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Desperate Ground

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Deperate Ground by LJ Morris

When the secrecy of a nuclear weapon agreement is thrown into doubt, a disgraced intelligence operative is recruited to find out if the deal is still safe…

Ali Sinclair, wrongly convicted and on the run from a Mexican prison, is enlisted to infiltrate her old friend’s inner circle and find the evidence.

The only people on her side are an ex-Cold War spook and the former Royal Marine that was sent to find her. Together they discover that the stakes are much higher than anyone knew, and the fate of the world is at risk…

But when you live in the shadows who can you trust?

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

L.J.  Morris

About the Author

L J Morris is an author with a lifelong love of books and storytelling that he developed as a child. He spent most of the 80s and 90s serving in the Royal Navy as a Weapons Engineer and now lives in Cumbria, with his family. He currently works within the defence industry and continues to write at every opportunity.

His short stories have appeared in several anthologies including Volumes 1 & 2 of Best-selling author Matt Hilton’s anthology series ‘ACTION: Pulse Pounding Tales’.

Other anthologies he has appeared in include ‘Happily Never After’, ‘Wish You Weren’t Here’, and ‘Liminal Time, Liminal Space’ where one reader described his tale ‘True Colours’ as “Riveting and powerful”

His first novel ‘Desperate Ground’ was published in May 2018 and attracted good reviews.

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Desperate Grounds will now be FREE on the 31st of Oct/ 1st Nov.

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

The Art of Taking it Easy

 

Book Details:
Book Title: The Art of Taking It Easy by Dr. Brian King
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+)
Genre:  Literary/Self-Help/Humor
Publisher:  Apollo Publishers
Release date:  October 2019
Content Rating: PG-13+

Book Description: 
Psychologist and Comedian King explores the science behind stress in this witty, informed guide. The author uses a bevy of running jokes and punch lines to enliven technical explanations for how and why people experience stress. His metaphors of coming across a bear in the wild as well as being stuck in traffic are also used to great effect to explain a variety of stress responses, such as perceiving a threat and feelings of powerlessness. Reframing thoughts plays a large role in King’s advice: Stress is simply a reaction to a perception of threat being able to
consciously redirect choices made by other areas of the brain is the key to living a less stressful existence. He also provides breathing exercises, plants for painting physical health and useful advice for setting attainable goals. King’s enjoyable guide to living with less will be of help to any anxious reader.
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About the Author:
DR. BRIAN KING trained as a neuroscientist and psychologist and for the past decade has traveled the world as a comedian and public speaker. By day he conducts seminars, attended by thousands of people each year around the US and internationally, on positive psychology, the health benefits of humor, and stress management. By night he practices what he teaches in comedy clubs, and is the founder and producer of the highly reviewed Wharf Room comedy show in San Francisco. Dr. Brian holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, a master’s degree from the University of New Orleans, and a PhD in neuroscience from Bowling Green State University. Hailing from New York and living in dozens of cities throughout the US as the child of a military family, today spends his life on the road with his partner, Sarah, and their young daughter.

Connect with the Author:

Author Interview

Dr. Brian King is the author of the recently released book The Art of Taking It Easy (Apollo Publishers). He trained as a neuroscientist and psychologist and for the past decade has traveled the world as a comedian and public speaker. By day he conducts seminars, presented nationwide and attended by thousands of people each year, on positive psychology, the health benefits of humor, and stress management. By night he practices what he teaches in comedy clubs. Dr. Brian began performing stand-up comedy in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009, and has performed hundreds of shows around the world. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, a master’s degree from the University of New Orleans, and a PhD from Bowling Green State University, and, in addition to The Art of Taking It Easy, is the author of The Laughing Cure. Dr. Brian hails from New York City and today spends his life on the road, traveling regularly with his partner, Sarah, and their young daughter.

What do you think makes your approach to handling stress unique? Can you share a story?

I would not say that my approach is unique. As we all live our individual lives, we all accumulate a unique set of experiences which in turn influence our behaviors, and yet other people with their own set of unique experiences express similar behaviors. Our paths may be different, but we are all going to the same set of destinations. Lots of people manage stress well, and I am one of them. Early in my life I could tell that I handled things better than a lot of my peers; I would remain calm in many situations where my friends would be anxious, sad, or angry, but it wasn’t until graduate school when I started to realize that I had a higher than average tolerance for stress.

I went to graduate school in New Orleans, Louisiana, a city that I have loved since I first set foot within its borders. I lived in the French Quarter, an awesome vibrant neighborhood that attracts tons of tourists, and with good reason—it’s a beautiful part of the city. But it was also plagued with a high crime rate. One day, my roommate and I were walking home from the grocery store and on our block a guy popped out from behind a car pointing a gun at us. In broad daylight on the sidewalk of a city street, we were being robbed.

I remember seeing the gun, and I remember the man instructing us to give him our wallets. My roommate handed his over right away, but I chose not to. Instead, I remained perfectly calm and attempted to negotiate with my mugger. I reasoned with him that he could have my cash, I didn’t have much on me anyway, but that I needed to keep my wallet. My wallet had my ID, my credit cards, and other things that were going to be a major hassle to replace, so I insisted that he could have my money if he agreed to let me keep my wallet. I said, “Those are my terms.”

