-suits enabling them to live among the planet’s natives.

Jack reveals their secret to the world, along with a horrendous discovery: they have decided that the native “terminal species” must be eradicated before it ruins its home planet’s ecology.

In this riveting scifi/fairy tale, Jack joins with sympathetic fairies, pixies, and ogres to attempt to save the planet from the mythicals, as well as the mysterious alien cabal known as the Pilgrims.

Amazon     Goodreads

Four Feasts Till Darkness

This is a four book series.


Feast of Fates (Book 1)

Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her—visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land.

With Morigan growing more powerful each day, the leaders of the realm soon realize that this young woman could hold the key to their destruction. Suddenly, Morigan finds herself beset by enemies, and she must master her mysterious gifts if she is to survive.

Amazon     Goodreads


Feast of Dreams (Book 2)

As two queens plot each other’s destruction, a small band of adventurers continues its quest for the knowledge needed to defeat the mad King Brutus and his unearthly parasite, the Black Queen. Their search brings Morigan and the Wolf to the perilous forests of Alabion, where they and their companions will face the darkness of their pasts-and discover equally dark destinies.

Meanwhile, far from Alabion, the queens of the East and West continue their deadly dance. One seeks a relic of great power, while the other puts her faith in a mix of military and technomagikal force. Both are aware they have a slim window of opportunity to settle their power struggle-after all, Mad Brutus’s recent defeat is at best a setback. The mad king is already amassing a new army of soulless husks in the wastelands of Mor’Khul.

Unknown to the great powers struggling for control, a father and son wander those same wastelands, scavenging what they can as they weather Brutus’s gathering storm. They too have a role to play in Geadhain’s fate-a role which may just provide a last remnant of hope.

Amazon     Goodreads


Feast of Chaos (Book 3)

Menos has been destroyed. No corner of the realm of Geadhain is safe from the Black Queen’s hunger. Zionae—or the Great Dreamer, as she has been called in ancient tongues—has a thirst that cannot be quenched until all of Geadhain burns and bleeds. She preys on the minds of weak men and exploits human folly for an unhuman end. She cannot be defeated in her current state, but the answer to her downfall may lie in the land of her past.

It is with this aim that a Daughter of Fate, Morigan, and her brave and true companions venture to the mysterious Pandemonia, the land of chaos itself. Ancient secrets and even older power lurk in its swamps and deserts. Life itself becomes uncertain, but the Hunters of Fate have no choice: Pandemonia must give up its secrets if they want to find the Black Queen’s weakness.

Elsewhere in the realm, alliances form and break. Dead men rise and heroes fall. Eod prepares for war. In hiding, Lila, the bearer of its destruction, will be given a chance to atone and answer for her sins. Will her actions save Eod, or has she damned it with her crimes?

Amazon     Goodreads


Feast of Darkness, Part 1 (Book 4)

“The end of the world begins at the far end of the world”

Throughout the world of Geadhain, for mortals, Immortals, and Dreamers alike, the tides of war have ebbed and flowed for eons. For Morigan and Caenith and their courageous companions, that tide has become a tsunami as they continue their treacherous journey into the strange shifting land of Pandemonia—where they are near to discovering a mythic relic to use against the Black Queen. Meanwhile, the citizens of Eod and the surviving elements of Menos ready their shaky alliance in a last stand against Death and her ghoulish unliving hordes; while King Magnus, Queen Lila, and Erik abandon humanity’s last bastion and venture north into a hostile world scoured by shrieking blizzards and walls of ice en route to their own confrontation with the enraged spirit of Winter herself and a historic evil embodied by the monstrous Kinlords.

Across sundry fantastical landscapes, familiar heroes are edging toward individual destinies that even the Sisters Three are unable to fully discern, as Fate continues to weave and reweave its murky tapestry. Nothing is certain except that should the Wolf and the Fawn fail in their looming apocalyptic clash with the mad king himself, all will be lost for the people of Geadhain.

Amazon     Goodreads

You can find my reviews for the first three books here.

I would like to thank Author Marketing Experts for the opportunity to share these books.

