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Holy

Horror /contemporary dark fantasy
Date Published: April 15, 2017
Publisher: Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.
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Gus Stevens has the worst of both worlds. By night, he resides in the Dream World, a place steeped in magic and exotic dangers. By day, a giant snow-lizard stalks him in the Real World, looking to make Gus its next meal. In order to regain control of his life, young Gus must undergo a psychoanalytic exorcism. But this comes with a high price—he must break away from everything he has ever thought was real. Author Abbie Krupnick blends the magical and the mundane in this avant-garde dark fantasy where nothing is as it seems.
Excerpt
The high-pitched scream of a predatory bird echoed from the direction of the Valley. The eagle was approaching at break-neck speed, a maroon streak under the stars. Then it braked and circled lazily overhead a few times before alighting opposite Gus, talons gripping the edge. Gus heard the volcano groan, its anger filling him. The mountain shuddered, its sides growing warm. He slipped out of his cocoon of heat, felt naked without it in front of the bird.
“Hello,” the Magician said, examining him with green eyes. “Why don’t you come down and we’ll talk about things in the grove.”
Gus wondered how much he had overheard.
The mountain was heating up by the second. In a few minutes the smooth stone would scald his feet. A pale orange glow flashed briefly at the bottom of the vent, then colored to yellows and reds too fast, too soon.
“Whenever you’re ready,” Language whispered.
“Don’t listen to him, Gus,” the Magician said. So the Magician could hear, too. What an unsurprising comfort that was.
“Boy, in a few moments, I’m going to flood the whole World with molten rock. Make your choice quickly, because this is the only chance you’ll get.”
“Gus Stevens, you get down from the volcano this instant!” the Magician ordered sternly. Gus couldn’t help snickering at that.
“What are you going to choose, a lifetime of pain here, pretending you’re happy when you can’t even talk about your sham of happiness?”
“I’ll give you a nice, relaxed ride down to the grove. Your Mothers will make your favorite foods. I’ll even make Spear Mother take off her helmet for you.” The last offer disgusted him.
“Gus, he’s a monster.”
“This renegade spirit is crazy.”
“He’s whoring out Spear Mother.”
“I would do no such thing. I’m simply explaining to my son—”
“Boy, friend, vessel, host, house, my stronghold, listen to me: Which do you want? The misery this poor excuse for a Person offers you or freedom?”
I don’t know! I don’t know! I don’t know! I don’t know!
“Easy, Gus, easy,” the Magician murmured. Gus shot him a poisonous look, took several deep breaths while staring at the rising column of magma. A despairing question anchored him.
I’m going to suffer whether or not I’m free, right? he asked the rock illuminated like a burning mineshaft. The magma rose higher. The Dream World will go under and I’ll be the same?
The magma’s rise halted as Language stopped to think.
“Well,” it replied. “You’ll have me.”
What difference will that make?
“Do you promise not to be angry if I tell you?”
Sure.
“The truth is, I don’t know,” it said, and the magma resumed its journey upwards. It had to be less than seventy feet away. Sixty-five. Sixty. It stopped again. “I don’t know what the Waking World is like except through what I’ve overheard you say.”
So how do you know you’re important there? You don’t even know if it exists.
“I don’t. But I trust Mathis. You do, too, don’t you?”
Dumbstruck, Gus replied, I guess.
“And he told you the mountain would explain everything?”
Yes. He didn’t tell me that the mountain was possessed by a crazy spirit calling itself Language incarnate.
“Exactly, Gus! Well done!” the Magician wheedled, “Don’t trust it. Trust ME. I’ll give you all the knowledge you’ve ever wanted from me if you return to the grove.”
The magma hadn’t started to rise again but its heat was baking his face.
Please, Language begged, now inside his head. Please.
You don’t care what happens to me. So what if I kill myself, right? You lose your chains. I’m still screwed.
I’ll be trapped in your soul again, but YOU will be free to use me. Which is how it should be.
Then you’re exchanging one prison for another.
If you were in my place, you’d be right, but the rules are different for me. Please, Gus. Let me go.
He had nothing to say to it.
Please, Gus. Please. PLEASE.
It was hysterical, its voice rising higher and higher with the magma. His ears were ringing again.
PLEASE. PLEASE. Let me go. Let me go. Let me go. LET ME GO.
Its hysteria was getting to him. He couldn’t stop his own tears from leaking.
Please, Gus. Please let me out. LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT!
It was screaming bloody murder. He covered his ears as though this would muffle the sound inside his head. He was ready to smash the sound out of his skull on the vent but Language stopped him with a whimpering, Please.
“Please please please please please!” the Magician mocked, voice muffled. He kept chanting “please please please” as he cleaned his feathers. Gus tuned him out, waited until the bird had finished so he could see the hate on Gus’s face. Long-hidden vows to repay the suffering his mentor had caused him boiled to the surface. He chewed them all into a simple order to Language.
Now.
About the Author