The mugger and I went back and forth on this, him asking for my wallet and me calmly stating my terms. Meanwhile, my roommate is looking at me like I am out of my mind, but I felt like I could convince this guy to see it my way and he eventually did. I gave him my money, as per our agreement, and he let me keep my wallet. Then I asked if my roommate could have his wallet back too and he agreed.

The mugger left and my roommate and I went into our apartment and put our groceries away. I realized that he was much more shaken up than I was and maybe my ability to remain calm in the face of a stressful event was a bit unusual. A few months later, he left the French Quarter for an apartment in the suburbs.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

As a habit, I express my gratitude every day. In my seminars on happiness and stress management, I encourage my audiences to do the same. It’s a common practice and it is very helpful in changing the way we look at the world. Even Oprah does it, and she seems pretty happy to me.

There are so many people in my life that have helped me get to where I am, and because of how I live most of them probably already know how grateful I am. However, there is one person who has changed my life in the most significant way possible who has yet to realize how much she has affected me: my two-year-old daughter, Alyssa.

Having children changes your life, that is common knowledge. But this little girl came into my world when I was at a very unhealthy point. Without knowing it, I had been suffering from sleep apnea for years and it was starting to take its toll. With fatherhood approaching, my partner, Sarah, convinced me to see a doctor and within the year I was on CPAP treatment and on the way to recovery. Having children does make people healthier, but having her may have quite literally extended the length of my life.

My new book, The Art of Taking It Easy, is dedicated to my daughter, but it was also inspired by her. If for some reason I don’t get to see her grow up, I wanted her to know how important she is to me and at the same time I wanted to give her a manual that could help her, and perhaps thousands of other people, live a better life. To this day she inspires me to live a better life.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I think my success is from bringing good things into the world. Granted not everything I have tried has worked out or been all that great, but the few successes I have enjoyed are those that have made a positive impact on others. As a comedian, I make people laugh and in the process I make them a little bit happier. That may not sound like much, but humor and laughter have a measurable impact on our health. As a public speaker, I share knowledge and insight with my audiences about how to manage stress and live a happier life, and in the process try to make them laugh. As a writer, I can only hope to do the same. 

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Is there a dance move that combines the robot with the running man? I could see that being a thing.

Honestly, I always feel like I am the last person at the party. I remember when Twitter started and a few of my comedian friends were taking to the platform while I didn’t see the point. I thought it was weird when people started posting to my Facebook instead of sending me an email. Later when Instagram came out, I said, “but I can already post photos to Facebook…” I don’t have a good track record with being able to recognize good ideas.

But if I have any influence at all, I hope that I can help convince people of the need to take life less seriously and, you know, take it easy. There are so many people in the world that are struggling with stress-related issues who could use a change in perspective. Reevaluate your thought processes, your reactions, and your interactions with other people. The world can be a crazy place, and there will always be conflict. So why not chill out and try not to be part of the problem?

How can our readers follow you on social media and where can they find your new book?

I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever comes next at @drbrianking, and The Art of Taking It Easy is available on www.apollopublishers.com and Amazon, and in Barnes & Noble and independent bookstores around the country.

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

Murder in Montague Falls

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If you’re still searching for the perfect Halloween read, check out this collection of chilling tales! Murder in Montague Falls will have you reading long into the night!

MURDER IN MONTAGUE FALLS ebook front cover

Murder in Montague Falls

Publication Date: August 29, 2019

Genre: Anthology/ Noir/ Dark Fiction

WHITE HOT THRILLS! PITCH BLACK DEEDS!

3 TALES OF TEENS TACKLING THEIR DARKEST RITES OF PASSAGE

Acclaimed storytellers Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, and Patrick Thomas each present an original novella brimming with enough danger, intrigue, and murder to get readers’ blood pounding and hearts racing.

In Colchamiro’s RED INK, a paperboy with an overactive imagination witnesses a brutal killing on his route—or has he taken his fantasy spy games a step too far?

In Hatton’s THE DEVIL’S DELINQUENTS, a trio of teenage misfits in pursuit of success, power, and revenge practice amateurish occult rituals… with deadly consequences.

In Thomas’s A MANY SPLENDID THING, a sultry high school teacher enrolls one of her students to get rid of her husband. But will the young man really graduate to murder?

Goodreads

Here are some teasers from the book:

Red Ink

An infrared scope cut through the suburban tree line.

Perched on a high-angle branch in the neighbor’s spruce tree, Isaac could see her through the living room window, six houses away.

The M21 semi-automatic sniper rifle with fiberglass stock and 20-round box magazine was snug against his shoulder.

One bullet. One body.

Though camouflaged within a thicket of evergreen leaves, he had a clean shot.

“Come on,” he whispered, his eye against the scope. “Give me the signal.”

In perfect synchronicity, Isaac’s earpiece crackled. “Target confirmed. Kill shot approved.”

