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Archive for September, 2020

Minute Zero Blitz

MinuteZero

Happy publication day, and congratulations to author Chris Jayne on the release of Minute Zero (Stronghold #1)!

Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

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Minute Zero (Stronghold #1)

Publication Date: September 11th, 2020 (Today 🎉)

Publisher: Inferis Press

When the world ends in a heartbeat, suddenly old secrets don’t matter anymore. But new ones still do, and protecting the ones you love is the only thing that still remains.

Two sisters, one a trendy caterer on the run from a vicious killer, the other a country midwife.

Because of a simple mistake, Lori Dovner must flee from the vicious mafioso Raoul Saldata, and her life goes from routine day to terrifying journey in a single moment. On the road with her two children, her only goal is to get to her sister’s Montana farm alive. But both Lori and Louise have been hiding a devastating secret for years.

Two brothers, one a Navy Seal on leave, the other a good man who wants to do right by his family.

Captain Deacon Hale is taking two weeks to help his brother Roger and his wife Louise on their remote Montana farm. He loved Lori once, but has finally put her behind him. Roger Hale just wants to give his pregnant wife and two young children a good life. He has no idea about the betrayals that have been hidden from him.

Dangerous identity.

Angela Jones is an FBI agent with a terrible debt that she knows she will someday have to pay. And when Raoul Saldata calls in that marker she has no choice but to comply.

Evil incarnate.

Raoul Saldata as a child in Albania, would pretend he was a dhampir, the offspring resulting from the mating between a human female and a vampire. A myth of course, but the evil Saldata practices is anything but. And when he finds Lori Dovner, he intends to do a lot more than just kill her.

“Minute Zero” Stronghold: Book One is an apocalyptic EMP thriller (with a touch of romance) about an ordinary family struggling to stay safe and find each other in the face of insurmountable odds, an abysmal loss of life and the dawn of a new, post-apocalyptic dark age.

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Excerpt

“Roger, I’m in trouble.”

His voice came back, quick and sure. “What’s going on? Where are you?”

“I’m at a rest area about an hour outside of Billings.”

“West or east?”

“West. We’re maybe twenty miles from where we go off the highway and come north to Lewiston. I can’t remember the road number.”

“191,” he supplied. She heard Roger speaking to someone else in the room, his voice distant, as if he was holding the phone away from his mouth. “Top drawer of the desk. Yeah, there. There’s a road atlas in there.” His voice came back into the phone. “I’m think I know where you are, but I’m getting a map. What’s going on?”

“The man who is after me is here. His name is Raoul Saldata and…”

“There? Now? With you?” Roger’s voice, while remaining calm, still carried a note of real urgency.

“No. I saw him just by chance. He didn’t see me. He got into a car and left.”

“You’re sure he didn’t see you?”

“Yes. If he’d seen me, there’s no way he would have driven off.” She quickly shared with her brother-in-law her guess that if it were not for Grace’s illness, they would already be at their destination and because of that, Saldata was no longer looking for them on the road. “Roger,” Lori voice cracked, “he wants to kill me. And he’s not alone. He’s got two people with him, a man and a woman.”

Lori heard what sounded like a door slam and then another voice muffled in the background, the words unintelligible, but it was definitely a male voice, and not her sister.

“How long ago was this?”

“Just a couple of minutes. I saw him, watched him leave, walked back to my car, and then called you.” She did the quick math. “No more than five minutes.”

“So, two hours from here,” Roger stated flatly. Lori got the feeling he was talking to someone else as well as to her. “Is he armed?”

Lori swallowed, her throat dry as dust, thinking about what she’d seem at Saldata’s house. “I’m sure he is. But,” Lori had a sudden thought, “can you bring guns on the plane?”

“He flew?”

“He was in a rental car. I assume he flew. That means he would have had to bring the guns on the plane, right? Can you do that?”

“You have to declare them if you fly commercial. But, if this guy has enough money or influence, he may have come on a private jet. Then he could bring anything he wanted.” Roger paused. “Tell me about who he’s with.”

