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Archive for the ‘General Information’ Category

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I’m so pleased to reveal the new cover for the latest Botanic Hill Detectives Mystery book, Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse by Sherrill Joseph. Coming this fall!

Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse

Expected Publication Date: Fall 2020

Genre: MG Mystery/ Middle Grade – 9 to 12 years old (For fans of Nancy Drew type mysteries)

In 1945, Isabela de Cordoba’s great-grandfather, the famous silent movie actor Lorenzo de Cordoba, mysteriously hid a legendary, multimillion-dollar emerald somewhere on the family’s sprawling Eucalyptus Street estate. Seventy years later, the gem remains concealed. Nicknamed the “Green Curse,” the emerald is blamed for the Southern California familia’s numerous, untimely deaths.

On her twenty-first birthday, Isabela receives a secret letter with a cryptic poem. These documents from the long-deceased Lorenzo invite her to hunt for the gemstone. But first, she must decipher the poem’s eight stanzas for clues.

To assist, Isabela hires her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the four Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, and their best friends, Moki Kalani and Rani Kumar. Eerie footsteps inside the mansion, unexplained occurrences in the adjacent cemetery, and the mysterious tenant in the backyard casita challenge them. But they ingeniously make progress on the poem’s meaning with startling discoveries. Sliding wall panels, a secret room, and hidden passages reveal much. The detectives aren’t the only ones looking for the emerald. The perilous race for the de Cordoba treasure is on!

“GREEN CURSE is a spooky mystery that starts during a lightning storm in a big empty mansion. The tension ratchets up continuously as the story goes, alluding to ghosts, vampires, tombstones, graves, and a scary old woman that could be a witch. There’s a mystery within the mystery, a broad range of diverse characters, and interesting lore about gemstones of antiquity. My 12-year-old son and I recommend this page-turner that we just had to finish in one day!”

-–BEN GARTNER, author of The Eye of Ra series

“This book was shocking, fun, and clever. I was at the edge of my seat the whole time. One of the best books I have ever read!”

–LIAM M., age 11, Macungie, PA

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Other Books in the Series:

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Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets (A Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries #1)

Publication Date: February 1st, 2020

Genre: MG/ Middle Grade/ Mystery (Ages 9 – 12)

World-famous Egyptologist Dr. Winston Thornsley died suddenly two months ago in disgrace. His widow, Ida Thornsley, remains convinced her husband was falsely accused of stealing an ancient burial urn he discovered in Egypt last summer, but local and federal law enforcement officers are stumped.

Mrs. Thornsley, desperate for answers, calls in her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, Moki Kalani, and Rani Kumar. Their exciting mission? To find the urn and its real thief, bring the criminal to justice, and exonerate Dr. Thornsley so his spotless reputation can be restored.

A roomful of venomous snakes, the poisoned Egyptian pond, and Dragon Pit Man are just a few of the tests awaiting the four tech-savvy teenagers. As the detectives begin to unravel the sinister plot, the mystery takes a dangerous turn. Answers are at their fingertips—if they can only convince their parents to let them solve the case.

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Egyptian Secrets is available for review! Request copy here!

About the Author

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Sherrill Joseph will be forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools where she taught for thirty-five years before retiring and becoming a published author.

She has peopled and themed the Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries with children and adult characters of various abilities, races, cultures, and interests. Sherrill strongly believes that children need to find not only themselves in books but others from different races and social situations if all are to become tolerant, anti-racist world citizens.

In addition, the author created her detectives—patterned after her own fifth-grade students and twelve-year-old twin cousins—to be mature, smart, polite role models that will appeal to parents, teachers, but especially to kids who seek to realize their greatest potential with courage and self-respect.

Sherrill is a lexical-gustatory synesthete and native San Diegan where she lives in a 1928 Spanish-style house in a historic neighborhood with her poodle-bichon mix, Jimmy Lambchop. Other loves include her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She can’t leave out dark chocolate, popcorn, old movies, purple, and daisies. Having never lived in a two-story house, she is naturally fascinated by staircases. Sherrill is a member of SCBWI and the Authors Guild and promises many more adventures with the squad to come.

Sherrill Joseph | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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HauntedEnds copy

Happy release day to author, Elizabeth Price! Check out her latest book, Whispering Lilly, a Haunted Ends novel!