Devil’s Delinquents

Natalie exits her room with the ritual kit, locking the door behind her.

Her father, swathed in a cornucopia-pattern quilt, sits in his wheelchair in the den, positioned near enough the window so that he can be in the daylight. Maybe he enjoys it, but one cannot tell for certain since his face registers no enjoyment, nor any other emotion.

Natalie kneels down before him, flips up the quilt, and undoes the bottom three buttons of his shirt, exposing his stomach. Between her fingertips, she wields the double-edged blade for a safety razor. She carefully nicks the skin above his father’s belly button. She looks up at him, detects no reaction.

She makes intersecting six-inch-long slices into his stomach, then carves a large circle around the lines, working around the seeping blood. Upon finishing, she evaluates her work and nods.

“I’m going to bring you back, daddy,” Natalie says to him, kissing his knuckles. “I promise.”

Splendid Thing

Rosa went from smiling to bawling in less time than it took to blink. I pulled her in and held her against my bare chest. She pounded my ribs with her closed fists.

“Why won’t you understand! There is no other way! If we don’t kill him soon, you’ll come to school one day and find that he killed me. How are you going to feel then? Especially if he figures out that you’re my lover! You would follow me to the Pearly Gates.”

“Rosa, this talk of killing is crazy.”

She pushed herself back and slapped me hard across the face. “You think I’m crazy?”

Available on Amazon

Have you ever heard of a book having its own soundtrack? Well this one does!

About the Authors

Russ Colchamiro Headshot

RUSS COLCHAMIRO is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the zany sci-fi backpacking series Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, editor of the sci-fi mystery anthology, Love, Murder & Mayhem, and contributing author for his newest project, Murder in Montague Falls, a noir novella collection, all with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ has contributed to several other anthologies including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, They Keep Killing Glenn, Altered States of the Union, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Brave New Girls vols. 3&4, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, and Footprints in the Stars.

He is now finalizing the first in an ongoing SFF mystery series featuring his hard-boiled private eye Angela Hardwicke and has several other SFF, crime fiction, and children’s book projects in the works.

Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, their twin ninjas, and their crazy dog, Simon.

For more on Russ’s works, visit Website, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @AuthorDudeRuss.

 

Sawney-casual-smaller

SAWNEY HATTON is an author, editor, and screenwriter who has long loved playing in the dark. His published works include the Dark Comedy novel Dead Size, the YA Noir novella Uglyville, and the Dark Fiction short story collection Everyone Is a Moon. He also edited the Sci-Fi Horror anthology What Has Two Heads, Ten Eyes, and Terrifying Table Manners?

Other incarnations of Sawney have produced marketing videos, attended chili cook-offs, and played the banjo and sousaphone (not at the same time). As of this writing, he is still very much alive.

For more semi-unseemly insights into Sawney, visit his website at Website or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Patrick Thomas Headshot

PATRICK THOMAS is the award-winning author of the beloved Murphy’s Lore series and the darkly hilarious Dear Cthulhu advice empire.

His 40+ books include Fairy with a Gun, By Darkness Cursed, Lore & Dysorder, Dead to Rites, Startenders, As the Gears Turn, Cthulhu Explains It All, and Exile and Entrance. His is the co-author of the Mystic Investigators series, The Santa Heist, and the Jack Gardner mysteries.

Patrick is the co-editor of Camelot 13 (with John French), New Blood (with Diane Raetz), and Hear Them Roar (with CJ Henderson), co-created The Wildsidhe Chronicles YA series and is the creator of the Agents of the Abyss series.

He has had more than 150 short stories published in magazines and anthologies, with his work for YA and children including the Ughabooz books, the Undead Kid Diaries, the Joy Reaper books, and the Babe B. Bear Mysteries as Patrick T. Fibbs.

Visit him online at Website and Website

My Review

5 Stars

This is a collection of three novellas based in the small town of Montague Falls. The first story is about Issac, a paperboy that has a creative imagination. He discovers a body on a resident’s floor and when the police don’t believe him he investigates on his own.

You then have three teenagers, Derry, Cal and Nat. They practice a satanic ritual to get back on those that bully them and have unexpected results.

And finally we have Jethro and Mrs. Carmine. Jethro is in love with his hot teacher and Mrs. Carmine seems to love him too but there is a little problem called a husband in the middle of them.

This is a great collection of short stories that had me engrossed and rushing to see what was going to happen next. It was dark and creepy and the perfect read for Halloween. I liked all the stories so well that I will be looking into all of the authors other works. Make sure to get a copy for yourself.

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

Giveaway Time!!!

For your chance to win a print copy (US Only) of Murder in Montague Falls click the link below!

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Blog Tour Schedule

October 28st

Reads & Reels (Review)

Viviana MacKade (Guest Post)

Jessica Belmont (Review)

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight)

October 29nd

Book Dragons Not Worms (Review)

Cup of Books (Review)

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight)

October 30th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight)

Breakeven Books (Spotlight)

Bibliolater (Spotlight)

October 31st

I Smell Sheep (Guest Post)

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review)

My Bookish Bliss (Review)

Splash into Books (Spotlight)

November 1st

Musings of a Final Girl (Review)

The Reading Chemist (Spotlight)

Kelly Lacey (Spotlight)

Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight)

Read and Rated (Spotlight)

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight)

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight)

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

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

Weave of Love

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Weave of Love (Choices and Consequences Book 3) by Rachel Bonner

What if the choice you have to make has devastating consequences for others?