Abbie Krupnick lives in Summit, New Jersey. When she’s not writing, she trains Brazilian jiu-jitsu and makes explosive quantities of visual art.
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Forgotten

AM13 Outbreak Series Book Two
Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Dystopian, Sci-fi Thriller
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
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Every attempt to contain the deadly AM13 virus has failed, leaving humanity on the brink of extinction…
The plague is spreading out of control with no cure in sight. Then the government announces its new plan—a sanctuary in an area completely untouched by the infected—as long as you can get there alive and unscathed.
Ethan Watton has managed to survive this long, even with OCD making every day more hellish than it already is…
Ethan’s obsessive-compulsive disorder dramatically affected his life before the infection began. Now he’s desperate to get as far away from the zombie virus as humanly possible. Isolated and afraid, Ethan thinks there is no way in hell he will survive the epidemic.
Alyssa Turner has spent her teenage years prepping for the undead to challenge her zombie killing skills…
Alyssa knows with absolute certainty that she will survive the AM13 virus. She’s read all the books, watched all the films, and done all the research. She’s strong, tough, and a self-proclaimed badass. Any group would be lucky to fight alongside her…until the unthinkable makes her doubt every skill she’s acquired.
Dr. Jones is a scientist who doesn’t understand why he was selected to produce a cure…
Surely there are survivors more experienced in virology than he is. And what will happen to him—and the rest of the species—if he fails? Is the fate of the human race really resting on his shoulders? Or are there others working toward the same goal?
With the zombies multiplying and survivors struggling to make it to the sanctuary, Ethan, Alyssa, and Dr. Jones fight to fulfill their destinies. If they fail, their fate is sealed, and they will join the millions of others who have been…
Forgotten.
 
Other Books in the AM13 Outbreak Series:
 
 
AM13 Outbreak Series, Book One
Leah Watton’s practical joke has spiralled way out of control—all to impress a crush…
With a prank online video, Leah hopes to catch the attention of Jake Colton, a cute, blond-haired, blue-eyed co-worker she’s had a crush on for months. But instead of sending it to Jake, she manages to forward the clip to her boss—who buys every gory second.
When mass panic ensues, Leah learns the video is more than a staged act…
The government is calling the virus AM13. As the outbreak spreads, citizens are forced to stay indoors while they assess the gravity of the illness. Most people are quarantined in their homes, but Leah, Jake, and Leah’s best friend Michelle are some of the unlucky few who are stuck at work when the Lockdown occurs.
That’s where she first encounters one of the infected…
Aside from a contaminated woman devouring one of her co-workers, Leah has another problem. Does she do as she’s ordered and stay at work? Or should she disobey government orders and break free to reunite with her family?
She can’t go it alone—after all, Leah has none of the skills needed to survive—but with Michelle and Jake by her side, not even a contagious virus and a sea of the dead can keep her from…
Breaking out of the Lockdown…
AM13 Outbreak Series, Book 3
Writing books about the horrors of the zombie apocalypse is one thing—but Georgie Blake can’t believe it has become her reality…
She never expected her fictional stories of blood, death, and the consumption of human flesh to jump off the page into the real world. She certainly didn’t think she’d survive this long if they had. As a shy novelist, she was sure she’d be one of the first to die.
Safe in the Sanctuary, Georgie holds on to hope for a cure…
But that’s not all she holds on to. The government has promised the people of the Sanctuary that they can return home. The rumours are rife that there is an antidote on the horizon. But even if not, the infected are dying out, throwing the treacherous AM13 virus to the brink of extinction. If the infection dies out, this horrible nightmare Georgie is living in will be a distant memory.
Until everything that’s right goes terribly wrong…
Soon after meeting some new friends in the Sanctuary, Georgie learns she’s going to have to face the monsters outside the walls if she wants to return to her old life. But for a scared, introverted bookworm, it may be too much to consider…
Will Georgina conquer her fears of the dead to return home, or will she be one of the countless others who have gone Extinct?
About the Author