HE WLilly digital coverWhispering Lilly

Genre: Mystery/ Paranormal

Expected Publication Day: May 26th, 2020

Publisher: Between the Lines

The Dead Inns paranormal investigations team is back in action with an all-new television show, Haunted Ends. With the help of their new ghostly member, Sam, the show’s popularity has grown far beyond San Francisco. Rocky, the show’s paranormal psychic, along with Sam, agrees to investigate the murder of a young college girl, Lilly Rosenberg. While doing so, the two are reunited with old friends as well as meeting new interesting ones… bodies optional. Their spooky adventure leads the crew of Haunted Ends into peril, fighting for their lives in the middle of the Mojave desert against the ghost of a long-dead serial killer, Irving Keegan.

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Excerpt

Rocky lifted his eyes from his straining fingers. The sun hovered above the horizon, casting a golden glow over his pale skin. A fat speckled pigeon landed on the weather-worn bricks onto which his cramping fingers desperately held. Inches above him stood an open window, taunting him with a sheer white curtain that blew like a billowing cloud in the cool San Francisco breeze. The curtain reached down and tickled the tips of his spiky bleached-white hair. He knew if he reached out to grab the curtain, the rod would snap under his weight and he would plunge six stories, straight into oncoming traffic, causing quite a red splat on the asphalt below.

He glanced between his dangling legs to the busy street filled with spectators and anxious commuters. His eyes widened to the size of spotlights as all breath left his lungs. His fingers shifted, grasping tighter to the crimson brick wall. Why did he look down? He knew better. Yet, it wasn’t every day a person found themselves dangling vicariously outside a six-story window.

The headlights of passing cars and the flashing red lights of several emergency vehicles below resembled a swarm of fireflies. He hated fireflies. They reminded him of a time when he was eleven and had been forced to go to summer camp. The boys in his tent group held him down and forced him to eat fireflies to see if his stomach would glow. The fireflies didn’t stay with him long enough to find out.

“What the hell, Rocky?” Rose called from the open window.

Rocky jumped, his foot losing his hold for only a moment. He regained his footing, breathing out a gasping sigh. “Geez, Rose!” Rocky turned his attention to the window. “Hey, a little warning next time.”

“There’s going to be a next time? You’re anticipating doing this… whatever this is you’re doing again,” she said as she hung her head out the window.

“Gawd, I hope not,” he grumbled.

Rose crossed her arms over her chest, the sleeves of her gray suit pulling slightly at the elbows. “So, I have to ask, how’s it hangin’?” she asked as she leaned further out the window. Rocky replied with a drop-dead glare. “Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.”

“Just once, I…” Rocky started, realizing only after a few words how hard it was to speak while hanging off a ledge, “…wish you’d learn.”

Now Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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Elizabeth grew up in Redlands, California as an only child. The lack of siblings, cousins, or even kids in her neighborhood to play with sparked her imagination to life. She spent most days entertaining herself with elaborate stories, even doing so when her attention should have been elsewhere—like on her schoolwork.

As a teen, Elizabeth dove headfirst into the geeky culture of Star Trek and other science fiction and fantasy novels. She became so consumed that she spent all her free time and allowance on new books—eagerly anticipating their arrival. When she felt hindered by her limited allowance and the inevitable waiting period between new releases, it dawned on Elizabeth to revisit the creation of her own stories. This is where she was truly born as an author, pouring her imagination into multiple genres.

In 2009, Elizabeth graduated from California State University Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in Communications, emphasizing Entertainment Studies. She has taken numerous writing classes to hone her craft—everything from script writing to copywriting, story writing and more.

Elizabeth has been happily married to her supportive husband since 2001. He greatly encourages her in her writing endeavors and accompanies her on trips to haunted locations—her favorite pastime. She currently lives with her husband in Corona, California.

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One Fatal Night by [Hélene Fermont]

One Fatal Night by Helene Fermont

One woman’s quest for revenge unearths a fatal secret from her past.

Astrid Jensen holds one man responsible for her mother’s suicide, and she’ll do whatever’s necessary to get close to Daniel Holst and destroy his life – even if it means sleeping with him to gain his trust. Astrid knows he’s not who he pretends to be. But before she can reveal his dark secret, people from her mother’s past start turning up dead, and it looks like she and Daniel are next. In order to survive, she might have to put her trust in the man she has hated for so long.