How can anyone know the right thing to do?

Leonie chose to sacrifice everything to save other people. Now those around her have to face the consequences – and those consequences are not what they expected.

Prospero must deal with his own guilt. He was the one who gave Leonie the tools she needed – her life was in his hands. To make the most of what she did, he will have to face up to all the family issues he has avoided for so long. Whatever he chooses to do, someone he loves will be hurt. For Leonie’s sake, is he now strong enough to make the choice he couldn’t make before?

The crisis predicted by Lord Gabriel has come and gone. But his task isn’t over. Leonie’s very existence may be out in the open but Gabriel discovers that the past is never what it seems – and nor is the present. How can he use what he now knows to bring together those who have been enemies for as long as anyone can remember? If he fails in this, everything he’s had to do so far will be in vain.

Amazon     Associates     Other Retailers     Google Play     Price : £2.99

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Thread of Hope (Choices and Consequences Book 2)

What if your secrets are so dangerous they could destroy the one you love?
Is honesty always the best policy?

Leonie may have run away but Prospero will find her. He loves her and he wants a future with her by his side whatever the consequences. Only when he does find her, he ought to tell her who he really is, outside the monastery. That’ll make her run again. Dare he risk it? But if he doesn’t tell her, someone else may…

Marriage to Prospero is what Leonie wants most and the one thing she knows she can’t have. If he found out what she was really like, what she’d been, what she’d done, he’d despise her and she couldn’t bear that. Better to leave now than live a lie – but it’s harder than she expected. If only…

Gabriel is starting to discover the secrets inherent in Leonie, secrets that not even she knows, secrets that will tear the world apart. And the secrets he is keeping are tearing him apart. How can sacrificing those he loves possibly achieve peace when everything he discovers risks the death of millions?

Amazon     Associates     Other Retailers     Google Play     Price : £2.99

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Strand of Faith (Choices and Consequences Book 1)

A girl. A monk. An unthinkable sacrifice.
When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide?

In a post-apocalyptic future, a girl and a monk, both with extraordinary mental powers, have compelling reasons not to fall in love. But their choices will have consequences for the rest of the world.

After the troubles of his youth, Brother Prospero has found comfort and fulfilment in the monastery. Then he discovers something that forces him to reconsider his whole vocation. How can it possibly be right to leave a life of worship and service for human desire? And if he does leave, will the pressures from his past destroy him?

Orphaned and mistreated, Leonie has found sanctuary and safety at the Abbey. When she comes into contact with Prospero everything spirals out of her control. Everyone she’s ever loved has died. She can’t do that to him. But how can she walk away from the first place she’s truly belonged?

Abbot Gabriel is faced with an impossible choice. He can do nothing and watch the world descend into war. Or he can manipulate events and ensure peace – at the cost of two lives that he is responsible for. Is he strong enough to sacrifice those he loves?

Amazon     Associates     Other Retailers     Google Play     Price : Normally £2.99

From 12th October until 5th November, ebook copy of Strand of Faith is available free from Bookcave but requires a subscription to my newsletter.

BookCave 

And coming soon (February 2020)

Cloth of Grace (Choices and Consequences Book 4)

When the fate of the world rests on your shoulders, how do you choose between what you ought to do and the only thing you really want?

Leonie finally knows who she is. But now she needs to decide who she is going to be. Her choice will affect not just her family, not just those she knows but tens, hundreds of thousands, millions of people that she doesn’t. And every path that’s open to her will put Perry under the pressures that caused his breakdown before. How can she do what she must and still protect Perry?

Perry desperately wants to make things easier for Leonie. Somehow he has to find the strength to face the things that all but destroyed him in the past. But every way he turns some aspect of his past lies waiting to pounce – even during his happiest moments. And he can never forget that Leonie’s life is in danger from someone, somewhere. That danger may be much closer to home than anyone suspects.

Gabriel has managed to negotiate peace, at least in theory. Now he must put that into practice and reunite Leonie with the family she never knew she had. Then disaster strikes right in the middle of his own sanctuary. Can he still protect those he loves, or has he been harbouring a villain the whole time?

Amazon     Associates     Other Retailers     Price : £2.99

Author Bio

Rachel J Bonner is the author of the compelling and enthralling four book Choices and Consequences series.  The first book in the series, Strand of Faith, was published in November 2018. Book 2, Thread of Hope, released on 2nd May 2019, followed by Weave of Love on 24th October, and Cloth of Grace at the end of February 2020.

Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in fantasy or romance.  Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun.  When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club.  Shooting targets only, honest.  Nothing to worry about. (Okay, sometimes we shoot Polo mints. Or cabbages. Still nothing to worry about.)

She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary.  It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.