“I don’t know who they are. I don’t know this man, really, at all. I just did a party for him. But, the first one is some sort of helper. A bodyguard maybe. I saw him at Saldata’s house. The other one is a woman. Young, maybe thirty. Very professional.” Lori envisioned what she’d seen in the restroom and suddenly Lori realized exactly what she looked like. “Like a lawyer or a detective maybe. She saw me in the bathroom.”

“She saw you?” Roger couldn’t hide the shock from his voice.

“Yes,” Lori explained, “but she didn’t recognize me. I cut my hair really short and dyed it black. I look very different. And the kids weren’t with me, thank God.”

There was a long pause as Roger was obviously considering the next steps. “Did you notice the model of the car?”

“No, Roger, I’m sorry, I don’t really know car models. It was a small SUV.” She thought about car models that she knew, ones that she and some of her friends owned. “It wasn’t as big as my Range Rover. Maybe something like a Toyota 4Runner. That size. It was gray. And it definitely had Montana plates.”

“How did he know you were coming here?”

“I don’t know, but…” Quickly, Lori shared with Roger her fear that Saldata had somehow found her employees, Salvadore and Michelle.

As she waited for Roger to respond, she watched her two children with Simone. Brandon had run over to Simone, and, his face turned up, he said something to her. He smiled, so sweet and trusting. My God, she had to protect them, all of them. The silence on Roger’s side of the call grew. “What should I do? Where should I go? I’m so sorry.” She heard her voice rising to shrill, but she couldn’t stop it.

Roger interrupted curtly. “What’s done is done, Lori. You need to hold it together. And the only thing that matters now is keeping everyone safe.”

“I don’t know what to do. Even if I turn around and I didn’t come to you, he’s still on his way there.”

“I want you to stay there.”

“Here? At the rest stop?”

“Yes, I’m going to send someone to get you. Do you remember my brother Deacon? He’s on leave and visiting us for a few weeks.”

For the second time in ten minutes, Lori felt like she’d been punched in the stomach and for a very long moment, she could not breathe. On a day when things could not possibly have gotten worse, they just did. “I met him at your wedding,” she managed to choke out. That flat statement masked a wealth of information. Did Roger notice how strangled her voice was?

Lori remembered Deacon Hale very well, but now was not the time to dwell on it, though why in the name of all that was holy had her sister not mentioned that Deacon was there visiting them? For a brief hysterical second, she wondered if she’d be better off taking her chances with Saldata. And in the next moment, she knew a hard truth, one she had never allowed herself to acknowledge. The main reason she had avoided being around Lou and Roger for the last five years was that Roger reminded her way, way too much of Deacon. She could barely gasp out her next, strangled question. “So, you’re not coming?”

“No.” Roger’s voice was flat and hard. “If what you say is true, I have three people on their way here who are perfectly capable of putting a bullet into the brains of anyone in my family.”

“You think I should just wait here? At the rest stop? What if he comes back?”

“You’re sure the woman didn’t recognize you?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. She just walked right out of the bathroom. I look really different, Roger.”

“Then, they won’t come back,” Roger responded, his voice full of confidence. “Why would they? And even if they’d turn around for some reason, they’d be on the other side of the interstate.” Lori saw the logic in that. “Just sit tight. Deke’ll be there in two hours, give or take.”

In less than three hours she’d see him. See Deke. Could she do it? There was no way. No. Fucking. Way.

The phone went dead in her hand.

And in one instant the world changed forever.

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About the Author

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Chris Jayne is author of the apocalyptic EMP series “Stronghold.”

Jayne is also the penname of a USA Today bestselling romance and thriller author who is has started asking “what if?” What if the lights go off? What if the food supply chain just… stops? The world could become an unfriendly place in a hurry.

Three years ago, Chris began exploring the “prepper” lifestyle, and hopes that if TEOTWAWKI would actually happen, she would be in a position to protect her family and loved ones.