I was given the first two books in the Zaftan Troubles series, Neuromorphs, and Mythicals to review but I ran short of time to get them included in this post. I will get those posted shortly.

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RELEASE DATE: 11/16/2018
Fifteen multi-genre authors came together to celebrate the season and to give to charity. Twenty-three flash fiction stories inspired by Christmas songs we all know and love. Join them as they spin their heartwarming tales.
Tricia Andersen
Nina Valdez
Linda Greene
Sophie Wootton
Carol Gyzander
Cindy Webb
Shellie Brown
Teel James Glenn
Mai Jagyar
Maria Vickers
Ellie Mack
Timothy Lee
Miranda Lynn
Misty Harvey
Tracy Broemmer
Lip Services PR

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Powderfinger and Wyndwrayth

Sorry guys, I’m running late as usual.
Swann Investigates Book 1
Keller Yeats
is a present-day scary horror story set mainly on the decrepit,
abandoned but soon to be redeveloped, bank of an old canal between
two towns. It centres on an old tar works known as Raven’s Gate. Nick
Swann is a world weary mid-forties widower and Assistant Probation
Warden at St Joseph’s Hostel for young male criminals, situated
overlooking the canal and Raven’s Gate. A woman is brutally killed on
the bank opposite the Hostel on a night when Nick is on duty. Nick
believes his lads had nothing to do with it, though consequently Nick
is suspended for issuing too many late passes at once. Then another
woman is killed and Nick becomes drawn into discovering the culprit.
He works with DCI Findlay and DS Deacon as the murder toll rises.
Together with help from his old friends Alan and Hugo, Nick’s
research uncovers a long series of similar murders in the same area,
stretching back through the centuries. “Powderfinger” as
the killer is dubbed, appears to be some kind of ancient mellifluous,
malevolent, murderous being that attacks anyone it considers to be
disturbing its peace and quiet. Eventually, as the story climaxes,
Findlay, Deacon, Nick and Alan set a trap to lure “Powderfinger”
to his doom and rid the area of this beast once and for all. Yet,
traps can swing both ways.
My Review

4 stars

Nick Swann works at the St. Joseph’s Hostel. Some of the guys want out to celebrate a couple 21st birthdays. Nick has to write several late passes but doesn’t think too much about it. But when a girl is found murdered, his guys are blamed. He doesn’t think they had anything to do with it but then finds himself suspended for issuing too many late passes.

But when another woman is murdered he starts working with the detectives and doing some research. It seems there is a supernatural creature called Powderfinger that has been killing people for numerous years.

This was an interesting read. The story starts out like a regular thriller but takes a paranormal twist. It seems Powderfinger is a demon that has been killing those that disturb it. The group plans to stop it but it is quite powerful and they are going to have their hands full.

This was a good read that kept me interested the whole time. It had some good twists and turns and of course I was not expecting the ending. Definitely check out this book.

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


Chapter 8

The Dutch Barn, was reasonably busy today and their B.B.’s, were served by the squeaky nineteen year old girl, in the ludicrously high heels, who didn’t even register their existence, as she doled out their orders. They thanked her and she moved over to the next table, which was frequented, by a group of, what appeared to be passing Rep’s. They came over, as a bunch, of excited schoolboys who had snuck out of class and had managed to lie successfully enough, to get themselves served at the bar, who were trying to order some food, whilst not blowing their cover and being turfed out, for being underage.

“What you doing after?” enquired Hugo, and he took a large bite of his Barn Burger. “Oh yeah, fucking magic,” he expounded as the taste hit the spot. “Tell you what, Man, if I had to request a last meal, I’d go for an Original B.B, with onion rings every time.” Silence reigned for a few minutes, as Nick left the question unanswered whilst they devoured their meals and sat at the table grinning. Hugo, was even contemplating the delicious concept of ordering another B.B, when the spell was broken by the ringing guitar of Greg Dharma and the sound of ‘Don’t fear the Reaper,’ by The Blue Oyster Cult, filled the bar.

“I love this thing,” said Nick as he rose to replenish their drinks. “Same again?”