You can find out more about her books and sign up for Rachel’s newsletters at HERE.

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My Review

4 Stars

Leonie may have saved others but she was almost killed. Perry is heartbroken but determined to nurse her back to health. Gabriel’s prediction has come true but not the end results and he has to figure out how to bring two families together. To do so he sends Perry and Leonie back to Perry’s family. On the trip Leonie is going to learn more about her own past and how important she to this world.

Compared to the last two books, Weave of Love is slower and starts to answer the questions we have about this world and the families. I really liked learning more about this world and the different characters. That train ride was so magical that I felt right there with the two of them. I have to say that meeting Perry’s family was the best part. They really made this book.

It is clear by the end of the book that Cloth of Grace is going to be one heck of a read. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and see were Leonie and Perry go next.

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

 

Enter to Win signed copies of Strand of Faith, Thread of Hope and Weave of Love, plus a selection of bookmarks, plus three MixPix acrylic photo tiles (Open INT)

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

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

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Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle (Book 3) by Brandom Mull

Cursed by the Key of Forgetting, Seth has lost all memory of his past—his relationships, his experiences, and who he really is. For now he will align with his new mentor, Ronodin, the dark unicorn, who takes him to the Phantom Isle, the secret gateway to the Under Realm. Though Seth is not formally a prisoner, Ronodin wants to use him and his shadow charmer powers for his own dark ends.

Kendra is frantic to find her missing brother, but the quest will take her and her companions, including Warren, Tanu, and Vanessa, far from Wyrmroost to Crescent Lagoon—a recently fallen dragon sanctuary made up of many islands and underwater domains. Its caretaker has regained a foothold on one of the islands. If Kendra and her friends can save that sanctuary, they might uncover the answers they need to rescue Seth.

With each sanctuary the dragons overthrow, Celebrant, the Dragon King, comes closer to the dawn of a new Age of Dragons. With the forces of darkness on the march, can Kendra and her allies gather enough power to win the epic dragon war?

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Brandon Mull

About the Author

Brandon Mull is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Fablehaven, Beyonders, and Five Kingdoms series. A kinetic thinker, Brandon enjoys bouncy balls, squeezable stress toys, and popping bubble wrap. He lives in Utah in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his four children and a dog named Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Brandon loves meeting his readers and hearing about their experiences with his books.

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My Review

5 Stars

After the ending of the last book I couldn’t wait to get into Master of the Phantom Isle and find out what is going to happen next. We jump right back into the story at the same place. Seth has lost the memories that define him. He is under the guidance of Ronodin and we find him doing evil deeds. It’s heartbreaking to watch this but his true personality is going to come through.

At the same time Kendra is out trying to find her brother but has her own adventure. She is off to try stop the war with the dragons, save another sanctuary with a fresh new location. Of course she has some help from friends in the past. But over all Kendra has become the strong leader that is needed to save her brother.

I just love this series and where it’s going. Although I was hesitant about the siblings being split up this leads to us exploring more of the world and broadening their characters. This is a great series for midgrade readers to adults. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

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.

Unreasonable Doubts

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Unreasonable Doubts by Reyna Marder Gentin

Jaded New York City Public Defender Liana Cohen would give anything to have one client in whom she can believe. Dozens of hardened criminals and repeat offenders have chipped away at her faith in both herself and the system. Her boyfriend Jakob’s high-powered law firm colleagues see her do-gooder job as a joke, which only adds to the increasing strain in their relationship.

Enter imprisoned felon Danny Shea, whose unforgivable crime would raise a moral conflict in an attorney at the height of her idealism―and that hasn’t been Liana in quite a while. But Danny’s astonishing blend of good looks, intelligence, and vulnerability intrigues Liana. Could he be the client she’s been longing for―the wrongly accused in need of a second chance? Is he innocent? As their attorney-client relationship transforms into something less than arm’s length, Liana is forced to confront fundamental questions of truth, faith, and love―and to decide who she wants to be.

Amazon     Audible      Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Reyna Marder Gentin 

About the Author

Reyna Marder Gentin grew up in Great Neck, New York. She attended college and law school at Yale. For many years, she practiced as an appellate attorney representing criminal defendants who could not afford private counsel. Gentin studies at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, and her work has been published in The Westchester Review and online. She lives with her family in Scarsdale, New York.

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My Review

4 stars

Liana Cohen is a public defender that is getting more jaded with the people she defends. Her boyfriend, Jakob works in a big law firm and it doesn’t help that his co-workers look down their nose at Liana. She is then tasked with defending Danny Shea. It looks like this might be the client that Liana has been looking for. But things slowly go from professional to personal the more she works his case.

I admit that I have worked in law firms for the last twelve years and I tend to shy away from any legal story. But I was curious about this one. How does one deal with constantly defending those that are guilty. Liana was a great character. I really felt for her and completely understood why she was getting so burned out. I could also see how she was questioning her relationship with Jakob and how that was taking a toll on both of them.

But then there is Danny Shea. He is in prison for rape but something about his case makes Liana start having doubts. She starts diving into his case trying to find something to use and soon finds herself getting closer to Danny than she professionally should.