She now spends her days splitting her time between her romance writing and her apocalyptic and dystopian fiction novels. Because what’s more fun than imagining the end of the world from the comfort of your couch? And if the end of the world has a few sexy Navy Seals in it? All the better!

She loves writing stories exploring how ordinary people cope with extraordinary circumstances, especially situations where the normal comforts, conveniences, and rules are stripped away.

Chris Jayne | Facebook | Instagram

For a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, click the link below! Giveaway will be open from September 11th to the 14th.

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Book Blitz 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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The Lost Wonderland Diaries

by J. Scott Savage

Publication Date: 9/8/20

Hardcover

ISBN: 9781629727868

Retail Price: $17.99 Page Count: 352

Middle Grade Fantasy

Cover Illustration: Kevin Keele

Book Design: © Shadow Mountain

Art Direction: Richard Erickson

Design: Sheryl Dickert Smith

Synopsis:

Something monstrous wants to exit Wonderland and enter the real world.

Lewis Carroll, author of the classic book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, secretly recorded the true story of his actual travels to Wonderland in four journals which have been lost to the world . . . until now.

Celia and Tyrus discover the legendary Lost Diaries of Wonderland and fall into a portal that pulls them into the same fantasy world as the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter. However, Wonderland has vastly changed. Some of the characters that Tyrus remembers from the book have been transformed into angry monsters.

Helped by the Cheshire Cat and a new character, Sylvan, a young rabbit, Celia and Tyrus desperately work to solve puzzles and riddles, looking for a way out of Wonderland. But the danger increases when the Queen of Hearts begins hunting them, believing the two young visitors hold the key to opening multiple portals to multiple worlds, and she will stop at nothing to capture them.

Will the crazed creatures of Wonderland escape into the real world? Can Celia and Tyrus stop them and save both worlds? Or will they be trapped in Wonderland forever?

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads     Indie Bound     Deseret Book     Books-A-Million

Praise for The Lost Wonderland Diaries

“Savage pays homage to Carroll’s world with imagination as well as a notable love for math and literature while adding his own ingenious twists to the original. Both Celia and Tyrus struggle with bullying back home, and Celia’s dyslexia is a constant source of frustration when other kids underestimate her intelligence, and the book ultimately offers a message of empowerment and self-love. A fun and clever return to Wonderland.” –Kirkus

“It’s very clear that Scott not only loves the [Wonderland] books, but he GETS them. He gets Lewis Carroll/Charles Dodgson. His love of wordplay, which is so often missing from sequels and interpretations! The math! The names! The puns! What a delight! This is both an action-adventure and a wonderful exploration of Wonderland, and written with such sensitivity, too, toward the new main characters and the original characters!” –Jessica Day George, NYT bestselling author

“A whimsical adventure packed with clever puzzles and plenty of heart. Whether you’re already a fan of Wonderland, or new to Lewis Carroll’s world, you’ll be so glad you fell down this rabbit hole!” –Shannon Messenger, NYT bestselling author

J. Scott Savage

About the Author

J. SCOTT SAVAGE is the author of both the Mysteries of Cove and the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has published 19 books, visited more than 3,000 schools, and taught dozens of writing classes.

Website     Facebook     Twitter

For author interview requests, please contact Callie Hansen at HERE

My Review

5 stars

Celia has just moved to a new town where her mother is the new librarian. But the library is the last place Celia wants to be; she has dyslexia and finds this a nightmare world. One day at the library she meets another kid, Tyrus. Through a misunderstanding they end up in her mother’s office opening a mysterious box. The box ends up holding the four missing Wonderland journals of Lewis Carrol.

Celia and Tyrus find themselves sucked into Wonderland. But this is not the Wonderland from the Alice stories. A dark shadow is warping the characters and threatening to destroy everything. Celia wants nothing more than to go home but Tyrus is wrapped up in the Wonderland story. Both children are going to have to come together to save Wonderland before it is destroyed and our world next.