“You bet,” responded Hugo, who was by this point, playing a small air guitar and rocking his head back and forth, in time to the music. The rest of the afternoon seemed to pass in a blur, which got more and more indistinct by the amount of drinks they imbibed. By the time that they left The Dutch Barn, they were both well-oiled and all seemed well with the world. Hugo, had decided that driving was out of the question, about three drinks ago and now was clumsily trying to find an alternate way back to his home in Nether Barton and it was apparent to Nick, that he was having little success in achieving his goal. Nick, had thought this one out previously and had Pronto Cabs on his speed dial, so he ordered two. Nick’s taxi arrived first and after a round of back slapping and arrangements for their next meeting, he reluctantly climbed into the waiting cab and with a two fingered peace sign, their normal farewell gesture, the Taxi drew away from The Dutch Barn. As it turned left at the junction and made its way towards Willowbank, Nick glanced back at Hugo propped up unsteadily, against the wall of The Barn.

‘Well, that was fun,’ Nick said to himself, as he looked out of the cab window, at the world outside, drifting slowly past. ‘I enjoyed that’ he thought. ‘But I wouldn’t want to do it too often and certainly not tomorrow. God, I’m getting old!’ During the journey home, other options started to appear in his thoughts and after much internal consideration, he decided that getting back into one of his boyhood fascinations, was the best bet. Perhaps re-engaging with the fine art of fishing. He worked by a canal, he lived not too far away from a canal, so this was a no brainer and after all, fishing was not something that you ever grew too old to participate in.

His head started to thump a little, as the Pronto cab made its way back along the road towards Lilac Cottage and Nick realised that drinking, was another of his vices, which needed a review. Once, he was able to down them all night, pint after pint and still stand upright, but nowadays he was drinking cognac and his legs seemed to have grown a little wobbly. ‘Must be your age, man,’ he thought, as a feeble amelioration but he knew that being twenty-five and drinking pints, was a lot easier, than being forty-five and drinking cognacs, his body knew it too. The accompanying thought, that sat in the same box, with this revelation, was also quite disturbing. ‘Nineteen, bloody hell, she could have been my fucking daughter and how would you have liked that, eh? Some old letch like Hugo, checking her out.’

Nick, was beating himself up again and he needed to find a visual distraction. It was the vision of the canal, with its watery path, starkly picked out by the sunlight, as it headed off towards the city that lay around four miles beyond the horizon, that caught his eye. Nick, cast his gaze through the glass, of the passenger window, Iggy Pop’s ‘Passenger’ now playing in his mind.  His view was out over the modern face of Barton Basin, which presented itself before him, as the Taxi turned onto the road leading to Willowbank. Nick, felt a certain empathy towards the men who had worked on the waterway and he could easily appreciate the trials and tribulations, that they had endured every day, whilst pursuing their livelihoods.

“Yes,” squeaked Nick. “Fishing.” Now, the lingering effects from any lunchtime excesses disappeared as he sat bolt upright in his velour seat. “That’ll get me out in the fresh air, it’s quiet and that will give me time to think, bingo.” After Joanne had died, he had been thankful for his busy, hectic life in the Probation Service, the endless changing conditions and the unpredictability, had prevented him from obsessing about some aspects of those heartbreaking events. However, nowadays, a few doubts, were occasionally creeping in and were causing ripples in his psyche. These negative thoughts, had only just started to invade his mind and they weren’t related to Joanne’s demise all those years ago. No, these were new, they were about his mother, they were about himself and where he was heading, and they were proving uncomfortable, particularly when they sprang up out of nowhere to trouble his thoughts.

Swann Investigates Book 2
is the second horror novel in the Nick Swann series. This scary story
finds Nick now living in an old stone farmhouse on the lonely and
mysterious shores of Llyn Isaf, in Wales. He becomes intrigued by its
mist-covered lake island, Ynys Y Niwl and its dark, ancient and long
deserted mansion, Wyndwrayth.
moldering edifice holds many secrets and treasures, some of which
draw Nick and his old friend Alan, into dangerous realms. Death
stalks the island and as the dangerous spectral figures of The Millar
of Souls, The Paladin and Gideon reveal themselves, it becomes
increasingly difficult to discern between reality and dreams. 
the death toll rises, Nick finds himself, along with his new partner,
Wendy and her Wolf, Mir embroiled in a struggle not just to maintain
sanity but to stay alive.
My Review

4 stars

It is three years after Nick’s adventure with Powderfinger and two years since his mother has passed. He now lives on the shore of Llyn Isaf in Wales. But he finds himself curious about the island in the middle of the lake, Ynys Y Niwl. He has researched it and makes plans to explore it and the crumbling mansion on it called Wyndwrayth. But Nick is going to find himself wrapped up with the supernatural once again.