This was a great read. Tavia Gilbert does an amazing job of bringing this story to life. Liana goes through so much and I was hoping things worked out for the best and torn between yelling at her wanting to know what was going on in her head. This is a great read and one I recommend checking out.

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

I would like to thank Michele Cobb for the opportunity to listen to and share this book.

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Welcome to the super huge, A Fool’s Circle MEGA giveaway!!! Check out this amazing Domestic Thriller by Suzanne Seddon, and enter to win this fantastic haul!

unnamedA Fool’s Circle

Publication Date: March 17th, 2019

Genre: Thriller/ Domestic Thriller/ Suspense

Kate Sanders has suffered many years of physical and mental abuse at the hands of her abusive husband Alan, and convinces herself that she is only holding the family together for the sake of her eight-year-old daughter. If it wasn’t for her best friend Jill Reynolds, she would have taken the suicide option a long time ago.

As she desperately seeks a way to escape, she is contacted by a solicitor. Kate’s old aunt has died and she has been left a small fortune.

For the first time, she sees the light at the end of the tunnel. She dreams of a fresh start, a new home, a new life. What Kate doesn’t know is that Jill and Alan have their own secrets, and are both desperate to get their hands on her money.

Kate soon finds herself falling for the charms of Jonathon Jacobs in what she believes to be fate finally intervening and offering her a second chance, unaware that each move he makes has been directed, orchestrated and well-rehearsed as he begs her to leave her husband Alan.

But is it all too late, as she finds herself in the frame for murder?

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

A blonde head bounced on the floor in time to the yelling. Rays of the early morning sun caught her golden hair, and motes of dust hung in the air. Sophie Saunders was eight years old. Kneeling down on the floor, she played with her dolls, drumming Ken and Barbie against the carpet, her body bent forward, almost as if she were praying in her immaculately clean and pressed school uniform. But today her school uniform was the last thing on her mind. She bashed the dolls’ heads off the pink floor in unison.

‘Ring-a-Ring-a-Rosie,’ she sang aloud to herself as she tried to drown out the voices that rose up through the floorboards.

The noises from downstairs were a regular occurrence, and fast becoming the norm. Sophie felt her dad’s anger, ever-present in his voice as it vibrated through her bedroom, positioned over the kitchen. Scared, she dropped her dolls, raising her arms and clasping her small hands over her ears. Sophie closed her eyes. Blinded, she felt for Barbie and Ken and gripped the toys by the legs. With one in each hand, she remained still for a moment, and as the voices intensified beneath her, she sensed them possessing the dolls.

‘You’re an old bag. I hate you!’ Sophie’s voice was deep and rough, as she rammed Ken’s head into Barbie’s chest.

‘Why are you always so nasty to me?’ She raised the pitch of her voice as she shook the dolls hard.

‘Because you make me want to vomit when I look at your fat ugly face,’ she growled.

‘Please stop being so cruel to me,’ she enunciated.

‘Who do you think you are? Don’t you dare tell me what to do, bitch!’

With each word, she struck Ken against Barbie, again and again, until finally Barbie’s head popped off and rolled across the carpet.

That hadn’t been her intention. She didn’t mean to decapitate the poor doll. Shocked, she stood up as she searched for the missing head. She found it under the bedside cabinet at the back, by the wall. She crouched down, stretched out her arm and grabbed it. Sophie sat up on her knees, struggling to reattach the plastic head to its body.

‘Bloody shit! Why won’t it go on?’ The racket from below grew ever louder. ‘Bloody shit.’ Frustrated, she gave up, and flung the dolls across the room.

Downstairs, her father, Alan, almost lost his head. He shouted louder as his wife, Kate, persisted as the peacemaker.

‘As useless as a one-legged woman in an arse- kicking contest.’

His voice echoed around the large stark white room, drowning out the soothing music from the old radio sitting on the window ledge.

‘You’re one useless bastard!’ The barrage of abuse had just hit average level.

‘Fucking useless.’ The kitchen had seen better days, as had their marriage, but Kate worked hard to keep both spotless and functional.

‘Can you hear me?’ She strived hard at everything, as she had for a lifetime.

‘Hello? Is there anyone home?’ However, her efforts now went unnoticed or drew heavy criticism for no reason.

‘I’m fucking talking to you, whore.’ She knew only too well what was about to come her way, as she moved the blonde strand of hair out of her blue eyes and concentrated. She placed the boiled egg safely into its cup.

‘Where’s this fucking breakfast, for fuck’s sake?’

She reached out her arm, picked up the knife and, clenching it tight in her hand, she decapitated the top of the egg.

‘I can hear you, Alan.’ The toast was the light side of brown, just as he liked it, but who knew these days? ‘There’s no point keeping on at me, shouting. I can’t go any faster.’

She set the breakfast plate before Alan. His face was dark and menacing—the antithesis of the light sense of fun that had been knocked out of her.

‘About fucking time. Talk about slow. You’re like a human fucking sloth.’

After ten years together, she found it more of a challenge to stay positive. Alan had turned negativity into a vocation.