Daniel Holst has worked hard to climb into Norway’s most elite and glamorous circles, and he’s not about to let any woman bring him down. But when a psychopathic killer starts murdering people from his shadowy past, he discovers that the only person who might be able to save him is the woman who wants to destroy him.

As Astrid digs deeper into her past, she uncovers secrets long buried and realizes everything she once believed is based on lies. What began as a quest to avenge her mother’s death becomes a desperate struggle for survival and leads to the truth about what happened one fatal night ten years ago—and the surprising mastermind behind the most recent murders.

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Hélene Fermont

Author Bio

Hélene is an Anglo-Swedish fiction author currently residing in her home town of Malmo, Sweden, after relocating back from London after 20 years.

Her thrilling character-driven psychological fiction novels are known for their explosive, pacy narrative and storylines.

Hélene is the proud author of four novels – One Fatal Night, Because of You, We Never Said Goodbye and His Guilty Secret.

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I would like to thank Sarah with Book on the Bright Side for the opportunity to share the cover reveal of this book.

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Children’s Book
Date Published: November 19, 2019
Publisher: Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc.
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When Sophie’s family moves from New York City to West Virginia, she not only has to leave her friends and the city and library she loves so much, but she has to figure out what will happen when she discovers that there is no library in her new town. But when she discovers something called a bookmobile and other new treasures, all is right with the world.

Purchase Links

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About the Author
Kathleen M. Jacobs is the author of the critically-acclaimed YA-novel, Honeysuckle Holiday and Betsy Blossom Brown. Her other works include Marble Town, a book for the MG-reader. Her first children’s book, Please Close It! has enjoyed numerous awards, and her chapbooks The Puppeteer of Objects: A Lyrical Poem and Collected Curiosities: Poems, Essays & Opinions offer insights into human behavior and understanding. She is a former teacher of English and Creative Writing, and holds a M. A. in Humanistic Studies. She was the 2017 New River Gorge Writer-in-Residence. You can reach her through her website at www.kathleenmjacobs.com and through Instagram @kathleenm.jacobs.
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I would like to thank RABT for the opportunity to share this book.

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The Price by [Kerry Kaya]

The Price by Kerry Kaya

For most of his life Fletch has looked out for his younger brother Spencer and he will do anything and everything he can to protect him. Together they work for notorious East End gangster Billy King. Across the water in South London is Billy’s rival George Bannerman and the two firms are locked in a bitter turf war.
Amid murder, drug deals, and rival firms, Fletch is harbouring his own secrets and it’s only a matter of time until those secrets are revealed, and when you break the rules you have to pay the price.

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Author Bio

Kerry Kaya is a British gangland crime Author, born and raised on the outskirts of East London.

She is an avid reader and has a passion for books. From an early age she began writing stories, and in her later years those stories went on to become full length novels and novellas.

Kerry lives with her partner and Daughter.

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I would like to thank Sarah at Book on the Bright Side for the opportunity to share this book.

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QueentoAshes

Comgratulations to author Mallory McCartney on the exciting new release of Queen to Ashes, the next installment in the Black Dawn series!

Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win signed copies of Heir of Lies and Queen to Ashes!

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Queen to Ashes (Black Dawn #2)

Publication Date: April 21st, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

“You lived your entire life feeling like half of you was missing. Fight for the missing part. Fight for this.”

Emory Fae has abandoned everything she thought she knew about her previous life on Earth. Stepping up to her role as Queen of Kiero she makes a startling sacrifice- feigning her allegiances to Adair Stratton, the man who murdered her parents and casted Kiero into ruin. Emory’s memories slowly piece together, and she soon realizes the Mad King may not be all he seems— and the man who was once best friend, may be fighting beneath the surface.

With the King’s attention on her, can she buy Black Dawn Rebellion enough time to recuperate their forces? And when the times comes, will she be able to kill Adair, ending his tyranny and rising herself as the rightful Queen? Fighting to hide her secret, Emory navigates the brutal trials of the Mad King, trying not to lose herself in the process.

Sequel to Heir of Lies, now a bestselling series, the sparks are ignited, as Emory learns the cost of freedom, and her heritage. Will the rebels unite in time? A sinister force has spread across the land, stripping everyone bare- their betrayals, their secrets, their intentions. But above all, what will their decisions cost? By refusing to give in to the darkness, will Emory rise as Queen?