We also follow a man that accepted a god’s offer at a better afterlife as long as he was the guardian to the god’s troubled son for a thousand years. Gideon soon finds himself on an island with a hate filled being that is intent on escaping and getting revenge on his father.

This was a great sequel to Powderfinger. I felt for Nick with the move to the country and the loss of his mother. It seems to be a habit of him to get himself neck deep in trouble. Of course his friends are there to help him but things don’t always turn out like he would like.

This is a good series and I’m curious to see that Nick is going to get himself into with the next book.

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


Chapter Three Excerpt

At first, Stuart thought he saw something move in the mirk below but he couldn’t be sure at this distance. He stood there frozen to the spot, as he peered into the shadows, senses on alert, trying to verify his perceived vision. ‘Did I imagine that, or is there really something down there,’ he mused and exhaled. He was about to give up and move along the landing, to the next room, when something caught his eye in the corner, by the bottom of the staircase. ‘It’s a dog, or something,’ his mind said to him but it inconveniently added a rider. ‘Yes, fine but whose dog would that be, on a deserted island?’ Now his imagination went into overdrive for a moment, running every unlikely scenario it could conjure: ‘It’s a Werewolf, a Morlock, or the Devil himself,’ his racing mind suggested before he regained control of its wilder flights of fancy. ‘Get a fucking grip Stuart, it’s most likely just the wind, blowing loose leaves around, or a rat….. most likely. So, let’s get on with it and get back to the tent, for something to eat and stick a plaster on this thumb.’
The thought of food seemed to have the desired effect. He moved on down the landing, checking door handles and giving doors a swift kick. The third door remained the only one to open as he approached a small wooden door unlike the rest. ‘Hmm maybe to the tower? Bet it’s locked.’ Despite the threat of an imaginary Werewolf, Stuart was finding this investigation of the old house, quite exciting and secretly hoped this one would open, so he could climb up to the top of the tower.
“Now let’s see what secrets lie beyond that final door,” he impatiently grunted. ‘There must be something in the air, a spore, or something like that but my imagination’s just running riot in this place,’ Stuart thought, as he slowly reached down for the final handle, which looked well worn. Then, he noticed an old key in its lock. It moved smoothly, releasing the levers with a barely perceptible ‘clunk.’ He grasped the well-used brass door knob and turned it.
“Open Sesame Bun,” he demanded as he turned it. Surprisingly, the door slid smoothly open, as if it had been well oiled, for many years. As it opened a wave of warm humid air rushed eagerly over him. Suddenly, Stuart felt he was doing something wrong by entering the tower uninvited. He quickly scanned the area to make sure that nobody was watching, before he took the first step inside.
He stood, transfixed by the sight of a spiralling stairway, ascending into the semi darkness. For a moment a faint green glow emanated from above, then was extinguished. ‘What….!?’ He clicked his torch on and shone it upwards….. ‘Nothing. I must have imagined it….. this place is getting to me,’ he thought.
He only had two choices, go upwards, or leave, re-locking the door, hoping against hope that it would be enough to keep a pack of inquisitive Scouts out. He wavered, ‘You’re here now, so don’t hang around, just get on with it and climb, unless you want to come back tomorrow?’ He looked at the cold dark grey steps, as they made their way up the tower. ‘You could always go and have a look at Room 3 and knock it on the head until tomorrow, it’s not like you’re camped miles away.’ He looked at his watch, it was later than he thought. The time seemed to have raced while he’d stood still and it was already becoming gloomy. There’s no rush, Stu,’ he interceded forcefully, ‘time to retire to the tent and return in the morning, after breakfast, all bright eyed and bushy tailed. After all, you’ve got the downstairs to check out yet…’
Argument over, Stuart turned, stepped out onto the landing, closed and locked the door behind him. By the time he reached outside, night was almost upon him and he struggled to find his way along the path to his tent, getting snagged by several brambles along the way. Then he emerged into the frosty light of the rising moon, which lay upon the glade, illuminating his tent.
“Full tonight,” he stated and turned to have one final look at tomorrow’s target, the tower, which was now bathed in a cold silvery light of gossamer mists, ascending into the crisp dark blue air of another clear, moonlit night sky.