‘What the flying fuck is this?’ She stared at the top of his head, bristling with the military-style haircut he’d had since he was a child, raised by an army commander who gave no quarter.

‘Do you seriously expect me to eat this fucking lot of shite?’ Alan had adopted the same rank in the family, but hadn’t served a moment in the services. ‘All these years, and you still can’t boil a fucking egg? I mean, it’s not fucking rocket science.’ She watched him as he snarled at her. ‘You’ve got to be having some sort of a laugh.’

He pushed the plate away with such force, it shot forward and hit the condiment pots. Kate flinched as the sharp noise pierced her ears. ‘Why, what’s wrong with it now?’ She clenched her fists as her body shook. Her nerves were all on the surface, as he mocked her and revelled in her fear.

‘What’s bloody wrong with it? It’s the wrong colour, undercooked and looks like my fucking snot. You really are a fucking retard!’

She watched as his sneer took what used to be a pleasantly rugged face – a lifetime ago – and warped it monstrously.

‘Well, I can do another for you, if you like. It won’t take me a minute!’

She tried her hardest to stay calm, fearful of what might come next.

‘That’s how long I think you boiled that one for, a fucking minute, so what’s the bloody point? You’ll only mess it up again, you thick tart.’ Kate, petrified, noticed the pure evil as it manifested once again across his face.

‘You’re miles away these days. Maybe you should go see a doctor and get some happy pills from him. For fuck’s sake, you can’t even time an egg.’ Once again defeated, she bit her lip and her voice broke.

‘Well, I did boil it for three minutes.’ She watched his face as it reddened. She knew the inevitable was about to happen, and wished it over and done with.

‘Yeah, yeah. Let’s face it, darling, you’re no good at cooking, no good in bed—in fact, you’re no good at fucking anything really. I bloody dread mealtimes in this house.’

The victorious grin that had taken residence across his smug face frightened her.

‘I try my best, Alan, I really do.’ Kate’s voice sounded weak. Alan fed off her vulnerability as he chipped away at her. He cranked up the volume another notch.

‘You really are a fucking retard. You’re trying to poison me with salmonella.’ Alan stretched out his arm, picking up the boiled egg. Terrified, she eyed him as he gripped it tightly in his hand. ‘Trying to do me in with food poisoning, are you?’

Kate jerked as he lobbed the egg towards her, raising her arm, shielding it from her face as it side-swiped her head. She tried to pick fragments of sticky shell out of her hair.

‘That’s what I think about your boiled eggs. Now go and fucking clean it up!’

She decided the best defence was to stay silent. Terrified, she turned her back on him, and tried to disappear into the background.

‘Don’t turn your back on me, I’m fucking talking to you! You’re one ignorant bitch. Don’t you dare fucking ignore me!’

She closed her eyes tight and gritted her teeth, trying hard to remain calm.

‘I’m not ignoring you. I’m trying to get Sophie’s breakfast ready or she’ll be late for school.’

Her smooth tone stoked his fury more. ‘I don’t even know why I fucking married you. I could’ve done so much better. My parents were right on the money when they said I married down. An army bigwig and a doctor they were, and what are you? A washed-up failed actress, a shit teacher, and a poor excuse for a fucking wife.’

She ignored him as the vile comments became more and more aggressive.

‘I mean, have you taken a fucking good look at yourself lately?’

He rotated his chair towards her. She watched him in terror as he looked her up and down like he’d just stepped in a massive turd.

‘Please don’t, Alan. Please don’t start again today.’

She arranged the plate of food as fast as she could. Jumpy and exasperated, she picked up the tea towel from the draining board and wiped the edges clean, as he continued to mock her.

‘“Please don’t, Alan – please don’t, Alan.” Can you hear yourself, Kate?’

The onslaught continued towards danger point.

‘You’ve really let yourself go over the years. You need to get yourself to the fucking gym and start exercising. I married a woman, not a lard arse. Just look at you!’

She was tall and well-proportioned. If Alan wanted an anorexic model, he was living in cloud cuckoo land – and the wrong neighbourhood.

‘Oh, for crying out loud, Alan.’ Her adrenalin kicked in, and she snapped out of her former resignation. She threw down the tea towel on the worktop. ‘I do exercise, Alan, when I have the time!’

‘Ha! Are you having a fucking bubble? You keep telling yourself that. You’re a silly stupid fat tart. You should take a leaf out of your friend Jill’s book. Now she looks great. Perfect little figure, and a great pair of tits!’

He did nothing to hide the wicked grin that was plastered across his face, or his semi- erection. Watching him, repulsed, she tried logic. ‘Well, Jill hasn’t got any children to worry about, or a husband for that matter, so she has more time on her hands than I bloody well do.’

She continued to busy herself, reaching into the cupboard next to her and removing a plate.

‘Excuses, Kate, always bloody excuses with you! Don’t you know the truth always comes out? Mind you, you wouldn’t know the truth if it jumped up and took a bite-sized chunk out of your big fat fucking arse, you thick bitch.’