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Excerpt

The darkness kissed her, embraced her. Squinting, Emory tried to make sense of where she was but was met with a black, dense wall. Sweat pooled at the base of her neck, warmth flaring through her body. Fear choked her then as she gulped down stale air. She knew she wasn’t alone because she felt them before they said anything. “Emory, you need to wake up.” Memphis’s voice, just barely a whisper, caressed her. Right beside her left ear, another voice sounded. “Em, wake up.” Brokk’s rough voice was harsh and clear, but she felt her body still being pulled, pulled down into the black abyss. A third voice then sounded; one she could only recognize from her dreams. “Emory, darling, wake up.” Her mother. Her voice danced all around her, and she clawed blindly, trying to connect with her lost friends and family. Trying to find them. Silence landed heavy, and a putrid smell enveloped her senses. It smelled of rotting meat. Bile rose in her throat as a she felt a slimy, boney hand wrap hard around her wrists, pulling her toward it. She couldn’t scream; she couldn’t move. Sweat drenched every inch of her body as the creature she couldn’t make out leaned closer, whispering right in front of her, “Emory, I have found you.” Swivelling around, she was met with darkness until the monster pulled her closer, its breath tickling her ear. “And you belong to me.” The knife slid in between her ribs, pain blossoming, and cackles spun around her. Then, she was dragged down into the darkness.

Screams tore from her chest as she shot up. Drenched in a cold sweat, it took her several minutes to register where she was and the guard standing at the foot of her bed, arms crossed and eyebrows raised. She screamed again, pulling her blankets around her, her nightdress clinging to her curves. “Who gave you permission to be in here?” she demanded. Smirking arrogantly, he said, “I did.” Blinking, she recognized the man as the same one that guarded her down in the cells. Rubbing her eyes, she tried to shake the feeling of that damp death-like hold of the creature in her dream. She pointed to the door. “Get the hell out.” He scoffed, rolling his eyes. “It’s time to start your day. The king awaits.” Throwing a bundle at the bottom of her bed, he turned his back, briskly stating, “You have five minutes to get ready. I’ll wait outside.” Shutting the door, he left her in stark silence. It was time. Panic clutched her heart, squeezing it, threatening to break it. She couldn’t breathe. The walls seemed stretched too thin.

She could do this—she had to do this. Emory would grant the rebels the time they needed, the time she needed. Dying wasn’t an option. Besides, she was already dead to the people who had believed in her. Leaning forward with shaking hands, she opened the parcel. Several stacks of light black clothes spilled out, including shirts, pants, and undergarments. A blood red sash sat atop them all. Lovely. Sitting on top all of this, though, was a light, sheer, gold chest plate. Squinting, she leaned closer to inspect it. Markings she didn’t recognize adorned all the edges, and its sheerness was unearthly. She was so close, her breath was fogging it, her reflection lost. Strong leather buckles joined at the shoulders; its back plate just as impressive. She shimmied out of bed, quickly dropping the armor. Emory went through the motions of getting dressed numbly. Braiding her long ebony hair back, she looked in the mirror behind her. She didn’t recognize the woman standing before her, the stark cheekbones, emptiness in her eyes, bruised skin underneath them. Tying her sash tightly, she set her resolve. Emory Fae of Earth was dead. Everything had led up to this moment. Her parents shaped their world, defying the paths they were told to go down: A warrior from the Shattered Isles and a Prince of Kiero were never supposed to break away and build a refuge— The Academy—for peace. In her heart, Emory knew they had made mistakes, but their life’s dream was to fight and to ensure everyone, no matter their ability, would have a place to call home. Emory loosened a breath. She would not let her parents’ dream die. If Adair wanted a challenge, he would get one. She would make him pay. For her family. Her friends. For herself.

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About the Author

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Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

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For you chance to win signed copies of the Black Dawn series, click the link below!

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Heir of Lies

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Mallory McCartney is getting ready to release book #2 in her epic Black Dawn series, but she wants to give you guys a chance to read the book that started it all first, Heir of Lies!

Here’s an excerpt to read, and a chance to win a paperback copy of your own!

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Heir of Lies (Black Dawn #1)

Release Date: April 20th, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy/ New Adult Fantasy

“Hope was a dangerous thing. It could consume every dream and make them take flight, becoming wild daydreams in one’s heart and mind. Or hope could incinerate everything you thought you knew, burning you down to your core, leaving you raw and exposed for the world.”