Samie Sands is the author of the AM13 Outbreak series – Lockdown, Forgotten, Extinct, and Not Dead Yet. She also has shorts featured in best-selling anthologies, and featured stories on Wattpad.
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Middle Grade / Young Adult
Date Published: 6/2013
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Markus Simmons, a 13-year-old 8th-grader, wants to hang with the cool kids. When his social studies class begins a Holocaust project, some A-listers befriend him to get him to work with them so they can have access to his Oma, who was in Auschwitz, and he discovers that there are Holocaust deniers in the world, one of whom is in his class. Then someone identifies his Oma as having played a criminal role during the Holocaust, and he has to reconcile his love for his grandmother, his desire to work with the cool kids, and his anger at the deniers and the others who attack his grandmother.
About the Author

William McCauley was born and grew up in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, in a delightful little town called Vienna. His B.A. in German and M.A. in English are from George Mason University, and at the ripe old age of 29, he “ran away from home” to do doctoral work in linguistics at the University of Colorado in Boulder. After two years, his Wanderlust attacked again, and he trekked on down to Miami, FL, where he did more doctoral work at the University of Miami. Then the powers that be at The German School Washington, where he had taught English for six years, tracked him down and asked him to come back. That brought him back to the DC area, where he taught at the German School for another eighteen years. He finished his career in education at the end of school year 14-15, retiring after ten years as a Gifted and Talented Education specialist with Howard County Public Schools in Maryland. Now all he wants to do is write – and read.
 
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Children’s Fantasy
Date Published: July 2017
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Pepper Neely is no stranger to dangerous situations. In The Supernatural Pet Sitter: The Magic Thief, the young gnome defeated an evil witch who was stealing magic from the Familiars that Pepper took care of. She wouldn’t have survived without the intervention of a pack of werewolves, who endured painful, fiery spells to save Pepper’s life.
Now Pepper is determined to repay the werewolves for their sacrifice, no matter what it takes. She decides to break the centuries-old curse that keeps them in wolf form. At first she keeps her plans a secret, but it’s not long before Pepper realizes she will need all the help she can get to end this curse. Magic is everywhere as enemy witches cast dangerous spells to stop Pepper.
Pepper and her family must trust the local witches and work together with them to fend off the deadly spells, find the curse, and break it—before the hostile witches get the best of them.
 
Other Books in the The Supernatural Pet Sitter Series:
Published: March 2017
Every animal can talk to you. You just have to know how to listen.
Pepper Neely is better at this than most, especially because she is in charge of pet sitting all the familiars in her neighborhood. A familiar is a pet magically linked to a witch or warlock. As a gnome, Pepper is no stranger to spells and sorcery. She also knows that, despite their special name, familiars aren’t all that different from regular animals. They get anxious when separated from their people, so Pepper uses her special gnome powers to calm them down. She watches Cranky the high-strung ferret, Frank the laid-back parrot, King Arthur the elderly tortoise, and many others.
Then, something terrible begins happening to the familiars. Someone is stealing their magic! It not only prevents Pepper from communicating with them but breaks their magical connection with their people. When King Arthur’s magic is stolen, his owner’s powers stop working too. Pepper can sense that the tortoise is very scared.
In order to protect the animal’s magic, Pepper decides to track down the culprit. With the help of her best friend, Luna, and her brother, Jax, Pepper fights to protect all of the special pets.
About the Author

Diane is a Tennessee transplant, animal rescuer, and nurse. The Supernatural Pet Sitter is her debut children’s series. Diane is assisted by her many rescue dogs.
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Seven Threads

Book Details:

Book Title: Seven Threads: A Book of Short Stories
Author: Jason Atkinson
Category: Adult Fiction, 151 pages
Genre: Thriller and Suspense
Publisher: Mascot Books
Release date: July 4 , 2017
Tour dates: July 10 to 28, 2017
Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

In this collection of seven short stories from Jason Atkinson, follow a man accused of murder, a runaway girl on a train, a scientist at the heart of a government conspiracy, and more! Full of twists and turns, Seven Threads offers a selection of fast-paced stories full of heart and excitement.

Buy the Book:

 Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author:

Jason Atkinson lives in the Midwest with his wife and son. With a love of writing, this is his 3rd book, but first book in the fiction category. Short stories are easy to digest, and yet, this book still provides all the joys for the long haul reader. Jason write for everyone in mind when creating this piece and hopes you will enjoy it as much as he did when writing it.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook

Author: Jason Atkinson

Book: Seven Threads

Guest Post

Q: There are many books out there about….What makes yours different?

