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Archive for March 7th, 2019

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Countdown America by MC Fox

After the loss of her husband, CIA agent Isabella Bendel accepts a promotion to Chief Supervisor—a much less dangerous position than what she’s accustomed to—so she can raise her two children without fear of leaving her children without any parents. But any illusions of safety are shattered when, while on her Sunday morning jog in a Washington, DC park, Isabella survives a brutal assassination attempt. She hauls her assailant into CIA headquarters, confident she can get to the bottom of why he was after her. Her blood runs cold when she learns the truth… as he was trying to take her out, armed terrorists abducted her children and mother right out of her home. Pushed to the brink of what any mother can endure, Isabella calls on all of her training and deadly skills to get her family back. During this mission, she fights her way through assassins, cyber-terrorists, and duplicitous fellow agents, leading her to uncover a Russian threat that is hell-bent on destroying the United States.

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M.C. Fox

About the Author

M.C. Fox has long been fascinated by the world of espionage. Living right in the heart of New York City, she constantly is inspired by the sights and sounds of a large city, and how that forms the perfect environment for a fast-paced thriller. Given our currently unstable political climate, as well as the Russian hacking of the election, she knew that now was the perfect time to bring her readers a spy story set in the world of political cyber-espionage, led by a fierce female protagonist.

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Author Interview

Question: Tell us what Countdown America is all about.

M.C. Fox:. Countdown America is about a single mom, Isabella Bendel, who rises through the ranks of the CIA to Chief Supervisor of the Cyber Terrorism Unit. She finds herself at the other end of a case she never thought she would ever be on. Trying to figure out why she has become a target, while also trying to figure out why her family has been abducted. This is the toughest mission she has ever worked. She finds herself fighting her way through assassins, cyber-terrorists, and duplicitous fellow agents, as she uncovers a Russian plot that is hell-bent on destroying the United States.

Q: What inspired you to write this novel?

Fox: Initially it was hearing about Russia’s attacks against countries of the former Soviet Republic. More recently, the news of the moles found in the United States, the hacking of our elections, and as reported, political meddling in several other countries. I thought it was the perfect ingredients for a spy story set in the world of political cyber-espionage.

Q: Isabella Bendel seems like a fierce character. What was your motivation behind creating such a strong female protagonist?  

Fox: Firstly, I wanted to create a female lead. There are not a lot of female lead characters in the spy genre. In my mind, Isabella couldn’t be anything but strong considering she is a single mom, and in her case, her line of work. I believe she is a good role model for women. She rises above her emotional distress and her vulnerability and carries on with the task at hand.

Q: It is interesting that you created Isabella to be a single mother. What was your thought behind that choice?

Fox: My thought was to create a strong yet vulnerable character. Being a single mom can be very vulnerable. You are doing it all. There are so many single mom’s out there that feel they can’t make it on their own, can’t do what they need to do to take care of their children.  I think it can speak to those single mom’s that don’t feel they can do it all. When they see Isabella doing it, it could help them see that they can too.

Q: And why cyber security – why did you tackle that subject?

Fox: It is a very “now” thing and I thought it would make a great plot line. We hear more and more of cyber related threats out there, for example, identity theft, and hacking financial institutions to name a few. More recently Russia’s reported involvement in the hacking of the elections in the United States. Everything is cyber related and it is a real threat, as we see played out in the news more and more.

Q: Beyond being entertained, what do you hope readers take away from reading Countdown America?

Fox: I hope it moves people to rise above circumstances and succeed. To move past the notion that because they are female, or vulnerable, that success is not an option.  I also hope to bring awareness around cyber threat. We live in a day and age when everything is cyber related.  The threats are real and so too must be the efforts to remove that threat.

 

I would like to thank Smith Publicity for the opportunity to share this book.

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The Princess and The Peacock

Who doesn’t love a great fairy tale retelling? That’s why I’m so pleased to share this lovely novella with you. I have an excerpt for you to read, and a chance to win your very own print copy of the book! Enjoy!

Book Cover

The Princess and the Peacock (Birds of Fae #1)

Publication Date: January 25th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy/ Fairy Tale Retelling

The first time I fell in love with Princess Mele was when I saw her smile, and I fell in love with her the second time the moment I heard her sing.

Two memories burn within Kaipo’s heart — the death of his mother, which left him alone to die, and the arrival of Princess Mele, which gave him a new reason to live. Together with his adopted brother, Kaipo seeks out Jaya, the Fae Queen who lives on the Forbidden Mountain, in order to gain the beauty he requires to win Mele’s heart. But Jaya has other plans for the scarred outcast who climbs up her mountain …

The Princess and the Peacock is the first in Birds of Fae, a fantasy fairy tale novella series from C. S. Johnson.