This is a great story for any age. I love how it is geared to mid grade readers and hoe it touches on bullies, being different, and dyslexia. I had to laugh at the part where Celia is thinking about how adventure stories don’t talk about the kids that hide in their rooms or call a parent or the police.

I really recommend this story for any younger reader and those that love the Alice in Wonderland stories. This was a great reimagining that kind of has me hoping that we will come back to this world and maybe Through the Looking Glass.

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

 

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I would like to thank Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Firebrand, Book 1

Urban Fantasy

Release Date: September 3, 2020

 

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A werewolf killer. A paranormal murder. How many times can Emma Bellamy cheat death?

I’m one placement away from becoming a fully fledged London detective. It’s bad enough that my last assignment before I qualify is with Supernatural Squad. But that’s nothing compared to what happens next.

Brutally murdered by an unknown assailant, I wake up twelve hours later in the morgue – and I’m very much alive. I don’t know how or  why it happened. I don’t know who killed me. All I know is that they might try again.

Werewolves are disappearing right, left and centre.

A mysterious vampire seems intent on following me everywhere I go.

And I have to solve my own vicious killing. Preferably before death comes for me again.

 

 

Purchase Link

Amazon

 Excerpt

The first thing I heard was the buzzing. It tickled my eardrums at first then, as I gained consciousness, it became more insistent – and more annoying.

I moved slightly and there was a strange rustle. What the hell was I lying on? It felt like plastic, or rubber sheeting perhaps. There was an acrid tinge to the air that definitely smelled of rotten eggs, and there was an unpleasant taste of ash in my mouth. This didn’t make any sense.

It took more effort than it should have done to open my eyes. It was like they’d been glued together and I virtually had to peel open my eyelids. I blinked, trying to adjust my vision. I was so hot – and what was this crap around me? I plucked at it. I’d been right: it was definitely some sort of white plastic sheeting, but it was singed and burnt like someone had taken a flamethrower to it.

I sat up, shoving it to one side. That was when I realized I was naked.

I jerked with such force that I fell off the table and landed with a heavy thump on the cold, linoleum-covered floor. I groaned and looked around. It wasn’t a table, it was a metal gurney. That was when the memory of the attack came flooding back to me.

I must be in hospital. It was the only thing that made sense. The incessant buzzing was coming from an overhead strip light that cast a stark light around the room. I licked my lips and tried to call out to alert a passing doctor or nurse but I could only croak. If I wanted help, I’d have to go and look for it.

Staggering to my feet, I grabbed the remnants of the plastic and wrapped it around myself. This was a strange hospital room: for one thing, the bed wasn’t a proper bed, it was just a slab. And there was no IV line or comforting ECG beeping next to me, although I could see a metal tray with various implements lying neatly across it. Several scalpels and … I stared. Was that a rib spreader?

I backed up, colliding with another metal trolley and sending various bits and pieces clattering to the floor. Without thinking, I bent down to pick  them up. When I saw the flames flickering around my toes, I let out a brief shriek and frantically slapped at them to put them out.

My heart was hammering against my ribcage. What in bejesus was going on? I straightened up. With shaking fingers, I touched the side of my neck where I’d felt the knife pierce my skin and slice through my artery. There was nothing there. No mark, no bump. It wasn’t even sore. I reached up to the back of my head where I’d been thumped. There was nothing there
either.

Breathing hard, and growing more and more convinced that this was some sort of crazy-arsed nightmare, I looked around for some kind of clue as to where I was and what had happened.

My gaze fell on the clipboard hanging on the side of the gurney. I grabbed it and stared at the words: Jane Doe. DOA. Approximate age: 30. Identifying features: mole on left thigh. Apparent cause of death: exsanguination from knife wound on throat.

The clipboard slid out of my hand and fell to the floor.

 About the Author

After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time, thanking her lucky stars every day that’s she lucky enough to do so!

Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.

She currently lives in Devon in the UK with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere.

You can find out more by visiting Helen’s website here.

 Contact Links

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Promo Link

 

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

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