It’s true, there millions of books available in today’s market. It just to be that you could only go to a bookstore and find something of your choosing, or maybe the library to find that one book you’ve been waiting to come back. Now? Click here, and the book is immediately yours.

So what makes my book, Seven Threads, so different that you just HAVE to pick it up for yourself? Everything…

That’s a big claim, so allow me to explain.

It does not matter to me if you are a small time reader, or sit and swallow the entire shelf of books in a weekend – reader. This book was written for both. I like short stories because it allows someone to escape for a shorter amount of time, but then you can do it over and over again – 7 times to be exact, in my book of short stories.

Each type of reader can choose 3 to read a little, or a lot. I didn’t write Chapters, I wrote “Parts”. Each part is a bite out of the main story. So if you only have time for a quick read and you just need to see what happens next without having to commit, no problem. Each part is roughly the same length so it’s easy to sink your teeth in, or just nibble away.

And let’s not forget the stories themselves. They are all unique! Not one story is anything like the other. The only thing that you will find that “feels” similar is the fact that I woven in between the pages, a glimmer of hope for humanity. There is way too much negativity in the world and it’s seen more than books are read. So I knew with these stories I had to make them exciting with twists and turns (which they have), but I also needed to make sure that the goodness of humanity can be seen throughout.

This is a reminder to everyone that reads my stories in Seven Threads that people can be good. They can be kind and caring, and you don’t need to wear a red cape to do it

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Aug 5

 

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Short story collection (horror, humor, & historical)
Date Published: 7/23/2017
Publisher: JME Books
 
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Have you ever noticed that reading a book on the toilet takes forever? Wouldn’t it be nice to have stories suited to your specific potty needs? This collection of short stories ranges from 50 words to more than 50 pages, separated in categories labeled to fit your bathroom needs: NUMBER ONE, NUMBER TWO, and FARFROMPOOPIN. The idea is to give you, the reader, a great deal of material to read, tailored and categorized to the needs of your intestines and bladder. So go ahead, get comfortable, pull out your Squatty Potty® and enjoy some fantasy, science fiction, horror, adventure, and humor from the comfort of your own throne…the john…the latrine…your office…the bathroom, whatever you want to call it. Just be sure to wash your hands once you’re done. 
 Excerpt
“Get him to his feet,” Sarah ordered.
“Watch my shoulder,” Jedediah said. “Hurts like a son of a bitch.”
Sarah slipped beneath his wounded arm while Bobby Ray slipped under the other one. They led Jedediah to a seat that hadn’t been overturned during the fight.
The cowboy knelt before him, pulling back Jedediah’s shirt to scrutinize the wound. His face remained hidden by the wide brim of his hat. He wore hide boots whose origin Jedediah could only speculate and his skin smelled like fire.
“It’s not too deep,” the cowboy said. “Won’t take me a minute.” He pressed his large flat palm against the wound.
Jedediah bit the inside of his cheek to keep from screaming. His mouth pooled with the iron-taste of his own blood.
The cowboy lifted his hand.
Jedediah stared as the gaping holes in his flesh were completely healed; the tear in his blood soaked shirt was all that remained. “Well, I’ll be damned.”
“Be careful, bartender. You don’t meant it.” He leaned over the body of what had once been Frances Deveaux and whatever had tried to eat Jedediah. “This one’s dead.”
“Course he is,” Bobby Ray said. “You killed him.”
“No. This man’s been dead.” The cowboy rolled the body on to its stomach with the steel-tipped toe of his boot. “Was before he walked through those doors.”
“The living dead?” Bobby Ray whispered.
“Of all the unholy things,” said Sarah.
Beneath Frances Deveaux’s shoulder blade lay an empty cavity where his liver should have been.
“Detestable.” Sarah covered her mouth and swept to an empty seat near the bar.
“Did he say why he was here?” the cowboy asked, staring at the body.
“Not precisely. Just said some woman tried to kill him, so he gave her what she wanted.”
“And what was that?”
Jedediah gulped hard. “Me.”
The man looked up, his face in shadows. “You?”
“That’s right.”
“Did she say what for?”
“Never got to that part.”
The man didn’t say a word as he stared at Jedediah. Finally, he spoke. “Something’s after you, Jed. I’m gonna stay in town a while to figure out what.” He looked up. “You okay with that?”
His eyes shone in a radiant shade of violet. Dirty-blond hair fell ragged from beneath his hat.
“Yes, Simeon. I’m okay with it,” Jedediah said. “I think I’m gonna need some help on this one.”
“First thing to figure out is where this man’s liver went. Hopefully, it will lead to this woman you mentioned.” Simeon stood, walked back to the entrance, and turned in the doorway. “You all better get your feet shod,” he said with a smirk, tipping his hat, “because it’s about to get ugly.”