Emory Fae has only known one thing—life at The Academy, a school for those who have special abilities. Following in her parents’ footsteps, the pressure to uphold their dream falls on her and one of her best friends—Adair Stratton. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. With whispers of dark magic spreading across Kiero, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.

An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher, sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath, for the first time in years, they demand the Faes listen to their proposition for a new treaty. Caught in the middle of politics, Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis, search for the one thing that matters the most—the truth.

Their world is tipped upside down as unlikely alliances are made, and war ravages Kiero. Through the throes of betrayal, lies, hidden magic, and love, Adair is faced with a life changing decision. Will he fight or bow to the darkness within?
But, Adair’s decision will change the course of Kiero forever, setting in motion irreversible destinies for everyone at The Academy as Emory Fae rises as heir.

Heir of Lies is the first book in the bestselling Black Dawn series.

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Excerpt

“It was as if her body had been ripped into a thousand different pieces. Her lungs burned, begging for relief. Emory heard the soft crackle of fire. Her head was a spinning mass; it was its own continent. Squinting, she tried to focus. Blinking slowly, her surroundings came into view. Her pulse picked up. She wasn’t in her room. She wasn’t in her home. The metal world around her seemed to have one purpose. To keep people in. To keep her in. The last twenty-four hours rushed over her in a flurry of confusing memories. Him… Memphis. The name rolled around in her mind, familiar yet unfamiliar all at once. Her eyes flashed open, her heart thrumming with adrenaline. Heavily, Emory sat up, trying to pull her thoughts together. For now, the room was empty, her captors gone. Now. This is your chance to escape. The thought clambered through her wildly, and she acted. Standing from the bed, Emory stumbled, her legs weak, her clothes dirtied. Breathing heavily, Emory ran to the door, pushing the handle down as it opened. Containing her surprise, she slipped into the hallway. What kind of criminals would keep their prisoner in an unlocked room? Walking fast, Emory pushed the thought down, keeping her head down as she tried to locate how to get out of this place. The hallway was quiet, and Emory didn’t pass anyone else. It had to be late into the night, and she sent up a thank you to whoever was granting her such luck. Trying not to run, she turned left, passing more shut unmarked doors, but slowly, the hallway slanted up. Heart pounding, her palms slicked with sweat as she tried to stick to the shadows, walking faster now. Ahead of her, doors loomed, and panic bloomed in her chest. Running now, Emory tried to hold back the tears burning in her eyes. She reached the massive doors, pulling them open, and the night air slammed into her. Gasping, she sprinted, rushing out into the rolling field. The air was brisk, a sweet aroma hanging on the wind, the crescent moon tucked in the midnight blue clouds. Ahead, a massive forest loomed, and she frantically looked for any sign of modern civilization where she could find help. There was nothing. A stitch laced through her side, and her converses lost footing. Emory slammed into the damp earth. Rocks sliced through her palms as she tried to break her fall, blood welling in the cuts. Tears slid down her cheeks as she got up, whispering, “Keep moving. C’mon.” Looking back, she expected to see the place she had been taken to, but dread pooled in her stomach as all she saw was open field—no sign of any building whatsoever. “What the hell?” Emory whispered, fear making her thought process choppy. Sprinting again, she pushed toward the woods.”

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About the Author

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Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway: For your chance to win a print copy of Heir of Lies, click the link below!

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Next week, you’ll get a sneek peek at Queen to Ashes, the exciting next installment in the series!

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Sky of Water

Sky of Water: Book Three of the Equal Night Trilogy by [Tucker, Stacey L.]

Sky of Water (The Equal Night Trilogy – 3) by Stacey Tucker

This final installment of the Equal Night trilogy will put Skylar to her biggest test to date. After Magus takes her through the alchemical door in the Quine library, she quickly remembers her strange surroundings and the reason she’s been brought back to the First Age. Here, she will have to rely on her own magic to navigate the overlapping timelines that will allow her to rewrite history. But if she’s not careful, she could destroy it completely.

Back home, it will take every one of Skylar’s loved ones to execute Ocean’s plan, and Argan has the biggest role among them: the impossible task of retrieving Skylar home from the past. Luckily, it’s something he’s been training for his entire life.

Meanwhile, a woman now sits in the Oval Office, the corrupt scaffolding of the US government collapsing around her. Mica Noxx has a vision for the US, one that returns it to the original intention of the Founding Fathers.