Yeats is a writer with a love of history and music. He has written
several published articles about rock music and several unpublished
short stories. He drew upon his years of experience working as a
Probation Warden, for his first published novel, “Powderfinger.”
A horror story with a supernatural twist. “Wyndwrayth” is
his second novel in this Nick Swann researches and investigates
series, with more to come. In addition, he is a published graphic
artist and a qualified, though no longer practicing, jewellery maker
and designer. He now lives together with his wife, a Siberian Husky,
a Welsh Collie and three cats, in a cottage by the sea in Anglesey.

the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
 I would like to thank Silver Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share these books.

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Conduits Blitz

 photo Conduits_FinalCover_zpshc6nrwde.jpgMagical Realism

Date Published: December 3, 2018
Publisher: Transmudane Press, LLC
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
It exists in a long-forgotten corner of the American dream.
Green Valley County is home to murders and heroes, ghosts and jinxes, gods, devils, and even a pygmy Big Foot.
But the biggest menace is Jinx Jenkins and the string of bad luck he bestows upon the townsfolk.
Can the good people of Green Valley overcome this one man’s curse?
If you love the classic comic and magical realism, you’ll lose yourself in this piece of Americana.
Become a citizen of the City by the Shore and see how seemingly random occurrences come to shape an entire civilization.
Amazon     BN     Goodreads
Once, a poor, old woman lived in the foothills of Green Valley. Made old by the circumstances of her life. Mary Foster was known the county over as The Human Incubator, as she had been pregnant for the last 257 months.
Her pregnancy went as any pregnancy might. She received regular ultrasounds, took vitamins, and kept away from cigarettes and alcohol—save the occasional glass of wine.
Everything appeared to be right on schedule until her due date. Yet the baby never came. The doctors told her to be patient because these things sometimes happen.
So, she waited.
But the baby never came. When seven days passed without any change, the doctors decided to induce. To their surprise, the child held tight. The only course of action was to retrieve the child through C-section. The doctors put Mary under and sliced her open. The lead surgeon put his hands inside and was shocked to feel a bite.
A tiny hand came out and extended a middle finger.
The doctors had a single option: sew Mary back up. The child did not wish to be born. And so, the baby never came.
Holidays passed, children grew tall and strong, and Mary remained pregnant. Her life was thrown out of whack. And as the months and years ticked by and the child inside her grew, she found herself incapacitated. Soon, the burden grew too large for her to walk, and she needed to be wheeled around. Her diet changed, as did her bathroom schedule. She sold all of her normal clothes and spent a fortune on muumuus—the only thing that fit her belly. But worst of all, consumed with pain, she hardly attained a few hours of broken sleep each night. Mary was forced to move in to a nursing home where they tended to her needs.
The father was a one-night stand, a passing traveler on his way out west. She’d never got his name, let alone a number to reach him, but he might as well have not existed at all. Nonetheless, Mary habitually pictured and cursed his face. After a while, though, even his face faded, and she was left with a melting pot of emotions. Hatred and fear and anxiety and discomfort and frustration and happiness and love and lots and lots of pain.
At first, she referred to the baby as It. But after a while, Mary saw fit to give the child a name, so she called him Junior.
Junior aged within Mary, siphoning away her youth. Middle age brought her liver spots and wrinkles. Her skin grew thin and her eyes weary.
Hope had left her.
When the last drop of life was suckled and nothing was left for Junior to reap, the baby finally came. Fully grown with teeth and hair and a beard, Mary awoke one morning to find Junior at the foot of her bed. Despite his appearance, he had the mental capacity of an infant.
Mary spoon-fed him, scooping up the spittle and shoveling it back into his man-sized mouth. She changed his diapers and clothes and even gave him baths. And in spite of all her newfound hardship, Mary had never been so happy.
At last, she was able to stand and walk on her own—a thing she’d dreamt of whenever she did sleep. She could drink alcohol again. And although she never smoked cigarettes before, she started up, just because she could.
She had her body back.
Junior relied on his mother for everything. She cooked and cleaned and earned the money despite his fully capable body. For he was naïve to the ways of the world and, like any child, assumed all the world to be his juvenile right.
One day, old and withered and drained, Mary grew ill. She needed Junior to take care of her.
The man pouted and kicked and cried and cursed.
Dishes piled high, and clothes grew in heaps, soiled and stained. An odor fell about the place so foul, not even Junior could deny it.
At last, he realized the weight he must bear, so Junior picked up a spoon and fed his mother the way she once did for him.
He ventured out into the world and discovered, ever so harshly, that the world was not immediately his. Rather, it was up to him to earn his way and stake his claim. He found work, and in time, an appreciation for his mother took hold. Resentment gone, he realized Mary, with all her hardship, always did the best she could. And wasn’t that all anyone could ever ask?
The day came when Mary finally died, old and gray with a smile on her face and Junior at her side.
About the Author