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Excerpt

THE PRINCESS AND THE PEACOCK: Kaipo desperately requests a wish from the Fae Queen, Jaya, after climbing up the Forbidden Mountain on Maluhia.

Desperate, I hold out my hands, palms upward, in a gesture of pleading. “Queen Jaya, I ask that you grant me my wish, as I stated, and as you promised. It is only fair, after all.”

“Dare you bother me in my own musings?” Jaya slams the end of her staff into the ground. The air around her whips out ferociously, as if her emotions stretch out far beyond her heart. “Very well then, Kaipo. I will grant your wish.”

She comes up in front of me, and I nearly stagger back at the overbearing fullness of her being. Her finger reaches out and touches my forehead.

Instantly, I am frozen; the essence of my soul shines as her power leeches into me. Just before my eyes go sightless, the last thing I see is her triumphant smirk.

“Yes,” she whispers, so softly I almost think I am imagining it. “I do believe this is just the magic needed to give you beauty Princess Mele will be unable to resist.”

Her words brush over me, leaving me weak with joy as my world is drowned with light, and I eagerly fall into its brightness.

For a moment, as I bathe in that transcendent sensation, I wonder if I had actually fallen off the mountain earlier, and this is just a final coming home into the arms of death.

“There.” Jaya’s voice echoes from far away, and behind her, I hear Rahj gasp in surprise. I try to smile, but I feel my face resist the movement.

Taking one last deep breath, I open my eyes.

A bouquet of dark, iridescent color swims before me, and it takes only two seconds before I realize every miracle I expected was horrifically wrong. Instead of scarless flesh, my arms have been transformed into wings of shimmering blue, with hints of green and black tipping off their feathers. My own body, once lean and hungry, is bulging out with meaty bird muscle, and my neck is three times as long. My legs are sticks with claws, and I can feel the ground part eagerly as I stumble, stabbing the divine earth as I go.

Jaya’s laughter follows me cruelly as I hurry around in a circle, frantically trying to find a way to see my new self.

“Here,” she says, and out of the middle of her meadow, a pond appears. I race toward it, ardently wishing this is all an awful misunderstanding of magic or even perhaps a friendly joke from Jaya.

But no; it’s not.

I glance into the water’s pond and freeze, taking in the sight before me in shaking horror.

My beady eyes, still their mix of green and brown, stare back full of fear. My shabby hair has been perked up into a colored crest on my small head, sticking straight up in the air, as the rest of my body gleams with an artful array of feathers.

I open my mouth to scream, but only a squawk sounds out. As I step back in fear, my tail feathers fan out, and I am vividly aware of the truth.

I am no longer a man; I am a peacock.

About the Author

Author-CS-Johnson

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

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My Review

5 Stars

Kaipo has fallen in love with Princess Mele’s beauty and her singing. But he has scars from trying to save his mother from a fire and is considered an outcast. Kaipo and his brother, Rahj climb the Forbidden Mountain to get a wish from the Fae Queen Jaya. But Kaipo is selfish and pushes the Fae Queen who turns him into a peacock. His only hope at being changed back into himself is Mele.

This is a great little fairy tale. It has a theme about inner beauty and helping others similar to other fairytales I have read. But it is beautifully written and so descriptive. It was easy to fall into this world and finish the novella in one sitting. I loved the different points of view, especially from Kaipo when he is a peacock, such a fresh look at this world.

I really enjoyed this story. It is the first in a series and I can’t wait to find out where we are going to go next. This is one quick read that I recommend checking out if you like fairytales.

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

 

Giveaway Time!!!

Just click the link below to win a paperback copy of The Princess and the Peacock!

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The Princess and The Peacock

Mini Tour Schedule

March 4th

Reads & Reels (Excerpt)

Port Jerricho (Review)

I Smell Sheep (Excerpt)

Tsarina Press (Excerpt)

March 5th

Didi Oviatt (Review)

Stacy is Reading (Review)

Tranquil Dreams (Review)

March 6th

Life at 17 (Review)

Breakeven Books (Review)

Jessica Rachow (Review)

Reading Nook (Excerpt)

March 7th

J Bronder Reviews (Review)

The Return Cart (Review)

March 8th

Darque Dreamer Reads (Review)

The Genre Minx Reviews (Excerpt)

Blog Tour Organized By:

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

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