With Skylar held in the First Age and Mica planted in current day, they have one shot to banish the darkness that’s held control for centuries, and return the United States to a trajectory toward its true destiny: becoming the New Atlantis.

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“It is time for the power of women, and women’s mysteries, to reclaim their rightful place in world cosmology . . . the lore behind the book came across as well researched. Enjoyable.” ― San Francisco Book Review

Stacey Tucker

About the Author

Stacey L. Tucker uses the fantasy fiction genre to bridge science and spirituality in her Equal Night series. Tucker’s first book in the trilogy, Ocean’s Fire, took gold at the Living Now Book Awards. She is passionate about helping women and teens see their untapped potential and follow the voice within. She has written for Women’s World, Working Mother, and PopSugar, and speaks to teen groups about self-empowerment and awareness in today’s social media–saturated climate. You can find her at Here. She currently resides in Connecticut.

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

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TheDieofDeath

Welcome to the first leg of the multi-book tour for The Great Devil War series by Kenneth B. Andersen!

This month is all about the second installment in the series, The Die of Death, and I’m excited to share an excerpt from the book, and a chance to win a digital copy of your own!

The Die of Death Cover - Book 2

The Die of Death (The Great Devil War #2)

Publication Date: October 5th, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life. But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe. Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way.

The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series.

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Excerpt

“Why did you bring me back?” Philip asked. “And why was it so difficult?”

Mortimer’s laughter stopped abruptly.

“Two questions with the same answer,” Death said, setting his coffee mug down. His hand shook faintly, Philip noticed. “Because the reason that you were able to stay alive as long as you did is the very reason that I’ve brought you here.” He sighed heavily and closed his eyes. Closed them for so long that Philip almost thought he’d fallen asleep. Then he opened his eyes again, slowly, and the gray eyes looked mournfully at Philip. “My die was stolen.”

“Your die?” Philip repeated, surprised, and automatically gazed at Mortimer’s chest, where the hundred-sided die should have hung from a silver necklace. One of the two great dice. Death’s die. The one that gave newborns their life-years. But there was no necklace. No die. “When?”

“About two weeks ago. At first, I thought I’d misplaced it, that I’d put it somewhere. I searched the entire house before I realized.”

“Realized what?” Satina asked.

“That the front door was ajar. Someone had been here. Someone had been here and had stolen my die while I slept.”

“Do you have any idea who it might be?”

Mortimer shook his head. “I have no clue. But it must be someone who knows me well. Knows my habits. I sleep just once a year, you see. On April thirty-first, when spring has arrived, Vita’s working overtime, and everything is in bloom. That’s when I get my deep sleep. You remember Vita, right Philip?”

Philip nodded. He remembered Vita very well. She was Mortimer’s sister. Philip had met her the last time he was in Hell. She was the one who brought him back to life. She was life.

Then it hit him, exactly what Mortimer had said, and he counted the months on his knuckles. January, February, March, April. No, there weren’t 31 days in April. And another thing…

“You said the die was stolen two weeks ago,” he said. “But half a year has passed since April?”

“For you, yes,” Death replied. “But time is different down here, remember.”

“Oh yeah,” Philip said, a little irritated for not figuring that out himself. Hadn’t he just determined there was no such thing as April 31st? Of course, time was different down here. Everything was different down here.

“This is a calamity!” The old man stood and began to pace the floor, shaking his head in despair. “Without my die, every child born in the world will be immortal. The consequences will be horrific for those poor people, who won’t have death to look forward to.”

“Death isn’t exactly something people look forward to, is it?” objected Philip cautiously.

Mortimer paused, staring at him. “Yes, it is,” he said in a voice verging on a snarl. “They just don’t know it.”

“I don’t understand.”

“And Lucifer said you were such a bright boy. But then again, he is the Father of Lies,” Death muttered. He moved to the window and looked out at the evening darkness as it sank swiftly across the bleak countryside. “Many people would say the same thing, Philip. That death is something terrible, a necessary evil best avoided.”

“Well… isn’t it?”

“No!” shouted Mortimer, startling both Philip and Satina. His old eyes sparkled. “I’m humanity’s greatest fear because there’s no greater fear than that of death. But that’s not the way it should be! The truth is, people don’t realize just how much they should appreciate me. Death isn’t an unfortunate consequence of life; on the contrary, Death is what makes life worth living. Men and women value only that which they might lose. Don’t you see? Without death, life is uninteresting and utterly meaningless.”