About the Author
 

Jaimie Engle was once sucked into a storybook, where she decided she would become an author. She has modeled, managed a hip-hop band, and run a body shop. She loves coffee, trivia, cosplay, and podcasting on ORIGINS, where myth and science meet (podcastORIGINS.com). Basically, if it’s slanted toward the supernatural or nerdy, she’s into it! She lives in Florida with her awesome husband, hilarious children, and the world’s best dog. She also happens to have the world’s best literary agent, Saritza Hernandez. Become a fan at theWRITEengle.com. Follow on social media @theWRITEengle and pick up books at jmebooks.com.

 
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Rafflecopter: July 6 – Aug 6 ($30 Starbucks GC; Toilet Papers ebook) 
 
Goodreads Giveaway: July 1 – July 22 (3 paperbacks)
 
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The Child

32054095

THE CHILD

By Fiona Barton

You can bury the story…but you can’t hide the truth

*One of Publishers Weekly and Bustle’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017*

*A TIME “Top 10” Summer Thriller*

*Pre-publication exclusives featured by Entertainment Weekly and theSkimm*

*Praise from Lee Child, Shari Lapena, and Clare Mackintosh *

*Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal*

*A June 2017 Library Reads Selection*

This summer FIONA BARTON is back with a second novel that proves lightning can strike twice.

Barton’s 2016 debut, The Widow, was an instant global bestseller, captivating readers around the world and setting the publishing industry abuzz.

The highly-anticipated release of THE CHILD (Berkley Hardcover; June 27, 2017) reaffirms Barton’s growing reputation as a writer of rich, character-driven suspense novels. Like Tana French, Louise Penny, and Megan Abbott, Barton’s stories do more than thrill: they explore the complexities of a changing world.

The Widow delved into the secrets that exist within a marriage and the reporter’s role as voyeur.  Here Barton continues to mine those themes. THE CHILD tackles the 24/7 news cycle, and lays bare the intricacies of a different but equally fascinating relationship—mother and child.

Says Barton: “The emotions, responsibilities—and the pain—of motherhood are unique to each of us with children. Ask any woman and she will have her own story to tell.”

In a working class neighborhood of London, construction workers make a grisly discovery: the long-buried remains of a baby.  When a newspaper mention reveals the find, most readers barely give it a glance. But for two women, its threat to unearth hidden stories is impossible to ignore. For veteran reporter, Kate Waters (introduced in The Widow), it sparks the question “Who would bury a baby?” and starts a hunt for the truth about the nameless child. The story unfolds via the women’s alternating perspectives to eventually reveal: Who is Building Site Baby?

In fact, it was the allure of a hidden story that propelled Barton to her long-time career in news. A journalist and British Press Awards “Reporter of the Year,” she has worked at the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, and brings that experience to bear in her novels.

In THE CHILD she details how Kate’s lengthy investigation into Building Site Baby’s death represents a perilous breach of the newsroom’s new culture of 24/7 online news. Says Barton: “The danger for Kate is that she risks becoming one of the dinosaurs—sidelined because she is unable and unwilling to be part of the revolution. And I feel for her.”

Though THE CHILD delivers an evocative look at the changing face of journalism, and a delicious plot twist, it is the characters’ haunting and rich emotional lives that set Barton apart and confirm her stature as a crime novelist of the first order.

Amazon      Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Fiona Barton
Author’s Bio

My career has taken some surprising twists and turns over the years. I have been a journalist – senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where I won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards, gave up my job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, have trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world.

But through it all, a story was cooking in my head.

The worm of this book infected me long ago when, as a national newspaper journalist covering notorious crimes and trials, I found myself wondering what the wives of those accused really knew – or allowed themselves to know.

It took the liberation of my career change to turn that fascination into a tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the man suspected of the crime, the detective leading the hunt, the journalist covering the case and the mother of the victim.

Much to my astonishment and delight, The Widow is available now in the UK, and around the world in the coming months.

However, the sudden silence of my characters feels like a reproach and I am currently working on a second book.

My husband and I are living the good life in south-west France, where I am writing in bed, early in the morning when the only distraction is our cockerel, Sparky, crowing.

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

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