 photo 10446570-10100736183120327-4616790942525536776-n_orig_zpssnpmys7k.jpgJ. Ryan Sommers has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago. He and his wife recently left the windy city and relocated to Houston where Sommers teaches and continues to write. Sommers has been writing stories since he was a kid. He found it to be an escape at one of the most difficult times of his life, his childhood.

Contact Links
Website    Facebook    Twitter    Pinterest    Goodreads
RABT Book Tours & PR
I would like to thank Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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#galaxygirl by Bev Smith

You hate school. Your family is beyond annoying. Your only friend comes from a different planet, and she’s about to leave.

What’s a girl to do?

Fed up with life on Earth, Esme stows away on the spaceship taking Stella back to Planet Kratos.

So begins Esme’s adventure into a world beyond the stars. A world of strange creatures, thrilling journeys, heroic rescues and instant fame.

Oh, and school. Lots of school.

Along the way she discovers that friends may be greener on the other side, but they still can’t be trusted.

Millions and billions of light years away from Earth, she sets in motion a plan to escape. Unfortunately for her, they aren’t about to let their prize exhibit leave anytime soon…

Amazon UK     Amazon US     BN     Goodreads


About the Author

Bev Smith has been a secondary school teacher, saleswoman, waitress, wages clerk, youth worker and holiday park entertainments manager. She has scuba dived the Barrier Reef, lived in a village in Namibia, worked for a charity in Thailand, flown over Victoria Falls and paddled in the sea at Bournemouth.

Having single-parented her three daughters, she’s been ferociously playing catch up with this writing lark.  She recently completed a Masters in Writing for Children at Winchester University. #galaxygirl is her debut middle-grade book.

Website     Facebook     Twitter

My Review

5 Stars

Esme Tickle feels like the one left out at home with her younger sister and brother getting all the attention and her mother talking about her boyfriend. School is not really any better for the 12 year old as she deals with bullies and teachers. But that is where she meets Stella. Stella is a new student from outer space. When Stella returns home to Kratos, Esme thinks this is the perfect time to start fresh and sneaks on the spaceship. On Kratos she learns a lot about her new family and home. But she comes to realize that not everything is better on another planet.

This is a great story for midgrade readers to adults. Many kids feel like Esme and although they can’t leave to another planet, they can relate to her. Esme has a grand adventure but comes to realize how important her own family is.

This book would be a great addition to a classroom or kids bookshelf. It’s also a great way to open talk with a child when they are starting to feel like Esme. I am glad to hear that this is going to be a series. I can’t wait to see what adventures Esme can get into next.

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


Win 2 x #galaxygirl Mugs and a signed copy of #galaxygirl (UK Only)

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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