Philip didn’t entirely understand what Mortimer was saying. And yet… maybe he did. “It’s like what Lucifer said. Without evil there is no good. You can’t have one without the other. And the same goes for life and death?”

“Exactly!” Mortimer thrust out his arms. “Without death, the joy of life is killed by life itself! And that’s not even the worst of it. How would the world look in just fifty years? Think about all those poor wretches who’ve been seriously injured, but whose heart continues to beat. Victims of traffic accidents, of earthquakes, fires, floods. Terrible, terrible! The world would be populated by living corpses who wish for nothing more than the peace that comes with death, but their wishes would never be fulfilled. Can you imagine that?”

Satina said nothing, but Philip had to swallow twice. Yes, he could imagine it. He could see it all too clearly, and he could feel the nausea burbling in his gut at the frightening scenario Death described.

“When you roll your die,” Philip said, “what happens exactly?”

“That’s a huge question,” Death said, gazing deeply into his eyes. “Can your mind handle the answer?”

“Try me.”

“When the die is cast, the sand begins to run.”

Philip glanced at Satina, who shook her head to show she didn’t understand either. “What do you mean?”

Mortimer stepped slowly toward him. Shadows covered his face like a black spiderweb. His eyes were concealed in darkness.

“Are you afraid, Philip?” he asked. His voice was dry as the fire crackling in the woodstove. “Are you afraid of death?”

Philip’s first impulse was to nod. Because he was afraid of Death, afraid of this odd, ancient man who’d been around since the origins of life, who had seen civilizations rise and fall, who had seen so many ghastly things that it had snuffed out the light in his eyes. But he surprised himself by shaking his head. “No. I’m not afraid. I’m already dead.”

Mortimer seemed to consider this response carefully. Then his mouth twisted into a wry smile.

“Come along,” he said. “I will show you something no human being has ever seen.”

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About the Author

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I WAS BORN IN DENMARK ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1976 …

… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily.

During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing.

In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Caïssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction.

My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development.

A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned.

I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement.

About THE GREAT DEVIL WAR: The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice.

Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think.

Welcome to the other side!

Kenneth B. Andersen | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Keep a look out for next month’s tour for The Wrongful Death (The Great Devil War #3)! The blog tour will run from February 24th to the 29th. Don’t miss it!

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

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Evelio’s Garden

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Evelio’s Garden: Memoir of a Naturalist in Costa Rica by Sandra Shaw Homer

Enter the enchanting world of the northern highlands of Costa Rica, where the author begins a memoir, tracing the seasons and closely observing the natural riches around her. But Evelio, who helped build their house, interrupts with an idea to plant an organic garden on their property. Although her husband has already agreed, she is wary, suspecting Evelio will pull her into the daily ups and downs of his project. This is exactly what he does, creating an often funny, always frustrating, and ultimately rewarding counterpoint to her own work, such that the two inevitably intertwine on the page.

Over the course of a challenging year of unpredictable weather and the depredations of wild animals and toxic chemicals, their friendship grows as Evelio teaches her about the rural sustainability of Costa Rica in decades past. But stresses over the garden and a serious health detour churn up the author’s long-buried memories, forcing her to try to make sense of her past and opening her up to profound personal change.
Evelio’s Garden is a lyrical meditation on cultural values, friendship, aging, loss, and, ultimately, the healing power of the natural world.

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Sandra Shaw Homer

About the Author

Sandra Shaw Homer has lived in Costa Rica for 28 years, where she has taught languages and worked as a translator and environmental activist. For several years she wrote a regular column, “Local Color,” for the English-language weekly, The Tico Times. An excerpt from a forthcoming memoir of her life in Costa Rica, Evelio’s Garden, was published in Oasis Journal 2014. Her writing has also appeared in several print and on-line literary and travel journals, as well as her own blog, Writing from the Heart. Her travel memoir, Letters from the Pacific, received excellent Kirkus and Publishers Weekly reviews. A brief inspirational memoir, The Magnificent Dr. Wao, is available as a Kindle Book, and a second travel memoir of sailing on freighters and traveling through Europe, Journey to the Joie de Vivre, was published last year.

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Sherri Rosen Publicity

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

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