Her stomach churned. She didn’t want another fight. Against her better judgement, she apologised. ‘I’m sorry about the egg, Alan, I really am, but do you have to do this now? Sophie will be down for her breakfast any minute.’

She showed him Sophie’s plate. Desperate, she reminded him of their daughter’s existence. Kate was taken aback as she heard the almighty roar that bellowed out of his mouth.

‘Who the fuck do you think you are? You think you can tell me what I can and cannot do in my own house!’

The house belonged to both of them, a wedding gift from his parents, but she wasn’t about to argue the toss about that now.

‘Please, Alan, Sophie will hear you. It’s not fair she has to listen to this day in, day out. Do you not think about what this is doing to her? She’s your daughter, for heaven’s sake.’

She hated the sound of her weak voice. ‘Well, that’s fucking debatable.’ Sickened, Kate watched him as he swayed in his chair like a hypnotised cobra. A dreary Coldplay song rang out on the radio.

‘I don’t give a toss about you or your fucking daughter.’

The saliva flew in all directions across the kitchen, as he continued to spit more venom in her direction.

‘It’s my fucking house, my rules. Anyway, look at you. And what’s that on your face? Is that make-up and lipstick you’re wearing? Where do you think you’re going today with all that crap on your face? You look like a washed- up old whore!’

She was frozen to the spot, and the colour drained fast from her face.

‘It’s just pink lip gloss, for goodness sake. What the hell’s wrong with you?’

His eyes bulged from their sockets like a bullfrog’s, his tongue sharp like a flickering whip, as he leapt from his chair and grabbed her firmly by the hair. ‘Lip gloss, my arse.’ She fought hard to hold on to Sophie’s plate as he ground his thumb into her mouth and smeared the tacky pink gloss across her cheek.

‘Ha! That’s more like it! As if lipstick or lip gloss is going to help you.’

She felt the sting as the palm of his hand connected hard against her cheek. He picked up the dirty tea towel.

‘Please, Alan, stop this.’ He rubbed it hard across her flushed skin. Kate, struggling to breathe, heard the crash as the plate fell to the floor.

‘Look at the tea towel, cunt. It’s fucking make-up. Stop fucking lying to me!’

She could smell the remnants of the stale booze on his breath, which made her heave. ‘I’m not lying.’ She struggled hard to pull away from him, her eyes drawn towards the doorway. She noticed Sophie standing there, her perfect angelic face pale and in shock.

‘Go away!’ Kate mouthed to her terrified daughter.

‘What was that, bitch? Are you talking back to me again?’

She felt the sharp pain hit, as he punched her hard in the stomach. As Kate fell to her knees, she heard Sophie’s voice.

‘Leave my mummy alone!’ Kate looked up at him, and at the same time his expressive dark eyes narrowed. Alan turned around and faced his daughter.

‘Oh, it’s you! Have you seen your mother? Doesn’t she look like a cheap whore? This is what you’ll look like one day if you let yourself turn into a sack of shit like her!’

He hoisted Kate up from the floor by her hair, on to her feet, and slapped her viciously again across her cheek.

She screamed. ‘Get out, Sophie! Get out!’ Kate watched Sophie as she turned around and raced from the kitchen in floods of tears. She pleaded with him:

‘Alan, please stop this! Please!’ She stumbled as he pushed her hard into the side of the Formica worktop. Unsteady on her feet, she reached out with both hands and gripped on to it.

‘You’re lucky I’ve got things to do today and that I don’t have to spend another minute looking at your gormless fucking mug!’

She watched as he grabbed his jacket off the back of the kitchen chair and threw it across his right shoulder.

‘What have I told you about lying, Kate?’ She saw the triumphant expression on his face as he left the kitchen and whistled down the hallway. Kate listened out as he opened the front door, and jumped as she heard his voice again.

‘Make sure you clean up all the mess and scrape all that raw egg off those bloody tiles.’

She closed her eyes for a split second and there came another almighty loud bang as the front door slammed shut behind him. Kate’s whole body trembled with this aftershock.

‘God help me,’ she said to herself. She crawled across the kitchen floor, picked up the newspaper off the chair and gathered the food and shards of broken plate onto it as she chanted to herself.

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About the Author

18702441

Suzanne Seddon was born in 1968 in Islington, London. After leaving school she had many interesting jobs, from swimming teacher to air hostess, and was able to travel the globe. Now a single mum to her teenage daughter Poppy-willow, Suzanne spends her days writing and has written several articles for magazines and newspapers.

Growing up, Suzanne witnessed mental and physical abuse within her own family which strongly influenced her when she wrote her first play, A Fool’s Circle, when she attended the famous Anna Scher Theatre. Suzanne, however, was not content to leave it there and decided to go ahead and transform her play into a novel.

Not one to shy away from exciting challenges, she also wrote, acted, directed, cast and produced a trailer for the book around her hometown in Islington with the support of local businesses, who recognised the drive and importance of Suzanne and her work.

Suzanne is a passionate writer and she is determined to be heard so that the issue of domestic abuse is raised amongst the public’s consciousness, empowering others to speak out. She wants those who suffer at the hands of another to have their voices heard, loud and clear.

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